General Editor: Marc R. Plamondon

Representative Poetry Online, edition 6.0, is a web anthology of 4,800 poems in English and French by over 700 poets spanning 1400 years.  more about RPO


A heartwarming gift for you on this cold Valentine’s Day: “Phyllis Loves Kelly,” 60 years of collected love poems from poet Phyllis Gotlieb to her husband, Kelly...



Work While it is Day

"Work while it is yet day, for the night cometh on when no man can work."
2While the right arm is strong,
3While the life-blood is young,
4   Night cometh on.
5Work while the sun is high,
6In the bright smiling sky;
7Swiftly life's minutes fly:
8   Night cometh on.
9Strive with thy heart and soul;
10Press to the distant goal;
11Waste not the hours that roll:
12   Night cometh on.
13Life is a season lent;
14Moments are treasures sent;
15See that they're wisely spent:
16   Night cometh on.
17What thy hand finds to do,
18That, with thy might, pursue,
19With a brave heart and true:
20   Night cometh on.
21What though we toil in pain,
22'Twill not be all in vain;
23Haste then the good to gain:
24   Night cometh on.
25What though grief rack the breast?
26Doth there not come a rest?
27Let us then do our best:
28   Night cometh on.


1] The epigraph comes from the words of Jesus in John 9.4: "We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work." Back to Line
 What thou lovest well remains,
                  the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
                or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
    Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
Ezra Pound Pisan Cantos, LXXXI