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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Saturday, July 22, 2017

July 22 – Emma Lazarus

                 Emma Lazarus  July 22, 1849 – November 19, 1887

New York born  American Jewish poet best known for "The New Colossus" written in 1883. In 1912 the lines from her poem were used on a bronze plaque on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. 

    1492 by Emma Lazarus

    Thou two-faced year, Mother of Change and Fate,
    Didst weep when Spain cast forth with flaming sword,
    The children of the prophets of the Lord,
    Prince, priest, and people, spurned by zealot hate.
    Hounded from sea to sea, from state to state,
    The West refused them, and the East abhorred.
    No anchorage the known world could afford,
    Close-locked was every port, barred every gate.
    Then smiling, thou unveil'dst, O two-faced year,
    A virgin world where doors of sunset part,
    Saying, "Ho, all who weary, enter here!
    There falls each ancient barrier that the art
    Of race or creed or rank devised, to rear
    Grim bulwarked hatred between heart and heart!"

    Autumn Sadness by Emma Lazarus

    Air and sky are swathed in gold
    Fold on fold,
    Light glows through the trees like wine.
    Earth, sun-quickened, swoons for bliss
    'Neath his kiss,
    Breathless in a trance divine.

    Nature pauses from her task,
    Just to bask
    In these lull'd transfigured hours.
    The green leaf nor stays nor goes,
    But it grows
    Royaler than mid-June's flowers.

    Such impassioned silence fills
    All the hills
    Burning with unflickering fire-
    Such a blood-red splendor stains
    The leaves' veins,
    Life seems one fulfilled desire.

    While earth, sea, and heavens shine,
    Heart of mine,
    Say, what art thou waiting for?
    Shall the cup ne'er reach the lip,
    But still slip
    Till the life-long thirst give o'er?

    Shall my soul, no frosts may tame,
    Catch new flame
    From the incandescent air?
    In this nuptial joy apart,
    Oh my heart,
    Whither shall we lonely fare?
    Seek some dusky, twilight spot,
    Quite forgot
    Of the Autumn's Bacchic fire.
    Where soft mists and shadows sleep,
    There outweep
    Barren longing's vain desire.

    Idyl by Emma Lazarus
    The swallows made twitter incessant,
    The thrushes were wild with their mirth.
    The ways and the woods were made pleasant,
    And the flowering nooks of the earth.
    And the sunshine sufficed to rejoice me,
    And the air was as bracing as wine,
    And the sky and the shadows and grasses
    Were enough to make living divine.

    Then I saw on the ground two gray robins,
    One with glorious flame-colored vest,
    'Neath the shade of some delicate bluebells,
    By the breeze of the morning caressed.
    They were singing of love in the shadow;
    She was bashful, and modest, and coy,
    And he sang to her tenderest love-songs,
    And madrigals full of his joy.

    And his song came forth clearer and clearer,
    With each passionate, musical note;
    Like the ripple of silvery waters,
    It gushed from his beautiful throat.
    His whole little bird-soul he offers,—
    Ah! she listens to him as he sings:
    Then he ceases, awaiting her answer,
    With bright eyes and with quivering wings.

    And I, too, stood awaiting it, breathless,
    For his song was too sweet to disdain,
    Till it came, little notes full of gladness,
    With a plaintive and tender refrain.
    And the songs died away in the distance,
    And the forest alone heard the rest,
    As the two little lovers flew upward,
    To build them together a nest.

    Morning by Emma Lazarus

    GRAY-VESTED Dawn, with flameless, tranquil eye,
    Cool hands, and dewy lips, is in the sky,
    A sober nun, with starry rosary.

    With eyes downcast and with uplifted palm,
    She seems to whisper now her silent psalm;
    Beneath her gaze the sleeping earth is calm.

    Her prayer is ended, and she riseth slow,
    And o'er the hills she quietly doth go,
    Noiseless and gentle as the midnight snow.

    Then suddenly the pale-east blushes red,
    The flowers to see upraise a sleepy head,
    The rosy colors deepen, grow, and spread.

    A cool breeze whispers: 'She is coming now!'
    And then the radiant colors burn and glow,
    The white cast blushes over cheek and brow,

    And glorious on the hills the Morning stands,
    Her saffron hair back-blown from rosy bands,
    And light and joy and fragrance in her hands.

    Her foot has touched the hill-tops, and they shine;
    She comes,— the willow rustles and the pine;
    She smiles upon the fields a smile divine,

    And all the earth smiles back; from mount to vale,
    From oak to shuddering grass, from glen to dale,
    Wet fields and flowers and glistening brooks cry


    Song by Emma Lazarus


    Frosty lies the winter-landscape,
    In the twilight golden-green.
    Down the Park's deserted alleys,
    Naked elms stand stark and lean.

    Dumb the murmur of the fountain,
    Birds have flown from lawn and hill.
    But while yonder star's ascendant,
    Love triumphal reigneth still.

    See the keen flame throb and tremble,
    Brightening in the darkening night,
    Breathing like a thing of passion,
    In the sky's smooth chrysolite.

    Not beneath the moon, oh lover,
    Thou shalt gain thy heart's desire.
    Speak to-night! The gods are with thee
    Burning with a kindred fire.


–– Cat



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