City of Orgies
City of orgies, walks and joys, City whom that I have lived and sung in your midst will one day make Not the pageants of you, not your shifting tableaus, your spectacles, repay me, Not the interminable rows of your houses, nor the ships at the wharves, Nor the processions in the streets, nor the bright windows with goods in them, Nor to converse with learn'd persons, or bear my share in the soiree or feast; Not those, but as I pass O Manhattan, your frequent and swift flash of eyes offering me love, Offering response to my own—these repay me, Lovers, continual lovers, only repay me.
Trickle drops! my blue veins leaving! O drops of me! trickle, slow drops, Candid from me falling, drip, bleeding drops, From wounds made to free you whence you were prison'd, From my face, from my forehead and lips, From my breast, from within where I was conceal'd, press forth red drops, confession drops, Stain every page, stain every song I sing, every word I say, bloody drops, Let them know your scarlet heat, let them glisten, Saturate them with yourself all ashamed and wet, Glow upon all I have written or shall write, bleeding drops, Let it all be seen in your light, blushing drops.
Not Heat Flames Up and Consumes
Not heat flames up and consumes, Not sea-waves hurry in and out, Not the air delicious and dry, the air of ripe summer, bears lightly along white down-balls of myriads of seeds, Waited, sailing gracefully, to drop where they may; Not these, O none of these more than the flames of me, consuming, burning for his love whom I love, O none more than I hurrying in and out; Does the tide hurry, seeking something, and never give up? O I the same, O nor down-balls nor perfumes, nor the high rain-emitting clouds, are borne through the open air, Any more than my soul is borne through the open air, Wafted in all directions O love, for friendship, for you.
Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone
Roots and leaves themselves alone are these, Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods and pond-side, Breast-sorrel and pinks of love, fingers that wind around tighter than vines, Gushes from the throats of birds hid in the foliage of trees as the sun is risen, Breezes of land and love set from living shores to you on the living sea, to you O sailors! Frost-mellow'd berries and Third-month twigs offer'd fresh to young persons wandering out in the fields when the winter breaks up, Love-buds put before you and within you whoever you are, Buds to be unfolded on the old terms, If you bring the warmth of the sun to them they will open and bring form, color, perfume, to you, If you become the aliment and the wet they will become flowers, fruits, tall branches and trees.
Are You the New Person Drawn Toward Me?
Are you the new person drawn toward me? To begin with take warning, I am surely far different from what you suppose; Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal? Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover? Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy'd satisfaction? Do you think I am trusty and faithful? Do you see no further than this facade, this smooth and tolerant manner of me? Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man? Have you no thought O dreamer that it may be all maya, illusion?
When I Heard at the Close of the Day
When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv'd with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow'd, And else when I carous'd, or when my plans were accomplish'd, still I was not happy, But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh'd, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn, When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light, When I wander'd alone over the beach, and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise, And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming, O then I was happy, O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish'd me more, and the beautiful day pass'd well, And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend, And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores, I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me whispering to congratulate me, For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night, In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me, And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was happy.
Novena To Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Courtesy of EWTN. Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Recorders Ages Hence
Recorders ages hence, Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior, I will tell you what to say of me, Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover, The friend the lover's portrait, of whom his friend his lover was fondest, Who was not proud of his songs, but of the measureless ocean of love within him, and freely pour'd it forth, Who often walk'd lonesome walks thinking of his dear friends, his lovers, Who pensive away from one he lov'd often lay sleepless and dissatisfied at night, Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he lov'd might secretly be indifferent to him, Whose happiest days were far away through fields, in woods, on hills, he and another wandering hand in hand, they twain apart from other men, Who oft as he saunter'd the streets curv'd with his arm the shoulder of his friend, while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.
The Base of All Metaphysics
And now gentlemen, A word I give to remain in your memories and minds, As base and finale too for all metaphysics. (So to the students the old professor, At the close of his crowded course.) Having studied the new and antique, the Greek and Germanic systems, Kant having studied and stated, Fichte and Schelling and Hegel, Stated the lore of Plato, and Socrates greater than Plato, And greater than Socrates sought and stated, Christ divine having studied long, I see reminiscent to-day those Greek and Germanic systems, See the philosophies all, Christian churches and tenets see, Yet underneath Socrates clearly see, and underneath Christ the divine I see, The dear love of man for his comrade, the attraction of friend to friend, Of the well-married husband and wife, of children and parents, Of city for city and land for land.