Posts tagged ‘1896’

Sunday, 13 June 2021

A Northern Suburb by John Davidson

Nature selects the longest way,
And winds about in tortuous grooves;
A thousand years the oaks decay;
The wrinkled glacier hardly moves.

But here the whetted fangs of change
Daily devour the old demesne –
The busy farm, the quiet grange,
The wayside inn, the village green.

In gaudy yellow brick and red,
With rooting pipes, like creepers rank,
The shoddy terraces o’erspread
Meadow, and garth, and daisied bank.

With shelves for rooms the houses crowd,
Like draughty cupboards in a row –
Ice-chests when wintry winds are loud,
Ovens when summer breezes blow.

Roused by the fee’d policeman’s knock,
And sad that day should come again,
Under the stars the workmen flock
In haste to reach the workmen’s train.

For here dwell those who must fulfil
Dull tasks in uncongenial spheres,
Who toil through dread of coming ill,
And not with hope of happier years –

The lowly folk who scarcely dare
Conceive themselves perhaps misplaced,
Whose prize for unremitting care
Is only not to be disgraced.


Date: 1896

By: John Davidson (1857-1909)

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Hallowe’en by Joel Benton

Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite
All are on their rounds to-night,—
In the wan moon’s silver ray
Thrives their helter-skelter play.

Fond of cellar, barn, or stack
True unto the almanac,
They present to credulous eyes
Strange hobgoblin mysteries.

Cabbage-stumps—straws wet with dew—
Apple-skins, and chestnuts too,
And a mirror for some lass
Show what wonders come to pass.

Doors they move, and gates they hide
Mischiefs that on moonbeams ride
Are their deeds,—and, by their spells,
Love records its oracles.

Don’t we all, of long ago
By the ruddy fireplace glow,
In the kitchen and the hall,
Those queer, coof-like pranks recall?

Every shadows were they then—
But to-night they come again;
Were we once more but sixteen
Precious would be Hallowe’en.


Date: 1896

By: Joel Benton (1832-1911)

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Love’s Vanity by Arthur Bernard Miall

You have broken my life and my heart.
You have played for my soul and won ;
We may kiss and remember and part.
But wrhat you have done is done.

I wept out my heart at your sorrow^ :
You thought the sorrow my own.
You played with my love on the morrow
That pity for you had sown.

I wish I might learn to hate you,
But then were I utterly base.
I can but vainly await you,
Who never will turn your face.

There is nought in my life that is human
Save uttermost pity of you.
O hateful and suffering woman,
Look now at your lover and see :
I never did aught but love you,
But what have you done to me?

From: Miall, A. Bernard, Nocturnes and Pastorals: A Book of Verse, 1896, Leonard Smithers: London, p. 61.

Date: 1896

By: Arthur Bernard Miall (1876-1953)

Friday, 15 November 2019

Lassitude by Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck

These lips have long forgotten to bestow
Their kiss on blind eyes chiller than the snow,
Henceforth absorbed in their magnificent dream.
Drowsy as hounds deep in the grass they seem;
They watch the grey flocks on the sky-line pass,
Browsing on moonlight scattered o’er the grass,
By skies as vague as their own life caressed.
They see, unvexed by envy or unrest,
The roses of joy that open on every hand,
The long green peace they cannot understand.

From: Maeterlinck, Maurice and Miall, Bernard (transl.), Poems: Done into English Verse by Bernard Miall, 1915, Methuen & Co: London, p. 11.

Date: 1896 (original in French); 1914 (translation in English)

By: Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck (1862-1949)

Translated by: Arthur Bernard Miall (1876-1953)

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)