To Thomas Butts

To my friend Butts I write
My first vision of light,
On the yellow sands sitting.
The sun was emitting
His glorious beams
From Heaven’s high streams.
Over sea, over land,
My eyes did expand
Into regions of air,
Away from all care;
Into regions of fire,
Remote from desire;
The light of the morning
Heaven’s mountains adorning:
In particles bright,
The jewels of light
Distinct shone and clear.
Amaz’d and in fear


Tom O'Roughley

'THOUGH logic-choppers rule the town,
And every man and maid and boy
Has marked a distant object down,
An aimless joy is a pure joy,'
Or so did Tom O'Roughley say
That saw the surges running by.
'And wisdom is a butterfly
And not a gloomy bird of prey.
'If little planned is little sinned
But little need the grave distress.
What's dying but a second wind?
How but in zig-zag wantonness
Could trumpeter Michael be so brave?'
Or something of that sort he said,
'And if my dearest friend were dead


Tom Paine

An Englishman was Thomas Paine
Who bled for liberty;
But while his fight was far from vain
He died in poverty:
Though some are of the sober thinking
'Twas due to drinking.

Yet this is what appeals to me:
Cobbet, a friend, loved him so well
He sailed across the surly sea
To raw and rigid New Rochelle:
With none to say: 'Take him not from us!'
He raped the grave of Thomas.

And in his library he set
These bones so woe-begone;


Too Long, O Spirit Of Storm

Too long, O Spirit of Storm,
Thy lightning sleeps in its sheath!
I am sick to the soul of yon pallid sky,
And the moveless sea beneath.

Come down in thy strength on the deep!
Worse dangers there are in life,
When the waves are still, and the skies look fair,
Than in their wildest strife.

A friend I knew, whose days
Were as calm as this sky overhead;
But one blue morn that was fairest of all,
The heart in his bosom fell dead.

And they thought him alive while he walked


Tombstones in the Starlight

I. The Minor Poet

His little trills and chirpings were his best.
No music like the nightingale's was born
Within his throat; but he, too, laid his breast
Upon a thorn.


II. The Pretty Lady

She hated bleak and wintry things alone.
All that was warm and quick, she loved too well-
A light, a flame, a heart against her own;
It is forever bitter cold, in Hell.

III. The Very Rich Man

He'd have the best, and that was none too good;
No barrier could hold, before his terms.


Tom May's Death

As one put drunk into the Packet-boat,
Tom May was hurry'd hence and did not know't.
But was amaz'd on the Elysian side,
And with an Eye uncertain, gazing wide,
Could not determine in what place he was,
For whence in Stevens ally Trees or Grass.
Nor where the Popes head, nor the Mitre lay,
Signs by which still he found and lost his way.
At last while doubtfully he all compares,
He saw near hand, as he imagin'd Ares.
Such did he seem for corpulence and port,
But 'twas a man much of another sort;


To Thos. Floyd

How fares it, friend, since I by Fate annoy'd
Left the old home in need of livelier play
For body and mind? How fare, this many a day,
The stubborn thews and ageless heart of Floyd?
If not too well with country sport employ'd,
Visit my flock, the breezy hill that they
Choose for their fold; and see, for thence you may,
From rising walls all roofless yet and void,
The lovely city, thronging tower and spire,
The mind of the wide landscape, dreaming deep,
Grey-silvery in the vale; a shrine where keep


To This Moment a Rebel

To this moment a rebel I throw down my arms,
Great Love, at first sight of Olinda's bright charms.
Make proud and secure by such forces as these,
You may now play the tyrant as soon as you please.

When Innocence, Beauty, and Wit do conspire
To betray, and engage, and inflame my Desire,
Why should I decline what I cannot avoid?
And let pleasing Hope by base Fear be destroyed?

Her innocence cannot contrive to undo me,
Her beauty's inclined, or why should it pursue me?
And Wit has to Pleasure been ever a friend,


To This Moment a Rebel

I

To this moment a rebel I throw down my arms,
Great Love, at first sight of Olinda's bright charms.
Make proud and secure by such forces as these,
You may now play the tyrant as soon as you please.
II
When Innocence, Beauty, and Wit do conspire
To betray, and engage, and inflame my Desire,
Why should I decline what I cannot avoid?
And let pleasing Hope by base Fear be destroyed?
III
Her innocence cannot contrive to undo me,
Her beauty's inclined, or why should it pursue me?


To the Town Clock

Thou grave old Time Piece, many a time and oft
I've been your debtor for the time of day;
And every time I cast my eyes aloft,
And swell the debt--I think 'tis time to pay.
Thou, like a sentinel upon a tower,
Hast thou still announced "the enemy's" retreat,
And now that I have got a leisure hour,
Thy praise, thou old Repeater, I'll repeat.
A very striking object, all must own,
For years you've been, and may for years remain,
And though fierce storms around your head have blown,


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