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We Who Stay At Home

When you were just our little boy, on many a night we crept
Unto your cot and watched o'er you, and all the time you slept.
We tucked the covers round your form and smoothed your pillow, too,
And sometimes stooped and kissed your cheeks, but that you never knew.
Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest
A Cabbage Patch

Folk ask if I'm alive,
Most think I'm not;
Yet gaily I contrive
To till my plot.
Robert Service

Robert Service

The chapel looms against the sky,
Above the vine-clad shelves,
And as the peasants pass it by
They cross themselves.
Robert Service

Robert Service
The Secret People

Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget.
For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet.
There is many a fat farmer that drinks less cheerfully,
There is many a free French peasant who is richer and sadder than we.
G. K. Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton
Absalom And Achitophel

In pious times, ere priest-craft did begin,
Before polygamy was made a sin;
When man, on many, multipli'd his kind,
Ere one to one was cursedly confin'd:
John Dryden

John Dryden
Depression In Early Spring

Meathooks, notebooks,
the whole city sky palely flaming
& spectral bombs
hitting that patch of river

Erica Jong


Said Abner, ``At last thou art come! Ere I tell, ere thou speak,
``Kiss my cheek, wish me well!'' Then I wished it, and did kiss his cheek.
Robert Browning

Robert Browning
A Friend's Greeting

DIAMONDS wouldn't tell yer all I really think of you,
The costliest gift the goldsmith makes I'm sure would never do.
There's nothing known that gold can buy that I could ever send
That could explain how glad I am to have yer fer a friend.
Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest
The Man With The Blue Guitar

as green.

They said, 'You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.'

Wallace Stevens
The Ballad Of Blasphemous Bill

I took a contract to bury the body of blasphemous Bill MacKie,
Whenever, wherever or whatsoever the manner of death he die-
Whether he die in the light o' day or under the peak-faced moon;
In cabin or dance-hall, camp or dive, mucklucks or patent shoon;
Robert Service

Robert Service
Last Night

Where were you last night? I watched at the gate;
I went down early, I stayed down late.
Were you snug at home, I should like to know,
Or were you in the coppice wheedling Kate?
Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti
Gone With A Handsomer Man.


I've worked in the field all day, a-plowin' the "stony streak;"
I've scolded my team till I'm hoarse; I've tramped till my legs are weak;

Will Carleton
The Sundays Of Satin-legs Smith

Inamoratas, with an approbation,
Bestowed his title. Blessed his inclination.

He wakes, unwinds, elaborately: a cat

Gwendolyn Brooks
Ezra On The Strike

Wal, Thanksgivin' do be comin' round.
With the price of turkeys on the bound,
And coal, by gum! Thet were just found,
Is surely gettin' cheaper.
Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound
Kail Yard Bard

A very humble pen I ply
Beneath a cottage thatch;
And in the sunny hours I try
To till my cabbage patch;
Robert Service

Robert Service
That Nature Is A Heraclitean Fire And Of The Comfort Of The Resurrection

Cloud-puffball, torn tufts, tossed pillows ‘flaunt forth, then chevy on an air-
built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs' they throng; they glitter in marches.
Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, ‘wherever an elm arches,
Shivelights and shadowtackle in long' lashes lace, lance, and pair.
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins
Sheltered Garden

I have had enough.
I gasp for breath.

Every way ends, every road,

H. D.
Branch Library

I wish I could find that skinny, long-beaked boy
who perched in the branches of the old branch library.

He spent the Sabbath flying between the wobbly stacks

Edward Hirsch
Thus The Mayne Glideth

Thus the Mayne glideth
Where my Love abideth;
Sleep 's no softer: it proceeds
On through lawns, on through meads,
Robert Browning

Robert Browning
The Great Yellow River Inundation In China

'Twas in the year of 1887, and on the 28th of September,
Which many people of Honan, in China, will long remember;
Especially those that survived the mighty deluge,
That fled to the mountains, and tops of trees, for refuge.

William Topaz Mcgonagall
The Combat

It was not meant for human eyes,
That combat on the shabby patch
Of clods and trampled turf that lies
Somewhere beneath the sodden skies

Edwin Muir

This day winding down now
At God speeded summer's end
In the torrent salmon sun,
In my seashaken house

Dylan Thomas
Sez You

When the heavy sand is yielding backward from your blistered feet,
And across the distant timber you can SEE the flowing heat;
When your head is hot and aching, and the shadeless plain is wide,
And it's fifteen miles to water in the scrub the other side --
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson

Sometimes in the open you look up
where birds go by, or just nothing,
and wait. A dim feeling comes

William Stafford

At four o'clock
in the gun-metal blue dark
we hear the first crow of the first cock


Elizabeth Bishop
Captain Craig


I doubt if ten men in all Tilbury Town
Had ever shaken hands with Captain Craig,
Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson
The Admiral's Ghost

I tell you a tale to-night
Which a seaman told to me,
With eyes that gleamed in the lanthorn light
And a voice as low as the sea.
Alfred Noyes

Alfred Noyes
The Ice-floes

Dawn from the Foretop! Dawn from the Barrel!
A scurry of feet with a roar overhead;
The master-watch wildly pointing to Northward,
Where the herd in front of The Eagle was spread!
E. J. Pratt

E. J. Pratt
The Keys

Broken ivories
the blue piano
of the sea.

Erica Jong
The Great Adventure Of Max Breuck: 01

A yellow band of light upon the street
Pours from an open door, and makes a wide
Pathway of bright gold across a sheet
Of calm and liquid moonshine. From inside
Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell
Lake Eliza

THE SAND was heavy on our feet,
A Christmas sky was oâ??er us,
And half a mile through dust and heat
Lake â??Liza lay before us.
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson
A Friendly Game Of Football

We were challenged by The Dingoes - they're the pride of Squatter's Gap-
To a friendly game of football on the flat by Devil's Trap.
And we went along on horses, sworn to triumph in the game,
For the honour of Gyp's Diggings, and the glory of the same.

Edward George Dyson
To Laugh Often And Much

To laugh often and much;â?¨
to win the respect of the intelligent peopleâ?¨
and the affection of children;â?¨
to earn the appreciation of honest criticsâ?¨
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The landscape sleeps in mist from morn till noon;
And, if the sun looks through, 'tis with a face
Beamless and pale and round, as if the moon,
When done the journey of her nightly race,
John Clare

John Clare
A Christmas Morning

One of my father's oldest stories:
how when he was a boy growing up
in that town, there were no ponies.
Buggies were gone almost as soon

Jared Carter
St. Thomas


Very fair and full of promise
Bret Harte

Bret Harte
The Totem

Ere the mother's milk had dried
On my lips the Brethren came--
Tore me from my nurse's side,
And bestowed on me a name
Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Walking back to the office after lunch,
I saw Hans. -Mister Isham, Mister Isham,�
He called out in his hurry, -Herr Wegner needs you.
A woman waiting for a border pass

Edgar Bowers

A smudge for the horizon
that, on a clear day, shows
the hard edge of hills and

May Swenson

All is wellâ??in a prisonâ??to-night, and the warders are crying â??Allâ??s Well!â??
I must speak, for the sake of my heartâ??if itâ??s but to the walls of my cell.
For what does it matter to me if to-morrow I go where I will?
Iâ??m as free as I ever shall beâ??there is naught in my life to fulfil.
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson
The Tour

With your bold
Gecko, the little flick!
All cogs, weird sparkle and every cog solid gold.
And I in slippers and housedress with no lipstick!

Sylvia Plath
Robin And Harry

Robin to beggars with a curse,
Throws the last shilling in his purse;
And when the coachman comes for pay,
The rogue must call another day.
Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift
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 Treadmill Song

The stars are rolling in the sky,
The earth rolls on below,
And we can feel the rattling wheel
Revolving as we go.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Still serve me in my age, I pray,
As in my youth, O faithful one;
For years I've brushed thee every day-
Could Socrates have better done?
Eugene Field

Eugene Field
Foma Bobrov And His Spouse

GRANNY Bobrov (Playing patience) Now that's the card. Oh, it's all coming out topsy-turvy! A king. And where am I supposed to put that? Just when you want one, there's never a five around. Oh, I could do with a five! Now it'll be the five. Oh, sod it, another king!

She flings the cards on to the table with such force that a porcelain vase falls off the table and smashes.


Daniil Ivanovich Kharms
Hudibras: Part 1 - Canto I


Sir Hudibras his passing worth,
The manner how he sallied forth;

Samuel Butler
An Etching

A meadow brown; across the yonder edge
A zigzag fence is ambling; here a wedge
Of underbush has cleft its course in twain,
Till where beyond it staggers up again;

Emily Pauline Johnson
Emily Ann

Government muddles, departments dazed,
Fear and confusion wherever he gazed;
Order insulted, authority spurned,
Dread and distraction wherever he turned

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis
An Orchard Dance

All work is over at the farm
And men and maids are ripe for glee;
Love slips among them sly and warm
Or calls them to the chestnut-tree.

Norman Rowland Gale