Posts tagged ‘love’

Monday, 26 February 2018

Love by Ariwara no Narihara

Composed during a drizzle and sent to a lady whom he had secretly been secretly wooing since early in the Third Month.

Having passed the night
neither waking nor sleeping,
I have spent the day
brooding and watching the rain—
the unending rain of spring.

From: Carter, Steven D. (ed.), Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology, 1991, Stanford University Press: Stanford, California, p. 79.

Date: 9th century (original in Japanese); 1985 (translation in English)

By: Ariwara no Narihara (825-880)

Translated by: Helen Craig McCullough (1918-1998)

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Love by George Granville

To Love is to be doom’d, in Life, to feel
What after Death the Tortur’d meet in Hell.
The Vulture dipping in Prometheus Side
His bloody Beak, with his torn Liver dy’d,
Is Love: The Stone that labours up the Hill,
Mocking the Lab’rer’s Toil, returning still,
Is Love: Those Streams where Tantalus is curst
To sit, and never drink, with endless Thirst,
Those loaden Boughs that with their Burthen bend
To court his Taste, and yet escape his Hand,
All this is Love, that to dissembled Joys
Invites vain Men, with real Griefs destroys.

From: Granville, George, Poems Upon Several Occasions, 1712, J. Tonson: London, pp. 19-20.

Date: 1712

By: George Granville (1666/7-1735)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Love by John Townsend Trowbridge

In sad foreknowledge of man’s state, that he
Might not despair and perish utterly,
By rude distractions hither and thither hurled,
In the beginning the dear lords above,
With infinite compassion, gave him Love;
And Love is the sweet band that binds the world.

What holds the convex ocean in his place,
Pillars the starry vault, and guides through space
The myriad-motioned planets swiftly whirled, –
What it may be that made and keeps them so
(If ‘t be Love) I know not:  yet I know
That Love is the sweet band that binds the world.

Dreams, laughter, hope, derision, toil, and grief,
These are man’s portion, and his time is brief;
A little leaf by wild winds tossed and twirled;
In trouble and in doubt he draws his breath,
Illusion leads him, and his way is death;
Yet Love is a sweet band that binds the world.

Strong to destroy, and very weak to save
Is man; at once a tyrant and a slave;
And every war’s red banner is unfurled;
But, Love, since thou art left us, all is well;
If Love were banished heaven itself were hell;
Immortal Love! sweet band that binds the world!

Bitter companions met me everywhere,
Sin-wasted Youth, and Folly with white hair,
And keen-eyed Craft, and Scorn with sad lip curled,
Sorrows and masks, and miseries manifold;
But, “O my heart!” I said, “be thou consoled,
For Love is the sweet band that binds the world.”

Birds build their nests:  Love taught the gentle art;
The babe laughs in its mother’s arms: her heart
With Love’s fresh morning thoughts is all impearled;
Chaste Comfort sits beside the household hearth;
The sun with golden girdle clasps the earth,
And Love is the sweet band that binds the world.

From: Trowbridge, J T, The Poetical Works of John Townsend Trowbridge, 1903, Houghton, Mifflin and Company: Boston, pp. 114-115.

Date: 1875

By: John Townsend Trowbridge (1827-1916)