Posts tagged ‘1903’

Friday, 4 June 2021

Wearing Corks by Thomas Henry Wilson

There’s a pesky sort o’ glimmerin‘ in the thin white track ahead, 
And the salt lake seems a-shimmerin‘ like a sea o’ melted lead. 
Ain’t a blessed twig a-stirrin‘—ain’t a livin thing but flies; 
They keep buzzin‘ and a-whirrin‘ at the corks afore my eyes. 
Yes; I’ve got them on at last, 
An’ they’re just the things as talks. 
Don’t give tuppence for the past— 
Wearin‘ Corks. 
From Fremantle out to Morgans, and from Morgans further back, 
Where the desert ends the goldfields and the devil ends the track, 
Swallowing mullock from the shaker, gettin fat on cyanide, 
An’ a gettin‘ through it somehow—p’rhaps where better men have died. 
Bet I often got weak-hearted; 
Pretty nigh wiped off me chalks; 
All broke up—until I started 
Wearin‘ Corks! 
In the days of wine and women that we always say we’ve had, 
Guess it wasn’t always swimmin‘; sometimes sinking took us bad. 
If we supped off stout and oysters, took a woman to the play, 
We’d a “head” an’ empty pockets—she’d another chap—next day. 
But the night has never fled, 
And, the morrow never baulks, 
And you’ve women, wine, and bed— 
Wearin‘ Corks! 
Here’s the “soak”; I’ll light a fire; nicest day I ever felt . 
(Handy piece of fencing wire; do me nicely for a belt.) 
Think I hear a dingo howling—that sounds homely, just alright. 
Guess I know some chap in Sydney’d like to be with me to-night, 
In the city some may scoff, 
But I know—experience talks— 
There’d be thousands better off 
Wearin‘ Corks. 
From: ‘Rhymers’ Refuge’ in Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902-1954), Sunday, 8 March 1903, p. 10. 
Date: 1903 
By: Thomas Henry Wilson (1867-1925)

Friday, 27 November 2020

Dedication by Lucian Bottow Watkins

To Principal Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Industrial School

To you who now so nobly do
A noble deed;
Who now instill the virtues true
To virtuous need;
Whose mission is so truly good—
So full of kindly brotherhood—
Who live the life you surely should—
A trusty lead;

Who early saw that skillful head
And skillful hands
Should, surely, be in union wed
‘Gainst life’s quicksands—
For people whose unhappy state
Was, surely, in the hands of fate,
Would make a combination great
As iron hands.

Long may your daring presence live
And works instill,
Long may your kingly reasons give
A forceful will.
Long may your glowing, useful days
Shine forth their bright illuming rays,
And to gloomy lives always
A happy thrill.


Date: 1903

By: Lucian Bottow Watkins (1879-1921)

Saturday, 27 October 2018

The Phantoms of the Dark by Francis William Ophel

I hear them pass at eventide,
I hear the dead pass by.
Ever the long processions ride,
While sorrow’d night winds sigh.

Bright burns the camp-fire at my feet
White stars burn overhead,
Beyond the flame, in shadows, meet
The roaming, restless dead.

Dead bushmen go, in ghostly guise,
Unseen within the night
Save by the herds with startled eyes,
Stampeding in affright.

All night — all night — waked or asleep
The fall of hoofs I hear;
Softly the phantom horses creep
Past my lone camp — and near.

The champing of a jingling bit
Faintly insistent sounds;
With loosened rein wan stockmen sit
And ride their endless rounds.

Oh, shadow made their fences are,
Grey wraiths the flocks they see;
And Death has neither bound or bar
Except eternity.

Lured by the will-o’-th’-wisp’s pale fire
(Mock lights of hut and home);
Onward by spectral post and wire
Damned souls for ever roam.

Shrill comes a cry across the dark,
And weird — I know it well —
It is the lost who call. And, hark!
The tinkling of a bell.

A heap of whitened bones there lies,
And stands the dead man’s steed;
Though never may the rider rise.
Faithful he waits his need.

And when the winds the storm-clouds bring
And loud the tempest roar.
I hear the drover galloping
To meet his love once more.

Night after night, in wind and rain,
He rides and leaves his flocks,
And night by night he falls again
Over the fatal rocks.

And crashing through by bush and bole
In dread, and dumb, and straight
Goes one, sere-stricken to the soul,
And leaves a murdered mate.

At morn my sweating horses stand
Trembling in wild-eyed fright,
For they have seen the phantom band
That pass’d into the night.

Ever by my lone camp they go,
Nor heed the stars or moon.
I hear them always, and I know
That I shall join them soon.

For surely I shall ride away
To turn some midnight rush,
And, greeting Death, remain for aye —
A spirit of the bush.

From: Kinsella, John and Ryan, Tracy (eds.), The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry, Fremantle Press: Perth, pp.71-73.

Date: 1903

By: Francis William Ophel (1871-1912)

Thursday, 16 August 2018

In the Gloaming by James Copper Bayles

The twilight twiles in the vernal vale,
In adumbration of azure awe,
And I listlessly list in my swallow-tail
To the limpet licking his limber jaw.
And it’s O for the sound of the daffodil,
For the dry distillings of prawn and prout,
When hope hops high and a heather hill
Is a dear delight and a darksome doubt.
The snagwap sits in the bosky brae
And sings to the gumplet in accents sweet;
The gibwink hasn’t a word to say,
But pensively smiles at the fair keeweet.
And it’s O for the jungles of Boorabul.
For the jingling jungles to jangle in,
With a moony maze of mellado mull,
And a protoplasm for next of kin.
O’ sweet is the note of the shagreen shard
And mellow the mew of the mastodon,
When the soboliferous Somminard
Is scenting the shadows at set of sun.
And it’s O for the timorous tamarind
In the murky meadows of Maroboo,
For the suave sirocco of Sazerkind,
And the pimpernell pellets of Pangipoo.

From: Lecercle, Jean-Jacques, Philosophy of Nonsense: The Intuitions of Victorian Nonsense Literature, 1994, Routledge: London and New York, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 1903 (published)

By: James Copper Bayles (1845-1913)

Saturday, 3 March 2018

La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

Whene’er I take my PHYLLIS out
For moonlight walks, I like to stroll;
It gives me – I am rather stout –
More chance of laying bare my soul.
My tender pleading, I reflect,
Is robbed of all the charm that’s in it
If my remarks are rudely checked
By gasps and puffing every minute.

Yet nothing less is now my fate;
Each night we wonder to and fro:
Our normal pace has been of late
A good six miles an hour or so.
Sadly the moments flit away:
No rays of joy my burdens lighten;
My PHYLLIS, I regret to say,
Is training for a walk to Brighton.

When I let fall a gentle hint
That I’m no devotee of pace,
She answers, “Now, suppose we sprint?
I must get fit before the race.
Unless I exercise my limbs
I feel my chances wane, diminish;
And I should die if that MISS SIMS
Arrived before me at the finish.”

So off we go. No more her ears
May I enchant with honeyed phrase;
No more I win her smiles and tears,
As once I could – in happier days.
We don’t fall out; we’ve have no tiff;
My passion glows without cessation;
But still, I’d love her better if
She’d choose some calmer recreation.


Date: 1903

By: Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881-1975)

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Last Verse of “Mu’allaqa” by Imra’ ul-Qais bin Hujr al-Kindi

Friend, thou seest the lightning. Mark where it wavereth,
gleameth like fingers twisted, clasped in the cloud-rivers.
Like a lamp new-lighted, so is the flash of it,
trimmed by a hermit nightly pouring oil-sésame.
Stood I long a watcher, twin-friends how dear with me,
till in Othéyb it faded, ended in Dáriji.
By its path we judged it: rain over Káttan is;
far in Sitár it falleth, streameth in Yáthboli.
Gathereth gross the flood-head dammed in Kutéyfati.
Woe to the trees, the branched ones! Woe the kanáhboli!
El Kanáan hath known it, quailed from the lash of it.
Down from their lairs it driveth hot-foot the ibexes.
Known it too hath Téyma; standeth no palm of her
there, nor no house low-founded, — none but her rock-buildings.
Stricken stood Thabíra whelmed by the rush of it,
like an old chief robe-folded, bowed in his striped mantle.
Nay, but the Mujéymir, tall-peaked at dawn of day,
showed like a spinster’s distaff tossed on the flood-water.
Cloud-wrecked lay the valley piled with the load of it,
high as in sacks the Yemámi heapeth his corn-measures.
Seemed it then the song-birds, wine-drunk at sun-rising,
loud through the valley shouted, maddened with spiceries.
While the wild beast corpses, grouped like great bulbs up-torn,
cumbered the hollow places, drowned in the night-trouble.

From: Blunt, Wilfrid Scawen and Blunt, Lady Anne, The Seven Golden Odes of Pagan Arabia, Known Also As the Moallakat, Translated from the Arabic by Lady Anne Blunt. Done into English Verse by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, 1903, Chiswick Press: London, pp. 7-8.

Date: 6th century (original in Arabic); 1903 (translation in English)

By: Imra’ ul-Qais bin Hujr al-Kindi (501-544)

Translated by: Anne Isabella Noel Blunt (1837-1917) and Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840-1922)

Friday, 2 January 2015

Ballade of Tristram’s Last Harping by Gertrude Bartlett Taylor

The end that Love doth seek, what bard can say,
In that fair season when the tender green
Of opening leaves doth roof the woods of May,
And sweet wild buds from out their places lean
To touch the dainty feet that heedless stray
Among them, with a youth in knight’s attire?
His lady’s will capricious to obey,
This is the end of dawning Love’s desire.

And when amid the summer’s bright array
Of blossoms, are the crimson roses seen,
And one young maid, fairer than any spray
In perfect bloom, wanders their lines between,
What blessed solace can the lover pray
Of her compassion, for his heart of fire?
With kisses on her mouth all words to stay–
This is the end of eager Love’s desire.

With driven clouds the lowering sky is grey;
The winds above the frozen hills are keen,
And all fair buds have fallen in decay;
What joy hath now the true knight of his Queen
No rapture less exultant can allay
His need, than softly craves this faulty lyre:
To answer all his pleading with sweet ‘Yea’–
This is the end of yearning Love’s desire.

Beloved, now is done our life’s brief day;
Not with the day howe’er doth Love expire.
Within thine arms the night to dream away–
This is the end of Love’s supreme desire.


Date: 1903

By: Gertrude Bartlett Taylor (1876-1942)

Monday, 1 April 2013

Dedicatory by Willa Sibert Cather

To R.C.C. and C.D.C.

Somewhere, sometime, in an April twilight,
When the hills are hid in violet shadows
When meadow brooks are still and hushed for wonder,
At the ring dove’s call as at a summons,
Let us gather from the world’s fair quarters,
Stealing from the trackless dusk like shadows,
Meet to wait the moon, and greet in silence.
When she swims above the April branches,
Rises clear of naked oak and beeches,
Sit with me beneath the snowy orchard,
Where the white moth hangs with wings entranced,
Drunken with the still perfume of blossoms.
Then, for that the moon was ours of olden,
Let it work again its old enchantment.
Let it, for an April night, transform us
From our grosser selves to happy shadows
Of the three who lay and planned at moonrise,
On an island in a western river,
Of the conquest of the world together.
Let us pour our amber wine and drink it
To the memory of our vanished kingdom,
To our days of war and ocean venture,
Brave with brigandage and sack of cities;
To the Odysseys of summer mornings,
Starry wonder-tales of nights in April.


Date: 1903

By: Willa Sibert Cather (1873-1947)