To Violets - Robert Herrick
WELCOME, maids of honour!
You do bring
In the spring,
And wait upon her.
She has virgins many, 5
Fresh and fair;
Yet you are
More sweet than any.
You're the maiden posies,
And so graced 10
To be placed
'Fore damask roses.
Yet, though thus respected,
Ye do lie, 15
Poor girls, neglected.
To the Western Wind - Robert Herrick
SWEET western wind, whose luck it is,
Made rival with the air,
To give Perenna's lip a kiss,
And fan her wanton hair:
Bring me but one, I'll promise thee, 5
Instead of common showers,
Thy wings shall be embalm'd by me,
And all beset with flowers.
To Alfred Tennyson - Robert Stephen Hawker
THEY told me in their shadowy phrase,
Caught from a tale gone by,
That Arthur, King of Cornish praise,
Died not, and would not die.
Dreams had they, that in fairy bowers 5
Their living warrior lies,
Or wears a garland of the flowers
That grow in Paradise.
I read the rune with deeper ken,
And thus the myth I trace:— 10
A bard should rise, mid future men,
The mightiest of his race.
He would great Arthur’s deeds rehearse
On gray Dundagel’s shore;
And so the King in laurell’d verse 15
Shall live, and die no more!
This heart that flutters near my heart - James Joyce
THIS heart that flutters near my heart
MY hope and all my riches is,
Unhappy when we draw apart
And happy between kiss and kiss;
My hope and all my riches—yes!— 5
And all my happiness.
For there, as in some mossy nest
The wrens will divers treasures keep,
I laid those treasures I possessed
Ere that mine eyes had learned to weep. 10
Shall we not be as wise as they
Though love live but a day?
Sonnet 116 - William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
The Sword of Arthur John Clair Minot
Silently she's combing - James Joyce
Silently she's combing,
Combing her long hair
Silently and graciously,
With many a pretty air.
The sun is in the willow leaves
And on the dappled grass,
And still she's combing her long hair
Before the looking-glass.
I pray you, cease to comb out,
Comb out your long hair,
For I have heard of witchery
Under a pretty air,
That makes as one thing to the lover
Staying and going hence,
All fair, with many a pretty air
And many a negligence.
Sea Rose - Hilda Doolittle
Rose, harsh rose,
marred and with stint of petals,
meagre flower, thin,
sparse of leaf,
than a wet rose
single on a stem—
you are caught in the drift.
Stunted, with small leaf,
you are flung on the sand,
you are lifted
in the crisp sand
that drives in the wind.
Can the spice-rose
drip such acrid fragrance
hardened in a leaf?
Why Have You Sought Hilda Doolittle
An Old Story - Edwin Arlington Robinson
Strange that I did not know him then.
That friend of mine!
I did not even show him then
One friendly sign;
But cursed him for the ways he had
To make me see
My envy of the praise he had
For praising me.
I would have rid the earth of him
Once, in my pride...
I never knew the worth of him
Until he died.
Old Age - Carolyn Clive
Thou hast been wrong'd, I think old age;
Thy soverign reign comes not in wrath,
Thou call'st us home from pilgrimage,
Spreadest the seat and clear'st the hearth.
The hopes and fears that shook our youth,
By thee are turn'd to a certainty;
I see my boy become a man,
I hold my girl's girl on my knee.
Whate'er of good as been, dost thou
In the departed past make sure;
Whate'er has changed from weal to woe,
Thy comrade Death stands nigh to cure.
And once or twice in age there shines
Brief gladness, as when winter weaves
In frosty days o'er naked trees,
A sudden splendour of white leaves.
The past revives, and thoughts return,
Which kindled once the youthful breast;
They light us, though no more they burn,
They turn to grey and are at rest.
Of that so sweet imprisonment - James Joyce
Of that so sweet imprisonment
My soul, dearest, is fain — -
Soft arms that woo me to relent
And woo me to detain.
Ah, could they ever hold me there
Gladly were I a prisoner!
Dearest, through interwoven arms
By love made tremulous,
That night allures me where alarms
Nowise may trouble us;
But sleep to dreamier sleep be wed
Where soul with soul lies prisoned.
Mother Night - James Weldon Johnson
Eternities before the first-born day,
Or ere the first sun fledged his wings of flame,
Calm Night, the everlasting and the same,
A brooding mother over chaos lay.
And whirling suns shall blaze and then decay,
Shall run their fiery courses and then claim
The haven of the darkness whence they came;
Back to Nirvanic peace shall grope their way.
So when my feeble sun of life burns out,
And sounded is the hour for my long sleep,
I shall, full weary of the feverish light,
Welcome the darkness without fear or doubt,
And heavy-lidded, I shall softly creep
Into the quiet bosom of the Night.
Let Us Drink and Be Merry - Thomas Jordan
LET us drink and be merry, dance, joke, and rejoice,
With claret and sherry, theorbo and voice!
The changeable world to our joy is unjust,
All treasure’s uncertain,
Then down with your dust! 5
In frolics dispose your pounds, shillings, and pence,
For we shall be nothing a hundred years hence.
We’ll sport and be free with Moll, Betty, and Dolly,
Have oysters and lobsters to cure melancholy:
Fish-dinners will make a man spring like a flea, 10
Dame Venus, love’s lady,
Was born of the sea:
With her and with Bacchus we’ll tickle the sense,
For we shall be past it a hundred years hence.
Your most beautiful bride who with garlands is crown’d 15
And kills with each glance as she treads on the ground.
Whose lightness and brightness doth shine in such splendour
That one but the stars
Are thought fit to attend her,
Though now she be pleasant and sweet to the sense, 20
Will be damnable mouldy a hundred years hence.
Then why should we turmoil in cares and in fears,
Turn all our tranquill’ty to sighs and to tears?
Let’s eat, drink, and play till the worms do corrupt us,
’Tis certain, Post mortem 25
For health, wealth and beauty, wit, learning and sense,
Must all come to nothing a hundred years hence.
Heat - Hilda Doolittle
O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.
Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air--
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes.
Cut the heat--
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.
Flower-gathering - Robert Frost
I LEFT you in the morning,
And in the morning glow,
You walked a way beside me
To make me sad to go.
Do you know me in the gloaming, 5
Gaunt and dusty grey with roaming?
Are you dumb because you know me not,
Or dumb because you know?
All for me? And not a question
For the faded flowers gay 10
That could take me from beside you
For the ages of a day?
They are yours, and be the measure
Of their worth for you to treasure,
The measure of the little while 15
That I’ve been long away.
And So Did I - Isaac Joslyn Cox
Before the fire, that winter's night
None seemed so sweet as she,
With winning smile, and dark eyes bright,
And playful repartee.
The dancing light - as round it flashed -
To her seemed drawing nigh,
Her slender waist pressed unabashed;
Thus guided, so did I.
It softly touched her cheeks aflame.
I scarce repressed a sigh.
It touched her lips. Dared I the same?
Too tempting; so did I.
Her ruby lips, half pouting, seemed
My boldness to decry.
Pa's step was heard. The flame scarce gleamed,
Went out - and so did I.
Circe Hilda Doolittle
Death of the Flowers William Cullen Bryant
A Woman to Her Dead Husband D. H. Lawrence
Short Poetry Collection 036
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