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601. Written in Northampton County Asylum by John Clare
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November 21, 2013 03:51 AM PST
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John Clare read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. ------------------------------------------- Written in Northampton County Asylum by John Clare I am! yet what I am who cares, or knows? My friends forsake me like a memory lost. I am the self-consumer of my woes; They rise and vanish, an oblivious host, Shadows of life, whose very soul is lost. And yet I am—I live—though I am toss'd Into the nothingness of scorn and noise, Into the living sea of waking dream, Where there is neither sense of life, nor joys, But the huge shipwreck of my own esteem And all that 's dear. Even those I loved the best Are strange—nay, they are stranger than the rest. I long for scenes where man has never trod— For scenes where woman never smiled or wept— There to abide with my Creator, God, And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept, Full of high thoughts, unborn. So let me lie,- The grass below; above, the vaulted sky. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.
600. Adlestrop by Edward Thomas
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November 20, 2013 01:19 AM PST
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Edward Thomas read by Classic Poetry Aloud: www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter:@classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- Adlestrop by Edward Thomas ((1878 – 1917) Yes. I remember Adlestrop — The name, because one afternoon Of heat the express-train drew up there Unwontedly. It was late June. The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat. No one left and no one came On the bare platform. What I saw Was Adlestrop — only the name And willows, willow-herb, and grass, And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry, No whit less still and lonely fair Than the high cloudlets in the sky. And for that minute a blackbird sang Close by, and around him, mistier, Farther and farther, all the birds Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008
599. The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
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November 19, 2013 02:32 AM PST
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Alfred, Lord Tennyson read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- The Charge of the Light Brigade Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 – 92) Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade!” Was there a man dismay’d? Not tho’ the soldier knew Some one had blunder’d: Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volley’d and thunder’d; Storm’d at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred. Flash’d all their sabres bare, Flash’d as they turn’d in air Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wonder’d: Plunged in the battery-smoke Right thro’ the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reel’d from the sabre-stroke Shatter’d and sunder’d. Then they rode back, but not Not the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volley’d and thunder’d; Storm’d at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came thro’ the jaws of Death, Back from the mouth of Hell, All that was left of them, Left of six hundred. When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wonder’d. Honor the charge they made! Honor the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred! Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.
598. The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy
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November 18, 2013 12:51 AM PST
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Thomas Hardy read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. -------------------------------------- The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy (1840 – 1928) I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires. The land’s sharp features seem’d to be The Century’s corpse outleant, His crypt the cloudy canopy, The wind his death-lament. The ancient pulse of germ and birth Was shrunken hard and dry, And every spirit upon earth Seem'd fervourless as I. At once a voice arose among The bleak twigs overhead In a full-hearted evensong Of joy illimited; An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, In blast-beruffled plume, Had chosen thus to fling his soul Upon the growing gloom. So little cause for carollings Of such ecstatic sound Was written on terrestrial things Afar or nigh around, That I could think there trembled through His happy good-night air Some blessèd Hope, whereof he knew And I was unaware. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2007.
597. The Poplar Field by William Cowper
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November 15, 2013 12:51 AM PST
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William Cowper read by Classic Poetry Aloud www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- The Poplar Field by William Cowper (1731 – 1800) The poplars are fell'd! farewell to the shade And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade; The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves, Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives. Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a view Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew; And now in the grass behold they are laid, And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade! The blackbird has fled to another retreat Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat, And the scene where his melody charm'd me before Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more. My fugitive years are all hasting away, And I must ere long lie as lowly as they, With a turf on my breast and a stone at my head, Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead. The change both my heart and my fancy employs, I reflect on the frailty of man and his joys; Short-lived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see, Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.
596. Count That Day Lost by George Eliot
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November 13, 2013 01:00 AM PST
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George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) read by Classic Poetry Aloud: www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- Count That Day Lost by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) (1819 – 1880) If you sit down at set of sun And count the acts that you have done, And, counting, find One self-denying deed, one word That eased the heart of him who heard, One glance most kind That fell like sunshine where it went - Then you may count that day well spent. But if, through all the livelong day, You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay - If, through it all You've nothing done that you can trace That brought the sunshine to one face- No act most small That helped some soul and nothing cost - Then count that day as worse than lost. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud 2008
595. The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling
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November 12, 2013 01:10 AM PST
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Rudyard Kipling read by Classic Poetry Aloud http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Twitter: @classicpoetry Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetryaloud Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936) They shut the road through the woods Seventy years ago. Weather and rain have undone it again, And now you would never know There was once a road through the woods Before they planted the trees. It is underneath the coppice and heath, And the thin anemones. Only the keeper sees That, where the ring-dove broods, And the badgers roll at ease, There was once a road through the woods. Yet, if you enter the woods Of a summer evening late, When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools Where the otter whistles his mate. (They fear not men in the woods, Because they see so few) You will hear the beat of a horse's feet, And the swish of a skirt in the dew, Steadily cantering through The misty solitudes, As though they perfectly knew The old lost road through the woods. . . . But there is no road through the woods. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.
594. Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen
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November 11, 2013 12:37 AM PST
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Wilfred Owen read by Classic Poetry Aloud:
http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com

Giving voice to the poetry of the past.

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Anthem for Doomed Youth
by Wilfred Owen (1893 – 1918)

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2007.

593. Ah, how sweet it is to love by John Dryden
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November 07, 2013 12:33 AM PST
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John Dryden read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- Ah, how sweet it is to love by John Dryden (1631 – 1700) Ah, how sweet it is to love! Ah, how gay is young Desire! And what pleasing pains we prove When we first approach Love's fire! Pains of love be sweeter far Than all other pleasures are. Sighs which are from lovers blown Do but gently heave the heart: Ev'n the tears they shed alone Cure, like trickling balm, their smart: Lovers, when they lose their breath, Bleed away in easy death. Love and Time with reverence use, Treat them like a parting friend; Nor the golden gifts refuse Which in youth sincere they send: For each year their price is more, And they less simple than before. Love, like spring-tides full and high, Swells in every youthful vein; But each tide does less supply, Till they quite shrink in again: If a flow in age appear, 'Tis but rain, and runs not clear. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.
592. from The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde
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November 06, 2013 12:20 AM PST
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Oscar Wilde read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------- from The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red, And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with the dead, The poor dead woman whom he loved, And murdered in her bed. He walked amongst the Trial Men In a suit of shabby grey; A cricket cap was on his head, And his step seemed light and gay; But I never saw a man who looked So wistfully at the day. I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky, And at every drifting cloud that went With sails of silver by. I walked, with other souls in pain, Within another ring, And was wondering if the man had done A great or little thing, When a voice behind me whispered low, "That fellow’s got to swing." Dear Christ! the very prison walls Suddenly seemed to reel, And the sky above my head became Like a casque of scorching steel; And, though I was a soul in pain, My pain I could not feel. I only knew what hunted thought Quickened his step, and why He looked upon the garish day With such a wistful eye; The man had killed the thing he loved And so he had to die. Yet each man kills the thing he loves By each let this be heard, Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word, The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword! Some kill their love when they are young, And some when they are old; Some strangle with the hands of Lust, Some with the hands of Gold: The kindest use a knife, because The dead so soon grow cold. Some love too little, some too long, Some sell, and others buy; Some do the deed with many tears, And some without a sigh: For each man kills the thing he loves, Yet each man does not die. He does not die a death of shame On a day of dark disgrace, Nor have a noose about his neck, Nor a cloth upon his face, Nor drop feet foremost through the floor Into an empty place. Reading © Classic Poetry Aloud, 2008.

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