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Harlem (Dream Deferred) — Langston Hughes (Poetry Quote)

HARLEM

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

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Country Life – John Dryden (Quote)

Dryden, by John Michael Wright, 1668

How blessed is he, who leads a Country Life,
Unvex’d with anxious Cares, and void of Strife!
Who studying Peace, and shunning Civil Rage,
Enjoy’d his Youth, and now enjoys his Age.

John Dryden (1631-1700)

Town and Country – William Cowper (Poetry Quote)

God made the country, and man made the town.
What wonder then that health and virtue, gifts
That can alone make sweet the bitter draught
That life holds out to all, should most abound
And least be threaten’d in the fields and groves?
Possess ye, therefore, ye, who, borne about
In chariots and sedans, know no fatigue
But that of idleness, and taste no scenes
But such as art contrives, possess ye still
Your element; there only can ye shine;
There only mind’s like yours can do no harm.
Our groves were planted to console at noon
The pensive wanderer in their shades. At eve
The moonbeam, sliding softly in between
The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wish,
Birds warbling all the music. We can spare
The splendour of your lamps; they but eclipse
Our softer satellite. Your songs confound
Our more harmonious notes: the thrush departs
Scar’d, and th’ offended nightingale is mute.
There is a public mischief in your mirth;
It plagues your country. Folly such as yours,
Grac’d with a sword, and worthier of a fan,
Has made, which enemies could ne’er have done,
Our arch of empire, steadfast but for you,
A mutilated structure, soon to fall.

William Cowper (1731-1800)

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Libertad! Igualdad! Fraternidad!

You sullen pig of a man
you force me into the mud
with your stinking ash-cart!

Brother!
–if we were rich
we’d stick our chests out
and hold our heads high!

It is dreams that have destroyed us.

There is no more pride
in horses or in rein holding.
We sit hunched together brooding
our fate.

Well–
all things turn bitter in the end
whether you choose the right or
the left way
and–
dreams are not a bad thing.

William Carlos Williams