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Henry Vaughan

Awake, glad heart! Get up and sing,
It is the birthday of thy King,
     Awake! Awake!
     The sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.

Awake, awake! Hark, how the wood rings,
Winds whisper, and the busy springs
     A consort make;
     Awake, awake!
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.

I would I were some bird or star,
Fluttering in woods, or lifted far
     Above this inn
     And road of sin!
Then either star, or bird, should be
Shining, or singing still to Thee.

I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for Thee! Or that my heart
     Were so clean as
     Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene,
Yet if Thou wilt, Thou canst make clean.

Sweet Jesu! will then; Let no more
This leper haunt, and soil Thy door,
     Curse him, ease him
     O release him!
And let once more by mystic birth
The Lord of life be born in earth.


How kind is heaven to man! If here
     One sinner doth amend
Straight there is joy, and every sphere
     In music doth contend;
And shall we then no voices lift?
     Are mercy, and salvation
Not worth our thanks? Is life a gift
     Of no more acceptation?
Shall He that did come down from thence,
     And here for us was slain,
Shall He be now cast off? No sense
     Of all His woes remain?
Can neither Love, nor sufferings bind?
     Are we all stone, and earth?
Neither His bloody passions mind,
     Nor one day bless His birth?
   Alas, my God! Thy birth now here
   Must not be numbered in the year.
Lord Byron
When I dream that you love me, you’ll surely forgive;
  Extend not your anger to sleep;
For in visions alone your affection can live,—
  I rise, and it leaves me to weep.

Then, Morpheus! envelop my faculties fast,
  Shed o’er me your languor benign;
Should the dream of to-night but resemble the last,
  What rapture celestial is mine!

They tell us that slumber, the sister of death,
  Mortality’s emblem is given;
To fate how I long to resign my frail breath,
  If this be a foretaste of Heaven!

Ah! frown not, sweet Lady, unbend your soft brow,
  Nor deem me too happy in this;
If I sin in my dream, I atone for it now,
  Thus doom’d, but to gaze upon bliss.

Though in visions, sweet Lady, perhaps you may smile,
  Oh! think not my penance deficient!
When dreams of your presence my slumbers beguile,
  To awake, will be torture sufficient.
Oh, come to me in dreams, my love!
   I will not ask a dearer bliss;
Come with the starry beams, my love,
   And press mine eyelids with thy kiss.

’Twas thus, as ancient fables tell,
   Love visited a Grecian maid,
Till she disturbed the sacred spell,
   And woke to find her hopes betrayed.

But gentle sleep shall veil my sight,
   And Psyche’s lamp shall darkling be,
When, in the visions of the night,
   Thou dost renew thy vows to me.

Then come to me in dreams, my love,
   I will not ask a dearer bliss;
Come with the starry beams, my love,
   And press mine eyelids with thy kiss.
Koi Nagata
Hairs fall
Also to my back.
Oh, mountains and rivers !
Richard Jones
When the writing is going well,
I am a prince in a desert palace,
fountains flowing in the garden.
I lean an elbow on a velvet pillow
and drink from a silver goblet,
poems like a banquet
spread before me on rugs
with rosettes the damask of blood.
                But exiled
from the palace, I wander --
crawling on burning sand,
thirsting on barren dunes,
believing a heartless mirage no less true
than palms and pools of the cool oasis.
John Updike
She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
And to win, wetting there, the words, "Good dog! Good dog!"

We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction.
The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver.
As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin
And her heart was learning to lie down forever.

Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed
And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest's bed.
We found her twisted and limp but still alive.
In the car to the vet's, on my lap, she tried

To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur
And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.
Though surrounded by love that would have upheld her,
Nevertheless she sank and, stiffening, disappeared.

Back home, we found that in the night her frame,
Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
Of diarrhoea and had dragged across the floor
To a newspaper carelessly left there.  Good dog.
Passa la nave mia colma d'oblio
per aspro mare, a mezza notte, il verno,
enfra Scilla e Cariddi; ed al governo
siede'l signore, anzi'l nimico mio;

a ciascun remo un penser pronto e rio
che la tempesta e'l fin par ch'abbi a scherno;
la vela rompe un vento umido, eterno
di sospir', di speranze e di desio;

pioggia di lagrimar, nebbia di sdegni
bagna e rallenta le già stanche sarte,
che son d'error con ignoranza attorto.

Celansi i duo mei dolci usati segni;
morta fra l'onde è la ragion e l'arte:
tal ch'incomincio a desperar del porto.
Talara, no digas "yes",
Mira al mundo cara a cara;
soporta tu desnudez
... y no digas "yes", Talara.
Mi raza, al igual que tú
tiene sus zonas ajenas:
tú por petróleo en tus venas,
yo por ser como Esaú.
A veces no es el Perú
lo que está bajo tus pies.
Yo a veces cojo la mies
para que  otro se la coma.
Si sólo es nuestro el idioma
Talara, no digas "yes".
Lo que ganas y te dan
recíbelo sin orgullo:
es un diezmo de lo tuyo,
es migaja de tu pan.
Y si acaso un holgazán
a patriota te retara,
deja que siga la piara
en su cuadrúpeda insidia;
si el mundo entero te envidia
mira al mundo cara a cara.
Pero cuando tus entrañas
ya no tengan más que dar
y no haya qué perforar
en tu mar ni en tus montañas;
cuando lagartos y arañas
a la "rotaria" hagan prez;
cuando la actual fluidez
se extinga como el ocaso,
contra el viento de "El Tablazo"
soporta tu desnudez.
Ese día está lejano
y ojalá no llegue nunca,
más como todo se trunca
pensemos en todo, hermano:
Si te dedicas al grano
yo te traeré agüita clara,
y si en el desierto se ara
te serviré de semilla,
... y no dobles la rodilla,
... y no digas "yes", Talara.
Robert Herrick
Bid me to live, and I will live
  Thy Protestant to be;
Or bid me love, and I will give
  A loving heart to thee.

A heart as soft, a heart as kind,
  A heart as sound and free,
As in the whole world thou canst find,
  That heart I’ll give to thee.

Bid that heart stay, and it will stay,
  To honour thy decree;
Or bid it languish quite away,
  And ‘t shall do so for thee.

Bid me to weep, and I will weep
  While I have eyes to see;
And having none, yet I will keep
  A heart to weep for thee.

Bid me despair, and I’ll despair
  Under that cypress-tree;
Or bid me die, and I will dare
  E’en death to die for thee.

Thou art my life, my love, my heart,
  The very eyes of me;
And hast command of every part
  To live and die for thee.
Robert Burns
Of a’ the airts the wind can blaw,
  I dearly like the west,
For there the bonnie lassie lives,
  The lassie I lo’e best:
There wild woods grow, and rivers row,
  And monie a hill between;
But day and night my fancy’s flight
  Is ever wi’ my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
  I see her sweet and fair:
I hear her in the tunefu’ birds,
  I hear her charm the air:
There ’s not a bonnie flower that springs
  By fountain, shaw, or green;
There ’s not a bonnie bird that sings,
  But minds me o’ my Jean.
Dejan caer el libro, porque ya saben
que son las personas del libro.
(Lo serán de otro, el máximo,
pero eso qué puede importarles.)
Ahora son Paolo y Francesca,
no dos amigos que comparten
el sabor de una fábula.
Se miran con incrédula maravilla.
Las manos no se tocan.
Han descubierto el único tesoro;
han encontrado al otro.
No traicionan a Malatesta,
porque la traición requiere un tercero
y sólo existen ellos dos en el mundo.
Son Paolo y Francesca
y también la reina y su amante
y todos los amantes que han sido
desde aquel Adán y su Eva
en el pasto del Paraíso.
Un libro, un sueño les revela
que son formas de un sueño que fue soñado
en tierras de Bretaña.
Otro libro hará que los hombres,
sueños también, los sueñen.
Germain Nouveau
L'être que j'adore en ce monde,
Eût-il les pieds noirs et des poux,
C'est le mendiant, il m'inonde
Le cœur d'une extase profonde ;
Je lui baiserais les genoux.

D'abord il convient de vous dire
Que si je ne l'adorais pas,
Ça ferait peut-être sourire ;
On penserait : Hé ! le bon sire !
Il a le « trac » pour ses ducats.

Il a peur de faire l'aumône,
Ou qu'on le vole, il a raison
Dans la vie, ah ! tout n'est pas jaune,
Et mon ami le plus béjaune
Ne viendrait pas à la maison.

Ou, s'il venait, il voudrait faire,
Tout comme moi, les mêmes frais,
Nous compterions, quelle misère !
Et s'il me cassait, quoi ? son verre ?
Ah ! la tête que je ferais !

Je parlerais de ma famille
Tant, que c'en serait Han-Mer-Dent :
« J'ai ma femme, mon fils, ma fille ;
Oui, la petite est très gentille,
Mais ça coûte. - C'est évident ! »

Le mendiant, qu'est-ce qu'il coûte ?
Titus disait : un heureux jour.
Quand nous verrons plus d'une goutte,
Chacun trouvera sur sa route
Qu'avec cet homme, on fait l'amour.

Je l'aime, comme une parente,
Pauvre... mais ça... c'est un détail...,
D'une façon bien différente.
Si j'avais mille francs de rente.
Je lui donnerais... du travail.

Je lui dirais : Tu vas me faire
Un bonhomme sur ce papier.
- « Monsieur, je ne dessine guère, »
Alors... de me foutre en colère,
Trouves-tu cela trop... pompier ?

Il dessinerait son bonhomme
Bien ou mal, naturellement.
Je dirais : Combien ? - « Telle somme. »
Et je paierais ; c'est presque, en somme,
Ce que fait le Gouvernement.

Le mendiant, mais c'est mon frère !
Comment, mon frère ? Mais, c'est moi.
Je commence par me la faire,
La charité, la chose est claire.
Tu te la fais aussi, va, Toi.

Moi, souvent « je me le demande »
Et demande, quand ça me plaît.
Et bien ! pour ma langue gourmande,
Plus que la vôtre n'est normande,
Si saint Pierre ouvrait son volet

Seulement pour une seconde :
Si je suis là, si je le vois,
Bien que je doute qu'il réponde,
Je lui demande la plus ronde
Des lunes qui rient dans les bois.

Et si, - surprise ! et joie extrême ! -
J'entends : « tiens ! enfant, la voici ! »
Comme avec tes baisers que j'aime,
Je me barbouille tout de crème,
Sans seulement dire : merci.
It's a still morning, quiet and cloudy
the kind of grey day I like best;
they'll be here soon, the little kids first,
creeping up to try and frighten me,
then the tall young men, the slim boy
with the marvellous smile, the dark girl
subtle and secret; and the others,
the parents, my children, my friends —
and I think: these truly are my weather
my grey mornings and my rain at night,
my sparkling afternoons and my birdcall at daylight;
they are my game of hide and seek, my song
that flies from a high window. They are
my dragonflies dancing on silver water.
Without them I cannot move forward, I am
a broken signpost, a train fetched up on
a small siding, a dry voice buzzing in the ears;
for they are also my blunders
and my forgiveness for blundering,
my road to the stars and my seagrass chair
in the sun. They fly where I cannot follow
and I — I am their branch, their tree.
My song is of the generations, it echoes
the old dialogue of the years; it is the tribal
chorus that no one may sing alone.
Earth is rocking in space!
And the thunders crash up with a roar upon roar,
And the eddying lightnings flash fire in my face,
And the whirlwinds are whirling the dust round and round--
And the blasts of the winds universal leap free
And blow each other upon each, with a passion of sound,
And æther goes mingling in storm with the sea!
Such a curse on my head, in a manifest dread,
From the hand of your Zeus has been hurtled along!
O my mother's fair glory! O Æther, enringing
All eyes with the sweet common light of thy bringing,
Dost see how I suffer this wrong?
The man of life upright, whose guiltless heart is free
From all dishonest deeds and thoughts of vanity:
The man whose silent days in harmless joys are spent,
Whom hopes cannot delude, nor fortune discontent;
That man needs neither towers nor armor for defense,
Nor secret vaults to fly from thunder's violence:
He only can behold with unaffrighted eyes
The horrors of the deep and terrors of the skies;
Thus scorning all the care that fate or fortune brings,
He makes the heaven his book, his wisdom heavenly things;
Good thoughts his only friends, his wealth a well-spent age,
The earth his sober inn and quiet pilgrimage.
Some days I am Ana's teacher, some days she is mine.
This morning, we look through her kitchen window,
the one she can't get clean, cobwebs massed
between sash and pane. The sky is blue-gold, almost
the color of home.
Ana, I say, each winter
I get more lonely. Both of us would like the sun
to linger as that round fruit in June, but Ana says
it's better to forget what you used to know...
Robert Frost
Come with rain. O loud Southwester!
Bring the singer, bring the nester;
Give the buried flower a dream;
make the settled snowbank steam;
Find the brown beneath the white;
But whate’er you do tonight,
bath my window, make it flow,
Melt it as the ice will go;
Melt the glass and leave the sticks
Like a hermit’s crucifix;
Burst into my narrow stall;
Swing the picture on the wall;
Run the rattling pages o’er;
Scatter poems on the floor;
Turn the poet out of door.
Rubén Darío
Gaita galaica, sabes cantar
lo que profundo y dulce nos es.
Dices de amor, y dices después
de un amargor como el de la mar.
Canta. Es el tiempo. Haremos danzar
al fino verso de rítmicos pies.
Ya nos lo dijo el Eclesiastés:
tiempo hay de todo: hay tiempo de amar,
tiempo de ganar, tiempo de perder,
tiempo de plantar, tiempo de coger,
tiempo de llorar, tiempo de reír,
tiempo de rasgar, tiempo de coser,
tiempo de esparcir y de recoger,
tiempo de nacer, tiempo de morir.
Rafael Alberti
Por las calles, ¿quién aquél?
¡El tonto de Rafael!
  Tonto llovido del cielo,
del limbo, sin un ochavo.
Mal pollito colipavo,
sin plumas, digo, sin pelo.
¡Pío-pic!, pica, y al vuelo
todos le pican a él.
  ¿Quién aquél?
¡El tonto de Rafael!
  Tan campante, sin carrera,
no imperial, sí tomatero,
grillo tomatero, pero
sin tomate en la grillera.
Canario de la fresquera,
no de alcoba o mirabel.
  ¿Quién aquél?
¡El tonto de Rafael!
  Tontaina tonto del higo,
rodando por las esquinas
bolas, bolindres, pamplinas
y pimientos que no digo.
Mas nunca falta un amigo
que le mendigue un clavel.
  ¿Quién aquél?
¡El tonto de Rafael!
  Patos con gafas, en fila,
lo raptarán tontamente
en la berlina inconsciente
de San Jinojito el lila.
¿Qué runrún, qué retahíla
sube el cretino eco fiel?
  ¡Oh, oh, pero si es aquél
el tonto de Rafael!
Ritrovarmi in questo ovale
con un legame vitale
in solitudine a volteggiare
con l 'infinito aspettare
di qualcosa.
di poter camminare
in un nuoto perpetuo
di pensieri
intravedendo una luce bianca.
La fine di tutto.
Uno schiocco
Un pianto.
La nascita della vita in bracccio a giganti biancheggianti.
Crescendo vidi cose senza senso
cosciente del perduto collettivo senno.
Vidi uomini con biancheggianti vestiti
baciare e non procreare
di fronte a un freddo altare
in nome di una croce
e un continuo narrare.
Esseri travestiti
professare falsi miti
e scuole dove si imparava a vivere
lasciando l'intelligenza reprimere.
Sicuri di un tranquillo lavoro
si sedevano su un falso trono
lasciando che un finto quadrato
rubassero loro gli anni d'oro.
Ed ora piano piano mi invecchio
sperando ancora in un qualche cambiamento.
Disteso in un biancheggiante letto
rimango cosciente che della vita
e delle esperienze connesse ad essa
non mi interessa piu niente.
Tutto improvvisamente si illumina di bianco
e mi appresto al grande salto.
Ma con me non posso portare nient'altro
che un tatuaggio
situato dentro al cuore
con impresso dentro il nome
di quella persona che in questa vita
mi diede tanto amore.
Cache-les dans ton cœur, toi dont le cœur pardonne,
Ces bouquets imprudents qui fleurissaient en moi ;
C'est toute une âme en fleur qui s'exhale vers toi ;
Aux autres, je l'entr'ouvre : à toi, je te la donne.
Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers,
And that cannot stop their tears.
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows,
The young birds are chirping in the nest,
The young fawns are playing with the shadows,
The young flowers are blowing toward the west—
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
They are weeping bitterly!
They are weeping in the playtime of the others,
In the country of the free.

Do you question the young children in their sorrow,
Why their tears are falling so?
The old man may weep for his tomorrow,
Which is lost in Long Ago;
The old tree is leafless in the forest,
The old year is ending in the frost,
The old wound, if stricken, is the sorest,
The old hope is hardest to be lost:
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
Do you ask them why they stand
Weeping sore before the bosoms of their mothers,
In our happy Fatherland?

They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
And their looks are sad to see,
For the man’s hoary anguish draws and presses
Down the cheeks of infancy;
“Your old earth,” they say, “is very dreary;
Our young feet,” they say, “are very weak!
Few paces have we taken, yet are weary—
Our grave-rest is very far to seek.
Ask the aged why they weep, and not the children,
For the outside earth is cold,
And we young ones stand without, in our bewildering,
And the graves are for the old.”

“True,” say the children, “it may happen
That we die before our time.
Little Alice died last year—her grave is shapen
Like a snowball, in the rime.
We looked into the pit prepared to take her:
Was no room for any work in the close clay!
From the sleep wherein she lieth none will wake her,
Crying ‘Get up, little Alice! it is day.’
If you listen by that grave, in sun and shower,
With your ear down, little Alice never cries;
Could we see her face, be sure we should not know her,
For the smile has time for growing in her eyes:
And merry go her moments, lulled and stilled in
The shroud by the kirk-chime.
It is good when it happens,” say the children,
“That we die before our time.”

Alas, alas, the children! They are seeking
Death in life, as best to have;
They are binding up their hearts away from breaking,
With a cerement from the grave.
Go out, children, from the mine and from the city,
Sing out, children, as the little thrushes do;
Pluck your handfuls of the meadow-cowslips pretty,
Laugh aloud, to feel your fingers let them through!
But they answer, “Are your cowslips of the meadows
Like our weeds anear the mine?
Leave us quiet in the dark of the coal-shadows,
From your pleasures fair and fine!

“For oh,” say the children, “we are weary,
And we cannot run or leap;
If we cared for any meadows, it were merely
To drop down in them and sleep.
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping,
We fall upon our faces, trying to go;
And, underneath our heavy eyelids drooping,
The reddest flower would look as pale as snow.
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring
Through the coal-dark, underground;
Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron
In the factories, round and round.

“For all day the wheels are droning, turning;
Their wind comes in our faces,—
Till our hearts turn, our heads with pulses burning,
And the walls turn in their places:
Turns the sky in the high window blank and reeling,
Turns the long light that drops adown the wall,
Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling,—
All are turning, all the day, and we with all.
And all day, the iron wheels are droning,
And sometimes we could pray,
‘O ye wheels,’ (breaking out in a mad moaning)
‘Stop! be silent for today!’ ”

Ay, be silent! Let them hear each other breathing
For a moment, mouth to mouth!
Let them touch each other’s hands, in a fresh wreathing
Of their tender human youth!
Let them feel that this cold metallic motion
Is not all the life God fashions or reveals:
Let them prove their living souls against the notion
That they live in you, or under you, O wheels!
Still, all day, the iron wheels go onward,
Grinding life down from its mark;
And the children’s souls, which God is calling sunward,
Spin on blindly in the dark.

Now tell the poor young children, O my brothers,
To look up to Him and pray;
So the blessed One, who blesseth all the others,
Will bless them another day.
They answer, “Who is God that He should hear us,
While the rushing of the iron wheels is stirred?
When we sob aloud, the human creatures near us
Pass by, hearing not, or answer not a word.
And we hear not (for the wheels in their resounding)
Strangers speaking at the door:
Is it likely God, with angels singing round Him,
Hears our weeping any more?

“Two words, indeed, of praying we remember,
And at midnight’s hour of harm,
‘Our Father,’ looking upward in the chamber,
We say softly for a charm.
We know no other words except ‘Our Father,’
And we think that, in some pause of angels’ song,
God may pluck them with the silence sweet to gather,
And hold both within His right hand which is strong.
‘Our Father!’ If He heard us, He would surely
(For they call Him good and mild)
Answer, smiling down the steep world very purely,
‘Come and rest with me, my child.’

“But, no!” say the children, weeping faster,
“He is speechless as a stone:
And they tell us, of His image is the master
Who commands us to work on.
Go to!” say the children,—”up in heaven,
Dark, wheel-like, turning clouds are all we find.
Do not mock us; grief has made us unbelieving—
We look up for God, but tears have made us blind.”
Do you hear the children weeping and disproving,
O my brothers, what ye preach?
For God’s possible is taught by His world’s loving,
And the children doubt of each.

And well may the children weep before you!
They are weary ere they run;
They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory
Which is brighter than the sun.
They know the grief of man, without its wisdom;
They sink in man’s despair, without its calm,—
Are slaves, without the liberty in Christdom,—
Are martyrs, by the pang without the palm,—
Are worn as if with age, yet unretrievingly
The harvest of its memories cannot reap,—
Are orphans of the earthly love and heavenly.
Let them weep! let them weep!

They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
And their look is dread to see,
For they mind you of their angels in high places,
With eyes turned on Deity;—
“How long,” they say, “how long, O cruel nation,
Will you stand, to move the world, on a child’s heart,—
Stifle down with a mailed heel its palpitation,
And tread onward to your throne amid the mart?
Our blood splashes upward, O gold-heaper,
And its purple shows your path!
But the child’s sob in the silence curses deeper
Than the strong man in his wrath.”
Hilda Doolittle
Bear me to Dictaeus,
and to the steep slopes;
to the river Erymanthus.

I choose spray of dittany,
cyperum, frail of flower,
buds of myrrh,
all-healing herbs,
close pressed in calathes.

For she lies panting,
drawing sharp breath,
broken with harsh sobs.
she, Hyella,
whom no god pities.
En torno de una mesa de cantina,
una noche de invierno,
regocijadamente departían
seis alegres bohemios.Los ecos de sus risas escapaban
y de aquel barrio quieto
iban a interrumpir el imponente
y profundo silencio.El humo de olorosos cigarrillos
en espirales se elevaba al cielo,
simbolizando al resolverse en nada,
la vida de los sueños.Pero en todos los labios había risas,
inspiración en todos los cerebros,
y, repartidas en la mesa, copas
pletóricas de ron, whisky o ajenjo.Era curioso ver aquel conjunto,
aquel grupo bohemio,
del que brotaba la palabra chusca,
la que vierte veneno,
lo mismo que, melosa y delicada,
la música de un verso.A cada nueva libación, las penas
hallábanse más lejos del grupo,
y nueva inspiración llegaba
a todos los cerebros,
con el idilio roto que venía
en alas del recuerdo.Olvidaba decir que aquella noche,
aquel grupo bohemio
celebraba entre risas, libaciones,
chascarrillos y versos,
la agonía de un año que amarguras
dejó en todos los pechos,
y la llegada, consecuencia lógica,
del "Feliz Año Nuevo"...Una voz varonil dijo de pronto:
-Las doce, compañeros;
Digamos el "requiéscat" por el año
que ha pasado a formar entre los muertos.
¡Brindemos por el año que comienza!
Porque nos traiga ensueños;
porque no sea su equipaje un cúmulo
de amargos desconsuelos...-Brindo, dijo otra voz, por la esperanza
que a la vida nos lanza,
de vencer los rigores del destino,
por la esperanza, nuestra dulce amiga,
que las penas mitiga
y convierte en vergel nuestro camino.Brindo porque ya hubiese a mi existencia
puesto fin con violencia
esgrimiendo en mi frente mi venganza;
si en mi cielo de tul limpio y divino
no alumbrara mi sino
una pálida estrella: Mi esperanza.-¡Bravo! Dijeron todos, inspirado
esta noche has estado
y hablaste bueno, breve y sustancioso.
El turno es de Raúl; alce su copa
Y brinde por... Europa,
Ya que su extranjerismo es delicioso...-Bebo y brindo, clamó el interpelado;
brindo por mi pasado,
que fue de luz, de amor y de alegría,
y en el que hubo mujeres seductoras
y frentes soñadoras
que se juntaron con la frente mía...Brindo por el ayer que en la amargura
que hoy cubre de negrura
mi corazón, esparce sus consuelos
trayendo hasta mi mente las dulzuras
de goces, de ternuras,
de dichas, de deliquios, de desvelos.-Yo brindo, dijo Juan, porque en mi mente
brote un torrente
de inspiración divina y seductora,
porque vibre en las cuerdas de mi lira
el verso que suspira,
que sonríe, que canta y que enamora.Brindo porque mis versos cual saetas
Lleguen hasta las grietas
Formadas de metal y de granito
Del corazón de la mujer ingrata
Que a desdenes me mata...
¡pero que tiene un cuerpo muy bonito!Porque a su corazón llegue mi canto,
porque enjuguen mi llanto
sus manos que me causan embelesos;
porque con creces mi pasión me pague...
¡vamos!, porque me embriague
con el divino néctar de sus besos.Siguió la tempestad de frases vanas,
de aquellas tan humanas
que hallan en todas partes acomodo,
y en cada frase de entusiasmo ardiente,
hubo ovación creciente,
y libaciones y reír y todo.Se brindó por la Patria, por las flores,
por los castos amores
que hacen un valladar de una ventana,
y por esas pasiones voluptuosas
que el fango del placer llena de rosas
y hacen de la mujer la cortesana.Sólo faltaba un brindis, el de Arturo.
El del bohemio puro,
De noble corazón y gran cabeza;
Aquél que sin ambages declaraba
Que solo ambicionaba
Robarle inspiración a la tristeza.Por todos estrechado, alzó la copa
Frente a la alegre tropa
Desbordante de risas y de contento;
Los inundó en la luz de una mirada,
Sacudió su melena alborotada
Y dijo así, con inspirado acento:-Brindo por la mujer, mas no por ésa
en la que halláis consuelo en la tristeza,
rescoldo del placer ¡desventurados!;
no por esa que os brinda sus hechizos
cuando besáis sus rizos
artificiosamente perfumados.Yo no brindo por ella, compañeros,
siento por esta vez no complaceros.
Brindo por la mujer, pero por una,
por la que me brindó sus embelesos
y me envolvió en sus besos:
por la mujer que me arrulló en la cuna.Por la mujer que me enseño de niño
lo que vale el cariño
exquisito, profundo y verdadero;
por la mujer que me arrulló en sus brazos
y que me dio en pedazos,
uno por uno, el corazón entero.¡Por mi Madre! Bohemios, por la anciana
que piensa en el mañana
como en algo muy dulce y muy deseado,
porque sueña tal vez, que mi destino
me señala el camino
por el que volveré pronto a su lado.Por la anciana adorada y bendecida,
por la que con su sangre me dio vida,
y ternura y cariño;
por la que fue la luz del alma mía,
y lloró de alegría,
sintiendo mi cabeza en su corpiño.Por esa brindo yo, dejad que llore,
que en lágrimas desflore
esta pena letal que me asesina;
dejad que brinde por mi madre ausente,
por la que llora y siente
que mi ausencia es un fuego que calcina.Por la anciana infeliz que sufre y llora
y que del cielo implora
que vuelva yo muy pronto a estar con ella;
por mi Madre, bohemios, que es dulzura
vertida en mi amargura
y en esta noche de mi vida, estrella...El bohemio calló; ningún acento
profanó el sentimiento
nacido del dolor y la ternura,
y pareció que sobre aquel ambiente
flotaba inmensamente
un poema de amor y de amargura.
Aleister Crowley
Hear me, Lord of the Stars!
For thee I have worshipped ever
With stains and sorrows and scars,
With joyful, joyful endeavour.
Hear me, O lily-white goat!
O crisp as a thicket of thorns,
With a collar of gold for Thy throat,
A scarlet bow for Thy horns!

Here, in the dusty air,
I build Thee a shrine of yew.
All green is the garland I wear,
But I feed it with blood for dew!
After the orange bars
That ribbed the green west dying
Are dead, O Lord of the Stars,
I come to Thee, come to Thee crying.

The ambrosial moon that arose
With breasts slow heaving in splendour
Drops wine from her infinite snows.
Ineffably, utterly, tender.
O moon! ambrosial moon!
Arise on my desert of sorrow
That the Magical eyes of me swoon
With lust of rain to-morrow!

Ages and ages ago
I stood on the bank of a river
Holy and Holy and holy, I know,
For ever and ever and ever!
A priest in the mystical shrine
I muttered a redeless rune,
Till the waters were redder than wine
In the blush of the harlot moon.

I and my brother priests
Worshipped a wonderful woman
With a body lithe as a beast's
Subtly, horribly human.
Deep in the pit of her eyes
I saw the image of death,
And I drew the water of sighs
From the well of her lullaby breath.

She sitteth veiled for ever
Brooding over the waste.
She hath stirred or spoken never.
She is fiercely, manly chaste!
What madness made me awake
From the silence of utmost eld
The grey cold slime of the snake
That her poisonous body held?

By night I ravished a maid
From her father's camp to the cave.
I bared the beautiful blade;
I dipped her thrice i' the wave;
I slit her throat as a lamb's,
That the fount of blood leapt high
With my clamorous dithyrambs
Like a stain on the shield of the sky.

With blood and censer and song
I rent the mysterious veil:
My eyes gaze long and long
On the deep of that blissful bale.
My cold grey kisses awake
From the silence of utmost eld
The grey cold slime of the snake
That her beautiful body held.

But --- God! I was not content
With the blasphemous secret of years;
The veil is hardly rent
While the eyes rain stones for tears.
So I clung to the lips and laughed
As the storms of death abated,
The storms of the grevious graft
By the swing of her soul unsated.

Wherefore reborn as I am
By a stream profane and foul
In the reign of a Tortured Lamb,
In the realm of a sexless Owl,
I am set apart from the rest
By meed of the mystic rune
That reads in peril and pest
The ambrosial moon --- the moon!

For under the tawny star
That shines in the Bull above
I can rein the riotous car
Of galloping, galloping Love;
And straight to the steady ray
Of the Lion-heart Lord I career,
Pointing my flaming way
With the spasm of night for a spear!

O moon! O secret sweet!
Chalcedony clouds of caresses
About the flame of our feet,
The night of our terrible tresses!
Is it a wonder, then,
If the people are mad with blindness,
And nothing is stranger to men
Than silence, and wisdom, and kindness?

Nay! let him fashion an arrow
Whose heart is sober and stout!
Let him pierce his God to the marrow!
Let the soul of his God flow out!
Whether a snake or a sun
In his horoscope Heaven hath cast,
It is nothing; every one
Shall win to the moon at last.

The mage hath wrought by his art
A billion shapes in the sun.
Look through to the heart of his heart,
And the many are shapes of one!
An end to the art of the mage,
And the cold grey blank of the prison!
An end to the adamant age!
The ambrosial moon is arisen.

I have bought a lily-white goat
For the price of a crown of thorns,
A collar of gold for its throat,
A scarlet bow for its horns.
I have bought a lark in the lift
For the price of a butt of sherry:
With these, and God for a gift,
It needs no wine to be merry!

I have bought for a wafer of bread
A garden of poppies and clover;
For a water bitter and dead
A foam of fire flowing over.
From the Lamb and his prison fare
And the owl's blind stupor, arise
Be ye wise, and strong, and fair,
And the nectar afloat in your eyes!

Arise, O ambrosial moon
By the strong immemorial spell,
By the subtle veridical rune
That is mighty in heaven and hell!
Drip thy mystical dews
On the tongues of the tender fauns
In the shade of initiate yews
Remote from the desert dawns!

Satyrs and Fauns, I call.
Bring your beauty to man!
I am the mate for ye all'
I am the passionate Pan.
Come, O come to the dance
Leaping with wonderful whips,
Life on the stroke of a glance,
Death in the stroke of the lips!

I am hidden beyond,
Shed in a secret sinew
Smitten through by the fond
Folly of wisdom in you!
Come, while the moon (the moon!)
Sheds her ambrosial splendour,
Reels in the redeless rune
Ineffably, utterly, tender!
Hark! the appealing cry
Of deadly hurt in the hollow: ---
Hyacinth! Hyacinth! Ay!
Smitten to death by Apollo.
Swift, O maiden moon,
Send thy ray-dews after;
Turn the dolorous tune
To soft ambiguous laughter!

Mourn, O Maenads, mourn!
Surely your comfort is over:
All we laugh at you lorn.
Ours are the poppies and clover!
O that mouth and eyes,
Mischevious, male, alluring!
O that twitch of the thighs
Dorian past enduring!

Where is wisdom now?
Where the sage and his doubt?
Surely the sweat of the brow
Hath driven the demon out.
Surely the scented sleep
That crowns the equal war
Is wiser than only to weep ---
To weep for evermore!

Now, at the crown of the year,
The decadent days of October,
I come to thee, God, without fear;
Pious, chaste, and sober.
I solemnly sacrifice
This first-fruit flower of wine
For a vehicle of thy vice
As I am Thine to be mine.

For five in the year gone by
I pray Thee give to me one;
A love stronger than I,
A moon to swallow the sun!
May he be like a lily-white goat
Crisp as a thicket of thorns,
With a collar of gold for his throat,
A scarlet bow for his horns!
He cometido el peor de los pecados
que un hombre puede cometer. No he sido
feliz. Que los glaciares del olvido
me arrastren y me pierdan, despiadados.Mis padres me engendraron para el juego
arriesgado y hermoso de la vida,
para la tierra, el agua, el aire, el fuego.
Los defraudé. No fui feliz. Cumplidano fue su joven voluntad. Mi mente
se aplicó a las simétricas porfías
del arte, que entreteje naderías.Me legaron valor. No fui valiente.
No me abandona. Siempre está a mi lado
La sombra de haber sido un desdichado.
Giordano Bruno
O sant'asinità, sant'ignoranza,
santa stoltezza e pia devozione,
qual sola puoi far l'anime si buone
che umano ingegno e studio non l'avanza.
Non giunge faticosa vigilanza
d'arte qualunque sia o invenzione,
né dei sapienti contemplazione,
al ciel dove ti edifichi la stanza.
Che vi val (curiosi) lo studiare,
voler sapere quel che fa la natura,
se gli astri son pur terra, fuoco e mare?
La santa asinità di ciò non cura,
ma con man giunte e in ginocchio vuol stare
aspettando da Dio la sua ventura.
Nessuna cosa dura
eccetto il frutto dell'eterna requie,
la qual ci dona Dio dopo le esequie.
Oh, slow to smit and swift to spare,
Gentle and merciful and just!
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
The sword of power, a nation's trust!

In sorrow by thy bier we stand,
Amid the awe that hushes all,
And speak the anguish of a land
That shook with horror at thy fall.

Thy task is done; the bond of free;
We bear thee to an honored grave,
Whose proudest monument shall be
The broken fetters of the slave.

Pure was thy life; its bloddy close
Hath placed thee with the sons of light,
Among the noble host of those
Who perished in the cause of Right.
Di che reggimento siete

Parola tremante
nella notte

Foglia appena nata

Nell'aria spasimante
involontaria rivolta
del'uomo presente alla sua

C. S. Lewis
An Epithaliamium

So Man, grown vigorous now,
Holds himself ripe to breed,
Daily devises how
To ejaculate his seed
And boldly fertilize
The black womb of the unconsenting skies.

Some now alive expect
(I am told) to see the large,
Steel member grow erect,
Turgid with the fierce charge
Of our whole planet's skill,
Courage, wealth, knowledge, concentrated will,

Straining with lust to stamp
Our likeness on the abyss-
Bombs, gallows, Belsen camp,
Pox, polio, Thais' kiss
Or Judas, Moloch's fires
And Torquemada's (sons resemble sires).

Shall we, when the grim shape
Roars upward, dance and sing?
Yes: if we honour rape,
If we take pride to Ring
So bountifully on space
The sperm of our long woes, our large disgrace.
Le mani con un tremito
del telefono stringevano il filo;
mi aveva poco prima
recato la tua voce
che mi diceva addio.

Un vagante raggio ebbe la luce,
tenue filo dell'anima
del mio bacio donato
solo dal desiderio.

Ma dall'esilio ci libererà
l'ostinato mio amore.
Leonard Cohen
The door it opened slowly,
my father he came in,
I was nine years old.
And he stood so tall above me,
his blue eyes they were shining
and his voice was very cold.
He said, "I've had a vision
and you know I'm strong and holy,
I must do what I've been told."
So he started up the mountain,
I was running, he was walking,
and his axe was made of gold.
Well, the trees they got much smaller,
the lake a lady's mirror,
we stopped to drink some wine.
Then he threw the bottle over.
Broke a minute later
and he put his hand on mine.
Thought I saw an eagle
but it might have been a vulture,
I never could decide.
Then my father built an altar,
he looked once behind his shoulder,
he knew I would not hide.
You who build these altars now
to sacrifice these children,
you must not do it anymore.
A scheme is not a vision
and you never have been tempted
by a demon or a god.
You who stand above them now,
your hatchets blunt and bloody,
you were not there before,
when I lay upon a mountain
and my father's hand was trembling
with the beauty of the word.
And if you call me brother now,
forgive me if I inquire,
"Just according to whose plan?"
When it all comes down to dust
I will kill you if I must,
I will help you if I can.
When it all comes down to dust
I will help you if I must,
I will kill you if I can.
And mercy on our uniform,
man of peace or man of war,
the peacock spreads his fan.
Stefano Benni
In caso di guerra civile
secondo un recente sondaggio
il governo e l'esercito
sono in leggero vantaggio.
Seamus Heaney

He would drink by himself
And raise a weathered thumb
Towards the high shelf,
Calling another rum
And blackcurrant, without
Having to raise his voice,
Or order a quick stout
By a lifting of the eyes
And a discreet dumb-show
Of pulling off the top;
At closing time would go
In waders and peaked cap
Into the showery dark,
A dole-kept breadwinner
But a natural for work.
I loved his whole manner,
Sure-footed but too sly,
His deadpan sidling tact,
His fisherman's quick eye
And turned observant back.

To him, my other life.
Sometimes on the high stool,
Too busy with his knife
At a tobacco plug
And not meeting my eye,
In the pause after a slug
He mentioned poetry.
We would be on our own
And, always politic
And shy of condescension,
I would manage by some trick
To switch the talk to eels
Or lore of the horse and cart
Or the Provisionals.

But my tentative art
His turned back watches too:
He was blown to bits
Out drinking in a curfew
Others obeyed, three nights
After they shot dead
The thirteen men in Derry.
PARAS THIRTEEN, the walls said,
BOGSIDE NIL. That Wednesday
Everyone held
His breath and trembled.


It was a day of cold
Raw silence, wind-blown
Surplice and soutane:
Rained-on, flower-laden
Coffin after coffin
Seemed to float from the door
Of the packed cathedral
Like blossoms on slow water.
The common funeral
Unrolled its swaddling band,
Lapping, tightening
Till we were braced and bound
Like brothers in a ring.

But he would not be held
At home by his own crowd
Whatever threats were phoned,
Whatever black flags waved.
I see him as he turned
In that bombed offending place,
Remorse fused with terror
In his still knowable face,
His cornered outfaced stare
Blinding in the flash.

He had gone miles away
For he drank like a fish
Nightly, naturally
Swimming towards the lure
Of warm lit-up places,
The blurred mesh and murmur
Drifting among glasses
In the gregarious smoke.
How culpable was he
That last night when he broke
Our tribe's complicity?
'Now, you're supposed to be
An educated man,'
I hear him say. 'Puzzle me
The right answer to that one.'


I missed his funeral,
Those quiet walkers
And sideways talkers
Shoaling out of his lane
To the respectable
Purring of the hearse...
They move in equal pace
With the habitual
Slow consolation
Of a dawdling engine,
The line lifted, hand
Over fist, cold sunshine
On the water, the land
Banked under fog: that morning
I was taken in his boat,
The screw purling, turning
Indolent fathoms white,
I tasted freedom with him.
To get out early, haul
Steadily off the bottom,
Dispraise the catch, and smile
As you find a rhythm
Working you, slow mile by mile,
Into your proper haunt
Somewhere, well out, beyond...

Dawn-sniffing revenant,
Plodder through midnight rain,
Question me again.
Eugenio Montale
Tu non ricordi la casa dei doganieri
sul rialzo a strapiombo sulla scogliera:
desolata t'attende dalla sera
in cui v'entrò lo sciame dei tuoi pensieri
e vi sostò irrequieto.

Libeccio sferza da anni le vecchie mura
e il suono del tuo riso non è più lieto:
la bussola va impazzita all'avventura
e il calcolo dei dadi più non torna.

Tu non ricordi; altro tempo frastorna
la tua memoria; un filo s'addipana.

Ne tengo ancora un capo; ma s'allontana
la casa e in cima al tetto la banderuola
affumicata gira senza pietà.
Ne tengo un capo; ma tu resti sola
nè qui respiri nell'oscurità.

Oh l'orizzonte in fuga, dove s'accende
rara la luce della petroliera!
Il varco è qui? (ripullula il frangente
ancora sulla balza che scoscende... ).
Tu non ricordi la casa di questa
mia sera. Ed io non so chi va e chi resta.
Robert Browning
Fear death?—to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm,
The post of the foe;
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,
Yet the strong man must go:
For the journey is done and the summit attained,
And the barriers fall,
Though a battle’s to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
The reward of it all.
I was ever a fighter, so—one fight more,
The best and the last!
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore,
And bade me creep past.
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers
The heroes of old,
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life’s arrears
Of pain, darkness and cold.
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute’s at end,
And the elements’ rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend,
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain,
Then a light, then thy breast,
O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!
Marie, que je sers en trop cruel destin,
Quand d'un baiser d'amour votre bouche me baise,
Je suis tout éperdu, tant le coeur me bat d'aise.
Entre vos doux baisers puissé-je prendre fin !

Il sort de votre bouche un doux flair, qui le thym,
Le jasmin et l'oeillet, la framboise et la fraise
Surpasse de douceur, tant une douce braise
Vient de la bouche au coeur par un nouveau chemin.

Il sort de votre sein une odoreuse haleine
(Je meurs en y pensant) de parfum toute pleine,
Digne d'aller au ciel embaumer Jupiter.

Mais quand toute mon âme en plaisir se consomme
Mourant dessus vos yeux, lors pour me dépiter
Vous fuyez de mon col, pour baiser un jeune homme.
Francois Villon
Freres humains qui apres nous vivez,
N'ayez les coeurs contre nous endurcis ...
Men, brother men, that after us yet live,
Let not your hearts too hard against us be;
For if some pity of us poor men ye give,
The sooner God shall take of you pity.
Here are we five or six strung up, you see,
And here the flesh that all too well we fed
Bit by bit eaten and rotten, rent and shred,
And we the bones grow dust and ash withal;
Let no man laugh at us discomforted,
But pray to God that he forgive us all.
If we call on you, brothers, to forgive,

Ye should not hold our prayer in scorn, though we
Were slain by law; ye know that all alive
Have not wit always to walk righteously;
Make therefore intercession heartily
With him that of a virgin's womb was bred,
That his grace be not as a dr-y well-head
For us, nor let hell's thunder on us fall;
We are dead, let no man harry or vex us dead,
But pray to God that he forgive us all.

The rain has washed and laundered us all five,
And the sun dried and blackened; yea, perdie,
Ravens and pies with beaks that rend and rive
Have dug our eyes out, and plucked off for fee
Our beards and eyebrows; never we are free,
Not once, to rest; but here and there still sped,
Driven at its wild will by the wind's change led,
More pecked of birds than fruits on garden-wall;
Men, for God's love, let no gibe here be said,
But pray to God that he forgive us all.
Prince Jesus, that of all art lord and head,
Keep us, that hell be not our bitter bed;
We have nought to do in such a master's hall.
Be not ye therefore of our fellowhead,
But pray to God that he forgive us all.

Algernon Charles Swinburne, trans.
Amy Lowell
See! I give myself to you, Beloved!
My words are little jars
For you to take and put upon a shelf.
Their shapes are quaint and beautiful,
And they have many pleasant colours and lustres
To recommend them.
Also the scent from them fills the room
With sweetness of flowers and crushed grasses.

When I shall have given you the last one,
You will have the whole of me,
But I shall be dead
James Joyce
Be not sad because all men
Prefer a lying clamour before you:
Sweetheart, be at peace again -- -
Can they dishonour you?

They are sadder than all tears;
Their lives ascend as a continual sigh.
Proudly answer to their tears:
As they deny, deny.
Koi Nagata
Falling cicada.
Somebody has already fallen in advance.
How strange to greet, this frosty morn,
In graceful counterfeit of flower,
These children of the meadows, born
Of sunshine and of showers!

How well the conscious wood retains
The pictures of its flower-sown home,
The lights and shades, the purple stains,
And golden hues of bloom!

It was a happy thought to bring
To the dark season's frost and rime
This painted memory of spring,
This dream of summertime.

Our hearts are lighter for its sake,
Our fancy's age renews its youth,
And dim-remembered fictions take
The guise of present truth.

A wizard of the Merrimac,--
So old ancestral legends say,--
Could call green leaf and blossom back
To frosted stem and spray.

The dry logs of the cottage wall,
Beneath his touch, put out their leaves;
The clay-bound swallow, at his call,
Played round the icy eaves.

The settler saw his oaken flail
Take bud, and bloom before his eyes;
From frozen pools he saw the pale
Sweet summer lilies rise.

To their old homes, by man profaned
Came the sad dryads, exiled long,
And through their leafy tongues complained
Of household use and wrong.

The beechen platter sprouted wild,
The pipkin wore its old-time green,
The cradle o'er the sleeping child
Became a leafy screen.

Haply our gentle friend hath met,
While wandering in her sylvan quest,
Haunting his native woodlands yet,
That Druid of the West;

And while the dew on leaf and flower
Glistened in the moonlight clear and still,
Learned the dusk wizard's spell of power,
And caught his trick of skill.

But welcome, be it new or old,
The gift which makes the day more bright,
And paints, upon the ground of cold
And darkness, warmth and light!

Without is neither gold nor green;
Within, for birds, the birch-logs sing;
Yet, summer-like, we sit between
The autumn and the spring.

The one, with bridal blush of rose,
And sweetest breath of woodland balm,
And one whose matron lips unclose
In smiles of saintly calm.

Fill soft and deep, O winter snow!
The sweet azalea's oaken dells,
And hide the banks where roses blow
And swing the azure bells!

O'erlay the amber violet's leaves,
The purple aster's brookside home,
Guard all the flowers her pencil gives
A live beyond their bloom.

And she, when spring comes round again,
By greening slope and singing flood
Shall wander, seeking, not in vain
Her darlings of the wood.
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