Archive for February, 2015

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

To the King by Thomas Middleton

A harmless game, raised merely for delight,
Was lately played by the Black House and White.
The White side won, but now the Black House brag
They changed the game and put me in the bag–
And that which makes malicious joy more sweet,
I lie now under hatches in the Fleet.
Use but your royal hand, my hopes are free;
‘Tis but removing of one man—that’s me,
Tho. Middleton.

From: Middleton, Thomas; Taylor, Gary and Lavagnino (eds.), Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works, 2010, Oxford University Press: Oxford, p. 1895.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=P-rZIXKHkSsC)

Date: 1624

By: Thomas Middleton (1580-1627)

Advertisements
Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Obviam by Thomas Edward Brown

I needs must meet him, for he hath beset
All roads that men do travel, hill and plain;
Nor aught that breathes shall pass
Unchallenged of his debt.
But what and if, when I shall whet
My front to meet him, then, as in a glass,
Darkly, I shall behold that he is twain —
Earthward a mask of jet,
Heavenward a coronet
Sun-flushed with roseate gleams — In any case
It hardly can be called a mortal pain
To meet whom met I ne’er shall meet again.

From: Brown, T.E., The Collected Poems of T.E. Brown, 1900, MacMillan and Co Ltd: London, p. 733.
(https://archive.org/stream/collectedpoemst00browgoog#page/n754/mode/2up

Date: 1893

By: Thomas Edward Brown (1830-1897)

Monday, 16 February 2015

Silt Whisper by Ailbhe Darcy

That summer one-eyed jacks were wild:
we learned new rules, left tea to brew.

Smoke stilled air. Leaves lay unturned.
Unemployment was another high.

I had been a storm in a polystyrene cup,
seeking scald, steam, instance, but now

We drew up lists; mapped out desire lines; skipped
interviews to collect blooms; paused before flight.

The only record of that time the silt of prophecy,
the memory of weight in our cupped hands.

For a short while we held the one breath:
I could never set it down.

From: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/sep/24/poem-week-silt-whisper-ailbhe-darcy

Date: 2010

By: Ailbhe Darcy (1981- )

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Of Money by Barnabe Googe

Give money me, take friendship whoso list,
For friends are gone, come once adversity,
When money yet remaineth safe in chest,
That quickly can thee bring from misery;
Fair face show friends when riches do abound;
Come time of proof, farewell, they must away;
Believe me well, they are not to be found
If God but send thee once a lowering day.
Gold never starts aside, but in distress,
Finds ways enough to ease thine heaviness.

From: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poems/googe.money.html

Date: 1563

By: Barnabe Googe (1540-1594)

Saturday, 14 February 2015

A Health by Edward Coote Pinkney

I fill this cup to one made up of loveliness alone,
A woman, of her gentle sex the seeming paragon;
To whom the better elements and kindly stars have given
A form so fair, that, like the air, ‘t is less of earth than heaven.

Her every tone is music’s own, like those of morning birds,
And something more than melody dwells ever in her words;
The coinage of her heart are they, and from her lips each flows
As one may see the burthened bee forth issue from the rose.

Affections are as thoughts to her, the measures of her hours;
Her feelings have the fragrancy, the freshness, of young flowers;
And lovely passions, changing oft, so fill her, she appears
The image of themselves by turns,—the idol of past years!

Of her bright face one glance will trace a picture on the brain,
And of her voice in echoing hearts a sound must long remain;
But memory such as mine of her so very much endears,
When death is nigh my latest sigh will not be life’s but hers.

I filled this cup to one made up of loveliness alone,
A woman, of her gentle sex the seeming paragon—
Her health! and would on earth there stood some more of such a frame,
That life might be all poetry, and weariness a name.

From: http://www.bartleby.com/102/34.html

Date: 1825

By: Edward Coote Pinkney (1802-1828)

Friday, 13 February 2015

I Could Go, But Why Should I? by Shakti Chattopadhyay

I think it best to turn around

My hands smeared so black
For so long
Never thought of you, as yours

When I stand by the ravine at night
The moon calls to me, come
When I stand by the Ganga, asleep
The pyre calls to me, come

I could go
I could go either way
But why should I?

I shall kiss my child’s face

I’ll go
But not just yet
Not alone, unseasonably

From: http://www.caravanmagazine.in/poetry/five-poems-0

Date: 1983 (original in Bengali); 2013 (translation in English)

By: Shakti Chattopadhyay (1933-1995)

Translated by: Arunava Sinha (19??- )

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Common Grave by Sydney Thompson Dobell

Last night beneath the foreign stars I stood
And saw the thoughts of those at home go by
To the great grave upon the hill of blood.
Upon the darkness they went visibly,
Each in the vesture of its own distress.
Among them there came One, frail as a sigh,
And like a creature of the wilderness
Due with her bleeding hands. She neither cried
Nor wept: nor did she see the many stark
And dead that lay unburied at her side.
All night she toiled, and at that time of dawn,
When Day and Night do change their More or Less,
And Day is More, I saw the melting Dark
Stir to the last, and knew she laboured on.

From: Dobell, Sydney, The Poems of Sydney Dobell: Selected, with an Introductory Memoir by Mrs. Dobell, 1887, Walter Scott, Limited: London, p. 63.
(https://archive.org/stream/poemsofsydneydob00dobe#page/62/mode/2up)

Date: 1855

By: Sydney Thompson Dobell (1824-1874)

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Back and Side Go Bare by William Stevenson

Back and side go bare, go bare,
Both foot and hand go cold;
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
Whether it be new or old.

I cannot eat but little meat,
My stomach is not good;
But sure I think that I can drink
With him that wears a hood.
Though I go bare, take ye no care,
I am nothing a-cold;
I stuff my skin so full within
Of jolly good ale and old.
Back and side go bare, go bare,
Both foot and hand go cold;
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
Whether it be new or old.

I love no roast but a nutbrown toast,
And a crab laid in the fire;
A little bread shall do me stead,
Much bread I not desire.
No frost nor snow, no wind, I trow,
Can hurt me if I would,
I am so wrapt, and throughly lapt
Of jolly good ale and old.
Back and side go bare, go bare,
Both foot and hand go cold;
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
Whether it be new or old.

And Tib my wife, that as her life
Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinks she, till ye may see
The tears run down her cheek.
Then doth she troll to me the bowl,
Even as a maltworm should;
And saith,”Sweetheart, I took my part
Of this jolly good ale and old.”
Back and side go bare, go bare,
Both foot and hand go cold;
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
Whether it be new or old.

Now let them drink, till they nod and wink,
Even as good fellows should do;
They shall not miss to have the bliss
Good ale doth bring men to.
And all poor souls that have scoured bowls,
Or have them lustily troll’d,
God save the lives of them and their wives,
Whether they be young or old.
Back and side go bare, go bare,
Both foot and hand go cold;
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
Whether it be new or old.

From: http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poems/back-and-side-go-bare

Date: c1560

By: William Stevenson (1530-1575)

Alternative Title: Jolly Good Ale and Old

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Renaissance by Éireann Lorsung

It is the ridged roofing, tin and rust, gutter running
end to end, how sound ripples over it; a longing.

Rays from behind clouds, a prism, everything
I am is breaking open into light. What wings

there are in the world, take flight. Nothing
more than this (nothing more than this), being

between red brick and granite, radio towers’ distant sighing:
although this is autumn, almost a spring.

From: http://www.caffeinedestiny.com/poetry/lorsung.html

Date: 2007

By: Éireann Lorsung (19??- )

Monday, 9 February 2015

Venus Victrix by William Bledsoe Philpot

So there, my perilous warriouresse, you pose
At once Love’s champion and his deadest prize;
Oh! in what proud array your beauty goes!
See what rare levin flashes from your eyes!
Your words far worse than all artilleries,
As though you ranked me with your deadliest foes;
Your beauty vaunting what your grace denies,
Why draw me, dare me, to a fatal close?
Or else why wear that ventayle on your brow.
Your wimpled locks a plumèd burganet,
A tower impregnable your neck of snow.
On either cheek a blood-red banneret.
Your breasts — brave outworks which you dare me scale —
Well! Love be dayesman — if I fail, I fail.

From: Philpot, William and Philpot, Hamlet (ed.), A Scrip of Salvage from the Poems of William Philpot, M.A., Oxon., 1891, Macmillan and Co.: London, p. 6.
(https://archive.org/stream/ascripsalvagefr00philgoog#page/n22/mode/2up)

Date: 1891 (published)

By: William Bledsoe Philpot (1823-1889)