Pet poems

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Tom Deadlight (1810)

© Herman Melville

During a tempest encountered homeward-bound from the Mediterranean, a grizzled petty-officer, one of the two captains of the forecastle, dying at night in his hammock, swung in the sick-bay under the tiered gun-decks of the British Dreadnought, 98, wandering in his mind, though with glimpses of sanity, and starting up at whiles, sings by snatches his good-bye and last injunctions to two messmates, his watchers, one of whom fans the fevered tar with the flap of his old sou'-wester

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The Death of the Ox

© McLachlan Alexander

And thou art gone, my poor dumb friend! thy troubles all are past;A faithful friend thou wert indeed, e'en to the very last!And thou wert the prop of my house, my children's pride and pet,--Who now will help to free me from this weary load of debt?

Here, single-handed, in the bush I battled on for years,My heart sometimes buoyed up with hope, sometimes bowed down with fears

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Reunion

© McGimpsey David

What is my news? Well, since graduating,I've raked it in and I've tossed it off,I've plucked the green peach and sodded the pitch

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Rejection

© McGimpsey David

Thank you for sending your work to Tearsea

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The Wind Our Enemy

© Marriott Anne

Windflattening its gaunt furious self againstthe naked siding, knifing in the woundsof time, pausing to tear aside the lastold scab of paint.

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On Reading that I am ‘Elderly’

© Marriott Anne

As if the wordhas some dragging magicshe appearsthat woman who bentso carefully her black laced feetto fit the curveof the beachside walk(Victoria: a long moist springor was it autumn?)

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Del Lu e de l'Aignel

© Marie de France

Ci dit del lu e de l'aignel,Ki beveient a un duitel

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The Song of the New Jesus

© MacDonald Wilson Pugsley

All the fat and shiny preachers From their pulpits say:

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The Sonnets of Ishtar

© Lodge George Cabot

I am the world's imperishable desire;Life is because I will, for hope of meLife is, nor all the dark depths of the seaCould quench mine eyes' light nor my body's fire

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Man and Bat

© David Herbert Lawrence

When I went into my room, at mid-morning,Say ten o'clock ...My room, a crash-box over that great stone rattleThe Via de' Bardi ....

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Figs

© David Herbert Lawrence

The proper way to eat a fig, in society,Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,And open it, so that it is a glittering, rosy, moist, honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.

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April

© Andrew Lang

April, pride of woodland ways, Of glad days,April, bringing hope of prime,To the young flowers that beneath Their bud sheathAre guarded in their tender time;

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Fæsulan Idyl

© Walter Savage Landor

Here, where precipitate Spring with one light boundInto hot Summer's lusty arms expires;And where go forth at morn, at eve, at night,Soft airs, that want the lute to play with them,And softer sighs, that know not what they want;Under a wall, beneath an orange-treeWhose tallest flowers could tell the lowlier onesOf sights in Fiesole right up above,While I was gazing a few paces offAt what they seemed to show me with their nods,Their frequent whispers and their pointing shoots,A gentle maid came down the garden-stepsAnd gathered the pure treasure in her lap

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To My Grandmother

© Frederick Locker Lampson

(Suggested by a Picture by Mr. Romney)

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Le Brave, brave automne!

© Jules Laforgue

Quand reviendra l'automne,Cette saison si triste,Je vais m'la passer bonne,Au point de vue artiste.

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Referendum

© L'Abbé Sonnet

with sincere apologies to Gilles Vigneault

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The Vanity of Human Wishes

© Samuel Johnson

Let observation with extensive view,

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Flint and Feather

© Emily Pauline Johnson

Ojistoh1.2Of him whose name breathes bravery and life1.3And courage to the tribe that calls him chief.1.4I am Ojistoh, his white star, and he1.5Is land, and lake, and sky--and soul to me.

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Awakener

© Hyde Robin

But rain slides round us now, a fine grey cloudLike the wraith castle in a fairy tale,Sheltering those hearts that could not quite prevailWith the bold gules and azure, painted proudOn earth's sure banners