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Rank #147 in Books category

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Classic Poetry Aloud

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Rank #147 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
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

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 3 days 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

Rank #1: 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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Rank #2: 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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Rank #3: 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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Rank #4: 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 #5: 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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Rank #6: 363. Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

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W Owen read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://classicpoetryaloud.podomatic.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918) Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind. Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . . Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori. First aired: 9 November 2007 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Nov 11 2008

2mins

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Rank #7: 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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Rank #8: 370. Psalm 1 by John Milton

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J Milton read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Psalm 1 translated by John Milton (1608 – 1674) Done into Verse, 1653 Bless'd is the man who hath not walk'd astray In counsel of the wicked, and ith'way Of sinners hath not stood, and in the seat Of scorners hath not sate. But in the great Jehovahs Law is ever his delight, And in his law he studies day and night. He shall be as a tree which planted grows By watry streams, and in his season knows To yield his fruit, and his leaf shall not fall. And what he takes in hand shall prosper all. Not so the wicked, but as chaff which fann'd The wind drives, so the wicked shall not stand In judgment, or abide their tryal then Nor sinners in th'assembly of just men. For the Lord knows th'upright way of the just And the way of bad men to ruine must. First aired: 27 November 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Nov 27 2008

1min

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Rank #9: 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 #10: 564. The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Lord Tennyson read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 – 1892) 1842 edition Part I. On either side the river lie Long fields of barley and of rye, That clothe the wold and meet the sky; And thro' the field the road runs by To many-tower'd Camelot; And up and down the people go, Gazing where the lilies blow Round an island there below, The island of Shalott. Willows whiten, aspens quiver, Little breezes dusk and shiver Thro' the wave that runs for ever By the island in the river Flowing down to Camelot. Four gray walls, and four gray towers, Overlook a space of flowers, And the silent isle imbowers The Lady of Shalott. By the margin, willow-veil'd Slide the heavy barges trail'd By slow horses; and unhail'd The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd Skimming down to Camelot: But who hath seen her wave her hand? Or at the casement seen her stand? Or is she known in all the land, The Lady of Shalott? Only reapers, reaping early In among the bearded barley, Hear a song that echoes cheerly From the river winding clearly, Down to tower'd Camelot: And by the moon the reaper weary, Piling sheaves in uplands airy, Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy Lady of Shalott." Part II. There she weaves by night and day A magic web with colours gay. She has heard a whisper say, A curse is on her if she stay To look down to Camelot. She knows not what the curse may be, And so she weaveth steadily, And little other care hath she, The Lady of Shalott. And moving thro' a mirror clear That hangs before her all the year, Shadows of the world appear. There she sees the highway near Winding down to Camelot: There the river eddy whirls, And there the surly village-churls, And the red cloaks of market girls, Pass onward from Shalott. Sometimes a troop of damsels glad, An abbot on an ambling pad, Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad, Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad, Goes by to tower'd Camelot; And sometimes thro' the mirror blue The knights come riding two and two: She hath no loyal knight and true, The Lady of Shalott. But in her web she still delights To weave the mirror's magic sights, For often thro' the silent nights A funeral, with plumes and lights And music, went to Camelot: Or when the moon was overhead, Came two young lovers lately wed; "I am half-sick of shadows," said The Lady of Shalott. Part III. A bow-shot from her bower-eaves, He rode between the barley-sheaves, The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves, And flamed upon the brazen greaves Of bold Sir Lancelot. A redcross knight for ever kneel'd To a lady in his shield, That sparkled on the yellow field, Beside remote Shalott. The gemmy bridle glitter'd free, Like to some branch of stars we see Hung in the golden Galaxy. The bridle-bells rang merrily As he rode down to Camelot: And from his blazon'd baldric slung A mighty silver bugle hung, And as he rode his armour rung, Beside remote Shalott. All in the blue unclouded weather Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather, The helmet and the helmet-feather Burn'd like one burning flame together, As he rode down to Camelot. As often thro' the purple night, Below the starry clusters bright, Some bearded meteor, trailing light, Moves over still Shalott. His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd; On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode; From underneath his helmet flow'd His coal-black curls as on he rode, As he rode down to Camelot. From the bank and from the river He flash'd into the crystal mirror, "Tirra lirra," by the river Sang Sir Lancelot. She left the web, she left the loom, She made three paces thro' the room, She saw the water-lily bloom, She saw the helmet and the plume, She look'd down to Camelot. Out flew the web and floated wide; The mirror crack'd from side to side; "The curse is come upon me," cried The Lady of Shalott. Part IV. In the stormy east-wind straining, The pale-yellow woods were waning, The broad stream in his banks complaining, Heavily the low sky raining Over tower'd Camelot; Down she came and found a boat Beneath a willow left afloat, And round about the prow she wrote The Lady of Shalott. And down the river's dim expanse-- Like some bold seër in a trance, Seeing all his own mischance-- With a glassy countenance Did she look to Camelot. And at the closing of the day She loosed the chain, and down she lay; The broad stream bore her far away, The Lady of Shalott. Lying, robed in snowy white That loosely flew to left and right-- The leaves upon her falling light-- Thro' the noises of the night She floated down to Camelot: And as the boat-head wound along The willowy hills and fields among, They heard her singing her last song, The Lady of Shalott. Heard a carol, mournful, holy, Chanted loudly, chanted lowly, Till her blood was frozen slowly, And her eyes were darken'd wholly, Turn'd to tower'd Camelot; For ere she reach'd upon the tide The first house by the water-side, Singing in her song she died, The Lady of Shalott. Under tower and balcony, By garden-wall and gallery, A gleaming shape she floated by, A corse between the houses high, Silent into Camelot. Out upon the wharfs they came, Knight and burgher, lord and dame, And round the prow they read her name, The Lady of Shalott. Who is this? and what is here? And in the lighted palace near Died the sound of royal cheer; And they cross'd themselves for fear, All the knights at Camelot: But Lancelot mused a little space; He said, "She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace, The Lady of Shalott." First aired: 2 August 2008 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Aug 09 2010

8mins

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Rank #11: 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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Rank #12: 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 #13: 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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Rank #14: 577. A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allen Poe

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Edgar Allen Poe read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the classic 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, Thus 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? Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

Oct 10 2013

1min

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Rank #15: 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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Rank #16: 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 #17: 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 #18: 575. She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron

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Byron read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the classic poetry of the past. ------------------------------------- She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies, And all that's best of dark and bright Meets in her aspect and her eyes; Thus mellow'd to that tender light Which Heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impair'd the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress Or softly lightens o'er her face, Where thoughts serenely sweet express How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. And on that cheek and o'er that brow So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent,— A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent.

Oct 08 2013

1min

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Rank #19: 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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Rank #20: 361. The Conqueror Worm 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 Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) Lo! 't is a gala night Within the lonesome latter years. An angel throng, bewinged, bedight In veils, and drowned in tears, Sit in a theatre to see A play of hopes and fears, While the orchestra breathes fitfully The music of the spheres. Mimes, in the form of God on high, Mutter and mumble low, And hither and thither fly; Mere puppets they, who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro, Flapping from out their condor wings Invisible Woe. That motley drama—oh, be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased for evermore By a crowd that seize it not, Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot; And much of Madness, and more of Sin, And Horror the soul of the plot. But see amid the mimic rout A crawling shape intrude: A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes—it writhes!—with mortal pangs The mimes become its food, And over each quivering form In human gore imbued. Out—out are the lights—out all! And over each quivering form The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, While the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, "Man," And its hero, the Conqueror Worm. First aired: 23 November 2007 For hundreds more poetry readings, visit the Classic Poetry Aloud index. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

Nov 07 2008

2mins

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