Posts tagged ‘1912’

Sunday, 23 January 2022

She Comes as Comes the Summer Night by Frank Samuel Williamson

I

She comes as comes the summer night,
Violet, perfumed, clad with stars,
To heal the eyes hurt by the light
Flung by Day’s brandish’d scimitars.
The parted crimson of her lips
Like sunset clouds that slowly die
When twilight with cool finger-tips
Unbraids her tresses in the sky.

II

The melody of waterfalls
Is in the music of her tongue,
Low chanted in dim forest halls
Ere Dawn’s loud bugle-call has rung.
And as a bird with hovering wings
Halts o’er her young one in the nest,
Then droops to still his flutterings,
She takes me to her fragrant breast.

III

O star and bird at once thou art,
And Night, with purple-petall’d charm,
Shining and singing to my heart,
And soothing with a dewy calm.
Let Death assume this lovely guise,
So darkly beautiful and sweet,
And, gazing with those starry eyes,
Lead far away my weary feet.

IV

And that strange sense of valleys fair
With birds and rivers making song
To lull the blossoms gleaming there,
Be with me as I pass along.
Ah! lovely sisters, Night and Death,
And lovelier Woman—wondrous three,
“Givers of Life,” my spirit saith,
Unfolders of the mystery.

V

Ah! only Love could teach me this,
In memoried springtime long since flown;
Red lips that trembled to my kiss,
That sighed farewell, and left me lone.
O Joy and Sorrow intertwined,—
A kiss, a sigh, and blinding tears,—
Yet ever after in the wind,
The bird-like music of the spheres!

From: Williamson, Frank Samuel, Purple and Gold: Poems and Lyrics, 1912, Lothian: Melbourne, pp. 53-56.
(https://www-austlit-edu-au.rp.nla.gov.au/austlit/page/0?nodeType=fullText&ftdir=4009431884855340558-wilpurp&ftaid=C181980&ftmid=F198602&ftchapter=part-1-13.frag)

Date: 1912

By: Frank Samuel Williamson (1865-1936)

Friday, 26 November 2021

Lament by Robert Calverley Trevelyan

Once would I take the wings of the wild bird,
Joyous and swift and free,
Ascend to the uttermost heights of heaven, there
Where nought is heard
Save stars’ faint singing only,
Visit the foam of oceans vast and lonely,
Drear waves, ne’er
By sail yet whitened, broken by no prow.
O heart, proud heart, no more! ne’er as of old!
Lost is thy courage, failed thy strength, and thou
As death grown cold.

From: Trevelyan, R.C., The Bride of Dionysus, a Music-Drama, and Other Poems, 1912, Longmans, Green and Company: London, p. 61.
(https://archive.org/details/cu31924013232560/)

Date: 1912

By: Robert Calverley Trevelyan (1872-1951)

Thursday, 25 November 2021

The Fulness of Time by James Stephens

On a rusty iron throne
Past the furthest star of space
I saw Satan sit alone,
Old and haggard was his face;
For his work was done and he
Rested in eternity.

And to him from out the sun
Came his father and his friend
Saying, now the work is done
Enmity is at an end:
And he guided Satan to
Paradises that he knew.

Gabriel without a frown,
Uriel without a spear,
Raphael came singing down
Welcoming their ancient peer,
And they seated him beside
One who had been crucified.

From: Stephens, James, The Hill of Vision, 1912, Maunsel and Company: Dublin, p. 30.
(https://archive.org/details/hillvision00stepgoog/)

Date: 1912

By: James Stephens (1880-1950)

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Mirabeau Bridge by Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki)

Under the Mirabeau Bridge there flows the Seine
Must I recall
Our loves recall how then
After each sorrow joy came back again

Let night come on bells end the day
The days go by me still I stay

Hands joined and face to face let’s stay just so
While underneath
The bridge of our arms shall go
Eternal gazes in their weary flow

Let night come on bells end the day
The days go by me still I stay

All love goes by as water to the sea
All love goes by
How slow life seems to me
How violent the hope of love can be

Let night come on bells end the day
The days go by me still I stay

The days the weeks pass by beyond our ken
Neither time past
Nor love comes back again
Under the Mirabeau Bridge there flows the Seine

Let night come on bells end the day
The days go by me still I stay

From: https://www.theparisreview.org/poetry/3215/mirabeau-bridge-guillaume-apollinaire

Date: 1912 (original in French); 1981 (translation in English)

By: Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki) (1880-1918)

Translated by: Richard Purdy Wilbur (1921-2017)

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Gwalchmai’s Delight by Gwalchmai ap Meilyr

Swift rising dawn of joyful gliding June,
Melodious song of birds, calm, lustrous noon!
A gold-torqued Chief am I that know not fear,
A fierce, host-facing lion, rout in my rear!
At night I guard with bound-protecting sword
The babbling flow of Dygen Freiddin’s ford.

How green the untrodden grass! How pearly pale
Its stream! And oh, its amorous nightingale!
The sea-mews playing o’er its bed of flood
Shake their white plumes in boisterous multitude;
Till, whiter breasted one, the lover’s season
With dreams of thee distract my very reason.
Far, far art thou from Mona’s pleasant leas,
Where folk in splendid solitude take their ease,
Where truth by choicest lips is ever told,
Where poesy pours in one pure stream of gold.

My falchion flashes quick to guard the brave,
My round shield glitters glory by the wave;
While dulcet harmonies from morn till eve
Wood-birds and waters delicately interweave.

My mind inflamed shoots like a shivering star
O’er all the land to Evernwy afar;
Over white budding apple-tree, blossoming flowers,
Woods one wide emerald at this hour of hours,
To Caerwys’ nymph, within her bower of bowers.

Gwalchmai my name, the Saxon’s steadfast foe,
For Mona’s prince I struck a battle blow;
Before a fortress I made blood to flow,
For Llywy’s sake, fair as on trees the snow.

The nightingale that shortens sleep in May
And Llywy’s lily looks I’ll praise alway.

I saw in Rhuddlan a flaming rush before
Owain, carnage of spears, lettings of gore.
With mortal combats I heard the Vale outring;
I saw a hundred Captains’ silencing.

But when War’s mighty music had sunk to rest,
Sweet sang the nightingale above his nest.

From: Graves, Alfred Perceval (ed. and transl.), Welsh Poetry Old and New in English Verse, 1912, Longmans, Green, and Co.: London, pp. 16-17.
(https://archive.org/details/welshpoetryoldne00graviala/)

Date: 12th century (original in Welsh); 1912 (translation in English)

By: Gwalchmai ap Meilyr (fl. 1130-1180)

Translated by: Alfred Perceval Graves (1846-1931)

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Silver Point by John Galsworthy

Sharp against a sky of grey,
Pigeon’s nest in naked tree;
Every silver twig up-curled,
Not a budding leaf unfurled,
Not a breath to fan the day!

World aspiring and severe,
Not a hum of fly or bee,
Not a song, and not a cry,
Not a perfume stealing by —
Stillest moment of the year!

From: Galsworthy, John and Galsworthy, Ada (ed.), The Collected Poems of John Galsworthy, 1934, William Heinemann Ltd: London, p. 99.
(https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.123317)

Date: 1912

By: John Galsworthy (1867-1933)

Friday, 13 July 2018

For the Book of Love by Jules Laforgue

I may be dead tomorrow, uncaressed.
My lips have never touched a woman’s, none
Has given me in a look her soul, not one
Has ever held me swooning at her breast.

I have but suffered, for all nature, trees
Whipped by the winds, wan flowers, the ashen sky,
Suffered with all my nerves, minutely, I
Have suffered for my soul’s impurities.

And I have spat on love, and, mad with pride,
Slaughtered my flesh, and life’s revenge I brave,
And, while the whole world else was Instinct’s slave,
With bitter laughter Instinct I defied.

In drawing-rooms, the theatre, the church,
Before cold men, the greatest, most refined,
And women with eyes jealous, proud, or kind,
Whose tender souls no lust would seem to smirch.

I thought: This is the end for which they work.
Beasts coupling with the groaning beasts they capture.
And all this dirt for just three minutes’ rapture!
Men, be correct! And women, purr and smirk!

From: http://www.blackcatpoems.com/l/for_the_book_of_love.html

Date: 1885 (original in French); 1912 (translation in English)

By: Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)

Translated by: Jethro Bithell (1878-1962)

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Crocodile Discourses by Geoffrey Montagu Cookson (James Barton)

“I do not find it written in my slime
That God is Love; yet He is very good;
For first, He filed my teeth exceeding sharp,
And shut them in a trap of triple steel,
Gave me my saurian ancestry, whereby
I walk abroad unquestioned armiger,
And wear unrusted my tough coat of mail.
Also, to deck a brother deity
(For I am more than priest if less than God),
He offers lotus buds, and lends me stars
To float upon my pool; and when I swim
On moonless nights they tremble in the wash
And furrow of my wave. Familiar,
As to a schoolboy ciphers on a slate,
I meditate my deep astrology,
Reading the cycles and conjunctive hours
That ripen for my maw the virgin’s breasts,
The young wife’s womb. They have no time to scream,
I trip so smoothly down the darkling stair
And paddle in the deeps. My pool is called
Silence, the deadener of unseemly noise,
That rends so woundily the clamorous air.
I do not roar like loud and vulgar beasts,
But on a soft bed lay them tenderly,
Striving to calm them, lest they tear the flesh.
There the poor gape, that is their voiceless scream,
No echo has but bubbles. Soft, so soft
The seasoned flesh; the after-dinner sleep,
In reed-brake or thorn-thicket, sanctified
With comfortable closing of the lids
And beatific smile, of blessedness
And the peculiar care of Providence
Humbly acknowledged, sign, misunderstood,
But not the less sincere. Ah, yes, the fool
Hath said ” There is no God,” but I am wise;
Therefore to Him, who for His servant’s food
Fattens the suckling, strews with fin and spawn
My pool, and fills with splash of silver rain,
I give among warm rocks and waterweeds Amphibious thanks.”
Thus far the crocodile,
Reading his thesis theologiæ;
And all admitted it extremely sound.

From: Cookson, Geoffrey, “The Crocodile Discourses” in Wheels, 1920 (Fifth Cycle), 1920, pp. 52-53.
(http://www.modernistmagazines.com/media/pdf/301.pdf)

Date: 1912

By: Geoffrey Montagu Cookson (James Barton) (1867-1951)

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

White Death by Clark Ashton Smith

Methought the world was bound with final frost:
The sun, made hueless as with fear and awe,
Illumined still the lands it could not thaw.
Then on my road, with instant evening crossed,
Death stood, and in its dusky veils enwound,
Mine eyes forgot the light, until I came
Where poured the inseparate, unshadowed flame
Of phantom suns in self-irradiance drowned.

Death lay revealed in all its haggardness:
Immitigable wastes horizonless;
Profundities that held nor bar nor veil;
All hues wherewith the suns and worlds were dyed
In light invariable nullifed;
All darkness rendered shelterless and pale.

From: http://www.blackcatpoems.com/s/white_death.html

Date: 1912

By: Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961)

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Death-Bed Song of Meilyr, the Poet [Fragment] by Meilyr Brydydd

Great store had I of satin and of gold
From generous lords who loved my art of old;
But silent now are all my hero lays,
Love’s poignant spell my harp no longer sways.
While I, the Poet Meilyr, supplicate
Peter for entrance at The Heavenly Gate,
And sing aloud of that Last Day and dread,
When Earth and Sea shall render forth their dead.

From: Graves, Alfred Perceval (transl. and ed.), Welsh Poetry Old and New in English Verse, 1912, Longmans, Green and Co: London, p. 15      .
(https://archive.org/details/welshpoetryoldne00graviala)

Date: c1137 (original in Welsh); 1912 (translation in English)

By: Meilyr Brydydd (fl. 1100-1137)

Translated by: Alfred Perceval Graves (1846-1931)