Get Verbal Expression delivered to you!
Powered by MaxBlogPress  

Spirits of the Dead

by Edgar Allan Poe
  Thy soul shall find itself alone
  ‘Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone
  Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
  Into thine hour of secrecy.
  Be silent in that solitude
    Which is not loneliness–for then
  The spirits of the dead who stood
    In life before thee are again
  In death around thee–and their will
  Shall overshadow thee: be still.
  The night–tho’ clear–shall frown–
  And the stars shall not look down
  From their high thrones in the Heaven,
  With light like Hope to mortals given–
  But their red orbs, without beam,
  To thy weariness shall seem
  As a burning and a fever
  Which would cling to thee forever.
  Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish–
  Now are visions ne’er to vanish–
  From thy spirit shall they pass
  No more–like dew-drops from the grass.
  The breeze–the breath of God–is still–
  And the mist upon the hill
  Shadowy–shadowy–yet unbroken,
    Is a symbol and a token–
    How it hangs upon the trees,
    A mystery of mysteries!

Sonnet on Chillon

by Lord Byron

    Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind!
      Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art:
      For there thy habitation is the heart–
    The heart which love of thee alone can bind;
    And when thy sons to fetters are consigned–
      To fetters, and the damp vault’s dayless gloom,
      Their country conquers with their martyrdom,
    And Freedom’s fame finds wings on every wind.
    Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
      And thy sad floor an altar–for ’twas trod,
    Until his very steps have left a trace
      Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod,
    By Bonnivard!–May none those marks efface!
      For they appeal from tyranny to God.

Apocalypse

by Emily Dickinson
I’m wife; I’ve finished that,
That other state;
I’m Czar, I’m woman now:
It’s safer so.

How odd the girl’s life looks
Behind this soft eclipse!
I think that earth seems so
To those in heaven now.

This being comfort, then
That other kind was pain;
But why compare?
I’m wife! stop there!

The Coliseum

by Edgar Allan Poe
  Type of the antique Rome! Rich reliquary
  Of lofty contemplation left to Time
  By buried centuries of pomp and power!
  At length–at length–after so many days
  Of weary pilgrimage and burning thirst,
  (Thirst for the springs of lore that in thee lie,)
  I kneel, an altered and an humble man,
  Amid thy shadows, and so drink within
  My very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory!

  Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!
  Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
  I feel ye now–I feel ye in your strength–
  O spells more sure than e’er Judæan king
  Taught in the gardens of Gethsemane!
  O charms more potent than the rapt Chaldee
  Ever drew down from out the quiet stars!

  Here, where a hero fell, a column falls!
  Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,
  A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat!
  Here, where the dames of Rome their gilded hair
  Waved to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle!
  Here, where on golden throne the monarch lolled,
  Glides, spectre-like, unto his marble home,
  Lit by the wan light of the horned moon,
  The swift and silent lizard of the stones!

  But stay! these walls–these ivy-clad arcades–
  These mouldering plinths–these sad and blackened shafts–
  These vague entablatures–this crumbling frieze–
  These shattered cornices–this wreck–this ruin–
  These stones–alas! these gray stones–are they all–
  All of the famed, and the colossal left
  By the corrosive Hours to Fate and me?

  “Not all”–the Echoes answer me–”not all!
  Prophetic sounds and loud, arise forever
  From us, and from all Ruin, unto the wise,
  As melody from Memnon to the Sun.
  We rule the hearts of mightiest men–we rule
  With a despotic sway all giant minds.
  We are not impotent–we pallid stones.
  Not all our power is gone–not all our fame–
  Not all the magic of our high renown–
  Not all the wonder that encircles us–
  Not all the mysteries that in us lie–
  Not all the memories that hang upon
  And cling around about us as a garment,
  Clothing us in a robe of more than glory.”

SUMMER HOURS

by Horatio Alger, Jr.
It is the year’s high noon,
  The earth sweet incense yields,
  And o’er the fresh, green fields
Bends the clear sky of June.

I leave the crowded streets,
  The hum of busy life,
  Its clamor and its strife,
To breathe thy perfumed sweets.

O rare and golden hours!
  The bird’s melodious song,
  Wavelike, is borne along
Upon a strand of flowers.

I wander far away,
  Where, through the forest trees,
  Sports the cool summer breeze,
In wild and wanton play.

A patriarchal elm
  Its stately form uprears,
  Which twice a hundred years
Has ruled this woodland realm.

I sit beneath its shade,
  And watch, with careless eye,
  The brook that babbles by,
And cools the leafy glade.

In truth I wonder not,
  That in the ancient days
  The temples of God’s praise
Were grove and leafy grot.

The noblest ever planned,
  With quaint device and rare,
  By man, can ill compare
With these from God’s own hand.

Pilgrim with way-worn feet,
  Who, treading life’s dull round,
  No true repose hast found,
Come to this green retreat.

For bird, and flower, and tree,
  Green fields, and woodland wild,
  Shall bear, with voices mild,
Sweet messages to thee.

Each and All

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown
Of thee from the hill-top looking down;
The heifer that lows in the upland farm,
Far-heard, lows not thine ear to charm;
The sexton, tolling his bell at noon,
Deems not that great Napoleon
Stops his horse, and lists with delight,
Whilst his files sweep round yon Alpine height;
Nor knowest thou what argument
Thy life to thy neighbor’s creed has lent.
All are needed by each one;
Nothing is fair or good alone.
I thought the sparrow’s note from heaven,
Singing at dawn on the alder bough;
I brought him home, in his nest, at even;
He sings the song, but it cheers not now,
For I did not bring home the river and sky;–
He sang to my ear,–they sang to my eye.
The delicate shells lay on the shore;
The bubbles of the latest wave
Fresh pearls to their enamel gave,
And the bellowing of the savage sea
Greeted their safe escape to me.
I wiped away the weeds and foam,
I fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore
With the sun and the sand and the wild uproar.
The lover watched his graceful maid,
As ‘mid the virgin train she strayed,
Nor knew her beauty’s best attire
Was woven still by the snow-white choir.
At last she came to his hermitage,
Like the bird from the woodlands to the cage;–
The gay enchantment was undone,
A gentle wife, but fairy none.
Then I said, ‘I covet truth;
Beauty is unripe childhood’s cheat;
I leave it behind with the games of youth:’–
As I spoke, beneath my feet
The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath,
Running over the club-moss burrs;
I inhaled the violet’s breath;
Around me stood the oaks and firs;
Pine-cones and acorns lay on the ground;
Over me soared the eternal sky.
Full of light and of deity;
Again I saw, again I heard,
The rolling river, the morning bird;–
Beauty through my senses stole;
I yielded myself to the perfect whole.

Armies in the Fire

by
Robert Louis Stevenson

The lamps now glitter down the street;
Faintly sound the falling feet
And the blue even slowly falls
About the garden trees and walls.

Now in the falling of the gloom
The red fire paints the empty room;
And warmly on the roof it looks,
And flickers on the backs of books.

Armies march by tower and spire
Of cities blazing, in the fire;–
Till as I gaze with staring eyes,
The armies fade, the lustre dies.

Then once again the glow returns;
Again the phantom city burns;
And down the red-hot valley, lo!
The phantom armies marching go!

Blinking embers, tell me true
Where are those armies marching to,
And what the burning city is
That crumbles in your furnaces!

The Bells

by Edgar Allan Poe
I.

Hear the sledges with the bells–
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In their icy air of night!
While the stars, that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells–
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
II.

Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten golden-notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells–
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!
III.

Hear the loud alarum bells–
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror now their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now–now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells–
Of the bells–
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells–
In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!
IV.

Hear the tolling of the bells–
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people–ah, the people–
They that dwell up in the steeple.
All alone,
And who tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone–
They are neither man nor woman–
They are neither brute nor human–
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Rolls
A pæan from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the pæan of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the pæan of the bells–
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells–
Of the bells, bells, bells–
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells–
Of the bells, bells, bells–
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells–
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

A Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe
  In visions of the dark night
    I have dreamed of joy departed–
  But a waking dream of life and light
    Hath left me broken-hearted.

  Ah! what is not a dream by day
    To him whose eyes are cast
  On things around him with a ray
    Turned back upon the past?

  That holy dream–that holy dream,
    While all the world were chiding,
  Hath cheered me as a lovely beam,
    A lonely spirit guiding.

  What though that light, thro’ storm and night,
    So trembled from afar–
  What could there be more purely bright
    In Truth’s day star?

Hymm to Aristogeiton and Harmodius

by Edgar Allan Poe
  I.      Wreathed in myrtle, my sword I’ll conceal,
            Like those champions devoted and brave,
          When they plunged in the tyrant their steel,
            And to Athens deliverance gave.

  II.     Beloved heroes! your deathless souls roam
            In the joy breathing isles of the blest;
          Where the mighty of old have their home–
            Where Achilles and Diomed rest.

  III.    In fresh myrtle my blade I’ll entwine,
            Like Harmodius, the gallant and good,
          When he made at the tutelar shrine
            A libation of Tyranny’s blood.

  IV.     Ye deliverers of Athens from shame!
            Ye avengers of Liberty’s wrongs!
          Endless ages shall cherish your fame,
            Embalmed in their echoing songs!

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

UA-3029591-5