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Virginia Woolf

I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual.

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Beldame of Death

A crunch: afoot a dead arachnid
Spanning once a serving plate –
Oh! that others be alive
With such as me for spider bait!

I slunk along the silent hall
Of ancient ore attired in grime –
Feculent beyond the nose;
No bearing here, nor feel for time.

I shuddered in appreciation –
The ambience would mortify
A feeble mind, aghast, opined
Of murky thought, and typify
The will of Belial err I brought
Upon myself to loathe and dread
Exquisite retribution: to linger
Oftentimes alive, then dead.

Compulsion saw me edging on
Toward a narrow door of oak.
Behind, I knew, a greater evil
Waiting in her fusty cloak.

A choice of nil upon the table;
Aught of leave, I had to face
Alone the shrew – her flaming aura
Angling me; my deep disgrace
From ugly deeds I dealt in life,
A heinous world I honed in glee…

'Now take a crooked path to death,
For I have come to torture thee! '

Out of eyes of orange flame,
A piercing glare, then here it came
The cackling cry of chanting song:

'You thought you'd die alone in pain
The once – nay nay! you'll die with me,
And so a catch: you'll die again
Ad infinitum - ever be!

Your soul to curse, my heart we'll gore,
Your liver to draw and quarter;
A sadomasochistic pair,
We'll slither together in slaughter! '

I answered only with a scream, from
Sensing near her craving lust.

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It's Death Again

It's Death again - He's always there -
Watching, waiting - e'er the stare!
Every time I look behind
Or reach to pull the window blind,
I catch a glimpse of grubby hood -
A little clue to where he stood;
The glint of light that caught the scythe.
Perhaps if I could pay a tithe…
But O! no use, he'll never go.
The adamant phantom; don't you know
He will but wait until it's time
For me to hear His fateful chime? -
The toll that claims my destiny,
To Hail: 'You're next, it has to be…'

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2009

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XI. Guido

You are the Cardinal Acciaiuoli, and you,
Abate Panciatichi—two good Tuscan names:
Acciaiuoli—ah, your ancestor it was
Built the huge battlemented convent-block
Over the little forky flashing Greve
That takes the quick turn at the foot o' the hill
Just as one first sees Florence: oh those days!
'T is Ema, though, the other rivulet,
The one-arched brown brick bridge yawns over,—yes,
Gallop and go five minutes, and you gain
The Roman Gate from where the Ema's bridged:
Kingfishers fly there: how I see the bend
O'erturreted by Certosa which he built,
That Senescal (we styled him) of your House!
I do adjure you, help me, Sirs! My blood
Comes from as far a source: ought it to end
This way, by leakage through their scaffold-planks
Into Rome's sink where her red refuse runs?
Sirs, I beseech you by blood-sympathy,
If there be any vile experiment
In the air,—if this your visit simply prove,
When all's done, just a well-intentioned trick,
That tries for truth truer than truth itself,
By startling up a man, ere break of day,
To tell him he must die at sunset,—pshaw!
That man's a Franceschini; feel his pulse,
Laugh at your folly, and let's all go sleep!
You have my last word,—innocent am I
As Innocent my Pope and murderer,
Innocent as a babe, as Mary's own,
As Mary's self,—I said, say and repeat,—
And why, then, should I die twelve hours hence? I
Whom, not twelve hours ago, the gaoler bade
Turn to my straw-truss, settle and sleep sound
That I might wake the sooner, promptlier pay
His due of meat-and-drink-indulgence, cross
His palm with fee of the good-hand, beside,
As gallants use who go at large again!
For why? All honest Rome approved my part;
Whoever owned wife, sister, daughter,—nay,
Mistress,—had any shadow of any right
That looks like right, and, all the more resolved,
Held it with tooth and nail,—these manly men
Approved! I being for Rome, Rome was for me.
Then, there's the point reserved, the subterfuge
My lawyers held by, kept for last resource,
Firm should all else,—the impossible fancy!—fail,
And sneaking burgess-spirit win the day.
The knaves! One plea at least would hold,—they laughed,—
One grappling-iron scratch the bottom-rock

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Why Do I Write

I write from my sadness
I write from the madness
I write because I have something to say
I write to pass the day
I write only from the heart
I write for sometimes I am not that smart
Whatever is in head just comes out on paper (in this case a word document) , and I go with the flow
Write to let my mind go

I follow my hand to where ever it takes me
I write all the things that I can see
I write when I am happy, but not as much
I write from my heart that you can touch
I write because I’d go insane
I am driven to write quell my pain

At times I feel alone so I write what I am feeling
I write for it is self-healing
Confident not so I write it all away
I write and write to pass the day
I write to comfort my soul that cries out in the night
I write for love is always out of sight
I write so I don't have to cry any more
I write for I have no one to adore
I write so someone somewhere will hear my plea
I write for someone is out there for me
I am lost and I the clown
I write to turn my frown upside down

I write to embrace the sadness I hide inside
I write with my heart opened wide
I write to silence the ghost
I write for I’ve been let down by the one I loved the most
I write through the stormy weather
I write for I am light as a feather
I am not a writer nor am I a poet
I write for the grief I do know it

I will write until I draw my last breath
I write because I'll die a lonely death
I have to write for strangers delight
I write because I have to write
I write for my own happiness
I write to relieve my stress
I write because I have no other choice
I write as if I was writing a letter
I write because I can’t do any better
I write because I am afraid not to
I write for this is what I do
I write for I give a damn

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VII. Pompilia

I am just seventeen years and five months old,
And, if I lived one day more, three full weeks;
'T is writ so in the church's register,
Lorenzo in Lucina, all my names
At length, so many names for one poor child,
—Francesca Camilla Vittoria Angela
Pompilia Comparini,—laughable!
Also 't is writ that I was married there
Four years ago: and they will add, I hope,
When they insert my death, a word or two,—
Omitting all about the mode of death,—
This, in its place, this which one cares to know,
That I had been a mother of a son
Exactly two weeks. It will be through grace
O' the Curate, not through any claim I have;
Because the boy was born at, so baptized
Close to, the Villa, in the proper church:
A pretty church, I say no word against,
Yet stranger-like,—while this Lorenzo seems
My own particular place, I always say.
I used to wonder, when I stood scarce high
As the bed here, what the marble lion meant,
With half his body rushing from the wall,
Eating the figure of a prostrate man—
(To the right, it is, of entry by the door)
An ominous sign to one baptized like me,
Married, and to be buried there, I hope.
And they should add, to have my life complete,
He is a boy and Gaetan by name—
Gaetano, for a reason,—if the friar
Don Celestine will ask this grace for me
Of Curate Ottoboni: he it was
Baptized me: he remembers my whole life
As I do his grey hair.

All these few things
I know are true,—will you remember them?
Because time flies. The surgeon cared for me,
To count my wounds,—twenty-two dagger-wounds,
Five deadly, but I do not suffer much—
Or too much pain,—and am to die to-night.

Oh how good God is that my babe was born,
—Better than born, baptized and hid away
Before this happened, safe from being hurt!
That had been sin God could not well forgive:
He was too young to smile and save himself.
When they took two days after he was born,
My babe away from me to be baptized
And hidden awhile, for fear his foe should find,—

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Disingenuousness

Here lies another box for nature,
Carbon ready;
Black to eyes down here,
Where death is at its job.

Up there you’ll hear a rhythmic sob
Or two from living yet-to-dies –
A humming lacrimoso –
It all but cleans the eyes:

Forget it –
The dismal show of grief –
Life is only chemistry –
Our stay is only brief.
It’s we who hype it up!

Diaphragms jerk again;
The jet monotone of hearses
Feeds the disingenuousness
Of undertakers –
They seem to stare at something up ahead –
For them, it’s in the blood,
To taxi off the dead.

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2011


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A Poem Written By A Confessed Bipolar (her Name To Be Revealed Upon Her Permission)

I write because I can
I write because there are so many things to be written.
I write because I can make a painting without a brush and paints in my hand.
I write because I can capture the moment without having a camera.
I write because letters and words are the only recipe I know how to cook.
I write because I want to read what I’ve written.
I write because I’m used to speak in silence.
I write because I have a story to tell.
I write because I want to strip off my flesh and live as a pure being.
I write because I can record my “voice” without having a recorder.
I write because it’s like a cup of coffee, it keeps me awake
I write because I want to live even when I do not exist.
I write because this is my throwing stones when I’m frustrated.
6/11/09 at 4: 42 PM
I write because I can flaunt my being when I don’t have clothes to show off.
I write because this is like making an encyclopedia to a coloring book.
I write because it’s more effective than my lithium medication.
I write because I’m tired of carrying these baggages on the road.
I write because I’m tired of talking too much.
I write because it’s a healthier diversion than smoking.
I write because it’s more therapeutic than analyzing my problem.
I write because I want to paint a thousand pictures with words.
I write because I can put colors to the letters and make a rainbow of words.
I write because it’s the key combinations to my hidden vaults.
I write because my ball pen is my best friend in the darkest nights.
I write because it surprises me with what I am capable of thinking&doing. 6/11/09 at 4: 43 PM
I write because I like that ideas are popping like pop corns.
I write because I can wander in the adventures of my own world.
I write because I have to cleanse my collection of memories of an old home.
I write because like a mirror you need to do a lot of reflections.
I write because I want to fight the battle of life.
I write because I wanted my little voice to be heard.
I write because I want to run from the insanities of the world.
I write because pictures don’t talk.
I write because it helps me connect the dots when I look back in my life.
I write because it brings me back to my crib of silence.
I write because it makes a buzz to other bees in my beehive.
I write because unlike my bike my destination is limitless.
I write because I want to become an inspiration without extinction 6/11/09 at 4: 43 PM
I write because like strumming of the guitar, it vibrates in my soul.
I write because I love to write.

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Breaking The Law

There I was completely wasting, out of work and down
All inside its so frustrating as I drift from town to town
Feel as though nobody cares if I live or die
So I might as well begin to put some action in my life
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
So much for the golden future, I cant even start
Ive had every promise broken, theres anger in my heart
You dont know what its like, you dont have a clue
If you did youd find yourselves doing the same thing too
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
You dont know what its like
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law

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VI. Giuseppe Caponsacchi

Answer you, Sirs? Do I understand aright?
Have patience! In this sudden smoke from hell,—
So things disguise themselves,—I cannot see
My own hand held thus broad before my face
And know it again. Answer you? Then that means
Tell over twice what I, the first time, told
Six months ago: 't was here, I do believe,
Fronting you same three in this very room,
I stood and told you: yet now no one laughs,
Who then … nay, dear my lords, but laugh you did,
As good as laugh, what in a judge we style
Laughter—no levity, nothing indecorous, lords!
Only,—I think I apprehend the mood:
There was the blameless shrug, permissible smirk,
The pen's pretence at play with the pursed mouth,
The titter stifled in the hollow palm
Which rubbed the eyebrow and caressed the nose,
When I first told my tale: they meant, you know,
"The sly one, all this we are bound believe!
"Well, he can say no other than what he says.
"We have been young, too,—come, there's greater guilt!
"Let him but decently disembroil himself,
"Scramble from out the scrape nor move the mud,—
"We solid ones may risk a finger-stretch!
And now you sit as grave, stare as aghast
As if I were a phantom: now 't is—"Friend,
"Collect yourself!"—no laughing matter more—
"Counsel the Court in this extremity,
"Tell us again!"—tell that, for telling which,
I got the jocular piece of punishment,
Was sent to lounge a little in the place
Whence now of a sudden here you summon me
To take the intelligence from just—your lips!
You, Judge Tommati, who then tittered most,—
That she I helped eight months since to escape
Her husband, was retaken by the same,
Three days ago, if I have seized your sense,—
(I being disallowed to interfere,
Meddle or make in a matter none of mine,
For you and law were guardians quite enough
O' the innocent, without a pert priest's help)—
And that he has butchered her accordingly,
As she foretold and as myself believed,—
And, so foretelling and believing so,
We were punished, both of us, the merry way:
Therefore, tell once again the tale! For what?
Pompilia is only dying while I speak!
Why does the mirth hang fire and miss the smile?
My masters, there's an old book, you should con
For strange adventures, applicable yet,

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Death and I

When death comes
I’ll need not love –
Consumed,
No wreath or dove
Could offer me salvation,
Not when I’m no more.

A weathered stone will bear my name –
Identity of once a being
Living out existence in
A world of risk, and never seeing
Sense of why we’re here.

My genes will die away thro’ child –
Hue of eyes and hair, the way of thought,
Will quickly dim with generation –
Bow to future dominance –
Memories of provenance
Resigned to curious few.

When death comes
I’ll need not grace
Below; no grieving face
Will call my resurrection,
Not when I’m at ground –

Death and I so bound.

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2011


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The Death Of Me

Death sat
contemplating suicide
while speaker after speaker
opined:

The scientist intoned;
'The Cell is immortal
only personalities die;
Death cannot commit suicide! '

The Buddhist decried
all end points
citing endless cycles, renewals.
and reincarnations.

The biologist argued
that the only death that
mattered was the death of species;
'Individual biology matters least.'

'Only the planet matters'
said the environmentalist.


America lofted the individual
graffiting on the Universal wall
'All Death is the Death of the individual.'

The British had no remedy
offering instead a spot of tea
saying Death Down
is better sipped
with chin-up determination.

The pastor said
'Death is but a passage
on to Heaven or Hell
and best to get your life straightened out
before you hear that tolling bell.'

The Fatalist said 'do it, do it.'
It is inevitable'

'Death' said the existentialist
'is other people who
can kill your spirit
even before Death comes-
you arrive already dead
at Deaths Door.

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Mark R. Slaughter

Just like the dahlia
Death comes in all its beauty

And so I stroke her petals
Push my feet root-deep
Into the composted soil
As weary clouds unite
Coalesce
Darken through the greys
In preparation

Incontinence prevails
Lachrymose in empathy

They cry for me
Sharing tears
Mortality brings
As twilight closes

I rot
(They fade)

To be the plant
(They'll water)

I, denomination Mark R. Slaughter

Struggle thro' my fantasy
To seal the state of mind

That I of soul
Remain eternal

Back on the windowsill
A daffodil stretches
From a bulbous foot

Flirts like a ballerina

STOPS

Wonders of the world

My cat hears the brassy thoughts
From yellow trumpet
Pricks up his ears
Iridescent eyes
Focussed on the future

I'll wait

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A Fresh Endeavour

So now I've taken leave of life,
I thought you'd like to know, I still
Possess a mind in love, oh wife;
A soulful eye to catch a show of
Silent beauty – ever yours;
An ear to pick the metaphors
Of tonal dance in words you say,
Grasp a thought in verse you pray
Inside your head, bemused of mind,
Softly mournful, intertwined with
Understanding tears.

I'll drift a whisper o'er to you
To tell that I am quietly calm;
Keeping time till your adieu
To flesh, upon the carol of a
Psalm of consummation. Now!
A fresh endeavour – we're forever
One together, resting yonder,
Cross our open plane of blue.

Copyright Mark R Slaughter 2009

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Death, Inevitable Death

Death, inevitable Death.
So now You come to show Your world,
Hence the blackened cloak – unfurled.
And peering down upon my form
– Bereft of pity – Your eyes of storm.

Death, inexorable Death.
‘When? ’ The only question out of Thee.
My dream retorts 'But ne’er for me! ’
But now awake, I bid you so –
My giving tears cry ‘Where to go? ’

Death, adamant Death.
You cast Your spell and guide me 'way,
For life and I have had our day.
And what of me? I prey You, tell!
Be glorious in Heaven or gnarled in Hell?

Death, ineluctable Death.
Oh wiry ghoul, I'm here to follow –
I leave my body grey and shallow.
‘Come! ’ You bid in thund’ring tones,
‘Beg farewell to shattered bones.’

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2009


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Write Me

Aerosmith
Write Me
Well I've been away forever, suicide's crossin' my mind,
But I'll never never never never never get so far behind.
I said, the ways of the night are evil with eyes that love the day,
but I'll never never never never never get so far away.
I said write me, write me, write me.
I said write me, write me, write me.
Well there's nothin' I can see that'd ever make
me want to be without her she's good, she's good to me.
Said there's no way to explain the kind of feeling
that you get out in the rain she's good, she's good to me.
See this emptiness inside it makes me scream
it make me crawl out of my high, she's good, she's good to me.
I love her.
Write me a letter, write me a letter, write it today, I'm goin' away.
Well I've been away forever, suicide's crossin' my mind,
But I'll never never never never never get so far behind.
Well I've been so many places hidin' from the wind and the rain,
But you could write me a letter for to save me from a goin' insane.
I said write me, write, write, write me.
Write me, write, write, write me.
Write me, write, write, write.
I said write me, write, write, write me.
Write me, write, write, write me.
Don't write me baby.

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III. The Other Half-Rome

Another day that finds her living yet,
Little Pompilia, with the patient brow
And lamentable smile on those poor lips,
And, under the white hospital-array,
A flower-like body, to frighten at a bruise
You'd think, yet now, stabbed through and through again,
Alive i' the ruins. 'T is a miracle.
It seems that, when her husband struck her first,
She prayed Madonna just that she might live
So long as to confess and be absolved;
And whether it was that, all her sad life long
Never before successful in a prayer,
This prayer rose with authority too dread,—
Or whether, because earth was hell to her,
By compensation, when the blackness broke
She got one glimpse of quiet and the cool blue,
To show her for a moment such things were,—
Or else,—as the Augustinian Brother thinks,
The friar who took confession from her lip,—
When a probationary soul that moved
From nobleness to nobleness, as she,
Over the rough way of the world, succumbs,
Bloodies its last thorn with unflinching foot,
The angels love to do their work betimes,
Staunch some wounds here nor leave so much for God.
Who knows? However it be, confessed, absolved,
She lies, with overplus of life beside
To speak and right herself from first to last,
Right the friend also, lamb-pure, lion-brave,
Care for the boy's concerns, to save the son
From the sire, her two-weeks' infant orphaned thus,
And—with best smile of all reserved for him—
Pardon that sire and husband from the heart.
A miracle, so tell your Molinists!

There she lies in the long white lazar-house.
Rome has besieged, these two days, never doubt,
Saint Anna's where she waits her death, to hear
Though but the chink o' the bell, turn o' the hinge
When the reluctant wicket opes at last,
Lets in, on now this and now that pretence,
Too many by half,—complain the men of art,—
For a patient in such plight. The lawyers first
Paid the due visit—justice must be done;
They took her witness, why the murder was.
Then the priests followed properly,—a soul
To shrive; 't was Brother Celestine's own right,
The same who noises thus her gifts abroad.
But many more, who found they were old friends,
Pushed in to have their stare and take their talk

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Death is... A Compilation of Death Poetry

(10/05/2000)

Death is when your loved ones must depart
Death is a sharp pain to the heart

Death is a feeling of permanent sadness & pain
Death is when your loved ones have forever gone away

Death is a call to heaven or hell
Death is an eternal mansion or cell

Death is a lesson to learn about
Death is a loss, without a doubt
Death is an unhappy feeling to have
Death is unpleasant on anyone's behalf

Death is something we all will go through
Death is a storm waiting to brew

Death is a lingering crow always overhead
Death is a soul, done being fed

Death is cruel,
Death is unfair,
Why death?
Does death care?

Death is unkind,
Death breaks hearts,
Why death?
Do you like to part?

Death is here,
Death is there,
Why death?
Why be everywhere?

Death is the end,
Death is to die,
Why death?
To make people cry?

Death was created,
Death is still here,
Why death?
We live in fear,

Death is death,
Death is dead,
Why death?

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John Milton

Paradise Lost: Book 10

Mean while the heinous and despiteful act
Of Satan, done in Paradise; and how
He, in the serpent, had perverted Eve,
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in Heaven; for what can 'scape the eye
Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart
Omniscient? who, in all things wise and just,
Hindered not Satan to attempt the mind
Of Man, with strength entire and free will armed,
Complete to have discovered and repulsed
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
For still they knew, and ought to have still remembered,
The high injunction, not to taste that fruit,
Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,
(Incurred what could they less?) the penalty;
And, manifold in sin, deserved to fall.
Up into Heaven from Paradise in haste
The angelick guards ascended, mute, and sad,
For Man; for of his state by this they knew,
Much wondering how the subtle Fiend had stolen
Entrance unseen. Soon as the unwelcome news
From Earth arrived at Heaven-gate, displeased
All were who heard; dim sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet, mixed
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arrived, in multitudes
The ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befel: They towards the throne supreme,
Accountable, made haste, to make appear,
With righteous plea, their utmost vigilance
And easily approved; when the Most High
Eternal Father, from his secret cloud,
Amidst in thunder uttered thus his voice.
Assembled Angels, and ye Powers returned
From unsuccessful charge; be not dismayed,
Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth,
Which your sincerest care could not prevent;
Foretold so lately what would come to pass,
When first this tempter crossed the gulf from Hell.
I told ye then he should prevail, and speed
On his bad errand; Man should be seduced,
And flattered out of all, believing lies
Against his Maker; no decree of mine
Concurring to necessitate his fall,
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
His free will, to her own inclining left
In even scale. But fallen he is; and now
What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass
On his transgression,--death denounced that day?
Which he presumes already vain and void,

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

First Book

OF writing many books there is no end;
And I who have written much in prose and verse
For others' uses, will write now for mine,–
Will write my story for my better self,
As when you paint your portrait for a friend,
Who keeps it in a drawer and looks at it
Long after he has ceased to love you, just
To hold together what he was and is.

I, writing thus, am still what men call young;
I have not so far left the coasts of life
To travel inland, that I cannot hear
That murmur of the outer Infinite
Which unweaned babies smile at in their sleep
When wondered at for smiling; not so far,
But still I catch my mother at her post
Beside the nursery-door, with finger up,
'Hush, hush–here's too much noise!' while her sweet eyes
Leap forward, taking part against her word
In the child's riot. Still I sit and feel
My father's slow hand, when she had left us both,
Stroke out my childish curls across his knee;
And hear Assunta's daily jest (she knew
He liked it better than a better jest)
Inquire how many golden scudi went
To make such ringlets. O my father's hand,
Stroke the poor hair down, stroke it heavily,–
Draw, press the child's head closer to thy knee!
I'm still too young, too young to sit alone.

I write. My mother was a Florentine,
Whose rare blue eyes were shut from seeing me
When scarcely I was four years old; my life,
A poor spark snatched up from a failing lamp
Which went out therefore. She was weak and frail;
She could not bear the joy of giving life
The mother's rapture slew her. If her kiss
Had left a longer weight upon my lips,
It might have steadied the uneasy breath,
And reconciled and fraternised my soul
With the new order. As it was, indeed,
I felt a mother-want about the world,
And still went seeking, like a bleating lamb
Left out at night, in shutting up the fold,–
As restless as a nest-deserted bird
Grown chill through something being away, though what
It knows not. I, Aurora Leigh, was born
To make my father sadder, and myself
Not overjoyous, truly. Women know
The way to rear up children, (to be just,)

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Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society

Epigraph

Υδραν φονεύσας, μυρίων τ᾽ ἄλλων πόνων
διῆλθον ἀγέλας . . .
τὸ λοίσθιον δὲ τόνδ᾽ ἔτλην τάλας πόνον,
. . . δῶμα θριγκῶσαι κακοῖς.

I slew the Hydra, and from labour pass'd
To labour — tribes of labours! Till, at last,
Attempting one more labour, in a trice,
Alack, with ills I crowned the edifice.

You have seen better days, dear? So have I
And worse too, for they brought no such bud-mouth
As yours to lisp "You wish you knew me!" Well,
Wise men, 't is said, have sometimes wished the same,
And wished and had their trouble for their pains.
Suppose my Œdipus should lurk at last
Under a pork-pie hat and crinoline,
And, latish, pounce on Sphynx in Leicester Square?
Or likelier, what if Sphynx in wise old age,
Grown sick of snapping foolish people's heads,
And jealous for her riddle's proper rede, —
Jealous that the good trick which served the turn
Have justice rendered it, nor class one day
With friend Home's stilts and tongs and medium-ware,—
What if the once redoubted Sphynx, I say,
(Because night draws on, and the sands increase,
And desert-whispers grow a prophecy)
Tell all to Corinth of her own accord.
Bright Corinth, not dull Thebes, for Lais' sake,
Who finds me hardly grey, and likes my nose,
And thinks a man of sixty at the prime?
Good! It shall be! Revealment of myself!
But listen, for we must co-operate;
I don't drink tea: permit me the cigar!
First, how to make the matter plain, of course —
What was the law by which I lived. Let 's see:
Ay, we must take one instant of my life
Spent sitting by your side in this neat room:
Watch well the way I use it, and don't laugh!
Here's paper on the table, pen and ink:
Give me the soiled bit — not the pretty rose!
See! having sat an hour, I'm rested now,
Therefore want work: and spy no better work
For eye and hand and mind that guides them both,
During this instant, than to draw my pen
From blot One — thus — up, up to blot Two — thus —
Which I at last reach, thus, and here's my line
Five inches long and tolerably straight:

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