SKULL POEMS

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Jobson's Amen

"Blessed be the English and all their ways and works.
Cursed be the Infidels, Hereticks, and Turks!"
"Amen," quo' Jobson, "but where I used to lie
Was neither Candle, Bell nor Book to curse my brethren by,
.....
Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling
The Winner

The hulk of a man with a beer in his hand looked like a drunk old fool,
And I knew that if I hit him right, I could knock him off that stool.
But everybody said, 'Watch out, that's Tiger Man McCool.
He's had a whole lot of fights, and he always come out the winner.
.....
Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein
The Cup Of Joy

Let us mix a cup of Joy
That the wretched may employ,
Whom the Fates have made their toy.

.....
Madison Julius Cawein

Madison Julius Cawein
Listen...

There is a knocking in the skull,
An endless silent shout
Of something beating on a wall,
And crying, â??Let me out!â?
.....

Ogden Nash
Brothers

See! There he stands; not brave, but with an air
Of sullen stupor. Mark him well! Is he
Not more like brute than man? Look in his eye!
No light is there; none, save the glint that shines
.....
James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson
Prejudice

IN yonder red-brick mansion, tight and square,
Just at the town's commencement, lives the mayor.
Some yards of shining gravel, fenced with box,
Lead to the painted portal--where one knocks :
.....

Jane Taylor
Landing On The Moon

When in the mask of night there shone that cut,
we were riddled. A probe reached down
and stroked some nerve in us,
as if the glint from a wizard's eye, of silver,
.....

May Swenson
Premonition

'Twas a year ago and the moon was bright
(Oh, I remember so well, so well);
I walked with my love in a sea of light,
And the voice of my sweet was a silver bell.
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Birth-night Of The Humming Birds

I.

I'll tell you a Fairy Tale that's new:
How the merry Elves o'er the ocean flew
.....

Sam G. Goodrich
The Surf Sprite

I.

In the far off sea there is many a sprite,
Who rests by day, but awakes at night.
.....

Sam G. Goodrich
Fragment Of 'the Castle Builder.'

To-night I'll have my friar -- let me think
About my room, -- I'll have it in the pink;
It should be rich and sombre, and the moon,
Just in its mid-life in the midst of June,
.....
John Keats

John Keats
Hyperion: Book Ii

Just at the self-same beat of Time's wide wings
Hyperion slid into the rustled air,
And Saturn gain'd with Thea that sad place
Where Cybele and the bruised Titans mourn'd.
.....
John Keats

John Keats
History

History has to live with what was here,
clutching and close to fumbling all we had--
it is so dull and gruesome how we die,
unlike writing, life never finishes.
.....

Robert Lowell
To A Black Gin

Daughter of Eve, draw nearâ??I would behold thee.
Good Heavens! Could ever arm of man enfold thee?
Did the same Nature that made Phryne mould thee?

.....

James Brunton Stephens
Penance

"Why do you sit, O pale thin man,
At the end of the room
By that harpsichord, built on the quaint old plan?
It is cold as a tomb,
.....
Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy
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

Robert Service
Psalm

It is a light, that the wind has extinguished.
It is a pub on the heath, that a drunk departs in the afternoon.
It is a vineyard, charred and black with holes full of spiders.
It is a space, that they have white-limed with milk.
.....

Georg Trakl
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

Edwin Arlington Robinson
My Favoured Fare

Some poets sing of scenery;
Some to fair maids make sonnets sweet.
A fig for love and greenery,
Be mine a song of things to eat.
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
The Ballad Of The Battle Of Gibeon

Five kings rule o'er the Amorite,
Mighty as fear and old as night;
Swathed with unguent and gold and jewel,
Waxed they merry and fat and cruel.
.....
G. K. Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton
Up At A Villa--down In The City

Had I but plenty of money, money enough and to spare,
The house for me, no doubt, were a house in the city-square;
Ah, such a life, such a life, as one leads at the window there!

.....
Robert Browning

Robert Browning
The Jesters

A toast to the Fools!
Pierrot, Pantaloon,
Harlequin, Clown,
Merry-Andrew, Buffoon-
.....
Don Marquis

Don Marquis
Fragment Of

To-night I'll have my friar -- let me think
About my room, -- I'll have it in the pink;
It should be rich and sombre, and the moon,
Just in its mid-life in the midst of June,
.....
John Keats

John Keats
Zone

At last you're tired of this elderly world

Shepherdess O Eiffel Tower this morning the bridges are bleating

.....
Guillaume Apollinaire

Guillaume Apollinaire
Go Greyhound

A few hours after Des Moines
the toilet overflowed.
This wasn't the adventure it sounds.

.....

Bob Hicok
Play Again

Late in 1962 New York newspapers reported the story of a nine-year-
old child being raped on a roof, and hurled twenty stories to the
ground.

.....

David Ignatow
Lines Written Among The Euganean Hills

Many a green isle needs must be
In the deep wide sea of Misery,
Or the mariner, worn and wan,
Never thus could voyage on-
.....
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Anhelli - Chapter 11

e hymn of the tombs,
complaining, as it were a complaint of the ashes to God.

But as soon as the groans arose,
.....

Juliusz Slowacki
Up At A Villa' Down In The City

(As Distinguished by an Italian Person of Quality)

I

.....
Robert Browning

Robert Browning
The Shrike

When night comes black
Such royal dreams beckon this man
As lift him apart
From his earth-wife's side
.....

Sylvia Plath
The Odyssey: Book 18

Now there came a certain common tramp who used to go begging all
over the city of Ithaca, and was notorious as an incorrigible
glutton and drunkard. This man had no strength nor stay in him, but he
was a great hulking fellow to look at; his real name, the one his
.....

Homer
The Mississippi

I.

Far in the West, where snow-capt mountains rise,
Like marble shafts beneath Heaven's stooping dome,
.....

Sam G. Goodrich
The Society Upon The Stanislaus

I reside at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James;
I am not up to small deceit or any sinful games;
And I'll tell in simple language what I know about the row
That broke up our Society upon the Stanislow.
.....
Bret Harte

Bret Harte
The Boy And The Mantle

In Carleile dwelt King Arthur,
A prince of passing might;
And there maintain'd his Table Round,
Beset with many a knight.
.....

Anonymous Olde English
The Iliad: Book 08

Now when Morning, clad in her robe of saffron, had begun to suffuse
light over the earth, Jove called the gods in council on the topmost
crest of serrated Olympus. Then he spoke and all the other gods gave
ear. “Hear me,” said he, “gods and goddesses, that I may speak even as
.....

Homer
A Te Deum

Now let me praise the Lord,
The Lord, the Maker of all!
I will praise Him on timbrel and chord;
Will praise Him, whatever befall.
.....

Alfred Austin
At Delphi

I
Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!

II
.....

Alfred Austin
The Family Fool

Oh! a private buffoon is a light-hearted loon,
If you listen to popular rumour;
From morning to night he's so joyous and bright,
And he bubbles with wit and good humour!
.....

William Schwenck Gilbert
Hudibras: Part 1 - Canto I

THE ARGUMENT

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

Samuel Butler
Artificer

Burning, he walks in the stream of flickering letters, clarinets,
machines throbbing quicker than the heart, lopped-off heads, silk
canvases, and he stops under the sky

.....

Czeslaw Milosz
Intrigue

THOU art my love
And thou art the peace of sundown
When the blue shadows soothe
And the grasses and the leaves sleep
.....
Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane
Love And Black Magic

To the woods, to the woods is the wizard gone;
In his grotto the maiden sits alone.
She gazes up with a weary smile
At the rafter-hanging crocodile,
.....
Robert Graves

Robert Graves
Hornets

How strangely like a churchyard skull
The thing that's there amongst the leaves!

A Hornets' nest; but stir the branch
.....
Padraic Colum

Padraic Colum
Yorick

Hard by an excavated street one sat
In solitary session on the sand;
And ever and anon he spake and spat
And spake again-a yellow skull in hand,
.....

Ambrose Bierce
Lake

Maidenly lake, fathomless lake,
Stay as you were once, overgrown with rushes,
Idling with a reflected cloud, for my sake
Whom your shore no longer touches.
.....

Czeslaw Milosz
Phantasmagoria Canto Iv ( Hys Nouryture )

"OH, when I was a little Ghost,
A merry time had we!
Each seated on his favourite post,
We chumped and chawed the buttered toast
.....
Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll
They All Want To Play Hamlet

They all want to play Hamlet.
They have not exactly seen their fathers killed
Nor their mothers in a frame-up to kill,
Nor an Ophelia lying with dust gagging the heart,
.....
Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg
Poem - Iii

Through the dark aisles of the wood
Where the pine-needles deaden all sound
And the dove flutters in the black boughs

.....

Henry Treece
To Englishmen

You flung your taunt across the wave;
We bore it as became us,
Well knowing that the fettered slave
Left friendly lips no option save
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier