If

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 on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe 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! Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)

Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white; Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk; Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font: The firefly wakens: waken thou with me. Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost, And like a ghost she glimmers on to me. Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars, And all thy heart lies open unto me. Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me. Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, And slips into the bosom of the lake: So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip Into my bosom and be lost in me. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 – 1892)

The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees Is my destroyer. And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose My youth is bent by the same wintry fever. The force that drives the water through the rocks Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams Turns mine to wax. And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind Hauls my shroud sail. And I am dumb to tell the hanging man How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head; Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood Shall calm her sores. And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm. by Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953)

Dive for Dreams
dive for dreams or a slogan may topple you (trees are their roots and wind is wind) trust your heart if the seas catch fire (and live by love though the stars walk backward) honour the past but welcome the future (and dance your death away at the wedding) never mind a world with its villains or heroes (for good likes girls and tomorrow and the earth) in spite of everything which breathes and moves, since Doom (with white longest hands neating each crease) will smooth entirely our minds -before leaving my room i turn, and (stooping through the morning) kiss this pillow, dear where our heads lived and were. silently if, out of not knowable silently if, out of not knowable night's utmost nothing,wanders a little guess (only which is this world)more my life does not leap than with the mystery your smile sings or if(spiralling as luminous they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams, less into heaven certainly earth swims than each my deeper death becomes your kiss losing through you what seemed myself,i find selves unimaginably mine;beyond sorrow's own joys and hoping's very fears yours is the light by which my spirit's born: yours is the darkness of my soul's return -you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars E. E. Cummings (1894 – 1962)

Ode: Intimations of Immortality
... X Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song! And let the young Lambs bound As to the tabor’s sound! We in thought will join your throng, Ye that pipe and ye that play, Ye that through your hearts to-day Feel the gladness of the May! What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now for ever taken from my sight, Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind; In the primal sympathy Which having been must ever be; In the soothing thoughts that spring Out of human suffering; In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind. ... William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)

The Dreaming Tree
Standing here The old man said to me "Long before these crowded streets Here stood my dreaming tree" Below it he would sit For hours at a time Now progress takes away What forever took to find Now he's falling hard He feels the falling dark How he longs to be Beneath his dreaming tree Conquered fear to climb A moment froze in time When the girl who first he kissed Promised him she'd be his Remembered mother's words There beneath the tree "No matter what the world You'll always be my baby" Mommy come quick The dreaming tree has died The air is growing thick A fear he cannot hide The dreaming tree has died Oh have you no pity This thing I do I do not deny it All through this smile As crooked as danger I do not deny I know in my mind I would leave you now If I had the strength to I would leave you up To your own devices Will you not talk Can you take pity I don't ask much But won't you speak Please From the start She knew she had it made Easy up 'til then For sure she'd make the grade Adorers came in hordes To lay down in her wake She gave it all she had

But treasures slowly fade Now she's falling hard She feels the fall of dark How did this fall apart She drinks to fill it up A smile of sweetest flowers Wilted so and soured Black tears stain the cheeks That once were so admired She thinks when she was small There on her father's knee How he had promised her "You'll always be my baby" "Daddy come quick The dreaming tree has died I can't find my way home There is no place to hide The dreaming tree has died" Oh if I had the strength to I would leave you up to your own devices will you not talk can you take pity I don't ask for much won't you speak please Take me back Save me please Dave Matthews

Saddest Poem
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars, and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance." The night wind whirls in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. On nights like this, I held her in my arms. I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her. How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her. To hear the immense night, more immense without her. And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass. What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her. The night is full of stars and she is not with me. That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away. My soul is lost without her. As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her. My heart searches for her and she is not with me. The same night that whitens the same trees. We, we who were, we are the same no longer. I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her. My voice searched the wind to touch her ear. Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once belonged to my kisses. Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her. Love is so short and oblivion so long. Because on nights like this I held her in my arms, my soul is lost without her. Although this may be the last pain she causes me, and this may be the last poem I write for her. Pablo Neruda (1904 – 1973)

My Inner Life
'Tis true my garments threadbare are, And sorry poor I seem; But inly I am richer far Than any poet's dream. For I've a hidden life no one Can ever hope to see; A sacred sanctuary none May share with me. Aloof I stand from out the strife, Within my heart a song; By virtue of my inner life I to myself belong. Against man-ruling I rebel, Yet do not fear defeat, For to my secret citadel I may retreat. Oh you who have an inner life Beyond this dismal day With wars and evil rumours rife, Go blessedly your way. Your refuge hold inviolate; Unto yourself be true, And shield serene from sordid fate The Real You. Robert Service (1874 – 1958)

Alone
From childhood's hour I have not been As others were; I have not seen As others saw; I could not bring My passions from a common spring. From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I loved, I loved alone. Then- in my childhood, in the dawn Of a most stormy life- was drawn From every depth of good and ill The mystery which binds me still: From the torrent, or the fountain, From the red cliff of the mountain, From the sun that round me rolled In its autumn tint of gold, From the lightning in the sky As it passed me flying by, From the thunder and the storm, And the cloud that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view. Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849)

She Walks in Beauty
She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o'er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express How pure, how dear their dwelling place. And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent! George Gordon, lord Byron (1788–1824)

Sonnet XLV (Don't Go Far Off, Not Even For A Day)
Don’t go far off, not even for a day, becausebecause-I don’t know how to say it: a day is long and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep. Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because then the little drops of anguish will all run together, the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift into me, choking my lost heart. Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach; may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance. Don’t leave me for a second, my dearest, because in that moment you’ll have gone so far I’ll wander mazily over all the earth, asking, Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying? Pablo Neruda (1904 – 1973)

Annabel Lee
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 loveI and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this 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 highborn kinsman 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 meYes!- that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came 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 who were older than weOf many far wiser than weAnd 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 the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea. Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849)

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. And you, my father, there on that sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. by Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953)

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and II took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. by Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

Nude Descending a Staircase
Toe after toe, a snowing flesh, a gold of lemon, root and rind, she sifts in sunlight down the stairs with nothing on. Nor on her mind. We spy beneath the banister a constant thresh of thigh on thigh; her lips imprint the swinging air that parts to let her parts go by. One-woman waterfall, she wears her slow descent like a long cape and pausing on the final stair, collects her motions into shape. by X J Kennedy

Funeral Blues
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead. Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun, Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods; For nothing now can ever come to any good. W.H. Auden (1907 – 1973)

Lovesong
He loved her and she loved him. His kisses sucked out her whole past and future or tried to He had no other appetite She bit him she gnawed him she sucked She wanted him complete inside her Safe and sure forever and ever Their little cries fluttered into the curtains Her eyes wanted nothing to get away Her looks nailed down his hands his wrists his elbows He gripped her hard so that life Should not drag her from that moment He wanted all future to cease He wanted to topple with his arms round her Off that moment's brink and into nothing Or everlasting or whatever there was Her embrace was an immense press To print him into her bones His smiles were the garrets of a fairy palace Where the real world would never come Her smiles were spider bites So he would lie still till she felt hungry His words were occupying armies Her laughs were an assassin's attempts His looks were bullets daggers of revenge His glances were ghosts in the corner with horrible secrets His whispers were whips and jackboots Her kisses were lawyers steadily writing His caresses were the last hooks of a castaway Her love-tricks were the grinding of locks And their deep cries crawled over the floors Like an animal dragging a great trap His promises were the surgeon's gag Her promises took the top off his skull She would get a brooch made of it His vows pulled out all her sinews He showed her how to make a love-knot Her vows put his eyes in formalin At the back of her secret drawer Their screams stuck in the wall Their heads fell apart into sleep like the two halves Of a lopped melon, but love is hard to stop In their entwined sleep they exchanged arms and legs In their dreams their brains took each other hostage In the morning they wore each other's face Ted Hughes (1930 – 1998)

Invictus
Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)

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