Latest quotes | Random quotes | Vote! | Latest comments | Add quote

George Santayana

There May Be Chaos Still Around the World

There may be chaos still around the world,
This little world that in my thinking lies;
For mine own bosom is the paradise
Where all my life's fair visions are unfurled.
Within my nature's shell I slumber curled,
Unmindful of the changing outer skies,
Where now, perchance, some new-born Eros flies,
Or some old Cronos from his throne is hurled.
I heed them not; or if the subtle night
Haunt me with deities I never saw,
I soon mine eyelid's drowsy curtain draw
To hide their myriad faces from my sight.
They threat in vain; the whirlwind cannot awe
A happy snow-flake dancing in the flaw.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Related quotes

When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of Whats Still Around

Turn on my vcr
Same one Ive had for years
James brown on the tammy show
Same tape Ive had for years
I sit in my old car
Same one Ive had for years
Old batterys running down
It ran for years and years
Turn on the radio
The static hurts my ears
Tell me where would I go
I aint been out in years
Turn on the stereo
Its played for years and years
An otis redding song
Its all I own
When the world is running down
You make the best of whats still around
When the world is running down
You make the best of whats still around
Plug in my mci
To excercise my brain
Make records on my own
Cant go out in the rain
Pick up the telephone
Ive listened here for years
No-one to talk to me
Ive listened here for years
When the world is running down
You make the best of whats still around
When the world is running down
You make the best of whats still around
When I feel lonely here
Dont waste my time with tears
I run deep throat again
It ran for years and years
Dont like the food I eat
The cans are running out
Same food for years and years
I hate the food I eat
When the world is running down
You make the best of whats still around
When the world is running down
You make the best of whats still around
When the world is running down
You make the best of whats still around
When the world is running down
You make the best of whats still around

song performed by PoliceReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Still of the night

It is the still of the night

and there is the one hue of darkness

up down in the left in the right

Nothingness oozes ceaselessly from everywhere

I am wet I am drenched in nothingness

She is the mother

i live in her placenta

May i never be seperated from her

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Wind And The Whirlwind

I have a thing to say. But how to say it?
I have a cause to plead. But to what ears?
How shall I move a world by lamentation,
A world which heeded not a Nation's tears?

How shall I speak of justice to the aggressors,
Of right to Kings whose rights include all wrong,
Of truth to Statecraft, true but in deceiving,
Of peace to Prelates, pity to the Strong?

Where shall I find a hearing? In high places?
The voice of havock drowns the voice of good.
On the throne's steps? The elders of the nation
Rise in their ranks and call aloud for blood.

Where? In the street? Alas for the world's reason!
Not Peers not Priests alone this deed have done.
The clothes of those high Hebrews stoning Stephen
Were held by all of us,--ay every one.

Yet none the less I speak. Nay, here by Heaven
This task at least a poet best may do,
To stand alone against the mighty many,
To force a hearing for the weak and few.

Unthanked, unhonoured,--yet a task of glory,
Not in his day, but in an age more wise,
When those poor Chancellors have found their portion
And lie forgotten in their dust of lies.

And who shall say that this year's cause of freedom
Lost on the Nile has not as worthy proved
Of poet's hymning as the cause which Milton
Sang in his blindness or which Dante loved?

The fall of Guelph beneath the spears of Valois,
Freedom betrayed, the Ghibelline restored:
Have we not seen it, we who caused this anguish,
Exile and fear, proscription and the sword?

Or shall God less avenge in their wild valley
Where they lie slaughtered those poor sheep whose fold
In the grey twilight of our wrath we harried
To serve the worshippers of stocks and gold?

This fails. That finds its hour. This fights. That falters.
Greece is stamped out beneath a Wolseley's heels.
Or Egypt is avenged of her long mourning,
And hurls her Persians back to their own keels.

'Tis not alone the victor who is noble.
'Tis not alone the wise man who is wise.
There is a voice of sorrow in all shouting,
And shame pursues not only him who flies.

To fight and conquer: 'tis the boast of heroes.
To fight and fly: of this men do not speak.
Yet shall there come a day when men shall tremble
Rather than do misdeeds upon the weak,

A day when statesmen baffled in their daring
Shall rather fear to wield the sword in vain
Than to give back their charge to a hurt nation,
And own their frailties, and resign their reign,

A day of wrath when all fame shall remember
Of this year's work shall be the fall of one
Who, standing foremost in her paths of virtue,
Bent a fool's knee at War's red altar--stone,

And left all virtue beggared in his falling,
A sign to England of new griefs to come,
Her priest of peace who sold his creed for glory
And marched to carnage at the tuck of drum.

Therefore I fear not. Rather let this record
Stand of the past, ere God's revenge shall chase
From place to punishment His sad vicegerents
Of power on Earth.--I fling it in their face!

I have a thing to say. But how to say it?
Out of the East a twilight had been born.
It was not day. Yet the long night was waning,
And the spent nations watched it less forlorn.

Out of the silence of the joyless ages
A voice had spoken, such as the first bird
Speaks to the woods, before the morning wakens,
And the World starting to its feet had heard.

Men hailed it as a prophecy. Its utterance
Was in that tongue divine the Orient knew.
It spoke of hope. Men hailed it as a brother's.
It spoke of happiness. Men deemed it true.

There in the land of Death, where toil is cradled,
That tearful Nile, unknown to Liberty,
It spoke in passionate tones of human freedom,
And of those rights of Man which cannot die,

Till from the cavern of long fear, whose portals
Had backward rolled, and hardly yet aloud,
Men prisoned stole like ghosts and joined the chorus,
And chaunted trembling, each man in his shroud:

Justice and peace, the brotherhood of nations,
Love and goodwill of all mankind to man:
These were the words they caught and echoed strangely,
Deeming them portions of some Godlike plan,

A plan thus first to their own land imparted.
They did not know the irony of Fate,
The mockery of man's freedom, and the laughter
Which greets a brother's love from those that hate.

Oh for the beauty of hope's dreams! The childhood
Of that old land, long impotent in pain,
Cast off its slough of sorrow with its silence,
And laughed and shouted and grew new again.

And in the streets, where still the shade of Pharaoh
Stalked in his sons, the Mamelukian horde,
Youth greeted youth with words of exultation
And shook his chains and clutched as for a sword:

Student and merchant, Jew, and Copt, and Moslem,
All whose scarred backs had bent to the same rod,
Fired with one mighty thought, their feuds forgotten,
Stood hand in hand and praising the same God.

I have a thing to say. But how to say it?
As in the days of Moses in the land,
God sent a man of prayer before his people
To speak to Pharaoh, and to loose his hand.

Injustice, that hard step--mother of heroes,
Had taught him justice. Him the sight of pain
Moved unto anger, and the voice of weeping
Made his eyes weep as for a comrade slain.

A soldier in the bands of his proud masters
It was his lot to serve. But of his soul
None owned allegiance save the Lord of Armies.
No worship from his God's might him cajole.

Strict was his service. In the law of Heaven
He comfort took and patience under wrong.
And all men loved him for his heart unquailing,
And for the words of pity on his tongue.

Knowledge had come to him in the night--watches,
And strength with fasting, eloquence with prayer.
He stood a Judge from God before the strangers,
The one just man among his people there.

Strongly he spoke: ``Now, Heaven be our witness!
Egypt this day has risen from her sleep.
She has put off her mourning and her silence.
It was no law of God that she should weep.

``It was no law of God nor of the Nations
That in this land, alone of the fair Earth,
The hand that sowed should reap not of its labour,
The heart that grieved should profit not of mirth.

``How have we suffered at the hands of strangers,
Binding their sheaves, and harvesting their wrath!
Our service has been bitter, and our wages
Hunger and pain and nakedness and drouth.

``Which of them pitied us? Of all our princes,
Was there one Sultan listened to our cry?
Their palaces we built, their tombs, their temples.
What did they build but tombs for Liberty?

``To live in ignorance, to die by service,
To pay our tribute and our stripes receive:
This was the ransom of our toil in Eden,
This, and our one sad liberty--to grieve.

``We have had enough of strangers and of princes
Nursed on our knees and lords within our house.
The bread which they have eaten was our children's,
For them the feasting and the shame for us.

``The shadow of their palaces, fair dwellings
Built with our blood and kneaded with our tears,
Darkens the land with darkness of Gehennem,
The lust, the crime, the infamy of years.

``Did ye not hear it? From those muffled windows
A sound of women rises and of mirth.
These are our daughters--ay our sons--in prison,
Captives to shame with those who rule the Earth.

``The silent river, by those gardens lapping,
To--night receives its burden of new dead,
A man of age sent home with his lord's wages,
Stones to his feet, a grave--cloth to his head.

``Walls infamous in beauty, gardens fragrant
With rose and citron and the scent of blood.
God shall blot out the memory of all laughter,
Rather than leave you standing where you stood.

``We have had enough of princes and of strangers,
Slaves that were Sultans, eunuchs that were kings,
The shame of Sodom is on all their faces.
The curse of Cain pursues them, and it clings.

``Is there no virtue? See the pale Greek smiling.
Virtue for him is as a tale of old.
Which be his gods? The cent per cent in silver.
His God of gods? The world's creator, Gold.

``The Turk that plunders and the Frank that panders,
These are our lords who ply with lust and fraud.
The brothel and the winepress and the dancers
Are gifts unneeded in the lands of God.

``We need them not. We heed them not. Our faces
Are turned to a new Kebla, a new truth,
Proclaimed by the one God of all the nations
To save His people and renew their youth.

``A truth which is of knowledge and of reason;
Which teaches men to mourn no more and live;
Which tells them of things good as well as evil,
And gives what Liberty alone can give,

``The counsel to be strong, the will to conquer,
The love of all things just and kind and wise,
Freedom for slaves, fair rights for all as brothers,
The triumph of things true, the scorn of lies.

``O men, who are my brethren, my soul's kindred!
That which our fathers dreamed of as a dream,
The sun of peace, and justice, has arisen,
And God shall work in you His perfect scheme.

``The rulers of your Earth shall cease deceiving,
The men of usury shall fly your land.
Your princes shall be numbered with your servants,
And peace shall guide the sword in your right hand.

``You shall become a nation with the nations.
Lift up your voices, for the night is past.
Stretch forth your hands. The hands of the free peoples
Have beckoned you the youngest and the last.

``And in the brotherhood of Man reposing,
Joined to their hopes and nursed in their new day,
The anguish of the years shall be forgotten
And God, with these, shall wipe your tears away.''

I have a thing to say. But how to say it?
How shall I tell the mystery of guile,
The fraud that fought, the treason that disbanded,
The gold that slew the children of the Nile?

The ways of violence are hard to reckon,
And men of right grow feeble in their will,
And Virtue of her sons has been forsaken,
And men of peace have turned aside to kill.

How shall I speak of them, the priests of Baal,
The men who sowed the wind for their ill ends!
The reapers of the whirlwind in that harvest
Were all my countrymen, were some my friends.

Friends, countrymen and lovers of fair freedom,
Souls to whom still my soul laments and cries!
I would not tell the shame of your false dealings,
Save for the blood which clamours to the skies.

A curse on Statecraft, not on you, my Country!
The men you slew were not more foully slain
Than was your honour at their hands you trusted.
They died, you conquered,--both alike in vain.

Crimes find accomplices, and Murder weapons.
The ways of Statesmen are an easy road.
All swords are theirs, the noblest with the neediest.
And those who serve them best are men of good.

What need to blush, to trifle with dissembling?
A score of honest tongues anon shall swear.
Blood flows. The Senate's self shall spread its mantle
In the world's face, nor own a Caesar there.

``Silence! Who spoke?'' ``The voice of one disclosing
A truth untimely.'' ``With what right to speak?
Holds he the Queen's commission?'' ``No, God's only.''
A hundred hands shall smite him on the cheek.

The ``truth'' of Statesmen is the thing they publish,
Their ``falsehood'' the thing done they do not say,
Their ``honour'' what they win from the world's trouble,
Their ``shame'' the ``ay'' which reasons with their ``nay.''

Alas for Liberty, alas for Egypt!
What chance was yours in this ignoble strife?
Scorned and betrayed, dishonoured and rejected,
What was there left you but to fight for life?

The men of honour sold you to dishonour.
The men of truth betrayed you with a kiss.
Your strategy of love too soon outplotted,
What was there left you of your dreams but this?

You thought to win a world by your fair dealing,
To conquer freedom with no drop of blood.
This was your crime. The world knows no such reasoning.
It neither bore with you nor understood.

Your Pharaoh with his chariots and his dancers,
Him they could understand as of their kin.
He spoke in their own tongue and as their servant,
And owned no virtue they could call a sin.

They took him for his pleasure and their purpose.
They fashioned him as clay to their own pride.
His name they made a cudgel to your hurting,
His treachery a spear--point to your side.

They knew him, and they scorned him and upheld him.
They strengthened him with honours and with ships.
They used him as a shadow for seditions.
They stabbed you with the lying of his lips.

Sad Egypt! Since that night of misadventure
Which slew your first--born for your Pharaoh's crime,
No plague like this has God decreed against you,
No punishment of all foredoomed in Time.

I have a thing to say. Oh how to say it!
One summer morning, at the hour of prayer,
And in the face of Man and Man's high Maker,
The thunder of their cannon rent the air.

The flames of death were on you and destruction.
A hail of iron on your heads they poured.
You fought, you fell, you died until the sunset;
And then you fled forsaken of the Lord.

I care not if you fled. What men call courage
Is the least noble thing of which they boast.
Their victors always are great men of valour.
Find me the valour of the beaten host!

It may be you were cowards. Let them prove it,--
What matter? Were you women in the fight,
Your courage were the greater that a moment
You steeled your weakness in the cause of right.

Oh I would rather fly with the first craven
Who flung his arms away in your good cause,
Than head the hottest charge by England vaunted
In all the record of her unjust wars!

Poor sheep! they scattered you. Poor slaves! they bowed you.
You prayed for your dear lives with your mute hands.
They answered you with laughter and with shouting,
And slew you in your thousands on the sands.

They led you with arms bound to your betrayer:
His slaves, they said, recaptured for his will.
They bade him to take heart and fill his vengeance.
They gave him his lost sword that he might kill.

They filled for him his dungeons with your children.
They chartered him new gaolers from strange shores:
The Arnaout and the Cherkess for his minions,
Their soldiers for the sentries at his doors.

He plied you with the whip, the rope, the thumb--screw.
They plied you with the scourging of vain words.
He sent his slaves, his eunuchs, to insult you.
They sent you laughter on the lips of Lords.

They bound you to the pillar of their firmans.
They placed for sceptre in your hand a pen.
They cast lots for the garments of your treaties,
And brought you naked to the gaze of men.

They called on your High Priest for your death mandate.
They framed indictments on you from your laws.
For him men loved they offered a Barabbas.
They washed their hands and found you without cause.

They scoffed at you and pointed in derision,
Crowned with their thorns and nailed upon their tree.
And at your head their Pilate wrote the inscription:
``This is the land restored to Liberty!''

Oh insolence of strength! Oh boast of wisdom!
Oh poverty in all things truly wise!
Thinkest thou, England, God can be outwitted
For ever thus by him who sells and buys?

Thou sellest the sad nations to their ruin.
What hast thou bought? The child within the womb,
The son of him thou slayest to thy hurting,
Shall answer thee, ``An Empire for thy tomb.''

Thou hast joined house to house for thy perdition.
Thou hast done evil in the name of right.
Thou hast made bitter sweet and the sweet bitter,
And called light darkness and the darkness light.

Thou art become a by--word for dissembling,
A beacon to thy neighbours for all fraud.
Thy deeds of violence men count and reckon.
Who takes the sword shall perish by the sword.

Thou hast deserved men's hatred. They shall hate thee.
Thou hast deserved men's fear. Their fear shall kill.
Thou hast thy foot upon the weak. The weakest
With his bruised head shall strike thee on the heel.

Thou wentest to this Egypt for thy pleasure.
Thou shalt remain with her for thy sore pain.
Thou hast possessed her beauty. Thou wouldst leave her.
Nay. Thou shalt lie with her as thou hast lain.

She shall bring shame upon thy face with all men.
She shall disease thee with her grief and fear.
Thou shalt grow sick and feeble in her ruin.
Thou shalt repay her to the last sad tear.

Her kindred shall surround thee with strange clamours,
Dogging thy steps till thou shalt loathe their din.
The friends thou hast deceived shall watch in anger.
Thy children shall upbraid thee with thy sin.

All shall be counted thee a crime,--thy patience
With thy impatience. Thy best thought shall wound.
Thou shalt grow weary of thy work thus fashioned,
And walk in fear with eyes upon the ground.

The Empire thou didst build shall be divided.
Thou shalt be weighed in thine own balances
Of usury to peoples and to princes,
And be found wanting by the world and these.

They shall possess the lands by thee forsaken
And not regret thee. On their seas no more
Thy ships shall bear destruction to the nations,
Or thy guns thunder on a fenceless shore.

Thou hadst no pity in thy day of triumph.
These shall not pity thee. The world shall move
On its high course and leave thee to thy silence,
Scorned by the creatures that thou couldst not love.

Thy Empire shall be parted, and thy kingdom.
At thy own doors a kingdom shall arise,
Where freedom shall be preached and the wrong righted
Which thy unwisdom wrought in days unwise.

Truth yet shall triumph in a world of justice.
This is of faith. I swear it. East and west
The law of Man's progression shall accomplish
Even this last great marvel with the rest.

Thou wouldst not further it. Thou canst not hinder.
If thou shalt learn in time, thou yet shalt live.
But God shall ease thy hand of its dominion,
And give to these the rights thou wouldst not give.

The nations of the East have left their childhood.
Thou art grown old. Their manhood is to come;
And they shall carry on Earth's high tradition
Through the long ages when thy lips are dumb,

Till all shall be wrought out. O Lands of weeping,
Lands watered by the rivers of old Time,
Ganges and Indus and the streams of Eden,
Yours is the future of the world's sublime.

Yours was the fount of man's first inspiration,
The well of wisdom whence he earliest drew.
And yours shall be the flood--time of his reason,
The stream of strength which shall his strength renew.

The wisdom of the West is but a madness,
The fret of shallow waters in their bed.
Yours is the flow, the fulness of Man's patience
The ocean of God's rest inherited.

And thou too, Egypt, mourner of the nations,
Though thou hast died to--day in all men's sight,
And though upon thy cross with thieves thou hangest,
Yet shall thy wrong be justified in right.

'Twas meet one man should die for the whole people.
Thou wert the victim chosen to retrieve
The sorrows of the Earth with full deliverance.
And, as thou diest, these shall surely live.

Thy prophets have been scattered through the cities.
The seed of martyrdom thy sons have sown
Shall make of thee a glory and a witness
In all men's hearts held captive with thine own.

Thou shalt not be forsaken in thy children.
Thy righteous blood shall fructify the Earth.
The virtuous of all lands shall be thy kindred,
And death shall be to thee a better birth.

Therefore I do not grieve. Oh hear me, Egypt!
Even in death thou art not wholly dead.
And hear me, England! Nay. Thou needs must hear me.
I had a thing to say. And it is said.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

In The Still Of The Night

In the still of the night
I held you, held you tight
cause I love, love you so
Promise Ill never let you go
In the still of the night
In the still of the night
I remember (I remember) that night in may
The stars (the stars) were bright above
Ill hope and Ill pray
To keep your precious love
Well before the light
Hold me again
With all of your might
In the still of the night
In the still of the night
So before the light
Hold me again with all of your might
In the still of the night
In the still of the night
In the still of the night

song performed by Boyz II MenReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

In The Still Of The Night (I'll Remember)

do do do do
shoo doop shooby doo
shoo doop shooby doo
shoo doop shooby doo
shoo doop shooby waa
in the still of the night
i held you
held you tight
oh i love
love you so
promise i'll never
let you go
in the still of the night
in the still of the night
i remember that night in may
when the stars were right up above
i hope and i pray
to keep your precious love
so before the night
hold me again
with all of your might
in the still the night
in the still of the night
shoo doop shooby doo
shoo doop shooby doo
shoo doop shooby doo (repeat)
so before
the night
hold me again
with all of your might
in the still of the night
oooo in the still of the night
in the still of the night
shoo doop shooby doo
shoo doop shooby doo
shoo doop shooby doo (repeat

song performed by Boyz II MenReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Don't Tell the World that You're Waiting for Me

THREE summers have gone since the first time we met, love,
And still 'tis in vain that I ask thee to wed ;
I hear no reply but a gentle " Not yet, love,"
With a smile of your lip, and a shake of your head.
Ah ! how oft have I whispered, how oft have I sued thee,
And breathed my soul's question of " When shall it be ?"
You know, dear, how long and how truly I've wooed thee,
So don't tell the world that you're waiting for me.

I have fashioned a home, where the fairies might dwell, love,
I've planted the myrtle, the rose, and the vine ;
But the cottage to me is a mere hermit's cell, love,
And the bloom will be dull till the flowers are thine.
I've a ring of bright gold, which I gaze on when lonely,
And sigh with Hope's eloquence, " When will it be ?"
There needs but thy " Yes," love--one little word only,
So don't tell the world that you're waiting for me.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Peace Around The World

MY DREAM CAME TRUE,
PEACE HAS ARRIVE,
HARMONY IN THE AIR,
THE WARS ARE DONE,
NOBODY WON,
IN MY DREAM, IN MY DREAM
OUR SONGS GOT HEARD,
OUR SIGNS GOT READ
THE MARCHES MADE IT THROUGH
TO THE PRESIDENT
NOTHING HE COULD DO
ACCEPT JOIN TO,
IN MY DREAM, IN MY DREAM
THE SEA SHELLS SING
AND IF YOU LISTEN CLOSE ENOUGH
YOU CAN HEAR THEM SING
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE
WHILE THE STAR FISHES DANCE
BECAUSE THE WORLD IS ONE
IN THERE OWN SWEET ROMANCE
IN MY DREAM, IN MY DREAM
LISTEN TO THE BANDS
AND READ THERE BANNERS,
HOLD SOME ONE HANDS
HELP PULL THE RIBBON ACROSS
THIS GREAT LAND
IN MY DREAM, IN MY DREAM
THE FATHERS AND THE PREACHES,
SISTERS AND THE POPE,
PROUD THERE PRAYERS
GOT ANSWER AND THERE FAITH
STAY BY THERE SIDE
ALONG WITH THERE WISHES
THAT NEVER LEFT THERE SIDE,
IN MY DREAM, IN MY DREAM,
THE POPE SPEAKS TO MILLLIONS
OF HIS FOLLOWERS
AND TO THE BILLIONS OTHERS
AROUND THE WORLD
BLOOD ONLY FLOWS IN THE INSIDE,
NOT ON THE OUTSIDE
AND FLOWERS GROW AT OUR SIDE,
AND GUNS ARE BURY WAY DOWN
UNDERNEATH THE GROUND,
IN MY DREAM PEACE IS AROUND THE WORLD,

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

We May Have Great Plans For The Future

We may have great plans for the future but the future seems so far away
And we only can live in the present tomorrow is another day
The future's not ours to look into I once heard a wise woman say
And the sooner the rose comes into bloom the sooner 'twill fade to decay.

You will not find one who doesn't have dreams but dreams of course seldom come true
Still dreams to us all are important we all need a dream to pursue
We all need our dreams to inspire us and those who do not have a dream
Have lost their sense of life direction like a leaf in a rapid flowing stream.

When one hopes for a better tomorrow those sentiments apply to us all
And though the future we cannot look into the past we can readily recall
Of life there is truth in the saying that we must take the good days with the bad
The bright moments of joy and laughter and the dark moments when we feel sad.

We may have great plans for the future for a better tomorrow maybe
But what the future might hold for us is something that we cannot see
We keep on in hope of the good times and we all need our dreams to pursue
And if for me good things don't happen then good things might happen for you.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Love of The Cross

Love my friend, is best described, by The One who came and died.
Sent down by The Father’s Love, from His Heavenly Throne above.
Christ left His Throne in Eternity, and came to earth for you and me.
Friend, He came with His life to give, so that all men could truly live.

Because The Father loved us so, God sent His Son for all to know,
Whosoever would believe in Him, Christ would wash away their sin,
To be remembered by God no more, if you accept His Son as Lord.
For His love sent Jesus Christ, to the cross as our atoning sacrifice.

God’s Love was sent for all men, who in trespass stood condemned.
While we were still sinners friend, Jesus who had no sin died for men.
What better love could there be, than One who died for you and me?
And through the Love of Jesus Christ, He grants all men Eternal Life.

And in His Love God did not leave, all those men who would believe.
From them, Christ did not depart, as He sent His Spirit into our heart.
The very moment that we believed, The Holy Spirit we then received.
The Holy Spirit sent to us by Christ, is a guide and comfort in our life.

The Love God displayed on the cross, was for a world of sinners lost.
God’s Love is available to anyone, who by faith shall accept His Son.
The Love of Christ will never end, and all you do is believe my friend.
Then His Love will fill you and me, from the cross through all Eternity.

(Copyright ©04/2006)

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Man Who Dipped His Fingers In Salt And Lick Them All

he dips his fingers in
salt and licks them all

people look at him with
all surprise
he is weird and they do not
like him
He is detestable
they say

he does this everyday
all the days of the week
all the weeks of months
all the months of those years

the people shut him away
they close their doors
they vomit when they see him
they look at him with contempt
they throw him away from
their cities
they ban him from all
other countries

he keeps the salt all to himself
he eats them and drinks them all
he has become sick
very sick like one rusty nail

he died and people did not
mourn for him
good riddance so to say
the city dances in jubilation
the world turns into a fourth of july

if they only knew him
well that i know him to be
they should have known how
he disliked salt
how all his senses revolt
against this instinct
of having his fingers dip
in salt
and of his having his tongue
lick
and how his mouth eats
all the stuff that
destroys his body
how every night he vomits
how his system fails
how he knew that with all these
he is actually killing himself

people do not know
there are things that happen
without his control
there are times when one
has no choice
but to dip the fingers in salt
no matter how bad it turns out to be
until he dies

society denies instincts
conceals the existence of vampires and gnomes and
parasites and ghouls
society keeps its own beautiful face
hides the scars and the disease

who wants to eat salt all his life?
who wants to rust like a nail and die like a brown dust on the ground?
who wants to be a scrap of iron and melt in salt?
who wants to be a robot? a man of hay?

nobody. i repeat nobody.
He never liked it himself.
Society has not asked
it never cares

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Day Of Reckoning

There seems to be something in this world
That is not seen by the unawakened beings
Who only wander around in ignorance and are
Always mainly striving to earn their daily living.

They have yet to discipline themselves for
Their ultimate destination and to receive
Some special training to eventually see
That which is always there to be witnessed.

It is said to be of the utmost importance
For one to meet and come under the guidance
Of a person who has traversed the way and
Knows from experience how to take others there.

There is some preparation to be undergone
By anyone who aspires to get there one day
And that they should follow the instruction
Of the person who is willing to guide them.

It is also said that: 'when the student is ready,
The teacher appears' and that: 'there is in this
World a time and a place for everything'.
Who really knows what the future will bring?

When the time is nigh and all is in hand
Consider your position where do you stand?
Make the move and leave the rest unto him
Then it will be his duty to teach you to swim.

The relationship of the true teacher and
The real student is eternal and binding
They say that it is sacred and a test of
Faith, devotion, love and understanding.

There are many obstacles along the way
All are founded in ignorance and illusion
As the fickle mind is still holding sway;
The teacher helps to remove the confusion.

Do not worry, be anxious or faint hearted
For he knows your journey has just started
He will guide, protect and see you through
To that special place you're destined to.

He's the light of wisdom the ocean of love
Power of grace flows through him from above
Adhere to him and where his feet have trod
He's not an ordinary teacher but one of God.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

We're Still Here The Humans Have Died

The animals on Earth have decided to meet,
Almost every life form will have a seat,
The Human Race have not been invited,
The reason is we have been indicted.

For mass destruction you stand accused,
The world's resources you have abused,
It has to be said at all others expense,
For neglect of duty there is no defence.

Rainforests decimated, oceans polluted,
All over the planet your destruction's commuted,
In the name of God you continue to destroy,
That '' superior'' intelligence you refuse to deploy.

As the planet warms extinctions grow faster,
You refuse to believe because you are the master,
Master of destruction should be your title,
Vast wealth over health to you is more vital.

While you hunted for diamonds and precious metals,
You failed to notice all the dying petals,
Due to greed and corruption there is nothing left,
Of common sense you are all bereft.

As the food ran out your minds were elsewhere,
So long as you were rich you just didn't care,
The water evaporated until there was none,
Caused by your negligence and the warming sun.

Then came the day you all started to cry,
Our planets oil had finally run dry,
Suddenly humankind had run out of hope,
Without their black gold they could no longer cope.

Their lives were in turmoil so they started to fight,
Although killing each other will never be right,
We just sat back and watched the destruction,
You're all fully versed in causing a ruction.

After a nuclear holocaust the fighting ended,
With you all gone now the Earth could be mended,
Extinctions are now a thing of the past,
Your cruelty and neglect left us all aghast.

We did you no harm yet it's us you deprived,
If you'd heeded the warnings all life could have thrived,
But our summit is over we've been vilified,

‘' We're still Here The Humans Have Died ‘'

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

What The ****? !

All was quiet in the Garden of Eden
and not a fig-leaf stirred...

but after the Fall of Man
(usually forwards and enthusiastically, we note)
literature
required some word for what happens
when evening falls, the curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
lovers begin to nuzzle, friends
remember a prior engagement, journalists
try to bribe the night porter, and
some novelists, blushing, draw the curtain, while others
brighten and begin to enjoy their work; and filmmakers
need to decide between a darkling screen,
a symbolic firework display, or
box-office returns.

Egyptian hieroglyphics afford little clue (there's
a chance missed) : but jump-cutting now to Anglo-Saxon usage,
Chaucer, Father of the English Language so we're told,
used 'swyve', in a masculine sort of way:
'he swyved her bolt upright' leaves little to the imagination.

Then courtly French may have given us 'make love' -
an oxymoron if ever there was one -
being still, however the romantic hope of many, and the dread of
Casanovas the world around, as they have it off (sic) .

Shakespeare, being a poet, immortalised it as
'making the beast with two backs' - graphic, but
it didn't catch on with the tabloids, who prefer
only four-letter words which fit the headlines better.

The Italian Renaissance, noticing in its Mediterranean way
the resemblance of the male danglies to a fig fruit
(backtrack to Eden here for speculations)
may well have given us (the Florentine g being pronounced gutturally)
that English word with added onomatopoeia
though let's not go into that,
which now that blasphemy's out, is all too common,
rendering a much-enjoyed activity all too often as a term of abuse
which I leave to psychologists to work out. I refer to
f**k.

Then as this term, which it doesn't take a lip-reader
to note frequently on the lips (and spare-time pursuits) of footballers,
became a sort of holy word of abuse,
and lawyers lurked around the gossip columns,
words mingling the comic, the non-accusatory
and the slightly admiring, were sought:
and so the tennis world gave us Bonking Becker...
while sportsmen like, naturally enough, to 'score'...

A psycho-sociological study might here extend,
priapically, to distinguish between male terms such as
'Cor, I'd like to give 'er one...' which makes the assumption
that females are eternally grateful for such male generosity,
and any distinguishing solely female terms
though I'm told girls' nights out are descriptive in their appreciation.

But for girls pulling boys, either the terms are non-gender-specific,
or in short supply, or have passed me by. Personally,
I like the biblical 'and she took him in unto her'
which has a certain feminine sense of choice about it
but too long for the tabloid headlines.

You'll note I've avoided that crude expression of a consumer society,
'have sex' - it has nothing to commend it, and indeed
is ungrammatical, and fundamentally, f***king animalistic
though of course.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Courtship Of Young John

Fields of lucerne and waving wheat,
White-washed sheds, and cottage neat,
Nesting orchards and mulberry trees,
Scented flowers round hives of bees,
With the cool green creek behind it all,
Where the bell-bird chimed at evenfall
Far from the city’s stir and noise-
This was the home of the ‘Reilly boys.”

There were Matthew and Mark, both lean and grim,
Hard of feature, and strong of limb,
And Luke-poor-Luke had long lain still
In the graveyard under the windy hill,
But his twin remained, the youngest he,
A solemn ‘youth’ of forty-three,
By his elders bossed and put upon,
And always referred to as ‘that young John’.

Their house was speckless, and white as now,
But the dear old neighbour who kept it so,
Old Mrs. Schultz, who lived near by,
In the midst of her labours, found time to die.
And the bachelor brothers were sore perplexed,
Mournfully wondering what they’d do next,
Till Father O’Connell spoke words of cheer,
Now one should get married, at least, thats clear”.

Theres Kitty Dempsey-her Aunt Miss Ann
Would like her to wed some decent man,
She’s kindly, and comely, and sensible too,
No end to the clever things she can do—“
And Matthew and Mark spoke up like one,
“She’d just do exactly forthat young John”.
But their much-tired victim flung off the yoke,
And these ’re the indignant words he spoke:

I’ll not be the one to marry, now see;
The hardest jobs are all left to me:
The toughest cows in the milkin’ yard,
Anythin’ at all that is heavy and hard;
You’ve left me stumpin’ the apple-tree flat,
But, be all the powers, I won’t do that!”
Here the reverend adviser’s mirth had sway,
And the good priest hurriedly went his way.

‘Twas a pensive, drowsy afternoon,
The gums aflower and the birds in tune,
But as ‘that young John’ rode up the track,
The wrath in his heart was bitter and black,
For the brothers’ will had prevailed that day,
To send him forth on his courting way,
The maiden heart and hand to seek
Of Kitty Dempsey from over the creek,
And the wretch condemned to the gallow’s tree
Must have carried a cheerfuller heart than he.

On Dempsey’s verandah, the shrinking man
Met a welcome warm from little Miss Ann-
A brisk little lady not too old,
With a sweet lines face and a heart of gold,
And wistful eyes smiling bravely still
On a world that mostly had used her ill,
Is it you thats in it? You’re Welcome, John,
But you should have been here some hours a-gone.

For we’ve had a wedding this very day,
Our Kitty’s married and gone away—“
Oh! the glad relief that filled his breast,
As he told the tale of his fruitless quest
With a lightened heart, for the shyest man
Could have felt at ease with little Miss Ann,
As she gravely listened sitting near by,
And her awkward guest forgot to be shy.

Now to think of Kit missin’ a chance so grand,
And that home of yours needs a woman’s hand:
The mulberries now are ripenin’ fine
For makin’ pies, or mulberry wine.
I noticed them Sunday-passin’ to Mass-
And the pansy beds are full of grass,
And the fowls want fattenin, for Christmas Day—“
Here a sudden thought took John’s breath away;

For a little brown bird hid down in the creek,
With a merry eye and saucy beak,
Began to trill and ripple and sing,
Like the very essence of rapturous spring.
And Oh! the guile of that little brown bird,
‘Twas the oldest song that the world has heard,
And a flame he never had reckoned upon
Across the heart ofthat young John’.

The little bird has been silent long,
And the magpies had piped their evensong,
But John had forgotten,
Mid dreams sublime
That he should have been home by milking time;
He sat in the twilight-a different man-
Still clasping the hand of small Miss Ann,
And wondering a little blissfully,
If so daring a chap could be really he.

But he little knew what a treasure he’d won.
What a wonderful life had just begun;
And how bright the sunshine that lay upon
The future pathway ofthat young John’.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
Patrick White

I Can Still Hear The Reticent Echoes

I can still hear the reticent echoes
of my wary adolescence among intellectual radicals
demanding the nightwatchmen of insight open the gates.
One stole an Underwood for me from the student newspaper,
saying I would put it to better use than they would
and another drove me to my astronomy exam
against the will of my drunken declinations.
And I remember White Rabbit playing on the radio
first time, and the turmoil of sun and morning shadows
playing Scarlatti on the keyboards of the arbutus leaves.
Happy. Free. And sixteen enough to get away with anything.
I was bright and fearless. No one could take subjective risks
the way I could, but I still had to stand up
on the book of experience to see over the steering wheel.

Spectral figments of the past, smokey remnants
of the fires we once sat around without giving a thought
to how long they'd last. We were zodiacs. We were
hedonists of the light, trying to believe
in our own arrogance enough to roar like dragons
and write like the first green tendrils of an ancient vine.
I was apprenticed to the signs I saw in everything
like a library of eyes in flames, and the subtlety of fireflies
that came like the nuances of midnight,
and shone upon my path like lighthouses among the stars.
Famous days. Baby turtles urgent to reach the tide
among swarms of hovering seagulls, sky rats,
thinning the odds of any of us ever making it
out of the shadows of our predatory circumstances.
Everything a test of our fitness for life, and a laurel
awarded randomly to the luckiest if not the most talented.

Genius was mean and cruel and scoffed
at the slightest adage of the pretentious fool
that published on the back of sententious matchbooks
but at night, in its writing window, overlooking
the lights of the town, it took off its war face
and summoned the moon to a tender seance
like a medium in love with the ghost of a muse
that was playing hard to get. O the fallacious brilliance
of our teaching errors. The illustrious craving
for dangerous love affairs with thresholds and taboos
that had never been crossed or broken before.
Did a knife ever sink into the heart
as deeply as those we fell upon
to discipline ourselves in the black arts
of our tragic flaws? All our fire pits
smothered in ashes by grieving women
who really meant it, though we were too depressed
to see them scattering our urns on the wind
to ceremoniously exorcise the feelings they had left for us.

Leave things as a token of what they are,
like stars light years ahead of themselves
plummeting into the darkness of the black holes
that lay ahead like hourglasses that would invert their souls
and leave them on the receiving end of their own hindsight.
Let the mirages deceive the deserts of the moon
into believing they were the ambassadors of watersheds
that could green a sea of shadows with wishing wells.
Permissive in my joys, it didn't hurt to be sparing in hell.
Something infernally elegant about compassion in a demon.
I wrote like a carillon of apostate bells, and books
began to appear on the staves of library shelves
like night birds in a museum, singing to themselves.

My life in art back then. A lucid agony of embryoes
curled up with their knees under their chins
like fossil question marks in encyclopedic shale
that preserved them like the juvenalia of my first attempts
to write about life as if deep in its heart
it secretly exceeded it own table of contents
in a hidden harmony of alternative endings.
Exotic exits from homely entrances,
after every poetry reading more people
felt like poppies than they did like wheat.
And I could see I'd made a good impression
on the death masks of the scarecrows
as I threshed the harvests I had sown
under a new moon of well-seasoned potential
that I shared with the birds like sunflowers at zenith
not earthworms in the starmud of a walled garden.

O delirious moment that counterpoints the past
reduced to the absurdity of recounting it
for the trivialities it turned on like microcosmic gates
that escaped our notice, but made all the difference
in the elaborate depths of the outcome.
A stolen typewriter in the hands of a radical friend.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Flaâneur

I love all sights of earth and skies,
From flowers that glow to stars that shine;
The comet and the penny show,
All curious things, above, below,
Hold each in turn my wandering eyes:
I claim the Christian Pagan's line,
Humani nihil, -- even so, --
And is not human life divine?
When soft the western breezes blow,
And strolling youths meet sauntering maids,
I love to watch the stirring trades
Beneath the Vallombrosa shades
Our much-enduring elms bestow;
The vender and his rhetoric's flow,
That lambent stream of liquid lies;
The bait he dangles from his line,
The gudgeon and his gold-washed prize.
I halt before the blazoned sign
That bids me linger to admire
The drama time can never tire,
The little hero of the hunch,
With iron arm and soul of fire,
And will that works his fierce desire, --
Untamed, unscared, unconquered Punch!
My ear a pleasing torture finds
In tones the withered sibyl grinds, --
The dame sans merci's broken strain,
Whom I erewhile, perchance, have known,
When Orleans filled the Bourbon throne,
A siren singing by the Seine.

But most I love the tube that spies
The orbs celestial in their march;
That shows the comet as it whisks
Its tail across the planets' disks,
As if to blind their blood-shot eyes;
Or wheels so close against the sun
We tremble at the thought of risks
Our little spinning ball may run,
To pop like corn that children parch,
From summer something overdone,
And roll, a cinder, through the skies.

Grudge not to-day the scanty fee
To him who farms the firmament,
To whom the Milky Way is free;
Who holds the wondrous crystal key,
The silent Open Sesame
That Science to her sons has lent;
Who takes his toll, and lifts the bar
That shuts the road to sun and star.
If Venus only comes to time,
(And prophets say she must and shall,)
To-day will hear the tinkling chime
Of many a ringing silver dime,
For him whose optic glass supplies
The crowd with astronomic eyes, --
The Galileo of the Mall.

Dimly the transit morning broke;
The sun seemed doubting what to do,
As one who questions how to dress,
And takes his doublets from the press,
And halts between the old and new.
Please Heaven he wear his suit of blue,
Or don, at least, his ragged cloak,
With rents that show the azure through!

I go the patient crowd to join
That round the tube my eyes discern,
The last new-comer of the file,
And wait, and wait, a weary while,
And gape, and stretch, and shrug, and smile,
(For each his place must fairly earn,
Hindmost and foremost, in his turn,)
Till hitching onward, pace by pace,
I gain at last the envied place,
And pay the white exiguous coin:
The sun and I are face to face;
He glares at me, I stare at him;
And lo! my straining eye has found
A little spot that, black and round,
Lies near the crimsoned fire-orb's rim.
O blessed, beauteous evening star,
Well named for her whom earth adores, --
The Lady of the dove-drawn car, --
I know thee in thy white simar;
But veiled in black, a rayless spot,
Blank as a careless scribbler's blot,
Stripped of thy robe of silvery flame, --
The stolen robe that Night restores
When Day has shut his golden doors, --
I see thee, yet I know thee not;
And canst thou call thyself the same?

A black, round spot, -- and that is all;
And such a speck our earth would be
If he who looks upon the stars
Through the red atmosphere of Mars
Could see our little creeping ball
Across the disk of crimson crawl
As I our sister planet see.

And art thou, then, a world like ours,
Flung from the orb that whirled our own
A molten pebble from its zone?
How must thy burning sands absorb
The fire-waves of the blazing orb,
Thy chain so short, thy path so near,
Thy flame-defying creatures hear
The maelstroms of the photosphere!
And is thy bosom decked with flowers
That steal their bloom from scalding showers?
And hast thou cities, domes, and towers,
And life, and love that makes it dear,
And death that fills thy tribes with fear?


Lost in my dream, my spirit soars
Through paths the wandering angels know;
My all-pervading thought explores
The azure ocean's lucent shores;
I leave my mortal self below,
As up the star-lit stairs I climb,
And still the widening view reveals
In endless rounds the circling wheels
That build the horologe of time.
New spheres, new suns, new systems gleam;
The voice no earth-born echo hears
Steals softly on my ravished ears:
I hear them "singing as they shine" --
A mortal's voice dissolves my dream:
My patient neighbor, next in line,
Hints gently there are those who wait.
O guardian of the starry gate,
What coin shall pay this debt of mine?
Too slight thy claim, too small the fee
That bids thee turn the potent key
The Tuscan's hand has placed in thine.
Forgive my own the small affront,
The insult of the proffered dime;
Take it, O friend, since this thy wont,
But still shall faithful memory be
A bankrupt debtor unto thee,
And pay thee with a grateful rhyme.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Treaty of Penn

INDIAN CHIEF.

Art thou chief of the white men that crowd on the strand?
No broad gleaming sword flashes bright in thy hand—
No plume, proudly waving, sits light on thy brow—
Nor with hate and contempt does thine eye darkly glow.
I have seen the white chieftains, but proudly they stood;
Though they call'd us their brethren, they thirst for our blood:
With the peace-belt of wampum they stretch'd forth one hand,
With the other they wielded the death-doing brand.
On their lip was the calumet—war on their brow;
But thine scowls not with hatred—a chieftain art thou?—

PENN.

My brethren are those whom thou see'st on the strand,
My friends, whom I govern with fatherly hand;
We worship the spirit who rules from above,
Our watchword is peace, and our motto is love.
We fight not, we war not, for life or for land,
And the weapons of death never darken our hand.
The land that in purchase ye cheerfully give,
Will we, for our friends and our brethren, receive;
But we will not deprive you, by force or by fraud,
Of the land that yourselves and your fathers have trod.

CHIEF.

Then deep be the tomahawk buried from sight;
The peace-tree shall bloom where it slumbers in night.
We will bury from sight and from mem'ry the dead;
We will plant o'er the spot where their blood has been shed;
O'er their grave shall the green maize its tassels expand:—
But whether the white men by force wrest our land,
Or whether they win it in war or in peace,
Our hunting grounds narrow, our tribes still decrease.

PENN.

O'er the land that I purchase ye freely may rove;
We will dwell in the spirit of brotherly love—
By mutual kindness we both shall be blest,
Your wrongs, as the white man's, be promptly redrest.
We will teach you with justice, our knowledge impart,
And teach you each useful and civilized art.
We extend you, in truth and in friendship, our hand,
We will turn to the plough-share the death-dealing brand.
One hand hath created the white man and red;
One spirit we worship, though different our creed;
And that God who looks down on our acts from above,
Still conceals in dark frowns the fair face of his love
From the land that is darken'd with bloodshed and rage,
Where brethren with brethren in battle engage.

CHIEF.

We have listen'd, my father, your peaceable talk;
In the path you have chosen we cheerfully walk.
The white men have wrong'd us, have crimson'd our plains,
Where our forefathers sleep, with the blood of our veins.
Of those plains they have reft us, the fairest and best,
And have forced us to seek other homes in the west;
Through the wilds of the forest to follow the chase,
Till brambles have choked up the pathway of peace.
Yet as still we receded our heroes were slain,
Our wives and our children lie dead on the plain.
Then we dug from the earth the fell hatchet of war,
While our whoop of destruction was heard from afar.
We rush'd on our foemen, we fought and we bled,
But our arms with the blood of the white men were red;
Yet, father, the red man delights not in war,
And thy words shall the spring-time of friendship restore.
Now again we will bury the hatchet, again
We will burnish the links of our amity's chain.
We will root out the weeds from the path of our peace,
And all hatred and battle betwixt us shall cease.

MIDNIGHT.

How solemn is the silence of this hour!
The world is hush'd! all nature lies in sleep—
Save where rude jollity upholds her power,
Or wearied wretches waken but to weep.
Strange contrast! that there revelry should keep
Her wassail wild amid the gloom of night,
And here, her thorny couch pale sorrow steep
With bitter tears, and strain her aching sight,
To catch the first pale streak that ushers in the light.

E'en now perchance some widow'd mother hangs,
In hopeless anguish, o'er her dying child,
And marks with bursting heart its parting pangs,
Or covers its pale lips with kisses wild;
While memory tells how oft it has beguiled
Of half its loneliness her dreary heart—
And when in its bright joyousness it smiled,
Albeit within her eye the tear might start,
She knew not, could not know, that they so soon must part.

Its closing eye is faintly turn'd on her,
Its breath comes thickly, and the dews of death
Are on its forehead—one convulsive stir—
One half-form'd smile to speed the parting breath—
Then all is past—and gazing on that scathe
Of all her hopes—in tearless agony,
The mother stands, until awakening faith
Points out another worlda hope on high—
And fast her feelings gush in torrents to her eye!

But this is fancy—for no sound is near,
Of joy or sadness—all around is still!
Not e'en the night-bird's voice salutes mine ear,
Nor the faint murmur of the distant rill—
The very winds are hush'd—and on the hill
The trees are motionless—the whisp'ring sigh,
That lingers where the blast was piping shrill,
Moves not the branches as it passes by,
Nor lifts the bending leaves that on the waters lie.

The deep blue heaven with clust'ring stars is bright,
And in the midst the moon, sublimely fair,
Sheds o'er the fleecy clouds her silvery light,
That in bright wreaths are floating lightly there,
Like snow-flakes scattered o'er the silent air.
And coldly still that moon's pale lustre lies,
Alike on haunts of misery and despair;
And where the sounds of wassail joy arise,
Disturbing with rude mirth the quiet of the skies.

The earth is slumbering! but I will not sleep,
For I do love to gaze on yon bright sky,
And all those countless orbs, that seem to keep
Their nightly ward so silently on high—
My heart may swell, but 't is not with the sigh
Of painful feeling—nor does aught of woe
Awake the tear-drop in my moisten'd eye;
But unexpress'd emotion, and the glow
Of all the crowding thoughts, that round my bosom flow.

poem by from Poetical Works (1836)Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Veronica Serbanoiu
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

At The Gate Of The Convent

Beside the Convent Gate I stood,
Lingering to take farewell of those
To whom I owed the simple good
Of three days' peace, three nights' repose.

My sumpter-mule did blink and blink;
Was nothing more to munch or quaff;
Antonio, far too wise to think,
Leaned vacantly upon his staff.

It was the childhood of the year:
Bright was the morning, blithe the air;
And in the choir I plain could hear
The monks still chanting matin prayer.

The throstle and the blackbird shrilled,
Loudly as in an English copse,
Fountain-like note that, still refilled,
Rises and falls, but never stops.

As lush as in an English chase,
The hawthorn, guessed by its perfume,
With folds on folds of snowy lace
Blindfolded all its leaves with bloom.

Scarce seen, and only faintly heard,
A torrent, 'mid far snow-peaks born,
Sang kindred with the gurgling bird,
Flowed kindred with the foaming thorn.

The chanting ceased, and soon instead
Came shuffling sound of sandalled shoon;
Each to his cell and narrow bed
Withdrew, to pray and muse till noon.

Only the Prior-for such their Rule-
Into the morning sunshine came.
Antonio bared his locks; the mule
Kept blinking, blinking, just the same.

I thanked him with a faltering tongue;
I thanked him with a flowing heart.
``This for the poor.'' His hand I wrung,
And gave the signal to depart.

But still in his he held my hand,
As though averse that I should go.
His brow was grave, his look was bland,
His beard was white as Alpine snow.

And in his eye a light there shone,
A soft, subdued, but steadfast ray,
Like to those lamps that still burn on
In shrines where no one comes to pray.

And in his voice I seemed to hear
The hymns that novice-sisters sing,
When only anguished Christ is near,
And earth and life seem vanishing.

``Why do you leave us, dear my son?
Why from calm cloisters backward wend,
Where moil is much and peace is none,
And journeying hath nor bourne nor end?

``Read I your inmost soul aright,
Heaven hath to you been strangely kind;
Gave gentle cradle, boyhood bright,
A fostered soul, a tutored mind.

``Nor wealth did lure, nor penury cramp,
Your ripening soul; it lived and throve,
Nightly beside the lettered lamp,
Daily in field, and glade, and grove.

``And when the dawn of manhood brought
The hour to choose to be of those
Who serve for gold, or sway by thought,
You doubted not, and rightly chose.

``Loving your Land, you face the strife;
Loved by the Muse, you shun the throng;
And blend within your dual life
The patriot's pen, the poet's song.

``Hence now, in gaze mature and wise,
Dwells scorn of praise, dwells scorn of blame;
Calm consciousness of surer prize
Than dying noise of living fame.

``Have you not loved, been loved, as few
Love, or are loved, on loveless earth?
How often have you felt its dew?
Say, have you ever known its dearth?

``I speak of love divorced from pelf,
I speak of love unyoked and free,
Of love that deadens sense of self,
Of love that loveth utterly.

``And this along your life hath flowed
In full and never-failing stream,
Fresh from its source, unbought, unowed,
Beyond your boyhood's fondest dream.''

He paused. The cuckoo called. I thought
Of English voices, English trees.
The far-off fancy instant brought
The tears; and he, misled by these,

With hand upon my shoulder, said,
``You own 'tis true. The richest years
Bequeath the beggared heart, when fled,
Only this legacy of tears.

``Why is it that all raptures cloy?
Though men extol, though women bless,
Why are we still chagrined with joy,
Dissatisfied with happiness?

``Yes, the care-flouting cuckoo calls,
And yet your smile betokens grief,
Like meditative light that falls
Through branches fringed with autumn leaf.

``Whence comes this shadow? You are now
In the full summer of the soul.
The answer darkens on your brow:
`Winter the end, and death the goal.'

``Yes, vain the fires of pride and lust
Fierce in meridian pulses burn:
Remember, Man, that thou art dust,
And unto dust thou shalt return.

``Rude are our walls, our beds are rough,
But use is hardship's subtle friend.
He hath got all that hath enough;
And rough feels softest, in the end.

``While luxury hath this disease,
It ever craves and pushes on.
Pleasures, repeated, cease to please,
And rapture, once 'tis reaped, is gone.

``My flesh hath long since ceased to creep,
Although the hairshirt pricketh oft.
A plank my couch; withal, I sleep
Soundly as he that lieth soft.

``And meagre though may be the meal
That decks the simple board you see,
At least, my son, we never feel
The hunger of satiety.

``You have perhaps discreetly drunk:
O, then, discreetly, drink no more!
Which is the happier, worldling, monk,
When youth is past, and manhood o'er?

``Of life beyond I speak not yet.
'Tis solitude alone can e'er,
By hushing controversy, let
Man catch earth's undertone of prayer.

``Your soul which Heaven at last must reap,
From too much noise hath barren grown;
Long fallow silence must it keep,
Ere faith revive, and grace be sown.

``Let guide and mule alone return.
For you I will prepare a cell,
In whose calm silence you will learn,
Living or dying, All is well!''

Again the cuckoo called; again
The merle and mavis shook their throats;
The torrent rambled down the glen,
The ringdove cooed in sylvan cotes.

The hawthorn moved not, but still kept
As fixedly white as far cascade;
The russet squirrel frisked and leapt
From breadth of sheen to breadth of shade.

I did not know the words had ceased,
I thought that he was speaking still,
Nor had distinguished sacred priest
From pagan thorn, from pagan rill.

Not that I had not harked and heard;
But all he bade me shun or do,
Seemed just as sweet as warbling bird,
But not more grave and not more true.

So deep yet indistinct my bliss,
That when his counsels ceased to sound,
That one sweet note I did not miss
From other sweet notes all around.

But he, misreading my delight,
Again with urging accents spoke.
Then I, like one that's touched at night,
From the deep swoon of sweetness woke.

And just as one that, waking, can
Recall the thing he dreamed, but knows
'Twas of the phantom world that man
Visits in languors of repose;

So, though I straight repictured plain
All he had said, it seemed to me,
Recalled from slumber, to retain
No kinship with reality.

``Father, forgive!'' I said; ``and look!
Who taught its carolling to the merle?
Who wed the music to the brook?
Who decked the thorn with flakes of pearl?

``'Twas He, you answer, that did make
Earth, sea, and sky: He maketh all;
The gleeful notes that flood the brake,
The sad notes wailed in Convent stall.

``And my poor voice He also made;
And like the brook, and like the bird,
And like your brethren mute and staid,
I too can but fulfil His word.

``Were I about my loins to tie
A girdle, and to hold in scorn
Beauty and Love, what then were I
But songless stream, but flowerless thorn?

``Why do our senses love to list
When distant cataracts murmur thus?
Why stealeth o'er your eyes a mist
When belfries toll the Angelus?

``It is that every tender sound
Art can evoke, or Nature yield,
Betokens something more profound,
Hinted, but never quite revealed.

``And though it be the self-same Hand
That doth the complex concert strike,
The notes, to those that understand,
Are individual, and unlike.

``Allow my nature. All things are,
If true to instinct, well and wise.
The dewdrop hinders not the star;
The waves do not rebuke the skies.

``So leave me free, good Father dear,
While you on humbler, holier chord
Chant your secluded Vespers here,
To fling my matin notes abroad.

``While you with sacred sandals wend
To trim the lamp, to deck the shrine,
Let me my country's altar tend,
Nor deem such worship less divine.

``Mine earthly, yours celestial love:
Each hath its harvest; both are sweet.
You wait to reap your Heaven, above;
I reap the Heaven about my feet.

``And what if I-forgive your guest
Who feels, so frankly speaks, his qualm-
Though calm amid the world's unrest,
Should restless be amid your calm?

``But though we two be severed quite,
Your holy words will sound between
Our lives, like stream one hears at night,
Louder, because it is not seen.

``Father, farewell! Be not distressed;
And take my vow, ere I depart,
To found a Convent in my breast,
And keep a cloister in my heart.''

The mule from off his ribs a fly
Flicked, and then zigzagged down the road.
Antonio lit his pipe, and I
Behind them somewhat sadly strode.

Just ere the Convent dipped from view,
Backward I glanced: he was not there.
Within the chapel, well I knew,
His lips were now composed in prayer.

But I have kept my vow. And when
The cuckoo chuckleth o'er his theft,
When throstles sing, again, again,
And runnels gambol down the cleft,

With these I roam, I sing with those,
And should the world with smiles or jeers
Provoke or lure, my lids I close,
And draw a cowl about my ears.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Lady of the Lake: Canto 5 (excerpt)

"Have, then, thy wish!"--he whistled shrill,
And he was answer'd from the hill;
Wild as the scream of the curlew,
From crag to crag the signal flew.
Instant, through copse and heath,
Bonnets and spears and bended bows;
On right, on left, above, below,
Sprung up at once the lurking foe;
From shingles gray their lances start,
The bracken bush sends forth the dart,
The rushes and the willow-wand
Are bristling into axe and brand,
And every tuft of broom gives life
To plaided warrior arm'd for strife.
That whistle garrison'd the glen
At once with full five hundred men,
As if the yawning hill to heaven
A subterranean host had given.
Watching their leader's beck and will,
All silent there they stood, and still.
Like the loose crags whose threatening mass
Lay tottering o'er the hollow pass,
As if an infant's touch could urge
Their headlong passage down the verge,
With step and weapon forward flung,
Upon the mountain-side they hung.
The Mountaineer cast glance of pride
Along Benledi's living side,
Then fix'd his eye and sable brow
Full on Fitz-James--"How say'st thou now?
These are Clan-Alpine's warriors true;
And, Saxon,--I am Roderick Dhu!"X


Fitz-James was brave:--Though to his heart
The life-blood thrill'd with sudden start,
He mann'd himself with dauntless air,
Return'd the Chief his haughty stare,
His back against a rock he bore,
And firmly placed his foot before:--
"Come one, come all! this rock shall fly
From its firm base as soon as I."
Sir Roderick mark'd--and in his eyes
Respect was mingled with surprise,
And the stern joy which warriors feel
In foemen worthy of their steel.
Short space he stood, then waved his hand:
Down sunk the disappearing band;
Each warrior vanish'd where he stood,
In broom or bracken, heath or wood;
Sunk brand and spear and bended bow,
In osiers pale and copses low;
It seem'd as if their mother Earth
Had swallow'd up her warlike birth.
The wind's last breath had toss'd in air,
Pennon, and plaid, and plumage fair,--
The next but swept a lone hill-side,
Where heath and fern were waving wide:
The sun's last glance was glinted back,
From spear and glaive, from targe and jack,--
The next, all unreflected, shone
On bracken green, and cold grey stone.XI


Fitz-James look'd round--yet scarce believed
The witness that his sight received;
Such apparition well might seem
Delusion of a dreadful dream.
Sir Roderick in suspense he eyed,
And to his look the Chief replied,
"Fear nought--nay, that I need not say--
But--doubt not aught from mine array.
Thou art my guest;--I pledged my word
As far as Coilantogle ford:
Nor would I call a clansman's brand
For aid against one valiant hand,
Though on our strife lay every vale
Rent by the Saxon from the Gael.
So move we on;--I only meant
To show the reed on which you leant,
Deeming this path you might pursue
Without a pass from Roderick Dhu."
They moved:--I said Fitz-James was brave,
As ever knight that belted glaive;
Yet dare not say, that now his blood
Kept on its wont and temper'd flood,
As, following Roderick's stride, he drew
That seeming lonesome pathway through,
Which yet, by fearful proof, was rife
With lances, that, to take his life,
Waited but signal from a guide,
So late dishonour'd and defied.
Ever, by stealth, his eye sought round
The vanish'd guardians of the ground,
And still, from copse and heather deep,
Fancy saw spear and broadsword peep,
And in the plover's shrilly strain,
The signal-whistle heard again.
Nor breathed he free till far behind
The pass was left; for then they wind
Along a wide and level green,
Where neither tree nor tuft was seen,
Nor rush nor bush of broom was near,
To hide a bonnet or a spear.XII


The Chief in silence strode before,
And reach'd that torrent's sounding shore
Which, daughter of three mighty lakes,
From Vennachar in silver breaks,
Sweeps through the plain, and ceaseless mines
On Bochastle the mouldering lines,
Where Rome, the Empress of the world,
Of yore her eagle wings unfurl'd.
And here his course the Chieftain staid,
Threw down his target and his plaid,
And to the Lowland warrior said:--
"Bold Saxon! to his promise just,
Vich-Alpine has discharged his trust.
This murderous Chief, this ruthless man,
This head of a rebellious clan,
Hath led thee safe, through watch and ward,
Far past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard.
Now man to man, and steel to steel,
A Chieftain's vengeance thou shalt feel.
See here, all vantageless I stand,
Arm'd, like thyself, with single brand:
For this is Coilantogle ford,
And thou must keep thee with thy sword."--XIII


The Saxon paused:--"I ne'er delay'd,
When foeman bade me draw my blade;
Nay more, brave Chief, I vow'd thy death:
Yet sure thy fair and generous faith,
And my deep debt for life preserved,
A better meed have well deserved:
Can nought but blood our feud atone?
Are there no means?"--"No, Stranger, none!
And hear,--to fire thy flagging zeal,--
The Saxon cause rests on thy steel;
For thus spoke Fate, by prophet bred
Between the living and the dead:
'Who spills the foremost foeman's life,
His party conquers in the strife.' "--
"Then, by my word," the Saxon said,
"The riddle is already read.
Seek yonder brake beneath the cliff,--
There lies Red Murdoch, stark and stiff.
Thus Fate has solved her prophecy,
Then yield to Fate, and not to me.
To James, at Stirling, let us go,
When, if thou wilt be still his foe,
Or if the King shall not agree
To grant thee grace and favour free,
I plight mine honour, oath, and word,
That, to thy native strengths restored,
With each advantage shalt thou stand,
That aids thee now to guard thy land."XIV


Dark lightning flash'd from Roderick's eye
"Soars thy presumption, then, so high,
Because a wretched kern ye slew,
Homage to name to Roderick Dhu?
He yields not, he, to man nor Fate!
Thou add'st but fuel to my hate:--
My clansman's blood demands revenge.
Not yet prepared?--By heaven, I change
My thought, and hold thy valour light
As that of some vain carpet knight,
Who ill deserved my courteous care,
And whose best boast is but to wear
A braid of his fair lady's hair."--
--"I thank thee, Roderick, for the word!
It nerves my heart, it steels my sword;
For I have sworn this braid to stain
In the best blood that warms thy vein.
Now, truce, farewell! and, ruth, begone!--
Yet think not that by thee alone,
Proud Chief! can courtesy be shown;
Though not from copse, or heath, or cairn,
Start at my whistle clansmen stern,
On this small horn one feeble blast
Would fearful odds against thee cast.
But fear not--doubt not--which thou wilt--
We try this quarrel hilt to hilt."
Then each at once his falchion drew,
Each on the ground his scabbard threw,
Each look'd to sun, and stream, and plain,
As what they ne'er might see again;
Then foot, and point, and eye opposed,
In dubious strife they darkly closed.XV


Ill fared it then with Roderick Dhu,
That on the field his targe he threw,
Whose brazen studs and tough bull-hide
Had death so often dash'd aside;
For, train'd abroad his arms to wield,
Fitz-James's blade was sword and shield.
He practised every pass and ward,
To thrust, to strike, to feint, to guard;
While less expert, though stronger far,
The Gael maintain'd unequal war.
Three times in closing strife they stood,
And thrice the Saxon blade drank blood;
No stinted draught, no scanty tide,
The gushing flood the tartans dyed.
Fierce Roderick felt the fatal drain,
And shower'd his blows like wintry rain;
And, as firm rock, or castle-roof,
Against the winter shower is proof,
The foe, invulnerable still,
Foil'd his wild rage by steady skill;
Till, at advantage ta'en, his brand
Forced Roderick's weapon from his hand,
And backward borne upon the lea,
Brought the proud Chieftain to his knee.XVI

"Now, yield thee, or by Him who made
The world, thy heart's blood dyes my blade!"--
"Thy threats, thy mercy, I defy!
Let recreant yield, who fears to die."
--Like adder darting from his coil,
Like wolf that dashes through the toil,
Like mountain-cat who guards her young,
Full at Fitz-James's throat he sprung;
Received, but reck'd not of a wound,
And lock'd his arms his foeman round.--
Now, gallant Saxon, hold thine own!
No maiden's hand is round thee thrown!
That desperate grasp thy frame might feel,
Through bars of brass and triple steel!--
They tug, they strain! down, down they go,
The Gael above, Fitz-James below.
The Chieftain's gripe his throat compress'd,
His knee was planted in his breast;
His clotted locks he backward threw,
Across his brow his hand he drew,
From blood and mist to clear his sight,
Then gleam'd aloft his dagger bright!--
--But hate and fury ill supplied
The stream of life's exhausted tide,
And all too late the advantage came,
To turn the odds of deadly game;
For, while the dagger gleam'd on high,
Reel'd soul and sense, reel'd brain and eye.
Down came the blow! but in the heath
The erring blade found bloodless sheath.
The struggling foe may now unclasp
The fainting Chief's relaxing grasp;
Unwounded from the dreadful close,
But breathless all, Fitz-James arose.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Two Swans (A Fairy Tale)

I

Immortal Imogen, crown'd queen above
The lilies of thy sex, vouchsafe to hear
A fairy dream in honor of true love—
True above ills, and frailty, and all fear,—
Perchance a shadow of his own career
Whose youth was darkly prison'd and long-twined
By serpent-sorrow, till white Love drew near,
And sweetly sang him free, and round his mind
A bright horizon threw, wherein no grief may wind.


II

I saw a tower builded on a lake,
Mock'd by its inverse shadow, dark and deep—
That seem'd a still intenser night to make,
Wherein the quiet waters sank to sleep,—
And, whatso'er was prison'd in that keep,
A monstrous Snake was warden:—round and round
In sable ringlets I beheld him creep
Blackest amid black shadows to the ground,
Whilst his enormous head, the topmost turret crown'd.


III

From whence he shot fierce light against the stars,
Making the pale moon paler with affright;
And with his ruby eye out-threaten'd Mars—
That blaz'd in the mid-heavens, hot and bright—
Nor slept, nor wink'd, but with a steadfast spite
Watch'd their wan looks and tremblings in the skies;
And that he might not slumber in the night,
The curtain-lids were pluck'd from his large eyes,
So he might never drowse, but watch his secret prize.


IV

Prince or princess in dismal durance pent,
Victims of old Enchantment's love or hate,
Their lives must all in painful sighs be spent,
Watching the lonely waters soon and late,
And clouds that pass and leave them to their fate,
Or company their grief with heavy tears:—
Meanwhile that Hope can spy no golden gate
For sweet escapement, but in darksome fears
They weep and pine away as if immortal years.


V

No gentle bird with gold upon its wing
Will perch upon the grate—the gentle bird
Is safe in leafy dell, and will not bring
Freedom's sweet key-note and commission-word
Learn'd of a fairy's lips, for pity stirr'd—
Lest while he trembling sings, untimely guest!
Watch'd by that cruel Snake and darkly heard,
He leave a widow on her lonely nest,
To press in silent grief the darlings of her breast.


VI

No gallant knight, adventurous, in his bark,
Will seek the fruitful perils of the place,
To rouse with dipping oar the waters dark
That bear that serpent image on their face.
And Love, brave Love! though he attempt the base,
Nerved to his loyal death, he may not win
His captive lady from the strict embrace
Of that foul Serpent, clasping her within
His sable folds—like Eve enthrall'd by the old Sin.


VII

But there is none—no knight in panoply,
Nor Love, intrench'd in his strong steely coat:
No little speck—no sail—no helper nigh,
No sign—no whispering—no plash of boat:—
The distant shores show dimly and remote,
Made of a deeper mist,—serene and gray,—
And slow and mute the cloudy shadows float
Over the gloomy wave, and pass away,
Chased by the silver beams that on their marges play.


VIII

And bright and silvery the willows sleep
Over the shady verge—no mad winds tease
Their hoary heads; but quietly they weep
Their sprinkling leaves—half fountains and half trees:
Their lilies be—and fairer than all these,
A solitary Swan her breast of snow
Launches against the wave that seems to freeze
Into a chaste reflection, still below
Twin shadow of herself wherever she may go.


IX

And forth she paddles in the very noon
Of solemn midnight like an elfin thing,
Charm'd into being by the argent moon—
Whose silver light for love of her fair wing
Goes with her in the shade, still worshipping
Her dainty plumage:—all around her grew
A radiant circlet, like a fairy ring;
And all behind, a tiny little clue
Of light, to guide her back across the waters blue.


X

And sure she is no meaner than a fay,
Redeem'd from sleepy death, for beauty's sake,
By old ordainment:—silent as she lay,
Touched by a moonlight wand I saw her wake,
And cut her leafy slough, and so forsake
The verdant prison of her lily peers,
That slept amidst the stars upon the lake—
A breathing shape—restored to human fears,
And new-born love and grief—self-conscious of her tears.


XI

And now she clasps her wings around her heart,
And near that lonely isle begins to glide,
Pale as her fears, and oft-times with a start
Turns her impatient head from side to side
In universal terrors—all too wide
To watch; and often to that marble keep
Upturns her pearly eyes, as if she spied
Some foe, and crouches in the shadows steep
That in the gloomy wave go diving fathoms deep.


XII

And well she may, to spy that fearful thing
All down the dusky walls in circlets wound;
Alas! for what rare prize, with many a ring
Girding the marble casket round and round?
His folded tail, lost in the gloom profound,
Terribly darkeneth the rocky base;
But on the top his monstrous head is crown'd
With prickly spears, and on his doubtful face
Gleam his unwearied eyes, red watchers of the place.


XIII
Alas! of the hot fires that nightly fall,
No one will scorch him in those orbs of spite,
So he may never see beneath the wall
That timid little creature, all too bright,
That stretches her fair neck, slender and white,
Invoking the pale moon, and vainly tries
Her throbbing throat, as if to charm the night
With song—but, hush—it perishes in sighs,
And there will be no dirge sad-swelling, though she dies!


XIV

She droops—she sinks—she leans upon the lake,
Fainting again into a lifeless flower;
But soon the chilly springs anoint and wake
Her spirit from its death, and with new power
She sheds her stifled sorrows in a shower
Of tender song, timed to her falling tears—
That wins the shady summit of that tower,
And, trembling all the sweeter for its fears,
Fills with imploring moan that cruel monster's ears.


XV

And, lo! the scaly beast is all deprest,
Subdued like Argus by the might of sound—
What time Apollo his sweet lute addrest
To magic converse with the air, and bound
The many monster eyes, all slumber-drown'd:—
So on the turret-top that watchful Snake
Pillows his giant head, and lists profound,
As if his wrathful spite would never wake,
Charm'd into sudden sleep for Love and Beauty's sake!


XVI

His prickly crest lies prone upon his crown,
And thirsty lip from lip disparted flies,
To drink that dainty flood of music down—
His scaly throat is big with pent-up sighs—
And whilst his hollow ear entranced lies,
His looks for envy of the charmed sense
Are fain to listen, till his steadfast eyes,
Stung into pain by their own impotence,
Distil enormous tears into the lake immense.


XVII
Oh, tuneful Swan! oh, melancholy bird!
Sweet was that midnight miracle of song,
Rich with ripe sorrow, needful of no word
To tell of pain, and love, and love's deep wrong—
Hinting a piteous tale—perchance how long
Thy unknown tears were mingled with the lake,
What time disguised thy leafy mates among—
And no eye knew what human love and ache
Dwelt in those dewy leaves, and heart so nigh to break.


XVIII

Therefore no poet will ungently touch
The water-lily, on whose eyelids dew
Trembles like tears; but ever hold it such
As human pain may wander through and through,
Turning the pale leaf paler in its hue—
Wherein life dwells, transfigured, not entomb'd,
By magic spells. Alas! who ever knew
Sorrow in all its shapes, leafy and plumed,
Or in gross husks of brutes eternally inhumed?


XIX

And now the winged song has scaled the height
Of that dark dwelling, builded for despair,
And soon a little casement flashing bright
Widens self-open'd into the cool air—
That music like a bird may enter there
And soothe the captive in his stony cage;
For there is nought of grief, or painful care,
But plaintive song may happily engage
From sense of its own ill, and tenderly assuage.


XX

And forth into the light, small and remote,
A creature, like the fair son of a king,
Draws to the lattice in his jewell'd coat
Against the silver moonlight glistening,
And leans upon his white hand listening
To that sweet music that with tenderer tone
Salutes him, wondering what kindly thing
Is come to soothe him with so tuneful moan,
Singing beneath the walls as if for him alone!


XXI

And while he listens, the mysterious song,
Woven with timid particles of speech.
Twines into passionate words that grieve along
The melancholy notes, and softly teach
The secrets of true love,—that trembling reach
His earnest ear, and through the shadows dun
He missions like replies, and each to each
Their silver voices mingle into one,
Like blended streams that make one music as they run.


XXII

'Ah! Love, my hope is swooning in my heart,—'
'Ay, sweet, my cage is strong and hung full high—'
'Alas! our lips are held so far apart,
Thy words come faint,—they have so far to fly!—'
'If I may only shun that serpent-eye,—'
'Ah me! that serpent-eye doth never sleep;—'
'Then, nearer thee, Love's martyr, I will die!—'
'Alas, alas! that word has made me weep!
For pity's sake remain safe in thy marble keep!'


XXIII

'My marble keep! it is my marble tomb—'
'Nay, sweet! but thou hast there thy living breath—'
'Aye to expend in sighs for this hard doom;—'
'But I will come to thee and sing beneath,'
'And nightly so beguile this serpent wreath;—'
'Nay, I will find a path from these despairs.'
'Ah, needs then thou must tread the back of death,
Making his stony ribs thy stony stairs.—
Behold his ruby eye, how fearfully it glares!'


XXIV

Full sudden at these words, the princely youth
Leaps on the scaly back that slumbers, still
Unconscious of his foot, yet not for ruth,
But numb'd to dulness by the fairy skill
Of that sweet music (all more wild and shrill
For intense fear) that charm'd him as he lay—
Meanwhile the lover nerves his desperate will,
Held some short throbs by natural dismay,
Then down the serpent-track begins his darksome way.


XXV

Now dimly seen—now toiling out of sight,
Eclipsed and cover'd by the envious wall;
Now fair and spangled in the sudden light,
And clinging with wide arms for fear of fall;
Now dark and shelter'd by a kindly pall
Of dusky shadow from his wakeful foe;
Slowly he winds adown—dimly and small,
Watch'd by the gentle Swan that sings below,
Her hope increasing, still, the larger he doth grow.


XXVI

But nine times nine the serpent folds embrace
The marble walls about—which he must tread
Before his anxious foot may touch the base:
Long in the dreary path, and must be sped!
But Love, that holds the mastery of dread,
Braces his spirit, and with constant toil
He wins his way, and now, with arms outspread,
Impatient plunges from the last long coil;
So may all gentle Love ungentle Malice foil!


XXVII

The song is hush'd, the charm is all complete,
And two fair Swans are swimming on the lake:
But scarce their tender bills have time to meet,
When fiercely drops adown that cruel Snake—
His steely scales a fearful rustling make,
Like autumn leaves that tremble and foretell
The sable storm;—the plumy lovers quake—
And feel the troubled waters pant and swell,
Heaved by the giant bulk of their pursuer fell.


XXVIII

His jaws, wide yawning like the gates of Death,
Hiss horrible pursuit—his red eyes glare
The waters into blood—his eager breath
Grows hot upon their plumes:—now, minstrel fair!
She drops her ring into the waves, and there
It widens all around, a fairy ring
Wrought of the silver light—the fearful pair
Swim in the very midst, and pant and cling
The closer for their fears, and tremble wing to wing.


XXIX

Bending their course over the pale gray lake,
Against the pallid East, wherein light play'd
In tender flushes, still the baffled Snake
Circled them round continually, and bay'd
Hoarsely and loud, forbidden to invade
The sanctuary ring—his sable mail
Roll'd darkly through the flood, and writhed and made
A shining track over the waters pale,
Lash'd into boiling foam by his enormous tail.


XXX

And so they sail'd into the distance dim,
Into the very distance—small and white,
Like snowy blossoms of the spring that swim
Over the brooklets—follow'd by the spite
Of that huge Serpent, that with wild affright
Worried them on their course, and sore annoy,
Till on the grassy marge I saw them 'light,
And change, anon, a gentle girl and boy,
Lock'd in embrace of sweet unutterable joy!


XXXI

Then came the Morn, and with her pearly showers
Wept on them, like a mother, in whose eyes
Tears are no grief; and from his rosy bowers
The Oriental sun began to rise,
Chasing the darksome shadows from the skies;
Wherewith that sable Serpent far away
Fled, like a part of night—delicious sighs
From waking blossoms purified the day,
And little birds were singing sweetly from each spray.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
 

Search


Recent searches | Top searches