by Edward Thomas
Yes. I remember Adlestrop -
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there Unwontedly.
It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat. No
one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop - only the name
And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
'Matilda Who Told Lies, And Was Burned to Death'
by Hillaire Belloc
Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,
And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity.
For once, towards the Close of Day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,
And finding she was left alone,
Went tiptoe to the Telephone
And summoned the Immediate Aid
Of London's Noble Fire-Brigade.
Within an hour the Gallant Band
Were pouring in on every hand,
From Putney, Hackney Downs, and Bow
With Courage high and Hearts aglow
They galloped, roaring through the Town,
'Matilda's House is Burning Down!'
Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
They ran their ladders through a score
Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;
And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
The Pictures up and down the House,
Until Matilda's Aunt succeeded
In showing them they were not needed;
And even then she had to pay
To get the Men to go away! . . . .
It happened that a few Weeks later
Her Aunt was off to the Theatre
To see that Interesting Play
The Second Mrs Tanqueray.
She had refused to take her
Niece To hear this entertaining Piece:
A Deprivation Just and Wise
To Punish her for Telling Lies.
That Night a Fire did break out -
You should have heard Matilda Shout!
You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,
And throw the window up and call
To People passing in the Street -
(The rapidly increasing Heat
Encouraging her to obtain
Their confidence) - but all in vain!
For every time She shouted 'Fire!'
They only answered 'Little Liar'!
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the House, were Burned.
by John Milton
(last section of the poem)
Weep no more, woeful shepherds,
weep no more,
For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the wat'ry floor;
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,
Through the dear might of him that walked the
Where, other groves and other streams along,
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the saints above,
In solemn troops and sweet societies
That sing, and singing in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more;
Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore,
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.
Thus sang the uncouth swain to th'oaks and rills,
While the still morn went out with sandals gray;
He touched the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay.
And now the sun had stretched out all the hills,
And now was dropped into the western bay;
At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue:
Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.
by John Hegley
love juts out
and you walk right into it.
love comes and goes
love's a rose
first you smell the flower
then the thorn gets up your nostril
love gives you the chocolates
and then love gives you the chop
it doesn't like to linger.
love shuts up shop
and shuts it on your finger
what isn't very nice is
love leaves you in slices.
love's very sharp
a harpoon through an easy chair
a comb of honey in your hair
just wait until the bees come home
and find you just relaxing there.
evacuate that heart of yours
and leave it on the sleeve it wipes
its nose on.
love guts the fish
of what you wish for
and leaves it in the airing cupboard.
love huts fall down
as all the walls get falser.
love struts around on stilts of balsa
wood love cuts gives you a sweeping bow
then ploughs a furrow deep above your eyebrow
then nuts you
where it really hurtseys.
by Gavin Ewart
Those who make hurried love don't do so
from any lack of affection
or because they despise their partner
as a human being -
what they're doing
is just as sincere as a more formal wooing.
She may have a train to catch; perhaps the
room is theirs for one hour only
or a mother is expected back or
known, awaited -
so the spur of the moment must be celebrated.
Making love against time is really
the occupation of all lovers
and the clock-hands moving
point a moral:
not crude, but clever
are those who grab what soon is gone for ever.
'Locking Yourself Out, Then Trying to Get Back
by Raymond Carver
You simply go out and shut the door
without thinking. And when you look back
at what you've done
it's too late. If this sounds
like the story of a life, okay.
It was raining. The neighbors who had
a key were away. I tried and tried
the lower windows. Stared
inside at the sofa, plants, the table
and chairs, the stereo setup.
coffee cup and ashtray waited for me
on the glass-topped table, and my heart
went out to them. I said, Hello, friends,
or something like that. After all,
this wasn't so bad.
Worse things had happened. This
was even a little funny. I found the ladder.
Took that and leaned it against the house.
Then climbed in the rain to the deck,
swung myself over the railing
and tried the door. Which was locked,
of course. But I looked in just the same
at my desk, some papers, and my chair.
This was the window on the other side
of the desk where I'd raise my eyes
and stare out when I sat at that desk.
This is not like downstairs, I thought.
This is something else.
And it was something to look in like that, unseen,
from the deck. To be there, inside, and not be
I don't even think I can talk about it.
I brought my face close to the glass
and imagined myself inside,
sitting at the desk. Looking up
from my work now and again.
Thinking about some other place
and some other time.
The people I had loved then.
I stood there for a minute in the rain.
Considering myself to be the luckiest of men.
Even though a wave of grief passed through me.
Even though I felt violently ashamed
of the injury I'd done back then.
I bashed that beautiful window.
And stepped back in.
by Bei Dao
Debasement is the password of the base,
Nobility the epitaph of the noble.
See how the gilded sky is covered
With the drifting twisted shadows of the dead.
The Ice Age is over now,
Why is there ice everywhere?
The Cape of Good Hope has been discovered, Why
do a thousand sails contest the Dead Sea?
I came into this world
Bringing only paper, rope, a shadow,
To proclaim before the judgment
The voice that has been judged.
Let me tell you, world, I______do____not_____believe!
If a thousand challengers lie beneath your feet,
Count me as number one thousand and one.
I don't believe the sky is blue:
I don't believe in thunder's echoes:
I don't believe that dreams are false:
I don't believe that death has no revenge.
If the sea is destined to breach the dikes
Let all the brackish water pour into my heart;
If the land is destined to rise
Let humanity choose a peak for existence again.
A new conjunction and glimmering stars
Adorn the unobstructed sky now:
They are the pictographs from five thousand years,
They are the watchful eyes of future generations.