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What is your fav poem?

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What are your favorite poems?


Lions in the street and roaming

Dogs in heat, rabid, foaming

A beast caged in the heart of a city

The body of his mother

Rotting in the summer ground

He fled the town

He went down South and crossed the border

Left the chaos and disorder

Back there over his shoulder

One morning he awoke in a green hotel

With a strange creature groaning beside him

Sweat oozed from its shiny skin

Is everybody in?

The ceremony is about to begin

Wake up!

You can't remember where it was

Had this dream stopped?

The snake was pale gold

Glazed and shrunken We were afraid to touch it

The sheets were hot dead prisons

Now, run to the mirror in the bathroom Look!

I can't live thru each slow century of her moving

I let my cheek slide down

The cool smooth tile

Feel the good cold stinging blood

The smooth hissing snakes of rain . . .

Once I had, a little game

I liked to crawl back into my brain

I think you know the game I mean

I mean the game called 'go insane'

Now you should try this little game

Just close your eyes forget your name

Forget the world forget the people

And we'll erect a different steeple

This little game is fun to do

Just close your eyes no way to lose

And I'm right there I'm going too

Release control we're breaking thru

Way back deep into the brain

Back where there's never any pain

And the rain falls gently on the town

And in the labyrinth of streams

Beneath, the quiet unearthly presence of

Nervous hill dwellers in the gentle hills around Reptiles abounding

Fossils, caves, cool air heights

Each house repeats a mold

Windows rolled

Beast car locked in against morning

All now sleeping

Rugs silent, mirrors vacant

Dust blind under the beds of lawful couples

Wound in sheets

And daughters, smug

With semen eyes in their nipples


There's been a slaughter here

(Don't stop to speak or look around

Your gloves and fan are on the ground

We're getting out of town

We're going on the run

And you're the one I want to come)

Not to touch the earth

Not to see the sun

Nothing left to do, but

Run, run, run

Let's run

House upon the hill

Moon is lying still

Shadows of the trees

Witnessing the wild breeze

C'mon baby run with me

Let's run

Run with me

Run with me

Run with me

Let's run

The mansion is warm, at the top of the hill

Rich are the rooms and the comforts there

Red are the arms of luxuriant chairs

And you won't know a thing till you get inside

Dead president's corpse in the driver's car

The engine runs on glue and tar

C'mon along, we're not going very far

To the East to meet the Czar

Some outlaws lived by the side of the lake

The minister's daughter's in love with the snake

Who lives in a well by the side of the road

Wake up, girl! We're almost home

Sun, sun, sun

Burn, burn, burn

Soon, soon, soon

Moon, moon, moon

I will get you




Let the carnival bells ring

Let the serpent sing

Let everything

We came down

The rivers and highways

We came down from

Forests and falls

We came down from

Carson and Springfield

We came down from

Phoenix enthralled

And I can tell you

The names of the Kingdom

I can tell you

The things that you know

Listening for a fistful of silence

Climbing valleys into the shade

'I am the Lizard King

I can do anything

I can make the earth stop in its tracks

I made the blue cars go away

For seven years I dwelt

In the loose palace of exile

Playing strange games

With the girls of the island

Now I have come again

To the land of the fair, and the strong, and the wise

Brothers and sisters of the pale forest

O Children of Night

Who among you will run with the hunt? Now Night arrives with her purple legion

Retire now to your tents and to your dreams

Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth

I want to be ready

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.


                                               Look at the flowers

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Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came

Robert Browning

My first thought was, he lied in every word,

That hoary cripple, with malicious eye

Askance to watch the workings of his lie

On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford

Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored

Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby.


What else should he be set for, with his staff?

What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare

All travellers who might find him posted there,

And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh

Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph

For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare.


If at his counsel I should turn aside

Into that ominous tract which, all agree,

Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly

I did turn as he pointed, neither pride

Now hope rekindling at the end descried,

So much as gladness that some end might be.


For, what with my whole world-wide wandering,

What with my search drawn out through years, my hope

Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope

With that obstreperous joy success would bring,

I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring

My heart made, finding failure in its scope.


As when a sick man very near to death

Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end

The tears and takes the farewell of each friend,

And hears one bit the other go, draw breath

Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith

And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;')


When some discuss if near the other graves

be room enough for this, and when a day

Suits best for carrying the corpse away,

With care about the banners, scarves and staves

And still the man hears all, and only craves

He may not shame such tender love and stay.


Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest,

Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ

So many times among 'The Band' to wit,

The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed

Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best,

And all the doubt was now - should I be fit?


So, quiet as despair I turned from him,

That hateful cripple, out of his highway

Into the path he pointed. All the day

Had been a dreary one at best, and dim

Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim

Red leer to see the plain catch its estray.


For mark! No sooner was I fairly found

Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two,

Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view

O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round;

Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound.

I might go on, naught else remained to do.


So on I went. I think I never saw

Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve:

For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove!

But cockle, spurge, according to their law

Might propagate their kind with none to awe,

You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove.


No! penury, inertness and grimace,

In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See

'Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly,

'It nothing skills: I cannot help my case:

''Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place

'Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.'


If there pushed any ragged thistle-stalk

Above its mates, the head was chopped, the bents

Were jealous else. What made those holes and rents

In the dock's harsh swarth leaves, bruised as to baulk

All hope of greenness? Tis a brute must walk

Pashing their life out, with a brute's intents.


As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair

In leprosy; thin dry blades pricked the mud

Which underneath looked kneaded up with blood.

One stiff blind horse, his every bone a-stare,

Stood stupified, however he came there:

Thrust out past service from the devil's stud!


Alive? he might be dead for aught I knew,

With that red gaunt and colloped neck a-strain.

And shut eyes underneath the rusty mane;

Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woe;

I never saw a brute I hated so;

He must be wicked to deserve such pain.


I shut my eyes and turned them on my heart,

As a man calls for wine before he fights,

I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights,

Ere fitly I could hope to play my part.

Think first, fight afterwards, the soldier's art:

One taste of the old time sets all to rights.


Not it! I fancied Cuthbert's reddening face

Beneath its garniture of curly gold,

Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold

An arm to mine to fix me to the place,

The way he used. Alas, one night's disgrace!

Out went my heart's new fire and left it cold.


Giles then, the soul of honour - there he stands

Frank as ten years ago when knighted first,

What honest man should dare (he said) he durst.

Good - but the scene shifts - faugh! what hangman hands

Pin to his breast a parchment? His own bands

Read it. Poor traitor, spit upon and curst!


Better this present than a past like that:

Back therefore to my darkening path again!

No sound, no sight as far as eye could strain.

Will the night send a howlet or a bat?

I asked: when something on the dismal flat

Came to arrest my thoughts and change their train.


A sudden little river crossed my path

As unexpected as a serpent comes.

No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms;

This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath

For the fiend's glowing hoof - to see the wrath

Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes.


So petty yet so spiteful! All along,

Low scrubby alders kneeled down over it;

Drenched willows flung them headlong in a fit

Of mute despair, a suicidal throng:

The river which had done them all the wrong,

Whate'er that was, rolled by, deterred no whit.


Which, while I forded - good saints, how I feared

To set my foot upon a dead man's cheek,

Each step, of feel the spear I thrust to seek

For hollows, tangled in his hair or beard!

- It may have been a water-rat I speared,

But, ugh! it sounded like a baby's shriek.


Glad was I when I reached the other bank.

Now for a better country. Vain presage!

Who were the strugglers, what war did they wage,

Whose savage trample thus could pad the dank

soil to a plash? Toads in a poisoned tank

Or wild cats in a red-hot iron cage -


The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirque,

What penned them there, with all the plain to choose?

No footprint leading to that horrid mews,

None out of it. Mad brewage set to work

Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves the Turk

Pits for his pastime, Christians against Jews.


And more than that - a furlong on - why, there!

What bad use was that engine for, that wheel,

Or brake, not wheel - that harrow fit to reel

Men's bodies out like silk? With all the air

Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware

Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steel.


Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood,

Next a marsh it would seem, and now mere earth

Desperate and done with; (so a fool finds mirth,

Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood

Changes and off he goes!) within a rood -

Bog, clay and rubble, sand, and stark black dearth.


Now blotches rankling, coloured gay and grim,

Now patches where some leanness of the soil's

Broke into moss, or substances like boils;

Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him

Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim

Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils.


And just as far as ever from the end!

Naught in the distance but the evening, naught

To point my footstep further! At the thought,

A great black bird, Apollyon's bosom friend,

Sailed past, not best his wide wing dragon-penned

That brushed my cap - perchance the guide I sought.


For, looking up, aware I somehow grew,

'Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place

All round to mountains - with such name to grace

Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view.

How thus they had surprised me - solve it, you!

How to get from them was no clearer case.


Yet half I seemed to recognise some trick

Of mischief happened to me, God knows when -

In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then

Progress this way. When, in the very nick

Of giving up, one time more, came a click

As when a trap shuts - you're inside the den.


Burningly it came on me all at once,

This was the place! those two hills on the right,

Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight;

While to the left a tall scalped mountain ... Dunce,

Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce,

After a life spent training for the sight!


What in the midst lay but the Tower itself?

The round squat turret, blind as the fool's heart,

Built of brown stone, without a counterpart

In the whole world. The tempest's mocking elf

Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf

He strikes on, only when the timbers start.


Not see? because of night perhaps? - why day

Came back again for that! before it left

The dying sunset kindled through a cleft:

The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay,

Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay, -

'Now stab and end the creature - to the heft!'


Not hear? When noise was everywhere! it tolled

Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears

Of all the lost adventurers, my peers -

How such a one was strong, and such was bold,

And such was fortunate, yet each of old

Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.


There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met

To view the last of me, a living frame

For one more picture! In a sheet of flame

I saw them and I knew them all. And yet

Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,

And blew. 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.'

When my letter reaches you, please don't break the seal
Just wait a little while, give it time to heal
And I belive you'll understand that this is my last and most loving request

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Choosing a favorite poem to me would be like choosing...well, it would just be damn near impossible. I love so many by so many authors...I've been working on a little pocket-notebook collection of all my favorites so I can carry it around with me, and the book's about halfway full so far. So many wonderful works by Russell Edson, James Tate, e.e. cummings...

Anyway. If I were to choose just one poem to put here at the moment, it'd be the one I had running through my head for a good chunk of this past semester:

(By Stevie Smith)

Nobody heard him, the dead man,

But still he lay moaning:

I was much further out than you thought

And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking

And now he's dead

It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,

They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always

(Still the dead one lay moaning)

I was much too far out all my life

And not waving but drowning.


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Hmm...favorite poem. All in all, I'd have to say...

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I

pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume

of forgotten lore--

While I nodded, nearly napping,

suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping

at my chamber door.

"'Tis some visitor," I muttered,

"tapping at my chamber door--

Only this and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the

bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought

its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow; --vainly I

had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow--

sorrow for the lost Lenore--

For the rare and radiant maiden whom

the angels name Lenore--

Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling

of each purple curtain

Thrilled me--filled me with fantastic

terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my

heart, I stood repeating

"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance

at my chamber door--

Some late visitor entreating entrance

at my chamber door; --

This it is and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger;

hesitating then no longer,

"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your

forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so

gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping,

tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you" --

here I opened wide the door; --

Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I

stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal

ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the

stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the

whispered word "Lenore!"

This I whispered, and an echo murmured

back the word "Lenore!"

Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my

soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat

louder than before.

"Surely," said I, "surely that is

something at my window lattice

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and

this mystery explore--

Let my heart be still a moment and this

mystery explore; --

"'Tis the wind and nothing more!"

Open here I flung the shutter, When,

with many a flirt and flutter

In there stepped a stately Raven of the

Saintly days of yore.

Not the least obeisance made he; not a

minute stopped or stayed he;

But, with mein of lord or lady, perched

above my chamber door--

Perched upon my bust of Pallas just

above my chamber door--

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad

fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the

countenance it wore,

"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven,

thou," I said, "art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven

wandering from the Nightly shore--

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the

Night's Plutonian shore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to

hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning--

little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no

living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird

above his chamber door--

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust

above his chamber door,

With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the

placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that

one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther then he uttered--not a

feather then he fluttered--

Till I scarcely more than muttered

"Other friends have flown before--

On the morrow he will leave me, as my

hopes have flown before."

Then the bird said "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by

reply so aptly spoken,

"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is

its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom

unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till

his songs one burden bore--

Till the dirges of his Hope that

melancholy burden bore

Of 'Never--nevermore.'"

But the Raven still beguiling all my

sad soul into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in

front of bird, and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook

myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this

ominous bird of yore--

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly,

gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no

syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned

into my bosom's core;

This and more I sat divining, with my

head at ease reclining

On the cushion's velvet lining that the

lamp-light gloated o'er,

But whose velvet violet lining with the

lamp-light gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser,

perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls

tinkled on the tufted floor.

"Wretch," I cried, "Thy God hath lent

thee--by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy

memories of Lenore,

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and

forget this lost Lenore!"

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!

prophet still, if bird or devil!--

Whether Tempest sent, or whether

tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this

desert land enchanted--

On this home by Horror haunted--tell me

truly, I implore--

Is there-- is there balm in Gilead?--

tell me-- tell me, I implore!"

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still,

if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God

we both adore --

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant


It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name

Lenore --

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels

name Lenore."

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird

or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting--

"Get thee back into the tempest and the

Night's Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that

lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken! --quit the

bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart,and

Take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is

sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above

my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a

demon's that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o'er him streaming

throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that

lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted--nevermore!

"There's no such thing as can't. You always have a choice."--Ken Gor, Ying hung boon sik II


Thank you to everyone who has ever made me sigs, you are all wonderful!

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Hmm, I'm a Robert Frost fan myself so two of my favorites are "Fire and Ice" and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.


Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.


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From what little I've read, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot would be my favorite.

S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse

A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,

Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.

Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo

Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,

Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherised upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

The muttering retreats

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:

Streets that follow like a tedious argument

Of insidious intent

To lead you to an overwhelming question …

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go

Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,

The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes

Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,

Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,

Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,

Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,

And seeing that it was a soft October night,

Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time

For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,

Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;

There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

There will be time to murder and create,

And time for all the works and days of hands

That lift and drop a question on your plate;

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisions,

Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go

Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time

To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”

Time to turn back and descend the stair,

With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—

[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]

My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,

My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—

[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]

Do I dare

Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—

Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

I know the voices dying with a dying fall

Beneath the music from a farther room.

So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—

The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,

And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,

When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,

Then how should I begin

To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?

And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—

Arms that are braceleted and white and bare

[but in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]

It is perfume from a dress

That makes me so digress?

Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.

And should I then presume?

And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets

And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes

Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws

Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!

Smoothed by long fingers,

Asleep … tired … or it malingers,

Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,

Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?

But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,

Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,

I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,

And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,

And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,

After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,

Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,

Would it have been worth while,

To have bitten off the matter with a smile,

To have squeezed the universe into a ball

To roll it toward some overwhelming question,

To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,

Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—

If one, settling a pillow by her head,

Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.

That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,

Would it have been worth while,

After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,

After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—

And this, and so much more?—

It is impossible to say just what I mean!

But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:

Would it have been worth while

If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,

And turning toward the window, should say:

“That is not it at all,

That is not what I meant, at all.”

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;

Am an attendant lord, one that will do

To swell a progress, start a scene or two,

Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,

Deferential, glad to be of use,

Politic, cautious, and meticulous;

Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;

At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—

Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?

I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves

Combing the white hair of the waves blown back

When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea

By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown

Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


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Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister

by Robert Browning

GR-R-R--there go, my heart's abhorrence!

Water your damned flower-pots, do!

If hate killed men, Brother Lawrence,

God's blood, would not mine kill you!

What? Your myrtle-bush wants trimming?

Oh, that rose has prior claims--

Needs its leaden vase filled brimming?

Hell dry you up with its flames!

At the meal we sit together;

_Salve tibi_! I must hear

Wise talk of the kind of weather,

Sort of season, time of year:

"Not a plenteous cork-crop: scarcely

Dare we hope oak-galls, I doubt:

What's the Latin name for parsley?"

What's the Greek name for swine's snout?

Whew! We'll have our platter burnished,

Laid with care on our own shelf!

With a fire-new spoon we're furnished,

And a goblet for ourself,

Rinsed like something sacrificial

Ere 'tis fit to touch our chaps--

Marked with L. for our initial!

(He-he! There his lily snaps!)

_Saint_, forsooth! While Brown Dolores

Squats outside the Convent bank

With Sanchicha, telling stories,

Steeping tresses in the tank,

Blue-black, lustrous, thick like horsehairs,

---Can't I see his dead eye glow,

Bright as 'twere a Barbary corsair's?

(That is, if he'd let it show!)

When he finishes refection,

Knife and fork he never lays

Cross-wise, to my recollection,

As I do, in Jesu's praise.

I the Trinity illustrate,

Drinking watered orange-pulp--

In three sips the Arian frustrate;

While he drains his at one gulp!

Oh, those melons! if he's able

We're to have a feast; so nice!

One goes to the Abbot's table,

All of us get each a slice.

How go on your flowers? None double?

Not one fruit-sort can you spy?

Strange!--And I, too, at such trouble,

Keep them close-nipped on the sly!

There's a great text in Galatians,

Once you trip on it, entails

Twenty-nine distinct damnations,

One sure, if another fails;

If I trip him just a-dying,

Sure of heaven as sure can be,

Spin him round and send him flying

Off to hell, a Manichee?

Or, my scrofulous French novel

On gray paper with blunt type!

Simply glance at it, you grovel

Hand and foot in Belial's gripe;

If I double down the pages

At the woeful sixteenth print,

When he gathers his greengages,

Ope a sieve and slip it in't?

Or, there's Satan!--one might venture

Pledge one's soul to him, yet leave

Such a flaw in the indenture

As he'd miss till, past retrieve,

Blasted lay that rose-acacia

We're so proud of! Hy, Zy, Hine ...

'St, there's Vespers! _Plena gratia

Ave, Virgo_! Gr-r-r--you swine!


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