Many a phrase has the English language — I have heard but one — Low as the laughter of the Cricket, Loud, as the Thunder's Tongue — Murmuring, like old Caspian Choirs, When the Tide's a' lull — Saying itself in new infection — Like a Whippoorwill — Breaking in bright Orthography On my simple sleep — Thundering its Prospective — Till I stir, and weep — Not for the Sorrow, done me — But the push of Joy — Say it again, Saxon! Hush — Only to me!
The Drop, that wrestles in the Sea — Forgets her own locality — As I — toward Thee — She knows herself an incense small — Yet small — she sighs — if All — is All — How larger — be? The Ocean — smiles — at her Conceit — But she, forgetting Amphitrite — Pleads — “Me”?
The Robin's my Criterion for Tune — Because I grow — where Robins do — But, were I Cuckoo born — I'd swear by him — The ode familiar — rules the Noon — The Buttercup's, my Whim for Bloom — Because, we're Orchard sprung — But, were I Britain born, I'd Daisies spurn — None but the Nut — October fit — Because, through dropping it, The Seasons flit — I'm taught — Without the Snow's Tableau Winter, were lie — to me — Because I see — New Englandly — The Queen, discerns like me — Provincially —
I'm Nobody! Who are you? Are you — Nobody — Too? Then there's a pair of us! Don't tell! They'd banish us — you know! How dreary — to be — Somebody! How public — like a Frog — To tell one's name — the livelong June — To an admiring Bog!
Alone, I cannot be — For Hosts — do visit me — Recordless Company — Who baffle Key — They have no Robes, nor Names — No Almanacs — nor Climes — But general Homes Like Gnomes — Their Coming, may be known By Couriers within — Their going — is not — For they've never gone —
Within my Garden, rides a Bird Upon a single Wheel — Whose spokes a dizzy Music make As 'twere a travelling Mill — He never stops, but slackens Above the Ripest Rose — Partakes without alighting And praises as he goes, Till every spice is tasted — And then his Fairy Gig Reels in remoter atmospheres — And I rejoin my Dog, And He and I, perplex us If positive, 'twere we — Or bore the Garden in the Brain This Curiosity — But He, the best Logician, Refers my clumsy eye — To just vibrating Blossoms! An Exquisite Reply!
I started Early — Took my Dog — And visited the Sea — The Mermaids in the Basement Came out to look at me — And Frigates — in the Upper Floor Extended Hempen Hands — Presuming Me to be a Mouse — Aground — upon the Sands — But no Man moved Me — till the Tide Went past my simple Shoe — And past my Apron — and my Belt — And past my Bodice — too — And made as He would eat me up — As wholly as a Dew Upon a Dandelion's Sleeve — And then — I started — too — And He — He followed — close behind — I felt his Silver Heel Upon my Ankle — Then my Shoes Would overflow with Pearl — Until We met the Solid Town — No One He seemed to know — And bowing — with a Mighty look — At me — The Sea withdrew —
They shut me up in Prose — As when a little Girl They put me in the Closet — Because they liked me “still” — Still! Could themself have peeped — And seen my Brain — go round — They might as wise have lodged a Bird For Treason — in the Pound — Himself has but to will And easy as a Star Abolish his Captivity — And laugh — No more have I —
They called me to the Window, for “'Twas Sunset” — Some one said — I only saw a Sapphire Farm — And just a Single Herd — Of Opal Cattle — feeding far Upon so vain a Hill — As even while I looked — dissolved — Nor Cattle were — nor Soil — But in their stead — a Sea — displayed — And Ships — of such a size As Crew of Mountains — could afford — And Decks — to seat the skies — This — too — the Showman rubbed away — And when I looked again — Nor Farm — nor Opal Herd — was there — Nor Mediterranean —
When Bells stop ringing — Church — begins The Positive — of Bells — When Cogs — stop — that's Circumference — The Ultimate — of Wheels.
Of Being is a Bird The likest to the Down An Easy Breeze do put afloat The General Heavens — upon — It soars — and shifts — and whirls — And measures with the Clouds In easy — even — dazzling pace — No different the Birds — Except a Wake of Music Accompany their feet — As did the Down emit a Tune — For Ecstasy — of it
I dwell in Possibility — A fairer House than Prose — More numerous of Windows — Superior — for Doors — Of Chambers as the Cedars — Impregnable of Eye — And for an Everlasting Roof The Gambrels of the Sky — Of Visitors — the fairest — For Occupation — This — The spreading wide of narrow Hands To gather Paradise —
Bloom upon the Mountain — stated — Blameless of a Name — Efflorescence of a Sunset — Reproduced — the same — Seed, had I, my Purple Sowing Should endow the Day — Not a Topic of a Twilight — Show itself away — Who for tilling — to the Mountain Come, and disappear — Whose be Her Renown, or fading, Witness, is not here — While I state — the Solemn Petals, Far as North — and East, Far as South and West — expanding — Culminate — in Rest — And the Mountain to the Evening Fit His Countenance — Indicating, by no Muscle — The Experience —
Publication — is the Auction Of the Mind of Man — Poverty — be justifying For so foul a thing Possibly — but We — would rather From Our Garret go White — Unto the White Creator — Than invest — Our Snow — Thought belong to Him who gave it — Then — to Him Who bear Its Corporeal illustration — Sell The Royal Air — In the Parcel — Be the Merchant Of the Heavenly Grace — But reduce no Human Spirit To Disgrace of Price —
The Sunrise runs for Both — The East — Her Purple Troth Keeps with the Hill — The Noon unwinds Her Blue Till One Breadth cover Two — Remotest — still — Nor does the Night forget A Lamp for Each — to set — Wicks wide away — The North — Her blazing Sign Erects in Iodine — Till Both — can see — The Midnight's Dusky Arms Clasp Hemispheres, and Homes And so Upon Her Bosom — One — And One upon Her Hem — Both lie —
The Day undressed — Herself — Her Garter — was of Gold — Her Petticoat — of Purple plain — Her Dimities — as old Exactly — as the World — And yet the newest Star — Enrolled upon the Hemisphere Be wrinkled — much as Her — Too near to God — to pray — Too near to Heaven — to fear — The Lady of the Occident Retired without a care — Her Candle so expire The flickering be seen On Ball of Mast in Bosporus — And Dome — and Window Pane —
Fame is the tint that Scholars leave Upon their Setting Names — The Iris not of Occident That disappears as comes —
Confirming All who analyze In the Opinion fair That Eloquence is when the Heart Has not a Voice to spare —Collected by Sean B. Palmer