BE ever true to me, thou well-loved coat,
For we are growing old together now,
These ten long years I’ve brushed thee every day
Myself; great Socrates the Sage, I trow
Had not done better! And if remorseless Fate
Gnaw with sharp tooth that poor, thin cloth of thine,
Resist, say I, with calm philosophy,
Let us not part, thou dear old friend of mine!
How I recall—(for even now I’m bless’d
With a good memory!), that glad day of days
When first I wore thee! It was at my feast;
My friends to crown my glory, sang thy praise.
Thy poverty and age that honor me
Have not yet made their early love decline—
They’re ready still to feast us once again.
Let us not part, thou dear old friend of mine!
Have I perfumed thee with those floods of musk,
Which the vain fop exhales before his glass?
Have I exposed thee, waiting audience,
To scorn and laughter of the great who pass?
Just for a paltry ribbon, all fair wide France
Was rent apart, but simply I combine
A few sweet wild-flowers for thine ornament.
Let us not part, thou dear old friend of mine!…
Fear nevermore those days of struggling vain,— Pierre Jean de Béranger
When the same lowly destiny was ours;
Those days of pleasure intermix’d with pain,
Of sunny sky o’ercast by April showers.
Soon comes the night, for evening shadows fall,
And soon forever must I my coat resign.
Wait yet a little, together we’ll end it all,
And never part, thou dear old friend of mine!…
Tis done! Dread Winter spreads his latest glooms,— George Thompson Hutchinson
And reigns tremendous o’er the conquered year.
How dead the vegetable kingdom lies!
How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends
His desolate domain. Behold fond man!
See here thy pictured life: pass some few years,
Thy flowering spring, thy summer’s ardent strength,
Thy sober autumn fading into age,
And pale concluding winter comes at last.
Dark visaged visitor, who comest here,— George Thompson Hutchinson
Clad in thy mournful tunic, to repeat
(While glooms and chilling rains enwrap thy feet)
The solemn requiem of the dying year;
Not undelightful to my list’ning ear
Sound thy dull showers, as o’er my woodland seat
Dismal and drear the leafless trees they beat:
Not undelightful, in their wild career,
Is the wild music of thy howling blasts,
Sweeping the grove’s long aisle, while sullen Time
Thy stormy mantle o’er his shoulder casts,
And, rocked upon his throne, with chant sublime,
Joins the full pealing dirge, and Winter weaves
Her dark, sepulchral wreath of faded leaves.
Would you like to throw a stone at me?
Here, take all that’s left of my peach.
Heaven knows how it came to pass.
Somebody’s pound of flesh rendered up.
Wrinkled with secrets
And hard with the intention to keep them.
Why, from silvery peach-bloom,
From that shallow-silvery wine-glass on a short stem
This rolling, dropping, heavy globule?
I am thinking, of course, of the peach before I ate it.
Why so velvety, why so voluptuous heavy?
Why hanging with such inordinate weight?
Why so indented?
Why the groove?
Why the lovely, bivalve roundnesses?
Why the ripple down the sphere?
Why the suggestion of incision?
Why was not my peach round and finished like a billiard ball?
It would have been if man had made it.
Though I’ve eaten it now.
But it wasn’t round and finished like a billiard ball.
And because I say so, you would like to throw something at me.
Here, you can have my peach stone.— San Gervasio
Ay, thou art welcome, heaven’s delicious breath,— W. C. Bryant
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
Wind of the sunny south! Oh, still delay
In the gay woods and in the golden air,
Like to a good old age released from care,
Journeying, in long serenity, away,
In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
Might wear out life like thee, ‘mid bowers and brooks,
And, dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
And music of kind voices ever nigh;
And, when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.
You tell me I am wrong.
Who are you, who is anybody to tell me I am wrong?
I am not wrong.
In Syracuse, rock left bare by the viciousness of Greek women,
No doubt you have forgotten the pomegranate-trees in flower,
Oh so red, and such a lot of them.
Whereas at Venice
Abhorrent, green, slippery city
Whose Doges were old, and had ancient eyes,
In the dense foliage of the inner garden
Pomegranates like bright green stone,
And barbed, barbed with a crown.
Oh, crown of spiked green metal
Now in Tuscany,
Pomegranates to warm your hands at;
And crowns, kingly, generous, tilting crowns
Over the left eyebrow.
And, if you dare, the fissure!
Do you mean to tell me you will see no fissure?
Do you prefer to look on the plain side?
For all that, the setting suns are open.
The end cracks open with the beginning:
Rosy, tender, glittering within the fissure.
Do you mean to tell me there should be no fissure?
No glittering, compact drops of dawn?
Do you mean it is wrong, the gold-filmed skin, integument, shown ruptured?
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken.— San Gervasio in Tuscany
It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
Every valley drinks,
Every dell and hollow:
Where the kind rain sinks and sinks,
Green of Spring will follow.
Yet a lapse of weeks
Buds will burst their edges,
Strip their wool-coats, glue-coats, streaks,
In the woods and hedges;
Weave a bower of love
For birds to meet each other,
Weave a canopy above
Nest and egg and mother.
But for fattening rain
We should have no flowers,
Never a bud or leaf again
But for soaking showers;
Never a mated bird
In the rocking tree-tops,
Never indeed a flock or herd
To graze upon the lea-crops.
Lambs so woolly white,
Sheep the sun-bright leas on,
They could have no grass to bite
But for rain in season.
We should find no moss
In the shadiest places,
Find no waving meadow-grass
Pied with broad-eyed daisies;
But miles of barren sand,— Christina G. Rossetti
With never a son or daughter,
Not a lily on the land,
Or lily on the water.