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An English Gentleman An English Gentleman

An English Gentleman
I determined yesterday to become English gentleman; And I have this morning bought a bowler hat. I have bought brown boots and a suit of rare blue serge, Which the affable one who supplied me with it Spoke of as Natty, and added his assurance That I would look Quite the Gentleman. I have bought white collars and many-coloured ties, And a walking-stick and a blue-spotted shirt. Apparelled thus, I strolled this evening down Pennyfields, And the old men came out with expressions of no-kindness. They made ugly mouths, And... Poems - Post by : mooter - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 1974

Breaking-point Breaking-point

Breaking-point
Many heavy blows has this patient person's back received, These many years. He has lost friends and money; He has lost his own country; His well-framed enterprises have gone awry. And his heart has gone hungry these many years for love. All these things he has suffered without murmur. One thing alone has driven him to utter piercing cries, And make gestures expressive of volcano in eruption: And that is the bootmender across the road Who sings hymns to himself in the evening. For that is true that the sage... Poems - Post by : avionwbt - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 3233

An Upright Man An Upright Man

An Upright Man
The grave and thin-faced one who keeps the Bespoke Tailor's Shop, And subjects his child to treatment of a most disagreeable nature, Never goes into the Blue Lantern, Never takes pellet of li-un or nut of areca, Or communes with Black Smoke, Or loses money at puckapoo, Or makes public outcry or gesture Expressive of delight in his friends, Or does foolish and unworthy things, Or makes exchange of hats with friends. He has no friends, for he has no weaknesses. While others fall to the simple follies of humanity... Poems - Post by : tysic - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 955

The Case Of Ho Ling The Case Of Ho Ling

The Case Of Ho Ling
Truly the ways of mandarins are inscrutable. My estimable and upright friend, Ho Ling, Long had desired to return to his own country. He bore himself in Limehouse without reproach, A reputable stranger, mild of manner and gentle of address. Against him none could bring a charge or speak a word of upbraiding. He conformed in all ways to the laws of correct conduct. Yet when he sought assistance to return to his own country, Being without means, And hung at the ear of notable men who could help him, They... Poems - Post by : Mark_Austin - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 1936

Making A Feast Making A Feast

Making A Feast
Ho! Friends and enemies of Pennyfields, A feast is spread, and you are all invited. Many tides have risen and retired Since I left the fervid skies of my own country For the thin skies and leaden streets of the West. Long have I sojourned, seeking my desire, Keeping my shop, and looking always with long eyes At others' guesting-tables, at whose top sat love. From my cold corner I have watched their feast of fondness, and my heart has flown away, And has beaten like a lost bird at their... Poems - Post by : LindaCaroll - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 2565

Footsteps Footsteps

Footsteps
As I lie on my pallet at night I hear from the street the sound of passing footsteps; And I can sort and name these passing footsteps. There are the truculent steps of the seeker after trouble, There are the fearful feet of those who are not at ease In the implacable streets. There are the fugitive feet of crime, And the solemn reassuring tread of big policemen; And the interrupted steps of the revellers, And the fleet feet of those who have purchased trouble. But those that tread most heavily... Poems - Post by : mikefilsaime - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 3428

Upstairs Upstairs

Upstairs
I have lifted her over my threshold to-night. Many moons have risen and set since she received my napi; But now she is here and has entered my upper room, Where is a shrine for the joss of happiness, And a soft couch and delicate hanging, And fine things for fine fingers to handle, And shaded lanterns and a guitar and my machine-that-sings. There are ornaments of jade and lacquer, And the bamboo pipe and the hap-heem that I have laid aside, And the written leaves containing my verses. But there... Poems - Post by : dglenn - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 915

A Rebuke A Rebuke

A Rebuke
Excuse me, Mister, if I enter a gentle protest About the manner in which you comport yourself When taking the air about the streets. For, looking at you, one would form the opinion That you were a man of much worth and nobility, That you were high in officialdom, A councillor of the king or a learned judge, Or one whose piety and wisdom Had marked him out to sit above his fellow. One would think thus to see the swinging arms, The slow protuberant belly sheathed in a vest of... Poems - Post by : foryourf - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 3104

A Love Lesson A Love Lesson

A Love Lesson
Last night I dreamed of the maid with yellow curls. She came to me in the room above my shop, And we two were alone, freed from the laws of day. I held her then to myself. I took from her her clothing, garment by garment, And watched them fall about her feet, White petals of a flower. And I drew from her to myself her thoughts, one by one, As often I had wished, till all of her was mine. Then I was sad, for nothing was left to love.... Poems - Post by : jwells - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 1009

Of A Night In War-time Of A Night In War-time

Of A Night In War-time
Upon a night I sat behind my shop, In happy talk with casual company: The upright Ho Ling, the grave Cheng Huan, And the round-bodied and amiable Sway Too, of my own country; Together with the maid of the golden curls, A sad-eyed seaman from Malay, And two pale Englishmen, Bill Hawkins and Jack Brown. We sat beneath the lantern, and drank our tchah in fellowship, And spoke of this and of that. And the moon rose and mated with the soft smells of my store, And brought forth a spirit... Poems - Post by : pgoodison - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 3489

Night And Day Night And Day

Night And Day
The waters of the river flow swiftly at Limehouse Hole, Past wharves, and ugly gardens, Past beautiful steel ships and tawny sails, Past clamorous factories and broken boats and bells. Throughout the day these things are one-- One body of dire endeavour. But when the evening introduces the night, This thing is broken into a thousand delicacies, And the warm notes of night Make happy discord of the day's harsh harmonies.(The end)Thomas Burke's poem: Night And Day... Poems - Post by : jsypolt - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 3315

Of Inaccessible Beauty Of Inaccessible Beauty

Of Inaccessible Beauty
Ladies in elegant silks and laces Have come at times to my insignificant shop, For pieces of jade, or banners, or curious cuttings of ivory. And I look with insufferable emotion Upon their roseleaf skin, And breathe the soft scents that flow from their garments, And long to soothe their lily-fingered hands. In their presence I am seized with longings unutterable, And am filled with a sickness of my present unkind estate. But then I remember That Beauty's not always a star, Not always remote, not always in lofty... Poems - Post by : thedeveloper - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 1952

Directions For Making Tea Directions For Making Tea

Directions For Making Tea
In making tchah for table, each man has his own way. Some serve it dashed with lemon, and some with bamboo shoot, And some with sugar, in the English way, And some with spot of sam-shu.; But when one offers tchah to distinguished visitor, One offers the noble suey sen, and flavors it With the dried bud of the noble chrysanthemum. Consider these verses, little friend, As cups of suey sen Flavoured with the buds of the flower of all flowers.(The end)Thomas Burke's poem: Directions For Making Tea... Poems - Post by : primelibra - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 1542

The Feast Of Go Nien The Feast Of Go Nien

The Feast Of Go Nien
We are now in the Pepper Month; And soon will come the Feast of Go Nien. Then I will pay my debts, and gather in my dues. I will walk in the great procession; And afterwards I will hang up my devil-chasers And will proceed to the restaurant of Ng Tack, And drink spring wine with him and meet my friends. That evening I shall eat of the best: Of chicken cream and pigeon in soy-ed, With a brown noodle of pork and prawn, And a curry of fish and a... Poems - Post by : seaweed - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 1761

Reproof And Approbation Reproof And Approbation

Reproof And Approbation
Because I gave a piece of silk To my friend of the golden curls, One (may the dogs devour him) threw a stone at my window, And hooted and jeered and made base noise with his mouth. Nay, worse, this son of a sea-slug (may his line perish) Hurled hard names at my friend, Calling her Tart, and Flusey, and Tom; and, as we walked together, Cried: 'Watcher, Nancy, who's yer friend with the melon face And the bug-eaten cabbage-leaf on his head?' The lean and scurvy dog that slinks about Pennyfields... Poems - Post by : streetkid - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 1272

Dockside Noises Dockside Noises

Dockside Noises
There are in Limehouse many sounds; A hundred different sounds by day and night. The crash and mutter of the dockside railway, The noise of quarrel, the noise of fist on face, My country's songs, guitars, and gramophones, The noise of boot on stone, The noise of women bargaining their flesh, The noise of singers in the ships, Sounds of threat and sounds of fear, Blasts of hammer and steel and iron, The scream of syren, the wail of hooter, The clangour of angry bells, The boom of guns,... Poems - Post by : midnightblue - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 1702

On A Saying Of Mencius On A Saying Of Mencius

On A Saying Of Mencius
That was well said of Mencius: The misfortunes of one are the entertainment of many. When Prosperity attended the occasions of this person, And his heart smiled within him, He was regarded and received on all sides by his fellows With attitudes of dignity and expressions of mandarin-like solemnity, And his laughing heart could fetch no smile To the faces of those about him. But when, on a recent manifestation of evil spirits, He was hailed before those in authority And commanded to pay very many taels, For the fault... Poems - Post by : gnhtrey - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 1656

A Portrait A Portrait

A Portrait
How shall I write of you, little friend, To my father on the River of Serenity? I will tell him of your twenty yellow curls Tumbling in a cascade about your shoulders; Your bright mouth and fine brow, Lit by yet brighter eyes, Where fireflies dance; How in your cheeks you hold The colours of the flower before its leaves unclose; How the tones of your voice, sounding in my ears, Float before my eyes like strings of lanterns; How, when I look closely upon you, I see my... Poems - Post by : smartguys04 - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 3080

Going To Market Going To Market

Going To Market
Good morning, Mister, how do you do? I am going to Salmon Lane, to the cheap market for dainty foods. Won't you come with me, Mister? I shall buy meat and fish and a loaf of bread, And fresh fruit and potatoes; I shall buy a cluster of flowers and a bottle of wine, Some butter and some jam, And biscuits, and nuts and candy. For I give an English feast to-night to a friend with yellow curls, And every dish will be cooked by me. Into the pot will go... Poems - Post by : niece - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 2150

Of Worship And Conduct Of Worship And Conduct

Of Worship And Conduct
At the corner of the Causeway on every seventh evening Gathers the band of Salvation Army, Making big noise of Washed-in-Blood-of-Lamb. At temple in East India Dock Road Men gather in white clothes, and sing, And march with candles and pray to Lady. At shop in Pennyfields, many times a day, This person pays respect to Big Man Joss, And burns to him prayer-papers and punk-sticks. And all day long men toil for wife and child; Wife suffer and stint to make bigger plate for child; Child beg in street... Poems - Post by : webbie - Date : November 2011 - Author : Thomas Burke - Read : 2517