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ULTIMATE LIBRARY – danse macabre, ex libris, grimm & co, fairy tales, art of reading, tales of mystery & imagination, sherlock holmes theatre, erotic poetry, ideal women

· The Gambler Wife by Andrew D. Kaufman · Karl Leberecht Immermann: Münchhausen. Eine geschichte in arabesken · Leonieke Baerwaldt: Hier komen wij vandaan · Richard Ovenden: Burning the books. A history of knowledge under attack · Clara Doty Bates: Little Red Riding-Hood · Bayard Taylor: A Funeral Thought · Clara Doty Bates: Blue Beard · Clara Doty Bates: Cinderella · The Sleeping Princess by Clara Doty Bates · Jack And Jill by Clara Doty Bates · William Blake: To Tirzah · Wilhelm Hauff: Grabgesang, Gedicht

»» there is more...

The Gambler Wife by Andrew D. Kaufman

A revelatory new portrait of the courageous woman who saved Dostoyevsky’s life—and became a pioneer in Russian literary history

In the fall of 1866, a twenty-year-old stenographer named Anna Snitkina applied for a position with a writer she idolized: Fyodor Dostoyevsky. A self-described “emancipated girl of the sixties,” Snitkina had come of age during Russia’s first feminist movement, and Dostoyevsky—a notorious radical turned acclaimed novelist—had impressed the young woman with his enlightened and visionary fiction.

Yet in person she found the writer “terribly unhappy, broken, tormented,” weakened by epilepsy, and yoked to a ruinous gambling addiction. Alarmed by his condition, Anna became his trusted first reader and confidante, then his wife, and finally his business manager—launching one of literature’s most turbulent and fascinating marriages.

The Gambler Wife offers a fresh and captivating portrait of Anna Dostoyevskaya, who reversed the novelist’s freefall and cleared the way for two of the most notable careers in Russian letters—her husband’s and her own. Drawing on diaries, letters, and other little-known archival sources, Andrew Kaufman reveals how Anna warded off creditors, family members, and her greatest romantic rival, keeping the young family afloat through years of penury and exile.

In a series of dramatic set pieces, we watch as she navigates the writer’s self-destructive binges in the casinos of Europe—even hazarding an audacious turn at roulette herself—until his addiction is conquered. And, finally, we watch as Anna frees her husband from predatory contracts by founding her own publishing house, making Anna the first solo female publisher in Russian history.

The result is a story that challenges ideas of empowerment, sacrifice, and female agency in nineteenth-century Russia—and a welcome new appraisal of an indomitable woman whose legacy has been nearly lost to literary history.

Andrew D. Kaufman is an associate professor, General Faculty, lecturer in Slavic Languages and Literatures, and assistant director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Virginia. A PhD in Slavic languages and literatures from Stanford University, Kaufman is the author of Give War and Peace a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times and Understanding Tolstoy, and a coauthor of Russian for Dummies. His work has been featured on Today, NPR, and PBS, and in The Washington Post, and he has served as a Russian literature expert for Oprah’s Book Club. Kaufman is the creator of Books Behind Bars, introducing incarcerated youth to the writings of Dostoyevsky and other authors.

The Gambler Wife:
A True Story of Love, Risk,
and the Woman Who Saved Dostoyevsky
by Andrew D. Kaufman
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/31/2021
Hardcover
Pages: 400
ISBN-13: 9780525537144
$30.00

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More in: #Biography Archives, - Book News, - Book Stories, Archive K-L, Art & Literature News, The Ideal Woman


Karl Leberecht Immermann: Münchhausen. Eine geschichte in arabesken

Die »Münchhausiade« von Karl Leberecht Immermann steht in einer langen Tradition: Sie ist die groteske Variante der Ur-Münchhausen-Legende aus dem 18. Jahrhundert, die von den Kriegs-, Jagd- und Reiseabenteuern des volkstümlichen Freiherrn von Münchhausen auf Bodenwerder fabuliert.

Immermann verwandelt die phantastischen Legenden des berühmten »Lügenbarons« zu einer in der deutschen Literatur bis dahin unbekannten Form des Romans: zeithistorisch, gesellschaftskritisch, komisch und scharf-satirisch, eine anspielungsreiche, schillernde Verbindung aus Zeit- und Kulturkritik. Immermanns Münchhausen erneuert den Roman seiner Zeit und ist eines der bedeutendsten epischen Werke der deutschen Literatur.

Karl Leberecht Immermann, heute fast vergessen, nimmt Abschied vom Bildungs- und Erziehungsroman der klassischen und romantischen Literatur. 1838/39 erschienen und nicht nur von Heinrich Heine bewundert, ist sein origineller Münchhausen eine virtuos verschlungene »Geschichte in Arabesken«.

Bei Immermann ist Münchhausen ein »Erzwindbeutel«, ein »Cäsar der Lügen« und ein »Don Juan der Erfindung « – einer, der in seinem Tun und Erzählen die Wahrheit beansprucht und den Leser, angesprochen und immer wieder ins Geschehen einbezogen, zur Wahrheitsfindung auffordert. Laurence Sternes komischer Roman Tristram Shandy ist dabei das große, vom Erzähler herbeizitierte Vorbild.

Münchhausen ist zugleich ein Doppelroman, der auch vom »Oberhof«, einem reichen westfälischen Gutshof, und vom Kosmos der damaligen ländlichen Lebenswelt erzählt; im Zentrum der »Hofschulze« und ein »Jäger Oswald« – die Gegenwelt zur verfallenden Welt des Adels, in der der Münchhausen-Enkel und sein Diener Karl Buttervogel vor dem Herrn von »Schloss Schnick-Schnack-Schnurr«, vor Tochter und Dorfschulmeister schwadronieren. Eingebunden wird das ausschweifende Geschehen in eine Ehe- und Liebesgeschichte, erzählt werden die ineinander verschlungenen Welten in einem Zeitraum von wenigen Wochen.

Und was bedeutet es, wenn Immermann von einer »Geschichte in Arabesken« spricht? »… wer dabei den Verstand behalten will, der muss einen weniger geordneten Kopf haben, als ich leider besitze. Herr von Münchhausen beginnen zu erzählen; dann fangen wieder andere Personen an, in diesen Erzählungen zu erzählen; wenn man nicht schleunigst Einhalt tut, so geraten wir wahrhaftig in eine Untiefe des Erzählens hinein, worin unser Verstand notwendig Schiffbruch leiden muss. Bei den Frauen, die mit Schachteln handeln, stecken oft vierundzwanzig ineinander …«

Karl Leberecht Immermann (1796–1840) studierte Rechtswissenschaft, pflegte literarische Interessen, nahm an den napoleonischen Kriegen teil und wurde 1818 Gerichtsreferendar in Magdeburg. In dieser Zeit schreibt er seine ersten Dramen, es folgen ein Roman, Gedichte und Trauerspiele. Als Landgerichtsrat geht er nach Düsseldorf und übernimmt die Leitung des Düsseldorfer Theaters. 1836 erscheinen Die Epigonen. Familienmemoiren in neun Büchern und 1838/39 Münchhausen. Eine Geschichte in Arabesken.

Karl Leberecht Immermann
Münchhausen.
Eine Geschichte in Arabesken
2021
Seitenanzahl: 852
Originalausgaben
Bandnummer: 435
Mit ausführlichen Anmerkungen und einem Nachwort von Tilman Spreckelsen. Originalausgabe, nummeriert und limitiert, Sondernummer zum Sonderpreis. Fadenheftung mit Lesebändchen, Dünndruckpapier. Umschlaggestaltung: Ute Henkel, Berlin
ISBN: 9783847704355
52,00 EUR

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More in: - Book Lovers, - Book Stories, Archive I-J, Münchhausen, Tales of Mystery & Imagination


Leonieke Baerwaldt: Hier komen wij vandaan

Een vader is een man die kinderen verwekt,’ antwoordde je toen ik er eens naar vroeg.

‘Wie heeft mij dan verwekt?’ wilde ik weten. Je pakte me bij mijn kin en keek me indringend aan.

‘We zijn niet op zoek naar een vader,’ zei je. ‘We zijn op zoek naar een prins.’

 

Hier komen wij vandaan –
Leonieke Baerwaldt

Een moeder en dochter leiden een zwervend bestaan, een fabrieksarbeider droomt erover een tropische-vissenwinkel te beginnen, twee geliefden besluiten samen een huis te bouwen en de kleine zeemeermin wordt geconfronteerd met de harde werkelijkheid.

In dit verhaal over diermensen en mensdieren vinden de sprookjes van Andersen en Grimm hun eigentijdse weerklank. Hier komen wij vandaan is een intens en bijzonder debuut van een verrassende nieuwe stem in de literatuur.

Auteur: Leonieke Baerwaldt
Titel: Hier komen wij vandaan
Vorm Paperback
Uitgever Querido
Druk 1e
Verschenen 24-08-2021
Taal Nederlands
Pagina’s 224 pp.
Genre Literaire fictie
NUR: 301
ISBN 9789021421278
Prijs: € 20,00

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More in: - Book News, - Book Stories, Archive A-B, Grimm, Andersen e.o.: Fables, Fairy Tales & Stories, Tales of Mystery & Imagination


Richard Ovenden: Burning the books. A history of knowledge under attack

The director of the famed Bodleian Libraries at Oxford narrates the global history of the willful destruction―and surprising survival―of recorded knowledge over the past three millennia.

Libraries and archives have been attacked since ancient times but have been especially threatened in the modern era. Today the knowledge they safeguard faces purposeful destruction and willful neglect; deprived of funding, libraries are fighting for their very existence. Burning the Books recounts the history that brought us to this point.

Richard Ovenden describes the deliberate destruction of knowledge held in libraries and archives from ancient Alexandria to contemporary Sarajevo, from smashed Assyrian tablets in Iraq to the destroyed immigration documents of the UK Windrush generation. He examines both the motivations for these acts―political, religious, and cultural―and the broader themes that shape this history. He also looks at attempts to prevent and mitigate attacks on knowledge, exploring the efforts of librarians and archivists to preserve information, often risking their own lives in the process.

More than simply repositories for knowledge, libraries and archives inspire and inform citizens. In preserving notions of statehood recorded in such historical documents as the Declaration of Independence, libraries support the state itself. By preserving records of citizenship and records of the rights of citizens as enshrined in legal documents such as the Magna Carta and the decisions of the US Supreme Court, they support the rule of law. In Burning the Books, Ovenden takes a polemical stance on the social and political importance of the conservation and protection of knowledge, challenging governments in particular, but also society as a whole, to improve public policy and funding for these essential institutions.

Richard Ovenden
Burning the books. A history of knowledge under attack
Publisher: ‎ Belknap Press
An Imprint of Harvard University Press
November 17, 2020
Language: ‎English
Hardcover
320 pages
ISBN-10: ‎ 0674241207
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0674241206
$29.95

Burning the Books is available internationally through the following publishers:
US: Harvard UP
German: Surhkamp
Italian: Solferino
Spanish: Editorial Critica
Arabic: Arab Scientific Publishers

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More in: - Book Lovers, - Book News, - Book Stories, Archive O-P, Libraries in Literature


Clara Doty Bates: Little Red Riding-Hood

Little Red Riding-Hood

If you listen, children, I will tell
The story of little Red Riding-hood:
Such wonderful, wonderful things befell
Her and her grandmother, old and good
(So old she was never very well),
Who lived in a cottage in a wood.

Little Red Riding-hood, every day,
Whatever the weather, shine or storm,
To see her grandmother tripped away,
With a scarlet hood to keep her warm,
And a little mantle, soft and gay,
And a basket of goodies on her arm.

A pat of butter, and cakes of cheese,
Were stored in the napkin, nice and neat;
As she danced along beneath the trees,
As light as a shadow were her feet;
And she hummed such tunes as the bumble-bees
Hum when the clover-tops are sweet.

But an ugly wolf by chance espied
The child, and marked her for his prize.
“What are you carrying there?” he cried;
“Is it some fresh-baked cakes and pies?”
And he walked along close by her side,
And sniffed and rolled his hungry eyes.

“A basket of things for granny, it is,”
She answered brightly, without fear.
“Oh, I know her very well, sweet miss!
Two roads branch towards her cottage here;
You go that way, and I’ll go this.
See which will get there first, my dear!”

He fled to the cottage, swift and sly;
Rapped softly, with a dreadful grin.
“Who’s there?” asked granny. “Only I!”
Piping his voice up high and thin.
“Pull the string, and the latch will fly!”
Old granny said; and he went in.

 

He glared her over from foot to head;
In a second more the thing was done!
He gobbled her up, and merely said,
“She wasn’t a very tender one!”
And then he jumped into the bed,
And put her sack and night-cap on.

And he heard soft footsteps presently,
And then on the door a timid rap;
He knew Red Riding-hood was shy,
So he answered faintly to the tap:
“Pull the string and the latch will fly!”
She did: and granny, in her night-cap,

Lay covered almost up to her nose.
“Oh, granny dear!” she cried, “are you worse?”
“I’m all of a shiver, even to my toes!
Please won’t you be my little nurse,
And snug up tight here under the clothes?”
Red Riding-hood answered, “Yes,” of course.

Her innocent head on the pillow laid,
She spied great pricked-up, hairy ears,
And a fierce great mouth, wide open spread,
And green eyes, filled with wicked leers;
And all of a sudden she grew afraid;
Yet she softly asked, in spite of her fears:

“Oh, granny! what makes your ears so big?”
“To hear you with! to hear you with!”
“Oh, granny! what make your eyes so big?”
“To see you with! to see you with!”
“Oh, granny! what makes your teeth so big?”
“To eat you with! to eat you with!”

And he sprang to swallow her up alive;
But it chanced a woodman from the wood,
Hearing her shriek, rushed, with his knife,
And drenched the wolf in his own blood.
And in that way he saved the life
Of pretty little Red Riding-hood.

Hark, hark
The dogs do bark
Beggars are coming to town;
Some in jags,
Some in rags,
And some in velvet gowns.

Clara Doty Bates
(1838 – 1895)
Little Red Riding-Hood
Versified by Mrs. Clara Doty Bates

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More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Children's Poetry, Grimm, Andersen e.o.: Fables, Fairy Tales & Stories, Tales of Mystery & Imagination


Bayard Taylor: A Funeral Thought

 

A Funeral Thought

I
When the stern Genius, to whose hollow tramp
Echo the startled chambers of the soul.
Waves his inverted torch o’er that pale camp
Where the archangel’s final trumpets roll,
I would not meet him in the chamber dim,
Hushed, and pervaded with a name-less fear,
When the breath flutters and the senses swim,
And the dread hour is near.

II
Though Love’s dear arms might clasp me fondly then
As if to keep the Summoner at bay,
And woman’s woe and the calm grief of men
Hallow at last the chill, unbreathing clay —
These are Earth’s fetters, and the soul would shrink,
Thus bound, from Darkness and the dread Unknown,
Stretching its arms from Death’s eternal brink,
Which it must dare alone.

III
But in the awful silence of the sky,
Upon some mountain summit, yet untrod,
Through the blue ether would I climb, to die
Afar from mortals and alone with God!
To the pure keeping of the stainless air
Would I resign my faint and fluttering breath,
And with the rapture of an answered prayer
Receive the kiss of Death.

IV
Then to the elements my frame would turn;
No worms should riot on my coffined clay,
But the cold limbs, from that sepulchral urn,
In the slow storms of ages waste away.
Loud winds and thunder’s diapason high
Should be my requiem through the coming time,
And the white summit, fading in the sky,
My monument sublime.

Bayard Taylor
(1825 – 1878)
A Funeral Thought

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Clara Doty Bates: Blue Beard

Blue Beard

Once on a time there was a man so hideous and ugly
That little children shrank and tried to hide when he appeared;
His eyes were fierce and prominent, his long hair stiff like bristles,
His stature was enormous, and he wore a long blue beard–
He took his name from that through all the country round about him,–
And whispered tales of dreadful deeds but helped to make him feared.

Yet he was rich, O! very rich; his home was in a castle,
Whose turrets darkened on the sky, so grand and black and bold
That like a thunder-cloud it looked upon the blue horizon.Blue Beard
He had fertile lands and parks and towns
and hunting-grounds and gold,
And tapestries a queen might covet, statues, pictures, jewels,
While his servants numbered hundreds,
and his wines were rare and old.

Now near to this old Blue-beard’s castle lived a lady neighbor,
Who had two daughters, beautiful as lilies on a stem;
And he asked that one of them be given him in marriage–
He did not care which one it was, but left the choice to them.
But, oh, the terror that they felt, their efforts to evade him,
With careless art, with coquetry, with wile and stratagem!

He saw their high young spirits scorned him, yet he meant to conquer.
He planned a visit for them,–or, ’twas rather one long fête;
And to charming guests and lovely feasts, to music and to dancing,
Swung wide upon its hinges grim the gloomy castle gate.
And, sure enough, before a week was ended, blinded, dazzled,
The youngest maiden whispered “yes,” and yielded to her fate.

And so she wedded Blue-beard–like a wise and wily spider
He had lured into his web the wished-for, silly little fly!
And, before the honeymoon was gone, one day he stood beside her,
And with oily words of sorrow, but with evil in his eye,
Said his business for a month or more would call him to a distance,
And he must leave her–sorry to–but then, she must not cry!

He bade her have her friends, as many as she liked, about her,
And handed her a jingling bunch of something, saying, “These
Will open vaults and cellars and the heavy iron boxes
Where all my gold and jewels are, or any door you please.
Go where you like, do what you will, one single thing excepted!”
And here he look a little key from out the bunch of keys.

“This will unlock the closet at the end of the long passage,
But that you must not enter! I forbid it!”–and he frowned.
So she promised that she would not, and he went upon his journey.
And no sooner was he gone than all her merry friends around
Came to visit her, and made the dim old corridors and chambers
With their silken dresses whisper, with laugh and song resound.

Up and down the oaken stairways flitted dainty-footed ladies,
Lighting up the shadowy twilight with the lustre of their bloom;
Like the varied sunlight streaming through an old cathedral window
Went their brightness glancing through the unaccustomed gloom,
But Blue-beard’s wife was restless, and a strong desire possessed her
Through it all to get a single peep at that forbidden room.

And so one day she slipped away from all her guests, unnoted,
Down through the lower passage, till she reached the fatal door,
Put in the key and turned the lock, and gently pushed it open–
But, oh the horrid sight that met her eyes! Upon the floor
There were blood-stains dark and dreadful,
and like dresses in a wardrobe,
There were women hung up by their hair, and dripping in their gore!

Then, at once, upon her mind the unknown fate that had befallen
The other wives of Blue-beard flashed–’twas now no mystery!
She started back as cold as icicles, as white as ashes,
And upon the clammy floor her trembling fingers dropped the key.
She caught it up, she whirled the bolt to, shut the sight behind her,
And like a startled deer at sound of hunter’s gun, fled she!

She reached her room with gasping breath,–behold, another terror!
Upon the key within her hand; she saw a ghastly stain;
She rubbed it with her handkerchief, she washed in soap and water,

She scoured it with sand and stone, but all was done in vain!
For when one side, by dint of work, grew bright, upon the other
(It was bewitched, you know,) came out that ugly spot again!

And then, unlooked-for, who should come
next morning, bright and early,
But old Blue-beard himself who hadn’t been away a week!
He kissed his wife, and, after a brief pause, said, smiling blandly:
“I’d like my keys, my dear.” He saw a tear upon her cheek,
And guessed the truth. She gave him all
but one. He scowled and grumbled:
“I want the key to the small room!”
Poor thing, she could not speak!

He saw at once the stain it bore while she turned pale and paler,
“You’ve been where I forbade you! Now you shall go there to stay!
Prepare yourself to die at once!” he cried. The frightened lady
Could only fall before him pleading: “Give me time to pray!”
Just fifteen minutes by the clock he granted. To her chamber
She fled, but stopped to call her sister Anne by the way.

 

“O, sister Anne, go to the tower and watch!” she cried, “Our brothers
Were coming here to-day, and I have got to die!
Oh, fly, and if you see them, wave a signal! Hasten! hasten!”
And Anne went flying like a bird up to the tower high.
“Oh, Anne, sister Anne, do you see anybody coming?”
Called the praying lady up the tower-stairs with piteous cry.

“Oh Anne, sister Anne, do you see anybody coming?”
“I see the burning sun,” she answered, “and the waving grass!”
Meanwhile old Blue-beard down below was whetting up his cutlass,
And shouting: “Come down quick, or I’ll come after you, my lass!”
“One little minute more to pray, one minute more!” she pleaded–
To hope how slow the minutes are, to dread how swift they pass!

“Oh Anne, sister Anne, do you see anybody coming?”
She answered: “Yes I see a cloud of dust that moves this way.”
“Is it our brothers, Anne?” implored the lady. “No, my sister,
It is a flock of sheep.” Here Blue-beard thundered out: “I say,
Come down or I’ll come after you!” Again the only answer:
“Oh, just one little minute more,–one minute more to pray!”

“Oh, Anne, sister Anne, do you see anybody coming?”
“I see two horsemen riding, but they yet are very far!”
She waved them with her handkerchief; it bade them, “hasten, hasten!”
Then Blue-beard stamped his foot so hard
it made the whole house jar;
And, rushing up to where his wife knelt, swung his glittering cutlass,
As Indians do a tomahawk, and shrieked: “How slow you are!”

Just then, without, was heard the beat of hoofs upon the pavement,
The doors flew back, the marble floors rang to a hurried tread.
Two horsemen, with their swords in hand,
came storming up the stairway,
And with one swoop of their good swords
they cut off Blue-beard’s head!
Down fell his cruel arm, the heavy cutlass falling with it,
And, instead of its old, ugly blue, his beard was bloody red!

Of course, the tyrant dead, his wife had all his vast possessions;
She gave her sister Anne a dower to marry where she would;
The brothers were rewarded with commissions in the army;
And as for Blue-beard’s wife, she did exactly as she should,–
She wore no weeds, she shed no tears; but very shortly after
Married a man as fair to look at as his heart was good.

Clara Doty Bates
(1838 – 1895)
Blue Beard

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Children's Poetry, Grimm, Andersen e.o.: Fables, Fairy Tales & Stories


Clara Doty Bates: Cinderella

Cinderella

Poor, pretty little thing she was,
The sweetest-faced of girls,
With eyes as blue as larkspurs,
And a mass of tossing curls;
But her step-mother had for her
Only blows and bitter words,
While she thought her own two ugly crows,
The whitest of all birds.

She was the little household drudge,
And wore a cotton gown,
While the sisters, clad in silk and satin,
Flaunted through the town.
When her work was done, her only place
Was the chimney-corner bench.
For which one called her “Cinderella,”
The other, “Cinder-wench.”

But years went on, and Cinderella
Bloomed like a wild-wood rose,
In spite of all her kitchen-work,
And her common, dingy clothes;
While the two step-sisters, year by year,
Grew scrawnier and plainer;
Two peacocks, with their tails outspread,
Were never any vainer.

One day they got a note, a pink,
Sweet-scented, crested one,
Which was an invitation
To a ball, from the king’s son.
Oh, then poor Cinderella
Had to starch, and iron, and plait,
And run of errands, frill and crimp,
And ruffle, early and late.

And when the ball-night came at last,
She helped to paint their faces,
To lace their satin shoes, and deck
Them up with flowers and laces;
Then watched their coach roll grandly
Out of sight; and, after that,
She sat down by the chimney,
In the cinders, with the cat,

And sobbed as if her heart would break.
Hot tears were on her lashes,
Her little hands got black with soot,
Her feet begrimed with ashes,
When right before her, on the hearth,
She knew not how nor why,
A little odd old woman stood,
And said, “Why do you cry?”

“It is so very lonely here,”
Poor Cinderella said,
And sobbed again. The little odd
Old woman bobbed her head,
And laughed a merry kind of laugh,
And whispered, “Is that all?
Wouldn’t my little Cinderella
Like to go to the ball?

“Run to the garden, then, and fetch
A pumpkin, large and nice;
Go to the pantry shelf, and from
The mouse-traps get the mice;
Rats you will find in the rat-trap;
And, from the watering-pot,
Or from under the big, flat garden stone,
Six lizards must be got.”

Nimble as crickets in the grass
She ran, till it was done,
And then God-mother stretched her wand
And touched them every one.
The pumpkin changed into a coach,
Which glittered as it rolled,
And the mice became six horses,
With harnesses of gold.

One rat a herald was, to blow
A trumpet in advance,
And the first blast that he sounded
Made the horses plunge and prance;
And the lizards were made footmen,
Because they were so spry;
And the old rat-coachman on the box
Wore jeweled livery.

And then on Cinderella’s dress
The magic wand was laid,
And straight the dingy gown became
A glistening gold brocade.
The gems that shone upon her fingers
Nothing could surpass;
And on her dainty little feet
Were slippers made of glass.

“Be sure you get back here, my dear,
At twelve o’clock at night,”
Godmother said, and in a twinkling
She was out of sight.
When Cinderella reached the ball,
And entered at the door,
So beautiful a lady
None had ever seen before.

The Prince his admiration showed
In every word and glance;
He led her out to supper,
And he chose her for the dance;
But she kept in mind the warning
That her Godmother had given,
And left the ball, with all its charm.
At just half after eleven.

Next night there was another ball;
She helped her sisters twain
To pinch their waists, and curl their hair,
And paint their cheeks again.
Then came the fairy Godmother,
And, with her wand, once more
Arrayed her out in greater splendor
Even than before.

The coach and six, with gay outriders,
Bore her through the street,
And a crowd was gathered round to look,
The lady was so sweet,–
So light of heart, and face, and mien,
As happy children are;
And when her foot stepped down,
Her slipper twinkled like a star.

Again the Prince chose only her
For waltz or tete-a-tete;
So swift the minutes flew she did not
Dream it could be late,
But all at once, remembering
What her Godmother had said,
And hearing twelve begin to strike
Upon the clock, she fled.

Swift as a swallow on the wing
She darted, but, alas!
Dropped from one flying foot the tiny
Slipper made of glass;
But she got away, and well it was
She did, for in a trice
Her coach changed to a pumpkin,
And her horses became mice;

And back into the cinder dress
Was changed the gold brocade!
The prince secured the slipper,
And this proclamation made:
That the country should be searched,
And any lady, far or wide,
Who could get the slipper on her foot,
Should straightway be his bride.

So every lady tried it,
With her “Mys!” and “Ahs!” and “Ohs!”
And Cinderella’s sisters pared
Their heels, and pared their toes,–
But all in vain! Nobody’s foot
Was small enough for it,
Till Cinderella tried it,
And it was a perfect fit.

Then the royal heralds hardly
Knew what it was best to do,
When from out her tattered pocket
Forth she drew the other shoe,
While the eyelids on the larkspur eyes
Dropped down a snowy vail,
And the sisters turned from pale to red,
And then from red to pale,

And in hateful anger cried, and stormed,
And scolded, and all that,
And a courtier, without thinking,
Tittered out behind his hat.
For here was all the evidence
The Prince had asked, complete,
Two little slippers made of glass,
Fitting two little feet.

So the Prince, with all his retinue,
Came there to claim his wife;
And he promised he would love her
With devotion all his life.
At the marriage there was splendid
Music, dancing, wedding cake;
And he kept the slipper as a treasure
Ever, for her sake.

Clara Doty Bates
(1838 – 1895)
Cinderella
Versified by Mrs. Clara Doty Bates

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Children's Poetry, CLASSIC POETRY, Grimm, Andersen e.o.: Fables, Fairy Tales & Stories, Tales of Mystery & Imagination


The Sleeping Princess by Clara Doty Bates

The Sleeping Princess

The ringing bells and the booming cannon
Proclaimed on a summer morn
That in the good king’s royal palace
A Princess had been born.

The towers flung out their brightest banners,
The ships their streamers gay,
And every one, from lord to peasant,
Made joyful holiday.

Great plans for feasting and merry-making
Were made by the happy king;
And, to bring good fortune, seven fairies
Were bid to the christening.

And for them the king had seven dishes
Made out of the best red gold,
Set thickly round on the sides and covers
With jewels of price untold.

When the day of the christening came, the bugles
Blew forth their shrillest notes;
Drums throbbed, and endless lines of soldiers
Filed past in scarlet coats.

And the fairies were there the king had bidden,
Bearing their gifts of good–
But right in the midst a strange old woman
Surly and scowling stood.

They knew her to be the old, old fairy,
All nose and eyes and ears,
Who had not peeped, till now, from her dungeon
For more than fifty years.

Angry she was to have been forgotten
Where others were guests, and to find
That neither a seat nor a dish at the banquet
To her had been assigned.

Now came the hour for the gift-bestowing;
And the fairy first in place
Touched with her wand the child and gave her
“Beauty of form and face!”

Fairy the second bade, “Be witty!”
The third said, “Never fail!”
The fourth, “Dance well!” and the fifth, “O Princess,
Sing like the nightingale!”

The sixth gave, “Joy in the heart forever!”
But before the seventh could speak,
The crooked, black old Dame came forward,
And, tapping the baby’s cheek,

“You shall prick your finger upon a spindle,
And die of it!” she cried.
All trembling were the lords and ladies,
And the king and queen beside.

But the seventh fairy interrupted,
“Do not tremble nor weep!
That cruel curse I can change and soften,
And instead of death give sleep!

“But the sleep, though I do my best and kindest,
Must last for an hundred years!”
On the king’s stern face was a dreadful pallor,
In the eyes of the queen were tears.

“Yet after the hundred years are vanished,”–
The fairy added beside,–
“A Prince of a noble line shall find her,
And take her for his bride.”

But the king, with a hope to change the future,
Proclaimed this law to be:
That, if in all the land there was kept one spindle,
Sure death was the penalty.

The Princess grew, from her very cradle
Lovely and witty and good;
And at last, in the course of years, had blossomed
Into full sweet maidenhood.

And one day, in her father’s summer palace,
As blithe as the very air,
She climbed to the top of the highest turret,
Over an old worn stair

And there in the dusky cobwebbed garret,
Where dimly the daylight shone,
A little, doleful, hunch-backed woman
Sat spinning all alone.

“O Goody,” she cried, “what are you doing?”
“Why, spinning, you little dunce!”
The Princess laughed: “‘Tis so very funny,
Pray let me try it once!”

With a careless touch, from the hand of Goody
She caught the half-spun thread,
And the fatal spindle pricked her finger!
Down fell she as if dead!

And Goody shrieking, the frightened courtiers
Climbed up the old worn stair
Only to find, in heavy slumber,
The Princess lying there.

They bore her down to a lofty chamber,
They robed her in her best,
And on a couch of gold and purple
They laid her for her rest,

The roses upon her cheek still blooming,
And the red still on her lips,
While the lids of her eyes, like night-shut lilies,
Were closed in white eclipse.

Then the fairy who strove her fate to alter
From the dismal doom of death,
Now that the vital hour impended,
Came hurrying in a breath.

And then about the slumbering palace
The fairy made up-spring
A wood so heavy and dense that never
Could enter a living thing.

And there for a century the Princess
Lay in a trance so deep
That neither the roar of winds nor thunder
Could rouse her from her sleep.

Then at last one day, past the long-enchanted
Old wood, rode a new king’s son,
Who, catching a glimpse of a royal turret
Above the forest dun

Felt in his heart a strange wish for exploring
The thorny and briery place,
And, lo, a path through the deepest thicket
Opened before his face!

On, on he went, till he spied a terrace,
And further a sleeping guard,
And rows of soldiers upon their carbines
Leaning, and snoring hard.

Up the broad steps! The doors swung backward!
The wide halls heard no tread!
But a lofty chamber, opening, showed him
A gold and purple bed.

And there in her beauty, warm and glowing,
The enchanted Princess lay!
While only a word from his lips was needed
To drive her sleep away.

He spoke the word, and the spell was scattered,
The enchantment broken through!
The lady woke. “Dear Prince,” she murmured,
“How long I have waited for you!”

Then at once the whole great slumbering palace
Was wakened and all astir;
Yet the Prince, in joy at the Sleeping Beauty,
Could only look at her.

She was the bride who for years an hundred
Had waited for him to come,
And now that the hour was here to claim her,
Should eyes or tongue be dumb?

The Princess blushed at his royal wooing,
Bowed “yes” with her lovely head,
And the chaplain, yawning, but very lively,
Came in and they were wed!

But about the dress of the happy Princess,
I have my woman’s fears–
It must have grown somewhat old-fashioned
In the course of so many years!

Clara Doty Bates
(1838 – 1895)
The Sleeping Princess
Versified by Mrs. Clara Doty Bates

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Children's Poetry, CLASSIC POETRY, Grimm, Andersen e.o.: Fables, Fairy Tales & Stories, Tales of Mystery & Imagination


Jack And Jill by Clara Doty Bates

Jack And Jill

Little boys, sit still–
Girls, too, if you will–
And let me tell you of Jack and Jill;
For I think another
Such sister and brother
Were never the children of one mother!

For an idle lad,
As he was, Jack had
No traits, after all, that were very bad.
He, was simply Jack,
With the coat on his back
Patched up in all colors from gray to black.

Both feet were bare;
And I do declare
That he never washed his face; and his hair
Was the color of straw–
You never saw
Such a crop–as long as the moral law!

When he went to school,
It was the rule
(Though ’twas hard to say he was really a fool)
To send him at once,
So thick was his sconce,
To the block that was kept for the greatest dunce.

And Jill! no lass
Scarce ever has
Made bigger tracks on the country grass;
For her only fun
Was to romp and run,
Bare-headed, bare-footed, in wind and sun.

Wherever went Jack,
Close on his track,
With hair unbraided and down her back,
Loud-voiced and shrill,
She followed, until
No one said “Jack” without saying “Jill.”

But to succeed
In teaching to read
Such a harum-scarum, was work indeed!
And I’m forced to tell
That her way to spell
Her name was with only a single ‘l.’

Yet they were content.
One day they were sent
To the hill for water, and they went.
They did not drown,
But Jack fell down,
With a pail in his hand, and broke his crown!

And Jill, who must go
And always do
Exactly as Jack did, tumbled too!
Just think, if you will,
How they rolled down hill–
Straw-headed Jack and bare-footed Jill!

But up Jack got,
And home did trot,
Nor cared whether Jill was hurt or not;
While his poor bruised knob
Did burn and throb,
Tear falling on tear, sob following sob!

He could run the faster,
So a paper plaster
Had bound up the sight of his disaster
Before Jill came;
And the thoughtful dame,
For a break in her head, had fixed the same.

But Jill came in,
With a saucy grin
At seeing the plight poor Jack was in;
And when she saw
That bundle of straw
(His hair) bound up with a cloth, and his jaw

Tied up in white,
The comical sight
Made her clap her hands and laugh outright!
The dame, perplexed
And dreadfully vexed,
Got a stick and said, “I’ll whip her next!”

How many blows fell
I will not tell,
But she did it in earnest, she did it well,
Till the naughty back
Was blue and black,
And Jill needed a plaster as much as Jack!

The next time, though,
Jack has to go
To the hill for water, I almost know
That bothering Jill
Will go up the hill,
And if he falls again, why, of course she will!

Clara Doty Bates
(1838 – 1895)
Jack And Jill
Versified by Mrs. Clara Doty Bates

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Children's Poetry, CLASSIC POETRY, Grimm, Andersen e.o.: Fables, Fairy Tales & Stories, Tales of Mystery & Imagination


William Blake: To Tirzah

 

To Tirzah

Whate’er is born of mortal birth
Must be consumed with the earth,
To rise from generation free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

The sexes sprang from shame and pride,
Blown in the morn, in evening died;
But mercy changed death into sleep;
The sexes rose to work and weep.

Thou, mother of my mortal part,
With cruelty didst mould my heart,
And with false self-deceiving tears
Didst bind my nostrils, eyes, and ears,

Didst close my tongue in senseless clay,
And me to mortal life betray.
The death of Jesus set me free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

William Blake
(1757 – 1827)
To Tirzah

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More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Blake, William, Tales of Mystery & Imagination


Wilhelm Hauff: Grabgesang, Gedicht

Grabgesang

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

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


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