That Pretty Girl

That pretty girl--
munching and rustling
the wrapped-up rice cake.


Translated by Robert Hass

by Kobayashi Issa.

There Once Was A Girl Of Lahore

There once was a girl of Lahore,
The same shape behind as before;
As no one knew where
To offer a chair,
She had to sit down on the floor.

by William Cosmo Monkhouse.

Limerick: There Once Was A Girl Of Lahore

There once was a girl of Lahore,
The same shape behind as before;
As no one knew where
To offer a chair,
She had to sit down on the floor.

by William Cosmo Monkhouse.

On her beautiful face there are smiles of grace
That linger in beauty serene
And there are no pimples, encircling her dimples,
As ever, as yet, I have seen.

by J. Gordon Coogler.

O Sweet, thy lips, how sweet their kisses are!
Rarer than rosy dewdrops amorous
That in the lily's tender bosom fall,
So magical with beauty they so breathe of thee.

by Robert Crawford.

Limerick:There Was A Young Girl Of Majorca

There was a Young Girl of Majorca,
Whose aunt was a very fast walker;
She walked seventy miles,
And leaped fifteen stiles,
Which astonished that Girl of Majorca.

by Edward Lear.

Y Are The Maiden Posies

''Y' are the maiden posies,
And so graced,
To be placed
Fore damask roses.
Yet, though thus respected,
By and by
Ye do lie,
Poor girls, neglected.'

by Louisa May Alcott.

There Was A Little Girl

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Valentine To The Girl In Black

In hand I take this pen of mine
To write you, sweet, a valentine;
I’d take your dainty hand instead,
But—you’re a drawing—I am wed—
And that is why, you understand,
I only take my pen in hand.

by Ellis Parker Butler.

To A Girl In A Garden

O soft and dainty maiden, from afar
I watch you, as amidst the flowers you move,
And pluck them, singing.

More golden than all gold your tresses are:
Never was harp-note like your voice, my love,
Your voice sweet-ringing.

by Sappho.

The Little Girl And Her Doll

All you do for your children,
For my Doll I do instead,
And in her little cradle
She lies beside my bed.
When she sleeps, I dream about her,
When she cries, I wake up too.
My own, dear, darling Mother,
I'm just as rich as you!

by Adelbert Von Chamisso.

For A Girl In A Book

Kim, composite of all my loves,
less real than most, more real than all;
of my making, all the good and
some of the bad, yet of yourself;
sole, unique, strong, alone,
whole, independent, one: yet mine
in that you cannot be unfaithful.

by Ben Jonson.

My Girl She's Airy: A Fragment

MY girl she's airy, she's buxom and gay;
Her breath is as sweet as the blossoms in May;
A touch of her lips it ravishes quite:
She's always good natur'd, good humour'd, and free;
She dances, she glances, she smiles upon me;
I never am happy when out of her sight.

by Robert Burns.

To the maiden
The sea was blue meadow,
Alive with little froth-people
Singing.

To the sailor, wrecked,
The sea was dead grey walls
Superlative in vacancy,
Upon which nevertheless at fateful time
Was written
The grim hatred of nature.

by Stephen Crane.

To-- I Fear Thy Kisses, Gentle Maiden

I.
I fear thy kisses, gentle maiden,
Thou needest not fear mine;
My spirit is too deeply laden
Ever to burthen thine.

II.
I fear thy mien, thy tones, thy motion,
Thou needest not fear mine;
Innocent is the heart’s devotion
With which I worship thine.

by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

To A Young Girl

MY dear, my dear, I know
More than another
What makes your heart beat so;
Not even your own mother
Can know it as I know,
Who broke my heart for her
When the wild thought,
That she denies
And has forgot,
Set all her blood astir
And glittered in her eyes.

by William Butler Yeats.

My bonny lass she smileth

My bonny lass she smileth
When she my heart beguileth. Fa la.
Smile less, dear love, therefore,
And you shall love me more. Fa la.

When she her sweet eye turneth,
O how my heart doth burneth! Fa la.
Dear love, call in their light,
O else you burn me quite! Fa la.

by Thomas Morley.

I ne'er could be entirely fond
Of any maiden who's a blonde,
And no brunette that e'er I saw
Had charms my heart's whole
warmth to draw.

Yet sure no girl was ever made
Just half of light and half of shade.
And so, this happy mean to get,
I love a blonde and a brunette.

by Ambrose Bierce.

A Brown Girl Dead

With two white roses on her breasts,
White candles at head and feet,
Dark Madonna of the grave she rests;
Lord Death has found her sweet.

Her mother pawned her wedding ring
To lay her out in white;
She'd be so proud she'd dance and sing
to see herself tonight.

by Countee Cullen.

The Fair Maiden

The night when the fair maiden revealed the likeness of her form to me,
The warmth of her cheeks, the veil of her hair,
Golden like a topaz, covering
A brow of smoothest crystal—
She was like the sun making red in her rising
The clouds of dawn with the flame of her light.

Translated by Nina Salaman

by Yehudah HaLevi.

Song—fragment—there Was A Bonie Lass

THERE was a bonie lass, and a bonie, bonie lass,
And she lo'ed her bonie laddie dear;
Till War's loud alarms tore her laddie frae her arms,
Wi' mony a sigh and tear.
Over sea, over shore, where the cannons loudly roar,
He still was a stranger to fear;
And nocht could him quail, or his bosom assail,
But the bonie lass he lo'ed sae dear.

by Robert Burns.

Rosy Maiden Winifred

Rosy maiden Winifred,
With a milkpail on her head,
Tripping through the corn,
While the dew lies on the wheat
In the sunny morn.
Scarlet shepherd's-weatherglass
Spreads wide open at her feet
As they pass;
Cornflowers give their almond smell
While she brushes by,
And a lark sings from the sky
‘All is well.’

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

WHAT pleasure to me
A bridegroom would be!
When married we are,
They call us mamma.
No need then to sew,
To school we ne'er go;
Command uncontroll'd,
Have maids, whom to scold;
Choose clothes at our ease,
Of what tradesmen we please;
Walk freely about,
And go to each rout,
And unrestrained are
By papa or mamma.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Losing A Slave Girl

Around my garden the little wall is low;
In the bailiff's lodge the lists are seldom checked.
I am ashamed to think we were not always kind;
I regret your labours, that will never be repaid.
The caged bird owes no allegiance;
The wind-tossed flower does not cling to the tree.
Where tonight she lies none can give us news;
Nor any knows, save the bright watching moon.

by Bai Juyi.

Advice To A Girl

No one worth possessing
Can be quite possessed;
Lay that on your heart,
My young angry dear;
This truth, this hard and precious stone,
Lay it on your hot cheek,
Let it hide your tear.
Hold it like a crystal
When you are alone
And gaze in the depths of the icy stone.
Long, look long and you will be blessed:
No one worth possessing
Can be quite possessed.

by Sara Teasdale.

Day Sleeping Girl

Summer breeze is sporadically blowing,
Lying down the young girl slides into sleeping.
Her bamboo comb loosely attached to her hair,
Her pink bra below her waist dropped down fair.
On these two Elysian mounds, the nectar is still remaining,
In that one Fairy rivulet, the current seems to stop flowing.
At such a view, the gentleman hesitated,
Odd to leave, yet inconvenient if he stayed.

by Ho Xuan Huong.

I

Like the sweet apple which reddens upon the topmost bough,
A-top on the topmost twig--which the pluckers forgot, somehow--
Forget it not, nay, but got it not, for none could get it till now.

II

Like the wild hyacinth flower which on the hills is found,
Which the passing feet of the shepherds for ever tear and wound,
Until the purple blossom is trodden in the ground.

by Sappho.

How A Little Girl Sang

Ah, she was music in herself,
A symphony of joyousness.
She sang, she sang from finger tips,
From every tremble of her dress.
I saw sweet haunting harmony,
An ecstasy, an ecstasy,
In that strange curling of her lips,
That happy curling of her lips.
And quivering with melody
Those eyes I saw, that tossing head.

And so I saw what music was,
Tho' still accursed with ears of lead.

by Vachel Lindsay.

Death And The Maiden

BARCAROLE ON THE STYX


Fair youth with the rose at your lips,
A riddle is hid in your eyes;
Discard conversational quips,
Give over elaborate disguise.

The rose's funeral breath
Confirms by intuitive fears;
To prove your devotion, Sir Death,
Avaunt for a dozen of years.

But do not forget to array
Your terror in juvenile charms;
I shall deeply regret my delay
If I sleep in a skeleton's arms.

by Elinor Morton Wylie.

That Pretty Girl In The Army

“Now I often sit at Watty’s, when the night is very near
With a head that’s full of jingles – and the fumes of bottled beer;
For I always have a fancy that, if I am over there
When the Army prays for Watty, I’m included in the prayer.

“It would take a lot of praying, lots of thumping on the drum,
To prepare our sinful, straying, erring souls for Kingdom Come,
But I love my fellow-sinners! And I hope upon the whole,
That the Army gets a hearing when it prays for Watty’s soul.

by Henry Lawson.

In Praise Of A Maiden

O sweet maiden, so fair and retiring,
At the corner I'm waiting for you;
And I'm scratching my head, and inquiring
What on earth it were best I should do.

Oh! the maiden, so handsome and coy,
For a pledge gave a slim rosy reed.
Than the reed is she brighter, my joy;
On her loveliness how my thoughts feed!

In the pastures a _t'e_ blade she sought,
And she gave it, so elegant, rare.
Oh! the grass does not dwell in my thought,
But the donor, more elegant, fair.

by Confucius.

Lift Your Veil, Mischievous Girl

Lift your veil, mischievous girl, for Vitthal gazes at your body!
The lotus of your body blooms like the full sixteen-digited moon!
Lift your veil, mischievous girl, for Vitthal gazes at your body!

Your body, fragrant like sandalwood,
Has captured the mind of the Lifter of the mountain!
Lift your veil, mischievous girl, for Vitthal gazes at your body!

While lust has gripped the lustful ones, O what nectar Narsinh enjoys!
Lift your veil, mischievous girl, for Vitthal gazes at your body!

by Narsinh Mehta.

Song Of The Glee-Maiden

Yes, thou mayst sigh,
And look once more at all around,
At stream and bank, and sky and ground.
Thy life its final course has found,
And thou must die.

Yes, lay thee down,
And while thy struggling pulses flutter,
Bid the grey monk his soul mass mutter,
And the deep bell its death tone utter-
Thy life is gone.

Be not afraid.
'Tis but a pang, and then a thrill,
A fever fit, and then a chill,
And then an end of human ill,
For thou art dead.

by Sir Walter Scott.

Oh if I were the velvet rose
Upon the red rose vine,
I'd climb to touch his window
And make his casement fine.

And if I were the little bird
That twitters on the tree,
All day I'd sing my love for him
Till he should harken me.

But since I am a maiden
I go with downcast eyes,
And he will never hear the songs
That he has turned to sighs.

And since I am a maiden
My love will never know
That I could kiss him with a mouth
More red than roses blow.

by Sara Teasdale.

The Girl And The Goat

The girl fights to pull the goat,
Totally terrified, sliding on the pavement
Among the bells of the streetcars
And the speed of the dusty automobiles.

…A whole herd of goats…
The goats graze on the mid-day grass…
And in the dead solitude of the mountain
Not a single sound of a car horn.
Ugly dog with big eyes hidden in his hair,
Near he stones moved by the little lizards,
Where the hot sun flounders in the troubled water,
Fixes his teeth in the golden cheese
Licias, the herdsman.

by Mário de Andrade.

The Country Girl

The Country Girl reflects at last –
And well in her young days –
For she is learning very fast,
The worth of City ways.
The emptiness of Tailors men
The women’s paltry strife
The Sham of ‘Smart Society’
Compared with Country Life.

The novelty wore off at length,
And flattered at the Ball,
She things of one who has the strength
And brains above them all.
She things of men who Live and Work
For sweetheart and for wife.
And though it be as far as Bourke’
Are true to Country Life

by Henry Lawson.

THAT crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,

Her soul in division from itself
Climbing, falling She knew not where,
Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship,
Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare
A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing
Heroically lost, heroically found.

No matter what disaster occurred
She stood in desperate music wound,
Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph
Where the bales and the baskets lay
No common intelligible sound
But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.'

by William Butler Yeats.

The Hindoo Girl’s Song

FLOAT on—float on—my haunted bark,
Above the midnight tide;
Bear softly o'er the waters dark
The hopes that with thee glide.

Float on—float on—thy freight is flowers,
And every flower reveals
The dreaming of my lonely hours,
The hope my spirit feels.

Float on—float on—thy shining lamp,
The light of love, is there;
If lost beneath the waters damp,
That love must then despair.

Float on—beneath the moonlight float
The sacred billows o'er:
Ah, some kind spirit guards my boat,
For it has gained the shore.

by Letitia Elizabeth Landon.

Sparrow, The Special Delight Of My Girl

Sparrow, the special delight of my girl,
whom often she teases and holds on her lap
and pokes with the tip of her finger, provoking
counterattacks with your mordant beak,
whenever my luminous love desires
something or other, innocuous fun,
a bit of escape, I suppose, from her pain,
a moment of peace from her turbulent passion,
I wish I could play like she does with you
and lighten the cares of my sorrowful soul.
It thrills me as much as the nimble girl
in the story was thrilled by the gilded apple
that finally uncinched her virginal gown.

by Gaius Valerius Catullus.

The Indian Girl: A Picture By Walter Shirlaw

She standeth silent as a thought
Too sacred to be uttered; all
Her face unfurling like a flower
That at a breath too near will shut.
Her life a little golden clock
Whose shining hands, arrested, stay
Forever at the hour of Love.


She doubts, she dares, she dreams-of what?
I ask; she, shrinking, answers not,
She swims before me, dim, a cup
Of waste, untasted tenderness.
I drink, I dread, until I seem
(Myself unto myself) to be
He whom she chose, and charmed-and missed,
On some faint Asiatic day
Of languorous summer, ages since.

by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward.