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I wish we could come on it all unaware, Like the hunter who finds a lost trail; And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done The greatest injustice of all Could be there at the gates like an old friend that waits For the comrade he's gladdest to hail. We would find all the things we intended to do But forgot, and remembered too late, Little praises unspoken, little promises broken, And all of the thousand and one Little duties neglected that might have perfected The day for one less fortunate. For what had been hardest we'd know had been best, And what had seemed loss would be gain; For there isn't a sting that will not take wing When we've faced it and laughed it away And I think that the laughter is most what we're after In the Land of Beginning Again.

So I wish that there were some wonderful place Called the Land of Beginning Again, Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches, And all of our poor selfish grief Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door And never put on again. Who, hopeless, lays his dead away, Nor looks to see the breaking day Across the mournful marbles play!

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Who hath not learned, in hours of faith, The truth to flesh and sense unknown, That Life is ever Lord of Death, And Love can never lose its own! And yet he smiles so wistfully Once he has crept within, I wonder if he hopes to see The man I might have been. Use Well the Moment Use well the moment; what the hour Brings for thy use is in thy power; And what thou best canst understand Is just the thing lies nearest to thy hand.

But all men perish? Aye, and even so Beneath the grasses lay this body low; Forever close these eyes and still this breath; All this, yet I shall not have tasted death. Where are the lips that prattled infant lays?

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The eyes that shone with light of childhood's days? The heart that bubbled o'er with boyhood's glee? The limbs that bounded as the chamois free? The ears that heard life's music everywhere? These, all, where are they now? Yet still I live. My love, my hate, my fear, my will, My all that makes life living firm abides. Death is my youth, and so my age must die; But I remain Imperishable I. Speed day and year! Fleet by the stream of time!

Wing, birds of passage, to a sunnier clime. Come change, come dissolution and decay, To kill the very semblance of this clay! Yet, know the conscious, the unchanging I Through all eternity shall never die. Willis Fletcher Johnson Beyond Electrons They who once probed and doubted now believe The Men of Science, for they humbly learn There is a Will that guides the atom's course; A Power that directs what they discern In light and air, in star and wave and sod; Beyond electrons they discover God!

From research they derive a new faith that Sustains foundations of our ancient creeds; They grope through matter toward an utmost Light And find a living God behind His deeds. Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all. The little rift within the lover's lute, Or little pitted speck in garnered fruit, That rotting inward slowly moulders all. It is not worth the keeping: And trust me not at all or all in all.

No warder at the gate Can let the friendly in; But, like the sun, o'er all He will the castle win, And shine along the wall. Implacable is Love Foes may be bought or teased From their hostile intent, But he goes unappeased Who is on kindness bent. The poem I should like to write is written in the stars, Where Venus holds her glowing torch behind her gleaming bars; Where old Arcturus swings his lamp across the fields of space, And all his brilliant retinue is wheeling into place; Where unknown suns must rise and set, as ages onward fare The poem I should like to write is surely written there.

No human hand can write it, for with a pen divine, The Master Poet wrote it each burning word and line. Windes Life's Finest Things Life's finest things, the things that last, Are ours, but never fettered fast. The exodus of birds and fowls when blasts begin to blow, The fuzzy Spring buds peeping forth, at passing of the snow; Prolific Summer's teeming life, the omtone of the bee, Resplendent Autumn's full-toned leaves ablaze on every tree; 76 QUOTABLE POEMS The sorcery of Winter's moon, frost's leafage on the pane, The solemn forest's awful hush, the rhythm of the rain; A timid breeze that wakes a lake, the ocean's troubled breast, A storm-scourged mountain rearing high its chaste un- bending crest; Recall the tender words of love or long forgotten lays, The bonfire's spicy fragrant smoke on Indian-summer days.

The flaming death robes of the day, the marvel of its birth, The frozen green in the fissures that split the glacier's girth. The glint of gorgeous green-blue eyes in peacock's spread of tail, A sense of God's omnipotence when thunder rends the vale, Proud dreams and schemes of vibrant youth which surely must come true, That brave exalted purpose of the child that once was you; The nursing back a loved one from the verge of voiceless dust, The greatest boon to human kind, the great, great gift of trust. Life's finest things, the things that last, Are ours, but never fettered fast.

The finest things writ on the scroll Are only grappled by the soul.

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Bangs Burgess What of the Darkness? What of the darkness? Is it very fair? Are there great calms? Like soft-shut lilies, all your faces glow With some strange peace our faces never know, With some strange faith our faces never dare Dwells it in Darkness? Do you find it there? Is it a Mouth to kiss our weeping dry? Is it a Hand to still the pulse's leap? Is it a Voice that holds the runes of sleep? Day shows us not such comfort anywhere Dwells it in Darkness? Out of the Day's deceiving light we call Day that shows man so great, and God so small, That hides the stars, and magnifies the grass O is the Darkness too a lying glass!

Or undistracted, do you find truth there? What of the Darkness? Richard le Gallienne Christmas Eve The door is on the latch tonight, The hearth-fire is aglow, I seem to hear soft passing feet The Christ child in the snow. My heart is open wide tonight For stranger, kith or kin; I would not bar a single door Where love might enter in.

He answered my question in mild surprise: They sang their answer: I asked my question. The mother smiled And looked down into her baby's eyes: Davis Sonnet Be secret, heart; and if your dreams have come To nothingness, and if their weight was sweet Within you then be silent in def eat, Counting your lost imaginings as the sum Of destined joy. Lest men should call you dumb Sing still the songs that hold within their beat The hopes of every man, and the wild, sweet Predictions of what earth shall yet become. The words that you would tell Of your own longing, and your keen distress Hold them to silence; kill, destroy, suppress That melody, although you love it well.

And sing the songs that men have always sung Of love and sorrow, since the world was young. He dared not come by light of day To move where sinners trod: He must hold apart from the common heart, For he was a man of God. But the honest Christ, He walked with men Nor held His ways apart With publicans talked, with harlots walked, And loved them all in His heart. Came Nicodemus to Christ by night; And long they reasoned, alone, Till the old man saw the sham of the law That turned his being to stone; He tore the formal husks from his life; He was born again, though gray.

Reach your hand and take it. You are The builder, And no one else can make it.


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Mary Carolyn Dames Miracles Why, who makes much of a miracle? As to me I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water, Or stand under trees in the woods, Or talk by day with any one I love, Or sit at table at dinner with the rest, Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car. Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a Summer forenoon, Or animals feeding in the fields, Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright, Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in Spring ; These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me the sea is a continual miracle, The fishes that swim the rocks the motion of the waves the ships with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?

Walt Whitman Faith " Must I submissive bow to earth my head? Restrain the restless daring of my mind? Bound by the palimpsests of men long dead, Live in the daylight as a man made blind? This pathway leads to kindled mysteries That none have ever seen except the meek.

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Surrealist Painters and Poets: An Anthology

Bravely I go upon a lonely quest. I will not fold my hands and close my eyes To gain an easy and ignoble rest. Thou shalt find Precipitous the pathways to be trod. Summon the utmost valiance of thy mind. Only the audacious ever win to God. Then might I know the purer ecstasy Of conquering Earth's test of alien tears And Life, perchance, her promise might redeem, And Love be more than a delusive dream! Corinne Roosevelt Robinson From Ode on Intimations of Immortality There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth, and every common sight, To me did seem Apparelled in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream, It is not now as it hath been of yore; Turn wheresoe'er I may, By night or day, The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The thought of our past years in me doth breed Perpetual benediction: Not for these I raise The song of thanks and praise; But for those obstinate questionings Of sense and outward things, Fallings from us, vanishings; Blank misgivings of a creature Moving about in worlds not realized, High instincts, before which our mortal nature Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised: Hence in a season of calm weather, Though inland far we be, Our souls have sight of that immortal sea Which brought us hither; Can in a moment travel thither, And see the children sport upon the shore, And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

William Wordsworth The World Is One The world is one; we cannot live apart, To earth's remotest races we are kin; God made the generations of one blood; Man's separation is a sign of sin. What though we solve the secret of the stars, Or from the vibrant ether pluck a song, Can this for all man's tyranny atone While Mercy weeps and waits and suffers long? Put up the sword, its day of anguish past; Disarm the forts, and then, the war-flags furled, Forever keep the air without frontiers, The great, free, friendly highway of the world.