To Doctor Empirik by Ben Jonson

When men a dangerous disease did 'scape,
Of old, they gave a cock to Æsculape :
Let me give too, that doubly am got free ;
From my disease's danger, and from thee.

Oh, For A Bowl of Fat Canary by John Lyly

Oh, for a bowl of fat Canary, 
Rich Palermo, sparkling Sherry, 
Some nectar else, from Juno’s dairy; 
Oh, these draughts would make us merry! 

Oh, for a wench (I deal in faces, 
And in other daintier things); 
Tickled am I with her embraces, 
Fine dancing in such fairy rings. 

Oh, for a plump fat leg of mutton, 
Veal, lamb, capon, pig, and coney; 
None is happy but a glutton, 
None an ass but who wants money. 

Wines indeed and girls are good, 
But brave victuals feast the blood; 
For wenches, wine, and lusty cheer, 
Jove would leap down to surfeit here.

Jolly Good Ale and Old by Anonymous

ACK and side go bare, go bare,
Both hand and foot go cold;
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough
Whether it be new or old.

But if 1 that I may have truly         
  Good ale my belly full,
I shall look like one, by sweet Saint John,
  Were shorn against the wool.
Though I go bare, take ye no care,
  I am nothing a-cold;         
I stuff my skin so full within
  Of jolly good ale and old.

I cannot eat but little meat,
  My stomach is not good;
But sure I think that I could drink         
  With him that weareth an hood.
Drink is my life; although my wife
  Some time do chide and scold,
Yet spare I not to ply the pot
  Of jolly good ale and old.         

I love no roast but a brown toast,
  Or a crab in the fire;
A little bread shall do me stead,
  Much bread I never desire.
Nor frost, nor snow, nor wind, I trow,         
  Can hurt me if it wolde;
I am so wrapped within, and lapped
  With jolly good ale and old.

I care right nought, I take no thought
  For clothes to keep me warm;         
Have I good drink, I surely think
  Nothing can do me harm.
For truly than I fear no man,
  Be he never so bold,
When I am armed and throughly warmed         
  With jolly good ale and old.

But now and than I curse and ban,
  They make their ale so small!
God give them care, and evil to fare!
  They strye 2 the malt and all.         
Such peevish pew, 3 I tell you true,
  Not for a crown of gold
There cometh one sip within my lip,
  Whether it be new or old.

Good ale and strong maketh me among         
  Full jocund and full light,
That oft I sleep, and take no keep
  From morning until night.
Then start I up and flee to the cup,
  The right way on I hold;         
My thirst to stanch I fill my paunch
  With jolly good ale and old.

And Kit, my wife, that as her life
  Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinketh she that ye may see         
  The tears run down her cheek.
Then doth she troll to me the bowl
  As a good malt-worm should,
And say, “Sweetheart, I take my part
  Of jolly good ale and old.”         

They that do drink till they nod and wink,
  Even as good fellows should do,
They shall not miss to have the bliss
  That good ale hath brought them to.
And all poor souls that scour black bowls,         
  And hath them lustily troll’d,
God save the lives of them and their wives,
  Whether they be young or old!

Autumn Rain by D.H. Lawrence

The plane leaves
fall black and wet
on the lawn;

the cloud sheaves
in heaven’s fields set
droop and are drawn

in falling seeds of rain;
the seed of heaven
on my face

falling — I hear again
like echoes even
that softly pace

heaven’s muffled floor,
the winds that tread
out all the grain

of tears, the store
in the sheaves of pain

caught up aloft:
the sheaves of dead
men that are slain

now winnowed soft
on the floor of heaven;
manna invisible

of all the pain
here to us given;
finely divisible
falling as rain.

The Tennis Court Oath by John Ashbery

What had you been thinking about
the face studiously bloodied
heaven blotted region
I go on loving you like water but
there is a terrible breath in the way all of this   
You were not elected president, yet won the race   
All the way through fog and drizzle
When you read it was sincere the coasts
stammered with unintentional villages the   
horse strains fatigued I guess . . . the calls . . .
I worry

All the Difficult Hours and Minutes by Jane Hirshfield

A ll the difficult hours and minutes
are like salted plums in a jar.

Continue reading...

Poem Written with Bashō [“A photograph”] by Matthew Rohrer

A photograph
on the back of a hand mirror
resembles someone you knew
who sang themselves utterly away.

Death Fugue by Paul Celan

Black milk of morning we drink you at dusktime
we drink you at noontime and dawntime we drink you at night
we drink and drink
we scoop out a grave in the sky where it’s roomy to lie

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Fire by APCrumlish

The fire was started by a spark
igniting coconut husk
fiber in a cushion maker’s house.

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Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats

I have met them at close of day   
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey   
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head   
Or polite meaningless words,   
Or have lingered awhile and said   
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done   
Of a mocking tale or a gibe   
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,   
Being certain that they and I   
But lived where motley is worn:   
All changed, changed utterly:   
A terrible beauty is born.

Not Ideas About the Thing but the Thing Itself - Wallace Stevens

At the earliest ending of winter,
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”