three years we waited for him, attention riveted,
closely scanning
the pines the shore the stars.
One with the blade of the plough or the ship’s keel
we were searching to find once more the first seed
so that the age-old drama could begin again.
We returned to our homes broken,
limbs incapable, mouths cracked
by the tastes of rust and brine.
when we woke we traveled towards the north, strangers
plunged into mist by the immaculate wings of swans that wounded us.
On winter nights the strong wind from the east maddened us,
in the summers we were lost in the agony of days that couldn’t die.
We brought back
these carved reliefs of a humble art.
2
Still one more well inside a cave.
It used to be easy for us to draw up idols and ornaments
to please those friends who still remained loyal to us.
The ropes have broken; only the grooves on the well’s lip
remind us of our past happiness:
the fingers on the rim, as the poet put it.
The fingers feel the coolness of the stone a little,
Then the body’s fever prevails over it
and the cave stakes its soul and loses it
every moment, full of silence, without a dropp of water.
3
Remember the baths where you were murdered
I woke with this marble head in my hands;
it exhausts my elbow and I don’t know where to put it down.
It was falling into the dream as I was coming out of the dream
so our life became one and it will be very difficult for it to separate again.
I look at the eyes: neither open nor closed
I speak to the mouth which keeps trying to speak
I hold the cheeks which have broken through the skin.
That’s all I’m able to do.
My hands disappear and come towards me
mutilated.
4
Argonauts
And a soul
if it is to know itself
must look
into its own soul:
the stranger and enemy, we’ve seen him in the mirror.
They were good, the companions, they didn’t complain
about the work or the thirst or the frost,
they had the bearing of trees and waves
that accept the wind and the rain
accept the night and the sun
without changing in the midst of change.
They were fine, whole days
they sweated at the oars with lowered eyes
breathing in rhythm
and their blood reddened a submissive skin.
Sometimes they sang, with lowered eyes
as we were passing the deserted island with the Barbary figs
to the west, beyond the cape of the dogs
that bark.
If it is to know itself, they said
it must look into its own soul, they said
and the oar’s struck the sea’s gold
in the sunset.
We went past many capes many islands the sea
leading to another sea, gulls and seals.
Sometimes disconsolate women wept
lamenting their lost children
and others frantic sought Alexander the Great
and glories buried in the depths of Asia.
We moored on shores full of night-scenes,
the birds singing, with waters that left on the hands
the memory of a great happiness.
But the voyages did not end.
Their souls became one with the oars and the oarlocks
with the solemn face of the prow
with the rudder’s wake
with the water that shattered their image.
The companions died one by one,
with lowered eyes. Their oars
mark the place where they sleep on the shore.
No one remembers them. Justice
5
We didn’t know them
deep down it was hope that said
we’d known them since early childhood.
We saw them perhaps twice and then they took to the ships:
cargoes of coal, cargoes of grain, and our friends
lost beyond the ocean forever.
Dawn finds us beside the tired lamp
drawing on paper, awkwardly, painfully,
ships mermaids or sea shells;
at dusk we go down to the river
because it shows us the way to the sea;
and we spend the nights in cellars that smell of tar.
Our friends have left us
perhaps we never saw them, perhaps
we met them when sleep
still brought us close to the breathing wave
perhaps we search for them because we search for the other life,
beyond the statues.
6
M.R.
The garden with its fountains in the rain
you will see only from behind the clouded glass
of the low window. Your room
will be lit only by the flames from the fireplace
and sometimes the distant lightning will reveal
the wrinkles on your forehead, my old Friend.
The garden with the fountains that in your hands
was a rhythm of the other life, beyond the broken
statues and the tragic columns
and a dance among the oleanders
near the new quarries —
misty glass will have cut it off from your life.
You won’t breathe; earth and the sap of the trees
will spring from your memory to strike
this window struck by rain
from the outside world.
7
South wind
Westward the sea merges with a mountain range.
From our left the south wind blows and drives us mad,
the kind of wind that strips bones of their flesh.
Our house among pines and carobs.
Large windows. Large tables
for writing you the letters we’ve been writing
so many months now, dropping them
into the space between us in order to fill it up.
Star of dawn, when you lowered your eyes
our hours were sweeter than oil
on a wound, more joyful than cold water
to the palate, more peaceful than a swan’s wings.
You held our life in the palm of your hand.
After the bitter bread of exile,
at night if we remain in front of the white wall
your voice approaches us like the hope of fire;
and again this wind hones
a razor against our nerves.
Each of us writes you the same thing
and each falls silent in the other’s presence,
watching, each of us, the same world separately
the light and darkness on the mountain range
and you.
Who will lift this sorrow from our hearts?
Yesterday evening a heavy rain and again today
the covered sky burdens us. Our thoughts –
like the pine needles of yesterday’s downpour
bunched up and useless in front of our doorway —
would build a collapsing tower.
Among these decimated villages
on this promontory, open to the south wind
with the mountain range in front of us hiding you,
who will appraise for us the sentence to oblivion?
Who will accept our offering, at this close of autumn?
8
What are they after, our souls, travelling
on the decks of decayed ships
crowded in with sallow women and crying babies
unable to forget themselves either with the flying fish
or with the stars that the masts point our at their tips;
grated by gramophone records
committed to non-existent pilgrimages unwillingly
murmuring broken thoughts from foreign languages.
What are they after, our souls, travelling
on rotten brine-soaked timbers
from harbour to harbour?
Shifting broken stones, breathing in
the pine’s coolness with greater difficulty each day,
swimming in the waters of this sea
and of that sea,
without the sense of touch
without men
in a country that is no longer ours
nor yours.
We knew that the islands were beautiful
somewhere round about here where we grope,
slightly lower down or slightly higher up,
a tiny space.
9
The harbour is old, I can’t wait any longer
for the friend who left the island with the pine trees
for the friend who left the island with the plane trees
for the friend who left for the open sea.
I stroke the rusted cannons, I stroke the oars
so that my body may revive and decide.
The sails give off only the smell
of salt from the other storm.
If I chose to remain alone, what I longed for
was solitude, not this kind of waiting,
my soul shattered on the horizon,
these lines, these colours, this silence.
The night’s stars take me back to Odysseus,
to his anticipation of the dead among the asphodels.
When we moored here we hoped to find among the asphodels
the gorge that knew the wounded Adonis.
10
Our country is closed in, all mountains
that day and night have the low sky as their roof.
We have no rivers, we have no wells, we have no springs,
only a few cisterns — and these empty — that echo, and that we worship.
A stagnant hollow sound, the same as our loneliness
the same as our love, the same as our bodies.
We find it strange that once we were able to build
our houses, huts and sheep-folds.
And our marriages, the cool coronals and the fingers,
become enigmas inexplicable to our soul.
How were our children born, how did they grow strong?
Our country is closed in. The two black Symplegades
close it in. When we go down
to the harbours on Sunday to breathe freely
we see, lit in the sunset,
the broken planks from voyages that never ended,
bodies that no longer know how to love.
11
Sometimes your blood froze like the moon
in the limitless night your blood
spread its white wings over
the black rocks, the shapes of trees and houses,
with a little light from our childhood years.
12
Bottle in the sea
Three rocks, a few burnt pines, a lone chapel
and farther above
the same landscape repeated starts again:
three rocks in the shape of a gateway, rusted,
a few burnt pines, black and yellow,
and a square hut buried in whitewash;
and still farther above, many times over,
the same landscape recurs level after level
to the horizon, to the twilit sky.
Here we moored the ship to splice the broken oars,
to drink water and to sleep.
The sea that embittered us is deep and unexplored
and unfolds a boundless calm.
Here among the pebbles we found a coin
and threw dice for it.
The youngest won it and disappeared.
We put to sea again with our broken oars.
13
Hydra
Dolphins banners and the sound of cannons.
The sea once so bitter to your soul
bore the many-coloured and glittering ships
it swayed, rolled and tossed them, all blue with white wings,
once so bitter to your soul
now full of colours in the sun.
White sails and sunlight and wet oars
struck with a rhythm of drums on stilled waves.
Your eyes, watching, would be beautiful,
your arms, reaching out, would glow,
your lips would come alive, as they used to,
at such a miracle:
that’s what you were looking for
what were you looking for in front of ashes
or in the rain in the fog in the wind
even when the lights were growing dim
and the city was sinking and on the stone pavement
the Nazarene showed you his heart,
what were you looking for? why don’t you come? what were you looking for?
14
Three red pigeons in the light
inscribing our fate in the light
with colours and gestures of people
we once loved.
15
Quid πλατανων opacissimus
Sleep wrapped you in green leaves like a tree
you breathed like a tree in the quiet light
in the limpid spring I looked at your face:
eyelids closed, eyelashes brushing the water.
In the soft grass my fingers found your fingers
I held your pulse a moment
and felt elsewhere your heart’s pain.
Under the plane tree, near the water, among laurel
sleep moved you and scattered you
around me, near me, without my being able to touch the whole of you —
one as you were with your silence;
seeing your shadow grow and diminish,
lose itself in the other shadows, in the other
world that let you go yet held you back.
The life that they gave us to live, we lived.
Pity those who wait with such patience
lost in the black laurel under the heavy plane trees
and those, alone, who speak to cisterns and wells
and drown in the voice’s circles.
Pity the companion who shared our privation and our sweat
and plunged into the sun like a crow beyond the ruins,
without hope of enjoying our reward.
Give us, outside sleep, serenity.
16
The name is Orestes
On the track, once more on the track, on the track,
how many times around, how many blood-stained laps, how many black
rows; the people who watch me,
who watched me when, in the chariot,
I raised my hand glorious, and they roared triumphantly.
The froth of the horses strikes me, when will the horses tire?
The axle creaks, the axle burns, when will the axle burst into flame?
When will the reins break, when will the hooves
tread flush on the ground
on the soft grass, among the poppies
where, in the spring, you picked a daisy.
They were lovely, your eyes, but you didn’t know where to look
nor did I know where to look, I, without a country,
I who go on struggling here, how many times around?
and I feel my knees give way over the axle
over the wheels, over the wild track
knees buckle easily when the gods so will it,
no one can escape, what use is strength, you can’t
escape the sea that cradled you and that you search for
at this time of trial, with the horses panting,
with the reeds that used to sing in autumn to the Lydian mode
the sea you cannot find no matter how you run
no matter how you circle past the black, bored Eumenides,
unforgiven.
17
Astyanax
Now that you are leaving, take the boy with you as well,
the boy who saw the light under the plane tree,
one day when trumpets resounded and weapons shone
and the sweating horses
bent to the trough to touch with wet nostrils
the green surface of the water.
The olive trees with the wrinkles of our fathers
the rocks with the wisdom of our fathers
and our brother’s blood alive on the earth
were a vital joy, a rich pattern
for the souls who knew their prayer.
Now that you are leaving, now that the day of payment
dawns, now that no one knows
whom he will kill and how he will die,
take with you the boy who saw the light
under the leaves of that plane tree
and teach him to study the trees.
18
I regret having let a broad river slip through my fingers
without drinking a single drop.
Now I’m sinking into the stone.
A small pine tree in the red soil
is all the company I have.
Whatever I loved vanished with the houses
that were new last summer
and crumbled in the winds of autumn.
19
Even if the wind blows it doesn’t cool us
and the shade is meagre under the cypress trees
and all around slopes ascending to the mountains;
they’re a burden for us
the friends who no longer know how to die.
20
In my breast the wound opens again
when the stars descend and become kin to my body
when silence falls under the footsteps of men.
These stones sinking into time, how far will they drag me with them?
The sea, the sea, who will be able to drain it dry?
I see the hands beckon each drawn to the vulture and the hawk
bound as I am to the rock that suffering has made mine,
I see the trees breathing the black serenity of the dead
and then the smiles, so static, of the statues.
21
We who set out on this pilgrimage
looked at the broken statues
became distracted and said that life is not so easily lost
that death has unexplored paths
and its own particular justice;
that while we, still upright on our feet, are dying,
affiliated in stone
united in hardness and weakness,
the ancient dead have escaped the circle and risen again
and smile in a strange silence.
22
So very much having passed before our eyes
that even our eyes saw nothing, but beyond
and behind was memory like the white sheet one night in an enclosure
where we saw strange visions, even stranger than you,
pass by and vanish into the motionless foliage of a pepper tree;
having known this fate of ours so well
wandering among broken stones, three or six thousand years
searching in collapsed buildings that might have been our homes
trying to remember dates and heroic deeds:
will we be able?
having been bound and scattered,
having struggled, as they said, with non-existent difficulties
lost, then finding again a road full of blind regiments
sinking in marshes and in the lake of Marathon,
will we be able to die as we should?
23
A little farther
we will see the almond trees blossoming
the marble gleaming in the sun
the sea breaking into waves
a little farther,
let us rise a little higher.
24
Here end the works of the sea, the works of love.
Those who will some day live here where we end —
should the blood happen to darken in their memory and overflow —
let them not forget us, the weak souls among the asphodels,
let them turn the heads of the victims towards Erebus:
We who had nothing will school them in serenity.

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I stole abroad,
It was high-spring, and all the way
Primros’d, and hung with shade;
Yet, was it frost within,
And surly winds
Blasted my infant buds, and sin
Like clouds eclips’d my mind.
2.
Storm’d thus; I straight perceiv’d my spring
Mere stage, and show,
My walk a monstrous, mountain’s thing
Rough-cast with rocks, and snow;
And as a pilgrim’s eye
Far from relief,
Measures the melancholy sky
Then drops, and rains for grief,
3.
So sigh’d I upwards still, at last
‘Twixt steps, and falls
I reach’d the pinnacle, where plac’d
I found a pair of scales,
I took them up and laid
In th’one late pains,
The other smoke, and pleasures weigh’d
But prov’d the heavier grains;
4.
With that, some cried, Away; straight I
Obey’d, and led
Full east, a fair, fresh field could spy
Some call’d it Jacob’s Bed;
A virgin-soil, which no
Rude feet ere trod,
Where (since he slept there,) only go
Prophets, and friends of God.
5.
Here, I repos’d; but scarce well set,
A grove descried
Of stately height, whose branches met
And mixed on every side;
I entered, and once in
(Amaz’d to see’t,)
Found all was chang’d, and a new spring
Did all my senses greet;
6.
The unthrift sun shot vital gold
A thousand pieces,
And heaven its azure did unfold
Checker’d with snowy fleeces,
The air was all in spice
And every bush
A garland wore; thus fed my eyes
But all the ear lay hush.
7.
Only a little fountain lent
Some use for ears,
And on the dumb shades language spent
The music of her tears;
I drew her near, and found
The cistern full
Of diverse stones, some bright, and round
Others ill’shap’d, and dull.
8.
The first (pray mark,) as quick as light
Danc’d through the flood,
But, th’last more heavy than the night
Nail’d to the center stood;
I wonder’d much, but tir’d
At last with thought,
My restless eye that still desir’d
As strange an object brought;
9.
It was a bank of flowers, where I descried
(Though ’twas mid’day,)
Some fast asleep, others broad-eyed
And taking in the ray,
Here musing long, I heard
A rushing wind
Which still increas’d, but whence it stirr’d
No where I could not find;
10.
I turn’d me round, and to each shade
Dispatch’d an eye,
To see, if any leaf had made
Least motion, or reply,
But while I listening sought
My mind to ease
By knowing, where ’twas, or where not,
It whispered: Where I please.
Lord, then said I, On me one breath,
And let me die before my death!

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has died once,
has passed through drift of wood-leaves,
cracked and bent
and tortured and unbent
in the winter-frost,
the burnt into gold points,
lighted afresh,
crisp amber, scales of gold-leaf,
gold turned and re-welded
in the sun;
each of us like you
has died once,
each of us has crossed an old wood-path
and found the winter-leaves
so golden in the sun-fire
that even the live wood-flowers
were dark.
2.
Not the gold on the temple-front
where you stand
is as gold as this,
not the gold that fastens your sandals,
nor thee gold reft
through your chiselled locks,
is as gold as this last year’s leaf,
not all the gold hammered and wrought
and beaten
on your lover’s face.
brow and bare breast
is as golden as this:
each of us like you
has died once,
each of us like you
stands apart, like you
fit to be worshipped.

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লুদ্ধ আকাশৰ হিংস্ৰ উত্সৱ |
উখল মাখল পথাৰত
এতিয়া বলিছে সেউজীয়া ঢল ||
২)
তামস আকাশখনৰ
স্তব্ধতা ভাঙে কোমল কঁহুৱা ফুলে |
কবিতাৰো বতৰ আছে
আহিনৰ আকাশে কাণে কাণে ক’লে |
৩)
ৰ’দালিৰ ভাঁজে ভাঁজে
অপাৰ বিস্ময় |
আবেগত ভাঙি পৰে
শব্দৰ তন্ময় ||

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বাওঁহাতৰ টিপত মৰে কুশীলব, জননীৰ বুকুত কাল যমুনা |
কাৰ কাৰণে কবিতা, সূৰ্যৰ তেজস্বিতা ? ছহীদৰ হাড়
শিয়াল-কুকুৰৰ ভোজ, স্বাধীনতাৰ বিপন্ন মুখ !
কাৰ কাৰণে কবিতা, তাপস কবিৰ তেজৰ শলিতা ?

ম‍ই এক বিপুলাতয়ন নাটকৰ গৰ্ভাংকৰ গভীৰ নাটকীয় মুহূৰ্তত,
মোৰ অসহায় চকুৰ আগত বিশাল শব্দকল্পদ্ৰুম,
উদগ্ৰ জীৱন শক্তিত স্ফীত শাখা-প্ৰশাখাত
উত্সাৱন্ত ধুমুহাৰ কোলাহল;
মুক্ত, উদ্ধত আৰু সুস্পষ্ট বিবেকী বজ্ৰৰ নিৰ্ঘোষ |
মোৰ অনুভূতিৰ বিপদজনক দুৱাৰ দুফাল কৰি খোলা |
যকৃতৰ সুখ-শ্ৰুত সুস্থতাই জানো সকলো ?
তোমাৰ লগত মোৰ বিস্তৰ মতভেদ |
বৰং যদিও দুষ্প্ৰাপ্য, তেজৰ স্বাভাৱিক ৰং মোৰ প্ৰিয় |
ম‍ই এনেধৰণৰ সৰ্বাত্মক সংকটৰ মুখামুখি
যাৰ – এফালে নিৰ্বিষ বাস্তৱ, আনফালে অসম্ভৱ ভৱিষ্যত্‍ |

নিমিষতে ভাঙি পৰে মোৰ বুকুৰ ভিতৰৰ ঘৰ-দুৱাৰ | তোমাক
বুকুত থৈ কৰা আশ্চৰ্য নিৰ্মাণ | ভয়ংকৰ ভাঙনৰ মুখত
স্থিত দীৰ্ঘ পৰিশ্ৰমে গঢ়া সুশোভিত উদ্যান |
পাৰ হৈ আহোঁ পিছল শিলৰ সাঁকো,
ভৱিষ্যতৰ গন্ধবহ সপ্ৰতিভ বৰ্তমান |
হাড়ে হাড়ে, বুকুৰ ভিতৰে ভিতৰে ভাঙে ঘৰ-দুৱাৰ,
কলিজাত কতকাল পৰি থকা স্মৃতিময় গোলাপলতাৰ
তিমিৰ প্ৰোথিত শিপা ছিন্ন-বিচ্ছিন্ন |
শ্বাসৰোধী অভ্যন্তৰত পিপাসাৰ মুমূৰ্ষ প্ৰাৰ্থনাঃ
মোৰ প্ৰকৃতি, মোৰ প্ৰিয়, তুলি লোৱা মোৰ অপাপ হৃদয়
ধ্বংসস্তুপৰ পৰা |

তেজৰ অনুগত মোৰ এই অভীষ্ট শব্দবোৰৰ নিঃসংগতা
লগৰীয়াৰ চকুত ধুলি দি বালিঘৰ সাজি একান্তমনে
উমলি থকা ল’ৰাটোৰ দৰে এক অদ্ভুত আনন্দবোধত মুগ্ধ |
প্ৰতিটো শব্দৰ শৰীৰে শৰীৰে বিয়পি আছে মোৰ
আইৰ চাদৰৰ মোলান আচঁলত লাগি থকা কিংবদন্তিৰ কৰুণতা |

এনেকৈয়ে আছোঁ: দুখ মোৰ কোলাৰ কেঁচুৱা, বাৰে বাৰে
দুহাতেৰে দাঙি ল’ব লাগে | জিভাত দুখৰ ঘৰৰ লোণ,
ওকালিত ওলাই আহে ভাতৰ নিসনি | খং মোৰ সহজতে নুঠে |
দায়িত্বশীল পিতাৰ দৰে ম‍ই জানো
খং কেনেকৈ সামৰি থ’ব লাগে;
ক্ষমায়েই বা কাক বোলে | প্ৰচুৰ দায়িত্ব মোৰ |
দুখবোৰ তুলি-তালি মানুহ কৰাৰ গধুৰ দায়িত্ব,
একান্ততাত জুৰুলি-জুপুৰি নৰীয়া দেহা,
কিবা এটা ক’ব খুজিলেই আলজিভাৰ পৰা ছিটিকি পৰে
অজানিত তেজ মুখৰ ভিতৰে-বাহিৰে |

মোৰ অস্ত্ৰৰ শানিত মুখত সুগন্ধ সময়ৰ সেতুময়তা !
মোৰ স্নায়ুৰ বিচিত্ৰ বীনাৰ সহস্ৰ তাঁৰ কৃতজ্ঞতাবোধত গধুৰ,
বুকুৰ ভিতৰত অজৰ-অমৰ পৃথিৱী, যাৰ কাষত বহিলে
উজ্জ্বল হৈ উঠে মোৰ নৰীয়া দেহ | ভ্ৰমণ-বিলাসী মনৰ শেষ হয় সকলো
আয়োজন, ভৰি ছুই গুছি যায় আবেলিৰ ৰ’দ,
ম‍ই মাথোঁ বহি থাকোঁ লিৰিকি-বিদাৰি গুৰুভাৰ শিকলি |
…. আঙুলি কামুৰি পালো ঘোলা তেজ, চেঁচা বিদ্ৰোহ,
চূড়ান্ত কিবা কৰাৰ মোৰ খুব লোভ, অথচ মোৰ
সেই স্পৰ্ধা নাই অথবা, বিৰল প্ৰাজ্ঞতা !

কমৰেড্‍, বুকুখন বিষাইছে, বন্দুকটো উম দি বুকুতে থাকক,
আঁতৰাই নিনিবা; লাগিলে তৰ্জনী আঙুলিটো মোৰ
ট্ৰিগ্ৰাৰতে থোৱাঃ বন্দুকৰ নলেৰে জ্বলক অবিৰাম বিজুলী |
ৰাতিটো পাৰ হৈ গ’লে আমাৰ আৰু ভয় কি ?
নলে-গলে লগালগি পামগৈ ফৰকাল বেলতলাৰ পথাৰ |

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মোৰ তেজৰ কোলাত দিনৰ উজ্জ্বল গোন্ধ, হিৰণ্ময় ৰাতি |
২)
আঁঠুৰ ধুলি দুহাতেৰে মচি থিয় দিয়ে দুখ,
তুলসীতলৰ গধূলি আৰু কৰুণ কৰে মাটিৰ ঢিমিকি পোহৰে |
৩)
উৰণীয়া চৰাইৰ পাখিৰ তলত নিম-দুপৰৰ হালধীয়া বাঁহী,
আপোনা-আপুনি জাপ খাই আহে মোৰ গধুৰ চকু,
নিজানে মেলি ধৰে কাঁইটীয়া বুকুৰ গুলপীয়া পাহি |

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In the afterbirth of terror
the rabble grovels for new nourishment.
On Good Friday a hand hangs on display
in the firmament, two fingers missing,
and it cannot swear that all of it,
all of it didn’t happen, and nothing
ever will. It dives into red clouds,
whisks off the new murderers
and goes free.
Each night on this earth
open the windows, fold back the sheets
so that the invalid’s secret lies naked,
a sore full of sustenance, endless pain
for every taste.
Gloved butchers cease
the breath of the naked;
the moon in the doorway falls to earth;
let the shards lie, the handle….
All was prepared for the last rites.
(The sacrament cannot be completed.)
2
How vain it all is.
Roll into a city,
rise from the city’s dust,
take over a post
and diguise yourself
to avoid exposure
Fulfill the promises
before a tarnished mirror in the air,
before a shut door in the wind.
Untraveled are the paths on the steep slope of heaven.
3
O eyes, scorched by th Earth’s reservoir of sun,
weighted with the rain of all eyes,
and now absorbed, interwoven
by the tragic spiders
of the present…
4
In the hollow of my muteness
lay a word
and grow tall forests on both sides,
such that my mouth
lies wholly in shade.
tranlated by Peter Filkins
Songs from an Island
Ingeborg Bachmann
Shadow fruit is falling from the walls,
moonlight bathes the house in white, and the ash
of extinct craters is borne in by the sea winnd.
In the embrace of handsome youths
the coasts are sleeping.
Your flesh remembers mine,
it was already inclined to me,
when the ships
loosened themselves from shore and the cross
of our mortal burden
kept watch in the rigging.
Now the execution sites are empty,
they search but cannot find us.
.
When you rise from the dead,
when I rise from the dead,
no stone will lie before the gate,
no boat will rest on the sea.
Tomorrow the casks will roll
toward Sunday waves,
we come on anointed
soles to the shore, wash
the grapes and stamp
the harvest into wine,
tomorrow, on the shore.
When you rise from the dead,
when I rise from the dead,
the hangman will hang at the gate,
the hammer will sink into the sea.
.
One day the feast must come!
Saint Anthony, you who have suffered,
Saint Leonard, you who have suffered,
Saint Vitus, you who have suffered.
Make way for our prayers, way fro the worshippers,
room for music and joy!
We have learned simplicity,
we sing in the choir of cicadas,
we eat and drink,
the lean cats
rub against our table,
until evening mass begins
I hold your hand
with my eyes,
and a quiet, brave heart
sacrifices its wishes to you
Honey and nuts for the childern,
teeming nets for the fishermen,
fertility for the gradens,
moon for the volcano, moon for the volcano!
Our sparks leapt over the borders,
above the night fireworks fanned their
tails, the procession
floats away on dark rafts and gives
time to the primeval world,
to the plodding lizards,
to the carnivorous plant,
to the feverish fish,
to the orgies of wind and the lust
of mountains where a pious
star loses its way, collides with their face
and dissolves into dust.
Stand firm, you foolish saints.
Tell the mainland the craters aren’t resting!
Saint Roch, you who have suffered,
oh you who have suffered, Saint Francis.
.
When someone departs he must throw his hat,
filled with the mussels he spent the summer
gathering, in the sea
and sail off with his hair in the wind,
he must hurl the table,
set for his love, in the sea,
he must pour the wine,
left in his glass, into the sea,
he must give his bread to the fish
and mix a drop of his blood with the sea,
he must drive his knife deep into the waves
and sink his shoes,
heart, anchor and cross,
and sail off with his hair in the wind.
Then he will return.
When?
Do not ask.
.
There is fire under the earth,
and the fire is pure.
There is fire under the eart
and molten rock.
There is a torrent under the earth,
it will stream into us.
There is a torrent under the earth.
it will scorch our bones.
A great fire is coming,
a torrent is coming over the earth.
We shall be witnesses.

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2
The awakened Buddha to show the way, the chosen Messiah to die in the degradation of sentience, is the golden eternity. One that is what is, the golden eternity, or, God, or, Tathagata-the name. The Named One. The human God. Sentient Godhood. Animate Divine. The Deified One. The Verified One. The Free One. The Liberator. The Still One. The settled One. The Established One. Golden Eternity. All is Well. The Empty One. The Ready One. The Quitter. The Sitter. The Justified One. The Happy One.
3
That sky, if it was anything other than an illusion of my mortal mind I wouldnt have said ‘that sky.’ Thus I made that sky, I am the golden eternity. I am Mortal Golden Eternity.
4
I was awakened to show the way, chosen to die in the degradation of life, because I am Mortal Golden Eternity.
5
I am the golden eternity in mortal animate form.
6
Strictly speaking, there is no me, because all is emptiness. I am empty, I am non-existent. All is bliss.
7
This truth law has no more reality than the world.
8
You are the golden eternity because there is no me and no you, only one golden eternity.
9
The Realizer. Entertain no imaginations whatever, for the thing is a no-thing. Knowing this then is Human Godhood.
10
This world is the movie of what everything is, it is one movie, made of the same stuff throughout, belonging to nobody, which is what everything is.
11
If we were not all the golden eternity we wouldnt be here. Because we are here we cant help being pure. To tell man to be pure on account of the punishing angel that punishes the bad and the rewarding angel that rewards the good would be like telling the water ‘Be Wet’-Never the less, all things depend on supreme reality, which is already established as the record of Karma earned-fate.
12
God is not outside us but is just us, the living and the dead, the never-lived and never-died. That we should learn it only now, is supreme reality, it was written a long time ago in the archives of universal mind, it is already done, there’s no more to do.
13
This is the knowledge that sees the golden eternity in all things, which is us, you, me, and which is no longer us, you, me.
14
What name shall we give it which hath no name, the common eternal matter of the mind? If we were to call it essence, some might think it meant perfume, or gold, or honey. It is not even mind. It is not even discussible, groupable into words; it is not even endless, in fact it is not even mysterious or inscrutably inexplicable; it is what is; it is that; it is this. We could easily call the golden eternity ‘This.’ But ‘what’s in a name?’ asked Shakespeare. The golden eternity by another name would be as sweet. A Tathagata, a God, a Buddha by another name, an Allah, a Sri Krishna, a Coyote, a Brahma, a Mazda, a Messiah, an Amida, an Aremedeia, a Maitreya, a Palalakonuh, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 would be as sweet. The golden eternity is X, the golden eternity is A, the golden eternity is /, the golden eternity is O, the golden eternity is [ ], the golden eternity is t-h-e-g-o-l-d-e-n-e-t-e-r- n-i-t-y. In the beginning was the word; before the beginning, in the beginningless infinite neverendingness, was the essence. Both the word ‘god’ and the essence of the word, are emptiness. The form of emptiness which is emptiness having taken the form of form, is what you see and hear and feel right now, and what you taste and smell and think as you read this. Wait awhile, close your eyes, let your breathing stop three seconds or so, listen to the inside silence in the womb of the world, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, re-recognize the bliss you forgot, the emptiness and essence and ecstasy of ever having been and ever to be the golden eternity. This is the lesson you forgot.
15
The lesson was taught long ago in the other world systems that have naturally changed into the empty and awake, and are here now smiling in our smile and scowling in our scowl. It is only like the golden eternity pretending to be smiling and scowling to itself; like a ripple on the smooth ocean of knowing. The fate of humanity is to vanish into the golden eternity, return pouring into its hands which are not hands. The navel shall receive, invert, and take back what’d issued forth; the ring of flesh shall close; the personalities of long dead heroes are blank dirt.
16
The point is we’re waiting, not how comfortable we are while waiting. Paleolithic man waited by caves for the realization of why he was there, and hunted; modern men wait in beautified homes and try to forget death and birth. We’re waiting for the realization that this is the golden eternity.
17
It came on time.
18
There is a blessedness surely to be believed, and that is that everything abides in eternal ecstasy, now and forever.
19
Mother Kali eats herself back. All things but come to go. All these holy forms, unmanifest, not even forms, truebodies of blank bright ecstasy, abiding in a trance, ‘in emptiness and silence’ as it is pointed out in the Diamond-cutter, asked to be only what they are: GLAD.
20
The secret God-grin in the trees and in the teapot, in ashes and fronds, fire and brick, flesh and mental human hope. All things, far from yearning to be re-united with God, had never left themselves and here they are, Dharmakaya, the body of the truth law, the universal Thisness.
21
‘Beyond the reach of change and fear, beyond all praise and blame,’ the Lankavatara Scripture knows to say, is he who is what he is in time and time-less-ness, in ego and in ego-less-ness, in self and in self-less-ness.
22
Stare deep into the world before you as if it were the void: innumerable holy ghosts, buddhies, and savior gods there hide, smiling. All the atoms emitting light inside wavehood, there is no personal separation of any of it. A hummingbird can come into a house and a hawk will not: so rest and be assured. While looking for the light, you may suddenly be devoured by the darkness and find the true light.
23
Things dont tire of going and coming. The flies end up with the delicate viands.
24
The cause of the world’s woe is birth, The cure of the world’s woe is a bent stick.
25
Though it is everything, strictly speaking there is no golden eternity because everything is nothing: there are no things and no goings and comings: for all is emptiness, and emptiness is these forms, emptiness is this one formhood.
26
All these selfnesses have already vanished. Einstein measured that this present universe is an expanding bubble, and you know what that means.
27
Discard such definite imaginations of phenomena as your own self, thou human being, thou’rt a numberless mass of sun-motes: each mote a shrine. The same as to your shyness of other selves, selfness as divided into infinite numbers of beings, or selfness as identified as one self existing eternally. Be obliging and noble, be generous with your time and help and possessions, and be kind, because the emptiness of this little place of flesh you carry around and call your soul, your entity, is the same emptiness in every direction of space unmeasurable emptiness, the same, one, and holy emptiness everywhere: why be selfy and unfree, Man God, in your dream? Wake up, thou’rt selfless and free. ‘Even and upright your mind abides nowhere,’ states Hui Neng of China. We’re all in heaven now.
28
Roaring dreams take place in a perfectly silent mind. Now that we know this, throw the raft away.
29
Are you tightwad and are you mean, those are the true sins, and sin is only a conception of ours, due to long habit. Are you generous and are you kind, those are the true virtues, and they’re only conceptions. The golden eternity rests beyond sin and virtue, is attached to neither, is attached to nothing, is unattached, because the golden eternity is Alone. The mold has rills but it is one mold. The field has curves but it is one field. All things are different forms of the same thing. I call it the golden eternity-what do you call it, brother? for the blessing and merit of virtue, and the punishment and bad fate of sin, are alike just so many words.
30
Sociability is a big smile, and a big smile is nothing but teeth. Rest and be kind.
31
There’s no need to deny that evil thing called GOOGOO, which doesnt exist, just as there’s no need to deny that evil thing called Sex and Rebirth, which also doesn’t exist, as it is only a form of emptiness. The bead of semen comes from a long line of awakened natures that were your parent, a holy flow, a succession of saviors pouring from the womb of the dark void and back into it, fantastic magic imagination of the lightning, flash, plays, dreams, not even plays, dreams.
32
‘The womb of exuberant fertility,’ Ashvhaghosha called it, radiating forms out of its womb of exuberant emptiness. In emptiness there is no Why, no knowledge of Why, no ignorance of Why, no asking and no answering of Why, and no significance attached to this.
33
A disturbed and frightened man is like the golden eternity experimentally pretending at feeling the disturbed-and-frightened mood; a calm and joyous man, is like the golden eternity pretending at experimenting with that experience; a man experiencing his Sentient Being, is like the golden eternity pretending at trying that out too; a man who has no thoughts, is like the golden eternity pretending at being itself; because the emptiness of everything has no beginning and no end and at present is infinite.
34
‘Love is all in all,’ said Sainte Therese, choosing Love for her vocation and pouring out her happiness, from her garden by the gate, with a gentle smile, pouring roses on the earth, so that the beggar in the thunderbolt received of the endless offering of her dark void. Man goes a-beggaring into nothingness. ‘Ignorance is the father, Habit-Energy is the Mother.’ Opposites are not the same for the same reason they are the same.
35
The words ‘atoms of dust’ and ‘the great universes’ are only words. The idea that they imply is only an idea. The belief that we live here in this existence, divided into various beings, passing food in and out of ourselves, and casting off husks of bodies one after another with no cessation and no definite or particular discrimination, is only an idea. The seat of our Immortal Intelligence can be seen in that beating light between the eyes the Wisdom Eye of the ancients: we know what we’re doing: we’re not disturbed: because we’re like the golden eternity pretending at playing the magic cardgame and making believe it’s real, it’s a big dream, a joyous ecstasy of words and ideas and flesh, an ethereal flower unfolding a folding back, a movie, an exuberant bunch of lines bounding emptiness, the womb of Avalokitesvara, a vast secret silence, springtime in the Void, happy young gods talking and drinking on a cloud. Our 32,000 chillicosms bear all the marks of excellence. Blind milky light fills our night; and the morning is crystal.
36
Give a gift to your brother, but there’s no gift to compare with the giving of assurance that he is the golden eternity. The true understanding of this would bring tears to your eyes. The other shore is right here, forgive and forget, protect and reassure. Your tormenters will be purified. Raise thy diamond hand. Have faith and wait. The course of your days is a river rumbling over your rocky back. You’re sitting at the bottom of the world with a head of iron. Religion is thy sad heart. You’re the golden eternity and it must be done by you. And means one thing: Nothing-Ever-Happened. This is the golden eternity.
37
When the Prince of the Kalinga severed the flesh from the limbs and body of Buddha, even then the Buddha was free from any such ideas as his own self, other self, living beings divided into many selves, or living beings united and identified into one eternal self. The golden eternity isnt ‘me.’ Before you can know that you’re dreaming you’ll wake up, Atman. Had the Buddha, the Awakened One, cherished any of these imaginary judgments of and about things, he would have fallen into impatience and hatred in his suffering. Instead, like Jesus on the Cross he saw the light and died kind, loving all living things.
38
The world was spun out of a blade of grass: the world was spun out of a mind. Heaven was spun out of a blade of grass: heaven was spun out of a mind. Neither will do you much good, neither will do you much harm. The Oriental imperturbed, is the golden eternity.
39
He is called a Yogi, his is called a Priest, a Minister, a Brahmin, a Parson, a Chaplain, a Roshi, a Laoshih, a Master, a Patriarch, a Pope, a Spiritual Commissar, a Counselor, and Adviser, a Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, an Old Man, a Saint, a Shaman, a Leader, who thinks nothing of himself as separate from another self, not higher nor lower, no stages and no definite attainments, no mysterious stigmata or secret holyhood, no wild dark knowledge and no venerable authoritativeness, nay a giggling sage sweeping out of the kitchen with a broom. After supper, a silent smoke. Because there is no definite teaching: the world is undisciplined. Nature endlessly in every direction inward to your body and outward into space.
40
Meditate outdoors. The dark trees at night are not really the dark trees at night, it’s only the golden eternity.
41
A mosquito as big as Mount Everest is much bigger than you think: a horse’s hoof is more delicate than it looks. An altar consecrated to the golden eternity, filled with roses and lotuses and diamonds, is the cell of the humble prisoner, the cell so cold and dreary. Boethius kissed the Robe of the Mother Truth in a Roman dungeon.
42
Do you think the emptiness of the sky will ever crumble away? Every little child knows that everybody will go to heaven. Knowing that nothing ever happened is not really knowing that nothing ever happened, it’s the golden eternity. In other words, nothing can compare with telling your brother and your sister that what happened, what is happening, and what will happen, never really happened, is not really happening and never will happen, it is only the golden eternity. Nothing was ever born, nothing will ever die. Indeed, it didnt even happen that you heard about golden eternity through the accidental reading of this scripture. The thing is easily false. There are no warnings whatever issuing from the golden eternity: do what you want.
43
Even in dreams be kind, because anyway there is no time, no space, no mind. ‘It’s all not-born,’ said Bankei of Japan, whose mother heard this from her son did what we call ‘died happy.’ And even if she had died unhappy, dying unhappy is not really dying unhappy, it’s the golden eternity. It’s impossible to exist, it’s impossible to be persecuted, it’s impossible to miss your reward.
44
Eight hundred and four thousand myriads of Awakened Ones throughout numberless swirls of epochs appeared to work hard to save a grain of sand, and it was only the golden eternity. And their combined reward will be no greater and no lesser than what will be won by a piece of dried turd. It’s a reward beyond thought.
45
When you’ve understood this scripture, throw it away. If you cant understand this scripture, throw it away. I insist on your freedom.
46
O everlasting Eternity, all things and all truth laws are no- things, in three ways, which is the same way: AS THINGS OF TIME they dont exist because there is no furthest atom than can be found or weighed or grasped, it is emptiness through and through, matter and empty space too. AS THINGS OF MIND they dont exist, because the mind that conceives and makes them out does so by seeing, hearing touching, smelling, tasting, and mentally-noticing and without this mind they would not be seen or heard or felt or smelled or tasted or mentally-noticed, they are discriminated that which they’re not necessarily by imaginary judgments of the mind, they are actually dependent on the mind that makes them out, by themselves they are no-things, they are really mental, seen only of the mind, they are really empty visions of the mind, heaven is a vision, everything is a vision. What does it mean that I am in this endless universe thinking I’m a man sitting under the stars on the terrace of earth, but actually empty and awake throughout the emptiness and awakedness of everything? It means that I am empty and awake, knowing that I am empty and awake, and that there’s no difference between me and anything else. It means that I have attained to that which everything is.
47
The-Attainer-To-That-Which-Every thing-Is, the Sanskrit Tathagata, has no ideas whatever but abides in essence identically with the essence of all things, which is what it is, in emptiness and silence. Imaginary meaning stretched to make mountains and as far as the germ is concerned it stretched even further to make molehills. A million souls dropped through hell but nobody saw them or counted them. A lot of large people isnt really a lot of large people, it’s only the golden eternity. When St. Francis went to heaven he did not add to heaven nor detract from earth. Locate silence, possess space, spot me the ego. ‘From the beginning,’ said the Sixth Patriarch of the China School, ‘not a thing is.’
48
He who loves all life with his pity and intelligence isnt really he who loves all life with his pity and intelligence, it’s only natural. The universe is fully known because it is ignored. Enlightenment comes when you dont care. This is a good tree stump I’m sitting on. You cant even grasp your own pain let alone your eternal reward. I love you because you’re me. I love you because there’s nothing else to do. It’s just the natural golden eternity.
49
What does it mean that those trees and mountains are magic and unreal?- It means that those trees and mountains are magic and unreal. What does it mean that those trees and mountains are not magic but real?- it means that those trees and mountains are not magic but real. Men are just making imaginary judgments both ways, and all the time it’s just the same natural golden eternity.
50
If the golden eternity was anything other than mere words, you could not have said ‘golden eternity.’ This means that the words are used to point at the endless nothingness of reality. If the endless nothingness of reality was anything other than mere words, you could not have said ‘endless nothingness of reality,’ you could not have said it. This means that the golden eternity is out of our word-reach, it refuses steadfastly to be described, it runs away from us and leads us in. The name is not really the name. The same way, you could not have said ‘this world’ if this world was anything other than mere words. There’s nothing there but just that. They’ve long known that there’s nothing to life but just the living of it. It Is What It Is and That’s All It Is.
51
There’s no system of teaching and no reward for teaching the golden eternity, because nothing has happened. In the golden eternity teaching and reward havent even vanished let alone appeared. The golden eternity doesnt even have to be perfect. It is very silly of me to talk about it. I talk about it simply because here I am dreaming that I talk about it in a dream already ended, ages ago, from which I’m already awake, and it was only an empty dreaming, in fact nothing whatever, in fact nothing ever happened at all. The beauty of attaining the golden eternity is that nothing will be acquired, at last.
52
Kindness and sympathy, understanding and encouragement, these give: they are better than just presents and gifts: no reason in the world why not. Anyhow, be nice. Remember the golden eternity is yourself. ‘If someone will simply practice kindness,’ said Gotama to Subhuti, ‘he will soon attain highest perfect wisdom.’ Then he added: ‘Kindness after all is only a word and it should be done on the spot without thought of kindness.’ By practicing kindness all over with everyone you will soon come into the holy trance, infinite distinctions of personalities will become what they really mysteriously are, our common and eternal blissstuff, the pureness of everything forever, the great bright essence of mind, even and one thing everywhere the holy eternal milky love, the white light everywhere everything, emptybliss, svaha, shining, ready, and awake, the compassion in the sound of silence, the swarming myriad trillionaire you are.
53
Everything’s alright, form is emptiness and emptiness is form, and we’re here forever, in one form or another, which is empty. Everything’s alright, we’re not here, there, or anywhere. Everything’s alright, cats sleep.
54
The everlasting and tranquil essence, look around and see the smiling essence everywhere. How wily was the world made, Maya, not-even-made.
55
There’s the world in the daylight. If it was completely dark you wouldnt see it but it would still be there. If you close your eyes you really see what it’s like: mysterious particle-swarming emptiness. On the moon big mosquitos of straw know this in the kindness of their hearts. Truly speaking, unrecognizably sweet it all is. Don’t worry about nothing.
56
Imaginary judgments about things, in the Nothing-Ever-Happened wonderful void, you dont even have to reject them, let alone accept them. ‘That looks like a tree, let’s call it a tree,’ said Coyote to Earthmaker at the beginning, and they walked around the rootdrinker patting their bellies.
57
Perfectly selfless, the beauty of it, the butterfly doesnt take it as a personal achievement, he just disappears through the trees. You too, kind and humble and not-even-here, it wasnt in a greedy mood that you saw the light that belongs to everybody.
58
Look at your little finger, the emptiness of it is no different than the emptiness of infinity.
59
Cats yawn because they realize that there’s nothing to do.
60
Up in heaven you wont remember all these tricks of yours. You wont even sigh ‘Why?’ Whether as atomic dust or as great cities, what’s the difference in all this stuff. A tree is still only a rootdrinker. The puma’s twisted face continues to look at the blue sky with sightless eyes, Ah sweet divine and indescribable verdurous paradise planted in mid-air! Caitanya, it’s only consciousness. Not with thoughts of your mind, but in the believing sweetness of your heart, you snap the link and open the golden door and disappear into the bright room, the everlasting ecstasy, eternal Now. Soldier, follow me! – there never was a war. Arjuna, dont fight! – why fight over nothing? Bless and sit down.
61
I remember that I’m supposed to be a man and consciousness and I focus my eyes and the print reappears and the words of the poor book are saying, ‘The world, as God has made it’ and there are no words in my pitying heart to express the knowless loveliness of the trance there was before I read those words, I had no such idea that there was a world.
62
This world has no marks, signs, or evidence of existence, nor the noises in it, like accident of wind or voices or heehawing animals, yet listen closely the eternal hush of silence goes on and on throughout all this, and has been gong on, and will go on and on. This is because the world is nothing but a dream and is just thought of and the everlasting eternity pays no attention to it. At night under the moon, or in a quiet room, hush now, the secret music of the Unborn goes on and on, beyond conception, awake beyond existence. Properly speaking, awake is not really awake because the golden eternity never went to sleep; you can tell by the constant sound of Silence which cuts through this world like a magic diamond through the trick of your not realizing that your mind caused the world.
63
The God of the American Plateau Indian was Coyote. He says: ‘Earth! those beings living on your surface, none of them disappearing, will all be transformed. When I have spoken to them, when they have spoken to me, from that moment on, their words and their bodies which they usually use to move about with, will all change. I will not have heard them.’
64
I was smelling flowers in the yard, and when I stood up I took a deep breath and the blood all rushed to my brain and I woke up dead on my back in the grass. I had apparently fainted, or died, for about sixty seconds. My neighbor saw me but he thought I had just suddenly thrown myself on the grass to enjoy the sun. During that timeless moment of unconsciousness I saw the golden eternity. I saw heaven. In it nothing had ever happened, the events of a million years ago were just as phantom and ungraspable as the events of now, or the events of the next ten minutes. It was perfect, the golden solitude, the golden emptiness, Something-Or- Other, something surely humble. There was a rapturous ring of silence abiding perfectly. There was no question of being alive or not being alive, of likes and dislikes, of near or far, no question of giving or gratitude, no question of mercy or judgment, or of suffering or its opposite or anything. It was the womb itself, aloneness, alaya vijnana the universal store, the Great Free Treasure, the Great Victory, infinite completion, the joyful mysterious essence of Arrangement. It seemed like one smiling smile, one adorable adoration, one gracious and adorable charity, everlasting safety, refreshing afternoon, roses, infinite brilliant immaterial gold ash, the Golden Age. The ‘golden’ came from the sun in my eyelids, and the ‘eternity’ from my sudden instant realization as I woke up that I had just been where it all came from and where it was all returning, the everlasting So, and so never coming or going; therefore I call it the golden eternity but you can call it anything you want. As I regained consciousness I felt so sorry I had a body and a mind suddenly realizing I didn’t even have a body and a mind and nothing had ever happened and everything is alright forever and forever and forever, O thank you thank you thank you.
65
This is the first teaching from the golden eternity.
66
The second teaching from the golden eternity is that there never was a first teaching from the golden eternity. So be sure.

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On the long stair.
On one of those cold white wings
That the strange fowl provide for us like one hillside of the sea,
That cautery of snow that blinds us,
Pitiless light,
One winter afternoon
Fair near the place where she sank down with one wing broken,
Three friends and I were caught
Stalk still in the light.
Five of the lights. Why should they care for our eyes?
Five deer stood there.
They looked back, a good minute.
They knew us, all right:
Four chemical accidents of horror pausing
Between one suicide or another
On the passing wing
Of an angel that cared no more for our biology, our pity, and our pain
Than we care.
Why should any mere multitude of the angels care
To lay one blind white plume down
On this outermost limit of something that is probably no more
Than an aphid,
An aphid which is one of the angels whose wings toss the black pears
Of tears down on the secret shores
Of the seas in the corner
Of a poet’s closed eye.
Why should five deer
Gaze back at us?
They gazed back at us.
Afraid, and yet they stood there,
More alive than we four, in their terror,
In their good time.
We had a dog.
We could have got other dogs.
Two or three dogs could have taken turns running and dragging down
Those fleet lights, whose tails must look as mysterious as the
Stars in Los Angeles.
We are men.
It doesn’t even satisfy us
To kill one another.
We are a smear of obscenity
On the lake whose only peace
Is a hole where the moon
Abandoned us, that poor
Girl who can’t leave us alone.
If I were the moon I would shrink into a sand grain
In the corner of the poet’s eye,
While there’s still room.
We are men.
We are capable of anything.
We could have killed every one of those deer.
The very moon of lovers tore herself with the agony of a wounded tigress
Out of our side.
We can kill anything.
We can kill our own bodies.
Those deer on the hillside have no idea what in hell
We are except murderers.
They know that much, and don’t think
They don’t.
Man’s heart is the rotten yolk of a blacksnake egg
Corroding, as it is just born, in a pile of dead
Horse dung.
I have no use for the human creature.
He subtly extracts pain awake in his own kind.
I am born one, out of an accidental hump of chemistry.
I have no use.
2
But
We didn’t set dogs on the deer,
Even though we know,
As well as you know,
We could have got away with it,
Because
Who cares?
3
Boissevain, who was he?
Was he human? I doubt it,
From what I know
Of men.
Who was he,
Hobbling with his dry eyes
Along in the rain?
I think he must have fallen down like the plumes of new snow,
I think he must have fallen into the grass, I think he
Must surely have grown around
Her wings, gathering and being gathered,
Leaf, string, anything she could use
To build her still home of songs
Within sound of water.
4
By God, come to that, I would have married her too,
If I’d got the chance, and she’d let me.
Think of that. Being alive with a girl
Who could turn into a laurel tree
Whenever she felt like it.
Think of that.
5
Outside my window just now
I can hear a small waterfall rippling antiphonally down over
The stones of my poem.

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Heaven once a week;
The next world’s gladness prepossest in this;
A day to seek;
Eternity in time; the steps by which
We Climb above all ages; Lamps that light
Man through his heap of dark days; and the rich,
And full redemption of the whole week’s flight.
2
The Pulleys unto headlong man; time’s bower;
The narrow way;
Transplanted Paradise; God’s walking hour;
The Cool o’th’ day;
The Creatures’ _Jubilee_; God’s parle with dust;
Heaven here; Man on the hills of Myrrh, and flowers;
Angels descending; the Returns of Trust;
A Gleam of glory, after six-days’-showers.
3
The Church’s love-feasts; Time’s Prerogative,
And Interest
Deducted from the whole; The Combs, and hive,
And home of rest.
The milky way chalked out with suns; a clue
That guides through erring hours; and in full story
A taste of Heav’n on earth; the pledge, and cue
Of a full feast: And the Out Courts of glory.

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My Saviour sate, shall I allow
Language to love,
And idolize some shade, or grove,
Neglecting thee ? such ill-plac’d wit,
Conceit, or call it what you please,
Is the brain’s fit,
And mere disease.
2.
Cotswold and Cooper’s both have met
With learn褠swains, and echo yet
Their pipes and wit ;
But thou sleep’st in a deep neglect,
Untouch’d by any ; and what need
The sheep bleat thee a silly lay,
That heard’st both reed
And sheepward play ?
3.
Yet if poets mind thee well,
They shall find thou art their hill,
And fountain too.
Their Lord with thee had most to do ;
He wept once, walk’d whole nights on thee :
And from thence?His suff’rings ended?
Unto glory
Was attended.
4.
Being there, this spacious ball
Is but His narrow footstool all ;
And what we think
Unsearchable, now with one wink
He doth comprise ; but in this air
When He did stay to bear our ill
And sin, this hill
Was then His Chair.

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In sighs, and tears !
‘Tis now, since you have lain thus dead,
Some twenty years ;
Awake, awake,
Some pity take
Upon yourselves !
Who never wake to groan, nor weep,
Shall be sentenc’d for their sleep.
2.
Do but see your sad estate,
How many sands
Have left us, while we careless sate
With folded hands ;
What stock of nights,
Of days, and years
In silent flights
Stole by our ears ;
How ill have we ourselves bestow’d,
Whose suns are all set in a cloud !
3.
Yet come, and let’s peruse them all,
And as we pass,
What sins on every minute fall
Score on the glass ;
Then weigh, and rate
Their heavy state,
Until
The glass with tears you fill ;
That done, we shall be safe and good :
Those beasts were clean that chew’d the cud.

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there to see; you and America, like the tree and the
ground, are one the same; yet how like a palm tree
in the state of Oregon. . . dead ere it blossomed,
like a snow polar loping the
Miami—
How so that which you were or hoped to be, and the
America not, the America you saw yet could
not see
So like yet unlike the ground from which you stemmed;
you stood upon America like a rootless
Hat-bottomed tree; to the squirrel there was no
divorcement in its hop of ground to its climb of
tree. . . until it saw no acorn fall, then it knew
there was no marriage between the two; how
fruitless, how useless, the sad unnaturalness
of nature; no wonder the dawn ceased being
a joy. . . for what good the earth and sun when
the tree in between is good for nothing. . . the
inseparable trinity, once dissevered, becomes a
cold fruitless meaningless thrice-marked
deathlie in its awful amputation. . . O butcher
the pork-chop is not the pig—The American
alien in America is a bitter truncation; and even
this elegy, dear Jack, shall have a butchered
tree, a tree beaten to a pulp, upon which it’ll be
contained—no wonder no good news can be
written on such bad news—
How alien the natural home, aye, aye, how dies the tree when
the ground is foreign, cold, unfree—The winds
know not to blow the seed of the Redwood where
none before stood; no palm is blown to Oregon,
how wise the wind—Wise
too the senders of the prophet. . . knowing the
fertility of the designated spot where suchmeant
prophecy be announced and answerable—the
sower of wheat does not sow in the fields of cane;
for the sender of the voice did also send the ear.
And were little Liechtenstein, and not America, the
designation. . . surely then we’d the tongues of
Liechtenstein—
Was not so much our finding America as it was America finding
its voice in us; many spoke to America as though
America by land-right was theirs by law-right
legislatively acquired by materialistic coups of
wealth and inheritance; like the citizen of society
believes himself the owner of society, and what he
makes of himself he makes of America and thus when
he speaks of America he speaks of himself, and quite
often such a he is duly elected to represent what he
represents. . . an infernal ego of an America
Thus many a patriot speaks lovingly of himself when he speaks
of America, and not to appreciate him is not to
appreciate America, and vice-versa
The tongue of truth is the true tongue of America, and it could
not be found in the Daily Heralds since the voice
therein was a controlled voice, wickedly
opinionated, and directed at gullible
No wonder we found ourselves rootless. . . for we’ve become the
very roots themselves,—the lie can never take root
and there grow under a truth of sun and therefrom bear the fruit of truth
Alas, Jack, seems I cannot requiem thee without
requieming America, and that’s one requiem
I shall not presume, for as long as I live there’ll
be no requiems for me
For though the tree dies the tree is born anew, only until
the tree dies forever and never a tree born
anew. . . shall the ground die too
Yours the eyes that saw, the heart that felt, the voice that
sang and cried; and as long as America shall live, though
ye old Kerouac body hath died, yet shall you live. . .
for indeed ours was a time of prophecy without death
as a consequence. . . for indeed after us came the time
of assassins, and whotll doubt thy last words ‘After
me. . . the deluge’
Ah, but were it a matter of seasons I’d not doubt the return of the
tree, for what good the ground upon which we stand
itself unable to stand—aye the tree will in seasonal
time fall, for it be nature’s wont, thaPs why the
ground, the down, the slow yet sure decomposition,
until the very tree becomes the very ground where
once it stood; yet falls the ground. . . ah, then what?
unanswerable this be unto nature, for there is no
ground whereon to fall and land, no down, no up
even, directionless, and into what, if what,
composition goeth its decomposition?
We came to announce the human spirit in the name of
beauty and truth; and now this spirit cries out in nature’s sake
the horrendous imbalance of all things natural. . .
elusive nature caught! like a bird in hand, harnessed
and engineered in the unevolutional ways of
experiment and technique
Yes though the tree has taken root in the ground the ground is
upturned and in this forced vomitage is spewn the
dire miasma of fossilific trees of death the
million-yeared pitch and grease of a dinosauric age
dead and gone how all brought to surface again and
made to roam the sky we breathe in stampedes of
pollution
What hope for the America so embodied in thee, O friend, when
the very same alcohol that disembodied your
brother redman of his America, disembodied
ye—A plot to grab their land, we know—yet what
plot to grab the ungrabbable land of one’s spirit? Thy visionary America were
impossible to unvision—for when the shades of the
windows of the spirit are brought down, that which
was seen yet remains. . . the eyes of the spirit yet see
Aye the America so embodied in thee, so definitely rooted
therefrom, is the living embodiment of all
humanity, young and free
And though the great redemptive tree blooms, not yet full, not
yet entirely sure, there be the darksters, sad and
old, would like to have it fall; they hack and chop
and saw away. . . that nothing full and young and
free for sure be left to stand at all
Verily were such trees as youth be. . . were such be made to fall,
and never rise to fall again, then shall the ground
fall, and the deluge come and wash it asunder,
wholly all and forever, like a wind out of nowhere into nowhere
2
‘How so like Clark Gable hands your hands. . .’ (Mexico
conversation 1956)—Hands so strong and Mexican
sunned, busy about America, hands I knew would
make it, would hold guard and caring
You were always talking about America, and America was always
history to me, General Wolfe lying on the ground
dying in his bright redcoat smittered by a bluecoat
hanging in the classroom wall next to the father of
our country whose heart area was painted in cloud. .
. yes, ours was an American history, a history with a
future, for sure;
How a Whitman we were always wanting, a hoping, an
America, that America ever an America to be,
never an America to sing about or to, but ever an
America to sing hopefully for
All we had was past America, and ourselves, the now America,
and O how we regarded that past! And O the big lie
of that school classroom! The Revolutionary War. . .
all we got was Washington, Revere, Henry,
Hamilton, Jefferson, and Franklin. . . never Nat
Bacon, Sam Adams, Paine. . . and what of liberty?
was not to gain liberty that war, liberty they had,
they were the freest peoples of their time; was not to
lose that liberty was why they went to arms—yet,
and yet, the season that blossomed us upon the
scene was hardly free; be there liberty today? not to
hear the redman, the blackman, the youngman tell—
And in the beginning when liberty was all one could hear; wasn’t
much of it for the poor witches of Salem; and that
great lauder of liberty, Franklin, paid 100 dollar
bounty for each scalp of the wild children of natural
free; Pitt Jr. obtained most of the city of brotherly
love by so outrageous a deception as stymied the
trusting heart of his red brother with tortuous
mistrust; and how ignorant of liberty the wise
Jefferson owning the black losers of liberty; for the
declarers of independence to declare it only for part
of the whole was to declare civil war
Justice is all any man of liberty need hope for; and justice was a
most important foundling thing; a diadem for
American life upon which the twinship of private
property and God could be established;
How suffered the poor native American the enforced
establishing of those two pillars of liberty!
From justice stems a variable God, from God stems a
dictated justice
‘The ways of the Lord lead to liberty’ sayeth St. Paul. . .
– yet a man need liberty, not God, to be able to follow
the ways of God
The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those
to whom the land by right of first claim
collectively belonged;
He who sells mankind’s land to a single man sells the
Brooklyn Bridge
The second greatest cause of human death. . . is the
acquiring of property
No American life is worth an acre of America. . . if No
Trespassing and guarding mastiffs can’t tell you
shotguns will
So, sweet seeker, just what America sought you anyway? Know
that today there are millions of Americans
seeking America. . . know that even with all
those eye-expanding chemicals—only more of
what is not there do they see
Some find America in songs of clumping stone, some in
fogs of revolution
All find it in their hearts. . . and O how it tightens the heart
Not so much their being imprisoned in an old and unbearable
America. . . more the America imprisoned in
them—so wracks and darkens the spirit
An America unseen, dreamed, tremors uncertain, bums the
heart, sends bad vibes forth cosmic and otherwise
You could see the contempt in their young-sad eyes. . . and
meantime the jails are becoming barber shops, and
the army has always been
Yet unable they are to shave the hurricane from their eyes
Look unto Moses, no prophet ever reached the dreamed of
lands. . . ah but your eyes are dead. . . nor the
America beyond your last dreamed hill hovers
real
3
How alike our hearts and time and dying, how our America out
there and in our hearts insatiable yet overHowing
hallelujahs of poesy and hope
How we knew to feel each dawn, to ooh and aah each golden
sorrow and helplessness coast to coast in our
search for whatever joy steadfast never there
nowever grey
Yea the America the America unstained and never revolutioned
for liberty ever in us free, the America in
us—unboundaried and unhistoried, we the
America, we the fathers of that America, the
America you Johnnyappleseeded, the America I
heralded, an America not there, an
America soon to be
The prophet affects the state, and the state affects the
prophet—What happened to you, O friend,
happened to America, and we know what
happened to America—the stain. . . the stains,
O and yet when it’s asked of you ‘What happened to him?’ I say
‘What happened to America has happened
him—the two were inseparable’ Like the wind to the
sky is the voice to the word….
And now that voice is gone, and now the word is bone, and the
America is going, the planet boned
A man can have everything he desires in his home yet have
nothing outside the door—for a feeling man, a poet
man, such an outside serves only to make home a
place in which to hang oneself
And us ones, sweet friend, we’ve always brought America home
with us—and never like dirty laundry, even with all
the stains
And through the front door, lovingly cushioned in our hearts;
where we sat down and told it our dreams of beauty
hopeful that it would leave our homes beautiful
And what has happened to our dream of beauteous
America, Jack?
Did it look beautiful to you, did it sound so too, in its cold
electric blue, that America that spewed and
stenched your home, your good brain, that unreal
fake America, that caricature of America, that
plugged in a wall America. . . a gallon of desperate
whiskey a day it took ye to look that America in its
disembodied eye
And it saw you not, it never saw you, for what you saw was not
there, what you saw was Laugh-in, and all America
was in laughing, that America brought you in,
brought America in, all that out there brought in, all
that nowhere nothing in, no wonder you were
lonesome, died empty and sad and lonely, you the
real face and voice. . . caught before the fake face
and voice—and it became real and you fake,
O the awful fragility of things
‘What happened to him?’ ‘What happened to you?’ Death
happened him; a gypped life happened; a God gone
sick happened; a dream nightmared; a youth
armied; an army massacred; the father wants to eat
the son, the son feeds his stone, but the father no
get stoned
And you, Jack, poor Jack, watched your father die, your America
die, your God die, your body die, die die die; and
today fathers are watching their sons die, and their
sons are watching babies die, why? Why? How we
both asked WHY?
O the sad sad awfulness of it all
You but a mere decade of a Kerouac, but what a lifetime in that
dix Kerouacl
Nothing happened you that did not happen; nothing went
unfulfilled, you circ’d the circle full, and what’s
happening to America is no longer happening
to you, for what happens to the consciousness of the land
happens to the voice of that consciousness and the voice has
died yet the land remains to forget what it has heard and the
word leaves no bone
And both word and land of flesh and earth
suffer the same sick the same death. . . and dies the voice before
the flesh, and the wind blows a dead silence over the dying
earth, and the earth will leave its bone, and nothing of wind will
roll the moan, but silence, silence, nor e’en that will
God’s ear hear
Aye, what happened to you, dear friend, compassionate friend,
is what is happening to everyone and thing of
planet the clamorous sadly desperate planet now
one voice less. . . expendable as the wind. . . gone,
and who’ll now blow away the awful miasma of
sick, sick and dying earthflesh-soul America
When you went on the road looking for America you found only
what you put there and a man seeking gold finds the
only America there is to find; and his investment
and a poet’s investment. . . the same when comes
the crash, and it’s crashing, yet the windows are
tight, are not for jumping; from
hell none e’er fell
4
In Hell angels sing too
And they sang to behold anew
Those who followed the first Christ-bearer
left hell and beheld a world new
yet with guns and Bibles came they
and soon their new settlement became old
and once again hell held quay
The ArcAngel Raphael was I to you
And I put the Cross of the Lord of Angels
upon you. . . there
on the eve of a new world to explore
And you were flashed upon the old and darkling day
a Beat Christ-boy. . . bearing the gentle roundness of things
insisting the soul was round not square
And soon. . . behind thee
there came a-following
the children of flowers

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I am almost nationalistic about it!
I love America like a madness!
But I am afraid to return to America
I’m even afraid to go into the American Express—
2
They are frankensteining Christ in America
in their Sunday campaigns
They are putting the fear of Christ in America
under their tents in their Sunday campaigns
They are driving old ladies mad with Christ in America
They are televising the gift of healing and the fear of hell
in America under their tents in their Sunday
campaigns
They are leaving their tents and are bringing their Christ
to the stadiums of America in their Sunday
campaigns
They are asking for a full house an all get out
for their Christ in the stadiums of America
They are getting them in their Sunday and Saturday
campaigns
They are asking them to come forward and fall on their
knees
because they are all guilty and they are coming
forward
in guilt and are falling on their knees weeping their
guilt
begging to be saved O Lord O Lord in their Monday
Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
and Sunday campaigns
3
It is a time in which no man is extremely wondrous
It is a time in which rock stupidity
outsteps the 5th Column as the sole enemy in America
It is a time in which ignorance is a good Ameri-cun
ignorance is excused only where it is so
it is not so in America
Man is not guilty Christ is not to be feared
I am telling you the American Way is a hideous monster
eating Christ making Him into Oreos and Dr. Pepper
the sacrament of its foul mouth
I am telling you the devil is impersonating Christ in America
America’s educators & preachers are the mental-dictators
of false intelligence they will not allow America
to be smart
they will only allow death to make America smart
Educators & communicators are the lackeys of the
American Way
They enslave the minds of the young
and the young are willing slaves (but not for long)
because who is to doubt the American Way
is not the way?
The duty of these educators is no different
than the duty of a factory foreman
Replica production make all the young think alike
dress alike believe alike do alike
Togetherness this is the American Way
The few great educators in America are weak & helpless
They abide and so uphold the American Way
Wars have seen such men they who despised things about them
but did nothing and they are the most dangerous
Dangerous because their intelligence is not denied
and so give faith to the young
who rightfully believe in their intelligence
Smoke this cigarette doctors smoke this cigarette
and doctors know
Educators know but they dare not speak their know
The victory that is man is made sad in this fix
Youth can only know the victory of being born
all else is stemmed until death be the final victory
and a merciful one at that
If America falls it will be the blame of its educators
preachers communicators alike
America today is America’s greatest threat
We are old when we are young
America is always new the world is always new
The meaning of the world is birth not death
Growth gone in the wrong direction
The true direction grows ever young
In this direction what grows grows old
A strange mistake a strange and sad mistake
for it has grown into an old thing
while all else around it is new
Rockets will not make it any younger—
And what made America decide to grow?
I do not know I can only hold it to the strangeness in man
And America has grown into the American Way—
To be young is to be ever purposeful limitless
To grow is to know limit purposelessness
Each age is a new age
How outrageous it is that something old and sad
from the pre-age incorporates each new age—
Do I say the Declaration of Independence is old?
Yes I say what was good for 1789 is not good for 1960
It was right and new to say all men were created equal
because it was a light then
But today it is tragic to say it
today it should be fact—
Man has been on earth a long time
One would think with his mania for growth
he would, by now, have outgrown such things as
constitutions manifestos codes commandments
that he could well live in the world without them
and know instinctively how to live and be
—for what is being but the facility to love?
Was not that the true goal of growth, love?
Was not that Christ?
But man is strange and grows where he will
and chalks it all up to Fate whatever be—
America rings with such strangeness
It has grown into something strange and
the American is good example of this mad growth
The boy man big baby meat
as though the womb were turned backwards
giving birth to an old man
The victory that is man does not allow man
to top off his empirical achievement with death
The Aztecs did it by yanking out young hearts
at the height of their power
The Americans are doing it by feeding their young to the
Way
For it was not the Spaniard who killed the Aztec
but the Aztec who killed the Aztec
Rome is proof Greece is proof all history is proof
Victory does not allow degeneracy
It will not be the Communists will kill America
no but America itself—
The American Way that sad mad process
is not run by any one man or organization
It is a monster born of itself existing of its self
The men who are employed by this monster
are employed unknowingly
They reside in the higher echelons of intelligence
They are the educators the psychiatrists the ministers
the writers the politicians the communicators
the rich the entertainment world
And some follow and sing the Way because they sincerely
believe it to be good
And some believe it holy and become minutemen in it
Some are in it simply to be in
And most are in it for gold
They do not see the Way as monster
They see it as the ‘Good Life’
What is the Way?
The Way was born out of the American Dream a
nightmare—
The state of Americans today compared to the Americans
of the 18th century proves the nightmare—
Not Franklin not Jefferson who speaks for America today
but strange red-necked men of industry
and the goofs of show business
Bizarre! Frightening! The Mickey Mouse sits on the throne
and Hollywood has a vast supply—
Could grammar school youth seriously look upon
a picture of George Washington and ‘Herman Borst’
the famous night club comedian together at Valley
Forge?
Old old and decadent gone the dignity
the American sun seems headed for the grave
O that youth might raise it anewl
The future depends solely on the young
The future is the property of the young
What the young know the future will know
What they are and do the future will be and do
What has been done must not be done again
Will the American Way allow this?
No.
I see in every American Express
and in every army center in Europe
I see the same face the same sound of voice
the same clothes the same walk
I see mothers & fathers no
difference among them
Replicas
They not only speak and walk and think alike
they have the same facel
What did this monstrous thing?
What regiments a people so?
How strange is nature’s play on America
Surely were Lincoln alive today
he could never be voted President not with his
looks—
Indeed Americans are babies all in the embrace
of Mama Way
Did not Ike, when he visited the American Embassy in
Paris a year ago, say to the staff—’Everything is fine, just drink
Coca Cola, and everything will be all right.’
This is true, and is on record
Did not American advertising call for TOGETHERNESS?
not orgiasticly like today’s call
nor as means to stem violence
This is true, and is on record.
Are not the army centers in Europe ghettos?
They are, and O how sad how lost!
The PX newsstands are filled with comic books
The army movies are always Doris Day
What makes a people huddle so?
Why can’t they be universal?
Who has smelled them so?
This is serious! I do not mock or hate this
I can only sense some mad vast conspiracy!
Helplessness is all it is!
They are caught caught in the Way—
And those who seek to get out of the Way
can not
The Beats are good example of this
They forsake the Way’s habits
and acquire for themselves their own habits
And they become as distinct and regimented and lost
as the main flow
because the Way has many outlets
like a snake of many tentacles—
There is no getting out of the Way
The only way out is the death of the Way
And what will kill the Way but a new consciousness
Something great and new and wonderful must happen
to free man from this beast
It is a beast we can not see or even understand
For it be the condition of our minds
God how close to science fiction it all seemsl
As if some power from another planet
incorporated itself in the minds of us all
It could well bel
For as I live I swear America does not seem like America
to me
Americans are a great people
I ask for some great and wondrous event
that will free them from the Way
and make them a glorious purposeful people once
again
I do not know if that event is due deserved
or even possible
I can only hold that man is the victory of life
And I hold firm to American man
I see standing on the skin of the Way
America to be as proud and victorious as St.
Michael on the neck of the fallen Lucifer—

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It was oppressively sweet.
Croaking substances stuck to my knees.
Of all substances St. Michael was stickiest.
I grabbed him and pasted him on my head.
I found God a gigantic fly paper.
I stayed out of his way.
I walked where everything smelled of burnt chocolate.
Meanwhile St. Michael was busy with his sword
hacking away at my hair.
I found Dante standing naked in a blob of honey.
Bears were licking his thighs.
I snatched St. Michael’s sword
and quartered myself in a great circular adhesive.
My torso fell upon an elastic equilibrium.
As though shot from a sling
my torso whizzed at God fly paper.
My legs sank into some unimaginable sog.
My head, though weighed with the weight of St. Michael,
did not fall.
Fine strands of multi-colored gum
suspended it there.
My spirit stopped by my snared torso.
I pulled! I yanked! Rolled it left to right!
It bruised! It softened! It could not free!
The struggle of an Eternity!
An Eternity of pulls! of yanks!
Went back to my head,
St. Michael had sucked dry my brainpan!
Skull!
My skull!
Only skull in heaven!
Went to my legs.
St. Peter was polishing his sandals with my knees!
I pounced upon him!
Pummeled his face in sugar in honey in marmalade!
Under each arm I fled with my legs!
The police of heaven were in hot pursuit!
I hid within the sop of St. Francis.
Gasping in the confectionery of his gentility
I wept, caressing my intimidated legs.
2
They caught me.
They took my legs away.
They sentenced me in the firmament of an ass.
The prison of an Eternity!
An Eternity of labor! of hee-haws!
Burdened with the soiled raiment of saints
I schemed escape.
Lugging ampullae its daily fill
I schemed escape.
I schemed climbing impossible mountains.
I schemed under the Virgin’s whip.
I schemed to the sound of celestial joy.
I schemed to the sound of earth,
the wail of infants,
the groans of men,
the thud of coffins.
I schemed escape.
God was busy switching the spheres from hand to hand.
The time had come.
I cracked my jaws.
Broke my legs.
Sagged belly-flat on plow
on pitchfork
on scythe.
My spirit leaked from the wounds.
A whole spirit pooled.
I rose from the carcass of my torment.
I stood in the brink of heaven.
And I swear that Great Territory did quake
when I fell, free.

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Attain a mail of ice and insolence:
Need not pause in the fire, and in no sense
Hesitate in the hurricane to guard.
And when wide world is bitten and bewarred
They perish purely, waving their spirits hence
Without a trace of grace or of offense
To laugh or fail, diffident, wonder-starred.
While through a throttling dark we others hear
The little lifting helplessness, the queer
Whimper-whine; whose unridiculous
Lost softness softly makes a trap for us.
And makes a curse. And makes a sugar of
The malocclusions, the inconditions of love.
2
What shall I give my children? who are poor,
Who are adjudged the leastwise of the land,
Who are my sweetest lepers, who demand
No velvet and no velvety velour;
But who have begged me for a brisk contour,
Crying that they are quasi, contraband
Because unfinished, graven by a hand
Less than angelic, admirable or sure.
My hand is stuffed with mode, design, device.
But I lack access to my proper stone.
And plenitude of plan shall not suffice
Nor grief nor love shall be enough alone
To ratify my little halves who bear
Across an autumn freezing everywhere.
3
And shall I prime my children, pray, to pray?
Mites, come invade most frugal vestibules
Spectered with crusts of penitents’ renewals
And all hysterics arrogant for a day.
Instruct yourselves here is no devil to pay.
Children, confine your lights in jellied rules;
Resemble graves; be metaphysical mules.
Learn Lord will not distort nor leave the fray.
Behind the scurryings of your neat motif
I shall wait, if you wish: revise the psalm
If that should frighten you: sew up belief
If that should tear: turn, singularly calm
At forehead and at fingers rather wise,
Holding the bandage ready for your eyes.

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Hvor Vinterkulden trykker,
Bort til Italia!
Vi Tydskland let kan glemme,
Saa smukt har vi det Hjemme,
Og flyve dog derfra!
Hallo, halla, hallo, halla!
Ned til Italia!
2
De høie Alper vige,
Vi ned paa Sletten stige
Til Sang og Blomster-Duft.
Blandt Myrter Hjorden græsser,
See Pinier og Cypresser! –
Vi aande Sydens Luft!
Hallo, hallo, hallo! hallo!
Den Luft gjør Hjertet fro!
3
Her Skjønheds Døttre bygge!
Vi tænke paa vor Lykke,
Vi dvæle og vi fly.
Bag Bjergene det vinker!
Sankt Peters Kubbel blinker,
Vi er i Pavens By.
Hallo, halla, hallo, halla!
Nu Passaporti da!
4
Vi ned ad Corso vandre,
Og sikkert vi de Andre
I Caffe greco see!
Man Velkomst drikke skal jo,
Vi raabe mezzo caldo!
Vi kysses og vi lee!
Hallo, halle, hallo, halle!
Vi er i vor Caffé!
5
Os spørger hver en Stemme,
„Hvorledes staaer det hjemme?’
„Det staaer, som før det stod!
Det regner og er sølet,
Man gaaer og er forkjølet,
For Vintren er saa god!’
Hallo, hallo, hallo, hallo!
Ja god, det kan I tro!
6
Om Roma vil vi tale,
See Vaticanets Sale,
Ja dertil staaer vor Hu.
Jeg Colossæum gjæster,
Og Keiserborgens Rester,
Og saa lidt meer endnu!
Hallo, halle, hallo, halle!
Vi atter Roma see!
7
Men vi maae lidt os rappe!
Op ad den spanske Trappe,
Først hen til Chiavica!
De der sig Alle samle,
Der træffe vi den Gamle,
ham bringes et Hurra!
Hallo, halla, hallo, halla!
Ham bringes et Hurra!
8
Hans Fødselsdag de hædre,
Og ingen Dag er bedre
End den, han først saae Rom!
Vi see hans milde Øie
Vi staae ved Romas Høie,
Til Skaalen just vi kom.
Hallo, halla, hallo, halla!
For Thorvaldsen Hurra!

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उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!
यह चाँद उदित होकर नभ में
कुछ ताप मिटाता जीवन का,
लहरालहरा यह शाखाएँ
कुछ शोक भुला देती मन का,
कल मुर्झानेवाली कलियाँ
हँसकर कहती हैं मगन रहो,
बुलबुल तरु की फुनगी पर से
संदेश सुनाती यौवन का,
तुम देकर मदिरा के प्याले
मेरा मन बहला देती हो,
उस पार मुझे बहलाने का
उपचार न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो,
उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!
2
जग में रस की नदियाँ बहती,
रसना दो बूंदें पाती है,
जीवन की झिलमिलसी झाँकी
नयनों के आगे आती है,
स्वरतालमयी वीणा बजती,
मिलती है बस झंकार मुझे,
मेरे सुमनों की गंध कहीं
यह वायु उड़ा ले जाती है;
ऐसा सुनता, उस पार, प्रिये,
ये साधन भी छिन जाएँगे;
तब मानव की चेतनता का
आधार न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो,
उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!
3
प्याला है पर पी पाएँगे,
है ज्ञात नहीं इतना हमको,
इस पार नियति ने भेजा है,
असमर्थबना कितना हमको,
कहने वाले, पर कहते है,
हम कर्मों में स्वाधीन सदा,
करने वालों की परवशता
है ज्ञात किसे, जितनी हमको?
कह तो सकते हैं, कहकर ही
कुछ दिल हलका कर लेते हैं,
उस पार अभागे मानव का
अधिकार न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो,
उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!
4
कुछ भी न किया था जब उसका,
उसने पथ में काँटे बोये,
वे भार दिए धर कंधों पर,
जो रो-रोकर हमने ढोए;
महलों के सपनों के भीतर
जर्जर खँडहर का सत्य भरा,
उर में ऐसी हलचल भर दी,
दो रात न हम सुख से सोए;
अब तो हम अपने जीवन भर
उस क्रूर कठिन को कोस चुके;
उस पार नियति का मानव से
व्यवहार न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो,
उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!
5
संसृति के जीवन में, सुभगे
ऐसी भी घड़ियाँ आएँगी,
जब दिनकर की तमहर किरणे
तम के अन्दर छिप जाएँगी,
जब निज प्रियतम का शव, रजनी
तम की चादर से ढक देगी,
तब रवि-शशि-पोषित यह पृथ्वी
कितने दिन खैर मनाएगी!
जब इस लंबे-चौड़े जग का
अस्तित्व न रहने पाएगा,
तब हम दोनो का नन्हा-सा
संसार न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो,
उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!
6
ऐसा चिर पतझड़ आएगा
कोयल न कुहुक फिर पाएगी,
बुलबुल न अंधेरे में गागा
जीवन की ज्योति जगाएगी,
अगणित मृदु-नव पल्लव के स्वर
‘मरमर’ न सुने फिर जाएँगे,
अलि-अवली कलि-दल पर गुंजन
करने के हेतु न आएगी,
जब इतनी रसमय ध्वनियों का
अवसान, प्रिये, हो जाएगा,
तब शुष्क हमारे कंठों का
उद्गार न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो,
उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!
7
सुन काल प्रबल का गुरु-गर्जन
निर्झरिणी भूलेगी नर्तन,
निर्झर भूलेगा निज ‘टलमल’,
सरिता अपना ‘कलकल’ गायन,
वह गायक-नायक सिन्धु कहीं,
चुप हो छिप जाना चाहेगा,
मुँह खोल खड़े रह जाएँगे
गंधर्व, अप्सरा, किन्नरगण;
संगीत सजीव हुआ जिनमें,
जब मौन वही हो जाएँगे,
तब, प्राण, तुम्हारी तंत्री का
जड़ तार न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो,
उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!
8
उतरे इन आखों के आगे
जो हार चमेली ने पहने,
वह छीन रहा, देखो, माली,
सुकुमार लताओं के गहने,
दो दिन में खींची जाएगी
ऊषा की साड़ी सिन्दूरी,
पट इन्द्रधनुष का सतरंगा
पाएगा कितने दिन रहने;
जब मूर्तिमती सत्ताओं की
शोभा-सुषमा लुट जाएगी,
तब कवि के कल्पित स्वप्नों का
श्रृंगार न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो,
उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!
9
दृग देख जहाँ तक पाते हैं,
तम का सागर लहराता है,
फिर भी उस पार खड़ा कोई
हम सब को खींच बुलाता है;
मैं आज चला तुम आओगी
कल, परसों सब संगीसाथी,
दुनिया रोती-धोती रहती,
जिसको जाना है, जाता है;
मेरा तो होता मन डगडग,
तट पर ही के हलकोरों से!
जब मैं एकाकी पहुँचूँगा
मँझधार, न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो,
उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

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मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
मैं मधु-विक्रेता को प्यारी,
मधु के धट मुझपर बलिहारी,
प्यालों की मैं सुषमा सारी,
मेरा रुख देखा करती है
मधु-प्यासे नयनों की माला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
2
इस नीले अंचल की छाया
में जग-ज्वाला का झुलसाया
आकर शीतल करता काया,
मधु-मरहम का मैं लेपन कर
अच्छा करती उर का छाला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
3
मधुघट ले जब करती नर्तन,
मेरे नूपुर के छम-छनन
में लय होता जग का क्रंदन,
झूमा करता मानव जीवन
का क्षण-क्षण बनकर मतवाला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
4
मैं इस आँगन की आकर्षण,
मधु से सिंचित मेरी चितवन,
मेरी वाणी में मधु के कण,
मदमत्त बनाया मैं करती,
यश लूटा करती मधुशाला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
5
था एक समय, थी मधुशाला,
था मिट्टी का घट, था प्याला,
थी, किन्तु, नहीं साकीबाला,
था बैठा ठाला विक्रेता
दे बंद कपाटों पर ताला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
6
तब इस घर में था तम छाया,
था भय छाया, था भ्रम छाया,
था मातम छाया, गम छाया,
ऊषा का दीप लिए सर पर,
मैं आई करती उजियाला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
7
सोने की मधुशाना चमकी,
माणित द्युति से मदिरा दमकी,
मधुगंध दिशाओं में चमकी,
चल पड़ा लिए कर में प्याला
प्रत्येक सुरा पीनेवाला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
8
थे मदिरा के मृत-मूक घड़े,
थे मूर्ति सदृश मधुपात्र खड़े,
थे जड़वत् प्याले भूमि पड़े,
जादू के हाथों से छूकर
मैंने इनमें जीवन डाला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
9
मुझको छूकर मधुघट छलके,
प्याले मधु पीने को ललके ,
मालिक जागा मलकर पलकें,
अँगड़ाई लेकर उठ बैठी
चिर सुप्त विमूर्च्छित मधुशाला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
10
प्यासे आए, मैंने आँका,
वातायन से मैंने झाँका,
पीनेवालों का दल बाँका,
उत्कंठित स्वर से बोल उठा,
‘कर दे पागल, भर दे प्याला!’
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
11
खुल द्वार गए मदिरालय के,
नारे लगते मेरी जय के,
मिट चिह्न गए चिंता भय के,
हर ओर मचा है शोर यही,
‘ला-ला मदिरा ला-ला’!,
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
12
हर एक तृप्ति का दास यहाँ,
पर एक बात है खास यहाँ,
पीने से बढ़ती प्यास यहाँ,
सौभाग्य मगर मेरा देखो,
देने से बढ़ती है हाला!
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
13
चाहे जितना मैं दूँ हाला,
चाहे जितना तू पी प्याला,
चाहे जितना बन मतवाला,
सुन, भेद बताती हूँ अन्तिम,
यह शांत नही होगी ज्वाला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
14
मधु कौन यहाँ पीने आता,
है किसका प्यालों से नाता,
जग देख मुझे है मदमाता,
जिसके चिर तंद्रिल नयनों पर
तनती मैं स्वप्नों का जाला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!
15
यह स्वप्न-विनिर्मित मधुशाला,
यह स्वप्न रचित मधु का प्याला,
स्वप्निल तृष्णा, स्वप्निल हाला,
स्वप्नों की दुनिया में भूला
फिरता मानव भोलाभाला।
मैं मधुशाला की मधुबाला!

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From her faint bosom breath’d thee, the disease
Of her sick waters and infectious ease.
But now at even,
Too gross for heaven,
Thou fall’st in tears, and weep’st for thy mistake.
2.
Ah ! it is so with me : oft have I press’d
Heaven with a lazy breath ; but fruitless this
Pierc’d not ; love only can with quick access
Unlock the way,
When all else stray,
The smoke and exhalations of the breast.
3.
Yet, if as thou dost melt, and with thy train
Of drops make soft the Earth, my eyes could weep
O’er my hard heart, that’s bound up and asleep ;
Perhaps at last,
Some such showers past,
My God would give a sunshine after rain.

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Had quick eyes.
They stared about wildly,
When the moon went dark.
The new moon falls into the freight yards
Of cities in the south,
But the loss of the moon to the dark hands of Chicago
Does not matter to the deer
In this northern field.
2
What is that tall woman doing
There, in the trees?
I can hear rabbits and mourning dovees whispering together
In the dark grass, there
Under the trees.
3
I look about wildly.

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The whippoorwill
Pipes lonesomely behind the Hill:
The dusk grows dense,
The silence tense;
And lo, the katydids commence.
2
Through shadowy rifts
Of woodland lifts
The low, slow moon, and upward drifts,
While left and right
The fireflies’ light
Swirls eddying in the skirts of Night.
3
O Cloudland gray
And level lay
Thy mists across the face of Day!
At foot and head,
Above the dead
O Dews, weep on uncomforted!

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That vexed me so last night–! ‘For though Time keeps
Such drowsy watch,’ I moaned, ‘he never sleeps,
But only nods above the world to mock
Its restless occupant, then rudely rock
It as the cradle of a babe that weeps!’
I seemed to see the seconds piled in heaps
Like sand about me; and at every shock
O’ the bell, the piled sands were swirled away
As by a desert-storm that swept the earth
Stark as a granary floor, whereon the gray
And mist-bedrizzled moon amidst the dearth
Came crawling, like a sickly child, to lay
Its pale face next mine own and weep for day.
2
Wait for the morning! Ah! We wait indeed
For daylight, we who toss about through stress
Of vacant-armed desires and emptiness
Of all the warm, warm touches that we need,
And the warm kisses upon which we feed
Our famished lips in fancy! May God bless
The starved lips of us with but one caress
Warm as the yearning blood our poor hearts bleed…!
A wild prayer–! Bite thy pillow, praying so–
Toss this side, and whirl that, and moan for dawn;
Let the clock’s seconds dribble out their woe,
And Time be drained of sorrow! Long ago
We heard the crowing cock, with answer drawn
As hoarsely sad at throat as sobs… Pray on!

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I would not die, nor dare complain.
Thy tuneful voice with numbers join,
Thy voice will more prevail than mine;
For souls opprest and dumb with grief,
The gods ordain’d this kind relief.
That music should in sounds convey
What dying lovers dare not say.
2.
A sigh or tear perhaps she’ll give,
But love on pity cannot live:
Tell her that hearts for hearts were made,
And love with love is only paid,
Tell her my pains so fast increase
That soon it will be past redress;
For the wretch that speechless lies,
Attends but death to close his eyes.

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So long delays her flowers to bear;
Why warbling birds forget to sing,
And winter storms invert the year;
Chloris is gone, and Fate provides
To make it spring where she resides.
2.
Chloris is gone, the cruel fair;
She cast not back a pitying eye;
But left her lover in despair,
To sigh, to languish, and to die:
Ah, how can those fair eyes endure
To give the wounds they will not cure!
3.
Great god of love, why hast thou made
A face that can all hearts command,
That all religions can invade,
And change the laws of every land?
Where thou hadst plac’d such pow’r before,
Thou shouldst have made her mercy more.
4.
When Chloris to the temple comes,
Adoring crowds before her fall;
She can restore the dead from tombs,
And ev’ry life but mine recall.
I only am by love designed
To be the victim for mankind.

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Spirit here that painest!
Spirit here that burneth!
Spirit here that mourneth!
Spirit! I bow
My forehead low,
Enshaded with thy pinions!
Spirit! I look
All passion struck,
Into thy pale dominions!
2.
Spirit here that laughest!
Spirit here that quaffest!
Spirit here that danceth!
Spirit here that pranceth!
Spirit! with thee
I join in the glee,
While nudging the elbow of Momus!
Spirit! I flush
With a Bacchanal blush,
Just fresh from the banquet of Comus!

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Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne’er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.
2.
In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne’er remember
Apollo’s summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.
3.
Ah! would ’twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.

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The riches of Flora are lavishly strown,
The air is all softness, and crystal the streams,
The West is resplendently clothed in beams.
2.
O come! let us haste to the freshening shades,
The quaintly carv’d seats, and the opening glades;
Where the faeries are chanting their evening hymns,
And in the last sun-beam the sylph lightly swims.
3.
And when thou art weary I’ll find thee a bed,
Of mosses and flowers to pillow thy head:
And there Georgiana I’ll sit at thy feet,
While my story of love I enraptur’d repeat.
4.
So fondly I’ll breathe, and so softly I’ll sigh,
Thou wilt think that some amorous Zephyr is nigh:
Yet no — as I breathe I will press thy fair knee,
And then thou wilt know that the sigh comes from me.
5.
Ah! why dearest girl should we lose all these blisses?
That mortal’s a fool who such happiness misses:
So smile acquiescence, and give me thy hand,
With love-looking eyes, and with voice sweetly bland.

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Give it not a tear;
Sigh thou mayst, and bid it go
Any, any where.
2.
Do not look so sad, sweet one,–
Sad and fadingly;
Shed one drop then, it is gone,
O ’twas born to die!
3.
Still so pale? then, dearest, weep;
Weep, I’ll count the tears,
And each one shall be a bliss
For thee in after years.
4.
Brighter has it left thine eyes
Than a sunny rill;
And thy whispering melodies
Are tenderer still.
5.
Yet — as all things mourn awhile
At fleeting blisses,
E’en let us too! but be our dirge
A dirge of kisses.

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To any living thing
Open your ears and stay your t[r]udge
Whilst I in dudgeon sing.
2.
The Gadfly he hath stung me sore–
O may he ne’er sting you!
But we have many a horrid bore
He may sting black and blue.
3.
Has any here an old grey Mare
With three legs all her store,
O put it to her Buttocks bare
And straight she’ll run on four.
4.
Has any here a Lawyer suit
Of 1743,
Take Lawyer’s nose and put it to’t
And you the end will see.
5.
Is there a Man in Parliament
Dum[b-] founder’d in his speech,
O let his neighbour make a rent
And put one in his breech.
6.
O Lowther how much better thou
Hadst figur’d t’other day
When to the folks thou mad’st a bow
And hadst no more to say.
7.
If lucky Gadfly had but ta’en
His seat * * * * * * * * *
And put thee to a little pain
To save thee from a worse.
8.
Better than Southey it had been,
Better than Mr. D——-,
Better than Wordsworth too, I ween,
Better than Mr. V——-.
9.
Forgive me pray good people all
For deviating so —
In spirit sure I had a call —
And now I on will go.
10.
Has any here a daughter fair
Too fond of reading novels,
Too apt to fall in love with care
And charming Mister Lovels,
11.
O put a Gadfly to that thing
She keeps so white and pert —
I mean the finger for the ring,
And it will breed a wort.
12.
Has any here a pious spouse
Who seven times a day
Scolds as King David pray’d, to chouse
And have her holy way —
13.
O let a Gadfly’s little sting
Persuade her sacred tongue
That noises are a common thing,
But that her bell has rung.
14.
And as this is the summon bo
num of all conquering,
I leave ‘withouten wordes mo’
The Gadfly’s little sting.

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And what have ye there i’ the basket?
Ye tight little fairy, just fresh from the dairy,
Will ye give me some cream if I ask it?
2.
I love your meads, and I love your flowers,
And I love your junkets mainly,
But ‘hind the door, I love kissing more,
O look not so disdainly!
3.
I love your hills, and I love your dales,
And I love your flocks a-bleating;
But O, on the heather to lie together,
With both our hearts a-beating!
4.
I’ll put your basket all safe in a nook,
Your shawl I’ll hang up on this willow,
And we will sigh in the daisy’s eye,
And kiss on a grass-green pillow.

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Reserved for your victorious eyes:
From crowds, whom at your feet you see,
O pity, and distinguish me!
As I from thousand beauties more
Distinguish you, and only you adore.
2.
Your face for conquest was design’d,
Your every motion charms my mind;
Angels, when you your silence break,
Forget their hymns, to hear you speak;
But when at once they hear and view,
Are loth to mount, and long to stay with you.
3.
No graces can your form improve,
But all are lost, unless you love;
While that sweet passion you disdain,
Your veil and beauty are in vain:
In pity then prevent my fate,
For after dying all reprieve’s too late.

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Heaven her covering, earth her pillow,
Sad Amynta sigh’d alone:
From the cheerless dawn of morning
Till the dews of night returning,
Singing thus she made her moan:
Hope is banish’d,
Joys are vanish’d,
Damon, my beloved, is gone!
2.
Time, I dare thee to discover
Such a youth and such a lover;
Oh, so true, so kind was he!
Damon was the pride of nature,
Charming in his every feature;
Damon lived alone for me;
Melting kisses,
Murmuring blisses:
Who so lived and loved as we?
3.
Never shall we curse the morning.
Never bless the night returning,
Sweet embraces to restore:
Never shall we both lie dying,
Nature failing, Love supplying
All the joys he drain’d before:
Death come end me,
To befriend me:
Love and Damon are no more

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Crouching at home and cruel when abroad:
Scarce leaving us the means to claim our own;
Our King they courted, and our merchants awed.
2
Trade, which, like blood, should circularly flow,
Stopp’d in their channels, found its freedom lost:
Thither the wealth of all the world did go,
And seem’d but shipwreck’d on so base a coast.
3
For them alone the heavens had kindly heat;
In eastern quarries ripening precious dew:
For them the Idumaean balm did sweat,
And in hot Ceylon spicy forests grew.
4
The sun but seem’d the labourer of the year;
Each waxing moon supplied her watery store,
To swell those tides, which from the line did bear
Their brimful vessels to the Belgian shore.
5
Thus mighty in her ships, stood Carthage long,
And swept the riches of the world from far;
Yet stoop’d to Rome, less wealthy, but more strong:
And this may prove our second Punic war.
6
What peace can be, where both to one pretend?
(But they more diligent, and we more strong)
Or if a peace, it soon must have an end;
For they would grow too powerful, were it long.
7
Behold two nations, then, engaged so far
That each seven years the fit must shake each land:
Where France will side to weaken us by war,
Who only can his vast designs withstand.
8
See how he feeds the Iberian with delays,
To render us his timely friendship vain:
And while his secret soul on Flanders preys,
He rocks the cradle of the babe of Spain.
9
Such deep designs of empire does he lay
O’er them, whose cause he seems to take in hand;
And prudently would make them lords at sea,
To whom with ease he can give laws by land.
10
This saw our King; and long within his breast
His pensive counsels balanced to and fro:
He grieved the land he freed should be oppress’d,
And he less for it than usurpers do.
11
His generous mind the fair ideas drew
Of fame and honour, which in dangers lay;
Where wealth, like fruit on precipices, grew,
Not to be gather’d but by birds of prey.
12
The loss and gain each fatally were great;
And still his subjects call’d aloud for war;
But peaceful kings, o’er martial people set,
Each, other’s poise and counterbalance are.
13
He first survey’d the charge with careful eyes,
Which none but mighty monarchs could maintain;
Yet judged, like vapours that from limbecks rise,
It would in richer showers descend again.
14
At length resolved to assert the watery ball,
He in himself did whole Armadoes bring:
Him aged seamen might their master call,
And choose for general, were he not their king.
15
It seems as every ship their sovereign knows,
His awful summons they so soon obey;
So hear the scaly herd when Proteus blows,
And so to pasture follow through the sea.
16
To see this fleet upon the ocean move,
Angels drew wide the curtains of the skies;
And heaven, as if there wanted lights above,
For tapers made two glaring comets rise.
17
Whether they unctuous exhalations are,
Fired by the sun, or seeming so alone:
Or each some more remote and slippery star,
Which loses footing when to mortals shown.
18
Or one, that bright companion of the sun,
Whose glorious aspect seal’d our new-born king;
And now a round of greater years begun,
New influence from his walks of light did bring.
19
Victorious York did first with famed success,
To his known valour make the Dutch give place:
Thus Heaven our monarch’s fortune did confess,
Beginning conquest from his royal race.
20
But since it was decreed, auspicious King,
In Britain’s right that thou shouldst wed the main,
Heaven, as a gage, would cast some precious thing,
And therefore doom’d that Lawson should be slain.
21
Lawson amongst the foremost met his fate,
Whom sea-green Sirens from the rocks lament;
Thus as an offering for the Grecian state,
He first was kill’d who first to battle went.
22
Their chief blown up in air, not waves, expired,
To which his pride presumed to give the law:
The Dutch confess’d Heaven present, and retired,
And all was Britain the wide ocean saw.
23
To nearest ports their shatter’d ships repair,
Where by our dreadful cannon they lay awed:
So reverently men quit the open air,
When thunder speaks the angry gods abroad.
24
And now approach’d their fleet from India, fraught
With all the riches of the rising sun:
And precious sand from southern climates brought,
The fatal regions where the war begun.
25
Like hunted castors, conscious of their store,
Their waylaid wealth to Norway’s coasts they bring:
There first the north’s cold bosom spices bore,
And winter brooded on the eastern spring.
26
By the rich scent we found our perfumed prey,
Which, flank’d with rocks, did close in covert lie;
And round about their murdering cannon lay,
At once to threaten and invite the eye.
27
Fiercer than cannon, and than rocks more hard,
The English undertake the unequal war:
Seven ships alone, by which the port is barr’d,
Besiege the Indies, and all Denmark dare.
28
These fight like husbands, but like lovers those:
These fain would keep, and those more fain enjoy:
And to such height their frantic passion grows,
That what both love, both hazard to destroy.
29
Amidst whole heaps of spices lights a ball,
And now their odours arm’d against them fly:
Some preciously by shatter’d porcelain fall,
And some by aromatic splinters die.
30
And though by tempests of the prize bereft,
In Heaven’s inclemency some ease we find:
Our foes we vanquish’d by our valour left,
And only yielded to the seas and wind.
31
Nor wholly lost we so deserved a prey;
For storms repenting part of it restored:
Which, as a tribute from the Baltic sea,
The British ocean sent her mighty lord.
32
Go, mortals, now; and vex yourselves in vain
For wealth, which so uncertainly must come:
When what was brought so far, and with such pain,
Was only kept to lose it nearer home.
33
The son, who twice three months on th’ ocean tost,
Prepared to tell what he had pass’d before,
Now sees in English ships the Holland coast,
And parents’ arms in vain stretch’d from the shore.
34
This careful husband had been long away,
Whom his chaste wife and little children mourn;
Who on their fingers learn’d to tell the day
On which their father promised to return.
35
Such are the proud designs of human kind,
And so we suffer shipwreck every where!
Alas, what port can such a pilot find,
Who in the night of fate must blindly steer!
36
The undistinguish’d seeds of good and ill,
Heaven, in his bosom, from our knowledge hides:
And draws them in contempt of human skill,
Which oft for friends mistaken foes provides.
37
Let Munster’s prelate ever be accurst,
In whom we seek the German faith in vain:
Alas, that he should teach the English first,
That fraud and avarice in the Church could reign!
38
Happy, who never trust a stranger’s will,
Whose friendship’s in his interest understood!
Since money given but tempts him to be ill,
When power is too remote to make him good.
39
Till now, alone the mighty nations strove;
The rest, at gaze, without the lists did stand:
And threatening France, placed like a painted Jove,
Kept idle thunder in his lifted hand.
40
That eunuch guardian of rich Holland’s trade,
Who envies us what he wants power to enjoy;
Whose noiseful valour does no foe invade,
And weak assistance will his friends destroy.
41
Offended that we fought without his leave,
He takes this time his secret hate to show:
Which Charles does with a mind so calm receive,
As one that neither seeks nor shuns his foe.
42
With France, to aid the Dutch, the Danes unite:
France as their tyrant, Denmark as their slave,
But when with one three nations join to fight,
They silently confess that one more brave.
43
Lewis had chased the English from his shore;
But Charles the French as subjects does invite:
Would Heaven for each some Solomon restore,
Who, by their mercy, may decide their right!
44
Were subjects so but only by their choice,
And not from birth did forced dominion take,
Our prince alone would have the public voice;
And all his neighbours’ realms would deserts make.
45
He without fear a dangerous war pursues,
Which without rashness he began before:
As honour made him first the danger choose,
So still he makes it good on virtue’s score.
46
The doubled charge his subjects’ love supplies,
Who, in that bounty, to themselves are kind:
So glad Egyptians see their Nilus rise,
And in his plenty their abundance find.
47
With equal power he does two chiefs create,
Two such as each seem’d worthiest when alone;
Each able to sustain a nation’s fate,
Since both had found a greater in their own.
48
Both great in courage, conduct, and in fame,
Yet neither envious of the other’s praise;
Their duty, faith, and interest too the same,
Like mighty partners equally they raise.
49
The prince long time had courted fortune’s love,
But once possess’d, did absolutely reign:
Thus with their Amazons the heroes strove,
And conquer’d first those beauties they would gain.
50
The Duke beheld, like Scipio, with disdain,
That Carthage, which he ruin’d, rise once more;
And shook aloft the fasces of the main,
To fright those slaves with what they felt before.
51
Together to the watery camp they haste,
Whom matrons passing to their children show:
Infants’ first vows for them to heaven are cast,
And future people bless them as they go.
52
With them no riotous pomp, nor Asian train,
To infect a navy with their gaudy fears;
To make slow fights, and victories but vain:
But war severely like itself appears.
53
Diffusive of themselves, where’er they pass,
They make that warmth in others they expect;
Their valour works like bodies on a glass,
And does its image on their men project.
54
Our fleet divides, and straight the Dutch appear,
In number, and a famed commander, bold:
The narrow seas can scarce their navy bear,
Or crowded vessels can their soldiers hold.
55
The Duke, less numerous, but in courage more,
On wings of all the winds to combat flies:
His murdering guns a loud defiance roar,
And bloody crosses on his flag-staffs rise.
56
Both furl their sails, and strip them for the fight;
Their folded sheets dismiss the useless air:
The Elean plains could boast no nobler sight,
When struggling champions did their bodies bare.
57
Borne each by other in a distant line,
The sea-built forts in dreadful order move:
So vast the noise, as if not fleets did join,
But lands unfix’d, and floating nations strove.
58
Now pass’d, on either side they nimbly tack;
Both strive to intercept and guide the wind:
And, in its eye, more closely they come back,
To finish all the deaths they left behind.
59
On high-raised decks the haughty Belgians ride,
Beneath whose shade our humble frigates go:
Such port the elephant bears, and so defied
By the rhinoceros, her unequal foe.
60
And as the build, so different is the fight;
Their mounting shot is on our sails design’d:
Deep in their hulls our deadly bullets light,
And through the yielding planks a passage find.
61
Our dreaded admiral from far they threat,
Whose batter’d rigging their whole war receives:
All bare, like some old oak which tempests beat,
He stands, and sees below his scatter’d leaves.
62
Heroes of old, when wounded, shelter sought;
But he who meets all danger with disdain,
Even in their face his ship to anchor brought,
And steeple-high stood propt upon the main.
63
At this excess of courage, all amazed,
The foremost of his foes awhile withdraw:
With such respect in enter’d Rome they gazed,
Who on high chairs the god-like fathers saw.
64
And now, as where Patroclus’ body lay,
Here Trojan chiefs advanced, and there the Greek
Ours o’er the Duke their pious wings display,
And theirs the noblest spoils of Britain seek.
65
Meantime his busy mariners he hastes,
His shatter’d sails with rigging to restore;
And willing pines ascend his broken masts,
Whose lofty heads rise higher than before.
66
Straight to the Dutch he turns his dreadful prow,
More fierce the important quarrel to decide:
Like swans, in long array his vessels show,
Whose crests advancing do the waves divide.
67
They charge, recharge, and all along the sea
They drive, and squander the huge Belgian fleet;
Berkeley alone, who nearest danger lay,
Did a like fate with lost Creusa meet.
68
The night comes on, we eager to pursue
The combat still, and they ashamed to leave:
Till the last streaks of dying day withdrew,
And doubtful moonlight did our rage deceive.
69
In the English fleet each ship resounds with joy,
And loud applause of their great leader’s fame:
In fiery dreams the Dutch they still destroy,
And, slumbering, smile at the imagined flame.
70
Not so the Holland fleet, who, tired and done,
Stretch’d on their decks like weary oxen lie;
Faint sweats all down their mighty members run;
Vast bulks which little souls but ill supply.
71
In dreams they fearful precipices tread:
Or, shipwreck’d, labour to some distant shore:
Or in dark churches walk among the dead;
They wake with horror, and dare sleep no more.
72
The morn they look on with unwilling eyes,
Till from their main-top joyful news they hear
Of ships, which by their mould bring new supplies,
And in their colours Belgian lions bear.
73
Our watchful general had discern’d from far
This mighty succour, which made glad the foe:
He sigh’d, but, like a father of the war,
His face spake hope, while deep his sorrows flow.
74
His wounded men he first sends off to shore,
Never till now unwilling to obey:
They, not their wounds, but want of strength deplore,
And think them happy who with him can stay.
75
Then to the rest, Rejoice, said he, to-day;
In you the fortune of Great Britain lies:
Among so brave a people, you are they
Whom Heaven has chose to fight for such a prize.
76
If number English courages could quell,
We should at first have shunn’d, not met, our foes,
Whose numerous sails the fearful only tell:
Courage from hearts and not from numbers grows.
77
He said, nor needed more to say: with haste
To their known stations cheerfully they go;
And all at once, disdaining to be last,
Solicit every gale to meet the foe.
78
Nor did the encouraged Belgians long delay,
But bold in others, not themselves, they stood:
So thick, our navy scarce could steer their way,
But seem’d to wander in a moving wood.
79
Our little fleet was now engaged so far,
That, like the sword-fish in the whale, they fought:
The combat only seem’d a civil war,
Till through their bowels we our passage wrought.
80
Never had valour, no not ours, before
Done aught like this upon the land or main,
Where not to be o’ercome was to do more
Than all the conquests former kings did gain.
81
The mighty ghosts of our great Harries rose,
And armed Edwards look’d with anxious eyes,
To see this fleet among unequal foes,
By which fate promised them their Charles should rise.
82
Meantime the Belgians tack upon our rear,
And raking chase-guns through our sterns they send:
Close by their fire ships, like jackals appear
Who on their lions for the prey attend.
83
Silent in smoke of cannon they come on:
Such vapours once did fiery Cacus hide:
In these the height of pleased revenge is shown,
Who burn contented by another’s side.
84
Sometimes from fighting squadrons of each fleet,
Deceived themselves, or to preserve some friend,
Two grappling AEtnas on the ocean meet,
And English fires with Belgian flames contend.
85 Now at each tack our little fleet grows less;
And like maim’d fowl, swim lagging on the main:
Their greater loss their numbers scarce confess,
While they lose cheaper than the English gain.
86
Have you not seen, when, whistled from the fist,
Some falcon stoops at what her eye design’d,
And, with her eagerness the quarry miss’d,
Straight flies at check, and clips it down the wind.
87
The dastard crow that to the wood made wing,
And sees the groves no shelter can afford,
With her loud caws her craven kind does bring,
Who, safe in numbers, cuff the noble bird.
88
Among the Dutch thus Albemarle did fare:
He could not conquer, and disdain’d to fly;
Past hope of safety, ’twas his latest care,
Like falling Caesar, decently to die.
89
Yet pity did his manly spirit move,
To see those perish who so well had fought;
And generously with his despair he strove,
Resolved to live till he their safety wrought.
90
Let other muses write his prosperous fate,
Of conquer’d nations tell, and kings restored;
But mine shall sing of his eclipsed estate,
Which, like the sun’s, more wonders does afford.
91
He drew his mighty frigates all before,
On which the foe his fruitless force employs:
His weak ones deep into his rear he bore
Remote from guns, as sick men from the noise.
92
His fiery cannon did their passage guide,
And following smoke obscured them from the foe:
Thus Israel safe from the Egyptian’s pride,
By flaming pillars, and by clouds did go.
93
Elsewhere the Belgian force we did defeat,
But here our courages did theirs subdue:
So Xenophon once led that famed retreat,
Which first the Asian empire overthrew.
94
The foe approach’d; and one for his bold sin
Was sunk; as he that touch’d the ark was slain:
The wild waves master’d him and suck’d him in,
And smiling eddies dimpled on the main.
95
This seen, the rest at awful distance stood:
As if they had been there as servants set
To stay, or to go on, as he thought good,
And not pursue, but wait on his retreat.
96
So Lybian huntsmen, on some sandy plain,
From shady coverts roused, the lion chase:
The kingly beast roars out with loud disdain,
And slowly moves, unknowing to give place.
97
But if some one approach to dare his force,
He swings his tail, and swiftly turns him round;
With one paw seizes on his trembling horse,
And with the other tears him to the ground.
98
Amidst these toils succeeds the balmy night;
Now hissing waters the quench’d guns restore;
And weary waves, withdrawing from the fight,
Lie lull’d and panting on the silent shore:
99
The moon shone clear on the becalmed flood,
Where, while her beams like glittering silver play,
Upon the deck our careful general stood,
And deeply mused on the succeeding day.
100
That happy sun, said he, will rise again,
Who twice victorious did our navy see:
And I alone must view him rise in vain,
Without one ray of all his star for me.
101
Yet like an English general will I die,
And all the ocean make my spacious grave:
Women and cowards on the land may lie;
The sea’s a tomb that’s proper for the brave.
102
Restless he pass’d the remnant of the night,
Till the fresh air proclaimed the morning nigh:
And burning ships, the martyrs of the fight,
With paler fires beheld the eastern sky.
103
But now, his stores of ammunition spent,
His naked valour is his only guard;
Rare thunders are from his dumb cannon sent,
And solitary guns are scarcely heard.
104
Thus far had fortune power, here forced to stay,
Nor longer durst with virtue be at strife:
This as a ransom Albemarle did pay,
For all the glories of so great a life.
105
For now brave Rupert from afar appears,
Whose waving streamers the glad general knows:
With full spread sails his eager navy steers,
And every ship in swift proportion grows.
106
The anxious prince had heard the cannon long,
And from that length of time dire omens drew
Of English overmatch’d, and Dutch too strong,
Who never fought three days, but to pursue.
107
Then, as an eagle, who, with pious care
Was beating widely on the wing for prey,
To her now silent eyrie does repair,
And finds her callow infants forced away:
108
Stung with her love, she stoops upon the plain,
The broken air loud whistling as she flies:
She stops and listens, and shoots forth again,
And guides her pinions by her young ones’ cries.
109
With such kind passion hastes the prince to fight,
And spreads his flying canvas to the sound;
Him, whom no danger, were he there, could fright,
Now absent every little noise can wound.
110
As in a drought the thirsty creatures cry,
And gape upon the gather’d clouds for rain,
And first the martlet meets it in the sky,
And with wet wings joys all the feather’d train.
111
With such glad hearts did our despairing men
Salute the appearance of the prince’s fleet;
And each ambitiously would claim the ken,
That with first eyes did distant safety meet.
112
The Dutch, who came like greedy hinds before,
To reap the harvest their ripe ears did yield,
Now look like those, when rolling thunders roar,
And sheets of lightning blast the standing field.
113
Full in the prince’s passage, hills of sand,
And dangerous flats in secret ambush lay;
Where the false tides skim o’er the cover’d land,
And seamen with dissembled depths betray.
114
The wily Dutch, who, like fallen angels, fear’d
This new Messiah’s coming, there did wait,
And round the verge their braving vessels steer’d,
To tempt his courage with so fair a bait.
115
But he, unmoved, contemns their idle threat,
Secure of fame whene’er he please to fight:
His cold experience tempers all his heat,
And inbred worth doth boasting valour slight.
116
Heroic virtue did his actions guide,
And he the substance, not the appearance chose
To rescue one such friend he took more pride,
Than to destroy whole thousands of such foes.
117
But when approach’d, in strict embraces bound,
Rupert and Albemarle together grow;
He joys to have his friend in safety found,
Which he to none but to that friend would owe.
118
The cheerful soldiers, with new stores supplied,
Now long to execute their spleenful will;
And, in revenge for those three days they tried,
Wish one, like Joshua’s, when the sun stood still.
119
Thus reinforced, against the adverse fleet,
Still doubling ours, brave Rupert leads the way:
With the first blushes of the morn they meet,
And bring night back upon the new-born day.
120
His presence soon blows up the kindling fight,
And his loud guns speak thick like angry men:
It seem’d as slaughter had been breathed all night,
And Death new pointed his dull dart again.
121
The Dutch too well his mighty conduct knew,
And matchless courage since the former fight;
Whose navy like a stiff-stretch’d cord did show,
Till he bore in and bent them into flight.
122
The wind he shares, while half their fleet offends
His open side, and high above him shows:
Upon the rest at pleasure he descends,
And doubly harm’d he double harms bestows.
123
Behind the general mends his weary pace,
And sullenly to his revenge he sails:
So glides some trodden serpent on the grass,
And long behind his wounded volume trails.
124
The increasing sound is borne to either shore,
And for their stakes the throwing nations fear:
Their passions double with the cannons’ roar,
And with warm wishes each man combats there.
125
Plied thick and close as when the fight begun,
Their huge unwieldy navy wastes away;
So sicken waning moons too near the sun,
And blunt their crescents on the edge of day.
126
And now reduced on equal terms to fight,
Their ships like wasted patrimonies show;
Where the thin scattering trees admit the light,
And shun each other’s shadows as they grow.
127
The warlike prince had sever’d from the rest
Two giant ships, the pride of all the main;
Which with his one so vigorously he prest,
And flew so home they could not rise again.
128
Already batter’d, by his lee they lay,
In rain upon the passing winds they call:
The passing winds through their torn canvas play,
And flagging sails on heartless sailors fall.
129
Their open’d sides receive a gloomy light,
Dreadful as day let into shades below:
Without, grim Death rides barefaced in their sight,
And urges entering billows as they flow.
130
When one dire shot, the last they could supply,
Close by the board the prince’s mainmast bore:
All three now helpless by each other lie,
And this offends not, and those fear no more.
131
So have I seen some fearful hare maintain
A course, till tired before the dog she lay:
Who, stretch’d behind her, pants upon the plain,
Past power to kill, as she to get away.
132
With his loll’d tongue he faintly licks his prey;
His warm breath blows her flix[44] up as she lies;
She trembling creeps upon the ground away,
And looks back to him with beseeching eyes.
133
The prince unjustly does his stars accuse,
Which hinder’d him to push his fortune on;
For what they to his courage did refuse,
By mortal valour never must be done.
134
This lucky hour the wise Batavian takes,
And warns his tatter’d fleet to follow home;
Proud to have so got off with equal stakes,
Where ’twas a triumph not to be o’ercome.
135
The general’s force, as kept alive by fight,
Now not opposed, no longer can pursue:
Lasting till heaven had done his courage right;
When he had conquer’d he his weakness knew.
136
He casts a frown on the departing foe,
And sighs to see him quit the watery field:
His stern fix’d eyes no satisfaction show,
For all the glories which the fight did yield.
137
Though, as when fiends did miracles avow,
He stands confess’d e’en by the boastful Dutch:
He only does his conquest disavow,
And thinks too little what they found too much.
138
Return’d, he with the fleet resolved to stay;
No tender thoughts of home his heart divide;
Domestic joys and cares he puts away;
For realms are households which the great must guide.
139
As those who unripe veins in mines explore,
On the rich bed again the warm turf lay,
Till time digests the yet imperfect ore,
And know it will be gold another day:
140
So looks our monarch on this early fight,
Th’ essay and rudiments of great success;
Which all-maturing time must bring to light,
While he, like Heaven, does each day’s labour bless.
141
Heaven ended not the first or second day,
Yet each was perfect to the work design’d;
God and king’s work, when they their work survey,
A passive aptness in all subjects find.
142
In burden’d vessels first, with speedy care,
His plenteous stores do seasoned timber send;
Thither the brawny carpenters repair,
And as the surgeons of maim’d ships attend.
143
With cord and canvas from rich Hamburgh sent,
His navy’s molted wings he imps once more:
Tall Norway fir, their masts in battle spent,
And English oak, sprung leaks and planks restore.
144
All hands employ’d, the royal work grows warm:
Like labouring bees on a long summer’s day,
Some sound the trumpet for the rest to swarm.
And some on bells of tasted lilies play.
145
With gluey wax some new foundations lay
Of virgin-combs, which from the roof are hung:
Some arm’d, within doors upon duty stay,
Or tend the sick, or educate the young.
146
So here some pick out bullets from the sides,
Some drive old oakum through each seam and rift:
Their left hand does the calking-iron guide,
The rattling mallet with the right they lift.
147
With boiling pitch another near at hand,
From friendly Sweden brought, the seams instops:
Which well paid o’er, the salt sea waves withstand,
And shakes them from the rising beak in drops.
148
Some the gall’d ropes with dauby marline bind,
Or sear-cloth masts with strong tarpaulin coats:
To try new shrouds one mounts into the wind,
And one below their ease or stiffness notes.
149
Our careful monarch stands in person by,
His new-cast cannons’ firmness to explore:
The strength of big-corn’d powder loves to try,
And ball and cartridge sorts for every bore.
150
Each day brings fresh supplies of arms and men,
And ships which all last winter were abroad;
And such as fitted since the fight had been,
Or, new from stocks, were fallen into the road.
151
The goodly London in her gallant trim
(The Phoenix daughter of the vanish’d old).
Like a rich bride does to the ocean swim,
And on her shadow rides in floating gold.
152
Her flag aloft spread ruffling to the wind,
And sanguine streamers seem the flood to fire;
The weaver, charm’d with what his loom design’d,
Goes on to sea, and knows not to retire.
153
With roomy decks, her guns of mighty strength,
Whose low-laid mouths each mounting billow laves;
Deep in her draught, and warlike in her length,
She seems a sea-wasp flying on the waves.
154
This martial present, piously design’d,
The loyal city give their best-loved King:
And with a bounty ample as the wind,
Built, fitted, and maintain’d, to aid him bring.
155
By viewing Nature, Nature’s handmaid, Art,
Makes mighty things from small beginnings grow:
Thus fishes first to shipping did impart,
Their tail the rudder, and their head the prow.
156
Some log perhaps upon the waters swam,
An useless drift, which, rudely cut within,
And, hollow’d, first a floating trough became,
And cross some rivulet passage did begin.
157
In shipping such as this, the Irish kern,
And untaught Indian, on the stream did glide:
Ere sharp-keel’d boats to stem the flood did learn,
Or fin-like oars did spread from either side.
158
Add but a sail, and Saturn so appear’d,
When from lost empire he to exile went,
And with the golden age to Tiber steer’d,
Where coin and commerce first he did invent.
159
Rude as their ships was navigation then;
No useful compass or meridian known;
Coasting, they kept the land within their ken,
And knew no North but when the Pole-star shone.
160
Of all who since have used the open sea,
Than the bold English none more fame have won:
Beyond the year, and out of heaven’s high way,
They make discoveries where they see no sun.
161
But what so long in vain, and yet unknown,
By poor mankind’s benighted wit is sought,
Shall in this age to Britain first be shown,
And hence be to admiring nations taught.
162
The ebbs of tides and their mysterious flow,
We, as art’s elements, shall understand,
And as by line upon the ocean go,
Whose paths shall be familiar as the land.
163
Instructed ships shall sail to quick commerce,
By which remotest regions are allied;
Which makes one city of the universe,
Where some may gain, and all may be supplied.
164
Then we upon our globe’s last verge shall go,
And view the ocean leaning on the sky:
From thence our rolling neighbours we shall know,
And on the lunar world securely pry.
165
This I foretell from your auspicious care,
Who great in search of God and nature grow;
Who best your wise Creator’s praise declare,
Since best to praise his works is best to know.
166
O truly royal! who behold the law
And rule of beings in your Maker’s mind:
And thence, like limbecks, rich ideas draw,
To fit the levell’d use of human-kind.
197
But first the toils of war we must endure,
And from the injurious Dutch redeem the seas.
War makes the valiant of his right secure,
And gives up fraud to be chastised with ease.
168
Already were the Belgians on our coast,
Whose fleet more mighty every day became
By late success, which they did falsely boast,
And now by first appearing seem’d to claim.
169
Designing, subtle, diligent, and close,
They knew to manage war with wise delay:
Yet all those arts their vanity did cross,
And by their pride their prudence did betray.
170
Nor stay’d the English long; but, well supplied,
Appear as numerous as the insulting foe:
The combat now by courage must be tried,
And the success the braver nation show.
171
There was the Plymouth squadron now come in,
Which in the Straits last winter was abroad;
Which twice on Biscay’s working bay had been,
And on the midland sea the French had awed.
172
Old expert Allen, loyal all along,
Famed for his action on the Smyrna fleet:
And Holmes, whose name shall live in epic song,
While music numbers, or while verse has feet.
173
Holmes, the Achates of the general’s fight;
Who first bewitch’d our eyes with Guinea gold;
As once old Cato in the Roman sight
The tempting fruits of Afric did unfold.
174
With him went Spragge, as bountiful as brave,
Whom his high courage to command had brought:
Harman, who did the twice-fired Harry save,
And in his burning ship undaunted fought.
175
Young Hollis, on a Muse by Mars begot,
Born, Caesar-like, to write and act great deeds:
Impatient to revenge his fatal shot,
His right hand doubly to his left succeeds.
176
Thousands were there in darker fame that dwell,
Whose deeds some nobler poem shall adorn:
And, though to me unknown, they sure fought well
Whom Rupert led, and who were British born.
177
Of every size an hundred fighting sail:
So vast the navy now at anchor rides,
That underneath it the press’d waters fail,
And with its weight it shoulders off the tides.
178
Now anchors weigh’d, the seamen shout so shrill,
That heaven and earth and the wide ocean rings:
A breeze from westward waits their sails to fill,
And rests in those high beds his downy wings.
179
The wary Dutch this gathering storm foresaw,
And durst not bide it on the English coast:
Behind their treacherous shallows they withdraw,
And there lay snares to catch the British host.
180
So the false spider, when her nets are spread,
Deep ambush’d in her silent den does lie:
And feels far off the trembling of her thread,
Whose filmy cord should bind the struggling fly.
181
Then if at last she find him fast beset,
She issues forth and runs along her loom:
She joys to touch the captive in her net,
And drags the little wretch in triumph home.
182
The Belgians hoped, that, with disorder’d haste,
Our deep-cut keels upon the sands might run:
Or, if with caution leisurely were past,
Their numerous gross might charge us one by one.
183
But with a fore-wind pushing them above,
And swelling tide that heaved them from below,
O’er the blind flats our warlike squadrons move,
And with spread sails to welcome battle go.
184
It seem’d as there the British Neptune stood,
With all his hosts of waters at command.
Beneath them to submit the officious flood;
And with his trident shoved them off the sand.
185
To the pale foes they suddenly draw near,
And summon them to unexpected fight:
They start like murderers when ghosts appear,
And draw their curtains in the dead of night.
186
Now van to van the foremost squadrons meet,
The midmost battles hastening up behind,
Who view far off the storm of falling sleet,
And hear their thunder rattling in the wind.
187 At length the adverse admirals appear;
The two bold champions of each country’s right:
Their eyes describe the lists as they come near,
And draw the lines of death before they fight.
188
The distance judged for shot of every size,
The linstocks touch, the ponderous ball expires:
The vigorous seaman every port-hole plies,
And adds his heart to every gun he fires!
189
Fierce was the fight on the proud Belgians’ side,
For honour, which they seldom sought before!
But now they by their own vain boasts were tied,
And forced at least in show to prize it more.
190
But sharp remembrance on the English part,
And shame of being match’d by such a foe,
Rouse conscious virtue up in every heart,
And seeming to be stronger makes them so.
191
Nor long the Belgians could that fleet sustain,
Which did two generals’ fates, and Caesar’s bear:
Each several ship a victory did gain,
As Rupert or as Albemarle were there.
192
Their batter’d admiral too soon withdrew,
Unthank’d by ours for his unfinish’d fight;
But he the minds of his Dutch masters knew,
Who call’d that Providence which we call’d flight.
193
Never did men more joyfully obey,
Or sooner understood the sign to fly:
With such alacrity they bore away,
As if to praise them all the States stood by.
194
O famous leader of the Belgian fleet,
Thy monument inscribed such praise shall wear,
As Varro, timely flying, once did meet,
Because he did not of his Rome despair.
195
Behold that navy, which a while before,
Provoked the tardy English close to fight,
Now draw their beaten vessels close to shore,
As larks lie, dared, to shun the hobby’s flight.
196
Whoe’er would English monuments survey,
In other records may our courage know:
But let them hide the story of this day,
Whose fame was blemish’d by too base a foe.
197
Or if too busily they will inquire
Into a victory which we disdain;
Then let them know the Belgians did retire
Before the patron saint of injured Spain.
198
Repenting England this revengeful day
To Philip’s manes did an offering bring:
England, which first by leading them astray,
Hatch’d up rebellion to destroy her King.
199
Our fathers bent their baneful industry,
To check a, monarchy that slowly grew;
But did not France or Holland’s fate foresee,
Whose rising power to swift dominion flew.
200
In fortune’s empire blindly thus we go,
And wander after pathless destiny;
Whose dark resorts since prudence cannot know,
In vain it would provide for what shall be.
201
But whate’er English to the bless’d shall go,
And the fourth Harry or first Orange meet;
Find him disowning of a Bourbon foe,
And him detesting a Batavian fleet.
202
Now on their coasts our conquering navy rides,
Waylays their merchants, and their land besets:
Each day new wealth without their care provides;
They lie asleep with prizes in their nets.
203
So, close behind some promontory lie
The huge leviathans to attend their prey;
And give no chase, but swallow in the fry,
Which through their gaping jaws mistake the way.
204
Nor was this all: in ports and roads remote,
Destructive fires among whole fleets we send:
Triumphant flames upon the water float,
And out-bound ships at home their voyage end.
205
Those various squadrons variously design’d,
Each vessel freighted with a several load,
Each squadron waiting for a several wind,
All find but one, to burn them in the road.
206
Some bound for Guinea, golden sand to find,
Bore all the gauds the simple natives wear;
Some for the pride of Turkish courts design’d,
For folded turbans finest Holland bear.
207
Some English wool, vex’d in a Belgian loom,
And into cloth of spungy softness made,
Did into France, or colder Denmark, doom,
To ruin with worse ware our staple trade.
208
Our greedy seamen rummage every hold,
Smile on the booty of each wealthier chest;
And, as the priests who with their gods make bold,
Take what they like, and sacrifice the rest.
209
But ah! how insincere are all our joys!
Which, sent from heaven, like lightning make no stay;
Their palling taste the journey’s length destroys,
Or grief, sent post, o’ertakes them on the way.
210
Swell’d with our late successes on the foe,
Which France and Holland wanted power to cross,
We urge an unseen fate to lay us low,
And feed their envious eyes with English loss.
211
Each element His dread command obeys,
Who makes or ruins with a smile or frown;
Who, as by one he did our nation raise,
So now he with another pulls us down.
212
Yet London, empress of the northern clime,
By an high fate thou greatly didst expire;
Great as the world’s, which, at the death of time
Must fall, and rise a nobler frame by fire!
213
As when some dire usurper Heaven provides,
To scourge his country with a lawless sway;
His birth perhaps some petty village hides,
And sets his cradle out of fortune’s way.
214
Till fully ripe his swelling fate breaks out,
And hurries him to mighty mischiefs on:
His prince, surprised at first, no ill could doubt,
And wants the power to meet it when ’tis known.
215
Such was the rise of this prodigious fire,
Which, in mean buildings first obscurely bred,
From thence did soon to open streets aspire,
And straight to palaces and temples spread.
216
The diligence of trades and noiseful gain,
And luxury more late, asleep were laid:
All was the night’s; and in her silent reign
No sound the rest of nature did invade.
217
In this deep quiet, from what source unknown,
Those seeds of fire their fatal birth disclose;
And first few scattering sparks about were blown,
Big with the flames that to our ruin rose.
218
Then in some close-pent room it crept along,
And, smouldering as it went, in silence fed;
Till the infant monster, with devouring strong,
Walk’d boldly upright with exalted head.
219
Now like some rich or mighty murderer,
Too great for prison, which he breaks with gold;
Who fresher for new mischiefs does appear,
And dares the world to tax him with the old:
220
So ‘scapes the insulting fire his narrow jail,
And makes small outlets into open air:
There the fierce winds his tender force assail,
And beat him downward to his first repair.
221
The winds, like crafty courtesans, withheld
His flames from burning, but to blow them more:
And every fresh attempt he is repell’d
With faint denials weaker than before.
222
And now no longer letted of his prey,
He leaps up at it with enraged desire:
O’erlooks the neighbours with a wide survey,
And nods at every house his threatening fire.
223
The ghosts of traitors from the bridge descend,
With bold fanatic spectres to rejoice:
About the fire into a dance they bend,
And sing their sabbath notes with feeble voice.
224
Our guardian angel saw them where they sate
Above the palace of our slumbering king:
He sigh’d, abandoning his charge to fate,
And, drooping, oft look’d back upon the wing.
225
At length the crackling noise and dreadful blaze
Call’d up some waking lover to the sight;
And long it was ere he the rest could raise,
Whose heavy eyelids yet were full of night.
226
The next to danger, hot pursued by fate,
Half-clothed, half-naked, hastily retire:
And frighted mothers strike their breasts too late,
For helpless infants left amidst the fire.
227Their cries soon waken all the dwellers near;
Now murmuring noises rise in every street:
The more remote run stumbling with their fear,
And in the dark men jostle as they meet.
228
So weary bees in little cells repose;
But if night-robbers lift the well-stored hive,
An humming through their waxen city grows,
And out upon each other’s wings they drive.
229
Now streets grow throng’d and busy as by day:
Some run for buckets to the hallow’d quire:
Some cut the pipes, and some the engines play;
And some more bold mount ladders to the fire.
230
In vain: for from the east a Belgian wind
His hostile breath through the dry rafters sent;
The flames impell’d soon left their foes behind,
And forward with a wanton fury went.
231
A quay of fire ran all along the shore,
And lighten’d all the river with a blaze:
The waken’d tides began again to roar,
And wondering fish in shining waters gaze.
232
Old father Thames raised up his reverend head,
But fear’d the fate of Simois would return:
Deep in his ooze he sought his sedgy bed,
And shrunk his waters back into his urn.
233
The fire, meantime, walks in a broader gross;
To either hand his wings he opens wide:
He wades the streets, and straight he reaches cross,
And plays his longing flames on the other side.
234
At first they warm, then scorch, and then they take;
Now with long necks from side to side they feed:
At length, grown strong, their mother-fire forsake,
And a new colony of flames succeed.
235
To every nobler portion of the town
The curling billows roll their restless tide:
In parties now they straggle up and down,
As armies, unopposed, for prey divide.
236
One mighty squadron with a side-wind sped,
Through narrow lanes his cumber’d fire does haste,
By powerful charms of gold and silver led,
The Lombard bankers and the ‘Change to waste.
237
Another backward to the Tower would go,
And slowly eats his way against the wind:
But the main body of the marching foe
Against the imperial palace is design’d.
238
Now day appears, and with the day the King,
Whose early care had robb’d him of his rest:
Far off the cracks of falling houses ring,
And shrieks of subjects pierce his tender breast.
239 Near as he draws, thick harbingers of smoke
With gloomy pillars cover all the place;
Whose little intervals of night are broke
By sparks, that drive against his sacred face.
240
More than his guards, his sorrows made him known,
And pious tears, which down his cheeks did shower;
The wretched in his grief forgot their own;
So much the pity of a king has power.
241
He wept the flames of what he loved so well,
And what so well had merited his love:
For never prince in grace did more excel,
Or royal city more in duty strove.
242
Nor with an idle care did he behold:
Subjects may grieve, but monarchs must redress;
He cheers the fearful, and commends the bold,
And makes despairers hope for good success.
243
Himself directs what first is to be done,
And orders all the succours which they bring,
The helpful and the good about him run,
And form an army worthy such a king.
244
He sees the dire contagion spread so fast,
That, where it seizes, all relief is vain:
And therefore must unwillingly lay waste
That country, which would else the foe maintain.
245
The powder blows up all before the fire:
The amazed flames stand gather’d on a heap;
And from the precipice’s brink retire,
Afraid to venture on so large a leap.
246
Thus fighting fires a while themselves consume,
But straight, like Turks forced on to win or die,
They first lay tender bridges of their fume,
And o’er the breach in unctuous vapours fly.
247
Part stay for passage, till a gust of wind
Ships o’er their forces in a shining sheet:
Part creeping under ground their journey blind,
And climbing from below their fellows meet.
248
Thus to some desert plain, or old woodside,
Dire night-hags come from far to dance their round;
And o’er broad rivers on their fiends they ride,
Or sweep in clouds above the blasted ground.
249
No help avails: for hydra-like, the fire
Lifts up his hundred heads to aim his way;
And scarce the wealthy can one half retire,
Before he rushes in to share the prey.
250
The rich grow suppliant, and the poor grow proud;
Those offer mighty gain, and these ask more:
So void of pity is the ignoble crowd,
When others’ ruin may increase their store.
251
As those who live by shores with joy behold
Some wealthy vessel split or stranded nigh;
And from the rocks leap down for shipwreck’d gold,
And seek the tempests which the others fly:
252
So these but wait the owners’ last despair,
And what’s permitted to the flames invade;
Even from their jaws they hungry morsels tear,
And on their backs the spoils of Vulcan lade.
253
The days were all in this lost labour spent;
And when the weary king gave place to night,
His beams he to his royal brother lent,
And so shone still in his reflective light.
254
Night came, but without darkness or repose,–
A dismal picture of the general doom,
Where souls, distracted when the trumpet blows,
And half unready, with their bodies come.
255
Those who have homes, when home they do repair,
To a last lodging call their wandering friends:
Their short uneasy sleeps are broke with care,
To look how near their own destruction tends.
256
Those who have none, sit round where once it was,
And with full eyes each wonted room require;
Haunting the yet warm ashes of the place,
As murder’d men walk where they did expire.
257
Some stir up coals, and watch the vestal fire,
Others in vain from sight of ruin run;
And, while through burning labyrinths they retire,
With loathing eyes repeat what they would shun.
258
The most in fields like herded beasts lie down,
To dews obnoxious on the grassy floor;
And while their babes in sleep their sorrows drown,
Sad parents watch the remnants of their store.
259
While by the motion of the flames they guess
What streets are burning now, and what are near;
An infant waking to the paps would press,
And meets, instead of milk, a falling tear.
260
No thought can ease them but their sovereign’s care,
Whose praise the afflicted as their comfort sing:
Even those whom want might drive to just despair,
Think life a blessing under such a king.
261
Meantime he sadly suffers in their grief,
Out-weeps an hermit, and out-prays a saint:
All the long night he studies their relief,
How they may be supplied, and he may want.
262
O God, said he, thou patron of my days,
Guide of my youth in exile and distress!
Who me, unfriended, brought’st by wondrous ways,
The kingdom of my fathers to possess:
263
Be thou my judge, with what unwearied care
I since have labour’d for my people’s good;
To bind the bruises of a civil war,
And stop the issues of their wasting blood.
264
Thou who hast taught me to forgive the ill,
And recompense, as friends, the good misled;
If mercy be a precept of thy will,
Return that mercy on thy servant’s head.
265
Or if my heedless youth has stepp’d astray,
Too soon forgetful of thy gracious hand;
On me alone thy just displeasure lay,
But take thy judgments from this mourning land.
266
We all have sinn’d, and thou hast laid us low,
As humble earth from whence at first we came:
Like flying shades before the clouds we show,
And shrink like parchment in consuming flame.
267
O let it be enough what thou hast done;
When spotted Deaths ran arm’d through every street,
With poison’d darts which not the good could shun,
The speedy could out-fly, or valiant meet.
268
The living few, and frequent funerals then,
Proclaim’d thy wrath on this forsaken place;
And now those few who are return’d again,
Thy searching judgments to their dwellings trace.
269
O pass not, Lord, an absolute decree,
Or bind thy sentence unconditional!
But in thy sentence our remorse foresee,
And in that foresight this thy doom recall.
270
Thy threatenings, Lord, as thine thou mayst revoke:
But if immutable and fix’d they stand,
Continue still thyself to give the stroke,
And let not foreign foes oppress thy land.
271
The Eternal heard, and from the heavenly quire
Chose out the cherub with the flaming sword;
And bade him swiftly drive the approaching fire
From where our naval magazines were stored.
272
The blessed minister his wings display’d,
And like a shooting star he cleft the night:
He charged the flames, and those that disobey’d
He lash’d to duty with his sword of light.
273
The fugitive flames chastised went forth to prey
On pious structures, by our fathers rear’d;
By which to heaven they did affect the way,
Ere faith in churchmen without works was heard.
274
The wanting orphans saw, with watery eyes,
Their founder’s charity in dust laid low;
And sent to God their ever-answered cries,
For He protects the poor, who made them so.
275
Nor could thy fabric, Paul’s, defend thee long,
Though thou wert sacred to thy Maker’s praise:
Though made immortal by a poet’s song;
And poets’ songs the Theban walls could raise.
276
The daring flames peep’d in, and saw from far
The awful beauties of the sacred quire:
But since it was profaned by civil war,
Heaven thought it fit to have it purged by fire.
277
Now down the narrow streets it swiftly came,
And widely opening did on both sides prey:
This benefit we sadly owe the flame,
If only ruin must enlarge our way.
278
And now four days the sun had seen our woes:
Four nights the moon beheld the incessant fire:
It seem’d as if the stars more sickly rose,
And farther from the feverish north retire.
279
In th’ empyrean heaven, the bless’d abode,
The Thrones and the Dominions prostrate lie,
Not daring to behold their angry God;
And a hush’d silence damps the tuneful sky.
280
At length the Almighty cast a pitying eye,
And mercy softly touch’d his melting breast:
He saw the town’s one half in rubbish lie,
And eager flames drive on to storm the rest.
281
An hollow crystal pyramid he takes,
In firmamental waters dipt above;
Of it a broad extinguisher he makes,
And hoods the flames that to their quarry drove.
282 The vanquish’d fires withdraw from every place,
Or, full with feeding, sink into a sleep:
Each household genius shows again his face,
And from the hearths the little Lares creep.
283
Our King this more than natural change beholds;
With sober joy his heart and eyes abound:
To the All-good his lifted hands he folds,
And thanks him low on his redeemed ground.
284
As when sharp frosts had long constrain’d the earth,
A kindly thaw unlocks it with mild rain;
And first the tender blade peeps up to birth,
And straight the green fields laugh with promised grain:
285
By such degrees the spreading gladness grew
In every heart which fear had froze before:
The standing streets with so much joy they view,
That with less grief the perish’d they deplore.
286
The father of the people open’d wide
His stores, and all the poor with plenty fed:
Thus God’s anointed God’s own place supplied,
And fill’d the empty with his daily bread.
287
This royal bounty brought its own reward,
And in their minds so deep did print the sense,
That if their ruins sadly they regard,
‘Tis but with fear the sight might drive him thence.
288
But so may he live long, that town to sway,
Which by his auspice they will nobler make,
As he will hatch their ashes by his stay,
And not their humble ruins now forsake.
289
They have not lost their loyalty by fire;
Nor is their courage or their wealth so low,
That from his wars they poorly would retire,
Or beg the pity of a vanquish’d foe.
290
Not with more constancy the Jews of old,
By Cyrus from rewarded exile sent,
Their royal city did in dust behold,
Or with more vigour to rebuild it went.
291
The utmost malice of their stars is past,
And two dire comets, which have scourged the town,
In their own plague and fire have breathed the last,
Or dimly in their sinking sockets frown.
292
Now frequent trines the happier lights among,
And high-raised Jove, from his dark prison freed,
Those weights took off that on his planet hung,
Will gloriously the new-laid work succeed.
293
Methinks already from this chemic flame,
I see a city of more precious mould:
Rich as the town which gives the Indies name,
With silver paved, and all divine with gold.
294
Already labouring with a mighty fate,
She shakes the rubbish from her mounting brow,
And seems to have renew’d her charter’s date,
Which Heaven will to the death of time allow.
295
More great than human now, and more august,
Now deified she from her fires does rise:
Her widening streets on new foundations trust,
And opening into larger parts she flies.
296
Before, she like some shepherdess did show,
Who sat to bathe her by a river’s side;
Not answering to her fame, but rude and low,
Nor taught the beauteous arts of modern pride.
297
Now, like a maiden queen, she will behold,
From her high turrets, hourly suitors come;
The East with incense, and the West with gold,
Will stand, like suppliants, to receive her doom!
298
The silver Thames, her own domestic flood,
Shall bear her vessels like a sweeping train;
And often wind, as of his mistress proud,
With longing eyes to meet her face again.
299
The wealthy Tagus, and the wealthier Rhine,
The glory of their towns no more shall boast;
And Seine, that would with Belgian rivers join,
Shall find her lustre stain’d, and traffic lost.
300
The venturous merchant who design’d more far,
And touches on our hospitable shore,
Charm’d with the splendour of this northern star,
Shall here unlade him, and depart no more.
301
Our powerful navy shall no longer meet,
The wealth of France or Holland to invade;
The beauty of this town without a fleet,
From all the world shall vindicate her trade.
302
And while this famed emporium we prepare,
The British ocean shall such triumphs boast,
That those, who now disdain our trade to share,
Shall rob like pirates on our wealthy coast.
303
Already we have conquer’d half the war,
And the less dangerous part is left behind:
Our trouble now is but to make them dare,
And not so great to vanquish as to find.
304
Thus to the Eastern wealth through storms we go,
But now, the Cape once doubled, fear no more;
A constant trade-wind will securely blow,
And gently lay us on the spicy shore.

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As they blew in the golden long ago–!
Laden with odors of Orient isles
Where ever and ever the sunshine smiles,
And the bright sands blend with the shady trees,
And the lotus blooms in the midst of these.
2
Warm winds won from the midland vales
To where the tress of the Siren trails
O’er the flossy tip of the mountain phlox
And the bare limbs twined in the crested rocks,
High above as the seagulls flap
Their lopping wings at the thunder-clap.
3
Ah! That the winds might rise and blow
The great surge up from the port below,
Bloating the sad, lank, silken sails
Of the Argo out with the swift, sweet gales
That blew from Colchis when Jason had
His love’s full will and his heart was glad–
When Medea’s voice was soft and low.
Ah! That the winds might rise and blow!

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There’s old man Willards; an’ his wife;
An’ Marg’et– S’repty’s sister–; an’
There’s me– an’ I’m the hired man;
An’ Tomps McClure, you better yer life!
Well now, old Willards hain’t so bad,
Considerin’ the chance he’s had.
Of course, he’s rich, an’ sleeps an’ eats
Whenever he’s a mind to: Takes
An’ leans back in the Amen-seats
An’ thanks the Lord fer all he makes–.
That’s purty much all folks has got
Ag’inst the old man, like as not!
But there’s his woman– jes the turn
Of them-air two wild girls o’ hern–
Marg’et an’ S’repty– allus in
Fer any cuttin’-up concern–
Church festibals, and foolishin’
Round Christmas-trees, an’ New Year’s sprees–
Set up to watch the Old Year go
An’ New Year come– sich things as these;
An’ turkey-dinners, don’t you know!
S’repty’s younger, an’ more gay,
An’ purtier, an’ finer dressed
Than Marg’et is– but, lawzy-day!
She hain’t the independentest!
‘Take care!’ old Willards used to say,
‘Take care–! Let Marg’et have her way,
An’ S’repty, you go off an’ play
On your melodeum–!’ But, best
Of all, comes Tomps! An’ I’ll be bound,
Ef he hain’t jes the beatin’est
Young chap in all the country round!
Ef you knowed Tomps you’d like him, shore!
They hain’t no man on top o’ ground
Walks into my affections more–!
An’ all the Settlement’ll say
That Tomps was liked jes thataway
By ever’body, till he tuk
A shine to S’repty Willards–. Then
You’d ort’o see the old man buck
An’ h’ist hisse’f, an’ paw the dirt,
An’ hint that ‘common workin’-men
That didn’t want their feelin’s hurt
‘Ud better hunt fer ‘comp’ny’ where
The folks was pore an’ didn’t care–!’
The pine-blank facts is–, the old man,
Last Christmas was a year ago,
Found out some presents Tomps had got
Fer S’repty, an’ hit made him hot–
Set down an’ tuk his pen in hand
An’ writ to Tomps an’ told him so
On legal cap, in white an’ black,
An’ give him jes to understand
‘No Christmas-gifts o’ ‘lily-white’
An’ bear’s-ile could fix matters right,’
An’ wropped ’em up an’ sent ’em back!
Well, S’repty cried an’ snuffled round
Consid’able. But Marg’et she
Toed out another sock, an’ wound
Her knittin’ up, an’ drawed the tea,
An’ then set on the supper-things,
An’ went up in the loft an’ dressed–
An’ through it all you’d never guessed
What she was up to! An’ she brings
Her best hat with her an her shawl,
An’ gloves, an’ redicule, an’ all,
An’ injirubbers, an’ comes down
An’ tells ’em she’s a-goin’ to town
To he’p the Christmas goin’s-on
Her Church got up. An’ go she does–
The best hosswoman ever was!
‘An’ what’ll We do while you’re gone?’
The old man says, a-tryin’ to be
Agreeable. ‘Oh! You?’ says she–,
‘You kin jaw S’repty, like you did,
An’ slander Tomps!’ An’ off she rid!
Now, this is all I’m goin’ to tell
Of this-here story– that is, I
Have done my very level best
As fur as this, an’ here I ‘dwell,’
As auctioneers says, winkin’ sly:
Hit’s old man Willards tells the rest.
2
The Old Man Talks
Adzackly jes one year ago,
This New Year’s day, Tomps comes to me–
In my own house, an’ whilse the folks
Was gittin’ dinner–, an’ he pokes
His nose right in, an’ says, says he:
‘I got yer note– an’ read it slow!
You don’t like me, ner I don’t you,’
He says–, ‘we’re even there, you know!
But you’ve said, furder that no gal
Of yourn kin marry me, er shall,
An’ I’d best shet off comin’, too!’
An’ then he says–, ‘Well, them’s Your views–;
But havin’ talked with S’repty, we
Have both agreed to disagree
With your peculiar notions– some;
An’, that s the reason, I refuse
To quit a-comin’ here, but come–
Not fer to threat, ner raise no skeer
An’ spile yer turkey-dinner here–,
But jes fer S’repty’s sake, to sheer
Yer New Year’s. Shall I take a cheer?’
Well, blame-don! Ef I ever see
Sich impidence! I couldn’t say
Not nary word! But Mother she
Sot out a cheer fer Tomps, an’ they
Shuk hands an’ turnt their back on me.
Then I riz– mad as mad could be–!
But Marg’et says–, ‘Now, Pap! You set
Right where you’re settin’–! Don’t you fret!
An’ Tomps– you warm yer feet!’ says she,
‘An throw yer mitts an’ comfert on
The bed there! Where is S’repty gone!
The cabbage is a-scortchin’! Ma,
Stop cryin’ there an’ stir the slaw!’
Well–! What was Mother cryin’ fer–?
I half riz up– but Marg’et’s chin
Hit squared– an’ I set down ag’in–
I allus was afeard o’ her,
I was, by jucks! So there I set,
Betwixt a sinkin’-chill an’ sweat,
An’ scuffled with my wrath, an’ shet
My teeth to mighty tight, you bet!
An’ yit, fer all that I could do,
I eeched to jes git up an’ whet
The carvin’-knife a rasp er two
On Tomps’s ribs– an’ so would you–!
Fer he had riz an’ faced around,
An’ stood there, smilin’, as they brung
The turkey in, all stuffed an’ browned–
Too sweet fer nose, er tooth, er tongue!
With sniffs o’ sage, an’ p’r’aps a dash
Of old burnt brandy, steamin’-hot
Mixed kindo’ in with apple-mash
An’ mince-meat, an’ the Lord knows what!
Nobody was a-talkin’ then,
To ‘filiate any awk’ardness–
No noise o’ any kind but jes
The rattle o’ the dishes when
They’d fetch ’em in an’ set ’em down,
An’ fix an’ change ’em round an’ round,
Like women does– till Mother says–,
‘Vittels is ready; Abner, call
Down S’repty– she’s up-stairs, I guess–.’
And Marg’et she says, ‘Ef you bawl
Like that, she’ll not come down at all!
Besides, we needn’t wait till she
Gits down! Here Temps, set down by me,
An’ Pap: say grace…!’ Well, there I was–!
What could I do! I drapped my head
Behind my fists an’ groaned; an’ said–:
‘Indulgent Parent! In Thy cause
We bow the head an’ bend the knee
An’ break the bread, an’ pour the wine,
Feelin’–‘ (The stair-door suddently
Went bang! An’ S’repty flounced by me–)
‘Feelin’,’ I says, ‘this feast is Thine–
This New Year’s feast–‘ an’ rap-rap-rap!
Went Marg’ets case-knife on her plate–
An’ next, I heerd a sasser drap–,
Then I looked up, an’ strange to state,
There S’repty set in Tomps lap–
An’ huggin’ him, as shore as fate!
An’ Mother kissin’ him k-slap!
An’ Marg’et– she chips in to drap
The ruther peert remark to me–:
‘That ‘grace’ o’ yourn,’ she says, ‘won’t ‘gee’–
This hain’t no ‘New Year’s feast,” says she–,
‘This is a’ Infair-Dinner, Pap!’
An’ so it was–! Be’n married fer
Purt’ nigh a week–! ‘Twas Marg’et planned
The whole thing fer ’em, through an’ through.
I’m rickonciled; an’ understand,
I take things jes as they occur–,
Ef Marg’et liked Tomps, Tomps ‘ud do–!
But I-says-I, a-holt his hand–,
‘I’m glad you didn’t marry Her–
‘Cause Marg’et’s my guardeen– yes-sir–!
An’ S’repty’s good enough fer you!’

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He faces the world unflinchingly,
And smites, as long as the wrong resists,
With a knuckled faith and force like fists:
He lives the life he is preaching of,
And loves where most is the need of love;
His voice is clear to the deaf man’s ears,
And his face sublime through the blind man’s tears;
The light shines out where the clouds were dim,
And the widow’s prayer goes up for him;
The latch is clicked at the hovel door
And the sick man sees the sun once more,
And out o’er the barren fields he sees
Springing blossoms and waving trees,
Feeling as only the dying may,
That God’s own servant has come that way,
Smoothing the path as it still winds on
Through the golden gate where his loved have gone.
2
The kind of a man for me and you!
However little of worth we do
He credits full, and abides in trust
That time will teach us how more is just.
He walks abroad, and he meets all kinds
Of querulous and uneasy minds,
And sympathizing, he shares the pain
Of the doubts that rack us, heart and brain;
And knowing this, as we grasp his hand
We are surely coming to understand!
He looks on sin with pitying eyes–
E’en as the Lord, since Paradise–,
Else, should we read, Though our sins should glow
As scarlet, they shall be white as snow–?
And feeling still, with a grief half glad,
That the bad are as good as the good are bad,
He strikes straight out for the Right– and he
Is the kind of a man for you and me!

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The Paths of honour and the Myrtle Grove
Whilst the pale Moon her beams doth shed
On disappointed Love.
While Philomel on airy hawthorn Bush
Sings sweet and Melancholy, And the thrush
Converses with the Dove.
2
Gently brawling down the turnpike road,
Sweetly noisy falls the Silent Stream–
The Moon emerges from behind a Cloud
And darts upon the Myrtle Grove her beam.
Ah! then what Lovely Scenes appear,
The hut, the Cot, the Grot, and Chapel queer,
And eke the Abbey too a mouldering heap,
Cnceal’d by aged pines her head doth rear
And quite invisible doth take a peep.

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