In the Past

I
There lies a somnolent lake
Under a noiseless sky,
Where never the mornings break
Nor the evenings die.

Mad flakes of colour
Whirl on its even face
Iridescent and streaked with pallour;
And, warding the silent place,

The rocks rise sheer and gray
From the sedgeless brink to the sky
Dull-lit with the light of pale half-day
Thro’ a void space and dry.

And the hours lag dead in the air
With a sense of coming eternity
To the heart of the lonely boatman there:
That boatman am I,

I, in my lonely boat,
A waif on the somnolent lake,
Watching the colours creep and float
With the sinuous track of a snake.

Now I lean o’er the side
And lazy shades in the water see,
Lapped in the sweep of a sluggish tide
Crawled in from the living sea;

And next I fix mine eyes,
So long that the heart declines,
On the changeless face of the open skies
Where no star shines;

And now to the rocks I turn,
To the rocks, around
That lie like walls of a circling sun
Wherein lie bound

The waters that feel my powerless strength
And meet my homeless oar
Labouring over their ashen length
Never to find a shore.

But the gleam still skims
At times on the somnolent lake,
And a light there is that swims
With the whirl of a snake;

And tho’ dead be the hours i’ the air,
And dayless the sky,
The heart is alive of the boatman there:
That boatman am I.
43
Rating:

Comment form:

*Max text - 500. Manual moderation.

Similar Poems:

Erinna by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Was she of spirit race, or was she one
Of earth's least earthly daughters, one to whom
A gift of loveliness and soul is given,
Only to make them wretched?There is an antique gem, on which her brow
Retains its graven beauty even now.
Her hair is braided, but one curl behind
Floats as enamour'd of the summer wind;
The rest is simple. Is she not too fair
Read Poem
0
65
Rating:

from Gilgamesh: Tablet 11 by David Ferry
David Ferry
i

Gilgamesh spoke and said to the old man then:
"When I looked at you I thought that you were not

a man, one made like me; I had resolved
to challenge you as one might challenge a demon,

a stranger-adversary. But now I see
that you are Utnapishtim, made like me,

a man, the one I sought, the one from whom
Read Poem
0
59
Rating:

From Maud (Part XVIII): I have led her Home, my love, my only friend by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I have led her home, my love, my only friend,
There is none like her, none.
And never yet so warmly ran my blood
And sweetly, on and on
Calming itself to the long-wished-for end,
Full to the banks, close on the promised good.

None like her, none.
Just now the dry-tongued laurels’ pattering talk
Seem’d her light foot along the garden walk,
And shook my heart to think she comes once more;
But even then I heard her close the door,
The gates of Heaven are closed, and she is gone.

There is none like her, none.
Read Poem
0
67
Rating:

Winter Dawn by Kenneth Slessor
Kenneth Slessor
At five I wake, rise, rub on the smoking pane
A port to see—water breathing in the air,
Boughs broken. The sun comes up in a golden stain,
Floats like a glassy sea-fruit. There is mist everywhere,
White and humid, and the Harbour is like plated stone,
Dull flakes of ice. One light drips out alone,
One bead of winter-red, smouldering in the steam,
Quietly over the roof-tops—another window
Read Poem
0
42
Rating:

Alastor; or, The Spirit of Solitude by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Nondum amabam, et amare amabam, quaerebam quid amarem, amans amare.—
Confess. St. August. Earth, ocean, air, belovèd brotherhood!
If our great Mother has imbued my soul
With aught of natural piety to feel
Your love, and recompense the boon with mine;
Read Poem
0
64
Rating:

Lines Written among the Euganean Hills by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Many a green isle needs must be
In the deep wide sea of Misery,
Or the mariner, worn and wan,
Never thus could voyage on
Day and night, and night and day,
Drifting on his dreary way,
With the solid darkness black
Closing round his vessel's track;
Whilst above, the sunless sky,
Big with clouds, hangs heavily,
And behind, the tempest fleet
Hurries on with lightning feet,
Riving sail, and cord, and plank,
Till the ship has almost drank
Death from the o'er-brimming deep;
Read Poem
0
70
Rating:

Mont Blanc: Lines Written in the Vale of Chamouni by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
I
The everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark—now glittering—now reflecting gloom—
Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters—with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume,
In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.

II
Thus thou, Ravine of Arve—dark, deep Ravine—
Read Poem
0
68
Rating:

Obermann Once More by Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
Savez-vous quelque bien qui console du
regret d'un monde?—OBERMANN.
Glion?—Ah, twenty years, it cuts
Read Poem
0
41
Rating:

The Stream's Secret by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
What thing unto mine ear
Wouldst thou convey,—what secret thing,
O wandering water ever whispering?
Surely thy speech shall be of her.
Thou water, O thou whispering wanderer,
What message dost thou bring?

Say, hath not Love leaned low
Read Poem
0
61
Rating: