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Sunday, 21 August 2011

To Autumn - John Keats. 1795–1821

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness! 
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; 
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,         5
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease,  10
  For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells. 
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? 
  Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find 
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, 
  Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;  15
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, 
  Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook 
    Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers; 
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep 
  Steady thy laden head across a brook;  20
  Or by a cider-press, with patient look, 
    Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours. 
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? 
  Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,— 
While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day,  25
  And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; 
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn 
  Among the river sallows, borne aloft 
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;  30
  Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft 
  The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft; 
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

— William Morris (The Well at the World's End: volume I)

"With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on."

— William Morris

"A good way to rid one's self of a sense of discomfort is to do something. That uneasy, dissatisfied feeling is actual force vibrating out of order; it may be turned to practical account by giving proper expression to its creative character."

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

My Heart and I - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

ENOUGH ! we're tired, my heart and I.
We sit beside the headstone thus,
And wish that name were carved for us.
The moss reprints more tenderly
The hard types of the mason's knife,
As heaven's sweet life renews earth's life
With which we're tired, my heart and I.

You see we're tired, my heart and I.
We dealt with books, we trusted men,
And in our own blood drenched the pen,
As if such colours could not fly.
We walked too straight for fortune's end,
We loved too true to keep a friend ;
At last we're tired, my heart and I.

How tired we feel, my heart and I !
We seem of no use in the world ;
Our fancies hang grey and uncurled
About men's eyes indifferently ;
Our voice which thrilled you so, will let
You sleep; our tears are only wet :
What do we here, my heart and I ?

So tired, so tired, my heart and I !
It was not thus in that old time
When Ralph sat with me 'neath the lime
To watch the sunset from the sky.
`Dear love, you're looking tired,' he said;
I, smiling at him, shook my head :
'Tis now we're tired, my heart and I.

So tired, so tired, my heart and I !
Though now none takes me on his arm
To fold me close and kiss me warm
Till each quick breath end in a sigh
Of happy languor. Now, alone,
We lean upon this graveyard stone,
Uncheered, unkissed, my heart and I.

Tired out we are, my heart and I.
Suppose the world brought diadems
To tempt us, crusted with loose gems
Of powers and pleasures ? Let it try.
We scarcely care to look at even
A pretty child, or God's blue heaven,
We feel so tired, my heart and I.

Yet who complains ? My heart and I ?
In this abundant earth no doubt
Is little room for things worn out :
Disdain them, break them, throw them by
And if before the days grew rough
We once were loved, used, -- well enough,
I think, we've fared, my heart and I.

Nobody knows this little Rose - Emily Dickinson

Nobody knows this little Rose --
It might a pilgrim be
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.
Only a Bee will miss it --
Only a Butterfly,
Hastening from far journey --
On its breast to lie --
Only a Bird will wonder --
Only a Breeze will sigh --
Ah Little Rose -- how easy
For such as thee to die!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Patience - Amy Lowell

Be patient with you?
When the stooping sky
Leans down upon the hills
And tenderly, as one who soothing stills
An anguish, gathers earth to lie
Embraced and girdled. Do the sun-filled men
Feel patience then?
Be patient with you?
When the snow-girt earth
Cracks to let through a spurt
Of sudden green, and from the muddy dirt
A snowdrop leaps, how mark its worth
To eyes frost-hardened, and do weary men
Feel patience then?
Be patient with you?
When pain's iron bars
Their rivets tighten, stern
To bend and break their victims; as they turn,
Hopeless, there stand the purple jars
Of night to spill oblivion. Do these men
Feel patience then?
Be patient with you?
You! My sun and moon!
My basketful of flowers!
My money-bag of shining dreams! My hours,
Windless and still, of afternoon!
You are my world and I your citizen.
What meaning can have patience then?

Petals - Amy Lowell

Life is a stream
On which we strew
Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
The end lost in dream,
They float past our view,
We only watch their glad, early start.
Freighted with hope,
Crimsoned with joy,
We scatter the leaves of our opening rose;
Their widening scope,
Their distant employ,
We never shall know. And the stream as it flows
Sweeps them away,
Each one is gone
Ever beyond into infinite ways.
We alone stay
While years hurry on,
The flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays.

O Do Not Love Too Long - William Butler Yeats

Sweetheart, do not love too long:
I loved long and long,
And grew to be out of fashion
Like an old song.

All through the years of our youth
Neither could have known
Their own thought from the other's,
We were so much at one.

But O, in a minute she changed -
O do not love too long,
Or you will grow out of fashion
Like an old song.

Sonnet 14 - If thou must love me, let it be for nought - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
'I love her for her smile—her look—her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'—
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,—
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

There is Another Sky - Emily Dickinson

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!