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The Outlet

by Emily Dickinson
My river runs to thee:
Blue sea, wilt welcome me?

My river waits reply.
Oh sea, look graciously!

I’ll fetch thee brooks
From spotted nooks, –

Say, sea,
Take me!

Sonnet to Lake Leman

by Lord Byron

    Rousseau–Voltaire–our Gibbon–and De Stael–
      Leman! these names are worthy of thy shore,
      Thy shore of names like these! wert thou no more,
    Their memory thy remembrance would recall:
    To them thy banks were lovely as to all,
      But they have made them lovelier, for the lore
      Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core
    Of human hearts the ruin of a wall
      Where dwelt the wise and wondrous; but by thee
    How much more, Lake of Beauty! do we feel,
      In sweetly gliding o’er thy crystal sea,
    The wild glow of that not ungentle zeal,
      Which of the Heirs of Immortality
    Is proud, and makes the breath of Glory real!

To Isadore

by Edgar Allan Poe
I.       Beneath the vine-clad eaves,
             Whose shadows fall before
             Thy lowly cottage door–
         Under the lilac’s tremulous leaves–
         Within thy snowy clasped hand
             The purple flowers it bore.
         Last eve in dreams, I saw thee stand,
         Like queenly nymph from Fairy-land–
         Enchantress of the flowery wand,
             Most beauteous Isadore!
II.      And when I bade the dream
             Upon thy spirit flee,
             Thy violet eyes to me
         Upturned, did overflowing seem
         With the deep, untold delight
             Of Love’s serenity;
         Thy classic brow, like lilies white
         And pale as the Imperial Night
         Upon her throne, with stars bedight,
             Enthralled my soul to thee!
III.     Ah! ever I behold
             Thy dreamy, passionate eyes,
             Blue as the languid skies
         Hung with the sunset’s fringe of gold;
         Now strangely clear thine image grows,
             And olden memories
         Are startled from their long repose
         Like shadows on the silent snows
         When suddenly the night-wind blows
             Where quiet moonlight lies.
IV.      Like music heard in dreams,
             Like strains of harps unknown,
             Of birds for ever flown,–
         Audible as the voice of streams
         That murmur in some leafy dell,
             I hear thy gentlest tone,
         And Silence cometh with her spell
         Like that which on my tongue doth dwell,
         When tremulous in dreams I tell
             My love to thee alone!

V.       In every valley heard,
             Floating from tree to tree,
             Less beautiful to me,
         The music of the radiant bird,
         Than artless accents such as thine
             Whose echoes never flee!
         Ah! how for thy sweet voice I pine:–
         For uttered in thy tones benign
         (Enchantress!) this rude name of mine
             Doth seem a melody!

Surrender

by Emily Dickinson
Doubt me, my dim companion!
Why, God would be content
With but a fraction of the love
Poured thee without a stint.
The whole of me, forever,
What more the woman can, –
Say quick, that I may dower thee
With last delight I own!

It cannot be my spirit,
For that was thine before;
I ceded all of dust I knew, –
What opulence the more
Had I, a humble maiden,
Whose farthest of degree
Was that she might,
Some distant heaven,
Dwell timidly with thee!

The Boy in the Red Vest

by Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne

Love’s Baptism

by Emily Dickinson
I’m ceded, I’ve stopped being theirs;
The name they dropped upon my face
With water, in the country church,
Is finished using now,
And they can put it with my dolls,
My childhood, and the string of spools
I’ve finished threading too.

Baptized before without the choice,
But this time consciously, of grace
Unto supremest name,
Called to my full, the crescent dropped,
Existence’s whole arc filled up
With one small diadem.

My second rank, too small the first,
Crowned, crowing on my father’s breast,
A half unconscious queen;
But this time, adequate, erect,
With will to choose or to reject.
And I choose — just a throne.

Specimen of an Induction to a Poem

by John Keats
Lo! I must tell a tale of chivalry;
For large white plumes are dancing in mine eye.
Not like the formal crest of latter days:
But bending in a thousand graceful ways;
So graceful, that it seems no mortal hand,
Or e’en the touch of Archimago’s wand,
Could charm them into such an attitude.
We must think rather, that in playful mood,
Some mountain breeze had turned its chief delight,
To show this wonder of its gentle might.
Lo! I must tell a tale of chivalry;
For while I muse, the lance points slantingly
Athwart the morning air: some lady sweet,
Who cannot feel for cold her tender feet,
From the worn top of some old battlement
Hails it with tears, her stout defender sent:
And from her own pure self no joy dissembling,
Wraps round her ample robe with happy trembling.
Sometimes, when the good Knight his rest would take,
It is reflected, clearly, in a lake,
With the young ashen boughs, ‘gainst which it rests,
And th’ half seen mossiness of linnets’ nests.
Ah! shall I ever tell its cruelty,
When the fire flashes from a warrior’s eye,
And his tremendous hand is grasping it,
And his dark brow for very wrath is knit?
Or when his spirit, with more calm intent,
Leaps to the honors of a tournament,
And makes the gazers round about the ring
Stare at the grandeur of the balancing?
No, no! this is far off:–then how shall I
Revive the dying tones of minstrelsy,
Which linger yet about lone gothic arches,
In dark green ivy, and among wild larches?
How sing the splendour of the revelries,
When buts of wine are drunk off to the lees?
And that bright lance, against the fretted wall,
Beneath the shade of stately banneral,
Is slung with shining cuirass, sword, and shield?
Where ye may see a spur in bloody field.
Light-footed damsels move with gentle paces
Round the wide hall, and show their happy faces;
Or stand in courtly talk by fives and sevens:
Like those fair stars that twinkle in the heavens.
Yet must I tell a tale of chivalry:
Or wherefore comes that knight so proudly by?
Wherefore more proudly does the gentle knight,
Rein in the swelling of his ample might?

Spenser! thy brows are arched, open, kind,
And come like a clear sun-rise to my mind;
And always does my heart with pleasure dance,
When I think on thy noble countenance:
Where never yet was ought more earthly seen
Than the pure freshness of thy laurels green.
Therefore, great bard, I not so fearfully
Call on thy gentle spirit to hover nigh
My daring steps: or if thy tender care,
Thus startled unaware,
Be jealous that the foot of other wight
Should madly follow that bright path of light
Trac’d by thy lov’d Libertas; he will speak,
And tell thee that my prayer is very meek;
That I will follow with due reverence,
And start with awe at mine own strange pretence.
Him thou wilt hear; so I will rest in hope
To see wide plains, fair trees and lawny slope:
The morn, the eve, the light, the shade, the flowers:
Clear streams, smooth lakes, and overlooking towers.

A Book

by Emily Dickinson

He ate and drank the precious words,
His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,
And this bequest of wings
Was but a book. What liberty
A loosened spirit brings!

JUNE

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

Throw open wide your golden gates,
  O poet-landed month of June,
And waft me, on your spicy breath,
  The melody of birds in tune.

O fairest palace of the three,
  Wherein Queen Summer holdeth sway,
I gaze upon your leafy courts
  From out the vestibule of May.

I fain would tread your garden walks,
  Or in your shady bowers recline;
Then open wide your golden gates,
  And make them mine, and make them mine.

by Emily Dickinson

If you were coming in the fall,
I’d brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.

If I could see you in a year,
I’d wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.

If only centuries delayed,
I’d count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemen’s land.

If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I’d toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.

But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time’s uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.

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