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Poetic Wanderings


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For Anne Gregory - by William Butler Yeats


Never shall a young man,

Thrown into despair

By those great honey-coloured

Ramparts at your ear,

Love you for yourself alone

And not your yellow hair.


(first verse)



I was going for 'Dust of Snow', to use 'crow' as the link word, but remembered that you have already treated us to that, Elfstar!

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I don't know why I love you like I do,

I don't know why, I just do.

I don't know why you thrill me like you do.

I don't know why, you just do.

You never seem to want my romancing.

The only time you hold me

Is when we're dancing.

I don't know why I love you like I do.

I don't know why, I just do.


I think this more properly belongs on the Lyric Chain, but I couldn't resist it :D

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Everyone who made love the night before

was walking around with flashing red lights

on top of their heads-a white-haired old gentlemen,

a red-faced schoolboy, a pregnant woman

who smiled at me from across the street

and gave a little secret shrug,

as if the flashing red light on her head

was a small price to pay for what she knew.




Saturday Morning - Hugo Williams


And yes it was me :o I forgot.

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What a lovely picture that paints!!




If you wake at Midnight, and hear a horse's feet.

Don't go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,

Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie.

Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!


Rudyard Kipling

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Will you forgive me that I did not run

to welcome you as you came in the door?

Forgive I did not sew your buttons on

and left a mess strewn on the kitchen floor?

A woman's work is never done

and there is more.



first verse A Woman's Work - Dorothy Nimmo

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Waiting - by Yevgeny Yevtushenko


My love will come

will fling open her arms and fold me in them,

will understand my fears, observe my changes.

In from the pouring dark, from the pitch night

without stopping to bang the taxi door

she'll run upstairs through the decaying porch

burning with love and love's happiness,

she'll run dripping upstairs, she won't knock,

will take my head in her hands,

and when she drops her overcoat on a chair,

it will slide to the floor in a blue heap.


The whole poem, I couldn't work out how to slice off a few lines at the end!

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A rather bitter Donne piece: from Elegy One


Fond woman, which wouldst have thy husband die,

And yet complain'st of his great jealousy;

If swol'n with poison, he lay in his last bed,

His body with a sere-bark covered,

Drawing his breath, as thick and short, as can

The nimblest crocheting musician,

Ready with loathsome vomiting to spew

His soul out of one hell, into a new,

Made deaf with his poor kindred's howling cries,

Begging with few feigned tears, great legacies,

Thou wouldst not weep, but jolly and frolic be,

As a slave, which tomorrow should be free;

Yet weep'st thou, when thou seest him hungerly

Swallow his own death, hearts-bane jealousy.

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Non Sum Qualis eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae



Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine

There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed

Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;

And I was desolate and sick of an old passion,

Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head:

I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.



First verse.

By Ernest Dowson


RATHER bitter, Artegall?

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A bit of Shakespeare:


No longer mourn for me when I am dead

Then 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 should make you woe.

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But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!

A savage place! as holy and enchanted

As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted

By woman wailing for her demon-lover!


Coleridge - Kubla Khan

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Though three men dwell on Flannan Isle,

To keep the lamp alight,

As we steered under the lee, We caught

no glimmer through the night,


A passing ship at dawn had brought

the news; And quickly we set sail,

To find out what strange thing might ail,

The keepers of the deep-sea light,


The first 8 lines of Flannan Isle by W.W. Gibson., I've loved this since school.

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Thou Linnet! in thy green array,

Presiding Spirit here today,

dost lead the revels of the May;

and this is thy dominion.


from 'The Green Linnet', by Wordsworth, 1803


I first read this in 1965 and have retained a sense of this bird's 'presence', 'scattering its gladness without care'.

Only recently did it occur to me that I didn't know what a Green Linnet looked like. A quick flip through bird books puzzled me with pictures of a brown and grey bird with a red head and breast until I came across a watercolour painted by Thomas Bewick in 1797, entitled 'The Green Grosbeak (Green Finch or Green Linnet) ..... and of course, that's when Wordsworth lived. I do know what a Greenfinch looks like. Forty years later my vision is complete

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