Posts tagged ‘1894’

Monday, 2 May 2022

The Inquest by Francis Burdett Thomas Nevill Money Coutts

Not labour kills us; no, nor joy:
The incredulity and frown,
The interference and annoy,
The small attritions wear us down.

The little gnat-like buzzings shrill,
The hurdy-gurdies of the street,
The common curses of the will—
These wrap the cerements round our feet.

And more than all, the look askance
Of loving souls that cannot gauge
The numbing touch of circumstance,
The heavy toll of heritage.

It is not Death, but Life that slays:
The night less mountainously lies
Upon our lids than foolish day’s
Importunate futilities.

From: Money-Coutts, F.B., “The Inquest” in The Bulletin, Vol. 20, No. 1000 (15 April 1899), p. [The Red Page].

Date: 1894

By: Francis Burdett Thomas Nevill Money-Coutts (1852-1923)

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Our Terms or Go! by Venier Voldo

We are the bosses of labour, we,
And you are the sons of toil,
We tell you what your wages shall be,
And then what shall be our spoil;
You see if you have that which you earn,
It won’t give us any show,
And so we propose that you shall learn
To accept our terms or go!

What right have you who do the work,
To give it a price at our loss?
That is the right of us who shirk,
And who play the game of “boss”;
We allow that you may have enough
To keep up the struggle and strain,
But all above must support the bluff,
And go to your bosses’ gain.

We have you hard, for you see, good slaves,
We own all lands and all tools,
All metals and coals, us jolly knaves,
And can play you for our fools.
It’s nothing to us if you have naught,
While our piles forever grow;
You are the cattle our gold has bought,
And so take our terms or go!

From: Voldo, Venier, “Our Terms or Go!” in The Worker, Saturday, 4 August 1894, p. 2.

Date: 1894

By: Venier Voldo (fl. 1876-1894)

Sunday, 9 January 2022

A Thunderstorm at Night by George Eric Mackay

The lightning is the shorthand of the storm
That tells of chaos; and I read the same
As one may read the writing of a name,—
As one in Hell may see the sudden form
Of God’s fore-finger pointed as in blame.
How weird the scene! The Dark is sulphur-warm
With hints of death; and in their vault enorme
The reeling stars coagulate in flame.
And now the torrents from their mountain-beds
Roar down uncheck’d; and serpents shaped of mist
Writhe up to Heaven with unforbidden heads;
And thunder-clouds, whose lightnings intertwist,
Rack all the sky, and tear it into shreds,
And shake the air like Titians that have kiss’d!

From: Mackay, Eric, Love Letters of a Violinist and Other Poems, 1894, Brentano’s: New York, p. 231.

Date: 1894

By: George Eric Mackay (1835-1898)

Monday, 19 July 2021

Songs of Roses: IV. The Fallen Rose by Edmund William Gosse

Life, like an overweighted shaken rose,
Falls, in a cloud of colour, to my feet;
Its petals strew my first November snows,
Too soon, too fleet!

‘Twas my own breath had blown the leaves apart,
My own hot eyelids stirred them where they lay;
It was the tumult of my own bright heart
Broke them away.

From: Gosse, Edmund, The Collected Poems of Edmund Gosse, 1911, William Heinemann: London, p. 338.

Date: 1894

By: Edmund William Gosse (1849-1928)

Thursday, 1 April 2021

April Fools by Lewis Brockman

My Celia hath so sweet a way,
‘Neath trembling lids the bright dew lies,
She listens to each word I say
With pensive grace;
Her breast is big with amorous sighs,
The gathering tears she scarce can stay,
Her bosom’s quickened fall and rise
With joy I trace;
Fool!—see’st thou not the mirthful ray
That ripples o’er those dewy eyes?—
Lo! Celia, like an April day,
Laughs in thy face.

My Delia hath a soul so bright
She laugheth all the day, and sings
Till sunshine fills the heart of night
From her full throat;
I marvel heaven hath found no wings
For her, that in her tuneful flight
To listening worlds her carollings
Might downward float.
I press my love; when, lo! her light
Dissolves ’mid sighs and murmurings
In April showers, and ceases quite
Her soft sweet note.

From Celia’s laugh and Delia’s tears,
From Delia’s song and Celia’s sighs,
From two such maids, in two such spheres,
Who bear such rule,
Happy the swain and sage who flies,
Nor lingereth ‘mid hopes and fears,
With Delia’s lips and Celia’s eyes
To go to school!
In Delia, laughing, Love appears;
The rogue in Celia pants and dies;
And I, poor wight, of both these dears
Am made a fool!

From: Brockman, Lewis, Poems, 1894, Horace Cox: London, pp. 152-153.

Date: 1894

By: Lewis Brockman (fl. 1894) April Fools (1 April 2021)

Monday, 10 August 2015

To Poverty by Harrison Smith Morris

Come, link thine arm in mine, good Poverty,
Penniless yeoman of the tattered gear;
Let’s amble down the brazen world and steer
For ports where toil is aristocracy.
Utopia laughs not at our sackcloth. See!
Here’s fair Sir Lackland and right many a peer,
With doublets threadbare as our own full near,
Would vow us love and hospitality.

Our gold’s laid up in sunsets safe from thieves;
And all our current silver’s in the stars.
We’ve naught to lose save honest hearts, who steals
Shall get more treasure than he knows or feels.
Here’s sweetest roots from out our scrip, good sirs,
And waters clear, and couches in the leaves.

From: Morris, Harrison S., Madonna and Other Poems, 1894, J. B. Lippincott Company: Philadelphia and London, p. 172.

Date: 1894

By: Harrison Smith Morris (1856-1948)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

On a Harp Playing in a London Fog by Ernest Percival Rhys

What Ariel, far astray, with silver wing,
Upborne with airy music, silver-sweet,
Haunts here the London street? —
And from the fog, with harping string on string,
Laughs in the ear, and spurs the lagging feet,
While Caliban-like, London sulks, though all the stars should sing.

Such mystic harping once its silvery scale
Ran in grey Harlech, and on Merlin’s Hill,
Where listening fancy still
Can hear it, like some song in fairy-tale;
And still in Broceliaunde the oak-trees will
Repeat its lingering sighing strain to many a cold sea-vale.

Here harps the mystic noise should make the dead
Of London wake, and all its walls have ears;
As when in Troy the spears
Rang in the streets, by Helen’s beauty sped:
Here harps the song of Merlin, or the spheres:
But London sleeps, unmoved, and dreams his other dreams instead.

So may he sleep, — the waking hour unknown,
When Ariel’s song shall end what it began,
And waken Caliban.
And yet, who knows, his sleep is lighter grown
By half-a-song’s weight, since that chiming ran,
Athwart the fog, like thistledown o’er misty uplands blown.

From: Rhys, Ernest, A London Rose and Other Rhymes, 1894, Elkin Mathews & John Lane: London, pp. 9-10.

Date: 1894

By: Ernest Percival Rhys (1859-1946)

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Sand-Dunes by Margaret Prouty Hillhouse

Sand-dunes in the salt winds drifting.
Restless hills, forever shifting,
Not a leaf or blade of green,
In thy lonely waste is seen,
Lying in the pale moonlight,
Like vast snow-drifts cold and white.

North Island, South Carolina.

From: Hillhouse, Margaret P., The White Rose Knight and Other Poems, 1894, De Vinne Press: New York, p. 27.

Date: 1894

By: Margaret Prouty Hillhouse (1846-1925)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

What the Sonnet Is by Eugene Lee-Hamilton

Fourteen small broidered berries on the hem
Of Circe’s mantle, each of magic gold;
Fourteen of lone Calypso’s tears that rolled
Into the sea, for pearls to come of them;
Fourteen clear signs of omen in the gem
With which Medea human fate foretold;
Fourteen small drops, which Faustus, growing old,
Craved of the Fiend, to water Life’s dry stem.
It is the pure white diamond Dante brought
To Beatrice; the sapphire Laura wore
When Petrarch cut it sparkling out of thought;
The ruby Shakespeare hewed from his heart’s core;
The dark, deep emerald that Rossetti wrought
For his own soul, to wear for evermore.

From: Lee-Hamilton, Eugene, Sonnets of the Wingless Hours, 1908, Thomas B. Mosher: Portland, Maine, p. 89.

Date: 1894

By: Eugene Lee-Hamilton (1845-1907)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Isolation by Edward Booth Loughran

Man lives alone; star-like, each soul
In its own orbit circles ever;
Myriads may by or round it roll —
The ways may meet, but mingle never.

Self-pois’d, each soul its course pursues
In light or dark, companionless:
Drop into drop may blend the dews —
The spirit’s law is loneliness.

If seemingly two souls unite,
‘Tis but as joins yon silent mere
The stream that through it, flashing bright,
Carries its waters swift and clear.

The fringes of the rushing tide
May on the lake’s calm bosom sleep —
Its hidden spirit doth abide
Apart, still bearing toward the deep.

O Love, to me more dear than life!
O Friend, more faithful than a brother!
How many a bitter inward strife
Our souls have never told each other!

We journey side by side for years,
We dream our lives, our hopes are one —
And with some chance-said word appears
The spanless gulf, so long unknown!

For candour’s want yet neither blame;
Even to ourselves but half-confessed,
Glows in each heart some silent flame,
Blooms some hope-violet of the breast.

And temptings dark, and struggles deep
There are, each soul alone must bear,
Through midnight hours unblest with sleep,
Through burning noontides of despair.

And kindly is the ordinance sent
By which each spirit dwells apart —
Could Love or Friendship live, if rent
The “Bluebeard chambers of the heart”?


Date: 1894

By: Edward Booth Loughran (1850-1928)