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I slept and dreamt that life was beauty; I woke and found that life was duty.

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Charles Lamb

Beauty And The Beast

A Merchant, who by generous pains
Prospered in honourable gains,
Could boast, his wealth and fame to share,
Three manly Sons, three Daughters fair;
With these he felt supremely blest.-
His latest born surpass'd the rest:
She was so gentle, good and kind,
So fair in feature, form, and mind,
So constant too in filial duty,
The neighbours called her Little Beauty!
And when fair childhood's days were run,
That title still she wore and won;
Lovelier as older still she grew,
Improv'd in grace and goodness too.-
Her elder Sisters, gay and vain,
View'd her with envy and disdain,
Toss'd up their heads with haughty air;
Dress, Fashion, Pleasure, all their care.


'Twas thus, improving and improv'd;
Loving, and worthy to be lov'd,
Sprightly, yet grave, each circling day
Saw Beauty innocently gay.
Thus smooth the May-like moments past;
Blest times! but soon by clouds o'ercast!


Sudden as winds that madd'ning sweep
The foaming surface of the deep,
Vast treasures, trusted to the wave,
Were buried in the billowy grave!
Our Merchant, late of boundless store,
Saw Famine hasting to his door.


With willing hand and ready grace,
Mild Beauty takes the Servant's place;
Rose with the sun to household cares,
And morn's repast with zeal prepares,
The wholesome meal, the cheerful fire:
What cannot filial love inspire?
And when the task of day was done,
Suspended till the rising sun,
Music and song the hours employ'd,
As more deserv'd, the more enjoy'd;
Till Industry, with Pastime join'd,
Refresh'd the body and the mind;
And when the groupe retir'd to rest,
Father and Brothers Beauty blest.

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[9] O, Moon, My Sweet-heart!

O, Moon, My Sweet-heart!
[LOVE POEMS]

POET: MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR

POEMS

1 Passion And Compassion / 1
2 Affection
3 Willing To Live
4 Passion And Compassion / 2
5 Boon
6 Remembrance
7 Pretext
8 To A Distant Person
9 Perception
10 Conclusion
10 You (1)
11 Symbol
12 You (2)
13 In Vain
14 One Night
15 Suddenly
16 Meeting
17 Touch
18 Face To Face
19 Co-Traveller
20 Once And Once only
21 Touchstone
22 In Chorus
23 Good Omens
24 Even Then
25 An Evening At ‘Tighiraa’ (1)
26 An Evening At ‘Tighiraa’ (2)
27 Life Aspirant
28 To The Condemned Woman
29 A Submission
30 At Midday
31 I Accept
32 Who Are You?
33 Solicitation
34 Accept Me
35 Again After Ages …
36 Day-Dreaming
37 Who Are You?
38 You Embellished In Song

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The Undying One- Canto III

'THERE is a sound the autumn wind doth make
Howling and moaning, listlessly and low:
Methinks that to a heart that ought to break
All the earth's voices seem to murmur so.
The visions that crost
Our path in light--
The things that we lost
In the dim dark night--
The faces for which we vainly yearn--
The voices whose tones will not return--
That low sad wailing breeze doth bring
Borne on its swift and rushing wing.
Have ye sat alone when that wind was loud,
And the moon shone dim from the wintry cloud?
When the fire was quench'd on your lonely hearth,
And the voices were still which spoke of mirth?

If such an evening, tho' but one,
It hath been yours to spend alone--
Never,--though years may roll along
Cheer'd by the merry dance and song;
Though you mark'd not that bleak wind's sound before,
When louder perchance it used to roar--
Never shall sound of that wintry gale
Be aught to you but a voice of wail!
So o'er the careless heart and eye
The storms of the world go sweeping by;
But oh! when once we have learn'd to weep,
Well doth sorrow his stern watch keep.
Let one of our airy joys decay--
Let one of our blossoms fade away--
And all the griefs that others share
Seem ours, as well as theirs, to bear:
And the sound of wail, like that rushing wind
Shall bring all our own deep woe to mind!

'I went through the world, but I paused not now
At the gladsome heart and the joyous brow:
I went through the world, and I stay'd to mark
Where the heart was sore, and the spirit dark:
And the grief of others, though sad to see,
Was fraught with a demon's joy to me!

'I saw the inconstant lover come to take
Farewell of her he loved in better days,
And, coldly careless, watch the heart-strings break--
Which beat so fondly at his words of praise.
She was a faded, painted, guilt-bow'd thing,
Seeking to mock the hues of early spring,
When misery and years had done their worst

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The Woefull Lamentation Of Jane Shore

The woefull lamentation of Jane Shore, a goldsmith's wife in London, sometime king Edward IV. his concubine. To the tune of 'Live with me,' &c.

If Rosamonde, that was so faire,
Had cause her sorrowes to declare,
Then let Jane Shore with sorrowe sing,
That was beloved of a king.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

In maiden yeares my beautye bright
Was loved dear of lord and knight;
But yet the love that they requir'd,
It was not as my friends desir'd.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

My parents they, for thirst of gaine,
A husband for me did obtaine;
And I, their pleasure to fulfille,
Was forc'd to wedd against my wille.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

To Matthew Shore I was a wife,
Till lust brought ruine to my life;
And then my life I lewdlye spent,
Which makes my soul for to lament.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

In Lombard-street I once did dwelle,
As London yet can witness welle;
Where many gallants did beholde
My beautye in a shop of golde.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

I spred my plumes, as wantons doe,
Some sweet and secret friende to wooe,
Because chast love I did not finde
Agreeing to my wanton minde.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

At last my name in court did ring
Into the eares of Englandes king,
Who came and lik'd, and love requir'd,
But I made coye what he desir'd.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

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The Dream

'TWAS summer eve; the changeful beams still play'd
On the fir-bark and through the beechen shade;
Still with soft crimson glow'd each floating cloud;
Still the stream glitter'd where the willow bow'd;
Still the pale moon sate silent and alone,
Nor yet the stars had rallied round her throne;
Those diamond courtiers, who, while yet the West
Wears the red shield above his dying breast,
Dare not assume the loss they all desire,
Nor pay their homage to the fainter fire,
But wait in trembling till the Sun's fair light
Fading, shall leave them free to welcome Night!

So when some Chief, whose name through realms afar
Was still the watchword of succesful war,
Met by the fatal hour which waits for all,
Is, on the field he rallied, forced to fall,
The conquerors pause to watch his parting breath,
Awed by the terrors of that mighty death;
Nor dare the meed of victory to claim,
Nor lift the standard to a meaner name,
Till every spark of soul hath ebb'd away,
And leaves what was a hero, common clay.

Oh! Twilight! Spirit that dost render birth
To dim enchantments; melting Heaven with Earth,
Leaving on craggy hills and rumning streams
A softness like the atmosphere of dreams;
Thy hour to all is welcome! Faint and sweet
Thy light falls round the peasant's homeward feet,
Who, slow returning from his task of toil,
Sees the low sunset gild the cultured soil,
And, tho' such radliance round him brightly glows,
Marks the small spark his cottage window throws.
Still as his heart forestals his weary pace,
Fondly he dreams of each familiar face,
Recalls the treasures of his narrow life,
His rosy children, and his sunburnt wife,

To whom his coming is the chief event
Of simple days in cheerful labour spent.
The rich man's chariot hath gone whirling past,
And those poor cottagers have only cast
One careless glance on all that show of pride,
Then to their tasks turn'd quietly aside;
But him they wait for, him they welcome home,
Fond sentinels look forth to see him come;
The fagot sent for when the fire grew dim,
The frugal meal prepared, are all for him;
For him the watching of that sturdy boy,

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The Fair of Beauty

I must confess! An angel must hide placidly undermine eyelids, for when I close them I see a word magnanimously delightful, and when I open them I see a pageant as sweet as a garden of sugar. I see the land of Lucien.

With languorous sunsets, charming lakes and emerald grass the land of Lucien is a place of beauty. It is a kingdom where romance lavishes the land. In the heart of Lucien, a small castle stands, ornamented with stained glass, beautiful balustrades and gothic arches. The gray stone which holds it together is forged by the hands of many peasants, but its form was conceived by the mind of one talented artisan. This gives the building a real integrity and a strange personality peculiar to one man. To that man no one knew or knows, no myth even could or can shed light into its mystery. "Mysteries shall be left mysterious, for shall they be discovered they lose their charm, " Madame Rupert once said with the eloquence of an aristocrat.

In this story there is no place for mystery, for beauty is forever revealing itself to us, but here is short history of Lucien. In order to understand this story I must give an account of the castle. The castle is called the house of Rupert, for the Rupert's have reigned over the land of Lucien for many a century. The family is everything royal except their horrible habit of being unconventional. They never marry within royal line, for they suffer from the malady of beauty and love and the lads of the family hold beauty contests to chose the wife they think the most beautiful. Dowries mean nil compared to a charming countenance in this world. They worship love, as other's worship the mammoth, however, they worship love with as much avidity as others worship the latter, that it would be quite pernicious to their name in a practical world, therefore, I thank Venus for making my land of Lucien quite unpractical, for here the Rupert's mania for beauty doesn't seem to affect their status, or their sanity, and more importantly their virtue.

Beauty! Beauty is the way of life here. The Rupert's excessive love of beauty transcends the emotion of admiration and even slips importunately into the realm of Justice. To the Rupert's, justice must follow the law of beauty, hence the inscription engraved in marble adorning the head of the entrance way which reads Beauty is Thine Nature, Justice Must Protect Thine Nature, and Good Shall Prosper Here, For Justice is Not Just Shall It Produce Bad Results.

The Story begins.

On this day, the 11th of August, the patriarch, the king, the majestic lord, King Eric de Rupert, dressed in raiment ebony, laced with gold ruffles, calls into session the Fair of Beauty. The king's brown Moorish eyes overlook the crowd and its meticulous beauty. The praetorian guards stand erect and proud; magenta rubies are sewn into the turbans resting upon their heads; their scarlet cloaks are stained with the blood of dead youth and underneath their pleasant attire lay a well of gold, for their skin appears to be laced with gold.

Dear reader, music always seems to sing from the heart. For musicians play lovely tunes with their skillfully wrought instruments. The ceremony is conducted in a way to infuse a merry emollient on all the hearts of all the spectators'. The scenery is potent in beautiful colors, an elegant display of fashion rests listlessly on all who attend, and an uncanny feast is prepared and served in lovely style, that one didn't notice, if what one is eating, is good or not. That is the charm of beauty here, it has no taste, like water, it is a necessity to live.
A squire whispers to his wanton mistress, "The King appears to be alone, for where is his noble wife and her amorous spirit? "
"The King looks so handsome this evening maybe he'll notice my azure mascara, " said Lyla to her girlfriend Plenie.
"The King sees nothing but beauty, that is what makes him so irresistible, " replied Plenie.
'For twenty years he has ruled with compassion and benevolence, and twenty years more shall he be loved with compassion and benevolence, " said Lorenzo the accountant.

(The King rises from a throne made of Persian Wood)

The King: "Tis my favorite time of all my life. The Fair of Beauty is born again. My apologies, my fellow citizens, for my wife's heart is empty of jealously; for it flows through her purple veins. I am sorry for time has wrinkled her very forehead and shriveled her very hands. She will not attend this lovely noble ceremony because she is conceived herself not beautiful enough. I, myself, could not convince her, that she herself, is still beautiful in body and soul. For she is a woman and gentleman we know how women can be. I give thee my humble apologies for her absence. My people, dear citizens of Lucien, thou shall receive a barrel of honey for such a grievous loss. For I know how thee cherish her beauty as a school of fish cherish the sea. Therefore let us partake of the glorious ceremony. Shall it begin! "

Here is the Ode of Beauty that my ancestors have passed to me by way of memory and mouth.

Sympathy is in thy sigh,
Kindness blessed thy hand
Beauty is in thy eye
Love looks on thy land
Live and be Free
And thou will See
What is Noble
In You and Me.

King: "Beauty shall triumph! As you know, my son Menillo Rupert, has been courting five exquisite women for the last year. Tonight he shall chose the love of his life, and forever live in happiness, because love is the panacea to all our sorrows. For to have love means to never die, to know nothing of vulgarity, to dwell lazily under the eyes of another, and to never know of loneliness. For your beloved knows thee without inquiry and loves thee without scruples."

(Menillo enters escorted by five guardsmen of refined physical features and envious beauty.)

King: "For my son to see true beauty and know real truth his eyes shall be covered by the cloth of Tangerine."

(A Guard places a vermillion blindfold over the eyes of Menillo)

King: Call on the beauties of earth so they can test their heart to the heart of mine son.

(Enter the Five Beauties of Earth)

King: "Shatalana, the first beauty, who comes from the Ivory Coast, whose skin smells of coconuts, whose vigorous eyes stir my lands imagination. How lovely are thee."

King: "Carmelita, the second beauty, who comes from South America, the Incan sun light rests inside thine skin, and your thick strands of hair flow like a gentle spring wind. How lovely are thee."

King: "Unchi, the third beauty, who comes from the Korean peninsula, your skin is a like a doll's skin, and your heart burns with the intensity of a hot spring which colors thy cheek. How lovely are thee."

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VI. Giuseppe Caponsacchi

Answer you, Sirs? Do I understand aright?
Have patience! In this sudden smoke from hell,—
So things disguise themselves,—I cannot see
My own hand held thus broad before my face
And know it again. Answer you? Then that means
Tell over twice what I, the first time, told
Six months ago: 't was here, I do believe,
Fronting you same three in this very room,
I stood and told you: yet now no one laughs,
Who then … nay, dear my lords, but laugh you did,
As good as laugh, what in a judge we style
Laughter—no levity, nothing indecorous, lords!
Only,—I think I apprehend the mood:
There was the blameless shrug, permissible smirk,
The pen's pretence at play with the pursed mouth,
The titter stifled in the hollow palm
Which rubbed the eyebrow and caressed the nose,
When I first told my tale: they meant, you know,
"The sly one, all this we are bound believe!
"Well, he can say no other than what he says.
"We have been young, too,—come, there's greater guilt!
"Let him but decently disembroil himself,
"Scramble from out the scrape nor move the mud,—
"We solid ones may risk a finger-stretch!
And now you sit as grave, stare as aghast
As if I were a phantom: now 't is—"Friend,
"Collect yourself!"—no laughing matter more—
"Counsel the Court in this extremity,
"Tell us again!"—tell that, for telling which,
I got the jocular piece of punishment,
Was sent to lounge a little in the place
Whence now of a sudden here you summon me
To take the intelligence from just—your lips!
You, Judge Tommati, who then tittered most,—
That she I helped eight months since to escape
Her husband, was retaken by the same,
Three days ago, if I have seized your sense,—
(I being disallowed to interfere,
Meddle or make in a matter none of mine,
For you and law were guardians quite enough
O' the innocent, without a pert priest's help)—
And that he has butchered her accordingly,
As she foretold and as myself believed,—
And, so foretelling and believing so,
We were punished, both of us, the merry way:
Therefore, tell once again the tale! For what?
Pompilia is only dying while I speak!
Why does the mirth hang fire and miss the smile?
My masters, there's an old book, you should con
For strange adventures, applicable yet,

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Beautiful One

Oh beautiful one, adorned with spell
To ravage my world as might a sweet angel.
Oh beautiful thing, so much at ease:
Allure of caressing breeze in touch gentle.

Oh beautiful creature, sail me do,
As floating on seas of halcyon blue tincture.
You beautiful being, gracing charm
And features that render feel of deep texture.

Your beautiful poise in glide supreme,
Gives such like a vista honed as from heaven.
That beautiful art of face ornate,
Not ever to understate or be riven.

Your beautiful flame of pulchritude
Doth dizzy me high, so I conclude always
You beautiful girl forever be
My shining Janette; my guide; my stairway.

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2009
All rights reserved

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Three Women

My love is young, so young;
Young is her cheek, and her throat,
And life is a song to be sung
With love the word for each note.

Young is her cheek and her throat;
Her eyes have the smile o' May.
And love is the word for each note
In the song of my life to-day.

Her eyes have the smile o' May;
Her heart is the heart of a dove,
And the song of my life to-day
Is love, beautiful love.


Her heart is the heart of a dove,
Ah, would it but fly to my breast
Where love, beautiful love,
Has made it a downy nest.


Ah, would she but fly to my breast,
My love who is young, so young;
I have made her a downy nest
And life is a song to be sung.


1
I.
A dull little station, a man with the eye
Of a dreamer; a bevy of girls moving by;
A swift moving train and a hot Summer sun,
The curtain goes up, and our play is begun.
The drama of passion, of sorrow, of strife,
Which always is billed for the theatre Life.
It runs on forever, from year unto year,
With scarcely a change when new actors appear.
It is old as the world is-far older in truth,
For the world is a crude little planet of youth.
And back in the eras before it was formed,
The passions of hearts through the Universe stormed.


Maurice Somerville passed the cluster of girls
Who twisted their ribbons and fluttered their curls
In vain to attract him; his mind it was plain
Was wholly intent on the incoming train.
That great one eyed monster puffed out its black breath,
Shrieked, snorted and hissed, like a thing bent on death,

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Introit : V. Litany Of Beauty

Joy, if the Soul or aught immortal be,
How may this Beauty know mortality?

O Beauty, perfect child of Light,
Sempiternal spirit of delight!
White and set with gold like the gold of the night,
The gold of the stars in quiet weather,--
White and shapely and pure!--
O lily-flower from stain secure,
With life and virginity dying together!

One lily liveth so,
Liveth for ever unstained, immortal, a mystic flower:
Perfectly wrought its frame,
Gold inwrought and eternal white,
White more white than cold of the snow,
For never, never, near it came,
Never shall come till the end of all,
Hurtful thing in wind or shower,
Worm or stain or blight;
But ever, ever, gently fall
The dews elysian of years that flow
Where it doth live secure
In flawless comeliness mature,
Golden and white and pure.
In the fair far-shining glow
Of eternal and holy Light.

Beauty of earthly things
Wrought by God and with hands of men!
Beauty of Nature and Art,
Fashioned anew for each Time brings,
For each new soul and living heart!
Beauty of Beauty that fills the ken
Till the soul is swooning, faint with delight!
Beauty of human form and voice,
Of eyes and ears and lips!--
O golden hair and brow of white!--
Wine of Beauty that whoso sips
Doth die to a spirit free, and rejoice,
Living with God and living with men,
Rapt rejoice in eternal bliss,
Raising his face to meet the kiss
Of the Beauty seraphic he sees above
In figure of his love.

O Beauty of Wisdom unsought
That in trance to poet is taught,
Uttered in secret lay,
Singing the heart from earth away,

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Carrolling II-Parody Lewis CARROLL–The Mad Gardener’s Song

Carolling II

He Thought He Saw

He thought he saw new Internet
exchanging peer to peer,
he looked again and found it was
a mirage for each year
sees more control, “what rôle, ” he said,
“for values once held dear?
Some track to trace attack and get
convictions based on fear.'

He dreamt he saw spam disappear,
all consultations free,
he looked again and found it was
a spybot lottery.
“Is net neutrality”, he said,
“from rash risks viral clear? ”

He dreamt that Microsoft would steer
all trash deleted fast,
then woke to find world insincere
where independence past
was sacrificed throughout the year
to biometrics ghast.

He thought he saw a friend’s hello,
with an attachment piece,
he looked again and found it was
the porno scanning police.
“Politically correct”, he said,
“can’t guarantee release.”

He opened it, discovered though,
a trojan horse to fleece –
he looked again as data flow
declined, - mind not at peace -
and whispered with voice hoarse and low:
'when will our worries cease? ”

He thought he saw a hierophant,
who’d deal successful life,
he looked again and found it was
subpoena from ex-wife
demanding child support, he said,
“cards are cut by Time’s knife.”

He looked once more with rage and rant
and swore like a fishwife

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The Garden of Years

I

I have shut fast the door, and am alone
With the sweet memory of this afternoon,
That saw my vague dreams on a sudden grown
Into fulfilment, as I oft have known
Stray notes upon a keyboard fall atune
When least persuaded. I besought no boon
Of Fate to-day; I that, since first Love came
Into my life, have been so importune.
To-day alone I did not press my claim,
And lo! all I have dreamed of is my own!

II

I have shut fast the door, for so I may
Relive that moment of the turn of tide—
That swift solution of the long delay
That clothed with silver splendor dying day;
And, with low-whispering memory for guide,
See once again your startled eyes confide
The secret of surrender; and your hand
Flutter toward mine, before you turn aside—
And the gold wings of young consent expand
Fresh from the cracking chrysalis of Nay!

III

I did not dare to speak at first. It seemed
A thing unreal, that with the air might blend—
That strange swift signal—and I feared I dreamed!
Ahead, the city’s lamps, converging, gleamed
To a thin angle at the street’s far bend,
And, as we neared, each from its column’s end
Stepped out, and past us, furtive, slipped away:
Nor could Love’s self a longer respite lend
The radiant moments of our shortening day,
That Time, the donor, one by one redeemed.

IV

We spoke of eloquently empty things;
Of younger days that were before we met,
The trivial acts to which the memory clings,
And in familiar spots unbidden brings
To mind, when graver matters we forget.
The sacred secret lay unspoken, yet
Hovered, half-veiled, between our conscious eyes,
Touched with an indefinable regret
For that swift moment of our love’s surprise—

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V. Count Guido Franceschini

Thanks, Sir, but, should it please the reverend Court,
I feel I can stand somehow, half sit down
Without help, make shift to even speak, you see,
Fortified by the sip of … why, 't is wine,
Velletri,—and not vinegar and gall,
So changed and good the times grow! Thanks, kind Sir!
Oh, but one sip's enough! I want my head
To save my neck, there's work awaits me still.
How cautious and considerate … aie, aie, aie,
Nor your fault, sweet Sir! Come, you take to heart
An ordinary matter. Law is law.
Noblemen were exempt, the vulgar thought,
From racking; but, since law thinks otherwise,
I have been put to the rack: all's over now,
And neither wrist—what men style, out of joint:
If any harm be, 't is the shoulder-blade,
The left one, that seems wrong i' the socket,—Sirs,
Much could not happen, I was quick to faint,
Being past my prime of life, and out of health.
In short, I thank you,—yes, and mean the word.
Needs must the Court be slow to understand
How this quite novel form of taking pain,
This getting tortured merely in the flesh,
Amounts to almost an agreeable change
In my case, me fastidious, plied too much
With opposite treatment, used (forgive the joke)
To the rasp-tooth toying with this brain of mine,
And, in and out my heart, the play o' the probe.
Four years have I been operated on
I' the soul, do you see—its tense or tremulous part—
My self-respect, my care for a good name,
Pride in an old one, love of kindred—just
A mother, brothers, sisters, and the like,
That looked up to my face when days were dim,
And fancied they found light there—no one spot,
Foppishly sensitive, but has paid its pang.
That, and not this you now oblige me with,
That was the Vigil-torment, if you please!
The poor old noble House that drew the rags
O' the Franceschini's once superb array
Close round her, hoped to slink unchallenged by,—
Pluck off these! Turn the drapery inside out
And teach the tittering town how scarlet wears!
Show men the lucklessness, the improvidence
Of the easy-natured Count before this Count,
The father I have some slight feeling for,
Who let the world slide, nor foresaw that friends
Then proud to cap and kiss their patron's shoe,
Would, when the purse he left held spider-webs,
Properly push his child to wall one day!

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Byron

Canto the Second

I
Oh ye! who teach the ingenuous youth of nations,
Holland, France, England, Germany, or Spain,
I pray ye flog them upon all occasions,
It mends their morals, never mind the pain:
The best of mothers and of educations
In Juan's case were but employ'd in vain,
Since, in a way that's rather of the oddest, he
Became divested of his native modesty.

II
Had he but been placed at a public school,
In the third form, or even in the fourth,
His daily task had kept his fancy cool,
At least, had he been nurtured in the north;
Spain may prove an exception to the rule,
But then exceptions always prove its worth -—
A lad of sixteen causing a divorce
Puzzled his tutors very much, of course.

III
I can't say that it puzzles me at all,
If all things be consider'd: first, there was
His lady-mother, mathematical,
A—never mind; his tutor, an old ass;
A pretty woman (that's quite natural,
Or else the thing had hardly come to pass);
A husband rather old, not much in unity
With his young wife—a time, and opportunity.

IV
Well—well, the world must turn upon its axis,
And all mankind turn with it, heads or tails,
And live and die, make love and pay our taxes,
And as the veering wind shifts, shift our sails;
The king commands us, and the doctor quacks us,
The priest instructs, and so our life exhales,
A little breath, love, wine, ambition, fame,
Fighting, devotion, dust,—perhaps a name.

V
I said that Juan had been sent to Cadiz -—
A pretty town, I recollect it well -—
'T is there the mart of the colonial trade is
(Or was, before Peru learn'd to rebel),
And such sweet girls—I mean, such graceful ladies,
Their very walk would make your bosom swell;
I can't describe it, though so much it strike,
Nor liken it—I never saw the like:

[...] Read more

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IX. Juris Doctor Johannes-Baptista Bottinius, Fisci et Rev. Cam. Apostol. Advocatus

Had I God's leave, how I would alter things!
If I might read instead of print my speech,—
Ay, and enliven speech with many a flower
Refuses obstinate to blow in print,
As wildings planted in a prim parterre,—
This scurvy room were turned an immense hall;
Opposite, fifty judges in a row;
This side and that of me, for audience—Rome:
And, where yon window is, the Pope should hide—
Watch, curtained, but peep visibly enough.
A buzz of expectation! Through the crowd,
Jingling his chain and stumping with his staff,
Up comes an usher, louts him low, "The Court
"Requires the allocution of the Fisc!"
I rise, I bend, I look about me, pause
O'er the hushed multitude: I count—One, two—

Have ye seen, Judges, have ye, lights of law,—
When it may hap some painter, much in vogue
Throughout our city nutritive of arts,
Ye summon to a task shall test his worth,
And manufacture, as he knows and can,
A work may decorate a palace-wall,
Afford my lords their Holy Family,—
Hath it escaped the acumen of the Court
How such a painter sets himself to paint?
Suppose that Joseph, Mary and her Babe
A-journeying to Egypt, prove the piece:
Why, first he sedulously practiseth,
This painter,—girding loin and lighting lamp,—
On what may nourish eye, make facile hand;
Getteth him studies (styled by draughtsmen so)
From some assistant corpse of Jew or Turk
Or, haply, Molinist, he cuts and carves,—
This Luca or this Carlo or the like.
To him the bones their inmost secret yield,
Each notch and nodule signify their use:
On him the muscles turn, in triple tier,
And pleasantly entreat the entrusted man
"Familiarize thee with our play that lifts
"Thus, and thus lowers again, leg, arm and foot!"
—Ensuring due correctness in the nude.
Which done, is all done? Not a whit, ye know!
He,—to art's surface rising from her depth,—
If some flax-polled soft-bearded sire be found,
May simulate a Joseph, (happy chance!)—
Limneth exact each wrinkle of the brow,
Loseth no involution, cheek or chap,
Till lo, in black and white, the senior lives!
Is it a young and comely peasant-nurse

[...] Read more

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Last Night I Dreamt Your Perfume

Last night I dreamt your perfume
While I held you in my hand
Last night I dreamt your perfume
You will never understand
The way you make me feel
The promise that you give
Last night I dreamt your perfume
Lost in those dreams I live

Last night I dreamt your perfume
Arched fingers cupped your breast
Last night I dreamt your perfume
Felt your warm breath brush my chest
With gel coat slide I gripped you
Sensation through my veins
Last night I dreamt your perfume
She who bears no name

Last night I dreamt your perfume
Your body meshed with mine
Last night I dreamt your perfume
A guilty pleasure, sweet, sublime
Quiet by my pillow
Your touch I never feel
Last night I dreamt your perfume
This morning, wished you real

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The Beauty Of A Poem

The beauty of a poem
The beauty of music
The beauty of light
The beauty of life
The beauty which makes us want to live life more
The beauty which pains us inside
The beauty in longing.
The beauty we come upon by surprise
The beauty of the day and the beauty of the night
The beauty we all have inside us
The beauty we can see and feel and never explain
The beauty that lifts us up
The beauty that makes us want to live more
The beauty that makes us reach out to God
The beauty we want to thank God for
The beauty of lilacs
The beauty of autumn leaves
The beauty of the people we love
The beauty that pervades life
The beauty that turns away from us
And will not let us be a part of it
The beauty we hold on to fragilely
As a driven leaf
The beauty the beauty the beauty
Oh life oh God of goodness oh death
The beauty we can never see
And the Beauty within us all
Oh God
The Beauty in us and Beyond us all.

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The Growth of Love

1
They that in play can do the thing they would,
Having an instinct throned in reason's place,
--And every perfect action hath the grace
Of indolence or thoughtless hardihood--
These are the best: yet be there workmen good
Who lose in earnestness control of face,
Or reckon means, and rapt in effort base
Reach to their end by steps well understood.
Me whom thou sawest of late strive with the pains
Of one who spends his strength to rule his nerve,
--Even as a painter breathlessly who stains
His scarcely moving hand lest it should swerve--
Behold me, now that I have cast my chains,
Master of the art which for thy sake I serve.


2
For thou art mine: and now I am ashamed
To have uséd means to win so pure acquist,
And of my trembling fear that might have misst
Thro' very care the gold at which I aim'd;
And am as happy but to hear thee named,
As are those gentle souls by angels kisst
In pictures seen leaving their marble cist
To go before the throne of grace unblamed.
Nor surer am I water hath the skill
To quench my thirst, or that my strength is freed
In delicate ordination as I will,
Than that to be myself is all I need
For thee to be most mine: so I stand still,
And save to taste my joy no more take heed.

3
The whole world now is but the minister
Of thee to me: I see no other scheme
But universal love, from timeless dream
Waking to thee his joy's interpreter.
I walk around and in the fields confer
Of love at large with tree and flower and stream,
And list the lark descant upon my theme,
Heaven's musical accepted worshipper.
Thy smile outfaceth ill: and that old feud
'Twixt things and me is quash'd in our new truce;
And nature now dearly with thee endued
No more in shame ponders her old excuse,
But quite forgets her frowns and antics rude,
So kindly hath she grown to her new use.

4

[...] Read more

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I Dreamt, I Dreamt Of Poppies

I dreamt, I dreamt of poppies
Growing wild in yonder field
They were blooming red and wonderful
Like a dancer, laced and frilled

Fluttering in the sunshine
Like waves of autumn grain
Or a rolling sea…majestic
As a queen in summer reign

I dreamt, I dreamt of poppies
What a glorious display
In a blaze that flamed the skyline
Of a desert far away

I couldn't see the reason
Yet, they flourished in the sand
When all around was barren
In this brutal foreign land

I dreamt, I dreamt of poppies
Like a ribbon drawn in blood
A slash on the horizon
In a soulless evil flood

The sky was dark and eerie
And smoke had filled the air
The atmosphere, chaotic
With shouting everywhere

I dreamt, I dreamt of poppies
In a garden by a stream
The blooms were bold, were beautiful
More vibrant than a dream

Aside a marble stone
Where hand to heart I wept
For the soul that lay in slumber
Beneath the sod he slept

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0127 A Poem About Gertrude Stein

a poem slept
the poem slept
nobody knew it slept
it did not know itself that it slept
it slept like a baby
and that was refreshing
it refreshed itself before it was born
as babies do
it did not then know itself that it slept
but when it woke up it knew that it had slept

while it slept this poem had a dream
it was a good dream
it did not know that it was a dream
it dreamed itself awake
but when it woke up it remembered
that it had had a dream
it remembered that it was a dream
when it was awake

when it woke up
it remembered itself
and dressed appropriately
and told itself to friends and strangers
it told itself the same way to friends and strangers
that was its duty because it was
it did not mind whether they were friends or strangers
because it was a poem

I know
I know this
I know this because
I know this because there is a because
I know this because the poem told me
I know this because the poem told me it had a name
A poem about Gertrude Stein

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