What is that you Express in your Eyes it seems to me more Words

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Verse For a Certain Dog

Such glorious faith as fills your limpid eyes,
Dear little friend of mine, I never knew.
All-innocent are you, and yet all-wise.
(For Heaven's sake, stop worrying that shoe!)
You look about, and all you see is fair;
This mighty globe was made for you alone.
Of all the thunderous ages, you're the heir.
(Get off the pillow with that dirty bone!)

A skeptic world you face with steady gaze;
High in young pride you hold your noble head,
Gayly you meet the rush of roaring days.
(Must you eat puppy biscuit on the bed?)
Lancelike your courage, gleaming swift and strong,
Yours the white rapture of a winged soul,
Yours is a spirit like a Mayday song.
(God help you, if you break the goldfish bowl!)

"Whatever is, is good" - your gracious creed.
You wear your joy of living like a crown.
Love lights your simplest act, your every deed.
(Drop it, I tell you- put that kitten down!)
You are God's kindliest gift of all - a friend.
Your shining loyalty unflecked by doubt,
You ask but leave to follow to the end.
(Couldn't you wait until I took you out?)

Dorothy Parker

On Gray Eyes

Looke how the russet morne exceeds the night,
How sleekest Jett yields to the di'monds light,
So farr the glory of the gray-bright eye
Out-vyes the black in lovely majesty.
A morning mantl'd with a fleece of gray
Laughs from her brow and shewes a spotlesse day:
This di'mond-like doth not his lustre owe
To borrowed helpe, as black thinges cast a show,
It needs noe day besides itselfe, and can
Make a Cimmeria seeme meridian:
Light sees, tis seen, tis that whereby wee see
When darknesse in the opticke facultie
Is but a single element: then tell
Is not that eye the best wherein doth dwell
More plenteous light? that organ is divine,
And more than eye that is all chrystalline,
All rich of sight: oh that perspicuous glasse
That lets in light, and lets a light forth passe
Tis Lustre's thoroughfare where rayes doe thronge,
A burning glasse that fires the lookers-on.
Black eies sett off coarse beauties which they grace
But as a beard smutch'd on a swarthy face.
Why should the seat of life be dull'd with shade,
Or that be darke for which the day was made?
The learned Pallas, who had witt to choose,
And power to take, did other eyes refuse,
And wore the gray: each country painter blotts
His goddesse eyeballs with two smutty spotts.
Corruption layes on blacke; give me the eye
Whose lustre dazles paynt and poetrie,
That's day unto itselfe; which like the sun
Seemes all one flame. They that his beames will shun
Here dye like flyes: when eyes of every kind
Faint at the sun, at these the sun growes blind,
And skipps behind a cloud, that all may say
The Eye of all the world loves to be gray.

William Strode

Eyes

I used to believe that comprehension began right there;
that what eyes failed to make sense of, was insensibility. Every time a picture offers a thousand words,
they claim the first to know; and if it were not through them, how would we fall for the beauty of a look?

Then I learned that deception was easiest to enter thereabout; that the pair Iíve had might lie, at times like when they suggest the bigness of near and smallness of far. When a picture offers a thousand words, they may be
the first to be deceived; and if it were not through them,
why have many hearts ached at the tyranny of the skin deep?

Sukasah Syahdan

Hymn 89

Youth and judgment.

Eccl. 11:9.

Ye sons of Adam, vain and young,
Indulge your eyes, indulge your tongue,
Taste the delights your souls desire,
And give a loose to all your fire;

Pursue the pleasures you design,
And cheer your hearts with songs and wine;
Enjoy the day of mirth, but know
There is a day of judgment too.

God from on high beholds your thoughts,
His book records your secret faults;
The works of darkness you have done
Must all appear before the sun.

The vengeance to your follies due
Should strike your hearts with terror through:
How will you stand before his face,
Or answer for his injured grace?

Almighty God! turn off their eyes
From these alluring vanities;
And let the thunder of thy word
Awake their souls to fear the Lord.

Isaac Watts

Morning Express

Along the wind-swept platform, pinched and white,
The travellers stand in pools of wintry light,
Offering themselves to mornís long, slanting arrows.
The trainís due; porters trundle laden barrows.
The train steams in, volleying resplendent clouds
Of sun-blown vapour. Hither and about,
Scared people hurry, storming the doors in crowds.
The officials seem to waken with a shout,
Resolved to hoist and plunder; some to the vans
Leap; others rumble the milk in gleaming cans.
Boys, indolent-eyed, from baskets leaning back,
Question each face; a man with a hammer steals
Stooping from coach to coach; with clang and clack
Touches and tests, and listens to the wheels.
Guard sounds a warning whistle, points to the clock
With brandished flag, and on his folded flock
Claps the last door: the monster grunts: ĎEnough!í
Tightening his load of links with pant and puff.
Under the arch, then forth into blue day,
Glide the processional windows on their way,
And glimpse the stately folk who sit at ease
To view the world like kings taking the seas
in prosperous weather: drifting banners tell
Their progress to the counties; with them goes
The clamour of their journeying; while those
Who sped them stand to wave a last farewell.

Siegfried Sassoon

the eyes that haunt me

there are eyes that refuse to exist
in the fresh air - they are invented
by the lies of paint or make their mark
in a memory that had a truth
to feed on but only by distortion

right now they sell a dream
i'd like to see the back of - they come
with a whole body rippling me apart
disturbing me with echoes of a flesh
so many layers down the light derides it

why can't i grasp it now
this love's reverberation of a sound
that tunes me deeper than my marrow
but runs from me when wanted to be real
(today's a dried pool whispering of an ocean)

the eyes (unreal or not) persist
life is at base such unreality - it stirs
surfaces through pretences who i am
each a wash of wish (its listless traces
the febrile flickings of a tight core's ends)

i'm struggling now for safety
want something from these diadems
this old light scores in me - these eyes
cradling me as i look through them
(won't let me go and i can't let them)

beyond love they cup aloneness
they're your eyes but my at-one-ment
(more to sing of than i can fathom)
sensing them calmly's the ripest pain
these eyes so poignant they daren't exist

Rg Gregory

Look not in my eyes, for fear

Look not in my eyes, for fear
Thy mirror true the sight I see,
And there you find your face too clear
And love it and be lost like me.
One the long nights through must lie
Spent in star-defeated sighs,
But why should you as well as I
Perish? gaze not in my eyes.

A Grecian lad, as I hear tell,
One that many loved in vain,
Looked into a forest well
And never looked away again.
There, when the turf in springtime flowers,
With downward eye and gazes sad,
Stands amid the glancing showers
A jonquil, not a Grecian lad.

A. E. Housman

EXOTIC PERFUME

WHEN with closed eyes in autumn's eves of gold
I breathe the burning odours of your breast,
Before my eyes the hills of happy rest
Bathed in the sun's monotonous fires, unfold.

Islands of Lethe where exotic boughs
Bend with their burden of strange fruit bowed down,
Where men are upright, maids have never grown
Unkind, but bear a light upon their brows.

Led by that perfume to these lands of ease,
I see a port where many ships have flown
With sails outwearied of the wandering seas;

While the faint odours from green tamarisks blown,
Float to my soul and in my senses throng,
And mingle vaguely with the sailor's song.

Charles Baudelaire

Further Instructions

Come, my songs, let us express our baser passions.
Let us express our envy for the man with a steady job and no worry about the future.
You are very idle, my songs,
I fear you will come to a bad end.
You stand about the streets, You loiter at the corners and bus-stops,
You do next to nothing at all.

You do not even express our inner nobilitys,
You will come to a very bad end.

And I? I have gone half-cracked.
I have talked to you so much that I almost see you about me,
Insolent little beasts! Shameless! Devoid of clothing!

But you, newest song of the lot,
You are not old enough to have done much mischief.
I will get you a green coat out of China
With dragons worked upon it.
I will get you the scarlet silk trousers
From the statue of the infant Christ at Santa Maria Novella;
Lest they say we are lacking in taste,
Or that there is no caste in this family.

Ezra Pound

A Sad State Of Freedom

You waste the attention of your eyes,
the glittering labour of your hands,
and knead the dough enough for dozens of loaves
of which you'll taste not a morsel;
you are free to slave for others--
you are free to make the rich richer.

The moment you're born
they plant around you
mills that grind lies
lies to last you a lifetime.
You keep thinking in your great freedom
a finger on your temple
free to have a free conscience.

Your head bent as if half-cut from the nape,
your arms long, hanging,
your saunter about in your great freedom:
you're free
with the freedom of being unemployed.

You love your country
as the nearest, most precious thing to you.
But one day, for example,
they may endorse it over to America,
and you, too, with your great freedom--
you have the freedom to become an air-base.

You may proclaim that one must live
not as a tool, a number or a link
but as a human being--
then at once they handcuff your wrists.
You are free to be arrested, imprisoned
and even hanged.

There's neither an iron, wooden
nor a tulle curtain
in your life;
there's no need to choose freedom:
you are free.
But this kind of freedom
is a sad affair under the stars.

Nazim Hikmet

THE EYES OF BEAUTY

YOU are a sky of autumn, pale and rose;
But all the sea of sadness in my blood
Surges, and ebbing, leaves my lips morose,
Salt with the memory of the bitter flood.

In vain your hand glides my faint bosom o'er,
That which you seek, beloved, is desecrate
By woman's tooth and talon; ah, no more
Seek in me for a heart which those dogs ate.

It is a ruin where the jackals rest,
And rend and tear and glut themselves and slay--
A perfume swims about your naked breast!

Beauty, hard scourge of spirits, have your way!
With flame-like eyes that at bright feasts have flared
Burn up these tatters that the beasts have spared!

Charles Baudelaire

A Man Young And Old: VI. His Memories

We should be hidden from their eyes,
Being but holy shows
And bodies broken like a thorn
Whereon the bleak north blows,
To think of buried Hector
And that none living knows.

The women take so little stock
In what I do or say
They'd sooner leave their cosseting
To hear a jackass bray;
My arms are like the twisted thorn
And yet there beauty lay;

The first of all the tribe lay there
And did such pleasure take -
She who had brought great Hector down
And put all Troy to wreck -
That she cried into this ear,
'Strike me if I shriek.'

William Butler Yeats

Forgotten Master

As you gaze beyond the bay
With such wanness in your eyes,
You who have out-stayed your day,
Seeing other stars arise,
Slender though your lifehold be,
Still you dream beside the sea.

We, alas! may live too long,
Know the best part of us die;
Echo of your even-song
Hushes down the darkling sky . . .
But your greatness would be less
If you cherished bitterness.

I am sure you do not care
Though the rabble turn thumbs down;
Their neglect you well can bear,
knowing you have won your crown,
proudly given of your best . . .
Masterlinck, leave God the rest.

Robert W. Service

Extinguish Thou My Eyes

Extinguish Thou my eyes:I still can see Thee,
deprive my ears of sound:I still can hear Thee,
and without feet I still can come to Thee,
and without voice I still can call to Thee.

Sever my arms from me, I still will hold Thee
with all my heart as with a single hand,
arrest my heart, my brain will keep on beating,
and Should Thy fire at last my brain consume,
the flowing of my blood will carry Thee.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Sonnet XII: Cupid, Because Thou

Cupid, because thou shin'st in Stella's eyes,
That from her locks, thy day-nets, noe scapes free,
That those lips swell, so full of thee they be,
That her sweet breath makes oft thy flames to rise,

That in her breast thy pap well sugared lies,
That he Grace gracious makes thy wrongs, that she
What words so ere she speak persuades for thee,
That her clear voice lifts thy fame to the skies:

Thou countest Stella thine, like those whose powers
Having got up a breach by fighting well,
Cry, "Victory, this fair day all is ours."

Oh no, her heart is such a citadel,
So fortified with wit, stored with disdain,
That to win it, is all the skill and pain.

Sir Philip Sidney

The house where I was born (08)

I open my eyes, yes, itís the house where I was born,
Exactly as it was and nothing more.
The same small dining room whose window
Gives onto a peach tree that never grows.
A man and a woman are seated
At this window, facing one another,
They are talking, for once. And the child
Sees them from the end of the garden, watches them,
He knows that people can be born from such words.
Behind the parents the room is dark.
The man has just come home from work. Weariness,
The halo that surrounds all he does,
The only one given his son to see,
Is already removing him from this shore.

Yves Bonnefoy

Disdain Returned

He that loves a rosy cheek,
Or a coral lip admires,
Or from starlike eyes doth seek
Fuel to maintain his fires;
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.

But a smooth and steadfast mind,
Gentle thoughts and calm desires,
Hearts with equal love combined,
Kindle never-dying fires.
Where these are not, I despise
Lovely cheeks, or lips, or eyes.

No tears, Celia, now shall win
My resolved heart to return;
I have searched thy soul within,
And find naught but pride and scorn;
I have learned thy arts, and now
Can disdain as much as thou.
Some power, in my revenge convey
That love to her I cast away.

Thomas Carew

I Shall Return

I shall return again; I shall return
To laugh and love and watch with wonder-eyes
At golden noon the forest fires burn,
Wafting their blue-black smoke to sapphire skies.
I shall return to loiter by the streams
That bathe the brown blades of the bending grasses,
And realize once more my thousand dreams
Of waters rushing down the mountain passes.
I shall return to hear the fiddle and fife
Of village dances, dear delicious tunes
That stir the hidden depths of native life,
Stray melodies of dim remembered runes.
I shall return, I shall return again,
To ease my mind of long, long years of pain.

Claude McKay

The Dawning

Awake, sad heart, whom sorrow ever drowns ;
Take up thine eyes, which feed on earth ;
Unfold thy forehead, gathered into frowns ;
Thy Saviour comes, and with Him mirth :
Awake, awake,
And with a thankful heart His comforts take.
But thou dost still lament, and pine, and cry,
And feel His death, but not His victory.

Arise, sad heart ; if thou dost not withstand,
Christ's resurrection thine may be ;
Do not by hanging down break from the hand
Which, as it riseth, raiseth thee :
Arise, Arise;
And with His burial linen drie thine eyes.
Christ left His grave-clothes, that we might, when grief
Draws tears or blood, not want a handkerchief.

George Herbert

Love's Reality

I walk, I trust, with open eyes;
I've travelled half my worldly course;
And in the way behind me lies
Much vanity and some remorse;
I've lived to feel how pride may part
Spirits, tho' matched like hand and glove;
I've blushed for love's abode, the heart;
But have not disbelieved in love;
Nor unto love, sole mortal thing
Or worth immortal, done the wrong
To count it, with the rest that sing,
Unworthy of a serious song;
And love is my reward: for now,
When most of dead'ning time complain,
The myrtle blooms upon my brow,
Its odour quickens all my brain.

Coventry Patmore
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