Fate

F
Sonnet for Angelo Monterosa by Jack Agüeros
Jack Agüeros
Monterosa, your body is dead on Avenue A. Angelo,
They found you eyes open staring at the beer
Soaked floorboards. Did you want that? Did
You mind them filling your back with buckshot?

Angelo, I am angry with them all, and you Monterosa
Killed and killers, killing and dealing dope. No good
You were, no good they are. Still, I wish their fate
To be bodies stacking under the same blue smoke.
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Long, too long America by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn'd from joys andprosperity only,
But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing, grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,
And now to conceive and show to the world what your childrenen-masse really are,
(For who except myself has yet conceiv'd what your children en-masse really are?)
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Crate by Francis Ponge
Francis Ponge
Halfway between crib and cage the French language puts crate, a simple slatted box for transporting those fruits that fall ill at the least lack of air.

Built in such a way that it can be broken down effortlessly after use, it is never used twice. It is really more perishable than the deliquescing foodstuffs that it carries.

On the corners of streets that lead to the markets, it gleams like white wood without wood’s vanity. Still very new, and slightly surprised to find itself in this awkward position, having been thrown into the gutter without hope of retrieval, it remains a most likable object on whose fate we will not dwell for long.
Translated from the French
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A Child is Something Else Again by Yehuda Amichai
Yehuda Amichai
A child is something else again. Wakes up
in the afternoon and in an instant he's full of words,
in an instant he's humming, in an instant warm,
instant light, instant darkness.

A child is Job. They've already placed their bets on him
but he doesn't know it. He scratches his body
for pleasure. Nothing hurts yet.
They're training him to be a polite Job,
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The Seven Selves by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
In the stillest hour of the night, as I lay half asleep, my seven
selves sat together and thus conversed in whisper:

First Self: Here, in this madman, I have dwelt all these years,
with naught to do but renew his pain by day and recreate his sorrow
by night. I can bear my fate no longer, and now I rebel.

Second Self: Yours is a better lot than mine, brother, for it is
given to me to be this madman’s joyous self. I laugh his laughter
and sing his happy hours, and with thrice winged feet I dance
his brighter thoughts. It is I that would rebel against my weary
existence.

Third Self: And what of me, the love-ridden self, the flaming brand
of wild passion and fantastic desires? It is I the love-sick self
who would rebel against this madman.

Fourth Self: I, amongst you all, am the most miserable, for naught
was given me but odious hatred and destructive loathing. It is
I, the tempest-like self, the one born in the black caves of Hell,
who would protest against serving this madman.

Fifth Self: Nay, it is I, the thinking self, the fanciful self,
the self of hunger and thirst, the one doomed to wander without
rest in search of unknown things and things not yet created; it is
I, not you, who would rebel.

Sixth Self: And I, the working self, the pitiful labourer, who,
with patient hands, and longing eyes, fashion the days into images
and give the formless elements new and eternal forms—it is I, the
solitary one, who would rebel against this restless madman.

Seventh Self: How strange that you all would rebel against this
man, because each and every one of you has a preordained fate to
fulfill. Ah! could I but be like one of you, a self with a determined
lot! But I have none, I am the do-nothing self, the one who sits
in the dumb, empty nowhere and nowhen, while you are busy re-creating
life. Is it you or I, neighbours, who should rebel?

When the seventh self thus spake the other six selves looked with
pity upon him but said nothing more; and as the night grew deeper
one after the other went to sleep enfolded with a new and happy
submission.

But the seventh self remained watching and gazing at nothingness,
which is behind all things.
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Minerva Jones by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I am Minerva, the village poetess,
Hooted at, jeered at by the Yahoos of the street
For my heavy body, cock-eye, and rolling walk,
And all the more when “Butch” Weldy
Captured me after a brutal hunt.
He left me to my fate with Doctor Meyers;
And I sank into death, growing numb from the feet up,
Like one stepping deeper and deeper into a stream of ice.
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An Irish Airman foresees his Death by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
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The Verdicts by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
(JUTLAND)

1916 Not in the thick of the fight,
Not in the press of the odds,
Do the heroes come to their height,
Or we know the demi-gods.
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A New Year's Eve in War Time by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
1915-1916
I

Phantasmal fears,
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The Wish, By a Young Lady by Laetitia Pilkington
Laetitia Pilkington
I ask not wit, nor beauty do I crave,
Nor wealth, nor pompous titles wish to have;
But since, 'tis doomed through all degrees of life,
Whether a daughter, sister, or a wife;
That females should the stronger males obey,
And yield implicit to their lordly sway;
Since this, I say, is ev'ry woman's fate,
Give me a mind to suit my slavish state.
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The Glories of Our Blood and State by James Shirley
James Shirley
The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against Fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and Crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill:
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
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Counsel—In the South by Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
My boy, not of your will nor mine
You keep the mountain pass and wait,
Restless, for evil gold to shine
And hold you to your fate.

A stronger Hand than yours gave you
The lawless sword—you know not why.
That you must live is all too true,
And other men must die.

My boy, be brigand if you must,
But face the traveller in your track:
Stand one to one, and never thrust
The dagger in his back.

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The Southern Refugee by George Moses Horton
George Moses Horton
What sudden ill the world await,
From my dear residence I roam;
I must deplore the bitter fate,
To straggle from my native home.

The verdant willow droops her head,
And seems to bid a fare thee well;
The flowers with tears their fragrance shed,
Alas! their parting tale to tell.

’Tis like the loss of Paradise,
Or Eden’s garden left in gloom,
Where grief affords us no device;
Such is thy lot, my native home.

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A Thought by Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard
Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard
Falling leaves and falling men!
When the snows of winter fall,
And the winds of winter blows,
Will be woven Nature’s pall.

Let us, then, forsake our dead;
For the dead will surely wait
While we rush upon the foe,
Eager for the hero’s fate.

Leaves will come upon the trees;
Spring will show the happy race;
Mothers will give birth to sons—
Loyal souls to fill our place.

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To the Mannequins by Howard Nemerov
Howard Nemerov
Adorable images,
Plaster of Paris
Lilies of the field,
You are not alive, therefore
Pathos will be out of place.

But I have learned
A strange fact about your fate,
And it is this:

After you go out of fashion
Beneath your many fashions,
Or when your elbows and knees
Have been bruised powdery white,
So that you are no good to anybody—
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On the Poet’s Birth by Robert Graves
Robert Graves
A page, a huntsman and a priest of God
Her lovers, met in jealous contrariety
Equally claiming the sole parenthood
Of him the perfect crown of their variety.
Then, whom to admit, herself she could not tell:
That always was her fate, she loved too well.

“But many-fathered little one,” she said,
“Whether of high or low, of smooth or rough,
Here is your mother whom you brought to bed;
Acknowledge only me; be this enough;
For such as worship after shall be told
A white dove sired you or a rain of gold.”

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The Wealth of the Destitute by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov
How gray and hard the brown feet of the wretched of the earth.
How confidently the crippled from birth
push themselves through the streets, deep in their lives.
How seamed with lines of fate the hands
of women who sit at streetcorners
offering seeds and flowers.
How lively their conversation together.
How much of death they know.
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Winter: A Dirge by Robert Burns
Robert Burns
The wintry west extends his blast,
And hail and rain does blaw;
Or, the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw:
While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.

The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,
The joyless winter-day,
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join;
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Invictus by William Ernest Henley
William Ernest Henley
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.
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Ode I. 11 by Horace
Horace
Leucon, no one’s allowed to know his fate,
Not you, not me: don’t ask, don’t hunt for answers
In tea leaves or palms. Be patient with whatever comes.
This could be our last winter, it could be many
More, pounding the Tuscan Sea on these rocks:
Do what you must, be wise, cut your vines
And forget about hope. Time goes running, even
As we talk. Take the present, the future’s no one’s affair.
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To His Watch, When He Could Not Sleep by Lord Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury
Lord Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury
Uncessant Minutes, whil’st you move you tell
The time that tells our life, which though it run
Never so fast or farr, you’r new begun
Short steps shall overtake; for though life well

May scape his own Account, it shall not yours,
You are Death’s Auditors, that both divide
And summ what ere that life inspir’d endures
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Winter by Anne Hunter
Anne Hunter
Behold the gloomy tyrant’s awful form
Binding the captive earth in icy chains;
His chilling breath sweeps o’er the watery plains,
Howls in the blast, and swells the rising storm.

See from its centre bends the rifted tower,
Threat’ning the lowly vale with frowning pride,
O’er the scared flocks that seek its sheltering side,
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Ode to Beauty by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Who gave thee, O Beauty,
The keys of this breast,—
Too credulous lover
Of blest and unblest?
Say, when in lapsed ages
Thee knew I of old;
Or what was the service
For which I was sold?
When first my eyes saw thee,
I found me thy thrall,
By magical drawings,
Sweet tyrant of all!
I drank at thy fountain
False waters of thirst;
Thou intimate stranger,
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Thirty-Eight. To Mrs ____y by Charlotte Smith
Charlotte Smith
In early youth’s unclouded scene,
The brilliant morning of eighteen,
With health and sprightly joy elate,
We gazed on youth’s enchanting spring,
Nor thought how quickly time would bring
The mournful period — thirty-eight!

Then the starch maid, or matron sage,
Already of the sober age,
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from Ajax: Dirge by James Shirley
James Shirley
The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armor against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings.
Scepter and crown
Must tumble down
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field
And plant fresh laurels where they kill,
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still.
Early or late
They stoop to fate
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Friendship’s Mystery, To my Dearest Lucasia by Katherine Philips
Katherine Philips
1

Come, my Lucasia, since we see
That Miracles Mens faith do move,
By wonder and by prodigy
To the dull angry world let’s prove
There’s a Religion in our Love.
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Helen Grown Old by Janet Loxley Lewis
Janet Loxley Lewis
We have forgotten Paris, and his fate.
We have not much inquired
If Menelaus from the Trojan gate
Returning found the long desired
Immortal beauty by his hearth. Then late,

Late, long past the morning hour,
Could even she recapture from the dawn
The young delightful love? When the dread power
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from Hero and Leander: "It lies not in our power to love or hate" by Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should lose, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows; let it suffice
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?
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I Will Not Save the World by Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg
I like to cross
these borders. They take place
between the dead & dead.
I make my mind up
to be honest
only I fail to meet
their expectations.
I will not save the world.
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Impromptu by Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
To Lady Winchelsea,
Occasioned by four Satirical Verses on Women Wits,
In The Rape of the Lock
In vain you boast poetic names of yore,
And cite those Sapphos we admire no more:
Fate doomed the fall of every female wit;
But doomed it then, when first Ardelia writ.
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Kind Are Her Answers by Thomas Campion
Thomas Campion
Kind are her answers,
But her performance keeps no day;
Breaks time, as dancers
From their own music when they stray:
All her free favors
And smooth words wing my hopes in vain.
O did ever voice so sweet but only feign?
Can true love yield such delay,
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The March into Virginia Ending in the First Manassas (July, 1861) by Herman Melville
Herman Melville
Did all the lets and bars appear
To every just or larger end,
Whence should come the trust and cheer?
Youth must its ignorant impulse lend—
Age finds place in the rear.
All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys,
The champions and enthusiasts of the state:
Turbid ardors and vain joys
Not barrenly abate—
Stimulants to the power mature,
Preparatives of fate.

Who here forecasteth the event?
What heart but spurns at precedent
And warnings of the wise,
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On the Welsh Language by Katherine Philips
Katherine Philips
If honor to an ancient name be due,
Or riches challenge it for one that’s new,
The British language claims in either sense
Both for its age, and for its opulence.
But all great things must be from us removed,
To be with higher reverence beloved.
So landskips which in prospects distant lie,
With greater wonder draw the pleasèd eye.
Is not great Troy to one dark ruin hurled?
Once the fam’d scene of all fighting world.
Where’s Athens now, to whom Rome learning owes,
And the safe laurels that adorned her brows?
A strange reverse of fate she did endure,
Never once greater, than she’s now obscure.
Even Rome her self can but some footsteps show
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The Siller Croun by Susanna Blamire
Susanna Blamire
And ye shall walk in silk attire,
And siller hae to spare,
Gin ye’ll consent to be his bride,
Nor think o’ Donald mair.
O wha wad buy a silken goun
Wi’ a poor broken heart!
Or what’s to me a siller croun,
Gin frae my love I part!
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Smokers of Paper by Cesare Pavese
Cesare Pavese
He’s brought me to hear his band. He sits in a corner
mouthing his clarinet. A hellish racket begins.
Outside, through flashes of lightning, wind gusts
and rain whips, knocking the lights out
every five minutes. In the dark, their faces
give it their all, contorted, as they play a dance tune
from memory. Full of energy, my poor friend
anchors them all from behind. His clarinet writhes,
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Song: Go, Lovely Rose by Edmund Waller
Edmund Waller
Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that’s young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
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Song from The Indian Emperor by John Dryden
John Dryden
Ah, fading joy, how quickly art thou past!
Yet we thy ruin haste.
As if the cares of human life were few,
We seek out new:
And follow fate, which would too fast pursue.
See how on every bough the birds express
In their sweet notes their happiness.
They all enjoy and nothing spare;
But on their mother nature lay their care.
Why then should man, the lord of all below,
Such troubles choose to know
As none of all his subjects undergo?

Hark, hark, the waters fall, fall, fall,
And with a murmuring sound
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Sonnet 1: Dost see how unregarded now by Sir John Suckling
Sir John Suckling
Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
The red and white works now no more on me
Than if it could not charm, or I not see.
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Sonnet: They Dub Thee Idler by Henry Timrod
Henry Timrod
They dub thee idler, smiling sneeringly,
And why? because, forsooth, so many moons,
Here dwelling voiceless by the voiceful sea,
Thou hast not set thy thoughts to paltry tunes
In song or sonnet. Them these golden noons
Oppress not with their beauty; they could prate,
Even while a prophet read the solemn runes
On which is hanging some imperial fate.
How know they, these good gossips, what to thee
The ocean and its wanderers may have brought?
How know they, in their busy vacancy,
With what far aim thy spirit may be fraught?
Or that thou dost not bow thee silently
Before some great unutterable thought?
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Tho’ Lack of Laurels and of Wreaths Not One by Trumbull Stickney
Trumbull Stickney
Tho’ lack of laurels and of wreaths not one
Prove you our lives abortive, shall we yet
Vaunt us our single aim, our hearts full set
To win the guerdon which is never won.
Witness, a purpose never is undone.
And tho’ fate drain our seas of violet
To gather round our lives her wide-hung net,
Memories of hopes that are not shall atone.
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To Mrs. M. A. Upon Absence by Katherine Philips
Katherine Philips
’Tis now since I began to die
Four months, yet still I gasping live;
Wrapp’d up in sorrow do I lie,
Hoping, yet doubting a reprieve.
Adam from Paradise expell’d
Just such a wretched being held.

’Tis not thy love I fear to lose,
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To the Poor by Anna Lætitia Barbauld
Anna Lætitia Barbauld
Child of distress, who meet’st the bitter scorn
Of fellow-men to happier prospects born,
Doomed Art and Nature’s various stores to see
Flow in full cups of joy—and not for thee;
Who seest the rich, to heaven and fate resigned,
Bear thy afflictions with a patient mind;
Whose bursting heart disdains unjust control,
Who feel’st oppression’s iron in thy soul,
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The Waking by Theodore Roethke
Theodore Roethke
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground!I shall walk softly there,
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The Wish by Lady Mary Chudleigh
Lady Mary Chudleigh
Would but indulgent Fortune send
To me a kind, and faithful Friend,
One who to Virtue’s Laws is true,
And does her nicest Rules pursue;
One Pious, Lib’ral, Just and Brave,
And to his Passions not a Slave;
Who full of Honour, void of Pride,
Will freely praise, and freely chide;
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To His Lady by Giacomo Leopardi
Giacomo Leopardi
Beloved beauty who inspires
love in me from afar, your face obscured
except when your celestial image
stirs my heart in sleep, or in the fields
where light and nature's laughter shine more lovely—
was it maybe you who blessed
the innocent age called golden,
and do you now, blithe spirit,
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An Epitaph on S.P. by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
A Child of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel Weep with me, all you that read
This little story:
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At Mass by Vachel Lindsay
Vachel Lindsay
No doubt to-morrow I will hide
My face from you, my King.
Let me rejoice this Sunday noon,
And kneel while gray priests sing.

It is not wisdom to forget.
But since it is my fate
Fill thou my soul with hidden wine
To make this white hour great.

My God, my God, this marvelous hour
I am your son I know.
Once in a thousand days your voice
Has laid temptation low.
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The Definition of Love by Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell
My love is of a birth as rare
As ’tis for object strange and high;
It was begotten by Despair
Upon Impossibility.

Magnanimous Despair alone
Could show me so divine a thing
Where feeble Hope could ne’er have flown,
But vainly flapp’d its tinsel wing.

And yet I quickly might arrive
Where my extended soul is fixt,
But Fate does iron wedges drive,
And always crowds itself betwixt.

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Difference by Stephen Vincent Benét
Stephen Vincent Benét
My mind’s a map. A mad sea-captain drew it
Under a flowing moon until he knew it;
Winds with brass trumpets, puffy-cheeked as jugs,
And states bright-patterned like Arabian rugs.
“Here there be tygers.” “Here we buried Jim.”
Here is the strait where eyeless fishes swim
About their buried idol, drowned so cold
He weeps away his eyes in salt and gold.
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The Higher Pantheism in a Nutshell by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
One, who is not, we see: but one, whom we see not, is:
Surely this is not that: but that is assuredly this.

What, and wherefore, and whence? for under is over and under:
If thunder could be without lightning, lightning could be without thunder.

Doubt is faith in the main: but faith, on the whole, is doubt:
We cannot believe by proof: but could we believe without?

Why, and whither, and how? for barley and rye are not clover:
Neither are straight lines curves: yet over is under and over.

Two and two may be four: but four and four are not eight:
Fate and God may be twain: but God is the same thing as fate.

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His Return to London by Robert Herrick
Robert Herrick
From the dull confines of the drooping west
To see the day spring from the pregnant east,
Ravish'd in spirit, I come, nay more, I fly
To thee, blest place of my nativity!
Thus, thus with hallow'd foot I touch the ground,
With thousand blessings by thy fortune crown'd.
O fruitful genius! that bestowest here
An everlasting plenty, year by year.
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Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud by John Donne
John Donne
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

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from Idylls of the King: Song from The Marriage of Geraint by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel, and lower the proud;
Turn thy wild wheel thro' sunshine, storm, and cloud;
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.

Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown;
With that wild wheel we go not up or down;
Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great.

Smile and we smile, the lords of many lands;
Frown and we smile, the lords of our own hands;
For man is man and master of his fate.

Turn, turn thy wheel above the staring crowd;
Thy wheel and thou are shadows in the cloud;
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.
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A dreadful darkness closes in by Anne Brontë
Anne Brontë
A dreadful darkness closes in
On my bewildered mind;
O let me suffer and not sin,
Be tortured yet resigned.

Through all this world of whelming mist
Still let me look to Thee,
And give me courage to resist
The Tempter till he flee.
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Life in a Love by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
Escape me?
Never—
Beloved!
While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world contains us both,
Me the loving and you the loth,
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
My life is a fault at last, I fear:
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Lyman King by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
You may think, passer-by, that Fate
Is a pit-fall outside of yourself,
Around which you may walk by the use of foresight
And wisdom.
Thus you believe, viewing the lives of other men,
As one who in God-like fashion bends over an anthill,
Seeing how their difficulties could be avoided.
But pass on into life:
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Margaret Fuller Slack by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I would have been as great as George Eliot
But for an untoward fate.
For look at the photograph of me made by Peniwit,
Chin resting on hand, and deep-set eyes i
Gray, too, and far-searching.
But there was the old, old problem:
Should it be celibacy, matrimony or unchastity?
Then John Slack, the rich druggist, wooed me,
Luring me with the promise of leisure for my novel,
And I married him, giving birth to eight children,
And had no time to write.
It was all over with me, anyway,
When I ran the needle in my hand
While washing the baby's things,
And died from lock-jaw, an ironical death.
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Ode to Stephen Dowling Bots, Dec'd. by Mark Twain
Mark Twain
And did young Stephen sicken,
And did young Stephen die?
And did the sad hearts thicken,
And did the mourners cry?

No; such was not the fate of
Young Stephen Dowling Bots;
Though sad hearts round him thickened,
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33
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On my First Son by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy.
Seven years tho' wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O, could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scap'd world's and flesh's rage,
And if no other misery, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say, "Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry."
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such,
As what he loves may never like too much.
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On Stella's Birth-day by Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Stella this Day is thirty four,
(We won't dispute a Year or more)
However Stella, be not troubled,
Although thy Size and Years are doubled,
Since first I saw Thee at Sixteen
The brightest Virgin of the Green,
So little is thy Form declin'd
Made up so largely in thy Mind.
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from The Princess: Ask me no more by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Ask me no more: the moon may draw the sea;
The cloud may stoop from heaven and take the shape,
With fold to fold, of mountain or of cape;
But O too fond, when have I answer'd thee?
Ask me no more.

Ask me no more: what answer should I give?
I love not hollow cheek or faded eye:
Yet, O my friend, I will not have thee die!
Ask me no more, lest I should bid thee live;
Ask me no more.

Ask me no more: thy fate and mine are seal'd:
I strove against the stream and all in vain:
Let the great river take me to the main:
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38
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Prometheus by Lord Byron (George Gordon)
Lord Byron (George Gordon)
Titan! to whose immortal eyes
The sufferings of mortality,
Seen in their sad reality,
Were not as things that gods despise;
What was thy pity's recompense?
A silent suffering, and intense;
The rock, the vulture, and the chain,
All that the proud can feel of pain,
The agony they do not show,
The suffocating sense of woe,
Which speaks but in its loneliness,
And then is jealous lest the sky
Should have a listener, nor will sigh
Until its voice is echoless.

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40
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The Rape of the Lock: Canto 3 by Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Close by those meads, for ever crown'd with flow'rs,
Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow'rs,
There stands a structure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom
Of foreign tyrants and of nymphs at home;
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,
Dost sometimes counsel take—and sometimes tea.

Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort,
To taste awhile the pleasures of a court;
In various talk th' instructive hours they pass'd,
Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last;
One speaks the glory of the British queen,
And one describes a charming Indian screen;
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Song to a Fair Young Lady Going out of Town in the Spring by John Dryden
John Dryden
Ask not the cause why sullen spring
So long delays her flow'rs to bear;
Why warbling birds forget to sing,
And winter storms invert the year?
Chloris is gone; and Fate provides
To make it spring where she resides.

Chloris is gone, the cruel fair;
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33
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Sonnet 29: When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
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To a Mountain Daisy by Robert Burns
Robert Burns
On Turning One Down with the Plow, in April, 1786 Wee, modest, crimson-tippèd flow'r,
Thou's met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem:
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39
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To my Inconstant Mistress by Thomas Carew
Thomas Carew
When thou, poor excommunicate
From all the joys of love, shalt see
The full reward and glorious fate
Which my strong faith shall purchase me,
Then curse thine own inconstancy.

A fairer hand than thine shall cure
That heart, which thy false oaths did wound;
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Woodcut by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
It is autumn but early. No crow cries from the dry woods.
The house droops like an eyelid over the leprous hill.
In the bald barnyard one horse, a collection of angles
Cuts at the flies with a spectral tail. A blind man’s
Sentence, the road goes on. Lifts as the slope lifts it.

Comes now one who has been conquered
By all he sees. And asks what—would have what—
Poor fool, frail, this man, mistake, my hero?
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Ye Flowery Banks (Bonie Doon) by Robert Burns
Robert Burns
Ye flowery banks o' bonie Doon,
How can ye blume sae fair?
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae fu' o' care?

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o' the happy days,
When my fause love was true.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o' my fate.

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Captain, Captive by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
Of your fate
Fast asleep
On the bed you made
Dream away
Wake up late
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55
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