A House Of Light – Pete Crowther

From my cottage kitchen window I can see
Two fields away the blue, the shining sea
And ships that slowly glide to far-off shores
Each one a separate world with its own laws; 

They pass beyond my window and are gone.
When morning comes that miracle, the sun
Lifts slowly from the sea, a sacrament
Of grace and glory, or enlightenment.

My cottage truly is a house of light: 
By night shines Sirius, cold and bright
And in the afternoon our living room
Seems more like a sunny meadow in mid-June.

From it we see the sun prepare to slumber
Wrapped in the gleaming waters of the Humber
While to the south another lighthouse shines—
Peace be to Spurn and you who read these lines. 

House Of Silence – Philip Levine

The winter sun, golden and tired,
settles on the irregular army
of bottles. Outside the trucks
jostle toward the open road,
outside it’s Saturday afternoon,
and young women in black pass by
arm in arm. This bar
is the house of silence, and we drink
to silence without raising our voices
in the old way. We drink to doors
that don’t open, to the four walls
that dose their eyes, hands that run,
fingers that count change, toes
that add up to ten. Suspended
as we are between our business
and our rest, we feel the sudden peace
of wine and the agony of stale bread.
Columbus sailed from here 30 years ago
and never wrote home. On Saturdays
like this the phone still rings for him.

The Sum – Paul Laurence Dunbar

A little dreaming by the way,
A little toiling day by day;
A little pain, a little strife,
A little joy,–and that is life.

A little short-lived summer’s morn,
When joy seems all so newly born,
When one day’s sky is blue above,
And one bird sings,–and that is love.

A little sickening of the years,
The tribute of a few hot tears
Two folded hands, the failing breath,
And peace at last,–and that is death.

Just dreaming, loving, dying so,
The actors in the drama go–
A flitting picture on a wall,
Love, Death, the themes; but is that all? 

The Sparrow – Paul Laurence Dunbar

A LITTLE bird, with plumage brown,
Beside my window flutters down,
A moment chirps its little strain,
Then taps upon my window-pane,
And chirps again, and hops along,
To call my notice to its song;
But I work on, nor heed its lay,
Till, in neglect, it flies away.

So birds of peace and hope and love
Come fluttering earthward from above,
To settle on life’s window-sills,
And ease our load of earthly ills;
But we, in traffic’s rush and din
Too deep engaged to let them in,
With deadened heart and sense plod on,
Nor know our loss till they are gone. 

Song Ii – Thomas Parnell

When thy Beauty appears
In its Graces and Airs,
All bright as an Angel new dropt from the Sky;
At distance I gaze, and am aw’d by my Fears,
So strangely you dazzle my Eye!
But when without Art,
Your kind Thoughts you impart,
When your Love runs in Blushes thro’ ev’ry Vein;
When it darts from your Eyes, when it pants in your Heart,
Then I know you’re a Woman again.
There’s a Passion and Pride
In our Sex, (she reply’d,)
And thus (might I gratify both) I wou’d do:
Still an Angel appear to each Lover beside,
But still be a Woman to you. 

On Content – Thomas Parnell

Grant heav’n that I may chuse my bliss
If you design me worldly Happiness
Tis not Honour thats but air
Glory has but fancied light
Fame as oft speak’s false as right 
Riches have wings & ever dwell with care
Give me an undistemperd mind
As ye third region undisturbd by wind
Content from passions ever free
to rule ones selfs indeed a monarchy
this I request of thee

Tho all we see are fortunes apes
& change as oft as she their shapes
Tho my kinder fortune leave me
Tho my dearest friends deceive me
I in this universall tide
firm on heav’ns mercy would abide
& ‘mongst ye giddy waves securely ride
Tho they should die
Who never did my love abuse
Perhaps in tears I would my passion vent
But straight again I’de be content
Remembring ’twas th’ almighty’s deed tho I
should my best relations loose
Ide sighing cry Heav’ns will be done
It did but lend them now it has its own.
Fortune should never be
Adored as a deity by me
She onely makes them fooles who make her great
But still content on earth intent on heav’n I’de be
an equall temper keep in ev’ry state
nor Care nor fear my destiny
Death when most dreadfull should not fright
Wn ere he comes Ide patiently submitt
Content thus in my soul should build its halcyons nest
As did thy spirit on ye waters rest
& keep an everlasting calm with in my breast. 

The Convert’s Love – Thomas Parnell

Blessed Light of saints on high
Who fill the mansions of the sky,
Sure defence, whose mercy still
Preserves thy subjects here from ill,
O my Jesus! make me know
How to pay the thanks I owe.

As the fond sheep that id’ly strays
With wanton play thro’ winding ways,
Which never hits the road of home,
O’er Wilds of danger learns to roam,
‘Till weari’d out with idle fear
And passing there and turning here,
He will for rest to covert run
And meet the wolf he wish’d to shun;
Thus wretched I, thro’ wanton will
Run blind and headlong on in ill:
‘Twas thus from sin to sin I flew
And thus I might have perish’d too;
But mercy dropt the likeness here
And shew’d and sav’d me from my fear;
While o’er the darkness of my mind
The sacred spirit purely shin’d,
And mark’d and bright’ned all the way
Which leads to everlasting day,
And broke the thick’ning clouds of sin
And fix’d the light of love within.

From hence my ravish’d soul aspires
And dates the rise of its desires.
From hence to thee my God! I turn,
And fervent wishes say I burn,
I burn thy glorious face to see
And live in endless joy with thee.

There’s no such ardent kind of flame
Between the lover and the dame,
Nor such affection parents bear
To their young and only heir, 
Tho’ join’d together both conspire
And boast a doubled force of fire.
My tender heart within its seat
Dissolves before the scorching heat,
As soft’ning wax is taught to run
Before the warmness of the sun.

O my flame my pleasing pain
Burn and purify my stain,
Warm me, burn me, day by day
‘Till you purge my earth away,
‘Till at the last I throughly shine
And turn a torch of love divine. 

A Riddle – Thomas Parnell

Upon a Bed of humble clay
In all her Garments loose
A Prostitute my Mother lay
To ev’ry Comer’s use.
‘Till one Gallant in heat of love
His Own Peculiar made her
And to a Region far above
And softer Beds convey’d her.
But in his Absence, to his Place
His rougher Rival came
And with a cold constrain’d Embrace
Begat me on the Dame.
I then appear’d to Publick View
A Creature wondrous bright
But shortly perishable too
Inconstant, nice and light.
On Feathers not together fast
I wildly flew about
And from my Father’s country past
To find my Mother out.
Where her Gallant of her beguil’d
With me enamour’d grew
And I that was my Mother’s Child
Brought forth my Mother too. 

Love In Disguise – Thomas Parnell

To stifle Passion is no easy Thing,
A Heart in Love is always on the Wing;
The bold Betrayer flutters still,
And fans the Breath prepar’d to tell:
It melts the Tongue, and tunes the Throat,
And moves the Lips to form the Note;
And when the Speech is lost,
It then sends out its Ghost,
A little Sigh,
To say we dye.
‘Tis strange the Air that Cools, a Flame shou’d prove,
But wonder not, it is the Air of Love. 
Yet Chloris I can make my Love look well,
And cover bleeding Wounds I can’t conceal,
My Words such artful Accents break,
You think I rather act than speak:
My Sighs enliven’d thro’ a Smile,
Your unsuspecting Thoughts beguile;
My Eyes are vary’d so,
You can’t their Wishes know:
And I’m so gay,
You think I play.
Happy Contrivance! such as can’t be priz’d,
To Live in Love, and yet to Live disguis’d. 

Abortion (1-6) – Zachary Zuccaro

Abortion #1

Watch them
slaughter
the child
and
‘dispose’
of it.

Abortion #2

A life snuffed out
before it can begin.

No chance to love, 
to grow, to learn 
to live; 

no chance to do anything.

A life
just created
and destroyed.

Abortion #3

A quick flow of blood
a tiny corpse.

A baby murdered, 
it’s mother leaves the clinic
continuing to live her life
unlike her child.

Abortion #4

Tears
dropp from Heaven
as another child is murdered.

A soul without a name
unwanted by its own mother, 
robbed of its right to live.

I pray for you.

Abortion #5

As you go to get your abortion
remember that at this moment
you are alive
and able to kill your child
because your mother
did not choose
to abort you.

Abortion #6

Abortion 
is not murder
any more
than shooting a little baby 
in the back of the head
is murder. 

The Pillars – Zachary Zuccaro

The Pit

An empty pit
filled
with fresh decay
grows inside me
and eats its way
through my stomach.

The Pillars

A white pillar
and a black pillar
sit side by side
at the gate
of the kingdom.

Persister

Stand up, be proud
demolish any doubt
crush demoralization.

Let your glory shine, 
sweep away opposition, 
destroy the evil
no power in the world
shall equal yours.

The Murderer

A jealous cockroach
lurking in the shadows
squirming with the desire
to obtain power, 
exact revenge, 
relieve tension, 
express hatred.

A gleaming blade, 
a squeal, 

then silence. 

To His Mistress In Absence – Torquato Tasso

FAR from thy dearest self, the scope
Of all my aims,
I waste in secret flames;
And only live because I hope.

O when will Fate restore
The joys, in whose bright fire
My expectation shall expire,
That I may live because I hope no more! 

Jerusalem Delivered – Book 05 – Part 05 – Torquato Tasso

LXV

But yet all ways the wily witch could find
Could not Tancredi’s heart to loveward move,
His sails were filled with another wind,
He list no blast of new affection prove;
For, as one poison doth exclude by kind
Another’s force, so love excludeth love:
These two nor more nor less the dame
Could win, the all burnt in her sweet flame.

LXVI

The princess, though her purpose would not frame,
As late she hoped, and as still she would,
Yet, for the lords and knights of greatest name
Became her prey, as erst you it told,
She , ere truth-revealing time or frame
Bewrayed her act, to lead them to some hold,
Where chains and band she meant to make them prove,
Composed by Vulcan not by gentle love.

LXVII

The time prefixed at length was come and past,
Which Godfrey had set down to lend her aid,
When at his feet to earth she cast,
‘The hour is come, my Lord,’ she humbly said,
‘And if the tyrant haply at last,
His banished niece hath your assistance prayed,
He will in arms to save his kingdom rise,
So shall we harder make this enterprise.

LXVIII

‘Before report can bring the tyrant news,
Or his espials certify their king,
Oh let thy these few champions choose,
That to her kingdom should thy handmaid bring;
Who, except Heaven to aid the right refuse,
Recover shall her crown, from whence shall spring
Thy profit; for betide thee peace or war,
Thine all her cities, all her subjects are.’

LXIX

The captain the damsel fair assured,
His word was passed and should not be recanted,
And she with sweet and humble grace endured
To let him point those ten, which late he granted:
But to be one, each one fought and procured,
No suit, no entreaty, intercession wanted;
There envy each at others’ love exceeded,
And all importunate made, more than needed.

LXX

She that well the secret of their hearts,
And how best to warm them in their blood,
Against them threw the cursed poisoned darts
Of , and grief at others’,
For love she was weak without those arts,
And slow; for is Cupid’s food;
For the swift steed runs not so fast ,
As when some strain, some strive him to outgone.

LXXI

Her words in such alluring sort she framed,
Her looks enticing, and her wooing smiles,
That every one his fellows’ favors blamed,
That of their mistress he received erewhiles:
This foolish crew of lovers unashamed,
Mad with the poison of her secret wiles,
Ran forward still, in this disordered sort,
Nor could Godfredo’s bridle rein them short.

LXXII

He that would each,
Withouten partial love, of every knight,
Although he swelled with shame, with grief and ire
To these fellows and these fashions light;
Yet since by no advice they would retire,
Another way he sought to set them right:
‘Write all your names,’ quoth he, ‘and whom chance
Of lot, to this exploit will first advance.’

LXXIII

Their names were writ, and in an helmet shaken,
While each did fortune’s grace and aid implore;
At last they drew them, and the foremost taken
The Earl of Pembroke was, Artemidore,
Doubtless the county his bread well baken;
Next Gerrard followed, then with tresses hoar
Old Wenceslaus, that Cupid’s rage
Now in his doating and his dying age.

LXXIV

Oh how contentment in their foreheads shined!
Their looks with; swelled with secret,
These three it seemed success designed
To make the lords of love and beauty’s treasure:
Their fellows at their hap repined,
And with small wait Fortune’s leisure,
Upon his lips that read the scrolls attending,
As if their lives were on his words depending.

LXXV

Guasco the fourth, Ridolpho him succeeds,
Then Ulderick whom love list so advance,
Lord William of Ronciglion next he reads,
Then Eberard, and Henry born in France,
Rambaldo last, whom wicked lust so leads
That he forsook his Saviour with mischance;
This wretch the tenth was who was thus deluded,
The to their huge grief were all excluded.

LXXVI

O’ercome with envy, wrath and,
The blind Fortune curse, and all her laws,
And mad with love, yet out on love they cry,
That in his kingdom let her judge their cause:
And for man’s is such, that oft we try
Things most forbidden, without stay or pause,
In spite of fortune purposed many a knight
To follow fair Armida when ’twas night.

LXXVII

To follow her, by night or else by day,
And in her quarrel venture life and limb.
With sighs and tears she gan them softly pray
To keep that promise, when the skies were dim,
To this and that knight did she plain and say,
What grief she to part withouten him:
Meanwhile the ten had donned their armor best,
And taken leave of Godfrey and the.

LXXVIII

The duke advised them every one apart,
How light, how trustless was the Pagan’s,
And told what policy, what, what art,
Avoids , which heedless men betray’th;
His speeches pierce their ear, but not their heart,
Love calls it folly, whatso saith:
Thus warned he leaves them to their wanton guide,
Who parts that night; such haste had she to ride.

LXXIX

The conqueress departs, and with her led
These prisoners, whom love would captive keep,
The hearts of those she left behind her bled,
With point of sorrow’s arrow pierced deep.
But when the night her drowsy mantle spread,
And filled the earth with silence, shade and sleep,
In secret sort then each forsook his tent,
And as blind Cupid led them blind they went.

LXXX

Eustatio first, who scantly could,
Till friendly night might hide his haste and shame,
He rode in post, and let his breast him bear
As his blind fancy would his journey frame,
All night he wandered and he not where;
But with the morning he espied the dame,
That with her guard up from a village rode
Where she and they that night had made abode.

LXXXI

Thither he galloped fast, and drawing near
Rambaldo the knight, and loudly cried,
‘Whence comes young Eustace, and what seeks he here?’
‘I come,’ quoth he, ‘to serve the Queen Armide,
If she me, would we all were there
Where my good-will and might best be tried.’
‘Who,’ quoth the other, ‘choseth thee to prove
This high exploit of hers?’ He answered, ‘Love.’ 

What Weeping, Or What Dewfall – Torquato Tasso

What weeping, or what dewfall,
Whose then were those tears, 
Flung from night’s cloak, I saw,
And the white face of the stars?
Why was the white moon sowing
A pure cloud’s crystal mass
In the lap of fresh new grass?
Why were the winds heard, blowing,
Through the dark air, round and round,
Till dawn, with mournful sound?
Were they perhaps the strife 
Of your going, life of my life? 

Worldly Place – Matthew Arnold

Even in a palace, life may be led well!
So spake the imperial sage, purest of men,
Marcus Aurelius. But the stifling den
Of common life, where, crowded up pell-mell,

Our freedom for a little bread we sell,
And drudge under some foolish master’s ken
Who rates us if we peer outside our pen
Match’d with a palace, is not this a hell?

Even in a palace! On his truth sincere,
Who spoke these words, no shadow ever came;
And when my ill-school’d spirit is aflame

Some nobler, ampler stage of life to win,
I’ll stop, and say: ‘There were no succour here!
The aids to noble life are all within.’ 

Too Late – Matthew Arnold

Each on his own strict line we move,
And some find death ere they find love;
So far apart their lives are thrown
From the twin soul which halves their own.

And sometimes, by harder fate,
The lovers meet, but meet too late.
– Thy heart is mine! – True, true! ah, true!
– Then, love, thy hand! – Ah no! adieu! 

White Linen Heaven – JoJo Bean

A warm sunny day of youth
Memories of white linen sheets
Hanging on the line to dry
The air filled with fragrance oh so sweet
The edge of each sheet decorated
with grandma and mothers loving hands
Crafted embroidery of brilliant flowers
Even a few monograms
After they dried in the summer sun
Mother takes them in to iron there
A sprinkle of water and starch
Then pressed with loving care
My job was to help make the beds
Mother snaps the sheets out
I help make the corners match
Tuck the corners in so they won’t fall out
When all is done a long wait for evening
I couldn’t wait to crawl in
Between those crisp cool sheets
Of white linen heaven 

A Place Called Heaven – Lagaya Evans

Gold and Silver
Precious gems untold
Diamonds and pearls
Streets of gold

Walls of jasper
A crown of life
Awaits us all
On the other side

Heavens gates
Will you enter in
The wealth of life
Where there’s no sin

No tears will fall
From our eyes
No room for sorrow
Or sad good byes

Beauty and glory
Will always abound
Heavens sweet music
An angelic sound

Rays of glitter
Sparkle and shine
A place called Heaven
I claim as mine 

The Curse Of Poverty – Ramesh Rai

Poverty
Poverty is a curse for human society
Poverty prevails there where the injustice is
Poverty exclaims there where the illiteracy is
Poverty is purely man made
So it has to be eradicated from its root
The society afflicted with poverty
Is reprehension of entire human society
Corruption is the source of poverty
Only a fearless society can be said
Free from all poverty
Where the people are dumb and discounted
Poverty exists there
Poverty shows, how many immature person 
Rule the country
Poverty is the reason for all philosophical end. 

Manko Ruprang – Tanka Subba

मनको रुपरङ्ग देखिदैन
केवल हृदय भित्र
सल्वलाईरहन्छ /छचल्किरहन्छ
त्यसैले मन सधै
के गरु कसो गरु भईरहन्छ
मनको कुनै प्वाख हुदैन
तर उडि रहन्छ जताततै
मनको कुनै पाईला हुदैन
तर डुलिरहन्छ सारा संसार
कहिले दुख कहिले सुख
अनुभव गरीरहन्छ
पदचाप दिईरहन्छ मुटु भित्र निरन्तर
अनि पानी झैं कहिले कहि
छयालब्याल वाटो भरि पोखिन्छ
उन्मत भएको मन
सम्झना र तिर्सनाको दोसाधमा
फूलिरहन्छ जीन्दगी संग
समयको घोडा माथी चढेर
आकाश पाताल हुइकीरहन्छ
पलपल छातीमा
धड्कन झैं धड्किरहन्छ
कहिले निभ्छ कहिले वलेर आगो झै
दन्दनी पोल्छ /जलाउछ
परिवर्तित मौषम जस्तो
मनको
कुनै अङ्ग हुदैन
कुनै रङ्ग हुदैन
त्यसैले त क्षण क्षण मै मोडिन्छ/ तोडिन्छ
कहिले तितो कहिले मीठो
भोग्छ भोगीरहन्छ
मनले
कहिले आशु कहिले हासो
टेक्छ मनले
कहिले आफ्नो कहिले पराई
देख्छ मनले
जीवनको उचाई र गहिराई
नाप्छ मनले
त्यसैले त मनको रुपरङ्ग देखिदैन
केवल हृदय भित्र
सल्वलाईरहन्छ /छचल्किरहन्छ

Shahar Ko Nidrama – Tanka Subba

कोलाहलै कोलाहल पिएर
व्यथा बल्झाउछ
पहरेदारहरुसंग रातमा जाग्रम बस्छ
रङ्गीचङ्गी बेलुन भएर
आकासभरी रौनकतामा उड्छ
दिन र रात दुइपाउ भएर उभ्छ
तर यो सहर
आज गाढा निद्रामा परे झैं
छाएको छ सन्नाटामा
हराएको छ चहलपहलबाट
गलेको छ सहरवासीहरुको दुःखमा ।

निर्जन छ यो सहरको परिवेश
देखिन्नन् कुनै पदचिन्हहरु
ठिहीले रात जम्दा
अन्धकार हासे जस्तो
श्मशान जागे जस्तो
उज्यालो भागे जस्तो
क्षणहरुमा निदाएका छन् तमाम सहरवासीहरु
तर म एक्लै ब्युझे होला कसरी ?
अध्यारोको साम्राज्यलाई
चिरे होला कसरी ?

रात विथोल्ने कुनै आवाजहरु छैनन्
कुम्भकर्णका निद्राले छोपिरहेछ
सहरलाई
भाले डाक भैसक्यो
हटेको छैन अझै कालो चुक पोखिएको रात
औंसी परेछ कि कुन्नी
जून पनि लुकेको छ ।

उज्यालो बाचेको बेला
थिएन कुनै वेदना
थियो त केवल हजारौंको प्रेम
तर आज कथा जस्तै भएको छ
सहर अझैं ब्यूझेको छैन
चल्मलाएको छैन
आखा खोल्नै बिर्सने हो कि भनेर
झक्झकाउदै छु बारम्बार सहरलाई
संजीवनी भर्दैछु
बिहानीसंग ताजा भएर उठ्न सकोस् भनेर
तर अझै यो सहर गाढा निद्रामा परेको छ
ठिही परेको रातमा कठाङ्ग्रिएको छ ।

Din – Tanka Subba

घाम बोकेर जन्मने दिन
पारिलो र न्यानो हुन्छ
उज्यालो र हर्षक हुन्छ
जसले जमेको तुषारो हटेर बग्छन् उत्साहको नदीहरु
छुन पुग्छन् व्योमलाई छातीबाट हाम्फालेका मनहरु
अनि साइनु गासेर दिन
सपना भएर फुल्छ मानिससंग
पीडाका कैयौं क्षणहरु भुलाएर
जतिसुकै घातक बनेर आए पनि
दिन
पारिलो र न्यानो हुन्छ
उज्यालो र हर्षक हुन्छ
तथाकथित बहकाइका पलहरु
उकाली ओरालीहरुमा समेटिंदा
जल्न पुग्छन् आशाहरु
अध्यारोमा डुब्न पुग्छन् पाइलाहरु
तसर्थ सन्त्रास फैलन्छ भावनाकासभरि
दिनहरु
फेरि आफन्त नबन्लान् कि भनेर
तर नित्य झैं उदाउदा
प्रफुल्लित हुन्छु
र हतारले धकेल्न थाल्छु जीवनरथ
स्वीटर बुनेझैं बुन्न थाल्छु आकांक्षाहरु
अनि सुम्सुम्याउन थाल्छु फराकिला पथहरु
बढ्दै आउने अधेरीले कुल्चन्छ कि भनेर
बाधाहरु पन्छाउदैं
हुइकिन थाल्छु बतास झैं
दिनसंग सहयात्री बन्न सकिन्छ कि भनेर
तर सधैं बिरानो बनिरह्यो
आफैसंग हातेमालो बनेका दिनहरु
सधैं उदाएर अस्ताइरह्यो पाहुना बनेर
पर्खाइमा , सेताम्मै केशराशी फुलाएर
सारा जीवन भुलाएर
उभ्याउन खोजें दिन
बचाउन खोजे दिन
कहिल्यै उभेनन् सामुन्ने
बगिरहे नदी झैं
पग्लिरहे हिउ झैं
थामिएनन् कहिल्यै
दिनमा सारा कुरा हुन्छ
थाहा छ सबलाई
त्यसैले घाम बोकेर जन्मने दिन
पारिलो र न्यानो हुन्छ
उज्यालो र हर्षक हुन्छ ।

The Pool – Paul Laurence Dunbar

By the pool that I see in my dreams, dear love,
I have sat with you time and again;
And listened beneath the dank leaves, dear love,
To the sibilant sound of the rain.

And the pool, it is silvery bright, dear love,
And as pure as the heart of a maid,
As sparkling and dimpling, it darkles and shines
In the depths of the heart of the glade.

But, oh, I ‘ve a wish in my soul, dear love,
(The wish of a dreamer, it seems,)
That I might wash free of my sins, dear love,
In the pool that I see in my dreams. 

The Path – Paul Laurence Dunbar

THERE are no beaten paths to Glory’s height,
There are no rules to compass greatness known;
Each for himself must cleave a path alone,
And press his own way forward in the fight.
Smooth is the way to ease and calm delight,
And soft the road Sloth chooseth for her own;
But he who craves the flower of life full-blown, 
Must struggle up in all his armor dight!
What though the burden bear him sorely down
And crush to dust the mountain of his pride,
Oh, then, with strong heart let him still abide;
For rugged is the roadway to renown,
Nor may he hope to gain the envied crown
Till he hath thrust the looming rocks aside. 

The Song – Paul Laurence Dunbar

MY soul, lost in the music’s mist,
Roamed, rapt, ‘neath skies of amethyst,
The cheerless streets grew summer meads,
The Son of Phœbus spurred his steeds,
And, wand’ring down the mazy tune,
December lost its way in June,
While from a verdant vale I heard
The piping of a love-lorn bird.
A something in the tender strain
Revived an old, long-conquered pain, 
And as in depths of many seas,
My heart was drowned in memories.
The tears came welling to my eyes,
Nor could I ask it otherwise;
For, oh! a sweetness seems to last
Amid the dregs of sorrows past.
It stirred a chord that here of late
I’d grown to think could not vibrate.
It brought me back the trust of youth,
The world again was joy and truth.
And Avice, blooming like a bride,
Once more stood trusting at my side.
But still, with bosom desolate,
The ‘lorn bird sang to find his mate.
Then there are trees, and lights and stars,
The silv’ry tinkle of guitars;
And throbs again as throbbed that waltz,
Before I knew that hearts were false.
Then like a cold wave on a shore,
Comes silence and she sings no more.
I wake, I breathe, I think again,
And walk the sordid ways of men. 

The Dance – Paul Laurence Dunbar

Heel and toe, heel and toe,
That is the song we sing;
Turn to your partner and curtsey low,
Balance and forward and swing.
Corners are draughty and meadows are white,
This is the game for a winter’s night.

Hands around, hands around,
Trip it, and not too slow;
Clear is the fiddle and sweet its sound,
Keep the girls’ cheeks aglow.
Still let your movements be dainty and light,
This is the game for a winter’s night.

Back to back, back to back,
Turn to your place again;
Never let lightness nor nimbleness lack,
Either in maidens or men.
Time hasteth ever, beware of its flight,
Oh, what a game for a winter’s night!

Slower now, slower now,
Softer the music sighs;
Look, there are beads on your partner’s brow
Though there be light in her eyes.
Lead her away and her grace requite,
So goes the game on a winter’s night.