Posts tagged ‘1873’

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Some Day, Some Day by Cristóbal de Castillejo

Some day, some day
O troubled breast,
Shalt thou find rest.
If Love in thee
To grief give birth,
Six feet of earth
Can more than he;
There calm and free
And unoppressed
Shalt thou find rest.
The unattained
In life at last,
When life is passed
Shall all be gained;
And no more pained,
No more distressed,
Shalt thou find rest.


Date: c1530 (original in Spanish); 1873 (translation in English)

By: Cristóbal de Castillejo (1491-1556)

Translated by: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Paris by Night by Tristan Corbière

It’s not a city, it’s a world

—  It’s the sea: — dead calm — The Spring tide has felt bound,
With a distant rumbling, to withdraw its sway.
Its waves will return, rolling themselves in their sound —
—  Can you hear the crabs of night scratching away…

—  It’s the dried-up Styx: Rag ’n bone Diogenes,
Lantern in hand, wanders down it; he never squirms
But it’s the black gutter where depraved poets please
To cast their lines, their hollow skulls the cans for worms.

—  It’s the wheat-field: Hideous harpies swirl and swoop
On what’s impure, gleaning shreds of lint caked in pus.
The alley cat, on the watch for rats, flees the troop
Of Shit-creek’s sons, harvesters of night’s detritus.

—  It’s death: Here lieth the police — And love, upstairs,
Taking a siesta, sucks a heavy arm’s meat
Where an old love-bite’s left its blotch — Love is for pairs —
The hour is solitary — Listen: … dreams drag their feet…

—  It’s life: Listen: the spring water is up for air,
Singing its everlasting song, that seems to slide
Over a sea-god’s slimy head, and his stretched bare
Green limbs on the bed of the Morgue… Eyes open wide!


Date: 1873 (original in French); 2017 (translation in English)

By: Tristan Corbière (1845-1875)

Translated by: Christopher Pilling (1936- )

Monday, 20 April 2015

The Autumn Walk by Alexander Anderson

I walk through, the golden autumn wood
When the leaves are in their decay:
And my heart leaps into its solemn mood
As they wither and drop away.

For I think that this life of ours is a tree,
And the leaves are each fresh green hope,
That we keep like the dream of the good to be
For the blossoms that yet will ope.

And I know that the years are the slow sure frost
That will nip with a bitter breath
The sweet green buds, till their bloom be lost
In a shadow like that of death.

Then woe unto him that, when thus bereft,
And the drear cold gust hath pas’d,
Looks within and can see no leaflet left
That might gladden his eyes at last.

What comfort will lie in the clasped hands,
In the look of doubt and woe,
While the heart in its own deep shadow stands
Looking down at its leaves below?

Ah, no! like the tree that I stand beneath,
That, though wither’d, and black, and bare,
Still keeps one leaf that hath stood the breath
Of the cold and unkindly air:

May I thus so stand when my heart pours down
Its leaves all sear’d and dry,
Keeping still one leaf though the rest be flown,
And that leaf my hope on high.

From: Anderson, Alexander, A Song of Labour, and Other Poems, 1873, The Advertiser: Dundee, p. 19.

Date: 1873

By: Alexander Anderson (1845-1909)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

If I Should Die To-night by Arabella Eugenia Smith

If I should die to-night,
My friends would look upon my quiet face
Before they laid it in its resting-place,
And deem that death had left it almost fair;
And, laying snow-white flowers against my hair,
Would smooth it down with tearful tenderness,
And fold my hands with lingering caress, —
Poor hands, so empty and so cold to-night!

If I should die to-night,
My friends would call to mind with loving thought
Some kindly deed the icy hands had wrought,
Some gentle word the frozen lips had said,
Errands on which the willing feet had sped;
The memory of my selfishness and pride,
My hasty words would all be put aside,
And so I should be loved and mourned to-night.

If I should die to-night,
Even hearts estranged would turn once more to me,
Recalling other days remorsefully;
The eyes that chill me with averted glance
Would look upon me as of yore, perchance,
And soften in the old familiar way,
For who could war with dumb, unconscious clay?
So I might rest, forgiven of all to-night.

Oh, friends! I pray to-night,
Keep not your kisses for my dead, cold brow:
The way is lonely, let me feel them now.
Think gently of me; I am travelworn;
My faltering feet are pierced with many a thorn.
Forgive, oh, hearts estranged, forgive, I plead!
When dreamless rest is mine I shall not need
The tenderness for which I long to-night.


Date: 1873

By: Arabella Eugenia Smith (c1844-1916)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Seaside: In and Out of Season by Charles Tennyson Turner

In summertime it was a paradise
Of mountain, frith, and bay, and shining sand;
Our outward rowers sang towards the land,
Followed by waving hands and happy cries:
By the full flood the groups no longer roam;
And when, at ebb, the glistening beach grows wide,
No barefoot children race into the foam,
But passive jellies wait the turn of tide.
Like some forsaken lover, lingering there,
The boatman stands; the maidens trip no more
With loosened locks; far from the billows’ roar
The Mauds and Maries knot their tresses fair,
Where not a foam-flake from th’ enamored shore
Comes down the sea-wind on the golden hair.


Date: 1873

By: Charles Tennyson Turner (1808-1879)