EPIC POEMS

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The Congo

A Study of the Negro Race


I. Their Basic Savagery
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Vachel Lindsay
To A Bird At Dawn

O bird that somewhere yonder sings,
In the dim hour 'twixt dreams and dawn,
Lone in the hush of sleeping things,
In some sky sanctuary withdrawn;
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Richard Le Gallienne
Open House

My secrets cry aloud.
I have no need for tongue.
My heart keeps open house,
My doors are widely swung.
.....

Theodore Roethke
Epic

I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided, who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man's land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
.....

Patrick Kavanagh
Arms And The Man. - Prologue.

Full-burnished through the long-revolving years
The ploughshare of a Century to-day
Runs peaceful furrows where a crop of Spears
Once stood in War's array.
.....

James Barron Hope
Brahmā, Vişņu, Śiva

I THE DARK

In a worldless timeless lightless great emptiness
Four-faced Brahma broods.
.....

Rabindranath Tagore
Scenes

Observe ye not yon high cliff's brow,
Up which a wanderer clambers slow,
‘T is by a hoary ruin crown'd,
Which rocks when shrill winds whistle round;
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George Borrow
Thousand Star Hotel, Hanoi

I.

Over the road from the three star Galaxy Hotel is our hotel,
the old park on Phan Dinh Phung Street,
.....

S. K. Kelen
The Poetic Principle (essay)

In speaking of the Poetic Principle, I have no design to be either thorough or profound. While discussing, very much at random, the essentiality of what we call Poetry, my principal purpose will be to cite for consideration, some few of those minor English or American poems which best suit my own taste, or which, upon my own fancy, have left the most definite impression. By "minor poems" I mean, of course, poems of little length. And here, in the beginning, permit me to say a few words in regard to a somewhat peculiar principle, which, whether rightfully or wrongfully, has always had its influence in my own critical estimate of the poem. I hold that a long poem does not exist. I maintain that the phrase, "a long poem," is simply a flat contradiction in terms.

I need scarcely observe that a poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. The value of the poem is in the ratio of this elevating excitement. But all excitements are, through a psychal necessity, transient. That degree of excitement which would entitle a poem to be so called at all, cannot be sustained throughout a composition of any great length. After the lapse of half an hour, at the very utmost, it flags fails a revulsion ensues and then the poem is, in effect, and in fact, no longer such.

.....

Edgar Allan Poe
Humanitad

It is full winter now: the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn's gaudy livery whose gold
.....

Oscar Wilde
The Epic Stars

The heroic stars spending themselves,
Coining their very flesh into bullets for the lost battle,
They must burn out at length like used candles;
And Mother Night will weep in her triumph, taking home her heroes.
.....

Robinson Jeffers
The Gardener Xxxviii: My Love, Once Upon A Time

My love, once upon a time your poet
launched a great epic in his mind.
Alas, I was not careful, and it struck
your ringing anklets and came to
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Rabindranath Tagore
Life

What know we of the dead, who say these things,
Or of the life in death below the mould--
What of the mystic laws that rule the old
Grey realms beyond our poor imaginings
.....

Victor James Daley
John Horace Burleson

I won the prize essay at school
Here in the village,
And published a novel before I was twenty-five.
I went to the city for themes and to enrich my art;
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
Homer's Seeing-eye Dog

Most of the time he worked, a sort of sleep
with a purpose, so far as I could tell.
How he got from the dark of sleep
to the dark of waking up I'll never know;
.....

William Matthews
Don Juan: Canto The First

I
I want a hero: an uncommon want,
When every year and month sends forth a new one,
Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant,
.....

George Gordon Byron
Pisidice

The incident is from the Love Stories of Parthenius, who
preserved fragments of a lost epic on the expedition of
Achilles against Lesbos, an island allied with Troy.

.....

Andrew Lang
Rizpah

SAID one who led the spears of swarthy Gad,
To Jesseâ??s mighty son: â??My Lord, O King,
I, halting hard by Gibeonâ??s bleak-blown hill
Three nightfalls past, saw dark-eyed Rizpah, clad
.....

Henry Kendall
At Sea

When the investing darkness growls,
And deep reverberates to deep;
When keyhole whines and chimney howls,
And all the roofs and windows weep;
.....

Ada Cambridge
Poetry

THE POETRY OF CHAUCER

Grey with all honours of age! but fresh-featured and ruddy
As dawn when the drowsy farm-yard has thrice heard Chaunticlere.
.....

George Meredith
Adventure Of A Poet

As I was walking down the street
A week ago,
Near Henderson's I chanced to meet
A man I know.
.....

Robert Fuller Murray
The Epic Of The Lion

A Lion in his jaws caught up a child--
Not harming it--and to the woodland, wild
With secret streams and lairs, bore off his prey--
The beast, as one might cull a bud in May.
.....

Victor Marie Hugo
The Ladle. A Tale

The Sceptics think 'twas long ago
Since gods came down
incognito

.....

Matthew Prior
Don Juan: Canto The Eighth

The town was taken--whether he might yield
Himself or bastion, little matter'd now:
His stubborn valour was no future shield.
Ismail's no more! The Crescent's silver bow
.....

George Gordon Byron
Don Juan: Canto The Sixteenth

The antique Persians taught three useful things,
To draw the bow, to ride, and speak the truth.
This was the mode of Cyrus, best of kings--
A mode adopted since by modern youth.
.....

George Gordon Byron
The Woman

Go sleep, my sweetie-rest-rest!
Oh soft little hand on mother's breast!
Oh soft little lips-the din's mos' gone-
Over and done, my dearie one!
.....

Harriet Monroe
Imitations Of Horace: The First Epistle Of The Second Book

Ne Rubeam, Pingui donatus Munere
(Horace, Epistles II.i.267)
While you, great patron of mankind, sustain
The balanc'd world, and open all the main;
.....

Alexander Pope
English Bards And Scotch Reviewers (excerpt)

Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days
Ignoble themes obtain'd mistaken praise,
When sense and wit with poesy allied,
No fabl'd graces, flourish'd side by side;
.....

George Gordon Byron
Captain Craig Ii

Yet that ride had an end, as all rides have;
And the days coming after took the road
That all days take,-though never one of them
Went by but I got some good thought of it
.....

Edwin Arlington Robinson
Translation Of The Epitaph On Virgil And Tibullus, By Domitius Marsus

He who, sublime, in epic numbers roll'd,
And he who struck the softer lyre of Love,
By Death's unequal hand alike controul'd,
Fit comrades in Elysian regions move!
.....

George Gordon Lord Byron
The Poetry Of Southey

Keen as an eagle whose flight towards the dim empyrean
Fearless of toil or fatigue ever royally wends!
Vast in the cloud-coloured robes of the balm-breathing Orient
Lo! the grand Epic advances, unfolding the humanest truth.
.....

George Meredith
Recital Of The Ramayana

When the silent night was ended, and their pure ablutions done,
Joyous went the minstrel brothers, and their lofty lay begun,

Rama to the hermit minstrels lent a monarch's willing car,
.....

Valmiki
A Song Of The Pen

Not for the love of women toil we, we of the craft,
Not for the people's praise;
Only because our goddess made us her own and laughed,
Claiming us all our days,
.....

Banjo Paterson (andrew Barton)
A Song Of The Pen

Not for the love of women toil we, we of the craft,
Not for the people's praise;
Only because our goddess made us her own and laughed,
Claiming us all our days,
.....

Banjo Paterson
The Garlands

KLOPSTOCK would lead us away from Pindus; no longer for laurel
May we be eager--the homely acorn alone must content us;
Yet he himself his more-than-epic crusade is conducting
High on Golgotha's summit, that foreign gods he may honour!
.....

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
The Epic

At Francis Allen's on the Christmas-eve,--
The game of forfeits done--the girls all kiss'd
Beneath the sacred bush and past away--
The parson Holmes, the poet Everard Hall,
.....

Alfred Lord Tennyson
To The Tiber

On its late (in 1871) Inundation of Rome

Well done, old Flood, that, hiding a clear eye
Beneath thy yellow veil, dost wend among
.....

Sydney Thompson Dobell
Love, The Song Of Songs

Over the roar of cities,
Over the hush of the hills,
Mounts ever a song that never stops,
A voice that never stills.
.....

Madison Julius Cawein
Night In New York

Haunted by unknown feet-
Ways of the midnight hour!
Strangely you murmur below me,
Strange is your half-silent power.
.....

George Parsons Lathrop
The Baptism

(an excerpt from the epic The Baptism at The Savica)

The warring clouds have vanished from the skies;
The war of men has ended with the night.
.....

France Preseren
The Forefather

HERE at the country inn,
I lie in my quiet bed,
And the ardent onrush of armies
Throbs and throbs in my head.
.....

Richard Francis Burton
An Impromptu

Not premeditated


THE clock has struck noon; ere it thrice tell the hours
.....

Oliver Wendell Holmes
Love On Scooter - An Epic Romance

A Lad training beloved Scooter, gradually...
Raw emotions flowing,gradually...

Diva Seeking Support, puts hand of Lad's shoulder...
.....

Mech Boy Satendra Bekaraar
Genoa And The Mediterranean.

O epic-famed, god-haunted Central Sea,
Heave careless of the deep wrong done to thee
When from Torino's track I saw thy face first flash on me.

.....

Thomas Hardy
Beauty

Was never form and never face
So sweet to SEYD as only grace
Which did not slumber like a stone,
But hovered gleaming and was gone.
.....

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Books

Oh! Bury me in books when I am dead,
Fair quarto leaves of ivory and gold,
And silk octavos, bound in brown and red,
That tales of love and chivalry unfold.
.....

Zora Bernice May Cross
What Were They Like?

Did the people of Viet Nam
use lanterns of stone?
Did they hold ceremonies
to reverence the opening of buds?
.....

Denise Levertov
William H. Herndon

There by the window in the old house
Perched on the bluff, overlooking miles of valley,
My days of labor closed, sitting out life's decline,
Day by day did I look in my memory,
.....

Edgar Lee Masters