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“I cannot but remember such things were,
  And were most dear to me.”
  ‘Macbeth’

  [”That were most precious to me.”
  ‘Macbeth’, act iv, sc. 3.]


When slow Disease, with all her host of Pains,
Chills the warm tide, which flows along the veins;
When Health, affrighted, spreads her rosy wing,
And flies with every changing gale of spring;
Not to the aching frame alone confin’d,
Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind:
What grisly forms, the spectre-train of woe,
Bid shuddering Nature shrink beneath the blow,
With Resignation wage relentless strife,
While Hope retires appall’d, and clings to life.
Yet less the pang when, through the tedious hour,
Remembrance sheds around her genial power,
Calls back the vanish’d days to rapture given,
When Love was bliss, and Beauty form’d our heaven;
Or, dear to youth, pourtrays each childish scene,
Those fairy bowers, where all in turn have been.
As when, through clouds that pour the summer storm,
The orb of day unveils his distant form,
Gilds with faint beams the crystal dews of rain
And dimly twinkles o’er the watery plain;
Thus, while the future dark and cheerless gleams,
The Sun of Memory, glowing through my dreams,
Though sunk the radiance of his former blaze,
To scenes far distant points his paler rays,
Still rules my senses with unbounded sway,
The past confounding with the present day.

Oft does my heart indulge the rising thought,
Which still recurs, unlook’d for and unsought;
My soul to Fancy’s fond suggestion yields,
And roams romantic o’er her airy fields.
Scenes of my youth, develop’d, crowd to view,
To which I long have bade a last adieu!
Seats of delight, inspiring youthful themes;
Friends lost to me, for aye, except in dreams;
Some, who in marble prematurely sleep,
Whose forms I now remember, but to weep;
Some, who yet urge the same scholastic course
Of early science, future fame the source;
Who, still contending in the studious race,
In quick rotation, fill the senior place!
These, with a thousand visions, now unite,
To dazzle, though they please, my aching sight.

IDA! blest spot, where Science holds her reign,
How joyous, once, I join’d thy youthful train!
Bright, in idea, gleams thy lofty spire,
Again, I mingle with thy playful quire;
Our tricks of mischief, every childish game,
Unchang’d by time or distance, seem the same;
Through winding paths, along the glade I trace
The social smile of every welcome face;
My wonted haunts, my scenes of joy or woe,
Each early boyish friend, or youthful foe,
Our feuds dissolv’d, but not my friendship past,—
I bless the former, and forgive the last.
Hours of my youth! when, nurtur’d in my breast,
To Love a stranger, Friendship made me blest,—
Friendship, the dear peculiar bond of youth,
When every artless ***** throbs with truth;
Untaught by worldly wisdom how to feign,
And check each impulse with prudential rein;
When, all we feel, our honest souls disclose,
In love to friends, in open hate to foes;
No varnish’d tales the lips of youth repeat,
No dear-bought knowledge purchased by deceit;
Hypocrisy, the gift of lengthen’d years,
Matured by age, the garb of Prudence wears:
When, now, the Boy is ripen’d into Man,
His careful Sire chalks forth some wary plan;
Instructs his Son from Candour’s path to shrink,
Smoothly to speak, and cautiously to think;
Still to assent, and never to deny—
A patron’s praise can well reward the lie:
And who, when Fortune’s warning voice is heard,
Would lose his opening prospects for a word?
Although, against that word, his heart rebel,
And Truth, indignant, all his ***** swell.

  Away with themes like this! not mine the task,
From flattering friends to tear the hateful mask;
Let keener bards delight in Satire’s sting,
My Fancy soars not on Detraction’s wing:
Once, and but once, she aim’d a deadly blow,
To hurl Defiance on a secret Foe;
But when that foe, from feeling or from shame,
The cause unknown, yet still to me the same,
Warn’d by some friendly hint, perchance, retir’d,
With this submission all her rage expired.
From dreaded pangs that feeble Foe to save,
She hush’d her young resentment, and forgave.
Or, if my Muse a Pedant’s portrait drew,
POMPOSUS’ virtues are but known to few:
I never fear’d the young usurper’s nod,
And he who wields must, sometimes, feel the rod.
If since on Granta’s failings, known to all
Who share the converse of a college hall,
She sometimes trifled in a lighter strain,
’Tis past, and thus she will not sin again:
Soon must her early song for ever cease,
And, all may rail, when I shall rest in peace.

  Here, first remember’d be the joyous band,
Who hail’d me chief, obedient to command;
Who join’d with me, in every boyish sport,
Their first adviser, and their last resort;
Nor shrunk beneath the upstart pedant’s frown,
Or all the sable glories of his gown;
Who, thus, transplanted from his father’s school,
Unfit to govern, ignorant of rule—
Succeeded him, whom all unite to praise,
The dear preceptor of my early days,
PROBUS, the pride of science, and the boast—
To IDA now, alas! for ever lost!
With him, for years, we search’d the classic page,
And fear’d the Master, though we lov’d the Sage:
Retir’d at last, his small yet peaceful seat
From learning’s labour is the blest retreat.
POMPOSUS fills his magisterial chair;
POMPOSUS governs,—but, my Muse, forbear:
Contempt, in silence, be the pedant’s lot,
His name and precepts be alike forgot;
No more his mention shall my verse degrade,—
To him my tribute is already paid.

  High, through those elms with hoary branches crown’d
Fair IDA’S bower adorns the landscape round;
There Science, from her favour’d seat, surveys
The vale where rural Nature claims her praise;
To her awhile resigns her youthful train,
Who move in joy, and dance along the plain;
In scatter’d groups, each favour’d haunt pursue,
Repeat old pastimes, and discover new;
Flush’d with his rays, beneath the noontide Sun,
In rival bands, between the wickets run,
Drive o’er the sward the ball with active force,
Or chase with nimble feet its rapid course.
But these with slower steps direct their way,
Where Brent’s cool waves in limpid currents stray,
While yonder few search out some green retreat,
And arbours shade them from the summer heat:
Others, again, a pert and lively crew,
Some rough and thoughtless stranger plac’d in view,
With frolic quaint their antic jests expose,
And tease the grumbling rustic as he goes;
Nor rest with this, but many a passing fray
Tradition treasures for a future day:
“’Twas here the gather’d swains for vengeance fought,
And here we earn’d the conquest dearly bought:
Here have we fled before superior might,
And here renew’d the wild tumultuous fight.”
While thus our souls with early passions swell,
In lingering tones resounds the distant bell;
Th’ allotted hour of daily sport is o’er,
And Learning beckons from her temple’s door.
No splendid tablets grace her simple hall,
But ruder records fill the dusky wall:
There, deeply carv’d, behold! each Tyro’s name
Secures its owner’s academic fame;
Here mingling view the names of Sire and Son,
The one long grav’d, the other just begun:
These shall survive alike when Son and Sire,
Beneath one common stroke of fate expire;
Perhaps, their last memorial these alone,
Denied, in death, a monumental stone,
Whilst to the gale in mournful cadence wave
The sighing weeds, that hide their nameless grave.
And, here, my name, and many an early friend’s,
Along the wall in lengthen’d line extends.
Though, still, our deeds amuse the youthful race,
Who tread our steps, and fill our former place,
Who young obeyed their lords in silent awe,
Whose nod commanded, and whose voice was law;
And now, in turn, possess the reins of power,
To rule, the little Tyrants of an hour;
Though sometimes, with the Tales of ancient day,
They pass the dreary Winter’s eve away;
“And, thus, our former rulers stemm’d the tide,
And, thus, they dealt the combat, side by side;
Just in this place, the mouldering walls they scaled,
Nor bolts, nor bars, against their strength avail’d;
Here PROBUS came, the rising fray to quell,
And, here, he falter’d forth his last farewell;
And, here, one night abroad they dared to roam,
While bold POMPOSUS bravely staid at home;”
While thus they speak, the hour must soon arrive,
When names of these, like ours, alone survive:
Yet a few years, one general wreck will whelm
The faint remembrance of our fairy realm.

  Dear honest race! though now we meet no more,
One last long look on what we were before—
Our first kind greetings, and our last adieu—
Drew tears from eyes unus’d to weep with you.
Through splendid circles, Fashion’s gaudy world,
Where Folly’s glaring standard waves unfurl’d,
I plung’d to drown in noise my fond regret,
And all I sought or hop’d was to forget:
Vain wish! if, chance, some well-remember’d face,
Some old companion of my early race,
Advanc’d to claim his friend with honest joy,
My eyes, my heart, proclaim’d me still a boy;
The glittering scene, the fluttering groups around,
Were quite forgotten when my friend was found;
The smiles of Beauty, (for, alas! I’ve known
What ’tis to bend before Love’s mighty throne;)
The smiles of Beauty, though those smiles were dear,
Could hardly charm me, when that friend was near:
My thoughts bewilder’d in the fond surprise,
The woods of IDA danc’d before my eyes;
I saw the sprightly wand’rers pour along,
I saw, and join’d again the joyous throng;
Panting, again I trac’d her lofty grove,
And Friendship’s feelings triumph’d over Love.

  Yet, why should I alone with such delight
Retrace the circuit of my former flight?
Is there no cause beyond the common claim,
Endear’d to all in childhood’s very name?
Ah! sure some stronger impulse vibrates here,
Which whispers friendship will be doubly dear
To one, who thus for kindred hearts must roam,
And seek abroad, the love denied at home.
Those hearts, dear IDA, have I found in thee,
A home, a world, a paradise to me.
Stern Death forbade my orphan youth to share
The tender guidance of a Father’s care;
Can Rank, or e’en a Guardian’s name supply
The love, which glistens in a Father’s eye?
For this, can Wealth, or Title’s sound atone,
Made, by a Parent’s early loss, my own?
What Brother springs a Brother’s love to seek?
What Sister’s gentle kiss has prest my cheek?
For me, how dull the vacant moments rise,
To no fond ***** link’d by kindred ties!
Oft, in the progress of some fleeting dream,
Fraternal smiles, collected round me seem;
While still the visions to my heart are prest,
The voice of Love will murmur in my rest:
I hear—I wake—and in the sound rejoice!
I hear again,—but, ah! no Brother’s voice.
A Hermit, ’midst of crowds, I fain must stray
Alone, though thousand pilgrims fill the way;
While these a thousand kindred wreaths entwine,
I cannot call one single blossom mine:
What then remains? in solitude to groan,
To mix in friendship, or to sigh alone?
Thus, must I cling to some endearing hand,
And none more dear, than IDA’S social band.

  Alonzo! best and dearest of my friends,
Thy name ennobles him, who thus commends:
From this fond tribute thou canst gain no praise;
The praise is his, who now that tribute pays.
Oh! in the promise of thy early youth,
If Hope anticipate the words of Truth!
Some loftier bard shall sing thy glorious name,
To build his own, upon thy deathless fame:
Friend of my heart, and foremost of the list
Of those with whom I lived supremely blest;
Oft have we drain’d the font of ancient lore,
Though drinking deeply, thirsting still the more;
Yet, when Confinement’s lingering hour was done,
Our sports, our studies, and our souls were one:
Together we impell’d the flying ball,
Together waited in our tutor’s hall;
Together join’d in cricket’s manly toil,
Or shar’d the produce of the river’s spoil;
Or plunging from the green declining shore,
Our pliant limbs the buoyant billows bore:
In every element, unchang’d, the same,
All, all that brothers should be, but the name.

  Nor, yet, are you forgot, my jocund Boy!
DAVUS, the harbinger of childish joy;
For ever foremost in the ranks of fun,
The laughing herald of the harmless pun;
Yet, with a breast of such materials made,
Anxious to please, of pleasing half afraid;
Candid and liberal, with a heart of steel
In Danger’s path, though not untaught to feel.
Still, I remember, in the factious strife,
The rustic’s musket aim’d against my life:
High pois’d in air the massy weapon hung,
A cry of horror burst from every tongue:
Whilst I, in combat with another foe,
Fought on, unconscious of th’ impending blow;
Your arm, brave Boy, arrested his career—
Forward you sprung, insensible to fear;
Disarm’d, and baffled by your conquering hand,
The grovelling Savage roll’d upon the sand:
An act like this, can simple thanks repay?
Or all the labours of a grateful lay?
Oh no! whene’er my breast forgets the deed,
That instant, DAVUS, it deserves to bleed.

  LYCUS! on me thy claims are justly great:
Thy milder virtues could my Muse relate,
To thee, alone, unrivall’d, would belong
The feeble efforts of my lengthen’d song.
Well canst thou boast, to lead in senates fit,
A Spartan firmness, with Athenian wit:
Though yet, in embryo, these perfections shine,
LYCUS! thy father’s fame will soon be thine.
Where Learning nurtures the superior mind,
What may we hope, from genius thus refin’d;
When Time, at length, matures thy growing years,
How wilt thou tower, above thy fellow peers!
Prudence and sense, a spirit bold and free,
With Honour’s soul, united beam in thee.

Shall fair EURYALUS, pass by unsung?
From ancient lineage, not unworthy, sprung:
What, though one sad dissension bade us part,
That name is yet embalm’d within my heart,
Yet, at the mention, does that heart rebound,
And palpitate, responsive to the sound;
Envy dissolved our ties, and not our will:
We once were friends,—I’ll think, we are so still.
A form unmatch’d in Nature’s partial mould,
A heart untainted, we, in thee, behold:
Yet, not the Senate’s thunder thou shall wield,
Nor seek for glory, in the tented field:
To minds of ruder texture, these be given—
Thy soul shall nearer soar its native heaven.
Haply, in polish’d courts might be thy seat,
But, that thy tongue could never forge deceit:
The courtier’s supple bow, and sneering smile,
The flow of compliment, the slippery wile,
Would make that breast, with indignation, burn,
And, all the glittering snares, to tempt thee, spurn.
Domestic happiness will stamp thy fate;
Sacred to love, unclouded e’er by hate;
The world admire thee, and thy friends adore;—
Ambition’s slave, alone, would toil for more.

  Now last, but nearest, of the social band,
See honest, open, generous CLEON stand;
With scarce one speck, to cloud the pleasing scene,
No vice degrades that purest soul serene.
On the same day, our studious race begun,
On the same day, our studious race was run;
Thus, side by side, we pass’d our first career,
Thus, side by side, we strove for many a year:
At last, concluded our scholastic life,
We neither conquer’d in the classic strife:
As Speakers, each supports an equal name,
And crowds allow to both a partial fame:
To soothe a youthful Rival’s early pride,
Though Cleon’s candour would the palm divide,
Yet Candour’s self compels me now to own,
Justice awards it to my Friend alone.

  Oh! Friends regretted, Scenes for ever dear,
Remembrance hails you with her warmest tear!
Drooping, she bends o’er pensive Fancy’s urn,
To trace the hours, which never can return;
Yet, with the retrospection loves to dwell,
And soothe the sorrows of her last farewell!
Yet greets the triumph of my boyish mind,
As infant laurels round my head were twin’d;
When PROBUS’ praise repaid my lyric song,
Or plac’d me higher in the studious throng;
Or when my first harangue receiv’d applause,
His sage instruction the primeval cause,
What gratitude, to him, my soul possest,
While hope of dawning honours fill’d my breast!
For all my humble fame, to him alone,
The praise is due, who made that fame my own.
Oh! could I soar above these feeble lays,
These young effusions of my early days,
To him my Muse her noblest strain would give,
The song might perish, but the theme might live.
Yet, why for him the needless verse essay?
His honour’d name requires no vain display:
By every son of grateful IDA blest,
It finds an ech
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea’s hills the setting Sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O’er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows;
On old ægina’s rock and Hydra’s isle
The God of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O’er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Thy glorious Gulf, unconquered Salamis!
Their azure arches through the long expanse,
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep.

  On such an eve his palest beam he cast
When, Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murdered Sage’s latest day!
Not yet—not yet—Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain’s once delightful dyes;
Gloom o’er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
The land where Phoebus never frowned before;
But ere he sunk below Cithaeron’s head,
The cup of Woe was quaffed—the Spirit fled;
The soul of Him that scorned to fear or fly,
Who lived and died as none can live or die.

  But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign;
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o’er the Minaret;
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,
And sad and sombre ’mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus’ fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that passed them heedless by.
Again the ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war:
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle
That frown, where gentler Ocean deigns to smile.

  As thus, within the walls of Pallas’ fane,
I marked the beauties of the land and main,
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poets’ lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turned to scan,
Sacred to Gods, but not secure from Man,
The Past returned, the Present seemed to cease,
And Glory knew no clime beyond her Greece!

  Hour rolled along, and Dian’******on high
Had gained the centre of her softest sky;
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod
O’er the vain shrine of many a vanished God:
But chiefly, Pallas! thine, when Hecate’s glare
Checked by thy columns, fell more sadly fair
O’er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant-form before me strode,
And Pallas hailed me in her own Abode!

  Yes,’twas Minerva’s self; but, ah! how changed,
Since o’er the Dardan field in arms she ranged!
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared from Phidias’ plastic hand:
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance
Seemed weak and shaftless e’en to mortal glance;
The Olive Branch, which still she deigned to clasp,
Shrunk from her touch, and withered in her grasp;
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimmed her large blue eye;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourned his mistress with a shriek of woe!

  “Mortal!”—’twas thus she spake—”that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honoured ‘less’ by all, and ‘least’ by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek’st thou the cause of loathing!—look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
‘Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
‘These’ Cecrops placed, ‘this’ Pericles adorned,
‘That’ Adrian reared when drooping Science mourned.
What more I owe let Gratitude attest—
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name:
For Elgin’s fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name—above, behold his deeds!
Be ever hailed with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the Lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the Wolf, the filthy Jackal last:
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own,
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone.
Yet still the Gods are just, and crimes are crossed:
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost!
Another name with his pollutes my shrine:
Behold where Dian’s beams disdain to shine!
Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
When Venus half avenged Minerva’s shame.”

  She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply,
To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye:
“Daughter of Jove! in Britain’s injured name,
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim.
Frown not on England; England owns him not:
Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
Ask’st thou the difference? From fair Phyles’ towers
Survey Boeotia;—Caledonia’s ours.
And well I know within that ******* land
Hath Wisdom’s goddess never held command;
A barren soil, where Nature’s germs, confined
To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth,
Emblem of all to whom the Land gives birth;
Each genial influence nurtured to resist;
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain
Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
Till, burst at length, each wat’ry head o’erflows,
Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows:
Then thousand schemes of petulance and pride
Despatch her scheming children far and wide;
Some East, some West, some—everywhere but North!
In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth.
And thus—accursed be the day and year!
She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,
As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth;
So may her few, the lettered and the brave,
Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once, of yore, in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race.”

  “Mortal!” the blue-eyed maid resumed, “once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Hear then in silence Pallas’ stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.

  “First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light,—on him and all his seed:
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Believe him ******* of a brighter race:
Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And Folly’s praise repay for Wisdom’s hate;
Long of their Patron’s gusto let them tell,
Whose noblest, native gusto is—to sell:
To sell, and make—may shame record the day!—
The State—Receiver of his pilfered prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West,
Europe’s worst dauber, and poor Britain’s best,
With palsied hand shall turn each model o’er,
And own himself an infant of fourscore.
Be all the Bruisers culled from all St. Giles’,
That Art and Nature may compare their styles;
While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare,
And marvel at his Lordship’s ’stone shop’ there.
Round the thronged gate shall sauntering coxcombs creep
To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep;
While many a languid maid, with longing sigh,
On giant statues casts the curious eye;
The room with transient glance appears to skim,
Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb;
Mourns o’er the difference of now and then;
Exclaims, ‘These Greeks indeed were proper men!’
Draws slight comparisons of ‘these’ with ‘those’,
And envies Laïs all her Attic beaux.
When shall a modern maid have swains like these?
Alas! Sir Harry is no Hercules!
And last of all, amidst the gaping crew,
Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,
In silent indignation mixed with grief,
Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.
Oh, loathed in life, nor pardoned in the dust,
May Hate pursue his sacrilegious lust!
Linked with the fool that fired the Ephesian dome,
Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb,
And Eratostratus and Elgin shine
In many a branding page and burning line;
Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed,
Perchance the second blacker than the first.

  “So let him stand, through ages yet unborn,
Fixed statue on the pedestal of Scorn;
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait,
But fits thy country for her coming fate:
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son
To do what oft Britannia’s self had done.
Look to the Baltic—blazing from afar,
Your old Ally yet mourns perfidious war.
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid,
Or break the compact which herself had made;
Far from such counsels, from the faithless field
She fled—but left behind her Gorgon shield;
A fatal gift that turned your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.

“Look to the East, where Ganges’ swarthy race
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base;
Lo! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head,
And glares the Nemesis of native dead;
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood,
And claims his long arrear of northern blood.
So may ye perish!—Pallas, when she gave
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave.

  “Look on your Spain!—she clasps the hand she hates,
But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates.
Bear witness, bright Barossa! thou canst tell
Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell.
But Lusitania, kind and dear ally,
Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly.
Oh glorious field! by Famine fiercely won,
The Gaul retires for once, and all is done!
But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat
Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat?

  “Look last at home—ye love not to look there
On the grim smile of comfortless despair:
Your city saddens: loud though Revel howls,
Here Famine faints, and yonder Rapine prowls.
See all alike of more or less bereft;
No misers tremble when there’s nothing left.
‘Blest paper credit;’ who shall dare to sing?
It clogs like lead Corruption’s weary wing.
Yet Pallas pluck’d each Premier by the ear,
Who Gods and men alike disdained to hear;
But one, repentant o’er a bankrupt state,
On Pallas calls,—but calls, alas! too late:
Then raves for’——’; to that Mentor bends,
Though he and Pallas never yet were friends.
Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard,
Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd.
So, once of yore, each reasonable frog,
Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign ‘log.’
Thus hailed your rulers their patrician clod,
As Egypt chose an onion for a God.

  “Now fare ye well! enjoy your little hour;
Go, grasp the shadow of your vanished power;
Gloss o’er the failure of each fondest scheme;
Your strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream.
Gone is that Gold, the marvel of mankind.
And Pirates barter all that’s left behind.
No more the hirelings, purchased near and far,
Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war.
The idle merchant on the useless quay
Droops o’er the bales no bark may bear away;
Or, back returning, sees rejected stores
Rot piecemeal on his own encumbered shores:
The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom,
And desperate mans him ‘gainst the coming doom.
Then in the Senates of your sinking state
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight.
Vain is each voice where tones could once command;
E’en factions cease to charm a factious land:
Yet jarring sects convulse a sister Isle,
And light with maddening hands the mutual pile.

  “’Tis done, ’tis past—since Pallas warns in vain;
The Furies seize her abdicated reign:
Wide o’er the realm they wave their kindling brands,
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands.
But one convulsive struggle still remains,
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear her chains,
The bannered pomp of war, the glittering files,
O’er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles;
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum,
That bid the foe defiance ere they come;
The hero bounding at his country’s call,
The glorious death that consecrates his fall,
Swell the young heart with visionary charms.
And bid it antedate the joys of arms.
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught,
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought;
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight,
His day of mercy is the day of fight.
But when the field is fought, the battle won,
Though drenched with gore, his woes are but begun:
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name;
The slaughtered peasant and the ravished dame,
The rifled mansion and the foe-reaped field,
Ill suit with souls at home, untaught to yield.
Say with what eye along the distant down
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town?
How view the column of ascending flames
Shake his red shadow o’er the startled Thames?
Nay, frown not, Albion! for the torch was thine
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine:
Now should they burst on thy devoted coast,
Go, ask thy ***** who deserves them most?
The law of Heaven and Earth is life for life,
And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife.”
High on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth or Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit raised
To that bad eminence; and, from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with Heaven; and, by success untaught,
His proud imaginations thus displayed:—
  “Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven!—
For, since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigour, though oppressed and fallen,
I give not Heaven for lost: from this descent
Celestial Virtues rising will appear
More glorious and more dread than from no fall,
And trust themselves to fear no second fate!—
Me though just right, and the fixed laws of Heaven,
Did first create your leader—next, free choice
With what besides in council or in fight
Hath been achieved of merit—yet this loss,
Thus far at least recovered, hath much more
Established in a safe, unenvied throne,
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferior; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer’s aim
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain? Where there is, then, no good
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction: for none sure will claim in Hell
Precedence; none whose portion is so small
Of present pain that with ambitious mind
Will covet more! With this advantage, then,
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in Heaven, we now return
To claim our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than prosperity
Could have assured us; and by what best way,
Whether of open war or covert guile,
We now debate. Who can advise may speak.”
  He ceased; and next him Moloch, sceptred king,
Stood up—the strongest and the fiercest Spirit
That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair.
His trust was with th’ Eternal to be deemed
Equal in strength, and rather than be less
Cared not to be at all; with that care lost
Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse,
He recked not, and these words thereafter spake:—
  “My sentence is for open war. Of wiles,
More unexpert, I boast not: them let those
Contrive who need, or when they need; not now.
For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest—
Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait
The signal to ascend—sit lingering here,
Heaven’s fugitives, and for their dwelling-place
Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame,
The prison of his ryranny who reigns
By our delay? No! let us rather choose,
Armed with Hell-flames and fury, all at once
O’er Heaven’s high towers to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the Torturer; when, to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine, he shall hear
Infernal thunder, and, for lightning, see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his Angels, and his throne itself
Mixed with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire,
His own invented torments. But perhaps
The way seems difficult, and steep to scale
With upright wing against a higher foe!
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,
That in our porper motion we ascend
Up to our native seat; descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and pursued us through the Deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We sunk thus low? Th’ ascent is easy, then;
Th’ event is feared! Should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
To our destruction, if there be in Hell
Fear to be worse destroyed! What can be worse
Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemned
In this abhorred deep to utter woe!
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us without hope of end
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour,
Calls us to penance? More destroyed than thus,
We should be quite abolished, and expire.
What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire? which, to the height enraged,
Will either quite consume us, and reduce
To nothing this essential—happier far
Than miserable to have eternal being!—
Or, if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
Our power sufficient to disturb his Heaven,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
Though inaccessible, his fatal throne:
Which, if not victory, is yet revenge.”
  He ended frowning, and his look denounced
Desperate revenge, and battle dangerous
To less than gods. On th’ other side up rose
Belial, in act more graceful and humane.
A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seemed
For dignity composed, and high exploit.
But all was false and hollow; though his tongue
Dropped manna, and could make the worse appear
The better reason, to perplex and dash
Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low—
To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds
Timorous and slothful. Yet he pleased the ear,
And with persuasive accent thus began:—
  “I should be much for open war, O Peers,
As not behind in hate, if what was urged
Main reason to persuade immediate war
Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast
Ominous conjecture on the whole success;
When he who most excels in fact of arms,
In what he counsels and in what excels
Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair
And utter dissolution, as the scope
Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
First, what revenge? The towers of Heaven are filled
With armed watch, that render all access
Impregnable: oft on the bodering Deep
Encamp their legions, or with obscure wing
Scout far and wide into the realm of Night,
Scorning surprise. Or, could we break our way
By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise
With blackest insurrection to confound
Heaven’s purest light, yet our great Enemy,
All incorruptible, would on his throne
Sit unpolluted, and th’ ethereal mould,
Incapable of stain, would soon expel
Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,
Victorious. Thus repulsed, our final hope
Is flat despair: we must exasperate
Th’ Almighty Victor to spend all his rage;
And that must end us; that must be our cure—
To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perish rather, swallowed up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated Night,
Devoid of sense and motion? And who knows,
Let this be good, whether our angry Foe
Can give it, or will ever? How he can
Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.
Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,
Belike through impotence or unaware,
To give his enemies their wish, and end
Them in his anger whom his anger saves
To punish endless? ‘Wherefore cease we, then?’
Say they who counsel war; ‘we are decreed,
Reserved, and destined to eternal woe;
Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,
What can we suffer worse?’ Is this, then, worst—
Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?
What when we fled amain, pursued and struck
With Heaven’s afflicting thunder, and besought
The Deep to shelter us? This Hell then seemed
A refuge from those wounds. Or when we lay
Chained on the burning lake? That sure was worse.
What if the breath that kindled those grim fires,
Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage,
And plunge us in the flames; or from above
Should intermitted vengeance arm again
His red right hand to plague us? What if all
Her stores were opened, and this firmament
Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire,
Impendent horrors, threatening hideous fall
One day upon our heads; while we perhaps,
Designing or exhorting glorious war,
Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurled,
Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and prey
Or racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk
Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains,
There to converse with everlasting groans,
Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved,
Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse.
War, therefore, open or concealed, alike
My voice dissuades; for what can force or guile
With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye
Views all things at one view? He from Heaven’s height
All these our motions vain sees and derides,
Not more almighty to resist our might
Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles.
Shall we, then, live thus vile—the race of Heaven
Thus trampled, thus expelled, to suffer here
Chains and these torments? Better these than worse,
By my advice; since fate inevitable
Subdues us, and omnipotent decree,
The Victor’s will. To suffer, as to do,
Our strength is equal; nor the law unjust
That so ordains. This was at first resolved,
If we were wise, against so great a foe
Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.
I laugh when those who at the spear are bold
And venturous, if that fail them, shrink, and fear
What yet they know must follow—to endure
Exile, or igominy, or bonds, or pain,
The sentence of their Conqueror. This is now
Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear,
Our Supreme Foe in time may much remit
His anger, and perhaps, thus far removed,
Not mind us not offending, satisfied
With what is punished; whence these raging fires
Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames.
Our purer essence then will overcome
Their noxious vapour; or, inured, not feel;
Or, changed at length, and to the place conformed
In temper and in nature, will receive
Familiar the fierce heat; and, void of pain,
This horror will grow mild, this darkness light;
Besides what hope the never-ending flight
Of future days may bring, what chance, what change
Worth waiting—since our present lot appears
For happy though but ill, for ill not worst,
If we procure not to ourselves more woe.”
  Thus Belial, with words clothed in reason’s garb,
Counselled ignoble ease and peaceful sloth,
Not peace; and after him thus Mammon spake:—
  “Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven
We war, if war be best, or to regain
Our own right lost. Him to unthrone we then
May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield
To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife.
The former, vain to hope, argues as vain
The latter; for what place can be for us
Within Heaven’s bound, unless Heaven’s Lord supreme
We overpower? Suppose he should relent
And publish grace to all, on promise made
Of new subjection; with what eyes could we
Stand in his presence humble, and receive
Strict laws imposed, to celebrate his throne
With warbled hyms, and to his Godhead sing
Forced hallelujahs, while he lordly sits
Our envied sovereign, and his altar breathes
Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers,
Our servile offerings? This must be our task
In Heaven, this our delight. How wearisome
Eternity so spent in worship paid
To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue,
By force impossible, by leave obtained
Unacceptable, though in Heaven, our state
Of splendid vassalage; but rather seek
Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,
Free and to none accountable, preferring
Hard liberty before the easy yoke
Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear
Then most conspicuous when great things of small,
Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse,
We can create, and in what place soe’er
Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain
Through labour and endurance. This deep world
Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst
Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven’s all-ruling Sire
Choose to reside, his glory unobscured,
And with the majesty of darkness round
Covers his throne, from whence deep thunders roar.
Mustering their rage, and Heaven resembles Hell!
As he our darkness, cannot we his light
Imitate when we please? This desert soil
Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold;
Nor want we skill or art from whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more?
Our torments also may, in length of time,
Become our elements, these piercing fires
As soft as now severe, our temper changed
Into their temper; which must needs remove
The sensible of pain. All things invite
To peaceful counsels, and the settled state
Of order, how in safety best we may
Compose our present evils, with regard
Of what we are and where, dismissing quite
All thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise.”
  He scarce had finished, when such murmur filled
Th’ assembly as when hollow rocks retain
The sound of blustering winds, which all night long
Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
Seafaring men o’erwatched, whose bark by chance
Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay
After the tempest. Such applause was heard
As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleased,
Advising peace: for such another field
They dreaded worse than Hell; so much the fear
Of thunder and the sword of Michael
Wrought still within them; and no less desire
To found this nether empire, which might rise,
By policy and long process of time,
In emulation opposite to Heaven.
Which when Beelzebub perceived—than whom,
Satan except, none higher sat—with grave
Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed
A pillar of state. Deep on his front engraven
Deliberation sat, and public care;
And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
Majestic, though in ruin. Sage he stood
With Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look
Drew audience and attention still as night
Or summer’s noontide air, while thus he spake:—
  “Thrones and Imperial Powers, Offspring of Heaven,
Ethereal Virtues! or these titles now
Must we renounce, and, changing style, be called
Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote
Inclines—here to continue, and build up here
A growing empire; doubtless! while we dream,
And know not that the King of Heaven hath doomed
This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat
Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt
From Heaven’s high jurisdiction, in new league
Banded against his throne, but to remain
In strictest *******, though thus far removed,
Under th’ inevitable curb, reserved
His captive multitude. For he, to be sure,
In height or depth, still first and last will reign
Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no part
By our revolt, but over Hell extend
His empire, and with iron sceptre rule
Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven.
What sit we then projecting peace and war?
War hath determined us and foiled with loss
Irreparable; terms of peace yet none
Vouchsafed or sought; for what peace will be given
To us enslaved, but custody severe,
And stripes and arbitrary punishment
Inflicted? and what peace can we return,
But, to our power, hostility and hate,
Untamed reluctance, and revenge, though slow,
Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most in suffering feel?
Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need
With dangerous expedition to invade
Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or siege,
Or ambush from the Deep. What if we find
Some easier enterprise? There is a place
(If ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven
Err not)—another World, the happy seat
Of some new race, called Man, about this time
To be created like to us, though less
In power and excellence, but favoured more
Of him who rules above; so was his will
Pronounced among the Gods, and by an oath
That shook Heaven’s whole circumference confirmed.
Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
What creatures there inhabit, of what mould
Or substance, how endued, and what their power
And where their weakness: how attempted best,
By force of subtlety. Though Heaven be shut,
And Heaven’s high Arbitrator sit secure
In his own strength, this place may lie exposed,
The utmost border of his kingdom, left
To their defence who hold it: here, perhaps,
Some advantageous act may be achieved
By sudden onset—either with Hell-fire
To waste his whole creation, or possess
All as our own, and drive, as we were driven,
The puny habitants; or, if not drive,
****** them to our party, that their God
May prove their foe, and with repenting hand
Abolish his own works. This would surpass
Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
In our confusion, and our joy upraise
In his disturbance; when his darling sons,
Hurled headlong to partake with us, shall curse
Their frail original, and faded bliss—
Faded so soon! Advise if this be worth
Attempting, or to sit in darkness here
Hatching vain empires.” Thus beelzebub
Pleaded his devilish counsel—first devised
By Satan, and in part proposed: for whence,
But
High in the midst, surrounded by his peers,
Magnus his ample front sublime uprears:
Plac’d on his chair of state, he seems a God,
While Sophs and Freshmen tremble at his nod;
As all around sit wrapt in speechless gloom,
His voice, in thunder, shakes the sounding dome;
Denouncing dire reproach to luckless fools,
Unskill’d to plod in mathematic rules.

Happy the youth! in Euclid’s axioms tried,
Though little vers’d in any art beside;
Who, scarcely skill’d an English line to pen,
Scans Attic metres with a critic’s ken.

What! though he knows not how his fathers bled,
When civil discord pil’d the fields with dead,
When Edward bade his conquering bands advance,
Or Henry trampled on the crest of France:
Though marvelling at the name of Magna Charta,
Yet well he recollects the laws of Sparta;
Can tell, what edicts sage Lycurgus made,
While Blackstone’s on the shelf, neglected laid;
Of Grecian dramas vaunts the deathless fame,
Of Avon’s bard, rememb’ring scarce the name.

Such is the youth whose scientific pate
Class-honours, medals, fellowships, await;
Or even, perhaps, the declamation prize,
If to such glorious height, he lifts his eyes.
But lo! no common orator can hope
The envied silver cup within his scope:
Not that our heads much eloquence require,
Th’ ATHENIAN’S glowing style, or TULLY’S fire.
A manner clear or warm is useless, since
We do not try by speaking to convince;
Be other orators of pleasing proud,—
We speak to please ourselves, not move the crowd:
Our gravity prefers the muttering tone,
A proper mixture of the squeak and groan:
No borrow’d grace of action must be seen,
The slightest motion would displease the Dean;
Whilst every staring Graduate would prate,
Against what—he could never imitate.

The man, who hopes t’ obtain the promis’d cup,
Must in one posture stand, and ne’er look up;
Nor stop, but rattle over every word—
No matter what, so it can not be heard:
Thus let him hurry on, nor think to rest:
Who speaks the fastest’s sure to speak the best;
Who utters most within the shortest space,
May, safely, hope to win the wordy race.

The Sons of Science these, who, thus repaid,
Linger in ease in Granta’s sluggish shade;
Where on Cam’s sedgy banks, supine, they lie,
Unknown, unhonour’d live—unwept for die:
Dull as the pictures, which adorn their halls,
They think all learning fix’d within their walls:
In manners rude, in foolish forms precise,
All modern arts affecting to despise;
Yet prizing Bentley’s, Brunck’s, or Porson’s note,
More than the verse on which the critic wrote:
Vain as their honours, heavy as their Ale,
Sad as their wit, and tedious as their tale;
To friendship dead, though not untaught to feel,
When Self and Church demand a Bigot zeal.
With eager haste they court the lord of power,
(Whether ’tis PITT or PETTY rules the hour;)
To him, with suppliant smiles, they bend the head,
While distant mitres to their eyes are spread;
But should a storm o’erwhelm him with disgrace,
They’d fly to seek the next, who fill’d his place.
Such are the men who learning’s treasures guard!
Such is their practice, such is their reward!
This much, at least, we may presume to say—
The premium can’t exceed the price they pay.
That you are fair or wise is vain,
Or strong, or rich, or generous;
You must have also the untaught strain
That sheds beauty on the rose.
There is a melody born of melody,
Which melts the world into a sea.
Toil could never compass it,
Art its height could never hit,
It came never out of wit,
But a music music-born
Well may Jove and Juno scorn.
Thy beauty, if it lack the fire
Which drives me mad with sweet desire,
What boots it? what the soldier's mail,
Unless he conquer and prevail?
What all the goods thy pride which lift,
If thou pine for another's gift?
Alas! that one is born in blight,
Victim of perpetual slight;—
When thou lookest in his face,
Thy heart saith, Brother! go thy ways!
None shall ask thee what thou doest,
Or care a rush for what thou knowest,
Or listen when thou repliest,
Or remember where thou liest,
Or how thy supper is sodden,—
And another is born
To make the sun forgotten.
Surely he carries a talisman
Under his tongue;
Broad are his shoulders, and strong,
And his eye is scornful,
Threatening, and young.
I hold it of little matter,
Whether your jewel be of pure water,
A rose diamond or a white,—
But whether it dazzle me with light.
I care not how you are drest,
In the coarsest, or in the best,
Nor whether your name is base or brave,
Nor tor the fashion of your behavior,—
But whether you charm me,
Bid my bread feed, and my fire warm me,
And dress up nature in your favor.
One thing is forever good,
That one thing is success,—
Dear to the Eumenides,
And to all the heavenly brood.
Who bides at home, nor looks abroad,
Carries the eagles, and masters the sword.
I
I greeted you, my inevitable day
In this shaky firmness of my hands;
Assuring me of my weakness; the languidity of my serene constitution.
The sky smeared with fright,undeed, and look, hark to how the sun closed the night!
This was but unpalatable dew, misty in its impatient greyness
Avidity for genuine sorrow and late confessions
The calm heart then wronged, and soon the war touched the light!

II
Beware of love, o silly hearts!
Loving thoughts, are indeed averse to relenting;
albeit they are always leading to smirks and destitution.
Release thy grains from yon grievous chain!
Spark thy wings, heave and bend!
Wear thy glee, ere any of the gruesome tears remain!
Shield thy mask with greater abhorrence!

III
O notions, fruit my doom and feed my sight!
From womanly misery I yet ought to emerge
and all its surly sleeves I ought to blight!

IV
O peace, fetch for me my untaught breath in vain
Keep me steady, ditch me not in the rain!
Tend me more, yet not my cheerful friend-
in pleasures whom thrives, in virtues was whom foolish!
Praising plaited hairs, swept amidst folded skirts.
Gruesome lies they carry, the finest they conspire to marry;
what a horrid, unalterable, evil concoction!
Yet pureness is the only that deserves awe;
virgins are a symbol of unrequited love, but tenderest affection!
However lonesome, hither and thither I shall bear this pain
Until my stern heart melted to love again.
Lo! where the rosy-bosomed Hours,
Fair Venus’ train, appear,
Disclose the long-expecting flowers,
And wake the purple year!
The Attic warbler pours her throat,
Responsive to the cuckoo’s note,
The untaught harmony of spring:
While, whisp’ring pleasure as they fly,
Cool Zephyrs thro’ the clear blue sky
Their gathered fragrance fling.

Where’er the oak’s thick branches stretch
A broader browner shade,
Where’er the rude and moss-grown beech
O’er-canopies the glade,
Beside some water’s rushy brink
With me the Muse shall sit, and think
(At ease reclined in rustic state)
How vain the ardour of the Crowd,
How low, how little are the Proud,
How indigent the Great!

Still is the toiling hand of Care;
The panting herds repose:
Yet hark, how through the peopled air
The busy murmur glows!
The insect-youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honied spring
And float amid the liquid noon:
Some lightly o’er the current skim,
Some show their gayly-gilded trim
Quick-glancing to the sun.

To Contemplation’s sober eye
Such is the race of Man:
And they that creep, and they that fly,
Shall end where they began.
Alike the Busy and the Gay
But flutter thro’ life’s little day,
In Fortune’s varying colours drest:
Brushed by the hand of rough Mischance,
Or chilled by Age, their airy dance
They leave, in dust to rest.

Methinks I hear, in accents low,
The sportive kind reply:
Poor moralist! and what art thou?
A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,
No painted plumage to display:
On hasty wings thy youth is flown;
Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone—
We frolic while ’tis May.
Before man came to blow it right
The wind once blew itself untaught,
And did its loudest day and night
In any rough place where it caught.

Man came to tell it what was wrong:
It hadn’t found the place to blow;
It blew too hard—the aim was song.
And listen—how it ought to go!

He took a little in his mouth,
And held it long enough for north
To be converted into south,
And then by measure blew it forth.

By measure. It was word and note,
The wind the wind had meant to be—
A little through the lips and throat.
The aim was song—the wind could see.
irinia Jun 2014
I'm in the here&now;
or on a ***** street busy with indifference
daylight falls over
like an iron curtain
and my caged dreams
suddenly claim
their seed innocence

I thought I met you
on unpredictable roads under my skin,
in the splitting of one second into another,
in the empty spaces of the atoms,
in the breath of the night
into the unthought known
or some promise, untaught

I’m holding here
my exhausted smile
me and a flower lady
holding  unwittingly
a water lily
redeemed
Though frost and snow lock’d from mine eyes
That beauty which without door lies,
Thy gardens, orchards, walks, that so
I might not all thy pleasures know,
Yet,  thou within thy gate
Art of thyself so delicate,
So full of native sweets, that bless
Thy roof with inward happiness,
As neither from nor to thy store
Winter takes aught, or spring adds more.
The cold and frozen air had starv’d
Much poor, if not by thee preserv’d,
Whose prayers have made thy table blest
With plenty, far above the rest.
The season hardly did afford
Coarse cates unto thy neighbors’ board,
Yet thou hadst dainties, as the sky
Had only been thy volary;
Or else the birds, fearing the snow
Might to another Deluge grow,
The pheasant, partridge, and the lark
Flew to thy house, as to the Ark.
The willing ox of himself came
Home to the slaughter, with the lamb,
And every beast did thither bring
Himself, to be an offering.
The scaly herd more pleasure took,
Bath’d in thy dish, than in the brook;
Water, earth, air, did all conspire
To pay their tributes to thy fire,
Whose cherishing flames themselves divide
Through every room, where they deride
The night, and cold aboard; whilst they,
Like suns within, keep endless day.
Those cheerful beams send forth their light
To all that wander in the night,
And seem to beckon from aloof
The weary pilgrim to thy roof,
Where if, refresh’d, he will away,
He’s faily welcome; or if stay,
Far more; which he shall hearty find
Both from the master and the hind.
The stranger’s welcome each man there
Stamp’d on his cheerful brow doth wear,
Nor doth this welcome or his cheer
Grow less ‘cause he stays longer here;
There’s none observes, much less repines,
How often this man sups or dines.
Thou hast no porter at the door
T’examine or keep back the poor;
Nor locks nor bolts: thy gates have been
Made only to let strangers in;
Untaught to shut, they do not fear
To stand wide open all the year,
Careless who enters, for they know
Thou never didst deserve a foe;
And as for thieves, thy bounty’s such,
They cannot steal, thou giv’st so much.
Terry O'Leary Jul 2013
Remember all the Wise Men on their knees upon your yacht?
With orphans on their backs they’d crawled (with others that they’d brought)
Through rubble on the highway sands and residues of Lot.
They came from severed cities selling postcards of your thoughts,
Though offered for a penny piece, not even worth a jot.

They mused
               “How are you feeling? What it is you want, you’ve got.
               The words you scrawl on calling cards: ‘I AM – the others NOT’
               Shun wisdoms of the Seven Seas: ‘Salvation can’t be bought’ –
               Your fathers tried before you and your fathers came to naught.

               “You started out by gelding goats and then by casting lots
               Of bodies to the battlefields, contorted, tight and taut,
               Then wallowed in the wake of trails the dervish devil trots.

               “With marching bands of fatherlands, and drums of Hottentots,
               You lure your legions in harm’s way like giant juggernauts.
               Like Tweedle Dum your minions come (the sober and the sots,
               The troglodytes, barbarians, and mislead patriots,
               The Vandals, Huns and Hannibals and seaport Cypriots,
               The Japanese, the Congolese, Americans and Scots)
               To vanquish bows and arrows, spears and catapulted shots
               Of those who hide in bamboo huts their families, pale, distraught,
               (Their withered wives with dried up *******, their swollen babes in cots)
               Who swoon, engulfed in poison darts and vats of acid hot,
               Consumed by magic mushroom clouds, atomic megawatts.

               “In churches of your deities, your Holy Huguenots,
               Your Imams, Rabbis, Voodoo Dolls and Mitered Lancelots
               Lit wicked kindled candled walls in temples (while we fought)
               (Used pins and needles, magic spells on makeshift mock whatnots)
               And mosques, cathedrals, synagogues have blessed each new onslaught
               With prayers for pipers, puppets, pawns, your rigid armed robots.

               “Upon your knees in golden naves, while peeking through the slots,
               You horded thirty silver pieces, downed a whiskey shot,
               Then crossed yourself and wrapped yourself in furs of ocelots,
               And danced on cleated cloven hoofs in purple polka-dots,
               Then drank His blood from chalice cups with pious afterthoughts.

               “You’ve treated men like mongrels chained, like little flies to swat,
               By doing what you wanted to, instead of what you aught;
               You’ve wiped your nose with dollar bills and paid your serfs with snot,
               But when you’ve paused to preen your pride, you’ve scrubbed a scarlet blot.

               “In ashes of our victories: the diamonds that you sought,
               The crock of gold, the Golden fleece of bogus Argonauts -
               In mirrors of your lifelessness, the evils you begot.
              
               “The haunted winds strew leaves of time across a shallow plot
               Where now, beneath the frozen stones blanched bodies bathe in rot,
               Disintegrate, return to dust to feed Forget-Me-Nots
               Amidst the bane and pits of pain where broken bones lie caught.

               “In fields above the catacombs and tombs of Camelot
               The black and withered tree of Death arises from the spot
               Where oft beneath a bleeding moon you hid your gold in pots
               Embedding doubts neath barren bogs where roots of wormwood squat.

               “While waiting at the river Styx, in twisted time untaught,
               From branches of the gallows tree, in recollections wrought,
               Your soul, a beggar’s blanket, hangs in crazy quilted knots,
               With dangling pearls and diamond studs mid dripping crimson clots
               And gaping wounds with bulging eyes like fouling apricots,
               For wrapped in chains around your throat, the Reaper’s grim garrote.”

Yes, that’s the fate of all your kind, disclosed by Wise Men taught.

But that was, oh, so long ago, by now you have forgot…
Odi Jun 2013
The law said her body was made for love
The kind of love that wants to show you
just how much it loves you
by sticking things inside of you

hard
fast

Then slower

The kind of love that wanted to make the bible blush
make you quiver; the
kind of love when you put a female and male hamster together.
The kind of love that wanted to make music out of your ******

Love said "This is what happens
when you use
Needles to ingrain the words love
on peoples skin"

It feels a lot like pain did

Like when the first boy you ever loved
said I love you back
And proved it because he held you after
sticking sticky things inside of you
Like how he said hed wait untill you were ready
then said "You're gonna make me wait forever.."

How that guy on the third date said
"Come back to my apartament
So I can put what I want into you
Until you are empty
Because we might call it love"

Until you met a boy
who untaught what the word love meant
never asked you when you wanted to have ***
whose hands never roamed as greedily
searching for places to settle on your body
who didnt wish to make a home out of you by filling you senseless
and calling it his furniture
art
who traced outlines of constellations on the palms of your hands
and played
"Guess the Nebula"

Whose hardness never prodded you in the back
like a protest
in the early morning
whose breath always came easy
never hard
or fast

It was just holding you with no intention to
*******

He said
"Love isnt what you put inside a person
In hopes of making it stick;and naming it after something beautiful
I can pin my thoughts on you but
you are not my canvas. That wouldnt be fair.
I respect your property."

There was nothing broken when he left.
Gabrielle Aug 2016
I don’t know why she was so easily frustrated
or why she spent hours on end,
at the end,
on the floor compulsively cutting
butterflies out of book pages.
I don’t know why she grew to hate her birthday so much
or why she seemed to become increasingly more and more indecisive.
I don’t know why she began to write those letters,
that jumbled, nonsensical prose
that tumbled, then rose again
only to fall again,
end and begin again.
What begins only just ends again.
And again.

I don’t know why I write in third person
or why I write these letters
or why I can’t make decisions
or why I hate my birthday so much
or why I’m burning these butterflies,
watching the flames feast on their wings.
And I don’t know why I think these things,
the things they say not to think.
But I think that the thoughts I think can’t just be unthought,
that thinking these things can’t be untaught,
like I can’t be untaught to love you.
And that’s where things get really confusing
because you’re not the you that I knew
anymore.
And I suppose I’m not the you that you knew anymore either,
but in my heart and somewhere in the attics of my brain
we’re together, alive again.
2013
Dorset! whose early steps with mine have stray’d,
Exploring every path of Ida’s glade;
Whom, still, affection taught me to defend,
And made me less a tyrant than a friend,
Though the harsh custom of our youthful band
Bade thee obey, and gave me to command;
Thee, on whose head a few short years will shower
The gift of riches, and the pride of power;
E’en now a name illustrious is thine own,
Renown’d in rank, not far beneath the throne.
Yet, Dorset, let not this ****** thy soul
To shun fair science, or evade controul;
Though passive tutors, fearful to dispraise
The titled child, whose future breath may raise,
View ducal errors with indulgent eyes,
And wink at faults they tremble to chastise.
When youthful parasites, who bend the knee
To wealth, their golden idol, not to thee,—
And even in simple boyhood’s opening dawn
Some slaves are found to flatter and to fawn,—
When these declare, “that pomp alone should wait
On one by birth predestin’d to be great;
That books were only meant for drudging fools,
That gallant spirits scorn the common rules;”
Believe them not,—they point the path to shame,
And seek to blast the honours of thy name:
Turn to the few in Ida’s early throng,
Whose souls disdain not to condemn the wrong;
Or if, amidst the comrades of thy youth,
None dare to raise the sterner voice of truth,
Ask thine own heart—’twill bid thee, boy, forbear!
For well I know that virtue lingers there.

Yes! I have mark’d thee many a passing day,
But now new scenes invite me far away;
Yes! I have mark’d within that generous mind
A soul, if well matur’d, to bless mankind;
Ah! though myself, by nature haughty, wild,
Whom Indiscretion hail’d her favourite child;
Though every error stamps me for her own,
And dooms my fall, I fain would fall alone;
Though my proud heart no precept, now, can tame,
I love the virtues which I cannot claim.

’Tis not enough, with other sons of power,
To gleam the lambent meteor of an hour;
To swell some peerage page in feeble pride,
With long-drawn names that grace no page beside;
Then share with titled crowds the common lot—
In life just gaz’d at, in the grave forgot;
While nought divides thee from the ****** dead,
Except the dull cold stone that hides thy head,
The mouldering ’scutcheon, or the Herald’s roll,
That well-emblazon’d but neglected scroll,
Where Lords, unhonour’d, in the tomb may find
One spot, to leave a worthless name behind.
There sleep, unnotic’d as the gloomy vaults
That veil their dust, their follies, and their faults,
A race, with old armorial lists o’erspread,
In records destin’d never to be read.
Fain would I view thee, with prophetic eyes,
Exalted more among the good and wise;
A glorious and a long career pursue,
As first in Rank, the first in Talent too:
Spurn every vice, each little meanness shun;
Not Fortune’s minion, but her noblest son.
  Turn to the annals of a former day;
Bright are the deeds thine earlier Sires display;
One, though a courtier, lived a man of worth,
And call’d, proud boast! the British drama forth.
Another view! not less renown’d for Wit;
Alike for courts, and camps, or senates fit;
Bold in the field, and favour’d by the Nine;
In every splendid part ordain’d to shine;
Far, far distinguished from the glittering throng,
The pride of Princes, and the boast of Song.
Such were thy Fathers; thus preserve their name,
Not heir to titles only, but to Fame.
The hour draws nigh, a few brief days will close,
To me, this little scene of joys and woes;
Each knell of Time now warns me to resign
Shades where Hope, Peace, and Friendship all were mine:
Hope, that could vary like the rainbow’s hue,
And gild their pinions, as the moments flew;
Peace, that reflection never frown’d away,
By dreams of ill to cloud some future day;
Friendship, whose truth let Childhood only tell;
Alas! they love not long, who love so well.

To these adieu! nor let me linger o’er
Scenes hail’d, as exiles hail their native shore,
Receding slowly, through the dark-blue deep,
Beheld by eyes that mourn, yet cannot weep.

  Dorset, farewell! I will not ask one part
Of sad remembrance in so young a heart;
The coming morrow from thy youthful mind
Will sweep my name, nor leave a trace behind.
And, yet, perhaps, in some maturer year,
Since chance has thrown us in the self-same sphere,
Since the same senate, nay, the same debate,
May one day claim our suffrage for the state,
We hence may meet, and pass each other by
With faint regard, or cold and distant eye.
For me, in future, neither friend nor foe,
A stranger to thyself, thy weal or woe—
With thee no more again I hope to trace
The recollection of our early race;
No more, as once, in social hours rejoice,
Or hear, unless in crowds, thy well-known voice;
Still, if the wishes of a heart untaught
To veil those feelings, which, perchance, it ought,
If these,—but let me cease the lengthen’d strain,—
Oh! if these wishes are not breath’d in vain,
The Guardian Seraph who directs thy fate
Will leave thee glorious, as he found thee great.
The soul knows of
Things untaught.
Harper Oct 2012
Deep in my bones
In the webs of my soul
Dwells an experience of something much bigger
Hidden rhythm trickling through the flood of love's eyes
My heart melts as realizations collide
Spiraling through creative mind substance
Harmonious abundance
The back of my head
The seek in my bead
My dreams unfolding as we dance with the dead
Feeling the wait of heartache and dreams fade
The seems break
Drowning in words unthought
Language of the mind untaught
Heart strings pulled by moon beams
Seal the reams of each page
Writing away each wage
Are we awakened by our purpose?
Is it love that assures us?
Tip toeing through plastic gardens as not to awaken the true self
Searching the ground for what we know we put on the highest shelf
Maybe it was to keep it sacred
Perhaps by falling into falling out we chose to ignore our highest selves
Shocked by our desire to understand the depths of hell
As we fell attachments released and real ceased from our grasp
Choosing to relinquish with deadly sap
Stuck in this head throb our heart knows and time clocks us out from this doubt
We let it go
We let it go
We let it go
Terry O'Leary Mar 2017
While waiting at the river Styx, in twisted time untaught,
from branches of the gallows tree, in recollections wrought,
your soul, a beggar’s blanket, hangs in crazy quilted knots,
with dangling pearls and diamond studs in dripping crimson clots,
midst gaping wounds and bulging eyes like fouling apricots,
for wrapped like rope around your throat’s the Reaper’s grim garrote.
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24)
Emma Jenny Feb 2016
I used to think I understood
the way things were meant to be
going off of what I have learned
rhyming off what I have heard
I sang confidently a simple song
because I thought I knew the right
while others followed along
with beliefs and ideas considered that of sin
so I told my stories again and again.
over-confident.

But I forgot to ask questions.
and I forgot about the grey.
Flames upon a plastic world
Take away what ugly truths lie beneath its skin
Unveiling what rotting minds forge
Upon the fragile births of a dreamworld
Far beyond the corruption and sin
Ground together so the greedy may gorge
No two flames are ever lit near
But on the rarest of days
The flames burns paths that cross
Igniting themselves to greater strengths
To eliminate what the greed filled world held dear
Showing old ways to untaught youth
To free their minds from frosts
And bring them, a more beautiful world.
Clone re Eatery Dec 2014
A dóggy drópped sóme Crappó
                   steaming ón the street,
a cóffee cólóred fungus
                   piled up óh só neat -
and there a juicy maggót
                   fóund it óh só sweet,
só simply sóft and tender,
                   just like a córpse's meat

Thee maggót, nót só clever
                   -  simple and untaught -
was dreaming óf attentión,
                   slimelight's what it sóught.
An empty-minded cómrade
                   certainly'd help a lót -
anóther wórm-like nóthing
                   just the thing! it thóught.
  
While ******* in the Lóg's brain
                   - óh quite a simple chóre -
it replicated pustules,
                   petty, ghastly, sóre.
And when the Lógy maggót
                   ****** in nóthing móre
it burst apart in wónder,
                   clóned Thee Artiste Whóre

Well, Petty Little Lógbrain,
                   Whóre, Thee Artiste crank
Are mixed up in the mire,
                   in mindless **** they sank.
Thee cópies creepy Crappó,
                   from pages where he stank.
and claims tó be Thee Artiste,
                   - Thee smell is simply rank

The móral óf this fable,
                   clear fór all tó see:
If fated with a Lóg brain
                   bear yóur destiny
and never let yóur EGÓ
                 rampage ón a spree!
Ór  else like Whóre and Crappó
                   yóu'll sóón turn intó Thee.



                CrE aka Trollminator
I wonder if you know
how much it hurt
to be buried in intuition.
pure, untaught knowledge
without a single doubt of feeling.
I lay before you like
your open palm,
waiting for you to grasp
the concept of my love.

instead you left,
like the tear escaping my eye
and rolling down my cheek.

*t.m.v
ConnectHook May 2017
Globally dense, our ailing nation
makes one weep for sheer frustration
thoughts and dreams grow numb.
Tech-addled students scroll on phones,
‘midst scent of android pheromones,
wafting digital dumb.

Pop-culture, narcissist unkind
dispenses with the human mind
which, failing further, falls behind
the grimly global curve.

We read, in writing on the wall
arithmetic’s impending fall
while numbers loiter in the hall
to get what they deserve.

ENQUIRY, tagged as D.O.A,
a sheeted stiff, is wheeled away
her mourners left to grieve.
entitled maiden, full of sass,
LIBERTY begs a bathroom pass
her bladder to relieve.

When zit-faced rebels run the show
the dismal ratings plummet low;
a vulgarized cartoon.
Descending to unfathomed levels,
Ignorance applauds her devils
calling out their tune.

PATRIOTISM, tarred and feathered
headless, claws its cage untethered
foul, unloved, unfree:
Another casualty of time
which fell for want of noble rhyme;
to water FREEDOM’s tree.

CURIOSITY, half asleep,
now stirs and murmurs from the deep
uninterested, untaught.
She grows yet duller in her ways
returning to her ocean daze,
(her schools of fish uncaught).

HISTORY, dormant, lies in dust
a narrative no man can trust
a book no scholar reads.
Events unstudied as designed
wherein the heart of humankind
for want of context, bleeds.

DEMOCRACY degenerates
until God wills and activates
a nation’s drive to learn.
Curricula will be made void;
disheartened teachers unemployed,
their wisdom fit to burn.

You think the past was less obtuse?
Less prone to youthful thought-abuse?
Perhaps…  back in the day.
And though it may have been the same.
this poet opts to place the blame
on digital delay.
Last of NaPoWriMo 2017
(one day late...)

Genteel Zen Buddhists
dwelling in eternal Now
make dull poetry
Ethan Robison Sep 2011
I transpose a verse in perfect harmony.
Specks of self-loathing fall from pitch and pattern.
Words backfire, break, and delude,
Into nothing more than a harmony.

I break apart a God complex larger than myself,
But still find I am the root of an apathetic religion.
I am broken, brittle, taut, but untaught,
I am nothing more than myself.

I speak to ears from days of lore.
I send for memories ago.
Passages forgotten, buried, and bruised,
Forgotten with the word of *your.
Avery Glows Aug 2014
Pride is a must, essential to guard

The Soul Within you claim your own.

Vanity, a replacement, an alter ego

To depend and rely prior

The True Self is known.

You are compelled to construct

a man made core to revolt

Around to contain your thoughts,

your feelings or else—

your heart shall rust.

Then living will no longer be

possible for you, are blinded.

You can't see, you cannot seek

yourself in your fear.

Confined and so you had to pretend

to put up a facade, a mask a tent.

Untaught of the fickle you must believe

in the dark, the unknown, mysterious

*Shadow.
Kayla Ann Jul 2014
The geometry of perfection
An equation of stars
Constellations spinning
Rhythmically to a melancholy
Melody written in the language
Of the essence of being

A brief connection that spans
Ages and draws together
The centuries since past
In reverent bravado
Wordlessly etching a memoir
Into a stately marble floor

Stumbling into grace
Like sudden elegance found
After a third glass of rose cabernet
Untaught steps mastered in
Moments engulfed in an
Overwhelming sense of pose

The dance of dances
A most classic and romantic
Masterpiece of body
Music and mind
Scripted by the soul
A renaissance of heart
Inspired by the song 'Dark Waltz' as sung by Hayley Westerna
Times long gone; forsaken;
My vague and rusty past.
Moments lost and forgotten,
Through you, they always last.

The paths through life not taken;
Opportunities and decisions too;
Dreams, to be realized and broken;
My life, me; I see it, through you.

Through you; fragile; pure; I see,-
My genesis; every last memory,
Battling fate, learning to be me;
I see every detail of my life story.

You're like a mirror, in my future,
Through you, I see what I was.
I see, vividly, the whole picture;
Strokes of my strengths and flaws.

In you, my whole life is mapped;
Moments untouched; my destiny;
Like a dear present, unwrapped,-
Through your eyes, I see me.

Through your smile, I see hope.
I behold, me getting up after a fall.
Struggles on the route to the top;
Successes and failures; I see it all.

Through your tears, I see pain;
The essence of joy, love and faith.
Despair; the background of gain,
But beyond the hurt, I see strength.

Strength to overcome opposition.
Courage to look failure in the eye;
Will, pride, joy, and determination-
To spread my wings, to learn to fly.

In your silence, I feel my peace;
Composure in my loud thoughts;
Imagination; portraits of bliss;
I see the lines connecting the dots.

In your touch; untaught, harmless;
I feel love; energy pure and true.
One soul in two bodies; oneness;
I see us and I see me, through you.

Keep Smiling
Yasha Harkness Apr 2015
This is not a poem.
I am not a lullaby
Nor a childhood monster
I am untaught
Unseen

Uncaught

You can never bring me down.
Though you try
I overcome it all
The hate
The violence
Mindsets of a bygone era

If I should fall
Another will take my place
We
Are
Endless.


We exist in the hidden places
You do not see us.
Yet we are rising
And we will be beyond restraint
by the time you finally deign to see us
As anything but your inferiors
Abnormal
QUEER.
This is not a poem.
This is a war cry.
AD Mullin Nov 2017
Delusions of
Futures untold
Created for
Us, you know: the un-bold

Braying our compulsions
To the big ear in the
Sky
As we seek:

Glor if i ca tion
Being meek likely won’t bring
Gra tif i ca tion
Dulling my senses points to
Stu pif i ca tion
But don’t I deserve it, I am a
Hall u cin a tion

So why put in the work?
I’ll wait

<<<PAUSE>>>

The avalanche will find me in perpetuity
Coming in time cause I been shirking duty
Oh, here it is - time for me to be:
Aggrieved

I should’ve known better but I was:
Deceived

I just wanted to tell my truth, I wanted to be:
Believed

Wish I woulda kept something up my:
Sleeve

So how do you rise above?

Do you got what it takes?
Could you climb your
Kilamanjaro?
With a little training maybe
Gut check: find your bravado
Wouldn’t it be nice to have your own number,
Like Avogadro

And I ask again,
How do you rise above?

You breathe it in
Seethe it in
Find a vessel to
Conceive it in
Now that it’s full
And maybe even overflowing

Let it go

Trying to find answers in a bottle
Could point you toward
A 12 step mis-step

Getting back on the right track:

Use a compass
That’s internal
Realign it, maybe
Through a vernal
Equinox, the universe speaks a language
We are untaught
It’s of the Earth and Sky and
Can’t be bought
Maybe it’s me and
Maybe it’s not
I want to commune with my god
Through thought and
Heartfelt overtures that aren’t constrained
By limitations of my brain
Or systems based on economics
My value is not gleaned from
Gross Domestic Products

Answers are found as you expand past the vessel
You may become part of the trestle
Follow the false path long enough
And you get trod under
The false pathfinder becomes the path,
Did you make a few to many navigational errors
Cause you didn’t do the math
And now, as a part of the foundation of which the unending wayfarers
Can use to go a little further and a little longer in the wrong direction
Your hard work has become a bridge to nowhere
But let’s not dwell, cause

Scrupulosity
Will never guide you to the golden city

Maybe its the meat suit that you’re wearing
The overcomplexity of your eyes
That won’t let you see
The unending nerve endings that make you feel so much
You can’t feel, you won’t feel
You could pay heed to Seneca
Consider giving the suit a slip
Taking a trip
Through the underworld
With everybody’s favourite sidekick: Virgil
Kickin’ it, workin’ it
Trying not to let the lost souls hold you down
Throw you down
Now it’s time, let’s start coming around

On my journey, seems
I can’t shake em’
Me, myself, and my shadow-self
Guess I’ll try and integrate em’

Time for a va ca tion
From thoughts that won’t un-
wind, in breezes

Gonna get around to it, to
Writing my treatise
Maybe I can elucidate this false peace
Via an army of one, en masse
Slipping through the bars of false
Beliefs
As the trees
Lose their leaves

Maybe for the last time

I'm working on the unwind
From a labyrinth that is unkind
So sorry:
Guess I'm playing up the sublime

Ah, never mind - it’s
Navel gazing
Self hazing
I ain’t done razing

Roofs and
Telling truths
Or drinking
Vermouth
Cause at my very root I am
Uncouth

Razing?
Or raising!
Roofs
Finding proofs
Telling truths

Ever listen to Ruf-
Us or Martha
The Wainrights
Canadian brain-trust
Listen too hard make your brain bust

Let’s get back to navels, or
Oranges
But nothing rhymes with oranges
Maybe not
Gotta flip it
Tryna strip it
This noose is so tight
Can I slip it?

It’s geometrical
Said Euclides
We got the Greeks
Or do the Greeks got us
Squeezing us into this euro-centric
Box
Can it be un-wrapped?
Can you un-rap this poem?

Busting brains
And taking names
No one to blame, I
Don’t feel ashamed
When I win
Just means I can take it
In my shin
It’s got nothing to do with my
D N A, eh
Nor the choice piece of geography
I made the conscious choice to arrive on,
genetically

But remembering brevity
It’s time to cut the rambling for the sake of levity
Speaking of sake, I wouldn’t mind some saké

Oh, what’s that:
~~~ boom ~~~
Pulled another one out of my medicine bag

Just sitting here

Shifting gears
Confronting fears
Yesterday I was

Bleak
Er

Meek
Er

Should have been a
Streak
Er

Laying out the facts that are
untold
Thanks for listening to me
Another one of the
un-bold
I've got rambling. I've got rambling on my mind
The ghost of my eternity

Like a stone carved dream

Floats in blue air reflections

Of crystal mirrors

With lips untaught to smile

Already blind, stares at the sun

For there is no title, unless given
irinia Nov 2015
"I live not in myself, but I become
Portion of that around me..."
George Gordon Byron

"The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find)
Is not to act or think beyond mankind:
No powers of body or of soul to share,
But what his Nature and his state can bear."
Alexander Pope

"...body is but a striving to become mind... it is mind in its essence"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"... insight that he in some sort possesses,
A privilege whereby a work of his,
Proceeding from a source of untaught things
Creative and enduring, may become
A power like that of Nature's."
William Wordsworth

"What am I? ?Nothing: but not so art thou,
Soul of my thought with whom I traverse earth,
Invisible but gazing, as I glow
Mixed with thy spirit, blended with thy birth,
And feeling still with thee in my crush'd feelings' dearth."
George Gordon Byron

"Imagination is a Divine Vision not of the World, or of Man, nor from Man as he is a Natural Man, but only as he is a Spiritual Man."
William Wordsworth

"Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woaful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"That awful Power"..."which unites clearness with depth, the plenitude of the sense with the comprehensibility of the understanding".*  * the creative faculty [my note]
S. T. Coleridge
what is there to be learned from the poets, people who thought and felt and created their versions of what it means to be alive
unnamed Jan 2018
Long ago at the water's edge
As I stared at the tides
The ocean waved at me
The wind played with my hair

A thought came to me
Silly as it may sound
"How will people know
That I was here?"

So I grabbed a stick and scrawled
My name on the shore
Happy that everyone
Will remember me for sure

But the water charged at the shore
Like a bull with horns
And to my horror
My name was gone

So I stopped worrying
If I'll be remembered or not
And felt the cool breeze
The nature, untaught.
Skyla Jul 13
I’m somebody’s daughter

Made of sugar and gasoline
I wash away the filth until I bleed  
Desperate to be clean

I’m somebody’s daughter

A small and hungry crime scene
Made of guilt and strawberry cream
But I never cry in my dreams

I’m somebody’s daughter

Trying to become untaught
They love the sound of sorry
Even when they know I’m not
Luna Casablanca Aug 2014
When the negativity
feels
more like a disease.
When the anxious feeling
grows nasty
like an untaught being.
I'm a wrestler.
I'm a fighter.
I'm a master warrior.
This wooden block
can be chopped.
This chain
is unhooked.
I do
what's unique.
So don't
ever
try to stop me
again.
This is about my anxiety.
How I may have alot of it to deal with,
but NEVER does it stop me
from doing and trying new things.
There's more to life
than just worrying.
Neal Emanuelson Feb 2015
Crouched before the electrical lord
A terminal of many, unity of one
Touched by multitudes and harbored
Estranged not by origin, but by future
Quantum in hopes and observations
Pulses of twin opposites
Required to speak

To hear

To tap

To click

To adhere, code, and program
A world unbound to restrictions
Of moral and legalities of fleshy desires
But is bound to cages of silicon and metals
Ropes of data and temperatures of stress
Spider’d to wiles and enthusiasms of minds
Accustomed to fear and paranoia of the untaught

It seeks

It learns

It grows

An amalgamation of past, present and future
Collected, assembled, forgotten and recycled
Corrupted without a trace of restoration
But trusted and believed without concern
Lest we forget, the mistakes of the system
Are compounded and blamed, but-
The computer only does what an idiot commands.

© 2014
Kudos for those of you that get it. :)
Your Gift
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Counsel, console.
This is your gift.
Calm, kiss and encourage.
Tenderly lift
each world-wounded heart
from its fatal dart.
Mend every rift.
Bid pain, “Depart!”
Save every sorrow
for your own untaught heart.
Eric Fraley Feb 2018
One man's life....
he's the creative type,
even despite....
His lack of freedom to use it in a fair fight,  
he ain't taught right they keep saying but there's a quote that keeps replaying and rewinding and it seems to be constantly reminding and finding its way into his head....
into my mind....
making me give it deep thought...
Keeping my attention constantly caught,
Let me tell you what this saying said ....

"creativity is a part of human nature,
it can only be untaught."-Ai Weiwei

so apparently I was taught right even though I stay up late nights,
had no other choice,
nowhere for my thoughts to go so...
all this emotion...
I hope it makes these lines flow because I'm just expressing the freedom creativity-is-giving-me ...
Life builds up then comes crashing down so how does freedom sound...
Great but it sparks a lot of debate,
what it means to be free,
what it means to stay true to what others can't see.

Who do you need to be or want to be,
hope you're taking this seriously because it's your life on the line while I'm writing this rhyme to pass time,


I tend to find a peace of mind that no one these days would spend a dime to realign with reality and find their place becuasewe all suffer humanity...

it just comes in different forms of insanity...

Stay tentative-to-your-feelings before they get to the extent-I've-been dealing  because we try to repent but our minds are unwilling
So all these thoughts,
into this next verse I'm spilling,
these rhymes I been drilling harder n harder into this paper till it's to the extent and the length the height from the top to the base is so great you gotta say hold up,
wait....
I ain't ready...

But it's too late,
can't change fate,
already too much on your plate time to grind or commit the crime that is false hope
When life sends a clue...
don't pass the note that's a notion of the answer to all this commotion  that tells you which path to set your devotion because although distortions-high I can still see off in the distance a sunny-shore-line....
but rough seas ahead,
can't turn back,
the tidal waves on your ***,
get the gears going instead before too much time has passed  


They say it's all so easy but we all know that thought never lasts because you can't change the past but you can forge the future,
Straighten up,
have a better stature because we have to learn so early how to mature in a world so unworldly,
it tends to send you hurling outta control but you press pause your feet stand still but your mind stalls,
now the world's spinning,
ask for it to stop but it’s unwilling
That's life in a place where hard-work and effort sometimes never suffice,
sometimes the worlds as lucky or unlucky as a roll of the dice but that's the price we pay in the world we live in today where behind a thousand thoughts is only one-action...
but forgot to mention the amount of care the world's-lacking You give it your all but even then,
in the end
It still sends you  packing
I found this poem in my old notes and could not remember writing it so I titled it Forgotten Thoughts.
Renée Brookes Jul 2017
Here I sit, as always.
I am waiting for life to find me.

Upon this ledge:
uneven pigtails,
cold glassy skin,
shattered chest,
for a nest of spiders
covered by frilly cloth.
It makes me feel beautiful.
The patterned plaid,
sewn by my mistress.

She made me without love,
untaught to my sisters;
handled, mishandled, carelessly.

My shell sits here like always,
waiting for love to find me.

The spiders tickle; so many.
Dust cloaks me from interested eyes.
My stare is blank,
HORROR movie scary.
I'm sorry, I don't know another stare.

Please someone see me,
deep where something should be.
I will wait atop this ledge forever.

— The End —