Astra Castra

First print Time and Eternity poem III, 3 Johnson poem 524 | Franklin poem 399 Departed to the judgment, A mighty afternoon; Great clouds like ushers leaning, Creation looking on. The flesh surrendered, cancelled, The bodiless begun; Two worlds, like audiences, disperse And leave the soul alone. Oddalenie pod osąd, Schyłek dnia potężny; Chmury wielkie, … Continue reading Astra Castra


Safe in their Alabaster Chambers

First print Time and Eternity poem IV, 4 J poem 216 | Fr poem 124 Safe in their alabaster chambers, Untouched by morning and untouched by noon, Sleep the meek members of the resurrection, Rafter of satin, and roof of stone. Light laughs the breeze in her castle of sunshine; Babbles the bee in a … Continue reading Safe in their Alabaster Chambers

On this Long Storm

First print Time and Eternity poem V, 5 Johnson poem 194 | Franklin poem 216 On this long storm the rainbow rose, On this late morn the sun; The clouds, like listless elephants, Horizons straggled down. The birds rose smiling in their nests, The gales indeed were done; Alas! how heedless were the eyes On … Continue reading On this Long Storm

From the Chrysalis

First print Time and Eternity poem VI, 6 Johnson poem 129 | Franklin poem 142 My cocoon tightens, colors tease, I ’m feeling for the air; A dim capacity for wings Degrades the dress I wear. A power of butterfly must be The aptitude to fly; Meadows of majesty concede And easy sweep of sky. … Continue reading From the Chrysalis

Setting Sail

First print Time and Eternity poem VII, 7 Johnson poem 76 | Franklin poem 143 Exultation is the going Of an inland soul to sea, — Past the houses, past the headlands, Into deep eternity! Bred as we, among the mountains, Can the sailor understand The divine intoxication Of the first league out from land? … Continue reading Setting Sail

Look Back on Time with Kindly Eyes

First print Time and Eternity poem VIII, 8 Johnson poem 1478 | Franklin poem 1251 Look back on time with kindly eyes, He doubtless did his best; How softly sinks his trembling sun In human nature’s west! Spójrz wstecz na czas życzliwie, Jak mógł, się starał — bezspornie; Drżąc, miękko słońce tonie W ludzkiej natury … Continue reading Look Back on Time with Kindly Eyes

A Train Went through a Burial Gate

First print Time and Eternity poem IX, 9 J poem 1761 | Fr poem 397 A train went through a burial gate, A bird broke forth and sang, And trilled, and quivered, and shook his throat Till all the churchyard rang; And then adjusted his little notes, And bowed and sang again. Doubtless, he thought … Continue reading A Train Went through a Burial Gate

I Died for Beauty

First print Time and Eternity poem X, 10 Johnson poem 449 | Franklin poem 448 I died for beauty, but was scarce Adjusted in the tomb, When one who died for truth was lain In an adjoining room. He questioned softly why I failed? “For beauty,” I replied. “And I for truth, — the two … Continue reading I Died for Beauty

About Many Things

First print Time and Eternity poem XI, 11 J poem 187 | Fr poem 238 How many times these low feet staggered, Only the soldered mouth can tell; Try ! can you stir the awful rivet? Try ! can you lift the hasps of steel? Stroke the cool forehead, hot so often, Lift, if you … Continue reading About Many Things


First print Time and Eternity poem XII, 12 Johnson poem 241 | Franklin poem 339 I like a look of agony, Because I know it ’s true; Men do not sham convulsion, Nor simulate a throe. The eyes glaze once, and that is death. Impossible to feign The beads upon the forehead By homely anguish … Continue reading Real

The Funeral

First print Time and Eternity poem XIII, 13 J poem 1307 | Fr poem 1363 That short, potential stir That each can make, but once, That bustle so illustrious ’T is almost consequence, Is the éclat of death. Oh, thou unknown renown That not a beggar would accept, Had he the power to spurn! Krótkie, … Continue reading The Funeral

I Went to Thank Her

First print Time and Eternity poem XIV, 14 Johnson poem 363 | Franklin poem 637 I went to thank her, But she slept; Her bed a funnelled stone, With nosegays at the head and foot, That travellers had thrown, Who went to thank her; But she slept. ’T was short to cross the sea To … Continue reading I Went to Thank Her

I’ve Seen a Dying Eye

First print Time and Eternity poem XV, 15 J poem 547 | Fr poem 648 I've seen a dying eye Run round and round a room In search of something, as it seemed, Then cloudier become; And then, obscure with fog, And then be soldered down, Without disclosing what it be, ’T were blessed to … Continue reading I’ve Seen a Dying Eye


First print Time and Eternity poem XVI, 16 Johnson poem 1172 | Franklin poem 1246 The clouds their backs together laid, The north begun to push, The forests galloped till they fell, The lightning skipped like mice; The thunder crumbled like stuff — How good to be safe in tombs, Where nature’s temper cannot reach, … Continue reading Refuge

I Never Saw a Moor

First print Time and Eternity poem XVII, 17 Johnson poem 1052 | Franklin poem 800 I never saw a moor, I never saw the sea; Yet know I how the heather looks, And what a wave must be. I never spoke with God, Nor visited in Heaven; Yet certain am I of the spot As … Continue reading I Never Saw a Moor


First print Time and Eternity poem XVIII, 18 Johnson poem 231 | Franklin poem 245 God permits industrious angels Afternoons to play. I met one, — forgot my school-mates, All, for him, straightway. God calls home the angels promptly At the setting sun; I missed mine. How dreary marbles, After playing Crown! Bóg pracowitym aniołom … Continue reading Playmates

To Know Just How

First print Time and Eternity poem XIX, 19 Johnson poem 622 | Franklin poem 688 To know just how he suffered would be dear; To know if any human eyes were near To whom he could intrust his wavering gaze, Until it settled firm on Paradise. To know if he was patient, part content, Was … Continue reading To Know Just How

The Last Night that She Lived

First print Time and Eternity poem XX, 20 J poem 1100 | Fr poem 1100 The last night that she lived, It was a common night, Except the dying; this to us Made nature different. We noticed smallest things, — Things overlooked before, By this great light upon our minds Italicized, as ’t were. That … Continue reading The Last Night that She Lived

The First Lesson

First print Time and Eternity poem XXI, 21 Johnson poem 418 | Franklin poem 435 Not in this world to see his face Sounds long, until I read the place Where this is said to be; But just the primer to a life Unopened, rare, upon the shelf, Clasped yet to him and me. And … Continue reading The First Lesson

The Bustle in the House

First print Time and Eternity poem XXII, 22 Johnson poem 1078 | Franklin poem 1108 The bustle in a house The morning after death Is solemnest of industries Enacted upon earth, — The sweeping up the heart, And putting love away We shall not want to use again Until eternity. Po domu się krzątanie O … Continue reading The Bustle in the House