Poem of the day

Sic a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation
by Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Fareweel to a’ our Scottish fame,
Fareweel our ancient glory;
Fareweel to e’en our Scottish name
Sae fam’d in sang and story.
Now Sark rins tae th’ Solway sands,
An’ Tweed runs t’ th’ ocean..
Tae mark whaur England’s Province stands:
Sic a parcel of rogues in a nation!

What force or guile could not subdue
Thro’ many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few
For hireling traitor’s wages.
The English steel we could disdain,
Secure in valour’s station.
But English gold has been our bane:
Sic a parcel of rogues in a nation!

Oh, would or had I seen the day
That treason thus could sell us!
My auld grey head had lien in clay,
Wi’ Bruce and loyal Wallace!
But, pith and power, till my last hour,
I’ll make this declaration:
We were bought and sold for English gold!
Sic a parcel of rogues in a nation!

Poem of the day

A Hue and Cry after Fair Amoret
by William Congreve (1670-1729)

Fair Amoret is gone astray—
Pursue and seek her, ev’ry lover;
I’ll tell the signs by which you may
The wand’ring Shepherdess discover.

Coquette and coy at once her air,
Both studied, tho’ both seem neglected;
Careless she is, with artful care,
Affecting to seem unaffected.

With skill her eyes dart ev’ry glance,
Yet change so soon you’d ne’er suspect them,
For she’d persuade they wound by chance,
Tho’ certain aim and art direct them.

She likes herself, yet others hates
For that which in herself she prizes;
And, while she laughs at them, forgets
She is the thing that she despises.

Game of the week

Poem of the day

The Ecstacy
by John Donne (1572-1631)

Where,like a pillow on a bed,
      A pregnant bank swell’d up, to rest
The violet’s reclining head,
      Sat we two, one another’s best.

Our hands were firmly cemented
      By a fast balm, which thence did spring;
Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
      Our eyes upon one double string.

So to engraft our hands, as yet
      Was all the means to make us one;
And pictures in our eyes to get
      Was all our propagation.

As, ‘twixt two equal armies, Fate
      Suspends uncertain victory,
Our souls—which to advance their state,
      Were gone out—hung ‘twixt her and me.

And whilst our souls negotiate there,
      We like sepulchral statues lay;
All day, the same our postures were,
      And we said nothing, all the day.

If any, so by love refined,
      That he soul’s language understood,
And by good love were grown all mind,
      Within convenient distance stood,

He—though he knew not which soul spake,
      Because both meant, both spake the same—
Might thence a new concoction take,
      And part far purer than he came.

This ecstasy doth unperplex
      (We said) and tell us what we love;
We see by this, it was not sex;
      We see, we saw not, what did move:

But as all several souls contain
      Mixture of things they know not what,
Love these mix’d souls doth mix again,
      And makes both one, each this, and that.

A single violet transplant,
      The strength, the colour, and the size—
All which before was poor and scant—
      Redoubles still, and multiplies.

When love with one another so
      Interanimates two souls,
That abler soul, which thence doth flow,
      Defects of loneliness controls.

We then, who are this new soul, know,
      Of what we are composed, and made,
For th’ atomies of which we grow
      Are souls, whom no change can invade.

But, O alas! so long, so far,
      Our bodies why do we forbear?
They are ours, though not we; we are
      Th’ intelligences, they the spheres.

We owe them thanks, because they thus
      Did us, to us, at first convey,
Yielded their senses’ force to us,
      Nor are dross to us, but allay.

On man heaven’s influence works not so,
      But that it first imprints the air;
For soul into the soul may flow,
      Though it to body first repair.

As our blood labours to beget
      Spirits, as like souls as it can;
Because such fingers need to knit
      That subtle knot, which makes us man;

So must pure lovers’ souls descend
      To affections, and to faculties,
Which sense may reach and apprehend,
      Else a great prince in prison lies.

To our bodies turn we then, that so
      Weak men on love reveal’d may look;
Love’s mysteries in souls do grow,
      But yet the body is his book.

And if some lover, such as we,
      Have heard this dialogue of one,
Let him still mark us, he shall see
      Small change when we’re to bodies gone.

Poem of the day

Epigram for Wall Street
by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

I’ll tell you a plan for gaining wealth,
         Better than banking, trade or leases —
Take a bank note and fold it up,
         And then you will find your money in creases!
This wonderful plan, without danger or loss,
Keeps your cash in your hands, where nothing can trouble it;
And every time that you fold it across,
         ‘Tis as plain as the light of the day that you double it!

Poem of the day

Halfway Down
by A.A. Milne (1882-1956)

Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn’t any
Other stair
Quite like
It.
I’m not at the bottom,
I’m not at the top;
So this is the stair
Where
I always
Stop.

Halfway up the stairs
Isn’t up,
And isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in the town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head:
“It isn’t really
Anywhere!
It’s somewhere else
Instead!”

Poem of the day

Just Think!
by Robert Service (1874-1958)

Just think! some night the stars will gleam
         Upon a cold, grey stone,
And trace a name with silver beam,
         And lo! ’twill be your own.

That night is speeding on to greet
         Your epitaphic rhyme.
Your life is but a little beat
         Within the heart of Time.

A little gain, a little pain,
         A laugh, lest you may moan;
A little blame, a little fame,
         A star-gleam on a stone.