Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
– Edgar Allan Poe
In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed-
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.
Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?
That holy dream- that holy dream,
While all the world were chiding,
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding.
What though that light, thro’ storm and night,
So trembled from afar-
What could there be more purely bright
In Truth’s day-star?
– Edgar Allan Poe
‘Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro’ the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
‘Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile
On her cold smile;
Too cold- too cold for me-
There pass’d, as a shroud,
A fleecy cloud,
And I turned away to thee,
Proud Evening Star,
In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be;
For joy to my heart
Is the proud part
Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
And more I admire
Thy distant fire,
Than that colder, lowly light.
– Edgar Allan Poe
The light passes
from ridge to ridge,
from flower to flower—
the hepaticas, wide-spread
under the light
the petals reach inward,
the blue tips bend
toward the bluer heart
and the flowers are lost.
The cornel-buds are still white,
but shadows dart
from the cornel-roots—
black creeps from root to root,
cuts another leaf on the grass,
shadow seeks shadow,
then both leaf
and leaf-shadow are lost.
– Hilda Doolittle
Will you glimmer on the sea?
Will you fling your spear-head
On the shore?
What note shall we pitch?
We have a song,
On the bank we share our arrows—
The loosed string tells our note:
Bring her swiftly to our song.
She is great,
We measure her by the pine-trees.
– Hilda Doolittle
In the gathering dusk of Autumn
the mist of evening
rolls across the farms and hills of home
to greet the brisk chill in the air.
Grasses wet with dew
such a relief
from the long summer’s heat;
a gourmet feast for cattle
grazing lazily in the meadows.
The sounds of wood chopping,
smells of burning leaves and
mom’s pies baking in the oven,
all warm, cherished memories
of home in the fall;
exquisite jewels in a crown
I will wear in the long, cold,
less comforting days of winter.
– Carolyn Brunelle
Dinner and day together go,
As round the table still we dwell,
Watching the sun descending slow,
Our faces shine with day’s farewell.
This is the moment of all time
When stillness reigneth over all:
When life calms down, the highest lime
Moves not, nor any leaf dares fall.
Shall we sit still in low-voiced talk
Anticipating lamp and book,
Or once more take a sauntering walk
Hill-ward to catch the sun’s last look?
The lambs and sheep have parted long,
No anxious bleat nor moor-hen’s call
Is heard, nor robin’s autumn song,
Absolute stillness reigns o’er all.
Over the orange-tinted brae,
Against that wondrous north-west sky,
Over the far sea golden-gray,
Where no horizon we descry.
A glorified world is there, behold,
Above that cloud-bank growing dim,
Where the great king hath laid his head,
Fragments of crimson still unfold:
Cherubim’s wings are ruby red,
So these may be the cherubim!
Now we return with noiseless tread,
These cottage doors are shut betimes,
Listen, this is old John Grimes’,
He reads before he goes to bed;
He reads a chapter of the Book
Of Books, to comfort his old wife,
Happily in this far Scotch nook,
Faith still trims the lamp of life.
But there our own high windows shine,
The evening fire is lit we see,
Wayfaring shoes let us resign,
And you will sing that hymn to me.
– William Bell Scott
At evening, sitting on this terrace,
When the sun from the west, beyond Pisa, beyond the mountains of Carrara
Departs, and the world is taken by surprise …
When the tired flower of Florence is in gloom beneath the glowing
Brown hills surrounding …
When under the arches of the Ponte Vecchio
A green light enters against stream, flush from the west,
Against the current of obscure Arno …
Look up, and you see things flying
Between the day and the night;
Swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together.
A circle swoop, and a quick parabola under the bridge arches
Where light pushes through;
A sudden turning upon itself of a thing in the air.
A dip to the water.
And you think:
‘The swallows are flying so late!’
Dark air-life looping
Yet missing the pure loop …
A twitch, a twitter, an elastic shudder in flight
And serrated wings against the sky,
Like a glove, a black glove thrown up at the light,
And falling back.
The swallows are gone.
At a wavering instant the swallows gave way to bats
By the Ponte Vecchio …
Bats, and an uneasy creeping in one’s scalp
As the bats swoop overhead!
Black piper on an infinitesimal pipe.
Little lumps that fly in air and have voices indefinite, wildly vindictive;
Wings like bits of umbrella.
Creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag, to sleep;
And disgustingly upside down.
Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags
And grinning in their sleep.
Not for me!
– David Herbert Lawrence
The fading gleam of parting day
Forsakes the western sky,
Now shines Diana’s chaster ray
With virgin majesty;
Her face with milder glory bright
Pales o’er the dusky shades of night,
And brings the varied scene to view:
The glassy lake, the bubbling stream,
Again reflect the borrow’d beam,
And take the silver hue.
From the deep shade of yonder trees
The screaming night-birds call,
While floats in Zephyr’s balmy breeze
The distant water-fall;
Sad Philomela’s warbling throat
Pours forth the sweetly-mournful note,
And charms the lay-resounding grove,
Where, trembling at the gentle gale,
The bending fir, and poplar pale,
In rushing murmurs move.
What joyful sounds arise!—
These strains of rural music sink,
And shrill-ton’d clarions rend the skies,
The air a voice of triumph chears—
Behold, an awful form appears
On Cherwell’s sedgy brink!
His azure length of robe behind
Loosely wantons in the wind,
Glowing like the vernal morning
Beams benign his eye-balls shed,
Ceres’ wealth his brows adorning
Shades his venerable head.
Say, heav’nly Vision, what these notes portend;
Sits white-wing’d Vict’ry on Britannia’s arms?
Does proud Iberia to our legions bend,
Or flies the Gaul at Granby’s dread alarms,
Or stalks on India’s sun-burnt plains afar
The force of Conflict keen, and giant rage of War?
‘Far hence, he cried, the tumult’s roar
‘To distant climes shall fly,
‘Mirth revels now on Albion’s shore,
‘And blithe Festivity.
‘Ye Muses, twine each fragrant flower
‘To crown with roseate braids the hour
‘Which gave to George a blooming Heir;
‘Ye guardians of this favour’d isle,
‘With graceful pleasure kindly smile,
‘Ye Nymphs your wreaths prepare.
‘Come happy babe! delight the lands
‘Which time shall make thy own;
‘Come happy babe! whom Heav’n commands
‘To fill a future throne.
‘And when the sacred lore of truth
‘Shall gently form thy ripening youth,
‘May ev’ry grateful Briton find
‘The soul of George’s godlike race,
‘With lovely Charlotte’s softer grace,
‘Attemper’d in thy mind.
‘For thee on Afric’s burning coast
‘Aloft the British ensign waves;
‘For thee by rattling tempests tost
‘Their navies awe the Gallic pride,
‘On every realm, whose hostile side
‘The boundless ocean laves;—
‘With nobler skill and fiercer fire
‘Strike the rapture-breathing lyre!
‘Hark!—on Cambria’s cloud-topt mountains
‘Music winds her streams along:
‘As they flow, the crystal fountains
‘Listen to the jocund song!
‘Lo! glorious shades and halcyon days appear
‘Fair as the Morn in saffron mantle dight,—
‘But sounds divine ill suit the human ear,
‘And fleeting visions mock the mortal sight.’
He said: and rushing from my wond’ring eyes,
On rapid light’ning borne, he sought his native skies.
– Henry James Pye
Angels their silvery trumpets blow,
At dawn, to greet the Morning Glow,
And mortals lift adoring eyes
To see the glorious sun arise.
Then, winged by Faith, and spurred by Hope
Youth scans the hill, youth scales the slope.
Its pulses bound, its thoughts exult,
It finds no danger difficult,
Quickens its pace, disdaining ease
Victor before it comes and sees,
Feeling the Universe its own,
The Sovereign of a Self-made Throne.
Each hope fulfilled, obtained each prayer,
We glory in the Noonday Glare.
Welcome the blinding heat of strife,
Deeming resistance part of life.
We deal the blow, return the stroke,
Fighting our way through dust and smoke,
Until, our battle-banner furled,
We tower above a conquered World;
Whether one leads mankind along
By gift of speech or grace of song,
Seizes by forceful hand the helm,
Or adds an Empire to the Realm,
Confronts the sun with forehead bare,
Exulting in the Noonday Glare.
But, as the lengthening shadows glide
Silent towards the eventide,
And dew baptizes leaf and flower
In twilight’s sanctuary hour,
A sacred Something haunts the air,
Tender as love, devout as prayer,
And in the lofty dome afar
Glimmers one bright outriding star,
Announcing to the watchful sight
Coming battalions of the Night.
Then Noonday Glare and Morning Glow
Fade into shadowy Long-ago.
One feels Earth’s vain ambitions fade
Into the vanished dust they made.
All that the glow of dawn foretold,
And all the glare of noon unrolled,
Seem nothing to the quiet joy
No clamour mars, no cares destroy,
‘Twixt restless day and restful night,
That cometh with the Evening Light.
– Alfred Austin