Posts tagged ‘1879’

Monday, 6 August 2018

Upon That Day When First I Saw Thy Face by Angelo Ambrogini (Poliziano)

Upon that day when first I saw thy face,
I vowed with loyal love to worship thee.
Move, and I move; stay, and I keep my place:
Whate’er thou dost, will I do equally.

In joy of thine I find most perfect grace,
And in thy sadness dwells my misery:
Laugh, and I laugh; weep, and I too will weep.
Thus Love commands, whose laws I loving keep.

Nay, be not over-proud of thy great grace,
Lady! for brief time is thy thief and mine.
White will he turn those golden curls, that lace
Thy forehead and thy neck so marble-fine.
Lo! while the flower still flourisheth apace,
Pluck it: for beauty but awhile doth shine.
Fair is the rose at dawn; but long ere night
Her freshness fades, her pride hath vanished quite.

Fire, fire! Ho, water! for my heart’s afire!
Ho, neighbours! help me, or by God I die!
See, with his standard, that great lord, Desire!
He sets my heart aflame: in vain I cry.
Too late, alas! The flames mount high and higher.
Alack, good friends! I faint, I fail, I die.
Ho! water, neighbours mine! no more delay I
My heart’s a cinder if you do but stay.

Lo, may I prove to Christ a renegade,
And, dog-like, die in pagan Barbary;
Nor may God’s mercy on my soul be laid,
If ere for aught I shall abandon thee:
Before all-seeing God this prayer be made—
When I desert thee, may death feed on me:
Now if thy hard heart scorn these vows, be sure
That without faith none may abide secure.

I ask not, Love, for any other pain
To make thy cruel foe and mine repent,
Only that thou shouldst yield her to the strain
Of these my arms, alone, for chastisement;
Then would I clasp her so with might and main,
That she should learn to pity and relent,
And, in revenge for scorn and proud despite,
A thousand times I’d kiss her forehead white.

Not always do fierce tempests vex the sea,
Nor always clinging clouds offend the sky;
Cold snows before the sunbeams haste to flee,
Disclosing flowers that ‘neath their whiteness lie;
The saints each one doth wait his day to see,
And time makes all things change; so, therefore, I
Ween that ’tis wise to wait my turn, and say,
That who subdues himself, deserves to sway.

From: Symonds, John Addington, Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, 1914, John Murray: London, pp. 312-314.

Date: c1470 (original in Italian); 1879 (translation in English)

By: Angelo Ambrogini (Poliziano) (1454-1494)

Translated by: John Addington Symonds (1840-1893)

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Advance Australia Fair by Peter Dodds McCormick

Australia’s sons let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in Nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In hist’ry’s page, let ev’ry stage
Advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

When gallant Cook from Albion sailed,
To trace wide oceans o’er,
True British courage bore him on,
Til he landed on our shore.
Then here he raised Old England’s flag,
The standard of the brave;
“With all her faults we love her still”
“Britannia rules the wave.”
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

While other nations of the globe
Behold us from afar,
We’ll rise to high renown and shine
Like our glorious southern star;
From England soil and Fatherland,
Scotia and Erin fair,
Let all combine with heart and hand
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

Should foreign foe e’er sight our coast,
Or dare a foot to land,
We’ll rouse to arms like sires of yore,
To guard our native strand;
Britannia then shall surely know,
Though oceans roll between,
Her sons in fair Australia’s land
Still keep their courage green.
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.


Date: 1879

By: Peter Dodds McCormick (?1834-1916)

Note: This is the initial version of Australia’s current national anthem. The words were originally written by the composer but have been changed over time to be more in keeping with Australia’s current ideology. The changes have not been attributed. Most Australians only know the first verse.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Photograph by Frank Atha Westbury

Down from the wall of our lonely room,
Half in shadow and half in light,
Silent and motionless through the gloom,
A watcher still gazes all day and night.
Little we thought but a year ago
That our hearts should sigh and our eyes be dim;
That the unseen river should moaning flow,
Dividing the loved from our sight below,
And this—this shadow be all of him.

Little we knew when we saw him place
It there with his living hand
That this should be left with its spirit face,
Linking our souls to the spirit land;
Calling us back from the paths that stray,
Winning the heart from its treasures vain,
Beckoning on to a brighter day,
Whose dawning shall banish earth’s dreams away
On the other side of this stormy main.

Cold are the bands that hung thee there
One day on our cottage wall;
Vanished the smile that he used to wear;
Silent his steps in the lonely hall.
Up on the hill side, amongst the dead,
Sadly we buried him in his prime;
There softly he sleeps in his narrow bed,
Crushed like a reed ‘neath the pale King’s tread—
Dead with the leaves in the autumn time

Shadow of earth! image of one
Who living was like to thee!
Gone like the dew in the morning sun—
Drifted away o’er the silent sea;
Back to that cheek and that dreamy eye,
Back to that brow with a glow of bliss,
Like the crimson flush on the dawning sky,
A light steals down from the world on high—
And we scarce can think he is gone from this.


Date: 1879

By: Frank Atha Westbury (1838-1901)

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Not Understood by Thomas Bracken

Not understood, we move along asunder;
Our paths grow wider as the seasons creep
Along the years; we marvel and we wonder
Why life is life, and then we fall asleep
Not understood.

Not understood, we gather false impressions
And hug them closer as the years go by;
Till virtues often seem to us transgressions;
And thus men rise and fall, and live and die
Not understood.

Not understood!  Poor souls with stunted vision
Oft measure giants with their narrow gauge;
The poisoned shafts of falsehood and derision
Are oft impelled ‘gainst those who mould the age,
Not understood.

Not understood!  The secret springs of action
Which lie beneath the surface and the show,
Are disregarded; with self-satisfaction
We judge our neighbours, and they often go
Not understood.

Not understood!  How trifles often change us!
The thoughtless sentence and the fancied slight
Destroy long years of friendship, and estrange us,
And on our souls there falls a freezing blight;
Not understood.

Not understood!  How many breasts are aching
For lack of sympathy!  Ah! day by day
How many cheerless, lonely hearts are breaking!
How many noble spirits pass away,
Not understood.

O God! that men would see a little clearer,
Or judge less harshly where they cannot see!
O God! that men would draw a little nearer
To one another, — they’d be nearer Thee,
And understood.

From: Bracken, Thomas, Not Understood and Other Poems, 1908, Gordon & Gotch: Wellington, pp. 7-8.

Date: 1879

By: Thomas Bracken (1843-1898)

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Bibliomaniac’s Prayer by Eugene Field

Keep me, I pray, in wisdom’s way
That I may truths eternal seek;
I need protecting care to-day,—
My purse is light, my flesh is weak.
So banish from my erring heart
All baleful appetites and hints
Of Satan’s fascinating art,
Of first editions, and of prints.
Direct me in some godly walk
Which leads away from bookish strife,
That I with pious deed and talk
May extra-illustrate my life.

But if, O Lord, it pleaseth Thee
To keep me in temptation’s way,
I humbly ask that I may be
Most notably beset to-day;
Let my temptation be a book,
Which I shall purchase, hold, and keep,
Whereon when other men shall look,
They’ll wail to know I got it cheap.
Oh, let it such a volume be
As in rare copperplates abounds,
Large paper, clean, and fair to see,
Uncut, unique, unknown to Lowndes.


Date: 1879

By: Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Friday, 24 January 2014

Sonnet I – Ad Innuptam by Patrick Moloney

I make not my division of the hours
By dials, clocks, or waking birds’ acclaim,
Nor measure seasons by the reigning flowers,
The spring’s green glories, or the autumn’s flame.
To me thy absence winter is, and night,
Thy presence spring, and the meridian day.
From thee I draw my darkness and my light,
Now swart eclipse, now more than heavenly ray.
Thy coming warmeth all my soul like fire,
And through my heartstrings melodies do run,
As poets fabled the Memnonian lyre
Hymned acclamation to the rising sun.
My heart hums music in thy influence set:
So winds put harps Aeolian on the fret.


Date: 1879

By: Patrick Moloney (1843-1904)

Friday, 13 December 2013

Light After Darkness by Frances Ridley Havergal

Light after darkness, gain after loss,
Strength after weakness, crown after cross;
Sweet after bitter, hope after fears,
Home after wandering, praise after tears.

Sheaves after sowing, sun after rain,
Sight after mystery, peace after pain;
Joy after sorrow, calm after blast,
Rest after weariness, sweet rest at last

Near after distant, gleam after gloom,
Love after loneliness, life after tomb;
After long agony, rapture of bliss,
Right was the pathway, leading to this.


Date: 1879

By: Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)

Friday, 4 October 2013

Engaged Too Long by Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

Why do I grieve with summer here?
I want the flower that died last year;
I want the old drops of the dew,
And my old love, sir, — and not you.

Younger than you, nor quite so wise,
Was he who had your hair and eyes, —
Who said, “I love you” first, you see;
This you repeat, and weary me.


Date: 1879

By: Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt (1836-1919)

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

In the Workhouse: Christmas Day by George Robert Sims

It is Christmas Day in the workhouse,
And the cold, bare walls are bright
With garlands of green and holly,
Ad the place is a pleasant sight;
For with clean-washed hands and faces,
In a long and hungry line
The paupers sit at the table,
For this is the hour they dine.

And the guardians and their ladies,
Although the wind is east,
Have come in their furs and wrappers,
To watch their charges feast;
To smile and be condescending,
Put pudding on pauper plates.
To be hosts at the workhouse banquet
They’ve paid for — with the rates.

Oh, the paupers are meek and lowly
With their “Thank’ee kindly, mum’s!'”
So long as they fill their stomachs,
What matter it whence it comes!
But one of the old men mutters,
And pushes his plate aside:
“Great God!” he cries, “but it chokes me!
For this is the day she died!”

The guardians gazed in horror,
The master’s face went white;
“Did a pauper refuse the pudding?”
“Could their ears believe aright?”
Then the ladies clutched their husbands,
Thinking the man would die,
Struck by a bolt, or something,
By the outraged One on high.

But the pauper sat for a moment,
Then rose ‘mid silence grim,
For the others had ceased to chatter
And trembled in every limb.
He looked at the guardians’ ladies,
Then, eyeing their lords, he said,
“I eat not the food of villains
Whose hands are foul and red:

“Whose victims cry for vengeance
From their dark, unhallowed graves.”
“He’s drunk!” said the workhouse master,
“Or else he’s mad and raves.”
“Not drunk or mad,” cried the pauper,
“But only a haunted beast,
Who, torn by the hounds and mangled,
Declines the vulture’s feast.

“I care not a curse for the guardians,
And I won’t be dragged away;
Just let me have the fit out,
It’s only on Christmas Day
That the black past comes to goad me,
And prey on my burning brain;
I’ll tell you the rest in a whisper —
I swear I won’t shout again.

“Keep your hands off me, curse you!
Hear me right out to the end.
You come here to see how paupers
The season of Christmas spend;.
You come here to watch us feeding,
As they watched the captured beast.
Here’s why a penniless pauper
Spits on your paltry feast.

“Do you think I will take your bounty,
And let you smile and think
You’re doing a noble action
With the parish’s meat and drink?
Where is my wife, you traitors —
The poor old wife you slew?
Yes, by the God above me,
My Nance was killed by you!

‘Last winter my wife lay dying,
Starved in a filthy den;
I had never been to the parish —
I came to the parish then.
I swallowed my pride in coming,
For ere the ruin came,
I held up my head as a trader,
And I bore a spotless name.

“I came to the parish, craving
Bread for a starving wife,
Bread for the woman who’d loved me
Through fifty years of life;
And what do you think they told me,
Mocking my awful grief,
That ‘the House’ was open to us,
But they wouldn’t give ‘out relief’.

“I slunk to the filthy alley —
‘Twas a cold, raw Christmas Eve —
And the bakers’ shops were open,
Tempting a man to thieve;
But I clenched my fists together,
Holding my head awry,
So I came to her empty-handed
And mournfully told her why.

“Then I told her the house was open;
She had heard of the ways of that,
For her bloodless cheeks went crimson,
and up in her rags she sat,
Crying, ‘Bide the Christmas here, John,
We’ve never had one apart;
I think I can bear the hunger —
The other would break my heart.’

“All through that eve I watched her,
Holding her hand in mine,
Praying the Lord and weeping,
Till my lips were salt as brine;
I asked her once if she hungered,
And as she answered ‘No’ ,
The moon shone in at the window,
Set in a wreath of snow.

“Then the room was bathed in glory,
And I saw in my darling’s eyes
The faraway look of wonder
That comes when the spirit flies;
And her lips were parched and parted,
And her reason came and went.
For she raved of our home in Devon,
Where our happiest years were spent.

“And the accents, long forgotten,
Came back to the tongue once more.
For she talked like the country lassie
I woo’d by the Devon shore;
Then she rose to her feet and trembled,
And fell on the rags and moaned,
And, ‘Give me a crust — I’m famished —
For the love of God!’ she groaned.

“I rushed from the room like a madman
And flew to the workhouse gate,
Crying, ‘Food for a dying woman!’
And the answer came, ‘Too late.’
They drove me away with curses;
Then I fought with a dog in the street
And tore from the mongrel’s clutches
A crust he was trying to eat.

“Back through the filthy byways!
Back through the trampled slush!
Up to the crazy garret,
Wrapped in an awful hush;
My heart sank down at the threshold,
And I paused with a sudden thrill.
For there, in the silv’ry moonlight,
My Nance lay, cold and still.

“Up to the blackened ceiling,
The sunken eyes were cast —
I knew on those lips, all bloodless,
My name had been the last;
She called for her absent husband —
O God! had I but known! —
Had called in vain, and, in anguish,
Had died in that den — alone.

“Yes, there, in a land of plenty,
Lay a loving woman dead,
Cruelly starved and murdered
for a loaf of the parish bread;
At yonder gate, last Christmas,
I craved for a human life,
You, who would feed us paupers,
What of my murdered wife!”

‘There, get ye gone to your dinners,
Don’t mind me in the least,
Think of the happy paupers
Eating your Christmas feast;
And when you recount their blessings
In your smug parochial way,
Say what you did for me, too,
Only last Christmas Day.”


Date: 1879

By: George Robert Sims (1847-1922)

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The First Truth is of Sorrow (Fragment from “Book The Eighth” of “The Light of Asia”) by Edwin Arnold

The First Truth is of Sorrow. Be not mocked!
     Life which ye prize is long-drawn agony:
Only its pains abide; its pleasures are
     As birds which light and fly,

Ache of the birth, ache of the helpless days,
     Ache of hot youth and ache of manhood’s prime;
Ache of the chill grey years and choking death,
     These fill your piteous time.

Sweet is fond Love, but funeral-flames must kiss
     The breasts which pillow and the lips which cling;
Gallant is warlike Might, but vultures pick
     The joints of chief and King.

Beauteous is Earth, but all its forest-broods
     Plot mutual slaughter, hungering to live;
Of sapphire are the skies, but when men cry
     Famished, no drops they give.

Ask of the sick, the mourners, ask of him
     Who tottereth on his staff, lone and forlorn,
“Liketh thee life?”—these say the babe is wise
     That weepeth, being born.


Date: 1879

By: Edwin Arnold (1832-1904)