Life is a stream
On which we strew
Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
The end lost in dream,
They float past our view,
We only watch their glad, early start.
Freighted with hope,
Crimsoned with joy,
We scatter the leaves of our opening rose;
Their widening scope,
Their distant employ,
We never shall know. And the stream as it flows
Sweeps them away,
Each one is gone
Ever beyond into infinite ways.
We alone stay
While years hurry on,
The flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays.
~ Amy Lowell
What's a Mother Worth?
I humbly appraise my mother's worth,
It began with pain to give me birth,
Which triggered off a love so strong,
Blossoming into a life-long bond.
When needed, she was always there,
Someone I realised would always care.
And the older I got the more I knew,
A mother's love sincere and true.
Now as I watch Mum age in years,
I'm happy to help and ease her fears.
Privileged now to play my part,
As she did for me from the very start.
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hand it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Wild nights. Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Futile the winds
To a heart in port
Done with the compass
Done with the chart.
Rowing in Eden.
Ah, the sea.
Might I but moor
Tonight with thee!
~ Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes
First, her tippet made of tulle,
easily lifted off her shoulders and laid
on the back of a wooden chair.
And her bonnet,
the bow undone with a light forward pull.
Then the long white dress, a more
complicated matter with mother-of-pearl
buttons down the back,
so tiny and numerous that it takes forever
before my hands can part the fabric,
like a swimmer's dividing water,
and slip inside.
You will want to know
that she was standing
by an open window in an upstairs bedroom,
motionless, a little wide-eyed,
looking out at the orchard below,
the white dress puddled at her feet
on the wide-board, hardwood floor.
The complexity of women's undergarments
in nineteenth-century America
is not to be waved off,
and I proceeded like a polar explorer
through clips, clasps, and moorings,
catches, straps, and whalebone stays,
sailing toward the iceberg of her nakedness.
Later, I wrote in a notebook
it was like riding a swan into the night,
but, of course, I cannot tell you everything -
the way she closed her eyes to the orchard,
how her hair tumbled free of its pins,
how there were sudden dashes
whenever we spoke.
What I can tell you is
it was terribly quiet in Amherst
that Sabbath afternoon,
nothing but a carriage passing the house,
a fly buzzing in a windowpane.
So I could plainly hear her inhale
when I undid the very top
hook-and-eye fastener of her corset
and I could hear her sigh when finally it was unloosed,
the way some readers sigh when they realize
that Hope has feathers,
that reason is a plank,
that life is a loaded gun
that looks right at you with a yellow eye.
~ Billy Collins
A White Rose
The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.
But I send you a cream-white rosebud
~ John Boyle O'Reilly (1844-1890)
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.
Bright Star, Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient sleepless eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors;
Noyet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live everor else swoon to death.
~ John Keats
Love Rules The Court
Love rules the court,
The camp, the grove,
And men below, and the saints above,
For love is heaven
and heaven is love.
~ Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
She Walks in Beauty ~ Lord Byron (1788-1824)
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies:
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes: ... More
Jenny Kissed Me
Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in:
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.
~ Leigh Hunt (1784 - 1859)
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as man can breath, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
I Wanna Be Yours ~ John Cooper Clarke
I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
Breathing in your dust,
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust, ... More
The Lover Tells Of The Rose In His Heart
All things uncomely and broken, all things worn out and
The cry of a child by the roadway, the creak of a lumbering
The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould,
Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps
of my heart.
The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be
I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart,
With the earth and the sky and the water, re-made, like
a casket of gold
For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the
deeps of my heart.
~ William Butler Yeats
Song: To Celia
Drink to me, only with thine eyes
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine:
But might I of Jove's nectar sup
I would not change for thine.
I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope that there
It could not withered be
But thou thereon didst only breath
And sent'st it back to me:
Since, when it grows and smells, I swear,
Not of itself but thee.
~ Ben Jonson (1572 - 1637)
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ~ T.S. Elliot
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, ... More
True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny!
True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear,
True love gives with open heart
And conquers all fear.
True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds,
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.
~ Bryan L. Harvey