Poetry Book If You Left Yours At Home


Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind
--William Shakespeare

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly. 
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
Thou dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember'd not.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly.
Dover Beach
--Matthew Arnold
The sea is calm to-night,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; -- on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The sea of faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.


The Seven Ages of Man
--William Shakespeare

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players,
They have their exits and entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then, the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice
In fair round belly, with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part.


Crossing The Bar
--Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea, 
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home. 
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark; 
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar. 


The Charge Of The Light Brigade
--Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Half a league half a league, 
Half a league onward, 
All in the valley of Death 
Rode the six hundred: 
'Forward, the Light Brigade! 
Charge for the guns' he said: 
Into the valley of Death 
Rode the six hundred. 

'Forward, the Light Brigade!' 
Was there a man dismay'd ? 
Not tho' the soldier knew 
Some one had blunder'd: 
Theirs not to make reply, 
Theirs not to reason why, 
Theirs but to do & die, 
Into the valley of Death 
Rode the six hundred. 

Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon in front of them 
Volley'd & thunder'd; 
Storm'd at with shot and shell, 
Boldly they rode and well, 
Into the jaws of Death, 
Into the mouth of Hell 
Rode the six hundred. 

Flash'd all their sabres bare, 
Flash'd as they turn'd in air 
Sabring the gunners there, 
Charging an army while 
All the world wonder'd: 
Plunged in the battery-smoke 
Right thro' the line they broke; 
Cossack & Russian 
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & sunder'd. 
Then they rode back, but not 
Not the six hundred. 

Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon behind them 
Volley'd and thunder'd; 
Storm'd at with shot and shell, 
While horse & hero fell, 
They that had fought so well 
Came thro' the jaws of Death, 
Back from the mouth of Hell, 
All that was left of them, 
Left of six hundred. 

When can their glory fade? 
O the wild charge they made! 
All the world wonder'd. 
Honour the charge they made! 
Honour the Light Brigade, 
Noble six hundred!


Death
--Emily Dickenson

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality. 
We slowly drove, he knew no haste, 
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility. 
We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun. 
Or rather, be passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle. 
We paused before house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound. 
Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.


The Railway Train
--Emily Dickenson

I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step 
Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare 
To fit its sides, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill 
And neigh like Boanerges; 
Then, punctual as a star, 
Stop--docile and omnipotent--
At its own stable door.
I'm nobody! Who are you?  
--Emily Dickinson
I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us — don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know. 
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!


Excelsior
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,
Excelsior!

His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,
Excelsior!

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,
Excelsior!

"Try not the Pass!" the old man said:
"Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!
And loud that clarion voice replied,
Excelsior!

"Oh stay," the maiden said, "and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!"
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered, with a sigh,
Excelsior!

"Beware the pine-tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!"
This was the peasant's last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height,
Excelsior!

At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,
Excelsior!

A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,
Excelsior!

There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,
Excelsior!

The Day Is Done
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

Jabberwocky
--Lewis Carroll

`Twas brillig, and the slithy tove
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe. 
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe. 


The Road Not Taken
--Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
--Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. 

My Last Duchess
--Robert Browning
That's my last duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now; Fra Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will't please you sit and look at her? I said 
"Fra Pandolf" by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
That depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain drawn for you, but I) [10] 
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 't was not
Her husband's presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps
Fra Pandolf chanced to say "Her mantle laps
Over my lady's wrist too much" or "Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat:" such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough [20]
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart - how shall I say? - too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed: she liked whate'er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, 't was all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace -all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech, [30]
Or blush,at least. She thanked men - good! but thanked
Somehow - I know not how - as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech - (which I have not) - to make your will
Quite clear to such a one, and say, "Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss
Or there exceed the mark"- and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set [40]
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse
- E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will 't please you rise? We'll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master's known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence [50]
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed
At starting is my object. Nay, we'll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me.

Gunga Din 
--Rudyard Kipling

You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
Hi! slippery hitherao!
Water, get it! Panee lao!
You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some juldee in it 
Or I'll marrow you this minute
If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick on 'is back,
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
When the cartridges ran out,
You could hear the front-files shout,
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I shan't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
'E's chawin' up the ground,
An' 'e's kickin' all around:
For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone --
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!


The Man He Killed
--Thomas Hardy

   "Had he and I but met
        By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
        Right many a nipperkin! 
        "But ranged as infantry,
        And staring face to face,
I shot at him and he at me,
        And killed him in his place.
        "I shot him dead because – 
        Because he was my foe, 
Just so – my foe of course he was; 
        That's clear enough; although 
        "He thought he'd 'list perhaps, 
        Off-hand like – just as I – 
Was out of work – had sold his traps – 
        No other reason why. 
        "Yes; quaint and curious war is! 
        You shoot a fellow down 
You'd treat if met where any bar is, 
        Or help to half-a-crown."


The Tiger
--William Blake

 Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
O Captain My Captain 
--Walt Whitman
O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Chicago
--Carl Sandburg

     HOG Butcher for the World,
     Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
     Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
     Stormy, husky, brawling,
     City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
     have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
     luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
     is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
     kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
     faces of women and children I have seen the marks
     of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
     sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
     and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
     so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
     job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
     little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
     as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
          Bareheaded,
          Shoveling,
          Wrecking,
          Planning,
          Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
     white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
     man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
     never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
     and under his ribs the heart of the people,
               Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
     Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
     Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
     Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.


He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven
--W.B. Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


In Just
--e.e. cummings

in Just-
spring       when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame baloonman 
whistles       far       and wee 
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring 
when the world is puddle-wonderful 
the queer
old baloonman whistles
far       and         wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing 
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and 
it's
spring
and 
       the 
               goat-footed 
baloonMan       whistles
far
and
wee 


The Cremation of Sam McGee
--Robert Service

There are strange things done in the midnight sun 
By the men who moil for gold; 
The Arctic trails have their secret tales 
That would make your blood run cold; 
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, 
But the queerest they ever did see 
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge 
I cremated Sam McGee.
Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ‘round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he’d often say in his homely way that “he’d sooner live in hell.”

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursed cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet ‘taint being dead—it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: “You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate those last remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows—O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May.”
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
Then I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee. 

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked;” . . . then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm— 
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.” 

There are strange things done in the midnight sun 
By the men who moil for gold; 
The Arctic trails have their secret tales 
That would make your blood run cold; 
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, 
But the queerest they ever did see 
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge 
I cremated Sam McGee.




The Spell of the Yukon
--Robert Frost

I wanted the gold, and I sought it,
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
Was it famine or scurvy -- I fought it;
I hurled my youth into a grave.
I wanted the gold, and I got it --
Came out with a fortune last fall, --
Yet somehow life's not what I thought it,
And somehow the gold isn't all.
No! There's the land. (Have you seen it?)
It's the cussedest land that I know,
From the big, dizzy mountains that screen it
To the deep, deathlike valleys below.
Some say God was tired when He made it;
Some say it's a fine land to shun;
Maybe; but there's some as would trade it
For no land on earth -- and I'm one. 
You come to get rich (damned good reason); 
You feel like an exile at first; 
You hate it like hell for a season, 
And then you are worse than the worst. 
It grips you like some kinds of sinning; 
It twists you from foe to a friend; 
It seems it's been since the beginning; 
It seems it will be to the end. 
I've stood in some mighty-mouthed hollow 
That's plumb-full of hush to the brim; 
I've watched the big, husky sun wallow 
In crimson and gold, and grow dim, 
Till the moon set the pearly peaks gleaming, 
And the stars tumbled out, neck and crop; 
And I've thought that I surely was dreaming, 
With the peace o' the world piled on top. 
The summer -- no sweeter was ever; 
The sunshiny woods all athrill; 
The grayling aleap in the river, 
The bighorn asleep on the hill. 
The strong life that never knows harness; 
The wilds where the caribou call; 
The freshness, the freedom, the farness -- 
O God! how I'm stuck on it all. 
The winter! the brightness that blinds you, 
The white land locked tight as a drum, 
The cold fear that follows and finds you, 
The silence that bludgeons you dumb. 
The snows that are older than history, 
The woods where the weird shadows slant; 
The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery, 
I've bade 'em good-by -- but I can't. 
There's a land where the mountains are nameless, 
And the rivers all run God knows where; 
There are lives that are erring and aimless, 
And deaths that just hang by a hair; 
There are hardships that nobody reckons; 
There are valleys unpeopled and still; 
There's a land -- oh, it beckons and beckons, 
And I want to go back -- and I will. 
They're making my money diminish; 
I'm sick of the taste of champagne. 
Thank God! when I'm skinned to a finish 
I'll pike to the Yukon again. 
I'll fight -- and you bet it's no sham-fight; 
It's hell! -- but I've been there before; 
And it's better than this by a damsite -- 
So me for the Yukon once more. 
There's gold, and it's haunting and haunting; 
It's luring me on as of old; 
Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting 
So much as just finding the gold. 
It's the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder, 
It's the forests where silence has lease; 
It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder, 
It's the stillness that fills me with peace. 


Mending Wall
--Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall, 
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, 
And spills the upper boulders in the sun, 
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. 
The work of hunters is another thing: 
I have come after them and made repair 
Where they have left not one stone on a stone, 
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, 
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, 
No one has seen them made or heard them made, 
But at spring mending-time we find them there. 
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; 
And on a day we meet to walk the line 
And set the wall between us once again. 
We keep the wall between us as we go. 
To each the boulders that have fallen to each. 
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls 
We have to use a spell to make them balance: 
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!' 
We wear our fingers rough with handling them. 
Oh, just another kind of out-door game, 
One on a side. It comes to little more: 
There where it is we do not need the wall: 
He is all pine and I am apple orchard. 
My apple trees will never get across 
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. 
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'. 
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder 
If I could put a notion in his head: 
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it 
Where there are cows? 
But here there are no cows. 
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know 
What I was walling in or walling out, 
And to whom I was like to give offence. 
Something there is that doesn't love a wall, 
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him, 
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather 
He said it for himself. I see him there 
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top 
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. 
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~ 
Not of woods only and the shade of trees. 
He will not go behind his father's saying, 
And he likes having thought of it so well 
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."


Psalms 5
--God

v1      LORD, hear my words.
     Listen to what I am saying to you.
v2      My king and my God, listen to my voice.
     I am praying to you for help.
     I am shouting to you!
v3      LORD, at sunrise you will hear my voice.
     I will watch and pray early in the morning.
v4      My God, you do not like what is wrong.
     Bad people cannot live with you.
v5      Some people think that they are important.
     They cannot stay near to God.
     God, you hate everyone that does wrong.
v6      You destroy all that do not speak the truth.
     The LORD hates all people that do murder.
     He hates people that do not keep their promises.
v7      But I will come into your house
     because you are so loving and kind.
     I will bend low in your holy temple.
v8      Lead me in your righteous way
     because of my enemies.
     Make your path straight for me.
v9      Nothing that my enemies say is true.
     They want to destroy me.
     Their mouth is like an open grave.
     They only speak what is not true.
v10    God, tell them that they are not right.
     Show them that their ideas are wrong.
     Send them away because they are bad.
     They argued with you. 
v11    Make all the people happy that hide with you.
     Make them always sing for joy.
     Cover them that love your name. Keep them safe.
     Then they will rejoice in you.
v12    LORD, you do such good things to the righteous.
     Your love is all round them.


Death Be Not Proud
--John Donne
Death be not proud, though some have called thee 
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so, 
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow, 
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me. 
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee, 
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow, 
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe, 
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie. 
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men, 
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell, 
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well, 
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then; 
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, 
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.


The Sacred
--Stephen Dunn

After the teacher asked if anyone had 
     a sacred place 
and the students fidgeted and shrank 
in their chairs, the most serious of them all 
     said it was his car, 
being in it alone, his tape deck playing 
things he'd chosen, and others knew the truth 
     had been spoken 
and began speaking about their rooms, 
their hiding places, but the car kept coming up, 
     the car in motion, 
music filling it, and sometimes one other person 
who understood the bright altar of the dashboard 
     and how far away 
a car could take him from the need 
to speak, or to answer, the key 
     in having a key 
and putting it in, and going. 


If
--Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: 
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: 
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!" 
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!




A Blessing
--James Wright

Just off the Highway to Rochester, Minnesota
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.


Staying Alive
--David Wagoner

Staying alive in the woods is a matter of calming down
At first and deciding whether to wait for rescue,
Trusting to others,
Or simply to start walking and walking in one direction
Till you come out--or something happens to stop you.
By far the safer choice
Is to settle down where you are, and try to make a living
Off the land, camping near water, away from shadows.
Eat no white berries;
Spit out all bitterness.  Shooting at anything
Means hiking further and further every day 
To hunt survivors;
It may be best to learn what you have to learn without a gun,
Not killing but watching birds and animals go
In and out of shelter
At will. Following their example, build for a whole season:
Facing across the wind in your lean-to,
You may feel wilder,
But nothing, not even you, will have to stay in hiding.
If you have no matches, a stick and a fire-bow
Will keep you warmer,
Or the crystal of your watch, filled with water, held up to the sun
Will do the same in time.  In case of snow
Drifting toward winter,
Don't try to stay awake through the night, afraid of freezing--
The bottom of your mind knows all about zero;
It will turn you over 
And shake you till you waken.  If you have trouble sleeping
Even in the best of weather, jumping to follow
With eyes strained to their corners
The unidentifiable noises of the night and feeling
Bears and packs of wolves nuzzling your elbow,
Remember the trappers
Who treated them indifferently and were left alone.
If you hurt yourself, no one will comfort you
Or take your temperature,
So stumbling, wading, and climbing are as dangerous as flying.
But if you decide, at last, you must break through
In spite of all danger,
Think of yourself by time and not by distance, counting
Wherever you're going by how long it takes you;
No other measure 
Will bring you safe to nightfall.  Follow no streams: they run
Under the ground or fall into wilder country.
Remember the stars
And moss when your mind runs to circles.  If it should rain
Or the fog should roll the horizon in around you,
Hold still for hours
Or days if you must, or weeks, for seeing is believing
In the wilderness.  And if you find a pathway,
Wheel-rut, or fence-wire,
Retrace it left or right: someone knew where he was going
Once upon a time, and you can follow
Hopefully, somewhere,
Just in case.  There may even come, on some uncanny evening,
A time when you're warm and dry, well fed, not thirsty, 
Uninjured, without fear,
When nothing, either good or bad, is happening.
This is called staying alive. It's temporary.
What occurs after 
Is doubtful.  You must always be ready for something to come bursting
Through the far edge of a clearing, running toward you,
Grinning from ear to ear
And hoarse with welcome.  Or something crossing and hovering
Overhead, as light as air, like a break in the sky,
Wondering what you are.  
Here you are face to face with the problem of recognition.
Having no time to make smoke, too much to say, 
You should have a mirror
With a tiny hole in the back for better aiming, for reflecting
Whatever disaster you can think of, to show
The way you suffer.
These body signals have universal meaning: If you are lying
Flat on your back with arms outstretched behind you,
You say you require
Emergency treatment; if you are standing erect and holding
Arms horizontal, you mean you are not ready;
If you hold them over
Your head, you want to be picked up.  Three of anything
Is a sign of distress.  Afterward, if you see
No ropes, no ladders,
No maps or messages falling, no searchlights or trails blazing,
Then, chances are, you should be prepared to burrow
Deep for a deep winter.

The Fish
--Elizabeth Bishop

I caught a tremendous fish 
and held him beside the boat 
half out of water, with my hook 
fast in a corner of his mouth. 
He didn't fight. 
He hadn't fought at all. 
He hung a grunting weight, 
battered and venerable 
and homely. Here and there 
his brown skin hung in strips 
like ancient wallpaper, 
and its pattern of darker brown 
was like wallpaper: 
shapes like full-blown roses 
stained and lost through age. 
He was speckled and barnacles, 
fine rosettes of lime, 
and infested 
with tiny white sea-lice, 
and underneath two or three 
rags of green weed hung down. 
While his gills were breathing in 
the terrible oxygen 
--the frightening gills, 
fresh and crisp with blood, 
that can cut so badly-- 
I thought of the coarse white flesh 
packed in like feathers, 
the big bones and the little bones, 
the dramatic reds and blacks 
of his shiny entrails, 
and the pink swim-bladder 
like a big peony. 
I looked into his eyes 
which were far larger than mine 
but shallower, and yellowed, 
the irises backed and packed 
with tarnished tinfoil 
seen through the lenses 
of old scratched isinglass. 
They shifted a little, but not 
to return my stare. 
--It was more like the tipping 
of an object toward the light. 
I admired his sullen face, 
the mechanism of his jaw, 
and then I saw 
that from his lower lip 
--if you could call it a lip 
grim, wet, and weaponlike, 
hung five old pieces of fish-line, 
or four and a wire leader 
with the swivel still attached, 
with all their five big hooks 
grown firmly in his mouth. 
A green line, frayed at the end 
where he broke it, two heavier lines, 
and a fine black thread 
still crimped from the strain and snap 
when it broke and he got away. 
Like medals with their ribbons 
frayed and wavering, 
a five-haired beard of wisdom 
trailing from his aching jaw. 
I stared and stared 
and victory filled up 
the little rented boat, 
from the pool of bilge 
where oil had spread a rainbow 
around the rusted engine 
to the bailer rusted orange, 
the sun-cracked thwarts, 
the oarlocks on their strings, 
the gunnels--until everything 
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow! 
And I let the fish go.




The Whipping
--Robert Hayden

The old woman across the way
    is whipping the boy again
and shouting to the neighborhood
    her goodness and his wrongs.

Wildly he crashes through elephant ears,
    pleads in dusty zinnias,
while she in spite of crippling fat
    pursues and corners him.

She strikes and strikes the shrilly circling
    boy till the stick breaks
in her hand.  His tears are rainy weather
    to woundlike memories:

My head gripped in bony vise
    of knees, the writhing struggle
to wrench free, the blows, the fear
    worse than blows that hateful

Words could bring, the face that I
    no longer knew or loved . . .
Well, it is over now, it is over,
    and the boy sobs in his room,

And the woman leans muttering against
    a tree, exhausted, purged—
avenged in part for lifelong hidings
    she has had to bear.


Traveling Through The Dark
--William Stafford

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason--
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.

I thought hard for us all--my only swerving--,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.


Hay For the Horses
--Gary Snyder

He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous Mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the 
sweaty shirt and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
---The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds---
"I'm sixty-eight" he said,
"I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that's just what
I've gone and done."


Zimmer's Head Thudding against the Blackboard
--Paul Zimmer

At the blackboard I had missed
Five number problems in a row,
And was about to foul a sixth,
When the old, exasperated nun
Began to pound my head against
My six mistakes. When I cried,
She threw me back into my seat,
Where I hid my head and swore
That very day I'd be a poet,
And curse her yellow teeth with this.


Schoolsville
--Billy Collins

Glancing over my shoulder at the past 
I realize the number of students I have taught 
is enough to populate a small town 
I can see it nestled in a paper landscape, 
chalk dust flurring down in winter, 
nights dark as a blackboard. 
The population ages but never graduates. 
On hot afternoons they sweat this final in the park 
and when it's cold they shiver around stoves 
reading disorganized essays out loud. 
A bell rings on the hour and everybody zigzags 
into the streets with their books. 
I forgot all their last names first and their 
first names last in alphabetical order. 
But the boy who always had his hand up 
is an alderman and owns the haberdashery. 
The girl who signed her papers in lipstick 
leans against the drugstore, smoking, 
brushing like a machine. 
Their grades are sewn into their clothes 
like references to Hawthorne. 
The A's stroll along with other A's. 
The D's honk whenever they pass another D. 
All the creative writing students recline 
on the courthouse lawn and play the lute. 
Wherever they go, they form a big circle. 
Needless to say, I am the mayor. 
I live in the white colonial at Maple and Main. 
I rarely leave the house. The car deflates 
in the driveway. Vines twirl around the porch swing. 
Once in a while a student knocks on the door 
with a term paper fifteen years late 
or a question about Yeats or double-spacing. 
And sometimes one will appear in a windowpane 
to watch me lecturing the wallpaper, 
quizzing the chandelier, reprimanding the air. 






Richard Cory
--Edwin Arlington Robinson

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked,
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.


Driving Lesson
--Jane Shore

Mohammed, my driving teacher, says.
I'm forty-one. Am I in school?
I glance at the rearview mirror, glad I can't see
my embarrassing STUDENT DRIVER bumper sticker.
I spread a ghost-map across the windshield,
quickly scroll down the East Coast, top to bottom.
"Maine. Massachusetts. Maryland."
Sweaty left hand gripping the turn signal,
I step on the gas, edging out
into congested Nassau Street in Princeton.

Twenty years since I last drove a car,
twenty years since I was a passenger in the red VW bug
my boyfriend Jeremy totaled on a Vermont back road,
twenty years since plastic surgery
fixed my broken cheekbone and eye socket,
my double vision, but not my fear.

"Are you hurt?" the priest had asked,
standing over us as we lay dazed
on bloody gravel, waiting for the ambulance.
Last rites? He'd just happened to be driving by.
Where am I? It's as if I just woke up
and found myself in the driver's seat, steering
the company car onto suburban country roads
past ugly half-built multimillion-dollar mansions,
muddy subdivisions, my right foot
on the gas, my cold hands on the wheel
nailed at ten and two o'clock.

"Minnesota," I say, "and Michigan,"
stopping inches from the crosswalk.
An orange hand flashes DON'T DON'T DON'T.
I check speedometer, fuel gauge--
The dashboard lit up like a cockpit.
"Mississippi, Missouri. Mobile,
as in mobile,as in automobile," I say. "Get it?"
Bearded Mohammed frowns, not in a joking mood.
Strip malls and luxury townhouse condos streak by
as his sneakers tap-dance around his safety brake.
We lurch. Stall. Cars behind us honk."
Montana. Have I named them all?"

"Next lesson, I'll teach you how to park,"
Mohammed grins, adjusting his turban.
"Now, name four states that begin with the letter A.
"I rev my engine. "Alabama, Arkansas."
At sea, I'm seasick in the Bible Belt."
Arizona. Oh God, I almost forgot Alaska!"
"Relax," Mohammed says. "It's like I told you.
While you drive, you can keep your mind on
more than one thing at a time."


John while swimming in the ocean
--X. J. Kennedy
 
John while swimming in the ocean
Rubbed sharks' backs with suntan lotion.
Now those sharks have skin of bronze
In their bellies---namely, John's


We Real Cool
--Gwendolyn Brooks

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.


The Drunkard and the Pig

It was nearly last December, as near as I remember, I was walking down the street in tipsy pride; No one was I disturbing as I lay down by the curbing, and a pig came up and lay down by my side. As I lay there in the gutter thinking thoughts I shall not utter, a lady passing by was heard to say: “ you can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses”; And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

Conversation with a Fireman from Brooklyn
He offers, between planes, to buy me a drink. I’ve never talked to a fireman before, not one from Brooklyn anyway. Okay. Fine, I say. Somehow the subject is bound to come up, women firefighters, and since I’m a woman and he’s a fireman, between the two of us, we know something about this subject…


Shooting Baskets at Dusk

He will never be happier than this, lost in the perfectly thoughtless motion of shot, rebound, dribble, shot, his mind removed as the gossipy swallows that pick and roll, that give and go down the school chimney like smoke in reverse as he shoots, rebounds, dribbles, shoots, the brick well giving the dribble back to his body beginning another run from foul line, corner, left of the key, the jealous rim guarding its fickle net as he shoots, rebounds, dribbles, shoots, absorbed in the rhythm that seems to flow from his fingertips to the winded sky and back again to this lonely orbit of shot, rebound, dribble, shot, until he is just a shadow and a sound though the ball still burns in his vanished hands.


Terrorist Poem

This poem is dangerous. This poem wears a ski mask & carries a banana clip full of clichés. It is not afraid to die for a cause. This poem disguised itself & slipped past your security. It holds you hostage in your own office & will not release you till demands are met. This poem is part of an underground network of poems trained to infiltrate & disrupt. You can not escape it.   If this poem can not get what it wants, there are a thousand more to take its place. Already it has killed your time.


God Omniscient 

God – Omniscient
In the morning of the ages
From the realm of outer-darkness
Peered the eye of God-omniscient
Roving scanning piercing probing 
The eternal night and finding Passing thru the void of aeons
For he was
     God-omniscient…
(…If you speak that word, the nothing
And the space and outer-darkness
Will start throbbing with creation!
…You must know the light brings shadow
And that mountains form the valley
And where life is, death comes stalking
And that love can turn to hatred!)
But he did it anyway…
Ageless and abysmal silence
Shrank before the voice that thundered 
That one word—the word that made it
All that is and ever will be
And He smiled at worlds in orbit
And in smiling showed his pleasure-
Till a shadow crossed His thinking 
That bowed down His head with sorrow,
So He smiled the smile of triumph,
For He was
     God-omniscient…
(… If you do it, God-omniscient, 
Choose that one world out of order 
From the myriad fiery pinpoints
Weaving now their perfect pattern
On the somber face of midnight
You but do it ever knowing
That at length it will the sum be
Of Thy deepest woe and heartbreak!
… You’ll regret it if you do it!)
   But he did it anyway…
For the ending is the beginning 
And the now is the forever
To the Mind all-comprehending 
So He held hands creative 
Cradle, grave of that one creature 
He would make His own image.
And a garden known as Eden
Blushed in beauty where He made it
And the dust became the creature –
Dust that moved, and saw and heard Him—
Lo the man! From the dust he wakened 
In the likeness of his Maker!
And they walked and talked together
Sighed the sigh of love together
Down the shaded paths of Eden—
But the sigh came low and grief-wrought
For the heart of 
    God-omniscient…
(… You have done it, God-omniscient!
You’ve a world and you’ve a creature With a will to choose. And choosing, 
He will walk thru shadows rather 
Than in light and in his choosing 
He will barter life and spirit
Just to make your Calvary!
Let the stark ghost of this terror 
Find abode within your thinking—
When you hear the sound of hammer
On the anvil forging nails! And
When ace is laid to timber, with 
Each blow you’ll know the torture
Of the Roman rack of horror—
The dread cross awaiting Thee!
Thus you’ll die a thousand deaths
Before the time! Think and rescind Thee!)
       But He did it anyway… 
For the now and the forever 
Are as one to Mind – omniscient;
And He saw the blood drops leading
Past the cross and on the glory—
Knew there’d be the place of prayer and
Grace thru faith, born of contrition;
Saw the crowning day, made bolder
By the backdrop of His suffering;
And He deemed it worth the heartbreak,
For He was 
      God-omniscient…
(… Unleashed hate—unbridled fury,
In exchange for perfect Eden, you
Gave Him Gethsemane—the blood-sweat 
And the cup that overflows now
With all sin, past, now and future—
Not His own, but yours, you rebel!
Stay you hand! – It is enough!—Why
Must you torture add to torture?
Would you smite the cheek of Jesus?
Stripe the aching back of Jesus?
Crown the thorns the brown of Jesus?
Spit upon the gentle Jesus?
Sneer, and jeer in scorn at Jesus?
… Mighty God – all this is nothing
When compared with what awaits Thee!
Yonder is the cross mountain
Where the cup of wrath will spill to
Fix Thee to the cross of Calv’ry –
… With a word you made him!—now with
But a word you can destroy him! Say
The word! – Don’t go to Calv’ry!)
    But he did it anyway… 
For the past can be forgotten
By the One who is omniscient
All the past can be as never—
And the future is forever
To the One who is omniscient
And the past and present faded 
In the light of the eternal;
And the future was a torch that
Lighted all the way His footsteps
Went—and marked the place where mortal
Sank to dust beneath the cross-piece
And eternal God, blood-blinded 
Staggered meekly to the summit
As a Lamb, born for the altar,
Walks in meekness to the slaughter,
Thus He walked, this
    God-omniscient… 
(…Steel on steel!—Great God-omniscient,
How the sound rings thru the valley
Steel on steel and nails that pierce Thee-
Must you moan and suffer so?
With what contrast blood is flowing
O’er Thy pale and whited body
Dropping down from toes and elbows
To the dirt of Calvary! Once you 
Spoke a word! But speak it
Once again and worlds will vanish;
And the rebel, too, will vanish; and
The heartbreak, too, will vanish!
Who, like Thee, omniscient, knows it?)
     But He did it anyway…
For omniscience knows no curtain
‘Tween the here and the hereafter
And He gave His life, well knowing
He would take it up again!
For today is as tomorrow
And He knew that His tomorrow
Would know neither pain nor sorrow—
Man, you rebel, how He loved you!
Neither now nor the forevers
Could portray how much He loved you
When He bore that cross to Calv’ry…
   Yet He did it anyway,
Knowing all the while He’d win you—
You who’ve owned Him Lord and Savior
For He was
  God-omniscient!



Ozymandias
--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 shattered visage lies, whose frown 
And wrinkled hp and sneer of cold command, 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read, 
Which yet survive stamped on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocked 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. 


Next to of course god America
by e.e. cummings

"next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn's early my
country 'tis of centuries come and go
and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?"

The Negro Speaks of Rivers
by Langston Hughes

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world
and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. 
My soul has grown deep like the rivers. 
I bathe in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
        went down to New Orleans,* and I've seen its muddy
        bosom turn all golden in the sunset. 
I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers. 
My soul has grown deep like the rivers. 


You Are Tired (I Think) 
by e.e. cummings 

You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.
Come with me, then,
And we’ll leave it far and far away—
(Only you and I, understand!)
You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.
But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And I knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart—
Open to me!
For I will show you places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.
Ah, come with me!
I’ll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I’ll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.
- e.e. cummings