A sweet disorder in the dress Kindles in clothes a wantonness: A lawn about the shoulders thrown Into a fine distraction: An erring lace which here and there Enthralls the crimson stomacher: A cuff neglectful, and thereby Ribbons to flow confusedly: A winning wave, deserving note, In the tempestuous petticoat: A careless shoe-string, in whose tie I see a wild civility: Do more bewitch me than when art Is too precise in every part.
Delight in Disorder by Robert Herrick (1591 to 1674) This week's poem can be found at this link.
On afternoons, when baby boy has had a splendid nap, And sits, like any monarch on his throne, in nurse's lap, In some such wise my handkerchief I hold before my face, And cautiously and quietly I move about the place; Then, with a cry, I suddenly expose my face to view, And you should hear him laugh and crow when I say "Booh"! Sometimes the rascal tries to make believe that he is scared, And really, when I first began, he stared, and stared, and stared; And then his under lip came out and farther out it came, Till mamma and the nurse agreed it was a "cruel shame"— But now what does that same wee, toddling, lisping baby do But laugh and kick his little heels when I say "Booh!" He laughs and kicks his little heels in rapturous glee, and then In shrill, despotic treble bids me "do it all aden!" And I—of course I do it; for, as his progenitor, It is such pretty, pleasant play as this that I am for! And it is, oh, such fun and I am sure that we shall rue The time when we are both too old to play the game "Booh!"
"BOOH!" by Eugene Field (1850 to 1895) This week's poem can be found at this link.
William was holding in his hand The likeness of his wife! Fresh, as if touched by fairy wand, With beauty, grace, and life. He almost thought it spoke:—he gazed Upon the bauble still, Absorbed, delighted, and amazed, To view the artist's skill. "This picture is yourself, dear Jane— 'Tis drawn to nature true: I've kissed it o'er and o'er again, It is much like you." "And has it kissed you back, my dear?" "Why—no—my love," said he. "Then, William, it is very clear 'Tis not at all LIKE ME!"
The Miniature by George P. Morris (1802 to 1864) This week's poem can be found at this link.
'TIS a strange mystery, the power of words! Life is in them, and death. A word can send The crimson colour hurrying to the cheek. Hurrying with many meanings; or can turn The current cold and deadly to the heart. Anger and fear are in them; grief and joy Are on their sound; yet slight, impalpable:-- A word is but a breath of passing air.
The Power of Words by Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802 to 1838) This week's poem can be found at this link.
Estelle, when you and I were rising nine Perhaps you'd rather I suppressed the date I spent a shilling on a valentine And left it for you at the garden gate. Therein my heart was imaged in a bower Of tinsel roses, with a tender verse on; I followed it in less than half an hour Impatient for your gratitude in person. You ran and kissed my cheek with candied lips, A habit, by the way, you've since neglected; You gambolled up and down in little skips, Yet failed to do the thing that I expected. It should have been a give-and-take affair; You had my tinsel heart, while I had not one, And when I asked for yours, to make it square, You playfully remarked you hadn't got one.
I was appalled my little bosom heaved Such disappointment did not seem correct. With rising tears I felt myself deceived And lost my temper at your base neglect. 'I'll have mine back I paid for it, it's mine!' I cried. We fought and tore the paper frilling. By dint of nail you kept that valentine, And left me howling for my wasted shilling. Since then how many years have slipped away? And time has tamed my temper to submission. You're tall and dignified, and yet to-day I find myself in just the same position. The heart from out my bosom you've decoyed, Though day by day with strenuous endeavour I would recall it to its aching void. I strive in vain my heart is yours for ever.
A Valentine (from an Old Lover) by Jessie Pope (1838 to 1941) This week's poem can be found at this link.
COME, Sleep; O Sleep! the certain knot of peace, The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe, The poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release, Th’ indifferent judge between the high and low; With shield of proof, shield me from out the prease Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw: O make in me those civil wars to cease; I will good tribute pay, if thou do so. Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed, A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light, A rosy garland and a weary head: And if these things, as being thine by right, Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me, Livelier than elsewhere, Stella’s image see.
To Sleep by Sir Philip Sidney (1554 to 1586) This week's poem can be found using this link.
I want to sing something—but this is all— I try and I try, but the rhymes are dull As though they were damp, and the echoes fall Limp and unlovable. Words will not say what I yearn to say— They will not walk as I want them to, But they stumble and fall in the path of the way Of my telling my love for you. Simply take what the scrawl is worth— Knowing I love you as sun the sod On the ripening side of the great round earth That swings in the smile of God.
A Scrawl by James Whitcomb Riley (1849 to 1916) This week's poem can be found at this link.