Posts tagged ‘1815’

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Lunar Stanzas by Henry Cogswell Knight

Night saw the crew, like pedlers with their packs
Altho’ it were too dear to pay for eggs;
Walk crank along, with coffins on their backs,
While in their arms they bore their weary legs.

And yet ’twas strange, and scarce can one suppose,
That a brown buzzard-fly should steal, and wear
His white-jean breeches, and black woollen hose,
But thence that flies have souls is very clear.

But, holy Father! what shall save the soul,
When cobblers ask three dollars for their shoes?
When cooks their biscuits with a shot-tower roll,
And farmers rake their hay-cocks with their hoes?

Yet ’twere profuse, to see, for pendant light,
A tea-pot dangle in a lady’s ear;
And ’twere indelicate, although she might,
Swallow two whales, and yet the moon shine clear.

But what to me are woven clouds? or what,
If dames from spiders learn to warp their looms?
If coal-black ghosts turn soldiers for the state,
With wooden eyes, and lightning-rods for plumes.

O too, too shocking! barbarous, savage taste!
To eat one’s mother ere itself was born!
And gripe the tall town-steeple by the waist,
And scoop it out to be his drinking-horn.

No more! no more! I’m sick, and dead, and gone;
Box’d in a coffin; stifled six feet deep;
Worms, fat and fearless, pick my skin and bone,
And revel o’er me, like a soulless sheep.

From: Knight, Henry C., Poems. In Two Volumes, Volume II, Second Edition, 1821, Wells and Lilly: Boston, pp. 159-160.

Date: 1815

By: Henry Cogswell Knight (1789-1835)

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

This Dewdrop World by Kobayashi Issa

This dewdrop world —
Is a dewdrop world,
And yet, and yet . . .


Date: c1815 (original in Japanese); 1957 (translation in English)

By: Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)

Translated by: Lewis MacKenzie (?-?)

Friday, 10 February 2017

To Sarah Drennan, with a Ring by William Drennan

Emblem of happiness, not bought, nor sold,
Accept this modest RING of virgin gold.
Love, in the small but perfect circle, trace,
And duty in its soft, tho’ strict embrace.
Plain, precious, pure, as best becomes the wife;
Yet firm to bear the frequent rubs of life.
Connubial life disdains a fragile toy,
Which rust can tarnish, or a touch destroy,
Nor much admires, what courts the gen’ral gaze,
The dazzling diamond’s meretricious blaze,
That hides, with glare, the anguish of a heart
By nature hard, tho’ polish’d bright—by art.
More to my taste, the ornament that shows
Domestic bliss, and, without glaring, glows.
Whose gentle pressure serves to keep the mind
To all correct, to one discreetly kind.
Of simple elegance, th’ unconscious charm—
The holy amulet to keep from harm;
To guard at once and consecrate the shrine,
Take this dear pledge, it makes, and keeps thee—MINE.

From: Drennan, William and Drennan, John Swanwick, Glendalloch, and Other Poems, by the Late Dr. Drennan, Second Edition, with Additional Verses by his Sons, 1859, William Robertson: Dublin, pp. 56-57.

Date: 1815

By: William Drennan (1754-1820)

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Ask—Ask Not How My Cheek is Pale by Mary Langdon Bryan

Ask—ask not how my cheek is pale,
Await its paler, colder tale:
Urge not my tongue reluctant now,
Soon will its silence tell thee—how.
And when no voice will meet thy ear,
Nor e’er till then thy heart may hear.
Impatient then thou wilt not turn …
When I—nor sigh—nor look—nor mourn:
How quiet will this bosom lie;
Nor one pulse throb, though thou art nigh.
‘Tis then—’tis there—a cheek so pale,
Unscorn’d may tell so frail a tale.
And then, perhaps, e’en thou mayest prove,
To love a heart thou canst not move

From: Smollett, Tobias George, The Critical Review: Or, Annals of Literature, Volume 2, 1815, R. Baldwin: London, p. 521.

Date: 1815

By: Mary Langdon Bryan (1780-after 1823)

Friday, 19 August 2016

Back Side of Albany by Micah Hawkins

Back side Albany stan’ Lake Champlain,
Little pond half full o’ water;
Plat-te-burg dar too, close ‘pon de main;
Town small—he grow bigger, do’, herearter.

On Lake Champlain Uncle Sam set he boat,
An’ Massa Macdonough, he sail ’em,
While Gineral Macomb make Plat-te-burg he home
We’d de army, whose courage neber fail ’em.

On lebenth day Septem-ber,
In eighteen hun’red and fourteen, Gubbernor Probose an’ he British soj-er.
Come to Plat-te-burg a teaparty courtin’.

An’ he boat come too, arter Uncle Sam boat,
Mass ‘Donough, he look sharp out de winder.
Den Gineral Macomb, (ah! he always at home,)
Cotch fire too, sirs, like a tinder.

Bang! bang! bang! den de cannons ‘gin to roar,
In Plat-te-burg an’ all about dat quarter;
Gubbernor Probose try he ban’ ‘pon de shore,
While he boat take he luck ‘pon de water.

But Massa Macdonough knock he boat in he head;
Break he heart, break he shin, ‘tove he caffin in;
An’ Gineral Macomb start ole Probose home—
To’t me soul den I mus’ die a laffin’.

Probose scare so, he lef’ all behine,
Powder, ball, cannon, tea-pot an’ kittle;
Some say he cotch a cole—trouble in he mine,
‘Cause he tat so much raw an’ cole vittel.

Uncle Sam berry sorry, to be sure, for he pain’.
Wish he miss heself up well an’ hearty,
For Gineral Macomb and Massa ‘Donough home
When he notion for anoder tea-party.

From: Lossing, Benson J. (ed.), Potter’s American Monthly: An Illustrated Magazine of History, Literature, Science and Art, Volume 3, 1874, J. E. Potter and Company: Philadelphia, p. 69.

Date: 1815

By: Micah Hawkins (1777-1825)

Alternative Titles: The Siege of Plattsburg / Backside Albany / Boyne Water

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


Date: 1815

By: William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Alternative Title: Daffodils