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


By the Margin of the Great Deep

George William Russell ('A. E.')

Born 1853



WHEN the breath of twilight blows to flame the misty skies,
All its vaporous sapphire, violet glow and silver gleam,
With their magic flood me through the gateway of the eyes;
I am one with the twilight's dream.

When the trees and skies and fields are one in dusky mood,
Every heart of man is rapt within the mother's breast:
Full of peace and sleep and dreams in the vasty quietude,
I am one with their hearts at rest.

From our immemorial joys of hearth and home and love
Stray'd away along the margin of the unknown tide,
All its reach of soundless calm can thrill me far above
Word or touch from the lips beside.

Aye, and deep and deep and deeper let me drink and draw
From the olden fountain more than light or peace or dream,
Such primaeval being as o'erfills the heart with awe,
Growing one with its silent stream.




I still love you at the end of time

Roland Hagge

21st Century



I still love you at the end of time

Even after the last rose have wither and died
And the only fragrance, that fades away,

Even after the blackbird has sing his last song
And the only thing you hear, is silence,

Even after the last butterfly lost its wings
And only remembrance, exists.

Even after the blue sky have disappeared,
And only the darkness, above.

Even after the last white clouds have gone,
And the only thing left, emptiness,

Even after the last grass have turned brown,
And the only desolate, appear,

Even after the last beautiful tree have burned down
And only black ashes, is there,

Even after the last mountains have turned to sand,
And rolling hills, are no more,

Even after the wide ocean have turn to mud.
And only a desert, remains,

Even after the last river is memory alone,
And only a line, in the sand,

Even after the moonlight have gone to sleep,
And only the nights, appear,

Even after our sun have turned itself off,
And only darkness, is all we see,

Yes, even at the end of time, I will love you.
My love will be stronger, than time.

And at the end of time,
I will still love you with all of my heart.




Phillis 1

Thomas Lodge

1556?-1625



MY Phillis hath the morning sun
At first to look upon her;
And Phillis hath morn-waking birds
Her risings still to honour.
My Phillis hath prime-feather'd flowers,
That smile when she treads on them;
And Phillis hath a gallant flock,
That leaps since she doth own them.
But Phillis hath too hard a heart,
Alas that she should have it!
It yields no mercy to desert,
Nor grace to those that crave it.




O sleep, my Babe

Sara Coleridge

1802-1850



O SLEEP, my babe, hear not the rippling wave,
Nor feel the breeze that round thee ling'ring strays
To drink thy balmy breath,
And sigh one long farewell.

Soon shall it mourn above thy wat'ry bed,
And whisper to me, on the wave-beat shore,
Deep murm'ring in reproach,
Thy sad untimely fate.

Ere those dear eyes had open'd on the light,
In vain to plead, thy coming life was sold,
O waken'd but to sleep,
Whence it can wake no more!

A thousand and a thousand silken leaves
The tufted beech unfolds in early spring,
All clad in tenderest green,
All of the self-same shape:

A thousand infant faces, soft and sweet,
Each year sends forth, yet every mother views
Her last not least beloved
Like its dear self alone.

No musing mind hath ever yet foreshaped
The face to-morrow's sun shall first reveal,
No heart hath e'er conceived
What love that face will bring.

O sleep, my babe, nor heed how mourns the gale
To part with thy soft locks and fragrant breath,
As when it deeply sighs
O'er autumn's latest bloom.




Soft, Low and Sweet

Johannes Carl Andersen

Born 3/14/1873



Soft, low and sweet, the blackbird wakes the day,
And clearer pipes, as rosier grows the gray
Of the wide sky, far, far into whose deep
The rath lark soars, and scatters down the steep
His runnel song, that skyey roundelay.

Earth with a sigh awakes; and tremors play,
Coy in her leafy trees, and falt'ring creep
Across the daisy lawn and whisper, "Well-a-day,"
Soft, low and sweet.

From violet-banks the scent-clouds float away
And spread around their fragrance, as of sleep:
From ev'ry mossy nook the blossoms peep;
From ev'ry blossom comes one little ray
That makes the world-wealth one with Spring, alway
Soft, low and sweet.




The Enchantment

Thomas Otway

1652-1685



I DID but look and love awhile,
'Twas but for one half-hour;
Then to resist I had no will,
And now I have no power.

To sigh and wish is all my ease;
Sighs which do heat impart
Enough to melt the coldest ice,
Yet cannot warm your heart.

O would your pity give my heart
One corner of your breast,
'Twould learn of yours the winning art,
And quickly steal the rest.




He fell among Thieves

Henry Newbolt

Born 1862



'YE have robb'd,' said he, 'ye have slaughter'd and made an end,
Take your ill-got plunder, and bury the dead:
What will ye more of your guest and sometime friend?'
'Blood for our blood,' they said.

He laugh'd: 'If one may settle the score for five,
I am ready; but let the reckoning stand till day:
I have loved the sunlight as dearly as any alive.'
'You shall die at dawn,' said they.

He flung his empty revolver down the slope,
He climb'd alone to the Eastward edge of the trees;
All night long in a dream untroubled of hope
He brooded, clasping his knees.

He did not hear the monotonous roar that fills
The ravine where the Yassîn river sullenly flows;
He did not see the starlight on the Laspur hills,
Or the far Afghan snows.

He saw the April noon on his books aglow,
The wistaria trailing in at the window wide;
He heard his father's voice from the terrace below
Calling him down to ride.

He saw the gray little church across the park,
The mounds that hid the loved and honour'd dead;
The Norman arch, the chancel softly dark,
The brasses black and red.

He saw the School Close, sunny and green,
The runner beside him, the stand by the parapet wall,
The distant tape, and the crowd roaring between,
His own name over all.

He saw the dark wainscot and timber'd roof,
The long tables, and the faces merry and keen;
The College Eight and their trainer dining aloof,
The Dons on the daïs serene.

He watch'd the liner's stem ploughing the foam,
He felt her trembling speed and the thrash of her screw;
He heard the passengers' voices talking of home,
He saw the flag she flew.

And now it was dawn. He rose strong on his feet,
And strode to his ruin'd camp below the wood;
He drank the breath of the morning cool and sweet:
His murderers round him stood.

Light on the Laspur hills was broadening fast,
The blood-red snow-peaks chill'd to a dazzling white;
He turn'd, and saw the golden circle at last,
Cut by the Eastern height.

'O glorious Life, Who dwellest in earth and sun,
I have lived, I praise and adore Thee.'
A sword swept.
Over the pass the voices one by one
Faded, and the hill slept.




The House of the Commonwealth

Roderic Quinn

Born 11/26/1869



We sent a word across the seas that said,
"The house is finished and the doors are wide,
Come, enter in.
A stately house it is, with tables spread,
Where men in liberty and love abide
With hearts akin.

"Behold, how high our hands have lifted it!
The soil it stands upon is pure and sweet
As are our skies.
Our title deeds in holy sweat are writ,
Not red accusing blood -- and 'neath our feet
No foeman lies."

And England, Mother England, leans her face
Upon her hand and feels her blood burn young
At what she sees:
The image here of that fair strength and grace
That made her feared and loved and sought and sung
Through centuries.

What chorus shall we lift, what song of joy,
What boom of seaward cannon, roll of drums?
The majesty of nationhood demands
A burst of royal sounds, as when a victor comes
From peril of a thousand foes;
An empire's honour saved from death
Brought home again; an added rose
Of victory upon its wreath.
In this wise men have greeted kings,
In name or fame,
But such acclaim
Were vain and emptiest of things
If love were silent, drawn apart,
And mute the People's mighty heart.

The love that ivy-like an ancient land doth cherish,
It grows not in a day, nor in a year doth perish.
But, little leaf by leaf,
It creeps along the walls and wreathes the ramparts hoary.
The sun that gives it strength -- it is a nation's glory;
The dew, a people's grief.

The love that ivy-like around a home-land lingers,
With soft embrace of breast and green, caressive fingers,
We are too young to know.
Not ours the glory-dome, the monuments and arches
At thought of which takes arms the blood, and proudly marches
Exultant o'er the foe.

Green lands undesolated
For no avengement cry;
No feud of race unsated
Leaps out again to triumph,
Leaps out again to triumph, or to die!

Attendant here to-day in heart and mind
Must be all lovers of mankind,
Attendant, too, the souls sublime --
The Prophet-souls of every clime,
Who, living, in a tyrant's time,
Yet thought and wrought and sought to break
The chains about mankind and make
A man where men had made a slave:
Who all intent to lift and save
Beheld the flag of Freedom wave
And scorned the prison or the grave;
For whom the darkness failed to mar
The vision of a world afar,
The shining of the Morning Star.
Attendant here, then, they must be,
And gathering close with eyes elate
Behold the vision of a State
Where men are equal, just, and free:
A State that hath no stain upon her,
No taint to hurt her maiden honour;
A Home where love and kindness centre;
A People's House where all may enter.
And, being entered, meet no dearth
Of welcome round a common hearth;
A People's House not built of stone,
Nor wrought by hand and brain alone,
But formed and founded on the heart;
A People's House, A People's Home,
En-isled in foam and far apart;
A People's House, where all may roam
The many rooms and be at ease;
A People's House, with tower and dome;
And over all a People's Flag --
A Flag upon the breeze.




To a Portrait of Whistler in the Brooklyn Art Museum

Eleanor Rogers Cox

Died 1936



What waspish whim of Fate
Was this that bade you here
Hold dim, unhonored state,
No single courtier near?

Is there, of all who pass,
No choice, discerning few
To poise the ribboned glass
And gaze enwrapt on you?

Sword-soul that from its sheath
Laughed leaping to the fray,
How calmly underneath
Goes Brooklyn on her way!

Quite heedless of that smile --
Half-devil and half-god,
Your quite unequalled style,
The airy heights you trod.

Ah, could you from earth's breast
Come back to take the air,
What matter here for jest
Most exquisite and rare!

But since you may not come,
Since silence holds you fast,
Since all your quips are dumb
And all your laughter past --

I give you mine instead,
And something with it too
That Brooklyn leaves unsaid --
The world's fine homage due.

Ah, Prince, you smile again --
"My faith, the court is small!"
I know, dear James -- but then
It's I or none at all!




Immortality

John Liddell Kelly

Born 2/19/1850



At twenty-five I cast my horoscope,
And saw a future with all good things rife --
A firm assurance of eternal life
In worlds beyond, and in this world the hope
Of deathless fame. But now my sun doth slope
To setting, and the toil of sordid strife,
The care of food and raiment, child and wife,
Have dimmed and narrowed all my spirit's scope.

Eternal life -- a river gulphed in sands!
Undying fame -- a rainbow lost in clouds!
What hope of immortality remains
But this: "Some soul that loves and understands
Shall save thee from the darkness that enshrouds";
And this: "Thy blood shall course in others' veins"?




The Red Flag

James Connell

1852-1929



The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts blood dyed its every fold.

Then raise the scarlet standard high. (chorus)
Within its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

Look round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
The sturdy German chants its praise,
In Moscow's vaults its hymns are sung
Chicago swells the surging throng.

It waved above our infant might,
When all ahead seemed dark as night;
It witnessed many a deed and vow,
We must not change its colour now.

It well recalls the triumphs past,
It gives the hope of peace at last;
The banner bright, the symbol plain,
Of human right and human gain.

It suits today the weak and base,
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place
To cringe before the rich man's frown,
And haul the sacred emblem down.

With heads uncovered swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall;
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim,
This song shall be our parting hymn.




Haiku

Michael Rehling

21st Century



crucified
on a cold gray sky
a single bird