The Bench of Boors

By Herman Melville 1819–1891 Herman Melville
In bed I muse on Tenier’s boors,
Embrowned and beery losels all:
      A wakeful brain
      Elaborates pain:
Within low doors the slugs of boors
Laze and yawn and doze again.

In dreams they doze, the drowsy boors,
Their hazy hovel warm and small:
      Thought’s ampler bound
      But chill is found:
Within low doors the basking boors
Snugly hug the ember-mound.

Sleepless, I see the slumberous boors
Their blurred eyes blink, their eyelids fall:
      Thought’s eager sight
      Aches—overbright!
Within low doors the boozy boors
Cat-naps take in pipe-bowl light.

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Poet Herman Melville 1819–1891

Subjects Painting & Sculpture, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Herman  Melville

Biography

Although chiefly known for his magisterial novel Moby-Dick and for other prose works, Herman Melville was also a fascinating poet who turned to the art after his serious fiction failed to find appreciative readers. His eccentric verse displays the complexity of thought and verbal richness of his novels, which has led some critics to rank him just below Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson among 19th-century American poets.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Painting & Sculpture, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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