There comes a warning like a spy

There comes a warning like a spy
A shorter breath of Day
A stealing that is not a stealth
And Summers are away

by Emily Dickinson.

WHEREFORE ever ramble on?

For the Good is lying near,
Fortune learn to seize alone,

For that Fortune's ever here.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Cried Age to Youth: 'Abate your speed!
The distance hither's brief indeed.'
But Youth pressed on without delay
The shout had reached but half the way

by Ambrose Bierce.

High in the heavens I saw the moon this morning,
Albeit the sun shone bright;
Unto my soul it spoke, in voice of warning,
‘Remember Night! ’

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Mighty eagle! thou that soarest
O'er the misty mountain forest,
And amid the light of morning
Like a cloud of glory hiest,
And when night descends defiest
The embattled tempests’ warning!

by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Inscriptions On A Sun-Dial

For Dr Henry L Bowditch

With warning hand I mark Time's rapid
flight
From life's glad morning to it's solemn
night;
Yet through thee dear God's love, I also
show
There's Light above me by the shade
below.

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

World, Take Good Notice


WORLD, take good notice, silver stars fading,
Milky hue ript, weft of white detaching,
Coals thirty-eight, baleful and burning,
Scarlet, significant, hands off warning,
Now and henceforth flaunt from these shores.

by Walt Whitman.

WAKEN not Amor from sleep! The beauteous urchin still slumbers;
Go, and complete thou the task, that to the day is assign'd!
Thus doth the prudent mother with care turn time to her profit,
While her babe is asleep, for 'twill awake but too soon.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Walt Whitman's Caution


TO The States, or any one of them, or any city of The States,
Resist much, obey little;
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved;
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, of this earth, ever
afterward resumes its liberty.

by Walt Whitman.

My Mother's Memory

There is one bright star in heaven
Ever shining in my night;
God to me one guide has given
Like the sailor's beacon light,
Set on every shoal of danger
Sending out its warning ray
To the homebound weary stranger
Looking for the land-locked bay.
In my farthest, wildest wand'rings
I have turned me to that love,
As a diver, neath the water,
Turns to watch the light above.

by John Boyle O'Reilly.

Every man worth the name
has a yellow snake in his soul,
seated as on a throne, saying
if he cries: ‘I want to!’: ‘No!’
Lock eyes with the fixed gaze
of Nixies or Satyresses, says
the Tooth: ‘Think of your duty!’
Make children, or plant trees,
polish verses, or marble frieze,
the Tooth says: ‘Tonight, where will you be?’
Whatever he likes to consider
there’s never a moment passing
a man can’t hear the warning
of that insufferable Viper.

by Charles Baudelaire.

A Slant Of Sun On Dull Brown Walls

A slant of sun on dull brown walls,
A forgotten sky of bashful blue.

Toward God a mighty hymn,
A song of collisions and cries,
Rumbling wheels, hoof-beats, bells,
Welcomes, farewells, love-calls, final moans,
Voices of joy, idiocy, warning, despair,
The unknown appeals of brutes,
The chanting of flowers,
The screams of cut trees,
The senseless babble of hens and wise men -
A cluttered incoherency that says at the stars:
'O God, save us!'

by Stephen Crane.

O Bitter Sprig! Confession Sprig!

O BITTER sprig! Confession sprig!
In the bouquet I give you place also--I bind you in,
Proceeding no further till, humbled publicly,
I give fair warning, once for all.

I own that I have been sly, thievish, mean, a prevaricator, greedy,
derelict,
And I own that I remain so yet.

What foul thought but I think it--or have in me the stuff out of
which it is thought?
What in darkness in bed at night, alone or with a companion?

by Walt Whitman.

A Slant Of Sun On Dull Brown Walls

A slant of sun on dull brown walls,
A forgotten sky of bashful blue.

Toward God a mighty hymn,
A song of collisions and cries,
Rumbling wheels, hoof-beats, bells,
Welcomes, farewells, love-calls, final moans,
Voices of joy, idiocy, warning, despair,
The unknown appeals of brutes,
The chanting of flowers,
The screams of cut trees,
The senseless babble of hens and wise men --
A cluttered incoherency that says at the stars:
"O God, save us!"

by Stephen Crane.

Behind The Blameless Trees

Behind the blameless trees
old fate slowly builds
her mute countenance.
Wrinkles grow there . . .
What a bird shrieks here
springs there like a gasp of warning
from a soothsayer's hard mouth.

And the soon-to-be lovers
smile on each other, not yet knowing farewell,
and round about them, like a constellation,
their destiny casts
its nightly spell.
Still to come, it does not reach out to them,
it remains
a phantom
floating in its heavenly course.

by Rainer Maria Rilke.

There is a wistful charm, a tenderness,
Mysterious and soft, in autumn's even:
The trees in weird and brilliant garments dress,
The gory leaves to whispered talk are given;
Above the sad and orphaned earth the skies
Lie veiled and bleak, the sun's departure mourning,
And gusty winds with sudden anger rise,
Of pending storms the grim and chilly warning...
Fatigue, decline, and - over all - the worn
And wasting spirit's smile, doomed soon to vanish,
That lights a sufferer's face and that is born
Of modesty, the godlike pride of anguish.

by Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev.

Sin and Death, those sisters two,
Two, two,
Sat together while dawned the morning.
Sister, marry! Your house will do,
Do, do,
For me, too, was Death's warning.

Sin was wedded, and Death was pleased,
Pleased, pleased,
Danced about them the day they married;
Night came on, she the bridegroom seized,
Seized, seized,
And away with her carried.

Sin soon wakened alone to weep,
Weep, weep.
Death sat near in the dawn of morning:
Him you love, I love too and keep,
Keep, keep.
He is here, was Death's warning.

by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.

PURE at heart we wander now:
Comrade on the quest divine,
Turn not from the stars your brow
That your eyes may rest on mine.

Pure at heart we wander now:
We have hopes beyond to-day;
And our quest does not allow
Rest or dreams along the way.

We are, in our distant hope,
One with all the great and wise:
Comrade, do not turn or grope
For some lesser light that dies.

We must rise or we must fall:
Love can know no middle way:
If the great life do not call,
Then is sadness and decay.

by George William Russell.

Voice of the Holy Spirit, making known
Man to himself, a witness swift and sure,
Warning, approving, true and wise and pure,
Counsel and guidance that misleadeth none!
By thee the mystery of life is read;
The picture-writing of the world's gray seers,
The myths and parables of the primal years,
Whose letter kills, by thee interpreted
Take healthful meanings fitted to our needs,
And in the soul's vernacular express
The common law of simple righteousness.
Hatred of cant and doubt of human creeds
May well be felt: the unpardonable sin
Is to deny the Word of God within!

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

WHEN sounds the trumpet at the Judgment Day,
And when forever all things earthly die,
We must a full and true account supply
Of ev'ry useless word we dropp'd in play.
But what effect will all the words convey
Wherein with eager zeal and lovingly,
That I might win thy favour, labour'd I,
If on thine ear alone they die away?
Therefore, sweet love, thy conscience bear in mind,
Remember well how long thou hast delay'd,
So that the world such sufferings may not know.
If I must reckon, and excuses find
For all things useless I to thee have said,
To a full year the Judgment Day will grow

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

To Alex. Smith, The 'Glasgow Poet,' On His Sonnet To 'Fame'

Not vainly doth the earnest voice of man
Call for the thing that is his pure desire!
Fame is the birthright of the living lyre!
To noble impulse Nature puts no ban.
Nor vainly to the Sphinx thy voice was raised!
Tho' all thy great emotions like a sea,
Against her stony immortality,
Shatter themselves unheeded and amazed.
Time moves behind her in a blind eclipse:
Yet if in her cold eyes the end of all
Be visible, as on her large closed lips
Hangs dumb the awful riddle of the earth; -
She sees, and she might speak, since that wild call,
The mighty warning of a Poet's birth.

by George Meredith.

LOCK your bedroom doors with terror.
Comb your hair between two lights.
In the gold Venetian chamber
But for them let all be sombre.
Sit, and see reflected lights
Color time within your mirror.

Comb, comb, your bright hair. Rain
Fiery threads upon a shadow.
Stare until you see dilated
Eyes stare out as once the excited
Young men coming out of shadow,
Stared into a burning pain.

Find the loveliest shroud you own.
Stilt a ceremonious
Height on gilded heels. Then summon
To a rarity grown common
Starved arachnid, the dead-louse
And whatever feeds on bone.

by John Peale Bishop.

Why stand dumbfounded and aghast,
As at invading armies sweeping by,
Surprised by haggard face and threatening cry,
The storm unheralded, that rose so fast?
Men, with gaunt wives and hungry children, cast
Upon the wintry streets to thieve or die,
They cannot always suffer silently;
Patience gives out. The poor worm turns at last.

And no ear listens to the warning call.
No eye awakes to see the portent dread.
Must brute force reign and social order fall
Ere these starved millions can be clothed and fed?
A strange phenomenon, this, unconcern -
To live so fast and be so slow to learn!

by Ada Cambridge.

Are You The New Person, Drawn Toward Me?


ARE you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with, take warning--I am surely far different from what you
suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy'd satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this façade--this smooth and tolerant
manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic
man?
Have you no thought, O dreamer, that it may be all maya, illusion?

by Walt Whitman.

We told of him as one who should have soared
And seen for us the devastating light
Whereof there is not either day or night,
And shared with us the glamour of the Word
That fell once upon Amos to record
For men at ease in Zion, when the sight
Of ills obscured aggrieved him and the might
Of Hamath was a warning of the Lord.

Assured somehow that he would make us wise,
Our pleasure was to wait; and our surprise
Was hard when we confessed the dry return
Of his regret. For we were still to learn
That earth has not a school where we may go
For wisdom, or for more than we may know.

by Edwin Arlington Robinson.

Storm and wave their tumult cease.
See, the heav'nly galaxies,
Fainter, even dimmer
Is their golden glimmer
As the morning
Softly dawning
Of the sun's wan ray gives warning.
Asp and maple sighing,
Stream and marsh replying,
Woodcock buzzes,
Peasant passes
Round his filly's neck her harness.
Now in our stove
When it is lit,
Grasses and twigs
Crackle and spit,
Soon our porridge will be boiling.
Now with tousled brow
Cottager, I trow,
Seeks to light his pipe,
And out in the field
Leaning on a stone,
Dalesman lifts anew his spade.

by Carl Michael Bellman.

He knocked, and I beheld him at the door--
A vision for the gods to verify.
"What battered ancient is this," thought I,
"And when, if ever, did we meet before?"
But ask him as I might, I got no more
For answer than a moaning and a cry:
Too late to parley, but in time to die,
He staggered, and lay ahapeless on the floor.

When had I known him? And what brought him here?
Love, warning, malediction, fear?
Surely I never thwarted such as he?--
Again, what soiled obscurity was this:
Out of what scum, and up from what abyss,
Had they arrived--these rags of memory.

by Edwin Arlington Robinson.

Sonnet 71: No Longer Mourn For Me When I Am Dead

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell.
Nay if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it, for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse,
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.

by William Shakespeare.

We have seen mighty men ballooning high,
And in another moment bump the ground.
He falls; and in his measurement is found
To count some inches o'er the common fry.
'Twas not enough to send him climbing sky,
Yet 'twas enough above his fellows crowned,
Had he less panted. Let his faithful hound
Bark at detractors. He may walk or lie.
Concerns it most ourselves, who with our gas -
This little Isle's insatiable greed
For Continents--filled to inflation burst.
So do ripe nations into squalor pass,
When, driven as herds by their old private thirst,
They scorn the brain's wild search for virtuous light.

by George Meredith.

A wicked man is bad enough on earth;
But O the baleful lustre of a chief
Once pledged in tyranny! O star of dearth
Darkly illumining a nation's grief!
How many men have worn thee on their brows!
Alas for them and us! God's precious gift
Of gracious dispensation got by theft -
The damning form of false unholy vows!
The thief of God and man must have his fee:
And thou, John Lackland, despicable prince -
Basest of England's banes before or since!
Thrice traitor, coward, thief! O thou shalt be
The historic warning, trampled and abhorr'd
Who dared to steal and stain the symbols of the Lord!

by George Meredith.

Alone, remote, nor witting where I went,
I found an altar builded in a dream—
A fiery place, whereof there was a gleam
So swift, so searching, and so eloquent
Of upward promise, that love’s murmur, blent
With sorrow’s warning, gave but a supreme
Unending impulse to that human stream
Whose flood was all for the flame’s fury bent.

Alas! I said,—the world is in the wrong.
But the same quenchless fever of unrest
That thrilled the foremost of that martyred throng
Thrilled me, and I awoke … and was the same
Bewildered insect plunging for the flame
That burns, and must burn somehow for the best.

by Edwin Arlington Robinson.

What gossamer lures thee now? What hope, what name
Is on thy lips? What dreams to fruit have grown?
Thou who hast turned ONE Poet-heart to stone,
Is thine yet burning with its seraph flame?
Let me give back a warning of thine own,
That, falling from thee many moons ago,
Sank on my soul like the prophetic moan
Of some young Sibyl shadowing her own woe.
The words are thine, and will not do thee wrong,
I only bind their solemn charge to song.
Thy tread is on a quicksand -- oh! be wise!
Nor, in the passionate eagerness of youth,
MISTAKE THY BOSOM-SERPENT'S GLITTERING EYES
FOR THE CALM LIGHTS OF REASON AND OF TRUTH.

by Henry Timrod.

Hold Yet A While (To My Own Soul)

Hold yet a while, Strong Heart,
Not part a lifelong yoke

Though blighted looks the present, future gloom.
And age it seems since you and I began our
March up hill or down. Sailing smooth o'er
Seas that are so rare-

Thou nearer unto me, than oft-times I myself-
Proclaiming mental moves before they were!
Reflector true-Thy pulse so timed to mine,
Thou perfect note of thoughts, however fine-
Shall we now part, Recorder, say?

In thee is friendship, faith,
For thou didst warn when evil thoughts were brewing-
And though, alas, thy warning thrown away,
Went on the same as ever-good and true.

by Swami Vivekananda.

His shatter’d Empire thunders to the ground:
A myriad hearts peal laughter as it falls,
While red flags flutter on its ruined walls
And living joy darts all the world around.
The imperial criminal, naked and uncrowned,
Breathing a shuddering air of curses, crawls,
Baffled and beaten, from his gorgeous halls,
While Vengeance halloos lapdog, cur and hound.

Behold the arrogant humbled, and rejoice
The grasping hand holds naught but flying dust,
And Envy meets the pitiless grin of Fate.
Take warning of your own heart’s inward voice,
Bid your own soul be humble and distrust
The yelping promises of greed and hate.

by John Le Gay Brereton.

Poor, hapless souls! at whom we stand aghast,
As at invading armies sweeping by —
As strange to haggard face and desperate cry —
Did we not know the worm must turn at last?
Poor, hungry men, with hungry children cast
Upon the wintry streets to thieve or die —
Suffering your wants and woes so silently -
Patient so long — is all your patience past?

Are there no ears to hear this warning call?
Are there no eyes to see this portent dread?
Must brute force rise and social order fall,
Ere these starved millions can be clothed and fed?
Justice be judge. Let future history say
Which are the greatest criminals to- day.

by Ada Cambridge.

WELL may'st thou halt-and gaze with brightening eye!
The lovely Cottage in the guardian nook
Hath stirred thee deeply; with its own dear brook,
Its own small pasture, almost its own sky!
But covet not the Abode;-forbear to sigh,
As many do, repining while they look;
Intruders-who would tear from Nature's book
This precious leaf, with harsh impiety.
Think what the home must be if it were thine,
Even thine, though few thy wants!-Roof, window, door,
The very flowers are sacred to the Poor,
The roses to the porch which they entwine:
Yea, all, that now enchants thee, from the day
On which it should be touched, would melt away.

by William Wordsworth.

(Song)

Love that came in with the morning
Is fled with the night!
Whither away?
Whither away?
Gone with nor word, with nor warning,
O lost, my Delight!

Into what soul-cleft or hollow
Art vanished from sight,
Out of the day,
Out of the day?
Where the feet of my dreams may not follow,
O lost, my Delight!

The joy, Love, the song and the laughter
Take wing with thy flight,
Forever and aye,
Forever and aye,
Where life, where not death may come after,
Lost, lost, my Delight!

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

Thou great proclaimer to the outward eye
Of what the spirit too would seek to tell,
Onward thou go'st, appointed from on high
The other warnings of the Lord to swell;
Thou art the voice of one that through the world
Proclaims in startling tones, 'Prepare the way;'
The lofty mountain from its seat is hurled,
The flinty rocks thine onward march obey;
The valleys lifted from their lowly bed
O'ertop the hills that on them frowned before,
Thou passest where the living seldom tread,
Through forests dark, where tides beneath thee roar,
And bid'st man's dwelling from thy track remove,
And would with warning voice his crooked paths reprove.

by Jones Very.

Heavenly Wisdom

O Happy is the man who hears
Instruction's warning voice,
And who celestial wisdom makes
His early, only choice.

For she has treasures greater far
Than east or west unfold,
And her reward is more secure
Than is the gain of gold.

In her right hand she holds to view
A length of happy years;
And in her left, the prize of fame
And honour bright appears.

She guides the young, with innocence
In pleasure's path to tread;
A crown of glory she bestows
Upon the hoary head.

According as her labours rise,
So her rewards increase;
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.

by John Logan.

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.

by William Shakespeare.