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The Poems

Here are the poems that appear in the show. They are all gathered from Millers various poem collections. Hope you enjoy them and maybe even find a passage that connects to you!

The Poet

Yes, I am a dreamer. Yet while you dream.

Then I am awake. When a child, back through

The gates of the past I peer'd, and I knew

 

The land I had lived in. I saw a broad  stream.

Saw rainbows that oompass'd a world in their reach;

I saw my beloved go down on the beach;

 

Saw her lean to this earth,

saw her looking for me

As shipmen look for loved ship at sea. . . .

 

While you seek gold in the earth, why, I

See gold in the steeps of the starry sky;

 

And which do you think has the fairer view

Of God in heaven — the dreamer or you

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49

We have worked our claims,
We have spent our gold,
Our barks are astrand on the bars;
We are battered and old,
Yet at night we behold,
Outcroppings of gold in the stars.

Tho' battered and old,
Our hearts are bold,
Yet oft do we repine;
For the days of old,
For the days of gold,
For the days of forty-nine.

 
Where the rabbits play,
Where the quail all day
Pipe on the chaparral hill;
A few more days,
And the last of us lays
His pick aside and all is still.

Tho' battered and old,
Our hearts are bold,
Yet oft do we repine;
For the days of old,
For the days of gold,
For the days of forty-nine.

We are wreck and stray,
We are cast away,
Poor battered old hulks and spars;
But we hope and pray,
On the judgment day,
We shall strike it up in the stars.

Java

** And darkness was upon the face of the

dleep; and the Spirit of God moved upon

the waters*

 

The oceans roar; the mountains reel;

The world stands still, with bated breath.

Now burst of flame! and woe and weal

All drowned in darkness and in death.

Wild beasts in herds, strange, beauteous birds —

God's rainbow birds,— gone in a breath!

 

O God! is earth, then, incomplete—

The six days' labor not yet done —

That she must melt beneath Thy feet

And her fair face forget the sun ?

Must isles go down, and cities drown,

And good and evil be as one ?

 

The great, warm heart of Mother Earth

Is broken o'er her Javan Isles.

Lo! ashes strew her ruined hearth

Along a thousand watery miles.

I hear her groan, I hear her moan.

All day above her drowning isles.

 

Tall ships are sailing silently

Above her buried isles to-day.

In marble halls beneath the sea

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Carmen

Not that I deemed she loved me. Nay,

I dared not even dream of that.

I do but say I knew her; say

She sat in dreams before me, sat

All still and voiceless as love is —

But say her soul was warm as wine,

But say it overflowed in mine.

And made itself a part of this.

 

The conversation of her eyes

Was language of the gods. Her breast

Was their abiding place of rest;

Her heart their gate to Paradise.

Her heart, her heart! ^Tis shut, ah me!

'Tis shut, and I have lost the key.

 

The prayer of love breaks to an oath . . .

No matter if she loved or no,

God knows I loved enough for both,

That day of days, so dear, so fond;

And knew her, as you shall not know

Till you have known sweet death, and you

Have cross'd the dark; gone over to

The great majority beyond.

Midnight Pencillings

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I am sitting alone in the moonlight,
  In the moonlight soft and clear,
And a thousand thoughts steal o'er me,
  While penciling, sitting here;


And the cricket is chirping, a chirping
  And sings as I sit alone,
In the tall willow grass around me,
  In a low and plaintive tone.

But fancy goes flitting and flying,
  And I cannot keep it here,
Though the crickets are singing so plaintive,
  And the moon shines never so clear.


Away in the hazy future—
  Afar by the foaming sea
I am painting a cot in my fancy—
  A cottage, and "Minnie" and me.

Now fancy grows dim in the distance—
  So dim in the long since past,
That I scarce can take the fair picture
  Of the playmates I spotted with last.


But away in the western wildwood
  In the woodland wild and wier,
I relive in fancy my childhood
  And sigh that I'm sitting here.

Yet I know 'tis wrong to be sighing
  And seeking a future too fair,
Or to call up old hopes that are lying
  A wreck in the sea of despair;


I know that the present has pleasures
  That I ought to enjoy and embrace,
Lest I sigh for these days that are passing
  When the future has taken their place.

Yet, as I sit in the moonlit meadow,
  With no voice but nature's near,
Save the chirp and the chime of the cricket
  Falling plaintively on the ear,


I cannot control my fancy,
  My thoughts are so wayward and wild,
That I ever will dream of the future,
  Or wish I again were a child.

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The Voice of the Dove

Come listen, O Love, to the voice of the dove,
Come, hearken and hear him say,
There are many To-morrows, my Love, my Love,-
There is only one To-day.

And all day long you can hear him say
This day in purple is rolled,
And the baby stars of the milky-way-
They are cradled in cradles of gold.

Now what is thy secret, serene gray dove,
Of singing so sweetly alway?
“There are many To-morrows, my Love, my Love,-
There is only one To-day.”

Peter Cooper
Died 1883

Give honor and love forevermore

To this great man gone to rest;

Peace on the dim Plutonian shore,

Best in the land of the blest.

 

I reckon him greater than any man

That ever drew sword in war;

I reckon him nobler than king or khan.

Braver and better by far.

 

 

And wisest he in this whole wide land

Of hoarding till bent and gray;

For all you can hold in your cold dead hand

Is what you have given away.

 

So whether to wander the stars or to rest

Forever hushed and dumb.

He gave with a zest and he gave his best —

Give him the best to come.

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Colombus

Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores;
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: “Now must we pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Adm’r’l, speak; what shall I say?”
“Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’”

 

“My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly, wan and weak.”
The stout mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
“What shall I say, brave Adm’r’l, say,
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?”
“Why, you shall say at break of day:
‘Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!’”

 

They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow,
Until at last the blanched mate said:
“Why, now not even God would know
Should I and all my men fall dead.
These very winds forget their way,
For God from these dread seas is gone.
Now speak, brave Adm’r’l, speak and say”—
He said: “Sail on! sail on! and on!”

 

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate:
“This mad sea shows his teeth to-night.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
He lifts his teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Adm’r’l, say but one good word:
What shall we do when hope is gone?”
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
“Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”

 

Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck,
And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck—
A light! A light! At last a light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”

Don't Stop at the Station Despair

We must trust the Conductor, most surely;
Why, millions of millions before
Have made this same journey securely
And come to that ultimate shore.


And we, we will reach it in season;
And ah, what a welcome is there!
Reflect then, how out of all reason
To stop at the Station Despair.

Aye, midnights and many a potion
Of bitter black water have we
As we journey from ocean to ocean—
From sea unto ultimate sea—


To that deep sea of seas, and all silence
Of passion, concern and of care—
That vast sea of Eden-set Islands—
Don't stop at the Station Despair

 
Go forward, whatever may follow,
Go forward, friend-led, or alone;
Ah me, to leap off in some hollow
Of fen, in the night and unknown—


Leap off like a thief; try to hide you
From angels, all waiting you there!
Go forward; whatever betide you,
Don't stop at the Station Despair

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An Answer

Well who shall lay hands on my harp but me

Or chide my sing from the sounding tree

The passionate sun and the resolute sea

These were my masters and only these

 

These were my masters and only these

And these from the first I obeye’d and they

Shall command me niw, and I shall obey

Like a dutyfull child that is proud to please

 

There Never were measures as true as the sun

The sea hath a song that is passingly sweet

And yet they repeat and repeat and repeat

The same old runes though the new years run

 

By unnamed rivers of the orgeon north

That roll dark heaved into turbulent hills

I have made my home, the wild heart thrills

With Memories fierce and a world storms forth

 

On eminent peaks that are dark with pine

And mantled in shadows and voiced in storms

I have made my camps, majestic grey forms

Of the thunderclouds, they were companions of mine

 

And Face set to face like two lords austere

Have we talked red tounged, of the mysteries

Of the circling sun, the oracle seas

While ye who judged me had mantled in fear

 

Some fragment of thought in the unfinished words

A cry of fierce freedom and I claim no more

What more would you have from the tender of herds

And a horse on an ultimate Oregon shore

 

From men unto God go forth as alone

Where the Dark Pine talk in theit tones of the sea

To an unseen god in a harmony

Or the under seas, and know the unknown

 

Mid white Sierras that slope to the sea

Lie turbulent land, go dwell in the skies

And the thundering tounges of Yosemite

Shall persuade to silence and you shall be wise

 

Yeah men may deride and the thing it is well

Turn well and asidefrom the one wild note

To the song of the bird, with the tame sweet throat

But the sea sings on in his cave and shell

 

Let the white moon ride, let the red stars fall

O great sweet sea oh fearfull and sweet

Thy song thy repeat and repeat and repeat

And these I say shall survive us all

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