To the Earl of Warwick, on the Death of Mr. Addison

If, dumb too long, the drooping Muse hath stay'd,
And left her debt to Addison unpaid;
Blame not her silence, Warwick, but bemoan,
And judge, oh judge, my bosom by your own.
What mourner ever felt poetic fires!
Slow comes the verse that real woe inspires:
Grief unaffected suits but ill with art,
Or flowing numbers with a bleeding heart.

Can I forget the dismal night, that gave
My soul's best part for ever to the grave!
How silent did his old companions tread,
By midnight lamps, the mansions of the dead,


To Tan-Ch'iu

My friend is lodging high in the Eastern Range,
Dearly loving the beauty of valleys and hills.
At green Spring he lies in the empty woods,
And is still asleep when the sun shines on igh.
A pine-tree wind dusts his sleeves and coat;
A peebly stream cleans his heart and ears.
I envy you, who far from strife and talk
Are high-propped on a pillow of blue cloud.

Li Po
tr. Waley


To Sir Walter Scott

From deserts wild and many a pathless wood
Of savage climes where I have wandered long,
Whose hills and streams are yet ungraced by song,
I bring, illustrious friend, this garland rude:
The offering, though uncouth, in kindly mood
Thou wilt regard, if haply there should be,
'Mong meaner things, the flower simplicity,
Fresh from coy Nature's virgin solitude.
Accept this frail memorial, honoured Scott,
Of favoured intercourse in former day --
Of words of kindness I have ne'er forgot --


To Romance

Parent of golden dreams, Romance!
Auspicious Queen of childish joys,
Who lead'st along, in airy dance,
Thy votive train of girls and boys;
At length, in spells no longer bound,
I break the fetters of my youth;
No more I tread thy mystic round,
But leave thy realms for those of Truth.

And yet 'tis hard to quit the dreams
Which haunt the unsuspicious soul,
Where every nymph a goddess seems,
Whose eyes through rays immortal roll;
While Fancy holds her boundless reign,


You charm'd me not with that fair face

You charm'd me not with that fair face
Though it was all divine:
To be another's is the grace,
That makes me wish you mine.

The Gods and Fortune take their part
Who like young monarchs fight;
And boldly dare invade that heart
Which is another's right.

First mad with hope we undertake
To pull up every bar;
But once possess'd, we faintly make
A dull defensive war.

Now every friend is turn'd a foe
In hope to get our store:


Your Poem

My poem may be yours indeed
In melody and tone,
If in its rhythm you can read
A music of your own;
If in its pale woof you can weave
Your lovelier design,
'Twill make my lyric, I believe,
More yours than mine.

I'm but a prompter at the best;
Crude cues are all I give.
In simple stanzas I suggest -
'Tis you who make them live.
My bit of rhyme is but a frame,
And if my lines you quote,
I think, although they bear my name,
'Tis you who wrote.


You Never Can Tell

You never can tell when you send a word,
Like an arrow shot from a bow
By an archer blind, be it cruel or kind,
Just where it may chance to go.
It may pierce the breast of your dearest friend,
Tipped with its poison or balm,
To a stranger’s heart in life’s great mart,
It may carry its pain or its calm.

You never can tell when you do an act
Just what the result will be;
But with every deed you are sowing a seed,
Though the harvest you may not see.
Each kindly act is an acorn dropped


Your Catfish Friend

If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
and you were to come by
one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home
and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, "It's beautiful
here by this pond.I wish
somebody loved me,"
I'd love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
at peace,
and ask yourself, "I wonder


Young Henry

Air -- "Drummer Boy of Waterloo"

I
Young Henry was as faithful boy
As ever stood on the American soil,
And he did enlist, without a doubt,
When the rebellion was broke out.
II
He was his parents' only son,
And only child he was but one,
That was a girl aged seventeen,
Henry called her his May Queen.
III
Young Henry said, "Dear sister May,
What do you think my friends will say?
For now my name is on the roll,
And I down south will have to go."
IV


Young Blood

"But, sir," I said, "they tell me the man is like to die!" The Canon shook his head indulgently. "Young blood, Cousin," he boomed. "Young blood! Youth will be served!"
-- D'Hermonville's Fabliaux.


He woke up with a sick taste in his mouth
And lay there heavily, while dancing motes
Whirled through his brain in endless, rippling streams,
And a grey mist weighed down upon his eyes
So that they could not open fully. Yet
After some time his blurred mind stumbled back
To its last ragged memory -- a room;


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