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Christ Crucified

Now ere I slept, my prayer had been that I might see my way
To do the will of Christ, our Lord and Master, day by day;
And with this prayer upon my lips, I knew not that I dreamed,
But suddenly the world of night a pandemonium seemed.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
San Francisco (from The Sea)

Serene, indifferent of Fate,
Thou sittest at the Western Gate;

Upon thy height, so lately won,

Bret Harte
To You

Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams,
I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands;
Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies,
costume, crimes, dissipate away from you,

Walt Whitman
The Seafarer

May I for my own self song's truth reckon,
Journey's jargon, how I in harsh days
Hardship endured oft.
Bitter breast-cares have I abided,

Ezra Pound
The Dead

Their reward is
they become innocent again,

and when they reappear in memory

Kate Northrop
My Heart Ran So To Thee


My Heart ran so to thee
It would not wait for me

Emily Dickinson
A Bachelor

‘Why keep a cow when I can buy,'
Said he, ‘the milk I need,'
I wanted to spit in his eye
Of selfishness and greed;

Robert Service
Enemy Conscript

What are we fighting for,
We fellows who go to war?
fighting for Freedom's sake!
(You give me the belly-ache.)

Robert Service

I never kill a fly because
I think that what we have of laws
To regulate and civilize
Our daily life-we owe to flies.

Robert Service
God’s Battleground

God dwells in you; in pride and shame,
In all you do to blight or bless;
In all you are of praise and blame,
In beauty or in ugliness.

Robert Service
Nature’s Way

To tribulations of mankind
Dame Nature is indifferent;
To human sorrow she is blind,
And deaf to human discontent.

Robert Service
Sentimental Hangman

'Tis hard to hang a husky lad
When larks are in the sky;
It hurts when daffydills are glad
To wring a neck awry,

Robert Service
The Ballad Of Gum-boot Ben

He was an old prospector with a vision bleared and dim.
He asked me for a grubstake, and the same I gave to him.
He hinted of a hidden trove, and when I made so bold
To question his veracity, this is the tale he told.

Robert Service
The Ballad Of The Northern Lights

One of the Down and Out-that's me. Stare at me well, ay, stare!
Stare and shrink-say! you wouldn't think that I was a millionaire.
Look at my face, it's crimped and gouged-one of them death-mask things;
Don't seem the sort of man, do I, as might be the pal of kings?

Robert Service
The Dauber

In stilly grove beside the sea
He mingles colours, measures space;
A bronze and breezy man is he,
Yet peace is in his face.

Robert Service
The Prospector

I strolled up old Bonanza, where I staked in ninety-eight,
A-purpose to revisit the old claim.
I kept thinking mighty sadly of the funny ways of Fate,
And the lads who once were with me in the game.

Robert Service
The Trail Of Ninety-eight

Gold! We leapt from our benches. Gold! We sprang from our stools.
Gold! We wheeled in the furrow, fired with the faith of fools.
Fearless, unfound, unfitted, far from the night and the cold,
Heard we the clarion summons, followed the master-lure-Gold!

Robert Service
To A Tycoon

Since much has been your mirth
And fair your fate,
Friend, leave your lot of earth
Less desolate.

Robert Service
Two Words

‘God' is composed of letters three,
But if you put an ‘l'
Before the last it seems to me
A synonym for Hell.

Robert Service
Morituri Salutamus: Poem For The Fiftieth Anniversary Of The Class Of 1825 In Bowdoin College

Tempora labuntur, tacitisque senescimus annis,
Et fugiunt freno non remorante dies.
Ovid, Fastorum, Lib. vi.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
New York At Night

A near horizon whose sharp jags
Cut brutally into a sky
Of leaden heaviness, and crags
Of houses lift their masonry

Amy Lowell

This door you might not open, and you did;
So enter now, and see for what slight thing
You are betrayed. . . . Here is no treasure hid,
No cauldron, no clear crystal mirroring

Edna St. Vincent Millay

All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.

Edna St. Vincent Millay
From The Bridge

Held and thrilled by the vision
I stood, as the twilight died,
Where the great bridge soars like a song
Over the crawling tide-

Don Marquis
Lower New York—a Storm

White wing'd below the darkling clouds
The driven sea-gulls wheel;
The roused sea flings a storm against
The towers of stone and steel.

Don Marquis
A Memory Of The Players In A Mirror At Midnight

They mouth love's language. Gnash
The thirteen teeth
Your lean jaws grin with. Lash
Your itch and quailing, nude greed of the flesh.

James Joyce
The Spooniad

[The late Mr. Jonathan Swift Somers, laureate of Spoon
River, planned The Spooniad as an epic in twenty-four books,
but unfortunately did not live to complete even the first
book. The fragment was found among his papers by William

Edgar Lee Masters

When in the even ways of life
The old world jogs along,
Our little coloured flags we flaunt:
Our little separate selves we vaunt:

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I step across the mystic border-land,
And look upon the wonder-world of Art.
How beautiful, how beautiful its hills!
And all its valleys, how surpassing fair!

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Fleeing Away

My thoughts soar not as they ought to soar,
Higher and higher on soul-lent wings;
But ever and often, and more and more
They are dragged down earthward by little things,

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
God Rules Alway

Into the world's most high and holy places
Men carry selfishness, and graft and greed.
The air is rent with warring of the races;
Loud Dogmas drown a brother's cry of need.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The Hymn Of The Republic

I have listened to the sighing of the burdened and the bound,
I have heard it change to crying, with a menace in the sound;
I have seen the money-getters pass unheeding on the way,
As they went to forge new fetters for the people day by day.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The Land Of Content

I set out for the Land of Content,
By the gay crowded pleasure-highway,
With laughter, and jesting, I went
With the mirth-loving throng for a day;

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The Plough

If you listen you will hear, from east to west,
Growing sounds of discontent and deep unrest.
It is just the progress-driven plough of God,
Tearing up the well-worn custom-bounded sod;

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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 Ballad Of The White Horse: 05 - Book Iv: The Woman In The Forest

Thick thunder of the snorting swine,
Enormous in the gloam,
Rending among all roots that cling,
And the wild horses whinnying,

G. K. Chesterton
A Toast

Not your martyrs anointed of heaven-
The ages are red where they trod-
But the Hunted-the world's bitter leaven-
Who smote at your imbecile God-

Lola Ridge


To get at the eternal strength of things,
And fearlessly to make strong songs of it,

Edwin Arlington Robinson
Springfield Magical

In this, the City of my Discontent,
Sometimes there comes a whisper from the grass,
“Romance, Romance-is here. No Hindu town
Is quite so strange. No Citadel of Brass

Vachel Lindsay
Upon Returning To The Country Road

Even the shrewd and bitter,
Gnarled by the old world's greed,
Cherished the stranger softly
Seeing his utter need.

Vachel Lindsay
The Only Way


Memphis and Karnak, Luxor, Thebes, the Nile:
Of these your letters told; and I who read

Louis V. Ledoux
The Man With The Hoe

(Written after seeing Millet's world-famous painting)

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans

Edwin Markham
The Flowers

When Love arose in heart and deed
To wake the world to greater joy,
‘What can she give me now?' said Greed,
Who thought to win some costly toy.

William Brighty Rands
Cadet Grey: Canto Iii


Where the sun sinks through leagues of arid sky,
Where the sun dies o'er leagues of arid plain,

Bret Harte
For The King

Northern Mexico, 1640

As you look from the plaza at Leon west

Bret Harte
The Ballad Of Mr. Cooke

Where the sturdy ocean breeze
Drives the spray of roaring seas,
That the Cliff House balconies

Bret Harte
Guy Of The Temple

Down the dim West slow fails the stricken sun,
And from his hot face fades the crimson flush
Veiled in death's herald-shadows sick and gray.
Silent and dark the sombre valley lies

John Hay
The Curse Of Hungary

Saloman looked from his donjon bars,
Where the Danube clamors through sedge and sand,
And he cursed with a curse his revolting land,-
With a king's deep curse of treason and wars.

John Hay
The Sphinx Of The Tuileries

Out of the Latin Quarter
I came to the lofty door
Where the two marble Sphinxes guard
The Pavilion de Flore.

John Hay
The Lodger

I cannot
quite recall
When first he came,
So reticent and tall,

Bliss Carman
At Sunset Time

Adown the west a golden glow
Sinks burning in the sea,
And all the dreams of long ago
Come flooding back to me.

Paul Laurence Dunbar
The Unsung Heroes

A song for the unsung heroes who rose in the country's need,
When the life of the land was threatened by the slaver's cruel greed,
For the men who came from the cornfield, who came from the plough and
the flail,

Paul Laurence Dunbar
To The South On Its New Slavery

Heart of the Southland, heed me pleading now,
Who bearest, unashamed, upon my brow
The long kiss of the loving tropic sun,
And yet, whose veins with thy red current run.

Paul Laurence Dunbar
Hugo’s Pool In The Forest

How calm, how beauteous and how cool-
How like a sister to the skies,
Appears the broad, transparent pool
That in this quiet forest lies.

Eugene Field
Our Biggest Fish

When in the halcyon days of old, I was a little tyke,
I used to fish in pickerel ponds for minnows and the like;
And oh, the bitter sadness with which my soul was fraught
When I rambled home at nightfall with the puny string I'd caught!

Eugene Field
To A Soubrette

'Tis years, soubrette, since last we met;
And yet-ah, yet, how swift and tender
My thoughts go back in time's dull track
To you, sweet pink of female gender!

Eugene Field
The Idiot

He stands on the kerb
Watching the street.
He's always watching there,
Listening to the beat

John Freeman
Giving And Forgiving

'Tis not by selfish miser's greed
The great rewards of love are given;
'Tis not the cynic's haughty creed
Which gladly makes this world a heaven;

Freeman E. Miller
The Torture Of Cuauhtemoc

Their strength had fed on this when Death's white arms
Came sleeved in vapors and miasmal dew,
Curling across the jungle's ferny floor,
Becking each fevered brain. On bleak divides,

Alan Seeger
A Story Of The Sea

Were you ever told the legend old
Of the birth of storms at sea?
You should hear the tale in a Channel gale,
As happened once to me,

John L. Stoddard