William House and Family

I

Come all kind friends, both far and near,
Come listen to me and you shall hear --
It's of a family and their fate,
All about them I will relate.
II
They once did live at Edgerton,
They once did live at Muskegon,
From there they went to Chicago,
Which proved their fatal overthrow.
III
It was William House's family,
As fine a family as you see --
His family was eleven in all,
I do not think it was very small.
IV
Two children died some years ago,
Before they went to Chicago,


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White Currants

Shall I give you white currants?
I do not know why, but I have a sudden fancy for this fruit.
At the moment, the idea of them cherishes my senses,
And they seem more desirable than flawless emeralds.
Since I am, in fact, empty-handed,
I might have chosen gems out of India,
But I choose white currants.
Is it because the raucous wind is hurtling round the house-corners?
I see it with curled lips and stripped fangs, gaunt and haunting energy,
Come to snout, and nibble, and kill the little crocus roots.


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When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd

from Memories of President Lincoln

1

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

2

O powerful western fallen star!
O shades of night -- O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear'd -- O the black murk that hides the star!


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When I Peruse The Conquer'd Fame


WHEN I peruse the conquer'd fame of heroes, and the victories of
mighty generals, I do not envy the generals,
Nor the President in his Presidency, nor the rich in his great house;
But when I hear of the brotherhood of lovers, how it was with them,
How through life, through dangers, odium, unchanging, long and long,
Through youth, and through middle and old age, how unfaltering, how
affectionate and faithful they were,
Then I am pensive--I hastily walk away, fill'd with the bitterest


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Who occupies this House

892

Who occupies this House?
A Stranger I must judge
Since No one know His Circumstance—
'Tis well the name and age

Are writ upon the Door
Or I should fear to pause
Where not so much as Honest Dog
Approach encourages.

It seems a curious Town—
Some Houses very old,
Some—newly raised this Afternoon,
Were I compelled to build

It should not be among
Inhabitants so still
But where the Birds assemble
And Boys were possible.

Before Myself was born


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Wild Swans

I looked in my heart while the wild swans went over.
And what did I see I had not seen before?
Only a question less or a question more:
Nothing to match the flight of wild birds flying.
Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,
House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Wild swans, come over the town, come over
The town again, trailing your legs and crying!


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Who Knows

They say one king is mad. Perhaps. Who knows?
They say one king is doddering and grey.
They say one king is slack and sick of mind,
A puppet for hid strings that twitch and play.

Is Europe then to be their sprawling-place?
Their mad-house, till it turns the wide world's bane?
Their place of maudlin, slavering conference
Till every far-off farmstead goes insane?


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Whitsunday

Listen sweet Dove unto my song,
And spread thy golden wings in me;
Hatching my tender heart so long,
Till it get wing, and fly away with thee.

Where is that fire which once descended
On thy Apostles? thou didst then
Keep open house, richly attended,
Feasting all comers by twelve chosen men.

Such glorious gifts thou didst bestow,
That th'earth did like a heav'n appear;
The stars were coming down to know
If they might mend their wages, and serve here.

The sun which once did shine alone,


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White Comedy

I waz whitemailed
By a white witch,
Wid white magic
An white lies,
Branded by a white sheep
I slaved as a whitesmith
Near a white spot
Where I suffered whitewater fever.
Whitelisted as a whiteleg
I waz in de white book
As a master of white art,
It waz like white death.

People called me white jack
Some hailed me as a white wog,
So I joined de white watch
Trained as a white guard
Lived off the white economy.
Caught and beaten by de whiteshirts


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