Posts tagged ‘1822’

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Excerpt from “Palmyra” by John Henry Bright

Movemur, nescio quo pacto, ipsis locis, in quibus eorum, quos admiramur, adsunt vestigial.*

Time, like a mighty river, deep and strong,
In sullen silence rolls his tide along ;
And all that now upborne upon the wave
Ride swiftly on—the monarch and the slave
Shall sink at last beneath the whelming stream,
And all that once was life, become a dream!

Go – look on Greece l her glories long have fled,
Her ancient spirit slumbers with the dead;
Deaf to the call of freedom and of fame,
Her sons are Greeks in nothing but the name!
On Tiber’s banks, beneath their native sky,
The sad remains of Roman greatness lie;
No longer there the list’ning crowds admire
The swelling tones of Virgil’s epic lyre,
Nor conqu’ring Caesar holds resistless sway
O’er realms extended to the rising day.

Yet still to these shall Fancy fondly turn,
Still bid the laurel bloom on Maro’s urn;
From Brutus’s dagger sweep the gath’ring rust,
And call his spirit from its aged dust!
What tho’ each busy scene has ceas’d to live,
It has the charms poetic numbers give;
And ever fresh as ages roll along,
Revives and brightens in the light of song.—

At summer eve, when ev’ry sound is still,
And day-light fades upon the western hill,
And o’er the blue unfathomable way
Heav’n’s starry host in cloudless beauty stray;
What holy joys enamour’d fancy feels
As all the past upon the mem’ry steals!
How soft the tints, how pensive, how sublime,
Each image borrows from the touch of time!
Such winning grace the beauteous vision wears
Seen through the twilight of a thousand years!

Note: The quote is attributed to Atticus by Cicero and translates as: For we are moved in some strange way by the actual places in which traces are present of those whom we love or admire.

From: Cambridge Prize Poems: Being a Collection of the English Poems which have obtained the Chancellor’s Gold Medal in the University of Cambridge, New Edition, considerably enlarged, 1847, Henry Washbourne: New Bridge Street, pp. 120-124.

Date: 1822

By: John Henry Bright (1801-1873)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Genius of Death by George Croly

What is Death? ‘Tis to be free!
No more to love, or hope, or fear —
To join the great equality:
All alike are humbled there!
The mighty grave
Wraps lord and slave;
Nor pride nor poverty dares come
Within that refuge-house, the tomb!

Spirit with the drooping wing,
And the ever-weeping eye,
Thou of all earth’s kings art king!
Empires at thy footstool lie!
Beneath thee strew’d
Their multitude
Sink, like waves upon the shore;
Storms shall never rouse them more!

What’s the grandeur of the earth
To the grandeur round thy throne!
Riches, glory, beauty, birth,
To thy kingdom all have gone.
Before thee stand
The wond’rous band;
Bards, heroes, sages, side by side,
Who darken’d nations when they died!

Earth has hosts; but thou canst show
Many a million for her one;
Through thy gates the mortal flow
Has for countless years roll’d on:
Back from the tomb
No step has come;
There fix’d, till the last thunder’s sound
Shall bid thy prisoners be unbound!

From: Croly, George, The Poetic Works of the Rev. George Croly, A.M. H.R.S.L., in Two Volumes, Volume I, 1830, Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley: London, pp. 256-258.

Date: 1822

By: George Croly (1780-1860)

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Visit from St Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”


Date: 1822

By: Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Ginevra by Samuel Rogers

If thou shouldst ever come by choice or chance
To Modena, where still religiously
Among her ancient trophies is preserved
Bologna’s bucket (in its chain it hangs
Within that reverend tower, the Guirlandine)
Stop at a Palace near the Reggio-gate,
Dwelt in of old by one of the Orsini.
Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace,
And rich in fountains, statues, cypresses,
Will long detain thee; thro’ their arched walks,
Dim at noon-day, discovering many a glimpse
Of knights and dames, such as in old romance,
And lovers, such as in heroic song,
Perhaps the two, for groves were their delight,
Who in the spring-time, as alone they sat,
Venturing together on a tale of love,
Read only part that day. —- A summer-sun
Sets ere one half is seen; but ere thou go,
Enter the house — prythee, forget it not —
And look awhile upon a picture there.

‘Tis of a Lady in her earliest youth,
The very last of that illustrious race,
Done by Zampieri — but by whom I care not.
He, who observes it — ere he passes on,
Gazes his fill, and comes and comes again,
That he may call it up, when far away.

She sits, inclining forward as to speak,
Her lips half-open, and her finger up,
As tho’ she said ‘Beware!’ her vest of gold
Broidered with flowers, and clasped from head to foot,
An emerald-stone in every golden clasp;
And on her brow, fairer than alabaster,
A coronet of pearls.

But then her face,
So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth,
The overflowings of an innocent heart —
It haunts me still, tho’ many a year has fled,
Like some wild melody!

Alone it hangs
Over a mouldering heir-loom, its companion,
An oaken-chest, half-eaten by the worm,
But richly carved by Antony of Trent
With scripture-stories from the Life of Christ;
A chest that came from Venice, and had held
The ducal robes of some old Ancestor.
That by the way — it may be true or false —
But don’t forget the picture; and thou wilt ot,
When thou hast heard the tale they told me there.

She was an only child; from infancy
The joy, the pride of an indulgent Sire.
Her Mother dying of the gift she gave,
That precious gift, what else remained to him?
The young Ginevra was his all in life,
Still as she grew, for ever in his sight;
And in her fifteenth year became a bridde,
Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria,
Her playmate from her birth, and her first love.

Just as she looks there in her bridal dress,
She was all gentleness, all gaiety;
Her pranks the favourite theme of every tongue.
But now the day was come, the day, the hour:
Now, frowning, smiling, for the hundredth time,
The nurse, that ancient lady, preached decorum;
And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave
Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco.

Great was the joy; but at the Bridal feast,
When all sat down, the Bride was wanting there.
Nor was she to be found! Her Father cried,
”Tis but to make a trial of our love!’
And filled his glass to all; but his hand shook,
And soon from guest to guest the panic spread.
‘Twas but that instant she had left Francesco,
Laughing and looking back and flying still,
Her ivory-tooth imprinted on his finger.
But now, alas, she was not to be found;
Nor from that hour could any thing be guessed,
But that she was not!

Weary of his life,
Francesco flew to Venice, and forthwith
Flung it away in battle with the Turk.
Orsini lived; and long might’st thou have seen
An old man wandering as in quest of something,
Something he could not find — he knew not what.
When he was gone, the house remained awhile
Silent and tenantless — then went to strangers.

Full fifty years were past, and all forgot,
When on an idle day, a day of search
‘Mid the old lumber in the Gallery,
That mouldering chest was noticed; and ’twas said
By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra,
‘Why not remove it from its lurking place?’
‘Twas done as soon as said; but on the way
It burst, it fell; and lo, a skeleton,
With here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone,
A golden-clasp, clasping a shred of gold.
All else had perished — save a nuptial ring,
And a small seal, her mother’s legacy,
Engraven with a name, the name of both,

There then had she found a grave!
Within that chest had she concealed herself,
Fluttering with joy, the happiest of the happy;
When a spring-lock, that lay in ambush there,
Fastened her down for ever!


Date: 1822

By: Samuel Rogers (1763-1855)

Alternative Title: Italy, Italy 22