Ballad of Reading Gaol eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 114 pages of information about Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Poem:  La Mer

A white mist drifts across the shrouds,
A wild moon in this wintry sky
Gleams like an angry lion’s eye
Out of a mane of tawny clouds.

The muffled steersman at the wheel
Is but a shadow in the gloom;—­
And in the throbbing engine-room
Leap the long rods of polished steel.

The shattered storm has left its trace
Upon this huge and heaving dome,
For the thin threads of yellow foam
Float on the waves like ravelled lace.

Poem:  Under The Balcony

O beautiful star with the crimson mouth! 
O moon with the brows of gold! 
Rise up, rise up, from the odorous south! 
And light for my love her way,
Lest her little feet should stray
On the windy hill and the wold! 
O beautiful star with the crimson mouth! 
O moon with the brows of gold!

O ship that shakes on the desolate sea! 
O ship with the wet, white sail! 
Put in, put in, to the port to me! 
For my love and I would go
To the land where the daffodils blow
In the heart of a violet dale! 
O ship that shakes on the desolate sea! 
O ship with the wet, white sail!

O rapturous bird with the low, sweet note! 
O bird that sits on the spray! 
Sing on, sing on, from your soft brown throat! 
And my love in her little bed
Will listen, and lift her head
From the pillow, and come my way! 
O rapturous bird with the low, sweet note! 
O bird that sits on the spray!

O blossom that hangs in the tremulous air! 
O blossom with lips of snow! 
Come down, come down, for my love to wear! 
You will die on her head in a crown,
You will die in a fold of her gown,
To her little light heart you will go! 
O blossom that hangs in the tremulous air! 
O blossom with lips of snow!

Poem:  The Harlot’s House

We caught the tread of dancing feet,
We loitered down the moonlit street,
And stopped beneath the harlot’s house.

Inside, above the din and fray,
We heard the loud musicians play
The ‘Treues Liebes Herz’ of Strauss.

Like strange mechanical grotesques,
Making fantastic arabesques,
The shadows raced across the blind.

We watched the ghostly dancers spin
To sound of horn and violin,
Like black leaves wheeling in the wind.

Like wire-pulled automatons,
Slim silhouetted skeletons
Went sidling through the slow quadrille,

Then took each other by the hand,
And danced a stately saraband;
Their laughter echoed thin and shrill.

Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed
A phantom lover to her breast,
Sometimes they seemed to try to sing.

Sometimes a horrible marionette
Came out, and smoked its cigarette
Upon the steps like a live thing.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Ballad of Reading Gaol from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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