The old men used to sing
And lifted a brother
Out the door
I used to think they
Knowing how to
They shuffled softly
With the flowers
Than with the widow
After they'd put the
And stood around waiting
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--
I, too, am America.
I stood upon a high place,
And saw, below, many devils
and carousing in sin.
One looked up, grinning,
And said, "Comrade! Brother!"
It's August and I have not
Read a book in six months
except something called The Retreat from Moscow
Nevertheless, I am happy
Riding in a car with my brother
and drinking from a pint of Old Crow.
We do not have any place in mind to go,
we are just driving.
If I closed my eyes for a minute
I would be lost, yet
I could gladly lie down and sleep forever
beside this road
My brother nudges me.
Any minute now, something will happen.
There is a word
Which bears a sword
Can pierce an armed man --
It hurls its barbed syllables
And is mute again --
But where it fell
The saved will tell
On patriotic day,
Some epauletted Brother
Gave his breath away.
Wherever runs the breathless sun --
Wherever roams the day --
There is its noiseless onset --
There is its victory!
Behold the keenest marksman!
The most accomplished shot!
Time's sublimest target
Is a soul "forgot!"
AMONG the men and women, the multitude,
I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs,
Acknowledging none else—not parent, wife, husband, brother, child, any nearer than I
Some are baffled—But that one is not—that one knows me.
Ah, lover and perfect equal!
I meant that you should discover me so, by my faint indirections;
And I, when I meet you, mean to discover you by the like in you.
(To Miss May Forshall.
HE shouts amain, he shouts again,
(Her brother, fierce, as bluff King Hal),
"I tell you flat, I shall do that!"
She softly whispers " 'May' for 'shall'!"
He wistful sighed one eventide
(Her friend, that made this Madrigal),
"And shall I kiss you, pretty Miss!"
Smiling she answered " 'May' for 'shall'!"
With eager eyes my reader cries,
"Your friend must be indeed a val-
-uable child, so sweet, so mild!
What do you call her?" "May For shall.
It's when we face for a moment
the worst our kind can do, and shudder to know
the taint in our own selves, that awe
cracks the mind's shell and enters the heart:
not to a flower, not to a dolphin,
to no innocent form
but to this creature vainly sure
it and no other is god-like, God
(out of compassion for our ugly
failure to evolve) entrusts,
as guest, as brother,
I found him in the guard-room at the Base.
From the blind darkness I had heard his crying
And blundered in.
With puzzled, patient face
A sergeant watched him; it was no good trying
To stop it; for he howled and beat his chest.
And, all because his brother had gone west,
Raved at the bleeding war; his rampant grief
Moaned, shouted, sobbed, and choked, while he was kneeling
Half-naked on the floor.
In my belief
Such men have lost all patriotic feeling.
The moon on the one hand, the dawn on the other:
The moon is my sister, the dawn is my brother.
The moon on my left and the dawn on my right.
My brother, good morning: my sister, good night.
Brother Paul! look!
—but he rushes to a different
I heard shrieks and thought:
That's just Suzanne
talking to the moon!
Pounding on the window
with both fists:
—and talking to the moon.
and pounding the glass
with both fists!
Brother Paul! the moon!
There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!
CURSE on ungrateful man, that can be pleased,
And yet can starve the author of the pleasure.
O thou, my elder brother in misfortune,
By far my elder brother in the Muses,
With tears I pity thy unhappy fate!
Why is the Bard unpitied by the world,
Yet has so keen a relish of its pleasures?
I have no silver-saddled horse to ride,
no inheritance to live on,
neither riches no real-estate --
a pot of honey is all I own.
A pot of honey
red as fire!
My honey is my everything.
my riches and my real-estate
-- my honey pot, I mean --
from pests of every species,
Brother, just wait.
As long as I've got
honey in my pot,
bees will come to it
To these I turn, in these I trust;
Brother Lead and Sister Steel.
To his blind power I make appeal;
I guard her beauty clean from rust.
He spins and burns and loves the air,
And splits a skull to win my praise;
But up the nobly marching days
She glitters naked, cold and fair.
Sweet Sister, grant your soldier this;
That in good fury he may feel
The body where he sets his heel
Quail from your downward darting kiss.
Would I might wake St.
Francis in you all,
Brother of birds and trees, God's Troubadour,
Blinded with weeping for the sad and poor;
Our wealth undone, all strict Franciscan men,
Come, let us chant the canticle again
Of mother earth and the enduring sun.
God make each soul the lonely leper's slave;
God make us saints, and brave.
Robin and Richard were two pretty men,
They lay in bed till the clock struck ten;
Then up starts Robin and looks at the sky,
"Oh, brother Richard, the sun's very high!
You go before, with the bottle and bag,
And I will come after on little Jack Nag.
John Gould Fletcher
Care-charming Sleep, thou easer of all woes,
Brother to Death, sweetly thyself dispose
On this afflicted prince; fall like a cloud
In gentle showers; give nothing that is loud
Or painful to his slumbers; easy, sweet,
And as a purling stream, thou son of Night,
Pass by his troubled senses; sing his pain,
Like hollow murmuring wind or silver rain;
Into this prince gently, oh gently slide,
And kiss him into slumbers like a bride.
LET us twain walk aside from the rest;
Now we are together privately, do you discard ceremony,
Come! vouchsafe to me what has yet been vouchsafed to none—Tell me the whole story,
Tell me what you would not tell your brother, wife, husband, or physician.
I'll tell you a story
And now my story's begun.
I'll tell you another
About his brother:
And now my story is done.
He sleeps as a lamb sleeps,
Beside his mother.
Somewhere in yon blue deeps
His tender brother
Sleeps like a lamb and leaps.
He feeds as a lamb might,
Beside his mother.
Somewhere in fields of light
A lamb, his brother,
Feeds, and is clothed in white.
Having begun in thought there
in that factual embodied wonder
what was lost in the emptied lovers
patience and mind I first felt there
wondered again and again what for
myself so meager and finally singular
despite all issued therefrom whether
sister or mother or brother and father
come to love's emptied place too late
to feel it again see again first there
all the peculiar wet tenderness the care
of her for whom to be other was first fate.
Give me your hand, my brother, search my face;
Look in these eyes lest I should think of shame;
For we have made an end of all things base.
We are returning by the road we came.
Your lot is with the ghosts of soldiers dead,
And I am in the field where men must fight.
But in the gloom I see your laurell’d head
And through your victory I shall win the light.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Birth and death, twin-sister and twin-brother,
Night and day, on all things that draw breath,
Reign, while time keeps friends with one another
Birth and death.
Each brow-bound with flowers diverse of wreath,
Heaven they hail as father, earth as mother,
Faithful found above them and beneath.
Smiles may lighten tears, and tears may smother
Smiles, for all that joy or sorrow saith:
Joy nor sorrow knows not from each other
Birth and death.
Cast off dull care, O melancholy brother!
Woo the sweet daughter of the grape, no other;
The daughter is forbidden, it is true,
But she is nicer than her lawful mother!