The Blessed Damozel | Poem| by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Blessed Damozel
by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The blessed damozel leaned out

From the gold bar of Heaven;

Her eyes were deeper than the depth

Of waters stilled at even;

She had three lilies in her hand,

And the stars in her hair were seven.

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,

No wrought flowers did adorn,

But a white rose of Mary’s gift,

For service meetly worn;

Her hair that lay along her back

Was yellow like ripe corn.

Herseemed she scarce had been a day

One of God’s choristers;

The wonder was not yet quite gone

From that still look of hers;

Albeit, to them she left, her day

Had counted as ten years.

(To one, it is ten years of years.

…Yet now, and in this place,

Surely she leaned o’er me -her hair

Fell all about my face…

Nothing: the autumn-fall of leaves.

The whole year sets apace.)

It was the rampart of God’s house

That she was standing on;

By God built over the sheer depth

The which is Space begun;

So high, that looking downward thence

She scarce could see the sun.

It lies in Heaven, across the flood

Of ether, as a bridge.

Beneath, the tides of day and night

With flame and darkness ridge

The void, as low as where this earth

Spins like a fretful midge.

Around her, lovers, newly met

Mid deathless love’s acclaims,

Spoke evermore among themselves

Their heart-remembered names;

And the souls mounting up to God

Went by her like thin flames.

And still she bowed herself and stooped

Out of the circling charm;

Until her bosom must have made

The bar she leaned on warm,

And the lilies lay as if asleep

Along her bended arm.

From the fixed place of Heaven she saw

Time like a pulse shake fierce

Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove

Within the gulf to pierce

Its path; and now she spoke as when

The stars sang in their spheres.

The sun was gone now; the curled moon

Was like a little feather

Fluttering far down the gulf; and now

She spoke through the still weather.

Her voice was like the voice the stars

Had when they sang together.

(Ah sweet! Even now, in that bird’s song,

Strove not her accents there,

Fain to be hearkened? When those bells

Possessed the midday air,

Strove not her steps to reach my side

Down all the echoing stair?)

“I wish that he were come to me,

For he will come,” she said.

“Have I not prayed in Heaven? -on earth,

Lord, Lord, has he not prayed?

Are not two prayers a perfect strength?

And shall I feel afraid?

“When round his head the aureole clings,

And he is clothed in white,

I’ll take his hand and go with him

To the deep wells of light;

As unto a stream we will step down,

And bathe there in God’s sight.

“We two will stand beside that shrine,

Occult, withheld, untrod,

Whose lamps are stirred continually

With prayer sent up to God;

And see our old prayers, granted, melt

Each like a little cloud.

“We two will lie i’ the shadow of

That living mystic tree

Within whose secret growth the Dove

Is sometimes felt to be,

While every leaf that His plumes touch

Saith His Name audibly.

“And I myself will teach to him,

I myself, lying so,

The songs I sing here; with his voice

Shall pause in, hushed and slow,

And find some knowledge at each pause,

Or some new thing to know.”

(Alas! we two, we two, thou sayst!

Yea, one wast thou with me

That once of old. But shall God lift

To endless unity

The soul whose likeness with thy soul

Was but its love for thee?)

“We two,” she said, “will seek the groves

Where the lady Mary is,

With her five handmaidens, whose names

Are five sweet symphonies,

Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen,

Margaret and Rosalys.

“Circlewise sit they, with bound locks

And foreheads garlanded;

Into the fine cloth white like flame

Weaving the golden thread,

To fashion the birth-robes for them

Who are just born, being dead.

“He shall fear, haply, and be dumb:

Then will I lay my cheek

To his, and tell about our love,

Not once abashed or weak:

And the dear Mother will approve

My pride, and let me speak.

“Herself shall bring us, hand in hand,

To Him round Whom all souls

Kneel, the clear-ranged unnumbered heads

Bowed with their aureoles:

And angels meeting us shall sing

To their citherns and citoles.

“There will I ask of Christ the Lord

Thus much for him and me: –

Only to live as once on earth

With Love, -only to be,

As then awhile, for ever now

Together, I and he.”

She gazed and listened and then said,

Less sad of speech than mild, –

“All this is when he comes.” She ceased.

The light thrilled towards her, filled

With angels in strong level flight.

Her eyes prayed, and she smiled.

(I saw her smile.) But soon their path

Was vague in distant spheres:

And then she cast her arms along

The golden barriers,

And laid her face between her hands,

And wept. (I heard her tears.)

Sonnets 04: Only Until This Cigarette Is Ended | Poem| by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sonnets 04: Only Until This Cigarette Is Ended
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Only until this cigarette is ended,

A little moment at the end of all,

While on the floor the quiet ashes fall,

And in the firelight to a lance extended,

Bizarrely with the jazzing music blended,

The broken shadow dances on the wall,

I will permit my memory to recall

The vision of you, by all my dreams attended.

And then adieu,—farewell!—the dream is done.

Yours is a face of which I can forget

The color and the features, every one,

The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;

But in your day this moment is the sun

Upon a hill, after the sun has set.

Mending Wall | Poem| by Robert Frost

Mending Wall
by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair

Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,

One on a side. It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it

Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offense.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,

But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father’s saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’

The Morse Code of the Heart | Poem| by Diane Ackerman

The Morse Code of the Heart
by Diane Ackerman

Poems arrive as meteorites.

Collecting them, I try my best to impart

impulses, the Morse code of the heart,

but I do not understand the vernacular

of fear that jostles me until art occurs,

or why knowing you from afar

spurs hours of working myself into the stars.

Well, I do know, but I fight its common sense:

I try to stabilize us through eloquence.

It’s an old story, better told than I tell,

how artists shape what hurts like hell

(usually love) into separate empires

of lust, tenderness, and lesser desires