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Verbal Expression
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Spirk Troll-Derisive

by James Whitcomb Riley

The Crankadox leaned o’er the edge of the moon,
And wistfully gazed on the sea
Where the Gryxabodill madly whistled a tune
To the air of “Ti-fol-de-ding-dee.”

The quavering shriek of the Fliupthecreek
Was fitfully wafted afar
To the Queen of the Wunks as she powdered her cheek
With the pulverized rays of a star.

The Gool closed his ear on the voice of the Grig,
And his heart it grew heavy as lead
As he marked the Baldekin adjusting his wig
On the opposite side of his head;

And the air it grew chill as the Gryxabodill
Raised his dank, dripping fins to the skies
To plead with the Plunk for the use of her bill
To pick the tears out of his eyes.

The ghost of the Zhack flitted by in a trance;
And the Squidjum hid under a tub
As he heard the loud hooves of the Hooken advance
With a rub-a-dub-dub-a-dub dub!

And the Crankadox cried as he laid down and died,
“My fate there is none to bewail!”
While the Queen of the Wunks drifted over the tide
With a long piece of crape to her tail.

The Sleeper

by Edgar Allan Poe
  At midnight, in the month of June,
  I stand beneath the mystic moon.
  An opiate vapor, dewy, dim,
  Exhales from out her golden rim,
  And, softly dripping, drop by drop,
  Upon the quiet mountain top,
  Steals drowsily and musically
  Into the universal valley.
  The rosemary nods upon the grave;
  The lily lolls upon the wave;
  Wrapping the fog about its breast,
  The ruin moulders into rest;
  Looking like Lethe, see! the lake
  A conscious slumber seems to take,
  And would not, for the world, awake.
  All Beauty sleeps!–and lo! where lies
  (Her casement open to the skies)
  Irene, with her Destinies!

  Oh, lady bright! can it be right–
  This window open to the night!
  The wanton airs, from the tree-top,
  Laughingly through the lattice-drop–
  The bodiless airs, a wizard rout,
  Flit through thy chamber in and out,
  And wave the curtain canopy
  So fitfully–so fearfully–
  Above the closed and fringed lid
  ‘Neath which thy slumb’ring soul lies hid,
  That, o’er the floor and down the wall,
  Like ghosts the shadows rise and fall!
  Oh, lady dear, hast thou no fear?
  Why and what art thou dreaming here?
  Sure thou art come o’er far-off seas,
  A wonder to these garden trees!
  Strange is thy pallor! strange thy dress!
  Strange, above all, thy length of tress,
  And this all-solemn silentness!

  The lady sleeps! Oh, may her sleep
  Which is enduring, so be deep!
  Heaven have her in its sacred keep!
  This chamber changed for one more holy,
  This bed for one more melancholy,
  I pray to God that she may lie
  For ever with unopened eye,
  While the dim sheeted ghosts go by!

  My love, she sleeps! Oh, may her sleep,
  As it is lasting, so be deep;
  Soft may the worms about her creep!
  Far in the forest, dim and old,
  For her may some tall vault unfold–
  Some vault that oft hath flung its black
  And winged panels fluttering back,
  Triumphant, o’er the crested palls,
  Of her grand family funerals–
  Some sepulchre, remote, alone,
  Against whose portal she hath thrown,
  In childhood many an idle stone–
  Some tomb from out whose sounding door
  She ne’er shall force an echo more,
  Thrilling to think, poor child of sin!
  It was the dead who groaned within.

Sorcery

by Walter de la Mare
“What voice is that I hear
  Crying across the pool?”
“It is the voice of Pan you hear,
Crying his sorceries shrill and clear,
  In the twilight dim and cool.”

 ”What song is it he sings,
  Echoing from afar;
While the sweet swallow bends her wings,
Filling the air with twitterings,
  Beneath the brightening star?”

The woodman answered me,
  His faggot on his back:–
“Seek not the face of Pan to see;
Flee from his clear note summoning thee
  To darkness deep and black!”

 ”He dwells in thickest shade,
  Piping his notes forlorn
Of sorrow never to be allayed;
Turn from his coverts sad
  Of twilight unto morn!”

The woodman passed away
  Along the forest path;
His ax shone keen and grey
In the last beams of day:
  And all was still as death:–

Only Pan singing sweet
  Out of Earth’s fragrant shade;
I dreamed his eyes to meet,
And found but shadow laid
  Before my tired feet.

Comes no more dawn to me,
  Nor bird of open skies.
Only his woods’ deep gloom I see
  Till, at the end of all, shall rise,
Afar and tranquilly,
Death’s stretching sea.

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!

Fare Well

by Walter de la Mare

When I lie where shades of darkness
Shall no more assail mine eyes,
Nor the rain make lamentation
When the wind sighs;
How will fare the world whose wonder
Was the very proof of me?
Memory fades, must the remembered
Perishing be?

Oh, when this my dust surrenders
Hand, foot, lip, to dust again,
May these loved and loving faces
Please other men!
May the rustling harvest hedgerow
Still the Traveller’s Joy entwine,
And as happy children gather
Posies once mine.

Look thy last on all things lovely,
Every hour. Let no night
Seal thy sense in deathly slumber
Till to delight
Thou have paid thy utmost blessing;
Since that all things thou wouldst praise
Beauty took from those who loved them
In other days.

A PÆAN.

by Edgar Allan Poe

I.        How shall the burial rite be read?
            The solemn song be sung?
          The requiem for the loveliest dead,
            That ever died so young?
II.       Her friends are gazing on her,
            And on her gaudy bier,
          And weep!–oh! to dishonor
            Dead beauty with a tear!
III.     They loved her for her wealth–
           And they hated her for her pride–
          But she grew in feeble health,
            And they _love_ her–that she died.
IV.      They tell me (while they speak
           Of her “costly broider’d pall”)
         That my voice is growing weak–
           That I should not sing at all–
V.       Or that my tone should be
           Tun’d to such solemn song
         So mournfully–so mournfully,
           That the dead may feel no wrong.
VI.      But she is gone above,
           With young Hope at her side,
         And I am drunk with love
           Of the dead, who is my bride.–

VII.     Of the dead–dead who lies
           All perfum’d there,
         With the death upon her eyes.
           And the life upon her hair.
VIII.    Thus on the coffin loud and long
           I strike–the murmur sent
         Through the gray chambers to my song,
           Shall be the accompaniment.
IX.      Thou diedst in thy life’s June–
           But thou didst not die too fair:
         Thou didst not die too soon,
           Nor with too calm an air.
X.       From more than friends on earth,
           Thy life and love are riven,
         To join the untainted mirth
           Of more than thrones in heaven.–
XI.      Therefore, to thee this night
           I will no requiem raise,
         But waft thee on thy flight,
           With a Pæan of old days.

MRS. BROWNING’S GRAVE AT FLORENCE

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

Florence wears an added grace,
  All her earlier honors crowning;
Dante’s birthplace, Art’s fair home,
  Holds the dust of Barrett Browning.

Guardian of the noble dead
  That beneath thy soil lie sleeping,
England, with full heart, commends
  This new treasure to thy keeping.

Take her, she is half thine own;
  In her verses’ rich outpouring,
Breathes the warm Italian heart,
  Yearning for the land’s restoring.

From thy skies her poet-heart
  Caught a fresher inspiration,
And her soul obtained new strength,
  With her bodily translation.

Freely take what thou hast given,
  Less her verses’ rhythmic beauty,
Than the stirring notes that called
  Trumpet-like thy sons to duty.

Rarest of exotic flowers
  In thy native chaplet twining,
To the temple of thy great
  Add her–she is worth enshrining.

The Nyum-Nyum

by Anonymous

The Nyum-Nyum chortled by the sea,
And sipped the wavelets green:
He wondered how the sky could be
So very nice and clean;

He wondered if the chambermaid
Had swept the dust away,
And if the scrumptious Jabberwock
Had mopped it up that day.

And then in sadness to his love
The Nyum-Nyum weeping said,
I know no reason why the sea
Should not be white or red.

I know no reason why the sea
Should not be red, I say;
And why the slithy Bandersnatch
Has not been round to-day.

He swore he’d call at two o’clock,
And now it’s half-past four.
“Stay,” said the Nyum-Nyum’s love, “I think
I hear him at the door.”

In twenty minutes in there came
A creature black as ink,
Which put its feet upon a chair
And called for beer to drink.

They gave him porter in a tub,
But, “Give me more!” he cried;
And then he drew a heavy sigh,
And laid him down, and died.

He died, and in the Nyum-Nyum’s cave
A cry of mourning rose;
The Nyum-Nyum sobbed a gentle sob,
And slily blew his nose.

The Nyum-Nyum’s love, we need not state,
Was overwhelmed and sad;
She said, “Oh, take the corpse away,
Or you will drive me mad!”

The Nyum-Nyum in his supple arms
Took up the gruesome weight,
And, with a cry of bitter fear,
He threw it at his mate.

And then he wept, and tore his hair,
And threw it in the sea,
And loudly sobbed with streaming eyes
That such a thing could be.

The ox, that mumbled in his stall,
Perspired and gently sighed,
And then, in sympathy, it fell
Upon its back and died.

The hen that sat upon her eggs,
With high ambition fired,
Arose in simple majesty,
And, with a cluck, expired.

The jubejube bird, that carolled there,
Sat down upon a post,
And with a reverential caw,
Gave up its little ghost.

And ere its kind and loving life
Eternally had ceased,
The donkey, in the ancient barn,
In agony deceased.

The raven, perched upon the elm,
Gave forth a scraping note,
And ere the sound had died away,
Had cut its tuneful throat.

The Nyum-Nyum’s love was sorrowful;
And, after she had cried,
She, with a brand-new carving-knife,
Committed suicide.

“Alas!” the Nyum-Nyum said, “alas!
With thee I will not part,”
And straightway seized a rolling-pin
And drove it through his heart.

The mourners came and gathered up
The bits that lay about;
But why the massacre had been,
They could not quite make out.

One said there was a mystery
Connected with the deaths;
But others thought the silent ones
Perhaps had lost their breaths.

The doctor soon arrived, and viewed
The corpses as they lay;
He could not give them life again,
So he was heard to say.

But, oh! it was a horrid sight;
It made the blood run cold,
To see the bodies carried off
And covered up with mould.

The Toves across the briny sea
Wept buckets-full of tears;
They were relations of the dead,
And had been friends for years.

The Jabberwock upon the hill
Gave forth a gloomy wail,
When in his airy seat he sat,
And told the awful tale.

And who can wonder that it made
That loving creature cry?
For he had done the dreadful work
And caused the things to die.

That Jabberwock was passing bad–
That Jabberwock was wrong,
And with this verdict I conclude
One portion of my song.

Imogen (A Lady of Tender Age)

by Henry Newbolt

Ladies, where were your bright eyes glancing,
Where were they glancing yester-night?
Saw ye Imogen dancing, dancing,
Imogen dancing all in white?
Laughed she not with a pure delight,
Laughed she not with a joy serene,
Stepped she not with a grace entrancing,
Slenderly girt in silken sheen?

All through the night from dusk to daytime
Under her feet the hours were swift,
Under her feet the hours of play-time
Rose and fell with a rhythmic lift:
Music set her adrift, adrift,
Music eddying towards the day
Swept her along as brooks in May-time
Carry the freshly falling May.

Ladies, life is a changing measure,
Youth is a lilt that endeth soon;
Pluck ye never so fast at pleasure
Twilight follows the longest noon.
Nay, but here is a lasting boon,
Life for hearts that are old and chill,
Youth undying for hearts that treasure
Imogen dancing, dancing still.

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.

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