A Woman’s Shortcomings, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

She has laughed as softly as if she sighed,
She has counted six, and over,
Of a purse well filled, and a heart well tried –
Oh, each a worthy lover!
They “give her time”; for her soul must slip
Where the world has set the grooving;
She will lie to none with her fair red lip:
But love seeks truer loving.

She trembles her fan in a sweetness dumb,
As her thoughts were beyond recalling;
With a glance for one, and a glance for some,
From her eyelids rising and falling;
Speaks common words with a blushful air,
Hears bold words, unreproving;
But her silence says – what she never will swear –
And love seeks better loving.

Go, lady! lean to the night-guitar,
And drop a smile to the bringer;
Then smile as sweetly, when he is far,
At the voice of an in-door singer.
Bask tenderly beneath tender eyes;
Glance lightly, on their removing;
And join new vows to old perjuries –
But dare not call it loving!

Unless you can think, when the song is done,
No other is soft in the rhythm;
Unless you can feel, when left by One,
That all men else go with him;
Unless you can know, when unpraised by his breath,
That your beauty itself wants proving;
Unless you can swear “For life, for death!” –
Oh, fear to call it loving!

Unless you can muse in a crowd all day
On the absent face that fixed you;
Unless you can love, as the angels may,
With the breadth of heaven betwixt you;
Unless you can dream that his faith is fast,
Through behoving and unbehoving;
Unless you can die when the dream is past –
Oh, never call it loving!

This blog is maintained by Indian novelist Jyoti Arora. Check out her novels and personal blog at jyotiarora.com

Now At Liberty, By: Dorothy Parker

Now At Liberty
Little white love, your way you’ve taken;
Now I am left alone, alone.
Little white love, my heart’s forsaken.
(Whom shall I get by telephone?)
Well do I know there’s no returning;
Once you go out, it’s done, it’s done.
All of my days are gray with yearning.
(Nevertheless, a girl needs fun.)

Little white love, perplexed and weary,
Sadly your banner fluttered down.
Sullen the days, and dreary, dreary.
(Which of the boys is still in town?)
Radiant and sure, you came a-flying;
Puzzled, you left on lagging feet.
Slow in my breast, my heart is dying.
(Nevertheless, a girl must eat.)

Little white love, I hailed you gladly;
Now I must wave you out of sight.
Ah, but you used me badly, badly.
(Who’d like to take me out tonight?)
All of the blundering words I’ve spoken,
Little white love, forgive, forgive.
Once you went out, my heart fell, broken.
(Nevertheless, a girl must live.)

Peace – By: Sarah Teasdale

Peace flows into me

As the tide to the pool by the shore;

It is mine forevermore,

It will not ebb like the sea.

 *

I am the pool of blue

That worships the vivid sky;

My hopes were heaven-high,

They are all fulfilled in you.

 *

I am the pool of gold

When sunset burns and dies —

You are my deepening skies;

Give me your stars to hold.

It is not Always May – By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The sun is bright,–the air is clear,

The darting swallows soar and sing.

And from the stately elms I hear

The bluebird prophesying Spring.

So blue you winding river flows,

It seems an outlet from the sky,

Where waiting till the west-wind blows,

The freighted clouds at anchor lie.

All things are new;–the buds, the leaves,

That gild the elm-tree’s nodding crest,

And even the nest beneath the eaves;–

There are no birds in last year’s nest!

All things rejoice in youth and love,

The fulness of their first delight!

And learn from the soft heavens above

The melting tenderness of night.

Maiden, that read’st this simple rhyme,

Enjoy thy youth, it will not stay;

Enjoy the fragrance of thy prime,

For oh, it is not always May!

Enjoy the Spring of Love and Youth,

To some good angel leave the rest;

For Time will teach thee soon the truth,

There are no birds in last year’s nest!

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How far can a person go to fulfill the dreams of someone else? Find out in the pages of Dream’s Sake, a general fiction novel by Jyoti Arora. For more information and free preview of first chapter, please visit: http://www.jyotiarora.com/dream-s-sake

THE LADY OF SHALOTT, By: ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

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     Part I.

On either side the river lie

Long fields of barley and of rye,

That clothe the wold and meet the sky;

And thro’ the field the road runs by

  To many-tower’d Camelot;

And up and down the people go,

Gazing where the lilies blow

Round an island there below,

  The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,

Little breezes dusk and shiver

Thro’ the wave that runs for ever

By the island in the river

  Flowing down to Camelot.

Four gray walls, and four gray towers,

Overlook a space of flowers,

And the silent isle imbowers

  The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veil’d

Slide the heavy barges trail’d

By slow horses; and unhail’d

The shallop flitteth silken-sail’d

  Skimming down to Camelot:

But who hath seen her wave her hand?

Or at the casement seen her stand?

Or is she known in all the land,

  The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early

In among the bearded barley,

Hear a song that echoes cheerly

From the river winding clearly,

  Down to tower’d Camelot:

And by the moon the reaper weary,

Piling sheaves in uplands airy,

Listening, whispers “‘Tis the fairy

  Lady of Shalott.”

     Part II.

There she weaves by night and day

A magic web with colours gay.

She has heard a whisper say,

A curse is on her if she stay

  To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be,

And so she weaveth steadily,

And little other care hath she,

  The Lady of Shalott.

And moving thro’ a mirror clear

That hangs before her all the year,

Shadows of the world appear.

There she sees the highway near

  Winding down to Camelot:

There the river eddy whirls,

And there the surly village-churls,

And the red cloaks of market girls,

  Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,

An abbot on an ambling pad,

Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,

Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad,

  Goes by to tower’d Camelot;

And sometimes thro’ the mirror blue

The knights come riding two and two:

She hath no loyal knight and true,

  The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights

To weave the mirror’s magic sights,

For often thro’ the silent nights

A funeral, with plumes and lights

  And music, went to Camelot:

Or when the moon was overhead,

Came two young lovers lately wed;

“I am half-sick of shadows,” said

  The Lady of Shalott.

     Part III.

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,

He rode between the barley-sheaves,

The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves,

And flamed upon the brazen greaves

  Of bold Sir Lancelot.

A redcross knight for ever kneel’d

To a lady in his shield,

That sparkled on the yellow field,

  Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter’d free,

Like to some branch of stars we see

Hung in the golden Galaxy.

The bridle-bells rang merrily

  As he rode down to Camelot:

And from his blazon’d baldric slung

A mighty silver bugle hung,

And as he rode his armour rung,

  Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather

Thick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,

The helmet and the helmet-feather

Burn’d like one burning flame together,

  As he rode down to Camelot.

As often thro’ the purple night,

Below the starry clusters bright,

Some bearded meteor, trailing light,

  Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;

On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;

From underneath his helmet flow’d

His coal-black curls as on he rode,

  As he rode down to Camelot.

From the bank and from the river

He flash’d into the crystal mirror,

“Tirra lirra,” by the river

  Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,

She made three paces thro’ the room,

She saw the water-lily bloom,

She saw the helmet and the plume,

  She look’d down to Camelot.

Out flew the web and floated wide;

The mirror crack’d from side to side;

“The curse is come upon me,” cried

  The Lady of Shalott.

     Part IV.

In the stormy east-wind straining,

The pale-yellow woods were waning,

The broad stream in his banks complaining,

Heavily the low sky raining

  Over tower’d Camelot;

Down she came and found a boat

Beneath a willow left afloat,

And round about the prow she wrote

  The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river’s dim expanse–

Like some bold seër in a trance,

Seeing all his own mischance–

With a glassy countenance

  Did she look to Camelot.

And at the closing of the day

She loosed the chain, and down she lay;

The broad stream bore her far away,

  The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white

That loosely flew to left and right–

The leaves upon her falling light–

Thro’ the noises of the night

  She floated down to Camelot:

And as the boat-head wound along

The willowy hills and fields among,

They heard her singing her last song,

  The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,

Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

Till her blood was frozen slowly,

And her eyes were darken’d wholly,

  Turn’d to tower’d Camelot;

For ere she reach’d upon the tide

The first house by the water-side,

Singing in her song she died,

  The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,

By garden-wall and gallery,

A gleaming shape she floated by,

A corse between the houses high,

  Silent into Camelot.

Out upon the wharfs they came,

Knight and burgher, lord and dame,

And round the prow they read her name,

  The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? and what is here?

And in the lighted palace near

Died the sound of royal cheer;

And they cross’d themselves for fear,

  All the knights at Camelot:

But Lancelot mused a little space;

He said, “She has a lovely face;

God in his mercy lend her grace,

  The Lady of Shalott.”

So what do you think about this poem? Does it just tell a story? Or is it an allegory as some people believe?

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How far can a person go to fulfill the dreams of someone else?

Find out in the pages of Dream’s Sake, a general fiction novel by Jyoti Arora.

For more information and free preview of first chapter click on the picture or visit:www,jyotiarora.com

Dream's Sake A Novel by Jyoti Arora
Dream’s Sake
A Novel by Jyoti Arora