Posts tagged ‘1900’

Monday, 31 October 2022

Halloween by Arthur Peterson

Out I went into the meadow,
Where the moon was shining brightly,
And the oak-tree’s lengthening shadows
On the sloping sward did lean;
For I longed to see the goblins,
And the dainty-footed fairies,
And the gnomes, who dwell in caverns,
But come forth on Halloween.

“All the spirits, good and evil,
Fay and pixie, witch and wizard,
On this night will sure be stirring,”
Thought I, as I walked along;
“And if Puck, the merry wanderer,
Or her majesty, Titania,
Or that Mab who teases housewives
If their housewifery be wrong,

“Should but condescend to meet me”–
But my thoughts took sudden parting,
For I saw, a few feet from me,
Standing in the moonlight there,
A quaint, roguish little figure,
And I knew ‘t was Puck, the trickster,
By the twinkle of his bright eyes
Underneath his shaggy hair.

Yet I felt no fear of Robin,
Salutation brief he uttered,
Laughed, and touched me on the shoulder,
And we lightly walked away;
And I found that I was smaller,
For the grasses brushed my elbows,
And the asters seemed like oak-trees,
With their trunks so tall and gray.

Swiftly as the wind we travelled,
Till we came unto a garden,
Bright within a gloomy forest,
Like a gem within the mine;
And I saw, as we grew nearer,
That the flowers so blue and golden
Were but little men and women,
Who amongst the green did shine.

But ‘t was marvellous the resemblance
Their bright figures bore to blossoms,
As they smiled, and danced, and courtesied,
Clad in yellow, pink and blue;
That fair dame, my eyes were certain,
Who among them moved so proudly,
Was my moss-rose, while her ear-rings
Sparkled like the morning dew.

Here, too, danced my pinks and pansies,
Smiling, gayly, as they used to
When, like beaux bedecked and merry,
They disported in the sun;
There, with meek eyes, walked a lily,
While the violets and snow-drops
Tripped it with the lordly tulips:
Truant blossoms, every one.

Then spoke Robin to me, wondering:
“These blithe fairies are the spirits
Of the flowers which all the summer
Bloom beneath its tender sky;
When they feel the frosty fingers
Of the autumn closing round them,
They forsake their earthborn dwellings,
Which to earth return and die,

“As befits things which are mortal.
But these spirits, who are deathless,
Care not for the frosty autumn,
Or the winter long and keen;
But, from field, and wood, and garden,
When their summer’s tasks are finished,
Gather here for dance and music,
As of old, on Halloween.”

Long, with Puck, I watched the revels,
Till the gray light of the morning
Dimmed the lustre of Orion,
Starry sentry overhead;
And the fairies, at that warning,
Ceased their riot, and the brightness
Faded from the lonely forest,
And I knew that they had fled.

Ah, if ne’er can be forgotten,
This strange night I learned the secret–
That within each flower a busy
Fairy lives and works unseen.
Seldom is ‘t to mortals granted
To behold the elves and pixies,
To behold the merry spirits,
Who come forth on Halloween.


Date: 1900

By: Arthur Peterson (1851-1932)

Friday, 5 November 2021

The Bonfire by Ruby Archer Doud Gray

Ho—gather the pine-cones
And build a great fire,
And fling all your sorrows
To burn on the pyre.

Bethink you of legends
Of mining or deer,
And make the night merry
With idle good cheer.

These little brown wizards
Have spells in their bones.
Their crackle is laughter,
So pile on the cones.

But bright eyes are near you
With sparkle and dart.
Beware, lest the pine-cones
Enkindle a heart!


Date: 1900

By: Ruby Archer Doud Gray (1873-1961)

Monday, 6 April 2015

Dust o’ Books by Arthur Wheelock Upson

Slantwise one long starbeam finds
Access through the jealous blinds,
Lingeringly, lance at rest
On the Poet loved the best.
Feeling softly down the shelves
Where my books reveal themselves;
And, beneath its trembling glow,
Faint, fine blooms, like plum-mist show
Dust o’ Books, I love you so!

Wrecks of olden minstrelsy
When the lilting tide is lee.
Ride at flood into our cove
To protest unaltered love;
Or, diffused into the night.
Some sweet Spirit of the Past,
Poising in an airy flight.
Doth behold a home at last
Here with books he fathered when
He was tangible to men
— Mew his soul up in some sphere
When he might be basking here! —
Now the Lady Moon looks in,
Searching with her finger thin
To detect the gentle fluff
From some rose of long ago,
Which, once found, doth seem enough
To provoke her tenderest glow —
Dust o’ Books, she loves you so!

Watch Diana set the name
Of her lover-bard aflame,
Through the casement golden streets
Flooding to the name of Keats!
And the silken dust she tries
That on my table-Browning lies.
Pollen of the Reddest Rose
Our Parnassus-garden grows.
Dust? Nay, their own ashes rest
On the works their love caressed:
Out of linen and levant
Thoughts of masters emanant,
From the outer wash of air
Their sweet ashes settled there!
This is creed to all of us
And dust of earth, unluminous,
Hath no gold like this we know
Of an otherworldly glow —
Dust o’ Books, we love you so!

From: Upson, Arthur and Burton, Richard (ed.), The Collected Poems of Arthur Upson, Edited with an Introduction by Richard Burton, 1909, Edmund D. Brooks: Minneapolis, pp. 7-8.

Date: 1900

By: Arthur Wheelock Upson (1877-1908)

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Wail of the Waiter by Marcus Andrew Hislop Clarke

All day long, at Scott’s or Menzies’, I await the gorging crowd,
Panting, penned within a pantry, with the blowflies humming loud,
There at seven in the morning do I count my daily cash,
While the home-returning reveller calls for ‘soda and a dash’.
And the weary hansom-cabbies set the blinking squatters down,
Who, all night, in savage freedom, have been ‘knocking round the town’.
Soon the breakfast gong resounding bids the festive meal begin,
And, with appetites like demons, come the gentle public in.
‘Toast and butter!’ ‘Eggs and coffee!’ ‘Waiter, mutton chops for four!’
‘Flatheads!’ ‘Ham!’ ‘Beef!’ ‘Where’s the mustard?’ ‘Steak and onions!’ ‘Shut the door!’
Here sits Bandicoot, the broker, eating in a desperate hurry,
Scowling at his left-hand neighbour, Cornstalk from the Upper Murray,
Who with brandy-nose enpurpled, and with blue lips cracked and dry,
In incipient delirium shoves the eggspoon in his eye.
‘Bloater paste!’ ‘Some tender steak, sir?’ ‘Here, confound you, where’s my chop?’
‘Waiter!’ ‘Yessir!’ ‘Waiter!’ ‘Yessir!!’ – running till I’m fit to drop.
Then at lunch time — fearful crisis! In by shoals the gorgers pour,
Gobbling, crunching, swilling, munching — ten times hungrier than before.
‘Glass of porter!’ ‘Ale for me, John!’ ‘Where’s my stick?’ ‘And where’s my hat!’
‘Oxtail soup!’ ‘I asked for curry!’ ‘Cold boiled beef, and cut it fat!’
‘Irish stew!’ ‘Some pickled cabbage!’ ‘What, no beans?’ ‘Bring me some pork!’
‘Soup, sir?’ ‘Yes. You grinning idiot, can I eat it with a FORK?’
‘Take care, waiter!’ ‘Beg your pardon.’ ‘Curse you, have you two left legs?’

‘I asked for bread an hour ago, sir!’ ‘Now then, have you laid those eggs?’
‘Sherry!’ ‘No, I called for beer — of all the fools I ever saw!’
‘Waiter!’ ‘Yessir!’ ‘WAITER!!’ ‘Here, sir!’ ‘Damme, sir, this steak is RAW!’
Thus amid this hideous Babel do I live the livelong day,
While my memory is going, and my hair is turing grey.
All my soul is slowly melting, all my brain is softening fast,
And I know that I’ll be taken to the Yarra Bend at last
For at night from fitful slumbers I awaken with a start,
Murmuring of steak and onions, babbling of apple-tart.
While to me the Poet’s cloudland a gigantic kitchen seems,
And those mislaid table-napkins haunt me even in my dreams
Is this right? — Ye sages tell me! — Does a man live but to eat?
Is there nothing worth enjoying but one’s miserable meat?
Is the mightiest task of genius but to swallow buttered beans,
And has man but been created to demolish pork and greens?
Is there no unfed Hereafter, where the round of chewing stops?
Is the atmosphere of heaven clammy with perpetual chops?
Do the friends of Mr Naylor sup on spirit-reared cow-heel?
Can the great Alexis Soyer really say ‘Soyez tranquille?’
Or must I bring spirit beefsteak grilled in spirit regions hotter
For the spirit delectation of some spiritual squatter?
Shall I in a spirit kitchen hear the spirit blowflies humming,
Calming spiritual stomachs with a spiritual ‘Coming!’?
Shall — but this is idle chatter, I have got my work to do.
‘WAITER!!’ ‘Yessir.’ ‘Wake up, stupid! Boiled calves’ feet for Number Two!’


Date: 1900

By: Marcus Andrew Hislop Clarke (1846-1881)

Monday, 14 October 2013

Our Lady of Death by John Sandes

At last! Hark, the Mauser is ringing!
The rocks let the echoes resound!
A vapour is curling and clinging
Out yonder, low down to the ground.
’Twixt the African sky bluely burning,
And the sward of the veldt softly green,
All white, like a spirit returning,
The first smoke of battle is seen.

Lo, swiftly the smoke-wreaths are blended
And woven, till yonder there stands
A Figure with pinions extended,
And face that is hid in the hands.
But dread is the tale of her mission,
And drear are the words that she saith,
And the doomed know with chill premonition
The form of Our Lady of Death.

Out, forward, the horsemen are ranging;
The guns gallop over the rise;
The smoke-drift is lifting and changing—
Our Lady hath covered her eyes.
For she knows that when autumn comes sobbing
To visit the field of the brave,
Over hearts that are now proudly throbbing
Unharvested grasses shall wave.

But, mark, in the breeze of the morning
Another new outline is scored,
An arm is stretched forth as in warning—
Our Lady hath lifted the sword!
And the Boer shall be flung from his border,
The Kaffir shall pass like a breath,
For the burgher commandos in order
Must kneel to Our Lady of Death.

From: Sandes, John (“Oriel”), Ballads of Battle, 1900, Sands & McDougall Ltd: Melbourne , p. 16.

Date: 1900

By: John Sandes (1863-1938)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

To the Friend of My Youth: To Kitty by Katherine (Kate) O’Flaherty Chopin

It is not all of life
To cling together while the years glide past.
It is not all of love
To walk with clasped hands from first to last.
That mystic garland which the spring did twine
Of scented lilac and the new-blown rose,
Faster than chains will hold my soul to thine
Thro’ joy, and grief, thro’ life–unto its close


Date: 1900

By: Katherine (Kate) O’Flaherty Chopin (1850-1904)

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Australia by Bernard Patrick O’Dowd

Last sea-thing dredged by sailor Time from Space,
Are you adrift Sargasso, where the West
In halcyon calm rebuilds her fatal nest?
Or Delos of a coming Sun-God’s race?
Are you for light, and trimmed, with oil in place,
Or but a Will o’ Wisp on marshy quest?
A new demesne for Mammon to infest?
Or lurks millennial Eden ‘neath your face?
The cenotaphs of species dead elsewhere
That in your limits leap and swim and fly,
Or trail uncanny harpstrings from your trees,
Mix omens with the auguries that dare
To plant the Cross upon your forehead sky,
A virgin helpmate Ocean at your knee.


Date: 1900

By: Bernard Patrick O’Dowd (1866-1953)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

That Children in their Loveliness Should Die by Arthur Hugh Clough

That children in their loveliness should die
Before the dawning beauty, which we know
Cannot remain, has yet begun to go;
That when a certain period has passed by,
People of genius and of faculty,
Leaving behind them some result to show,
Having performed some function, should forego
The task which younger hands can better ply,
Appears entirely natural.  But that one
Whose perfectness did not at all consist
In things towards forming which time can have done
Anything, ― whose sole office was to exist,
Should suddenly dissolve and cease to be
Is the extreme of all perplexity.

From: Clough, Arthur Hugh, Poems of Arthur Hugh Clough with Memoir, 1900, Thomas Y Crowell & Company: New York, p. 289.

Date: 1900 (published)

By: Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Donkey by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked,
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things;

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me–I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet–
There was a shout about my ears
And palms before my feet.


Date: 1900

By: Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)