Thursday, August 17, 2017

Spring and Fall: To a Young Child


Márgarét, áre you gríeving 
Over Goldengrove unleaving? 
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you? 
Ah! ás the heart grows older 
It will come to such sights colder 
By and by, nor spare a sigh 
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie; 
And yet you wíll weep and know why. 
Now no matter, child, the name: 
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same. 
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed 
What heart heard of, ghost guessed: 
It ís the blight man was born for, 
It is Margaret you mourn for. 

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

'Tis the Last Rose of Summer


'Tis the last rose of summer, 
Left blooming alone ; 
All her lovely companions 
Are faded and gone ; 
No flower of her kindred, 
No rose-bud is nigh, 
To reflect back her blushes, 
Or give sigh for sigh.

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one! 
To pine on the stem ; 
Since the lovely are sleeping, 
Go sleep thou with them. 
Thus kindly I scatter 
Thy leaves o'er the bed, 
Where thy mates of the garden 
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow, 
When friendships decay, 
And from Love's shining circle 
The gems drop away. 
When true hearts lie wither'd, 
And fond ones are flown, 
Oh ! who would inhabit 
This bleak world alone ?



~ Thomas Moore

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

To Daffodils


Fair Daffodils, we weep to see 
You haste away so soon; 
As yet the early-rising sun 
Has not attain'd his noon. 
Stay, stay, 
Until the hasting day 
Has run 
But to the even-song; 
And, having pray'd together, we 
Will go with you along. 

We have short time to stay, as you, 
We have as short a spring; 
As quick a growth to meet decay, 
As you, or anything. 
We die 
As your hours do, and dry 
Away, 
Like to the summer's rain; 
Or as the pearls of morning's dew, 
Ne'er to be found again.

~ Robert Herrick

Monday, August 14, 2017

Serenade


Stars of the summer night! 
Far in yon azure deeps, 
Hide, hide your golden light! 
She sleeps! 
My lady sleeps! 
Sleeps! 

Moon of the summer night! 
Far down yon western steeps, 
Sink, sink in silver light! 
She sleeps! 
My lady sleeps! 
Sleeps! 

Wind of the summer night! 
Where yonder woodbine creeps, 
Fold, fold thy pinions light! 
She sleeps! 
My lady sleeps! 
Sleeps! 

Dreams of the summer night! 
Tell her, her lover keeps 
Watch! while in slumbers light 
She sleeps! 
My lady sleeps! 
Sleeps!

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, August 11, 2017

Loveliest of Trees


Loveliest of trees, the cherry now 
Is hung with bloom along the bough, 
And stands about the woodland ride 
Wearing white for Eastertide. 

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again, 
And take from seventy springs a score, 
It only leaves me fifty more. 

And since to look at things in bloom 
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go 
To see the cherry hung with snow.

~ A.E. Housman

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Spring


When daisies pied, and violets blue, 
And lady-smocks all silver-white, 
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue 
Do paint the meadows with delight, 
The cuckoo then, on every tree, 
Mocks married men, for thus sings he: 
'Cuckoo! 
Cuckoo, cuckoo!' O word of fear, 
Unpleasing to a married ear.

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws, 
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks, 
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws, 
And maidens bleach their summer smocks, 
The cuckoo then, on every tree, 
Mocks married men, for thus sings he: 
'Cuckoo! 
Cuckoo, cuckoo!' O word of fear, 
Unpleasing to a married ear.

~ William Shakespeare

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Year's at the Spring


The year's at the spring 
And day's at the morn; 
Morning's at seven; 
The hillside's dew-pearled; 
The lark's on the wing; 
The snail's on the thorn: 
God's in His heaven— 
All's right with the world!

 ~ Robert Browning

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I Wandered Lonely as A Cloud


I wandered lonely as a cloud 
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 

Continuous as the stars that shine 
And twinkle on the milky way, 
They stretched in never-ending line 
Along the margin of a bay: 
Ten thousand saw I at a glance, 
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. 

The waves beside them danced; but they 
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: 
A poet could not but be gay, 
In such a jocund company: 
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought 
What wealth the show to me had brought: 

For oft, when on my couch I lie 
In vacant or in pensive mood, 
They flash upon that inward eye 
Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart with pleasure fills, 
And dances with the daffodils. 

~ William Wordsworth

Monday, August 7, 2017

Nature


As a fond mother, when the day is o'er, 
Leads by the hand her little child to bed, 
Half willing, half reluctant to be led, 
And leave his broken playthings on the floor, 
Still gazing at them through the open door, 
Nor wholly reassured and comforted 
By promises of others in their stead, 
Which, though more splendid, may not please him more; 
So Nature deals with us, and takes away 
Our playthings one by one, and by the hand 
Leads us to rest so gently, that we go 
Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay, 
Being too full of sleep to understand 
How far the unknown transcends the what we know. 

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, August 4, 2017

Patterns


I walk down the garden paths, 
And all the daffodils 
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills. 
I walk down the patterned garden paths 
In my stiff, brocaded gown. 
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan, 
I too am a rare 
Pattern. As I wander down 
The garden paths. 

My dress is richly figured, 
And the train 
Makes a pink and silver stain 
On the gravel, and the thrift 
Of the borders. 
Just a plate of current fashion, 
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes. 
Not a softness anywhere about me, 
Only whale-bone and brocade. 
And I sink on a seat in the shade 
Of a lime tree. For my passion 
Wars against the stiff brocade. 
The daffodils and squills 
Flutter in the breeze 
As they please. 
And I weep; 
For the lime tree is in blossom 
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom. 

And the splashing of waterdrops 
In the marble fountain 
Comes down the garden paths. 
The dripping never stops. 
Underneath my stiffened gown 
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin, 
A basin in the midst of hedges grown 
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding, 
But she guesses he is near, 
And the sliding of the water 
Seems the stroking of a dear 
Hand upon her. 
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown! 
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground. 
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground. 

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths, 
And he would stumble after, 
Bewildered by my laughter. 
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes. 
I would choose 
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths, 
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover, 
Till he caught me in the shade, 
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me, 
Aching, melting, unafraid. 
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops, 
And the plopping of the waterdrops, 
All about us in the open afternoon 
I am very like to swoon 
With the weight of this brocade, 
For the sun sifts through the shade. 

Underneath the fallen blossom 
In my bosom, 
Is a letter I have hid. 
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke. 
“Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell 
Died in action Thursday sen’night.” 
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight, 
The letters squirmed like snakes. 
“Any answer, Madam,” said my footman. 
“No,” l told him. 
“See that the messenger takes some refreshment. 
No, no answer.” 
And I walked into the garden, 
Up and down the patterned paths, 
In my stiff, correct brocade. 
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun, 
Each one. 
I stood upright too, 
Held rigid to the pattern 
By the stiffness of my gown. 
Up and down I walked, 
Up and down. 

In a month he would have been my husband. 
In a month, here, underneath this lime, 
We would have broke the pattern; 
He for me, and I for him, 
He as Colonel, I as Lady, 
On this shady seat. 
He had a whim 
That sunlight carried blessing. 
And I answered, “It shall be as you have said.” 
Now he is dead. 

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk 
Up and down 
The patterned garden paths 
In my stiff, brocaded gown. 
The squills and daffodils 
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow. 
I shall go 
Up and down, 
In my gown. 
Gorgeously arrayed, 
Boned and stayed. 
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace 
By each button, hook, and lace. 
For the man who should loose me is dead, 
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders, 
In a pattern called a war. 
Christ! What are patterns for?

~ Amy Lowell

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Love's Philosophy


The fountains mingle with the river 
And the rivers with the ocean, 
The winds of heaven mix for ever 
With a sweet emotion; 
Nothing in the world is single; 
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle. 
Why not I with thine?— 

See the mountains kiss high heaven 
And the waves clasp one another; 
No sister-flower would be forgiven 
If it disdained its brother; 
And the sunlight clasps the earth 
And the moonbeams kiss the sea: 
What is all this sweet work worth 
If thou kiss not me?

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Sands of Dee


"O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
 And call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home
Across the sands of Dee";
The western wind was wild and dank with foam,
And all alone went she.

 The western tide crept up along the sand,
 And o'er and o'er the sand,
 And round and round the sand,
As far as eye could see.
 The rolling mist came down and hid the land:
 And never home came she.

"Oh! is it weed, or fish, or floating hair--
 A tress of golden hair,
 A drownèd maiden's hair
 Above the nets at sea?
 Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
 Among the stakes on Dee."

 They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
 The cruel crawling foam,
 The cruel hungry foam,
 To her grave beside the sea:
 But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home
 Across the sands of Dee. 

~ Charles Kingsley


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Down in the Valley


Down in the valley,
Valley so low,
Hang your head over,
Hear the train blow.

Hear the train blow, love,
Hear the train blow,
Hang your head over,
Hear the train blow.

If you don't love me,
Love whom you please,
But throw your arms round me,
Give my heart ease.

Step right up to me,
Before it's too late.
Throw your arms round me,
Feel my heart break.

I'll write you a letter,
Only three lines:
"Answer my question,
Will you be mine?'

Go build me a castle,
Forty feet high,
So I can see you,
As you pass by.

Roses of sunshine,
Violets of dew,
Angels of heaven
Know I love you.

Bird in a cage, love,
Bird in a cage,
Dying for freedom,
But forever a slave.

Write me a letter,
Write it out plain,
And send it me care of
The Barbourville Jail.

Barbourville Jail, love,
Barbourville Jail,
And send it me care of
The Barbourville Jail.

~ Anonymous

Monday, July 31, 2017

What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, and Where, and Why


What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, 
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain 
Under my head till morning; but the rain 
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh 
Upon the glass and listen for reply, 
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain 
For unremembered lads that not again 
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry. 
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree, 
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one, 
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before: 
I cannot say what loves have come and gone, 
I only know that summer sang in me 
A little while, that in me sings no more.

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay