Even such is time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with age and dust;
Who, in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days.
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust.
"Mother to Son"
by Langston Hughes
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
Ah, yes, I wrote the “Purple Cow”—
I’m Sorry, now, I wrote it;
But I can tell you Anyhow
I’ll Kill you if you Quote it!
The Art of Poetry [an excerpt]
Gently make haste, of Labour not afraid; A hundred times consider what you’ve said: Polish, repolish, every Colour lay, And sometimes add; but oft’ner take away. ‘Tis not enough, when swarming Faults are writ, That here and there are scattered Sparks of Wit; Each Object must be fix’d in the due place, And diff’ring parts have Corresponding Grace: ‘Till, by a curious Art dispos’d, we find One perfect whole, of all the pieces join’d. Keep your subject close, in all you say; Nor for a sounding Sentence ever stray.
“I Broke the Spell That Held Me Long”
A learned man came to me once. He said, "I know the way, -- come." And I was overjoyed at this. Together we hastened. Soon, too soon, were we Where my eyes were useless, And I knew not the ways of my feet. I clung to the hand of my friend; But at last he cried, "I am lost."