Poem of the day

The Soldier
by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

If I should die, think only this of me:
⁠      That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
⁠      In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
⁠      Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
⁠      Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
⁠      A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
⁠⁠               Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
⁠      And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
⁠               ⁠In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Poem of the day

To Celia
by Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

I hate the town and all its ways;
Ridottos, operas, and plays;
The ball, the ring, the mall, the court;
Wherever the beau-monde resort;
Where beauties lie in ambush for folks,
Earl Straffords, and the Duke of Norfolks;
All coffee-houses, and their praters;
All courts of justice, and debaters;
All taverns, and the sots within ’em;
All bubbles and the rogues that skin ’em.
I hate all critics; may they burn all,
From Bentley to the Grub Street Journal.
All bards, as Dennis hates a pun:
Those who have wit, and who have none.
All nobles, of whatever station;
And all the parsons in the nation.
All quacks and doctors read in physic,
Who kill or cure a man that is sick.
All authors that were ever heard on,
From Bavius up to Tommy Gordon;
Tradesmen with cringes ever stealing,
And merchants, whatsoe’er they deal in.
I hate the blades professing slaughter,
More than the devil holy water.
I hate all scholars, beaus, and squires;
Pimps, puppies, parasites, and liars.
All courtiers, with their looks so smooth;
And players, from Boheme to Booth.
I hate the world, cramm’d all together,
From beggars, up the Lord knows whither.

   Ask you then, Celia, if there be
The thing I love? my charmer, thee.
Thee more than light, than life adore,
Thou dearest, sweetest creature more
Than wildest raptures can express;
Than I can tell, — or thou canst guess.

   Then tho’ I bear a gentle mind,
Let not my hatred of mankind
Wonder within my Celia move,
Since she possesses all my love.

Poem of the day

Life
by Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)

Life, believe, is not a dream
⁠         So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
⁠         Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
⁠         But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
⁠         O why lament its fall?
⁠⁠               Rapidly, merrily,
⁠         Life’s sunny hours flit by,
⁠⁠⁠               Gratefully, cheerily,
⁠         Enjoy them as they fly!

What though Death at times steps in,
⁠         And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win,
⁠         O’er hope, a heavy sway?
Yet hope again elastic springs,
⁠         Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
⁠         Still strong to bear us well.
⁠⁠⁠               Manfully, fearlessly,
⁠         The day of trial bear,
⁠⁠⁠               For gloriously, victoriously,
⁠         Can courage quell despair!

Poem of the day

Deep in the Valley
by Dinah Craik (1826-1877)

Deep in the valley, afar from every beholder,
⁠         In the May morning my true love came to me:
Silent we sate, her head upon my shoulder;
⁠         Fondly we dreamed of the days about to be:
⁠         Fondly we dreamed of the days so soon to be.

Deep in the valley, the rain falls colder and colder:
⁠         Safely she sleeps beneath the churchyard tree:
Yet still I feel her head upon my shoulder,
⁠         Yet still I dream of the days that could not be:
⁠         Yet still I weep o’er the days that will not be.

Poem of the day

Concord Hymn
by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
⁠      Their flag to April’ s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
⁠      And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
⁠      Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
⁠      Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
⁠      We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
⁠      When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
⁠      To die, or leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
⁠      The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Poem of the day

Ballade Amoureuse
by Eustache Deschamps (1306?-1406?)

Comment l’amant, à un jour de Pentecouste ou moys de May, trouva s’amie par amours cueillant roses en un joli jardin.

Le droit jour d’une Pentecouste,
En ce gracieux moys de May,
Celle ou j’ai m’esperance toute
En un jolis vergier trouvay
Cueillant roses, puis lui priay:
Baisiez moy. Si dit: Voulontiers.
Aise fu; adonc la baisay
Par amours, entre les rosiers.

Adonc n’ot ne paour ne doubte,
Mais de s’amour me confortay;
Espoir fu des lors de ma route,
Ains meilleur jardin ne trouvay.
De la me vient le bien que j’ay,
L’octroy et le doulx desiriers
Que j’oy, comme je l’acolay,
Par amours, entre les rosiers.

Cilz doulx baisier oste et reboute
Plus de griefz que dire ne say
De moy; adoucie est trestoute
Ma douleur; en joye vivray.
Le jour et l’eure benistray
Dont me vint le tresdoulx baisiers,
Quant ma dame lors encontray
Par amours, entre les rosiers.

         L”Envoi

Prince, ma dame a point trouvay
Ce jour, et bien m’estois metiers:
De bonne heure la saluay,
Par amours, entre les rosiers.

Poem of the day

Kubla Khan
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

      In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
⁠         A stately pleasure-dome decree:
⁠      Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
⁠      Through caverns measureless to man
⁠         Down to a sunless sea.
      So twice five miles of fertile ground
      With walls and towers were girdled round
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But O! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced;
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And ’mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

      The shadow of the dome of pleasure
⁠         Floated midway on the waves;
⁠      Where was heard the mingled measure
⁠         From the fountain and the caves.
⁠   It was a miracle of rare device,
⁠   A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

      A damsel with a dulcimer
⁠         In a vision once I saw:
⁠      It was an Abyssinian maid,
⁠         And on her dulcimer she played,
⁠      Singing of Mount Abora.
⁠      Could I revive within me
⁠      Her symphony and song,
⁠   To such a deep delight ’twould win me
   That with music loud and long,
   I would build that dome in air,
   That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
   And all who heard should see them there,
   And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
   His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
   Weave a circle round him thrice,
   And close your eyes with holy dread,
   For he on honey-dew hath fed,
   And drunk the milk of Paradise.