Matthew Prior
Dulce est desipere in loco. I Some Folks are drunk, yet do not know it: So might not Bacchus give You Law? Was it a Muse, O lofty Poet, Or Virgin of St. Cyr, You saw? Why all this Fury? What's the Matter, That Oaks must come from Thrace to dance? Must stupid Stocks be taught to flatter? And is there no such Wood in France? Why must the Winds all hold their Tongue? If they a little Breath should raise; Would that have spoil'd the Poet's Song; Or puff'd away the Monarch's Praise? II Pindar, that Eagle, mounts the Skies; While Virtue leads the noble Way: Too like a Vultur Boileau flies, Where sordid Interest shows the Prey. When once the Poet's Honour ceases, From Reason far his Transports rove: And Boileau, for eight hundred Pieces, Makes Louis take the Wall of Jove. III Neptune and Sol came from above, Shap'd like Megrigny and Vauban: They arm'd these Rocks; then show'd old Jove Of Marli Wood, the Wond'rous Plan. Such Walls, these three wise Gods agreed, By Human Force could ne'er be shaken: But You and I in Homer read Of Gods, as well as Men, mistaken. Sambre and Maese their Waves may join; But ne'er can William's Force restrain: He'll pass them Both, who pass'd the Boyn: Remember this, and arm the Sein. IV Full fifteen thousand lusty Fellows With Fire and Sword the Fort maintain: Each was a Hercules, You tell us; Yet out they march'd like common Men. Cannons above, and Mines below Did Death and Tombs for Foes contrive: Yet Matters have been order'd so, That most of Us are still alive. V If Namur be compar'd to Troy; Then Britain's Boys excell'd the Greeks: Their Siege did ten long Years employ: We've done our Bus'ness in ten Weeks. What Godhead does so fast advance, With dreadful Pow'r those Hills to gain? 'Tis little Will, the Scourge of France; No Godhead, but the first of Men. His mortal Arm exerts the Pow'r, To keep ev'n Mons's Victor under: And that same Jupiter no more Shall fright the World with impious Thunder. VI Our King thus trembles at Namur, Whilst Villeroy, who ne'er afraid is, To Bruxelles marches on secure, To bomb the Monks, and scare the Ladies. After this glorious Expedition, One Battle makes the Marshal Great: He must perform the King's Commission: Who knows, but Orange may retreat? Kings are allow'd to feign the Gout, Or be prevail'd with not to Fight: And mighty Louis hop'd, no doubt, That William wou'd preserve that Right. VII From Seyn and Loyre, to Rhone and Po, See every Mother's Son appear: In such a Case ne'er blame a Foe, If he betrays some little Fear. He comes, the mighty Vill'roy comes; Finds a small River in his Way: So waves his Colours, beats his Drums; And thinks it prudent there to stay. The Gallic Troops breath Blood and War: The Marshal cares not to march faster: Poor Vill'roy moves so slowly here, We fancy'd all, it was his Master. VIII Will no kind Flood, no friendly Rain Disguise the Marshal's plain Disgrace? No Torrents swell the low Mehayne? The World will say, he durst not pass. Why will no Hyades appear, Dear Poet, on the Banks of Sambre? Just as they did that mighty Year, When You turn'd June into December. The Water-Nymphs are too unkind To Vill'roy; are the Land-Nymphs so? And fly They All, at Once Combin'd To shame a General, and a Beau? IX Truth, Justice, Sense, Religion, Fame May join to finish William's Story: Nations set free may bless his Name; And France in Secret own his Glory. But Ipres, Mastrich, and Cambray, Besancon, Ghent, St. Omers, Lysle, Courtray, and Dole Ye Criticks, say, How poor to this was Pindar's Style? With Eke's and Also's tack thy Strain, Great Bard; and sing the deathless Prince, Who lost Namur the same Campaign, He bought Dixmude, and plunder'd Deynse. X I'll hold Ten Pound, my Dream is out: I'd tell it You, but for the Rattle Of those confounded Drums: no doubt Yon' bloody Rogues intend a Battel. Dear me! a hundred thousand French With Terror fill the neighb'ring Field; While William carries on the Trench, 'Till both the Town and Castle yield. Vill'roy to Boufflers should advance, Says Mars, thro' Cannons Mouths in Fire; Id est , one Mareschal of France Tells t'other, He can come no nigher. XI Regain the Lines the shortest Way, Vill'roy; or to Versailles take Post: For, having seen it, Thou can'st say The Steps, by which Namur was lost. The Smoke and Flame may vex thy Sight: Look not once back: but as thou goest, Quicken the Squadrons in their Flight; And bid the D l take the slowest. Think not what Reason to produce, From Louis to conceal thy Fear: He'll own the Strength of thy Excuse; Tell him that William was but there. XII Now let us look for Louis' Feather, That us'd to shine so like a Star: The Gen'rals could not get together, Wanting that Influence, great in War. O Poet! Thou had'st been discreeter, Hanging the Monarch's Hat so high; If Thou had'st dubb'd thy Star, a Meteor, That did but blaze, and rove, and die. XIII To animate the doubtful Fight, Namur in vain expects that Ray: In vain France hopes, the sickly Light Shou'd shine near William's fuller Day. It knows Versailles, it's proper Station; Nor cares for any foreign Sphere: Where You see Boileau's Constellation, Be sure no Danger can be near. XIV The French had gather'd all their Force; And William met them in their Way: Yet off they brush'd, both Foot and Horse. What has Friend Boileau left to say? When his high Muse is bent upon't, To sing her King, that Great Commander, Or on the Shores of Hellespont, Or in the Valleys near Scamander; Wou'd it not spoil his noble Task, If any foolish Phrygian there is, Impertinent enough to ask, How far Namur may be from Paris? XV Two Stanza's more before we end, Of Death, Pikes, Rocks, Arms, Bricks, and Fire: Leave 'em behind You, honest Friend: And with your Country-Men retire. Your Ode is spoilt; Namur is freed; For Dixmuyd something yet is due: So good Count Guiscard may proceed; But Boufflers, Sir, one Word with you. XVI 'Tis done. In Sight of these Commanders, Who neither Fight, nor raise the Siege, The Foes of France march safe thro' Flanders; Divide to Bruxelles, or to Liege. Send, Fame, this News to Trianon; That Boufflers may new Honours gain: He the same Play by Land has shown, As Tourville did upon the Main. Yet is the Marshal made a Peer: O William, may thy Arms advance; That He may lose Dinant next Year, And so be Constable of France.
An English Ballad, On The Taking Of Namur, By The King Of Great Britain
Thomas Moore
When Love, who ruled as Admiral o'er Has rosy mother's isles of light, Was cruising off the Paphian shore, A sail at sunset hove in sight. "A chase, a chase! my Cupids all," Said Love, the little Admiral. Aloft the winged sailors sprung, And, swarming up the mast like bees, The snow-white sails expanding flung, Like broad magnolias to the breeze. "Yo ho, yo ho, my Cupids all!" Said Love, the little Admiral. The chase was o'er--the bark was caught, The winged crew her freight explored; And found 'twas just as Love had thought, For all was contraband aboard. "A prize, a prize, my Cupids all!" Said Love, the little Admiral. Safe stowed in many a package there, And labelled slyly o'er, as "Glass," Were lots of all the illegal ware, Love's Custom-House forbids to pass. "O'erhaul, o'erhaul, my Cupids all," Said Love, the little Admiral. False curls they found, of every hue, With rosy blushes ready made; And teeth of ivory, good as new, For veterans in the smiling trade. "Ho ho, ho ho, my Cupids all," Said Love, the little Admiral. Mock sighs, too,--kept in bags for use, Like breezes bought of Lapland seers,-- Lay ready here to be let loose, When wanted, in young spinsters' ears. "Ha ha, ha ha, my Cupids all," Said Love, the little Admiral. False papers next on board were found, Sham invoices of flames and darts, Professedly for Paphos bound, But meant for Hymen's golden marts. "For shame, for shame, my Cupids all!" Said Love, the little Admiral. Nay, still to every fraud awake, Those pirates all Love's signals knew, And hoisted oft his flag, to make Rich wards and heiresses bring-to.[1] "A foe, a foe, my Cupids all!" Said Love, the little Admiral. "This must not be," the boy exclaims, "In vain I rule the Paphian seas, "If Love's and Beauty's sovereign names "Are lent to cover frauds like these. "Prepare, prepare, my Cupids all!" Said Love, the little Admiral. Each Cupid stood with lighted match-- A broadside struck the smuggling foe, And swept the whole unhallowed batch Of Falsehood to the depths below. "Huzza, huzza! my Cupids all!" Said Love the little Admiral.
When Love, Who Ruled.
Robert Herrick
To the Right Honourable Mildmay, Earl of Westmoreland Come, sons of summer, by whose toil We are the lords of wine and oil; By whose tough labours, and rough hands, We rip up first, then reap our lands. Crown'd with the ears of corn, now come, And to the pipe sing Harvest Home. Come forth, my lord, and see the cart Dress'd up with all the country art. See, here a malkin, there a sheet, As spotless pure, as it is sweet; The horses, mares, and frisking fillies, (Clad, all, in linen, white as lilies.) The harvest swains and wenches bound For joy, to see the Hock-cart crown'd. About the cart, hear, how the rout Of rural younglings raise the shout; Pressing before, some coming after, Those with a shout, and these with laughter. Some bless the cart; some kisses the sheaves; Some prank them up with oaken leaves; Some cross the fill-horse; some with great Devotion, stroke the home-borne wheat; While other rustics, less attent To prayers than to merriment, Run after with their breeches rent. Well, on, brave boys, to your lord's hearth, Glitt'ring with fire, where, for your mirth, Ye shall see first the large and chief Foundation of your feast, fat beef, With upper stories, mutton, veal, And bacon, (which makes full the meal) With sev'ral dishes standing by, As here a custard, there a pie, And here all tempting frumenty. And for to make the merry cheer, If smirking wine be wanting here, There's that which drowns all care, stout beer, Which freely drink to your lord's health, Then to the plough, (the common-wealth) Next to your flails, your fanes, your fats; Then to the maids with wheaten hats; To the rough sickle and crook'd scythe, Drink frolic boys, till all be blythe. Feed and grow fat; and as ye eat, Be mindful, that the lab'ring neat (As you) may have their fill of meat And know, besides, ye must revoke The patient ox unto the yoke, And all go back unto the plough And harrow, (though they're hang'd up now.) And, you must know, your lord's word's true, Feed him ye must, whose food fills you. And that this pleasure is like rain, Not sent ye for to drown your pain, But for to make it spring again.
Harvest Home
John Greenleaf Whittier
I. "Encore un hymne, O ma lyre Un hymn pour le Seigneur, Un hymne dans mon delire, Un hymne dans mon bonheur." One hymn more, O my lyre! Praise to the God above, Of joy and life and love, Sweeping its strings of fire! Oh, who the speed of bird and wind And sunbeam's glance will lend to me, That, soaring upward, I may find My resting-place and home in Thee? Thou, whom my soul, midst doubt and gloom, Adoreth with a fervent flame, Mysterious spirit! unto whom Pertain nor sign nor name! Swiftly my lyre's soft murmurs go, Up from the cold and joyless earth, Back to the God who bade them flow, Whose moving spirit sent them forth. But as for me, O God! for me, The lowly creature of Thy will, Lingering and sad, I sigh to Thee, An earth-bound pilgrim still! Was not my spirit born to shine Where yonder stars and suns are glowing? To breathe with them the light divine From God's own holy altar flowing? To be, indeed, whate'er the soul In dreams hath thirsted for so long, A portion of heaven's glorious whole Of loveliness and song? Oh, watchers of the stars at night, Who breathe their fire, as we the air, Suns, thunders, stars, and rays of light, Oh, say, is He, the Eternal, there? Bend there around His awful throne The seraph's glance, the angel's knee? Or are thy inmost depths His own, O wild and mighty sea? Thoughts of my soul, how swift ye go! Swift as the eagle's glance of fire, Or arrows from the archer's bow, To the far aim of your desire! Thought after thought, ye thronging rise, Like spring-doves from the startled wood, Bearing like them your sacrifice Of music unto God! And shall these thoughts of joy and love Come back again no more to me? Returning like the patriarch's dove Wing-weary from the eternal sea, To bear within my longing arms The promise-bough of kindlier skies, Plucked from the green, immortal palms Which shadow Paradise? All-moving spirit! freely forth At Thy command the strong wind goes Its errand to the passive earth, Nor art can stay, nor strength oppose, Until it folds its weary wing Once more within the hand divine; So, weary from its wandering, My spirit turns to Thine! Child of the sea, the mountain stream, From its dark caverns, hurries on, Ceaseless, by night and morning's beam, By evening's star and noontide's sun, Until at last it sinks to rest, O'erwearied, in the waiting sea, And moans upon its mother's breast, So turns my soul to Thee! O Thou who bidst the torrent flow, Who lendest wings unto the wind, Mover of all things! where art Thou? Oh, whither shall I go to find The secret of Thy resting-place? Is there no holy wing for me, That, soaring, I may search the space Of highest heaven for Thee? Oh, would I were as free to rise As leaves on autumn's whirlwind borne, The arrowy light of sunset skies, Or sound, or ray, or star of morn, Which melts in heaven at twilight's close, Or aught which soars unchecked and free Through earth and heaven; that I might lose Myself in finding Thee! II. LE CRI DE L'AME. "Quand le souffle divin qui flotte sur le monde." When the breath divine is flowing, Zephyr-like o'er all things going, And, as the touch of viewless fingers, Softly on my soul it lingers, Open to a breath the lightest, Conscious of a touch the slightest, As some calm, still lake, whereon Sinks the snowy-bosomed swan, And the glistening water-rings Circle round her moving wings When my upward gaze is turning Where the stars of heaven are burning Through the deep and dark abyss, Flowers of midnight's wilderness, Blowing with the evening's breath Sweetly in their Maker's path When the breaking day is flushing All the east, and light is gushing Upward through the horizon's haze, Sheaf-like, with its thousand rays, Spreading, until all above Overflows with joy and love, And below, on earth's green bosom, All is changed to light and blossom: When my waking fancies over Forms of brightness flit and hover Holy as the seraphs are, Who by Zion's fountains wear On their foreheads, white and broad, "Holiness unto the Lord!" When, inspired with rapture high, It would seem a single sigh Could a world of love create; That my life could know no date, And my eager thoughts could fill Heaven and Earth, o'erflowing still! Then, O Father! Thou alone, From the shadow of Thy throne, To the sighing of my breast And its rapture answerest. All my thoughts, which, upward winging, Bathe where Thy own light is springing, All my yearnings to be free Are at echoes answering Thee! Seldom upon lips of mine, Father! rests that name of Thine; Deep within my inmost breast, In the secret place of mind, Like an awful presence shrined, Doth the dread idea rest Hushed and holy dwells it there, Prompter of the silent prayer, Lifting up my spirit's eye And its faint, but earnest cry, From its dark and cold abode, Unto Thee, my Guide and God!
Hymns From The French Of Lamartine
Alfred Lord Tennyson
I. Ulysses, much-experienced man, Whose eyes have known this globe of ours, Her tribes of men, and trees, and flowers, From Corrientes to Japan, II. To you that bask below the Line, I soaking here in winter wet' The century's three strong eights have met To drag me down to seventy-nine III. In summer if I reach my day' To you, yet young, who breathe the balm Of summer-winters by the palm And orange grove of Paraguay, IV. I tolerant of the colder time, Who love the winter woods, to trace On paler heavens the branching grace Of leafless elm, or naked lime, V. And see my cedar green, and there My giant ilex keeping leaf When frost is keen and days are brief' Or marvel how in English air VI. My yucca, which no winter quells, Altho' the months have scarce begun, Has push'd toward our faintest sun A spike of half-accomplish'd bells' VII. Or watch the waving pine which here The warrior of Caprera set,* A name that earth will not forget Till earth has roll'd her latest year' VIII. I, once half-crazed for larger light On broader zones beyond the foam, But chaining fancy now at home Among the quarried downs of Wight, IX. Not less would yield full thanks to you For your rich gift, your tale of lands I know not,* your Arabian sands; Your cane, your palm, tree-fern, bamboo, X. The wealth of tropic bower and brake; Your Oriental Eden-isles,* Where man, nor only Nature smiles; Your wonder of the boiling lake;* XI. Phra-Chai, the Shadow of the Best,* Phra-bat* the step; your Pontic coast; Crag-cloister;* Anatolian Ghost;* Hong-Kong,* Karnac,* and all the rest. XII. Thro' which I follow'd line by line Your leading hand, and came, my friend, To prize your various book, and send A gift of slenderer value, mine.
To Ulysses*
Thomas Gent
0 Nymph! with cheeks of roseate hue, Whose eyes are violets bath'd in dew, So liquid, languishing, and blue, How they bewitch me! Thy bosom hath a magic spell, For when its full orbs heave and swell, I feel but, oh! I must not tell, Lord! how they twitch me!
To ******
1. I am a gold lock. 2. I am a gold key. 1. I am a silver lock. 2. I am a silver key. 1. I am a brass lock. 2. I am a brass key. 1. I am a lead lock. 2. I am a lead key. 1. I am a monk lock. 2. I am a monk key!
Nursery Rhyme. CCXCVII. Games.
Robert Herrick
Chorus Sacerdotum. From the temple to your home May a thousand blessings come! And a sweet concurring stream Of all joys to join with them. Chorus Juvenum. Happy Day, Make no long stay Here In thy sphere; But give thy place to Night, That she, As thee, May be Partaker of this sight. And since it was thy care To see the younglings wed, 'Tis fit that Night the pair Should see safe brought to bed. Chorus Senum. Go to your banquet then, but use delight, So as to rise still with an appetite. Love is a thing most nice, and must be fed To such a height, but never surfeited. What is beyond the mean is ever ill: 'Tis best to feed Love, but not overfill; Go then discreetly to the bed of pleasure, And this remember, virtue keeps the measure. Chorus Virginum. Lucky signs we have descri'd To encourage on the bride, And to these we have espi'd, Not a kissing Cupid flies Here about, but has his eyes To imply your love is wise. Chorus Pastorum. Here we present a fleece To make a piece Of cloth; Nor, fair, must you be both Your finger to apply To housewifery. Then, then begin To spin: And, sweetling, mark you, what a web will come Into your chests, drawn by your painful thumb. Chorus Matronarum. Set you to your wheel, and wax Rich by the ductile wool and flax. Yarn is an income, and the housewives' thread The larder fills with meat, the bin with bread. Chorus Senum. Let wealth come in by comely thrift And not by any sordid shift; 'Tis haste Makes waste: Extremes have still their fault: The softest fire makes the sweetest malt: Who grips too hard the dry and slippery sand Holds none at all, or little in his hand. Chorus Virginum. Goddess of pleasure, youth and peace, Give them the blessing of increase: And thou, Lucina, that dost hear The vows of those that children bear: Whenas her April hour draws near, Be thou then propitious there. Chorus Juvenum. Far hence be all speech that may anger move: Sweet words must nourish soft and gentle love. Chorus Omnium. Live in the love of doves, and having told The raven's years, go hence more ripe than old.
Connubii Flores, Or The Well-Wishes At Weddings.
Hanford Lennox Gordon
Waz'ya came down from the North from the land of perpetual winter. From his frost-covered beard issued forth the sharp-biting, shrill-whistling North-wind; At the touch of his breath the wide earth turned to stone, and the lakes and the rivers: From his nostrils the white vapors rose, and they covered the sky like a blanket. Like the down of Mag'[BJ] fell the snows, tossed and whirled into heaps by the North-wind. Then the blinding storms roared on the plains, like the simoons on sandy Sahara; From the fangs of the fierce hurricanes fled the elk and the deer and the bison. Ever colder and colder it grew, till the frozen ground cracked and split open; And harder and harder it blew, till the hillocks were bare as the boulders. To the southward the buffalos fled, and the white rabbits hid in their burrows; On the bare sacred mounds of the dead howled the gaunt, hungry wolves in the night-time, The strong hunters crouched in their tees; by the lodge-fires the little ones shivered; And the Magic-Men[BK] danced to appease, in their teepee, the wrath of Waz'ya; But famine and fatal disease, like phantoms, crept into the village. The Hard Moon[BL] was past, but the moon when the coons make their trails in the forest[BM] Grew colder and colder. The coon, or the bear, ventured not from his cover; For the cold, cruel Arctic simoon swept the earth like the breath of a furnace. In the tee of Ta-t'-psin the store of wild-rice and dried meat was exhausted; And Famine crept in at the door, and sat crouching and gaunt by the lodge-fire. But now with the saddle of deer and the gifts came the crafty Tamd'ka; And he said, "Lo I bring you good cheer, for I love the blind Chief and his daughter. Take the gifts of Tamd'ka, for dear to his heart is the dark-eyed Winona." The aged Chief opened his ears; in his heart he already consented: But the moans of his child and her tears touched the age-softened heart of the father, And he said, "I am burdened with years, I am bent by the snows of my winters; Ta-t'-psin will die in his tee; let him pass to the Land of the Spirits; But Winona is young; she is free and her own heart shall choose her a husband." The dark warrior strode from the tee; low-muttering and grim he departed; "Let him die in his lodge," muttered he, "but Winona shall kindle my lodge-fire." Then forth went Winona. The bow of Ta-t'-psin she took and his arrows, And afar o'er the deep, drifted snow through the forest she sped on her snow shoes. Over meadow and ice-covered mere, through the thickets of red-oak and hazel, She followed the tracks of the deer, but like phantoms they fled from her vision. From sunrise to sunset she sped; half famished she camped in the thicket; In the cold snow she made her lone bed; on the buds of the birch[BN] made her supper. To the dim moon the gray owl preferred, from the tree-top, his shrill lamentation, And around her at midnight she heard the dread famine-cries of the gray wolves. In the gloam of the morning again on the trail of the red-deer she followed All day long through the thickets in vain, for the gray wolves were chasing the roebucks; And the cold, hungry winds from the plain chased the wolves and the deer and Winona. In the twilight of sundown she sat in the forest, all weak and despairing; Ta-t'-psin's bow lay at her feet, and his otter-skin quiver of arrows "He promised, he promised," she said, half-dreamily uttered and mournful, "And why comes he not? Is he dead? Was he slain by the crafty Tamd'ka? Must Winona, alas, make her choice make her choice between death and Tamd'ka? She will die, but her soul will rejoice in the far Summer-land of the spirits. Hark! I hear his low, musical voice! he is coming! My White Chief is coming! Ah, no, I am half in a dream! 'twas the memory of days long departed; But the birds of the green Summer seem to be singing above in the branches." Then forth from her bosom she drew the crucified Jesus in silver. In her dark hair the cold north-wind blew, as meekly she bent o'er the image. "O Christ of the Whiteman," she prayed, "lead the feet of my brave to Kath'ga; Send a good spirit down to my aid, or the friend of the White Chief will perish." Then a smile on her wan features played, and she lifted her pale face and chanted "E-ye-he-kt'! E-ye-he-kt'! H'-kta-c'; '-ye-ce-qu'n. M'-Wamdee-sk', he-he-kt', He-kta-c', '-ye-ce-qu'n, M'-Wamdee-sk'." TRANSLATON He will come; he will come; He will come, for he promised. My White Eagle, he will come; He will come, for he promised My White Eagle. Thus sadly she chanted, and lo allured by her sorrowful accents From the dark covert crept a red roe and wonderingly gazed on Winona. Then swift caught the huntress her bow; from her trembling hand hummed the keen arrow. Up-leaped the red roebuck and fled, but the white snow was sprinkled with scarlet, And he fell in the oak thicket dead. On the trail ran the eager Winona. Half-famished the raw flesh she ate. To the hungry maid sweet was her supper Then swift through the night ran her feet, and she trailed the sleek roebuck behind her; And the guide of her steps was a star the cold-glinting star of Waz'ya[BO] Over meadow and hilltop afar, on the way to the lodge of her father. But hark! on the keen frosty air wind the shrill hunger-howls of the gray-wolves! And nearer, still nearer! the blood of the deer have they scented and follow; Through the thicket, the meadow, the wood, dash the pack on the trail of Winona. Swift she speeds with her burden, but swift on her track fly the minions of famine; Now they yell on the view from the drift, in the reeds at the marge of the meadow; Red gleam their wild, ravenous eyes, for they see on the hill-side their supper; The dark forest echoes their cries, but her heart is the heart of a warrior. From its sheath snatched Winona her knife, and a leg from the roebuck she severed; With the carcass she ran for her life, to a low-branching oak ran the maiden; Round the deer's neck her head-strap[BP] was tied; swiftly she sprang to the arms of the oak-tree; Quick her burden she drew to her side, and higher she clomb on the branches, While the maddened wolves battled and bled, dealing death o'er the leg to each other; Their keen fangs devouring the dead, yea, devouring the flesh of the living, They raved and they gnashed and they growled, like the fiends in the regions infernal; The wide night re-echoing howled, and the hoarse North-wind laughed o'er the slaughter. But their ravenous maws unappeased by the blood and the flesh of their fellows, To the cold wind their muzzles they raised, and the trail to the oak-tree they followed. Round and round it they howled for the prey, madly leaping and snarling and snapping; But the brave maiden's keen arrows slay, till the dead number more than the living. All the long, dreary night-time, at bay, in the oak sat the shivering Winona; But the sun gleamed at last, and away skulked the gray cowards[BQ] down through the forest. Then down dropped the deer and the maid. Ere the sun reached the midst of his journey, Her red, welcome burden she laid at the feet of her famishing father. Waz'ya's wild wrath was appeased, and homeward he turned to his teepee,[3] O'er the plains and the forest-land breezed from the Islands of Summer the South-wind. From their dens came the coon and the bear; o'er the snow through the woodlands they wandered; On her snow-shoes with stout bow and spear on their trails ran the huntress Winona. The coon to his den in the tree, and the bear to his burrow she followed; A brave, skillful hunter was she, and Ta-t'-psin's lodge laughed with abundance.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
"I am but clay," the sinner plead, Who fed each vain desire. "Not only clay," another said, "But worse, for thou art mire."
Bliss Carman (William)
Hear! hear! hear! Listen! the word Of the mocking-bird! Hear! hear! hear! I will make all clear; I will let you know Where the footfalls go That through the thicket and over the hill Allure, allure. How the bird-voice cleaves Through the weft of leaves With a leap and a thrill Like the flash of a weaver's shuttle, swift and sudden and sure! And la, he is gone--even while I turn The wisdom of his runes to learn. He knows the mystery of the wood, The secret of the solitude; But he will not tell, he will not tell, For all he promises so well.
The Mocking-Bird.
Margaret Steele Anderson
"0, was it on that awful road, The way of death, you came?" "It was a little road," he said, "I never knew its name." "Is it not rough along that road?" "I cannot tell," said he, "Up to your gate, in her two arms. My mother carried me." "And will you show me Christ?" he said, "And must we seek Him far?" "That is our Lord, with children round. Where little blue-bells are." "Why, so my mother sits at night, When all the lights are dim! 0, would He mind, would it be right If I should sit by Him?"
The Angel And The Child.
Robert Herrick
Ph. Charon! O gentle Charon! let me woo thee By tears and pity now to come unto me. Ch. What voice so sweet and charming do I hear? Say what thou art. Ph. I prithee first draw near. Ch. A sound I hear, but nothing yet can see; Speak, where thou art. Ph. O Charon pity me! I am a bird, and though no name I tell, My warbling note will say I'm Philomel. Ch. What's that to me? I waft nor fish or fowls, Nor beasts, fond thing, but only human souls. Ph. Alas for me! Ch. Shame on thy witching note That made me thus hoist sail and bring my boat: But I'll return; what mischief brought thee hither? Ph. A deal of love and much, much grief together. Ch. What's thy request? Ph. That since she's now beneath Who fed my life, I'll follow her in death. Ch. And is that all? I'm gone. Ph. By love I pray thee. Ch. Talk not of love; all pray, but few souls pay me. Ph. I'll give thee vows and tears. Ch. Can tears pay scores For mending sails, for patching boat and oars? Ph. I'll beg a penny, or I'll sing so long Till thou shalt say I've paid thee with a song. Ch. Why then begin; and all the while we make Our slothful passage o'er the Stygian Lake, Thou and I'll sing to make these dull shades merry, Who else with tears would doubtless drown my ferry.
Charon And Philomel; A Dialogue Sung.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
O Bios Bpaxus, - life is but a song; H rexvn uakpn, - art is wondrous long; Yet to the wise her paths are ever fair, And Patience smiles, though Genius may despair. Give us but knowledge, though by slow degrees, And blend our toil with moments bright as these; Let Friendship's accents cheer our doubtful way, And Love's pure planet lend its guiding ray, - Our tardy Art shall wear an angel's wings, And life shall lengthen with the joy it brings!
A Sentiment
Algernon Charles Swinburne
I. A baby shines as bright If winter or if May be On eyes that keep in sight A baby. Though dark the skies or grey be, It fills our eyes with light, If midnight or midday be. Love hails it, day and night, The sweetest thing that may be Yet cannot praise aright A baby. II. All heaven, in every baby born, All absolute of earthly leaven, Reveals itself, though man may scorn All heaven. Yet man might feel all sin forgiven, All grief appeased, all pain outworn, By this one revelation given. Soul, now forget thy burdens borne: Heart, be thy joys now seven times seven: Love shows in light more bright than morn All heaven. III. What likeness may define, and stray not From truth's exactest way, A baby's beauty?聽 聽 Love can say not What likeness may. The Mayflower loveliest held in May Of all that shine and stay not Laughs not in rosier disarray. Sleek satin, swansdown, buds that play not As yet with winds that play, Would fain be matched with this, and may not: What likeness may? IV. Rose, round whose bed Dawn's cloudlets close, Earth's brightest-bred Rose! No song, love knows, May praise the head Your curtain shows. Ere sleep has fled, The whole child glows One sweet live red Rose.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
'T is better to sit here beside the sea, Here on the spray-kissed beach, In silence, that between such friends as we Is full of deepest speech.
Jean Blewett
Wha cares if skies be dull and gray? Wha heeds November weather? Let ilka Scot be glad to-day The whole wide warl' thegither. We're a' a prood and stubborn lot, And clannish - sae fowk name us - Ay, but with sic guid cause none ought Tae judge us, or tae blame us, For joys that are we'll pledge to-day A land baith fair and glowing - Here's tae the hames o' Canada, Wi' luve and peace o'erflowing! For joys that were, for auld lang syne, For tender chords that bind us, A toast - your hand, auld friend, in mine - "The land we left behind us!" Ho, lowlanders! Ho, hielandmen! We'll toast her a' thegither, Here's tae each bonnie loch and glen! Here's tae her hills and heather! Here's tae the auld hame far away! While tender mists do blind us, We'll pledge on this, St. Andrew's day, "The land we left behind us!"
St. Andrew's Day - A Toast.
Jean de La Fontaine
A young country woman named Perrette set out one morning from her little dairy-farm with a pail of milk which she cleverly balanced upon her head over a pad or cushion. She hurried with sprightly steps to the market town, and so that she might be the less encumbered, wore a kirtle that was short and light - in truth a simple petticoat - and shoes low and easy. As she went, her thoughts ran upon the price to be gained for her milk, and she schemed a way to lay out the sum in the purchase of one hundred eggs. She was sure that with care and diligence these would yield three broods. "It would be quite easy to me," she said, "to raise the chicks near the house. The fox would be clever who would not leave me enough to buy one pig. A pig would fatten at the cost of a little bran, and when he had grown a fair size I should make a bargain of him for a good round sum. And then, considering the price he will fetch, what is to prevent my putting into our stable a cow and a calf? I can fancy how the calf will frisk about among the sheep!" Thereupon Perrette herself frisked for joy, transported with the picture of her affluence. Over toppled the milk! Adieu to calf and cow and pig and broods! This lady of wealth had to leave, with tearful eyes, her dissipated fortunes, and go straight to her husband framing excuses to avoid a beating. The farce became known to the whole countryside, and people called Perrette by the name of "Milkpail" ever after. Who has never talked wildly? Who has never built castles in Spain? Wise men as well as milkmaids; sages and fools, all have waking dreams and find them sweet! Our senses are carried away by some flattering falsehood, and then wealth, honours, and beauty seem ours to command. Alone with my thoughts I challenge the bravest. I dethrone monarchs and the people rejoicing crown me instead, showering diadems upon my head. Then lo! a little accident happens to bring me back to my senses, and I am Poor Jack as before.
The Dairy-Woman And The Pail Of Milk (Prose Fable)
[The original of 'The house that Jack built' is presumed to be a hymn in Sepher Haggadah, fol. 23, a translation of which is here given. The historical interpretation was first given by P. N. Leberecht, at Leipsic, in 1731, and is printed in the 'Christian Reformer,' vol. xvii, p. 28. The original is in the Chaldee language, and it may be mentioned that a very fine Hebrew manuscript of the fable, with illuminations, is in the possession of George Offer, Esq. of Hackney.] 1.聽 聽 A kid, a kid, my father bought, For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid. 2.聽 聽 Then came the cat, and ate the kid, That my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid. 3.聽 聽 Then came the dog, and bit the cat, That ate the kid, That my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid. 4.聽 聽 Then came the staff, and beat the dog, That bit the cat, That ate the kid, That my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid. 5.聽 聽 Then came the fire, and burned the staff, That beat the dog, That bit the cat, That ate the kid, That my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid. 6.聽 聽 Then came the water, and quenched the fire, That burned the staff, That beat the dog, That bit the cat, That ate the kid, That my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid. 7.聽 聽 Then came the ox, and drank the water, That quenched the fire, That burned the staff, That beat the dog, That bit the cat, That ate the kid, That my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid. 8.聽 聽 Then came the butcher, and slew the ox, That drank the water, That quenched the fire, That burned the staff, That beat the dog, That bit the cat, That ate the kid, That my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid. 9.聽 聽 Then came the angel of death, and killed the butcher, That slew the ox, That drank the water, That quenched the fire, That burned the staff, That beat the dog, That bit the cat, That ate the kid, That my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid. 10. Then came the Holy One, blessed be He! And killed the angel of death, That killed the butcher, That slew the ox, That drank the water, That quenched the fire, That burned the staff, That beat the dog, That bit the cat, That ate the kid, That my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid.
Nursery Rhyme. DXCV. Accumulative Stories.
Rudyard Kipling
0h, late withdrawn from human-kind And following dreams we never knew! Varus, what dream has Fate assigned To trouble you? Such virtue as commends of law Of Virtue to the vulgar horde Suffices not. You needs must draw A righteous sword; And, flagrant in well-doing, smite The priests of Bacchus at their fane, Lest any worshipper invite The God again. Whence public strife and naked crime And-deadlier than the cup you shun, A people schooled to mock, in time, All law--not one. Cease, then, to fashion State-made sin, Nor give thy children cause to doubt That Virtue springs from Iron within, Not lead without.
The Portent
Paul Laurence Dunbar
'Lias! 'Lias! Bless de Lawd! Don' you know de day's erbroad? Ef you don' git up, you scamp, Dey 'll be trouble in dis camp. T'ink I gwine to let you sleep W'ile I meks yo' boa'd an' keep? Dat's a putty howdy-do-- Don' you hyeah me, 'Lias--you? Bet ef I come crost dis flo' You won' fin' no time to sno'. Daylight all a-shinin' in Wile you sleep--w'y hit's a sin! Ain't de can'le-light enough To bu'n out widout a snuff, But you go de mo'nin' thoo Bu'nin' up de daylight too? 'Lias, don' you hyeah me call? No use tu'nin' to'ds de wall; I kin hyeah dat mattuss squeak; Don' you hyeah me w'en I speak? Dis hyeah clock done struck off six-- Ca'line, bring me dem ah sticks! Oh, you down, suh; huh, you down-- Look hyeah, don' you daih to frown. Ma'ch yo'se'f an' wash yo' face, Don' you splattah all de place; I got somep'n else to do, 'Sides jes' cleanin' aftah you. Tek dat comb ah' fix yo' haid-- Looks jes' lak a feddah baid. Look hyeah, boy, I let you see You sha' n't roll yo' eyes at me. Come hyeah; bring me dat ah strap! Boy, I'll whup you 'twell you drap; You done felt yo'se'f too strong, An' you sholy got me wrong. Set down at dat table thaih; Jes' you whimpah ef you daih! Evah mo'nin' on dis place, Seem lak I mus' lose my grace. Fol' yo' han's an' bow yo' haid-- Wait ontwell de blessin' 's said; "Lawd, have mussy on ouah souls--" (Don' you daih to tech dem rolls--) "Bless de food we gwine to eat--" (You set still-I see yo' feet; You jes' try dat trick agin!) "Gin us peace an' joy. Amen!"
In The Morning
1. I went up one pair of stairs. 2. Just like me. 1. I went up two pair of stairs. 2. Just like me. 1. I went into a room. 2. Just like me. 1. I looked out of a window. 2. Just like me. 1. And there I saw a monkey. 2. Just like me.
Nursery Rhyme. CCCVII. Games.
George MacDonald
0 Earth, Earth, Earth, I am dying for love of thee, For thou hast given me birth, And thy hands have tended me. I would fall asleep on thy breast When its swelling folds are bare, When the thrush dreams of its nest And the life of its joy in the air; When thy life is a vanished ghost, And the glory hath left thy waves, When thine eye is blind with frost, And the fog sits on the graves; When the blasts are shivering about, And the rain thy branches beats, When the damps of death are out, And the mourners are in the streets. Oh my sleep should be deep In the arms of thy swiftening motion, And my dirge the mystic sweep Of the winds that nurse the ocean. And my eye would slowly ope With the voice that awakens thee, And runs like a glance of hope Up through the quickening tree; When the roots of the lonely fir Are dipt in thy veining heat, And thy countless atoms stir With the gather of mossy feet; When the sun's great censer swings In the hands that always be, And the mists from thy watery rings Go up like dust from the sea; When the midnight airs are assembling With a gush in thy whispering halls, And the leafy air is trembling Like a stream before it falls. Thy shadowy hand hath found me On the drifts of the Godhead's will, And thy dust hath risen around me With a life that guards me still. O Earth! I have caught from thine The pulse of a mystic chase; O Earth! I have drunk like wine The life of thy swiftening race. Wilt miss me, mother sweet, A life in thy milky veins? Wilt miss the sound of my feet In the tramp that shakes thy plains When the jaws of darkness rend, And the vapours fold away, And the sounds of life ascend Like dust in the blinding day? I would know thy silver strain In the shouts of the starry crowd When the souls of thy changing men Rise up like an incense cloud. I would know thy brightening lobes And the lap of thy watery bars Though space were choked with globes And the night were blind with stars! From the folds of my unknown place, When my soul is glad and free, I will slide by my God's sweet grace And hang like a cloud on thee. When the pale moon sits at night By the brink of her shining well, Laving the rings of her widening light On the slopes of the weltering swell, I will fall like a wind from the west On the locks of thy prancing streams, And sow the fields of thy rest With handfuls of sweet young dreams. When the sound of thy children's cry Hath stricken thy gladness dumb, I will kindle thine upward eye With a laugh from the years that come. Far above where the loud wind raves, On a wing as still as snow I will watch the grind of the curly waves As they bite the coasts below; When the shining ranks of the frost Draw down on the glistening wold In the mail of a fairy host, And the earth is mossed with cold, Till the plates that shine about Close up with a filmy din, Till the air is frozen out, And the stars are frozen in. I will often stoop to range On the fields where my youth was spent, And my feet shall smite the cliffs of change With the rush of a steep descent; And my glowing soul shall burn With a love that knows no pall, And my eye of worship turn Upon him that fashioned all-- When the sounding waves of strife Have died on the Godhead's sea, And thy life is a purer life That nurses a life in me.
To My Mother Earth
Washington Irving
If that severe doom of Synesius be true, 'It is a greater offence to steal dead men's labor, than their clothes,' what shall become of most writers? - BURTON'S ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY. I have often wondered at the extreme fecundity of the press, and how it comes to pass that so many heads, on which Nature seems to have inflicted the curse of barrenness, should teem with voluminous productions. As a man travels on, however, in the journey of life, his objects of wonder daily diminish, and he is continually finding out some very simple cause for some great matter of marvel. Thus have I chanced, in my peregrinations about this great metropolis, to blunder upon a scene which unfolded to me some of the mysteries of the book-making craft, and at once put an end to my astonishment. I was one summer's day loitering through the great saloons of the British Museum, with that listlessness with which one is apt to saunter about a museum in warm weather; sometimes lolling over the glass cases of minerals, sometimes studying the hieroglyphics on an Egyptian mummy, and some times trying, with nearly equal success, to comprehend the allegorical paintings on the lofty ceilings. Whilst I was gazing about in this idle way, my attention was attracted to a distant door, at the end of a suite of apartments. It was closed, but every now and then it would open, and some strange-favored being, generally clothed in black, would steal forth, and glide through the rooms, without noticing any of the surrounding objects. There was an air of mystery about this that piqued my languid curiosity, and I determined to attempt the passage of that strait, and to explore the unknown regions beyond. The door yielded to my hand, with all that facility with which the portals of enchanted castles yield to the adventurous knight-errant. I found myself in a spacious chamber, surrounded with great cases of venerable books. Above the cases, and just under the cornice, were arranged a great number of black-looking portraits of ancient authors. About the room were placed long tables, with stands for reading and writing, at which sat many pale, studious personages, poring intently over dusty volumes, rummaging among mouldy manuscripts, and taking copious notes of their contents. A hushed stillness reigned through this mysterious apartment, excepting that you might hear the racing of pens over sheets of paper, and occasionally the deep sigh of one of these sages, as he shifted his position to turn over the page of an old folio; doubtless arising from that hollowness and flatulency incident to learned research. Now and then one of these personages would write something on a small slip of paper, and ring a bell, whereupon a familiar would appear, take the paper in profound silence, glide out of the room, and return shortly loaded with ponderous tomes, upon which the other would fall, tooth and nail, with famished voracity. I had no longer a doubt that I had happened upon a body of magi, deeply engaged in the study of occult sciences. The scene reminded me of an old Arabian tale, of a philosopher shut up in an enchanted library, in the bosom of a mountain, which opened only once a year; where he made the spirits of the place bring him books of all kinds of dark knowledge, so that at the end of the year, when the magic portal once more swung open on its hinges, he issued forth so versed in forbidden lore, as to be able to soar above the heads of the multitude, and to control the powers of Nature. My curiosity being now fully aroused, I whispered to one of the familiars, as he was about to leave the room, and begged an interpretation of the strange scene before me. A few words were sufficient for the purpose. I found that these mysterious personages, whom I had mistaken for magi, were principally authors, and were in the very act of manufacturing books. I was, in fact, in the reading-room of the great British Library, an immense collection of volumes of all ages and languages, many of which are now forgotten, and most of which are seldom read: one of these sequestered pools of obsolete literature to which modern authors repair, and draw buckets full of classic lore, or 'pure English, undefiled,' wherewith to swell their own scanty rills of thought. Being now in possession of the secret, I sat down in a corner, and watched the process of this book manufactory. I noticed one lean, bilious-looking wight, who sought none but the most worm-eaten volumes, printed in black letter. He was evidently constructing some work of profound erudition, that would be purchased by every man who wished to be thought learned, placed upon a conspicuous shelf of his library, or laid open upon his table, but never read. I observed him, now and then, draw a large fragment of biscuit out of his pocket, and gnaw; whether it was his dinner, or whether he was endeavoring to keep off that exhaustion of the stomach, produced by much pondering over dry works, I leave to harder students than myself to determine. There was one dapper little gentleman in bright-colored clothes, with a chirping gossiping expression of countenance, who had all the appearance of an author on good terms with his bookseller. After considering him attentively, I recognized in him a diligent getter-up of miscellaneous works, which bustled off well with the trade. I was curious to see how he manufactured his wares. He made more stir and show of business than any of the others; dipping into various books, fluttering over the leaves of manuscripts, taking a morsel out of one, a morsel out of another, 'line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.' The contents of his book seemed to be as heterogeneous as those of the witches' cauldron in Macbeth. It was here a finger and there a thumb, toe of frog and blind worm's sting, with his own gossip poured in like 'baboon's blood,' to make the medley 'slab and good.' After all, thought I, may not this pilfering disposition be implanted in authors for wise purposes? may it not be the way in which Providence has taken care that the seeds of knowledge and wisdom shall be preserved from age to age, in spite of the inevitable decay of the works in which they were first produced? We see that Nature has wisely, though whimsically provided for the conveyance of seeds from clime to clime, in the maws of certain birds; so that animals, which, in themselves, are little better than carrion, and apparently the lawless plunderers of the orchard and the corn-field, are, in fact, Nature's carriers to disperse and perpetuate her blessings. In like manner, the beauties and fine thoughts of ancient and obsolete authors are caught up by these flights of predatory writers, and cast forth, again to flourish and bear fruit in a remote and distant tract of time. Many of their works, also, undergo a kind of metempsychosis, and spring up under new forms. What was formerly a ponderous history, revives in the shape of a romance, an old legend changes into a modern play, and a sober philosophical treatise furnishes the body for a whole series of bouncing and sparkling essays. Thus it is in the clearing of our American woodlands; where we burn down a forest of stately pines, a progeny of dwarf oaks start up in their place; and we never see the prostrate trunk of a tree mouldering into soil, but it gives birth to a whole tribe of fungi. Let us not then, lament over the decay and oblivion into which ancient writers descend; they do but submit to the great law of Nature, which declares that all sublunary shapes of matter shall be limited in their duration, but which decrees, also, that their element shall never perish. Generation after generation, both in animal and vegetable life, passes away, but the vital principle is transmitted to posterity, and the species continue to flourish. Thus, also, do authors beget authors, and having produced a numerous progeny, in a good old age they sleep with their fathers, that is to say, with the authors who preceded them, and from whom they had stolen. Whilst I was indulging in these rambling fancies I had leaned my head against a pile of reverend folios. Whether it was owing to the soporific emanations for these works; or to the profound quiet of the room; or to the lassitude arising from much wandering; or to an unlucky habit of napping at improper times and places, with which I am grievously afflicted, so it was, that I fell into a doze. Still, however, my imagination continued busy, and indeed the same scene continued before my mind's eye, only a little changed in some of the details. I dreamt that the chamber was still decorated with the portraits of ancient authors, but that the number was increased. The long tables had disappeared, and, in place of the sage magi, I beheld a ragged, threadbare throng, such as may be seen plying about the great repository of cast-off clothes, Monmouth Street. Whenever they seized upon a book, by one of those incongruities common to dreams, methought it turned into a garment of foreign or antique fashion, with which they proceeded to equip themselves. I noticed, however, that no one pretended to clothe himself from any particular suit, but took a sleeve from one, a cape from another, a skirt from a third, thus decking himself out piecemeal, while some of his original rags would peep out from among his borrowed finery. There was a portly, rosy, well-fed parson, whom I observed ogling several mouldy polemical writers through an eyeglass. He soon contrived to slip on the voluminous mantle of one of the old fathers, and having purloined the gray beard of another, endeavored to look exceedingly wise; but the smirking commonplace of his countenance set at naught all the trappings of wisdom. One sickly-looking gentleman was busied embroidering a very flimsy garment with gold thread drawn out of several old court-dresses of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Another had trimmed himself magnificently from an illuminated manuscript, had stuck a nosegay in his bosom, culled from 'The Paradise of Dainty Devices,' and having put Sir Philip Sidney's hat on one side of his head, strutted off with an exquisite air of vulgar elegance. A third, who was but of puny dimensions, had bolstered himself out bravely with the spoils from several obscure tracts of philosophy, so that he had a very imposing front, but he was lamentably tattered in rear, and I perceived that he had patched his small-clothes with scraps of parchment from a Latin author. There were some well-dressed gentlemen, it is true, who only helped themselves to a gem or so, which sparkled among their own ornaments, without eclipsing them. Some, too, seemed to contemplate the costumes of the old writers, merely to imbibe their principles of taste, and to catch their air and spirit; but I grieve to say, that too many were apt to array themselves, from top to toe, in the patchwork manner I have mentioned. I shall not omit to speak of one genius, in drab breeches and gaiters, and an Arcadian hat, who had a violent propensity to the pastoral, but whose rural wanderings had been confined to the classic haunts of Primrose Hill, and the solitudes of the Regent's Park. He had decked himself in wreaths and ribbons from all the old pastoral poets, and, hanging his head on one side, went about with a fantastical, lackadaisical air, 'babbling about green field.' But the personage that most struck my attention was a pragmatical old gentleman in clerical robes, with a remarkably large and square but bald head. He entered the room wheezing and puffing, elbowed his way through the throng with a look of sturdy self-confidence, and, having laid hands upon a thick Greek quarto, clapped it upon his head, and swept majestically away in a formidable frizzled wig. In the height of this literary masquerade, a cry suddenly resounded from every side, of 'Thieves! thieves!' I looked, and lo! the portraits about the walls became animated! The old authors thrust out, first a head, then a shoulder, from the canvas, looked down curiously for an instant upon the motley throng, and then descended, with fury in their eyes, to claim their rifled property. The scene of scampering and hubbub that ensued baffles all description. The unhappy culprits endeavored in vain to escape with their plunder. On one side might be seen half a dozen old monks, stripping a modern professor; on another, there was sad devastation carried into the ranks of modern dramatic writers. Beaumont and Fletcher, side by side, raged round the field like Castor and Pollux, and sturdy Ben Jonson enacted more wonders than when a volunteer with the army in Flanders. As to the dapper little compiler of farragos mentioned some time since, he had arrayed himself in as many patches and colors as harlequin, and there was as fierce a contention of claimants about him, as about the dead body of Patroclus. I was grieved to see many men, to whom I had been accustomed to look up with awe and reverence, fain to steal off with scarce a rag to cover their nakedness. Just then my eye was caught by the pragmatical old gentleman in the Greek grizzled wig, who was scrambling away in sore affright with half a score of authors in full cry after him. They were close upon his haunches; in a twinkling off went his wig; at every turn some strip of raiment was peeled away, until in a few moments, from his domineering pomp, he shrunk into a little, pursy, 'chopp'd bald shot,' and made his exit with only a few tags and rags fluttering at his back. There was something so ludicrous in the catastrophe of this learned Theban that I burst into an immoderate fit of laughter, which broke the whole illusion. The tumult and the scuffle were at an end. The chamber resumed its usual appearance. The old authors shrunk back into their picture-frames, and hung in shadowy solemnity along the walls. In short, I found myself wide awake in my corner, with the whole assemblage of hookworms gazing at me with astonishment. Nothing of the dream had been real but my burst of laughter, a sound never before heard in that grave sanctuary, and so abhorrent to the ears of wisdom, as to electrify the fraternity. The librarian now stepped up to me, and demanded whether I had a card of admission. At first I did not comprehend him, but I soon found that the library was a kind of literary 'preserve,' subject to game-laws, and that no one must presume to hunt there without special license and permission. In a word, I stood convicted of being an arrant poacher, and was glad to make a precipitate retreat, lest I should have a whole pack of authors let loose upon me.
The Art Of Book Making - Prose
Robert Herrick
Hor.聽 聽 While, Lydia, I was loved of thee, Nor any was preferred 'fore me To hug thy whitest neck, than I The Persian king lived not more happily. Lyd.聽 聽 While thou no other didst affect, Nor Chloe was of more respect Than Lydia, far-famed Lydia, I flourished more than Roman Ilia. Hor.聽 聽 Now Thracian Chloe governs me, Skilful i' th' harp and melody; For whose affection, Lydia, I (So fate spares her) am well content to die. Lyd.聽 聽 My heart now set on fire is By Ornithes' son, young Calais, For whose commutual flames here I, To save his life, twice am content to die. Hor.聽 聽 Say our first loves we should revoke, And, severed, join in brazen yoke; Admit I Chloe put away, And love again love-cast-off Lydia? Lyd.聽 聽 Though mine be brighter than the star, Thou lighter than the cork by far, Rough as the Adriatic sea, yet I Will live with thee, or else for thee will die.
A Dialogue Betwixt Horace And Lydia, Translated Anno 1627, And Set By Mr. Ro. Ramsey.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
EXPLANATORY Kamehameha First, of the Hawaiian Islands, conquered his foes in a great battle, driving them over the high mountain peak known as Pali- - one of the famous scenic views of the world, and the goal of all visitors in Honolulu. The Hula (pronounced hoola) was the national muscle and abdominal dance of Hawaii, and the late King Kalakua was its enthusiastic patron.聽 聽 The costume of the dancers was composed chiefly of skirts of grass.聽 聽 The Hula (so attired) is now forbidden by law.聽 聽 The Hula Kui聽 聽 is a modification of the dance and exceedingly graceful. Many charming young self-supporting woman in Honolulu trace their ancestry back to Kamehameha with great pride.聽 聽 The chant is a weird sing-song which relates the conquests of the race. It is the custom in Honolulu to present guests at feasts and festivals, or departing visitors, with long wreaths of natural flowers, and which are worn by men, as well as women, about the head,聽 聽 hat, and neck.聽 聽 These wreaths, called lais (pronounced lays), sometimes reach below the waist. The flower-sellers are one of the national features of Honolulu. Scene made to represent grounds at Hawaiian hotel.聽 聽 Sort of open cafe or pavilion with palms, vines, and tropic flowers.聽 聽 RALPH sitting alone with a dreamy air. Enter ETHEL - in short travelling suit - typical American girl - blonde and petite. ETHEL Oh, here you are.聽 聽 Your sister and your mother Commissioned me detective, sleuth, and spy, To find the disappearing son and brother; And tell him that the time is slipping by. Our boat will sail in just two hours, you know. Dear Honolulu, how I hate to go. RALPH Don't mention it; I shun the very thought. ETHEL You see this is the sort of thing one hears And don't believe, until one sees the spot. We left New York in snow up to its ears; And now a Paradise! the palm, the rose, The Boaganvillia, and the breath of summer. RALPH I tell you, Honolulu is a hummer. It pays for six long days upon the ocean - And those sad memories of a ship's queer motion ETHEL There's one thing, though, that's disappointed me, - The much exploited Honolulu maid. I haven't seen a beauty in the town. RALPH They're thick as ripe bananas on a tree. You have not been observing, I'm afraid. ETHEL (shrugging her shoulders) Oh well, tastes differ; I don't care for brown, At least for this pronounced Hawaiian shade; I really can't imagine how a man Could love a girl dyed to a chronic tan. RALPH Some one has said, 'Love goes where it is sent.' ETHEL (sadly) I think that true; one can not guide its bent. But I must go; and will you come along? Your mother said to bring you. RALPH Not quite yet; I'll wait until that bird completes its song; The last I'll hear, till many a sun has set. Just tell the folks I'll meet them on the pier. [Exit ETHEL, looking disappointed. RALPH (sitting down in a reverie) A nice girl, Ethel; but, by Jove, it's queer The way a fellow's stubborn mind will turn To something that he should forget.聽 聽 That face - I saw once on a San Francisco street, How well I do recall the time and place. 'A girl from Honolulu,' some one said. I wonder where she is now!聽 聽 Married?聽 聽 Dead? [A silent reverie for a moment.聽 聽 Then speaks again.] I planned this trip with just one crazy thought - To look upon that strange girl's face once more. That is the luny project which has brought The four of us to this idyllic shore. [Laughs and lights a cigar.] My scheme was worked with such consummate care That mother thinks SHE planned the whole affair. Then she invited Ethel as her guest. [Silence for a moment.] Well, sometimes mothers know just what is best For wayward sons. And yet, and yet, and yet, Why is it one girl's face I can't forget? Why is it that I feel despondent hearted In missing that fool hope for which I started? Four thousand miles is something of a chase To run to cover one elusive face And then to FAIL. [Reverie.聽 聽 A chant is heard outside.聽 聽 The man listens.聽 聽 The chant ceases and then a maiden slowly approaches calling out her flower wares, which she carries in a basket; she wears several lais herself, on hat and neck.聽 聽 She does not observe the man at first.] FLOWER GIRL (calls in a musical voice) Lais, lais, royal lais, beautiful flowers in bloom; Colours of splendour, fragrance so tender, Blossoms to brighten your room; Lais, lais, royal lais, who buys - RALPH (leans forward and says aside) (Eve and the serpent meet in Paradise.) [He moves forward as the maid enters the doorway.聽 聽 Recognition shows in both faces.聽 聽 Then the maiden recovers her self-possession and starts to go.] RALPH (with sudden boldness and excitement) I'll buy you out, in case you then are free To stay awhile, beneath this banyan tree, And tell me all about your lovely land. FLOWER GIRL (with dignity) Your pardon, sir, I do not understand. RALPH (who seems drunk with exhilaration) Oh well, 'tis plain enough; from realms of snow I landed here, some little time ago, A lonely orphan, without kith or kin. I need a friend. [FLOWER GIRL gives him an indignant, surprised glance.聽 聽 Then speaks with quiet sarcasm.] Sir, they will take you in On Hotel Street.聽 聽 The Y.M.C.A. there Shelters all homeless youths within its pale. RALPH (shaking his head sadly) They wouldn't take ME in.聽 聽 I am from Yale. GIRL (with mock sympathy) Oh, that IS sad.聽 聽 Because no skill or tact You might employ could ever hide the fact From all the world, wherever you might be. Now Harvard, Princeton, Stanford men, we see And never know, until they speak the name; But Yale, - it bears its brand. RALPH (reproachfully) You're making game Of me, and of my College, cruel girl. [Approaches her excitedly.] Come, drop those flowers, and let us have a whirl. I'll give you both the Yale Yell and the Boola, If you will dance for me your famous Hula. GIRL (drawing back haughtily) I dance the Hula?聽 聽 You mistake, my friend; You heard my chant, but did not comprehend The meaning of it.聽 聽 Hark, while I repeat it. [Repeats the chant.] RALPH (puzzled) I'm sure there's nothing in the world can beat it; But - er - the language is a little queer; I did not quite catch all the words, I fear; Besides, I'm so distracted by your face. GIRL (proudly) That chant relates the conquests of my race; Though I am poor, and hawk about these lais To earn my bread, yet in the olden days There was no prouder family on earth Than mine.聽 聽 But Polynesian pride of birth Is quite beyond the white man's scope of brain, And so perchance I speak to you in vain. [Takes her flowers and starts to go.] RALPH (intercepts her) Great Scott! but you are splendid when you're mad Now, please, don't go; I'm really not so bad: I don't mean half I say. GIRL (turns blazing eyes upon him) Oh, all you men Of pallid blood, again, and yet again Have offered insults to our island races. I own we once were savage; and the traces Of those wild days remain; but, sir, go back A little way, on YOUR ancestral track, And see what you will find.聽 聽 A horde of bold And lawless cut-throats, started many an old And purse-proud race; and brutal strength became The bloody groundwork for pretentious fame When Might was Right.聽 聽 If every royal tree Were dug up by the roots, the world would see That common mud first mothered the poor sprout. Your race is higher than my own, no doubt; Then shame upon you, for the poor display Of noble manhood that you make to-day, Thinking each brown-faced girl your lawful prey. [Turns her back upon him and starts to go.] RALPH (pleadingly) Oh, say now, let a fellow have a show. I never meant to rouse your anger so; I only meant - I - well, you see the change Of climate was so sudden; and the strange And gorgeous scenery, and your glorious eyes Upset my brain.聽 聽 But you have put me wise. I own that I had heard - [Hesitates, and GIRL breaks forth again.] Oh, yes, I know you heard Wild tales of Honolulu; and were stirred With high ambitions to return to Yale, The envied hero of a wilder tale; You thought each maiden on this Isle, perchance Wore skirts of grass, and danced the Hula dance; And gave her lips to any man for gold. RALPH (interrupting) Oh, 'pon my honour, I was not so bold - GIRL (ignoring, and with vehemence) You thought the old time licence still prevailed; You did not know across the heavens had sailed A beautiful star in brilliancy arrayed, The SELF RESPECTING NEW HAWAIIAN MAID - Who prides herself upon her blood and birth And holds her virtue at its priceless worth; And stands undaunted in her rightful place Snow white of soul, however brown of face, Warmer in blood than your white women are And yet more moral in her life by far Than many a leader in your halls of fashion. RALPH (gazing at her with admiration) I vow I like to see you in a passion; Such royal rage!聽 聽 Your forbear was, I know Kame-a-lili-like-kalico, Or some such name; who got in that great tiff And tumbled all his foes down off the cliff. I feel I'm lying with them in the valley While you stand all triumphant, on the Pali. GIRL (smiling and softened) You mean Kamehameha First, I'm sure. Yes, I am of his line. RALPH May it endure Until the end of time; for you are GREAT; The world needs women like you. [GIRL turns to go. RALPH Oh, now wait! I want some flowers; please hang about my neck A dozen lais; and give me half a peck Of nice bouquets; then I will hire a band And celebrate my entrance to your land. I'll dance the Hula, up and down the street And cry Aloha, to each girl I meet; And if she frowns, and calls me cad, and churl, I'll shout, Long Live the New Hawaiian Girl - Rah, rah, rah, Yale, Yale, Yale! [A Hawaiian Band is heard approaching.] GIRL (laughingly, as she hangs lais about his neck) Well, there's your band; and since you are so kind, To purchase all my flowers, I've half a mind To favour you with, not the Hula, sir, But something more refined, and prettier. I'll teach it to you; ask the band out there To play the Hula Kui dancing air; Then follow all I do, and copy me. This is the way it starts, now one, two, three. [After the dance ends, RALPH approaches the GIRL with tense face and speaks with great seriousness.] Girl, though I do not even know your name, Yet here I stand, and offer you my own; It was for you I came, for you alone, Across the half world.聽 聽 I have never known Forgetfulness, since first your face I saw. In coming here, I but obeyed Love's law; I thought it fancy, passion, or caprice; I know now it is LOVE. FLOWER GIRL (with emotion) I pray you, cease; You do not understand yourself; go, go; [Urges him towards exit.] RALPH (seizing her hand) I will not go until I hear you say That you remember even as I do That brief encounter on the street one day. [FLOWER GIRL turns her face away and tries to free her hand.] RALPH (exultantly) Oh, it is FATE; and Fate we must obey. [Takes ring from his finger.] Let the ship go; but with my heart I stay. [Attempts to place ring on GIRL'S finger.聽 聽 She wrenches her hand free, and stands with both hands behind her as she speaks with suppressed emotion.] The heart of every Island girl on earth I think hides one sweet dream, and it is this; To one day meet a man of higher birth - To win his heart, - to feel his tender kiss - And sail with him to some far distant land. This too has been my dream; wherein your face Shone like a beacon. [Repels RALPH as he starts forward.] But I know your race, Too well, too well.聽 聽 I know how such dreams end, You could not claim me in your land, my friend, For colour prejudice is rampant there. RALPH (impetuously) But I will stay for ever here, I swear, - FLOWER GIRL Nay, do not swear, you would but break the vow As many another has.聽 聽 Our tropic sun Affects men like a fever; when 'tis run, Then their delusions pass.聽 聽 Oh leave me now; I hear the whistle of your ship, - adieu! Alohoa oie - may God be with you. [Enter ETHEL hurriedly] Come, Ralph, your mother and your sister wait Quite frantic at the pier, lest you be late. They sent me for you. [Exit RALPH with ETHEL; he looks back and flings GIRL a wreath.聽 聽 GIRL smiles and sings Hawaiian song, picks up the wreath and drops face in her hands as Curtain goes down.]
The New Hawaiian Girl
Paul Laurence Dunbar
'Tis fine to play In the fragrant hay, And romp on the golden load; To ride old Jack To the barn and back, Or tramp by a shady road. To pause and drink, At a mossy brink; Ah, that is the best of joy, And so I say On a summer's day, What's so fine as being a boy? Ha, Ha! With line and hook By a babbling brook, The fisherman's sport we ply; And list the song Of the feathered throng That flit in the branches nigh. At last we strip For a quiet dip; Ah, that is the best of joy. For this I say On a summer's day, What's so fine as being a boy? Ha, Ha!
A Boy's Summer Song
W. M. MacKeracher
Where are those days, O Caledon, So glorious and bright, In which thy star resplendent shone With passing lustrous light? Alas! alas! those happier days Are shrouded in the past, Thy glory was like that of Greece, Too bright it shone to last. Where are those knightly heroes bold, Those champions of the right, That bore the shield and couched the lance So valiant in the fight? Whether for king and country's weal In freedom's cause they strove, Or courted glory and renown To win their lady-love. The Wallace nobly lived and died To save his land from shame, The royal Bruce as nobly fought Her freedom to reclaim. How would their generous hearts have mourned Could they have pierced the veil, And, peering into future years, Have read thy woful tale! Then patriots raised the royal flag Around the noble Graemes, And dyed the heather with their blood For Scotland and King James. A wreath of honour nobly won Encircled then thy brow; How is that garland, once so green, So sadly faded now? Now mercenary lust hath ta'en The place of chivalry, And that devoted Faith of yore Is gone for bigotry. What wonder then that to my eye The tear will sometimes start? What wonder that the clouds of grief Hang heavy o'er my heart?
Scotland: A Jacobite's Lament.
Sara Teasdale
For W. P. The little park was filled with peace, The walks were carpeted with snow, But every iron gate was locked. Lest if we entered, peace would go. We circled it a dozen times, The wind was blowing from the sea, I only felt your restless eyes Whose love was like a cloak for me. Oh heavy gates that fate has locked To bar the joy we may not win, Peace would go out forevermore If we should dare to enter in.
Gramercy Park
Robert Herrick
Mon. Bad are the times. Sil. And worse than they are we. Mon. Troth, bad are both; worse fruit and ill the tree: The feast of shepherds fail. Sil. None crowns the cup Of wassail now or sets the quintell up; And he who us'd to lead the country-round, Youthful Mirtillo, here he comes grief-drown'd. Ambo. Let's cheer him up. Sil. Behold him weeping-ripe. Mir. Ah! Amaryllis, farewell mirth and pipe; Since thou art gone, no more I mean to play To these smooth lawns my mirthful roundelay. Dear Amaryllis! Mon. Hark! Sil. Mark! Mir. This earth grew sweet Where, Amaryllis, thou didst set thy feet. Ambo. Poor pitied youth! Mir. And here the breath of kine And sheep grew more sweet by that breath of thine. This flock of wool and this rich lock of hair, This ball of cowslips, these she gave me here. Sil. Words sweet as love itself. Montano, hark! Mir. This way she came, and this way too she went; How each thing smells divinely redolent! Like to a field of beans when newly blown, Or like a meadow being lately mown. Mon. A sweet-sad passion -聽 聽 - Mir. In dewy mornings when she came this way Sweet bents would bow to give my love the day; And when at night she folded had her sheep, Daisies would shut, and, closing, sigh and weep. Besides (ay me!) since she went hence to dwell, The voices' daughter ne'er spake syllable. But she is gone. Sil. Mirtillo, tell us whither. Mir. Where she and I shall never meet together. Mon. Forfend it Pan, and, Pales, do thou please To give an end. Mir. To what? Sil. Such griefs as these. Mir. Never, O never! Still I may endure The wound I suffer, never find a cure. Mon. Love for thy sake will bring her to these hills And dales again. Mir. No, I will languish still; And all the while my part shall be to weep, And with my sighs, call home my bleating sheep: And in the rind of every comely tree I'll carve thy name, and in that name kiss thee. Mon. Set with the sun thy woes. Sil. The day grows old, And time it is our full-fed flocks to fold. Chor. The shades grow great, but greater grows our sorrow; But let's go steep Our eyes in sleep, And meet to weep To-morrow.
A Pastoral Sung To The King: Montano, Silvio, And Mirtillo, Shepherds.
George MacDonald
0 Lord, my God, how long Shall my poor heart pant for a boundless joy? How long, O mighty Spirit, shall I hear The murmur of Truth's crystal waters slide From the deep caverns of their endless being, But my lips taste not, and the grosser air Choke each pure inspiration of thy will? I am a denseness 'twixt me and the light; 1 cannot round myself; my purest thought, Ere it is thought, hath caught the taint of earth, And mocked me with hard thoughts beyond my will. I would be a wind Whose smallest atom is a viewless wing, All busy with the pulsing life that throbs To do thy bidding; yea, or the meanest thing That has relation to a changeless truth, Could I but be instinct with thee--each thought The lightning of a pure intelligence, And every act as the loud thunder-clap Of currents warring for a vacuum. Lord, clothe me with thy truth as with a robe; Purge me with sorrow; I will bend my head And let the nations of thy waves pass over, Bathing me in thy consecrated strength; And let thy many-voiced and silver winds Pass through my frame with their clear influence, O save me; I am blind; lo, thwarting shapes Wall up the void before, and thrusting out Lean arms of unshaped expectation, beckon Down to the night of all unholy thoughts. Oh, when at midnight one of thy strong angels Stems back the waves of earthly influence That shape unsteady continents around me, And they draw off with the devouring gush Of exile billows that have found a home, Leaving me islanded on unseen points, Hanging 'twixt thee and chaos--I have seen Unholy shapes lop off my shining thoughts, And they have lent me leathern wings of fear, Of baffled pride and harrowing distrust; And Godhead, with its crown of many stars, Its pinnacles of flaming holiness, And voice of leaves in the green summer-time, Has seemed the shadowed image of a self! Then my soul blackened; and I rose to find And grasp my doom, and cleave the arching deeps Of desolation. O Lord, my soul is a forgotten well Clad round with its own rank luxuriance; A fountain a kind sunbeam searches for, Sinking the lustre of its arrowy finger Through the long grass its own strange virtue Hath blinded up its crystal eye withal: Make me a broad strong river coming down With shouts from its high hills, whose rocky hearts Throb forth the joy of their stability In watery pulses from their inmost deeps; And I shall be a vein upon thy world, Circling perpetual from the parent deep. Most mighty One, Confirm and multiply my thoughts of good; Help me to wall each sacred treasure round With the firm battlements of special action. Alas, my holy happy thoughts of thee Make not perpetual nest within my soul, But like strange birds of dazzling colours stoop The trailing glories of their sunward speed For one glad moment, filling my blasted boughs With the sunshine of their wings. Make me a forest Of gladdest life wherein perpetual spring Lifts up her leafy tresses in the wind. Lo, now I see Thy trembling starlight sit among my pines, And thy young moon slide down my arching boughs With a soft sound of restless eloquence! And I can feel a joy as when thy hosts Of trampling winds, gathering in maddened bands, Roar upward through the blue and flashing day Round my still depths of uncleft solitude. Hear me, O Lord, When the black night draws down upon my soul, And voices of temptation darken down The misty wind, slamming thy starry doors With bitter jests:--"Thou fool!" they seem to say, "Thou hast no seed of goodness in thee; all Thy nature hath been stung right through and through; Thy sin hath blasted thee and made thee old; Thou hadst a will, but thou hast killed it dead, And with the fulsome garniture of life Built out the loathsome corpse; thou art a child Of night and death, even lower than a worm; Gather the skirts up of thy shadowy self, And with what resolution thou hast left Fall on the damned spikes of doom!" Oh, take me like a child, If thou hast made me for thyself, my God, And lead me up thy hills. I shall not fear, So thou wilt make me pure, and beat back sin With the terrors of thine eye: it fears me not As once it might have feared thine own good image, But lays bold siege at my heart's doors. Oh, I have seen a thing of beauty stand In the young moonlight of its upward thoughts, And the old earth came round it with its gifts Of gladness, whispering leaves, and odorous plants, Until its large and spiritual eye Burned with intensest love: my God, I could Have watched it evermore with Argus-eyes, Lest when the noontide of the summer's sun Let down the tented sunlight on the plain, His flaming beams should scorch my darling flower; And through the fruitless nights of leaden gloom, Of plashing rains, and knotted winds of cold, Yea, when thy lightnings ran across the sky, And the loud stumbling blasts fell from the hills Upon the mounds of death, I could have watched Guarding such beauty like another life! But, O my God, it changed!-- Yet methinks I know not if it was not I! Its beauty turned to ghastly loathsomeness! Then a hand spurned me backwards from the clouds, And with the gather of a mighty whirlwind, Drew in the glittering gifts of life. How long, O Lord, how long? I am a man lost in a rocky place! Lo, all thy echoes smite me with confusion Of varied speech,--the cry of vanished Life Rolled upon nations' sighs--of hearts uplifted Against despair--the stifled sounds of Woe Sitting perpetual by its grey cold well-- Or wasted Toil climbing its endless hills With quickening gasps--or the thin winds of Joy That beat about the voices of the crowd! Lord, hast thou sent Thy moons to mock us with perpetual hope? Lighted within our breasts the love of love To make us ripen for despair, my God? Oh, dost thou hold each individual soul Strung clear upon thy flaming rods of purpose? Or does thine inextinguishable will Stand on the steeps of night with lifted hand Filling the yawning wells of monstrous space With mixing thought--drinking up single life As in a cup? and from the rending folds Of glimmering purpose, do all thy navied stars Slide through the gloom with mystic melody, Like wishes on a brow? Oh, is my soul, Hung like a dewdrop in thy grassy ways, Drawn up again into the rack of change Even through the lustre which created it? --O mighty one, thou wilt not smite me through With scorching wrath, because my spirit stands Bewildered in thy circling mysteries! Oh lift the burdened gloom that chokes my soul With dews of darkness; smite the lean winds of death That run with howls around the ruined temples, Blowing the souls of men about like leaves. Lo, the broad life-lands widen overhead, Star-galaxies arise like drifting snow, And happy life goes whitening down the stream Of boundless action, whilst my fettered soul Sits, as a captive in a noisome dungeon Watches the pulses of his withered heart Lave out the sparkling minutes of his life On the idle flags! Come in the glory of thine excellence, Rive the dense gloom with wedges of clear light, And let the shimmer of thy chariot wheels Burn through the cracks of night! So slowly, Lord, To lift myself to thee with hands of toil, Climbing the slippery cliffs of unheard prayer! Lift up a hand among my idle days-- One beckoning finger: I will cast aside The clogs of earthly circumstance and run Up the broad highways where the countless worlds Sit ripening in the summer of thy love. Send a clear meaning sparkling through the years; Burst all the prison-doors, and make men's hearts Gush up like fountains with thy melody; Brighten the hollow eyes; fill with life's fruits The hands that grope and scramble down the wastes; And let the ghastly troops of withered ones Come shining o'er the mountains of thy love. Lord, thy strange mysteries come thickening down Upon my head like snowflakes, shutting out The happy upper fields with chilly vapour. Shall I content my soul with a weak sense Of safety? or feed my ravenous hunger with Sore purged hopes, that are not hopes but fears Clad in white raiment? The creeds lie in the hollow of men's hearts Like festering pools glassing their own corruption; The slimy eyes stare up with dull approval, And answer not when thy bright starry feet Move on the watery floors: oh, shake men's souls Together like the gathering of all oceans Rent from their hidden chambers, till the waves Lift up their million voices of high joy Along the echoing cliffs! come thus, O Lord, With nightly gifts of stars, and lay a hand Of mighty peace upon the quivering flood. O wilt thou hear me when I cry to thee? I am a child lost in a mighty forest; The air is thick with voices, and strange hands Reach through the dusk, and pluck me by the skirts. There is a voice which sounds like words from home, But, as I stumble on to reach it, seems To leap from rock to rock: oh, if it is Willing obliquity of sense, descend, Heal all my wanderings, take me by the hand, And lead me homeward through the shadows. Let me not by my wilful acts of pride Block up the windows of thy truth, and grow A wasted, withered thing, that stumbles on Down to the grave with folded hands of sloth And leaden confidence.
A Broken Prayer
Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)
Liete e pensose, accompagnate e sole. NOT FINDING HER WITH HER FRIENDS, HE ASKS THEM WHY SHE IS ABSENT. P.聽 聽 Pensive and glad, accompanied, alone, Ladies who cheat the time with converse gay, Where does my life, where does my death delay? Why not with you her form, as usual, shown? L. Glad are we her rare lustre to have known, And sad from her dear company to stay, Which jealousy and envy keep away O'er other's bliss, as their own ill who moan. P. Who lovers can restrain, or give them law? L. No one the soul, harshness and rage the frame; As erst in us, this now in her appears. As oft the face, betrays the heart, we saw Clouds that, obscuring her high beauty, came, And in her eyes the dewy trace of tears. MACGREGOR.
William Schwenck Gilbert
An actor Gibbs, of Drury Lane - Of very decent station, Once happened in a part to gain Excessive approbation: It sometimes turns a fellow's brain And makes him singularly vain When he believes that he receives Tremendous approbation. His great success half drove him mad, But no one seemed to mind him; Well, in another piece he had Another part assigned him. This part was smaller, by a bit, Than that in which he made a hit. So, much ill-used, he straight refused To play the part assigned him. * * * * * * * * That night that actor slept, and I'll attempt To tell you of the vivid dream he dreamt. The Dream. In fighting with a robber band (A thing he loved sincerely) A sword struck GIBBS upon the hand, And wounded it severely. At first he didn't heed it much, He thought it was a simple touch, But soon he found the weapon's bound Had wounded him severely. To Surgeon Cobb he made a trip, Who'd just effected featly An amputation at the hip Particularly neatly. A rising man was Surgeon CObb But this extremely ticklish job He had achieved (as he believed) Particularly neatly. The actor rang the surgeon's bell. "Observe my wounded finger, Be good enough to strap it well, And prithee do not linger. That I, dear sir, may fill again The Theatre Royal Drury Lane: This very night I have to fight - So prithee do not linger." "I don't strap fingers up for doles," Replied the haughty surgeon; "To use your cant, I don't play roles Utility that verge on. First amputation nothing less - That is my line of business: We surgeon nobs despise all jobs Utility that verge on "When in your hip there lurks disease" (So dreamt this lively dreamer), "Or devastating caries In humerus or femur, If you can pay a handsome fee, Oh, then you may remember me - With joy elate I'll amputate Your humerus or femur." The disconcerted actor ceased The haughty leech to pester, But when the wound in size increased, And then began to fester, He sought a learned Counsel's lair, And told that Counsel, then and there, How COBB'S neglect of his defect Had made his finger fester. "Oh, bring my action, if you please, The case I pray you urge on, And win me thumping damages From Cobb, that haughty surgeon. He culpably neglected me Although I proffered him his fee, So pray come down, in wig and gown, On Cobb, that haughty surgeon!" That Counsel learned in the laws, With passion almost trembled. He just had gained a mighty cause Before the Peers assembled! Said he, "How dare you have the face To come with Common Jury case To one who wings rhetoric flings Before the Peers assembled?" Dispirited became our friend - Depressed his moral pecker - "But stay! a thought! I'll gain my end, And save my poor exchequer. I won't be placed upon the shelf, I'll take it into Court myself, And legal lore display before The Court of the Exchequer." He found a Baron one of those Who with our laws supply us - In wig and silken gown and hose, As if at Nisi Prius. But he'd just given, off the reel, A famous judgment on Appeal: It scarce became his heightened fame To sit at Nisi Prius. Our friend began, with easy wit, That half concealed his terror: "Pooh!" said the Judge, "I only sit In Banco or in Error. Can you suppose, my man, that I'd O'er Nisi Prius Courts preside, Or condescend my time to spend On anything but Error?" "Too bad," said Gibbs, "my case to shirk! You must be bad innately, To save your skill for mighty work Because it's valued greatly!" But here he woke, with sudden start. * * * * * * * * He wrote to say he'd play the part. I've but to tell he played it well - The author's words his native wit Combined, achieved a perfect "hit" - The papers praised him greatly.
The Haughty Actor.
Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)
Che fai, alma? che pensi? avrem mai pace? DIALOGUE OF THE POET WITH HIS HEART. P.聽 聽 What actions fire thee, and what musings fill? Soul! is it peace, or truce, or war eterne? H. Our lot I know not, but, as I discern, Her bright eyes favour not our cherish'd ill. P. What profit, with those eyes if she at will Makes us in summer freeze, in winter burn? H. From him, not her those orbs their movement learn. P. What's he to us, she sees it and is still. H. Sometimes, though mute the tongue, the heart laments Fondly, and, though the face be calm and bright, Bleeds inly, where no eye beholds its grief. P. Nathless the mind not thus itself contents, Breaking the stagnant woes which there unite, For misery in fine hopes finds no relief. MACGREGOR. P.聽 聽 What act, what dream, absorbs thee, O my soul? Say, must we peace, a truce, or warfare hail? H. Our fate I know not; but her eyes unveil The grief our woe doth in her heart enrol. P. But that is vain, since by her eyes' control With nature I no sympathy inhale. H. Yet guiltless she, for Love doth there prevail. P. No balm to me, since she will not condole. H. When man is mute, how oft the spirit grieves, In clamorous woe! how oft the sparkling eye Belies the inward tear, where none can gaze! P. Yet restless still, the grief the mind conceives Is not dispell'd, but stagnant seems to lie. The wretched hope not, though hope aid might raise. WOLLASTON.
Sonnet CXVII.
Robert Herrick
Herr. Come and let's in solemn wise Both address to sacrifice: Old religion first commands That we wash our hearts, and hands. Is the beast exempt from stain, Altar clean, no fire profane? Are the garlands, is the nard Ready here? Jul.聽 聽 All well prepar'd, With the wine that must be shed, 'Twixt the horns, upon the head Of the holy beast we bring For our trespass-offering. Herr. All is well; now next to these Put we on pure surplices; And with chaplets crown'd, we'll roast With perfumes the holocaust: And, while we the gods invoke, Read acceptance by the smoke.
The Sacrifice, By Way Of Discourse Betwixt Himself And Julia.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Before I lost my love, he said to me: 'Sweetheart, I like deep azure tints on you.' But I, perverse as any girl will be Who has too many lovers, wore not blue. He said, 'I love to see my lady's hair Coiled low like Clytie's -with no wanton curl.' But I, like any silly, wilful girl, Said, 'Donald likes it high,' and wore it there. He said, 'I wish, love, when you sing to me, You would sing sweet, sad things -they suit your voice.' I tossed my head, and sung light strains of glee - Saying, 'This song, or that, is Harold's choice.' But now I wear no colour -none but blue. Low in my neck I coil my silken hair. He does not know it, but I strive to do Whatever in his eyes would make me fair. I sing no songs but those he loved the best. (Ah! well, no wonder: for the mournful strain Is but the echo of the voice of pain, That sings so mournfully within my breast.) I would not wear a ribbon or a curl For Donald, if he died from my neglect - Oh me! how many a vain and wilful girl Learns true love's worth, but -when her life is wrecked.
Before And After
Frank Sidgwick
The Text given here is comparatively a late one, from the Roxburghe collection (iii. 456). An earlier broadside, in the same and other collections, gives a longer but curiously corrupted version, exhibiting such perversions as 'Screw' for 'Scroop,' and 'Garlard' for 'Carlisle.' The Story in its full form relates that Sir Hugh in the Grime (Hughie Graeme or Graham) stole a mare from the Bishop of Carlisle, by way of retaliation for the Bishop's seduction of his wife. He was pursued by Lord Scroop, taken, and conveyed to Carlisle and hanged. Scott suggested that Hugh Graham may have been one of four hundred Borderers accused to the Bishop of Carlisle of various murders and thefts about 1548. SIR HUGH IN THE GRIME'S DOWNFALL 1. Good Lord John is a hunting gone, Over the hills and dales so far, For to take Sir Hugh in the Grime, For stealing of the bishop's mare. He derry derry down 2. Hugh in the Grime was taken then And carried to Carlisle town; The merry women came out amain, Saying, 'The name of Grime shall never go down.' 3. O then a jury of women was brought, Of the best that could be found; Eleven of them spoke all at once, Saying 'The name of Grime shall never go down.' 4. And then a jury of men was brought, More the pity for to be! Eleven of them spoke all at once, Saying 'Hugh in the Grime, you are guilty.' 5. Hugh in the Grime was cast to be hang'd, Many of his friends did for him lack; For fifteen foot in the prisin he did jump, With his hands tyed fast behind his back. 6. Then bespoke our good Lady Ward, As she set on the bench so high; 'A peck of white pennys I'll give to my lord, If he'll grant Hugh Grime to me. 7. 'And if it be not full enough, I'll stroke it up with my silver fan; And if it be not full enough, I'll heap it up with my own hand.' 8. 'Hold your tongue now, Lady Ward, And of your talkitive let it be! There is never a Grime came in this court That at thy bidding shall saved be.' 9. Then bespoke our good Lady Moor, As she sat on the bench so high; 'A yoke of fat oxen I'll give to my lord, If he'll grant Hugh Grime to me.' 10. 'Hold your tongue now, good Lady Moor, And of your talkitive let it be! There is never a Grime came to this court That at thy bidding saved shall be.' 11. Sir Hugh in the Grime look'd out of the door, With his hand out of the bar; There he spy'd his father dear, Tearing of his golden hair. 12. 'Hold your tongue, good father dear, And of your weeping let it be! For if they bereave me of my life, They cannot bereave me of the heavens so high.' 13. Sir Hugh in the Grime look'd out at the door; Oh, what a sorry heart had he! There he spy'd his mother dear, Weeping and wailing 'Oh, woe is me!' 14. 'Hold your tongue now, mother dear, And of your weeping let it be! For if they bereave me of my life, They cannot bereave me of heaven's fee. 15. 'I'll leave my sword to Johnny Armstrong, That is made of mettal so fine, That when he comes to the border-side He may think of Hugh in the Grime.'
Sir Hugh In The Grime's Downfall
Paul Laurence Dunbar
"Sunshine on de medders, Greenness on de way; Dat 's de blessed reason I sing all de day." Look hyeah! Whut you axin'? Whut meks me so merry? 'Spect to see me sighin' W'en hit's wa'm in Febawary? 'Long de stake an' rider Seen a robin set; W'y hit 'mence a-thawin', Groun' is monst'ous wet. Den you stan' dah wond'rin', Lookin' skeert an' stary; I's a right to caper W'en hit's wa'm in Febawary. Missis gone a-drivin', Mastah gone to shoot; Ev'ry da'ky lazin' In de sun to boot. Qua'tah 's moughty pleasant, Hangin' 'roun' my Mary; Cou'tin' boun' to prospah W'en hit's wa'm in Febawary. Cidah look so pu'ty Po'in' f'om de jug-- Don' you see it's happy? Hyeah it laffin'--glug? Now's de time fu' people Fu' to try an' bury All dey grief an' sorrer, W'en hit's wa'm in Febawary.
A Warm Day In Winter
William Schwenck Gilbert
Mr. Blake was a regular out-and-out hardened sinner, Who was quite out of the pale of Christianity, so to speak, He was in the habit of smoking a long pipe and drinking a glass of grog on a Sunday after dinner, And seldom thought of going to church more than twice or--if Good Friday or Christmas Day happened to come in it--three times a week. He was quite indifferent as to the particular kinds of dresses That the clergyman wore at church where he used to go to pray, And whatever he did in the way of relieving a chap's distresses, He always did in a nasty, sneaking, underhanded, hole-and-corner sort of way. I have known him indulge in profane, ungentlemanly emphatics, When the Protestant Church has been divided on the subject of the proper width of a chasuble's hem; I have even known him to sneer at albs--and as for dalmatics, Words can't convey an idea of the contempt he expressed for them. He didn't believe in persons who, not being well off themselves, are obliged to confine their charitable exertions to collecting money from wealthier people, And looked upon individuals of the former class as ecclesiastical hawks; He used to say that he would no more think of interfering with his priest's robes than with his church or his steeple, And that he did not consider his soul imperilled because somebody over whom he had no influence whatever, chose to dress himself up like an exaggerated Guy Fawkes. This shocking old vagabond was so unutterably shameless That he actually went a-courting a very respectable and pious middle-aged sister, by the name of Biggs. She was a rather attractive widow, whose life as such had always been particularly blameless; Her first husband had left her a secure but moderate competence, owing to some fortunate speculations in the matter of figs. She was an excellent person in every way--and won the respect even of Mrs. Grundy, She was a good housewife, too, and wouldn't have wasted a penny if she had owned the Koh-i-noor. She was just as strict as he was lax in her observance of Sunday, And being a good economist, and charitable besides, she took all the bones and cold potatoes and broken pie-crusts and candle-ends (when she had quite done with them), and made them into an excellent soup for the deserving poor. I am sorry to say that she rather took to Blake--that outcast of society, And when respectable brothers who were fond of her began to look dubious and to cough, She would say, "Oh, my friends, it's because I hope to bring this poor benighted soul back to virtue and propriety, And besides, the poor benighted soul, with all his faults, was uncommonly well off. And when Mr. Blake's dissipated friends called his attention to the frown or the pout of her, Whenever he did anything which appeared to her to savour of an unmentionable place, He would say that "she would be a very decent old girl when all that nonsense was knocked out of her," And his method of knocking it out of her is one that covered him with disgrace. She was fond of going to church services four times every Sunday, and, four or five times in the week, and never seemed to pall of them, So he hunted out all the churches within a convenient distance that had services at different hours, so to speak; And when he had married her he positively insisted upon their going to all of them, So they contrived to do about twelve churches every Sunday, and, if they had luck, from twenty-two to twenty-three in the course of the week. She was fond of dropping his sovereigns ostentatiously into the plate, and she liked to see them stand out rather conspicuously against the commonplace half-crowns and shillings, So he took her to all the charity sermons, and if by any extraordinary chance there wasn't a charity sermon anywhere, he would drop a couple of sovereigns (one for him and one for her) into the poor-box at the door; And as he always deducted the sums thus given in charity from the housekeeping money, and the money he allowed her for her bonnets and frillings, She soon began to find that even charity, if you allow it to interfere with your personal luxuries, becomes an intolerable bore. On Sundays she was always melancholy and anything but good society, For that day in her household was a day of sighings and sobbings and wringing of hands and shaking of heads: She wouldn't hear of a button being sewn on a glove, because it was a work neither of necessity nor of piety, And strictly prohibited her servants from amusing themselves, or indeed doing anything at all except dusting the drawing-rooms, cleaning the boots and shoes, cooking the parlour dinner, waiting generally on the family, and making the beds. But Blake even went further than that, and said that people should do their own works of necessity, and not delegate them to persons in a menial situation, So he wouldn't allow his servants to do so much as even answer a bell. Here he is making his wife carry up the water for her bath to the second floor, much against her inclination, - And why in the world the gentleman who illustrates these ballads has put him in a cocked hat is more than I can tell. After about three months of this sort of thing, taking the smooth with the rough of it, (Blacking her own boots and peeling her own potatoes was not her notion of connubial bliss), Mrs. Blake began to find that she had pretty nearly had enough of it, And came, in course of time, to think that BLAKE'S own original line of conduct wasn't so much amiss. And now that wicked person--that detestable sinner ("Belial Blake" his friends and well-wishers call him for his atrocities), And his poor deluded victim, whom all her Christian brothers dislike and pity so, Go to the parish church only on Sunday morning and afternoon and occasionally on a week-day, and spend their evenings in connubial fondlings and affectionate reciprocities, And I should like to know where in the world (or rather, out of it) they expect to go!
Lost Mr. Blake.
Jean de La Fontaine
[1] A house was built by Socrates That failed the public taste to please. Some blamed the inside; some, the out; and all Agreed that the apartments were too small. Such rooms for him, the greatest sage of Greece! 'I ask,' said he, 'no greater bliss Than real friends to fill e'en this.' And reason had good Socrates To think his house too large for these. A crowd to be your friends will claim, Till some unhandsome test you bring. There's nothing plentier than the name; There's nothing rarer than the thing.
The Words Of Socrates.
Oliver Herford
A's Albert Edward, well meaning but flighty, Who invited King Arthur, the blameless and mighty, To meet Alcibiades and Aphrodite. B is for Bernhardt, who fails to awaken Much feeling in Bismarck, Barabbas, and Bacon. C is Columbus, who tries to explain How to balance an egg--to the utter disdain Of Confucius, Carlyle, Cleopatra, and Cain. D's for Diogenes, Darwin, and Dante, Who delight in the dance Of a Darling Bacchante. E is for Edison, making believe He's invented a clever contrivance for Eve, Who complained that she never could laugh in her sleeve. F is for Franklin, who fearfully shocks The feelings of Fenelon, Faber, and Fox. G is Godiva, whose great bareback feat She kindly but firmly declines to repeat, Though Gounod and Goldsmith implore and entreat. H is for Handel, who pours out his soul Through the bagpipes to Howells and Homer, who roll On the floor in an ecstasy past all control. I is for Ibsen, reciting a play While Irving and Ingersoll hasten away. J is for Johnson, who only says "Pish!" To Jonah, who tells him his tale of a fish. K is the Kaiser, who kindly repeats Some original verses to Kipling and Keats. L is Lafontaine, who finds he's unable To interest Luther and Liszt in his fable, While Loie continues to dance on the table. M is Macduff, who's prevailed upon Milton And Montaigne and Manon to each try a kilt on. N is Napoleon, shrouded in gloom, With Nero, Narcissus, and Nordau, to whom He's explaining the manual of arms with a broom. O is for Oliver, casting aspersion On Omar, that awfully dissolute Persian, Though secretly longing to join the diversion. P is for Peter, who hollers "No! No!" Through the keyhole to Paine, Paderewski, and Poe. Q is the Queen, so noble and free-- For further particulars look under V. R's Rubenstein, playing that old thing in F To Rollo and Rembrandt, who wish they were deaf. S is for Swinburne, who, seeking the true, the good, and the beautiful, visits the Zoo, Where he chances on Sappho and Mr. Sardou, And Socrates, all with the same end in view. T is for Talleyrand toasting Miss Truth, By the side of her well, in a glass of vermouth, And presenting Mark Twain as the friend of his youth. U is for Undine, pursuing Ulysses And Umberto, who flee her damp, death-dealing kisses. V is Victoria, noble and true-- For further particulars look under Q. W's Wagner, who sang and played lots for Washington, Wesley, and good Doctor Watts. His prurient plots pained Wesley and Watts, But Washington said he "enjoyed them in spots." X is Xantippe, who's having her say, And frightening the army of Xerxes away. Y is for Young, the great Mormon saint, Who thinks little Yum Yum and Yvette so quaint, He has to be instantly held in restraint. Z is for Zola, presenting La Terre To Zenobia the brave and Zuleika the fair, Whose blushes they artfully conceal with their hair.
An Alphabet of Celebrities
Robert Herrick
End.聽 聽 Ah! Lycidas, come tell me why Thy whilom merry oat By thee doth so neglected lie, And never purls a note? I prithee speak. Lyc. I will. End. Say on. Lyc.聽 聽 'Tis thou, and only thou, That art the cause, Endymion. End.聽 聽 For love's sake, tell me how. Lyc.聽 聽 In this regard: that thou do'st play Upon another plain, And for a rural roundelay Strik'st now a courtly strain. Thou leav'st our hills, our dales, our bowers, Our finer fleeced sheep, Unkind to us, to spend thine hours Where shepherds should not keep. I mean the court: Let Latmos be My lov'd Endymion's court. End.聽 聽 But I the courtly state would see. Lyc.聽 聽 Then see it in report. What has the court to do with swains, Where Phyllis is not known? Nor does it mind the rustic strains Of us, or Corydon. Break, if thou lov'st us, this delay. End.聽 聽 Dear Lycidas, e're long I vow, by Pan, to come away And pipe unto thy song. Then Jessamine, with Florabell, And dainty Amaryllis, With handsome-handed Drosomell Shall prank thy hook with lilies. Lyc.聽 聽 Then Tityrus, and Corydon, And Thyrsis, they shall follow With all the rest; while thou alone Shalt lead like young Apollo. And till thou com'st, thy Lycidas, In every genial cup, Shall write in spice: Endymion 'twas That kept his piping up. And, my most lucky swain, when I shall live to see Endymion's moon to fill up full, remember me: Meantime, let Lycidas have leave to pipe to thee.
An Eclogue Or Pastoral Between Endymion Porter And Lycidas Herrick, Set And Sung.
Abram Joseph Ryan
A baby played with the surplice sleeve Of a gentle priest; while in accents low, The sponsors murmured the grand "I believe," And the priest bade the mystic waters to flow In the name of the Father, and the Son, And Holy Spirit -- Three in One. Spotless as a lily's leaf, Whiter than the Christmas snow; Not a sign of sin or grief, And the babe laughed, sweet and low. A smile flitted over the baby's face: Or was it the gleam of its angel's wing Just passing then, and leaving a trace Of its presence as it soared to sing? A hymn when words and waters win To grace and life a child of sin. Not an outward sign or token, That a child was saved from woe; But the bonds of sin were broken, And the babe laughed, sweet and low. A cloud rose up to the mother's eyes, And out of the cloud grief's rain fell fast; Came the baby's smiles, and the mother's sighs, Out of the future, or the past? Ah! gleam and gloom must ever meet, And gall must mingle with the sweet. Yea, upon the baby's laughter Trickled tears:聽 聽 'tis ever so -- Mothers dread the dark hereafter; But the babe laughed sweet and low. And the years like waves broke on the shore Of the mother's heart, and her baby's life; But her lone heart drifted away before Her little boy knew an hour of strife; Drifted away on a Summer's eve, Ere the orphaned child knew how to grieve Her humble grave was gently made Where roses bloomed in Summer's glow; The wild birds sang where her heart was laid, And her boy laughed sweet and low. He drifted away from his mother's grave, Like a fragile flower on a great stream's tide, Till he heard the moan of the mighty wave, That welcomed the stream to the ocean wide. Out from the shore and over the deep, He sailed away and learned to weep. Furrowed grew the face once fair, Under storms of human woe; Silvered grew the dark brown hair, And he wailed so sad and low. The years swept on as erst they swept, Bright wavelets once, dark billows now; Wherever he sailed he ever wept, A cloud hung over the darkened brow -- Over the deep and into the dark, But no one knew where sank his bark. Wild roses watched his mother's tomb, The world still laughed, 'tis ever so -- God only knows the baby's doom, That laughed so sweet and low.
Thomas Hardy
A baby watched a ford, whereto A wagtail came for drinking; A blaring bull went wading through, The wagtail showed no shrinking. A stallion splashed his way across, The birdie nearly sinking; He gave his plumes a twitch and toss, And held his own unblinking. Next saw the baby round the spot A mongrel slowly slinking; The wagtail gazed, but faltered not In dip and sip and prinking. A perfect gentleman then neared; The wagtail, in a winking, With terror rose and disappeared; The baby fell a-thinking.
Wagtail And Baby
George MacDonald
0 Lord, at Joseph's humble bench Thy hands did handle saw and plane; Thy hammer nails did drive and clench, Avoiding knot and humouring grain. That thou didst seem, thou wast indeed, In sport thy tools thou didst not use; Nor, helping hind's or fisher's need, The labourer's hire, too nice, refuse. Lord, might I be but as a saw, A plane, a chisel, in thy hand!-- No, Lord! I take it back in awe, Such prayer for me is far too grand. I pray, O Master, let me lie, As on thy bench the favoured wood; Thy saw, thy plane, thy chisel ply, And work me into something good. No, no; ambition, holy-high, Urges for more than both to pray: Come in, O gracious Force, I cry-- O workman, share my shed of clay. Then I, at bench, or desk, or oar, With knife or needle, voice or pen, As thou in Nazareth of yore, Shall do the Father's will again. Thus fashioning a workman rare, O Master, this shall be thy fee: Home to thy father thou shall bear Another child made like to thee.
The Carpenter
William Henry Drummond
THE ADVENTURES OF AN ENGLISHMAN IN THE CANADIAN WOODS. Wan morning de walkim boss say "Damase, I t'ink you're good man on canoe d'ecorce, So I'll ax you go wit' your frien' Phil'as An' meet M'sieu' Smit' on Chenail W'ite Horse. "He'll have I am sure de grosse baggage, Mebbe some valise, mebbe six or t'ree, But if she's too moche for de longue portage 'Poleon he will tak' 'em wit' mail buggee." W'en we reach Chenail, plaintee peep be dere, An' wan frien' of me, call Placide Chretien, 'Splain all dat w'en he say man from Angleterre Was spik heem de crowd on de "Parisien." Fonny way dat Englishman he'll be dress, Leetle pant my dear frien' jus' come on knee, Wit' coat dat's no coat at all, only ves' An' hat, de more stranger I never see! Wall! dere he sit on de en' some log An' swear heem in English purty loud Den talk Fran'ais, w'ile hees chien boule dog Go smellim an' smellim aroun' de crowd. I spik im "Bonjour, M'sieu' Smit', Bonjour, I hope dat yourse'f and famille she's well?" M'sieu Smit' he is also say "Bonjour," An' call off hees dog dat's commence for smell. I tell heem my name dat's Damase Labrie I am come wit' Phil'as for mak' de trip, An' he say I'm de firs' man he never see Spik English encore since he lef' de ship. He is also ax it to me "Damase, De peep she don't seem understan' Fran'ais, W'at's matter wit' dat?" An' I say "Becos You mak' too much talk on de Parisien." De groun she is pile wit' baggage, Sapr'! An' I see purty quick we got plaintee troub, Two tronk, t'ree valise, four-five fusil, An' w'at M'sieu Smit' he is call "bat' tubbe." M'sieu Smit' he's tole me w'at for's dat t'ing, An' it seem Englishman he don't feel correc' Until he's go plonge on some bat' morning An' sponge it hees possibill high hees neck. Of course dat's not'ing of my beez-nesse, He can plonge on de water mos' ev'ry day, But I t'ink for mese'f it mak foolishness An' don't do no good w'en your bonne sant'. W'en I tell 'Poleon he mus' mak' dat job, Dere's leetle too moche for canoe d''corce, He's mad right away an' say "Sapr' diable! You t'ink I go work lak wan niggerhorse? "I'm not manufacture dat way, b' non, Dat rich stranger man he have lot monee, I go see my frien' On'sime Gourdon, An' tole heem bring horse wit' some more buggee." Wall! affer some w'ile dey'll arrange all dat, 'Poleon an' hees frien' On'sime Gourdon, But w'en 'Poleon is tak' hole of bat', He receive it beeg scare immediatement! Dat chien boule dog, I was tole you 'bout, I am not understan' w'at good she's for, Eat 'Poleon's leg w'it hees teet' an' mout, 'Poleon he is feel very mad, by Gor! Of course I am poule heem hees tail toute suite But I don't know some reason mak all dis troub', W'en I hear me dat Englishman, M'sieu Smit' Say 'Poleon, w'at for you took my tubbe? "Leff 'im dere, for I don't low nobodee Walk heem off on any such way lak dat; You may tak' all de res', an' I don't care me, But de man he'll be keel who is tak' my bat'." "I will carry heem wit' me," say M'sieu Smit', "W'erever dat tubbe she mus' go, I go, No matter de many place we visite, An' my sponge I will tak' mese'f also." Phil'as say "Damase, we mus buil' some raf' Or mebbe some feller be sure get drown"; Dis geev me plaisir, but I'm scare mak' laf', So I'll do it mese'f, inside, way down. At las' we are start on voyage, sure nuff, M'sieu Smit' carry tubbe on de top hees head, Good job, I t'ink so, de lac isn't rough, Or probably dis tam, we're all come dead. De dog go wit' On'sime Gourdon, An' On'sime afferwar' say to me, "Dat chien boule dog is eat 'Poleon Was de more quiet dog I never see." But fun she's commence on very nex' day W'en we go camp out on de Castor Noir. Dat Englishman he'll come along an' say "I hope some wil' Injun she don't be dere. "I have hear many tam, dat de wood be foule Of Injun w'at tak' off de hair your head. But so surely my name she's Johnnie Boule If I see me dem feller I shoot it dead." Phil'as den pray harder, more quick he can Mebbe he's t'ink dat's hees las' portage De moder hees fader, she's Injun man Derefore an' also, he is wan Sauvage. I say "Don't mak' it some excitement; Saison she is 'close' on de spring an' fall, An' dem peep dat work on de Gouvernement Don't lak you shoot Injun dis mont' at all." Nex' day M'sieu Smit' is perform hees plonge We see heem go done it, Phil'as an' me, An' w'en he's hang up bat' tubbe an' sponge We go on de wood for mak' Chasse perdrix. An' mebbe you will not believe to me, But w'en we come back on de camp encore De sponge of dat Englishman don't be see, An' we fin' beeg bear she's go dead on shore. Very fonny t'ing how he's loss hees life, But Phil'as he'll know hese'f purty quick, He cut M'sieu Bear wit' hees hunter knife, An' sponge she's fall out on de bear stummick. Day affer we get two fox houn' from Boss Dat's good for ketch deer on de fall an' spring, Den place Englishman w'ere he can't get los' An' tole heem shoot quicker he see somet'ing. Wat's dat leetle deer got no horn at all? She'll be moder small wan en suite bimeby, Don't remember mese'f w'at name she's call, But dat's de kin' start w'en de dog is cry. We see heem come down on de runaway De dog she is not very far behin' An' w'en dey pass place M'sieu Smit' is stay We expec' he will shoot or make noise some kin'! But he's not shoot at all, mon cher ami, So we go an' we ax "Is he see some deer?" He say "Dat's long tam I am stay on tree But I don't see not'ing she's pass on here." We spik heem once more, "He don't see fox houn'?" W'at you t'ink he is say, dat Englishman? "Yes, I see dem pass quickly upon de groun', Wan beeg yellow dog, an' two small brown wan." He's feel de more bad I don't see before W'en he know dat beeg dog, she's wan small deer, An' for mak' ev'ryt'ing correc' encore We drink I am sure six bouteilles de bi're. Nex' day, dat's Dimanche, he is spik to me, "Damase, you mus' feel leetle fatigu', You may slep' wit' Phil'as w'ile I go an' see I can't get some nice quiet tam to-day." So for keep 'way skeeter, an' fly also Bouteille from de shelf M'sieu Smit' he tak', Den he start wit' his chien boule dog an' go For nice quiet walk on shore of lac. We don't slep' half hour w'en dere's beeg, beeg yell, Lak somet'ing I'm sure don't hear long tam, An' we see wan feller we cannot tell, Till he spik it, "Damase! Phil'as!! dam dam!!!" Den we know it at once, mon cher ami, But she's swell up hees face, hees neck an' han'! It seem all de skeeter on w'ole contree Is jump on de head of dat Englishman. Some water on poor M'sieu Smit' we'll t'row, An' w'en he's tranquille fin' out ev'ryt'ing; Bouteille he's rub on, got some nice sirop I was mak' mese'f on de wood las' spring. Dere was jus' 'noder t'ing he seem for care An' den he is feel it more satisfy, Dat t'ing, my dear frien', was for keel some bear, If he'll do dat wan tam, he's prepare for die. Phil'as say he know w'ere some blue berree Mak' very good place for de bear have fonne, So we start nex' day on morning earlee, An' M'sieu Smit' go wit' hees elephan' gun. Wan woman sauvage she is come be dere, Mebbe want some blue berree mak' some pie, Dat' Englishman shoot, he is t'ink she's bear, An' de woman she's holler, "Mon Dieu, I'm die!" M'sieu Smit' he don't do no harm, becos He is shake hese'f w'en he shoot dat squaw, But scare he pay hunder' dollar cos' For keel some sauvage on de "close" saison. T'ree day affer dat, we start out on lac For ketch on de water wan Cariboo, But win' she blow strong, an' we can't get back Till we t'row ourse'f out on dat canoe. We t'ink M'sieu Smit' he is sure be drown, Leetle w'ile we can't see heem again no more, An' den he's come up from de place go down An' jomp on hees bat' tubbe an' try go shore. W'en he's pass on de bat', he say "Hooraw!" An' commence right away for mak' some sing; I'm sure you can hear heem ten-twelve arpent 'Bout "Brittanie, she alway mus' boss somet'ing." Dat's all I will tole you jus' now, my frien'; I s'pose you don't know de more fonny case, But if Englishman go on wood again I'll have more storee w'en you pass my place.
M'Sieu Smit
1, 2, 3, 4, 5! I caught a hare alive; 6, 7, 8, 9, 10! I let her go again.
Nursery Rhyme. XXXIII. Literal
Virna Sheard
0 heart of mine - if I were but a swallow - A thing so fearless, swift of flight, and free - On wings unwearied I would find and follow Some path that led to thee! Were I a rose out in the garden growing My sweetness I would give the vagrant breeze For he, perchance, might meet thee all unknowing - Yet bring thee memories.
A Song
Thomas Gent
By Miss A.M. TURNER, Daughter of the Eminent Engraver. Death to the very life! not the closed eye, Not those small paralytic limbs alone, But every feather tells so mournfully Thy fate, and that thy little life has flown. Manhood forbids that I should weep, and yet Sadness comes o'er my spirit, and I stand Gazing intensely, and with mute regret, Turn from the wonder of the artist's hand. Exquisite artist! could I praise thee more Than by the silent admiration? no! And now I try to praise I must deplore How feeble is the verse that tells thee so; But thou art gaining for thyself a fame Worthy thyself, thy sex, and thy dear father's name!
Written Under An Elegant Drawing Of A Dead Canary Bird,
Robert Herrick
Chorus. What sweeter music can we bring, Than a Carol, for to sing The Birth of this our heavenly King? Awake the Voice! Awake the String! Heart, Ear, and Eye, and every thing Awake! the while the active Finger Runs division with the Singer. [From the Flourish they came to the Song]. Voice 1: Dark and dull night, fly hence away, And give the honor to this Day, That sees December turn'd to May. Voice 2: If we may ask the reason, say: The why, and wherefore all things here Seem like the Spring-time fo the year? Voice 3: Why does the chilling Winter's morn Smile, like a field beset with corn? Or smell, like to a mead new-shorn, Thus, on the sudden? Voice 4: Come and see The cause, why things thus fragrant be: 'Tis He is born, whose quick'ning Birth Gives life and luster, public mirth, To Heaven and the under-Earth. Chorus: We see Him come, and know Him ours, Who, with His Sun-shine, and His Showers, Turns all the patient ground to flowers. Voice 1: The Darling of the World is come, And fit it is, we find a room To welcome Him. Voice 2: The nobler part Of all the house here, is the Heart, Chorus: Which we will give Him; and bequeath This Holly and this Ivy Wreath, To do Him honor; who's our King, And Lord of all this Reveling.
A Christmas Carol, Sung To The King In The Presence At White-Hall
Thomas Moore
A Bishop and a bold dragoon, Both heroes in their way, Did thus, of late, one afternoon, Unto each other say:-- "Dear bishop," quoth the brave huzzar, "As nobody denies "That you a wise logician are, "And I am--otherwise, "'Tis fit that in this question, we "Stick each to his own art-- "That yours should be the sophistry, "And mine the fighting part. "My creed, I need not tell you, is "Like that of Wellington, "To whom no harlot comes amiss, "Save her of Babylon; "And when we're at a loss for words, "If laughing reasoners flout us, "For lack of sense we'll draw our swords-- "The sole thing sharp about us."-- "Dear bold dragoon," the bishop said, "'Tis true for war thou art meant; "And reasoning--bless that dandy head! "Is not in thy department. "So leave the argument to me-- "And, when my holy labor "Hath lit the fires of bigotry, "Thou'lt poke them with thy sabre. "From pulpit and from sentrybox, "We'll make our joint attacks, "I at the head of my Cassocks, "And you, of your Cossacks. "So here's your health, my brave huzzar, "My exquisite old fighter-- "Success to bigotry and war, "The musket and the mitre!" Thus prayed the minister of heaven-- While York, just entering then, Snored out (as if some Clerk had given His nose the cue) "Amen."
Recent Dialogue.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
A blue-bell springs upon the ledge, A lark sits singing in the hedge; Sweet perfumes scent the balmy air, And life is brimming everywhere. What lark and breeze and bluebird sing, Is Spring, Spring, Spring! No more the air is sharp and cold; The planter wends across the wold, And, glad, beneath the shining sky We wander forth, my love and I. And ever in our hearts doth ring This song of Spring, Spring! For life is life and love is love, 'Twixt maid and man or dove and dove. Life may be short, life may be long, But love will come, and to its song Shall this refrain for ever cling Of Spring, Spring, Spring!
Spring Song
Fannie Isabelle Sherrick
A beautiful form and a beautiful face, A winsome bride and a woman's grace, So fair and sweet it were heaven indeed For man to follow where she would lead. A web of lace and a jeweled hand, And life is changed by a golden band; A dream of love and a wealth of gold-- The old new story once more is told. A wealth of flowers and a robe of snow, A beauteous woman with cheeks aglow; A train of satin that sweeps the floor-- And life is altered forevermore. A beautiful scene on this Christmas eve, Where all could linger and none could grieve, A dazzling vision of wealth and pride, A royal feast and a happy bride. But turn your steps to the lonely street, Where fierce winds mutter and wild storms beat; And come with me to the haunts of woe Where life is a burden and hopes are low. Look on this woman, so thin and white; You close your eyes--'tis a dreadful sight; But shudder not--she is cold and dead-- And died, oh men! for a CRUST OF BREAD. So young and hopeless, oh! God above, With none to comfort and none to love; A tortured soul and a hungry cry That rang unheard through the stormy sky. While, oh! so near in the gloomy night Lay rescue and love and warmth and light; And oh! so near to the longing eyes, There gleamed the bright depths of a paradise. Oh! look on this picture, thou fair young bride, For one poor morsel of bread she died; One glittering gem from your breast or hair, Could have saved this woman who lieth there. One costly spray of your flowers bright Could have bought the food that she craved this night; One drop of love from your boundless store Her soul could have saved forevermore. Oh, sadd'ning picture, this Christmas eve,-- For thy sad story the angels grieve; To think in this city of wealth and might A woman perished for BREAD, this night.
Two Pictures.
Jonathan Swift
A bard, grown desirous of saving his pelf, Built a house he was sure would hold none but himself. This enraged god Apollo, who Mercury sent, And bid him go ask what his votary meant? "Some foe to my empire has been his adviser: 'Tis of dreadful portent when a poet turns miser! Tell him, Hermes, from me, tell that subject of mine, I have sworn by the Styx, to defeat his design; For wherever he lives, the Muses shall reign; And the Muses, he knows, have a numerous train."
On One Of The Windows At Delville
Paul Laurence Dunbar
A bee that was searching for sweets one day Through the gate of a rose garden happened to stray. In the heart of a rose he hid away, And forgot in his bliss the light of day, As sipping his honey he buzzed in song; Though day was waning, he lingered long, For the rose was sweet, so sweet. A robin sits pluming his ruddy breast, And a madrigal sings to his love in her nest: "Oh, the skies they are blue, the fields are green, And the birds in your nest will soon be seen!" She hangs on his words with a thrill of love, And chirps to him as he sits above For the song is sweet, so sweet. A maiden was out on a summer's day With the winds and the waves and the flowers at play; And she met with a youth of gentle air, With the light of the sunshine on his hair. Together they wandered the flowers among; They loved, and loving they lingered long, For to love is sweet, so sweet.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich
A blight, a gloom, I know not what, has crept upon my gladness-- Some vague, remote ancestral touch of sorrow, or of madness; A fear that is not fear, a pain that has not pain's insistence; A sense of longing, or of loss, in some foregone existence; A subtle hurt that never pen has writ nor tongue has spoken-- Such hurt perchance as Nature feels when a blossomed bough is broken.
A Mood
John Clare
A beautiful flower, that bedeck'd a mean pasture, In virgin perfection I found; Its fair bloom stood naked to every disaster, And deep the storm gather'd around: The rose in the midst of its brambles is blooming, Whose weapons intruders alarm, But sweetest of blossoms, fond, fair, and weak woman Has nothing to guard her from harm. Each stranger seem'd struck with a blossom so lovely, In such a lone valley that grew; The clown's admiration was cast on it roughly While blushing it shrank from his view: O sweet was the eve when I found the fair blossom, Sure never seem'd blossom so fair, I instant transplanted its charms to my bosom, And deep has the root gather'd there.
Song. "A Beautiful Flower, That Bedeck'd A Mean Pasture"
Thomas Hardy
A bird bills the selfsame song, With never a fault in its flow, That we listened to here those long Long years ago. A pleasing marvel is how A strain of such rapturous rote Should have gone on thus till now Unchanged in a note! - But it's not the selfsame bird. - No: perished to dust is he . . . As also are those who heard That song with me.
The Selfsame Song
Robert Herrick
A bachelor I will Live as I have liv'd still, And never take a wife To crucify my life; But this I'll tell ye too, What now I mean to do: A sister (in the stead Of wife) about I'll lead; Which I will keep embrac'd, And kiss, but yet be chaste.
No Spouse But A Sister.
William Wordsworth
A barking sound the Shepherd hears, A cry as of a dog or fox; He halts and searches with his eyes Among the scattered rocks: And now at distance can discern A stirring in a brake of fern; And instantly a dog is seen, Glancing through that covert green. The Dog is not of mountain breed; Its motions, too, are wild and shy; With something, as the Shepherd thinks, Unusual in its cry: Nor is there any one in sight All round, in hollow or on height; Nor shout, nor whistle strikes his ear; What is the creature doing here? It was a cove, a huge recess, That keeps, till June, December's snow; A lofty precipice in front, A silent tarn below! Far in the bosom of Helvellyn, Remote from public road or dwelling, Pathway, or cultivated land; From trace of human foot or hand. There sometimes doth a leaping fish Send through the tarn a lonely cheer; The crags repeat the raven's croak, In symphony austere; Thither the rainbow comes the cloud And mists that spread the flying shroud; And sunbeams; and the sounding blast, That, if it could, would hurry past; But that enormous barrier holds it fast. Not free from boding thoughts, a while The Shepherd stood; then makes his way O'er rocks and stones, following the Dog As quickly as he may; Nor far had gone before he found A human skeleton on the ground; The appalled Discoverer with a sigh Looks round, to learn the history. From those abrupt and perilous rocks The Man had fallen, that place of fear! At length upon the Shepherd's mind It breaks, and all is clear: He instantly recalled the name, And who he was, and whence he came; Remembered, too, the very day On which the Traveller passed this way. But hear a wonder, for whose sake This lamentable tale I tell! A lasting monument of words This wonder merits well. The Dog, which still was hovering nigh, Repeating the same timid cry, This Dog, had been through three months' space A dweller in that savage place. Yes, proof was plain that, since the day When this ill-fated Traveller died, The Dog had watched about the spot, Or by his master's side: How nourished here through such long time He knows, who gave that love sublime; And gave that strength of feeling, great Above all human estimate!
Henry Lawson
A blanket low and leaden, Though rent across the west, Whose darkness seems to deaden The brightest and the best; A sunset white and staring On cloud-wrecks far away, And haggard house-walls glaring A farewell to the day. A light on tower and steeple, Where sun no longer shines, My people, Oh my people! Rise up and read the signs! Low looms the nearer high-line (No sign of star or moon), The horseman on the skyline Rode hard this afternoon! (Is he, and who shall know it?, The spectre of a scout? The spirit of a poet, Whose truths were met with doubt? Who sought and who succeeded In marking danger's track, Whose warnings were unheeded Till all the sky was black?) It is a shameful story For our young, generous home, Without the rise and glory We'd go as Greece and Rome. Without the sacrifices That make a nation's name, The elder nation's vices And luxuries we claim. Grown vain without a conquest, And sure without a fort, And maddened in the one quest For pleasure or for sport. Self-blinded to our starkness We'd fling the time away To fight, half-armed, in darkness Who should be armed to-day. This song is for the city, The city in its pride, The coming time shall pity And shield the countryside. Shall we live in the present Till fearful war-clouds loom, And till the sullen peasant Shall leave us to our doom? Cloud-fortresses titanic Along the western sky, The tired, bowed mechanic And pallid clerk flit by. Lit by a light unhealthy, The ghastly after-glare, The veiled and goggled wealthy Drive fast, they know not where. Night's sullen spirit rouses, The darkening gables lour From ugly four-roomed houses Verandah'd windows glower; The last long day-stare dies on The scrub-ridged western side, And round the near horizon The spectral horsemen ride.
Above Crow's Nest - Sydney
Jean de La Fontaine
[1] A bitch, that felt her time approaching, And had no place for parturition, Went to a female friend, and, broaching Her delicate condition, Got leave herself to shut Within the other's hut. At proper time the lender came Her little premises to claim. The bitch crawl'd meekly to the door, And humbly begg'd a fortnight more. Her little pups, she said, could hardly walk. In short, the lender yielded to her talk. The second term expired; the friend had come To take possession of her house and home. The bitch, this time, as if she would have bit her, Replied, 'I'm ready, madam, with my litter, To go when you can turn me out.' Her pups, you see, were fierce and stout. The creditor, from whom a villain borrows, Will fewer shillings get again than sorrows. If you have trusted people of this sort, You'll have to plead, and dun, and fight; in short, If in your house you let one step a foot, He'll surely step the other in to boot.
The Bitch And Her Friend.
William Schwenck Gilbert
A BISHOP once I will not name his see Annoyed his clergy in the mode conventional; From pulpit shackles never set them free, And found a sin where sin was unintentional. All pleasures ended in abuse auricular The Bishop was so terribly particular. Though, on the whole, a wise and upright man, He sought to make of human pleasures clearances; And form his priests on that much-lauded plan Which pays undue attention to appearances. He couldn't do good deeds without a psalm in 'em, Although, in truth, he bore away the palm in 'em. Enraged to find a deacon at a dance, Or catch a curate at some mild frivolity, He sought by open censure to enhance Their dread of joining harmless social jollity. Yet he enjoyed (a fact of notoriety) The ordinary pleasures of society. One evening, sitting at a pantomime (Forbidden treat to those who stood in fear of him), Roaring at jokes, sans metre, sense, or rhyme, He turned, and saw immediately in rear of him, His peace of mind upsetting, and annoying it, A curate, also heartily enjoying it. Again, 't was Christmas Eve, and to enhance His children's pleasure in their harmless rollicking, He, like a good old fellow, stood to dance; When something checked the current of his frolicking: That curate, with a maid he treated lover-ly, Stood up and figured with him in the "Coverley!" Once, yielding to an universal choice (The company's demand was an emphatic one, For the old Bishop had a glorious voice), In a quartet he joined an operatic one. Harmless enough, though ne'er a word of grace in it, When, lo! that curate came and took the bass in it! One day, when passing through a quiet street, He stopped awhile and joined a Punch's gathering; And chuckled more than solemn folk think meet, To see that gentleman his Judy lathering; And heard, as Punch was being treated penalty, That phantom curate laughing all hyaenally. Now at a picnic, 'mid fair golden curls, Bright eyes, straw hats, bottines that fit amazingly, A croquet-bout is planned by all the girls; And he, consenting, speaks of croquet praisingly; But suddenly declines to play at all in it The curate fiend has come to take a ball in it! Next, when at quiet sea-side village, freed From cares episcopal and ties monarchical, He grows his beard, and smokes his fragrant weed, In manner anything but hierarchical He sees and fixes an unearthly stare on it That curate's face, with half a yard of hair on it! At length he gave a charge, and spake this word: "Vicars, your curates to enjoyment urge ye may; To check their harmless pleasuring's absurd; What laymen do without reproach, my clergy may." He spake, and lo! at this concluding word of him, The curate vanished no one since has heard of him.
The Phantom Curate. A Fable
Algernon Charles Swinburne
A bell tolls on in my heart As though in my ears a knell Had ceased for awhile to swell, But the sense of it would not part From the spirit that bears its part In the chime of the soundless bell. Ah dear dead singer of sorrow, The burden is now not thine That grief bade sound for a sign Through the songs of the night whose morrow Has risen, and I may not borrow A beam from its radiant shrine. The burden has dropped from thee That grief on thy life bound fast; The winter is over and past Whose end thou wast fain to see. Shall sorrow not comfort me That is thine no longer, at last? Good day, good night, and good morrow, Men living and mourning say. For thee we could only pray That night of the day might borrow Such comfort as dreams lend sorrow: Death gives thee at last good day.
A Dirge
James Joyce
A birdless heaven, seadusk, one lone star Piercing the west, As thou, fond heart, love's time, so faint, so far, Rememberest. The clear young eyes' soft look, the candid brow, The fragrant hair, Falling as through the silence falleth now Dusk of the air. Why then, remembering those shy Sweet lures, repine When the dear love she yielded with a sigh Was all but thine?
Tutto ' Sciolto
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
A beautiful great lady, past her prime, Behold her dreaming in her easy chair; Gray robed, and veiled; in laces old and rare, Her smiling eyes see but the vanished time, Of splendid prowess, and of deeds sublime. Self satisfied she sits, all unaware That peace has flown before encroaching care, And through her halls stalks hunger, linked with crime. England, awake! from dreams of what has been, Look on what IS, and put the past away. Speak to your sons, until they understand. England, awake! for dreaming now is sin; In all your ancient wisdom, rise to-day, And save the glory of your menaced land.
England, Awake!
Paul Cameron Brown
A beach back of bric ' brac, wine goblet of sky ... . the horizon beginning somewhere between Nod & nigh unto forever with only the sigh of a Casuarina pine or sea-grape to force a smile. It was entering into twilight - our minds were sailing ships, mere vagaries upon the waves, mine more a clippership on the Frisco to China run. Soir'e intim'e, ap'rtif, digestif? A bottle of rum with Eleuthera for a name - the prettiest coves have steadfast winds dark about portside. Silvery light of stars, the stars like black hansom cabs with livried footmen before shark-toothed clouds, a shark-faced moon, the sight of a shark breaking water, lemon-white its gullet with the Big Dipper stuck in a shark tooth. Diamondhead or Copperback? Carpetbaggers ... the moon's silver tea-set giving birth to wonderment flooding in affection a Raouel Dufy lithograph, some decrepit Neapolitan fisherman zoning his epic life to human proportions.
Night Fishing At Antibes
Thomas Moore
A beam of tranquillity smiled in the west, The storms of the morning pursued us no more; And the wave, while it welcomed the moment of rest. Still heaved, as remembering ills that were o'er. Serenely my heart took the hue of the hour, Its passions were sleeping, were mute as the dead; And the spirit becalmed but remembered their power, As the billow the force of the gale that was fled. I thought of those days, when to pleasure alone My heart ever granted a wish or a sigh; When the saddest emotion my bosom had known, Was pity for those who were wiser than I. I reflected, how soon in the cup of Desire The pearl of the soul may be melted away; How quickly, alas, the pure sparkle of fire We inherit from heaven, may be quenched in the clay; And I prayed of that Spirit who lighted the flame, That Pleasure no more might its purity dim; So that, sullied but little, or brightly the same, I might give back the boon I had borrowed from Him. How blest was the thought! it appeared as if Heaven Had already an opening to Paradise shown; As if, passion all chastened and error forgiven, My heart then began to be purely its own. I looked to the west, and the beautiful sky Which morning had clouded, was clouded no more: "Oh! thus," I exclaimed, "may a heavenly eye "Shed light on the soul that was darkened before."
William Butler Yeats
A Bloody and a sudden end, Gunshot or a noose, For Death who takes what man would keep, Leaves what man would lose. He might have had my sister, My cousins by the score, But nothing satisfied the fool But my dear Mary Moore, None other knows what pleasures man At table or in bed. i(What shall I do for pretty girls) i(Now my old bawd is dead?) Though stiff to strike a bargain, Like an old Jew man, Her bargain struck we laughed and talked And emptied many a can; And O! but she had stories, Though not for the priest's ear, To keep the soul of man alive, Banish age and care, And being old she put a skin On everything she said. i(What shall I do for pretty girls) i(Now my old bawd is dead?) The priests have got a book that says But for Adam's sin Eden's Garden would be there And I there within. No expectation fails there, No pleasing habit ends, No man grows old, no girl grows cold But friends walk by friends. Who quarrels over halfpennies That plucks the trees for bread? i(What shall I do for pretty girls) i(Now my old bawd is dead?)
John Kinsella's Lament For Mr. Mary Moore
John Greenleaf Whittier
A bending staff I would not break, A feeble faith I would not shake, Nor even rashly pluck away The error which some truth may stay, Whose loss might leave the soul without A shield against the shafts of doubt. And yet, at times, when over all A darker mystery seems to fall, (May God forgive the child of dust, Who seeks to know, where Faith should trust!) I raise the questions, old and dark, Of Uzdom's tempted patriarch, And, speech-confounded, build again The baffled tower of Shinar's plain. I am: how little more I know! Whence came I? Whither do I go? A centred self, which feels and is; A cry between the silences; A shadow-birth of clouds at strife With sunshine on the hills of life; A shaft from Nature's quiver cast Into the Future from the Past; Between the cradle and the shroud, A meteor's flight from cloud to cloud. Thorough the vastness, arching all, I see the great stars rise and fall, The rounding seasons come and go, The tided oceans ebb and flow; The tokens of a central force, Whose circles, in their widening course, O'erlap and move the universe; The workings of the law whence springs The rhythmic harmony of things, Which shapes in earth the darkling spar, And orbs in heaven the morning star. Of all I see, in earth and sky, Star, flower, beast, bird, what part have I? This conscious life, is it the same Which thrills the universal frame, Whereby the caverned crystal shoots, And mounts the sap from forest roots, Whereby the exiled wood-bird tells When Spring makes green her native dells? How feels the stone the pang of birth, Which brings its sparkling prism forth? The forest-tree the throb which gives The life-blood to its new-born leaves? Do bird and blossom feel, like me, Life's many-folded mystery, The wonder which it is to be? Or stand I severed and distinct, From Nature's "chain of life" unlinked? Allied to all, yet not the less Prisoned in separate consciousness, Alone o'erburdened with a sense Of life, and cause, and consequence? In vain to me the Sphinx propounds The riddle of her sights and sounds; Back still the vaulted mystery gives The echoed question it receives. What sings the brook? What oracle Is in the pine-tree's organ swell? What may the wind's low burden be? The meaning of the moaning sea? The hieroglyphics of the stars? Or clouded sunset's crimson bars? I vainly ask, for mocks my skill The trick of Nature's cipher still. I turn from Nature unto men, I ask the stylus and the pen; What sang the bards of old? What meant The prophets of the Orient? The rolls of buried Egypt, hid In painted tomb and pyramid? What mean Idumea's arrowy lines, Or dusk Elora's monstrous signs? How speaks the primal thought of man From the grim carvings of Copan? Where rests the secret? Where the keys Of the old death-bolted mysteries? Alas! the dead retain their trust; Dust hath no answer from the dust. The great enigma still unguessed, Unanswered the eternal quest; I gather up the scattered rays Of wisdom in the early days, Faint gleams and broken, like the light Of meteors in a northern night, Betraying to the darkling earth The unseen sun which gave them birth; I listen to the sibyl's chant, The voice of priest and hierophant; I know what Indian Kreeshna saith, And what of life and what of death The demon taught to Socrates; And what, beneath his garden-trees Slow pacing, with a dream-like tread, The solemn-thoughted Plato said; Nor lack I tokens, great or small, Of God's clear light in each and all, While holding with more dear regard The scroll of Hebrew seer and bard, The starry pages promise-lit With Christ's Evangel over-writ, Thy miracle of life and death, O Holy One of Nazareth! On Aztec ruins, gray and lone, The circling serpent coils in stone, Type of the endless and unknown; Whereof we seek the clue to find, With groping fingers of the blind! Forever sought, and never found, We trace that serpent-symbol round Our resting-place, our starting bound Oh, thriftlessness of dream and guess! Oh, wisdom which is foolishness! Why idly seek from outward things The answer inward silence brings? Why stretch beyond our proper sphere And age, for that which lies so near? Why climb the far-off hills with pain, A nearer view of heaven to gain? In lowliest depths of bosky dells The hermit Contemplation dwells. A fountain's pine-hung slope his seat, And lotus-twined his silent feet, Whence, piercing heaven, with screened sight, He sees at noon the stars, whose light Shall glorify the coining night. Here let me pause, my quest forego; Enough for me to feel and know That He in whom the cause and end, The past and future, meet and blend, Who, girt with his Immensities, Our vast and star-hung system sees, Small as the clustered Pleiades, Moves not alone the heavenly quires, But waves the spring-time's grassy spires, Guards not archangel feet alone, But deigns to guide and keep my own; Speaks not alone the words of fate Which worlds destroy, and worlds create, But whispers in my spirit's ear, In tones of love, or warning fear, A language none beside may hear. To Him, from wanderings long and wild, I come, an over-wearied child, In cool and shade His peace to find, Lice dew-fall settling on my mind. Assured that all I know is best, And humbly trusting for the rest, I turn from Fancy's cloud-built scheme, Dark creed, and mournful eastern dream Of power, impersonal and cold, Controlling all, itself controlled, Maker and slave of iron laws, Alike the subject and the cause; From vain philosophies, that try The sevenfold gates of mystery, And, baffled ever, babble still, Word-prodigal of fate and will; From Nature, and her mockery, Art; And book and speech of men apart, To the still witness in my heart; With reverence waiting to behold His Avatar of love untold, The Eternal Beauty new and old
Questions Of Life
Edward Smyth Jones
A blossom pink, a blossom blue, Make all there is in love so true. 'Tis fit, methinks, my heart to move, To give it thee, sweet girl, I love! Now, take it, dear, this morn and wear A wreath of beauty in thy hair; Think on it, when from bliss we part - The emblem of my wooing heart!
A Bouquet
Mary Hannay Foott
A blue line to the westward that surely is not cloud; A green tinge in the waters; a clamorous bird-crowd; Then far-off foamy edges, and hill-tops timber fringed; And, perched aloft, a light-house, o'er grey cliffs golden-tinged. O watchers leaning landward, know ye of nothing more? And hear ye but the sea-birds? and see ye but the shore? Nay, look awhile, and listen who bids you welcome there; The great seas kiss her sandals, the high stars gem her hair! Behold her in the gateway! high-held in either hand A blazing beacon, lighted to lead you to the land. 'Now welcome, kindly welcome, who come to me for cheer! My forts may frown on others, but ye have nought to fear. The cannon's flash and thunder are all for joy to-day, No murmurs meet your coming, none wish to bar your way.' O, later called to labour, shall we who toiled at morn Remember, as against you, the heat and burthen borne? No, verily, we shall not! We pray the labourer's Lord May give you after-comers a full day's full reward. Now fear not, fair-haired maiden, for gladness waits thee here, As by thy father's fireside in bygone days and dear. Thy troubled brow, O matron, beneath its silvering hair, Shall gain no fresher furrows, shall lose its look of care; No longer for thy household the winter need'st thou dread, Nor, fearing for to-morrow, shalt stint the children's bread. And thou, a 'mother's darling,' on those young locks of thine What midnight rains shall batter, what tropic suns shall shine! Thy tender hands, toil-hardened, unwonted tools shall wield, Shall fell the columned forest, shall till the furrowed field. Yet, when at England's fireside her olden tales are told, Perchance, 'mid tearful silence, one from the land of gold. Shall tell a brave new story, of want, and work, and care, Of trial and of triumph, to touch the coldest there! Now enter ye a haven your fathers have not known; Now dwell ye in a country that once was not your own. Part of the New World's army, the pioneers, are ye; For whom there waits, ungathered, the wealth of earth and sea! No need of 'fiery baptism,' no blood, no tears to flow, Ah, legions of the Caesars, had you but conquered so! Ah, Vikings in Valhalla our fathers dead and gone Could you have made such landing such golden shores upon!
Nearing Port
Jean Ingelow
(WRITTEN FOR A FRIEND'S BIRTHDAY.) "The days of our life are threescore years and ten." A birthday: - and a day that rose With much of hope, with meaning rife - A thoughtful day from dawn to close: The middle day of human life. In sloping fields on narrow plains, The sheep were feeding on their knees As we went through the winding lanes, Strewed with red buds of alder-trees. So warm the day - its influence lent To flagging thought a stronger wing; So utterly was winter spent, So sudden was the birth of spring. Wild crocus flowers in copse and hedge - In sunlight, clustering thick below, Sighed for the firwood's shaded ledge, Where sparkled yet a line of snow. And crowded snowdrops faintly hung Their fair heads lower for the heat, While in still air all branches flung Their shadowy doubles at our feet. And through the hedge the sunbeams crept, Dropped through the maple and the birch; And lost in airy distance slept On the broad tower of Tamworth Church. Then, lingering on the downward way, A little space we resting stood, To watch the golden haze that lay Adown that river by the wood. A distance vague, the bloom of sleep The constant sun had lent the scene, A veiling charm on dingles deep Lay soft those pastoral hills between. There are some days that die not out, Nor alter by reflection's power, Whose converse calm, whose words devout, For ever rest, the spirit's dower. And they are days when drops a veil - A mist upon the distance past; And while we say to peace - "All hail!" We hope that always it shall last. Times when the troubles of the heart Are hushed - as winds were hushed that day - And budding hopes begin to start, Like those green hedgerows on our way: When all within and all around Like hues on that sweet landscape blend, And Nature's hand has made to sound The heartstrings that her touch attend: When there are rays within, like those That streamed through maple and through birch, And rested in such calm repose On the broad tower of Tamworth Church.
A Birthday Walk.
Walter Crane
A Beast he would be, or a bird, As might suit, thought the Bat: but he erred. When the battle was done, He found that no one Would take him for friend at his word. Between Two Stools You May Come To The Ground
Neither Beast Nor Bird
Bliss Carman (William)
"A barbered woman's man,"--yes, so He seemed to me a twelvemonth since; And so he may be--let it go-- Admit his flaws--we need not wince To find our noblest not all great. What of it? He is still the prince, And we the pages of his state. The world applauds his words; his fame Is noised wherever knowledge be; Even the trader hears his name, As one far inland hears the sea; The lady quotes him to the beau Across a cup of Russian tea; They know him and they do not know. I know him. In the nascent years Men's eyes shall see him as one crowned; His voice shall gather in their ears With each new age prophetic sound; And you and I and all the rest, Whose brows to-day are laurel-bound, Shall be but plumes upon his crest. A year ago this man was poor,-- This Alfred whom the nations praise; He stood a beggar at my door For one mere word to help him raise From fainting limbs and shoulders bent The burden of the weary days; And I withheld it--and he went. I knew him then, as I know now, Our largest heart, our loftiest mind; Yet for the curls upon his brow And for his lisp, I could not find The helping word, the cheering touch. Ah, to be just, as well as kind,-- It costs so little and so much! It seemed unmanly in my sight That he, whose spirit was so strong To lead the blind world to the light, Should look so like the mincing throng Who advertise the tailor's art. It angered me--I did him wrong-- I grudged my groat and shut my heart. I might have been the prophet's friend, Helped him who is to help the world! Now, when the striving is at end, The reek-stained battle-banners furled, And the age hears its muster-call, Then I, because his hair was curled, I shall have lost my chance--that's all.
Jean de La Fontaine
A block of marble was so fine, To buy it did a sculptor hasten. 'What shall my chisel, now 'tis mine - A god, a table, or a basin?' 'A god,' said he, 'the thing shall be; I'll arm it, too, with thunder. Let people quake, and bow the knee With reverential wonder.' So well the cunning artist wrought All things within a mortal's reach, That soon the marble wanted nought Of being Jupiter, but speech. Indeed, the man whose skill did make Had scarcely laid his chisel down, Before himself began to quake, And fear his manufacture's frown. And even this excess of faith The poet once scarce fell behind, The hatred fearing, and the wrath, Of gods the product of his mind. This trait we see in infancy Between the baby and its doll, Of wax or china, it may be - A pocket stuff'd, or folded shawl. Imagination rules the heart: And here we find the fountain head From whence the pagan errors start, That o'er the teeming nations spread. With violent and flaming zeal, Each takes his own chimera's part; Pygmalion[1] doth a passion feel For Venus chisel'd by his art. All men, as far as in them lies, Create realities of dreams. To truth our nature proves but ice; To falsehood, fire it seems.
The Sculptor And The Statue Of Jupiter.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
A bless'd lot hath he, who having passed His youth and early manhood in the stir And turmoil of the world, retreats at length, With cares that move, not agitate the heart, To the same dwelling where his father dwelt; And haply views his tottering little ones Embrace those ag'd knees and climb that lap, On which first kneeling his own infancy Lisp'd its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest Friend! Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy. At distance did ye climb Life's upland road, Yet cheered and cheering: now fraternal love Hath drawn you to one centre. Be your days Holy, and blest and blessing may ye live! To me the Eternal Wisdom hath dispens'd A different fortune and more different mind Me from the spot where first I sprang to light Too soon transplanted, ere my soul had fix'd Its first domestic loves; and hence through life Chasing chance-started friendships. A brief while Some have preserved me from life's pelting ills; But, like a tree with leaves of feeble stem, If the clouds lasted, and a sudden breeze Ruffled the boughs, they on my head at once Dropped the collected shower; and some most false, False and fair-foliag'd as the Manchineel, Have tempted me to slumber in their shade E'en mid the storm; then breathing subtlest damps, Mix'd their own venom with the rain from Heaven, That I woke poison'd! But, all praise to Him Who gives us all things, more have yielded me Permanent shelter; and beside one Friend, Beneath the impervious covert of one oak, I've rais'd a lowly shed, and know the names Of Husband and of Father; not unhearing Of that divine and nightly-whispering Voice, Which from my childhood to maturer years Spake to me of predestinated wreaths, Bright with no fading colours! Yet at times My soul is sad, that I have roam'd through life Still most a stranger, most with naked heart At mine own home and birth-place: chiefly then, When I remember thee, my earliest Friend! Thee, who didst watch my boyhood and my youth; Didst trace my wanderings with a father's eye; And boding evil yet still hoping good, Rebuk'd each fault, and over all my woes Sorrow'd in silence! He who counts alone The beatings of the solitary heart, That Being knows, how I have lov'd thee ever, Lov'd as a brother, as a son rever'd thee! Oh! 'tis to me an ever new delight, To talk of thee and thine: or when the blast Of the shrill winter, rattling our rude sash, Endears the cleanly hearth and social bowl; Or when, as now, on some delicious eve, We in our sweet sequester'd orchard-plot Sit on the tree crook'd earth-ward; whose old boughs, That hang above us in an arborous roof, Stirr'd by the faint gale of departing May, Send their loose blossoms slanting o'er our heads! Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours, When with the joy of hope thou gavest thine ear To my wild firstling-lays. Since then my song Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem Or that sad wisdom folly leaves behind, Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times, Cope with the tempest's swell! These various strains, Which I have fram'd in many a various mood, Accept, my Brother! and (for some perchance Will strike discordant on thy milder mind) If aught of error or intemperate truth Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper Age Will calm it down, and let thy love forgive it!
To the Rev. George Coleridge
Algernon Charles Swinburne
I. A Baby's feet, like sea-shells pink, Might tempt, should heaven see meet, An angel's lips to kiss, we think, A baby's feet. Like rose-hued sea-flowers toward the heat They stretch and spread and wink Their ten soft buds that part and meet. No flower-bells that expand and shrink Gleam half so heavenly sweet As shine on life's untrodden brink A baby's feet. II. A baby's hands, like rosebuds furled Whence yet no leaf expands, Ope if you touch, though close upcurled, A baby's hands. Then, fast as warriors grip their brands When battle's bolt is hurled, They close, clenched hard like tightening bands. No rosebuds yet by dawn impearled Match, even in loveliest lands, The sweetest flowers in all the world - A baby's hands. III. A baby's eyes, ere speech begin, Ere lips learn words or sighs, Bless all things bright enough to win A baby's eyes. Love, while the sweet thing laughs and lies, And sleep flows out and in, Sees perfect in them Paradise. Their glance might cast out pain and sin, Their speech make dumb the wise, By mute glad godhead felt within A baby's eyes.
Etude Realiste
Richard Le Gallienne
A battered swordsman, slashed and scarred, I scarce had thought to fight again, But love of the old game dies hard, So to't, my lady, if you're fain! I'm scarce the mettle to refrain, I'll ask no quarter from your art - But what if we should both be slain! I fight you, darling, for your heart. I warn you, though, be on your guard, Nor an old swordsman's craft disdain, He jests at scars - what saith the Bard? Love's wounds are real, and fierce the pain; If we should die of love, we twain! You laugh - en garde then - so we start; Cyrano-like, here's my refrain: I fight you, darling, for your heart. If compliments I interlard Twixt feint and lunge, you'll not complain Lacking your eyes, the night's un-starred, The rose is beautiful in vain, In vain smells sweet - Rose-in-the-Brain, Dizzying the world - a touch! sweet smart! - Only the envoi doth remain: I fight you, darling, for your heart. ENVOI Princess, I'm yours; the rose-red rain Pours from my side - but see! I dart Within your guard - poor pretty stain! I fight you, darling, for your heart.
Ballade Of The Oldest Duel In The World
Jean de La Fontaine
[1] A bachelor caress'd his cat, A darling, fair, and delicate; So deep in love, he thought her mew The sweetest voice he ever knew. By prayers, and tears, and magic art, The man got Fate to take his part; And, lo! one morning at his side His cat, transform'd, became his bride. In wedded state our man was seen The fool in courtship he had been. No lover e'er was so bewitch'd By any maiden's charms As was this husband, so enrich'd By hers within his arms. He praised her beauties, this and that, And saw there nothing of the cat. In short, by passion's aid, he Thought her a perfect lady. 'Twas night: some carpet-gnawing mice Disturb'd the nuptial joys. Excited by the noise, The bride sprang at them in a trice; The mice were scared and fled. The bride, scarce in her bed, The gnawing heard, and sprang again, - And this time not in vain, For, in this novel form array'd, Of her the mice were less afraid. Through life she loved this mousing course, So great is stubborn nature's force. In mockery of change, the old Will keep their youthful bent. When once the cloth has got its fold, The smelling-pot its scent, In vain your efforts and your care To make them other than they are. To work reform, do what you will, Old habit will be habit still. Nor fork[2] nor strap can mend its manners, Nor cudgel-blows beat down its banners. Secure the doors against the renter, And through the windows it will enter.
The Cat Metamorphosed Into A Woman.
Alexander Pope
A Bishop, by his neighbours hated, Has cause to wish himself translated: But why should Hough desire translation, Loved and esteem'd by all the nation? Yet, if it be the old man's case, I'll lay my life I know the place: 'Tis where God sent some that adore Him, And whither Enoch went before him.
John Greenleaf Whittier
A beautiful and happy girl, With step as light as summer air, Eyes glad with smiles, and brow of pearl, Shadowed by many a careless curl Of unconfined and flowing hair; A seeming child in everything, Save thoughtful brow and ripening charms, As Nature wears the smile of Spring When sinking into Summer's arms. A mind rejoicing in the light Which melted through its graceful bower, Leaf after leaf, dew-moist and bright, And stainless in its holy white, Unfolding like a morning flower A heart, which, like a fine-toned lute, With every breath of feeling woke, And, even when the tongue was mute, From eye and lip in music spoke. How thrills once more the lengthening chain Of memory, at the thought of thee! Old hopes which long in dust have lain Old dreams, come thronging back again, And boyhood lives again in me; I feel its glow upon my cheek, Its fulness of the heart is mine, As when I leaned to hear thee speak, Or raised my doubtful eye to thine. I hear again thy low replies, I feel thy arm within my own, And timidly again uprise The fringed lids of hazel eyes, With soft brown tresses overblown. Ah! memories of sweet summer eves, Of moonlit wave and willowy way, Of stars and flowers, and dewy leaves, And smiles and tones more dear than they! Ere this, thy quiet eye hath smiled My picture of thy youth to see, When, half a woman, half a child, Thy very artlessness beguiled, And folly's self seemed wise in thee; I too can smile, when o'er that hour The lights of memory backward stream, Yet feel the while that manhood's power Is vainer than my boyhood's dream. Years have passed on, and left their trace, Of graver care and deeper thought; And unto me the calm, cold face Of manhood, and to thee the grace Of woman's pensive beauty brought. More wide, perchance, for blame than praise, The school-boy's humble name has flown; Thine, in the green and quiet ways Of unobtrusive goodness known. And wider yet in thought and deed Diverge our pathways, one in youth; Thine the Genevan's sternest creed, While answers to my spirit's need The Derby dalesman's simple truth. For thee, the priestly rite and prayer, And holy day, and solemn psalm; For me, the silent reverence where My brethren gather, slow and calm. Yet hath thy spirit left on me An impress Time has worn not out, And something of myself in thee, A shadow from the past, I see, Lingering, even yet, thy way about; Not wholly can the heart unlearn That lesson of its better hours, Not yet has Time's dull footstep worn To common dust that path of flowers. Thus, while at times before our eyes The shadows melt, and fall apart, And, smiling through them, round us lies The warm light of our morning skies, The Indian Summer of the heart! In secret sympathies of mind, In founts of feeling which retain Their pure, fresh flow, we yet may find Our early dreams not wholly vai
William Ernest Henley
A black and glassy float, opaque and still, The loch, at furthest ebb supine in sleep, Reversing, mirrored in its luminous deep The calm grey skies; the solemn spurs of hill; Heather, and corn, and wisps of loitering haze; The wee white cots, black-hatted, plumed with smoke; The braes beyond - and when the ripple awoke, They wavered with the jarred and wavering glaze. The air was hushed and dreamy.聽 聽 Evermore A noise of running water whispered near. A straggling crow called high and thin.聽 聽 A bird Trilled from the birch-leaves.聽 聽 Round the shingled shore, Yellow with weed, there wandered, vague and clear, Strange vowels, mysterious gutturals, idly heard.
Attadale West Highlands - To A. J.
Oliver Herford
A Birdie cocked his little head, Winked his eye at me and said, "Say, are you a Pussy Willer, Or just a Kitty-Catty pillar?"
An Inquiry
Jonathan Swift
A bard, on whom Phoebus his spirit bestow'd, Resolving t'acknowledge the bounty he owed, Found out a new method at once of confessing, And making the most of so mighty a blessing: To the God he'd be grateful; but mortals he'd chouse, By making his patron preside in his house; And wisely foresaw this advantage from thence, That the God would in honour bear most of th'expense; So the bard he finds drink, and leaves Phoebus to treat With the thoughts he inspires, regardless of meat. Hence they that come hither expecting to dine, Are always fobb'd off with sheer wit and sheer wine.
On Another Window[1]
D. H. Lawrence (David Herbert Richards)
A big bud of moon hangs out of the twilight, Star-spiders spinning their thread Hang high suspended, withouten respite Watching us overhead. Come then under the trees, where the leaf-cloths Curtain us in so dark That here we're safe from even the ermin-moth's Flitting remark. Here in this swarthy, secret tent, Where black boughs flap the ground, You shall draw the thorn from my discontent, Surgeon me sound. This rare, rich night! For in here Under the yew-tree tent The darkness is loveliest where I could sear You like frankincense into scent. Here not even the stars can spy us, Not even the white moths write With their little pale signs on the wall, to try us And set us affright. Kiss but then the dust from off my lips, But draw the turgid pain From my breast to your bosom, eclipse My soul again. Waste me not, I beg you, waste Not the inner night: Taste, oh taste and let me taste The core of delight.
Charles Baudelaire
I. A Being, a Form, an Idea Having fallen from out of the blue Into the Stygian slough Where no eye of the sky ever sees; An impetuous Angel, allured By the love of the twisted and mean, In the depths of a nightmarish dream Like a swimmer who struggles for shore, Contending in wretched distress With a whirlpool that swivels along Singing a madman's song, Performing its dark pirouettes; A bewildered man, miserably Attempting a groping escape Out of a place full of snakes, Lacking the lamp and the key; A damned soul fumbling down steps Of an infinite stair without rails At the edge of a gulf, with a smell Betraying the clammy depths, Where monsters watch below, Whose eyeballs' glowing light Makes blacker still the night Themselves are all they show; An iced-in polar ship Seized in a vice of glass, Searching the fatal path Of this imprisoning trip; Pure emblems, a perfect tableau Of an irremediable evil, Which makes us think that the Devil Does well what he chooses to do! II. It's a face-to-face sombre and clear When a heart gives its own image back! Well of Verity, limpid and black, Where trembles a ghastly star, An ironic beacon, from Hell, Torch of Satanical graces, And a glory in consolation, Evil aware of itself!
The Irremediable
Jean de La Fontaine
[1] A beldam kept two spinning maids, Who plied so handily their trades, Those spinning sisters down below Were bunglers when compared with these. No care did this old woman know But giving tasks as she might please. No sooner did the god of day His glorious locks enkindle, Than both the wheels began to play, And from each whirling spindle Forth danced the thread right merrily, And back was coil'd unceasingly. Soon as the dawn, I say, its tresses show'd, A graceless cock most punctual crow'd. The beldam roused, more graceless yet, In greasy petticoat bedight, Struck up her farthing light, And then forthwith the bed beset, Where deeply, blessedly did snore Those two maid-servants tired and poor. One oped an eye, an arm one stretch'd, And both their breath most sadly fetch'd, This threat concealing in the sigh - 'That cursed cock shall surely die!' And so he did: - they cut his throat, And put to sleep his rousing note. And yet this murder mended not The cruel hardship of their lot; For now the twain were scarce in bed Before they heard the summons dread. The beldam, full of apprehension Lest oversleep should cause detention, Ran like a goblin through her mansion. Thus often, when one thinks To clear himself from ill, His effort only sinks Him in the deeper still. The beldam, acting for the cock, Was Scylla for Charybdis' rock.
The Old Woman And Her Two Servants.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
A bird flew out at the break of day From the nest where it had curled, And ere the eve the bird had set Fear on the kings of the world. The first tree it lit upon Was green with leaves unshed; The second tree it lit upon Was red with apples red; The third tree it lit upon Was barren and was brown, Save for a dead man nailed thereon On a hill above a town. That right the kings of the earth were gay And filled the cup and can; Last night the kings of the earth were chill For dread of a naked man. 'If he speak two more words,' they said, 'The slave is more than the free; If he speak three more words,' they said, 'The stars are under the sea.' Said the King of the East to the King of the West, I wot his frown was set, 'Lo; let us slay him and make him as dung, It is well that the world forget.' Said the King of the West to the King of the East, I wot his smile was dread, 'Nay, let us slay him and make him a god, It is well that our god be dead.' They set the young man on a hill, They nailed him to a rod; And there in darkness and in blood They made themselves a god. And the mightiest word was left unsaid, And the world had never a mark, And the strongest man of the sons of men Went dumb into the dark. Then hymns and harps of praise they brought, Incense and gold and myrrh, And they thronged above the seraphim, The poor dead carpenter. 'Thou art the prince of all,' they sang, 'Ocean and earth and air.' Then the bird flew on to the cruel cross, And hid in the dead man's hair. 'Thou art the sun of the world,' they cried, 'Speak if our prayers be heard.' And the brown bird stirred in the dead man's hair, And it seemed that the dead man stirred. Then a shriek went up like the world's last cry From all nations under heaven, And a master fell before a slave And begged to be forgiven. They cowered, for dread in his wakened eyes The ancient wrath to see; And the bird flew out of the dead Christ's hair, And lit on a lemon-tree.
The Ballad Of God-Makers
Walt Whitman
A batter'd, wreck'd old man, Thrown on this savage shore, far, far from home, Pent by the sea, and dark rebellious brows, twelve dreary months, Sore, stiff with many toils, sicken'd, and nigh to death, I take my way along the island's edge, Venting a heavy heart. I am too full of woe! Haply, I may not live another day; I can not rest, O God - I can not eat or drink or sleep, Till I put forth myself, my prayer, once more to Thee, Breathe, bathe myself once more in Thee - commune with Thee, Report myself once more to Thee. Thou knowest my years entire, my life, (My long and crowded life of active work - not adoration merely;) Thou knowest the prayers and vigils of my youth; Thou knowest my manhood's solemn and visionary meditations; Thou knowest how, before I commenced, I devoted all to come to Thee; Thou knowest I have in age ratified all those vows, and strictly kept them; Thou knowest I have not once lost nor faith nor ecstasy in Thee; (In shackles, prison'd, in disgrace, repining not, Accepting all from Thee - as duly come from Thee.) All my emprises have been fill'd with Thee, My speculations, plans, begun and carried on in thoughts of Thee, Sailing the deep, or journeying the land for Thee; Intentions, purports, aspirations mine - leaving results to Thee. O I am sure they really come from Thee! The urge, the ardor, the unconquerable will, The potent, felt, interior command, stronger than words, A message from the Heavens, whispering to me even in sleep, These sped me on. By me, and these, the work so far accomplish'd (for what has been, has been;) By me Earth's elder, cloy'd and stifled lands, uncloy'd, unloos'd; By me the hemispheres rounded and tied - the unknown to the known. The end I know not - it is all in Thee; Or small, or great, I know not - haply, what broad fields, what lands; Haply, the brutish, measureless human undergrowth I know, Transplanted there, may rise to stature, knowledge worthy Thee; Haply the swords I know may there indeed be turn'd to reaping-tools; Haply the lifeless cross I know - Europe's dead cross - may bud and blossom there. One effort more - my altar this bleak sand: That Thou, O God, my life hast lighted, With ray of light, steady, ineffable, vouchsafed of Thee, (Light rare, untellable - lighting the very light! Beyond all signs, descriptions, languages!) For that, O God - be it my latest word - here on my knees, Old, poor, and paralyzed - I thank Thee. My terminus near, The clouds already closing in upon me, The voyage balk'd - the course disputed, lost, I yield my ships to Thee. Steersman unseen! henceforth the helms are Thine; Take Thou command - (what to my petty skill Thy navigation?) My hands, my limbs grow nerveless; My brain feels rack'd, bewilder'd; Let the old timbers part - I will not part! I will cling fast to Thee, O God, though the waves buffet me; Thee, Thee, at least, I know. Is it the prophet's thought I speak, or am I raving? What do I know of life? what of myself? I know not even my own work, past or present; Dim, ever-shifting guesses of it spread before me, Of newer, better worlds, their mighty parturition, Mocking, perplexing me. And these things I see suddenly - what mean they? As if some miracle, some hand divine unseal'd my eyes, Shadowy, vast shapes, smile through the air and sky, And on the distant waves sail countless ships, And anthems in new tongues I hear saluting me.
Prayer Of Columbus
Madison Julius Cawein
A blown white bubble buoyed zenith-ward, Up from the tremulous East the round moon swung Mist-murky, and the unsocial stars that thronged, Hot with the drought, thick down the empty West, Winked thirstily; no wind to rouse the leaves, That o'er the glaring road lolled palpitant, Withered and whitened of the weary dust From iron hoofs of that gay fellowship Of knights which gat at morn the king disguised; Whose mind was, "in the lists to joust and be An equal mid unequals, man with man:" Who from the towers of Edric passed, wherein Some nights he'd sojourned, till one morn a horn Sang at dim portals, musical with dew, Wild echoes of wild woodlands and the hunt, Clear herald of the staunchest of his knights; And they to the great jousts at Camelot Rode pounding off, a noise of steel and steeds. Thick in the stagnant moat the lilies lay Ghastly and rotting; hoarse with rusty chains The drawbridge hung before the barbed grate; And far above along lone battlements, His armor moon-drenched, one great sentinel Clanked drowsily, and it was late in June, She at her lattice, lawny night-robed, leaned Dreaming of somewhat dear, and happy smiled From glorious eyes; a face like gracious nights, One silent brilliancy of steadfast stars Innumerable and delicate through the dusk: Long, loosened loops and coils of sensuous hair Rolled turbulence down naked neck and throat, That shamed the moonshine with a rival sheen. One stooped above her till his nostrils drank Rich, faint perfumes that blossomed in her hair, And 'round her waist hooped one strong arm and drew Her mightily to him; soft burying deep In crushed fresh linen warm with flesh his arm, Searched all her eyes until his own were drugged Mad with their fire, quick one hungry kiss, Like anger bruised fierce on her breathless lips, Whispered, "And lov'st but one? and he?" "Sweet, sweet my lord, thou wotest well!" and then From love's stern beauty writhen into hate's Gnarled hideousness, he haled her sweet, white face Back, back by its large braids of plenteous hair Till her full bosom's clamorous speechlessness Stiff on the moon burst white, low mocked and laughed, "The King, I wot, adulteress!" and a blade Glanced thin as ice plunged hard, hard in her heart.
The King.
John Clare
A beanfield full in blossom smells as sweet As Araby, or groves of orange flowers; Black-eyed and white, and feathered to one's feet, How sweet they smell in morning's dewy hours! When seething night is left upon the flowers, And when morn's sun shines brightly o'er the field, The bean bloom glitters in the gems of showers, And sweet the fragrance which the union yields To battered footpaths crossing o'er the fields.
The Beanfield
Jonathan Swift
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1715, ON AN ATTEMPT TO REPEAL THE TEST ACT A bitch, that was full pregnant grown By all the dogs and curs in town, Finding her ripen'd time was come, Her litter teeming from her womb, Went here, and there, and everywhere, To find an easy place to lay her. At length to Music's house[2] she came, And begg'd like one both blind and lame; "My only friend, my dear," said she, "You see 'tis mere necessity Hath sent me to your house to whelp: I die if you refuse your help." With fawning whine, and rueful tone, With artful sigh, and feigned groan, With couchant cringe, and flattering tale, Smooth Bawty[3] did so far prevail, That Music gave her leave to litter; (But mark what follow'd - faith! she bit her;) Whole baskets full of bits and scraps, And broth enough to fill her paps; For well she knew, her numerous brood, For want of milk, would suck her blood. But when she thought her pains were done, And now 'twas high time to be gone, In civil terms, "My friend," said she, "My house you've had on courtesy; And now I earnestly desire, That you would with your cubs retire; For, should you stay but one week longer, I shall be starved with cold and hunger." The guest replied - "My friend, your leave I must a little longer crave; Stay till my tender cubs can find Their way - for now, you see, they're blind; But, when we've gather'd strength, I swear, We'll to our barn again repair." The time pass'd on; and Music came Her kennel once again to claim, But Bawty, lost to shame and honour, Set all her cubs at once upon her; Made her retire, and quit her right, And loudly cried - "A bite! bite!" THE MORAL Thus did the Grecian wooden horse Conceal a fatal armed force: No sooner brought within the walls, But Ilium's lost, and Priam falls.
The Fable Of The Bitches[1]
Joseph Rodman Drake
A beam upon the myrtle fell From dewy evening's purest sky, 'Twas like the glance I love so well, Dear Eva, from thy moonlight eye. I looked around the summer grove, On every tree its lustre shone; For all had felt that look of love The silly myrtle deemed its own. Eva! behold thine image there, As fair, as false thy glances fall; But who the worthless smile would share That sheds its light alike on all.
To Eva.
Jean de La Fontaine
[1] A bird, with plum'd arrow shot, In dying case deplored her lot: 'Alas!' she cried, 'the anguish of the thought! This ruin partly by myself was brought! Hard-hearted men! from us to borrow What wings to us the fatal arrow! But mock us not, ye cruel race, For you must often take our place.' The work of half the human brothers Is making arms against the others.
The Bird Wounded By An Arrow.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
A baby went to heaven while it slept, And, waking, missed its mother's arms, and wept. Those angel tear-drops, falling earthward through God's azure skies, into the turquoise grew.
Madison Julius Cawein
A beardless crew we launched our little boat; Laughed at its lightness; joyed to see it float, Veer in the wind, and, with the freshening gale, Bend o'er the foaming prow the swollen sail. No fears were ours within that stanch-built barque; No fears were ours 'though all the west was dark, And overhead were unknown stars; the ring Of ocean sailless and no bird a-wing: Yet there was light; radiance that dimmed the stars Dancing like bubbles in Night's sapphire jars. We knew not what: only adown the skies A shape that led us, with sidereal eyes, Brow-bound and shod with elemental fire, Beckoning us onward like the god Desire. Brisk blew the breeze; and through the starry gloam, Flung from our prow, flew white the furrowed foam. Long, long we sailed; and now have reached our goal. Come, let us rest us here and call the roll. How few we are! Alas, alas, how few! How many perished! Every storm that blew Swept from our deck or from our staggering mast Some well-loved comrade in the boiling vast. Wildly we saw them sink beneath our prow, Helpless to aid; pallid of face and brow, Lost in the foam we saw them sink or fade Beneath the tempest's rolling cannonade. They sank; but where they sank, above the wave A corposant danced, a flame that marked their grave; And o'er the flame, whereon were fixed our eyes, An albatross, huge in volcanic skies. They died; but not in vain their stubborn strife, The zeal that held them onward, great of life: They too are with us; they, in spite of death, Have reached here first. Upon our brows their breath Breathes softly, vaguely, sweetly as the breeze From isles of spice in summer-haunted seas. From palaces and pinnacles of mist The sunset builds in heaven's amethyst Beyond yon headland where the billows break, Perhaps they beckon now; the winds that shake These tamarisks, that never bowed to storm, Haply are but their voices filled with charm Bidding us rest from labor; toil no more; Draw up our vessel on the happy shore; And of the lotus of content and peace, Growing far inland, eat, and never cease To dream the dreams that keep the heart still young, Hearing forever how the foam is flung Beneath the cliff; forgetting all life's care; Easing the soul of all its long despair. Let us forget how once within that barque, Like some swift eagle sweeping through the dark, We weighed the sun; we weighed the farthest stars; Traced the dim continents of fiery Mars; Measured the vapory planets whose long run Takes centuries to gird their glimmering sun: Let us forget how oft the crystal mountains Of the white moon we searched; and plumbed her fountains, That hale the waters of the 'onian deep In ebb and flow, and in her power keep: Let us remember her but as a gem, A mighty pearl, placed in Night's anadem: Let us forget how once we pierced the flood, Fathorned its groves of coral, red as blood, Branching and blooming underneath our keel, Through which like birds the nautilus and eel, The rainbowed conch and irised fishes swept, And where the sea-snake like a long weed slept. Here let us dream our dreams: let Helen bare Her white breast for us; and let Dido share Her rich feast with us; or let Lalage Laugh in our eyes as once, all lovingly, She laughed for Flaccus. We are done with all The lusts of life! its loves are ours. Let fall The Catilines! the C'sars! and in Gaul Their legions perish! And let Phillip's son In Ammon's desert die; and never a one Lead back to Greece of all his conquering line From gemmed Hydaspes. Here we set our shrine! Here on this headland templed of God's peaks, Where Beauty only to our worship speaks Her mighty truths, gazing beyond the shore Into the heart of God: her eyes a door Wherethrough we see the dreams, the mysteries, That grew to form in the Art that once was Greece: Making them live once more for us, the shapes That filled the woods, the mountains, and the capes Of Hellas: Dryad, Oread, and Faun; Naiad and Nereid, and all the hosts of Dawn.
Madison Julius Cawein
A barren field o'ergrown with thorn and weed It stays for him who waits for help from God: Only the soul that makes a plough of Need Shall know what blossoms underneath its sod.
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
A bird came down the walk: He did not know I saw; He bit an angle-worm in halves And ate the fellow, raw. And then he drank a dew From a convenient grass, And then hopped sidewise to the wall To let a beetle pass. He glanced with rapid eyes That hurried all abroad, -- They looked like frightened beads, I thought; He stirred his velvet head Like one in danger; cautious, I offered him a crumb, And he unrolled his feathers And rowed him softer home Than oars divide the ocean, Too silver for a seam, Or butterflies, off banks of noon, Leap, plashless, as they swim.
In The Garden.


This dataset is a collection of approximately 38,500 poems from


The language of this dataset is English.


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