Posts tagged ‘excerpt’

Monday, 5 December 2022

Excerpt from “The Modern Art of Breeding Bees, a Poem” by Joshua Dinsdale

The Bees, who loaded at the Dome arrive,
First store the Golden Honey in the Hive,
Then from their sep’rate Cells suspended cling,
And buz and flutter with a trembling Wing,
Immediately you’ll see the others come,
With Signs of Gladness to the Lab’rers Hum,
Then pick the waxen Treasure from the Thigh,
And back the Lab’rer cuts the smiling Sky,
Triumphant o’er the flow’ry Kingdom reigns,
And tributary makes the blooming Plains.

But while the Youth pour o’er the shining Field,
And the sweet-smelling Cowslips Forage yield,
The Seniors in the public Care have Part,
And form the angled Cells with curious Art;
Or, for the Young prepare the downy Bed,
And soft the od’rous flow’ry Powder spread.
For if they early in the Summer’s Days,
Begin the Structure of their Comb to raise,
Before descends the golden Globe of Light,
And o’er the shaded Landschape steals the Night,
Four Thousand Cells their Diligence declare,
A Monument of nice instinctive Care!

Each has his Task; this makes the City’s Walls,
On this the shapeless Wax to Labour calls;
Another, for mechanic Judgment known,
Reviews the Buildings of the waxen Town;
That none with useless Weight o’erbear the rest,
But all alike be in Proportion prest.

Others obsequious th’ Artist’s Steps pursue,
And give by Order the Proportion due;
Here add, and there with Caution take away,
And Skill perfective, beyond Man’s, display.

While some are busy in a nicer Art,
And glaze and polish the sweet Cells with Art.

No City, with proud Heav’n-ascending Spires,
The human Mind with juster Cause admires,
Than that nice Art by which the Bees contrive
The curious Combs within the strawy Hive,
And that Variety of useful Ways
Which thro’ the Citadel the Swarm conveys.

From: Dinsdale, Joshua, The Modern Art of Breeding Bees, a Poem, Joseph Davidson, London, pp. 11-13.

Date: 1740

By: Joshua Dinsdale (fl. 1740-1751)

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Excerpt from ‘Satyra Sexta’ by Everard Guilpin

Oh that mens thoughts should so degenerate,
Being free borne, t’admit a slavish state:
They disclaime Natures manumission,
Making themselves bond to opinion:
Whose gally-slaves they are, tost on the sea
Of vulgar humors, which doth rage and play,
According as the various breath of change
Calmes or perturbs her smooth brow. Is’t not strang
That heav’n bred soules, discended from above
Should brooke such base subiection? Feare reproofe
from her cold northern gales, or els be merry
When her Fanonian praise breathes a sweet perry?

(Rason) thou art the soules bright Genius,
Sent downe from Joves throne to fate conduct us
In this lifes intricate Dædalian maze:
How art thou buffuld? how comes this disgrace,
That by opinion thou art bearded so,
Thy slave, thy shadow: nay, out-bearded too?
She earth-worme doth derive her pedegree
From bodies durt, and sensualitie,
And marshald in degree fitting her birth
Is but a dwarffe, or jester to make mirth.
Thou the soules bidies Queenes allie most neere,
The first Prince of her blood, and chiefest peere,
Nay, her protector in nonage, whilst she
Lives in this bodies weake minoritie,
Art yet kept under by that underling,
That dreame, that breath, nay that indeed Nothing.
The ale-house Ethicks, the worlds upside downe
Is verefied: the prince now serves the clowne.
If reason bandy with opinion,
Opinion winnes in the conclusion:
For if a man be once opinionate,
Millions of reasons nill extenuate
His fore-ceited mallice: conference
Cannot asswage opinions insolence.
But let opinion once lay battery
To reasons fort, she will turne heresie,
Or superstition, wily politist,
But she will winne those rampires which resist.
Then sith such innate discord is maintain’d
Twixt reason and opinion; what staid-brain’d,
True resolute, and philosophick head
Would by opinion be distempered?

Opinion is as various as light change,
Now speaking Court-like friendly, strait-wayes strange;
She’s any humours perfect parasite,
Displeas’d with her, and pleas’d with her delight,
She is the Eccho of inconstancie,
Soothing her no with nay, her I with yea.

From: Guilpin, Everard, Skialethia; or, A Shadowe of Truth, in certaine Epigrams and Satyres, 1598, I.R. for Nicholas Ling: London, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 1598

By: Everard Guilpin (c1572-1607)

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Excerpt from Section 4, Book 1 of “The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon”

Directly I saw her, I was lost:
for beauty wounds deeper than any arrow
and strikes down through the eyes into the soul;
the eye is the passage for love’s wound.
All manner of feelings took possession of me at once —
admiration, stupefaction, fear, shame, shamelessness.
I admired her tall form, I was stupefied by her beauty,
I shewed my fear by the beating of my heart;
I stared shamelessly at her,
but I was ashamed to be caught doing so.
Try as I would to drag my eyes away from gazing upon her,
they would not obey me,
but remained fixed upon her by the force of her beauty,
and at length they won the day against my will.

From: Gaselee, S., Achilles Tatius with an English Translation, 1917, William Heinemann: London and G. P. Putnam’s Sons: New York, pp. 15-17.

Date: 2nd century (original in Greek); 1917 (translation in English)

By: Achilles Tatius (2nd century)

Translated by: Stephen Gaselee (1882-1943)

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Excerpt from “A Defence of Women, Against the Author of the Arraignment of Women” by Joanne Sharp

What the Serpent began, men follow that still,
They tempt what they may to make women doe ill.
They will tempt, and provoke, and follow us long:
They deceive us with oathes, and a flattering tongue.
To make a poore Maiden or woman a whore,
They care not how much they spend of their store.
But where is there a man that will any thing give
That woman or maide may with honestie live?
If they yield to lewd counsell they nothing shall want,
But for to be honest, then all things are scant.
It proves a bad nature in men doth remaine,
To make women lewd their purses they straine.
For a woman that’s honest they care not a whit,
Theyle say she is honest, because she lackes wit.
Theyle call women whores,but their stakes theymight save,
There can be no Wbore, but there must be a Knave.
They say that our dressings, and that our attire
Are causes to move them unto lustfull fire.
Of all things which are we evermore finde,
Such thoughts doe arise as are like to the minde.
Mens thoughts being wicked they wracke on us thus,
That scandall is taken, not given by us.
If their sight be so weake, and their frailtie be such,
Why doe they then gaze at our beauty so much?

From: Sowernam, Ester, Ester hath hang’d Haman: Or, An Answer to a lewd Pamphlet, entituled, The Arraignment of Women. With the Arraignment of lewd, idle, froward, and unconstant men, and Husbands, 1617, Nicholas Bourne: London, pp. 50-51.

Date: 1617

By: Joanne Sharp (fl. 1617)

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Excerpt from “Deaths Progress: or Death with His Commission” by Elizabeth Major

In that catalogue of times descry,
A time for birth, also a time to die;
But finde no time to live, which may us teach,
Uncertainty no certain time can reach:
Death’s suddain presence, and his sabled brow,
Doth summon all even to be ready now;
For do but listen, some passing bell doth toll,
And sadly too, for some departed soul.
Perhaps some wife’s a widow, children orphans be,
And this sad sound proclaims the same to thee:
Perchance another’s posting in that way,
And hasty death denys it here to stay
His dearest friends to see: his doom he’l give,
Behold, I am come, thou must no longer live:
Perhaps he takes one midst abused wealth,
Whole covetous heart he hath depriv’d of health,
And them will part: But stay grim death, let’s see
If a large bribe won’t gain some time of thee;
See, here is store, come lade thee with thick clay,
Take what thou wilt, so longer I may stay:
We sooner part from all then life, I know
No other Heaven then what I have below:
This golden element my heart hath won,
If hence thou tak’t me, alas I am undone.

Death Was death ere brib’d, did ever mortal see
Death sent to fell, and yet did spare the tree?
When once commision from the most High is come,
How do I post till his command is done?
No glistering bribe upon me ever wrought,
Nor is my black bark with such light wares fraught:
O no, to wound and kill, believ’t, I am come,
And I’le not leave thee till within thy tomb;
Therefore prepare, I shoot, my black darts flie,
They’l surely wound, the wounded surely die.

From: Major, Elizabeth, Honey on the Rod: Or A Comfortable Contemplation for One in Affliction; with Sundry Poems on Several Subjects, 1656, Thomas Maxey: London, pp. 202-203.

Dated: 1656

By: Elizabeth Major (fl. 1656)

Friday, 6 September 2019

Excerpt from “Of our Iosse by Adam, and our gayne by Christ; The first Adam was made a living soule, the second Adam a quickning Spirit; For as in Adam wee all dye, so in Christ, shall all be made alive. I Corinth. 15” by Alice Sutcliffe

Alas how many are the snares and bayts,
Which Sathan layes, our poore soules to betray,
Hiena like, he murthers by deceites,
Through false delights to cause us misse our way,
His Mermaides Songs are onely sweet in sound,
Approach them not, lest Death thy Iife doth wound.

Therefore the safest way unto our blisse,
Is meditation of our certaine Death
And though we tread the steps of carefulness,
And all our life in sorrow draw our breath,
The guerdon of our paines our Christ will give
In causing us eternally to live.

Thus by a godly and an upright life,
Man of a deadly foe may make a friend
And by a wise provision stint that strife,
Which Sathan laid to bring us to our end:
And though our flesh prove false, our God is Just,
By death our soule gaines heaven, our body dust.

Be ever vigilant in all thy wayes,
And alwayes live as in the sight of God,
Performe good actions and use no delayes,
Then feare not Death it brings with it no rod:
With care attend that sure uncertainety,
And live, as every howre thou shouldest dye.

This watchfull care wounds Sathan in the head,
For hee that thinkes of Death doth shun all Sinne,
B thought of this man to the world proves dead
He counts all drosse and only Christ would win:
No earthly joyes can cause him life to love,
His Soule it fixt and nothing can him move.

Thus each weake Christian may this tyrant foyle,
For by Christ’s Death man armed is with strength,
Though in this Combate he a while may toyle,
But Faith in Christ, gives victory at length;
And with a courage bold, man now may cry
Death where’s thy sting? Grave where’s thy victory?

From: Sutcliffe, Alice, Meditations of Mans Mortalitie; or, A Way to True Blessednesse, 1634, Bernard Alsop and Thomas Fawcett for Henry Seyle: London, pp. 193-196.

Date: 1634

By: Alice Sutcliffe (fl. 1634)

Monday, 19 August 2019

Excerpt from “Satyrus peregrinans” [Westminster Hall] by William Rankins

By this time long-gownd Lumen walkt abroad,
Under his girdle greene-waxt labels hung,
Although his pace was slow, gold was his goad,
And as the Petifogger went, he sung,
His greas’d belt and the waxe together clung:
He sware a mighty oath his writs were spoyld,
And by that meanes his client should be foyld.

I tract his steps, and followed him alloofe,
Weary with those Mecanicke meane deceipts,
At last he entred to a spatious roofe,
Where greatmen sat in high judiciall seates,
And iuglers play at even and odde with feates:
As (now sir it shall goe with you to day,
To morrow tis against you, you must pay.)

This hall they say is builded of such wood,
That cobwebs on the rafters are not spun,
By right the nature of these trees are good,
Yet there be held I mighty spyders run,
And by their sucking little flyes undone:
A thing most strange, that poysoned things must dwell,
Where nature scarce alloweth them a cell.

There stoode Briarius1 with a hundred hands,
And every one was ready to receive,
As many sundry toongs2, as seas have sands:
And when he sayd, the truth I do conceive,
Then meant the hell-hound soonest to deceive.
There saw I twelve good fellowes cald together,
That would for-sweare their father for a feather.

I saw the widdow in a mourning weede,
Wringing her painefull hands to get her right,
Th’oppressed soule tormented with more neede,
And cruelty with scarlet cloth’d in spight,
As who should say, in bloud is my delight.
Then thought I (ôh there is a Judge above)
Will all this wrong with one true sentence move.

Such sweating for base pelfe3, I did behold,
Such perjuries to get the upper hand,
The innocent with falshood bought and sould,
Such circumstance before the truth was scand,
Such scorched conscience markt with Sathans brand,
That straight bereft of my Satyrick wit,
I was possessed with a frantick fit.

So leaving this vast rumor of mans voyce,
I made my run unto a river side,
Where, sinke or swim, I tooke no better choyce,
With desperate leape in, headlong did I glide,
And for I would no more repeate this pride,
I did imagine I was in a dreame,
And so concluded my unorder’d theame.

1.         Briarius (more commonly Briareus, also known as Aegaeon): one of the three gigantic sons of Uranus and Gaia (Heaven and Earth, respectively). All three have a hundred arms and fifty heads.
2.         Toongs: Tongues.
3.         Pelfe: Money, wealth.

From: Rankins, William, Seaven satyres applyed to the weeke including the worlds ridiculous follyes. True fælicity described in the phoenix. Maulgre. Whereunto is annexed the wandring satyre. By W. Rankins, Gent., 2005, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford, pp. 33-36.

Date: 1587

By: William Rankins (fl. 1587)

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

From “Whereas” by Layli Long Soldier

Whereas my eyes land on the statement, “Whereas the arrival of Europeans in North America opened a new chapter in the history of Native Peoples.” In others, I hate the act

of laughing when hurt injured or in cases of danger. That bitter hiding. My daughter picks up
new habits from friends. She’d been running, tripped, slid on knees and palms onto asphalt.

They carried her into the kitchen, She just fell, she’s bleeding! I winced. Deep red streams
down her arms and legs, trails on white tile. I looked at her face. A smile

quivered her. A laugh, a nervous. Doing as her friends do, she braved new behavior—
I can’t name it but I could spot it. Stop, my girl. If you’re hurting, cry. You must

show your feelings so that others know, so that we can help. Like that. She let it out,
a flood from living room to bathroom. Then a soft water pour I washed

carefully light touch clean cotton to bandage. I faced her I reminded, In our home
in our family we are ourselves, real feelings. You can do this with others, be true.
I sent her

off to the couch with a movie encouraging, Take it easy. Yet I’m serious when I say I laugh
reading the phrase, “opened a new chapter.” I can’t help my body. I shake. The sad

realization that it took this phrase to show. My daughter’s quiver isn’t new—
but a deep practice very old she’s watching me.


Date: 2013

By: Layli Long Soldier (19??- )

Monday, 19 March 2018

Excerpt from “Elegy for Madog ap Maredudd, Prince of Powys” by Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr

Door of a fort he was, companion shield,
Buckler on battlefield, and in brave deeds:
A tumult like flame blazing through heather,
Router of enemies, his shield stopped their way;
Lord sung by a myriad, hope of minstrels,
Crimson, irresistible, unswerving companion.

From: Leoussi, Athena S. and Grosby, Steven (eds.), Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism: History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations, Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, p. 86.

Date: c1160 (original in Welsh); 1967 (translation in English)

By: Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr (fl. c1155-1200)

Translation by: Anthony Conran (1931-2013)

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)