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A New Book of Verse

Deus, Eros


I sing of a maiden

Of all wemen that ever were borne

In a valey of this restles mynde

François Villon (1431–?)

Ballade of the Hanged / Ballade des Pendus (“Freres humains qui après nous vivez”/ “O brother men who live on after us”)


Watching his lady in the morning / En voyant sa dame au matin (ca 1489). French and English

William Dunbar (ca 1460–ca 1525)

Done is a Battle (“Done is a battle on the dragon black”)

On the Nativity of Christ (“Rorate celi desuper!”)

Thomas Wyatt (ca. 1503–1542)

They flee from me, that sometime did me seek

Ann Askew (1521–1546)

The Ballad Which Anne Askew Made and Sung When She Was in Newgate (“Like as the armed knight”)

William Forrest (dates?)

A New Ballade of the Marigolde (“The God above, for man’s delight”)

Pierre de Ronsard (1524–1585)

Song / Chanson (“Douce Maistresse touche”/ “Sweet Mistress, touch”) French English

On these long winter nights when the lazy moon / Ces longues nuits d’hiver, où la Lune ocieuse French and English

From a Courtesan to Venus / D’une Courtizanne à Venus (“Si je puis ma jeunesse folle” / “If my wanton youth can be certain”) French English

Alexander Montgomerie (b. ca 1543–1558; d. 1598)

The Night is Neir Gone (“Hay! Now the day dawis”)

The Secreit Prais of Love(“As everie object to the outward ee”)

A Godly Prayer (“Peccavi Pater, Miserere mei.”)

Christofle de Beaujeu (1552?–1635?)

It’s a curious law that permits putting / C’est une estrange loy de souffrir que l’on couche. French and English

Fulke Greville (1554–1628)

All my senses, like beacons flame

Down in the depth of mine iniquity

The Earth with thunder torn, with fire blasted

Philip Sidney (1554–1586)

Leave me, O Love, which reaches but to dust

Ring out your bells, let mourning shows be spread

Only joy, now here you are

Who is it that this dark night

Philip Rosseter (1567–1623)

Come, let us sound with melody the praises

Robert Ayton (1570–1638)

To an Inconstant One (“I loved thee once; I’ll love no more”)

The Exercise of Affection (“There is no worldly pleasure here below”)

John Stewart (ca.1545–ca. 1605)

To the Honour of the Ladyis, and the Fortification of their Fame (“Just to declair the hie Magnificence”)

Jean-Édouard Monin (1557–1586)

To Her Thighs / Au Cuisses (“Quoi? bessons pilotis, quoi? gemelle colonne” / “What?—foundations of legs? What? —twin columns?”) French and English

George Peele (ca. 1558–1597)

Bethsabe’s Song (“Hot sun, cool fire, tempered with sweet air”)

When as the rye reach to the chin

Fair maiden, white and red


For the Lute of a Young Lady / Pour le Luth d’une Demoiselle (“If your delicate white hand” / “Sy vostre main blanche et legere”) French and English

Héliette de Vivonne (1558–1625)

The Lute / Le Luth (“For the sweetest enjoyment that I can choose”/ “Pour le plux doux esbat que je puisse choisir”) French and English


Hierusalem, my happie home

Mary Herbert (1561–1621)

Domine probasti: Psalm 139 (“O Lord in me there lieth nought”)

Mark Boyd (1563–1601)

Fra bank to bank, fra wood to wood I rin

John Danyel (1564–1626)

If I could shut the gate against my thoughts

Robert Jones (?–?)

How many new years have grown old


Clear or cloudy, sweet as April showering

Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593)

In Summer’s Heat (“In summer’s heat and mid-time of the day”)

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?

Thomas Nashe (ca. 1567–1601)

Adieu, farewell earth’s bliss

Thomas Campion (ca.1567–1619)

Follow your saint, follow with accents sweet

When thou must home to shades of underground

It fell on a summer’s day

Ben Jonson (ca. 1572–1637)

To Heaven (“Good and great God! Can I not think of thee”)

John Donne (ca. 1572–1631)

The Sun Rising (“Busy old fool, unruly Sun”)

Going to Bed (“Come, Madam, come, all rest my powers defy,”)

The Apparition (“When by thy scorn, O murd’ress, I am dead”)

Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward (“Let man’s soul be a sphere, and then, in this,”)

Batter my heart, three personed God

Hymn to God, My God, in my Sickness (“Since I am coming to that holy room”)

Edward Herbert (1583–1640)

Elegy over a Tomb (“Must I then see, alas! Eternal night”)

Louise-Marguerite de Lorraine, Princesse de Conty (1588–1631)

Stanzas in Which a Lady Speaks / Stances où une Dame Parle (“I’m fond of those portraits drawn on whitewashed walls” / “J’ayme bien ces pourtraits au blanc de murailles”) French and English

Théophile de Viau (1590–1626)

Sonnet / Sonnet (“Je songeois que Phyllis des enfers revenue” / “I dreamed that Phyllis, returning from the shades”) French and English

Stanzas / Stances (“Quand tu me vois baiser tes bras,”/ “When you see me kiss your arms,”) English

Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

The Vine (“I dreamed this mortal part of mine”)

Corinna’s Going A-Maying (“Get up, get up for shame, the blooming morn”)

To Anthea, who may command him anything (“Bid me to live, and I will live”)

A Psalme or Hymn to the Graces (“Glory be to the Graces!”)

His Litany to the Holy Spirit (“In the hour of my distress”)

The White Island: or Place of the Blest (“In this world (the Isle of Dreams)”)

Henry King (1592–1669)

The Exequy (“Accept thou Shrine of my dead Saint”)

George Herbert (1591–1674)

Affliction (“When first thou didst entice to thee my heart”)

The Temper (“How should I praise thee, Lord? how should my rhymes”)

Jordan (“Who says that fictions only and false hair”)

Church Monuments (“While that my soul repairs to her devotion”)

Virtue (“Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright”)

Mortification (“How soon doth man decay!”)

The Quip (The merry world did on a day”)

The Flower (“How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean”)

Francis Quarles (1592–1644)

Why dost thou shade thy lovely face?

Thomas Carew (1595–1640)

A Rapture (“I will enjoy thee now, my Celia, come”)

John Milton (1608–1674)

When I consider how my light is spent

Richard Lovelace ((1618–1658)

To Lucasta, Going to the Wars (“Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind”)

La Bella Bona-Roba (“I cannot tell who loves the skeleton”)

Margaret Cavendish (1623–1673) - Note

Upon the Theme of Love (“O Love, how thou art tired out with Rhyme!”)

John Dryden (1631–1700)

I Feed a Flame Within (“I feed a flame within, which so torments me”)

A Song to a Fair Young Lady going out of Town in the Spring (“Ask not the cause why sullen Spring”)

Katherine Philips (1631–1664)

To My Excellent Lucasia, on Our Friendship (“I did not live, until this time”)

A Prayer (“Eternal reason, glorious majesty”)

To Mrs. Mary Awbrey (“Soul of my soul, my joy, my crown, my friend,”)

Wiston Vault (“And why this vault and tomb? Alike we must”)

Orinda to Lucasia (“Observe the weary birds, e’er night be done”)

Thomas Traherne (1637–1674)

On News (“News from a foreign country came”)

The Salutation (“These little limbs”)

Claude Le Petit (1638–1662)

On My Book / Sur Mon Livre (“Courtiers of Priapus and old Bacchus” / Courtisanes de Priape et du père Bacchus”)

Edward Taylor (ca.1642–1679)

View all ye eyes above, this night which flings

Oh! thou, my Lord, thou king of Saints, here mak’st

Oh! Good, Good, Good, my Lord. What more Love yet

John Wilmot (1647–1680)

A Song (“Absent from thee I languish still”)

Upon Drinking in a Bowl (“Vulcan, contrive me such a Cup”)

A Song of a Young Lady: To Her Ancient Lover (“Ancient Person, for whom I”)

The Imperfect Enjoyment (“Naked she lay, clasped in my longing arms,”)

The Platonic Lady (“I could love thee till I die”)

Song (“Love a woman! You’re an ass”)

Thomas d’Urfey? (1653–1723)

The Green-Gowne (“Pan leave Piping, the Gods have done Feasting”) Note

Matthew Prior (1664–1721)

A Song (“For God’s-sake—nay, dear Sir”)

Dorinda (“Farewell ye shady walks and fountains”)


Bonny Barbara Allan (“It was in and about the Martinmas time”)

Johnny Faa, the Gypsie Laddie (“The gypsies came to our good lord’s gate”)


Ane Litle Interlude of the Droichs (“Hirry, hary, hobbilschow”) Note

A Brash of Wooing (“In secret Place this hinder Nicht”) Note


Edward (“Why dois your brand sae drap wi’ bluid”)

Wolfgang Goethe (1749–1832)

Erotica Romana (sel) / Römische Elegien

“Here’s where I’ve planted my garden and here I shall care for love’s blossoms” English

Anonymous ,

Hob upon a Holiday (“Hob yawned three times and rubbed his eyes”)

Robert Burns (1759–1796)

Holy Willie’s Prayer (“O Thou, wha in the heavens dost dwell”)

Address to the Devil (“O Thou, whatever title suit thee”)

The Lass that Made the Bed to Me (“When Januar wind was blawing cauld”)

Sodger Laddie (“I once was a Maid, tho’ I cannot tell when”)

What Can a Young Lassie Do wi’ an Auld Man? (“What can a young lassie, what shall a young lassie”)

George Colman (1762–1836)

Don Leon (“Thou ermined judge, pull off that sable cap!”)

Friedrich Hölderlin (1770–1843)

My Possession / Mein Eigentum (“In seiner Füller ruhet der Herbsttag nun”/In its fullness the Autumn day rests now) English

Man / Der Mensch (“Kaum sprossten aus den Wassern, o Erde dir”/ “When scarcely from the waters, O Earth, for you”) German

To the Fates / An die Parzen (“Nur einen sommer gönnt, ihr Gewaltigen!”/ “One summer only grant me, you powerful fates”) English


The Demon Lover (“O where have ye been, my long, long love”)

Lord Randal (“O where hae ye been, Lord Randal, my son?)

Mary Hamilton (“Word’s gane to the kitchen”)

Henry Lyte (1793–1847)

Abide with Me (“Abide with me; fast falls the eventide”)

Victor Hugo (1802–1885)

Anticipation / Attente (“Monte, écureuil, monte au grand chêne”/ “Rise, squirrel, up the great oak, rise”) English

A Young Girl / Une Jeune Fille (“J’aime. O vents, chassez l’hiver.”/ “I’m in love. O winds, chase away winter.”) English

Gérard de Nerval (1808–1855)

Myrtho / Myrtho (“Je pense à toi, Myrtho, divine enchanteresse”/ “Myrtho, I think of you, O divine enchanteress”) English

The Wretched One / El Desdichado (“Je suis le ténébreux,— le veuf, —l’inconsolé”/ I am the shadowy one—the widower—the unconsoled”)

Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892)

Demeter and Proserpine (“Faint as a climate-changing bird that flies”)

Alfred de Musset (1810–1857)

To Julie / À Julie (“On me demande, par les rues,” /”They ask me, in the streets”) French English

Robert Browning (1812–1889)

The Bishop Orders His Tomb (“Vanity, saith the preacher, vanity!”)

Théophile Gautier (1813–1872)

Carmen / Carmen (“Carmen est maigre, un trait de bistre” / “Carmen is thin; a yellow brown”) French, English.

Solitude / Solitude (“Je bande trop. De mon culotte”/ “I've such a hard-on. From my britches”) , English.

Jones Very (1813–1880)

The Hand and Foot (“The hand and foot that stir not, they shall find”)

The Lost (“The fairest day that ever yet hath shone”)

The Garden (“I saw the spot where out first parents dwelt”)

The Created (“There is naught for thee by thy haste to gain”)

Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910)

Battle Hymn of the Republic (“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”)

Herman Melville (1819–1891)

The sighting of Moby Dick, chapter 133 (“Like noiseless nautilus shells, …streaming like pennons”)

Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)

Goblin Market (“Morning and evening”)

Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

These are the days when birds come back

There’s a certain slant of light

He touched me, so I live to know

I am ashamed; I hide

Gerard Hopkins (1844–1889)

Heaven-Haven (“I have desired to go”)

The Habit of Perfection (“Elected Silence, sing to me”)

In Honour of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez (“Honour is flashed off exploit, so we say”)

No Worst, There Is None (“No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,”)

I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark (“I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.”)

That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire (“Cloud-puffball, torn tufts, tossed pillows flaunt forth, then chevy on an air-”)

Thou art Indeed Just, Lord (“Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend”)

Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891)

First Evening / Première Soirée (“Elle était fort déshabillée/ “She had very little on”)

John Falkner (1858–1922)

After Trinity (“We’ve done with dogma and divinity”)

Amy Levy (1861–1889)

To Lallie (“Up those Museum steps you came”)

William Yeats (1865–1939)

Sailing to Byzantium (“That is no country for old men. The young”)

Paul Valéry (1871–1945)

The Cemetery by the Sea / Le Cimitière Marin (“Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes”/ This tranquil roof where doves are walking’)

William Handy (1873–1958)

St. Louis Blues (“I hate to see de ev’nin’ sun go down”)

Loveless Love (“Love is like a gold brick in a bunco game”)

Rainer Rilke (1875–1926)

Autumn Day / Herbsttag (“Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr gross.”/” Lord, it is time. The summer was very great.”) German and English Note

A tree ascended there. O pure transcendence / Da stieg ein Baum. O reine Ubersteigung (Sonnets to Orpheus, I/1) English

And a girl, almost, grew and came forth / Und fast ein Mädchen wars und ging hervor (Sonnets to Orpheus, I/2) German and English

Orpheus, Eurydice, Hermes / Orpheus, Euridike, Hermes (“Das war der Seelen wunderliches Bergwerk”/ “That was the so unfathomed mine of souls.”) English

Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)

Sunday Morning (“Complacencies of the peignoir, and late”) Of Heaven Considered as a Tomb (“What word have you, interpreters, of men”)

William Williams (1883–1963)

The Catholic Bells (“Tho’ I’m no Catholic”)

David Lawrence (1885–1930)

Snake (“A snake came to my water-trough”)

Bavarian Gentians (“Not every man has gentians in his house”)

Bessie Smith (1894–1937)

It Makes My Love Come Down (“When I see two sweethearts spoon”)

Gertrude Rainey (1896–1939)

Empty Bed Blues “I woke up this mornin’ with an awful achin’ head”

Robert Graves (1895–1985)

Down, Wanton, Down! (“Down, wanton, down! Have you no shame”)

Sick Love (“O Love, be fed with apples while you may”)

Counting the Beats (“You, love, and I”)

Andy Razaf (1895–1973)

My Man o’ War (“I got myself a military man”)

Louis Aragon (1897–1982)

Love Which Isn’t a Word / L’Amour qui n’est-pas un mot (“Mon Dieu jusqu’au dernier moment”/ My God, right up to the last minute”) French English

Erich Kästner (1899–1974)

Ragoût fin de siècle (“Here specialists can hardly say who’s who”)


Frankie and Johnny (“Frankie and Johnny were lovers”)

Yvor Winters (1900–1968)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (“Reptilian green, the wrinkled throat”)

To the Holy Spirit (“Immeasurable haze”)

A Testament (“We will and move; the gain”)

The Marriage (“Incarnate for our marriage you appeared”)

Jeanne-Marie Durry (1901-1980)

Orpheus’ Plea / Prière d’Orphée (“Maître, ô maître nocturne, maître”/ “Master, nocturnal master, master”) English

Alec Hope (1907–2000)

Imperial Adam (“Imperial Adam, naked in the dew,”)

The Return of Persephone (“Gliding through the still air, he made no sound”)

Bounce to Pope (“Master, by Styx!—which is the poets’ oath”)

Theodore Roethke (1908–1963)

Infirmity (“In purest song one plays the constant fool”)

Lawrence Durrell (1912–1990)

A Ballad of the Good Lord Nelson (“The Good Lord Nelson had a swollen gland”)

Sigerson Clifford (1913–1985)

The Ballad of the Tinker’s Wife (“When cocks curved throats for crowing”)

Patrick Anderson (1915–1979)

Spiv Song (“Where are you going, my spiv, my wide boy”)

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000)

The preacher: ruminates behind the scenes (“I think it must be lonely to be God”)

Robert Lowell (1917–1977)

Waking Early Sunday Morning (“O to break loose, like the chinook”)

Joan LaBombard (1920–

Adam (“Without his trespass there to cast a shadow”)

The Return (“Here is the well-kept lawn, the ordered garden,”)

Georges Brassens (1921–1981)

The Nun / La religieuse (“Tous les coeurs se rallient à sa blanche cornette”/ “Everyone yearns towards her white cornette”) French English

Philip Larkin (1922–1985)

Church Going (“Once I am sure there’s nothing going on”)

An Arundel Tomb (“Side by side, their faces blurred”)

Edgar Bowers (1924–2000)

From William Tyndale to John Frith (“The letter I, your lone friend, write in sorrow”)

The Astronomers of Mont Blanc (“Who are you there that, from your icy tower”)

Adam’s Song to Heaven (“O depth sufficient to desire”)

Maxine Kumin (1925–

Morning Swim (“Into my empty head there come”)

Donald Justice (1925–2004)

Psalm and Lament (“The clocks are sorry, the clocks are very sad.”)

The Wall (“The wall surrounding them they never saw”)

Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997)

τεθνάκην δ’ ολίγω ’πιδεύης φαίνομ’ αλαία (“Red-cheeked boyfriends tenderly kiss me sweet mouthed”)

Elizabeth Jennings (1926–

To a Friend with a Religious Vocation (“Thinking of your vocation, I am filled”)

Helen Pinkerton (1927–

Error Pursued II (“Satan in Eden was constrained”)

On Watteau’s “Pilgrimage to Cythera” (1717, in the Louvre) (“Not Compostela where these pilgrims journey.”)

Thom Gunn (1929–2004)

In Santa Maria del Popolo (“Waiting for when the sun an hour or less”)

X.J. Kennedy (1929–

God’s Obsequies (“So I went to the funeral of God,”)

Ellen Kay (1930–

The Reply of Pluto to Ceres (“She was not so unwilling. Where the sun”)

Scott Momaday (1934–

Before an Old Painting of the Crucifixion (“I ponder how he died, despairing once”)

Judith E. Johnson (1936–

Ballade of the Grindstones (“when you and I draw close at night and play”)

Robert Pinsky (1940–

Eurydice and Stalin (“She crossed a bridge, and looking down she saw”)

Marilyn Hacker (1942–

Dusk: July (“Late afternoon rain of a postponed summer:”)

Kit Wright (1944–

Underneath the Archers or What’s all this about Walter’s Willy? (“Everyone’s on about Walter’s willy”)

Timothy Steele (1948–

An Aubade (“As she is showering, I wake to see”)

James Fenton (1949–

The Mistake (“With the mistake your life goes in reverse.”)

God, a Poem (“A nasty surprise in a sandwich”)

Alan Shapiro (1952–

Aphrodite (“The gold adorned, the lover of smiles, is nearing”)

Carol Duffy (1955–

Warming Her Pearls (“Next to my own skin, her pearls. My mistress”)

Circe (“I’m fond, nereids and nymphs, unlike some, of the pig”)

Catherine Bowman (1957–

Demographics (“They don’t want to stop. They can’t stop.”)

Sue Goyette (1964–

Vigil (“The last river nymph is dying of thirst. She is surrounded”)

A.E. Stallings (1968–

Persephone Writes a Letter to Her Mother (“First—hell is not so far underground—

Morri Creech (1970–

The Canto of Ulysses (“Drowsing, head propped above the eighth circle”)

The Music of Farewell (“It’s true, of course, that the dusk-umbered leaves”)


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