Poems by David Park Barnitz


After Life

“I leave the sound, the sorrow, and the strife;
     Long long ago
I lived within the hopeless world of life; … ”


“In thy blue pallid gown that shimmereth
So pale thou standest in the wan moonlight,
Where the gold censer near thy body white … ”


“The lady awoke before the cold gray dawn,
And had no joy thereof;
—What joy is mine of all the joy of love, … ”

Autumn Burial

“The moon shone full that night,
And fill'd with misty light
The solemn clouds hung white … ”

Autumn Song

“Weep, far autumnal skies,
     Shrouded in misty air;
Weep, for thy solemn dearth, … ”



“The lady rode'neath the strange sky's pall
Through the leafy woods funereal,
And all the length of her moonlit way … ”



“When Death shall touch thy body beautiful,
And thou that art of all the earth most fair
Shalt close thine eyes upon the shining air, … ”


“Among all sorrows that my heart hath known,
Among all sorrows that my spirit keep
Forever buried'neath their mountains steep, … ”


“Surely thy face, love, is a little pale,
And somewhat wan thy lips that were so red,
And though my kisses might raise up the dead, … ”


“A dead corpse crowned with a crown of gold
Sits thron'd beneath the sky's gigantic pall;
Gold garments from its rotted shoulders fall, … ”


Danse Macabre

“I saw a line of corpses old,
Dead with diseases manifold,
Solemnly dancing'neath the moon. … ”

De Profundis

“Out of the grave, O God, I call to thee,
     Be thou not deaf unto my dolorous cry;
     My soul is fallen down into the sty, … ”

Dead Dialogue

1st Corpse.
I would now that the sweet light of the sun
Might once again shine down upon my face; … ”


“These paltry rhymes, which loftier shall pursue
Than aught America of high or great
Hath seen since first began her world-wide state, … ”

The Defilers

“O endless idiocy of humankind!
O blatant dead that howl and scream and roar!
O strange dead things the worms have gambled for! … ”



“I sat in tall Gomorrah on a day,
Boring myself with solitude and dreams,
When, like strange priests, with sacerdotal tread, … ”


At The End Of The Century
Now I am come to the nadir at last, to the absolute sorrow, … ”

Evening Song

“Lo, all the passionate pale evening
I lay between the breasts of my beloved,
Among the lilies, in the lily garden. … ”



And since i understood not what so strong … ”


The Grave

“The loathed worms are crawling over me
     All the dead hours; about my buried head
     Their soft intolerable mouths are gathered, … ”

The Grotesques

I saw a dead corpse lying in a tomb, … ”



On His Twenty-First Year
Tired Muse, put faded roses on thy brow, … ”


“Because my hope is dead, my heart a stone,
I read the words that Hegel once did write—
An idiot gibbering in the dark alone— … ”


“—Why sittest thou, O Muse, in grief enfolden?
—Thou hast me promis'd jewels rich and rare
To wear within my hair; … ”

The House of Youth

“Far in the melancholy hills it stands,
     Far off; and through the vista of the years,
     Down which my soul its helpless journey steers, … ”



“Although thy face be whiter than the dawn,
Fairer than aught the dawning hath descried,
Hast thou not now, O dear love deified, … ”

Liebes Tod

Thy splendour-lighted face before mine eyes … ”


“All the authors that there are bore Me;
All the philosophies bore Me;
All the statues and all the temples bore Me; … ”

Louanges D'elle

“—O Muse of mine that sittest orientally
With a green emerald snake about the waist of thee,
With henna-tinted feet, and almond eyes that dream, … ”


Mad Sonnet

“Lo, in the night I cry out, in the night,
God! and my voice shall howl into the sky!
I am weary of seeing shapeless things that fly, … ”


“Anguish and Mourning are as gold to her;
She weareth Pain upon her as a gem,
And on her head Grief like a diadem; … ”

Mais Moi je Vis la Vie en Rouge

“Your soul is like a purple flower,
     Mary, whose eyes are amethyst,
     Whose lips are like red wine when kist, … ”


“They do not know that they are wholly dead,
Nor that their bodies are to the worm given o'er;
They pass beneath the sky forevermore; … ”


“In the last hopeless depth of hell's dark tomb
Wherein I sit for aye with bowed head
In anguish and great sorrow buried … ”


“A dead corpse full of wormy questionings,
Beneath the open sky my soul lies dead,
Shameless and rotten and unburied, … ”


“Thou art at last made perfect; from the estate
Of mushy life Death hath thee petrified.
The soft the flowing and the putrified … ”



“Lo, how the moon, beloved,
Far in the heavens gleaming,
Over the ocean dreaming … ”



“Naught is more sweet than gently to let dream
The pallid flower of life asleep alway ;
Where the dim censer sends up far from day … ”


Parfait Amour

“It is not that thy face is fair
     As dying sunsets are,
Nor that thy lovely eyelids wear … ”

Poppy Song

“O poppy-buds, that in the golden air
Wave heavy hanging censers of delight,
Give me an anodyne for my despair; … ”


In Time of Plauge
Holy Pestilence, holy Pestilence, gird thee with might, … ”


“I am a little tired of all things mortal;
I see through half-shut eyelids languorous
The old monotonous … ”


“They come and go, they pass before my soul,
Desire and Love, weak Anguish and Distress,
Shame and Despair: in phantom crowds they press, … ”



“Remember, ye whom the skies delight,
     Whose faces flame with the falling sun,
That after sunset cometh the night, … ”


“White-rose perfume
Go with thee on thy way
Unto thy shaded tomb; … ”


“As shadows pass, in the misty night,
     Over the wan and moonlit grass,
So passeth our glory out of sight, … ”



“Dead am I, and ye triumph o'er me dead,
Ye that within mine eyes have found your home,
Ye that are soft and blind and white like foam, … ”

Sepulchral Life

“Lo, all the world as some vast corpse long dead,
Fadeth and perisheth and doth decay,
Even as a corpse, in whose unhonor'd clay … ”


“My heart is but a tomb, where vain and cold
My dead hopes lie: encoffin'd there my Pride
Lies dead, and my Life's Gladness crucified, … ”


Thou shall rejoice for woe: … ”

Sombre Sonnet

“I love all sombre and autumnal things,
Regal and mournful and funereal,
Things strange and curious and majestical, … ”


“She hath liv'd the life of a rose,
     She that was fair,
     Blown on by the summer air, … ”

Song of Golden Youth

“Quelle bêtise! O Muse, no longer lappt in sadness let us lie,
Bring the jars of old Falernum, bring the roses ere they die!
I love laughter, I love kisses, I love Lili, I love love, … ”

Song of India

“Now at the last, Zulaikha, all my sorrows olden
Are farther off than Europe or than China seem,
And like an idle dream … ”

Song of the Stars in Praise of Her

“O starry light of the dim universe!
The night adoreth thee, the planets high
That reign far off within the desert sky … ”


“When I contemplate how my state is low,
And how my pride that had the earth for throne
In this dark city sitteth all alone, … ”

Sonnet of Burial

“Now that the earth thy buried corpse doth hold,
Now that thy soul that hath so much desired,
Is gone down to the places of the tired, … ”

Sonnet on the Instuments of Death

“Adorned daggers, ruby-hilted swords;
Huge mortal serpents in gold volumes roll'd;
All-holy poisons in wrought cups of gold; … ”


“Be not cast down my heart, and be not sad,
That thou like common men must sorrow know;
Not only they that live and die below, … ”


To the Mona Lisa of Da Vinci

“Anguish and Mourning are as gold to her;
She weareth Pain upon her as a gem,
And on her head Grief like a diadem; … ”


“It is not that I have not sought thy face
Ceaselessly through the world's eternal lie,
More than all things and throughout every place, … ”

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