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Verbal Expression
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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!

Annabel Lee

by Edgar Allan Poe
  It was many and many a year ago,
    In a kingdom by the sea,
  That a maiden there lived whom you may know
    By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
  And this maiden she lived with no other thought
    Than to love and be loved by me.

  I was a child and she was a child,
    In this kingdom by the sea:
  But we loved with a love that was more than love–
    I and my ANNABEL LEE;
  With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
    Coveted her and me.

  And this was the reason that, long ago,
    In this kingdom by the sea,
  A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
    My beautiful ANNABEL LEE;
  So that her highborn kinsmen came
    And bore her away from me,
  To shut her up in a sepulchre
    In this kingdom by the sea.

  The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
    Went envying her and me–
  Yes!–that was the reason (as all men know,
    In this kingdom by the sea)
  That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
    Chilling and killing my ANNABEL LEE.

  But our love it was stronger by far than the love
    Of those who were older than we–
    Of many far wiser than we–
  And neither the angels in heaven above,
    Nor the demons down under the sea,
  Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
    Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE.

  For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
    Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;
  And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
    Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;
  And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
  Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
    In her sepulchre there by the sea–
    In her tomb by the side of the sea.

by Emily Dickinson

The heart asks pleasure first,
And then, excuse from pain;
And then, those little anodynes
That deaden suffering;

And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The liberty to die.

APPLE-BLOSSOMS

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

I sit in the shadow of apple-boughs,
  In the fragrant orchard close,
And around me floats the scented air,
  With its wave-like tidal flows.
I close my eyes in a dreamy bliss,
  And call no king my peer;
For is not this the rare, sweet time,
  The blossoming time of the year?

I lie on a couch of downy grass,
  With delicate blossoms strewn,
And I feel the throb of Nature’s heart
  Responsive to my own.
Oh, the world is fair, and God is good,
  That maketh life so dear;
For is not this the rare, sweet time,
  The blossoming time of the year?                                 

I can see, through the rifts of the apple-boughs,
  The delicate blue of the sky,                              
And the changing clouds with their marvellous tints
  That drift so lazily by.
And strange, sweet thoughts sing through my brain,
  And Heaven, it seemeth near;
Oh, is it not a rare, sweet time,
  The blossoming time of the year?

Proof

by Emily Dickinson

That I did always love,
I bring thee proof:
That till I loved
I did not love enough.

That I shall love alway,
I offer thee
That love is life,
And life hath immortality.

This, dost thou doubt, sweet?
Then have I
Nothing to show
But Calvary.

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.

Alone

by Edgar Allan Poe
  From childhood’s hour I have not been
  As others were–I have not seen
  As others saw–I could not bring
  My passions from a common spring–
  From the same source I have not taken
  My sorrow–I could not awaken
  My heart to joy at the same tone–
  And all I loved–_I_ loved alone–
  _Thou_–in my childhood–in the dawn
  Of a most stormy life–was drawn
  From every depth of good and ill
  The mystery which binds me still–
  From the torrent, or the fountain–
  From the red cliff of the mountain–
  From the sun that round me roll’d
  In its autumn tint of gold–
  From the lightning in the sky
  As it passed me flying by–
  From the thunder and the storm–
  And the cloud that took the form
  (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
  Of a demon in my view.

Dawn

by Emily Dickinson

When night is almost done,
And sunrise grows so near
That we can touch the spaces,
It ‘s time to smooth the hair

And get the dimples ready,
And wonder we could care
For that old faded midnight
That frightened but an hour.

Lenore

by Edgar Allan Poe
  Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
  Let the bell toll!–a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river.
  And, Guy de Vere, hast _thou_ no tear?–weep now or never more!
  See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
  Come! let the burial rite be read–the funeral song be sung!–
  An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young–
  A dirge for her, the doubly dead in that she died so young.

  “Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
  And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her–that she died!
  How _shall_ the ritual, then, be read?–the requiem how be sung
  By you–by yours, the evil eye,–by yours, the slanderous tongue
  That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?”

  _Peccavimus;_ but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song
  Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong!
  The sweet Lenore hath “gone before,” with Hope, that flew beside,
  Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride–
  For her, the fair and _débonnaire_, that now so lowly lies,
  The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes–
  The life still there, upon her hair–the death upon her eyes.

  “Avaunt! to-night my heart is light. No dirge will I upraise,
  But waft the angel on her flight with a pæan of old days!
  Let _no_ bell toll!–lest her sweet soul, amid its hallowed mirth,
  Should catch the note, as it doth float up from the damned Earth.
  To friends above, from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven–
  From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven–
  From grief and groan to a golden throne beside the King of Heaven.”

Ulalume

by Edgar Allan Poe
  The skies they were ashen and sober;
    The leaves they were crisped and sere–
    The leaves they were withering and sere;
  It was night in the lonesome October
    Of my most immemorial year;
  It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
    In the misty mid region of Weir–
  It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
    In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

  Here once, through an alley Titanic.
    Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul–
    Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
  These were days when my heart was volcanic
    As the scoriac rivers that roll–
    As the lavas that restlessly roll
  Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
    In the ultimate climes of the pole–
  That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
    In the realms of the boreal pole.

  Our talk had been serious and sober,
    But our thoughts they were palsied and sere–
    Our memories were treacherous and sere–
  For we knew not the month was October,
  And we marked not the night of the year–
    (Ah, night of all nights in the year!)
  We noted not the dim lake of Auber–
    (Though once we had journeyed down here)–
  Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
    Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

  And now as the night was senescent
    And star-dials pointed to morn–
    As the sun-dials hinted of morn–
  At the end of our path a liquescent
    And nebulous lustre was born,
  Out of which a miraculous crescent
    Arose with a duplicate horn–
  Astarte’s bediamonded crescent
    Distinct with its duplicate horn.

  And I said–”She is warmer than Dian:
    She rolls through an ether of sighs–
    She revels in a region of sighs:
  She has seen that the tears are not dry on
    These cheeks, where the worm never dies,
  And has come past the stars of the Lion
    To point us the path to the skies–
    To the Lethean peace of the skies–
  Come up, in despite of the Lion,
    To shine on us with her bright eyes–
  Come up through the lair of the Lion,
    With love in her luminous eyes.”

  But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
    Said–”Sadly this star I mistrust–
    Her pallor I strangely mistrust:–
  Oh, hasten!–oh, let us not linger!
    Oh, fly!–let us fly!–for we must.”
  In terror she spoke, letting sink her
    Wings till they trailed in the dust–
  In agony sobbed, letting sink her
    Plumes till they trailed in the dust–
    Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

  I replied–”This is nothing but dreaming:
    Let us on by this tremulous light!
    Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
  Its Sibyllic splendor is beaming
    With Hope and in Beauty to-night:–
    See!–it flickers up the sky through the night!
  Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,
    And be sure it will lead us aright–
  We safely may trust to a gleaming
    That cannot but guide us aright,
    Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.”

  Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
    And tempted her out of her gloom–
    And conquered her scruples and gloom;
  And we passed to the end of a vista,
    But were stopped by the door of a tomb–
    By the door of a legended tomb;
  And I said–”What is written, sweet sister,
    On the door of this legended tomb?”
    She replied–”Ulalume–Ulalume–
    ‘Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!”

  Then my heart it grew ashen and sober
    As the leaves that were crisped and sere–
    As the leaves that were withering and sere;
  And I cried–”It was surely October
    On _this_ very night of last year
    That I journeyed–I journeyed down here–
    That I brought a dread burden down here!
    On this night of all nights in the year,
    Ah, what demon has tempted me here?
  Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber–
    This misty mid region of Weir–
  Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber,–
    This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”

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