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Verbal Expression
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by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth

    It is an ancyent Marinere,
      And he stoppeth one of three:
    “By thy long grey beard and thy glittering eye
      “Now wherefore stoppest me?

    “The Bridegroom’s doors are open’d wide
      “And I am next of kin;
    “The Guests are met, the Feast is set,–
      “May’st hear the merry din.–

    But still he holds the wedding-guest–
      There was a Ship, quoth he–
    “Nay, if thou’st got a laughsome tale,
      “Marinere! come with me.”

    He holds him with his skinny hand,
      Quoth he, there was a Ship–
    “Now get thee hence, thou grey-beard Loon!
      “Or my Staff shall make thee skip.”

    He holds him with his glittering eye–
      The wedding guest stood still
    And listens like a three year’s child;
      The Marinere hath his will.

    The wedding-guest sate on a stone,
      He cannot chuse but hear:
    And thus spake on that ancyent man,
      The bright-eyed Marinere.

    The Ship was cheer’d, the Harbour clear’d–
      Merrily did we drop
    Below the Kirk, below the Hill,
      Below the Light-house top.

    The Sun came up upon the left,
      Out of the Sea came he:
    And he shone bright, and on the right
      Went down into the Sea.

    Higher and higher every day,
      Till over the mast at noon–
    The wedding-guest here beat his breast,
      For he heard the loud bassoon.

    The Bride hath pac’d into the Hall,
      Red as a rose is she;
    Nodding their heads before her goes
      The merry Minstralsy.

    The wedding-guest he beat his breast,
      Yet he cannot chuse but hear:
    And thus spake on that ancyent Man,
      The bright-eyed Marinere.

    Listen, Stranger! Storm and Wind,
      A Wind and Tempest strong!
    For days and weeks it play’d us freaks–
      Like Chaff we drove along.

    Listen, Stranger! Mist and Snow,
      And it grew wond’rous cauld:
    And Ice mast-high came floating by
      As green as Emerauld.

    And thro’ the drifts the snowy clifts
      Did send a dismal sheen;
    Ne shapes of men ne beasts we ken–
      The Ice was all between.

    The Ice was here, the Ice was there,
      The Ice was all around:
    It crack’d and growl’d, and roar’d and howl’d–
      Like noises of a swound.

    At length did cross an Albatross,
      Thorough the Fog it came;
    And an it were a Christian Soul,
      We hail’d it in God’s name.

    The Marineres gave it biscuit-worms,
      And round and round it flew:
    The Ice did split with a Thunder-fit;
      The Helmsman steer’d us thro’.

    And a good south wind sprung up behind,
      The Albatross did follow;
    And every day for food or play
      Came to the Marinere’s hollo!

    In mist or cloud on mast or shroud
      It perch’d for vespers nine,
    Whiles all the night thro’ fog-smoke white
      Glimmer’d the white moon-shine.

    “God save thee, ancyent Marinere!
      “From the fiends that plague thee thus–
    “Why look’st thou so?”–with my cross bow
      I shot the Albatross.

Rouge Gagne

by Emily Dickinson

‘T is so much joy! ‘T is so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so
This side the victory!

Life is but life, and death but death!
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!
And if, indeed, I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can prevail!

And if I gain, — oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,
And might o’erwhelm me so!

El Dorado

by Edgar Allan Poe
    Gaily bedight,
    A gallant knight,
  In sunshine and in shadow,
    Had journeyed long,
    Singing a song,
  In search of Eldorado.
    But he grew old–
    This knight so bold–
  And o’er his heart a shadow
    Fell as he found
    No spot of ground
  That looked like Eldorado.

  And, as his strength
    Failed him at length,
  He met a pilgrim shadow–
    “Shadow,” said he,
    “Where can it be–
  This land of Eldorado?”

    “Over the Mountains
    Of the Moon,
  Down the Valley of the Shadow,
    Ride, boldly ride,”
    The shade replied,
  “If you seek for Eldorado!”

To My Mother

by Edgar Allan Poe
  Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
    The angels, whispering to one another,
  Can find, among their burning terms of love,
    None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
  Therefore by that dear name I long have called you–
    You who are more than mother unto me,
  And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you,
    In setting my Virginia’s spirit free.
  My mother–my own mother, who died early,
    Was but the mother of myself; but you
  Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
    And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
  By that infinity with which my wife
    Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.

“The Happiest Day”

by Edgar Allan Poe
     I.       The happiest day–the happiest hour
                My seared and blighted heart hath known,
              The highest hope of pride and power,
                I feel hath flown.
     II.      Of power! said I? Yes! such I ween
                But they have vanished long, alas!
              The visions of my youth have been–
                But let them pass.
     III.     And pride, what have I now with thee?
                Another brow may ev’n inherit
              The venom thou hast poured on me–
                Be still my spirit!
     IV.      The happiest day–the happiest hour
                Mine eyes shall see–have ever seen
              The brightest glance of pride and power
                I feel have been:
     V.       But were that hope of pride and power
                Now offered with the pain
              Ev’n _then_ I felt–that brightest hour
                I would not live again:

     VI.      For on its wing was dark alloy
                And as it fluttered–fell
              An essence–powerful to destroy
                A soul that knew it well.

The Price of Victory

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

“A victory! –a victory!”
  Is flashed across the wires;
Speed, speed the news from State to State,
  Light up the signal fires!
Let all the bells from all the towers
  A joyous peal ring out;
We’ve gained a glorious victory,
  And put the foe to rout!

A mother heard the chiming bells;
  Her joy was mixed with pain.
“Pray God,” she said, “my gallant boy
  Be not among the slain!”
Alas for her! that very hour
  Outstretched in death he lay,
The color from his fair, young face
  Had scarcely passed away.

His nerveless hand still grasped the sword.
  He never more might wield,
His eyes were sealed in dreamless sleep
  Upon that bloody field.
The chestnut curls his mother oft
  Had stroked in fondest pride,
Neglected hung ia clotted locks,
  With deepest crimson dyed.

Ah! many a mother’s heart shall ache,
  And bleed with anguish sore,
When tidings come of him who marched
  So blithely forth to war.
Oh! sad for them, the stricken down
  In manhood’s early dawn,
And sadder yet for loving hearts.
  God comfort them that mourn!

Yes, victory has a fearful price
  Our hearts may shrink to pay,
And tears will mingle with the joy
  That greets a glorious day.
But he who dies in freedom’s cause,
  We cannot count him lost;
A battle won for truth and right
  Is worth the blood it cost!

O mothers! count it something gained
  That they, for whom you mourn,
Bequeath fair Freedom’s heritage
  To millions yet unborn;–
And better than a thousand years
  Of base, ignoble breath,
A patriot’s fragrant memory,
  A hero’s early death!

Exclusion

by Emily Dickinson

The soul selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.

Unmoved, she notes the chariot’s pausing
At her low gate;
Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling
Upon her mat.

I’ve known her from an ample nation
Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone.

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth

    The Sun came up upon the right,
      Out of the Sea came he;
    And broad as a weft upon the left
      Went down into the Sea.

    And the good south wind still blew behind,
      But no sweet Bird did follow
    Ne any day for food or play
      Came to the Marinere’s hollo!

    And I had done an hellish thing
      And it would work ‘em woe:
    For all averr’d, I had kill’d the Bird
      That made the Breeze to blow.

    Ne dim ne red, like God’s own head,
      The glorious Sun uprist:
    Then all averr’d, I had kill’d the Bird
      That brought the fog and mist.
    ‘Twas right, said they, such birds to slay
      That bring the fog and mist.

    The breezes blew, the white foam flew,
      The furrow follow’d free:
    We were the first that ever burst
      Into that silent Sea.

    Down dropt the breeze, the Sails dropt down,
      ‘Twas sad as sad could be
    And we did speak only to break
      The silence of the Sea.

    All in a hot and copper sky
      The bloody sun at noon,
    Right up above the mast did stand,
      No bigger than the moon.

    Day after day, day after day,
      We stuck, ne breath ne motion,
    As idle as a painted Ship
      Upon a painted Ocean.

    Water, water, every where
      And all the boards did shrink;
    Water, water, every where,
      Ne any drop to drink.

    The very deeps did rot: O Christ!
      That ever this should be!
    Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
      Upon the slimy Sea.

    About, about, in reel and rout
      The Death-fires danc’d at night;
    The water, like a witch’s oils,
      Burnt green and blue and white.

    And some in dreams assured were
      Of the Spirit that plagued us so:
    Nine fathom deep he had follow’d us
      From the Land of Mist and Snow.

    And every tongue thro’ utter drouth
      Was wither’d at the root;
    We could not speak no more than if
      We had been choked with soot.

    Ah wel-a-day! what evil looks
      Had I from old and young;
    Instead of the Cross the Albatross
      About my neck was hung.

Evening Star

by Edgar Allan Poe
  ‘Twas noontide of summer,
    And midtime of night,
  And stars, in their orbits,
    Shone pale, through the light
  Of the brighter, cold moon.
    ‘Mid planets her slaves,
  Herself in the Heavens,
    Her beam on the waves.

    I gazed awhile
    On her cold smile;
  Too cold–too cold for me–
    There passed, as a shroud,
    A fleecy cloud,
  And I turned away to thee,
    Proud Evening Star,
    In thy glory afar
  And dearer thy beam shall be;
    For joy to my heart
    Is the proud part
  Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
    And more I admire
    Thy distant fire,
  Than that colder, lowly light.

First Epistle to Cavie, A Brother Poet

by Robert Burns
I.

    While winds frae aff Ben-Lomond blaw,
    And bar the doors wi’ driving snaw,
      And hing us owre the ingle,
    I set me down to pass the time,
    And spin a verse or twa o’ rhyme,
      In hamely westlin jingle.
    While frosty winds blaw in the drift,
      Ben to the chimla lug,
    I grudge a wee the great folks’ gift,
      That live sae bien an’ snug:
        I tent less and want less
          Their roomy fire-side;
        But hanker and canker
          To see their cursed pride.

II.

    It’s hardly in a body’s power
    To keep, at times, frae being sour,
      To see how things are shar’d;
    How best o’ chiels are whiles in want.
    While coofs on countless thousands rant,
      And ken na how to wair’t;
    But Davie, lad, ne’er fash your head,
      Tho’ we hae little gear,
    We’re fit to win our daily bread,
      As lang’s we’re hale and fier:
        “Muir spier na, nor fear na,”
          Auld age ne’er mind a feg,
        The last o’t, the warst o’t,
          Is only but to beg.

III.

    To lie in kilns and barns at e’en
    When banes are craz’d, and bluid is thin,
      Is, doubtless, great distress!
    Yet then content could make us blest;
    Ev’n then, sometimes we’d snatch a taste
      O’ truest happiness.
    The honest heart that’s free frae a’
      Intended fraud or guile,
    However Fortune kick the ba’,
      Has ay some cause to smile:
        And mind still, you’ll find still,
          A comfort this nae sma’;
        Nae mair then, we’ll care then,
          Nae farther we can fa’.

IV.

    What tho’, like commoners of air,
    We wander out we know not where,
      But either house or hall?
    Yet nature’s charms, the hills and woods,
    The sweeping vales, and foaming floods,
      Are free alike to all.
    In days when daisies deck the ground,
      And blackbirds whistle clear,
    With honest joy our hearts will bound
      To see the coming year:
        On braes when we please, then,
          We’ll sit and sowth a tune;
        Syne rhyme till’t we’ll time till’t,
          And sing’t when we hae done.

V.

    It’s no in titles nor in rank;
    It’s no in wealth like Lon’on bank,
      To purchase peace and rest;
    It’s no in makin muckle mair;
    It’s no in books, it’s no in lear,
      To make us truly blest;
    If happiness hae not her seat
      And centre in the breast,
    We may be wise, or rich, or great,
      But never can be blest:
        Nae treasures, nor pleasures,
          Could make us happy lang;
        The heart ay’s the part ay
          That makes us right or wrang.

VI.

    Think ye, that sic as you and I,
    Wha drudge and drive thro’ wet an’ dry,
      Wi’ never-ceasing toil;
    Think ye, are we less blest than they,
    Wha scarcely tent us in their way,
      As hardly worth their while?
    Alas! how aft, in haughty mood
      God’s creatures they oppress!
    Or else, neglecting a’ that’s guid,
      They riot in excess!
        Baith careless and fearless
          Of either heaven or hell!
        Esteeming and deeming
          It’s a’ an idle tale!

VII.

    Then let us cheerfu’ acquiesce;
    Nor make one scanty pleasures less,
      By pining at our state;
    And, even should misfortunes come,
    I, here wha sit, hae met wi’ some,
      An’s thankfu’ for them yet.
    They gie the wit of age to youth;
      They let us ken oursel’;
    They make us see the naked truth,
      The real guid and ill.
        Tho’ losses, and crosses,
          Be lessons right severe,
        There’s wit there, ye’ll get there,
          Ye’ll find nae other where.

VIII.

    But tent me, Davie, ace o’ hearts!
    (To say aught less wad wrang the cartes,
      And flatt’ry I detest,)
    This life has joys for you and I;
    And joys that riches ne’er could buy:
      And joys the very best.
    There’s a’ the pleasures o’ the heart,
      The lover an’ the frien’;
    Ye hae your Meg your dearest part,
      And I my darling Jean!
        It warms me, it charms me,
          To mention but her name:
        It heats me, it beets me,
          And sets me a’ on flame!

IX.

    O, all ye pow’rs who rule above!
    O, Thou, whose very self art love!
      Thou know’st my words sincere!
    The life-blood streaming thro’ my heart,
    Or my more dear immortal part,
      Is not more fondly dear!
    When heart-corroding care and grief
      Deprive my soul of rest,
    Her dear idea brings relief
      And solace to my breast.
        Thou Being, All-seeing,
          O hear my fervent pray’r!
        Still take her, and make her
          Thy most peculiar care!

X.

    All hail, ye tender feelings dear!
    The smile of love, the friendly tear,
      The sympathetic glow!
    Long since, this world’s thorny ways
    Had number’d out my weary days,
      Had it not been for you!
    Fate still has blest me with a friend,
      In every care and ill;
    And oft a more endearing hand,
      A tie more tender still.
        It lightens, it brightens
          The tenebrific scene,
        To meet with, and greet with
          My Davie or my Jean!

XI.

    O, how that name inspires my style
    The words come skelpin, rank and file,
      Amaist before I ken!
    The ready measure rins as fine,
    As Phoebus and the famous Nine
      Were glowrin owre my pen.
    My spaviet Pegasus will limp,
      ‘Till ance he’s fairly het;
    And then he’ll hilch, and stilt, and jimp,
      An’ rin an unco fit:
        But least then, the beast then
          Should rue this hasty ride,
        I’ll light now, and dight now
          His sweaty, wizen’d hide.

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