COLLECTION POEMS

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Life Is A Circus

A young lad blossoms from a petal,
Many challenges to come and yet to settle.
Here begins life's crazy circus,
To be happy but yet sometimes serious.
.....
Priyadarshini Goel

Priyadarshini Goel
Apostate Will

In days of old, when Wesley's power
Gathered new strength by every hour;
Apostate Will, just sunk in trade,
Resolved his bargain should be made;
.....

Thomas Chatterton
Moscow Carol

In such an inexplicable blue,
Upon the stonework to embark,
The little ship of glowing hue
Appears in Alexander Park.
.....

Joseph Brodsky
Christmas Eve

I

Out of the little chapel I burst
Into the fresh night-air again.
.....
Robert Browning

Robert Browning
Mrs Frances Haris's Petition

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Ireland,
The humble petition of Frances Harris,
Who must starve and die a maid if it miscarries;
Humble sheweth, that I went to warm myself in Lady Betty's chamber, because I
.....
Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift
Mary

The angel of self-discipline, her guardian
Since she first knew and had to go away
From home that spring to have her child with strangers,
Sustained her, till the vanished boy next door
.....

Edgar Bowers
The Gallery

Clora come view my Soul, and tell
Whether I have contriv'd it well.
Now all its several lodgings lye
Compos'd into one Gallery;
.....
Andrew Marvell

Andrew Marvell
Tender Buttons [a Light In The Moon]

A LIGHT IN THE MOON

A light in the moon the only light is on Sunday. What was the sensible decision. The sensible decision was that notwithstanding many declarations and more music, not even notwithstanding the choice and a torch and a collection, notwithstanding the celebrating hat and a vacation and even more noise than cutting, notwithstanding Europe and Asia and being overbearing, not even notwithstanding an elephant and a strict occasion, not even withstanding more cultivation and some seasoning, not even with drowning and with the ocean being encircling, not even with more likeness and any cloud, not even with terrific sacrifice of pedestrianism and a special resolution, not even more likely to be pleasing. The care with which the rain is wrong and the green is wrong and the white is wrong, the care with which there is a chair and plenty of breathing. The care with which there is incredible justice and likeness, all this makes a magnificent asparagus, and also a fountain.

.....

Gertrude Stein
Conducted Tour

Walk up! Walk up to the Bureaucratic Fair!
All the tasters and the testers and the tallymen are there.
All the freaks and other fancies of the mighty tax machine.
A unique conglomeration not believed until it's seen.
.....

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis
To Stella, Who Collected And Transcribed His Poems

As, when a lofty pile is raised,
We never hear the workmen praised,
Who bring the lime, or place the stones;
But all admire Inigo Jones:
.....
Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift
The Free Trader's Lament

Oft from a trading-boat I purchased spice
And shells and corals, brought for my inspection
From the fair tropics-paid a Christian price
And was content in my fool's paradise,
.....

Ambrose Bierce
After The Interval

About three months ago, when first
Upon our open, unprotected
And freezing garden snowstorms burst
In sudden fury, I reflected
.....
Boris Pasternak

Boris Pasternak
The Pencil Seller

A pencil, sir; a penny -- won't you buy?
I'm cold and wet and tired, a sorry plight;
Don't turn your back, sir; take one just to try;
I haven't made a single sale to-night.
.....

Robert William Service
The Rhyme Of The Three Greybeards

He'd been for years in Sydney "a-acting of the goat",
His name was Joseph Swallow, "the Great Australian Pote",
In spite of all the stories and sketches that he wrote.

.....
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson
Stamp Collector

My worldly wealth I hoard in albums three,
My life collection of rare postage stamps;
My room is cold and bare as you can see,
My coat is old and shabby as a tramp's;
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Caesarion

Partly to verify an era,
partly also to pass the time,
last night I picked up a collection
of Ptolemaic epigrams to read.
.....

Constantine P. Cavafy
Solomon On The Vanity Of The World, A Poem. In Three Books. - Power. Book Iii.

The Argument
Solomon considers man through the several stages and conditions of life, and concludes, in general, that we are all miserable. He reflects more particularly upon the trouble and uncertainty of greatness and power; gives some instances thereof from Adam down to himself; and still concludes that All Is Vanity. He reasons again upon life, death, and a future being; finds human wisdom too imperfect to resolve his doubts; has recourse to religion; is informed by an angel what shall happen to himself, his family, and his kingdom, till the redemption of Israel; and, upon the whole, resolves to submit his inquiries and anxieties to the will of his Creator.

Come then, my soul: I call thee by that name,
.....
Matthew Prior

Matthew Prior
The Art Of Book Making - Prose

If that severe doom of Synesius be true, "It is a greater offence to steal dead men's labor, than their clothes," what shall become of most writers?
- BURTON'S ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY.


.....

Washington Irving
Amours De Voyage - Canto Iii

CANTO III.

Yet to the wondrous St. Peter's, and yet to the solemn Rotonda,
Mingling with heroes and gods, yet to the Vatican Walls,
.....
Arthur Hugh Clough

Arthur Hugh Clough
Collection Of Passages Translated In The Prose Writings.

[From Of Reformation in England, 1641.]


Ah Constantine, of how much ill was cause
.....
John Milton

John Milton
Sarah Walker

It was very hot. Not a breath of air was stirring throughout the western wing of the Greyport Hotel, and the usual feverish life of its four hundred inmates had succumbed to the weather. The great veranda was deserted; the corridors were desolated; no footfall echoed in the passages; the lazy rustle of a wandering skirt, or a passing sigh that was half a pant, seemed to intensify the heated silence. An intoxicated bee, disgracefully unsteady in wing and leg, who had been holding an inebriated conversation with himself in the corner of my window pane, had gone to sleep at last and was snoring. The errant prince might have entered the slumberous halls unchallenged, and walked into any of the darkened rooms whose open doors gaped for more air, without awakening the veriest Greyport flirt with his salutation. At times a drowsy voice, a lazily interjected sentence, an incoherent protest, a long-drawn phrase of saccharine tenuity suddenly broke off with a gasp, came vaguely to the ear, as if indicating a half-suspended, half-articulated existence somewhere, but not definite enough to indicate conversation. In the midst of this, there was the sudden crying of a child.

I looked up from my work. Through the camera of my jealously guarded window I could catch a glimpse of the vivid, quivering blue of the sky, the glittering intensity of the ocean, the long motionless leaves of the horse-chestnut in the road, all utterly inconsistent with anything as active as this lamentation. I stepped to the open door and into the silent hall.

.....

Bret Harte (francis)
Sat Est Scripsisse.

(To E. G., With A Collection Of Essays.)


When You and I have wandered beyond the reach of call,
.....
Henry Austin Dobson

Henry Austin Dobson
Some Of Farmer Stebbin's Opinions

No, Parson, 'tain't been in my style,
(Nor none ov my relations)
Tew dig about the gnarly roots
Ov prophetic spekkleations,
.....
Isabella Valancy Crawford

Isabella Valancy Crawford
A Newspaper Is A Collection Of Half-injustices

A newspaper is a collection of half-injustices
Which, bawled by boys from mile to mile,
Spreads its curious opinion
To a million merciful and sneering men,
.....
Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane
Sun-testament

I, The Sun, Lord of the Sky, sojourning in the Land of Sky, being of sound mind and memory, do hereby make, publish and declare the following to be my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all other wills, codicils and testamentary dispositions by me at any time heretofore made.

First, I hereby direct and elect that my estate shall be administered and my will construed and regulated and the validity and effect of the testamentary dispositions herein contained determined by the laws of the Sky.

.....

Harry Crosby
Stamp Collector

My worldly wealth I hoard in albums three,
My life collection of rare postage stamps;
My room is cold and bare as you can see,
My coat is old and shabby as a tramp's;
.....

Robert William Service
Poems - The New Edition - Preface

In two small volumes of Poems, published anonymously, one in 1849, the other in 1852, many of the Poems which compose the present volume have already appeared. The rest are now published for the first time.

I have, in the present collection, omitted the Poem from which the volume published in 1852 took its title. I have done so, not because the subject of it was a Sicilian Greek born between two and three thousand years ago, although many persons would think this a sufficient reason. Neither have I done so because I had, in my own opinion, failed in the delineation which I intended to effect. I intended to delineate the feelings of one of the last of the Greek religious philosophers, one of the family of Orpheus and Musaeus, having survived his fellows, living on into a time when the habits of Greek thought and feeling had begun fast to change, character to dwindle, the influence of the Sophists to prevail. Into the feelings of a man so situated there entered much that we are accustomed to consider as exclusively modern; how much, the fragments of Empedocles himself which remain to us are sufficient at least to indicate. What those who are familiar only with the great monuments of early Greek genius suppose to be its exclusive characteristics, have disappeared; the calm, the cheerfulness, the disinterested objectivity have disappeared: the dialogue of the mind with itself has commenced; modern problems have presented themselves; we hear already the doubts, we witness the discouragement, of Hamlet and of Faust.

.....
Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold
Collection Of Six Haiku

Waking in the night;
the lamp is low,
the oil freezing.

.....

Matsuo Basho
The Pencil Seller

A pencil, sir; a penny-won't you buy?
I'm cold and wet and tired, a sorry plight;
Don't turn your back, sir; take one just to try;
I haven't made a single sale to-night.
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Some Of Farmer Stebbin's Opinions

No, Parson, 'tain't been in my style,
(Nor none ov my relations)
Tew dig about the gnarly roots
Ov prophetic spekkleations,
.....
Isabella Valancy Crawford

Isabella Valancy Crawford
The Property Of A Gentleman Who Has Given Up Collecting

Oh blessed be the cart that takes
Away my books, my curse, my clog,
Blessed the auctioneer who makes
Their inefficient catalogue.
.....
Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang
Macfadden And Macfee

[This ballad is of great interest, and, as far as we know,
has not hitherto appeared in print. It is certainly not in
Child's Collection. It was taken down from the singing of an
aged man of 105 years, in Glen Kennaquhair. Internal
.....

David Rorie
Abhangs (a Short Collection)

1
I was sleeping when Namdeo and Vitthal Stepped into my dream.
'Your job is to make poems. Stop wasting time,' Namdeo said.
Vitthal gave me the measure and gently aroused me from a dream inside a dream.
.....

Sant Tukaram
On The Threshold

INTRODUCTION TO A COLLECTION OF POEMS BYDIFFERENT AUTHORS

AN usher standing at the door
I show my white rosette;
.....

Oliver Wendell Holmes
Tarquin And Tullia

In times when princes cancelled nature's law,
And declarations which themselves did draw;
When children used their parents to dethrone,
And gnaw their way, like vipers, to the crown;
.....
John Dryden

John Dryden
Written In A Collection Of Bacchanalian Songs

Adieu, ye jovial Youths! who join
To plunge old Care in floods of wine;
And, as your dazzled eyeballs roll,
Discern him struggling in the bowl.
.....

William Shenstone
A Collection Of Hymns

Hymn written for the Rev. Mr. Walker, of Chichester.


Where may zeal due succour find,
.....
William Hayley

William Hayley
The Wee Wee Man

The Text is that of Herd's MS. and his Scots Songs. Other versions vary very slightly, and this is the oldest of them.

There is a fourteenth-century MS. (in the Cotton collection) containing a poem not unlike The Wee Wee Man; but there is no justification in deriving the ballad from the poem, which may be found in Ritson's Ancient Songs (1829), i. p. 40.

.....

Frank Sidgwick
Work In Progress

Two Chinese fellows approached me in a London suburb.
They were eager for talk.

"Karl Marx's tomb," they implored, "directions to the tomb,
.....

Paul Cameron Brown
Clerk Sanders

The Text is given in full from Herd's MSS., where it concludes with a version of Sweet William's Ghost; and the last three stanzas, 42-44, are from Scott's later version of the ballad (1833) from recitation. Child divides the ballad as follows:-- Clerk Sanders, 1-26 of the present version; Sweet William's Ghost, 27-41. Scott made 'one or two conjectural emendations in the arrangement of the stanzas.'


The Story of this admirable ballad in its various forms is paralleled in one or two of its incidents by a similar collection of Scandinavian ballads. Jamieson introduced into his version certain questions and answers (of the prevaricating type found in a baser form in Our Goodman) which are professedly of Scandinavian origin.
.....

Frank Sidgwick
Nursery Rhyme. Lxv. Tales

[The "foles of Gotham" are mentioned as early as the fifteenth century in the 'Townley Mysteries;' and, at the commencement of the sixteenth century, Dr. Andrew Borde made a collection of stories about them, not however, including the following, which rests on the authority of nursery tradition.]

Three wise men of Gotham
Went to sea in a bowl:
.....

Unknown
Sir Hugh In The Grime's Downfall

The Text given here is comparatively a late one, from the Roxburghe collection (iii. 456). An earlier broadside, in the same and other collections, gives a longer but curiously corrupted version, exhibiting such perversions as 'Screw' for 'Scroop,' and 'Garlard' for 'Carlisle.'


The Story in its full form relates that Sir Hugh in the Grime (Hughie Graeme or Graham) stole a mare from the Bishop of Carlisle, by way of retaliation for the Bishop's seduction of his wife. He was pursued by Lord Scroop, taken, and conveyed to Carlisle and hanged.
.....

Frank Sidgwick
The Outlaw Murray

The Text is derived, with trivial alterations, from Herd's MSS. In the first edition of the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Scott says the principal copy he employed was one 'apparently of considerable antiquity' among the papers of Mrs. Cockburn; he also made use of Herd's MS. and the Glenriddell MS. In the second edition of the Minstrelsy he made further additions, including one of three stanzas between 52 and 58 of the present version, which makes reference to an earlier Sir Walter Scott.


The Story of this Scots outlaw makes tame reading after those which precede it in this volume. The ballad was inserted at the end of Child's collection only because he preferred 'to err by including rather than excluding.' He adds, 'I am convinced that it did not begin its existence as a popular ballad, and I am not convinced that (as Scott asserts) it has been for ages a popular song in Selkirkshire.' Nevertheless, it undoubtedly gained a place in popular tradition; and this, while entitling it to a place here, renders the elaborate historical investigation, to which it has been submitted since Child's edition, a waste of erudition and ingenuity.
.....

Frank Sidgwick
Nursery Rhyme. Ccclxix. Paradoxes

[The following occurs in a MS. of the seventeenth century, in the Sloane Collection, the reference to which I have mislaid.]

The man in the wilderness asked me,
How many strawberries grew in the sea?
.....

Unknown
Processes Of Thought

I

I find my mind as it were a deep water.

.....

John Collings Squire, Sir
Macfadden And Macfee

[This ballad is of great interest, and, as far as we know, has not hitherto appeared in print. It is certainly not in Child's Collection. It was taken down from the singing of an aged man of 105 years, in Glen Kennaquhair. Internal evidence would tend to show that the incidents recorded in the ballad occurred in the seventeenth century, and that Sir Walter Scott had heard at least one verse of it. The aged singer-now, alas! no more-sang it to the air of "Barbara Allen."]

It was an' aboot the Lammas time,
In sixteen forty-three, sirs,
.....

David Rorie M.d.
Johnie Armstrong

The Text is taken from Wit Restor'd, 1658, where it is called A Northern Ballet. From the same collection comes the version of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard given in First Series, p. 19. The version popularly known as Johnny Armstrong's Last Good-Night, so dear to Goldsmith, and sung by the Vicar of Wakefield, is a broadside found in most of the well-known collections.


The Story of the ballad has the authority of more than one chronicle, and is attributed to the year 1530. James V., in spite of the promise 'to doe no wrong' in his large and long letter, appears to have been incensed at the splendour of 'Jonnë 's' retinue. It seems curious that the outlaw should have been a Westmoreland man; but the Cronicles of Scotland say that 'from the Scots border to Newcastle of England, there was not one, of whatsoever estate, but paid to this John Armstrong a tribute, to be free of his cumber, he was so doubtit in England.' Jonnë 's offer in the stanza 16.3,4, may be compared to the similar feat of Sir Andrew Barton.
.....

Frank Sidgwick
A Noble Riddle Wisely Expounded

The Text is from a broadside of the seventeenth century from the press of Coles, Vere, Wright, and Clarke, now preserved in the Rawlinson collection in the Bodleian Library.


The Story of this ballad is one of the common class of riddle-ballads. Some of these riddles are found also in Captain Wedderburn.
.....

Frank Sidgwick
Mother (cinquain Collection)

Mother
Like no other
My one in a million
Epitome of strength and power
.....
Ojesanmi Mayhowa

Ojesanmi Mayhowa
My Just And Corruption Free Nation

What a beautiful nation we have,
What a lovely nation Kenya is,
A nation with contented citizens,
A nation that is admired by everyone.
.....
Miriam Onyancha

Miriam Onyancha