Art is an act of resistance among the indifferent!
Byron among the ruins of Greece
[A SCHOOL COMPOSITION.]
On what sweet shore the blue AEgean laves,
Where loveliness is wedded to decay, --
Beauty to desolation, -- 'mid the graves
Of an immortal race, and ruins, gray
With the dim veil of years, a sleeper lay; --
And in his dream, Time's never-ebbing tide
Rolled back, and bore him to that earlier day,
When Greece was decked in beauty, like a bride,
Glory upon her path and freedom by her side.
Against the radiance of her azure sky,
Rose many a pillared fane, divinely wrought,
Whose marble forms defied mortality; --
There pale Philosophy unveiled, and taught
Her mystic lore, and waged her war of thought,
And all her bright and baseless visions wove; --
There Art her never-dying treasures brought:
He saw Apelles' glowing canvas move,
And at Pygmalion's prayer the statue wake to love.
Then came her bards, her orators and sages; --
Once more he heard those voices that had rung
Down through the vista of succeeding ages:
"The blind old bard of Scio's isle" there strung
His matchless lyre, and breathed the earliest song:
And now Demosthenes before him stood,
Pouring his tide of eloquence, that strong,
Deep and o'erwhelming, swayed the multitude,
As the invisible wind sways the wild ocean's flood.
Armed warriors too were there, their helmets gleaming
On deathless Marathon's green, sea-girt plain,
That now with Persia's choicest blood was streaming:
Thermopylae's "three hundred" fought again;
Again its pass was piled with countless slain,
From the invader's host, as on that day
When Sparta's bravest sons had vowed to drain
Their heart's best blood for her. There, as he lay,
These glorious visions passed, in beautiful array.
The dreamer woke, -- he rested there alone,
By that high temple whence had Pallas fled:
Where once she lingered, now the crescent shone,
And round him wandered many a turbanned head,
Treading in mockery o'er the immortal dead;
And conscious Nature there, as if to screen
The nakedness of Ruin, had ouspread
Her gayest flowers to deck her saddest scene,
And hung, o'er mouldering walls, her tapestry of green.
And many a Grecian slave to Turkish foe
In hopeless bondage bowed the unwilling knee,
And, all too weak to strike the avenging blow,
To rend the galling chains of slavery,
And write their names once more among the free,
But humbled in despair, unmoved behold
Their shrine defaced, their altars borne away,
By every plunderer, even the hallowed mould
Of Marathon itself, exchanged for foreign gold.
And as he mused upon her buried worth,
'Mid her fallen columns and her ruined fanes, --
That none were there to lead her children forth;
To strike with them, and burst their servile chains,
And with their blood to wash away the stains
That their great name on Freedom's record dyed, --
He touched his harp, and the enchanting strains,
The world was hushed to hear -- and then aside
Bade Poesy retire, and made sad Greece his bride.
A fitting bride for one like him, who stood
On that high steep, where few have dared their flight;
Against whose name Time's all resistless flood
Shall dash in vain; who, through decay and blight
And desolation, dazzled with the light
That fast consumed him, where he stood on high,
Like a lone star on the dark brow of night: --
He sleeps upon that shore -- a Grecian sky,
For a high soul like his, were fitting canopy.
Rest, warrior bard! Above thy head shall bloom
The greenest laurel of Peneus' tide; --
Genius shall come a pilgrim to thy tomb,
And for her champion Freedom turn aside,
To weep the bitter tears she may not hide;
And thy young handmaid, Poesy, shall shed
Her brightest halo there; and Greece, thy bride,
Shall give to thee (and oh, can more be said!)
A name to live with hers -- a home among her Dead.
Lines Written Among The Euganean Hills
Many a green isle needs must be
In the deep wide sea of Misery,
Or the mariner, worn and wan,
Never thus could voyage on -
Day and night, and night and day,
Drifting on his dreary way,
With the solid darkness black
Closing round his vessel's track:
Whilst above the sunless sky,
Big with clouds, hangs heavily,
And behind the tempest fleet
Hurries on with lightning feet,
He is ever drifted on
O'er the unreposing wave
To the haven of the grave.
What, if there no friends will greet;
What, if there no heart will meet
His with love's impatient beat;
Wander wheresoe'er he may,
Can he dream before that day
To find refuge from distress
In friendship's smile, in love's caress?
Then 'twill wreak him little woe
Whether such there be or no:
Senseless is the breast, and cold,
Which relenting love would fold;
Bloodless are the veins and chill
Which the pulse of pain did fill;
Every little living nerve
That from bitter words did swerve
Round the tortured lips and brow,
Are like sapless leaflets now
Frozen upon December's bough.
On the beach of a northern sea
Which tempests shake eternally,
As once the wretch there lay to sleep,
Lies a solitary heap,
One white skull and seven dry bones,
On the margin of the stones,
Where a few grey rushes stand,
Boundaries of the sea and land:
Nor is heard one voice of wail
But the sea-mews, as they sail
O'er the billows of the gale;
Or the whirlwind up and down
Howling, like a slaughtered town,
When a king in glory rides
Through the pomp and fratricides:
Those unburied bones around
There is many a mournful sound;
There is no lament for him,
Like a sunless vapour, dim,
Who once clothed with life and thought
What now moves nor murmurs not.
Ay, many flowering islands lie
In the waters of wide Agony:
To such a one this morn was led,
My bark by soft winds piloted:
'Mid the mountains Euganean
I stood listening to the paean
With which the legioned rooks did hail
The sun's uprise majestical;
Gathering round with wings all hoar,
Through the dewy mist they soar
Like gray shades, till the eastern heaven
Bursts, and then, as clouds of even,
Flecked with fire and azure, lie
In the unfathomable sky,
So their plumes of purple grain,
Starred with drops of golden rain,
Gleam above the sunlight woods,
As in silent multitudes
On the morning's fitful gale
Through the broken mist they sail,
And the vapours cloven and gleaming
Follow, down the dark steep streaming,
Till all is bright, and clear, and still,
Round the solitary hill.
Beneath is spread like a green sea
The waveless plain of Lombardy,
Bounded by the vaporous air,
Islanded by cities fair;
Underneath Day's azure eyes
Ocean's nursling, Venice, lies,
A peopled labyrinth of walls,
Amphitrite's destined halls,
Which her hoary sire now paves
With his blue and beaming waves.
Lo! the sun upsprings behind,
Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined
On the level quivering line
Of the waters crystalline;
And before that chasm of light,
As within a furnace bright,
Column, tower, and dome, and spire,
Shine like obelisks of fire,
Pointing with inconstant motion
From the altar of dark ocean
To the sapphire-tinted skies;
As the flames of sacrifice
From the marble shrines did rise,
As to pierce the dome of gold
Where Apollo spoke of old.
Sea-girt City, thou hast been
Ocean's child, and then his queen;
Now is come a darker day,
And thou soon must be his prey,
If the power that raised thee here
Hallow so thy watery bier.
A less drear ruin then than now,
With thy conquest-branded brow
Stooping to the slave of slaves
From thy throne, among the waves
Wilt thou be, when the sea-mew
Flies, as once before it flew,
O'er thine isles depopulate,
And all is in its ancient state,
Save where many a palace gate
With green sea-flowers overgrown
Like a rock of Ocean's own,
Topples o'er the abandoned sea
As the tides change sullenly.
The fisher on his watery way,
Wandering at the close of day,
Will spread his sail and seize his oar
Till he pass the gloomy shore,
Lest thy dead should, from their sleep
Bursting o'er the starlight deep,
Lead a rapid masque of death
O'er the waters of his path.
Those who alone thy towers behold
Quivering through aereal gold,
As I now behold them here,
Would imagine not they were
Sepulchres, where human forms,
Like pollution-nourished worms,
To the corpse of greatness cling,
Murdered, and now mouldering:
But if Freedom should awake
In her omnipotence and shake
From the Celtic Anarch's hold
All the keys of dungeons cold,
Where a hundred cities lie
Chained like thee, ingloriously,
Thou and all thy sister band
Might adorn this sunny land,
Twining memories of old time
With new virtues more sublime;
If not, perish thou and they! -
Clouds which stain truth's rising day
By her sun consumed away -
Earth can spare ye; while like flowers,
In the waste of years and hours,
From your dust new nations spring
With more kindly blossoming.
Perish -let there only be
Floating o'er thy heartless sea
As the garment of thy sky
Clothes the world immortally,
One remembrance, more sublime
Than the tattered pall of time,
Which scarce hides thy visage wan; -
That a tempest-cleaving Swan
Of the sons of Albion,
Driven from his ancestral streams
By the might of evil dreams,
Found a nest in thee; and Ocean
Welcomed him with such emotion
That its joy grew his, and sprung
From his lips like music flung
O'er a mighty thunder-fit,
Chastening terror: -what though yet
Poesy's unfailing River,
Which through Albion winds forever
Lashing with melodious wave
Many a sacred Poet's grave,
Mourn its latest nursling fled?
What though thou with all thy dead
Scarce can for this fame repay
Aught thine own? oh, rather say
Though thy sins and slaveries foul
Overcloud a sunlike soul?
As the ghost of Homer clings
Round Scamander's wasting springs;
As divinest Shakespeare's might
Fills Avon and the world with light
Like omniscient power which he
Imaged 'mid mortality;
As the love from Petrarch's urn,
Yet amid yon hills doth burn,
A quenchless lamp by which the heart
Sees things unearthly; -so thou art,
Mighty spirit -so shall be
The City that did refuge thee.
Lo, the sun floats up the sky
Like thought-winged Liberty,
Till the universal light
Seems to level plain and height;
From the sea a mist has spread,
And the beams of morn lie dead
On the towers of Venice now,
Like its glory long ago.
By the skirts of that gray cloud
Many-domed Padua proud
Stands, a peopled solitude,
'Mid the harvest-shining plain,
Where the peasant heaps his grain
In the garner of his foe,
And the milk-white oxen slow
With the purple vintage strain,
Heaped upon the creaking wain,
That the brutal Celt may swill
Drunken sleep with savage will;
And the sickle to the sword
Lies unchanged, though many a lord,
Like a weed whose shade is poison,
Overgrows this region's foison,
Sheaves of whom are ripe to come
To destruction's harvest-home:
Men must reap the things they sow,
Force from force must ever flow,
Or worse; but 'tis a bitter woe
That love or reason cannot change
The despot's rage, the slave's revenge.
Padua, thou within whose walls
Those mute guests at festivals,
Son and Mother, Death and Sin,
Played at dice for Ezzelin,
Till Death cried, 'I win, I win!'
And Sin cursed to lose the wager,
But Death promised, to assuage her,
That he would petition for
Her to be made Vice-Emperor,
When the destined years were o'er,
Over all between the Po
And the eastern Alpine snow,
Under the mighty Austrian.
She smiled so as Sin only can,
And since that time, ay, long before,
Both have ruled from shore to shore, -
That incestuous pair, who follow
Tyrants as the sun the swallow,
As Repentance follows Crime,
And as changes follow Time.
In thine halls the lamp of learning,
Padua, now no more is burning;
Like a meteor, whose wild way
Is lost over the grave of day,
It gleams betrayed and to betray:
Once remotest nations came
To adore that sacred flame,
When it lit not many a hearth
On this cold and gloomy earth:
Now new fires from antique light
Spring beneath the wide world's might;
But their spark lies dead in thee,
Trampled out by Tyranny.
As the Norway woodman quells,
In the depth of piny dells,
One light flame among the brakes,
While the boundless forest shakes,
And its mighty trunks are torn
By the fire thus lowly born:
The spark beneath his feet is dead,
He starts to see the flames it fed
Howling through the darkened sky
With a myriad tongues victoriously,
And sinks down in fear: so thou,
O Tyranny, beholdest now
Light around thee, and thou hearest
The loud flames ascend, and fearest:
Grovel on the earth; ay, hide
In the dust thy purple pride!
Noon descends around me now:
'Tis the noon of autumn's glow,
When a soft and purple mist
Like a vapourous amethyst,
Or an air-dissolved star
Mingling light and fragrance, far
From the curved horizon's bound
To the point of Heaven's profound,
Fills the overflowing sky;
And the plains that silent lie
Underneath the leaves unsodden
Where the infant Frost has trodden
With his morning-winged feet,
Whose bright print is gleaming yet;
And the red and golden vines,
Piercing with their trellised lines
The rough, dark-skirted wilderness;
The dun and bladed grass no less,
Pointing from this hoary tower
In the windless air; the flower
Glimmering at my feet; the line
Of the olive-sandalled Apennine
In the south dimly islanded;
And the Alps, whose snows are spread
High between the clouds and sun;
And of living things each one;
And my spirit which so long
Darkened this swift stream of song, -
By the glory of the sky:
Be it love, light, harmony,
Odour, or the soul of all
Which from Heaven like dew doth fall,
Or the mind which feeds this verse
Peopling the lone universe.
Noon descends, and after noon
Autumn's evening meets me soon,
Leading the infantine moon,
And that one star, which to her
Almost seems to minister
Half the crimson light she brings
From the sunset's radiant springs:
And the soft dreams of the morn
(Which like winged winds had borne
To that silent isle, which lies
Mid remembered agonies,
The frail bark of this lone being)
Pass, to other sufferers fleeing,
And its ancient pilot, Pain,
Sits beside the helm again.
Other flowering isles must be
In the sea of Life and Agony:
Other spirits float and flee
O'er that gulf: even now, perhaps,
On some rock the wild wave wraps,
With folded wings they waiting sit
For my bark, to pilot it
To some calm and blooming cove,
Where for me, and those I love,
May a windless bower be built,
Far from passion, pain, and guilt,
In a dell mid lawny hills,
Which the wild sea-murmur fills,
And soft sunshine, and the sound
Of old forests echoing round,
And the light and smell divine
Of all flowers that breathe and shine:
We may live so happy there,
That the Spirits of the Air,
Envying us, may even entice
To our healing Paradise
The polluting multitude;
But their rage would be subdued
By that clime divine and calm,
And the winds whose wings rain balm
On the uplifted soul, and leaves
Under which the bright sea heaves;
While each breathless interval
In their whisperings musical
The inspired soul supplies
With its own deep melodies;
And the love which heals all strife
Circling, like the breath of life,
All things in that sweet abode
With its own mild brotherhood:
They, not it, would change; and soon
Every sprite beneath the moon
Would repent its envy vain,
And the earth grow young again.
Among The Lot
It is getting back to you because,
You failed to repent!
And now, i have seen your nakedness among the lot.
One Beautiful Flower Among The Lot
Your beauty is like one beautiful flower among the lot!
But to be bountiful is like the muse of your love;
So i will always be around to kiss your lips.
Lost Among The Flowers In The Garden
a white butterfly
hovers among the white flowers
in the garden
it stops for rest
and gets still
it is lost in there
and you cannot see it anymore
Among The Clouds
among the clouds
and then you argue with me
about the earth
how can i ever believe you?
when your feet
have become cottons
and your brain
has become this gusty air
with empty thoughts
My Mama Moved Among the Days
My Mama moved among the days
like a dreamwalker in a field;
seemed like what she touched was here
seemed like what touched her couldn't hold,
she got us almost through the high grass
then seemed like she turned around and ran
right back in
right back on in
Her Place among the Goddesses
Sometimes you meet
The most beautiful woman
In the world
And you fail to tell her so.
Your own heart breaks
For the unkindness.
Is it wrong
To paint her picture
Every day on the canvas
Of your soul
While you hope
The world will understand
Her place among the goddesses?
One Among The Many
One among the many,
whose feeling lonely today.
Whose love has gone astray.
One among the many,
whose suffering from a broken heart.
Whose love has floundered on an empty shore
One among the many,
whose looking for a new start.
Hoping for a brighter future somewhere.
Places among the stars,
Places among the stars,
Soft gardens near the sun,
Keep your distant beauty;
Shed no beams upon my weak heart.
Since she is here
In a place of blackness,
Not your golden days
Nor your silver nights
Can call me to you.
Since she is here
In a place of blackness,
Here I stay and wait
Cat Among The Chickens
Through ocean of feathers,
The murder would be soundless,
Not even a squark,
As the paw smashed through the air,
And landed in the back of the prey,
And soundless it fell to the ground,
And was dragged from the pens,
By the serial mass murder,
The cat among the chickens!
I could not among the misty clouds
I could not among the misty clouds
Your unstable and painful image catch,
'Oh, my God', I promptly said aloud,
Having not a thought these words to fetch.
As a bird -- an immense bird and sound --
Holly Name flew out of my chest.
And ahead the mist mysterious crowds,
And the empty cage behind me rests.
From Among The Sands On The Shore I Am But A Singe Grain
from among the sands on the shore i am but a single grain
in fact just like the rest i may just be
but if you really love me babes, as i have loved you
i will stand out from the rest of those billion grains
i am not a single grain anymore
i shall become
your sun your universe
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
---Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!
1 Among The Best!
1 among the best!
You were seen among the best last night;
For, your style was like the muse of love,
And very different among the lot! !
However, it was like the muse of love in the land of joy.
1 among the best!
You've finally made it up to the top;
For the colours of the rainbow brought your message to me,
And you were decorated with the roses of love.
Among the rust
You hide behind your smile,
Behind your plastic face,
You think noone knows
But we all feel the pain.
So stop pretending
Acting like nothings wrong
You only hurt yourself
When you put the smile on.
Now the day has come
The smile has fallen apart
Your face is cracked from all the lies,
And your mind falls apart.
Your smile has faded
And your skin turned to dust
Now its time to lay down among the rust.
Among The Multitude
AMONG the men and women, the multitude,
I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs,
Acknowledging none else--not parent, wife, husband, brother, child,
any nearer than I am;
Some are baffled--But that one is not--that one knows me.
Ah, lover and perfect equal!
I meant that you should discover me so, by my faint indirections;
And I, when I meet you, mean to discover you by the like in you.
The Chimney Sweeper: A Little Black Thing Among The Snow
A little black thing among the snow,
Crying 'weep! 'weep!' in notes of woe!
'Where are thy father and mother? say?'
'They are both gone up to the church to pray.
Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil'd among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.
And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery.'
Crumbs To The Birds
A bird appears a thoughtless thing,
He's ever living on the wing,
And keeps up such a carolling,
That little else to do but sing
A man would guess had he.
No doubt he has his little cares,
And very hard he often fares,
The which so patiently he bears,
That, listening to those cheerful airs,
Who knows but he may be
In want of his next meal of seeds?
I think for that his sweet song pleads.
If so, his pretty art succeeds.
I'll scatter there among the weeds
All the small crumbs I see.
Among the Red Guns
Among the red guns,
In the hearts of soldiers
Running free blood
In the long, long campaign:
Dreams go on.
Among the leather saddles,
In the heads of soldiers
Heavy in the wracks and kills
Of all straight fighting:
Dreams go on.
Among the hot muzzles,
In the hands of soldiers
Brought from flesh-folds of women--
Soft amid the blood and crying--
In all your hearts and heads
Among the guns and saddles and muzzles:
Dreams go on,
Out of the dead on their backs,
Broken and no use any more:
Dreams of the way and the end go on.