Posts tagged ‘1806’

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Sonnet by Robert Bland

Tu in bei facondi detti
Sciogli la lingua de’ Fedeli tuoi, &c.*

         Aminta: A. 2, S. 3, Coro. [Torquato Tasso]

Love, the great master of true eloquence,
Disdains the tribute of a vulgar tongue:
Cold are the words and vain the affected song
Of him whose boasted passion is pretence.
The favoured few that to his court belong
With noblest gifts the mighty God presents;
Their powerful language chains the admiring sense,
And their warm words in torrents pour along.
And oft (oh wondrous excellence of Love!)
Oft trembling vows, and sighs, and accents broken,
With far more force th’ enraptur’d hearer move,
Than smoothes the phrase with courtliest action spoken.
E’en silence oft has found the power to prove
Both words and prayers, when she is true love’s token.

*You let loose the tongue of your Votaries in beautiful and eloquent Discourses (translation by P. B. Du-Bois, 1726)

From: Bland, Robert, Translations Chiefly from the Greek Anthology, with Tales and Miscellaneous Poems, 1806, Richard Phillips: London, p. 231.

Date: 1806

By: Robert Bland (?1779-1825)

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Thracians, who Howl Around an Infant’s Birth by Aulus Licinius Archias

Thracians, who howl around an infant’s birth
And give the funeral hour to songs and mirth,
Well in your grief and gladness are express’d
That life is labour and that death is rest.

From: Bland, Robert, Translations Chiefly from the Greek Anthology, with Tales and Miscellaneous Poems, 1806, Richard Phillips: London, p. 48.

Date: 1st century BCE (original in Greek); 1806 (translation in English)

By: Aulus Licinius Archias (fl. c120-61 BCE)

Translated by: Robert Bland (?1779-1825)

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Butterfly’s Ball, and the Grasshopper’s Feast by William Roscoe

Come take up your Hats, and away let us haste
To the Butterfly’s Ball, and the Grasshopper’s Feast.
The Trumpeter, Gad-fly, has summon’d the Crew,
And the Revels are now only waiting for you.

So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions came forth in a Throng.
And on the smooth Grass, by the side of a Wood,
Beneath a broad Oak that for Ages had stood,

Saw the Children of Earth, and the Tenants of Air,
For an Evening’s Amusement together repair.
And there came the Beetle, so blind and so black,
Who carried the Emmet, his Friend, on his Back.

And there was the Gnat and the Dragon-fly too,
With all their Relations, Green, Orange, and Blue.
And there came the Moth, with his Plumage of Down,
And the Hornet in Jacket of Yellow and Brown;

Who with him the Wasp, his Companion, did bring,
But they promis’d, that Evening, to lay by their Sting.
And the sly little Dormouse crept out of his Hole,
And brought to the Feast his blind Brother, the Mole.

And the Snail, with his Horns peeping out of his Shell,
Came from a great Distance, the Length of an Ell.
A Mushroom their Table, and on it was laid
A Water-dock Leaf, which a Table-cloth made.

The Viands were various, to each of their Taste,
And the Bee brought her Honey to crown the Repast.
Then close on his Haunches, so solemn and wise,
The Frog from a Corner, look’d up to the Skies.

And the Squirrel well pleas’d such Diversions to see,
Mounted high over Head, and look’d down from a Tree.
Then out came the Spider, with Finger so fine,
To shew his Dexterity on the tight Line.

From one Branch to another, his Cobwebs he slung,
Then quick as an Arrow he darted along,
But just in the Middle, — Oh! shocking to tell,
From his Rope, in an Instant, poor Harlequin fell.

Yet he touch’d not the Ground, but with Talons outspread,
Hung suspended in Air, at the End of a Thread,
Then the Grasshopper came with a Jerk and a Spring,
Very long was his Leg, though but short was his Wing;

He took but three Leaps, and was soon out of Sight,
Then chirp’d his own Praises the rest of the Night.
With Step so majestic the Snail did advance,
And promis’d the Gazers a Minuet to dance.

But they all laugh’d so loud that he pull’d in his Head,
And went in his own little Chamber to Bed.
Then, as Evening gave Way to the Shadows of Night,
Their Watchman, the Glow-worm, came out with a Light.

Then Home let us hasten, while yet we can see,
For no Watchman is waiting for you and for me.
So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions returned in a Throng.


Date: 1806

By: William Roscoe (1753-1831)

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Star by Jane Taylor

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is set,
And the grass with dew is wet,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see where to go
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveler in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.


Date: 1806

By: Jane Taylor (1783-1824)

Alternative Title: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star