Latest quotes | Random quotes | Vote! | Latest comments | Add quote

Just Run

(walk)

I walk to my destiny
I walk to my life
I walk to without care
I don't want to be here today
I walk without enthusiasm
I walk without life
I walk to my destiny
I walk to my life


(Run)

I run to my destiny
I run to my life
I run with care
I'm glad I'm here today
I run with enthusiasm
I run to life
I run to my destiny
I run to my life


With walking comes bitterness
With running comes sweetness
People who walk with life
They taking no chances,
no risks
People who run with life
are free
Free to be them

Remember when you're walking
don't be so bitter
try a light jog
Remember when you're running
be cautious
but stay who you are

For those of you who don't
know who you are
that's not a problem
not a problem at all

All you walkers out there
get up and live
All you runners out there
stay true to yourself
Never stop running

Never stop running at all

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Related quotes

Walk In the Light

We must fight...
With a resistance,
Against the darkness.

That stranglehold on faith,
Creates obstacles made.
Keeping fear accepted...
Yet unaddressed.
As we collect conflicts,
To protect a duress...
That stresses without rest.

To isolate in separateness,
Has outdated its usefulness.
Like wars started to conquer...
But leaving a seething that breeds hate.
Assuming a destruction brought to others...
Raises consciousness,
That baits a greatness to become admired.
And by who?

We must fight...
With a resistance,
Against the darkness.

We must choose to walk,
In the light.
Absorbing the rays.
With a wish to reflect them!
As if this brightness feeds.

And united as a people...
We can free ourselves,
From the love of shadows.
And barbaric acts kept practiced,
To end them.
Encouraged by new beginnings.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

You've come to change my destiny.

You've entered my heart via my eyes.
Who are you to me oh stranger mine,
Very dear to me you are so suddenly.
you've come to change my destiny.

Love seems to cascade from your eyes,
love is hidden in your unspoken words.
How do I handle so much love suddenly,
you've come to change my destiny.

I was walking alone in this life of mine,
searching for someone to walk besides.
You came along to accompany me suddenly,
you've come to change my destiny.

Everyday now I pray to God,
that we never get separated.
We take a vow on this jointly,
You've come to change my destiny.

renukakkar 8.2.2012
Copyright@2012

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Be Not Afraid: You and Me

Make up your mind-complicated thought,
Which lane to take in a two way
Street ahead, Choose a path but one,
And if you've to catch up, you ought.

Your mind's confused when honesty's
In recluse, come walk my way
And let's reveal the truth - a walk of destiny
Hang on tightly to me...
And let us build a path to life's reality.

Be not afraid of who you are to me,
I in return will make the best I see
Of who you are sans your infirmity
Just build your mind a solid destiny.

Now can you see decision has to be
But just a step-your feelings are so free,
Remember who you are to many just like me
Decide with ease between what not to be,
Fall back and forth but with solid identity
Discover you and me in a world of...
Truth and honesty.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door

I've been up at this all night long
I've been drowning in my sleep
I've prayed for your safe place
And its time for us to leave
Time is running on empty and the gas is running out
I've decided that tonight is the night
That I set love aside
Full speed ahead this seems to be the place
I've seen this once before
Planned perfection sought in my dreams
Hoping this would take you home
My knuckles have turned to white
There's no turning back tonight
So kiss me one last time
Around this turn where
The cross will cast your shadow
The people will all gather
To remember such a day where the flames grew as high
As trees
And the world stopped for you and me
My knuckles have turned white
There's no turning back tonight
So hold on tight
Kiss me one last time
Shut your eyes
I will now bring new meaning to the word alone
Endless nights of dreaming of life
And the days we should have spent here
Drowning in my sleep I'm drowning in my sleep
Glass shatters and comes to a halt
I thought we'd be there by now
I thought it would be so much quicker than this
Pain has never been so brilliant
I made sure you were buckled in
Now you can walk hand in hand with him

song performed by UnderoathReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
Edgar Lee Masters

Epilogue

(THE GRAVEYARD OF SPOON RIVER. TWO VOICES ARE HEARD BEHIND A SCREEN DECORATED WITH DIABOLICAL AND ANGELIC FIGURES IN VARIOUS ALLEGORICAL RELATIONS. A FAINT LIGHT SHOWS DIMLY THROUGH THE SCREEN AS IF IT WERE WOVEN OF LEAVES, BRANCHES AND SHADOWS.)

FIRST VOICE

A game of checkers?

SECOND VOICE

Well, I don't mind.

FIRST VOICE

I move the Will.

SECOND VOICE

You're playing it blind.

FIRST VOICE

Then here's the Soul.

SECOND VOICE

Checked by the Will.

FIRST VOICE

Eternal Good!

SECOND VOICE

And Eternal Ill.

FIRST VOICE

I haste for the King row.

SECOND VOICE

Save your breath.

FIRST VOICE

I was moving Life.

SECOND VOICE

You're checked by Death.

FIRST VOICE

Very good, here's Moses.

SECOND VOICE

And here's the Jew.

FIRST VOICE

My next move is Jesus.

SECOND VOICE

St. Paul for you!

FIRST VOICE

Yes, but St. Peter –

SECOND VOICE

You might have foreseen –

FIRST VOICE

You're in the King row --

SECOND VOICE

With Constantine!

FIRST VOICE

I'll go back to Athens.

SECOND VOICE

Well, here's the Persian.

FIRST VOICE

All right, the Bible.

SECOND VOICE

Pray now, what version?

FIRST VOICE

I take up Buddha.

SECOND VOICE

It never will work.

FIRST VOICE

From the corner Mahomet.

SECOND VOICE

I move the Turk.

FIRST VOICE

The game is tangled; where are we now?

SECOND VOICE

You're dreaming worlds. I'm in the King row.
Move as you will, if I can't wreck you
I'll thwart you, harry you, rout you, check you.

FIRST VOICE

I'm tired. I'll send for my Son to play.
I think he can beat you finally --

SECOND VOICE

Eh?

FIRST VOICE

I must preside at the stars' convention.

SECOND VOICE

Very well, my lord, but I beg to mention
I'll give this game my direct attention.

FIRST VOICE

A game indeed! But Truth is my quest.

SECOND VOICE

Beaten, you walk away with a jest.
I strike the table, I scatter the checkers.

(A rattle of a falling table and checkers
flying over a floor.)

Aha! You armies and iron deckers,
Races and states in a cataclysm --
Now for a day of atheism!

(The screen vanishes and BEELZEBUB steps forward carrying a trumpet, which he blows faintly. Immediately LOKI and YOGARINDRA start up from the shadows of night.)

BEELZEBUB

Good evening, Loki!

LOKI

The same to you!

BEELZEBUB

And Yogarindra!

YOGARINDRA

My greetings, too.

LOKI

Whence came you, comrade?

BEELZEBUB

From yonder screen.

YOGARINDRA

And what were you doing?

BEELZEBUB

Stirring His spleen.

LOKI

How did you do it?

BEELZEBUB

I made it rough
In a game of checkers.

LOKI

Good enough!

YOGARINDRA

I thought I heard the sounds of a battle.

BEELZEBUB

No doubt! I made the checkers rattle,
Turning the table over and strewing
The bits of wood like an army pursuing.

YOGARINDRA

I have a game! Let us make a man.

LOKI

My net is waiting him, if you can.

YOGARINDRA

And here's my mirror to fool him with --

BEELZEBUB

Mystery, falsehood, creed and myth.

LOKI

But no one can mold him, friend, but you.

BEELZEBUB

Then to the sport without more ado.

YOGARINDRA

Hurry the work ere it grow to day.

BEELZEBUB

I set me to it. Where is the clay?

(He scrapes the earth with his hands and begins to model.)

BEELZEBUB

Out of the dust,
Out of the slime,
A little rust,
And a little lime.
Muscle and gristle,
Mucin, stone
Brayed with a pestle,
Fat and bone.
Out of the marshes,
Out of the vaults,
Matter crushes
Gas and salts.
What is this you call a mind,
Flitting, drifting, pale and blind,
Soul of the swamp that rides the wind?
Jack-o'-lantern, here you are!
Dream of heaven, pine for a star,
Chase your brothers to and fro,
Back to the swamp at last you'll go.
Hilloo! Hilloo!

THE VALLEY

Hilloo! Hilloo!

(Beelzebub in scraping up the earth turns out a skull.)

BEELZEBUB

Old one, old one.
Now ere I break you
Crush you and make you
Clay for my use,
Let me observe you:
You were a bold one
Flat at the dome of you,
Heavy the base of you,
False to the home of you,
Strong was the face of you,
Strange to all fears.
Yet did the hair of you
Hide what you were.
Now to re-nerve you --
(He crushes the skull between his hands and mixes it with the clay.)

Now you are dust,
Limestone and rust.
I mold and I stir
And make you again.

THE VALLEY

Again? Again?
(In the same manner BEELZEBUB has fashioned several figures, standing them against the trees.)

LOKI

Now for the breath of life. As I remember
You have done right to mold your creatures first,
And stand them up.

BEELZEBUB

From gravitation
I make the will.

YOGARINDRA

Out of sensation
Comes his ill. Out of my mirror
Springs his error.
Who was so cruel
To make him the slave
Of me the sorceress, you the knave,
And you the plotter to catch his thought,
Whatever he did, whatever he sought?
With a nature dual
Of will and mind,
A thing that sees, and a thing that's blind.
Come! to our dance! Something hated him
Made us over him, therefore fated him.
(They join hands and dance.)

LOKI

Passion, reason, custom, ruels,
Creeds of the churches, lore of the schools,
Taint in the blood and strength of soul.
Flesh too weak for the will's control;
Poverty, riches, pride of birth,
Wailing, laughter, over the earth,
Here I have you caught again,
Enter my web, ye sons of men.

YOGARINDRA

Look in my mirror! Isn't it real?
What do you think now, what do you feel?
Here is treasure of gold heaped up;
Here is wine in the festal cup.
Tendrils blossoming, turned to whips,
Love with her breasts and scarlet lips.
Breathe in their nostrils.

BEELZEBUB

Falsehood's breath,
Out of nothingness into death.
Out of the mold, out of the rocks,
Wonder, mockery, paradox!
Soaring spirit, groveling flesh,
Bait the trap, and spread the mesh.
Give him hunger, lure him with truth,
Give him the iris hopes of Youth.
Starve him, shame him, fling him down,
Whirled in the vortex of the town.
Break him, age him, till he curse
The idiot face of the universe.
Over and over we mix the clay, –
What was dust is alive to-day.

THE THREE

Thus is the hell-born tangle wound
Swiftly, swiftly round and round.

BEELEZEBUB

(Waving his trumpet.)

You live! Away!

ONE OF THE FIGURES

How strange and new!
I am I, and another, too.

ANOTHER FIGURE

I was a sun-dew's leaf, but now
What is this longing? --

ANOTHER FIGURE

Earth below
I was a seedling magnet-tipped
Drawn down earth --

ANOTHER FIGURE

And I was gripped
Electrons in a granite stone,
Now I think.

ANOTHER FIGURE

Oh, how alone!

ANOTHER FIGURE

My lips to thine. Through thee I find
Something alone by love divined!

BEELZEBUB

Begone! No, wait. I have bethought me, friends;
Let's give a play.
(He waves his trumpet.)

To yonder green rooms go.

(The figures disappear.)

YOGARINDRA

Oh, yes, a play! That's very well, I think,
But who will be the audience? I must throw
Illusion over all.

LOKI

And I must shift
The scenery, and tangle up the plot.

BEELZEBUB

Well, so you shall! Our audience shall some
From yonder graves.
(He blows his trumpet slightly louder than before. The scene changes. A stage arises among the graves. The curtain is down, concealing the creatures just created, illuminated halfway up by spectral lights. BEELZEBUB stands before the curtain.)

BEELZEBUB

(A terrific blast of the trumpet.)

Who-o-o-o-o-o!

(Immediate ly there is a rustling as of the shells of grasshoppers stirred by a wind; and hundreds of the dead, including those who have appeared in the Anthology, hurry to the sound of the trumpet.)

A VOICE

Gabriel! Gabriel!

MANY VOICES

The Judgment day!

BEELZEBUB

Be quiet, if you please
At least until the stars fall and the moon.

MANY VOICES

Save us! Save us!

(Beelzebub extends his hands over the audience with a benedictory motion and restores order.)

BEELZEBUB

Ladies and gentlemen, your kind attention
To my interpretation of the scene.
I rise to give your fancy comprehension,
And analyze the parts of the machine.
My mood is such that I would not deceive you,
Though still a liar and the father of it,
From judgment's frailty I would retrieve you,
Though falsehood is my art and though I love it.
Down in the habitations whence I rise,
The roots of human sorrow boundless spread.
Long have I watched them draw the strength that lies
In clay made richer by the rotting dead.
Here is a blossom, here a twisted stalk,
Here fruit that sourly withers ere its prime;
And here a growth that sprawls across the walk,
Food for the green worm, which it turns to slime.
The ruddy apple with a core of cork
Springs from a root which in a hollow dangles,
Not skillful husbandry nor laborious work
Can save the tree which lightning breaks and tangles.
Why does the bright nasturtium scarcely flower
But that those insects multiply and grow,
Which make it food, and in the very hour
In which the veined leaves and blossoms blow?
Why does a goodly tree, while fast maturing,
Turn crooked branches covered o'er with scale?
Why does the tree whose youth was not assuring
Prosper and bear while all its fellows fail?
I under earth see much. I know the soil.
I know where mold is heavy and where thin.
I see the stones that thwart the plowman's toil,
The crooked roots of what the priests call sin.
I know all secrets, even to the core,
What seedlings will be upas, pine or laurel;
It cannot change howe'er the field's worked o'er.
Man's what he is and that's the devil's moral.
So with the souls of the ensuing drama
They sprang from certain seed in certain earth.
Behold them in the devil's cyclorama,
Shown in their proper light for all they're worth.
Now to my task: I'll give an exhibition
Of mixing the ingredients of spirit.
(He waves his hand.)

Come, crucible, perform your magic mission,
Come, recreative fire, and hover near it!
I'll make a soul, or show how one is made.
(He waves his wand again. Parti-colored flames appear.)

This is the woman you shall see anon!
(A red flame appears.)

This hectic flame makes all the world afraid:
It was a soldier's scourge which ate the bone.
His daughter bore the lady of the action,
And died at thirty-nine of scrofula.
She-was a creature of a sweet attraction,
Whose sex-obsession no one ever saw.
(A purple flame appears.)

Lo! this denotes aristocratic strains
Back in the centuries of France's glory.
(A blue flame appears.)

And this the will that pulls against the chains
Her father strove until his hair was hoary.
Sorrow and failure made his nature cold,
He never loved the child whose woe is shown,
And hence her passion for the things which gold
Brings in this world of pride, and brings alone.
The human heart that's famished from its birth
Turns to the grosser treasures, that is plain.
Thus aspiration fallen fills the earth
With jungle growths of bitterness and pain.
Of Celtic, Gallic fire our heroine!
Courageous, cruel, passionate and proud.
False, vengeful, cunning, without fear o' sin.
A head that oft is bloody, but not bowed.
Now if she meet a man -- suppose our hero,
With whom her chemistry shall war yet mix,
As if she were her Borgia to his Nero,
'Twill look like one of Satan's little tricks!
However, it must be. The world's great garden
Is not all mine. I only sow the tares.
Wheat should be made immune, or else the Warden
Should stop their coming in the world's affairs.
But to our hero! Long ere he was born
I knew what would repel him and attract.
Such spirit mathematics, fig or thorn,
I can prognosticate before the fact.
(A yellow flame appears.)

This is a grandsire's treason in an orchard
Against a maid whose nature with his mated.
(Lurid flames appear.)

And this his memory distrait and tortured,
Which marked the child with hate because she hated.
Our heroine's grand dame was that maid's own cousin --
But never this our man and woman knew.
The child, in time, of lovers had a dozen,
Then wed a gentleman upright and true.
And thus our hero had a double nature:
One half of him was bad, the other good.
The devil must exhaust his nomenclature
To make this puzzle rightly understood.
But when our hero and our heroine met
They were at once attracted, the repulsion
Was hidden under Passion, with her net
Which must enmesh you ere you feel revulsion.
The virus coursing in the soldier's blood,
The orchard's ghost, the unknown kinship 'twixt them,
Our hero's mother's lovers round them stood,
Shadows that smiled to see how Fate had fixed them.
This twain pledge vows and marry, that's the play.
And then the tragic features rise and deepen.
He is a tender husband. When away
The serpents from the orchard slyly creep in.
Our heroine, born of spirit none too loyal,
Picks fruit of knowledge -- leaves the tree of life.
Her fancy turns to France corrupt and royal,
Soon she forgets her duty as a wife.
You know the rest, so far as that's concerned,
She met exposure and her husband slew her.
He lost his reason, for the love she spurned.
He prized her as his own -- how slight he knew her.
(He waves a wand, showing a man in a prison cell.)

Now here he sits condemned to mount the gallows --
He could not tell his story -- he is dumb.
Love, says your poets, is a grace that hallows,
I call it suffering and martyrdom.
The judge with pointed finger says, "You killed her."
Well, so he did -- but here's the explanation;
He could not give it. I, the drama-builder,
Show you the various truths and their relation.
(He waves his wand.)

Now, to begin. The curtain is ascending,
They meet at tea upon a flowery lawn.
Fair, is it not? How sweet their souls are blending --
The author calls the play "Laocoon."

A VOICE

Only an earth dream.

ANOTHER VOICE

With which we are done.
A flash of a comet
Upon the earth stream.

ANOTHER VOICE

A dream twice removed,
A spectral confusion
Of earth's dread illusion.

A FAR VOICE

These are the ghosts
From the desolate coasts.
Would you go to them?
Only pursue them.
Whatever enshrined is
Within you is you.
In a place where no wind is,
Out of the damps,
Be ye as lamps.
Flame-like aspire,
To me alone true,
The Life and the Fire.

(BEELZEBUB, LOKI and YOGARINDRA vanish. The phantasmagoria fades out. Where the dead seemed to have assembled, only heaps of leaves appear. There is the light as of dawn. Voices of Spring.)

FIRST VOICE

The springtime is come, the winter departed,
She wakens from slumber and dances light-hearted.
The sun is returning,
We are done with alarms,
Earth lifts her face burning,
Held close in his arms.
The sun is an eagle
Who broods o'er his young,
The earth is his nursling
In whom he has flung
The life-flame in seed,
In blossom desire,
Till fire become life,
And life become fire.

SECOND VOICE


I slip and I vanish,
I baffle your eye;
I dive and I climb,
I change and I fly.
You have me, you lose me,
Who have me too well,
Now find me and use me --
I am here in a cell.

THIRD VOICE

You are there in a cell?
Oh, now for a rod
With which to divine you --

SECOND VOICE

Nay, child, I am God.

FOURTH VOICE

When the waking waters rise from their beds of snow, under the hill,
In little rooms of stone where they sleep when icicles reign,
The April breezes scurry through woodlands, saying
Awaken roots under cover of soil -- it is Spring again."

Then the sun exults, the moon is at peace, and voices
Call to the silver shadows to lift the flowers from their dreams.
And a longing, longing enters my heart of sorrow, my heart that rejoices
In the fleeting glimpse of a shining face, and her hair that gleams.
I arise and follow alone for hours the winding way by the river,
Hunting a vanishing light, and a solace for joy too deep.
Where do you lead me, wild one, on and on forever?
Over the hill, over the hill, and down to the meadows of sleep.

THE SUN

Over the soundless depths of space for a hundred million miles
Speeds the soul of me, silent thunder, struck from a harp of fire.
Before my eyes the planets wheel and a universe defiles,
I but a ruminant speck of dust upborne in a vast desire.
What is my universe that obeys me -- myself compelled to obey
A power that holds me and whirls me over a path that has no end?
And there are my children who call me great, the giver of life and day,
Myself a child who cry for life and know not whither I tend.
A million million suns above me, as if the curtain of night
Were hung before creation's flame, that shone through the weave of the cloth,
Each with its worlds and worlds and worlds crying upward for light,
For each is drawn in its course to what? -- as the candle draws the moth.

THE MILKY WAY

Orbits unending,
Life never ending,
Power without end.

A VOICE

Wouldst thou be lord,
Not peace but a sword.
Not heart's desire --
Ever aspire.
Worship thy power,
Conquer thy hour,
Sleep not but strive,
So shalt thou live.

INFINITE DEPTHS

Infinite Law,
Infinite Life.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Isaac and Archibald

(To Mrs. Henry Richards)


Isaac and Archibald were two old men.
I knew them, and I may have laughed at them
A little; but I must have honored them
For they were old, and they were good to me.

I do not think of either of them now,
Without remembering, infallibly,
A journey that I made one afternoon
With Isaac to find out what Archibald
Was doing with his oats. It was high time
Those oats were cut, said Isaac; and he feared
That Archibald—well, he could never feel
Quite sure of Archibald. Accordingly
The good old man invited me—that is,
Permitted me—to go along with him;
And I, with a small boy’s adhesiveness
To competent old age, got up and went.

I do not know that I cared overmuch
For Archibald’s or anybody’s oats,
But Archibald was quite another thing,
And Isaac yet another; and the world
Was wide, and there was gladness everywhere.
We walked together down the River Road
With all the warmth and wonder of the land
Around us, and the wayside flash of leaves,—
And Isaac said the day was glorious;
But somewhere at the end of the first mile
I found that I was figuring to find
How long those ancient legs of his would keep
The pace that he had set for them. The sun
Was hot, and I was ready to sweat blood;
But Isaac, for aught I could make of him,
Was cool to his hat-band. So I said then
With a dry gasp of affable despair,
Something about the scorching days we have
In August without knowing it sometimes;
But Isaac said the day was like a dream,
And praised the Lord, and talked about the breeze.
I made a fair confession of the breeze,
And crowded casually on his thought
The nearness of a profitable nook
That I could see. First I was half inclined
To caution him that he was growing old,
But something that was not compassion soon
Made plain the folly of all subterfuge.
Isaac was old, but not so old as that.

So I proposed, without an overture,
That we be seated in the shade a while,
And Isaac made no murmur. Soon the talk
Was turned on Archibald, and I began
To feel some premonitions of a kind
That only childhood knows; for the old man
Had looked at me and clutched me with his eye,
And asked if I had ever noticed things.
I told him that I could not think of them,
And I knew then, by the frown that left his face
Unsatisfied, that I had injured him.
My good young friend,” he said, “you cannot feel
What I have seen so long. You have the eyes—
Oh, yes—but you have not the other things:
The sight within that never will deceive,
You do not knowyou have no right to know;
The twilight warning of experience,
The singular idea of loneliness,—
These are not yours. But they have long been mine,
And they have shown me now for seven years
That Archibald is changing. It is not
So much that he should come to his last hand,
And leave the game, and go the old way down;
But I have known him in and out so long,
And I have seen so much of good in him
That other men have shared and have not seen,
And I have gone so far through thick and thin,
Through cold and fire with him, that now it brings
To this old heart of mine an ache that you
Have not yet lived enough to know about.
But even unto you, and your boy’s faith,
Your freedom, and your untried confidence,
A time will come to find out what it means
To know that you are losing what was yours,
To know that you are being left behind;
And then the long contempt of innocence—
God bless you, boy!—dont think the worse of it
Because an old man chatters in the shade—
Will all be like a story you have read
In childhood and remembered for the pictures.

And when the best friend of your life goes down,
When first you know in him the slackening
That comes, and coming always tells the end,—
Now in a common word that would have passed
Uncaught from any other lips than his,
Now in some trivial act of every day,
Done as he might have done it all along
But for a twinging little difference
That nips you like a squirrel’s teeth—oh, yes,
Then you will understand it well enough.
But oftener it comes in other ways;
It comes without your knowing when it comes;
You know that he is changing, and you know
That he is going—just as I know now
That Archibald is going, and that I
Am staying.… Look at me, my boy,
And when the time shall come for you to see
That I must follow after him, try then
To think of me, to bring me back again,
Just as I was to-day. Think of the place
Where we are sitting now, and think of me—
Think of old Isaac as you knew him then,
When you set out with him in August once
To see old Archibald.”—The words come back
Almost as Isaac must have uttered them,
And there comes with them a dry memory
Of something in my throat that would not move.

If you had asked me then to tell just why
I made so much of Isaac and the things
He said, I should have gone far for an answer;
For I knew it was not sorrow that I felt,
Whatever I may have wished it, or tried then
To make myself believe. My mouth was full
Of words, and they would have been comforting
To Isaac, spite of my twelve years, I think;
But there was not in me the willingness
To speak them out. Therefore I watched the ground;
And I was wondering what made the Lord
Create a thing so nervous as an ant,
When Isaac, with commendable unrest,
Ordained that we should take the road again—
For it was yet three miles to Archibald’s,
And one to the first pump. I felt relieved
All over when the old man told me that;
I felt that he had stilled a fear of mine
That those extremities of heat and cold
Which he had long gone through with Archibald
Had made the man impervious to both;
But Isaac had a desert somewhere in him,
And at the pump he thanked God for all things
That He had put on earth for men to drink,
And he drank well,—so well that I proposed
That we go slowly lest I learn too soon
The bitterness of being left behind,
And all those other things. That was a joke
To Isaac, and it pleased him very much;
And that pleased me—for I was twelve years old.

At the end of an hour’s walking after that
The cottage of old Archibald appeared.
Little and white and high on a smooth round hill
It stood, with hackmatacks and apple-trees
Before it, and a big barn-roof beyond;
And over the place—trees, house, fields and all
Hovered an air of still simplicity
And a fragrance of old summers—the old style
That lives the while it passes. I dare say
That I was lightly conscious of all this
When Isaac, of a sudden, stopped himself,
And for the long first quarter of a minute
Gazed with incredulous eyes, forgetful quite
Of breezes and of me and of all else
Under the scorching sun but a smooth-cut field,
Faint yellow in the distance. I was young,
But there were a few things that I could see,
And this was one of them.—“Well, well!” said he;
And “Archibald will be surprised, I think,”
Said I. But all my childhood subtlety
Was lost on Isaac, for he strode along
Like something out of Homer—powerful
And awful on the wayside, so I thought.
Also I thought how good it was to be
So near the end of my short-legged endeavor
To keep the pace with Isaac for five miles.

Hardly had we turned in from the main road
When Archibald, with one hand on his back
And the other clutching his huge-headed cane,
Came limping down to meet us.—“Well! well! well!”
Said he; and then he looked at my red face,
All streaked with dust and sweat, and shook my hand,
And said it must have been a right smart walk
That we had had that day from Tilbury Town.—
“Magnificent,” said Isaac; and he told
About the beautiful west wind there was
Which cooled and clarified the atmosphere.
You must have made it with your legs, I guess,”
Said Archibald; and Isaac humored him
With one of those infrequent smiles of his
Which he kept in reserve, apparently,
For Archibald alone. “But why,” said he,
“Should Providence have cider in the world
If not for such an afternoon as this?”
And Archibald, with a soft light in his eyes,
Replied that if he chose to go down cellar,
There he would find eight barrels—one of which
Was newly tapped, he said, and to his taste
An honor to the fruit. Isaac approved
Most heartily of that, and guided us
Forthwith, as if his venerable feet
Were measuring the turf in his own door-yard,
Straight to the open rollway. Down we went,
Out of the fiery sunshine to the gloom,
Grateful and half sepulchral, where we found
The barrels, like eight potent sentinels,
Close ranged along the wall. From one of them
A bright pine spile stuck out alluringly,
And on the black flat stone, just under it,
Glimmered a late-spilled proof that Archibald
Had spoken from unfeigned experience.
There was a fluted antique water-glass
Close by, and in it, prisoned, or at rest,
There was a cricket, of the brown soft sort
That feeds on darkness. Isaac turned him out,
And touched him with his thumb to make him jump,
And then composedly pulled out the plug
With such a practised hand that scarce a drop
Did even touch his fingers. Then he drank
And smacked his lips with a slow patronage
And looked along the line of barrels there
With a pride that may have been forgetfulness
That they were Archibald’s and not his own.
I never twist a spigot nowadays,”
He said, and raised the glass up to the light,
But I thank God for orchards.” And that glass
Was filled repeatedly for the same hand
Before I thought it worth while to discern
Again that I was young, and that old age,
With all his woes, had some advantages.
“Now, Archibald,” said Isaac, when we stood
Outside again, “I have it in my mind
That I shall take a sort of little walk
To stretch my legs and see what you are doing.
You stay and rest your back and tell the boy
A story: Tell him all about the time
In Stafford’s cabin forty years ago,
When four of us were snowed up for ten days
With only one dried haddock. Tell him all
About it, and be wary of your back.
Now I will go along.”—I looked up then
At Archibald, and as I looked I saw
Just how his nostrils widened once or twice
And then grew narrow. I can hear today
The way the old man chuckled to himself—
Not wholesomely, not wholly to convince
Another of his mirth,—as I can hear
The lonely sigh that followed.—But at length
He said: “The orchard now’s the place for us;
We may find something like an apple there,
And we shall have the shade, at any rate.”
So there we went and there we laid ourselves
Where the sun could not reach us; and I champed
A dozen of worm-blighted astrakhans
While Archibald said nothing—merely told
The tale of Stafford’s cabin, which was good,
Though “master chilly”—after his own phrase—
Even for a day like that. But other thoughts
Were moving in his mind, imperative,
And writhing to be spoken: I could see
The glimmer of them in a glance or two,
Cautious, or else unconscious, that he gave
Over his shoulder: … “Stafford and the rest—
But thats an old song now, and Archibald
And Isaac are old men. Remember, boy,
That we are old. Whatever we have gained,
Or lost, or thrown away, we are old men.
You look before you and we look behind,
And we are playing life out in the shadow—
But thats not all of it. The sunshine lights
A good road yet before us if we look,
And we are doing that when least we know it;
For both of us are children of the sun,
Like you, and like the weed there at your feet.
The shadow calls us, and it frightens us—
We think; but theres a light behind the stars
And we old fellows who have dared to live,
We see it—and we see the other things,
The other things … Yes, I have seen it come
These eight years, and these ten years, and I know
Now that it cannot be for very long
That Isaac will be Isaac. You have seen—
Young as you are, you must have seen the strange
Uncomfortable habit of the man?
He’ll take my nerves and tie them in a knot
Sometimes, and thats not Isaac. I know that
And I know what it is: I get it here
A little, in my knees, and Isaac—here.”
The old man shook his head regretfully
And laid his knuckles three times on his forehead.
Thats what it is: Isaac is not quite right.
You see it, but you dont know what it means:
The thousand little differences—no,
You do not know them, and it’s well you dont;
You’ll know them soon enough—God bless you, boy!—
You’ll know them, but not all of themnot all.
So think of them as little as you can:
Theres nothing in them for you, or for me—
But I am old and I must think of them;
Im in the shadow, but I dont forget
The light, my boy,—the light behind the stars.
Remember that: remember that I said it;
And when the time that you think far away
Shall come for you to say it—say it, boy;
Let there be no confusion or distrust
In you, no snarling of a life half lived,
Nor any cursing over broken things
That your complaint has been the ruin of.
Live to see clearly and the light will come
To you, and as you need it.—But there, there,
Im going it again, as Isaac says,
And I’ll stop now before you go to sleep.—
Only be sure that you growl cautiously,
And always where the shadow may not reach you.”

Never shall I forget, long as I live,
The quaint thin crack in Archibald’s voice,
The lonely twinkle in his little eyes,
Or the way it made me feel to be with him.
I know I lay and looked for a long time
Down through the orchard and across the road,
Across the river and the sun-scorched hills
That ceased in a blue forest, where the world
Ceased with it. Now and then my fancy caught
A flying glimpse of a good life beyond—
Something of ships and sunlight, streets and singing,
Troy falling, and the ages coming back,
And ages coming forward: Archibald
And Isaac were good fellows in old clothes,
And Agamemnon was a friend of mine;
Ulysses coming home again to shoot
With bows and feathered arrows made another,
And all was as it should be. I was young.

So I lay dreaming of what things I would,
Calm and incorrigibly satisfied
With apples and romance and ignorance,
And the still smoke from Archibald’s clay pipe.
There was a stillness over everything,
As if the spirit of heat had laid its hand
Upon the world and hushed it; and I felt
Within the mightiness of the white sun
That smote the land around us and wrought out
A fragrance from the trees, a vital warmth
And fullness for the time that was to come,
And a glory for the world beyond the forest.
The present and the future and the past,
Isaac and Archibald, the burning bush,
The Trojans and the walls of Jericho,
Were beautifully fused; and all went well
Till Archibald began to fret for Isaac
And said it was a master day for sunstroke.
That was enough to make a mummy smile,
I thought; and I remained hilarious,
In face of all precedence and respect,
Till Isaac (who had come to us unheard)
Found he had no tobacco, looked at me
Peculiarly, and asked of Archibald
What ailed the boy to make him chirrup so.
From that he told us what a blessed world
The Lord had given us.—“But, Archibald,”
He added, with a sweet severity
That made me think of peach-skins and goose-flesh,
Im half afraid you cut those oats of yours
A day or two before they were well set.”
They were set well enough,” said Archibald,—
And I remarked the process of his nose
Before the words came out. “But never mind
Your neighbor’s oats: you stay here in the shade
And rest yourself while I go find the cards.
We’ll have a little game of seven-up
And let the boy keep count.”—“We’ll have the game,
Assuredly,” said Isaac; “and I think
That I will have a drop of cider, also.”

They marched away together towards the house
And left me to my childish ruminations
Upon the ways of men. I followed them
Down cellar with my fancy, and then left them
For a fairer vision of all things at once
That was anon to be destroyed again
By the sound of voices and of heavy feet—
One of the sounds of life that I remember,
Though I forget so many that rang first
As if they were thrown down to me from Sinai.

So I remember, even to this day,
Just how they sounded, how they placed themselves,
And how the game went on while I made marks
And crossed them out, and meanwhile made some Trojans.
Likewise I made Ulysses, after Isaac,
And a little after Flaxman. Archibald
Was injured when he found himself left out,
But he had no heroics, and I said so:
I told him that his white beard was too long
And too straight down to be like things in Homer.
“Quite so,” said Isaac.—“Low,” said Archibald;
And he threw down a deuce with a deep grin
That showed his yellow teeth and made me happy.
So they played on till a bell rang from the door,
And Archibald said, “Supper.”—After that
The old men smoked while I sat watching them
And wondered with all comfort what might come
To me, and what might never come to me;
And when the time came for the long walk home
With Isaac in the twilight, I could see
The forest and the sunset and the sky-line,
No matter where it was that I was looking:
The flame beyond the boundary, the music,
The foam and the white ships, and two old men
Were things that would not leave me.—And that night
There came to me a dream—a shining one,
With two old angels in it. They had wings,
And they were sitting where a silver light
Suffused them, face to face. The wings of one
Began to palpitate as I approached,
But I was yet unseen when a dry voice
Cried thinly, with unpatronizing triumph,
I’ve got you, Isaac; high, low, jack, and the game.”

Isaac and Archibald have gone their way
To the silence of the loved and well-forgotten.
I knew them, and I may have laughed at them;
But theres a laughing that has honor in it,
And I have no regret for light words now.
Rather I think sometimes they may have made
Their sport of me;—but they would not do that,
They were too old for that. They were old men,
And I may laugh at them because I knew them.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
John Dryden

Palamon And Arcite; Or, The Knight's Tale. From Chaucer. In Three Books. Book I.

In days of old there lived, of mighty fame,
A valiant Prince, and Theseus was his name;
A chief, who more in feats of arms excelled,
The rising nor the setting sun beheld.
Of Athens he was lord; much land he won,
And added foreign countries to his crown.
In Scythia with the warrior Queen he strove,
Whom first by force he conquered, then by love;
He brought in triumph back the beauteous dame,
With whom her sister, fair Emilia, came.
With honour to his home let Theseus ride,
With Love to friend, and Fortune for his guide,
And his victorious army at his side.
I pass their warlike pomp, their proud array,
Their shouts, their songs, their welcome on the way;
But, were it not too long, I would recite
The feats of Amazons, the fatal fight
Betwixt the hardy Queen and hero Knight;
The town besieged, and how much blood it cost
The female army, and the Athenian host;
The spousals of Hippolyta the Queen;
What tilts and turneys at the feast were seen;
The storm at their return, the ladies' fear:
But these and other things I must forbear.

The field is spacious I design to sow
With oxen far unfit to draw the plough:
The remnant of my tale is of a length
To tire your patience, and to waste my strength;
And trivial accidents shall be forborn,
That others may have time to take their turn,
As was at first enjoined us by mine host,
That he, whose tale is best and pleases most,
Should win his supper at our common cost.
And therefore where I left, I will pursue
This ancient story, whether false or true,
In hope it may be mended with a new.
The Prince I mentioned, full of high renown,
In this array drew near the Athenian town;
When, in his pomp and utmost of his pride
Marching, he chanced to cast his eye aside,
And saw a quire of mourning dames, who lay
By two and two across the common way:
At his approach they raised a rueful cry,
And beat their breasts, and held their hands on high,
Creeping and crying, till they seized at last
His courser's bridle and his feet embraced.
“Tell me,” said Theseus, “what and whence you are,
And why this funeral pageant you prepare?
Is this the welcome of my worthy deeds,
To meet my triumph in ill-omened weeds?
Or envy you my praise, and would destroy
With grief my pleasures, and pollute my joy?
Or are you injured, and demand relief?
Name your request, and I will ease your grief.”
The most in years of all the mourning train
Began; but swounded first away for pain;
Then scarce recovered spoke: “Nor envy we
“Thy great renown, nor grudge thy victory;
'Tis thine, O King, the afflicted to redress,
And fame has filled the world with thy success:
We wretched women sue for that alone,
Which of thy goodness is refused to none;
Let fall some drops of pity on our grief,
If what we beg be just, and we deserve relief;
For none of us, who now thy grace implore,
But held the rank of sovereign queen before;
Till, thanks to giddy Chance, which never bears
That mortal bliss should last for length of years,
She cast us headlong from our high estate,
And here in hope of thy return we wait,
And long have waited in the temple nigh,
Built to the gracious goddess Clemency.
But reverence thou the power whose name it bears,
Relieve the oppressed, and wipe the widows' tears.
I, wretched I, have other fortune seen,
The wife of Capaneus, and once a Queen;
At Thebes he fell; cursed be the fatal day!
And all the rest thou seest in this array
To make their moan their lords in battle lost,
Before that town besieged by our confederate host.
But Creon, old and impious, who commands
The Theban city, and usurps the lands,
Denies the rites of funeral fires to those
Whose breathless bodies yet he calls his foes.
Unburned, unburied, on a heap they lie;
Such is their fate, and such his tyranny;
No friend has leave to bear away the dead,
But with their lifeless limbs his hounds are fed.”
At this she shrieked aloud; the mournful train
Echoed her grief, and grovelling on the plain,
With groans, and hands upheld, to move his mind,
Besought his pity to their helpless kind.

The Prince was touched, his tears began to flow,
And, as his tender heart would break in two,
He sighed; and could not but their fate deplore,
So wretched now, so fortunate before.
Then lightly from his lofty steed he flew,
And raising one by one the suppliant crew,
To comfort each, full solemnly he swore,
That by the faith which knights to knighthood bore,
And whate'er else to chivalry belongs,
He would not cease, till he revenged their wrongs;
That Greece should see performed what he declared,
And cruel Creon find his just reward.
He said no more, but shunning all delay
Rode on, nor entered Athens on his way;
But left his sister and his queen behind,
And waved his royal banner in the wind,
Where in an argent field the God of War
Was drawn triumphant on his iron car.
Red was his sword, and shield, and whole attire,
And all the godhead seemed to glow with fire;
Even the ground glittered where the standard flew,
And the green grass was dyed to sanguine hue.
High on his pointed lance his pennon bore
His Cretan fight, the conquered Minotaur:
The soldiers shout around with generous rage,
And in that victory their own presage.
He praised their ardour, inly pleased to see
His host, the flower of Grecian chivalry.
All day he marched, and all the ensuing night,
And saw the city with returning light.
The process of the war I need not tell,
How Theseus conquered, and how Creon fell;
Or after, how by storm the walls were won,
Or how the victor sacked and burned the town;
How to the ladies he restored again
The bodies of their lords in battle slain;
And with what ancient rites they were interred;
All these to fitter time shall be deferred:
I spare the widows' tears, their woful cries,
And howling at their husbands' obsequies;
How Theseus at these funerals did assist,
And with what gifts the mourning dames dismissed.

Thus when the victor chief had Creon slain,
And conquered Thebes, he pitched upon the plain
His mighty camp, and when the day returned,
The country wasted and the hamlets burned,
And left the pillagers, to rapine bred,
Without control to strip and spoil the dead.

There, in a heap of slain, among the rest
Two youthful knights they found beneath a load oppressed
Of slaughtered foes, whom first to death they sent,
The trophies of their strength, a bloody monument.
Both fair, and both of royal blood they seemed,
Whom kinsmen to the crown the heralds deemed;
That day in equal arms they fought for fame;
Their swords, their shields, their surcoats were the same:
Close by each other laid they pressed the ground,
Their manly bosoms pierced with many a grisly wound;
Nor well alive nor wholly dead they were,
But some faint signs of feeble life appear;
The wandering breath was on the wing to part,
Weak was the pulse, and hardly heaved the heart.
These two were sisters' sons; and Arcite one,
Much famed in fields, with valiant Palamon.
From these their costly arms the spoilers rent,
And softly both conveyed to Theseus' tent:
Whom, known of Creon's line and cured with care,
He to his city sent as prisoners of the war;
Hopeless of ransom, and condemned to lie
In durance, doomed a lingering death to die.

This done, he marched away with warlike sound,
And to his Athens turned with laurels crowned,
Where happy long he lived, much loved, and more renowned.
But in a tower, and never to be loosed,
The woful captive kinsmen are enclosed.

Thus year by year they pass, and day by day,
Till once ('twas on the morn of cheerful May)
The young Emilia, fairer to be seen
Than the fair lily on the flowery green,
More fresh than May herself in blossoms new,
(For with the rosy colour strove her hue,)
Waked, as her custom was, before the day,
To do the observance due to sprightly May;
For sprightly May commands our youth to keep
The vigils of her night, and breaks their sluggard sleep;
Each gentle breast with kindly warmth she moves;
Inspires new flames, revives extinguished loves.
In this remembrance Emily ere day
Arose, and dressed herself in rich array;
Fresh as the month, and as the morning fair,
Adown her shoulders fell her length of hair:
A ribband did the braided tresses bind,
The rest was loose, and wantoned in the wind:
Aurora had but newly chased the night,
And purpled o'er the sky with blushing light,
When to the garden-walk she took her way,
To sport and trip along in cool of day,
And offer maiden vows in honour of the May. 190

At every turn she made a little stand,
And thrust among the thorns her lily hand
To draw the rose; and every rose she drew,
She shook the stalk, and brushed away the dew;

Then party-coloured flowers of white and red
She wove, to make a garland for her head:
This done, she sung and carolled out so clear,
That men and angels might rejoice to hear;
Even wondering Philomel forgot to sing,
And learned from her to welcome in the spring.
The tower, of which before was mention made,
Within whose keep the captive knights were laid,
Built of a large extent, and strong withal,
Was one partition of the palace wall;
The garden was enclosed within the square,
Where young Emilia took the morning air.

It happened Palamon, the prisoner knight,
Restless for woe, arose before the light,
And with his jailor's leave desired to breathe
An air more wholesome than the damps beneath.
This granted, to the tower he took his way,
Cheered with the promise of a glorious day;
Then cast a languishing regard around,
And saw with hateful eyes the temples crowned
With golden spires, and all the hostile ground.
He sighed, and turned his eyes, because he knew
'Twas but a larger jail he had in view;
Then looked below, and from the castle's height
Beheld a nearer and more pleasing sight;
The garden, which before he had not seen,
In spring's new livery clad of white and green,
Fresh flowers in wide parterres, and shady walks between.
This viewed, but not enjoyed, with arms across
He stood, reflecting on his country's loss;
Himself an object of the public scorn,
And often wished he never had been born.
At last (for so his destiny required),
With walking giddy, and with thinking tired,

He through a little window cast his sight,
Though thick of bars, that gave a scanty light;
But even that glimmering served him to descry
The inevitable charms of Emily.

Scarce had he seen, but, seized with sudden smart,
Stung to the quick, he felt it at his heart;
Struck blind with overpowering light he stood,
Then started back amazed, and cried aloud.

Young Arcite heard; and up he ran with haste,
To help his friend, and in his arms embraced;
And asked him why he looked so deadly wan,
And whence, and how, his change of cheer began?
Or who had done the offence? “But if,” said he,
“Your grief alone is hard captivity,
For love of Heaven with patience undergo
A cureless ill, since Fate will have it so:
So stood our horoscope in chains to lie,
And Saturn in the dungeon of the sky,
Or other baleful aspect, ruled our birth,
When all the friendly stars were under earth;
Whate'er betides, by Destiny 'tis done;
And better bear like men than vainly seek to shun.”
Nor of my bonds,” said Palamon again,
Nor of unhappy planets I complain;
But when my mortal anguish caused my cry,
The moment I was hurt through either eye;
Pierced with a random shaft, I faint away,
And perish with insensible decay:
A glance of some new goddess gave the wound,
Whom, like Actaeon, unaware I found.
Look how she walks along yon shady space;
Not Juno moves with more majestic grace,
And all the Cyprian queen is in her face.
If thou art Venus (for thy charms confess
That face was formed in heaven), nor art thou less,
Disguised in habit, undisguised in shape,
O help us captives from our chains to scape!
But if our doom be past in bonds to lie
For life, and in a loathsome dungeon die,
Then be thy wrath appeased with our disgrace,
And show compassion to the Theban race,
Oppressed by tyrant power!”—While yet he spoke,
Arcite on Emily had fixed his look;
The fatal dart a ready passage found
And deep within his heart infixed the wound:
So that if Palamon were wounded sore,
Arcite was hurt as much as he or more:
Then from his inmost soul he sighed, and said,
“The beauty I behold has struck me dead:
Unknowingly she strikes, and kills by chance;
Poison is in her eyes, and death in every glance.
Oh, I must ask; nor ask alone, but move
Her mind to mercy, or must die for love.”

Thus Arcite: and thus Palamon replies
(Eager his tone, and ardent were his eyes,)
“Speakest thou in earnest, or in jesting vein?”
“Jesting,” said Arcite, “suits but ill with pain.”
“It suits far worse,” (said Palamon again,
And bent his brows,) “with men who honour weigh,
Their faith to break, their friendship to betray;
But worst with thee, of noble lineage born,
My kinsman, and in arms my brother sworn.
Have we not plighted each our holy oath,
That one should be the common good of both;
One soul should both inspire, and neither prove
His fellow's hindrance in pursuit of love?
To this before the Gods we gave our hands,
And nothing but our death can break the bands.

This binds thee, then, to farther my design,
As I am bound by vow to farther thine:
Nor canst, nor darest thou, traitor, on the plain
Appeach my honour, or thy own maintain,
Since thou art of my council, and the friend
Whose faith I trust, and on whose care depend.
And wouldst thou court my lady's love, which I
Much rather than release, would choose to die?
But thou, false Arcite, never shalt obtain,
Thy bad pretence; I told thee first my pain:
For first my love began ere thine was born;
Thou as my council, and my brother sworn,
Art bound to assist my eldership of right,
Or justly to be deemed a perjured knight.”

Thus Palamon: but Arcite with disdain
In haughty language thus replied again:
“Forsworn thyself: the traitor's odious name
I first return, and then disprove thy claim.
If love be passion, and that passion nurst
With strong desires, I loved the lady first.
Canst thou pretend desire, whom zeal inflamed
To worship, and a power celestial named?
Thine was devotion to the blest above,
I saw the woman, and desired her love;
First owned my passion, and to thee commend
The important secret, as my chosen friend.
Suppose (which yet I grant not) thy desire
A moment elder than my rival fire;
Can chance of seeing first thy title prove?
And knowst thou not, no law is made for love?
Law is to things which to free choice relate;
Love is not in our choice, but in our fate;
Laws are not positive; love's power we see
Is Nature's sanction, and her first decree,
Each day we break the bond of human laws
For love, and vindicate the common cause.
Laws for defence of civil rights are placed,
Love throws the fences down, and makes a general waste.
Maids, widows, wives without distinction fall;
The sweeping deluge, love, comes on and covers all.
If then the laws of friendship I transgress,
I keep the greater, while I break the less;
And both are mad alike, since neither can possess.
Both hopeless to be ransomed, never more
To see the sun, but as he passes o'er.
Like Asop's hounds contending for the bone,
Each pleaded right, and would be lord alone;
The fruitless fight continued all the day,
A cur came by and snatched the prize away.
As courtiers therefore justle for a grant,
And when they break their friendship, plead their want,
So thou, if Fortune will thy suit advance,
Love on, nor envy me my equal chance:
For I must love, and am resolved to try
My fate, or failing in the adventure die.”

Great was their strife, which hourly was renewed,
Till each with mortal hate his rival viewed:
Now friends no more, nor walking hand in hand;
But when they met they made a surly stand,
And glared like Angry lions as they passed,
And wished that every look might be their last.

It chanced at length, Pirithous came to attend
This worthy Theseus, his familiar friend:
Their love in early infancy began,
And rose as childhood ripened into man,
Companions of the war; and loved so well,
That when one died, as ancient stories tell,
His fellow to redeem him went to hell.

But to pursue my tale: to welcome home
His warlike brother is Pirithous come:
Arcite of Thebes was known in arms long since,
And honoured by this young Thessalian prince.
Theseus, to gratify his friend and guest,
Who made our Arcite's freedom his request,
Restored to liberty the captive knight,
But on these hard conditions I recite:
That if hereafter Arcite should be found
Within the compass of Athenian ground,
By day or night, or on whate'er pretence,
His head should pay the forfeit of the offence.
To this Pirithous for his friend agreed,
And on his promise was the prisoner freed.

Unpleased and pensive hence he takes his way,
At his own peril; for his life must pay.
Who now but Arcite mourns his bitter fate,
Finds his dear purchase, and repents too late?
“What have I gained,” he said, “in prison pent,
If I but change my bonds for banishment?
And banished from her sight, I suffer more
In freedom than I felt in bonds before;
Forced from her presence and condemned to live,
Unwelcome freedom and unthanked reprieve:
Heaven is not but where Emily abides,
And where she's absent, all is hell besides.
Next to my day of birth, was that accurst
Which bound my friendship to Pirithous first:
Had I not known that prince, I still had been
In bondage and had still Emilia seen:
For though I never can her grace deserve,
'Tis recompense enough to see and serve.
O Palamon, my kinsman and my friend,
How much more happy fates thy love attend I

Thine is the adventure, thine the victory,
Well has thy fortune turned the dice for thee:
Thou on that angel's face mayest feed thy eyes,
In prison, no; but blissful paradise!
Thou daily seest that sun of beauty shine,
And lovest at least in love's extremest line.
I mourn in absence, love's eternal night;
And who can tell but since thou hast her sight,
And art a comely, young, and valiant knight,
Fortune (a various power) may cease to frown,
And by some ways unknown thy wishes crown?
But I, the most forlorn of human kind,
Nor help can hope nor remedy can find;
But doomed to drag my loathsome life in care,
For my reward, must end it in despair.
Fire, water, air, and earth, and force of fates
That governs all, and Heaven that all creates,
Nor art, nor Nature's hand can ease my grief;
Nothing but death, the wretch's last relief:
Then farewell youth, and all the joys that dwell
With youth and life, and life itself, farewell!
But why, alas! do mortal men in vain
Of Fortune, Fate, or Providence complain?
God gives us what he knows our wants require,
And better things than those which we desire:
Some pray for riches; riches they obtain;
But, watched by robbers, for their wealth are slain;
Some pray from prison to be freed; and come,
When guilty of their vows, to fall at home;
Murdered by those they trusted with their life,
A favoured servant or a bosom wife.
Such dear-bought blessings happen every day,
Because we know not for what things to pray.
Like drunken sots about the streets we roam:

“Well knows the sot he has a certain home,
Yet knows not how to find the uncertain place,
And blunders on and staggers every pace.
Thus all seek happiness; but few can find,
For far the greater part of men are blind.
This is my case, who thought our utmost good
Was in one word of freedom understood:
The fatal blessing came: from prison free,
I starve abroad, and lose the sight of Emily.”

Thus Arcite: but if Arcite thus deplore
His sufferings, Palamon yet suffers more.
For when he knew his rival freed and gone,
He swells with wrath; he makes outrageous moan;
He frets, he fumes, he stares, he stamps the ground;
The hollow tower with clamours rings around:
With briny tears he bathed his fettered feet,
And dropped all o'er with agony of sweat.
“Alas!” he cried, “I, wretch, in prison pine,
Too happy rival, while the fruit is thine:
Thou livest at large, thou drawest thy native air,
Pleased with thy freedom, proud of my despair:
Thou mayest, since thou hast youth and courage joined,
A sweet behaviour and a solid mind,
Assemble ours, and all the Theban race,
To vindicate on Athens thy disgrace;
And after (by some treaty made) possess
Fair Emily, the pledge of lasting peace.
So thine shall be the beauteous prize, while I
Must languish in despair, in prison die.
Thus all the advantage of the strife is thine,
Thy portion double joys, and double sorrows mine.”

The rage of jealousy then fired his soul,
And his face kindled like a burning coal
Now cold despair, succeeding in her stead,
To livid paleness turns the glowing red.
His blood, scarce liquid, creeps within his veins,
Like water which the freezing wind constrains.
Then thus he said: “Eternal Deities,
Who rule the world with absolute decrees,
And write whatever time shall bring to pass
With pens of adamant on plates of brass;
What is the race of human kind your care
Beyond what all his fellow-creatures are?
He with the rest is liable to pain,
And like the sheep, his brother-beast, is slain.
Cold, hunger, prisons, ills without a cure,
All these he must, and guiltless oft, endure;
Or does your justice, power, or prescience fail,
When the good suffer and the bad prevail?
What worse to wretched virtue could befal,
If Fate or giddy Fortune governed all?
Nay, worse than other beasts is our estate:
Them, to pursue their pleasures, you create;
We, bound by harder laws, must curb our will,
And your commands, not our desires, fulfil:
Then, when the creature is unjustly slain,
Yet, after death at least, he feels no pain;
But man in life surcharged with woe before,
Not freed when dead, is doomed to suffer more.
A serpent shoots his sting at unaware;
An ambushed thief forelays a traveller;
The man lies murdered, while the thief and snake,
One gains the thickets, and one thrids the brake.
This let divines decide; but well I know,
Just or unjust, I have my share of woe,
Through Saturn seated in a luckless place,
And Juno's wrath that persecutes my race;
Or Mars and Venus in a quartil, move
My pangs of jealousy for Arcite's love,”

Let Palamon oppressed in bondage mourn,
While to his exited rival we return.
By this the sun, declining from his height,
The day had shortened to prolong the night:
The lengthened night gave length of misery,
Both to the captive lover and the free:
For Palamon in endless prison mourns,
And Arcite forfeits life if he returns;
The banished never hopes his love to see,
Nor hopes the captive lord his liberty.
'Tis hard to say who suffers greater pains;
One sees his love, but cannot break his chains;
One free, and all his motions uncontrolled,
Beholds whate'er he would but what he would behold.
Judge as you please, for I will haste to tell
What fortune to the banished knight befel.
When Arcite was to Thebes returned again,
The loss of her he loved renewed his pain;
What could be worse than never more to see
His life, his soul, his charming Emily?
He raved with all the madness of despair,
He roared, he beat his breast, he tore his hair.
Dry sorrow in his stupid eyes appears,
For wanting nourishment, he wanted tears;
His eyeballs in their hollow sockets sink,
Bereft of sleep; he loathes his meat and drink;
He withers at his heart, and looks as wan
As the pale spectre of a murdered man:
That pale turns yellow, and his face receives
The faded hue of sapless boxen leaves;
In solitary groves he makes his moan,
Walks early out, and ever is alone;
Nor, mixed in mirth, in youthful pleasure shares,
But sighs when songs and instruments he hears.

His spirits are so low, his voice is drowned,
He hears as from afar, or in a swound,
Like the deaf murmurs of a distant sound:
Uncombed his locks, and squalid his attire,
Unlike the trim of love and gay desire;
But full of museful mopings, which presage
The loss of reason and conclude in rage.

This when he had endured a year and more,
Now wholly changed from what he was before,
It happened once, that, slumbering as he lay,
He dreamt (his dream began at break of day)
That Hermes o'er his head in air appeared,
And with soft words his drooping spirits cheered;
His hat adorned with wings disclosed the god,
And in his hand he bore the sleep-compelling rod;
Such as he seemed, when, at his sire's command,
On Argus' head he laid the snaky wand.
“Arise,” he said, “to conquering Athens go;
There Fate appoints an end of all thy woe.”
The fright awakened Arcite with a start,
Against his bosom bounced his heaving heart;
But soon he said, with scarce recovered breath,
And thither will I go to meet my death,
Sure to be slain; but death is my desire,
Since in Emilia's sight I shall expire.”
By chance he spied a mirror while he spoke,
And gazing there beheld his altered look;
Wondering, he saw his features and his hue
So much were changed, that scarce himself he knew.
A sudden thought then starting in his mind,
“Since I in Arcite cannot Arcite find,
The world may search in vain with all their eyes,
But never penetrate through this disguise.
Thanks to the change which grief and sickness give,
In low estate I may securely live,
And see, unknown, my mistress day by day.”
He said, and clothed himself in coarse array,
A labouring hind in show; then forth he went,
And to the Athenian towers his journey bent:
One squire attended in the same disguise,
Made conscious of his master's enterprise.
Arrived at Athens, soon he came to court,
Unknown, unquestioned in that thick resort:
Proffering for hire his service at the gate,
To drudge, draw water, and to run or wait.

So fair befel him, that for little gain
He served at first Emilia's chamberlain;
And, watchful all advantages to spy,
Was still at hand, and in his master's eye;
And as his bones were big, and sinews strong,
Refused no toil that could to slaves belong;
But from deep wells with engines water drew,
And used his noble hands the wood to hew.
He passed a year at least attending thus
On Emily, and called Philostratus.
But never was there man of his degree
So much esteemed, so well beloved as he.
So gentle of condition was he known,
That through the court his courtesy was blown:
All think him worthy of a greater place,
And recommend him to the royal grace;
That exercised within a higher sphere,
His virtues more conspicuous might appear.
Thus by the general voice was Arcite praised,
And by great Theseus to high favour raised;
Among his menial servants first enrolled,
And largely entertained with sums of gold:
Besides what secretly from Thebes was sent,

Of his own income and his annual rent.
This well employed, he purchased friends and fame,
But cautiously concealed from whence it came.
Thus for three years he lived with large increase
In arms of honour, and esteem in peace;
To Theseus' person he was ever near,
And Theseus for his virtues held him dear.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Morning Light/ Does Not Remember The Night

THE MORNING LIGHT

The morning light
Does not remember the night.
It opens the day
It makes us want to live again
It says
The whole world is waiting there for us
If we will only walk out into it.

The morning light does not remember the night
It gives us hope again
God bless the morning light
And life which begins again each day.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Dawn Of Life

In the dawn of tranquility
Fleeting shadows of time
Unmerciful burdens I beg
Set all life free.

Walking on clouds
Of dreams.
Seeking thy divinity.

Lost and wandering souls.
In search of home.
The path is blurred,
The world absurd.

Longing for a vision clear,
The nearness of love,
No place for fear.

And in that morn
That we are born.
A newness never pending.

We'll See in Thee
A Love so pure
A Life now never ending.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

A Moribund Summer

A short walk with a long time friend
In the somber silence
Of a moribund Summer morn

Taking the sun in comfortable quiet
The quiet comfort of old friends,
Of a day new-born

Taking full measure
Of such common pleasure
So rarely used as to be barely worn

The larks and the trees
The freshening breeze
The rustle of stalks of corn

Brief respite from strife
Of oft-harried life
Free and about, Nature borne

A bit of banter and then
Needs come to an end (too soon)
A short walk with

A long time friend…

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Smile.......

funny the day, that wait the child to live,
as the nipple complete the milk of the
a lip that touches thy mother arm

live for years in every beginning of a
mother lap, laughter echo in every corner
waiting of thy hug, feeling great a rendezvous
of tears of a hungry child in floored mess

grown to be adult and walk for a growth,
sing for the future and waited to come for
new beginning to live

listen before, as tomorrow is the direction of
life and today is the point of departure, always
see the fading day, all is just mute to touch and
walk the right path for you to be happy

remember the simple smile, the dear parent
says goodbye and always keep it up high, for
today is just a memory of smile, of what
tomorrow's everlasting memories of your smile

smile ….. though youre heart is aching

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Theres More To Life

Free to run like the wind on a summer day
Heart worn like a ring around the moon
And your eyes are ablaze
Reflections of time passing by
That remind you theres much more to life
Than standing still
Or running from place to place in the heat of
The day
Just follow your heart and youll see ...
Theres more to life
There beyond the horizon theres another day
Far above the pain and fear you feel
The power and the pace
The greatest sensation of all
Theres much more to life than youll ever know
The rise and fall, therell always be you and me
Were moving as one
So follow your heart and youll see ...
Theres more to life
We all have our dreams
We all have our visions
But time after time were faced with decisions
Which road to follow?
How hard to fight?
Then you wake up and see
That theres more to life
Free in acres of sky on a summer day
Fire that burns with hope inside your heart
We are never apart
Reflections of time passing by
That remind you theres much more to life
So follow your heart and youll see
If you follow your heart youll be free
cos theres more to life
So much more to life
More to life

song performed by Cliff RichardReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

More To Life

Free to turn like the wind on a Summer day
Heart worn like a ring around the moon
And your eyes are ablaze
Reflections of time passing by
That remind you there's much more to life
Than standing still
Or running from place to place in the heat of the day
Just follow your heart and you'll see ....
There's more to life
There beyond the horizon there's another day
Far above the pain and fear you feel
The power and the peace
The greatest sensation of all
There is much more to life than you'll ever know
The rise and fall, there'll always be you and me
We're moving as one
So follow your heart and you'll see ....
There's more to life
We all have our dreams
We all have our visions
But time after time we're faced with decisions
Which road to follow?
How hard to fight?
Then you wake up and see
That there's much more to life
Free in acres of sky on a Summer day
Fire that burns with hope inside your heart
We are never apart
Reflections of time passing by
That remind you there's much more to life
So just follow your heart and you'll see
If you follow your heart you'll be free
'Cos there's more to life
More to life

song performed by Cliff RichardReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Chances Are

Chances are if we'd meet again,
You won't know who I am,
Though you might remember the smile
Or you might recall the walk,
But chances are, you will not.
And if we did meet on the road again,
Would you smile and call my name
Or would you forget who I was,
Because now, we are not the same.
Chances are, you would walk away,
And you would forget what you saw
Even though you knew me then,
But now my face, you couldn't recall.
And if we were in trouble in the sea of life,
Would you be there to toss me a line
I know I'd be there if but for you,
But alas, that was a different time.
And chances are, if we were alone
You would then smile and talk to me,
You would be my friend, and remember again,
But chances are; that will never be.
Chances are, that I will never change
And that I will stay the way I am,
And you will stay the way, that you must be,
But I don't care, in this world of man.
I will act the way that I want to act
And I will do the things that I must do,
And I am not ashamed of anything or anyone,
But chances are, the hypocrite is you.
And as life is full of chances of her own,
She has her own steps and stairs,
And could I see you on your way down,
Chances are, I will be there.

Randy L. McClave

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

A Little Slower

Drive a little slower,
Take a look around,
Remember the houses,
The yellow stripes of time.

Walk a little slower,
Breathe in the fresh air,
Remember the look in strangers' eyes.
The glimpse into another's life.

Eat a little slower,
Take a moment to taste each taste,
Remember the server's name,
The complex simplicity of food.

Talk a littler slower,
Think about each word being said,
Remember each reply,
The interactions that form the day.

Move a little slower,
Pay attention to each muscle,
Remember how it feels,
The connect to the world.

Breathe a little slower,
Think about each breath,
Remember the heart beating in your chest,
The key to everything else.

Love a little slower,
Show your love and don't just say it,
Remember to put love above money,
The fuel to our success.

Laugh a little slower,
Really feel the emotion,
Remember to laugh often,
The relief from stress.

Dance a little slower,
Hold onto each word and note of music,
Remember the rhythm and beat,
The movements of life.

Live a little slower,
Take time to make your life what you want,
Remember that you only have one chance,
The choice to sit back or to live to the fullest.

Exist a little slower and you will know what happiness is.

By: Bethany M.
May 2,2012

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

A Saint I Ain't

If there is anyone seeking,
Anything in my life to taint?
I'll be the first to say...
A saint I ain't!

There is too much to explore.
Too much to experience,
Than to choose it to be ignored.
I want to adventure my life!
And that freedom nature offers.
And I can well afford.

Why should I deny myself...
To please those with their noses in the air?
With their stiff necks.
And their tight high lifted derrières!

People like that...
Can remove their behinds of my track.
The path on which I place my steps...
May shock others to hold their breath.
In fact...
Many like that,
Are busy body pests!
You know the kind...
Those who find time,
To wine and dine their displeasures.
As they pour someone's tea!
And I don't mind at all...
Serving up a full pot of my own for starters.
I want it known...
I can be quite cordial.
Even in the midst,
Of my own possible degradation.
I like to sit...
And listen to this mix of gossip.
The 'seriousness' of it...
Is worth a hasty limited visit.

I choose to do the unexpected.
With God's blessings,
Of course.

If there is anyone seeking,
Anything in my life to taint?
I'll be the first to say...
A saint I ain't!
Or profess to know,
What my 'Creator' wishes.
Like some hypocrites...
Quick to quip from scriptures.

I keep my eye on folks like that!
They can become defensive...
When questioned about their lack of facts.

Nor do I choose to walk on water.
Today...
I probably could.
Much of it is too polluted anyway.
Like some people with minds...
With nothing else to do,
But define how others should be living their lives.
Like 'themselves'...
Who have been certified self righteous.
And gossip as they sit in church pews.
Discussing where the pastor's wife,
Purchased her brand new shoes.

A saint I ain't.
Especially after observing...
Those who make claims,
They are the elite of 'christianity'.
And you can find them anywhere.
Once they have been seen...
Like roosters with hens pecking,
On any scene they pronounce as qualified...
For their self indulgence.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Poem about Poetry - An Eastern Ballad

i long to be an eastern poet
to write about the Great wall
wean stories from every tearstained stone
that still echoes the cries of those
missing homes, wives and children
walk its length to measure the cold
and forlorn monolith borne from the
heart of stones of Shih piled high
over hills and mountains

i long to be an eastern poet
to write about the legion of
gods and goddesses in the nook
and corner on the pantheons
of the the temples of india

those alluring and well endowed
gods and goddesses who stole from
heavens to teach about salvation
senseless senses, seeds of bondage
this world a dungeon of pain, a realm
nobody should come back to except the gods
to help man metamophosise from a bundle of senses
to om consciousness, nirvana

i would love to meet Moses
to talk about the Almighty God
his little brush with death and Salvation
on the swift Nile that still oozes with the tears
of mom who lost only son to the Pharoah's princess
the river that gave him his name
his lovelorn days in the gardens of the Palace
and the parting of the Red Sea that drew a line
between the people of God and the Idols
and whether he fell in love with what he saw there (the gardens)
a world away from the madness of the world
and the secrets he culled from the Highest One
about life, death, heavens and hell that help
us wade through the sea of ignorance to enlightenment

I would love to live with the tribes, wild men
of the South seas, learn about their hungry gods and sacrifices
perhaps then i could tell good from evil,
the gods from the devils and the truth from the lies
or perhaps live a life free from the One up there
recognising man's unreadiness, unworthiness for him yet
take and love people from that corner of the heart
that we all possess, starting from the Almighty's simplest lesson
a real eastern ballad i long to sing to the world

inspired by

An Eastern Ballad
I speak of love that comes to mind:
The moon is faithful, although blind;
She moves in thought she cannot speak.
Perfect care has made her bleak.
I never dreamed the sea so deep,
The earth so dark; so long my sleep,
I have become another child.
I wake to see the world go wild.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

T h e R e m e m b r a n c e r s

and it’s difficult to say exactly
what they do, or
how useful that task really is

for like the ideal rulers
of ancient China,
the better they do their job,
the less we notice that

you could say, they are
remembrancers:
they hold memories for millions of people:
they remember people, good people, poor people,
and honour them as we should wish to honour them;
they remember heroes and the dead;
they remember history; and how
things used to be done, when they were done well;

it is their duty, over a whole lifetime,
to remember what is so deep in all our hearts
that we have forgotten that we know it;
that we could hardly express it;
yet, as those stories of every nation tell,
as King Arthur is said to arise from the sleeping soul
in times of need – this is what they remember for us;

they remember what it means to be a nation
when others have forgotten
but as they have no executive power
they can only advise and consent
when asked

they draw to themselves, good and wise people
who help them to remember
to remember for the rest of us

and such is the mystery of what they really do
that we laugh about their private lives
over our morning newspapers
while they set out for another day
full of official engagements
of being seen to remember something
and we remember having seen them
and how we waved our flags and gave them flowers
but may or may not sense
what they remember for us

and as they move around,
in and out of cars and sometimes planes each day
receiving flowers from children awed by the moment,
shaking hands, receiving in a few seconds our clumsy response,
respect; admiration; recognition for duty done; even, love;
they must remember all that is unspoken, unformulated,
in those clumsy moments of the heart and soul
and that great mind which makes of human beings
families, tribes, nations, humanity
in those we walk with, through our life

for memory is not visible
and what they hold for us, we seldom think about
and we shall never know how much we owe to them
unless they were no longer here for us

they are sometimes called to be called kings and queens
and some are great,
born great, achieving greatness, or greatness thrust upon them
in the holy oil with which status is anointed;

but our gratitude is seldom shown
until their jubilee,
or in time of war
or at their funeral
when we, wearing black,
may celebrate their life, their light,

the remembrancers

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

English Eclogues VI - The Ruined Cottage

Aye Charles! I knew that this would fix thine eye,
This woodbine wreathing round the broken porch,
Its leaves just withering, yet one autumn flower
Still fresh and fragrant; and yon holly-hock
That thro' the creeping weeds and nettles tall
Peers taller, and uplifts its column'd stem
Bright with the broad rose-blossoms. I have seen
Many a fallen convent reverend in decay,
And many a time have trod the castle courts
And grass-green halls, yet never did they strike
Home to the heart such melancholy thoughts
As this poor cottage. Look, its little hatch
Fleeced with that grey and wintry moss; the roof
Part mouldered in, the rest o'ergrown with weeds,
House-leek and long thin grass and greener moss;
So Nature wars with all the works of man.
And, like himself, reduces back to earth
His perishable piles.
I led thee here
Charles, not without design; for this hath been
My favourite walk even since I was a boy;
And I remember Charles, this ruin here,
The neatest comfortable dwelling place!
That when I read in those dear books that first
Woke in my heart the love of poesy,
How with the villagers Erminia dwelt,
And Calidore for a fair shepherdess
Forgot his quest to learn the shepherd's lore;
My fancy drew from, this the little hut
Where that poor princess wept her hopeless love,
Or where the gentle Calidore at eve
Led Pastorella home. There was not then
A weed where all these nettles overtop
The garden wall; but sweet-briar, scenting sweet
The morning air, rosemary and marjoram,
All wholesome herbs; and then, that woodbine wreath'd
So lavishly around the pillared porch
Its fragrant flowers, that when I past this way,
After a truant absence hastening home,
I could not chuse but pass with slacken'd speed
By that delightful fragrance. Sadly changed
Is this poor cottage! and its dwellers, Charles!--
Theirs is a simple melancholy tale,
There's scarce a village but can fellow it,
And yet methinks it will not weary thee,
And should not be untold.
A widow woman
Dwelt with her daughter here; just above want,
She lived on some small pittance that sufficed,
In better times, the needful calls of life,
Not without comfort. I remember her
Sitting at evening in that open door way
And spinning in the sun; methinks I see her
Raising her eyes and dark-rimm'd spectacles
To see the passer by, yet ceasing not
To twirl her lengthening thread. Or in the garden
On some dry summer evening, walking round
To view her flowers, and pointing, as she lean'd
Upon the ivory handle of her stick,
To some carnation whose o'erheavy head
Needed support, while with the watering-pot
Joanna followed, and refresh'd and trimm'd
The drooping plant; Joanna, her dear child,
As lovely and as happy then as youth
And innocence could make her.
Charles! it seems
As tho' I were a boy again, and all
The mediate years with their vicissitudes
A half-forgotten dream. I see the Maid
So comely in her Sunday dress! her hair,
Her bright brown hair, wreath'd in contracting curls,
And then her cheek! it was a red and white
That made the delicate hues of art look loathsome,
The countrymen who on their way to church
Were leaning o'er the bridge, loitering to hear
The bell's last summons, and in idleness
Watching the stream below, would all look up
When she pass'd by. And her old Mother, Charles!
When I have beard some erring infidel
Speak of our faith as of a gloomy creed,
Inspiring fear and boding wretchedness.
Her figure has recurr'd; for she did love
The sabbath-day, and many a time has cross'd
These fields in rain and thro' the winter snows.
When I, a graceless boy, wishing myself
By the fire-side, have wondered why 'she' came
Who might have sate at home.
One only care
Hung on her aged spirit. For herself,
Her path was plain before her, and the close
Of her long journey near. But then her child
Soon to be left alone in this bad world,--
That was a thought that many a winter night
Had kept her sleepless: and when prudent love
In something better than a servant's slate
Had placed her well at last, it was a pang
Like parting life to part with her dear girl.

One summer, Charles, when at the holydays
Return'd from school, I visited again
My old accustomed walks, and found in them.
A joy almost like meeting an old friend,
I saw the cottage empty, and the weeds
Already crowding the neglected flowers.
Joanna by a villain's wiles seduced
Had played the wanton, and that blow had reach'd
Her mother's heart. She did not suffer long,
Her age was feeble, and the heavy blow
Brought her grey hairs with sorrow to the grave.

I pass this ruin'd dwelling oftentimes
And think of other days. It wakes in me
A transient sadness, but the feelings Charles
That ever with these recollections rise,
I trust in God they will not pass away.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
Charles Baudelaire

La Vie Antérieure (My Earlier Life)

J'ai longtemps habité sous de vastes portiques
Que les soleils marins teignaient de mille feux,
Et que leurs grands piliers, droits et majestueux,
Rendaient pareils, le soir, aux grottes basaltiques.

Les houles, en roulant les images des cieux,
Mêlaient d'une façon solennelle et mystique
Les tout-puissants accords de leur riche musique
Aux couleurs du couchant reflété par mes yeux.

C'est là que j'ai vécu dans les voluptés calmes,
Au milieu de l'azur, des vagues, des splendeurs
Et des esclaves nus, tout imprégnés d'odeurs,

Qui me rafraîchissaient le front avec des palmes,
Et dont l'unique soin était d'approfondir
Le secret douloureux qui me faisait languir.

My Former Life

For a long time I dwelt under vast porticos
Which the ocean suns lit with a thousand colors,
The pillars of which, tall, straight, and majestic,
Made them, in the evening, like basaltic grottos.

The billows which cradled the image of the sky
Mingled, in a solemn, mystical way,
The omnipotent chords of their rich harmonies
With the sunsets' colors reflected in my eyes;

It was there that I lived in voluptuous calm,
In splendor, between the azure and the sea,
And I was attended by slaves, naked, perfumed,

Who fanned my brow with fronds of palms
And whose sole task it was to fathom
The dolorous secret that made me pine away.


— Translated by William Aggeler

Former Life

I've lived beneath huge portals where marine
Suns coloured, with a myriad fires, the waves;
At eve majestic pillars made the scene
Resemble those of vast basaltic caves.

The breakers, rolling the reflected skies,
Mixed, in a solemn, enigmatic way,
The powerful symphonies they seem to play
With colours of the sunset in my eyes.

There did I live in a voluptuous calm
Where breezes, waves, and splendours roved as vagrants;
And naked slaves, impregnated with fragrance,

Would fan my forehead with their fronds of palm:
Their only charge was to increase the anguish
Of secret grief in which I loved to languish.


— Translated by Roy Campbell

My Former Life

I can remember a country of long, high colonnades
Which mirrored in their pale marble the prismatic light
Cast from the bright sea billows in a thousand shades,
And which resembled a cave of fluted basalt by night.

The ocean, strewn with sliding images of the sky,
Would mingle in a mysterious and solemn way,
Under the wild brief sunsets, its tremendous cry
With the reflected colors of the ruined day.

There did I dwell in quiet luxury apart,
Amid the slowly changing hues of clouds and waves;
And there I was attended by two naked slaves

Who sometimes fanned me with great fronds on either side,
And whose sole task was to let sink into my heart
The dolorous and beautiful secret of which I died.


— Translated by George Dillon

La Vie antérieure

aeons I dwelt beneath vast porticoes
stained by the sun and sea with fiery dye,
whose lordly pillars, stark against the sky,
like caverned cliffs in evening's gold arose.

the rolling surges and their mirror skies
blent in a grave mysterious organ-air
the chords all-powerful of their music rare
with sunset's colours in my glowing eyes.

'twas there I lived before, 'mid azure waves,
blue skies and splendours, in voluptuous calm,
while, steeped in every fragrance, naked slaves

made cool my brow with waving fronds of palm:
— their only care to drive the secret dart
of my dull sorrow, deeper in my heart.


— Translated by Lewis Piaget Shanks

My Earlier Life

I've been home a long time among the vast porticos,
Which the mariner sun has tinged with a million fires,
Whose grandest pillars, upright, majestic and cold
Render them the same, this evening, as caves with basalt spires.

The swells' overwhelming accords of rich music,
Heaving images of heaven to the skies,
Mingle in a way solemn and mystic
With the colors of the horizon reflected by my eyes.

It was here I was true to the voluptuous calm,
The milieu of azure, the waves, the splendors,
And the nude slaves, all impregnated with odors,

Who refreshed my brow with waving palms
My only care to bring to meaning from anguish
The sad secret in which I languish.


Translated by William A. Sigler

Previous Existence

For a long time I lived under vast colonnades,
Stained with a thousand fires by ocean suns,
Whose vast pillars, straight and majestic,
Made them seem in the evening like grottos of basalt.

The sea-swells, in swaying the pictures of the skies,
Mingled solemnly and mystically
The all-powerful harmonies of their rich music
With the colors of the setting sun reflected by my eyes.

It is there that I have lived in calm voluptuousness,
In the center of the blue, amidst the waves and splendors
And the nude slaves, heavy with perfumes,

Who refreshed my forehead with palm-leaves,
Their only care was to fathom
The dolorous secret that made me languish.


— Translated by Geoffrey Wagner

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
 

Search


Recent searches | Top searches