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.
"She's built of steel From deck to keel, And bolted strong and tight; In scorn she'll sail The fiercest gale, And pierce the darkest night. "The builder's art Has proved each part Throughout her breadth and length; Deep in the hulk, Of her mighty bulk, Ten thousand Titans' strength." The tempest howls, The Ice Wolf prowls, The winds they shift and veer, But calm I sleep, And faith I keep In the word of an engineer. Along the trail Of the slender rail The train, like a nightmare, flies And dashes on Through the black-mouthed yawn Where the cavernous tunnel lies. Over the ridge, Across the bridge, Swung twixt the sky and hell, On an iron thread Spun from the head Of the man in a draughtsman's cell. And so we ride Over land and tide, Without a thought of fear— Man never had The faith in God That he has in an engineer!
The Word of an Engineer by James Weldon Johnson (1871 to 1938) This fortnight'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.