A Summer Night - Elizabeth Stoddard
I FEEL the breath of the summer night,
The trees, the vines, the flowers are astir
With tender desire.
The white moths flutter about the lamp, 5
Enamoured with light;
And a thousand creatures softly sing
A song to the night!
But I am alone, and how can I sing
Praises to thee? 10
Come, Night! unveil the beautiful soul
That waiteth for me.
To E Sara Teasdale
Time Does Not Bring Relief - Edna St. Vincent Millay
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
Sometimes - Thomas S. Jones Jr.
ACROSS the fields of yesterday
He sometimes comes to me,
A little lad just back from play—
The lad I used to be.
And yet he smiles so wistfully
Once he has crept within,
I wonder if he hopes to see
The man I might have been.
The Sigh - Thomas Hardy
Little head against my shoulder,
Shy at first, then somewhat bolder,
Till she, with a timid quaver,
Yielded to the kiss I gave her;
But, she sighed.
That there mingled with her feeling
Some sad thought she was concealing
- Not that she had ceased to love me,
None on earth she set above me;
But she sighed.
She could not disguise a passion,
Dread, or doubt, in weakest fashion
If she tried:
Nothing seemed to hold us sundered,
Hearts were victors; so I wondered
Why she sighed.
Afterwards I knew her throughly,
And she loved me staunchly, truly,
Till she died;
But she never made confession
Why, at that first sweet concession,
She had sighed.
It was in our May, remember;
And though now I near November,
Till my appointed change, unfretting,
Sometimes I sit half regretting
That she sighed.
To His Coy Mistress Andrew Marvell
Miss T. - Walter De la Mare
It's a very odd thing -
As odd can be -
That whatever Miss T eats
Turns into Miss T.;
Porridge and apples,
Mince, muffins and mutton,
Jam, junket, jumbles -
Not a rap, not a button
It matters; the moment
They're out of her plate,
Though shared by Miss Butcher
And sour Mr. Bate;
Tiny and cheerful,
And neat as can be,
Whatever Miss T. eats
Turns into Miss T.
My Last Duchess Robert Browning
Lie-Awake Song - Amelia Josephine Burr
GOD has a house three streets away,
And every Sunday, rain or shine,
My nurse goes there her prayers to say.
She's told me of the candles fine
That, burning all night long, they keep 5
Because God never goes to sleep.
Then there's a steeple full of bells,
All through the dark the time it tells.
I like to hear it in the night
And think about those candles bright. 10
I wonder if God stays awake
For kindness, like the Furnace-man
Who comes before it's day, to make
Our house as pleasant as he can...
I like to watch the sky grow blue, 15
And think perhaps, the whole world through,
No one's awake but just us three—
God, and the Furnace-man, and me.
Invictus - William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
The Jumblies Edward Lear
The Lady of Shalott Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Lament of the Irish Emigrant Helen Selina
Waiting - In Hospital - William Ernest Henley
A SQUARE:, squat room (a cellar on promotion),
Drab to the soul, drab to the very daylight;
Plasters astray in unnaturallooking tinware;
Scissors and lint and apothecary's jars.
Here, on a bench a skeleton would writhe from,
Angry and sore, I wait to be admitted:
Wait till my heart is lead upon my stomach,
While at their ease two dressers do their chores.
One has a probe — it feels to me a crowbar.
A small boy sniffs and shudders after bluestone.
A poor old tramp explains his poor old ulcers.
Life is (I think) a blunder and a shame.
For Once, Then, Something - Robert Frost
Others taunt me with having knelt at well-curbs
Always wrong to the light, so never seeing
Deeper down in the well than where the water
Gives me back in a shining surface picture
Me myself in the summer heaven godlike
Looking out of a wreath of fern and cloud puffs.
Once, when trying with chin against a well-curb,
I discerned, as I thought, beyond the picture,
Through the picture, a something white, uncertain,
Something more of the depths—and then I lost it.
Water came to rebuke the too clear water.
One drop fell from a fern, and lo, a ripple
Shook whatever it was lay there at bottom,
Blurred it, blotted it out. What was that whiteness?
Truth? A pebble of quartz? For once, then, something.
Hiawatha's Photographing Lewis Carroll
The Flower Boat - Robert Frost
The fisherman's swapping a yarn for a yarn
Under the hand of the village barber,
And her in the angle of house and barn
His deep-sea dory has found a harbor.
At anchor she rides the sunny sod
As full to the gunnel of flowers growing
As ever she turned her home with cod
From George's bank when winds were blowing.
And I judge from that elysian freight
That all they ask is rougher weather,
And dory and master will sail by fate
To seek the Happy Isles together.
Fire and Ice - Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Absolution - Siegfried Sassoon
The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes
Till beauty shines in all that we can see.
War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise,
And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.
Horror of wounds and anger at the foe,
And loss of things desired; all these must pass.
We are the happy legion, for we know
Time's but a golden wind that shakes the grass.
There was an hour when we were loth to part
From life we longed to share no less than others.
Now, having claimed this heritage of heart,
What need we more, my comrades and my brothers?
The Creation James Weldon Johnson
Short Poetry Collection 005
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