When we two parted In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold, Colder thy kiss; Truly that hour foretold Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning Sunk chill on my brow-- It felt like the warning Of what I feel now. Thy vows are all broken, And light is thy fame; I hear thy name spoken, And share in its shame.
They name thee before me, A knell to mine ear; A shudder comes o'er me-- Why wert thou so dear? They know not I knew thee, Who knew thee too well-- Long, long shall I rue thee, Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met-- In silence I grieve, That thy heart could forget, Thy spirit deceive. If I should meet thee After long years, How should I greet thee?-- With silence and tears.
To the nineteenth-century reader, George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), was the archetype of the Romantic literary hero, a figure admired and emulated as much for the revolutionary panache with which he lived his life as the brio and allure of his verse. Our century has seen him more clearly as a poet whose intellectual toughness, satiric gifts, and utter inability to be boring have made him one of the great comic spirits in our literature. READ more here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/byron-poems-by-lord-g…/
"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more." - Lord Byron, died #OTD1824
"She Walks in Beauty" by Lord Byron (1788-1824)
George Gordon Byron was born in London, England on this day in 1788.
He walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellow'd to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
To the nineteenth-century reader, George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), was the archetype of the Romantic literary hero, a figure admired and emulated as much for the revolutionary panache with which he lived his life as the brio and allure of his verse. Our century has seen him more clearly as a poet whose intellectual toughness, satiric gifts, and utter inability to be boring have made him one of the great comic spirits in our literature.
As you set out on the way to Ithaca
hope that the road is a long one,
filled with adventures, filled with understanding. The Laestrygonians and the Cyclopes, Poseidon in his anger: do not fear them, you’ll never come across them on your way as long as your mind stays aloft, and a choice emotion touches your spirit and your body. The Laestrygonians and the Cyclopes, savage Poseidon; you’ll not encounter them unless you carry them within your soul, unless your soul sets them up before you.
Hope that the road is a long one.
Many may the summer mornings be
when—with what pleasure, with what joy—
you first put in to harbors new to your eyes;
may you stop at Phoenician trading posts
and there acquire fine goods:
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and heady perfumes of every kind:
as many heady perfumes as you can.
To many Egyptian cities may you go
so you may learn, and go on learning, from their sages.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind;
to reach her is your destiny.
But do not rush your journey in the least.
Better that it last for many years;
that you drop anchor at the island an old man,
rich with all you’ve gotten on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to make you rich.
Ithaca gave to you the beautiful journey;
without her you’d not have set upon the road.
But she has nothing left to give you any more.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca did not deceive you.
As wise as you’ll have become, with so much experience,
you’ll have understood, by then, what these Ithacas mean.
The Alexandrian Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863–1933) is a towering figure of twentieth-century literature. No modern poet brought so vividly to life the history and culture of Mediterranean antiquity; no writer dared break, with such taut energy, the taboos of his time surrounding homoerotic desire. In this edition, award-winning translator and editor Daniel Mendelsohn has made a selection of the poet’s best-loved works, including such favorites as “Waiting for the Barbarians,” “Ithaca,” and “The God Abandons Antony.” Accompanied by Mendelsohn’s explanatory notes, the poems collected here cover the vast sweep of Hellenic civilization, from the Trojan War through Cavafy’s own lifetime. Whether advising Odysseus as he returns home to Ithaca or portraying a doomed Marc Antony on the eve of his death, Cavafy’s poems make the historic profoundly and movingly personal. READ more here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/cavafy-poems-by-c-p-c…/
On this day in 1775, British troops marched out of Boston on a mission to confiscate the American arsenal at Concord and to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington. As the British departed, Boston Patriots Paul Revere set out on horseback to rouse the Minutemen.
Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five: Hardly a man is now alive Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march By land or sea from the town to-night, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light,-- One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country-folk to be up and to arm."
Then he said "Good night!" and with muffled oar Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore, Just as the moon rose over the bay, Where swinging wide at her moorings lay The Somerset, British man-of-war: A phantom ship, with each mast and spar Across the moon, like a prison-bar, And a huge black hulk, that was magnified By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street Wanders and watches with eager ears, Till in the silence around him he hears The muster of men at the barrack door, The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet, And the measured tread of the grenadiers Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed to the tower of the church, Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread, To the belfry-chamber overhead, And startled the pigeons from their perch On the sombre rafters, that round him made Masses and moving shapes of shade,-- By the trembling ladder, steep and tall, To the highest window in the wall, Where he paused to listen and look down A moment on the roofs of the town, And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead, In their night-encampment on the hill, Wrapped in silence so deep and still That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread, The watchful night-wind, as it went Creeping along from tent to tent, And seeming to whisper, "All is well!" A moment only he feels the spell Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread Of the lonely belfry and the dead; For suddenly all his thoughts are bent On a shadowy something far away, Where the river widens to meet the bay, -- A line of black, that bends and floats On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride, Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride, On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere. Now he patted his horse's side, Now gazed on the landscape far and near, Then impetuous stamped the earth, And turned and tightened his saddle-girth; But mostly he watched with eager search The belfry-tower of the old North Church, As it rose above the graves on the hill, Lonely and spectral and sombre and still. And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height, A glimmer, and then a gleam of light! He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns, But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight A second lamp in the belfry burns!
A hurry of hoofs in a village-street, A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark, And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet: That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light, The fate of a nation was riding that night; And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight, Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep, And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep, Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides; And under the alders, that skirt its edge, Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge, Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock When he crossed the bridge into Medford town. He heard the crowing of the cock, And the barking of the farmer's dog, And felt the damp of the river-fog, That rises when the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock, When he galloped into Lexington. He saw the gilded weathercock Swim in the moonlight as he passed, And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare, Gaze at him with a spectral glare, As if they already stood aghast At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock, When be came to the bridge in Concord town. He heard the bleating of the flock, And the twitter of birds among the trees, And felt the breath of the morning breeze Blowing over the meadows brown. And one was safe and asleep in his bed Who at the bridge would be first to fall, Who that day would be lying dead, Pierced by a British musket-ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read, How the British Regulars fired and fled,-- How the farmers gave them ball for ball, From behind each fence and farmyard-wall, Chasing the red-coats down the lane, Then crossing the fields to emerge again Under the trees at the turn of the road, And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere; And so through the night went his cry of alarm To every Middlesex village and farm,-- A cry of defiance, and not of fear, A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, And a word that shall echo forevermore! For, borne on the night-wind of the Past, Through all our history, to the last, In the hour of darkness and peril and need, The people will waken and listen to hear The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
A captivating anthology that celebrates one of nature’s most majestic creatures and the age-old bond between humans and horses. All kinds of equine characters grace these pages, from magnificent warhorses to cowboys’ trusty steeds, from broken-down nags to playful colts, from wild horses to dream horses. We encounter the famous Trojan horse in Virgil’s Aeneid, and then see it from a wholly different perspective in Matthea Harvey’s whimsical “Inside the Good Idea.” Longfellow’s Paul Revere defies an empire on the back of a horse, while Shakespeare’s Richard III vainly offers his kingdom for one. Robert Burns’s “Auld Farmer” dotes affectionately on his aging mare, while the mares of the king of Corinth in Paul Muldoon’s “Glaucus” devour their owner. Robert Frost’s little horse stopping by the woods is gently puzzled by human behavior, and Ted Hughes is dazzled by a stunning vision of horses at dawn: “Grey silent fragments / Of a grey silent world.” Mythical and metaphorical horses cavort alongside vividly real animals in these poems, whether they be humble servants, noble companions, beloved friends, or emblems of the wild beauty of the world beyond our grasp.READ an excerpt from the foreword here:https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/poems-about-horses-by…/
Folly, error, sin, avarice Occupy our minds and labor our bodies, And we feed our pleasant remorse As beggars nourish their vermin. Our sins are obstinate, our repentance is faint; We exact a high price for our confessions, And we gaily return to the miry path, Believing that base tears wash away all our stains. On the pillow of evil Satan, Trismegist, Incessantly lulls our enchanted minds, And the noble metal of our will Is wholly vaporized by this wise alchemist. The Devil holds the strings which move us! In repugnant things we discover charms; Every day we descend a step further toward Hell, Without horror, through gloom that stinks. Like a penniless rake who with kisses and bites Tortures the breast of an old prostitute, We steal as we pass by a clandestine pleasure That we squeeze very hard like a dried up orange. Serried, swarming, like a million maggots, A legion of Demons carouses in our brains, And when we breathe, Death, that unseen river, Descends into our lungs with muffled wails. If rape, poison, daggers, arson Have not yet embroidered with their pleasing designs The banal canvas of our pitiable lives, It is because our souls have not enough boldness. But among the jackals, the panthers, the bitch hounds, The apes, the scorpions, the vultures, the serpents, The yelping, howling, growling, crawling monsters, In the filthy menagerie of our vices, There is one more ugly, more wicked, more filthy! Although he makes neither great gestures nor great cries, He would willingly make of the earth a shambles And, in a yawn, swallow the world; He is Ennui! — His eye watery as though with tears, He dreams of scaffolds as he smokes his hookah pipe. You know him reader, that refined monster, — Hypocritish reader, — my fellow, — my brother!
Modern poetry begins with Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), who employed his unequalled technical mastery to create the shadowy, desperately dramatic urban landscape — populated by the addicted and the damned — which so compellingly mirrors our modern condition. Deeply though darkly spiritual, titanic in the changes he wrought, Baudelaire looms over all the work, great and small, created in his wake. READ more here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/baudelaire-poems-by-c…/
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime. And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer. Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure, Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first. Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread [ 20 ] Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
The silver trumpets rang across the Dome:
The people knelt upon the ground with awe:
And borne upon the necks of men I saw,
Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome.
Priest-like, he wore a robe more white than foam,
And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red,
Three crowns of gold rose high upon his head:
In splendour and in light the Pope passed home.
My heart stole back across wide wastes of years
To One who wandered by a lonely sea,
And sought in vain for any place of rest:
“Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest,
I, only I, must wander wearily,
And bruise my feet, and drink wine salt with tears.”
THE wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing.
Now in a lily-cup, and now Setting a jacinth bell a-swing, In his wandering; Sit closer love: it was here I trow I made that vow,
Swore that two lives should be like one
As long as the sea-gull loved the sea,
As long as the sunflower sought the sun,--
It shall be, I said, for eternity
'Twixt you and me!
Dear friend, those times are over and done,
Love's web is spun.
Look upward where the poplar trees
Sway and sway in the summer air,
Here in the valley never a breeze
Scatters the thistledown, but there
Great winds blow fair
From the mighty murmuring mystical seas,
And the wave-lashed leas.
Look upward where the white gull screams,
What does it see that we do not see?
Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams
On some outward voyaging argosy,--
Ah! can it be
We have lived our lives in a land of dreams!
How sad it seems.
Sweet, there is nothing left to say
But this, that love is never lost,
Keen winter stabs the breasts of May
Whose crimson roses burst his frost,
Will find a harbour in some bay,
And so we may.
And there is nothing left to do But to kiss once again, and part, Nay, there is nothing we should rue, I have my beauty,--you your Art, Nay, do not start, One world was not enough for two Like me and you.