Poem of the Moment

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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 30 November 2021, 03:29

I Am! —by John Clare

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 9 January 2022, 18:50

I realize I've already posted this poem before, but seeing as it is one of my absolute favorites I've decided to post it again.

The Oblation —by A.C. Swinburne

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 » 11 January 2022, 08:48

Prothalamion —by Edmund Spenser

Calm was the day, and through the trembling air
Sweet breathing Zephyrus did softly play,
A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay
Hot Titan's beams, which then did glister fair;
When I whose sullen care,
Through discontent of my long fruitless stay
In prince's court, and expectation vain
Of idle hopes, which still do fly away
Like empty shadows, did afflict my brain,
Walked forth to ease my pain
Along the shore of silver streaming Thames,
Whose rutty bank, the which his river hems,
Was painted all with variable flowers,
And all the meads adorned with dainty gems,
Fit to deck maidens' bowers,
And crown their paramours,
Against the bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

There, in a meadow, by the river's side,
A flock of nymphs I chanced to espy,
All lovely daughters of the flood thereby,
With goodly greenish locks, all loose untied,
As each had been a bride;
And each one had a little wicker basket,
Made of fine twigs, entrailed curiously,
In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket,
And with fine fingers cropt full featously
The tender stalks on high.
Of every sort, which in that meadow grew,
They gathered some; the violet pallid blue,
The little daisy, that at evening closes,
The virgin lily, and the primrose true,
With store of vermeil roses,
To deck their bridegrooms' posies
Against the bridal day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

With that, I saw two swans of goodly hue
Come softly swimming down along the Lee;
Two fairer birds I yet did never see.
The snow which doth the top of Pindus strew,
Did never whiter shew,
Nor Jove himself, when he a swan would be
For love of Leda, whiter did appear:
Yet Leda was they say as white as he,
Yet not so white as these, nor nothing near.
So purely white they were,
That even the gentle stream, the which them bare,
Seemed foul to them, and bade his billows spare
To wet their silken feathers, lest they might
Soil their fair plumes with water not so fair,
And mar their beauties bright,
That shone as heaven's light,
Against their bridal day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

Eftsoons the nymphs, which now had flowers their fill,
Ran all in haste, to see that silver brood,
As they came floating on the crystal flood.
Whom when they saw, they stood amazed still,
Their wondering eyes to fill.
Them seemed they never saw a sight so fair,
Of fowls so lovely, that they sure did deem
Them heavenly born, or to be that same pair
Which through the sky draw Venus' silver team;
For sure they did not seem
To be begot of any earthly seed,
But rather angels, or of angels' breed:
Yet were they bred of Somers-heat they say,
In sweetest season, when each flower and weed
The earth did fresh array,
So fresh they seemed as day,
Even as their bridal day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

Then forth they all out of their baskets drew
Great store of flowers, the honour of the field,
That to the sense did fragrant odours yield,
All which upon those goodly birds they threw,
And all the waves did strew,
That like old Peneus' waters they did seem,
When down along by pleasant Tempe's shore,
Scattered with flowers, through Thessaly they stream,
That they appear through lilies' plenteous store,
Like a bride's chamber floor.
Two of those nymphs meanwhile, two garlands bound,
Of freshest flowers which in that mead they found,
The which presenting all in trim array,
Their snowy foreheads therewithal they crowned,
Whilst one did sing this lay,
Prepared against that day,
Against their bridal day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

'Ye gentle birds, the world's fair ornament,
And heaven's glory, whom this happy hour
Doth lead unto your lovers' blissful bower,
Joy may you have and gentle heart's content
Of your love's complement:
And let fair Venus, that is queen of love,
With her heart-quelling son upon you smile,
Whose smile, they say, hath virtue to remove
All love's dislike, and friendship's faulty guile
For ever to assoil.
Let endless peace your steadfast hearts accord,
And blessed plenty wait upon your board,
And let your bed with pleasures chaste abound,
That fruitful issue may to you afford,
Which may your foes confound,
And make your joys redound
Upon your bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.'

So ended she; and all the rest around
To her redoubled that her undersong,
Which said their bridal day should not be long.
And gentle echo from the neighbour ground
Their accents did resound.
So forth those joyous birds did pass along,
Adown the Lee, that to them murmured low,
As he would speak, but that he lacked a tongue,
Yet did by signs his glad affection show,
Making his stream run slow.
And all the fowl which in his flood did dwell
Gan flock about these twain, that did excel
The rest so far as Cynthia doth shend
The lesser stars. So they, enranged well,
Did on those two attend,
And their best service lend,
Against their wedding day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

At length they all to merry London came,
To merry London, my most kindly nurse,
That to me gave this life's first native source;
Though from another place I take my name,
An house of ancient fame.
There when they came, whereas those bricky towers,
The which on Thames' broad aged back do ride,
Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers
There whilom wont the Templar Knights to bide,
Till they decayed through pride:
Next whereunto there stands a stately place,
Where oft I gained gifts and goodly grace
Of that great lord, which therein wont to dwell,
Whose want too well now feels my friendless case.
But ah, here fits not well
Old woes but joys to tell
Against the bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer,
Great England's glory, and the world's wide wonder,
Whose dreadful name late through all Spain did thunder,
And Hercules' two pillars standing near
Did make to quake and fear:
Fair branch of honour, flower of chivalry,
That fillest England with thy triumph's fame,
Joy have thou of thy noble victory,
And endless happiness of thine own name
That promiseth the same:
That through thy prowess and victorious arms,
Thy country may be freed from foreign harms;
And great Elisa's glorious name may ring
Through all the world, filled with thy wide alarms,
Which some brave Muse may sing
To ages following,
Upon the bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

From those high towers this noble lord issuing,
Like radiant Hesper when his golden hair
In th'Ocean billows he hath bathed fair,
Descended to the river's open viewing,
With a great train ensuing.
Above the rest were goodly to be seen
Two gentle knights of lovely face and feature
Beseeming well the bower of any queen,
With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature,
Fit for so goodly stature;
That like the twins of Jove they seemed in sight,
Which deck the baldric of the heavens bright.
They two forth pacing to the river's side,
Received those two fair birds, their love's delight;
Which, at th' appointed tide,
Each one did make his bride
Against their bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 14 January 2022, 13:01

What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, And Where, and Why —by Edna St. Vincent Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 15 January 2022, 03:22

Love Lives Beyond the Tomb —by John Clare

Love lives beyond
The tomb, the earth, which fades like dew—
I love the fond,
The faithful, and the true

Love lives in sleep,
'Tis happiness of healthy dreams
Eve’s dews may weep,
But love delightful seems.

'Tis seen in flowers,
And in the even's pearly dew
On earth's green hours,
And in the heaven's eternal blue.

‘Tis heard in spring
When light and sunbeams, warm and kind,
On angels’ wing
Bring love and music to the wind.

And where is voice,
So young, so beautiful and sweet
As nature’s choice,
Where Spring and lovers meet?

Love lives beyond
The tomb, the earth, the flowers, and dew.
I love the fond,
The faithful, young and true.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 17 January 2022, 08:00

Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth —by Arthur Hugh Clough

Say not the struggle naught availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 17 January 2022, 08:21

An English translation of the poem, which was originally written in French.

In Muted Tone —by Paul Verlaine

Gently, let us steep our love
In the silence deep, as thus,
Branches arching high above
Twine their shadows over us.

Let us blend our souls as one,
Hearts’ and senses’ ecstasies,
Evergreen, in unison
With the pines’ vague lethargies.

Dim your eyes and, heart at rest,
Freed from all futile endeavor,
Arms crossed on your slumbering breast,
Banish vain desire forever.

Let us yield then, you and I,
To the waftings, calm and sweet,
As their breeze-blown lullaby
Sways the gold grass at your feet.

And, when night begins to fall
From the black oaks, darkening,
In the nightingale’s soft call
Our despair will, solemn, sing.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 17 January 2022, 08:27

To Wordsworth —by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

Thine is a strain to read among the hills,
The old and full of voices — by the source
Of some free stream, whose gladdening presence fills
The solitude with sound; for in its course
Even such is thy deep song, that seems a part
Of those high scenes, a fountain from the heart.

Or its calm spirit fitly may be taken
To the still breast in sunny garden bowers,
Where vernal winds each tree’s low tones awaken,
And bud and bell with changes mark the hours.
There let thy thoughts be with me, while the day
Sinks with a golden and serene decay.

Or by some hearth where happy faces meet,
When night hath hushed the woods, with all their birds,
There, from some gentle voice, that lay were sweet
As antique music, linked with household words;
While in pleased murmurs woman’s lip might move,
And the raised eye of childhood shine in love.

Or where the shadows of dark solemn yews
Brood silently o’er some lone burial-ground,
Thy verse hath power that brightly might diffuse
A breath, a kindling, as of spring, around;
From its own glow of hope and courage high,
And steadfast faith’s victorious constancy.

True bard and holy! — thou art e’en as one
Who, by some secret gift of soul or eye,
In every spot beneath the smiling sun,
Sees where the springs of living waters lie;
Unseen awhile they sleep — till, touched by thee,
Bright healthful waves flow forth, to each glad wanderer free.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 18 January 2022, 08:27

We are Seven —by William Wordsworth

—A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
—Her beauty made me glad.

“Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?”
“How many? Seven in all,” she said,
And wondering looked at me.

“And where are they? I pray you tell.”
She answered, “Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother.”

“You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be.”

Then did the little Maid reply,
“Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree.”

“You run about, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five.”

“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”
The little Maid replied,
“Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door,
And they are side by side.

“My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.

“And often after sun-set, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

“The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

“So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

“And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.”

“How many are you, then,” said I,
“If they two are in heaven?”
Quick was the little Maid’s reply,
“O Master! we are seven.”

“But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!”
’Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, “Nay, we are seven!”
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 6 February 2022, 10:03

Love's Gleaning Tide —by William Morris

Draw not away thy hands, my love,
With wind alone the branches move,
And though the leaves be scant above
The Autumn shall not shame us.

Say; Let the world wax cold and drear,
What is the worst of all the year
But life, and what can hurt us, dear,
Or death, and who shall blame us?

Ah, when the summer comes again
How shall we say, we sowed in vain?
The root was joy, the stem was pain
The ear a nameless blending.

The root is dead and gone, my love,
The stem's a rod our truth to prove;
The ear is stored for nought to move
Till heaven and earth have ending.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 18 March 2022, 18:39

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hear what British Merlin sung,
Of keenest eye and truest tongue.
Say not, the chiefs who first arrive
Usurp the seats for which all strive;
The forefathers this land who found
Failed to plant the vantage-ground;
Ever from one who comes to-morrow
Men wait their good and truth to borrow.
But wilt thou measure all thy road,
See thou lift the lightest load.
Who has little, to him who has less, can spare,
And thou, Cyndyllan's son! beware
Ponderous gold and stuffs to bear,
To falter ere thou thy task fulfil, —
Only the light-armed climb the hill.
The richest of all lords is Use,
And ruddy Health the loftiest Muse.
Live in the sunshine, swim the sea,
Drink the wild air's salubrity:
Where the star Canope shines in May,
Shepherds are thankful, and nations gay.
The music that can deepest reach,
And cure all ill, is cordial speech:

Mask thy wisdom with delight,
Toy with the bow, yet hit the white.
Of all wit's uses, the main one
Is to live well with who has none.
Cleave to thine acre; the round year
Will fetch all fruits and virtues here:
Fool and foe may harmless roam,
Loved and lovers bide at home.
A day for toil, an hour for sport,
But for a friend is life too short.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 22 March 2022, 13:49

A Reminiscence —by Anne Brontë

Yes, thou art gone and never more
Thy sunny smile shall gladden me;
But I may pass the old church door
And pace the floor that covers thee;

May stand upon the cold, damp stone,
And think that frozen lies below
The lightest heart that I have known,
The kindest I shall ever know.

Yet, though I cannot see thee more
'Tis still a comfort to have seen,
And though thy transient life is o'er
'Tis sweet to think that thou hast been;

To think a soul so near divine,
Within a form so angel fair
United to a heart like thine
Has gladdened once our humble sphere.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 22 March 2022, 22:41

I'm pretty sure I've posted this one before, but I'm not in the fucking mood to care any more. It's a good fucking poem, so take it or leave it.

Time Does Not Bring Relief; you all have lied —by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 23 March 2022, 02:01

Weep Not Too Much —by Anne Brontë

Weep not too much, my darling;
Sigh not too oft for me;
Say not the face of Nature
Has lost its charm for thee.
I have enough of anguish
In my own breast alone;
Thou canst not ease the burden, Love,
By adding still thine own.
I know the faith and fervour
Of that true heart of thine;
But I would have it hopeful
As thou wouldst render mine.
At night, when I lie waking,
More soothing it will be
To say ‘She slumbers calmly now,’
Than say ‘She weeps for me.’

When through the prison grating
The holy moonbeams shine,
And I am wildly longing
To see the orb divine
Not crossed, deformed, and sullied
By those relentless bars
That will not show the crescent moon,
And scarce the twinkling stars,

It is my only comfort
To think, that unto thee
The sight is not forbidden —
The face of heaven is free.
If I could think Zerona
Is gazing upward now —
Is gazing with a tearless eye
A calm unruffled brow;

That moon upon her spirit
Sheds sweet, celestial balm, —
The thought, like Angel’s whisper,
My misery would calm.
And when, at early morning,
A faint flush comes to me,
Reflected from those glowing skies
I almost weep to see;

Or when I catch the murmur
Of gently swaying trees,
Or hear the louder swelling
Of the soul-inspiring breeze,
And pant to feel its freshness
Upon my burning brow,
Or sigh to see the twinkling leaf,
And watch the waving bough;

If, from these fruitless yearnings
Thou wouldst deliver me,
Say that the charms of Nature
Are lovely still to thee;
While I am thus repining,
O! let me but believe,
‘These pleasures are not lost to her,’
And I will cease to grieve.

O, scorn not Nature’s bounties!
My soul partakes with thee.
Drink bliss from all her fountains,
Drink for thyself and me!
Say not, ‘My soul is buried
In dungeon gloom with thine;’
But say, ‘His heart is here with me;
His spirit drinks with mine.’
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 25 March 2022, 02:40

Caissa —by Sir William Jones

Of armies on the chequer'd field array'd,
And guiltless war in pleasing form display'd;
When two bold kings contend with vain alarms,
In ivory this, and that in ebon arms;
Sing, sportive maids, that haunt the sacred hill
Of Pindus, and the fam'd Pierian rill.
Thou, joy of all below, and all above,
Mild Venus, queen of laughter, queen of love;
Leave thy bright island, where on many a rose
And many a pink thy blooming train repose:
Assist me, goddess! since a lovely pair
Command my song, like thee devinely fair.
Near yon cool stream, whose living waters play,
And rise translucent in the solar ray;
Beneath the covert of a fragrant bower,
Where spring's nymphs reclin'd in calm retreat,
And envying blossoms crouded round their seat;
Here Delia was enthron'd, and by her side
The sweet Sirena, both in beauty's pride:
Thus shine two roses, fresh with early bloom,
That from their native stalk dispense perfume;
Their leaves unfolding to the dawning day
Gems of the glowing mead, and eyes of May.
A band of youths and damsels sat around,
Their flowing locks with braided myrtle bound;
Agatis, in the graceful dance admir'd,
And gentle Thyrsis, by the muse inspir'd;
With Sylvia, fairest of the mirthful train;
And Daphnis, doom'd to love, yet love in vain.
Now, whilst a purer blush o'erspreads her cheeks,
With soothing accents thus Sirena speaks:
"The meads and lawns are ting'd with beamy light,
And wakeful larks begin their vocal flight;
Whilst on each bank the dewdrops sweetly smile;
What sport, my Delia, shall the hours beguile?
Whall heavenly notes, prolong'd with various art,
Charm the fond ear, and warm the rapturous heart?
At distance shall we view the sylvan chace?
Or catch with silken lines the finny race?"
Then Delia thus: "Or rather, since we meet
By chance assembled in this cool retreat,
In artful contest let our warlike train
Move well-directed o'er the field preside:
No prize we need, our ardour to inflame;
We fight with pleasure, if we fight for fame."
The nymph consents: the maids and youths prepare
To view the combat, and the sport to share:
But Daphnis most approv'd the bold design,
Whom Love instructed, and the tuneful Nine.
He rose, and on the cedar table plac'd
A polish'd board, with differing colours grac'd;
Squares eight times eight in equal order lie;
These bright as snow, those dark with sable dye;
Like the broad target by the tortoise born,
Or like the hide by spotted panthers worn.
Then from a chest, with harmless heroes stor'd,
O'er the smooth plain two well-wrought hosts he pour'd;
The champions burn'd their rivals to assail,
Twice eight in black, twice eight in milkwhite mail;
In shape and station different, as in name,
Their motions various, not their power the same.
Say, muse! (for Jove has nought from thee conceal'd)
Who form'd the legions on the level field?
High in the midst the reverend kings appear,
And o'er the rest their pearly scepters rear:
One solemn step, majestically slow,
They gravely move, and shun the dangerous foe;
If e'er they call, the watchful subjects spring,
And die with rapture if they save their king;
On him the glory of the day depends,
He once imprison'd, all the conflict ends.
The queens exulting near their consorts stand;
Each bears a deadly falchion in her hand;
Now here, now there, they bound with furious pride,
And thin the trmbling ranks from side to side;
Swift as Camilla flying o'er the main,
Or lightly skimming o'er the dewy plain:
Fierce as they seem, some bold Plebeian spear
May pierce their shield, or stop their full career.
The valiant guards, their minds on havock bent,
Fill the next squares, and watch the royal tent;
Tho' weak their spears, tho' dwarfish be their height,
Compact they move, the bulwark of the fight,
To right and left the martial wings display
Their shining arms, and stand in close array.
Behold, four archers, eager to advance,
Send the light reed, and rush with sidelong glance;
Through angles ever they assault the foes,
True to the colour, which at first they chose.
Then four bold knights for courage-fam'd and speed,
Each knight exalted on a prancing steed:
Their arching course no vulgar limit knows,
Tranverse they leap, and aim insidious blows:
Nor friends, nor foes, their rapid force restrain,
By on quick bound two changing squares they gain;
From varing hues renew the fierce attack,
And rush from black to white, from white to black.
Four solemn elephants the sides defend;
Benearth the load of ponderous towers they bend:
In on unalter'd line they tempt the fight;
Now crush the left, and now o'erwhelm the right.
Bright in the front the dauntless soldiers raise
Their polish'd spears; their steely helmets blaze:
Prepar'd they stand the daring foe to strike,
Direct their progress, but their wounds oblique.
Now swell th' embattled troups with hostile rage,
And clang their shields, impatient to engage;
When Daphnis thus: A varied plain behold,
Where fairy kings their mimick tents unfold,
As Oberon, and Mab, his wayward queen,
Lead forth their armies on the daisied green.
No mortal hand the wond'rous sport contriv'd,
By gods invents, and from gods deriv'd;
From them the British nymphs receiv'd the game,
And play ech morn beneath the crystal Thame;
Hear then the tale, which they to Colin sung,
As idling o'er the lucid wave he hung.
A lovely dryad rang'd the Thracian wild,
Her air enchanting, and her aspect mild:
To chase the bounding hart was all her joy,
Averse from Hymen, and the Cyprian boy;
O'er hills an valleys was her beauty fam'd,
And fair Caissa was the damsel nam'd.
Mars saw the maid; with deep surprize he gaz'd,
Admir'd her shape, and every gesture prais'd:
His golden bow the child of Venus bent,
And through his breast a piecing arrow sent.
The reed was hope; the feathers, keen desire;
The point, her eyes; the barbs, ethereal fire.
Soon to the nymph he pour'd his tender strain;
The haughtly dryad scorn'd his amorous pain:
He told his woes, where'er the maid he found,
And still he press'd, yet still Caissa frown'd;
But ev'n her frowns (ah, what might smiles have done!)
Fir'd all his soul, and all his senses won.
He left his car, by raging tigers drawn,
And lonely wander'd o'er the dusky lawn;
Then lay desponding near a murmuring stream,
And fair Caissa was his plaintive theme.
A naiad heard him from her mossy bed,
And through the crystal rais'd her placid head;
Then mildly spake: "O thou, whom love inspires,
Thy tears will nourish, not allay thy fires.
The smiling blossoms drink the pearly dew;
And ripening fruit the feather'd race pursue;
The scaly shoals devour the silken weeds;
Love on our sighs, and on our sorrow feeds.
Then weep no more; but, ere thou canst obtain
Balm to thy wounds, and solace to thy pain,
With gentle art thy martial look beguile;
Be mild, and teach thy rugged brow to smile.
Canst thou no play, no soothing game devise;
To make thee lovely in the damsel's eyes?
So may thy prayers assuage the scornful dame,
And ev'n Caissa own a mutual frame."
Kind nymph, said Mars, thy counsel I approve;
Art, only art, her ruthless breast can move.
but when? or how? They dark discourse explain:
So may thy stream ne'er swell with gushing rain;
So may thy waves in one pure current flow,
And flowers eternal on thy border blow!"
To whom the maid replied with smiling mien:
"Above the palace of the Paphian queen
Love's brother dwells, a boy of graceful port,
By gods nam'd Euphron, and by mortals Sport:
Seek him; to faithful ears unfold thy grief,
And hope, ere morn return, a sweet relief.
His temple hangs below the azure skies;
Seest thou yon argent cloud? 'Tis there it lies."
This said, she sunk beneath the liquid plain,
And sought the mansion of her blue-hair'd train.
Meantime the god, elate with heart-felt joy,
Had reach'd the temple of the sportful boy;
He told Caissa's charms, his kindled fire,
The naiad's counsel, and his warm desire.
"Be swift, he added, give my passion aid;
A god requests." - He spake, and Sport obey'd.
He fram'd a tablet of celestial mold,
Inlay'd with squares of silver and of gold;
Then of two metals form'd the warlike band,
That here compact in show of battle stand;
He taught the rules that guide the pensive game,
And call'd it Cassa from the dryad's name:
(Whence Albion's sons, who most its praise confess,
Approv'd the play, and nam'd it thoughtful Chess.)
The god delighted thank'd indulgent Sport;
Then grasp'd the board, and left his airy court.
With radiant feet he pierc'd the clouds; nor stay'd,
Till in the woods he saw the beauteous maid:
Tir'd with the chase the damsel set reclin'd,
Her girdle loose, her bosom unconfin'd.
He took the figure of a wanton faun,
And stood before her on the flowery lawn;
Then show'd his tablet: pleas'd the nymph survey'd
The lifeless troops in glittering ranks display'd;
She ask'd the wily sylvan to explain
The various motions of the splendid train;
With eager heart she caught the winning lore,
And thought ev'n Mars less hateful than before;
"What spell," said she, "deceiv'd my careless mind?
The god was fair, and I was most unkind."
She spoke, and saw the changing faun assume
A milder aspect, and a fairer bloom;
His wreathing horns, that from his temples grew,
Flow'd down in curls of bright celestial hue;
The dappled hairs, that veil'd his loveless face,
Blaz'd into beams, and show'd a heavenly grace;
The shaggy hide, that mantled o'er his breast,
Was soften'd to a smooth transparent vest,
That through its folds his vigorous bosom show'd,
And nervous limbs, where youthful ardour glow'd:
(Had Venus view'd him in those blooming charms,
Not Vulcan's net had forc'd her from his arms.)
With goatlike feet no more he mark'd the ground,
But braided flowers his silken sandals bound.
The dryad blush'd; and, as he press'd her, smil'd,
Whilst all his cares one tender glance beguil'd.
He ends: To arms, the maids and striplings cry;
To arms, the groves and sounding vales reply.
Sirena led to war the swarthy crew,
And Delia those that bore the lily's hue.
Who first, O muse, began the bold attack;
The white refulgent, or the mournful black?
Fair Delia first, as favoring lots ordain,
Moves her pale legions tow'rd the sable train:
From thought to thought her lively fancy flies,
Whilst o'er the board she darts her sparkling eyes.
At length the warrior moves with haughty strides;
Who from the plain the snowy king divides:
With equal haste his swarthy rival bounds;
His quiver rattles, and his buckler sounds:
Ah! hapless youths, with fatal warmth you burn;
Laws, ever fix'd, forbid you to return.
then from the wing a short-liv'd spearman flies,
Unsafely bold, and see! he dies, he dies:
The dark-brow'd hero, with one vengeful blow
Of life and place deprives his ivory foe.
Now rush both armies o'er the burnish'd field,
Hurl the swift dart, and rend the bursting shield.
Here furious knights on fiery coursers prance,
but see! the white-rob'd Amazon beholds
Where the dark host its opening van unfolds:
Soon as her eye discerns the hostile maid,
By ebon shield, and ebon helm betray'd;
Seven squares she passed with majestic mien,
And stands triumphant o'er the falling queen.
Perplex'd, and sorrowing at his consort's fate,
The monarch burn'd with rage, despair, and hate:
Swift from his zone th' avenging blade he drew,
And, mad with ire, the proud virago slew.
Meanwhile sweet smiling Delia's wary king
Retir'd from fight behind the circling wing.
Long time the war in equal balance hung;
Till, unforseen, an ivory courser sprung,
And, wildly prancing in an evil hour,
Attack'd at once the monarch and the tower:
Sirena blush'd; for, as the rules requir'd,
Her injur'd sovereign to his tent retir'd;
Whilst her lost castle leaves his threatening height,
And adds new glory to th' exulting knight.
At this, pale fear oppress'd the drooping maid,
And on her cheek the rose began to fade:
A crystal tear, that stood prepar'd to fall,
She wip'd in silence, and conceal'd from all;
From all but Daphnis; He remark'd her pain,
And saw the weakness of her ebon train;
Then gently spoke: "Let me your loss supply,
And either nobly win, or nobly dir;
Me oft has fortune crown'd with fair success,
And led to triumph in the fields of Chess."
He said: the willing nymph her place resign'd,
And sat at distance on the bank reclin'd.
Thus when Minerva call'd her chief to arms,
And Troy's high turret shook with dire alarms,
The Cyprian goddess wounded left the plain,
And Mars engag'd a mightier force in vain.
Strait Daphnis leads his squadron to the field;
(To Delia's arms 'tis ev'n a joy to yield.)
Each guileful snare, and subtle art he tries,
But finds his heart less powerful than her eyes:
Wisdom and strength superior charms obey;
And beauty, beauty, wins the long-fought day.
By this a hoary chief, on slaughter bent,
Approach'd the gloomy king's unguarded tent;
Where, late, his consort spread dismay around,
Now her dark corse lies bleeding on the ground.
Hail, happy youth! they glories not unsung
Shall live eternal on the poet's tongue;
For thou shalt soon receive a splendid change,
And o'er the plain with nobler fury range.
The swarthy leaders saw the storm impend,
And strove in vain their sovereign to defend:
Th' invader wav'd his silver lance in air,
And flew like lightning to the fatal square;
His limbs dilated in a moment grew
To stately height, and widen'd to the view;
More fierce his look, more lion-like his mien,
Sublime he mov'd, and seem'd a warrior queen.
As when the sage on some unfolding plant
Has caught a wandering fly, or frugal ant,
His hand the microscopic frame applies,
And lo! a bright hair'd monster meets his eyes;
He sees new plumes in slender cases roll'd;
Here stain'd with azure, there bedropp'd with gold;
Thus, on the alter'd chief both armies gaze,
And both the kings are fix'd with deep amaze.
The sword, which arm'd the snow-white maid before,
He noew assumes, and hurls the spear no more;
The springs indignant on the dark-rob'd band,
And knights and archers feel his deadly hand.
Now flies the monarch of the sable shield,
His legions vanquish'd, o'er the lonely field:
So when the morn, by rosy coursers drawn,
With pearls and rubies sows the verdant lawn,
Whilst each pale star from heaven's blue vault retires,
Still Venus gleams, and last of all expires.
He hears, where'er he moves, the dreadful sound;
Check the deep vales, and Check the woods rebound.
No place remains: he sees the certain fate,
And yields his throne to ruin, and Checkmate.
A brighter blush o'erspreads the damsel's cheeks,
And mildly thus the conquer'd stripling speaks:
"A double triumph, Delia, hast thou won,
By Mars protected, and by Venus' son;
The first with conquest crowns thy matchless art,
The second points those eyes at Daphnis' heart."
She smil'd; the nymphs and amorous youths arise,
And own that beauty gain'd the nobler prize.
Low in their chest the mimic troops were lay'd,
And peaceful slept the sable hero's shade.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 31 March 2022, 07:07

Sonnet 73 —William Shakespeare

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 3 April 2022, 07:15

The Loneliness One Dare Not Sound —by Emily Dickinson

The Loneliness One dare not sound—
And would as soon surmise
As in its Grave go plumbing
To ascertain the size—

The Loneliness whose worst alarm
Is lest itself should see—
And perish from before itself
For just a scrutiny—

The Horror not to be surveyed—
But skirted in the Dark—
With Consciousness suspended—
And Being under Lock—

I fear me this—is Loneliness—
The Maker of the soul
Its Caverns and its Corridors
Illuminate—or seal—
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 3 April 2022, 08:41

Kin to Sorrow —by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Am I kin to Sorrow,
That so oft
Falls the knocker of my door—
Neither loud nor soft,
But as long accustomed,
Under Sorrow’s hand?
Marigolds around the step
And rosemary stand,
And then comes Sorrow—
And what does Sorrow care
For the rosemary
Or the marigolds there?
Am I kin to Sorrow?
Are we kin?
That so oft upon my door—
Oh, come in!
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 4 April 2022, 06:47

Jabberwocky —by Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
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Re: Poem of the Moment

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 5 April 2022, 11:21

Roundel —Vera Mary Brittain

Because you died, I shall not rest again,
But wander ever through the lone world wide,
Seeking the shadow of a dream grown vain
Because you died.

I shall spend brief and idle hours beside
The many lesser loves that still remain,
But find in none my triumph and my pride;

And Disillusion's slow corroding stain
Will creep upon each quest but newly tried,
For every striving now shall nothing gain
Because you died.
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