Julia's Favourite Poetry 2

Just a few more of my favourite descriptive poems which I have loved over the years. I hope you like, and perhaps learn, one or two as well.

ODE TO AUTUMN - John Keats:

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To blend with apples the mossed cottage- trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on the granary floor,
Thy hair soft- lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Aye, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge -crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden -croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies

NOD - Walter de la Mare:

Softly along the road of evening,
In a twilight dim with rose,
Wrinkled with age, and drenched with dew,
Old Nod the shepherd goes.

His drowsy flock streams on before him,
Their fleeces charged with gold,
To where the sun's last beam leans low
On Nod the the shepherds fold.

The hedge is quick and green with brier,
From their sand the conies creep;
And all the birds that fly in heaven
Flock singing home to sleep.

His lambs outnumber a noon's roses,
Yet, when night shadows fall,
His blind old sheep-dog, Slumber-soon,
Misses not one of all.

His are the quiet steps of dreamland,
The waters of no more pain,
His ram's bell rings 'neath an arch of stars,
"Rest, Rest, and rest again".


Pray don' find fault with the man who limps
Or stumbles along the road,
Unless you have the shoes he wears,
Or struggle beneath his load,
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt
Though hidden from your view,
Or the burden he bears, placed on your back,
Might cause you to stumble too.
Don't be harsh with the man who sins,
Or pelt him with words or stones
Unless you are sure, yea doubly sure,
That you have no sins of your own.
For you know perhaps, if the tempters voice
Should whisper as soft to you,
As it did to him, when he went astray,
It would cause you to stagger too.
Don't sneer at the man who's down today,
Unless you have felt the blow
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong, but still the blows
That were his if dealt to you in the self same way and at the same time,
Might cause you to stagger too.


I ain't afraid of snakes or rats or worms or mice
And things that girls are skeered at I think are awful nice,
I'm pretty brave I guess, and yet I hates to go to bed,
For when I'm tucked up warm and snug, and when my prayers are said,
Mother tells me happy dreams, and takes away the light
And leaves me lying all alone a-seeing things at night.
Sometimes they're in the corner, sometimes they're by the door,
Sometimes they're all a-standing in the middle of the floor;
And sometimes they are sitting down, sometimes they're walking round
So softly and so creepy-like they never makes a sound;
And sometimes they're as black as ink, and other times they're white,
But the colour ain't no different when you are seeing things at night.
Once when I licked a fellow, what had just moved down our street,
My father sent me up to bed without a bit to eat;
I woke up in the night and saw things a-standing in a row
And looking at me cross-eyed and a-pointing at me so-
Oh, my, I was so scared that time, I never slept a mite,
It's almost always when I'm bad I see things at night.
Lucky thing I ain't a girl. or I'd be scared to death,
Seeing I'm a boy- I just duck my head and holds my breath,
And oh, I am so sorry I've been a naughty boy
And I promise I'll be better and say my my prayers again.
Granma tells me that's the only way to make it right
When a fellow has been wicked and sees things at night.
So now when other naughty boys would tempt me into sin,
I try to squash the tempter's voice which urges me within;
And when there's pie for supper and cakes what's big and nice
I wants 'em- but I don't pass my plate again- not more than twice;
No, I'd let starvation wipe me slowly out of sight
Than I should keep a- livin' on a seeing things at night.

THE WIND IN A FROLIC - By William Howitt:

The wind one morning sprang up from sleep,
Saying, "Now for a frolic! now for a leap!
Now for a madcap galloping chase!
I'll make a commotion in every place!"
So it swept with a bustle right through a great town,
Cracking the signs and scattering down
Shutters; and whisking, with merciless squalls,
Old women's bonnets and gingerbread stalls.
There never was heard a lustier shout,
As the apples and oranges trundled about;
And the urchins that stand with their thievish eyes
For ever on watch, ran off each with a prize.

Then away to the field it went, blustering and humming,
And the cattle all wondered whatever was coming;
It plucked by the tails the grave matronly cows,
And tossed the colts' manes all over their brows;
Till, offended at such an unusual salute,
They all turned their backs, and stood sulky and mute

So on it went capering and playing its pranks,
Whistling with reeds on the broad river's banks,
Pulling the birds as they sat on the spray,
Or the traveler grave on the king's highway.
It was not too nice to hustle the bags
Of the beggar, and flutter his dirty rags;

T'was so bold that it feared not to play its joke
With the doctor's wig or the gentleman's cloak.
Through the forest it roared, and cried gaily,
"Now, You sturdy old oaks, I'll make you bow!"
And it made them bow without more ado,
Or it cracked their great branches through and through.

Then it rushed like a monster on cottage and farm,
Striking their dwellers with sudden alarm;
And they ran out like bees in a midsummer swarm;-
There were dames with their kerchiefs tied over their caps,
To see if their poultry were free from mishaps;
The turkeys they gobbled, the geese screamed aloud,
And the hens crept to roost in a terrified crowd;
There was rearing of ladders, and logs laying on,
Where the thatch from the roof threatened soon to be gone.

But the wind had swept on, and had met in a lane
With a schoolboy, who panted and struggled in vain;
For it tossed him and twirled him, then passed, and he stood
With his hat in a pool and his shoes in the mud.
Then away went the wind in its holiday glee,
And now it was far on the billowy sea,
And the lordly ships felt its staggering blow,
And the little boats darted to and fro.
But lo! it was night, and it sank to rest
On the sea-bird's rock in the gleaming West,
Laughing to think, in its fearful fun,
How little of mischief it really had done.

FALLING ASLEEP - Seigfried Sassoon:

Voices moving about in the quiet house:
Thud of feet and muffled shutting of doors;
Everyone yawning. Only the clocks are alert.

Out in the night theres autumn-smelling gloom
Crowded with whispering trees, across the park
A hollow cry of hounds like lonely bells;
And I know that the clouds are moving across the moon;
The low red rising moon. Now herons call
And wrangle by their pool; and hooting owls
Sail from the wood above pale stooks of oats.

Waiting for sleep I drift from thoughts like these
And where today was dream like build my dreams
Music ----------- there was a quiet room below
And someone singing a song about a soldier,
One hour, two hours ago; and soon that song
Will be last night; but now the beauty swings
Across my brain, a ghost of remembered chords
Which still can make such radiance in my dream
That I can watch the marching of my soldiers
And count their faces; faces; sunlit faces
Falling asleep ----- the herons and the hounds ---
September in the darkness; and the world
I've known; all drifting past me into peace.


Here is the soundless cypress on the lawn
It listens, listens, Taller trees beyond
Listen. The moon at the unruffled pond
Stares. And you sing, you sing.

That star enchanted song falls through the air
From lawn to lawn down terraces of sound
Darts in white arrows on the shadowed ground
While all the night you sing.

My dreams are flowers to which you are the bee
As all night long I listen, and my brain
Receives your song, then loses it again
In the moonlight on the lawn.

Now is your voice a marble high and white
Then like a mist on fields of paradise
Now is a raging fire, then it is like ice
Then breaks and it is dawn.

TARANTELLA - Hillaire Belloc:

Do you remember an inn
Do you remember an inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the stars for a bedding
And the fleas that tease in the high Pyrenees
And the wine that tasted of the tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark verandah)
Who had'nt got a penny,
Aand who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the din?
And the Hip! Hop! Hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the twirl and the swirl
Of the girl gone dancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of the clapper to the spin
Out and in
And the Ting, Tong, Tang of the Guitar!
Do you remember an inn,
Do you remember an inn?

Never more,
Never more.
Only the high peaks roar
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread
Of the dead to the ground.
No sound;
But the boom
Of the far waterfall like doom.
Do you remember an inn
Miranda ?
Do you remember an inn?


Did you hear of the curate who mounted his mare,
And merrily trotted along to the fair?
Of creatures more tractable none ever heard:
In height of her speed would stop at a word;
But again with a word, when the curate said "Hey",
She put forth her mettle and galloped away.

As near to the gates of the city he rode,
While the sun of September all brilliantly glowed,
The good priest discovered with eyes of desire,
A mulberry tree in a hedge of wild-brier;
On boughs long and lofty, in many a green shoot,
Hung, large, black, and glossy, the beautiful fruit.
The curate was hungry, and thirsty to boot;
He shrank from the thorns though but he longed for the fruit;

With a word he arrested his courser's keen speed,
And he stood up erect on the back of his steed;
On the saddle he stood while the creature stood still,
And he gathered the fruit till he took his good fill.

"Sure never," he thought, "was a creature so rare,
So docile, so true, as my excellent mare:
Lo, here now I stand," and he gazed all around,
"As safe and as steady as if on the ground;
Yet how had it been, if some traveller this way
Had, dreaming no mischief, but chanced to cry "HEY"?

He stood with his head in the mulberry tree,
And spoke out aloud in his fond reverie;
At the sound of the word the good mare made a push,
And down went the priest in the wild-brier bush.
He remembered too late, on his thorny green bed,
Much that well may be thought cannot wisely be said.

Oh, Little Cat - Helen Vaughan Williams

Oh, little cat with yellow eyes,
Enthroned upon my garden gate,
Remote, impassive and sedate,
And so unutterably.
You seem to watch a world that lies
Behind us - where the shadows wait,

Oh, little cat with yellow eyes,
Enthroned upon my garden gate!
Where visions of the past arise,
Of honoured dust and royal state
And Pharaohs bowed to call you great,

or are you merely spotting flies,
Oh little cat with yellow eyes?


Blow, blow your golden trumpets,
Ye dancing daffodils!
Blow, blow your golden trumpets!
For Spring is in the hills.
High on the hills she gleameth,
Dancing with fairy feet,
While the waiting world low dreameth
Of the touch of her fingers sweet.
O ring it o'er the meadow,
In sunshine and in shadow,
O ring it out, ye golden bells,
The end of winters reign!
O ring it to the flowers
And the sunlight and the showers;
O ring it out across the world
That Spring has come again.

Blow, blow your golden trumpets,
Ye dancing daffodils!
Blow, blow your golden trumpets!
For Spring has left the hills.
Low in the vale she lingers,
And all her path along
The touch of her magic fingers
Thrills all to life and song.
O ring it to the valleys
And the hawthorn scented alleys;
O ring it out ye golden bells
In sunshine or in rain;
O ring it out ye daffodils,
Ye dainty, dancing daffodils;
O ring it out across the world
That Spring has come again.

Meditation on the A 40 - John Betjamin

A man on his own in a car
Is revenging himself on his wife;
He opens the throttle and bubbles with dottle
And puffs at his pitiful life.
"She's losing her looks very fast,
She loses her temper all day;
That lorry won't let me get past,
This mini is blocking my way.
Why can't you step on it and shift her?
I can't go on crawling like this!
At breakfast she said she wished I was dead
Thank heaven we don't have to kiss.
I'd like a nice blond on my knee
And one who won't argue or nag,
Who dares to come tooting at me?
I only give way to a Jag,
You're barmy, or plastered, I'll pass you , you bastard
I will overtake you I WILL !
As he clenches his pipe, his moment is ripe,
And the corner's accepting the kill.


The other day a lady, accompanied by her son, a very small boy, entered a railway carriage. they seated themselves opposite to a bald-headed gentleman, who was deeply absorbed in the leading article of a morning newspaper.

"Ma", said the boy, "that man's like a baby , ain't he?"
"Why must I hush?"

After a few moments silence:
"Ma, what's the matter with that man's head?"
"Hush" I tell you! "He's bald".
"What's bald?"
"His head hasn't got any hair on it"
"Did it come off ?"
"I suppose so".
"Will mine come off "
"Some day perhaps".
"Then shall I be bald?" "Yes, Don't ask so many questions".

After another silence the boy exclaimed:
"Ma, look at that fly on that man's head." "If you don't be quiet, I shall be very angry with you"
" Look! There's another fly. look at 'em fight: look at 'em."

"Madam" said the man, putting aside his newspaper and looking round, "what's the matter with that child?"

The mother blushed, stammered out something, and attempted to smooth back the boy's hair,
"One fly, two flies, three flies," said the boy innocently

"Here if you don't keep quiet my boy, (said the bald headed man), I'll tell the guard to put you out of the train."

The mother, not knowing what to do, boxed the boy's ears and then gave him an orange to keep him from crying.
" Ma", said the boy after a short silence, "does it hurt to be bald-headed?"
"Look here, youngster, "said the man, "if you'll keep quiet I'll give you a sixpence"
The boy promised, and the money was paid over.
The man took up his paper and resumed his reading.
"This is my bald-headed money," said the boy,
"When I get bald-headed I'm goin' to give boys money. Ma, have all bald-headed men got a lot of money?"
The bald -headed man threw down his paper, arose, and exclaimed:
"Madam, if I can't find another seat on this train, I'll ride on the cow-catcher rather than remain here."

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