Posts tagged ‘1912’

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Riddle XVI [The Bookworm] by Caelius Firmanius Symphosius

I thrive on letters yet no letters know,
I live in books, the made more studious so,
Devour the Muses, but no wiser grow.

From: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Symphosius/16*.html

Date: ?5th century (original in Latin); 1912 (translation in English)

By: Caelius Firmanius Symphosius (?5th century)

Translated by: Elizabeth Hickman du Bois Peck (1870-19??)

Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Song of Manchan the Hermit by Manchán mac Silláin

I wish, O Son of the Living God, O Ancient Eternal King,
For a hidden hut in the wilderness, a simple secluded thing.

The all-blithe lithe little lark in his place, chanting his lightsome lay;
The calm, clear pool of the Spirit’s grace, washing my sins away.

A wide, wild woodland on every side, its shades the nursery
Of glad-voiced songsters, who at day-dawn chant their sweet psalm for me.

A southern aspect to catch the sun, a brook across the floor,
A choice land, rich with gracious gifts, down-stretching from my door.

Few men and wise, these I would prize, men of content and power,
To raise Thy praise throughout the days at each canonical hour.

Four times three, three times four, fitted for every need,
To the King of the Sun praying each one, this were a grace, indeed.

Twelve in the church to chant the hours, kneeling there twain and twain;
And I before, near the chancel door, listening their low refrain.

A pleasant church with an Altar-cloth, where Christ sits at the board,
And a shining candle shedding its ray on the white words of the Lord.

Brief meals between, when prayer is done, our modest needs supply;
No greed in our share of the simple fare, no boasting or ribaldry.

This is the husbandry I choose, laborious, simple, free,
The fragrant leek about my door, the hen and the humble bee.

Rough raiment of tweed, enough for my need, this will my King allow;
And I to be sitting praying to God under every leafy bough.

From: http://poetrynook.com/poem/song-manchan-hermit

Date: c645 (original in Gaelic); 1912 (translation in English)

By: Manchán mac Silláin (c600-664)

Translated by: Eleanor Henrietta Hull (1860-1935)

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Sonnet XXX by Guido Cavalcanti

I fear me lest unfortune’s counter thrust
Pierce through my throat and rip out my despair.
I feel my heart and that thought shaking there
Which shakes the aspen mind with his distrust,
Seeming to say, “Love doth not give thee ease
So that thou canst, as of a little thing,
Speak to thy Lady with full verities,
For fear Death set thee in his reckoning.
By the chagrin that here assails my soul
My heart’s parturèd of a sigh so great
It cryeth to the spirits: “Get ye gone!”
And of all piteous folk I come on none
Who seeing me so in my grief’s control
Will aid by saying e’en: “Nay, Spirits, wait!”

From: http://www.sonnets.org/pound.htm

Date: c1280 (original in Italian); 1912 (translation in English)

By: Guido Cavalcanti (c1255-1300)

Translated by: Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

I Am Ireland by Patrick (Pádraic or Pádraig) Henry Pearse (Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais)

I am Ireland:
I am older than the Old Woman of Beare.

Great my glory:
I that bore Cuchulainn the valiant.

Great my shame:
My own children that sold their mother.

[*Great my pain:
Enemies ever torturing me.

Great my sorrow:
Dead the people in whom I put hope.]

I am Ireland:
I am lonelier than the Old Woman of Beare.

From: Porter, Raymond J., P. H. Pearse, 1973, Twayne Publishers: New York, pp. 128.
(https://archive.org/stream/phpearse00port#page/128/mode/2up)

Date: 1912 (original and translation)

By: Patrick (Pádraic or Pádraig) Henry Pearse (Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais) (1879-1916)

Translated by: Patrick (Pádraic or Pádraig) Henry Pearse (Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais) (1879-1916)

*These two stanzas were included in the original poem published on 30 March 1912 but removed from subsequent versions.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Symphony by Robert Haven Schauffler

Carry me home to the pine wood;
Give me to sleep by the sea;
Leave me alone with the lulling tone
Of the south wind’s phantasy.

For I am weary of discord;
Sick of the clash of this strife,–
Sick of the bane of this prelude of pain,
And I yearn for the symphony — life.

From: Schauffler, Robert Haven, Selected Poems, 1922, William Heinemann: London, p. 47.
(https://archive.org/stream/selectedpoemsofr00schaiala#page/46/mode/2up)

Date: 1912

By: Robert Haven Schauffler (1879-1964)

Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Three Witches by Archibald Young Campbell

There are three witches in the wood:
One wanders in a ghoulish habit,
One is a tree that oozes blood,
And one’s a rabbit.

Sudden and gloomy is the ghoul:
I nod to her, she can’t alarm me–
A gruesome, ceremonious fool–
She’ll never harm me.

I often read beneath the tree;
I think she knows that all her groaning
And dripping wounds are lost on me:
I mock her moaning.

One thing can make my belly thump,
One fascination terrifies me:
Suddenly, from a ferny clump,
The rabbit eyes me.

From: Campbell, Archibald Young, Poems, 1912, W. Heffer & Sons Ltd: Cambridge, pp. 12-13.
(https://archive.org/stream/poemscampbellarc00camp#page/12/mode/2up)

Date: 1912

By: Archibald Young Campbell (1885-1958)

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Nelson Street by James Sullivan Starkey (Seumas O’Sullivan)

To P.J.H.

There is hardly a mouthful of air
In the room where the breakfast is set,
For the blind is still down though it’s late,
And the curtains are redolent yet
Of tobacco smoke, stale from last night.
There’s the little bronze teapot, and there
The eggs on the blue willow-plate,
And the sleepy canary, a hen,
Starts faintly her chirruping tweet
And I know, could she speak, she would say,
“Hullo there what’s wrong with the light?
Draw the blind up, let’s look at the day.”
I see that it’s Monday again,
For the man with the organ is there;
Every Monday he comes to the street
(Lest I, or the bird there, should miss
Our count of monotonous days)
With his reed-organ, wheezy and sweet,
And stands by the window and plays
“There’s a Land that is Fairer than This.”

From: O’Sullivan, Seumas, Poems, 1912, Maunsel and Company: Dublin, p. 20.
(https://archive.org/stream/poemsosullivan00osuliala#page/20/mode/2up)

Date: 1912

By: James Sullivan Starkey (Seumas O’Sullivan) (1879-1958)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Dancing Seal by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

When we were building Skua Light–
The first men who had lived a night
Upon that deep-sea Isle–
As soon as chisel touched the stone,
The friendly seals would come ashore;
And sit and watch us all the while,
As though they’d not seen men before;
And so, poor beasts, had never known
Men had the heart to do them harm.
They’d little cause to feel alarm
With us, for we were glad to find
Some friendliness in that strange sea;
Only too pleased to let them be
And sit as long as they’d a mind
To watch us: for their eyes were kind
Like women’s eyes, it seemed to me.

So, hour on hour, they sat: I think
They liked to hear the chisels clink:
And when the boy sang loud and clear,
They scrambled closer in to hear;
And if he whistled sweet and shrill,
The queer beasts shuffled nearer still:
But every sleek and sheeny skin
Was mad to hear his violin.

When, work all over for the day,
He’d take his fiddle down and play
His merry tunes beside the sea,
Their eyes grew brighter and more bright,
And burned and twinkled merrily:
And as I watched them one still night,
And saw their eager sparkling eyes,
I felt those lively seals would rise
Some shiny night ere he could know,
And dance about him, heel and toe,
Unto the fiddle’s heady tune.

And at the rising of the moon,
Half-daft, I took my stand before
A young seal lying on the shore;
And called on her to dance with me.
And it seemed hardly strange when she
Stood up before me suddenly,
And shed her black and sheeny skin;
And smiled, all eager to begin . . .
And I was dancing, heel and toe,
With a young maiden, white as snow,
Unto a crazy violin.

We danced beneath the dancing moon
All night, beside the dancing sea,
With tripping toes and skipping heels:
And all about us friendly seals
Like Christian folk were dancing reels
Unto the fiddle’s endless tune
That kept on spinning merrily
As though it never meant to stop.
And never once the snow-white maid
A moment stayed
To take a breath,
Though I was fit to drop:
And while those wild eyes challenged me,
I knew as well as well could be
I must keep step with that young girl,
Though we should dance to death.

Then with a skirl
The fiddle broke:
The moon went out:
The sea stopped dead:
And, in a twinkling, all the rout
Of dancing folk had fled . . .
And in the chill bleak dawn I woke
Upon the naked rock, alone.

They’ve brought me far from Skua Isle . . .
I laugh to think they do not know
That as, all day I chip the stone,
Among my fellows here inland,
I smell the sea-wrack on the shore . . .
And see her snowy-tossing hand,
And meet again her merry smile . . .
And dream I’m dancing all the while,
I’m dancing ever, heel and toe,
With a seal-maiden, white as snow,
On that moonshiny Island-strand,
For ever and for evermore.

From: http://www.unz.org/Pub/Forum-1912jun-00699

Date: 1912

By: Wilfrid Wilson Gibson (1878-1962)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Drop A Tear In This Slot by William Sydney Porter

He who, when torrid Summer’s sickly glare
Beat down upon the city’s parched walls,
Sat him within a room scarce 8 by 9,
And, with tongue hanging out and panting breath
Perspiring, pierced by pangs of prickly heat,
Wrote variations of the seaside joke
We all do know and always loved so well,
And of cool breezes and sweet girls that lay
In shady nooks, and pleasant windy coves
Anon
Will in that self-same room, with tattered quilt
Wrapped round him, and blue stiffening hands,
All shivering, fireless, pinched by winter’s blasts,
Will hale us forth upon the rounds once more,
So that we may expect it not in vain,
The joke of how with curses deep and coarse
Papa puts up the pipe of parlor stove.
So ye
Who greet with tears this olden favorite,
Drop one for him who, though he strives to please
Must write about the things he never sees.

From: http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/8590/

Date: 1912 (published)

By: William Sydney Porter (1862-1910) (pen name O Henry)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

All That’s Past by Walter de la Mere

Very old are the woods;
And the buds that break
Out of the brier’s boughs,
When March winds wake,
So old with their beauty are–
Oh, no man knows
Through what wild centuries
Roves back the rose.

Very old are the brooks;
And the rills that rise
Where snow sleeps cold beneath
The azure skies
Sing such a history
Of come and gone,
Their every drop is as wise
As Solomon.

Very old are we men;
Our dreams are tales
Told in dim Eden
By Eve’s nightingales;
We wake and whisper awhile,
But, the day gone by,
Silence and sleep like fields
Of amaranth lie.

From: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/all-that-s-past/

Date: 1912

By: Walter de la Mere (1873-1956)