POESY

po·e·sy n. pl. po·e·sies 1. Poetical works; poetry. 2. The art or practice of composing poems. 3. The inspiration involved in composing poetry. [Middle English poesie, from Old French, from Latin posis, from Greek poisis, from poiein, to create; see kwei-2 in Indo-European roots.]

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

December Poems 2




Christopher Pearse Cranch 

March 8, 1813 -- January 20, 1892


December

No more the scarlet maples flash and burn
Their beacon-fires from hilltop and from plain;
The meadow-grasses and the woodland fern
In the bleak woods lie withered once again.

The trees stand bare, and bare each stony scar
Upon the cliffs; half frozen glide the rills;
The steel-blue river like a scimitar
Lies cold and curved between the dusky hills.

Over the upland farm I take my walk,
And miss the flaunting flocks of golden-rod;
Each autumn flower a dry and leafless stalk,
Each Mossy field a track of frozen sod.

I hear no more the robin's summer song
Through the gray network of the wintry woods;
Only the cawing crows that all day long
Clamor about the windy solitudes.

Like agate stones upon earth's frozen breast,
The little pools of ice lie round and still;
While sullen clouds shut downward east and west
In marble ridges stretched from hill to hill.

Come once again, O southern wind,-once more
Come with they wet wings flapping at my pane;
Ere snow-drifts pile their mounds about my door,
One parting dream of summer bring again.

Ah, no! I hear the windows rattle fast;
I see the first flakes of the gathering snow,
That dance and whirl before the northern blast.
No countermand the march of days can know.

December drops no weak, relenting tear,
By our fond summer sympathies ensnared;
Nor from the perfect circle of the year
Can even winter's crystal gems be spared.




Helen Hunt Jackson  

October 18, 1830 –  August 12, 1885


A Calendar of Sonnets: December

The lakes of ice gleam bluer than the lakes
Of water 'neath the summer sunshine gleamed:
Far fairer than when placidly it streamed,
The brook its frozen architecture makes,
And under bridges white its swift way takes.
Snow comes and goes as messenger who dreamed
Might linger on the road; or one who deemed
His message hostile gently for their sakes
Who listened might reveal it by degrees.
We gird against the cold of winter wind
Our loins now with mighty bands of sleep,
In longest, darkest nights take rest and ease,
And every shortening day, as shadows creep
O'er the brief noontide, fresh surprises find.




Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell  

September 7, 1887 -  December 9, 1964


When Cold December

When cold December
Froze to grisamber
The jangling bells on the sweet rose-trees--
Then fading slow
And furred is the snow
As the almond's sweet husk--
And smelling like musk.
The snow amygdaline
Under the eglantine
Where the bristling stars shine
Like a gilt porcupine--
The snow confesses
The little Princesses
On their small chioppines
Dance under the orpines.
See the casuistries
Of their slant fluttering eyes--
Gilt as the zodiac
(Dancing Herodiac).
Only the snow slides
Like gilded myrrh--
From the rose-branches--hides
Rose-roots that stir.



William Cullen Bryant  

November 3, 1794 – June 12, 1878 


The Twenty-Second Of December

Wild was the day; the wintry sea
Moaned sadly on New-England's strand,
When first the thoughtful and the free,
Our fathers, trod the desert land.

They little thought how pure a light,
With years, should gather round that day;
How love should keep their memories bright,
How wide a realm their sons should sway.

Green are their bays; but greener still
Shall round their spreading fame be wreathed,
And regions, now untrod, shall thrill
With reverence when their names are breathed.

Till where the sun, with softer fires,
Looks on the vast Pacific's sleep,
The children of the pilgrim sires
This hallowed day like us shall keep.




Anna Seward  

December 12, 1747 – March 25, 1809


December Morning

I love to rise ere gleams the tardy light,
Winter's pale dawn; and as warm fires illume,
And cheerful tapers shine around the room,
Through misty windows bend the musing sight
Where, round the dusky lawn, the mansions white,
With shutters closed, peer faintly through the gloom,
That slow recedes; while yon gray spires assume,
Rising from their dark pile, an added height
By indistinctness given. Then to decree
The grateful thoughts to God, ere they unfold
To friendship or the Muse, or seek with glee
Wisdom's rich page. Oh, hours more worth than gold
By whose blest use we lengthen life, and, free
From drear decays of age, outlive the old.




Robert Fuller Murray  

December 26,1863 - 1894
 


A December Day

Blue, blue is the sea to-day,
Warmly the light
Sleeps on St. Andrews Bay --
Blue, fringed with white.

That's no December sky!
Surely 'tis June
Holds now her state on high,
Queen of the noon.

Only the tree-tops bare
Crowning the hill,
Clear-cut in perfect air,
Warn us that still

Winter, the aged chief,
Mighty in power,
Exiles the tender leaf,
Exiles the flower.

Is there a heart to-day,
A heart that grieves
For flowers that fade away,
For fallen leaves?

Oh, not in leaves or flowers
Endures the charm
That clothes those naked towers
With love-light warm.

O dear St. Andrews Bay,
Winter or Spring
Gives not nor takes away
Memories that cling

All round thy girdling reefs,
That walk thy shore,
Memories of joys and griefs
Ours evermore.


    
Ina D. Coolbrith
March 10, 1841 – February 29, 1928



December

Now the Summer all is over!
We have wandered through the clover,
We Have plucked in wood and lea
Blue-bell and anemone.

We were children of the Sun,
Very brown to look upon;
We were stained, hands and lips,
With the berries’ juicy tips.

And I think that we may know
Where the rankest nettles grow,
And where oak and ivy weave
Crimson glories to deceive.

Now the merry days are over!
Woodland-tenants seek their cover,
And the swallow leaves again
For his castle-nests in Spain.

Shut the door, and close the blind:
We shall have the bitter wind,
We shall have the dreary rain
Striving, driving at the pane.

Send the ruddy fire-light higher;
Draw your easy chair up nigher;
Through the winter, bleak and chill,
We may have our summer still.

Here are poems we may read—
Pleasant fancies to our need.
Ah, eternal Summer-time,
Dwells within the Poet’s rhyme!

All the birds’ sweet melodies
Linger in these songs of his;
And the blossoms of all ages
Waft their fragrance from his pages.




--Cat

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December Poems





Samuel Taylor Coleridge
October 21, 1772 -- July 25, 1834


Come, come thou bleak December wind (fragment)

Come, come thou bleak December wind,
And blow the dry leaves from the tree!
Flash, like a Love-thought, thro' me, Death
And take a Life that wearies me.




     
Percy Bysshe Shelley

August 4, 1792 -- July 8, 1822


Song. Cold, Cold Is The Blast When December Is Howling

Cold, cold is the blast when December is howling,
Cold are the damps on a dying man's brow,--
Stern are the seas when the wild waves are rolling,
And sad is the grave where a loved one lies low;
But colder is scorn from the being who loved thee,
More stern is the sneer from the friend who has proved thee,
More sad are the tears when their sorrows have moved thee,
Which mixed with groans anguish and wild madness flow--

And ah! poor — has felt all this horror,
Full long the fallen victim contended with fate:
‘Till a destitute outcast abandoned to sorrow,
She sought her babe's food at her ruiner's gate--
Another had charmed the remorseless betrayer,
He turned laughing aside from her moans and her prayer,
She said nothing, but wringing the wet from her hair,
Crossed the dark mountain side, though the hour it was late.
'Twas on the wild height of the dark Penmanmawr,
That the form of the wasted -- reclined;
She shrieked to the ravens that croaked from afar,
And she sighed to the gusts of the wild sweeping wind.--
I call not yon rocks where the thunder peals rattle,
I call not yon clouds where the elements battle,
But thee, cruel -- I call thee unkind!'--

Then she wreathed in her hair the wild flowers of the mountain,
And deliriously laughing, a garland entwined,
She bedewed it with tears, then she hung o'er the fountain,
And leaving it, cast it a prey to the wind.
'Ah! go,' she exclaimed, 'when the tempest is yelling,
'Tis unkind to be cast on the sea that is swelling,
But I left, a pitiless outcast, my dwelling,
My garments are torn, so they say is my mind--'

Not long lived --, but over her grave
Waved the desolate form of a storm-blasted yew,
Around it no demons or ghosts dare to rave,
But spirits of peace steep her slumbers in dew.
Then stay thy swift steps mid the dark mountain heather,
Though chill blow the wind and severe is the weather,
For perfidy, traveller! cannot bereave her,
Of the tears, to the tombs of the innocent due.--

JULY, 1810.





John Keats
October 31, 1795 – February 23, 1821


In Drear-Nighted December

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would 'twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.





Robert Southey
August 12, 1774 -- March 21, 1843


Ode Written On The First Of December

Tho' now no more the musing ear
Delights to listen to the breeze
That lingers o'er the green wood shade,
 I love thee Winter! well.

Sweet are the harmonies of Spring,
Sweet is the summer's evening gale,
Pleasant the autumnal winds that shake
 The many-colour'd grove.

And pleasant to the sober'd soul
The silence of the wintry scene,
When Nature shrouds her in her trance

Not undelightful now to roam
The wild heath sparkling on the sight;
Not undelightful now to pace
 The forest's ample rounds;

And see the spangled branches shine,
And mark the moss of many a hue
That varies the old tree's brown bark,
 Or o'er the grey stone spreads.

The cluster'd berries claim the eye
O'er the bright hollies gay green leaves,
The ivy round the leafless oak
 Clasps its full foliage close.

So VIRTUE diffident of strength
Clings to RELIGION'S firmer aid,
And by RELIGION'S aid upheld
 Endures calamity.

Nor void of beauties now the spring,
Whose waters hid from summer sun
Have sooth'd the thirsty pilgrim's ear
 With more than melody.

The green moss shines with icey glare,
The long grass bends its spear-like form,
And lovely is the silvery scene
 When faint the sunbeams smile.

Reflection too may love the hour
When Nature, hid in Winter's grave,
No more expands the bursting bud
 Or bids the flowret bloom.

For Nature soon in Spring's best charms
Shall rise reviv'd from Winter's grave.
Again expand the bursting bud,
 And bid the flowret bloom.


     



Hilaire Belloc  
July 27, 1870 –  July 16, 1953


[Month of] December

Hoar Time about the house betakes him slow,
Seeking an entry for his weariness.
And in that dreadful company distress
And the sad night with silent footsteps go.
On my poor fire the brands are scarce aglow,
And in the woods without what memories press
Where, waning in the trees from less to less,
Mysterious bangs the hom6d moon and low.

For now December, full of aged care,
Comes in upon the yea and weakly grieves;
Mumbling his lost desires and his despair; .
And with mad trembling hand still interweaves,
The dank sear flower-stalks tangled in his hair,
While round about him whirl the rotten leaves.






William Stanley Merwin 
September 30, 1927


December Night

The cold slope is standing in darkness
But the south of the trees is dry to the touch

The heavy limbs climb into the moonlight bearing feathers
I came to watch these
White plants older at night
The oldest
Come first to the ruins

And I hear magpies kept awake by the moon
The water flows through its
Own fingers without end

Tonight once more
I find a single prayer and it is not for men



    


John Clare  
July 13, 1793 – May 20, 1864


December

While snow the window-panes bedim,
The fire curls up a sunny charm,
Where, creaming o'er the pitcher's rim,
The flowering ale is set to warm;
Mirth, full of joy as summer bees,
Sits there, its pleasures to impart,
And children, 'tween their parent's knees,
Sing scraps of carols o'er by heart.

And some, to view the winter weathers,
Climb up the window-seat with glee,
Likening the snow to falling feathers,
In fancy infant ecstasy;
Laughing, with superstitious love,
O'er visions wild that youth supplies,
Of people pulling geese above,
And keeping Christmas in the skies.

As tho' the homestead trees were drest,
In lieu of snow, with dancing leaves,
As tho' the sun-dried martin's nest,
Instead of ickles, hung the eaves,
The children hail the happy day -
As if the snow were April's grass,
And pleas'd, as 'neath the warmth of May,
Sport o'er the water froze as glass.



--Cat