Jump to content

Do you have a favourite poem?


Beagle
 Share

Recommended Posts

Smuggler's Song - Rudyard Kipling

 

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 ask no questions isn't told a lie.
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by.

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark -
Brandy for the Parson, 'Baccy for the Clerk.
Laces for a lady; letters for a spy,
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by!

Running round the woodlump if you chance to find
Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
Don't you shout to come and look, nor use 'em for your play.
Put the brishwood back again - and they'll be gone next day !

If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
If the lining's wet and warm - don't you ask no more !

If you meet King George's men, dressed in blue and red,
You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you " pretty maid," and chuck you 'neath the chin,
Don't you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one's been !

Knocks and footsteps round the house - whistles after dark -
You've no call for running out till the house-dogs bark.
Trusty's here, and Pincher's here, and see how dumb they lie
They don't fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by !

'If You do as you've been told, 'likely there's a chance,
You'll be give a dainty doll, all the way from France,
With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood -
A present from the Gentlemen, along 'o being good !

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark -
Brandy for the Parson, 'Baccy for the Clerk.
Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie -
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by !

 

The Auld Grump

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 81
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Do Not Go Gently - Dylan Thomas

 

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

The Auld Grump

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Highwayman

PART ONE
 
The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.   
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.   
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,   
And the highwayman came riding—
         Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.
 
He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,   
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.   
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
         His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.
 
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.   
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there   
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
         Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
 
And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened. His face was white and peaked.   
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,   
But he loved the landlord’s daughter,
         The landlord’s red-lipped daughter.
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—
 
“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,   
Then look for me by moonlight,
         Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”
 
He rose upright in the stirrups. He scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;   
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
         (O, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.
 
PART TWO
 
He did not come in the dawning. He did not come at noon;   
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,   
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor,   
A red-coat troop came marching—
         Marching—marching—
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.
 
They said no word to the landlord. They drank his ale instead.   
But they gagged his daughter, and bound her, to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!   
There was death at every window;
         And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.
 
They had tied her up to attention, with many a sbroccoliing jest.
They had bound a musket beside her, with the muzzle beneath her breast!
“Now, keep good watch!” and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
         Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!
 
She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!   
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
         Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!
 
The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest.   
Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast.   
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;   
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
         Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.
 
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horsehoofs ringing clear;   
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding—
         Riding—riding—
The red coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still.
 
Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!   
Nearer he came and nearer. Her face was like a light.
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,   
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
         Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.
 
He turned. He spurred to the west; he did not know who stood   
Bowed, with her head o’er the musket, drenched with her own blood!   
Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey to hear   
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
         The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.
 
Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.
Blood red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;
When they shot him down on the highway,
         Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with a bunch of lace at his throat.
 
.       .       .
 
And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,   
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,   
A highwayman comes riding—
         Riding—riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.
 
Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.   
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there   
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
         Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ruth Moore called THE HANGDOWNS

THERES A HILL ON BARTLETTS ISLAND
SO STEEP AND HIGH AND ROUND
WHERE THE WENDIGO ON HIS BIG FLAT FEET
MAKES TRACKS ALL OVER THE GROUND.
wHERE THE DINGBALLS DING AT THE WILLUMALONES
AND THE SIDE HILL GOUGERS SKI
AND DOCTOR PILLGARLIC WITH HAIR ON HIS TEETLIVES IN A HOLLOW TREE

BUT THE HANGDOWNS, THE HANG-DOWNS
DONT EVER GO NEAR THE HANG-DOWNS
THEY'RE HARD TO SEE, AND THERE'S ONE TO A TREE,
AND, THEY HANG DOWN.

ON EVERY END OF A DING BALLS TAIL
IS A GREAT BIG BOWLING BALL
HEL'LL DING AT YOU ONCE, HE'LL DING AT YOU TWICE
AND BROTHER, THAT WILL BE ALL.
AND DOCTOR PILLGARLIC PLAYS A GAME
ON FOLKS JUST PASSING THROUGH
IF HE PLAYS THAT GAME, YOU WONT BE THE SAME
YOU'LL HAVE HAIR ON YOUR TEETH TOO.

BUT, THE HANG DOWNS THE HANGDOWNS
STAY AWAY FROM THE HANG DOWNS
THEY'RE SLIMEY AND GREEN, AND THE'RE SELDOM SEEN,
BUT THEY HANG DOWN

BIG TUNK AND LITTLE TUNK SLEEP IN THE POND
AS LONG AS THE MOON IS BRIGHT
BUT, LET IT BE FOGGY AND DARK AND STILL,
THEY GO TUNK TUNK ALL NIGHT.
AND THE ABERNITS CREEP OUT OF THE BRUSH
TO WIGGLE UP YOUR NOSE
AND TOBACCO JUICE SQUIRTERS LIE IN WAIT
TO SPIT ALL OVER YOUR CLOTHES.
 

BUT, THE HANGDOWNS THE HANG DOWNS
YOU BETTER BEWARE OF THE HANGDOWS
YOU BETTER RUN LIKE A SON-OF A GUN
BECAUSE, THEY HANG DOWN

NOW, THE RAZOR SHINS CAN KICK AT A TREE,
AND WHAMMO..DOWN IT WHUMPS
IF ONCE THEY GET A WHACK AT YOUR SHINS
YOU'LL GO HOME ON BLOODY STUMPS
AND THET WILL-AM-ALONES GO ROUND ALL DAY
SOMETIMES THE WHOLE NIGHT THROUGH
ROLLING POISON TOAD STOOLS INTO LITTLE BALLS
ITS CANDY JUST FOR YOU

BUT THE HANGDOWNS THE HANG DOWNS
DONT FOOL AROUND WITH THE HANG DOWNS
THEY'RE COLDER THAN ICE AND THEY'RE NOT NICE
AND THEY HANG DOWN

OH THE HILL ON BARTLETTS ISLAND IS FULL OF MANY THINGS
SOME GIVE GREAT SQUEALS SOME ROLL ON WHEELS
OR FLY ON GREAT BLACK WINGS
ON YOUR LUCKY DAY, YOU MIGHT GET AWAY
FROM ONE OF THEM, OR TWO,
BUT YOU WONT EXIST AND YOU WONT BE MISSED
OR, MAYBE, YOU WONT BE YOU IF..

YOU RUN AFOUL OF THE HANG DOWNS
THE SLITHERY WITHERY HANG DOWNS
THEY WONT MOVE A HAIR, BUT, THEY'LL BE THERE
AND THEY HANG DOWN...

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if it's my favorite still but this was my introduction to my favorite poet Stephen Dobyns

 

Pursuit

 

Each thing I do I rush through so I can do
something else. In such a way do the days pass—
a blend of stock car racing and the never
ending building of a Gothic cathedral.
Through the windows of my speeding car, I see
all that I love falling away: books unread,
jokes untold, landscapes unvisited. And why?
What treasure do I expect in my future?
Rather it is the confusion of childhood
loping behind me, the chaos in the mind,
the failure chipping away at each success.
Glancing over my shoulder I see its shape
and so move forward, as someone in the woods
at night might hear the sound of approaching feet
and stop to listen; then, instead of silence
he hears some creature trying to be silent.
What else can he do but run? Rushing blindly
down the path, stumbling, struck in the face by sticks;
the other ever closer, yet not really
hurrying or out of breath, teasing its kill. 

Edited by Bustedknee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Tale Of Custard The Dragon - Poem by Ogden Nash

 

Belinda lived in a little white house, 
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse, 
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon, 
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon. 

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink, 
And the little gray mouse, she called her Blink, 
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard, 
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard. 

Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth, 
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath, 
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose, 
And realio, trulio, daggers on his toes. 

Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears, 
And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs, 
Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage, 
But Custard cried for a nice safe cage. 

Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful, 
Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival, 
They all sat laughing in the little red wagon 
At the realio, trulio, cowardly dragon. 

Belinda giggled till she shook the house, 
And Blink said Week! , which is giggling for a mouse, 
Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age, 
When Custard cried for a nice safe cage. 

Suddenly, suddenly they heard a nasty sound, 
And Mustard growled, and they all looked around. 
Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda, 
For there was a pirate, climbing in the winda. 

Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right, 
And he held in his teeth a cutlass bright, 
His beard was black, one leg was wood; 
It was clear that the pirate meant no good. 

Belinda paled, and she cried, Help! Help! 
But Mustard fled with a terrified yelp, 
Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household, 
And little mouse Blink strategically mouseholed. 

But up jumped Custard, snorting like an engine, 
Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon, 
With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm 
He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm. 

The pirate gaped at Belinda's dragon, 
And gulped some grog from his pocket flagon, 
He fired two bullets but they didn't hit, 
And Custard gobbled him, every bit. 

Belinda embraced him, Mustard licked him, 
No one mourned for his pirate victim 
Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate 
Around the dragon that ate the pyrate. 

But presently up spoke little dog Mustard,
I'd been twice as brave if I hadn't been flustered.
And up spoke Ink and up spoke Blink,
We'd have been three times as brave, we think,
And Custard said, I quite agree
That everybody is braver than me.

Belinda still lives in her little white house, 
With her little black kitten and her little gray mouse, 
And her little yellow dog and her little red wagon, 
And her realio, trulio, little pet dragon. 

Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears, 
And Ink and Blink chase lions down the stairs, 
Mustard is as brave as a tiger in a rage, 
But Custard keeps crying for a nice safe cage.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...