Thinking For Berky

In the late night listening from bed
I have joined the ambulance or the patrol
screaming toward some drama, the kind of end
that Berky must have some day, if she isn't dead.

The wildest of all, her father and mother cruel,
farming out there beyond the old stone quarry
where highschool lovers parked their lurching cars,
Berky learned to love in that dark school.

Early her face was turned away from home
toward any hardworking place; but still her soul,
with terrible things to do, was alive, looking out


The Stone

"And will you cut a stone for him,
To set above his head?
And will you cut a stone for him--
A stone for him?" she said.

Three days before, a splintered rock
Had struck her lover dead--
Had struck him in the quarry dead,
Where, careless of a warning call,
He loitered, while the shot was fired--
A lively stripling, brave and tall,
And sure of all his heart desired . . .
A flash, a shock,
A rumbling fall . . .
And, broken 'neath the broken rock,
A lifeless heap, with face of clay,


The stoddards

When I am in New York, I like to drop around at night,
To visit with my honest, genial friends, the Stoddards hight;
Their home in Fifteenth street is all so snug, and furnished so,
That, when I once get planted there, I don't know when to go;
A cosy cheerful refuge for the weary homesick guest,
Combining Yankee comforts with the freedom of the west.

The first thing you discover, as you maunder through the hall,
Is a curious little clock upon a bracket on the wall;
'T was made by Stoddard's father, and it's very, very old--


Time Long Past

Like the ghost of a dear friend dead
Is Time long past.
A tone which is now forever fled,
A hope which is now forever past,
A love so sweet it could not last,
Was Time long past.

There were sweet dreams in the night
Of Time long past:
And, was it sadness or delight,
Each day a shadow onward cast
Which made us wish it yet might last--
That Time long past.

There is regret, almost remorse,
For Time long past.
'Tis like a child's belovèd corse
A father watches, till at last


Tis One by One the Father counts

545

'Tis One by One — the Father counts —
And then a Tract between
Set Cypherless — to teach the Eye
The Value of its Ten —

Until the peevish Student
Acquire the Quick of Skill —
Then Numerals are dowered back —
Adorning all the Rule —

'Tis mostly Slate and Pencil —
And Darkness on the School
Distracts the Children's fingers —
Still the Eternal Rule

Regards least Cypherer alike
With Leader of the Band —
And every separate Urchin's Sum —


Times is Hard

Please don't burn our shit-house down,
Mother has promised to pay.
Father's away on the ocean wave,
And sister's in the family way,
Brother dear has gonorrhea,
And times is fucking hard.
So please don't burn our shit-house down,
Or we'll all have to shit in the yard.


They All Want to Play Hamlet

They all want to play Hamlet.
They have not exactly seen their fathers killed
Nor their mothers in a frame-up to kill,
Nor an Ophelia lying with dust gagging the heart,
Not exactly the spinning circles of singing golden spiders,
Not exactly this have they got at nor the meaning of flowers--O flowers, flowers slung by a dancing girl--in the saddest play the inkfish, Shakespeare ever wrote;


Three And One

Sometimes she seems so helpless and mild,
So full of sweet unreason and so weak,
So prone to some capricious whim or freak;
Now gay, now tearful, and now anger-wild,
By her strange moods of waywardness beguiled
And entertained, I stroke her pretty cheek,
And soothing words of peace and comfort speak;
And love her as a father loves a child.

Sometimes when I am troubled and sore pressed
On every side by fast advancing care,
She rises up with such majestic air,


Through a Glass Darkly

What we, when face to face we see
The Father of our souls, shall be,
John tells us, doth not yet appear;
Ah! did he tell what we are here!

A mind for thoughts to pass into,
A heart for loves to travel through,
Five senses to detect things near,
Is this the whole that we are here?

Rules baffle instincts--instinct rules,
Wise men are bad--and good are fools,
Facts evil--wishes vain appear,
We cannot go, why are we here?

O may we for assurance's sake,
Some arbitrary judgement take,


Three Portraits of Prince Charles

1731

BEAUTIFUL face of a child,
Lighted with laughter and glee,
Mirthful, and tender, and wild,
My heart is heavy for thee!

1744

Beautiful face of a youth,
As an eagle poised to fly forth
To the old land loyal of truth,
To the hills and the sounds of the North:
Fair face, daring and proud,
Lo! the shadow of doom, even now,
The fate of thy line, like a cloud,
Rests on the grace of thy brow!

1773

Cruel and angry face,


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - father