Work – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

WHAT are we set on earth for ? Say, to toil;
Nor seek to leave thy tending of the vines
For all the heat o’ the day, till it declines,
And Death’s mild curfew shall from work assoil.
God did anoint thee with his odorous oil,
To wrestle, not to reign; and He assigns
All thy tears over, like pure crystallines,
For younger fellow-workers of the soil
To wear for amulets. So others shall
Take patience, labor, to their heart and hand
From thy hand and thy heart and thy brave cheer,
And God’s grace fructify through thee to
The least flower with a brimming cup may stand,
And share its dew-drop with another near.

Dream-Love – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Young Love lies sleeping
In May-time of the year,
Among the lilies,
Lapped in the tender light:
White lambs come grazing,
White doves come building there:
And round about him
The May-bushes are white.

Soft moss the pillow
For oh, a softer cheek;
Broad leaves cast shadow
Upon the heavy eyes:
There wind and waters
Grow lulled and scarcely speak;
There twilight lingers
The longest in the skies.

Young Love lies dreaming;
But who shall tell the dream?
A perfect sunlight
On rustling forest tips;
Or perfect moonlight
Upon a rippling stream;
Or perfect silence,
Or song of cherished lips.

Burn odours round him
To fill the drowsy air;
Weave silent dances
Around him to and fro;
For oh, in waking
The sights are no so fair,
And song and silence
Are not like these below.

Young Love lies dreaming
Till summer days are gone, –
Dreaming and drowsing
Away to perfect sleep:
He sees the beauty
Sun hath not looked upon,
And tastes the fountain
Unutterably deep.

Him perfect music
Doth hush unto his rest,
And through the pauses
The perfect silence calms:
Oh, poor the voices
Of earth from east to west,
And poor earth’s stillness
Between her stately palms.

Young Love lies drowsing
Away to poppied death;
Cool shadows deepen
Across the sleeping face:
So fails the summer
With warm delicious breath;
And what hath autumn
To give us in its place?

Draw close the curtains
Of branched evergreen;
Change cannot touch them
With fading fingers sere:
Here first the violets
Perhaps with bud unseen,
And a dove, may be,
Return to nestle here.

Remember – Christina Georgina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Poem – Mystery

Now I am all
One bowl of kisses,
Such as the tall
Slim votaresses
Of Egypt filled
For a God’s excesses.

I lift to you
My bowl of kisses,
And through the temple’s
Blue recesses
Cry out to you
In wild caresses.

And to my lips’
Bright crimson rim
The passion slips,
And down my slim
White body drips
The shining hymn.

And still before
The altar I
Exult the bowl
Brimful, and cry
To you to stoop
And drink, Most High.

Oh drink me up
That I may be
Within your cup
Like a Mystery,
Like wine that is still
In ecstasy.

Glimmering still
In ecstasy,
Commingled wines
Of you and me
In One fulfill,…
The Mystery.

poem – children

A word will fill the little heart
With pleasure and with pride;
It is a harsh, a cruel thing,
That such can be denied.

And yet how many weary hours
Those joyous creatures know;
How much of sorrow and restraint
They to their elders owe!

How much they suffer from our faults!
How much from our mistakes!
How often, too, mistaken zeal
An infant’s misery makes!

We overrule and overteach,
We curb and we confine,
And put the heart to school too soon,
To learn our narrow line.

No: only taught by love to love,
Seems childhood’s natural task;
Affection, gentleness, and hope,
Are all its brief years ask.

poem – the female god

We curl into your eyes-
They drink our files and have never drained :
In the fierce forest of your hair
Our desires beat blindly for their treasure.

In your eyes’ subtle pit,
Far down, glimmer our souls ;
And your hair like massive forest trees
Shadows our pulses, overtired and dumb.

Like a candle lost in an electric glare
Our spirits tread your eyes’ infinities :
In the wrecking waves of your tumultuous locks
Do you not hear the moaning of our pulses ?

Queen ! Goddess! Animal!
In sleep do your dreams battle with our souls ?
When your hair is spread like a lover on the pillow
Do not our jealous pulses wake between ?

You have dethroned the ancient God,
You have usurped his Sabbath, his common days;
Yea, every moment is delivered to you,
Our Temple, our Eternal, our one God !

Our souls have passed into your eyes,
Our days into your hair;
And you, our rose-deaf prison, are very pleased with the world,
Your world.

poem – the one lost

I mingle with your bones:
You steal in subtle noose
This lighted dust .Jehovah loans
And now I lose.

What will the Lender say
When I shall not be found,
Safe-sheltered at the Judgment Day,
Being in you bound ?

he’ll hunt through wards of Heaven,
Call to uncoffined earth
‘Where is this soul, unjudged, not given
Dole for good’s dearth?’

And I, lying so safe
Within you, hearing all,
To have cheated God shall laugh,
Freed by your thrall.

poem – the nun

So thy soul’s meekness shrinks,
Too loth to show her face-
Why should she shun the world ?
It is a holy place.

Concealed to itself
If the flower kept its scent,
Of itself amorous,
Less rich its ornament.

Use-utmost in each kind-
Is beauty, truth in one,
While soul rays light to soul
In one God-linked sun.

poem – a mood

You are so light and gay,
So slight, sweet maid-
Your limbs like leaves in play,
Or beams that grasses braid :
O ! Joys whose jewels pray
My breast to be inlaid.

Frail fairy of the streets ;
Strong, dainty lure;
For all men’s eyes the sweets
Whose lack makes hearts so poor ;
While your heart loveless beats.
Light, laughing, and impure.

O ! Fragrant waft of flesh,
Float through me so-
My limbs are in your mesh,
My blood forgets to flow ;
Ah ! Lilied meadows fresh,
It knows where it would go.

poem – the troop ship

Grotesque and queerly huddled
Contortionists to twist
The sleepy soul to a sleep,
We lie all sorts of ways
And cannot sleep.
The wet wind is so cold,
And the lurching men so careless,
That, should you drop to a doze,
Winds’ fumble or men’s feet
Are on your face.

poem – of any old man

Wreck not the ageing heart of quietness,
With alien uproar and rude jolly cries,
Which satyr like to a mild maidens pride,
Ripens not wisdom, but a large recoil,
Give them their withered peace, their trial grave,
Their old youth’s three-scored shadowy effigy,
Mock them not with your ripened turbulence,
Their frost mailed petulance with your torrid wrath,
While edging your boisterous thunder shivers one word,
Pap to their senile shivering, drug to truth,
The feigned ramparts of bleak ignorance,
Experience – crown of naked majesties,
That tells us nought we know not – but confirms,
Oh think! You reverend shadowy austere,
Your Christ’s youth was not ended when he died.

poem – creation

As the pregnant womb of night
Thrills with imprisoned light,
Misty, nebulous-born,
Growing deeper into her morn,
So man, with no sudden stride,
Bloomed into pride.

In the womb of the All-spirit
The universe lay ; the will
Blind, an atom, lay still.
The pulse of matter
Obeyed in awe
And strove to flatter
The rhythmic law.
But the will grew ; nature feared,
And cast off the child she reared,
Now her rival, instinct-led,
With her own powers impregnated.

Brain and heart, blood-fervid flowers,
Creation is each act of yours.

Your roots are God, the pauseless cause,
But your boughs sway to self windy laws.
Perception is no dreamy birth
And magnifies transfigured earth.

With each new light, our eyes receive
A larger power to perceive.
If we could unveil our eyes,
Become as wise as the All-wise,
No love would be, no mystery :
Love and joy dwell in infinity.
Love begets love ; reaching highest
We find a higher still, unseen
From where we stood to reach the first ;
Moses must die to live in Christ,
The seed be buried to live to green.
Perfection must begin from worst.
Christ perceives a larger reachless love,
More full, and grows to reach thereof.
The green plant yearns for its yellow fruit.
Perfection always is a root,
And joy a motion that cloth feed
Itself on light of its own speed,
And round its radiant circle runs,
Creating and devouring suns.

poem – at night

Crazed shadows, from no golden body
That I can see, embrace me warm ;
All is purple and closed
Round by night’s arm.

A brilliance wings from dark-lit voices,
Wild lost voices of shadows white
See the long houses lean
To the weird flight.

Star amorous things that wake at sleep-time
(Because the sun spreads wide like a tree
With no good fruit for them)
Thrill secrecy.

Pale horses ride before the morning,
The secret roots of the sun to tread,
With hoofs shod with venom
And ageless dread;

To breathe on burning emerald grasses
And opalescent dews of the day,
And poison at the core
What smiles may stray.

poem – spring

I walk and wonder
To hear the birds sing,
Without you my lady
How can there be Spring?
I see the pink blossoms
That slept for a year;
But who could have woke them,
While you were not near?

Birds sing to the blossoms;
Blind, dreaming your pink,
These blush to the songsters,
Your music they think.
So well had you taught them,
To look and to sing;
Your bloom and your music;
The ways of the Spring.

poem – the jew

Moses, from whose loins I sprung,
Lit by a lamp in his blood
Ten immutable rules, a moon
For mutable lampless men.

The blonde, the bronze, the ruddy,
With the same heaving blood,
Keep tide to the moon of Moses.
Then why do they sneer at me?

poem – august 1914

What in our lives is burnt
In the fire of this?
The heart’s dear granary?
The much we shall miss?

Three lives hath one life –
Iron, honey, gold.
The gold, the honey gone –
Left is the hard and cold.

Iron are our lives
Molten right through our youth.
A burnt space through ripe fields
A fair mouth’s broken tooth

Poem – The Seven Sages

The First. My great-grandfather spoke to Edmund Burke
In Grattan’s house.
The Second. My great-grandfather shared
A pot-house bench with Oliver Goldsmith once.
The Third. My great-grandfather’s father talked of music,
Drank tar-water with the Bishop of Cloyne.
The Fourth. But mine saw Stella once.
The Fifth. Whence came our thought?
The Sixth. From four great minds that hated Whiggery.
The Fifth. Burke was a Whig.
The Sixth. Whether they knew or not,
Goldsmith and Burke, Swift and the Bishop of Cloyne
All hated Whiggery; but what is Whiggery?
A levelling, rancorous, rational sort of mind
That never looked out of the eye of a saint
Or out of drunkard’s eye.
The Seventh. All’s Whiggery now,
But we old men are massed against the world.
The First. American colonies, Ireland, France and India
Harried, and Burke’s great melody against it.
The Second. Oliver Goldsmith sang what he had seen,
Roads full of beggars, cattle in the fields,
But never saw the trefoil stained with blood,
The avenging leaf those fields raised up against it.
The Fourth. The tomb of Swift wears it away.
The Third. A voice
Soft as the rustle of a reed from Cloyne
That gathers volume; now a thunder-clap.
The Sixtb. What schooling had these four?
The Seventh. They walked the roads
Mimicking what they heard, as children mimic;
They understood that wisdom comes of beggary.

Poem – Jane And Eliza

There were two little girls, neither handsome nor plain;
One’s name was Eliza, the other’s was Jane:
They were both of one height, as I’ve heard people say,
They were both of one age, I believe, to a day.

‘Twas fancied by some, who but slightly had seen them,
That scarcely a difference was there between them;
But no one for long in this notion persisted,
So great a distinction there really existed.

Eliza knew well that she could not be pleasing,
While fretting and fuming, while sulky or teasing;
And therefore in company artfully tried­
Not to break her bad habits, but only to hide.

So when she was out, with much labour and pain,
She contrived to look almost a pleasant as Jane;
But then you might see, that in forcing a smile,
Her mouth was uneasy, and ached all the while.

And in spite of her care, it would sometimes befall,
That some cross event happen’d to ruin it all;
And because it might chance that her share was the worst,
Her temper broke loose, and her dimples dispersed.

But Jane, who had nothing she wanted to hide,
And therefore these troublesome arts never tried,
Had none of the care and fatigue of concealing,
But her face always show’d what her bosom was feeling.

At home or abroad there was peace in her smile,
A cheerful good nature that needed no guile.
And Eliza work’d hard, but could never obtain
The affection that freely was given to Jane.

Poem – Little Girls Must Not Fret

WHAT is it that makes little Emily cry?
Come then, let mamma wipe the tear from her eye:
There–lay down your head on my bosom–that’s right,
And now tell mamma what’s the matter to-night.

What! Emmy is sleepy, and tired with play?
Come, Betty, make haste then, and fetch her away;
But do not be fretful, my darling; you know
Mamma cannot love little girls that are so.

She shall soon go to bed and forget it all there–
Ah! here’s her sweet smile come again, I declare:
That’s right, for I thought you quite naughty before.
Good night, my dear child, but don’t fret any more.

Poem – Oh Fortune

Oh, Fortune! how thy restlesse wavering state

Hath fraught with cares my troubled witt!

Witnes this present prisonn, whither fate

Could beare me, and the joys I quitt.

Thou causedest the guiltie to be losed

From bandes, wherein are innocents inclosed:

Causing the guiltles to be straite reserved,

And freeing those that death had well deserved.

But by her envie can be nothing wroughte,

So God send to my foes all they have thoughte.
signed – A. D. MDLV.

Elizabethe, Prisonner. 

To a Snowflake – Francis Thompson

What heart could have thought you?

 — Past our devisal 

(O filigree petal!) 

Fashioned so purely, 

Fragilely, surely, 

From what Paradisal 

Imagineless metal, 

Too costly for cost? 

Who hammered you, wrought you, 

From argentine vapor? — 

“God was my shaper. 

Passing surmisal, 

He hammered, He wrought me, 

From curled silver vapor, 

To lust of His mind — 

Thou could’st not have thought me! 

So purely, so palely, 

Tinily, surely, 

Mightily, frailly, 

Insculped and embossed, 

With His hammer of wind, 

And His graver of frost.” 

The Two MP’S – Richard Harris Barham

MAGAZINE PUBLISHER AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT) 
BEING A TRUE AND PARTICULAR ACCOUNT OF THE GRAND MILLING MATCH THAT DIDN’T TAKE PLACE 
SAYS Tom D– to F–r 

T’other morning, ‘I say, Sir, 

You’ve call’d me a Roué, a Dicer, and Racer, 

Now I’d have you to know, Sir, 

Such names are “No Go,” Sir; 

By Jove, Sir, I never knew anything grosser. 
‘And then Madame — 

Extremely distrest is 

At your calling her Lais — she’s more like Thalestris, 

As you’ll find, my fine joker, 

If once you provoke her, 

She’s a d–l if once she gets hold of a poker. 
‘For myself, to be candid, 

And not underhanded, 

I write thus to say I’ll be hang’d if I stand it. 

So give up the name 

Of the man or the dame 

Who has made this infernal attack on my fame, 

And recall what you’ve said of 

A man you’re afraid of, 

Or turn out, my Trump, and let’s see what you’re made of. 
‘I have “barkers” by Nock, Sir, 

With percussion locks, Sir, 

Will give you your gruel — hang me if I box, Sir, 

And I’ve sent my old Pal in, 

My “noble friend Allen,” 

To give you this here, and to stop your caballing!’ 
Then says F–r, says he, 

‘What a spoon you must be, 

Tommy D–, to send this here message to me: 

Why if I was to fight about 

What my friends write about, 

My life I should be in continual fright about! 
‘As to telling you, who 

Wrote that thing about you, 

One word’s worth a thousand — Blow me if I do! 

If you will be so gay, Sir, 

The people will say, Sir, 

That you are a Roué, and I’m 

After Thought – Alfred Lord Tennyson 

I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide,

As being past away. -Vain sympathies!

For backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes,

I see what was, and is, and will abide;

Still glides the Stream, and shall not cease to glide;

The Form remains, the Function never dies;

While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise,

We Men, who in our morn of youth defied

The elements, must vanish; -be it so!

Enough, if something from our hands have power

To live, and act, and serve the future hour;

And if, as toward the silent tomb we go,

Through love, through hope, and faith’s transcendent dower,

We feel that we are greater than we know. 

All Things Will Die – Alfred Lord Tennyson

All Things will Die
Clearly the blue river chimes in its flowing
Under my eye;

Warmly and broadly the south winds are blowing
Over the sky.

One after another the white clouds are fleeting;

Every heart this May morning in joyance is beating
Full merrily;

Yet all things must die.

The stream will cease to flow;

The wind will cease to blow;

The clouds will cease to fleet;

The heart will cease to beat;

For all things must die.

All things must die.

Spring will come never more.

O, vanity!

Death waits at the door.

See! our friends are all forsaking

The wine and the merrymaking.

We are call’d–we must go.

Laid low, very low,

In the dark we must lie.

The merry glees are still;

The voice of the bird

Shall no more be heard,

Nor the wind on the hill.

O, misery!

Hark! death is calling

While I speak to ye,

The jaw is falling,

The red cheek paling,

The strong limbs failing;

Ice with the warm blood mixing;

The eyeballs fixing.

Nine times goes the passing bell:

Ye merry souls, farewell.

The old earth

Had a birth,

As all men know,

Long ago.

And the old earth must die.

So let the warm winds range,

And the blue wave beat the shore;

For even and morn

Ye will never see

Thro’ eternity.

All things were born.

Ye will come never more,

For all things must die. 

The Naulakha – Rudyard Kipling

There was a strife ‘twixt man and maid–

 Oh, that was at the birth of time! 

But what befell ‘twixt man and maid, 

Oh, that’s beyond the grip of rhyme. 

‘Twas “Sweet, I must not bide with you,” 

And, “Love, I cannot bide alone”; 

For both were young and both were true. 

And both were hard as the nether stone. 
Beware the man who’s crossed in love; 

For pent-up steam must find its vent. 

Stand back when he is on the move, 

And lend him all the Continent. 
Your patience, Sirs. The Devil took me up 

To the burned mountain over Sicily 

(Fit place for me) and thence I saw my Earth– 

(Not all Earth’s splendour, ’twas beyond my need–) 

And that one spot I love–all Earth to me, 

And her I love, my Heaven. What said I? 

My love was safe from all the powers of Hell- 

For you–e’en you–acquit her of my guilt– 

But Sula, nestling by our sail–specked sea, 

My city, child of mine, my heart, my home– 

Mine and my pride–evil might visit there! 

It was for Sula and her naked port, 

Prey to the galleys of the Algerine, 

Our city Sula, that I drove my price– 

For love of Sula and for love of her. 

The twain were woven–gold on sackcloth–twined 

Past any sundering till God shall judge 

The evil and the good. 

Now it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan 

brown, 

For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the 

Christian down; 

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of 

the late deceased, 

And the epitaph drear: “A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the 

East.” 
There is pleasure in the wet, wet clay 

When the artist’s hand is potting it. 

There is pleasure in the wet, wet lay — 

When the poet’s pad is blotting it. 

There is pleasure in the shine of your picture on the line 

At the Royal Acade-my; 

But the pleasure felt in these is as chalk to Cheddar cheese 

When it comes to a well-made Lie– 
To a quite unwreckable Lie, 

To a most impeccable Lie! 

To a water-right, fire-proof, angle-iron, sunk-hinge, time-lock, 

steel-faced Lie! 

Not a private handsome Lie, 

But a pair-and-brougham Lie, 

Not a little-place-at-Tooting, but a country-house-with-shooting 

And a ring-fence-deer-park Lie. 
When a lover hies abroad 

Looking for his love, 

Azrael smiling sheathes his sword, 

Heaven smiles above. 

Earth and sea 

His servants be, 

And to lesser compass round, 

That his love be sooner found! 
We meet in an evil land 

That is near to the gates of Hell. 

I wait for thy command 

To serve, to speed or withstand. 

And thou sayest I do not well? 
Oh Love, the flowers so red 

Are only tongues of flame, 

The earth is full of the dead, 

The new-killed, restless dead. 

There is danger beneath and o’erhead, 

And I guard thy gates in fear 

Of words thou canst not hear, 

Of peril and jeopardy, 

Of signs thou canst not see– 

. And thou sayest ’tis ill that I came? 
This I saw when the rites were done, 

And the lamps were dead and the Gods alone, 

And the grey snake coiled on the altar stone– 

Ere I fled from a Fear that I could not see, 

And the Gods of the East made mouths at me. 
Beat off in our last fight were we? 

The greater need to seek the sea. 

For Fortune changeth as the moon 

To caravel and picaroon. 

Then Eastward Ho! or Westward Ho! 

Whichever wind may meetest blow. 

Our quarry sails on either sea, 

Fat prey for such bold lads as we, 

And every sun-dried buccaneer 

Must hand and reef and watch and steer, 

And bear great wrath of sea and sky 

Before the plate-ships wallow by. 

Now, as our tall bows take the foam, 

Let no man turn his heart to home, 

Save to desire plunder more 

And larger warehouse for his store, 

When treasure won from Santos Bay 

Shall make our sea-washed village gay. 
Because I sought it far from men, 

In deserts and alone, 

I found it burning overhead, 

The jewel of a Throne. 
Because I sought–I sought it so 

And spent my days to find– 

It blazed one moment ere it left 

The blacker night behind. 
We be the Gods of the East– 

Older than all– 

Masters of Mourning and Feast– 

How shall we fall? 
Will they gape for the husks that ye proffer 

Or yearn to your song 

And we–have we nothing to offer 

Who ruled them so long– 

In the fume of incense, the clash of the cymbals, the blare of 

the conch and the gong? 

Over the strife of the schools 

Low the day burns– 

Back with the kine from the pools 

Each one returns 

To the life that he knows where the altar-flame glows and the 

tulsi is trimmed in the urns. 

Holy Spring – Dylan Thomas

O

Out of a bed of love

When that immortal hospital made one more moove to soothe

The curless counted body,

And ruin and his causes

Over the barbed and shooting sea assumed an army

And swept into our wounds and houses,

I climb to greet the war in which I have no heart but only

That one dark I owe my light,

Call for confessor and wiser mirror but there is none

To glow after the god stoning night

And I am struck as lonely as a holy marker by the sun
No

Praise that the spring time is all

Gabriel and radiant shrubbery as the morning grows joyful

Out of the woebegone pyre

And the multitude’s sultry tear turns cool on the weeping wall,

My arising prodgidal

Sun the father his quiver full of the infants of pure fire,

But blessed be hail and upheaval

That uncalm still it is sure alone to stand and sing

Alone in the husk of man’s home

And the mother and toppling house of the holy spring,

If only for a last time. 

A Boy Scout’s Patrol Song – Rudyard Kipling

These are our regulations —

There’s just one law for the Scout

And the first and the last, and the present and the past,

And the future and the perfect is “Look out!”

I, thou and he, look out!

We, ye and they, look out!

Though you didn’t or you wouldn’t

Or you hadn’t or you couldn’t;

You jolly well must look out!
Look out, when you start for the day

That your kit is packed to your mind;

There is no use going away 

With half of it left behind.

Look out that your laces are tight,

And your boots are easy and stout,

Or you’ll end with a blister at night.

(Chorus) All Patrols look out!
Look out for the birds of the air,

Look out for the beasts of the field —

They’ll tell you how and where

The other side’s concealed.

When the blackbird bolts from the copse,

Or the cattle are staring about,

The wise commander stops

And (chorus) All Patrols look out!
Look out when your front is clear,

And you feel you are bound to win.

Look out for your flank and your rear —

That’s where surprises begin.

For the rustle that isn’t a rat,

For the splash that isn’t a trout,

For the boulder that may be a hat

(Chorus) All Patrols look out!
For the innocent knee-high grass,

For the ditch that never tells,

Look out! Look out ere you pass —

And look out for everything else!

A sign mis-read as you run

May turn retreat to a rout —

For all things under the sun

(Chorus) All Patrols look out!
Look out when your temper goes

At the end of a losing game;

When your boots are too tight for your toes;

And you answer and argue and blame.

It’s the hardest part of the Low,

But it has to be learnt by the Scout —

For whining and shirking and “jaw”

(Chorus) All Patrols look out! 

A Ballad of Burial – Rudyard Kipling

If down here I chance to die,

Solemnly I beg you take

All that is left of “I”

To the Hills for old sake’s sake,

Pack me very thoroughly

In the ice that used to slake

Pegs I drank when I was dry —

This observe for old sake’s sake.
To the railway station hie,

There a single ticket take

For Umballa — goods-train — I

Shall not mind delay or shake.

I shall rest contentedly

Spite of clamor coolies make;

Thus in state and dignity

Send me up for old sake’s sake.
Next the sleepy Babu wake,

Book a Kalka van “for four.”

Few, I think, will care to make

Journeys with me any more

As they used to do of yore.

I shall need a “special” break —

Thing I never took before —

Get me one for old sake’s sake.
After that — arrangements make.

No hotel will take me in,

And a bullock’s back would break

‘Neath the teak and leaden skin

Tonga ropes are frail and thin,

Or, did I a back-seat take,

In a tonga I might spin, —

Do your best for old sake’s sake.
After that — your work is done.

Recollect a Padre must

Mourn the dear departed one —

Throw the ashes and the dust.

Don’t go down at once. I trust

You will find excuse to “snake

Three days’ casual on the bust.”

Get your fun for old sake’s sake.
I could never stand the Plains.

Think of blazing June and May

Think of those September rains

Yearly till the Judgment Day!

I should never rest in peace,

I should sweat and lie awake.

Rail me then, on my decease,

To the Hills for old sake’s sake. 

Psalm 17 – Isaac Watts

v.13-15 S. M.

Portion of saints and sinners.
Arise, my gracious God,

And make the wicked flee;

They are but thy chastising rod,

To drive thy saints to thee.
Behold, the sinner dies,

His haughty words are vain;

Here in this life his pleasure lies,

And all beyond is pain.
Then let his pride advance,

And boast of all his store;

The Lord is my inheritance,

My soul can wish no more.
I shall behold the face

Of my forgiving God;

And stand complete in righteousness,

Washed in my Savior’s blood.
There’s a new heav’n begun,

When I awake from death,

Dressed in the likeness of thy Son,

And draw immortal breath.

Edmund Spenser

 
Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English language. 
Life 

Edmund Spenser was born in East Smithfield, London around the year 1552 though there is some ambiguity as to the exact date of his birth. As a young boy, he was educated in London at the Merchant Taylors’ School and matriculated as a sizar at Pembroke College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge he became a friend of Gabriel Harvey, and later consulted him, despite their differing views on poetry. 

In July 1580 Spenser went to Ireland, in the service of the newly appointed Lord Deputy, Arthur Grey, 14th Baron Grey de Wilton. Then he served with the English forces during the Second Desmond Rebellion. After the defeat of the native Irish he took lands in County Cork that had been confiscated in the Munster Plantation during the Elizabethan conquest of Ireland. Among his acquaintances in the area was Walter Raleigh, a fellow colonist. 

Through his poetry Spenser hoped to secure a place at court, which he visited in Raleigh’s company to deliver his most famous work, The Faerie Queene. However, he boldly antagonised the queen’s principal secretary, Lord Burghley, and all he received in recognition of his work was a pension in 1591. When it was proposed that he receive payment of 100 pounds for his epic poem, Burghley remarked, “What, all this for a song!” 

In 1596 Spenser wrote a prose pamphlet titled, A View of the Present State of Ireland. This piece remained in manuscript until its publication and print in the mid-seventeenth century. It is probable that it was kept out of print during the author’s lifetime because of its inflammatory content. The pamphlet argued that Ireland would never be totally ‘pacified’ by the English until its indigenous language and customs had been destroyed, if necessary by violence. Spenser recommended scorched earth tactics, such as he had seen used in the Desmond Rebellions, to create famine. Although it has been highly regarded as a polemical piece of prose and valued as a historical source on 16th century Ireland, the View is seen today as genocidal in intent. Spenser did express some praise for the Gaelic poetic tradition, but also used much tendentious and bogus analysis to demonstrate that the Irish were descended from barbarian Scythian stock. 

Two of Ireland’s historians of the early modern period, Ciaran Brady and Nicholas Canny, have differed in their view of Spenser’s View of the State of Ireland. Brady’s essential proposition is that Spenser wished the English government to undertake the extermination of most of the Irish population. He writes that Spenser preferred to write in dialogue form so that the crudity of his proposals would be masked. Canny undermines Brady’s conclusion that Spenser opted for “a holocaust or a “blood-bath”, because despite Brady’s claims Spenser did not choose the sword as his preferred instrument of policy. Canny argues that Spenser instead chose not the extermination of the Irish race but rather a policy of ‘social reform pursued by drastic means’. Canny’s ultimate assertion was that Brady was over-reacting and that Spenser did not propose a policy to exterminate the Irish race. 

However, within one page he moves on to argue that no ‘English writer of the early modern period ever proposed such a drastic programme in social engineering for England, and it was even more dramatic than Brady allows for because all elements of the Irish population including the Old English of the towns, whom Brady seems to think were exempt were subject to some element of this scheme of dispersal, reintegration and re-education’. Here, Canny argues that this policy was more ‘dramatic than Brady allows’, in that Brady’s description was one of ‘bloodshed’, ‘extermination’ and ‘holocaust’ only of the native Irish but Canny’s was one of dispersal, reintegration and re-education of both the native Irish and the settler English. Even though Canny writes that ‘substantial loss of life, including loss of civilian life, was considered by Spenser’, he considers that that falls short of Brady’s conclusion. 

Later on, during the Nine Years War in 1598, Spenser was driven from his home by the native Irish forces of Aodh Ó Néill. His castle at Kilcolman, near Doneraile in North Cork was burned, and it is thought one of his infant children died in the blaze – though local legend has it that his wife also died. He possessed a second holding to the south, at Rennie, on a rock overlooking the river Blackwater in North Cork. The ruins of it are still visible today. A short distance away grew a tree, locally known as “Spenser’s Oak” until it was destroyed in a lightning strike in the 1960s. Local legend has it that he penned some or all of The Faerie Queene under this tree. 

In the year after being driven from his home, Spenser travelled to London, where he died in distressed circumstances (according to legend), aged forty-six. It was arranged for his coffin to be carried by other poets, upon which they threw many pens and pieces of poetry into his grave with many tears. 

The Faerie Queene 

Spenser’s masterpiece is an extensive poem The Faerie Queene. The first three books of The Faerie Queene were published in 1590, and a second set of three books were published in 1596. This extended epic poem deals with the adventures of knights, dragons, ladies in distress, etc. yet it is also an extended allegory about the moral life and what makes for a life of virtue. Spenser originally indicated that he intended the poem to be twelve books long, hence there is some argument about whether the version we have is in any real sense complete. 

Structure of the Spenserian Stanza and Sonnet 

Spenser used a distinctive verse form, called the Spenserian stanza, in several works, including The Faerie Queene. The stanza’s main meter is iambic pentameter with a final line in iambic hexameter (having six feet or stresses, known as an Alexandrine), and the rhyme scheme is ababbcbcc. 

The Spenserian Sonnet is based on a fusion of elements of both the Petrarchan sonnet and the Shakespearean sonnet. It is similar to the Shakespearan sonnet in the sense that its set up is based more on the 3 quatrains and a couplet,a system set up by Shakespeare; however it is more like the Petrarchan tradition in the fact that the conclusion follows from the argument or issue set up in the earlier quatrains. 

There is also a great use of the parody of the blason and the idealisation or praise of the mistress, a literary device used by many poets. It is a way to look at a woman through the appraisal of her features in comparison to other things. In this description, the mistress’s body is described part by part, i.e., much more of a scientific way of seeing one. As William Johnson states in his article “Gender Fashioning and Dynamics of Mutuality in Spenser’s Amoretti,” the poet-love in the scenes of Spenser’s sonnets in Amoretti, is able to see his lover in an objectified manner by moving her to another, or more clearly, an item. The purpose of Spenser doing this is to bring the woman from the “transcendental ideal” to a woman in everyday life. “Through his use of metonymy and metaphor, by describing the lady not as a whole being but as bodily parts, by alluding to centuries of topoi which remove her in time as well as space, the poet transforms the woman into a text, the living ‘other’ into an inanimate object” (503). 

The opposite of this also occurs in The Faerie Queen. The counter-blason, or the opposition of appraisal, is used to describe Duessa. She is not objectified, but instead all of her flaws are highlighted. In this context it should be noted that in Amoretti Spenser actually names his loved one as “Elizabeth” and that he puns humorously and often on her surname “Boyle”. S

The Sick Man And The Nightingale – Amy Levy 

So late, and yet a nightingale? 
Long since have dropp’d the blossoms pale, 

The summer fields are ripening, 

And yet a sound of spring? 
O tell me, didst thou come to hear, 

Sweet Spring, that I should die this year; 

And call’st across from the far shore 

To me one greeting more?

Bitterness – Victoria Sackville West

Yes, they were kind exceedingly; most mild 

Even in indignation, taking by the hand 

One that obeyed them mutely, as a child 

Submissive to a law he does not understand. 
They would not blame the sins his passion wrought. 

No, they were tolerant and Christian, saying, ‘We 

Only deplore …’ saying they only sought 

To help him, strengthen him, to show him love; but he 
Following them with unrecalcitrant tread, 

Quiet, towards their town of kind captivities, 

Having slain rebellion, ever turned his head 

Over his shoulder, seeking still with his poor eyes 
Her motionless figure on the road. The song 

Rang still between them, vibrant bell to answering bell, 

Full of young glory as a bugle; strong; 

Still brave; now breaking like a sea-bird’s cry ‘Farewell!’
And they, they whispered kindly to him ‘Come! 

Now we have rescued you. Let your heart heal. Forget! 

She was your lawless dark familiar.’ Dumb, 

He listened, and they thought him acquiescent. Yet, 
(Knowing the while that they were very kind) 

Remembrance clamoured in him: ‘She was wild and free, 

Magnificent in giving; she was blind 

To gain or loss, and, loving, loved but me,–but me! 
‘Valiant she was, and comradely, and bold; 

High-mettled; all her thoughts a challenge, like gay ships 

Adventurous, with treasure in the hold. 

I met her with the lesson put into my lips, 
‘Spoke reason to her, and she bowed her head, 

Having no argument, and giving up the strife. 

She said I should be free. I think she said 

That, for the asking, she would give me all her life.’ 
And still they led him onwards, and he still 

Looked back towards her standing there; and they, content, 

Cheered him and praised him that he did their will. 

The gradual distance hid them, and she turned, and went.

Poem – The Spider – Ann Taylor

‘OH, look at that great ugly spider!’ said Ann; 

And screaming, she brush’d it away with her fan; 

”Tis a frightful black creature as ever can be, 

I wish that it would not come crawling on me. ‘ 
‘Indeed,’ said her mother, ‘I’ll venture to say, 

The poor thing will try to keep out of your way; 

For after the fright, and the fall, and the pain, 

It has much more occasion than you to complain. 
‘But why should you dread the poor insect, my dear? 

If it hurt you, there’d be some excuse for your fear; 

But its little black legs, as it hurried away, 

Did but tickle your arm, as they went, I dare say. 
‘For them to fear us we must grant to be just, 

Who in less than a moment can tread them to dust; 

But certainly we have no cause for alarm; 

For, were they to try, they could do us no harm. 
‘Now look! it has got to its home; do you see 

What a delicate web it has spun in the tree? 

Why here, my dear Ann, is a lesson for you: 

Come learn from this spider what patience can do! 
‘And when at your business you’re tempted to play, 

Recollect what you see in this insect to-day, 

Or else, to your shame, it may seem to be true, 

That a poor little spider is wiser than you. ‘

Poem – My Love Is Like To Ice – Edmund Spenser

My love is like to ice, and I to fire: 

How comes it then that this her cold so great 

Is not dissolved through my so hot desire, 

But harder grows the more I her entreat? 

Or how comes it that my exceeding heat 

Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold, 

But that I burn much more in boiling sweat, 

And feel my flames augmented manifold? 

What more miraculous thing may be told, 

That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice, 

And ice, which is congeal’s with senseless cold, 

Should kindle fire by wonderful device? 

Such is the power of love in gentle mind, 

That it can alter all the course of kind.

Poem – All Fresh – Francis Thompson  

I do not need the skies’ 

Pomp, when I would be wise; 

For pleasaunce nor to use 

Heaven’s champaign when I muse. 

One grass-blade in its veins 

Wisdom’s whole flood contains; 

Thereon my foundering mind 

Odyssean fate can find. 
O little blade, now vaunt 

Thee, and be arrogant! 

Tell the proud sun that he 

Sweated in shaping thee; 

Night, that she did unvest 

Her mooned and argent breast 

To suckle thee. Heaven fain 
Yearned over thee in rain, 

And with wide parent wing 

Shadowed thee, nested thing, 

Fed thee, and slaved for thy 

Impotent tyranny. 

Nature’s broad thews bent 

Meek for thy content. 

Mastering littleness 

Which the wise heavens confess, 

The frailty which doth draw 

Magnipotence to its law– 

These were, O happy one, these 

Thy laughing puissances! 
Be confident of thought, 

Seeing that thou art naught; 

And be thy pride thou’rt all 

Delectably safe and small. 

Epitomized in thee 

Was the mystery 

Which shakes the spheres conjoint– 

God focussed to a point. 
All thy fine mouths shout 

Scorn upon dull-eyed doubt. 

Impenetrable fool 

Is he thou canst not school 

To the humility 

By which the angels see! 

Unfathomably framed 

Sister, I am not shamed 
Before the cherubin 

To vaunt my flesh thy kin. 

My one hand thine, and one 

Imprisoned in God’s own, 

I am as God; alas, 

And such a god of grass! 

A little root clay-caught, 

A wind, a flame, a thought, 

Inestimably naught!

Poem – Simple Lyric

When I think of her sparkling face 

And of her body that rocked this way and that, 

When I think of her laughter, 

Her jubilance that filled me, 

It’s a wonder I’m not gone mad. 
She is away and I cannot do what I want. 

Other faces pale when I get close. 

She is away and I cannot breathe her in. 
The space her leaving has created 

I have attempted to fill 

With bodies that numbed upon touching, 

Among them I expected her opposite, 

And found only forgeries. 
Her wholeness I know to be a fiction of my making, 

Still I cannot dismiss the longing for her; 

It is a craving for sensation new flesh 

Cannot wholly calm or cancel, 

It is perhaps for more than her. 
At night above the parks the stars are swarming. 

The streets are thick with nostalgia; 

I move through senseless routine and insensitive chatter 

As if her going did not matter. 

She is away and I cannot breathe her in. 

I am ill simply through wanting her.

Poem – First Love

Falling in love was like falling down the stairs Each stair had her name on it 

And he went bouncing down each one like a tongue-tied 

lunatic 

One day of loving her was an ordinary year 

He transformed her into what he wanted 

And the scent from her 

Was the best scent in the world 

Fifteen he was fifteen 

Each night he dreamed of her 

Each day he telephoned her 

Each day was unfamiliar 

Scary even 

And the fear of her going weighed on him like a stone 

And when he could not see her for two nights running 

It seemed a century had passed 

And meeting her and staring at her face 

He knew he would feel as he did forever 

Hopelessly in love 

Sick with it 

And not even knowing her second name yet 

It was the first time 

The best time 

A time that would last forever 

Because it was new 

Because he was ignorant it could ever end 

It was endless

Poem – A Girls Thoughts – Isaac Rosenberg

Dim apprehension of a trust 

Comes over me this quiet hour, 

As though the silence were a flower, 

And this, its perfume, dark like dust. 
My individual self would cling 

Through fear, through pride, unto its fears : 

It strives to shut out what it hears, 

The founts of being murmuring. 
0 ! Need, whose hauntings terrorize; 

Whether my maiden ways would hide, 

Or lose and to that need subside, 

Life shrinks and instinct dreads surprise.
 

Poem – Farewell To London – Alexander Pope

Dear, damn’d distracting town, farewell! 

Thy fools no more I’ll tease: 

This year in peace, ye critics, dwell, 

Ye harlots, sleep at ease! 
Soft B– and rough C–s adieu, 

Earl Warwick made your moan, 

The lively H–k and you 

May knock up whores alone. 
To drink and droll be Rowe allow’d 

Till the third watchman’s toll; 

Let Jervas gratis paint, and Frowde 

Save three-pence and his soul. 
Farewell, Arbuthnot’s raillery 

On every learned sot; 

And Garth, the best good Christian he, 

Although he knows it not. 
Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go; 

Farewell, unhappy Tonson! 

Heaven gives thee for thy loss of Rowe, 

Lean Philips, and fat Johnson. 
Why should I stay? Both parties rage; 

My vixen mistress squalls; 

The wits in envious feuds engage: 

And Homer (damn him!) calls. 
The love of arts lies cold and dead 

In Halifax’s urn: 

And not one Muse of all he fed 

Has yet the grace to mourn. 
My friends, by turns, my friends confound, 

Betray, and are betrayed: 

Poor Y–r’s sold for fifty pound, 

And B–ll is a jade. 
Why make I friendships with the great, 

When I no favour seek? 

Or follow girls, seven hours in eight? 

I us’d but once a week. 
Still idle, with a busy air, 

Deep whimsies to contrive; 

The gayest valetudinaire, 

Most thinking rake, alive. 
Solicitous for others’ ends, 

Though fond of dear repose; 

Careless or drowsy with my friends, 

And frolic with my foes. 
Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell, 

For sober, studious days! 

And Burlington’s delicious meal, 

For salads, tarts, and pease! 
Adieu to all, but Gay alone, 

Whose soul, sincere and free, 

Loves all mankind, but flatters none, 

And so may starve with me.