A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1


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1. Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect, first collection (1844)

Press the sad kiss, fond mother!

The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams - Vol. 1

Sweet are the sounds that mingle from afar, Heard by calm lakes, as peeps the folding star, Where the duck dabbles 'mid the rustling sedge, And feeding pike starts from the water's edge, Or the swan stirs the reeds, his neck and bill Wetting, that drip upon the water still; And heron, as resounds the trodden shore, Shoots upward, darting his long neck before. Now, with religious awe, the farewell light Blends with the solemn colouring of night; 'Mid groves of clouds that crest the mountain's brow, And round the west's proud lodge their shadows throw, Like Una shining on her gloomy way, The half-seen form of Twilight roams astray; Shedding, through paly loop-holes mild and small, Gleams that upon the lake's still bosom fall; Soft o'er the surface creep those lustres pale Tracking the motions of the fitful gale.

With restless interchange at once the bright Wins on the shade, the shade upon the light. No favoured eye was e'er allowed to gaze On lovelier spectacle in faery days; When gentle Spirits urged a sportive chase, Brushing with lucid wands the water's face; While music, stealing round the glimmering deeps, Charmed the tall circle of the enchanted steeps. Unheeded night has overcome the vales: On the dark earth the wearied vision fails; The latest lingerer of the forest train, The lone black fir, forsakes the faded plain; Last evening sight, the cottage smoke, no more, Lost in the thickened darkness, glimmers hoar; And, towering from the sullen dark-brown mere, Like a black wall, the mountain-steeps appear.

Ah no! Above yon eastern hill, where darkness broods O'er all its vanished dells, and lawns, and woods; Where but a mass of shade the sight can trace, Even now she shows, half-veiled, her lovely face: Across the gloomy valley flings her light, Far to the western slopes with hamlets white; And gives, where woods the chequered upland strew, To the green corn of summer, autumn's hue. Thus Hope, first pouring from her blessed horn Her dawn, far lovelier than the moon's own morn, 'Till higher mounted, strives in vain to cheer The weary hills, impervious, blackening near; Yet does she still, undaunted, throw the while On darling spots remote her tempting smile.

Even now she decks for me a distant scene, For dark and broad the gulf of time between Gilding that cottage with her fondest ray, Sole bourn, sole wish, sole object of my way; How fair its lawns and sheltering woods appear! How sweet its streamlet murmurs in mine ear!

North American Poetry Titles: Authors M to P

Where we, my Friend, to happy days shall rise, 'Till our small share of hardly-paining sighs For sighs will ever trouble human breath Creep hushed into the tranquil breast of death. But now the clear bright Moon her zenith gains, And, rimy without speck, extend the plains: The deepest cleft the mountain's front displays Scarce hides a shadow from her searching rays; From the dark-blue faint silvery threads divide The hills, while gleams below the azure tide; Time softly treads; throughout the landscape breathes A peace enlivened, not disturbed, by wreaths Of charcoal-smoke, that o'er the fallen wood, Steal down the hill, and spread along the flood.

The song of mountain-streams, unheard by day, Now hardly heard, beguiles my homeward way. Air listens, like the sleeping water, still, To catch the spiritual music of the hill, Broke only by the slow clock tolling deep, Or shout that wakes the ferry-man from sleep, The echoed hoof nearing the distant shore, The boat's first motion—made with dashing oar; Sound of closed gate, across the water borne, Hurrying the timid hare through rustling corn; The sportive outcry of the mocking owl; And at long intervals the mill-dog's howl; The distant forge's swinging thump profound; Or yell, in the deep woods, of lonely hound.

His wizard course where hoary Derwent takes Thro' craggs, and forest glooms, and opening lakes, Staying his silent waves, to hear the roar That stuns the tremulous cliffs of high Lodore: Where silver rocks the savage prospect chear Of giant yews that frown on Rydale's mere; Where Derwent stops his course to hear the roar That stuns the tremulous cliffs Where, bosom'd deep, the shy Winander peeps Where, deep embosom'd, shy Winander peeps.

Fair scenes!

Lucille Clifton | Poetry Foundation

Alike, when heard the bittern's hollow bill, Or the first woodcocks roam'd the moonlight hill. Return Delights!

New and Selected Poems, Volume One by Mary Oliver

And wild Impatience, panting upward, show'd Where tipp'd with gold the mountain-summits glow'd. While, Memory at my side, I wander here, Starts at the simplest sight th' unbidden tear, A form discover'd at the well-known seat, A spot, that angles at the riv'let's feet, The ray the cot of morning trav'ling nigh, And sail that glides the well-known alders by. And round the humming elm, a glimmering scene! In the brown park, in flocks, the troubl'd deer When horses in the wall-girt intake stood, Unshaded, eying far below, the flood, Crouded behind the swain, in mute distress, With forward neck the closing gate to press; And long, with wistful gaze, his walk survey'd, 'Till dipp'd his pathway in the river shade;.

To where, while thick above the branches close, In dark-brown bason its wild waves repose, Inverted shrubs, and moss of darkest green, Cling from the rocks, with pale wood-weeds between; Save that, atop, the subtle sunbeams shine, On wither'd briars that o'er the craggs recline; Sole light admitted here, a small cascade, Illumes with sparkling foam the twilight shade.


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Beyond, along the visto of the brook, Where antique roots its bustling path o'erlook, The eye reposes on a secret bridge Half grey, half shagg'd with ivy to its ridge. But see aloft the subtle sunbeams shine, On withered briars that o'er the crags recline; Thus beautiful! Inverted shrubs with pale wood weeds between Cling from the moss-grown rocks, a darksome green, Save where aloft the subtle sunbeams shine And its own twilight softens the whole scene.

And sparkling as it foams a small cascade Illumines from within the impervious shade Below, right in the vista of the brook, Where antique roots, etc. Sole light admitted here, a small cascade, Illumes with sparkling foam the impervious shade;. Whence hangs, in the cool shade, the listless swain Lingering behind his disappearing wain. How pleasant, as the yellowing sun declines, And with long rays and shades the landscape shines; To mark the birches' stems all golden light, That lit the dark slant woods with silvery white!

The willow's weeping trees, that twinkling hoar, Glanc'd oft upturn'd along the breezy shore, Low bending o'er the colour'd water, fold Their moveless boughs and leaves like threads of gold; The skiffs with naked masts at anchor laid, Before the boat-house peeping thro' the shade; Th' unwearied glance of woodman's echo'd stroke; And curling from the trees the cottage smoke.

Their pannier'd train And now the universal tides repose, And, brightly blue, the burnished mirror glows,. The sails are dropped, the poplar's foliage sleeps, And insects clothe, like dust, the glassy deeps. Beside their sheltering i cross of wall, the flock Feeds on in light, nor thinks of winter's shock;. Whose state, like pine-trees, waving to and fro, Droops, and o'er canopies his regal brow,. Bright'ning the cliffs between where sombrous pine, And yew-trees And now it touches on the purple steep That flings his shadow on the pictur'd deep.

That flings its image And now the sun has touched the purple steep Whose softened image penetrates the deep. The gilded turn arrays in richer green Each speck of lawn the broken rocks between; The Druid stones ii their lighted fane unfold, In these lone vales, if aught of faith may claim, Thin silver hairs, and ancient hamlet fame; When up the hills, as now, retreats the light, Strange apparitions mock the village sight.

In these secluded vales, if village fame, Confirmed by silver hairs, belief may claim; When up the hills, as now, retired the light, Strange apparitions mocked the gazer's sight.

A desperate form appears, that spurs his steed, Along the midway cliffs with violent speed;. Anon, in order mounts a gorgeous show Of horsemen shadows winding to and fro;. Lost gradual o'er the heights in pomp they go, While silent stands th' admiring vale below; Till, but the lonely beacon all is fled, That tips with eve's last gleam his spiry head. Till, save the lonely beacon, And, fronting the bright west in stronger lines, The oak its dark'ning boughs and foliage twines,.

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I love beside the glowing lake to stray, How pleasant near the tranquil lake to stray,. He swells his lifted chest, and backward flings His bridling neck between his tow'ring wings; Stately, and burning in his pride, divides And glorying looks around, the silent tides: On as he floats, the silver'd waters glow, Proud of the varying arch and moveless form of snow. Long may ye roam these hermit waves that sleep, In birch-besprinkl'd cliffs embosom'd deep; These fairy holms untrodden, still, and green, Whose shades protect the hidden wave serene; Whence fragrance scents the water's desart gale, The violet, and the iii lily of the vale;.

Long may ye float upon these floods serene; Yours be these holms untrodden, still, and green, Whose leafy shades fence off the blustering gale, Where breathes in peace the lily of the vale. Where, tho' her far-off twilight ditty steal, They not the trip of harmless milkmaid feel. Yon tuft conceals your home, your cottage bow'r. Fresh water rushes strew the verdant floor; Yon isle conceals Thence issuing oft, unwieldly as ye stalk, Ye crush with broad black feet your flow'ry walk; Thence issuing often with unwieldly stalk, With broad black feet ye crush your flow'ry walk;. Ye ne'er, like hapless human wanderers, throw Your young on winter's winding sheet of snow.

Chok'd is the pathway, and the pitcher broke. The while I hear, while in the forest depth he sees, The Moon's fix'd gaze between the opening trees, In broken sounds her elder grief demand, And skyward lift, like one that prays, his hand, If, in that country, where he dwells afar, His father views that good, that kindly star; —Ah me! In broken sounds her elder child demand, While toward the sky he lifts his pale bright hand, —Alas!

The distant clock forgot, and chilling dew, Pleas'd thro' the dusk their breaking smiles to view,. Scarce heard, their chattering lips her shoulder chill, And her cold back their colder bosoms thrill; All blind she wilders o'er the lightless heath, Led by Fear's cold wet hand, and dogg'd by Death; Death, as she turns her neck the kiss to seek, Breaks off the dreadful kiss with angry shriek.

Snatch'd from her shoulder with despairing moan, She clasps them at that dim-seen roofless stone. Fall fires—but let us perish heart to heart. Soon shall the Light'ning hold before thy head His torch, and shew them slumbering in their bed,. While, by the scene compos'd, the breast subsides, Nought wakens or disturbs it's tranquil tides; Nought but the char that for the may-fly leaps, And breaks the mirror of the circling deeps; Or clock, that blind against the wanderer born Drops at his feet, and stills his droning horn.

While in sweet cadence rising small and still The far-off minstrels of the haunted hill, As the last bleating of the fold expires, Tune in the mountain dells their water lyres. Only in the edition of Thence, from three paly loopholes mild and small, Slow lights upon the lake's still bosom fall,. Beyond the mountain's giant reach that hides In deep determin'd gloom his subject tides.

Soft o'er the surface creep the lustres pale Tracking with silvering path the changeful gale. Unheeded Night has overcome the vales, On the dark earth the baffl'd vision fails, If peep between the clouds a star on high, There turns for glad repose the weary eye; The latest lingerer of the forest train, The lone-black fir, forsakes the faded plain; Last evening sight, the cottage smoke no more, Lost in the deepen'd darkness, glimmers hoar; High towering from the sullen dark-brown mere, Like a black wall, the mountain steeps appear, Thence red from different heights with restless gleam Small cottage lights across the water stream, Nought else of man or life remains behind To call from other worlds the wilder'd mind, Till pours the wakeful bird her solemn strains viii Heard by the night-calm of the watry plains.

The bird, with fading light who ceas'd to thread Silent the hedge or steaming rivulet's bed, The bird, who ceased, with fading light, to thread. Salute with boding note the rising moon, Frosting with hoary light the pearly ground, And pouring deeper blue to Aether's bound; Rejoic'd her solemn pomp of clouds to fold In robes of azure, fleecy white, and gold, While rose and poppy, as the glow-worm fades, Checquer with paler red the thicket shades. The deepest dell the mountain's breast displays, The scene is waken'd, yet its peace unbroke, By silver'd wreaths of quiet charcoal smoke, That, o'er the ruins of the fallen wood, Steal down the hills, and spread along the flood.

Soon follow'd by his hollow-parting oar, And echo'd hoof approaching the far shore;. How richly glows the water's breast Before us, tinged with evening hues, While, facing thus the crimson west, The boat her silent course pursues!

A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1 A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1
A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1 A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1
A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1 A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1
A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1 A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1
A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1 A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1
A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1 A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1
A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1 A Poem is For Life - Vol. 1

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