131 Total Quotes

Poems about Women Quotes

Carl Sandburg
WHY should I be wondering How you would look in black velvet and yellow? in orange and green? I who cannot remember whether it was a dash of blue Or a whirr of red under your willow throat— Why do I wonder how you would look in humming-bird feathers?
Carl Sandburg
#Poems about Women

A precise woman with a short haircut brings order to my thoughts and my dresser drawers, moves feelings around like furniture into a new arrangement. A woman whose body is cinched at the waist and firmly divided into upper and lower, with weather-forecast eyes of shatterproof glass. Even her cries of passion follow a certain order, one after the other: tame dove, then wild dove, then peacock, wounded peacock, peacock, peacock, the wild dove, tame dove, dove dove thrush, thrush, thrush. A precise woman: on the bedroom carpet her shoes always point away from the bed. (My own shoes point toward it.)
Yehuda Amichai
#Poems about Women

Alexander Pope
NOTHING so true as what you once let fall, "Most Women have no Characters at all." Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear, And best distinguish'd by black, brown, or fair. How many pictures of one Nymph we view, All how unlike each other, all how true! Arcadia's Countess, here, in ermin'd pride, Is, there, Pastora by a fountain side. Here Fannia, leering on her own good man, And there, a naked Leda with a Swan. Let then the Fair one beautifully cry, In Magdalen's loose hair and lifted eye, Or drest in smiles of sweet Cecilia shine, With simpering Angels, Palms, and Harps divine; Whether the Charmer sinner it, or saint it, If Folly grow romantic, I must paint it. Come then, the colours and the ground prepare! Dip in the Rainbow, trick her off in Air; Choose a firm Cloud, before it fall, and in it Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute. Rufa, whose eye quick-glancing o'er the Park, Attracts each light gay meteor of a Spark, Agrees as ill with Rufa studying Locke, As Sappho's diamonds with her dirty smock; Or Sappho at her toilet's greasy task, With Sappho fragrant at an evening Masque: So morning Insects that in muck begun, Shine, buzz, and flyblow in the setting sun. How soft is Silia! fearful to offend; The Frail one's advocate, the Weak one's friend: To her, Calista prov'd her conduct nice; And good Simplicius asks of her advice. Sudden, she storms! she raves! You tip the wink, But spare your censure; Silia does not drink. All eyes may see from what the change arose, All eyes may see--a Pimple on her nose. Papillia, wedded to her amorous spark, Sighs for the shades--"How charming is a Park!" A Park is purchas'd, but the Fair he sees All bath'd in tears--"Oh odious, odious Trees!" Ladies, like variegated Tulips, show; 'Tis to their Changes half their charms we owe; Fine by defect, and delicately weak, Their happy Spots the nice admirer take, 'Twas thus Calypso once each heart alarm'd, Aw'd without Virtue, without Beauty charmed; Her tongue bewitch'd as oddly as her Eyes, Less Wit than Mimic, more a Wit than wise; Strange graces still, and stranger flights she had, Was just not ugly, and was just not mad; Yet ne'er so sure our passion to create, As when she touch'd the brink of all we hate. Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild, To make a wash, would hardly stew a child; Has ev'n been prov'd to grant a Lover's pray'r, And paid a Tradesman once to make him stare; Gave alms at Easter, in a Christian trim, And made a Widow happy, for a whim. Why then declare Good-nature is her scorn, When 'tis by that alone she can be borne? Why pique all mortals, yet affect a name? A fool to Pleasure, yet a slave to Fame: Now deep in Taylor and the Book of Martyrs, Now drinking citron with his Grace and Chartres: Now Conscience chills her, and now Passion burns; And Atheism and Religion take their turns; A very Heathen in the carnal part, Yet still a sad, good Christian at her heart. See Sin in State, majestically drunk; Proud as a Peeress, prouder as a Punk; Chaste to her Husband, frank to all beside, A teeming Mistress, but a barren Bride. What then? let Blood and Body bear the fault, Her Head's untouch'd, that noble Seat of Thought: Such this day's doctrine--in another fit She sins with Poets thro' pure Love of Wit. What has not fir'd her bosom or her brain? Caesar and Tallboy, Charles and Charlemagne. As Helluo, late Dictator of the Feast, The Nose of Hautgout, and the Tip of Taste, Critick'd your wine, and analyz'd your meat, Yet on plain Pudding deign'd at home to eat; So Philomede, lecturing all mankind On the soft Passion, and the Taste refin'd, Th' Address, the Delicacy--stoops at once, And makes her hearty meal upon a Dunce. Flavia's a Wit, has too much sense to Pray; To Toast our wants and wishes, is her way; Nor asks of God, but of her Stars, to give The mighty blessing, "while we live, to live." Then all for Death, that Opiate of the soul! Lucretia's dagger, Rosamonda's bowl. Say, what can cause such impotence of mind? A spark too fickle, or a Spouse too kind. Wise Wretch! with Pleasures too refin'd to please; With too much Spirit to be e'er at ease; With too much Quickness ever to be taught; With too much Thinking to have common Thought: You purchase Pain with all that Joy can give, And die of nothing but a Rage to live. Turn then from Wits; and look on Simo's Mate, No Ass so meek, no Ass so obstinate. Or her, that owns her Faults, but never mends, Because she's honest, and the best of Friends. Or her, whose life the Church and Scandal share, For ever in a Passion, or a Pray'r. Or her, who laughs at Hell, but (like her Grace) Cries, "Ah! how charming, if there's no such place!" Or who in sweet vicissitude appears Of Mirth and Opium, Ratafie and Tears, The daily Anodyne, and nightly Draught, To kill those foes to Fair ones, Time and Thought. Woman and Fool are two hard things to hit; For true No-meaning puzzles more than Wit. But what are these to great Atossa's mind? Scarce once herself, by turns all Womankind! Who, with herself, or others, from her birth Finds all her life one warfare upon earth: Shines, in exposing Knaves, and painting Fools, Yet is, whate'er she hates and ridicules. No Thought advances, but her Eddy Brain Whisks it about, and down it goes again. Full sixty years the World has been her Trade, The wisest Fool much Time has ever made. From loveless youth to unrespected age, No passion gratify'd except her Rage. So much the Fury still outran the Wit, The Pleasure miss'd her, and the Scandal hit. Who breaks with her, provokes Revenge from Hell, But he's a bolder man who dares be well. Her ev'ry turn with Violence pursu'd, Nor more a storm her Hate than Gratitude: To that each Passion turns, or soon or late; Love, if it makes her yield, must make her hate: Superiors? death! and Equals? what a curse! But an Inferior not dependant? worse. Offend her, and she knows not to forgive; Oblige her, and she'll hate you while you live: But die, and she'll adore you--Then the Bust And Temple rise--then fall again to dust. Last night, her Lord was all that's good and great; A Knave this morning, and his Will a Cheat. Strange! by the Means defeated of the Ends, By Spirit robb'd of Pow'r, by Warmth of Friends, By Wealth of Followers! without one distress Sick of herself thro' very selfishness! Atossa, curs'd with ev'ry granted pray'r, Childless with all her Children, wants an Heir. To Heirs unknown descends th' unguarded store, Or wanders, Heav'n-directed, to the Poor. Pictures like these, dear Madam, to design, Asks no firm hand, and no unerring line; Some wandering touches, some reflected light, Some flying stroke alone can hit 'em right: For how should equal Colours do the knack? Chameleons who can paint in white and black? "Yet Chloe sure was form'd without a spot--" Nature in her then err'd not, but forgot. "With ev'ry pleasing, ev'ry prudent part, Say, what can Chloe want?"--She wants a Heart. She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought; But never, never, reach'd one gen'rous Thought. Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour, Content to dwell in Decencies for ever. So very reasonable, so unmov'd, As never yet to love, or to be lov'd. She, while her Lover pants upon her breast, Can mark the figures on an Indian chest; And when she sees her Friend in deep despair, Observes how much a Chintz exceeds Mohair. Forbid it Heav'n, a Favour or a Debt She e'er should cancel--but she may forget. Safe is your Secret still in Chloe's ear; But none of Chloe's shall you ever hear. Of all her Dears she never slander'd one, But cares not if a thousand are undone. Would Chloe know if you're alive or dead? She bids her Footman put it in her head. Chloe is prudent--Would you too be wise? Then never break your heart when Chloe dies. One certain Portrait may (I grant) be seen, Which Heav'n has varnish'd out, and made a Queen: The same for ever! and describ'd by all With Truth and Goodness, as with Crown and Ball. Poets heap Virtues, Painters Gems at will, And show their zeal, and hide their want of skill. 'Tis well--but, Artists! who can paint or write, To draw the Naked is your true delight. That robe of Quality so struts and swells, None see what Parts of Nature it conceals: Th' exactest traits of Body or of Mind, We owe to models of an humble kind. If QUEENSBURY to strip there's no compelling, 'Tis from a Handmaid we must take a Helen. From Peer or Bishop 'tis no easy thing To draw the man who loves his God, or King: Alas! I copy (or my draught would fail) From honest Mah'met, or plain Parson Hale. But grant, in Public Men sometimes are shown, A Woman's seen in Private life alone: Our bolder Talents in full light displayed; Your Virtues open fairest in the shade. Bred to disguise, in Public 'tis you hide; There, none distinguish twixt your Shame or Pride, Weakness or Delicacy; all so nice, That each may seem a Virtue, or a Vice. In Men, we various Ruling Passions find; In Women, two almost divide the kind; Those, only fix'd, they first or last obey, The Love of Pleasure, and the Love of Sway. That, Nature gives; and where the lesson taught Is but to please, can Pleasure seem a fault? Experience, this; by Man's oppression curst, They seek the second not to lose the first. Men, some to Business, some to pleasure take; But ev'ry Woman is at heart a Rake: Men, some to Quiet, some to public Strife; But ev'ry Lady would be Queen for life. Yet mark the fate of a whole Sex of Queens! Pow'r all their end, but Beauty all the means: In Youth they conquer, with so wild a rage, As leaves them scarce a subject in their Age: For foreign glory, foreign joy, they roam; No thought of peace or happiness at home. But Wisdom's triumph is a well-tim'd Retreat, As hard a science to the Fair as Great! Beauties, like Tyrants, old and friendless grown, Yet hate repose, and dread to be alone, Worn out in public, weary ev'ry eye, Nor leave one sigh behind them when they die. Pleasures the sex, as children Birds, pursue, Still out of reach, yet never out of view; Sure, if they catch, to spoil the Toy at most, To covet flying, and regret when lost: At last, to follies Youth could scarce defend, It grows their Age's prudence to pretend; Asham'd to own they gave delight before, Reduc'd to feign it, when they give no more: As Hags hold Sabbaths, less for joy than spite, So these their merry, miserable Night; Still round and round the Ghosts of Beauty glide, And haunt the places where their Honour died. See how the World its Veterans rewards! A Youth of Frolics, an old Age of Cards; Fair to no purpose, artful to no end, Young without Lovers, old without a Friend; A Fop their Passion, but their Prize a Sot; Alive, ridiculous, and dead, forgot! Ah Friend! to dazzle let the Vain design; To raise the Thought, and touch the Heart be thine! That Charm shall grow, while what fatigues the Ring, Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded thing: So when the Sun's broad beam has tir'd the sight, All mild ascends the Moon's more sober light, Serene in Virgin Modesty she shines, And unobserv'd the glaring Orb declines. Oh! blest with Temper, whose unclouded ray Can make tomorrow cheerful as today; She, who can love a Sister's charms, or hear Sighs for a Daughter with unwounded ear; She, who ne'er answers till a Husband cools, Or, if she rules him, never shows she rules; Charms by accepting, by submitting sways, Yet has her humour most, when she obeys; Let Fops or Fortune fly which way they will; Disdains all loss of Tickets, or Codille; Spleen, Vapours, or Smallpox, above them all, And Mistress of herself, though China fall. And yet, believe me, good as well as ill, Woman's at best a Contradiction still. Heav'n, when it strives to polish all it can Its last best work, but forms a softer Man; Picks from each sex, to make the Favorite blest, Your love of Pleasure, our desire of Rest: Blends, in exception to all general rules, Your Taste of Follies, with our Scorn of Fools: Reserve with Frankness, Art with Truth ally'd, Courage with Softness, Modesty with Pride; Fix'd Principles, with Fancy ever new; Shakes all together, and produces--You. Be this a Woman's Fame: with this unblest, Toasts live a scorn, and Queens may die a jest. This Phoebus promis'd (I forget the year) When those blue eyes first open'd on the sphere; Ascendant Phoebus watch'd that hour with care, Averted half your Parents' simple Pray'r; And gave you Beauty, but deny'd the Pelf That buys your sex a Tyrant o'er itself. The generous God, who Wit and Gold refines, And ripens Spirits as he ripens Mines, Kept Dross for Duchesses, the world shall know it, To you gave Sense, Good Humour, and a Poet.
Alexander Pope
#Poems about Women

She slides over the hot upholstery of her mother's car, this schoolgirl of fifteen who loves humming & swaying with the radio. Her entry into womanhood will be like all the other girls'-- a cigarette and a joke, as she strides up with the rest to a brick factory where she'll sew rag rugs from textile strips of kelly green, bright red, aqua. When she enters, and the millgate closes, final as a slap, there'll be silence. She'll see fifteen high windows cemented over to cut out light. Inside, a constant, deafening noise and warm air smelling of oil, the shifts continuing on ... All day she'll guide cloth along a line of whirring needles, her arms & shoulders rocking back & forth with the machines-- 200 porch size rugs behind her before she can stop to reach up, like her mother, and pick the lint out of her hair.
Catherine Anderson
#Poems about Women

Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It's the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can't touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can't see. I say, It's in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. Now you understand Just why my head's not bowed. I don't shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing It ought to make you proud. I say, It's in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.
Maya Angelou
#Poems about Women

Maya Angelou
I've got the children to tend The clothes to mend The floor to mop The food to shop Then the chicken to fry The baby to dry I got company to feed The garden to weed I've got shirts to press The tots to dress The can to be cut I gotta clean up this hut Then see about the sick And the cotton to pick. Shine on me, sunshine Rain on me, rain Fall softly, dewdrops And cool my brow again. Storm, blow me from here With your fiercest wind Let me float across the sky 'Til I can rest again. Fall gently, snowflakes Cover me with white Cold icy kisses and Let me rest tonight. Sun, rain, curving sky Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone Star shine, moon glow You're all that I can call my own.
Maya Angelou
#Poems about Women

Carl Sandburg
WHY should I be wondering How you would look in black velvet and yellow? in orange and green? I who cannot remember whether it was a dash of blue Or a whirr of red under your willow throat-- Why do I wonder how you would look in humming-bird feathers?
Carl Sandburg
#Poems about Women

William Shakespeare
A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion; A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted With shifting change, as is false women's fashion; An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling, Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth; A man in hue, all hues in his controlling, Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth. And for a woman wert thou first created, Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting, And by addition me of thee defeated, By adding one thing to my purpose nothing. But since she pricked thee out for women's pleasure, Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.
William Shakespeare
#Poems about Women

Carl Sandburg
THE owl-car clatters along, dogged by the echo From building and battered paving-stone. The headlight scoffs at the mist, And fixes its yellow rays in the cold slow rain; Against a pane I press my forehead And drowsily look on the walls and sidewalks. The headlight finds the way And life is gone from the wet and the welter-- Only an old woman, bloated, disheveled and bleared. Far-wandered waif of other days, Huddles for sleep in a doorway, Homeless.
Carl Sandburg
#Poems about Women

Katherine Mansfield
These be two Countrywomen. What a size! Grand big arms And round red faces; Big substantial Sit-down-places; Great big bosoms firm as cheese Bursting through their country jackets; Wide big laps And sturdy knees; Hands outspread, Round and rosy, Hands to hold A country posy Or a baby or a lamb-- And such eyes! Stupid, shifty, small and sly Peeping through a slit of sty, Squinting through their neighbours' plackets.
Katherine Mansfield
#Poems about Women

Carl Sandburg
FOR a woman's face remembered as a spot of quick light on the flat land of dark night, For this memory of one mouth and a forehead they go on in the gray rain and the mud, they go on among the boots and guns. The horizon ahead is a thousand fang flashes, it is a row of teeth that bite on the flanks of night, the horizon sings of a new kill and a big kill. The horizon behind is a wall of dark etched with a memory, fixed with a woman's face--they fight on and on, boots in the mud and heads in the gray rain--for the women they hate and the women they love--for the women they left behind, they fight on.
Carl Sandburg
#Poems about Women

The Raven croak'd as she sate at her meal, And the Old Woman knew what he said, And she grew pale at the Raven's tale, And sicken'd and went to her bed. 'Now fetch me my children, and fetch them with speed,' The Old Woman of Berkeley said, 'The Monk my son, and my daughter the Nun, Bid them hasten or I shall be dead.' The Monk her son, and her daughter the Nun, Their way to Berkeley went, And they have brought with pious thought The holy sacrament. The Old Woman shriek'd as they enter'd her door, And she cried with a voice of despair, 'Now take away the sacrament, For its presence I cannot bear!' Her lip it trembled with agony, The sweat ran down her brow, 'I have tortures in store for evermore, But spare me, my children, now!' Away they sent the sacrament, The fit it left her weak, She look's at her children with ghastly eyes, And faintly struggled to speak. 'All kind of sin have I rioted in, And the judgement now must be, But I secured my children's souls, Oh! pray, my children, for me! 'I have 'nointed myself with infant's fat, The fiends have been my slaves, From sleeping babes I have suck'd the breath, And breaking by charms the sleep of death, I have call'd the dead from their graves. 'And the Devil will fetch me now in fire, My witchcrafts to atone; And I who have troubled the dead man's grave Shall never have rest in my own. 'Bless, I entreat, my winding sheet, My children, I beg of you; And with holy water sprinkle my shroud, And sprinkle my coffin, too. 'And let me be chain'd in my coffin of stone, And fasten it strong, I implore, With iron bars, and with three chains, Chain it to the church floor. 'And bless the chains and sprinkle them, And let fifty Priests stand round, Who night and day the mass may say Where I lie on the ground. 'And see that fifty Choristers Beside the bier attend me, And day and night by the tapers' light, With holy hymns defend me. 'Let the church bells all, both great and small, Be toll'd by night and day, To drive from thence the fiends who come To bear my body away. `And ever have the church door barr'd After the even-song; And I beseech you, children dear, Let the bars and bolts be strong. 'And let this be three days and nights My wretched corpse to save; Till the fourth morning keep me safe, And then I may rest in my grave.' The Old Woman of Berkeley laid her down, And her eyes grew deadly dim, Short came her breath, and the struggle of death Did loosen every limb. They blest the old woman's winding sheet With rites and prayers due, With holy water they sprinkled her shroud, And they sprinkled her coffin too. And they chain'd her in her coffin of stone, And with iron barr'd it down, And in the church with three strong chains The chain'd it to the ground. And they blest the chains and sprinkled them, And fifty Priests stood round, By night and day the mass to say Where she lay on the ground. And fifty sacred Choristers Beside the bier attend her, Who day and night by the taper's light Should with holy hymns defend her. To see the Priests and Choristers It was a goodly sight, Each holding, as it were a staff, A taper burning bright. And the church bells all, both great and small, Did toll so loud and long; And they have barr'd the church door hard, After the even-song. And the first night the tapers' light Burnt steadily and clear, But they without a hideous rout Of angry fiends could hear; A hideous roar at the church door Like a long thunder peal; And the Priests they pray'd, and the Choristers sung Louder in fearful zeal. Loud toll'd the bell, the Priests pray'd well, The tapers they burnt bright, The Monk her son, and her daughter the Nun, They told their beads all night. The cock he crew, the Fiends they flew From the voice of the morning away; Then undisturb'd the Choristers sing, And the fifty Priests they pray; As they had sung and pray'd all night, They pray'd and sung all day. The second night the tapers' light Burnt dismally and blue, And every one saw his neighbour's face Like a dead man's face to view. And yells and cries without arise That the stoutest heart might shock, And a deafening roar like a cataract pouring Over a mountain rock. The Monk and Nun they told their beads As fast as they could tell, And aye as louder grew the noise The faster went the bell. Louder and louder the Choristers sung As they trembled more and more, And the Priests as they pray'd to heaven for aid, They smote their breasts full sore. The cock he crew, the Fiends they flew From the voice of the morning away; Then undisturb'd the Choristers sing, And the fifty Priests they pray; As they had sung and pray'd all night, The pray'd and sung all day. The third night came, and the tapers' flame A frightful stench did make; And they burnt as though they had been dipt In the burning brimstone lake. And the loud commotion, like the rushing of ocean, Grew momently more and more; And strokes as of a battering ram Did shake the strong church door. The bellmen, they for very fear Could toll the bell no longer; And still as louder grew the strokes Their fear it grew the stronger. The Monk and Nun forgot their beads, They fell on the ground in dismay; There was not a single Saint in heaven To whom they did not pray. And the Choristers' song, which late was so strong, Falter'd with consternation, For the church did rock as an earthquake shock Uplifed its foundation. And a sound was heard like the trumpet's blast, That shall one day wake the dead; The strong church door could bear no more, And the bolts and the bars they fled; And the tapers' light was extinguish'd quite, And the Choristers faintly sung, And the Priests dismay'd, panted and pray'd, And on all the Saints in heaven for aid They call'd with trembling tongue. And in He came with eyes of flame, The Devil to fetch the dead, And all the church with his presence glow'd Like a fiery furnace red. He laid his hand on the iron chains, And like flax they moulder'd asunder, And the coffin lid, which was barr'd so firm, He burst with his voice of thunder. And he bade the Old Woman of Berkeley rise, And some with her Master away; A cold sweat started on that cold corpse, At the voice she was forced to obey. She rose on her feet in her winding sheet, Her dead flesh quiver'd with fear, And a groan like that which the Old Woman gave Never did mortal hear. She follow'd her Master to the church door, There stood a black horse there; His breath was red like furnace smoke, His eyes like a meteor's glare. The Devil he flung her on the horse, And he leapt up before, And away like the lightning's speed they went, And she was seen no more. They saw her no more, but her cries For four miles round they could hear, And children at rest at their mothers' breast Started, and scream'd with fear.
Robert Southey
#Poems about Women

Glad as the weary traveller tempest-tost To reach secure at length his native coast, Who wandering long o'er distant lands has sped, The night-blast wildly howling round his head, Known all the woes of want, and felt the storm Of the bleak winter parch his shivering form; The journey o'er and every peril past Beholds his little cottage-home at last, And as he sees afar the smoke curl slow, Feels his full eyes with transport overflow: So from the scene where Death and Anguish reign, And Vice and Folly drench with blood the plain, Joyful I turn, to sing how Woman's praise Avail'd again Jerusalem to raise, Call'd forth the sanction of the Despot's nod, And freed the nation best-belov'd of God. Darius gives the feast: to Persia's court, Awed by his will, the obedient throng resort, Attending Satraps swell the Prince's pride, And vanquish'd Monarchs grace their Conqueror's side. No more the Warrior wears the garb of war, Sharps the strong steel, or mounts the scythed car; No more Judaea's sons dejected go, And hang the head and heave the sigh of woe. From Persia's rugged hills descend the train. From where Orontes foams along the plain, From where Choaspes rolls his royal waves, And India sends her sons, submissive slaves. Thy daughters Babylon to grace the feast Weave the loose robe, and paint the flowery vest, With roseate wreaths they braid the glossy hair. They tinge the cheek which Nature form'd so fair, Learn the soft step, the soul-subduing glance, Melt in the song, and swim adown the dance. Exalted on the Monarch's golden throne In royal state the fair Apame shone; Her form of majesty, her eyes of fire Chill with respect, or kindle with desire. The admiring multitude her charms adore, And own her worthy of the crown she wore. Now on his couch reclin'd Darius lay, Tir'd with the toilsome pleasures of the day; Without Judaea's watchful sons await To guard the sleeping pageant of the state. Three youths were these of Judah's royal race, Three youths whom Nature dower'd with every grace, To each the form of symmetry she gave, And haughty Genius curs'd each favorite slave; These fill'd the cup, around the Monarch kept, Serv'd as he spake, and guarded whilst he slept. Yet oft for Salem's hallowed towers laid low The sigh would heave, the unbidden tear would flow; And when the dull and wearying round of Power Allowed Zorobabel one vacant hour, He lov'd on Babylon's high wall to roam, And stretch the gaze towards his distant home, Or on Euphrates' willowy banks reclin'd Hear the sad harp moan fitful to the wind. As now the perfum'd lamps stream wide their light, And social converse chears the livelong night, Thus spake Zorobabel, "too long in vain "For Sion desolate her sons complain; "In anguish worn the joyless years lag slow, "And these proud conquerors mock their captive's woe. "Whilst Cyrus triumph'd here in victor state "A brighter prospect chear'd our exil'd fate, "Our sacred walls again he bade us raise, "And to Jehovah rear the pile of praise. "Quickly these fond hopes faded from our eyes, "As the frail sun that gilds the wintry skies, "And spreads a moment's radiance o'er the plain, "Soon hid by clouds that dim the scene again. "Opprest by Artaxerxes' jealous reign "We vainly pleaded here, and wept in vain. "Now when Darius, chief of mild command, "Bids joy and pleasure fill the festive land, "Still shall we droop the head in sullen grief, "And sternly silent shun to seek relief? "What if amid the Monarch's mirthful throng "Our harps should echo to the chearful song? "Fair is the occasion," thus the one replied, "And now let all our tuneful skill be tried. "Whilst the gay courtiers quaff the smiling bowl, "And wine's strong fumes inspire the madden'd soul, "Where all around is merriment, be mine "To strike the lute, and praise the power of Wine. "And whilst" his friend replied in state alone "Lord of the earth Darius fills the throne, "Be yours the mighty power of Wine to sing, "My lute shall sound the praise of Persia's King." To them Zorobabel, on themes like these "Seek ye the Monarch of Mankind to please; "To Wine superior or to Power's strong arms, "Be mine to sing resistless Woman's charms. "To him victorious in the rival lays "Shall just Darius give the meed of praise; "The purple robe his honor'd frame shall fold, "The beverage sparkle in his cup of gold; "A golden couch support his bed of rest, "The chain of honor grace his favor'd breast; "His the soft turban, his the car's array "O'er Babylon's high wall to wheel its way; "And for his wisdom seated on the throne, "For the KING'S COUSIN shall the Bard be known." Intent they meditate the future lay, And watch impatient for the dawn of day. The morn rose clear, and shrill were heard the flute, The cornet, sackbut, dulcimer, and lute; To Babylon's gay streets the throng resort, Swarm thro' the gates, and fill the festive court. High on his throne Darius tower'd in pride, The fair Apame grac'd the Sovereign's side; And now she smil'd, and now with mimic frown Placed
Robert Southey
#Poems about Women

Carl Sandburg
THE WASHERWOMAN is a member of the Salvation Army. And over the tub of suds rubbing underwear clean She sings that Jesus will wash her sins away And the red wrongs she has done God and man Shall be white as driven snow. Rubbing underwear she sings of the Last Great Washday.
Carl Sandburg
#Poems about Women

Carl Sandburg
THERE was a woman tore off a red velvet gown And slashed the white skin of her right shoulder And a crimson zigzag wrote a finger nail hurry. There was a woman spoke six short words And quit a life that was old to her For a life that was new. There was a woman swore an oath And gave hoarse whisper to a prayer And it was all over. She was a thief and a whore and a kept woman, She was a thing to be used and played with. She wore an ancient scarlet sash. The story is thin and wavering, White as a face in the first apple blossoms, White as a birch in the snow of a winter moon. The story is never told. There are white lips whisper alone. There are red lips whisper alone. In the cool of the old walls, In the white of the old walls, The red song is over.
Carl Sandburg
#Poems about Women

Carl Sandburg
THEY have painted and sung the women washing their hair, and the plaits and strands in the sun, and the golden combs and the combs of elephant tusks and the combs of buffalo horn and hoof. The sun has been good to women, drying their heads of hair as they stooped and shook their shoulders and framed their faces with copper and framed their eyes with dusk or chestnut. The rain has been good to women. If the rain should forget, if the rain left off for a year-- the heads of women would wither, the copper, the dusk and chestnuts, go. They have painted and sung the women washing their hair-- reckon the sun and rain in, too.
Carl Sandburg
#Poems about Women

She has attained the permanence She dreamed of, where old stones lie sunning. Untended stalks blow over her Even and swift, like young men running. Always in the heart she loved Others had lived, -- she heard their laughter. She lies where none has lain before, Where certainly none will follow after.
Louise Bogan
#Poems about Women

Women have no wilderness in them, They are provident instead, Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts To eat dusty bread. They do not see cattle cropping red winter grass, They do not hear Snow water going down under culverts Shallow and clear. They wait, when they should turn to journeys, They stiffen, when they should bend. They use against themselves that benevolence To which no man is friend. They cannot think of so many crops to a field Or of clean wood cleft by an axe. Their love is an eager meaninglessness Too tense or too lax. They hear in any whisper that speaks to them A shout and a cry. As like as not, when they take life over their door-sill They should let it go by.
Louise Bogan
#Poems about Women

I'm Sure every Word that you say is Absurd; I Say it's All Gummidge and Twaddle; You may Argue away till the 19th of May, But I don't like the Sound of the Moddle!
Gelett Burgess
#Poems about Women

This was the woman; what now of the man? But pass him. If he comes beneath a heel, He shall be crushed until he cannot feel, Or, being callous, haply till he can. But he is nothing:--nothing? Only mark The rich light striking out from her on him! Ha! what a sense it is when her eyes swim Across the man she singles, leaving dark All else! Lord God, who mad'st the thing so fair, See that I am drawn to her even now! It cannot be such harm on her cool brow To put a kiss? Yet if I meet him there! But she is mine! Ah, no! I know too well I claim a star whose light is overcast: I claim a phantom-woman in the Past. The hour has struck, though I heard not the bell!
George Meredith
#Poems about Women

What may the woman labour to confess? There is about her mouth a nervous twitch. 'Tis something to be told, or hidden:--which? I get a glimpse of hell in this mild guess. She has desires of touch, as if to feel That all the household things are things she knew. She stops before the glass. What sight in view? A face that seems the latest to reveal! For she turns from it hastily, and tossed Irresolute, steals shadow-like to where I stand; and wavering pale before me there, Her tears fall still as oak-leaves after frost. She will not speak. I will not ask. We are League-sundered by the silent gulf between. Yon burly lovers on the village green, Yours is a lower, and a happier star!
George Meredith
#Poems about Women

For Sára Karig "You are so wise," the reindeer said, "you can bind the winds of the world in a single strand."--H. C. Andersen, "The Snow Queen" She could bind the world's winds in a single strand. She could find the world's words in a singing wind. She could lend a weird will to a mottled hand. She could wind a willed word from a muddled mind. She could wend the wild woods on a saddled hind. She could sound a wellspring with a rowan wand. She could bind the wolf's wounds in a swaddling band. She could bind a banned book in a silken skin. She could spend a world war on invaded land. She could pound the dry roots to a kind of bread. She could feed a road gang on invented food. She could find the spare parts of the severed dead. She could find the stone limbs in a waste of sand. She could stand the pit cold with a withered lung. She could handle bad puns in the slang she learned. She could dandle foundlings in their mother tongue. She could plait a child's hair with a fishbone comb. She could tend a coal fire in the Arctic wind. She could mend an engine with a sewing pin. She could warm the dark feet of a dying man. She could drink the stone soup from a doubtful well. She could breathe the green stink of a trench latrine. She could drink a queen's share of important wine. She could think a few things she would never tell. She could learn the hand code of the deaf and blind. She could earn the iron keys of the frozen queen. She could wander uphill with a drunken friend. She could bind the world's winds in a single strand.
Marilyn Hacker
#Poems about Women

I shall not sing a May song. A May song should be gay. I'll wait until November And sing a song of gray. I'll wait until November That is the time for me. I'll go out in the frosty dark And sing most terribly. And all the little people Will stare at me and say, "That is the Crazy Woman Who would not sing in May."
Gwendolyn Brooks
#Poems about Women

"Oh love is fair, and love is rare;" my dear one she said, "But love goes lightly over." I bowed her foolish head, And kissed her hair and laughed at her. Such a child was she; So new to love, so true to love, and she spoke so bitterly. But there's wisdom in women, of more than they have known, And thoughts go blowing through them, are wiser than their own, Or how should my dear one, being ignorant and young, Have cried on love so bitterly, with so true a tongue?
Rupert Brooke
#Poems about Women

When I go rowing on the lake, I long to be a man; I'll give my Sunday frock to have A callous heart like Dan. I love the ripple of the waves When gliding o'er the deep, But when I see the cruel ours, I close my eyes and weep; For there are cat-fish in our lake, And I am filled with dread, Lest Don should strike a pussy-fish Upon its tender head. How would you like it if, some day An air-ship passing by, Should flap its cruel, thoughtless oars And knock you in the eye? My life would be one long regret If, for my pleasure vain, I caused a harmless little fish An hour of needless pain. And if Dan's heavy oars should cause One little fish to die, I'd never, never dare to look Smoked herring in the eye!
Ellis Parker Butler
#Poems about Women

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!
Elizabeth Browning, ,
#Poems about Women

Robert Browning
I That fawn-skin-dappled hair of hers, And the blue eye Dear and dewy, And that infantine fresh air of hers! II To think men cannot take you, Sweet, And enfold you, Ay, and hold you, And so keep you what they make you, Sweet! III You like us for a glance, you know-- For a word's sake, Or a sword's sake, All's the same, whate'er the chance, you know. IV And in turn we make you ours, we say-- You and youth too, Eyes and mouth too, All the face composed of flowers, we say. V All's our own, to make the most of, Sweet-- Sing and say for, Watch and pray for, Keep a secret or go boast of, Sweet. VI But for loving, why, you would not, Sweet, Though we prayed you, Paid you, brayed you In a mortar--for you could not, Sweet. VII So, we leave the sweet face fondly there-- Be its beauty Its sole duty! Let all hope of grace beyond, lie there! VIII And while the face lies quiet there, Who shall wonder That I ponder A conclusion? I will try it there. IX As,--why must one, for the love forgone, Scout mere liking? Thunder-striking Earth,--the heaven, we looked above for, gone! X Why with beauty, needs there money be-- Love with liking? Crush the fly-king In his gauze, because no honey bee? XI May not liking be so simple-sweet, If love grew there 'Twould undo there All that breaks the cheek to dimples sweet? XII Is the creature too imperfect, say? Would you mend it And so end it? Since not all addition perfects aye! XIII Or is it of its kind, perhaps, Just perfection-- Whence, rejection Of a grace not to its mind, perhaps? XIV Shall we burn up, tread that face at once Into tinder And so hinder Sparks from kindling all the place at once? XV Or else kiss away one's soul on her? Your love-fancies!-- A sick man sees Truer, when his hot eyes roll on her! XVI Thus the craftsman thinks to grace the rose,-- Plucks a mould-flower For his gold flower, Uses fine things that efface the rose. XVII Rosy rubies make its cup more rose, Precious metals Ape the petals,-- Last, some old king locks it up, morose! XVIII Then, how grace a rose? I know a way! Leave it rather. Must you gather? Smell, kiss, wear it--at last, throw away!
Robert Browning
#Poems about Women

Robert Browning
I. Let's contend no more, Love, Strive nor weep: All be as before, Love, --Only sleep! II. What so wild as words are? I and thou In debate, as birds are, Hawk on bough! III. See the creature stalking While we speak! Hush and hide the talking, Cheek on cheek! IV. What so false as truth is, False to thee? Where the serpent's tooth is Shun the tree-- V. Where the apple reddens Never pry-- Lest we lose our Edens, Eve and I. VI. Be a god and hold me With a charm! Be a man and fold me With thine arm! VII. Teach me, only teach, Love As I ought I will speak thy speech, Love, Think thy thought-- VIII. Meet, if thou require it, Both demands, Laying flesh and spirit In thy hands. IX. That shall be to-morrow Not to-night: I must bury sorrow Out of sight: X. --Must a little weep, Love, (Foolish me!) And so fall asleep, Love, Loved by thee.
Robert Browning
#Poems about Women

Robert Browning
I. So far as our story approaches the end, Which do you pity the most of us three?-- My friend, or the mistress of my friend With her wanton eyes, or me? II. My friend was already too good to lose, And seemed in the way of improvement yet, When she crossed his path with her hunting-noose And over him drew her net. III. When I saw him tangled in her toils, A shame, said I, if she adds just him To her nine-and-ninety other spoils, The hundredth for a whim! IV. And before my friend be wholly hers, How easy to prove to him, I said, An eagle's the game her pride prefers, Though she snaps at a wren instead! V. So, I gave her eyes my own eyes to take, My hand sought hers as in earnest need, And round she turned for my noble sake, And gave me herself indeed. VI. The eagle am I, with my fame in the world, The wren is he, with his maiden face. --You look away and your lip is curled? Patience, a moment's space! VII. For see, my friend goes shaling and white; He eyes me as the basilisk: I have turned, it appears, his day to night, Eclipsing his sun's disk. VIII. And I did it, he thinks, as a very thief: "Though I love her--that, he comprehends-- "One should master one's passions, (love, in chief) "And be loyal to one's friends!" IX. And she,--she lies in my hand as tame As a pear late basking over a wall; Just a touch to try and off it came; 'Tis mine,--can I let it fall? X. With no mind to eat it, that's the worst! Were it thrown in the road, would the case assist? 'Twas quenching a dozen blue-flies' thirst When I gave its stalk a twist. XI. And I,--what I seem to my friend, you see: What I soon shall seem to his love, you guess: What I seem to myself, do you ask of me? No hero, I confess. XII. 'Tis an awkward thing to play with souls, And matter enough to save one's own: Yet think of my friend, and the burning coals He played with for bits of stone! XIII. One likes to show the truth for the truth; That the woman was light is very true: But suppose she says,--Never mind that youth! What wrong have I done to you? XIV. Well, any how, here the story stays, So far at least as I understand; And, Robert Browning, you writer of plays, Here's a subject made to your hand!
Robert Browning
#Poems about Women

Robert Browning
I. I dream of a red-rose tree. And which of its roses three Is the dearest rose to me? II. Round and round, like a dance of snow In a dazzling drift, as its guardians, go Floating the women faded for ages, Sculptured in stone, on the poet's pages. Then follow women fresh and gay, Living and loving and loved to-day. Last, in the rear, flee the multitude of maidens, Beauties yet unborn. And all, to one cadence, They circle their rose on my rose tree. III. Dear rose, thy term is reached, Thy leaf hangs loose and bleached: Bees pass it unimpeached. IV. Stay then, stoop, since I cannot climb, You, great shapes of the antique time! How shall I fix you, fire you, freeze you, Break my heart at your feet to please you? Oh, to possess and be possessed! Hearts that beat 'neath each pallid breast! Once but of love, the poesy, the passion, Drink but once and die!---In vain, the same fashion, They circle their rose on my rose tree. V. Dear rose, thy joy's undimmed, Thy cup is ruby-rimmed, Thy cup's heart nectar-brimmed. VI. Deep, as drops from a statue's plinth The bee sucked in by the hyacinth, So will I bury me while burning, Quench like him at a plunge my yearning, Eyes in your eyes, lips on your lips! Fold me fast where the cincture slips, Prison all my soul in eternities of pleasure, Girdle me for once! But no---the old measure, They circle their rose on my rose tree. VII. Dear rose without a thorn, Thy bud's the babe unborn: First streak of a new morn. VIII. Wings, lend wings for the cold, the clear! What is far conquers what is near. Roses will bloom nor want beholders, Sprung from the dust where our flesh moulders. What shall arrive with the cycle's change? A novel grace and a beauty strange. I will make an Eve, be the artist that began her, Shaped her to his mind!---Alas! in like manner They circle their rose on my rose tree.
Robert Browning
#Poems about Women