The March of Time by Cora C Bass

Steadily marching, swift or slow,
Moments and months and days they go.
Moments and months and days and years
Laden with hope and love and tears.

Laden with hope that cheered the way
When earth lay wrapped in twilight gray,
In twilight gray, till shining through
The fair, sweet promise grew and grew.

Fair, sweet promise of joy, of bliss,
We should not, could not, would not, miss
Of bliss so perfect, bliss so true,
We fain would keep that bliss in view.

Steadily marching, swift or slow,
Moments and months and days they go,
Moments and months and days and years,
And then—eternity appears.

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Not Yet by Susan Coolidge

Not yet,” she cried, “not yet!
It is the dawning, and life looks so fair;
Give me my little hour of sun and dew.
Is it a sin that I should crave my share,
The common sunshine and the common air,
Before I go away, dark shade, with you?
Not yet!

“Not yet,” she cried, “not yet!
The day is hot, and noon is pulsing strong,
And every hour is measured by a task;
There is no time for sighing or for song.
Leave me a little longer, just so long
As till my work is done,—’tis all I ask.
Not yet!

“Not yet,” she cried, “not yet!
Nightfall is near, and I am tired and frail;
Day was too full, now resting-time has come.
Let me sit still and hear the nightingale,
And see the sunset colors shift and pale,
Before I take the long, hard journey home.
Not yet!”

And to all these in turn,
Comes Death, the unbidden, universal guest,
With deep and urgent meanings in his eyes,
And poppied flowers upon his brow, his breast,
Whispering, “Life is good, but I am best;”
And never a parted soul looks back and cries,
“Not yet!”

The Watch in the Wood by John Masefield

When Death has laid her in his quietude,
And dimmed the glow of her benignant star,
Her tired limbs shall rest within a wood,
In a green glade where oaks and beeches are,

Where the shy fawns, the pretty fawns, the deer,
With mild brown eyes shall view her spirit’s husk;
The sleeping woman of her will appear,
The maiden Dian shining through the dusk.

And, when the stars are white as twilight fails,
And the green leaves are hushed, and the winds swoon,
The calm pure thrilling throats of nightingales
Shall hymn her sleeping beauty to the moon.

All the woods hushed – save for a dripping rose,
All the woods dim – save where a glow-worm glows.

Brimming the quiet woods with holiness,
The lone brown birds will hymn her till the dawn,
The delicate, shy, dappled deer will press
Soft pitying muzzles on her swathèd lawn.

The little pretty rabbits running by,
Will pause among the dewy grass to peep,
Their thudding hearts affrightened to espy
The maiden Dian lying there asleep.

Brown, lustrous, placid eyes of sylvan things
Will wonder at the quiet in her face,
While from the thorny branch the singer brings
Beauty and peace to that immortal place.

Until the grey dawn sets the woods astir
The pure birds’ thrilling psalm will mourn for her.

The waking by Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?   
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?   
God bless the Ground!   I shall walk softly there,   
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?   
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do   
To you and me; so take the lively air,   
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.   
What falls away is always. And is near.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

Distance by Madison Cawein

I

I dreamed last night once more I stood
Knee-deep on purple clover leas;
Her old home glimmered through its wood
Of dark and melancholy trees:
And on my brow I felt the breeze
That blew from out the solitude,
With sounds of waters that pursued,
And sleepy hummings of the bees.

II

And ankle-deep in violet blooms
Methought I saw her standing there,
A lawny light among the glooms,
A crown of sunlight on her hair;
The wood-birds, warbling everywhere,
Above her head flashed happy plumes;
About her clung the wild perfumes,
And woodland gleams of shimmering air.

III

And then she called me: in my ears
Her voice was music; and it led
My sad soul back with all its fears;
Recalled my spirit that had fled.—
And in my dream it seemed she said,
“Our hearts keep true through all the years;”
And on my face I felt the tears,
The blinding tears of her long dead.

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.