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Today's your natal day
Sweet flowers I bring;
Mother accept I pray,
My offering.

And may you happy live,
And long us bless;
Receiving as you give
Great happiness.

"To My Mother on Her Birthday" was Christina Rossetti's first poem, written when she was eleven. Apropos for Mother's Day.

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 –1894), was an English writer born in London. She authored many romantic, devotional and children's poems, including "Goblin Market" and "Remember". She also wrote the words of two Christmas carols well known in Britain: "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Love Came Down at Christmas",  She was a sister of the artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

A resubmission from 6 years ago.
Perhaps I knew something then,
before my thoughts became jaded,
by living in the real world.

       The Day is Done

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

First Stanza of Henry W. Longfellow's "The Day is Done". See complete poem

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet and educator . His works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was was one of the Fireside Poets from New England and the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. More

I snatch at my eagle plumes and long hair.
A hand cut my hair; my robes did deplete.
Left heart all unchanged; the work incomplete.
These favors unsought, I’ve paid since with care.
Dear teacher, you wished so much good to me,
That though I was blind, I strove hard to see.
Had you then, no courage frankly to tell
Old-race problems, Christ e’en failed to expel?

My light has grown dim, and black the abyss
That yawns at my feet. No bordering shore;
No bottom e’er found my hopes sunk before.
Despair I of good from deeds gone amiss.
My people, may God have pity on you!
The learning I hoped in you to imbue
Turns bitterly vain to meet both our needs.
No Sun for the flowers, vain planting seeds.

I’ve lost my long hair; my eagle plumes too.
From you my own people, I’ve gone astray.
A wanderer now, with no where to stay.
The Will-o-the-wisp learning, it brought me rue.
It brings no admittance. Where I have knocked
Some evil imps, hearts, have bolted and locked.
Alone with the night and fearful Abyss
I stand isolated, life gone amiss.

Intensified hush chills all my proud soul.
Oh, what am I? Whither bound thus and why?
Is there not a God on whom to rely?
A part of His Plan, the atoms enroll?
In answer, there comes a sweet Voice and clear,
My loneliness soothes with sounding so near.
A drink to my thirst, each vibrating note.
My vexing old burdens fall far remote.

“Then close your sad eyes. Your spirit regain.
Behold what fantastic symbols abound,
What wondrous host of cosmos around.
From silvery sand, the tiniest grain
To man and the planet, God’s at the heart.
In shifting mosaic, souls doth impart.
His spirits who pass through multiformed earth
Some lesson of life must learn in each birth.”

Divinely the Voice sang. I felt refreshed.
And vanished the night, abyss and despair.
Harmonious kinship made all things fair.
I yearned with my soul to venture unleashed.
Sweet freedom. There stood in waiting, a steed
All prancing, well bridled, saddled for speed.
A foot in the stirrup! Off with a bound!
As light as a feather, making no sound.

Through ether, long leagues we galloped away.
An angry red river, we shyed in dismay,
For here were men sacrificed (cruel deed)
To reptiles and monsters, war, graft, and greed.
A jungle of discord drops in the rear.
By silence is quelled suspicious old fear,
And spite-gnats’ low buzz is muffled at last.
Exploring the spirit, I must ride fast.

Away from these worldly ones, let us go,
Along a worn trail, much travelled and—Lo!
Familiar the scenes that come rushing by.
Now billowy sea and now azure sky.
Amid that enchanted spade, as they spun
Sun, moon, and the stars, their own orbits run!
Great Spirit, in realms so infinite reigns;
And wonderful wide are all His domains.

Hark! Here in the Spirit-world, He doth hold
A village of Indians, camped as of old.
Earth-legends by their fires, some did review,
While flowers and trees more radiant grew.
“Oh, You were all dead! In Lethe you were tossed!”
I cried, “Every where ’twas told you were lost!
Forsooth, they did scan your footprints on sand.
Bereaved, I did mourn your fearful sad end.”

Then spoke One of the Spirit Space, so sedate.
“My child, We are souls, forever and aye.
The signs in our orbits point us the way.
Like planets, we do not tarry nor wait.
Those memories dim, from Dust to the Man,
Called Instincts, are trophies won while we ran.
Now various stars where loved ones remain
Are linked to our hearts with Memory-chain.”

“In journeying here, the Aeons we’ve spent
Are countless and strange. How well I recall
Old Earth trails: the River Red; above all
The Desert sands burning us with intent.
All these we have passed to learn some new thing.
Oh hear me! Your dead doth lustily sing!
‘Rejoice! Gift of Life pray waste not in wails!
The maker of Souls forever prevails!’”

Direct from the Spirit-world came my steed.
The phantom has place in what was all planned.
He carried me back to God and the land
Where all harmony, peace and love are the creed.
In triumph, I cite my Joyous return.
The smallest wee creature I dare not spurn.
I sing “Gift of Life, pray waste not in wails!
The Maker of Souls forever prevails!”

Zitkála-Šá (“Red Bird”), also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, (1876 - 1938) was Yankton Dakota writer, editor, translator, musician, educator, and political activist who fought for women's suffrage and Indigenous voting rights in the early 20th century. Her writings and activism led to citizenship and voting rights for not only women, but all Indigenous people. She was the author of "American Indian Stories", "Old Indian Legends," "Americanize The First American," and others. Member of the Woman's National Foundation, League of American Pen-Women, and the Washington Salon. This poem recounts the cutting of her hair by employees of White’s Indiana Manual Labor Institute in Wabash, Indiana, where Zitkála-Šá was boarded for three years. More

This poem is in the public domain

A Repost

Posted by MFish Profile 04/27/24 at 02:57PM Share Poetry See more by MFish

Giving thanks is most important,
while traversing, this life we live.
We are not perfect, but if we practice,
we can be better. I hope you enjoy.

Words Written

Posted by MFish Profile 04/16/24 at 10:04AM Share Poetry See more by MFish

Words written,
then read as we
become smitten,
for what we see.


Posted by MFish Profile 04/02/24 at 10:42PM Share Poetry See more by MFish

To admire someone
from afar,
shows how precious
lives really are.

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