Monday, November 30, 2015

JOSEPH CAMPBELL 1879-1944


-o0o-

THE OLD WOMAN

As a white candle
In a holy place
So is the beauty
Of an aged face. 
As the spent radiance
Of the winter sun,
So is a woman
With her travail done,
Her brood gone from her,
And her thoughts as still
As the waters
Under a ruined mill. 

This Irish poet and lyricist wrote under the Gaelic form of his name Soesamh MacCathmhaoil. He is now remembered particularly for words he supplied for original tunes.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

EDGAR A. GUEST 1881-1959


-o0o-

IT COULDN'T BE DONE

Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That maybe it couldn't, but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried, he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that -
At least no one ever has done it."
But he took off his coat and took off his hat
And the first thing he knew he'd begun it.

With the lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle right in with a bit of a grin,
Then take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That cannot be done, and you'll do it.

Edgar Albert Guest was an English-born American poet whose works were very popular in the first half of the 20th century. For many years he hosted a Detroit radio show and later had an NBC television series. He became known as The People's Poet.

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THOMAS HARDY 1840-1928


-o0o-

THE MARKET GIRL  

Nobody took any notice of her as she stood on the causey kerb*,
All eager to sell her honey and apples and bunches of garden herb;
And if she had offered to give her wares and herself with them too that day,
I doubt if a soul would have cared to take a bargain so choice away.

But chancing to trace her sunburnt grace that morning as I passed nigh,
I went and I said "Poor maidy dear! - and will none of the people buy?"
And so it began; and soon we knew what the end of it all must be,
And I found that, though no others had bid, a prize had been won by me.

*causey - a paved pathway

Thomas Hardy was one of the outstanding poets and novelists in the literary history of Britain. Many younger writers visited him; their number included W.B. Yeats, Siegfried Sassoon, Virginia Woolf and Ezra Pound with whom he had many discussions about poetry.


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Friday, November 27, 2015

JOHN MASEFIELD 1878-1967


-o0o-

ON EASTNOR KNOLL 

Silent are the woods, and the dim green boughs are 
Hushed in the twilight: yonder, in the path through 
The apple orchard, is a tired plough-boy 
Calling the cows home.

A bright white star blinks, the pale moon rounds, but 
Still the red, lurid wreckage of the sunset 
Smoulders in smoky fire, and burns on 
The misty hill-tops.

Ghostly it grows, and darker, the burning 
Fades into smoke, and now the gusty oaks are 
A silent army of phantoms thronging 
A land of shadows.

This English poet and writer was the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death. His poems include Sea Fever from Salt Water Ballads (1902) and Cargoes from Ballads (1903)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

JOHN CLARE 1793-1864


-o0o-

THE WINDOW FLIES*

These little window dwellers, in cottages and halls, were always
entertaining to me; after dancing in the window all day from sunrise
to sunset they would sip of the tea, drink of the beer, and eat of the
sugar, and be welcome all summer long. They look like things of mind
or fairies, and seem pleased or dull as the weather permits. In many
clean cottages and genteel houses, they are allowed every liberty to
creep, fly, or do as they like; and seldom or ever do wrong. In fact
they are the small or dwarfish portion of our own family, and so many
fairy familiars that we know and treat as one of ourselves.

*These few lines are not what most of us would call "poetry." However, I think the piece is well worth being included here - John

The son of a farm labourer, this English poet is now considered to be among the most important poets of the 19th century. His biographer Jonathan Bate says that he was "the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced."
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
Anon 18th century

A friend of mine was married to a scold,
To me he came and all his troubles told.
Said he, “She’s like a woman raving mad.”
“Alas, my friend” said I, “that’s very bad.”
“No, not so bad,” said he, “for with her, true,
I had both house and land, and money too.”

“That was well,” said I;
“No, not so well,” said he;
“For I and her own brother
Went to law with one another;
I was cast, the suit was lost,
And every penny went to pay the cost.”

“That was bad,” said I;
“No, not so bad,” said he;
“For we agreed that I the house should keep,
And give to me four score of Yorkshire sheep,
All fat and fine and fair, they were to be.”
“Well then,” said I, “sure that was well for thee?”

“No, not so well,” said he,
“For though the sheep I got, every one died of the rot.”
“That was bad,” said I;
“No, not so bad,” said he,
“For I had thought to scrape the fat,
And keep it in an oaken vat,
Then into tallow melt for winter store.”
“Well then,” said I, “That’s better than before.”

“Twas not so well,” said he,
“For having got a clumsy fellow
To scrape the fat and melt the tallow,
Into the melting fat the fire catches,
And, like brimstone matches,
Burnt my house to ashes.
“That WAS bad,” said I;
“No, not so bad,” said he, “for what is best,
My scolding wife got burnt up with the rest!”

-o=0=o-

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

LANGSTON HUGHES 1902-67


-o0o-

AS I GREW OLDER

It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun -
My dream.
And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky -
The wall.
Shadow.
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My hands! 
My dark hands! 
Break through the wall! 
Find my dream! 
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun! 

This American poet, novelist and playwright was also a prominent social activist.

The new Art Blog is now in its second week
THE PAINTINGS OF CLAUDE MONET

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Monday, November 23, 2015

EMILY JANE BRONTE 1818-48

A portrait painted by her brother Branwell

-o0o-

O DREAM. WHERE ART THOU NOW?

O dream, where art thou now?
 Long years have passed away
Since cast from off thine angel brow
 I saw the light decay.

Alas! alas for me!
 Thou wert so bright and fair,
I could not think thy memory
 Would yield me nought but care!

The moonbeam and the storm,
 The summer eve divine,
The silent night of solemn calm,
 The full moon's cloudless shine

Were once entwined with thee,
 But now with weary pain.
Lost vision! 'tis enough for me
 Thou canst not shine again.

This English novelist and poet was a member of the famous Bronte family. She is particularly remembered as the writer of Wuthering Heights. Her sisters Charlotte 1816-55 and Anne 1820-49 were also poets and novelists, and their brother Branwell 1817-48 was a painter and writer.

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

HILAIRE BELLOC 1870-1953


-o0o-

MATILDA

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes; 
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,
And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity.
For once, towards the Close of Day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,
And finding she was left alone,
Went tiptoe to the Telephone
And summoned the Immediate Aid
Of London's Noble Fire Brigade.
Within an hour the Gallant Band
Were pouring in on every hand,
From Putney, Hackney Downs, and Bow.
With Courage high and Hearts a-glow,
They galloped, roaring through the Town,
"Matilda's House is Burning Down!"
Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
They ran their ladders through a score
Of windows on the Ball Room Floor; 
And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
The Pictures up and down the House,
Until Matilda's Aunt succeeded
In showing them they were not needed; 
And even then she had to pay
To get the Men to go away.
It happened that a few Weeks later
Her Aunt was off to the Theatre
To see that Interesting Play
The Second Mrs. Tanqueray.
She had refused to take her Niece
To hear this Entertaining Piece:
A Deprivation Just and Wise
To Punish her for Telling Lies.
That Night a Fire did break out -
You should have heard Matilda Shout! 
You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,
And throw the window up and call
To People passing in the Street -
(The rapidly increasing Heat
Encouraging her to obtain
Their confidence) - but all in vain! 
For every time she shouted "Fire!"
They only answered "Little Liar!"
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the House, were Burned. 

Joseph Hilaire Pierre Rene Belloc was the Anglo-French writer, poet, satirist, historian, saiior, soldier and political activist. From 1906 to 1910 he was the Liberal Party Member of Parliament for Salford South.
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Saturday, November 21, 2015

WALTER de la MARE 1873-1956


-o0o-

WINTER

Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.

The rayless sun,
Day's journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.

Walter de la Mare OM CH was an English poet, novelist and short story writer, best remembered for his works for children. In 1947 his Collected Stories for Children won the Carnegie Medal for Children's Books.

Friday, November 20, 2015

SOPHIA WHITE

SHE SAW A MAN ON TELEVISION

She saw a man on television
In a suit and tie
And he wore a fine felt hat
Cocked over his eye.
She saw him sing and whistle
And dance a little step
And she wished the men today
Would not be so unkempt.

She saw a man on television
Woo a pretty lass
With smiles, winks, and daffodils,
And diamonds made of glass.
She saw him tip his hat to her
And offer her his arm
And lead her to the dance floor
With gentlemanly charm.

She saw a man on television
Smile with easy grace
And wished that she could find a man
With such an honest face.
But she knew that man on television
Was a dying breed
And suits and ties and tall felt hats
Had all grown obsolete.

There are a great many poems by Sophie White on the internet but no information about her. It appears that she is a young American - possibly a student.

-o=0=o-

Thursday, November 19, 2015

MATTHEW ARNOLD 1822-88


-o0o-

LONGING

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

This English poet and critic had a famous father, Thomas Arnold who was head of Rugby School. His brothers also were well-known, the novelist William Delafield Arnold and Tom who was a literary professor.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

STEPHEN FOSTER 1826-64


-o0o-

BEAUTIFUL DREAMER

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world, heard in the day,
Lulled by the moonlight have all passed away!

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
List while I woo thee with soft melody;
Gone are the cares of life's busy throng,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea
Mermaids are chanting the wild lorelie;
Over the streamlet vapours are borne,
Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.

Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,
E'en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;
Then will all clouds of sorrow depart,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Stephen Foster the famous songwriter was known as "The Father of American music." He wrote more than 200 songs of which the most popular are probably Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, Old Folks at Home, Oh Susanna, The Camptown Races and the one shown here today.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

JOHN KEATS 1795-1821


-o0o-

ODE TO AUTUMN

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats was just twenty-five when he died. He is especially remembered for the wide range of poetic forms he used in his writings. It is said that, in the case of the English ode, he brought that form to its highest level.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

A TIRED HOUSEWIFE
Anon

Here lies a poor woman who was always tired,
She lived in a house where help wasn't hired:
Her last words on earth were: “Dear friends, I am going
To where there's no cooking, or washing, or sewing,
For everything there is exact to my wishes,
For where they don't eat there's no washing of dishes.
I'll be where loud anthems will always be ringing,
But having no voice I'll be quit of the singing.
Don't mourn for me now, don't mourn for me never,
I am going to do nothing for ever and ever.”

-o0o-

The new Art Blog THE PAINTINGS OF CLAUDE MONET is now online

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

THOMAS HARDY 1840-1928


-o0o-

IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM

What do you see in that time-touched stone,
When nothing is there
But ashen blankness, although you give it
A rigid stare?

You look not quite as if you saw,
But as if you heard,
Parting your lips, and treading softly
As mouse or bird.

It is only the base of a pillar, they'll tell you,
That came to us
From a far old hill men used to name
Areopagus."

"I know no art, and I only view
A stone from a wall,
But I am thinking that stone has echoed
The voice of Paul,

"Paul as he stood and preached beside it
Facing the crowd,
A small gaunt figure with wasted features,
Calling out loud

"Words that in all their intimate accents
Pattered upon
That marble front, and were far reflected,
And then were gone.

"I'm a labouring man, and know but little,
Or nothing at all;
But I can't help thinking that stone once echoed
The voice of Paul."

This English poet is well-known today as the author of novels such as Far from the Madding Crowd, Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. His poetry was not all that popular during his lifetime. However, there was a revival of interest in the 1950s and his poems had a significant influence on the poets of that period.
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

JOHN WILBYE 1574-1638


-o0o-

LOVE NOT ME FOR COMELY GRACE

Love not me for comely grace,
For my pleasing eye or face;
Nor for any outward part,
No, nor for my constant heart:
For those may fail or turn to ill,
So thou and I shall sever.
Keep therefore a true woman's eye,
And love me still, but know not why;
So hast thou the same reason still
To dote upon me ever. 

John Wilbye is believed to have been the most famous of all the composers of English madrigals. Some of his works often appear in modern collections. 

The new Art Blog THE PAINTINGS OF CLAUDE MONET begins on Monday

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Friday, November 13, 2015

THICH NHAT HANH b.1926

PLEASE CALL ME BY MY TRUE NAMES

Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow -
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope,
the rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when Spring comes,
arrives in time to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond,
and I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay his
"debt of blood" to my people
dying slowly in a forced labour camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. He lives in Plum Village in the Dordogne region in the south of France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks.
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

AMY LOWELL 1874-1926


-o0o-

HOAR-FROST

In the cloud-grey mornings
I heard the herons flying;
And when I came into my garden,
My silken outer-garment
Trailed over withered leaves.
A dried leaf crumbles at a touch,
But I have seen many Autumns
With herons blowing like smoke
Across the sky.

Amy Lowell was an American poet of the imagist school. She posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1926.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW 1807-82


-o0o-

THE ARROW AND THE SONG

I shot an Arrow into the air,
It fell to earth I know not where,
For so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breath'd a Song into the air,
It fell to earth, I know not where.
For who has sight so keen and strong
That it can follow the flight of a song?

Long, long afterward in an oak
I found the Arrow still unbroke;
And the Song from beginning to end
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include Paul Revere's Ride and The Song of Hiawatha. He became the most popular American poet of his day.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

DYLAN THOMAS 1914-53

POLLY GARTER'S SONG

I loved a man whose name was Tom
He was strong as a bear and two yards long
I loved a man whose name was Dick
He was big as a barrel and three feet thick
And I loved a man whose name was Harry
Six feet tall and sweet as a cherry
But the one I loved best awake or asleep
Was little Willy Wee and he's six feet deep.

O Tom Dick and Harry were three fine men
And I'll never have such loving again
But little Willy Wee who took me on his knee
Little Willy Wee was the man for me.

Now men from every parish round
Run after me and roll me on the ground
But whenever I love another man back
Johnnie from the Hill or Sailing Jack
I always think as they do what they please
Of Tom Dick and Harry who were tall as trees
And most I think when I'm by their side
Of little Willy Wee who downed and died.

O Tom Dick and Harry were three fine men
And I'll never have such loving again
But little Willy Wee who took me on his knee
Little Willy Weazel was the man for me.

Now when farmers' boys on the first fair day
Come down from the hills to drink and be gay,
Before the sun sinks I'll lie there in their arms
For they're good bad boys from the lonely farms,
But I always think as we tumble into bed
Of little Willy Wee who is dead, dead, dead . . .

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer whose most famous work is Under Milk Wood, a 1954 radio drama which had been commissioned by the BBC. In the play, a narrator introduces the inhabitants of a small fishing village whose thoughts and dreams are revealed to the audience. Polly Garter whose song is shown here is one of the many characters.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

CHARLES KINGSLEY 1819-75


-o0o-

THE SANDS OF DEE

"O Mary, go and call the cattle home, 
    And call the cattle home, 
    And call the cattle home, 
    Across the sands of Dee." 
The western wind was wild and dark with foam,         
    And all alone went she. 

The western tide crept up along the sand, 
    And o'er and o'er the sand, 
    And round and round the sand, 
    As far as eye could see. 
The rolling mist came down and hid the land: 
    And never home came she. 

"O is it weed, or fish, or floating hair - 
    A tress of golden hair, 
    A drowned maiden's hair, 
    Above the nets at sea?"
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair 
    Among the stakes of Dee. 

They rowed her in across the rolling foam, 
    The cruel crawling foam, 
    The cruel hungry foam, 
    To her grave beside the sea. 
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home, 
    Across the sands of Dee.

This poet was an Anglican priest, university professor, historian and novelist. In 1859 he was appointed chaplain to Queen Victoria and two years later he became tutor to the Prince of Wales.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

THOMAS HOOD 1799-1845


-o0o-

MARY’S GHOST 

'Twas in the middle of the night, 
To sleep young William tried, 
When Mary’s ghost came stealing in, 
And stood at his bed-side. 

O William dear! O William dear! 
My rest eternal ceases; 
Alas! my everlasting peace 
Is broken into pieces. 

I thought the last of all my cares 
Would end with my last minute; 
But tho’ I went to my long home 
I didn’t stay long in it. 

The body-snatchers they have come, 
And made a snatch at me; 
It’s very hard them kind of men 
Won’t let a body be! 

You thought that I was buried deep 
Quite decent like and chary, 
But from her grave in Mary-bone 
They’ve come and boned your Mary. 

The arm that used to take your arm 
Is took to Dr. Vyse; 
And both my legs are gone to walk 
The hospital at Guy’s. 

I vow’d that you should have my hand, 
But fate gives us denial; 
You’ll find it there, at Dr. Bell’s 
In spirits and a phial. 

As for my feet, the little feet 
You used to call so pretty, 
There’s one, I know, in Bedford Row, 
The t’other’s in the city. 

I can’t tell where my head is gone, 
But Doctor Carpue can: 
As for my trunk, it’s all pack’d up 
To go by Pickford’s van.* 

I wished you’d go to Mr. P. 
And save me such a ride; 
I don’t half like the outside place, 
They’ve took for my inside. 

The cock it crows - I must begone! 
My William we must part! 
But I’ll be yours in death, altho’ 
Sir Astley has my heart.** 

Don’t go to weep upon my grave, 
And think that there I be; 
They haven’t left an atom there 
Of my anatomie. 

*Pickford’s removals business was established in the 17th century. 
**Sir Astley Paston Cooper, 1st Baronet 1768–1841 was a famous English surgeon and anatomist 
Thomas Hood was an English poet, author and humorist who contributed regularly to The London Magazine and Punch.  He was the father of playwright and humorist Tom Hood 1835-74.

A new Art Blog begins on Monday 16th November
THE PAINTINGS OF CLAUDE MONET

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

ANON

TRUE LOVE

True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny.

True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear,
True love gives with open heart
And true love conquers fear.

True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds,
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.

-o=0=o-

Friday, November 6, 2015

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING 1806-61


-o0o-

THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD

What's the best thing in the world?
June-rose, by May-dew impearled;
Sweet south-wind, that means no rain;
Truth, not cruel to a friend;
Pleasure, not in haste to end;
Beauty, not self-decked and curled
Till its pride is over-plain;
Love, when, so, you're loved again.
What's the best thing in the world?
- Something out of it, I think. 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era. She married Robert Browning 1812-89 who too was a famous poet of that time.

A new Art Blog begins on Monday 16th November
THE PAINTINGS OF CLAUDE MONET

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

WILLIAM BARNES 1801-86


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LIZZIE

O Lizzie is so mild o’ mind,
 Vor ever kind, an’ ever true;
A-smilèn, while her lids do rise
 To show her eyes as bright as dew.
An’ comely do she look at night,
A-dancèn in her skirt o’ white,
An’ blushèn wi’ a rwose o’ red
Bezide her glossy head.

Feäir is the rwose o’ blushèn hue,
 Behung wi’ dew, in mornèn’s hour,
Feäir is the rwose, so sweet below
 The noontide glow, bezide the bow’r.
Vull feäir, an’ eet I’d rather zee
The rwose a-gather’d off the tree,
An’ bloomèn still with blossom red,
By Lizzie’s glossy head.

Mid peace droughout her e’thly day,
 Betide her way, to happy rest,
An’ mid she, all her weanèn life,
 Or maïd or wife, be loved and blest.
Though I mid never zing anew
To neäme the maïd so feäir an’ true,
A-blushèn, wi’ a rwose o’ red,
Bezide her glossy head.

Barnes was an English poet, writer and Anglican priest who wrote over 800 poems of which some, like the one above, are in the Dorset dialect.


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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

QUEEN ELIZABETH I (1533-1603)


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WHEN I WAS FAIR AND YOUNG

When I was fair and young, then favour graced me. 
Of many was I sought their mistress for to be, 
But I did scorn them all and answered them therefore: 
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. 

How many weeping eyes I made to pine in woe, 
How many sighing hearts I have not skill to show, 

But I the prouder grew and still this spake therefore: 
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. 

Then spake fair Venus' son, that brave victorious boy, 
Saying: You dainty dame, for that you be so coy, 
I will so pluck your plumes as you shall say no more: 
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. 

As soon as he had said, such change grew in my breast 
That neither night nor day I could take any rest. 
Wherefore I did repent that I had said before: 
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. 

Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII by his second wife Anne Boleyn. Also known as The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, the childless Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

GEORGE, LORD BYRON 1788-1824


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WE’LL GO NO MORE A-ROVING

So, we'll go no more a-roving    
  So late into the night,    
Though the heart be still as loving,    
  And the moon be still as bright.    

For the sword outwears its sheath,             
  And the soul wears out the breast,    
And the heart must pause to breathe,    
  And love itself have rest.    

Though the night was made for loving,    
  And the day returns too soon,      
Yet we'll go no more a-roving    
  By the light of the moon.

Lord Byron is regarded as one of the greatest English poets. A leading figure in the Romantic movement, his best-known works are the narrative poems are Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgimage.
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Monday, November 2, 2015

ROBERT BURNS 1759-96


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MY LOVE IS LIKE A RED, RED ROSE

O, my love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
My love is like a melody
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonny lass,
So deep in love am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love!
And fare thee weel, awhile!
And I will come again, my love,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

Robert Burns "The Bard of Ayrshire" is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and his poems are known worldwide. He also collected Scottish folk songs, often revising them. The most famous example is "Auld Lang Syne" which is sung all over the world at midnight on Hogmanay.


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Sunday, November 1, 2015

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE 1564-1616


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A FAIRY SONG

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. 

The name of this poet, playwright and actor is known world-wide. Often referred to as "The Bard of Avon" he is generally regarded the greatest writer in the English language.His works include approximately 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and and other verses. 

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