Posts tagged ‘1860’

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Body and Soul by Metta Victoria Fuller Victor

A living soul came into the world—
⁠Whence came it? Who can tell?
Or where that soul went forth again,
⁠When it bade the world farewell?

A body it had, this spirit new,
⁠And the body was given a name,
And chance and change and circumstance
⁠About its being came.
Whether the name would suit the soul
⁠The givers never knew—
Names are alike, but never souls:
⁠So body and spirit grew,
Till time enlarged their narrow sphere
⁠Into the realms of life,
Into this strange and double world,
⁠Whose elements are at strife.

‘Twere easy to tell the daily paths
⁠Walked by the body’s feet,
To mark where the sharpest stones were laid,
⁠Or where the grass grew sweet;
To tell if it hungered, or what its dress,
⁠Ragged, or plain, or rare ;
What was its forehead—what its voice,
⁠Or the hue of its eyes and hair.

But these are all in the common dust;
⁠And the spirit—where is it?
Will any say if the hue of the eyes,
⁠Or the dress, for that was fit?
Will any one say what daily paths
⁠That spirit went or came—
Whether it rested in beds of flowers,
⁠Or shrunk upon beds of flame?
Can any one tell, upon stormy nights,
⁠When the body was safely at home,
Where, amid darkness, terror, and gloom.
⁠Its friend was wont to roam?
Where, upon hills beneath the blue skies.
⁠It rested soft and still,
Flying straight out of its half-closed eyes.
⁠That friend went wandering at will?

High as the bliss of the highest heaven.
⁠Low as the lowest hell.
With hope and fear it winged its way
⁠On journeys none may tell.

It lay on the rose’s fragrant breast,
⁠It bathed in the ocean deep,
It sailed in a ship of sunset cloud.
⁠And it heard the rain-cloud weep.
It laughed with naiads in murmurous caves.
⁠It was struck by the lightning’s flash.
It drank from the moonlit lily-cup.
⁠It heard the iceberg’s crash.

It haunted places of old renown.
⁠It basked in thickets of flowers;
It fled on the wings of the stormy wind.
⁠It dreamed through the star-lit hours,
Alas! a soul’s strange history
⁠Never was written or known,
Though the name and age of its earthly part
⁠Be graven upon the stone!

It hated, and overcame its hate—
⁠It loved to youth’s excess—
It was mad with anguish, wild with joy.
⁠It had visions to grieve and to bless;
It drank of the honey-dew of dreams,
⁠For it was a poet true;
Secrets of nature and secrets of mind,
⁠Mysteriously it knew.

Should mortals question its history.
⁠They would ask if it had gold—
If it bathed and floated in deeps of wealth—
⁠If it traded, and bought, and sold.
They would prize its worth by the outward dress
⁠By which its body was known:
As if a soul must eat and sleep.
⁠And live on money alone!

It had no need to purchase lands.
⁠For it owned the whole broad earth;
‘Twas of royal rank, for all the past
⁠Was its by right of birth.
All beauty in the world below
⁠Was its by right of love.
And it had a great inheritance
⁠In the nameless realms above.

It has gone! the soul so little known—
⁠Its body has lived and died—
Gone from the world so vexing, small:
⁠But the Universe is wide!

From: Coggeshall, William T. (ed.), Poets and Poetry of the West. The Poets and Poetry of the West: with Biographical and Critical Notes, 1860, Follett, Foster and Company: Columbus, pp. 520-521.

Date: 1860

By: Metta Victoria Fuller Victor (1831-1885)

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Sonnet by Elizabeth Deborah Slade Brockman

Cool wind coming from the southern sea,
Filling white sails that homeward turn again,
And flit away like pale clouds o’er the main,
We hail you as you pass so fresh and free.

Warming or chilling ever as you flee,
Speed on soft breeze above the liquid plain,
Blow sweetest, freshest, blithest, when you gain
Fair England’s generous soil of Liberty.

Bear greeting from her children far away,
Who bless her in the new homes where they stay,
Turning with true hearts to the land they love.

Come with the song of birds, the breath of flowers,
Dance with the shadows under hazel bowers,
And fill with whispered music every grove.

From: Kinsella, John and Ryan, Tracy (eds.), The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australia Poetry, 2017, Fremantle Press: Fremantle, p. 44.

Date: c1860

By: Elizabeth Deborah Slade Brockman (1837-1915)

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

The Roses of Saadi by Marceline Desbordes-Valmore (Marie Felicite Josephe Desbordes)

I wanted to bring you roses this morning.
There were so many I wanted to bring,
The knots at my waist could not hold so many.

The knots burst. All the roses took wing,
The air was filled with roses flying,
Carried by the wind, into the sea.

The waves are red, as though they are burning.
My dress still has the scent of the morning,
Remembering roses. Smell them on me.


Date: 1860 (original in French); 1995 (translation in English)

By: Marceline Desbordes-Valmore (Marie Felicite Josephe Desbordes) (1786-1859)

Translated by: Louis Aston Marantz Simpson (1923-2012)

Friday, 20 March 2020

Changes Wrought By Time by John Bowring

On the Inauguration of Dr. Priestley’s Statue at Oxford. July, 1860.

And time rolls on!—time, charged with the redressing
Of past injustice, past forgetfulness,
Brings up the arrear-accumulated blessing,
And blesses men, in that it failed to bless.

From: Bowring, John and Bowring, Deborah (ed.), Sacred Poetry, by the Late Sir John Bowring. To which is prefixed A Memoir of the Author, by Lady Bowring, 1873, Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer: London, p. 6.

Date: 1860

By: John Bowring (1792-1872)

Friday, 30 November 2018

An Upper Chamber in a Darkened House by Frederick Goddard Tuckerman

An upper chamber in a darkened house,
Where, ere his footsteps reached ripe manhood’s brink,
Terror and anguish were his cup to drink;
I cannot rid the thought, nor hold it close
But dimly dream upon that man alone:
Now though the autumn clouds most softly pass,
The cricket chides beneath the doorstep stone,
And greener than the season grows the grass.
Nor can I drop my lids, nor shade my brows,
But there he stands beside the lifted sash;
And with a swooning of the heart, I think
Where the black shingles slope to meet the boughs,
And, shattered on the roof like smallest snows,
The tiny petals of the mountain-ash.


Date: 1860

By: Frederick Goddard Tuckerman (1821-1873)

Monday, 24 September 2018

In Immemoriam by Edward Bradley (Cuthbert Bede)

We seek to know, and knowing seek;
We seek, we know, and every sense
Is trembling with the great Intense
And vibrating to what we speak.

We ask too much, we seek too oft,
We know enough, and should no more;
And yet we skim through Fancy’s lore
And look to earth and not aloft.

A something comes from out the gloom;
I know it not, nor seek to know;
I only see it swell and grow,
And more than this world would presume.

Meseems, a circling void I fill,
And I, unchanged where all is changed;
It seems unreal; I own it strange,
Yet nurse the thoughts I cannot kill.

I hear the ocean’s surging tide,
Raise quiring on its carol-tune;
I watch the golden-sickled moon,
And clearer voices call besides.

O Sea! whose ancient ripples lie
On red-ribbed sands where seaweeds shone;
O Moon! whose golden sickle ‘s gone;
O Voices all! like ye I die!

From: Wells, Carolyn (ed.), A Parody Anthology, 1922, Charles Scribner’s Sons: New York, pp. 174-175.

Date: c1860

By: Edward Bradley (Cuthbert Bede) (1827-1889)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Ode to the Comet by Iolo Goch

Which appeared in the Month of March, A.D. 1402*.

’Bout the stars’ nature and their hue
Much has been said, both false and true;
They’re wondrous through their countenance—
Signs to us in the blue expanse.
The first that came, to merit praise,
Was that great star of splendid rays,
From a fair country seen of old
High in the East, a mark of gold;
Conveying to the sons of Earth
News of the King of glory’s birth.
In the advantage I had share,
Though some to doubt the event will dare,
That Christ was born from Mary maid,
A merciful and timely aid,
With his veins’ blood to save on high
The righteous from the enemy.
The second, a right glorious lamp,
Of yore went over Uther’s camp.
There as it flam’d distinct in view
Merddin amongst the warrior crew
Standing, with tears of anguish, thought
Of the dire act on Emrys wrought,
And he caus’d Uther back to turn,
The victory o’er the foe to earn;
From anger to revenge to spring
Is with the frank a common thing.
Arthur the generous, bold and good,
Was by that comet understood.
Man to be cherish’d well and long,
Foretold through ancient Bardic song:
With ashen shafted lance’s thrust
He shed his foe’s blood on the dust.
The third to Gwynedd’s hills was born
By time and tempest-fury worn,
Similar to the rest it came,
In origin and look the same,
Powerfully lustrous, yellow, red
Both, both as to its beam and head.
The wicked far about and near
Enquire of me, who feel no fear,
For where it comes there luck shall fall,
What means the hot and starry ball?
I know and can expound aright
The meaning of the thing of light:
To the son of the prophecy
Its ray doth steel or fire imply;
There has not been for long, long time
A fitting star to Gwynedd’s clime,
Except the star this year appearing,
Intelligence unto us bearing;
Gem to denote we’re reconcil’d
At length with God the undefil’d.
How beauteous is that present sheen,
Of the excessive heat the queen;
A fire upmounting ’fore our face,
Shining on us God’s bounteous grace;
For where they sank shall rise once more
The diadem and laws of yore.
’Tis high ’bove Mona in the skies,
In the angelic squadron’s eyes;
A golden pillar hangs it there,
A waxen column of the air.
We a fair gift shall gain ere long,
Either a pope or Sovereign strong;
A King, who wine and mead will give,
From Gwynedd’s land we shall receive;
The Lord shall cease incens’d to be,
And happy times cause Gwynedd see,
Fame to obtain by dint of sword,
Till be fulfill’d the olden word.

*Translator’s Note: This piece appears to have been written at the period when Glendower had nearly attained the summit of his greatness; the insurrection which he commenced in September, 1400, by sacking and burning the town of Ruthin, having hitherto sustained no check whatever. In the present poem his bard hails the appearance of the Comet as a divine prognostic of the eventual success of the Welsh Hero, and of his elevation to the throne of Britain.

From: Borrow, George, Welsh Poems and Ballads, 1915, Jarrold & Sons: London, pp. 34-36.

Date: c1402 (original in Welsh); c1860 (translation in English)

By: Iolo Goch (c1320-c1402)

Translated by: George Henry Borrow (1803-1881)

Friday, 21 August 2015

To Gold Worshippers by James R. Howell

Labour’s a blessing, idleness a curse.
In this scheme-loving, good-bad world of ours;
Then let our aim be high, though Fortune showers
Her favours on the bad; and what is worse,
Oft, like a highway robber, steals the purse
Of the good man, and, blind as Cupid, dowers
The base and sordid. Must good men mingle
With those whose brains within their pockets jingle,
Whose creed is “money makes the man”? — the swine
That trample on rich pearls, with souls of ink.
Who grope in darkness in the Devil’s mine,
Haunted by ghosts of truth, yet from them shrink?
Go, plunge in streams of love and mercy pure,
Which, like Bethesda’s Pool, will work your cure!

From: Howell, James, A Tale of the Sea, Sonnets, and Other Poems, 1873, Henry S. King & Co.: London, pp. 138-139.

Date: 1860

By: James R. Howell (?1817-????)

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Between Two Worlds: Parting for Australia by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Here sitting by the fire
I aspire, love, I aspire—
Not to that “other world” of your fond dreams,
But one as nigh and nigher,
Compared to which your real, unreal seems.

Together as to‐night
In our light, love, in our light
Of reunited joy appears no shade:
From this our hope’s reached height
All things are possible and level made.

Therefore we sit and view—
I and you, love, I and you—
That wondrous valley o’er southern seas,
Where in a country new
You will make for me a sweet nest of ease;

Where I, your poor tired bird,
(Nothing stirred? Love, nothing stirred?)
May fold her wings and be no more distrest:
Where troubles may be heard
Like outside winds at night which deepen rest.

Where in green pastures wide
We’ll abide, love, we’ll abide,
And keep content our patriarchal flocks,
Till at our aged side
Leap our young brown‐faced shepherds of the rocks.

Ah, tale that’s easy told!
(Hold my hand, love, tighter hold.)
What if this face of mine, which you think fair—
If it should ne’er grow old,
Nor matron cap cover this maiden hair?

What if this silver ring
(Loose it clings, love, yet does cling:)
Should ne’er be changed for any other? nay,
This very hand I fling.

About your neck should—Hush! to‐day’s to‐day:
To‐morrow is—ah, whose?
You’ll not lose, love, you’ll not lose
This hand I pledged, if never a wife’s hand
For tender household use
Led by your fearless into a far, far land.

Kiss me and do not grieve;
I believe, love, I believe
That He who holds the measure of our days,
And did thus strangely weave
Our opposite lives together, to His praise—

He never will divide
Us so wide, love, us so wide:
But will, whate’er befalls us, clearly show
That those in Him allied
In life or death are nearer than they know.

From: Craik, Dinah Maria Mulock, Poems, 1866, Ticknor and Fields: Boston, pp. 69-71.

Date: 1860

By: Dinah Maria Mulock Craik (1826-1887)

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Misgivings by Herman Melville

When ocean-clouds over inland hills
Sweep storming in late autumn brown,
And horror the sodden valley fills,
And the spire falls crashing in the town,
I muse upon my country’s ills —
The tempest bursting from the waste of Time
On the world’s fairest hope linked with man’s foulest crime.

Nature’s dark side is heeded now —
(Ah! Optimist-cheer disheartened flown) —
A child may read the moody brow
Of yon black mountain lone.
With shouts the torrents down the gorges go,
And storms are formed behind the storm we feel:
The hemlock shakes in the rafter; the oak in the driving keel.


Date: 1860

By: Herman Melville (1819-1891)