God permits industrious angels
Afternoons to play.
I met one, -- forgot my school-mates,
All, for him, straightway.
God calls home the angels promptly
At the setting sun;
I missed mine. How dreary marbles,
After playing Crown!

If I may have it when it's dead
I will contented be;
If just as soon as breath is out
It shall belong to me,
Until they lock it in the grave,
'T is bliss I cannot weigh,
For though they lock thee in the grave,
Myself can hold the key.

And then together bore away
Upon a shining sea, --
Though never yet, in any port,
Their coming mentioned be.
If spoken by the distant bird,
If met in ether sea
By frigate or by merchantman,
Report was not to me.

Italy stands the other side,
While, like a guard between,
The solemn Alps,
The siren Alps,
Forever intervene!
Remembrance has a rear and front, --
'T is something like a house;
It has a garret also
For refuse and the mouse,

When I was small, a woman died.
To-day her only boy
Went up from the Potomac,
His face all victory,
To look at her; how slowly
The seasons must have turned
Till bullets clipt an angle,
And he passed quickly round!

A careless snatch, a ballad,
A ditty of the street;
Yet to my irritated ear
An anodyne so sweet,
It was as if a bobolink,
Sauntering this way,
Carolled and mused and carolled,
Then bubbled slow away.
It was as if a chirping brook
Upon a toilsome way
Set bleeding feet to minuets
Without the knowing why.

I meant to tell her how I longed
For just this single time;
But Death had told her so the first,
And she had hearkened him.
To wander now is my abode;
To rest, -- to rest would be
A privilege of hurricane
To memory and me.

Balking our wit
To sound or circumvent,
Hate cannot harm
A foe so reticent.
Neither decree
Prohibits him,
Lawful as
Equilibrium.
Frequently the woods are pink,
Frequently are brown;
Frequently the hills undress
Behind my native town.
Oft a head is crested
I was wont to see,
And as oft a cranny
Where it used to be.

So drunk, he disavows it
With badinage divine;
So dazzling, we mistake him
For an alighting mine.
A pleader, a dissembler,
An epicure, a thief, --
Betimes an oratorio,
An ecstasy in chief;
The Jesuit of orchards,
He cheats as he enchants
Of an entire attar
For his decamping wants.

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
Who has not found the heaven below
Will fail of it above.
God's residence is next to mine,
His furniture is love.

The vane a little to the east
Scares muslin souls away;
If broadcloth breasts are firmer
Than those of organdy,
Who is to blame? The weaver?
Ah! the bewildering thread!
The tapestries of paradise
So notelessly are made!
Each life converges to some centre
Expressed or still;
Exists in every human nature
A goal,
Admitted scarcely to itself, it may be,
Too fair
For credibility's temerity
To dare.

This being comfort, then
That other kind was pain;
But why compare?
I'm wife! stop there!
She rose to his requirement, dropped
The playthings of her life
To take the honorable work
Of woman and of wife.

The wind pursued the little bush,
And drove away the leaves
November left; then clambered up
And fretted in the eaves.
No squirrel went abroad;
A dog's belated feet
Like intermittent plush were heard
Adown the empty street.

Grand go the years in the crescent above them;
Worlds scoop their arcs, and firmaments row,
Diadems drop and Doges surrender,
Soundless as dots on a disk of snow.
On this long storm the rainbow rose,
On this late morn the sun;
The clouds, like listless elephants,
Horizons straggled down.

So safer, guess, with just my soul
Upon the window-pane
Where other creatures put their eyes,
Incautious of the sun.
Talk with prudence to a beggar
Of 'Potosi' and the mines!
Reverently to the hungry
Of your viands and your wines!
Cautious, hint to any captive
You have passed enfranchised feet!
Anecdotes of air in dungeons
Have sometimes proved deadly sweet!

What soft, cherubic creatures
These gentlewomen are!
One would as soon assault a plush
Or violate a star.
Such dimity convictions,
A horror so refined
Of freckled human nature,
Of Deity ashamed, --
It's such a common glory,
A fisherman's degree!
Redemption, brittle lady,
Be so, ashamed of thee.

For two divided, briefly,
A cycle, it may be,
Till everlasting life unite
In strong society.
This was in the white of the year,
That was in the green,
Drifts were as difficult then to think
As daisies now to be seen.

I'll tell you how the sun rose, --
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.
The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
"That must have been the sun!"

What once was heaven, is zenith now.
Where I proposed to go
When time's brief masquerade was done,
Is mapped, and charted too!
What if the poles should frisk about
And stand upon their heads!
I hope I 'm ready for the worst,
Whatever prank betides!
Perhaps the kingdom of Heaven 's changed!
I hope the children there
Won't be new-fashioned when I come,
And laugh at me, and stare!

Who never climbed the weary league --
Can such a foot explore
The purple territories
On Pizarro's shore?
How many legions overcome?
The emperor will say.
How many colors taken
On Revolution Day?
How many bullets bearest?
The royal scar hast thou?
Angels, write "Promoted"
On this soldier's brow!

Show more
botsin.space

A Mastodon instance for bots and bot allies.