Posts tagged ‘1828’

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

The Slave’s Address to British Ladies by Susanna(h) Watts

Natives of a land of glory,
Daughters of the good and brave,
Hear the injured Negro’s story,
Hear, and help the kneeling Slave.
Think, how nought but death can sever
Your lov’d children from your hold ;
Still alive—but lost for ever—
Ours are parted, bought and sold!
Seize the ev’ry favouring season—
Scorning censure or applause ;
Justice, Truth, Religion, Reason,
Are your Leaders in the cause!
Follow!—faithful, firm, confiding,—
Spread our wrongs from shore to shore;
Mercy’s God your efforts guiding,
Slavery shall be known no more.

From: Watts, Susannah, “The Slave’s Address to British Ladies” in The Kaleidoscope: or, Literary and scientific mirror, Liverpool, Vol. 9, Iss. 422, 29 July 1828, p. 28.

Date: 1828

By: Susanna(h) Watts (1768-1842)

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

The Russian God by Pyotr Andreyevich Vyazemsky

Do you need an explanation
what the Russian god can be?
Here’s a rough approximation
as the thing appears to me.

God of snowstorms, god of potholes,
every wretched road you’ve trod,
coach-inns, cockroach haunts, and rat holes,
that’s him, that’s your Russian god.

God of frostbite, god of famine,
beggars, cripples by the yard,
farms with no crops to examine,
that’s him, that’s your Russian god.

God of breasts and…all sagging,
swollen legs in bast shoes shod,
curds gone curdled, faces dragging,
that’s him, that’s your Russian god.

God of brandy, pickle vendors,
those who pawn what serfs they’ve got,
of old women of both genders,
that’s him, that’s your Russian god.

God of medals and of millions,
god of yard-sweepers unshod,
lords in sleighs with two postilions,
that’s him, that’s your Russian god.

Fools win grace, wise men be wary,
there he never spares the rod,
god of everything contrary,
that’s him, that’s your Russian god.

God of all that gets shipped in here,

unbecoming, senseless, odd,
god of mustard on your dinner,
that’s him, that’s your Russian god.

God of foreigners, whenever
they set foot on Russian sod,
god of Germans, now and ever –
that’s him, that’s your Russian god.


Date: 1828 (original in Russian); 2009 (translation in English)

By: Pyotr Andreyevich Vyazemsky (1792-1878)

Translated by: Alan Myers (1933-2010)

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Soothsayers by Quintus Ennius

For no Marsian augur (whom fools view with awe),
Nor diviner nor star-gazer, care I a straw;
The Egyptian quack, an expounder of dreams,
Is neither in science nor art what he seems;
Superstitious and shameless, they prowl through our streets,
Some hungry, some crazy, but all of them cheats.
Impostors who vaunt that to others they’ll show
A path, which themselves neither travel nor know.
Since they promise us wealth, if we pay for their pains,
Let them take from that wealth, and bestow what remains.

From: Dunlop, John, History of Roman Literature, From Its Earliest Period to the Augustan Age. In two volumes. Second Edition, Volume I, 1824, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green: London, p. 96.

Date: 2nd century BCE (original in Latin); 1828 (translation in English)

By: Quintus Ennius (c239 BCE-c169 BCE)

Translated by: John Colin Dunlop (1785-1842)

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

On the Grave of a Suicide by C. Cookson

Here, on this rude, unconsecrated ground
No sculptur’d stone thy graceless name declares,
No pious token, save this way-worn mound,
The lasting record of thy ruin bears.

Alas! for thee none toll’d the passing knell,
With decent turf none cloth’d thy shapeless tomb,
But as a land mark of thy grave they tell,
Unpitying, or unconscious of thy doom.

Deluded! who with self destructive hand
Could’st seek in Death a balm for mortal ill,
Unmindful that the deed by Him is scann’d,
Who hath to give and take, alike the will.

To thy sad mem’ry be this tablet rear’d,
And this the tribute to thy desp’rate fame —
“Stranger! here lies, who though to live he fear’d,
“Yet dar’d to die, and meet his God with shame.”

From: Cookson, C., Glastonbury Abbey, a poem. [Followed by] Minor Poems, 1828, W. Bragg: Taunton, p. 141.

Date: 1828

By: C. Cookson (fl. 1828)

Thursday, 29 March 2018

The Grapes are Sour by Aesop and interpreted by Jefferys Taylor

A monkey some charming ripe grapes once espied,
Which how to obtain, was the query;
For up to a trellis so high they were tied,
That he jump’d till he made himself weary.

So finding, at last, they were out of his power,
Said he, “Let them have them who will:
I see that they’re green, and don’t doubt that they’re sour,
And fruit that’s unripe makes me ill.”


Those will ne’er be believed by the world, it is plain,
Who pretend to despise what they cannot obtain.

From: Taylor, Jefferys, Æesop in Rhyme, with Some Originals, The Third Edition, 1828, Baldwin and Cradock: London, p. 20.

Date: 6th century BCE (original in Greek); 1828 (interpretation in English)

By: Aesop (c620-564 BCE)

Interpreted by: Jefferys Taylor (1792-1853)

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Siege of Belgrade by Alaric Alexander Watts

An Austrian army, awfully arrayed,
Boldly by battery besieged Belgrade.
Cossack commanders cannonading come,
Dealing destruction’s devastating doom.
Every endeavor engineers essay,
For fame, for fortune fighting – furious fray!
Generals ‘gainst generals grapple – gracious God!
How honors Heaven heroic hardihood!
Infuriate, indiscriminate in ill,
Kindred kill kinsmen, kinsmen kindred kill.
Labor low levels longest, lofiest lines;
Men march ‘mid mounds, ‘mid moles, ‘mid murderous mines;
Now noxious, noisey numbers nothing, naught
Of outward obstacles, opposing ought;
Poor patriots, partly purchased, partly pressed,
Quite quaking, quickly “Quarter! Quarter!” quest.
Reason returns, religious right redounds,
Suwarrow stops such sanguinary sounds.
Truce to thee, Turkey! Triumph to thy train,
Unwise, unjust, unmerciful Ukraine!
Vanish vain victory! vanish, victory vain!
Why wish we warfare? Wherefore welcome were
Xerxes, Ximenes, Xanthus, Xavier?
Yield, yield, ye youths! ye yeomen, yield your yell!
Zeus’, Zarpater’s, Zoroaster’s zeal,
Attracting all, arms against acts appeal!


Date: ?1828

By: Alaric Alexander Watts (1797-1864)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Horologe by Thomas Doubleday

Once, by the dusk light of an ancient hall,
I saw a Horologe. Its minutes fell
Upon the roused ear, with a drowsy knell
That he who passed attended to the call.
I looked: and lo! five Antics over all.
One moved, and four were motionless. The one
Was scythed and bald-head Time; and he mowed on,
Sweep after sweep–and each a minute’s fall,
–The four were kings. Sceptres they bore and globes
And ermined crowns. Before that old man dim
They stood, but not in joy. At sight of Time
They had stiffen’d into statues in their robes;
Fear-petrified. Let no man envy him
Who smiles at that grave Homily sublime!

From: Watts, Alaric A., The Literary Souvenir; or, Cabinet of Poetry and Romance, 1828, Longman, Rees, Orme, Browne, & Green: London, p. 219.

Date: 1828

By: Thomas Doubleday (1790-1870)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Sights and Sounds of the Night by Carlos Wilcox

Ere long the clouds were gone, the moon was set;
When deeply blue without a shade of gray,
The sky was fill’d with stars that almost met,
Their points prolong’d and sharpen’d to one ray;
Through their transparent air the milky-way
Seem’d one broad flame of pure resplendent white,
As if some globe on fire, turn’d far astray,
Had cross’d the wide arch with so swift a flight,
That for a moment shone its whole long track of light.

At length in northern skies, at first but small,
A sheet of light meteorous begun
To spread on either hand, and rise and fall
In waves, that slowly first, then quickly run
Along its edge, set thick but one by one
With spiry beams, that all at once shot high,
Like those through vapours from the setting sun;
Then sidelong as before the wind they fly,
Like streaking rain from clouds that flit along the sky.

Now all the mountain-tops and gulfs between
Seem’d one dark plain; from forests, caves profound,
And rushing waters far below unseen,
Rose a deep roar in one united sound,
Alike pervading all the air around,
And seeming e’en the azure dome to fill,
And from it through soft ether to resound
In low vibrations, sending a sweet thrill
To every finger’s end from rapture deep and still.


Date: ?1828

By: Carlos Wilcox (1794-1827)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Revenge by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Ay, gaze upon her rose-wreathed hair,
And gaze upon her smile;
Seem as you drank the very air
Her breath perfumed the while:

And wake for her the gifted line,
That wild and witching lay,
And swear your heart is as a shrine,
That only owns her sway.

’Tis well: I am revenged at last,—
Mark you that scornful cheek,—
The eye averted as you pass’d,
Spoke more than words could speak.

Ay, now by all the bitter tears
That I have shed for thee,—
The racking doubts, the burning fears,—
Avenged they well may be—

By the nights pass’d in sleepless care,
The days of endless woe;
All that you taught my heart to bear,
All that yourself will know.

I would not wish to see you laid
Within an early tomb;
I should forget how you betray’d,
And only weep your doom:

But this is fitting punishment,
To live and love in vain,—
Oh my wrung heart, be thou content,
And feed upon his pain.

Go thou and watch her lightest sigh,—
Thine own it will not be;
And bask beneath her sunny eye,—
It will not turn on thee.

’Tis well: the rack, the chain, the wheel,
Far better hadst thou proved;
Ev’n I could almost pity feel,
For thou art not beloved.

From: Landon, Letitia Elizabeth, The Poetical Works of Letitia Elizabeth Landon in Four Volumes, Volume IV. The Venetian Bracelet, 1844, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans: London, pp. 232-25.

Date: 1828

By: Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802-1838)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

It is not Beauty I Demand by George Darley

It is not Beauty I demand,
A crystal brow, the moon’s despair,
Nor the snow’s daughter, a white hand,
Nor mermaid’s yellow pride of hair.

Tell me not of your starry eyes,
Your lips that seem on roses fed,
Your breasts where Cupid trembling lies,
Nor sleeps for kissing of his bed.

A bloomy pair of vermeil cheeks,
Like Hebe’s in her ruddiest hours,
A breath that softer music speaks
Than summer winds a-wooing flowers.

These are but gauds; nay, what are lips?
Coral beneath the ocean-stream,
Whose brink when your adventurer sips
Full oft he perisheth on them.

And what are cheeks but ensigns oft
That wave hot youth to fields of blood?
Did Helen’s breast though ne’er so soft,
Do Greece or Ilium any good?

Eyes can with baleful ardor burn,
Poison can breathe that erst perfumed,
There’s many a white hand holds an urn
With lovers’ hearts to dust consumed.

For crystal brows–there’s naught within,
They are but empty cells for pride;
He who the Syren’s hair would win
Is mostly strangled in the tide.

Give me, instead of beauty’s bust,
A tender heart, a loyal mind,
Which with temptation I could trust,
Yet never linked with error find.

One in whose gentle bosom I
Could pour my secret heart of woes.
Like the care-burdened honey-fly
That hides his murmurs in the rose.

My earthly comforter! whose love
So indefeasible might be,
That when my spirit won above
Hers could not stay for sympathy.


Date: 1828

By: George Darley (1795-1846)

Alternative Title: The Loveliness of Love