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About jfp

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  • Birthday February 20


  • Biography
    jfp = John from Paris [where I've now been "from" for over 28 years]
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    Reading (mainly fiction, in English and French...); baritone in semi-professional choir; pianist.
  • How did you hear about this site?
    Thanks to my Aussie friend Kimberley

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  1. The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said, "Bright is thy veil, O Moon, as thou art bright!" Forthwith, that little cloud, in ether spread And penetrated all with tender light, She cast away, and showed her fulgent head Uncovered; dazzling the Beholder's sight As if to vindicate her beauty's right Her beauty thoughtlessly disparaged. Meanwhile that veil, removed or thrown aside, Went floating from her, darkening as it went; And a huge mass, to bury or to hide, Approached this glory of the firmament; Who meekly yields, and is obscured--content With one calm triumph of a modest pride. William Wordsworth
  2. [...] Into the chamber wickedly he stalks, And gazeth on her yet unstained bed. The curtains being close, about he walks, Rolling his greedy eyeballs in his head: By their high treason is his heart misled; Which gives the watch-word to his hand full soon To draw the cloud that hides the silver moon. Look, as the fair and fiery-pointed sun, Rushing from forth a cloud, bereaves our sight; Even so, the curtain drawn, his eyes begun To wink, being blinded with a greater light: Whether it is that she reflects so bright, That dazzleth them, or else some shame supposed; But blind they are, and keep themselves enclosed. O, had they in that darksome prison died! Then had they seen the period of their ill; Then Collatine again, by Lucrece' side, In his clear bed might have reposed still: But they must ope, this blessed league to kill; And holy-thoughted Lucrece to their sight Must sell her joy, her life, her world's delight. [...] Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
  3. I. Moonbeam, leave the shadowy vale, To bathe this burning brow. Moonbeam, why art thou so pale, As thou walkest o'er the dewy dale, Where humble wild-flowers grow? Is it to mimic me? But that can never be; For thine orb is bright, And the clouds are light, That at intervals shadow the star-studded night. II. Now all is deathy still on earth; Nature’s tired frame reposes; And, ere the golden morning’s birth Its radiant hues discloses, Flies forth its balmy breath. But mine is the midnight of Death, And Nature's morn To my bosom forlorn Brings but a gloomier night, implants a deadlier thorn. III. Wretch! Suppress the glare of madness Struggling in thine haggard eye, For the keenest throb of sadness, Pale Despair's most sickening sigh, Is but to mimic me; And this must ever be, When the twilight of care, And the night of despair, Seem in my breast but joys to the pangs that rankle there. Shelley, "To the Moonbeam"
  4. [...] And when the spring Looks out, and all the pastures dance with lambs, And when the flock, with warmer weather, climbs Higher and higher, him his office leads To watch their goings, whatsoever track The wanderers choose. For this he quits his home At day-spring, and no sooner doth the sun Begin to strike him with a fire-like heat, Than he lies down upon some shining rock, And breakfasts with his dog. When they have stolen, As is their wont, a pittance from strict time, For rest not needed or exchange of love, Then from his couch he starts; and now his feet Crush out a livelier fragrance from the flowers Of lowly thyme, by Nature's skill enwrought In the wild turf: the lingering dews of morn Smoke round him, as from hill to hill he hies, His staff protending like a hunter's spear, Or by its aid leaping from crag to crag, And o'er the brawling beds of unbridged streams. [...] William Wordsworth, The Prelude (1850), Book VIII
  5. When I do count the clock that tells the time, And see the brave day sunk in hideous night; When I behold the violet past prime, And sable curls all silver'd o'er with white: When lofty trees I see barren of leaves Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, And summer's green all girded up in sheaves Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard: Then of thy beauty do I question make, That thou among the wastes of time must go, Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake, And die as fast as they see others grow, And nothing 'gainst time's scythe can make defence Save breed to brave him, when he takes thee hence. Shakespeare, Sonnet XII
  6. Dogs, or men (for I flatter you in saying That ye are dogs - your betters far), ye may Read, or read not, what I am now essaying To show ye what ye are in every way. As little as the moon stops for the baying Of wolves, will the bright Muse withdraw one ray From out her skies. Then howl your idle wrath, While she still silvers o'er your gloomy path! 'Fierce loves and faithless wars' - I am not sure If this be the right reading - 'tis no matter. The fact's about the same, I am secure. I sing them both and am about to batter A town which did a famous siege endure, And was beleaguered both by land and water By Suvaroff or anglice Suwarrow, Who loved blood as an alderman loves marrow. Lord Byron, Don Juan, canto VII, stanzas 7 & 8
  7. 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. William BLAKE, "Jerusalem"
  8. HAMLET ‘A took my father grossly, full of bread, With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May, And how his audit stands who knows save heaven? But in our circumstance and course of thought ’Tis heavy with him. And am I then revenged, To take him in the purging of his soul, When he is fit and season’d for his passage? No! Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent: When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, Or in th’ incestuous pleasure of his bed, At game a-swearing, or about some act That has no relish of salvation in’t — Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven, And that his soul may be as damn’d and black As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays, This physic but prolongs thy sickly days. Shakespeare, Hamlet III/iii
  9. To write one song, I said, As sad as the sad wind That walks around my bed, Having one simple fall As a candle-flame swells, and is thinned, As a curtain stirs by the wall - For this I must visit the dead. Headstone and wet cross, Paths where the mourners tread, A solitary bird, These call up the shade of loss, Shape word to word. That stones would shine like gold Above each sodden grave, This, I had not foretold, Nor the birds' clamour, nor The image morning gave Of more and ever more, As some vast seven-piled wave, Mane-flinging, manifold, Streams at an endless shore. Philip LARKIN
  10. VI. Most epic poets plunge "in medias res" (Horace makes this the heroic turnpike road), And then your hero tells, whene'er you please, What went before--by way of episode, While seated after dinner at his ease, Beside his mistress in some soft abode, Palace, or garden, paradise, or cavern, Which serves the happy couple for a tavern. VII. That is the usual method, but not mine -- My way is to begin with the beginning; The regularity of my design Forbids all wandering as the worst of sinning, And therefore I shall open with a line (Although it cost me half an hour in spinning), Narrating somewhat of Don Juan's father, And also of his mother, if you'd rather. Lord Byron, Don Juan, Canto I
  11. MACBETH Throw physic to the dogs; I'll none of it. Come, put mine armour on; give me my staff. Seyton, send out. Doctor, the thanes fly from me. Come, sir, dispatch. If thou couldst, doctor, cast The water of my land, find her disease, And purge it to a sound and pristine health, I would applaud thee to the very echo, That should applaud again.—Pull't off, I say.— What rhubarb, cyme, or what purgative drug, Would scour these English hence? Shakespeare, Macbeth V/iii
  12. I A traveller on the skirt of Sarum's Plain Pursued his vagrant way, with feet half bare; Stooping his gait, but not as if to gain Help from the staff he bore; for mien and air Were hardy, though his cheek seemed worn with care Both of the time to come, and time long fled: Down fell in straggling locks his thin grey hair; A coat he wore of military red But faded, and stuck o'er with many a patch and shred. II While thus he journeyed, step by step led on, He saw and passed a stately inn, full sure That welcome in such house for him was none. No board inscribed the needy to allure Hung there, no bush proclaimed to old and poor And desolate, "Here you will find a friend!" The pendent grapes glittered above the door;-- On he must pace, perchance 'till night descend, Where'er the dreary roads their bare white lines extend. [...] William Wordsworth, "Guilt and Sorrow", stanzas I & II
  13. [...] Oh! when I have hung Above the raven's nest, by knots of grass And half-inch fissures in the slippery rock But ill sustain'd, and almost, as it seem'd, Suspended by the blast which blew amain, Shouldering the naked crag; Oh! at that time, While on the perilous ridge I hung alone, With what strange utterance did the loud dry wind Blow through my ears! the sky seem'd not a sky Of earth, and with what motion mov'd the clouds! [...] From: William Wordsworth, The Prelude (Book I)
  14. PERDITA You'd be so lean, that blasts of January Would blow you through and through. Now, my fair'st friend, I would I had some flowers o'th'spring, that might Become your time of day - and yours, and yours, That wear upon your virgin branches yet Your maidenheads growing: O Proserpina, For the flowers now that, frighted, thou let'st fall From Dis's wagon! Daffodils, That come before the swallow dares, and take The winds of March with beauty; violets, dim, But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses That die unmarried ere they can behold Bright Phoebus in his strength—a malady Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds, The flower-de-luce being one: O, these I lack, To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend, To strew him o'er and o'er! Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale IV/iv
  15. It does appear to be porpentine in most editions (but not the one I copied/pasted from)... I'll change it... Out of the bosom of the Air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow Descends the snow. Even as our cloudy fancies take Suddenly shape in some divine expression, Even as the troubled heart doth make In the white countenance confession, The troubled sky reveals The grief it feels. This is the poem of the air, Slowly in silent syllables recorded; This is the secret of despair, Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded, Now whispered and revealed To wood and field. Henry Wasworth Longfellow, "Snow-flakes"