• Archives

  • Topics

  • Meta

  • Lost Children

  • Quest To The North

    Quest To the North
  • Escort Duty

  • Via Serica

    Via Serica
  • Tales of the Minivandians

    Tales of the Minivandians
  • Join the NRA

    Join the NRA!

A Year of Poetry – Day 338

Bring her again, O western wind,
   Over the western sea!
Gentle and good and fair and kind,
   Bring her again to me!

Not that her fancy holds me dear,
   Not that a hope may be:
Only that I may know her near,
   Wind of the western sea!

-- William Ernest Henley, Bring Her Again...

A Year of Poetry – Day 337

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain – and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

— Robert Frost, Acquainted With The Night

A Year of Poetry – Day 336

When you and I are buried
With grasses over head,
The memory of our fights will stand
Above this bare and tortured land,
We knew ere we were dead.

Though grasses grow at Vimy,
And poppies at Messines,
And in High Wood the children play,
The craters and the graves will stay
To show what things have been.

Though all be quiet in day-time,
The night shall bring a change,
And peasants walking home will see
Shell-torn meadow and riven tree,
And their own fields grown strange.

They shall hear live men crying,
They shall see dead men lie,
Shall hear the rattling Maxims fire,
And by the broken twists of wire
Gold flares light up the sky.

And in their new-built houses
The frightened folk will see
Pale bombers coming down the street,
And hear the flurry of charging feet,
And the crash of Victory.

This is our Earth baptizèd
With the red wine of War.
Horror and courage hand in hand
Shall brood upon the stricken land
In silence evermore.

— E. Alan Mackintosh, Ghosts of War

A Year of Poetry – Day 335

His Grace! impossible! what dead!
Of old age too, and in his bed!
And could that mighty warrior fall?
And so inglorious, after all!
Well, since he’s gone, no matter how,
The last loud trump must wake him now:
And, trust me, as the noise grows stronger,
He’d wish to sleep a little longer.
And could he be indeed so old
As by the newspapers we’re told?
Threescore, I think, is pretty high;
’Twas time in conscience he should die
This world he cumbered long enough;
He burnt his candle to the snuff;
And that’s the reason, some folks think,
He left behind so great a stink.
Behold his funeral appears,
Nor widow’s sighs, nor orphan’s tears,
Wont at such times each heart to pierce,
Attend the progress of his hearse.
But what of that, his friends may say,
He had those honours in his day.
True to his profit and his pride,
He made them weep before he died.
    Come hither, all ye empty things,
Ye bubbles raised by breath of kings;
Who float upon the tide of state,
Come hither, and behold your fate.
Let pride be taught by this rebuke,
How very mean a thing’s a Duke;
From all his ill-got honours flung,
Turned to that dirt from whence he sprung.

A Year of Poetry – Day 334

Obscurest night involv’d the sky,
         Th’ Atlantic billows roar’d,
When such a destin’d wretch as I,
         Wash’d headlong from on board,
Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
His floating home for ever left.
No braver chief could Albion boast
         Than he with whom he went,
Nor ever ship left Albion’s coast,
         With warmer wishes sent.
He lov’d them both, but both in vain,
Nor him beheld, nor her again.
Not long beneath the whelming brine,
         Expert to swim, he lay;
Nor soon he felt his strength decline,
         Or courage die away;
But wag’d with death a lasting strife,
Supported by despair of life.
He shouted: nor his friends had fail’d
         To check the vessel’s course,
But so the furious blast prevail’d,
         That, pitiless perforce,
They left their outcast mate behind,
And scudded still before the wind.
Some succour yet they could afford;
         And, such as storms allow,
The cask, the coop, the floated cord,
         Delay’d not to bestow.
But he (they knew) nor ship, nor shore,
Whate’er they gave, should visit more.
Nor, cruel as it seem’d, could he
         Their haste himself condemn,
Aware that flight, in such a sea,
         Alone could rescue them;
Yet bitter felt it still to die
Deserted, and his friends so nigh.
He long survives, who lives an hour
         In ocean, self-upheld;
And so long he, with unspent pow’r,
         His destiny repell’d;
And ever, as the minutes flew,
Entreated help, or cried—Adieu!
At length, his transient respite past,
         His comrades, who before
Had heard his voice in ev’ry blast,
         Could catch the sound no more.
For then, by toil subdued, he drank
The stifling wave, and then he sank.
No poet wept him: but the page
         Of narrative sincere;
That tells his name, his worth, his age,
         Is wet with Anson’s tear.
And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalize the dead.
I therefore purpose not, or dream,
         Descanting on his fate,
To give the melancholy theme
         A more enduring date:
But misery still delights to trace
   Its semblance in another’s case.
No voice divine the storm allay’d,
         No light propitious shone;
When, snatch’d from all effectual aid,
         We perish’d, each alone:
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelm’d in deeper gulfs than he.
— William Cowper, The Castaway

A Year of Poetry – Day 333

Rise, brothers, rise; the wakening skies pray to the morning light,
The wind lies asleep in the arms of the dawn like a child that has cried all night.
Come, let us gather our nets from the shore and set our catamarans free,
To capture the leaping wealth of the tide, for we are the kings of the sea!

No longer delay, let us hasten away in the track of the sea gull’s call,
The sea is our mother, the cloud is our brother, the waves are our comrades all.
What though we toss at the fall of the sun where the hand of the sea-god drives?
He who holds the storm by the hair, will hide in his breast our lives.

Sweet is the shade of the cocoanut glade, and the scent of the mango grove,
And sweet are the sands at the full o’ the moon with the sound of the voices we love;
But sweeter, O brothers, the kiss of the spray and the dance of the wild foam’s glee;
Row, brothers, row to the edge of the verge, where the low sky mates with the sea.

— Sarojini Naidu, Coromandel Fishers

A Year of Poetry – Day 332

“You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream
and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.”

— Li Po, Question and Answer on the Mountain

A Year of Poetry – Day 331

Waves roll in columns on their usual route – 
    Splashing and humming, they run; 
People, too, stride in a lousy crowd – 
    Every one trails everyone.     
Waves favor cold of their slavery more
    Than heat of midday sunny rays,
People take care of their souls… But lo! – 
    Their souls are colder than waves!              

-- Mikhail Lermentov, Waves and People

A Year of Poetry – Day 330

There is a river we all must cross,
Thousands will pass it tomorrow;
Some will go down to its waters with joy,
Others with anguish and sorrow.

Some will be welcom’d by angel bands,
Coming from over the river;
Others be borne by the current adown,
Where there is none to deliver.

These shall land safely in Eden’s bow’rs,
Wearing the white robes of pardon;
Those shall be cast on a desolate shore,
Far from the gates of the garden.

These shall have voices to join the song
Ever from Eden ascending;
Those shall unite in the wailings of woe
Woe, that hath never an ending.

Over the river we all must cross,
Jesus may call us tomorrow;
Shall we go down to its waters with joy?
Shall we with anguish and sorrow?

— Henry Clay Work, There Is A River We All Must Cross

A Year of Poetry – Day 329

Nature, it seems, is the popular name
for milliards and milliards and milliards
of particles playing their infinite game
of billiards and billiards and billiards.

— Piet Hein, Atomyriedes

%d bloggers like this: