By A Flower—by A Letter

109

By a flower—By a letter—
By a nimble love—
If I weld the Rivet faster—
Final fast—above—

Never mind my breathless Anvil!
Never mind Repose!
Never mind the sooty faces
Tugging at the Forge!

by Emily Dickinson.

This Is My Letter To The World,

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,-
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty

Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

by Emily Dickinson.

Lines In A Letter To His Lady Cousin, Honor Driden, Who Had Given Him A Silver Inkstand, With A Set Of Writing Materials, 1655

For since 'twas mine, the white hath lost its hue,
To show 'twas ne'er it self but whilst in you,
The virgin wax hath blushed it self to red
Since it with me hath lost its maidenhead.
You, fairest nymph, are wax: O, may you be
As well in softness as in purity!
Till fate and your own happy choice reveal
Whom you shall so far bless to make your seal.

by John Dryden.

In A Letter To C. P. Esq. Ill With The Rheumatism

Grant me the Muse, ye gods! whose humble flight
Seeks not the mountain-top's pernicious height:
Who can the tall Parnassian cliff forsake,
To visit oft the still Lethean lake;
Now her slow pinions brush the silent shore,
Now gently skim the unwrinkled waters o'er,
There dips her downy plumes, thence upward flies,
And sheds soft slumbers on her votary's eyes.

by William Cowper.

Last Letter To His Wife

I am dead because I lack desire,
I lack desire because I think I possess.
I think I possess because I do not try to give.
In trying to give, you see that you have nothing;
Seeing that you have nothing, you try to give of yourself;
Trying to give of yourself, you see that you are nothing:
Seeing that you are nothing, you desire to become;
In desiring to become, you begin to live.

by Rene Daumal.

My hands have not touched water since your hands, -
No; - nor my lips freed laughter since 'farewell'.
And with the day, distance again expands
Between us, voiceless as an uncoiled shell.

Yet, - much follows, much endures… Trust birds alone:
A dove's wings clung about my heart last night
With surging gentleness; and the blue stone
Set in the tryst-ring has but worn more bright.

by Harold Hart Crane.

Written In The Conclusion Of A Letter To Mr. Tickel,

Eternal King, is there one Hour,
To make me greatly bless'd?
When shall I have it in my Pow'r
To succour the Distress'd?

In vain, alas! my Heart o'erflows
With useless Tenderness;
Why must I feel Another's Woes,
And cannot make them less?

Yet I this Torture must endure;
'Tis not reserv'd for me
To ease the Sighing of the Poor,
Or set the Pris'ners free.

by Mary Barber.

In A Letter To C. P. Esq. In Imitation Of Shakspeare

Trust me the meed of praise, dealt thriftily
From the nice scale of judgement, honours more
Than does the lavish and o'erbearing tide
Of profuse courtesy. Not all the gems
Of India's richest soil at random spread
O'er the gay vesture of some glittering dame,
Give such alluring vantage to the person,
As the scant lustre of a few, with choice
And comely guise of ornament disposed.

by William Cowper.

I Went Down To Post A Letter

I went down to post a letter
Through the garden, through the garden.
All the lovely stars were shining
As I went.
They were free as I, unhappy
Only he to whom the letter
Must be sent.
Even stars forget the prisons,
Stars and clouds and moonlit waters,
I believe the wind would shun them
If it could.
He at least rebels, remembers
Dawn breaks eastward, where the prisons
Erstwhile stood.

by Lesbia Harford.

A Letter To Lady Margaret Cavendish Holles-Harley, When A Child

MY noble, lovely, little Peggy,
Let this my First Epistle beg ye,
At dawn of morn, and close of even,
To lift your heart and hands to Heaven.
In double duty say your prayer:
Our Father first, then Notre Pere.

And, dearest child, along the day,
In every thing you do and say,
Obey and please my lord and lady,
So God shall love and angels aid ye.

If to these precepts you attend,
No second letter need I send,
And so I rest your constant friend.

by Matthew Prior.

A Bread And Butter Letter

THERE is a willow grows beside a pool;
Its long gray branches sweep the marble rim;
And from those waters shadowy and cool,
The stars shine, large and dim.

From open valleys filled with little lakes
All through the night a hundred breezes blow,
All through the night the little willow makes
A whispering soft and low.

Here in the dusty street there are no trees
To whisper, and the sky is dark and gray,
And yet I see the stars, I feel the breeze,
So far, so far away.

by Alice Duer Miller.

I.
SUNBEAMS can fling no purer brightness o'er the sea
And rain-showers bring no surer blessing to the lea,
And lilies wing with no more sweetness the gold bee,
Than those few lines thy hand has penned have brought to me.


II.
Soft lies the silent fall of snow
Upon the hemlock tree;
Soft lies the moonlight's silver flow
Upon the troubled sea.

Sweet on the blossom of the vines
The night-dews drop from high;
But softer, sweeter far, thy lines
Upon my spirit lie.

by Mathilde Blind.

Lines Rhymed In A Letter From Oxford

I.
The Gothic looks solemn,
The plain Doric column
Supports an old Bishop and Crosier;
The mouldering arch,
Shaded o'er by a larch
Stands next door to Wilson the Hosier.

II.
Vice--that is, by turns,--
O'er pale faces mourns
The black tassell'd trencher and common hat;
The Chantry boy sings,
The Steeple-bell rings,
And as for the Chancellor--dominat.

III.
There are plenty of trees,
And plenty of ease,
And plenty of fat deer for Parsons;
And when it is venison,
Short is the benison,--
Then each on a leg or thigh fastens.

by John Keats.

EDWARD ROWLAND SILL, DIED FEBRUARY 27, 1887

I held his letter in my hand,
And even while I read
The lightning flashed across the land
The word that he was dead.

How strange it seemed! His living voice
Was speaking from the page
Those courteous phrases, tersely choice,
Light-hearted, witty, sage.

I wondered what it was that died!
The man himself was here,
His modesty, his scholar's pride,
His soul serene and clear.

These neither death nor time shall dim,
Still this sad thing must be--
Henceforth I may not speak to him,
Though he can speak to me!

by Thomas Bailey Aldrich.

On Reading A Dictacted Letter

Dear Friend, methinks when thus thy plenary soul
Speaks from yon pale default that lies so low,
The hale and stalwart by thy couch must know
Such fond intoleration to be whole
As he, who, where the storms of battle roll,
Himself unthrown beholds the cannon throw
His father at his feet, and, while a woe
Of splendid shame dements him to that sole
Passion, above the fallen field looks round
The red conversion of the baptized ground
For aught whereon to spend his sanguine wealth
And, seeking not the value but the cost,
Rushes to win whatever, won or lost,
May end this gross unwounded infamy of health.

by Sydney Thompson Dobell.

What The Thrush Said. Lines From A Letter To John Hamilton Reynolds

O 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.

by John Keats.

Little cramped words scrawling all over
the paper
Like draggled fly's legs,
What can you tell of the flaring moon
Through the oak leaves?
Or of my uncertain window and the
bare floor

Spattered with moonlight?
Your silly quirks and twists have nothing
in them
Of blossoming hawthorns,
And this paper is dull, crisp, smooth,
virgin of loveliness
Beneath my hand.

I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart
against
The want of you;
Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
And I scald alone, here, under the fire
Of the great moon.


Submitted by Venus

by Amy Lowell.

Sonnet Xi: The Love-Letter

Warmed by her hand and shadowed by her hair
As close she leaned and poured her heart through thee,
Whereof the articulate throbs accompany
The smooth black stream that makes thy whiteness fair,—
Sweet fluttering sheet, even of her breath aware,—
Oh let thy silent song disclose to me
That soul wherewith her lips and eyes agree
Like married music in Love's answering air.
Fain had I watched her when, at some fond thought,
Her bosom to the writing closelier press'd,
And her breast's secrets peered into her breast;
When, through eyes raised an instant, her soul sought
My soul, and from the sudden confluence caught
The words that made her love the loveliest.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

The Devon Maid: Stanzas Sent In A Letter To B. R. Haydon

1.
Where be ye going, you Devon maid?
And what have ye there i' the basket?
Ye tight little fairy, just fresh from the dairy,
Will ye give me some cream if I ask it?

2.
I love your meads, and I love your flowers,
And I love your junkets mainly,
But 'hind the door, I love kissing more,
O look not so disdainly!

3.
I love your hills, and I love your dales,
And I love your flocks a-bleating;
But O, on the heather to lie together,
With both our hearts a-beating!

4.
I'll put your basket all safe in a nook,
Your shawl I'll hang up on this willow,
And we will sigh in the daisy's eye,
And kiss on a grass-green pillow.

by John Keats.

A Letter From Palestine

A letter from “The East” it came today,
And all the house is lightened of its gloom:
A sun-browned desert wind through every room
Eddies, and bring strange scents of old bazaare;
Of orange-groves beneath the dreaming stars
O’er far Jerusalem. Through these ordered rooms
Where poppies glow and pale narcissi blooms
Nod in tall vases, sings the desert breeze
Telling of brown battalion overseas.

Khaki-clad soldiers, singing as they go
Along the road to Gaza, and we know
The very breath of freedom’s in the air
With their gay boast, “Australia will be there”
Mateship and courage, loyalty and truth
The very essence of Australian youth!
We have no fears! serene in faith we pray
For those dear gallant lads so far away.

by Alice Guerin Crist.

Conclusion Of A Letter To A Friend

Sent from Italy, 1741


But happy you from the contagion free,
Who, through her veil, can human nature see;
Calm you reflect, amid the frantic scene,
On the low views of those mistaken men,
Who lose the short invaluable hour,
Through dirt-pursuing schemes of distant pow'r:
Whose best enjoyments never pay the chase,
But melt like snow within a warm embrace.
Believe me, friend, for such indeed are you,
Dear to my heart, and to my int'rest true;
Too much already have you thrown away,
Too long sustain'd the labor of the day;
Enjoy the remnant of declining light,
Nor wait for rest till overwhelm'd in night.
By present pleasure balance pain you've past,
Forget all systems, and indulge your taste.

by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

Advice To The Grub Street Verse-Writers

Ye poets ragged and forlorn,
Down from your garrets haste;
Ye rhymers, dead as soon as born,
Not yet consign'd to paste;
I know a trick to make you thrive;
O, 'tis a quaint device:
Your still-born poems shall revive,
And scorn to wrap up spice.
Get all your verses printed fair,
Then let them well be dried;
And Curll must have a special care
To leave the margin wide.

Lend these to paper-sparing Pope;
And when he sets to write,
No letter with an envelope
Could give him more delight.

When Pope has fill'd the margins round,
Why then recall your loan;
Sell them to Curll for fifty pound,
And swear they are your own.

by Jonathan Swift.

A Letter To Dafnis April: 2d 1685

This to the Crown, and blessing of my life,
The much lov'd husband, of a happy wife.
To him, whose constant passion found the art
To win a stubborn, and ungratefull heart;
And to the World, by tend'rest proof discovers
They err, who say that husbands can't be lovers.
With such return of passion, as is due,
Daphnis I love, Daphnis my thoughts persue,
Daphnis, my hopes, my joys, are bounded all in you:
Ev'n I, for Daphnis, and my promise sake,
What I in women censure, undertake.
But this from love, not vanity, proceeds;
You know who writes; and I who 'tis that reads.
Judge not my passion, by my want of skill,
Many love well, though they express itt ill;
And I your censure cou'd with pleasure bear,
Wou'd you but soon return, and speak itt here.

by Anne Kingsmill Finch.

A Letter To A Friend

The past is like a story
I have listened to in dreams
That vanished in the glory
Of the Morning's early gleams;
And--at my shadow glancing--
I feel a loss of strength,
As the Day of Life advancing
Leaves it shorn of half its length.

But it's all in vain to worry
At the rapid race of Time--
And he flies in such a flurry
When I trip him with a rhyme,
I'll bother him no longer
Than to thank you for the thought
That 'my fame is growing stronger
As you really think it ought.'

And though I fall below it,
I might know as much of mirth
To live and die a poet
Of unacknowledged worth;
For Fame is but a vagrant--
Though a loyal one and brave,
And his laurels ne'er so fragrant
As when scattered o'er the grave.

by James Whitcomb Riley.

Se, Nu Letter Dæmringsdisen

Se, nu letter Dæmringsdisen;
Morgenbrisen
kruser Dunene om Høgens
hede Hjærte,
5og fra Skoven stiger Gøgens
dybe Kukken;
Natteduggen
tænder langs de hvide Veje
mellem Græs og Kabbeleje
Kongelysets gyldne Kærte.

Som et Havblik Himlen straaler.
Sivet maaler
med sin Skygge Aaens Vande,
slukket ryger
Padderokkens sorte Tande;
rundtom flamme
Morgendamme,
og som Røg fra Nattens sidste
Elverlejre Taager liste
under Skov i hvide Byger.

Klare Morgen, lad din lette
Luftning slette
alt, hvad Nattens Koglerier
vidt om skabte,
spænd om Verden lyse Stier,
løft hver lukket
Blomst, der bukked
sig for Mulm og Hvirvelvinde,
... og lad den sin Lykke finde,
som sin Lykke fattig tabte!

by Viggo Stuckenberg.

Two things love can do,
Only two:
Can distrust, or can believe;
It can die, or it can live,
There is no syncope
Possible to love or me.
Go your ways!


Two things you can do,
Only two:
Be the thing you used to be,
Or be nothing more to me.
I can but joy or grieve,
Can no more than die or live.
Go your ways!


So far I wrote, my darling, drearily,
But now my sad pen falls down wearily
From out my trembling hand.


I did not, do not, cannot mean it, Dear!
Come life or death, joy, grief, or hope, or fear,
I bless you where I stand!


I bless you where I stand, excusing you,
No speech nor language for accusing you
My laggard lips can learn.


To you-be what you are, or can, to me,-
To you or blessedly or fatefully
My heart must turn!

by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward.

With B.E.F. Jun 10. Dear Wife,
(Oh blast this pencil. 'Ere, Bill, lend's a knife.)
I'm in the pink at present, dear.
I think the war will end this year.
We don't see much of them square-'eaded 'Uns.
We're out of harm's way, not bad fed.
I'm longing for a taste of your old buns.
(Say, Jimmie, spare's a bite of bread.)
There don't seem much to say just now.
(Yer what? Then don't, yer ruddy cow!
And give us back me cigarette!)
I'll soon be 'ome. You mustn't fret.
My feet's improvin', as I told you of.
We're out in the rest now. Never fear.
(VRACH! By crumbs, but that was near.)
Mother might spare you half a sov.
Kiss Nell and Bert. When me and you-
(Eh? What the 'ell! Stand to? Stand to!
Jim, give's a hand with pack on, lad.
Guh! Christ! I'm hit. Take 'old. Aye, bad.
No, damn your iodine. Jim? 'Ere!
Write my old girl, Jim, there's a dear.)

by Wilfred Owen.

Letter In Verse

Like boys that run behind the loaded wain
For the mere joy of riding back again,
When summer from the meadow carts the hay
And school hours leave them half a day to play;
So I with leisure on three sides a sheet
Of foolscap dance with poesy's measured feet,
Just to ride post upon the wings of time
And kill a care, to friendship turned in rhyme.
The muse's gallop hurries me in sport
With much to read and little to divert,
And I, amused, with less of wit than will,
Run till I tire.--And so to cheat her still.
Like children running races who shall be
First in to touch the orchard wall or tree,
The last half way behind, by distance vext,
Turns short, determined to be first the next;
So now the muse has run me hard and long--
I'll leave at once her races and her song;
And, turning round, laugh at the letter's close
And beat her out by ending it in prose.

by John Clare.

The Young Letter Writer

Dear Sir, Dear Madam, or Dear Friend,
With ease are written at the top;
When those two happy words are penned,
A youthful writer oft will stop,


And bite his pen, and lift his eyes
As if he thinks to find in air
The wished-for following words, or tries
To fix his thoughts by fixëd stare.


But haply all in vain-the next
Two words may be so long before
They'll come, the writer, sore perplext,
Gives in despair the matter o'er;


And when maturer age he sees
With ready pen so swift inditing,
With envy he beholds the ease
Of long-accustomed letter-writing.


Courage, young friend; the time may be
When you attain maturer age,
Some young as you are now may see
You with like ease glide down a page.


Even then when you, to years a debtor,
In varied phrase your meanings wrap,
The welcomest words in all your letter
May be those two kind words at top.

by Charles Lamb.

Going To Him! Happy Letter! Tell Him--

Going to him! Happy letter! Tell him--
Tell him the page I didn't write;
Tell him I only said the syntax,
And left the verb and the pronoun out.

Tell him just how the fingers hurried
Then how they waded, slow, slow, slow-
And then you wished you had eyes in your pages,
So you could see what moved them so.

'Tell him it wasn't a practised writer,
You guessed, from the way the sentence toiled;
You could hear the bodice tug, behind you,
As if it held but the might of a child;
You almost pitied it, you, it worked so.
Tell him--No, you may quibble there,
For it would split his heart to know it,
And then you and I were silenter.

'Tell him night finished before we finished
And the old clock kept neighing 'day!'
And you got sleepy and begged to be ended--
What could it hinder so, to say?
Tell him just how she sealed you, cautious
But if he ask where you are hid
Until to-morrow,--happy letter!
Gesture, coquette, and shake your head!'

by Emily Dickinson.

The Love Letter

Letter of love so strangely thrilling
With all your countless wonder yet,
Though Time our heart's hot fires have mastered,
Bringing a pang of pained regret!
The while your blest receiver holds you,
His banished passions still rebel,
No longer reason sacrifices
His sentiment,--so then farewell!
Destroyed be this love-token treasured!
For if 'tis read when time has flown,
Deep in the buried soul 'twill waken
The torment vanished days have known.
At first but a light scorn arousing
For silly childishness,--at last
With fiery yearning overwhelming,
And jealousy for all the past.

O Thou, from whom a myriad letters
Speak with the breath of love to me,
Though my gaze rest on thee austerely,
Yet, yet,--I cannot part with thee!
Time has revealed with bitter clearness
How little thou with truth wert blessed,
How like a child my own behaviour--
Yet, dear to me I still must save
This flower scentless, without colour,
From off my manhood's early grave!

by Nikolay Alekseyevich Nekrasov.

OH, I des received a letter f'om de sweetest little gal;
Oh, my; oh, my.
She's my lovely little sweetheart an' her name is Sal:
Oh, my; oh, my.
She writes me dat she loves me an' she loves me true,
She wonders ef I'll tell huh dat I loves huh, too;
An' my heaht's so full o' music dat I do' know what to do;
Oh, my; oh, my.
I got a man to read it an' he read it fine;
Oh, my; oh, my.
Dey ain' no use denying dat her love is mine;
Oh, my; oh, my.
But hyeah's de t'ing dat's puttin' me in such a awful plight,
I t'ink of huh at mornin' an' I dream of huh at night;
But how's I gwine to cou't huh w'en I do' know how to write?
Oh, my; oh, my.
My heaht is bubblin' ovah wid de t'ings I want to say;
Oh, my; oh, my.
An' dey's lots of folks to copy what I tell 'em fu' de pay;
Oh, my; oh, my.
But dey's t'ings dat I's a-t'inkin' dat is only fu' huh ears,
An' I couldn't lu'n to write 'em ef I took a dozen years;
So to go down daih an' tell huh is de only way, it 'pears;
Oh, my; oh, my.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Letter Sent To Master Timmy Dwight

Master Timmy brisk and airy
Blythe as Oberon the fairy
On thy head thy cousin wishes
Thousand and ten thousand blisses.
Never may thy wicket ball
In a well or puddle fall;
Or thy wild ambitious kite
O'er the elm's thick foliage light.
When on bended knee thou sittest
And the mark in fancy hittest
May thy marble truly trace
Where thy wishes mark'd the place.
If at hide and seek you play,
All involved in the hay
Titt'ring hear the joyful sound
"Timmy never can be found."
If you hop or if you run
Or whatever is the fun
Vic'try with her sounding pinion
Hover o'er her little minion.
But when hunger calls the boys
From their helter skelter joys
Bread and cheese in order standing
For their most rapacious handling
Timmy may thy luncheon be
More than Ben's as five to three,
But if hasty pudding's dish
Meet thy vast capacious wish -
Or lob-lollys charming jelly
Court thy cormorantal belly
Mortal foe to megre fast
Be thy spoonful first and last.

by Henry Livingston Jr..

Lines From A Letter To A Young Clerical Friend

A STRENGTH Thy service cannot tire,
A faith which doubt can never dim,
A heart of love, a lip of fire,
O Freedom's God! be Thou to him!
Speak through him words of power and fear,
As through Thy prophet bards of old,
And let a scornful people hear
Once more Thy Sinai-thunders rolled.
For lying lips Thy blessing seek,
And hands of blood are raised to Thee,
And on Thy children, crushed and weak,
The oppressor plants his kneeling knee.
Let then, O God! Thy servant dare
Thy truth in all its power to tell,
Unmask the priestly thieves, and tear
The Bible from the grasp of hell!
From hollow rite and narrow span
Of law and sect by Thee released,
Oh, teach him that the Christian man
Is holier than the Jewish priest.
Chase back the shadows, gray and old,
Of the dead ages, from his way,
And let his hopeful eyes behold
The dawn of Thy millennial day;
That day when lettered limb and mind
Shall know the truth which maketh free,
And he alone who loves his kind
Shall, childlike, claim the love of Thee!

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

A Letter From England

Dear Boy
As it appears to us old fogeys
If you'll excuse the term that we adopt
You and your battery of bowling bogeys
Seem to have come a rather nasty flop.
Psychology, you know, and moral suasion,
And all these fine nuances of the game
Appear to us, at least on this occasion,
To have been, so to speak, a trifle tame.

We would not be too hard; we know your task is
Sterner than we supposed when you set out
Avoiding criticism, all we ask is.
Please dropp 'shock tactics' and cut 'stunting' out.
Try to avoid a batting ace with roots on,
Like Don's, to keep him at the crease, old chap;
Use only bowlers who can keep their boots on,
And, please, please don't count too much on that cap.

If you think it would make your prospects brighter
And help the boys to bring those Ashes back,
We'll waive that rule about the player-writer
So that you may consider using Jack.
Take his advice, my boy; he knows the Aussie
And all his tricks. So, trusting you will be
On this day fortnight in a better 'possie,'
Your ever hopeful Auntie,

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

To A Friend, In Answer To A Melancholy Letter

Away, those cloudy looks, that lab'ring sigh,
The peevish offspring of a sickly hour!
Nor meanly thus complain of fortune's power,
When the blind gamester throws a luckless die.

Yon setting sun flashes a mournful gleam
Behind those broken clouds, his stormy train:
To-morrow shall the many-colord main
In brightness roll beneath his orient beam!

Wild as th' autumnal gust, the hand of Time
Flies o'er his mystic lyre! in shadowy dance
Th' alternate groups of joy and grief advance,
Responsive to his varying strains sublime!

Bears on its wing each hour a load of fate.
The swain, who lulled by Seine's wild murmurs, led
His weary oxen to their nightly shed,
To-day may rule a tempest-troubled State.

Nor shall not fortune with a vengeful smile
Survey the sanguinary despot's might,
And haply hurl the pageant from his height,
Unwept to wander in some savage isle.

There, shiv'ring sad beneath the tempest's frown,
Round his tired limbs to wrap the purple vest;
And mixed with nails and beads, an equal jest!
Barter for food the jewels of his crown.

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The River-Captain’s Wife – A Letter

I with my hair in its first fringe
Romped outside breaking flower-heads.
You galloped by on bamboo horses.
We juggled green plums round the well.
Living in Chang-kan village,
Two small people without guile.

At fourteen I married you sir,
So bashful I could only hide,
My frowning face turned to the wall.
Called after - never looking back.

Fifteen before I learnt to smile.
Yearned to be one with you forever.
You to be the Ever-Faithful.
I to not sit lonely, waiting.

At sixteen you sir went away,
Through White King’s Gorge, by Yen Rock’s rapids,
When the Yangtze’s at its highest,
Where the gibbons cried above you.

Here by the door your last footprints,
Slowly growing green mosses,
So deep I cannot sweep them,
Leaves so thick from winds of autumn.

September’s yellow butterflies
Twine together in our west garden.
What I feel – it hurts the heart.
Sadness makes my beauty vanish.

When you come down from far places,
Please will you write me a letter?
As far as the farthest reaches,
I’ll come out to welcome you.

by Li Po.

A Letter To Her Husband

Absent upon Public Employment

My head, my heart, mine eyes, my life, nay more,
My joy, my magazine, of earthly store,
If two be one, as surely thou and I,
How stayest thou there, whilst I at Ipswich lie?
So many steps, head from the heart to sever,
If but a neck, soon should we be together.
I, like the Earth this season, mourn in black,
My Sun is gone so far in's zodiac,
Whom whilst I 'joyed, nor storms, nor frost I felt,
His warmth such fridged colds did cause to melt.
My chilled limbs now numbed lie forlorn;
Return; return, sweet Sol, from Capricorn;
In this dead time, alas, what can I more
Than view those fruits which through thy heart I bore?
Which sweet contentment yield me for a space,
True living pictures of their father's face.
O strange effect! now thou art southward gone,
I weary grow the tedious day so long;
But when thou northward to me shalt return,
I wish my Sun may never set, but burn
Within the Cancer of my glowing breast,
The welcome house of him my dearest guest.
Where ever, ever stay, and go not thence,
Till nature's sad decree shall call thee hence;
Flesh of thy flesh, bone of thy bone,
I here, thou there, yet both but one.

by Anne Bradstreet.

A Letter Of Advice

You tell me you're promised a lover,
My own Araminta, next week;
Why cannot my fancy discover
The hue of his coat, and his cheek?
Alas! if he look like another,
A vicar, a banker, a beau,
Be deaf to your father and mother,
My own Araminta, say 'No!'

Miss Lane, at her Temple of Fashion,
Taught us both how to sing and to speak,
And we loved one another with passion,
Before we had been there a week:
You gave me a ring for a token;
I wear it wherever I go;
I gave you a chain, - it is broken?
My own Araminta, say 'No!'

O think of our favorite cottage,
And think of our dear Lalla Rookh!
How we shared with the milkmaids their pottage,
And drank of the stream from the brook;
How fondly our loving lips faltered,
'What further can grandeur bestow?'
My heart is the same; - is yours altered?
My own Araminta, say 'No!'

Remember the thrilling romances
We read on the bank in the glen;
Remember the suitors our fancies
Would picture for both of us then;
They wore the red cross on their shoulder,
They had vanquished and pardoned their foe -
Sweet friend, are you wiser or colder?
My own Araminta, say 'No!'

by Winthrop Mackworth Praed.

A Letter Written For My Daughter To A Lady, Who Had Presented Her With A Cap.

Your late kind Gift let me restore;
For I must never wear it more.
My Mother cries, ``What's here to do?
``A Crimson Velvet Cap for you!
``If to these Heights so soon you climb,
``You'll wear a Coachman's Cap in time:
``Perhaps on Palfry pace along,
``With ruffled Shirt, and Tete--Moutton;
``Banish the Woman from your Face,
``And let the Rake supply the Place;
``Delighted see the People stare,
``And ask each other what you are?

If she goes on to this dull Tune,
Poor I must be a Quaker soon.
She'll scarcely let me wear a Knot;
But keeps me like a Hottentot;
Says, Dressing plain, at small Expence,
Shews better Taste, and better Sense.
I'd take her Judgment, I confess,
Sooner in any Thing, than Dress;
A Science, which she little knows,
Who only huddles on her Cloaths.

This Day, to please my Brother Con.
She let me put your Present on;
And when she saw me very glad,
Cry'd out, She looks like one that's mad!
``Know, Girl, (says she) that Affectation
``Suits only those in higher Station;
``Who plead Prescription for their Rule,
``Whene'er they please to play the Fool:
``But that it best becomes us Cits,
``To dress like People in their Wits.''

by Mary Barber.