Poem of the day

Oratio ad Patrem
by Hildebert (c. 1055-1133)

Alpha et Ω, magne Deus
Heli, Heli, Deus meus,
Cujus virtus totum posse,
Cujus sensus totum nosse,
Cujus esse summum bonum,
Cujus opus quidquid bonun.
Super cuncta, subter cuncta;
Extra cuncta, intra cuncta.
Intra cuncta, nec inclusus;
Extra cuncta, nec exclusus;
Super cuncta, nec elatus;
Subter cuncta, nec substratus.
Super totus, praesidendo;
Subter totus, sustinendo;
Extra totus, complectendo;
Intra totus es, implendo.
Intra nunquam coarctaris,
Extra nunquam dilataris,
Super nullo sustentaris,
Subter nullo fatigaris.
Mundum movens non moveris,
Locum tenens non teneris,
Tempus mutans non mutaris,
Vaga firmans non vagaris.
Vis externa, vel necesse
Non alternat tuum esse.
Heri nostrum, cras et pridem,
Semper tibi nune et idem.
Tuum, Deus, hodiernum,
Indivisum sempiternum:
In hoc totum praevidisti,
Totum simul perfecisti,
Ad exemplar summae mentis.
Formam praestans elementis.

Poem of the day

A White Rose
by John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890)

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.

Poem of the day

Hymn to Proserpine
(After the Proclamation in Rome of the Christian Faith)
by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)

                        Vicisti, Galiaee
I have lived long enough, having seen one thing, that love hath an end;
Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me now and befriend.
Thou art more than the day or the morrow, the seasons that laugh or that weep;
For these give joy and sorrow; but thou, Proserpina, sleep.
Sweet is the treading of wine, and sweet the feet of the dove;
But a goodlier gift is thine than foam of the grapes or love.
Yea, is not even Apollo, with hair and harpstring of gold,
A bitter God to follow, a beautiful God to behold?
I am sick of singing: the bays burn deep and chafe: I am fain
To rest a little from praise and grievous pleasure and pain.
For the Gods we know not of, who give us our daily breath,
We know they are cruel as love or life, and lovely as death.
O Gods dethroned and deceased, cast forth, wiped out in a day
From your wrath is the world released, redeemed from your chains, men say.
New Gods are crowned in the city; their flowers have broken your rods;
They are merciful, clothed with pity, the young compassionate Gods.
But for me their new device is barren, the days are bare;
Things long past over suffice, and men forgotten that were.
Time and the Gods are at strife; ye dwell in the midst thereof,
Draining a little life from the barren breasts of love.
I say to you, cease, take rest; yea, I say to you all, be at peace,
Till the bitter milk of her breast and the barren bosom shall cease.
Wilt thou yet take all, Galilean? but these thou shalt not take,
The laurel, the palms and the paean, the breasts of the nymphs in the brake;
Breasts more soft than a dove’s, that tremble with tenderer breath;
And all the wings of the Loves, and all the joy before death;
All the feet of the hours that sound as a single lyre,
Dropped and deep in the flowers, with strings that flicker like fire.
More than these wilt thou give, things fairer than all these things?
Nay, for a little we live, and life hath mutable wings.
A little while and we die; shall life not thrive as it may?
For no man under the sky lives twice, outliving his day.
And grief is a grievous thing, and a man hath enough of his tears:
Why should he labour, and bring fresh grief to blacken his years?
Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath;
We have drunken of things Lethean, and fed on the fullness of death.
Laurel is green for a season, and love is sweet for a day;
But love grows bitter with treason, and laurel outlives not May.
Sleep, shall we sleep after all? for the world is not sweet in the end;
For the old faiths loosen and fall, the new years ruin and rend.
Fate is a sea without shore, and the soul is a rock that abides;
But her ears are vexed with the roar and her face with the foam of the tides.
O lips that the live blood faints in, the leavings of racks and rods!
O ghastly glories of saints, dead limbs of gibbeted Gods!
Though all men abase them before you in spirit, and all knees bend,
I kneel not neither adore you, but standing, look to the end.
All delicate days and pleasant, all spirits and sorrows are cast
Far out with the foam of the present that sweeps to the surf of the past:
Where beyond the extreme sea-wall, and between the remote sea-gates,
Waste water washes, and tall ships founder, and deep death waits:
Where, mighty with deepening sides, clad about with the seas as with wings,
And impelled of invisible tides, and fulfilled of unspeakable things,
White-eyed and poisonous-finned, shark-toothed and serpentine-curled,
Rolls, under the whitening wind of the future, the wave of the world.
The depths stand naked in sunder behind it, the storms flee away;
In the hollow before it the thunder is taken and snared as a prey;
In its sides is the north-wind bound; and its salt is of all men’s tears;
With light of ruin, and sound of changes, and pulse of years:
With travail of day after day, and with trouble of hour upon hour;
And bitter as blood is the spray; and the crests are as fangs that devour:
And its vapour and storm of its steam as the sighing of spirits to be;
And its noise as the noise in a dream; and its depth as the roots of the sea:
And the height of its heads as the height of the utmost stars of the air:
And the ends of the earth at the might thereof tremble, and time is made bare.
Will ye bridle the deep sea with reins, will ye chasten the high sea with rods?
Will ye take her to chain her with chains, who is older than all ye Gods?
All ye as a wind shall go by, as a fire shall ye pass and be past;
Ye are Gods, and behold, ye shall die, and the waves be upon you at last.
In the darkness of time, in the deeps of the years, in the changes of things,
Ye shall sleep as a slain man sleeps, and the world shall forget you for kings.
Though the feet of thine high priests tread where thy lords and our forefathers trod,
Though these that were Gods are dead, and thou being dead art a God,
Though before thee the throned Cytherean be fallen, and hidden her head,
Yet thy kingdom shall pass, Galilean, thy dead shall go down to thee dead.
Of the maiden thy mother men sing as a goddess with grace clad around;
Thou art throned where another was king; where another was queen she is crowned.
Yea, once we had sight of another: but now she is queen, say these.
Not as thine, not as thine was our mother, a blossom of flowering seas,
Clothed round with the world’s desire as with raiment, and fair as the foam,
And fleeter than kindled fire, and a goddess, and mother of Rome.
For thine came pale and a maiden, and sister to sorrow; but ours,
Her deep hair heavily laden with odour and colour of flowers,
White rose of the rose-white water, a silver splendour, a flame,
Bent down unto us that besought her, and earth grew sweet with her name.
For thine came weeping, a slave among slaves, and rejected; but she
Came flushed from the full-flushed wave, and imperial, her foot on the sea.
And the wonderful waters knew her, the winds and the viewless ways,
And the roses grew rosier, and bluer the sea-blue stream of the bays.
Ye are fallen, our lords, by what token? we wist that ye should not fall.
Ye were all so fair that are broken; and one more fair than ye all.
But I turn to her still, having seen she shall surely abide in the end;
Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me now and befriend.
O daughter of earth, of my mother, her crown and blossom of birth,
I am also, I also, thy brother; I go as I came unto earth.
In the night where thine eyes are as moons are in heaven, the night where thou art,
Where the silence is more than all tunes, where sleep overflows from the heart,
Where the poppies are sweet as the rose in our world, and the red rose is white,
And the wind falls faint as it blows with the fume of the flowers of the night,
And the murmur of spirits that sleep in the shadow of Gods from afar
Grows dim in thine ears and deep as the deep dim soul of a star,
In the sweet low light of thy face, under heavens untrod by the sun,
Let my soul with their souls find place, and forget what is done and undone.
Thou art more than the Gods who number the days of our temporal breath;
For these give labour and slumber; but thou, Proserpina, death.
Therefore now at thy feet I abide for a season in silence. I know
I shall die as my fathers died, and sleep as they sleep; even so.
For the glass of the years is brittle wherein we gaze for a span;
A little soul for a little bears up this corpse which is man.
So long I endure, no longer; and laugh not again, neither weep.
For there is no God found stronger than death; and death is a sleep.

Poem of the day

Minha terra
by António Correia de Oliveira (1879-1960)

Minha terra, quem me dera
Ser humilde lavrador.
Ter o pão de cada dia, 
Ter a graça do Senhor:
Cavar-te, por minhas mãos,
Com caridade e amor.

Minha terra, quem me dera
Ser um Poeta afamado.
Ter a sina de Camões,
Andar nas naus embarcado:
Mostrar às outras nações
Portugal alevantado.

Minha terra, quem me dera
Poder ver-te d’um sertão;
Ter-te longe dos meus olhos,
Pertinho do coração:
Para amar-te mais, podendo,
Que me parece que não.

Minha terra, quem me dera
Ser um nauta assinalado;
Passar trabalhos no mar,
Ir à guerra, ser soldado:
Dar por ti todo o meu sangue
De Português desgraçado.

Poem of the day

Ode to Sleep
by Mark Akenside (1721-1770)

      Thou silent pow’r, whose balmy sway
      Charms every anxious thought away;
      In whose divine oblivion drown’d,
      Fatigue and toiling pain grow mild,
      Love is with sweet success beguil’d,
   And sad remorse forgets her secret wound;
   O whither hast thou flown, indulgent God?
   God of kind shadows and of healing dews,
   O’er whom dost thou extend thy magic rod?
Around what peaceful couch thy opiate airs diffuse?

      Lo, midnight from her starry reign
      Looks awful down on earth and main.
      The tuneful birds like hush’d in sleep,
      With all that crop the verdant food,
      With all that skim the crystal flood,
   Or haunt the caverns of the rocky steep.
   No rushing winds disturb the tufted bow’rs;
   No wakeful sound the moonlight valley knows,
   Save where the brook its liquid murmur pours,
And lulls the waving scene to more profound repose.

      O let not me thus watch alone!
      O hear my solitary moan!
      Descend, propitious, on my eyes;
      Not from the couch that bears a crown,
      Not from the statesman’s thorny down,
   Or where the miser and his treasure lies:
   Bring not the shapes that break the murd’rer’s rest;
   Nor those the hireling soldier burns to see,
   Nor those that haunt the tyrant’s gloomy breast:
Far be their guilty nights, and far their dreams from me!

      Nor yet those awful joys present,
      For chiefs and heroes only meant:
      The figur’d brass, the choral song,
      The rescued people’s glad applause,
      The list’ning senate, and the laws
   Bent on the dictates of TIMOLEAN’S tongue,
   Are scenes too grand for fortune’s private ways;
   And tho’ they shine to youth’s ingenious view,
   The sober gainful arts of modern days,
To such romantic thoughts have bid a long adieu.

B      lest be my fate! I need not pray
      That lovesick dreams be kept away:
      No female charms, or fancy born,
      Nor damask cheek, nor sparkling eye,
      With me the bands of sleep untie,
   Or steal by minutes half the sauntring morn.
   Nor yet the courtier’s hope, the giving smile,
   (A lighter phantom and a baser chain)
   Bids wealth and place the fever’d night beguile,
To gall my waking hours with more vexacious pain.

      But, Morpheus, on thy dewy wing
      Such fair auspicious visions bring,
      As sooth’d great MILTON’S injur’d age,
      When in prophetic dreams he saw
      The tribes unborn with pious awe
   Imbibe each virtue from his heav’nly page:
   Or such as MEAD’S benignant fancy knows,
   When health’s kind treasures, by his art explor’d,
   Have sav’d the infant from an orphan’s woes,
Or to the trembling sire his age’s hope restor’d.

Poem of the day

Ad Ausonium
by Paulinus of Nola (c. 354-431)

Ego te per omne, quod datum mortalibus
      Et destinatum seculum est,
Claudente donec continebor corpore,
      Discernar orbe quolibet,
Nec orbe longe, nec remotum lumine,
      Tenebo fibris insitum,
Videbo corde, mente complectar pia
      Ubique praesentem mihi.
Et cum solutus corporali carcere,
      Terraque provolavero,
Quo me locarit axe communis Pater,
      Illic quoque te animo geram.
Neque finis idem qui meo me corpore,
      Et amore laxabit tui.
Mens quippe, lapsis quae superstes artubus
      De stirpe durat coeliti,
Sensus necesse est simul et affectus suos
      Teneat aeque ut vitam suam;
Et ut mori, sic oblivisci non capit,
      Perenne viva et memor.

Poem of the day

My Darling Dear, My Daisy Flower
by John Skelton (1460-1529)

   With lullay, lullay, like a child,
   Thou sleepest too long, thou art beguiled.
My darling dear, my daisy flower,
   Let me, quod he, lie in your lap.
Lie still, quod she, my paramour,
   Lie still, hardely, and take a nap.
   His head was heavy, such was his hap,
All drowsy dreaming, drowned in sleep,
That of his love he took no keep.
   With lullay, lullay, like a child,
   Thou sleepest too long, thou art beguiled.

With ba, ba, ba! and bas, bas, bas!
   She cherished him, both cheek and chin,
That he wist never where he was;
   He had forgotten all deadly sin.
   He wanted wit her love to win,
He trusted her payment and lost all his prey;
She left him sleeping and stale away.
   With lullay, lullay, like a child,
   Thou sleepest too long, thou art beguiled.

The rivers rough, the waters wan,
   She sparèd not to wet her feet;
She waded over, she found a man
   That halséd her heartily and kissed her sweet:
   Thus after her cold she caught a heat.
My love, she said, routeth in his bed;
Ywis he hath a heavy head.
   With lullay, lullay, like a child,
   Thou sleepest too long, thou art beguiled.

What dreamest thou, drunkard, drowsy pate?
   Thy lust and liking is from thee gone.
Thou blinkard blowbowl, thou wakest too late:
   Behold thou liest, luggard, alone!
   Well may thou sigh, well may thou groan,
To deal with her so cowardly.
Ywis, pole hatchet, she bleared thine eye.
   With lullay, lullay, like a child,
   Thou sleepest too long, thou art beguiled.

Poem of the day

The Coming American
by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

Bring me men to match my mountains;
Bring me men to match my plains, —
Men with empires in their purpose,
And new eras in their brains.
Bring me men to match my praries,
Men to match my inland seas,
Men whose thought shall pave a highway
Up to ampler destinies;
Pioneers to clear Thought’s marshlands,
And to cleanse old Error’s fen;
Bring me men to match my mountains —
Bring me men!
Bring me men to match my forests,
Strong to fight the storm and blast,
Branching toward the skyey future,
Rooted in the fertile past.
Bring me men to match my valleys,
Tolerant of sun and snow,
Men within whose fruitful purpose
Time’s consummate blooms shall grow.
Men to tame the tigerish instincts
Of the lair and cave and den,
Cleans the dragon slime of Nature —
Bring me men!
Bring me men to match my rivers,
Continent cleavers, flowing free,
Drawn by the eternal madness
To be mingled with the sea;
Men of oceanic impulse,
Men whose moral currents sweep
Toward the wide-enfolding ocean
Of an undiscovered deep;
Men who feel the strong pulsation
Of the Central Sea, and then
Time their currents to its earth throb —
Bring me men!

Poem of the day

Mare Vitae
by Pedro Kilkerry (1885-1917)

— Remar! remar! — E a embarcação ligeira
Foi deslizando, como um sonho da água.
De pé, na proa, era a gonfaloneira
— Remar! remar! — a minha própria Mágoa.

E esmaia, logo, uma ilusão. E afago-a
Ao som de fogo de canção guerreira,
Vai deslizando como um sonho da água
— Remar! remar! a embarcação ligeira.

Mas uma voz de súbito. Gemendo,
Sob o silêncio côncavo dos astros
Quem canta assim de amor? Eu não compreendo…

E oh! Morte — eu disse — esta canção me aterra:
Dá-me que tremam palpitando os mastros
Ao som vermelho da canção de guerra.