Monday, October 31, 2016

A PLAIN LIFE
W.H. Davies 1871-1940

No idle gold - since this fine sun, my friend,
Is no mean miser, but doth freely spend.

No precious stones - since these green mornings show,
Without a charge, their pearls where'er I go.

No lifeless books - since birds with their sweet tongues
Will read aloud to me their happier songs.

No painted scenes - since clouds can change their skies
A hundred times a day to please my eyes.

No headstrong wine - since, while I drink, the spring
Into my eager ears will softly sing.

No surplus clothes - since every simple beast
Can teach me to be happy with the least.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Sunday, October 30, 2016

CHANGE UPON CHANGE
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1809-61

Five months ago the stream did flow,
The lilies bloomed within the sedge,
And we were lingering to and fro,
Where none will track thee in this snow,
Along the stream, beside the hedge.
Ah, Sweet, be free to love and go!
For if I do not hear thy foot,
The frozen river is as mute,
The flowers have dried down to the root:
And why, since these be changed since May,
Shouldst thou change less than they.

And slow, slow as the winter snow
The tears have drifted to mine eyes;
And my poor cheeks, five months ago
Set blushing at thy praises so,
Put paleness on for a disguise.
Ah, Sweet, be free to praise and go!
For if my face is turned too pale,
It was thine oath that first did fail, -
It was thy love proved false and frail, -
And why, since these be changed enow,
Should I change less than thou.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS




Saturday, October 29, 2016

THE ABC
Spike Milligan 1918-2002

'Twas midnight in the schoolroom
And every desk was shut
When suddenly from the alphabet 
Was heard a loud "Tut-Tut!"

Said A to B, "I don't like C;
His manners are a lack.
For all I ever see of C
Is a semi-circular back!"

"I disagree," said D to B,
"I've never found C so.
From where I stand he seems to be
An uncompleted O."

C was vexed, "I'm much perplexed,
You criticise my shape.
I'm made like that, to help spell Cat
And Cow and Cool and Cape."

"He's right" said E; said F, "Whoopee!"
Said G, "'Ip, 'Ip, 'ooray!"
"You're dropping me," roared H to G.
"Don't do it please I pray."

"Out of my way," LL said to K.
"I'll make poor I look ILL."
To stop this stunt J stood in front,
And presto! ILL was JILL.

"U know," said V, "that W
Is twice the age of me.
For as a Roman V is five
I'm half as young as he."

X and Y yawned sleepily,
"Look at the time!" they said.
"Let's all get off to beddy byes."
They did, then "Z-z-z." 

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS was updated today

Friday, October 28, 2016

GO, VALENTINE
Robert Southey 1813-43

 Go, Valentine, and tell that lovely maid 
Whom fancy still will portray to my sight, 
How here I linger in this sullen shade, 
This dreary gloom of dull monastic night; 
Say, that every joy of life remote 
At evening's closing hour I quit the throng, 
Listening in solitude the ring-dome's note, 
Who pours like me her solitary song; 
Say, that of her absence calls the sorrowing sigh; 
Say, that of all her charms I love to speak, 
In fancy feel the magic of her eye, 
In fancy view the smile illume her cheek, 
Court the lone hour when silence stills the grove, 
And heave the sigh of memory and of love.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS
FLOWERS
Thomas Hood 1789/1845

I will not have the mad clytie*
Whose head is turned by the sun;
The tulip is a courtly queen,
Whom, therefore, I will shun;
The cowslip is a country wench,
The violet is a nun; -
But I will woo the dainty rose,
The queen of everyone.

The pea is but a wanton witch,
In too much haste to wed,
And clasps her rings on every hand
The wolfsbane I should dread; -
Nor will I dreary rosemary
That always mourns the dead; -
But I will woo the dainty rose,
With her cheeks of tender red.

The lily is all in white, like a saint,
And so is no mate for me -
And the daisy's cheek is tipped with blush,
She is of such low degree;
Jasmine is sweet, and has many loves,
And the broom's betrothed to the bee; -
But I will plight with the dainty rose,
For fairest of all is she.
*In Greek mythology Clytie was a nymph was who was turned into a sunflower.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Thursday, October 27, 2016

THE LITTLE GHOST
Edna St.Vincent Millay 1892-1950

I knew her for a little ghost
That in my garden walked;
The wall is high - higher than most -
And the green gate was locked.
And yet I did not think of that
Till after she was gone -
I knew her by the broad white hat,
All ruffled, she had on.
By the dear ruffles round her feet,
By her small hands that hung
In their lace mitts, austere and sweet,
Her gown's white folds among.
I watched to see if she would stay,
What she would do - and oh!
She looked as if she liked the way
I let my garden grow!
She bent above my favourite mint
With conscious garden grace,
She smiled and smiled - there was no hint
Of sadness in her face.
She held her gown on either side
To let her slippers show,
And up the walk she went with pride,
The way great ladies go.
And where the wall is built in new
And is of ivy bare
She paused - then opened and passed through
A gate that once was there.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS




Wednesday, October 26, 2016

HOPE
Joseph Addison 1672-1719

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 its fair bosom shows.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

LIFE IS FINE
Langston Hughes 1902-67

I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn't,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn't a-been so cold
I might've sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn't a-been so high
I might've jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I'm still here livin',
I guess I will live on.
I could've died for love -
But for livin' I was born.

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry - 
I'll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine! 

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Monday, October 24, 2016

BALLADE OF AUTUMN
Andrew Lang 1844-1912

We built a castle in the air,
In summer weather, you and I,
The wind and sun were in your hair,
Gold hair against a sapphire sky:
When autumn came, with leaves that fly
Before the storm, across the plain,
You fled from me, with scarce a sigh,
My Love returns no more again!

The windy lights of autumn flare:
I watch the moonlit sails go by;
I marvel how men toil and fare,
The weary business that they ply!
Their voyaging is vanity,
And fairy gold is all their gain,
And all the winds of winter cry,
"My Love returns no more again!"

Here, in my Castle of Despair,
I sit alone with memory;
The wind-fed wolf has left his lair,
To keep the outcast company.
The brooding owl he hoots hard by,
The hare shall kindle on thy hearth-stane,
The Rhymer's soothest prophecy,
My Love returns no more again!

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Sunday, October 23, 2016

THE THOMAS HARDY PAGE

THE WIND BLEW WORDS

The wind blew words along the skies,
And these it blew to me
Through the wide dusk: "Lift up your eyes,
Behold this troubled tree,
Complaining as it sways and plies;
It is a limb of thee.

"Yea, too, the creatures sheltering round -
Dumb figures, wild and tame,
Yea, too, thy fellows who abound -
Either of speech the same
Or far and strange - black, dwarfed, and browned,
They are stuff of thy own frame."

I moved on in a surging awe
Of inarticulateness
At the pathetic Me I saw
In all his huge distress,
Making self-slaughter of the law
To kill, break, or suppress.

-o=0=o-

Saturday, October 22, 2016

FROM A RAILWAY CARRIAGE
Robert Louis Stevenson 1850-94

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,    
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;    
And charging along like troops in a battle,    
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:    
All of the sights of the hill and the plain             
Fly as thick as driving rain;    
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,    
Painted stations whistle by.    
  
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,    
All by himself and gathering brambles;      
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;    
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!    
Here is a cart run away in the road    
Lumping along with man and load;    
And here is a mill and there is a river:      
Each a glimpse and gone for ever.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Friday, October 21, 2016

OH! EVER THUS
Thomas Moore 1779-1852

 Oh! ever thus, from childhood's hour,
   I've seen my fondest hopes decay;
 I never loved a tree or flower,
   But 'twas the first to fade away.
 I never nursed a dear gazelle,
   To glad me with its soft black eye,
 But when it came to know me well,
   And love me, it was sure to die!

-o0o-

TWAS EVER THUS
Henry Sambrooke Leigh 1837-83
  
I never rear'd a young gazelle, 
(Because, you see, I never tried); 
But, had it known and loved me well, 
No doubt the creature would have died. 
My rich and aged uncle John 
Has known me long and loves me well, 
But still persists in living on -
I would he were a young gazelle.

I never loved a tree or flower; 
But, if I had, I beg to say, 
The blight, the wind, the sun, or shower, 
Would soon have withered it away. 
I've dearly loved my uncle John, 
From childhood till the present hour, 
And yet he will go living on, - 
I would he were a tree or flower!

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Thursday, October 20, 2016

WEATHER
Ambrose Bierce 1842-1913

Once I dipped into the future far as human eye could see, 
And I saw the Chief Forecaster, dead as any one can be -
Dead and damned and shut in Hades as a liar from his birth, 
With a record of unreason seldom paralleled on earth. 
While I looked he reared him solemnly, that incandescent youth, 
From the coals that he'd preferred to the advantages of truth. 
He cast his eyes about him and above him; then he wrote 
On a slab of thin asbestos what I venture here to quote - 
For I read it in the rose-light of the everlasting glow: 
"Cloudy; variable winds, with local showers; cooler; snow."

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A FOREST PATH IN WINTER
Archibald Lampman 1861-1919

Along this secret and forgotten road
All depths and forest forms, above, below,
Are plumed and draped and hillocked with the snow
A branch cracks now and then, and its soft load
Drifts by me in a thin prismatic shower;
Else not a sound, but vistas bound and crossed
With sheeted gleams and sharp blue shadows, frost,
And utter silence. In his glittering power
The master of mid-winter reveries
Holds all things buried soft and strong and deep.
The busy squirrel has his hidden lair;
And even the spirits of the stalwart trees
Have crept into their utmost roots, and there,
Upcoiled in the close earth, lie fast asleep.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE
Christopher Marlowe 1564-93

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the Rocks,
Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow Rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing Madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of Roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty Lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and Ivy buds,
With Coral clasps and Amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The Shepherds’ Swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Monday, October 17, 2016

I'M GOING TO SEE YOU TODAY
Joyce Grenfell 1910-79

This is our red letter day,
It's come at last, you see,
Couldn't really be a better day,
It's meant for you and me,
This day we've been awaiting patiently,
It is perfection to me, for -

I'm going to see you today,
All's well with my world,
And the people that I meet
As I hurry down the street
Seem to know I'm on my way
Coming to you.

This is a beautiful day,
I'm treading on air,
And my feet have taken two wings,
My heart with happiness sings,
I'll see you today.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Sunday, October 16, 2016

THE THOMAS HARDY PAGE

I LOOKED UP FROM MY WRITING

I looked up from my writing,
And gave a start to see,
As if rapt in my inditing,
The moon's full gaze on me.

Her meditative misty head
Was spectral in its air,
And I involuntarily said,
"What are you doing there?"

"Oh, I've been scanning pond and hole
And waterway hereabout
For the body of one with a sunken soul
Who has put his life-light out.

"Did you hear his frenzied tattle?
It was sorrow for his son
Who is slain in brutish battle,
Though he has injured none.

"And now I am curious to look
Into the blinkered mind
Of one who wants to write a book
In a world of such a kind."

Her temper overwrought me,
And I edged to shun her view,
For I felt assured she thought me
One who should drown him too.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Saturday, October 15, 2016

LINES COMPOSED IN A WOOD ON A WINDY DAY
Anne Bronte 1820-49

My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring
And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
For above and around me the wild wind is roaring,
Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas.

The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing,
The bare trees are tossing their branches on high;
The dead leaves beneath them are merrily dancing,
The white clouds are scudding across the blue sky.

I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing
The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray;
I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing,
And hear the wild roar of their thunder to-day!

-o=0=o-

POETRY PATHWAYS
was updated today

Friday, October 14, 2016

THE SOLITARY REAPER
William Wordsworth 1770-1850

Behold her, single in the field, 
Yon solitary Highland Lass! 
Reaping and singing by herself; 
Stop here, or gently pass! 
Alone she cuts and binds the grain, 
And sings a melancholy strain; 
O listen! for the Vale profound 
Is overflowing with the sound. 

No Nightingale did ever chaunt 
More welcome notes to weary bands 
Of travellers in some shady haunt, 
Among Arabian sands: 
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard 
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird, 
Breaking the silence of the seas 
Among the farthest Hebrides. 

Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow 
For old, unhappy, far-off things, 
And battles long ago: 
Or is it some more humble lay, 
Familiar matter of to-day? 
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, 
That has been, and may be again? 

Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang 
As if her song could have no ending; 
I saw her singing at her work, 
And o'er the sickle bending; 
I listened, motionless and still; 
And, as I mounted up the hill, 
The music in my heart I bore, 
Long after it was heard no more. 

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Thursday, October 13, 2016

THE SOUNDS IN THE EVENING
Eleanor Fargeon 1881-1965

The sounds in the evening 
Go all through the house, 
The click of the clock 
And the pick of the mouse.

The footsteps of people 
Upon the top floor, 
The skirts of my mother 
That brush by the door.

The crick in the boards, 
And the creek of the chairs, 
The fluttering murmurs 
Outside on the stairs.

The ring of the bell, 
The arrival of guests, 
The laugh of my father 
At one of his jests.

The clashing of dishes 
As dinner goes in, 
The babble of voices 
That distance makes thin. 

The mewing of cats 
That seem just by my ear, 
The hooting of owls 
That can never seem near.

The queer little noises 
That no one explains,
Till the moon through the slats 
Of my window-blind rains. 

And the world of my eyes 
And my ears melts like steam 
As I find my pillow 
The world of my dream. 

-o=0=o-

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I BENDED UNTO ME A BOUGH
Thomas Edward Brown  1830-97  

I bended unto me a bough of May,
That I might see and smell:
It bore it in a sort of way,
It bore it very well.
But, when I let it backward sway,
Then it were hard to tell
With what a toss, with what a swing,
The dainty thing
Resumed its proper level,
And sent me to the devil.
I know it did - you doubt it?
I turned, and saw them whispering about it. 

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A SLAVE'S DREAM
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  1807-82

Beside the ungathered rice he lay,
  His sickle in his hand;
His breast was bare, his matted hair
  Was buried in the sand.
Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep,
  He saw his Native Land. 
Wide through the landscape of his dreams
  The lordly Niger flowed;
Beneath the palm-trees on the plain
  Once more a king he strode;
And heard the tinkling caravans
  Descend the mountain-road. 
He saw once more his dark-eyed queen
  Among her children stand;
They clasped his neck, they kissed his cheeks,
  They held him by the hand! -
A tear burst from the sleeper's lids
  And fell into the sand. 
And then at furious speed he rode
  Along the Niger's bank;
His bridle-reins were golden chains,
  And, with a martial clank,
At each leap he could feel his scabbard of steel
  Smiting his stallion's flank. 
Before him, like a blood-red flag,
  The bright flamingoes flew;
From morn till night he followed their flight,
  O'er plains where the tamarind grew,
Till he saw the roofs of Caffre huts,
  And the ocean rose to view. 
At night he heard the lion roar,
  And the hyena scream,
And the river-horse, as he crushed the reeds
  Beside some hidden stream;
And it passed, like a glorious roll of drums,
  Through the triumph of his dream. 
The forests, with their myriad tongues,
  Shouted of liberty;
And the Blast of the Desert cried aloud,
  With a voice so wild and free,
That he started in his sleep and smiled
  At their tempestuous glee. 
He did not feel the driver's whip,
  Nor the burning heat of day;
For Death had illumined the Land of Sleep,
  And his lifeless body lay
A worn-out fetter, that the soul
  Had broken and thrown away! 

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Monday, October 10, 2016

SONG
John Clare 1793-1864

Soft falls the sweet evening
Bright shines the one star
The night clouds they're leaning
On mountains afar
The moon in dim brightness
The fern in its lightness
Tinge the valley with whiteness
Both near and afar

O soft falls the evening
Around those sweet glens
The hill's shadows leaning
Half over the glen
There meet me my deary
I'm lonely and weary
And nothing can cheer me
So meet me again

The gate it clap'd slightly
The noise it was small
The footstep fell lightly
And she pass'd the stone wall
And is it my deary
I'm no longer weary
But happy and cheery
For in thee I meet all

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Sunday, October 9, 2016

THE THOMAS HARDY PAGE

WAGTAIL AND BABY

A baby watched a ford, whereto
A wagtail came for drinking;
A blaring bull went wading through,
The wagtail showed no shrinking.

A stallion splashed his way across,
The birdie nearly sinking;
He gave his plumes a twitch and toss,
And held his own unblinking.

Next saw the baby round the spot
A mongrel slowly slinking;
The wagtail gazed, but faltered not
In dip and sip and prinking.

A perfect gentleman then neared;
The wagtail, in a winking,
With terror rose and disappeared;
The baby fell a-thinking.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Saturday, October 8, 2016

THE SORROWS OF WERTHER
Thomas Makepiece Thackery 1811-63

Werther had a love for Charlotte
Such as words could never utter;
Would you know how first he met her?
She was cutting bread and butter.

Charlotte was a married lady,
And a moral man was Werther,
And, for all the wealth of Indies,
Would do nothing for to hurt her.

So he sighed and pined and ogled,
And his passion boiled and bubbled,
Till he blew his silly brains out,
And no more was by it troubled.

Charlotte, having seen his body
Borne before her on a shutter,
Like a well-coducted person,
Went on cutting bread and butter. 

POETRY PATHWAYS has been updated today - http://poetrypathways.blogspot.com

-o=0=o-

Friday, October 7, 2016

THE LITTLE BOY AND THE OLD MAN
Shel Silverstein 1930-99

Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon."
Said the old man, "I do that too."
The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants."
I do that too," laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, "I often cry."
The old man nodded, "So do I."
But worst of all," said the boy, "it seems
Grown-ups don't pay attention to me."
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
I know what you mean," said the little old man.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Thursday, October 6, 2016

THE LADY OF SHALOTT
Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809-92
with paintings by
John William Waterhouse 1849-1917

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle embowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veiled
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to towered Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott".


There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-haired page in crimson clad,
Goes by to towered Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights,
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
"I am half-sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.


A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling through the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A redcross knight for ever kneeled
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glittered free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazoned baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewelled shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burned like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often through the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glowed;
On burnished hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flowed
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lirra," by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom;
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She looked down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror cracked from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.


In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
Over towered Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
"The Lady of Shalott."

And down the river's dim expanse,
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance,
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right,
The leaves upon her falling light,
Through the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot;
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turned to towered Camelot;
For ere she reached upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
"The Lady of Shalott"

Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott".

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

THE VAGABOND
John Drinkwater 1882-1937

I know the pools where the grayling rise,
  I know the trees where the filberts fall,
I know the woods where the red fox lies,
  The twisted elms where the brown owls call.
And I've seldom a shilling to call my own,
  And there's never a girl I'd marry,
I thank the Lord I'm a rolling stone
  With never a care to carry.

I talk to the stars as they come and go
  On every night from July to June,
I'm free of the speech of the winds that blow,
  And I know what weather will sing what tune.
I sow no seed and I pay no rent,
  And I thank no man for his bounties,
But I've a treasure that's never spent,
  I'm lord of a dozen counties.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

LAMENT FOR DARK PEOPLES
Langston Hughes 1902-67

I was a red man one time,
But the white men came.
I was a black man, too,
But the white man came.

They drove me out of the forest.
They took me away from the jungles.
I lost my trees.
I lost my silver moons.

Now they've caged me
In the circus of civilisation.
Now I herd with the many -
Caged in the circus of civilisation.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Monday, October 3, 2016

HE WISHES FOR THE CLOTHS OF HEAVEN
William Butler Yeats 1865-1939

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Sunday, October 2, 2016

THE THOMAS HARDY PAGE

THE WORKBOX

"See, here's the workbox, little wife,
 That I made of polished oak."
He was a joiner, of village life;
 She came of borough folk.

He holds the present up to her
 As with a smile she nears
And answers to the profferer,
 ''Twill last all my sewing years!"

"I warrant it will. And longer too.
 'Tis a scantling that I got
Off poor John Wayward's coffin, who
 Died of they knew not what.

"The shingled pattern that seems to cease
 Against your box's rim
Continues right on in the piece
 That's underground with him.

"And while I worked it made me think
 Of timber's varied doom;
One inch where people eat and drink,
 The next inch in a tomb.

"But why do you look so white, my dear,
 And turn aside your face?
You knew not that good lad, I fear,
 Though he came from your native place?'

"How could I know that good young man,
 Though he came from my native town,
When he must have left there earlier than
 I was a woman grown?"

"Ah, no. I should have understood!
 It shocked you that I gave
To you one end of a piece of wood
 Whose other is in a grave?"

"Don't, dear, despise my intellect,
 Mere accidental things
Of that sort never have effect
 On my imaginings."

Yet still her lips were limp and wan,
 Her face still held aside,
As if she had known not only John,
 But known of what he died.

-o=0=o-
POETRY PATHWAYS

Saturday, October 1, 2016

LEISURE
W.H. Davies 1871-1940

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

-o=0=o-