and the gulf enters the sea and so forth,
none of them emptying anything,
all of them carrying yesterday
forever on their white tipped backs,
all of them dragging forward tomorrow.
it is the great circulation
of the earth's body, like the blood
of the gods, this river in which the past
is always flowing. every water
is the same water coming round.
Written January 1718 in the Chiosk at Pera, overlooking Constantinople
Give me Great God (said I) a Little Farm
in Summer shady, & in Winter warm
where a cool spring gives birth to a clear brook
by Nature slideing down a mossy Rock
Not artfully in Leaden Pipes convey'd
Or greatly falling in a forc'd Cascade
Pure & unsully'd winding throu' ye Shade.
All bounteous Heaven has added to my Praier
a softer Climate and a purer Air.
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
As I lie at rest on a patch of clover
In the Western Park when the day is done.
I watch as the wild black swans fly over
With their phalanx turned to the sinking sun;
And I hear the clang of their leader crying
To a lagging mate in the rearward flying,
And they fade away in the darkness dying,
Where the stars are mustering one by one.
O ye wild black swans, 'twere a world of wonder
For a while to join in your westward flight,
Mother of all the high-strung poets and singers departed,
Mother of all the grass that weaves over their graves the glory of the field,
Mother of all the manifold forms of life, deep-bosomed, patient, impassive,
Silent brooder and nurse of lyrical joys and sorrows!
Out of thee, yea, surely out of the fertile depth below thy breast,
Issued in some strange way, thou lying motionless, voiceless,
All these songs of nature, rhythmical, passionate, yearning,
Coming in music from earth, but not unto earth returning.
Dust are the blood-red hearts that beat in time to these measures,
Soaring Amidst Song
sudden chance meeting
of a cheetah and monkey
then green treetop flight
zebra on the plain
it's the golden hour
young duck swimming afternoon
hard rain patters down
the sun yet shines on
duck revelry in late bath
green river frolic
drought endured so long
but blooms and smiles are coming
Shimmering waves of satin ripples, all of the black night,
As lustrous moon visits the river, in its pearls of white.
In the fragrance of the hour, stars twinkle for me tonight;
And the water mirrors the sky, as it did in noon daylight!
Just awakened from dim dreams, in my houseboat on the river,
I again greet porcelain moon, making my heart beat quicker.
A missed beat in the somber rhythm, made the dream I prefer,
Of moonlit diamonds and pearls, dancing on a liquid mirror!
It seems the sky has never been bluer,
As I stroll the lovely familiar path;
And bird trills have never been truer,
Than in hazy dawn's golden aftermath.
The clouds float lazy above the treetops,
As the river makes its slow motion tour,
Long admired from houses on the hilltops,
Scintillating sun gleams on waters pure.
See the Romancing politician,
I think he's confused at the exposition.
He finds it hard to see the Rose,
Overshadowed by the Green brose.
Who is that walking near the Garden?
I think she'd like to eat the marden.
She is but a Cute Poetess,
Admired as she sits upon a screenwriter.