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Heather

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  1. I felt that Id a right to song And sung – but in a timid strain Of fondness for my native plain For every thing I felt a love The weeds below the birds above And weeds that bloomed in summers hours I thought they should be reckoned flowers They made a garden free for all And so I loved them great and small... And so it cheered me while I lay Among their beautiful array To think that I in humble dress Might have a right to happiness And sing as well as greater men And then I strung the lyre agen And heartened up and oer toil and fear And lived with rapture every where ... My harp tho simple was my own When I was in the fields alone With none to help and none to hear To bid me either hope or fear... No matter how the world approved Twas nature listened – I that loved. John Clare – from ‘The Progress of Rhyme’
  2. There is a garden in her face Where roses and white lilies grow; A heav'nly paradise is that place Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow. There cherries grow which none may buy, Till "Cherry ripe" themselves do cry. Those cherries fairly do enclose Of orient pearl a double row, Which when her lovely laughter shows, They look like rose-buds fill'd with snow; Yet them nor peer nor prince can buy, Till "Cherry ripe" themselves do cry. Her eyes like angels watch them still, Her brows like bended bows do stand, Threat'ning with piercing frowns to kill All that attempt with eye or hand Those sacred cherries to come nigh, Till "Cherry ripe" themselves do cry. Thomas Campion - 'There is a garden in her face'
  3. Look, stranger, on this island now The leaping light for your delight discovers, Stand stable here And silent be, That through the channels of the ear May wander like a river The swaying sound of the sea. Here at a small field's ending pause Where the chalk wall falls to the foam and its tall ledges Oppose the pluck And knock of the tide, And the shingle scrambles after the suck- -ing surf, A moment on its sheer side. Far off like floating seeds the ships Diverge on urgent voluntary errands, And this full view Indeed may enter And move in memory as now these clouds do, That pass the harbour mirror And all the summer through the water saunter. W.H. Auden - 'Look, Stranger'
  4. It's a bit misleading, in such a short summary, to say ' the two decide to remain together'. Throughout the book the two live in the same town, but are not by any means 'together'. Near the end of the book they plan to run away together, but this doesn't happen. The author sympathises with her, and to some extent with him, but clearly still feels that Adultery is Wrong. In a striking scene the pair meet - in a wood, I think. He persuades her that what they did wasn't wrong, and she tears the A off her dress. However, Pearl is upset by this, and can only be calmed by Hester pinning the A on again. It's a brilliant book. Older books like this one are harder to read than modern books, but reading them is a good way to learn that what seems the natural point of view to us hasn't always seemed that way. The past is another country; they do things differently there.
  5. Processions that lack high stilts have nothing that catches the eye. What if my great-granddad had a pair that were twenty foot high, And mine were but fifteen foot, no modern stalks upon higher, Some rogue of the world stole them to patch up a fence or a fire. Because piebald ponies, led bears, caged lions, make but poor shows, Because children demand Daddy-long-legs upon his timber toes, Because women in the upper storeys demand a face at the pane That patching old heels they may shriek, I take to chisel and plane. Malachi Stilt-Jack am I, whatever I learned has run wild, From collar to collar, from stilt to stilt, from father to child. All metaphor, Malachi, stilts and all. A barnacle goose Far up in the stretches of night; night splits and the dawn breaks loose; I, through the terrible novelty of light, stalk on, stalk on; Those great sea-horses bare their teeth and laugh at the dawn. W.B. Yeats - 'High Talk'
  6. Thus, thus begin the yearly rites Are due to Pan on these bright nights; His morn now riseth and invites To sports, to dances, and delights: All envious and profane, away! This is the shepherds’ holiday. Strew, strew the glad and smiling ground With every flower, yet not confound; The primrose drop, the spring’s own spouse, Bright day’s-eyes, and the lips of cows, The garden-star, the queen of May, The rose, to crown the holiday. Drop, drop you violets, change your hues Now red, now pale, as lovers use, And in your death go out as well, As when you lived unto the smell: That from your odour all may say, This is the shepherds’ holiday. Ben Jonson - 'The Shepherd's Holiday'
  7. That Whitsun, I was late getting away: Not till about One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out, All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense Of being in a hurry gone. We ran Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence The river’s level drifting breadth began, Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet. All afternoon, through the tall heat that slept For miles inland, A slow and stopping curve southwards we kept. Wide farms went by, short-shadowed cattle, and Canals with floatings of industrial froth; A hothouse flashed uniquely: hedges dipped And rose: and now and then a smell of grass Displaced the reek of buttoned carriage-cloth Until the next town, new and nondescript, Approached with acres of dismantled cars. At first, I didn’t notice what a noise The weddings made Each station that we stopped at: sun destroys The interest of what’s happening in the shade, And down the long cool platforms whoops and skirls I took for porters larking with the mails, And went on reading. Once we started, though, We passed them, grinning and pomaded, girls In parodies of fashion, heels and veils, All posed irresolutely, watching us go, As if out on the end of an event Waving goodbye To something that survived it. Struck, I leant More promptly out next time, more curiously, And saw it all again in different terms: The fathers with broad belts under their suits And seamy foreheads; mothers loud and fat; An uncle shouting smut; and then the perms, The nylon gloves and jewellery-substitutes, The lemons, mauves, and olive-ochres that Marked off the girls unreally from the rest. Yes, from cafés And banquet-halls up yards, and bunting-dressed Coach-party annexes, the wedding-days Were coming to an end. All down the line Fresh couples climbed aboard: the rest stood round; The last confetti and advice were thrown, And, as we moved, each face seemed to define Just what it saw departing: children frowned At something dull; fathers had never known Success so huge and wholly farcical; The women shared The secret like a happy funeral; While girls, gripping their handbags tighter, stared At a religious wounding. Free at last, And loaded with the sum of all they saw, We hurried towards London, shuffling gouts of steam. Now fields were building-plots, and poplars cast Long shadows over major roads, and for Some fifty minutes, that in time would seem Just long enough to settle hats and say I nearly died, A dozen marriages got under way. They watched the landscape, sitting side by side —An Odeon went past, a cooling tower, And someone running up to bowl—and none Thought of the others they would never meet Or how their lives would all contain this hour. I thought of London spread out in the sun, Its postal districts packed like squares of wheat: There we were aimed. And as we raced across Bright knots of rail Past standing Pullmans, walls of blackened moss Came close, and it was nearly done, this frail Travelling coincidence; and what it held Stood ready to be loosed with all the power That being changed can give. We slowed again, And as the tightened brakes took hold, there swelled A sense of falling, like an arrow-shower Sent out of sight, somewhere becoming rain. Philip Larkin 'The Whitsun Weddings'
  8. Orpheus with his lute made trees, And the mountain tops that freeze, Bow themselves when he did sing: To his music plants and flowers Ever sprung; as sun and showers There had made a lasting spring. Every thing that heard him play, Even the billows of the sea, Hung their heads, and then lay by. In sweet music is such art, Killing care and grief of heart Fall asleep, or hearing, die. William Shakespeare - 'Orpheus with his lute '
  9. Yonder is the knowe; and whan thistles are upon it Auld Jamie stands there wi' flooers for a bonnet. Jamie has a cronie; Jamie has three - The laverock, the corbie, and the sma' hinny-bee. The laverock trocks wi' heaven, the corbie wi' hell; The hinny-bee flees on atween and disna fash itsel' Jamie whistled at the plew; Jamie won his queyn; Jamie was a strappan lad - but that was lang-syne. William Soutar - 'Jamie'
  10. My father’s sister started when she caught My soul agaze in my eyes. She could not say I had no business with a sort of soul, But plainly she objected,–and demurred, That souls were dangerous things to carry straight Through all the spilt saltpetre of the world. She said sometimes, ‘Aurora, have you done Your task this morning?–have you read that book? And are you ready for the crochet here?’– As if she said, ‘I know there’s something wrong, I know I have not ground you down enough To flatten and bake you to a wholesome crust For household uses and proprieties, Before the rain has got into my barn And set the grains a-sprouting. What, you’re green With out-door impudence? you almost grow?’ Elizabeth Barrett Browning - from 'Aurora Leigh'
  11. Great choice of link word! Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger, Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose. Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire Mirth, and youth, and warm desire! Woods and groves are of thy dressing; Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and wish thee long. John Milton - 'Song on May Morning'
  12. The chestnut casts his flambeaux, and the flowers Stream from the hawthorn on the wind away, The doors clap to, the pane is blind with showers. Pass me the can, lad; there's an end of May. There's one spoilt spring to scant our mortal lot, One season ruined of your little store. May will be fine next year as like as not: But ay, but then we shall be twenty-four. We for a certainty are not the first Have sat in taverns while the tempest hurled Their hopeful plans to emptiness, and cursed Whatever brute and blackguard made the world. It is in truth iniquity on high To cheat our sentenced souls of aught they crave, And mar the merriment as you and I Fare on our long fool's-errand to the grave. Iniquity it is; but pass the can. My lad, no pair of kings our mothers bore; Our only portion is the estate of man: We want the moon, but we shall get no more. If here to-day the cloud of thunder lours To-morrow it will hie on far behests; The flesh will grieve on other bones than ours Soon, and the soul will mourn in other breasts. The troubles of our proud and angry dust Are from eternity, and shall not fail. Bear them we can, and if we can we must. Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale. A.E. Housman - 'The chestnut casts his flambeaux'
  13. “next to of course god america i love you land of the pilgrims’ and so forth oh say can you see by the dawn’s early my country ’tis of centuries come and go and are no more what of it we should worry in every language even deafanddumb thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry by jingo by gee by gosh by gum why talk of beauty what could be more beaut- iful than these heroic happy dead who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter they did not stop to think they died instead then shall the voice of liberty be mute?” He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water e.e. cummings - 'next to of course god america i'
  14. Done is a battell on the dragon blak, Our campioun Chryst confoundit hes his force, champion The yettis of hell ar brokin with a crak, gates The signe trivmphall rasit is of the croce. raised The diuillis trymmillis with hiddous voce, devils tremble The saulis ar borrowit and to the blis can go. souls are rescued Chryst with his blud our ransonis dois indoce: ransoms does endorse Surrexit dominus de sepulchro. The Lord has risen from the grave From William Dunbar - 'Done is a battell on the dragon blak' Sorry, I couldn't resist. If any of the other words aren't clear, try reading it aloud. I suggest linking to the English equivalents of the words.
  15. On the seventh day God rested in the darkness of the tomb; Having finished on the sixth day all his work of joy and doom. Now the Word had fallen silent, and the water had run dry, The bread had all been scattered, and the light had left the sky. The flock had lost its shepherd, and the seed was sadly sown, The courtiers had betrayed their king, and nailed him to his throne. O Sabbath rest by Calvary, O calm of tomb below, Where the grave-clothes and the spices cradle him we do not know! Rest you well, beloved Jesus, Caesar’s Lord and Israel’s King, In the brooding of the Spirit, in the darkness of the spring. N.T. Wright - 'On the seventh day God rested'
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