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,
              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

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!”