Poetry – Poverty

If I am poor it is that I am proud,
If God has made me naked and a boor
He did not think it fit his work to shroud.

The poor man comes from heaven direct to earth
As stars drop down the sky and tropic beams.
The rich receives in our gross air his birth,
As from low suns are slanted golden gleams.

Men are by birth equal in this that given
Themselves and their condition they are even.
The less of inward essence is to leaven
The more of outward circumstance is given.

Yon sun is naked bare of satellite
Unless our earths and moons that office hold,
Though his perpetual day feareth no night
And his perennial summer dreads no cold.

Where are his gilded rays but in our sky?
His solid disk doth float far from us still,
The orb which through the central way doth fly
Shall naked seem though proudly circumstanced.

I’ll leave my mineral wealth hoarded in earth?
Buried in seas in mines and ocean caves
More safely kept than is the merchant’s worth,
Which every storm committeth to the waves.

Mankind may delve but cannot my wealth spend,
If I no partial store appropriate
no armed ships into the Indies send
To rob me of my orient estate 

The rich man’s clothes keep out the genial sun
But scarce defend him from the piercing cold
If he did not his heavenly garment shun
He would not need to hide beneath a fold.

— by Henry David Thoreau

Poetry – RONDEAU

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in:
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.

— Leigh Hunt

Poetry – HISTORY OF THE CRIES OF LONDON

Here’s fine rosemary, sage and thyme.
Come, buy my ground ivy.
Here’s featherfew, gilliflowers, and rue.
Come, buy my knotted marjoram, ho!
Come, buy my mint, my fine green mint.
Here’s fine lavender for your cloaths,
Here’s parsley and winter savory,
And heartsease which all do choose.
Here’s balm and hyssop and cinquefoil,
All fine herbs it is well known.
Let none despise the merry, merry cries
Of famous London Town.

Here’s pennyroyal and marygolds.
Come, buy my nettle-tops.
Here’s water-cresses and scurvy grass,
Come buy my sage of virtue, ho!
Come, buy my wormwood and mugworts.
Here’s all fine herbs of every sort.
Here’s southernwood that’s very good.
Dandelion and houseleek.
Here’s dragon’s tongue and wood sorrel,
With bear’s-foot and horehound.
Let none despise the merry, merry cries
Of famous London Town.

— Roxburghe Ballads

Poetry – AUTUMN CHANT

Now the autumn shudders
In the rose’s root.
Far and wide the ladders
Lean among the fruit.

Now the autumn clambers
Up the trellised frame,
And the rose remembers
The dust from which it came.

Brighter than the blossom
On the rose’s bough
Sits the wizened, orange,
Bitter berry now;

Beauty never slumbers;
All is in her name;
But the rose remembers

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Related References

Poetry – AUTUMN (Joel ii. 23.)

“Be glad then, and rejoice in the Lord your God.”

—JOEL ii. 23.

‘Tis autumn now; the corn is cut,
But other gifts for us are spread,
The purple plum, the ripe brown nut,
And pears and apples, streaked with red,
Among the dark green branches shine,
Or on the grass beneath them fall;
While full green clusters deck the vine
That trails o’er trellis, roof, and wall.

In our dear land the laden trees
Bespeak God’s providence and love;
He sends all needful gifts like these
For those who trust in Him above.
How good is He to make such choice
Of pleasant fruits for us to grow!
‘Tis meet, indeed, that we rejoice
In Him who loves His children so.

–anonymous

Poetry – The Unwritten

Inside this pencil
couch words that have
never been written
never been spoken
never been thought
they’re hiding.

— W. S. Merwin

Poetry – Swallows Return

o spring thaw out my winter’s chill
so cold I might be buried still
beneath the snow

long years I lay as one whose night
strong arms had banished from the light
to mute my song

now wake me from oblivion
bow down and lift me to the sun
like earth to plow

prepare for me some green retreat
enough for summer to complete
its ecstasy

let autumn shake its leaves at me
set laughter whirling from each tree
and I forget

then should my winter come at last
when darkened shadows overcast
the fields of men

I’ll gladly say goodbye and go
while memories warm me with their glow
across the stile

for every year my dust shall rise
o’er mud and rust to welcome skies
where swallows soar

— Elizabeth Bartlet

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