Ralph Waldo Emerson
THOUGH love repine and reason chafe
There came a voice without reply ¡ª
'T is man's perdition to be safe,
When for the truth he ought to die.
'Tis whiter than an Indian Pipe --
'Tis dimmer than a Lace --
No stature has it, like a Fog
When you approach the place --
Nor any voice imply it here
Or intimate it there
A spirit -- how doth it accost --
What function hat the Air?
This limitless Hyperbole
Each one of us shall be --
'Tis Drama -- if Hypothesis
It be not Tragedy --
William Cullen Bryant
There is wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And clouds like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.
Nought warm where your hand was,
Nought gold where your hair was,
But phantom, forlorn,
Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.
Cold wind where your voice was,
Tears, tears where my heart was,
And ever with me,
Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.
New moon on the lake.
Your voice and the nightingale
Full moon on the lake.
Your voice and the waterbirds
Old moon on the lake.
Owls hunting autumnal food -
your voice still singing.
A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth.
Friedrich von Schiller
Thou in truth shouldst be one, yet not with the whole shouldst thou be so.
'Tis through the reason thou'rt one,--art so with it through the heart.
Voice of the whole is thy reason, but thou thine own heart must be ever;
If in thy heart reason dwells evermore, happy art thou.
David Herbert Lawrence
Outside the house an ash-tree hung its terrible whips,
And at night when the wind arose, the lash of the tree
Shrieked and slashed the wind, as a ship’s
Weird rigging in a storm shrieks hideously.
Within the house two voices arose in anger, a slender lash
Whistling delirious rage, and the dreadful sound
Of a thick lash booming and bruising, until it drowned
The other voice in a silence of blood, ’neath the noise of the ash.
Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow,
The sunset hangs on a cloud;
A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,
The wild wind blows in a cloud.
Hark to a voice that is calling
To my heart in the voice of the wind:
My heart is weary and sad and alone,
For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone,
And why should I stay behind?
Oh, there are eyes that he can see,
And hands to make his hands rejoice,
But to my lover I must be
Only a voice.
Oh, there are breasts to bear his head,
And lips whereon his lips can lie,
But I must be till I am dead
Only a cry.
The tumult in the heart
keeps asking questions.
And then it stops and undertakes to answer
in the same tone of voice.
No one could tell the difference.
Uninnocent, these conversations start,
and then engage the senses,
only half-meaning to.
And then there is no choice,
and then there is no sense;
until a name
and all its connotation are the same.
My voice that is for you the languid one, and gentle,
Disturbs the velvet of the dark night's mantle,
By my bedside, a candle, my sad guard,
Burns, and my poems ripple and merge in flood --
And run the streams of love, run, full of you alone,
And in the dark, your eyes shine like the precious stones,
And smile to me, and hear I the voice:
My friend, my sweetest friend.
After all Birds have been investigated and laid aside --
Nature imparts the little Blue-Bird -- assured
Her conscientious Voice will soar unmoved
Above ostensible Vicissitude.
First at the March -- competing with the Wind --
Her panting note exalts us -- like a friend --
Last to adhere when Summer cleaves away --
Elegy of Integrity.
AS the time draws nigh, glooming, a cloud,
A dread beyond, of I know not what, darkens me.
I shall go forth,
I shall traverse The States awhile—but I cannot tell whither or how long;
Perhaps soon, some day or night while I am singing, my voice will suddenly cease.
O book, O chants! must all then amount to but this?
Must we barely arrive at this beginning of us?.
And yet it is enough, O soul!
O soul! we have positively appear’d—that is enough.
Last night I heard your voice, mother,
The words you sang to me
When I, a little barefoot boy,
Knelt down against your knee.
And tears gushed from my heart, mother,
And passed beyond its wall,
But though the fountain reached my throat
The drops refused to fall.
'Tis ten years since you died, mother,
Just ten dark years of pain,
And oh, I only wish that I
Could weep just once again.
When the black herds of the rain were grazing,
In the gap of the pure cold wind
And the watery hazes of the hazel
Brought her into my mind,
I thought of the last honey by the water
That no hive can find.
Brightness was drenching through the branches
When she wandered again,
Turning sliver out of dark grasses
Where the skylark had lain,
And her voice coming softly over the meadow
Was the mist becoming rain.
~for Jackson C.
It seems almost too far fetched really,
too difficult to believe.
This unassuming moon shining like a copper plate.
These milkcrate blues.
This soft trellis of sound
wobbling through the wind
as if pouring out from the window
of some lonely house on the hill.
How beautiful it is,
the ghost of your voice,
haunting this empty valley.
Originally published in 2River View 10.
Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005
Persuade me not, there is a Grace
Proceeds from Silvia's Voice or Lute,
Against Miranda's charming Face
To make her hold the least Dispute.
Musick, which tunes the Soul for Love,
And stirs up all our soft Desires,
Do's but the glowing Flame improve,
Which pow'rful Beauty first inspires.
Thus, whilst with Art she plays, and sings
I to Miranda, standing by,
Impute the Music of the Strings,
And all the melting Words apply
Oh, Morpheus, give me joy till morning
For my forever painful love:
Just blow out candles' burning
And let my dreams in blessing move.
Let from my soul disappear
The separation's sharp rebuke!
And let me see that dear look,
And let me hear voice that dear.
And when will vanish dark of night
And you will free my eyes at leaving,
Oh, if my heart would have a right
To lose its love till dark of evening!
Federico García Lorca
I go down the street
Grotesque, without solution
With the sadness of Cyrano
With the rhythm of the clock.
(The captive voice, far away.
Put on a cricket' clothes.
I dreamt your suicide note
was scrawled in pencil on a brown paperbag,
& in the bag were six baby mice.
opened into darkness,
from the top down.
huddled at the bottom, scurried the bag
across a shorn field.
I stood over it
& as the burning reached each carbon letter
of what you'd written
your voice released into the night
like a song, & the mice
when my father had been dead a week
I woke with his voice in my ear
I sat up in bed
and held my breath
and stared at the pale closed door
white apples and the taste of stone
if he called again
I would put on my coat and galoshes
FROM thee, Eliza, I must go,
And from my native shore;
The cruel fates between us throw
A boundless ocean’s roar:
But boundless oceans, roaring wide,
Between my love and me,
They never, never can divide
My heart and soul from thee.
Farewell, farewell, Eliza dear,
The maid that I adore!
A boding voice is in mine ear,
We part to meet no more!
But the latest throb that leaves my heart,
While Death stands victor by,—
That throb, Eliza, is thy part,
And thine that latest sigh!
October's bellowing anger breaks and cleaves
The bronzed battalions of the stricken wood
In whose lament I hear a voice that grieves
For battle’s fruitless harvest, and the feud
Of outraged men.
Their lives are like the leaves
Scattered in flocks of ruin, tossed and blown
Along the westering furnace flaring red.
O martyred youth and manhood overthrown,
The burden of your wrongs is on my head.
I am the family face;
Flesh perishes, I live on,
Projecting trait and trace
Through time to times anon,
And leaping from place to place
The years-heired feature that can
In curve and voice and eye
Despise the human span
Of durance -- that is I;
The eternal thing in man,
That heeds no call to die
Dreaming when Dawn’s Left Hand was in the Sky,
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
“Awake, my Little ones, and fill the cup
Before Life’s Liquor in its Cup be dry.