Posts tagged ‘1857’

Friday, 17 July 2020

Vanity Fair by Frederick Locker-Lampson

“Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity.” — Ecclesiastes.

“Vanitas Vanitatum” has rung in the ears
Of gentle and simple for thousands of years;
The wail is still heard, yet its notes never scare
Or simple, or gentle, from Vanity Fair.

This Fair has allurements alike to engage
The dimples of youth and the wrinkles of age;
Though mirth may be feigning, though sheen may be glare,
The gingerbread’s gilded in Vanity Fair.

Old Dives there rolls in his chariot of state,
There Jack takes his Joan at a lowlier rate,
St Giles’, St James’, from alley and square,
Send votaries plenty to Vanity Fair.

That goal would be vain where the guerdon was dross,
So come whence they may they must come by a loss:
The tree was enticing,—its branches are bare;
Heigh-ho! for the promise of Vanity Fair.

My son, the sham goddess I warn thee to shun,
Beware of the beautiful temptress, my son;
Her blandishments fly,—or, despising the snare,
Go laugh at the follies of Vanity Fair.

That stupid old Dives, once honest enough,
His honesty sold for Stars, Ribbons, and Stuff;
And Joan’s pretty face has been clouded with care
Since Jack bought her ribbons at Vanity Fair.

Contemptible Dives!—too credulous Joan!
Yet each has a Vanity Fair of his own;—
My son, you have yours, but you need not despair,
Myself, I’ve a weakness for Vanity Fair.

Philosophy halts, wisest counsels are vain,—
We go, we repent, we return there again;
To-night you will certainly meet with us there,
Exceedingly merry at Vanity Fair.

From: Locker, Frederick, London Lyrics, 1904, Methuen & Co: London, pp. 48-50.

Date: 1857

By: Frederick Locker-Lampson (1821-1895)

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Retrospection by Charlotte Elliott

O! how oft, unseen, unknown,
Does “the soul of feeling”
Muse on friends far off, or gone,
Memory’s stores unsealing.

O’er the track of years gone by,
Pleased the spirit wanders;
Breathes o’er many a spot a sigh,
Many a record ponders.

Scenes which long have disappeared,
From their sleep awaken;
Sounds by loved lost friends endeared,
Joys by them partaken.

Funeral tokens rise around,
The full heart o’erpowering;
Urns with many a garland bound,
Cypress-trees embowering.

Bright and fragrant there appear
Flowers of recollection;
Bathed by many a holy tear,
Nursed by fond affection.

O! ye loved, lamented few!
Once to me united,
Heavenward by each thought of you
Be my soul incited!

From: Elliott, Charlotte, Hours of Sorrow Cheered and Comforted, 1857, Lindsay & Blakiston: Philadelphia, pp. 31-32.

Date: 1857

By: Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Three Troopers During the Protectorate by George Walter Thornbury

Into the Devil tavern
Three booted troopers strode,
From spur to feather spotted and splash’d
With the mud of a winter road.
In each of their cups they dropp’d a crust,
And star’d at the guests with a frown;
Then drew their swords, and roar’d for a toast,
“God send this Crum-well-down!”

A blue smoke rose from their pistol locks,
Their sword blades were still wet;
There were long red smears on their jerkins of buff,
As the table they overset.
Then into their cups they stirr’d the crusts,
And curs’d old London town;
Then wav’d their swords, and drank with a stamp,
“God send this Crum-well-down!”

The ‘prentice dropp’d his can of beer,
The host turn’d pale as a clout;
The ruby nose of the toping squire
Grew white at the wild men’s shout.
Then into their cups they flung the crusts,
And show’d their teeth with a frown;
They flash’d their swords as they gave the toast,
“God send this Crum-well-down!”

The gambler dropp’d his dog’s-ear’d cards,
The waiting-women scream’d,
As the light of the fire, like stains of blood,
On the wild men’s sabres gleam’d.
Then into their cups they splash’d the crusts,
And curs’d the fool of a town,
And leap’d on the table, and roar’d a toast,
“God send this Crum-well-down!”

Till on a sudden fire-bells rang,
And the troopers sprang to horse;
The eldest mutter’d between his teeth,
Hot curses — deep and coarse.
In their stirrup cups they flung the crusts,
And cried as they spurr’d through town,
With their keen swords drawn and their pistols cock’d,
“God send this Crum-well-down!”

Away they dash’d through Temple Bar,
Their red cloaks flowing free,
Their scabbards clash’d, each back-piece shone —
None lik’d to touch the three.
The silver cups that held the crusts
They flung to the startled town,
Shouting again, with a blaze of swords,
“God send this Crum-well-down!”


Date: 1857

By: George Walter Thornbury (1828-1876)

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

My Loves by John Stuart Blackie

Air — ‘Shall I wasting in despair?’

(Suggested by Anæcreon’s ‘εί φύλλα, κ.τ.λ.’)

Name the leaves on all the trees,
Name the waves on all the seas,
Name the notes of all the groves,
Thus thou namest all my loves.

I do love the dark, the fair,
Golden ringlets, raven hair.
Eye that swims in sunny light.
Glance that shoots like lightning bright.

I do love the stately dame
And the sportive girl the same;
Every changeful phase between
Blooming cheek and brow serene.

I do love the young, the old,
Maiden modest, virgin bold.
Tiny beauties, and the tall;
Earth has room enough for all.

Which is better, who can say,
Lucy grave or Mary gay?
She who half her charms conceals,
She who flashes while she feels?

Why should I my love confine?
Why should fair be mine or thine?
If I praise a tulip, why
Should I pass a primrose by?

Paris was a pedant fool
Meting beauty by a rule,
Pallas? Juno? Venus? — he
Should have chosen all the three.

I am wise life’s every bliss
Thankful tasting; and a kiss
Is a sweet thing, I declare,
From a dark maid or a fair!

From: Blackie, John Stuart and Walker, Archibald Stodart (ed.), The Selected Poems of John Stuart Blackie, Edited with an Appreciation by Archibald Stodart Walker, 1896, John MacQueen: London, pp. 145-146.

Date: 1857

By: John Stuart Blackie (1809-1895)

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Ella’s Roses by William Cox Bennett

Venus, unto thee, the rose,
Summer’s darling, told her woes,
Told how she, the queen of flowers.
Loved of all the lingering hours,
Glory of the radiant day,
Only came, to pass away,
Beauty of celestial birth,
Fading with the things of earth,
Meanest things of mortal breath,
Poorest things, but worthy death;
Then, foam-brow’d, thy laughing look,
For a moment, joy forsook,
For a moment, till thy thought
Gave the boon thy favourite sought,
All thy darling dared to seek,
Changeless life in Ella’s cheek.

From: Bennett, William Cox, Queen Eleanor’s Vengeance and Other Poems, 1857, Chapman and Hall: London, p. 148.

Date: 1857

By: William Cox Bennett (1820-1895)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Fearfulness by James John Garth Wilkinson

Hush! do not say a word:
The truth is perilous:
The great pool will be stirred:
And this were wrong for us.

We live in sweet suppression,
The violets of dark groves:
And through our intercession,
The fashion-chariot moves.

We love the truth in season,
When no one else is near:
But then it stands to reason,
That there is much to fear.

The world is trammelled up:
Our state is with it wove:
We drink of fortune’s cup,
And of wealth’s modest love.

Don’t carry things too far,
Martyrdom is not good:
And crucifixion’s star
Shines o’er a distant flood.

Don’t mention spiritualism
Except when we’re alone:
Ours is the parson’s chrism:
We stand upon his stone.

From: Wilkinson, J J G, Improvisations from the Spirit, 1857, New Church Publishing Association: New York, pp. 190-191.

Date: 1857

By: James John Garth Wilkinson (1812-1899)

Friday, 27 July 2012

Music by Charles Baudelaire

Music uplifts me like the sea and races
Me to my distant star,
Through veils of mist or through ethereal spaces,
I sail on it afar.

With chest flung out and lungs like sails inflated
Into the depth of night
I escalade the backs of waves serrated,
That darkness veils from sight.

I feel vibrating in me the emotions
That storm-tossed ships must feel.
The fair winds and the tempests and the oceans

Sway my exultant keel.
Sometimes a vast, dead calm with glassy stare
Mirrors my dumb despair.


Date: 1857 (translated 1952)

By: Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)

Translated by: Roy Campbell (1901-1957)

Friday, 9 March 2012

The Married Lover by Coventry Padmore

Why, having won her, do I woo?
Because her spirit’s vestal grace
Provokes me always to pursue,
But, spirit-like, eludes embrace;
Because her womanhood is such
That, as on court-days subjects kiss
The Queen’s hand, yet so near a touch
Affirms no mean familiarness;
Nay, rather marks more fair the height
Which can with safety so neglect
To dread, as lower ladies might,
That grace could meet with disrespect;
Thus she with happy favour feeds
Allegiance from a love so high
That thence no false conceit proceeds
Of difference bridged, or state put by;
Because although in act and word
As lowly as a wife can be,
Her manners, when they call me lord,
Remind me ’tis by courtesy;
Not with her least consent of will,
Which would my proud affection hurt,
But by the noble style that still
Imputes an unattain’d desert;
Because her gay and lofty brows,
When all is won which hope can ask,
Reflect a light of hopeless snows
That bright in virgin ether bask;
Because, though free of the outer court
I am, this Temple keeps its shrine
Sacred to Heaven; because, in short,
She’s not and never can be mine.


Date: 1857

By: Coventry Padmore (1823-1896)