Posts tagged ‘1912’

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)

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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)

Monday, 28 August 2017

The Tercets by Llywarch Hen

Set is the snare, the ash clusters glow,
Ducks plash in the pools; breakers whiten below;
More strong than a hundred is the heart’s hidden woe.

Long is the night; resounding the shore,
Frequent in crowds a tumultuous roar;
The evil and good disagree evermore.

Long is the night; the hill full of cries;
O’er the tree-tops the wind whistles and sighs;
Ill nature deceives not the wit of the wise.

The greening birch saplings a-sway in the air
Shall deliver my feet from the enemy’s snare;
It is ill with a youth thy heart’s secrets to share.

The saplings of oak in yonder green glade
Shall loosen the snare by an enemy laid;
It is ill to unbosom thy heart to a maid.

The saplings of oak in their full summer pride
Shall loosen the snare by the enemy tied;
It is ill to a babbler thy heart to confide.

The brambles with berries of purple are dressed;
In silence the brooding thrush clings to her nest;
In silence the liar can never take rest.

Rain is without–wet the fern plume;
White the sea gravel–fierce the waves’ spume;
There is no lamp like reason man’s life to illume.

Rain is without, but the shelter is near;
Yellow the furze, the cow-parsnip is sere;
God in Heaven, how could’st Thou create cowards here!

Rain and still rain, dank these tresses of mine!
The feeble complain of the cliff’s steep incline;
Wan is the main; sharp the breath of the brine.

Rain falls in a sheet; the Ocean is drenched;
By the whistling sleet the reed-tops are wrenched;
Feat after feat; but Genius lies quenched.

From: Graves, Alfred Perceval (transl. and ed.), Welsh Poetry Old and New in English Verse, 1912, Longmans, Green and Co: London, pp. 10-11.
(https://archive.org/details/welshpoetryoldne00graviala)

Date: 6th century (original in Welsh); 1912 (translation in English)

By: Llywarch Hen (c534-c608)

Translated by: Alfred Perceval Graves (1846-1931)

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)