Monday, June 30, 2008

Love’s Mendicant by Susan Mitchell

What do I want of thee?
No gift of smile or tear
Nor casual company,
But in still speech to me
Only thy heart to hear.

Others contentedly
Go lonely here and there;
I cannot pass thee by,
Love’s Mendicant am I
Who meet thee everywhere.

No merchandise I make;
Thou mayst not give to me
The counterfeits they take.
I claim Him for Love’s sake,
The Hidden One in thee.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'd Love to be a Fairy's Child by Robert Graves

Children born of fairy stock
Never need for shirt or frock,
Never want for food or fire,
Always get their heart’s desire:
Jingle pockets full of gold,
Marry when they’re seven years old.
Every fairy child may keep
Two strong ponies and ten sheep;
All have houses, each his own,
Built of brick or granite stone;
They live on cherries, they run wild—
I’d love to be a Fairy’s child.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Time Does Not Bring Relief by 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!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I Want to Die While You Love Me by Georgia Douglas Johnson

I want to die while you love me,
While yet you hold me fair,
While laughter lies upon my lips
And lights are in my hair.

I want to die while you love me,
And bear to that still bed,
Your kisses turbulent, unspent
To warm me when I’m dead.

I want to die while you love me
Oh, who would care to live
Till love has nothing more to ask
And nothing more to give!

I want to die while you love me
And never, never see
The glory of this perfect day
Grow dim or cease to be.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Gold-Seekers by Hamlin Garland

I saw these dreamers of dreams go by,
I trod in their footsteps a space;
Each marched with his eyes on the sky,
Each passed with a light on his face.

They came from the hopeless and sad,
They faced the future and gold;
Some the tooth of want’s wolf had made mad,
And some at the forge had grown old.

Behind them these serfs of the tool
The rags of their service had flung;
No longer of fortune the fool,
This word from each bearded lip rung:

“Once more I ’m a man, I am free!
No man is my master, I say;
To-morrow I fail, it may be,—
No matter, I ’m freeman to-day.”

They go to a toil that is sure,
To despair and hunger and cold;
Their sickness no warning can cure,
They are mad with a longing for gold.

The light will fade from each eye,
The smile from each face;
They will curse the impassable sky,
And the earth when the snow torrents race.

Some will sink by the way and be laid
In the frost of the desolate earth;
And some will return to a maid,
Empty of hand as at birth.

But this out of all will remain,
They have lived and have tossed;
So much in the game will be gain,
Though the gold of the dice has been lost.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thoughts on the Shape of the Human Body by Rupert Brooke

How can we find? how can we rest? how can
We, being gods, win joy, or peace, being man?
We, the gaunt zanies of a witless Fate,
Forget the moment ere the moment slips,
Kiss with blind lips that seek beyond the lips,
Who want, and know not what we want, and cry
With crooked mouths for Heaven, and throw it by.
Love’s for completeness! No perfection grows
’Twixt leg, and arm, elbow, and ear, and nose,
And joint, and socket; but unsatisfied
Sprawling desires, shapeless, perverse, denied.
Finger with finger wreathes; we love, and gape,
Fantastic shape to mazed fantastic shape,
Straggling, irregular, perplexed, embossed,
Grotesquely twined, extravagantly lost
By crescive paths and strange protuberant ways
From sanity and from wholeness and from grace.
How can love triumph, how can solace be,
Where fever turns toward fever, knee toward knee?
Could we but fill to harmony, and dwell
Simple as our thought and as perfectible,
Rise disentangled from humanity
Strange whole and new into simplicity,
Grow to a radiant round love, and bear
Unfluctuant passion for some perfect sphere,
Love moon to moon unquestioning, and be
Like the star Lunisequa, steadfastly
Following the round clear orb of her delight,
Patiently ever, through the eternal night!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Do You Want Affidavits? by Carl Sandburg

There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea.
Do you want affidavits?
There’s a man in the moon with money for you.
Do you want affidavits?
There are ten dancing girls in a sea-chamber off Nantucket waiting for you.
There are tall candles in Timbuctoo burning penance for you.
There are—anything else?
Speak now—for now we stand amid the great wishing windows—and the law says we are free to be wishing all this week at the windows.
Shall I raise my right hand and swear to you in the monotone of a notary public? this is “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

Monday, June 23, 2008

Clover-Blossom by Louisa May Alcott

In a quiet, pleasant meadow,
Beneath a summer sky,
Where green old trees their branches waved,
And winds went singing by;
Where a little brook went rippling
So musically low,
And passing clouds cast shadows
On the waving grass below;
Where low, sweet notes of brooding birds
Stole out on the fragrant air,
And golden sunlight shone undimmed
On all most fresh and fair;—
There bloomed a lovely sisterhood
Of happy little flowers,
Together in this pleasant home,
Through quiet summer hours.
No rude hand came to gather them,
No chilling winds to blight;
Warm sunbeams smiled on them by day,
And soft dews fell at night.
So here, along the brook-side,
Beneath the green old trees,
The flowers dwelt among their friends,
The sunbeams and the breeze.

One morning, as the flowers awoke,
Fragrant, and fresh, and fair,
A little worm came creeping by,
And begged a shelter there.
"Ah! pity and love me," sighed the worm,
"I am lonely, poor, and weak;
A little spot for a resting-place,
Dear flowers, is all I seek.
I am not fair, and have dwelt unloved
By butterfly, bird, and bee.
They little knew that in this dark form
Lay the beauty they yet may see.
Then let me lie in the deep green moss,
And weave my little tomb,
And sleep my long, unbroken sleep
Till Spring's first flowers come.
Then will I come in a fairer dress,
And your gentle care repay
By the grateful love of the humble worm;
Kind flowers, O let me stay!"
But the wild rose showed her little thorns,
While her soft face glowed with pride;
The violet hid beneath the drooping ferns,
And the daisy turned aside.
Little Houstonia scornfully laughed,
As she danced on her slender stem;
While the cowslip bent to the rippling waves,
And whispered the tale to them.
A blue-eyed grass looked down on the worm,
As it silently turned away,
And cried, "Thou wilt harm our delicate leaves,
And therefore thou canst not stay."
Then a sweet, soft voice, called out from far,
"Come hither, poor worm, to me;
The sun lies warm in this quiet spot,
And I'll share my home with thee."
The wondering flowers looked up to see
Who had offered the worm a home:
'T was a clover-blossom, whose fluttering leaves
Seemed beckoning him to come;
It dwelt in a sunny little nook,
Where cool winds rustled by,
And murmuring bees and butterflies came,
On the flower's breast to lie.
Down through the leaves the sunlight stole,
And seemed to linger there,
As if it loved to brighten the home
Of one so sweet and fair.
Its rosy face smiled kindly down,
As the friendless worm drew near;
And its low voice, softly whispering, said
"Poor thing, thou art welcome here;
Close at my side, in the soft green moss,
Thou wilt find a quiet bed,
Where thou canst softly sleep till Spring,
With my leaves above thee spread.
I pity and love thee, friendless worm,
Though thou art not graceful or fair;
For many a dark, unlovely form,
Hath a kind heart dwelling there;
No more o'er the green and pleasant earth,
Lonely and poor, shalt thou roam,
For a loving friend hast thou found in me,
And rest in my little home."
Then, deep in its quiet mossy bed,
Sheltered from sun and shower,
The grateful worm spun its winter tomb,
In the shadow of the flower.
And Clover guarded well its rest,
Till Autumn's leaves were sere,
Till all her sister flowers were gone,
And her winter sleep drew near.
Then her withered leaves were softly spread
O'er the sleeping worm below,
Ere the faithful little flower lay
Beneath the winter snow.

Spring came again, and the flowers rose
From their quiet winter graves,
And gayly danced on their slender stems,
And sang with the rippling waves.
Softly the warm winds kissed their cheeks;
Brightly the sunbeams fell,
As, one by one, they came again
In their summer homes to dwell.
And little Clover bloomed once more,
Rosy, and sweet, and fair,
And patiently watched by the mossy bed,
For the worm still slumbered there.
Then her sister flowers scornfully cried,
As they waved in the summer air,
"The ugly worm was friendless and poor;
Little Clover, why shouldst thou care?
Then watch no more, nor dwell alone,
Away from thy sister flowers;
Come, dance and feast, and spend with us
These pleasant summer hours.
We pity thee, foolish little flower,
To trust what the false worm said;
He will not come in a fairer dress,
For he lies in the green moss dead."
But little Clover still watched on,
Alone in her sunny home;
She did not doubt the poor worm's truth,
And trusted he would come.

At last the small cell opened wide,
And a glittering butterfly,
From out the moss, on golden wings,
Soared up to the sunny sky.
Then the wondering flowers cried aloud,
"Clover, thy watch was vain;
He only sought a shelter here,
And never will come again."
And the unkind flowers danced for joy,
When they saw him thus depart;
For the love of a beautiful butterfly
Is dear to a flower's heart.
They feared he would stay in Clover's home,
And her tender care repay;
So they danced for joy, when at last he rose
And silently flew away.
Then little Clover bowed her head,
While her soft tears fell like dew;
For her gentle heart was grieved, to find
That her sisters' words were true,
And the insect she had watched so long
When helpless, poor, and lone,
Thankless for all her faithful care,
On his golden wings had flown.
But as she drooped, in silent grief,
She heard little Daisy cry,
"O sisters, look! I see him now,
Afar in the sunny sky;
He is floating back from Cloud-Land now,
Borne by the fragrant air.
Spread wide your leaves, that he may choose
The flower he deems most fair."
Then the wild rose glowed with a deeper blush,
As she proudly waved on her stem;
The Cowslip bent to the clear blue waves,
And made her mirror of them.
Little Houstonia merrily danced,
And spread her white leaves wide;
While Daisy whispered her joy and hope,
As she stood by her gay friends' side.
Violet peeped from the tall green ferns,
And lifted her soft blue eye
To watch the glittering form, that shone
Afar in the summer sky.
They thought no more of the ugly worm,
Who once had wakened their scorn;
But looked and longed for the butterfly now,
As the soft wind bore him on.

Nearer and nearer the bright form came,
And fairer the blossoms grew;
Each welcomed him, in her sweetest tones;
Each offered her honey and dew.
But in vain did they beckon, and smile, and call,
And wider their leaves unclose;
The glittering form still floated on,
By Violet, Daisy, and Rose.
Lightly it flew to the pleasant home
Of the flower most truly fair,
On Clover's breast he softly lit,
And folded his bright wings there.
"Dear flower," the butterfly whispered low,
"Long hast thou waited for me;
Now I am come, and my grateful love
Shall brighten thy home for thee;
Thou hast loved and cared for me, when alone,
Hast watched o'er me long and well;
And now will I strive to show the thanks
The poor worm could not tell.
Sunbeam and breeze shall come to thee,
And the coolest dews that fall;
Whate'er a flower can wish is thine,
For thou art worthy all.
And the home thou shared with the friendless worm
The butterfly's home shall be;
And thou shalt find, dear, faithful flower,
A loving friend in me."
Then, through the long, bright summer hours
Through sunshine and through shower,
Together in their happy home
Dwelt butterfly and flower.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

If Ever I See by Lydia Maria Child

If ever I see,
On bush or tree,
Young birds in their pretty nest,
I must not in play,
Steal the birds away,
To grieve their mother's breast.

My mother, I know,
Would sorrow so,
Should I be stolen away;
So I'll speak to the birds
In my softest words,
Nor hurt them in my play.

And when they can fly
In the bright blue sky,
They'll warble a song to me;
And then if I'm sad
It will make me glad
To think they are happy and free.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Twinkle, Twinkle

Twinkle, twinkle, little star;
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the glorious sun is set,
When the grass with dew is wet,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

In the dark-blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep;
For you never shut your eye
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveler in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star!

Friday, June 20, 2008

There Was a Little Girl by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There was a little girl,
And she had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid.

One day she went upstairs,
When her parents, unawares,
In the kitchen were occupied with meals,
And she stood upon her head
In her little trundle-bed,
And then began hooraying with her heels.

Her mother heard the noise,
And she thought it was the boys
A-playing at a combat in the attic;
But when she climbed the stair,
And found Jemima there,
She took and she did spank her most emphatic.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tell Us a Tale by Edward Shirley

"TELL us a tale, dear mother—
A fairy tale, do, please,
Take baby brother on your lap,
We'll sit beside your knees,
We will not speak, we will not stir,
Until the tale is told;
And we'll be, oh! so comfy,
And just as good as gold."

"What shall it be, my children?
Aladdin and his Lamp?
Or shall I tell the story
Of Puss in Boots—the scamp?
Or would you like to hear the tale
Of Blue Beard, fierce and grim?
Or Jack who climbed the great beanstalk?—
I think you're fond of him.

"Or shall I tell you, children,
About Red Riding Hood?
Or what befell those little Babes
Who wandered in the Wood?
Or how sweet Cinderella went
So gaily to the ball?"
"Yes, yes!" we cried, and clapped our hands;
"We want to hear them all!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Rainy Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Spinning-Wheel Song by John Francis Waller

Mellow the moonlight to shine is beginning;
Close by the window young Eileen is spinning;
Bent o’er the fire, her blind grandmother, sitting,
Is croaning, and moaning, and drowsily knitting:
“Eileen, achora, I hear some one tapping.”
“’T is the ivy, dear mother, against the glass flapping.”
“Eileen, I surely hear somebody sighing.”
“’T is the sound, mother dear, of the summer wind dying.”
Merrily, cheerily, noisily whirring,
Swings the wheel, spins the reel, while the foot’s stirring;
Sprightly, and lightly, and airily ringing,
Thrills the sweet voice of the young maiden singing.

“What ’s that noise that I hear at the window, I wonder?”
“’T is the little birds chirping the holly-bush under.”
“What makes you be shoving and moving your stool on,
And singing all wrong, that old song of ‘The Coolun?’”
There ’s a form at the casement—the form of her true-love—
And he whispers, with face bent, “I’ m waiting for you, love;
Get up on the stool, through the lattice step lightly,
We ’ll rove in the grove while the moon’s shining brightly.”
Merrily, cheerily, noisily whirring,
Swings the wheel, spins the reel, while the foot’s stirring;
Sprightly, and lightly, and airily ringing,
Thrills the sweet voice of the young maiden singing.

The maid shakes her had, on her lip lays her fingers,
Steals up from her seat—longs to go, and yet lingers;
A frightened glance turns to her drowsy grandmother,
Puts one foot on the stool, spins the wheel with other.
Lazily, easily, swings now the wheel round;
Slowly and slowly is heard now the reel’s sound’
Noiseless and light to the lattice above her
The maid steps—then leaps to the arms of her lover.
Slower—and slower—the wheel swings;
Lower—and lower—and lower the reel rings;
Ere the reel and the wheel stop their ringing and moving,
Through the grove the young lovers by moonlight are roving.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Farewell by Thomas Moore

Farewell! but whenever you welcome the hour
Which awakens the night-song of mirth in your bow'r,
Then think of the friend who once welcom'd it too,
And forgot his own grief to be happy with you.
His griefs may return, not a hope may remain,
Of the few that have brighten'd his pathway of pain,
But he ne'er will forget his short vision that threw
Its enchantment around him, while lingering with you.

And still on that evening, when pleasure fills up
To the highest top sparkle each heart and each cup,
Where'er my path lies, be it gloomy or bright,
My soul, happy friends! shall be with you that night;
Shall join in your revels, your sports and your wiles,
And return to me, beaming all o'er with your smiles! --
Too blest, if it tells me, that, 'mid the gay cheer,
Some kind voice had murmur'd, I wish he were here!

Let Fate do her worst, there are relics of joy,
Bright dreams of the past, which she cannot destroy;
Which come, in the night-time of sorrow and care,
And bring back the features that joy used to wear.
Long, long be my heart with such memories fill'd!
Like the vase in which roses have once been distill'd --
You may break, you may ruin the vase if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Remember, I Remember by Thomas Hood

I remember, I remember
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon
Nor brought too long a day;
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away.

I remember, I remember
The roses red and white,
The violets and the lily cups--
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,--
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then
That is so heavy now,
The summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow.

I remember, I remember
The fir-trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from Heaven
Than when I was a boy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

In a Gondola by Robert Browning

The moth's kiss, first!
Kiss me as if you made me believe
You were not sure, this eve,
How my face, your flower, had pursed
Its petals up; so, here and there
You brush it, till I grow aware
Who wants me, and wide ope I burst.

The bee's kiss, now!
Kiss me as if you enter'd gay
My heart at some noonday,
A bud that dares not disallow
The claim, so all is render'd up,
And passively its shatter'd cup
Over your head to sleep I bow.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Past by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Fling my past behind me, like a robe
Worn threadbare in the seams, and out of date.
I have outgrown it. Wherefore should I weep
And dwell up on its beauty, and its dyes
Of Oriental splendour, or complain
That I must needs discard it? I can weave
Upon the shuttles of the future years
A fabric far more durable. Subdued,
It may be, in the blending of its hues,
Where sombre shades commingle, yet the gleam
Of golden warp shall shoot it through and through,
While over all a fadeless lustre lies,
And starred with gems made out of crystalled tears,
My new robe shall be richer than the old.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ozymandias of Egypt by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sea Sand by Sara Teasdale


O Earth you are too dear to-night,
How can I sleep, while all around
Floats rainy fragrance and the far
Deep voice of the ocean that talks to the ground?

O Earth, you gave me all I have,
I love you, I love you, oh what have I
That I can give you in return—
Except my body after I die?


I thought of you and how you love this beauty,
And walking up the long beach all alone,
I heard the waves breaking in measured thunder
As you and I once heard their monotone.

Around me were the echoing-dunes, beyond me
The cold and sparkling silver of the sea—
We two will pass through death and ages lengthen
Before you hear that sound again with me.


Oh day of fire and sun,
Pure as a naked flame,
Blue sea, blue sky and dun
Sands where he spoke my name;

Laughter and hearts so high
That the spirit flew off free,
Lifting into the sky,
Diving into the sea;

Oh day of fire and sun
Like a crystal burning,
Slow days go one by one,
But you have no returning.


If there is any life when death is over,
These tawny beaches will know much of me,
I shall come back, as constant and as changeful
As the unchanging, many-colored sea.

If life was small, if it has made me scornful,
Forgive me; I shall straighten like a flame
In the great calm of death, and if you want me
Stand on the sun-swept dunes and call my name.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Summer Sanctuary by John Hall Ingham

I found a yellow flower in the grass,
A tiny flower with petals like a bell,
And yet, methought, more than a flower it was,—
More like a miracle.

Above, the sky was clear, save where at times
Soft-tinted fleeces drifted dreamily,
Bearing a benison to sunny climes
From altars of the sea.

In vestments green the pines about me gleamed
Like priests that tend the sacrificial fire;
And the faint-lowing cattle almost seemed
Some far intoning choir.

It was a place and an occasion meet
For some high, solemn wonder to befall;
And, when I saw the flower at my feet,
I understood it all.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Sea's Spell by Susan Marr Spalding

Beneath thy spell, O radiant summer sea,—
Lulled by thy voice, rocked on thy shining breast,
Fanned by thy soft breath, by thy touch caressed,—
Let all thy treacheries forgotten be.
Let me still dream the ships I gave to thee
All golden-freighted in fair harbors rest;
Let me believe each sparkling wave’s white crest
Bears from thy depths my loved and lost to me.
Let me not heed thy wrecks, nor count thy slain.
As o’er-fond lovers for love’s sake forget
Their dearest wrongs, so I, with eyes still wet
With thy salt tears, with heart still wrung with pain,
Back to thy fierce, sweet beauty turn again,
And though thou wreck me, will I love thee yet!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Unfulfilment by Frances Louisa Bushnell

Ah, June is here, but where is May?—
That lovely, shadowy thing,
Fair promiser of fairer day,
That made my fancy stretch her wing,
In hope-begetting spring.

The spaces vague, the luminous veil,
The drift of bloom and scent,
Those dreamy longings setting sail,
That knew not, asked not, where they went,—
Ah! was this all they meant,—

Friday, June 6, 2008

Daisies by Bliss Carman

Over the shoulders and slopes of the dune
I saw the white daisies go down to the sea,
A host in the sunshine, an army in June,
The people God sends us to set our hearts free.

The bobolinks rallied them up from the dell,
The orioles whistled them out of the wood;
And all of their singing was, "Earth, it is well!"
And all of their dancing was, "Life, thou art good!"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The House of the Trees by Ethelwyn Wetherald

Ope your doors and take me in,
Spirit of the wood,
Wash me clean of dust and din,
Clothe me in your mood.

Take me from the noisy light
To the sunless peace,
Where at mid day standeth Night
Signing Toil’s release.

All your dusky twilight stores
To my senses give;
Take me in and lock the doors,
Show me how to live.

Lift your leafy roof for me,
Part your yielding walls;
Let me wander lingeringly
Through your scented halls.

Ope your doors and take me in,
Spirit of the wood;
Take me—make me next of kin
To your leafy brood.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Standing on Tiptoe by George Frederick Cameron

Standing on tiptoe ever since my youth,
Striving to grasp the future just above,
I hold at length the only future—Truth,
And Truth is Love.

I feel as one who being awhile confined
Sees drop to dust about him all his bars:-
The clay grows less, and, leaving it, the mind
Dwells with the stars.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Night in Lesbos by George Horton

The moon has left the sky,
The Pleiades are flown,
Midnight is creeping nigh,
And I am still alone.

Ah me! how long, how long
Are all these weary hours!
I hate the night-bird’s song
Among the Lesbian flowers.

I hate the soft, sweet breeze
That comes to kiss my hair
From oleander trees
And waters cool and fair.

My heart is fierce and wild;
The winds should rave and moan.
Ah! why is Nature mild
When I am here alone?

While yet the silver moon
Rode o’er the laughing sea,
My heart was glad, for, “Soon,”
I said, “he comes to me.”

But when its placid sphere
Slid swiftly ’neath the wave,
I sighed, “He is not here.
Be brave, my heart, be brave!”

Then for an age of woe,
Of doubts and hopings vain,
I watched the white stars snow
On you Ægean plain.

I named them by their names—
Alcyone, and all
Those far and happy flames
On which we mortals call.

“Ere that one sets,” I said,
“My soul shall swim in bliss;”
And then, “Ere that is fled
My lips shall feel his kiss.”

The moon has left the Pole,
The Pleiades are flown;
’T is midnight in my soul,
And I am here alone!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sea Irony by John Langon Heaton

One day I saw a ship upon the sands
Careened upon beam ends, her tilted deck
Swept clear of rubbish of her long-past wreck;
Her colors struck, but not by human hands;
Her masts the driftwood of what distant strands!
Her frowning ports, where at the Admiral’s beck
Grim-visaged cannon held the foe in check,
Gaped for the frolic of the minnow bands.
The seaweed banners in her fo’ks’le waved,
A turtle basked upon her capstan head;
Her cabin’s pomp the clownish sculpin braved,
And on her prow, where the lost figure-head
Once scorned the brine, a name forgot was graved.
It was “The Irresistible” I read!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

At Twilight by Peyton Van Rensselaer

The roses of yesteryear
Were all of them white and red:
It fills my heart with silent fear
To find all their beauty fled.

The roses of white are sere,
All faded the roses of red;
And one who loves me is not here,
And one that I love is dead.