Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree --
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most contantly?
The wild-rose briar is sweet in the spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who wil call the wild-briar fair?
Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly's sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He may still leave thy garland green.
Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?
Two children (small), one Four, one Five,
Once saw a bee go in a hive,
They'd never seen a bee before!
So waited there to see some more.
And sure enough along they came
A dozen bees (and all the same!)
Within the hive they buzzed about;
Then, one by one, they all flew out.
Said Four: 'Those bees are silly things,
But how I wish I had their wings!'
In those years, people will say, we lost track
of the meaning of we, of you
we found ourselves
reduced to I
and the whole thing became
silly, ironic, terrible:
we were trying to live a personal life
and yes, that was the only life
we could bear witness to
But the great dark birds of history screamed and plunged
into our personal weather
They were headed somewhere else but their beaks and pinions drove
along the shore, through the rags of fog
where we stood, saying I
THERE WAS AN OLD MAN OF NEW YORK, WHO MURDERED HIMSELF WITH A FORK;
BUT NOBODY CRIED THOUGH HE VERY SOON DIED, --
FOR THAT SILLY OLD MAN OF NEW YORK.
EARTH’D up, here lies an imp o’ hell,
Planted by Satan’s dibble;
Poor silly wretch, he’s damned himsel’,
To save the Lord the trouble.
Stephen Vincent Benet
And so, to you, who always were
Perseus, D'Artagnan, Lancelot
To me, I give these weedy rhymes
In memory of earlier times.
Now all those careless days are not.
Of all my heroes, you endure.
Words are such silly things! too rough,
Too smooth, they boil up or congeal,
And neither of us likes emotion --
But I can't measure my devotion!
And you know how I really feel --
And we're together.
There, enough .
Once upon a time there was a mistake
So silly so small
That no one would even have noticed it
It couldn't bear
To see itself to hear of itself
It invented all manner of things
Just to prove
that it didn't really exist
It invented space
To put its proofs in
And time to keep its proofs
And the world to see its proofs
All it invented
Was not so silly
Nor so small
But was of course mistaken
Could it have been otherwise
I always saw, I always said
If I were grown and free,
I'd have a gown of reddest red
As fine as you could see,
To wear out walking, sleek and slow,
Upon a Summer day,
And there'd be one to see me so
And flip the world away.
And he would be a gallant one,
With stars behind his eyes,
And hair like metal in the sun,
And lips too warm for lies.
I always saw us, gay and good,
High honored in the town.
Now I am grown to womanhood.
I have the silly gown.
A E Housman
Oh fair enough are sky and plain,
But I know fairer far:
Those are as beautiful again
That in the water are;
The pools and rivers wash so clean
The trees and clouds and air,
The like on earth was never seen,
And oh that I were there.
These are the thoughts I often think
As I stand gazing down
In act upon the cressy brink
To strip and dive and drown;
But in the golden-sanded brooks
And azure meres I spy
A silly lad that longs and looks
And wishes he were I.
The cruel Moon hangs out of reach
Up above the shadowy beech.
Her face is stupid, but her eye
Is small and sharp and very sly.
Nurse says the Moon can drive you mad?
No, that’s a silly story, lad!
Though she be angry, though she would
Destroy all England if she could,
Yet think, what damage can she do
Hanging there so far from you?
Don’t heed what frightened nurses say:
Moons hang much too far away.
Leave me to my lonely pillow.
Go, and take your silly posies
Who has vowed to wear the willow
Looks a fool, tricked out in roses.
Who are you, my lad, to ease me?
Leave your pretty words unspoken.
Tinkling echoes little please me,
Now my heart is freshly broken.
Over young are you to guide me,
And your blood is slow and sleeping.
If you must, then sit beside me.
Tell me, why have I been weeping?
O wine, most limpid, pure, and crystalline,
Would I could drench this silly frame of mine
With thee, that passers by might think 'twas thou,
And cry, «Whence comest thou, fair master wine?»
DELUDED swain, the pleasure
The fickle Fair can give thee,
Is but a fairy treasure,
Thy hopes will soon deceive thee:
The billows on the ocean,
The breezes idly roaming,
The cloud’s uncertain motion,
They are but types of Woman.
O art thou not asham’d
To doat upon a feature?
If Man thou wouldst be nam’d,
Despise the silly creature.
Go, find an honest fellow,
Good claret set before thee,
Hold on till thou art mellow,
And then to bed in glory!
There was an Old Person of Chili,
Whose conduct was painful and silly;
He sate on the stairs, eating apples and pears,
That imprudent Old Person of Chili.
Constantine P Cavafy
He came to read.
Two or three books
are open; historians and poets.
But he only read for ten minutes,
and gave them up.
He is dozing
on the sofa.
He is fully devoted to books --
but he is twenty-three years old, and he's very handsome;
and this afternoon love passed
through his ideal flesh, his lips.
Through his flesh which is full of beauty
the heat of love passed;
without any silly shame for the form of the enjoyment.
I’ve had a good bump round; my little horse
Refused the brook first time,
Then jumped it prime;
And ran out at the double,
But of course
There’s always trouble at a double:
And then—I don’t know how
It was—he turned it up
At that big, hairy fence before the plough;
And some young silly pup
(I don’t know which),
Near as a toucher knocked me into the ditch;
But we finished full of running, and quite sound:
And anyhow I’ve had a good bump round.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
THIS page a chain to bring thee burns,
That, train'd to suppleness of old,
On thy fair neck to nestle, yearns,
In many a hundred little fold.
To please the silly thing consent!
'Tis harmless, and from boldness free;
By day a trifling ornament,
At night 'tis cast aside by thee.
But if the chain they bring thee ever,
Heavier, more fraught with weal or woe,
I'd then, Lisette, reproach thee never
If thou shouldst greater scruples show.
This silly sorrow-laden heart of mine
Is ever pining for that Love of mine;
When the Cupbearer poured the wine of love,
With my heart's blood he filled this cup of mine!