ROTTEN POEMS

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Moonlight

We stood among the boats and nets . . .
We marked the risen moon
Walk swaying o'er the trembling seas
As one sways in a swoon;
.....
Don Marquis

Don Marquis
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

Siegfried Sassoon
The Flower And The Leaf: Or, The Lady In The Arbour.[1]

A VISION.


Now turning from the wintry signs, the sun,
.....
John Dryden

John Dryden
Prelude

(From _The Shepherd's Hunting_)

Seest thou not, in clearest days,
Oft thick fogs cloud Heaven's rays?
.....
George Wither

George Wither
Strayed Crab

This is not my home. How did I get so far from water? It must
be over that way somewhere.
I am the color of wine, of tinta. The inside of my powerful
right claw is saffron-yellow. See, I see it now; I wave it like a
.....

Elizabeth Bishop
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
Hope Forlorn

Truly de-jure my blood shalt be mine
Love you miss you my life be thine
Romping around i once bounced over glad
Baba Baba knee high to a grassblade
.....
Aejaz Mehboobi

Aejaz Mehboobi
Worms

Worms finer for fishing you couldn't be wishing;
I delved them dismayed from the velvety sod;
The rich loam upturning I gathered them squirming,
big, fat, gleamy earthworms, all ripe for my rod.
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
To Whom It May Concern

Your soul is a dead chicken lying on a city dump,
Inert and limp and sprawling,
Amid a rotten chaos of inassortable remnants,
Of rain-soaked whisky-cartons and soiled brassieres and worn-out tires and Sunday suits full of defunct moths
.....

Clark Ashton Smith
Jezreel

On Its Seizure By The English Under Allenby, September 1918

Did they catch as it were in a Vision at shut of the day-
When their cavalry smote through the ancient Esdraelon Plain,
.....
Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy
Chinar Tree

CHINAR TREE

Deep rooted; strong and tall
Its cool shade beats all
.....
Mohammad Younus

Mohammad Younus
A Man And His Image

All day the nations climb and crawl and pray
In one long pilgrimage to one white shrine,
Where sleeps a saint whose pardon, like his peace,
Is wide as death, as common, as divine.
.....
G. K. Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton
The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

Just now the lilac is in bloom,
All before my little room;
And in my flower-beds, I think,
Smile the carnation and the pink;
.....
Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke
Ode To Silence

Aye, but she?
Your other sister and my other soul
Grave Silence, lovelier
Than the three loveliest maidens, what of her?
.....
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Lie

Go, Soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant:
.....

Sir Walter Raleigh
Veruca Salt, The Little Brute

'Veruca Salt, the little brute,
Has just gone down the garbage chute,
(And as we very rightly thought
That in a case like this we ought
.....

Roald Dahl
The Ballad Of Salvation Bill

'Twas in the bleary middle of the hard-boiled Arctic night,
I was lonesome as a loon, so if you can,
Imagine my emotions of amazement and delight
When I bumped into that Missionary Man.
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Antrim

No spot of earth where men have so fiercely for ages of time
Fought and survived and cancelled each other,
Pict and Gael and Dane, McQuillan, Clandonnel, O'Neill,
Savages, the Scot, the Norman, the English,
.....

Robinson Jeffers
Rainy Night

The day is ruined. The sky is drunk.
Like false pearls, little stumps
Of chopped up light lie around and reveal
A glimpse of streets, a few clumps of houses.
.....

Alfred Lichtenstein
That Day

It got beyond all orders an' it got beyond all 'ope;
It got to shammin' wounded an' retirin' from the 'alt.
'Ole companies was lookin' for the nearest road to slope;
It were just a bloomin' knock-out -- an' our fault!
.....
Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling
Crabs

(On a Queensland Beach)

Poisonous, bloated, crab-like shapes
Crawl in gangs around these capes-
.....
Arthur Bayldon

Arthur Bayldon
Cinderella

I guess you think you know this story.
You don't. The real one's much more gory.
The phoney one, the one you know,
Was cooked up years and years ago,
.....

Roald Dahl
The Petition Of Tom Dermody To The Three Fates In Council Sitting

Right rigorous, and so forth! Humbled
By cares and mourning, tost and tumbled,
Before your Ladyships, Tom Fool,
Knowing above the rest you rule,
.....

Thomas Dermody
The Shepheardes Calender: December

December: Ã?gloga Duodecima.

He gentle shepheard satte beside a springe,
All in the shadowe of a bushy brere,
.....
Edmund Spenser

Edmund Spenser
The Furies

Not a third that walks beside me,
But five or six or more.
Whether at dusk or daybreak
Or at blinding noon, a retinue
.....

Weldon Kees
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

Thomas Hood
Chillingham

I
Through the sunny garden
The humming bees are still;
The fir climbs the heather,
.....

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
The Ants

What wonder strikes the curious, while he views
The black ant's city, by a rotten tree,
Or woodland bank! In ignorance we muse:
Pausing, annoyed,--we know not what we see,
.....
John Clare

John Clare
The Last Suttee

Not many years ago a King died in one of the Rajpoot States.
His wives, disregarding the orders of the English against Suttee,
would have broken out of the palace had not the gates been barred.
But one of them, disguised as the King's favourite dancing-girl,
.....
Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling
A Secret Gratitude

1
She cleaned house, and then lay down long
On the long stair.

.....

James Arlington Wright
Tannhauser

To my mother. May, 1870.


The Landgrave Hermann held a gathering
.....
Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus
The Breath Of Night

The moon rises. The red cubs rolling
In the ferns by the rotten oak
Stare over a marsh and a meadow
To the farm's white wisp of smoke.
.....

Randall Jarrell
On Sharing A Husband

Screw the fate that makes you share a man.
One cuddles under cotton blankets; the other's cold.

Every now and then, well, maybe or maybe not,
.....

Ho Xuan Huong
Queens

Seven dog-days we let pass
Naming Queens in Glenmacnass,
All the rare and royal names
Wormy sheepskin yet retains,
.....
J. M. Synge

J. M. Synge
Ignoto

I love thee not for sacred chastity.
Who loves for that? nor for thy sprightly wit:
I love thee not for thy sweet modesty,
Which makes thee in perfection's throne to sit.
.....
Christopher Marlowe

Christopher Marlowe
Sonnet Xxxiv

Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way,
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?
.....
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
The Fire

Near the house flowed, or paused, the black Canal,
Edged by the timber piles so black and tall.
From the rotten fence I watched the horses pull
Along the footpath, slow and beautiful,
.....

John Freeman
Ouija

It is a chilly god, a god of shades,
Rises to the glass from his black fathoms.
At the window, those unborn, those undone
Assemble with the frail paleness of moths,
.....

Sylvia Plath
Playmates

It's sixty years ago, the people say:
Two village children, neighbours born and bred,
One morning played beneath a rotten tree
That came down crash and caught them as they fled;
.....

Ralph Hodgson
Poems From "a Shropshire Lad" - Xxxv

On the idle hill of summer,
Sleepy with the flow of streams,
Far I hear the steady drummer
Drumming like a noise in dreams.
.....

Alfred Edward Housman
Paterson

What do I want in these rooms papered with visions of money?
How much can I make by cutting my hair? If I put new heels on my shoes,
bathe my body reeking of masturbation and sweat, layer upon layer of excrement
dried in employment bureaus, magazine hallways, statistical cubicles, factory stairways,
.....

Allen Ginsberg
Music

I
MUSIC, on the air's edge, rides alone,
Plumed like empastured Caesars of the sky
With a god's helmet; now, in the gold dye
.....

Kenneth Slessor
Of Judgement

As 'tis appointed men should die,
So judgment is the next
That meets them most assuredly;
For so saith holy text.
.....
John Bunyan

John Bunyan
To Hope

OH come, thou power divine,
Thou lovely spirit with the wings of light,
And let thy dewy eyes
Shed their sweet influences on my soul;
.....

Mathilde Blind
History

What wrecked the Roman power? One says vice,
Another indolence, another dice.
Emascle says polygamy. 'Not so,'
Says Impycu-''twas luxury and show.'
.....

Ambrose Bierce
The Farewell

BENT o'er his sabre, torrents starting
From his dim eyes, the bold hussar
Thus greets his cherish'd maid, while parting
For distant fields of war:
.....

Konstantin Nikolaevich Batiushkov
Biography

When I am buried, all my thoughts and acts
Will be reduced to lists of dates and facts,
And long before this wandering flesh is rotten
The dates which made me will be all forgotten;
.....
John Masefield

John Masefield
Counter-attack

We'd gained our first objective hours before
While dawn broke like a face with blinking eyes,
Pallid, unshaved and thirsty, blind with smoke.
Things seemed all right at first. We held their line,
.....
Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon
Under The Surface

AY, smile as you will, with your saintly face!
But I know the line
Of your guard is as weak as a maze of lace:
You may give no signâ??
.....

John Boyle O'reilly
Ah Ling, The Leper

UP a dark and fetid alley, where the offal and the slime
Of a brave and blusterous city met its misery and crime,
In a hovel reeking pestilence, and noisome as the grave,
Dwelt Ah Ling, the Chinese joiner, and the sweaterâ??s willing slave.
.....

Edward George Dyson