The Mask

                                               - William Butler Yeats (1910)
`Put off that mask of burning gold
With emerald eyes.'
`O no, my dear, you make so bold
To find if hearts be wild and wise,
And yet not cold.'

`I would but find what's there to find,
Love or deceit.'
`It was the mask engaged your mind,
And after set your heart to beat,
Not what's behind.'

`But lest you are my enemy,
I must enquire.'
`O no, my dear, let all that be;
What matter, so there is but fire
In you, in me?'

From Poetry, a Rhapsody

                                                           - Jonathan Swift
So geographers, in Afric maps,
With savage pictures fill their gaps,
And o'er unhabitable downs
Place elephants for want of towns.

Sonnet #17

                                                      - William Shakespeare

Who will believe my verse in time to come,
If it were fill'd with your most high deserts?
Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb
Which hides your life and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of your eyes
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say 'This poet lies:
Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.'
So should my papers yellow'd with their age
Be scorn'd like old men of less truth than tongue,
And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage
And stretched metre of an antique song:
But were some child of yours alive that time,
You should live twice; in it and in my rhyme.

Lines Written in Early Spring

                                                       - William Wordsworth
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it griev'd me my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose-tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trail'd its wreathes;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopp'd and play'd:
Their thoughts I cannot measure,
But the least motion which they made,
It seem'd a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If I these thoughts my not prevent,
If such be of my creed the plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?


Catapult back to that moment
metal fingers reaching into your night-brain
my ghost pressed against your hot skin
breaking glass tenderly as a storm,
ominous rain and sweat,
melted, as we moved closer to kiss.

Love pities us, covers us,
shining under the illicit streetlights
and humid sheen of desire,
in the splendid robes knit by fate.
So openly we wear them
and remove them to reveal our trembling selves.

Look after you leap and give it all,
knees buckling at unbearable sweetness,
poised at the moment of entering the brutal soul,
the animal flash of lightning,
the arrow that never returns to the bow.

John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Sun Aug 29 14:52:13 2010