Twelve O'Clock

Mother, I do want to leave off my lessons now. I have been at my
book all the morning.
You say it is only twelve o'clock. Suppose it isn't any later;
can't you ever think it is afternoon when it is only twelve
o'clock?
I can easily imagine now that the sun has reached the edge of
that rice-field, and the old fisher-woman is gathering herbs for
her supper by the side of the pond.
I can just shut my eyes and think that the shadows are growing
darker under the madar tree, and the water in the pond looks shiny
black.

Twelfth Night

His first infidelity was a mistake, but not as big
As her false pregnancy. Later, the boy found out

He was born three months earlier than the date
On his birth certificate, which had turned into
A marriage license in his hands. Had he been trapped
In a net, like a moth mistaken for a butterfly?
And why did she--what was in it for her?
It took him all this time to figure it out.
The barroom boast, "I never had to pay for it,"
Is bogus if marriage is a religious institution

Twas the oldroadthrough pain

344

'Twas the old—road—through pain—
That unfrequented—one—
With many a turn—and thorn—
That stops—at Heaven—

This—was the Town—she passed—
There—where she—rested—last—
Then—stepped more fast—
The little tracks—close prest—
Then—not so swift—
Slow—slow—as feet did weary—grow—
Then—stopped—no other track!

Wait! Look! Her little Book—
The leaf—at love—turned back—
Her very Hat—
And this worn shoe just fits the track—
Herself—though—fled!

Another bed—a short one—

Trying to Pray

This time, I have left my body behind me, crying
In its dark thorns.
Still,
There are good things in this world.
It is dusk.
It is the good darkness
Of women's hands that touch loaves.
The spirit of a tree begins to move.
I touch leaves.
I close my eyes and think of water.

True Love

In silence the heart raves.It utters words
Meaningless, that never had
A meaning.I was ten, skinny, red-headed,

Freckled.In a big black Buick,
Driven by a big grown boy, with a necktie, she sat
In front of the drugstore, sipping something

Through a straw. There is nothing like
Beauty. It stops your heart.It
Thickens your blood.It stops your breath.It

Makes you feel dirty.You need a hot bath.
I leaned against a telephone pole, and watched.
I thought I would die if she saw me.

Troopin

(Our Army in the East)



Troopin', troopin', troopin' to the sea:
'Ere's September come again -- the six-year men are free.
O leave the dead be'ind us, for they cannot come away
To where the ship's a-coalin' up that takes us 'ome to-day.
We're goin' 'ome, we're goin' 'ome,
Our ship is at the shore,
An' you must pack your 'aversack,
For we won't come back no more.
Ho, don't you grieve for me,
My lovely Mary-Ann,
For I'll marry you yit on a fourp'ny bit

Troilus And Criseyde Book 03

Incipit prohemium tercii libri.

O blisful light of whiche the bemes clere
Adorneth al the thridde hevene faire!
O sonnes lief, O Ioves doughter dere,
Plesaunce of love, O goodly debonaire,
In gentil hertes ay redy to repaire!
O verray cause of hele and of gladnesse,
Y-heried be thy might and thy goodnesse!

In hevene and helle, in erthe and salte see
Is felt thy might, if that I wel descerne;
As man, brid, best, fish, herbe and grene tree
Thee fele in tymes with vapour eterne.

Troilus And Criseyde Book 02

Incipit Prohemium Secundi Libri.

Out of these blake wawes for to sayle,
O wind, O wind, the weder ginneth clere;
For in this see the boot hath swich travayle,
Of my conning, that unnethe I it stere:
This see clepe I the tempestous matere
Of desespeyr that Troilus was inne:
But now of hope the calendes biginne.
O lady myn, that called art Cleo,
Thou be my speed fro this forth, and my muse,
To ryme wel this book, til I have do;
Me nedeth here noon other art to use.
For-why to every lovere I me excuse,

Troilus And Criseyde Book 01

The double 12 sorwe of Troilus to tellen,
That was the king Priamus sone of Troye,
In lovinge, how his aventures fellen
Fro wo to wele, and after out of Ioye,
My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye.
Thesiphone, thou help me for tendyte
Thise woful vers, that wepen as I wryte!

To thee clepe I, thou goddesse of torment,
Thou cruel Furie, sorwing ever in peyne;
Help me, that am the sorwful instrument
That helpeth lovers, as I can, to pleyne!
For wel sit it, the sothe for to seyne,
A woful wight to han a drery fere,

Tristia

I have studied the Science of departures,
in night’s sorrows, when a woman’s hair falls down.
The oxen chew, there’s the waiting, pure,
in the last hours of vigil in the town,
and I reverence night’s ritual cock-crowing,
when reddened eyes lift sorrow’s load and choose
to stare at distance, and a woman’s crying
is mingled with the singing of the Muse.

Who knows, when the word ‘departure’ is spoken
what kind of separation is at hand,
or of what that cock-crow is a token,

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