These thoughts are depressing I know. They are depressing, I wish I was more cheerful, it is more pleasant, Also it is a duty, we should smile as well as submitting To the purpose of One Above who is experimenting With various mixtures of human character which goes best, All is interesting for him it is exciting, but not for us. There I go again. Smile, smile, and get some work to do Then you will be practically unconscious without positively having to go.
Away with them, away; we should not believe fairy stories if we wish to be good. Think of them as persons from the fairy wood.
There is a god in whom I do not believe Yet to this god my love stretches, This god whom I do not believe in is My whole life, my life and I am his. Everything that I have of pleasure and pain (Of pain, of bitter pain and men's contempt) I give this god for him to feed upon As he is my whole life and I am his. When I am dead I hope that he will eat Everything I have been and have not been And crunch and feed upon it and grow fat Eating my life all up as it is his. - God the Eater
Marriage I think For women Is the best of opiates. It kills the thoughts That think about the thoughts, It is the best of opiates. So said Maria. But too long in solitude she'd dwelt, And too long her thoughts had felt Their strength. So when the man drew near, Out popped her thoughts and covered him with fear. Poor Maria! Better that she had kept her thoughts on a chain, For now she's alone again and all in pain; She sighs for the man that went and the thoughts that stay To trouble her dreams by night and her dreams by day.
My Muse sits forlorn She wishes she had not been born She sits in the cold No word she says is ever told.
My heart was full of softening showers, I used to swing like this for hours, I did not care for war or death, I was glad to draw my breath.
Raise from your bed of languor Raise from your bed of dismay Your friends will not come tomorrow As they did not come today You must rely on yourself, they said, You must rely on yourself, Oh but I find this pill so bitter said the poor man As he took it from the shelf Crying, O sweet Death come to me Come to me for company, Sweet Death it is only you I can Constrain for company.
Wild creatures' eyes, the colonel said, Are innocent and fathomless And when I look at them I see That they are not aware of me And oh I find and oh I bless A comfort in this emptiness They only see me when they want To pounce upon me at the hunt; But in the tame variety There couches an anxiety As if they yearned, yet knew not what They yearned for, nor they yearned for not. And so my dog would look at me And it was pitiful to see Such love and such dependency. The human heart is not at ease With animals that look like these.
Nobody heard him, the dead man, But still he lay moaning: I was much further out than you thought And not waving but drowning. Poor chap, he always loved larking And now he's dead It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way, They said. Oh, no no no, it was too cold always (Still the dead one lay moaning) I was much too far out all my life And not waving but drowning. - Not Waving but Drowning
Prate not to me of suicide, Faint heart in battle, not for pride I say Endure, but that such end denied Makes welcomer yet the death that's to be died.
There are moments of despair that come sometimes, when night sets in and a white fog presses against the windows. Then our house changes its shape, rears up and becomes a place of despair. Then fear and rage run simply--and the thought of Death as a friend. This is the simplest of thoughts, that Death must come when we call, although he is a god.
If I lie down on my bed I must be here, But if I lie down in my grave I may be elsewhere.
Love is not love that wounded bleeds And bleeding sullies slow. Come death within my hands and I Unto my love will go.
But one wants the idea of Death, you know, as something large and unknowable, something that allows a person to stretch himself out. Especially one wants it if one is tired. Or perhaps what one wants is simply a release from sensation, from all consciousness for ever....
It is the privilege of the rich To waste the time of the poor To water with tears in secret A tree that grows in secret That bears fruit in secret That ripened falls to the ground in secret And manures the parent tree Oh the wicked tree of hatred and the secret The sap rising and the tears falling.
Hope and desire, All unfulfilled, Have more than rope And hangman killed.
I don't think Auden liked my poetry very much, he's very Anglican.
I may be smelly and I may be old, Rough in my pebbles, reedy in my pools, But where my fish float by I bless their swimming, And I like the people to bathe in me especially women.
This Englishwoman is so refined, She has no bosom and no behind.
Nobody heard him, the dead man, But still he lay moaning. I was much further out than you thought, and not waving but drowning. I was much too far out all my life, And not waving but drowning.