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PREFACE. The numerous collections of American verse share, I think, one fault in common: they include too much. Whether this has been a bid for popularity, a concession to Philistia, I cannot say; but the fact remains that all anthologies of American poetry are, so far as I know, more or less uncritical. The aim of the present book is different. In no case has a poem been included because it is widely known. The purpose of this compilation is... more...

LONGFELLOW'S POEMS IN PROSE   he home of the American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, during the greater part of his life was in the picturesque town of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and there many of his best known poems were written. The forge of the Village Blacksmith really stood there beneath the shelter of a "spreading chestnut tree," in Cambridge, and when, as the town grew larger, the smithy was removed and the tree cut down, all... more...

PREFACE In March, 1914, a volume appeared entitled "Des Imagistes." It was a collection of the work of various young poets, presented together as a school. This school has been widely discussed by those interested in new movements in the arts, and has already become a household word. Differences of taste and judgment, however, have arisen among the contributors to that book; growing tendencies are forcing them along different paths. Those of us... more...

INTRODUCTION If we define poetry as the heart of man expressed in beautiful language, we shall not say that we have no national poetry. True, America has produced no Shakespeare and no Milton, but we have an inheritance in all English literature; and many poets in America have followed in the footsteps of their literary British forefathers. Puritan life was severe. It was warfare, and manual labor of a most exhausting type, and loneliness, and... more...

I.SUCCESS.[Published in "A Masque of Poets"at the request of "H.H.," the author'sfellow-townswoman and friend.]Success is counted sweetestBy those who ne'er succeed.To comprehend a nectarRequires sorest need.Not one of all the purple hostWho took the flag to-dayCan tell the definition,So clear, of victory,As he, defeated, dying,On whose forbidden earThe distant strains of triumphBreak, agonized and clear! II.Our share of night to bear,Our... 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...

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...

UTUMNAL skies were fair, and blue, And soft and mild the morning breeze; With sails unfurled—a joyous crew— We sought Pacific's tranquil seas, And entered there, a gate that stands, Unbarred to ships of many lands. And as we passed its portal grand, Our hearts were glad, our spirits light, And we rejoiced, and eager scanned The scenes that came before our sight. Near Alcatraz, an island bold, We paused to hear this... more...

When Day Is Done When day is done and the night slips down,And I've turned my back on the busy town,And come once more to the welcome gateWhere the roses nod and the children wait,I tell myself as I see them smileThat life is good and its tasks worth while. When day is done and I've come once moreTo my quiet street and the friendly door,Where the Mother reigns and the children playAnd the kettle sings in the old-time way,I throw my coat on a... more...

PRELUDE.   Poems are heavenly things,  And only souls with wings  May reach them where they grow,  May pluck and bear below,  Feeding the nations thus  With food all glorious.   Verses are not of these;  They bloom on earthly trees,  Poised on a low-hung stem,  And those may gather them  Who cannot fly to where  The heavenly... more...