951. "In the hedge I pass a little nest," by John Clare

In the hedge I pass a little nest
Green morning after morning
Where the old ones scared at every guest
Cheeped loud a danger warning
But the young ones cree'd at every tread
Nor knew of danger near
They quivering hold up many a head
At all that passes near

The awbush round their dwelling hings
Which morn with dropples strinkles
That wets the old birds eager wings
While the brook at bottom tinkles
A constant guardian running past
Sweet younglings cease your cheeping
For many a clown goes whistling past
When ye're unconscious sleeping

The old ones on a distant bough
With victuals in her bill
Waits back to see me passing now
And tweets in fear of ill
But soon as bye she hurrys in
They twitter caw and cree
The laughing brook wont let me win
A peep to reach and see

Right pleasant brook Im glad ye lie
Between them and the road
They're not all friends that wander bye
And faith is ill bestowed
Hid from the world their green retreat
The worlds ways never knew
But much I fear they'd quickly meet
Its cares if in its view

I've past the nest so often bye
They seem my neighbours now
And I'd be glad to see 'em flye
And cheep upon the bough
The worlds way is a cheating way
And it would not be long
Before they met a cloudy day
And some to do em wrong

Thought I have not gone half the ways
That many have to go
Nor met with half the swaily days
That many troubles know
Yet chuse not haunts that many know
Though many much pretend
For ye are sure to find a foe
Where many pass for friends

Source: Major Works

952. To —— ("When passion's trance is overpast"), by Percy Shelley


When passion's trance is overpast,
If tenderness and truth could last,
Or live, whilst all wild feelings keep
Some mortal slumber, dark and deep,
I should not weep, I should not weep!


It were enough to feel, to see,
Thy soft eyes gazing tenderly,
And dream the rest — and burn and be
The secret food of fires unseen,
Couldst thou but be as thou hast been.


After the slumber of the year
The woodland violets reappear;
All things revive in field or grove,
And sky and sea, but two, which move
And form all others, life and love.

Source: The Complete Poems of Keats and Shelley

953. My Cottage at Deep South Mountain, by Wang Wei

In my middle years I love the Tao
and by Deep South Mountain I make my home.
When happy I go alone into the mountains.
Only I understand this joy.
I walk until the water ends, and sit
waiting for the hour when clouds rise.
If I happen to meet an old woodcutter,
I chat with him, laughing and lost to time.

(trans. Willis Barnstone)

Source: Laughing Lost in the Mountains

954. Insomnia, by Elizabeth Bishop

The moon in the bureau mirror
looks out a million miles
(and perhaps with pride, at herself,
but she never, never smiles)
far and away beyond sleep, or
perhaps she's a daytime sleeper.

By the Universe deserted,
she'd tell it to go to hell,
and she'd find a body of water,
or a mirror, on which to dwell.
So wrap up care in a cobweb
and drop it down the well

into that world inverted
where left is always right,
where the shadows are really the body,
where we stay awake all night,
where the heavens are shallow as the sea
is now deep, and you love me.

Source: The Complete Poems, 1927-1979

955. Inversnaid, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

This darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

A windpuff-bonnet of fawn-froth
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, fell-frowning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.

Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wilderness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Source: Poems and Prose