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The man above was a murderer, the man below was a thief;
And I lay there in the bunk between, ailing beyond belief;
A weary armful of skin and bone, wasted with pain and grief.
The gate, on ice-hoarse hinges, stiff with frost,
Croaks open; and harsh wagon-wheels are heard
Creaking through cold; the horses' breath is furred
Around their nostrils; and with snow deep mossed
Madison Julius Cawein
The Ballad Of Ahmed Shah
This is the ballad of Ahmed Shah
Dealer in tats in the Sudder Bazar,
By the gate that leads to the Gold Minar
How he was done by a youth from Morar.
I say, I am quite done,
quite done with this;
Nearer and ever nearer...
My body, tired but tense,
Hovers 'twixt vague pleasure
And tremulous confidence.
Fall, falling, fallen. That's the way the season
Changes its tense in the long-haired maples
That dot the road; the veiny hand-shaped leaves
Redden on their branches (in a fiery competition
Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels'
hierarchies? and even if one of them suddenly
pressed me against his heart, I would perish
in the embrace of his stronger existence.
Rainer Maria Rilke
I MARK the months in liveries dank and dry,
The day-tides many-shaped and hued;
I see the nightfall shades subtrude,
And hear the monotonous hours clang negligently by.
YES, he was that, or that, as you prefer,â??
Did so and so, though, faith, it was nâ??t all;
Lived like a fool, or a philosopher,
And had whateverâ??s needful to a fall.
To-day the woods are trembling through and through
With shimmering forms, that flash before my view,
Then melt in green as dawn-stars melt in blue.
The leaves that wave against my cheek caress
The Woful Tale Of Mr. Peters
I should like, good friends, to mention the disaster which befell
Mr. William Perry Peters, of the town of Muscatel,
Whose fate is full of meaning, if correctly understood
Admonition to the haughty, consolation to the good.
Guy Of The Temple
Down the dim West slow fails the stricken sun,
And from his hot face fades the crimson flush
Veiled in death's herald-shadows sick and gray.
Silent and dark the sombre valley lies
All the loud winds were in the garden wood,
All shadows joyfuller than lissom hounds
Doubled in chasing, all exultant clouds
That ever flung fierce mist and eddying fire
The Mother Of A Poet
She is too kind, I think, for mortal things,
Too gentle for the gusty ways of earth;
God gave to her a shy and silver mirth,
And made her soul as clear
This Rome, that was the toil of many men,
The consummation of laborious years-
Fulfilment's crown to visions of the dead
And image of the wide desire of kings-
Clark Ashton Smith
From The North
The northern woods are delicately sweet,
The lake is folded softly by the shore,
But I am restless for the subway's roar,
The thunder and the hurrying of feet.
I have been down in a dark valley;
I have been groping through a deep gorge;
Far above, the lips of it were rimmed with moon-
The Ballad Of The Leather Medal
Only a Leather Medal, hanging there on the wall,
Dingy and frayed and faded, dusty and worn and old;
Yet of my humble treasures I value it most of all,
And I wouldn't part with that medal if you gave me its weight in gold.
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;
THE darkness gripped us, hot, intense;
The sea snored like some sleeping brute;
We stood alert, with every sense
Like some leashed hound, nerve-thrilled, acute.
I lay my head sideways on the desk,
My fingers interlocked under my cheekbones,
My eyes closed. It was a three-room schoolhouse,
White, with a small bell tower, an oak tree.
Hyperion: Book I
Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
The Absinthe Drinkers
He's yonder, on the terrace of the Cafe de la Paix,
The little wizened Spanish man, I see him every day.
He's sitting with his Pernod on his customary chair;
He's staring at the passers with his customary stare.
Robert William Service
Phaethon--attempted In Galliambic Measure
At the coming up of Phoebus the all-luminous charioteer,
Double-visaged stand the mountains in imperial multitudes,
And with shadows dappled men sing to him, Hail, O Beneficent!
For they shudder chill, the earth-vales, at his clouding, shudder to
The Long Tunnel Of Wanting You
This is the long tunnel of wanting you.
Its walls are lined with remembered kisses
wet & red as the inside of your mouth,
full & juicy as your probing tongue,
At low tide like this how sheer the water is.
White, crumbling ribs of marl protrude and glare
and the boats are dry, the pilings dry as matches.
Absorbing, rather than being absorbed,
A Garden Idyl
With sagest craft Arachne worked
Her web, and at a corner lurked,
Awaiting what should plump her soon,
To case it in the death-cocoon.
Beauty is One. But that so equal gold,
Run in the apt and kindly difference
Of each receptive and significant sense,
Configures to our many-minded mould.
Sydney Thompson Dobell
The Conscientious Objector
The gates clanged and they walked you into jail
More tense than felons but relieved to find
The hostile world shut out, the flags that dripped
From every motherâ??s windowpane, obscene
LESBIA'S daughter, I shall tell no lie,
Here's no fit amber for such a dainty fly.
Let them embalm your beauty whoso can
In boastful odes, I'm a more honest man.