Want to submit your work? Request an invite
Behold that great Plotinus swim,
Buffeted by such seas;
Bland Rhadamanthus beckons him,
But the Golden Race looks dim,
Salt blood blocks his eyes.
Scattered on the level grass
Or winding through the grove
plato there and Minos pass,
There stately Pythagoras
And all the choir of Love.
 88° 
William Cowper
'Tis morning; and the sun, with ruddy orb
Ascending, fires th' horizon: while the clouds,
That crowd away before the driving wind,
More ardent as the disk emerges more,
Resemble most some city in a blaze,
Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray
Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale,
And, tinging all with his own rosy hue,
From ev'ry herb and ev'ry spiry blade
Stretches a length of shadow o'er the field.
Mine, spindling into longitude immense,
In spite of gravity, and sage remark
That I myself am but a fleeting shade,
Provokes me to a smile. With eye askance
I view the muscular proportion'd limb
Transform'd to a lean shank. The shapeless pair,
As they design'd to mock me, at my side
Take step for step; and, as I near approach
The cottage, walk along the plaster'd wall,
Prepost'rous sight! the legs without the man.
The verdure of the plain lies buried deep
Beneath the dazzling deluge; and the bents,
And coarser grass, upspearing o'er the rest,
Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine
Conspicuous, and, in bright apparel clad
And fledg'd with icy feathers, nod superb.
The cattle mourn in corners where the fence
Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep
In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait
Their wonted fodder; not like hung'ring man,
Fretful if unsupply'd; but silent, meek,
And patient of the slow-pac'd swain's delay.
He from the stack carves out th' accustom'd load,
Deep-plunging, and again deep-plunging oft,
His broad keen knife into the solid mass:
Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands,
With such undeviating and even force
He severs it away: no needless care,
Lest storms should overset the leaning pile
Deciduous, or its own unbalanc'd weight....


'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume,
And we are weeds without it. All constraint,
Except what wisdom lays on evil men,
Is evil; hurts the faculties, impedes
Their progress in the road of science; blinds
The eyesight of discovery, and begets,
In those that suffer it, a sordid mind
Bestial, a meagre intellect, unfit
To be the tenant of man's noble form.
Thee therefore, still, blameworthy as thou art,
With all thy loss of empire, and though squeez'd
By public exigence till annual food
Fails for the craving hunger of the state,
Thee I account still happy, and the chief
Among the nations, seeing thou art free,
My native nook of earth! . . ....


But there is yet a liberty unsung
By poets, and by senators unprais'd,
Which monarchs cannot grant, nor all the pow'rs
Of earth and hell confederate take away;
A liberty which persecution, fraud,
Oppression, prisons, have no pow'r to bind;
Which whoso tastes can be enslav'd no more.
'Tis liberty of heart, deriv'd from Heav'n,
Bought with his blood who gave it to mankind,
And seal'd with the same token. It is held
By charter, and that charter sanction'd sure
By th' unimpeachable and awful oath
And promise of a God. His other gifts
All bear the royal stamp that speaks them his,
And are august, but this transcends them all.
 85° 
Anónimo
Pidiendo a las diez del día   papel a su secretario,
a la carta de Jimena   responde el rey por su mano;
y después de hacer la cruz   con cuatro puntos y un rasgo,
aquestas palabras pone   a guisa de cortesano:

«A vos, la noble Jimena,   la del marido envidiado,
vos envío mis saludos   en fe de quereros tanto.
Que estáis de mi querellosa,   decís en vuestro despacho,
que non vos suelto el marido   sino una vez en el año,

»y que cuando vos le suelto,   en lugar de regalaros,
en vuestros brazos se duerme   como viene tan cansado.
Si supiérades, señora,   que vos quitaba el velado
para mis namoramientos,   fuera bien el lamentarlo;

»mas si sólo vos lo quito   para lidiar en el campo
con los moros convecinos,   non vos fago mucho agravio;
que si yo no hubiera puesto   las mis huertas a su cargo,
ni vos fuerais más que dueña,   ni él fuera más que un hidalgo.

»A no vos tener encinta,   señora, el vuestro velado
creyera de su dormir   lo que me habedes contado.
Más pues el parto esperáis...   si os falta un marido al lado,
no importa, que sobra un rey   que os hará cien mil regalos.

»Decís que entregue a las llamas   la carta que habéis mandado;
a contener herejías,   fuera digna de tal caso;
mas pues razones contiene   dignas de los siete sabios,
mejor es para mi archivo   que non para el fuego ingrato.

»Y porque guardéis la mía   y no la fagáis pedazos,
por ella a lo que pariéredes   prometo buen aguinaldo:
si fuere hijo, daréle   una espada y un caballo
y cien mil maravedís   para ayuda de su gasto;

»si fija, para su dote   prometo poner en cambio
desde el día en que naciere   de plata cuarenta marcos.
 Con esto ceso, señora,   y no de estar suplicando
a la Virgen vos ayude   en los dolores del parto».
 82° 
Mario Luzi
Quando tra estreme ombre profonda
in aperti paesi l'estate
rapisce il canto agli armenti
e la memoria dei pastori e ovunque tace
la secreta alacrità delle specie,
i nascituri avvallano
nella dolce volontà delle madri
e preme i rami dei colli e le pianure
aride il progressivo esser dei frutti.
Sulla terra accadono senza luogo,
senza perché le indelebili
verità, in quel soffio ove affondan
leggere il peso le fronde
le navi inclinano il fianco
e l'ansia dè naviganti a strane coste,
il suono d'ogni voce
perde sé nel suo grembo, al mare al vento.
O Holy Saviour, Friend unseen,
Since on Thine arm Thou bid'st us lean,
Help us throughout life's changing scene
By faith to cling to Thee.

When far from home, fatigued, oppressed,
In Thee we found our place of rest;
As exiles still, yet richly blest,
We cling, O Lord, to Thee.

What though the world deceitful prove,
And earthly friends and hopes remove!
With patient, uncomplaining love,
Still would we cling to Thee.

Though faith and hope are often tried,
We ask not, need not, ought beside;
So safe, so calm, so satisfied,
The soul that clings to Thee.

Blest is our lot, whate'er befall;
What can disturb or who appal?
Thou art our strength, our rock, our all,
Saviour, we cling to Thee.
 75° 
George Eliot
It was in the prime
Of the sweet springtime
In the linnet's throat
Trembled the love note,
And the love-stirred air
Thrilled the blossoms there.
Little shadows danced,
Each a tiny elf
Happy in large light
And the thinnest self.

It was but a minute
In a far-off spring,
But each gentle thing,
Sweetly wooing linnet,
Soft thrilled hawthorn tree,
Happy shadowy elf,
With the thinnest self,
Live on still in me.
It was in the prime
Of the past springtime!
 72° 
Totò
Tengo 'nu cane ch'è fenomenale,
se chiama "Dick", 'o voglio bene assaie.
Si perdere l'avesse? Nun sia maie!
Per me sarebbe un lutto nazionale.
Ll 'aggio crisciuto comm'a 'nu guaglione,
cu zucchero, biscotte e papparelle;
ll'aggio tirato su cu 'e mmullechelle
e ll'aggio dato buona educazione.

Gnorsì, mo è gruosso. È quase giuvinotto.
Capisce tutto... Ile manca 'a parola.
È cane 'e razza, tene bbona scola,
è lupo alsaziano, è polizziotto.

Chello ca mo ve conto è molto bello.
In casa ha stabilito 'a gerarchia.
Vò bene ' a mamma ch'è 'a signora mia,
e a figliemo isso 'o tratta da fratello.

'E me se penza ca lle songo 'o pate:
si 'o guardo dinto a ll'uocchiemme capisce,
appizza 'e rrecchie, corre, m'ubbidisce,
e pè fà 'e pressa torna senza fiato.

Ogn'anno, 'int'a ll'estate, va in amore,
s'appecundrisce e mette 'o musso sotto.
St'anno s'è 'nnammurato 'e na basotta
ca nun ne vò sapè: nun è in calore.

Povero Dick, soffre 'e che manera!
Porta pur'isso mpietto stu dulore:
è cane, si... ma tene pure 'o core
e 'o sango dinto 'e vvene... vo 'a mugliera...
No soy yo quien te engendra. Son los muertos.
Son mi padre, su padre y sus mayores;
son los que un largo dédalo de amores
trazaron desde Adán y los desiertos

de Caín y de Abel, en una aurora
tan antigua que ya es mitología,
y llegan, sangre y médula, a este día
del porvenir, en que te engendro ahora.

Siento su multitud. Somos nosotros
y, entre nosotros, tú y los venideros
hijos que has de engendrar. Los postrimeros

y los del rojo Adán. Soy esos otros,
también. La eternidad está en las cosas
del tiempo, que son formas presurosas.
 64° 
Ben Jonson
Beauties, have ye seen this toy,
Called Love, a little boy,
Almost naked, wanton, blind;
Cruel now, and then as kind?
If he be amongst ye, say?
He is Venus' runaway.

She that will but now discover
Where the winged wag doth hover,
Shall to-night receive a kiss,
How or where herself would wish:
But who brings him to his mother,
Shall have that kiss, and another.

He hath marks about him plenty:
You shall know him among twenty.
All his body is a fire,
And his breath a flame entire,
That, being shot like lightning in,
Wounds the heart, but not the skin.

At his sight, the sun hath turned,
Neptune in the waters burned;
Hell hath felt a greater heat;
Jove himself forsook his seat:
From the centre to the sky,
Are his trophies reared high.

Wings he hath, which though ye clip,
He will leap from lip to lip,
Over liver, lights, and heart,
But not stay in any part;
But if chance his arrow misses,
He will shoot himself in kisses.

He doth bear a golden bow,
And a quiver, hanging low,
Full of arrows, that outbrave
Dian's shafts; where, if he have
Any head more sharp than other,
With that first he strikes his mother.

Still the fairest are his fuel.
When his days are to be cruel,
Lovers' hearts are all his food,
And his baths their warmest blood:
Naught but wounds his hands doth season,
And he hates none like to Reason.

Trust him not; his words, though sweet,
Seldom with his heart do meet.
All his practice is deceit;
Every gift it is a bait;

Not a kiss but poison bears;
And most treason in his tears.

Idle minutes are his reign;
Then, the straggler makes his gain
By presenting maids with toys,
And would have ye think them joys:
'Tis the ambition of the elf
To have all childish as himself.

If by these ye please to know him,
Beauties, be not nice, but show him.
Though ye had a will to hide him,
Now, we hope, ye'll not abide him;
Since you hear his falser play,
And that he's Venus' runaway.
Of death
the barber
the barber
talked to me

cutting my
life with
sleep to trim
my hair—

It’s just
a moment
he said, we die
every night—

And of
the newest
ways to grow
hair on

bald death—
I told him
of the quartz
lamp

and of old men
with third
sets of teeth
to the cue

of an old man
who said
at the door—
Sunshine today!

for which
death shaves
him twice
a week
 60° 
Edith Wharton
I

A THIN moon faints in the sky o'erhead,
And dumb in the churchyard lie the dead.
Walk we not, Sweet, by garden ways,
Where the late rose hangs and the phlox delays,
But forth of the gate and down the road,
Past the church and the yews, to their dim abode.
For it's turn of the year and All Souls' night,
When the dead can hear and the dead have sight.

II

Fear not that sound like wind in the trees:
It is only their call that comes on the breeze;
Fear not the shudder that seems to pass:
It is only the tread of their feet on the grass;
Fear not the drip of the bough as you stoop:
It is only the touch of their hands that grope -
For the year's on the turn, and it's All Souls' night,
When the dead can yearn and the dead can smite.

III

And where should a man bring his sweet to woo
But here, where such hundreds were lovers too?
Where lie the dead lips that thirst to kiss,
The empty hands that their fellows miss,
Where the maid and her lover, from sere to green,
Sleep bed by bed, with the worm between?
For it's turn of the year and All Souls' night,
When the dead can hear and the dead have sight.

IV

And now that they rise and walk in the cold,
Let us warm their blood and give youth to the old.
Let them see us and hear us, and say: 'Ah, thus
In the prime of the year it went with us!'
Till their lips drawn close, and so long unkist,
Forget they are mist that mingles with mist!
For the year's on the turn, and it's All Souls' night,
When the dead can burn and the dead can smite.

V

Till they say, as they hear us - poor dead, poor dead! -
'Just an hour of this, and our age-long bed -
Just a thrill of the old remembered pains
To kindle a flame in our frozen veins,
Just a touch, and a sight, and a floating apart,
As the chill of dawn strikes each phantom heart -
For it's turn of the year and All Souls' night,
When the dead can hear, and the dead have sight.'

VI

And where should the living feel alive
But here in this wan white humming hive,
As the moon wastes down, and the dawn turns cold,
And one by one they creep back to the fold?
And where should a man hold his mate and say:
'One more, one more, ere we go their way'?
For the year's on the turn, and it's All Souls' night,
When the living can learn by the churchyard light.

VII

And how should we break faith who have seen
Those dead lips plight with the mist between,
And how forget, who have seen how soon
They lie thus chambered and cold to the moon?
How scorn, how hate, how strive, we too,
Who must do so soon as those others do?
For it's All Souls' night, and break of the day,
And behold, with the light the dead are away. . . .
 58° 
Jaime Sabines
Crece difícilmente, pero crece
diáfanamente.
Es limpio este crecer,
hay algo limpio y doloroso en todo,
son los años del cambio, del ajuste,
del vivir de otro modo.


¿En dónde vi la alegría derramada
-Playa Girón sobre la sangre fresca?
Escuela de combate: pescadores,
niños nautas, pizarrón en fiesta.

Hay pueblos tristes como en todas partes,
pero el cubano tiene una madera
oscuramente alegre, una fuente de sol,
un surtidor de agua.
Escándalo y ternura al mismo tiempo,
vocifera, se llena, se derrama.
 54° 
Mario Luzi
Quando tra estreme ombre profonda
in aperti paesi l'estate
rapisce il canto agli armenti
e la memoria dei pastori e ovunque tace
la secreta alacrità delle specie,
i nascituri avvallano
nella dolce volontà delle madri
e preme i rami dei colli e le pianure
aride il progressivo esser dei frutti.
Sulla terra accadono senza luogo,
senza perché le indelebili
verità, in quel soffio ove affondan
leggere il peso le fronde
le navi inclinano il fianco
e l'ansia dè naviganti a strane coste,
il suono d'ogni voce
perde sé nel suo grembo, al mare al vento.
Les sots sont un peuple nombreux,
Trouvant toutes choses faciles :
Il faut le leur passer, souvent ils sont heureux ;
Grand motif de se croire habiles.
Un âne, en broutant ses chardons,
Regardait un pasteur jouant, sous le feuillage,
D'une flûte dont les doux sons
Attiraient et charmaient les bergers du bocage.
Cet âne mécontent disait : ce monde est fou !
Les voilà tous, bouche béante,
Admirant un grand sot qui sue et se tourmente
À souffler dans un petit trou.
C'est par de tels efforts qu'on parvient à leur plaire,
Tandis que moi... suffit... allons-nous-en d'ici,
Car je me sens trop en colère.
Notre âne, en raisonnant ainsi,
Avance quelques pas, lorsque sur la fougère
Une flûte oubliée en ces champêtres lieux
Par quelque pasteur amoureux
Se trouve sous ses pieds. Notre âne se redresse,
Sur elle de côté fixe ses deux gros yeux ;
Une oreille en avant, lentement il se baisse,
Applique son naseau sur le pauvre instrument,
Et souffle tant qu'il peut. ô hasard incroyable !
Il en sort un son agréable.
L'âne se croit un grand talent,
Et tout joyeux s'écrie en faisant la culbute :
Eh ! Je joue aussi de la flûte !
 52° 
Toru Dutt
"Hark! Lakshman! Hark, again that cry!
                 It is, — it is my husband's voice!
             Oh hasten, to his succour fly,
                 No more hast thou, dear friend, a choice.
             He calls on thee, perhaps his foes
                 Environ him on all sides round,
            That wail, — it means death's final throes!
                 Why standest thou, as magic-bound?


             "Is this a time for thought, — oh gird
               Thy bright sword on, and take thy bow!
           He heeds not, hears not any word,
               Evil hangs over us, I know!
           Swift in decision, prompt in deed,
               Brave unto rashness, can this be,
           The man to whom all looked at need?
               Is it my brother that I see!


           "Oh no, and I must run alone,
               For further here I cannot stay;
           Art thou transformed to blind dumb stone!
               Wherefore this impious, strange delay!
           That cry, — that cry, — it seems to ring
               Still in my ears, — I cannot bear
           Suspense; if help we fail to bring
               His death at least we both can share"


          "Oh calm thyself, Videhan Queen,
               No cause is there for any fear,
           Hast thou his prowess never seen?
               Wipe off for shame that dastard tear!
           What being of demonian birth
               Could ever brave his mighty arm?
           Is there a creature on earth
               That dares to work our hero harm?


           "The lion and the grisly bear
               Cower when they see his royal look,
           Sun-staring eagles of the air
               His glance of anger cannot brook,
           Pythons and cobras at his tread
               To their most secret coverts glide,
           Bowed to the dust each serpent head
               Erect before in hooded pride.


           "Rakshasas, Danavs, demons, ghosts,
               Acknowledge in their hearts his might,
           And slink to their remotest coasts,
               In terror at his very sight.
           Evil to him! Oh fear it not,
               Whatever foes against him rise!
           Banish for aye the foolish thought,
               And be thyself, — bold, great, and wise.


           "He call for help! Canst thou believe
               He like a child would shriek for aid
           Or pray for respite or reprieve —
               Not of such metal is he made!
           Delusive was that piercing cry, —
               Some trick of magic by the foe;
           He has a work, — he cannot die,
               Beseech me not from hence to go.


           For here beside thee, as a guard
               'Twas he commanded me to stay,
           And dangers with my life to ward
               If they should come across thy way.
           Send me not hence, for in this wood
               Bands scattered of the giants lurk,
           Who on their wrongs and vengeance brood,
               And wait the hour their will to work."


           "Oh shame! and canst thou make my weal
               A plea for lingering! Now I know
           What thou art, Lakshman! And I feel
               Far better were an open foe.
           Art thou a coward? I have seen
               Thy bearing in the battle-fray
           Where flew the death-fraught arrows keen,
               Else had I judged thee so today.


           "But then thy leader stood beside!
               Dazzles the cloud when shines the sun,
           Reft of his radiance, see it glide
               A shapeless mass of vapours dun;
           So of thy courage, — or if not,
               The matter is far darker dyed,
           What makes thee loth to leave this spot?
               Is there a motive thou wouldst hide?


           "He perishes — well, let him die!
               His wife henceforth shall be mine own!
           Can that thought deep imbedded lie
               Within thy heart's most secret zone!
           Search well and see! one brother takes
               His kingdom, — one would take his wife!
           A fair partition! — But it makes
               Me shudder, and abhor my life.


           "Art thou in secret league with those
               Who from his hope the kingdom rent?
           A spy from his ignoble foes
               To track him in his banishment?
           And wouldst thou at his death rejoice?
               I know thou wouldst, or sure ere now
           When first thou heardst that well known voice
               Thou shouldst have run to aid, I trow.


           "Learn this, — whatever comes may come,
               But I shall not survive my Love,
           Of all my thoughts here is the sum!
            Witness it gods in heaven above.
         If fire can burn, or water drown,
             I follow him: — choose what thou wilt
         Truth with its everlasting crown,
             Or falsehood, treachery, and guilt.


         "Remain here with a vain pretence
             Of shielding me from wrong and shame,
         Or go and die in his defence
             And leave behind a noble name.
         Choose what thou wilt, — I urge no more,
             My pathway lies before me clear,
         I did not know thy mind before,
             I know thee now, — and have no fear."


         She said and proudly from him turned, —
             Was this the gentle Sita? No.
         Flames from her eyes shot forth and burned,
             The tears therein had ceased to flow.
         "Hear me, O Queen, ere I depart,
             No longer can I bear thy words,
         They lacerate my inmost heart
             And torture me, like poisoned swords.


         "Have I deserved this at thine hand?
             Of lifelong loyalty and truth
         Is this the meed? I understand
             Thy feelings, Sita, and in sooth
         I blame thee not, — but thou mightst be
             Less rash in judgement, Look! I go,
         Little I care what comes to me
             Wert thou but safe, — God keep thee so!


         "In going hence I disregard
             The plainest orders of my chief,
         A deed for me, — a soldier, — hard
             And deeply painful, but thy grief
         And language, wild and wrong, allow
             No other course. Mine be the crime,
         And mine alone. — but oh, do thou
             Think better of me from this time.


         "Here with an arrow, lo, I trace
             A magic circle ere I leave,
         No evil thing within this space
             May come to harm thee or to grieve.
         Step not, for aught, across the line,
             Whatever thou mayst see or hear,
         So shalt thou balk the bad design
             Of every enemy I fear.


         "And now farewell! What thou hast said,
             Though it has broken quite my heart,
         So that I wish I were dead —
             I would before, O Queen, we part,
         Freely forgive, for well I know
             That grief and fear have made thee wild,
         We part as friends, — is it not so?"
             And speaking thus he sadly smiled.


         "And oh ye sylvan gods that dwell
             Among these dim and sombre shades,
         Whose voices in the breezes swell
             And blend with noises of cascades,
         Watch over Sita, whom alone
             I leave, and keep her safe fr
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.
 46° 
Eavan Boland
The oaks are stricken by a serious illness
They dry up after having let go
Into the glow of a sump at sunset
A whole throng of generals' heads
Do not stand at my grave and weep..
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awake in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry..
I am not there. I did not die.
Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee Whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
On an ebony bed decorated
with coral eagles, sound asleep lies
Nero --- unconscious, quiet, and blissful;
thriving in the vigor of flesh,
and in the splendid power of youth.

But in the alabaster hall that encloses
the ancient shrine of the Aenobarbi
how restive are his Lares.
The little household gods tremble,
and try to hide their insignificant bodies.
For they heard a horrible clamor,
a deathly clamor ascending the stairs,
iron footsteps rattling the stairs.
And now in a faint the miserable Lares,
burrow in the depth of the shrine,
one tumbles and stumbles upon the other,
one little god falls over the other
for they understand what sort of clamor this is,
they are already feeling the footsteps of the Furies.
 41° 
Omar Khayyam
Translated into English in 1859 by Edward FitzGerald

I.
Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.

II.
Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

III.
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted -- "Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more."

IV.
Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

V.
Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose,
And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one Knows;
But still the Vine her ancient ruby yields,
And still a Garden by the Water blows.

VI.
And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine
High piping Pehlevi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
Red Wine!" -- the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That yellow Cheek of hers to incarnadine.

VII.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly -- and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

VIII.
Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life kep falling one by one.

IX.
Morning a thousand Roses brings, you say;
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?
And this first Summer month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.

X.
But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot:
Let Rustum lay about him as he will,
Or Hatim Tai cry Supper -- heed them not.

XI.
With me along the strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultan is forgot --
And Peace is Mahmud on his Golden Throne!

XII.
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, -- and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness --
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

XIII.
Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Promise go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

XIV.
Were it not Folly, Spider-like to spin
The Thread of present Life away to win --
What? for ourselves, who know not if we shall
Breathe out the very Breath we now breathe in!

XV.
Look to the Rose that blows about us -- "Lo,
Laughing," she says, "into the World I blow:
At once the silken Tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw."

XVI.
The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes -- or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two -- is gone.

XVII.
And those who husbanded the Golden Grain,
And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.

XVIII.
Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two and went his way.

XIX.
They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep:
And Bahram, that great Hunter -- the Wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep.

XX.
I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.

XXI.
And this delightful Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River's Lip on which we lean --
Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

XXII.
Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
To-day of past Regrets and future Fears --
To-morrow? -- Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.

XXIII.
Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.

XXIV.
And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch -- for whom?

XXV.
Ah, make the most of what we may yet spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie;
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and -- sans End!

XXVI.
Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
And those that after some To-morrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! Your Reward is neither Here nor There!"

XXVII.
Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Works to Scorn
Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.

XXVIII.
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown forever dies.

XXIX.
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about; but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.

XXX.
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd --
"I came like Water and like Wind I go."

XXXI.
Into this Universe, and Why not knowing,
Nor Whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing.

XXXII.
Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate
I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate,
And many Knots unravel'd by the Road;
But not the Master-Knot of Human Fate.

XXXIII.
There was the Door to which I found no Key:
There was the Veil through which I could not see:
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There was -- and then no more of Thee and Me.

XXXIV.
Then to the rolling Heav'n itself I cried,
Asking, "What Lamp had Destiny to guide
Her little Children stumbling in the Dark?"
And -- "A blind Understanding!" Heav'n replied.

XXXV.
Then to the Lip of this poor earthen Urn
I lean'd, the secret Well of Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur'd -- "While you live,
Drink! -- for, once dead, you never shall return."

XXXVI.
I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
Articulation answer'd, once did live,
And merry-make, and the cold Lip I kiss'd,
How many Kisses might it take -- and give!

XXXVII.
For in the Market-place, one Dusk of Day,
I watch'd the Potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all obliterated Tongue
It murmur'd -- "Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"

XXXVIII.
And has not such a Story from of Old
Down Man's successive generations roll'd
Of such a clod of saturated Earth
Cast by the Maker into Human mould?

XXXIX.
Ah, fill the Cup: -- what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday,
Why fret about them if To-day be sweet!

XL.
A Moment's Halt -- a momentary taste
Of Being from the Well amid the Waste --
And Lo! the phantom Caravan has reach'd
The Nothing it set out from -- Oh, make haste!

XLI.
Oh, plagued no more with Human or Divine,
To-morrow's tangle to itself resign,
And lose your fingers in the tresses of
The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine.

XLII.
Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavor and dispute;
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, fruit.

XLIII.
You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

XLIV.
And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape
Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
He bid me taste of it; and 'twas -- the Grape!

XLV.
The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute:
The subtle Alchemest that in a Trice
Life's leaden Metal into Gold transmute.

XLVI.
Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare
Blaspheme the twisted tendril as Snare?
A Blessing, we should use it, should we not?
And if a Curse -- why, then, Who set it there?

XLVII.
But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me
The Quarrel of the Universe let be:
And, in some corner of the Hubbub couch'd,
Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee.

XLVIII.
For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

XLIX.
Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass'd the door of Darkness through
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.

L.
The Revelations of Devout and Learn'd
Who rose before us, and as Prophets burn'd,
Are all but Stories, which, awoke from Sleep,
They told their fellows, and to Sleep return'd.

LI.
Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
Is't not a shame -- Is't not a shame for him
So long in this Clay suburb to abide?

LII.
But that is but a Tent wherein may rest
A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest;
The Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash
Strikes, and prepares it for another guest.

LIII.
I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And after many days my Soul return'd
And said, "Behold, Myself am Heav'n and Hell."

LIV.
Heav'n but the Vision of fulfill'd Desire,
And Hell the Shadow of a Soul on fire,
Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves,
So late emerg'd from, shall so soon expire.

LV.
While the Rose blows along the River Brink,
With old Khayyam and ruby vintage drink:
And when the Angel with his darker Draught
Draws up to Thee -- take that, and do not shrink.

LVI.
And fear not lest Existence closing your
Account, should lose, or know the type no more;
The Eternal Saki from the Bowl has pour'd
Millions of Bubbls like us, and will pour.

LVII.
When You and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh but the long long while the World shall last,
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As much as Ocean of a pebble-cast.

LVIII.
'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

LIX.
The Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Right or Left, as strikes the Player goes;
And he that toss'd Thee down into the Field,
He knows about it all -- He knows -- HE knows!

LX.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

LXI.
For let Philosopher and Doctor preach
Of what they will, and what they will not -- each
Is but one Link in an eternal Chain
That none can slip, nor break, nor over-reach.

LXII.
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to it for help -- for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

LXIII.
With Earth's first Clay They did the Last Man knead,
And then of the Last Harvest sow'd the Seed:
Yea, the first Morning of Creation wrote
What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

LXIV.
Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare;
To-morrow's Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

LXV.
I tell You this -- When, starting from the Goal,
Over the shoulders of the flaming Foal
Of Heav'n Parwin and Mushtari they flung,
In my predestin'd Plot of Dust and Soul.

LXVI.
The Vine has struck a fiber: which about
If clings my Being -- let the Dervish flout;
Of my Base metal may be filed a Key,
That shall unlock the Door he howls without.

LXVII.
And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrath -- consume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.

LXVIII.
What! out of senseless Nothing to provoke
A conscious Something to resent the yoke
Of unpermitted Pleasure, under pain
Of Everlasting Penalties, if broke!

LXIX.
What! from his helpless Creature be repaid
Pure Gold for what he lent us dross-allay'd --
Sue for a Debt we never did contract,
And cannot answer -- Oh the sorry trade!

LXX.
Nay, but for terror of his wrathful Face,
I swear I will not call Injustice Grace;
Not one Good Fellow of the Tavern but
Would kick so poor a Coward from the place.

LXXI.
Oh Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou will not with Predestin'd Evil round
Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?

LXXII.
Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken'd, Man's Forgiveness give -- and take!

LXXIII.
Listen again. One Evening at the Close
Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potter's Shop I stood alone
With the clay Population round in Rows.

LXXIV.
And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried --
"Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"

LXXV.
Then said another -- "Surely not in vain
My Substance from the common Earth was ta'en,
That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
Should stamp me back to common Earth again."

LXXVI.
Another said -- "Why, ne'er a peevish Boy,
Would break the Bowl from which he drank in Joy;
Shall He that made the vessel in pure Love
And Fancy, in an after Rage destroy?"

LXXVII.
None answer'd this; but after Silence spake
A Vessel of a more ungainly Make:
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry;
What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"

LXXVIII:
"Why," said another, "Some there are who tell
Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell
The luckless Pots he marred in making -- Pish!
He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well."

LXXIX.
Then said another with a long-drawn Sigh,
"My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry:
But, fill me with the old familiar Juice,
Methinks I might recover by-and-by!"

LXXX.
So while the Vessels one by one were speaking,
The Little Moon look'd in that all were seeking:
And then they jogg'd each other, "Brother! Brother!
Now for the Porter's shoulder-knot a-creaking!"

LXXXI.
Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the Life has died,
And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt,
So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.

LXXXII.
That ev'n my buried Ashes such a Snare
Of Perfume shall fling up into the Air,
As not a True Believer passing by
But shall be overtaken unaware.

LXXXIII.
Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in Men's Eye much wrong:
Have drown'd my Honour in a shallow Cup,
And sold my Reputation for a Song.

LXXXIV.
Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
I swore -- but was I sober when I swore?
And then, and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore.

LXXXV.
And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel,
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honor -- well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.

LXXXVI.
Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the Branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!

LXXXVII.
Would but the Desert of the Fountain yield
One glimpse -- If dimly, yet indeed, reveal'd
To which the fainting Traveller might spring,
As springs the trampled herbage of the field!

LXXXVIII.
Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits -- and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!

LXXXIX.
Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane,
The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me -- in vain!

XC.
And when like her, oh Saki, you shall pass
Among the Guests star-scatter'd on the Grass,
And in your joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made one -- turn down an empty Glass!
 38° 
Cesare Pavese
È riapparsa la donna dagli occhi socchiusi
e dal corpo raccolto, camminando per strada.
Ha guardato diritto tendendo la mano,
nell'immobile strada. Ogni cosa è riemersa.

Nell'immobile luce dei giorno lontano
s'è spezzato il ricordo. La donna ha rialzato
la sua semplice fronte, e lo sguardo d'allora
è riapparso. La mano si è tesa alla mano
e la stretta angosciosa era quella d'allora.
Ogni cosa ha ripreso i colori e la vita
allo sguardo raccolto, alla bocca socchiusa.

È tornata l'angoscia dei giorni lontani
quando tutta un'immobile estate improvvisa
di colori e tepori emergeva, agli sguardi
di quegli occhi sommessi. È tornata l'angoscia
che nessuna dolcezza di labbra dischiuse
può lenire. Un immobile cielo s'accoglie
freddamente, in quegli occhi.
Fra calmo il ricordo
alla luce sommessa dei tempo, era un docile
moribondo cui già la finestra s'annebbia e scompare.
Si è spezzato il ricordo. La stretta angosciosa
della mano leggera ha riacceso i colori
e l'estate e i tepori sotto il viviclo cielo.
Ma la bocca socchiusa e gli sguardi sommessi
non dan vita che a un duro inumano silenzio.
 37° 
Giovanni Pascoli
Nelle case, dove ancora
si ragiona coi vicini
presso al fuoco, e già la nuora
porta a nanna i suoi bambini,
uno in collo e due per mano;
pel camino nero il vento,
tra lo scoppiettar dei ciocchi,
porta un suono lungo e lento,
tre, poi cinque, sette tocchi,
da un paese assai lontano:
tre, poi cinque e sette voci,
lente e languide, di gente:
voci dal borgo alle croci,
gente che non ha più niente:
- Fate piano! Piano! Piano!
Non vogliamo saper nulla:
notte? Giorno? Verno? State?
Piano, voi, con quella culla!
Che non pianga il bimbo... Fate
piano! Piano! Piano! Piano!
Non vogliamo ricordare
vino e grano, monte e piano,
la capanna, il focolare,
mamma, bimbi... Fate piano!
Piano! Piano! Piano! Piano!
 35° 
Rubén Darío
Señora, Amor es violento,
y cuando nos transfigura
nos enciende el pensamiento
la locura.No pidas paz a mis brazos
que a los tuyos tienen presos:
son de guerra mis abrazos
y son de incendio mis besos;
y sería vano intento
el tornar mi mente obscura
si me enciende el pensamiento
la locura.Clara está la mente mía
de llamas de amor, señora,
como la tienda del día
o el palacio de la aurora.
Y el perfume de tu ungüento
te persigue mi ventura,
y me enciende el pensamiento
la locura.Mi gozo tu paladar
rico panal conceptúa,
como en el santo Cantar:
Mel et lac sub lingua tua.
La delicia de tu aliento
en tan fino vaso apura,
y me enciende el pensamiento
la locura.
 35° 
John Clare
’Tis evening; the black snail has got on his track,
And gone to its nest is the wren,
And the packman snail, too, with his home on his back,
Clings to the bowed bents like a wen.

The shepherd has made a rude mark with his foot
Where his shadow reached when he first came,
And it just touched the tree where his secret love cut
Two letters that stand for love’s name.

The evening comes in with the wishes of love,
And the shepherd he looks on the flowers,
And thinks who would praise the soft song of the dove,
And meet joy in these dew-falling hours.

For Nature is love, and finds haunts for true love,
Where nothing can hear or intrude;
It hides from the eagle and joins with the dove,
In beautiful green solitude.
Ya el árbol no es de hojas secas,
ya el árbol solo es de sol.
-¡Arbolito que era ayer
de oro yerto de dolor!-

Ya el árbol se ha resignado
a su sereno morir.
Dos meses de sentimiento
le han hecho su oro feliz.
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.
 31° 
Matsuo Bashō
Staying at an inn
where prostitutes are also sleeping--
    bush clover and the moon.
 31° 
Ernesto Cardenal
Los ranchos dorados cercados de cardos;
chanchos en las calles;
una rueda de carreta
junto a un rancho, un excusado en el patio,
una muchacha llenando su tinaja,
y el Momotombo
azul, detrás de los alegres calzones colgados
amarillos, blancos, rosados.
 29° 
Charles Bukowski
don't feel sorry for me.
I am a competent,
satisfied human being.

be sorry for the others
who
fidget
complain

who
constantly
rearrange their
lives
like
furniture.

juggling mates
and
attitudes

their
confusion is
constant

and it will
touch
whoever they
deal with.

beware of them:
one of their
key words is
"love."

and beware those who
only take
instructions from their
God

for they have
failed completely to live their own
lives.

don't feel sorry for me
because I am alone

for even
at the most terrible
moments
humor
is my
companion.

I am a dog walking
backwards

I am a broken
banjo

I am a telephone wire
strung up in
Toledo, Ohio

I am a man
eating a meal
this night
in the month of
September.

put your sympathy
aside.
they say
water held up
Christ:
to come
through
you better be
nearly as
lucky.
 29° 
Jack Kerouac
I lie on my back at midnight
hearing the marvelous strange chime
of the clocks, and know it's mid-
night and in that instant the whole
world swims into sight for me
in the form of beautiful swarm-
ing m u t t a worlds-
everything is happening, shining
Buhudda-lands,
bhuti

blazing in faith, I know I'm
forever right & all's I got to
do (as I hear the ordinary
extant voices of ladies talking
in some kitchen at midnight
oilcloth cups of cocoa
cardore to mump the
rinnegain in his
darlin drain-) i will write
it, all the talk of the world
everywhere in this morning, leav-
ing open parentheses sections
for my own accompanying inner
thoughts-with roars of me
all brain-all world
roaring-vibrating-I put
it down, swiftly, 1,000 words
(of pages) compressed into one second
of time-I'll be long
robed & long gold haired in
the famous Greek afternoon
of some Greek City
Fame Immortal & they'll
have to find me where they find
the t h n u p f t of my
shroud bags flying
flag yagging Lucien
Midnight back in their
mouths-Gore Vidal'll
be amazed, annoyed-
my words'll be writ in gold
& preserved in libraries like
Finnegans Wake & Visions of Neal
 26° 
Sekitei Hara
The empty air made buzz
Thin wings of a dragonfly.
 25° 
Giacomo Leopardi
D'in su la vetta della torre antica,
Passero solitario, alla campagna
Cantando vai finché non more il giorno;
Ed erra l'armonia per questa valle.
Primavera dintorno
Brilla nell'aria, e per li campi esulta,
Sì ch'a mirarla intenerisce il core.
Odi greggi belar, muggire armenti;
Gli altri augelli contenti, a gara insieme
Per lo libero ciel fan mille giri,
Pur festeggiando il lor tempo migliore:
Tu pensoso in disparte il tutto miri;
Non compagni, non voli,
Non ti cal d'allegria, schivi gli spassi;
Canti, e così trapassi
Dell'anno e di tua vita il più bel fiore.
Oimè, quanto somiglia
Al tuo costume il mio! Sollazzo e riso,
Della novella età dolce famiglia,
E te german di giovinezza, amore,
Sospiro acerbo dè provetti giorni,
Non curo, io non so come; anzi da loro
Quasi fuggo lontano;
Quasi romito, e strano
Al mio loco natio,
Passo del viver mio la primavera.
Questo giorno ch'omai cede alla sera,
Festeggiar si costuma al nostro borgo.
Odi per lo sereno un suon di squilla,
Odi spesso un tonar di ferree canne,
Che rimbomba lontan di villa in villa.
Tutta vestita a festa
La gioventù del loco
Lascia le case, e per le vie si spande;
E mira ed è mirata, e in cor s'allegra.
Io solitario in questa
Rimota parte alla campagna uscendo,
Ogni diletto e gioco
Indugio in altro tempo: e intanto il guardo
Steso nell'aria aprica
Mi fere il Sol che tra lontani monti,
Dopo il giorno sereno,
Cadendo si dilegua, e par che dica
Che la beata gioventù vien meno.
Tu, solingo augellin, venuto a sera
Del viver che daranno a te le stelle,
Certo del tuo costume
Non ti dorrai; che di natura è frutto
Ogni vostra vaghezza.
A me, se di vecchiezza
La detestata soglia
Evitar non impetro,
Quando muti questi occhi all'altrui core,
E lor fia vòto il mondo, e il dì futuro
Del dì presente più noioso e tetro,
Che parrà di tal voglia?
Che di quest'anni miei? Che di me stesso?
Ahi pentirommi, e spesso,
Ma sconsolato, volgerommi indietro.
 25° 
C. S. Lewis
All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love --a scholar's parrot may talk Greek--
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.
 24° 
Charles Bukowski
the wind blows hard tonight
and it's a cold wind
and I think about
the boys on the row.
I hope some of them have a bottle of
red.
it's when you're on the row
that you notice that
everything
is owned
and that there are locks on
everything.
this is the way a democracy
works:
you get what you can,
try to keep that
and add to it
if possible.
this is the way a dictatorship
works too
only they either enslave or
destroy their
derelicts.
we just forgot ours.
in either case
it's a hard
cold
wind.
 23° 
Eugenio Montale
Mia vita, a te non chiedo lineamenti
fissi, volti plausibili o possessi.
Nel tuo giro inquieto ormai lo stesso
sapore han miele e assenzio.

Il cuore che ogni moto tiene a vile
raro è squassato da trasalimenti.
Così suona talvolta nel silenzio
della campagna un colpo di fucile.
Come, let us to the sunways of the west,
Hasten, while crystal dews the rose-cups fill,
Let us dream dreams again in our blithe quest
O'er whispering wold and hill.
Castles of air yon wimpling valleys keep
Where milk-white mist steals from the purpling sea,
They shall be ours in the moon's wizardry,
While the fates, wearied, sleep.

The viewless spirit of the wind will sing
In the soft starshine by the reedy mere,
The elfin harps of hemlock boughs will ring
Fitfully far and near;
The fields will yield their trove of spice and musk,
And balsam from the glens of pine will fall,
Till twilight weaves its tangled shadows all
In one dim web of dusk.

Let us put tears and memories away,
While the fates sleep time stops for revelry;
Let us look, speak, and kiss as if no day
Has been or yet will be;
Let us make friends with laughter 'neath the moon,
With music on the immemorial shore,
Yea, let us dance as lovers danced of yore­
The fates will waken soon!
E ora
che avete nascosto i cannoni fra le magnolie,
lasciateci un giorno senz'armi sopra l'erba
al rumore dell'acqua in movimento,
delle foglie di canna fresche tra i capelli
mentre abbracciamo la donna che ci ama.
 20° 
Richard Crashaw
Chorus.

Come we shepherds who have seen
Day’s king deposed by Night’s queen.
Come lift we up our lofty song,
To wake the Sun that sleeps too long.

He in this our general joy,
  Slept, and dreamt of no such thing
While we found out the fair-ey’d boy,
  And kissed the cradle of our king;
Tell him he rises now too late,
To show us aught worth looking at.

Tell him we now can show him more
  Than he e’er show’d to mortal sight,
Than he himself e’er saw before,
  Which to be seen needs not his light:
Tell him Tityrus where th’ hast been,
Tell him Thyrsis what th’ hast seen.

Tityrus.

Gloomy night embrac’d the place
  Where the noble infant lay:
The babe looked up, and show’d his face,
  In spite of darkness it was day.
It was thy day, Sweet, and did rise,
Not from the east, but from thy eyes.

Thyrsis.

Winter chid the world, and sent
  The angry North to wage his wars:
The North forgot his fierce intent,
  And left perfumes, instead of scars:
By those sweet eyes’ persuasive powers,
Where he meant frosts, he scattered flowers.

Both.

We saw thee in thy balmy nest,
  Bright dawn of our eternal day;
We saw thine eyes break from the east,
  And chase the trembling shades away:
We saw thee (and we blest the sight)
We saw thee by thine own sweet light.


Tityrus.

I saw the curl’d drops, soft and slow
  Come hovering o’er the place’s head,
Offring their whitest sheets of snow,
  To furnish the fair infant’s bed.
Forbear (said I) be not too bold,
Your fleect is white, but ’tis too cold.

Thyrsis.

I saw th’officious angels bring,
  The down that their soft breasts did strow,
For well they now can spare their wings,
  When Heaven itself lies here below.
Fair youth (said I) be not too rough,
Thy down though soft’s not soft enough.

Tityrus.

The babe no sooner ‘gan to seek
  Where to lay his lovely head,
But straight his eyes advis’d his cheek,
  ‘Twixt mother’s breasts to go to bed.
Sweet choice (said I) no way but so,
Not to lie cold, yet sleep in snow.

Chorus.

Welcome to our wond’ring sight
  Eternity shut in a span!
Summer in winter! Day in night!
  Heaven in Earth! and God in Man!
Great little one, whose glorious birth,
Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops heaven to earth.

Welcome, though not to gold, nor silk,
  To more than Cæsar’s birthright is,
Two sister-seas of virgin’s milk,
  WIth many a rarely-temper’d kiss,
That breathes at once both maid and mother,
Warms in the one, cools in the other.

She sings thy tears asleep, and dips
  Her kisses in thy weeping eye,
She spreads the red leaves of thy lips,
  That in their buds yet blushing lie.
She ‘gainst those mother diamonds tries
The points of her young eagle’s eyes.

Welcome, (though not to those gay flies
  Guilded i’th’ beams of earthly kings
Slippery souls in smiling eyes)
  But to poor Shepherds, simple things,
That use no varnish, no oil’d arts,
But lift clean hands full of clear hearts.

Yet when young April’s husband showers
  Shall bless the fruitful Maia’s bed,
We’ll bring the first-born of her flowers,
  To kiss thy feet, and crown thy head.
To thee (dread lamb) whose love must keep
The shepherds, while they feed their sheep.

To seek Majesty, soft king
  Of simple graces, and sweet loves,
Each of us his lamb will bring,
Each his pair of silver doves.
At last, in fire of thy fair eyes,
We’ll burn, our own best sacrifice.
 20° 
Louise Glück
The nights have grown cool again, like the nights
Of early spring, and quiet again. Will
Speech disturb you? We're
Alone now; we have no reason for silence.

Can you see, over the garden-the full moon rises.
I won't see the next full moon.

In spring, when the moon rose, it meant
Time was endless. Snowdrops
Opened and closed, the clustered
Seeds of the maples fell in pale drifts.
White over white, the moon rose over the birch tree.
And in the crook, where the tree divides,
Leaves of the first daffodils, in moonlight
Soft greenish-silver.

We have come too far together toward the end now
To fear the end. These nights, I am no longer even certain
I know what the end means. And you, who've been
With a man--

After the first cries,
Doesn't joy, like fear, make no sound?
 20° 
Juan Gelman
Las gaviotas vuelan y nadie
se salva de existir.
Ni aun los compañeros que
murieron y esperan
un mundo sin desprecio. Me siento
en mis cavilaciones, cuido
que no se caigan del amor.
He sido, al menos. Ellos
pagan errores  de la verdad.
Paseo a sus orillas para oír
esos oleajes, esas cuentas, las
profecías de su sombra agitada.
 18° 
Ernest Hemingway
I'm off'n wild wimmen
An Cognac
An Sinnin'
For I'm in loOOOOOOOve.
Next page