With Tenure

If Ezra Pound were alive today
(and he is)
he'd be teaching
at a small college in the Pacific Northwest
and attending the annual convention
of writing instructors in St. Louis
and railing against tenure,
saying tenure
is a ladder whose rungs slip out
from under the scholar as he climbs
upwards to empty heaven
by the angels abandoned
for tenure killeth the spirit
(with tenure no man becomes master)
Texts are unwritten with tenure,
under the microscope, sous rature


With Tears They Buried You Today

With tears they buried you to-day,
But well I knew no turf could hold
Your gladness long beneath the mould,
Or cramp your laughter in the clay;
I smiled while others wept for you
Because I knew.

And now you sit with me to-night
Here in our old, accustomed place;
Tender and mirthful is your face,
Your eyes with starry joy are bright­
Oh, you are merry as a song
For love is strong!

They think of you as lying there
Down in the churchyard grim and old;
They think of you as mute and cold,


Wishes To His Supposed Mistress

Whoe'er she be,
That not impossible she
That shall command my heart and me;

Where'er she lie,
Locked up from mortal eye
In shady leaves of destiny:

Till that ripe birth
Of studied fate stand forth,
And teach her fair steps to our earth;

Till that divine
Idea take a shrine
Of crystal flesh, through which to shine:

Meet you her, my wishes,
Bespeak her to my blisses,
And be ye called my absent kisses.

I wish her beauty,
That owes not all its duty


Wisdom

When Wisdom tells me that the world’s a speck
Lost on the shoreless blue of God’s To-Day...
I smile, and think, ‘For every man his way:
The world’s my ship, and I’m alone on deck!’
And when he tells me that the world’s a spark
Lit in the whistling gloom of God’s To-Night...
I look within me to the edge of dark,
And dream, ‘The world’s my field, and I’m the lark,
Alone with upward song, alone with light!’


Willie's and Nellie's Wish

I

Willie and Nellie, one evening sat
By their own little cottage door;
They saw a man go staggering by --
Says Willie, "that's Mr. Lanore;
He is just going home from town, where
He has been in a saloon.
When Maggie and I came from school,
Said Maggie, 'please papa, come home.'
II
"She asked him again, again, to come home.
At last he got angry, and said:
'Maggie, go home -- don't bother me so;
Go home now, and shut up your head.'
Poor girl, she came weeping all the way,


When Love was Born

When Love was born I think he lay
Right warm on Venus' breast,
And whiles he smiled and whiles would play
And whiles would take his rest.

But always, folded out of sight,
The wings were growing strong
That were to bear him off in flight
Erelong, erelong.


Why

He was our leader and our guide;
He was our saviour and our star.
We walked in friendship by his side,
Yet set him where our heroes are.

He taught disdain of fame and wealth;
With courage he inspired our youth;
He preached the purity of health,
And held aloft the torch of truth.

He bade us battle for the Right,
And led us in the carnage grim;
He was to us a living light,
And like a God we worshiped him.

He raised us from the grievous gloom,
And brimmed our hearts with radiant cheer;


When Your Pants Begin to Go

When you wear a cloudy collar and a shirt that isn't white,
And you cannot sleep for thinking how you'll reach to-morrow night,
You may be a man of sorrows, and on speaking terms with Care,
And as yet be unacquainted with the Demon of Despair;
For I rather think that nothing heaps the trouble on your mind
Like the knowledge that your trousers badly need a patch behind.

I have noticed when misfortune strikes the hero of the play,
That his clothes are worn and tattered in a most unlikely way;


Why make it doubtit hurts it so

462

Why make it doubt—it hurts it so—
So sick—to guess—
So strong—to know—
So brave—upon its little Bed
To tell the very last They said
Unto Itself—and smile—And shake—
For that dear—distant—dangerous—Sake—
But—the Instead—the Pinching fear
That Something—it did do—or dare—
Offend the Vision—and it flee—
And They no more remember me—
Nor ever turn to tell me why—
Oh, Master, This is Misery—


Whose are the little beds, I asked

142

Whose are the little beds, I asked
Which in the valleys lie?
Some shook their heads, and others smiled—
And no one made reply.

Perhaps they did not hear, I said,
I will inquire again—
Whose are the beds—the tiny beds
So thick upon the plain?

'Tis Daisy, in the shortest—
A little further on—
Nearest the door—to wake the Ist—
Little Leontoden.

'Tis Iris, Sir, and Aster—
Anemone, and Bell—
Bartsia, in the blanket red—
And chubby Daffodil.


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