To Poesy

These vessels of verse, O Great Goddess, are filled with invisible tears,
With the sobs and sweat of my spirit and her desolate brooding for years;
See, I lay them -- not on thine altar, for they are unpolished and plain,
Not rounded enough by the potter, too much burnt in the furnace of pain;
But here in the dust, in the shadow, with a sudden wild leap of the heart
I kneel to tenderly kiss them, then in silence arise to depart.

I linger awhile at the portal with the light of the crimsoning sun


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To One Dead

A blackbird singing
On a moss-upholstered stone,
Bluebells swinging,
Shadows wildly blown,
A song in the wood,
A ship on the sea.
The song was for you
and the ship was for me.

A blackbird singing
I hear in my troubled mind,
Bluebells swinging,
I see in a distant wind.
But sorrow and silence,
Are the wood's threnody,
The silence for you
and the sorrow for me.


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To Music

Music: breathing of statues. Perhaps:
silence of paintings. You language where all language
ends. You time
standing vertically on the motion of mortal hearts.

Feelings for whom? O you the transformation
of feelings into what?--: into audible landscape.
You stranger: music. You heart-space
grown out of us. The deepest space in us,
which, rising above us, forces its way out,--
holy departure:
when the innermost point in us stands
outside, as the most practiced distance, as the other
side of the air:


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To Mr. F. Now Earl of W

No sooner, FLAVIO, was you gone,
But, your Injunction thought upon,
ARDELIA took the Pen;
Designing to perform the Task,
Her FLAVIO did so kindly ask,
Ere he returned agen.

Unto Parnassus strait she sent,
And bid the Messenger, that went
Unto the Muses Court,
Assure them, she their Aid did need,
And begg'd they'd use their utmost Speed,
Because the Time was short.

The hasty Summons was allow'd;
And being well-bred, they rose and bow'd,
And said, they'd poste away;


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To Mignon

Over vale and torrent far
Rolls along the sun's bright car.
Ah! he wakens in his course

Mine, as thy deep-seated smart

In the heart.
Ev'ry morning with new force.

Scarce avails night aught to me;
E'en the visions that I see
Come but in a mournful guise;

And I feel this silent smart

In my heart
With creative pow'r arise.

During many a beauteous year
I have seen ships 'neath me steer,
As they seek the shelt'ring bay;

But, alas, each lasting smart

In my heart


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To J. S

The wind, that beats the mountain, blows
More softly round the open wold,
And gently comes the world to those
That are cast in gentle mould.
And me this knowledge bolder made,
Or else I had not dare to flow
In these words toward you, and invade
Even with a verse your holy woe.
'Tis strange that those we lean on most,
Those in whose laps our limbs are nursed,
Fall into shadow, soonest lost:
Those we love first are taken first.

God gives us love. Something to love


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To Horror

Dark horror, hear my call!
Stern Genius hear from thy retreat
On some old sepulchre's moss-cankered seat,
Beneath the Abbey's ivied wall
That trembles o'er its shade;
Where wrapt in midnight gloom, alone,
Thou lovest to lie and hear
The roar of waters near,
And listen to the deep dull groan
Of some perturbed sprite
Borne fitful on the heavy gales of night.

Or whether o'er some wide waste hill
Thou mark'st the traveller stray,
Bewilder'd on his lonely way,
When, loud and keen and chill,


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To Contemplation

Faint gleams the evening radiance thro' the sky,
The sober twilight dimly darkens round;
In short quick circles the shrill bat flits by,
And the slow vapour curls along the ground.

Now the pleas'd eye from yon lone cottage sees
On the green mead the smoke long-shadowing play;
The Red-breast on the blossom'd spray
Warbles wild her latest lay,
And sleeps along the dale the silent breeze.
Calm CONTEMPLATION,'tis thy favorite hour!
Come fill my bosom, tranquillizing Power.


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To Charlotte

'midst the noise of merriment and glee,

'Midst full many a sorrow, many a care,
Charlotte, I remember, we remember thee,

How, at evening's hour so fair,
Thou a kindly hand didst reach us,

When thou, in some happy place

Where more fair is Nature s face,

Many a lightly-hidden trace
Of a spirit loved didst teach us.

Well 'tis that thy worth I rightly knew,--

That I, in the hour when first we met,

While the first impression fill'd me yet,
Call'd thee then a girl both good and true.


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President Lincoln's Burial Hymn


When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd


WHEN lilacs last in the door-yard 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.

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


O powerful, western, fallen star!
O shades of night! O moody, tearful night!


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