Beautiful Women

WOMEN sit, or move to and fro- some old,
some young;
The young are beautiful- but the old are more beautiful than the
young.

by Walt Whitman.

Give Me Women, Wine, And Snuff

GIVE me women, wine, and snuff
Untill I cry out "hold, enough!"
You may do so sans objection
Till the day of resurrection:
For, bless my beard, they aye shall be
My beloved Trinity.

by John Keats.

The Leaves Like Women Interchange

987

The Leaves like Women interchange
Exclusive Confidence—
Somewhat of nods and somewhat
Portentous inference.

The Parties in both cases
Enjoining secrecy—
Inviolable compact
To notoriety.

by Emily Dickinson.

Her nature is the sea's, that smiles to-night
A radiant maiden in the moon's soft light;
The unsuspecting seaman sets his sails,
Forgetful of the fury of her gales;
To-morrow, mad with storms, the ocean roars,
And o'er his hapless wreck the flood she pours!

by Eugene Field.

He That Tastes Woman

Man may escape from rope and gun;
Nay, some have out-liv'd the doctor's pill;
Who takes a woman must be undone,
That basilisk is sure to kill.
The fly that sips treacle is lost in the sweets,
So he that tastes woman, woman, woman,
He that tastes woman, ruin meets.

by John Gay.

As a white candle
In a holy place,
So is the beauty
Of an aged face.

As the spent radience
Of the winter sun,
So is a woman
With her travail done.

Her brood gone from her,
And her thoughts as still
As the waters
Under a ruined mill.

by Joseph Campbell.

When Lovely Woman Stoops To Folly

When lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?

The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
And wring his bosom, is—to die.

by Oliver Goldsmith.

The Dear Old Woman In The Lane

The dear old woman in the lane
Is sick and sore with pains and aches,
We'll go to her this afternoon,
And take her tea and eggs and cakes.
We'll stop to make the kettle boil,
And brew some tea, and set the tray,
And poach an egg, and toast a cake,
And wheel her chair round, if we may.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Primeval My Love For The Woman I Love

PRIMEVAL my love for the woman I love,
O bride! O wife! more resistless, more enduring than I can tell, the
thought of you!
Then separate, as disembodied, the purest born,
The ethereal, the last athletic reality, my consolation,
I ascend--I float in the regions of your love, O man,
O sharer of my roving life.

by Walt Whitman.

The Heart Of The Woman

O WHAT to me the little room
That was brimmed up with prayer and rest;
He bade me out into the gloom,
And my breast lies upon his breast.
O what to me my mother's care,
The house where I was safe and warm;
The shadowy blossom of my hair
Will hide us from the bitter storm.
O hiding hair and dewy eyes,
I am no more with life and death,
My heart upon his warm heart lies,
My breath is mixed into his breath.

by William Butler Yeats.

Pity all faithless women who have loved. None knows
How much it hurts a woman to do wrong to love.
The mother who has felt the child within her move,
Shall she forget her child, and those ecstatic throes?

Then pity faithless women who have loved. These have
Murdered within them something born out of their pain.
These mothers of the child whom they have loved and slain
May not so much as lay the child within a grave.

by Arthur Symons.

Jones is a man exceeding meek
And henpecked, so his neighbours say,
Who, one glad evening every week,
Sought sanctuary in his queer way.

At his suburban picture show
He'd sit and gloat, in mood serene,
Quite recompensed for all his woe
To see dumb women on the screen.

But now the picture house he shuns;
His week becomes one weary drag;
For, 'mid the crash of 'he-men's' guns,
Even the female shadows nag!

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

To Women As Far As I'M Concerned

The feelings I don't have I don't have.
The feeling I don't have, I won't say I have.
The feelings you say you have, you don't have.
The feelings you would like us both to have, we neither of us have.
The feelings people ought to have, they never have.
If people say they've got feelings, you may be pretty sure they haven't got them.
So if you want either of us to feel anything at all
You'd better abandon all ideas of feelings altogether.

by David Herbert Lawrence.

Bathed In War's Perfume

BATHED in war's perfume--delicate flag!
(Should the days needing armies, needing fleets, come again,)
O to hear you call the sailors and the soldiers! flag like a
beautiful woman!
O to hear the tramp, tramp, of a million answering men! O the ships
they arm with joy!
O to see you leap and beckon from the tall masts of ships!
O to see you peering down on the sailors on the decks!
Flag like the eyes of women.

by Walt Whitman.

Not faultless, for she was not fashioned so,
A mingling of the bitter and the sweet;
Lips that can laugh and sigh and whisper low
Of hope and trust and happiness complete,
Or speak harsh truths; eyes that can flash with fire,
Or make themselves but wells of tenderness
Wherein is drowned all bitterness and ire-
Warm eyes whose lightest glance is a caress.
Heaven sent her here to brighten this old earth,
And only heaven fully knows her worth.

by Jean Blewett.

O, In A World Of Men And Women

0, in a world of men and women,
Where all things seemed so strange to me,
And speech the common world called human
For me was a vain mimicry,

I thought-O, am I one in sorrow ?
Or is the world more quick to hide
Their pain with raiment that they borrow
From pleasure in the house of pride ?

O joy of mine, 0 longed-for stranger,
How I would greet you if you came:
In the world's joys I've been a ranger,
In my world sorrow is their name.

by Isaac Rosenberg.

With All Thy Gifts

WITH all thy gifts, America,
(Standing secure, rapidly tending, overlooking the world,)
Power, wealth, extent, vouchsafed to thee--With these, and like of
these, vouchsafed to thee,
What if one gift thou lackest? (the ultimate human problem never
solving;)
The gift of Perfect Women fit for thee--What of that gift of gifts
thou lackest?
The towering Feminine of thee? the beauty, health, completion, fit
for thee?
The Mothers fit for thee?

by Walt Whitman.

My Paris is a land where twilight days
Merge into violent nights of black and gold;
Where, it may be, the flower of dawn is cold:
Ah, but the gold nights, and the scented ways!

Eyelids of women, little curls of hair,
A little nose curved softly, like a shell,
A red mouth like a wound, a mocking veil:
Phantoms, before the dawn, how phantom-fair!

And every woman with beseeching eyes,
Or with enticing eyes, or amorous,
Offers herself, a rose, and craves of us
A rose's place among our memories.

by Arthur Symons.

I spoke to the pale and heavy-lidded woman, and said:
O pale and heavy-lidded woman, why is your cheek
Pale as the dead, and what are your eyes afraid lest they speak?
And the woman answered me: I am pale as the dead,
For the dead have loved me, and I dream of the dead.

But I see in the eyes of the living, as a living fire,
The thing that my soul in triumph tells me I have forgot;
And therefore mine eyelids are heavy, and I raise them not,
For always I see in the eyes of men the old desire,
And I fear lest they see that I desire their desire.

by Arthur Symons.

Villanelle Of The Poet's Road

Wine and woman and song,
Three things garnish our way:
Yet is day over long.

Lest we do our youth wrong,
Gather them while we may:
Wine and woman and song.

Three things render us strong,
Vine leaves, kisses and bay:
Yet is day over long.

Unto us they belong,
Us the bitter and gay,
Wine and women and song.

We, as we pass along,
Are sad that they will not stay;
Yet is day over long.

Fruits and flowers among,
What is better than they:
Wine and women and song?
Yet is day over long.

by Ernest Christopher Dowson.

A Woman Homer Sung

IF any man drew near
When I was young,
I thought, 'He holds her dear,'
And shook with hate and fear.
But O! 'twas bitter wrong
If he could pass her by
With an indifferent eye.
Whereon I wrote and wrought,
And now, being grey,
I dream that I have brought
To such a pitch my thought
That coming time can say,
'He shadowed in a glass
What thing her body was.'
For she had fiery blood
When I was young,
And trod so sweetly proud
As 'twere upon a cloud,
A woman Homer sung,
That life and letters seem
But an heroic dream.

by William Butler Yeats.

To George Sand: A Recognition

TRUE genius, but true woman ! dost deny
The woman's nature with a manly scorn
And break away the gauds and armlets worn
By weaker women in captivity?
Ah, vain denial ! that revolted cry
Is sobbed in by a woman's voice forlorn, _
Thy woman's hair, my sister, all unshorn
Floats back dishevelled strength in agony
Disproving thy man's name: and while before
The world thou burnest in a poet-fire,
We see thy woman-heart beat evermore
Through the large flame. Beat purer, heart, and higher,
Till God unsex thee on the heavenly shore
Where unincarnate spirits purely aspire !

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Her eyes are the windows of a soul
Where only the white thoughts spring,
And they look, as the eyes of the angels look,
For the good in everything.

Her lips can whisper the tenderest words
That weary and worn can hear,
Can tell of the dawn of a better morn
Till only the cowards fear.

Her hands can lift up the fallen one
From an overthrow complete,
Can take a soul from the mire of sin
And lead it to Christ's dear feet.

And she can walk wherever she will-
She walketh never alone.
The work she does is the Master's work,
And God guards well His own.

by Jean Blewett.

Sonnet 144: Two Loves I Have, Of Comfort And Despair

Two loves I have, of comfort and despair,
Which like two spirits do suggest me still:
The better angel is a man right fair,
The worser spirit a woman coloured ill.
To win me soon to hell, my female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
And whether that my angel be turned fiend,
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell;
But being both from me both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another's hell.
Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.

by William Shakespeare.

September 1, 1802

WE had a female Passenger who came
From Calais with us, spotless in array,--
A white-robed Negro, like a lady gay,
Yet downcast as a woman fearing blame;
Meek, destitute, as seemed, of hope or aim
She sate, from notice turning not away,
But on all proffered intercourse did lay
A weight of languid speech, or to the same
No sign of answer made by word or face:
Yet still her eyes retained their tropic fire,
That, burning independent of the mind,
Joined with the lustre of her rich attire
To mock the Outcast.--O ye Heavens, be kind!
And feel, thou Earth, for this afflicted Race!

by William Wordsworth.

WITH her fair face she made my heaven,
Beneath whose stars and moon and sun
I worshiped, praying, having striven,
For wealth through which she might be won.
And yet she had no soul: A woman
As fair and cruel as a god;
Who played with hearts as nothing human,
And tossed them by and on them trod.
She killed a soul; she did it nightly;
Luring it forth from peace and prayer,
To strangle it, and laughing lightly,
Cast it into the gutter there.
And yet, not for a purer vision
Would I exchange; or Paradise
Possess instead of Hell, my prison,
Where burns the passion of her eyes.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The Woman Speaks

Why have you come? to see me in my shame?
A thing to spit on, to despise and scorn?
And then to ask me! You, by whom was torn
And then cast by, like some vile rag, my name!
What shelter could you give me, now, that blame
And loathing would not share? that wolves of vice
Would not besiege with eyes of glaring ice?
Wherein Sin sat not with her face of flame?
'You love me'? God! If yours be love, for lust
Hell must invent another synonym!
If yours be love, then hatred is the way
To Heaven and God! and not with soul but dust
Must burn the faces of the Cherubim,
O lie of lies, if yours be love, I say!

by Madison Julius Cawein.

There Was A Man And A Woman

i
There was a man and a woman
Who sinned.
Then did the man heap the punishment
All upon the head of her,
And went away gaily.

ii

There was a man and a woman
Who sinned.
And the man stood with her.
As upon her head, so upon his,
Fell blow and blow,
And all people screaming, "Fool!"
He was a brave heart.

iii

He was a brave heart.
Would you speak with him, friend?
Well, he is dead,
And there went your opportunity.
Let it be your grief
That he is dead
And your opportunity gone;
For, in that, you were a coward.

by Stephen Crane.

THE stone that all the sullen centuries,
With sluggish hands and massive fingers rude,
Against the sepulchre of womanhood
Had sternly held, she has thrust back with ease,
And stands, superbly arrogant, the keys
Of knowledge in her hand, won by a mood
Of daring, in her beauty flaunting nude,
Eager to drain life's wine unto the lees.
So she shall tempt and touch and try and taste,
And in the wrestle of the world shall lose
Her dimpled prettiness, her petals bruise;
But moulding ever to a truer type
She shall return to man, no more abased—
His counterpart, a woman, rounded, ripe.

by Arthur Henry Adams.

On Being Asked To Write In Miss Westwood's Album

My feeble Muse, that fain her best would
Write, at command of Frances Westwood,
But feels her wits not in their best mood,
Fell lately on some idle fancies,
As she's much given to romances,
About this self-same style of Frances;
Which seems to be a name in common
Attributed to man or woman.
She thence contrived this flattering moral,
With which she hopes no soul will quarrel,
That she, whom this twin title decks,
Combines what's good in either sex;
Unites-how very rare the case is!-
Masculine sense to female graces;
And, quitting not her proper rank,
Is both in one-Fanny and frank.

Oct. 12, 1827.

by Charles Lamb.

. Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
With the least shade of thought to sin allied.
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature's solitary boast;
Purer than foam on central ocean tost;
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
Before her wane begins on heaven's blue coast;
Thy image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend,
As to a visible Power, in which did blend
All that was mixed and reconciled in thee
Of mother's love with maiden purity,
Of high with low, celestial with terrene!

by William Wordsworth.

Here is a tale for ladies with romances:
There was an owl; composer and musician,
Who looked as wise as if he had a mission,
And at all art cast supercilious glances.
People proclaimed him great because he said it;
And, like the great, he never played, nor printed
His compositions, 'though 'twas whispered, hinted
He'd written something but no one had read it.
Owl-eyed he posed at functions of position,
Hirsute, and eye-glassed, looking analytic,
Opening his mouth to worshipping female knowledge:
And then he married. A woman of ambition.
A singer, teacher, and a musical critic.
Just what he wanted. He became a college.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

A maiden meek, with solemn, steadfast eyes,
Full of eternal constancy and faith,
And smiling lips, through whose soft portal sighs
Truth's holy voice, with every balmy breath,
So journeys she along life's crowded way,
Keeping her soul's sweet counsel from all sight;
Nor pomp, nor vanity, lead her astray,
Nor aught that men call dazzling, fair, or bright:
For pity, sometimes, doth she pause, and stay
Those whom she meeteth mourning, for her heart
Knows well in suffering how to bear its part.
Patiently lives she through each dreary day,
Looking with little hope unto the morrow;
And still she walketh hand in hand with sorrow.

by Frances Anne Kemble.

Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
Which like two spirits do suggest me still:
The better angel is a man right fair,
The worser spirit a woman colour'd ill.
To win me soon to hell, my female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend
Suspect I may, but not directly tell;
But being both from me, both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another's hell:
Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.

by William Shakespeare.

For An Allegorical Dance Of Women By Andrea Mantegna

(In the Louvre)
SCARCELY, I think; yet it indeed may be
The meaning reached him, when this music rang
Clear through his frame, a sweet possessive pang,
And he beheld these rocks and that ridged sea.
But I believe that, leaning tow'rds them, he
Just felt their hair carried across his face
As each girl passed him; nor gave ear to trace
How many feet; nor bent assuredly
His eyes from the blind fixedness of thought
To know the dancers. It is bitter glad
Even unto tears. Its meaning filleth it,
A secret of the wells of Life: to wit:—
The heart's each pulse shall keep the sense it had
With all, though the mind's labour run to nought.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

When I Was Small, A Woman Died

596

When I was small, a Woman died—
Today—her Only Boy
Went up from the Potomac—
His face all Victory

To look at her—How slowly
The Seasons must have turned
Till Bullets clipt an Angle
And He passed quickly round—

If pride shall be in Paradise—
Ourself cannot decide—
Of their imperial Conduct—
No person testified—

But, proud in Apparition—
That Woman and her Boy
Pass back and forth, before my Brain
As even in the sky—

I'm confident that Bravoes—
Perpetual break abroad
For Braveries, remote as this
In Scarlet Maryland—

by Emily Dickinson.

The Woman And The Devil

When Man and Woman had been made,
All but the disposition,
The Devil to the workshop strayed,
And somehow gained admission.

The Master rested from his work,
For this was on a Sunday,
The man was snoring like a Turk,
Content to wait till Monday.

'Too bad!' the Woman cried; 'Oh, why,
Does slumber not benumb me?
A disposition! Oh, I die
To know if 'twill become me!'

The Adversary said: 'No doubt
'Twill be extremely fine, ma'am,
Though sure 'tis long to be without
I beg to lend you mine, ma'am.'

The Devil's disposition when
She'd got, of course she wore it,
For she'd no disposition then,
Nor now has, to restore it.

by Ambrose Bierce.

Modern Love Iii: This Was The Woman

This was the woman; what now of the man?
But pass him. If he comes beneath a heel,
He shall be crushed until he cannot feel,
Or, being callous, haply till he can.
But he is nothing:--nothing? Only mark
The rich light striking out from her on him!
Ha! what a sense it is when her eyes swim
Across the man she singles, leaving dark
All else! Lord God, who mad'st the thing so fair,
See that I am drawn to her even now!
It cannot be such harm on her cool brow
To put a kiss? Yet if I meet him there!
But she is mine! Ah, no! I know too well
I claim a star whose light is overcast:
I claim a phantom-woman in the Past.
The hour has struck, though I heard not the bell!

by George Meredith.

Modern Love Xxii: What May The Woman

What may the woman labour to confess?
There is about her mouth a nervous twitch.
'Tis something to be told, or hidden:--which?
I get a glimpse of hell in this mild guess.
She has desires of touch, as if to feel
That all the household things are things she knew.
She stops before the glass. What sight in view?
A face that seems the latest to reveal!
For she turns from it hastily, and tossed
Irresolute, steals shadow-like to where
I stand; and wavering pale before me there,
Her tears fall still as oak-leaves after frost.
She will not speak. I will not ask. We are
League-sundered by the silent gulf between.
Yon burly lovers on the village green,
Yours is a lower, and a happier star!

by George Meredith.

Modern Love Xiv: What Soul Would Bargain

What soul would bargain for a cure that brings
Contempt the nobler agony to kill?
Rather let me bear on the bitter ill,
And strike this rusty bosom with new stings!
It seems there is another veering fit
Since on a gold-haired lady's eyeballs pure,
I looked with little prospect of a cure,
The while her mouth's red bow loosed shafts of wit.
Just heaven! can it be true that jealousy
Has decked the woman thus? and does her head
Swim somewhat for possessions forfeited?
Madam, you teach me many things that be.
I open an old book, and there I find
That "Women still may love whom they deceive."
Such love I prize not, madam: by your leave,
The game you play at is not to my mind.

by George Meredith.

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