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

How can the Heart forget her?, Davison's Poetical Rhapsody

F. or W. Davison

17th Century

AT her fair hands how have I grace entreated
With prayers oft repeated!
Yet still my love is thwarted:
Heart, let her go, for she'll not be converted--
Say, shall she go?
O no, no, no, no, no!
She is most fair, though she be marble-hearted.

How often have my sighs declared my anguish,
Wherein I daily languish!
Yet still she doth procure it:
Heart, let her go, for I can not endure it--
Say, shall she go?
O no, no, no, no, no!
She gave the wound, and she alone must cure it.

But shall I still a true affection owe her,
Which prayers, sighs, tears do show her,
And shall she still disdain me?
Heart, let her go, if they no grace can gain me--
Say, shall she go?
O no, no, no, no, no!
She made me hers, and hers she will retain me.

But if the love that hath and still doth burn me
No love at length return me,
Out of my thoughts I'll set her:
Heart, let her go, O heart I pray thee, let her!
Say, shall she go?
O no, no, no, no, no!
Fix'd in the heart, how can the heart forget her?

the disassociation of writing

Quintin Webster

21st Century

I read the writing the ghosts left behind
It told me to burn, burn, burn, burn
And it then turned the ice into a demons paradise
enabling them to ice skate over their burning graves
then the music that gave the rattle to my bones began its sick tune
we have an A minor off the fourth lumbar and my head is about to screw off
and you fester after the burn because the writing said so
and go fetch that salad melting pot at the end of the couldsack
because your worth is less than the rising tide
freedom aches and my back is breaking from the rap song being played on my knees
who cares if the bluejay died flying through the forbidden dark
light, flicker, frick, clicker
light is the essence of red and dark is what it is, lonely

A Hymn

James Shirley


O FLY, my Soul! What hangs upon
Thy drooping wings,
And weighs them down
With love of gaudy mortal things?

The Sun is now i' the east: each shade
As he doth rise
Is shorter made,
That earth may lessen to our eyes.

O be not careless then and play
Until the Star of Peace
Hide all his beams in dark recess!
Poor pilgrims needs must lose their way,
When all the shadows do increase.


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!


Louise Driscoll


All the men of Harbury go down to the sea in ships,
The wind upon their faces, the salt upon their lips.

The little boys of Harbury when they are laid to sleep,
Dream of masts and cabins and the wonders of the deep.

The women-folk of Harbury have eyes like the sea,
Wide with watching wonder, deep with mystery.

I met a woman: "Beyond the bar," she said,
"Beyond the shallow water where the green lines spread,

"Out beyond the sand-bar and the white spray,
My three sons wait for the Judgment Day."

I saw an old man who goes to sea no more,
Watch from morn till evening down on the shore.

"The sea's a hard mistress," the old man said;
"The sea is always hungry and never full fed.

"The sea had my father and took my son from me --
Sometimes I think I see them, walking on the sea!

"I'd like to be in Harbury on the Judgment Day,
When the word is spoken and the sea is wiped away,

"And all the drowned fisher boys, with sea-weed in their hair,
Rise and walk to Harbury to greet the women there.

"I'd like to be in Harbury to see the souls arise,
Son and mother hand in hand, lovers with glad eyes.

"I think there would be many who would turn and look with me,
Hoping for another glimpse of the cruel sea!

"They tell me that in Paradise the fields are green and still,
With pleasant flowers everywhere that all may take who will,

"And four great rivers flowing from out the Throne of God
That no one ever drowns in and souls may cross dry-shod.

"I think among those wonders there will be men like me,
Who miss the old salt danger of the singing sea.

"For in my heart, like some old shell, inland, safe and dry,
Any one who harks will still hear the sea cry."

A Garden Song

Henry Austin Dobson

Born 1840

HERE in this sequester'd close
Bloom the hyacinth and rose,
Here beside the modest stock
Flaunts the flaring hollyhock;
Here, without a pang, one sees
Ranks, conditions, and degrees.

All the seasons run their race
In this quiet resting-place;
Peach and apricot and fig
Here will ripen and grow big;
Here is store and overplus,--
More had not AlcinoĆ¼s!

Here, in alleys cool and green,
Far ahead the thrush is seen;
Here along the southern wall
Keeps the bee his festival;
All is quiet else--afar
Sounds of toil and turmoil are.

Here be shadows large and long;
Here be spaces meet for song;
Grant, O garden-god, that I,
Now that none profane is nigh,--
Now that mood and moment please,--
Find the fair Pierides!

The Falconer of God

William Rose Benet


I flung my soul to the air like a falcon flying.
I said, "Wait on, wait on, while I ride below!
I shall start a heron soon
In the marsh beneath the moon --
A strange white heron rising with silver on its wings,
Rising and crying
Wordless, wondrous things;
The secret of the stars, of the world's heart-strings,
The answer to their woe.
Then stoop thou upon him, and grip and hold him so!"

My wild soul waited on as falcons hover.
I beat the reedy fens as I trampled past.
I heard the mournful loon
In the marsh beneath the moon.
And then -- with feathery thunder -- the bird of my desire
Broke from the cover
Flashing silver fire.
High up among the stars I saw his pinions spire.
The pale clouds gazed aghast
As my falcon stoopt upon him, and gript and held him fast.

My soul dropt through the air -- with heavenly plunder? --
Gripping the dazzling bird my dreaming knew?
Nay! but a piteous freight,
A dark and heavy weight
Despoiled of silver plumage, its voice forever stilled, --
All of the wonder
Gone that ever filled
Its guise with glory. Oh, bird that I have killed,
How brilliantly you flew
Across my rapturous vision when first I dreamed of you!

Yet I fling my soul on high with new endeavor,
And I ride the world below with a joyful mind.
I shall start a heron soon
In the marsh beneath the moon --
A wondrous silver heron its inner darkness fledges!

I beat forever
The fens and the sedges.
The pledge is still the same -- for all disastrous pledges,
All hopes resigned!
My soul still flies above me for the quarry it shall find.

Quia Amore Langueo


15th Century

IN a valley of this restles mind
I sought in mountain and in mead,
Trusting a true love for to find.
Upon an hill then took I heed;
A voice I heard (and near I yede)
In great dolour complaining tho:
See, dear soul, how my sides bleed
Quia amore langueo.

Upon this hill I found a tree,
Under a tree a man sitting;
From head to foot wounded was he;
His hearte blood I saw bleeding:
A seemly man to be a king,
A gracious face to look unto.
I asked why he had paining;
[He said,] Quia amore langueo.

I am true love that false was never;
My sister, man's soul, I loved her thus.
Because we would in no wise dissever
I left my kingdom glorious.
I purveyed her a palace full precious;
She fled, I followed, I loved her so
That I suffered this pain piteous
Quia amore langueo.

My fair love and my spouse bright!
I saved her from beating, and she hath me bet;
I clothed her in grace and heavenly light;
This bloody shirt she hath on me set;
For longing of love yet would I not let;
Sweete strokes are these: lo!
I have loved her ever as I her het
Quia amore langueo.

I crowned her with bliss and she me with thorn;
I led her to chamber and she me to die;
I brought her to worship and she me to scorn;
I did her reverence and she me villany.
To love that loveth is no maistry;
Her hate made never my love her foe:
Ask me then no question why--
Quia amore langueo.

Look unto mine handes, man!
These gloves were given me when I her sought;
They be not white, but red and wan;
Embroidered with blood my spouse them brought.
They will not off; I loose hem nought;
I woo her with hem wherever she go.
These hands for her so friendly fought
Quia amore langueo.

Marvel not, man, though I sit still.
See, love hath shod me wonder strait:
Buckled my feet, as was her will,
With sharpe nails (well thou may'st wait!)
In my love was never desait;
All my membres I have opened her to;
My body I made her herte's bait
Quia amore langueo.

In my side I have made her nest;
Look in, how weet a wound is here!
This is her chamber, here shall she rest,
That she and I may sleep in fere.
Here may she wash, if any filth were;
Here is seat for all her woe;
Come when she will, she shall have cheer
Quia amore langueo.

I will abide till she be ready,
I will her sue if she say nay;
If she be retchless I will be greedy,
If she be dangerous I will her pray;
If she weep, then bide I ne may:
Mine arms ben spread to clip her me to.
Cry once, I come: now, soul, assay
Quia amore langueo.

Fair love, let us go play:
Apples ben ripe in my gardayne.
I shall thee clothe in a new array,
Thy meat shall be milk, honey and wine.
Fair love, let us go dine:
Thy sustenance is in my crippe, lo!
Tarry thou not, my fair spouse mine,
Quia amore langueo.

If thou be foul, I shall thee make clean;
If thou be sick, I shall thee heal;
If thou mourn ought, I shall thee mene;
Why wilt thou not, fair love, with me deal?
Foundest thou ever love so leal?
What wilt thou, soul, that I shall do?
I may not unkindly thee appeal
Quia amore langueo.

What shall I do now with my spouse
But abide her of my gentleness,
Till that she look out of her house
Of fleshly affection? love mine she is;
Her bed is made, her bolster is bliss,
Her chamber is chosen; is there none mo.
Look out on me at the window of kindeness
Quia amore langueo.

My love is in her chamber: hold your peace!
Make ye no noise, but let her sleep.
My babe I would not were in disease,
I may not hear my dear child weep.
With my pap I shall her keep;
Ne marvel ye not though I tend her to:
This wound in my side had ne'er be so deep
But Quia amore langueo.

Long thou for love never so high,
My love is more than thine may be.
Thou weepest, thou gladdest, I sit thee by:
Yet wouldst thou once, love, look unto me!
Should I always feede thee
With children meat? Nay, love, not so!
I will prove thy love with adversite
Quia amore langueo.

Wax not weary, mine own wife!
What mede is aye to live in comfort?
In tribulation I reign more rife
Ofter times than in disport.
In weal and in woe I am aye to support:
Mine own wife, go not me fro!
Thy mede is marked, when thou art mort:
Quia amore langueo.


Henry Rowe


ANGEL, king of streaming morn;
Cherub, call'd by Heav'n to shine;
T' orient tread the waste forlorn;
Guide aetherial, pow'r divine;
Thou, Lord of all within!

Golden spirit, lamp of day,
Host, that dips in blood the plain,
Bids the crimson'd mead be gay,
Bids the green blood burst the vein;
Thou, Lord of all within!

Soul, that wraps the globe in light;
Spirit, beckoning to arise;
Drives the frowning brow of night,
Glory bursting o'er the skies;
Thou, Lord of all within!

Kew Gardens

Julian Duffus

20th Century

This a mystery of Moon
Where silver shadows cast by cactus burr
The shallow fish flash steam
Reflect the jungle ambience of place
Out side the lawn guarded by the Queen's Beasts
and heavy trod by tourists
Retains a spring in the turf that is special.
On through blue bell valley to heavy wood by slow majestic river
Dark is the wood and heavy with a Victorian air
Circumscribed by pampas grass from South America,
This typically English Glade.
The call of Children echoes through the trees
A crunch of plastic sandwich wrapper
Distorted under foot by hurried dinner
departing from the Pagoda Cafe.
Squirrels near by opportunistically twitch
Raised on haunches heads alert for fallen crumbs
Or discarded pork pies
Not a natural diet, but fat squirrels live in Kew
Sustained in the good life of by the droppings of the mainly
Plodding through the gardens,
Receiving a carefully measured dose of beauty
Enough if stored carefully to see them through
The dull, damp slogginess of an Albion Winter.

On wing high above the rough river side field
A hawk waits on the careless mouse,
His dinner to peruse
Still, shimmering in the still warm sky
Further up the Jumbo Roars and coughs it's way to earth
Heathrow & Home, The noise coming later than the plan
But regularly the noise and fumes of commerce damn the sky
A small bell heralds the closing of an other day
Families, Children, Nurses Nannies
Gather up the sheep dog like their charges
And head as if of single mind Gate wards
The penny turnstiles of my youth have gone
Replaced by booths, with computerized tills
Ringing with a muted buzz the difference between
Student, OAP, and me
At last the gardens empty
At least of people
But yet full of life

To a Wave

Inez K. Hyland


Where were you yesterday? In Gulistan,
With roses and the frenzied nightingales?
Rather would I believe you shining ran
With peaceful floods, where the soft voice prevails
Of building doves in lordly trees set high,
Trees which enclose a home where love abides --
His love and hers, a passioned ecstasy;
Your tone has caught its echo and derides
My joyless lot, as face down pressed I lie
Upon the shifting sand, and hear the reeds
Voicing a thin, dissonant threnody
Unto the cliff and wind-tormented weeds.
As with the faint half-lights of jade toward
The shore you come and show a violet hue,
I wonder if the face of my adored
Was ever held importraitured by you.
Ah, no! if you had seen his face, still prest
Within your hold the picture dear would be,
Like that bright portrait which so moved the breast
Of fairest Gurd with soft unrest that she,
Born in ice halls, she who but raised her eyes
And scornful questioned, "What is love, indeed?
None ever viewed it 'neath these northern skies," --
Seeing the face soon learned love's gentle creed;
But you hold nothing to be counted dear --
Only a gift of weed and broken shells;
Yet I will gather one, so I can hear
The soft remembrance which still in it dwells:
For in the shell, though broken, ever lies
The murmur of the sea whence it was torn --
So in a woman's heart there never dies
The memory of love, though love be lorn.

Price Check On Register One!

Scott Urban

21st Century

Waiting to checkout, twelve items or less
Express lane my ass, going much too slow
Schedule to keep, how'd I get in this mess
Finally! It's my turn, let's go, go, go!

A price check! Oh no! Not the microphone!
No wait! It's too late, can't stop this bad dream
The resounding announcement, piercing tone
How much do I charge for hemorrhoid cream!

Red faced, embarrassed, It's for my good friend!
All eyes are staring not believing me
The itch starts to creep controlling my hand
Unconsciously scratching for all to see

Always make sure that the price is in view
So shameful price checks don't happen to you