Above by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
A VISION. Coming down a golden street
I beheld my vanished one,
And he moveth on a cloud,
And his forehead wears a star;
And his blue eyes, deep and holy,
Fixed as in a blessed dream,
See some mystery of joy,
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In an Artist's Studio by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
One face looks out from all his canvases,
One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans:
We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
A nameless girl in freshest summer-greens,
A saint, an angel — every canvas means
The same one meaning, neither more or less.
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The Dance in Jinotega by Grace Paley
Grace Paley
In Jinotega women greeted us
with thousands of flowers roses
it was hard to tell the petals
on our faces and arms falling

then embraces and the Spanish language
which is a little like a descent of
petals pink and orange

Suddenly out of the hallway our
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Sonnet 34: Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
To let base clouds o’ertake me in my way,
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?
‘Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
For no man well of such a salve can speak
That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace:
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When My Sorrow Was Born by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
When my Sorrow was born I nursed it with care, and watched over it
with loving tenderness.

And my Sorrow grew like all living things, strong and beautiful
and full of wondrous delights.

And we loved one another, my Sorrow and I, and we loved the world
about us; for Sorrow had a kindly heart and mine was kindly with

And when we conversed, my Sorrow and I, our days were winged and
our nights were girdled with dreams; for Sorrow had an eloquent
tongue, and mine was eloquent with Sorrow.

And when we sang together, my Sorrow and I, our neighbors sat at
their windows and listened; for our songs were deep as the sea and
our melodies were full of strange memories.

And when we walked together, my Sorrow and I, people gazed at us
with gentle eyes and whispered in words of exceeding sweetness.
And there were those who looked with envy upon us, for Sorrow was
a noble thing and I was proud with Sorrow.

But my Sorrow died, like all living things, and alone I am left to
muse and ponder.

And now when I speak my words fall heavily upon my ears.

And when I sing my songs my neighbours come not to listen.

And when I walk the streets no one looks at me.

Only in my sleep I hear voices saying in pity, “See, there lies
the man whose Sorrow is dead.”
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Songs for the People by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Let me make the songs for the people, Songs for the old and young; Songs to stir like a battle-cry Wherever they are sung.
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The Blade of Grass from Ponar by Abraham Sutzkever
Abraham Sutzkever
I kept a letter from my hometown in Lithuania, from one
who still holds a dominion somewhere with her youthful charm.
In it she placed her sorrow and her affection:
A blade of grass from Ponar.

This blade of grass with a flickering puff of dying cloud
ignited, letter by letter, the faces of the letters.
And over letter-faces in murmuring smolder:
The blade of grass from Ponar.

This blade of grass is now my world, my miniature home,
where children play the fiddle in a line on fire.
They play the fiddle and legendary is their conductor:
The blade of grass from Ponar.

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Switch by Seán Ó Ríordáin
Seán Ó Ríordáin
“Gwawnowwdat,” said Turnbull, “and take a good look at the pain in a horse’s eyes.
If you’d a pair of dragging hooves on you, it’s short work they’d make of the smile on your face.”

You could see that he understood, and his fellow-feeling for the pain in the horse’s eyes;
and that dwelling on it so long he’d finally stolen into the innermost space
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The Sad Shepherd by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
There was a man whom Sorrow named his friend,
And he, of his high comrade Sorrow dreaming,
Went walking with slow steps along the gleaming
And humming sands, where windy surges wend:
And he called loudly to the stars to bend
From their pale thrones and comfort him, but they
Among themselves laugh on and sing alway:
And then the man whom Sorrow named his friend
Cried out, Dim sea, hear my most piteous story!
The sea swept on and cried her old cry still,
Rolling along in dreams from hill to hill.
He fled the persecution of her glory
And, in a far-off, gentle valley stopping,
Cried all his story to the dewdrops glistening.
But naught they heard, for they are always listening,
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I Looked Up from My Writing by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
I looked up from my writing,
And gave a start to see,
As if rapt in my inditing,
The moon's full gaze on me.

Her meditative misty head
Was spectral in its air,
And I involuntarily said,
'What are you doing there?'

'Oh, I've been scanning pond and hole
And waterway hereabout
For the body of one with a sunken soul
Who has put his life-light out.

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Ypres by Laurence Binyon
Laurence Binyon
She was a city of patience; of proud name,
Dimmed by neglecting Time; of beauty and loss;
Of acquiescence in the creeping moss.
But on a sudden fierce destruction came
Tigerishly pouncing: thunderbolt and flame
Showered on her streets, to shatter them and toss
Her ancient towers to ashes. Riven across,
She rose, dead, into never-dying fame.
White against heavens of storm, a ghost, she is known
To the world's ends. The myriads of the brave
Sleep round her. Desolately glorified,
She, moon-like, draws her own far-moving tide
Of sorrow and memory; toward her, each alone,
Glide the dark dreams that seek an English grave.

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Had Death Not Had Me in Tears by Kofi Awoonor
Kofi Awoonor
Had death not had me in tears
I would have seen the barges
on life's stream sail.
I would have heard sorrow songs
in groves where the road was lost
where men foot prints mix with other men foot prints
By the road I wait
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Delia 45: Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night by Samuel Daniel
Samuel Daniel
Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night,
Brother to Death, in silent darkness born:
Relieve my languish, and restore the light,
With dark forgetting of my cares, return;
And let the day be time enough to mourn
The shipwreck of my ill-adventur'd youth:
Let waking eyes suffice to wail their scorn,
Without the torment of the night's untruth.
Cease dreams, th' imagery of our day-desires,
To model forth the passions of the morrow;
Never let rising sun approve you liars,
To add more grief to aggravate my sorrow.
Still let me sleep, embracing clouds in vain;
And never wake to feel the day's disdain.
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Accounts Payable by Bill Berkson
Bill Berkson
...  cantered light-heartedly downstream to their doom.
 — Patrick Leigh Fermor Somebody down there hates us deeply,
Has planted a thorn where slightest woe may overrun.

Disorderly and youthful sorrow, many divots picked at since
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The Lynching by Claude McKay
Claude McKay
His spirit in smoke ascended to high heaven.
His father, by the cruelest way of pain,
Had bidden him to his bosom once again;
The awful sin remained still unforgiven.
All night a bright and solitary star
(Perchance the one that ever guided him,
Yet gave him up at last to Fate's wild whim)
Hung pitifully o'er the swinging char.
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The Death of Lincoln by William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant
Oh, slow to smite and swift to spare,
Gentle and merciful and just!
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
The sword of power, a nation’s trust!

In sorrow by thy bier we stand,
Amid the awe that hushes all,
And speak the anguish of a land
That shook with horror at thy fall.

Thy task is done; the bond are free:
We bear thee to an honored grave,
Whose proudest monument shall be
The broken fetters of the slave.

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From “The Hollow Hill” by Kathleen Raine
Kathleen Raine
Smaller than pollen-grain, smaller than seed
Of bitter berry red—
Do not look for the small,
The door has no size at all.

Some of sorrow have made a well
And deep have seen
In daylight far stars glimmer pale
In a nether heaven.

April 1963
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He is pruning the privet by Joanne Kyger
Joanne Kyger

He is pruning the privet

of sickly sorrow desolation
in loose pieces of air he goes clip clip clip
the green blooming branches fall—‘they’re getting out
of hand’ delirious and adorable what a switch
we perceive multiple
identities when you sing so beautifully the shifting
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The Sorrow of True Love by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
The sorrow of true love is a great sorrow
And true love parting blackens a bright morrow:
Yet almost they equal joys, since their despair
Is but hope blinded by its tears, and clear
Above the storm the heavens wait to be seen.
But greater sorrow from less love has been
That can mistake lack of despair for hope
And knows not tempest and the perfect scope
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The Watchers by William Stanley Braithwaite
William Stanley Braithwaite
Two women on the lone wet strand
(The wind's out with a will to roam)
The waves wage war on rocks and sand,
(And a ship is long due home.)

The sea sprays in the women's eyes—
(Hearts can writhe like the sea's wild foam)
Lower descend the tempestuous skies,
(For the wind's out with a will to roam.)

"O daughter, thine eyes be better than mine,"
(The waves ascend high as yonder dome)
"North or south is there never a sign?"
(And a ship is long due home.)

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Mutability "We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon" by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley

We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed and gleam and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly! yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost for ever:—

Or like forgotten lyres whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.

We rest—a dream has power to poison sleep;
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Sonnet: “Upon a day, came Sorrow in to me” by Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
on the 9th of June 1290 Upon a day, came Sorrow in to me,
Saying, ‘I’ve come to stay with thee a while’;
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from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: 17 by Lady Mary Wroth
Lady Mary Wroth
Sweet shades why doe you seeke to give delight
To mee who deeme delight in this vilde place
Butt torment, sorrow, and mine owne disgrace
To taste of joy, or your vaine pleasing sight;

Show them your pleasures who saw never night
Of greife, wher joyings fauning, smiling face
Appeers as day, wher griefe found never space
Yett for a sigh, a grone, or envies spite;

Butt O on mee a world of woes doe ly,
Or els on mee all harmes strive to rely,
And to attend like servants bound to mee,

Heat in desire, while frosts of care I prove,
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from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: 19 by Lady Mary Wroth
Lady Mary Wroth
Come darkest night, becoming sorrow best;
Light; leave thy light; fitt for a lightsome soule;
Darknes doth truly sure with mee oprest
Whom absence power doth from mirthe controle:

The very trees with hanging heads condole
Sweet sommers parting, and of leaves distrest
In dying coulers make a griefe-full role;
Soe much (alas) to sorrow are they prest,

Thus of dead leaves her farewell carpett’s made:
Theyr fall, theyr branches, all theyr mournings prove;
With leavles, naked bodies, whose huese vade
From hopefull greene, to wither in theyr love,

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Winter Stars by Sara Teasdale
Sara Teasdale
I went out at night alone;
The young blood flowing beyond the sea
Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings—
I bore my sorrow heavily.

But when I lifted up my head
From shadows shaken on the snow,
I saw Orion in the east
Burn steadily as long ago.

From windows in my father’s house,
Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,
I watched Orion as a girl
Above another city’s lights.

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The Window Just Over the Street by Alice Cary
Alice Cary
I sit in my sorrow a-weary, alone;
I have nothing sweet to hope or remember,
For the spring o’ th’ year and of life has flown;
’Tis the wildest night o’ the wild December,
And dark in my spirit and dark in my chamber.

I sit and list to the steps in the street,
Going and coming, and coming and going,
And the winds at my shutter they blow and beat;
’Tis the middle of night and the clouds are snowing;
And the winds are bitterly beating and blowing.

I list to the steps as they come and go,
And list to the winds that are beating and blowing,
And my heart sinks down so low, so low;
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Bible Defense of Slavery by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Take sackcloth of the darkest dye,
And shroud the pulpits round!
Servants of Him that cannot lie,
Sit mourning on the ground.

Let holy horror blanch each cheek,
Pale every brow with fears;
And rocks and stones, if ye could speak,
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For the Old Gnostics by Robert Bly
Robert Bly
The Fathers put their trust in the end of the world
And they were wrong.The Gnostics were right and not
Right.Dragons copulate with their knobby tails.
Some somnolent wealth rises unconcerned,
Over there!In the world!Ponderous stubborn
Sorrow weighs down the flying Gospels.
Some enormous obstacle blocks our way.
The untempered soul grumbles in empty light.
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On the Departure of the Nightingale by Charlotte Smith
Charlotte Smith
Sweet poet of the woods, a long adieu!
Farewell soft mistrel of the early year!
Ah! ’twill be long ere thou shalt sing anew,
And pour thy music on the night’s dull ear.
Whether on spring thy wandering flights await,
Or whether silent in our groves you dwell,
The pensive muse shall own thee for her mate,
And still protect the song she loves so well.
With cautious step the love-lorn youth shall glide
Through the lone brake that shades thy mossy nest;
And shepherd girls from eyes profane shall hide
The gentle bird who sings of pity best:
For still thy voice shall soft affections move,
And still be dear to sorrow and to love!
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Amoretti LIV: Of this worlds Theatre in which we stay by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Of this worlds Theatre in which we stay,
My love lyke the Spectator ydly sits
Beholding me that all the pageants play,
Disguysing diversly my troubled wits.
Sometimes I joy when glad occasion fits,
And mask in myrth lyke to a Comedy:
Soone after when my joy to sorrow flits,
I waile and make my woes a Tragedy.
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“And then we cowards” by Cesare Pavese
Cesare Pavese
And then we cowards
who loved the whispering
evening, the houses,
the paths by the river,
the dirty red lights
of those places, the sweet
soundless sorrow—
we reached our hands out
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The Bridge by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I stood on the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour,
And the moon rose o'er the city,
Behind the dark church-tower.

I saw her bright reflection
In the waters under me,
Like a golden goblet falling
And sinking into the sea.

And far in the hazy distance
Of that lovely night in June,
The blaze of the flaming furnace
Gleamed redder than the moon.

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Cape Cod by George Santayana
George Santayana
The low sandy beach and the thin scrub pine,
The wide reach of bay and the long sky line,—
O, I am sick for home!

The salt, salt smell of the thick sea air,
And the smooth round stones that the ebbtides wear,—
When will the good ship come?
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The Dead by Rupert Brooke
Rupert Brooke
These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.

There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.
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Encounter by Czeslaw Milosz
Czeslaw Milosz
We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

O my love, where are they, where are they going
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
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Firstlings by Louise Imogen Guiney
Louise Imogen Guiney
(January 7, 1915) In the dregs of the year, all steam and rain,
In the timid time of the heart again,
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In Celebration by Mark Strand
Mark Strand
You sit in a chair, touched by nothing, feeling
the old self become the older self, imagining
only the patience of water, the boredom of stone.
You think that silence is the extra page,
you think that nothing is good or bad, not even
the darkness that fills the house while you sit watching
it happen. You’ve seen it happen before. Your friends
move past the window, their faces soiled with regret.
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The Little White Hearse by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Somebody’s baby was buried to-day—
The empty white hearse from the grave rumbled back,
And the morning somehow seemed less smiling and gay
As I paused on the walk while it crossed on its way,
And a shadow seemed drawn o’er the sun’s golden track.

Somebody’s baby was laid out to rest,
White as a snowdrop, and fair to behold,
And the soft little hands were crossed over the breast,
And those hands and the lips and the eyelids were pressed
With kisses as hot as the eyelids were cold.

Somebody saw it go out of her sight,
Under the coffin lid—out through the door;
Somebody finds only darkness and blight
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Mezzo Cammin by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Half of my life is gone, and I have let
The years slip from me and have not fulfilled
The aspiration of my youth, to build
Some tower of song with lofty parapet.
Not indolence, nor pleasure, nor the fret
Of restless passions that would not be stilled,
But sorrow, and a care that almost killed,
Kept me from what I may accomplish yet;
Though, half-way up the hill, I see the Past
Lying beneath me with its sounds and sights,—
A city in the twilight dim and vast,
With smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights,—
And hear above me on the autumnal blast
The cataract of Death far thundering from the heights.
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The Miller's Daughter by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
It is the miller’s daughter,
And she is grown so dear, so dear,
That I would be the jewel
That trembles at her ear:
For hid in ringlets day and night,
I’d touch her neck so warm and white.

And I would be the girdle
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Playroom by Mary Barnard
Mary Barnard
Wheel of sorrow, centerless.
Voices, sad without cause,
slope upward, expiring on grave summits.
Mournfulness of muddy playgrounds,
raw smell of rubbers and wrapped lunches
when little girls stand in a circle singing
of windows and of lovers.

Hearing them, no one could tell
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A Receipt to Cure the Vapors by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Why will Delia thus retire,
And idly languish life away?
While the sighing crowd admire,
’Tis too soon for hartshorn tea:

All those dismal looks and fretting
Cannot Damon’s life restore;
Long ago the worms have eat him,
You can never see him more.

Once again consult your toilette,
In the glass your face review:
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Songs from The Beggar’s Opera: Air IV-Cotillion by John Gay
John Gay
Act II, Scene iv, Air IV—Cotillion Youth’s the season made for joys,
Love is then our duty:
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Sonnet: Grief Dies by Henry Timrod
Henry Timrod
Grief dies like joy; the tears upon my cheek
Will disappear like dew. Dear God! I know
Thy kindly Providence hath made it so,
And thank thee for the law. I am too weak
To make a friend of Sorrow, or to wear,
With that dark angel ever by my side
(Though to thy heaven there be no better guide),
A front of manly calm. Yet, for I hear
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Surprised by Joy by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom
But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind—
But how could I forget thee?—Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss!—That thought’s return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

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When to Her Lute Corinna Sings by Thomas Campion
Thomas Campion
When to her lute Corinna sings,
Her voice revives the leaden strings,
And doth in highest notes appear
As any challenged echo clear;
But when she doth of mourning speak,
Ev’n with her sighs the strings do break.

And as her lute doth live or die,
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Cold Blooded Creatures by Elinor Wylie
Elinor Wylie
Man, the egregious egoist,
(In mystery the twig is bent,)
Imagines, by some mental twist,
That he alone is sentient

Of the intolerable load
Which on all living creatures lies,
Nor stoops to pity in the toad
The speechless sorrow of its eyes.
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The Cut by Ann Taylor
Ann Taylor
WELL, what's the matter ? there's a face
What ! has it cut a vein ?
And is it quite a shocking place ?
Come, let us look again.

I see it bleeds, but never mind
That tiny little drop ;
I don't believe you'll ever find
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A Daughter of Eve by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
A fool I was to sleep at noon,
And wake when night is chilly
Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
A fool to pluck my rose too soon,
A fool to snap my lily.

My garden-plot I have not kept;
Faded and all-forsaken,
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The Debt by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar
This is the debt I pay
Just for one riotous day,
Years of regret and grief,
Sorrow without relief.

Pay it I will to the end —
Until the grave, my friend,
Gives me a true release —
Gives me the clasp of peace.
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Easter Wings by George Herbert
George Herbert
Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more,
Till he became
Most poore:
With thee
O let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did beginne
And still with sicknesses and shame.
Thou didst so punish sinne,
That I became
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Follow Your Saint by Thomas Campion
Thomas Campion
Follow your saint, follow with accents sweet;
Haste you, sad notes, fall at her flying feet.
There, wrapp'd in cloud of sorrow, pity move,
And tell the ravisher of my soul I perish for her love:
But if she scorns my never-ceasing pain,
Then burst with sighing in her sight and ne'er return again.

All that I sung still to her praise did tend,
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Hap by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
That thy love's loss is my hate's profiting!”

Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.
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I Find no Peace by Sir Thomas Wyatt
Sir Thomas Wyatt
I find no peace, and all my war is done.
I fear and hope. I burn and freeze like ice.
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have, and all the world I seize on.
That loseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
And holdeth me not—yet can I scape no wise—
Nor letteth me live nor die at my device,
And yet of death it giveth me occasion.
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In Death Valley by Edwin Markham
Edwin Markham
There came gray stretches of volcanic plains,
Bare, lone and treeless, then a bleak lone hill
Like to the dolorous hill that Dobell saw.
Around were heaps of ruins piled between
The Burn o’ Sorrow and the Water o’ Care;
And from the stillness of the down-crushed walls
One pillar rose up dark against the moon.
There was a nameless Presence everywhere;
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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: 27 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I envy not in any moods
The captive void of noble rage,
The linnet born within the cage,
That never knew the summer woods:

I envy not the beast that takes
His license in the field of time,
Unfetter'd by the sense of crime,
To whom a conscience never wakes;

Nor, what may count itself as blest,
The heart that never plighted troth
But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
Nor any want-begotten rest.

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In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 3 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
O Sorrow, cruel fellowship,
O Priestess in the vaults of Death,
O sweet and bitter in a breath,
What whispers from thy lying lip?

"The stars," she whispers, "blindly run;
A web is wov'n across the sky;
From out waste places comes a cry,
And murmurs from the dying sun:
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In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 78 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Again at Christmas did we weave
The holly round the Christmas hearth;
The silent snow possess'd the earth,
And calmly fell our Christmas-eve:

The yule-log sparkled keen with frost,
No wing of wind the region swept,
But over all things brooding slept
The quiet sense of something lost.

As in the winters left behind,
Again our ancient games had place,
The mimic picture's breathing grace,
And dance and song and hoodman-blind.

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In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 83 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Dip down upon the northern shore
O sweet new-year delaying long;
Thou doest expectant nature wrong;
Delaying long, delay no more.

What stays thee from the clouded noons,
Thy sweetness from its proper place?
Can trouble live with April days,
Or sadness in the summer moons?

Bring orchis, bring the foxglove spire,
The little speed well's darling blue,
Deep tulips dash'd with fiery dew,
Laburnums, dropping-wells of fire.

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Inhibited by Louis Untermeyer
Louis Untermeyer
I could not pity your pain but I pitied the branches
Losing what little the frost had left them to hold.
I could not warm you with sorrow; I turned to the sparrows,
Clustered like heavy brown blossoms puffed out by the cold.

They could not help me. I looked at my hands; they were helpless;
Strange and detached, less related to me than the birds.
Baffled, I called on the mind: it carried me, floundering,
Lost among meaningless phrases, tossed in a welter of words.
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Mad Song by William Blake
William Blake
The wild winds weep,
And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep,
And my griefs infold:
But lo! the morning peeps
Over the eastern steeps,
And the rustling birds of dawn
The earth do scorn.

Lo! to the vault
Of paved heaven,
With sorrow fraught
My notes are driven:
They strike the ear of night,
Make weep the eyes of day;
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One Girl of Many by Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
One girl of many. Hungry from her birth
Half-fed. Half-clothed. Untaught of woman’s worth.
In joyless girlhood working for her bread.
At each small sorrow wishing she were dead,
Yet gay at little pleasures. Sunlight seems
Most bright & warm where it most seldom gleams.
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The Penitent by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I had a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within;
And, "Little Sorrow, weep," said I,
"And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I've been!"
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Saturday’s Child by Countee Cullen
Countee Cullen
Some are teethed on a silver spoon,
With the stars strung for a rattle;
I cut my teeth as the black raccoon—
For implements of battle.

Some are swaddled in silk and down,
And heralded by a star;
They swathed my limbs in a sackcloth gown
On a night that was black as tar.
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Sorrow by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sorrow like a ceaseless rain
Beats upon my heart.
People twist and scream in pain, —
Dawn will find them still again;
This has neither wax nor wane,
Neither stop nor start.

People dress and go to town;
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To ---- by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
One word is too often profaned
For me to profane it,
One feeling too falsely disdained
For thee to disdain it;
One hope is too like despair
For prudence to smother,
And pity from thee more dear
Than that from another.
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To Certain Critics by Countee Cullen
Countee Cullen
Then call me traitor if you must,
Shout treason and default!
Say I betray a sacred trust
Aching beyond this vault.
I’ll bear your censure as your praise,
For never shall the clan
Confine my singing to its ways
Beyond the ways of man.
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To The Indifferent Women by Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
A Sestina You who are happy in a thousand homes,
Or overworked therein, to a dumb peace;
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Upon the Loss of his Mistresses by Robert Herrick
Robert Herrick
I have lost, and lately, these
Many dainty mistresses:
Stately Julia, prime of all;
Sappho next, a principal;
Smooth Anthea, for a skin
White, and heaven-like crystalline;
Sweet Electra, and the choice
Myrrha, for the lute, and voice;
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