It’s a long and silent street. I walk in the dark and trip and fall and get up and step blindly on the mute stones and dry leaves and someone behind me is also walking: if I stop, he stops; if I run, he runs. I turn around: no one. Everything is black, there is no exit, and I turn and turn corners that always lead to the street where no one waits for me, no one follows, where I follow a man who trips and gets up and says when he sees me: no one.
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 name Lenore – Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating `’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door – Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; – This it is, and nothing more,’
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, `Sir,’ said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you’ – here I opened wide the door; – Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!’ This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!’ Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. `Surely,’ said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore – Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; – ‘Tis the wind and nothing more!’
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore. Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door – Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door – Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, `Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,’ I said, `art sure no craven. Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore – Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning – little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door – Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as `Nevermore.’
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only, That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered – not a feather then he fluttered – Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before – On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.’ Then the bird said, `Nevermore.’
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, `Doubtless,’ said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore – Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore Of “Never-nevermore.”‘
But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore – What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking `Nevermore.’
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er, She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. `Wretch,’ I cried, `thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he has sent thee Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!’ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! – Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted – On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore – Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!’ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore – Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore – Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?’ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!’ I shrieked upstarting – `Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! – quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!’ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted – nevermore!
Everyone who made love the night before was walking around with flashing red lights on top of their heads-a white-haired old gentlemen, a red-faced schoolboy, a pregnant woman who smiled at me from across the street and gave a little secret shrug, as if the flashing red light on her head was a small price to pay for what she knew.
Have a happy Saturday everyone! God bless you all, my darling avidReaders
I’d been on duty from two till four. I went and stared at the dug-out door. Down in the frowst I heard them snore. ‘Stand to!’ Somebody grunted and swore. Dawn was misty; the skies were still; Larks were singing, discordant, shrill; They seemed happy; but I felt ill. Deep in water I splashed my way Up the trench to our bogged front line. Rain had fallen the whole damned night. O Jesus, send me a wound to-day, And I’ll believe in Your bread and wine, And get my bloody old sins washed white!
She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes; Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o’er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express, How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!
“Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date; Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm’d; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st; Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds; William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wand’ring bark, Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle’s compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me prov’d, I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.
I’ve been a bit slow lately, but I hope this makes up for all the poetry I missed this week.
God bless, my darling avidReaders 🙂 Have a wonderful day ahead!
In the blue sky just a few specks of gray In the evening of a beautiful day Though last night it rained and more rain on the way And that more rain is needed ‘twould be fair to say On a gum tree in the park the white backed magpie sing He sings all year round from the Summer to Spring But in late Winter and Spring he even sings at night So nice to hear him piping in the moonlight Spring it is with us and Summer is near And beautiful weather for the time of year Such beauty the poets and the artists inspire Of talking of Nature could one ever tire Her green of September Mother Nature wear And the perfumes of blossoms in the evening air.
Your daily dose of poetry. God bless all of you today 🙂
Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness, Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d, Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve; She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearied, For ever piping songs for ever new; More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d, For ever panting, and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d, A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice? To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? What little town by river or sea shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul to tell Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed; Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Ozymandias is a great classic. It was another classic from my high school years and worth sharing.
Keep well and God bless you all my darling avidReaders 🙂
Is there another world for this frail dust To warm with life and be itself again? Something about me daily speaks there must, And why should instinct nourish hopes in vain? ’Tis nature’s prophesy that such will be, And everything seems struggling to explain The close sealed volume of its mystery. Time wandering onward keeps its usual pace As seeming anxious of eternity, To meet that calm and find a resting place. E’en the small violet feels a future power And waits each year renewing blooms to bring, And surely man is no inferior flower To die unworthy of a second spring?
A poem of hope as we enter Spring finally. 🙂
God bless you all my darling avidReaders and have a great weekend!
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. And you, my father, there on that sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.