Alice Duer Miller

Alice Duer Miller Poems

  • 1.  
    COURAGE to ask of love neither sign nor token,
    Wisdom to wait, silence and faith are better; Fear, not alone lest the bond be some day broken,
  • 2.  
    'NEVER,' he said, 'nevermore,
    In the murmuring stillness of night Shall I wait for her hand on my door,
  • 3.  
    O FRANCE, with what a shamed and sorry smile
    We now recall that in a bygone day We sought of you art, wit, perfection, style;
  • 4.  
    I saw a lady on the stair,
    And she was, oh, so strangely fair, With a knot of butter-colored hair,
  • 5.  
    LAST night I saw a city by the sea,
    Outlined in sparks of fire; Those wreathed lamps made all a fantasy -
  • 6.  
    I WANTED you to come to-day­
    Or so I told you in my letter­ And yet, if you had stayed away,
  • 7.  
    THERE is a willow grows beside a pool;
    Its long gray branches sweep the marble rim; And from those waters shadowy and cool,
  • 8.  
    LONG since I taught my spirit to obey
    The Sage's great commandment - to forget ­ And so to lose life's bitterness and fret
  • 9.  
    ONLY the stars remain to travelers' eyes
    Unalterable; the waters change their hue Beneath the flattery of alien skies
  • 10.  
    ON summer evenings when the full moon shines
    Serene and fair, High in the crystal air,
  • 11.  
    At dead of night about the dying fire
  • 12.  
    THE LIGHT of spring
    On the emerald earth, A man, a maid,
  • 13.  
    FARE you well, who love the highways,
    Love the cities, tall and bright, For the forest ways are my ways,
  • 14.  
    TRAINED nurses, trained nurses everywhere­
  • 15.  
    THE white cat is sleeping by the fire,
    With her paws tucked under her chin, Very tame and gentle she is sleeping
  • 16.  
    WON'T it be curious when I am dead;
    Some one, unknown to me, here in my stead? Curious surely for others to see
  • 17.  
    ONCE for thy brow a wreath I wished to wind,
    And, seeking long, I could no flowers find. Now golden flowers are blooming far and near,
  • 18.  
    IN this still cloister where the roses grow
    Waist-high between the arches and the well, You would have walked a thousand years ago,
  • 19.  
    I have loved England, dearly and deeply, Since that first morning, shining and pure,
  • 20.  
    AND will you rest at last, storm-beaten spirit,
    In this poor heart, who would your haven be, Will you sink down at last, content to inherit
  • 21.  
    Oft on my way, my daily task pursuing,
    Meet I two fairy figures face to face, Beauty and Peace, who smile on me, embuing
  • 22.  
    THE great religions, like men great of mind,
    Draw to them even those of hostile view. Many a barbarian in Athens knew
  • 23.  
    MAGIC for fitful souls whose aim is still
    Pleasures that forfeit not the mansions blest, Who deem themselves absolved to approve the best .
  • 24.  
    You who are strong, and do not know the need
    That weaker spirits feel, but do not plead -­ The need to lean on someone who is strong -
  • 25.  
    (' Women are often tempters to sexual sin and delight in it. . . A recent report of a female probation officer relates that some of the girls who, as we may say euphemistically' had gone astray,' owned to her that they enjoyed the life of the evil house.'
    - The Case Against Woman Suffrage, published by the Man-Suffrage Association Opposed to Political Suffrage for Women.)
  • 26.  
    Her old love in tears and silence had been building her a palace
    Ringed by moats and flanked with towers, he had set it on a hill 'Here,' he said, 'will come no whisper of the world's alarms and malice,
  • 27.  
    'NOT that you'll like him,' Nell said,
    'No mystery - no romance, A fine, stern, eagle-like head,
  • 28.  
    ' Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.'
    I WRITE for those, of whom I know a few,
  • 29.  
    HE: I am in trouble, give me your advice.
    SHE: No, for I'm sure 'twould not be carried out. HE: It shall, I swear it shall, at any price.
  • 30.  
    'YES, Spring has come,' the grocer said,
    And tied a final knot of string,Rang up the change and becked his head,
  • 31.  
    BREEZE of the night, across my pillow straying­
    Breeze of the night, of summer dews begot,Salt from the sea-shore, where the waves are playing,
  • 32.  

  • 33.  
    (Her lover speaks.)

  • 34.  
    THERE is a magic pathway through the wood,
    There is a current in the troubled stream, A happy course to steer, if one but could,
  • 35.  
    YES, you have guessed it. Do not blame me, dear.
    Indeed, I did not dream, 0 tender eyes,When first we met, that in a little year
  • 36.  

  • 37.  
    WE have quarreled; ugly things have been said,
    Bitter things, in a tone controlled, well-bred, Temperate; we weighed our words, lest the lust
  • 38.  
    THE house is bright with lights and lights,
    Like a palace in the Arabian Nights,Lights in festoons and lights in clusters,
  • 39.  
    THE rustling palms bend readily
    Between the sun and me;The trades blow warm and steadily
  • 40.  
    HER hair was beautifully white
    Beneath her bonnet, black as night, Which, plainly of New England kin,
  • 41.  
    THE house is empty, and the garden alley,
    A shadowed aisle of linden and of yew, A marble vase, a glimpse of river-valley ­
  • 42.  
    JUST a very common thing -
    Shouts and whistles, bells that ring, Just a platform in the rain
  • 43.  
    THE clear young voices rise and soar: 'Oh, pray
    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: theyShall prosper that love thee.' Yet each boy's heart
  • 44.  
    HE (after a pause) : Dear, are you angry?
    SHE: Yes, though not at you, But at myself. Of course, we know it's true
  • 45.  
    The consciousness of my mortality
    Which used to blind and limit all my lifeWeighs on me not since I have been your wife.
  • 46.  
    NIGHT after night within the grove
    The night wind spares the sacred fire -­The breath made visible of love,
  • 47.  
    ON these brown rocks the waves dissolve in spray
    As when our fathers saw them first alee.If such a one could come again and see
  • 48.  
    With rather insincere apologies to Mr. Rudyard Kipling.

  • 49.  
    1. Because travelling in trains is not a natural right.

  • 50.  
    1. Because man's place is the armory.

Total 111 poems written by Alice Duer Miller

Poem of the day

The Comedian As The Letter C: 05 - A Nice Shady Home
 by Wallace Stevens

Crispin as hermit, pure and capable,
Dwelt in the land. Perhaps if discontent
Had kept him still the pricking realist,
Choosing his element from droll confect
Of was and is and shall or ought to be,
Beyond Bordeaux, beyond Havana, far
Beyond carked Yucatan, he might have come
To colonize his polar planterdom

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