Henry Wadsworth Longfellow |
THE DAY is done and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village 5
Gleam through the rain and the mist
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:
A feeling of sadness and longing
That is not akin to pain 10
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.
Come read to me some poem
Some simple and heartfelt lay
That shall soothe this restless feeling 15
And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters
Not from the bards sublime
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.
For like strains of martial music
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet 25
Whose songs gushed from his heart
As showers from the clouds of summer
Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who through long days of labor
And nights devoid of ease 30
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care
And come like the benediction 35
That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs
And as silently steal away.
Delmira Agustini |
Spanish Su idilio fue una larga sonrisa a cuatro labios…En el regazo cálido de rubia primaveraAmáronse talmente que entre sus dedos sabiosPalpitó la divina forma de la Quimera.
En los palacios fúlgidos de las tardes en calmaHablábanse un lenguaje sentido como un lloro,Y se besaban hondo hasta morderse el alma!…Las horas deshojáronse como flores de oro, Y el Destino interpuso sus dos manos heladas…Ah! los cuerpos cedieron, mas las almas trenzadasSon el más intrincado nudo que nunca fue…En lucha con sus locos enredos sobrehumanosLas Furias de la vida se rompieron las manosY fatigó sus dedos supremos Ananké… English Their idyll was a smile of four lips…In the warm lap of blond springThey loved such that between their wise fingersthe divine form of Chimera trembled.
In the glimmering palaces of quiet afternoonsThey spoke in a language heartfelt as weeping,And they kissed each other deeply, biting the soul!The hours fluttered away like petals of gold, Then Fate interposed its two icy hands…Ah! the bodies yielded, but tangled soulsAre the most intricate knot that never unfolds…In strife with its mad superhuman entanglements,Life’s Furies rent their coupled handsAnd wearied your powerful fingers, Ananké… Ananké: Goddess (Greek) of Unalterable Necessity
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe |
The morn arrived; his footstep quickly scared
The gentle sleep that round my senses clung,
And I, awak'ning, from my cottage fared,
And up the mountain side with light heart sprung;
At every step I felt my gaze ensnared
By new-born flow'rs that full of dew-drops hung;
The youthful day awoke with ecstacy,
And all things quicken'd were, to quicken me.
And as I mounted, from the valley rose
A streaky mist, that upward slowly spread,
Then bent, as though my form it would enclose,
Then, as on pinions, soar'd above my head:
My gaze could now on no fair view repose,
in mournful veil conceal'd, the world seem'd dead;
The clouds soon closed around me, as a tomb,
And I was left alone in twilight gloom.
At once the sun his lustre seem'd to pour,
And through the mist was seen a radiant light;
Here sank it gently to the ground once more,
There parted it, and climb'd o'er wood and height.
How did I yearn to greet him as of yore,
After the darkness waxing doubly bright!
The airy conflict ofttimes was renew'd,
Then blinded by a dazzling glow I stood.
Ere long an inward impulse prompted me
A hasty glance with boldness round to throw;
At first mine eyes had scarcely strength to see,
For all around appear'd to burn and glow.
Then saw I, on the clouds borne gracefully,
A godlike woman hov'ring to and fro.
In life I ne'er had seen a form so fair--
She gazed at me, and still she hover'd there.
"Dost thou not know me?" were the words she said
In tones where love and faith were sweetly bound;
"Knowest thou not Her who oftentimes hath shed
The purest balsam in each earthly wound?
Thou knows't me well; thy panting heart I led
To join me in a bond with rapture crown'd.
Did I not see thee, when a stripling, yearning
To welcome me with tears, heartfelt and burning?"
"Yes!" I exclaim'd, whilst, overcome with joy,
I sank to earth; "I long have worshipp'd thee;
Thou gav'st me rest, when passions rack'd the boy,
Pervading ev'ry limb unceasingly;
Thy heav'nly pinions thou didst then employ
The scorching sunbeams to ward off from me.
From thee alone Earth's fairest gifts I gain'd,
Through thee alone, true bliss can be obtain'd.
"Thy name I know not; yet I hear thee nam'd
By many a one who boasts thee as his own;
Each eye believes that tow'rd thy form 'tis aim'd,
Yet to most eyes thy rays are anguish-sown.
Ah! whilst I err'd, full many a friend I claim'd,
Now that I know thee, I am left alone;
With but myself can I my rapture share,
I needs must veil and hide thy radiance fair.
She smiled, and answering said: "Thou see'st how wise,
How prudent 'twas but little to unveil!
Scarce from the clumsiest cheat are clear'd thine eyes,
Scarce hast thou strength thy childish bars to scale,
When thou dost rank thee 'mongst the deities,
And so man's duties to perform would'st fail!
How dost thou differ from all other men?
Live with the world in peace, and know thee then!"
"Oh, pardon me," I cried, "I meant it well:
Not vainly did'st thou bless mine eyes with light;
For in my blood glad aspirations swell,
The value of thy gifts I know aright!
Those treasures in my breast for others dwell,
The buried pound no more I'll hide from sight.
Why did I seek the road so anxiously,
If hidden from my brethren 'twere to be?"
And as I answer'd, tow'rd me turn'd her face,
With kindly sympathy, that god-like one;
Within her eye full plainly could I trace
What I had fail'd in, and what rightly done.
She smiled, and cured me with that smile's sweet grace,
To new-born joys my spirit soar'd anon;
With inward confidence I now could dare
To draw yet closer, and observe her there.
Through the light cloud she then stretch'd forth her hand,
As if to bid the streaky vapour fly:
At once it seemed to yield to her command,
Contracted, and no mist then met mine eye.
My glance once more survey'd the smiling land,
Unclouded and serene appear'd the sky.
Nought but a veil of purest white she held,
And round her in a thousand folds it swell'd.
"I know thee, and I know thy wav'ring will.
I know the good that lives and glows in thee!"--
Thus spake she, and methinks I hear her still--
"The prize long destined, now receive from me;
That blest one will be safe from ev'ry ill,
Who takes this gift with soul of purity,--"
The veil of Minstrelsy from Truth's own hand,
Of sunlight and of morn's sweet fragrance plann'd.
"And when thou and thy friends at fierce noon-day
Are parched with heat, straight cast it in the air!
Then Zephyr's cooling breath will round you play,
Distilling balm and flowers' sweet incense there;
The tones of earthly woe will die away,
The grave become a bed of clouds so fair,
To sing to rest life's billows will be seen,
The day be lovely, and the night serene.
Come, then, my friends! and whensoe'er ye find
Upon your way increase life's heavy load;
If by fresh-waken'd blessings flowers are twin'd
Around your path, and golden fruits bestow'd,
We'll seek the coming day with joyous mind!
Thus blest, we'll live, thus wander on our road
And when our grandsons sorrow o'er our tomb,
Our love, to glad their bosoms, still shall bloom.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe |
What we sing in company
Soon from heart to heart will fly.
THE Gesellige Lieder, which I have angicisled
as above, as several of them cannot be called convivial songs, are
separated by Goethe from his other songs, and I have adhered to
the same arrangement.
The Ergo bibamus is a well-known drinking
song in Germany, where it enjoys vast popularity.
ON THE NEW YEAR.
[Composed for a merry party that used to meet,
in 1802, at Goethe's house.
FATE now allows us,
'Twixt the departing
And the upstarting,
Happy to be;
And at the call of
Future and perish'd
Moments we see.
Seasons of anguish,--
Ah, they must ever
Truth from woe sever,
Love and joy part;
Days still more worthy
Soon will unite us,
Fairer songs light us,
Strength'ning the heart.
We, thus united,
Think of, with gladness,
Rapture and sadness,
Sorrow now flies.
Oh, how mysterious
Old the connection,
New-born the prize!
Thank, for this, Fortune,
Thank all that kindly
Fate may bestow!
Revel in change's
Love far sincerer,
More heartfelt glow!
Over the old one,
Sad and dejected,
Others may view;
But, on us gently
Shineth a true one,
And to the new one
We, too, are new.
As a fond couple
'Midst the dance veering,
So let affection
Guide thro' life's mazy
Pathways so hazy
Into the year!
William Topaz McGonagall |
Alas! Lord and Lady Dalhousie are dead, and buried at last,
Which causes many people to feel a little downcast;
And both lie side by side in one grave,
But I hope God in His goodness their souls will save.
And may He protect their children that are left behind,
And may they always food and raiment find;
And from the paths of virtue may they ne'er be led,
And may they always find a house wherein to lay their head.
Lord Dalhousie was a man worthy of all praise,
And to his memory I hope a monument the people will raise,
That will stand for many ages to came
To commemorate the good deeds he has done.
He was beloved by men of high and low degree,
Especially in Forfarshire by his tenantry:
And by many of the inhabitants in and around Dundee,
Because he was affable in temper.
and void of all vanity.
He had great affection for his children, also his wife,
'Tis said he loved her as dear as his life;
And I trust they are now in heaven above,
Where all is joy, peace, and love.
At the age of fourteen he resolved to go to sea,
So he entered the training ship Britannia belonging the navy,
And entered as a midshipman as he considered most fit
Then passed through the course of training with the greatest credit.
In a short time he obtained the rank of lieutenant,
Then to her Majesty's ship Galatea he was sent;
Which was under the command of the Duke of Edinburgh,
And during his service there he felt but little sorrow.
And from that he was promoted to be commander of the Britannia,
And was well liked by the men, for what he said was law;
And by him Prince Albert Victor and Prince George received a naval education.
Which met with the Prince of Wales' roost hearty approbation.
'Twas in the year 1877 he married the Lady Ada Louisa Bennett,
And by marrying that noble lady he ne'er did regret;
And he was ever ready to give his service in any way,
Most willingly and cheerfully by night or by day.
'Twas in the year of 1887, and on Thursday the 1st of December,
Which his relatives and friends will long remember
That were present at the funeral in Cockpen, churchyard,
Because they had for the noble Lord a great regard.
About eleven o'clock the remains reached Dalhousie,
And were met by a body of the tenantry.
They conveyed them inside the building allseemingly woe begone
And among those that sent wreaths was Lord Claude Hamilton.
Those that sent wreaths were but very few,
But one in particular was the Duke of Buccleuch;
Herbert Spencer, and Countess Rosebery, and Lady Bennett,
Which no doubt were sent by them with heartfelt regret.
Besides those that sent wreaths in addition were the Earl and Countess of Aberdeen,
Especially the Prince of Wales' was most lovely to be seen,
And the Earl of Dalkeith's wreath was very pretty too,
With a mixture of green and white flowers, beautiful to view.
Amongst those present at the interment were Mr Marjoribanks, M.
Also ex-Provost Ballingall from Bonnie Dundee;
Besides the Honourable W.
Colville, representing the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh,
While in every one's face standing at the grave was depicted sorrow.
The funeral service was conducted in the Church of Cockpen
By the Rev.
Crabb, of St.
Andrew's Episcopal Church, town of Brechin;
And as the two coffins were lowered into their last resting place,
Then the people retired with sad hearts at a quick pace.
Kahlil Gibran |
My wearied heart bade me farewell and left for the House of Fortune.
As he reached that holy city which the soul had blessed and worshipped, he commenced wondering, for he could not find what he had always imagined would be there.
The city was empty of power, money, and authority.
And my heart spoke to the daughter of Love saying, "Oh Love, where can I find Contentment? I heard that she had come here to join you.
And the daughter of Love responded, "Contentment has already gone to preach her gospel in the city, where greed and corruption are paramount; we are not in need of her.
Fortune craves not Contentment, for it is an earthly hope, and its desires are embraced by union with objects, while Contentment is naught but heartfelt.
The eternal soul is never contented; it ever seeks exaltation.
Then my heart looked upon Life of Beauty and said: "Thou art all knowledge; enlighten me as to the mystery of Woman.
" And he answered, "Oh human heart, woman is your own reflection, and whatever you are, she is; wherever you live, she lives; she is like religion if not interpreted by the ignorant, and like a moon, if not veiled with clouds, and like a breeze, if not poisoned with impurities.
And my heart walked toward Knowledge, the daughter of Love and Beauty, and said, "Bestow upon me wisdom, that I might share it with the people.
" And she responded, "Say not wisdom, but rather fortune, for real fortune comes not from outside, but begins in the Holy of Holies of life.
Share of thyself with the people.
Robert Frost |
A stranger came to the door at eve,
And he spoke the bridegroom fair.
He bore a green-white stick in his hand,
And, for all burden, care.
He asked with the eyes more than the lips
For a shelter for the night,
And he turned and looked at the road afar
Without a window light.
The bridegroom came forth into the porch
With, 'Let us look at the sky,
And question what of the night to be,
Stranger, you and I.
The woodbine leaves littered the yard,
The woodbine berries were blue,
Autumn, yes, winter was in the wind;
'Stranger, I wish I knew.
Within, the bride in the dusk alone
Bent over the open fire,
Her face rose-red with the glowing coal
And the thought of the heart's desire.
The bridegroom looked at the weary road,
Yet saw but her within,
And wished her heart in a case of gold
And pinned with a silver pin.
The bridegroom thought it little to give
A dole of bread, a purse,
A heartfelt prayer for the poor of God,
Or for the rich a curse;
But whether or not a man was asked
To mar the love of two
By harboring woe in the bridal house,
The bridegroom wished he knew.
Brooks Haxton |
Gripping the lectern, rocking it, searching
the faces for the souls, for signs of heartfelt
mindfulness at work, I thought, as I recited
words I wrote in tears: instead of tears,
if I had understood my father's business,
I could be selling men's clothes.
I could be
kneeling, complimenting someone at the bay
of mirrors, mumblingly, with pinpoints pressed
between my lips.
That was the life I held
in scorn while young, because I thought to live
without distraction, using words.
now into the room of strangers' eyes, I wanted
them to feel what I said touch, as palpably
as when a men in double worsted felt
the cuff drop to his wrist.
There was a rush
in the applause of gratitude and mercy:
they could go.
A teenager, embarrassed
for himself and me, lefthandedly
squeezed my fingers, and said thanks.
Robert Burns |
THE LAMP of day, with-ill presaging glare,
Dim, cloudy, sank beneath the western wave;
Th’ inconstant blast howl’d thro’ the dark’ning air,
And hollow whistled in the rocky cave.
Lone as I wander’d by each cliff and dell,
Once the lov’d haunts of Scotia’s royal train; 1
Or mus’d where limpid streams, once hallow’d well, 2
Or mould’ring ruins mark the sacred fane.
Th’ increasing blast roar’d round the beetling rocks,
The clouds swift-wing’d flew o’er the starry sky,
The groaning trees untimely shed their locks,
And shooting meteors caught the startled eye.
The paly moon rose in the livid east.
And ’mong the cliffs disclos’d a stately form
In weeds of woe, that frantic beat her breast,
And mix’d her wailings with the raving storm
Wild to my heart the filial pulses glow,
’Twas Caledonia’s trophied shield I view’d:
Her form majestic droop’d in pensive woe,
The lightning of her eye in tears imbued.
Revers’d that spear, redoubtable in war,
Reclined that banner, erst in fields unfurl’d,
That like a deathful meteor gleam’d afar,
And brav’d the mighty monarchs of the world.
“My patriot son fills an untimely grave!”
With accents wild and lifted arms—she cried;
“Low lies the hand oft was stretch’d to save,
Low lies the heart that swell’d with honest pride.
“A weeping country joins a widow’s tear;
The helpless poor mix with the orphan’s cry;
The drooping arts surround their patron’s bier;
And grateful science heaves the heartfelt sigh!
“I saw my sons resume their ancient fire;
I saw fair Freedom’s blossoms richly blow:
But ah! how hope is born but to expire!
Relentless fate has laid their guardian low.
“My patriot falls: but shall he lie unsung,
While empty greatness saves a worthless name?
No; every muse shall join her tuneful tongue,
And future ages hear his growing fame.
“And I will join a mother’s tender cares,
Thro’ future times to make his virtues last;
That distant years may boast of other Blairs!”—
She said, and vanish’d with the sweeping blast.
The King’s Park at Holyrood House.
David Wagoner |
He would leave early and walk slowly
As if balancing books
On the way to school, already expecting
To be tardy once again and heavy
With numbers, the unfashionably rounded
Toes of his shoes invisible beyond
The slope of his corporation.
He would pause
At his favorite fundamentally sound
Park bench, which had been the birthplace
Of paeans and ruminations on other mornings,
And would turn his back to it, having gauged the distance
Between his knees and the edge of the hardwood
Almost invariably unoccupied
At this enlightened hour by the bums of nighttime
(For whom the owlish eye of the moon
Had been closed by daylight), and would give himself wholly over
Backwards and trustingly downwards
And be well seated there.
He would remove
From his sinister jacket pocket a postcard
And touch it and retouch it with the point
Of the fountain he produced at his fingertips
And fill it with his never-before-uttered
Runes and obbligatos and pellucidly cryptic
Duets from private pageants, from broken ends
Of fandangos with the amoeba chaos chaos
Couchant and rampant.
Then he would rise
With an effort as heartfelt as a decision
To get out of bed on Sunday and carefully
Relocate his center of gravity
Above and beyond an imaginary axis
Between his feet and carry the good news
Along the path and the sidewalk, well on his way
To readjusting the business of the earth.