Archive for April, 2015

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Alone in Spring by Caroline Giltinan

I never met the Spring alone before:
The flowers, birds, the loveliness of trees,
For with me always there was one I love—
And love is shield against such gifts as these.

But now I am alone, alone, alone;
The days and nights one long remembering.
Did other Aprils that we shared possess
The hurting beauty of this living Spring?

I never met the Spring alone before—
My starving grief—this radiance of gold!…
To be alone, when Spring is being born,
One should be dead—or suddenly grown old.


Date: 1920

By: Caroline Giltinan (1884-19??)

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Raising the Devil: A Legend of Cornelius Agrippa by Richard Harris Barham (Thomas Ingoldsby)

‘And hast thou nerve enough?’ he said,
That Grey old Man, above whose head
Unnumber’d years had roll’d,—
‘And hast thou nerve to view,’ he cried,
‘The incarnate Fiend that Heaven defied!
— Art thou indeed so bold?’

‘Say, canst Thou, with unshrinking gaze,
Sustain, rash youth, the withering blaze
Of that unearthly eye,
That blasts where’er it lights,— the breath
That, like the Simoom, scatters death
On all that yet can die!

—‘Darest thou confront that fearful form,
That rides the whirlwind, and the storm,
In wild unholy revel!
The terrors of that blasted brow,
Archangel’s once,— though ruin’d now —
— Ay,— dar’st thou face THE DEVIL?’—

‘I dare!’ the desperate Youth replied,
And placed him by that Old Man’s side,
In fierce and frantic glee,
Unblench’d his cheek, and firm his limb
—‘No paltry juggling Fiend, but HIM!
— THE DEVIL!— I fain would see!—

‘In all his Gorgon terrors clad,
His worst, his fellest shape!’ the Lad
Rejoined in reckless tone.—
—‘Have then thy wish!’ Agrippa said,
And sigh’d and shook his hoary head,
With many a bitter groan.

He drew the mystic circle’s bound,
With skull and cross-bones fenc’d around;
He traced full many a sigil there;
He mutter’d many a backward pray’r,
That sounded like a curse—
‘He comes!’— he cried with wild grimace,
‘The fellest of Apollyon’s race!’—
— Then in his startled pupil’s face
He dash’d — an EMPTY PURSE!!


Date: 1842

By: Richard Harris Barham (Thomas Ingoldsby) (1788-1845)

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Death Invoked by Philip Massinger

Why art thou slow, thou rest of trouble, Death,
To stop a wretch’s breath,
That calls on thee and offers her sad heart
A prey unto thy dart?
I am nor young nor fair; be, therefore, bold;
Sorrow hath made me old,
Deformed, and wrinkled; all that I can crave
Is quiet in my grave.
Such as live happy, hold long life a jewel,
But to me thou art cruel
If thou end not my tedious misery,
And I soon cease to be.
Strike, and strike home, then; pity unto me,
In one short hour’s delay, is tyranny.


Date: 1631

By: Philip Massinger (1583-1640)

Monday, 27 April 2015

A Disuasive from Marriage. To Cloe by Susanna Freeman Carroll Centlivre

May all be hush’d, each ruder Passion cease,
Within my Cloe’s Breast, may all be Peace;
May the fair Nymph my am’rous Lines approve,
And say, with me, Wedlock’s the bane of Love.
MARRIAGE but palls our Joys, creating Strife,
And anxious Cares, and all the Woes of Life;
A Trick invented by some rigid Priest,
To plague our Lives, and cheat us of our Rest.

O MAY my Cloe love, and love for Life;
Yet never be that hated Thing, a Wife:
So shall my Charmer still fresh Bliss impart,
Kindle new Flames, and still possess my Heart.
While o’er thy snowy Breast I panting lye,
In melting Transport, and dissolving Joy;
With Heat and Vigour I embrace my Fair,
And in extatic Raptures breathe my Dear.

Form’d for my Bliss, urge not to give me Pain,
Nor gall thy Lover with the Marriage Chain.
The Wretch of Hymen fond, must undergo,
For one sweet Moon, successive Years of Woe;
To him the choicest Joys insipid prove,
And Duty is the Drudgery of Love.

Observe the wedded State, each fetter’d Pair,
Their Joys recount, and Miseries compare:
Was ever Man so loving to his Wife,
But wish’d the Fates to cut her Thread of Life?
Was ever Woman to her Lord so kind,
That has not pray’d to see him safe enshrin’d?
They often Death invoke to set ’em free,
So fond are Adam’s Race of Liberty.
The sweets of Love, which we by Stealth possess,
Impart fierce Raptures, and transcendant Bliss;
Such sweets in Cloe’s Arms I oft have known;
Then why will Cloe beg to be undone?
The Court and Cottage, both this Truth will prove,
Wedlock is no security for Love.
My Lord but marries to keep up his Name;
My Lady burns with an unlawful Flame:
My Lord, for Change, to public Stews repairs,
His Lordship’s Coachman gets his Lordship Heirs.

But Marriage is an honourable State;
And Heav’n to every Husband sends a Mate.
So Pedant Gown-Men Teach, yet even they,
In Love’s delightful Maze, are prone to stray:
Each in his Flock will hug the willing Dame,
And ev’ry Parish feels the sacred Flame.
An holy Church Celibacy reveres,
Her Priests renounce the matrimonial Cares;
The sacred Tribe aver that Ill, a Wife,
Is inconsistent with a religious Life;
And yet they all the Force of Love declare,
And ev’ry Gerard has his Saint Cadiere;
Where-ever Priests have pray’d, Love takes his rout,
And Popes have tasted the forbidden Fruit,
With trembling Knees unto this Altar come,
His Grace of and Holiness of Rome.
Who has not heard of Heloise’s Name,
What Nymph but pities Ab’ lard’s Grief and Shame.
The chastest Wife who reads the Story o’er,
As told by Pope, will Abelard deplore:
She’ll curse the barb’rous Hand that durst destroy,
The holy Root of Heloise’s Joy.

Does Cloe think I shall more constant prove,
If ty’d in Wedlock, and more truly Love?
My Love’s so great no Language can express,
I cannot love her more, I will not love her less:
And that my Passion may remain for Life,
I’ll call her still my Dear, but ne’er my Wife.

From: Centlivre, Susanna, “Abelard to Heloise. A Poem. In Answer to that wrote by Mr. Pope. By Mrs. C – E.R.” in The Lovers Cabinet: A Collection of Poems … Carefully Collated and Revised, 1755, L. Flin: Dublin, pp. 83-85.

Date: 1755

By: Susanna Freeman Carroll Centlivre (?1667-1723)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Gallipoli Peninsula by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

It was magical when flowers
appeared on the upper reaches –
not that we saw much of the upper reaches.
But when we did,
we were reminded of home
when spring clothed the hills with flowers.
The dead lying among them
seemed to be asleep.
I can never forget the early mornings,
before the killings started up,
when the sea was like a mirror
under little wisps of cloud
breathing on its surface, so dazzling
it hurt the eye.
and the ships, so many of them,
they darkened the sea.
But the evenings too were magical,
with such hues in the sky
over Macedonia,
so many colours, gold bars,
green, red, and yellow.
We noticed these things,
when the firing stopped and we had respite.
It was good to feel,
during such moments,
that we were human beings once more,
delighting in little things,
in just being human.


Date: 1999

By: Alistair Te Ariki Campbell (1925-2009)

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Anzac Cove by Leon Maxwell Gellert

There’s a lonely stretch of hillocks;
There’s a beach asleep and drear,
There’s a battered broken fort beside the sea.
There are sunken trampled graves;
And a little rotting pier;
And winding paths that wind unceasingly.
There’s a torn and silent valley;
There’s a tiny rivulet
With some blood upon the stones beside its mouth.
There are lines of buried bones;
There’s an unpaid waiting debt;
There’s a sound of gentle sobbing in the South.

January, 1916.


Date: 1916

By: Leon Maxwell Gellert (1892-1977)

Friday, 24 April 2015

To a Traveller by Necmettin Halil Onan

Stop wayfarer! Unbeknownst to you this ground
You come and tread on, is where an epoch lies;
Bend down and lend your ear, for this silent mound
Is the place where the heart of a nation sighs.

To the left of this deserted shadeless lane
The Anatolian slope now observe you well;
For liberty and honour, it is, in pain,
Where wounded Mehmet laid down his life and fell.

This very mound, when violently shook the land,
When the last bit of earth passed from hand to hand,
And when Mehmet drowned the enemy in flood,
Is the spot where he added his own pure blood.

Think, the consecrated blood and flesh and bone
That make up this mound, is where a whole nation,
After a harsh and pitiless war, alone
Tasted the joy of freedom with elation.


Date: 192? (in Turkish); 200? (in English)

By: Necmettin Halil Onan (1902-1968)

Translated by: Syed Tanvir Wasti (19??- )

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Laura. The First Part: II by Robert Tofte

Though I doo part, my Hart yet dooth not part;
My poore afflicted bodie parts in twaine,
And doth in peeces two devide my Hart:
One peece my fainting spirit doth sustaine,
The other part I leave with thee behinde,
(The better part, and of my hart most deere)
Then to that part so parted, be thou kinde,
And to the same impart thy loving cheere:
That I (returning) may againe unite
This parted Hart, and finde for griefe, delight.

From: R.T. Gentleman, Laura. The Toyes of a Traveller. OR The Feast of the Fancie. Divided into Three Parts, 1597, Valentine Sims: London, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 1597

By: Robert Tofte (?1562-1620)

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

To Stella by Hester Mulso Chapone

No more, my Stella, to the sighing shades,
Of blasted hope and luckless love complain;
But join the sports of Dian’s careless maids,
And laughing Liberty’s triumphant train.

And see, with these is holy Friendship found,
With chrystal bosom open to the sight;
Her gentle hand shall close the recent wound,
And fill the vacant heart with calm delight.

Nor Prudence slow, that ever comes too late,
Nor stern-brow’d Duty, check her gen’rous flame;
On all her footsteps Peace and Honour wait,
And Slander’s ready tongue reveres her name.

Say, Stella, what is Love, whose tyrant pow’r
Robs Virtue of content and Youth of joy?
What nymph or goddess, in a fatal hour,
Gave to the world this mischief-making boy?

By lying bards in forms so various shewn,
Deck’d with false charms or arm’d with terrors vain,
Who shall his real properties make known,
Declare his nature, and his birth explain?

Some say, of Idlness and Pleasure bred,
The smiling babe on beds of roses lay,
There, with sweet honey-dews by Fancy fed,
His blooming beauties open’d to the day.

His wanton head with fading chaplets bound,
Dancing, he leads his silly vot’ries on
To precipices deep o’er faithless ground,
Then laughing flies, nor hears their fruitless moan.

Some say from Etna’s burning entrails torn,
More fierce than tygers on the Libyan plain,
Begot in tempests, and in thunders born,
Love wildly rages like the foaming main.

With darts and flames some arm his feeble hands,
His infant brow with regal honours crown;
Whilst vanquish’d Reason, bound with silken bands,
Meanly submissive, falls before his throne.

Each fabling poet sure alike mistakes
The gentle pow’r that reigns o’er tender hearts!
Soft Love no tempest hurls, nor thunder shakes,
Nor lifts the flaming torch, nor poison’d darts.

Heav’n-born, the brightest seraph of the sky,
For Eden’s bow’r he left his blissful seat,
When Adam’s blameless suit was heard on high,
And beauteous Eve first chear’d his lone retreat.

At Love’s approach all earth rejoic’d, each hill,
Each grove that learnt it from the whisp’ring gale;
Joyous the birds their liveliest chorus fill,
And richer fragrance breathes in ev’ry vale.

Well pleased in Paradise awhile he roves,
With Innocence and Friendship, hand in hand;
Till Sin found entrance in the with’ring groves,
And frighted Innocence forsook the land.

But Love, still faithful to the guilty pair,
With them was driv’n amidst a world of woes,
Where oft he mourns his lost companion dear,
And trembling flies before his rigid foes.

Honour, in burnish’d steel completely clad,
And hoary Wisdom, oft against him arm;
Suspicion pale, and Disappointment sad,
Vain Hopes and frantic Fears his heart alarm.

Fly then, dear Stella, fly th’ unequal strife,
Since Fate forbids that Peace should dwell with Love!
Friendship’s calm joys shall glad thy future life,
And Virtue lead to endless bliss above.

From: Chapone, Mrs., Miscellanies in Prose and Verse, The Third Edition, To which is now first added, A Letter to a new-married Lady, 1777, E. and C. Dilly and J. Walter: London, pp. 146-149.

Date: 1775

By: Hester Mulso Chapone (1727-1801)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Blind Spot by Angus Sinclair

Whether or not the sky is like bath tiles
you scoop those soft boiled egg whites for crabmeat,
add too much salt. I crack your paperbacks’
spines, and the ice cubes in your wine glass creak.

I quietly skip the dull pages. Lunch
is cognac and canned trout. When the thunder
barrels in it’s lights out at the chalet
park. No mirrors are empty mirrors, or

all mirrors are empty mirrors you said,
picking the sand out of the sugar bowl.
That small perpetual noise is not a clock,
there’s more sand in the bed sheets and bath towels.

We are in and out, regular as breath.
The wasps’ nest over the door is a wreath.


Date: 2013

By: Angus Sinclair (19??- )