Vachel Lindsay Poems

Found 166 poems by Vachel Lindsay.
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Two Old Crows by Vachel Lindsay
Two old crows sat on a fence rail.
Two old crows sat on a fence rail,
Thinking of effect and cause,
Of weeds and flowers,
And nature's laws.
One of them muttered, one of them stuttered,
One of them stuttered, one of them muttered.
Each of them thought far m… [ Read More ]

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To Buddha by Vachel Lindsay
Awake again in Asia, Lord of Peace,
Awake and preach, for her far swordsmen rise.
And would they sheathe the sword before you, friend,
Or scorn your way, while looking in your eyes?

Good comrade and philosopher and prince,
Thoughtful and thoroughbred and strong… [ Read More ]

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Why I Voted the Socialist Ticket by Vachel Lindsay
I am unjust, but I can strive for justice.
My life's unkind, but I can vote for kindness.
I, the unloving, say life should be lovely.
I, that am blind, cry out against my blindness.

Man is a curious brute -- he pets his fancies --
Fighting mankind, to win … [ Read More ]

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A Net to Snare the Moonlight by Vachel Lindsay
[What the Man of Faith said]


The dew, the rain and moonlight
All prove our Father's mind.
The dew, the rain and moonlight
Descend to bless mankind.

Come, let us see that all men
Have land to catch the rain,
Have grass to snare the sp… [ Read More ]

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An Apology for the Bottle Volcanic by Vachel Lindsay
Sometimes I dip my pen and find the bottle full of fire,
The salamanders flying forth I cannot but admire.
It's Etna, or Vesuvius, if those big things were small,
And then 'tis but itself again, and does not smoke at all.
And so my blood grows cold. I say, "The bottle he… [ Read More ]

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What the Ghost of the Gambler Said by Vachel Lindsay
WHERE now the huts are empty,
Where never a camp-fire glows,
In an abandoned cañon,
A Gambler's Ghost arose.
He muttered there, "The moon's a sack
Of dust." His voice rose thin:
"I wish I knew the miner-man.
I'd play, and play to win.
In every… [ Read More ]

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The King of Yellow Butterflies by Vachel Lindsay
(A Poem Game.)


The King of Yellow Butterflies,
The King of Yellow Butterflies,
The King of Yellow Butterflies,
Now orders forth his men.
He says "The time is almost here
When violets bloom again."
Adown the road the fickle rout
Goes flashin… [ Read More ]

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What the Gray-Winged Fairy Said by Vachel Lindsay
The moon's a gong, hung in the wild,
Whose song the fays hold dear.
Of course you do not hear it, child.
It takes a FAIRY ear.

The full moon is a splendid gong
That beats as night grows still.
It sounds above the evening song
Of dove or whippoorwill. [ Read More ]

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The Booker Washington Trilogy by Vachel Lindsay
I. A NEGRO SERMON:--SIMON LEGREE

(To be read in your own variety of negro dialect.)


Legree's big house was white and green.
His cotton-fields were the best to be seen.
He had strong horses and opulent cattle,
And bloodhounds bold, with chains that w… [ Read More ]

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The Broncho That Would Not Be Broken by Vachel Lindsay
A little colt -- broncho, loaned to the farm
To be broken in time without fury or harm,
Yet black crows flew past you, shouting alarm,
Calling "Beware," with lugubrious singing...
The butterflies there in the bush were romancing,
The smell of the grass caught your so… [ Read More ]

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The Knight in Disguise by Vachel Lindsay
[Concerning O. Henry (Sidney Porter)]

"He could not forget that he was a Sidney."


Is this Sir Philip Sidney, this loud clown,
The darling of the glad and gaping town?

This is that dubious hero of the press
Whose slangy tongue and insolent a… [ Read More ]

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The Illinois Village by Vachel Lindsay
O you who lose the art of hope,
Whose temples seem to shrine a lie,
Whose sidewalks are but stones of fear,
Who weep that Liberty must die,
Turn to the little prairie towns,
Your higher hope shall yet begin.
On every side awaits you there
Some gate w… [ Read More ]

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The Lion by Vachel Lindsay
The Lion is a kingly beast.
He likes a Hindu for a feast.
And if no Hindu he can get,
The lion-family is upset.

He cuffs his wife and bites her ears
Till she is nearly moved to tears.
Then some explorer finds the den
And all is family peace again. [ Read More ]

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The Unpardonable Sin by Vachel Lindsay
This is the sin against the Holy Ghost: --
To speak of bloody power as right divine,
And call on God to guard each vile chief's house,
And for such chiefs, turn men to wolves and swine:--

To go forth killing in White Mercy's name,
Making the trenches stink with… [ Read More ]

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The Alchemist's Petition by Vachel Lindsay
Thou wilt not sentence to eternal life
My soul that prays that it may sleep and sleep
Like a white statue dropped into the deep,
Covered with sand, covered with chests of gold,
And slave-bones, tossed from many a pirate hold.

But for this prayer thou wilt not b… [ Read More ]

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Alone in the Wind, on the Prairie by Vachel Lindsay
I know a seraph who has golden eyes,
And hair of gold, and body like the snow.
Here in the wind I dream her unbound hair
Is blowing round me, that desire's sweet glow
Has touched her pale keen face, and willful mien.
And though she steps as one in manner born
To… [ Read More ]

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Honor Among Scamps by Vachel Lindsay
We are the smirched. Queen Honor is the spotless.
We slept thro' wars where Honor could not sleep.
We were faint-hearted. Honor was full-valiant.
We kept a silence Honor could not keep.

Yet this late day we make a song to praise her.
We, codeless, will yet… [ Read More ]

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What the Coal-Heaver Said by Vachel Lindsay
The moon's an open furnace door
Where all can see the blast,
We shovel in our blackest griefs,
Upon that grate are cast
Our aching burdens, loves and fears
And underneath them wait
Paper and tar and pitch and pine
Called strife and blood and hate.

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Yankee Doodle by Vachel Lindsay
This poem is intended as a description of a sort of Blashfield mural painting on the sky. To be sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle, yet in a slower, more orotund fashion. It is presumably an exercise for an entertainment on the evening of Washington's Birthday.


Dawn this morn… [ Read More ]

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