894. I Have Longed to Move Away, by Dylan Thomas

I have longed to move away
From the hissing of the spent lie
And the old terrors' continual cry
Growing more terrible as the day
Goes over the hill into the deep sea;
I have longed to move away
From the repetition of salutes,
From there are ghosts in the air
And ghostly echoes on paper,
And the thunder of calls and notes.

I have longed to move away but am afraid;
Some life, yet unspent, might explode
Out of the old lie burning on the ground,
And, crackling into the air, leave me half-blind.
Neither by night's ancient fear,
The parting of hat from hair,
Pursed lips at the receiver,
Shall I fall to death's feather.
By these I would not care to die,
Half convention and half lie.

Source: Collected Poems

895. The Limits of Man, by J.W. von Goethe

When the All-holy
Father Eternal,
With indifferent hand,
From clouds rolling o'er us,
Sows his benignant
Lightnings around us,
Humbly I kiss the
Hem of his garment,
Filled with the awe of
A true-hearted child.

For with Gods must
Never a mortal
Measure himself.
If he mounts upwards,
Till his head
Touch the star-spangled heavens,
His unstable feet
Feel no ground beneath them;
Winds and wild storm-clouds
Make him their plaything;—

Or if, with sturdy,
Firm-jointed bones, he
Treads the solid, unwavering
Floor of the earth; yet
Reaches he not
Commonest oaks, nor
E'en with the vine may
Measure his greatness.

What doth distinguish
Gods from us mortals?
That they before them
See waves without number,
One infinite stream;
But we, short-sighted,
One wavelet uplifts us,
One wavelet o'erwhelms us
In fathomless night.

A little ring
Encircles our life here;
And race after race are
Constantly added,
To lengthen the chain
Of Being forever.

(trans John S. Dwight)

Source: The Goethe Treasury: Selected Prose and Poetry

896. From What We Know, by Avvaiyar

Can anyone make a bird's nest, a beehive, a spider's web,
A hill for the ants that chew wood?
                                                    Don't speak of strengths
With strong words, my friends. For everyone,
Something comes easy.

(trans Thomas H. Pruiksma)

Source: Give, Eat, and Live: Poems of Avvaiyar

897. Interval, by Edward Thomas

Gone the wild day.
A wilder night
Coming makes way
For brief twilight.

Where the firm soaked road
Mounts beneath pines
To the high beech wood
It almost shines.

The beeches keep
A stormy rest,
Breathing deep
Of wind from the west.

The wood is black,
With a misty steam.
Above it the rack
Breaks for one gleam.

But the woodman's cot
By the ivied trees
Awakens not
To light or breeze.

It smokes aloft
It hunches soft
Under storm's wing.

It has no care
For gleam or gloom:
It stays there
While I shall roam,

Die and forget
The hill of trees,
The gleam, the wet,
This roaring peace.

Source: Poems of Edward Thomas

898. God's Grandeur, by Gerald Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
      It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
      It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
      And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
      And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell; the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
      There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
      Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
      World broods with warm breast with ah! bright wings.

Source: Poems and Prose