Friday, April 30, 2010

"Pied Beauty" by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Pied Beauty
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Gray Eyes" by Sara Teasdale

Gray Eyes
by Sara Teasdale

It was April when you came
The first time to me,
And my first look in your eyes
Was like my first look at the sea.

We have been together
Four Aprils now
Watching for the green
On the swaying willow bough;

Yet whenever I turn
To your gray eyes over me,
It is as though I looked
For the first time at the sea.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Devotion II" by Thomas Campion

Devotion II
by Thomas Campion

Follow your saint, follow with accents sweet!
Haste you, sad notes, fall at her flying feet!
There, wrapt in cloud of sorrow, pity move,
And tell the ravisher of my soul I perish for her love:
But if she scorns my never-ceasing pain,
Then burst with sighing in her sight, and ne'er return again!
All that I sung still to her praise did tend;
Still she was first, still she my songs did end;
Yet she my love and music both doth fly,
The music that her echo is and beauty's sympathy:
Then let my notes pursue her scornful flight!
It shall suffice that they were breathed and died for her delight.

Friday, April 23, 2010

"The Look" by Sarah Teasdale

The Look
by Sarah Teasdale

Strephon kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon's kiss was lost in jest,
Robin's lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin's eyes
Haunts me night and day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"He Forgot—and I—Remembered—" by Emily Dickinson

He Forgot—and I—Remembered—
by Emily Dickinson

He forgot—and I—remembered—
'Twas an everyday affair—
Long ago as Christ and Peter—
"Warmed them" at the "Temple fire."

"Thou wert with him"—quoth "the Damsel"?
"No"—said Peter, 'twasn't me—
Jesus merely "looked" at Peter—
Could I do aught else—to Thee?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Morning" by Sara Teasdale

by Sara Teasdale
I went out on an April morning
All alone, for my heart was high,
I was a child of the shining meadow,
I was a sister of the sky.

There in the windy flood of morning
Longing lifted its weight from me,
Lost as a sob in the midst of cheering,
Swept as a sea-bird out to sea. 

This poem reminds me so much of a poem I posted earlier, Night by L. M. Montgomery.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"A Dying Christian to His Soul" by Alexander Pope

A Dying Christian to His Soul
by Alexander Pope

Vital spark of heav'nly flame!
Quit, O quit this mortal frame;
Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying,
O the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.

Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Sister Spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses, shut my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

The world recedes; it disappears!
Heav'n opens on my eyes! my  ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy sting? 

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Dawn" by Paul Laurence Dunbar

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

An angel, robed in spotless white,
Bent down and kissed the sleeping Night.
Night woke to blush; the sprite was gone.
Men saw the blush and called it Dawn.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Thoughts" by Sara Teasdale

by Sara Teasdale
When I can make my thoughts come forth
To walk like ladies up and down,
Each one puts on before the glass
Her most becoming hat and gown.

But oh, the shy and eager thoughts
That hide and will not get them dressed,
Why is it that they always seem
So much more lovely than the rest?

"Loveliest of Trees" by Alfred Edward Housman

Loveliest of Trees
by Alfred Edward Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Threescore years and ten is seventy years, the lifespan of the time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"Things That Never Die" by Charlies Dickens

Things That Never Die
by Charles Dickens

The pure, the bright, the beautiful
that stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulses to wordless prayer,
The streams of love and truth,
The longing after something lost,
The spirit's yearning cry,
The striving after better hopes—
These things can never die.

The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A brother in his need;
A kindly word in grief's dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy softly breathed,
When justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart—
These things shall never die.

Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do,
Lose not a chance to waken love—
Be firm and just and true.
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee—
"These things shall never die."

Friday, April 9, 2010

"April" by Sara Teasdale

by Sara Teasdale

The roofs are shining from the rain.
The sparrows titter as they fly,
And with a windy April grace
The little clouds go by.

Yet the back-yards are bare and brown
With only one unchanging tree–
I could not be so sure of Spring
Save that it sings in me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Nothing Gold Can stay" by Robert Frost

Nothing Gold Can stay
by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed" by Emily Dickinson

I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed
by Emily Dickinson

I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

When the landlord turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"The Master Is Come, and Calleth for Thee" by Christina Rossetti

The Master Is Come, and Calleth for Thee 
by Christina Rossetti
Who calleth?–Thy Father calleth,
  Run, O Daughter, to wait on Him:
He Who chasteneth but for a season
  Trims thy lamp that it burn not dim.

Who calleth?–Thy Master calleth,
  Sit, Disciple, and learn of Him:
He Who teacheth wisdom of Angels
  Makes thee wise as the Cherubim,

Who calleth?–Thy Monarch calleth,
  Rise, O Subject, and follow Him:
He is stronger than Death or Devil,
  Fear not thou if the foe be grim.

Who calleth?–Thy Lord God calleth.
  Fall, O Creature, adoring Him:
He is jealous, thy God Almighty,
  Count not dear to thee life or limb.

Who calleth?–Thy Bridegroom calleth,
  Soar, O Bride, with the Seraphim:
He Who loves thee as no man loveth,
  Bids thee give up thy heart to Him.

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Good Friday" by Christina Rossetti

Good Friday
by Christina Rossetti

Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
     That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
     To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
     Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
     Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
     Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
     A horror of great darkness at broad noon—
I, only I.

Yet give not o’er
     But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
     Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Behold the Man!" by Christina Rossetti

"Behold the Man!"
by Christina Rossetti

Shall Christ hang on the Cross, and we not look?
Heaven, earth, and hell stood gazing at the first,
While Christ for long-cursed man was counted cursed;
Christ, God and Man, Whom God the Father strook
And shamed and sifted and one while forsook:–
Cry shame upon our bodies we have nursed
In sweets, our souls in pride, our spirits immersed
In wilfulness, our steps run all acrook.
Cry shame upon us! for He bore our shame
In agony, and we look on at ease
With neither hearts on flame nor cheeks on flame:
What hast thou, what have I, to do with peace?
Not to send peace but send a sword He came,
And fire and fasts and tearful night-watches.