Poem of the Moment

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Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 17 March 2021, 19:35

Okay, in case all of you had failed to notice, I've a bit of a love for poetry and it can help me process my emotions a lot (which helps with the depression). And so, seeing as there's no dedicated thread for poetry, I figured I'd create one modeled after the Song of the Moment thread. I've to have my poetic needs met!

Anyway, I'll start us off with a poem (entitled, Ashes of Life) I very greatly relate to these days; it's by the wonderful Edna St. Vincent Millay, an American poet of the early 20th century.

Love has gone and left me and the days are all alike;
Eat I must, and sleep I will, — and would that night were here!
But ah! — to lie awake and hear the slow hours strike!
Would that it were day again! — with twilight near!

Love has gone and left me and I don't know what to do;
This or that or what you will is all the same to me;
But all the things that I begin I leave before I'm through, —
There's little use in anything as far as I can see.

Love has gone and left me, — and the neighbors knock and borrow,
And life goes on forever like the gnawing of a mouse, —
And to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow
There's this little street and this little house.

And people better post here (and yes, I'm looking at you, René!), otherwise you're all going to be bombarded with poetry and I'll just end up bumping this thread up all by my lonesome.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby René » 17 March 2021, 20:58

McTaggartfan wrote:And people better post here (and yes, I'm looking at you, René!)

Not much hope of that in my case, I'm afraid! But I'm sure others will :awesome:
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 17 March 2021, 21:09

René wrote:
McTaggartfan wrote:And people better post here (and yes, I'm looking at you, René!)

Not much hope of that in my case, I'm afraid! But I'm sure others will :awesome:


Oh you're such a tease René!! I became so very excited when I saw you'd posted on the thread; I thought that you'd actually posted a piece of poetry and I was going to be abundantly pleased (even if it turned out to be a poor choice of poem). But no...instead, you had to go and just dash my dreams, along with my rare moment of excitement, against the rocks. Woe is me!!
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 18 March 2021, 01:36

Another excellent Millay poem:

And you as well must die, belovèd dust,
And all your beauty stand you in no stead;
This flawless, vital hand, this perfect head,
This body of flame and steel, before the gust
Of Death, or under his autumnal frost,
Shall be as any leaf, be no less dead
Than the first leaf that fell, this wonder fled.
Altered, estranged, disintegrated, lost.
Nor shall my love avail you in your hour.
In spite of all my love, you will arise
Upon that day and wander down the air
Obscurely as the unattended flower,
It mattering not how beautiful you were,
Or how belovèd above all else that dies.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby MJM » 20 March 2021, 01:21

In days of old when Knights were bold
And toilets weren't invented.
You left your load upon the road
and walked away contented.

Author Unknown.
I know you are but what am I ?
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 23 March 2021, 03:22

I did warn that I’d be bumping this thread up fairly consistently! Don’t hate me please :P

I’ve certainly a similar wound to the one here described by (guess who??) Millay. It’s not pleasant and hasn’t healed in the years it’s been with me. At this point I can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like if my wounds were to be healed.

Here is a wound that never will heal, I know
Being wrought not of a dearness and a death
But of a love turned ashes and the breath
Gone out of beauty; never again will grow
The grass on that scarred acre, though I sow
Young seed there yearly and the sky bequeath
Its friendly weathers down, far underneath
Shall be such bitterness of an old woe.

That April should be shattered by a gust,
That August should be leveled by a rain,
I can endure, and that the lifted dust
Of man should settle to the earth again;
But that a dream can die, will be a thrust
Between my ribs forever of hot pain.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby Raynethemagi » 23 March 2021, 07:59

McTaggartfan wrote:I did warn that I’d be bumping this thread up fairly consistently! Don’t hate me please :P

I’ve certainly a similar wound to the one here described by (guess who??) Millay. It’s not pleasant and hasn’t healed in the years it’s been with me. At this point I can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like if my wounds were to be healed.

Here is a wound that never will heal, I know
Being wrought not of a dearness and a death
But of a love turned ashes and the breath
Gone out of beauty; never again will grow
The grass on that scarred acre, though I sow
Young seed there yearly and the sky bequeath
Its friendly weathers down, far underneath
Shall be such bitterness of an old woe.

That April should be shattered by a gust,
That August should be leveled by a rain,
I can endure, and that the lifted dust
Of man should settle to the earth again;
But that a dream can die, will be a thrust
Between my ribs forever of hot pain.


Awwwwww, I'm sorry. You're right though....some wounds you just can't heal no matter how much you try. And, I've learned that when you heal a wound, there always seems to be another one to take its place. I think that's just part of the human condition....cause no human (at least none that I know) is 100% happy all the time. We can be content, and maybe be happy in spurts, but I've yet to meet someone who is happy all the time 24/7.

You can always talk to me, even just private message me. I don't even have to give advice...I can just be your soundboard. You can just unload your problems and I can just listen. While I can give advice, nothing can compare with getting help from an actual therapist. I aspire to be one, but I'm not a professional. Cause, in all honesty, my methods are really unconventional when it comes to helping people.

And, I promise that what you tell me will be strictly confidential. I won't tell anyone, even those who are closest to me. On the other hand, I'd understand if you don't really trust me. I just know that some people would rather hear what a 3rd party thinks, someone who doesn't know you personally.

Regardless of what you do, I'm really sorry. I can only hope that things get better.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sunshine warm upon your face,
May the rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Here's an example of the Universe trying to tell you that you need healing in an area of your life:

Someone who struggles with showing emotion. This person, in their lifetime, will constantly struggle with this, and that is because, they choose to ignore or disregard the fact that they have trouble showing emotion. Most people will ignore this issue, and will continue to fracture themselves. And this goes with pretty much any problem that happens in your life that is recurring. Don't pass up an opportunity to make you "whole" again.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby Marmaduke » 27 March 2021, 16:01

Consider this as much of an olive branch as I am willing to offer. 😒

Perseverance
Marin Sorescu

I shall look at the grass
Till I obtain the degree
Of Doctor of Grass.

I shall look at the clouds
Till I become a Master
Of clouds.

I shall walk beside the smoke
Till out of shame
The smoke returns to the flame
Of it’s beginning.

I shall walk beside all things
Till all things
Come to know me
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 27 March 2021, 21:53

Marmaduke wrote:Consider this as much of an olive branch as I am willing to offer. 😒

Perseverance
Marin Sorescu

I shall look at the grass
Till I obtain the degree
Of Doctor of Grass.

I shall look at the clouds
Till I become a Master
Of clouds.

I shall walk beside the smoke
Till out of shame
The smoke returns to the flame
Of it’s beginning.

I shall walk beside all things
Till all things
Come to know me



And a fine olive branch it is! :D
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 27 March 2021, 22:07

I keep coming back to this poem, which reminds me quite a bit of my favorite philosopher, J.M.E. McTaggart. I find that, in some way or other, it produces within me an odd feeling of gentle nostalgia intermixed with hope and, to a degree, sadness. Overall, however, I really do adore it and especially its relevance to the works of McTaggart. In any case, the poem is by William Morris (1834-1896), an English poet, and it is entitled Love is Enough.

Love is enough: though the World be a-waning,
And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining,
Though the sky be too dark for dim eyes to discover
The gold-cups and daises fair blooming thereunder,
Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder
And this day draw a veil over all deeds pass'd over,
Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter;
The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter
These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.


Verily, I could read the last three verses over and over again! And in truth, given how frequently I've been returning to them, I'd imagine that I am soon to memorize these verses in their entirety. Now, in case all of you hadn't noticed already, I find this poem greatly moving and it is something I regard as holding a very special meaning to me, and especially since it reminds me so terribly much of McTaggart. The idea that love (of any sort, frankly, even should it not be romantic) is enough, is such that if I do not already believe it true, is something I'd intensely desire to believe true.

I might post another one or two poems later. I'm giving a bit of forewarning as to this, because I would ask of all of you that you please don't be upset with me if I do share a couple more. I recognize that I bump up this thread quite often, but poetry means much to me and it honestly does aid me in processing my emotions (which is something I'm in stupendous need of these days). Be patient with me, if you would, and forgive me my strange, if not frustrating, ways. And in turn, for your compassionate understanding, I shall stand in your debt and shall be very grateful! :heart:
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 28 March 2021, 01:02

Yet another poem that I find myself returning to tonight. This one, as with the previous poem, evokes a peculiar feeling within me that is a mild satisfaction intermixed with hope and sadness. I've appended, to the bottom of the post, some observations I made as to the content of it (don't hate me please :keke:). This poetic fragment, or portion, was written by Prof. George Santayana and seeing as it has no official name, is simply called "Sonnet XLIV."

For thee the sun doth daily rise, and set
Behind the curtain of the hills of sleep,
And my soul, passing through the nether deep,
Broods on thy love, and never can forget.
For thee the garlands of the wood are wet,
For thee the daisies up the meadow’s sweep
Stir in the sidelong light, and for thee weep
The drooping ferns above the violet.
For thee the labour of my studious ease
I ply with hope, for thee all pleasures please,
Thy sweetness doth the bread of sorrow leaven;
And from thy noble lips and heart of gold
I drink the comfort of the faiths of old,
Any thy perfection is my proof of heaven.

The focus of this poem is not only love, but also the relation of all things to one’s beloved. Here, George Santayana immediately conveys the message that all things exist, and all actions occur, for the sake of his beloved. Thus, in the very first line of the sonnet, Prof. Santayana writes: “For thee the sun doth daily rise […].” Whether he refers to a person or not is not altogether obvious, but this matters very little. Who has not, when there passes over oneself a feeling of overwhelming love, felt as though all the world should belong to one’s beloved? Does it not feel, regardless of whether the loved object is a person or an idea, as though the world itself belongs to the object of one’s love? Does my beloved take pleasure in watching the Moon, and find beauty in the pale glow it casts upon the surface of the Earth? Then I shall get it for her, and the Moon shall be hers! What is important is not whether or not I can actually put the Moon in the possession of my beloved, but, instead, it is only important that I desperately wish I could, and that I feel a keen desire to give to her the Moon. This is the sort of sentiment that Prof. Santayana well expresses in his poem. In the midst of such an emotional experience, even Prof. Santayana’s own work and studies are seen by him to be done for the sake of his beloved: “For thee the labour of my studious ease / I ply with hope, for thee all pleasures please.” Moreover, Prof. Santayana seems very much to indicate his beloved takes on, for him, a similar role to that of God in the life of a religious person: “Any thy perfection is my proof of heaven.” And with this line, he tells his reader that his love for his beloved, and the labors he does for her sake, are akin to a religion and the rituals of that religion, respectively.

That this small elucidation of the poem is correct, is known by examining Douglas Wilson’s excellent paper, Santayana’s Metanoia: The Second Sonnet Sequence. Therein, he writes: “The sonnets are ostensibly about a passion that the poet conceives for a woman. It would perhaps be more accurate to say the poems are about what happens to or what becomes of the passion that the poet conceives for a woman. […] Broadly speaking, the sequence tells of a transformation of the poet’s passion for a woman from a physical and unsatisfying state to a spiritual and completely satisfying one. It records the discovery of the discipline rather than the doctrine of Platonic [or ideal] love. […] It involves the recognition that the physical passion called love is merely the ‘hunger for love,’ a material symptom or manifestation of the imperfection of love, ideally considered. And it also involves the recognition of the affinity of all forms of love—a brother’s, a lover’s, a friend’s, a hermit’s.”
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 28 March 2021, 19:26

Here is A.C. Swinburne's Hymn to Proserpine, which tells of how Julian the Apostate, the last pagan Roman emperor, must have felt at his dying, whilst realizing the futility of his efforts to stop the spread of Christianity and restore the centrality of the old pantheon. Quite a tragedy it is that he failed in his efforts, and a dreadful anguish he must have felt at perceiving the ill doom of his religion. Perhaps I shall be lambasted for saying this, but I've ever believed that Julian was correct in attempting to curtail the growing influence of the Christian faith. It is not Julian who should bear such a judgement-laden title as is "the Apostate," but instead the likes of Theodosius I and Justinian I. These latter two emperors were not deserving of the epithet, "the Great," but should've instead born a hundred ghastly and derisive titles. O how wretched was the day that the Academy was brought low by the edict of Justinian! And how shameful were the events of that century that led to such a tragic end to pagan philosophy! The fall of Greco-Roman paganism, and especially the persecution of pagan philosophy, was altogether worthy of a poem written by a first-rank poet. This poem stands, therefore, as a fitting tribute—one which sympathetically recognizes that these events were a catastrophe of supreme import!

In any case, enough rambling from me! (Thanks for putting up with me, you guys :heart:) Here's the poem:

Vicisti, Galilæe.

I have lived long enough, having seen one thing, that love hath an end;
Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me now and befriend.
Thou art more than the day or the morrow, the seasons that laugh or that weep;
For these give joy and sorrow; but thou, Proserpina, sleep.
Sweet is the treading of wine, and sweet the feet of the dove;
But a goodlier gift is thine than foam of the grapes or love.
Yea, is not even Apollo, with hair and harpstring of gold,
A bitter God to follow, a beautiful God to behold?
I am sick of singing; the bays burn deep and chafe: I am fain
To rest a little from praise and grievous pleasure and pain.
For the Gods we know not of, who give us our daily breath,
We know they are cruel as love or life, and lovely as death.
O Gods dethroned and deceased, cast forth, wiped out in a day!
From your wrath is the world released, redeemed from your chains, men say.
New Gods are crowned in the city; their flowers have broken your rods;
They are merciful, clothed with pity, the young compassionate Gods.
But for me their new device is barren, the days are bare;
Things long past over suffice, and men forgotten that were.
Time and the Gods are at strife; ye dwell in the midst thereof,
Draining a little life from the barren breasts of love.
I say to you, cease, take rest; yea, I say to you all, be at peace,
Till the bitter milk of her breast and the barren bosom shall cease.
Wilt thou yet take all, Galilean? but these thou shalt not take,
The laurel, the palms and the pæan, the breasts of the nymphs in the brake;
Breasts more soft than a dove's, that tremble with tenderer breath;
And all the wings of the Loves, and all the joy before death;
All the feet of the hours that sound as a single lyre,
Dropped and deep in the flowers, with strings that flicker like fire.
More than these wilt thou give, things fairer than all these things?
Nay, for a little we live, and life hath mutable wings.
A little while and we die; shall life not thrive as it may?
For no man under the sky lives twice, outliving his day.
And grief is a grievous thing, and a man hath enough of his tears:
Why should he labour, and bring fresh grief to blacken his years?
Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath;
We have drunken of things Lethean, and fed on the fullness of death.
Laurel is green for a season, and love is sweet for a day;
But love grows bitter with treason, and laurel outlives not May.
Sleep, shall we sleep after all? for the world is not sweet in the end;
For the old faiths loosen and fall, the new years ruin and rend.
Fate is a sea without shore, and the soul is a rock that abides;
But her ears are vexed with the roar and her face with the foam of the tides.
O lips that the live blood faints in, the leavings of racks and rods!
O ghastly glories of saints, dead limbs of gibbeted Gods!
Though all men abase them before you in spirit, and all knees bend,
I kneel not neither adore you, but standing, look to the end.
All delicate days and pleasant, all spirits and sorrows are cast
Far out with the foam of the present that sweeps to the surf of the past:
Where beyond the extreme sea-wall, and between the remote sea-gates,
Waste water washes, and tall ships founder, and deep death waits:
Where, mighty with deepening sides, clad about with the seas as with wings,
And impelled of invisible tides, and fulfilled of unspeakable things,
White-eyed and poisonous-finned, shark-toothed and serpentine-curled,
Rolls, under the whitening wind of the future, the wave of the world.
The depths stand naked in sunder behind it, the storms flee away;
In the hollow before it the thunder is taken and snared as a prey;
In its sides is the north-wind bound; and its salt is of all men's tears;
With light of ruin, and sound of changes, and pulse of years:
With travail of day after day, and with trouble of hour upon hour;
And bitter as blood is the spray; and the crests are as fangs that devour:
And its vapour and storm of its steam as the sighing of spirits to be;
And its noise as the noise in a dream; and its depth as the roots of the sea:
And the height of its heads as the height of the utmost stars of the air:
And the ends of the earth at the might thereof tremble, and time is made bare.
Will ye bridle the deep sea with reins, will ye chasten the high sea with rods?
Will ye take her to chain her with chains, who is older than all ye Gods?
All ye as a wind shall go by, as a fire shall ye pass and be past;
Ye are Gods, and behold, ye shall die, and the waves be upon you at last.
In the darkness of time, in the deeps of the years, in the changes of things,
Ye shall sleep as a slain man sleeps, and the world shall forget you for kings.
Though the feet of thine high priests tread where thy lords and our forefathers trod,
Though these that were Gods are dead, and thou being dead art a God,
Though before thee the throned Cytherean be fallen, and hidden her head,
Yet thy kingdom shall pass, Galilean, thy dead shall go down to thee dead.
Of the maiden thy mother men sing as a goddess with grace clad around;
Thou art throned where another was king; where another was queen she is crowned.
Yea, once we had sight of another: but now she is queen, say these.
Not as thine, not as thine was our mother, a blossom of flowering seas,
Clothed round with the world's desire as with raiment, and fair as the foam,
And fleeter than kindled fire, and a goddess, and mother of Rome.
For thine came pale and a maiden, and sister to sorrow; but ours,
Her deep hair heavily laden with odour and colour of flowers,
White rose of the rose-white water, a silver splendour, a flame,
Bent down unto us that besought her, and earth grew sweet with her name.
For thine came weeping, a slave among slaves, and rejected; but she
Came flushed from the full-flushed wave, and imperial, her foot on the sea.
And the wonderful waters knew her, the winds and the viewless ways,
And the roses grew rosier, and bluer the sea-blue stream of the bays.
Ye are fallen, our lords, by what token? we wise that ye should not fall.
Ye were all so fair that are broken; and one more fair than ye all.
But I turn to her still, having seen she shall surely abide in the end;
Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me now and befriend.
O daughter of earth, of my mother, her crown and blossom of birth,
I am also, I also, thy brother; I go as I came unto earth.
In the night where thine eyes are as moons are in heaven, the night where thou art,
Where the silence is more than all tunes, where sleep overflows from the heart,
Where the poppies are sweet as the rose in our world, and the red rose is white,
And the wind falls faint as it blows with the fume of the flowers of the night,
And the murmur of spirits that sleep in the shadow of Gods from afar
Grows dim in thine ears and deep as the deep dim soul of a star,
In the sweet low light of thy face, under heavens untrod by the sun,
Let my soul with their souls find place, and forget what is done and undone.
Thou art more than the Gods who number the days of our temporal breath;
Let these give labour and slumber; but thou, Proserpina, death.
Therefore now at thy feet I abide for a season in silence. I know
I shall die as my fathers died, and sleep as they sleep; even so.
For the glass of the years is brittle wherein we gaze for a span;
A little soul for a little bears up this corpse which is man.
So long I endure, no longer; and laugh not again, neither weep.
For there is no God found stronger than death; and death is a sleep.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 1 April 2021, 22:48

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 22:

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curvèd point,—what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us, that we should not long
Be here contented? Think. In mounting higher,
The angels would press on us and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
Rather on earth, Belovèd,—where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 2 April 2021, 04:26

Given some of the rejection, and consequent sadness I feel today, posting Edna St. Vincent Millay's A Dirge Without Music seems appropriate to me. For, after all, in the face of losing a relationship I greatly valued and appreciated, and one which brought me so very much satisfaction and joy, I am trying my best not to be resigned.

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 3 April 2021, 05:43

Though I also feel a bit broken today, more than anything I feel incredibly small and insignificant. Hence, given this much, I feel my sharing the below is rather fitting. The poem was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) and is entitled, Nature.

As a fond mother, when the day is o'er,
Leads by the hand her little child to bed,
Half willing, half reluctant to be led,
And leave his broken playthings on the floor,
Still gazing at them through the open door,
Nor wholly reassured and comforted
By promises of others in their stead,
Which, though more splendid, may not please him more;
So Nature deals with us, and takes away
Our playthings one by one, and by the hand
Leads us to rest so gently, that we go
Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,
Being too full of sleep to understand
How far the unknown transcends the what we know.


Sorry for posting all the time. I know I'm rather frustrating and pathetic sometimes.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 3 April 2021, 22:31

A wicked despot, indeed, is curs'd Pain. Would that, by some chance favor from the Divine, I should be unshackled from the rack and set loose to live once more. Below is a poem, entitled Pain: Composed in Sickness, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834).

Once could the Morn’s first beams, the healthful breeze,
All Nature charm, and gay was every hour: —
But ah! not Music’s self, nor fragrant bower
Can glad the trembling sense of wan Disease.
Now that the frequent pangs my frame assail,
Now that my sleepless eyes are sunk and dim,
And seas of Pain seem waving through each limb —
Ah what can all Life’s gilded scenes avail?
I view the crowd, whom Youth and Health inspire,
Hear the loud laugh, and catch the sportive lay,
Then sigh and think — I too could laugh and play
And gaily sport it on the Muse’s lyre,
Ere Tyrant Pain had chas’d away delight,
Ere the wild pulse throbb’d anguish thro’ the night!
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 4 April 2021, 03:18

Another great poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge; this one is entitled, Human Life: On the Denial of Immortality.

If dead, we cease to be; if total gloom
Swallow up life's brief flash for aye, we fare
As summer-gusts, of sudden birth and doom,
Whose sound and motion not alone declare,
But are their whole of being! If the breath
Be Life itself, and not its task and tent,
If even a soul like Milton's can know death;
O Man! thou vessel purposeless, unmeant,
Yet drone-hive strange of phantom purposes!
Surplus of Nature's dread activity,
Which, as she gazed on some nigh-finished vase,
Retreating slow, with meditative pause,
She formed with restless hands unconsciously.
Blank accident! nothing's anomaly!
If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state,
Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy hopes, thy fears,
The counter-weights! — Thy laughter and thy tears
Mean but themselves, each fittest to create
And to repay the other! Why rejoices
Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow good?
Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner's hood?
Why waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting voices,
Image of Image, Ghost of Ghostly Elf,
That such a thing as thou feel'st warm or cold?
Yet what and whence thy gain, if thou withhold
These costless shadows of thy shadowy self?
Be sad! be glad! be neither! seek, or shun!
Thou hast no reason why! Thou canst have none;
Thy being's being is contradiction.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 4 April 2021, 03:36

I just saw a rather old post on here that someone wrote; it made me a bit sad, as well as disappointed, but it also reminded me of this poem, which I find I keep returning to every so often. Below is A.C. Swinburne's The Oblation :heart:

Ask nothing more of me, sweet;
All I can give you I give.
Heart of my heart, were it more,
More would be laid at your feet—
Love that should help you to live,
Song that should spur you to soar.

All things were nothing to give,
Once to have sense of you more,
Touch you and taste of you, sweet,
Think you and breathe you and live,
Swept of your wings as they soar,
Trodden by chance of your feet.

I that have love and no more
Give you but love of you, sweet.
He that hath more, let him give;
He that hath wings, let him soar;
Mine is the heart at your feet
Here, that must love you to live.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 4 April 2021, 23:03

Quite lovely, though a tad dark and certainly exhibiting the forlorn sadness of one whose love is not reciprocated. But even so, it shows the lengths we will go to for those whom we love, even should it be that they no longer love us—or perhaps should it be that they love us not, despite our most aggrieved pining. The following is Lord Byron's poem, Love and Death.


I.

I watched thee when the foe was at our side,
⁠Ready to strike at him—or thee and me.
Were safety hopeless—rather than divide
⁠Aught with one loved save love and liberty:


II.

I watched thee on the breakers, when the rock
⁠Received our prow and all was storm and fear,
And bade thee cling to me through every shock;
⁠This arm would be thy bark, or breast thy bier.


III.

I watched thee when the fever glazed thine eyes,
⁠Yielding my couch and stretched me on the ground,
When overworn with watching, ne'er to rise
⁠From thence if thou an early grave hadst found.


IV.

The earthquake came, and rocked the quivering wall,
⁠And men and nature reeled as if with wine.
Whom did I seek around the tottering hall?
⁠For thee. Whose safety first provide for? Thine.


V.

And when convulsive throes denied my breath
⁠The faintest utterance to my fading thought,
To thee—to thee—e'en in the gasp of death
⁠My spirit turned, oh! oftener than it ought.


VI.

Thus much and more; and yet thou lov'st me not,
⁠And never wilt! Love dwells not in our will.
Nor can I blame thee, though it be my lot
⁠To strongly, wrongly, vainly love thee still.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 5 April 2021, 22:07

Not particularly beautiful, but it is surely to some degree consoling (at least to me). Below is Henry Scott-Holland's poem, Death is Nothing at All.

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
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