Posts tagged ‘1800’

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

To a Spider by Samuel Low

I like thee not; Arachne; thou art base;
Perfidious, merciless, and full of guile;
Cruel and false, like many of our rạce,
Voracious as the monster of the Nile:

Thou villain insect! well do I perceive
The treach’rous web thy murd’rous fangs have wrought,
And yet so fine and subtle dost thou weave,
That heedless innocence perceives it not:

Ev’n now I see thee sit, pretending sleep,
Yet dost thou eager watch the live-long day,
With squinting eyes, which never knew to weep;
Prepar’d to spring upon unguarded prey.

Ill fares it with th’ unwary little fly,
Or gnat, ensnar’d by thy insidious loom;
In thy envenom’d jaws the wretch must die;
To glut thy loathsome carcase is his doom!

Instinctive is my terror at thy sight;
Oft, ugly reptile, have I shun’d thy touch;
Nor do I wonder thou shouldst thus affright,
Since thou resemblest vicious man so much.

Like him, thy touch, thy very look can blight;
But not the Spider species dost thou kill;
While, spite of duty, ev’n in God’s despite,
“Man is to man the surest, sorest ill.”

From: Low, Samuel, Poems by Samuel Low in Two Volumes, Volume II, 1800, T & J Swords: New York, pp. 145-146.

Date: ?1800

By: Samuel Low (1765-????)

Friday, 15 January 2021

Hyperion’s Fate Song by Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin

You walk above in the light,
Soulful genius, on a yielding floor!
God’s shining breezes
Gently touch you
As the fingers of a musician
Play on otherworldly strings

Fateless, like a nursing infant asleep,
The gods draw breath;
As chastely preserved
As modest buds,
Their minds are always
In flower,
And their soulful eyes
Gaze calmly and eternally
In silent clarity.

But it’s our fate
To have no place to rest,
As suffering mortals
Blindly fall and vanish
From one hour
To the next,
Like water falling
From cliff to cliff, downward
For years to uncertainty.


Date: c1800 (original in German); 2005 (translation in English)

By: Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843)

Translated by: Paul Hoover (1946- ) and Maxine Chernoff (1952- )

Monday, 24 August 2020

Unchanging Dolls’ Faces by Enomoto Seifu

unchanging dolls’ faces—
I’ve had no choice, except
to grow old.

From: Ueda, Makoto (ed. and transl.), Far Beyond the Field: Haiku by Japanese Women, 2003, Columbia University Press: New York, p. 60.

Date: c1800 (original in Japanese); 2003 (translation in English)

By: Enomoto Seifu (1732-1815)

Translated by: Makoto Ueda (1931- )

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Prologue by Anne Bannerman

Turn from the path, if search of gay delight
Lead thy vain footsteps back to ages past!
Frail are the blighted flowers, and thinly cast
O’er the dim regions of monastic night.

Yet, in their cavern’d dark recesses, dwells
The long-lost Spirit of forgotten times,
Whose voice prophetic reach’d to distant climes,
And rul’d the nations from his witched cells;

That voice is hush’d! — But still, in Fancy’s ear,
Its first unmeasur’d melodies resound!
Blending with terrors wild, and legions drear,
The charmed minstrelsy of mystic sound,
That rous’d, embodied, to the eye of Fear,
Th’ unearthly habitants of faery ground.

From: Bannerman, Anne, Poems. A New Edition, 1807, Mundell, Doig, & Stevenson: Edinburgh, p. 138.

Date: 1800

By: Anne Bannerman (1765-1829)

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

On Revisiting the Place of My Nativity by Robert Bloomfield

Though Winter’s frowns had damp’d the beaming eye,
Through Twelve successive Summers heav’d the sigh,
The unaccomplish’d wish was still the same;
Till May in new and sudden glories came!
My heart was rous’d; and Fancy on the wing,
Thus heard the language of enchanting Spring:—

‘Come to thy native groves and fruitful fields!
Thou know’st the fragrance that the wild-flow’r yields;
Inhale the Breeze that bends the purple bud,
And plays along the margin of the Wood.
I’ve cloth’d them all; the very Woods where thou
In infancy learn’d’st praise from every bough.
Would’st thou behold again the vernal day?
My reign is short;—this instant come away:
Ere Philomel shall silent meet the morn;
She hails the green, but not the rip’ning corn.
Come, ere the pastures lose their yellow flow’rs:
Come now; with heart as jocund as the hours.’

Who could resist the call?—that, Giles had done,
Nor heard the Birds, nor seen the rising Sun;
Had not Benevolence, with cheering ray,
And Greatness stoop’d, indulgent to display
Praise which does surely not to Giles belong,
But to the objects that inspir’d his song.
Immediate pleasure from those praises flow’d:
Remoter bliss within his bosom glow’d!
Now tasted all:—for I have heard and seen
The long-remember’d voice, the church, the green;—
And oft by Friendship’s gentle hand been led
Where many an hospitable board was spread.
These would I name,… but each, and all can feel
What the full heart would willingly reveal:
Nor needs be told; that at each season’s birth,
Still the enamell’d, or the scorching Earth
Gave, as each morn or weary night would come,
Ideal sweetness to my distant home:—
Ideal now no more;—for, to my view
Spring’s promise rose, how admirably true!!
The early chorus of the cheerful Grove,
Gave point to Gratitude; and fire to Love.
O Memory! shield me from the World’s poor strife;
And give those scenes thine everlasting life!

London, May 30, 1800


Date: 1800

By: Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823)