Soup should be heralded with a mellow horn,
Blowing clear notes of gold against the stars;
Strange entrees with a jangle of glass bars
Fantastically alive with subtle scorn;
Fish, by a plopping, gurgling rush of waters,
Clear, vibrant waters, beautifully austere;
Roast, with a thunder of drums to stun the ear,
A screaming fife, a voice from ancient slaughters!
Over the salad let the woodwinds moan;–Stephen Vincent Benet
Then the green silence of many watercresses;
Dessert, a balalaika, strummed alone;
Coffee, a slow, low singing no passion stresses;
Such are my thoughts as — clang! crash! bang! — I brood
And gorge the sticky mess these fools call food!
If I am poor it is that I am proud,— by Henry David Thoreau
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.
“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–anonymous
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.
Inside this pencil— W. S. Merwin
couch words that have
never been written
never been spoken
never been thought
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
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— Elizabeth Bartlet
o’er mud and rust to welcome skies
where swallows soar
I wish I had not got a cold,
The wind is big and wild,
I wish that I was very old,
Not just a little child.
Somehow the day is very long
Just keeping here, alone;
I do not like the big wind’s song,
He’s growling for a bone.
He’s like an awful dog we had
Who used to creep around
And snatch at things—he was so bad,
With just that horrid sound.
I’m sitting up and nurse has made
Me wear a woolly shawl;
I wish I was not so afraid;
It’s horrid to be small.
It really feels quite like a day
Since I have had my tea;
P’raps everybody’s gone away
And just forgotten me.
And oh! I cannot go to sleep— Katherine Mansfield
Although I am in bed.
The wind keeps going creepy-creep
And waiting to be fed.
How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought
And simple truth his utmost skill!
Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Not tied unto the world by care
Of public fame, or private breath;
Who envies none that chance doth raise
Or vice; Who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good:
Who hath his life from rumours freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make accusers great;
Who God doth late and early pray— Sir H. Wotton
More of His grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend;