A Poem for Sunday: The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe

Image credit: roystudio / 123RF Stock Photo

Image credit: roystudio / 123RF Stock Photo

Lo! ’t is a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly—
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Wo!

That motley drama—oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout,
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.Out—out are the lights—out all!
And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.

    A Poem for Sunday: "The Paradox" by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    Image credit: serazetdinov / 123RF Stock Photo

    Image credit: serazetdinov / 123RF Stock Photo


    The Paradox

    I am the mother of sorrows,
    I am the ender of grief;
    I am the bud and the blossom,
    I am the late-falling leaf.

    I am thy priest and thy poet,
    I am thy serf and thy king;
    I cure the tears of the heartsick,
    When I come near they shall sing.

    White are my hands as the snowdrop;
    Swart are my fingers as clay;
    Dark is my frown as the midnight,
    Fair is my brow as the day.

    Battle and war are my minions,
    Doing my will as divine;
    I am the calmer of passions,
    Peace is a nursling of mine.

    Speak to me gently or curse me,
    Seek me or fly from my sight;
    I am thy fool in the morning,
    Thou art my slave in the night.

    Down to the grave I will take thee,
    Out from the noise of the strife,
    Then shalt thou see me and know me–
    Death, then, no longer, but life.

    Then shalt thou sing at my coming,
    Kiss me with passionate breath,
    Clasp me and smile to have thought me
    Aught save the foeman of death.

    Come to me, brother, when weary,
    Come when thy lonely heart swells;
    I’ll guide thy footsteps and lead thee
    Down where the Dream Woman dwells.

    Paul Laurence Dunbar

      Quote of the Day

      The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.— Jimi Hendrix

      A Poem for Sunday: "Death Be Not Proud" by John Donne

      A very close family friend passed overnight.  That along with what happened in Boston and Texas this week has had me thinking about death this morning.  It’s very painful for the family and friends left behind—especially when it comes unexpectedly but as Donne says in his famous poem, I don’t think that those moving on should fear it. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"]image "Waking up with the sun" Smithsonian Magazine Photo of the Day: July 16, 2012
      Reni Bitting (Medina, Ohio); Photographed August 2011, Okaloosa Island, Destin, FL[/caption] DEATH BE NOT PROUD Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee do go, Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery. Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell, And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.