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Herman Melville

· Herman Melville: Art (Poem) · Herman Melville: America (Poem) · Herman Melville: Shelley’s Vision (Poem) · Herman Melville: The Land Of Love (Poem) · Herman Melville: The Maldive Shark (Poem) · HERMAN MELVILLE: Gold · HERMAN MELVILLE: Pipe Song · HART CRANE: At Melville’s Tomb

Herman Melville: Art (Poem)

 

Art

In placid hours well-pleased we dream
Of many a brave unbodied scheme.
But form to lend, pulsed life create,
What unlike things must meet and mate:
A flame to melt–a wind to freeze;
Sad patience–joyous energies;
Humility–yet pride and scorn;
Instinct and study; love and hate;
Audacity–reverence. These must mate,
And fuse with Jacob’s mystic heart,
To wrestle with the angel–Art.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
Art

 

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More in: Archive M-N, Archive M-N, Herman Melville


Herman Melville: America (Poem)

 

America

I
Where the wings of a sunny Dome expand
I saw a Banner in gladsome air-
Starry, like Berenice’s Hair-
Afloat in broadened bravery there;
With undulating long-drawn flow,
As rolled Brazilian billows go
Voluminously o’er the Line.
The Land reposed in peace below;
The children in their glee
Were folded to the exulting heart
Of young Maternity.

II
Later, and it streamed in fight
When tempest mingled with the fray,
And over the spear-point of the shaft
I saw the ambiguous lightning play.
Valor with Valor strove, and died:
Fierce was Despair, and cruel was Pride;
And the lorn Mother speechless stood,
Pale at the fury of her brood.

III
Yet later, and the silk did wind
Her fair cold for;
Little availed the shining shroud,
Though ruddy in hue, to cheer or warm
A watcher looked upon her low, and said-
She sleeps, but sleeps, she is not dead.
But in that sleep contortion showed
The terror of the vision there-
A silent vision unavowed,
Revealing earth’s foundation bare,
And Gorgon in her hidden place.
It was a thing of fear to see
So foul a dream upon so fair a face,
And the dreamer lying in that starry shroud.

IV
But from the trance she sudden broke-
The trance, or death into promoted life;
At her feet a shivered yoke,
And in her aspect turned to heaven
No trace of passion or of strife-
A clear calm look. It spake of pain,
But such as purifies from stain-
Sharp pangs that never come again-
And triumph repressed by knowledge meet,
Power delicate, and hope grown wise,
And youth matured for age’s seat-
Law on her brow and empire in her eyes.
So she, with graver air and lifted flag;
While the shadow, chased by light,
Fled along the far-brawn height,
And left her on the crag.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
America

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More in: Archive M-N, Archive M-N, Herman Melville


Herman Melville: Shelley’s Vision (Poem)

   

Shelley’s Vision

Wandering late by morning seas
When my heart with pain was low–
Hate the censor pelted me–
Deject I saw my shadow go.

In elf-caprice of bitter tone
I too would pelt the pelted one:
At my shadow I cast a stone.

When lo, upon that sun-lit ground
I saw the quivering phantom take
The likeness of St. Stephen crowned:
Then did self-reverence awake.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
Shelley’s Vision

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More in: Archive M-N, Archive M-N, Archive S-T, Archive S-T, Herman Melville, Shelley, Percy Byssche


Herman Melville: The Land Of Love (Poem)

 

The Land Of Love

Hail! voyagers, hail!
Whence e’er ye come, where’er ye rove,
No calmer strand,
No sweeter land,
Will e’er ye view, than the Land of Love!

Hail! voyagers, hail!
To these, our shores, soft gales invite:
The palm plumes wave,
The billows lave,
And hither point fix’d stars of light!

Hail! voyagers, hail!
Think not our groves wide brood with gloom;
In this, our isle,
Bright flowers smile:
Full urns, rose-heaped, these valleys bloom.

Hail! voyagers, hail!
Be not deceived; renounce vain things;
Ye may not find
A tranquil mind,
Though hence ye sail with swiftest wings.

Hail! voyagers, hail!
Time flies full fast; life soon is o’er;
And ye may mourn,
That hither borne,
Ye left behind our pleasant shore.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
The Land Of Love

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More in: Archive M-N, Archive M-N, Herman Melville


Herman Melville: The Maldive Shark (Poem)

  

The Maldive Shark

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,
How alert in attendance be.
From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw,
They have nothing of harm to dread,
But liquidly glide on his ghastly flank
Or before his Gorgonian head;
Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth
In white triple tiers of glittering gates,
And there find a haven when peril’s abroad,
An asylum in jaws of the Fates!
They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey,
Yet never partake of the treat —
Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull,
Pale ravener of horrible meat.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
The Maldive Shark

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More in: Archive M-N, Archive M-N, Herman Melville, Natural history


HERMAN MELVILLE: Gold

herman_melville103

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)

Gold

We rovers bold,
To the land of Gold,
Over the bowling billows are gliding:
Eager to toil,
For the golden spoil,
And every hardship biding.
See! See!
Before our prows’ resistless dashes
The gold-fish fly in golden flashes!
‘Neath a sun of gold,
We rovers bold,
On the golden land are gaining;
And every night,
We steer aright,
By golden stars unwaning!
All fires burn a golden glare:
No locks so bright as golden hair!
All orange groves have golden gushings;
All mornings dawn with golden flushings!
In a shower of gold, say fables old,
A maiden was won by the god of gold!
In golden goblets wine is beaming:
On golden couches kings are dreaming!
The Golden Rule dries many tears!
The Golden Number rules the spheres!
Gold, gold it is, that sways the nations:
Gold! gold! the center of all rotations!
On golden axles worlds are turning:
With phosphorescence seas are burning!
All fire-flies flame with golden gleamings!
Gold-hunters’ hearts with golden dreamings!
With golden arrows kings are slain:
With gold we’ll buy a freeman’s name!
In toilsome trades, for scanty earnings,
At home we’ve slaved, with stifled yearnings:
No light! no hope! Oh, heavy woe!
When nights fled fast, and days dragged slow.
But joyful now, with eager eye,
Fast to the Promised Land we fly:
Where in deep mines,
The treasure shines;
Or down in beds of golden streams,
The gold-flakes glance in golden gleams!
How we long to sift,
That yellow drift!
Rivers! Rivers! cease your goings!
Sand-bars! rise, and stay the tide!
‘Till we’ve gained the golden flowing;
And in the golden haven ride!

Herman Melville poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Herman Melville


HERMAN MELVILLE: Pipe Song

herman_melville103

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)

Pipe Song

Care is all stuff:–
Puff! Puff!
To puff is enough:–
Puff! Puff
More musky than snuff,
And warm is a puff:–
Puff! Puff
Here we sit mid our puffs,
Like old lords in their ruffs,
Snug as bears in their muffs:–
Puff! Puff
Then puff, puff, puff,
For care is all stuff,
Puffed off in a puff–
Puff! Puff!

Herman Melville poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Herman Melville


HART CRANE: At Melville’s Tomb

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Hart Crane
(1889 – 1932)

At Melville’s Tomb

Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge
The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath
An embassy. Their numbers as he watched,
Beat on the dusty shore and were obscured.

And wrecks passed without sound of bells,
The calyx of death’s bounty giving back
A scattered chapter, livid hieroglyph,
The portent wound in corridors of shells.

Then in the circuit calm of one vast coil,
Its lashings charmed and malice reconciled,
Frosted eyes there were that lifted altars;
And silent answers crept across the stars.

Compass, quadrant and sextant contrive
No farther tides . . . High in the azure steeps
Monody shall not wake the mariner.
This fabulous shadow only the sea keeps.

Hart Crane poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Crane, Hart, Herman Melville


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