The Building of the Ship

"Build me straight, O worthy Master!
Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!"
The merchant's word
Delighted the Master heard;
For his heart was in his work, and the heart
Giveth grace unto every Art.
A quiet smile played round his lips,
As the eddies and dimples of the tide
Play round the bows of ships,
That steadily at anchor ride.
And with a voice that was full of glee,


The Brus Book 20

King Robert in Northumberland]

Sone eftre that the erle Thomas
Fra Wardaill thus reparyt was
The king assemblyt all his mycht
And left nane that wes worth to fycht,
5 A gret ost than assemblit he
And delt his ost in partis thre.
A part to Norame went but let
And a stark assege has set
And held thaim in rycht at thar dyk,
10 The tother part till Anwyk
Is went and thar a sege set thai,
And quhill that thir assegis lay
At thir castellis I spak off ar,
Apert eschewys oft maid thar war


The Bridal

Last night a pale young Moon was wed
Unto the amorous, eager Sea;
Her maiden veil of mist she wore
His kingly purple vesture, he.

With her a bridal train of stars
Walked sisterly through shadows dim,
And, master minstrel of the world,
The great Wind sang the marriage hymn.

Thus came she down the silent sky
Unto the Sea her faith to plight,
And the grave priest who wedded them
Was ancient, sombre-mantled Night.


The Blind Caravan

1 I am a slave, both dumb and blind,
2 Upon a journey dread;
3 The iron hills lie far behind,
4 The seas of mist ahead.

5 Amid a mighty caravan
6 I toil a sombre track,
7 The strangest road since time began,
8 Where no foot turneth back.

9 Here rosy youth at morning's prime
10 And weary man at noon
11 Are crooked shapes at eventime
12 Beneath the haggard moon.

13 Faint elfin songs from out the past


The Bachelor's Soliloquy

To wed, or not to wed; that is the question;
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The bills and house rent of a wedded fortune,
Or to say "nit" when she proposes,
And by declining cut her. To wed; to smoke
No more; And have a wife at home to mend
The holes in socks and shirts
And underwear and so forth. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To wed for life;
To wed; perchance to fight; ay, there's the rub;
For in that married life what fights may come,


The Bee-Boy's Song

Bees! Bees! Hark to your bees!
"Hide from your neigbours as much as you please,
But all that has happened, to us you must tell,
Or else we will give you no honey to sell!"


A maiden in her glory,
Upon her wedding - day,
Must tell her Bees the story,
Or else they'll fly away.
Fly away -- die away --
Dwindle down and leave you!
But if you don't deceive your Bees,
Your Bees will not deceive you.

Marriage, birth or buryin',
News across the seas,


The Ballad of Buillabaisse

A street there is in Paris famous,
For which no rhyme our language yields,
Rue Neuve de petits Champs its name is --
The New Street of the Little Fields;
And there's an inn, not rich and splendid,
But still in comfortable case;
The which in youth I oft attended,
To eat a bowl of Bouillabaisse.

This Bouillabaisse a noble dish is --
A sort of soup, or broth, or brew,
Or hotchpotch of all sorts of fishes,
That Greenwich never could outdo;
Green herbs, red peppers, muscles, saffern,


The Amorous Courtesan

DAN CUPID, though the god of soft amour,
In ev'ry age works miracles a store;
Can Catos change to male coquets at ease;
And fools make oracles whene'er he please;
Turn wolves to sheep, and ev'ry thing so well,
That naught remains the former shape to tell:
Remember, Hercules, with wond'rous pow'r,
And Polyphemus, who would men devour:
The one upon a rock himself would fling,
And to the winds his am'rous ditties sing;
To cut his beard a nymph could him inspire;
And, in the water, he'd his face admire.


The Ache of Marriage

The ache of marriage:

thigh and tongue, beloved,
are heavy with it,
it throbs in the teeth

We look for communion
and are turned away, beloved,
each and each

It is leviathan and we
in its belly
looking for joy, some joy
not to be known outside it

two by two in the ark of
the ache of it.


The Abnormal Is Not Courage

The Poles rode out from Warsaw against the German
Tanks on horses. Rode knowing, in sunlight, with sabers,
A magnitude of beauty that allows me no peace.
And yet this poem would lessen that day. Question
The bravery. Say it's not courage. Call it a passion.
Would say courage isn't that. Not at its best.
It was impossib1e, and with form. They rode in sunlight,
Were mangled. But I say courage is not the abnormal.
Not the marvelous act. Not Macbeth with fine speeches.
The worthless can manage in public, or for the moment.


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