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Nigel Morgan Jan 2013
The sun rises tentatively through the forest heights behind the palace. In the pre-dawn light Jia Li has secured water and fuel for her visitors and despite the attentions of the pack horse men, who have returned from an evening at her village the worse for drink, she settles to feed her infant child. Meng Ning enters to seek her counsel. She already guesses his intentions and answers his brief questions with confidence. She knows the route to the Red Slate Path, perhaps four li distant. The path is clear, though little used. It is not a place those of her village visit, though she has learnt that the path itself defies nature’s attempts to cover its existence.
    Zuo Fen is standing on the terrace as Meng Ning returns to the Emperor’s Hall. She has slept deeply, is refreshed after a period of meditation and, despite the cold, has been washed and massaged by her maid. She appears dressed for walking, her boots, fur cloak and hat in purposeful combination. As she surveys the lake flocks of wild geese and duck chatter and squabble as they float on the surface. There are some experimental flights, pairs of duck taking off to fly in wide arcs only to return to the same stretch of water from where they rose in tandem. Soon the geese will leave to fly across the forests and moorland for distant harvested fields where they will spend the day foraging. Meng Ning points to a distant peninsula jutting out from the northern shore of the lake. Behind it, he says, lies the cove of the Red Slate Path. Perhaps there they will be able to understand more keenly the why of this mystery.

‘At such a distance,’ says Zuo Fen, ‘the detail of a boat would be quite lost. I imagine the peninsula acting like a pointing finger to its floating form. There is already fashioning within me a possible story that might explain this mystery.’

She smiles warmly at Meng Ning who bows his head rather than stare into her jade green eyes. She moves closer to his standing posture, taking his left hand secure but tense against the balustrade of the veranda. Lowering one leg before the other she slowly kneels, removing her hat, loosening her fur cloak that now spreads itself of its own accord beside and behind her. With both hands behind her neck she lifts her long hair found to parted and tied in simple peasant fashion. Raising her hands to full-stretch her sleeping hair warm from the bare skin of her back slowly cascades forward and across each of her ******* to curl like two cats in the bowl of her robe.

‘Mei Lim is with Jia Li’, Zuo Fen says curiously and with a voice Meng Ning has not encountered before. ‘I fell to sleep dreaming of your kind presence and the joy of being touched and kissed.’ He cannot see her face as she speaks, only the quivering fall of her hair across her kneeling body. ‘I awoke feeling your breath on my cheek and so brought your limbs to entwine with my own.’ He now senses the delicate unguents of her body; they compass him about, his hand falls from the balustrade to touch her hair.

Finding her right ear his fingers describe its shape, its sculptured relief of folded forms and crevices. He is becoming faint with something outside passion that requires him to go beyond her ear and flow of hair about his fingers. He unties his cloak, letting it drop behind him. He removes his boots and outer garments. She follows his example. He moves to her side, adopts the position of the swallow resting on the wind. They face one another.  To the accompaniment of their breathing, her hands begin a dance in the space between their lower limbs as though they are birds turning and falling in flight. Unlike the courtesans he sees at court her nails are short, her fingers long. Then, it is as though her hand holds a brush forming characters and she begins to write on his body with short deft movements this way that way describing her flight of passion. Some intuition tells him to allow this, and not to seek repricocity, as it seems from her breathing that these very actions give her the greatest delight, bring her to the edge of the first coitus. Eyes closed, he moves his nose into a glancing embrace with her own, feeling there a semblance of perspiration, that tell-tale sign of a woman’s readiness for the deeper embrace. She responds to this with sighs and swift movements of rapture that envelope him, and now, as she quickly brings her limbs into a right conjunction, he places one hand beneath her, the other to recline her body gently to the floor, her cloak becoming a pillow for her head.
    He now looks directly at her, her face expressionless as though all thought and feeling has entered her body in preparation to receive his own. She does not blink. There is a moment of great stillness, a great wave of calm breaks, moves forward and pulls back – and again, again. In an instant he will enter her Jade Gate to caress and kiss and move where only his Lord has visited. He knows that once there he will seal his own fate . . .
     It is the talk of poets that women are often at their most sensitive to love’s attention in the morning hours, and that this was, for so many reasons, the most impractical of times for men. Zuo Fen herself had written fu poems that took the reader to the most intimate moments of a concubine’s experience in the morning hours, those times when alone the body gathers to itself its essential nature, and is often caressed with the woman’s own hand and thoughts. To understand such circumstance, to hold its sweetness as an abiding taste during the formalities of the day, only to release its flavour in the pleasure hours of the night, was a manly attribute, said to be treasured, indeed honoured by women.
      When Meng Ning withdrew Zuo Fen lay for some while letting the unaccustomed circumstance and its location only gradually allow a return to conscious and present thoughts. She pictured now her journey to the Red Slate Path, Jia Li, her baby on her back, striding beside Meng Ning, then herself and finally Mei Lim - who would have entreated her mistress to be allowed to accompany her. There was the glade, a small bowl in the hillside where it was just possible to see a small cave from which, glistening, the broken patterns of the slate path fell after half a li into the lake. She would investigate the cave. She would walk to the water’s edge, where the trees stepped into and reached over the lake to lay a carpet of fallen leaves. Then to see the path gradually, gradually disappear into the depths.
    Whilst Zuo Fen, with her eyes closed, projected her thoughts forward in time, with accustomed tact Mei Lim left those accouterments a woman needs after the attentions of a lover. She feared for the young man, though she knew her Lord prized too much his Lady of The Purple Chamber to effect jealousy or display anger.
    As the sun cleared away the thin cloud and approached its zenith the company broached the crest of the hill above the glade. It was, Zuo Fen had to admit, just as she had imagined lying prone and in disarray in the Emperor’s hall. In silence, and in the company of her imagination, she now paced from cave to path to water, and standing at the very edge of the lake’s bank focused her mind to envisage the events of twenty years past.
     It was as though a rhapsody was already formed. She found herself recounting the tale in her world of characters where there is only present time. She felt her hand describe them with the flow of her brush, heard the sound of its movement across the thick parchment. She was slow to notice that Meng Ning had disrobed and was entering the water. Without a word she watched him move through the carpet of floating leaves, some sticking to his nakedness, and onwards, slowly, following the submerged path until his torso then only his shoulders were visible. She then knew what he hoped to find, even after the passage of so many years.

She saw it all, suddenly. The sorcerer Yang Mo and the Emperor’s second wife descending the Red Slate Path as a cavalcade of fire and smoke, loud flashes of light, noises of brass and clashing metal enveloped the glade and the boat itself. The watching company witnessed for a moment the couple disappear under the waters only for their collective sight to be shrouded in a climaxed confusion of the sorcerer’s devices and effects.

When, finally the smoke cleared, the boat and the lovers had vanished.

Zuo Fen watched Meng Ning disappear from view. She imagined him, as the pearl fishers she had heard tell of, diving down to the depths, holding his breath to seek what might remain of the illusory boat. But time passed beyond the possibility of what she knew could be endured by human-kind. The surface of the water remained unbroken. The division of open water made by Meng Ning in breaking apart the carpet of floating leaves was already reforming itself.
   Removing her cloak and her boots, and unpinning her hair, Zuo Fen stepped into the water. A memory floated towards her of bathing in the lake near to her summer retreat. Water held no fear for her, only now the cold consumed her. Her loosed hair, and her elaborate untied robe settled on the water’s surface: to surround her like a lily pad, she the budding flower at its centre. She felt her feet still firmly on the Red Slate Path, her chin now resting on the water’s surface. Whatever had happened to Meng Ning she knew her action to be compliant. She had immersed herself with the very element that had brought him either death or, as she knew in her heart, a most honorable escape.
On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go ****!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go ****!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!
Nigel Morgan Jan 2013
It was the eve of the mid-autumn festival. Day had followed day of clear skies but ever-lower temperatures had brought crisp and chill mornings. Zuo Fen began to fear that a first frost would damage her late flowering plants, the delicate tea flowers of the osmanthus. She was already aware of the seven grasses of autumn now present in her garden and would recite standing amongst them the traditional seasonal poem:
 
Flowers blossoming

in autumn fields - 

when I count them on my fingers

they then number seven.

The flowers of bush clover,

eulalia, arrowroot, 

pink, patrinia, 

also, mistflower 

and morning faces flower.

 
Oh the whiteness of Autumn, the season of courage and sadness, a time for the lighting of white candles against the dying of the day. Upon rising Zuo Fen would stand in meditation facing west, the seasonal direction of dreams and visions. Again and again her mind state visited a habitation in the distant mountains, a sprawling summer palace seemingly empty but for the slightest echoes of recent occupation or maybe a caretaker’s attention. In her recurring vision she would walk from room to room, each kaleidoscopic in colour of hanging silks and elaborate murals. Eventually she would find her way outside into a neglected garden that dropped in gentle terraces to a lake where she would observe the ‘thousand colours of water, brilliances and blues.’
 
One morning a young chamberlain sent from her Lord visited her court. He had remained rapt at the sight of the courtesan of the Purple Chamber standing trance-like in her garden. Meng Ning had often positioned himself in the undertaking of the Emperor’s duties to communicate with Zuo Fen, whom Meng Ning admired and was secretly enamored. A few well-chosen words of respect and critical admiration for the poetess had been all it took for Emperor Wu to summon Meng Ning as courier of his express command to his most favoured concubine. Unfailingly gracious towards the formal attentions of the young man Zuo Fen had come to feel at ease with this respectful figure who had succeeded in charming both her cats and Mei Ling her maid.
​       As she stood motionless, attired in her gardening robe and clogs, she became aware of Meng Ning’s presence and, before turning to acknowledge him with a greeting, allowed a thought to form in herself. She would seek his help to identify the summer palace of her waking dreams.
       ​Yes, he knew of such a place, sixty li distant, a hard path it was said, but ladies of the court had once graced its many linked pavilions in the third season. The lake held a restless spirit and it was said no boat had ever sailed its surface. How did he know this, she had asked. A petition from a recluse, a former minister of the treasury, had been received at court requesting its occupation for the winter months. It had been refused, indeed dismissed without further consideration. Meng Ning had been curious as he had once viewed the lake from its western end, but from which the habitation was entirely hidden. Did the Honoured Lady know of the mysterious Red Slate Path said to appear briefly from out of a cave in the steep wooded hillside, cross a bowl-like glade and disappear into the lake depths? The Honoured Lady did not, but was nevertheless caught by Meng Ning’s description which, when he had delivered his message from Emperor Wu and retired, she fell to placing inside her already rich vision of property, lake, and precipitous woodland whose trees and bushes she was busy mind-painting with autumn leaves and berries.
 
After a day of thought and planning Zuo Fen developed an intricate strategy to visit the palace and environs of Eryi-lou. She told herself that she was searching for inspiration to compose an autumn sequence for her Lord that would recall the days of his esteemed father. She had discovered in the palace archives that in his declining years he had summered in this remote place, had filled its pavilions with only his most favoured concubines, its guest apartments with poets and musicians. She asked for Meng Ning’s services as guide and protector.
​      She had expected a blunt refusal, but to her astonishment, her request was granted, but only during the twelve days surrounding her monthly courses. She had smiled at this condition having been almost entirely free from her natural cycle for several years, something not unknown for a woman who had never been with child. Mei Ling dutifully made apparent false evidence of this charade.
​       It was a small party that left the Eastern Gate on a day that promised rain and high wind; seven in all, four to carry Zou Fen’s sedan. But this was to be understood as a matter of protocol rather than necessity, as within 6 li of the palace a pair of ponies for Zou Fen appeared in the road. Drawing back the curtains of her sedan she stepped out dressed as a male traveller, her movements and manner in such a disguise confidently rendered from her months searching for her brother Zuo Si in the wilderness of the Tai Mountains. Meng Ning was both astonished and alarmed as he had not been forewarned of this way of things. It seemed that Zuo Si had probably made all the necessary arrangements.

(to be continued)
Nigel Morgan Jan 2013
In the morning the wind is vicious, tossing vigorously the woodland on the heights above the village. The sky is a hanging of grey and charcoal black bands of cloud. On horseback and in her male attire Zuo Fen is led by the village guide up the steep forest path. She is already questioning the past, the accounts she’s read of the annual transhumance to this remote spot that give no answer to its sudden abandonment. It seems the Emperor made himself incommunicado for the latter part of the third season. The palace inventory shows local provisioning, and the most carefully chosen companions. They also describe how season-by-season the habitation was enlarged in order to accommodate further and different visitors. Poets and musicians were particularly favoured and would accompany the Emperor to select locations to add a delicate resonance of word and sound to the natural world.
​         As the travellers came out of the forest a wilderness of rock and moorland stretched before them, relentlessly upward. The path was now vague and Meng Ning was perplexed at how his guide had brought him across this terrain in the near darkness of the previous afternoon. The ponies often stumbled here and in the high wind he had to stop himself from looking behind to check his Lady’s progress. Eventually the ascent became less precipitous and a clearer path asserted itself, and in the near distance a pile of stones marked the summit. There, Meng Ning alighted to see Zuo Fen walking purposefully beside her horse leading her maid for whom this was an unaccustomed adventure. Together they approached him as he surveyed the panorama that to the west revealed Lake Psumano, a silver thread of water curled between the thick forests.
​        In silence Zuo Fen handed the reins of her pony to Meng Ning and with a signal to the village guide strode off on the descent to Eryi-lou.
 
‘We are to wait here until my Lady is out of sight,’ said Mei Lim’s smiling voice. ‘Then we may go forward.’
 
Mei Lim sat firmly in the saddle, as though assuming command of this small party. This now comprised herself, Meng,Ning and two rough-spoken men from the village each leading a pack-horse of luggage and provisions.  
 
‘You know I travelled as far as Stone Village on my Lady’s visit to the Tai Mountains. I would have gone further but she required me to stay. She is a woman who is in love with the wilderness, who will walk out in any weather to greet it lovingly. You should have no fear for her. She is a strong woman.’
​          Meng Ning nodded, declining to speak, afraid to disturb the rough music of the winds that seemed to press on them from all directions. Such is the journeying spirit, he thought, and looking into the distance realized Zuo Fen and her guide had disappeared from view.
          ​Soon the autumn forest had been regained and Zuo Fen and her guide began the descent to Eryi-lou. The path here was well made and marked at regularly distances with small stone columns. The whirlwind, that had buffeted the travellers since their departure, was now being played out in the highest treetops leaving ground level to echo like a large hall as the trees above swayed, groaned and cracked sharply in the heights. Soon vistas of the lake began to appear. They were still high above, the path frequently winding in steep loops across the hillside. Suddenly they found themselves looking down almost precipitously onto rooftops, a maze of buildings falling in tiers, joined together with walkways and terraces, many invaded now by trees and undergrowth: the Emperor’s summer palace of Eryi-lou.
​          Here, Zuo Fen bade her guide turn back. She would now imagine reclaiming this place of her waking dream, alone. When she felt confident her guide had retreated up the path she removed the pins from her hair, loosened her cloak, took off her stout boots of Yak leather. There would be more later.
 
​Barefoot, she began her descent to the palace eventually finding a staircase to one of the terraces from which she began to survey the palace. She found many of the rooms as she had dreamed them, small guest apartments with open spaces where doors and windows might have been, and hangings of the richest almost translucent silks, torn, faded, some covering the ground. The detritus of twenty autumns had blown through these spaces: plant material had taken root in between the planks of the raised wooden floors. Miraculously, there were rooms almost untouched by nature, just piles of leaves providing a matted covering.
         ​In one room somewhat larger than its surrounding structures Zuo Fen feels a special and continuing presence. A veranda-like structure occupied its lake-facing wall. This room, almost a hall, had been recently swept. There is a faint memory of incense as she comes close to the wooden walls. She paces the area until she feels guided to a spot where perhaps a formal chair has long ago been positioned. From there she can see the leaves but not the trunks of the trees as they swirl about in the continuing wind. A long vista of the silver lake spreads itself across the hall’s panorama. But the space enjoys shelter from the prevailing wind and has a stillness and silence all its own. Here, after removing her cloak, her thick riding trousers, the woolen garments that bound warmth to her, she kneels in her shift, closing her eyes to feel the room, the palace, its surroundings, come close to her all but naked body in its repose.
       ​Losing all sense of time it is only the gentle covering of her shoulders by Mei Lim that wakes her from her reverie.
 
‘Gracious Lady, we are installed in rooms kept for the use of official visitors. The guardian here is a young woman with a small child. She would like to welcome you when you are dressed and have eaten.’
 
And so, being led by her maid, Zuo Fen is taken to a distant suite of rooms suited to the autumn weather. There are recently lit braziers, and fitted doors and windows provide a little protection against the relentless wind and the damp cold. Mei Lim reassembles her lady’s wardrobe, and having dressed her, places a hot infusion into her cold hands. The afternoon light has barely a few hours left, but already the cold deepens. This will be a hard place to spend the night, a palace built for the third season – the summer of the solstice, a time of laughter and of fire, and the phoenix red.
 
Meng Ning is also imagining the palace in its summer dress when to wake at dawn would be witness to the sun flooding the partially cleared forest from its heights. The palace is lit up by vibrant reflections off the lake and the very roofs of the many buildings pulsate and shimmer with the heat of a cloudless day. The women of the palace are deep in slumber, their maids with silent tread reclaiming their ladies’ dignity after a night which may have seen much experimental congress of men and women amidst the subtle music of the qujin, the drinking of local wine, the close inspection and divination of the heavens reflected in the still lake, and the elaborate trading between memories of poetry and folk tale.  Even without such imaginings, to be here, and in the company of the illustrious Zuo Fen is the richest gift in a life otherwise stunted by ceremony and courtly intrigue. Zuo Fen has clearly taken Emperor Wu beyond custom and, though briefly, fashioned moments of love and friendship. To witness this woman at close quarters, this artist of the brush whose selection of characters holds both charm and innocence is wondrous. Even in these cold quarters he is warmed by the thought of her presence and the journey they will make tomorrow along the lake shore – to the Red Slate Path.

( to be continued )
JK Cabresos Nov 2011
Wala ko gihandom nga ikaw makit-an
     ning mga mata
Ug wala usab ko gihandom nga ikaw
     higugmaon ko pa,
Kay ikaw wala ko nahigustuan
    niadtong mga panahona
Ug sa dihang naibog man nuon ko nimo
     karon sa pagsobra-sobra.

Bidli man paminawon, apan kini
     mao mo'y tinuod
Tinuod pa sa unsang kamatuoran, wala man
     unta ni sa sugod:
Ug sa dihang karon pa na ko
     nahibaw-an nga ikaw diay
Ang bugtong kalibutan ning mga tiil
     ko nga gibaklay.

Apan ikaw usab langit ug ako
     usa lamang ka yuta;
Apan ikaw lisod tawon abton
     niining mga kamota
Ug sa dihang asa man ko
     karon nga mulugar,
Kay gikinahanglan pa ang tanan
    ko nga isugal?

Ug sa dihang gugma nga dili unta
     sama sa giatay;
Kung ikaw maako ug ako maimo,
     dili ka gayud magmahay:
Pagahigugmaon taka hangtod
     sa walay kahangturan
Kay ikaw pud usa ka dyamante
     nga tunhay nga handumanan.

Ikaw ra ang naa niining akong
     utok ug dughan,
Ug bisan pa'g uklabon mo wala
     nay lain, wala nay uban
Kay ikaw usa ka babaye nga lisod
     gayud pangitaon ug ilisdan;
Ug sa dihang magapaabot na lamang
     pud ko nga ako usab imong makit-an.
© 2011
Nigel Morgan Jan 2013
Gradually as darkness fell the wind that had beset the travellers all day subsided and the particular silence of the lakeside clearing assumed a presence. It was a silence of the discrete movements of animals and sporadic calls of birds, the settling now into stillness of trees wind-tossed for a night and day, the breathing to and fro movement of a large body of water that already held the night sky’s reflections and would soon be enveloped in moonlight. Zou Fen rose and beckoned Meng Ning to accompany her to the Emperor’s Hall. There, they stood together on the long veranda and looked down through the sporadic trees onto the lake.

‘It is said that the Master did not discuss anomalies, feats of strength, civil disorder, or the spirits,’ said Zuo Fen quoting Confucius. ‘It is for you and I to disregard sorcery as nothing but illusion and cunning. We must bend our thoughts to seeking explanations from circumstance.’

‘We know, my Lady, that Yang Mo had already seduced the Emperor and his guests with his many and infamous illusions. To achieve these feats of the miraculous would have required a sizable retinue and the most careful preparation. It is unlikely that the Emperor would have countenanced such sorcery in daylight hours, so we might imagine how with the play of lanterns, fire and smoke Yang Mo was able to make the impossible seem possible. Like the actor he undoubtedly was, he was probably a man of commanding presence - all eyes would have been upon his person, all ears tuned to his words. And round about the harsh clangorous sounds and shouts of his assistants would be sustained as his illusions began to unfold.’

‘Wisely spoken Meng Ning,’ says Zuo Fen, ‘a most convincing exposition. So we must imagine how after a long presentation of illusory wonders, the imbibing of much wine and other intoxigents inhaled or consumed, the first presage of dawn comes upon the company. Guests and their consorts seek the privacy of their quarters, lights are dimmed, only the meditative music of the zither sounds in the Emperor’s hall as new confections of poetry continue to vie with the ancient verses. Then, as the Emperor rises to seek his chamber there, half hidden amongst the wraiths of mist floating on the lake, lies a sailing vessel, its single sail empty of wind, a spectre at once marvelous and shocking.’

‘But an illusionary boat, possibly a vessel that could not and need not run with the wind, something constructed, a shell no more, made out of the lightest wood or taut cloth that in the blue dawn would seem more substantial than it is, fashioned and placed in position by Yang Mo’s assistants at a right distance to evoke the illusion of reality.’

‘The Emperor summons his court and its guests, summons Yang Mo, regarding this as a step taken beyond what protocol allows, a violation of the ancient spirit traditions of the lake. Yang Mo stands his ground suggesting that this is his greatest illusion yet, that there is no harm done, and should the Emperor decline to sail on the ****** waters he will take himself away from his presence boat and all.’

‘At this Xie Jui, the second wife, lets it be known that she regards with some contempt the prohibition of a vessel’s presence on the lake. She wishes passage on the boat and if the Emperor will not accompany her she will go alone with Yang Mo. At this the Emperor is incensed but challenges Yang Mo to explain how he will deliver Xie Jui to the vessel.’

‘This is where, My Lady, we will need to seek the Red Slate Path that, it is said, Yang Mo prepared to take himself and his passenger to the waiting boat - only to disappear from view in front of the very eyes of the assembly. Our task for tomorrow perhaps?  Jia Li can be our guide as she surely knows its location.’

And so, as the three quarter moon rises over Eryi-lou and the chamberlain takes his leave of the courtesan, Mei Lim appears from the near darkness to escort her mistress to the small chamber where they will pass the night. Zuo Fen remains in a trance-like state but allows the ministrations of her maid to prepare her for the business of sleep.
      Meanwhile Meng Ning, intoxicated by Zuo Fen’s presence, does not return to his quarters but takes the terrace steps down, down to the lakeshore. He allows his official skills as a poet to fashion an array of characters he will first commit to memory, only later write out in his fine calligraphic script, and then destroy. Whereas Zuo Fen commutes between dream and reality he has no such pleasure. This is a stark, cold place at autumn’s end. But this condition only seems to excite and fuel his passion for this woman, this gracious, mysterious woman with whom he has spent the recent hours in close proximity. Her face floats before his eyes; her precise lips and still perfect teeth, gentle chin and youthful neck, the beauty and grace of her bearing seated cross-legged like a sage before him.  He imagines for a brief moment her long nakedness revealed in the bright moonlight under which he now stands. Holding this momentary image close to his physical self he makes his way up the many terraces to the small wooden chamber in which he will sleep.
       Despite her journeying and the revelations of the day Zuo Fen lies awake. She is savouring a very different quality of the night in this remote place. For many years she has remained wakeful in the hours of the Rat and the Ox to welcome her Lord Wu should his goat cart find its way to her court. She would like to rise and reflect on the images that hold sleep from her – but fears to wake her maid without whose close attention she might falter. This natural world beyond her court and the Emperor’s gardens are of an almost constant wonder. She reflects that as she gets older each season seems to become more vivid than its predecessor. This autumn, with its vivid dreams and visions, she likens to flowers picked from her garden, their colours and textures continuing to hold true and firm. Between such thoughts the intimacy of her time with Meng Ning remind her of the delight of human association. Aside from her dear brother Zuo-Si she has rarely known that keen intimacy of another man - other than her Lord. Though she has, she reflects further, in the writing of The Pale Girl, allowed her mind to explore the variousness of the body’s pleasure. To school Meng Ning in the arts of passion would be pleasurable indeed, and she considers he would be a most willing and attentive student. She imagines, for a moment, guiding him towards the exacting refinements of touch and stroke a woman requires to achieve the deepest coitus. Her body stirs as this thought takes hold and caresses her towards necessary sleep.

(to be continued)
I sat there when the world was done,
Just as I had when it had just begun.
A pin drop now and then,
A pin drop here and there;
A pin drop can be heard from on my list'ning chair.

I heard them coming for him then;
An angry king and forty-thousand men.
I poised and reached to warn,
But nothing I declared.
If only mine was more than just a list'ning chair.

I've overheard the mighty fall,
And some may say that I have heard it all.
But nothing I have said;
At nothing I have stared--
No room for speech or sight atop my list'ning chair.

No creature have I touched,
No feeling have I shared--
No room for anything but sound atop my chair.
A thought about infinite knowledge with finite and very limited power.
JK Cabresos Nov 2011
Hahay...
anaa lagi koy dakong balay
apan wala gayud tawoy
bisan jutay'ng kalipay,
walay oras nga dili
maglantugi
hiniktan ang kalinaw
ug dili gayud makaipsot
sa adto nga pisi

dako lagi ug balay
apan wala gayud gugma
dako nga balay
apan ang kagubot
dili gayud
mahilona,
daghan lagi nga k'warta
nga natagamtaman
ning mga kamot
apan pubri ra gihapon
magasige lang sa mug-ot
daghan lagi ug suga
nga makit-an
apan kung tarungon
ug lantaw
ngit-ngit pa sa alkitran

maypag wala nalay
dakong balay
kung ing-ani man galing
maypag wala nalang
kung mao ra kini ang
makasamad sa akong
kasing-kasing.
© 2011
Nigel Morgan Jan 2013
Thus reconfigured the party covered the first two days of the journey with speed and ease. As evening approached on the second day it was clear that a village resthouse was to be favoured as its owner had ridden out to greet his illustrious guests. He assured the party of complete secrecy, their valuable horses to be his special concern.
​   Away from the palace Zuo Fen set herself to enjoy the rural pleasures of an autumn evening. This time of freedom from the palace duties, from her Lord’s often-indiscriminate attention, she valued as a most generous gift. She composed swiftly a fu poem in gratitude to her Lord’s trust and favour.
 
How fortunate to dip this hand
In a flowing stream whose water
Is already touched by the first snows
Know that I shall bring its caress
to the mouthpiece of my Lord’s  jade flute
holding its body with spread fingers
to press to open to close to open

 
The stream bisected the village, a village of stone and wattle buildings, though the rest house was stone through and through. She had ventured on her arrival up onto its flat roof covered as it was with harvest produce laid out in abundance. The colours and textures of peppers, yams, marrows, eggplant, and such curious mushrooms as she had never before seen, all this she gathered with joy into her imagination’s memory.
​      With Mei Ling’s help she then transformed herself back into a woman, though with the simplest of robes over the Mongolian garments of wool she favoured to fend off the cold. Then, after alarming the resthouse keeper’s wife and servants by entering the kitchen, she planned a meal to her liking, sought the herb garden and enquired about the storing of vegetables for the long winter ahead.
      ​As the evening progressed she was surprised to discover Meng Ning had gone on ahead to Eryi-lou. It was a capricious decision born of his wariness of Zuo Fen. He felt intimidated by the persona she had assumed. Here was a woman of infinite grace yet simple charm who in the time it took to travel 6 li had become unrecognizable. Even her voice she dropped into a lower register and gained louder amplitude. When they reached the village he had moved purposefully to provide assistance as she prepared to dismount, only to see her grip the high pommel and swing her leg confidently across her pony and her body slide down the pony’s flanks to a standing position. So as the late afternoon light failed he had driven his horse up and up the mountain path, forcing himself to think only of the route and task ahead. He had acquired the company of a local guide who, on foot, out-paced his horse, but would see him safe down the path in the coming darkness. There would be a moon, but it had yet to rise.
        ​To his surprise the caretaker of Eryi-lou was a young woman, a daughter perhaps of its official guardian Gao Cheng, a daughter Meng Ning considered banished to this remote spot: she carried a small child on her back. He would enquire later. For now, he sought in her company to reconnoiter the decaying web of wooden pavilions, some already invaded by nature. It was then he realized his mistake. He thought himself into Zuo Fen’s mind. Surely she would wish to come upon this place untouched and unprepared by his offices. He motioned to the young woman to come outside, and standing on one of the many terraces explained his error, asked her not to speak of his inappropriate visit, but made to suggest that there was a room ‘always kept for an official’s visit’, that it be swept and suitably provisioned. Her voice responded in a dialect he could hardly decipher. It had the edge of a lone bird’s roosting call. He knew she was trying to explain something of importance to him, but he quickly lost the thread. He could see the faint gleam of the lake reflected in her eyes, hear the snuffle of her baby carried against on her back, and in the near distance he was aware of the village guide admonishing his horse. He bowed and left.
 
‘You are a most considerate companion, Meng Ning,’ Zou Fen said, as summoned to her presence, the chamberlain prostrated himself before the woman he was charged to serve and protect.
‘My lady, you already know I am a fool.’
‘Yes, but an honest fool with a kind heart. You sought my well-being at Eryi-lou, but I think you rightly imagined I might wish to experience this dream habitation in an inviolate state. Let us say you made a dream journey there. No harm done.’
     ​He explained about the caretaker and that a suite of rooms was always kept ready for an official. That was all he would say. He was about to retreat from the guest room now vivid with firelight and rich with the scent of cinnamon, when she lifted her hand to stay his going.
 
‘You are a brave young man to accept charge of my company. I am sure you know how my Lord is likely to remove you from his circle on our return. I feel unworthy of such sacrifice. I did not expect my Lord’s favour in this enterprise, but my words, my application, were clearly persuasive. I feel we are bound together you and I, and we must see our enterprise be the making of a fine poetic rhapsody for the autumn season – something you might share one day with your children and their children. You must understand that I am already moving towards a meeting of reality and the world of dreams and visions. Do not be afraid should I seek your intimate council. I know already you dream a little of my person. You may even imagine our conjunction as lovers. Women know these things, and, as you may have heard, I have tutored your Emperor in the ways of the Pale Girl.’
 
‘My lady . . .
 
Zou Fen reaches out for paper and brush Mei Lim had placed to her right hand. Kneeling on the roughly swept floor, her long limbs hidden under her cloak, she deftly paints seven lines of characters:
 
The autumn air is clear,
The autumn moon is bright.
Fallen leaves gather and scatter,
The jackdaw perches and starts anew.
We think of each other- when will we meet?
This hour, this night, my feelings are . . .

 
‘I wonder how we are to cast the final character?’
‘Not yet, and not here my Lady’. And with that Meng Ning takes his leave.
 
(to be continued)
Jigz Nov 2017
Wala ko gihandom nga ikaw makit-an
     ning mga mata
Ug sa dihang karon pa na ko
     nahibaw-an nga ikaw diay
Ang bugtong kalibutan ning mga tiil
     ko nga gabaklay sa panganod na way hulagway.
Apan ikaw lisod tawon abton
     niining mga kamota
Ug sa dihang asa man ko
     karon nga mulugar,
Kay gikinahanglan pa ang tanan
    ko nga isugal?
Ug sa dihang gugma nga dili unta
     sama sa giatay;
Kung ikaw maako ug ako maimo,
     dili ka gayud magmahay:
Ikaw ang bituon sa ngitngit kong
     baybayon
Ikaw ang katam-is Kalipay na way sama,
Kay ikaw pud usa ka dyamante
     nga tunhay nga handumanan.
Ikaw ra ang naa niining akong
     utok ug dughan,
Ug bisan pa'g uklabon mo wala
     nay lain, wala nay uban
Kay ikaw usa ka babaye nga lisod
  gayud pangitaon ug ilisdan;
Ikaw ba nasayod?
     sa likod ning pahiyum
     Ikaw lang Akong higugmaon
Unta ikaw maka dumdum
Hark! 'tis the twanging horn! O'er yonder bridge,
That with its wearisome but needful length
Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon
Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright,
He comes, the herald of a noisy world,
With spatter'd boots, strapp'd waist, and frozen locks;
News from all nations lumb'ring at his back.
True to his charge, the close-pack'd load behind,
Yet careless what he brings, his one concern
Is to conduct it to the destin'd inn:
And, having dropp'd th' expected bag, pass on.
He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch,
Cold and yet cheerful: messenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to some;
To him indiff'rent whether grief or joy.
Houses in ashes, and the fall of stocks,
Births, deaths, and marriages, epistles wet
With tears that trickled down the writer's cheeks
Fast as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charg'd with am'rous sighs of absent swains,
Or nymphs responsive, equally affect
His horse and him, unconscious of them all.
But oh th' important budget! usher'd in
With such heart-shaking music, who can say
What are its tidings? have our troops awak'd?
Or do they still, as if with ***** drugg'd,
Snore to the murmurs of th' Atlantic wave?
Is India free? and does she wear her plum'd
And jewell'd turban with a smile of peace,
Or do we grind her still? The grand debate,
The popular harangue, the **** reply,
The logic, and the wisdom, and the wit,
And the loud laugh--I long to know them all;
I burn to set th' imprison'd wranglers free,
And give them voice and utt'rance once again.
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev'ning in.
Not such his ev'ning, who with shining face
Sweats in the crowded theatre, and, squeez'd
And bor'd with elbow-points through both his sides,
Out-scolds the ranting actor on the stage:
Nor his, who patient stands till his feet throb,
And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath
Of patriots, bursting with heroic rage,
Or placemen, all tranquility and smiles.
This folio of four pages, happy work!
Which not ev'n critics criticise; that holds
Inquisitive attention, while I read,
Fast bound in chains of silence, which the fair,
Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break;
What is it, but a map of busy life,
Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns?...


Oh winter, ruler of th' inverted year,
Thy scatter'd hair with sleet like ashes fill'd,
Thy breath congeal'd upon thy lips, thy cheeks
Fring'd with a beard made white with other snows
Than those of age, thy forehead wrapp'd in clouds,
A leafless branch thy sceptre, and thy throne
A sliding car, indebted to no wheels,
But urg'd by storms along its slipp'ry way,
I love thee, all unlovely as thou seem'st,
And dreaded as thou art! Thou hold'st the sun
A pris'ner in the yet undawning east,
Short'ning his journey between morn and noon,
And hurrying him, impatient of his stay,
Down to the rosy west; but kindly still
Compensating his loss with added hours
Of social converse and instructive ease,
And gath'ring, at short notice, in one group
The family dispers'd, and fixing thought,
Not less dispers'd by day-light and its cares.
I crown thee king of intimate delights,
Fire-side enjoyments, home-born happiness,
And all the comforts that the lowly roof
Of undisturb'd retirement, and the hours
Of long uninterrupted ev'ning, know.
No rattling wheels stop short before these gates;
No powder'd pert proficient in the art
Of sounding an alarm, assaults these doors
Till the street rings; no stationary steeds
Cough their own knell, while, heedless of the sound,
The silent circle fan themselves, and quake:
But here the needle plies its busy task,
The pattern grows, the well-depicted flow'r,
Wrought patiently into the snowy lawn,
Unfolds its *****; buds, and leaves, and sprigs,
And curling tendrils, gracefully dispos'd,
Follow the nimble finger of the fair;
A wreath that cannot fade, or flow'rs that blow
With most success when all besides decay.
The poet's or historian's page, by one
Made vocal for th' amusement of the rest;
The sprightly lyre, whose treasure of sweet sounds
The touch from many a trembling chord shakes out;
And the clear voice symphonious, yet distinct,
And in the charming strife triumphant still;
Beguile the night, and set a keener edge
On female industry: the threaded steel
Flies swiftly, and, unfelt, the task proceeds.
The volume clos'd, the customary rites
Of the last meal commence. A Roman meal;
Such as the mistress of the world once found
Delicious, when her patriots of high note,
Perhaps by moonlight, at their humble doors,
And under an old oak's domestic shade,
Enjoy'd--spare feast!--a radish and an egg!
Discourse ensues, not trivial, yet not dull,
Nor such as with a frown forbids the play
Of fancy, or proscribes the sound of mirth:
Nor do we madly, like an impious world,
Who deem religion frenzy, and the God
That made them an intruder on their joys,
Start at his awful name, or deem his praise
A jarring note. Themes of a graver tone,
Exciting oft our gratitude and love,
While we retrace with mem'ry's pointing wand,
That calls the past to our exact review,
The dangers we have 'scaped, the broken snare,
The disappointed foe, deliv'rance found
Unlook'd for, life preserv'd and peace restor'd--
Fruits of omnipotent eternal love.
Oh ev'nings worthy of the gods! exclaim'd
The Sabine bard. Oh ev'nings, I reply,
More to be priz'd and coveted than yours,
As more illumin'd, and with nobler truths.
That I, and mine, and those we love, enjoy....
Timothy Sep 2012
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
         The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
         And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimm'ring landscape on the sight,
         And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
         And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r
         The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
         ****** her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
         Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
         The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
         The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed,
The ****'s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
         No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
         Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
         Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
         Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
         How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
         Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
         The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
         And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th' inevitable hour.
         The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
         If Mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro' the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
         The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust
         Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
         Or Flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
         Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
         Or wak'd to ecstasy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
         Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
         And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
         The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,
         And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
         The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
         Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.

Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
         The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
         And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib'd alone
         Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
         And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
         To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
         With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
         Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
         They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,
         Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
         Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd muse,
         The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
         That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
         This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
         Nor cast one longing, ling'ring look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
         Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
         Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead
         Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
         Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
         "Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
         To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
         That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
         And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
         Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
         Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.

"One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
         Along the heath and near his fav'rite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
         Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

"The next with dirges due in sad array
         Slow thro' the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
         Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."

THE EPITAPH

Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
       A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
       And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
       Heav'n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear,
       He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
       Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
       The ***** of his Father and his God.

~Thomas Gray 1716—1771~
janry Jul 2019
[Cebuano]

Ikaw ang bahandi
dugay ko nang gihandum
Ikaw ang bituon
Sa ngit ngit kong baybayon

Ikaw lang akong
akong higugmaon
Ikaw lang ako
Ako matinud-anon

Ikaw akong hangin
Ikaw akong ulan
Ikaw akong langit
ug ang akong kalibutan

Ikaw lang akong higugmaon
Ikaw lang ako
Ako matinud-anon

Ikaw akong gahapon
Ikaw akong karon
Ikaw akong kanunay
Pulong ko tinud-anay
Kasing-kasing paminawa
dinuyugan ning gitara
wa ka nag inusara
kanimu nahigugma.
Ikaw

Ikaw ang katam-is
Kalipay na walay sama
Ikaw ba nasayod?
sa likod ning pahiyum

Ikaw lang akong
Akong higugmaon
Ikaw lang ako
Ako matinud anon

Ikaw akong gahapon
Ikaw akong karon
Ikaw akong kanunay
Pulong ko tinud anay
Kasing-kasing paminawa
dinuyugan ning gitara
wa ka nag inusara
kanimu nahigugma.

Tagohala na gibati sa akong kinabuhi
Ikaw lang ang bulawan na
gitipigan sa akong dughan
Mahanaw man ang adlaw
Magsubo man ang buwan
Dili ka gyud talikdan
Ug di gyud pasipad an.

Ikaw......


[English]

You are my treasure
I've ever wished for
You are the star
of my dark coasts

You are who I will
I will love
You are who I am
I am truthful.

You are my wind
You are my rain
You are my heaven
and my only world

You are who I will
I will love
You are who I am
I am truthful.

You are my yesterday
You are my now
You are my always
My words are ever true
Listen to the heart
Accompanied by this guitar
You are not alone
I am in love with you.
You

You are the sweetness
A one-of-a-kind euphoria
Do you even know?
Behind this smile

You are who I will
I will love
You are who I am
I am truthful.


You are my yesterday
You are my now
You are my always
My words are ever true
Listen to this heart
Accompanied by this guitar
You are not alone
I am in love with you.

The mystery I feel in my
life
You're the only gem
I hold dear in my chest
The sun may even die
Even the moon would cry
I'd never turn my back to you
And I would never hurt you.

You......
Just being random.
A simple Cebuano song Duyog by Jewel Flores which melody melts my heart everytime. Please listen to it if you can. Kind regards ~
INSCRIBED TO ROBERT AIKEN, ESQ.

        Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
        Their homely joys and destiny obscure;
        Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
        The short and simple annals of the poor.
                  (Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”)

  My lov’d, my honour’d, much respected friend!
      No mercenary bard his homage pays;
    With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end:
      My dearest meed a friend’s esteem and praise.
      To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,
    The lowly train in life’s sequester’d scene;
      The native feelings strong, the guileless ways;
    What Aiken in a cottage would have been;
Ah! tho’ his worth unknown, far happier there, I ween!

  November chill blaws loud wi’ angry sugh,
      The short’ning winter day is near a close;
    The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh,
      The black’ning trains o’ craws to their repose;
    The toil-worn Cotter frae his labour goes,—
    This night his weekly moil is at an end,—
      Collects his spades, his mattocks and his hoes,
    Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend,
And weary, o’er the moor, his course does hameward bend.

  At length his lonely cot appears in view,
      Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
    Th’ expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher through
      To meet their dad, wi’ flichterin noise an’ glee.
      His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonilie,
    His clean hearth-stane, his thrifty wifie’s smile,
      The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
    Does a’ his weary kiaugh and care beguile,
An’ makes him quite forget his labour an’ his toil.

  Belyve, the elder bairns come drapping in,
      At service out, amang the farmers roun’;
    Some ca’ the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin
      A cannie errand to a neibor toun:
      Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman-grown,
    In youthfu’ bloom, love sparkling in her e’e,
      Comes hame, perhaps, to shew a braw new gown,
    Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.

  With joy unfeign’d, brothers and sisters meet,
      An’ each for other’s weelfare kindly spiers:
    The social hours, swift-wing’d, unnotic’d fleet;
      Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears.
      The parents partial eye their hopeful years;
    Anticipation forward points the view;
      The mother, wi’ her needle an’ her sheers,
    Gars auld claes look amaist as weel’s the new;
The father mixes a’ wi’ admonition due.

  Their master’s an’ their mistress’s command
      The younkers a’ are warned to obey;
    An’ mind their labours wi’ an eydent hand,
      An’ ne’er tho’ out o’ sight, to jauk or play:
      “An’ O! be sure to fear the Lord alway,
    An’ mind your duty, duly, morn an’ night!
      Lest in temptation’s path ye gang astray,
    Implore his counsel and assisting might:
They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!”

  But hark! a rap comes gently to the door.
      Jenny, wha kens the meaning o’ the same,
    Tells how a neebor lad cam o’er the moor,
      To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
      The wily mother sees the conscious flame
    Sparkle in Jenny’s e’e, and flush her cheek;
      Wi’ heart-struck, anxious care, inquires his name,
      While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak;
Weel-pleas’d the mother hears, it’s nae wild, worthless rake.

  Wi’ kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben,
      A strappin youth; he takes the mother’s eye;
    Blythe Jenny sees the visit’s no ill taen;
      The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye.
      The youngster’s artless heart o’erflows wi’ joy,
    But, blate and laithfu’, scarce can weel behave;
      The mother wi’ a woman’s wiles can spy
    What maks the youth sae bashfu’ an’ sae grave,
Weel pleas’d to think her bairn’s respected like the lave.

  O happy love! where love like this is found!
      O heart-felt raptures! bliss beyond compare!
    I’ve paced much this weary, mortal round,
      And sage experience bids me this declare—
    “If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,
      One cordial in this melancholy vale,
      ’Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,
    In other’s arms breathe out the tender tale,
Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the ev’ning gale.”

  Is there, in human form, that bears a heart,
      A wretch! a villain! lost to love and truth!
    That can with studied, sly, ensnaring art
      Betray sweet Jenny’s unsuspecting youth?
      Curse on his perjur’d arts! dissembling smooth!
    Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exil’d?
      Is there no pity, no relenting truth,
    Points to the parents fondling o’er their child,
Then paints the ruin’d maid, and their distraction wild?

  But now the supper crowns their simple board,
      The halesome parritch, chief of Scotia’s food;
    The soupe their only hawkie does afford,
      That yont the hallan snugly chows her cud.
      The dame brings forth, in complimental mood,
    To grace the lad, her weel-hain’d kebbuck fell,
      An’ aft he’s prest, an’ aft he ca’s it guid;
    The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell,
How ’twas a towmond auld, sin’ lint was i’ the bell.

  The cheerfu’ supper done, wi’ serious face,
      They round the ingle form a circle wide;
    The sire turns o’er, with patriarchal grace,
      The big ha’-Bible, ance his father’s pride;
      His bonnet rev’rently is laid aside,
    His lyart haffets wearing thin and bare;
      Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
    He wales a portion with judicious care;
And, “Let us worship God,” he says with solemn air.

  They chant their artless notes in simple guise;
      They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim:
    Perhaps Dundee’s wild-warbling measures rise,
      Or plaintive Martyrs, worthy of the name,
      Or noble Elgin beets the heaven-ward flame,
    The sweetest far of Scotia’s holy lays.
      Compar’d with these, Italian trills are tame;
      The tickl’d ear no heart-felt raptures raise;
Nae unison hae they, with our Creator’s praise.

  The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
      How Abram was the friend of God on high;
    Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage
      With Amalek’s ungracious progeny;
      Or how the royal bard did groaning lie
    Beneath the stroke of Heaven’s avenging ire;
      Or Job’s pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
    Or rapt Isaiah’s wild, seraphic fire;
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.

  Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
      How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
    How He, who bore in Heaven the second name
      Had not on earth whereon to lay His head:
      How His first followers and servants sped;
    The precepts sage they wrote to many a land:
      How he, who lone in Patmos banished,
    Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand,
And heard great Bab’lon’s doom pronounc’d by Heaven’s command.

  Then kneeling down to Heaven’s Eternal King,
      The saint, the father, and the husband prays:
    Hope “springs exulting on triumphant wing,”
      That thus they all shall meet in future days:
      There ever bask in uncreated rays,
    No more to sigh or shed the bitter tear,
      Together hymning their Creator’s praise,
    In such society, yet still more dear,
While circling Time moves round in an eternal sphere.

  Compar’d with this, how poor Religion’s pride
      In all the pomp of method and of art,
    When men display to congregations wide
      Devotion’s ev’ry grace except the heart!
      The Pow’r, incens’d, the pageant will desert,
    The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;
      But haply in some cottage far apart
    May hear, well pleas’d, the language of the soul,
And in His Book of Life the inmates poor enrol.

  Then homeward all take off their sev’ral way;
      The youngling cottagers retire to rest;
    The parent-pair their secret homage pay,
      And proffer up to Heav’n the warm request,
      That He who stills the raven’s clam’rous nest,
    And decks the lily fair in flow’ry pride,
      Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best,
    For them and for their little ones provide;
But chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine preside.

  From scenes like these old Scotia’s grandeur springs,
      That makes her lov’d at home, rever’d abroad:
    Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,
      “An honest man’s the noblest work of God”:
      And certes, in fair Virtue’s heavenly road,
    The cottage leaves the palace far behind:
      What is a lordling’s pomp? a cumbrous load,
    Disguising oft the wretch of human kind,
Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refin’d!

  O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
      For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent!
    Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
      Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content!
      And, oh! may Heaven their simple lives prevent
    From luxury’s contagion, weak and vile!
      Then, howe’er crowns and coronets be rent,
    A virtuous populace may rise the while,
And stand a wall of fire around their much-lov’d isle.

  O Thou! who pour’d the patriotic tide
      That stream’d thro’ Wallace’s undaunted heart,
    Who dar’d to nobly stem tyrannic pride,
      Or nobly die, the second glorious part,—
      (The patriot’s God peculiarly thou art,
    His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward!)
      O never, never Scotia’s realm desert,
    But still the patriot, and the patriot-bard,
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard!
Ning 'wave' raman ko nimo, dibah maam?
Pero ngano man pud imo ko gireplayan?
Tan-awa naibog na noon ko nimo ug taman taman
Ambot kaha kung ako pa ni mapugngan.

Dili nako tumong sa sinugdanan na ikaw maibgan
Nitext ko sa imo inamego raman unta ang tanan
Kay kabalo ko wala jud kay pagbati sa ako gikan pa sinugdanan.
Pero ambot ngano sa kadugayan ikaw naman ang gipitik ning dughan

Maong ako maingon sa imoha kay salamat
Wala nimo gipasagdaan na ako mata maglurat
Imo gitagaan ug bili ang dughan ko na gikan natuali.
Imo ko gipasulod sa imong kinabuhing walay ali

Tungod ato nasood teka
Nakatext, nakachat, ug matag gabie pa maestorya
Kanindot ba sa niabot na grasya
Pwede ba akoa nalang ka?

Tinood bitaw, walay sagol yagayaga.
Murag binuang pero seryoso ning akong gipangmama
Pero ang tanang pulong na dili kaya isulti sa akong baba
Ako nalang gipaagi niining kabos ko na tula.
Darkness, Shadows, Fright’ning screams
Red eyes haunt you in your dreams
With serpent coils and spider crawls
Clouded skies and banshee calls

Cold chills running down your spine
Something’s counting down your time
Monsters wait to draw your blood
Don’t listen for that sick’ning thud

With every turn you hear a howl
Eerie, freaky, creepy, growl
Apparitions all around
Voices groaning underground

Death and phantoms at your neck
Pirates on a grim ship wreck
Something’s coming down the hall
With fangs and claws and dying squall

Darkness, shadows, is this real
All this fear and dread I feel
I must wake up and see the sun
Or this nightmare won’t be done
Have a Halloween poem for Christmas! I'll try to have a Christmas poem for Dec. 25 (or Valentines day)
Of that sort of Dramatic Poem which is call’d Tragedy.


Tragedy, as it was antiently compos’d, hath been ever held the
gravest, moralest, and most profitable of all other Poems:
therefore said by Aristotle to be of power by raising pity and fear,
or terror, to purge the mind of those and such like passions, that is
to temper and reduce them to just measure with a kind of delight,
stirr’d up by reading or seeing those passions well imitated. Nor is
Nature wanting in her own effects to make good his assertion: for
so in Physic things of melancholic hue and quality are us’d against
melancholy, sowr against sowr, salt to remove salt humours.
Hence Philosophers and other gravest Writers, as Cicero, Plutarch
and others, frequently cite out of Tragic Poets, both to adorn and
illustrate thir discourse.  The Apostle Paul himself thought it not
unworthy to insert a verse of Euripides into the Text of Holy
Scripture, I Cor. 15. 33. and Paraeus commenting on the
Revelation, divides the whole Book as a Tragedy, into Acts
distinguisht each by a Chorus of Heavenly Harpings and Song
between.  Heretofore Men in highest dignity have labour’d not a
little to be thought able to compose a Tragedy.  Of that honour
Dionysius the elder was no less ambitious, then before of his
attaining to the Tyranny. Augustus Caesar also had begun his
Ajax, but unable to please his own judgment with what he had
begun. left it unfinisht.  Seneca the Philosopher is by some thought
the Author of those Tragedies (at lest the best of them) that go
under that name.  Gregory Nazianzen a Father of the Church,
thought it not unbeseeming the sanctity of his person to write a
Tragedy which he entitl’d, Christ suffering. This is mention’d to
vindicate Tragedy from the small esteem, or rather infamy, which
in the account of many it undergoes at this day with other common
Interludes; hap’ning through the Poets error of intermixing Comic
stuff with Tragic sadness and gravity; or introducing trivial and
****** persons, which by all judicious hath bin counted absurd; and
brought in without discretion, corruptly to gratifie the people. And
though antient Tragedy use no Prologue, yet using sometimes, in
case of self defence, or explanation, that which Martial calls an
Epistle; in behalf of this Tragedy coming forth after the antient
manner, much different from what among us passes for best, thus
much before-hand may be Epistl’d; that Chorus is here introduc’d
after the Greek manner, not antient only but modern, and still in
use among the Italians. In the modelling therefore of this Poem
with good reason, the Antients and Italians are rather follow’d, as
of much more authority and fame. The measure of Verse us’d in
the Chorus is of all sorts, call’d by the Greeks Monostrophic, or
rather Apolelymenon, without regard had to Strophe, Antistrophe
or Epod, which were a kind of Stanza’s fram’d only for the Music,
then us’d with the Chorus that sung; not essential to the Poem, and
therefore not material; or being divided into Stanza’s or Pauses
they may be call’d Allaeostropha.  Division into Act and Scene
referring chiefly to the Stage (to which this work never was
intended) is here omitted.

It suffices if the whole Drama be found not produc’t beyond the
fift Act, of the style and uniformitie, and that commonly call’d the
Plot, whether intricate or explicit, which is nothing indeed but such
oeconomy, or disposition of the fable as may stand best with
verisimilitude and decorum; they only will best judge who are not
unacquainted with Aeschulus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the three
Tragic Poets unequall’d yet by any, and the best rule to all who
endeavour to write Tragedy. The circumscription of time wherein
the whole Drama begins and ends, is according to antient rule, and
best example, within the space of 24 hours.



The ARGUMENT.


Samson made Captive, Blind, and now in the Prison at Gaza, there
to labour as in a common work-house, on a Festival day, in the
general cessation from labour, comes forth into the open Air, to a
place nigh, somewhat retir’d there to sit a while and bemoan his
condition. Where he happens at length to be visited by certain
friends and equals of his tribe, which make the Chorus, who seek
to comfort him what they can ; then by his old Father Manoa, who
endeavours the like, and withal tells him his purpose to procure his
liberty by ransom; lastly, that this Feast was proclaim’d by the
Philistins as a day of Thanksgiving for thir deliverance from the
hands of Samson, which yet more troubles him.  Manoa then
departs to prosecute his endeavour with the Philistian Lords for
Samson’s redemption; who in the mean while is visited by other
persons; and lastly by a publick Officer to require coming to the
Feast before the Lords and People, to play or shew his strength in
thir presence; he at first refuses, dismissing the publick officer with
absolute denyal to come; at length perswaded inwardly that this
was from God, he yields to go along with him, who came now the
second time with great threatnings to fetch him; the Chorus yet
remaining on the place, Manoa returns full of joyful hope, to
procure e’re long his Sons deliverance: in the midst of which
discourse an Ebrew comes in haste confusedly at first; and
afterward more distinctly relating the Catastrophe, what Samson
had done to the Philistins, and by accident to himself; wherewith
the Tragedy ends.


The Persons

Samson.
Manoa the father of Samson.
Dalila his wife.
Harapha of Gath.
Publick Officer.
Messenger.
Chorus of Danites


The Scene before the Prison in Gaza.

Sam:  A little onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little further on;
For yonder bank hath choice of Sun or shade,
There I am wont to sit, when any chance
Relieves me from my task of servile toyl,
Daily in the common Prison else enjoyn’d me,
Where I a Prisoner chain’d, scarce freely draw
The air imprison’d also, close and damp,
Unwholsom draught: but here I feel amends,
The breath of Heav’n fresh-blowing, pure and sweet,
With day-spring born; here leave me to respire.
This day a solemn Feast the people hold
To Dagon thir Sea-Idol, and forbid
Laborious works, unwillingly this rest
Thir Superstition yields me; hence with leave
Retiring from the popular noise, I seek
This unfrequented place to find some ease,
Ease to the body some, none to the mind
From restless thoughts, that like a deadly swarm
Of Hornets arm’d, no sooner found alone,
But rush upon me thronging, and present
Times past, what once I was, and what am now.
O wherefore was my birth from Heaven foretold
Twice by an Angel, who at last in sight
Of both my Parents all in flames ascended
From off the Altar, where an Off’ring burn’d,
As in a fiery column charioting
His Godlike presence, and from some great act
Or benefit reveal’d to Abraham’s race?
Why was my breeding order’d and prescrib’d
As of a person separate to God,
Design’d for great exploits; if I must dye
Betray’d, Captiv’d, and both my Eyes put out,
Made of my Enemies the scorn and gaze;
To grind in Brazen Fetters under task
With this Heav’n-gifted strength? O glorious strength
Put to the labour of a Beast, debas’t
Lower then bondslave! Promise was that I
Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver;
Ask for this great Deliverer now, and find him
Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves,
Himself in bonds under Philistian yoke;
Yet stay, let me not rashly call in doubt
Divine Prediction; what if all foretold
Had been fulfilld but through mine own default,
Whom have I to complain of but my self?
Who this high gift of strength committed to me,
In what part lodg’d, how easily bereft me,
Under the Seal of silence could not keep,
But weakly to a woman must reveal it
O’recome with importunity and tears.
O impotence of mind, in body strong!
But what is strength without a double share
Of wisdom, vast, unwieldy, burdensom,
Proudly secure, yet liable to fall
By weakest suttleties, not made to rule,
But to subserve where wisdom bears command.
God, when he gave me strength, to shew withal
How slight the gift was, hung it in my Hair.
But peace, I must not quarrel with the will
Of highest dispensation, which herein
Happ’ly had ends above my reach to know:
Suffices that to me strength is my bane,
And proves the sourse of all my miseries;
So many, and so huge, that each apart
Would ask a life to wail, but chief of all,
O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
Blind among enemies, O worse then chains,
Dungeon, or beggery, or decrepit age!
Light the prime work of God to me is extinct,
And all her various objects of delight
Annull’d, which might in part my grief have eas’d,
Inferiour to the vilest now become
Of man or worm; the vilest here excel me,
They creep, yet see, I dark in light expos’d
To daily fraud, contempt, abuse and wrong,
Within doors, or without, still as a fool,
In power of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more then half.
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse
Without all hope of day!
O first created Beam, and thou great Word,
Let there be light, and light was over all;
Why am I thus bereav’d thy prime decree?
The Sun to me is dark
And silent as the Moon,
When she deserts the night
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
Since light so necessary is to life,
And almost life itself, if it be true
That light is in the Soul,
She all in every part; why was the sight
To such a tender ball as th’ eye confin’d?
So obvious and so easie to be quench’t,
And not as feeling through all parts diffus’d,
That she might look at will through every pore?
Then had I not been thus exil’d from light;
As in the land of darkness yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death,
And buried; but O yet more miserable!
My self, my Sepulcher, a moving Grave,
Buried, yet not exempt
By priviledge of death and burial
From worst of other evils, pains and wrongs,
But made hereby obnoxious more
To all the miseries of life,
Life in captivity
Among inhuman foes.
But who are these? for with joint pace I hear
The tread of many feet stearing this way;
Perhaps my enemies who come to stare
At my affliction, and perhaps to insult,
Thir daily practice to afflict me more.

Chor:  This, this is he; softly a while,
Let us not break in upon him;
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelessly diffus’d,
With languish’t head unpropt,
As one past hope, abandon’d
And by himself given over;
In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
O’re worn and soild;
Or do my eyes misrepresent?  Can this be hee,
That Heroic, that Renown’d,
Irresistible Samson? whom unarm’d
No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast could withstand;
Who tore the Lion, as the Lion tears the Kid,
Ran on embattelld Armies clad in Iron,
And weaponless himself,
Made Arms ridiculous, useless the forgery
Of brazen shield and spear, the hammer’d Cuirass,
Chalybean temper’d steel, and frock of mail
Adamantean Proof;
But safest he who stood aloof,
When insupportably his foot advanc’t,
In scorn of thir proud arms and warlike tools,
Spurn’d them to death by Troops.  The bold Ascalonite
Fled from his Lion ramp, old Warriors turn’d
Thir plated backs under his heel;
Or grovling soild thir crested helmets in the dust.
Then with what trivial weapon came to Hand,
The Jaw of a dead ***, his sword of bone,
A thousand fore-skins fell, the flower of Palestin
In Ramath-lechi famous to this day:
Then by main force pull’d up, and on his shoulders bore
The Gates of Azza, Post, and massie Bar
Up to the Hill by Hebron, seat of Giants old,
No journey of a Sabbath day, and loaded so;
Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up Heav’n.
Which shall I first bewail,
Thy ******* or lost Sight,
Prison within Prison
Inseparably dark?
Thou art become (O worst imprisonment!)
The Dungeon of thy self; thy Soul
(Which Men enjoying sight oft without cause complain)
Imprison’d now indeed,
In real darkness of the body dwells,
Shut up from outward light
To incorporate with gloomy night;
For inward light alas
Puts forth no visual beam.
O mirror of our fickle state,
Since man on earth unparallel’d!
The rarer thy example stands,
By how much from the top of wondrous glory,
Strongest of mortal men,
To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fall’n.
For him I reckon not in high estate
Whom long descent of birth
Or the sphear of fortune raises;
But thee whose strength, while vertue was her mate
Might have subdu’d the Earth,
Universally crown’d with highest praises.

Sam:  I hear the sound of words, thir sense the air
Dissolves unjointed e’re it reach my ear.

Chor:  Hee speaks, let us draw nigh.  Matchless in might,
The glory late of Israel, now the grief;
We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown
From Eshtaol and Zora’s fruitful Vale
To visit or bewail thee, or if better,
Counsel or Consolation we may bring,
Salve to thy Sores, apt words have power to swage
The tumors of a troubl’d mind,
And are as Balm to fester’d wounds.

Sam:  Your coming, Friends, revives me, for I learn
Now of my own experience, not by talk,
How counterfeit a coin they are who friends
Bear in their Superscription (of the most
I would be understood) in prosperous days
They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head
Not to be found, though sought.  Wee see, O friends.
How many evils have enclos’d me round;
Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me,
Blindness, for had I sight, confus’d with shame,
How could I once look up, or heave the head,
Who like a foolish Pilot have shipwrack’t,
My Vessel trusted to me from above,
Gloriously rigg’d; and for a word, a tear,
Fool, have divulg’d the secret gift of God
To a deceitful Woman : tell me Friends,
Am I not sung and proverbd for a Fool
In every street, do they not say, how well
Are come upon him his deserts? yet why?
Immeasurable strength they might behold
In me, of wisdom nothing more then mean;
This with the other should, at least, have paird,
These two proportiond ill drove me transverse.

Chor:  Tax not divine disposal, wisest Men
Have err’d, and by bad Women been deceiv’d;
And shall again, pretend they ne’re so wise.
Deject not then so overmuch thy self,
Who hast of sorrow thy full load besides;
Yet truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder
Why thou shouldst wed Philistian women rather
Then of thine own Tribe fairer, or as fair,
At least of thy own Nation, and as noble.

Sam:  The first I saw at Timna, and she pleas’d
Mee, not my Parents, that I sought to wed,
The daughter of an Infidel: they knew not
That what I motion’d was of God; I knew
From intimate impulse, and therefore urg’d
The Marriage on; that by occasion hence
I might begin Israel’s Deliverance,
The work to which I was divinely call’d;
She proving false, the next I took to Wife
(O that I never had! fond wish too late)
Was in the Vale of Sorec, Dalila,
That specious Monster, my accomplisht snare.
I thought it lawful from my former act,
And the same end; still watching to oppress
Israel’s oppressours: of what now I suffer
She was not the prime cause, but I my self,
Who vanquisht with a peal of words (O weakness!)
Gave up my fort of silence to a Woman.

Chor:  In seeking just occasion to provoke
The Philistine, thy Countries Enemy,
Thou never wast remiss, I hear thee witness:
Yet Israel still serves with all his Sons.

Sam:  That fault I take not on me, but transfer
On Israel’s Governours, and Heads of Tribes,
Who seeing those great acts which God had done
Singly by me against their Conquerours
Acknowledg’d not, or not at all consider’d
Deliverance offerd : I on th’ other side
Us’d no ambition to commend my deeds,
The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the dooer;
But they persisted deaf, and would not seem
To count them things worth notice, till at length
Thir Lords the Philistines with gather’d powers
Enterd Judea seeking mee, who then
Safe to the rock of Etham was retir’d,
Not flying, but fore-casting in what place
To set upon them, what advantag’d best;
Mean while the men of Judah to prevent
The harrass of thir Land, beset me round;
I willingly on some conditions came
Into thir hands, and they as gladly yield me
To the uncircumcis’d a welcom prey,
Bound with two cords; but cords to me were threds
Toucht with the flame: on thi
G A Lopez Jul 2019
Ang pag silay ng araw
Ay siya ring paglisan
Ng mga bituin at ng buwan.
Hindi alintana ang sakit
Maramdaman mo lamang ang sikat ng araw
Kahit gabi-gabi
Akong tinutulugan
Ni hindi nga ako kayang pagmasdan
Mula sa kalangitan
Sa bawat pagning ning ko
Ikaw ang dahilan nito.
Ngunit sa umaga ka lamang mulat
Gumigising ng maagap
Handang magparaya
Makita mo lamang ang mundo
t'wing umaga
Ang buwan na nagbibigay liwanag
sa kalawakan
Ay piniling lumisan
Ako ang bituin at ang buwan
Apollo’s wrath to man the dreadful spring
Of ills innum’rous, tuneful goddess, sing!
Thou who did’st first th’ ideal pencil give,
And taught’st the painter in his works to live,
Inspire with glowing energy of thought,
What Wilson painted, and what Ovid wrote.
Muse! lend thy aid, nor let me sue in vain,
Tho’ last and meanest of the rhyming train!
O guide my pen in lofty strains to show
The Phrygian queen, all beautiful in woe.
  ’Twas where Maeonia spreads her wide domain
Niobe dwelt, and held her potent reign:
See in her hand the regal sceptre shine,
The wealthy heir of Tantalus divine,
He most distinguish’d by Dodonean Jove,
To approach the tables of the gods above:
Her grandsire Atlas, who with mighty pains
Th’ ethereal axis on his neck sustains:
Her other grandsire on the throne on high
Rolls the loud-pealing thunder thro’ the sky.
  Her spouse, Amphion, who from Jove too springs,
Divinely taught to sweep the sounding strings.
  Seven sprightly sons the royal bed adorn,
Seven daughters beauteous as the op’ning morn,
As when Aurora fills the ravish’d sight,
And decks the orient realms with rosy light
From their bright eyes the living splendors play,
Nor can beholders bear the flashing ray.
  Wherever, Niobe, thou turn’st thine eyes,
New beauties kindle, and new joys arise!
But thou had’st far the happier mother prov’d,
If this fair offspring had been less belov’d:
What if their charms exceed Aurora’s teint.
No words could tell them, and no pencil paint,
Thy love too vehement hastens to destroy
Each blooming maid, and each celestial boy.
  Now Manto comes, endu’d with mighty skill,
The past to explore, the future to reveal.
Thro’ Thebes’ wide streets Tiresia’s daughter came,
Divine Latona’s mandate to proclaim:
The Theban maids to hear the orders ran,
When thus Maeonia’s prophetess began:
  “Go, Thebans! great Latona’s will obey,
“And pious tribute at her altars pay:
“With rights divine, the goddess be implor’d,
“Nor be her sacred offspring unador’d.”
Thus Manto spoke.  The Theban maids obey,
And pious tribute to the goddess pay.
The rich perfumes ascend in waving spires,
And altars blaze with consecrated fires;
The fair assembly moves with graceful air,
And leaves of laurel bind the flowing hair.
  Niobe comes with all her royal race,
With charms unnumber’d, and superior grace:
Her Phrygian garments of delightful hue,
Inwove with gold, refulgent to the view,
Beyond description beautiful she moves
Like heav’nly Venus, ’midst her smiles and loves:
She views around the supplicating train,
And shakes her graceful head with stern disdain,
Proudly she turns around her lofty eyes,
And thus reviles celestial deities:
“What madness drives the Theban ladies fair
“To give their incense to surrounding air?
“Say why this new sprung deity preferr’d?
“Why vainly fancy your petitions heard?
“Or say why Caeus offspring is obey’d,
“While to my goddesship no tribute’s paid?
“For me no altars blaze with living fires,
“No bullock bleeds, no frankincense transpires,
“Tho’ Cadmus’ palace, not unknown to fame,
“And Phrygian nations all revere my name.
“Where’er I turn my eyes vast wealth I find,
“Lo! here an empress with a goddess join’d.
“What, shall a Titaness be deify’d,
“To whom the spacious earth a couch deny’d!
“Nor heav’n, nor earth, nor sea receiv’d your queen,
“Till pitying Delos took the wand’rer in.
“Round me what a large progeny is spread!
“No frowns of fortune has my soul to dread.
“What if indignant she decrease my train
“More than Latona’s number will remain;
“Then hence, ye Theban dames, hence haste away,
“Nor longer off’rings to Latona pay;
“Regard the orders of Amphion’s spouse,
“And take the leaves of laurel from your brows.”
Niobe spoke.  The Theban maids obey’d,
Their brows unbound, and left the rights unpaid.
  The angry goddess heard, then silence broke
On Cynthus’ summit, and indignant spoke;
“Phoebus! behold, thy mother in disgrace,
“Who to no goddess yields the prior place
“Except to Juno’s self, who reigns above,
“The spouse and sister of the thund’ring Jove.
“Niobe, sprung from Tantalus, inspires
“Each Theban ***** with rebellious fires;
“No reason her imperious temper quells,
“But all her father in her tongue rebels;
“Wrap her own sons for her blaspheming breath,
“Apollo! wrap them in the shades of death.”
Latona ceas’d, and ardent thus replies
The God, whose glory decks th’ expanded skies.
  “Cease thy complaints, mine be the task assign’d
“To punish pride, and scourge the rebel mind.”
This Phoebe join’d.—They wing their instant flight;
Thebes trembled as th’ immortal pow’rs alight.
  With clouds incompass’d glorious Phoebus stands;
The feather’d vengeance quiv’ring in his hands.
     Near Cadmus’ walls a plain extended lay,
Where Thebes’ young princes pass’d in sport the day:
There the bold coursers bounded o’er the plains,
While their great masters held the golden reins.
Ismenus first the racing pastime led,
And rul’d the fury of his flying steed.
“Ah me,” he sudden cries, with shrieking breath,
While in his breast he feels the shaft of death;
He drops the bridle on his courser’s mane,
Before his eyes in shadows swims the plain,
He, the first-born of great Amphion’s bed,
Was struck the first, first mingled with the dead.
  Then didst thou, Sipylus, the language hear
Of fate portentous whistling in the air:
As when th’ impending storm the sailor sees
He spreads his canvas to the fav’ring breeze,
So to thine horse thou gav’st the golden reins,
Gav’st him to rush impetuous o’er the plains:
But ah! a fatal shaft from Phoebus’ hand
Smites thro’ thy neck, and sinks thee on the sand.
  Two other brothers were at wrestling found,
And in their pastime claspt each other round:
A shaft that instant from Apollo’s hand
Transfixt them both, and stretcht them on the sand:
Together they their cruel fate bemoan’d,
Together languish’d, and together groan’d:
Together too th’ unbodied spirits fled,
And sought the gloomy mansions of the dead.
Alphenor saw, and trembling at the view,
Beat his torn breast, that chang’d its snowy hue.
He flies to raise them in a kind embrace;
A brother’s fondness triumphs in his face:
Alphenor fails in this fraternal deed,
A dart dispatch’d him (so the fates decreed:)
Soon as the arrow left the deadly wound,
His issuing entrails smoak’d upon the ground.
  What woes on blooming Damasichon wait!
His sighs portend his near impending fate.
Just where the well-made leg begins to be,
And the soft sinews form the supple knee,
The youth sore wounded by the Delian god
Attempts t’ extract the crime-avenging rod,
But, whilst he strives the will of fate t’ avert,
Divine Apollo sends a second dart;
Swift thro’ his throat the feather’d mischief flies,
Bereft of sense, he drops his head, and dies.
  Young Ilioneus, the last, directs his pray’r,
And cries, “My life, ye gods celestial! spare.”
Apollo heard, and pity touch’d his heart,
But ah! too late, for he had sent the dart:
Thou too, O Ilioneus, art doom’d to fall,
The fates refuse that arrow to recal.
  On the swift wings of ever flying Fame
To Cadmus’ palace soon the tidings came:
Niobe heard, and with indignant eyes
She thus express’d her anger and surprise:
“Why is such privilege to them allow’d?
“Why thus insulted by the Delian god?
“Dwells there such mischief in the pow’rs above?
“Why sleeps the vengeance of immortal Jove?”
For now Amphion too, with grief oppress’d,
Had plung’d the deadly dagger in his breast.
Niobe now, less haughty than before,
With lofty head directs her steps no more
She, who late told her pedigree divine,
And drove the Thebans from Latona’s shrine,
How strangely chang’d!—yet beautiful in woe,
She weeps, nor weeps unpity’d by the foe.
On each pale corse the wretched mother spread
Lay overwhelm’d with grief, and kiss’d her dead,
Then rais’d her arms, and thus, in accents slow,
“Be sated cruel Goddess! with my woe;
“If I’ve offended, let these streaming eyes,
“And let this sev’nfold funeral suffice:
“Ah! take this wretched life you deign’d to save,
“With them I too am carried to the grave.
“Rejoice triumphant, my victorious foe,
“But show the cause from whence your triumphs flow?
“Tho’ I unhappy mourn these children slain,
“Yet greater numbers to my lot remain.”
She ceas’d, the bow string twang’d with awful sound,
Which struck with terror all th’ assembly round,
Except the queen, who stood unmov’d alone,
By her distresses more presumptuous grown.
Near the pale corses stood their sisters fair
In sable vestures and dishevell’d hair;
One, while she draws the fatal shaft away,
Faints, falls, and sickens at the light of day.
To sooth her mother, lo! another flies,
And blames the fury of inclement skies,
And, while her words a filial pity show,
Struck dumb—indignant seeks the shades below.
Now from the fatal place another flies,
Falls in her flight, and languishes, and dies.
Another on her sister drops in death;
A fifth in trembling terrors yields her breath;
While the sixth seeks some gloomy cave in vain,
Struck with the rest, and mingled with the slain.
  One only daughter lives, and she the least;
The queen close clasp’d the daughter to her breast:
“Ye heav’nly pow’rs, ah spare me one,” she cry’d,
“Ah! spare me one,” the vocal hills reply’d:
In vain she begs, the Fates her suit deny,
In her embrace she sees her daughter die.
   “The queen of all her family bereft,
“Without or husband, son, or daughter left,
“Grew stupid at the shock.  The passing air
“Made no impression on her stiff’ning hair.
“The blood forsook her face: amidst the flood
“Pour’d from her cheeks, quite fix’d her eye-*****
  “stood.
“Her tongue, her palate both obdurate grew,
“Her curdled veins no longer motion knew;
“The use of neck, and arms, and feet was gone,
“And ev’n her bowels hard’ned into stone:
“A marble statue now the queen appears,
“But from the marble steal the silent tears.”
Whilst looking far o'r
long time spreading moor
Cloaked in daisies white

There shall likely be
Bloss'ming cherry tree
Grasping at your sight

Brushing silently by
As daisies qui'tly sigh
As wind moves in flight

Long time you sought
And hard you fought
Not reaching low boughs height

Till setting down
For sun is drowned
Settled for the night

Just before you drift away
Something beckons you to stay
A calling in the night

Yellow and white flow'r
Both of no great pow'r
Standing to no great height

Forbidden by blistering sun
They Bloom when day is done
Sending petal into flight

Finally draws your eye
From boughs never nye
Form'ly insignif'gant beauty in sight

First blooms Flow'r of moon
Eve'ning Primrose thereafter soon
The second of yellow the first of white
Here, where the lonely hooting owl
Sends forth his midnight moans,
Fierce wolves shall o’er my carcase growl,
Or buzzards pick my bones.
No fellow-man shall learn my fate,
Or where my ashes lie;
Unless by beasts drawn round their bait,
Or by the ravens’ cry.
Yes! I’ve resolved the deed to do,
And this the place to do it:
This heart I’ll rush a dagger through,
Though I in hell should rue it!
Hell! What is hell to one like me
Who pleasures never know;
By friends consigned to misery,
By hope deserted too?
To ease me of this power to think,
That through my ***** raves,
I’ll headlong leap from hell’s high brink,
And wallow in its waves.
Though devils yell, and burning chains
May waken long regret;
Their frightful screams, and piercing pains,
Will help me to forget.
Yes! I’m prepared, through endless night,
To take that fiery berth!
Think not with tales of hell to fright
Me, who am ****’d on earth!
Sweet steel! come forth from our your sheath,
And glist’ning, speak your powers;
Rip up the organs of my breath,
And draw my blood in showers!
I strike! It quivers in that heart
Which drives me to this end;
I draw and kiss the ****** dart,
My last—my only friend!
All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I’d started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.
Over these things I could not see;
These were the things that bounded me;
And I could touch them with my hand,
Almost, I thought, from where I stand.
And all at once things seemed so small
My breath came short, and scarce at all.
But, sure, the sky is big, I said;
Miles and miles above my head;
So here upon my back I’ll lie
And look my fill into the sky.
And so I looked, and, after all,
The sky was not so very tall.
The sky, I said, must somewhere stop,
And—sure enough!—I see the top!
The sky, I thought, is not so grand;
I ‘most could touch it with my hand!
And reaching up my hand to try,
I screamed to feel it touch the sky.
I screamed, and—lo!—Infinity
Came down and settled over me;
Forced back my scream into my chest,
Bent back my arm upon my breast,
And, pressing of the Undefined
The definition on my mind,
Held up before my eyes a glass
Through which my shrinking sight did pass
Until it seemed I must behold
Immensity made manifold;
Whispered to me a word whose sound
Deafened the air for worlds around,
And brought unmuffled to my ears
The gossiping of friendly spheres,
The creaking of the tented sky,
The ticking of Eternity.
I saw and heard, and knew at last
The How and Why of all things, past,
And present, and forevermore.
The Universe, cleft to the core,
Lay open to my probing sense
That, sick’ning, I would fain pluck thence
But could not,—nay! But needs must ****
At the great wound, and could not pluck
My lips away till I had drawn
All venom out.—Ah, fearful pawn!
For my omniscience paid I toll
In infinite remorse of soul.
All sin was of my sinning, all
Atoning mine, and mine the gall
Of all regret. Mine was the weight
Of every brooded wrong, the hate
That stood behind each envious ******,
Mine every greed, mine every lust.
And all the while for every grief,
Each suffering, I craved relief
With individual desire,—
Craved all in vain!  And felt fierce fire
About a thousand people crawl;
Perished with each,—then mourned for all!
A man was starving in Capri;
He moved his eyes and looked at me;
I felt his gaze, I heard his moan,
And knew his hunger as my own.
I saw at sea a great fog bank
Between two ships that struck and sank;
A thousand screams the heavens smote;
And every scream tore through my throat.
No hurt I did not feel, no death
That was not mine; mine each last breath
That, crying, met an answering cry
From the compassion that was I.
All suffering mine, and mine its rod;
Mine, pity like the pity of God.
Ah, awful weight!  Infinity
Pressed down upon the finite Me!
My anguished spirit, like a bird,
Beating against my lips I heard;
Yet lay the weight so close about
There was no room for it without.
And so beneath the weight lay I
And suffered death, but could not die.

Long had I lain thus, craving death,
When quietly the earth beneath
Gave way, and inch by inch, so great
At last had grown the crushing weight,
Into the earth I sank till I
Full six feet under ground did lie,
And sank no more,—there is no weight
Can follow here, however great.
From off my breast I felt it roll,
And as it went my tortured soul
Burst forth and fled in such a gust
That all about me swirled the dust.

Deep in the earth I rested now;
Cool is its hand upon the brow
And soft its breast beneath the head
Of one who is so gladly dead.
And all at once, and over all
The pitying rain began to fall;
I lay and heard each pattering hoof
Upon my lowly, thatched roof,
And seemed to love the sound far more
Than ever I had done before.
For rain it hath a friendly sound
To one who’s six feet underground;
And scarce the friendly voice or face:
A grave is such a quiet place.

The rain, I said, is kind to come
And speak to me in my new home.
I would I were alive again
To kiss the fingers of the rain,
To drink into my eyes the shine
Of every slanting silver line,
To catch the freshened, fragrant breeze
From drenched and dripping apple-trees.
For soon the shower will be done,
And then the broad face of the sun
Will laugh above the rain-soaked earth
Until the world with answering mirth
Shakes joyously, and each round drop
Rolls, twinkling, from its grass-blade top.
How can I bear it; buried here,
While overhead the sky grows clear
And blue again after the storm?
O, multi-colored, multiform,
Beloved beauty over me,
That I shall never, never see
Again!  Spring-silver, autumn-gold,
That I shall never more behold!
Sleeping your myriad magics through,
Close-sepulchred away from you!
O God, I cried, give me new birth,
And put me back upon the earth!
Upset each cloud’s gigantic gourd
And let the heavy rain, down-poured
In one big torrent, set me free,
Washing my grave away from me!

I ceased; and through the breathless hush
That answered me, the far-off rush
Of herald wings came whispering
Like music down the vibrant string
Of my ascending prayer, and—crash!
Before the wild wind’s whistling lash
The startled storm-clouds reared on high
And plunged in terror down the sky,
And the big rain in one black wave
Fell from the sky and struck my grave.
I know not how such things can be;
I only know there came to me
A fragrance such as never clings
To aught save happy living things;
A sound as of some joyous elf
Singing sweet songs to please himself,
And, through and over everything,
A sense of glad awakening.
The grass, a-tiptoe at my ear,
Whispering to me I could hear;
I felt the rain’s cool finger-tips
Brushed tenderly across my lips,
Laid gently on my sealed sight,
And all at once the heavy night
Fell from my eyes and I could see,—
A drenched and dripping apple-tree,
A last long line of silver rain,
A sky grown clear and blue again.
And as I looked a quickening gust
Of wind blew up to me and ******
Into my face a miracle
Of orchard-breath, and with the smell,—
I know not how such things can be!—
I breathed my soul back into me.
Ah!  Up then from the ground sprang I
And hailed the earth with such a cry
As is not heard save from a man
Who has been dead, and lives again.
About the trees my arms I wound;
Like one gone mad I hugged the ground;
I raised my quivering arms on high;
I laughed and laughed into the sky,
Till at my throat a strangling sob
Caught fiercely, and a great heart-throb
Sent instant tears into my eyes;
O God, I cried, no dark disguise
Can e’er hereafter hide from me
Thy radiant identity!
Thou canst not move across the grass
But my quick eyes will see Thee pass,
Nor speak, however silently,
But my hushed voice will answer Thee.
I know the path that tells Thy way
Through the cool eve of every day;
God, I can push the grass apart
And lay my finger on Thy heart!

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat—the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.
Daughter of Jove, relentless Power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge and tort’ring hour
The Bad affright, afflict the Best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain
The Proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple Tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.

When first thy Sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, designed,
To thee he gave the heav’nly Birth,
And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern rugged Nurse! thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore:
What sorrow was, thou bad’st her know,
And from her own she learned to melt at others’ woe.

Scared at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly’s idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
And leave us leisure to be good.
Light they disperse, and with them go
The summer Friend, the flatt’ring Foe;
By vain Prosperity received,
To her they vow their truth, and are again believed.

Wisdom in sable garb arrayed
Immersed in rapt’rous thought profound,
And Melancholy, silent maid
With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
Still on thy solemn steps attend:
Warm Charity, the gen’ral Friend,
With Justice, to herself severe,
And Pity dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.

Oh, gently on thy Suppliant’s head,
Dread Goddess, lay thy chast’ning hand!
Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
Not circled with the vengeful Band
(As by the Impious thou art seen),
With thund’ring voice, and threat’ning mien,
With screaming Horror’s funeral cry,
Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.

Thy form benign, O Goddess, wear,
Thy milder influence impart,
Thy philosophic Train be there
To soften, not to wound my heart.
The gen’rous spark extinct revive,
Teach me to love and to forgive,
Exact my own defects to scan,
What others are, to feel, and know myself a Man.
There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men
With most prevailing tinsel: who unpen
Their baaing vanities, to browse away
The comfortable green and juicy hay
From human pastures; or, O torturing fact!
Who, through an idiot blink, will see unpack'd
Fire-branded foxes to sear up and singe
Our gold and ripe-ear'd hopes. With not one tinge
Of sanctuary splendour, not a sight
Able to face an owl's, they still are dight
By the blear-eyed nations in empurpled vests,
And crowns, and turbans. With unladen *******,
Save of blown self-applause, they proudly mount
To their spirit's perch, their being's high account,
Their tiptop nothings, their dull skies, their thrones--
Amid the fierce intoxicating tones
Of trumpets, shoutings, and belabour'd drums,
And sudden cannon. Ah! how all this hums,
In wakeful ears, like uproar past and gone--
Like thunder clouds that spake to Babylon,
And set those old Chaldeans to their tasks.--
Are then regalities all gilded masks?
No, there are throned seats unscalable
But by a patient wing, a constant spell,
Or by ethereal things that, unconfin'd,
Can make a ladder of the eternal wind,
And poise about in cloudy thunder-tents
To watch the abysm-birth of elements.
Aye, 'bove the withering of old-lipp'd Fate
A thousand Powers keep religious state,
In water, fiery realm, and airy bourne;
And, silent as a consecrated urn,
Hold sphery sessions for a season due.
Yet few of these far majesties, ah, few!
Have bared their operations to this globe--
Few, who with gorgeous pageantry enrobe
Our piece of heaven--whose benevolence
Shakes hand with our own Ceres; every sense
Filling with spiritual sweets to plenitude,
As bees gorge full their cells. And, by the feud
'Twixt Nothing and Creation, I here swear,
Eterne Apollo! that thy Sister fair
Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest.
When thy gold breath is misting in the west,
She unobserved steals unto her throne,
And there she sits most meek and most alone;
As if she had not pomp subservient;
As if thine eye, high Poet! was not bent
Towards her with the Muses in thine heart;
As if the ministring stars kept not apart,
Waiting for silver-footed messages.
O Moon! the oldest shades '**** oldest trees
Feel palpitations when thou lookest in:
O Moon! old boughs lisp forth a holier din
The while they feel thine airy fellowship.
Thou dost bless every where, with silver lip
Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine,
Couched in thy brightness, dream of fields divine:
Innumerable mountains rise, and rise,
Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes;
And yet thy benediction passeth not
One obscure hiding-place, one little spot
Where pleasure may be sent: the nested wren
Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken,
And from beneath a sheltering ivy leaf
Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief
To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps
Within its pearly house.--The mighty deeps,
The monstrous sea is thine--the myriad sea!
O Moon! far-spooming Ocean bows to thee,
And Tellus feels his forehead's cumbrous load.

  Cynthia! where art thou now? What far abode
Of green or silvery bower doth enshrine
Such utmost beauty? Alas, thou dost pine
For one as sorrowful: thy cheek is pale
For one whose cheek is pale: thou dost bewail
His tears, who weeps for thee. Where dost thou sigh?
Ah! surely that light peeps from Vesper's eye,
Or what a thing is love! 'Tis She, but lo!
How chang'd, how full of ache, how gone in woe!
She dies at the thinnest cloud; her loveliness
Is wan on Neptune's blue: yet there's a stress
Of love-spangles, just off yon cape of trees,
Dancing upon the waves, as if to please
The curly foam with amorous influence.
O, not so idle: for down-glancing thence
She fathoms eddies, and runs wild about
O'erwhelming water-courses; scaring out
The thorny sharks from hiding-holes, and fright'ning
Their savage eyes with unaccustomed lightning.
Where will the splendor be content to reach?
O love! how potent hast thou been to teach
Strange journeyings! Wherever beauty dwells,
In gulf or aerie, mountains or deep dells,
In light, in gloom, in star or blazing sun,
Thou pointest out the way, and straight 'tis won.
Amid his toil thou gav'st Leander breath;
Thou leddest Orpheus through the gleams of death;
Thou madest Pluto bear thin element;
And now, O winged Chieftain! thou hast sent
A moon-beam to the deep, deep water-world,
To find Endymion.

                  On gold sand impearl'd
With lily shells, and pebbles milky white,
Poor Cynthia greeted him, and sooth'd her light
Against his pallid face: he felt the charm
To breathlessness, and suddenly a warm
Of his heart's blood: 'twas very sweet; he stay'd
His wandering steps, and half-entranced laid
His head upon a tuft of straggling weeds,
To taste the gentle moon, and freshening beads,
Lashed from the crystal roof by fishes' tails.
And so he kept, until the rosy veils
Mantling the east, by Aurora's peering hand
Were lifted from the water's breast, and fann'd
Into sweet air; and sober'd morning came
Meekly through billows:--when like taper-flame
Left sudden by a dallying breath of air,
He rose in silence, and once more 'gan fare
Along his fated way.

                      Far had he roam'd,
With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd
Above, around, and at his feet; save things
More dead than Morpheus' imaginings:
Old rusted anchors, helmets, breast-plates large
Of gone sea-warriors; brazen beaks and targe;
Rudders that for a hundred years had lost
The sway of human hand; gold vase emboss'd
With long-forgotten story, and wherein
No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin
But those of Saturn's vintage; mouldering scrolls,
Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls
Who first were on the earth; and sculptures rude
In ponderous stone, developing the mood
Of ancient Nox;--then skeletons of man,
Of beast, behemoth, and leviathan,
And elephant, and eagle, and huge jaw
Of nameless monster. A cold leaden awe
These secrets struck into him; and unless
Dian had chaced away that heaviness,
He might have died: but now, with cheered feel,
He onward kept; wooing these thoughts to steal
About the labyrinth in his soul of love.

  "What is there in thee, Moon! that thou shouldst move
My heart so potently? When yet a child
I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smil'd.
Thou seem'dst my sister: hand in hand we went
From eve to morn across the firmament.
No apples would I gather from the tree,
Till thou hadst cool'd their cheeks deliciously:
No tumbling water ever spake romance,
But when my eyes with thine thereon could dance:
No woods were green enough, no bower divine,
Until thou liftedst up thine eyelids fine:
In sowing time ne'er would I dibble take,
Or drop a seed, till thou wast wide awake;
And, in the summer tide of blossoming,
No one but thee hath heard me blithly sing
And mesh my dewy flowers all the night.
No melody was like a passing spright
If it went not to solemnize thy reign.
Yes, in my boyhood, every joy and pain
By thee were fashion'd to the self-same end;
And as I grew in years, still didst thou blend
With all my ardours: thou wast the deep glen;
Thou wast the mountain-top--the sage's pen--
The poet's harp--the voice of friends--the sun;
Thou wast the river--thou wast glory won;
Thou wast my clarion's blast--thou wast my steed--
My goblet full of wine--my topmost deed:--
Thou wast the charm of women, lovely Moon!
O what a wild and harmonized tune
My spirit struck from all the beautiful!
On some bright essence could I lean, and lull
Myself to immortality: I prest
Nature's soft pillow in a wakeful rest.
But, gentle Orb! there came a nearer bliss--
My strange love came--Felicity's abyss!
She came, and thou didst fade, and fade away--
Yet not entirely; no, thy starry sway
Has been an under-passion to this hour.
Now I begin to feel thine orby power
Is coming fresh upon me: O be kind,
Keep back thine influence, and do not blind
My sovereign vision.--Dearest love, forgive
That I can think away from thee and live!--
Pardon me, airy planet, that I prize
One thought beyond thine argent luxuries!
How far beyond!" At this a surpris'd start
Frosted the springing verdure of his heart;
For as he lifted up his eyes to swear
How his own goddess was past all things fair,
He saw far in the concave green of the sea
An old man sitting calm and peacefully.
Upon a weeded rock this old man sat,
And his white hair was awful, and a mat
Of weeds were cold beneath his cold thin feet;
And, ample as the largest winding-sheet,
A cloak of blue wrapp'd up his aged bones,
O'erwrought with symbols by the deepest groans
Of ambitious magic: every ocean-form
Was woven in with black distinctness; storm,
And calm, and whispering, and hideous roar
Were emblem'd in the woof; with every shape
That skims, or dives, or sleeps, 'twixt cape and cape.
The gulphing whale was like a dot in the spell,
Yet look upon it, and 'twould size and swell
To its huge self; and the minutest fish
Would pass the very hardest gazer's wish,
And show his little eye's anatomy.
Then there was pictur'd the regality
Of Neptune; and the sea nymphs round his state,
In beauteous vassalage, look up and wait.
Beside this old man lay a pearly wand,
And in his lap a book, the which he conn'd
So stedfastly, that the new denizen
Had time to keep him in amazed ken,
To mark these shadowings, and stand in awe.

  The old man rais'd his hoary head and saw
The wilder'd stranger--seeming not to see,
His features were so lifeless. Suddenly
He woke as from a trance; his snow-white brows
Went arching up, and like two magic ploughs
Furrow'd deep wrinkles in his forehead large,
Which kept as fixedly as rocky marge,
Till round his wither'd lips had gone a smile.
Then up he rose, like one whose tedious toil
Had watch'd for years in forlorn hermitage,
Who had not from mid-life to utmost age
Eas'd in one accent his o'er-burden'd soul,
Even to the trees. He rose: he grasp'd his stole,
With convuls'd clenches waving it abroad,
And in a voice of solemn joy, that aw'd
Echo into oblivion, he said:--

  "Thou art the man! Now shall I lay my head
In peace upon my watery pillow: now
Sleep will come smoothly to my weary brow.
O Jove! I shall be young again, be young!
O shell-borne Neptune, I am pierc'd and stung
With new-born life! What shall I do? Where go,
When I have cast this serpent-skin of woe?--
I'll swim to the syrens, and one moment listen
Their melodies, and see their long hair glisten;
Anon upon that giant's arm I'll be,
That writhes about the roots of Sicily:
To northern seas I'll in a twinkling sail,
And mount upon the snortings of a whale
To some black cloud; thence down I'll madly sweep
On forked lightning, to the deepest deep,
Where through some ******* pool I will be hurl'd
With rapture to the other side of the world!
O, I am full of gladness! Sisters three,
I bow full hearted to your old decree!
Yes, every god be thank'd, and power benign,
For I no more shall wither, droop, and pine.
Thou art the man!" Endymion started back
Dismay'd; and, like a wretch from whom the rack
Tortures hot breath, and speech of agony,
Mutter'd: "What lonely death am I to die
In this cold region? Will he let me freeze,
And float my brittle limbs o'er polar seas?
Or will he touch me with his searing hand,
And leave a black memorial on the sand?
Or tear me piece-meal with a bony saw,
And keep me as a chosen food to draw
His magian fish through hated fire and flame?
O misery of hell! resistless, tame,
Am I to be burnt up? No, I will shout,
Until the gods through heaven's blue look out!--
O Tartarus! but some few days agone
Her soft arms were entwining me, and on
Her voice I hung like fruit among green leaves:
Her lips were all my own, and--ah, ripe sheaves
Of happiness! ye on the stubble droop,
But never may be garner'd. I must stoop
My head, and kiss death's foot. Love! love, farewel!
Is there no hope from thee? This horrid spell
Would melt at thy sweet breath.--By Dian's hind
Feeding from her white fingers, on the wind
I see thy streaming hair! and now, by Pan,
I care not for this old mysterious man!"

  He spake, and walking to that aged form,
Look'd high defiance. Lo! his heart 'gan warm
With pity, for the grey-hair'd creature wept.
Had he then wrong'd a heart where sorrow kept?
Had he, though blindly contumelious, brought
Rheum to kind eyes, a sting to human thought,
Convulsion to a mouth of many years?
He had in truth; and he was ripe for tears.
The penitent shower fell, as down he knelt
Before that care-worn sage, who trembling felt
About his large dark locks, and faultering spake:

  "Arise, good youth, for sacred Phoebus' sake!
I know thine inmost *****, and I feel
A very brother's yearning for thee steal
Into mine own: for why? thou openest
The prison gates that have so long opprest
My weary watching. Though thou know'st it not,
Thou art commission'd to this fated spot
For great enfranchisement. O weep no more;
I am a friend to love, to loves of yore:
Aye, hadst thou never lov'd an unknown power
I had been grieving at this joyous hour
But even now most miserable old,
I saw thee, and my blood no longer cold
Gave mighty pulses: in this tottering case
Grew a new heart, which at this moment plays
As dancingly as thine. Be not afraid,
For thou shalt hear this secret all display'd,
Now as we speed towards our joyous task."

  So saying, this young soul in age's mask
Went forward with the Carian side by side:
Resuming quickly thus; while ocean's tide
Hung swollen at their backs, and jewel'd sands
Took silently their foot-prints. "My soul stands
Now past the midway from mortality,
And so I can prepare without a sigh
To tell thee briefly all my joy and pain.
I was a fisher once, upon this main,
And my boat danc'd in every creek and bay;
Rough billows were my home by night and day,--
The sea-gulls not more constant; for I had
No housing from the storm and tempests mad,
But hollow rocks,--and they were palaces
Of silent happiness, of slumberous ease:
Long years of misery have told me so.
Aye, thus it was one thousand years ago.
One thousand years!--Is it then possible
To look so plainly through them? to dispel
A thousand years with backward glance sublime?
To breathe away as 'twere all scummy slime
From off a crystal pool, to see its deep,
And one's own image from the bottom peep?
Yes: now I am no longer wretched thrall,
My long captivity and moanings all
Are but a slime, a thin-pervading ****,
The which I breathe away, and thronging come
Like things of yesterday my youthful pleasures.

  "I touch'd no lute, I sang not, trod no measures:
I was a lonely youth on desert shores.
My sports were lonely, 'mid continuous roars,
And craggy isles, and sea-mew's plaintive cry
Plaining discrepant between sea and sky.
Dolphins were still my playmates; shapes unseen
Would let me feel their scales of gold and green,
Nor be my desolation; and, full oft,
When a dread waterspout had rear'd aloft
Its hungry hugeness, seeming ready ripe
To burst with hoarsest thunderings, and wipe
My life away like a vast sponge of fate,
Some friendly monster, pitying my sad state,
Has dived to its foundations, gulph'd it down,
And left me tossing safely. But the crown
Of all my life was utmost quietude:
More did I love to lie in cavern rude,
Keeping in wait whole days for Neptune's voice,
And if it came at last, hark, and rejoice!
There blush'd no summer eve but I would steer
My skiff along green shelving coasts, to hear
The shepherd's pipe come clear from aery steep,
Mingled with ceaseless bleatings of his sheep:
And never was a day of summer shine,
But I beheld its birth upon the brine:
For I would watch all night to see unfold
Heaven's gates, and Aethon snort his morning gold
Wide o'er the swelling streams: and constantly
At brim of day-tide, on some grassy lea,
My nets would be spread out, and I at rest.
The poor folk of the sea-country I blest
With daily boon of fish most delicate:
They knew not whence this bounty, and elate
Would strew sweet flowers on a sterile beach.

  "Why was I not contented? Wherefore reach
At things which, but for thee, O Latmian!
Had been my dreary death? Fool! I began
To feel distemper'd longings: to desire
The utmost priv
Meruem Mar 2019
Akala ko nung una hindi na magbabago,
Itong maumay na takbo ng buhay ko.
Sabi nila, "pare hindi ka na natuto."
Oh pare-pareho lang ang aking problema.

Pero noong makita ko ang halaga mo,
At ang ning-ning ng iyong mga mata.
Lahat ng hapdi tila agad nawawala,
Naaalala ko na..

Tumitigil nga pala ang oras,
Kapag ikaw ay nariyan.
At ang lahat ng mga kulay;
Gumaganda.

Ipangako mo naman sa akin,
Na hinding-hindi mawawala
Ang iyong mga ngiti
Na kasing liwanag ng mga tala.
March 18, 2019 - 01:06

Para sayo, B.
Nigel Morgan Jan 2013
Zuo Fen meets Jia Li and her child Hui Ying. The temporary guardian of the palace speaks with the help of one of the pack-horse men who understands something of the dialect this young woman owns. Zuo Fen would rather envelope Jia Li with her eyes than communicate in three-way speech. And so when Jia Li begins haltingly to tell the same tale told to Meng Ning the previous night Zuo Fen halts her translator with a gesture until the story – and this is what it appears to be – is told.

(Here Zuo Fen assumes the persona of Jia Li as part of her rhapsody titled The Sorcerer of Eryi-lou)

Alone in this crumbling palace
I guard my father’s charge,
He has been ill since late Spring
And I have disgraced my family
With a child whose father stayed
but a week trading horses.
Hui Ying was born here
And here we hope to stay.

I have now come to recognize
Many spirits of the past.
Mostly invisible I take them by surprise
In their mortal form; meeting a lady
And her maid on the hall terrace;
Seeing two men bent over
A game of go in a lesser chamber.
Music and the sound of poetry float
Variously through the many rooms.
The aroma of food comes and goes.
The burning of incense is ever present.

For many seasons my village supported
Palace life during the Emperor’s summer visits.
We provisioned and provided animals
For food and transport. Our young men,
Our women too were propositioned
For the more elaborate practices of the court.
Twenty summers long the palace secured for us
a livelihood beyond expectation.

Over time the events of the Emperor’s
Last sojourn in the palace became
For us the stuff of legend, though we do not
Embroider its story and have remained silent
Out of respect for the Emperor’s memory.
We know his son has rarely ventured here.

Let me only tell what has come from
my father’s lips, what he as a young man
Witnessed and through his guardianship
Has protected and honoured. He was chosen
By officials of the Emperor as a trusted servant,
A man who would oversee what had been precious,
What had been valued here, and is still deemed to be.

My father has spoken to me of the disappearance
Of the Emperor’s second wife with the sorcerer Yang Mo,
A disappearance witnessed by the whole company of visitors,
By the Emperor himself, and his son. I am charged to tell
Of this only to those bearing Emperor Wu’s seal.  Know I speak
With all truth and honesty in lieu of my father’s presence.

Amongst the many guests honoured by the Emperor
The sorcerer Yang Mo arrived by invitation
To spend part of the third season at Eryi-lou.
Already well-known to the court he had come
At the express wish of second wife Xie Jiu.
It is said that he created many remarkable illusions.
Unusual objects and rare animals were summoned to appear,
Rain fell and winds blew inside the Emperor’s hall,
There were piercings of flesh and limbs seemingly severed.
One morning it is said Yang Mo caused a boat
To appear on the lake, thereby at odds with the legend
That no vessel should ever touch its surface. Forthwith,
The Emperor decreed that such sorcery should
cease. But he was discouraged by second wife Xie Jiu
Who wished to visit the boat and sail on the lake.
Yang Mo offered to escort her across the waters
And led the assembled company to a small beach where
A path of red slate had been laid.  This appeared from
within a cave in the hillside. From thence it travelled
to the water’s edge and beyond, under the water
in the direction of the magical boat. Yang Mo is said
to have brought wind and fire and smoke
To play upon the company, finally inviting Xie Jiu to step
On the Red Slate Path and accompany him across the waters.
The couple walked slowly down the path into the lake
Gradually divesting themselves of their garments
As the waters consumed them. Then, before their very eyes
The Emperor’s guests and entourage saw the boat
Enveloped in a pall of smoke and disappear from view.
Yang Mo and Xie Jui were never seen again.

The Emperor was enraged, realizing suddenly
he had been tricked and made to look a cuckold
in front of his own court. In such a remote region
He had the slenderest of means available
to search for the missing couple. He resolved
to leave Eryi-lou immediately. Neither He or
His son nor his court has ever returned.


Allowing Jia Li to tell this tale without interruption had proved a right and wise decision. No sooner had the young woman realized her story had grasped the undivided attention of this celebrated courtesan than her words of description seemed to take on a rough poetry. Zuo Fen felt herself summoning unbidden images of the sorcerer’s illusions, moments of secret and forbidden congress between Yang Mo and Xie Jiu, the appearance of the sailing vessel from the early morning mists, the lovers slowly processing down the Red Slate Path, the disbelief and then fury of the Emperor.
      When Jia Li had taken leave to comfort her infant child Zuo Fen called Mei Lim to summon Meng Ning. She was clearly troubled by how her autumn visions from the west had brought her to this place and its unforeseen legacy of magic and deceit. The illusion of the sailing vessel and the walk into the lake on the Red Slate Path, both were elaborate and well-contrived artifices. They required skilled assistants and collaborators and the most careful planning. Sitting in silence opposite one another the courtesan and the chamberlain set their minds to consider the possible and elaborate trickery that might have been brought to bear on the complicit theft of the Emperor’s second wife. It seemed clear that all official record of what had passed had been expunged, and the Emperor had decided to abandon not only his summer sojourn but also his palace - immediately and forever.
        Zuo Fen wondered at the fate of the lovers. There could be no future for them within the known territories of the Empire. Their lives would have to begin again far distant. The province of Yunnan perhaps? But she laid that thought aside.

(to be continued)
Kind solace in a dying hour!
Such, father, is not (now) my theme—
I will not madly deem that power
Of Earth may shrive me of the sin
Unearthly pride hath revelled in—
I have no time to dote or dream:
You call it hope—that fire of fire!
It is but agony of desire:
If I can hope—O God! I can—
Its fount is holier—more divine—
I would not call thee fool, old man,
But such is not a gift of thine.

Know thou the secret of a spirit
Bowed from its wild pride into shame
O yearning heart! I did inherit
Thy withering portion with the fame,
The searing glory which hath shone
Amid the Jewels of my throne,
Halo of Hell! and with a pain
Not Hell shall make me fear again—
O craving heart, for the lost flowers
And sunshine of my summer hours!
The undying voice of that dead time,
With its interminable chime,
Rings, in the spirit of a spell,
Upon thy emptiness—a knell.

I have not always been as now:
The fevered diadem on my brow
I claimed and won usurpingly—
Hath not the same fierce heirdom given
Rome to the Caesar—this to me?
The heritage of a kingly mind,
And a proud spirit which hath striven
Triumphantly with human kind.
On mountain soil I first drew life:
The mists of the Taglay have shed
Nightly their dews upon my head,
And, I believe, the winged strife
And tumult of the headlong air
Have nestled in my very hair.

So late from Heaven—that dew—it fell
(’Mid dreams of an unholy night)
Upon me with the touch of Hell,
While the red flashing of the light
From clouds that hung, like banners, o’er,
Appeared to my half-closing eye
The pageantry of monarchy;
And the deep trumpet-thunder’s roar
Came hurriedly upon me, telling
Of human battle, where my voice,
My own voice, silly child!—was swelling
(O! how my spirit would rejoice,
And leap within me at the cry)
The battle-cry of Victory!

The rain came down upon my head
Unsheltered—and the heavy wind
Rendered me mad and deaf and blind.
It was but man, I thought, who shed
Laurels upon me: and the rush—
The torrent of the chilly air
Gurgled within my ear the crush
Of empires—with the captive’s prayer—
The hum of suitors—and the tone
Of flattery ’round a sovereign’s throne.

My passions, from that hapless hour,
Usurped a tyranny which men
Have deemed since I have reached to power,
My innate nature—be it so:
But, father, there lived one who, then,
Then—in my boyhood—when their fire
Burned with a still intenser glow
(For passion must, with youth, expire)
E’en then who knew this iron heart
In woman’s weakness had a part.

I have no words—alas!—to tell
The loveliness of loving well!
Nor would I now attempt to trace
The more than beauty of a face
Whose lineaments, upon my mind,
Are—shadows on th’ unstable wind:
Thus I remember having dwelt
Some page of early lore upon,
With loitering eye, till I have felt
The letters—with their meaning—melt
To fantasies—with none.

O, she was worthy of all love!
Love as in infancy was mine—
’Twas such as angel minds above
Might envy; her young heart the shrine
On which my every hope and thought
Were incense—then a goodly gift,
For they were childish and upright—
Pure—as her young example taught:
Why did I leave it, and, adrift,
Trust to the fire within, for light?

We grew in age—and love—together—
Roaming the forest, and the wild;
My breast her shield in wintry weather—
And, when the friendly sunshine smiled.
And she would mark the opening skies,
I saw no Heaven—but in her eyes.
Young Love’s first lesson is——the heart:
For ’mid that sunshine, and those smiles,
When, from our little cares apart,
And laughing at her girlish wiles,
I’d throw me on her throbbing breast,
And pour my spirit out in tears—
There was no need to speak the rest—
No need to quiet any fears
Of her—who asked no reason why,
But turned on me her quiet eye!

Yet more than worthy of the love
My spirit struggled with, and strove
When, on the mountain peak, alone,
Ambition lent it a new tone—
I had no being—but in thee:
The world, and all it did contain
In the earth—the air—the sea—
Its joy—its little lot of pain
That was new pleasure—the ideal,
Dim, vanities of dreams by night—
And dimmer nothings which were real—
(Shadows—and a more shadowy light!)
Parted upon their misty wings,
And, so, confusedly, became
Thine image and—a name—a name!
Two separate—yet most intimate things.

I was ambitious—have you known
The passion, father? You have not:
A cottager, I marked a throne
Of half the world as all my own,
And murmured at such lowly lot—
But, just like any other dream,
Upon the vapor of the dew
My own had past, did not the beam
Of beauty which did while it thro’
The minute—the hour—the day—oppress
My mind with double loveliness.

We walked together on the crown
Of a high mountain which looked down
Afar from its proud natural towers
Of rock and forest, on the hills—
The dwindled hills! begirt with bowers
And shouting with a thousand rills.

I spoke to her of power and pride,
But mystically—in such guise
That she might deem it nought beside
The moment’s converse; in her eyes
I read, perhaps too carelessly—
A mingled feeling with my own—
The flush on her bright cheek, to me
Seemed to become a queenly throne
Too well that I should let it be
Light in the wilderness alone.

I wrapped myself in grandeur then,
And donned a visionary crown—
Yet it was not that Fantasy
Had thrown her mantle over me—
But that, among the rabble—men,
Lion ambition is chained down—
And crouches to a keeper’s hand—
Not so in deserts where the grand—
The wild—the terrible conspire
With their own breath to fan his fire.

Look ’round thee now on Samarcand!—
Is she not queen of Earth? her pride
Above all cities? in her hand
Their destinies? in all beside
Of glory which the world hath known
Stands she not nobly and alone?
Falling—her veriest stepping-stone
Shall form the pedestal of a throne—
And who her sovereign? Timour—he
Whom the astonished people saw
Striding o’er empires haughtily
A diademed outlaw!

O, human love! thou spirit given,
On Earth, of all we hope in Heaven!
Which fall’st into the soul like rain
Upon the Siroc-withered plain,
And, failing in thy power to bless,
But leav’st the heart a wilderness!
Idea! which bindest life around
With music of so strange a sound
And beauty of so wild a birth—
Farewell! for I have won the Earth.

When Hope, the eagle that towered, could see
No cliff beyond him in the sky,
His pinions were bent droopingly—
And homeward turned his softened eye.
’Twas sunset: When the sun will part
There comes a sullenness of heart
To him who still would look upon
The glory of the summer sun.
That soul will hate the ev’ning mist
So often lovely, and will list
To the sound of the coming darkness (known
To those whose spirits hearken) as one
Who, in a dream of night, would fly,
But cannot, from a danger nigh.

What tho’ the moon—tho’ the white moon
Shed all the splendor of her noon,
Her smile is chilly—and her beam,
In that time of dreariness, will seem
(So like you gather in your breath)
A portrait taken after death.
And boyhood is a summer sun
Whose waning is the dreariest one—
For all we live to know is known,
And all we seek to keep hath flown—
Let life, then, as the day-flower, fall
With the noon-day beauty—which is all.
I reached my home—my home no more—
For all had flown who made it so.
I passed from out its mossy door,
And, tho’ my tread was soft and low,
A voice came from the threshold stone
Of one whom I had earlier known—
O, I defy thee, Hell, to show
On beds of fire that burn below,
An humbler heart—a deeper woe.

Father, I firmly do believe—
I know—for Death who comes for me
From regions of the blest afar,
Where there is nothing to deceive,
Hath left his iron gate ajar.
And rays of truth you cannot see
Are flashing thro’ Eternity——
I do believe that Eblis hath
A snare in every human path—
Else how, when in the holy grove
I wandered of the idol, Love,—
Who daily scents his snowy wings
With incense of burnt-offerings
From the most unpolluted things,
Whose pleasant bowers are yet so riven
Above with trellised rays from Heaven
No mote may shun—no tiniest fly—
The light’ning of his eagle eye—
How was it that Ambition crept,
Unseen, amid the revels there,
Till growing bold, he laughed and leapt
In the tangles of Love’s very hair!
HTR Stevens Sep 2018
When the starry host shine on high
Like silver glist’ning in the sky,
How exhilaration does flow
Thro’ my veins like the chilly snow!
These soldiers that guard the darkness,
That steal from thieves their happiness,
That spy on lovers’ secrecy
And drift them more to ecstasy,
Will dim away when dawn draws nigh
Without a breath, nor moan, nor sigh.
BOOK I

     Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung above his head
Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
By reason of his fallen divinity
Spreading a shade: the Naiad 'mid her reeds
Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.

     Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went,
No further than to where his feet had stray'd,
And slept there since.  Upon the sodden ground
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed;
While his bow'd head seem'd list'ning to the Earth,
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.

     It seem'd no force could wake him from his place;
But there came one, who with a kindred hand
Touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low
With reverence, though to one who knew it not.
She was a Goddess of the infant world;
By her in stature the tall Amazon
Had stood a pigmy's height: she would have ta'en
Achilles by the hair and bent his neck;
Or with a finger stay'd Ixion's wheel.
Her face was large as that of Memphian sphinx,
Pedestal'd haply in a palace court,
When sages look'd to Egypt for their lore.
But oh! how unlike marble was that face:
How beautiful, if sorrow had not made
Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self.
There was a listening fear in her regard,
As if calamity had but begun;
As if the vanward clouds of evil days
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear
Was with its stored thunder labouring up.
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot
Where beats the human heart, as if just there,
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain:
The other upon Saturn's bended neck
She laid, and to the level of his ear
Leaning with parted lips, some words she spake
In solemn tenor and deep ***** tone:
Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue
Would come in these like accents; O how frail
To that large utterance of the early Gods!
"Saturn, look up!---though wherefore, poor old King?
I have no comfort for thee, no not one:
I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thou?'
For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth
Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God;
And ocean too, with all its solemn noise,
Has from thy sceptre pass'd; and all the air
Is emptied of thine hoary majesty.
Thy thunder, conscious of the new command,
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands
Scorches and burns our once serene domain.
O aching time! O moments big as years!
All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth,
And press it so upon our weary griefs
That unbelief has not a space to breathe.
Saturn, sleep on:---O thoughtless, why did I
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude?
Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes?
Saturn, sleep on! while at thy feet I weep."

     As when, upon a tranced summer-night,
Those green-rob'd senators of mighty woods,
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir,
Save from one gradual solitary gust
Which comes upon the silence, and dies off,
As if the ebbing air had but one wave;
So came these words and went; the while in tears
She touch'd her fair large forehead to the ground,
Just where her fallen hair might be outspread
A soft and silken mat for Saturn's feet.
One moon, with alteration slow, had shed
Her silver seasons four upon the night,
And still these two were postured motionless,
Like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern;
The frozen God still couchant on the earth,
And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet:
Until at length old Saturn lifted up
His faded eyes, and saw his kingdom gone,
And all the gloom and sorrow ofthe place,
And that fair kneeling Goddess; and then spake,
As with a palsied tongue, and while his beard
Shook horrid with such aspen-malady:
"O tender spouse of gold Hyperion,
Thea, I feel thee ere I see thy face;
Look up, and let me see our doom in it;
Look up, and tell me if this feeble shape
Is Saturn's; tell me, if thou hear'st the voice
Of Saturn; tell me, if this wrinkling brow,
Naked and bare of its great diadem,
Peers like the front of Saturn? Who had power
To make me desolate? Whence came the strength?
How was it nurtur'd to such bursting forth,
While Fate seem'd strangled in my nervous grasp?
But it is so; and I am smother'd up,
And buried from all godlike exercise
Of influence benign on planets pale,
Of admonitions to the winds and seas,
Of peaceful sway above man's harvesting,
And all those acts which Deity supreme
Doth ease its heart of love in.---I am gone
Away from my own *****: I have left
My strong identity, my real self,
Somewhere between the throne, and where I sit
Here on this spot of earth. Search, Thea, search!
Open thine eyes eterne, and sphere them round
Upon all space: space starr'd, and lorn of light;
Space region'd with life-air; and barren void;
Spaces of fire, and all the yawn of hell.---
Search, Thea, search! and tell me, if thou seest
A certain shape or shadow, making way
With wings or chariot fierce to repossess
A heaven he lost erewhile: it must---it must
Be of ripe progress---Saturn must be King.
Yes, there must be a golden victory;
There must be Gods thrown down, and trumpets blown
Of triumph calm, and hymns of festival
Upon the gold clouds metropolitan,
Voices of soft proclaim, and silver stir
Of strings in hollow shells; and there shall be
Beautiful things made new, for the surprise
Of the sky-children; I will give command:
Thea! Thea! Thea! where is Saturn?"
This passion lifted him upon his feet,
And made his hands to struggle in the air,
His Druid locks to shake and ooze with sweat,
His eyes to fever out, his voice to cease.
He stood, and heard not Thea's sobbing deep;
A little time, and then again he ******'d
Utterance thus.---"But cannot I create?
Cannot I form? Cannot I fashion forth
Another world, another universe,
To overbear and crumble this to nought?
Where is another Chaos? Where?"---That word
Found way unto Olympus, and made quake
The rebel three.---Thea was startled up,
And in her bearing was a sort of hope,
As thus she quick-voic'd spake, yet full of awe.

     "This cheers our fallen house: come to our friends,
O Saturn! come away, and give them heart;
I know the covert, for thence came I hither."
Thus brief; then with beseeching eyes she went
With backward footing through the shade a space:
He follow'd, and she turn'd to lead the way
Through aged boughs, that yielded like the mist
Which eagles cleave upmounting from their nest.

     Meanwhile in other realms big tears were shed,
More sorrow like to this, and such like woe,
Too huge for mortal tongue or pen of scribe:
The Titans fierce, self-hid, or prison-bound,
Groan'd for the old allegiance once more,
And listen'd in sharp pain for Saturn's voice.
But one of the whole mammoth-brood still kept
His sov'reigny, and rule, and majesy;---
Blazing Hyperion on his orbed fire
Still sat, still *****'d the incense, teeming up
From man to the sun's God: yet unsecure:
For as among us mortals omens drear
Fright and perplex, so also shuddered he---
Not at dog's howl, or gloom-bird's hated screech,
Or the familiar visiting of one
Upon the first toll of his passing-bell,
Or prophesyings of the midnight lamp;
But horrors, portion'd to a giant nerve,
Oft made Hyperion ache.  His palace bright,
Bastion'd with pyramids of glowing gold,
And touch'd with shade of bronzed obelisks,
Glar'd a blood-red through all its thousand courts,
Arches, and domes, and fiery galleries;
And all its curtains of Aurorian clouds
Flush'd angerly: while sometimes eagles' wings,
Unseen before by Gods or wondering men,
Darken'd the place; and neighing steeds were heard
Not heard before by Gods or wondering men.
Also, when he would taste the spicy wreaths
Of incense, breath'd aloft from sacred hills,
Instead of sweets, his ample palate took
Savor of poisonous brass and metal sick:
And so, when harbor'd in the sleepy west,
After the full completion of fair day,---
For rest divine upon exalted couch,
And slumber in the arms of melody,
He pac'd away the pleasant hours of ease
With stride colossal, on from hall to hall;
While far within each aisle and deep recess,
His winged minions in close clusters stood,
Amaz'd and full offear; like anxious men
Who on wide plains gather in panting troops,
When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers.
Even now, while Saturn, rous'd from icy trance,
Went step for step with Thea through the woods,
Hyperion, leaving twilight in the rear,
Came ***** upon the threshold of the west;
Then, as was wont, his palace-door flew ope
In smoothest silence, save what solemn tubes,
Blown by the serious Zephyrs, gave of sweet
And wandering sounds, slow-breathed melodies;
And like a rose in vermeil tint and shape,
In fragrance soft, and coolness to the eye,
That inlet to severe magnificence
Stood full blown, for the God to enter in.

     He enter'd, but he enter'd full of wrath;
His flaming robes stream'd out beyond his heels,
And gave a roar, as if of earthly fire,
That scar'd away the meek ethereal Hours
And made their dove-wings tremble. On he flared
From stately nave to nave, from vault to vault,
Through bowers of fragrant and enwreathed light,
And diamond-paved lustrous long arcades,
Until he reach'd the great main cupola;
There standing fierce beneath, he stampt his foot,
And from the basements deep to the high towers
Jarr'd his own golden region; and before
The quavering thunder thereupon had ceas'd,
His voice leapt out, despite of godlike curb,
To this result: "O dreams of day and night!
O monstrous forms! O effigies of pain!
O spectres busy in a cold, cold gloom!
O lank-eared phantoms of black-weeded pools!
Why do I know ye? why have I seen ye? why
Is my eternal essence thus distraught
To see and to behold these horrors new?
Saturn is fallen, am I too to fall?
Am I to leave this haven of my rest,
This cradle of my glory, this soft clime,
This calm luxuriance of blissful light,
These crystalline pavilions, and pure fanes,
Of all my lucent empire?  It is left
Deserted, void, nor any haunt of mine.
The blaze, the splendor, and the symmetry,
I cannot see but darkness, death, and darkness.
Even here, into my centre of repose,
The shady visions come to domineer,
Insult, and blind, and stifle up my pomp.---
Fall!---No, by Tellus and her briny robes!
Over the fiery frontier of my realms
I will advance a terrible right arm
Shall scare that infant thunderer, rebel Jove,
And bid old Saturn take his throne again."---
He spake, and ceas'd, the while a heavier threat
Held struggle with his throat but came not forth;
For as in theatres of crowded men
Hubbub increases more they call out "Hush!"
So at Hyperion's words the phantoms pale
Bestirr'd themselves, thrice horrible and cold;
And from the mirror'd level where he stood
A mist arose, as from a scummy marsh.
At this, through all his bulk an agony
Crept gradual, from the feet unto the crown,
Like a lithe serpent vast and muscular
Making slow way, with head and neck convuls'd
From over-strained might.  Releas'd, he fled
To the eastern gates, and full six dewy hours
Before the dawn in season due should blush,
He breath'd fierce breath against the sleepy portals,
Clear'd them of heavy vapours, burst them wide
Suddenly on the ocean's chilly streams.
The planet orb of fire, whereon he rode
Each day from east to west the heavens through,
Spun round in sable curtaining of clouds;
Not therefore veiled quite, blindfold, and hid,
But ever and anon the glancing spheres,
Circles, and arcs, and broad-belting colure,
Glow'd through, and wrought upon the muffling dark
Sweet-shaped lightnings from the nadir deep
Up to the zenith,---hieroglyphics old,
Which sages and keen-eyed astrologers
Then living on the earth, with laboring thought
Won from the gaze of many centuries:
Now lost, save what we find on remnants huge
Of stone, or rnarble swart; their import gone,
Their wisdom long since fled.---Two wings this orb
Possess'd for glory, two fair argent wings,
Ever exalted at the God's approach:
And now, from forth the gloom their plumes immense
Rose, one by one, till all outspreaded were;
While still the dazzling globe maintain'd eclipse,
Awaiting for Hyperion's command.
Fain would he have commanded, fain took throne
And bid the day begin, if but for change.
He might not:---No, though a primeval God:
The sacred seasons might not be disturb'd.
Therefore the operations of the dawn
Stay'd in their birth, even as here 'tis told.
Those silver wings expanded sisterly,
Eager to sail their orb; the porches wide
Open'd upon the dusk demesnes of night
And the bright Titan, phrenzied with new woes,
Unus'd to bend, by hard compulsion bent
His spirit to the sorrow of the time;
And all along a dismal rack of clouds,
Upon the boundaries of day and night,
He stretch'd himself in grief and radiance faint.
There as he lay, the Heaven with its stars
Look'd down on him with pity, and the voice
Of Coelus, from the universal space,
Thus whisper'd low and solemn in his ear:
"O brightest of my children dear, earth-born
And sky-engendered, son of mysteries
All unrevealed even to the powers
Which met at thy creating; at whose joys
And palpitations sweet, and pleasures soft,
I, Coelus, wonder, how they came and whence;
And at the fruits thereof what shapes they be,
Distinct, and visible; symbols divine,
Manifestations of that beauteous life
Diffus'd unseen throughout eternal space:
Of these new-form'd art thou, O brightest child!
Of these, thy brethren and the Goddesses!
There is sad feud among ye, and rebellion
Of son against his sire.  I saw him fall,
I saw my first-born tumbled from his throne!
To me his arms were spread, to me his voice
Found way from forth the thunders round his head!
Pale wox I, and in vapours hid my face.
Art thou, too, near such doom? vague fear there is:
For I have seen my sons most unlike Gods.
Divine ye were created, and divine
In sad demeanour, solemn, undisturb'd,
Unruffled, like high Gods, ye liv'd and ruled:
Now I behold in you fear, hope, and wrath;
Actions of rage and passion; even as
I see them, on the mortal world beneath,
In men who die.---This is the grief, O son!
Sad sign of ruin, sudden dismay, and fall!
Yet do thou strive; as thou art capable,
As thou canst move about, an evident God;
And canst oppose to each malignant hour
Ethereal presence:---I am but a voice;
My life is but the life of winds and tides,
No more than winds and tides can I avail:---
But thou canst.---Be thou therefore in the van
Of circumstance; yea, seize the arrow's barb
Before the tense string murmur.---To the earth!
For there thou wilt find Saturn, and his woes.
Meantime I will keep watch on thy bright sun,
And of thy seasons be a careful nurse."---
Ere half this region-whisper had come down,
Hyperion arose, and on the stars
Lifted his curved lids, and kept them wide
Until it ceas'd; and still he kept them wide:
And still they were the same bright, patient stars.
Then with a slow incline of his broad breast,
Like to a diver in the pearly seas,
Forward he stoop'd over the airy shore,
And plung'd all noiseless into the deep night.

BOOK II

Just at the self-same beat of Time's wide wings
Hyperion slid into the rustled air,
And Saturn gain'd with Thea that sad place
Where Cybele and the bruised Titans mourn'd.
It was a den where no insulting light
Could glimmer on their tears; where their own groans
They felt, but heard not, for the solid roar
Of thunderous waterfalls and torrents hoarse,
Pouring a constant bulk, uncertain where.
Crag jutting forth to crag, and rocks that seem'd
Ever as if just rising from a sleep,
Forehead to forehead held their monstrous horns;
And thus in thousand hugest phantasies
Made a fit roofing to this nest of woe.
Instead of thrones, hard flint they sat upon,
Couches of rugged stone, and slaty ridge
Stubborn'd with iron.  All were not assembled:
Some chain'd in torture, and some wandering.
Caus, and Gyges, and Briareus,
Ty
In vain to me the smiling mornings shine,
And redd’ning Phoebus lifts his golden fire:
The birds in vain their amorous descant join;
Or cheerful fields resume their green attire:
These ears, alas! for other notes repine,
A different object do these eyes require:
My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine;
And in my breast the imperfect joys expire.
Yet morning smiles the busy race to cheer,
And new-born pleasure brings to happier men:
The fields to all their wonted tribute bear;
To warm their little loves the birds complain:
I fruitless mourn to him that cannot hear,
And weep the more, because I weep in vain.
I feeleth so anxious as the fleshy winds outside,
Invisible as their turquoise screams, I feeleth like everything is just not right;
Ah, but how if even all later suns shan't be fair,
And t'is passivity shan't ever be bound to fade?
For my soul declares-t'at he, it wants not any more to care;
And about thee only, it wants to be quiet, yet witty still-like yon pale lovesick summer glade;
I want to attach myself to our captivated hours right now;
With thee in my lap, and thy gentle whispers-as today shall be replaced by tomorrow.
I want to dream of thee once more tonight, o sweet Nikolaas;
My darling at present and from the future, whilst my only dearest, from the past.
Ah, sweetheart, why are but our subsequent hours-and perhaps paths, to suffer;
If thou art not by my side, and maketh not all t'is terseness better?
Ah, and wouldst it ever make sense any longer;
To live by him-but without thee, wouldst it but make my wild heart easier?
For censure is to which my answer, and is hatred-for I cannot help loving thee more;
I wanteth to love, and age-by thee, and by thee only, within my most passionate core,
And I wanteth not to understand anything-for comprehension shall but renew our last sorrow;
I wanteth instead-to renew t'is despaired wholeness, and its proven compassion-our love has once made nature show.

I still wanteth to remain quiet; to cherish and glitter within my wholesome devotion;
But which duly keepest me sober, and maketh my doubled heart tremble not;
Calmeth me, calmeth me with thy kisses-so enormous and tasty, like a quiet can of little soda;
Maketh me accursed, petty, and corny-maketh me thy lands' most dreaded infanta.
Tease me like I am a quivering little darling, who cannot but tries shyly still-to sing;
With a coarse voice descended from sunlight, where the worst are joy, and lovingly mean everything.
Maketh me honest, and tempteth me deeper and more;
Until I sighest and flittest myself away, with agility like never before.
Consumeth my greed-and with it, drinkest away its all befallen vitality;
For I knoweth thou shalt restore me, and reneweth all my endeavoured weaponry.
Ah, Nikolaas, how sweet doth feel t'ese blessings, by thy very side!
Nikolaas, Nikolaas, my lover-my sweet husband, from whom my hungry soul canst never hide!
Oh, and darling, Amsterdam might be cold, and plastered with one slippery tantrum;
But thou art still too comely to me-with those familiar eyes like a poem;
A poem t'at my very heart owns, and is graciously fat'd to be thine;
And thine only-for as I danceth later-in my princess' frock, I knoweth t'at thou art mine.
Ah, but fear thou not-for shall I protect thee like t'is;
I shall slander thy rival west and east, I shall degrade t'em all to'a yawning beast!
And upon my victory be I at ease-and finely grateful;
On which truth shall spring, and maketh our love venerated-and more fruitful!
Ah, just like I had b'fore-how canst kissing thee be extremely pleasant,
Even whenst he be t'ere, or perhaps-be the one concerned?
I hath to admit, t'at 'tis thee-and not him, I so dearly want;
Thee who hath painted my love, and made everything cross but all fun;
Thee whose disguise is my airs, and who hath ceaselessly promised to be fair,
Thee whom I'th dreamt of t' be my lifelong prince, with whom I wish to be paired,
Thee whose recitations lift my heart upwards, and my delight proud;
Thee whose poems hath I crafted, and oftentimes recited sensibly, out loud.

Ah, t'at devil-who told us t'at our joys cannot be real;
For they are not at all virtuous-nor by any chance, vigorous?
Ah, fear not those human serpents, darling, whose mouths are moth-like-bloodless but who canst ****;
For to God they are mortal still, and to His eyes whose jokes are not fun, nor humorous;
And thus we shall be together, as we indeed already are;
For our delight is not to be altered-no longer, as dwells already, in our heart;
We shall come back to it soon, as tonight's full moon smilingly starts;
And exalt it as wint'r comes-dear winter, as perhaps only be it, one few months' far;
Ah, and be I then, crush all t'is impatient longing, and sorely missed affection;
And vanquish all the way, t'is all omnipotent sin-of having loved only, a severe affliction;
Oh, but under whose guidance, Amsterdam shall embark again, and smile upon us;
And lift our tosses of joys, into the lapses of its sweet thunders, fast!
Ah, Nikolaas, shall we thus be together, under the wings of Amsterdam's rainbow;
To which endings shan't even once appear; as guilt be then dead-and is not to show;
The only left opus of love be ours to sing, as heaven is-so benevolent;
Betray us not, with fruits of indifference-much less once of one malice, and gay impediment;
And our happiness shall be pure-and entangled, like a pair of newborn twins;
To which our fantasies are finally correct, and thus its affixed lust-shall no more be a sin.

Such love and lust-whose fidelities shall be our abode;
But by whose words-delusions shall never arrive, and thus be put aside;
Novelties shall be fine, and their definitions shall be lovely;
They shall twitch not-for a simple moment of starched felicity!
Oh my darling, I needst to come and visit my wealthy Amsterdam;
With authenticity now I entreat: myself, myself, ah, run there-whenst stop doth time!
For as we embarketh, no more worrisome medleys shall they come again, to bring;
And to no more sonata, shall they retort-nor so adversely, and dishonestly, sing.
Ah, Nikolaas, the stars are now obediently looking down at us;
Jealous of our shimmering love, which is the lush garden's yonder, giddy beaut;
Ah, who is shy to its own mirror, and oft' looks away so fast;
But needst not to swerve, factually, for 'tis, on its really own-has but very much truth!
But still, whose hastiness maketh it succumb-and even more bashful then the sky;
Ah, as if those pastimes of its ****** soul are always about-and be termed but as a single lie!
For it shall never happen, to it-who owns our midnight hours-with one promise to be skirted away too fast;
With not even a single pause, nor a second of rest-while it passes?
Ah love, our very love; its circular stains, nevertheless, as left hurriedly-too massive to resist;
For they giveth taste to our plain moonlight-and thick'ning flavours to our kiss;
So at our first night of gaiety thereof-we won't be hunger for earning too much bliss!
Ah, Nikolaas, all shall be perfect-for felicity is no longer on our part-to miss,
And t'is part of our earthly journey shall feel, defiantly like heaven!
I shall be thine-and claim no more my thine self as his;
In thee doth I find my salvation, my fancy dome-and my most studious cavern!
All which, certainly-is his not; all which shall be ripe, and thus fragrant-like a rose perfume;
And by whose spell-we shall be love itself, and even be loved-within the walls of our private haven;
And even then, we shall love each other more-as be cradled in each other's arms; and lost like this, in such a league of harmonious poems.

Amsterdam shan't be rigorous, it shall be all fair,
Its notions are curious, like these but entrancing summer days;
Thinking of which is but a sweat-but a bead of sweat for which I most care,
Which is neither dreadful nor boastful, as I devour it avidly, amongst t'is poem I'm 'bout to say!
And t' mindfulness of which, I shall no more hastily rid of;
I was too dreary back then, crudely foreshadowed by a crippled love!
'Twas my mistake-my supposedly most punished, punished mistake;
For faking a love I ought not t've ever made, and one I ought not t' ever take!
A mere dream I hath now fiercely pushed away;
And from which I hath now returned, to my most precious loyalty,
As thou knoweth-thou hath never wholly, and so freely-left me,
Thou art all too genuine, and pristine, like yon silvery river-as I oft' picture thee.
Ah, so t'at is all true; t'at thou art my most gracious, and unswept loving angel,
A prince of royalty, and my very, very own nighttime spell.
Just like thou hath done hundreds of time, thou maketh me but delight and mischief;
And notions t'at bubble within my most, giving me charms and comfort-for me to continue to live!
Together, our lips shall be warm-and no more joy shall be left naked;
Soon as there are more tears, we shall throttle and fairly feast on it;
Making it all but remotely conscious, and forcibly-but sensibly, deluded;
Making it writhe away impaired, and its all possible soul awesomely flattened!
Ah, Nikolaas, thou shalt be the mere charm t'at leaves my odes too fabulous-by thy wit,
Oh, my darling, for thou art so sweet; o, Nikolaas, I really hath only my words, to play with!

And guess what, my darling, heaven shall but gift us nobly, all too soon;
An heir shall we claim; as descendeth one day beneath the excited full moon.
For he shall be born into our naughtiest perusal;
And demand our affection excitedly, as time is long, as arrives winter-from last fall!
Soft is his hair, clutched in his skin-so bare and naive;
He shall be our triumph, and a farther everyday desire, to continue to live!
And we shall consider him our undefined, yet a priceless fortune;
Light as the night, at times singular but cheery-like the sketch of a fine moon.
And portray in us both the loveliness of a million words;
He shall be handsome, just like our love-which is damp but funny, in whose two brilliant worlds!
Oh, my darling, I now looketh forward to my heavenly Amsterdam;
Whose prettiness shall be thoughtful, as I thinketh of it-from time to time.
Ah, thus-when all finally happeneth, I shall know thou art worth the whole entity of my thousand longings;
Thou art the miracle t'at I hath decently prayed for-and thus fathomably, the very sweet soul-of my everything.
When biting Boreas, fell and doure,
Sharp shivers thro’ the leafless bow’r;
When Phœbus gies a short-liv’d glow’r,
      Far south the lift,
Dim-dark’ning thro’ the flaky show’r,
      Or whirling drift:

Ae night the storm the steeples rocked,
Poor Labour sweet in sleep was locked,
While burns, wi’ snawy wreeths upchoked,
      Wild-eddying swirl,
Or thro’ the mining outlet bocked,
      Down headlong hurl.

List’ning, the doors an’ winnocks rattle,
I thought me on the ourie cattle,
Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle
      O’ winter war,
And thro’ the drift, deep-lairing, sprattle,
      Beneath a scar.

Ilk happing bird, wee, helpless thing!
That, in the merry months o’ spring,
Delighted me to hear thee sing,
      What comes o’ thee?
Whare wilt thou cow’r thy chittering wing
      An’ close thy e’e?

Ev’n you on murd’ring errands toil’d,
Lone from your savage homes exil’d,
The blood-stain’d roost, and sheep-cote spoil’d
      My heart forgets,
While pityless the tempest wild
      Sore on you beats.
Pretty rich girl, softly dreaming, 
a woman is so newly waking
no use at all for dad’s financing, 
consumed by flesh that is desiring 
of wanton flows that force such rousing
to be taken far from here for using 
by men unfazed by city counting.

Then sudden blackness o’erwhelming, 
all sound and vision swiftly clouding
strong arms unseen and grasping 
to sweep her off her feet and making
sense of ropes around her tight’ning, 
with her arms together jerking
forcing back to ankles spreading
with ballgag muffled screaming 
she should now be strongly fighting 
instead there is a wild arousing.

Stripping cutting all that’s hiding 
until she’s held quite naked finding
that there’s a hood that’s closing 
round her head and isolating
from any sense of air that’s cooling
and rampant need that’s now arising
she feels excitement in so being
where she feels no fear abiding.

Put down hard after easy lifting
a lid above her slamming
the sound of engine starting 
spinning wheels now are speeding 
bound in dark she’s left a-lieing 
with mouth that gives no screaming
instead a wet arousal finding 
knowing of her inner needing.

****** rising almost blinding 
fighting, writhing, needing tying 
her tortured form now pounding
forcing every sinew twisting
with such unsought pleasure giving 
this wanton **** who has such thinking
of brutal taking and ill using
by men she should be hating.

How could juices start their flowing 
as crude hands began their probing 
carrying to places far unknowing.
Rough voices talking of their doing, 
arguing ransoms for demanding
then finding her with wet arousing 
cruel laughing at her needing
until there comes a sweet dividing 
of her eager self though darkening
roughly forcing them by wanting 
that she is newly there for taking
captors now in forced confronting.

There can now be no disguising 
that this is life not fantasizing 
these coarse brutes so crudely using
think they’re forcing her submitting 
now she wants them by satisfying 
her every silent wanton needing 
of each to feed obscene desiring.

An iron bed prepared for keeping 
till the time of ransom paying 
fully tight is now her strapping
legs apart, wide spreadeagling
ignoring all her protests mewling 
but her bucking body thrusting 
makes her needing so enticing
till they give her what she’s wanting.

There is now for each unseen taking
a welcoming and wet demanding 
so there can be no inflicting 
that but which is urgent wanting
opening each hole for filling 
not once or twice but oft repeating
taking turns in fully using 
till they are all quite lost in spending.

With captive bound there’s no sating 
screaming begging ne’er abating 
always there is more demanding 
screaming all despite her gagging
each time her body hits climaxing
fighting , dragging now and forcing 
wearied jailers for more pleasuring
ignoring all their worn protesting
incessant in her primal wanting
who is using whom in this not knowing
when captors should be really scaring
but they have never known such needing
standing round and jointly fearing
of chewing less than was their biting
with this nymphomaniac in bareing.

Words in anger, muffled voicing 
some with reason in conferring
then a quick release of bindings 
a body hot for blanket wrapping 
with a fiesty female grappling
cursing now her wild desiring
yet unstilled with needy struggling
tossed in the car for rapid driving 
some miles back by unknown routing
while in the trunk much banging
till on daddy’s doorstep dumping 
ransom now in quick forgetting
as captors with relief escaping
while pretty rich girl leans back smiling
anticipating her next kidnapping.


From my Francesca Anderssen Poetry collection: **** Verse (Amazon)
I have written novels and verse about the interaction between lovers, and consensual activities that form the rich tapestry of living and loving between people who care about each other.

I Hope you like my thoughts.
Tell me if you do---or don't.
Criticism is my lifeblood
The complete book of **** Verse by  Francesca Anderssen (101 ***** poems) is on Amazon in kindle and paperback,

together with my ****** **** novel "Need". also available on amazon
Ben Ryan Jul 2012
Her footsteps sounded
In a time unbounded
By pain
And worry
And woe.

The day carried on
Until she was drawn
By lust.
Innocence
Destroyed.

A serpent made sure
The lovely and pure
Woman
Would return
To dust.

The cobbled red stone
Lays low as her throne
The earth
Reclaims the
Beauty.

Eve’ning colors shined
But mankind is blind
To beats
And dances
Of old times.
This poem was written in conjunction with a canvas and oil painting by L.M. Ryan.

— The End —