Classic Poetry Aloud

de Classic Poetry Aloud

Giving voice to the classic poetry of the past

Episodios

621: Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea, But we loved with a love that was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the wingèd seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsmen came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me; Yes! that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we, Of many far wiser than we; And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride, In her sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

620. The Snow Storm by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. ------------------------------------------------ The Snow-Storm by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields, Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, And veils the farm-house at the garden's end. The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed In a tumultuous privacy of storm. Come see the north wind's masonry. Out of an unseen quarry evermore Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer Curves his white bastions with projected roof Round every windward stake, or tree, or door. Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he For number or proportion. Mockingly, On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths; A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn; Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall, Maugre the farmer's sighs; and at the gate A tapering turret overtops the work. And when his hours are numbered, and the world Is all his own, retiring, as he were not, Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone, Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work, The frolic architecture of the snow. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

619. If by Rudyard Kipling

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Rudyard Kipling read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- If by Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936) If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!' If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

618. December by Dollie Radford

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Dollie Radford read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- December by Dollie Radford (1858 – 1920) No gardener need go far to find The Christmas rose, The fairest of the flowers that mark The sweet Year's close: Nor be in quest of places where The hollies grow, Nor seek for sacred trees that hold The mistletoe. All kindly tended gardens love December days, And spread their latest riches out In winter's praise. But every gardener's work this month Must surely be To choose a very beautiful Big Christmas tree, And see it through the open door In triumph ride, To reign a glorious reign within At Christmas-tide. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

617. The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------------- The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882) I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight. I breathed a song into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For who has sight so keen and strong That it can follow the flight of song? Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

616. Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest; So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

615. For Those Who Fail by Joaquin Miller

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Joaquin Miller read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- For Those Who Fail by Joaquin Miller (1837 – 1913) "All honor to him who shall win the prize," The world has cried for a thousand years; But to him who tries and who fails and dies, I give great honor and glory and tears. O great is the hero who wins a name, But greater many and many a time, Some pale-faced fellow who dies in shame, And lets God finish the thought sublime. And great is the man with a sword undrawn, And good is the man who refrains from wine; But the man who fails and yet fights on, Lo! he is the twin-born brother of mine! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

614. Alone by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Alone by Edgar Allan Poe(1809 – 1849) From childhood's hour I have not been As others were; I have not seen As others saw; I could not bring My passions from a common spring. From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I loved, I loved alone. Then- in my childhood, in the dawn Of a most stormy life- was drawn From every depth of good and ill The mystery which binds me still: From the torrent, or the fountain, From the red cliff of the mountain, From the sun that round me rolled In its autumn tint of gold, From the lightning in the sky As it passed me flying by, From the thunder and the storm, And the cloud that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

613. The Good-Morrow by John Donne

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John Donne read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- The Good-Morrow by John Donne (1572 – 1631) I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I Did, till we lov'd? were we not wean'd till then? But suck'd on countrey pleasures, childishly? Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den? T'was so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee. If ever any beauty I did see, Which I desir'd, and got, t'was but a dreame of thee. And now good morrow to our waking soules, Which watch not one another out of feare; For love, all love of other sights controules, And makes one little roome, an every where. Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone, Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne, Let us possesse one world, each hath one, and is one. My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares, And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest, Where can we finde two better hemispheares Without sharpe North, without declining West? What ever dyes, was not mixt equally; If our two loves be one, or, thou and I Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

612. Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson

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Emily Dickinson read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter:@classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) "Hope" is the thing with feathers— That perches in the soul— And sings the tune without the words— And never stops—at all— And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard— And sore must be the storm— That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm— I've heard it in the chillest land— And on the strangest Sea— Yet, never, in Extremity, It asked a crumb—of Me. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

611. Winter Nightfall by Robert Bridges

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Robert Bridges read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------------- Winter Nightfall by Robert Bridges (1844 - 1930) The day begins to droop,— Its course is done: But nothing tells the place Of the setting sun. The hazy darkness deepens, And up the lane You may hear, but cannot see, The homing wain. An engine pants and hums In the farm hard by: Its lowering smoke is lost In the lowering sky. The soaking branches drip, And all night through The dropping will not cease In the avenue. A tall man there in the house Must keep his chair: He knows he will never again Breathe the spring air: His heart is worn with work; He is giddy and sick If he rise to go as far As the nearest rick: He thinks of his morn of life, His hale, strong years; And braves as he may the night Of darkness and tears. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

610. Remember by Christina Georgina Rossetti

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Christina Georgina Rossetti read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Remember by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 – 1894) Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

609. Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats

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John Keats read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats (1795-1821) Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness, Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd, Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve; She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearièd, For ever piping songs for ever new; More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd, For ever panting, and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd, A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. Who are these coming to the sacrifice? To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? What little town by river or sea-shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed; Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty',—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

608. A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns

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Robert Burns read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------------- My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns (1759 –1796) My luve's like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June. My luve's like the melodie, That's sweetly play'd in tune. As fair art thou, my bonie lass, So deep in luve am I, And I will luve thee still, my Dear, Till a' the seas gang dry. Till a' the seas gang dry, my Dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun! O I will luve thee still, my Dear, While the sands o' life shall run. And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve, And fare-thee-weel a while! And I will come again, my Luve, Tho' it were ten thousand mile! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

607. The Lost Mistress by Robert Browning

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Robert Browning read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- The Lost Mistress by Robert Browning (1812 – 1889) All 's over, then: does truth sound bitter As one at first believes? Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter About your cottage eaves! And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly, I noticed that, to-day; One day more bursts them open fully —You know the red turns gray. To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest? May I take your hand in mine? Mere friends are we,—well, friends the merest Keep much that I resign: For each glance of the eye so bright and black, Though I keep with heart's endeavour,— Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back, Though it stay in my soul for ever!— Yet I will but say what mere friends say, Or only a thought stronger; I will hold your hand but as long as all may, Or so very little longer! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

606. The Rhodora by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- The Rhodora by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) On Being Asked Whence Is the Flower In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods, Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook, To please the desert and the sluggish brook. The purple petals, fallen in the pool, Made the black water with their beauty gay; Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool, And court the flower that cheapens his array. Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But, in my simple ignorance, suppose The self-same Power that brought me there brought you. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

605. The Garden of Love by William Blake

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William Blake read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. ----------------------------------------------- The Garden of Love by William Blake (1757 – 1827) I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen; A Chapel was built in the midst, Where I used to play on the green. And the gates of this Chapel were shut, And 'Thou shalt not' writ over the door; So I turned to the Garden of Love That so many sweet flowers bore. And I saw it was filled with graves, And tombstones where flowers should be; And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds, And binding with briars my joys and desires. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

604. Forget Not Yet by Sir Thomas Wyatt

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Sir Thomas Wyatt read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------------- Forget not yet by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503 – 1542) The Lover Beseecheth his Mistress not to Forget his Steadfast Faith and True Intent Forget not yet the tried intent Of such a truth as I have meant; My great travail so gladly spent, Forget not yet! Forget not yet when first began The weary life ye know, since whan The suit, the service, none tell can; Forget not yet! Forget not yet the great assays, The cruel wrong, the scornful ways, The painful patience in delays, Forget not yet! Forget not! O, forget not this!— How long ago hath been, and is, The mind that never meant amiss— Forget not yet! Forget not then thine own approved, The which so long hath thee so loved, Whose steadfast faith yet never moved: Forget not this! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2009

603. Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold

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Matthew Arnold read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold (1822 – 1888) The sea is calm to-night. The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits; on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand; Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! Only, from the long line of spray Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land, Listen! you hear the grating roar Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, At their return, up the high strand, Begin, and cease, and then again begin, With tremulous cadence slow, and bring The eternal note of sadness in. Sophocles long ago Heard it on the A gaean, and it brought Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow Of human misery; we Find also in the sound a thought, Hearing it by this distant northern sea. The Sea of Faith Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world. Ah, love, let us be true To one another! for the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

602. The Drum by John Scott

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John Scott read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------------- The Drum by John Scott (1731 – 1783) I hate that drum's discordant sound, Parading round, and round, and round: To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields, And lures from cities and from fields, To sell their liberty for charms Of tawdry lace and glitt'ring arms; And when Ambition's voice commands, To fight and fall in foreign lands. I hate that drum's discordant sound, Parading round, and round, and round: To me it talks of ravaged plains, And burning towns and ruin'd swains, And mangled limbs, and dying groans, And widow's tears, and orphans moans, And all that Misery's hand bestows, To fill a catalogue of woes. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

601. Written in Northampton County Asylum by John Clare

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John Clare read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. ------------------------------------------- Written in Northampton County Asylum by John Clare I am! yet what I am who cares, or knows? My friends forsake me like a memory lost. I am the self-consumer of my woes; They rise and vanish, an oblivious host, Shadows of life, whose very soul is lost. And yet I am—I live—though I am toss'd Into the nothingness of scorn and noise, Into the living sea of waking dream, Where there is neither sense of life, nor joys, But the huge shipwreck of my own esteem And all that 's dear. Even those I loved the best Are strange—nay, they are stranger than the rest. I long for scenes where man has never trod— For scenes where woman never smiled or wept— There to abide with my Creator, God, And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept, Full of high thoughts, unborn. So let me lie,- The grass below; above, the vaulted sky. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

600. Adlestrop by Edward Thomas

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Edward Thomas read by Classic Poetry Aloud: www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter:@classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- Adlestrop by Edward Thomas ((1878 – 1917) Yes. I remember Adlestrop — The name, because one afternoon Of heat the express-train drew up there Unwontedly. It was late June. The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat. No one left and no one came On the bare platform. What I saw Was Adlestrop — only the name And willows, willow-herb, and grass, And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry, No whit less still and lonely fair Than the high cloudlets in the sky. And for that minute a blackbird sang Close by, and around him, mistier, Farther and farther, all the birds Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

599. The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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Alfred, Lord Tennyson read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- The Charge of the Light Brigade Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 – 92) Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade!” Was there a man dismay’d? Not tho’ the soldier knew Some one had blunder’d: Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volley’d and thunder’d; Storm’d at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred. Flash’d all their sabres bare, Flash’d as they turn’d in air Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wonder’d: Plunged in the battery-smoke Right thro’ the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reel’d from the sabre-stroke Shatter’d and sunder’d. Then they rode back, but not Not the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volley’d and thunder’d; Storm’d at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came thro’ the jaws of Death, Back from the mouth of Hell, All that was left of them, Left of six hundred. When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wonder’d. Honor the charge they made! Honor the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

598. The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

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Thomas Hardy read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------- The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy (1840 – 1928) I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires. The land’s sharp features seem’d to be The Century’s corpse outleant, His crypt the cloudy canopy, The wind his death-lament. The ancient pulse of germ and birth Was shrunken hard and dry, And every spirit upon earth Seem'd fervourless as I. At once a voice arose among The bleak twigs overhead In a full-hearted evensong Of joy illimited; An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, In blast-beruffled plume, Had chosen thus to fling his soul Upon the growing gloom. So little cause for carollings Of such ecstatic sound Was written on terrestrial things Afar or nigh around, That I could think there trembled through His happy good-night air Some blessèd Hope, whereof he knew And I was unaware. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2007.

597. The Poplar Field by William Cowper

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William Cowper read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- The Poplar Field by William Cowper (1731 – 1800) The poplars are fell'd! farewell to the shade And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade; The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves, Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives. Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a view Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew; And now in the grass behold they are laid, And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade! The blackbird has fled to another retreat Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat, And the scene where his melody charm'd me before Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more. My fugitive years are all hasting away, And I must ere long lie as lowly as they, With a turf on my breast and a stone at my head, Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead. The change both my heart and my fancy employs, I reflect on the frailty of man and his joys; Short-lived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see, Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

596. Count That Day Lost by George Eliot

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George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) read by Classic Poetry Aloud: www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- Count That Day Lost by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) (1819 – 1880) If you sit down at set of sun And count the acts that you have done, And, counting, find One self-denying deed, one word That eased the heart of him who heard, One glance most kind That fell like sunshine where it went - Then you may count that day well spent. But if, through all the livelong day, You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay - If, through it all You've nothing done that you can trace That brought the sunshine to one face- No act most small That helped some soul and nothing cost - Then count that day as worse than lost. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008

595. The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling

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Rudyard Kipling read by Classic Poetry Aloud http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936) They shut the road through the woods Seventy years ago. Weather and rain have undone it again, And now you would never know There was once a road through the woods Before they planted the trees. It is underneath the coppice and heath, And the thin anemones. Only the keeper sees That, where the ring-dove broods, And the badgers roll at ease, There was once a road through the woods. Yet, if you enter the woods Of a summer evening late, When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools Where the otter whistles his mate. (They fear not men in the woods, Because they see so few) You will hear the beat of a horse's feet, And the swish of a skirt in the dew, Steadily cantering through The misty solitudes, As though they perfectly knew The old lost road through the woods. . . . But there is no road through the woods. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

594. Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

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Wilfred Owen read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------- Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen (1893 – 1918) What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, – The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; And bugles calling for them from sad shires. What candles may be held to speed them all? Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes. The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall; Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

593. Ah, how sweet it is to love by John Dryden

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John Dryden read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- Ah, how sweet it is to love by John Dryden (1631 – 1700) Ah, how sweet it is to love! Ah, how gay is young Desire! And what pleasing pains we prove When we first approach Love's fire! Pains of love be sweeter far Than all other pleasures are. Sighs which are from lovers blown Do but gently heave the heart: Ev'n the tears they shed alone Cure, like trickling balm, their smart: Lovers, when they lose their breath, Bleed away in easy death. Love and Time with reverence use, Treat them like a parting friend; Nor the golden gifts refuse Which in youth sincere they send: For each year their price is more, And they less simple than before. Love, like spring-tides full and high, Swells in every youthful vein; But each tide does less supply, Till they quite shrink in again: If a flow in age appear, 'Tis but rain, and runs not clear. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

592. from The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- from The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red, And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with the dead, The poor dead woman whom he loved, And murdered in her bed. He walked amongst the Trial Men In a suit of shabby grey; A cricket cap was on his head, And his step seemed light and gay; But I never saw a man who looked So wistfully at the day. I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky, And at every drifting cloud that went With sails of silver by. I walked, with other souls in pain, Within another ring, And was wondering if the man had done A great or little thing, When a voice behind me whispered low, "That fellow’s got to swing." Dear Christ! the very prison walls Suddenly seemed to reel, And the sky above my head became Like a casque of scorching steel; And, though I was a soul in pain, My pain I could not feel. I only knew what hunted thought Quickened his step, and why He looked upon the garish day With such a wistful eye; The man had killed the thing he loved And so he had to die. Yet each man kills the thing he loves By each let this be heard, Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word, The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword! Some kill their love when they are young, And some when they are old; Some strangle with the hands of Lust, Some with the hands of Gold: The kindest use a knife, because The dead so soon grow cold. Some love too little, some too long, Some sell, and others buy; Some do the deed with many tears, And some without a sigh: For each man kills the thing he loves, Yet each man does not die. He does not die a death of shame On a day of dark disgrace, Nor have a noose about his neck, Nor a cloth upon his face, Nor drop feet foremost through the floor Into an empty place. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

591. Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 – 1919) Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone. For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own. Sing, and the hills will answer; Sigh, it is lost on the air. The echoes bound to a joyful sound, But shrink from voicing care. Rejoice, and men will seek you; Grieve, and they turn and go. They want full measure of all your pleasure, But they do not need your woe. Be glad, and your friends are many; Be sad, and you lose them all. There are none to decline your nectared wine, But alone you must drink life's gall. Feast, and your halls are crowded; Fast, and the world goes by. Succeed and give, and it helps you live, But no man can help you die. There is room in the halls of pleasure For a long and lordly train, But one by one we must all file on Through the narrow aisles of pain. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

590. Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

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Wilfred Owen read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to poetry of the past. ----------------------------------- Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind. Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . . Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

589. Invictus by William Ernest Henley

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William Ernest Henley read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- Invictus by William Ernest Henley (1849 – 1903) Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

588. How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------- How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861) How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

587. O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

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Walt Whitman read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to poetry of the past. ----------------------------------- O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills; For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding; For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head; It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! But I, with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.