Poems

Dreams
By Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams 
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Fire and Ice
By Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire
Some say in ice
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Friends
By Elizabeth Jennings

I fear it's very wrong of me,
And yet I must admit,
When someone offers friendship
I want the whole of it.
I don't want everybody else
To share my friends with me.
At least, I want one special one,
Who, indisputably,

Likes me much more than all the rest,
Who's always on my side,
Who never cares what others say,
Who lets me come and hide
Within his shadow, in his house -
It doesn't matter where -
Who lets me simply be myself,
Who's always, always there.

How Do I Love Thee?
By Elizabeth Barrett

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
  Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
  I shall but love thee better after death.

Leisure
By W. H. Davies

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Love Knocks at the Door
By John Hall

In the pain, in the loneliness of love,
To the heart of my sweet I fled.
I knocked at the door of her living heart,
"Let in -- let in --" I said.

"What seek you here?" the voices cried,
"You seeker among the dead" --
"Herself I seek, herself I seek,
Let in -- let in!" I said.

They opened the door of her living heart,
But the core thereof was dead.
They opened the core of her living heart --
A worm at the core there fed.

"Where is my sweet, where is my sweet?"
"She is gone away, she is fled.
Long years ago she fled away,
She will never return," they said.

Love's Springtide
By Frank Dempster

MY heart was winter-bound until
   I heard you sing;
O voice of Love, hush not, but fill
   My life with Spring!

My hopes were homeless things before
   I saw your eyes;
O smile of Love, close not the door
   To paradise!

My dreams were bitter once, and then
   I found them bliss;
O lips of Love, give me again
   Your rose to kiss!

Springtide of Love! The secret sweet
   Is ours alone;
O heart of Love, at last you beat
   Against my own!

Part for the Whole
By Robert Francis

When others run to windows or out of doors
To catch the sunset whole, he is content
With any segment anywhere he sits.

From segment, fragment, he can reconstruct
The whole, prefers to reconstruct the whole,
As if to say, I see more seeing less.

A window to the east will serve as well
As window to the west, for eastern sky
Echoes the western sky. And even less-

A patch of light that picture-glass happens
To catch from window-glass, fragment of fragment,
Flawed, distorted, dulled, nevertheless

Gives something unglassed nature cannot give:
The old obliquity of art, and proves
Part may be more than whole, least may be best.

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?
By William Shakespeare

SHall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
     So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
     So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

¿Te comparo con un día de primavera?
Tú eres más apacible y mayor delicia.
El fuerte viento los tiernos capullos de mayo sacude,
y la estancia de la primavera vence prematura.
A veces el sol del cielo brilla en demasía,
y a menudo su tinte dorado se debilita;
y toda belleza tarde o temprano marchita,
por accidente o por el curso de la naturaleza;
Mas nada desvanecerá tu eterna primavera,
ni perderás el reconocimiento de tu hermosura,
ni la muerte se jactará de verte errar en su sombra,
cuando en versos inmortales tu nombre perdura.
Mientras haya aliento o los ojos vean,
Mientras viva esto, y esto te de vida.


The Arrow and the Song
By H. W. Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

The Hammers
By Ralph Hodgson

Noise of hammers once I heard,
Many hammers, busy hammers,
Beating, shaping, night and day,
Shaping, beating dust and clay
To a palace; saw it reared;
Saw the hammers laid away.

And I listened, and I heard
Hammers beating, night and day,
In the palace newly reared,
Beating it to dust and clay:
Other hammers, muffled hammers,
Silent hammers of decay.

The Kiss
By Sara Teasdale

I hoped that he would love me,
And he has kissed my mouth,
But I am like a stricken bird
That cannot reach the south.

For though I know he loves me,
To-night my heart is sad;
His kiss was not so wonderful
As all the dreams I had.

The Wind
By Christina Rosetti

Who has seen the wind?
  Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
  The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
  Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
  The wind is passing by.

True Love
(author unknown)

True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny.
True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear,
True love gives with open heart
And true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds,
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.

When I am dead, my dearest
By Christina Rossetti

When I am dead, my dearest,
  Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
  Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
  With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
  And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
  I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
  Sing on, as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
  That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
  And haply may forget.

When You Are Old
By W. B. Yeats

WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face among a crowd of stars.