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INTRODUCTION Because man is both militant and pacific, he has expressed in literature, as indeed in the other forms of art, his pacific and militant moods. Nor are these moods, of necessity, incompatible. War may become the price of peace, and peace may so decay as inevitably to bring about war. Of the dully unresponsive pacificist and the jingo patriot, quick to anger, the latter no doubt is the more dangerous to the cause of true freedom, yet... more...

IN THE SEVEN WOODS. I have heard the pigeons of the Seven Woods Make their faint thunder, and the garden bees Hum in the lime tree flowers; and put away The unavailing outcries and the old bitterness That empty the heart. I have forgot awhile Tara uprooted, and new commonness Upon the throne and crying about the streets And hanging its paper flowers from post to post, Because it is alone of all things happy. I am contented for... more...

AN A D D R E S S TO ALLWell provided Hibernians. Gentlemen,   S Nature hath been so very Indulgent to ye, as to stock your Gardens with Trees of the largest Growth, for which Reason ye are caress'd, whilst Men of less Parts, tho' in some Things more deserving, are laugh'd at, and excluded all Company. As all Infants, especially of the Female Sex, are much delighted with Fruit, so as their Years and other Appetites increase, no Wonder... more...

AN OLD HEART How young I am!  Ah! heaven, this curse of youth   Doth mock me from my mirror with great eyes,And pulsing veins repeat the unwelcome truth,   That I must live, though hope within me dies. So young, and yet I have had all of life.   Why, men have lived to see a hundred years,Who have not known the rapture, joy, and strife   Of my brief youth, its passion and its tears. Oh! what are... more...

VOICES OF THE NIGHT <Greek poem here—Euripides.> PRELUDE. Pleasant it was, when woods were green,  And winds were soft and low,To lie amid some sylvan scene.Where, the long drooping boughs between,Shadows dark and sunlight sheen  Alternate come and go; Or where the denser grove receives  No sunlight from above,But the dark foliage interweavesIn one unbroken roof of leaves,Underneath whose sloping... more...

A HYMN OF EMPIRE (Coronation Year, 1911) God save England, blessed by Fate,So old, yet ever young:The acorn isle from which the greatImperial oak has sprung!And God guard Scotland's kindly soil,The land of stream and glen,The granite mother that has bredA breed of granite men!God save Wales, from Snowdon's valesTo Severn's silver strand!For all the grace of that old raceStill haunts the Celtic land.And, dear old Ireland, God save you,And heal... more...

Gerontion Thou hast nor youth nor ageBut as it were an after dinner sleepDreaming of both. Here I am, an old man in a dry month,Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain.I was neither at the hot gatesNor fought in the warm rainNor knee deep in the salt marsh, heaving a cutlass,Bitten by flies, fought.My house is a decayed house,And the jew squats on the window sill, the owner,Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp,Blistered in Brussels, patched... more...

In the tenth book of the Republic, when Plato has completed his final burning denunciation of Poetry, the false Siren, the imitator of things which themselves are shadows, the ally of all that is low and weak in the soul against that which is high and strong, who makes us feed the things we ought to starve and serve the things we ought to rule, he ends with a touch of compunction: 'We will give her champions, not poets themselves but poet-lovers,... more...

INVOCATION. Thou with the dark blue eye upturned to heaven,And cheek now pale, now warm with radiant glow,          Daughter of God,—most dear,—          Come with thy quivering tear,And tresses wild, and robes of loosened flow,—To thy lone votaress let one look be given! Come Poesy! nor like some just-formed maid,With heart as... more...

Amos and Ann had a poem to learn,A poem to learn one day;But alas! they sighed, and alack! they cried,’Twere better to go and play.Ann was sure ’twas a waste of timeTo bother a child with jingling rhyme.Amos said, “What’s the sense in rhythm—Feet and lines?” He had finished with ’em! They peered at the poem with scowly faces,And yawned and stumbled and lost their places.Then—a breeze romped by, and... more...