Suggested by Matthew Arnold's Stanzas

That one long dirge-moan sad and deep,
Low, muffled by the solemn stress
Of such emotion as doth steep
The soul in brooding quietness,
Befits our anguished time too well,
Whose Life-march is a funeral knell.

Dirge for a mighty Creed outworn-
Its spirit fading from the earth,
Its mouldering body left forlorn:
Weak idol! feeding scornful mirth
In shallow hearts; divine no more
Save to some ignorant pagan poor;

And some who know how by Its light
The past world well did walk and live,


Stanzas Written under an Oak in Windsor Forest

"HERE POPE FIRST SUNG!" O, hallow'd Tree !
Such is the boast thy bark displays;
Thy branches, like thy Patron's lays,
Shall ever, ever, sacred be;
Nor with'ring storm, nor woodman's stroke,
Shall harm the POET'S favourite Oak.

'Twas HERE, he woo'd his MUSE of fire,
While Inspiration's wond'rous art,
Sublimely stealing thro' his heart
Did Fancy's proudest themes inspire:
'Twas HERE he wisely learnt to smile
At empty praise, and courtly guile.

Retir'd from flatt'ring, specious arts.


Spanish Women

The Spanish women don't wear slacks
Because their hips are too enormous.
'Tis true each bulbous bosom lacks
No inspiration that should warm us;
But how our ardor seems to freeze
When we behold their bulgy knees!

Their starry eyes and dusky hair,
Their dazzling teeth in smile so gracious,
I love, but oh I wish they were
Not so confoundedly curvacious.
I'm sure I would prefer them willowy,
Instead of obviously pillowy.

It may be that they're plump because
The caballeros like them that way;


Song of Myself

I was a Poet!
But I did not know it,
Neither did my Mother,
Nor my Sister nor my Brother.
The Rich were not aware of it;
The Poor took no care of it.
The Reverend Mr. Drewitt
Never knew it.
The High did not suspect it;
The Low could not detect it.
Aunt Sue
Said it was obviously untrue.
Uncle Ned
Said I was off my head:
(This from a Colonial
Was really a good testimonial.)
Still everybody seemed to think


Song of Love XXIV

I am the lover's eyes, and the spirit's
Wine, and the heart's nourishment.
I am a rose. My heart opens at dawn and
The virgin kisses me and places me
Upon her breast.


I am the house of true fortune, and the
Origin of pleasure, and the beginning
Of peace and tranquility. I am the gentle
Smile upon his lips of beauty. When youth
Overtakes me he forgets his toil, and his
Whole life becomes reality of sweet dreams.


I am the poet's elation,
And the artist's revelation,


Skin Trade

And then I said, That's what it means
to testify: to sit in the locked dark muttering
when you should be dead to the world. The muse
just shrugged and shaded his blue eyes. So naturally
I followed him down to his father's house
by the river, a converted factory in the old
industrial park: somewhere to sit
on threadbare cushions eating my words
and his promises, safe as milk
that dries the throat. If I had a home,
he'd be that unmade bed. He's my America
twisted in dirty sheets, my inspiration


Prof. vere de blaw

Achievin' sech distinction with his moddel tabble dote
Ez to make his Red Hoss Mountain restauraw a place uv note,
Our old friend Casey innovated somewhat round the place,
In hopes he would ameliorate the sufferin's uv the race;
'Nd uv the many features Casey managed to import
The most important wuz a Steenway gran' pianny-fort,
An' bein' there wuz nobody could play upon the same,
He telegraffed to Denver, 'nd a real perfesser came,--
The last an' crownin' glory uv the Casey restauraw


Preface To Ossian

WITHOUT increasing his genius, the author may have improved his language, in the eleven years that the following poems have been in the hands of the public. Errors in diction might have been committed at twenty-four, which the experience of a riper age may remove; and some exuberances in imagery may be restrained with advantage, by a degree of judgment acquired in the progress of time. Impressed with this opinion, he ran over the whole with attention and accuracy; and he hopes he has brought the work to a state of correctness which will preclude all future improvements.


Hymns to the Night 3

Once when I was shedding bitter tears, when, dissolved in pain, my hope was melting away, and I stood alone by the barren mound which in its narrow dark bosom hid the vanished form of my life -- lonely as never yet was lonely man, driven by anxiety unspeakable -- powerless, and no longer anything but a conscious misery.


Pope John, Ecumenical Man

Pope John is dead! The crowds go home,
Their vigil's over now;
Their prayers continue for the man
Who simply showed them how.

'Pope John is dead, ' the headlines say,
The man who loved us all,
He prayed that one day we might
All be ecumenical.

Pope John is dead, and may he rest
In heaven's holy place,
Where one day all the world will join
In one angelic race.

Pope John is dead. Our hearts are sad,
For we have lost a friend;
He gave us inspiration, yes,


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