Posts tagged ‘1814’

Monday, 29 April 2019

Women by Semonides of Amorgos

She from the steed of wanton mane
Shall spurn all servile toil and pain:
Nor shake the sieve, nor ply the mill
Nor sweep the floor, though dusty still,
Nor near the oven take her seat,
But loathe the ashes, smoke, and heat,
And to her husband profit naught,
Unless by sheer compulsion taught.
Twice, thrice she bathes her through the day,
Washing the slightest soil away;
Perfumes with oils her every limb,
Her tresses combs in order trim;
Tress upon tress, in thickening braid,
While twisted flowers her temples shade.
A goodly sight to strangers’ view,
But he that owns her sore shall rue
The cost I ween, unless he be
Satrap or king and joy in luxury.

Her from an Ape the Maker sent
Man’s evil mate and punishment.
Her visage foul, she walks the streets
The laughing-stock of all she meets.
Scarce her short neck can turn; all slim
And lank and spare; all leg and limb!
Wretched the man who in his breast
Is doomed to fold this female pest!
She, like the Ape, is versed in wiles
And tricking turns; she never smiles,
Obliges none; but ponders still
On mischief-plots and daily ill.

Who gains the creature from the Bee
By fortune favoured most is he:
To her alone, with pointless sting,
Would Scandal impotently cling.
With her his May of life is long;
His days are flourishing and strong.
Beloved, her fond embrace she twines
Round him she loves: with him declines
In fading years; her race is known
For goodly forms and fair renown.

Her decent charms her sex outshine:
Around her flits a grace divine.
She sits not pleased where women crowd,
In amorous tattle, light and loud:
With such the God mankind has blest;
With such the wisest and the best.

From: Miller, Marion Mills (ed.), The Greek Classics: Didactic and Lyric Poetry, Volume Three, 1909, Vincent Parke and Company: New York, pp. 100-101.

Date: 7th century BCE (original in Greek); 1814 (translation in English)

By: Semonides of Amorgos (7th century BCE)

Translated by: Charles Abraham Elton (1778-1853)

Saturday, 10 December 2016

On the Fate of Newspapers by Isabella Lickbarrow

What changes time’s swift motion brings!
What sad reverse of human things!
What once was valu’d, highly priz’d,
Is in a few short hours despis’d.
I’ll but solicit your attention,
While I a single instance mention,
The “Advertiser,” you must know,
Fresh from the Mint not long ago,
We welcom’d with abundant pleasure,
Impatient for the mighty treasure,
In what an alter’d state forlorn,
‘Tis now in scatter’d fragments torn,
Part wrapp’d around the kettle’s handle,
Part twisted up to light the candle,
Part given to the devouring fire:
Ah! see line after line expire;
It surely would, beyond a joke,
The patience of a saint provoke,
To think that after all their pains,
The rhymes which rack’d the poet’s brains,
And all the antiquarian’s learning,
Display’d so justly in discerning
The ancient Saxon derivation
Of half the places in the nation,
And the philosopher’s vast skill,
In measuring each stupendous hill,
From Scarfell down to Benson-knot,
And even hills of lesser note;
To think that what such wits have penn’d,
Should come to this disgraceful end.
Why ’tis enough to make them vow,
With aspect stern and frowning brow,
They’ll such an useless trade resign,
And never write another line.
But stop, good sirs a nobler fate
May your productions yet await;
A thought just now my head has enter’d,
In which alone my hopes are centr’d.
Perhaps, preferr’d the pipe to light,
For some dull heavy witless wight,
They’ll, with tobacco’s fumes, infuse
The inspiration of the muse,
And furnish many an empty brain –
If so, we’ll write and sing again.


Date: 1814

By: Isabella Lickbarrow (1784-1847)

Friday, 4 July 2014

Defence of Fort M’Henry by Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
‘Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land,
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.
And this be our motto— “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.


Date: 1814

By: Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)

Alternative Title: The Star-Spangled Banner

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Grave of Homer by Alcaeus of Messene

The visionary dream of life is o’er;
The bard of heroes sleeps on Ios’ shore:
Fair Ios’ sons their lamentations pay,
And wake the funeral dirge or solemn lay.
O’er his pale lifeless corse and drooping head

Ambrosial sweets the weeping nereids shed,
And on the shore their sleeping poet laid,
Beneath the towering mountain’s peaceful shade.
Nor undeserved their care,—his tuneful tongue
Achilles’ wrath and Thetis’ sorrows sung;

His strains Laertes’ son in triumph bore,
Through woes unnumbered, to his native shore.
Blest isle of Ios! On thy rocky steeps
The Star of Song—the Grace of Graces—sleeps.


Date: c1814 (translated)

By: Alcaeus of Messene (c3rd-2nd century BCE)

Translated by: William Haygarth (1784-1825)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

She Walks In Beauty by George Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
  Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that ‘s best of dark and bright
  Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
  Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
  Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
  Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
  How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
  So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
  But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
  A heart whose love is innocent!


Date: 1814

By: George Byron (1788-1824)