LONDON POEMS

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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
A Wife In London

December 1899

I

.....

Thomas Hardy
Written In The Prospect Of Death

Sad solitary Thought, who keep'st thy vigils.
Thy solemn vigils, in the sick man's mind;
Communing lonely with his sinking soul,
And musing on the dubious glooms that lie
.....

Henry Kirk White
East London

'Twas August, and the fierce sun overhead
Smote on the squalid streets of Bethnal Green,
And the pale weaver, through his windows seen
In Spitalfields, looked thrice dispirited.
.....

Matthew Arnold
Waring

I

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

Robert Browning
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
The Bard

“Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!
Confusion on thy banners wait!
Tho' fanned by Conquest's crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle state.
.....

Thomas Gray
This Lime-tree Bower My Prison

[Addressed to Charles Lamb, of the India House, London]

In the June of 1797 some long-expected friends paid a visit
to the author's cottage; and on the morning of their arrival,
.....

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Extempore Effusion Upon The Death Of James Hogg

When first, descending from the moorlands,
I saw the Stream of Yarrow glide
Along a bare and open valley,
The Ettrick Shepherd was my guide.
.....

William Wordsworth
London, 1802

Milton! thou should'st be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
.....

William Wordsworth
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
Written In London. September, 1802

O Friend! I know not which way I must look
For comfort, being, as I am, opprest,
To think that now our life is only drest
For show; mean handy-work of craftsman, cook,
.....

William Wordsworth
Four Quartets 1: Burnt Norton

I

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
.....

T. S. Eliot
Gerontion

Thou hast nor youth nor age
But as it were an after dinner sleep
Dreaming of both.

.....

T. S. Eliot
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
Portrait D’une Femme

Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea,
London has swept about you this score years
And bright ships left you this or that in fee:
Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things,
.....

Ezra Pound
Song In The Manner Of Housman

O woe, woe,
People are born and die,
We also shall be dead pretty soon
Therefore let us act as if we were
.....

Ezra Pound
Elegy I: Jealousy

Fond woman, which wouldst have thy husband die,
And yet complain'st of his great jealousy;
If swol'n with poison, he lay in his last bed,
His body with a sere-bark covered,
.....

John Donne
Holy Thursday (innocence)

Twas on a Holy Thursday their innocent faces clean
The children walking two & two in red & blue & green
Grey headed beadles walked before with wands as white as snow
Till into the high dome of Pauls they like Thames waters flow
.....

William Blake
London

I wander thro' each charter'd street.
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow
A mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
.....

William Blake
Fellow Citizens

I drank musty ale at the Illinois Athletic Club with
the millionaire manufacturer of Green River butter
one night
And his face had the shining light of an old-time Quaker,
.....

Carl Sandburg
In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen

Five-and-twenty years have gone
Since old William pollexfen
Laid his strong bones down in death
By his wife Elizabeth
.....

William Butler Yeats
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
Vacillation

I

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

William Butler Yeats
Benedictio Domini

Without, the sullen noises of the street!
The voice of London, inarticulate,
Hoarse and blaspheming, surges in to meet
The silent blessing of the Immaculate.
.....

Ernest Dowson
Soli Cantare Periti Arcades

Oh, I would live in a dairy,
And its Colin I would be,
And many a rustic fairy
Should churn the milk with me.
.....

Ernest Dowson
Locksley Hall

Comrades, leave me here a little, while as yet ‘t is early morn:
Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle-horn.

‘T is the place, and all around it, as of old, the curlews call,
.....

Alfred Lord Tennyson
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
The Medal

Of all our antic sights and pageantry
Which English idiots run in crowds to see,
The Polish Medal bears the prize alone;
A monster, more the favourite of the town
.....

John Dryden
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
Mazie’s Ghost

In London City I evade
For charming Burlington Arcade-
For thee in youth I met a maid
By name of Mazie,
.....

Robert Service
My Son

I must not let my boy Dick down,
Knight of the air.
With wings of light he won renown
Then crashed somewhere.
.....

Robert Service
Rivera Honeymoon

Beneath the trees I lounged at ease
And watched them speed the pace;
They swerved and swung, they clutched and clung,
They leapt in roaring chase;
.....

Robert Service
Shiela

When I played my penny whistle on the braes above Lochgyle
The heather bloomed about us, and we heard the peewit call;
As you bent above your knitting something fey was in your smile,
And fine and soft and slow the rain made silver on your shawl.
.....

Robert Service
Stowaway

We'd left the sea-gulls long behind,
And we were almost in mid-ocean;
The sky was soft and blue and kind,
The boat had scarcely any motion;
.....

Robert Service
The Ballad Of The Black Fox Skin

I

There was Claw-fingered Kitty and Windy Ike living the life of shame,
When unto them in the Long, Long Night came the man-who-had-no-name;
.....

Robert Service
The Ballad Of The Ice-worm Cocktail

To Dawson Town came Percy Brown from London on the Thames.
A pane of glass was in his eye, and stockings on his stems.
Upon the shoulder of his coat a leather pad he wore,
To rest his deadly rifle when it wasn't seeking gore;
.....

Robert Service
The Death Of Marie Toro

We're taking Marie Toro to her home in Père-La-Chaise;
We're taking Marie Toro to her last resting-place.
Behold! her hearse is hung with wreaths till everything is hid
Except the blossoms heaping high upon her coffin lid.
.....

Robert Service
The Locket

From out her shabby rain-coat pocket
The little Jew girl in the train
Produced a dinted silver locket
With pasted in it portraits twain.
.....

Robert Service
The Rhyme Of The Remittance Man

There's a four-pronged buck a-swinging in the shadow of my cabin,
And it roamed the velvet valley till to-day;
But I tracked it by the river, and I trailed it in the cover,
And I killed it on the mountain miles away.
.....

Robert Service
The Younger Son

If you leave the gloom of London and you seek a glowing land,
Where all except the flag is strange and new,
There's a bronzed and stalwart fellow who will grip you by the hand,
And greet you with a welcome warm and true;
.....

Robert Service
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
Now He Knows All There Is To Know. Now He Is Acquainted With The Day And Night

(Robert Frost, 1875-1963)

Whose wood this is I think I know:
He made it sacred long ago:
.....

Delmore Schwartz
As Through The Wild Green Hills Of Wyre

As through the wild green hills of Wyre
The train ran, changing sky and shire,
And far behind, a fading crest,
Low in the forsaken west
.....

A. E. Housman
Clunton And Clunbury

Clunton and Clunbury,
Clungunford and Clun,
Are the quietest places
Under the sun.
.....

A. E. Housman
Far In A Western Brookland

Far in a western brookland
That bred me long ago
The poplars stand and tremble
By pools I used to know.
.....

A. E. Housman
In My Own Shire, If I Was Sad

In my own shire, if I was sad,
Homely comforters I had:
The earth, because my heart was sore,
Sorrowed for the son she bore;
.....

A. E. Housman
On The University Carrier Who Sickn’d In The Time Of His Vacancy, Being Forbid To Go To London

Here lies old Hobson, Death hath broke his girt,
And here alas, hath laid him in the dirt,
Or els the ways being foul, twenty to one,
He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
.....

John Milton
Mr. And Mrs. Spikky Sparrow

I

On a little piece of wood,
Mr. Spikky Sparrow stood;
.....

Edward Lear
A London Thoroughfare. 2 A.m.

They have watered the street,
It shines in the glare of lamps,
Cold, white lamps,
And lies
.....

Amy Lowell
The Exeter Road

Panels of claret and blue which shine
Under the moon like lees of wine.
A coronet done in a golden scroll,
And wheels which blunder and creak as they roll
.....

Amy Lowell
Four Charades

1

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

Christina Rossetti
Dickens

“The only book that the party had was a volume of Dickens.
During the six months that they lay in the cave which they
had hacked in the ice, waiting for spring to come, they read
this volume through again and again.”-From a
.....

Don Marquis
The Piltdown Skull

What was his life, back yonder
In the dusk where time began,
This beast uncouth with the jaw of an ape
And the eye and brain of a man?-
.....

Don Marquis
Last Instructions To A Painter

After two sittings, now our Lady State
To end her picture does the third time wait.
But ere thou fall'st to work, first, Painter, see
If't ben't too slight grown or too hard for thee.
.....

Andrew Marvell
The Barrel-organ

There's a barrel-organ carolling across a golden street
In the City as the sun sinks low;
And the music's not immortal; but the world has made it sweet
And fulfilled it with the sunset glow;
.....

Alfred Noyes
Orinda To Lucasia Parting October 1661 At London

Adieu dear object of my Love's excess,
And with thee all my hopes of happiness,
With the same fervent and unchanged heart
Which did it's whole self once to thee impart,
.....

Katherine Philips
Jinny The Just

Releas'd from the noise of the butcher and baker
Who, my old friends be thanked, did seldom forsake her,
And from the soft duns of my landlord the Quaker,

.....

Matthew Prior
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
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