Archive for September, 2013

Monday, 30 September 2013

Immortality by Katharine Tynan

So I have sunk my roots in earth
Since that my pretty boys had birth;
And fear no more the grave and gloom,
I, with the centuries to come.

As the tree blossoms so bloom I,
Flinging wild branches to the sky;
Renew each year my leafy suit,
Strike with the years a deeper root.

Shelter a thousand birds to be,
A thousand herds give praise to me;
And in my kind and grateful shade
How many a weary head be laid.

I clothe myself without a stain.
In me a child is born again,
A child that looks with innocent eyes
On a new world with glad surprise.

The old mistakes are all undone,
All the old sins are purged and gone.
Old wounds and scars have left no trace,
There are no lines in this young face.

To hear the cuckoo the first time,
And ‘mid new roses in the prime
To read the poets newly. This,
Year after year, shall be my bliss.

Of me shall love be born anew;
I shall be loved and lover too;
Years after this poor body has died
Shall be the bridegroom and the bride.

Of me shall mothers spring to know
The mother’s bliss, the mother’s woe;
And children’s children yet to be
Shall learn their prayers about my knee.

And many million lights of home
Shall light for me the time to come.
Unto me much shall be forgiven,
I that make many souls for heaven.

From: Tynan, Katharine, Twenty One Poems by Katharine Tynan: Selected by W B Yeats, 1907, Dun Emer Press: Dundrum, pp. 12-13.
(http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/tynan/poems/poems.html)

Date: 1907

By: Katharine Tynan (1859-1931)

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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Poem by Barbara Alison Boodson Neville

I do not want to be your weeping woman
holding you to me with a chain of grief.

I could more easily bear the flames of your anger
than the frost of your kisses empty of desire:

I do not want to be your gentle lover
dragging you to me on a rope of pity.

Sooner that you never touched me than that you ever
should touch me from a distance made of mercy:

I do not want to be your silent mother
always forgiving and smiling and never loving.

If you forget me, forget me utterly. Never
come to my arms without interest: I shall know it:

I do not want to be your weeping woman
pinning you to me with a sword of tears.

From: Rexroth, Kenneth (ed.) The New British Poets. An Anthology, 1947, New Directions: London, pp. 19-20.
(http://archive.org/stream/newbritishpoets030038mbp#page/n63/mode/2up)

Date: 1947

By: Barbara Alison Boodson Neville (1925-1993)

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Drifting by Olivia Ward Bush-Banks

And now the sun in tinted splendor sank,
The west was all aglow with crimson light;
The bay seemed like a sheet of burnished gold,
Its waters glistened with such radiance bright.

At anchor lay the yachts with snow-white sails,
Outlined against glowing, rose-hued sky.
No ripple stirred the waters’ calm repose
Save when a tiny craft sped lightly by.

Our boat was drifting slowly, gently round,
To rest secure till evening shadows fell;
No sound disturbed the stillness of the air,
Save the soft chiming of the vesper bell.

Yes, drifting, drifting; and I thought that life,
When nearing death, is like the sunset sky.
And death is but the slow, sure drifting in
To rest far more securely, by and by.

Then let me drift along the Bay of Time,
Till my last sun shall set in glowing light;
Let me cast anchor where no shadows fall,
Forever moored within Heaven’s harbor bright.

Newport. June 12, 1898.

From: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/bush/poems/original-poems.html

Date: 1898

By: Olivia Ward Bush-Banks (1869-1944)

Friday, 27 September 2013

Cap. XL. How whan Grande Amoure had lived longe with La Bel Pucell, he was arrested by Aege, that brought unto him Polycy and Avaryce from “The Pastime of Pleasure: An Allegorical Poem” by Stephen Hawes

Thus as I lived in such pleasure gladde,
Into the chamber came full privily
A fajre olde man, and in his hand he hadde
A croked staffe; he wente full wekely:
Unto me than he came full softely,
And with his staffe he toke me on the brest.
Obey! he sajd, I must you nedes areste.

My name is Age, which have often sene
The lusty youth perysh unhappely,
Through the desert of the selfe I wene;
And evermore I do thinke inwardly,
That my dedes of you they were of great foly.
And thou thy selfe right joyous may be
To lyve so longe to be lyke to me.

Happy is they that may well overpasse
The narrow bridge over fragilite
Of his wanton youth, brytle as the glasse;
For the youth is open to all fraylte,
Redy to fall to great iniquite;
Full well is he that is brydeled fast
With fayre dame Reason tyll his youth be past.

I obejed his rest; there was no remedy;
My youth was past, and all my lustynes;
And right anone to us came Polizy,
With Avaryce bringing great riches;
My hole pleasure and delyte doubtles
Was set upon treasure insaciate,
It to beholde and for to aggregate.

The fleshly pleasure I had cast asyde,
Lytle I loved for to playe or daunce;
But ever I thought how I might provyde
To spare my treasure, land or substaunce.
This was my minde, and all my purveyaunce,
As upon deth I thought lytle or never,
But gadred riches as I should lyve ever.

From: Hawes, Stephen, The Pastime of Pleasure: An Allegorical Poem, by Stephen Hawes. Reprinted from the edition of 1555, 1846, Printed for The Percy Society by T Richards: London , pp. 202-203.
(http://archive.org/stream/pastimepleasure00wriggoog#page/n224/mode/2up)

Date: 1505

By: Stephen Hawes (?1475-1523)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Champagne Rosé by John Kenyon

Lily on liquid roses floating—
So floats yon foam o’er pink champagne:
Fain would I join such pleasant boating,
And prove that ruby main,
And float away on wine!

Those seas are dangerous (greybeards swear)
Whose sea-beach is the goblet’s brim;
And true it is they drown Old Care—
But what care we for him,
So we but float on wine?

And true it is they cross in pain
Who sober cross the Stygian ferry:
But only make our Styx champagne,
And we shall cross right merry,
Floating away on wine!

Old Charon’s self shall make him mellow,
Then gaily row his boat from shore;
While we and every jovial fellow,
Hear unconcern’d the oar
That dips itself in wine!

From: Kenyon, John, Poems: for the Most Part Occasional, 1838, Edward Moxon: London, p. 88-89
(http://books.google.com.au/books?id=NioNAAAAYAAJ&hl=en)

Date: 1837

By: John Kenyon (1784-1856)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

To the Friend of My Youth: To Kitty by Katherine (Kate) O’Flaherty Chopin

It is not all of life
To cling together while the years glide past.
It is not all of love
To walk with clasped hands from first to last.
That mystic garland which the spring did twine
Of scented lilac and the new-blown rose,
Faster than chains will hold my soul to thine
Thro’ joy, and grief, thro’ life–unto its close

From: http://www.katechopin.org/

Date: 1900

By: Katherine (Kate) O’Flaherty Chopin (1850-1904)

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Song by John Keble

They say I am no faithful swain,
Because I do not fold my arms,
And gaze and sigh, and gaze again,
And curse my fair one’s fatal charms.
I cannot weep, I cannot sigh,
My fair one’s heart laughs in her eye.
I cannot creep like weary wight,
My fair one’s step is free and light.

When fix’d in memory’s mirror dwells
Some dear-lov’d form to fleet no more,
Transform’d as by Arabian spells,
We catch the likeness we adore.
Then ah ! who would not love most true ?
Who would not be in love with you ?
So might he learn the bliss of heart
Which waits on those who bliss impart,
Might learn through smiles and tears to shine,
Like Angels, and like Caroline.

1811.

From: Keble, John, The Christian Year, Lyra Innocentium and Other Poems, 1914, Oxford University Press: London, p. 476.(http://archive.org/stream/christianyearlyr00kebluoft#page/476/mode/2up)

Date: 1811

By: John Keble (1792-1866)

Monday, 23 September 2013

The True Story of Snow White by Bruce Bennett

Almost before the princess had grown cold
Upon the floor beside the bitten fruit,
The Queen gave orders to her men to shoot
The dwarfs, and thereby clinched her iron hold
Upon the state. Her mirror learned to lie,
And no one dared speak ill of her for fear
She might through her devices overhear.
So, in this manner, many years passed by,
And now today not even children weep
When someone whispers how, for her beauty’s sake,
A child was harried once into a grove
And doomed, because her heart was full of love,
To lie forever in unlovely sleep
Which not a prince on earth has power to break.

From: http://www.versedaily.org/ttsosw.shtml

Date: 2003

By: Bruce Bennett (1940- )

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Ballad of Fair Oscar by Charles Waddell Chesnutt

Fair Oscar is a youth who dwells
On the Fifth Avenue;
He is the toniest of swells;
But what does Oscar do?

He rides, he drives, he turns his wheel,
On Fifth Avenue, For manly sports is full of zeal;
What else does Oscar do?

He sleeps, he smokes, he drinks, he eats,
On Fifth Avenue,
And at the club his friends he meets;
What else does Oscar do?

He basks in beauty’s sunny smile;
The ladies are not few
Who fain would live in Oscar’s style,
On Fifth Avenue.

He spends the wealth his father earned-
A thrifty man and true-
What’er he touched to money turned;
What else does Oscar do?

O Oscar! cease this idle life
On Fifth Avenue;
Go start a bank, or take a wife-
Find something else to do.

This active age of ours can give
Each man some work to do;
It is not all of life to live . . .
On Fifth Avenue.

From: http://faculty.berea.edu/browners/chesnutt/Works/Poems/ballad.html

Date: 1886

By: Charles Waddell Chesnutt (1858-1932)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Poem by Lawrence George Durrell

Find time hanging, cut it down
All the universe you own.

Masterless and still untamed
Poet, lead the race you’ve shamed.

Lover, cut the rational knot
That made your thinking rule-of-thumb.

And barefoot on the plum-dark hills
Go Wander in Elysium.

From: Durrell, Lawrence, The Poetry of Lawrence Durrell, 1962, E P Dutton & Co Inc: New York, p. 7.
(http://archive.org/stream/poetryoflawrence00durr#page/6/mode/2up)

Date: 1955

By: Lawrence George Durrell (1912-1990)