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103 Works of Emma Lazarus

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Youth (from Epochs)

Story type: Literature

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Sweet empty sky of June without a stain, Faint, gray-blue dewy mists on far-off hills, Warm, yellow sunlight flooding mead and plain, That each dark copse and hollow overfills; The rippling laugh of unseen, rain-fed rills, Weeds delicate-flowered, white and pink and gold, A murmur and a singing manifold. The gray, austere old earth renews […]

The October Night

Story type: Poetry

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POET.My haunting grief has vanished like a dream,Its floating fading memory seems oneWith those frail mists born of the dawn’s first beam,Dissolving as the dew melts in the sun. MUSE.What ailed thee then, O poet mine;What secret misery was thine,Which set a bar ‘twixt thee and me?Alas, I suffer from it still;What was this grief, […]

O waters fresh and sweet and clear,Where bathed her lovely frame,Who seems the only lady unto me;O gentle branch and dear,(Sighing I speak thy name,)Thou column for her shapely thighs, her supple knee;O grass, O flowers, which sheSwept with her gown that veiledThe angelic breast unseen;O sacred air serene,Whence the divine-eyed Love my heart assailed,By […]

I never see, after nocturnal rain,The wandering stars move through the air serene,And flame forth ‘twixt the dew-fall and the rime,But I behold her radiant eyes whereinMy weary spirit findeth rest from pain;As dimmed by her rich veil, I saw her the first time;The very heaven beamed with the light sublimeOf their celestial beauty; dewy-wetStill […]

The May Night

Story type: Poetry

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MUSE.Give me a kiss, my poet, take thy lyre;The buds are bursting on the wild sweet-briar.To-night the Spring is born–the breeze takes fire.Expectant of the dawn behold the thrush,Perched on the fresh branch of the first green bush;Give me a kiss, my poet, take thy lyre. POET.How black it looks within the vale!I thought a […]

In Vita, LXXVI

Story type: Poetry

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Sennuccio, I would have thee know the shameThat’s dealt to me, and what a life is mine.Even as of yore, I struggle, burn and pine.Laura transports me, I am still the same.All meekness here, all pride she there became,Now harsh, now kind, now cruel, now benign;Here honor clothed her, there a grace divine;Now gentle, now […]

In Vita, CV

Story type: Poetry

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I saw on earth angelic graces beam,Celestial beauty in our world below,Whose mere remembrance thrills with grief and woe;All I see now seems shadow, smoke and dream.I saw in those twin-lights the tear-drops gleam,Those lights that made the sun with envy glow,And from those lips such sighs and words did flow,As made revolve the hills, […]

In Vita, CIX

Story type: Poetry

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The God of Love and I in wonder stared,(Ne’er having gazed on miracles ere now,)Upon my lady’s smiling lips and brow,Who only with herself may be compared.Neath the calm beauty of her forehead bared,Those twin stars of my love did burn and flow,No lesser lamps again the path might showTo the proud lover who by […]

The noble Column, the green Laurel-treeAre fall’n, that shaded once my weary mind.Now I have lost what I shall never find,From North to South, from Red to Indian Sea.My double treasure Death has filched from me,Which made me proud and happy midst my kind.Nor may all empires of the world combined,Nor Orient gems, nor gold […]

In Morte, XLIII

Story type: Poetry

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Yon nightingale who mourns so plaintivelyPerchance his fledglings or his darling mate,Fills sky and earth with sweetness, warbling late,Prophetic notes of melting melody.All night, he, as it were, companions me,Reminding me of my so cruel fate,Mourning no other grief save mine own state,Who knew not Death reigned o’er divinity.How easy ‘t is to dupe the […]

I. The long-closed door, oh open it again, send me back once more my fawn that had fled. On the day of our reunion, thou shalt rest by my side, there wilt thou shed over me the streams of thy delicious perfume. Oh beautiful bride, what is the form of thy friend, that thou say […]

I. Now the dreary winter’s over,Fled with him are grief and pain,When the trees their bloom recover,Then the soul is born again.Spikenard blossoms shaking,Perfume all the air,And in bud and flower breaking,Stands my garden fair.While with swelling gladness blest,Heaves my friend’s rejoicing breast.Oh, come home, lost friend of mine,Scared from out my tent and land.Drink […]

I. DONNA CLARA. (From the German of Heine) In the evening through her gardenWanders the Alcalde’s daughter,Festal sounds of drum and trumpetRing out hither from the Castle. “I am weary of the dances,Honeyed words of adulationFrom the knights who still compare meTo the sun with dainty phrases. “Yes, of all things I am weary,Since I […]

In Vita, LXVII

Story type: Poetry

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Since thou and I have proven many a timeThat all our hope betrays us and deceives,To that consummate good which never grievesUplift thy heart, towards a happier clime.This life is like a field of flowering thyme,Amidst the herbs and grass the serpent lives;If aught unto the sight brief pleasure gives,‘T is but to snare the […]

O city of the world, with sacred splendor blest,My spirit yearns to thee from out the far-off West,A stream of love wells forth when I recall thy day,Now is thy temple waste, thy glory passed away.Had I an eagle’s wings, straight would I fly to thee,Moisten thy holy dust with wet cheeks streaming free.Oh, how […]

I. My two-score years and ten are over,Never again shall youth be mine.The years are ready-winged for flying,What crav’st thou still of feast and wine?Wilt thou still court man’s acclamation,Forgetting what the Lord hath said?And forfeiting thy weal eternal,By thine own guilty heart misled?Shalt thou have never done with folly,Still fresh and new must it […]

I. The shadow of the houses leave behind,In the cool boscage of the grove reclined,The wine of friendship from love’s goblet drink,And entertain with cheerful speech the mind. Drink, friend! behold, the dreary winter’s gone,The mantle of old age has time withdrawn.The sunbeam glitters in the morning dew,O’er hill and vale youth’s bloom is surging […]

From The "Divan"

Story type: Poetry

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My thoughts impelled me to the resting-placeWhere sleep my parents, many a friend and brother.I asked them (no one heard and none replied):“Do ye forsake me, too, oh father, mother?”Then from the grave, without a tongue, these cried,And showed my own place waiting by their side.

A Degenerate Age

Story type: Poetry

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Where is the man who has been tried and found strong and sound?Where is the friend of reason and of knowledge?I see only sceptics and weaklings.I see only prisoners in the durance of the senses,And every fool and every spendthriftThinks himself as great a master as Aristotle.Think’st thou that they have written poems?Call’st thou that […]

But yesterday the earth drank like a childWith eager thirst the autumn rain.Or like a wistful bride who waits the hourOf love’s mysterious bliss and pain.And now the Spring is here with yearning eyes;Midst shimmering golden flower-beds,On meadows carpeted with varied hues,In richest raiment clad, she treads.She weaves a tapestry of bloom o’er all,And myriad […]

Admonition

Story type: Poetry

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Long in the lap of childhood didst thou sleep,Think how thy youth like chaff did disappear;Shall life’s sweet Spring forever last? Look up,Old age approaches ominously near.Oh shake thou off the world, even as the birdShakes off the midnight dew that clogged his wings.Soar upward, seek redemption from thy guiltAnd from the earthly dross that […]

To A Detractor

Story type: Poetry

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The Autumn promised, and he keepsHis word unto the meadow-rose.The pure, bright lightnings herald Spring,Serene and glad the fresh earth shows.The rain has quenched her children’s thirst,Her cheeks, but now so cold and dry,Are soft and fair, a laughing face;With clouds of purple shines the sky,Though filled with light, yet veiled with haze.Hark! hark! the […]

Wine And Grief

Story type: Poetry

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With heavy groans did I approach my friends,Heavy as though the mountains I would move.The flagon they were murdering; they pouredInto the cup, wild-eyed, the grape’s red blood.No, they killed not, they breathed new life therein.Then, too, in fiery rapture, burned my veins,But soon the fumes had fled. In vain, in vain!Ye cannot fill the […]

Defiance

Story type: Poetry

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“Conquer the gloomy night of thy sorrow, for the morning greets thee with laughter.Rise and clothe thyself with noble pride,Break loose from the tyranny of grief.Thou standest alone among men,Thy song is like a pearl in beauty.” So spake my friend. ‘T is well!The billows of the stormy sea which overwhelmed my soul,–These I subdue; […]

Night-Thoughts

Story type: Poetry

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Will night already spread her wings and weaveHer dusky robe about the day’s bright form,Boldly the sun’s fair countenance displacing,And swathe it with her shadow in broad day?So a green wreath of mist enrings the moon,Till envious clouds do quite encompass her.No wind! and yet the slender stem is stirred,With faint, slight motion as from […]

Almighty! what is man?But flesh and blood.Like shadows flee his days,He marks not how they vanish from his gaze,Suddenly, he must die–He droppeth, stunned, into nonentity. Almighty! what is man?A body frail and weak,Full of deceit and lies,Of vile hypocrisies.Now like a flower blowing,Now scorched by sunbeams glowing.And wilt thou of his trespasses inquire?How may […]

1. Vast oceanic movements, the flux and reflux of immeasurable tides, oversweep our continent. 2. From the far Caucasian steppes, from the squalid Ghettos of Europe, 3. From Odessa and Bucharest, from Kief, and Ekaterinoslav, 4. Hark to the cry of the exiles of Babylon, the voice of Rachel mourning for her children, of Israel […]

1. Moses Ben Maimon lifting his perpetual lamp over the path of the perplexed; 2. Hallevi, the honey-tongued poet, wakening amid the silent ruins of Zion the sleeping lyre of David; 3. Moses, the wise son of Mendel, who made the Ghetto illustrious; 4. Abarbanel, the counselor of kings; Alcharisi, the exquisite singer; Ibn Ezra, […]

1. Long, long has the Orient-Jew spun around his helplessness the cunningly enmeshed web of Talmud and Kabbala. 2. Imprisoned in dark corners of misery and oppression, closely he drew about him the dust-gray filaments, soft as silk and stubborn as steel, until he lay death-stiffened in mummied seclusion. 3. And the world has named […]

To Carmen Sylva

Story type: Poetry

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Oh, that the golden lyre divineWhence David smote flame-tones were mine!Oh, that the silent harp which hungUntuned, unstrung,Upon the willows by the river,Would throb beneath my touch and quiverWith the old song-enchanted spellOf Israel! Oh, that the large prophetic VoiceWould make my reed-piped throat its choice!All ears should prick, all hearts should spring,To hear me […]

Night-Piece

Story type: Poetry

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Night, and the heavens beam serene with peace,Like a pure heart benignly smiles the moon.Oh, guard thy blessed beauty from mischance,This I beseech thee in all tender love.See where the Storm his cloudy mantle spreads,An ashy curtain covereth the moon.As if the tempest thirsted for the rain,The clouds he presses, till they burst in streams.Heaven […]

(August 3, 1492.) 1. The Spanish noon is a blaze of azure fire, and the dusty pilgrims crawl like an endless serpent along treeless plains and bleached highroads, through rock-split ravines and castellated, cathedral-shadowed towns. 2. The hoary patriarch, wrinkled as an almond shell, bows painfully upon his staff. The beautiful young mother, ivory-pale, well-nigh […]

1. Through cycles of darkness the diamond sleeps in its coal-blackprison. 2. Purely incrusted in its scaly casket, the breath-tarnished pearlslumbers in mud and ooze. 3. Buried in the bowels of earth, rugged and obscure, lies theingot of gold. 4. Long hast thou been buried, O Israel, in the bowels of earth;long hast thou slumbered […]

1. Over a boundless plain went a man, carrying seed. 2. His face was blackened by sun and rugged from tempest, scarred and distorted by pain. Naked to the loins, his back was ridged with furrows, his breast was plowed with stripes. 3. From his hand dropped the fecund seed. 4. And behold, instantly started […]

1. Daylong I brooded upon the Passion of Israel. 2. I saw him bound to the wheel, nailed to the cross, cut off by the sword, burned at the stake, tossed into the seas. 3. And always the patient, resolute, martyr face arose in silent rebuke and defiance. 4. A Prophet with four eyes; wide […]

1492

Story type: Poetry

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Thou two-faced year, Mother of Change and Fate,Didst weep when Spain cast forth with flaming sword,The children of the prophets of the Lord,Prince, priest, and people, spurned by zealot hate.Hounded from sea to sea, from state to state,The West refused them, and the East abhorred.No anchorage the known world could afford,Close-locked was every port, barred […]

The Birth Of Man

Story type: Poetry

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A Legend of the Talmud. I. When angels visit earth, the messengersOf God’s decree, they come as lightning, wind:Before the throne, they all are living fire.There stand four rows of angels–to the rightThe hosts of Michael, Gabriel’s to the left,Before, the troop of Ariel, and behind,The ranks of Raphael; all, with one accord,Chanting the glory […]

Raschi In Prague

Story type: Poetry

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Raschi of Troyes, the Moon of Israel,The authoritative Talmudist, returnedFrom his wide wanderings under many skies,To all the synagogues of the Orient,Through Spain and Italy, the isles of Greece,Beautiful, dolorous, sacred Palestine,Dead, obelisked Egypt, floral, musk-breathed Persia,Laughing with bloom, across the Caucasus,The interminable sameness of bare steppes,Through dark luxuriance of Bohemian woods,And issuing on the […]

[Aaron Ben Mier “loquitur.”] If I remember Raschi? An I live,Grandson, to bless thy grandchild, I’ll forgetNever that youth and what he did for Prague.Aye, aye, I know! he slurred a certain verseIn such and such a prayer; omitted quiteTo stand erect there where the ritualCommands us rise and bow towards the East;Therefore, the ingrates […]

From Joshua Ibn Vives of Allorqui to his Former Master, Solomon Levi-Paul, de Santa-Maria, Bishop of Cartegna Chancellor of Castile, and Privy Councillor to King Henry III. of Spain. [In this poem I have done little more than elaborate and versify the account given in Graetz’s History of the Jews (Vol. VIII., page 77), of […]

Well-nigh two thousand years hath IsraelSuffered the scorn of man for love of God;Endured the outlaw’s ban, the yoke, the rod,With perfect patience. Empires rose and fell,Around him Nebo was adored and Bel;Edom was drunk with victory, and trodOn his high places, while the sacred sodWas desecrated by the infidel.His faith proved steadfast, without breach […]

Kindle the taper like the steadfast starAblaze on evening’s forehead o’er the earth,And add each night a lustre till afarAn eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth.Clash, Israel, the cymbals, touch the lyre,Blow the brass trumpet and the harsh-tongued horn;Chant psalms of victory till the heart takes fire,The Maccabean spirit leap new-born. Remember how from wintry […]

Bar Kochba

Story type: Poetry

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Weep, Israel! your tardy meed outpourOf grateful homage on his fallen head,That never coronal of triumph wore,Untombed, dishonored, and unchapleted.If Victory makes the hero, raw SuccessThe stamp of virtue, unrememberedBe then the desperate strife, the storm and stressOf the last Warrior Jew. But if the manWho dies for freedom, loving all things less,Against world-legions, mustering […]

Wake, Israel, wake! Recall to-dayThe glorious Maccabean rage,The sire heroic, hoary-gray,His five-fold lion-lineage:The Wise, the Elect, the Help-of-God,The Burst-of-Spring, the Avenging Rod.* From Mizpeh’s mountain-ridge they sawJerusalem’s empty streets, her shrineLaid waste where Greeks profaned the Law,With idol and with pagan sign.Mourners in tattered black were there,With ashes sprinkled on their hair. Then from the […]

Spoken by a Citizen of Malta–1300. A curious title held in high repute,One among many honors, thickly strewnOn my lord Bishop’s head, his grace of Malta.Nobly he bears them all,–with tact, skill, zeal,Fulfills each special office, vast or slight,Nor slurs the least minutia,–therewithalWears such a stately aspect of command,Broad-checked, broad-chested, reverend, sanctified,Haloed with white about […]

The New Ezekiel

Story type: Poetry

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What, can these dead bones live, whose sap is driedBy twenty scorching centuries of wrong?Is this the House of Israel, whose prideIs as a tale that’s told, an ancient song?Are these ignoble relics all that liveOf psalmist, priest, and prophet? Can the breathOf very heaven bid these Bones revive,Open the graves and clothe the ribs […]

If the sudden tidings cameThat on some far, foreign coast,Buried ages long from fame,Had been found a remnant lostOf that hoary race who dweltBy the golden Nile divine,Spake the Pharaoh’s tongue and kneltAt the moon-crowned Isis’ shrine–How at reverend Egypt’s feet,Pilgrims from all lands would meet! If the sudden news were known,That anigh the desert-placeWhere […]

Across the Eastern sky has glowedThe flicker of a blood-red dawn,Once more the clarion cock has crowed,Once more the sword of Christ is drawn.A million burning rooftrees lightThe world-wide path of Israel’s flight. Where is the Hebrew’s fatherland?The folk of Christ is sore bestead;The Son of Man is bruised and banned,Nor finds whereon to lay […]

ROSH-HASHANAH, 5638. The golden harvest-tide is here, the cornBows its proud tops beneath the reaper’s hand.Ripe orchards’ plenteous yields enrich the land;Bring the first fruits and offer them this morn,With the stored sweetness of all summer hours,The amber honey sucked from myriad flowers,And sacrifice your best first fruits to-day,With fainting hearts and hands forespent with […]

PSALM LXXXIV. A brackish lake is there with bitter poolsAnigh its margin, brushed by heavy trees.A piping wind the narrow valley cools,Fretting the willows and the cypresses.Gray skies above, and in the gloomy spaceAn awful presence hath its dwelling-place. I saw a youth pass down that vale of tears;His head was circled with a crown […]

Age And Death

Story type: Poetry

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Come closer, kind, white, long-familiar friend,Embrace me, fold me to thy broad, soft breast.Life has grown strange and cold, but thou dost bendMild eyes of blessing wooing to my rest.So often hast thou come, and from my sideSo many hast thou lured, I only bideThy beck, to follow glad thy steps divine.Thy world is peopled […]

City Visions

Story type: Poetry

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I. As the blind Milton’s memory of light,The deaf Beethoven’s phantasy of tone,Wrought joys for them surpassing all things knownIn our restricted sphere of sound and sight,–So while the glaring streets of brick and stoneVex with heat, noise, and dust from morn till night,I will give rein to Fancy, taking flightFrom dismal now and here, […]

Influence

Story type: Poetry

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The fervent, pale-faced Mother ere she sleep,Looks out upon the zigzag-lighted square,The beautiful bare trees, the blue night-air,The revelation of the star-strewn deep,World above world, and heaven over heaven.Between the tree-tops and the skies, her sightRests on a steadfast, ruddy-shining light,High in the tower, an earthly star of even.Hers is the faith in saints’ and […]

When the vexed hubbub of our world of gainRoars round about me as I walk the street,The myriad noise of Traffic, and the beatOf Toil’s incessant hammer, the fierce strainOf struggle hand to hand and brain to brain,Ofttimes a sudden dream my sense will cheat,The gaudy shops, the sky-piled roofs retreat,And all at once I […]

Life And Art

Story type: Poetry

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Not while the fever of the blood is strong,The heart throbs loud, the eyes are veiled, no lessWith passion than with tears, the Muse shall blessThe poet-soul to help and soothe with song.Not then she bids his trembling lips expressThe aching gladness, the voluptuous pain.Life is his poem then; flesh, sense, and brainOne full-stringed lyre […]

Youth And Death

Story type: Poetry

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What hast thou done to this dear friend of mine,Thou cold, white, silent Stranger? From my handHer clasped hand slips to meet the grasp of thine;Here eyes that flamed with love, at thy commandStare stone-blank on blank air; her frozen heartForgets my presence. Teach me who thou art,Vague shadow sliding ‘twixt my friend and me.I […]

So, Calchas, on the sacred Palatine,Thou thought of Mopsus, and o’er wastes of seaA flower brought your message. I divine(Through my deep art) the kindly mockeryThat played about your lips and in your eyes,Plucking the frail leaf, while you dreamed of home.Thanks for the silent greeting! I shall prize,Beyond June’s rose, the scentless flower of […]

Critic And Poet

Story type: Poetry

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An Apologue. (“Poetry must be simple, sensuous, or impassioned;this man is neither simple, sensuous, nor impassioned;therefore he is not a poet.”) No man had ever heard a nightingale,When once a keen-eyed naturalist was stirredTo study and define–what is a bird,To classify by rote and book, nor failTo mark its structure and to note the scaleWhereon […]

The New Colossus

Story type: Poetry

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Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,With conquering limbs astride from land to land;Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall standA mighty woman with a torch, whose flameIs the imprisoned lightning, and her nameMother of Exiles. From her beacon-handGlows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes commandThe air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.“Keep, ancient lands, your […]

Down the long hall she glistens like a star,The foam-born mother of Love, transfixed to stone,Yet none the less immortal, breathing on.Time’s brutal hand hath maimed but could not mar.When first the enthralled enchantress from afarDazzled mine eyes, I saw not her alone,Serenely poised on her world-worshipped throne,As when she guided once her dove-drawn car,–But […]

Chopin

Story type: Poetry

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I. A dream of interlinking hands, of feetTireless to spin the unseen, fairy woof,Of the entangling waltz. Bright eyebeams meet,Gay laughter echoes from the vaulted roof.Warm perfumes rise; the soft unflickering glowOf branching lights sets off the changeful charmsOf glancing gems, rich stuffs, dazzling snowOf necks unkerchieft, and bare, clinging arms.Hark to the music! How […]

Symphonic Studies

Story type: Poetry

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(After Robert Schumann.) Prelude. Blue storm-clouds in hot heavens of mid-JulyHung heavy, brooding over land and sea:Our hearts, a-tremble, throbbed in harmonyWith the wild, restless tone of air and sky.Shall we not call him Prospero who heldIn his enchanted hands the fateful keyOf that tempestuous hour’s mystery,And with him to wander by a sun-bright shore,To […]

Long Island Sound

Story type: Poetry

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I see it as it looked one afternoonIn August,–by a fresh soft breeze o’erblown.The swiftness of the tide, the light thereon,A far-off sail, white as a crescent moon.The shining waters with pale currents strewn,The quiet fishing smacks, the Eastern cove,The semi-circle of its dark, green grove.The luminous grasses, and the merry sunIn the grave sky; […]

Not a stain,In the sun-brimmed sapphire cup that is the sky–Not a ripple on the black translucent laneOf the palace-walled lagoon.Not a cryAs the gondoliers with velvet oar glide by,Through the golden afternoon. From this heightWhere the carved, age-yellowed balcony o’erjutsYonder liquid, marble pavement, see the lightShimmer soft beneath the bridge,That abutsOn a labyrinth of […]

Autumn Sadness

Story type: Poetry

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Air and sky are swathed in goldFold on fold,Light glows through the trees like wine.Earth, sun-quickened, swoons for bliss‘Neath his kiss,Breathless in a trance divine. Nature pauses from her task,Just to baskIn these lull’d transfigured hours.The green leaf nor stays nor goes,But it growsRoyaler than mid-June’s flowers. Such impassioned silence fillsAll the hillsBurning with unflickering […]

The South

Story type: Poetry

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Night, and beneath star-blazoned summer skiesBehold the Spirit of the musky South,A creole with still-burning, languid eyes,Voluptuous limbs and incense-breathing mouth:Swathed in spun gauze is she,From fibres of her own anana tree. Within these sumptuous woods she lies at ease,By rich night-breezes, dewy cool, caressed:‘Twixt cypresses and slim palmetto trees,Like to the golden oriole’s hanging […]

Spring Star

Story type: Poetry

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I. Over the lamp-lit street,Trodden by hurrying feet,Where mostly pulse and beatLife’s throbbing veins,See where the April star,Blue-bright as sapphires are,Hangs in deep heavens far,Waxes and wanes. Strangely alive it seems,Darting keen, dazzling gleams,Veiling anon its beams,Large, clear, and pure.In the broad western skyNo orb may shine anigh,No lesser radiancyMay there endure. Spring airs are […]

A June Night

Story type: Poetry

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Ten o’clock: the broken moonHangs not yet a half hour high,Yellow as a shield of brass,In the dewy air of June,Poised between the vaulted skyAnd the ocean’s liquid glass. Earth lies in the shadow still;Low black bushes, trees, and lawnNight’s ambrosial dews absorb;Through the foliage creeps a thrill,Whispering of yon spectral dawnAnd the hidden climbing […]

August Moon

Story type: Poetry

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Look! the round-cheeked moon floats high,In the glowing August sky,Quenching all her neighbor stars,Save the steady flame of Mars.White as silver shines the sea,Far-off sails like phantoms be,Gliding o’er that lake of light,Vanishing in nether night.Heavy hangs the tasseled corn,Sighing for the cordial morn;But the marshy-meadows bare,Love this spectral-lighted air,Drink the dews and lift their […]

Fog

Story type: Poetry

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Light silken curtain, colorless and soft,Dreamlike before me floating! what abidesBehind thy pearly veil’sOpaque, mysterious woof? Where sleek red kine, and dappled, crunch day-longThick, luscious blades and purple clover-heads,Nigh me I still can markCool fields of beaded grass. No more; for on the rim of the globed worldI seem to stand and stare at nothingness.But […]

The Elixir

Story type: Poetry

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“Oh brew me a potion strong and good!One golden drop in his wineShall charm his sense and fire his blood,And bend his will to mine.” Poor child of passion! ask of meElixir of death or sleep,Or Lethe’s stream; but love is free,And woman must wait and weep.

Song – Venus

Story type: Poetry

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Frosty lies the winter-landscape,In the twilight golden-green.Down the Park’s deserted alleys,Naked elms stand stark and lean. Dumb the murmur of the fountain,Birds have flown from lawn and hill.But while yonder star’s ascendant,Love triumphal reigneth still. See the keen flame throb and tremble,Brightening in the darkening night,Breathing like a thing of passion,In the sky’s smooth chrysolite. […]

Spring Longing

Story type: Poetry

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What art thou doing here, O Imagination? Goaway I entreat thee by the gods, as thou didstcome, for I want thee not. But thou art comeaccording to thy old fashion. I am not angrywith thee–only go away.–Marcus Antoninus Lilac hazes veil the skies.Languid sighsBreathes the mild, caressing air.Pink as coral’s branching sprays,Orchard waysWith the blossomed […]

Uplift the ponderous, golden mask of death,And let the sun shine on him as it didHow many thousand years agone! BeneathThis worm-defying, uncorrupted lid,Behold the young, heroic face, round-eyed,Of one who in his full-flowered manhood died;Of nobler frame than creatures of to-day,Swathed in fine linen cerecloths fold on fold,With carven weapons wrought of bronze and […]

March 13, 1881. As one who feels the breathless nightmare gripHis heart-strings, and through visioned horrors fares,Now on a thin-ledged chasm’s rock-crumbling lip,Now on a tottering pinnacle that dareThe front of heaven, while always unawaresWeird monsters start above, around, beneath,Each glaring from some uglier mask of death, So the White Czar imperial progress madeThrough terror-haunted […]

Don Rafael

Story type: Poetry

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“I would not have,” he said,“Tears, nor the black pall, nor the wormy grave,Grief’s hideous panoply I would not haveRound me when I am dead. “Music and flowers and light,And choric dances to guitar and flute,Be these around me when my lips are mute,Mine eyes are sealed from sight. “So let me lie one day,One […]

Off Rough Point

Story type: Poetry

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We sat at twilight nigh the sea,The fog hung gray and weird.Through the thick film uncannilyThe broken moon appeared. We heard the billows crack and plunge,We saw nor waves nor ships.Earth sucked the vapors like a sponge,The salt spray wet our lips. Closer the woof of white mist drew,Before, behind, beside.How could that phantom moon […]

Mater Amabilis

Story type: Poetry

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Down the goldenest of streams,Tide of dreams,The fair cradled man-child drifts;Sways with cadenced motion slow,To and fro,As the mother-foot poised lightly, falls and lifts. He, the firstling,–he, the lightOf her sight,–He, the breathing pledge of love,‘Neath the holy passion lies,Of her eyes,–Smiles to feel the warm, life-giving ray above. She believes that in his vision,Skies […]

Afternoon

Story type: Poetry

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Small, shapeless drifts of cloudSail slowly northward in the soft-hued sky,With blur half-tints and rolling summits bright,By the late sun caressed; slight hazes shroudAll things afar; shineth each leaf anighWith its own warmth and light. O’erblown by Southland airs,The summer landscape basks in utter peace:In lazy streams the lazy clouds are seen;Low hills, broad meadows, […]

Phantasies

Story type: Poetry

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(After Robert Schumann). I. Evening. Rest, beauty, stillness: not a waif of a cloudFrom gray-blue east sheer to the yellow west–No film of mist the utmost slopes to shroud. The earth lies grace, by quiet airs caressed,And shepherdeth her shadows, but each stream,Free to the sky, is by that glow possessed,And traileth with the splendors […]

The grass of fifty Aprils hath waved greenAbove the spent heart, the Olympian head,The hands crost idly, the shut eyes unseen,Unseeing, the locked lips whose song hath fled;Yet mystic-lived, like some rich, tropic flower,His fame puts forth fresh blossoms hour by hour;Wide spread the laden branches dropping dewOn the low, laureled brow misunderstood,That bent not, […]

Arabesque

Story type: Poetry

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On a background of pale goldI would trace with quaint design,Penciled fine,Brilliant-colored, Moorish scenes,Mosques and crescents, pages, queens,Line on line,That the prose-world of to-dayMight the gorgeous Past’s arrayOnce behold. On the magic painted shieldRich Granada’s Vega greenShould be seen;Crystal fountains, coolness flinging,Hanging gardens’ skyward springingEmerald sheen;Ruddy when the daylight falls,Crowned Alhambra’s beetling wallsStand revealed; Balconies […]

Admetus

Story type: Poetry

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To my friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson. He who could beard the lion in his lair,To bind him for a girl, and tame the boar,And drive these beasts before his chariot,Might wed Alcestis. For her low brows’ sake,Her hairs’ soft undulations of warm gold,Her eyes clear color and pure virgin mouth,Though many would draw bow or […]

Tannhauser

Story type: Poetry

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To my mother. May, 1870. The Landgrave Hermann held a gatheringOf minstrels, minnesingers, troubadours,At Wartburg in his palace, and the knight,Sir Tannhauser of France, the greatest bard,Inspired with heavenly visions, and endowedWith apprehension and rare utteranceOf noble music, fared in thoughtful wiseAcross the Horsel meadows. Full of light,And large repose, the peaceful valley lay,In the […]

Links

Story type: Poetry

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The little and the great are joined in oneBy God’s great force. The wondrous golden sunIs linked unto the glow-worm’s tiny spark;The eagle soars to heaven in his flight;And in those realms of space, all bathed in light,Soar none except the eagle and the lark.

Saint Romualdo

Story type: Poetry

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I give God thanks that I, a lean old man,Wrinkled, infirm, and crippled with keen painsBy austere penance and continuous toil,Now rest in spirit, and possess “the peaceWhich passeth understanding.” Th’ end draws nigh,Though the beginning is yesterday,And a broad lifetime spreads ‘twixt this and that–A favored life, though outwardly the buttOf ignominy, malice, and […]

Yet life is not a vision nor a prayer,But stubborn work; she may not shun her task.After the first compassion, none will spareHer portion and her work achieved, to ask.She pleads for respite,–she will come ere longWhen, resting by the roadside, she is strong. Nay, for the hurrying throng of passers-byWill crush her with their […]

How strange, in some brief interval of rest,Backward to look on her far-stretching past.To see how much is conquered and repressed,How much is gained in victory at last!The shadow is not lifted,–but her faith,Strong from life’s miracles, now turns toward death. Though much be dark where once rare splendor shone,Yet the new light has touched […]

The calm outgoing of a long, rich day,Checkered with storm and sunshine, gloom and light,Now passing in pure, cloudless skies away,Withdrawing into silence of blank night.Thick shadows settle on the landscape bright,Like the weird cloud of death that falls apaceOn the still features of the passive face. Soothing and gentle as a mother’s kiss,The touch […]

How Long?

Story type: Poetry

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How long, and yet how long,Our leaders will we hail from over seas,Master and kings from feudal monarchies,And mock their ancient songWith echoes weak of foreign melodies? That distant isle mist-wreathed,Mantled in unimaginable green,Too long hath been our mistress and our queen.Our fathers have bequeathedToo deep a love for her, our hearts within. She made […]

Heroes

Story type: Poetry

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In rich Virginian woods,The scarlet creeper reddens over graves,Among the solemn trees enlooped with vines;Heroic spirits haunt the solitudes,–The noble souls of half a million braves,Amid the murmurous pines. Ah! who is left behind,Earnest and eloquent, sincere and strong,To consecrate their memories with wordsNot all unmeet? with fitting dirge and songTo chant a requiem purer […]

It comes not in such wise as she had deemed,Else might she still have clung to her despair.More tender, grateful than she could have dreamed,Fond hands passed pitying over brows and hair,And gentle words borne softly through the air,Calming her weary sense and wildered mind,By welcome, dear communion with her kind. Ah! she forswore all […]

The passion of despair is quelled at last;The cruel sense of undeserved wrong,The wild self-pity, these are also past;She knows not what may come, but she is strong;She feels she hath not aught to lose nor gain,Her patience is the essence of all pain. As one who sits beside a lapsing stream,She sees the flow […]

Her languid pulses thrill with sudden hope,That will not be forgot nor cast aside,And life in statelier vistas seems to ope,Illimitably lofty, long, and wide.What doth she know? She is subdued and mild,Quiet and docile “as a weaned child.” If grief came in such unimagined wise,How may joy dawn? In what undreamed-of hour,May the light […]

‘T is not alone that black and yawning voidThat makes her heart ache with this hungry pain,But the glad sense of life hath been destroyed,The lost delight may never come again.Yet myriad serious blessings with grave graceArise on every side to fill their place. For much abides in her so lonely life,–The dear companionship of […]

She feels outwearied, as though o’er her headA storm of mighty billows broke and passed.Whose hand upheld her? Who her footsteps ledTo this green haven of sweet rest at last?What strength was hers, unreckoned and unknown?What love sustained when she was most alone? Unutterably pathetic her desire,To reach, with groping arms outstretched in prayer,Something to […]

Serene was morning with clear, winnowed air,But threatening soon the low, blue mass of cloudRose in the west, with mutterings faint and rareAt first, but waxing frequent and more loud.Thick sultry mists the distant hill-tops shroud;The sunshine dies; athwart black skies of leadFlash noiselessly thin threads of lightning red. Breathless the earth seems waiting some […]

When the stunned soul can first lift tired eyesOn her changed world of ruin, waste and wrack,Ah, what a pang of aching sharp surpriseBrings all sweet memories of the lost past back,With wild self-pitying grief of one betrayed,Duped in a land of dreams where Truth is dead! Are these the heavens that she deemed were […]

There is a hungry longing in the soul,A craving sense of emptiness and pain,She may not satisfy nor yet control,For all the teeming world looks void and vain.No compensation in eternal spheres,She knows the loneliness of all her years. There is no comfort looking forth nor back,The present gives the lie to all her past.Will […]

Yea, she hath looked Truth grimly face to face,And drained unto the lees the proffered cup.This silence is not patience, nor the graceOf recognition, meekly offered up,But mere acceptance fraught with keenest pain,Seeing that all her struggles must be vain. Her future clear and terrible outlies,–This burden to be borne through all her days,This crown […]

All stupor of surprise hath passed away;She sees, with clearer vision than before,A world far off of light and laughter gay,Herself alone and lonely evermore.Folk come and go, and reach her in no wise,Mere flitting phantoms to her heavy eyes. All outward things, that once seemed part of her,Fall from her, like the leaves in […]

Thin summer rain on grass and bush and hedge,Reddening the road and deepening the greenOn wide, blurred lawn, and in close-tangled sedge;Veiling in gray the landscape stretched betweenThese low broad meadows and the pale hills seenBut dimly on the far horizon’s edge. In these transparent-clouded, gentle skies,Wherethrough the moist beams of the soft June sunMight […]

Look westward o’er the steaming rain-washed slopes,Now satisfied with sunshine, and beholdThose lustrous clouds, as glorious as our hopes,Softened with feathery fleece of downy gold,In all fantastic, huddled shapes uprolled,Floating like dreams, and melting silently,In the blue upper regions of pure sky. The eye is filled with beauty, and the heartRejoiced with sense of life […]