The Inheritance by D.H. Lawrence

SINCE you did depart
Out of my reach, my darling,
Into the hidden,
I see each shadow start
With recognition, and I
Am wonder-ridden.

I am dazed with the farewell,
But I scarcely feel your loss.
You left me a gift
Of tongues, so the shadows tell
Me things, and silences toss
Me their drift.

You sent me a cloven fire
Out of death, and it burns in the draught
Of the breathing hosts,
Kindles the darkening pyre
For the sorrowful, till strange brands waft
Like candid ghosts.

Form after form, in the streets
Waves like a ghost along,
Kindled to me;
The star above the house-top greets
Me every eve with a long
Song fierily.

All day long, the town
Glimmers with subtle ghosts
Going up and down
In a common, prison-like dress;
But their daunted looking flickers
To me, and I answer, Yes!

So I am not lonely nor sad
Although bereaved of you,
My little love.
I move among a kinsfolk clad
With words, but the dream shows through
As they move.

A Simple Man At War by Amy Stewart

Deafening hollows of cries echoed through his ears,
the hushed presence of a silent grief portrayed the Valleys.
Dividing the Dawn into Darkness to give a prolonged effect,
which the outcome of this defeat
lead all men to whither through death and agony,
outlasting they’re simple breathes
into now the whimpers of Mercy.

The colour through a mans eye everlasting and bright;
yet now an Anthem of a great divide.

Souring into the Nothing of Tomorrow,
forever fading into an everlasting dream.
Waving to the breathe of life,
falling into a loosing conclusion
that he will always fight for his last breathe.
The plague never loosening its grip,
taking more victims, holding out in spite everything.
The dreaded guns of War released on us,
destroying an unknown soldier,
through this dance of the Devil
was a battle carried out by very few men.

Here the Faith had a final warning,
until the ends of the Earth,
the fight had kept
In every desperate situation,
everyone does there bit to get by and being
inventive to an uncertain future.
Through the everlasting Revenant and still calling to you,
ashes and chaos will never break the circle of Survival.

Up-hill by Christina Rossetti

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
   Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
   From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
   A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
   You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
   Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
   They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
   Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
   Yea, beds for all who come.

Little Nell’s Funeral by Charles Dickens

And now the bell, — the bell
She had so often heard by night and day
  And listened to with solemn pleasure,
        E’en as a living voice, —
Rung its remorseless toll for her,
  So young, so beautiful, so good.

  Decrepit age, and vigorous life,
And blooming youth, and helpless infancy,
  Poured forth, — on crutches, in the pride of strength
        And health, in the full blush
        Of promise, the mere dawn of life, —
To gather round her tomb. Old men were there,
        Whose eyes were dim
        And senses failing, —
Grandames, who might have died ten years ago,
And still been old, — the deaf, the blind, the lame,
        The palsied,
The living dead in many shapes and forms,
To see the closing of this early grave.
  What was the death it would shut in,
To that which still could crawl and keep above it!

Along the crowded path they bore her now;
        Pure as the new fallen snow
That covered it; whose day on earth
        Had been as fleeting.
Under that porch, where she had sat when Heaven
In mercy brought her to that peaceful spot,
  She passed again, and the old church
  Received her in its quiet shade.

     They carried her to one old nook,
Where she had many and many a time sat musing,
  And laid their burden softly on the pavement.
           The light streamed on it through
The colored window, — a window where the boughs
        Of trees were ever rustling
     In the summer, and where the birds
           Sang sweetly all day long.

Have a Nice day by Spike Milligan

‘Help, help, ‘ said a man. ‘I’m drowning.’
‘Hang on, ‘ said a man from the shore.
‘Help, help, ‘ said the man. ‘I’m not clowning.’
‘Yes, I know, I heard you before.
Be patient dear man who is drowning,
You, see I’ve got a disease.
I’m waiting for a Doctor J. Browning.
So do be patient please.’
‘How long, ‘ said the man who was drowning. ‘Will it take for the Doc to arrive? ‘
‘Not very long, ‘ said the man with the disease. ‘Till then try staying alive.’
‘Very well, ‘ said the man who was drowning. ‘I’ll try and stay afloat.
By reciting the poems of Browning
And other things he wrote.’
‘Help, help, ‘ said the man with the disease, ‘I suddenly feel quite ill.’
‘Keep calm.’ said the man who was drowning, ‘ Breathe deeply and lie quite still.’
‘Oh dear, ‘ said the man with the awful disease. ‘I think I’m going to die.’
‘Farewell, ‘ said the man who was drowning.
Said the man with the disease, ‘goodbye.’
So the man who was drowning, drownded
And the man with the disease past away.
But apart from that,
And a fire in my flat,
It’s been a very nice day.

St George encounters the Dragon by Edmund Spenser

With that they heard a roaring hideous sound,
That all the ayre with terrour filled wide,
And seemd uneath to shake the stedfast ground.
Eftsoones that dreadful Dragon they espide,
Where stretcht he lay upon the sunny side,
Of a great hill, himselfe like a great hill.
But all so soone as he from far descride
Those glistring armes, that heaven with light did fill,
He rousd himselfe full blith, and hastned them untill.

Then bad the knight his Lady yede aloofe,
And to an hill her selfe withdraw aside:
From whence she might behold that battailles proof,
And eke be safe from daunger far descryde:
She him obayd, and turnd a little wyde.
Now O thou sacred muse, most learned Dame,
Faire ympe of Phœbus and his aged bride,
The Nourse of time and everlasting fame,
That warlike hands ennoblest with immortall name;

O gently come into my feeble brest
Come gently, but not with that mighty rage,
Wherewith the martiall troupes thou doest infest,
And harts of great Heroës doest enrage,
That nought their kindled courage may aswage,
Soone as thy dreadfull trompe begins to sownd,
The God of warre with his fiers equipage
Thou doest awake, sleepe never he so sownd,
All scared nations doest with horrour sterne astownd.

Faire Goddesse, lay that furious fit aside,
Till I of warres and bloody Mars do sing,
And Briton fields with Sarazin bloud bedyde,
Twixt that great Faery Queene, and Paynim king,
That with their horrour heaven and earth did ring;
A worke of labour long and endlesse prayse:
But now a while let downe that haughtie string°
And to my tunes thy second tenor rayse,
That I this man of God his godly armes may blaze.

By this the dreadfull Beast drew nigh to hand,
Halfe flying, and halfe footing in his haste,
That with his largenesse measured much land,
And made wide shadow under his huge wast,
As mountaine doth the valley overcast.
Approching nigh, he reared high afore
His body monstrous, horrible, and vaste,
Which to increase his wondrous greatnesse more,
Was swoln with wrath, and poyson, and with bloudy gore.

And over, all with brasen scales was armd,
Like plated coate of steele, so couched neare,
That nought mote perce, ne might his corse be harmd
With dint of sword, nor push of pointed speare;
Which, as an Eagle, seeing pray appeare,
His aery plumes doth rouze, full rudely dight;
So shaked he, that horrour was to heare,
For as the clashing of an Armour bright,
Such noyse his rouzed scales did send unto the knight.

His flaggy wings when forth he did display,
Were like two sayles, in which the hollow wynd
Is gathered full, and worketh speedy way:
And eke the pennes, that did his pineons bynd,
Were like mayne-yards, with flying canvas lynd;
With which whenas him list the ayre to beat,
And there by force unwonted passage find,
The cloudes before him fled for terrour great,
And all the heavens stood still amazed with his threat.

His huge long tayle wound up in hundred foldes,
Does overspred his long bras-scaly backe,
Whose wreathed boughts when ever he unfoldes,
And thicke entangled knots adown does slacke,
Bespotted as with shields of red and blacke,
It sweepeth all the land behind him farre,
And of three furlongs does but litle lacke;
And at the point two stings in-fixed arre,
Both deadly sharpe, that sharpest steele exceeden farre.

But stings and sharpest steele did far exceed
The sharpnesse of his cruell rending clawes;
Dead was it sure, as sure as death in deed,
What ever thing does touch his ravenous pawes,
Or what within his reach he ever drawes.
But his most hideous head my toung to tell
Does tremble: for his deepe devouring jawes
Wide gaped, like the griesly mouth of hell,
Through which into his darke abisse all ravin fell.

And that more wondrous was, in either jaw
Three ranckes of yron teeth enraunged were,
In which yet trickling blood, and gobbets raw
Of late devoured bodies did appeare,
That sight thereof bred cold congealed feare:
Which to increase, and as atonce to kill,
A cloud of smoothering smoke and sulphure seare,
Out of his stinking gorge forth steemed still,
That all the ayre about with smoke and stench did fill.

His blazing eyes, like two bright shining shields,
Did burne with wrath, and sparkled living fyre:
As two broad Beacons, set in open fields,
Send forth their flames far off to every shyre,
And warning give, that enemies conspyre
With fire and sword the region to invade;
So flam’d his eyne with rage and rancorous yre:
But farre within, as in a hollow glade,
Those glaring lampes were set, that made a dreadfull shade.

So dreadfully he towards him did pas,
Forelifting up aloft his speckled brest,
And often bounding on the brused gras,
As for great joyance of his newcome guest.
Eftsoones he gan advance his haughtie crest,
As chauffed Bore his bristles doth upreare,
And shoke his scales to battell ready drest;
That made the Redcrosse knight nigh quake for feare,
As bidding bold defiance to his foeman neare.

The knight gan fairely couch his steadie speare,
And fiercely ran at him with rigorous might:
The pointed steele arriving rudely theare,
His harder hide would neither perce, nor bight,
But glauncing by forth passed forward right;
Yet sore amoved with so puissaunt push,
The wrathfull beast about him turned light,
And him so rudely passing by, did brush
With his long tayle, that horse and man to ground did rush.

Both horse and man up lightly rose againe,
And fresh encounter towards him addrest:
But th’idle stroke yet backe recoyld in vaine,
And found no place his deadly point to rest.
Exceeding rage enflam’d the furious beast,
To be avenged of so great despight;
For never felt his imperceable brest
So wondrous force, from hand of living wight;
Yet had he prov’d the powre of many a puissant knight.

Then with his waving wings displayed wyde,
Himselfe up high he lifted from the ground,
And with strong flight did forcibly divide
The yielding aire, which nigh too feeble found
Her flitting parts, and element unsound,
To beare so great a weight: he cutting way
With his broad sayles, about him soared round:
At last low stouping with unweldie sway,
Snatcht up both horse and man, to beare them quite away.

Long he them bore above the subject plaine,
So far as Ewghen bow a shaft may send,
Till struggling strong did him at last constraine
To let them downe before his flightes end:
As hagard hauke, presuming to contend
With hardie fowle, above his hable might,
His wearie pounces all in vaine doth spend
To trusse the pray too heavy for his flight;
Which comming downe to ground, does free it selfe by fight.

He so disseized of his gryping grosse,
The knight his thrillant speare again assayd
In his bras-plated body to embosse,
And three mens strength unto the stroke he layd;
Wherewith the stiffe beame quaked, as affrayd,
And glauncing from his scaly necke, did glyde
Close under his left wing, then broad displayd:
The percing steele there wrought a wound full wyde,
That with the uncouth smart the Monster lowdly cryde.

He cryde, as raging seas are wont to rore,
When wintry storme his wrathfull wreck does threat
The roaring billowes beat the ragged shore,
As they the earth would shoulder from her seat,
And greedy gulfe does gape, as he would eat
His neighbour element in his revenge:
Then gin the blustring brethren boldly threat
To move the world from off his steadfast henge,
And boystrous battell make, each other to avenge.

Find the full text here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15272/15272-h/15272-h.htm

The Leak in the Dike by Phoebe Cary

The good dame looked from her cottage
At the close of the pleasant day,
And cheerily called to her little son
Outside the door at play:

“Come, Peter, come! I want you to go,
While there is light to see,
To the hut of the blind old man who lives
Across the dike, for me;
And take these cakes I made for him–
They are hot and smoking yet;
You have time enough to go and come
Before the sun is set.”

Then the good wife turned to her labor,
Humming a simple song,
And thought of her husband, working hard
At the sluices all day long;
And set the turf a-blazing,
And brought the coarse, black bread,
That he might find a fire at night,
And see the table spread.

And Peter left the brother
With whom all day he had played,
And the sister who had watched their sports
In the willow’s tender shade;
And told them they’d see him back before
They saw a star in sight —
Though he wouldn’t be afraid to go
In the very darkest night!
For he was a brave, bright fellow,
With eye and conscience clear;
He could do whatever a boy might do,
And he had not learned to fear.
Why, he wouldn’t have robbed a bird’s nest,
Nor brought a stork to harm,
Though never a law in Holland
Had stood to stay his arm!

And now, with his face all glowing,
And eyes as bright as the day
With the thoughts of his pleasant errand,
He trudged along the way;
And soon his joyous prattle
Made glad a lonesome place–
Alas! if only the blind old man
Could have seen that happy face!
Yet he somehow caught the brightness
Which his voice and presence lent;
And he felt the sunshine come and go
As Peter came and went.

And now, as the day was singing,
And the winds began to rise,
The mother looked from her door again,
Shading her anxious eyes,
And saw the shadows deepen,
And birds to their homes come back,
But never a sign of Peter
Along the level track.
But she said, “He will come at morning,
So I need not fret or grieve–
Though it isn’t like my boy at all
To stay without my leave.”

But where was the child delaying?
On the homeward way was he,
And across the dike while the sun was up
An hour above the sea.
He was stooping now to gather flowers;
Now listening to the sound,
As the angry waters dashed themselves
Against their narrow bound.

“Ah! well for us,” said Peter,
“That the gates are good and strong,
And my father tends them carefully,
Or they would not hold you long!
You’re a wicked sea,” said Peter;
“I know why you fret and chafe;
You would like to spoil our lands and homes;
But our sluices keep you safe!”

But hark! through the noise of waters
Comes a low, clear, trickling sound;
And the child’s face pales with terror,
As his blossoms drop to the ground.
He is up the bank in a moment,
And, stealing through the sand,
He sees a stream not yet so large
As his slender, childish hand.
‘Tis a leak in the dike! He is but a boy,
Unused to fearful scenes;
But, young as he is, he has learned to know
The dreadful thing that means.
A leak in the dike! The stoutest heart
Grows faint that cry to hear,
And the bravest man in all the land
Turns white with mortal fear.
For he knows the smallest leak may grow
To a flood in a single night;
And he knows the strength of the cruel sea
When loosed in its angry might.

And the boy! He has seen the danger,
And, shouting a wild alarm,
He forces back the weight of the sea
With the strength of a single arm!
He listens for the joyful sound
Of a footstep passing nigh;
And lays his ear to the ground, to catch
The answer to his cry,–
And he hears the rough winds blowing,
And the waters rise and fall,
But never an answer comes to him
Save the echo of his call.

He sees no hope, no succor,
His feeble voice is lost;
Yet what shall he do but watch and wait,
Though he perish at his post!
So, faintly calling and crying
Till the sun is under the sea;
Crying and moaning till the stars
Come out for company;
He thinks of his brother and sister,
Asleep in their safe warm bed;
He thinks of his dear father and mother;
Of himself as dying, and dead;
And of how, when the night is over,
They must come and find him at last;
But he never thinks he can leave the place
Where duty holds him fast.

The good dame in the cottage
Is up and astir with the light,
For the thought of her little Peter
Has been with her all the night.
And now she watches the pathway,
As yester-eve she had done;
But what does she see so strange and black
Against the rising sun?
Her neighbors are bearing between them
Something straight to her door;
Her child is coming home, but not
As he ever came before!

“He is dead!” she cries; “my darling!”
And the startled father hears,
And comes and looks the way she looks,
And fears the thing she fears;
Till a glad shout from the bearers
Thrills the stricken man and wife–
“Give thanks, for your son has saved ou land,
And God has saved his life!”
So, there in the morning sunshine
They knelt about the boy;
And every head was bared and bent
In tearful, reverent joy.

‘Tis many a year since then; but still,
When the sea roars like a flood,
Their boys are taught what a boy can do
Who is brave and true and good.
For every man in that country
Takes his dear son by the hand,
And tells him of little Peter,
Whose courage saved the land.

They have many a valiant hero,
Remembered through the years;
But never one whose name so oft
Is named with loving tears.
And his deed shall be sung by the cradle,
And told to the child on the knee,
So long as the dikes of Holland
Divide the land from the sea!

The Whole Mess … Almost by Gregory Corso

I ran up six flights of stairs
to my small furnished room
opened the window
and began throwing out
those things most important in life

First to go, Truth, squealing like a fink:
“Don’t! I’ll tell awful things about you!”
“Oh yeah? Well, I’ve nothing to hide … OUT!”
Then went God, glowering & whimpering in amazement:
“It’s not my fault! I’m not the cause of it all!” “OUT!”
Then Love, cooing bribes: “You’ll never know impotency!
All the girls on Vogue covers, all yours!”
I pushed her fat ass out and screamed:
“You always end up a bummer!”
I picked up Faith Hope Charity
all three clinging together:
“Without us you’ll surely die!”
“With you I’m going nuts! Goodbye!”

Then Beauty … ah, Beauty—
As I led her to the window
I told her: “You I loved best in life
… but you’re a killer; Beauty kills!”
Not really meaning to drop her
I immediately ran downstairs
getting there just in time to catch her
“You saved me!” she cried
I put her down and told her: “Move on.”

Went back up those six flights
went to the money
there was no money to throw out.
The only thing left in the room was Death
hiding beneath the kitchen sink:
“I’m not real!” It cried
“I’m just a rumor spread by life … ”
Laughing I threw it out, kitchen sink and all
and suddenly realized Humor
was all that was left—
All I could do with Humor was to say:
“Out the window with the window!”

Renascence by Edna St. Vincent Millay


All I could see from where I stood

Was three long mountains and a wood;

I turned and looked another way,

And saw three islands in a bay.

So with my eyes I traced the line

Of the horizon, thin and fine,

Straight around till I was come

Back to where I’d started from;

And all I saw from where I stood

Was three long mountains and a wood.

Over these things I could not see;

These were the things that bounded me;

And I could touch them with my hand,

Almost, I thought, from where I stand.

And all at once things seemed so small

My breath came short, and scarce at all.

But, sure, the sky is big, I said;

Miles and miles above my head;

So here upon my back I’ll lie

And look my fill into the sky.

And so I looked, and, after all,

The sky was not so very tall.

The sky, I said, must somewhere stop,

And — sure enough! — I see the top!

The sky, I thought, is not so grand;

I ‘most could touch it with my hand!

And reaching up my hand to try,

I screamed to feel it touch the sky.

I screamed, and — lo! — Infinity

Came down and settled over me;

Forced back my scream into my chest,

Bent back my arm upon my breast,

And, pressing of the Undefined

The definition on my mind,

Held up before my eyes a glass

Through which my shrinking sight did pass

Until it seemed I must behold

Immensity made manifold;

Whispered to me a word whose sound

Deafened the air for worlds around,

And brought unmuffled to my ears

The gossiping of friendly spheres,

The creaking of the tented sky,

The ticking of Eternity.

I saw and heard, and knew at last

The How and Why of all things, past,

And present, and forevermore.

The Universe, cleft to the core,

Lay open to my probing sense

That, sick’ning, I would fain pluck thence

But could not, — nay! But needs must suck

At the great wound, and could not pluck

My lips away till I had drawn

All venom out. — Ah, fearful pawn!

For my omniscience paid I toll

In infinite remorse of soul.

All sin was of my sinning, all

Atoning mine, and mine the gall

Of all regret. Mine was the weight

Of every brooded wrong, the hate

That stood behind each envious thrust,

Mine every greed, mine every lust.

And all the while for every grief,

Each suffering, I craved relief

With individual desire, —

Craved all in vain! And felt fierce fire

About a thousand people crawl;

Perished with each, — then mourned for all!

A man was starving in Capri;

He moved his eyes and looked at me;

I felt his gaze, I heard his moan,

And knew his hunger as my own.

I saw at sea a great fog bank

Between two ships that struck and sank;

A thousand screams the heavens smote;

And every scream tore through my throat.

No hurt I did not feel, no death

That was not mine; mine each last breath

That, crying, met an answering cry

From the compassion that was I.

All suffering mine, and mine its rod;

Mine, pity like the pity of God.

Ah, awful weight! Infinity

Pressed down upon the finite Me!

My anguished spirit, like a bird,

Beating against my lips I heard;

Yet lay the weight so close about

There was no room for it without.

And so beneath the weight lay I

And suffered death, but could not die.

Long had I lain thus, craving death,

When quietly the earth beneath

Gave way, and inch by inch, so great

At last had grown the crushing weight,

Into the earth I sank till I

Full six feet under ground did lie,

And sank no more, — there is no weight

Can follow here, however great.

From off my breast I felt it roll,

And as it went my tortured soul

Burst forth and fled in such a gust

That all about me swirled the dust.

Deep in the earth I rested now;

Cool is its hand upon the brow

And soft its breast beneath the head

Of one who is so gladly dead.

And all at once, and over all

The pitying rain began to fall;

I lay and heard each pattering hoof

Upon my lowly, thatched roof,

And seemed to love the sound far more

Than ever I had done before.

For rain it hath a friendly sound

To one who’s six feet underground;

And scarce the friendly voice or face:

A grave is such a quiet place.

The rain, I said, is kind to come

And speak to me in my new home.

I would I were alive again

To kiss the fingers of the rain,

To drink into my eyes the shine

Of every slanting silver line,

To catch the freshened, fragrant breeze

From drenched and dripping apple-trees.

For soon the shower will be done,

And then the broad face of the sun

Will laugh above the rain-soaked earth

Until the world with answering mirth

Shakes joyously, and each round drop

Rolls, twinkling, from its grass-blade top.

How can I bear it; buried here,

While overhead the sky grows clear

And blue again after the storm?

O, multi-colored, multiform,

Beloved beauty over me,

That I shall never, never see

Again! Spring-silver, autumn-gold,

That I shall never more behold!

Sleeping your myriad magics through,

Close-sepulchred away from you!

O God, I cried, give me new birth,

And put me back upon the earth!

Upset each cloud’s gigantic gourd

And let the heavy rain, down-poured

In one big torrent, set me free,

Washing my grave away from me!

I ceased; and through the breathless hush

That answered me, the far-off rush

Of herald wings came whispering

Like music down the vibrant string

Of my ascending prayer, and — crash!

Before the wild wind’s whistling lash

The startled storm-clouds reared on high

And plunged in terror down the sky,

And the big rain in one black wave

Fell from the sky and struck my grave.

I know not how such things can be;

I only know there came to me

A fragrance such as never clings

To aught save happy living things;

A sound as of some joyous elf

Singing sweet songs to please himself,

And, through and over everything,

A sense of glad awakening.

The grass, a-tiptoe at my ear,

Whispering to me I could hear;

I felt the rain’s cool finger-tips

Brushed tenderly across my lips,

Laid gently on my sealed sight,

And all at once the heavy night

Fell from my eyes and I could see, —

A drenched and dripping apple-tree,

A last long line of silver rain,

A sky grown clear and blue again.

And as I looked a quickening gust

Of wind blew up to me and thrust

Into my face a miracle

Of orchard-breath, and with the smell, —

I know not how such things can be! —

I breathed my soul back into me.

Ah! Up then from the ground sprang I

And hailed the earth with such a cry

As is not heard save from a man

Who has been dead, and lives again.

About the trees my arms I wound;

Like one gone mad I hugged the ground;

I raised my quivering arms on high;

I laughed and laughed into the sky,

Till at my throat a strangling sob

Caught fiercely, and a great heart-throb

Sent instant tears into my eyes;

O God, I cried, no dark disguise

Can e’er hereafter hide from me

Thy radiant identity!

Thou canst not move across the grass

But my quick eyes will see Thee pass,

Nor speak, however silently,

But my hushed voice will answer Thee.

I know the path that tells Thy way

Through the cool eve of every day;

God, I can push the grass apart

And lay my finger on Thy heart!

The world stands out on either side

No wider than the heart is wide;

Above the world is stretched the sky, —

No higher than the soul is high.

The heart can push the sea and land

Farther away on either hand;

The soul can split the sky in two,

And let the face of God shine through.

But East and West will pinch the heart

That can not keep them pushed apart;

And he whose soul is flat — the sky

Will cave in on him by and by.