Poem of the day

Today
by Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

So here hath been dawning
Another blue Day:
Think wilt thou let it
Slip useless away.

Out of Eternity
This new Day is born;
Into Eternity,
At night, will return.

Behold it aforetime
No eye ever did:
So soon it forever
From all eyes is hid.

Here hath been dawning
Another blue Day:
Think wilt thou let it
Slip useless away.

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.

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.”

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!

Poem of the day

The Negro’s Complaint
by William Cowper (1731-1800)

Forced from home and all its pleasures,
      Afric’s coast I left forlorn;
To increase a stranger’s treasures,
      O’er the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,
      Paid my price in paltry gold;
But, though slave they have enroll’d me
      Minds are never to be sold.

Still in thought as free as ever,
      What are England’s rights, I ask,
Me from my delights to sever,
      Me to torture, me to task?
Fleecy locks and black complexion
      Cannot forfeit nature’s claim;
Skins may differ, but affection
      Dwells in white and black the same.

Why did all-creating Nature
      Make the plant for which we toil?
Sighs must fan it, tears must water,
      Sweat of ours must dress the soil.
Think, ye masters iron-hearted,
      Lolling at your jovial boards,
Think how many backs have smarted
      For the sweets your cane affords.

Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,
      Is there One who reigns on high?
Has he bid you buy and sell us,
      Speaking from his throne, the sky?
Ask him, if your knotted scourges,
      Matches, blood-extorting screws,
Are the means that duty urges
      Agents of his will to use?

Hark! he answers—wild tornadoes,
      Strewing yonder sea with wrecks;
Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,
      Are the voice with which he speaks.
He, foreseeing what vexations
      Afric’s sons should undergo,
Fix’d their tyrants’ habitations
      Where his whirlwinds answer—no.

By our blood in Afric wasted,
      Ere our necks received the chain;
By the miseries that we tasted,
      Crossing in our barks the main;
By our sufferings, since ye brought us
      To the man-degrading mart,
All sustain’d by patience, taught us
      Only by a broken heart;

Deem our nation brutes no longer,
      Till some reason ye shall find
Worthier of regard, and stronger
      Than the colour of our kind.
Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings
      Tarnish all your boasted powers,
Prove that you have human feelings,
      Ere you proudly question ours!

Poem of the day

God
by Issac Rosenberg (1890-1918)

In his malodorous brain what slugs and mire,
Lanthorned in his oblique eyes, guttering burned!
His body lodged a rat where men nursed souls.
The world flashed grape-green eyes of a foiled cat
To him. On fragments of an old shrunk power,
On shy and maimed, on women wrung awry,
He lay, a bullying hulk, to crush them more.
But when one, fearless, turned and clawed like bronze,
Cringing was easy to blunt these stern paws,
And he would weigh the heavier on those after.

Who rests in God’s mean flattery now? Your wealth
Is but his cunning to make death more hard.
Your iron sinews take more pain in breaking.
And he has made the market for your beauty
Too poor to buy, although you die to sell.
Only that he has never heard of sleep;
And when the cats come out the rats are sly.
Here we are safe till he slinks in at dawn

But he has gnawed a fibre from strange roots,
And in the morning some pale wonder ceases.
Things are not strange and strange things are forgetful.
Ah! if the day were arid, somehow lost
Out of us, but it is as hair of us,
And only in the hush no wind stirs it.
And in the light vague trouble lifts and breathes,
And restlessness still shadows the lost ways.
The fingers shut on voices that pass through,
Where blind farewells are taken easily ….

Ah! this miasma of a rotting God!

Poem of the day

Roses
by George Eliot (1819-1880)

You love the roses–so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!