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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Three Centos

Below is a trio of centos--each 100 lines--that I've composed over the years.

The first, "Museum of Natural Poetry," names 100 dinosaurs. Each one speaks a line of Middle English verse. Each also, just for fun, has a different verb.  A section of this poem has appeared on the Early Book Society website (see A Dinosaur Cento).

The second, "Musical Questions," uses 100 lines from songs and poems.

The third, "Cento for Susie Wilson," is a memoir-memorial in poetry for a dear friend; each line is a distinct memory.

The Museum of Natural Poetry

Late Triassic

“Were beth they biforen us weren?”  Eoraptor wonders.

“Fra bank to bank, fra wood to wood I rin,” pants Coelophysis.

Lystrosaurus looks up, amazed: “In stede of blew, thus may ye were al greene.”

Melanorosaurus mutters, “The flesh is bruckle, the Feynd is slee.”

“Blood must be my body’s balmer,” Liliensternus claims.

Herrerasaurus smiles: “Wounds so wide be wells of life to the good.”

Nanotyrannus, modestly: “I cannot eat but little meat.”

Aliwalia snaps, “Beware, therefore: the blind eateth many a fly.”

Camelotia complains, “Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.”

Lufengosaurus scoffs at him: “The weddir is warme and fair.”

“Love me so that I it fele,” Frenguellosaurus pleads.

“An hendy hap ichabbe y-yent,” explains Pisanosaurus.

“Western wind, when wilt thou blow?” Riojasaurus cries.

Hear Aegyptosaurus sing, “Ich habbe y-yerned yore.”

Lilts Plateosaurus, “Green groweth the holly!”

Spinosaurus dreams, “Toward my deeth with wind in stere I sayle.”

Early Jurassic

“What's to come is still unsure,” equivocates Scutellosaurus.

“To Whinny-muir thou comest at last,” Barapasaurus belches.

“Winter wakeneth al my care,” Yunnanosaurus grumbles.

“All do not all things well,” Eustreptospondylus knows.

Dilophosaurus whines: “Where sall we gang and dine to-day?”

But “Timor Mortis conturbat me,” Massospondylus replies.

Piatnitzkysaurus apologizes, “I wil in time whan I may.”


Late Jurassic

“For many blessèd gifts,” hymns  Diplodocus, “O happy happy land!”

“Nature could not sorrow hide,” Zygongosaurus sighs.

Ultrasaurus exults: “My heart is high above, my body is full of bliss.”

Gongbusaurus vocalizes, “In fresh and gallant green.”

“Let there be room to eat,” proclaims Tyrannosaurus rex.

“Now thus, now than, so gois the game,” Compsognathus reasons.

 “No fights me taught the death to quell,” calls Allosaurus, up from Hell.

“Strong are the pains I daily prove,”  Szechuanosaurus boasts.

“The mean diet, no delicate fare,” Apatosaurus orders.

Saurophagus talks while chewing, “Tyl it hadde of the erthe yeten his fylle.”

Ornitholestes interrogates, “Shall they not make me fear that they have swallowed thee?”

“Doubtless but dreid I de,” screams Tornieria.

Philosophical Brachiosaurus declares, “For none can call again the passèd time.”

“Adieu the flower of whole delite!” Chungkingosaurus mourns.

Dryosaurus meditates:  “Dead forms a never-dying life do show.”

“Would God my woes were at an end,” weeps Pelorosaurus.

“Our plesance here is all vain glory,” Seismosaurus preaches.

“Now is this song both sung and past—” concludes Yangchuanosaurus.


Early Cretaceous

“How should I love, and I so young?” queries Leaellynosaura.

Vows Podokesaurus, “A beggar may be liberal of love.”

“Cum, Somer, cum, the suete sesoùn and sonne!” Hypsilophodon summons.

Fulgoretherium testifies: “The flagrant camamel!”

“—Quhom I luve I dare nocht assay!” Vulcanodon thunders.

“Thus contrar thingis evirmar / Discoweryingis off the tohir ar,” Erectopus discerns.

Bothriospondylus bemoans: “After the day there cometh the dark night.”

But Baryonyx sounds secure: “Ne may not fail of good vitayle.”

“Say me, wight in the broom, / What is me for to doon?” rhymes Amargasaurus.

“In somer when the shawes be sheyne,” Silvisaurus carols.

“Astonishment takes from us sense of pain,” salutes Hoplitosaurus.

“Look in, how wet a wound is here!” chops smacking: Carnotaurus.

Deinonychus describes a kill: “His woundes bledying day and night.”

“And wilt thou leave me thus?” chirps Psittacosaurus.



Late Cretaceous

“Hunger is sharper nor a thorn,” Ankylosaurus moans.

“In a harbour grene aslepe whereas I lay,” recalls Gravitholus.

“Nou hit is, and nou hit nys,” Anatotitan senses.

Oviraptor rhapsodizes: “Men are fools that wish to die!”

“Poor soul that thinks no creature harm,” clucks Muttaburrasaurus.

“The shallow murmur but the deep are dumb,” nods Ornatotholus.

“This winter’s weather it waxeth cold,” announces Antarctosaurus.

“Blow northerne wynde! blou, blou, blou!” shouts Avimimus, arms akimbo.

“What shall, alas!, become of me?” frets Microceratops.

“Time doth work what no man knoweth,” Orodromeus orates.

“But time drives flocks from field to fold,” Panoplosaurus observes.

Laments Chirostenotes, “O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!”

“This world uncertain is,” opines Montanoceratops.

“What are you when the rose is blown?” demands Lambeosaurus.

Grins Titanosaurus, “I know I'm one of Nature's little kings.”

“There is no drinking after death,” cautions Pinacosaurus.

“Wormes woweth under cloude,” intuits Chasmosaurus.

“This world, that passeth sone as floures fayre,” notes Denversaurus.

“There is no solas under hevene,” Rhabdodon bewails.

“Thynke howe short tyme thou  hast abyden here,” warns Tarbosaurus.

Talarurus resigns himself, “Since flesh might not endure.”

“Quhois piteous death dois to my heart sic paine,” lies Troodon.

Blazons Centrosaurus, “Ster, planeit, firmament, and spheir, / fire, erd, air, and water cleir!”

“Hit is full merry in feyre foreste,” Argyrosaurus brays.

“With bankis that bloomis on every brae,” hums Homalocephale.

“Ich libbe in love-longinge,” trills Pachycephalosaurus.

 “For hire love al nyht ich wake,” Goyocephale serenades.

“Now goode swete, love me wel, I preye,” cajoles Velociraptor.

“Thank Lufe that list you to his merci call!” Parasaurolophus trumpets.

“Balow, my babe, lie still and sleep!” Maiasaura croons.

Struthiomimus invites politely: “Come ant daunce wyth me.”

“The nicht is neir gone,” whispers Opisthocoelicaudia.

“I gloffin up aghast, quhen I her miss on nicht,” gasps Hadrosaurus.

“I think Nature hath lost the mould / Where she her shape did take,” swears Stegosaurus.

“Your mind is light, soon lost for new love,” Kritosaurus judges.

“Heart, let her go, for I can not endure it—” renounces Lophorhothon.

“See the clear sun, the world’s bright eye,” Stygimoloch squints upwards.

“How long ago hath been, and is,” Shanshanosaurus laughs.

“And love me still but know not why—” begs Xenotarsosaurus.

“I can no more delays devise,” Triceratops surrenders.

“Say that lamenting Love marreth the Musicall,” Gilmoreosaurus murmurs.

Foretells Ornithomimus, “Love wing’d my Hopes and taught me how to fly.”

“And if I starve, who will record my cursed end?” Nodosaurus wonders.

“Remember then this lullaby,” Thescelosaurus says.

Musical Questions

Who has seen the wind?

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Did He Who made the Lamb, make thee?

How old is Spring, Miranda?

What of “what of?”

Where are the snows of yesteryear?

Did she put on his knowledge with his power?

Are you going to Scarborough fair?

Are you—nobody—too?

What is our innocence?  What, our guilt?

“What is the grass?”


“Is, is there balm in Gilead?”

Are you sleeping, Brother John?

“And how do you do, and how do you do, and how do you do again?”

Is it any wonder?

Does ice grow on a vine?

Do you love me?  Do I love him?

’Twas half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)

Do you remember when we used to sit in the government yard in Trenchtown?

Do you remember when we used to sing?

What’ll I do when you are far away and I’m so blue?

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms?

Do you know the muffin man?

Who knows how long I’ve loved you?

Are you lonely tonight?

How can people be so heartless?


And yet, what is this quintessence of dust?

What if Lucy should be dead?

Should old acquaintance be forgot?

Who’s reaching out to capture a moment?

How many years must a mountain exist?

How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest?

How do I love thee?

Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?

Are you my Angel?

Do you wanna dance?

Haven’t I been swee-ee-eet to you?

Hey, Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?

Where did you come from, baby dear?

What’s Penelope got that I don’t?

Ma nishtana, halaila hazeh, mikol ha'leilot?

Oh pretty baby, won’t you?

Can’t you hear the whistle blowin’?


Where is love?  Does it fall from stars above?

Who dat man?

Can you surrey?  Can you picnic?

Ain’t you got no rhymes for me?

Where do they all belong?

And who but my lady Greensleeves?

I said to myself, “Do you have a plan?”

Has anybody seen my gal?

Has anybody here seen my old friend?

Shall the circle be unbroken by and by?

Shall we dance?

And wilt thou leave me thus?

Who is it who has done this deed, this ill deed done to me?

Is it really the end?

Is that all there is?

Who’s that sneaking ’round the corner?

What’s it all about?


Where do bad folks go when they die?

What kind of fool am I?

Why do the stars go on shining?

Will there be any stars in my crown?

How does it feel to be on your own?

What happens to a dream deferred?

Am I my brother’s keeper?

My God, why have you forsaken me?

What light through yonder window breaks?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older?

Why shouldn’t we fall in love?

Can you dig it?

How does your garden grow?

Do you love me now that I can dance?

Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight?

Sherry baby, won’t you come out tonight?

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light?

Why won’t you dance with me, now?


Oh where, oh where did my little dog go?

What became of your bloodhounds, my handsome young man?

How much is that doggie in the window?

How can there be a cherry without a stone?

Met you not with my true love by the way as you came?

Are the stars out tonight?

Who wrote the Book of Love?

When will it ever end?

“Who’s the criminal, Sappho?”

Loverman, where can you be?

Oh, Jawbone, where is it you belong?

Were the graves all right in their bushings?

You, with your fresh thoughts, care for, can you?

“Dear heart, how like you this?”

Where sall we gang and dine to-day?

Is DEATH that woman’s mate?

Shall we gather at the river?


If I told him, would he like it? Would he like it if I told him?

In these shoes?

Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?

Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

Soldier, soldier, won’t you marry me, with your musket, fife, and drum?

Would you like to swing on a star?

What was that promise that you made?

Won’t you please, please help me?

Won’t you be my girl?

Oh dear, what can the matter be?

Did you ever see a lassie go this way and that?

Cento for Susie Wilson


How would I be Susie, or even aspire to be like she was?

Would I want to recreate that much distance, a seven-hour Amtrak ride & one hour more in the car from Lewistown?

Would I copy her pocket-ripped olive-drab quilted jacket, or the screened-in porch with its scents of apples, dried weeds, laundry, dogs; with the right-wall row of pegs where jackets hung, field boots below them?

Or would I want the kitchen window where late morning sun above the ridge passed giant orb-spider webs first, then her bright light catchers

Or the dining-room table with silverware, crystal, & linen set for twenty

Her wildflower garden’s woody rectangle, left of the gasoline drum by the garages, its irrigation hose that ran upbank from Aughwick Creek

The water-filled upside-down top of a silo, her homemade bog at the house-edge of the field, where she gathered green-flowering pitcher-plants & water-loving weeds

The walk down the lane past the tenant farmer’s house to a square-nail colonial with a cold-water cellar, with rising damp that repatterned the wallpaper, with extra beds, dressers, & pale tattered quilts for the children, their spouses & in-laws?

Who is there now to climb the ridge with the dogs or tame goat behind her, hunting for anything buried or rare & blossoming; signs of where deer lay overnight, where water ran in spring, where kids found arrowheads one summer

To point to where the stream from the ridge, after filling the red-house cellar, ran out to the roadside then pooled so that watercress flourished?

She got into pioneer style: made soap, made whitewash, raised chickens & killed them herself for the table (“Luckily,” Sarah said, “this didn’t last too long”)

Where is her quilting room equipped for eternal delight like a pharaoh’s chamber, every template, notion, frame, & patternbook at hand?

Susie who married a sailor & ran the farm till he retired to raise hogs unsuccessfully, cornfield, battered pickup’s bumper sticker: Crime Does Not Pay. Neither Does Farming

Sue, with white nights in wintertime, Siamese cat & crochet on her lap, grief & anxiety, loneliness, memories never to be put right

With car travel, east west north & south of Mount Union, to Broadway, college museums, concerts, glamorous anywhere-but-heres

Well over two hundred thou on the Saab’s odometer?

At the IGA choosing hams, beefsteaks, watermelons, pretzels, gallons of pickles, half-gallons of half-and-half for a week of guests, for a dockside picnic lunch at Raystown Dam

Or baking trays of the butter crescents baby Andrew longed for, bread that rose higher than any loaf anywhere, tasting of yeast long after?

For big dinners, she would pull every pan & mixing bowl from her cupboards.  Wilson & Stan liked to smoke cigars, but Wilson would wash all the dishes, & he said Ma’am

Or how she & Wilson would tune to big-band swing early autumn evenings, Ms. & Chester cross-eyed, black-tailed, purring at their feet

Her Army photograph, wood-framed, in uniform, before New Zealand sun burned out her smoothness, which fell before age fifty like Auden’s features into valleys

With stories of how the nurses distilled their own moonshine & dove under beds of wounded men when shells blew the windows in?

Could I be Susie with pity & love when we lost Alf & Laura’s house?

Alf was a farmhand.  Laura watched the kids & Sue “never,” said Sarah, “had to worry about who was with us, ever.  Laura raised us”

Or Susie swearing she’d kill anyone who ever hurt her girls, holding an apple peeler like a dagger

Putting up jam from quinces, from damsons that rained from the slender plum tree in the sideyard, bringing in greens & roots from the kitchen garden

Who handed Sarah a spoon for gold Montmorecy cherry preserves made from the fruit of a tree that grew by the graveyard wall somewhere—was it over in Germantown Valley?—so she could eat it right from the jar, the year she was carrying Drew?

How would I be like Susie, or even aspire to be her age?

Sue who nursed Joanne through six months of bed-confined pregnancy, until Chris was born Put the wide Imari bowl into my hands & told me to run outside that cold November, when the new woodstove caught the dining room ceiling on fire

Then never said a word of reproach to us, though all that water we poured from the second floor into the heat vent went nowhere near the fire, just ruined the ceiling?

Susie who helped me write the cento of songs & the wildflower cento

Tested every child’s mind in the county, whom each child knew

Susie who’d bake four pies at a time?

Susie who visited old people, luckless farmers, the weak of mind, people in mourning, the bedridden, relatives, stopping at each junk shop, yard sale, & flea market on the way

Who drove me all the way to Quebec, where the Halfe Moone settled

Dug up three roadside larches in New Hampshire to plant back home, saying how when the farm’s first larch went gold then bare on her that autumn, she’d thought it died, then stood amazed before its new spring needles

Stood and washed each teacup mug plate & cooking pot at Ruth Stone’s, summer 1983, Goshen-Four-Corners, Vermont?

Sue in occupied Japan, where she lost her first-born daughter, a toddler who pulled down a kettle of boiling water when no one was looking? “She never spoke of that child ever, & I doubt we would have known, except for my Grandmother Wilson, who took it upon herself to tell us, & Susie was furious” and it had been Wilson who should have been watching her

Then Bill was born next, & they came home again with the Japanese cradle that Joey would teeth on in Hudson, forty years later

Susie who taught me how to knit again after twenty years

Who made Monkey-B from a fresh pair of red-heeled farmer’s socks for Sarah, then one for Drew, the one that a decade later came to Joey, his favorite toy

Who had the best-fed barn cats in the region, with milk & vitamins; they weren’t even named, but she saw that they had their shots

Bought the best thistle-seed birdfeed at IGA

Adopted stray dogs despite herself, fat Maxwell who came in a snowstorm: “Don’t anybody feed him: he’ll go away” but he stayed fourteen years

Sue who chose the gray barn kitten leaping over furrows, affectionate & feral, to be our cat?

And we weren’t her only younger friends to travel miles & hours just to see her; one boy would drive down from Toronto to help her look for trillium.  Even the Amish farmwives neighbored with her.

Susie who told me to quit the Museum & finish my degree

Listened while I raved about & unraveled Kristeva, as she hurtled us over summer mountain roads in the little Saab

With nothing to say to me after I read that weird personal out of the Village Voice?

Who came “to the city, strange city, to have dinner with us,” hearing “the song of the windshield wipers” & meeting us in the rain on Fifty-First Street?

Susie at our wedding dressed in pink

Or still stiff from a partial mastectomy, trying to scrape down wallpaper from our Hudson living room—“There are twenty layers!”

Oh, she was indefatigable, putting up tons of plaster alone in the red-brick colonial house after one big fire, while Laura watched saying, “Plasterin’s easy; I seen lots of people plaster”

And young Bill took his pole & just went fishing; they were dragging the river for him one day, & he was downstream fishing, six years old

Sue of the Wilcox & Gibbs, a chain-stitch machine bought at auction without a needle, operational now thanks to An Old Reliable up in Chatham

With her heavy foot on the gas over two-way bacon-strip backroads up & down Jack’s Mountain, cursing the pokers?

Of the old pine chest, five dollars at auction, a couple of Amish hex signs compass-etched beneath the lid,

Sue of Thanksgivings, trying bigger roasting pans each autumn

With “The Blue Juniata” music on the old black parlor upright, Molly singing “When I Marry Mr. Snow”

And hushing her mother from singing along, because Sue had a pretty voice but was never on key

With the front-room collection of African violets, before Wilson fixed it up for his computer

Hand-crocheted doilies, napkins, & antimacassars, neatly pressed

China plates of scenes of Pennsylvania

Silver teaspoons, all polished up, in a cream pitcher on the table

Encouraging me to buy button boxes, button jars, bags of buttons; scrubbing big old pearls or silver treasures, broken watch-chains, tiny Eastern Star sisterhood pins, tin Palmer Method Script badges

Who wrote to Jeanne when Grandpa died, “There is just something in us which makes losing our old folks very sad, however well we think we have prepared ourselves”

Susie whose midnight rocking chairs, evening afghans & daily silver are working with Sarah, Molly, Joanne, & me in our far-apart houses

With bright plastic tape marking plants by backroads & highways in seven counties, waiting for her to return to gather corms & spores in springtime—

Said Laura, “Sue knows the name of every weed that ever growed”—

Susie who didn’t talk much on the phone, who seldom wrote letters (the only one she sent me is still in the oversized transferware sugarbowl from Gettysburg Antiques, its left handle broken in another move this year, another warning that nothing is permanent, that when we lose people we lose worlds they created, that only memory stays, & even that only in some places)

A Navy nurse baking brownies one night in the galley, & Wilson smelled them; that’s how they met

Susie, whose real name was Frances, & that’s who she was when she married him just before they shipped out, so she’d had to transfer to the Army

Where her sister nurses renamed her during the war—yes, “If You Knew Susie”

Born in Bedford, Virginia, & raised by Aunt Jo when her dad died young:  “Harvey was only ten days old, & every aunt took a kid”

And she worked in the creamery under the Twin  Peaks of Otter, but as Sarah says, “She’d do anything to get away from Bedford, apparently”

So she hightailed it out of there first chance she got, nurse’s training at Lynchberg, Philly, & Topeka, & never went back

Though Aunt Jo’s beautiful white frame house is still there that they’d lived in, in Burke’s Hill, Bedford, where breakfasts were fried eggs, fried apples, in bacon or sausage fat, biscuits & gravy & real cream in your coffee (“Ignorance,” Sarah said, “’s so much more fun than denial,” but I don’t know: I cherish the moments I’ve spent under thrall to both)

Not far from Turkey Mountain where the family homestead stood from 1720, burned before 1900, though the slave cabins lasted through the fifties

Sue who went back for a Bachelors in school psychology in her forties, then two Masters & an education degree

Susie who watched Joe lift his head & roll tummy to back on the flowered hook-rug at Molly’s in Matamoras,

But when he took his first steps at Sarah’s out in Urbana, she’d left the room, saving her strength, not able to keep food down

Susie that night in the antique bed, under its gold satin canopy’s gathered rosette, leafing a moment through a small leatherbound Blue Bird by Maeterlinck, brought to her by Gene?

And she gave us the enormous cracked wooden bowl, patch of bark still on it

And she gave us the wrought-iron pot rack on the kitchen wall in Hudson

And she gave us the mule-eared rush-seat chairs she’d stored on garage rafters

And she gave us the Swedish ivy that mutated, putting out four leaves

And she gave us the knotty pine dresser she’d fixed up with oak-leaf-and-acorn drawer pulls from her Greenville apartment

And she gave us the Amish nutmeg grater

And she gave us Great-Great-Grandma Wilson’s rocker from the attic, after she reupholstered it with bittersweet velour

And she gave us the bedstead & mattresses she’d bought for Alf & Laura’s, the tenant house we tried to purchase after they were gone, though Wilson sold it off with red house & farmland, but Sarah & I would share it so Susie could always be right next door

But the realtor cheated us, & it was Sue who hired the lawyer & got us our five hundred bucks returned: the check arrived five days before Joe was born

And she made the warm-toned lap robe down cellar in Hudson, in Susie’s Room

And she made the patchwork banner on the banister rail upstairs

And she made the pink-backed quilt from the Craryville quilt-top in Joe’s room

And once on a summer morning she bought a hand-cranked ice-cream maker for a dollar at a yard sale, & we had peach pie à la mode

Gandhi said to be the peace we wanted in the world, & that is what I guess that she was doing

Holding her daughter & weeping in the driveway for the years: “We thought we’d have more time,” but there was no time

Susie, ashes scattered across the meadow

Sue, who said, “I must have been the last child in Virginia sent out of the wagon to water its wooden wheels when we crossed the valleys”

Thursday, November 27, 2008

John Ashbery, "To a Waterfowl" Cento Sources

A Cento by John Ashbery:  Sources

Annotations by Rosanne Wasserman, November 8, 2008


To a Waterfowl

                                                            Bryant, “To a Waterfowl,” title


Where, like a pillow on a bed

Donne, “The Extasy,” l. 1


I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude

                                                            Milton, “Lycidas,” l. 3


Where through the Golden Coast, and groves of orange and citron

                                                            Longfellow, “Evangeline,” l. 24


And one clear call for me

                                                            Tennyson, “Crossing the Bar,” l. 2


My genial spirits fail

                                                            Coleridge, “Dejection: An Ode,” l. 39


The desire of the moth for the star

                                                            Shelley, “To __,” l. 13


When first the College Rolls receive his name.

                                                            Johnson, “The Vanity of Human Wishes,” l. 135


Too happy, happy tree

                                                            Keats, “Stanzas,” l. 2



Here, where men sit and hear each other groan.

                                                            Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale,” l. 24


Forget this rotten world, and unto thee

Donne, “Of the Progress of the Soul: The Second Anniversary,” l. 1


Go, for they call you, Shepherd, from the hill

                                                            Arnold, “The Scholar-Gipsy,” l. 1


And the eye travels down to Oxford's towers.

                                                            Arnold, “The Scholar-Gipsy,” l. 30


Calm was the day, and through the trembling air

                                                            Spenser, “Prothalamium,” l. 1


Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair

                                                            Stevens, “Sunday Morning,” l. 2


And she also to use newfangleness...

                                                            Wyatt, “They Flee from Me ,” l. 19


Why cannot the Ear be closed to its own destruction?

                                                            Blake, “The Book of Thel,” l. 4.11


Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,

                                                            Byron, “Waterloo,” l. 82


Unaffected by “the march of events,”

                                                            Pound, “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley,” l. 17


Never until the mankind making

                                                            Thomas, “A Refusal to Mourn the Death . . . ,” l. 1


From harmony, from heavenly harmony

                                                            Dryden, “A Song for St. Cecelia’s Day, 1687,” l. 1


O death, O [sic] cover you over with roses and early lilies!

                                                Whitman, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” l. 11.2


With loaded arms I come, pouring for you

                                                Whitman, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” l. 11.5


Sunset and evening star

                                                            Tennyson, “Crossing the Bar,” l. 1


Where roses and white lilies grow.

                                                            Campion, “There is a garden in her face,” l. 2


Go, lovely rose,

                                                            Waller, “Go, lovely Rose,” l. 1


This is no country for old men. The young

                                                            Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium,” l. 1


Midwinter spring is its own season

                                                            Eliot, “Four Quartets 4: Little Gidding,” l. 1


And a few lilies blow. They that have power to hurt, and will do none.

                                                            Hopkins, “Heaven-Haven,” l. 4


                                                            Shakespeare, Sonnet 94


Looking as if she were alive, I call.

                                                            Browning, “My Last Duchess,” l. 2


The vapours weep their burthen to the ground.

                                                            Tennyson, “Tithonus,” l. 2


Obscurest night involved the sky

                                                            Cowper, “The Castaway,” l. 1


When Loie Fuller, with her Chinese veils

                                                            ?! cf. Yeats, “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen,” l. II.1:

                                                                        “When Loie Fuller’s Chinese dancers enwound”


And many a nymph who wreathes her brow with sedge . . .

                                                            Collins, “Ode to Evening,” l. 25


We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

                                                            Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much With Us,” l. 4


In drear-nighted December

                                                            Keats, “Stanzas,” l. 1


Ripe apples drop about my head

                                                            Marvell, “The Garden,” l. 34


Who said: two vast and trunkless legs of stone

                                                            Shelley, “Ozymandias,” l. 2


To throw that faint thin line upon the shore!

                                                            Meredith, “Modern Love L: Thus Piteously Love,” l. 16


O well for the fisherman's boy!

                                                            Tennyson, “Break, break, break,” l. 5


Fra Pandolf's hand [sic]

                                                            Browning, “My Last Duchess,” l. 3



Steady thy laden head across a brook . . .

                                                            Keats, “To Autumn,” l. 20


With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun

                                                            Milton, “Paradise Lost: The Fourth Book,” l. 642


Fills the shadows and windy places

                                                            Swinburne, “Chorus from ‘Atalanta,’” l. 3


Here in the long unlovely street.

                                                            Tennyson, “In Memoriam A. H. H.,” l. 2


Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns

Tennyson, “Songs from ‘The Princess.’ IV. Tears, Idle Tears,” l. 11


The freezing stream below.

                                                            Shelley, “Archy’s Song from Charles the First,” l. 8


To know the change and feel it . . .

                                                            Keats, “Stanzas,” l. 21


At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere

                                                            Bryant, “To a Waterfowl,” l. 18


Pressed her cold finger closer to her lips

                                                            Keats, “The Fall of Hyperion,” l. 318


Where the dead feet walked in.

                                                            Hardy, “The Self-Unseeing,” l. 4


She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die,

                                                            Keats, “Ode on Melancholy,” l. 21


Or the car rattling o'er the stony street.

                                                            Byron, “Waterloo,” l. 29



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