Posts tagged ‘1833’

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Idyl XI, 7-64: The Cyclops in Love by Theocritus

And so an easier life our Cyclops drew,
The ancient Polyphemus, who in youth,
Loved Galatea, while the manhood grew
Adown his cheeks and darkened round his mouth.
No jot he cared for apples, olives, roses;
Love made him mad : the whole world was neglected ;
The very sheep went backward to their closes
From out the fair green pastures, self-directed.
And singing Galatea, thus, he wore
The sunrise down along the weedy shore,
And pined alone, and felt the cruel wound
Beneath his heart, whicli Cypris’ arrow bore,
With a deep pang ; but so the cure was found;
And sitting on a lofty rock he cast
His eyes ujion the sea, and sang at last;
“O whitest Galatea, can it be
That thou shouldst spurn me off who love thee so?
More white than curds, my girl, thou art to see,
More meek than lambs, more full of leaping glee
Than kids, and brighter than the early glow
On grapes that swell to ripen, sour like thee!
Thou comest to me with the fragrant sleep,
And with the fragrant sleep thou goest from me;
Thou fliest — fliest, as a frightened sheep
Flies the gray wolf! yet Love did overcome me,
So long; — I loved thee, maiden, first of all
When down the hills (my mother fast beside thee)
I saw thee stray to pluck the summer-fall
Of hyacinth bells, and went myself to guide thee:
And since my eyes have seen thee, they can leave thee
No more, from that day’s light ! But thou — by Zeus,
Thou wilt not care for that to let it grieve thee!
I know thee, fair one, why thou springest loose
From my arm round thee. Why? I tell thee, Dear!
One shaggy eyebrow draws its smudging road
Straight through my ample front, from ear to ear;
One eye rolls underneath ; and yawning, broad,
Flat nostrils feel the bulging lips too near.
Yet — ho, ho! — I, — whatever I appear.
Do feed a thousand oxen! When I have done,
I milk the cows, and drink the milk that ‘s best!
I lack no cheese, while summer keeps the sun;
And after, in the cold, it ‘s ready pressed!
And then I know to sing, as there is none
Of all the Cyclops can, — a song of thee,
Sweet apple of my soul, on love’s fair tree,
And of myself who love thee — till the West
Forgets the light, and all but I have rest.
I feed for thee, besides, eleven fair does,
And all in fawn ; and four tame whelps of bears.
Come to me. Sweet! thou shalt have all of those
In change for love! I will not halve the shares.
Leave the blue sea, with pure white arms extended
To the dry shore; and in my cave’s recess,
Thou shalt be gladder for the moonlight ended;
For here be laurels, spiral cypresses,
Dark ivy, and a vine whose leaves enfold
Most luscious grapes; and here is water cold,
The wooded Ætna pours down through the trees
From the white snows, — which gods were scarce too bold
To drink in turn with nectar. Who with these
Would choose the salt wave of the lukewarm seas?
Nay, look on me! If I am hairy and rough,
I have an oak’s heart in me; there ‘s a fire
In these gray ashes which burns hot enough;
And when I burn for thee, I grudge the pyre
No fuel — not my soul, nor this one eye, —
Most precious thing I have, because thereby
I see thee. Fairest! Out, alas! I wish
My mother had borne me finned like a fish.
That I might plunge down in the ocean near thee,
And kiss thy glittering hand between the weeds,
If still thy face were turned; and I would bear thee
Each lily white, and poppy fair that bleeds
Its red heart down its leaves! one gift for hours
Of summer; — one, for winter; since to cheer thee,
I could not bring at once all kinds of flowers.
Even now, girl, now, I fain would learn to swim,
If stranger in a ship sailed nigh, I wis,
That I may know how sweet a thing it is
To live down with you in the Deep and Dim!
Come up, O Galatea, from the ocean,
And having come, forget again to go!
As I, who sing out here my heart’s emotion,
Could sit forever. Come up from below!

From: Appleton, William Hyde (ed.), Greek Poets in English Verse by Various Translators, 1893, The Riverside Press: Boston and New York, pp. 274-277.

Date: 3rd century BCE (original in Greek); 1833 (translation in English)

By: Theocritus (c300 BCE-after 260 BCE)

Translated by: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Sons of the Union! by William Henry Timrod

Sons of the Union, rise!
Stand ye not recreant by, and see
The brightest star in Freedom’s galaxy
Flung sullied from the skies!

Hosts of the martyred brave!
Bend ye not your pure spirits from the clouds,
Indignant at the darkness that enshrouds
The land ye died to save?

Sons of the brave! shall ye,
Basely submissive, crouch to faction’s slaves?
No! rather lay ye down in glorious graves:
‘Tis easy to die free!

And who the foes that dare
Flout the brave banner of a mighty land,
Which floating in a thousand fields, hath fanned
The brow of victory there?

Laid they the scheme of blood,
Blasting the hope of ages yet to come,
Beneath some Temple’s consecrated dome,
With tears and prayers to God?

No! In the wassail hall,
Draining the maddening wine-cup, while the cries
Of brutal drunkenness affront the skies,
They planned their country’s fall!

God! do thy high decrees
Doom that our fathers’ blood was shed in vain,
And that our glorious Union’s sacred chain
Be snapped by foes like these?

Sons of the Union, rise!
Stand ye not recreant by, and see
The highest star in Freedom’s galaxy
Flung sullied from the skies!

From: Timrod, Henry and Hayne, Paul H. (ed.), The Poems of Henry Timrod. Edited, with a Sketch of the Poet’s Life, New Revised Edition, 1872, E. J. Hale & Son: New York, pp. 14-16.

Date: 1833

By: William Henry Timrod (1792-1838)

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Fragment 286: The Influence of Spring by Ibycus

In Spring, bedewed with river-streams,
From where, for everlasting, gleams
The garden of th’ Hesperides
Blossom Cydonian apple-trees; —
In Spring the saplings freshly shine,
Beneath the parent-vine
In shadow and in breeze;
But me Love’s mighty power,
That sleepeth never an hour,
From Venus rushing, burneth with desire,
As with lightning fire;
Black, as the Thracian wind,
He seizes on my mind,
With dry delirious heat
Inflames my reason’s seat,
And, in the centre of my soul,
Keeps empire for a child, and holds
Uncheck’d control.


Date: 7th century BCE (original in Greek); 1833 (translation in English)

By: Ibycus (6th century BCE)

Translated by: Henry Nelson Coleridge (1798-1843)

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Excerpt from “The Vampire Bride” by Henry Thomas Liddell

Five yards under ground a coffin they found,
Of strange unwonted shape;
And the cold wet clay was red where it lay,
And the coffin-lid did gape!

They lifted the lid, and the shroud they undid,
But what they saw underneath—
The horrible sight that congeal’d them quite—
I almost fear to breathe.

Beneath a shroud, stain’d and spotted with blood,
A female naked lay!
On her clenched hand shone a sapphire stone,
In her corpse there was no decay!

Her eyes did stare with a demon glare,
A girdle bound her waist;
And words unknown on the charmed zone
Mysteriously were traced.

Her veins accurs’d seem’d ready to burst,
She was gorged with infernal food;
And the vampire mouth foam d with crimson froth;
Her very pores oozed blood.

The lab’rers shrunk—and, fainting, sunk
Back from the hideous sight;
And the priests fled the church, and rush’d out at the porch,—
They almost went mad with affright.

But the Virgin Bride in her maiden pride,
In her love and virtue brave,
A crucifix press’d to her noble breast,
And sprung into the grave.

“That which was given in the sight of Heaven,
I bid thee, Fiend, restore;
That ring I claim in His awful name,
Whom the Powers of Hell adore:

“By His holy sign, I bid thee resign,
Demon, thy right for ever;—
Whom God doth join at His sacred shrine,
Presume not thou to sever.”

The Vampire shook at the words she spoke,
In an instant the palm open’d wide;
From its finger she drew the sapphire blue,
As drops from the icicle glide.

When the zone they unlaced from around its waist,
Its bright eyes with fury gleam’d;
When they thrust a dart through its swollen heart,
It convulsively shiver’d and screamed;

And the red blood thereout did gush and did spout,
Till it sprinkled the chancel roof;
So vehement it sprung, that no fountain e’er flung
With like force its waters aloof.

But the carcass foul of the carrion Goule
Grew flaccid, and meagre, and thin—
As a huge bladder blown, when the air is gone
Shrivels up into wrinkled skin.

They lifted the bier from its sepulchre,
Holy water they sprinkled around,
And lo! where it lay on the blood-stain’d clay,
A passage went under ground.

It led to the tombs and the long catacombs
Beneath the churchyard wall;
Where the Goules and Sprites keep on Sabbath nights
Their unholy Carnival.

And spiders unclean, and huge earth-grubs, were seen
Beneath the coffin to twine;
But the spider and worm own’d the pow’r of the charm,
For never a one crawl’d within.

From the loathing shrine of Saint Peter divine
They cast the Vampire forth,
But none could declare how it ever came there,
In consecrated earth.

From: Liddell, Henry, The Wizard of the North; The Vampire Bride; and Other Poems, 1833, William Blackwood: Edinburgh and T. Cadell: London, pp. 49-53.

Date: 1833

By: Henry Thomas Liddell (1797-1878)

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Sonnet-Rack by Henry Ellison

Poor Thought! stretched on Rime’s Procrustean bed,
And threatened, saving that it doth not kill
Outright, with every mortal ache and ill
By Thought, Thought in the flesh, inherited,
Clothed on with Words, its mortal weeds. First head
And neck must crane and stretch; then feet, until
Of prescribed length, or lopped, sometimes with skill
Surgeonly, oftener hacked, till well-nigh dead.
So liest thou on the rack, Body and Soul,
At odds, in dread of rimed Death, who waits
At every turn, and mocks each twist and roll,
While words unsesquipedalian curse thy Fates!
Now ’tis thy racked brain can’t the thought control,
Now thy lame feet won’t go; curs’d in both states!


Date: 1833

By: Henry Ellison (1811-1880)

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Sonnet VII by Hartley Coleridge

Is love a fancy, or a feeling? No,
It is immortal as immaculate Truth.
‘Tis not a blossom shed as soon as youth
Drops from the stem of life—for it will grow
In barren regions, where no waters flow,
Nor rays of promise cheats the pensive gloom.
A darkling fire, faint hovering o’er a tomb,
That but itself and darkness nought doth shew,
It is my love’s being,—yet it cannot die,
Nor will it change, though all be changed beside;
Tho’ fairest beauty be no longer fair,
Tho’ vows be false, and faith itself deny,
Tho’ sharp enjoyment be a suicide,
And hope a spectre in a ruin bare.

From: Coleridge, Hartley, Poems by Hartley Coleridge with a Memoir of his Life by his Brother, Volume I (2nd edition), 1851, Edward Moxon: London, p. 11.

Date: 1833

By: Hartley Coleridge (1796-1849)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day by Traditional

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day;
I would my true love did so chance
To see the legend of my play,
To call my true love to my dance;

Then was I born of a virgin pure,
Of her I took fleshly substance
Thus was I knit to man’s nature
To call my true love to my dance.

In a manger laid, and wrapped I was
So very poor, this was my chance
Betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass
To call my true love to my dance.

Then afterwards baptized I was;
The Holy Ghost on me did glance,
My Father’s voice heard from above,
To call my true love to my dance.

Into the desert I was led,
Where I fasted without substance;
The Devil bade me make stones my bread,
To have me break my true love’s dance.

The Jews on me they made great suit,
And with me made great variance,
Because they loved darkness rather than light,
To call my true love to my dance.

For thirty pence Judas me sold,
His covetousness for to advance:
Mark whom I kiss, the same do hold!
The same is he shall lead the dance.

Before Pilate the Jews me brought,
Where Barabbas had deliverance;
They scourged me and set me at nought,
Judged me to die to lead the dance.

Then on the cross hanged I was,
Where a spear my heart did glance;
There issued forth both water and blood,
To call my true love to my dance.

Then down to hell I took my way
For my true love’s deliverance,
And rose again on the third day,
Up to my true love and the dance.

Then up to heaven I did ascend,
Where now I dwell in sure substance
On the right hand of God, that man
May come unto the general dance.


Date: thought 14th century; this version published 1833

By: Traditional

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Epigram by Matthew James Chapman

I asked thee for a lock of hair;
Twas given, – then taken back from me;
Caprice but made thee seem more fair,
In vain I struggle to be free.

Think not by frowns to check my love, –
By scorn to set thy captive free;
For even frowns thy charms improve,
And scorn looks beautiful in thee.

From: Chapman, M. J., Barbadoes, and Other Poems, 1833, James Fraser: London, p. 159.

Date: 1833

By: Matthew James Chapman (1796-1865)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Praise of Age by Robert Henryson (with modern verse translation by Patrick Fraser Tytler)

Wythin a garth, under a rede rosere,
Ane ald man and decrepit herd I syng;
Gay was the note, suete was the voce and clere;
It was grete joy to here of sik a thing.
“And to my dome,” he said in his dytyng,
“For to be yong I wald not, for my wis,
Off all this warld to mak me lord and king:
The more of age, the nerar hevynnis blis.

“False is this warld and full of variance,
Besoucht with syn and othir sytis mo;
Treuth is all tynt, gyle has the gouvernance,
Wrechitnes has wroht all welthis wele to wo,
Fredome is tynt and flemyt the lordis fro,
And covatise is all the cause of this;
I am content that youthede is ago:
The more of age, the nerar hevynnis blisse.

“The state of youth I repute for na gude,
For in that state sik perilis now I see
Bot full smal grace; the regeing of his blude
Can none gaynstand quhill that he agit be;
Syne of the thing that tofore joyit he
Nothing remaynis for to be callit his,
For quhy it were bot veray vanitee:
The more of age, the nerar hevynnis blisse.

“Suld no man traist this wrechit warld, for quhy
Of erdly joy ay sorow is the end,
The state of it can noman certify;
This day a king, to morne na gude to spend.
Quhat have we here bot grace us to defend?
The quhilk God grant us, for to mend oure mys,
That to His glore He may oure saulis send:
The more of age, the nerar hevynnis blisse.”

Praise of Age (modern verse translation by Patrick Fraser Tytler)

In garden green, beneath a sweet rose-tree,
I heard an aged man serenely sing;
Gay was the note, his voice was full and free,
It gave me joy to see so strange a thing.
And thus he sang: – I would not, to be a king
Of all this world, live o’er a life like this.
Oh Youth! thy sweetest flowers have a sharpest sting:
The more of age the nearer heavenly bliss.

False is the world, and full of changes vile;
O’errun with sin, and penury, and pain:
Truth is all fled – the helm is held by guile –
Fell coward treason hath high honour slain,
And freedom languisheth in iron chain.
‘Tis the low love of power hath brought all this.
Ah! weep not then that youth is on the wane:
The more of age the nearer heavenly bliss.

Trust then no more this wretched world – for why?
All earthly joy doth still in sorrow end;
His mortal state can no man certify:
To-day a king – to-morrow none will lend
Thy regal head a shelter: – may God mend,
With his sweet grace, so sad a wreck as this;
And to his glory soon our spirits send:
The more of age the nearer heavenly bliss.

From: Tytler, Patrick Fraser, Lives of Scottish Worthies: James 1 [pt. 2]. Robert Henryson. William Dunbar. Gavin Douglas. Sir David Lindsay. Antiquarian Illustrations, 1833, John Murray: London, pp. 83-84.

Date: 1508 (published), 1833 (translation)

By: Robert Henryson (c1460-1500)

Translation by: Patrick Fraser Tytler (1791-1849)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Sonnet XXX. On Seeing Our Family-Vault by Henry Alford

This lodging is well chosen: for ’tis near
The fitful sighing of those chestnut–trees;
And every Sabbath morning it can hear
The swelling of the hymnèd melodies;
And the low booming of the funeral bell
Shall murmur through the dark and vaulted room,
Waking its solemn echoes but to tell
That one more soul is gathered to its home.
There we shall lie beneath the trodden stone:–
Oh, none can tell how dreamless and how deep
Our peace will be when the last earth is thrown,
The last notes of the music fallen asleep,
The mourners past away, the tolling done,
The last chink closed, and the long dark begun.


Date: 1833

By: Henry Alford (1810-1871)