Saturday, April 30, 2016

Thomas Moore 1779-1852

Quick! we have but a second,
        Fill round the cup while you may;
     For time, the churl, hath beckon'd,
        And we must away, away!
     Grasp the pleasure that's flying,
        For oh, not Orpheus' strain
     Could keep sweet hours from dying,
        Or charm them to life again.
          Then, quick! we have but a second,
             Fill round the cup while you may!
          For Time, the churl hath beckon'd,
             And we must away, away.

     See the glass, how it flushes,
        Like some young Hebe's lip,
     And half meets thine, and blushes
        That thou shouldst delay to sip.
     Shame, oh shame unto thee,
        If ever thou see'st that day,
     When a cup or lip shall woo thee,
        And turn untouch'd away!
          Then, quick! we have but a second,
             Fill round, fill round while you may,
          For Time, the churl, hath beckon'd,
             And we must away, away!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Amy Lowell  1874-1925

Sea Shell, Sea Shell,
Sing me a song, O Please!
A song of ships, and sailor men,
And parrots, and tropical trees,
Of islands lost in the Spanish Main
Which no man ever may find again,
Of fishes and corals under the waves,
And seahorses stabled in great green caves.
Sea Shell, Sea Shell,
Sing of the things you know so well.

The following lines have nothing to do with Amy Lowell's poem
When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder
That such trivial people should muse and thunder
In such lovely language.
- D.H. Lawrence 1885-1930


Thursday, April 28, 2016

William Wordsworth  1770-1850

The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The ploughboy is whooping - anon, anon:
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

E.E. Cummings 1894-1962

If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
And measles were nice and a lie warn’t a lie,
Life would be delight, -
But things couldn’t go right
For in such a sad plight
I wouldn’t be I.

If earth was heaven and now was hence,
And past was present, and false was true,
There might be some sense
But I’d be in suspense
For on such a pretense
You wouldn’t be you.

If fear was plucky, and globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly and tears were glee
Things would seem fair, -
Yet they’d all despair,
For if here was there
We wouldn’t be we.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The pale moon was rising above the green mountain,
The sun was declining beneath the blue sea;
When I strayed with my love to the pure crystal fountain,
That stands in the beautiful Vale of Tralee.

The cool shades of evening their mantle were spreading,
And Mary all smiling was listening to me;
The moon through the valley her pale rays was shedding,
When I won the heart of the Rose of Tralee.

In the far fields of India, 'mid wars dreadful thunders,
Her voice was a solace and comfort to me,
But the chill hand of death has now rent us asunder,
I'm lonely tonight for the Rose of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me;
Oh no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning,
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

The words of the song are credited to Edward Mordaunt Spencer, but there are claims that it was written by William Pembroke Mulchinock, a wealthy Protestant, out of love for Mary O'Connor, a poor Catholic maid in service to his parents.


Monday, April 25, 2016

William Shakespeare 1564-1616

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

[from The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1]

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Edgar Allan Poe 1809-49

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE; 
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea; 
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee; 
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee; 
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes! - that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea) 
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; 
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; 
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea. 


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Walter Scott 1771-1832

Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
"This is my own, my native land?"
Whose heart hath n’er within him burned
As home his footsteps he hath turned?
If such there be, go mark him well - 
The wretch, concentrated all in self,
- Doubly dying shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.

The above is an extract from "The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805)


Friday, April 22, 2016

Lady John Scott 1810-1900

Maxwellton braes are bonnie,
Where early fa's the dew,
And 'twas there that Annie Laurie
Gave me her promise true.
Gave me her promise true,
Which ne'er forgot will be,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I'd lay me doun and dee.

Her brow is like the snawdrift,
Her neck is like the swan,
Her face it is the fairest,
That e'er the sun shone on:
That e'er the sun shone on,
And dark blue is her e'e,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie,
I'd lay me doun and dee.

Like dew on the gowan lying,
Is the fa' o' her fairy feet:
And like winds in summer sighing,
Her voice is low and sweet:
Her voice is low and sweet,
She's a' the world to me,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie,
I'd lay me doun and dee.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Maya Angelou 1928-2014

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

E. Nesbitt 1858-1924

Oh baby, baby, baby dear,
We lie alone together here;
The snowy gown and cap and sheet
With lavender are fresh and sweet;
Through half-closed blinds the roses peer       
To see and love you, baby dear.

We are so tired, we like to lie
Just doing nothing, you and I,
Within the darkened quiet room.
The sun sends dusk rays through the gloom,      
Which is no gloom since you are here,
My little life, my baby dear.

Soft sleepy mouth so vaguely pressed
Against your new-made mother’s breast,
Soft little hands in mine I fold,         
Soft little feet I kiss and hold,
Round soft smooth head and tiny ear,
All mine, my own, my baby dear.

And he we love is far away!
But he will come some happy day.         
You need but me, and I can rest
At peace with you beside me pressed.
There are no questions, longings vain,
No murmuring, nor doubt, nor pain,
        Only content and we are here, my baby dear.         

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939 

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

W B Yeats spent most of his life besotted with the beautiful actress, Maud Gonne. Sadly for him it was an unrequited love because she did not return his feelings. She refused his offer of marriage several times, although they remained friends throughout their lives.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Robert Bridges 1844-1930

The evening darkens over
After a day so bright
The windcapt waves discover
That wild will be the night.
There’s sound of distant thunder.

The latest sea-birds hover
Along the cliff’s sheer height;
As in the memory wander
Last flutterings of delight,
White wings lost on the white.

There’s not a ship in sight;
And as the sun goes under
Thick clouds conspire to cover
The moon that should rise yonder.
Thou art alone, fond lover.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Jacques Prevert 1900-77

Three matches, one by one struck in the night.
The first to see your whole face, 
The second to see your eyes,
The last to see your mouth,
And the darkness all around to remind me of all these
As I hold you in my arms.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Thomas Hardy 1840-1928

I look into my glass, 
And view my wasting skin, 
And say, "Would God it came to pass 
My heart had shrunk as thin!" 
For then I, undistrest 
By hearts grown cold to me, 
Could lonely wait my endless rest 
With equanimity. 
But Time, to make me grieve, 
Part steals, lets part abide; 
And shakes this fragile frame at eve 
With throbbings of noontide.


Friday, April 15, 2016

James Thomson 1700-48

Give a man a horse he can ride, 
   Give a man a boat he can sail; 
And his rank and wealth, his strength and health, 
   On sea nor shore shall fail. 

Give a man a pipe he can smoke, 
   Give a man a book he can read: 
And his home is bright with a calm delight, 
   Though the room be poor indeed. 

Give a man a girl he can love, 
   As I, O my love, love thee; 
And his heart is great with the pulse of Fate, 
   At home, on land, on sea.

James Thomson was the Scottish poet and playwright who wrote the words of "Rule, Britannia."

My Current Blogs are updated as follows
THE PAINTINGS OF EDVARD MUNCH - Monday, Wednesday and Friday
ARABESQUE - POETRY AND PROSE - Tuesday and Saturday


Thursday, April 14, 2016

William Wordsworth 1770-1850

Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray:
And, when I crossed the wild,
I chanced to see at break of day
The solitary child.

No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
She dwelt on a wide moor,
- The sweetest thing that ever grew
Beside a human door!

You yet may spy the fawn at play,
The hare upon the green;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will never more be seen.

“To-night will be a stormy night -
You to the town must go;
And take a lantern, Child, to light
Your mother through the snow.”

“That, Father! will I gladly do:
’Tis scarcely afternoon -
The minster-clock has just struck two,
And yonder is the moon!”

At this the Father raised his hook,
And snapped a faggot-band;
He plied his work; - and Lucy took
The lantern in her hand.

Not blither is the mountain roe:
With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time:
She wandered up and down;
And many a hill did Lucy climb:
But never reached the town.

The wretched parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight
To serve them for a guide.

At day-break on a hill they stood
That overlooked the moor;
And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
A furlong from their door.

They wept - and, turning homeward, cried,
“In heaven we all shall meet;”
 - When in the snow the mother spied
The print of Lucy’s feet.

Then downwards from the steep hill’s edge
They tracked the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
And by the long stone-wall;

And then an open field they crossed:
The marks were still the same;
They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
And to the bridge they came.

They followed from the snowy bank
Those footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank;
And further there were none!

 - Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.

O’er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Christina Georgina Rossetti 1830-94

Go from me, summer friends, and tarry not:
I am no summer friend, but wintry cold,
A silly sheep benighted from the fold,
A sluggard with a thorn-choked garden plot.
Take counsel, sever from my lot your lot,
Dwell in your pleasant places, hoard your gold;
Lest you with me should shiver on the wold,
Athirst and hungering on a barren spot.
For I have hedged me with a thorny hedge,
I live alone, I look to die alone:
Yet sometimes, when a wind sighs through the sedge,
Ghosts of my buried years, and friends come back,
My heart goes sighing after swallows flown
On sometime summer's unreturning track.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

James Hogg 1770-1835

Where the pools are bright and deep, 
Where the grey trout lies asleep, 
Up the river and over the lea, 
That's the way for Billy and me. 

Where the blackbird sings the latest, 
Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest, 
Where the nestlings chirp and flee, 
That's the way for Billy and me. 

Where the mowers mow the cleanest, 
Where the hay lies thick and greenest, 
There to track the homeward bee, 
That's the way for Billy and me. 

Where the hazel bank is steepest, 
Where the shadow falls the deepest, 
Where the clustering nuts fall free, 
That's the way for Billy and me. 

Why the boys should drive away 
Little sweet maidens from the play, 
Or love to banter and fight so well, 
That's the thing I never could tell. 

But this I know, I love to play 
Through the meadow, among the hay; 
Up the water and over the lea, 
That's the way for Billy and me. 


Monday, April 11, 2016

JOHN KEATS 1795-1821



Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art - 
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors -
No - yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever - or else swoon to death.


The first post is now on the new blog


Sunday, April 10, 2016

(A Child's Song)
Edward Thomas 1878-1917

He rolls in the orchard; he is stained with moss
And with earth, the solitary old white horse.
Where is his father and where is his mother
Among all the brown horses? Has he a brother?
I know the swallow, the hawk, and the hern;
But there are two million things for me to learn.

Who was the lady that rode the white horse
With rings and bells to Banbury Cross?
Was there no other lady in England beside
That a nursery rhyme could take for a ride?
The swift, the swallow, the hawk, and the hern.
There are two million things for me to learn.

Was there a man once who straddled across
The back of the Westbury White Horse
Over there on Salisbury’s Plain green wall?
Was he bound for Westbury , or had he a fall?
The swift, the swallow, the hawk, and the hern.
There are two million things for me to learn.

Out of all the white horses I know three,
At the age of six; and it seems to me
There is so much to learn, for men,
That I dare not go to bed again.
The swift, the swallow, the hawk, and the hern.
There are millions of things for me to learn.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

The new Art blog begins on Monday

ARABESQUE - POETRY AND PROSE has been updated today


Trevor Nunn

Not a sound from the pavement,
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone.
In the lamplight the withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan.
All alone in the moonlight,
I can smile at the old days,
I was beautiful then.
I remember the time I knew what happiness was,
Let the memory live again.
Every streetlamp seems to beat a fatalistic warning,
Someone mutters and a streetlamp gutters,
And soon it will be morning.
I must wait for the sunrise,
I must think of a new life,
And I mustn't give in.
When the dawn comes tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin.
Burnt out ends of smokey days,
The stale cold smell of morning.
The streetlamp dies, another night is over,
Another day is dawning - 
Touch me!
It's so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun - 
If you touch me, you'll understand what happiness is,
Look, a new day
Has begun.


Friday, April 8, 2016

 A new Art blog begins on Monday 11th April


Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872-1906

She sang, and I listened the whole song thro'.
(It was sweet, so sweet, the singing.)
The stars were out and the moon it grew
From a wee soft glimmer way out in the blue
To a bird thro' the heavens winging.

She sang, and the song trembled down to my breast,
(It was sweet, so sweet the singing.)
As a dove just out of its fledgling nest,
And, putting its wings to the first sweet test,
Flutters homeward so wearily winging.

She sang and I said to my heart "That song,
That was sweet, so sweet i' the singing,
Shall live with us and inspire us long,
And thou, my heart, shalt be brave and strong
For the sake of those words a-winging."

The woman died and the song was still.
(It was sweet, so sweet, the singing.)
But ever I hear the same low trill,
Of the song that shakes my heart with a thrill,
And goes forever winging. 


Thursday, April 7, 2016

A.E. HOUSMAN 1859-1936



Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
          Is hung with bloom along the bough,
          And stands about the woodland ride
          Wearing white for Eastertide.

          Now, of my threescore years and ten,
          Twenty will not come again,
          And take from seventy springs a score,
          It only leaves me fifty more.

          And since to look at things in bloom
          Fifty springs are little room,
          About the woodlands I will go
          To see the cherry hung with snow.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

OSCAR WILDE 1854-1900

The new blog was updated today


In the Forest
Oscar Wilde 1854-1900

Out of the mid-wood's twilight
Into the meadow's dawn,
Ivory limbed and brown-eyed,
Flashes my Faun!

He skips through the copses singing,
And his shadow dances along,
And I know not which I should follow,
Shadow or song!

O Hunter, snare me his shadow!
O Nightingale, catch me his strain!
Else moonstruck with music and madness
I track him in vain!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016




Sweet and low, sweet and low,
   Wind of the western sea,
Low, low, breathe and blow,
   Wind of the western sea!
Over the rolling waters go,
Come from the dying moon, and blow,
   Blow him again to me;
While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
   Father will come to thee soon;
Rest, rest, on mother’s breast,
   Father will come to thee soon;
Father will come to his babe in the nest,
Silver sails all out of the west
   Under the silver moon:
Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.


The new blog will be updated on Wednesday


Monday, April 4, 2016

Cole Porter 1891-1964

Like the beat, beat, beat of the tom-tom
When the jungle shadows fall,
Like the tick, tick, tock of the stately clock
As it stands against the wall,
Like the drip, drip, drip of the raindrops
When the summer shower is through,
So a voice within me keeps repeating you, you, you -

Night and day, you are the one,
Only you beneath the moon and under the sun.
Whether near to me or far,
It's no matter darling where you are,
I think of you, night and day.

Day and night, why is it so
That this longing for you follows wherever I go,
In the roaring traffic's boom,
In the silence of my lonely room
I think of you. night and day, 

Night and day, under the hide of me
There's an oh such a hungry yearning burning inside of me,
And its torment won't be through
Till you let me spend my life making love to you
Day and night, night and day.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Now Online


Emily  Dickinson 1830-86

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul! 


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Now Online


Thomas Hardy 1840-1928

"Why do you sit, O pale thin man,
At the end of the room
By that harpsichord, built on the quaint old plan?
- It is cold as a tomb,
And there's not a spark within the grate;
And the jingling wires
Are vain desires
That have lagged too late."

"Why do I? Alas, far times ago
A woman lyred here
In the evenfall; one who fain did so
From year to year;
And, in loneliness bending wistfully,
Would wake each note
In sick sad rote,
None to listen or see.

"I would not join. I would not stay,
But drew away,
Though the winter fire beamed brightly - Aye!
I do today
What I would not then; and the chill old keys,
Like a skull's brown teeth
Loose in their sheath,
Freeze my touch; yes, freeze."


Friday, April 1, 2016

The new blog is now online


William Shakespeare 1564-1616

Fear no more the heat o' the sun; 
Nor the furious winter's rages, 
Thou thy worldly task hast done, 
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages; 
Golden lads and girls all must, 
As chimney sweepers come to dust. 

Fear no more the frown of the great, 
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke: 
Care no more to clothe and eat; 
To thee the reed is as the oak: 
The sceptre, learning, physic, must 
All follow this, and come to dust. 

Fear no more the lightning-flash, 
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone; 
Fear not slander, censure rash; 
Thou hast finished joy and moan; 
All lovers young, all lovers must 
Consign to thee, and come to dust. 

No exorciser harm thee! 
Nor no witchcraft charm thee! 
Ghost unlaid forbear thee! 
Nothing ill come near thee! 
Quiet consummation have; 
And renowned be thy grave!