Monday, January 31, 2011

The Sound Of The Sea



The sea awoke at midnight from its sleep,
And round the pebbly beaches far and wide
I heard the first wave of the rising tide
Rush onward with uninterrupted sweep;
A voice out of the silence of the deep,
A sound mysteriously multiplied
As of a cataract from the mountain's side,
Or roar of winds upon a wooded steep.
So comes to us at times, from the unknown
And inaccessible solitudes of being,
The rushing of the sea-tides of the soul;
And inspirations, that we deem our own,
Are some divine foreshadowing and foreseeing
Of things beyond our reason or control.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

To Ladies' Eyes



To Ladies' eyes a round, boy,
We can't refuse, we can't refuse;
Though bright eyes so abound, boy,
'Tis hard to choose, 'tis hard to choose.
For thick as stars that lighten
Yon airy bowers, yon airy bowers,
The countless eyes that brighten
This earth of ours, this earth of ours.
But fill the cup -- where'er, boy,
Our choice may fall, our choice may fall,
We're sure to find Love there, boy,
So drink them all! so drink them all!

Some looks there are so holy,
They seem but given, they seem but given,
As shining beacons, solely,
To light to heaven, to light to heaven,
While some -- oh! ne'er believe them --
With tempting ray, with tempting ray,
Would lead us (God forgive them!)
The other way, the other way.
But fill the cup -- where'er, boy,
Our choice may fall, our choice may fall,
We're sure to find Love there, boy;
So drink them all! so drink them all!

In some, as in a mirror,
Love seems pourtray'd, Love seems pourtray'd,
But shun the flattering error,
'Tis but his shade, 'tis but his shade.
Himself has fix'd his dwelling
In eyes we know, in eyes we know,
And lips -- but this is telling --
So here they go! so here they go!
Fill up, fill up -- where'er, boy,
Our choice may fall, our choice may fall,
We're sure to find Love there, boy;
So drink them all ! so drink them all!

Thomas Moore

Tame Cat



It rests me to be among beautiful women
Why should one always lie about such matters?
I repeat:
It rests me to converse with beautiful women
Even though we talk nothing but nonsense,

The purring of the invisible antennae
Is both stimulating and delightful.

Ezra Pound

Roads



I know a country laced with roads,
They join the hills and they span the brooks,
They weave like a shuttle between broad fields,
And slide discreetly through hidden nooks.
They are canopied like a Persian dome
And carpeted with orient dyes.
They are myriad-voiced, and musical,
And scented with happiest memories.
O Winding roads that I know so well,
Every twist and turn, every hollow and hill!
They are set in my heart to a pulsing tune
Gay as a honey-bee humming in June.
'T is the rhythmic beat of a horse's feet
And the pattering paws of a sheep-dog bitch;
'T is the creaking trees, and the singing breeze,
And the rustle of leaves in the road-side ditch.

A cow in a meadow shakes her bell
And the notes cut sharp through the autumn air,
Each chattering brook bears a fleet of leaves
Their cargo the rainbow, and just now where
The sun splashed bright on the road ahead
A startled rabbit quivered and fled.
O Uphill roads and roads that dip down!
You curl your sun-spattered length along,
And your march is beaten into a song
By the softly ringing hoofs of a horse
And the panting breath of the dogs I love.
The pageant of Autumn follows its course
And the blue sky of Autumn laughs above.

And the song and the country become as one,
I see it as music, I hear it as light;
Prismatic and shimmering, trembling to tone,
The land of desire, my soul's delight.
And always it beats in my listening ears
With the gentle thud of a horse's stride,
With the swift-falling steps of many dogs,
Following, following at my side.
O Roads that journey to fairyland!
Radiant highways whose vistas gleam,
Leading me on, under crimson leaves,
To the opaline gates of the Castles of Dream.

Amy Lowell

The Punisher



I have fetched the tears up out of the little wells,
Scooped them up with small, iron words,
Dripping over the runnels.

The harsh, cold wind of my words drove on, and still
I watched the tears on the guilty cheek of the boys
Glitter and spill.

Cringing Pity, and Love, white-handed, came
Hovering about the Judgment which stood in my eyes,
Whirling a flame.

. . . . . . .

The tears are dry, and the cheeks’ young fruits are fresh
With laughter, and clear the exonerated eyes, since pain
Beat through the flesh.

The Angel of Judgment has departed again to the Nearness.
Desolate I am as a church whose lights are put out.
And night enters in drearness.

The fire rose up in the bush and blazed apace,
The thorn-leaves crackled and twisted and sweated in anguish;
Then God left the place.

Like a flower that the frost has hugged and let go, my head
Is heavy, and my heart beats slowly, laboriously,
My strength is shed.

David Herbert Lawrence

The West Wind



Beneath the forest's skirts I rest,
Whose branching pines rise dark and high,
And hear the breezes of the West
Among the threaded foliage sigh.

Sweet Zephyr! why that sound of wo?
Is not thy home among the flowers?
Do not the bright June roses blow,
To meet thy kiss at morning hours?

And lo! thy glorious realm outspread--
Yon stretching valleys, green and gay,
And yon free hilltops, o'er whose head
The loose white clouds are borne away.

And there the full broad river runs,
And many a fount wells fresh and sweet,
To cool thee when the mid-day suns
Have made thee faint beneath their heat.

Thou wind of joy, and youth, and love;
Spirit of the new wakened year!
The sun in his blue realm above
Smooths a bright path when thou art here.

In lawns the murmuring bee is heard,
The wooing ring-dove in the shade;
On thy soft breath, the new-fledged bird
Takes wing, half happy, half afraid.

Ah! thou art like our wayward race;--
When not a shade of pain or ill
Dims the bright smile of Nature's face,
Thou lov'st to sigh and murmur still.

William Cullen Bryant

Stanzas For Music: There Be None Of Beauty's Daughters



There be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like Thee;
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The charméd ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:
And the midnight moon is weaving
Her bright chain o'er the deep,
Whose breast is gently heaving
As an infant's asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.

Lord George Gordon Byron

The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto XII.



Preludes.

I The Chace
She wearies with an ill unknown;
In sleep she sobs and seems to float,
A water-lily, all alone
Within a lonely castle-moat;
And as the full-moon, spectral, lies
Within the crescent's gleaming arms,
The present shows her heedless eyes
A future dim with vague alarms.
She sees, and yet she scarcely sees,
For, life-in-life not yet begun,
Too many are its mysteries
For thought to fix on any one.
She's told that maidens are by youths
Extremely honour'd and desired;
And sighs, ‘If those sweet tales be truths,
‘What bliss to be so much admired!’
The suitors come; she sees them grieve;
Her coldness fills them with despair;
She'd pity if she could believe;
She's sorry that she cannot care.
But who now meets her on her way?
Comes he as enemy or friend,
Or both? Her bosom seems to say,
He cannot pass, and there an end.
Whom does he love? Does he confer
His heart on worth that answers his?
Or is he come to worship her?
She fears, she hopes, she thinks he is!
Advancing stepless, quick, and still,
As in the grass a serpent glides,
He fascinates her fluttering will,
Then terrifies with dreadful strides.
At first, there's nothing to resist;
He fights with all the forms of peace;
He comes about her like a mist,
With subtle, swift, unseen increase;
And then, unlook'd for, strikes amain
Some stroke that frightens her to death,
And grows all harmlessness again,
Ere she can cry, or get her breath.
At times she stops, and stands at bay;
But he, in all more strong than she,
Subdues her with his pale dismay,
Or more admired audacity.
She plans some final, fatal blow,
But when she means with frowns to kill
He looks as if he loved her so,
She smiles to him against her will.
How sweetly he implies her praise!
His tender talk, his gentle tone,
The manly worship in his gaze,
They nearly made her heart his own.
With what an air he speaks her name;
His manner always recollects
Her sex, and still the woman's claim
Is taught its scope by his respects.
Her charms, perceived to prosper first
In his beloved advertencies,
When in her glass they are rehearsed,
Prove his most powerful allies.
Ah, whither shall a maiden flee,
When a bold youth so swift pursues,
And siege of tenderest courtesy,
With hope perseverant, still renews!
Why fly so fast? Her flatter'd breast
Thanks him who finds her fair and good;
She loves her fears; veil'd joys arrest
The foolish terrors of her blood.
By secret, sweet degrees, her heart,
Vanquish'd, takes warmth from his desire;
She makes it more, with hidden art,
And fuels love's late dreaded fire.
The generous credit he accords
To all the signs of good in her
Redeems itself; his praiseful words
The virtues they impute confer.
Her heart is thrice as rich in bliss,
She's three times gentler than before;
He gains a right to call her his
Now she through him is so much more;
'Tis heaven where'er she turns her head;
Tis music when she talks; 'tis air
On which, elate, she seems to tread,
The convert of a gladder sphere!
Ah, might he, when by doubts aggrieved,
Behold his tokens next her breast,
At all his words and sighs perceived
Against its blythe upheaval press'd!
But still she flies. Should she be won,
It must not be believed or thought
She yields; she's chased to death, undone,
Surprised, and violently caught.


II Denied
The storm-cloud, whose portentous shade
Fumes from a core of smother'd fire,
His livery is whose worshipp'd maid
Denies herself to his desire.
Ah, grief that almost crushes life,
To lie upon his lonely bed,
And fancy her another's wife!
His brain is flame, his heart is lead.
Sinking at last, by nature's course,
Cloak'd round with sleep from his despair,
He does but sleep to gather force
That goes to his exhausted care.
He wakes renew'd for all the smart.
His only Love, and she is wed!
His fondness comes about his heart,
As milk comes, when the babe is dead.
The wretch, whom she found fit for scorn,
His own allegiant thoughts despise;
And far into the shining morn
Lazy with misery he lies.

III The Churl
This marks the Churl: when spousals crown
His selfish hope, he finds the grace,
Which sweet love has for even the clown,
Was not in the woman, but the chace.


The Abdication.

I
From little signs, like little stars,
Whose faint impression on the sense
The very looking straight at mars,
Or only seen by confluence;
From instinct of a mutual thought,
Whence sanctity of manners flow'd;
From chance unconscious, and from what
Concealment, overconscious, show'd;
Her hand's less weight upon my arm,
Her lowlier mien; that match'd with this;
I found, and felt with strange alarm,
I stood committed to my bliss.

II
I grew assured, before I ask'd,
That she'd be mine without reserve,
And in her unclaim'd graces bask'd,
At leisure, till the time should serve,
With just enough of dread to thrill
The hope, and make it trebly dear;
Thus loth to speak the word to kill
Either the hope or happy fear.

III
Till once, through lanes returning late,
Her laughing sisters lagg'd behind;
And, ere we reach'd her father's gate,
We paused with one presentient mind;
And, in the dim and perfumed mist,
Their coming stay'd, who, friends to me,
And very women, loved to assist
Love's timid opportunity.

IV
Twice rose, twice died my trembling word;
The faint and frail Cathedral chimes
Spake time in music, and we heard
The chafers rustling in the limes.
Her dress, that touch'd me where I stood,
The warmth of her confided arm,
Her bosom's gentle neighbourhood,
Her pleasure in her power to charm;
Her look, her love, her form, her touch,
The least seem'd most by blissful turn,
Blissful but that it pleased too much,
And taught the wayward soul to yearn.
It was as if a harp with wires
Was traversed by the breath I drew;
And, oh, sweet meeting of desires,
She, answering, own'd that she loved too.

V
Honoria was to be my bride!
The hopeless heights of hope were scaled;
The summit won, I paused and sigh'd,
As if success itself had fail'd.
It seem'd as if my lips approach'd
To touch at Tantalus' reward,
And rashly on Eden life encroach'd,
Half-blinded by the flaming sword.
The whole world's wealthiest and its best,
So fiercely sought, appear'd, when found,
Poor in its need to be possess'd,
Poor from its very want of bound.
My queen was crouching at my side,
By love unsceptred and brought low,
Her awful garb of maiden pride
All melted into tears like snow;
The mistress of my reverent thought,
Whose praise was all I ask'd of fame,
In my close-watch'd approval sought
Protection as from danger and blame;
Her soul, which late I loved to invest
With pity for my poor desert,
Buried its face within my breast,
Like a pet fawn by hunters hurt.

Coventry Patmore

Sonnet V



BECAUSE I know that there is that in me
Of which thou shouldst be proud, and not ashamed,--
Because I feel one made thy choice should be
Not even by fools and slanderers rashly blamed,--
Because I fear, howe'er thy soul may strive
Against the weakness of that inward pain,
The falsehoods which my enemies contrive
Not always seek to wound thine ear in vain,--
Therefore I sometimes weep, when I should smile,
At all the vain frivolity and sin
Which those who know me not (yet me revile)--
My would-be judges--cast my actions in;
But else their malice hath nor sting nor smart--
For I appeal from them, Beloved, to thine own heart!

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton

Vision

Your neighbor's vision is as true for him as your own vision is true for you.

Unamuno, Miguel

In our absence

We are seldom right to consider ourselves offended by things said about us in our absence or with no intention that they should come to our ears. Because if we try to remember and examine carefully our own habits, we find we have no friend so dear, and hold no one in such veneration, that it would not greatly displease them to hear many of the words and the conversations which come from our mouths about them in their absence. On the one hand our amour propre is so excessively sensitive, and so captious, that it is almost impossible than one word said about us in our absence, if it is faithfully reported to us, should not seem to us unworthy ou hardly worthy of us, and not sting us. On the other hand it is hard to exaggerate how contrary our practice is to the precept not to do unto others what we would not want them to do unto us, and how much freedom we allow ourselves in speaking about other people.
Giacomo Leopardi, in 'Thoughts'

Theories

There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

Douglas Adams

Real writers

It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write

Sinclair Lewis

Divinity

The soul has this proof of its divinity: that divine things delight in it.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Primrose



Ask me why I send you here
This sweet Infanta of the year?
Ask me why I send to you
This primrose, thus bepearl'd with dew?
I will whisper to your ears:--
The sweets of love are mix'd with tears.

Ask me why this flower does show
So yellow-green, and sickly too?
Ask me why the stalk is weak
And bending (yet it doth not break)?
I will answer:--These discover
What fainting hopes are in a lover.

Robert Herrick

One blessing had I



One blessing had I, than the rest
So larger to my eyes
That I stopped gauging, satisfied,
For this enchanted size.

It was the limit of my dream,
The focus of my prayer, --
A perfect, paralyzing bliss
Contented as despair.

I knew no more of want or cold,
Phantasms both become,
For this new value in the soul,
Supremest earthly sum.

The heaven below the heaven above
Obscured with ruddier hue.
Life's latitude leant over-full;
The judgment perished, too.

Why joys so scantily disburse,
Why Paradise defer,
Why floods are served to us in bowls, --
I speculate no more.


Emily Dickinson










Sonnet IV



BE frank with me, and I accept my lot;
But deal not with me as a grieving child,
Who for the loss of that which he hath not
Is by a show of kindness thus beguiled.
Raise not for me, from its enshrouded tomb,
The ghostly likeness of a hope deceased;
Nor think to cheat the darkness of my doom
By wavering doubts how far thou art released:
This dressing Pity in the garb of Love,--
This effort of the heart to seem the same,--
These sighs and lingerings, (which nothing prove
But that thou leav'st me with a kind of shame,)--
Remind me more, by their most vain deceit,
Of the dear loss of all which thou dost counterfeit.

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton

The Angel In The House. Book I. Canto XI.



Preludes.

I The Daughter of Eve
The woman's gentle mood o'erstept
Withers my love, that lightly scans
The rest, and does in her accept
All her own faults, but none of man's.
As man I cannot judge her ill,
Or honour her fair station less,
Who, with a woman's errors, still
Preserves a woman's gentleness;
For thus I think, if one I see
Who disappoints my high desire,
‘How admirable would she be,
‘Could she but know how I admire!’
Or fail she, though from blemish clear,
To charm, I call it my defect;
And so my thought, with reverent fear
To err by doltish disrespect,
Imputes love's great regard, and says,
‘Though unapparent 'tis to me,
‘Be sure this Queen some other sways
‘With well-perceiv'd supremacy.’
Behold the worst! Light from above
On the blank ruin writes ‘Forbear!
‘Her first crime was unguarded love,
‘And all the rest, perhaps, despair.’
Discrown'd, dejected, but not lost,
O, sad one, with no more a name
Or place in all the honour'd host
Of maiden and of matron fame,
Grieve on; but, if thou grievest right,
'Tis not that these abhor thy state,
Nor would'st thou lower the least the height
Which makes thy casting down so great.
Good is thy lot in its degree;
For hearts that verily repent
Are burden'd with impunity
And comforted by chastisement.
Sweet patience sanctify thy woes!
And doubt not but our God is just,
Albeit unscathed thy traitor goes,
And thou art stricken to the dust.
That penalty's the best to bear
Which follows soonest on the sin;
And guilt's a game where losers fare
Better than those who seem to win.

II Aurea Dicta
'Tis truth (although this truth's a star
Too deep-enskied for all to see),
As poets of grammar, lovers are
The fountains of morality.
Child, would you shun the vulgar doom,
In love disgust, in death despair?
Know, death must come and love must come,
And so for each your soul prepare.
Who pleasure follows pleasure slays;
God's wrath upon himself he wreaks;
But all delights rejoice his days
Who takes with thanks, and never seeks.
The wrong is made and measured by
The right's inverted dignity.
Change love to shame, as love is high
So low in hell your bed shall be.
How easy to keep free from sin!
How hard that freedom to recall!
For dreadful truth it is that men
Forget the heavens from which they fall.
Lest sacred love your soul ensnare,
With pious fancy still infer
‘How loving and how lovely fair
‘Must He be who has fashion'd her!’
Become whatever good you see,
Nor sigh if, forthwith, fades from view
The grace of which you may not be
The subject and spectator too.
Love's perfect blossom only blows
Where noble manners veil defect.
Angels may be familiar; those
Who err each other must respect.
Love blabb'd of is a great decline;
A careless word unsanctions sense;
But he who casts Heaven's truth to swine
Consummates all incontinence.
Not to unveil before the gaze
Of an imperfect sympathy
In aught we are, is the sweet praise
And the main sum of modesty.


The Dance.

I
‘My memory of Heaven awakes!
‘She's not of the earth, although her light,
‘As lantern'd by her body, makes
‘A piece of it past bearing bright.
‘So innocently proud and fair
‘She is, that Wisdom sings for glee
‘And Folly dies, breathing one air
‘With such a bright-cheek'd chastity;
‘And though her charms are a strong law
‘Compelling all men to admire,
‘They go so clad with lovely awe
‘None but the noble dares desire.
‘He who would seek to make her his
‘Will comprehend that souls of grace
‘Own sweet repulsion, and that 'tis
‘The quality of their embrace
‘To be like the majestic reach
‘Of coupled suns, that, from afar,
‘Mingle their mutual spheres, while each
‘Circles the twin obsequious star;
‘And, in the warmth of hand to hand,
‘Of heart to heart, he'll vow to note
‘And reverently understand
‘How the two spirits shine remote;
‘And ne'er to numb fine honour's nerve,
‘Nor let sweet awe in passion melt,
‘Nor fail by courtesies to observe
‘The space which makes attraction felt;
‘Nor cease to guard like life the sense
‘Which tells him that the embrace of love
‘Is o'er a gulf of difference
‘Love cannot sound, nor death remove.’


II
This learn'd I, watching where she danced,
Native to melody and light,
And now and then toward me glanced,
Pleased, as I hoped, to please my sight.

III
Ah, love to speak was impotent,
Till music did a tongue confer,
And I ne'er knew what music meant,
Until I danced to it with her.
Too proud of the sustaining power
Of my, till then, unblemish'd joy,
My passion, for reproof, that hour
Tasted mortality's alloy,
And bore me down an eddying gulf;
I wish'd the world might run to wreck,
So I but once might fling myself
Obliviously about her neck.
I press'd her hand, by will or chance
I know not, but I saw the rays
Withdrawn, which did till then enhance
Her fairness with its thanks for praise.
I knew my spirit's vague offence
Was patent to the dreaming eye
And heavenly tact of innocence,
And did for fear my fear defy,
And ask'd her for the next dance. ‘Yes.’
‘No,’ had not fall'n with half the force.
She was fulfill'd with gentleness,
And I with measureless remorse;
And, ere I slept, on bended knee
I own'd myself, with many a tear,
Unseasonable, disorderly,
And a deranger of love's sphere;
Gave thanks that, when we stumble and fall,
We hurt ourselves, and not the truth;
And, rising, found its brightness all
The brighter through the tears of ruth.

IV
Nor was my hope that night made less,
Though order'd, humbled, and reproved;
Her farewell did her heart express
As much, but not with anger, moved.
My trouble had my soul betray'd;
And, in the night of my despair,
My love, a flower of noon afraid,
Divulged its fulness unaware.
I saw she saw; and, O sweet Heaven,
Could my glad mind have credited
That influence had to me been given
To affect her so, I should have said
That, though she from herself conceal'd
Love's felt delight and fancied harm,
They made her face the jousting field
Of joy and beautiful alarm.

Coventry Patmore

Stanzas Composed During A Thunderstorm



Chill and mirk is the nightly blast,
Where Pindus' mountains rise,
And angry clouds are pouring fast
The vengeance of the skies.

Our guides are gone, our hope is lost,
And lightnings, as they play,
But show where rocks our path have crost,
Or gild the torrent's spray.

Is yon a cot I saw, though low?
When lightning broke the gloom---
How welcome were its shade!---ah, no!
'Tis but a Turkish tomb.

Through sounds of foaming waterfalls,
I hear a voice exclaim---
My way-worn countryman, who calls
On distant England's name.

A shot is fired---by foe or friend?
Another---'tis to tell
The mountain-peasants to descend,
And lead us where they dwell.

Oh! who in such a night will dare
To tempt the wilderness?
And who 'mid thunder-peals can hear
Our signal of distress?

And who that heard our shouts would rise
To try the dubious road?
Nor rather deem from nightly cries
That outlaws were abroad.

Clouds burst, skies flash, oh, dreadful hour!
More fiercely pours the storm!
Yet here one thought has still the power
To keep my bosom warm.

While wandering through each broken path,
O'er brake and craggy brow;
While elements exhaust their wrath,
Sweet Florence, where art thou?

Not on the sea, not on the sea---
Thy bark hath long been gone:
Oh, may the storm that pours on me,
Bow down my head alone!

Full swiftly blew the swift Siroc,
When last I pressed thy lip;
And long ere now, with foaming shock,
Impelled thy gallant ship.

Now thou art safe; nay, long ere now
Hast trod the shore of Spain;
'Twere hard if aught so fair as thou
Should linger on the main.

And since I now remember thee
In darkness and in dread,
As in those hours of revelry
Which Mirth and Music sped;

Do thou, amid the fair white walls,
If Cadiz yet be free,
At times from out her latticed halls
Look o'er the dark blue sea;

Then think upon Calypso's isles,
Endeared by days gone by;
To others give a thousand smiles,
To me a single sigh.

And when the admiring circle mark
The paleness of thy face,
A half-formed tear, a transient spark
Of melancholy grace,

Again thou'lt smile, and blushing shun
Some coxcomb's raillery;
Nor own for once thou thought'st on one,
Who ever thinks on thee.

Though smile and sigh alike are vain,
When severed hearts repine
My spirit flies o'er Mount and Main
And mourns in search of thine.

Lord George Gordon Byron

The Waning Moon



I've watched too late; the morn is near;
One look at God's broad silent sky!
Oh, hopes and wishes vainly dear,
How in your very strength ye die!

Even while your glow is on the cheek,
And scarce the high pursuit begun,
The heart grows faint, the hand grows weak,
The task of life is left undone.

See where upon the horizon's brim,
Lies the still cloud in gloomy bars;
The waning moon, all pale and dim,
Goes up amid the eternal stars.

Late, in a flood of tender light,
She floated through the ethereal blue,
A softer sun, that shone all night
Upon the gathering beads of dew.

And still thou wanest, pallid moon!
The encroaching shadow grows apace;
Heaven's everlasting watchers soon
Shall see thee blotted from thy place.

Oh, Night's dethroned and crownless queen!
Well may thy sad, expiring ray
Be shed on those whose eyes have seen
Hope's glorious visions fade away.

Shine thou for forms that once were bright,
For sages in the mind's eclipse,
For those whose words were spells of might,
But falter now on stammering lips!

In thy decaying beam there lies
Full many a grave on hill and plain,
Of those who closed their dying eyes
In grief that they had lived in vain.

Another night, and thou among
The spheres of heaven shalt cease to shine,
All rayless in the glittering throng
Whose lustre late was quenched in thine.

Yet soon a new and tender light
From out thy darkened orb shall beam,
And broaden till it shines all night
On glistening dew and glimmering stream.

William Cullen Bryant

The Prophet



Ah, my darling, when over the purple horizon shall loom
The shrouded mother of a new idea, men hide their faces,
Cry out and fend her off, as she seeks her procreant groom,
Wounding themselves against her, denying her fecund embraces.

David Herbert Lawrence

Reflections



When I looked into your eyes,
I saw a garden
With peonies, and tinkling pagodas,
And round-arched bridges
Over still lakes.
A woman sat beside the water
In a rain-blue, silken garment.
She reached through the water
To pluck the crimson peonies
Beneath the surface,
But as she grasped the stems,
They jarred and broke into white-green ripples,
And as she drew out her hand,
The water-drops dripping from it
Stained her rain-blue dress like tears.

Amy Lowell

Surgit Fama



There is a truce among the gods,
Kore is seen in the North
Skirting the blue-gray sea
In gilded and russet mantle.
The corn has again it's mother and she, Leuconoe,
That failed never women,
Fails not the earth now.

The tricksome Hermes is here;
He moves behind me
Eager to catch my words,
Eager to spread them with rumour;
To set upon them his change
Crafty and subtle;
To alter them to his purpose;
But do thou speak true, even to the letter:

‘Once more in Delos, once more is the altar a-quiver.
Once more is the chant heard.
Once more are the never abandoned gardens
Full of gossip and old tales.’

Ezra Pound

Tis the Last Rose of Summer



Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone:
No flower of her kindred,
No rose-bud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter
Thy leaves o'er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love's shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie wither'd,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?

Thomas Moore

Song



Ah, Love!
Perjured, false, treacherous Love!
Enemy
Of all that mankind may not rue!
Most untrue
To him who keeps most faith with thee.
Woe is me!
The falcon has the eyes of the dove.
Ah, Love!
Perjured, false, treacherous Love!
Thy deceits
Give us clearly to comprehend,
Whither tend
All thy pleasures, all thy sweets!
They are cheats,
Thorns below and flowers above.
Ah, Love!
Perjured, false, treacherous Love!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Adversity

We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right.

Seneca, Lucius

Pleasure

Pleasure is an important component of the quality of life, but by itself it does not bring happiness. Pleasure helps to maintain order, but by itself cannot create a new order in consciousness.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The noblest pleasure

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

Vinci, Leonardo da
Books, we find, are like new acquaintances. To begin with, we are highly delighted if we find an area of general agreement, if we feel a friendly response concerning some important aspect of our life. It is only on closer acquaintance that differences begin to emerge, at which point the great thing is not immediately to recoil, as may happen at a more youthful age, but to cling very firmly to areas of agreement and fully to clarify our differences without on that account aiming at identity in our views.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Equal

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

George Orwell

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Love Me At Last



Love me at last, or if you will not,
Leave me;
Hard words could never, as these half-words,
Grieve me:
Love me at last---or leave me.
Love me at last, or let the last word uttered
Be but your own;

Love me, or leave me---as a cloud, a vapor,
Or a bird flown.
Love me at last---I am but sliding water
Over a stone.

Alice Corbin

Read, sweet, how others strove



Read, sweet, how others strove,
Till we are stouter;
What they renounced,
Till we are less afraid;
How many times they bore
The faithful witness,
Till we are helped,
As if a kingdom cared!

Read then of faith
That shone above the fagot;
Clear strains of hymn
The river could not drown;
Brave names of men
And celestial women,
Passed out of record
Into renown!

Emily Dickinson