STORIES and POETRY




Man Stands at the Crossroad and Contemplates Humankind Making
its Way Beyond the Cosmic Machine. Cecilia Bustamante

Literary works by leading poets and thinkers of the English world

POEMS OF ALL TIME 4


Bliss Carman, born in Fredericton, New Brunswick; died at Canaan, Conn., U.S.A. in 1929.

 VESTIGIA

I took a day to search for God,
And found Him not. But as I trod
By rocky ledge, through woods untamed,
Just where one scarlet lily flamed,
I saw His footprint in the sod.

Then suddenly, all unaware,
Far off in the deep shadows, where
A solitary hermit thrush
Sang through the holy twilight hush-
I heard His voice upon the air.

And even as I marvelled how
God gives us Heaven here and now,
In a stir of wind that hardly shook
The poplar leaves beside the brook-
His hand was light upon my brow.

At last with evening as I turned
Homeward, and thought what I had learned
And all that there was still to probe-
I caught the glory of His robe
Where the last fires of sunset burned.

Back to the world with quickening start
I looked and longed for any part
In making saving Beauty be....
And from that kindling ecstasy
I knew God dwelt within my heart.


William Butler Yeats, born at Dublin, Ireland in 1865; died at Nice, France in 1939.

BEFORE THE WORLD WAS MADE

If I made the lashes dark
And the eyes more bright
And the lips more scarlet,
Or ask if all be right
From mirror after mirror,
No vanity`s displayed:
I`m looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.

What if I look upon a man
As though on my beloved,
And my blood be cold the while
And my heart unmoved?
Why should he think me cruel
Or that he is betrayed?
I`d have him love the thing that was
Before the world was made.


John McCrae, born at Guelph, Ontario, 1872; died at Wimereux, France in 1918.
       			IN FLANDERS FIELDS
       
       		In Flanders fields the poppies blow
       		Between the crosses, row on row,
           		That mark our place; and in the sky
           		The larks, still bravely singing, fly
       		Scarce heard amid the guns below.
       
       		We are the dead. Short days ago
       		We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
           		Loved and were loved, and now we lie
               			In Flanders fields.
       
       		Take up our quarrel with the foe:
       		To you from failing hands we throw
           		The torch; be yours to hold it high.
           		If ye break faith with us who die
       		We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
               			In Flanders fields.
G.K. Chesterton, born in London, 1874; died there, 1936.
      		   Hymn for the Church Militant

      		Great God, that bowest sky and star,
       			Bow down our towering thoughts to thee,
      		And grant us in a faltering war
        			The firm feet of humility.

      		Lord, we that snatch the swords of flame,
        			Lord, we that cry about Thy ear,
      		We too are weak with pride and shame,
        			We too are as our foemen are.

      		Yea, we are mad as they are mad,
        			Yea, we are blind as they are blind,
      		Yea, we are very sick and sad
        			Who bring good news to all mankind.

      		The dreadful joy Thy Son has sent
        			Is heavier than any care;
      		We find, as Cain his punishment,
        			Our pardon more than we can bear.

      		Lord, when we cry Thee far and near
        			And thunder through all lands unknown
      		The gospel into every ear,
        			Lord, let us not forget our own.

      		Cleanse us from ire of creed or class,
        			The anger of the idle kings;
      		Sow in our souls, like living grass,
        			The laughter of all lowly things.

Robert Frost, born in San Francisco, 1874.

 Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promised to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

John Masefield,born at Ledbury, Herefordshire, 1878 .

			   SEA - FEVER

	I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
	And all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by,
	And the wheel`s kick and the wind`s song and the white sailīs 
		Shaking,
	And a grey mist on the sea`s face and a grey dawn breaking.

	I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
	Is a wild call and clear call that may not be denied;
	And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
	And the flung spray the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

	I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
	To the gullīs way and the whaleīs way where the windīs like a
		Whetted knife;
	And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover,
	And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trickīs over.

Carl Sandburg,born at Galesburg, Illinois, 1878.
                    		CHICAGO

               		Hog butcher for the world,
               		Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
               		Player with railroads and the Nation's
                    		Freight Handler;
               		Stormy,husky, brawling,
               		City of the Big Shoulders:
	They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen
     		 your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm 
     		 boys.
	And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true
     		 I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
	And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces 
	of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton 
     		 hunger.
	And having answered so, I turn once more to those who sneer
     		at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to
     		them:
	Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud
     		to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
	Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here
     		is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
	Fierce as a dog with tonge lapping for action, cunning as a 
			savage pitted against the wilderness,
               		Bareheaded,
               		Shoveling,
               		Wrecking,
               		Planning,
               		Building, breaking, rebuilding,
	Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white
     		teeth,
	Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man
     		laughs,
	Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost
     		a battle,
	Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and
     		under his ribs the heart of the people,
               		Laughing!
	Laughing the stomy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-
     		naked, sweeting, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker,
		Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler
		to the Nation.               



                      	      A Z T E C
          
              		YOU came from the Aztecs
              		With a copper on your fore-arms
              		Tawnier than a sunset
              		Saying good-by to an even river.
              		And I said, you remember,
              		Those fore-arms of yours
              		Were finer than bronzes
              		And you were glad.
                              		It was tears
              		And a pass west
                      		and a home going
                      		when I asked
              		why there were scars of worn gold
              		where a man’s ring was fixed once
              		on third finger.
                              		And I call you
              		To come back
                      		before the days are longer.


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