Petrarch | |
Di tempo in tempo mi si fa men dura.
THOUGH SHE BE LESS SEVERE, HE IS STILL NOT CONTENTED AND TRANQUIL AT HEART.
From time to time more clemency for me
In that sweet smile and angel form I trace;
Seem too her lovely face
And lustrous eyes at length more kind to be.
[Pg 146]Yet, if thus honour'd, wherefore do my sighs
In doubt and sorrow flow,
Signs that too truly show
My anguish'd desperate life to common eyes?
Haply if, where she is, my glance I bend,
This harass'd heart to cheer,
Methinks that Love I hear
Pleading my cause, and see him succour lend.
Not therefore at an end the strife I deem,
Nor in sure rest my heart at last esteem;
For Love most burns within
When Hope most pricks us on the way to win.
From time to time less cruelty I trace
In her sweet smile and form divinely fair;
Less clouded doth appear
The heaven of her fine eyes and lovely face.
What then at last avail to me those sighs,
Which from my sorrows flow,
And in my semblance show
The life of anguish and despair I lead?
If towards her perchance I bend mine eyes,
Some solace to bestow
Upon my bosom's woe,
Methinks Love takes my part, and lends me aid:
Yet still I cannot find the conflict stay'd,
Nor tranquil is my heart in every state:
For, ah! my passion's heat
More strongly glows within as my fond hopes increase.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |
"Incense is hut a tribute for the gods,--
To mortals 'tis but poison.
THE smoke that from thine altar blows,
Can it the gods offend?
For I observe thou hold'st thy nose--
Pray what does this portend?
Mankind deem incense to excel
Each other earthly thing,
So he that cannot bear its smell,
No incense e'er should bring.
With unmoved face by thee at least
To dolls is homage given;
If not obstructed by the priest,
The scent mounts up to heaven.
CONFLICT OF WIT AND BEAUTY.
SIR Wit, who is so much esteem'd,
And who is worthy of all honour,
Saw Beauty his superior deem'd
By folks who loved to gaze upon her;
At this he was most sorely vex'd.
Then came Sir Breath (long known as fit
To represent the cause of wit),
Beginning, rudely, I admit,
To treat the lady with a text.
To this she hearken'd not at all,
But hasten'd to his principal:
"None are so wise, they say, as you,--
Is not the world enough for two?
If you are obstinate, good-bye!
If wise, to love me you will try,
For be assured the world can ne'er
Give birth to a more handsome pair.
FAIR daughters were by Beauty rear'd,
Wit had but dull sons for his lot;
So for a season it appear'd
Beauty was constant, Wit was not.
But Wit's a native of the soil,
So he return'd, work'd, strove amain,
And found--sweet guerdon for his toil!--
Beauty to quicken him again.
RAIN AND RAINBOW.
DURING a heavy storm it chanced
That from his room a cockney glanced
At the fierce tempest as it broke,
While to his neighbour thus he spoke:
"The thunder has our awe inspired,
Our barns by lightning have been fired,--
Our sins to punish, I suppose;
But in return, to soothe our woes,
See how the rain in torrents fell,
Making the harvest promise well!
But is't a rainbow that I spy
Extending o'er the dark-grey sky?
With it I'm sure we may dispense,
The colour'd cheat! The vain pretence!"
Dame Iris straightway thus replied:
"Dost dare my beauty to deride?
In realms of space God station'd me
A type of better worlds to be
To eyes that from life's sorrows rove
In cheerful hope to Heav'n above,
And, through the mists that hover here
God and his precepts blest revere.
Do thou, then, grovel like the swine,
And to the ground thy snout confine,
But suffer the enlighten'd eye
To feast upon my majesty.
Phillis Wheatley | |
Who taught thee conflict with the pow'rs of night,
To vanquish satan in the fields of light?
Who strung thy feeble arms with might unknown,
How great thy conquest, and how bright thy crown!
War with each princedom, throne, and pow'r is o'er,
The scene is ended to return no more.
O could my muse thy seat on high behold,
How deckt with laurel, how enrich'd with gold!
O could she hear what praise thine harp employs,
How sweet thine anthems, how divine thy joys!
What heav'nly grandeur should exalt her strain!
What holy raptures in her numbers reign!
To sooth the troubles of the mind to peace,
To still the tumult of life's tossing seas,
To ease the anguish of the parents heart,
What shall my sympathizing verse impart?
Where is the balm to heal so deep a wound?
Where shall a sov'reign remedy be found?
Look, gracious Spirit, from thine heav'nly bow'r,
And thy full joys into their bosoms pour;
The raging tempest of their grief control,
And spread the dawn of glory through the soul,
To eye the path the saint departed trod,
And trace him to the bosom of his God.
More great poems below...
George William Russell | |
IT was the fairy of the place,
Moving within a little light,
Who touched with dim and shadowy grace
The conflict at its fever height.
It seemed to whisper “Quietness,”
Then quietly itself was gone:
Yet echoes of its mute caress
Were with me as the years went on.
It was the warrior within
Who called “Awake, prepare for fight:
Yet lose not memory in the din:
Make of thy gentleness thy might:
“Make of thy silence words to shake
The long-enthroned kings of earth:
Make of thy will the force to break
Their towers of wantonness and mirth.
It was the wise all-seeing soul
Who counselled neither war nor peace:
“Only be thou thyself that goal
In which the wars of time shall cease.
Friedrich von Schiller | |
No! I this conflict longer will not wage,
The conflict duty claims--the giant task;--
Thy spells, O virtue, never can assuage
The heart's wild fire--this offering do not ask
True, I have sworn--a solemn vow have sworn,
That I myself will curb the self within;
Yet take thy wreath, no more it shall be worn--
Take back thy wreath, and leave me free to sin.
Rent be the contract I with thee once made;--
She loves me, loves me--forfeit be the crown!
Blessed he who, lulled in rapture's dreamy shade,
Glides, as I glide, the deep fall gladly down.
She sees the worm that my youth's bloom decays,
She sees my spring-time wasted as it flees;
And, marvelling at the rigor that gainsays
The heart's sweet impulse, my reward decrees.
Distrust this angel purity, fair soul!
It is to guilt thy pity armeth me;
Could being lavish its unmeasured whole,
It ne'er could give a gift to rival thee!
Thee--the dear guilt I ever seek to shun,
O tyranny of fate, O wild desires!
My virtue's only crown can but be won
In that last breath--when virtue's self expires!
Friedrich von Schiller | |
Whither was it that my spirit wended
When from thee my fleeting shadow moved?
Is not now each earthly conflict ended?
Say,--have I not lived,--have I not loved?
Art thou for the nightingales inquiring
Who entranced thee in the early year
With their melody so joy-inspiring?
Only whilst they loved they lingered here.
Is the lost one lost to me forever?
Trust me, with him joyfully I stray
There, where naught united souls can sever,
And where every tear is wiped away.
And thou, too, wilt find us in yon heaven,
When thy love with our love can compare;
There my father dwells, his sins forgiven,--
Murder foul can never reach him there.
And he feels that him no vision cheated
When he gazed upon the stars on high;
For as each one metes, to him 'tis meted;
Who believes it, hath the Holy nigh.
Faith is kept in those blest regions yonder
With the feelings true that ne'er decay.
Venture thou to dream, then, and to wander
Noblest thoughts oft lie in childlike play.
Henry Van Dyke | |
O Music hast thou only heard
The laughing river, the singing bird,
The murmuring wind in the poplar-trees,--
Nothing but Nature's melodies?
Nay, thou hearest all her tones,
As a Queen must hear!
Sounds of wrath and fear,
Mutterings, shouts, and moans,
Madness, tumult, and despair,
All she has that shakes the air
With voices fierce and wild!
Thou art a Queen and not a dreaming child,--
Put on thy crown and let us hear thee reign
Triumphant in a world of storm and strain!
Echo the long-drawn sighs
Of the mounting wind in the pines;
And the sobs of the mounting waves that rise
In the dark of the troubled deep
To break on the beach in fiery lines.
Echo the far-off roll of thunder,
And ever louder, under
The blue-black curtain of cloud,
Where the lightning serpents gleam.
Echo the moaning
Of the forest in its sleep
Like a giant groaning
In the torment of a dream.
Now an interval of quiet
For a moment holds the air
In the breathless hush
Of a silent prayer.
Then the sudden rush
Of the rain, and the riot
Of the shrieking, tearing gale
Breaks loose in the night,
With a fusillade of hail!
Hear the forest fight,
With its tossing arms that crack and clash
In the thunder's cannonade,
While the lightning's forked flash
Brings the old hero-trees to the ground with a crash!
Hear the breakers' deepening roar,
Driven like a herd of cattle
In the wild stampede of battle,
Trampling, trampling, trampling, to overwhelm the shore!
Is it the end of all?
Will the land crumble and fall?
Nay, for a voice replies
Out of the hidden skies,
"Thus far, O sea, shalt thou go,
So long, O wind, shalt thou blow:
Return to your bounds and cease,
And let the earth have peace!"
O Music, lead the way--
The stormy night is past,
Lift up our hearts to greet the day,
And the joy of things that last.
The dissonance and pain
That mortals must endure,
Are changed in thine immortal strain
To something great and pure.
True love will conquer strife,
And strength from conflict flows,
For discord is the thorn of life
And harmony the rose.
David Herbert Lawrence | |
The earth again like a ship steams out of the dark sea over
The edge of the blue, and the sun stands up to see us glide
Slowly into another day; slowly the rover
Vessel of darkness takes the rising tide.
I, on the deck, am startled by this dawn confronting
Me who am issued amazed from the darkness, stripped
And quailing here in the sunshine, delivered from haunting
The night unsounded whereon our days are shipped.
Feeling myself undawning, the day’s light playing upon me,
I who am substance of shadow, I all compact
Of the stuff of the night, finding myself all wrongly
Among the crowds of things in the sunshine jostled and racked.
I with the night on my lips, I sigh with the silence of death;
And what do I care though the very stones should cry me unreal, though the clouds
Shine in conceit of substance upon me, who am less than the rain.
Do I know the darkness within them? What are they but shrouds?
The clouds go down the sky with a wealthy ease
Casting a shadow of scorn upon me for my share in death; but I
Hold my own in the midst of them, darkling, defy
The whole of the day to extinguish the shadow I lift on the breeze.
Yea, though the very clouds have vantage over me,
Enjoying their glancing flight, though my love is dead,
I still am not homeless here, I’ve a tent by day
Of darkness where she sleeps on her perfect bed.
And I know the host, the minute sparkling of darkness
Which vibrates untouched and virile through the grandeur of night,
But which, when dawn crows challenge, assaulting the vivid motes
Of living darkness, bursts fretfully, and is bright:
Runs like a fretted arc-lamp into light,
Stirred by conflict to shining, which else
Were dark and whole with the night.
Runs to a fret of speed like a racing wheel,
Which else were aslumber along with the whole
Of the dark, swinging rhythmic instead of a-reel.
Is chafed to anger, bursts into rage like thunder;
Which else were a silent grasp that held the heavens
Arrested, beating thick with wonder.
Leaps like a fountain of blue sparks leaping
In a jet from out of obscurity,
Which erst was darkness sleeping.
Runs into streams of bright blue drops,
Water and stones and stars, and myriads
Of twin-blue eyes, and crops
Of floury grain, and all the hosts of day,
All lovely hosts of ripples caused by fretting
The Darkness into play.
Sarojini Naidu | |
CHILDREN, ye have not lived, to you it seems
Life is a lovely stalactite of dreams,
Or carnival of careless joys that leap
About your hearts like billows on the deep
In flames of amber and of amethyst.
Children, ye have not lived, ye but exist
Till some resistless hour shall rise and move
Your hearts to wake and hunger after love,
And thirst with passionate longing for the things
That burn your brows with blood-red sufferings.
Till ye have battled with great grief and fears,
And borne the conflict of dream-shattering years,
Wounded with fierce desire and worn with strife,
Children, ye have not lived: for this is life.
Ruth Padel | |
She can't believe it, can't go on.
She's going to give up painting.
So she paints Her final canvas, total-turn-off
A charcoal-burner's Smirnoff, The mirror of Loch Ness Reflecting the monster back to its own eye.
But something's wrong.
Those mad Black-body particles don't sing Her story of despair, the steel and
Of the storm.
This black has everything its own sweet way, Where's the I'd-like-to-kill-You conflict? Try once more, but this time add
A curve to all that straight.
And opposition White.
She paints black first.
A grindstone belly Hammering a smaller shape
Beneath a snake
Of in-betweening light.
"I feel like this.
I hope that you do, too, Black crater.
Kiss" And sees a voodoo flicker, where two worlds nearly touch
That flash, where white
Lets black get close, that dagger of not-quite contact,
Catspaw panic, quiver on the wheat
Field before thunder -
That's her own self, in paint, Splitting what she was from what she is.
As if everything that separates, unites.
from Voodoo Shop (Chatto, 2002), copyright © Ruth Padel 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher
Isaac Watts | |
Afflicted saints happy, and prosperous sinners cursed.
Now I'm convinced the Lord is kind
To men of heart sincere;
Yet once my foolish thoughts repined,
And bordered on despair.
I grieved to see the wicked thrive,
And spoke with angry breath,
"How pleasant and profane they live!
How peaceful is their death!
"With well-fed flesh and haughty eyes,
They lay their fears to sleep;
Against the heav'ns their slanders rise,
While saints in silence weep.
"In vain I lift my hands to pray,
And cleanse my heart in vain;
For I am chastened all the day,
The night renews my pain.
Yet while my tongue indulged complaints,
I felt my heart reprove,-
"Sure I shall thus offend thy saints,
And grieve the men I love.
But still I found my doubts too hard,
The conflict too severe,
Till I retired to search thy word,
And learn thy secrets there.
There, as in some prophetic glass,
I saw the sinner's feet
High mounted on a slipp'ry place,
Beside a fiery pit.
I heard the wretch profanely boast,
Till at thy frown he fell;
His honors in a dream were lost,
And he awakes in hell.
Lord, what an envious fool I was!
How like a thoughtless beast!
Thus to suspect thy promised grace,
And think the wicked blest.
Yet I was kept from full despair,
Upheld by power unknown;
That blessed hand that broke the snare
Shall guide me to thy throne.
Andrew Barton Paterson | |
It was while we held our races --
Hurdles, sprints and steplechases --
Up in Dandaloo,
That a crowd of Sydney stealers,
Jockeys, pugilists and spielers
Brought some horses, real heelers,
Came and put us through.
Beat our nags and won our money,
Made the game by np means funny,
Made us rather blue;
When the racing was concluded,
Of our hard-earned coin denuded
Dandaloonies sat and brooded
There in Dandaloo.
* * * * *
Night came down on Johnson's shanty
Where the grog was no way scanty,
And a tumult grew
Till some wild, excited person
Galloped down the township cursing,
"Sydney push have mobbed Macpherson,
Roll up, Dandaloo!"
Great St Denis! what commotion!
Like the rush of stormy ocean
Fiery horsemen flew.
Dust and smoke and din and rattle,
Down the street they spurred their cattle
To the war-cry of the battle,
"Wade in, Dandaloo!"
So the boys might have their fight out,
Johnson blew the bar-room light out,
Then, in haste, withdrew.
And in darkness and in doubting
Raged the conflict and the shouting,
"Give the Sydney push a clouting,
Go it, Dandaloo!"
Jack Macpherson seized a bucket,
Every head he saw he struck it --
Struck in earnest, too;
And a man from Lower Wattle,
Whom a shearer tried to throttle,
Hit out freely with a bottle
There in Dandaloo.
Skin and hair were flying thickly,
When a light was fetched, and quickly
Brought a fact to view --
On the scene of the diversion
Every single, solid person
Come along to help Macpherson --
All were Dandaloo!
When the list of slain was tabled --
Some were drunk and some disabled --
Still we found it true.
In the darkness and the smother
We'd been belting one another;
Jack Macpherson bashed his brother
There in Dandaloo.
So we drank, and all departed --
How the "mobbing" yarn was started
No one ever knew --
And the stockmen tell the story
Of that conflict fierce and gory,
How he fought for love and glory
Up in Dandaloo.
It's a proverb now, or near it --
At the races you can hear it,
At the dog-fights, too!
Every shrieking, dancing drover
As the canines topple over
Yells applause to Grip or Rover,
"Give him 'Dandaloo'!"
And the teamster slowly toiling
Through the deep black country, soiling
Wheels and axles, too,
Lays the whip on Spot and Banker,
Rouses Tarboy with a flanker --
"Redman! Ginger! Heave there! Yank her
Wade in, Dandaloo!"
William Topaz McGonagall | |
Edward Teach was a native of Bristol, and sailed from that port
On board a privateer, in search of sport,
As one of the crew, during the French War in that station,
And for personal courage he soon gained his Captain's approbation.
'Twas in the spring of 1717, Captajn Harnigold and Teach sailed from Providence
For the continent of America, and no further hence;
And in their way captured a vessel laden with flour,
Which they put on board their own vessels in the space of an hour.
They also seized two other vessels snd took some gallons of wine,
Besides plunder to a considerable value, and most of it most costly design;
And after that they made a prize of a large French Guinea-man,
Then to act an independent part Teach now began.
But the news spread throughout America, far and near,
And filled many of the inhabitants' hearts with fear;
But Lieutenant Maynard with his sloops of war directly steered,
And left James River on the 17th November in quest of Black Beard,
And on the evening of the 21st came in sight of the pirate;
And when Black Beard spied his sloops he felt elate.
When he saw the sloops sent to apprehend him,
He didn't lose his courage, but fiendishly did grin;
And told his men to cease from drinking and their tittle-tattle,
Although he had only twenty men on board, and prepare for battle.
In case anything should happen to him during the engagement,
One of his men asked him, who felt rather discontent,
Whether his wife knew where he had buried his pelf,
When he impiously replied that nobody knew but the devil and himself.
In the Morning Maynard weighed and sent his boat to sound,
Which, coming near the pirate, unfortunately ran aground;
But Maynard lightened his vessel of the ballast and water,
Whilst from the pirates' ship small shot loudly did clatter.
But the pirates' small shot or slugs didn't Maynard appal,
He told his men to take their cutlasses and be ready upon his call;
And to conceal themselves every man below,
While he would remain at the helm and face the foe.
Then Black Beard cried, "They're all knocked on the head,"
When he saw no hand upon deck he thought they were dead;
Then Black Beard boarded Maynard'a sloop without dismay,
But Maynard's men rushed upon deck, then began the deadly fray.
Then Black Beard and Maynard engaged sword in hand,
And the pirate fought manfully and made a bold stand;
And Maynard with twelve men, and Black Beard with fourteen,
Made the most desperate and bloody conflict that ever was seen.
At last with shots and wounds the pirate fell down dead,
Then from his body Maynard severed the pirate's head,
And suspended it upon his bowsprit-end,
And thanked God Who so mercifully did him defend.
Black Beard derived his name from his long black beard,
Which terrified America more than any comet that had ever appeared;
But, thanks be to God, in this age we need not be afeared,
Of any such pirates as the inhuman Black Beard.
Robert William Service | |
The night before I left Milan
A mob jammed the Cathedral Square,
And high the tide of passion ran
As politics befouled the air.
A seething hell of human strife,
I shrank back from its evil core,
Seeing in this convulsive life
The living seeds of war.
To Barcelona then I came,
And oh the heavenly release!
From conflict and consuming flame
I knew the preciousness of peace.
Such veneration for the law!
How decorous was every one!
And then (significant) I saw
Each copper packed a tommy gun.
Well, maybe it is best that way.
Peace can mean more than liberty:
These people, state-directed, may
Be happier than those more free.
When politics wield evil grip,
And warring factions rise and fall,
May be the answer, after all.
Robert William Service | |
My only medals are the scars
I've won in weary, peacetime wars,
A-fighting for my little brood,
To win them shelter, shoon and food;
But most of all to give them faith
In God's good mercy unto death.
My sons have medals gleaming bright,
Proud trophies won in foreign fight;
But though their crosses bravely shine,
My boys can show no wounds like mine -
Grim gashes dolorously healed,
And inner ailings unrevealed.
Life-lasting has my battle been,
My enemy a fierce machine;
And I am marked by many a blow
In conflict with a tireless foe,
Till warped and bent beneath the beat
Of life's unruth I own defeat.
Yet strip me bare and you will see
A worthy warrior I be;
Although no uniform I've worn,
By wounds of labour I am torn;
Leave the their ribbands and their stars .
Behold! I proudly prize my scars.