Happy

H
The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross
St. John of the Cross
I.

In a dark night,
With anxious love inflamed,
O, happy lot!
Forth unobserved I went,
My house being now at rest.


II.

In darkness and in safety,
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Dream Boogie by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Good morning, daddy!
Ain’t you heard
The boogie-woogie rumble
Of a dream deferred?

Listen closely:
You’ll hear their feet
Beating out and beating out a—

You think
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In Syrup by Naomi Replansky
Naomi Replansky
In syrup, in syrup,
In syrup we drown,

Who sell ourselves
With a sparkling smile.

Padded with pathos
Our winding sheet.

The bomb bounded
By buxom beauties.
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Of the Death of Sir T. W. The Elder by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

Wyatt resteth here, that quick could never rest;
Whose heavenly gifts increased by disdain,
And virtue sank the deeper in his breast;
Such profit he by envy could obtain.

A head where wisdom mysteries did frame,
Whose hammers beat still in that lively brain
As on a stithy where that some work of fame
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The Things That Cause a Quiet Life by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
(Written by Martial)
My friend, the things that do attain
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Song by Stephen Spender
Stephen Spender
Stranger, you who hide my love
In the curved cheek of a smile
And sleep with her upon a tongue
Of soft lies that beguile,
Your paradisal ecstasy
Is justified is justified
By hunger of the beasts beneath
The overhanging cloud
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The Girl on the Bullard Overpass by Peter Everwine
Peter Everwine

The girl on the Bullard overpass
looks happy to be there, getting soaked
in a light rain but waving her hands
to the four o'clock freeway traffic
in which I'm anything but happy.

You might think she's too dumb
to come in out of the rain, but rain
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Doctor Meyers by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
No other man, unless it was Doc Hill,
Did more for people in this town than l.
And all the weak, the halt, the improvident
And those who could not pay flocked to me.
I was good-hearted, easy Doctor Meyers.
I was healthy, happy, in comfortable fortune,
Blest with a congenial mate, my children raised,
All wedded, doing well in the world.
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Of Mere Being by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor,

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
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Præmaturi by Margaret Postgate Cole
Margaret Postgate Cole
When men are old, and their friends die,
They are not so sad,
Because their love is running slow,
And cannot spring from the wound with so sharp a pain;
And they are happy with many memories,
And only a little while to be alone.
But we are young, and our friends are dead
Suddenly, and our quick love is torn in two;
So our memories are only hopes that came to nothing.
We are left alone like old men; we should be dead
But there are years and years in which we will still be young.

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Insensibility by Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen
I
Happy are men who yet before they are killed
Can let their veins run cold.
Whom no compassion fleers
Or makes their feet
Sore on the alleys cobbled with their brothers.
The front line withers.
But they are troops who fade, not flowers,
For poets’ tearful fooling:
Men, gaps for filling:
Losses, who might have fought
Longer; but no one bothers.

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Absolution by Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes
Till beauty shines in all that we can see.
War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise,
And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.

Horror of wounds and anger at the foe,
And loss of things desired; all these must pass.
We are the happy legion, for we know
Time's but a golden wind that shakes the grass.

There was an hour when we were loth to part
From life we longed to share no less than others.
Now, having claimed this heritage of heart,
What need we more, my comrades and my brothers?
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Idea 37: Dear, why should you command me to my rest by Michael Drayton
Michael Drayton

Dear, why should you command me to my rest
When now the night doth summon all to sleep?
Methinks this time becometh lovers best;
Night was ordain'd together friends to keep.
How happy are all other living things
Which, though the day disjoin by sev'ral flight,
The quiet ev'ning yet together brings,
And each returns unto his love at night!
O thou that art so courteous else to all,
Why should'st thou, Night, abuse me only thus,
That ev'ry creature to his kind dost call,
And yet 'tis thou dost only sever us?
Well could I wish it would be ever day,
If when night comes you bid me go away.
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Effort at Speech Between Two People by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser

: Speak to me. Take my hand. What are you now?
I will tell you all. I will conceal nothing.
When I was three, a little child read a story about a rabbit
who died, in the story, and I crawled under a chair :
a pink rabbit : it was my birthday, and a candle
burnt a sore spot on my finger, and I was told to be happy.

: Oh, grow to know me. I am not happy. I will be open:
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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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“I am happy living simply” by Marina Tsvetaeva
Marina Tsvetaeva
I am happy living simply:
like a clock, or a calendar.
Worldly pilgrim, thin,
wise—as any creature. To know

the spirit is my beloved. To come to things—swift
as a ray of light, or a look.
To live as I write: spare—the way
God asks me—and friends do not.

1919

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Psalm 84 by Mary Sidney Herbert Countess of Pembroke
Mary Sidney Herbert Countess of Pembroke
How lovely is thy dwelling,
Great god, to whom all greatness is belonging!
To view thy courts far, far from any telling
My soul doth long and pine with longing
Unto the God that liveth,
The God that all life giveth,
My heart and body both aspire,
Above delight, beyond desire.

Alas, the sparrow knoweth
The house where free and fearless she resideth;
Directly to the nest the swallow goeth,
Where with her sons she safe abideth.
Oh, altars thine, most mighty
In war, yea, most almighty:
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Sometimes, When the Light by Lisel Mueller
Lisel Mueller
Sometimes, when the light strikes at odd angles
and pulls you back into childhood

and you are passing a crumbling mansion
completely hidden behind old willows

or an empty convent guarded by hemlocks
and giant firs standing hip to hip,

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Book 2, Epigram 4: Ad Henricum Wottonum.   by Thomas Bastard
Thomas Bastard
Wotton,the country and the country swain,
How can they yield a Poet any sense?
How can they stir him up, or heat his vein?
How can they feed him with intelligence?
You have that fire which can a wit enflame,
In happy London England’s fairest eye:
Well may you Poets’ have of worthy name,
Which have the food and life of Poetry.
And yet the country or the town may sway,
Or bear a part, as clowns do in a play.

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hist whist by E. E. Cummings
E. E. Cummings
hist whist
little ghostthings
tip-toe
twinkle-toe

little twitchy
witches and tingling
goblins
hob-a-nob hob-a-nob
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The Progress of the Soul by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
Where once I loved my flesh,
That social fellow,
Now I want security of bone
And cherish the silence of my skeleton.

Where once I walked the world
Hunting the devil,
Now I find the darkness and the void
Within my side.
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Psalm by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
Let’s make believe
I am happy, I laugh
Black poison, all of me
Its bottleful,
Become sparkling water
My cup runneth over
I am your son
You are my daughter,
The only one
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An Extraordinary Morning by Philip Levine
Philip Levine
Two young men—you just might call them boys—
waiting for the Woodward streetcar to get
them downtown. Yes, they’re tired, they’re also
dirty, and happy. Happy because they’ve
finished a short work week and if they’re not rich
they’re as close to rich as they’ll ever be
in this town. Are they truly brothers?
You could ask the husky one, the one
in the black jacket he fills to bursting;
he seems friendly enough, snapping
his fingers while he shakes his ass and sings
“Sweet Lorraine,” or if you’re put off
by his mocking tone ask the one leaning
against the locked door of Ruby’s Rib Shack,
the one whose eyelids flutter in time
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The Idler by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson
Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson
An idle lingerer on the wayside's road,
He gathers up his work and yawns away;
A little longer, ere the tiresome load
Shall be reduced to ashes or to clay.

No matter if the world has marched along,
And scorned his slowness as it quickly passed;
No matter, if amid the busy throng,
He greets some face, infantile at the last.

His mission? Well, there is but one,
And if it is a mission he knows it, nay,
To be a happy idler, to lounge and sun,
And dreaming, pass his long-drawn days away.

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Blessed Assurance by Frances Jane Crosby Van Alstyne
Frances Jane Crosby Van Alstyne
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood!

Chorus:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
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Ode on Solitude by Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

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Perplexity: A Poem by Elizabeth Hands
Elizabeth Hands
Ye tender young virgins attend to my lay,
My heart is divided in twain;
My Collin is beautiful, witty, and gay,
And Damon’s a kind-hearted swain.

Whenever my lovely young Collin I meet,
What pleasures arise in my breast;
The dear gentle swain looks so charming and sweet,
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Sonnet XXV by George Santayana
George Santayana
As in the midst of battle there is room
For thoughts of love, and in foul sin for mirth;
As gossips whisper of a trinket’s worth
Spied by the death-bed’s flickering candle-gloom;
As in the crevices of Caesar’s tomb
The sweet herbs flourish on a little earth:
So in this great disaster of our birth
We can be happy, and forget our doom.
For morning, with a ray of tenderest joy
Gilding the iron heaven, hides the truth,
And evening gently woos us to employ
Our grief in idle catches. Such is youth;
Till from that summer’s trance we wake, to find
Despair before us, vanity behind.
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3 Pages by Ted Berrigan
Ted Berrigan
For Jack Collom 10 Things I do Every Day

play poker
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Amoretti I: Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands,
Which hold my life in their dead doing might
Shall handle you and hold in loves soft bands,
Lyke captives trembling at the victors sight.
And happy lines, on which with starry light,
Those lamping eyes will deigne sometimes to look
And reade the sorrowes of my dying spright,
Written with teares in harts close bleeding book.
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Amoretti LXVI: "To all those happy blessings which ye have" by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
To all those happy blessings which ye have,
With plenteous hand by heaven upon you thrown:
This one disparagement they to you gave,
That ye your love lent to so meane a one.
Yee whose high worths surpassing paragon,
Could not on earth have found one fit for mate,
Ne but in heaven matchable to none,
Why did ye stoup unto so lowly state.
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Danse Russe by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
If I when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,—
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
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Days by Philip Larkin
Philip Larkin
What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
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The Dogs at Live Oak Beach, Santa Cruz by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
As if there could be a world
Of absolute innocence
In which we forget ourselves

The owners throw sticks
And half-bald tennis balls
Toward the surf
And the happy dogs leap after them
As if catapulted—
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The friend by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
We sat across the table.
he said, cut off your hands.
they are always poking at things.
they might touch me.
I said yes.

Food grew cold on the table.
he said, burn your body.
it is not clean and smells like sex.
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48
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A Glimpse by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
A glimpse through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner,
Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand,
A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.

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Happy as a Dog’s Tail by Anna Swir
Anna Swir
Happy as something unimportant
and free as a thing unimportant.
As something no one prizes
and which does not prize itself.
As something mocked by all
and which mocks at their mockery.
As laughter without serious reason.
As a yell able to outyell itself.
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here rests by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
my sister Josephine
born july in '29
and dead these 15 years
who carried a book
on every stroll.

when daddy was dying
she left the streets
and moved back home
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In the Same Space by C. P. Cavafy
C. P. Cavafy
The setting of houses, cafés, the neighborhood
that I’ve seen and walked through years on end:

I created you while I was happy, while I was sad,
with so many incidents, so many details.

And, for me, the whole of you has been transformed into feeling.
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43
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Testing on Steel and Glass by Carl Rakosi
Carl Rakosi
“If you open the brain
from whence sprang Solomon and Aristotle
and separate the lips
in the fissure of Sylvius
a triangle of cortex
will appear.
This is the Island of Reil.”

Well put, anatomist.
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There may be Chaos still around the World by George Santayana
George Santayana
There may be chaos still around the world,
This little world that in my thinking lies;
For mine own bosom is the paradise
Where all my life’s fair visions are unfurled.
Within my nature’s shell I slumber curled,
Unmindful of the changing outer skies,
Where now, perchance, some new-born Eros flies,
Or some old Cronos from his throne is hurled.
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To Asra by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Are there two things, of all which men possess,
That are so like each other and so near,
As mutual Love seems like to Happiness?
Dear Asra, woman beyond utterance dear!
This love which ever welling at my heart,
Now in its living fount doth heave and fall,
Now overflowing pours thro’ every part
Of all my frame, and fills and changes all,
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Upon Prue, His Maid by Robert Herrick
Robert Herrick
In this little urn is laid
Prudence Baldwin, once my maid,
From whose happy spark here let
Spring the purple violet.
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40
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When I Heard at the Close of the Day by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d,
And else when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d, still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,
When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming, O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish’d me more, and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend,
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Wyatt Resteth Here by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Wyatt resteth here, that quick could never rest;
Whose heavenly gifts increased by disdain,
And virtue sank the deeper in his breast;
Such profit he of envy could obtain.

A head, where wisdom mysteries did frame,
Whose hammers beat still in that lively brain
As on a stith, where some work of fame
Was daily wrought, to turn to Britain’s gain.
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40
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Amoretti LXXIV: Most Happy Letters by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Most happy letters, fram'd by skilful trade,
With which that happy name was first design'd:
The which three times thrice happy hath me made,
With gifts of body, fortune, and of mind.
The first my being to me gave by kind,
From mother's womb deriv'd by due descent,
The second is my sovereign Queen most kind,
That honour and large richesse to me lent.
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The Chimney Sweeper: A little black thing among the snow by William Blake
William Blake
A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? say?"
"They are both gone up to the church to pray.

Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil'd among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
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Daisy Time by Marjorie Pickthall
Marjorie Pickthall
See, the grass is full of stars,
Fallen in their brightness;
Hearts they have of shining gold,
Rays of shining whiteness.

Buttercups have honeyed hearts,
Bees they love the clover,
But I love the daisies' dance
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Deeply Morbid by Stevie Smith
Stevie Smith
Deeply morbid deeply morbid was the girl who typed the letters
Always out of office hours running with her social betters
But when daylight and the darkness of the office closed about her
Not for this ah not for this her office colleagues came to doubt her
It was that look within her eye
Why did it always seem to say goodbye?

Joan her name was and at lunchtime
Solitary solitary
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I Abide and Abide and Better Abide by Sir Thomas Wyatt
Sir Thomas Wyatt
I abide and abide and better abide,
And after the old proverb, the happy day;
And ever my lady to me doth say,
"Let me alone and I will provide."
I abide and abide and tarry the tide,
And with abiding speed well ye may.
Thus do I abide I wot alway,
Nother obtaining nor yet denied.
Ay me! this long abiding
Seemeth to me, as who sayeth,
A prolonging of a dying death,
Or a refusing of a desir'd thing.
Much were it better for to be plain
Than to say "abide" and yet shall not obtain.

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I Heard an Angel by William Blake
William Blake
I heard an Angel singing
When the day was springing
Mercy Pity Peace
Is the worlds release

Thus he sung all day
Over the new mown hay
Till the sun went down
And haycocks looked brown

I heard a Devil curse
Over the heath & the furze
Mercy could be no more
If there was nobody poor

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In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 116 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Is it, then, regret for buried time
That keenlier in sweet April wakes,
And meets the year, and gives and takes
The colours of the crescent prime?

Not all: the songs, the stirring air,
The life re-orient out of dust,
Cry thro' the sense to hearten trust
In that which made the world so fair.

Not all regret: the face will shine
Upon me, while I muse alone;
And that dear voice, I once have known,
Still speak to me of me and mine:

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In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 44 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
How fares it with the happy dead?
For here the man is more and more;
But he forgets the days before
God shut the doorways of his head.

The days have vanish'd, tone and tint,
And yet perhaps the hoarding sense
Gives out at times (he knows not whence)
A little flash, a mystic hint;

And in the long harmonious years
(If Death so taste Lethean springs),
May some dim touch of earthly things
Surprise thee ranging with thy peers.

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In the Museum at Teheran by James Laughlin
James Laughlin
a sentimental curator has placed
two fragments of bronze Grecian
heads together boy

and girl so that the faces black-
ened by the three thousand years of
desert sand & sun

seem to be whispering something
that the Gurgan lion & the wing-
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Infant Joy by William Blake
William Blake
I have no name
I am but two days old.—
What shall I call thee?
I happy am
Joy is my name,—
Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy but two days old,
Sweet joy I call thee;
Thou dost smile.
I sing the while
Sweet joy befall thee.
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51
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Introduction to the Songs of Innocence by William Blake
William Blake
Piping down the valleys wild
Piping songs of pleasant glee
On a cloud I saw a child.
And he laughing said to me.

Pipe a song about a Lamb;
So I piped with merry chear,
Piper pipe that song again—
So I piped, he wept to hear.

Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe
Sing thy songs of happy chear,
So I sung the same again
While he wept with joy to hear

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45
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Lines Written in Kensington Gardens by Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
In this lone, open glade I lie,
Screen'd by deep boughs on either hand;
And at its end, to stay the eye,
Those black-crown'd, red-boled pine-trees stand!

Birds here make song, each bird has his,
Across the girdling city's hum.
How green under the boughs it is!
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The Little Vagabond by William Blake
William Blake
Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold,
But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & warm;
Besides I can tell where I am use'd well,
Such usage in heaven will never do well.

But if at the Church they would give us some Ale.
And a pleasant fire, our souls to regale;
We'd sing and we'd pray, all the live-long day;
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray,

Then the Parson might preach & drink & sing.
And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring:
And modest dame Lurch, who is always at Church,
Would not have bandy children nor fasting nor birch.

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Modern Love: XXXIV by George Meredith
George Meredith
Madam would speak with me. So, now it comes:
The Deluge or else Fire! She's well, she thanks
My husbandship. Our chain on silence clanks.
Time leers between, above his twiddling thumbs.
Am I quite well? Most excellent in health!
The journals, too, I diligently peruse.
Vesuvius is expected to give news:
Niagara is no noisier. By stealth
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Most Sweet it is by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes
To pace the ground, if path be there or none,
While a fair region round the traveller lies
Which he forbears again to look upon;
Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,
The work of Fancy, or some happy tone
Of meditation, slipping in between
The beauty coming and the beauty gone.
If Thought and Love desert us, from that day
Let us break off all commerce with the Muse:
With Thought and Love companions of our way,
Whate'er the senses take or may refuse,
The Mind's internal heaven shall shed her dews
Of inspiration on the humblest lay.
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Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats
John Keats
Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
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Ode to Psyche by John Keats
John Keats
O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
Even into thine own soft-conched ear:
Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see
The winged Psyche with awaken'd eyes?
I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly,
And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side
In deepest grass, beneath the whisp'ring roof
Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran
A brooklet, scarce espied:

Mid hush'd, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed,
Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian,
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Sonnet 25: Let those who are in favour with their stars by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun's eye,
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
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Through a Glass Eye, Lightly by Carolyn Kizer
Carolyn Kizer
In the laboratory waiting room
containing
one television actor with a teary face
trying a contact lens;
two muscular victims of industrial accidents;
several vain women—I was one of them—
came Deborah, four, to pick up her glass eye.

It was a long day:
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To Margaret W------ by Charles Lamb
Charles Lamb
Margaret, in happy hour
Christen'd from that humble flower
Which we a daisy call!
May thy pretty name-sake be
In all things a type of thee,
And image thee in all.

Like it you show a modest face,
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To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent by John Keats
John Keats
To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.

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from Troilus and Cressida by John Dryden
John Dryden
Can life be a blessing,
Or worth the possessing,
Can life be a blessing if love were away?
Ah no! though our love all night keep us waking,
And though he torment us with cares all the day,
Yet he sweetens, he sweetens our pains in the taking,
There's an hour at the last, there's an hour to repay.
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You Would Know by Marvin Bell
Marvin Bell
That you, Father, are “in my mind,”
some will argue, who cherish the present
but flee the past. They haven’t my need
to ask, What was I? Asking instead,
What am I?, they see themselves bejeweled
and wingèd. Because they would fly and have value,
their answers are pretty but false:

the fixings of facile alchemists,
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Au Vieux Jardin by Richard Aldington
Richard Aldington
I have sat here happy in the gardens,
Watching the still pool and the reeds
And the dark clouds
Which the wind of the upper air
Tore like the green leafy boughs
Of the divers-hued trees of late summer;
But though I greatly delight
In these and the water-lilies,
That which sets me nighest to weeping
Is the rose and white color of the smooth flag-stones,
And the pale yellow grasses
Among them.

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A Momentary Longing to Hear Sad Advice from One Long Dead by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
Who was my teacher at Harvard. Did not wear overcoat
Saying to me as we walked across the Yard
Cold brittle autumn is you should be wearing overcoat. I said
You are not wearing overcoat. He said,
You should do as I say not do as I do.
Just how American it was and how late Forties it was
Delmore, but not I, was probably aware. He quoted Finnegans Wake to me
In his New York apartment sitting on chair
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