Posts tagged ‘1881’

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Whispers of Time by Rosanna Eleanor Mullins Leprohon

What does time whisper, youth gay and light,
While thinning thy locks, silken and bright,
While paling thy soft cheek’s roseate dye,
Dimming the light of thy flashing eye,
Stealing thy bloom and freshness away –
Is he not hinting at death – decay?

Man, in the wane of thy stately prime,
Hear’st thou the silent warnings of Time?
Look at thy brow ploughed by anxious care,
The silver hue of thy once dark hair; –
What boot thine honors, thy treasures bright,
When Time tells of coming gloom and night?

Sad age, dost thou note thy strength nigh, spent,
How slow thy footstep – thy form how bent?
Yet on looking back how short doth seem
The checkered coarse of thy life’s brief dream.
Time, daily weakening each link and tie,
Doth whisper how soon thou art to die.

O! what a weary world were ours
With that thought to cloud our brightest hours,
Did we not know that beyond the skies
A land of beauty and promise ties,
Where peaceful and blessed we will love – adore –
When Time itself shall be no more!


Date: 1881

By: Rosanna Eleanor Mullins Leprohon (1829-1879)

Monday, 18 April 2016

Weary by Pamelia Sarah Vining Yule

Weary of dreaming what never comes true,
Weary of thinking what never is new,
Of endeav’ring, yet never succeeding to do.

Weary of walking the dusty, old ways,
Weary of saying what every one says,
Weary of singing old, obsolete lays.

Weary of laughing, to make others laugh,
Weary of gleaning for nothing but chaff,
Of giving the whole, and receiving but half.

Weary of making, so shortly to mend,
Weary of patching, to turn round and rend,
Weary of earning only to spend.

Weary of weeping when tears are so cheap,
Weary of waking when longing to sleep,
Of giving what nobody wishes to keep.

Weary of drinking to thirst ere I’ve done,
Weary of eating what satisfies none,
Weary of doing what still is undone.

Weary of glitter without any gold,
Weary of ashes grown fireless and cold,
Weary!—the half of it cannot be told!

From: Yule, Mrs. J. C. (Vining, Pamelia S.), Poems of the Heart and Home,2003, Project Gutenberg: Illinois, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 1881

By: Pamelia Sarah Vining Yule (1826-1897)

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Musical Boy by James Thomas Fields

It is a ruthless, toothless wight
Who dwells beside a wall,
And spends his time in singing songs
As loud as he can bawl,
And casting stones at passengers
Who may neglect to call.

The knave deals out inflated corn
And other fluffy things,
Gum-balls and miscellaneous pies,
And doughnuts shaped like rings;
The pea-nut branch he also plies,
As all day long he sings.

“O urchin rude, of manners crude,
Of unangelic voice,
Pray tell me true, young ruffian, do,
If thus you live from choice,
Or if in your unhallowed ways
You really don’t rejoice!

“Your wares are insalubrious,
Your carols are the same,
Your bold career is fraught with fear,
Your traffic one of shame,–
A dark, mysterious, dreadful trade,
A deed without a name.

“Boy, cease your harmful, dreary notes,
And fling your goods away;
Go get you to New Zealand, or
Some cove in Baffin’s Bay:
Expenses out (but no return)
Myself will gladly pay.”

The rogue looks up with knowing leer,
And bids me not repine,
Then aims a missile at my head
With phrase that’s not divine,
And croaks a still more dismal song,–
The words, alas! are mine!

From: Fields, James T., Ballads and Other Verses, 1881, Houghton, Mifflin and Company: Boston, pp. 31-31.

Date: 1881

By: James Thomas Fields (1817-1881)

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Her Picture by Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz

Autumn was cold in Plymouth town;
The wind ran round the shore,
Now softly passing up and down,
Now wild and fierce and fleet,
Wavering overhead,
Moaning in the narrow street
As one beside the dead.

The leaves of wrinkled gold and brown
Fluttered here and there,
But not quite heedless where;
For as in hood and sad-hued gown
The Rose of Plymouth took the air.
They whirled, and whirled, and fell to rest
Upon her gentle breast,
Then on the happy earth her foot had pressed.

Autumn is wild in Plymouth town,
Barren and bleak and cold,
And still the dead leaves flutter down
As the years grow old.
And still–forever gravely fair–
Beneath their fitful whirl,
New England’s sweetest girl,
Rose Standish, takes the air.



By: Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz (?1851-1933)

Monday, 9 December 2013

Arachne by Rose Terry Cooke

I watch her in the corner there,
As, restless, bold, and unafraid,
She slips and floats along the air
Till all her subtile house is made.

Her home, her bed, her daily food
All from that hidden store she draws;
She fashions it and knows it good,
By instinct’s strong and sacred laws.

No tenuous threads to weave her nest,
She seeks and gathers there or here;
But spins it from her faithful breast,
Renewing still, till leaves are sere.

Then, worn with toil, and tired of life,
In vain her shining traps are set.
Her frost hath hushed the insect strife
And gilded flies her charm forget.

But swinging in the snares she spun,
She sways to every winter wind:
Her joy, her toil, her errand done,
Her corse the sport of storms unkind.

Poor sister of the spinster clan!
I too from out my store within
My daily life and living plan,
My home, my rest, my pleasure spin.

I know thy heart when heartless hands
Sweep all that hard-earned web away:
Destroy its pearled and glittering bands,
And leave thee homeless by the way.

I know thy peace when all is done.
Each anchored thread, each tiny knot,
Soft shining in the autumn sun;
A sheltered, silent, tranquil lot.

I know what thou hast never known,
–Sad presage to a soul allowed;–
That not for life I spin, alone.
But day by day I spin my shroud.


Date: 1881

By: Rose Terry Cooke (1827-1892)

Friday, 6 September 2013

Beside the Dead by Ina Donna Coolbrith (Josephine Anna Smith)

It must be sweet, O thou, my dead, to lie
With hands that folded are from every task
Sealed with the seal of the great mystery —
The lips that nothing answer, nothing ask.
The life – long struggle ended; ended quite
The weariness of patience, and of pain;
And the eyes closed to open not again
On desolate dawn or dreariness of night.
It must be sweet to slumber and forget;
To have the poor tired heart so still at last:
Done with all yearning, done with all regret,
Doubt, fear, hope, sorrow, all forever past:
Past all the hours, or slow of wing or fleet—
It must be sweet, it must be very sweet!

From: Coolbrith, Ina D, A Perfect Day and Other Poems, 1881, John H Carmany & Co: San Francisco, p. 101.

Date: 1881

By: Ina Donna Coolbrith (Josephine Anna Smith) (1841-1928)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

A Valentine by Madge Morris Wagner

I love thee for the soul that shines
Within thine eyes’ soft beaming,
From out whose depths the prisoned fires
Of intellect are gleaming.

I love thee for the mind that soars
Beyond earth’s narrow keeping,
That measures suns, and stars, and worlds,
Through boundless limits sweeping.

I love thee for the voice whose power
Can in my heart awaken
To passioned life each slumbering chord
The ruder tones have shaken.

Thou ne’er, perchance, mayst feel the chain
With which this love has bound thee,
Nor dream thee of the hand that flung
Its glittering links around thee.

And vainly mayst thou deem the task
Thy captive bounds to sever—
Who madly dates to love thee now
Will love thee on forever.

From: Morris, Madge, Debris. Selections from Poems, 1881, H S Crocker & Co: Sacramento.

Date: 1881

By: Madge Morris Wagner (1862-1924)

Thursday, 1 November 2012

To A Lady Weeping by Ali ibn Ali-Abbas ibn Jurrayj (Ibn al-Rumi)

When I beheld thy blue eye shine
Through the bright drop that Pity drew,
I saw beneath those tears of thine
A blue-eyed violet bathed in dew.

The violet ever scents the gale,
Its hues adorn the fairest wreath;
But sweetest through a dewy veil
Its colours glow, its odours breathe.

And thus thy charms in brightness rise:
When Wit and Pleasure round thee play;
When Mirth sits smiling in thine eyes,
Who but admires their sprightly ray?
But when through Pity’s flood they gleam,
Who but must love their softened beam?

From: Clouston, W A, Arabian Poetry, 2009, Evinity Publishing Inc: Glasgow, p. 120.

Date: 1881 (translated)

By: Ali ibn Ali-Abbas ibn Jurrayj (Ibn al-Rumi) (836-896)

Translated by: William Alexander Clouston (1843-1896)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

In Dog-Days by John White Chadwick

I see the landscape tremble in the heat,
I hear the murmur of the rustling trees;
I close my eyes, and to myself I seem
As one who floats ‘mid odorous Indian seas.
Scarce draw the sails in the dull opiate air;
Scarce stirs the breeze the opalescent calm;
Upon the sleeping islands that we pass,
Scarce move the fringes of the shadowy palm.
And, as I sail, I seem to hear the voice
Of one who reads some drowsy Eastern tale,
Telling of men untouched of all the ills
Which for our hands and for our hearts prevail;
Ay, to be living in those days I seem.
And in those days still dreaming that I dream.

Chesterfield, 1881.

(Chadwick, John White, A Book of Poems, 1905, Little, Brown , and Company: Boston, p. 41.)

Date: 1881

By: John White Chadwick (1840-1904)

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Chanson by Oscar Wilde

A ring of gold and a milk-white dove
Are goodly gifts for thee,
And a hempen rope for your own love
To hang upon a tree.

For you a House of Ivory,
(Roses are white in the rose-bower)!
A narrow bed for me to lie,
(White, O white, is the hemlock flower)!

Myrtle and jessamine for you,
(O the red rose is fair to see)!
For me the cypress and the rue,
(Finest of all is rosemary)!

For you three lovers of your hand,
(Green grass where a man lies dead)!
For me three paces on the sand,
(Plant lilies at my head)!


Date: 1881

By: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)