Thursday, 23 May 2019

Sonnet by Arthur Henry Hallam

A melancholy thought had laid me low;
A thought of self-desertion, and the death
Of feelings wont with my heart’s blood to flow,
And feed the inner soul with purest breath.
The idle busy star of daily life,
Base passions, haughty doubts, and selfish fears,
Have withered up my being in a strife
Unkind, and dried the source of human tears.
One evening I went forth, and stood alone
With Nature: moon there was not, nor the light
Of any star in heaven: yet from the sight
Of that dim nightfall better hope hath grown
Upon my spirit, and from those cedars high
Solemnly changeless, as the very sky.

Sept, 1830.

From: Hallam, Arthur Henry, The Poems of Arthur Henry Hallam, Together with his Essay on the Lyrical Poems of Alfred Tennyson, 1893, Elkin Mathews & John Lane: London, p. 69.
(https://archive.org/details/poemsarthurhenr00hallgoog/)

Date: 1830

By: Arthur Henry Hallam (1811-1833)

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Sonnets, Written in the Highlands of Scotland, in the Year 1767: Sonnet I by Hugh Downman

Hence Sickness, nor about my weary head
Thy languid vapours wrap, and drooping wings
Better would’st thou thy baleful poison shed
In some dark cave where the Night-raven sings,
Where heavy fits the gloom-delighted Owl,
Where Aconite its loathsome juices throws;
Where dwells the Bat, and Serpents hissing foul,
With fell Despair, who never knows repose:
There drag the Caitiff Wretch, who hath betray’d
His trust, hath ruin’d innocence, or spilt
The sacred blood of him who gave him life;
Him torture Stern! nor will the lovely maid,
The sweet-eyed Mercy, conscious of his guilt,
Restrain thy hand, or blunt thy sharpen’d knife.

From: Downman, Hugh, Poems, 2008, University of Michigan Library: Ann Arbor, Michigan, pp. 74-75.
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/004858359.0001.000)

Date: 1767

By: Hugh Downman (1740-1809)

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

First Part of “A Voyage to Marryland; or, The Ladies Dressing-Room” by Mary Evelyn

He that will needs to Marry-Land
Adventure, first must understand
For’s Bark, what Tackle to prepare,
‘Gainst Wind and Weather, wear and tare:
Of Point d’Espagne, a Rich Cornet,
Two Night-Rails, and a Scarf beset
With a great Lace, a Colleret.
One black Gown of Rich Silk, which odd is
Without one Colour’d, Embroider’d Bodice:
Four Petticoats for Page to hold up,
Four short ones nearer to the Crup:
Three Manteaus, nor can Madam less
Provision have for due undress;
Nor demy Sultane, Spagnolet,
Nor Fringe to sweep the Mall forget,
Of under Bodice three neat pair
Embroider’d, and of Shoos as fair:
Short under Petticoats pure fine,
Some of Japan Stuff, some of Chine,
With Knee-high Galoon bottomed,
Another quilted White and Red;
With a broad Flanders Lace below:
Four pair of Bas de soy shot through
With Silver, Diamond Buckles too,
For Garters, and as Rich for Shoo.
Twice twelve day Smocks of Holland fine,
With Cambric Sleeves, rich Point to joyn,
(For she despises Colbertine.)
Twelve more for night, all Flanders lac’d,
Or else she’ll think her self disgrac’d:
The same her Night-Gown must adorn,
With Two Point Wastcoats for the Morn:
Of Pocket Mouchoirs Nose to drain,
A dozen lac’d, a dozen plain:
Three Night-Gowns of rich Indian Stuff,
Four Cushion Cloths are scarce enough,
Of Point, and Flanders, not forget
Slippers embroidered on Velvet:
Manteau Girdle, Ruby Buckle,
And Brillant Diamond Rings for Knuckle:
Fans painted, and perfumed three;
Three Muffs of Sable, Ermine, Grey;
Nor reckon it among the Baubles,
Palatine also of Sables.
A Saphire Bodkin for the Hair,
Or sparkling Facet Diamond there:
Then Turquois, Ruby, Emrauld Rings
For Fingers, and such petty things;
As Diamond Pendants for the Ears,
Musts needs be had, or two Pearl Pears,
Pearl Neck-lace, large and Oriental,
And Diamond, and of Amber pale;
For Oranges bears every Bush,
Nor values she cheap things a rush.
Then Bracelets for her Wrists bespeak,
(Unless her Heart-strings you will break)
With Diamond Croche for Breast and Bum,
Till to hang more on there’s no room.
Besides these Jewels you must get
Cuff Buckles, and an handsom Set
Of Tags for Palatine, a curious Hasp
The Manteau ’bout her Neck to clasp:
Nor may she want a Ruby Locket,
Nor the fine sweet quilted Pocket;
To play at Ombre, or Basset,
She a rich Pulvil Purse must get,
With Guineas fill’d, on Cards to lay,
With which she fancies most to play:
Nor is she troubled at ill fortune,
For should the bank be so importune,
To rob her of her glittering Store,
The amorous Fop will furnish more.
Pensive and mute, behind her shoulder
He stands, till by her loss grown bolder,
Into her lap Rouleau conveys,
The softest thing a Lover says:
She grasps it in her greedy hands,
Then best his Passion understands;
When tedious languishing has fail’d,

From: Evelyn, Mary, Mundus muliebris: or, The ladies dressing-room unlock’d, and her toilette spread In burlesque. Together with the fop-dictionary, compiled for the use of the fair sex, 2003, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford, pp. 2-5.
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A38815.0001.001)

Date: 1690 (published)

By: Mary Evelyn (1665-1685)

Monday, 20 May 2019

An Aunt’s Advice to her Niece by Alyt van Bronckhorst uunde Batenborch

Suffering is my finery;
A cloak of suffering sewn for me
Is lined with all the grief I bear.
Oh, help me God, it shows no wear or tear.

If suffering were a joy I’d seldom grieve.
Wherever I go it accompanies me.
The lining is the grief I bear.
Help me, God, this cloak will show no wear or tear.

I see more clearly every day
That I was born for grief and pain.
If I were somehow free of all this misery,
I would be lost eternally.

So I will put all trust and hope
In no one but almighty God,
Who never will leave me alone
As long as I cling to His Word.

From: van Gemert, Lia; Joldersma, Hermina; van Marion, Olga; van der Poel, Dieuwke; Schenkeveld-van der Dussen, Biet (eds.), Women’s Writing from the Low Countries, 1200-1875: A Bilingual Anthology, 2010, Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam, p. 197.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Kj7YsJVHm4MC)

Date: 1586 (original in Dutch); 2010 (translation in English)

By: Alyt van Bronckhorst uunde Batenborch (fl. 1586)

Translated by: Myra J. Heerspink Scholz (1944- )

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Canción by Álvaro de Luna

Since to cry
And to sigh
I ne’er cease;
And in vain
I would gain
My release;
Yet I still
Have the will,
Though I see
That the way
Every day
Is less free.
She is light
And the blight
Wrecks my joy;
Better death
Than such breath
I employ!
But perchance
For such glance
I was born;
And my grief
Is relief
For your scorn.

From: Walsh, Thomas (ed.), Hispanic Anthology: Poems Translated from the Spanish by English and North American Poets, 1920, G. P. Putnam’s Sons: New York and London, pp. 52-53.
(https://archive.org/details/hispanicantholog027327mbp/)

Date: 15th century (original in Spanish); 1920 (translation in English)

By: Álvaro de Luna (c1388-1453)

Translated by Thomas Walsh (1875-1928)

Saturday, 18 May 2019

On an Apple by Baha’ al-din Zuhair

Many thanks to my love for the apple she sent;
I can see that a gift so ingenious was meant
To ensure my not keeping whole-hearted ;
For its colour resembles the hue of her cheeks,
And the sip of her lip its fine flavour bespeaks,
While its perfume her touch has imparted.

From: Zuhair, Baha’ al-din and Palmer, E. H. (ed. and transl.), The Poetical Works of Behā-ed-Dīn Zoheir, of Egypt. With a Metrical English Translation, Notes, and Introduction, Volume II, 1877, University Press: Cambridge, p. 40.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=5NveEgFDbJAC)

Date: 13th century (original in Arabic); 1877 (translation in English)

By: Baha’ al-din Zuhair (1186-1258)

Translated by: Edward Henry Palmer (1840-1882)

Friday, 17 May 2019

Kiritsubo I: Kiritsubo no Kōi to the Emperor by Murasaki Shikibu

Now the end has come,
We part along diverging paths,
And one sad desire
Still lies heavy in my heart:
To live, not leave, our life.

From: Cranston, Edwin A. (ed. and transl.), A Waka Anthology: Volume Two – Grasses of Remembrance, Part B, 1993, Stanford University Press: Palo Alto, California, p. 689.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=3RI7XH8bdMoC)

Date: 1000-1012 (original in Japanese); 1993 (translation in English)

By: Murasaki Shikibu (c973 or 978-c1014 or 1031)

Translated by: Edwin Augustus Cranston (1932- )

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Jade Stairs Resentment by Xie Tiao

In the evening hall, the bead curtain is lowered;
Drifting glowworms fly, then rest.
Through the long night, sewing a gossamer dress:
This longing for you—when will it ever cease?

From: Cai, Zong-qi (ed.), How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology, 2008, Columbia University Press: New York, p. 143.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=FFWsAgAAQBAJ)

Date: c490 (original); 2008 (translation)

By: Xie Tiao (464-499)

Translated by: Xiaofei Tian (1971- )

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

For the Sun Has Got As His Lot Labor Every Day by Mimnermus

For the sun has got as his lot labor every day,
nor is there ever any rest for him
or his horses when rosy-fingered Dawn leaves behind
Ocean and climbs up the brightening sky,
for over the wave in a lovely spangled bed, forged
by Hephaistos’ hand of precious gold and winged,
he is borne, delightfully asleep, on the water’s face
from the country of the Hesperides
to the land of the Aithiopians, where his steeds
and swift chariot stand until Dawn,
the early-born, appears, and the son of Hyperion
then mounts and drives away his dazzling car.

From: Fowler, Barbara Hughes (ed. and transl.), Archaic Greek Poetry: An Anthology, 1992, The University of Wisconsin Press: Madison, Wisconsin, p. 86.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Xv14BW-bocYC)

Date: 7th century BCE (original in Greek); 1992 (translation in English)

By: Mimnermus (fl. 630-600 BCE)

Translated by: Barbara Hughes Fowler (1926- )

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The Page-turner by Michael George Laskey

He sits in her shadow, keeps still,
as if he would be as invisible
to us as we are to him,
just his eyes imperceptibly moving

till the end of the page approaches,
when, rising from his chair, he reaches
forward, left-handed, and works
a single sheet free, then waits

for the moment to flip it over.
Pressing it flat with his palm
from below so it won’t lift up,
already he’s pushed himself back

out of consideration. Again and again.
Till the pianist bows, and he stands
apart disclaiming applause,
head down, holding the music.

From: https://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/page-turner

Date: 2007

By: Michael George Laskey (1944- )