Enjoy this? Share it!

99 Works of Edwin Arlington Robinson

Search Amazon for related books, downloads and more Edwin Arlington Robinson

Late Summer

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

(Alcaics) Confused, he found her lavishing feminineGold upon clay, and found her inscrutable;And yet she smiled. Why, then, should horrorsBe as they were, without end, her playthings? And why were dead years hungrily telling herLies of the dead, who told them again to her?If now she knew, there might be kindnessClamoring yet where a faith […]

Peace On Earth

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

He took a frayed hat from his head,And “Peace on Earth” was what he said.“A morsel out of what you’re worth,And there we have it: Peace on Earth.Not much, although a little moreThan what there was on earth before.I’m as you see, I’m Ichabod, —But never mind the ways I’ve trod;I’m sober now, so help […]

You that in vain would front the coming orderWith eyes that meet forlornly what they must,And only with a furtive recognitionSee dust where there is dust, —Be sure you like it always in your faces,Obscuring your best graces,Blinding your speech and sight,Before you seek again your dusty placesWhere the old wrong seems right. Longer ago […]

“Why am I not myself these many days,You ask? And have you nothing more to ask?I do you wrong? I do not hear your praiseTo God for giving you me to share your task? “Jealous — of Her? Because her cheeks are pink,And she has eyes? No, not if she had seven.If you should only […]

Lazarus

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“No, Mary, there was nothing — not a word.Nothing, and always nothing. Go againYourself, and he may listen — or at leastLook up at you, and let you see his eyes.I might as well have been the sound of rain,A wind among the cedars, or a bird;Or nothing. Mary, make him look at you;And even […]

Firelight

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Ten years together without yet a cloud,They seek each other’s eyes at intervalsOf gratefulness to firelight and four wallsFor love’s obliteration of the crowd.Serenely and perennially endowedAnd bowered as few may be, their joy recallsNo snake, no sword; and over them there fallsThe blessing of what neither says aloud. Wiser for silence, they were not […]

Inferential

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Although I saw before me there the faceOf one whom I had honored among menThe least, and on regarding him againWould not have had him in another place,He fitted with an unfamiliar graceThe coffin where I could not see him thenAs I had seen him and appraised him whenI deemed him unessential to the race. […]

The New Tenants

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

The day was here when it was his to knowHow fared the barriers he had built betweenHis triumph and his enemies unseen,For them to undermine and overthrow;And it was his no longer to foregoThe sight of them, insidious and serene,Where they were delving always and had beenLeft always to be vicious and to grow. And […]

Note. — Rahel Robert and Varnhagen von Ense were married, after many protestations on her part, in 1814. The marriage — so far as he was concerned, at any rate — appears to have been satisfactory. Now you have read them all; or if not all,As many as in all conscience I should fancyTo be […]

The Rat

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

As often as he let himself be seenWe pitied him, or scorned him, or deploredThe inscrutable profusion of the LordWho shaped as one of us a thing so mean —Who made him human when he might have beenA rat, and so been wholly in accordWith any other creature we abhorredAs always useless and not always […]

Nimmo

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Since you remember Nimmo, and arriveAt such a false and florid and far drawnConfusion of odd nonsense, I conniveNo longer, though I may have led you on. So much is told and heard and told again,So many with his legend are engrossed,That I, more sorry now than I was then,May live on to be sorry […]

Old Archibald, in his eternal chair,Where trespassers, whatever their degree,Were soon frowned out again, was looking offAcross the clover when he said to me: “My green hill yonder, where the sun goes downWithout a scratch, was once inhabitedBy trees that injured him — an evil trashThat made a cage, and held him while he bled. […]

The False Gods

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“We are false and evanescent, and aware of our deceit,From the straw that is our vitals to the clay that is our feet.You may serve us if you must, and you shall have your wage of ashes, —Though arrears due thereafter may be hard for you to meet. “You may swear that we are solid, […]

Tasker Norcross

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“Whether all towns and all who live in them —So long as they be somewhere in this worldThat we in our complacency call ours —Are more or less the same, I leave to you.I should say less. Whether or not, meanwhile,We’ve all two legs — and as for that, we haven’t —There were three kinds […]

London Bridge

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“Do I hear them? Yes, I hear the children singing — and what of it?Have you come with eyes afire to find me now and ask me that?If I were not their father and if you were not their mother,We might believe they made a noise. . . . What are you — driving at!” […]

Souvenir

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

A vanished house that for an hour I knewBy some forgotten chance when I was youngHad once a glimmering window overhungWith honeysuckle wet with evening dew.Along the path tall dusky dahlias grew,And shadowy hydrangeas reached and swungFerociously; and over me, amongThe moths and mysteries, a blurred bat flew. Somewhere within there were dim presencesOf days […]

Two men came out of Shannon’s having knownThe faces of each other for as longAs they had listened there to an old song,Sung thinly in a wastrel monotoneBy some unhappy night-bird, who had flownToo many times and with a wing too strongTo save himself, and so done heavy wrongTo more frail elements than his alone. […]

The Three Taverns

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

When the brethren heard of us, they came to meet usas far as Appii Forum, and The Three Taverns.(Acts 28:15) Herodion, Apelles, Amplias,And Andronicus? Is it you I see —At last? And is it you now that are gazingAs if in doubt of me? Was I not sayingThat I should come to Rome? I did […]

Demos II

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

So little have you seen of what awaitsYour fevered glimpse of a democracyConfused and foiled with an equalityNot equal to the envy it creates,That you see not how near you are the gatesOf an old king who listens fearfullyTo you that are outside and are to beThe noisy lords of imminent estates. Rather be then […]

Demos I

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

All you that are enamored of my nameAnd least intent on what most I require,Beware; for my design and your desire,Deplorably, are not as yet the same.Beware, I say, the failure and the shameOf losing that for which you now aspireSo blindly, and of hazarding entireThe gift that I was bringing when I came. Give […]

Tact

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Observant of the way she toldSo much of what was true,No vanity could long withholdRegard that was her due:She spared him the familiar guile,So easily achieved,That only made a man to smileAnd left him undeceived. Aware that all imaginingOf more than what she meantWould urge an end of everything,He stayed; and when he went,They parted […]

Unyielding in the pride of his defiance,Afloat with none to serve or to command,Lord of himself at last, and all by Science,He seeks the Vanished Land. Alone, by the one light of his one thought,He steers to find the shore from which we came, —Fearless of in what coil he may be caughtOn seas that […]

On The Way

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

(Philadelphia, 1794) Note. — The following imaginary dialogue between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, which is not based upon any specific incident in American history, may be supposed to have occurred a few months previous to Hamilton’s retirement from Washington’s Cabinet in 1795 and a few years before the political ingenuities of Burr — who […]

Bokardo

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Well, Bokardo, here we are;Make yourself at home.Look around–you haven’t farTo look–and why be dumb?Not the place that used to be,Not so many things to see;But there’s room for you and me.And you–you’ve come. Talk a little; or, if not,Show me with a signWhy it was that you forgotWhat was yours and mine.Friends, I gather, […]

Bewick Finzer

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Time was when his half million drewThe breath of six per cent;But soon the worm of what-was-notFed hard on his content;And something crumbled in his brainWhen his half million went. Time passed, and filled along with hisThe place of many more;Time came, and hardly one of usHad credence to restore,From what appeared one day, the […]

Between me and the sunset, like a domeAgainst the glory of a world on fire,Now burned a sudden hill,Bleak, round, and high, by flame-lit height made higher,With nothing on it for the flame to killSave one who moved and was alone up thereTo loom before the chaos and the glareAs if he were the last […]

The Dark Hills

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Dark hills at evening in the west,Where sunset hovers like a soundOf golden horns that sang to restOld bones of warriors under ground,Far now from all the bannered waysWhere flash the legions of the sun,You fade — as if the last of daysWere fading, and all wars were done.

Neighbors

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

As often as we thought of her,We thought of a gray lifeThat made a quaint economistOf a wolf-haunted wife;We made the best of all she boreThat was not ours to bear,And honored her for wearing thingsThat were not things to wear. There was a distance in her lookThat made us look again;And if she smiled, […]

The Voice Of Age

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

She’d look upon us, if she could,As hard as Rhadamanthus would;Yet one may see,–who sees her face,Her crown of silver and of lace,Her mystical serene addressOf age alloyed with loveliness,–That she would not annihilateThe frailest of things animate. She has opinions of our ways,And if we’re not all mad, she says,–If our ways are not […]

The Poor Relation

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

No longer torn by what she knowsAnd sees within the eyes of others,Her doubts are when the daylight goes,Her fears are for the few she bothers.She tells them it is wholly wrongOf her to stay alive so long;And when she smiles her forehead showsA crinkle that had been her mother’s. Beneath her beauty, blanched with […]

The Dark House

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Where a faint light shines alone,Dwells a Demon I have known.Most of you had better say“The Dark House”, and go your way.Do not wonder if I stay. For I know the Demon’s eyes,And their lure that never dies.Banish all your fond alarms,For I know the foiling charmsOf her eyes and of her arms, And I […]

Faint white pillars that seem to fadeAs you look from here are the first one seesOf his house where it hides and dies in a shadeOf beeches and oaks and hickory trees.Now many a man, given woods like these,And a house like that, and the Briony gold,Would have said, “There are still some gods to […]

The Burning Book

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Or the Contented Metaphysician To the lore of no manner of menWould his vision have yieldedWhen he found what will never againFrom his vision be shielded,–Though he paid with as much of his lifeAs a nun could have given,And to-night would have been as a knife,Devil-drawn, devil-driven. For to-night, with his flame-weary eyesOn the work […]

“When he was here alive, Eileen,There was a word you might have said;So never mind what I have been,Or anything,–for you are dead. “And after this when I am thereWhere he is, you’ll be dying still.Your eyes are dead, and your black hair,–The rest of you be what it will. “‘Twas all to save him? […]

Could he have made Priscilla shareThe paradise that he had planned,Llewellyn would have loved his wifeAs well as any in the land. Could he have made Priscilla ceaseTo goad him for what God left out,Llewellyn would have been as mildAs any we have read about. Could all have been as all was not,Llewellyn would have […]

Old Trails

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

(Washington Square) I met him, as one meets a ghost or two,Between the gray Arch and the old Hotel.“King Solomon was right, there’s nothing new,”Said he. “Behold a ruin who meant well.” He led me down familiar steps again,Appealingly, and set me in a chair.“My dreams have all come true to other men,”Said he; “God […]

Theophilus

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

By what serene malevolence of namesHad you the gift of yours, Theophilus?Not even a smeared young Cyclops at his gamesWould have you long,–and you are one of us. Told of your deeds I shudder for your dreams,And they, no doubt, are few and innocent.Meanwhile, I marvel; for in you, it seems,Heredity outshines environment. What lingering […]

The Unforgiven

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

When he, who is the unforgiven,Beheld her first, he found her fair:No promise ever dreamt in heavenCould then have lured him anywhereThat would have been away from there;And all his wits had lightly striven,Foiled with her voice, and eyes, and hair. There’s nothing in the saints and sagesTo meet the shafts her glances had,Or such […]

Veteran Sirens

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

The ghost of Ninon would be sorry nowTo laugh at them, were she to see them here,So brave and so alert for learning howTo fence with reason for another year. Age offers a far comelier diademThan theirs; but anguish has no eye for grace,When time’s malicious mercy cautions themTo think a while of number and […]

Another Dark Lady

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Think not, because I wonder where you fled,That I would lift a pin to see you there;You may, for me, be prowling anywhere,So long as you show not your little head:No dark and evil story of the deadWould leave you less pernicious or less fair–Not even Lilith, with her famous hair;And Lilith was the devil, […]

Siege Perilous

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Long warned of many terrors more severeTo scorch him than hell’s engines could awaken,He scanned again, too far to be so near,The fearful seat no man had ever taken. So many other men with older eyesThan his to see with older sight behind themHad known so long their one way to be wise,–Was any other […]

John Gorham

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“Tell me what you’re doing over here, John Gorham,Sighing hard and seeming to be sorry when you’re not;Make me laugh or let me go now, for long faces in the moonlightAre a sign for me to say again a word that you forgot.”– “I’m over here to tell you what the moon alreadyMay have said […]

The Clinging Vine

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“Be calm? And was I frantic?You’ll have me laughing soon.I’m calm as this Atlantic,And quiet as the moon;I may have spoken fasterThan once, in other days;For I’ve no more a master,And now–‘Be calm,’ he says. “Fear not, fear no commotion,–I’ll be as rocks and sand;The moon and stars and oceanWill envy my command;No creature could […]

Once there was a cabin here, and once there was a man;And something happened here before my memory began.Time has made the two of them the fuel of one flameAnd all we have of them is now a legend and a name. All I have to say is what an old man said to me,And […]

You are a friend then, as I make it out,Of our man Shakespeare, who alone of usWill put an ass’s head in FairylandAs he would add a shilling to more shillings,All most harmonious,–and out of hisMiraculous inviolable increaseFills Ilion, Rome, or any town you likeOf olden time with timeless Englishmen;And I must wonder what you […]

Hillcrest

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

(To Mrs. Edward MacDowell) No sound of any storm that shakesOld island walls with older seasComes here where now September makesAn island in a sea of trees. Between the sunlight and the shadeA man may learn till he forgetsThe roaring of a world remade,And all his ruins and regrets; And if he still remembers herePoor […]

Eros Turannos

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

She fears him, and will always askWhat fated her to choose him;She meets in his engaging maskAll reasons to refuse him;But what she meets and what she fearsAre less than are the downward years,Drawn slowly to the foamless weirsOf age, were she to lose him. Between a blurred sagacityThat once had power to sound him,And […]

Octaves

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I To get at the eternal strength of things,And fearlessly to make strong songs of it,Is, to my mind, the mission of that manThe world would call a poet. He may singBut roughly, and withal ungraciously;But if he touch to life the one right chordWherein God’s music slumbers, and awakeTo truth one drowsed ambition, he […]

I Unity As eons of incalculable strifeAre in the vision of one moment caught,So are the common, concrete things of lifeDivinely shadowed on the walls of Thought. II Paraphrase We shriek to live, but no man ever livesTill he has rid the ghost of human breath;We dream to die, but no man ever diesTill he […]

Now in a thought, now in a shadowed word,Now in a voice that thrills eternity,Ever there comes an onward phrase to meOf some transcendent music I have heard;No piteous thing by soft hands dulcimered,No trumpet crash of blood-sick victory,But a glad strain of some still symphonyThat no proud mortal touch has ever stirred. There is […]

The Torrent

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I found a torrent falling in a glenWhere the sun’s light shone silvered and leaf-split;The boom, the foam, and the mad flash of itAll made a magic symphony; but whenI thought upon the coming of hard menTo cut those patriarchal trees away,And turn to gold the silver of that spray,I shuddered. Yet a gladness now […]

The Gift Of God

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Blessed with a joy that only sheOf all alive shall ever know,She wears a proud humilityFor what it was that willed it so,–That her degree should be so greatAmong the favored of the LordThat she may scarcely bear the weightOf her bewildering reward. As one apart, immune, alone,Or featured for the shining ones,And like to […]

Flammonde

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

The man Flammonde, from God knows where,With firm address and foreign air,With news of nations in his talkAnd something royal in his walk,With glint of iron in his eyes,But never doubt, nor yet surprise,Appeared, and stayed, and held his headAs one by kings accredited. Erect, with his alert reposeAbout him, and about his clothes,He pictured […]

When we can all so excellently giveThe measure of love’s wisdom with a blow, —Why can we not in turn receive it so,And end this murmur for the life we live?And when we do so frantically striveTo win strange faith, why do we shun to knowThat in love’s elemental over-glowGod’s wholeness gleams with light superlative? […]

The Night Before

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Look you, Dominie; look you, and listen!Look in my face, first; search every line there;Mark every feature, — chin, lip, and forehead!Look in my eyes, and tell me the lessonYou read there; measure my nose, and tell meWhere I am wanting! A man’s nose, Dominie,Is often the cast of his inward spirit;So mark mine well. […]

Supremacy

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

There is a drear and lonely tract of hellFrom all the common gloom removed afar:A flat, sad land it is, where shadows are,Whose lorn estate my verse may never tell.I walked among them and I knew them well:Men I had slandered on life’s little starFor churls and sluggards; and I knew the scarUpon their brows […]

Ye gods that have a home beyond the world,Ye that have eyes for all man’s agony,Ye that have seen this woe that we have seen, —Look with a just regard,And with an even grace,Here on the shattered corpse of a shattered king,Here on a suffering world where men grow oldAnd wander like sad shadows till, […]

The Wilderness

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Come away! come away! there’s a frost along the marshes,And a frozen wind that skims the shoal where it shakes the dead black water;There’s a moan across the lowland and a wailing through the woodlandOf a dirge that sings to send us back to the arms of those that love us.There is nothing left but […]

The Altar

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Alone, remote, nor witting where I went,I found an altar builded in a dream —A fiery place, whereof there was a gleamSo swift, so searching, and so eloquentOf upward promise, that love’s murmur, blentWith sorrow’s warning, gave but a supremeUnending impulse to that human streamWhose flood was all for the flame’s fury bent. Alas! I […]

Oh for a poet — for a beacon brightTo rift this changeless glimmer of dead gray;To spirit back the Muses, long astray,And flush Parnassus with a newer light;To put these little sonnet-men to flightWho fashion, in a shrewd, mechanic way,Songs without souls, that flicker for a day,To vanish in irrevocable night. What does it mean, […]

The Tavern

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Whenever I go by there nowadaysAnd look at the rank weeds and the strange grass,The torn blue curtains and the broken glass,I seem to be afraid of the old place;And something stiffens up and down my face,For all the world as if I saw the ghostOf old Ham Amory, the murdered host,With his dead eyes […]

George Crabbe

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Give him the darkest inch your shelf allows,Hide him in lonely garrets, if you will, —But his hard, human pulse is throbbing stillWith the sure strength that fearless truth endows.In spite of all fine science disavows,Of his plain excellence and stubborn skillThere yet remains what fashion cannot kill,Though years have thinned the laurel from his […]

If ever I am old, and all alone,I shall have killed one grief, at any rate;For then, thank God, I shall not have to waitMuch longer for the sheaves that I have sown.The devil only knows what I have done,But here I am, and here are six or eightGood friends, who most ingenuously prateAbout my […]

Credo

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I cannot find my way: there is no starIn all the shrouded heavens anywhere;And there is not a whisper in the airOf any living voice but one so farThat I can hear it only as a barOf lost, imperial music, played when fairAnd angel fingers wove, and unaware,Dead leaves to garlands where no roses are. […]

The master and the slave go hand in hand,Though touch be lost. The poet is a slave,And there be kings do sorrowfully craveThe joyance that a scullion may command.But, ah, the sonnet-slave must understandThe mission of his bondage, or the graveMay clasp his bones, or ever he shall saveThe perfect word that is the poet’s […]

The Clerks

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I did not think that I should find them thereWhen I came back again; but there they stood,As in the days they dreamed of when young bloodWas in their cheeks and women called them fair.Be sure, they met me with an ancient air, —And yes, there was a shop-worn brotherhoodAbout them; but the men were […]

At first I thought there was a superfinePersuasion in his face; but the free glowThat filled it when he stopped and cried, “Hollo!”Shone joyously, and so I let it shine.He said his name was Fleming Helphenstine,But be that as it may; — I only knowHe talked of this and that and So-and-So,And laughed and chaffed […]

Thomas Hood

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

The man who cloaked his bitterness withinThis winding-sheet of puns and pleasantries,God never gave to look with common eyesUpon a world of anguish and of sin:His brother was the branded man of Lynn;And there are woven with his jollitiesThe nameless and eternal tragediesThat render hope and hopelessness akin. We laugh, and crown him; but anon […]

With searching feet, through dark circuitous ways,I plunged and stumbled; round me, far and near,Quaint hordes of eyeless phantoms did appear,Twisting and turning in a bootless chase, —When, like an exile given by God’s graceTo feel once more a human atmosphere,I caught the world’s first murmur, large and clear,Flung from a singing river’s endless race. […]

Reuben Bright

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Because he was a butcher and therebyDid earn an honest living (and did right),I would not have you think that Reuben BrightWas any more a brute than you or I;For when they told him that his wife must die,He stared at them, and shook with grief and fright,And cried like a great baby half that […]

I pray you not, Leuconoe, to poreWith unpermitted eyes on what may beAppointed by the gods for you and me,Nor on Chaldean figures any more.‘T were infinitely better to imploreThe present only: — whether Jove decreeMore winters yet to come, or whether heMake even this, whose hard, wave-eaten shoreShatters the Tuscan seas to-day, the last […]

Aaron Stark

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Withal a meagre man was Aaron Stark, —Cursed and unkempt, shrewd, shrivelled, and morose.A miser was he, with a miser’s nose,And eyes like little dollars in the dark.His thin, pinched mouth was nothing but a mark;And when he spoke there came like sullen blowsThrough scattered fangs a few snarled words and close,As if a cur […]

A melancholy face Charles Carville had,But not so melancholy as it seemed, —When once you knew him, — for his mouth redeemedHis insufficient eyes, forever sad:In them there was no life-glimpse, good or bad, —Nor joy nor passion in them ever gleamed;His mouth was all of him that ever beamed,His eyes were sorry, but his […]

Cliff Klingenhagen had me in to dineWith him one day; and after soup and meat,And all the other things there were to eat,Cliff took two glasses and filled one with wineAnd one with wormwood. Then, without a signFor me to choose at all, he took the draughtOf bitterness himself, and lightly quaffedIt off, and said […]

Two Sonnets

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I Just as I wonder at the twofold screenOf twisted innocence that you would plaitFor eyes that uncourageously awaitThe coming of a kingdom that has been,So do I wonder what God’s love can meanTo you that all so strangely estimateThe purpose and the consequent estateOf one short shuddering step to the Unseen. No, I have […]

The Dead Village

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Here there is death. But even here, they say, —Here where the dull sun shines this afternoonAs desolate as ever the dead moonDid glimmer on dead Sardis, — men were gay;And there were little children here to play,With small soft hands that once did keep in tuneThe strings that stretch from heaven, till too soonThe […]

Dear Friends

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Dear friends, reproach me not for what I do,Nor counsel me, nor pity me; nor sayThat I am wearing half my life awayFor bubble-work that only fools pursue.And if my bubbles be too small for you,Blow bigger then your own: the games we playTo fill the frittered minutes of a day,Good glasses are to read […]

Sweeping the chords of Hellas with firm hand,He wakes lost echoes from song’s classic shore,And brings their crystal cadence back once moreTo touch the clouds and sorrows of a landWhere God’s truth, cramped and fettered with a bandOf iron creeds, he cheers with golden loreOf heroes and the men that long beforeWrought the romance of […]

No matter why, nor whence, nor when she came,There was her place. No matter what men said,No matter what she was; living or dead,Faithful or not, he loved her all the same.The story was as old as human shame,But ever since that lonely night she fled,With books to blind him, he had only readThe story […]

Kosmos

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Ah, — shuddering men that falter and shrink soTo look on death, — what were the days we live,Where life is half a struggle to forgive,But for the love that finds us when we go?Is God a jester? Does he laugh and throwPoor branded wretches here to sweat and striveFor some vague end that never […]

Amaryllis

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Once, when I wandered in the woods alone,An old man tottered up to me and said,“Come, friend, and see the grave that I have madeFor Amaryllis.” There was in the toneOf his complaint such quaver and such moanThat I took pity on him and obeyed,And long stood looking where his hands had laidAn ancient woman, […]

Zola

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Because he puts the compromising chartOf hell before your eyes, you are afraid;Because he counts the price that you have paidFor innocence, and counts it from the start,You loathe him. But he sees the human heartOf God meanwhile, and in God’s hand has weighedYour squeamish and emasculate crusadeAgainst the grim dominion of his art. Never […]

Vengeful across the cold November moors,Loud with ancestral shame there came the bleakSad wind that shrieked, and answered with a shriek,Reverberant through lonely corridors.The old man heard it; and he heard, perforce,Words out of lips that were no more to speak —Words of the past that shook the old man’s cheekLike dead, remembered footsteps on […]

Since Persia fell at Marathon,The yellow years have gathered fast:Long centuries have come and gone. And yet (they say) the place will donA phantom fury of the past,Since Persia fell at Marathon; And as of old, when HeliconTrembled and swayed with rapture vast(Long centuries have come and gone), This ancient plain, when night comes on,Shakes […]

John Evereldown

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“Where are you going to-night, to-night, —Where are you going, John Evereldown?There’s never the sign of a star in sight,Nor a lamp that’s nearer than Tilbury Town.Why do you stare as a dead man might?Where are you pointing away from the light?And where are you going to-night, to-night, —Where are you going, John Evereldown?” “Right […]

They are all gone away,The House is shut and still,There is nothing more to say. Through broken walls and grayThe winds blow bleak and shrill:They are all gone away. Nor is there one to-dayTo speak them good or ill:There is nothing more to say. Why is it then we strayAround that sunken sill?They are all […]

Luke Havergal

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal, —There where the vines cling crimson on the wall, —And in the twilight wait for what will come.The wind will moan, the leaves will whisper some —Whisper of her, and strike you as they fall;But go, and if you trust her she will call.Go to the western gate, […]

Two Octaves

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I Not by the grief that stuns and overwhelmsAll outward recognition of revealedAnd righteous omnipresence are the daysOf most of us affrighted and diseased,But rather by the common snarls of lifeThat come to test us and to strengthen usIn this the prentice-age of discontent,Rebelliousness, faint-heartedness, and shame. II When through hot fog the fulgid sun […]

Richard Cory

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,We people on the pavement looked at him:He was a gentleman from sole to crown,Clean favored, and imperially slim. And he was always quietly arrayed,And he was always human when he talked;But still he fluttered pulses when he said,“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked. And he was rich, — […]

Calvary

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Friendless and faint, with martyred steps and slow,Faint for the flesh, but for the spirit free,Stung by the mob that came to see the show,The Master toiled along to Calvary;We gibed him, as he went, with houndish glee,Till his dimmed eyes for us did overflow;We cursed his vengeless hands thrice wretchedly, —And this was nineteen […]

Ballade Of A Ship

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Down by the flash of the restless waterThe dim White Ship like a white bird lay;Laughing at life and the world they sought her,And out she swung to the silvering bay.Then off they flew on their roystering way,And the keen moon fired the light foam flyingUp from the flood where the faint stars play,And the […]

The World

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Some are the brothers of all humankind,And own them, whatsoever their estate;And some, for sorrow and self-scorn, are blindWith enmity for man’s unguarded fate. For some there is a music all day longLike flutes in Paradise, they are so glad;And there is hell’s eternal under-songOf curses and the cries of men gone mad. Some say […]

Slowly I smoke and hug my knee,The while a witless masqueradeOf things that only children seeFloats in a mist of light and shade:They pass, a flimsy cavalcade,And with a weak, remindful glow,The falling embers break and fade,As one by one the phantoms go. Then, with a melancholy gleeTo think where once my fancy strayed,I muse […]

(To A. T. Schumann.) In dreams I crossed a barren land,A land of ruin, far away;Around me hung on every handA deathful stillness of decay;And silent, as in bleak dismayThat song should thus forsaken be,On that forgotten ground there layThe broken flutes of Arcady. The forest that was all so grandWhen pipes and tabors had […]

Her Eyes

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Up from the street and the crowds that went,Morning and midnight, to and fro,Still was the room where his days he spent,And the stars were bleak, and the nights were slow. Year after year, with his dream shut fast,He suffered and strove till his eyes were dim,For the love that his brushes had earned at […]

As we the withered fernsBy the roadway lying,Time, the jester, spurnsAll our prayers and prying —All our tears and sighing,Sorrow, change, and woe —All our where-and-whyingFor friends that come and go. Life awakes and burns,Age and death defying,Till at last it learnsAll but Love is dying;Love’s the trade we’re plying,God has willed it so;Shrouds are […]

Two Men

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

There be two men of all mankindThat I should like to know about;But search and question where I will,I cannot ever find them out. Melchizedek he praised the Lord,And gave some wine to Abraham;But who can tell what else he didMust be more learned than I am. Ucalegon he lost his houseWhen Agamemnon came to […]

For those that never know the light,The darkness is a sullen thing;And they, the Children of the Night,Seem lost in Fortune’s winnowing. But some are strong and some are weak, —And there’s the story. House and homeAre shut from countless hearts that seekWorld-refuge that will never come. And if there be no other life,And if […]

Three Quatrains

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I As long as Fame’s imperious music ringsWill poets mock it with crowned words august;And haggard men will clamber to be kingsAs long as Glory weighs itself in dust. II Drink to the splendor of the unfulfilled,Nor shudder for the revels that are done:The wines that flushed Lucullus are all spilled,The strings that Nero fingered […]