When Stretch'd on One's Bed

When stretch'd on one's bed
With a fierce-throbbing head,
Which preculdes alike thought or repose,
How little one cares
For the grandest affairs
That may busy the world as it goes!

How little one feels
For the waltzes and reels
Of our Dance-loving friends at a Ball!
How slight one's concern
To conjecture or learn
What their flounces or hearts may befall.

How little one minds
If a company dines
On the best that the Season affords!
How short is one's muse


When I have Fears that I may cease to be

WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high pil`d books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And feel that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore


Welcome Cross

'Tis my happiness below
Not to live without the cross,
But the Saviour's power to know,
Sanctifying every loss;
Trials must and will befall;
But with humble faith to see
Love inscribed upon them all,
This is happiness to me.

God in Israel sows the seeds
Of affliction, pain, and toil;
These spring up and choke the weeds
Which would else o'erspread the soil:
Trials make the promise sweet,
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to His feet,


Wealth

Who shall tell what did befall,
Far away in time, when once,
Over the lifeless ball,
Hung idle stars and suns?
What god the element obeyed?
Wings of what wind the lichen bore,
Wafting the puny seeds of power,
Which, lodged in rock, the rock abrade?
And well the primal pioneer
Knew the strong task to it assigned,
Patient through Heaven's enormous year
To build in matter home for mind.
From air the creeping centuries drew
The matted thicked low and wide,
This must the leaves of ages strew


When Heaving On The Stormy Waters

When, heaving on the stormy waters,
I felt my ship beneath to sink,
I prayed, "Oh, Father Satan, save me,
Forgive me at death's utter brink!

"If you will save my soul embittered
From perishing before its hour,
The days to come, the nights that follow
I vow to vice, I pledge to power."

The Devil forthwith snatched and flung me
Into a boat; the sides were frail,
But on the bench the oars were lying
And in the bow an old gray sail.

And landward once again I carried


We Hail Thee Now, O Jesus

We hail thee now, O Jesus,
thy presence here we own,
though sight and touch have failed us,
and faith perceives alone;
thy love has veiled thy glory;
and hid thy power divine,
in mercy to our weakness,
beneath an earthly sign.

We hail thee now, O Jesus,
in silence hast thou come,
for all the hosts of heaven
with wonderment are dumb:
so great the condescension,
so marvelous the love,
which for our sakes, O Savior,
have drawn thee from above.

We hail thee now, O Jesus,


Voltaire Johnson

Why did you bruise me with your rough places
If you did not want me to tell you about them?
And stifle me with your stupidities,
If you did not want me to expose them?
And nail me with the nails of cruelty,
If you did not want me to pluck the nails forth
And fling them in your faces?
And starve me because I refused to obey you,
If you did not want me to undermine your tyranny?
I might have been as soul serene
As William Wordsworth except for you!
But what a coward you are, Spoon River,


The Vision of Judgment

I

Saint Peter sat by the celestial gate:
His keys were rusty, and the lock was dull,
So little trouble had been given of late;
Not that the place by any means was full,
But since the Gallic era 'eight-eight'
The devils had ta'en a longer, stronger pull,
And 'a pull altogether,' as they say
At sea — which drew most souls another way.

II

The angels all were singing out of tune,
And hoarse with having little else to do,
Excepting to wind up the sun and moon,


Virginibus Puerisque . .

I care not that one listen if he lives
For aught but life's romance, nor puts above
All life's necessities the need to love,
Nor counts his greatest wealth what Beauty gives.
But sometime on an afternoon in spring,
When dandelions dot the fields with gold,
And under rustling shade a few weeks old
'Tis sweet to stroll and hear the bluebirds sing,
Do you, blond head, whom beauty and the power
Of being young and winsome have prepared
For life's last privilege that really pays,
Make the companion of an idle hour


Villanelle of Ye Young Poet's First Villanelle to his Ladye and Ye Difficulties Thereof

To sing the charms of Rosabelle,
To pour my soul out at her feet,
I try to write this villanelle.

Now I am caught within her spell,
It seems to me most wondrous sweet
To sing the charms of Rosabelle.

I seek in vain for words to tell
My love -- Alas, my muse is weak!
I try to write this villanelle.

Would I had power to compel
The English language incomplete
To sing the charms of Rosabelle.

The ardent thoughts that in me dwell
On paper I would fair repeat


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