To A Butterfly

STAY near me---do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find I thee,
Historian of my infancy !
Float near me; do not yet depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring'st, gay creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart,
My father's family!

Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when, in our childish plays,
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chased the butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey:---with leaps and spring


To a Lady on the Death of Three Relations

We trace the pow'r of Death from tomb to tomb,
And his are all the ages yet to come.
'Tis his to call the planets from on high,
To blacken Phoebus, and dissolve the sky;
His too, when all in his dark realms are hurl'd,
From its firm base to shake the solid world;
His fatal sceptre rules the spacious whole,
And trembling nature rocks from pole to pole.
Awful he moves, and wide his wings are spread:

Behold thy brother number'd with the dead!
From bondage freed, the exulting spirit flies


To a Lady and Her Children

O'erwhelming sorrow now demands my song:
From death the overwhelming sorrow sprung.
What flowing tears? What hearts with grief opprest?
What sighs on sighs heave the fond parent's breast?
The brother weeps, the hapless sisters join
Th' increasing woe, and swell the crystal brine;
The poor, who once his gen'rous bounty fed,
Droop, and bewail their benefactor dead.
In death the friend, the kind companion lies,
And in one death what various comfort dies!
Th' unhappy mother sees the sanguine rill


To A Gentleman And Lady On The Death Of The Lady's Brother And Sister, And A Child Of The Name Of Avis, Aged One Year

ON Death's domain intent I fix my eyes,
Where human nature in vast ruin lies:
With pensive mind I search the drear abode,
Where the great conqu'ror has his spoils bestow'd;
There there the offspring of six thousand years
In endless numbers to my view appears:
Whole kingdoms in his gloomy den are thrust,
And nations mix with their primeval dust:
Insatiate still he gluts the ample tomb;
His is the present, his the age to come.
See here a brother, here a sister spread,
And a sweet daughter mingled with the dead.


To -- -- --. Ulalume A Ballad

The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere-
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year;
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir-
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,
Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul-


Times is Hard

Please don't burn our shit-house down,
Mother has promised to pay.
Father's away on the ocean wave,
And sister's in the family way,
Brother dear has gonorrhea,
And times is fucking hard.
So please don't burn our shit-house down,
Or we'll all have to shit in the yard.


Three Faces

I.--VENTIMIGLIA

The sky and sea glared hard and bright and blank:
Down the one steep street, with slow steps firm and free,
A tall girl paced, with eyes too proud to thank
The sky and sea.

One dead flat sapphire, void of wrath or glee,
Through bay on bay shone blind from bank to bank
The weary Mediterranean, drear to see.

More deep, more living, shone her eyes that drank
The breathless light and shed again on me,
Till pale before their splendour waned and shrank
The sky and sea.


This Life Is All Chequer'd With Pleasures and Woes

This life is all chequer'd with pleasures and woes,
That chase one another like waves of the deep --
Each brightly or darkly, as onward it flows,
Reflecting our eyes, as they sparkle or weep.
So closely our whims on our miseries tread,
That the laugh is awaked ere the tear can be dried;
And, as fast as the rain-drop of Pity is shed,
The goose-plumage of Folly can turn it aside.
But pledge me the cup -- if existence would cloy,
With hearts ever happy and heads ever wise,
Be ours the light Sorrow, half-sister to Joy,


Thoughts in a Garden

HOW vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their uncessant labours see
Crown'd from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose!

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men:
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow:


They've Come

Today my mother and sisters
came to see me.

I had been alone a long time
with my poems, my pride . . . almost nothing.

My sister---the oldest---is grown up,
is blondish. An elemental dream
goes through her eyes: I told the youngest
"Life is sweet. Everything bad comes to an end."

My mother smiled as those who understand souls
tend to do;
She placed two hands on my shoulders.
She's staring at me . . .
and tears spring from my eyes.

We ate together in the warmest room


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