LONDON POEMS

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True Diffidence

My boy, you may take it from me,
That of all the afflictions accurst
With which a man's saddled
And hampered and addled,
.....

William Schwenck Gilbert
Michael: A Pastoral Poem

If from the public way you turn your steps
Up the tumultuous brook of Green-head Ghyll,
You will suppose that with an upright path
Your feet must struggle; in such bold ascent
.....

William Wordsworth
Porridge

Why is there no monument
To Porridge in our land?
It it's good enough to eat,
It's good enough to stand!
.....

Spike Milligan
The Old Huntsman

I've never ceased to curse the day I signed
A seven years' bargain for the Golden Fleece.
'Twas a bad deal all round; and dear enough
It cost me, what with my daft management,
.....

Siegfried Sassoon
Waring

I

What's become of Waring
Since he gave us all the slip,
.....

Robert Browning
Sabbath Bells

Oh holy Sabbath bells,
Ye have a pleasant voice!
Through all the land your music swells,
And man with one commandment tells
.....

George Macdonald
The Waste Land

‘Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis
vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:
Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo.'

.....

T. S. Eliot
For Selma

In places like
Selma, Alabama,
Kids say,
In places like
.....

Langston Hughes
Satire I

Away thou fondling motley humorist,
Leave mee, and in this standing woodden chest,
Consorted with these few bookes, let me lye
In prison, and here be coffin'd, when I dye;
.....

John Donne
April Midnight?

Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.
.....

Arthur Symons
Prothalamion

Calme was the day, and through the trembling ayre
Sweete-breathing Zephyrus did softly play
A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay
Hot Titans beames, which then did glyster fayre;
.....

Edmund Spenser
Locksley Hall Sixty Years After

Late, my grandson! half the morning have I paced these sandy tracts,
Watch'd again the hollow ridges roaring into cataracts,

Wander'd back to living boyhood while I heard the curlews call,
.....

Alfred Lord Tennyson
Four Charades

1

My first is no proof of my second,
Though my second's a proof of my first:
.....

Christina Rossetti
Almer Mater

Know you her secret none can utter?
Hers of the Book, the tripled Crown?
Still on the spire the pigeons flutter,
Still by the gateway flits the gown;
.....

Sir Arthur Quiller-couch
Scottish Names In Oxford County

We have the Murray and McKay
From the country of Lord Rae ; *
McKenzie too from many a loch,
From Dingwall, Fain, and old Dornoch.
.....

James Mcintyre
Settling

I was welcomed hereâ??clear gold
of late summer, of opening autumn,
the dawn eagle sunning himself on the highest tree,
the mountain revealing herself unclouded, her snow
.....

Denise Levertov
Jobson Of The Star

Within a pub that's off the Strand and handy to the bar,
With pipe in mouth and mug in hand sat Jobson of the Star.
“Come, sit ye down, ye wond'ring wight, and have a yarn,” says he.
“I can't,” says I, “because to-night I'm off to Tripoli;
.....

Robert Service
Out Of Town

Out of town the sky was bright and blue,
Never fog-cloud, lowering, thick, was seen to frown;
Nature dons a garb of gayer hue,
Out of town.
.....

Amy Levy
King Henry Vii And The Shipwrights

Harry, our King in England, from London town is gone,
And comen to Hamull on the Hoke in the Countie of Suthampton.
For there lay the Mary of the Tower, his ship of war so strong,
And he would discover, certaynely, if his shipwrights did him wrong.
.....

Rudyard Kipling
As I Walked Through London

As I walked through London,
The fresh wound burning in my breast,
As I walked through London,
Longing to have forgotten, to harden my heart, and to rest,
.....

Robert Laurence Binyon
Lines On London

They once in wilderness did ride
On beast with horn and shaggy hide-
A savage goat or unicorn,
But now parade in uniform ;
.....

James Mcintyre
Next Time

I'll know the names of all of the birds
and flowers, and not only that, I'll
tell you the name of the piano player
I'm hearing right now on the kitchen
.....

Joyce Sutphen
The Old Australian Ways

The London lights are far abeam
Behind a bank of cloud,
Along the shore the gaslights gleam,
The gale is piping loud;
.....

Banjo Paterson
The Old Song

A livid sky on London
And like the iron steeds that rear
A shock of engines halted
And I knew the end was near:
.....

G. K. Chesterton
Village Virtue

Jenny was my first sweetheart;
Poor lass! she was none too smart.
Though I swore she'd never rue it,
She would never let me do it.
.....

Robert Service
Goody Two-shoes.

Versified by Mrs. Clara Doty Bates.


Two-Shoes, Two-Shoes,
.....

Clara Doty Bates
Vacillation

I

Between extremities
Man runs his course;
.....

William Butler Yeats
The Shepherd's Calendar - June

Now summer is in flower and natures hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done
Wi' glittering dance and reeling in the sun
.....

John Clare
A Song Of Liberty

The Eternal Female groand! it was heard over all the Earth:
Albions coast is sick silent; the American meadows faint!
Shadows of Prophecy shiver along by the lakes and the rivers and mutter across the ocean! France rend down thy dungeon;
Golden Spain burst the barriers of old Rome;
.....

William Blake
The Housekeeper

I let myself in at the kitchen door.
“It's you,” she said. “I can't get up. Forgive me
Not answering your knock. I can no more
Let people in than I can keep them out.
.....

Robert Frost
A Cook

They had a cook with them who stood alone For boiling chicken with a marrow-bone, Sharp flavouring powder and a spice for savour. He could distinguish London ale by flavour, And he could roast and boil and seethe and fry, Make good thick soup and bake a tasty pie... As for blancmange, he made it with the best.



.....

Geoffrey Chaucer
Thersites

So, in the Sunday papers _you_, Del Mar,
Damn, all great Englishmen in English speech?
I am no Englishman, but in my reach
A rogue shall never rail where heroes are.
.....

Ambrose Bierce
London Children

We have had the pleasure of hearing and seeing several clever children
from the city of London. We commemorate them in the following.

Do you unto this world belong,
.....

James Mcintyre
A Farewel To America

I.
Adieu, New-England's smiling meads,
Adieu, the flow'ry plain:
I leave thine op'ning charms, O spring,
.....

Phillis Wheatley
Mandalay

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
.....

Rudyard Kipling
A Drawing In The Tate Gallery:

“The Man Who Taught Blake Painting in His Dreams”

is still around somewhere. Survived the smoke
and fires, the footsteps melting into stone,
.....

Jared Carter
The Dawn

Red of the Dawn!
Screams of a babe in the red-hot palms of a Moloch of Tyre,
Man with his brotherless dinner on man in the tropical wood,
Priests in the name of the Lord passing souls through fire to the fire,
.....

Alfred Lord Tennyson
Wild Gratitude

Tonight when I knelt down next to our cat, Zooey,
And put my fingers into her clean cat's mouth,
And rubbed her swollen belly that will never know kittens,
And watched her wriggle onto her side, pawing the air,
.....

Edward Hirsch
Aims At Happiness

HOW oft has sounded whip and wheel,
How oft is buckled spur to heel,
How many a steed in short relay
Stands harnessed on the king's highway,
.....

Jane Taylor
Lancelot 08

For longer war they came, and with a fury
That only Modred's opportunity,
Seized in the dark of Britain, could have hushed
And ended in a night. For Lancelot,
.....

Edwin Arlington Robinson
Happy The Lab'rer

Happy the lab'rer in his Sunday clothes!
In light-drab coat, smart waistcoat, well-darn'd hose,
Andhat upon his head, to church he goes;
As oft, with conscious pride, he downward throws
.....

Jane Austen
A March Day In London

The east wind blows in the street to-day;
The sky is blue, yet the town looks grey.
'Tis the wind of ice, the wind of fire,
Of cold despair and of hot desire,
.....

Amy Levy
Don Juan: Canto The Eleventh

I
When Bishop Berkeley said "there was no matter,"
And proved it--'twas no matter what he sald:
They say his system 'tis in vain to batter,
.....

George Gordon Byron
The Elder Brother.

Centrick, in London noise, and London follies,
Proud Covent Garden blooms, in smoky glory;
For chairmen, coffee-rooms, piazzas, dollies,
Cabbages, and comedians, fame'd in story!
.....

George Colman
London In July

What ails my senses thus to cheat?
What is it ails the place,
That all the people in the street
Should wear one woman's face?
.....

Amy Levy
Ode To Rae Wilson Esq.

A WANDERER, Wilson, from my native land,
Remote, O Rae, from godliness and thee,
Where rolls between us the eternal sea,
Besides some furlongs of a foreign sand,â??
.....

Thomas Hood
The Rush To London

Youâ??re off away to London now,
Where no one dare ignore you,
With Southern laurels on your brow,
And all the world before you.
.....

Henry Lawson
In Hospital

Under the shadow of a hawthorn brake,
Where bluebells draw the sky down to the wood,
Where, 'mid brown leaves, the primroses awake
And hidden violets smell of solitude;
.....

Edith Nesbit
On The University Carrier

Who sickened in the time of his Vacancy, being forbid to go to London by reason of the Plague.


Here lies old Hobson. Death hath broke his girt,
.....

John Milton
Absence

My shadow --
I woke to a wind swirling the curtains light and dark
and the birds twittering on the roofs, I lay cold
in the early light in my room high over London.
.....

Edwin Morgan