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Heather

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About Heather

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  1. Poetic Wanderings

    The wind doth blow today, my love, And a few small drops of rain; I never had but one true-love, In cold grave she was lain. ‘I’ll do as much for my true-love As any young man may; I’ll sit and mourn all at her grave For a twelvemonth and a day.’ The twelvemonth and a day being up, The dead began to speak: ‘Oh who sits weeping on my grave, And will not let me sleep?’ ‘’Tis I, my love, sits on your grave, And will not let you sleep; For I crave one kiss of your clay-cold lips, And that is all I seek.’ ‘You crave one kiss of my clay-cold lips; But my breath smells earthy strong; If you have one kiss of my clay-cold lips, Your time will not be long. ‘’Tis down in yonder garden green, Love, where we used to walk, The finest flower that ere was seen Is withered to a stalk. ‘The stalk is withered dry, my love, So will our hearts decay; So make yourself content, my love, Till God calls you away.’ Anonymous - 'The Unquiet Grave'
  2. Poetic Wanderings

    The king doth keep his revels here tonight. Take heed the queen come not within his sight. For Oberon is passing fell and wrath Because that she, as her attendant hath A lovely boy stolen from an Indian king. She never had so sweet a changeling. And jealous Oberon would have the child Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild. But she perforce withholds the lovèd boy, Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her joy. And now they never meet in grove or green, By fountain clear or spangled starlight sheen. But they do square, that all their elves for fear Creep into acorn cups and hide them there. Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, II/i
  3. Poetic Wanderings

    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' holyday. 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 holyday. 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' holyday. Ben Jonson - 'The Shepherd's Holyday'
  4. Poetic Wanderings

    Oenone: Fair and fair, and twice so fair, As fair as any may be; The fairest shepherd on our green, A love for any lady. Paris: Fair and fair, and twice so fair, As fair as any may be; Thy love is fair for thee alone And for no other lady. Oenone: My love is fair, my love is gay, As fresh as bin the flowers in May And of my love my roundelay, My merry, merry, merry roundelay, Concludes with Cupid's curse,— 'They that do change old love for new Pray gods they change for worse!' Ambo Simul: They that do change old love for new, Pray gods they change for worse! George Peele - from 'Fair and Fair'
  5. Poetic Wanderings

    Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee; Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can; Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be. But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan, O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee? Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear. Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod, Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer. Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God. Gerard Manley Hopkins - 'Carrion Comfort'
  6. Poetic Wanderings

    Busy old fool, unruly sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains call on us? Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run? Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide Late school boys and sour prentices, Go tell court huntsmen that the king will ride, Call country ants to harvest offices, Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. Thy beams, so reverend and strong Why shouldst thou think? I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, But that I would not lose her sight so long; If her eyes have not blinded thine, Look, and tomorrow late, tell me, Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me. Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday, And thou shalt hear, All here in one bed lay. She's all states, and all princes, I, Nothing else is. Princes do but play us; compared to this, All honor's mimic, all wealth alchemy. Thou, sun, art half as happy as we, In that the world's contracted thus. Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be To warm the world, that's done in warming us. Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere; This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere. John Donne - 'The Sun Rising'
  7. Poetic Wanderings

    I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania sometime of the night, Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight; And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin, Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in. Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream, II/i
  8. Poetic Wanderings

    Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere, I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude, And with forc'd fingers rude Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year. Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear Compels me to disturb your season due; For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime, Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer. Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme. He must not float upon his wat'ry bier Unwept, and welter to the parching wind, Without the meed of some melodious tear. Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring; Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string. Hence with denial vain and coy excuse! So may some gentle muse With lucky words favour my destin'd urn, And as he passes turn And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud! John Milton - from 'Lycidas'
  9. Poetic Wanderings

    I've been trying to link to this all week. Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light: The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out the grief that saps the mind For those that here we see no more; Ring out the feud of rich and poor, Ring in redress to all mankind. Ring out a slowly dying cause, And ancient forms of party strife; Ring in the nobler modes of life, With sweeter manners, purer laws. Ring out the want, the care, the sin, The faithless coldness of the times; Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes But ring the fuller minstrel in. Ring out false pride in place and blood, The civic slander and the spite; Ring in the love of truth and right, Ring in the common love of good. Ring out old shapes of foul disease; Ring out the narrowing lust of gold; Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace. Ring in the valiant man and free, The larger heart, the kindlier hand; Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to be. Alfred, Lord Tennyson - 'Ring Out, Wild Bells'
  10. Poetic Wanderings

    In going to my naked bed, as one that would have slept, I heard a wife sing to her child that long before had wept. She sighed sore and sang full sweet to bring the babe to rest, That would not cease but cried still in sucking at her breast. She was full weary of her watch, and grieved with her child, She rocked it and rated it till that on her it smiled: Then did she say now have I found this proverb true to prove, The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love. Richard Edwardes - from 'Amantium Irae'
  11. Poetic Wanderings

    It was like a church to me. I entered it on soft foot, Breath held like a cap in the hand. It was quiet. What God there was made himself felt, Not listened to, in clean colours That brought a moistening of the eye, In a movement of the wind over grass. There were no prayers said. But stillness Of the heart’s passions — that was praise Enough; and the mind’s cession Of its kingdom. I walked on, Simple and poor, while the air crumbled And broke on me generously as bread. R.S. Thomas - 'The Moor'
  12. Poetic Wanderings

    Home is where one starts from. As we grow older The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated Of dead and living. Not the intense moment Isolated, with no before and after, But a lifetime burning in every moment And not the lifetime of one man only But of old stones that cannot be deciphered. There is a time for the evening under starlight, A time for the evening under lamplight (The evening with the photograph album). Love is most nearly itself When here and now cease to matter. Old men ought to be explorers Here or there does not matter We must be still and still moving Into another intensity For a further union, a deeper communion Through the dark cold and the empty desolation, The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning. T.S. Eliot - from 'East Coker'
  13. Poetic Wanderings

    Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley, Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation; With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness, And three trees on the low sky, And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow. Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel, Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver, And feet kicking the empty wine-skins. But there was no information, and so we continued And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory. T.S. Eliot - from 'Journey of the Magi'
  14. Poetic Wanderings

    YET if His Majesty, our sovereign lord, Should of his own accord Friendly himself invite, And say 'I'll be your guest to-morrow night,' How should we stir ourselves, call and command All hands to work! 'Let no man idle stand! 'Set me fine Spanish tables in the hall; See they be fitted all; Let there be room to eat And order taken that there want no meat. See every sconce and candlestick made bright, That without tapers they may give a light. 'Look to the presence: are the carpets spread, The dazie o'er the head, The cushions in the chairs, And all the candles lighted on the stairs? Perfume the chambers, and in any case Let each man give attendance in his place!' Thus, if a king were coming, would we do; And 'twere good reason too; For 'tis a duteous thing To show all honour to an earthly king, And after all our travail and our cost, So he be pleased, to think no labour lost. But at the coming of the King of Heaven All 's set at six and seven; We wallow in our sin, Christ cannot find a chamber in the inn. We entertain Him always like a stranger, And, as at first, still lodge Him in the manger. Thought to be by Thomas Ford - 'Preparations'
  15. Poetic Wanderings

    He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red, And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with the dead, The poor dead woman whom he loved, And murdered in her bed. He walked amongst the Trial Men In a suit of shabby grey; A cricket cap was on his head, And his step seemed light and gay; But I never saw a man who looked So wistfully at the day. I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky, And at every drifting cloud that went With sails of silver by. I walked, with other souls in pain, Within another ring, And was wondering if the man had done A great or little thing, When a voice behind me whispered low, "That fellow’s got to swing." Oscar Wilde - from 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol'
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