Narrative Poems - Poems For Narrative

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  • 49.
    Vaudracour And Julia

    O HAPPY time of youthful lovers (thus
    My story may begin) O balmy time,
    In which a love-knot on a lady's brow
    Is fairer than the fairest star in heaven!
    To such inheritance of blessed fancy
    (Fancy that sports more desperately with minds
    Than ever fortune hath been known to do)
    The high-born Vaudracour was brought, by years
    Whose progress had a little overstepped
    His stripling prime. A town of small repute,
    Among the vine-clad mountains of Auvergne,
    Was the Youth's birth-place. There he wooed a Maid
    Who heard the heart-felt music of his suit
    With answering vows. Plebeian was the stock,
    Plebeian, though ingenuous, the stock,
    From which her graces and her honours sprung:
    And hence the father of the enamoured Youth,
    With haughty indignation, spurned the thought
    Of such alliance.--From their cradles up,
    With but a step between their several homes,
    Twins had they been in pleasure; after strife
    And petty quarrels, had grown fond again;
    Each other's advocate, each other's stay;
    And, in their happiest moments, not content,
    If more divided than a sportive pair
    Of sea-fowl, conscious both that they are hovering
    Within the eddy of a common blast,
    Or hidden only by the concave depth
    Of neighbouring billows from each other's sight.
    Thus, not without concurrence of an age
    Unknown to memory, was an earnest given
    By ready nature for a life of love,
    For endless constancy, and placid truth;
    But whatsoe'er of such rare treasure lay
    Reserved, had fate permitted, for support
    Of their maturer years, his present mind
    Was under fascination;--he beheld
    A vision, and adored the thing he saw.
    Arabian fiction never filled the world
    With half the wonders that were wrought for him.
    Earth breathed in one great presence of the spring;
    Life turned the meanest of her implements,
    Before his eyes, to price above all gold;
    The house she dwelt in was a sainted shrine;
    Her chamber-window did surpass in glory
    The portals of the dawn; all paradise
    Could, by the simple opening of a door,
    Let itself in upon him:--pathways, walks,
    Swarmed with enchantment, till his spirit sank,
    Surcharged, within him, overblest to move
    Beneath a sun that wakes a weary world
    To its dull round of ordinary cares;
    A man too happy for mortality!
    So passed the time, till whether through effect
    Of some unguarded moment that dissolved
    Virtuous restraint--ah, speak it, think it, not!
    Deem rather that the fervent Youth, who saw
    So many bars between his present state
    And the dear haven where he wished to be
    In honourable wedlock with his Love,
    Was in his judgment tempted to decline
    To perilous weakness, and entrust his cause
    To nature for a happy end of all;
    Deem that by such fond hope the Youth was swayed,
    And bear with their transgression, when I add
    That Julia, wanting yet the name of wife,
    Carried about her for a secret grief
    The promise of a mother.
    To conceal
    The threatened shame, the parents of the Maid
    Found means to hurry her away by night,
    And unforewarned, that in some distant spot
    She might remain shrouded in privacy,
    Until the babe was born. When morning came
    The Lover, thus bereft, stung with his loss,
    And all uncertain whither he should turn,
    Chafed like a wild beast in the toils; but soon
    Discovering traces of the fugitives,
    Their steps he followed to the Maid's retreat.
    Easily may the sequel be divined--
    Walks to and fro--watchings at every hour;
    And the fair Captive, who, whene'er she may,
    Is busy at her casement as the swallow
    Fluttering its pinions, almost within reach,
    About the pendent nest, did thus espy
    Her Lover!--thence a stolen interview,
    Accomplished under friendly shade of night.
    I pass the raptures of the pair;--such theme
    Is, by innumerable poets, touched
    In more delightful verse than skill of mine
    Could fashion; chiefly by that darling bard
    Who told of Juliet and her Romeo,
    And of the lark's note heard before its time,
    And of the streaks that laced the severing clouds
    In the unrelenting east.--Through all her courts
    The vacant city slept; the busy winds,
    That keep no certain intervals of rest,
    Moved not; meanwhile the galaxy displayed
    Her fires, that like mysterious pulses beat
    Aloft;--momentous but uneasy bliss!
    To their full hearts the universe seemed hung
    On that brief meeting's slender filament!
    They parted; and the generous Vaudracour
    Reached speedily the native threshold, bent
    On making (so the Lovers had agreed)
    A sacrifice of birthright to attain
    A final portion from his father's hand;
    Which granted, Bride and Bridegroom then would flee
    To some remote and solitary place,
    Shady as night, and beautiful as heaven,
    Where they may live, with no one to behold
    Their happiness, or to disturb their love.
    But 'now' of this no whisper; not the less,
    If ever an obtrusive word were dropped
    Touching the matter of his passion, still,
    In his stern father's hearing, Vaudracour
    Persisted openly that death alone
    Should abrogate his human privilege
    Divine, of swearing everlasting truth,
    Upon the altar, to the Maid he loved.
    'You shall be baffled in your mad intent
    If there be justice in the court of France,'
    Muttered the Father.--From these words the Youth
    Conceived a terror; and, by night or day,
    Stirred nowhere without weapons, that full soon
    Found dreadful provocation: for at night
    When to his chamber he retired, attempt
    Was made to seize him by three armed men,
    Acting, in furtherance of the father's will,
    Under a private signet of the State.
    One the rash Youth's ungovernable hand
    Slew, and as quickly to a second gave
    A perilous wound--he shuddered to behold
    The breathless corse; then peacefully resigned
    His person to the law, was lodged in prison,
    And wore the fetters of a criminal.
    Have you observed a tuft of winged seed
    That, from the dandelion's naked stalk,
    Mounted aloft, is suffered not to use
    Its natural gifts for purposes of rest,
    Driven by the autumnal whirlwind to and fro
    Through the wide element? or have you marked
    The heavier substance of a leaf-clad bough,
    Within the vortex of a foaming flood,
    Tormented? by such aid you may conceive
    The perturbation that ensued;--ah, no!
    Desperate the Maid--the Youth is stained with blood;
    Unmatchable on earth is their disquiet!
    Yet as the troubled seed and tortured bough
    Is Man, subjected to despotic sway.
    For him, by private influence with the Court,
    Was pardon gained, and liberty procured;
    But not without exaction of a pledge,
    Which liberty and love dispersed in air.
    He flew to her from whom they would divide him--
    He clove to her who could not give him peace--
    Yea, his first word of greeting was,--'All right
    Is gone from me; my lately-towering hopes,
    To the least fibre of their lowest root,
    Are withered; thou no longer canst be mine,
    I thine--the conscience-stricken must not woo
    The unruffled Innocent,--I see thy face,
    Behold thee, and my misery is complete!'
    'One, are we not?' exclaimed the Maiden--'One,
    For innocence and youth, for weal and woe?'
    Then with the father's name she coupled words
    Of vehement indignation; but the Youth
    Checked her with filial meekness; for no thought
    Uncharitable crossed his mind, no sense
    Of hasty anger rising in the eclipse
    Of true domestic loyalty, did e'er
    Find place within his bosom.--Once again
    The persevering wedge of tyranny
    Achieved their separation: and once more
    Were they united,--to be yet again
    Disparted, pitiable lot! But here
    A portion of the tale may well be left
    In silence, though my memory could add
    Much how the Youth, in scanty space of time,
    Was traversed from without; much, too, of thoughts
    That occupied his days in solitude
    Under privation and restraint; and what,
    Through dark and shapeless fear of things to come,
    And what, through strong compunction for the past,
    He suffered--breaking down in heart and mind!
    Doomed to a third and last captivity,
    His freedom he recovered on the eve
    Of Julia's travail. When the babe was born,
    Its presence tempted him to cherish schemes
    Of future happiness. 'You shall return,
    Julia,' said he, 'and to your father's house
    Go with the child.--You have been wretched; yet
    The silver shower, whose reckless burthen weighs
    Too heavily upon the lily's head,
    Oft leaves a saving moisture at its root.
    Malice, beholding you, will melt away.
    Go!--'tis a town where both of us were born;
    None will reproach you, for our truth is known;
    And if, amid those once-bright bowers, our fate
    Remain unpitied, pity is not in man.
    With ornaments--the prettiest, nature yields
    Or art can fashion, shall you deck our boy,
    And feed his countenance with your own sweet looks
    Till no one can resist him.--Now, even now,
    I see him sporting on the sunny lawn;
    My father from the window sees him too;
    Startled, as if some new-created thing
    Enriched the earth, or Faery of the woods
    Bounded before him;--but the unweeting Child
    Shall by his beauty win his grandsire's heart
    So that it shall be softened, and our loves
    End happily, as they began!'
    These gleams
    Appeared but seldom; oftener was he seen
    Propping a pale and melancholy face
    Upon the Mother's bosom; resting thus
    His head upon one breast, while from the other
    The Babe was drawing in its quiet food.
    --That pillow is no longer to be thine,
    Fond Youth! that mournful solace now must pass
    Into the list of things that cannot be!
    Unwedded Julia, terror-smitten, hears
    The sentence, by her mother's lip pronounced,
    That dooms her to a convent.--Who shall tell,
    Who dares report, the tidings to the lord
    Of her affections? so they blindly asked
    Who knew not to what quiet depths a weight
    Of agony had pressed the Sufferer down:
    The word, by others dreaded, he can hear
    Composed and silent, without visible sign
    Of even the least emotion. Noting this,
    When the impatient object of his love
    Upbraided him with slackness, he returned
    No answer, only took the mother's hand
    And kissed it; seemingly devoid of pain,
    Or care, that what so tenderly he pressed,
    Was a dependant on the obdurate heart
    Of one who came to disunite their lives
    For ever--sad alternative! preferred,
    By the unbending Parents of the Maid,
    To secret 'spousals meanly disavowed.
    --So be it!
    In the city he remained
    A season after Julia had withdrawn
    To those religious walls. He, too, departs--
    Who with him?--even the senseless Little-one.
    With that sole charge he passed the city-gates,
    For the last time, attendant by the side
    Of a close chair, a litter, or sedan,
    In which the Babe was carried. To a hill,
    That rose a brief league distant from the town,
    The dwellers in that house where he had lodged
    Accompanied his steps, by anxious love
    Impelled;--they parted from him there, and stood
    Watching below till he had disappeared
    On the hill top. His eyes he scarcely took,
    Throughout that journey, from the vehicle
    (Slow-moving ark of all his hopes!) that veiled
    The tender infant: and, at every inn,
    And under every hospitable tree
    At which the bearers halted or reposed,
    Laid him with timid care upon his knees,
    And looked, as mothers ne'er were known to look,
    Upon the nursling which his arms embraced.
    This was the manner in which Vaudracour
    Departed with his infant; and thus reached
    His father's house, where to the innocent child
    Admittance was denied. The young man spake
    No word of indignation or reproof,
    But of his father begged, a last request,
    That a retreat might be assigned to him
    Where in forgotten quiet he might dwell,
    With such allowance as his wants required;
    For wishes he had none. To a lodge that stood
    Deep in a forest, with leave given, at the age
    Of four-and-twenty summers he withdrew;
    And thither took with him his motherless Babe,
    And one domestic for their common needs,
    An aged woman. It consoled him here
    To attend upon the orphan, and perform
    Obsequious service to the precious child,
    Which, after a short time, by some mistake
    Or indiscretion of the Father, died.--
    The Tale I follow to its last recess
    Of suffering or of peace, I know not which:
    Theirs be the blame who caused the woe, not mine!
    From this time forth he never shared a smile
    With mortal creature. An Inhabitant
    Of that same town, in which the pair had left
    So lively a remembrance of their griefs,
    By chance of business, coming within reach
    Of his retirement, to the forest lodge
    Repaired, but only found the matron there,
    Who told him that his pains were thrown away,
    For that her Master never uttered word
    To living thing--not even to her.--Behold!
    While they were speaking, Vaudracour approached;
    But, seeing some one near, as on the latch
    Of the garden-gate his hand was laid, he shrunk--
    And, like a shadow, glided out of view.
    Shocked at his savage aspect, from the place
    The visitor retired.
    Thus lived the Youth
    Cut off from all intelligence with man,
    And shunning even the light of common day;
    Nor could the voice of Freedom, which through France
    Full speedily resounded, public hope,
    Or personal memory of his own deep wrongs,
    Rouse him: but in those solitary shades
    His days he wasted, an imbecile mind! read more »

  • 50.
    Theseus

    Blue shadows wreathed the galley's prow that bore
    Twice seven Attic youth, a glorious train
    For Theseus, captain of the brunt of war,
    Over the Cretan main. read more »

  • 51.
    Arnold at Stillwater

    Ah, you mistake me, comrades, to think that my heart is steel!
    Cased in a cold endurance, nor pleasure nor pain to feel;
    Cold as I am in my manner, yet over these cheeks so seared
    Teardrops have fallen in torrents, thrice since my chin grew beard. read more »

  • 52.
    Herve Riel

    On the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hundred ninety two,
    Did the English fight the French,--woe to France! read more »

  • 53.
    Saturn

    Now were the Titans gathered round their king
    In a waste region slipping toward the verge
    Of drear extremities that clasp the world—
    A land half-moulded by the hasty gods, read more »

  • 54.
    Paradise Regained

    THE FIRST BOOK

    I, WHO erewhile the happy Garden sung
    By one man's disobedience lost, now sing read more »

  • 55.
    The Walrus and the Carpenter

    The sun was shining on the sea,
    Shining with all his might:
    He did his very best to make
    The billows smooth and bright -- read more »

  • 56.
    The Embrace

    You weren't well or really ill yet either;
    just a little tired, your handsomeness
    tinged by grief or anticipation, which brought
    to your face a thoughtful, deepening grace. read more »

  • 57.
    Odysseus' Decision

    The great man turns his back on the island.
    Now he will not die in paradise
    nor hear again
    the lutes of paradise among the olive trees, read more »

  • 58.
    The Ancient World

    Today the Masons are auctioning
    their discarded pomp: a trunk of turbans,
    gemmed and ostrich-plumed, and operetta costumes
    labeled inside the collar "Potentate" read more »

  • 59.
    Narrative And Dramatic The Wanderings Of Oisin

    S. Patrick. You who are bent, and bald, and blind,
    With a heavy heart and a wandering mind,
    Have known three centuries, poets sing,
    Of dalliance with a demon thing. read more »

  • 60.
    A Banker's Prayer

    Dear God,
    Let our borrowers pay us back
    We can take no more flack
    We have to remain on track read more »

New Narrative Poems

  1. Your face tells it all, Anu Shraddha
  2. A spy, Kenneth Maswabi
  3. Crossman, Edward Kofi Louis
  4. We should, hasmukh amathalal
  5. The Question! ?, Frank Okoth
  6. Girish Karnad, Your Nagamandala, Not You.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  7. HAPPY BORN DAY ALVIN, Alvin Word Speaker Tatlhego
  8. Dalit Literature, Let Them Write, You Wr.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  9. Dalit's Case, Why Are They Handling?, Bijay Kant Dubey
  10. Evocation & Imagination, Maria C. Pires Costa
  11. Touch not, gajanan mishra
  12. Narrative, Juliana Spahr
  13. A Sense of Sumptuousness: A Found Poem, Frank Avon
  14. art uncle jude, binod bastola
  15. Itinerary, Roberto Tejada
  16. I Boomerang, Michelle Claus
  17. Nameless, Charles Monroe
  18. Revelation's Finale' - So Close..., MoonBee Canady
  19. Living In Paradise, Lento Maez
  20. Respectful Narratives, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  21. Cathedral Music Haiku for Nobel Prize Wi.., Chenou Liu
  22. The Definition Of Poetry, Bijay Kant Dubey
  23. From This Bridge, michael oliver
  24. From the bridge revised version, michael oliver
  25. Portrait, of i, Owen Bittner
  26. Invent Colors, gajanan mishra
  27. élan vital, Tori Pleasent
  28. Horns of Hattin, Mason Maestro
  29. Alankar(Decor) -98, Indira Renganathan
  30. Muir Woods, William B. Deutscher
  31. Portrait of a Poet, Leaking Pen
  32. Terrestrial Trance, Mason Maestro
  33. Which Is; Which Is, Luis Estable
  34. Whoever Did It: Cruel!, Luis Estable
  35. Mimesis: Morphed Magnetic Disks, Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  36. The Literal Pain, RIC S. BASTASA
  37. I Drown In Words, Cynthia BuhainBaello
  38. Leitmotif, Udaya Pant
  39. PANTHEON, Satish Verma
  40. God's Repentance On Yom Kippur, gershon hepner
  41. I once knew a girl, bill nye the science guy
  42. Sparrows, Chester Maynes
  43. Chells memory, michael oliver
  44. The Stories, Mohammed AlBalushi
  45. Mimesis: Morphed Magnetscheibe, Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  46. Political Warriors, Buxton Shippy
  47. Search, C. P. Sharma
  48. Soil, Alexander Keli
  49. To a Wasted Life, David Blake
  50. An ode to Russ Ligtas’ butoh performance.., Liyo Denorte
  51. The Poems Bring Me Back To Myself, Shalom Freedman
  52. typhoon, RIC S. BASTASA
  53. envy, envy, sad eyes, RIC S. BASTASA
  54. BEATING THE BUSH, RIC S. BASTASA
  55. It Seems the English, Patti Masterman
  56. something is wrong, adil khan
  57. memory warp, , fraud and freud, gershon hepner
  58. Dance of Life, Nirmal Kumar Mishra
  59. poetry, not prose, gershon hepner
  60. Felons and Talons, Naveed Akram
  61. The Letter (iii), Jacqui Thewless
  62. Maya, Ilham Ahmed
  63. Hymn of the Bonekeeper(minor), Joshua Lee
  64. The classics, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  65. Story of My Name, Naveed Akram
  66. The King's Summons, Herbert Nehrlich 2
  67. Ballet Rosette, Ahmad Shiddiqi
  68. Ballade d'amour, Ahmad Shiddiqi
  69. triptych, gershon hepner
  70. craft, faith and narrative, gershon hepner
  71. Most Fables, shimon weinroth
  72. Wayang Kulit, Ahmad Shiddiqi
  73. Kebyar Dance, Ahmad Shiddiqi
  74. Legong Dance, Ahmad Shiddiqi
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