Sunday, 19 November 2017

I felt a Cleaving in my Mind

I felt a Cleaving in my Mind —
As if my Brain had split —
I tried to match it — Seam by Seam —
But could not make them fit.

The thought behind, I strove to join
Unto the thought before —
But Sequence ravelled out of Sound
Like Balls — upon a Floor.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Part Four: Time and Eternity by Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.


Part Four: Time and Eternity

LXIX

ONE need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.  

Far safer, of a midnight meeting        
5External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.  

Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,        
10Than, moonless, one’s own self encounter
In lonesome place.  

Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,        

15Be horror’s least.  

The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O’erlooking a superior spectre
More near.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

The Sick Rose, by William Blake

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Christina Rossetti

“Lie still, lie still, my breaking heart; 
My silent heart, lie still and break: 
Life, and the world, and mine own self, are changed 
For a dream's sake.” 

Fragment: Questions, by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Is it that in some brighter sphere
We part from friends we meet with here?
Or do we see the Future pass
Over the Present’s dusky glass?
Or what is that that makes us seem
To patch up fragments of a dream,
Part of which comes true, and part
Beats and trembles in the heart?

I wandered lonely as a Cloud, by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden Daffodils;
Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:—
A Poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the shew to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

“Portent” was published in The Tempers (Elkin Mathews, 1913).

Red cradle of the night,
     In you
           The dusky child
Sleeps fast till his might
   Shall be piled
Sinew on sinew.
 
Red cradle of the night,
    The dusky child
Sleeping sits upright.
    Lo how
                    The winds blow now!
    He pillows back;
The winds are again mild.
 
When he stretches his arms out,
Red cradle of the night,
    The alarms shout
From bare tree to tree,
    Wild
              In afright!
Mighty shall he be,
Red cradle of the night,
    The dusky child!!
 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Expiration, by John Donne

So, so, break off this last lamenting kiss,
    Which sucks two souls, and vapours both away;
Turn, thou ghost, that way, and let me turn this,
    And let ourselves benight our happiest day.
We ask none leave to love; nor will we owe
    Any so cheap a death as saying, “Go.”
Go; and if that word have not quite killed thee,
    Ease me with death, by bidding me go too.
Or, if it have, let my word work on me,
    And a just office on a murderer do.
Except it be too late, to kill me so,
    Being double dead, going, and bidding, “Go.”

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Epilogue, by Robert Browning

At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time,
   When you set your fancies free,
Will they pass to where—by death, fools think, imprisoned—
Low he lies who once so loved you, whom you loved so,
—Pity me?

Oh to love so, be so loved, yet so mistaken!
   What had I on earth to do
With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly?
Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel
—Being—who?

One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,
   Never doubted clouds would break,
Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph,
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,
Sleep to wake.

No, at noonday in the bustle of man’s work-time
   Greet the unseen with a cheer!
Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be,
“Strive and thrive!” cry “Speed,—fight on, fare ever
There as here!”

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Voice of Things, by Thomas Hardy

Forty years—aye, and several more—ago,
      When I paced the headlands loosed from dull employ,
The waves huzza’d like a multitude below, 
      In the sway of an all-including joy
              Without cloy.

Blankly I walked there a double decade after,
      When thwarts had flung their toils in front of me,
And I heard the waters wagging in a long ironic laughter
      At the lot of men, and all the vapoury
              Things that be.

Wheeling change has set me again standing where
      Once I heard the waves huzza at Lammas-tide;
But they supplicate now—like a congregation there
      Who murmur the Confession—I outside,
              Prayer denied.