Poem of the day

A Song of Spring and Autumn
by Francis Turner Palgrave (1824-1897)

In the season of white wild roses
   We two went hand in hand:
But now in the ruddy autumn
   Together already we stand.

O pale pearl-necklace that wandered
   O’er the white-thorn’s tangled head!
The white-thorn is turned to russet,
   The pearls to purple and red!

On the topmost orchard branches
   It then was crimson and snow,
Where now the gold-red apples
   Burn on the turf below.

And between the trees the children
   In and out run hand in hand;
And, with smiles that answer their smiling,
   We two together stand.

Poem of the day

Tichborne’s Elegy
by Chidiock Tichborne (1562-1586)

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
And all my good is but vain hope of gain.
The day is gone and yet I saw no sun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

The spring is past, and yet it hath not sprung,
The fruit is dead, and yet the leaves are green,
My youth is gone, and yet I am but young,
I saw the world, and yet I was not seen,
My thread is cut, and yet it was not spun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

I sought my death, and found it in my womb,
I looked for life, and saw it was a shade,
I trod the earth, and knew it was my tomb,
And now I die, and now I was but made;
The glass is full, and now the glass is run,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

poem of the day

Dans le Restaurant
by Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965)

Le garçon délabré qui n’a rien à faire
Que de se gratter les doigts et se pencher sur mon épaule:
   “Dans mon pays il fera temps pluvieux,
   Du vent, du grand soleil, et de la pluie;
   C’est ce qu’on appelle le jour de lessive des gueux.”
(Bavard, baveux, à la croupe arrondie,
Je te prie, au moins, ne bave pas dans la soupe).
   “Les saules trempés, et des bourgeons sur les ronces—
   C’est là, dans une averse, qu’on s’abrite.
J’avais sept ans, elle était plus petite.
   Elle était toute mouillée, je lui ai donné des primevères.”
Les taches de son gilet montent au chiffre de trentehuit.
   “Je la chatouillais, pour la faire rire.
   J’éprouvais un instant de puissance et de délire.”

   Mais alors, vieux lubrique, à cet âge…
“Monsieur, le fait est dur.
   Il est venu, nous peloter, un gros chien;
   Moi j’avais peur, je l’ai quittée à mi-chemin.
   C’est dommage.”
      Mais alors, tu as ton vautour!

Va t’en te décrotter les rides du visage;
Tiens, ma fourchette, décrasse-toi le crâne.
De quel droit payes-tu des expériences comme moi?
Tiens, voilà dix sous, pour la salle-de-bains.

Phlébas, le Phénicien, pendant quinze jours noyé,
Oubliait les cris des mouettes et la houle de Cornouaille,
Et les profits et les pertes, et la cargaison d’étain:
Un courant de sous-mer l’emporta très loin,
Le repassant aux étapes de sa vie antérieure.
Figurez-vous donc, c’était un sort pénible;
Cependant, ce fut jadis un bel homme, de haute taille.

Do you see a pattern?

Republican argument on climate change: it’s not real; if it is real, humans aren’t responsible; if humans are responsible, it’s not that bad; if it is that bad, there’s nothing we can do about it; if there is something we can do about it, it’s too expensive; etc.

Republican argument on Kavanaugh: he didn’t do it; if he did do it, it wasn’t that bad; if it was that bad, everyone does it; if not everyone does it, it was so long ago that it shouldn’t matter; if it does matter, etc.

poem of the day

The Cloud
by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
       From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
       In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
      The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast,
      As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
      And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
      And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below,
      And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night ’tis my pillow white,
      While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,
      Lightning, my pilot, sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,
      It struggles and howls at fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
      This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
       In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
      Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
      The spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in Heaven’s blue smile,
      Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
      And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
      When the morning star shines dead;
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
      Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
      In the light of its golden wings.
And when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
       Its ardors of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
      From the depth of Heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine aery nest,
      As still as a brooding dove.

That orbed maiden with white fire laden,
      Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o’er my fleece-like floor,
      By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
      Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent’s thin roof,
      The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
      Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
      Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
      Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the Sun’s throne with a burning zone,
      And the Moon’s with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim
      When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
      Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,–
      The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march
      With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
      Is the million-colored bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colors wove,
      While the moist Earth was laughing below.

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
      And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
       I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
      The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
      Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
       And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
      I arise and unbuild it again.

Poem of the day

The Withered Rose
by Mary Ann Browne (1812-1845)

I saw at eve a wither’d rose—
   The sun’s warm ray had curl’d it;
Its powerless leaves it could not close,
   And dewy tears impearl’d it:

I saw a moon beam gently rest—
   The withered flower it lighten’d
And though it could not dry its breast,
   Those crystal drops it brighten’d.

I looked again—that moon beam fair
   Had gilded o er its weeping,
And that sweet flow’ret calmly there
   Beneath its ray was sleeping.

So when Misfortune’s night blast sears
   Fair Friendship’s smile we borrow
And, tho’ it cannot dry our tears,
   ’Twill chase the gloom of sorrow.