Archive for ‘General’

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Done Drinking My New Year’s Wine by Lu You

Done drinking my New Year’s wine,
truly now an eighty-year-old man,
Used to worry outspokenness would be my death,
now content just to be poor and write poems.
Rice cheap — that means no thieves this year;
cloudy skies foretell another good harvest.
Something in the food bowl — what other cares?
Smiling, happy, I tag along with the young boys.

From: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2007/11/04/books/rural-living-of-an-old-man-who-does-as-he-pleases/#.WYL5kOS1uM8

Date: 1204 (original); 2007 (translation)

By: Lu You (1125-1209)

Translated by: Burton DeWitt Watson (1925-2017)

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Londineses Lacrymæ: Londons Second Tears Mingled with her Ashes by John Crouch

Thou Queen of Cities, whose unbounded fame
Shadow’d thy Country and thy Countries Name!
London! that word fill’d the vast Globe; Japan
Saluted Londoner for English-man.
‘Twas thy peculiar, and unrivall’d pride
At greatest distance to be magnify’d.
When thy next Christian Sister scarce do’s know
Whether there be another World or no:
When the false Dutch more known in Forreign parts,
Buy scorn with gold; Merchants of wealth not hearts.
Good Heavens, good in the most severe Decree!
Must London first burn in Epitomie,
And then in gross? Must, O sharp vengeance! Must
The Glory of the World kiss her own dust?
Shall then this Mole-Hill, and it’s Ants expire
By parcels, some by water, some by fire?
Or do great things, like restless Circles, tend
From their first point, unto the last, their End?
When neither Forreign nor Domestick Wars,
The Distillations of malignant Stars,
Thunder from Heaven, nor it’s Terrestial Ape
Gun-powder, could thy total ruine shape;
Nor the long smotherings of Fanatick heats,
Which when they broke out ended in cold sweats:
Shall Balls of Sulphur (Hells blew Tapers) light
Poor London to its fun’ral in one night?
Shall Britains great Metropolis become
Alike in both her Fortunes to old Rome?
Whose Seat (if we believe Antiquitie)
Is full as old, though not so proud as she;
Surviv’d the Cornucopia of her Hills:
Time, strongest Towns, as well as Bodies, kills!
But when her Life had drawn so long a breath,
Must she be mow’d down by a sudden Death?
Three days undo three thousand years? O yes,
One day (when that one comes) shall more than this;
Shall make the World one fatal Hearth, That Day
The last that ever Hearth shall Tribute pay;
Though now as just as Law; (And they that Curse
This Duty, may they want both Hearth and Purse.)
But as in three days our Jerus’lem fell,
And gave the World an easie miracle:
So three (O golden Number) years being gone,
Shall spring old London’s Resurrection.
Now (dearest City) let my Pencil trace
The scatter’d lines of thy dis-figur’d Face;
Dropping tears as I pass; tears shed too late
To quench thy Heats, and bribe thy stubborn fate!
This dreadful Fire first seiz’d a narrow Lane,
As if the Dutch or French had laid a Train.
But grant they or that Boutifeu their Roy,
Form’d this Cheval for Britain’s envy’d Troy;
These might the stroke, did not the wound dispense,
Were but the Vulcans of Jove’s Providence.
Sin was the Common Cause, no faction freed;
Here all dissenting Parties were agreed.
And let the Author of our welfare, be
The welcome Author of our Miserie!
Rather than Enemies, who but fulfil
Heavens just decrees, more by Instinct then Skill!
The fierce flame gathering strength had warm’d th’Air
And chill’d the people into cold despair:
With swift wing from it straitned Corner posts,
And forth-with Fish-street and fat East-cheap rosts.
Sunday (to scourge our guilty Rest with shame)
Had giv’n, full dispensation to the flame.
Now London-Bridge (expected to provide
Auxiliar forces from the other side)
Alarum’d by the fall of Neighb’ring Bells
Takes fire, and sinks into its stony Cells;
Blocks up the way with rubbish, and dire flames,
Threatning to choke his undermining Thames.
Southwark, shut out, on it’s own banks appear’d
As once when fiery Cromwell domineer’d.
Thames-street hastens it ashes, to prevent
All aids and succours from the River sent.
The heated wind his flaming arrows cast,
Which snatch’d both ends, and burnt the middle last.
Now the proud flame had took the open field
And after hearts were vanquish’d, all things yeild!
Rores thorough Cannon-street and Lombardie
Triumphing o’re the Cities Liberty.
This fiery Dragon, higher still it flyes,
The more extends his wings, and louder cryes.
Just so that spark of Treason, (first supprest
In the dark angles of some private brest)
Breaks through the Mouth and Nostrills into Squibs,
And having fir’d the Author’s reins and ribs,
Kindles from man to man by subtile Art,
Till Rebells are become the major part:
Thus late Fanaticks in their Zeal of pride
March from close Wood-street into broad Cheap-side.
Now all in Coaches, Carrs, and Waggons flye,
London is sack’d withour an Enemy.
All things of beauty, shatter’d lost and gone;
Little of London whole but London-stone.
As if those Bull-works of her Wall and Thames
Serv’d but to Circle, and besiege her flames!
Such active Rams beat from each opposite Wall,
You would have judg’d the fire an Animal.
When (strangely) it from adverse Windows ror’d:
Neighbour his Neighbour kindl’d and devour’d.
Houses the Churches, Churches Houses fir’d,
While profane Sparks against divine conspir’d.
This devastation makes one truth appear,
How sanctimonious our fore-fathers were;
How thick they built their Temples, long conceal’d
By lofty Buildings, now in flames reveal’d.
Then one small Church serv’d many Preists, but they
The truth is, eat not rost meat every day.
Now the profane, not superstitious Rout
(Whose faith ascends no higher than to doubt)
May, without help of weekly papers, tell
Their Churches, to their Eyes made visible.
Our Non-conformists (if not harden’d) may
Scatter some tears, where once they scorn’d to pray.
Now the Imperious Element did range
Without Controle, kept a full Ev’ning Change.
Where the religious Spices for some Hours,
Seem’d to burn Incense to th’ incensed Powers.
At last the flame grown quite rebellious, calls
Our Sacred Monarchs to new Funeralls.
The Conquerour here Conquer’d, tumbles down
As Conscious of the burthen of a Crown.
Only the good old Founder, standing low,
His Station kept, and saw the dismal Show.
Though the Change broke, he’s not one penny worse,
Stands firm resolv’d to visit his new Burse.
Which by her Opticks happily was sav’d,
And for the honour of the City pav’d.
Here a good sum of active Silver rais’d
Th’ ingenious Beggar, and wise Donors prais’d.
All fall to work, assisted by the Guard,
To whom, and money, nothing seemed hard.
Here fires met fires, but industry reclaims
Lost hope, and quench’d a Parliament of flames.
Mean time the Neighb’ring Steeple trembling stood,
Defended not by Stone, nor Brick, but Wood:
Yet was secure ’cause low; to let us see
What safety waits upon humilitie!
When Lawrence, Three-Cranes, Cornhill, lofty Bow,
Are all chastis’d, for making a proud show.
One Steeple lost its Church, but not one Bell;
Reserv’d by fate to Ring the City’s Knell.
Now the Circumference from every part
The Center scalds; poor London pants at heart!
Cheapside the fair, is at a fatal loss
Wants the old blessing of her golden Cross.
Poor Paul the Aged has been sadly tost,
Reform’d, then after Reformation lost;
Plac’d in a Circle of Heaven’s fiery wrath:
The Saint was tortur’d when he broke his Faith!
At the East-End a spacious sheet of Lead
(Rent from the rest) his Altar canoped;
But from its Coale below strange fires did rise,
And the whole Temple prov’d the sacrifice.
Altars may others save, but cannot be
(When Heaven forsakes ’em) their own Sanctuarie!
Then was their doleful Musick as the Quire,
When the sweet Organs breath was turn’d to fire.
Was ‘t not enough the holy Church had been
Invaded in her Rites and Discipline?
Must her known Fundamentals be baptiz’d
In purging flames, and Paul’s School chatechiz’d?
She that had long her tardy Pupills stripp’d,
Is now her self with fiery Scorpions whipp’d.
But when I pass the sacred Martyrs West
I close my Eyes and smite my troubled Breast;
What shall we now for his dear Mem’ry do
When fire un-carves, and Stones are mortal too?
Let it stand un-repair’d, for ever keep
Its mournful dress, thus for its Founder weep.
By this time Lud with the next Newgate smokes,
And their dry Pris’ners in the Dungeon chokes;
Who left by Keepers to their own reprives
Broke Goale, not for their Liberty but Lives;
While good Eliza on the out-side Arch
Fir’d into th’ old Mode, stands in Yellow Starch.
Though fancy makes not Pictures live, or love,
Yet Pictures fancy’d may the fancy move:
Me-thinks the Queen on White-Hall cast her Eye;
An Arrow could not more directly flye.
But when she saw her Palace safe, her fears
Vanish, one Eye drops smiles, the other tears.
Where (Christ-Church) is thy half-Cathedral now?
Fallen too? then all but Heaven to Fate must bow!
Where is thy famous Hospital? must still
The greatest good be recompens’d with ill?
That House of Orphans clad in honest blew;
The World’s Example, but no parallel knew.
Cold Charity has been a long Complaint,
Here she was too warm like a martyr’d Saint.
Where are those stately Fabricks of our Halls,
Founders of sumptuous Feasts and Hospitalls?
Where is the Guild, that place of grand resort
For Civil Rights, the Royal Cities Court?
Forc’d to take Sanctuary in the Tower,
To show, what safety is in Regal Power!
Not Gog or Magog could defend it; These
Had they had sense, had been in Little-Ease.
Chymnies and shatter’d Walls we gaze upon
Our Bodie Politicks sad Skeleton!
Now was the dismal Conflagration stopp’d,
Having some branches of the Suburbs lopp’d.
Though most within the verge; As if th’ ad show’d
Their mutual freedome was to be destroy’d.
When after one dayes rest. The Temple smokes,
And with fresh fires and fears the Strand provokes
But with good Conduct all was slak’d that night
By one more valiant than a Templar Knight.
Here a brisk Rumour of affrighted Gold
Sent hundreds in; more Covetous than bold.
But a brave Seaman up the Tyles did skip
As nimbly as the Cordage of a Ship,
Bestrides the sings’d Hall on its highest ridge,
Moving as if he were on London-Bridge,
Or on the Narrow of a Skullers Keel:
Feels neither head nor heart nor spirits reel.
Had some few Thousands been as bold as hee,
And London, in her fiery Tryal free;
Then (with submission to the highest will)
London now buried had been living still.
Thus Chant the people, who are seldom wise
Till things be past, before-hand have no Eyes.
But when I sigh my self into a pause,
I find another more determin’d cause:
Had Tyber swell’d his monstrous Waves, and come
Over the seven Hills of our flaming Rome,
‘T had been in vain: no less than Noah’s flood.
Can quench flames kindled by a Martyr’s blood.
Now Loyal London has full Ransome paid
For that Defection the Disloyal made:
Whose Ashes hatch’d by a kind Monarch’s breath,
Shall rise a fairer Phoenix after Death.

From: Crouch, John, Londineses Lacrymæ Londons Second Tears Mingled with her Ashes: A Poem, 2007, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford.
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A35206.0001.001)

Date: 1666

By: John Crouch (fl. 1660-1681)

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Imagine the South by George Woodcock

Imagine the South from which these migrants fled,
Dark-eyed, pursued by arrows, crowned with blood,
Imagine the stiff stone houses and the ships
Blessed with wine and salt, the quivering tips
Of spears and edges signalling in the sun
From swords unscabbarded and sunk in brine,
Imagine the cyclamen faces and yielding breasts
Hungered after in a dead desert of icy mists,
Imagine, for though oblivious, you too are cast
Exile upon a strange and angry coast.

Going into exile away from youth,
You too are losing a country in the south,
Losing, in the red daylight of a new shore
Where you are hemmed by solitude and fear,
The loving faces far over a sea of time,
The solid comfort and the humane dream
Of a peaceful sky, the consoling patronage
And the golden ladder to an easy age,
All these are lost, for you too have gone away
From your Southern home upon a bitter journey.

There is no home for you marked on the compass.
I see no Penelope at the end of your Odysseys,
And all the magic islands will let you down.
Do not touch the peaches and do not drink the wine,
For the Dead Sea spell will follow all you do,
And do not talk of tomorrow, for to you
There will only be yesterday, only the fading land,
The boats on the shore and tamarisks in the sand
Where the beautiful faces wait, and the faithful friends.
They will people your mind. You will never touch their hands.

From: https://allpoetry.com/George-Woodcock

Date: 1947

By: George Woodcock (1912-1995)

Monday, 7 August 2017

The Dead Moon by Caroline Danske Bedinger Dandridge

We are ghost-ridden:
Through the deep night
Wanders a spirit,
Noiseless and white;
Loiters not, lingers not, knoweth not rest,
Ceaselessly haunting the East and the West.
She, whose undoing the ages have wrought,
Moves on to the time of God’s rhythmical thought.
In the dark, swinging sea,
As she speedeth through space,
She reads her pale image;
The wounds are agape on her face.
She sees her grim nakedness
Pierced by the eyes
Of the Spirits of God
In their flight through the skies.
(Her wounds,–they are many and hollow.)
The Earth turns and wheels as she flies,
And this Spectre, this Ancient, must follow.

When, in the aeons,
Had she beginning?
What is her story?
What was her sinning?
Do the ranks of the Holy Ones
Know of her crime?
Does it loom in the mists
Of the birthplace of Time?
The stars, do they speak of her
Under their breath,
“Will this Wraith be forever
thus restless in death?”
On, through immensity,
Sliding and stealing,
On, through infinity,
Nothing revealing?

I see the fond lovers:
They walk in her light;
They charge the “soft maiden”
To bless their love-plight.
Does she laugh in her place,
As she glideth through space?
Does she laugh in her orbit with never a sound?
That to her, a dead body,
With nothing but rents in her round–
Blighted and marred,
Wrinkled and scarred,
Barren and cold,
Wizened and old–
That to her should be told,
That to her should be sung
The yearning and burning of them that are young?

Our Earth that is young,
That is throbbing with life,
Has fiery upheavals,
Has boisterous strife;
But she that is dead has not stir, breathes no air;
She is calm, she is voiceless, in lonely despair.

From: http://www.lehigh.edu/~dek7/SSAWW/writ19CenDand.htm

Date: 1888

Caroline Danske Bedinger Dandridge (1854-1914)

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Larke by Hester Ley Pulter

See how Arachne doth her Howres Pass
In weaving Tincile on the verdent Grass
Look how it glitters, now the sun doth Rise
The Bane of Harmles sheep, and death of flyes
And over it the slow and Unctious Snayl
In winding knots doth draw a slimey Trayl
The cheerfull Lark as in the Ayr shee Flyes
And on this Gossomeire casts down her eyes
Takes it for Merrours Laid by Rurall swains
And therefore fears to Light upon the plains
But with alacrity aloft shee Flyes
And early Sings her Morning sacrifice
And in her Language magnifies his Name
From whose imensity all creatures came
Doe thou my soul sing too, let none on earth
Or Ayr beyond thee goe, think on thy Birth
For though my Body’s dust, thou art a Spark
Celestiall, For shame out sing the Lark
Shee hath but one life that shee spends in praise
Tho hast and shallt have two, yet wat’s thy dayes
In Bleeding sighs, and Fruitless briney tears
In Melancholly thoughts vain causles Fears
Learn thou of this sweet Ayry Chorister
Doe thou her her cheerfull Actions Register
For I have seen Walking one summers day
To take the Ayr when Flora did display
Her youthfull Pride as shee did smileing Pass
She threw her Flowered Mantle on the Grass
Which strait allured a Sunburnt Rurall Clown
To come and Mow thes Fadeing Beuties Down
Unbracet, unblest hee doth with hast repair
This valley to deflower, then Temp’ more faire
Thus stew’d in sweet this Gripple hide bound slave
Cuts nere the Ground the greater Crop to have
Greedy of gain and sweltring him hee high’d
Mowing by chance neare where a spring did Glide
That in her Purling Language seemd to chide
Because hee Rob’d her of her chiefest pride
But hee Regardles of her murmering Woe
Still nearer to the Rill did straddling Goe
In this sweet place the Lark tooke such delight
Because it shadey was and out of sight
By this cool Rivolet shee took such Pleasure
That here shee placed her Young, even all her treasure
Was here inclosed, in one round little nest
Which this indulgent Bird warm’d with her brest
And by the Eccho of this Bubling Spring
Shee meant to teach her Ayry Young to sing
But in a Moment all her Joys were Quasht
In twinckling of an eye her hopes were Dasht
For this bold scoundrill without Fear or wit
Her Pritty Globe like Nest in Sunder split
Some are in Middle Cut, Some of their Head
Thus all her Young are either Maimd or Dead
One not quite kild doth weakly Fly about
Which soon perceived is by this Rude Lowt
Who Throws his Syth away to it doth run
Meaning to carry it to his little Son
Which having caught and it in ins Pocket put
Withs swetty Glove hee doth’t in prison shut
Next day hee Gives it to his crying squale
Who in a thred this pretty Bird doth Hale
Hither and thither, as his fond desire
Him Leads but ear’t bee Night it doth expire
The poor old Dam seeing this sad Massacker
With heavie Heart to her light Wings betakes her
Yet Hovering below in hope to find
Some of her Brood according to their kind
To Follow her, but seeing at Last’s ther’s none
That doth survive shee sadly makes her moan
Yet mounts and sings, Though in a sadder Tone
Thus as thou art afflicted here below
My troubled soul, still nearer Heaven goe
Let every troublesome Heart breaking Cross
Like Surly Billowes to thy Haven thee Toss
And As thy Friends And Lovly Children Die
Soe thou my soul to Heaven for Comfort Fly
There doe thou place thy whole and sole delight
There There are Joys nere seen by Mortall sight
Bee thou Possest my soul with those true Joys
And thou shalt Find worldly delights meer toys
Fix thou thy mind where those true pleasures dwell
Thou shalt noe leasure have to feare a Hell
And when Death ceaseth on thy Mortall Part
Thou mayest indure it with a constant Heart
And when thy Last Friends close thy Roleing Eye
Then chang thy place but not thy company.

From: Millman, Jill Seal and Wright, Gillian (eds.), Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry, 2005, Manchester University Press: Manchester and New York, pp. 119-121.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=snvLcOauKWMC)

Date: c1645

By: Hester Ley Pulter (c1607-1678)

Thursday, 3 August 2017

On a Rainy Autumn Night by Choi Chiwon

I sing a bitter song on the autumn wind,
with very few who really appreciate it.
Outside the world drips midnight rain:
under the lamplight, my thoughts drift far away.

From: https://leonarddurso.com/2013/11/08/on-a-rainy-autumn-night-by-choe-chi-won/

Date: 9th-10th century (original); 1987 (translation)

By: Choi Chiwon (857-after 924)

Translated by: Kim Jong-gil (1926-2017)

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A Rave in North Norfolk by Tim Cockburn

For Laura

After the rave the steamed-up Peugeots
that, nightlong, blunted the field’s edge
slunk off one by one like a flagging picket,
leaving a stillness of litter-strewn hedges
the waterfowl dared enter back into.
On the lawn tall shadows tucked stickered decks
into retracted back seats, whilst the few
who remained in the lamp-lit mill slept,
not noticing how like kicked up sediment
settling the displaced calm restored
itself around them, or how, beyond the lane,
the shallow-pooled stretches sharpened:
the coloured smudge of ballast and gorse
beside a decelerating train.

From: https://peonymoon.wordpress.com/tag/tim-cockburn-poems/

Date: 2011

By: Tim Cockburn (1985- )

Monday, 31 July 2017

Flying Fish by Mary McNeil Fenollosa (Sidney McCall)

Out where the sky and the sky blue sea
Merge in a mist of sheen,
There started a vision of silver things,
A leap and a quiver, a flash of wings
The sky and the sea between.

Is it of birds from the blue above,
Or fish from the depths that be?
Or is it the ghosts
In silver hosts
Of birds that were drowned at sea?

From: Fenollosa, Mary McNeil, Out of the Nest. A Flight of Verses, 1899, Little, Brown and Company: Boston, p. 8.
(https://archive.org/details/outofnestflighto00feno)

Date: 1899

By: Mary McNeil Fenollosa (Sidney McCall) (1865-1954)

Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Head-Ach, or An Ode to Health by Jane Cave Winscom

Inserted in the Bristol Newspaper by the AUTHOR, May 25, 1793.

O HEALTH! thou dear invaluable guest!
Thy rosy subjects, how supremely blest!
Hear the blith milk-maid and the plough-boy sing,
Nor envy they the station of a king;
While Kings thy sweets to gain would gladly bow,
Resign their crowns and guide the rustic’s plough:
Thou pearl surpassing riches, power or birth!
Of blessings thou the greatest known on earth!
Thy value’s found like that of bards of yore,
We know to prize thee when thou art no more!

Ah! Why from me; art thou for ever flown?
Why deaf to ev’ry agonizing groan?
Not one short month for ten revolving years,
But pain within my frame its sceptre rears!
In each successive month full twelve long days
And tedious nights my sun withdraws his rays!
Leaves me in silent anguish on my bed,
Afflicting all the members in the head;
Through ev’ry particle the torture flies,
But centers in the temples, brain and eyes;
The efforts of the hands and feet are vain,
While bows the head with agonizing pain;
While heaves the breast th’ unutterable sigh,
And the big tear drops from the languid eye.
For ah! my children want a mother’s care,
A husband too, should due assistance share;
Myself for action form’d would fain thro’ life
Be found th’ assiduous–valuable wife;
But now, behold, I live unfit for aught;
Inactive half my days except in thought,
And this so vague while torture clogs my hours,
I sigh, Oh, ‘twill derange my mental powers!
Or by its dire excess dissolve my sight,
And thus entomb me in perptual night!

Ye sage Physicians, where’s your wonted skill?
In vain the blisters, bolusses and pill;
Great Neptune’s swelling waves in vain I try’d,
My malady its utmost power defy’d;
In vain the British and Cephalic Snuff,
All Patent Medicines are empty stuff;
The launcet, leech, and cupping swell the train
Of useless efforts, which but gave me pain;
Each art and application rain has prov’d,
For ah! my sad complaint is not remo’v’d.

Live’s one on earth possess’d of sympathy,
Who knows what is presum’d a remedy?
O send it hither! I again would try,
Tho’ in the attempt of conqu’ring I die.
For thus to languish on is worse than death,
And I have hope if Heav’n recall my breath.

From: Cave, Jane. Poems on various subjects, entertaining, elegiac, and religious, by Miss Cave, now Mrs. Winscom. The fourth edition, corrected and improved, with many additional poems, never before published, 1794, N. Biggs: Bristol, pp. 152-155.
(http://find.galegroup.com.rp.nla.gov.au/ecco/infomark.do?&source=gale&prodId=ECCO&userGroupName=nla&tabID=T001&docId=CW113705350&type=multipage&contentSet=ECCOArticles&version=1.0&docLevel=FASCIMILE)

Date: 1793

By: Jane Cave Winscom (?1754-1812)

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Sweet Suffolk Owl by Thomas Vautor

Sweet Suffolk owl, so trimly dight
With feathers, like a lady bright,
Thou sing’st alone, sitting by night,
Te whit, te whoo!

Thy note that forth so freely rolls,
With shrill command the mouse controls,
And sings a dirge for dying souls,
Te whit, te whoo!

From: http://www.bartleby.com/331/566.html

Date: 1619

By: Thomas Vautor (?1580-1619)