Monday, 24 April 2017

The Silence by Reginald James Godfrey

This is indeed a false, false night;
There’s not a soldier sleeps,
But like a ghost stands to his post,
While Death through the long sap creeps.
There’s an eerie filmy spell o’er all —
A murmur from the sea;
And not a sound on the hills around —
Say, what will the silence be?

From: https://web.archive.org/web/20140604193401/http:/www.jill-hamilton.com/anzacday-poems.html

Date: 1916

By: Reginald James Godfrey (1892-1979)

Sunday, 23 April 2017

To My Cigar by Charles Sprague

Yes, social friend, I love thee well,
In learned doctors’ spite;
Thy clouds all other clouds dispel,
And lap me in delight.

By thee, they cry, with phizzes long,
My years are sooner passed;
Well, take my answer, right or wrong,
They’re sweeter while they last.

And oft, mild friend, to me thou art
A monitor, though still;
Thou speak’st a lesson to my heart
Beyond the preacher’s skill.

Thou ‘rt like the man of worth, who gives
To goodness every day,
The odor of whose virtue lives
When he has passed away.

When, in the lonely evening hour,
Attended but by thee,
O’er history’s varied page I pore,
Man’s fate in thine I see.

Oft as thy snowy column grows,
Then breaks and falls away,
I trace how mighty realms thus rose.
Thus tumbled to decay.

Awhile like thee the hero burns,
And smokes and fumes around,
And then, like thee, to ashes turns,
And mingles with the ground.

Life’s but a leaf adroitly rolled,
And time’s the wasting breath.
That late or early, we behold.
Gives all to dusty death.

From beggar’s frieze to monarch’s robe,
One common doom is passed;
Sweet Nature’s works, the swelling globe,
Must all burn out at last.

And what is he who smokes thee now? —
A little moving heap,
That soon like thee to fate must bow,
With thee in dust must sleep.

But though thy ashes downward go,
Thy essence rolls on high;
Thus, when my body must lie low,
My soul shall cleave the sky.

From: http://www.celebrateboston.com/charles-sprague/to-my-cigar.htm

Date: 1829

By: Charles Sprague (1791-1875)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Gathering from “The Triumph of Infidelity” by Timothy Dwight IV

And now the morn arose; when o’er the plain
Gather’d, from every side, a numerous train;
To quell those fears, that rankled still within,
And gain new strength, and confidence, to sin.
There the half putrid Epicure was seen,
His cheeks of port, and lips with turtle green,
Who hop’d a long eternity was given,
To spread good tables, in some eating heaven.
The leacher there his lurid visage shew’d,
The imp of darkness, and the foe of good;
Who fled his lovely wife’s most pure embrace,
To sate on hags, and breed a mongrel race;
A high-fed horse, for others wives who neigh’d;
A cur, who prowl’d around each quiet bed;
A snake, far spreading his impoison’d breath,
And charming innocence to guilt, and death.
Here stood Hypocrisy, in sober brown,
His sabbath face all sorrow’d with a frown.
A dismal tale he told of dismal times,
And this sad world brimful of saddest crimes,
Furrow’d his cheeks with tears for others sin,
But clos’d his eyelids on the hell within.

There smil’d the smooth Divine, unus’d to wound
The sinners heart, with hell’s alarming sound.
No terrors on his gentle tongue attend;
No grating truths the nicest ear offend.
That strange new-birth, that methodistic grace,
Nor in his heart, nor sermons, found a place.
Plato’s fine tales he clumsily retold,
Trite, fireside, moral seasaws, dull as old;
His Christ, and bible, plac’d at good remove,
Guilt hell-deserving, and forgiving love.
‘Twas best, he said, mankind should cease to sin;
Good fame requir’d it; so did peace within:
Their honours, well he knew, would ne’er be driven;
But hop’d they still would please to go to heaven.
Each week, he paid his visitation dues;
Coax’d, jested, laugh’d; rehears’d the private news;
But hoped they still would please to go to heaven.
Smoak’d with each goody, thought her cheese excell’d;
Her pipe he lighted, and her baby held.
Or plac’d in some great town, with lacquer’d shoes,
Trim wig, and trimmer gown, and glistening hose,
He bow’d, talk’d politics, learn’d manners mild;
Most meekly questioned, and most smoothly smil’d;
At rich mens jests laugh’d loud their stories prais’d;
Their wives new patterns gaz’d, and gaz’d and gaz’d;
Most daintily on pamper’d turkies din’d;
Nor shrunk with fasting, nor with study pin’d:
Yet from their churches saw his brethren driven,
Who thunder’d truth, and spoke the voice of heaven,
Chill’d trembling guilt, in Satan’s headlong path;
Charm’d the feet back, and rous’d the ear of death.
“Let fools,” he cried, “starve on, while prudent I
Snug in my nest shall live, and snug shall die.

There stood the infidel of modern breed,
Blest vegetation of infernal seed,
Alike no Deist, and no Christian, he;
But from all principle, all virtue, free.
To him all things the same, as good or evil;
Jehovah, Jove, the Lama, or the Devil;
Mohammed’s braying, or Isaiah’s lays;
The Indian’s powaws, or the Christian’s praise,
With him all natural desires are good;
His thirst for stews; the Mohawk’s thirst for blood:
Made, not to know, or love, the all beauteous mind;
Or wing thro’ heaven his path to bliss resin’d:
But his dear self, choice Dagon! to adore;
To dress, to game, to swear, to drink, to whore;
To race his steeds; or cheat, when others run;
Pit tortur’d cocks, and swear ’tis glorious fun:
His soul not cloath’d with attributes divine;
But a nice watch-spring to that grand machine,
That work more nice than Rittenhouse can plan,
The body; man’s chief part; himself, the man;
Man, that illustrious brute of noblest shape,
A swine unbristled, and an untail’d ape:
To couple, eat, and die—his glorious doom—
The oyster’s church-yard, and the capon’s tomb.

From: Dwight, Timothy, The Triumph of Infidelity: A Poem, 2007, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan, pp. 29-32.
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/N16405.0001.001)

Date: 1788

By: Timothy Dwight IV (1752-1817)

Friday, 21 April 2017

To Detraction by Thomas Andrewe

Ill tongu’d Detraction, that upon my Booke
Doest cast a hatefull vituperious looke,
Read and deride, deprave and carpe thy fill,
Say that my Verse is harsh, my lynes are ill:
I passe not for thy censure, better men
Shall judge the worth of our industrious pen.
In spight of thee, and all that thou canst say,
My lynes shall live, when steele shall weare away:
And when that thou rak’t vp in dust shalt lye,
Then through the spacious Orbe our Muse shall flye:
Although that yet she hath with motion slowe,
Taught her hiewing to keepe a course but lowe.
I must acknowledge, these unpolisht rimes
Sute not the nature of our curious times,
When each sharpe-sighted Critick doth disdaine,
What is not bred in his fantasticke brayne:
Yet will I not with supple fawning words,
Seeke for more praise then merit just affords.
My pen is free, and whatso’ere I write,
Proceeds essentially from my delight:
Then let whose will, or praise, or discommend me.
Neyther can make me proud, nor yet offend me.

From: Andrewe, Thomas, The Unmasking of a Feminine Machiavell, 2006, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford, p. [unnumbered].
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A19410.0001.001)

Date: 1604

By: Thomas Andrewe (fl. 1604)

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Christ to His Spouse by William Baldwin

Lo, thou, my love, art fair;
Myself hath made thee so:
Yea, thou art fair indeed,
Wherefore thou shalt not need
In beauty to despair;
For I accept thee so,
————–For fair.

For fair, because thine eyes
Are like the culvers’ white,
Whose simpleness in deed
All others do exceed:
Thy judgement wholly lies
In true sense of sprite
————–Most wise.

From: http://kingdompoets.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/william-baldwin.html

Date: 1549

By: William Baldwin (c1515-c1563)

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Cansoneta 7 by Marcabru

Before the season turns green,
I will sing and I have the right!
Rejoice about Love who wants:
me, I have neither song nor complaint.
To a man who acts all courteous,
I don’t wish worse disease,
for he soon dies of starvation and cold
who is in the clutches of Love.

I do not want, nor desire, Love,
so much it knows how to deceive and lie.
For those reason I want to tell you
I never could feel the joy of love.
I wish it so much ill and hate it so,
that the remembrance alone makes me sick.
I was foolish in serving Love
but we have come to part.

For Love used to be gay,
but I will never be so
as one deceived me and betrayed me.
This is why I give up and renounce love.
He is loaded by quite a senseless burden
he who is in Love’s thrall.
Lord god, he was born in an evil hour
who feeds on such madness!

For Love is full of deception:
it changes its mind for money,
and turns the most valiant into despicable people,
for the wicked will have it before them.
And don’t go womanizing
without money, and by toiling!
Love that becomes a commodity:
the Devil may take it!

I’ll tell you how it is with Love:
if you were worth as much as a marquis,
do not dare court
after becoming poor.
It doesn’t matter how much you’ve given and provided:
you will not be considered worth a quarter.
One won’t even give you a thank
after you’ve ran out of money.

And I say to the suitors
who want to dream of love
not to make their desire apparent.
And I say this in their interest
because he is rather miserable
who is too eager to love
for he loves too much
soon turns from bad to worse.

The song is over:
I say no more to Sir Perman;
some, who act as lords of Love
should rather be cheating.
A lover who has himself compared to Bazan,
for Love, acts like a fool.
And let him not cross himself,
who will be deceived by Love!

From: http://www.trobar.org/troubadours/marcabru/mcbr7.php

Date: c1140 (original in Occitan); 2006 (translation in English)

By: Marcabru (fl. 1130-1150)

Translated by: Leonardo Malcovati (19??- )

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Epigram 1 by Nossis

Nothing is sweeter than desire. All other delights are second.
From my mouth I spit even honey.
Nossis says this. Whom Aphrodite does not love,
knows not her flowers, what roses they are.

From: http://www.stoa.org/diotima/anthology/erinna.shtml

Date: 3rd century BCE (original in Greek); 2000 (translation in English)

By: Nossis (3rd century BCE)

Translated by: Marilyn B. Skinner (19??- )

Monday, 17 April 2017

La Città Nuova: a construction for Antonio Sant’Elia by Simon Turner

“every generation will have to build its own city”

the fire escapes clatter up the walls
repetitious inky arpeggios
everything is happening &
all at once hissing yellow
repetitious inky arpeggios
jasmine tongues the gas jets
all at once hissing yellow
igniting the interstices of
jasmine tongues the gas jets
everything is arpeggios
igniting the interstices of
repetitious inky gas jets
everything is arpeggios
jasmine tongues the walls
repetitious inky gas jets
igniting the inky arpeggios
jasmine tongues the walls
fire tongues the gas jets
igniting the inky arpeggios
everything is hissing yellow
fire tongues the gas jets
everything is happening &
everything is yellow
the fire escapes, clatters up the walls.

From: http://intercapillaryspace.blogspot.com.au/2007/02/two-poems-by-simon-turner.html

Date: 2007

By: Simon Turner (1980- )

Sunday, 16 April 2017

One More Time by Margaret Hillert

I can’t believe. I don’t believe.
I simply, simply won’t believe
A rabbit comes at Easter time
To bring us eggs-

But then,

I do believe that you believe,
And there are others who believe,
And so perhaps for one more time,
I’ll make believe again.

From: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/262306-easter-poetry/

Date: 1978

By Margaret Hillert (1920-2014)

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Song of Living by Amelia Josephine Burr

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheek like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have kissed young Love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end.
I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.
I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.
I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I give a share of my soul to the world where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I must leave undone.
I know that no flower, no flint was in vain on the path I trod.
As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

From: Burr, Amelia Josephine, Life and Living. A Book of Verse, 1916, George H. Doran Company: New York, pp. 15-16.
(https://archive.org/details/livinglifeverse00burrrich)

Date: 1916

By: Amelia Josephine Burr (1878-1968)