Poem of the day

Evensong
by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

The embers of the day are red
Beyond the murky hill.
The kitchen smokes: the bed
In the darkling house is spread:
The great sky darkens overhead,
And the great woods are shrill.
So far have I been led,
Lord, by Thy will:
So far I have followed, Lord, and wondered still.

The breeze from the enbalmèd land
Blows sudden toward the shore,
And claps my cottage door.
I hear the signal, Lord—I understand.
The night at Thy command
Comes. I will eat and sleep and will not question more.

Poem of the day

“No longer mourn for me when I am dead”
(Sonnet LXXI)
by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it, for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O! if,— I say you look upon this verse,
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse;
But let your love even with my life decay;
      Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
      And mock you with me after I am gone.

Science? We don’t need no stinking science!

The Supreme Court ruling against New York state's decision to limit religious gatherings in a few high-incidence parts of New York City during the Covid-19 pandemic will cause grave danger in the rest of the country, where public health authorities will feel hamstrung to restrict religious gatherings even when the virus is spreading out of control, writes Jeffrey Sachs.

Poem of the day

“On Cupid’s bow how are my heartstrings bent”
by Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

On Cupid’s bow how are my heartstrings bent,
That see my wrack, and yet embrace the same?
When most I glory, then I feel most shame:
I willing run, yet while I run, repent.
My best wits still their own disgrace invent:
My very ink turns straight to Stella’s name;
And yet my words, as them my pen doth frame,
Avise themselves that they are vainly spent.
For though she pass all things, yet what is all
That unto me, who fare like him that both
Looks to the skies and in a ditch doth fall?
Oh let me prop my mind, yet in his growth,
And not in Nature, for best fruits unfit:
“Scholar,” saith Love, “bend hitherward your wit.”

Game of the week

Poem of the day

From “Milton”
by William Blake (1757-1827)

And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.

Poem of the day

L’Abeille
by Paul Valéry (1871-1945)

Quelle, et si fine, et si mortelle,
Que soit ta pointe, blonde abeille,
Je n’ai, sur ma tendre corbeille,
Jeté qu’un songe de dentelle.

Pique du sein la gourde belle,
Sur qui l’Amour meurt ou sommeille,
Qu’un peu de moi-même vermeille,
Vienne à la chair ronde et rebelle!

J’ai grand besoin d’un prompt tourment:
Un mal vif et bien terminé
Vaut mieux qu’un supplice dormant!

Soit donc mon sens illuminé
Par cette infime alerte d’or
Sans qui l’Amour meurt ou s’endort!