Smile poems/ page 6 of 369 /
From low and abject themes the grov'ling museNow mounts aërial, to sing of armsTriumphant, and emblaze the martial actsOf Britain's hero; may the verse not sinkBeneath his merits, but detain a whileThy ear, O Harley, (though thy country's wealDepends on thee, though mighty Anne requiresThy hourly counsels) since with ev'ry artThy self adorn'd, the mean essays of youthThou wilt not damp, but guide, wherever found,The willing genius to the muses' seat:Therefore thee first, and last, the muse shall sing
Just a drowned woman, with death-draggled hair And wan eyes, all a-stare;The weary limbs composed in ghastly rest, The hands together prest,Tight holding something that the flood has spared, Nor even the rough workhouse folk have dared To separate from her wholly, but untiedGently the knotted hands and laid it by her side
Though much concern'd to leave my dear old friend,I must however his design commendOf fixing in the country: for were IAs free to choose my residence, as he;The Peak, the Fens, the Hundreds, or Land's End,I would prefer to Fleet Street, or the Strand
He fights where the fighting is thickest And keeps his high honor clean;From finish to start, he is sturdy of heart, Shunning the petty and mean;With his friends in their travail and sorrow, He is ever there to stand by,And hark to their plea, for they all know that he Is a regular sort of a guy
Voice of our Century, whose heart is broken,Weeping for those who will not come again--Lord Christ! hast thou been crucified in vain?--Challenge the right of every Tyrant's token:The fist of mail; the sceptre; ancient, oakenCoffers of gold for which thy sons are slain;The pride of place, which from the days of CainHath for the empty right of Power spoken!
Be like a trumpet blown from clouds of doomAgainst whatever seeks to bind on earth;Bring from the blood of battle, from the wombOf women weeping for their dead, the birthOf better days with banishment of wrong,Love in all hearts, on every lip--a song
Eternal night and solitude of space;Breath as of vapour crimsoning to flame;Far constellations moving in the sameInvariable order and the paceThat times the sun, or earth's elliptic raceAmong the planets: Life--dumb, blind and lame--Creeping from form to form, until her shameBlends with the beauty of a human face!
Death can not claim what Life so hardly wonOut of her ancient warfare with the Void--O Man! whose day is only now begun,Go forth with her and do what she hath done;Till thy last enemy--Death--be destroyed,And earth outshine the splendour of the sun
When I look up and see your flaunting headAnd the long tongue that serpent-like shoots out,I ask, as swift thoughts throng in revellers' rout,What in the world as wicked is as red?I see a columned hall and tables spread,A woman, white and red, with smiles that flout,Two wine-flushed suitors and a sudden shout,Quarrel's quick curses, and the red wine shed--A gleam of swords, a bright and startling stain;Fear's frantic flight, and silence in the hall;Save when the night-wind strays in, flower-sweet,And from the gutt'ring candles white drops fall
But therewith the sun rose upward and lightened all the earth,And the light flashed up to the heavens from the rims of the glorious girth;But they twain arose together, and with both her palms outspread,And bathed in the light returning, she cried aloud and said:"All hail, O Day and thy Sons, and thy kin of the coloured things!Hail, following Night, and thy Daughter that leadeth thy wavering wings!Look down With unangry eyes on us today alive,And give us the hearts victorious, and the gain for which we strive!All hail, ye Lords of God-home, and ye Queens of the House of Gold!Hail, thou dear Earth that bearest, and thou Wealth of field and fold!Give us, your noble children, the glory of wisdom and speech,And the hearts and the hands of healing, and the mouths and hands that teach!"
Then they turned and were knit together; and oft and o'er againThey craved, and kissed rejoicing, and their hearts were full and fain
He glanced around to check if the treacherous godshad really given him the reward promised for his accomplished songand there she was, Eurydice restored, perfectly naked and fleshedin her rhyming body again, the upper and lower smiles and eyes,the line of mouth-sternum-navel-cleft, the chime of breasts and hipsand of the two knees, the feet, the toes, and that expressionof an unimaginable intelligence that yoked all these with a skillshe herself had forgotten the learning of: there she was, with him once morejust for an instant as she vanished
MEan while the new-baptiz'd, who yet remain'dAt Jordan with the Baptist, and had seenHim whom they heard so late expresly call'dJesus Messiah Son of God declar'd,And on that high Authority had believ'd,And with him talkt, and with him lodg'd, I meanAndrew and Simon, famous after knownWith others though in Holy Writ not nam'd,Now missing him thir joy so lately found,So lately found, and so abruptly gone,Began to doubt, and doubted many days,And as the days increas'd, increas'd thir doubt:Sometimes they thought he might be only shewn,And for a time caught up to God, as onceMoses was in the Mount, and missing long;And the great Thisbite who on fiery wheelsRode up to Heaven, yet once again to come