Attack On The Ad-Man

This trumpeter of nothingness, employed
To keep our reason dull and null and void.
This man of wind and froth and flux will sell
The wares of any who reward him well.
Praising whatever he is paid to praise,
He hunts for ever-newer, smarter ways
To make the gilt seen gold; the shoddy, silk;
To cheat us legally; to bluff and bilk
By methods which no jury can prevent
Because the law's not broken, only bent.

This mind for hire, this mental prostitute
Can tell the half-lie hardest to refute;


At the Close of the Year

Let hearts and tongues unite,
And loud thanksgivings raise:
'Tis duty, mingled with delight,
To sing the Saviour's praise.

To him we owe our breath,
He took us from the womb,
Which else had shut us up in death,
And prov'd an early tomb.

When on the breast we hung,
Our help was in the Lord;
'Twas he first taught our infant tongue
To form the lisping word.

When in our blood we lay,
He would not let us die,
Because his love had fix'd a day
To bring salvation nigh.


Apology To Delia For Desiring A Lock Of Her Hair

Delia, the unkindest girl on earth,
When I besought the fair,
That favour of intrinsic worth
A ringlet of her hair,

Refused that instant to comply
With my absurd request,
For reasons she could specify,
Some twenty score at least.

Trust me, my dear, however odd
It may appear to say,
I sought it merely to defraud
Thy spoiler of his prey.

Yes! when its sister locks shall fade,
As quickly fade they must,
When all their beauties are decayed,
Their gloss, their colour, lost—


As a World Would Have It

ALCESTIS


Shall I never make him look at me again?
I look at him, I look my life at him,
I tell him all I know the way to tell,
But there he stays the same.

Shall I never make him speak one word to me?
Shall I never make him say enough to show
My heart if he be glad? Be glad? … ah! God,
Why did they bring me back?

I wonder, if I go to him again,
If I take him by those two cold hands again,
Shall I get one look of him at last, or feel
One sign—or anything?


Another Version

Our trees are aspens, but people
mistake them for birches;
they think of us as characters
in a Russian novel, Kitty and Levin
living contentedly in the country.
Our friends from the city watch the birds
and rabbits feeding together
on top of the deep, white snow.
(We have Russian winters in Illinois,
but no sleighbells, possums instead of wolves,
no trusted servants to do our work.)
As in a Russian play, an old man
lives in our house, he is my father;
he lets go of life in such slow motion,


Annals of Assur-Nasir-Pal column I

To Ninip most powerful hero, great, chief of the gods, warrior, powerful Lord, whose onset in battle has not been opposed, eldest son,

crusher of opponents, first-born son of Nukimmut, supporter of the seven, noble ruler, King of the gods the producers, governor, he who rolls along the mass

of heaven and earth, opener of canals, treader of the wide earth, the god who in his divinity nourishes heaven and earth, the beneficent,


An Old Twenty-Third Man

“Is that the Three-and-Twentieth, Strabo mine,
Marching below, and we still gulping wine?”
From the sad magic of his fragrant cup
The red-faced old centurion started up,
Cursed, battered on the table. “No,” he said,
“Not that! The Three-and-Twentieth Legion’s dead,
Dead in the first year of this damned campaign—
The Legion’s dead, dead, and won’t rise again.
Pity? Rome pities her brave lads that die,
But we need pity also, you and I,
Whom Gallic spear and Belgian arrow miss,


An Ode to the Queen on Her Jubilee Year

Sound drums and trumpets, far and near!
And Let all Queen Victoria's subjects loudly cheer!
And show by their actions that they revere,
Because she's served them faithfully fifty long year!

All hail to the Empress of India and Great Britain's Queen!
Long may she live happy and serene!
And as this is now her Jubilee year,
I hope her subjects will show their loyalty without fear.

Therefore let all her subjects rejoice and sing,
Until they make the welkin ring;
And let young and old on this her Jubilee be glad,


An Ode in Time of Hesitation

After seeing at Boston the statue of Robert Gould Shaw, killed while storming Fort Wagner, July 18, 1863, at the head of the first enlisted negro regiment, the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts.


I

Before the solemn bronze Saint Gaudens made
To thrill the heedless passer's heart with awe,
And set here in the city's talk and trade
To the good memory of Robert Shaw,
This bright March morn I stand,
And hear the distant spring come up the land;
Knowing that what I hear is not unheard


An Hymn Of Heavenly Beauty

Rapt with the rage of mine own ravish'd thought,
Through contemplation of those goodly sights,
And glorious images in heaven wrought,
Whose wondrous beauty, breathing sweet delights
Do kindle love in high-conceited sprights;
I fain to tell the things that I behold,
But feel my wits to fail, and tongue to fold.

Vouchsafe then, O thou most Almighty Spright,
From whom all gifts of wit and knowledge flow,
To shed into my breast some sparkling light
Of thine eternal truth, that I may show


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