Category: Poetry

The History Spinner Poetry Archives

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
Mother by E.L. Cassanovia

Mother by E.L. Cassanovia

Mother E.L. Cassanovia Mid life’s commotions—dismal fears— Mid cares and woes, and floods of tears, How sweetly breaks upon the ear Some words of comfort or of cheer; Yet of our friends there’s not another Who speaks as gently as our mother. Here disappointments crowd each day, Our brightest hopes soon fade away, And friends long trusted oft deceive; We scarcely know whom to believe, Yet, though we fear to trust each other, We’re not afraid to trust our mother. Yet here where there’s so much deceit, Some friends we have we love to meet; There’s love we know that ... Read More
Old-fashioned scene going to Church on Christmas

Christmas Hymn

A 19th Century American Christmas Hymn Hymn By Sarah Josepha Hale  in Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, December 1859. Sarah J. Hale was one of the editors of Godey's, and is most remembered as the author of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb". Hail, hail the happy morn, When Christ our Lord was born Sound, sound His praise! The Prince of Righteousness, He came our world to bless, The glorious hymn of "peace" On earth to raise. Angels the song began, And then to ransomed man The strain was given: Hark! joining sweet and mild The voice of ... Read More
Time and Love, a Christmas Poem

Time and Love, a Christmas Poem

Time and Love by "A. M.," published in The Girl’s Own Paper, 1885 How many a Christmas has the old clock seen, And always with the same unchanging face! Come, let us wreathe him round with evergreen, And do him honour for a little space. Yet what is Time to Love? And Love is here, To give us happy Christmas, glad new year. How many tunes, by many people played, Must through this room have echoed long ago, When ladies swept the floor with long brocade, Through stately dances minuetting slow! But what is Time to Love? And Love, my ... Read More
Deception

Deception

Deception The year fades, as the west wind sighs, And droops in many-colored ways, But your soft presence never dies From out the pathway of my days. The spring is where you are; but still You, far away, to me can bring Sweet flowers and dreams enough to fill A thousand empty worlds with spring. I walk the wet and leafless woods, Your spirit ever floats before, And lights its russet solitudes With blossoms summer never wore. I sit beside my lonely fire, The shadows almost bring your face, And light with memory and desire My dull and sombre dwelling ... Read More
In The Seed

In The Seed

In The Seed You have chosen coldly to cast away The love they tell you is faithless found. Pity or trust it is vain to pray— Your heart they have hardened, your senses bound. You have broken the wreaths that clasped you round, The strength of the vine and the opening flower: Love, torn and trampled on stony ground, Is left to die in its blossom hour. Well, go your ways; but, wherever they lead, They can not leave me wholly behind. From the flower, as it falls, there falls a seed Whose roots round the roots of life shall ... Read More
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