Year 6 Poems

An optional alternative to any term in Years 4-6 Purchase AO's Volume 6 poetry collection which includes Frost, Sandburg, and our Year 6 anthology of favorites in paperback or Kindle ($amzn) (K)

01. With How Sad Steps, O Moon, Thou Climbest the Skies, by Sir Philip Sidney, 1554-1586
02. Crabbèd Age and Youth, by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616
03. Death Be Not Proud, by John Donne, 1573-1631
04. Batter my Heart, Three-Personed God, by John Donne ,1573-1631
05. The Pulley, by George Herbert, 1593-1633
06. Virtue, by George Herbert, 1593-1633
07. To Lucasta, Going to the Wars, by Richard Lovelace, 1618-1657
08. Tubal Cain, by Charles Mackay, 1814-1889
09. Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes, by Thomas Gray, 1716-1771
10. On Another's Sorrow, by William Blake, 1757-1827
11. Kubla Khan, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834
12. The Tear, by George Gordon (Lord Byron), 1788-1824
13. So, We'll Go No More a-Roving, by George Gordon (Lord Byron), 1788-1824
14. I Stood Tiptoe upon a Little Hill, by John Keats, 1795-1821
15. I Had a Dove, by John Keats, 1795-1821
16. To Autumn, by John Keats, 1795-1821
17. A Thing of Beauty, by John Keats, 1795-1821
18. La Belle Dame sans Merci, by John Keats, 1795-1821
19. The Cloud, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822
20. Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822
21. A Dirge, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822
22. To the Skylark, William Wordsworth, 1770-1850
23. The Minstrel Boy, Thomas Moore, 1779-1852
24. I Remember, I Remember, by Thomas Hood, 1799-1845
25. Lochinvar, by Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1832
26. Breathes There the Man, by Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1832
27. Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849
28. The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849
29. Because I Could Not Stop For Death, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886
30. Success is Counted Sweetest, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886
31. After Great Pain a Formal Feeling Comes, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886
32. The Flowers, by William Brighty Rands, 1823-1882
33. Great, Wide, Beautiful, Wonderful World, by William Brighty Rands, 1823-1882
34. Home-Thoughts, from Abroad, by Robert Browning, 1812-1889
35. Opportunity, by Edward Roland Sill, 1841-1887
36. O Captain, My Captain! by Walt Whitman, 1819-1892
37. My Garden, by Thomas Edward Brown, 1830-1897
38. Requiem, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894
39. Pied Beauty, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844-1889
40. The Windhover, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844-1889
41. A June Song, by Charlotte Forten Grimké, 1837-1914
42. I Have a Rendevous with Death, by Alan Seeger, 1888-1916
43. The Creation, by James Weldon Johnson, 1871-1938
44. The Darkling Thrush, by Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928
45. Loveliest of Trees, by A. E. Housman, 1859-1936
46. When I Was One-and-Twenty, by A. E. Housman, 1859-1936
47. A Vagabond Song, by Bliss Carman, 1861-1929
48. In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae, 1872-1918
49. Lift Every Voice and Sing, by James Weldon Johnson, 1871-1938
50. The Band of Gideon, by Joseph S. Cotter, Jr., 1895-1919
51. Casey at the Bat, by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, 1863-1940
52. The Lake Isle of Innisfree, by William Butler Yeats, 1865-1939
53. The Song of Wandering Aengus, by William Butler Yeats, 1865-1939
54. Leisure, by W.H. Davies, 1870-1940
55. Every Man Has a Hobby, by George Reginald Margetson, 1877-1952
56. The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes, 1880-1958
57. If We Must Die, by Claude McKay, 1890-1948
58. If, by Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936
59. Rondeau, by Jessie Redmon Fauset, 1882-1961
60. God's World, by Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892-1950
61. The Listeners, by Walter de la Mare, 1873-1956
62. The Heart of a Woman, by Georgia Douglas Johnson, 1880-1966
63. The Brave Son, by Alston W. Burleigh, 1899-1977
Index of Featured Poets

01 - With How Sad Steps, O Moon, Thou Climbest the Skies, by Sir Philip Sidney, 1554-1586

With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies!
How silently, and with how wan a face!
What, may it be that even in heavenly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?
Sure, if that long with love-acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case;
I read it in thy looks; thy languisht grace
To me that feel the like, thy state descries.
Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
      Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
      Do they call virtue there, ungratefulness?

02 - Crabbèd Age and Youth, by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616

Crabbèd Age and Youth
Cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare.
Youth is full of sport,
Age's breath is short;
Youth is nimble, Age is lame;
Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold;
Youth is wild, and Age is tame.
Age, I do abhor thee;
Youth, I do adore thee;
O, my Love, my Love is young!
Age, I do defy thee:
O, sweet shepherd, hie thee!
For methinks thou stay'st too long.

03 - Death Be Not Proud, by John Donne, 1573-1631

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

04 - Batter my Heart, Three-Personed God, by John Donne, 1573-1631

Batter my heart, three-personed God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurped town to another due,
Labor to admit to you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain
But am betrothed unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again;
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

05 - The Pulley, by George Herbert, 1593-1633

      When God at first made man,
      Having a glass of blessings standing by;
"Let us," said he, "pour on him all we can:
Let the world's riches, which dispersèd lie,
      Contract into a span."

      So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honour, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that, alone of all his treasure,
      Rest in the bottom lay.

      "For if I should," said he,
"Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
      So both should losers be.

      "Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
      May toss him to my breast."

06 - Virtue, by George Herbert, 1593-1633

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright!
The bridal of the earth and sky--
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night;
      For thou must die.

Sweet rose, whose hue angry and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
Thy root is ever in its grave,
      And thou must die.

Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie,
My music shows ye have your closes,
      And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season'd timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,
      Then chiefly lives.

07 - To Lucasta, Going to the Wars, by Richard Lovelace, 1618-1657

Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind
      That from nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind,
      To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
      The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
      A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
      As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
      Loved I not honor more.

08 - Tubal Cain, by Charles Mackay, 1814-1889

"And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron . . ." -- Gen 4:22

Old Tubal Cain was a man of might
      In the days when earth was young:
By the fierce red light of his furnace bright
      The strokes of his hammer rung;
And he lifted high his brawny hand
      On the iron glowing clear,
Till the sparks rush'd out in scarlet showers,
      As he fashion'd the sword and spear.
And he sang--"Hurrah for my handiwork!
      Hurrah for the spear and sword!
Hurrah for the hand that shall wield them well,
      For he shall be king and lord!'

To Tubal Cain came many a one,
      As he wrought by his roaring fire,
And each one pray'd for a strong steel blade
      As the crown of his desire;
And he made them weapons sharp and strong,
      Till they shouted loud for glee,
And gave him gifts of pearls and gold,
      And spoils of the forest free.
And they sang--"Hurrah for Tubal Cain,
      Who hath given us strength anew!
Hurrah for the smith, hurrah for the fire,
      And hurrah for the metal true!"

But a sudden change came o'er his heart
      Ere the setting of the sun,
And Tubal Cain was fill'd with pain
      For the evil he had done;
He saw that men, with rage and hate,
      Made war upon their kind,
That the land was red with the blood they shed
      In their lust for carnage, blind.
And he said--"Alas! that ever I made,
      Or that skill of mine should plan,
The spear and the sword for men whose joy
      Is to slay their fellow-man!"

And for many a day old Tubal Cain
      Sat brooding o'er his woe;
And his hand forebore to smite the ore,
      And his furnace smoulder'd low.
But he rose at last with a cheerful face,
      And a bright courageous eye,
And bared his strong right arm for work,
      While the quick flames mounted high.
And he sang--"Hurrah for my handiwork!"
      And the red sparks lit the air;
"Not alone for the blade was the bright steel made;"
      And he fashion'd the first ploughshare!

And men, taught wisdom from the past,
      In friendship join'd their hands,
Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,
      And plough'd the willing lands;
And sang--"Hurrah for Tubal Cain!
      Our stanch good friend is he;
And for the ploughshare and the plough
      To him our praise shall be.
But while Oppression lifts its head,
      Or a tyrant would be lord,
Though we may thank him for the plough,
      We'll never forget the sword!"

09 - Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes, by Thomas Gray, 1716-1771

'Twas on a lofty vase's side,
Where China's gayest art had dyed
      The azure flowers that blow;
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima reclined,
      Gazed on the lake below.

Her conscious tail her joy declared;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
      The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
      She saw; and purr'd applause.

Still had she gazed; but 'midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
      The Genii of the stream:
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
Thro' richest purple to the view
      Betray'd a golden gleam.

The hapless Nymph with wonder saw:
A whisker first and then a claw,
      With many an ardent wish,
She stretch'd in vain to reach the prize.
What female heart can gold despise?
      What Cat's averse to fish?

Presumptuous Maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
      Nor knew the gulf between.
(Malignant Fate sat by, and smiled.)
The slipp'ry verge her feet beguiled,
      She tumbled headlong in.

Eight times emerging from the flood
She mew'd to ev'ry wat'ry god,
      Some speedy aid to send.
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd:
Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard.
      A Fav'rite has no friend!

From hence, ye Beauties undeceived,
Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved,
      And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wand'ring eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;
      Nor all that glisters, gold.

10 - On Another's Sorrow, by William Blake, 1757-1827

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear--

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
O no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give His joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

O He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

11 - Kubla Khan, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834

      In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
            A stately pleasure-dome decree:
      Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
      Through caverns measureless to man
           Down to a sunless sea.
      So twice five miles of fertile ground
      With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
     The shadow of the dome of pleasure
     Floated midway on the waves;
     Where was heard the mingled measure
     From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

     A damsel with a dulcimer
     In a vision once I saw:
     It was an Abyssinian maid,
     And on her dulcimer she played,
     Singing of Mount Abora.
     Could I revive within me
     Her symphony and song,
     To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

12 - The Tear, by George Gordon (Lord Byron), 1788-1824

When Friendship or Love our sympathies move;
     When Truth, in a glance, should appear,
The lips may beguile with a dimple or smile,
     But the test of affection's a Tear.

Too oft is a smile but the hypocrite's wile,
     To mask detestation, or fear;
Give me the soft sigh, whilst the soul-telling eye
     Is dimm'd for a time with a Tear.

Mild Charity's glow, to us mortals below,
     Shows the soul from barbarity clear;
Compassion will melt where this virtue is felt,
     And its dew is diffused in a Tear.

The man, doom'd to sail with the blast of the gale,
     Through billows Atlantic to steer,
As he bends o'er the wave which may soon be his grave,
     The green sparkles bright with a Tear.

The Soldier braves death for a fanciful wreath
     In Glory's romantic career;
But he raises the foe when in battle laid low,
     And bathes every wound with a Tear.

If, with high-bounding pride he return to his bride!
     Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear;
All his toils are repaid when, embracing the maid,
     From her eyelid he kisses the Tear.

Sweet scene of my youth! seat of Friendship and Truth,
     Where Love chas'd each fast-fleeting year
Loth to leave thee, I mourn'd, for a last look I turn'd,
     But thy spire was scarce seen through a Tear.

Though my vows I can pour to my Mary no more,
     My Mary, to Love once so dear,
In the shade of her bower I remember the hour,
She rewarded those vows with a Tear.

By another possest, may she live ever blest!
     Her name still my heart must revere:
With a sigh I resign what I once thought was mine,
     And forgive her deceit with a Tear.

Ye friends of my heart, ere from you I depart,
     This hope to my breast is most near:
If again we shall meet in this rural retreat,
     May we meet, as we part, with a Tear.

When my soul wings her flight to the regions of night,
     And my corse shall recline on its bier;
As ye pass by the tomb where my ashes consume,
     Oh! moisten their dust with a Tear.

May no marble bestow the splendour of woe,
     Which the children of Vanity rear;
No fiction of fame shall blazon my name,
     All I ask--all I wish--is a Tear.
October 26th, 1806.

13 - So, We'll Go No More a-Roving, by George Gordon (Lord Byron), 1788-1824

So we'll go no more a-roving
      So late into the night,
Though the heart still be as loving,
      And the moon still be as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
      And the soul outwears the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
      And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
      And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
      By the light of the moon.

14 - from I Stood Tiptoe Upon a Little Hill, by John Keats, 1795-1821

I stood tiptoe upon a little hill;
The air was cooling and so very still,
That the sweet buds which with a modest pride
Pull droopingly, in slanting curve aside,
Their scanty-leaved, and finely tapering stems,
Had not yet lost their starry diadems
Caught from the early sobbing of the morn.
The clouds were pure and white as flocks new-shorn,
And fresh from the clear brook; sweetly they slept
On the blue fields of heaven, and then there crept
A little noiseless noise among the leaves,
Born of the very sigh that silences heaves;
For not the faintest motion could be seen
Of all the shades that slanted o'er the green.

15 - I Had a Dove, by John Keats, 1795-1821

      I had a dove and the sweet dove died;
            And I have thought it died of grieving:
      O, what could it grieve for?
Its feet were tied,
            With a silken thread of my own hand's weaving;
Sweet little red feet! why should you die-
Why should you leave me, sweet bird! why?
You lived alone in the forest tree,
Why, pretty thing! would you not live with me?
I kissed you oft and gave you white peas:
Why not live sweetly, as in the green trees?

16 - To Autumn, by John Keats, 1795-1821

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
      Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
      With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
      And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
            To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
      And still more, later flowers for the bees,
      Until they think warm days will never cease,
            For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
      Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
      And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
      Among the river sallows, borne aloft
            Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
      Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
      The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
            And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

17 - A Thing of Beauty, from Endymion, by John Keats, 1795-1821

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

18 - La Belle Dame sans Merci, by John Keats, 1795-1821

O, what can ail thee, Knight at arms,
      Alone and palely loitering;
The sedge is wither'd from the lake,
      And no birds sing.

O, what can ail thee, Knight at arms,
      So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
      And the harvest's done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
      With anguish moist and fever dew;
And on thy cheek a fading rose
      Fast withereth too.

I met a Lady in the Meads
      Full beautiful, a faery's child;
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
      And her eyes were wild.

I made a Garland for her head,
      And bracelets too, and fragrant Zone;
She look'd at me as she did love,
      And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed,
      And nothing else saw all day long;
For sideways would she lean, and sing
      A faery's song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
      And honey wild, and manna dew;
And sure in language strange she said,
      "I love thee true."

She took me to her elfin grot,
      And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild sad eyes
      With kisses four.

And there she lulled me asleep,
      And there I dream'd, Ah Woe betide,
The latest dream I ever dreamt
      On the cold hill side.

I saw pale Kings, and Princes too,
      Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
Who cry'd--"La belle Dame sans merci
      Hath thee in thrall!"

I saw their starved lips in the gloam
      With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke, and found me here
      On the cold hill side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
      Alone and palely loitering;
Though the sedge is wither'd from the lake,
      And no birds sing.

19 - from The Cloud, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
      From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
      In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
      The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
      As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
      And whiten the green plains under;
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
      And laugh as I pass in thunder.

20 - Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which still survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing else remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

21 - A Dirge, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822

Rough Wind, that moanest loud
Grief too sad for song;
Wild wind, when sullen cloud
Knells all the night long;
Sad storm, whose tears are vain,
Bare woods, whose branches strain,
Deep caves and dreary main,--
Wail, for the world's wrong!

22 - To the Skylark, by William Wordsworth, 1770-1850

Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!

Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!

23 - The Minstrel Boy, by Thomas Moore, 1779-1852

The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
      In the ranks of death you'll find him,
His father's sword he has girded on,
      And his wild harp slung behind him.
"Land of song!" said the warrior bard,
      "Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
      One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The minstrel fell!--but the foeman's chain
      Could not bring his proud soul under;
The harp he loved ne'er spoke again,
      For he tore its cords asunder,
And said, "No chain shall sully thee,
      Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
      They shall never sound in slavery!"

24 - I Remember, I Remember, by Thomas Hood, 1799-1845

I remember, I remember,
      The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
      Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
      Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
      Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
      The roses, red and white,
The vi'lets, and the lily-cups,
      Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
      And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,--
      The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember,
      Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
      To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
      That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
      The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember,
      The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
      Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
      But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from heav'n
      Than when I was a boy.

25 - Lochinvar, from Marmion, by Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1832

Oh! young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broadsword he weapons had none.
He rode all unarmed and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

He stayed not for brake and he stopped not for stone,
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none,
But ere he alighted at Netherby gate
The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
For a laggard in love and a dastard in war
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall,
Among bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all:
Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword,--
For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,--
"Oh! come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"--

"I long wooed your daughter, my suit you denied;
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide--
And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine,
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar.

The bride kissed the goblet; the knight took it up,
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
With a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand ere her mother could bar,--
"Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar.

So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume;
And the bride-maidens whispered, " 'Twere better by far
To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."

One touch to her hand and one word in her ear,
When they reached the hall-door, and the charger stood near;
So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
"She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush and scaur;
They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar.

There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan;
Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran!
There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee,
But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
So daring in love and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?

26 - Breathes There the Man, by Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1832
from The Lay of the Last Minstrel, 1805

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
      This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd,
      From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentrated all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.

27 - Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849

It was many and many a year ago
     In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
     By the name of Annabel Lee;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
     Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child, and she was a child,
     In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
     I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the wingèd seraphs in Heaven
     Coveted her and me.

And that was the reason that, long ago,
     In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
     My beautiful Annabel Lee,
So that her high-born kinsmen came
     And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
     In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
     Went envying her and me--
Yes!--that was the reason (as all men know,
     In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind blew out of the cloud by night,
     Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
     Of those that were older than we--
     Of many far wiser than we--
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
     Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
     Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
     Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
     Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;--
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
     In her sepulchre there by the sea--
     In her tomb by the sounding sea.

28 - The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849

Nepenthe is a drug which banishes grief or trouble from the mind. It is referred to in Homer's Odyssey.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,--
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door--
          Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;--vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the lost Lenore--
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore--
          Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me--filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door--
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;--
          This it is, and nothing more,"

Presently my heart grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door;--
          Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word "Lenore!"
          Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore--
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;--
          'Tis the wind and nothing more!"

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door--
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door--
          Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore--
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
          Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning--little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door--
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
          With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered--not a feather then he fluttered--
Till I scarcely more than muttered "Other friends have flown before--
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
          Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore--
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
          Of 'Never--nevermore.'"

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore--
What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
          Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
          She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by seraphim whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee--by these angels he has sent thee
Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"
          Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!--
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted--
On this home by Horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore--
Is there--is there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me, I implore!"
          Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!' said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us--by that God we both adore--
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore--
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?"
          Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting--
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!--quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
          Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
          Shall be lifted--nevermore.

29 - Because I Could Not Stop For Death, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886

Because I could not stop for Death--
He kindly stopped for me--
The Carriage held but just Ourselves--
And Immortality.

We slowly drove--He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labour and my leisure too,
For His Civility--

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess--in the Ring--
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain--
We passed the Setting Sun--

Or rather--He passed Us--
The Dews drew quivering and chill--
For only Gossamer, my Gown--
My Tippet--only Tulle--

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground--
The Roof was scarcely visible--
The Cornice--in the Ground--

Since then--'tis Centuries--and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses Heads
Were toward Eternity--

30 - Success is Counted Sweetest, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host
Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory,

As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Break, agonized and clear.

31 - After Great Pain a Formal Feeling Comes, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886

After great pain a formal feeling comes--
The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;
The stiff heart questions--was it He that bore?
And yesterday--or centuries before?

The feet mechanical go round
A wooden way,
Of ground or air of Ought,
Regardless grown;
A quartz contentment like a stone.

This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived
As freezing persons recollect
The snow--
First chill, then stupor, then
The letting go.

32 - The Flowers, by William Brighty Rands, 1823-1882

When Love arose in heart and deed
      To wake the world to greater joy,
'What can she give me now?' said Greed,
      Who thought to win some costly toy.

He rose, he ran, he stoop'd, he clutch'd;
      And soon the Flowers, that Love let fall,
In Greed's hot grasp were fray'd and smutch'd,
      And Greed said, 'Flowers! Can this be all?'

He flung them down and went his way,
      He cared no jot for thyme or rose;
But boys and girls came out to play,
      And some took these and some took those--

Red, blue, and white, and green and gold;
      And at their touch the dew return'd,
And all the bloom a thousandfold--
      So red, so ripe, the roses burn'd!

33 - Great, Wide, Beautiful, Wonderful World, by William Brighty Rands, 1823-1882

Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World,
With the wonderful water round you curled,
And the wonderful grass upon your breast--
World, you are beautifully drest.

The wonderful air is over me,
And the wonderful wind is shaking the tree,
It walks on the water, and whirls the mills,
And talks to itself on the tops of the hills.

You friendly Earth! how far do you go,
With the wheat-fields that nod and the rivers that flow,
With cities and gardens, and cliffs, and isles,
And people upon you for thousands of miles?

Ah, you are so great, and I am so small,
I tremble to think of you, World, at all;
And yet, when I said my prayers to-day,
A whisper inside me seemed to say,

"You are more than the Earth, though you are such a dot:
You can love and think, and the Earth cannot!"

34 - Home-Thoughts, from Abroad, by Robert Browning, 1812-1889

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brush-wood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England--now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops--at the bent spray's edge--
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower,
Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

35 - Opportunity, by Edward Roland Sill, 1841-1887

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:--
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle's edge,
And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel--
That blue blade that the king's son bears,--but this
Blunt thing--!" he snapt and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt--buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

36 - O Captain, My Captain!, by Walt Whitman, 1819-1892

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
      But O heart! heart! heart!
            O the bleeding drops of red,
                  Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                        Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
      Here Captain! dear father!
            This arm beneath your head!
                  It is some dream that on the deck,
                        You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
      Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
            But I with mournful tread,
                  Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                        Fallen cold and dead.

37 - My Garden, by Thomas Edward Brown, 1830-1897

A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!
      Rose plot,
      Fringed pool,
Fern'd grot--
      The veriest school
      Of peace; and yet the fool
Contends that God is not--
Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool?
      Nay, but I have a sign;
      'Tis very sure God walks in mine.

38 - Requiem, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
      And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
      And the hunter home from the hill.

39 - Pied Beauty, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844-1889

Glory be to God for dappled things--
      For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
      Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
      And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
      Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers--forth whose beauty is past change:
      Praise Him.

40 - The Windhover, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844-1889

To Christ Our Lord

A windhover is a bird that hovers in the air as it looks on the ground for prey. SparkNotes has more info on this poem.

I caught this morning morning's minion, kingdom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
     Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
     As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
     Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,--the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
     Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

41 - A June Song, by Charlotte Forten Grimké, 1837-1914
Written in Washington, D.C. on June 15, 1885

We would sing a song to the fair young June,
To the rare and radiant June,
The lovely, laughing, fragrant June,
How shall her praises be sung or said?
Her cheek has caught the rose's hue
Her eye the Heaven's serenest blue,
And the gold of sunset crowns her head.
And her smile, ah! there's never a sweeter, I ween,
Than the smile of this fair young summer queen.
What life, what hope her coming brings!
What joy anew in the sad heart springs
As her robe of beauty o'er all she flings.
Old Earth grows young in her presence sweet,
And thrills at the touch of her tender feet,
As the flowers spring up her coming to greet,
Hark how the birds are singing her praise
In their gladdest, sweetest roundelays.
Over the lovely peaceful river
The gold arrows of sunset quiver;
The trees on the hillside have caught the glow
And the heaven smiles down on the earth below
And out radiant June
Our lovely, joyous, fragrant June
Our summer queen
Smiles too, as she stands
With folded hands
And brow serene.
How shall we crown her bright young head?
Crown it with roses rare and red
Crown it with roses creamy white
As the lotus bloom which sweetens the night.
Crowns it with roses pink as the shell
In which the voices of ocean dwell;
And a fairer queen shall ne'er be seen
Than our lovely laughing June.
We have crowned her now but she will not stay;
The vision of beauty will steal away,
Fading as faded the bright young May.
Ah, loveliest maiden, linger awhile!
Pour into our hearts the warmth of thy smile,
The gloom of the winter comes all too soon;
Stay with us, gladden us, beautiful June!
Thou glidest away from our eager grasp,
But our hearts will hold thee fast;
And the days to be
Will be brighter and sweeter for thoughts of thee.
Our song shall not be a song of farewell,
As with words of love the chorus we swell
In praise of the fair young June,
Of the rare and radiant June--
The lovely, laughing, fragrant June.

42 - I Have a Rendezvous with Death, by Alan Seeger, 1888-1916

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air--
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath--
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear . . .
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

43 - The Creation, by James Weldon Johnson, 1871-1938

And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
"I'm lonely--
I'll make me a world."

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said: "That's good!"

Then God reached out and took the light in his hands,
And God rolled the light around in his hands
Until he made the sun;
And he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said: "That's good!"

Then God himself stepped down--
And the sun was on his right hand,
And the moon was on his left;
The stars were clustered about his head,
And the earth was under his feet.
And God walked, and where he trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then he stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And he spat out the seven seas--
He batted his eyes, and the lightnings flashed--
He clapped his hands, and the thunders rolled--
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around his shoulder.

Then God raised his arm and he waved his hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And he said: "Bring forth! Bring forth!"
And quicker than God could drop his hand,
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said: "That's good!"

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that he had made.
He looked at his sun,
And he looked at his moon,
And he looked at his little stars;
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: "I'm lonely still."

Then God sat down--
On the side of a hill where he could think;
By a deep, wide river he sat down;
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: "I'll make me a man!"

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.
Amen.     Amen.

44 - The Darkling Thrush, by Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928

I leant upon a coppice gate,
      When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
      The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
      Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
      Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to me
      The Century's corpse outleant,
Its crypt the cloudy canopy,
      The wind its death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
      Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
      Seemed fervorless as I.

At once a voice arose among
      The bleak twigs overhead,
In a full-hearted evensong
      Of joy illimited.
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt and small,
      With blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
      Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
      Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
      Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
      His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew,
      And I was unaware.

45 - Loveliest of Trees, by A. E. Housman, 1859-1936

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride,
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

46 - When I Was One-and-Twenty, by A. E. Housman, 1859-1936

When I was one-and-twenty
      I heard a wise man say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
      But not your heart away;

Give pearls away and rubies
      But keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty,
      No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
      I heard him say again,
"The heart out of the bosom
      Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
      And sold for endless rue."
And I am two-and-twenty
      And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

47 - A Vagabond Song, by Bliss Carman, 1861-1929

The word "gypsy" was in common use at the time of writing, and alludes to a life of frequent wandering. Here, "gypsy blood" refers to the longing to travel.

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood--
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

48 - In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae, 1872-1918

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
      That mark our place; and in the sky
      The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
            In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
      The torch; be yours to hold it high.
      If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
            In Flanders fields.

49 - Lift Every Voice and Sing, by James Weldon Johnson, 1871-1938
Composed in 1900 for a school celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday

Lift ev'ry voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring.
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise,
High as the list'ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast'ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet,
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the bright gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee,
Shadowed beneath thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

50 - The Band of Gideon, by Joseph S. Cotter, Jr., 1895-1919
published in The Book of American Negro Poetry, 1922

The band of Gideon roam the sky,
The howling wind is their war-cry,
The thunder's roll is their trumpet's peal
And the lightning's flash their vengeful steel.
      Each black cloud
      Is a fiery steed.
      And they cry aloud
      With each strong deed,
"The Sword of the Lord and Gideon."

And men below rear temples high
And mock their God with reasons why,
And live in arrogance, sin, and shame,
And rape their souls for the world's good name.
      Each black cloud
      Is a fiery steed.
      And they cry aloud
      With each strong deed,
"The Sword of the Lord and Gideon."

The band of Gideon roam the sky
And view the earth with baleful eye;
In holy wrath they scourge the land
With earthquake, storm, and burning brand.
      Each black cloud
      Is a fiery steed.
      And they cry aloud
      With each strong deed,
"The Sword of the Lord and Gideon."

The lightnings flash and the thunders roll,
And "Lord have mercy on my soul,"
Cry men as they fall on the stricken sod,
In agony searching for their God.
      Each black cloud
      Is a fiery steed.
      And they cry aloud
      With each strong deed,
"The Sword of the Lord and Gideon."

And men repent and then forget
That heavenly wrath they ever met.
The band of Gideon yet will come
And strike their tongues of blasphemy dumb.
      Each black cloud
      Is a fiery steed.
      And they cry aloud
      With each strong deed,
"The Sword of the Lord and Gideon."

51 - Casey at the Bat (1888), by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, 1863-1940

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Burrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast:
They thought if only Casey could but get a whack at that,
They'd put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a pudd'n, and the latter was a fake,
So upon the stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little hope of Casey's getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much-despised, tore the cover off the ball,
And when the dust had lifted, and they saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe on second, and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a mighty yell,
It rumbled in the valley and it rattled on the dell,
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled on the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped up to his place,
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face,
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt,
Five thousand tongues applauded as he wiped them on his shirt.
And when the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye; a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere comes hurtling through the air,
And Casey stands a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped--
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there arose a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on some stern and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone in the stand,
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone:
He stilled the rising tumult, he bade the game go on,
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew,
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud,
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed;
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville--mighty Casey has struck out!

52 - The Lake Isle of Innisfree (1888), by William Butler Yeats, 1865-1939

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
      And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
      And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
      I hear it in the deep heart's core.

53 - The Song of Wandering Aengus (1899), by William Butler Yeats, 1865-1939

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

54 - Leisure, by W.H. Davies, 1870-1940
from Songs Of Joy and Others, 1911

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

55 - Every Man Has a Hobby (1910), by George Reginald Margetson, 1877-1952

Every man has got a hobby,
Every poet has some fault,
Every sweet contains its bitter,
Every fresh thing has its salt.

Every mountain has a valley,
Every valley has a hill,
Every ravine is a river,
Every river is a rill.

Every fool has got some wisdom,
Every wise man is a fool,
Every scholar is a block-head,
Every dunce has been to school.

56 - The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes, 1880-1958
from Forty Singing Seamen and Other Poems, 1907

"Gypsy's ribbon" means colorful; gypsies often wore bright colors.

The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding--
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

He'd a French cocked hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;
He'd a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle--
      His rapier hilt a-twinkle--
His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--
      Bess, the landlord's daughter--
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim, the ostler listened--his face was white and peaked--
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter--
      The landlord's black-eyed daughter;
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I'm after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
      Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o'er his breast,
Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight
      (O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),
And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon over the purple moor,
The redcoat troops came marching--
King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;
There was Death at every window,
      And Hell at one dark window,
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!
They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,
"Look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way."

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, on the stroke of midnight,
      Cold on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;
Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,
For the road lay bare in the moonlight,
      Blank and bare in the moonlight,
And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;
Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding--
The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.

Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight--
Her musket shattered the moonlight--
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him--with her death.

He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!
Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
      The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat
When they shot him down in the highway,
      Down like a dog in the highway,
And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor,
The highwayman comes riding--
The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--
      Bess, the landlord's daughter--
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

57 - If We Must Die, by Claude McKay, 1890-1948
from The Liberator magazine, July 1919

If we must die--let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die--oh, let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us still be brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but--fighting back!

58 - If, by Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936
from Rewards and Fairies, 1910

If you can keep your head when all about you
      Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
      But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
      Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
      And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
      If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
      And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
      Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
      And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
      And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
      And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
      To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
      Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
      Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
      If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
      With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
      And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

59 - Rondeau, by Jessie Redmon Fauset, 1882-1961
from The Crisis magazine, April 1912

When April's here and meadows wide
Once more with spring's sweet growths are pied
      I close each book, drop each pursuit,
      And past the brook, no longer mute,
I joyous roam the countryside.

Look, here the violets shy abide
And there the mating robins hide-
      How keen my sense, how acute,
      When April's here!

And list! down where the shimmering tide
Hard by that farthest hill doth glide,
      Rise faint strains from shepherd's flute,
      Pan's pipes and Berecyntian lute.
Each sight, each sound fresh joys provide
      When April's here.

60 - God's World, by Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892-1950
from Renascence and Other Poems, 1917

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
      Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
      Thy mists that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
            But never knew I this;
            Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart. Lord,--I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me,--let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

61 - The Listeners (1912), by Walter de la Mare, 1873-1956

"Is anybody there?" said the Traveler,
      Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence chomped the grasses
      Of the forest's ferny floor.
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
      Above the traveler's head:
And he smote upon the door a second time;
      "Is there anybody there?" he said.
But no one descended to the Traveler;
      No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his gray eyes,
      Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
      That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
      To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair
      That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
      By the lonely Traveler's call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
      Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
      'Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote the door, even
      Louder, and lifted his head:--
"Tell them I came, and no one answered,
      That I kept my word," he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
      Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
      From the one man left awake:
Aye, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
      And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
      When the plunging hoofs were gone.

62 - The Heart of a Woman, by Georgia Douglas Johnson, 1880-1966
from The Heart of a Woman and Other Poems, 1918

The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn,
As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on,
Afar o'er life's turrets and vales does it roam
In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home.

The heart of a woman falls back with the night,
And enters some alien cage in its plight,
And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars
While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars.

63 - The Brave Son, by Alston W. Burleigh, 1899-1977
from The Upward Path Reader, 1920

A little boy, lost in his childish play,
Mid the deep'ning shades of the fading day,
Fancied the warrior he would be;
He scattered his foes with his wooden sword
And put to flight a mighty horde--
Ere he crept to his daddy's knee.

A soldier crawled o'er the death-strewn plain,
And he uttered the name of his love, in vain,
As he stumbled over the crest;
He fought with the fierceness of dark despair
And drove the cowering foe to his lair--
Ere he crept to his Father's breast.

Index of Featured Poets

Blake, William, 1757-1827, English poet, visionary, painter, print-maker.

Brown, Thomas Edward, 1830-1897, British poet, educator, theologian from The Isle of Man.

Browning, Robert, 1812-1889, English poet and playwright.

Burleigh, Alston W., 1899-1977, Black American actor, musician, teacher. Son of the composer Harry T. Burleigh.

Byron, George Gordon (Lord Byron), 1788-1824, English poet, leading figure in Romantic movement.

Carman, William Bliss, 1861-1929, Canadian Poet Laureate.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834, English poet, member of the Lake Poets, founder of Romantic movement.

Cotter, Joseph S. Jr., 1895-1919, Black American poet, playwright. Died of tuberculosis at 24. His father, Joseph S. Cotter, Sr, was also a gifted poet.

Davies, W. H., 1870-1940, Welsh poet and writer, hobo.

De la Mare, Walter, 1873-1956, English poet, novelist, short story author.

Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886, American poet.

Donne, John, 1573-1631, English poet, scholar, Dean of St. Paul's in London, cleric.

Fauset, Jessie Redmon, 1882-1961, Black American writer, poet, editor, novelist, essayist.

Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771, English poet, scholar, professor.

Grimké, Charlotte Forten, 1837-1914, Black American poet, pastor's wife, abolitionist, educator, writer.

Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928, English novelist and poet.

Herbert, George, 1593-1633, Welsh-born poet, Anglican priest.

Hood, Thomas, 1799-1845, English poet, publisher, editor, humorist. Wrote frequently for Punch magazine.

Hopkins, Gerard Manley, 1844-1889, English poet and Jesuit priest.

Housman, A.E., 1859-1936, English classical scholar and poet.

Johnson, Georgia Douglas, 1880-1966, Black American poet, playwright, activist.

Johnson, James Weldon, 1871-1938, Black American poet, lyricist, author, activist, key official in the NAACP.

Keats, John, 1795-1821, English romantic poet. Died at 25.

Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936, English writer, journalist, poet, with ties to India and America.

Lovelace, Richard, 1618-1657, English poet, Cavalier, playwright.

Mackay, Charles, 1814-1889, Scottish poet, journalist, novelist, and songwriter, remembered mainly for his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

Margetson, George Reginald, 1877-1952, Black poet, originally from Caribbean island of Saint Kitts. Immigrated to America at the age of 20.

McCrae, John, 1872-1918, Canadian physician, author, WWI poet.

McKay, Claude, 1890-1948, Black Jamaican-American writer and poet. Key figure in Harlem Renaissance.

Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950, American poet and playwright.

Moore, Thomas, 1779-1852, Irish poet.

Noyes, Alfred, 1880-1958, English poet, short story writer, novelist.

Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849, American poet, author of short stories of mystery and macabre, editor.

Rands, William Brighty, 1823-1882, English poet, reporter for Parliament, hymn writer.

Scott, Sir Walter, 1771-1832, Scottish poet, playwright, historian, author of numerous works of historical fiction.

Seeger, Alan, 1888-1916, American WW1, poet, died at the Battle of the Somme fighting with the French Foreign Legion. Brother of pacifist and musicologist Charles Seeger.

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616, English playwright and poet, master craftsman of the English language.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822, English romantic poet.

Sidney, Sir Philip, 1554-1586, English poet, courtier, and soldier in the Elizabethan age.

Sill, Edward Roland, 1841-1887, American poet, essayist, educator.

Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894, Scottish novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer.

Thayer, Ernest Lawrence, 1863-1940, American poet and author.

Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892, American poet, journalist, often called father of free verse.

Wordsworth, William, 1770-1850, English romantic poet.

Yeats, William Butler, 1865-1939, Irish poet, dramatist, writer, leading force behind Irish Literary Revival.

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