DayPoems: A Seven-Century Poetry Slam
93,142 lines of verse *
Timothy Bovee, editor

What of the Night?

Ada Cambridge

Born 11/21/1844

To you, who look below,
Where little candles glow --
Who listen in a narrow street,
Confused with noise of passing feet --

To you 'tis wild and dark;
No light, no guide, no ark,
For travellers lost on moor and lea,
And ship-wrecked mariners at sea.

But they who stand apart,
With hushed but wakeful heart --
They hear the lulling of the gale,
And see the dawn-rise faint and pale.

A dawn whereto they grope
In trembling faith and hope,
If haply, brightening, it may cast
A gleam on path and goal at last.


Junior Burchall

21st Century

nobody listens
so we scrawl
our troubled
on your barren
and hope that


you all will


Aphra Behn


LOVE in fantastic triumph sate
Whilst bleeding hearts around him flow'd,
For whom fresh pains he did create
And strange tyrannic power he show'd:
From thy bright eyes he took his fires,
Which round about in sport he hurl'd;
But 'twas from mine he took desires
Enough t' undo the amorous world.

From me he took his sighs and tears,
From thee his pride and cruelty;
From me his languishments and fears,
And every killing dart from thee.
Thus thou and I the god have arm'd
And set him up a deity;
But my poor heart alone is harm'd,
Whilst thine the victor is, and free!

Willie and Helen

Hew Ainslie


'WHAREFORE sou'd ye talk o' love,
Unless it be to pain us?
Wharefore sou'd ye talk o' love
Whan ye say the sea maun twain us?'

'It 's no because my love is light,
Nor for your angry deddy;
It 's a' to buy ye pearlins bright,
An' to busk ye like a leddy.'

'O Willy, I can caird an' spin,
Se ne'er can want for cleedin';
An' gin I hae my Willy's heart,
I hae a' the pearls I'm heedin'.

'Will it be time to praise this cheek
Whan years an' tears has blench'd it?
Will it be time to talk o' love
Whan cauld an' care has quench'd it?'

He's laid ae han' about her waist--
The ither 's held to heaven;
An' his luik was like the luik o' man
Wha's heart in twa is riven.

Non Nobis

Henry Cust


NOT unto us, O Lord,
Not unto us the rapture of the day,
The peace of night, or love's divine surprise,
High heart, high speech, high deeds 'mid honouring eyes;
For at Thy word
All these are taken away.

Not unto us, O Lord:
To us thou givest the scorn, the scourge, the scar,
The ache of life, the loneliness of death,
The insufferable sufficiency of breath;
And with Thy sword
Thou piercest very far.

Not unto us, O Lord:
Nay, Lord, but unto her be all things given--
My light and life and earth and sky be blasted--
But let not all that wealth of loss be wasted:
Let Hell afford
The pavement of her Heaven!

Fifty Years Spent

Maxwell Struthers Burt


Fifty years spent before I found me,
Wind on my mouth and the taste of the rain,
Where the great hills circled and swept around me
And the torrents leapt to the mist-drenched plain;
Ah, it was long this coming of me
Back to the hills and the sounding sea.

Ye who can go when so it tideth
To fallow fields when the Spring is new,
Finding the spirit that there abideth,
Taking fill of the sun and the dew;
Little ye know of the cross of the town
And the small pale folk who go up and down.

Fifty years spent before I found me
A bank knee-deep with climbing rose,
Saw, or had space to look around me,
Knew how the apple buds and blows;
And all the while that I thought me wise
I walked as one with blinded eyes.

Scarcely a lad who passes twenty
But finds him a girl to balm his heart;
Only I, who had work so plenty,
Bade this loving keep apart:
Once I saw a girl in a crowd,
But I hushed my heart when it cried out aloud.

City courts in January, --
City courts in wilted June,
Often ye will catch and carry
Echoes of some straying tune;
Ah, but underneath the feet
Echo stifles in a street.

Fifty years spent, and what do they bring me?
Now I can buy the meadow and hill:
Where is the heart of the boy to sing thee?
Where is the life for thy living to fill?
And thirty years back in a city crowd
I passed a girl when my heart cried loud!


Ruth Guthrie Harding

Born 1882

Deep in the heart of me,
Nothing but You!
See through the art of me --
Deep in the heart of me
Find the best part of me,
Changeless and true.
Deep in the heart of me,
Nothing but You!


Felicia Dorothea Hemans


CALM on the bosom of thy God,
Fair spirit, rest thee now!
E'en while with ours thy footsteps trod,
His seal was on thy brow.

Dust, to its narrow house beneath!
Soul, to its place on high!
They that have seen thy look in death
No more may fear to die.

There's Rosemary

Olive Tilford Dargan


O love that is not Love, but dear, so dear!
That is not love because it goes full soon,
Like flower born and dead within one moon,
And yet is love, for that it comes too near
The guarded fane where love alone may peer,
Ere, like young spring by summer soon outshone,
It trembles into death; yet comes anon
As thoughts of spring will come though summer's here.

O star prelusive to a dream more fair,
Within my heart I'll keep a heaven for thee
Where thou mayst freely come and freely go,
Touching with thy faint gold ere I am 'ware
A twilight hope -- a dawn I did not see --
O love that is not Love, but nearly so!


Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton


THEY seem'd, to those who saw them meet,
The casual friends of every day;
Her smile was undisturb'd and sweet,
His courtesy was free and gay.

But yet if one the other's name
In some unguarded moment heard,
The heart you thought so calm and tame
Would struggle like a captured bird:

And letters of mere formal phrase
Were blister'd with repeated tears,--
And this was not the work of days,
But had gone on for years and years!

Alas, that love was not too strong
For maiden shame and manly pride!
Alas, that they delay'd so long
The goal of mutual bliss beside!

Yet what no chance could then reveal,
And neither would be first to own,
Let fate and courage now conceal,
When truth could bring remorse alone.


Edward Thurlow, Lord Thurlow


MAY! queen of blossoms,
And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music
Shall we charm the hours?
Wilt thou have pipe and reed,
Blown in the open mead?
Or to the lute give heed
In the green bowers?

Thou hast no need of us,
Or pipe or wire;
Thou hast the golden bee
Ripen'd with fire;
And many thousand more
Songsters, that thee adore,
Filling earth's grassy floor
With new desire.

Thou hast thy mighty herds,
Tame and free-livers;
Doubt not, thy music too
In the deep rivers;
And the whole plumy flight
Warbling the day and night--
Up at the gates of light,
See, the lark quivers!


Jonathan Martin

21st Century

See how one progresses, see how one falls
See how one can enter in, with hope on heart
Then learn their fate when time passes all
See how one fluctuates a life in art
And another of academic betrayal
Oh the beautiful ignorance of one young mind
Set up in the dead of cold, forced through a shell
Of incandescent forces beyond the whelms of hope
See how one, brought up of kind
Can grow, or let alone, let one fall