Posts tagged ‘1818’

Friday, 17 September 2021

The March of Xerxes by Luigi Alamanni/Alemanni

When in the wantonness of kingly pride,
Vain Xerxes spurr’d his war-horse through the tide,
And bore his fleet o’er mountain tops—e’en there
The Eternal bade his evil heart despair:
O’er Hellespont and Athos’ marble head,
More than a god he came, less than a man he fled.

From: de Vere, Aubrey, Mary Tudor: An Historical Drama and Other Poems, 1847, William Pickering: London, p. 407.

Date: 1556 (original in Italian); 1818 (translation in English)

By: Luigi Alamanni/Alemanni (1495-1556)

Translated by: Aubrey de Vere (1788-1846)

Sunday, 3 February 2019

To Putrefaction by Erik Johan Stagnelius

Putrefaction, hasten, Oh beloved bride,
to ready our lonely lover’s couch!
By the world rejected, by God set aside
thou art my only hope, I vouch.
Quick! our chamber now adorn—on bier of somber decorations
the sighing lover to your dwelling shall go.
Quick! prepare the bridal bed—soon springtime’s gift of new carnations
shall over her grow.

Caress in thy womb my body, which yearns!
In thine embraces smother my pain!
My thoughts and my feelings dissolve into worms,
of my burning heart let but ashes remain!
Rich art thou, o maid!—in dowry dost give
the vast, the verdurous earth to me.
Up here do I suffer, but happy shall live
down there with thee.

To stifling, enchanting realms of desire
black-velvet pages lead bridegroom and bride.
Our nuptial hymn chiming bells will attire
and curtains of green will both of us hide.
When out on the oceans tempests prevail,
when terrors will not bloodied earth release,
when battles are raging, in slumber we’ll sail
in aureate peace.

From: Gustafsson, Lars and Rovinsky, Robert T. (transl.), Forays into Swedish Poetry: Bilingual Text Edition, 2012, University of Texas: Austin, Texas, p. 81.

Date: c1818 (original in Swedish); 1978 (translation in English)

By: Erik Johan Stagnelius (1793-1823)

Translated by: Robert T. Rovinsky (1940-)

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Ozymandias by Horatio (Horace) Smith

In Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desart knows:—
“I am great OZYMANDIAS,” saith the stone,
“The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
“The wonders of my hand.”— The City’s gone,—
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.


Date: 1818

By: Horatio (Horace) Smith (1779-1849)

Friday, 1 February 2013

Fancy and Imagination by Bernard Barton

There is a pleasure, now and then, in giving
Full scope to Fancy and Imagination;
And, for a time, to seem as we were living
In fearless, incorporeal exultation,
Amid sweet scenes of the mind’s own creation.
Why should we not? — We surely need not deem
That man forgets the duties of his station,
Because he cherishes the lovely gleam
Thrown on life’s thorny path by fancy’s brilliant beam.

No gift of God was given without its end:—
And had it not been right that we should see,
As through this world’s bleak wilderness we wend,
Beyond the reach of dull reality;
Imagination, fearless, fond and free,
Had not been given us; it has; — and why?
But to enable us at times to be
Partakers of those raptures pure and high,
Unearthly visions bring before our mental eye.

The danger of such dear delights is this:—
‘Tis sweet to soar, but dreary to descend;—
To exchange for real bale, ideal bliss,
And see the beauteous forms which round us blend
In airy loveliness, no more befriend
The heart they lighten’d, vanishing afar!—
True, it is painful! but, think we to mend
Our mortal destiny, or rather mar,
By quenching in our minds each brightest, loveliest star?

The Patriarch, who laid him down to rest,
And saw in holy visions of the night,
‘Mid opening clouds the angelic host confest,
Ascending and descending in his sight,
Those golden steps so glitteringly bright,
Which led from earth to heaven; from heaven to earth;
Did he, repining at the morning light,
Arraign the Power which gave those phantoms birth?
No! with adoring heart he humbly own’d their worth.

O hallow’d Fancy! sweet Imagination!
Although your blessings unto me have been
Not pure and unalloy’d; my admiration,
My love of you is not the less, I ween.
Still gild at intervals life’s clouded scene;—
And though your lofty glories brightly breaking
On my mind’s eye, be “few and far between,”
May I, in dreams at least, your powers partaking,
Woo your sublime delights, and bless you on my waking.


Date: 1818

By: Bernard Barton (1784-1849)