In Spite of War by Angela Morgan

In Spite of War by Angela Morgan

Flowers

In spite of war, in spite of death,
In spite of all man’s sufferings,
Something within me laughs and sings
And I must praise with all my breath.
In spite of war, in spite of hate
Lilacs are blooming at my gate,
Tulips are tripping down the path
In spite of war, in spite of wrath.
“Courage!” the morning-glory saith;
“Rejoice!” the daisy murmureth,
And just to live is so divine
When pansies lift their eyes to mine.

The clouds are romping with the sea,
And flashing waves call back to me
That naught is real but what is fair,
That everywhere and everywhere
A glory liveth through despair.
Though guns may roar and cannon boom,
Roses are born and gardens bloom;
My spirit still may light its flame
At that same torch whence poppies came.
Where morning’s altar whitely burns
Lilies may lift their silver urns
In spite of war, in spite of shame.

And in my ear a whispering breath,
“Wake from the nightmare! Look and see
That life is naught but ecstasy
In spite of war, in spite of death!”

Birdhouse and flowers

Warning by Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Love Is Enough By Ella Wheeler Wilcox


    Love is enough.    Let us not ask for gold.
        Wealth breeds false aims, and pride, and selfishness;
    In those serene, Arcadian days of old
        Men gave no thought to princely homes and dress.
    The gods who dwelt on fair Olympia’s height
    Lived only for dear love and love’s delight.
        Love is enough.

    Love is enough.    Why should we care for fame?
        Ambition is a most unpleasant guest:
    It lures us with the glory of a name
        Far from the happy haunts of peace and rest.
    Let us stay here in this secluded place
    Made beautiful by love’s endearing grace!
        Love is enough.

    Love is enough.    Why should we strive for power?
        It brings men only envy and distrust.
    The poor world’s homage pleases but an hour,
        And earthly honours vanish in the dust.
    The grandest lives are ofttimes desolate;
    Let me be loved, and let who will be great.
        Love is enough.

    Love is enough.    Why should we ask for more?
        What greater gift have gods vouchsafed to men?
    What better boon of all their precious store
        Than our fond hearts that love and love again?
    Old love may die; new love is just as sweet;
    And life is fair and all the world complete:
        Love is enough!

Old Fires By John Frederick Freeman


    The fire burns low
    Where it has burned ages ago,
    Sinks and sighs
    As it has done to a hundred eyes
    Staring, staring
    At the last cold smokeless glow.

    Here men sat
    Lonely and watched the golden grate
    Turn at length black;
    Heard the cooling iron crack:
    Shadows, shadows,
    Watching the shadows come and go.

    And still the hiss
    I hear, the soft fire’s sob and kiss,
    And still it burns
    And the bright gold to crimson turns,
    Sinking, sinking,
    And the fire shadows larger grow.

    O dark-cheeked fire,
    Wasting like spent heart’s desire,
    You that were gold,
    And now crimson will soon be cold–
    Cold, cold,
    Like moon-shadows on new snow.

    Shadows all,
    They that watched your shadows fall.
    But now they come
    Rising around me, grave and dumb….
    Shadows, shadows,
    Come as the fire-shadows go.

    And stay, stay,
    Though all the fire sink cold as clay,
    Whispering still,
    Ancestral wise Familiars–till,
    Staring, staring,
    Dawn’s wild fires through the casement glow.

Forgotten Songs By Kate Seymour Maclean


    There is a splendid tropic flower which flings
        Its fiery disc wide open to the core–
            One pulse of subtlest fragrance–once a life
    That rounds a century of blossoming things
        And dies, a flower’s apotheosis: nevermore
            To send up in the sunshine, in sweet strife
    With all the winds, a fountain of live flame,
        A winged censer in the starlight swung
            Once only, flinging all its wealth abroad
    To the wide deserts without shore or name
        And dying, like a lovely song, once sung
        By some dead poet, music’s wandering ghost,
        Aeons ago blown oat of life and lost,
            Remembered only in the heart of God.

A Former Life By Charles Baudelaire

   


    Long since, I lived beneath vast porticoes,
    By many ocean-sunsets tinged and fired,
    Where mighty pillars, in majestic rows,
    Seemed like basaltic caves when day expired.

    The rolling surge that mirrored all the skies
    Mingled its music, turbulent and rich,
    Solemn and mystic, with the colours which
    The setting sun reflected in my eyes.

    And there I lived amid voluptuous calms,
    In splendours of blue sky and wandering wave,
    Tended by many a naked, perfumed slave,

    Who fanned my languid brow with waving palms.
    They were my slaves – the only care they had
    To know what secret grief had made me sad.

Little Bo-Peep By George MacDonald

    Little Bo-Peep, she has lost her sheep,
        And will not know where to find them;
    They are over the height and out of sight,
        Trailing their tails behind them!

    Little Bo-Peep woke out of her sleep,
        Jump’d up and set out to find them:
    “The silly things! they’ve got no wings,
        And they’ve left their trails behind them!

    “They’ve taken their tails, but they’ve left their trails,
        And so I shall follow and find them!”
    For wherever a tail had dragged a trail
        The grass lay bent behind them.

    She washed in the brook, and caught up her crook.
        And after her sheep did run
    Along the trail that went up the dale
        Across the grass in the sun.

    She ran with a will, and she came to a hill
        That went up steep like a spire;
    On its very top the sun seemed to stop,
        And burned like a flame of fire.

    But now she went slow, for the hill did go
        Up steeper as she went higher;
    When she reached its crown, the sun was down,
        Leaving a trail of fire.

    And her sheep were gone, and hope she had none.
        For now was no trail behind them.
    Yes, there they were! long-tailed and fair!
        But to see was not to find them!

    Golden in hue, and rosy and blue,
        And white as blossom of pears,
    Her sheep they did run in the trail of the sun,
        As she had been running in theirs!

    After the sun like clouds they did run,
        But she knew they were her sheep:
    She sat down to cry and look up at the sky,
        But she cried herself to sleep.

    And as she slept the dew down wept,
        And the wind did blow from the sky;
    And doings strange brought a lovely change:
        She woke with a different cry!

    Nibble, nibble, crop, without a stop!
        A hundred little lambs
    Did pluck and eat the grass so sweet
        That grew in the trail of their dams!

    She gave one look, she caught up her crook,
        Wiped away the sleep that did blind her;
    And nibble-nibble-crop, without a stop
        The lambs came nibbling behind her.

    Home, home she came, both tired and lame,
        With three times as large a stock;
    In a month or more, they’ll be sheep as before,
        A lovely, long-wooled flock!

    But what will she say, if, one fine day,
        When they’ve got their bushiest tails,
    Their grown-up game should be just the same,
        And again she must follow mere trails?

    Never weep, Bo-Peep, though you lose your sheep,
        Tears will turn rainbow-laughter!
    In the trail of the sun if the mothers did run,
        The lambs are sure to run after;

    But a day is coming when little feet drumming
        Will wake you up to find them–
    All the old sheep–how your heart will leap!–
        With their big little lambs behind them!
The Daisy Follows Soft the Sun by Emily Dickinson

The Daisy Follows Soft the Sun by Emily Dickinson

The daisy follows soft the sun,
And when his golden walk is done,
Sits shyly at his feet.
He, waking, finds the flower near.
“Wherefore, marauder, art thou here?
Because, sir, love is sweet!”

We are the flower, Thou the sun!
Forgive us, if as days decline,
We nearer steal to Thee, –
Enamoured of the parting west,
The peace, the flight, the amethyst,
Night’s possibility!

The Daisy Follows Soft the Sun by Emily Dickinson

A Valentine by Lewis Carroll

And cannot pleasures, while they last,
Be actual unless, when past,
They leave us shuddering and aghast,
With anguish smarting?
And cannot friends be firm and fast,
And yet bear parting?

And must I then, at Friendship’s call,
Calmly resign the little all
(Trifling, I grant, it is and small)
I have of gladness,
And lend my being to the thrall
Of gloom and sadness?

And think you that I should be dumb,
And full DOLORUM OMNIUM,
Excepting when YOU choose to come
And share my dinner?
At other times be sour and glum
And daily thinner?

Must he then only live to weep,
Who’d prove his friendship true and deep
By day a lonely shadow creep,
At night-time languish,
Oft raising in his broken sleep
The moan of anguish?

The lover, if for certain days
His fair one be denied his gaze,
Sinks not in grief and wild amaze,
But, wiser wooer,
He spends the time in writing lays,
And posts them to her.

And if the verse flow free and fast,
Till even the poet is aghast,
A touching Valentine at last
The post shall carry,
When thirteen days are gone and past
Of February.

Farewell, dear friend, and when we meet,
In desert waste or crowded street,
Perhaps before this week shall fleet,
Perhaps to-morrow.
I trust to find YOUR heart the seat
Of wasting sorrow.

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