Category: Poetry

The History Spinner Poetry Archives

Death of The Old Year

Death of The Old Year

Alfred Tennyson Full knee-deep lies the winter-snow, And the winter-winds are wearily sighing Toll ye the church-bell, sad and slow, And tread softly and speak low, For the old year lies a-dying. Old year you must not die; You came to us so readily, You lived with us so steadily, Old year, you shall not die. He lieth still; he doth not move: He will not see the dawn of day: He hath no other life above. He gave me a friend and a true, true-love, And the new year will take them away. Old year, you must not go; ... Read More
Old-World Santas from a Victorian Scrapbook

Short Poems for Christmas and The New Year

Christmas and New Year Verses From The Album Writer’s Friend, 1881, Compiled by J. S. Ogilvie Joy and plenty in the cottage, Peace and feasting in the hall; And the voices of the children Ring out clear above it all: A merry Christmas! As Christmas offerings meet your eyes, Still closer be sweet friendship’s ties. Ring out, ye bells, o’er all the earth, To tell with brazen voice, The tidings of the Saviour’s birth And bid mankind rejoice. True love shall live thro’ sorrows wintry storm, And bloom afresh on this glad Christmas morn. Oh joyous be your Christmas-tide, And ... Read More
It Snows

It Snows

It Snows It snows! cries the School-boy, “Hurrah! and his shout Is ringing through parlor and hall, While swift as the wing of a swallow, he's out. And his playmates have answered his call; It makes the heart leap but to witness their joy; Proud wealth has no pleasure, I trow, Like the rapture that throbs in the pulse of the boy, As he gathers his treasures of snow; Then lay not the trappings of gold on thine heir, While health, and the riches of nature, are theirs. “It snows!” sighs the Imbecile, “Ah!” and his breath Comes heavy, as ... Read More
Little Jim, An Incident of the Strike at the Bonny Belle Mine

Little Jim: An Incident of the Strike at the Bonny Belle Mine

You’re right! Not every time you’ll meet a millionaire like me That planks you down a check like that for your Christmas charity. It’s downright joy for me to give, but they’ve more sense, they say— The other fellows—but, you see, somehow that’s not my way. Tell you just why? Well, I don’t care; but now there’s quite a lot O’ men who make their pile of cash and hope the past’s forgot; But I’m not one o’ them, no sir! I don’t care if ‘tis true That, once instead of being rich, I was poor as Lord knows ... Read More
Antique baby photograph

The Autumn Night, a Lullaby

Sleep, little babe in your crib so white, Like the first thin snow on the fields outside! Mother is near, through the long dark night, (Oh love of my love, be still!) And her heart all your tears and your grief would hide. So sleep, while over the fields and the town, Over the streets and the stubble brown, The breeze will whisper it's wafted air,— “Oh babe so tender, babe so rare, Goodnight!” Far overhead, through the frost-clear sky The wild geese wing to the South again; Rustling and shivering leaves hang dry (Oh heart of my heart, lie ... Read More
Stay, Jailor, stay, and hear my woe!

The Maniac

The Maniac Stay, jailor, stay, and hear my woe! She is not mad who kneels to thee! For what I’m now too well I know, And what I was, and what should be. I’ll rave no more in proud despair; My language shall be mild, though sad; But yet I firmly, truly swear, I am not mad, I am not mad! My tyrant husband forged the tale Which chains me in this dismal cell; My fate unknown my friends bewail— O jailor, haste that fate to tell! O, haste my father’s heart to cheer! His heart at once ‘twill grieve ... Read More
Antique CDV Victorian photograph two sisters holding hands with brother in background.

A Folk-Lore Legend

By Catharine Allan, Peterson’s Magazine, 1884 “Come back to us mother,” the little ones cried; Come back to us, mother dear.” And they flung themselves on the grave at her side: “There’s nobody loves us here.” “The stepmother beats us, and starves us for food; Come back to us, mother dear. Do you slumber so deep—oh! We’ll be so good— So deep that you do not hear?” The mother she came in the dead of the night, She washed them, and combed their hair, And gave them to eat of the wheaten bread white, And dressed them in garments fair ... Read More
Why Are You Weeping, Sister?

Why Are You Weeping, Sister?

Why Are You Weeping, Sister? Why are you weeping, Sister? Why are you sitting alone? I'm bent and gray And I've lost the way! All my tomorrows were yesterday! I traded them off for a wanton's pay. I bartered my graces for silks and laces My heart I sold for a pot of gold-- Now I'm old. Why did you do it, Sister, Why did you sell your soul? I was foolish and fair and my form was rare! I longed for life's baubles and did not care! When we know not the price to be paid, we dare. I ... Read More
Victorian illustration of an argument.

The Desolated

The Desolated By Hattie Boomer Barber, Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, November 1859 Too late I learned to prize thy worth, Too late thy faithful heart did prove; And now through all this desert earth I’d journey pilgrim for such love. But I shall never meet again That form my fickleness hath slain; Beneath the stars, so coldly bright, He sleeps the dreamless sleep to-night. Sadly, I often linger here Till midnight slumbers on the hill, And pour the unavailing tear, Hopeless and unavailing still. His heart will never know again The bitterness of human pain; And, envious of the unconscious ... Read More
Comical illustration of a bigmouth from a 19th century scrapbook.

A Year of Silence

To all who have ever been forced to endure the inane conversation of a self-absorbed cellphone user, I offer this obscure old poem, published in the May 11, 1889 issue of Littell’s Living Age. The author of “A Year of Silence”, known to us only by the initials “A. G. B.”, would probably die of apoplexy if transported to our present era of the cell phone chatterbox. A Year of Silence OH for a year of silence! Could we go Each to our quiet desk, or house, or field, And cease our babbling; plough, and reap, and sow, And read old ... Read More