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 Aug 2014 Wes
Dorothy Parker
If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all assume that Oscar said it.
 Aug 2014 Wes
Lord Byron
Oh! little lock of golden hue
  In gently waving ringlet curl’d,
By the dear head on which you grew,
  I would not lose you for a world.

Not though a thousand more adorn
  The polished brow where once you shone,
Like rays which guild a cloudless sky
  Beneath Columbia’s fervid zone.
 Aug 2014 Wes
Lord Byron
Well! thou art happy, and I feel
  That I should thus be happy too;
For still my heart regards thy weal
  Warmly, as it was wont to do.

Thy husband’s blest—and ’twill impart
  Some pangs to view his happier lot:
But let them pass—Oh! how my heart
  Would hate him if he loved thee not!

When late I saw thy favourite child,
  I thought my jealous heart would break;
But when the unconscious infant smil’d,
  I kiss’d it for its mother’s sake.

I kiss’d it,—and repress’d my sighs
  Its father in its face to see;
But then it had its mother’s eyes,
  And they were all to love and me.

Mary, adieu! I must away:
  While thou art blest I’ll not repine;
But near thee I can never stay;
  My heart would soon again be thine.

I deem’d that Time, I deem’d that Pride,
  Had quench’d at length my boyish flame;
Nor knew, till seated by thy side,
  My heart in all,—save hope,—the same.

Yet was I calm: I knew the time
  My breast would thrill before thy look;
But now to tremble were a crime—
  We met,—and not a nerve was shook.

I saw thee gaze upon my face,
  Yet meet with no confusion there:
One only feeling couldst thou trace;
  The sullen calmness of despair.

Away! away! my early dream
  Remembrance never must awake:
Oh! where is Lethe’s fabled stream?
  My foolish heart be still, or break.
 Aug 2014 Wes
Lord Byron
Thy verse is “sad” enough, no doubt:
  A devilish deal more sad than witty!
Why we should weep I can’t find out,
  Unless for thee we weep in pity.

Yet there is one I pity more;
  And much, alas! I think he needs it:
For he, I’m sure, will suffer sore,
  Who, to his own misfortune, reads it.

Thy rhymes, without the aid of magic,
  May once be read—but never after:
Yet their effect’s by no means tragic,
  Although by far too dull for laughter.

But would you make our bosoms bleed,
And of no common pang complain—
If you would make us weep indeed,
Tell us, you’ll read them o’er again.
 Aug 2014 Wes
Lord Byron
When Man, expell’d from Eden’s bowers,
  A moment linger’d near the gate,
Each scene recall’d the vanish’d hours,
  And bade him curse his future fate.

But, wandering on through distant climes,
  He learnt to bear his load of grief;
Just gave a sigh to other times,
  And found in busier scenes relief.

Thus, Lady! will it be with me,
  And I must view thy charms no more;
For, while I linger near to thee,
  I sigh for all I knew before.

In flight I shall be surely wise,
  Escaping from temptation’s snare:
I cannot view my Paradise
  Without the wish of dwelling there.
 Jul 2014 Wes
Robert Browning
That’s my last duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
“Frà Pandolf” by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
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, ’twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps
Frà 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
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, ’twas all one! My favor 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,
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 an 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
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and make 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 pretense
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!
 Jul 2014 Wes
Walt Whitman
Women sit, or move to and fro—some old, some young;
The young are beautiful—but the old are more beautiful than the young.
 Jun 2014 Wes
William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
    So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
 Jun 2014 Wes
Sylvia Plath
"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)"
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