Posts tagged ‘1896’

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Epitaphium Citharistriæ by Victor Plarr

Stand not uttering sedately
Trite oblivious praise above her!
Rather say you saw her lately
Lightly kissing her last lover.

Whisper not, “There is a reason
Why we bring her no white blossom”:
Since the snowy bloom’s in season,
Strow it on her sleeping bosom:

Oh, for it would be a pity
To o’erpraise her or to flout her:
She was wild, and sweet, and witty —
Let’s not say dull things about her.

From: Blyth, Caroline (ed.), Decadent Verse: An Anthology of Late Victorian Poetry, 1872-1900, 2011, Anthem Press: London, p. 768.

Date: 1896

By: Victor Plarr (1863-1929)

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Cupid’s Birth by Rupert Charles Wulsten Bunny

At Cupid’s birth, Joy left the bounds of space,
And, heeding not the stars, flew fast to earth,
To hold the hearts of men in warm embrace,
At Cupid’s birth.

Then Life, with beaming eyes and quickened pace,
And new-found god-like strength, first knew her worth;
While Fate began the future to retrace.

But Death stood gently by with quiet grace,
Aloof from all the tumult and mad mirth,
A sweet, sad smile lit up his steadfast face
At Cupid’s birth.

From: Warren, Ina Russelle (ed.), In Cupid’s Court, 1900, R. H. Russell: New York, p. 6.

Date: 1896

By. Rupert Charles Wulsten Bunny (1864-1947)

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

To a Patient Lady by Percy Addleshaw (Percy Hemingway)

Thou art not jealous, sweetheart Death, I think,
Because awhile I shun thy trysting place,
For when upon our marriage couch we sink
There’s no one shall disturb our long embrace.

From: Hemingway, Percy, The Happy Wanderer and Other Verse, 1896, Elkin Matthews: London, p. 61.

Date: 1896

By: Percy Addleshaw (Percy Hemingway) (1866-1916)

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Music and Death by René François Armand (Sully) Prudhomme

Kindly watcher by my bed, lift no voice in prayer,
Waste not any words on me when the hour is nigh,
Let a stream of melody but flow from some sweet player,
And meekly will I lay my head and fold my hands to die.

Sick am I of idle words, past all reconciling,
Words that weary and perplex and pander and conceal,
Wake the sounds that cannot lie, for all their sweet beguiling;
The language one need fathom not, but only hear and feel.

Let them roll once more to me, and ripple in my hearing,
Like waves upon a lonely beach where no craft anchoreth:
That I may steep my soul therein, and craving naught, nor fearing,
Drift on through slumber to a dream, and through a dream to death.


Date: 1869 (original in French); 1896 (translation in English)

By: René François Armand (Sully) Prudhomme (1839-1907)

Translated by: George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier (1834-1896)

Monday, 4 November 2013

Love’s Invitation by John Le Gay Brereton

Seize on the present, for the past is dead,
And all the future looms with stormy sky
Livid and rumbling, and the dark is nigh—
The terrors of a night when overhead
The crash of thunder weighs the heart with dread,
And ceaseless lightnings snake-like writhe and fly
About the lift, and all the meadows lie
Sodden with streaming rain, and love hath fled.
Forget the future ; let the present shake
Its petals round us in the sunshine here!
Forget old pain and taste new joy instead!
For one brief moment, live for love’s own sake
In careless pleasure, free from hope and fear:
Seize on the present, for the past is dead!

From: Brereton, John Le Gay, The Song of Brotherhood and Other Verses, 2003, University of Sydney Library: Sydney, p. 19.

Date: 1896

By: John Le Gay Brereton (1871-1933)

Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Will-o’-the-Wisp by by Madison Julius Cawein

There in the calamus he stands
With frog-webbed feet and bat-winged hands;
His glow-worm garb glints goblin-wise;
And elfishly, and elfishly,
Above the gleam of owlet eyes,
A death’s-moth cap of downy dyes
Nods out at me, nods out at me.

Now in the reeds his face looks white
As witch-down on a witches’ night;
Now through the dark old haunted mill,
So eerily, so eerily,
He flits; and with a whippoorwill
Mouth calls, and seems to syllable,
“Come follow me! come follow me!”

Now o’er the sluggish stream he wends,
A slim light at his finger-ends;
The spotted spawn, the toad hath clomb,
Slips oozily, slips oozily;
His easy footsteps seem to come—
Like bubble-gaspings of the scum—
Now near to me, now near to me.

There by the stagnant pool he stands,
A fox-fire lamp in flickering hands;
The weeds are slimy to the tread,
And mockingly, and mockingly,
With slanted eyes and eldritch head
He leans above a face long dead,—
The face of me! the face of me!

From: Cawein, Madison, Undertones, 1896, Copeland and Day: Boston, pp. 57-58.

Date: 1896

By: Madison Julius Cawein (1865-1914)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Shadows by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

As I walked out on Hallows’ E’en,
I saw the moon swing thin and green;
I saw beside, in Fiddler’s Wynd,
Two hands that moved upon a blind.

As I walked out on Martin’s Feast,
I heard a woman say to a priest —
‘His grave is digged, his shroud is sewn;
And the child shall pass for his very own.’

But whiles they stood beside his tomb,
I heard the babe laugh out in her womb —
‘My hair will be black as his was red,
And I have a mole where his heart bled.’

From: Quiller-Couch, Arthur, Poems and Ballads by ‘Q’, 1896, Methuen and Co: London, p. 18.

Date: 1896

By: Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (1863-1944)

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sonnet Macabre by Theodore William Graf Wratislaw

I love you for the grief that lurks within
Your languid spirit, and because you wear
Corruption with a vague and childish air,
And with your beauty know the depths of sin;

Because shame cuts and holds you like a gin,
And virtue dies in you slain by despair,
Since evil has you tangled in its snare
And triumphs on the soul good cannot win.

I love you since you know remorse and tears,
And in your troubled loveliness appears
The spot of ancient crimes that writhe and hiss:

I love you for your hands that calm and bless,
The perfume of your sad and slow caress,
The avid poison of your subtle kiss.


Date: 1896

By: Theodore William Graf Wratislaw (1871-1933)

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Winter Sleep by Edith Matilda Thomas

I know it must be winter (though I sleep)—
I know it must be winter, for I dream
I dip my bare feet in the running stream,
And flowers are many, and the grass grows deep.

I know I must be old (how age deceives!)
I know I must be old, for, all unseen,
My heart grows young, as autumn fields grow green,
When late rains patter on the falling sheaves.

I know I must be tired (and tired souls err)—
I know I must be tired, for all my soul
To deeds of daring beats a glad, faint roll,
As storms the riven pine to music stir.

I know I must be dying (Death draws near)—
I know I must be dying, for I crave
Life—life, strong life, and think not of the grave,
And turf-bound silence, in the frosty year.


Date: 1896

By: Edith Matilda Thomas (1854-1925)

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Love Came at Dawn by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

Love came at dawn, when all the world was fair,
When crimson glories’ bloom and sun were rife;
Love came at dawn, when hope’s wings fanned the air,
And murmured, “I am life.”

Love came at eve, and when the day was done,
When heart and brain were tired, and slumber pressed;
Love came at eve, shut out the sinking sun,
And whispered, “I am rest.”


Date: 1896

By: Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835-1910)