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Great Poets Plus Excerpts (51-77)

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51.Matsuo Basho- The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The moon and sun are eternal travelers.
Even the years wander on.
A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years,
every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.

52.William Blake- Songs of Innocence and of Experience
"O little Cloud," the virgin said, "I charge thee tell to me,
Why thou complainest not when in one hour thou fade away:
Then we shall seek thee but not find; ah, Thel is like to Thee.
I pass away, yet I complain, and no one hears my voice."

The Cloud then shew'd his golden head & his bright form emerg'd,
Hovering and glittering on the air before the face of Thel.

"O virgin, know'st thou not our steeds drink of the golden springs
Where Luvah doth renew his horses? Look'st thou on my youth,
And fearest thou because I vanish and am seen no more,
Nothing remains? O maid, I tell thee, when I pass away,
It is to tenfold life, to love, to peace, and raptures holy:
Unseen descending, weigh my light wings upon balmy flowers,
And court the fair eyed dew, to take me to her shining tent:
The weeping virgin trembling kneels before the risen sun,
Till we arise link'd in a golden band, and never part,
But walk united, bearing food to all our tender flowers."

53.Robert Burns- A Red, Red Rose
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

54.Nguyen Du- The Tale of Kieu
West Lake flower garden: a desert, now.
Alone, at the window, I read through old pages.
A smudge of rouge, a sent of perfume, but
I still weep.
Is there a Fate for books?
Why mourn for a half-burned poem?
There is nothing, there is no one to question,
And yet this misery feels like my own.
Ah, in another three hundred years
Will anyone weep, remembering my Fate?

55.Byron- So We'll Go No More A'roving
So we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And Love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

56.Heinrich Heine- Book of Songs
I don't believe in Heaven,
Whose peace the preacher cites:
I only trust your eyes now,
They're my heavenly lights.

I don't believe in God above,
Who gets the preacher's nod:
I only trust your heart now,
And have no other god.

I don't believe in Devils,
In hell or hell's black art:
I only trust your eyes now,
And your devil's heart.

57.Lermontov- The Demon
A SPIRIT fallen from the realms of light
Above this dim world winged his weary flight,
For memories came crowding thick and fast
Of vanished splendours and delights long past. —
How erst, a Cherub bright, he loved to race
With fiery comets through the fields of space;
No mists could blind, no clouds his progress bar,
He followed knowledge on from star to star.
Creation's heir, the first-born of all time,
He loved, he trusted in that happy prime.

58.Poe- The Raven
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

59.Robert Browning- My Last Duchess and other dramatic Lyrics
She had
A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
—E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop.

60.Janos Arany- Toldi
Unbidden then, among the men,
There comes a dauntless third
With speech of fire he tunes his lyre,
And bitter is his word:

"Our bravest died to slake your pride -
Proud Edward, hear my lays!
No Welsh bards live who e'er will give
Your name a song a praise.

"Our harps with dead men's memories weep.
Welsh bards to you will sing
One changeless verse - our blackest curse
To blast your soul, O king!"

61.Dionysios Solomos- The Shark
Now downward and near wheels the golden-winged
that quickly left its branch for the rocky shore
and there takes in beauties of sea and sky,
and there heaves its voice with all its magic,
harmonizing sea with desolate stone,
and calls out the late night star that must rise.
Birdie, airing your voice of miracles,
if your marvelous song is not pure bliss,
nothing good has flowered here or in heaven.
Oh, if one stroke could get me where I'd go,
sea-foam, keep me afloat till my return,
with mother's kiss, native earth in my fist.

62.Elizabeth Barrett Browning- Sonnets from the Portuguese
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

63.Gustavo Adolfo Becquer- Rhymes and Legends
When I behold the blue horizon merge
And lose itself afar within a gauze
Of restless, golden dust, my fancies urge,
That I could break all ordinary laws
And it seems possible to tear away
My eager spirit from this wretched clay,
To float with golden mists, dissolved in bright
And myriad atoms of celestial light.

When I behold, at night, the trembling stars
Within the dark recesses of the sky,
So that my fancy vividly compares
Their lustre with an ardent, burning eye,
It then seems possible to wing in flight
To where they shine and bathe within their light,
To kindle with them in a blazing sea
And in a kiss confound identity.

Although within a sea of doubt I plash
And spurn beliefs, which with my reason clash,
Yet they proclaim, these anxious doubts of mine,
A certain trace of origin divine.

64.Gerard Manley Hopkins- The Wreck of the Deutschland
Thou mastering me
God! giver of breath and bread;
World's strand, sway of the sea;
Lord of living and dead;
Thou hast bound bones & veins in me, fastened me flesh,
And after it almost unmade, what with dread,
Thy doing: and dost thou touch me afresh?
Over again I feel thy finger and find thee.

65.Arthur Rimbaud- The Drunken Boat
Where, suddenly dyeing the bluenesses, deliriums
And slow rhythms under the gleams of the daylight,
Stronger than alcohol, vaster than music
Ferment the bitter rednesses of love!

I have come to know the skies splitting with lightnings, and the waterspouts
And the breakers and currents; I know the evening,
And Dawn rising up like a flock of doves,
And sometimes I have seen what men have imagined they saw!

I have seen the low-hanging sun speckled with mystic horrors.
Lighting up long violet coagulations,
Like the performers in very-antique dramas
Waves rolling back into the distances their shiverings of venetian blinds!

66.Jose Hernandez- Martin Fierro
I waded amongst 'em
and began to tangle unafraid;
I stayed in a low crouch
as a pair of 'em came at me,
while along the ground I drew the tip
of my knife to lead 'em on.

The first glutton for punishment
came down on me with a slash;
I pushed it aside with my arm,
since if I hadn't, he'd 'uv killed my lice;
before he could take another step
I threw dirt in his two eyes.

67.Nguyen Gia Thieu- Sorrows of an Abandoned Queen
You were a fool, Old Man of the Moon,
to tie the knot making me an imperial concubine.
Still. . .such unspeakable delights that first night!
To what shall I compare it?
Sunlight gently sporting with the do-mi flower?
A peony unfolding to a long-awaited shower?
An apple blossom awakened to love on a spring night?
Or petals on a spring bough softly smiling
as the winter breeze turns away from the plum trees?
Ah, those rainbow dresses rustling in the wind,
those feather-coats dancing, glistening under the moon,
all in harmony with the music and song!
Mattresses stuffed with kingfisher down, exhaling perfume of musk,
jewels at my waist flashing with moonlight!
Only a few drops of rain: The peony swayed
in the Pavilion of Perfume.
Then the pure lute notes in the Green Hall,
the wailing flutes in the Red Floor Room,
each melody more intoxicating than the last,
more searing, more shattering to the mind!
Magnificent eyebrows beside a dragon figure:
What a beautiful couple we were!
The flower thanked Heaven for his grace;
willingly she accepted the name of Beauty.

68.Emily Dickinson- Poems
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

69.Jose Marti- Simple Verses
My poems are like a dagger
Sprouting flowers from the hilt;
My poetry is like a fountain
Sprinkling streams of coral water.

My poems are light green
And flaming red;
My poetry is a wounded deer
Looking for the forest's sanctuary.

70.Edwin Arlington Robinson- Richard Cory
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
'Good-morning,' and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich - yes, richer than a king -
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

71.Carl Sandburg- Chicago
HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,

72.Rudyard Kipling- If
I have watched a thousand days
Push out and crawl into night
Slowly as tortoises.
Now I, too, follow these.
It is fever, and not the fight—
Time, not battle—that slays.

73.Gabriele D'Annunzio- The Rain in the Pinewood
Rain falls on the pine trees
Scaly and bristling,
Rain falls on the myrtles-
On the broom-shrubs gleaming
With clustered flowers,
On the junipers thick
With fragrant berries,
Rain falls on our faces-
Rain falls on our hands-
On our clothes-
On the fresh thoughts
That our soul discloses-
On the lovely fable
That yesterday
Beguiled you, that beguiles me today,

74.Arnaut Daniel- On this gay and slender tune
On this gay and slender tune
I put and polish words and plane
and when I’ve passed the file they’ll be
precise and firm.
For Love himself pares down and gilds my song
which moves from her whose glances are
the firm light rails that guide all excellence.

I tell you frankly, she I adore and serve
‘s the loveliest in the world.
Because I’m hers from head to toe
I cleanse myself, and though wind blow in winter
the love flowing in my heart keeps ice
out of the stream the coldest weather.

75.Bernart de Ventadorn- When I See the Lark
When I see the lark beat his wings
for joy against the sun's ray,
until he forgets to fly and plummets down,
for the sheer delight which goes to his heart,
alas, great envy comes to me
of those whom I see filled with happiness,
and I marvel that my heart
does not instantly melt from desire.

Alas, I thought I knew so much about love,
and really I know so little,
for I cannot keep myself from loving her
from whom I shall have no favor.
She has stolen from me my heart, myself,
herself, and all the world.
When she took herself from me, she left me nothing
but desire and a longing heart.

76.Bertran de Born- The Joyful Springtime Pleases Me
It pleases me when outriders
Make labourers and cattle flee,
It pleases me when follow after
Crowds of well-armed soldiery,
And I am pleased at heart,
To see great castles forced by art
Their walls taken, rent apart,
To see a host at war,
Enclosed by moats in every part,
With close-knit palisades and more.

I’m also pleased to view some lord
Who leads the vanguard in attack,
On armoured horse, a fearless sword,
Who can inspire his men to hack
Away and bravely fight,
And when the conflict’s joined aright,
Each must in readiness delight,
And follow where he might,
For none attains to honour’s height
Till blows have landed left and right.

77.Francois Villon- Ballad of the Dead Ladies
TELL me now in what hidden way is
Lady Flora the lovely Roman?
Where ’s Hipparchia, and where is Thais,
Neither of them the fairer woman
Where is Echo, beheld of no man,
Only heard on river and mere,—
She whose beauty was more than human?…
But where are the snows of yester-year?

Where ’s Héloise, the learned nun,
For whose sake Abeillard, I ween,
Lost manhood and put priesthood on?
(From Love he won such dule and teen!)
And where, I pray you, is the Queen
Who will’d that Buridan should steer
Sew’d in a sack’s mouth down the Seine?…
But where are the snows o yester-year?

White Queen Blanche, like a queen of lilies,
With a voice like any mermaiden,—
Bertha Broadfoot, Beatrice, Alice,
And Ermengarde the lady of Maine,—
And that good Joan whom English-men
At Rouen doom’d and burn’d her there,—
Mother of God, where are they then?…
But where are the snows of yester-year?

Nay, never ask this week, fair lord,
Where they are gone, nor yet this year,
Save with thus much for an overword,—
But where are the snows of yester-year?

Updated 01-19-2015 at 04:44 PM by mortalterror