Best Poems From
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
O Sun Of Real Peace
O SUN of real peace! O hastening light!
O free and extatic! O what I here, preparing, warble for!
O the sun of the world will ascend, dazzling, and take his height--
and you too, O my Ideal, will surely ascend!
O so amazing and broad--up there resplendent, darting and burning!
O vision prophetic, stagger'd with weight of light! with pouring
O lips of my soul, already becoming powerless!
O ample and grand Presidentiads! Now the war, the war is over!
New history! new heroes! I project you!
Visions of poets! only you really last! sweep on! sweep on!
O heights too swift and dizzy yet! 10
O purged and luminous! you threaten me more than I can stand!
(I must not venture--the ground under my feet menaces me--it will not
O future too immense,)--O present, I return, while yet I may, to you.
Read more: war poems, history poems, future poems, sun poems, peace poems, light poems, world poems, hero poems
The Last Invocation
At the last, tenderly,
From the walls of the powerful fortress'd house,
From the clasp of the knitted locks, from the keep of the well-closed doors,
Let me be wafted.
Let me glide noiselessly forth;
With the key of softness unlock the locks--with a whisper,
Set open the doors O soul.
Tenderly--be not impatient,
(Strong is your hold, O mortal flesh,
Strong is your hold O love.)
Read more: house poems, love poems
The Mystic Trumpeter
HARK! some wild trumpeter--some strange musician,
Hovering unseen in air, vibrates capricious tunes to-night.
I hear thee, trumpeter--listening, alert, I catch thy notes,
Now pouring, whirling like a tempest round me,
Now low, subdued--now in the distance lost.
Come nearer, bodiless one--haply, in thee resounds
Some dead composer--haply thy pensive life
Was fill'd with aspirations high--unform'd ideals,
Waves, oceans musical, chaotically surging,
That now, ecstatic ghost, close to me bending, thy cornet echoing,
Gives out to no one's ears but mine--but freely gives to mine,
That I may thee translate.
Blow, trumpeter, free and clear--I follow thee,
While at thy liquid prelude, glad, serene,
The fretting world, the streets, the noisy hours of day, withdraw;
A holy calm descends, like dew, upon me,
I walk, in cool refreshing night, the walks of Paradise,
I scent the grass, the moist air, and the roses;
Thy song expands my numb'd, imbonded spirit--thou freest, launchest
Floating and basking upon Heaven's lake. 20
Blow again, trumpeter! and for my sensuous eyes,
Bring the old pageants--show the feudal world.
What charm thy music works!--thou makest pass before me,
Ladies and cavaliers long dead--barons are in their castle halls--the
troubadours are singing;
Arm'd knights go forth to redress wrongs--some in quest of the Holy
I see the tournament--I see the contestants, encased in heavy armor,
seated on stately, champing horses;
I hear the shouts--the sounds of blows and smiting steel:
I see the Crusaders' tumultuous armies--Hark! how the cymbals clang!
Lo! where the monks walk in advance, bearing the cross on high!
Blow again, trumpeter! and for thy theme, 30
Take now the enclosing theme of all--the solvent and the setting;
Love, that is pulse of all--the sustenace and the pang;
The heart of man and woman all for love;
No other theme but love--knitting, enclosing, all-diffusing love.
O, how the immortal phantoms crowd around me!
I see the vast alembic ever working--I see and know the flames that
heat the world;
The glow, the blush, the beating hearts of lovers,
So blissful happy some--and some so silent, dark, and nigh to death:
Love, that is all the earth to lovers--Love, that mocks time and
Love, that is day and night--Love, that is sun and moon and stars; 40
Love, that is crimson, sumptuous, sick with perfume;
No other words, but words of love--no other thought but Love.
Blow again, trumpeter--conjure war's Wild alarums.
Swift to thy spell, a shuddering hum like distant thunder rolls;
Lo! where the arm'd men hasten--Lo! mid the clouds of dust, the glint
I see the grime-faced cannoniers--I mark the rosy flash amid the
smoke--I hear the cracking of the guns:
--Nor war alone--thy fearful music-song, wild player, brings every
sight of fear,
The deeds of ruthless brigands--rapine, murder--I hear the cries for
I see ships foundering at sea--I behold on deck, and below deck, the
O trumpeter! methinks I am myself the instrument thou playest! 50
Thou melt'st my heart, my brain--thou movest, drawest, changest them,
And now thy sullen notes send darkness through me;
Thou takest away all cheering light--all hope:
I see the enslaved, the overthrown, the hurt, the opprest of the
I feel the measureless shame and humiliation of my race--it becomes
Mine too the revenges of humanity--the wrongs of ages--baffled feuds
Utter defeat upon me weighs--all lost! the foe victorious!
(Yet 'mid the ruins Pride colossal stands, unshaken to the last;
Endurance, resolution, to the last.)
Now, trumpeter, for thy close, 60
Vouchsafe a higher strain than any yet;
Sing to my soul--renew its languishing faith and hope;
Rouse up my slow belief--give me some vision of the future;
Give me, for once, its prophecy and joy.
O glad, exulting, culminating song!
A vigor more than earth's is in thy notes!
Marches of victory--man disenthrall'd--the conqueror at last!
Hymns to the universal God, from universal Man--all joy!
A reborn race appears--a perfect World, all joy!
Women and Men, in wisdom, innocence and health--all joy! 70
Riotous, laughing bacchanals, fill'd with joy!
War, sorrow, suffering gone--The rank earth purged--nothing but joy
The ocean fill'd with joy--the atmosphere all joy!
Joy! Joy! in freedom, worship, love! Joy in the ecstacy of life!
Enough to merely be! Enough to breathe!
Joy! Joy! all over Joy!
Read more: joy poems, war poems, song poems, music poems, murder poems, innocence poems, world poems, hope poems, lost poems, sick poems, love poems, freedom poems, women poems, future poems, night poems, ocean poems, pride poems, faith poems, sorrow poems, woman poems
The Prairie-Grass Dividing
THE prairie-grass dividing--its special odor breathing,
I demand of it the spiritual corresponding,
Demand the most copious and close companionship of men,
Demand the blades to rise of words, acts, beings,
Those of the open atmosphere, coarse, sunlit, fresh, nutritious,
Those that go their own gait, erect, stepping with freedom and
command--leading, not following,
Those with a never-quell'd audacity--those with sweet and lusty
flesh, clear of taint,
Those that look carelessly in the faces of Presidents and Governors,
as to say, Who are you?
Those of earth-born passion, simple, never-constrain'd, never
Those of inland America. 10
Read more: america poems, freedom poems, passion poems, rose poems