Posts tagged ‘1906’

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Unanswered by Elsie Herrick Wood Warner

This is to greet thee whom I shall not see;
My lips call dumbly to thee day by day,
Needing thee near at hand and missing thee,
Or near or far, still thou art far away.

A hundred hopes are living in my heart:
Poor stunted children thy neglect has maimed,
A hundred questionings that stir and start:
Thine heritage that still remains unclaimed.

Somewhat there is a veil, a spirit-wall
So subtly thin, time builded and so strong,
As though the busy months, the world and all,
Were set between our souls to do them wrong.

All through the years my heart has leaned on thine
Those were bright years they will not come again
Summer will come, the sun will still give shine,
But I, I call on thee, and call in vain.

From: Herrick, E, Portraits and Sketches, 1910, Elkin Matthews: London, p. 32.

Date: 1906

By: Elsie Herrick Wood Warner (18??-19??)

Friday, 9 March 2018

Excerpt from “Khosrow and Shirin” by Nizami Ganjavi (Jamal ad-Dīn Abū Muḥammad Ilyās ibn-Yūsuf ibn-Zakkī)

When Farhad heard this message, with a groan
From the rock-gulley fell he like a stone.
So deep a sigh he heaved that thou wouldst say
A spear had cleft unto his heart its way.
‘Alas, my labour!’ — thus his bitter cry —
‘My guerdon still unwon, in grief I die!
Alas the wasted labour of my youth!
Alas the hope which vain hath proved in truth!
I tunnelled mountain-walls: behold my prize!
My labour’s wasted: here the hardship lies!
I, like a fool, red rubies coveted;
Lo, worthless pebbles fill my hands instead!
What fire is this that thus doth me consume?
What flood is this which hurls me to my doom?
The world is void of sun and moon for me:
My garden lacks its box- and willow-tree.
For the last time my beacon-light hath shone;
Not Shirin, but the sun from me is gone!
The cruel sphere pities no much-tried wight;
On no poor luckless wretch doth grace alight!
Alas for such a sun and such a moon,
Which black eclipse hath swallowed all too soon!
Before the wolf may pass a hundred sheep,
But on the poor man’s lamb ’tis sure to leap.
O’er my sad heart the fowls and fishes weep;
For my life’s stream doth into darkness creep.
Why am I parted from my mistress dear?
Now Shirin’s gone, why should I tarry here?
Without her face should I desire to thrive
‘Twould serve me right if I were boned alive! . . .
Felled to the dust, my cypress quick lies dead:
Shall I remain to cast dust on my head?
My smiling rose is fallen from the tree:
The garden is a prison now to me.
My bird of spring is from the meadow flown,
I, like the thunder-cloud, will weep and groan.
My world-enkindling lamp is quenched for aye:
Shall not my day be turned to night to-day?
My lamp is out, and chilly strikes the gale:
My moon is darkened and my sun is pale.
Beyond Death’s portals Shirin shall I greet,
So with one leap I hasten Death to meet!’
Thus to the world his mournful tale he cried,
For Shirin kissed the ground, and kissing died.

From: Browne, Edward G., A Literary History of Persia, From Firdawsi to Sa’di, Volume 2, 1906, T. Fisher Unwin: London, pp. 405-406.

Date: 1177-1180 (original in Persian); 1906 (translation in English)

By: Nizami Ganjavi (Jamal ad-Dīn Abū Muḥammad Ilyās ibn-Yūsuf ibn-Zakkī) (1141-1209)

Translated by: Edward Granville Browne (1862-1926)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Orphan Brigade by Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

Eighteen hundred and sixty-one:
There in the echo of Sumter’s gun
Marches the host of the Orphan Brigade,
Lit by their banners, in hopes best arrayed.
Five thousand strong, never legion hath borne
Might as this bears it forth in that morn:
Hastings and Cressy, Naseby, Dunbar,
Cowpens and Yorktown, Thousand Years’ War,
Is writ on their hearts as onward afar
They shout to the roar of their drums.

Eighteen hundred and sixty-two:
Well have they paid to the earth its due.
Close up, steady! the half are yet here
And all of the might, for the living bear
The dead in their hearts over Shiloh’s field —
Rich, O God, is thy harvest’s yield!
Where faith swings the sickle, trust binds the sheaves,
To the roll of the surging drums.

Eighteen hundred and sixty-three:
Barring Sherman’s march to the sea —
Shorn to a thousand; face to the foe
Back, ever back, but stubborn and slow.
Nineteen hundred wounds they take
In that service of Hell, yet the hills they shake
With the roar of their charge as onward they go
To the roll of their throbbing drums.

Eighteen hundred and sixty-four:
Their banners are tattered, and scarce twelve score,
Battered and wearied and seared and old,
Stay by the staves where the Orphans hold
Firm as a rock when the surges break —
Shield of a land where men die for His sake,
For the sake of the brothers whom they have laid low,
To the roll of their muffled drums.

Eighteen hundred and sixty-five:
The Devil is dead and the Lord is alive,
In the earth that springs where the heroes sleep,
And in love new born where the stricken weep.
That legion hath marched past the setting of sun:
Beaten? nay, victors: the realms they have won
Are the hearts of men who forever shall hear
The throb of their far-off drums.

From: Shaler, Nathaniel Southgate, From Old Fields: Poems of the Civil War, 1906, Houghton Mifflin & Company: Boston, pp. 307-308.

Date: 1906

By: Nathaniel Southgate Shaler (1841-1906)

Friday, 9 May 2014

Tristram and Iseult by Maurice Baring

We have been loosened from the bonds of time
And space in vain divides us.  Near or far,
Absent, you shine before me like a star;
The hours when you are with me cease to chime.

Sadness we know but not satiety;
We heed to march of seasons short or long,
O’erwhelmed and deafened by the tides of song,
Which roll increasing from eternity.

For us the glory of the day is done;
An sunset melts in along silvery dream
Of darkness luminous with peace and dew;

We float, like ghosts upon death’s endless stream,
In bliss; for only one soft unison
Breathes in the empty vastness:  I and you.

From: Baring, Maurice, The Collected Poems of Maurice Baring, 1911, John Lane, The Bodley Head: London, p. 20.

Date: 1906

By: Maurice Baring (1874-1945)

Thursday, 27 March 2014

More Lovely Grows the Earth by Helena Coleman

More lovely grows the earth as we grow old,
More tenderness is in the dawning spring,
More bronze upon the blackbird’s burnished wing;
And richer is the autumn cloth-of-gold;
A deeper meaning, too, the years unfold,
Until to waiting hearts each living thing
For very love its bounty seems to bring,
Intreating us with beauty to behold.

Or is it that with years we grow more wise
And reverent to the mystery profound–
Withheld from careless or indifferent eyes–
That broods in simple things the world around,
More conscious of the Love that glorifies
The common ways and makes them holy ground?

From: Coleman, Helena, Songs and Sonnets, 1906, William Briggs: Toronto, p. 115.

Date: 1906

By: Helena Coleman (1860-1953)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Cares of a Caretaker by Wallace Irwin

A nice old lady by the sea
Was neat as she was plain,
And every time the tide came in
She swept it back again.

And when the sea untidy grew
And waves began to beat,
She took her little garden rake
And raked it smooth and neat.

She ran a carpet-sweeper up
And down the pebbly sand.
She said, ‘This is the only way
To keep it clean – good land!’

And when the gulls came strolling by,
She drove them shrilly back.
Remarking that it spoiled the beach,
‘The way them birds do track.’

She fed the catfish clotted cream
And taught it how to purr –
And were a catfish so endowed
She would have stroked its fur.

She stopped the little sea-urchins
That travelled by in pairs,
And washed their dirty faces clean
And combed their little hairs.

She spread white napkins on the surf
With which she fumed and fussed
‘When it ain’t covered up,’ she said,
It gits all over dust.’

She didn’t like to see the ships
With all the waves act free,
And so she got a painted sign
Which read: Keep off the Sea.

But dust and splutter as she might,
Her work was sadly vain;
However oft she swept the beach,
The tides came in again.

And she was sometimes wan and worn
When she retired to bed –
‘A woman’s work ain’t never done,’
That nice old lady said.


Date: 1906

By: Wallace Irwin (1875-1959)