POVERTY POEMS

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A Sunday Morning Tragedy

I bore a daughter flower-fair,
In Pydel Vale, alas for me;
I joyed to mother one so rare,
But dead and gone I now would be.
.....

Thomas Hardy
Infirmities

Because my teeth are feebly few
I cannot bolt my grub like you,
But have to chew and chew and chew
As you can see;
.....

Robert Service
Hymn To Adversity

Daughter of Jove, relentless Power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge and tort'ring hour
The Bad affright, afflict the Best!
.....

Thomas Gray
Ode On A Distant Prospect Of Eton College

Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the watery glade,
Where grateful Science still adores
Her Henry's holy shade;
.....

Thomas Gray
Sonnet 040: Take All My Loves, My Love, Yea, Take Them All

Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all;
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;
All mine was thine, before thou hadst this more.
.....

William Shakespeare
Sonnet 103: Alack, What Poverty My Muse Brings Forth

Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth,
That having such a scope to show her pride,
The argument all bare is of more worth
Than when it hath my added praise beside.
.....

William Shakespeare
The Deserted Village

Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheered the labouring swain,
Where smiling spring its earliest visits paid,
And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed:
.....

Oliver Goldsmith
To Wordsworth

Poet of Nature, thou hast wept to know
That things depart which never may return:
Childhood and youth, friendship and love's first glow,
Have fled like sweet dreams, leaving thee to mourn.
.....

Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Dungeon

And this place our forefathers made for man!
This is the process of our love and wisdom,
To each poor brother who offends against us-
Most innocent, perhaps-and what if guilty?
.....

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Resolution And Independence

There was a roaring in the wind all night;
The rain came heavily and fell in floods;
But now the sun is rising calm and bright;
The birds are singing in the distant woods;
.....

William Wordsworth
Simon Lee: The Old Huntsman

With an incident in which he was concerned

In the sweet shire of Cardigan,
Not far from pleasant Ivor-hall,
.....

William Wordsworth
The Habit Of Perfection

Elected Silence, sing to me
And beat upon my whorlèd ear,
Pipe me to pastures still and be
The music that I care to hear.
.....

Gerard Manley Hopkins
Holy Thursday (experience)

Is this a holy thing to see.
In a rich and fruitful land.
Babes reduced to misery.
Fed with cold and usurous hand?
.....

William Blake
Religio Laici

Dim, as the borrow'd beams of moon and stars
To lonely, weary, wand'ring travellers,
Is reason to the soul; and as on high,
Those rolling fires discover but the sky
.....

John Dryden
Because ’twas Riches I Could Own

1093

Because 'twas Riches I could own,
Myself had earned it-Me,
.....

Emily Dickinson
I Play At Riches—to Appease

801

I play at Riches-to appease
The Clamoring for Gold-
.....

Emily Dickinson
None Can Experience Sting

771

None can experience sting
Who Bounty-have not known-
.....

Emily Dickinson
Publication—is The Auction

709

Publication-is the Auction
Of the Mind of Man-
.....

Emily Dickinson
Take All Away From Me, But Leave Me Ecstasy

1640

Take all away from me, but leave me Ecstasy,
And I am richer then than all my Fellow Men-
.....

Emily Dickinson
This Was A Poet—it Is That

448

This was a Poet-It is That
Distills amazing sense
.....

Emily Dickinson
Tis So Much Joy! ’tis So Much Joy!

172

'Tis so much joy! 'Tis so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
.....

Emily Dickinson
To Try To Speak, And Miss The Way

1617

To try to speak, and miss the way
And ask it of the Tears,
.....

Emily Dickinson
Who Court Obtain Within Himself

803

Who Court obtain within Himself
Sees every Man a King-
.....

Emily Dickinson
Your Riches—taught Me—poverty

299

Your Riches-taught me-Poverty.
Myself-a Millionaire
.....

Emily Dickinson
Beachcomber

When I have come with happy heart to sixty years and ten,
I'll buy a boat and sail away upon a summer sea;
And in a little lonely isle that's far and far from men,
In peace and praise I'll spend the days the Gods allow to me.
.....

Robert Service
Compensation Pete

He used to say: There ain't a doubt
Misfortune is a bitter pill,
But if you only pry it out
You'll find there's good in every ill.
.....

Robert Service
Munition Maker

I am the Cannon King, behold!
I perish on a throne of gold.
With forest far and turret high,
Renowned and rajah-rich am I.
.....

Robert Service
My Brothers

While I make rhymes my brother John
Makes shiny shoes which dames try on,
And finding to their fit and stance
They buy and wear with elegance;
.....

Robert Service
My Neighbors

To rest my fagged brain now and then,
When wearied of my proper labors,
I lay aside my lagging pen
And get to thinking on my neighbors;
.....

Robert Service
My Typewriter

I used to think a pot of ink
Held magic in its fluid,
And I would ply a pen when I
Was hoary a a Druid;
.....

Robert Service
Room 6: The Little Workgirl

Three gentlemen live close beside me-
A painter of pictures bizarre,
A poet whose virtues might guide me,
A singer who plays the guitar;
.....

Robert Service
The Buyers

Father drank himself to death,-
Quite enjoyed it.
Urged to draw a sober breath
He'd avoid it.
.....

Robert Service
The Christmas Tree

In the dark and damp of the alley cold,
Lay the Christmas tree that hadn't been sold;
By a shopman dourly thrown outside;
With the ruck and rubble of Christmas-tide;
.....

Robert Service
Tom Paine

An Englishman was Thomas Paine
Who bled for liberty;
But while his fight was far from vain
He died in poverty:
.....

Robert Service
For A’ That And A’ That

Is there, for honest poverty,
That hings his head, an' a' that?
The coward slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
.....

Robert Burns
The Odyssey: Book 14

Ulysses now left the haven, and took the rough track up through
the wooded country and over the crest of the mountain till he
reached the place where Minerva had said that he would find the
swineherd, who was the most thrifty servant he had. He found him
.....

Homer
Metamorphoses: Book 08

Now shone the morning star in bright array,
To vanquish night, and usher in the day:
The wind veers southward, and moist clouds arise,
That blot with shades the blue meridian skies.
.....

Ovid
Metamorphoses: Book 13

The chiefs were set; the soldiers crown'd the
field:
To these the master of the seven-fold shield
Upstarted fierce: and kindled with disdain.
.....

Ovid
A Dream Of Whitman Paraphrased, Recognized And Made More Vivid By Renoir

Twenty-eight naked young women bathed by the shore
Or near the bank of a woodland lake
Twenty-eight girls and all of them comely
Worthy of Mack Sennett's camera and Florenz Ziegfield's
.....

Delmore Schwartz
For The One Who Would Take Man’s Life In His Hands

Tiger Christ unsheathed his sword,
Threw it down, became a lamb.
Swift spat upon the species, but
Took two women to his heart.
.....

Delmore Schwartz
Phoenix Lyrics

I

If nature is life, nature is death:
It is winter as it is spring:
.....

Delmore Schwartz
The Poet

The riches of the poet are equal to his poetry
His power is his left hand
It is idle weak and precious
His poverty is his wealth, a wealth which may destroy him
.....

Delmore Schwartz
Paradise Regained: The Second Book

Meanwhile the new-baptized, who yet remained
At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen
Him whom they heard so late expressly called
Jesus Messiah, Son of God, declared,
.....

John Milton
Samson Agonistes

Of that sort of Dramatic Poem which is call'd Tragedy.


Tragedy, as it was antiently compos'd, hath been ever held the
.....

John Milton
Frederick Douglass

A hush is over all the teeming lists,
And there is pause, a breath-space in the strife;
A spirit brave has passed beyond the mists
And vapors that obscure the sun of life.
.....

Paul Laurence Dunbar
Before The Altar

Before the Altar, bowed, he stands
With empty hands;
Upon it perfumed offerings burn
Wreathing with smoke the sacrificial urn.
.....

Amy Lowell
A Christmas Gift

Alack-A-Day for poverty!
What jewels my mind doth give to thee!

Carved agate stone porphyrogene,
.....

Don Marquis
Tom May’s Death

As one put drunk into the packet-boat
Tom May was hurried hence and did not know't.
But was amazed on the Elysian side,
And with an eye uncertain, gazing wide,
.....

Andrew Marvell
The Simple Line

The secrets of the mind convene splendidly,
Though the mind is meek.
To be aware inwardly
of brain and beauty
.....

Laura (riding) Jackson
Hero And Leander: The First Sestiad

On Hellespont, guilty of true love's blood,
In view and opposite two cities stood,
Sea-borderers, disjoin'd by Neptune's might;
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
.....

Christopher Marlowe
Elizabeth Childers

Dust of my dust,
And dust with my dust,
O, child who died as you entered the world,
Dead with my death!
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
Epilogue

(The graveyard of Spoon River. Two voices are heard behind a
screen decorated with diabolical and angelic figures in
various allegorical relations. A faint light shows dimly
through the screen as if it were woven of leaves, branches
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
Hod Putt

Here I lie close to the grave
Of Old Bill Piersol,
Who grew rich trading with the Indians, and who
Afterwards took the Bankrupt Law
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
John Wasson

Oh! the dew-wet grass of the meadow in North Carolina
Through which Rebecca followed me wailing, wailing,
One child in her arms, and three that ran along wailing,
Lengthening out the farewell to me off to the war with the British,
.....

Edgar Lee Masters
Karma

I

We cannot choose our sorrows. One there was
Who, reverent of soul, and strong with trust,
.....

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Little Girls

Whether you frolic with comrade boys,
Or sit at your studies, or play with toys,
Whatever your station, or place, or sphere,
For just one purpose God sent you here;
.....

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The Forecast

It may be that I dreamed a dream; it may be that I saw
The forecast of a time to come by some supernal law.

I seemed to dwell in this same world, and in this modern time;
.....

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Worthy The Name Of ‘sir Knight’

Sir Knight of the world's oldest order,
Sir Knight of the Army of God,
You have crossed the strange mystical border,
The ground-floor of truth you have trod;
.....

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Humanitad

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
O Poverty! Though From Thy Haggard Eye

O, Poverty! though from thy haggard eye,
Thy cheerless mien, of every charm bereft,
Thy brow that Hope's last traces long have left,
Vain Fortune's feeble sons with terror fly;
.....

William Lisle Bowles