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Poems About Poetry

Table of Contents

  1. Rhyming by Anonymous
  2. The Spirit of Poetry by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  3. I Broke the Spell That Held Me Long by William Cullen Bryant
  4. The Poet by Raymond Garfield Dandridge
  5. Poetry by James McIntyre
  6. Beauty and Truth by Ruby Archer
  7. The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  8. At the Mermaid Cafeteria by Christopher Morley
  9. Thoughts While Packing a Trunk by Christopher Morley
  10. Only a Simple Rhyme by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  11. The Poet on the Hearth by Christopher Morley

  1. Rhyming

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Dear words, alike yet deftly different,
    Sing me the joy of rhyming everywhere,
    Sing me the leaves the poet-tree doth bear,
    One thought through many a matching variance sent.
    Sing me the clouds by minstrel breezes blent,
    Sisters that one white robe diversely wear.
    Sing, with cleft chord attuned, the rhyming rare
    Of master's hand on some rich instrument
    And hither dance, twin sisters, of a height.
    Twin miracles of mated loveliness.
    Yet in the eyes of each her own dear light,
    And on her lips a differing caress.
    Come, dancing words, this delicate, fair sight
    Be shrewd in rhymed divergence to express.

  2. The Spirit of Poetry

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    There is a quiet spirit in these woods,
    That dwells where'er the south wind blows;
    Where, underneath the white-thorn, in the glade,
    The wild flowers bloom, or, kissing the soft air,
    The leaves above their sunny palms outspread.
    With what a tender and impassion'd voice
    It fills the nice and delicate ear of thought,
    When the fast-ushering star of morning comes
    O'er-riding the gray hills with golden scarf;
    Or when the cowl'd and dusky-sandaled Eve,
    In mourning weeds, from out the western gate,
    Departs with silent pace! That spirit moves
    In the green valley, where the silver brook,
    From its full laver, pours the white cascade;
    And, babbling low amid the tangled woods,
    Slips down through moss-grown stones with endless laughter.
    And frequent, on the everlasting hills,
    Its feet go forth, when it doth wrap itself
    In all the dark embroidery of the storm,
    And shouts the stern, strong wind. And here, amid
    The silent majesty of these deep woods,
    Its presence shall uplift thy thoughts from earth,
    As to the sunshine, and the pure bright air,
    Their tops the green trees lift. Hence gifted bards
    Have ever loved the calm and quiet shades.
    For them there was an eloquent voice in all
    The sylvan pomp of woods, the golden sun,
    The flowers, the leaves, the river on its way,
    Blue skies, and silver clouds, and gentle winds;
    The swelling upland, where the sidelong sun
    Aslant the wooded slope at evening goes;
    Groves, through whose broken roof the sky looks in;
    Mountain, and shatter'd cliff, and sunny vale,
    The distant lake, fountains, and mighty trees,
    In many a lazy syllable, repeating
    Their old poetical legends to the wind.

    And this is the sweet spirit that doth fill
    The world; and, in these wayward days of youth,
    My busy fancy oft imbodies it,
    As the bright image of the light and beauty
    That dwell in nature, of the heavenly forms
    We worship in our dreams, and the soft hues
    That stain the wild-bird's wing, and flush the clouds
    When the sun sets. Within her eye
    The heaven of April, with its changing light,
    And when it wears the blue of May, is hung,
    And on her lip the rich red rose. Her hair
    Is like the summer tresses of the trees,
    When twilight makes them brown, and on her cheek
    Blushes the richness of an autumn sky,
    With ever-shifting beauty. Then her breath,
    It is so like the gentle air of Spring,
    As, from the morning's dewy flowers, it comes
    Full of their fragrance, that it is a joy
    To have it round us, and her silver voice
    Is the rich music of a summer bird,
    Heard in the still night, with its passionate cadence.

  3. I Broke the Spell That Held Me Long

    by William Cullen Bryant

    I broke the spell that held me long,
    The dear, dear witchery of song.
    I said, the poet’s idle lore
    Shall waste my prime of years no more,
    For Poetry, though heavenly born,
    Consorts with poverty and scorn.

    I broke the spell–nor deemed its power
    Could fetter me another hour.
    Ah, thoughtless! how could I forget
    Its causes were around me yet?
    For wheresoe’er I looked, the while,
    Was Nature’s everlasting smile.

    Still came and lingered on my sight
    Of flowers and streams the bloom and light,
    And glory of the stars and sun; —
    And these and poetry are one.
    They, ere the world had held me long,
    Recalled me to the love of song.

  4. The Poet

    by Raymond Garfield Dandridge

    The poet sits and dreams and dreams;
    He scans his verse; he probes his themes.

    Then turns to stretch or stir about,
    Lest, like his thoughts, his strength give out.

    Then off to bed, for he must rise
    And cord some wood, or tamp some ties,

    Or break a field of fertile soil,
    Or do some other manual toil.

    He dare not live by wage of pen,
    Most poorly paid of poor paid men,

    With shoes o'er-run, and thread bare clothes,
    And editors among the foes

    Who mock his song, deny him bread,
    Then sing his praise when he is dead.

  5. Poetry

    by James McIntyre

    Poetry to us is given,
    As stars beautify the Heaven,
    Or, as the sunbeams when they gleam,
    Sparkling so bright upon the stream,
    And the poetry of motion
    Is ship sailing o'er the ocean;
    Or, when the bird doth graceful fly,
    Seeming to float upon the sky,
    For poetry is the pure cream,
    And essence of the common theme.

    Poetic thoughts the mind doth fill,
    When on broad plain to view a hill,
    On barren heath how it doth cheer,
    To see in distance herd of deer,
    And poetry breathes in each flower,
    Nourished by the gentle shower,
    In song of birds upon the trees,
    And humming of busy bees,
    'Tis solace for the ills of life,
    A soothing of the jars and strife,
    For poets feel 'tis a duty
    To sing of both worth and beauty.

  6. Beauty and Truth

    by Ruby Archer

    I walk in stately mansions
    The great are kind to me
    They find perhaps within my verse
    A tang of novelty

    If beauty gilds my rhyming,
    How quickly they applaud;
    But when the iron clamps my line,
    Their thoughts are all abroad.

    Ah! Beauty—I adore it,
    And hold it ardently;
    Yet beauty is a bloom that dies—
    The truth is more to me.

    How oft the truth refuses
    To bend in singing smooth;
    For thoughts uprooted from the soul
    Come rugged and uncouth.

  7. The Day is Done

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    The day is done, and the darkness
    Falls from the wings of Night,
    As a feather is wafted downward
    From an eagle in his flight.

    I see the lights of the village
    Gleam through the rain and the mist,
    And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
    That my soul cannot resist:

    A feeling of sadness and longing,
    That is not akin to pain,
    And resembles sorrow only
    As the mist resembles the rain.

    Come, read to me some poem,
    Some simple and heartfelt lay,
    That shall soothe this restless feeling,
    And banish the thoughts of day.

    Not from the grand old masters,
    Not from the bards sublime,
    Whose distant footsteps echo
    Through the corridors of Time.

    For, like strains of martial music,
    Their mighty thoughts suggest
    Life's endless toil and endeavor;
    And to-night I long for rest.

    Read from some humbler poet,
    Whose songs gushed from his heart,
    As showers from the clouds of summer,
    Or tears from the eyelids start;

    Who, through long days of labor,
    And nights devoid of ease,
    Still heard in his soul the music
    Of wonderful melodies.

    Such songs have power to quiet
    The restless pulse of care,
    And come like the benediction
    That follows after prayer.

    Then read from the treasured volume
    The poem of thy choice,
    And lend to the rhyme of the poet
    The beauty of thy voice.

    And the night shall be filled with music,
    And the cares, that infest the day,
    Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
    And as silently steal away.

  8. At the Mermaid Cafeteria

    by Christopher Morley

    Truth is enough for prose:
    Calmly it goes
    To tell just what it knows.

    For verse, skill will suffice—
    Delicate, nice
    Casting of verbal dice.

    Poetry, men attain
    By subtler pain
    More flagrant in the brain—

    An honesty unfeigned,
    A heart unchained,
    A madness well restrained.

  9. Thoughts While Packing a Trunk

    by Christopher Morley

    The sonnet is a trunk, and you must pack
    With care, to ship frail baggage far away;
    The octet is the trunk; sestet, the tray;
    Tight, but not overloaded, is the knack.
    First, at the bottom, heavy thoughts you stack,
    And in the chinks your adjectives you lay—
    Your phrases, folded neatly as you may,
    Stowing a syllable in every crack.

    Then, in the tray, your daintier stuff is hid:
    The tender quatrain where your moral sings—
    Be careful, though, lest as you close the lid
    You crush and crumple all these fragile things.
    Your couplet snaps the hasps and turns the key—
    Ship to The Editor, marked C. O. D.

  10. Only a Simple Rhyme

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Only a simple rhyme of love and sorrow,
    Where "blisses" rhymed with "kisses," "heart," with "dart."
    Yet, reading it, new strength I seemed to borrow,
    To live on bravely, and to do my part.

    A little rhyme about a heart that's bleeding—
    Of lonely hours, and sorrow's unrelief.
    I smiled at first; but there came with the reading
    A sense of sweet companionship in grief.

    The selfishness of my own woe forsaking,
    I thought about the singer of that song.
    Some other breast felt this same weary aching,
    Another found the summer days too long.

    The few sad lines, my sorrow so expressing,
    I read, and on the singer, all unknown,
    I breathed a fervent, though a silent, blessing,
    And seemed to clasp his hand within my own.

    And though fame pass him, and he never know it,
    And though he never sings another strain,
    He has performed the mission of the poet,
    In helping some sad heart to bear its pain.

  11. The Poet on the Hearth

    by Christopher Morley

    When fire is kindled on the dogs,
    But still the stubborn oak delays,
    Small embers laid above the logs
    Will draw them into sudden blaze.

    Just so the minor poet's part:
    (A greater he need not desire)
    The charcoals of his burning heart
    May light some Master into fire!

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