DayPoems: A Seven-Century Poetry Slam
93,142 lines of verse * www.daypoems.net
Timothy Bovee, editor


At Gibraltar

George Edward Woodberry

1855-1930



I

England, I stand on thy imperial ground,
Not all a stranger; as thy bugles blow,
I feel within my blood old battles flow --
The blood whose ancient founts in thee are found
Still surging dark against the Christian bound
Wide Islam presses; well its peoples know
Thy heights that watch them wandering below;
I think how Lucknow heard their gathering sound.
I turn, and meet the cruel, turbaned face.
England, 't is sweet to be so much thy son!
I feel the conqueror in my blood and race;
Last night Trafalgar awed me, and to-day
Gibraltar wakened; hark, thy evening gun
Startles the desert over Africa!

II

Thou art the rock of empire, set mid-seas
Between the East and West, that God has built;
Advance thy Roman borders where thou wilt,
While run thy armies true with His decrees.
Law, justice, liberty -- great gifts are these;
Watch that they spread where English blood is spilt,
Lest, mixed and sullied with his country's guilt,
The soldier's life-stream flow, and Heaven displease!
Two swords there are: one naked, apt to smite,
Thy blade of war; and, battle-storied, one
Rejoices in the sheath, and hides from light.
American I am; would wars were done!
Now westward, look, my country bids good-night --
Peace to the world from ports without a gun!




To Be a Unicorn

Janet Tedford

21st Century



Sometimes I often wonder was I
at one time or another a unicorn running wild and free
in a land of unicorns oh so very far away
if I was I wish I was one again
oh to run wild and free with others would be a joy
I would love to become a unicorn once again
a dream come true for me and for you




To His Coy Mistress

Andrew Marvell

1621-1678



HAD we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave 's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.




The Dreamer

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay

1879-1931



"~Why do you seek the sun,
In your Bubble-Crown ascending?
Your chariot will melt to mist,
Your crown will have an ending.~"
"Nay, sun is but a Bubble,
Earth is a whiff of Foam --
To my caves on the coast of Thule
Each night I call them home.
Thence Faiths blow forth to angels
And Loves blow forth to men --
They break and turn to nothing
And I make them whole again:
On the crested waves of chaos
I ride them back reborn:
New stars I bring at evening
For those that burst at morn:
My soul is the wind of Thule
And evening is the sign,
The sun is but a Bubble,
A fragile child of mine."




Mater Dolorosa

William Barnes

1801-1886



I'D a dream to-night
As I fell asleep,
O! the touching sight
Makes me still to weep:
Of my little lad,
Gone to leave me sad,
Ay, the child I had,
But was not to keep.

As in heaven high,
I my child did seek,
There in train came by
Children fair and meek,
Each in lily white,
With a lamp alight;
Each was clear to sight,
But they did not speak.

Then, a little sad,
Came my child in turn,
But the lamp he had,
O it did not burn!
He, to clear my doubt,
Said, half turn'd about,
'Your tears put it out;
Mother, never mourn.'




Phillis 1

Thomas Lodge

1556?-1625



MY Phillis hath the morning sun
At first to look upon her;
And Phillis hath morn-waking birds
Her risings still to honour.
My Phillis hath prime-feather'd flowers,
That smile when she treads on them;
And Phillis hath a gallant flock,
That leaps since she doth own them.
But Phillis hath too hard a heart,
Alas that she should have it!
It yields no mercy to desert,
Nor grace to those that crave it.




The Enchantment

Thomas Otway

1652-1685



I DID but look and love awhile,
'Twas but for one half-hour;
Then to resist I had no will,
And now I have no power.

To sigh and wish is all my ease;
Sighs which do heat impart
Enough to melt the coldest ice,
Yet cannot warm your heart.

O would your pity give my heart
One corner of your breast,
'Twould learn of yours the winning art,
And quickly steal the rest.




Time and Grief

William Lisle Bowles

1762-1850



O TIME! who know'st a lenient hand to lay
Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence
(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
The faint pang stealest unperceived away;
On thee I rest my only hope at last,
And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
I may look back on every sorrow past,
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile:
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour,
Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient shower
Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while:--
Yet ah! how much must this poor heart endure,
Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure!




The Great Hunt

Carl Sandburg

1878-1967



I cannot tell you now;
When the wind's drive and whirl
Blow me along no longer,
And the wind's a whisper at last --
Maybe I'll tell you then --
some other time.

When the rose's flash to the sunset
Reels to the wrack and the twist,
And the rose is a red bygone,
When the face I love is going
And the gate to the end shall clang,
And it's no use to beckon or say, "So long" --
Maybe I'll tell you then --
some other time.

I never knew any more beautiful than you:
I have hunted you under my thoughts,
I have broken down under the wind
And into the roses looking for you.
I shall never find any
greater than you.




The Buried City

George Sylvester Viereck

1884-1962



My heart is like a city of the gay
Reared on the ruins of a perished one
Wherein my dead loves cower from the sun,
White-swathed like kings, the Pharaohs of a day.
Within the buried city stirs no sound,
Save for the bat, forgetful of the rod,
Perched on the knee of some deserted god,
And for the groan of rivers underground.

Stray not, my Love, 'mid the sarcophagi --
Tempt not the silence, for the fates are deep,
Lest all the dreamers, deeming doomsday nigh,
Leap forth in terror from their haunted sleep;
And like the peal of an accursed bell
Thy voice call ghosts of dead things back from hell.




O sleep, my Babe

Sara Coleridge

1802-1850



O SLEEP, my babe, hear not the rippling wave,
Nor feel the breeze that round thee ling'ring strays
To drink thy balmy breath,
And sigh one long farewell.

Soon shall it mourn above thy wat'ry bed,
And whisper to me, on the wave-beat shore,
Deep murm'ring in reproach,
Thy sad untimely fate.

Ere those dear eyes had open'd on the light,
In vain to plead, thy coming life was sold,
O waken'd but to sleep,
Whence it can wake no more!

A thousand and a thousand silken leaves
The tufted beech unfolds in early spring,
All clad in tenderest green,
All of the self-same shape:

A thousand infant faces, soft and sweet,
Each year sends forth, yet every mother views
Her last not least beloved
Like its dear self alone.

No musing mind hath ever yet foreshaped
The face to-morrow's sun shall first reveal,
No heart hath e'er conceived
What love that face will bring.

O sleep, my babe, nor heed how mourns the gale
To part with thy soft locks and fragrant breath,
As when it deeply sighs
O'er autumn's latest bloom.




Red Roses

Anne Christian

21st Century



These red tears run down my wrists, falling onto a forgotten floor, laying in a pool of lost hope.
And it could have been a maddened angel who stole the virgins fate. No one will ever know, because no one ever cared.
And these red petals will continue to fill my outstretched palms, the thorns my back.
And I will transcend into oblivion, nothing more than an evaporating mist.