Two Gardens in Linndale

Two brothers, Oakes and Oliver,
Two gentle men as ever were,
Would roam no longer, but abide
In Linndale, where their fathers died,
And each would be a gardener.

“Now first we fence the garden through,
With this for me and that for you,”
Said Oliver.—“Divine!” said Oakes,
“And I, while I raise artichokes,
Will do what I was born to do.”

“But this is not the soil, you know,”
Said Oliver, “to make them grow:
The parent of us, who is dead,
Compassionately shook his head


To The Rev. George Coleridge

Notus in fratres animi paterni.
Hor. Carm. lib.II.2.

A blesséd lot hath he, who having passed
His youth and early manhood in the stir
And turmoil of the world, retreats at length,
With cares that move, not agitate the heart,
To the same dwelling where his father dwelt;
And haply views his tottering little ones
Embrace those agéd knees and climb that lap,
On which first kneeling his own infancy
Lisp'd its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest Friend!
Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.


To my Honor'd Friend, Dr. Charleton excerpt

The longest tyranny that ever sway'd
Was that wherein our ancestors betray'd
Their free-born reason to the Stagirite,
And made his torch their universal light.
So truth, while only one supplied the state,
Grew scarce, and dear, and yet sophisticate;
Until 't was bought, like emp'ric wares, or charms,
Hard words seal'd up with Aristotle's arms.
Columbus was the first that shook his throne,
And found a temp'rate in a torrid zone:
The fev'rish air fann'd by a cooling breeze,


To My Brothers Sisters Adrift in Troubled Times This Poem of the Moon

Since the disorders in Henan and the famine in Guannei, my brothers and sisters have been scattered. Looking at the moon, I express my thoughts in this poem, which I send to my eldest brother at Fuliang, my seventh brother at Yuqian, My fifteen brother at Wujiang and my younger brothers and sisters at Fuli and Xiagui.

My heritage lost through disorder and famine,
My brothers and sisters flung eastward and westward,
My fields and gardens wrecked by the war,
My own flesh and blood become scum of the street,


To My Brothers

O BROTHERS, who must ache and stoop
O’er wordy tasks in London town,
How scantly Laura trips for you—
A poem in a gown!
How rare if Grub-street grew a lawn!
How sweet if Nature’s lap could spare
A dandelion for the Strand,
A cowslip for Mayfair!

But here, from immaterial lyres,
There rings in easy confidence
The blackbird’s bright philosophy
On apple-spray or fence:
For ploughmen wending home from toil
Some patriot thrush outpours his lay,


To My Brother Poet, Seeking Peace

People wish to be settled. Only as long as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
-- Thoreau

My life has been
the instrument
for a mouth
I have never seen,
breathing wind
which comes
from I know not
where,
arranging and changing
my moods,
so as to make
an opening
for his voice.

Or hers.
Muse, White Goddess
mother with invisible
milk,
androgynous god
in whose grip
I struggle,
turning this way and that,


To My Brother Miguel In Memoriam

Brother, today I sit on the brick bench of the house,
where you make a bottomless emptiness.
I remember we used to play at this hour, and mama
caressed us: "But, sons..."

Now I go hide
as before, from all evening
lectures, and I trust you not to give me away.
Through the parlor, the vestibule, the corridors.
Later, you hide, and I do not give you away.
I remember we made ourselves cry,
brother, from so much laughing.

Miguel, you went into hiding
one night in August, toward dawn,


To My Brother George

Many the wonders I this day have seen:
The sun, when first he kissed away the tears
That filled the eyes of Morn;—the laurelled peers
Who from the feathery gold of evening lean;—
The ocean with its vastness, its blue green,
Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,
Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears
Must think on what will be, and what has been.
E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write,
Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping
So scantly, that it seems her bridal night,


To My Brother

Give me your hand, my brother, search my face;
Look in these eyes lest I should think of shame;
For we have made an end of all things base.
We are returning by the road we came.

Your lot is with the ghosts of soldiers dead,
And I am in the field where men must fight.
But in the gloom I see your laurell’d head
And through your victory I shall win the light.


To J. S

The wind, that beats the mountain, blows
More softly round the open wold,
And gently comes the world to those
That are cast in gentle mould.
And me this knowledge bolder made,
Or else I had not dare to flow
In these words toward you, and invade
Even with a verse your holy woe.
'Tis strange that those we lean on most,
Those in whose laps our limbs are nursed,
Fall into shadow, soonest lost:
Those we love first are taken first.

God gives us love. Something to love


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