Posts tagged ‘1922’

Friday, 20 October 2017

The Last Fire by Herbert Sherman Gorman

You saw the last fires burning on the hill
In that far autumn twilight when we took
The future by the hand through woods as still
As your heart is to-day, and crossed the brook.

The brook that gurgled through the quietude
Was just a slender stream that sauntered on.
How were we to know the thing we should—
That we had crossed our narrow Rubicon?

And after, in the shadow of the leaves,
When your great eyes grew with the growing night
They left the hollows where the twilight grieves
And mirrored back the bonfire on the height.

And what quick flame was in your eyes I knew;
And how the moment caught us on our way
Is Time’s own story written for a few
In dust of ashes in your eyes to-day.

From: Gorman, Herbert S., “The Last Fire” in The Outlook, 12 July 1922, p. 449.

Date: 1922

By: Herbert Sherman Gorman (1893-1954)

Thursday, 1 June 2017

If You Could Come by Katharine Lee Bates

My love, my love, if you could come once more
From your high place,
I would not question you for heavenly lore,
But, silent, take the comfort of your face.

I would not ask you if those golden spheres
In love rejoice,
If only our stained star hath sin and tears,
But fill my famished hearing with your voice.

One touch of you were worth a thousand creeds.
My wound is numb
Through toil-pressed, but all night long it bleeds
In aching dreams, and still you cannot come.


Date: 1922

By: Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929)

Monday, 10 October 2016

Madrigal III by Ludovico Ariosto

When a fierce wind goes raging by,
A great fire grows, it doth not die;
When a light zephyr floats about
It blows a little burning out!
Where bitterest is the battle strife
In every place, by every coast,
Within the heart great love hath life
And of the doughtiest deeds doth boast.
Madonna, poor thy love and slight
If by a breath ’tis put to flight!


Date: 1518 (original in Italian); 1922 (translation in English)

By: Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533)

Translated by: Lorna de’Lucchi (?-?)

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Sonnet by Pietro Bembo

Thou too then, Brother, in the tide of spring
Dying, hast left me solitary here,
Whence life, before so bright and glad a thing,
Is shadowed over with dismay and fear;
Justice it would have been and passionate
Desire of mine that hitherwards the dart
Firstly had sped, that as I was not late
In coming, so I might betimes depart.
Then I would not have known such deep despair,
Nor seen myself’s best portion borne away,
Nor been subjected to such misery;
But now, since I before thee might not fare,
God grant, Who loveth equity, I may
Be liberated soon and follow thee.


Date: 1530 (original in Italian), 1922 (translation in English)

By: Pietro Bembo (1470-1547)

Translated by: Lorna de’Lucchi (?-?)

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Rhymed Poem by Anonymous

He granted me life, who revealed this sun
and graciously revealed that radiant engine.
I was glad with glee, adorned with hues,
with the colours of joy, with the hues of blossoms.
Men gazed upon me — banquets were not lacking —,
rejoiced in the gift of life. Caparisoned horses
carried me joyfully in journeys over the plains,
delightfully with long strides of the limbs.
Then was the world quickened and kindled with growth,
expanded under the skies, covered with a troop of advisers.
Guests came and went, mingled chatter,
lingered over delight, joyfully embellished it.
The appointed ship glided through the distance into the broad sea;
there was a path upon the ocean stream, where I was not without guidance.
I had high rank; I lacked nothing in the hall,
so a brave company rode there. There it often befel the warrior
that he saw in the hall weighty treasure,
serviceable to thanes. I was puffed up with power;
wise men praised me, saved me in battle,
conducted me well, protected me from foes.
So joy dwelt within me, a family troop encompassed me,
I possessed estates, where I stepped I had command over
whatever the earth brought forth, I had a princely throne,
I sang with charmed words, old friendship did not grow less.
Moreover, there was a year rich in gifts, a resounding harp-string,
lasting peace cut short the river of sorrow.
The servants were active, the harp was resonant,
loudly rang; sound pealed,
music made melody, did not greatly abate;
the castle hall trembled, it towered bright.
Courage increased, wealth attracted;
I gave wise counsel to the lords, enriched the valiant.
Mind became mighty, heart rejoiced,
good faith flourished, glory abounded,
abundance smiled.
I furnished gold, the gem passed round,
treasure did treachery, the bond of friendship narrowed.
Bold I was in my array, noble in my equipment,
my joy was lordly, my way of life happy.
I protected the land, I was leader to the folk;
for a long time my life among the people was
familiar with glory, well devoted to it.

Now my heart is troubled, fearful owing to various disasters,
nigh to unavoidable distresses. There departs into flight by night
he who in the day had been bold. There wanders now deep and far
a burning secret disease in full growth, developed within the breast,
spread in different directions. Evil has blossomed
greatly in the mind. The mind’s nature
bottomless grief, too much penned in, attacks,
burns eager for calamity, runs fiercely to and fro.
The weary man suffers, begins a far journey,
his pain is pitiless, he adds to his sorrows,
his glory ceases, he loses his happiness,
he loses his skill, he does not burn with desires.

In the same way here joys perish, lordships fall;
here men lose life, often choose sins;
too evil is the time of good faith that feebly declined;
it went badly with the high seat and every hour went to the worse.
So now the world changes, brings death,
and pursues hate, brings men to shame.
The race of men perishes, the slaughtering spear rends,
the deceitful evildoer brawls, wickedness polishes the arrow,
debt-anxiety bites, old age cuts short courage,
the time of misery binds, anger desecrates the oath,
constant grief spreads widely, the indirect path is treacherous.
Fierce anger digs wrinkles, …………………. engraves,
artificial beauty grows foul, summer heat becomes cool,
the wealth of the earth perishes, enmity rages,
the might of the world ages, courage grows cold.

Fate wove it me and my deserts brought it upon me
that I should dig a grave, and that grim cavern
I cannot avoid with my flesh, when death, arrow-swift,
seizes my life in his inevitable grasp, when the night comes,
that dispossesses me of my home and deprives me of my abode here.
Then the body lies low, the worm devours the limbs,
nay, has delight and takes sustenance,
until the bones are …………………. one,
and finally there is nothing, except that the lot of necessity
is here appointed for evil deeds. Good fame will not be destroyed;
all the sooner the good man thinks of that, he chastens himself the more often,
avoids the bitter sins, has hope of the better joy,
remembers the delight of the heavenly rewards. Here are the blisses of the mercies of God
joyous in the kingdom of heaven. Let us now, like the saints,
freed from sins, hasten saved,
defended from vices, gloriously saved,
where mankind, happy before the Judge, may
see the true God and for ever rejoice in peace.

From: Mackie, W. S., “The Old English “Rhymed Poem”” in The Journal of English and Germanic Philogy, Volume 21, 1922, pp. 507-519.

Date: 10th Century (original in Old English); 1922 (translation in English)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: William Souter Mackie (1884-19??)

Alternative Titles: The Rhyming Poem, The Riming Poem

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Lucia by Elsa Carlsson

Now midwinter’s twilight covers the earth
the sun is hiding in the shaded valleys
and little trolls tiptoe down dark crannies
but children dream of Christmas lights.

Then Lucia walks in the gloom of the winter night
with lights shimmering over her forehead
she sits at sleeping children’s bedsides
and children’s dreams come true.

For centuries she has moved in Advent’s wake
to solace the tired human spirit
with her promise of Christmas to come
and light over dark lands.

From farm to farm she sends her word
that at Christmas with the doors ajar
in the night air strange sounds will be heard:
He comes, your king, as you wait.


Date: 1922

By: Elsa Carlsson (1882-1965)

Translated by: flusteredduck

Monday, 11 August 2014

The Buzzards by Martin Armstrong

When evening came and the warm glow grew deeper
And every tree that bordered the green meadows
And in the yellow cornfields every reaper
And every corn-shock stood above their shadows
Flung eastward from their feet in longer measure,
Serenely far there swam in the sunny height
A buzzard and his mate who took their pleasure
Swirling and poising idly in golden light.
On great pied motionless moth-wings borne along,
So effortless and so strong,
Cutting each other’s paths, together they glided,
Then wheeled asunder till they soared divided
Two valleys’ width (as though it were delight
To part like this, being sure they could unite
So swiftly in their empty, free dominion),
Curved headlong downward, towered up the sunny steep,
Then, with a sudden lift of the one great pinion,
Swung proudly to a curve and from its height
Took half a mile of sunlight in one long sweep.

And we, so small on the swift immense hillside,
Stood tranced, until our souls arose uplifted
On those far-sweeping, wide,
Strong curves of flight,–swayed up and hugely drifted,
Were washed, made strong and beautiful in the tide
Of sun-bathed air. But far beneath, beholden
Through shining deeps of air, the fields were golden
And rosy burned the heather where cornfields ended.

And still those buzzards wheeled, while light withdrew
Out of the vales and to surging slopes ascended,
Till the loftiest-flaming summit died to blue.


Date: 1922

By: Martin Armstrong (1882-1974)

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Merlin Met Morgan-le-Fay by Florence Converse

            The King commanded two Knights and two ladies to take the child, bound in a cloth of gold, and that ye deliver him to what poor man ye meet at the postern gate of the castle. So the child was delivered unto Merlin…
And the third sister Morgan-le-Fay was put to school in a nunnery, and there she learned so much that she was a great clerk of necromancy.
Sir Thomas Malory:
Le Morte D’Arthur

Merlin met Morgan-le-Fay
In a Cornish lane;
Witch-words on her young lips,
And a blackberry stain.

In her hair a tangled spray
Of wild blackberry thorn.
“Merlin, Merlin, tell me,
Is the baby born?”

Merlin lifted up the veil,
Crooned a sleepy charm,
Cuddled Arthur, King of Britain,
Close in his arm.

Young maid Morgan-le-Fay
Stood tiptoe to see:
“Now that you’ve come, brother,
Who’ll think of me?

“Britain’s hope and Britain’s glory,
You may be – one day.
As for me, I’d rather be

“When I am put to school
In a nunnery,
I shall learn to weave spells
And spin sorcery.

“I shall be a great clerk,
Wise in necromancy.
I shall plague the King of Britain,
If I take a fancy.

“When I’m a damosel,
I’ll do as I dare.
I shall be a proper witch:
‘Ware, brother, ‘ware!”

Merlin wagged his awful beard,
Smiling through the crinkles;
Bent his shaggy brow above
Eyes full of twinkles.

“Fie, fie, Morgan-le-Fay,
Bow your naughty knee;
Kiss your liege, kiss your brother;
Swear fealty.

“Though you’re a proper witch,
I’m a proper wizard:
I know the magic books
From A to Izzard.

“Fools put their trust in magic,
Black, white, or gray,
I cannot save the kingdom,
You cannot betray.

“Arthur and his Table Round
Will dree their own weird.” –
Morgan-le-Fay stamped her foot
And tweaked Merlin’s beard.

“Why are kings? Why are witches?
Why am I, I?
Merlin, let me bite the baby,
Let me make him cry.”


Date: 1922

By: Florence Converse (1871-1967)

Friday, 31 January 2014

The Urban Pan by Bliss Carman

Once more the magic days are come
With stronger sun and milder air;
The shops are full of daffodils;
There’s golden leisure everywhere.
I heard my Lou this morning shout:
“Here comes the hurdy-gurdy man!”
And through the open window caught
The piping of the urban Pan.

I laid my wintry task aside,
And took a day to follow joy:
The trail of beauty and the call
That lured me when I was a boy.
I looked, and there looked up at me
A smiling, swarthy, hairy man
With kindling eye—and well I knew
The piping of the urban Pan.

He caught my mood; his hat was off;
I tossed the ungrudged silver down.
The cunning vagrant, every year
He casts his spell upon the town!
And we must fling him, old and young,
Our dimes or coppers, as we can;
And every heart must leap to hear
The piping of the urban Pan.

The music swells and fades again,
And I in dreams am far away,
Where a bright river sparkles down
To meet a blue Aegean bay.
There, in the springtime of the world,
Are dancing fauns, and in their van,
Is one who pipes a deathless tune—
The earth-born and the urban Pan.

And so he follows down the block,
A troop of children in his train,
The light-foot dancers of the street
Enamored of the reedy strain.
I hear their laughter rise and ring
Above the noise of truck and van,
As down the mellow wind fades out
The piping of the urban Pan.

From: Carman, Bliss, Later Poems, 1922, Small, Maynard & Company: Boston, pp. 83-84.

Date: 1922

By: Bliss Carman (1861-1929)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

In the Night by Beatrice Redpath

When in the night the sky is drowned with stars,
And the moon is but a silver memory,
I am often afraid . . .
Fearful of oblivion,
Fearful of everlasting,
And my mind reaches back to the thought
Of what was before time began,
Until cold terror freezes my heart.
And I turn desperately to think of small, small things,
Of globes of dew,
Of wings and petals,
Candle flames,
A single note striking against silence,
The tinkle of sheep bells,
Oh, of any small and beautiful and familiar thing,
Until, turning quietly in the darkness
I find sleep.

From: Redpath, Beatrice, White Lilac, 1922, John Lane The Bodley Head Ltd: London, pp, 23-24.

Date: 1922

By: Beatrice Redpath (?-1937)