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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

O Where Are You Going? by W.H. Auden

“O where are you going?” said reader to rider,
“That valley is fatal where furnaces burn,
Yonder’s the midden whose odours will madden,
That gap is the grave where the tall return.”

“O do you imagine,” said fearer to farer,
“That dusk will delay on your path to the pass,
Your diligent looking discover the lacking,
Your footsteps feel from granite to grass?”

“O what was that bird,” said horror to hearer,
“Did you see that shape in the twisted trees?
Behind you swiftly the figure comes softly,
The spot on your skin is a shocking disease.”

“Out of this house” – said rider to reader,
“Yours never will” – said farer to fearer
“They’re looking for you” – said hearer to horror,
As he left them there, as he left them there.

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The Dead by Rupert Brooke

These hearts were woven of joys and cares,
Washed marvelously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.

There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. She leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.

* * * * *

War Song by Thomas Moore (in honor of Captain Qat’Anmek)

Remember the glories of Brien the brave,
Though the days of the hero are o’er,
Though lost to the living and cold to the grave,
He returns to Kinkora no more.
That star of the field, which so often hath pour’d
Its beam on the battle, is set;
But enough of its glory remains on each sword,
To light us to victory yet.

On each world where Nature embellish’d the tint
Of the seas and the mountains so fair,
Did she ever intend that a tyrant should print
The footstep of slavery there?
No! Freedom, whose smile we shall never resign,
Go and tell whosoever would reign
That ’tis sweeter to bleed for an age at thy shrine,
Than to sleep but a moment in chains.

Forget not our wounded companions who stood
In the day of distress by our side;
While the moss of the valley grew red with their blood,
They stirr’d not, but conquer’d and died.
That sun which now blesses our arms with his light,
Saw them fall upon Ossory’s plain;
Oh! let him not blush, when he leaves us to-night,
To find that they fell there in vain.

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