Bread Crumbs (Sonnets From the Stone Poet)
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B EAUTY, let be; I cannot see your face, I shall not know you now, nor touch your feet, Only within me tremble to your grace, Tasting this crumb vouchsafed which is so sweet. Even when the full-leaved Summer bore no fruit You gave me this, this apple of man's tree; This planet sings when other spheres were mute, This light begins when darkness covered me. Now, though I know that I shall never know All, through my fault, nor blazon with my pen That path prepared where only I could go, Still, I have this, not given to other men: Beauty, this grace, this spring, this given bread, This life, this dawn, this wakening from the dead.
You are the light to guide, the way to climb.
So, having followed beauty, having bowed To wisdom and to death, to law, to power, I like a blind man stumble from the crowd Into the darkness of a deeper hour, Where in the lonely silence I may wait The prayed-for gleam—your hand upon the gate. Through the thinned beech clump I can see the hill.
So withers man, and though his life renews In Aprils of the soul, an autumn comes Which gives an end, not respite, to the thews That bore his soul through the world's martyrdoms. Then all the beauty will be out of mind, Part of man's store, that lies outside his brain, Touch to the dead and vision to the blind, Drink in the desert, bread, eternal grain, Part of the untilled field that beauty sows With flowers untold, where quickened spirit goes.
N OT for the anguish suffered is the slur, Not for the woman's taunts, the mocks of men; No, but because you never welcomed her, Her of whose beauty I am only the pen. There was a dog, dog-minded, with dog's eyes, Damned by a dog's brute-nature to be true. Something within her made his spirit wise; He licked her hand, he knew her; not so you. When all adulterate beauty has gone by, When all inanimate matter has gone down, We will arise and walk, that dog and I, The only two who knew her in the town.
We'll range the pleasant mountain side by side, Seeking the blood-stained flowers where Christs have died. B EAUTY was with me once, but now, grown old, I cannot hear nor see her: thus a King In the high turret kept him from the cold Over the fire, with his magic ring, Which, as he wrought, made pictures come and go Of men and times, past, present, and to be; Now like a smoke, now flame-like, now a glow, Now dead, now bright, but always fantasy, While, on the stair without, a faithful slave Stabbed to the death, crawled bleeding, whispering, "Sir, They come to kill you, fly: I come to save, O you great gods, for pity let him hear.
S O beauty comes, so with a failing hand She knocks, and cries, and fails to make me hear, She who tells futures in the falling sand, And still, by signs, makes hidden meanings clear; She, who behind this many peopled smoke, Moves in the light and struggles to direct, Through the deaf ear and by the baffled stroke, The wicked man, the honoured architect.
Yet at a dawn before the birds begin, In dreams, as the horse stamps and the hound stirs, Sleep slips the bolt and beauty enters in Crying aloud those hurried words of hers, And I awake and, in the birded dawn, Know her for Queen, and own myself a pawn. Y OU will remember me in days to come, With love, or pride, or pity, or contempt, So will my friends not many friends, yet some , When this my life will be a dream out-dreamt; And one, remembering friendship by the fire, And one, remembering love time in the dark, And one, remembering unfulfilled desire, Will sigh, perhaps, yet be beside the mark; For this my body with its wandering ghost Is nothing solely but an empty grange, Dark in a night that owls inhabit most, Yet when the King rides by there comes a change; The windows gleam, the cresset's fiery hair Blasts the blown branch and beauty lodges there.
I F Beauty be at all, if, beyond sense, There be a wisdom piercing into brains, Why should the glory wait on impotence, Biding its time till blood is in the veins? There is no beauty, but, when thought is quick, Out of the noisy sickroom of ourselves Some flattery comes to try to cheat the sick, Some drowsy drug is groped for on the shelves. There is no beauty, for we tread a scene Red to the eye with blood of living things; Thought is but joy from murder that has been, Life is but brute at war upon its kings. There is no beauty, nor could beauty care For us, this dust, that men make everywhere.
O withering man, within whose folded shell, Lies yet the seed, the spirit's quickening corn, That Time and Sun will change out of the cell Into green meadows, in the world unborn;.
If Beauty be a dream, do but resolve And fire shall come, that in the stubborn clay Works to make perfect till the rocks dissolve, The barriers burst and beauty takes her way,. Beauty herself, within whose blossoming Spring Even wretched man shall clap his hands and sing. N IGHT is on the downland, on the lonely moorland, On the hills where the wind goes over sheep-bitten turf, Where the bent grass beats upon the unploughed poorland And the pine woods roar like the surf.
Here the Roman lived on the wind-barren lonely, Dark now and haunted by the moorland fowl; None comes here now but the peewit only, And moth-like death in the owl. Now where Beauty was are the wind-withered gorses Moaning like old men in the hill-wind's blast, The flying sky is dark with running horses And the night is full of the past. I F all be governed by the moving stars, If passing planets bring events to be, Searing the face of Time with bloody scars, Drawing men's souls even as the moon the sea, If as they pass they make a current pass Across man's life and heap it to a tide, We are but pawns, ignobler than the grass Cropped by the beast and crunched and tossed aside.
Is all this beauty that doth inhabit heaven Train of a planet's fire? Better be grass, or in some hedge unknown The spilling rose whose beauty is its own. I N emptiest furthest heaven where no stars are, Perhaps some planet of our master sun Still rolls an unguessed orbit round its star, Unthought, unseen, unknown of anyone. Roving dead space according to its law, Casting our light on burnt-out suns and blind, Singing in the frozen void its word of awe, One wandering thought in all that idiot mind. And, in some span of many a thousand year, Passing through heaven its influence may arouse Beauty unguessed in those who habit here, And men may rise with glory on their brows And feel new life like fire, and see the old Fall from them dead, the bronze's broken mould.
P ERHAPS in chasms of the wasted past, That planet wandered within hail of ours, And plucked men's souls to loveliness and cast The old, that was, away, like husks of flowers; And made them stand erect and bade them build Nobler than hovels plaited in the mire, Gave them an altar and a God to gild, Bridled the brooks for them and fettered fire; And, in another coming, forged the steel Which, on life's scarlet wax, for ever set Longing for beauty bitten as a seal That blood not clogs nor centuries forget, That built Atlantis, and, in time, will raise That grander thing whose image haunts our days.
F OR, like an outcast from the city, I Wander the desert strewn with travellers' bones, Having no comrade but the starry sky Where the tuned planets ride their floating thrones. I pass old ruins where the kings caroused In cups long shards from vines long since decayed, I tread the broken brick where queens were housed In beauty's time ere beauty was betrayed, And in the ceaseless pitting of the sand On monolith and pyle, I see the dawn Making those skeletons of beauty grand By fire that comes as darkness is withdrawn, And, in that fire, the art of men to come Shines with such glow I bless my martyrdom.
D EATH lies in wait for you, you wild thing in the wood, Shy-footed beauty dear, half-seen, half-understood, Glimpsed in the beech-wood dim and in the dropping fir, Shy like a fawn and sweet and beauty's minister. Glimpsed as in flying clouds by night the little moon, A wonder, a delight, a paleness passing soon. Only a moment held, only an hour seen, Only an instant known in all that life has been, One instant in the sand to drink that gush of grace, The beauty of your way, the marvel of your face.
Death lies in wait for you, but few short hours he gives; I perish even as you by whom all spirit lives. Come to me, spirit, come, and fill my hour of breath With hours of life in life that pay no toll to death. Strange fires they said burnt there at moonless times. Evil was there, men never went there late, The darkness there was quick with threatened crimes. And then one digging in that bloodied clay Found, but a foot below, a rotted chest. Coins of the Romans, tray on rusted tray, Hurriedly heaped there by a digger prest.
So that one knew how, centuries before, Some Roman flying from the sack by night, Digging in terror there to hide his store, Sweating his pick, by windy lantern light, Had stamped his anguish on that place's soul, So that it knew and could rehearse the whole. T HERE was an evil in the nodding wood Above the quarry long since overgrown, Something which stamped it as a place of blood Where tortured spirit cried from murdered bone.
Then, after years, I saw a rusty knife Stuck in a woman's skull, just as 'twas found, Blackt with a centuried crust of clotted life, In the red clay of that unholy ground. So that I knew the unhappy thing had spoken, That tongueless thing for whom the quarry spoke, The evil seals of murder had been broken By the red earth, the grass, the rooted oak. The inarticulate dead had forced the spade, The hand, the mind, till murder was displayed.
G O, spend your penny, Beauty, when you will, In the grave's darkness let the stamp be lost.
A Miracle For Breakfast - Poem by Elizabeth Bishop
The water still will bubble from the hill, And April quick the meadows with her ghost; Over the grass the daffodils will shiver, The primroses with their pale beauty abound, The blackbird be a lover and make quiver With his glad singing the great soul of the ground; So that if the body rot, it will not matter; Up in the earth the great game will go on, The coming of spring and the running of the water, And the young things glad of the womb's darkness gone.
And the joy we felt will be a part of the glory In the lover's kiss that makes the old couple's story. T HOUGH in life's streets the tempting shops have lured Because all beauty, howsoever base, Is vision of you, marred, I have endured, Tempted or fall'n, to look upon your face.
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Now through the grinning death's-head in the paint, Within the tavern-song, hid in the wine, In many-kinded man, emperor and saint, I see you pass, you breath of the divine. I see you pass, as centuries ago The long dead men with passionate spirit saw. O brother man, whom spirit habits so, Through your red sorrows Beauty keeps her law, Beauty herself, who takes your dying hand, To leave through Time the Memnon in the sand.
W HEN all these million cells that are my slaves Fall from my pourried ribs and leave me lone, A living speck among a world of graves, What shall I be, that spot in the unknown? A glow-worm in a night that floats the sun?
What is Imagery Poetry?
Or deathless dust feeling the passer's foot? An eye undying mourning things undone? Or seed for quickening free from prisoning fruit? Or an eternal jewel on your robe, Caught to your heart, one with the April fire That made me yours as man upon the globe, One with the spring, a breath in all desire, One with the primrose, present in all joy?
Or pash that rots, which pismires can destroy? L ET that which is to come be as it may, Darkness, extinction, justice, life intense, The flies are happy in the summer day, Flies will be happy many summers hence.
Sonnets and poems - Wikisource, the free online library
Time with his antique breeds that built the Sphinx, Time with her men to come whose wings will tower, Poured and will pour, not as the wise man thinks, But with blind force, to each his little hour. And when the hour has struck, comes death or change, Which, whether good or ill we cannot tell, But the blind planet will wander through her range Bearing men like us who will serve as well.
The sun will rise, the winds that ever move Will blow our dust that once were men in love. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, The author died in , so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.
Lollingdon, Cholsey, Berkshire: John Masefield. John Masefield. To My Wife.
Contents not individually listed. Then in my bed I bound my tired eyes To make a darkness for my weary brain; But like a presence you were there again, Being and real, beautiful and wise, So that I could not sleep, and cried aloud, "You strange grave thing, what is it you would say? O WRETCHED man, that, for a little mile, Crawls beneath heaven for his brother's blood, Whose days the planets number with their style, To whom all earth is slave, all living, food; O withering man, within whose folded shell, Lies yet the seed, the spirit's quickening corn, That Time and Sun will change out of the cell Into green meadows, in the world unborn; If Beauty be a dream, do but resolve And fire shall come, that in the stubborn clay Works to make perfect till the rocks dissolve, The barriers burst and beauty takes her way, Beauty herself, within whose blossoming Spring Even wretched man shall clap his hands and sing.
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