Posts tagged ‘1853’

Monday, 30 November 2020

The Whippoorwill and I by Horatio Alger, Junior

In the hushed hours of night, when the air is quite still,
I hear the strange cry of the lone whippoorwill,
Who chants, without ceasing, that wonderful trill,
Of which the sole burden is still, “Whip-poor-Will.”

And why should I whip him? Strange visitant, say,
Has he been playing truant this long summer day?
I listened a moment; more clear and more shrill
Rang the voice of the bird, as he cried, “Whip-poor-Will.”

But what has poor Will done? I ask you once more;
I’ll whip him, don’t fear, if you’ll tell me what for.
I paused for an answer; o’er valley and hill
Rang the voice of the bird, as he cried, “Whip-poor-Will.”

Has he come to your dwelling, by night or by day,
And snatched the young birds from their warm nest away?
I paused for an answer; o’er valley and hill
Rang the voice of the bird, as he cried, “Whip-poor-Will.”

Well, well, I can hear you, don’t have any fears,
I can hear what is constantly dinned in my ears.
The obstinate bird, with his wonderful trill,
Still made but one answer, and that, “Whip-poor-Will.”

But what has poor Will done? I prithee explain;
I’m out of all patience, don’t mock me again.
The obstinate bird, with his wonderful trill,
Still made but one answer, and that, “Whip-poor-Will.”

Well, have your own way, then; but if you won’t tell,
I’ll shut down the window, and bid you farewell;
But of one thing be sure, I won’t whip him until
You give me some reason for whipping poor Will.

I listened a moment, as if for reply,
But nothing was heard but the bird’s mocking cry.
I caught the faint echo from valley and hill;
It breathed the same burden, that strange “Whip-poor-Will.”

From: https://www.horatioalgersociety.net/800_poetry/93%20The%20Whippoorwill%20and%20I%202017.pdf

Date: 1853

By: Horatio Alger, Junior (1832-1899)

Thursday, 24 October 2019

America by James Monroe Whitfield

America, it is to thee,
Thou boasted land of liberty, –
It is to thee I raise my song,
Thou land of blood, and crime, and wrong.
It is to thee, my native land,
From whence has issued many a band
To tear the black man from his soil,
And force him here to delve and toil;
Chained on your blood-bemoistened sod,
Cringing beneath a tyrant’s rod,
Stripped of those rights which Nature’s God
Bequeathed to all the human race,
Bound to a petty tyrant’s nod,
Because he wears a paler face.
Was it for this, that freedom’s fires
Were kindled by your patriot sires?
Was it for this, they shed their blood,
On hill and plain, on field and flood?
Was it for this, that wealth and life
Were staked upon that desperate strife,
Which drenched this land for seven long years
With blood of men, and women’s tears?
When black and white fought side by side,
Upon the well-contested field, –
Turned back the fierce opposing tide,
And made the proud invader yield –
When, wounded, side by side they lay,
And heard with joy the proud hurrah
From their victorious comrades say
That they had waged successful war,
The thought ne’er entered in their brains
That they endured those toils and pains,
To forge fresh fetters, heavier chains
For their own children, in whose veins
Should flow that patriotic blood,
So freely shed on field and flood.
Oh no; they fought, as they believed,
For the inherent rights of man;
But mark, how they have been deceived
By slavery’s accursed plan.
They never thought, when thus they shed
Their heart’s best blood, in freedom’s cause.
That their own sons would live in dread,
Under unjust, oppressive laws:
That those who quietly enjoyed
The rights for which they fought and fell,
Could be the framers of a code,
That would disgrace the fiends of hell!
Could they have looked, with prophet’s ken,
Down to the present evil time,
Seen free-born men, uncharged with crime,
Consigned unto a slaver’s pen, –
Or thrust into a prison cell,
With thieves and murderers to dwell –
While that same flag whose stripes and stars
Had been their guide through freedom’s wars
As proudly waved above the pen
Of dealers in the souls of men!
Or could the shades of all the dead,
Who fell beneath that starry flag,
Visit the scenes where they once bled,
On hill and plain, on vale and crag,
By peaceful brook, or ocean’s strand,
By inland lake, or dark green wood,
Where’er the soil of this wide land
Was moistened by their patriot blood, –
And then survey the country o’er,
From north to south, from east to west,
And hear the agonizing cry
Ascending up to God on high,
From western wilds to ocean’s shore,
The fervent prayer of the oppressed;
The cry of helpless infancy
Torn from the parent’s fond caress
By some base tool of tyranny,
And doomed to woe and wretchedness;
The indignant wail of fiery youth,
Its noble aspirations crushed,
Its generous zeal, its love of truth,
Trampled by tyrants in the dust;
The aerial piles which fancy reared,
And hopes too bright to be enjoyed,
Have passed and left his young heart seared,
And all its dreams of bliss destroyed.
The shriek of virgin purity,
Doomed to some libertine’s embrace,
Should rouse the strongest sympathy
Of each one of the human race;
And weak old age, oppressed with care,
As he reviews the scene of strife,
Puts up to God a fervent prayer,
To close his dark and troubled life.
The cry of fathers, mothers, wives,
Severed from all their hearts hold dear,
And doomed to spend their wretched lives
In gloom, and doubt, and hate, and fear;
And manhood, too, with soul of fire,
And arm of strength, and smothered ire,
Stands pondering with brow of gloom,
Upon his dark unhappy doom,
Whether to plunge in battle’s strife,
And buy his freedom with his life,
And with stout heart and weapon strong,
Pay back the tyrant wrong for wrong,
Or wait the promised time of God,
When his Almighty ire shall wake,
And smite the oppressor in his wrath,
And hurl red ruin in his path,
And with the terrors of his rod,
Cause adamantine hearts to quake.
Here Christian writhes in bondage still,
Beneath his brother Christian’s rod,
And pastors trample down at will,
The image of the living God.
While prayers go up in lofty strains,
And pealing hymns ascend to heaven,
The captive, toiling in his chains,
With tortured limbs and bosom riven,
Raises his fettered hand on high,
And in the accents of despair,
To him who rules both earth and sky,
Puts up a sad, a fervent prayer,
To free him from the awful blast
Of slavery’s bitter galling shame –
Although his portion should be cast
With demons in eternal flame!
Almighty God! ‘t is this they call
The land of liberty and law;
Part of its sons in baser thrall
Than Babylon or Egypt saw –
Worse scenes of rapine, lust and shame,
Than Babylonian ever knew,
Are perpetrated in the name
Of God, the holy, just, and true;
And darker doom than Egypt felt,
May yet repay this nation’s guilt.
Almighty God! thy aid impart,
And fire anew each faltering heart,
And strengthen every patriot’s hand,
Who aims to save our native land.
We do not come before thy throne,
With carnal weapons drenched in gore,
Although our blood has freely flown,
In adding to the tyrant’s store.
Father! before thy throne we come,
Not in the panoply of war,
With pealing trump, and rolling drum,
And cannon booming loud and far;
Striving in blood to wash out blood,
Through wrong to seek redress for wrong;
For while thou ‘rt holy, just and good,
The battle is not to the strong;
But in the sacred name of peace,
Of justice, virtue, love and truth,
We pray, and never mean to cease,
Till weak old age and fiery youth
In freedom’s cause their voices raise,
And burst the bonds of every slave;
Till, north and south, and east and west,
The wrongs we bear shall be redressed.

From: https://www.poemist.com/james-monroe-whitfield/america

Date: 1853

By: James Monroe Whitfield (1822-1871)

Saturday, 13 July 2019

The Dark Blot [Le Point Noir] by Gérard de Nerval (Labrunie)

He who has gazed against the sun sees everywhere
he looks thereafter, palpitating on the air
before his eyes, a smudge that will not go away.

So in my days of still-youth, my audacity,
I dared look on the splendor momentarily.
The dark blot on my greedy eyes has come to stay.

Since when, worn like a badge of mourning in the sight
of all around me where my eye may chance to light,
I see the dark smudge settle upon everyone.

Forever thus between my happiness and me?
Alas for us, the eagle only, only he
can look, and not be hurt, on splendor and the sun.

From: Flores, Angel (ed.), The Anchor Anthology of French Poetry from Nerval to Valéry in English Translation, 2000, Anchor Books: New York, pp. 8-9.
(https://books.google.com.au/books/about/The_Anchor_Anthology_of_French_Poetry.html?id=nKOmHZXl5JgC)

Date: 1853 (original in French); 1958 (translation in English)

By: Gérard de Nerval (Labrunie) (1808-1855)

Translated by: Richmond Alexander Lattimore (1906-1984)

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

The Wind by Thomas Holley Chivers

Thou wringest, with thy invisible hand, the foam
Out of the emerald drapery of the sea,
Beneath whose foldings lies the Sea-Nymph’s home —
Lifted, to make it visible, by thee;
Till thou art exiled, earthward, from the maine,
To cool the parched tongue of the Earth with rain.

Thy viewless wing sweeps, with its tireless flight,
Whole Navies from their boundings on the waves —
Wrapping the canvas, pregnant with thy might,
Around the seamen in their watery graves!
Till thou dost fall asleep upon the grass,
And then the ocean is as smooth as glass.

Thou art the Gardner of the flowery earth —
The Sower in the spring-time of the year —
Clearing plantations, in thy goings forth,
Amid the wilderness, where all is drear —
Scattering ten thousand giant oaks around,
Like playthings, on the dark, opprobrious ground.

From: https://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poems/wind

Date: 1853

By: Thomas Holley Chivers (1809-1858)

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Good King Wenceslas by John Mason Neale

Good King Wenceslas look’d out,
On the Feast of Stephen;
When the snow lay round about,
Deep, and crisp, and even:
Brightly shone the moon that night,
Though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight,
Gath’ring winter fuel.

“Hither page and stand by me,
If thou know’st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence.
Underneath the mountain;
Right against the forest fence,
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh,and bring me wine,
Bring me pine-logs hither:
Thouand I will see him dine,
When we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went,
Forth they went together;
Through the rude wind’s wild lament,
And the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now,
And the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know now how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, good my page;
Tread thou in them boldly;
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod,
Where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessing.

From: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/249718

Date: 1853

By: John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Lines by John Lofland

I saw a ship, in beauty to the breeze,
Bend her white sails upon the dark blue seas;
Swift o’er the billows, on the wings of wind,
She disappeared, nor left a track behind;
At morn I saw her, but at set of sun.
Gone was that ship, her trackless race was run:
And thus it is with man, his soul sublime,
In life’s gay morn, upon the tide of time,
Moves on in grandeur; but when night comes on,
He, on eternity’s dark sea, is gone;
He disappears, nor do life’s billows bear
One trace, ’tis as he never had been there.

From: Lofland, John and M’Jilton, J.N. (ed.), The Poetical and Prose Writings of Dr. John Lofland, the Milford Bard, Consisting of Sketches in Poetry and Prose, Moral, Satirical, Sentimental, Sympathetic and Humorous. With a Portrait of the Author and a Sketch of his Life, 1853, John Murphy & Co: Baltimore, p. 200.
(https://archive.org/stream/poeticalprosewri00lofl#page/200/mode/2up)

Date: 1853 (published)

By: John Lofland (1798-1849)

Monday, 12 March 2012

The Sorrows of Werther by William Makepeace Thackeray

Werther had a love for Charlotte
    Such as words could never utter;
Would you know how first he met her?
    She was cutting bread and butter.

Charlotte was a married lady,
    And a moral man was Werther,
And, for all the wealth of Indies,
    Would do nothing for to hurt her.

So he sighed and pined and ogled,
    And his passion boiled and bubbled,
Till he blew his silly brains out,
    And no more was by it troubled.

Charlotte, having seen his body
    Borne before her on a shutter,
Like a well-conducted person,
    Went on cutting bread and butter.

From: http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/2194.html

Date: 1853

By: William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)