Lewis Carroll |
Inscribed to a Dear Child:
In Memory of Golden Summer Hours
And Whispers of a Summer Sea
Girt with a boyish garb for boyish task,
Eager she wields her spade: yet loves as well
Rest on a friendly knee, intent to ask
The tale he loves to tell.
Rude spirits of the seething outer strife,
Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright,
Deem if you list, such hours a waste of life,
Empty of all delight!
Chat on, sweet Maid, and rescue from annoy
Hearts that by wiser talk are unbeguiled.
Ah, happy he who owns that tenderest joy,
The heart-love of a child!
Francesco Petrarch |
Avventuroso più d' altro terreno.
HE APOSTROPHIZES THE SPOT WHERE LAURA FIRST SALUTED HIM.
Ah, happiest spot of earth! in this sweet place
Love first beheld my condescending fair
Retard her steps, to smile with courteous grace
On me, and smiling glad the ambient air.
The deep-cut image, wrought with skilful care,
Time shall from hardest adamant efface,
Ere from my mind that smile it shall erase,
Dear to my soul! which memory planted there.
Oft as I view thee, heart-enchanting soil!
With amorous awe I'll seek—delightful toil!
Where yet some traces of her footsteps lie.
And if fond Love still warms her generous breast,
Whene'er you see her, gentle friend! request
The tender tribute of a tear—a sigh.
Most fortunate and fair of spots terrene!
Where Love I saw her forward footstep stay,
And turn on me her bright eyes' heavenly ray,
Which round them make the atmosphere serene.
[Pg 103]A solid form of adamant, I ween,
Would sooner shrink in lapse of time away,
Than from my mind that sweet salute decay,
Dear to my heart, in memory ever green.
And oft as I return to view this spot,
In its fair scenes I'll fondly stoop to seek
Where yet the traces of her light foot lie.
But if in valorous heart Love sleepeth not,
Whene'er you meet her, friend, for me bespeak
Some passing tears, perchance one pitying sigh.
Francesco Petrarch |
Più volte Amor m' avea già detto: scrivi.
HE WRITES WHAT LOVE BIDS HIM.
White—to my heart Love oftentimes had said—
Write what thou seest in letters large of gold,
That livid are my votaries to behold,
And in a moment made alive and dead.
Once in thy heart my sovran influence spread
A public precedent to lovers told;
Though other duties drew thee from my fold,
I soon reclaim'd thee as thy footsteps fled.
And if the bright eyes which I show'd thee first,
If the fair face where most I loved to stay,
Thy young heart's icy hardness when I burst,
Restore to me the bow which all obey,
Then may thy cheek, which now so smooth appears,
Be channell'd with my daily drink of tears.
Algernon Charles Swinburne |
Fire out of heaven, a flower of perfect fire,
That where the roots of life are had its root
And where the fruits of time are brought forth fruit;
A faith made flesh, a visible desire,
That heard the yet unbreathing years respire
And speech break forth of centuries that sit mute
Beyond all feebler footprint of pursuit;
That touched the highest of hope, and went up higher;
A heart love-wounded whereto love was law,
A soul reproachless without fear or flaw,
A shining spirit without shadow of shame,
A memory made of all men's love and awe;
Being disembodied, so thou be the same,
What need, O soul, to sign thee with thy name?
All woes of all men sat upon thy soul
And all their wrongs were heavy on thy head;
With all their wounds thy heart was pierced and bled,
And in thy spirit as in a mourning scroll
The world's huge sorrows were inscribed by roll,
All theirs on earth who serve and faint for bread,
All banished men's, all theirs in prison dead,
Thy love had heart and sword-hand for the whole.
"This was my day of glory," didst thou say,
When, by the scaffold thou hadst hope to climb
For thy faith's sake, they brought thee respite; "Nay,
I shall not die then, I have missed my day.
O hero, O our help, O head sublime,
Thy day shall be commensurate with time.
Francesco Petrarch |
Amor, Fortuna, e la mia mente schiva.
THE CAUSES OF HIS WOE.
Love, Fortune, and my melancholy mind,
Sick of the present, lingering on the past,
[Pg 114]Afflict me so, that envious thoughts I cast
On those who life's dark shore have left behind.
Love racks my bosom: Fortune's wintry wind
Kills every comfort: my weak mind at last
Is chafed and pines, so many ills and vast
Expose its peace to constant strifes unkind.
Nor hope I better days shall turn again;
But what is left from bad to worse may pass:
For ah! already life is on the wane.
Not now of adamant, but frail as glass,
I see my best hopes fall from me or fade,
And low in dust my fond thoughts broken laid.
Love, Fortune, and my ever-faithful mind,
Which loathes the present in its memoried past,
So wound my spirit, that on all I cast
An envied thought who rest in darkness find.
My heart Love prostrates, Fortune more unkind
No comfort grants, until its sorrow vast
Impotent frets, then melts to tears at last:
Thus I to painful warfare am consign'd.
My halcyon days I hope not to return,
But paint my future by a darker tint;
My spring is gone—my summer well-nigh fled:
Ah! wretched me! too well do I discern
Each hope is now (unlike the diamond flint)
A fragile mirror, with its fragments shed.