TENSE POEMS

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In Me, Past, Present, Future Meet

In me, past, present, future meet
To hold long chiding conference.
My lusts usurp the present tense
And strangle Reason in his seat.
.....
Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon
Little Ballads Of Timely Warning; Ii:

Little Ballads Of Timely Warning; II: On Malicious Cruelty To Harmless Creatures
The cruelty of P. L. Brownâ??
(He had ten toes as good as mine)
Was known to every one in town,
.....

Ellis Parker Butler
Sea Surface Full Of Clouds

                        I

In that November off Tehuantepec,
The slopping of the sea grew still one night
.....

Wallace Stevens
My Friends

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.

.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Zero

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

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.
.....
Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling
Let Zeus

I

I say, I am quite done,
quite done with this;
.....

H. D.
Nearer

Nearer and ever nearer...
My body, tired but tense,
Hovers 'twixt vague pleasure
And tremulous confidence.
.....

Robert Nichols
The Spirit Of Great Joan

Back of each soldier who fights for France,
Aye, back of each woman and man
Who toils and prays through these long tense days.
Is the spirit of Great Joan.
.....
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Fall

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
.....

Edward Hirsch
Elegy I

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
A Sign-seeker

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.
.....
Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy
Has She Forgotten?

I.

Has she forgotten? On this very May
We were to meet here, with the birds and bees,
.....

James Whitcomb Riley
T.a.h.

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.
.....

Ambrose Bierce
Corn

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
.....
Sidney Lanier

Sidney Lanier
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.
.....

Ambrose Bierce
The Lodger

I cannot
quite recall
When first he came,
So reticent and tall,
.....
Bliss Carman

Bliss Carman
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
.....
John Hay

John Hay
There Is A

there is a
moon sole
in the blue
night
.....
E. E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings
Seventeen

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
.....

Robert Nichols
At The Bomb Testing Site

At noon in the desert a panting lizard
waited for history, its elbows tense,
watching the curve of a particular road
as if something might happen.
.....

William Stafford
The New Hawaiian Girl

EXPLANATORY

Kamehameha First, of the Hawaiian Islands, conquered his
foes in a great battle, driving them over the high mountain
.....
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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
.....

Sara Teasdale
Grammarotics

The angle of delight is best
achieved while rubbing

the pluperfect button
.....

Nick Carbo
Nero

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.
.....

Sara Teasdale
The Struggle

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-
light,
.....
Don Marquis

Don Marquis
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.
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
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;
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Tidings

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.
.....

Roderic Quinn
Childhood Ideogram

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.
.....

Larry Levis
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,
.....
John Keats

John Keats
Ode On A Distant Prospect Of Clapham Academy

I

Ah me! those old familiar bounds!
That classic house, those classic grounds
.....
Thomas Hood

Thomas Hood
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
September Dark

1
The air falls chill;
The whippoorwill
Pipes lonesomely behind the Hill:
.....

James Whitcomb Riley
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
.....
George Meredith

George Meredith
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,
.....

Erica Jong
The Mighty Must

Come mighty Must!
Inevitable Shall!
In thee I trust.
Time weaves my coronal!
.....

William Schwenck Gilbert
The Bight

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,
.....

Elizabeth Bishop
An Hour's Respite

An hour's respite; once more the heart may dream:
the thunderwheels of passion thro' the eve,
distantly musical, vaporously agleam,
about my old pain leave
.....

Christopher John Brennan
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.
.....
George Meredith

George Meredith
Dedicatory

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
Lady Lorgnette

I

Lady Lorgnette, of the lifted lash,
The curling lip and the dainty nose,
.....

Emily Pauline Johnson
Where The Sun Rises And Where It Sets

Once, when returning from far Transylvania
Through mountain forests, rocks, and Carpathian ridges,
Halting by a ford at the close of day
(My companions had sent me ahead to look
.....

Czeslaw Milosz
It Is Later Than You Think

Lone amid the cafe's cheer,
Sad of heart am I to-night;
Dolefully I drink my beer,
But no single line I write.
.....

Robert William Service
The Skater

My glad feet shod with the glittering steel
I was the god of the wingèd heel.
The hills in the far white sky were lost;
The world lay still in the wide white frost;
.....

Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
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 William Service
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
.....

Karl Shapiro
Lesbia's Daughter

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.
.....

Kenneth Slessor
In The Harbour: Elegiac Verse

I.
Peradventure of old, some bard in Ionian Islands,
Walking alone by the sea, hearing the wash of the waves,
Learned the secret from them of the beautiful verse elegiac,
.....
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow