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Classic Poetry Aloud

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Rank #87 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

74 Ratings
Average Ratings
53
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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

74 Ratings
Average Ratings
53
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.

Listen to:

Cover image of Classic Poetry Aloud

Classic Poetry Aloud

Updated 1 day ago

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

317. Aloof by Christina Georgina Rossetti

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CG Rossetti read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- Aloof by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 – 1894) The irresponsive silence of the land, The irresponsive sounding of the sea, Speak both one message of one sense to me:— Aloof, aloof, we stand aloof, so stand Thou too aloof, bound with the flawless band Of inner solitude; we bind not thee; But who from thy self-chain shall set thee free? What heart shall touch thy heart? What hand thy hand? And I am sometimes proud and sometimes meek, And sometimes I remember days of old When fellowship seem'd not so far to seek, And all the world and I seem'd much less cold, And at the rainbow's foot lay surely gold, And hope felt strong, and life itself not weak. First aired: 11 August 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Aug 15 2008

1min

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352. Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms by Thomas Moore

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T Moore read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms by Thomas Moore (1779 – 1852) Believe me, if all those endearing young charms, Which I gaze on so fondly to-day, Were to change by to-morrow, and fleet in my arms, Live fairy-gifts fading away, Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art, Let thy loveliness fade as it will, And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart Would entwine itself verdantly still. It is not while beauty and youth are thine own, And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear, That the fervour and faith of a soul can be known, To which time will but make thee more dear! No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets, But as truly loves on to the close, As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets The same look which she turned when he rose! First aired: 1 November 2007 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Oct 06 2008

1min

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385. Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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HW Longfellow read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882) I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Till, ringing, singing on its way The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The Carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And in despair I bowed my head; ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said; ‘For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’ Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: ‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep! The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men!’ First aired: 25 December 2007 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Dec 26 2008

1min

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411. She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways by William Wordsworth

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W Wordsworth read by Classic Poetry Aloud: Giving voice to the poetry of the past. www.classicpoetryaloud.com -------------------------------------------- She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways by William Wordsworth (1770 –1850) She dwelt among the untrodden ways Beside the springs of Dove, A Maid whom there were none to praise And very few to love: A violet by a mossy stone Half hidden from the eye! --Fair as a star, when only one Is shining in the sky. She lived unknown, and few could know When Lucy ceased to be; But she is in her grave, and, oh, The difference to me! First aired: 24 January 2009 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Jan 24 2009

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462. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

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EA Poe read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,— While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. "'T is some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door; Only this and nothing more." Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore, For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore: Nameless here for evermore. And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating "'T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door, Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door: This it is and nothing more." Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"—here I opened wide the door:— Darkness there and nothing more. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore:" Merely this and nothing more. Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. "Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore; Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore: 'T is the wind and nothing more." Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door, Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door: Perched, and sat, and nothing more. Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,— "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore: Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door, Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore." But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered, Till I scarcely more than muttered,—"Other friends have flown before; On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before." Then the bird said, "Nevermore." Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore: Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore Of 'Never—nevermore.' But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore, What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking "Nevermore." This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er She shall press, ah, nevermore! Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!" Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore." Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil! Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted— On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore: Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil—prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore, Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore: Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting: "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor: And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted—nevermore! First aired: 29 February 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Apr 17 2009

8mins

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Her Voice 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. --------------------------------------------------- Her Voice by Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) The wild bee reels from bough to bough With his furry coat and his gauzy wing. Now in a lily-cup, and now Setting a jacinth bell a-swing, In his wandering; Sit closer love: it was here I trow I made that vow, Swore that two lives should be like one As long as the sea-gull loved the sea, As long as the sunflower sought the sun, — It shall be, I said, for eternity ’Twixt you and me! Dear friend, those times are over and done, Love’s web is spun. Look upward where the poplar trees Sway and sway in the summer air, Here in the valley never a breeze Scatters the thistledown, but there Great winds blow fair From the mighty murmuring mystical seas, And the wave-lashed leas. Look upward where the white gull screams, What does it see that we do not see? Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams On some outward voyaging argosy, — Ah! can it be We have lived our lives in a land of dreams! How sad it seems. Sweet, there is nothing left to say But this, that love is never lost, Keen winter stabs the breasts of May Whose crimson roses burst his frost, Ships tempest-tossed Will find a harbour in some bay, And so we may. And there is nothing left to do But to kiss once again, and part, Nay, there is nothing we should rue, I have my beauty,—you your Art, Nay, do not start, One world was not enough for two Like me and you.

Oct 05 2013

2mins

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318. Discipline 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.

---------------------------------------------

Discipline
by George Herbert (1593 – 1632)

Throw away Thy rod,
Throw away Thy wrath;
O my God,
Take the gentle path!
For my heart's desire
Unto Thine is bent:
I aspire
To a full consent.

Not a word or look
I affect to own,
But by book,
And Thy Book alone.

Though I fail, I weep;
Though I halt in pace,
Yet I creep
To the throne of grace.

Then let wrath remove;
Love will do the deed;
For with love
Stony hearts will bleed.

Love is swift of foot;
Love 's a man of war,
And can shoot,
And can hit from far.

Who can 'scape his bow?
That which wrought on Thee,
Brought Thee low,
Needs must work on me.

Throw away Thy rod;
Though man frailties hath,
Thou art God:
Throw away Thy wrath!

First aired: 12 August 2008

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

Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Aug 16 2008

1min

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320. Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson

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E Dickinson read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality. We slowly drove, he knew no haste, And I had put away My labor, and my leisure too, For his civility. We passed the school where children played At wrestling in a ring; We passed the fields of gazing grain, We passed the setting sun. We paused before a house that seemed A swelling of the ground; The roof was scarcely visible, The cornice but a mound. Since then ’t is centuries; but each Feels shorter than the day I first surmised the horses’ heads Were toward eternity.   First aired: 23 September 2007 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Aug 18 2008

1min

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548. How Sweet it is to Love by John Dryden

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J Dryden read by Classic Poetry Aloud:
http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/

Giving voice to the poetry of the past.

---------------------------------------------

How Sweet it is to Love
by John Dryden (1631 – 1700)

Ah, how sweet it is to love!
Ah, how gay is young Desire!
And what pleasing pains we prove
When we first approach Love's fire!
Pains of love be sweeter far
Than all other pleasures are.

Sighs which are from lovers blown
Do but gently heave the heart:
Ev'n the tears they shed alone
Cure, like trickling balm, their smart:
Lovers, when they lose their breath,
Bleed away in easy death.

Love and Time with reverence use,
Treat them like a parting friend;
Nor the golden gifts refuse
Which in youth sincere they send:
For each year their price is more,
And they less simple than before.

Love, like spring-tides full and high,
Swells in every youthful vein;
But each tide does less supply,
Till they quite shrink in again:
If a flow in age appear,
'Tis but rain, and runs not clear.
For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index.

Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

May 01 2010

1min

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454. A Dream within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

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EA Poe read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- A Dream within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, ThIs much let me avow – You are not wrong, who deem That my days have been a dream: Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand— How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep While I weep--while I weep! O God! can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream? First aired: 3 April 2009 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Apr 03 2009

1min

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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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503. I am Lonely by George Eliot

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G Eliot read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- I am Lonely by George Eliot (1819 – 1880) From "The Spanish Gypsy" The world is great: the birds all fly from me, The stars are golden fruit upon a tree All out of reach: my little sister went, And I am lonely. The world is great: I tried to mount the hill Above the pines, where the light lies so still, But it rose higher: little Lisa went And I am lonely. The world is great: the wind comes rushing by. I wonder where it comes from; sea birds cry And hurt my heart: my little sister went, And I am lonely. The world is great: the people laugh and talk, And make loud holiday: how fast they walk! I'm lame, they push me: little Lisa went, And I am lonely. First aired: 19 May 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Aug 14 2009

1min

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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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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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599. The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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Alfred, Lord Tennyson read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- The Charge of the Light Brigade Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 – 92) Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade!” Was there a man dismay’d? Not tho’ the soldier knew Some one had blunder’d: Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volley’d and thunder’d; Storm’d at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred. Flash’d all their sabres bare, Flash’d as they turn’d in air Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wonder’d: Plunged in the battery-smoke Right thro’ the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reel’d from the sabre-stroke Shatter’d and sunder’d. Then they rode back, but not Not the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volley’d and thunder’d; Storm’d at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came thro’ the jaws of Death, Back from the mouth of Hell, All that was left of them, Left of six hundred. When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wonder’d. Honor the charge they made! Honor the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

Nov 19 2013

2mins

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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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418. I Have a Rendezvous with Death by Alan Seeger

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A Seeger read by Classic Poetry Aloud: Giving voice to the poetry of the past. www.classicpoetryaloud.com -------------------------------------------- I Have a Rendezvous with Death by Alan Seeger (1888 – 1916) I have a rendezvous with Death At some disputed barricade, When Spring comes back with rustling shade And apple-blossoms fill the air – I have a rendezvous with Death When Spring brings back blue days and fair. It may be he shall take my hand And lead me into his dark land And close my eyes and quench my breath – It may be I shall pass him still. I have a rendezvous with Death On some scarred slope of battered hill, When Spring comes round again this year And the first meadow-flowers appear. God knows 'twere better to be deep Pillowed in silk and scented down, Where love throbs out in blissful sleep, Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath, Where hushed awakenings are dear... But I've a rendezvous with Death At midnight in some flaming town, When Spring trips north again this year, And I to my pledged word am true, I shall not fail that rendezvous. First aired: 15 February 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Feb 02 2009

1min

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489. The Rhodora by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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RW Emerson read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ 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. First aired: 28 April 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Jun 27 2009

1min

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589. Invictus by William Ernest Henley

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William Ernest Henley read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- 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. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

Oct 25 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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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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