Warning

W
from The Book of the Dead: The Book of the Dead by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
These roads will take you into your own country.
Seasons and maps coming where this road comes
into a landscape mirrored in these men.

Past all your influences, your home river,
constellations of cities, mottoes of childhood,
parents and easy cures, war, all evasion’s wishes.

What one word must never be said?
Dead, and these men fight off our dying,
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from The Book of the Dead: The Dam by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
All power is saved, having no end. Rises
in the green season, in the sudden season
the white the budded
and the lost.
Water celebrates, yielding continually
sheeted and fast in its overfall
slips down the rock, evades the pillars
building its colonnades, repairs
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from The Book of the Dead: Praise of the Committee by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
These are the lines on which a committee is formed.
Almost as soon as work was begun in the tunnel
men began to die among dry drills. No masks.
Most of them were not from this valley.
The freights brought many every day from States
all up and down the Atlantic seaboard
and as far inland as Kentucky, Ohio.
After the work the camps were closed or burned.
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In 1929 by Stephen Spender
Stephen Spender
I
A whim of Time, the general arbiter,
Proclaims the love, instead of death, of friends.
Under the domed sky and athletic sun
Three stand naked: the new, bronzed German
The communist clerk, and myself, being English.

Yet to unwind the travelled sphere twelve years
Then two take arms, spring to a soldier's posture:
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And Now She Has Disappeared in Water by Diane Wakoski
Diane Wakoski
For Marilyn who died in January april 1
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The late year by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
I like Rosh Hashonah late,
when the leaves are half burnt
umber and scarlet, when sunset
marks the horizon with slow fire
and the black silhouettes
of migrating birds perch
on the wires davening.
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From My Window by C. K. Williams
C. K. Williams
Spring: the first morning when that one true block of sweet, laminar,
complex scent arrives
from somewhere west and I keep coming to lean on the sill, glorying in
the end of the wretched winter.
The scabby-barked sycamores ringing the empty lot across the way are
budded —I hadn't noticed —
and the thick spikes of the unlikely urban crocuses have already broken
the gritty soil.
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Paradise Lost: Book  4 (1674 version) by John Milton
John Milton
O For that warning voice, which he who saw
Th' Apocalyps, heard cry in Heaven aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
Wo to the inhabitants on Earth! that now,
While time was, our first-Parents had bin warnd
The coming of thir secret foe, and scap'd
Haply so scap'd his mortal snare; for now
Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down,
The Tempter ere th' Accuser of man-kind,
To wreck on innocent frail man his loss
Of that first Battel, and his flight to Hell:
Yet not rejoycing in his speed, though bold,
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
Begins his dire attempt, which nigh the birth
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Pathetic Fallacies Are Bad Science But by Marie Ponsot
Marie Ponsot
On reading Susanne K. Langer’s Mind If  leaf-trash chokes the stream-bed,
reach for rock-bottom as you rake
the muck out. Let it slump dank,
and dry fading, flat above the bank.
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To my Comrade, Moses J. Jackson, Scoffer at this Scholarship by A. E. Housman
A. E. Housman
As we went walking far and wide
Through silent fields and countryside,
We watched together star signs brim
And rise above the ocean’s rim,
And planets too, that fret with light
The icy caverns of the Night.
These constellations we now mark,
When we were not, in formless dark,
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The Pumpkin by John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier
Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o'er Nineveh's prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

On the banks of the Xenil the dark Spanish maiden
Comes up with the fruit of the tangled vine laden;
And the Creole of Cuba laughs out to behold
Through orange-leaves shining the broad spheres of gold;
Yet with dearer delight from his home in the North,
On the fields of his harvest the Yankee looks forth,
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In Time by W. S. Merwin
W. S. Merwin
The night the world was going to end
when we heard those explosions not far away
and the loudspeakers telling us
about the vast fires on the backwater
consuming undisclosed remnants
and warning us over and over
to stay indoors and make no signals
you stood at the open window
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The Key to the City by Anne Winters
Anne Winters
All middle age invisible to us, all age
passed close enough behind to seize our napehairs
and whisper in a voice all thatch and smoke
some village-elder warning, some rasped-out
Remember me . . . Mute and grey in her city
uniform (stitch-lettered JUVENILE), the matron
just pointed us to our lockers, and went out.
‘What an old bag!’ ‘Got a butt on you, honey?’ ‘Listen,
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Ode to Evening by William Collins
William Collins
If aught of oaten stop, or past'ral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear,
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs and dying gales,
O nymph reserved, while now the bright-haired sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
O'erhang his wavy bed;
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Thoughts on One’s Head by William Meredith
William Meredith
(In Plaster, with a Bronze Wash) A person is very self-conscious about his head.
It makes one nervous just to know it is cast
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La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad by John Keats
John Keats
Highlight Actions Enable or disable annotations
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Account by Czeslaw Milosz
Czeslaw Milosz
The history of my stupidity would fill many volumes.

Some would be devoted to acting against consciousness,
Like the flight of a moth which, had it known,
Would have tended nevertheless toward the candle’s flame.

Others would deal with ways to silence anxiety,
The little whisper which, though it is a warning, is ignored.

I would deal separately with satisfaction and pride,
The time when I was among their adherents
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"Are you the new person drawn toward me?" by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with, take warning, I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this façade, this smooth and tolerant manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man?
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The Bungalows by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
Impatient as we were for all of them to join us,
The land had not yet risen into view: gulls had swept the gray steel towers away
So that it profited less to go searching, away over the humming earth
Than to stay in immediate relation to these other things—boxes, store parts, whatever you wanted to call them—
Whose installedness was the price of further revolutions, so you knew this combat was the last.
And still the relationship waxed, billowed like scenery on the breeze.

They are the same aren’t they,
The presumed landscape and the dream of home
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Facing into It by Eleanor Wilner
Eleanor Wilner
for Larry Levis So it is here, then, after so long, and after all—
as the light turns in the leaves in the old golden
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The Girl with Bees in Her Hair by Eleanor Wilner
Eleanor Wilner
came in an envelope with no return address;
she was small, wore wrinkled dress of figured
cotton, full from neck to ankles, with a button
of bone at the throat, a collar of torn lace.
She was standing before a monumental house—
on the scale you see in certain English films:
urns, curved drives, stone lions, and an entrance far
too vast for any home. She was not of that place,
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Life by Anna Lætitia Barbauld
Anna Lætitia Barbauld
Animula, vagula, blandula. Life! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met,
I own to me’s a secret yet.
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Myth of the Blaze by George Oppen
George Oppen
night – skybird’sworld
to knowto knowin my life to know

what I have said to myself

the dark to escape in brilliant highways
of the night sky, finally
why had they not

killed me why did they fire that warning
wounding cannon only the one round I hold a
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A Plagued Journey by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
There is no warning rattle at the door
nor heavy feet to stomp the foyer boards.
Safe in the dark prison, I know that
light slides over
the fingered work of a toothless
woman in Pakistan.
Happy prints of
an invisible time are illumined.
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Psalm 58 by Isaac Watts
Isaac Watts
Warning to Magistrates Judges, who rule the world by laws,
Will ye despise the righteous cause,
When th’injur’d poor before you stands?
Dare ye condemn the righteous poor,
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Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl by John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier
To the Memory of the Household It Describes
This Poem is Dedicated by the Author

“As the Spirits of Darkness be stronger in the dark, so Good Spirits, which be Angels of Light, are augmented not only by the Divine light of the Sun, but also by our common Wood Fire: and as the Celestial Fire drives away dark spirits, so also this our Fire of Wood doth the same.” —Cor. Agrippa, Occult Philosophy, Book I.ch. v.

“Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of Storm.”
EMERSON, The Snow Storm. The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
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Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
1
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

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Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Whoever you are holding me now in hand,
Without one thing all will be useless,
I give you fair warning before you attempt me further,
I am not what you supposed, but far different.

Who is he that would become my follower?
Who would sign himself a candidate for my affections?

The way is suspicious, the result uncertain, perhaps destructive,
You would have to give up all else, I alone would expect to be your sole and exclusive standard,
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Afterimages by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde

I
However the image enters
its force remains within
my eyes
rockstrewn caves where dragonfish evolve
wild for life, relentless and acquisitive
learning to survive
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The Black Cock by Ishmael Reed
Ishmael Reed
for Jim Hendrix, hoodoo from his natural born He frightens all the witches and the dragons in their lair
He cues the clear blue daylight and He gives the night its dare
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The Building of the Ship by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Build me straight, O worthy Master!
Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!"

The merchant's word
Delighted the Master heard;
For his heart was in his work, and the heart
Giveth grace unto every Art.
A quiet smile played round his lips,
As the eddies and dimples of the tide
Play round the bows of ships,
That steadily at anchor ride.
And with a voice that was full of glee,
He answered, "Erelong we will launch
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Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
PART I
'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock,
And the owls have awakened the crowing cock;
Tu—whit! Tu—whoo!
And hark, again! the crowing cock,
How drowsily it crew.
Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
Hath a toothless mastiff bitch;
From her kennel beneath the rock
She maketh answer to the clock,
Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Sixteen short howls, not over loud;
Some say, she sees my lady's shroud.

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The Dead Man Walking by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
They hail me as one living,
But don't they know
That I have died of late years,
Untombed although?

I am but a shape that stands here,
A pulseless mould,
A pale past picture, screening
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A Dialogue between Old England and New by Anne Bradstreet
Anne Bradstreet
New England.
Alas, dear Mother, fairest Queen and best,
With honour, wealth, and peace happy and blest,
What ails thee hang thy head, and cross thine arms,
And sit i’ the dust to sigh these sad alarms?
What deluge of new woes thus over-whelm
The glories of thy ever famous Realm?
What means this wailing tone, this mournful guise?
Ah, tell thy Daughter; she may sympathize.

Old England.
Art ignorant indeed of these my woes,
Or must my forced tongue these griefs disclose,
And must my self dissect my tatter’d state,
Which Amazed Christendom stands wondering at?
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Don Juan in Amsterdam by Daryl Hine
Daryl Hine
“e to allor li prega
Per quell' amor the i mena, e quei verranno.”
INFERNO V This also is a place that love is known in,
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A Grammarian's Funeral by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
Shortly after the Revival of Learning in Europe Let us begin and carry up this corpse,
Singing together.
Leave we the common crofts, the vulgar thorpes
Each in its tether
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The Life of Lincoln West by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
Ugliest little boy
that everyone ever saw.
That is what everyone said.

Even to his mother it was apparent—
when the blue-aproned nurse came into the
northeast end of the maternity ward
bearing his squeals and plump bottom
looped up in a scant receiving blanket,
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Movement Song by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde
I have studied the tight curls on the back of your neck
moving away from me
beyond anger or failure
your face in the evening schools of longing
through mornings of wish and ripen
we were always saying goodbye
in the blood in the bone over coffee
before dashing for elevators going
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The Old Clock on the Stairs by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Somewhat back from the village street
Stands the old-fashioned country-seat.
Across its antique portico
Tall poplar-trees their shadows throw;
And from its station in the hall
An ancient timepiece says to all, —
"Forever — never!
Never — forever!"

Half-way up the stairs it stands,
And points and beckons with its hands
From its case of massive oak,
Like a monk, who, under his cloak,
Crosses himself, and sighs, alas!
With sorrowful voice to all who pass, —
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from The Shepheardes Calender: April by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
THENOT &HOBBINOLL
Tell me good Hobbinoll, what garres thee greete?
What? hath some Wolfe thy tender Lambes ytorne?
Or is thy Bagpype broke, that soundes so sweete?
Or art thou of thy loved lasse forlorne?

Or bene thine eyes attempred to the yeare,
Quenching the gasping furrowes thirst with rayne?
Like April shoure, so stremes the trickling teares
Adowne thy cheeke, to quenche thy thristye payne.

HOBBINOLL
Nor thys, nor that, so muche doeth make me mourne,
But for the ladde, whome long I lovd so deare,
Nowe loves a lasse, that all his love doth scorne:
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Sonnet 71: No longer mourn for me when I am dead by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell;
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
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They are hostile nations by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
i

In view of the fading animals
the proliferation of sewers and fears
the sea clogging, the air
nearing extinction

we should be kind, we should
take warning, we should forgive each other

Instead we are opposite, we
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Town Eclogues: Thursday; the Bassette-Table by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
CARDELIA. THE bassette-table spread, the tallier come,
Why stays SMILINDA in the dressing-room ?
Rise, pensive nymph ! the tallier stays for you.

SMILINDA. Ah ! Madam, since my SHARPER is untrue,
I joyless make my once ador'd alpieu.
I saw him stand behind OMBRELIA's Chair,
And whisper with that soft deluding air,
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When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
1
When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

2
O powerful western fallen star!
O shades of night—O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear’d—O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless—O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul.
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Yarrow Visited. September, 1814 by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
And is this—Yarrow?—This the stream
Of which my fancy cherished,
So faithfully, a waking dream?
An image that hath perished!
O that some Minstrel's harp were near,
To utter notes of gladness,
And chase this silence from the air,
That fills my heart with sadness!
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Yee Bow by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
They got me into the Sunday-school
In Spoon River
And tried to get me to drop Confucius for Jesus.
I could have been no worse off
If I had tried to get them to drop Jesus for Confucius.
For, without any warning, as if it were a prank,
And sneaking up behind me, Harry Wiley,
The minister's son, caved my ribs into my lungs,
With a blow of his fist.
Now I shall never sleep with my ancestors in Pekin,
And no children shall worship at my grave.

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