LEGEND POEMS

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A Legend Of Truth

Once on a time, the ancient legends tell,
Truth, rising from the bottom of her well,
Looked on the world, but, hearing how it lied,
Returned to her seclusion horrified.
.....
Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling
The Unicorn

The saintly hermit, midway through his prayers
stopped suddenly, and raised his eyes to witness
the unbelievable: for there before him stood
the legendary creature, startling white, that
.....

Rainer Maria Rilke
Estrangement

So, without overt breach, we fall apart,
Tacitly sunder--neither you nor I
Conscious of one intelligible Why,
And both, from severance, winning equal smart.
.....

William Watson
The Man Against The Sky

Between me and the sunset, like a dome
Against the glory of a world on fire,
Now burned a sudden hill,
Bleak, round, and high, by flame-lit height made higher,
.....
Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson
Chosen One

Among seven billions people in the planet
Why I have to be born and raised by you?
Why not be born to others,
Methinks in the past generation
.....
Norbu Dorji

Norbu Dorji
Lancelot 06

The dark of Modred's hour not yet availing,
Gawaine it was who gave the King no peace;
Gawaine it was who goaded him and drove him
To Joyous Gard, where now for long his army,
.....
Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson
The Rock-tomb Of Bradore

A DREAR and desolate shore!
Where no tree unfolds its leaves,
And never the spring wind weaves
Green grass for the hunter's tread;
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Leo

I made a journey o'er the sea,
I bade my faithful dog good-bye,
I knew that he would grieve for me,
But did not dream that he would die!
.....
John L. Stoddard

John L. Stoddard
The Hive At Gettysburg

In the old Hebrew myth the lion's frame,
So terrible alive,
Bleached by the desert's sun and wind, became
The wandering wild bees' hive;
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Godiva

I waited for the train at Coventry;
I hung with grooms and porters on the bridge,
To match the three tall spires; and there I shaped
The city's ancient legend into this:--
.....
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Alfred Lord Tennyson
Elegy I

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels'
hierarchies? and even if one of them suddenly
pressed me against his heart, I would perish
in the embrace of his stronger existence.
.....

Rainer Maria Rilke
Autumn

Thou burden of all songs the earth hath sung,
Thou retrospect in Time's reverted eyes,
Thou metaphor of everything that dies,
That dies ill-starred, or dies beloved and young
.....

William Watson
Merlin V

The sun went down, and the dark after it
Starred Merlin's new abode with many a sconced
And many a moving candle, in whose light
The prisoned wizard, mirrored in amazement,
.....
Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson
Emily Dickinson

We think of hidden in a white dress
among the folded linens and sachets
of well-kept cupboards, or just out of sight
sending jellies and notes with no address
.....

Linda Pastan
Marmion: Canto Iii. - The Inn

I.

The livelong day Lord Marmion rode:
The mountain path the Palmer showed,
.....

Walter Scott (sir)
Andrew Rykman-s Prayer

Andrew Rykman's dead and gone;
You can see his leaning slate
In the graveyard, and thereon
Read his name and date.
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
The Gathering Of The Brown-eyed

The brown eyes came from Asia, where all mystery is true,
Ere the masters of Soul Secrets dreamed of hazel, grey, and blue;
And the Brown Eyes came to Egypt, which is called the gypsiesâ?? home,
And the Brown Eyes went from Egypt and Jerusalem to Rome.
.....
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson
My Lady Of Whims

(A medieval Spanish legend slanderously setting forth the utter unreason of woman.)
ROMAQUIA sat and wept her
Lace mantilla full of tears.
King Abit laid by his scepter,
.....

Katharine Lee Bates
The Birth Of Man

A Legend of the Talmud.

I.

.....
Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus
Birth-night Of The Humming Birds

I.

I'll tell you a Fairy Tale that's new:
How the merry Elves o'er the ocean flew
.....

Sam G. Goodrich
Ode On A Grecian Urn

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:
.....
John Keats

John Keats
Lachrymæ Musarum

Low, like another's, lies the laurelled head:
The life that seemed a perfect song is o'er:
Carry the last great bard to his last bed.
Land that he loved, thy noblest voice is mute.
.....

William Watson
For The King

Northern Mexico, 1640


As you look from the plaza at Leon west
.....
Bret Harte

Bret Harte
Music

The block of flats loomed towerlike.
Two sweating athletes, human telpher,
Were carrying up narrow stairs,
As though a bell onto a belfry,
.....
Boris Pasternak

Boris Pasternak
A Worker Reads History

Who built the seven gates of Thebes?
The books are filled with names of kings.
Was it the kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?
And Babylon, so many times destroyed.
.....

Bertolt Brecht
The King Of The Vasse

A LEGEND OF THE BUSH.


MY tale which I have brought is of a time
.....

John Boyle O'reilly
The Prayer-seeker

Along the aisle where prayer was made,
A woman, all in black arrayed,
Close-veiled, between the kneeling host,
With gliding motion of a ghost,
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Ben Jonson Entertains A Man From Stratford

You are a friend then, as I make it out,
Of our man Shakespeare, who alone of us
Will put an ass's head in Fairyland
As he would add a shilling to more shillings,
.....
Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson
The Wishing Bridge

AMONG the legends sung or said
Along our rocky shore,
The Wishing Bridge of Marblehead
May well be sung once more.
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Legend

THERE is an hour, they say,
On which your dream has power:
Then all you wish for comes,
As comes the lost field-bird
.....
Padraic Colum

Padraic Colum
Epitaph In A Church-yard In Charleston, South Carolina

GEORGE AUGUSTUS CLOUGH
A NATIVE OF LIVERPOOL,
DIED SUDDENLY OF “STRANGER'S FEVER”
NOV'R 5th 1843
.....
Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell
Winona's Warning

'Twas sunrise; the spirits of mist
trailed their white robes on dewy savannas,
And the flowers raised their heads to be kissed
by the first golden beams of the morning.
.....

Hanford Lennox Gordon
Merlin I

“Gawaine, Gawaine, what look ye for to see,
So far beyond the faint edge of the world?
D'ye look to see the lady Vivian,
Pursued by divers ominous vile demons
.....
Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson
The Oneness Of The Philosopher With Nature.

I love to see the little stars
All dancing to one tune;
I think quite highly of the Sun,
And kindly of the Moon.
.....

Gilbert Keith Chesterton
A Legend Of Madrid (translated From The Spanish)

Francesca.

Crush'd and throng'd are all the places
In our amphitheatre,
.....
Adam Lindsay Gordon

Adam Lindsay Gordon
Et In Arcadia Ego …

“What traveller soever wander here
In quest of peace and what is best of pleasure,
Let not his hope be overcast and drear
Because I, Death, am here to fix the measure
.....

Thomas Runciman
Sword Blades And Poppy Seed

A drifting, April, twilight sky,
A wind which blew the puddles dry,
And slapped the river into waves
That ran and hid among the staves
.....
Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell
Holger Drachmann

Spring's herald, hail! You've rent the forest's quiet?
Your hair is wet, and you are leaf-strewn, dustyâ?¦
With your powers lusty
Have you raised a riot?
.....

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
Legends

CLOWNS DYINGFIVE circus clowns dying this year, morning newspapers told their lives, how each one horizontal in a last gesture of hands arranged by an undertaker, shook thousands into convulsions of laughter from behind rouge-red lips and powder-white face.

STEAMBOAT BILLWhen the boilers of the Robert E. Lee exploded, a steamboat winner of many races on the Mississippi went to the bottom of the river and never again saw the wharves of Natchez and New Orleans.
And a legend lives on that two gamblers were blown toward the sky and during their journey laid bets on which of the two would go higher and which would be first to set foot on the turf of the earth again.
.....
Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg
Sheridan

Embalm'd in fame, and sacred from decay,
What mighty name, in arms, in arts, or verse,
From England claims this consecrated day.
Her nobles crowding round the shadowy hearse?
.....
Thomas Gent

Thomas Gent
Today, In Class,

Today, in class,
I read aloud to forty little boys
The legend of King Croesus' boasted joys.
They were so young,
.....

Lesbia Harford
The Princes' Qust - Part The Fourth

That night he dreamed that over him there stole
A change miraculous, whereby his soul
Was parted from his body for a space,
And through a labyrinth of secret ways
.....

William Watson
Fort Wagner

I.Glory unto the gallant boys who stood
At Wagner, and, unflinching, sought the van;
Dealing fierce blows, and shedding precious blood,
For homes as precious, and dear rights of man!
.....

William Gilmore Simms
Bergliot

(In her lodgings)

To-day King Harald
Must hold his ting-peace;
.....

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
The Three Taverns

When the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us
as far as Appii Forum, and The Three Taverns.
(Acts 28:15)

.....
Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson
The Legend Of St. Sophia Of Kioff

I.

[The Poet describes the city and spelling of Kiow, Kioff, or Kiova.]

.....
William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray
From Monte Pincio

Evening is coming, the sun waxes red,
Radiant colors from heaven are beaming
Life's lustrous longings in infinite streaming;-
Glory in death o'er the mountains is spread.
.....

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
The Bridal Of Pennacook

We had been wandering for many days
Through the rough northern country. We had seen
The sunset, with its bars of purple cloud,
Like a new heaven, shine upward from the lake
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Pan And Luna

Si credere dignum est.--Virgil, Georgics, III, 390


Oh, worthy of belief I hold it was,
.....
Robert Browning

Robert Browning
Legend

The blacksmith's boy went out with a rifle
and a black dog running behind.
Cobwebs snatched at his feet,
rivers hindered him,
.....

Judith Wright