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Classic Poetry Aloud

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Rank #164 in Books category

Arts
Books
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Classic Poetry Aloud gives voice to poetry through podcast recordings of the great poems of the past. Our library of poems is intended as a resource for anyone interested in reading and listening to poetry. For us, it's all about the listening, and how hearing a poem can make it more accessible, as well as heightening its emotional impact.See more at: www.classicpoetryaloud.com

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Classic Poetry Aloud gives voice to poetry through podcast recordings of the great poems of the past. Our library of poems is intended as a resource for anyone interested in reading and listening to poetry. For us, it's all about the listening, and how hearing a poem can make it more accessible, as well as heightening its emotional impact.See more at: www.classicpoetryaloud.com

iTunes Ratings

75 Ratings
Average Ratings
54
8
4
2
7

I love poetry

By ArtGirlSAH - May 09 2016
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and am happy to have these poems posted in between the podcasts I listen to regularly. Thank you!

A Fantastic Podcast

By Echo Groks - Feb 19 2011
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Excellent range of poetry read well.

iTunes Ratings

75 Ratings
Average Ratings
54
8
4
2
7

I love poetry

By ArtGirlSAH - May 09 2016
Read more
and am happy to have these poems posted in between the podcasts I listen to regularly. Thank you!

A Fantastic Podcast

By Echo Groks - Feb 19 2011
Read more
Excellent range of poetry read well.
Cover image of Classic Poetry Aloud

Classic Poetry Aloud

Latest release on Jan 09, 2014

Read more

Classic Poetry Aloud gives voice to poetry through podcast recordings of the great poems of the past. Our library of poems is intended as a resource for anyone interested in reading and listening to poetry. For us, it's all about the listening, and how hearing a poem can make it more accessible, as well as heightening its emotional impact.See more at: www.classicpoetryaloud.com

Rank #1: 330. On first looking into Chapman’s Homer by John Keats

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J Keats read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- On first looking into Chapman’s Homer by John Keats (1795 – 1821) Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne; Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men Look’d at each other with a wild surmise— Silent, upon a peak in Darien. First aired: 02 October, 2007 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Aug 29 2008

1min

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Rank #2: 364. Say not the Struggle Naught Availeth by Arthur Hugh Clough

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AH Clough read by Classic Poetry Aloud:
http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/

Giving voice to the poetry of the past.

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Say not the Struggle Naught Availeth

by Arthur Hugh Clough (1819 – 1861)

Say not the struggle naught availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke conceal'd,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
But westward, look, the land is bright!

First aired: 24 November 2007

For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index.

Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Nov 13 2008

1min

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Rank #3: 394. Invictus by William Ernest Henley

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WE Henley read by Classic Poetry Aloud: Giving voice to the poetry of the past.
www.classicpoetryaloud.com

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Invictus
by William Ernest Henley (1849 – 1903)

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
First aired: 14 January 2008

For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index.

Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Jan 04 2009

1min

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Rank #4: 491. Piano by DH Lawrence

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DH Lawrence read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- Piano by DH Lawrence (1885 – 1930) Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me; Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings. In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide. So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past. First aired: 1 May 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Jun 29 2009

1min

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Rank #5: 422. Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats

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J Keats read by Classic Poetry Aloud: Giving voice to the poetry of the past. www.classicpoetryaloud.com -------------------------------------------- Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats. (1795–1821) My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness, That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees, In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease. O for a draught of vintage! that hath been Cool'd a long age in the deep-delvèd earth, Tasting of Flora and the country-green, Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South! Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stainèd mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim: Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs; Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow. Away! away! for I will fly to thee, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy, Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night, And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays But here there is no light, Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmèd darkness, guess each sweet Wherewith the seasonable month endows The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild; White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; Fast-fading violets cover'd up in leaves; And mid-May's eldest child, The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. Darkling I listen; and, for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call'd him soft names in many a musèd rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die, To cease upon the midnight with no pain, While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad In such an ecstasy! Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain— To thy high requiem become a sod. Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that ofttimes hath Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. Forlorn! the very word is like a bell To toll me back from thee to my sole self! Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well As she is famed to do, deceiving elf. Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades Past the near meadows, over the still stream, Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep In the next valley-glades: Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep? First aired: 7 February 2009 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Feb 07 2009

5mins

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Rank #6: 379. A Poison Tree by William Blake

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W Blake read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- A Poison Tree by William Blake (1757 – 1827) I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow. And I watered it in fears, Night and morning with my tears; And I sunned it with smiles, And with soft deceitful wiles. And it grew both day and night, Till it bore an apple bright. And my foe beheld it shine. And he knew that it was mine, And into my garden stole When the night had veiled the pole; In the morning glad I see My foe outstretched beneath the tree. First aired: 20 December 2007 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Dec 16 2008

1min

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Rank #7: 378. Oh thou whose face hath felt the Winter's wind by John Keats

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J Keats read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Oh thou whose face hath felt the Winter's wind by John Keats (1795 – 1821) Oh thou whose face hath felt the Winter's wind, Whose eye has seen the snow-clouds hung in mist, And the black elm tops, 'mong the freezing stars, To thee the spring will be a harvest-time. O thou, whose only book has been the light, Of supreme darkness which thou feddest on Night after night when Phoebus was away, To thee the Spring shall be a triple morn. O fret not after knowledge - I have none, And yet my song comes native with the warmth. O fret not after knowledge - I have none, And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens At thought of idleness cannot be idle, And he's awake who thinks himself asleep. First aired: 15 December 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Dec 15 2008

1min

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Rank #8: 334. The Harlot’s House by Oscar Wilde

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O Wilde read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- The Harlot’s House by Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) We caught the tread of dancing feet, We loitered down the moonlit street, And stopped beneath the harlot's house. Inside, above the din and fray, We heard the loud musicians play The "Treues Liebes Herz" of Strauss. Like strange mechanical grotesques, Making fantastic arabesques, The shadows raced across the blind. We watched the ghostly dancers spin To sound of horn and violin, Like black leaves wheeling in the wind. Like wire-pulled automatons, Slim silhouetted skeletons Went sidling through the slow quadrille. They took each other by the hand, And danced a stately saraband; Their laughter echoed thin and shrill. Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed A phantom lover to her breast, Sometimes they seemed to try to sing. For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Sep 05 2008

2mins

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Rank #9: 483. Love by George Herbert

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G Herbert read by Classic Poetry Aloud:
http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/

Giving voice to the poetry of the past.

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Love
by George Herbert (1593 – 1632)

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.
'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:'
Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
'Who made the eyes but I?'

'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
So I did sit and eat.
First aired: 9 April 2008

For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index.

Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Jun 14 2009

1min

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Rank #10: 360. The Search by Henry Vaughan

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H Vaughan read by Classic Poetry Aloud:
http://classicpoetryaloud.podomatic.com/

Giving voice to the poetry of the past.

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The Search
by Henry Vaughan 1621 – 1695)

Leave, leave, thy gadding thoughts;
Who Pores
and spies
Still out of Doores,
descries
Within them nought.

The skinne, and shell of things
Though faire,
are not
Thy wish, nor pray’r,
but got
By meer Despair
of wings.

To rack old Elements,
or Dust
and say
Sure here he must
needs stay,
Is not the way,
nor just.
Search well another world; who studies this,
Travels in Clouds, seeks Manna, where none is.
First aired: 3 November 2008

For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index.

Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Nov 03 2008

1min

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Rank #11: 338. When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom’d by Walt Whitman

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W Whitman read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom’d from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) This reading lasts some 20 minutes. 1 When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d, And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night, I mourn’d—and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring. O ever-returning spring! trinity sure to me you bring; Lilac blooming perennial, and drooping star in the west, And thought of him I love. 2 O powerful, western, fallen star! O shades of night! O moody, tearful night! O great star disappear’d! O the black murk that hides the star! O cruel hands that hold me powerless! O helpless soul of me! O harsh surrounding cloud, that will not free my soul! 3 In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash’d palings, Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green, With many a pointed blossom, rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love, With every leaf a miracle......and from this bush in the door-yard, With delicate-color’d blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green, A sprig, with its flower, I break. 4 In the swamp, in secluded recesses, A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song. Solitary, the thrush, The hermit, withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements, Sings by himself a song. Song of the bleeding throat! Death’s outlet song of life—(for well, dear brother, I know If thou wast not gifted to sing, thou would’st surely die.) 5 Over the breast of the spring, the land, amid cities, Amid lanes, and through old woods, (where lately the violets peep’d from the ground, spotting the gray debris;) Amid the grass in the fields each side of the lanes—passing the endless grass; Passing the yellow-spear’d wheat, every grain from its shroud in the dark-brown fields uprising; Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the orchards; Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave, Night and day journeys a coffin. 6 Coffin that passes through lanes and streets, Through day and night, with the great cloud darkening the land, With the pomp of the inloop’d flags, with the cities draped in black, With the show of the States themselves, as of crape-veil’d women, standing, With processions long and winding, and the flambeaus of the night, With the countless torches lit—with the silent sea of faces, and the unbared heads, With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces, With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn; With all the mournful voices of the dirges, pour’d around the coffin, The dim-lit churches and the shuddering organs—Where amid these you journey, With the tolling, tolling bells’ perpetual clang; Here! coffin that slowly passes, I give you my sprig of lilac. 7 (Nor for you, for one, alone; Blossoms and branches green to coffins all I bring: For fresh as the morning—thus would I carol a song for you, O sane and sacred death. All over bouquets of roses, O death! I cover you over with roses and early lilies; But mostly and now the lilac that blooms the first, Copious, I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes; With loaded arms I come, pouring for you, For you, and the coffins all of you, O death.) 8 O western orb, sailing the heaven! Now I know what you must have meant, as a month since we walk’d, As we walk’d up and down in the dark blue so mystic, As we walk’d in silence the transparent shadowy night, As I saw you had something to tell, as you bent to me night after night, As you droop’d from the sky low down, as if to my side, (while the other stars all look’d on;) As we wander’d together the solemn night, (for something, I know not what, kept me from sleep;) As the night advanced, and I saw on the rim of the west, ere you went, how full you were of woe; As I stood on the rising ground in the breeze, in the cold transparent night, As I watch’d where you pass’d and was lost in the netherward black of the night, As my soul, in its trouble, dissatisfied, sank, as where you, sad orb, Concluded, dropt in the night, and was gone. 9 Sing on, there in the swamp! O singer bashful and tender! I hear your notes—I hear your call; I hear—I come presently—I understand you; But a moment I linger—for the lustrous star has detain’d me; The star, my departing comrade, holds and detains me. 10 O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved? And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone? And what shall my perfume be, for the grave of him I love? Sea-winds, blown from east and west, Blown from the eastern sea, and blown from the western sea, till there on the prairies meeting: These, and with these, and the breath of my chant, I perfume the grave of him I love. 11 O what shall I hang on the chamber walls? And what shall the pictures be that I hang on the walls, To adorn the burial-house of him I love? Pictures of growing spring, and farms, and homes, With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and bright, With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, burning, expanding the air; With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of the trees prolific; In the distance the flowing glaze, the breast of the river, with a wind-dapple here and there; With ranging hills on the banks, with many a line against the sky, and shadows; And the city at hand, with dwellings so dense, and stacks of chimneys, And all the scenes of life, and the workshops, and the workmen homeward returning. 12 Lo! body and soul! this land! Mighty Manhattan, with spires, and the sparkling and hurrying tides, and the ships; The varied and ample land—the South and the North in the light—Ohio’s shores, and flashing Missouri, And ever the far-spreading prairies, cover’d with grass and corn. Lo! the most excellent sun, so calm and haughty; The violet and purple morn, with just-felt breezes; The gentle, soft-born, measureless light; The miracle, spreading, bathing all—the fulfill’d noon; The coming eve, delicious—the welcome night, and the stars, Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and land. 13 Sing on! sing on, you gray-brown bird! Sing from the swamps, the recesses—pour your chant from the bushes; Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines. Sing on, dearest brother—warble your reedy song; Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe. O liquid, and free, and tender! O wild and loose to my soul! O wondrous singer! You only I hear......yet the star holds me, (but will soon depart;) Yet the lilac, with mastering odor, holds me. 14 Now while I sat in the day, and look’d forth, In the close of the day, with its light, and the fields of spring, and the farmer preparing his crops, In the large unconscious scenery of my land, with its lakes and forests, In the heavenly aerial beauty, (after the perturb’d winds, and the storms;) Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the voices of children and women, The many-moving sea-tides,—and I saw the ships how they sail’d, And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy with labor, And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its meals and minutia of daily usages; And the streets, how their throbbings throbb’d, and the cities pent—lo! then and there, Falling upon them all, and among them all, enveloping me with the rest, Appear’d the cloud, appear’d the long black trail; And I knew Death, its thought, and the sacred knowledge of death. 15 Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me, And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me, And I in the middle, as with companions, and as holding the hands of companions, I fled forth to the hiding receiving night, that talks not, Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in the dimness, To the solemn shadowy cedars, and ghostly pines so still. And the singer so shy to the rest receiv’d me; The gray-brown bird I know, receiv’d us comrades three; And he sang what seem’d the carol of death, and a verse for him I love. From deep secluded recesses, From the fragrant cedars, and the ghostly pines so still, Came the carol of the bird. And the charm of the carol rapt me, As I held, as if by their hands, my comrades in the night; And the voice of my spirit tallied the song of the bird. DEATH CAROL. 16 Come, lovely and soothing Death, Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving, In the day, in the night, to all, to each, Sooner or later, delicate Death. Prais’d be the fathomless universe, For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious; And for love, sweet love—But praise! praise! praise! For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding Death. Dark Mother, always gliding near, with soft feet, Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome? Then I chant it for thee—I glorify thee above all; I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come unfalteringly. Approach, strong Deliveress! When it is so—when thou hast taken them, I joyously sing the dead, Lost in the loving, floating ocean of thee, Laved in the flood of thy bliss, O Death. From me to thee glad serenades, Dances for thee I propose, saluting thee—adornments and feastings for thee; And the sights of the open landscape, and the high-spread sky, are fitting, And life and the fields, and the huge and thoughtful night. The night, in silence, under many a star; The ocean shore, and the husky whispering wave, whose voice I know; And the soul turning to thee, O vast and well-veil’d Death, And the body gratefully nestling close to thee. Over the tree-tops I float thee a song! Over the rising and sinking waves—over the myriad fields, and the prairies wide; Over the dense-pack’d cities all, and the teeming wharves and ways, I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee, O Death! 17 To the tally of my soul, Loud and strong kept up the gray-brown bird, With pure, deliberate notes, spreading, filling the night. Loud in the pines and cedars dim, Clear in the freshness moist, and the swamp-perfume; And I with my comrades there in the night. While my sight that was bound in my eyes unclosed, As to long panoramas of visions. 18 I saw askant the armies; And I saw, as in noiseless dreams, hundreds of battle-flags; Borne through the smoke of the battles, and pierc’d with missiles, I saw them, And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn and bloody; And at last but a few shreds left on the staffs, (and all in silence,) And the staffs all splinter’d and broken. I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them, And the white skeletons of young men—I saw them; I saw the debris and debris of all the dead soldiers of the war; But I saw they were not as was thought; They themselves were fully at rest—they suffer’d not; The living remain’d and suffer’d—the mother suffer’d, And the wife and the child, and the musing comrade suffer’d, And the armies that remain’d suffer’d. 19 Passing the visions, passing the night; Passing, unloosing the hold of my comrades’ hands; Passing the song of the hermit bird, and the tallying song of my soul, (Victorious song, death’s outlet song, yet varying, ever-altering song, As low and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling, flooding the night, Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet again bursting with joy, Covering the earth, and filling the spread of the heaven, As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses,) Passing, I leave thee, lilac with heart-shaped leaves; I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with spring, I cease from my song for thee; From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with thee, O comrade lustrous, with silver face in the night. 20 Yet each I keep, and all, retrievements out of the night; The song, the wondrous chant of the gray-brown bird, And the tallying chant, the echo arous’d in my soul, With the lustrous and drooping star, with the countenance full of woe, With the lilac tall, and its blossoms of mastering odor; With the holders holding my hand, nearing the call of the bird, Comrades mine, and I in the midst, and their memory ever I keep—for the dead I loved so well; For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands...and this for his dear sake; Lilac and star and bird, twined with the chant of my soul, There in the fragrant pines, and the cedars dusk and dim. First aired: 23 August 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Sep 12 2008

21mins

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Rank #12: 359. On His Blindness by John Milton

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J Milton read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://classicpoetryaloud.podomatic.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- On His Blindness by John Milton (1608 – 1674) When I consider how my light is spent E're half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one Talent which is death to hide, Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, least he returning chide, Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd, I fondly ask; But patience to prevent That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts, who best Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed And post o're Land and Ocean without rest: They also serve who only stand and waite. First aired: 20 November 2007 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Oct 30 2008

1min

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Rank #13: 539. On His Blindness by John Milton

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J Milton read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://classicpoetryaloud.podomatic.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- On His Blindness by John Milton (1608 – 1674) When I consider how my light is spent E're half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one Talent which is death to hide, Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, least he returning chide, Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd, I fondly ask; But patience to prevent That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts, who best Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed And post o're Land and Ocean without rest: They also serve who only stand and waite. First aired: 20 November 2007 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. To learn a little more about the poems and poets on Classic Poetry Aloud, join the mailing list. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Jan 10 2010

1min

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Rank #14: 616. Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest; So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Dec 16 2013

1min

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Rank #15: 563. The World is too Much With Us by William Wordsworth

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W Wordsworth read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- The World is too Much With by William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850) The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. First aired: 4 May 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Aug 08 2010

1min

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Rank #16: 486. Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

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W Shakespeare read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come: Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. First aired: 19 April 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Jun 18 2009

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Rank #17: 496. The World is too Much With Us by William Wordsworth

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W Wordsworth read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- The World is too Much With by William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850) The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. First aired: 4 May 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Aug 02 2009

1min

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Rank #18: 527. December by Dollie Radford

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D Radford read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- December by Dollie Radford (1858 – 1920) No gardener need go far to find The Christmas rose, The fairest of the flowers that mark The sweet Year's close: Nor be in quest of places where The hollies grow, Nor seek for sacred trees that hold The mistletoe. All kindly tended gardens love December days, And spread their latest riches out In winter's praise. But every gardener's work this month Must surely be To choose a very beautiful Big Christmas tree, And see it through the open door In triumph ride, To reign a glorious reign within At Christmas-tide. First aired: 22 December 2009 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. To learn a little more about the poems and poets on Classic Poetry Aloud, join the mailing list. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Dec 21 2009

1min

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Rank #19: 339. The Human Seasons by John Keats

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J Keats read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- The Human Seasons by John Keats (1795 – 1821) Four Seasons fill the measure of the year; There are four seasons in the mind of man:— He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear Takes in all beauty with an easy span: He has his Summer, when luxuriously Spring's honey'd cud of youthful thought he loves To ruminate, and by such dreaming high Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings He furleth close; contented so to look On mists in idleness—to let fair things Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook: He has his Winter too of pale misfeature, Or else he would forego his mortal nature. First aired: 15 October 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Sep 15 2008

1min

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Rank #20: 587. O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

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Walt Whitman read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to poetry of the past. ----------------------------------- O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills; For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding; For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head; It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! But I, with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

Oct 23 2013

2mins

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621: Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea, But we loved with a love that was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the wingèd seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsmen came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me; Yes! that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we, Of many far wiser than we; And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride, In her sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Jan 09 2014

2mins

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620. The Snow Storm by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. ------------------------------------------------ The Snow-Storm by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields, Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, And veils the farm-house at the garden's end. The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed In a tumultuous privacy of storm. Come see the north wind's masonry. Out of an unseen quarry evermore Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer Curves his white bastions with projected roof Round every windward stake, or tree, or door. Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he For number or proportion. Mockingly, On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths; A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn; Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall, Maugre the farmer's sighs; and at the gate A tapering turret overtops the work. And when his hours are numbered, and the world Is all his own, retiring, as he were not, Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone, Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work, The frolic architecture of the snow. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

Jan 07 2014

2mins

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619. If by Rudyard Kipling

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Rudyard Kipling read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- If by Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936) If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!' If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Dec 19 2013

1min

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618. December by Dollie Radford

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Dollie Radford read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- December by Dollie Radford (1858 – 1920) No gardener need go far to find The Christmas rose, The fairest of the flowers that mark The sweet Year's close: Nor be in quest of places where The hollies grow, Nor seek for sacred trees that hold The mistletoe. All kindly tended gardens love December days, And spread their latest riches out In winter's praise. But every gardener's work this month Must surely be To choose a very beautiful Big Christmas tree, And see it through the open door In triumph ride, To reign a glorious reign within At Christmas-tide. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Dec 18 2013

1min

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617. The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------------- The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882) I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight. I breathed a song into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For who has sight so keen and strong That it can follow the flight of song? Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

Dec 17 2013

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616. Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest; So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Dec 16 2013

1min

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615. For Those Who Fail by Joaquin Miller

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Joaquin Miller read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- For Those Who Fail by Joaquin Miller (1837 – 1913) "All honor to him who shall win the prize," The world has cried for a thousand years; But to him who tries and who fails and dies, I give great honor and glory and tears. O great is the hero who wins a name, But greater many and many a time, Some pale-faced fellow who dies in shame, And lets God finish the thought sublime. And great is the man with a sword undrawn, And good is the man who refrains from wine; But the man who fails and yet fights on, Lo! he is the twin-born brother of mine! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

Dec 13 2013

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614. Alone by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Alone by Edgar Allan Poe(1809 – 1849) From childhood's hour I have not been As others were; I have not seen As others saw; I could not bring My passions from a common spring. From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I loved, I loved alone. Then- in my childhood, in the dawn Of a most stormy life- was drawn From every depth of good and ill The mystery which binds me still: From the torrent, or the fountain, From the red cliff of the mountain, From the sun that round me rolled In its autumn tint of gold, From the lightning in the sky As it passed me flying by, From the thunder and the storm, And the cloud that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Dec 12 2013

1min

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613. The Good-Morrow by John Donne

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John Donne read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- The Good-Morrow by John Donne (1572 – 1631) I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I Did, till we lov'd? were we not wean'd till then? But suck'd on countrey pleasures, childishly? Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den? T'was so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee. If ever any beauty I did see, Which I desir'd, and got, t'was but a dreame of thee. And now good morrow to our waking soules, Which watch not one another out of feare; For love, all love of other sights controules, And makes one little roome, an every where. Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone, Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne, Let us possesse one world, each hath one, and is one. My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares, And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest, Where can we finde two better hemispheares Without sharpe North, without declining West? What ever dyes, was not mixt equally; If our two loves be one, or, thou and I Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Dec 11 2013

1min

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612. Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson

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Emily Dickinson read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter:@classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) "Hope" is the thing with feathers— That perches in the soul— And sings the tune without the words— And never stops—at all— And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard— And sore must be the storm— That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm— I've heard it in the chillest land— And on the strangest Sea— Yet, never, in Extremity, It asked a crumb—of Me. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Dec 10 2013

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611. Winter Nightfall by Robert Bridges

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Robert Bridges read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------------- Winter Nightfall by Robert Bridges (1844 - 1930) The day begins to droop,— Its course is done: But nothing tells the place Of the setting sun. The hazy darkness deepens, And up the lane You may hear, but cannot see, The homing wain. An engine pants and hums In the farm hard by: Its lowering smoke is lost In the lowering sky. The soaking branches drip, And all night through The dropping will not cease In the avenue. A tall man there in the house Must keep his chair: He knows he will never again Breathe the spring air: His heart is worn with work; He is giddy and sick If he rise to go as far As the nearest rick: He thinks of his morn of life, His hale, strong years; And braves as he may the night Of darkness and tears. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Dec 06 2013

1min

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610. Remember by Christina Georgina Rossetti

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Christina Georgina Rossetti read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Remember by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 – 1894) Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Dec 05 2013

1min

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609. Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats

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John Keats read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats (1795-1821) Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness, Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd, Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve; She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearièd, For ever piping songs for ever new; More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd, For ever panting, and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd, A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. Who are these coming to the sacrifice? To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? What little town by river or sea-shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed; Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty',—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Dec 04 2013

3mins

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608. A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns

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Robert Burns read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------------- My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns (1759 –1796) My luve's like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June. My luve's like the melodie, That's sweetly play'd in tune. As fair art thou, my bonie lass, So deep in luve am I, And I will luve thee still, my Dear, Till a' the seas gang dry. Till a' the seas gang dry, my Dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun! O I will luve thee still, my Dear, While the sands o' life shall run. And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve, And fare-thee-weel a while! And I will come again, my Luve, Tho' it were ten thousand mile! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Dec 03 2013

1min

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607. The Lost Mistress by Robert Browning

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Robert Browning read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- The Lost Mistress by Robert Browning (1812 – 1889) All 's over, then: does truth sound bitter As one at first believes? Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter About your cottage eaves! And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly, I noticed that, to-day; One day more bursts them open fully —You know the red turns gray. To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest? May I take your hand in mine? Mere friends are we,—well, friends the merest Keep much that I resign: For each glance of the eye so bright and black, Though I keep with heart's endeavour,— Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back, Though it stay in my soul for ever!— Yet I will but say what mere friends say, Or only a thought stronger; I will hold your hand but as long as all may, Or so very little longer! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

Dec 02 2013

1min

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606. The Rhodora by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- The Rhodora by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) On Being Asked Whence Is the Flower In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods, Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook, To please the desert and the sluggish brook. The purple petals, fallen in the pool, Made the black water with their beauty gay; Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool, And court the flower that cheapens his array. Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But, in my simple ignorance, suppose The self-same Power that brought me there brought you. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

Nov 29 2013

1min

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605. The Garden of Love by William Blake

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William Blake read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. ----------------------------------------------- The Garden of Love by William Blake (1757 – 1827) I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen; A Chapel was built in the midst, Where I used to play on the green. And the gates of this Chapel were shut, And 'Thou shalt not' writ over the door; So I turned to the Garden of Love That so many sweet flowers bore. And I saw it was filled with graves, And tombstones where flowers should be; And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds, And binding with briars my joys and desires. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

Nov 28 2013

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604. Forget Not Yet by Sir Thomas Wyatt

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Sir Thomas Wyatt read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------------- Forget not yet by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503 – 1542) The Lover Beseecheth his Mistress not to Forget his Steadfast Faith and True Intent Forget not yet the tried intent Of such a truth as I have meant; My great travail so gladly spent, Forget not yet! Forget not yet when first began The weary life ye know, since whan The suit, the service, none tell can; Forget not yet! Forget not yet the great assays, The cruel wrong, the scornful ways, The painful patience in delays, Forget not yet! Forget not! O, forget not this!— How long ago hath been, and is, The mind that never meant amiss— Forget not yet! Forget not then thine own approved, The which so long hath thee so loved, Whose steadfast faith yet never moved: Forget not this! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Nov 27 2013

1min

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603. Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold

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Matthew Arnold read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold (1822 – 1888) The sea is calm to-night. The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits; on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand; Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! Only, from the long line of spray Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land, Listen! you hear the grating roar Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, At their return, up the high strand, Begin, and cease, and then again begin, With tremulous cadence slow, and bring The eternal note of sadness in. Sophocles long ago Heard it on the A gaean, and it brought Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow Of human misery; we Find also in the sound a thought, Hearing it by this distant northern sea. The Sea of Faith Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world. Ah, love, let us be true To one another! for the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Nov 26 2013

2mins

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602. The Drum by John Scott

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John Scott read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- The Drum by John Scott (1731 – 1783) I hate that drum's discordant sound, Parading round, and round, and round: To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields, And lures from cities and from fields, To sell their liberty for charms Of tawdry lace and glitt'ring arms; And when Ambition's voice commands, To fight and fall in foreign lands. I hate that drum's discordant sound, Parading round, and round, and round: To me it talks of ravaged plains, And burning towns and ruin'd swains, And mangled limbs, and dying groans, And widow's tears, and orphans moans, And all that Misery's hand bestows, To fill a catalogue of woes. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Nov 25 2013

1min

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I love poetry

By ArtGirlSAH - May 09 2016
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and am happy to have these poems posted in between the podcasts I listen to regularly. Thank you!

A Fantastic Podcast

By Echo Groks - Feb 19 2011
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Excellent range of poetry read well.