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Elliott Aug 2014
Drop of red,
Large orb in the sky of orange,
Sour yellow,
Soft lushes green,
Body's of wavy blue,
Romantic flowers of fake purple,
My Rainbow has bloomed.

Sweet red stripe,
Juicy orange fruit in my hand,
Bright Yellow petals,
Long green branches,
Silky blue scarf,
Deep purple bucket of hope,
My Rainbow has bloomed.

Red lace on a white dress,
Orange skinny swirls on a white dress,
Yellow collar on a white dress,
Green bow on the red lace,
Blue stripes on the green bow,
Purple string keep the whole outfit as one,
My Rainbow has bloomed.

My Rainbow is natural.
My Rainbow is the things I hold.
My Rainbow is my dress.

My Rainbow is me, is you, is everyone,
A Rainbow has bloomed over you.
Shofi Ahmed Mar 2017
I
A flower that smells of pure bliss keeps an ear to the ground
It's a serene one sitting beneath the stars down on earth
The moon, far, far, seven seas away, loves to drop into her lap.

The Bay of Bengal billows, music has gotten beneath the skin.
The leaves furl out off the deep wood with the birds
singing out to the top of the trees, rhyming with the leafy dance.
Heavensent, that was in one sanguine day in the spring.
The Mother’s Language Movement in 1952 sprouted like this
on the eighth of native Falgun month—oh magic did it unleash!

On that day our beloved brothers were shot dead
They could swallow the bullets with smiles but won’t give up
demanding the official status for the Bangla mother tongue.
Angels wrapped round the martyrs amid lamenting mothers
Laid them on Falgun’s perfumed ground bleeding corpses
Seas of roses bloomed and blew them out red, red kisses!

They are gone not the stone wall of consciousness they raised
Ah, at the sprout of the spring what were they echoing?
Ingrained deep in the soil the pre-designing voice in the planning?
Who can tell? The world gels on February 21 in celebrating!

The angels then snapped up our martyrs’ souls off the land,
placed them on a piece of Heaven where they can hear the jingle.
Down on earth, a nation springs up, has gotten its wake up call!
Stepping on the sweetening arc of the mother tongue melody
the stone turns a flower, all in a butterfly moment soaring to victory.
Thanks to the movement - Bangladesh itself later comes to be!

II
The sun comes down to the rose painting on the land
In the heavenly Falgun hues it nibbles some wild summer dreams.
“Serene songs of earth stirring the water,” like it comes into play,
rowing the cloud bubbles singing in southern breeze.
Ah, a walk on the sun-kissed kaleidoscope land is a pure bliss.  
Every blossom spray of the wind is soothing sweet
Hop on and play straight to the ruby heart, as if it's a flute.

Mother tongue means speak free, fearless, in full streaming.
Speak the heart to the world without the fear of losing the cloud
that will listen, bouncing back on the brink of the sky river.
Then what did one say, hear, or was awed by in the blooming Falgun?
Could it have been the spring humming in her native lingua
or King David singing in mother tongue by babbling brooks
what in any other language, even with a silver tongue, isn’t possible?

Allah has listened to our martyrs’ crying mothers and fathers
The martyrs’ souls whisk through the galaxies and starry fair.

Soar high over the clouds, take the rainbow's *** of gold away,
Like a hue turns 360-degree in the colourwheel bask into the colour.
Still, dip the toes in Bangla mother’s soil salted with perfumed art
Like Himalayan water swirling down melting deeper deep down
This magicland is polished for everyone be it you, a fairy, a star
or off the ploughed-out barrow a walked out wonder!

A pristine voice duo’s voiceprint gleans to the spring in muse,
Pops in a beauteous scurry and speaks in the mother tongue!
Hidden within the earthy depth, only emerges with time,
only dances in tangent, that day slipped out with the butterflies.
And finally the blue nymphs take the plunge drop down the sky  
That day the mother’s voice triumphed, whose is the most original!
This is a poem from my book Zero and One available on Amazon.
Matthew Harlovic Mar 2014
I like my women like I like my flowers,
down to Earth, and she’s rooted to the concept.
From her orchard, orchids cry out that she’s
a beauty. A beauty as bold as baby’s breath
but she’s not soft-spoken. It’s written in her
blue-eyed, irises that she’s a stargazer
with a heart made of marigolds, laced together
by Queen Anne. She sprouted out of that cracked
cement with tulips curled to the cosmos, greeting
morning glories with a stellar smile, that I fell for
like a shooting star. She’s a bloomed-beauty that’s
bound to this Earth, and well, I’d pick her up any day.

© Matthew Harlovic
Everything in bold is a type of flower.
Morgan Mercury Jun 2014
You lay in a field of flowers counting each bird that passes overhead.
You've erased concern and decided to live for the moment because you always would say, "we might be dead by tomorrow."
Flowers grew from your heart and bloomed across your lungs,
creating a garden that sang the most beautiful hymns,
while my garden was withering.
Each breath you took was never wasted,
but I couldn't help but count mine like they were birds passing overhead.
Every night you would view the stars and moon with pure amazement as if it was your first time seeing them.
You gave all your love to me and each kiss was coined in my pocket.
You fell in love with me every night and I fell for all your hymns.
Soon enough the world would pass us by but I wouldn't blink because I could live off your touch for the rest of my time.
You showed me there is more in life than just one color,
but instead, the world is a whole painting with colors that can't be described.
You showed me just how beautiful the world was.
You taught me how to grow beauty from my eyes but lately, I've been dreaming and falling for stars.
Imagining what it'd be like slow dancing with the planets, getting lost in constellations.
But I'm just not ready to go yet however I do not control time.
You showed me that dying can be beautiful.
That we'll be okay because when we leave we all become one with the earth and one with nature.
So love, love me until time runs out,
until I become one with nature.

And many years later as time starts to fly by and you slowly start to watch your clock tick down, you'll know where to find me, my love.
I'll be up with stars.
Somewhere lost in the cosmos.
I'll be spinning with the planets dreaming about what it would feel like to be able to walk on flowers again.
2014
vinny Apr 2016
Long ****** winter and
Not over yet
Record rainfall-
Most since 99
By a little bit
But the suns been out
Ya old mistah screech
My former nemesis
Hangin round this
Week
So like a short stout spring
In a full on compression
For about like a year
Let loose
And blew the lid off baby!!

Today was the day
SEATTLE Bloomed!
What a glorious day furiosa
~~
Then, if ever, is the red color grows fade
The petals of red roses drop
If the birds don't sing any songs
And even a butterfly doesn't
Play on a purple flower

If the mistake happens in the rain
You 'll not cry
You can't be afraid of thunder
They will cleanse you

And when I am gone
Forgive me, but the melody in the air
You will come, playing in the garden,
Dance with the lost grasshoppers

Any yellow day when red flamboyant will be bloomed
Will have to take off your colorful sunglasses
At the very noon will be floated on the Cuckoo's love song
Again and Again it will prove your arrival,

O' Spring

You'll be the very white sky after rain
Will bloom red hibiscus
On that gilded day  
Red flamboyant 'll be loved with yellow flamboyant

Patched up with melody and words
Will be made new Songs,
New Poetry,
With the yellow flowers tune

Then again,
You 'll not  sing a song of despair,
Not even a song of hiatus,
Will sing the Songs of Joy,
Stir in the way of dreams,
Mating

Back to again and again
I 'll come back to you
Both 'll make a love  
For the creation of a new life
~~
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.
Sabila Siddiqui Apr 2018
I was your fuel
You were my drain
I was your blessing
You were my lesson
I was your cure
You were my disease
I was saving you
You were killing me

- I was calming your soul, you were stirring mine
Morgan Mercury Jan 2014
It's so quiet.
It's so strange.
I've never heard silence so loud before.
The drum beats loud and echoes out
leaving us alone in this emptiness.
Come on, love
don't leave me hanging from this cliff.
Don't leave me alone to die.

I know times are hard and you can't stand on your own,
but that doesn't mean you have to leave.
Don't run away from this pain.
Just come into my arms and stay.
At the end of the day
the rain will be blown over and all the flowers will be bloomed.
Even the toughest storms leave beauty for the eyes to love.

Don't get swallowed up in the shadows.
I'll be your light.
I'll guide you,
just follow my feet.
I'll lead you into me and hold you until your numb.

You're standing in the ocean
welcoming the salt water into your body.
Dry your eyes and swim to the shore
because I'll be waiting there.
Just please don't go.
Because if you leave I might just have to follow.
2014
Shofi Ahmed Dec 2018
Bloomed upon a star!
The setting sun sliding far
into the twilight pool
captured the picture!

Eye on the bumblebee!
That was first to bask in the sun
thinking that it dove to the length
into the shades of the midday rose.
There it's silhouette gets caught
is half-lit on the bank
of the milky way brook.

Shades of blue put
in the mix an inky shadow.
Oh, what’s in an unseen hue?
The sprawling black night puts
a veil on the day on every eyeball.  
Guess what it’s anyone's guess!
Even the leading light of the day
the sun shuffles an acre of the night
blindfolded down the full moon!
The Moon and Sun shared Ecliptical Longitudes the night They murdered The child.

Beneath a stelliferous empyrean,
Like Sojourners among the quiescent Twilight, Mother and child, Ventured to meet the woman’s husband, the father of the child.

She, no more than five and ten years Old,
The child, a girl, of only months,
Lay swaddled across the Woman’s
*****, tucked inside a papoose.
A rustic device carefully woven
From wool and hide, in it contained a
Priceless world.

She cooed and clucked in the frigid
Night air.
The sound penetrated the
Spectral calm and was matched only
By the maternal soothing of a muted hum.
Together, they represented the
Heathen form of the wilderness,
The Tempi Madonna among the
Silver and shadow moonbeams that
Glimmered like the dust of diamonds
Across the river’s obsidian sheen.  

Ahead, where the river narrows,
The silence stirred and was broken.
Hushed voices rose from the outer
Dark.
The woman strained to listen.

(British Soldiers, she thought)

Foreign words...

        (Drunken and ravenous)

                         ...slithered from their mouths like Venom. Fear bloomed in the woman’s Chest.
Her heartbeat quickened.

        (Touched by the chill of terror)

Her eyes darted madly about the
Darkness.

         (Alone no longer)

Their  shadows manifested like
Smoke along the tree line.
Their
Features blurred in the darkness.
Their gestures muted.
Like birds of
Prey, they set motionless upon their
Perch along the stony shore.

I say, a man said. Indian children are natural born swimmers,
Capable at birth of swimming great distances.

Utter foolishness, old boy, another opined.

We will need proof of this claim, my good sir, an anonymous voice Quipped from somewhere in the dark.

She let escape from her full lips
The tiniest of shrieks.
Followed immediately
By
Sick
Regret.

(stupid girl, her mother’s voice echoed in the dark.
                             You always were too impulsive.)

Rage consumed her as
She struggled against the current.  
She tried to paddle for deeper
Water as the men broached
The black sheen of the river.

The moments passed by
In jagged surrealism.
There was no sound
When they pitched the woman
And child into the
Frigid abysm.

The splashing of water.
The gasping
For air.
The primal
Grapple and
Grunt of men.
The cold, pungent scent of
Fear and sweat mixed with the
Alcohol-stale air.
The twisting of
Hands that groped about the
Darkness.

         (Her rage now eclipsed by fear)

She inhaled.
Her body, numb.
Her appendages quaked.
Her body fading
As they fall upon her.
Their thick bodies
Blacked out the stars.
Their gaunt faces
Pinched and rucked in the
Moonlight
Reflected the fury, the
Hatred, and
The disgust for what would come next.
Their hands moved across her
Ravenous
Like demons as they
Groped at her small body
Beneath the choppy wash of the
River.

(A hand grazed her thigh and she shrieked in Terror. Another
         gnashed at her buttock. Another fell upon her back. Her mind
         reeled at the possibilities of what would need to come next.)

They tore at her clothing.
Her body jarred about the water as
She writhed against their grasps.
She clawed against the murk.                  
    
         (Escape the horror)

She released the paddle—

(Forever lost to the deep, useless to her now)

Hysterical animalistic thoughts
Trounced off their tongues as they
Laughed at her doom—

        (Like a pack of hyenas)

She kicked at them in nameless
Places.
She thrusted her hand into
The fabric where the child had been
Moments before cooing and clucking. 
Mere moments ago she had sang to the
Babe the same song her
Mother had once sung
To her.

             (she felt nothing where the child had been…)    

She struggled away from them.
Her mind frantic with pain, the cold,
And panic
For the child.
She no longer cared for
Herself, or what they would need to
Do with her body.
Her appendages
Flailed and churned in the dark water.
          
         (A single gasp of air followed by
              The burning inhale of water)

A shrill call to the child—

(a name lost to time)

Her voice cut through their maniacal
Laughter.
It echoed off the water and vanished,
Disappearing entirely
In the outer gloom of the wilderness.

        (like afterthoughts, lost)

She groped relentlessly among the
Water for the child.
The men, near
Frozen, lost interest and returned to
The adjacent shoreline.
It was more ****** that way.
They jeered at her,
Proud of themselves.
          
        (The seething lust of the mindless savage, she thinks)

Their mouths salivate
As they watched
Vicariously.
Her struggle
Became the current
For which she bore.
The impending death of the woman even
More satisfying than the feeling against their flesh of her cunning, wet crease that lies exposed between
Her brown legs.
They watch like wolves
Unable to reach their prey,
Desperate for fresh meat.
Despite the frigid cold,
Their *****, hard,
With the anticipation of death.

The woman clamored among the darkness
She searched for the child.
Heavy fingers fell upon woolen fabric
By chance—

(Hope bloomed in her constricted chest)

Her body finally beginning to seize
Exhaustion permeated
Her mind.
She freed the papoose
From the frozen depths and expelled
The last bit of energy she possessed
To swim to the far side of the shore,
Temporarily out of their reach.

The soldiers,
Quiet now,
Returned to the spectral woods.
They disappeared back down the
Black road from which they came.

She felt the blood as it began to
Return to her appendages, the pins And needles feeling erupting in them.
Her teeth clattered nearly exploding In her mouth.
Her body
Quaked Violently

         (The child, near in her mind, cried)

She reached for it.
Her chest,
Rising and
Falling,
Rapid like the river
As she inhaled the burning,
Frozen air.
The child let loose a cough and  
She clutched it
tighter to her *****.  

(Deny the river its prize)

A stream of consciousness,
Steadily slipped from her lips.

       (A great heathen prayer calling up some
                       Great Spirit
                                As she relentlessly brokered
                                            For a
                                       Life for a life)

The moments passed by like hours.
And the
Great Spirit, with
His wanton lust
For despair, did not manifest that night.

The child fell silent, then still.
The tears came now.
Blurred vision and
Angry sobs.
Darkness consumed entire.

The river flowed by her electric as if
Its lights descended from a place far
Beyond the black taciturn veil of
Night to reflect the merciless
Tragedies among the wretched souls of
The Maine Woods.
Leah Marie Apr 2015
I was the sun,
You were the rain.
Our lotus flower bloomed,

Thriving with life,
Screaming in color.
We had the perfect flower.

But lack of rain,
And overwhelming sun-
Our flower died of thirst.

It was beautiful;
We were beautiful.
Alyssa Underwood Mar 2016
I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
  For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
  When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
  And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
  In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
  With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
  Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
  A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
  “That fellows got to swing.”

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
  Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
  Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
  My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what hunted thought
  Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
  With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved
  And so he had to die.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
  By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!

Some **** their love when they are young,
  And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
  Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
  The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
  Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
  And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
  Yet each man does not die.

He does not die a death of shame
  On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
  Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
  Into an empty place

He does not sit with silent men
  Who watch him night and day;
Who watch him when he tries to weep,
  And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
  The prison of its prey.

He does not wake at dawn to see
  Dread figures throng his room,
The shivering Chaplain robed in white,
  The Sheriff stern with gloom,
And the Governor all in shiny black,
  With the yellow face of Doom.

He does not rise in piteous haste
  To put on convict-clothes,
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats, and notes
  Each new and nerve-twitched pose,
******* a watch whose little ticks
  Are like horrible hammer-blows.

He does not know that sickening thirst
  That sands one’s throat, before
The hangman with his gardener’s gloves
  Slips through the padded door,
And binds one with three leathern thongs,
  That the throat may thirst no more.

He does not bend his head to hear
  The Burial Office read,
Nor, while the terror of his soul
  Tells him he is not dead,
Cross his own coffin, as he moves
  Into the hideous shed.

He does not stare upon the air
  Through a little roof of glass;
He does not pray with lips of clay
  For his agony to pass;
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek
  The kiss of Caiaphas.


II

Six weeks our guardsman walked the yard,
  In a suit of shabby grey:
His cricket cap was on his head,
  And his step seemed light and gay,
But I never saw a man who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every wandering cloud that trailed
  Its raveled fleeces by.

He did not wring his hands, as do
  Those witless men who dare
To try to rear the changeling Hope
  In the cave of black Despair:
He only looked upon the sun,
  And drank the morning air.

He did not wring his hands nor weep,
  Nor did he peek or pine,
But he drank the air as though it held
  Some healthful anodyne;
With open mouth he drank the sun
  As though it had been wine!

And I and all the souls in pain,
  Who tramped the other ring,
Forgot if we ourselves had done
  A great or little thing,
And watched with gaze of dull amaze
  The man who had to swing.

And strange it was to see him pass
  With a step so light and gay,
And strange it was to see him look
  So wistfully at the day,
And strange it was to think that he
  Had such a debt to pay.

For oak and elm have pleasant leaves
  That in the spring-time shoot:
But grim to see is the gallows-tree,
  With its adder-bitten root,
And, green or dry, a man must die
  Before it bears its fruit!

The loftiest place is that seat of grace
  For which all worldlings try:
But who would stand in hempen band
  Upon a scaffold high,
And through a murderer’s collar take
  His last look at the sky?

It is sweet to dance to violins
  When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
  Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
  To dance upon the air!

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
  We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
  Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
  His sightless soul may stray.

At last the dead man walked no more
  Amongst the Trial Men,
And I knew that he was standing up
  In the black dock’s dreadful pen,
And that never would I see his face
  In God’s sweet world again.

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
  We had crossed each other’s way:
But we made no sign, we said no word,
  We had no word to say;
For we did not meet in the holy night,
  But in the shameful day.

A prison wall was round us both,
  Two outcast men were we:
The world had ****** us from its heart,
  And God from out His care:
And the iron gin that waits for Sin
  Had caught us in its snare.


III

In Debtors’ Yard the stones are hard,
  And the dripping wall is high,
So it was there he took the air
  Beneath the leaden sky,
And by each side a Warder walked,
  For fear the man might die.

Or else he sat with those who watched
  His anguish night and day;
Who watched him when he rose to weep,
  And when he crouched to pray;
Who watched him lest himself should rob
  Their scaffold of its prey.

The Governor was strong upon
  The Regulations Act:
The Doctor said that Death was but
  A scientific fact:
And twice a day the Chaplain called
  And left a little tract.

And twice a day he smoked his pipe,
  And drank his quart of beer:
His soul was resolute, and held
  No hiding-place for fear;
He often said that he was glad
  The hangman’s hands were near.

But why he said so strange a thing
  No Warder dared to ask:
For he to whom a watcher’s doom
  Is given as his task,
Must set a lock upon his lips,
  And make his face a mask.

Or else he might be moved, and try
  To comfort or console:
And what should Human Pity do
  Pent up in Murderers’ Hole?
What word of grace in such a place
  Could help a brother’s soul?

With slouch and swing around the ring
  We trod the Fool’s Parade!
We did not care: we knew we were
  The Devil’s Own Brigade:
And shaven head and feet of lead
  Make a merry masquerade.

We tore the tarry rope to shreds
  With blunt and bleeding nails;
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors,
  And cleaned the shining rails:
And, rank by rank, we soaped the plank,
  And clattered with the pails.

We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones,
  We turned the dusty drill:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns,
  And sweated on the mill:
But in the heart of every man
  Terror was lying still.

So still it lay that every day
  Crawled like a ****-clogged wave:
And we forgot the bitter lot
  That waits for fool and knave,
Till once, as we tramped in from work,
  We passed an open grave.

With yawning mouth the yellow hole
  Gaped for a living thing;
The very mud cried out for blood
  To the thirsty asphalte ring:
And we knew that ere one dawn grew fair
  Some prisoner had to swing.

Right in we went, with soul intent
  On Death and Dread and Doom:
The hangman, with his little bag,
  Went shuffling through the gloom
And each man trembled as he crept
  Into his numbered tomb.

That night the empty corridors
  Were full of forms of Fear,
And up and down the iron town
  Stole feet we could not hear,
And through the bars that hide the stars
  White faces seemed to peer.

He lay as one who lies and dreams
  In a pleasant meadow-land,
The watcher watched him as he slept,
  And could not understand
How one could sleep so sweet a sleep
  With a hangman close at hand?

But there is no sleep when men must weep
  Who never yet have wept:
So we—the fool, the fraud, the knave—
  That endless vigil kept,
And through each brain on hands of pain
  Another’s terror crept.

Alas! it is a fearful thing
  To feel another’s guilt!
For, right within, the sword of Sin
  Pierced to its poisoned hilt,
And as molten lead were the tears we shed
  For the blood we had not spilt.

The Warders with their shoes of felt
  Crept by each padlocked door,
And peeped and saw, with eyes of awe,
  Grey figures on the floor,
And wondered why men knelt to pray
  Who never prayed before.

All through the night we knelt and prayed,
  Mad mourners of a corpse!
The troubled plumes of midnight were
  The plumes upon a hearse:
And bitter wine upon a sponge
  Was the savior of Remorse.

The **** crew, the red **** crew,
  But never came the day:
And crooked shape of Terror crouched,
  In the corners where we lay:
And each evil sprite that walks by night
  Before us seemed to play.

They glided past, they glided fast,
  Like travelers through a mist:
They mocked the moon in a rigadoon
  Of delicate turn and twist,
And with formal pace and loathsome grace
  The phantoms kept their tryst.

With mop and mow, we saw them go,
  Slim shadows hand in hand:
About, about, in ghostly rout
  They trod a saraband:
And the ****** grotesques made arabesques,
  Like the wind upon the sand!

With the pirouettes of marionettes,
  They tripped on pointed tread:
But with flutes of Fear they filled the ear,
  As their grisly masque they led,
And loud they sang, and long they sang,
  For they sang to wake the dead.

“Oho!” they cried, “The world is wide,
  But fettered limbs go lame!
And once, or twice, to throw the dice
  Is a gentlemanly game,
But he does not win who plays with Sin
  In the secret House of Shame.”

No things of air these antics were
  That frolicked with such glee:
To men whose lives were held in gyves,
  And whose feet might not go free,
Ah! wounds of Christ! they were living things,
  Most terrible to see.

Around, around, they waltzed and wound;
  Some wheeled in smirking pairs:
With the mincing step of demirep
  Some sidled up the stairs:
And with subtle sneer, and fawning leer,
  Each helped us at our prayers.

The morning wind began to moan,
  But still the night went on:
Through its giant loom the web of gloom
  Crept till each thread was spun:
And, as we prayed, we grew afraid
  Of the Justice of the Sun.

The moaning wind went wandering round
  The weeping prison-wall:
Till like a wheel of turning-steel
  We felt the minutes crawl:
O moaning wind! what had we done
  To have such a seneschal?

At last I saw the shadowed bars
  Like a lattice wrought in lead,
Move right across the whitewashed wall
  That faced my three-plank bed,
And I knew that somewhere in the world
  God’s dreadful dawn was red.

At six o’clock we cleaned our cells,
  At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
  The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
  Had entered in to ****.

He did not pass in purple pomp,
  Nor ride a moon-white steed.
Three yards of cord and a sliding board
  Are all the gallows’ need:
So with rope of shame the Herald came
  To do the secret deed.

We were as men who through a fen
  Of filthy darkness *****:
We did not dare to breathe a prayer,
  Or give our anguish scope:
Something was dead in each of us,
  And what was dead was Hope.

For Man’s grim Justice goes its way,
  And will not swerve aside:
It slays the weak, it slays the strong,
  It has a deadly stride:
With iron heel it slays the strong,
  The monstrous parricide!

We waited for the stroke of eight:
  Each tongue was thick with thirst:
For the stroke of eight is the stroke of Fate
  That makes a man accursed,
And Fate will use a running noose
  For the best man and the worst.

We had no other thing to do,
  Save to wait for the sign to come:
So, like things of stone in a valley lone,
  Quiet we sat and dumb:
But each man’s heart beat thick and quick
  Like a madman on a drum!

With sudden shock the prison-clock
  Smote on the shivering air,
And from all the gaol rose up a wail
  Of impotent despair,
Like the sound that frightened marshes hear
  From a ***** in his lair.

And as one sees most fearful things
  In the crystal of a dream,
We saw the greasy hempen rope
  Hooked to the blackened beam,
And heard the prayer the hangman’s snare
  Strangled into a scream.

And all the woe that moved him so
  That he gave that bitter cry,
And the wild regrets, and the ****** sweats,
  None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
  More deaths than one must die.


IV

There is no chapel on the day
  On which they hang a man:
The Chaplain’s heart is far too sick,
  Or his face is far too wan,
Or there is that written in his eyes
  Which none should look upon.

So they kept us close till nigh on noon,
  And then they rang the bell,
And the Warders with their jingling keys
  Opened each listening cell,
And down the iron stair we tramped,
  Each from his separate Hell.

Out into God’s sweet air we went,
  But not in wonted way,
For this man’s face was white with fear,
  And that man’s face was grey,
And I never saw sad men who looked
  So wistfully at the day.

I never saw sad men who looked
  With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
  We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
  In happy freedom by.

But there were those amongst us all
  Who walked with downcast head,
And knew that, had each got his due,
  They should have died instead:
He had but killed a thing that lived
  Whilst they had killed the dead.

For he who sins a second time
  Wakes a dead soul to pain,
And draws it from its spotted shroud,
  And makes it bleed again,
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood
  And makes it bleed in vain!

Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb
  With crooked arrows starred,
Silently we went round and round
  The slippery asphalte yard;
Silently we went round and round,
  And no man spoke a word.

Silently we went round and round,
  And through each hollow mind
The memory of dreadful things
  Rushed like a dreadful wind,
And Horror stalked before each man,
  And terror crept behind.

The Warders strutted up and down,
  And kept their herd of brutes,
Their uniforms were ***** and span,
  And they wore their Sunday suits,
But we knew the work they had been at
  By the quicklime on their boots.

For where a grave had opened wide,
  There was no grave at all:
Only a stretch of mud and sand
  By the hideous prison-wall,
And a little heap of burning lime,
  That the man should have his pall.

For he has a pall, this wretched man,
  Such as few men can claim:
Deep down below a prison-yard,
  Naked for greater shame,
He lies, with fetters on each foot,
  Wrapt in a sheet of flame!

And all the while the burning lime
  Eats flesh and bone away,
It eats the brittle bone by night,
  And the soft flesh by the day,
It eats the flesh and bones by turns,
  But it eats the heart alway.

For three long years they will not sow
  Or root or seedling there:
For three long years the unblessed spot
  Will sterile be and bare,
And look upon the wondering sky
  With unreproachful stare.

They think a murderer’s heart would taint
  Each simple seed they sow.
It is not true! God’s kindly earth
  Is kindlier than men know,
And the red rose would but blow more red,
  The white rose whiter blow.

Out of his mouth a red, red rose!
  Out of his heart a white!
For who can say by what strange way,
  Christ brings his will to light,
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore
  Bloomed in the great Pope’s sight?

But neither milk-white rose nor red
  May bloom in prison air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
  Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
  A common man’s despair.

So never will wine-red rose or white,
  Petal by petal, fall
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies
  By the hideous prison-wall,
To tell the men who ***** the yard
  That God’s Son died for all.

Yet though the hideous prison-wall
  Still hems him round and round,
And a spirit man not walk by night
  That is with fetters bound,
And a spirit may not weep that lies
  In such unholy ground,

He is at peace—this wretched man—
  At peace, or will be soon:
There is no thing to make him mad,
  Nor does Terror walk at noon,
For the lampless Earth in which he lies
  Has neither Sun nor Moon.

They hanged him as a beast is hanged:
  They did not even toll
A reguiem that might have brought
  Rest to his startled soul,
But hurriedly they took him out,
  And hid him in a hole.

They stripped him of his canvas clothes,
  And gave him to the flies;
They mocked the swollen purple throat
  And the stark and staring eyes:
And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud
  In which their convict lies.

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
  By his dishonored grave:
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
  That Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those
  Whom Christ came down to save.

Yet all is well; he has but passed
  To Life’s appointed bourne:
And alien tears will fill for him
  Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourner will be outcast men,
  And outcasts always mourn.


V

I know not whether Laws be right,
  Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
  Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
  A year whose days are long.

But this I know, that every Law
  That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother’s life,
  And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
  With a most evil fan.

This too I know—and wise it were
  If each could know the same—
That every prison that men build
  Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
  How men their brothers maim.

With bars they blur the gracious moon,
  And blind the goodly sun:
And they do well to hide their Hell,
  For in it things are done
That Son of God nor son of Man
  Ever should look upon!

The vilest deeds like poison weeds
  Bloom well in prison-air:
It is only what is good in Man
  That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
  And the Warder is Despair

For they starve the little frightened child
  Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool,
  And gibe the old and grey,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
And none a word may say.

Each narrow cell in which we dwell
  Is foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death
  Chokes up each grated screen,
And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
  In Humanity’s machine.

The brackish water that we drink
  Creeps with a loathsome slime,
And the bitter bread they weigh in scales
  Is full of chalk and lime,
And Sleep will not lie down, but walks
  Wild-eyed and cries to Time.

But though lean Hunger and green Thirst
  Like asp with adder fight,
We have little care of prison fare,
  For what chills and kills outright
Is that every stone one lifts by day
  Becomes one’s heart by night.

With midnight always in one’s heart,
  And twilight in one’s cell,
We turn the crank, or tear the rope,
  Each in his separate Hell,
And the silence is more awful far
  Than the sound of a brazen bell.

And never a human voice comes near
  To speak a gentle word:
And the eye that watches through the door
  Is pitiless and hard:
And by all forgot, we rot and rot,
  With soul and body marred.

And thus we rust Life’s iron chain
  Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
  And some men make no moan:
But God’s eternal Laws are kind
  And break the heart of stone.

And every human heart that breaks,
  In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
  Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean *****’s house
  With the scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy day they whose hearts can break
  And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
  And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
  May Lord Christ enter in?

And he of the swollen purple throat.
  And the stark and staring eyes,
Waits for the holy hands that took
  The Thief to Paradise;
And a broken and a contrite heart
  The Lord will not despise.

The man in red who reads the Law
  Gave him three weeks of life,
Three little weeks in which to heal
  His soul of his soul’s strife,
And cleanse from every blot of blood
  The hand that held the knife.

And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand,
  The hand that held the steel:
For only blood can wipe out blood,
  And only tears can heal:
And the crimson stain that was of Cain
  Became Christ’s snow-white seal.


VI

In Reading gaol by Reading town
  There is a pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man
  Eaten by teeth of flame,
In burning winding-sheet he lies,
  And his grave has got no name.

And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
  In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
  Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
  And so he had to die.

And all men **** the thing they love,
  By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
  Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
  The brave man with a sword!
We’d been together so long, it seemed
That nothing could tear us apart,
We lived our lives in a world of dreams
And Barbara lived in my heart,
But frost had covered the window pane
And then it began to snow,
As Barbara turned, with a look of pain
And said, ‘It’s best that you go.’

I didn’t know what she meant at first
As I looked up from my book,
“Go where?’ I questioned, but thought again
As she quelled my heart with a look.
‘I said I want you to leave,’ she cried,
And her face was set in stone,
‘We’ve come to the end of the path,’ she sighed,
‘I want to be left alone.’

Then suddenly all confusion reined
I didn’t know what to say,
Whatever had brought this mood on her,
I wished it would go away.
But she was firm, and she packed my things
And ushered me out the door,
I stood there shivering in the cold
To be back on my own once more.

I found a flat and I camped the night
There was barely a stick or chair,
I’d have to buy all the furniture
To make it a home in there.
But I sat and cried in the empty room
As the question came back, ‘Why?’
I’d loved her so and my heart was torn,
I thought I wanted to die.

I went to her with my questions, but
She slammed the door in my face,
Whatever love she had had for me
Had vanished, without a trace.
It hurt so much that she cut me off
With never so much as a sigh,
I called that all that I wanted was
To tell me the reason, why?

The roses had bloomed so late that year
Were still in the garden bed,
We’d always tended the bush with joy,
We both loved the colour red,
So I snipped one off as I left one day,
And planted it under her door,
To let her know that I loved her still
I didn’t know how to say more.

Her brother called in a week or so,
Said she was in hospital,
She’d gone in just for a minor cure
And thought that he’d better tell.
So I caught the bus and I went on down
With a quaking fear in my heart,
She hadn’t said there was something wrong
Before she tore us apart.

The doctor came in his long white coat,
His brow and his face was grim,
I said, ‘Don’t tell me the news is bad,’
He said, ‘I’m out on a limb.
Your wife just passed from the surgery,
But she pulled, from under her clothes,
And asked if I’d pass this on to you,’
In his hand was a red, red rose.

David Lewis Paget
978

It bloomed and dropt, a Single Noon—
The Flower—distinct and Red—
I, passing, thought another Noon
Another in its stead

Will equal glow, and thought no More
But came another Day
To find the Species disappeared—
The Same Locality—

The Sun in place—no other fraud
On Nature’s perfect Sum—
Had I but lingered Yesterday—
Was my retrieveless blame—

Much Flowers of this and further Zones
Have perished in my Hands
For seeking its Resemblance—
But unapproached it stands—

The single Flower of the Earth
That I, in passing by
Unconscious was—Great Nature’s Face
Passed infinite by Me—
Nothing Much Jan 2015
I met a girl with flowers in her hair
not a crown or a clip, but cherry blossoms
they bloomed from her ears and her scalp and the hollow of her neck
she was a garden of eden

I met a girl with flowers in her hair
and roots that ran all the way down through her feet
they never held her in place
instead, they made the earth upon which she stood her home

I met a girl with flowers in her hair
who let summer sunbeams catch her eyes
as they glistened among ferny tendrils
until the autumn came
Not super proud of this one.
This English Thames is holier far than Rome,
Those harebells like a sudden flush of sea
Breaking across the woodland, with the foam
Of meadow-sweet and white anemone
To fleck their blue waves,—God is likelier there
Than hidden in that crystal-hearted star the pale monks bear!

Those violet-gleaming butterflies that take
Yon creamy lily for their pavilion
Are monsignores, and where the rushes shake
A lazy pike lies basking in the sun,
His eyes half shut,—he is some mitred old
Bishop in partibus! look at those gaudy scales all green and gold.

The wind the restless prisoner of the trees
Does well for Palaestrina, one would say
The mighty master’s hands were on the keys
Of the Maria *****, which they play
When early on some sapphire Easter morn
In a high litter red as blood or sin the Pope is borne

From his dark House out to the Balcony
Above the bronze gates and the crowded square,
Whose very fountains seem for ecstasy
To toss their silver lances in the air,
And stretching out weak hands to East and West
In vain sends peace to peaceless lands, to restless nations rest.

Is not yon lingering orange after-glow
That stays to vex the moon more fair than all
Rome’s lordliest pageants! strange, a year ago
I knelt before some crimson Cardinal
Who bare the Host across the Esquiline,
And now—those common poppies in the wheat seem twice as fine.

The blue-green beanfields yonder, tremulous
With the last shower, sweeter perfume bring
Through this cool evening than the odorous
Flame-jewelled censers the young deacons swing,
When the grey priest unlocks the curtained shrine,
And makes God’s body from the common fruit of corn and vine.

Poor Fra Giovanni bawling at the mass
Were out of tune now, for a small brown bird
Sings overhead, and through the long cool grass
I see that throbbing throat which once I heard
On starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady,
Once where the white and crescent sand of Salamis meets sea.

Sweet is the swallow twittering on the eaves
At daybreak, when the mower whets his scythe,
And stock-doves murmur, and the milkmaid leaves
Her little lonely bed, and carols blithe
To see the heavy-lowing cattle wait
Stretching their huge and dripping mouths across the farmyard gate.

And sweet the hops upon the Kentish leas,
And sweet the wind that lifts the new-mown hay,
And sweet the fretful swarms of grumbling bees
That round and round the linden blossoms play;
And sweet the heifer breathing in the stall,
And the green bursting figs that hang upon the red-brick wall,

And sweet to hear the cuckoo mock the spring
While the last violet loiters by the well,
And sweet to hear the shepherd Daphnis sing
The song of Linus through a sunny dell
Of warm Arcadia where the corn is gold
And the slight lithe-limbed reapers dance about the wattled fold.

And sweet with young Lycoris to recline
In some Illyrian valley far away,
Where canopied on herbs amaracine
We too might waste the summer-tranced day
Matching our reeds in sportive rivalry,
While far beneath us frets the troubled purple of the sea.

But sweeter far if silver-sandalled foot
Of some long-hidden God should ever tread
The Nuneham meadows, if with reeded flute
Pressed to his lips some Faun might raise his head
By the green water-flags, ah! sweet indeed
To see the heavenly herdsman call his white-fleeced flock to feed.

Then sing to me thou tuneful chorister,
Though what thou sing’st be thine own requiem!
Tell me thy tale thou hapless chronicler
Of thine own tragedies! do not contemn
These unfamiliar haunts, this English field,
For many a lovely coronal our northern isle can yield

Which Grecian meadows know not, many a rose
Which all day long in vales AEolian
A lad might seek in vain for over-grows
Our hedges like a wanton courtesan
Unthrifty of its beauty; lilies too
Ilissos never mirrored star our streams, and cockles blue

Dot the green wheat which, though they are the signs
For swallows going south, would never spread
Their azure tents between the Attic vines;
Even that little **** of ragged red,
Which bids the robin pipe, in Arcady
Would be a trespasser, and many an unsung elegy

Sleeps in the reeds that fringe our winding Thames
Which to awake were sweeter ravishment
Than ever Syrinx wept for; diadems
Of brown bee-studded orchids which were meant
For Cytheraea’s brows are hidden here
Unknown to Cytheraea, and by yonder pasturing steer

There is a tiny yellow daffodil,
The butterfly can see it from afar,
Although one summer evening’s dew could fill
Its little cup twice over ere the star
Had called the lazy shepherd to his fold
And be no prodigal; each leaf is flecked with spotted gold

As if Jove’s gorgeous leman Danae
Hot from his gilded arms had stooped to kiss
The trembling petals, or young Mercury
Low-flying to the dusky ford of Dis
Had with one feather of his pinions
Just brushed them! the slight stem which bears the burden of its suns

Is hardly thicker than the gossamer,
Or poor Arachne’s silver tapestry,—
Men say it bloomed upon the sepulchre
Of One I sometime worshipped, but to me
It seems to bring diviner memories
Of faun-loved Heliconian glades and blue nymph-haunted seas,

Of an untrodden vale at Tempe where
On the clear river’s marge Narcissus lies,
The tangle of the forest in his hair,
The silence of the woodland in his eyes,
Wooing that drifting imagery which is
No sooner kissed than broken; memories of Salmacis

Who is not boy nor girl and yet is both,
Fed by two fires and unsatisfied
Through their excess, each passion being loth
For love’s own sake to leave the other’s side
Yet killing love by staying; memories
Of Oreads peeping through the leaves of silent moonlit trees,

Of lonely Ariadne on the wharf
At Naxos, when she saw the treacherous crew
Far out at sea, and waved her crimson scarf
And called false Theseus back again nor knew
That Dionysos on an amber pard
Was close behind her; memories of what Maeonia’s bard

With sightless eyes beheld, the wall of Troy,
Queen Helen lying in the ivory room,
And at her side an amorous red-lipped boy
Trimming with dainty hand his helmet’s plume,
And far away the moil, the shout, the groan,
As Hector shielded off the spear and Ajax hurled the stone;

Of winged Perseus with his flawless sword
Cleaving the snaky tresses of the witch,
And all those tales imperishably stored
In little Grecian urns, freightage more rich
Than any gaudy galleon of Spain
Bare from the Indies ever! these at least bring back again,

For well I know they are not dead at all,
The ancient Gods of Grecian poesy:
They are asleep, and when they hear thee call
Will wake and think ‘t is very Thessaly,
This Thames the Daulian waters, this cool glade
The yellow-irised mead where once young Itys laughed and played.

If it was thou dear jasmine-cradled bird
Who from the leafy stillness of thy throne
Sang to the wondrous boy, until he heard
The horn of Atalanta faintly blown
Across the Cumnor hills, and wandering
Through Bagley wood at evening found the Attic poets’ spring,—

Ah! tiny sober-suited advocate
That pleadest for the moon against the day!
If thou didst make the shepherd seek his mate
On that sweet questing, when Proserpina
Forgot it was not Sicily and leant
Across the mossy Sandford stile in ravished wonderment,—

Light-winged and bright-eyed miracle of the wood!
If ever thou didst soothe with melody
One of that little clan, that brotherhood
Which loved the morning-star of Tuscany
More than the perfect sun of Raphael
And is immortal, sing to me! for I too love thee well.

Sing on! sing on! let the dull world grow young,
Let elemental things take form again,
And the old shapes of Beauty walk among
The simple garths and open crofts, as when
The son of Leto bare the willow rod,
And the soft sheep and shaggy goats followed the boyish God.

Sing on! sing on! and Bacchus will be here
Astride upon his gorgeous Indian throne,
And over whimpering tigers shake the spear
With yellow ivy crowned and gummy cone,
While at his side the wanton Bassarid
Will throw the lion by the mane and catch the mountain kid!

Sing on! and I will wear the leopard skin,
And steal the mooned wings of Ashtaroth,
Upon whose icy chariot we could win
Cithaeron in an hour ere the froth
Has over-brimmed the wine-vat or the Faun
Ceased from the treading! ay, before the flickering lamp of dawn

Has scared the hooting owlet to its nest,
And warned the bat to close its filmy vans,
Some Maenad girl with vine-leaves on her breast
Will filch their beech-nuts from the sleeping Pans
So softly that the little nested thrush
Will never wake, and then with shrilly laugh and leap will rush

Down the green valley where the fallen dew
Lies thick beneath the elm and count her store,
Till the brown Satyrs in a jolly crew
Trample the loosestrife down along the shore,
And where their horned master sits in state
Bring strawberries and bloomy plums upon a wicker crate!

Sing on! and soon with passion-wearied face
Through the cool leaves Apollo’s lad will come,
The Tyrian prince his bristled boar will chase
Adown the chestnut-copses all a-bloom,
And ivory-limbed, grey-eyed, with look of pride,
After yon velvet-coated deer the ****** maid will ride.

Sing on! and I the dying boy will see
Stain with his purple blood the waxen bell
That overweighs the jacinth, and to me
The wretched Cyprian her woe will tell,
And I will kiss her mouth and streaming eyes,
And lead her to the myrtle-hidden grove where Adon lies!

Cry out aloud on Itys! memory
That foster-brother of remorse and pain
Drops poison in mine ear,—O to be free,
To burn one’s old ships! and to launch again
Into the white-plumed battle of the waves
And fight old Proteus for the spoil of coral-flowered caves!

O for Medea with her poppied spell!
O for the secret of the Colchian shrine!
O for one leaf of that pale asphodel
Which binds the tired brows of Proserpine,
And sheds such wondrous dews at eve that she
Dreams of the fields of Enna, by the far Sicilian sea,

Where oft the golden-girdled bee she chased
From lily to lily on the level mead,
Ere yet her sombre Lord had bid her taste
The deadly fruit of that pomegranate seed,
Ere the black steeds had harried her away
Down to the faint and flowerless land, the sick and sunless day.

O for one midnight and as paramour
The Venus of the little Melian farm!
O that some antique statue for one hour
Might wake to passion, and that I could charm
The Dawn at Florence from its dumb despair,
Mix with those mighty limbs and make that giant breast my lair!

Sing on! sing on!  I would be drunk with life,
Drunk with the trampled vintage of my youth,
I would forget the wearying wasted strife,
The riven veil, the Gorgon eyes of Truth,
The prayerless vigil and the cry for prayer,
The barren gifts, the lifted arms, the dull insensate air!

Sing on! sing on!  O feathered Niobe,
Thou canst make sorrow beautiful, and steal
From joy its sweetest music, not as we
Who by dead voiceless silence strive to heal
Our too untented wounds, and do but keep
Pain barricadoed in our hearts, and ****** pillowed sleep.

Sing louder yet, why must I still behold
The wan white face of that deserted Christ,
Whose bleeding hands my hands did once enfold,
Whose smitten lips my lips so oft have kissed,
And now in mute and marble misery
Sits in his lone dishonoured House and weeps, perchance for me?

O Memory cast down thy wreathed shell!
Break thy hoarse lute O sad Melpomene!
O Sorrow, Sorrow keep thy cloistered cell
Nor dim with tears this limpid Castaly!
Cease, Philomel, thou dost the forest wrong
To vex its sylvan quiet with such wild impassioned song!

Cease, cease, or if ‘t is anguish to be dumb
Take from the pastoral thrush her simpler air,
Whose jocund carelessness doth more become
This English woodland than thy keen despair,
Ah! cease and let the north wind bear thy lay
Back to the rocky hills of Thrace, the stormy Daulian bay.

A moment more, the startled leaves had stirred,
Endymion would have passed across the mead
Moonstruck with love, and this still Thames had heard
Pan plash and paddle groping for some reed
To lure from her blue cave that Naiad maid
Who for such piping listens half in joy and half afraid.

A moment more, the waking dove had cooed,
The silver daughter of the silver sea
With the fond gyves of clinging hands had wooed
Her wanton from the chase, and Dryope
Had ****** aside the branches of her oak
To see the ***** gold-haired lad rein in his snorting yoke.

A moment more, the trees had stooped to kiss
Pale Daphne just awakening from the swoon
Of tremulous laurels, lonely Salmacis
Had bared his barren beauty to the moon,
And through the vale with sad voluptuous smile
Antinous had wandered, the red lotus of the Nile

Down leaning from his black and clustering hair,
To shade those slumberous eyelids’ caverned bliss,
Or else on yonder grassy ***** with bare
High-tuniced limbs unravished Artemis
Had bade her hounds give tongue, and roused the deer
From his green ambuscade with shrill halloo and pricking spear.

Lie still, lie still, O passionate heart, lie still!
O Melancholy, fold thy raven wing!
O sobbing Dryad, from thy hollow hill
Come not with such despondent answering!
No more thou winged Marsyas complain,
Apollo loveth not to hear such troubled songs of pain!

It was a dream, the glade is tenantless,
No soft Ionian laughter moves the air,
The Thames creeps on in sluggish leadenness,
And from the copse left desolate and bare
Fled is young Bacchus with his revelry,
Yet still from Nuneham wood there comes that thrilling melody

So sad, that one might think a human heart
Brake in each separate note, a quality
Which music sometimes has, being the Art
Which is most nigh to tears and memory;
Poor mourning Philomel, what dost thou fear?
Thy sister doth not haunt these fields, Pandion is not here,

Here is no cruel Lord with murderous blade,
No woven web of ****** heraldries,
But mossy dells for roving comrades made,
Warm valleys where the tired student lies
With half-shut book, and many a winding walk
Where rustic lovers stray at eve in happy simple talk.

The harmless rabbit gambols with its young
Across the trampled towing-path, where late
A troop of laughing boys in jostling throng
Cheered with their noisy cries the racing eight;
The gossamer, with ravelled silver threads,
Works at its little loom, and from the dusky red-eaved sheds

Of the lone Farm a flickering light shines out
Where the swinked shepherd drives his bleating flock
Back to their wattled sheep-cotes, a faint shout
Comes from some Oxford boat at Sandford lock,
And starts the moor-hen from the sedgy rill,
And the dim lengthening shadows flit like swallows up the hill.

The heron passes homeward to the mere,
The blue mist creeps among the shivering trees,
Gold world by world the silent stars appear,
And like a blossom blown before the breeze
A white moon drifts across the shimmering sky,
Mute arbitress of all thy sad, thy rapturous threnody.

She does not heed thee, wherefore should she heed,
She knows Endymion is not far away;
’Tis I, ’tis I, whose soul is as the reed
Which has no message of its own to play,
So pipes another’s bidding, it is I,
Drifting with every wind on the wide sea of misery.

Ah! the brown bird has ceased:  one exquisite trill
About the sombre woodland seems to cling
Dying in music, else the air is still,
So still that one might hear the bat’s small wing
Wander and wheel above the pines, or tell
Each tiny dew-drop dripping from the bluebell’s brimming cell.

And far away across the lengthening wold,
Across the willowy flats and thickets brown,
Magdalen’s tall tower tipped with tremulous gold
Marks the long High Street of the little town,
And warns me to return; I must not wait,
Hark! ’Tis the curfew booming from the bell at Christ Church gate.
Still must I hear?—shall hoarse FITZGERALD bawl
His creaking couplets in a tavern hall,
And I not sing, lest, haply, Scotch Reviews
Should dub me scribbler, and denounce my Muse?
Prepare for rhyme—I’ll publish, right or wrong:
Fools are my theme, let Satire be my song.

  Oh! Nature’s noblest gift—my grey goose-quill!
Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will,
Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen,
That mighty instrument of little men!
The pen! foredoomed to aid the mental throes
Of brains that labour, big with Verse or Prose;
Though Nymphs forsake, and Critics may deride,
The Lover’s solace, and the Author’s pride.
What Wits! what Poets dost thou daily raise!
How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise!
Condemned at length to be forgotten quite,
With all the pages which ’twas thine to write.
But thou, at least, mine own especial pen!
Once laid aside, but now assumed again,
Our task complete, like Hamet’s shall be free;
Though spurned by others, yet beloved by me:
Then let us soar to-day; no common theme,
No Eastern vision, no distempered dream
Inspires—our path, though full of thorns, is plain;
Smooth be the verse, and easy be the strain.

  When Vice triumphant holds her sov’reign sway,
Obey’d by all who nought beside obey;
When Folly, frequent harbinger of crime,
Bedecks her cap with bells of every Clime;
When knaves and fools combined o’er all prevail,
And weigh their Justice in a Golden Scale;
E’en then the boldest start from public sneers,
Afraid of Shame, unknown to other fears,
More darkly sin, by Satire kept in awe,
And shrink from Ridicule, though not from Law.

  Such is the force of Wit! I but not belong
To me the arrows of satiric song;
The royal vices of our age demand
A keener weapon, and a mightier hand.
Still there are follies, e’en for me to chase,
And yield at least amusement in the race:
Laugh when I laugh, I seek no other fame,
The cry is up, and scribblers are my game:
Speed, Pegasus!—ye strains of great and small,
Ode! Epic! Elegy!—have at you all!
I, too, can scrawl, and once upon a time
I poured along the town a flood of rhyme,
A schoolboy freak, unworthy praise or blame;
I printed—older children do the same.
’Tis pleasant, sure, to see one’s name in print;
A Book’s a Book, altho’ there’s nothing in’t.
Not that a Title’s sounding charm can save
Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave:
This LAMB must own, since his patrician name
Failed to preserve the spurious Farce from shame.
No matter, GEORGE continues still to write,
Tho’ now the name is veiled from public sight.
Moved by the great example, I pursue
The self-same road, but make my own review:
Not seek great JEFFREY’S, yet like him will be
Self-constituted Judge of Poesy.

  A man must serve his time to every trade
Save Censure—Critics all are ready made.
Take hackneyed jokes from MILLER, got by rote,
With just enough of learning to misquote;
A man well skilled to find, or forge a fault;
A turn for punning—call it Attic salt;
To JEFFREY go, be silent and discreet,
His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet:
Fear not to lie,’twill seem a sharper hit;
Shrink not from blasphemy, ’twill pass for wit;
Care not for feeling—pass your proper jest,
And stand a Critic, hated yet caress’d.

And shall we own such judgment? no—as soon
Seek roses in December—ice in June;
Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff,
Believe a woman or an epitaph,
Or any other thing that’s false, before
You trust in Critics, who themselves are sore;
Or yield one single thought to be misled
By JEFFREY’S heart, or LAMB’S Boeotian head.
To these young tyrants, by themselves misplaced,
Combined usurpers on the Throne of Taste;
To these, when Authors bend in humble awe,
And hail their voice as Truth, their word as Law;
While these are Censors, ’twould be sin to spare;
While such are Critics, why should I forbear?
But yet, so near all modern worthies run,
’Tis doubtful whom to seek, or whom to shun;
Nor know we when to spare, or where to strike,
Our Bards and Censors are so much alike.
Then should you ask me, why I venture o’er
The path which POPE and GIFFORD trod before;
If not yet sickened, you can still proceed;
Go on; my rhyme will tell you as you read.
“But hold!” exclaims a friend,—”here’s some neglect:
This—that—and t’other line seem incorrect.”
What then? the self-same blunder Pope has got,
And careless Dryden—”Aye, but Pye has not:”—
Indeed!—’tis granted, faith!—but what care I?
Better to err with POPE, than shine with PYE.

  Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days
Ignoble themes obtained mistaken praise,
When Sense and Wit with Poesy allied,
No fabled Graces, flourished side by side,
From the same fount their inspiration drew,
And, reared by Taste, bloomed fairer as they grew.
Then, in this happy Isle, a POPE’S pure strain
Sought the rapt soul to charm, nor sought in vain;
A polished nation’s praise aspired to claim,
And raised the people’s, as the poet’s fame.
Like him great DRYDEN poured the tide of song,
In stream less smooth, indeed, yet doubly strong.
Then CONGREVE’S scenes could cheer, or OTWAY’S melt;
For Nature then an English audience felt—
But why these names, or greater still, retrace,
When all to feebler Bards resign their place?
Yet to such times our lingering looks are cast,
When taste and reason with those times are past.
Now look around, and turn each trifling page,
Survey the precious works that please the age;
This truth at least let Satire’s self allow,
No dearth of Bards can be complained of now.
The loaded Press beneath her labour groans,
And Printers’ devils shake their weary bones;
While SOUTHEY’S Epics cram the creaking shelves,
And LITTLE’S Lyrics shine in hot-pressed twelves.
Thus saith the Preacher: “Nought beneath the sun
Is new,” yet still from change to change we run.
What varied wonders tempt us as they pass!
The Cow-pox, Tractors, Galvanism, and Gas,
In turns appear, to make the ****** stare,
Till the swoln bubble bursts—and all is air!
Nor less new schools of Poetry arise,
Where dull pretenders grapple for the prize:
O’er Taste awhile these Pseudo-bards prevail;
Each country Book-club bows the knee to Baal,
And, hurling lawful Genius from the throne,
Erects a shrine and idol of its own;
Some leaden calf—but whom it matters not,
From soaring SOUTHEY, down to groveling STOTT.

  Behold! in various throngs the scribbling crew,
For notice eager, pass in long review:
Each spurs his jaded Pegasus apace,
And Rhyme and Blank maintain an equal race;
Sonnets on sonnets crowd, and ode on ode;
And Tales of Terror jostle on the road;
Immeasurable measures move along;
For simpering Folly loves a varied song,
To strange, mysterious Dulness still the friend,
Admires the strain she cannot comprehend.
Thus Lays of Minstrels—may they be the last!—
On half-strung harps whine mournful to the blast.
While mountain spirits prate to river sprites,
That dames may listen to the sound at nights;
And goblin brats, of Gilpin Horner’s brood
Decoy young Border-nobles through the wood,
And skip at every step, Lord knows how high,
And frighten foolish babes, the Lord knows why;
While high-born ladies in their magic cell,
Forbidding Knights to read who cannot spell,
Despatch a courier to a wizard’s grave,
And fight with honest men to shield a knave.

  Next view in state, proud prancing on his roan,
The golden-crested haughty Marmion,
Now forging scrolls, now foremost in the fight,
Not quite a Felon, yet but half a Knight.
The gibbet or the field prepared to grace;
A mighty mixture of the great and base.
And think’st thou, SCOTT! by vain conceit perchance,
On public taste to foist thy stale romance,
Though MURRAY with his MILLER may combine
To yield thy muse just half-a-crown per line?
No! when the sons of song descend to trade,
Their bays are sear, their former laurels fade,
Let such forego the poet’s sacred name,
Who rack their brains for lucre, not for fame:
Still for stern Mammon may they toil in vain!
And sadly gaze on Gold they cannot gain!
Such be their meed, such still the just reward
Of prostituted Muse and hireling bard!
For this we spurn Apollo’s venal son,
And bid a long “good night to Marmion.”

  These are the themes that claim our plaudits now;
These are the Bards to whom the Muse must bow;
While MILTON, DRYDEN, POPE, alike forgot,
Resign their hallowed Bays to WALTER SCOTT.

  The time has been, when yet the Muse was young,
When HOMER swept the lyre, and MARO sung,
An Epic scarce ten centuries could claim,
While awe-struck nations hailed the magic name:
The work of each immortal Bard appears
The single wonder of a thousand years.
Empires have mouldered from the face of earth,
Tongues have expired with those who gave them birth,
Without the glory such a strain can give,
As even in ruin bids the language live.
Not so with us, though minor Bards, content,
On one great work a life of labour spent:
With eagle pinion soaring to the skies,
Behold the Ballad-monger SOUTHEY rise!
To him let CAMOËNS, MILTON, TASSO yield,
Whose annual strains, like armies, take the field.
First in the ranks see Joan of Arc advance,
The scourge of England and the boast of France!
Though burnt by wicked BEDFORD for a witch,
Behold her statue placed in Glory’s niche;
Her fetters burst, and just released from prison,
A ****** Phoenix from her ashes risen.
Next see tremendous Thalaba come on,
Arabia’s monstrous, wild, and wond’rous son;
Domdaniel’s dread destroyer, who o’erthrew
More mad magicians than the world e’er knew.
Immortal Hero! all thy foes o’ercome,
For ever reign—the rival of Tom Thumb!
Since startled Metre fled before thy face,
Well wert thou doomed the last of all thy race!
Well might triumphant Genii bear thee hence,
Illustrious conqueror of common sense!
Now, last and greatest, Madoc spreads his sails,
Cacique in Mexico, and Prince in Wales;
Tells us strange tales, as other travellers do,
More old than Mandeville’s, and not so true.
Oh, SOUTHEY! SOUTHEY! cease thy varied song!
A bard may chaunt too often and too long:
As thou art strong in verse, in mercy, spare!
A fourth, alas! were more than we could bear.
But if, in spite of all the world can say,
Thou still wilt verseward plod thy weary way;
If still in Berkeley-Ballads most uncivil,
Thou wilt devote old women to the devil,
The babe unborn thy dread intent may rue:
“God help thee,” SOUTHEY, and thy readers too.

  Next comes the dull disciple of thy school,
That mild apostate from poetic rule,
The simple WORDSWORTH, framer of a lay
As soft as evening in his favourite May,
Who warns his friend “to shake off toil and trouble,
And quit his books, for fear of growing double;”
Who, both by precept and example, shows
That prose is verse, and verse is merely prose;
Convincing all, by demonstration plain,
Poetic souls delight in prose insane;
And Christmas stories tortured into rhyme
Contain the essence of the true sublime.
Thus, when he tells the tale of Betty Foy,
The idiot mother of “an idiot Boy;”
A moon-struck, silly lad, who lost his way,
And, like his bard, confounded night with day
So close on each pathetic part he dwells,
And each adventure so sublimely tells,
That all who view the “idiot in his glory”
Conceive the Bard the hero of the story.

  Shall gentle COLERIDGE pass unnoticed here,
To turgid ode and tumid stanza dear?
Though themes of innocence amuse him best,
Yet still Obscurity’s a welcome guest.
If Inspiration should her aid refuse
To him who takes a Pixy for a muse,
Yet none in lofty numbers can surpass
The bard who soars to elegize an ***:
So well the subject suits his noble mind,
He brays, the Laureate of the long-eared kind.

Oh! wonder-working LEWIS! Monk, or Bard,
Who fain would make Parnassus a church-yard!
Lo! wreaths of yew, not laurel, bind thy brow,
Thy Muse a Sprite, Apollo’s sexton thou!
Whether on ancient tombs thou tak’st thy stand,
By gibb’ring spectres hailed, thy kindred band;
Or tracest chaste descriptions on thy page,
To please the females of our modest age;
All hail, M.P.! from whose infernal brain
Thin-sheeted phantoms glide, a grisly train;
At whose command “grim women” throng in crowds,
And kings of fire, of water, and of clouds,
With “small grey men,”—”wild yagers,” and what not,
To crown with honour thee and WALTER SCOTT:
Again, all hail! if tales like thine may please,
St. Luke alone can vanquish the disease:
Even Satan’s self with thee might dread to dwell,
And in thy skull discern a deeper Hell.

Who in soft guise, surrounded by a choir
Of virgins melting, not to Vesta’s fire,
With sparkling eyes, and cheek by passion flushed
Strikes his wild lyre, whilst listening dames are hushed?
’Tis LITTLE! young Catullus of his day,
As sweet, but as immoral, in his Lay!
Grieved to condemn, the Muse must still be just,
Nor spare melodious advocates of lust.
Pure is the flame which o’er her altar burns;
From grosser incense with disgust she turns
Yet kind to youth, this expiation o’er,
She bids thee “mend thy line, and sin no more.”

For thee, translator of the tinsel song,
To whom such glittering ornaments belong,
Hibernian STRANGFORD! with thine eyes of blue,
And boasted locks of red or auburn hue,
Whose plaintive strain each love-sick Miss admires,
And o’er harmonious fustian half expires,
Learn, if thou canst, to yield thine author’s sense,
Nor vend thy sonnets on a false pretence.
Think’st thou to gain thy verse a higher place,
By dressing Camoëns in a suit of lace?
Mend, STRANGFORD! mend thy morals and thy taste;
Be warm, but pure; be amorous, but be chaste:
Cease to deceive; thy pilfered harp restore,
Nor teach the Lusian Bard to copy MOORE.

Behold—Ye Tarts!—one moment spare the text!—
HAYLEY’S last work, and worst—until his next;
Whether he spin poor couplets into plays,
Or **** the dead with purgatorial praise,
His style in youth or age is still the same,
For ever feeble and for ever tame.
Triumphant first see “Temper’s Triumphs” shine!
At least I’m sure they triumphed over mine.
Of “Music’s Triumphs,” all who read may swear
That luckless Music never triumph’d there.

Moravians, rise! bestow some meet reward
On dull devotion—Lo! the Sabbath Bard,
Sepulchral GRAHAME, pours his notes sublime
In mangled prose, nor e’en aspires to rhyme;
Breaks into blank the Gospel of St. Luke,
And boldly pilfers from the Pentateuch;
And, undisturbed by conscientious qualms,
Perverts the Prophets, and purloins the Psalms.

  Hail, Sympathy! thy soft idea brings”
A thousand visions of a thousand things,
And shows, still whimpering thro’ threescore of years,
The maudlin prince of mournful sonneteers.
And art thou not their prince, harmonious Bowles!
Thou first, great oracle of tender souls?
Whether them sing’st with equal ease, and grief,
The fall of empires, or a yellow leaf;
Whether thy muse most lamentably tells
What merry sounds proceed from Oxford bells,
Or, still in bells delighting, finds a friend
In every chime that jingled from Ostend;
Ah! how much juster were thy Muse’s hap,
If to thy bells thou would’st but add a cap!
Delightful BOWLES! still blessing and still blest,
All love thy strain, but children like it best.
’Tis thine, with gentle LITTLE’S moral song,
To soothe the mania of the amorous throng!
With thee our nursery damsels shed their tears,
Ere Miss as yet completes her infant years:
But in her teens thy whining powers are vain;
She quits poor BOWLES for LITTLE’S purer strain.
Now to soft themes thou scornest to confine
The lofty numbers of a harp like thine;
“Awake a louder and a loftier strain,”
Such as none heard before, or will again!
Where all discoveries jumbled from the flood,
Since first the leaky ark reposed in mud,
By more or less, are sung in every book,
From Captain Noah down to Captain Cook.
Nor this alone—but, pausing on the road,
The Bard sighs forth a gentle episode,
And gravely tells—attend, each beauteous Miss!—
When first Madeira trembled to a kiss.
Bowles! in thy memory let this precept dwell,
Stick to thy Sonnets, Man!—at least they sell.
But if some new-born whim, or larger bribe,
Prompt thy crude brain, and claim thee for a scribe:
If ‘chance some bard, though once by dunces feared,
Now, prone in dust, can only be revered;
If Pope, whose fame and genius, from the first,
Have foiled the best of critics, needs the worst,
Do thou essay: each fault, each failing scan;
The first of poets
We are like roses that have never bothered to
bloom when we should have bloomed and
it is as if
the sun has become disgusted with
waiting
Brynn Louise Apr 2014
I still remember that magnolia,
We found it walking down the street.
It was as beautiful as that day
And it hadn't even bloomed yet.
I still remember it

I remember the walk through the city.
Without a care,
As if we owned it,
In some ways, I think we did.
I still remember

I remember the looks we got,
You could tell what everyone thought-
That we were the sweetest couple
They'd seen in ages.
And we didn't bother to correct them,
It'd be too hard
And it'd break their hearts.
I still remember

I still remember that magnolia,
It was hanging off a branch-
I'd never seen a flower like it,
But you hadn't either.
So you grabbed it, and I kept it.
I still remember it

I remember how the sun was hot
My shoes were all wrong for that walk.
You wore a white t-shirt,
And I wore a tank top.
You paid and I told jokes.
We asked questions,
Almost as if we'd never met.
I can even name the song you played
On your iPod filled with albums.
I still remember

I remember how I tried not to cry
When we said our final goodbye.
We hugged more times than I can count.
And we smiled so we wouldn't fall apart.
I still remember

I still remember that magnolia,
It bloomed the very next day.
It filled my room with a magical scent,
It opened until it was larger than my face.
I researched until I discovered
That it was called magnolia.
I still remember it

And now it's years later,
Maybe two or three-
It's hard to keep track.
But magnolia is my favorite flower
Kewayne Wadley Nov 2016
She was a flower,
Blossoming in each direction she stepped.
A flower tucked in a rose woven sweater.
She grew thorns to protect herself from those whom sought to misuse the essence of her beauty.
The spread of her fragrant bud, spreading her petal in the midst
of where she stood.
Paying no never-mind to her roots, her petals withered.
Applying water to everywhere accept where it was needed most.
They continued to pass, her sweater now dingy.

The ***** of different fingers, she no longer swayed the same.

A season of orange and red leaves.
Then came the winter. Hard but fair

Robbing her of all the beauty she possessed.

It was when her petals fell that she remembered what mattered most
TheRhymeRenegade Feb 2018
do you recall
the crunch beneath our feet
a gesture small
as we ambled down the street
dirt and gravel
I felt pebbles through my shoe
I unravelled
When I looked at you

Where did you come from
Are you real?
Is this how I’m supposed to feel?
A dreamgirl
In a dreary place
I’ve counted every freckle on your face

Sunlight peaked through maple branches
in such a tranquil way
missed chances to make advances
I always hoped you'd stay
a fork in the road ahead
we went different directions
I used many different methods
to try and snag your attention
Where did you come from
Are you real?
Is this how I’m supposed to feel?
A dreamgirl
In a dreary place
I’ve counted every freckle on your face

you never seemed to notice
you just stared ahead
heart bloomed as if a lotus
while I tugged at a loose thread
sometimes I'd begin to speak
but choked upon my words
so I walked next to you without a peep
and together watched the birds

Where did you come from
Are you real?
Is this how I’m supposed to feel?
A dreamgirl
In a dreary place
I’ve counted every freckle on your face

it's odd and super subtle
the synchronicity
insignificant and pointless
yet means the world to me
quiet walks every afternoon
past the garage and dead leaves
we watched the starlings courtship
do you remember me?

Where did you come from
Are you real?
Is this how I’m supposed to feel?
A dreamgirl
In a dreary place
I’ve counted every freckle on your face
Efa Nuryani Nov 2018
Our feelings, bloomed
to be doomed
The petals of our hopes fell over the leaves of our egos
You said fond memories wouldn't fade easily, remember?
You never told me that your love would...




Evenoer. 2018
Shweta Darji Sep 2014
A flower bloomed out of nowhere in my heart
It was beautiful
It was delicate
But as the flower stayed
I began to understand the poison
It caused pain
Such terrible pain
It caused tears to fall
But all at once it was a pain I was willing to endure
For I was hoping the flower would change
And when the flower did not change
I ripped the flower it with all my might and soul
I nearly cried trying to rip it out
But at the end I knew I did the right thing
(((((The flower is a boy)))))
cd Feb 2016
it's not about you,
it's about statistics.
it's about twenty five years of marriage and two kids meaning something entirely different to four different people,
it's about the numbers not being on any one of our sides,
it's about the fear of those numbers mutating from house to home,

it's not about you.
it's about the only time you gave me roses and chose a bouquet that never bloomed,
it's about the buds i insisted on preserving,
it's about me not realizing that rose buds become tiny and clenched fists when they are dry,
it's about hoping they will release their grip,
it's about ignoring the stars
it's about ignoring the palms
it's about ignoring the signs
when they never do.

it's about the mango you bought me that was rotten around the pit,
it's about me carving around the core and scraping at the skin with my teeth,
it's about me trying to suckle the sweetness of what may not have ever been sweet,
it's not about you.

it's about forgetting that it is the skin on the body that retracts upon death making the hair and nails appear to grow,
it's about how things do not grow,
it's about how things can not grow from that which is no longer alive,
and it's about how nothing i know on and of this planet has begged to differ.
and you give
I shall never get out of this!  There are two of me now:
This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one,
And the white person is certainly the superior one.
She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints.
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality --
She lay in bed with me like a dead body
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was

Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints.
I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold.
I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer.
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior!
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist.
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her:
She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages.

Without me, she wouldn't exist, so of course she was grateful.
I gave her a soul, I bloomed out of her as a rose
Blooms out of a vase of not very valuable porcelain,
And it was I who attracted everybody's attention,
Not her whiteness and beauty, as I had at first supposed.
I patronized her a little, and she lapped it up --
You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality.

I didn't mind her waiting on me, and she adored it.
In the morning she woke me early, reflecting the sun
From her amazingly white torso, and I couldn't help but notice
Her tidiness and her calmness and her patience:
She humored my weakness like the best of nurses,
Holding my bones in place so they would mend properly.
In time our relationship grew more intense.

She stopped fitting me so closely and seemed offish.
I felt her criticizing me in spite of herself,
As if my habits offended her in some way.
She let in the drafts and became more and more absent-minded.
And my skin itched and flaked away in soft pieces
Simply because she looked after me so badly.
Then I saw what the trouble was:  she thought she was immortal.

She wanted to leave me, she thought she was superior,
And I'd been keeping her in the dark, and she was resentful --
Wasting her days waiting on a half-corpse!
And secretly she began to hope I'd die.
Then she could cover my mouth and eyes, cover me entirely,
And wear my painted face the way a mummy-case
Wears the face of a pharaoh, though it's made of mud and water.

I wasn't in any position to get rid of her.
She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp --
I had forgotten how to walk or sit,
So I was careful not to upset her in any way
Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself.
Living with her was like living with my own coffin:
Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully.

I used to think we might make a go of it together --
After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close.
Now I see it must be one or the other of us.
She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy,
But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit.
I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her,
And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me.
aziza Nov 2018
my brother learned life
in a rough way,
monday bloomed
red on his cheek
while friday left
bluish bruises for him.

i don't know about his pride,
but i see light in his eyes
dims and fades.
said, he never cries,

but he always lies.

my brother learned life
in a hard way.
he now suffers
addiction,
in a room with his console
to consume, then waste his times
wins nothing —— loses everything.


my brother is on the brink of despair,
he loves to stand off the cliff
as i watch him slowly walks away
said, he would not tries
to jump off

but i'm afraid,
he always lies.
#depressed #anxious #social #human#bully
Mahesh Hegde Jan 2014
Life was full of barriers,
But it lived its life like a warrior.
When there was time to choose between selfishness and sacrifice,
It was brave enough to choose the second choice.
Life was full of truth,
But death came to it and life was doomed.
Far away in a land of heaven,
At the same time A flower bloomed.
:-)
Celeste DiLullo Sep 2012
I have not fully bloomed.
I do not know what a true, bloomed flower looks like.

When I was born, I was protected in a brown encasing.
Appointed to the people I called parents, in a place I called home.
They were my guardians and my lovers.
Even when I began to began to sprout and grow a green stem, they still surrounded me with love.
That is, until my first bud began to grow.

When I was thinking of budding, the protection around my foundation broke.
The once-brown casing had cracked and broken as my two guardians.
I try to straighten myself and grab at the brown outline.
But it is hollow and breaking.

My roots begin to grow beneath me and I cling onto what is left of my lovers.
My roots reaches soil and even though I feel broken, I feel amazing. My bud grew, despite my uncertainty since my protection abandoned me.

Just when I had grown more buds and about to bloom my first flower, my roots hit some bad soil.
The soil was dry and cracked: my roots grow no longer.
The rain had eased and my soil was lackluster.
I begged for the rain to come back, I prayed for it to heal my dying and drying roots.
And as I waited, I began to wilt.

Weeks went by and I continued to wilt.
My once pink colour had been tainted brown.
My leaves had turned a bark brown, scrunched into a violent, compressed form.
Even my powerful stem had succumbed to weariness and could no longer stand tall.
There was nothing else I could do but wait.
Wait for the rain to come.

And then, I saw a sight that I couldn't recognize.
I was shaded from the sun's rays by a grey apparition.
I felt a trickle slide across my form and felt another in my soil.
Oh, wondrous day!
The rain had come at last!
I savored every moment of that rain, that glorious, wonderful thing!
I felt revived and anew.
Oh, beautiful day!

Using every bit of the renewed soil and water, my bud was reawakened.
Slowly, I pressed a petal back little by little.
I took my time to do it right.
My first flower, I had to do it right.

Underneath, I had kept the struggle inside.
But now, it was time I show how happy I really am, inside and out.

That was when I bloomed for the first time.
And it was worth the pain.
Rob Rutledge Apr 2017
We were poets,
Once,
Hearts etched upon our sleeve
The lords of our intent,
Words bloomed for all to see.
Each branch of thought considered,
Chiseled,
Whittled to express.
Carving the forest in our likeness
We paved the landscape with our breath.
Woods would sway in idle days
Sunkissed glades lay bathed in gold.
Nights waylaid by dancing maids
Cheap ale and tales of old.
Fires burn, flames unfold.
Though
Embers remember
Tender clutch of the cold.
We tend to forget the bargained,
The sold.
Up rivers and creeks
Paddles, disowned by the meek,
Cast away to distant shores.  
Glades decay,  
Fade to grey.

We become poets once more.
Umi Jan 2018
Noon; I swear by what the angels write,
When I met you the world bloomed in me, with flowers far and wide
Ahh of all times you have chosen winter to come
Its so cold here that I cant even feel my thumb
The snow falls into a pretty pile
Lets go and sledge, then drink a hot chocolate after a while
But in reality, I am sitting here on my chair
Trying to write new poems, ideas are quite rare
With pen in hand I will try my best
And see this as some kind of  a test
Until I may or may not run out of ink
Until I may am not able to think
And until I just want to sink into my bed
Ah my pen, you are so pretty, you're elegant and sweet
Documenting stuff with you is really so neat
Please pen write on


~ Umi
A poem for my pen
ryn Sep 2014
Toting the mysterious bundle and sporting a sore back
I drag my feet up the last few steps, expended of vigour
I almost couldn't resist prematurely looking through the sack
Remembering the words from the wise old seer

Grimacing I walk a slow gait to get to the table
Set the bundle down and relieve my weight onto a chair
Parched throat but wait longer I am unable
Curiosity takes charge and into the gift I will tear

Blood is pumping along with an increasing heart rate
Fingers scrambling clumsily over the strings that bind
Nails digging frantically into this package bearing my fate
Gnawing thoughts of uncertainty flooding my mind

At last my fingers win the battle that lasted
The final string has fallen... Obstinate knots all undone
I pick the cloth by the edges to have it unfolded
The contents inside reach out like rays of the sun

Corners of the cloth open up like a fully bloomed blossom
Exposing the treasure that lay solemn and quiet inside
Common objects we'd normally perceive as random
Petty things now important as they attempt to guide

I pick up the first and notice an engraving on it's stem
Between my fingers - an unassuming feathered quill
Barely legible, such little space the words do cram
"Here is your sword... Draw blood and let spill"

More riddles, I sought to examine the next
A flat bottomed vial filled with jet black ink
On it is a label with scrawling of time worn text
"Here is your blood; let flow what you think"

Lastly, lay bound up sheets of yellow stained parchment
They reek of age-old herbs; intoxicating slightly
At the top of the first, a note scribbled not so recent
"Within these pages, you must bleed to find Sanctuary"

Staring down at the objects laid in front of me
In hopes of discovering something I should miss
Then finally it struck me, so plain to see
I'm using the instruments now, writing to find release...
See "Dear Mystic"
See "Dear Seeker"
See "Sanctuary"
Ankush Samant May 2014
Lonely thorns,
Have caressed me,
And pierced me.

With extended arms,
They reached out,
Felt me beneath the skin,
And felt the agony.

Then they bloomed,
Sparkling flowers,
Gifting me,
A bouquet of joy.

Watching me smile,
They rejoiced,
Danced around,
And I danced along.

The million arms,
Dug into me;
And my heart soared,
Reaching out,
Every pore,
Till I was,
A loving being,
And they,
Were the thorny me.
Robin Carretti Jul 2018
Walking and saying
Things our wellbeing
The soul needing love possessions
Have absolutely no meaning

Playing and praying
Overstaying and Under-paying
Rising sun and Symphonic searching

" Is this the way it is?" Tis the season

But the tightness no business like
searching business
  She is combined and mixed like a song
fully lined both with keynotes somehow
we declined
The feeling that you cannot breathe
or  trust both of us
 we can  bearly **** it all in
My music playing just click my belt buckle
Will start to begin

The soul is not a crime or just a rhyme
I barely cannot breathe
I am in a chuckle, you see his
smile raising up his dimple

Ms. Thumbelina cobblestone
narrow-minded street your
in the tightrope symphonic beat

But its dark outside your ringlets
Waved him on got excitedly mesmerized
His Goblet of wine she curls up in
his body heat brilliantly dazzled
The sky to your dreams he is
reaching your
soft side skin
whats actually within
our souls

So  hooked into your ride not to slide
better grades and goals
The awesomeness symphonic hatter
Victorian divineness
Her paper cut out hearts as real
as they come
The Eastside Symphonic tip of his
Heavenly Bliss private Quarters
What becomes of the broken hearted
Heads or dimes not landing on her stone
Floor heart
The Duke of all trades of the hat he's smart

Cool running ******
Addictions to the mind so fanatic
What a good soul sometimes
He overexaggerates about
love and fate darkness drives him demonic
What are you kidding me
She doesn't rest her heart on his
soul for the burning desires of food
for thought
She keeps piling his poems like any sport
He's her everything she learns to be taught

Searching lips pricing
Red bloodshot eyes of crying onions
She is so fierce controlling
Musically like a Tiger roaring
He is like a design of graphics tattoo
The earring piecing the sweetest taboo

More soul searching
She's the snake purse
to his snake eyes fancy,
he took a ride
Upper-false teeth
The upper west side
have some prideThe dark side
became her thing
The wildflower not to stand to
bloom and bang like her band

Westside sounds came deep
his pride and joy like a parade
and wickedly dark his charade

It was  sneaking up on her backside
And the other side was just hiding
and smiling
She definitely saw the light lamp post how
the smells came stronger the darkness of desire
she was famished not to have vanished

Feeling like a *** roast love continued
She had a gift for her lover, not the
toast who would brag to boost
Two ****** British what
divine glasses at a cost
The symphonic soul
captured them like the
Dark-Knight of words
Symphonic sounds came
hearing names
soulful hummingbirds buzz-net

And there weren't any more
words there was silence
Eating shepherds pie table was set

Taking over another soul that's a lie
just like magic searching for a love
so long ago became tragic
You need more perseverance
Her true love gave her
an incredible sixth sense
of deliverance
The top seat at the concert
classical wicked taste of music
candescent erotically sonic

She had this certain quality
He was a symphonic love bounty
Her lips moved so fitting fantastically
The flower shops caught her eye
She couldn't sense what was real or a lie
The fast pace of the people all worked up.
What a soulful smell music sounds
she faintly known

To her ear wanted to hear only him shown

Besides the faintly illuminated
shapes evergreens were
heartily trimmed
She stood out bright as the ground
She was turning gray losing reality
not to be found or heard
So soulful her lips speak
she was walking with her head up
in the air fancy dancey
How those men could speak.
You could smell all the ethnic
flavors of foods
She felt the search for something
of a Saint, she was trying to
hard to be good
What a Haydn, his wife
was the mad hair driving

Miss Daisy soul of hers crazy curled
inside her book
She's the lady-like curler
How he played through her hair
Hunchback of Notre Dame who was to blame?
How his eyes wondered playing
and observing
But she was holding his stare

like a womanizer and his eyes flew
what a haunting moon
But Samatha the harp shady tree
He said, my fair lady,
He's stringing something together

What! creepypasta but sometimes her powers were weak
The symphonic love potent every other week

Some Gothic man symphonic music started
Playing Rossini Opera he could stand on his head.
She was pinned to his eyes
Pinterest such interest
she was all bloomed like a fly

By witches, flower came he passed her and he knew exactly who she was as is but wait not his?
The pleading the beg humbug far from her tunes of the ladybug

Razzamatazz all body of Jazz jitterbug
He winked she-devil
summoned him on
What a binding spell
She wiped the sweat off her face
She was beautiful with pale
porcelain skin
So alluring walking
with her parasol
This is my darkness of a read I hope you enjoy flowers even if they perk you up if they are the darkness stay alive to bloom there will always be a flower like you
.
There was a rose I saw once bloomed,
Cuddled in stone yard garden, set free,
To fire in midsummer fields maid loom,
On the village path that ends by the sea.

The wind dances with you in the sun

O rose of happiness and of sorrows,
My heart is in bloom as you are true,
I love a boy so grand and unknowing
And I have no words, or song, or tune.

My heart sings with you in the sun

Little wee flower, who danced me away,
My dear companion, for a soul set free,
Nestled within walls of stone on parade,
Till one morn gone on a walk to the sea.

*Winds and my heart break in the sun
KILLME Feb 2014
steaming hot water scoured
my thoughts away in the shower
above the demons I towered
until their insults were too dour
and while I thought I possessed more power
I found myself wither and cower
next, Bright red bloomed a flower
Paul Mar 2019
Over the bed a ceiling fan turns
elliptically,  pushing the hot air back
onto a lone smoker from whose
yellowed fingers snaking upward blue
smoke of burning tobacco unwinds,
widens and merges with air. She has gone
back to the world from which they’d come
and he has now found himself in an aftermath,
in the denouement of a another character from a minor, hero-free subplot. Shaken
by his new status he turns
on the rumpled mattress, naked,
stubs out his smoke and tries to think
of what comes next. Instead sees the sheets
strewn about his ankles and warms recalling
how they'd named this the cellmate’s noose,
the way they’d rope around his legs during
their  amorous thrashings. Funny to them
because she'd done time, for years. And it showed,
how she assumed her role in the act,
face to the wall, *** up with jailbreak intensity.

He lit another smoke, inhaled, and a ring
of orange fire bloomed like some brief
proclamation of love or plenty and other
such myths. A short, bright clarion call
of a thought that stoops as soon as it stands.
He exhales. The open window frames a field
of blue emptiness from which frayed curtains,
threadbare as cobweb, flap and seize the air
with sudden and passing cloud like forms,
diaphanous and protean and under which,
in a shadowless heat, a dog, limp with thirst,
laps at the drips that drip from a pipe.
I wanted you so long
I always sang this song

You came along in autumn
I bloomed like a cherry blossom

Your presence put me in awe
I was out of all my senses

Your magnetic force
pulled me close
to your gravity of love

You smiled and came closer
I could not stop
myself to be yours

You teased me everywhere
with your fingers
we had some sweet giggles

Your lips so soft
your body so attractive
We made love
I felt that even if I die
I am still alive
Forlorn as a destitute child,
I wandered to the distant wild;
Through a peculiar lonelier wood,
Like a wave, roving as fast as I could.
Not long, I came by a myrtle river bank
Where early boughs grow wild and rank.

There my eyes kissed upon wild flowers,
All grandly dressed in neon colours,
Rhythmically whispering lullabies,
Ineffably upon velvety indigo skies,
Whilst swaying in a friskier dance,
That could render naked eyes in a trance.

At such a mesmerizing sight,
I drowned in a pool of sweet delight
Hence in wonderment shook my head,
And in a velvety voice whispered:
"Flowers, flowers, flowers, flowers
What brings about thy Ineffable colors?"

And all flowers smiled and smiled,
And exuberantly all thus replied:


"At dusk, when fair maidens of the night
Grandly dress in flocks, of burning bright;
And madly smiles about skies above,
Oh! Their opalscent eyes we flowers love:
So, from their pulchritudenous color;
So lies the mysteries of our allure."

At such a mesmerizing reply,
Sweet delight oozed from mine eye
Hence in wonderment shook my head,
And in a velvety voice whispered:
"Flowers, flowers, flowers, flowers
What brings about thy ineffable colors?"

And all flowers smiled and smiled,
And exuberantly all thus replied:


"At dawn, when the day's watchman
Doth weareth his novelty crown,
And treads upon yonder skies above,
Oh! His golden crown we flowers love:
So, from his pulchritudenous color;
So lies the mysteries of our allure."

At such a mesmerizing reply,
Sweet delight oozed from mine eye
Hence in wonderment shook my head,
And in a velvety voice whispered:
"Flowers, flowers, flowers, flowers
What brings about thy ineffable colors?"

And all flowers smiled and smiled,
And exuberantly all thus replied:


"When envious veils of dusk engulfs day,
Paving the fairest Empress way;
To grandly grace on yonder skies above,
Oh! Her rainbow robes we flowers love:
So, from her pulchritudenous colour;
So lies the mysteries of our allure."

At such a mesmerizing reply,
Sweet delight oozed from mine eye
Hence in wonderment shook my head,
And in a velvety voice whispered:
"Flowers, flowers, flowers, flowers
What brings about thy ineffable colors?"

'And all,' all flowers smiled and smiled;
I mean, smiled, smiled and smiled,
I say, smiled, smiled and smiled,
And happiness bloomed in the wild.



#bliss of solitude


©Kikodinho Edward Alexandros
Jumeira, Dubai
6th August 2017
Written many moons ago whilst in shadows of solitude on passing by beauteously beauteous wild flowers by the edge of a whispering rivulet, a rivulet that serpentines through the heart of a desolate wood in the far countryside whence I come.
Torchlights bloomed,
glowing amber rays
against the silver-studded sky:
beacons watching,
     waiting,
for the silent men
who slowly slide
though sheltering shadows,
toward our nocturnal homeland.
Dew settled:
sheets of diamond-dust
sevenfold upon the
   shimmering sand.
Distant songs (faintly heard),
     tried to fade,
yet lingered on the smokey
     air...
Fires (the First Rituals)
     flickered, flared --
and I remembered
the sound of your voice.

— The End —