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Full Online Book HomeAuthor William Rose BenetPage 1
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The Long Absence The Long Absence

The Long Absence
IACCOSTED"If you saw blue eyes that could light and darkleWith merriment or pain;If you saw a face that was only heart--lonelyIn the cities of the plain;If you felt a kindness that was happy as the daybreak,Patient as night,And saw the eyes lift and--the dawn in May break,You have seen her aright."Blue-cloaked archangel, rein your steed a little,Though cities flame!Messenger of night, though my words are brittle,Though I know not your name,Though your steed paw sparkles and your pinions quiverWith colors like the sea,Tell me if you saw her, if you saw my love ever!She is lost to me."That is why I... Poems - Post by : razztek - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 1289

After (introductory Poem) After (introductory Poem)

After (introductory Poem)
IOn Sunday in the sunlightWith brightness round her strownAnd murmuring beauty of the skyAt last her very own,She who had loved all childrenAnd all high things and cleanTurned away to silentnessAnd bliss unseen.Rending, blinding anguish,Is all a man can know;Yet still I kneel beside herFor she would have it so,Kneel and pray beside herIn light she left behind--Light and love in silentness,Sight to the blind.Oh living light burn through me!Oh speak, as spoke to meHer deep sweet eyes and faithful,Voice on Calvary!Oh light be near and shining,Nearer than I guess,And teach me that true languageOf silentness!IIIf now I fall awayFrom faith,... Poems - Post by : SandyBaby - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 3373

Premonition Premonition

Premonition
(Written in absence and unaware of her desperate condition, a few days before her death.)This is the song I shall make.Love with white wing bids it wake.Love with dark wing bids it die.Trailing to dimness, the flood of my passion,Glittering to darkness, the necklace I fashionTo loop on the breast of the sky!I have climbed high, even I,Following a light through a rift in the blue,Following a silence that pierced like a cry,Following the image of you.This is the song I will fashion for you.Oh ragged-jawed, jagged-toothed Dragon of Time,What will you do with the weft of my rhyme,You who have... Poems - Post by : thisbiz - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 2556

The Pale Dancer The Pale Dancer

The Pale Dancer
My heart's a still shore; all the golden sails are gone.A pale, silver floor in the hugeness of dawnMy heart lies once more, and the little ripples beatThis small, idle tune, like the fall of elves' feet,"Oh, come, airy dancer--come dance on us, Sweet!"She comes like a breeze in the midnight of May.The tumbling of the seas makes a tune far away.She comes with closed eyes, with light footsteps she nears,And she sings the low song that each lipping ripple hears."In love there is laughter, and after--come tears!"She dances like the moonlight--light, languorous, aswoon.Her face floats uplifted, a flower to the... Poems - Post by : imported_n/a - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 3188

Unforgotten Unforgotten

Unforgotten
Wakening in the night, the pain that slumberStrikes with her mace of silence dead and dumbLoomed over me and, formless, said, "I come!Bringing illusions lost beyond all number.Rigid you lie, yet for a little cumberThis flaming world some die proudly, someGlitter like granite, or dream millenium."It left me toiled in mountainous clouds of umber.I lay sustaining all the old emotion,Numbed as beneath the blows of iron cars.Then slowly, slowly some supreme devotionCrept down, and drew me out of ageless wars,Like a dear voice heard over darkened oceanWhen all dim heaven is trembling into stars.(The end)William Rose Benet's poem: Unforgotten... Poems - Post by : Cheryl - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 1251

Judgment Judgment

Judgment
Down the deep steps of stone through iron doorsI entered that red room and saw the rack,And round the walls I saw them sit in black,The immutable and urgent councillors.My heart was clotted with an old remorse,Despair a vulture fast upon my back.I saw my body like an empty sackTossed disarticulate on grated floors.But even a wilder wonder at this crimeTried in the dungeon of my own grim lifeWoke, as your memory awoke with tuneThat crazed the very walls. I stared through TimeLike to a man who stands with smoking knifeAbove his dead, and sees the rising moon.(The end)William Rose Benet's... Poems - Post by : jrsbizlink - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 1710

The Lover The Lover

The Lover
I rooted silver stars from heaven in showers,Rived adamant to show an azure gap,Captured the very Psyche in my cap,Filched from the sack of Time six diamond hours.Hyperborean in my crown of flowersI ran and leapt the cliff of thunderclapPlunging through green sea-light where bronze fronds wrapCrumbling pearl palaces and coral bowers.Now--"Could I move, all humankind would pantEven to think such effort! Could my songsCry out, dusked heaven would shudder at my wrongs!"I moaned, and then looked flushed and palpitantOn Love's rapt face, that frenzied flagellantWielding with zeal the welting golden thongs.(The end)William Rose Benet's poem: Lover... Poems - Post by : afastgift - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 1999

Anomaly Anomaly

Anomaly
Men who are fain to change, look wizenedlyInto the flowing mirror of your thoughtAnd see on what strange reefs your joys are caughtAnd contemplate your vexed variety:Grief that was hooded for eternityCasting the stole for spangled domino,Awe on its pinnacle jigging heel and toe.Love laughing into hate and mockery.What shoots the warp to patterns that reblendAnd spread and fade,--and working out what end?In time of pain why be as volubleAs one who tells an endless useless sum,Yet simple clay, pallid and deaf and dumbThrough the one moment forging Heaven or Hell?(The end)William Rose Benet's poem: Anomaly... Poems - Post by : imported_n/a - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 3249

In Time Of Trouble In Time Of Trouble

In Time Of Trouble
In memory of your desolate eyes I knowThat words are words, with nothing to gainsayThe testimony of pain, the heavy day;But searching in the ruins of overthrowI gathered you this wreath that now I show;Small and barbaric brightness on the gray,--Glimmering irony, perhaps. I layIt down before your eyes, and softly go.You are a vista blundered on in ArdenWhere the fool grasps his bells, that he may hark;A sudden skyward path where cliffs are wardenOf waves that foam to reach a high tide-mark;Whisper of blossoms in a midnight garden;A fountain whitely flowering on the dark.(The end)William Rose Benet's poem: In Time... Poems - Post by : createit - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 1910

And A Long Way Off He Saw Fairyland And A Long Way Off He Saw Fairyland

And A Long Way Off He Saw Fairyland
I lived once with fairies,(And I know they're true fairies!)One lifts laughing eyesIn a way I most admire.Truth goes by contraries,For you don't know they're fairiesTill there isn't any firelight,Nor song beside the fire.One fairy's small to hold,And her hair is fairy gold.One's a feminine fairyWith unusual address.One fairy's just Jim.You just look and love him,With his nonsense and his laughAnd his sturdy steadfastness.And the fairy queen I knewHas eyes that are blue,Has moods that are decided,And courage that deniesIt is ever brave at all.She mends them when they fall;She tends the little fairiesIn absurd, delightful wise.They bring her thoughts like... Poems - Post by : eagltrax - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 3111

Sunlight Sunlight

Sunlight
Sunlight is full of age.Ah, so old!Older than any sageHas ever told!The draught our Lord quaffed upTo the bloody lees;The aching hemlock cupOf Socrates.It is a golden sword;The veil of the Grail;The unfathomable WordThat will not fail.Along a summer streetIt often liesShimmering to repeatImmortal paradise.As a mountain lake can mirrorThe exalted with the near,Heaven's wonder and terror--Both shine here.It says all things in nought;And, saying them, passesTo gild like gentle thoughtTrees and grasses.It sways upon the oceanLike a god asleepWhere the waves' wandering motionHides the deep.It shafts through forest aislesLike miracle;It trembles and smilesOn the lip of Hell.It has touched Greece... Poems - Post by : Ace_Of_Shirts - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 2594

Death Will Make Clear Death Will Make Clear

Death Will Make Clear
What in the night says the clock that ticks time to eternity,Swimmer of waves of your thought that are dark waves and deep?What in the night says the moon, from her patient infinity,Laying pale hands on your heart, hands of peace and of sleep?What say the stars to her eyes, who has loosed by the windowThe billow of her hair, as the dark of the trees feels her fear?And over the cradle what whisper is breathing, is breathing.As over the bed of the bride or the catafalqued bier,Or over the flung and clawed earth where a soldier is dying?"Death will make... Poems - Post by : tenglish - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 2649

Miniature Miniature

Miniature
For all your gestures, for your gray-blue eyesAnd Irish mouth, and hair that makes you child,When shaken out at evening; for your mirthAnd your quick pity, and your mother's breast;For the great tenderness that you have givenAnd the rich dreams through purple-flowing night,The holy lull of effort and the peaceOf a deep love; because of all these things,Wherever I should be,--beyond what seasOf an enchanted music, on what isles,I know not, of a strange irradiance,In dream or life or death,--dissatisfiedWith splendor or white mystery, my heartWould break--my heart would break--never to hearYour tones again or feel your hair againBeneath my lips,... Poems - Post by : Jacinda - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 2186

Man Possessed Man Possessed

Man Possessed
Shaken, a thousand times shaken, with the millions that grieve,Now at last I am overtaken. I will say I believe.I ran with the pennons of morning astream over me.On the precipice, scorning its warning, I ran to be free.Still I love high winds and the great running and the steep verge,But strength past my strength overtakes my cunning, and stars emergeHigh over me, eternal, deathless, deep over deep,And my head sways heavy as I run breathless, my eyelids droop with sleep.Yet it is not this has shaken my soul in me,Not the bounds of life have overtaken my will to be... Poems - Post by : Billr - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 1930

Aristeas Relates His Youth Aristeas Relates His Youth

Aristeas Relates His Youth
(Who, in his age, was reported a magician throughout all Greece, as it was said that his soul could leave his body at will.)Early rose was the lightAs I sought the porticoWhence her wings had fluttered in flightAnd with surge and flowHad risen to soar, and goOut, out over the sea,Dwindling white and soft and slowTo a memory.Oh, grief of all years to be!Most miserable of men!My throat ached with my tears,As a sword driven through my earsWas my anguish then.Dark were the rooms where they layWho loved in the flesh(Diana's disciples they said!)In that lupanar of the dead.Sweet was the... Poems - Post by : tisinc - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 2420

The Silver Hind The Silver Hind

The Silver Hind
Through the black forestYou glance, you start,--Through the black forestThat is my heart!Beautiful, silver-heeled,Swift as wind,Topping the brakeLike a flying hind!I have a bugleOf ivoryThe wizard of twilightGave to me.I hear it winding in my heart,In the black forest you start.And I know,Like huntsmen in gold and green,That my thoughts spur pastWhere you have been,And, like hounds that have slipped the leash,They race,--Bell-tongued brachetsUpon your trace.Through the black forestYou reach, you run,Out of the shadow,Into the sun.And the hunt behindIs lyric and loudWhere horses and houndsAnd huntsmen crowd....But you are gone--Oh, you are goneOut to the blaze and glory of... Poems - Post by : lori428 - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 1395

Tribute Tribute

Tribute
Remembering one woman I have seenAnd have known,Benignant eyes, nobility of mien,A scarf from off a perfect shoulder blown,Solicitude, white ardor in a face,Motions like water under the moon's grace,--I wonder much how men can be so base,So worse than stone.Oh murmurings of music through the world,Ye women bornTo arduous things and angers, and upwhirledLike tongues of flame through smoke of the world's scorn,Crystalline lights, awful and fitful gleamsOf reconciliation with our dreams,Through you alone the world's true spirit streamsSounding her silver horn.All things I wish for you that height may hold,Who hold the race,Oh desperate runners on the track unrolledOver... Poems - Post by : QuantumSoul - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 2740

Recognition Recognition

Recognition
Like the twilight blowing over sunset waterUnder high holy hills purple-mirrored in a mere,Quietly and smiling, my dear love brought herHeart to my heart, and through the dusk drew near;Drew to me near, drew my brows up to the tenderCaress of her hands. And I lifted up my eyesTo hers, and deep within them saw a silent splendorMore still, more strange than the planets' in the skies.Each gazed on each. O what is mortal seeingTo the glory of that depth, to the glory of that heightThrough veils revealed, when all the gates of beingBurst open to a torrent of such blinding... Poems - Post by : styts - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 1048

Talisman Talisman

Talisman
Each cup shall be broken,Each tower shall fall,All drink be bitter,Bitter as gall,The dark heart go lonely--Save for one tower,One cyathus only,One wine of power!My love's white beautyIs this tower,The wine of her beautyMy wine of power,The cup of her spiritMine to drainWith awful knowledgeAnd trembling pain.She only, she onlyStands on the stars.Her small hands grappleHeaven's black bars.Only her deep lovePays the priceOf a sight of the vistasOf paradise.Each goblet may shatter,Each tower may fall,Low livid sunsetDarken on all--In her soul's high towerMy love pours wine,And the glory and the powerOf the stars are mine!(The end)William Rose Benet's poem: Talisman... Poems - Post by : Quilter5 - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 957

The Adoration The Adoration

The Adoration
Now, like withdrawing musicWhere pillared aisles implore,You are a vanished choir,A soft-closed door.Victorious voices blendedFade, and I kneel still-hearted.Sudden my life is ended.We have parted.Lost in the vault's vast splendorMy ghost goes rising, thinning.Can heartbreak be an end, orSome strange beginning?(The end)William Rose Benet's poem: Adoration... Poems - Post by : PopUpSoft - Date : October 2011 - Author : William Rose Benet - Read : 2221