Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHY, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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WHY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Why are they written - all these
Last Line: Why are they written -- all these lovers' rhymes?
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Criticism & Critics; Love; Rhyme


WHY are they written -- all these lovers' rhymes?
I catch faint perfumes of the blossoms white
That maidens drape their tresses with at night,
And, through dim smiles of beauty and the din
Of the musicians' harp and violin,
I hear, enwound and blended with the dance,
The voice whose echo is this utterance, --
Why are they written -- all these lovers' rhymes?

Why are they written -- all these lovers' rhymes?
I see but vacant windows, curtained o'er
With webs whose architects forevermore
Race up and down their slender threads to bind
The buzzing fly's wings whirless, and to wind
The living victim in his winding sheet. --
I shudder, and with whispering lips repeat,
Why are they written -- all these lovers' rhymes?

Why are they written -- all these lovers' rhymes?
What will you have for answer? -- Shall I say
That he who sings the merriest roundelay
Hath neither joy nor hope? -- and he who sings
The lightest, sweetest, tenderest of things
But utters moan on moan of keenest pain,
So aches his heart to ask and ask in vain,
Why are they written -- all these lovers' rhymes?





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