Red slippers in a shop-window, and outside in the
street, flaws of grey,
windy sleet!

by Amy Lowell.

Many Red Devils Ran From My Heart

Many red devils ran from my heart
And out upon the page,
They were so tiny
The pen could mash them.
And many struggled in the ink.
It was strange
To write in this red muck
Of things from my heart.

by Stephen Crane.

The Red—blaze—is The Morning


The Red—Blaze—is the Morning—
The Violet—is Noon—
The Yellow—Day—is falling—
And after that—is none—

But Miles of Sparks—at Evening—
Reveal the Width that burned—
The Territory Argent—that
Never yet—consumed—

by Emily Dickinson.

Like Mighty Foot Lights—burned The Red


Like Mighty Foot Lights—burned the Red
At Bases of the Trees—
The far Theatricals of Day
Exhibiting—to These—

'Twas Universe—that did applaud—
While Chiefest—of the Crowd—
Enabled by his Royal Dress—
Myself distinguished God—

by Emily Dickinson.

Whole Gulfs - of Red, and Fleets

Whole Gulfs - of Red, and Fleets - of Red -
And Crews - of solid Blood -
Did place upon the West - Tonight -
As 'twere specific Ground -

And They - appointed Creatures -
In Authorized Arrays -
Due - promptly - as a Drama -
That bows - and disappears -

by Emily Dickinson.

There Was Crimson Clash Of War.

There was crimson clash of war.
Lands turned black and bare;
Women wept;
Babes ran, wondering.
There came one who understood not these things.
He said, "Why is this?"
Whereupon a million strove to answer him.
There was such intricate clamour of tongues,
That still the reason was not.

by Stephen Crane.

When the summer sky is a tent of blue,
And rosy June is the regnant queen,
A crimson shuttle, he flashes through
The leafy warp of the forest green.

And the thread of a sweet song follows him,
In mazy tangles of shade and sun,
And stretches away in the distance dim-
And the bonny bird, and the song- are one!

by Andrew Jackson Downing.

The Guest Is Gold And Crimson


The Guest is gold and crimson—
An Opal guest and gray—
Of Ermine is his doublet—
His Capuchin gay—

He reaches town at nightfall—
He stops at every door—
Who looks for him at morning
I pray him too—explore
The Lark's pure territory—
Or the Lapwing's shore!

by Emily Dickinson.

Now in the west is spread
A golden bed;
Great purple curtains hang around,
With fiery fringes bound,
And cushions, crimson red,
For Phœbus' lovely head;
And as he sinks through waves of amber light,
Down to the crystal halls of Amphitrite,
Hesper leads forth his starry legions bright
Into the violet fields of air—Good night!

by Frances Anne Kemble.

The Name—of It—is 'Autumn'


The name—of it—is 'Autumn'—
The hue—of it—is Blood—
An Artery—upon the Hill—
A Vein—along the Road—

Great Globules—in the Alleys—
And Oh, the Shower of Stain—
When Winds—upset the Basin—
And spill the Scarlet Rain—

It sprinkles Bonnets—far below—
It gathers ruddy Pools—
Then—eddies like a Rose—away—
Upon Vermilion Wheels—

by Emily Dickinson.

Into Crimson Dark

Into crimson dark thou goest,
Thy vast orbits mock the eye.
Small the echo that thou throwest,
Far, I hear thy footfalls die.

Art thou near? too far for greeting?
Lost in topless altitudes?
Shall I wait a sudden meeting
Where sonorous stillness broods?

In the solitude resounding
Distant footsteps echo free.
Is it thou who flamest, bounding
Circles of infinity?

by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok.

Along the line of smoky hills
The crimson forest stands,
And all the day the blue-jay calls
Throughout the autumn lands.

Now by the brook the maple leans
With all his glory spread,
And all the sumachs on the hills
Have turned their green to red.

Now by great marshes wrapt in mist,
Or past some river's mouth,
Throughout the long, still autumn day
Wild birds are flying south.

by William Wilfred Campbell.

The Tree Of Scarlet Berries

The rain gullies the garden paths
And tinkles on the broad sides of grass blades.
A tree, at the end of my arm, is hazy with mist.
Even so, I can see that it has red berries,
A scarlet fruit,
Filmed over with moisture.
It seems as though the rain,
Dripping from it,
Should be tinged with colour.
I desire the berries,
But, in the mist, I only scratch my hand on the thorns.
Probably, too, they are bitter.

by Amy Lowell.

NOW come the rosy dogwoods,
The golden tulip-tree,
And the scarlet yellow maple,
To make a day for me.
The ash-trees on the ridges,
The alders in the swamp,
Put on their red and purple
To join the autumn pomp.
The woodbine hangs her crimson
Along the pasture wall,
And all the bannered sumacs
Have heard the frosty call.
Who then so dead to valor
As not to raise a cheer,
When all the woods are marching
In triumph of the year?

by Bliss William Carman.

A Vagabond Song

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood—
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

by Bliss William Carman.

A Lady Red&Mdash;Amid The Hill


A Lady red—amid the Hill
Her annual secret keeps!
A Lady white, within the Field
In placid Lily sleeps!

The tidy Breezes, with their Brooms—
Sweep vale—and hill—and tree!
Prithee, My pretty Housewives!
Who may expected be?

The Neighbors do not yet suspect!
The Woods exchange a smile!
Orchard, and Buttercup, and Bird—
In such a little while!

And yet, how still the Landscape stands!
How nonchalant the Hedge!
As if the "Resurrection"
Were nothing very strange!

by Emily Dickinson.

Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font;
The firefly wakens, waken thou with me.

Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts, in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake.
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Guarded within the old red wall's embrace,
Marshalled like soldiers in gay company,
The tulips stand arrayed. Here infantry
Wheels out into the sunlight. What bold grace
Sets off their tunics, white with crimson lace!
Here are platoons of gold-frocked cavalry,
With scarlet sabres tossing in the eye
Of purple batteries, every gun in place.
Forward they come, with flaunting colours spread,
With torches burning, stepping out in time
To some quick, unheard march. Our ears are dead,
We cannot catch the tune. In pantomime
Parades that army. With our utmost powers
We hear the wind stream through a bed of flowers.

by Amy Lowell.

Helen's Star Stone

There was a red star stone, old poets feign,
Hung on the neck of Helen, the most fair
Of women, the world's wonder; gathering there,
Dripped ever one bright drop of blood; like rain
That ere it fails blows into mist again.
The crimson gout melted to roseate air,
And that divine white bosom, proudly bare,
Of all the woe it cost bore never a stain.
So you, serene and beauteous lady, rove
'Mid throngs of luckless ones who gaze and die.
And not a tremor of heartbreak, not a sigh
Nor strangling sob of strong men whelmed in love
Avails your calm heart by one beat to move
Or dims the cloudless heaven of your eye.

by John Hay.

In Black And Red

The hush of death is on the night. The corn,
That loves to whisper to the wind; the leaves,
That dance with it, are silent: one perceives
No motion mid the fields, as dry as horn.
What light is that? It cannot be the morn!
Yet in the east it seems its witchcraft weaves
A fiery rose. Look! how it grows! it heaves
And flames and tosses! 'Tis a burning barn!
And now the night is rent with shouts and shots.
Dark forms and faces hurry past. The gloom
Gallops with riders. Homes are less than straw
Before this madness: human lives, mere lots
Flung in and juggled from the cap of Doom,
Where Crime stamps yelling on the face of Law.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The Princess: A Medley: Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The fire-fly wakens: waken thou with me.
Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lies the earth all Danaë to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Dearest, forgive that with my clumsy touch
I broke and bruised your rose.
I hardly could suppose
It were a thing so fragile that my clutch
Could kill it, thus.

It stood so proudly up upon its stem,
I knew no thought of fear,
And coming very near
Fell, overbalanced, to your garment's hem,
Tearing it down.

Now, stooping, I upgather, one by one,
The crimson petals, all
Outspread about my fall.
They hold their fragrance still, a blood-red cone
Of memory.

And with my words I carve a little jar
To keep their scented dust,
Which, opening, you must
Breathe to your soul, and, breathing, know me far
More grieved than you.

by Amy Lowell.

Over the plains where Persian hosts
Laid down their lives for glory
Flutter the cyclamens, like ghosts
That witness to their story.
Oh, fair! Oh, white! Oh, pure as snow!
On countless graves how sweet they grow!

Or crimson, like the cruel wounds
From which the life-blood, flowing,
Poured out where now on grassy mounds
The low, soft winds are blowing:
Oh, fair! Oh, red! Like blood of slain;
Not even time can cleanse that stain.

But when my dear these blossoms holds,
All loveliness her dower,
All woe and joy the past enfolds
In her find fullest flower.
Oh, fair! Oh, pure! Oh, white and red!
If she but live, what are the dead!

by Arlo Bates.

The Waving Of The Red

It is a sad and cruel fate the country’s coming to,
And there’s no use in striking, ‘so what are we to do?’
“I know what we could do, but then, there might be traitors near,
And things are running in my head that only mates should hear!”
The world cannot go on like this, in spite of all that’s said,
And millions now are waiting for – the Waving of the Red.

“Last night as I lay slipping out a vision came to me;
A girl with face as fair and grand as ever man might see –
Her form was like the statues raised to Liberty in France,
And in her hand a blood-red flag was wrapped around a lance.
She shook the grand old colour loose, she smiled at me and said;
“Go bid your brothers gather for the Waving of the Red.”

by Henry Lawson.

Roses Crimson, Roses White

`Roses crimson, roses white,
Deadly pale or lovely blushing,
Both in love with May at sight,
And their maiden blood is rushing
To and fro in hope to hide
Tumult it but thus discloses.
Bring the Bridegroom to the Bride!
Everywhere are roses, roses.'

`Every wall is white with roses
`Every wall is white with roses,
Linnets pair in every tree;
Brim your beakers, twine your posies,
Kiss and quaff ere Springtime closes;
Bloom and beauty quickly flee.'

`Nay, let me sleep, or, best, be stone or steel
`Nay, let me sleep, or, best, be stone or steel,
While still endures this infamy of woe.
My one sole bliss is nor to see nor feel:
So, wake me not; and, lest you should, speak low.'

by Alfred Austin.

Battle-Flags Of Illinois

Through the red dusk of war they flew
From Shiloh to the sea.
Black fumes from shattered bolts that blew
Withered the colors three,
And crimson rains made sombre stains.

For every flag a grave—yes, more—
For each a score of graves.
Crossed are the heroes' hands that bore,
No wind the furled folds waves.
Sweet be their rest, by soft peace blest.

Is there no end? What mighty host
Of spirits ranged for war
The signal of the Holy Ghost
Shall summon hence afar!
Vast armies wait in solemn state.

Where valor fights for freedom—there,
Till the last slave is free,
These ragged flags will float in air,
There will our heroes be.
And shall we dare fight with them there?

by Harriet Monroe.

Oh, Mignon's mouth is like a rose,
A red, red rose, that half uncurls
Sweet petals o'er a crimson bee:
Or like a shell, that, opening, shows
Within its rosy curve white pearls,
White rows of pearls,
Is Mignon's mouth that smiles at me.

Oh, Mignon's eyes are like blue gems,
Two azure gems, that gleam and glow,
Soft sapphires set in ivory:
Or like twin violets, whose stems
Bloom blue beneath the covering snow,
The lidded snow,
Are Mignon's eyes that laugh at me.

O mouth of Mignon, Mignon's eyes!
O eyes of violet, mouth of fire!
Within which lies all ecstasy
Of tears and kisses and of sighs:
O mouth, O eyes, and O desire,
O love's desire,
Have mercy on the soul of me!

by Madison Julius Cawein.

OUT upon the bleak hillside, the bleak hillside, he lay--
Her lips were red, and red the stream that slipped his life away.
Ah, crimson, crimson were her lips, but his were turning gray.

The troubled sky seemed bending low, bending low to hide
The foam-white face so wild upturned from off the bleak hillside--
White as the beaten foam her face, and she was wond'rous eyed.

The soft, south-wind came creeping up, creeping stealthily
To breathe upon his clay-cold face--but all too cold was he,
Too cold for you to warm, south-wind, since cold at heart was she!

Sweet morning peeped above the hill, above the hill to find
The shattered, useless, godlike thing the night had left behind--
Wept the sweet morn her crystal tears that love should prove unkind!

by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay.

Little Red Riding Hood

'Heaven lies about us in our infancy.'

Sweet child of fairy land! since first
I dwelt, with tearful eye,
Upon the page that tells thy tale,
Long years have glided by.

Then, in thy fabled history,
No marvel could I see;
For then the worlds of thought and sense
Were fairy lands to me.

The fields and meadows were as bright
As those where thou didst stray; -
And gaily through their tangled flowers,
Like thee I took my way.

And while I walked that sunny path,
Nor doubt nor fear was mine;
For childhood's trustfulness and faith
Are ever strong, like thine.

Alas! that coming years should throw
Dark shadows o'er our way;
And leave us with this aching sense
Of glory passed away.

by Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta.

What The Wolf Really Said To Little Red Riding-Hood

Wondering maiden, so puzzled and fair,
Why dost thou murmur and ponder and stare?
'Why are my eyelids so open and wild?'
Only the better to see with, my child!
Only the better and clearer to view
Cheeks that are rosy and eyes that are blue.

Dost thou still wonder, and ask why these arms
Fill thy soft bosom with tender alarms,
Swaying so wickedly? Are they misplaced
Clasping or shielding some delicate waist?
Hands whose coarse sinews may fill you with fear
Only the better protect you, my dear!

Little Red Riding-Hood, when in the street,
Why do I press your small hand when we meet?
Why, when you timidly offered your cheek,
Why did I sigh, and why didn't I speak?
Why, well: you see--if the truth must appear--
I'm not your grandmother, Riding-Hood, dear!

by Francis Bret Harte.

The Australian Sunrise

The Morning Star paled slowly, the Cross hung low to the sea,
And down the shadowy reaches the tide came swirling free,
The lustrous purple blackness of the soft Australian night,
Waned in the gray awakening that heralded the light;
Still in the dying darkness, still in the forest dim
The pearly dew of the dawning clung to each giant limb,
Till the sun came up from ocean, red with the cold sea mist,
And smote on the limestone ridges, and the shining tree-tops kissed;
Then the fiery Scorpion vanished, the magpie's note was heard,
And the wind in the she-oak wavered, and the honeysuckles stirred,
The airy golden vapour rose from the river breast,
The kingfisher came darting out of his crannied nest,
And the bulrushes and reed-beds put off their sallow gray
And burnt with cloudy crimson at dawning of the day.

by James Lister Cuthbertson.

Not ours, where battle smoke upcurls,
And battle dews lie wet,
To meet the charge that treason hurls
By sword and bayonet.

Not ours to guide the fatal scythe
The fleshless Reaper wields;
The harvest moon looks calmly down
Upon our peaceful fields.

The long grass dimples on the hill,
The pines sing by the sea,
And Plenty, from her golden horn,
Is pouring far and free.

O brothers by the farther sea!
Think still our faith is warm;
The same bright flag above us waves
That swathed our baby form.

The same red blood that dyes your fields
Here throbs in patriot pride,--
The blood that flowed when Lander fell,
And Baker`s crimson tide.

And thus apart our hearts keep time
With every pulse ye feel,
And Mercy`s ringing gold shall chime
With Valor`s clashing steel.

by Francis Bret Harte.

The White Rose And The Red Rose

The white rose and the red rose,
So sisters two were named, yes, named.
The white one was so quiet,
The red one laughed and flamed.
But different was their doing, yes,
When came the time of wooing, yes.
The white one turned so red, so red,
The red one turned so white.

For him the red one favored,
Him father would not bless, not bless.
But him the white one favored,
He got at once his 'Yes.'
The red one now was paling, yes,
With sorrow, psalms, and wailing, yes.
The white one turned so red, so red,
The red one turned so white.

Then father grew so fearful
And had to give his 'Yes,' oh, yes!
With songs and music cheerful
The wedding rang, oh, yes!
And soon sprang children rosen, yes,
In shoes and little hosen, yes.
The red one's, they were white,-and oh,
The white one's, they were red.

by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.

You hate me and I hate you,
And we are so polite, we two!

But whenever I see you, I burst apart
And scatter the sky with my blazing heart.
In spits and sparkles in stars and balls,
Buds into roses— and flares, and falls.

Scarlet buttons, and pale green disks,
Silver spirals and asterisks,
Shoot and tremble in a mist
Peppered with mauve and amethyst.

I shine in the window and light up the trees,
And all because I hate you, if you please.

And when you meet me, you rend asunder
And go up in a flaming wonder
Of saffron cubes, and crimson moons,
And wheels all amaranths and maroons.

Golden lozenges and spades,
Arrows of malachites and jades,
Patens of copper, azure sheaves.
As you mount, you flash in the glossy leaves.

Such fireworks as we make, we two!
Because you hate me and I hate you.

by Amy Lowell.

Cheeks of an ominous crimson,
Eyebrows arched to a frown,
Pretty red lips a-quiver
With holding their sweetnes down;

Glance that is never lifted
From the hands that, in cruel play,
Are tearing the white rose petals,
And tossing their hearts away.

Only to think that a whisper,
An idle, meaningless jest,
Should stir such a world of passion
In a dear little loving breast.

Yet ever for such light trifles
Will lover and lass fall out,
And the humblest lad grow haughty,
And the gentlest maiden pout.

Of course, I must sue for pardon;
For what, I can hardly say! -
But, deaf to opposing reason,
A woman will have have her way.

And when, in despite her frowning,
The scorn, the grief, and the rue,
She looks so bewitchingly pretty,
Why-what can a fellow do?

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

At The Sound Of The Drum

ARE you going for a soldier with your curly yellow hair,
And a scarlet coat instead of the smock you used to wear?
Are you going to drive the foe as you used to drive the plough?
Are you going for a soldier now?

I am going for a soldier, and my tunic is of red
And I'm tired of woman's chatter, and I'll hear the drum instead;
I will break the fighting line as you broke your plighted vow,
For I'm going for a soldier now.

For a soldier, for a soldier are you sure that you will go,
To hear the drums a-beating and to hear the bugles blow?
I'll make you sweeter music, for I'll swear another vow--
Are you going for a soldier now?

I am going for a soldier if you'd twenty vows to make;
You must get another sweetheart, with another heart to break,
For I'm sick of lies and women and the harrow and the plough,
And I'm going for a soldier now!

by Edith Nesbit.

Rest, warrior, rest! thine hour is past,—
Thy longest war-whoop, and thy last,
Still rings upon the rushing blast,
That o'er thy grave sweeps drearily.
Rest, warrior, rest! thy haughty brow,
Beneath the hand of death bends low,
Thy fiery glance is quenchèd now,
In the cold grave's obscurity.
Rest, warrior, rest! thy rising sun
Is set in blood, thy day is done;
Like lightning flash thy race is run,
And thou art sleeping peacefully.
Rest, warrior, rest! thy foot no more
The boundless forest shall explore,
Or trackless cross the sandy shore,
Or chase the red deer rapidly.
Rest, warrior, rest! thy light canoe,
Like thy choice arrow, swift and true,
Shall part no more the waters blue,
That sparkle round it brilliantly.
Rest, warrior, rest! thine hour is past,
Yon sinking sunbeam is thy last,
And all is silent, save the blast,
That o'er thy grave sweeps drearily.

by Frances Anne Kemble.

Who is it says May is the crown of the year?
Who is it says June is the gladdest?
Who is it says Autumn is withered and sere,
The gloomiest season and saddest?

You shut to your doors as I come with my train,
And heed not the challenge I'm flinging,
The ruddy leaf washed by the fresh falling rain,
The scarlet vine creeping and clinging!

Come out where I'm holding my court like a queen,
With canopy rare stretching over;
Come out where I revel in amber and green,
And soon I may call you my lover!

Come out to the hillside, come out to the vale,
Come out ere your mood turns to blaming,
Come out where my gold is, my red gold and pale,
Come out where my banners are flaming!

Come out where the bare furrows stretch in the glow,
Come out where the stubble fields glisten,
Where the wind it blows high, and the wind it blows low,
And the lean grasses dance as they listen!

by Jean Blewett.

Seed-Time And Harvest

MY hollyhocks are all awake,
And not a single rose is lost;
My wallflowers, for dear pity's sake,
Have fought the winter's cruel frost;
Pink peony buds begin to peer,
And flags push up their sword-blades fine:
I know there will not be this year
A brighter garden plot than mine.

I'll sow the seeds of mignonette,
Of snapdragon and sunflowers tall,
And scarlet poppies I will set
To flower against the southern wall;
Already all my lilies show
The green crowns baby lilies wear,
And all my flowers will grow and blow,
Because Love's hand has set them there.

I'll plant and water, sow and weed,
Till not an inch of earth shows brown,
And take a vow of each small seed
To grow to greenness and renown:
And then some day you'll pass my way,
See gold and crimson, bell and star,
And catch my garden's soul, and say:
'How sweet these cottage gardens are!'

by Edith Nesbit.

Some one ('tis hardly new) has oddly said
The color of a trumpet's blare is red;
And Joseph Emmett thinks the crimson shame
On woman's cheek a trumpet-note of fame.
The more the red storm rises round her nose
The more her eyes averted seek her toes,
He fancies all the louder he can hear
The tube resounding in his spacious ear,
And, all his varied talents to exert,
Darkens his dullness to display his dirt.
And when the gallery's indecent crowd,
And gentlemen below, with hisses loud,
In hot contention (these his art to crown,
And those his naked nastiness to drown)
Make such a din that cheeks erewhile aflame
Grow white and in their fear forget their shame,
With impudence imperial, sublime,
Unmoved, the patient actor bides his time,
Till storm and counter-storm are both allayed,
Like donkeys, each by t'other one outbrayed.
When all the place is silent as a mouse
One slow, suggestive gesture clears the house!

by Ambrose Bierce.