Posts tagged ‘1897’

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Reply: I by Ronald Ross

This day relenting God
Hath placed within my hand
A wondrous thing; and God
Be praised. At His command,

Seeking His secret deeds
With tears and toiling breath,
I find thy cunning seeds,
O million-murdering Death.

I know this little thing
A myriad men will save.
O Death, where is thy sting?
Thy victory, O Grave?

    August 21, 1897*

*Ronald Ross received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work in discovering the mosquito parasite responsible for the transmission of malaria. He wrote this poem the day after he discovered the parasite.

From: Ross, Ronald, Philosophies, 1923, John Murray: London, p. 53.

Date: 1897

By: Ronald Ross (1857-1932)

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Easter Island by Frederick George Scott

There lies a lone isle in the tropic seas, —
A mountain isle, with beaches shining white,
Where soft stars smile upon its sleep by night,
And every noon-day fans it with a breeze.
Here on a cliff, carved upward from the knees,
Three uncouth statues of gigantic height.
Upon whose brows the circling sea-birds light.
Stare out to ocean, over the tall trees.

Forever gaze they at the sea and sky.
Forever hear the thunder of the main,
Forever watch the ages die away ;
And ever round them rings the phantom cry
Of some lost race that died in human pain,
Looking towards heaven, yet seeing no more than they.

From: Scott, Frederick George, The Unnamed Lake and Other Poems, 1897, William Briggs: Toronto, p. 48.

Date: 1897

By: Frederick George Scott (1861-1944)

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Dead Love by Mary Jane Mathew Adams

And both are marked by tombstones white.
The one stands in the churchyard near,
The other hid from mortal sight.
The name on one all men may read,
And learn who lies beneath the stone;
The other name is written where
No eyes can read it but my own.

On one I plant a living flower,
And cherish it with loving hands;
I shun the single withered leaf
That tells me where the other stands.

To that white tombstone on the hill
In summer days I often go;
From this white stone that nearer lies
I turn me with unuttered woe.

O God, I pray, if love must die,
And make no more of life a part,
Let witness be where all can see,
And not within a living heart.


Date: 1897

By: Mary Jane Mathews Adams (1840-1902)

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Nothing Can Subdue Virtue by Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius

Whoso calm, serene, sedate,
Sets his foot on haughty fate;
Firm and steadfast, come what will,
Keeps his mien unconquered still;
Him the rage of furious seas,
Tossing high wild menaces,
Nor the flames from smoky forges
That Vesuvius disgorges,
Nor the bolt that from the sky
Smites the tower, can terrify.
Why, then, shouldst thou feel affright
At the tyrant’s weakling might?
Dread him not, nor fear no harm,
And thou shall his rage disarm;
But who to hope or fear gives way —
Lost his bosom’s rightful sway —
He hath cast away his shield,
Like a coward fled the field;
He hath forged all unaware
Fetters his own neck must bear!


Date: c520 (original in Latin); 1897 (translation in English)

By: Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius (c480-524)

Translated by: Henry Rosher James (1862-1931)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Wreckage by Dora Sigerson Shorter

Love lit a beacon in thine eyes,
And I out in the storm,
And lo! the night had taken wings;
I dream me safe and warm.

Love lit a beacon in thine eyes,
A wreckers’ light for me;
My heart is broken on the rocks;
I perish in the sea.

From: Sigerson, Dora (Mrs Clement Shorter), The Fairy Changeling and Other Poems, 1897, John Lane, The Bodley Head: London and New York, p. 52.

Date: 1897

By: Dora Sigerson Shorter (1866-1918)

Sunday, 7 July 2013

From the Persian by Andrew Downing

Malevolence, Envy and black Intrigue,
Are up, and stirring, before the dawn;
And a rogue of a Lie will run a league
While Truth is putting her sandals on.

From: Downing, Andrew, The Trumpeters and Other Poems, 1897, Hayworth Publishing House: Washington DC, p. 37.

Date: 1897

By: Andrew Downing (1838-1917)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Land of Dumb Despair by William Henry Ogilvie

Beyond where farthest drought-fires burn,
By hand of fate it once befell,
I reached the Realm of No-Return
That meets the March of Hell.

A silence crueller than Death
Laid fetters on the fateful air:
She holds no hope; she fights for breath—
The Land of Dumb Despair!

Here fill their glasses, red as blood,
The victims of fell Fortune’s frown;
They drink their wine as brave men should,
And fling the goblets down.

They crowd the board, red wreaths of rose
Across their foreheads drooped and curled,
But in their eyes the gloom that knows
The grief of all the world.

The poison lies behind their wine
So close, the trembling hands that take
Might well be doubted to divine
Which draught such thirst would slake.

The bows beside their hands are strung;
The blue steel glitters, bare of sheath:
’Tis wonder tired Life drags among
So many ways to Death!

They may not whisper, one to one,
The stories of their fancied fall:
The words that ring beneath the sun
Would faint in such a pall.

In silence, man by man, they reach
For cup, for arrow, or for sword,
And still the grey world fills the breach
Each leaves beside the board.

From: Boake, Barcroft, Where the Dead Men Lie, 1897, Angus and Robertson: Sydney, pp. ix-x.

Date: 1897

By: William Henry Ogilvie (1869-1963)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

If No-One Ever Marries Me by Laurence Alma-Tadema

If no-one ever marries me–
And I don’t see why they should,
For nurse says I am not pretty
And I’m seldom very good–

If no one ever marries me
I shan’t mind very much;
I shall buy a squirrel in a cage,
And a little rabbit-hutch;

I shall have a cottage near a wood,
And a pony all my own,
And a little lamb, quite clean and tame,
That I can take to town;

And when I’m getting really old,
At twenty-eight or nine–
I shall buy a little orphan girl
And bring her up as mine.


Date: 1897

By: Laurence Alma-Tadema (1865-1940)

Monday, 23 July 2012

A Stradivarius Violin by May Riley Smith

The music of this ancient violin
   Is haunted as men’s chambers sometimes are.
Along the liquid ladder of each bar
   Phantoms of pleasure dance; Regret steals in,
   With happier ghosts, and Fate her wheel doth spin.
Torn butterflies of hope a breath did mar
Here flutter, like the flame within a star.
   And if thou wouldst, O soul, nepenthe win,
   Pause not beside this portal, lest thou hear
   The voice of thy dead sorrow whispering near!
For every passion that thy life hath known, ―
Anguish benumbed, and love thou thought’st flown, ―
   Among these peerless octaves veilèd, wait
   To speak to thee across the stringed gate.

From: Smith, May Riley, Sometime and Other Poems, 1897, E P Dutton and Company: New York, pp. 74-75.

Date: 1897

By: May Riley Smith (1842-1927)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Ode 1 by Khwāja Shamsu d-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī

Oh Cup-bearer, set my glass afire  
Arise, oh Cup-bearer, rise! and bring
To lips that are thirsting the bowl they praise,
For it seemed that love was an easy thing,
But my feet have fallen on difficult ways.
I have prayed the wind o’er my heart to fling
The fragrance of musk in her hair that sleeps–
In the night of her hair–yet no fragrance stays
The tears of my heart’s blood my sad heart weeps.

Hear the Tavern-keeper who counsels you:
“With wine, with red wine your prayer carpet dye!”
There was never a traveller like him but knew
The ways of the road and the hostelry.
Where shall I rest, when the still night through,
Beyond the gateway, oh Heart of my heart,
The bells of the camels lament and cry:
“Bind up thy burden again and depart!”

The waves run high, night is clouded with fears,
And eddying whirlpools clash and roar;
How shall my drowning voice strike their ears
Whose light-freighted vessels have reached the shore?

I sought mine own; the unsparing years
Have brought me mine own, a dishonoured name.
What cloak shall cover my misery o’er
When each jesting mouth has rehearsed my shame!

Oh Hafiz, seeking an end to strife,
Hold fast in thy mind what the wise have writ:
“If at last thou attain the desire of thy life,
Cast the world aside, yea, abandon it!”


Date: ? (translation 1897)

By: Khwāja Shamsu d-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī  (1325/1326-1389/1390)

Translated by: Gertrude Lowthian Bell (1868-1926)

Alternative Title: Ghazal 1