Posts tagged ‘1870’

Monday, 10 January 2022

The Heart’s Evidence by John Westland Marston

Tides that encroach and make the plain a sea;
Tides that recede and make the sea a plain;
Loud cities that, where once waved grass and grain,
Send up your towers and flags; ye tendrils free—
Ivy and vine—that unrebukedly
The stones that once were cities clasp and chain,
Preach, if ye will, that all things change and wane,
And that man’s spirit soon no more shall be:
But though the world from which Columbus sailed,
The world he sailed to and the seas between,
Should cry—the dreams of life to come deceive;
I, sweet, remembering thy faith serene
And quenchless love, should there find countervailed
The witness of both worlds, and still believe.

From: Marston, John Westland, The Dramatic and Poetical Works of Westland Marston in Two Volumes, Volume II, 1876, Chatto and Windus: London, p. 343.

Date: c1870

By: John Westland Marston (1819-1890)

Monday, 27 May 2013

John Anderson’s Answer by John Byrne Leicester Warren

I cannot kiss thee as I used to kiss;
Time, who is lord of love, must answer this.
Shall I believe thine eyes have grown less sweet?
Nay, but my life-blood fails on heavier feet.
Time goes, old girl, time goes.

I cannot hold as once I held thy hand;
Youth is a tree whose leaves fall light as sand.
Hast thou known many trees that shed them so?
Ay me, sweetheart, I know, ay me, I know.
Time goes, my bird, time goes.

I cannot love thee as I used to love.
Age comes, and little Love takes flight above.
If our eyes fail, have his the deeper glow?
I do not know, sweetheart, I do not know.
Time goes, old girl, time goes.

Why, the gold cloud grows leaden, as the eve
Deepens, and one by one its glories leave.
And, if you press me, dear, why this is so,
That this is worth a tear is all I know.
Time flows and rows and goes.

In that old day the subtle child-god came;
Meek were his eyelids, but his eyeballs flame,
With sandals of desire his light feet shod,
With eyes and breath of fire a perfect god
He rose, my girl, he rose.

He went, my girl, and raised your hand and sighed,
“Would that my spirit always could abide.”
And whispered, “Go your ways and play your day,
Would I were god of time, but my brief sway
Is briefer than a rose.”

Old wife, old love, there is a something yet
That makes amends, tho’ all the glory set;
The after-love that holds thee trebly mine,
Though thy lips fade, my dove, and we decline,
And time, dear heart, still goes.

From: Warren, John Leicester, Rehearsals, A Book of Verses, 1870, Strahan and Co: London, pp. 78-80.

Date: 1870

By: John Byrne Leicester Warren (1835-1895)

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Remonstrance by James Joseph Sylvester

Oh! why those narrow rules extol?
These but restrain from ill,
True virtue lies in strength of soul
And energy of will.

To all that’s great and high aspires,
Prompts to the path of fame
From Heaven draws down Promethean fires
And wraps the soul in flame.

With brow erect, eye undismayed
Confronts the midday sun,
Nor sleeps inglorious in the shade
Of praises cheaply won;

Scans not too curiously the chance
Of good or evil fate,
But with a free and fearless glance
Knocks at Hope’s, golden gate;

The truthful course pursues and knows
By Heaven-imparted light,
And scorns to shape to outward shows
Its conscious sense of right.

Still, while it renders Reason’s name
The meed of honour due
Forgets not sacred instincts claim
Their share of reverence too.

The frown of unjust censure braves,
Retreats not with the tide,
But nobly stems and stills the waves
Of prejudice and pride.


Date: 1870

By: James Joseph Sylvester (1814-1897)

Monday, 25 February 2013

Sensation by Arthur Rimbaud


Through the blue summer days, I shall travel all the ways,
Pricked by the ears of maize, trampling the dew:
A dreamer, I will gaze, as underfoot the coolness plays.
I’ll let the evening breeze drench my head anew.

I shall say – not a thing: I shall think – not a thing:
But an infinite love will swell in my soul,
And far off I shall go, a bohemian,
Through Nature – as happy, as if I had a girl.

March 1870


Date: 1870

By: Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)

Translated by: A S Kline (1947- )

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A New Arrival by George Washington Cable

There came to port last Sunday night
The queerest little craft,
Without an inch of rigging on;
I looked and looked and laughed.
It seemed so curious that she
Should cross the Unknown water,
And moor herself right in my room,
My daughter, O my daughter!

Yet by these presents witness all
She’s welcome fifty times,
And comes consigned to Hope and Love
And common-meter rhymes.
She has no manifest but this,
No flag floats o’er the water,
She’s too new for the British Lloyds—
My daughter, O my daughter!

Ring out, wild bells, and tame ones too!
Ring out the lover’s moon!
Ring in the little worsted socks!
Ring in the bib and spoon!
Ring out the muse! ring in the nurse!
Ring in the milk and water!
Away with paper, pen, and ink—
My daughter, O my daughter!

From: Burt, Mary E (ed), Poems Every Child Should Know, 1904, Doubleday, Doran & Co Inc: New York.

Date: 1870

By: George Washington Cable (1844-1925)

Monday, 13 August 2012

The Torchlight Procession by Mary Ashley Townsend

In the dark, with a child on her bosom,
   A woman is walking the floor;
And she moans while she hushes her darling,
   “O God! it is hard to be poor!”
In the dark, with a child on her bosom―
   The dark of a comfortless room;
Not even a candle’s dull ray to soothe
   The terrible ache of the gloom.

Down the street throngs a joyous procession,
   With thousands of lamps all alight,
And the red glare of whispering rockets
   Ascending the silence of night.
Oil enough for the multitudes marching,
   And banners and ribbons and flowers,
While the blue of the zenith is blazing
   With grand pyrotechnical showers.

All alone with her poor little burden,
   A woman with hungering eyes
Soothes, with lips that are pallid with fasting,
   Her famishing baby’s cries.
She catches the echoes of loud huzzas―
   “Great God!” she sighs, under her breath,
“While Opulence squanders so much away,
   Must my little ones starve to death?”

Hark, the tramp of the marchers comes nearer!
   Transparencies gleam past her door;
There “Our Cause,” “Our Kind,” “Our Country, she reads,
   But never one mottoed “Our Poor!”
And she looks at the flickering torches,
   And counts the magnificent flags;
Then turns with a gasp to her darkness again,
   And her scanty, unseemly rags.

Like a river of light, the procession
   Flows away down the stony street,
And the star-studded gates of the midnight
   Close on the reverberant feet.
The music dies out in the distance,
   All silently sink to their rest,
Save a maniac mother pacing the floor,
   A little cold corpse on her breast.

From: Townsend, Mary Ashley, Xariffa’s Poems, 1870, J B Lippincott & Co: Philadelphia, pp. 19-20.

Date: 1870

By: Mary Ashley Townsend (1832-1901)