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· Mrs. Sigourne: Birds of Grace · Helen Leah Reed: Serbia · Charles Baudelaire: Le Vin de l’assassin · Friedrich Hölderlin: Da ich ein Knabe war… · Wilhelm Hauff: Grabgesang, Gedicht · Mary Gardiner Horsford: Madeline. A Legend Of The Mohawk · Digby Mackworth Dolben: After reading Aeschylus · Mrs. Sigourne: Lincoln · Charles Baudelaire: Le Revenant · Joan Murray: Lullaby (poem) · Bert Bevers: De losprijs van de wederkeer · Mary Gardiner Horsford: The Poet’s Lesson

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Mrs. Sigourne: Birds of Grace

Birds of Grace

O little birds of grace,
To-day ye sweetly sing,
Yea, make my heart your nesting-place,
And all your gladness bring.

When ye are in my heart,
How swiftly pass the days!
The fears and doubts of life depart,
And leave their room to praise.

My work I find as play,
And all day long rejoice;
But, if I linger on my way,
I hear this warning voice:

_With fervor work and pray,
And let not coldness come,
Or birds of grace will fly away
To seek a warmer home_.

Mrs. Sigourne
(Lydia Huntley Sigourney,
1791 – 1865)
Birds of Grace

• magazine

More in: Archive S-T, Archive S-T, CLASSIC POETRY

Helen Leah Reed: Serbia



Serbia, valiant daughter of the Ages,
Happiness and light should be thy portion!
Yet thy day is dimmed, thine heart is heavy;
Long hast thou endured–a little longer
Bear thy burden, for a fair to-morrow
Soon will gleam upon thy flower-spread valleys,
Soon will brighten all thy shadowy mountains;
Soon will sparkle on thy foaming torrents
Rushing toward the world beyond thy rivers.
Bulgar, Turk and Magyar long assailed thee.
Now the Teuton’s cruel hand is on thee
Though he break thy heart and rack thy body,
‘Tis not his to crush thy lofty spirit.
Serbia cannot die. She lives immortal,
Serbia–all thy loyal men bring comfort
Fighting, fighting, and thy far-flung banner
Blazons to the world thy high endeavor,
–This thy strife for brotherhood and freedom–
Like an air-free bird unknowing bondage,
Soaring far from carnage, smoke and tumult,
Serbia–thy soul shall live forever!
Serbia, undaunted is, immortal!

Helen Leah Reed

• magazine

More in: #More Poetry Archives, Archive Q-R, Archive Q-R

Charles Baudelaire: Le Vin de l’assassin


Le Vin de l’assassin

Ma femme est morte, je suis libre!
Je puis donc boire tout mon soûl.
Lorsque je rentrais sans un sou,
Ses cris me déchiraient la fibre.

Autant qu’un roi je suis heureux;
L’air est pur, le ciel admirable…
Nous avions un été semblable
Lorsque j’en devins amoureux!

L’horrible soif qui me déchire
Aurait besoin pour s’assouvir
D’autant de vin qu’en peut tenir
Son tombeau; — ce n’est pas peu dire:

Je l’ai jetée au fond d’un puits,
Et j’ai même poussé sur elle
Tous les pavés de la margelle.
— Je l’oublierai si je le puis!

Au nom des serments de tendresse,
Dont rien ne peut nous délier,
Et pour nous réconcilier
Comme au beau temps de notre ivresse,

J’implorai d’elle un rendez-vous,
Le soir, sur une route obscure.
Elle y vint — folle créature!
Nous sommes tous plus ou moins fous!

Elle était encore jolie,
Quoique bien fatiguée! et moi,
Je l’aimais trop! voilà pourquoi
Je lui dis: Sors de cette vie!

Nul ne peut me comprendre. Un seul
Parmi ces ivrognes stupides
Songea-t-il dans ses nuits morbides
À faire du vin un linceul?

Cette crapule invulnérable
Comme les machines de fer
Jamais, ni l’été ni l’hiver,
N’a connu l’amour véritable,

Avec ses noirs enchantements,
Son cortège infernal d’alarmes,
Ses fioles de poison, ses larmes,
Ses bruits de chaîne et d’ossements!

— Me voilà libre et solitaire!
Je serai ce soir ivre mort;
Alors, sans peur et sans remords,
Je me coucherai sur la terre,

Et je dormirai comme un chien!
Le chariot aux lourdes roues
Chargé de pierres et de boues,
Le wagon enragé peut bien

Ecraser ma tête coupable
Ou me couper par le milieu,
Je m’en moque comme de Dieu,
Du Diable ou de la Sainte Table!

Charles Baudelaire
Le Vin de l’assassin

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More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Baudelaire, Baudelaire, Charles

Friedrich Hölderlin: Da ich ein Knabe war…

Da ich ein Knabe war…

Da ich ein Knabe war,
Rettet′ ein Gott mich oft
Vom Geschrei und der Ruthe der Menschen,
Da spielt′ ich sicher und gut
Mit den Blumen des Hains,
Und die Lüftchen des Himmels
Spielten mit mir.

Und wie du das Herz
Der Pflanzen erfreust,
Wenn sie entgegen dir
Die zarten Arme streken,

So hast du mein Herz erfreut
Vater Helios! und, wie Endymion,
War ich dein Liebling,
Heilige Luna!

Oh all ihr treuen
Freundlichen Götter!
Daß ihr wüßtet,
Wie euch meine Seele geliebt!

Zwar damals rieff ich noch nicht
Euch mit Nahmen, auch ihr
Nanntet mich nie, wie die Menschen sich nennen
Als kennten sie sich.

Doch kannt′ ich euch besser,
Als ich je die Menschen gekannt,
Ich verstand die Stille des Aethers
Der Menschen Worte verstand ich nie.

Mich erzog der Wohllaut
Des säuselnden Hains
Und lieben lernt′ ich
Unter den Blumen.

Im Arme der Götter wuchs ich groß.

Friedrich Hölderlin
(1770 – 1843)
Da ich ein Knabe war…


• magazine

More in: Archive G-H, Archive G-H, Hölderlin, Friedrich

Wilhelm Hauff: Grabgesang, Gedicht


Vor des Friedhofs dunkler Pforte
Bleiben Leid und Schmerzen stehn,
Dringen nicht zum heil’gen Orte,
Wo die sel’gen Geister gehn,
Wo nach heißer Tage Glut
Unser Freund in Frieden ruht.

Zu des Himmels Wolkentoren
Schwang die Seele sich hinan,
Fern von Schmerzen, neu geboren,
Geht sie auf — die Sternenbahn;
Auch vor jenen heil’gen Höhn
Bleiben Leid und Schmerzen stehn.

Sehnsucht gießet ihre Zähren
Auf den Hügel, wo er ruht;
Doch ein Hauch aus jenen Sphären
Füllt das Herz mit neuem Mut;
Nicht zur Gruft hinab — hinan,
Aufwärts ging des Freundes Bahn.

Drum auf des Gesanges Schwingen
Steigen wir zu ihm empor,
Unsre Trauertöne dringen
Aufwärts zu der Sel’gen Chor,
Tragen ihm in stille Ruh’
Unsre letzten Grüße zu.

Wilhelm Hauff
(1802 – 1827)
Grabgesang, Gedicht

• magazine

More in: Archive G-H, Archive G-H, Galerie des Morts, Hauff, Hauff, Wilhelm, Tales of Mystery & Imagination

Mary Gardiner Horsford: Madeline. A Legend Of The Mohawk


Madeline. A Legend Of The Mohawk

Where the waters of the Mohawk
Through a quiet valley glide,
From the brown church to her dwelling
She that morning passed a bride.
In the mild light of October
Beautiful the forest stood,
As the temple on Mount Zion
When God filled its solitude.

Very quietly the red leaves,
On the languid zephyr’s breath,
Fluttered to the mossy hillocks
Where their sisters slept in death:
And the white mist of the Autumn
Hung o’er mountain-top and dale,
Soft and filmy, as the foldings
Of the passing bridal veil.

From the field of Saratoga
At the last night’s eventide,
Rode the groom, – a gallant soldier
Flushed with victory and pride,
Seeking, as a priceless guerdon
From the dark-eyed Madeline,
Leave to lead her to the altar
When the morrow’s sun should shine.

All the children of the village,
Decked with garland’s white and red,
All the young men and the maidens,
Had been forth to see her wed;
And the aged people, seated
In the doorways ‘neath the vine,
Thought of their own youth and blessed her,
As she left the house divine.

Pale she was, but very lovely,
With a brow so calm and fair,
When she passed, the benediction
Seemed still falling on the air.
Strangers whispered they had never
Seen who could with her compare,
And the maidens looked with envy
On her wealth of raven hair.

In the glen beside the river
In the shadow of the wood,
With wide-open doors for welcome
Gamble-roofed the cottage stood;
Where the festal board was waiting,
For the bridal guests prepared,
Laden with a feast, the humblest
In the little village shared.

Every hour was winged with gladness
While the sun went down the west,
Till the chiming of the church-bell
Told to all the hour for rest:
Then the merry guests departed,
Some a camp’s rude couch to bide,
Some to bright homes, – each invoking
Blessings on the gentle bride.

Tranquilly the morning sunbeam
Over field and hamlet stole,
Wove a glory round each red leaf,
Then effaced the Frost-king’s scroll:
Eyes responded to its greeting
As a lake’s still waters shine,
Young hearts bounded, – and a gay group
Sought the home of Madeline.

Bird-like voices ‘neath the casement
Chanted in the hazy air,
A sweet orison for wakening, –
Half thanksgiving and half prayer.
But no white hand drew the curtain
From the vine-clad panes before,
No light form, with buoyant footstep,
Hastened to fling wide the door.

Moments numbered hours in passing
‘Mid that silence, till a fear
Of some unseen ill crept slowly
Through the trembling minstrels near,
Then with many a dark foreboding,
They, the threshold hastened o’er,
Paused not where a stain of crimson
Curdled on the oaken floor;

But sought out the bridal chamber.
God in Heaven! could it be
Madeline who knelt before them
In that trance of agony?
Cold, inanimate beside her,
By the ruthless Cow-boys slain
In the night-time whilst defenceless,
He she loved so well was lain;

O’er her bridal dress were scattered,
Stains of fearful, fearful dye,
And the soul’s light beamed no longer
From her tearless, vacant eye.
Round her slight form hung the tresses
Braided oft with pride and care,
Silvered by that night of madness
With its anguish and despair.

She lived on to see the roses
Of another summer wane,
But the light of reason never
Shone in her sweet eyes again.
Once where blue and sparkling waters
Through a quiet valley run,
Fertilizing field and garden,
Wandered I at set of sun;

Twilight as a silver shadow
O’er the softened landscape lay,
When amid a straggling village
Paused I in my rambling way.
Plain and brown the church before me
In the little graveyard stood,
And the laborer’s axe resounded
Faintly, from the neighboring wood.

Through the low, half-open wicket
Deeply worn, a pathway led:
Silently I paced its windings
Till I stood among the dead.
Passing by the grave memorials
Of departed worth and fame,
Long I paused before a record
That no pomp of words could claim:

Simple was the slab and lowly,
Shaded by a fragrant vine,
And the single name recorded,
Plainly writ, was “Madeline.”
But beneath it through the clusters
Of the jessamine I read,
“Spes,” engraved in bolder letters, –
This was all the marble said.

Mary Gardiner Horsford
Madeline. A Legend Of The Mohawk

• magazine

More in: Archive G-H, Archive G-H, CLASSIC POETRY, Western Fiction

Digby Mackworth Dolben: After reading Aeschylus


After reading Aeschylus

I will not sing my little puny songs.
It is more blessed for the rippling pool
To be absorbed in the great ocean-wave
Than even to kiss the sea-weeds on its breast.
Therefore in passiveness I will lie still,
And let the multitudinous music of the Greek
Pass into me, till I am musical.

Digby Mackworth Dolben
(1848 – 1867)
After reading Aeschylus

• magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Archive C-D, Digby Mackworth Dolben

Mrs. Sigourne: Lincoln


God placed on Lincoln’s brow
A sad, majestic crown;
All enmity is friendship now,
And martyrdom renown.

A mighty-hearted man,
He toiled at Freedom’s side,
And lived, as only heroes can,
The truth in which he died.

Like Moses, eyes so dim,
All signs he could not spell;
Yet he endured, as seeing Him
Who is invisible.

His life was under One
“Who made and loveth all;”
And when his mighty work was done,
How grand his coronal!

Mrs. Sigourne
(Lydia Huntley Sigourney,
1791 – 1865)

• magazine

More in: Archive S-T, Archive S-T, CLASSIC POETRY

Charles Baudelaire: Le Revenant


Le Revenant

Comme les anges à l’oeil fauve,
Je reviendrai dans ton alcôve
Et vers toi glisserai sans bruit
Avec les ombres de la nuit;

Et je te donnerai, ma brune,
Des baisers froids comme la lune
Et des caresses de serpent
Autour d’une fosse rampant.

Quand viendra le matin livide,
Tu trouveras ma place vide,
Où jusqu’au soir il fera froid.

Comme d’autres par la tendresse,
Sur ta vie et sur ta jeunesse,
Moi, je veux régner par l’effroi.

Charles Baudelaire
Le Revenant

• magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Baudelaire, Baudelaire, Charles

Joan Murray: Lullaby (poem)



Sleep, little architect. It is your mother’s wish
That you should lave your eyes and hang them up in dreams.
Into the lowest sea swims the great sperm fish.
If I should rock you, the whole world would rock within my arms.

Your father is a greater architect than even you.
His structure falls between high Venus and far Mars.
He rubs the magic of the old and then peers through
The blueprint where lies the night, the plan the stars.

You will place mountains too, when you are grown.
The grass will not be so insignificant, the stone so dead.
You will spiral up the mansions we have sown.
Drop your lids, little architect. Admit the bats of wisdom into your head.

Joan Murray
Poems 1917-1942
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975

• magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Archive M-N, Joan Murray

Bert Bevers: De losprijs van de wederkeer


De losprijs van de wederkeer

Kruis en anker is het denken, hartsgrondig als
de eenzaamheid van eerstelingen. Nooit vergeten
die dat bouwen op de trouw van tijd maar al
te vaak verglijdt naar lusteloosheid. Passanten

blikken op naar ramen die niet ontsloten worden.
Daarachter mogen van onwil scherpe sporen
worden gewist. Primipara’s snikken er van vreugde
en pijn. In de plooien van hun klanken wankelt het

contrapunt. Nu moet je maar wachten of iemand
in ootmoed herboren de losprijs van de wederkeer
herkent. Nu moet je maar beter gewoon wachten.
Want geluk is meer dan blij zijn met je ademen.

Wreed is hij die nimmer weent.

Bert Bevers
De losprijs van de wederkeer
(Eerder verschenen in Eigen terrein – Gedichten 1998-2013,
Uitgeverij WEL, Bergen op Zoom, 2013)

• magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Bevers, Bert

Mary Gardiner Horsford: The Poet’s Lesson


The Poet’s Lesson

There came a voice from the realm of thought,
And my spirit bowed to hear,–
A voice with majestic sadness fraught,
By the grace of God most clear.

A mighty tone from the solemn Past,
Outliving the Poet-lyre,
Borne down on the rush of Time’s fitful blast.
Like the cloven tongues of fire.

Wouldst thou fashion the song, O! Poet-heart,
For a mission high and free?
The drama of Life, in its every part,
Must a living poem be.

Wouldst thou speed the knight to the battle-field,
In a proven suit of mail?
On the world’s highway, with Faith’s broad shield,
The peril go forth to hail.

For the noble soul, there is noble strife,
And the sons of earth attain,
Through the wild turmoil and storm of Life,
To discipline, through pain.

Think not that Poesy liveth alone,
In the flow of measured rhyme;
The noble deed with a mightier tone
Shall sound through latest time.

Then poems two, at each upward flight,
In glorious measure fill;
Be the Poem in words, one of beauty and might,
But the Life one, loftier still.

Mary Gardiner Horsford
The Poet’s Lesson.

• magazine

More in: Archive G-H, Archive G-H, CLASSIC POETRY

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