Love Poem – Louise Gluck

There is always something to be made of pain.
Your mother knits.
She turns out scarves in every shade of red.
They were for Christmas, and they kept you warm
while she married over and over, taking you
along. How could it work,
when all those years she stored her widowed heart
as though the dead come back.
No wonder you are the way you are,
afraid of blood, your women
like one brick wall after another.

Happiness – Louise Gluck

A man and a woman lie on a white bed.
It is morning. I think
Soon they will waken.
On the bedside table is a vase
of lilies; sunlight
pools in their throats.
I watch him turn to her
as though to speak her name
but silently, deep in her mouth–
At the window ledge,
once, twice,
a bird calls.
And then she stirs; her body
fills with his breath.

I open my eyes; you are watching me.
Almost over this room
the sun is gliding.
Look at your face, you say,
holding your own close to me
to make a mirror.
How calm you are. And the burning wheel
passes gently over us.

The Pond – Louise Gluck

Night covers the pond with its wing.
Under the ringed moon I can make out
your face swimming among minnows and the small
echoing stars. In the night air
the surface of the pond is metal.

Within, your eyes are open. They contain
a memory I recognize, as though
we had been children together. Our ponies
grazed on the hill, they were gray
with white markings. Now they graze
with the dead who wait
like children under their granite breastplates,
lucid and helpless:

The hills are far away. They rise up
blacker than childhood.
What do you think of, lying so quietly
by the water? When you look that way I want
to touch you, but do not, seeing
as in another life we were of the same blood.

Morning Rain – Du Fu

A slight rain comes, bathed in dawn light.
I hear it among treetop leaves before mist
Arrives. Soon it sprinkles the soil and,
Windblown, follows clouds away. Deepened

Colors grace thatch homes for a moment.
Flocks and herds of things wild glisten
Faintly. Then the scent of musk opens across
Half a mountain — and lingers on past noon.

Restless Night – Du Fu

As bamboo chill drifts into the bedroom,
Moonlight fills every corner of our
Garden. Heavy dew beads and trickles.
Stars suddenly there, sparse, next aren’t.

Fireflies in dark flight flash. Waking
Waterbirds begin calling, one to another.
All things caught between shield and sword,
All grief empty, the clear night passes.

June – John Clare

Now summer is in flower and natures hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done
Wi’ glittering dance and reeling in the sun
And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee
Are never weary of their melody
Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine
Large bindweed bells wild hop and streakd woodbine
That lift athirst their slender throated flowers
Agape for dew falls and for honey showers
These round each bush in sweet disorder run
And spread their wild hues to the sultry sun.’

Market Day – John Clare

With arms and legs at work and gentle stroke
That urges switching tail nor mends his pace,
On an old ribbed and weather beaten horse,
The farmer goes jog trotting to the fair.
Both keep their pace that nothing can provoke
Followed by brindled dog that snuffs the ground
With urging bark and hurries at his heels.
His hat slouched down, and great coat buttoned close
Bellied like hooped keg, and chuffy face
Red as the morning sun, he takes his round
And talks of stock: and when his jobs are done
And Dobbin’s hay is eaten from the rack,
He drinks success to corn in language hoarse,
And claps old Dobbin’s hide, and potters back.

Love For A Hand – Karl Shapiro

Two hands lie still, the hairy and the white,
And soon down ladders of reflected light
The sleepers climb in silence. Gradually
They separate on paths of long ago,
Each winding on his arm the unpleasant clew
That leads, live as a nerve, to memory.

But often when too steep her dream descends,
Perhaps to the grotto where her father bends
To pick her up, the husband wakes as though
He had forgotten something in the house.
Motionless he eyes the room that glows
With the little animals of light that prowl

This way and that. Soft are the beasts of light
But softer still her hand that drifts so white
Upon the whiteness. How like a water-plant
It floats upon the black canal of sleep,
Suspended upward from the distant deep
In pure achievement of its lovely want!

Quietly then he plucks it and it folds
And is again a hand, small as a child’s.
He would revive it but it barely stirs
And so he carries it off a little way
And breaks it open gently. Now he can see
The sweetness of the fruit, his hand eats hers. 

California Winter – Karl Shapiro

It is winter in California, and outside
Is like the interior of a florist shop: 
A chilled and moisture-laden crop
Of pink camellias lines the path; and what
Rare roses for a banquet or a bride, 
So multitudinous that they seem a glut! 

A line of snails crosses the golf-green lawn
From the rosebushes to the ivy bed; 
An arsenic compound is distributed
For them. The gardener will rake up the shells
And leave in a corner of the patio
The little mound of empty shells, like skulls.

By noon the fog is burnt off by the sun
And the world’s immensest sky opens a page
For the exercise of a future age; 
Now jet planes draw straight lines, parabolas, 
And x’s, which the wind, before they’re done, 
Erases leisurely or pulls to fuzz.

It is winter in the valley of the vine.
The vineyards crucified on stakes suggest
War cemeteries, but the fruit is pressed, 
The redwood vats are brimming in the shed, 
And on the sidings stand tank cars of wine, 
For which bright juice a billion grapes have bled.

And skiers from the snow line driving home
Descend through almond orchards, olive farms.
Fig tree and palm tree – everything that warms
The imagination of the wintertime.
If the walls were older one would think of Rome: 
If the land were stonier one would think of Spain.

But this land grows the oldest living things, 
Trees that were young when Pharoahs ruled the world, 
Trees whose new leaves are only just unfurled.
Beautiful they are not; they oppress the heart
With gigantism and with immortal wings; 
And yet one feels the sumptuousness of this dirt.

It is raining in California, a straight rain
Cleaning the heavy oranges on the bough, 
Filling the gardens till the gardens flow, 
Shining the olives, tiling the gleaming tile, 
Waxing the dark camellia leaves more green, 
Flooding the daylong valleys like the Nile. 

On Time – John Milton

Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy plummet’s pace;
And glut thyself with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more than what is false and vain,
And merely mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast intombed,
And last of all thy greedy self consumed,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss,
And Joy shall overtake us like a flood;
When everything that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With truth and peace, and love, shall ever shine
About the supreme throne
Of Him, t’ whose happy-making sight alone
When once our heav’nly-guided soul shall climb,
Then, all this earthly grossness quit,
Attired with stars, we shall forever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O Time. 

To The Same – John Milton

Cyriack, this three years’ day these eyes, though clear, 
To outward view, of blemish or of a spot, 
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgotten; 
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear 
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not 
Against Heaven’s hand or will, nor bate a jot 
Of heart or hope, but still, bear up and steer 
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask? 
The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied
In liberty’s defense, my noble task, 
Of which all Europe rings from side to side. 
This thought might lead me through the world’s vain mask 
Content, though blind, had I no better guide. 

The Seaside – Lee Harwood

(for Peter Ruppell)

You wrote such a love poem that I was
dumb-founded & left to scratch the sand
Alone in the surf I couldn’t join the bait-diggers
I’d left my fork and bucket at home
& I am not rough by nature

You were sitting on top of a boulder deep in the forest
It was taller than a man & surrounded by pine trees
I think there are pine trees on Fire Island
but I’ve never been to Fire Island, though
I can imagine & we all know what could happen

there, but. . . . . . .
& the world that started in a parked car
was really a fearful one — It would only lead
from one confusion to another
& I couldn’t do this to you on the giant highway

She was a reason in herself, & women need
the menace of ambiguity in their actions
so one action might well signify the opposite
— an act of sacrifice really the act of killing & revenge —
& this much was true

The exercise book was green & the distance
saved much embarrassment though you were
in many ways ignorant of this
I still can’t find my bucket & bait-fork
but this is only an excuse 

The Final Painting – Lee Harwood

The white cloud passed over the land
there is sea always round the land
the sky is blue always above the cloud
the cloud in the blue continues to move
– nothing is limited by the canvas or frame –
the white cloud can be pictured like any
other clouds or like a fist of wool
or a white fur rose
The white cloud passes a shadow across
the landscape and so there is a passing greyness
The grey and the white both envelop
the watcher until he too is drawn into the picture
It is all a journey from a room through a door
down stairs and out into the street
The cloud could possess the house
The watchers have a mutual confidence
with the approaching string of white clouds
It is beyond spoken words what they are
silently mouthing to the sky
There was no mystery in this – only the firm
outline of people in overcoats on a hillside
and the line of clouds above them
The sky is blue The cloud white with touches
of grey – the rest – the landscape below –
can be left to the imagination
The whole painting quietly dissolved itself
into its surrounding clouds 

A Japanese Wood-Carving – Amy Lowell

High up above the open, welcoming door 
It hangs, a piece of wood with colors dim. 
Once, long ago, it was a waving tree 
And knew the sun and shadow through the leaves 
Of forest trees, in a thick eastern wood. 
The winter snows had bent its branches down, 
The spring had swelled its buds with coming flowers, 
Summer had run like fire through its veins, 
While autumn pelted it with chestnut burrs, 
And strewed the leafy ground with acorn cups. 
Dark midnight storms had roared and crashed among 
Its branches, breaking here and there a limb; 
But every now and then broad sunlit days 
Lovingly lingered, caught among the leaves. 
Yes, it had known all this, and yet to us 
It does not speak of mossy forest ways, 
Of whispering pine trees or the shimmering birch; 
But of quick winds, and the salt, stinging sea! 
An artist once, with the patient, careful knife, 
Had fashioned it like to the untamed sea. 
Here waves uprear themselves, their tops blown back 
By the gay, solar wind, which whips the blue 
And breaks it into gleams and sparks of light. 
Among the flashing waves are two white birds 
Which swoop, and soar, and scream for very joy 
At the wild sport. Now diving quickly in, 
Questing some glistening fish. Now flying up, 
Their dripping feathers shining in the sun, 
While the wet drops like little glints of light, 
Fall pattering backward to the parent sea. 
Gliding along the green and foam-flecked hollows, 
Or skimming some white crest about to break, 
The spirits of the sky deigning to stoop 
And play with the ocean in a summer mood. 
Hanging above the high, wide open door, 
It brings to us in quiet, firelit room, 
The freedom of the earth’s vast solitudes, 
Where heaping, sunny waves tumble and roll, 
And seabirds scream in wanton happiness. 

A Little Song – Amy Lowell

When you, my Dear, are away, away, 
How wearily goes the creeping day. 
A year drags after morning, and night 
Starts another year of candlelight. 
O Pausing Sun and Lingering Moon! 
Grant me, I beg of you, this boon. 

Whirl around the earth as never sun 
Has his diurnal journey run. 
And, Moon, slip past the ladders of air 
In a single flash, while your streaming hair 
Catches the stars and pulls them down 
To shine on some slumbering Chinese town. 
O Kindly Sun! Understanding Moon! 
Bring evening to crowd the footsteps of noon. 

But when that long awaited day 
Hangs ripe in the heavens, your voyaging stay. 
Be morning, O Sun! with the lark in song, 
Be afternoon for ages long. 
And, Moon, let you and your lesser lights 
Watch over a century of nights. 

To A Friend – Amy Lowell

I ask but one thing of you, only one, 
That always you will be my dream of you; 
That never shall I wake to find untrue 
All this I have believed and rested on, 
Forever vanished, like a vision gone 
Out into the night. Alas, how few 
There are who strike in us a chord we knew 
Existed, but so seldom heard its tone 
We tremble at the half-forgotten sound. 
The world is full of rude awakenings 
And heaven-born castles shattered to the ground, 
Yet still, our human longing vainly clings 
To a belief in beauty through all wrongs. 
O stay your hand, and leave my heart its songs! 

Night Clouds – Amy Lowell

The white mares of the moon rush along the sky
Beating their golden hoofs upon the glass Heavens 
The white mares are all standing on their hind legs 
Pawing at the green porcelain doors of the remote Heavens 
Fly, mares!
Strain your utmost 
Scatter the milky dust of stars 
Or the tigers will leap upon you and destroy you
With one lick of his vermillion tongue 

The Ages Of Man – Henry Howard

Laid in my quiet bed, in study as I were,
I saw within my troubled head a heap of thoughts appear,
And every thought did show so lively in mine eyes,
That now I sigh’d, and then I smil’d, as cause of thought did rise.
I saw the little boy, in thought how oft that he
Did wish of God to scape the rod, a tall young man to be;
The young man eke, that feels his bones with pains oppress’d,
How he would be a rich old man, to live and lie at rest;
The rich old man, that sees his end draw on so sore,
How he would be a boy again, to live so much the more.
Whereat full oft I smil’d, to see how all these three,
From boy to man, from man to boy, would chop and change degree.
And musing thus, I think the case is very strange
That man from wealth, to live in woe, doth ever seek to change.
Thus thoughtful as I lay, I saw my wither’d skin,
How it doth show my dinted jaws, the flesh was worn so thin;
And eke my toothless chaps, the gates of my right way,
That opes and shuts as I do speak, do thus unto me say:
“Thy white and hoarish hairs, the messengers of age,
That show like lines of true belief that this life doth assuage,
Bids thee lay hand and feel them hanging on thy chin,
The which do write two ages past, the third now coming in.
Hang up, therefore, the bit of thy young wanton time,
And thou that therein beaten art, the happiest life define.”
Whereat I sigh’d and said: “Farewell, my wonted joy,
Truss up thy pack and trudge from me to every little boy,
And tell them thus from me: their time most happy is,
If to their time they reason had to know the truth of this.” 

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! 

Sexual Soup – Erica Jong

A man so sick that the sexual soup
cannot save him –

the chicken soup of sex
which cures everything:
tossed mane of noodles,
bits of pale white meat.
the globules of yellow fat
like love…

But he is a man so sick
no soup can save him.

His throat has healed into a scar.
Rage fills his guts.
He wants to diet on dust.

I offered to feed him
(spoon by spoon)
myself.

I offered my belly as a bowl.
I offered my hands as spoons,
my knees as tongs,
my breasts as the chafing dish
to keep us warm

I offered my navel
as a brandy snifter.

“My tongue is gone,” he said,
“I have no teeth.
My mouth is with my mother in the grave.
I’ve offered up my hunger to the air,
my nostrils to the wind,
my sex to death,
my eyes to nothingness & dust.”

“What do you lust for then?”
I asked.

“I lust for nothing.”

Milkmaid – Laurie Lee

The girl’s far treble, muted to the heat,
calls like a fainting bird across the fields
to where her flock lies panting for her voice,
their black horns buried deep in marigolds.

They climb awake, like drowsy butterflies,
and press their red flanks through the tall branched grass,
and as they go their wandering tongues embrace
the vacant summer mirrored in their eyes.

Led to the limestone shadows of a barn
they snuff their past embalmed in the hay,
while her cool hand, cupped to the udder’s fount,
distils the brimming harvest of their day.

Look what a cloudy cream the earth gives out,
fat juice of buttercups and meadow-rye;
the girl dreams milk within her body’s field
and hears, far off, her muted children cry

Apples – Laurie Lee

Behold the apples’ rounded worlds:
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers, the rind
mapped with its crimson stain.

The russet, crab and cottage red
burn to the sun’s hot brass,
then drop like sweat from every branch
and bubble in the grass.

They lie as wanton as they fall,
and where they fall and break,
the stallion clamps his crunching jaws,
the starling stabs his beak.

In each plump gourd the cidery bite
of boys’ teeth tears the skin;
the waltzing wasp consumes his share,
the bent worm enters in.

I, with as easy hunger, take
entire my season’s dole;
welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour,
the hollow and the whole. 

Town Owl – Laurie Lee

On eves of cold, when slow coal fires,
rooted in basements, burn and branch,
brushing with smoke the city air;
When quartered moons pale in the sky,
and neons glow along the dark
like deadly nightshade on a briar;
Above the muffled traffic then
I hear the owl, and at his note
I shudder in my private chair.
For like an auger he has come
to roost among our crumbling walls,
his blooded talons sheathed in fur.
Some secret lure of time it seems
has called him from his country wastes
to hunt a newer wasteland here.
And where the candlabra swung
bright with the dancers’ thousand eyes,
now his black, hooded pupils stare,
And where the silk-shoed lovers ran
with dust of diamonds in their hair,
he opens now his silent wing,
And, like a stroke of doom, drops down,
and swoops across the empty hall,
and plucks a quick mouse off the stair… 

Winter Poem – Laurie Lee

Tonight the wind gnaws with teeth of glass
The jackdaw shivers in caged branches of iron
The stars have talons
There is hunger in the mouth of vole and badger
Silver agonies of breath in the nostril of the fox
Ice on the rabbit’s paw
Tonight has no moon, no food for the pilgrim
The fruit tree is bare, the rose bush a thorn
And the ground is bitter with stones
But the mole sleeps and the hedgehog lies curled in a womb of leaves
And the bean and the wheat seed hug their germs in the earth
And a stream moves under the ice
Tonight there is no moon
But a star opens like a trumpet over the dead
And tonight in a nest of ruins the blessed babe is laid
And the fir tree warms to a bloom of candles
And the child lights his lantern and stares at his tinsel toy
And our hearts and hearths smoulder with live ashes
In the blood of our grief the cold earth is suckled
In our agony the womb convulses its seed
And in the last cry of anguish
The child’s first breath is born

Autumn Love – Li Ching Chao

Search. Search. Seek. Seek.
Cold. Cold. Clear. Clear.
Sorrow. Sorrow. Pain. Pain.
Hot flashes. Sudden chills.
Stabbing pains. Slow agonies.
I can find no peace.
I drink two cups, then three bowls,
Of clear wine until I can’t
Stand up against a gust of wind.
Wild geese fly over head.
They wrench my heart.
They were our friends in the old days.
Gold chrysanthemums litter
The ground, pile up, faded, dead.
This season I could not bear
To pick them. All alone,
Motionless at my window,
I watch the gathering shadows.
Fine rain sifts through the wu-t’ung trees,
And drips, drop by drop, through the dusk.
What can I ever do now?
How can I drive off this word —
Hopelessness?

Cat And Mouse – David Campbell

Her green eyes change to yellow. This
Is open season. In a glass maze
Lovers play a cat and mouse.
Good cat! He coaxes sparks from her fur.
Scalpel-fine claws
Furrow his forehead.
His tears drop like red pears.
She scratches the tree bole and purrs.
Her tongue rasps the wrong way.
He sorts through his mind like an attic.
Wherever?-A meadow mouse
Peers from her compact.
Take that thought away!

Days – Karle Wilson Baker

Some days my thoughts are just cocoons- all cold, and dull and blind,
They hang from dripping branches in the grey woods of my mind;

And other days they drift and shine – such free and flying things!
I find the gold-dust in my hair, left by their brushing wings.

Death, Always cruel – Dante Alighieri

Death, always cruel, Pity’s foe in chief,
Mother who brought forth grief,
Merciless judgment and without appeal!
Since thou alone hast made my heart to feel
This sadness and unweal,
My tongue upbraideth thee without relief.

And now (for I must rid thy name of ruth)
Behoves me speak the truth
Touching thy cruelty and wickedness:
Not that they be not known; but ne’ertheless
I would give hate more stress
With them that feed on love in very sooth.

Out of this world thou hast driven courtesy,
And virtue, dearly prized in womanhood;
And out of youth’s gay mood
The lovely lightness is quite gone through thee.

Whom now I mourn, no man shall learn from me
Save by the measure of these praises given.
Whoso deserves not Heaven
May never hope to have her company.

Love And The Gentle Heart – Dante Alighieri

Love and the gentle heart are one thing,
just as the poet says in his verse,
each from the other one as well divorced
as reason from the mind’s reasoning.

Nature craves love, and then creates love king,
and makes the heart a palace where he’ll stay,
perhaps a shorter or a longer day,
breathing quietly, gently slumbering.

Then beauty in a virtuous woman’s face
makes the eyes yearn, and strikes the heart,
so that the eyes’ desire’s reborn again,
and often, rooting there with longing, stays,

Till love, at last, out of its dreaming starts.
Woman’s moved likewise by a virtuous man.

Let’s Drink To Our Next Meeting – Hew Ainslie

Let’s drink to our next meeting, lads,
Nor think on what’s atwixt;
They’re fools wha spoil the present hour
By thinking on the next.

Chorus
Then here’s to Meg o’ Morningside,
An Kate o’ Kittlemark;
The taen she drank her hose and shoon,
The tither pawned her sark.

A load o’ wealth, an’ wardly pelf,
They say is sair to bear;
Sae he’s a gowk would scrape an’ howk
To make his burden mair

Chorus

Gif Care looks black the morn, lads,
As he’s come doon the lum,
Let’s ease our hearts by swearing, lads,
We never bade him come.

Chorus

Then here’s to our next meeting, lads,
Ne’er think on what’s atwixt;
They’re fools who spoil the present hour
By thinking on the next.

Chorus

Autumn – Kalidasa

HE autumn comes, a maiden fair
In slenderness and grace,
With nodding rice-stems in her hair
And lilies in her face.
In flowers of grasses she is clad;
And as she moves along,
Birds greet her with their cooing glad
Like bracelets’ tinkling song.

A diadem adorns the night
Of multitudinous stars;
Her silken robe is white moonlight,
Set free from cloudy bars;
And on her face (the radiant moon)
Bewitching smiles are shown:
She seems a slender maid, who soon
Will be a woman grown.

Over the rice-fields, laden plants
Are shivering to the breeze;
While in his brisk caresses dance
The blossomed-burdened trees;
He ruffles every lily-pond
Where blossoms kiss and part,
And stirs with lover’s fancies fond
The young man’s eager heart.

God Full Of Mercy – Yehuda Amichai

God-Full-of-Mercy, the prayer for the dead.
If God was not full of mercy,
Mercy would have been in the world,
Not just in Him.
I, who plucked flowers in the hills
And looked down into all the valleys,
I, who brought corpses down from the hills,
Can tell you that the world is empty of mercy.
I, who was King of Salt at the seashore,
Who stood without a decision at my window,
Who counted the steps of angels,
Whose heart lifted weights of anguish
In the horrible contests.

I, who use only a small part
Of the words in the dictionary.

I, who must decipher riddles
I don’t want to decipher,
Know that if not for the God-full-of-mercy
There would be mercy in the world,
Not just in Him.

The Beloved Comes Home – Mirabai

The one I longed for has come home;
The raging fire of separation is quenched.
Now I rejoice with Him, I sing in bliss.

The peacocks at the cloud’s roar
Dance with unbound joy;
I rejoice in ecstasy
At the sight of my Beloved.

I am absorbed in His love;
My misery of wandering
In the world has ended.
The lily bursts into bloom
At the sight of the full moon;
Seeing Him, my heart blossoms in joy.
Peace permeates this body of mine;
His arrival has filled my home with bliss.

That very Lord has become my own
Who is ever the redeemer of His devotees.
Mira’s heart, scorched by the blaze of separation,
Has become cool and refreshed;
The pain of duality has vanished.

A Cowherding Girl – Mirabai

The plums tasted
sweet to the unlettered desert-tribe girl-
but what manners! To chew into each! She was ungainly,
low-caste, ill mannered and dirty,
but the god took the
fruit she’d been sucking.
Why? She’d knew how to love.
She might not distinquish
splendor from filth
but she’d tasted the nectar of passion.
Might not know any Veda,
but a chariot swept her away-
now she frolics in heaven, esctatically bound
to her god.
The Lord of Fallen Fools, says Mira,
will save anyone
who can practice rapture like that-
I myself in a previous birth
was a cowherding girl
at Gokul.

Sunset – Herbert Asquith

HOODED in angry mist, the sun goes down:
Steel-gray the clouds roll out across the Sea:
Is this a Kingdom? Then give Death the crown,
For here no emperor hath won, save He.

Though from the blackened grasses of the spring
The dead look up to where the swallow flies:
And in this woodland never a bird will sing-
The laughter lives within the sentry’s eyes.

On Recollection – Phillis Wheatley

MNEME begin. Inspire, ye sacred nine,
Your vent’rous Afric in her great design.
Mneme, immortal pow’r, I trace thy spring:
Assist my strains, while I thy glories sing:
The acts of long departed years, by thee
Recover’d, in due order rang’d we see:
Thy pow’r the long-forgotten calls from night,
That sweetly plays before the fancy’s sight.
Mneme in our nocturnal visions pours
The ample treasure of her secret stores;
Swift from above the wings her silent flight
Through Phoebe’s realms, fair regent of the night;
And, in her pomp of images display’d,
To the high-raptur’d poet gives her aid,
Through the unbounded regions of the mind,
Diffusing light celestial and refin’d.
The heav’nly phantom paints the actions done
By ev’ry tribe beneath the rolling sun.
Mneme, enthron’d within the human breast,
Has vice condemn’d, and ev’ry virtue blest.
How sweet the sound when we her plaudit hear?
Sweeter than music to the ravish’d ear,
Sweeter than Maro’s entertaining strains
Resounding through the groves, and hills, and plains.
But how is Mneme dreaded by the race,
Who scorn her warnings and despise her grace?
By her unveil’d each horrid crime appears,
Her awful hand a cup of wormwood bears.
Days, years mispent, O what a hell of woe!
Hers the worst tortures that our souls can know.
Now eighteen years their destin’d course have run,
In fast succession round the central sun.
How did the follies of that period pass
Unnotic’d, but behold them writ in brass!
In Recollection see them fresh return,
And sure ’tis mine to be asham’d, and mourn.
O Virtue, smiling in immortal green,
Do thou exert thy pow’r, and change the scene;
Be thine employ to guide my future days,
And mine to pay the tribute of my praise.
Of Recollection such the pow’r enthron’d
In ev’ry breast, and thus her pow’r is own’d.
The wretch, who dar’d the vengeance of the skies,
At last awakes in horror and surprise,
By her alarm’d, he sees impending fate,
He howls in anguish, and repents too late.
But O! what peace, what joys are hers t’ impart
To ev’ry holy, ev’ry upright heart!
Thrice blest the man, who, in her sacred shrine,
Feels himself shelter’d from the wrath divine!

On Virtue – Phillis Wheatley

O Thou bright jewel in my aim I strive
To comprehend thee. Thine own words declare
Wisdom is higher than a fool can reach.
I cease to wonder, and no more attempt
Thine height t’ explore, or fathom thy profound.
But, O my soul, sink not into despair,
Virtue is near thee, and with gentle hand
Would now embrace thee, hovers o’er thine head.
Fain would the heav’n-born soul with her converse,
Then seek, then court her for her promis’d bliss.
Auspicious queen, thine heav’nly pinions spread,
And lead celestial Chastity along;
Lo! now her sacred retinue descends,
Array’d in glory from the orbs above.
Attend me, Virtue, thro’ my youthful years!
O leave me not to the false joys of time!
But guide my steps to endless life and bliss.
Greatness, or Goodness, say what I shall call thee,
To give me an higher appellation still,
Teach me a better strain, a nobler lay,
O thou, enthron’d with Cherubs in the realms of day.

On Imagination – Phillis Wheatley

The  various works, imperial queen, we see,
How bright their forms! how deck’d with pomp
by thee!
Thy wond’rous acts in beauteous order stand,
And all attest how potent is thine hand.
From Helicon’s refulgent heights attend,
Ye sacred choir, and my attempts befriend:
To tell her glories with a faithful tongue,
Ye blooming graces, triumph in my song.
Now here, now there, the roving Fancy flies,
Till some lov’d object strikes her wand’ring eyes,
Whose silken fetters all the senses bind,
And soft captivity involves the mind.
Imagination! who can sing thy force?
Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
Soaring through air to find the bright abode,
Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God,
We on thy pinions can surpass the wind,
And leave the rolling universe behind:
From star to star the mental optics rove,
Measure the skies, and range the realms above.
There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,
Or with new worlds amaze th’ unbounded soul.
Though Winter frowns to Fancy’s raptur’d eyes
The fields may flourish, and gay scenes arise;
The frozen deeps may break their iron bands,
And bid their waters murmur o’er the sands.
Fair Flora may resume her fragrant reign,
And with her flow’ry riches deck the plain;
Sylvanus may diffuse his honours round,
And all the forest may with leaves be crown’d:
Show’rs may descend, and dews their gems disclose,
And nectar sparkle on the blooming rose.
Such is thy pow’r, nor are thine orders vain,
O thou the leader of the mental train:
In full perfection all thy works are wrought,
And thine the sceptre o’er the realms of thought.
Before thy throne the subject-passions bow,
Of subject-passions sov’reign ruler thou;
At thy command joy rushes on the heart,
And through the glowing veins the spirits dart.
Fancy might now her silken pinions try
To rise from earth, and sweep th’ expanse on high:
From Tithon’s bed now might Aurora rise,
Her cheeks all glowing with celestial dies,
While a pure stream of light o’erflows the skies.
The monarch of the day I might behold,
And all the mountains tipt with radiant gold,
But I reluctant leave the pleasing views,
Which Fancy dresses to delight the Muse;
Winter austere forbids me to aspire,
And northern tempests damp the rising fire;
They chill the tides of Fancy’s flowing sea,
Cease then, my song, cease the unequal lay.

Chill Penury And Winter’s Power – Walther von der Vogelweide

Chill penury and winter’s power
Upon my soul so hard have prest,
That I would fain have seen no more
The red flow’rs that the meadows drest:

Yet, truth! ’twere hard, if I were gone,
Upon the merry-making throng,
That loud with joy was wont to ring,
And o’er the green to dance and spring!

Under The Lime Tree – Walther von der Vogelweide

Under the lime tree
On the heather,
Where we had shared a place of rest,
Still you may find there,
Lovely together,
Flowers crushed and grass down-pressed.
Beside the forest in the vale,
Tándaradéi,
Sweetly sang the nightingale.

I came to meet him
At the green:
There was my truelove come before.
Such was I greeted —
Heaven’s Queen! —
That I am glad for evermore.
Had he kisses? A thousand some:
Tándaradéi,
See how red my mouth’s become.

There he had fashioned
For luxury
A bed from every kind of flower.
It sets to laughing
Delightedly
Whoever comes upon that bower;
By the roses well one may,
Tándaradéi,
Mark the spot my head once lay.

If any knew
He lay with me
(May God forbid!), for shame I’d die.
What did he do?
May none but he
Ever be sure of that — and I,
And one extremely tiny bird,
Tándaradéi,
Who will, I think, not say a word.

The Bard – Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky

My friends, can you descry that mound of earth
Above clear waters in the shade of trees?
You can just hear the babbling spring against the bank;
You can just feel a breeze that’s wafting in the leaves;
A wreath and lyre hang upon the boughs…
Alas, my friends! This mound’s a grave;
Here earth conceals the ashes of a bard;
Poor bard!

A gentle soul, a simple heart
He was a sojourner in the world;
He’d barely bloomed, yet lost his taste for life
He craved his end with yearning and excitement;
And early on he met his end,
He found the grave’s desired sleep.
Your time was but a moment – a moment sad
Poor bard!

He sang with tenderness of friendship to his friend, –
His loyal friend cut down in his life’s bloom;
He sang of love – but in a doleful voice;
Alas! Of love he knew naught but its woe;
Now all has met with its demise,
Your soul partakes of peace eternal;
You slumber in your silent grave,
Poor bard!

Here, by this stream one eventide
He sang his doleful farewell song:
‘O lovely world, where blossomed I in vain;
Farewell forever; with a soul deceived
For happiness I waited – but my dreams have died;
All’s perished; lyre, be still;
To your serene abode, o haste,
Poor bard!

What’s life, when charm is lacking?
To know of bliss, with all the spirit’s striving,
Only to see oneself cut off by an abyss;
Each moment to desire and yet fear desiring…
O refuge of vexatious hearts,
O grave, sure path to peace,
When will you call to your embrace
The poor bard?’

The bard’s no more … his lyre’s silent…
All trace of him has disappeared from here;
The hills and valleys mourn;
And all is still … save zephyrs soft,
That stir the faded wreath,
And waft betimes above the grave,
A woeful lyre responds:
Poor bard!

The Boatman – Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky

Driven by misfortune’s whirlwind,
Having neither oar nor rudder,
By a storm my bark was driven
Out upon the boundless sea.
‘midst black clouds a small star sparkled;
‘Don’t conceal yourself!’ I cried;
But it disappeared, unheeding;
And my anchor was lost, too.

All was clothed in gloomy darkness;
Great swells heaved all round;
In the darkness yawned the depths
I was hemmed in by cliffs.
‘There’s no hope for my salvation!’
I bemoaned, with heavy spirit…
Madman! Providence
Was your secret helmsman.

With a hand invisible,
‘midst the roaring waves,
Through the gloomy, veiled depths
Past the terrifying cliffs,
My all-powerful savior guided me.
Then-all’s quiet ! gloom has vanished;
I behold a paradisical realm…
Three celestial angels.

Providence – O, my protector!
My dejected groaning ceases;
On my knees, in exaltation,
On their image I did gaze.
Who could sing their charm?
Or their power o’er the soul?
All around them holy innocence
And an aura divine.

A delight as yet untasted –
Live and breathe for them;
Take into my soul and heart
All their words and glances sweet.
O fate! I’ve but one desire:
Let them sample every blessing;
Vouchsafe them delight – me suffering;
Only let me die before they do.

Storm – William Gay

I love not when the oily seas
Heave huge and slow beneath the sun,
When decks are hot, and dead the breeze,
And wits are dropping one by one.
But when the South wind fiercely breaks
His frozen bonds and rushes forth
Across the roaring sea and shakes
His icy spear against the North;
When breakers thunder on the lee,
When timbers crash and sails are rent,
When wild and louder grows the sea,
And black the reeling firmament;
O then at last my soul awakes,
A thousand joys within her rise,
And all the bounds of sense she breaks
To soar exulting through the skies.
I love not when my ship of Fate
Glides on before some fragrant breeze,
And slowly tracks with costly freight
The sapphire deeps of prosperous seas.
But when beneath the sky of death
She staggers through the seas of pain,
When passion’s hot tempestuous breath
Through shroud and tackle shrieks amain,
When deepening glooms the day o’erwhelm,
And all is one wild wreck of form,
O then resolved I grasp the helm
And proudly guide her through the storm.

The Singer – William Gay

Nay! sing no more thy wild delusive strain
(I heard them say, while I my song pursued),
‘Tis but the rage of thy delirious brain
(I heard them say, yet still my song renewed):
Nay! sing no more with reckless, idle breath
Of man immortal and of life to come,
For one brief moment scan the face of death,
Then be thy foolish song for ever dumb;
Behold the dusty ash that once was fire,
And mark the summer leaf in autumn fall,
Watch thou the wavering breath of man expire,
And know that Death hath lordship over all
(I heard them say with many a scornful word,
Yet still sang on as one who nothing heard).

The Crazy World – William Gay

THE WORLD did say to me,
‘My bread thou shalt not eat,
I have no place for thee
In house nor field nor street.

‘I have on land nor sea
For thee nor home nor bread,
I scarce can give to thee
A grave when thou art dead.’

‘O crazy World,’ said I,
‘What is it thou canst give,
Which wanting, I must die,
Or having, I shall live?

‘When thou thy all hast spent,
And all thy harvests cease,
I still have nutriment
That groweth by decrease.

‘Thy streets will pass away,
Thy towers of steel be rust,
Thy heights to plains decay,
Thyself be wandering dust;

‘But I go ever on
From prime to endless prime,
I sit on Being’s throne,
A lord o’er space and time.

‘Then, crazy World,’ said I,
‘What is it thou canst give,
Which wanting, I must die,
Or having, I shall live?’

The Nightingale – Mark Akenside

To-night retired, the queen of heaven
With young Endymion stays;
And now to Hesper it is given
Awhile to rule the vacant sky,
Till she shall to her lamp supply
A stream of brighter rays.

Propitious send thy golden ray,
Thou purest light above!
Let no false flame seduce to stray
Where gulf or steep lie hid for harm;
But lead where music’s healing charm
May soothe afflicted love.

To them, by many a grateful song
In happier seasons vow’d,
These lawns, Olympia’s haunts, belong:
Oft by yon silver stream we walk’d,
Or fix’d, while Philomela talk’d,
Beneath yon copses stood.

Nor seldom, where the beechen boughs
That roofless tower invade,
We came, while her enchanting Muse
The radiant moon above us held:
Till, by a clamorous owl compell’d,
She fled the solemn shade.

But hark! I hear her liquid tone!
Now Hesper guide my feet!
Down the red marl with moss o’ergrown,
Through yon wild thicket next the plain,
Whose hawthorns choke the winding lane
Which leads to her retreat.

See the green space: on either hand
Enlarged it spreads around:
See, in the midst she takes her stand,
Where one old oak his awful shade
Extends o’er half the level mead,
Enclosed in woods profound.

Hark! how through many a melting note
She now prolongs her lays:
How sweetly down the void they float!
The breeze their magic path attends;
The stars shine out; the forest bends;
The wakeful heifers graze.

Whoe’er thou art whom chance may bring
To this sequester’d spot,
If then the plaintive Siren sing,
O softly tread beneath her bower
And think of Heaven’s disposing power,
Of man’s uncertain lot.

O think, o’er all this mortal stage
What mournful scenes arise:
What ruin waits on kingly rage;
How often virtue dwells with woe;
How many griefs from knowledge flow;
How swiftly pleasure flies!

O sacred bird! let me at eve,
Thus wandering all alone,
Thy tender counsel oft receive,
Bear witness to thy pensive airs,
And pity Nature’s common cares,
Till I forget my own.

A Song – Mark Akenside

The Shape alone let others prize,
The Features of the Fair;
I look for Spirit in her Eyes,
And Meaning in her Air.
A Damask Cheek, an Iv’ry Arm,
Shall ne’er my Wishes win,
Give me an animated Form,
That speaks a Mind within.
A Face where awful Honour shines,
Where Sense and Sweetness move,
And Angel Innocence refines,
The Tenderness of Love.

These are the Soul of Beauty’s frame,
Without whose vital Aid,
Unfinish’d all her Features seem,
And all her Roses dead.
But ah! where both their Charms unite,
How perfect is the View,
With ev’ry Image of Delight,
With Graces ever new.
Of Pow’r to charm the greatest Woe,
The wildest Rage controul,
Diffusing Mildness o’er the Brow,
And Rapture thro’ the Soul.
Their Pow’r but faintly to express,
All Language must despair,
But go behold
Arpasia’s
Face,
And read it perfect there.

Taste – Mark Akenside

What, then, is taste but those internal powers,
Active and strong, and feeling alive
To each fine impulse? a discerning sense
Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust
From things deformed, or disarranged and gross
In species. This nor gems nor stores of gold,
Nor purple state nor culture can bestow;
But God alone, when first His active hand
Imprints the secret bias of the soul.

Dark Friend, What Can I Say? – Mirabai

Dark Friend, what can I say?
This love I bring
from distant lifetimes is ancient,
do not revile it.
Seeing your elegant body
I am ravished.
Visit our courtyard, hear the women
singing old hymns
On the square I’ve laid
out a welcome of teardrops,
body and mind I surrendered ages ago,
taking refuge
wherever your feet pass.
Mira flees from lifetime to lifetime,
your virgin.

Why Mira Can’T Come Back To Her Old House – Mirabai

The colors of the Dark One have penetrated Mira’s body; all the other colors washed out.
Making love with the Dark One and eating little, those are my pearls and my carnelians.
Meditation beads and the forehead streak, those are my scarves and my rings.
That’s enough feminine wiles for me. My teacher taught me this.
Approve me or disapprove me: I praise the Mountain Energy night and day.
I take the path that ecstatic human beings have taken for centuries.
I don’t steal money, I don’t hit anyone. What will you charge me with?
I have felt the swaying of the elephant’s shoulders;
and now you want me to climb on a jackass?
Try to be serious

Strange Is The Path When You Offer Love – Mirabai

Do not mention the name of love,
O my simple-minded companion.
Strange is the path
When you offer your love.
Your body is crushed at the first step.

If you want to offer love
Be prepared to cut off your head
And sit on it.
Be like the moth,
Which circles the lamp and offers its body.
Be like the deer, which, on hearing the horn,
Offers its head to the hunter.
Be like the partridge,
Which swallows burning coals
In love of the moon.
Be like the fish
Which yields up its life
When separated from the sea.
Be like the bee,
Entrapped in the closing petals of the lotus.

Mira’s lord is the courtly Giridhara.
She says: Offer your mind
To those lotus feet.

I Do Not Care About Social Norms – Mirabai

I will fasten the bells of his love to my feet
And dance in front of Girdhar.
Dancing and dancing I will please his eyes;
My love is an ancient one.
My love is the only truth.

I do not care about social norms
Nor do I keep my family’s honour.
I cannot forget, even for a moment,
The beauty of my lover.
I am dyed in Hari’s colour.

My Beloved – Rabia Al Basri

My peace, O my brothers and sisters, is my solitude,
And my Beloved is with me always,
For His love I can find no substitute,
And His love is the test for me among mortal beings,
Whenever His Beauty I may contemplate,
He is my “mihrab”, towards Him is my “qiblah”
If I die of love, before completing satisfaction,
Alas, for my anxiety in the world, alas for my distress,
O Healer (of souls) the heart feeds upon its desire,
The striving after union with Thee has healed my soul,
O my Joy and my Life abidingly,
You were the source of my life and from Thee also came my ecstasy.
I have separated myself from all created beings,
My hope is for union with Thee, for that is the goal of my desire

Love – Rabia Al Basri

I have loved Thee with two loves –
a selfish love and a love that is worthy of Thee.
As for the love which is selfish,
Therein I occupy myself with Thee,
to the exclusion of all others.
But in the love which is worthy of Thee,
Thou dost raise the veil that I may see Thee.
Yet is the praise not mine in this or that,
But the praise is to Thee in both that and this.

The Hoosier – Hew Ainslie

We lads that live up in the nobs,
Tho’ our manners might yet bear a rubbing,
We’re handy at neat little jobs
Such as chopping and hewing and grubbing.
Tho’ we roost in a cabin of logs,
And clapboards lie ‘twixt us and heaven,
Our mast makes us fine oily hogs,
And from hoop-poles we pick a good living.
Right quiet — to a decent degree —
it’s seldom we guzzle it deep, Sir,
Tho’ we don’t mind a bit of a spree,
Provided the liquor is cheap, Sir.
Our neighbours, that live ‘cross the drink.
May laugh at our fondness for cider,
But so long as we pocket their clink
They may laugh till their mouths they grow wider.
Our gals make our trousers, you see,
From that beautiful stuff called tow linen,
and in coats of the linsey — dang me,
If we don’t look both handsome and winning.
Our wives are our weavers, to boot;
Ourselves are first rate on a shoe, Sir;
We can doctor a tub with a hoop —
And hark ! we’re our own niggers too, Sir,
So here’s to our Hoosier land,
The sons of its soil and its waters !
May the “nullies” ne’er get it in hand,
Nor demagogues tear it in tatters.
But still may it flourish and push,
Thro’ vetos and all such tough cases,
Till railroads are common as brush,
And the nobs are as sleek as your faces.

I Am Pale With Longing For My Beloved – Mirabai

I am pale with longing for my beloved;
People believe I am ill.
Seizing on every possible pretext,
I try to meet him ‘by accident.’

They have sent for a country doctor;
He grabs my arm and prods it;
How can he diagnose my pain?
It’s in my heart that I am afflicted.

Go home, country doctor,
Don’t address me by my name;
It’s the name of God that has wounded me,
Don’t force your medicines on me.

The sweetness of his lips is a pot of nectar,
That’s the only curd for which I crave;
Mira’s Lord is Giridhar Naagar.
He will feed me nectar again and again.

Strange Is The Path When You Offer Love – Mirabai

Do not mention the name of love,
O my simple-minded companion.
Strange is the path
When you offer your love.
Your body is crushed at the first step.

If you want to offer love
Be prepared to cut off your head
And sit on it.
Be like the moth,
Which circles the lamp and offers its body.
Be like the deer, which, on hearing the horn,
Offers its head to the hunter.
Be like the partridge,
Which swallows burning coals
In love of the moon.
Be like the fish
Which yields up its life
When separated from the sea.
Be like the bee,
Entrapped in the closing petals of the lotus.

Mira’s lord is the courtly Giridhara.
She says: Offer your mind
To those lotus feet.

O How May I Ever Express That Secret Word? – Kabir

O How may I ever express that secret word?
O how can I say He is not like this, and He is like that?
If I say that He is within me, the universe is ashamed:
If I say that He is without me, it is falsehood.
He makes the inner and the outer worlds to be indivisibly one;
The conscious and the unconscious, both are His footstools.
He is neither manifest nor hidden,
He is neither revealed nor unrevealed:
There are no words to tell that which He is.

Friend, Hope For The Guest While You Are Alive – Kabir

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think… and think… while you are alive.
What you call ‘salvation’ belongs to the time
before death.

If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten—
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment
in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life
you will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this: When the Guest is being search for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest
that does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.

The Spiritual Athlete Often Changes The Color Of His Clothes – Kabir

The spiritual athlete often changes the color of his clothes,
and his mind remains gray and loveless.

He sits inside a shrine room all day,
so that the Guest has to go outdoors and praise the rocks.

Or he drills holes in his ears, his hair grows
enormous and matted,
people mistake him for a goat…
He goes out into wilderness areas, strangles his impulses,
and makes himself neither male nor female…

He shaves his skull, puts his robe in an orange vat,
reads the Bhagavad-Gita, and becomes a terrific talker.

Kabir says: Actually you are going in a hearse
to the country of death,
bound hand and foot!

I Talk To My Inner Lover, And I Say, Why Such Rush? – Kabir

I talk to my inner lover, and I say, why such rush?
We sense that there is some sort of spirit that loves
birds and animals and the ants—
perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you
in your mother’s womb.
Is it logical you would be walking around entirely
orphaned now?
The truth is you turned away yourself,
and decided to go into the dark alone.
Now you are tangled up in others, and have forgotten
what you once knew,
and that’s why eveything you do has some weird
failure in it.

Genesis Bk II – Caedmon

ll. 82-91) The citizens of heaven, the home of glory, dwelt
again in concord. Strife was at an end among the angels, discord
and dissension, when those warring spirits, shorn of light, were
hurled from heaven. Behind them stretching wide their mansions
lay, crowned with glory, prospering in grace in God’s dominion, a
sunny, fruitful land, empty of dwellers, when the accursed
spirits reached their place of exile within Hell’s prison-walls.

(ll. 92-102) Then our Lord took counsel in the thoughts of His
heart how He might people, with a better host, the great
creation, the native seats and gleaming mansions, high in heaven,
wherefrom these boastful foes had got them forth. Therefore with
mighty power Holy God ordained, beneath the arching heavens, that
earth and sky and the far-bounded sea should be established,
earth-creatures in the stead of those rebellious foes whom He had
cast from heaven.

(ll. 103-119) As yet was nought save shadows of darkness; the
spacious earth lay hidden, deep and dim, alien to God, unpeopled
and unused. Thereon the Steadfast King looked down and beheld
it, a place empty of joy. He saw dim chaos hanging in eternal
night, obscure beneath the heavens, desolate and dark, until this
world was fashioned by the word of the King of glory. Here first
with mighty power the Everlasting Lord, the Helm of all created
things, Almighty King, made earth and heaven, raised up the sky
and founded the spacious land. The earth was not yet green with
grass; the dark waves of the sea flowed over it, and midnight
darkness was upon it, far and wide.

(ll. 119-134) Then in radiant glory God’s holy spirit moved upon
the waters with wondrous might. The Lord of angels, Giver of
life, bade light shine forth upon the spacious earth. Swiftly
was God’s word fulfilled; holy light gleamed forth across the
waste at the Creator’s bidding. Over the seas the Lord of
victory divided light from darkness, shadow from radiant light.
The Lord of life gave both a name. By the word of God the
gleaming light was first called day. And in the beginning of
creation was God well pleased. The first day saw the dark and
brooding shadows vanish throughout the spacious earth.

Genesis Bk I – Caedmon

I

(ll. 1-28) Right is it that we praise the King of heaven, the
Lord of hosts, and love Him with all our hearts. For He is great
in power, the Source of all created things, the Lord Almighty.
Never hath He known beginning, neither cometh an end of His
eternal glory. Ever in majesty He reigneth over celestial
thrones; in righteousness and strength He keepeth the courts of
heaven which were established, broad and ample, by the might of
God, for angel dwellers, wardens of the soul. The angel legions
knew the blessedness of God, celestial joy and bliss. Great was
their glory! The mighty spirits magnified their Prince and sang
His praise with gladness, serving the Lord of life, exceeding
blessed in His splendour. They knew no sin nor any evil; but
dwelt in peace for ever with their Lord. They wrought no deed in
heaven save right and truth, until the angel prince in pride
walked in the ways of error. Then no longer would they work
their own advantage, but turned away from the love of God. They
boasted greatly, in their banded strength, that they could share
with God His glorious dwelling, spacious and heavenly bright.

(ll. 28-46) Then sorrow came upon them, envy and insolence and
pride of the angel who first began that deed of folly, to plot
and hatch it forth, and, thirsting for battle, boasted that in
the northern borders of heaven he would establish a throne and a
kingdom. Then was God angered and wrathful against that host
which He had crowned before with radiance and glory. For the
traitors, to reward their work, He shaped a house of pain and
grim affliction, and lamentations of hell. Our Lord prepared
this torture-house of exiles, deep and joyless, for the coming of
the angel hosts. Well He knew it lay enshrouded in eternal night,
and filled with woe, wrapped in fire and piercing cold,
smoke-veils and ruddy flame. And over that wretched realm He
spread the brooding terror of torment. They had wrought grievous
wrong together against God. Grim the reward they gained!

(ll. 47-77) Fierce of heart, they boasted they would take the
kingdom, and easily. But their hope failed them when the Lord,
High King of heaven, lifted His hand against their host. The
erring spirits, in their sin, might not prevail against the Lord,
but God, the Mighty, in His wrath, smote their insolence and
broke their pride, bereft these impious souls of victory and
power and dominion and glory; despoiled His foes of bliss and
peace and joy and radiant grace, and mightily avenged His wrath
upon them to their destruction. His heart was hardened against
them; with heavy hand He crushed His foes, subdued them to His
will, and, in His wrath, drove out the rebels from their ancient
home and seats of glory. Our Lord expelled and banished out of
heaven the presumptuous angel host. All-wielding God dismissed
the faithless horde, a hostile band of woeful spirits, upon a
long, long journey. Crushed was their pride, their boasting
humbled, their power broken, their glory dimmed. Thenceforth
those dusky spirits dwelt in exile. No cause had they to laugh
aloud, but, racked with pangs of hell, they suffered pain and woe
and tribulation, cloaked with darkness, knowing bitter anguish, a
grim requital, because they sought to strive with God.

(ll. 78-81) Then was there calm as formerly in heaven, the kindly
ways of peace. The Lord was dear to all, a Prince among His
thanes, and glory was renewed of angel legions knowing
blessedness with God.

Caedmon’s Hymn – Caedmon

Now let me praise the keeper of Heaven’s kingdom,
The might of the Creator, and his thought,
The work of the Father of glory, how each of wonders
The Eternal Lord established in the beginning.
He first created for the sons of men
Heaven as a roof, the holy Creator,
Then Middle-earth the keeper of mankind,
The Eternal Lord, afterwards made,
The earth for men, the Almighty Lord.

Death, Always cruel – Dante Alighieri

Death, always cruel, Pity’s foe in chief,
Mother who brought forth grief,
Merciless judgment and without appeal!
Since thou alone hast made my heart to feel
This sadness and unweal,
My tongue upbraideth thee without relief.

And now (for I must rid thy name of ruth)
Behoves me speak the truth
Touching thy cruelty and wickedness:
Not that they be not known; but ne’ertheless
I would give hate more stress
With them that feed on love in very sooth.

Out of this world thou hast driven courtesy,
And virtue, dearly prized in womanhood;
And out of youth’s gay mood
The lovely lightness is quite gone through thee.

Whom now I mourn, no man shall learn from me
Save by the measure of these praises given.
Whoso deserves not Heaven
May never hope to have her company.

I Do Not Care About Social Norms – Mirabai

I will fasten the bells of his love to my feet
And dance in front of Girdhar.
Dancing and dancing I will please his eyes;
My love is an ancient one.
My love is the only truth.

I do not care about social norms
Nor do I keep my family’s honour.
I cannot forget, even for a moment,
The beauty of my lover.
I am dyed in Hari’s colour.

No One Knows My Invisible Life – Mirabai

No one knows my invisible life.
Pain
and madness for Rama.
Our wedding bed is high up
in the gallows.
Meet him?
If the dark healer comes,
we’ll negotiate the hurt.
I love the man who takes care
of cows. The cowherd.
Cowherd and dancer.
My eyes are drunk,
worn out from making love
with him. We are one.
I am now his dark color.
People notice me, point fingers at me.
They see my desire,
since I’m walking about like a lunatic.
I’m wiped out, gone.
Yet no one knows I live with my prince,
the cowherd.
The palace can’t contain me.
I leave it behind.
I couldn’t care less about gossip
or my royal name.
I’ll be with him
in all his gardens.

Strange Are The Decrees Of Fate – Mirabai

Strange are the decrees of fate.

Behold the large eyes of the deer!
Yet he is forced to roam the forests.

The harsh crane has brilliant plumage,
While the sweet-voiced cuckoo is black.

The rivers flow in pure streams,
But the sea makes them salt.

Fools sit on thrones as kings,
While the wise beg their bread.

Mira’s lord is the courtly Giridhara:
The king persecutes the Bhaktas.

O I Saw Witchcraft Tonight – Mirabai

O I saw witchcraft tonight
in the region of Braj.
A milking girl going her rounds,
a pot on her head,
came face to face with the Dark One.
My friend, she is babbling,
can no longer say “buttermilk.”
– Come get the Dark One, the Dark One!
A pot full of Shyam! –
In the overgrown lanes
of Vrindavan forest
the Enchanter of Hearts fixed his
eye on this girl,
then departed.
Mira’s lord is hot, lovely
and raven –
tonight she saw witchcraft
at Braj.

Only He Knows The Bitterness Of Love – Mirabai

Only he knows the bitterness of love

Who has deeply felt its pangs.

When you are in trouble

No one comes near you:

When fortune smiles.

All come to share the joy.

Love shows no external wound.

But the pain pervades every pore

Devotee Mira offers her body

As a sacrifice to Giridhara for ever.

I Will Sing The Praises Of Hari – Mirabai

We do not get a human life
Just for the asking.
Birth in a human body
Is the reward for good deeds
In former births.
Life waxes and wanes imperceptibly,
It does not stay long.
The leaf that has once fallen
Does not return to the branch.
Behold the Ocean of Transmigration.
With its swift, irresistible tide.
O Lal Giridhara, O pilot of my soul,
Swiftly conduct my barque to the further shore.
Mira is the slave of Lal Giridhara.
She says: Life lasts but a few days only.

Life in the world is short,
Why shoulder an unnecessary load
Of worldly relationships?
Thy parents gave thee birth in the world,
But the Lord ordained thy fate.
Life passes in getting and spending,
No merit is earned by virtuous deeds.
I will sing the praises of Hari
In the company of the holy men,
Nothing else concerns me.
Mira’s Lord is the courtly Giridhara,
She says: Only by Thy power
Have I crossed to the further shore.

Lamps Burn In Every House – Kabir

Lamps burn in every house,
O blind one! and you cannot see them.
One day your eyes shall suddenly be opened,
and you shall see: and the fetters of death will fall from you.
There is nothing to say or to hear,
there is nothing to do:
it is he who is living, yet dead, who shall never die again.

Because he lives in solitude,
therefore the Yogi says that his home is far away.

Your Lord is near: yet you are climbing the palm-tree to seek Him.

The Brahman priest goes from house to house
and initiates people into faith:
Alas! the true fountain of life is beside you,
and you have set up a stone to worship.

Kabîr says: ‘I may never express how sweet my Lord is.
Yoga and the telling of beads,
virtue and vice-these are naught to Him.’

The Time Before Death – Kabir

Friend? hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think… and think… while you are alive.
What you call ‘salvation’ belongs to the time
before death.

If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten —
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the
City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next
life you will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest
that does all the work.

Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.

Are You Looking For Me? – Kabir

Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine
rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:
not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding
around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but
vegetables.

When you really look for me, you will see me
instantly —
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.

Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath.

Illusion And Reality – Kabir

What is seen is not the Truth
What is cannot be said
Trust comes not without seeing
Nor understanding without words
The wise comprehends with knowledge
To the ignorant it is but a wonder
Some worship the formless God
Some worship His various forms
In what way He is beyond these attributes
Only the Knower knows
That music cannot be written
How can then be the notes
Says Kabir, awareness alone will overcome illusion

The Sisters – Terence Winch

One sister is leaving for Sweden.
Two sisters are arguing in the living room
while a third sister makes furtive
phone calls from the bathroom.
Another sister has died.

The sisters are all beautiful.
They knit, they cook, they write
books about the meaning
of life. They always look
good, even on a bad day.

Even the word sister is
insistent. Some sisters live
in a convent, some lie naked
on a bed in a dark room,
waiting for a caress.
They dress and undress
twenty times a day.

If I had a wish it would be
to have been there on the day
my sisters caught a giant fish
in Florida, and afterwards
began beautiful lives of
mystery in the female
universe, where the laws
of science are known to sway.

My Work – Terence Winch

In my work, at any given point,
the great issues of identity politics
and dialectical absolutism assume
a tight coherence, a profoundly
threatening total awareness
by which I seek to mediate
the conflict between meaning
and the extremes of deconstruction.

I never strike a false note
I believe in savvy artistic
incandescence as a constitutive
enhancement of racy sexuality,
all as a way to examine the
necessity of self-love.

It’s always dangerous to underestimate
my work. I insult the intellectual
dignity of the French. They arrive
in my brightly colored landscape
right after quitting time only to discover
an empty stage set in which all the clueless
actors have wandered off to an installation
of obsolete Marxist sloganeering.

Yeats was deeply immersed in mythology
and so am I. T. S. Eliot preferred Dante
to Shakespeare, but I don’t. Charles Bernstein
loves the way my sentences decompose.
John Ashbery will read my work only
while naked. Everything I do is the pure
output of brains, speed, and skill.

A couple of weeks ago, I digested
Aristotle. I found him to be electrifyingly
ahistorical, and he has now been subsumed
into my work. I have open-ended stratagems
when it comes to the Germans, particularly
Goethe and Kant. They live now in my
imagination. I go way beyond alienation
into a new synthesis of desire and content.

My work stands for something invisible,
something inner. I attempt to explain
the risk of appearing. Foucault would know
how well my work succeeds in revealing
the discourse between power and structure.
When you read my work, you may think
“simile” and “metaphor,” but what you really
get is the storm, the dark mansion, the servant
girl standing alone in Columbus Circle.

Triumph and loss permeate my work.
People should try to pick up on that.
My technical virtuosity is unrivaled.
Don’t talk to me about subject matter.
My work takes “narrative” and turns
it into whatever happened. In my work,
“story” becomes language contemplating
its own articulation in a field of gesture.

There is a higher reality at play in my work.
Sacred memories resonate with perceptual
knowledge of the body as primal text. Yet
my work is never subservient to the dominant
ideology. It circulates warmly and freely
through all variable channels. My work
is like the furniture you so much want to
sink into, but must wait as it wends its way
from distant points in a giant moving truck
screeching across the country
to your new home.

Fishbowl  – Terence Winch

I can’t think of anything else
to talk with you about. We have
discussed our jobs, our daily commute,
the foods we like and don’t like.
You have ordered wine. I get a Pepsi.
People have died. We acknowledge that.
We’re here and they’re not. You get up
early. I get up late. I want to tell you
that I see your special dead person still,
mostly in the subway. She was wonderful.
Your new girlfriend is also a gem. How is
it possible to love people who no longer
exist? But they’re everywhere, coming
and going in the world of the dead
as though they haven’t torn us in pieces
with their absence. They observe us
intently. We are fish in a fishbowl to them.
They watch from afar while we struggle to swim.

Morning Prayers – Terence Winch

Old people cry too much.
They walk in the morning
to the railway station.
Their hearts are breaking.

You can be old on the inside
or old on the outside.
Your heart can beat like
the heart of a young dog.

The railway has been closed
for years. The tracks end
in the middle of nowhere.
Old people get the senior discount.

When God was young our hearts
were on fire with our love
for him. He too is now an idiot
and we scorn his heartless ways.

My Beloved – Rabia Al Basri

My peace, O my brothers and sisters, is my solitude,
And my Beloved is with me always,
For His love I can find no substitute,
And His love is the test for me among mortal beings,
Whenever His Beauty I may contemplate,
He is my “mihrab”, towards Him is my “qiblah”
If I die of love, before completing satisfaction,
Alas, for my anxiety in the world, alas for my distress,
O Healer (of souls) the heart feeds upon its desire,
The striving after union with Thee has healed my soul,
O my Joy and my Life abidingly,
You were the source of my life and from Thee also came my ecstasy.
I have separated myself from all created beings,
My hope is for union with Thee, for that is the goal of my desire

My God And My Lord – Rabia Al Basri

Eyes are at rest, the stars are setting.
Hushed are the stirrings of birds in their nests,
Of monsters in the ocean.

You are the Just who knows no change,
The Balance that can never swerve,
The Eternal which never passes away.

The doors of Kings are bolted now and guarded by soldiers.
Your Door is open to all who call upon You.

My Lord,
Each love is now alone with his beloved.
And I am alone with You.

My Greatest Need Is You – Rabia Al Basri

Your hope in my heart is the rarest treasure
Your Name on my tongue is the sweetest word
My choicest hours
Are the hours I spend with You —
O Allah, I can’t live in this world
Without remembering You–
How can I endure the next world
Without seeing Your face?
I am a stranger in Your country
And lonely among Your worshippers:
This is the substance of my complaint.

Reality – Rabia Al Basri

In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?

The Holy Water – Rabia Al Basri

No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existence.
The holy water, I need it upon my eyes: it is you, dear, you – each form.

What mother would lose her infant – and we are that to God,
never lost from His gaze are we? Every cry of the heart
is attended by light’s own arms.

You cannot wander anywhere that will not aid you.
Anything you can touch – God brought it into
the classroom of your mind.

Differences exist, but not in the city of love.
Thus my vows and yours, I know they are the same.

I have just peeled the skin from the potato
and you are still contemplating its worth,
sweetheart; indeed there are wonderful nutrients in all,
for God made everything.

You joined our community at birth.
With your Father being who He is, what do the
world’s scales know of your precious value.
The priest and the prostitute – they weigh the same before the Son’s
immaculate being,
but who can bear that truth and freedom,
so a wise man adulterated the
scriptures;
every wise man knows this.

My soul’s face has revealed its beauty to me;
why was it shy so long, didn’t it know how this made me suffer
and weep?

A different game He plays with His close ones.
God tells us truths you would not believe,
for most everyone needs to limit His compassion; concepts of
right and wrong preserve the golden seed
until one of God’s friends comes along and tends your body
like a divine bride.

The Holy sent out a surveyor to find the limits of its compassion
and being.
God knows a divine frustration whenever He acts like that,
for the Infinite has
no walls.

Why not tease Him about this?
Why not accept the freedom of what it means
for our Lord to see us
as Himself.

So magnificently sovereign is our Lover; never say,
‘On the other side of this river a different King rules.”
For how could that be true – for nothing can oppose Infinite strength.

No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existence.

The holy water my soul’s brow needs is unity.
Love opened my eye and I was cleansed
by the purity of each
form.

With My Beloved – Rabia Al Basri

With my Beloved I alone have been,
When secrets tenderer than evening airs
Passed, and the Vision blest
Was granted to my prayers,
That crowned me, else obscure, with endless fame;
The while amazed between
His Beauty and His Majesty
I stood in silent ecstasy
Revealing that which o’er my spirit went and came.
Lo, in His face commingled
Is every charm and grace;
The whole of Beauty singled
Into a perfect face
Beholding Him would cry,
‘There is no God but He, and He is the most High.’

Poem – Caedmon’s Hymn 

Now let me praise  the keeper of Heaven’s kingdom, 
The might of the Creator, and his thought, 

The work of the Father of glory, how each of wonders 

The Eternal Lord established in the beginning. 

He first created for the sons of men 

Heaven as a roof, the holy Creator, 

Then Middle-earth the keeper of mankind, 

The Eternal Lord, afterwards made, 

The earth for men, the Almighty Lord. 

A Friend Sends Her Perfumed Carriage – Li Ching Chao

A friend sends her perfumed carriage 
And high-bred horses to fetch me. 

I decline the invitation of 

My old poetry and wine companion. 
I remember the happy days in the lost capital. 

We took our ease in the woman’s quarters. 

The Feast of Lanterns was elaborately celebrated – 

Folded pendants, emerald hairpins, brocaded girdles, 

New sashes – we competed 

To see who was most smartly dressed. 

Now I am withering away, 

Wind-blown hair, frost temples. 

I prefer to stay beyond the curtains, 

And listen to talk and laughter 

I can no longer share. 

Morning Rain – Tu Fu

A slight rain comes, bathed in dawn light. 

I hear it among treetop leaves before mist 

Arrives. Soon it sprinkles the soil and, 

Windblown, follows clouds away. Deepened 
Colors grace thatch homes for a moment. 

Flocks and herds of things wild glisten 

Faintly. Then the scent of musk opens across 

Half a mountain — and lingers on past noon.

Restless Night – Tu Fu

As bamboo chill drifts into the bedroom, 

Moonlight fills every corner of our 

Garden. Heavy dew beads and trickles. 

Stars suddenly there, sparse, next aren’t. 
Fireflies in dark flight flash. Waking 

Waterbirds begin calling, one to another. 

All things caught between shield and sword, 

All grief empty, the clear night passes.

The Passionate Shepherd (Excerpt) – Nicholas Brenton

Who can live in heart so glad 

As the merry country lad? 

Who upon a fair green balk 

May at pleasure sit and walk, 

And amid the azure skies 

See the morning sun arise; 

While he hears in every spring 

How the birds do chirp and sing; 

Or before the hounds in cry 

See the hare go stealing by; 

Or along the shallow brook 

Angling with a baited hook, 

See the fishes leap and play 

In a blessed sunny day; 

Or to hear the partridge call 

Till she have her covey all; 

Or to see the subtle fox, 

How the villain plies the box, 

After feeding on his prey 

How he closely sneaks away 

Through the hedge and down the furrow, 

Till he gets into his burrow; 

Then the bee to gather honey, 

And the little black hair’d coney 

On a bank for sunny place 

With her forefeet wash her face: 

Are not these, with thousands moe 

Than the courts of kings do know, 

The true pleasing-spirits sights 

That may breed true love’s delights?

To  Autumn – William Blake 

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stainèd 

With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit 

Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest, 

And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe, 

And all the daughters of the year shall dance! 

Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers. 

`The narrow bud opens her beauties to 

The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins; 

Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and 

Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve, 

Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing, 

And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head. 
`The spirits of the air live on the smells 

Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round 

The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.’ 

Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat; 

Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak 

Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

The Garden Of Love – William Blake

I went to the Garden of Love, 

And saw what I never had seen; 

A Chapel was built in the midst, 

Where I used to play on the green. 
And the gates of this Chapel were shut 

And ‘Thou shalt not,’ writ over the door; 

So I turned to the Garden of Love 

That so many sweet flowers bore. 
And I saw it was filled with graves, 

And tombstones where flowers should be; 

And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds, 

And binding with briars my joys and desires.

The Blossom – William Blake

Merry, merry sparrow! 

Under leaves so green 

A happy blossom 

Sees you, swift as arrow, 

Seek your cradle narrow, 

Near my bosom. 

Pretty, pretty robin! 

Under leaves so green 

A happy blossom 

Hears you sobbing, sobbing, 

Pretty, pretty robin, 

Near my bosom.

Classic Poem – When Rising From The Bed Of Death – Joseph Addison

When rising from the bed of death, 

O’erwhelmed with guilt and fear, 

I see my Maker face to face, 

O how shall I appear? 
If yet, while pardon may be found, 

And mercy may be sought, 

My heart with inward horror shrinks, 

And trembles at the thought; 
When Thou, O Lord, shalt stand disclosed 

In majesty severe, 

And sit in judgment on my soul, 

O how shall I appear? 
But Thou hast told the troubled mind 

Who does her sins lament, 

The timely tribute of her tears 

Shall endless woe prevent. 
Then see the sorrow of my heart, 

Ere yet it be too late; 

And hear my Savior’s dying groans, 

To give those sorrows weight. 
For never shall my soul despair 

Her pardon to procure, 

Who knows Thine only Son has died 

To make her pardon sure.

Classic Poem – Hope – Joseph Addison

Our lives, discoloured with our present woes, 

May still grow white and shine with happier hours. 

So the pure limped stream, when foul with stains 

Of rushing torrents and descending rains, 

Works itself clear, and as it runs refines, 

till by degrees the floating mirror shines; 

Reflects each flower that on the border grows, 

And a new heaven in it’s fair bosom shows.

Roses Can Wound – Lascelles Abercrombie

Roses can wound, 

But not from having thorns they do most harm; 

Often the night gives, starry-sheen or moon’d, 

Deep in the soul alarm. 

And it hath been deep within my heart like fear, 

Girl, when you are near. 

The mist of sense, 

Wherein the soul goes shielded, can divide, 

And she must cringe and be ashamed, and wince, 

Not in appearance hide 

Of rose or girl from the blazing mastery 

Of bared Eternity.

The Stream’s Song –  Lascelles Abercrombie 

Make way, make way, 

You thwarting stones; 

Room for my play, 

Serious ones. 
Do you not fear, 

O rocks and boulders, 

To feel my laughter 

On your broad shoulders? 
So you not know 

My joy at length 

Will all wear out 

Your solemn strength? 
You will not for ever 

Cumber my play: 

With joy and son 

I clear my way. 
Your faith of rock 

Shall yield to me, 

And be carried away 

By the song of my glee. 
Crumble, crumble, 

Voiceless things; 

No faith can last 

That never sings. 
For the last hour 

To joy belongs: 

The steadfast perish, 

But not the songs. 
Yet for a while 

Thwart me, O boulders; 

I need for laugher 

Your serious shoulders. 
And when my singing 

Has razed your quite, 

I shall have lost 

Half my delight.

Hope And Despair – Lascelles Abercrombie

Said God, ‘You sisters, ere ye go 

Down among men, my work to do, 

I will on each a badge bestow: 

Hope I love best, and gold for her, 

Yet a silver glory for Despair, 

For she is my angel too.’ 

Then like a queen, Despair 

Put on the stars to wear. 

But Hope took ears of corn, and round 

Her temples in a wreath them bound.– 

Which think ye lookt the more fair?