Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

William Skakespeare

Posted: April 24, 2013 in poetry
Tags: ,

CARPE DIEM
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love’s coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey’s end in lovers’ meeting–
Every wise man’s son doth know.

What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,–
Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

William_Shakespeare_1609

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616

Little is known about Shakespeare’s early years. His father, John Shakespeare, was a glover and dealer in commodities and was a man of some standing in the local community. His mother,Mary Arden, was of higher social class. Shakespeare seems to have attended the local grammar school at Stratcord-upon-Avon, where he was born, but no records remain.

In 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than he was, and they had three children by 1594: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. However, he became a leading member of the newly formed acting company the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (who became the King’ Men at the acession of James I) and he remained with them for the rest of his career. In 1599 the company occupied the Globe Theatre in London and 1608 took over Blackfriars as a winter house. Shakespeare lived and worked in London, but this family remained in Stratford. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the 16th century. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616. He was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare’s genius, and the Victorians worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called “bardolatry”. In the 20th century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. Shakeaspeare’s plays are still performed with more regularity than those of any other playwright and film versions frequently appear.

FIVE SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS TO YOU ENJOY THE DAY

90

From you have I been absent in the spring… (Sonnet 98)

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
 Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
 As with your shadow I with these did play.

161
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
 And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
 As any she belied with false compare.

60
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck (Sonnet 14)

 Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck,
And yet methinks I have astronomy;
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well
By oft predict that I in heaven find.
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert:
 Or else of thee this I prognosticate,
 Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.

183
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (Sonnet 18)

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
 So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
 So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

186

Sonnet 100: Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget’st so long

 Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget’st so long
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend’st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem,
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, resty Muse, my love’s sweet face survey
If time have any wrinkle graven there;
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make time’s spoils despisèd everywhere.
 Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life;
 So thou prevent’st his scythe and crooked knife.

99
Source: www.poemhunter.com

Honor to Woman, a poem by Schiller

Posted: March 8, 2013 in poetry, women
Tags: ,

8th March, International Woman’s Day.

HONOR TO WOMAN
by Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

Honor to woman! To her it is given
To garden the earth with the roses of heaven!
All blessed, she linketh the loves in their choir
In the veil of the graces her beauty concealing,
She tends on each altar that’s hallowed to feeling,
And keeps ever-living the fire!

2230

From the bounds of truth careering,
Man’s strong spirit wildly sweeps,
With each hasty impulse veering
Down to passion’s troubled deeps.
And his heart, contented never,
Greeds to grapple with the far,
Chasing his own dream forever,
On through many a distant star!
But woman with looks that can charm and enchain,
Lureth back at her beck the wild truant again,
By the spell of her presence beguiled–
In the home of the mother her modest abode,
And modest the manners by Nature bestowed
On Nature’s most exquisite child!

2169

Bruised and worn, but fiercely breasting,
Foe to foe, the angry strife;
Man, the wild one, never resting,
Roams along the troubled life;
What he planneth, still pursuing;
Vainly as the Hydra bleeds,
Crest the severed crest renewing–
Wish to withered wish succeeds.

But woman at peace with all being, reposes,
And seeks from the moment to gather the roses–
Whose sweets to her culture belong.
Ah! richer than he, though his soul reigneth o’er
The mighty dominion of genius and lore,
And the infinite circle of song.

2298

Strong, and proud, and self-depending,
Man’s cold bosom beats alone;
Heart with heart divinely blending,
In the love that gods have known,
Soul’s sweet interchange of feeling,
Melting tears–he never knows,
Each hard sense the hard one steeling,
Arms against a world of foes.

Alive, as the wind-harp, how lightly soever
If wooed by the zephyr, to music will quiver,
Is woman to hope and to fear;
All, tender one! still at the shadow of grieving,
How quiver the chords–how thy bosom is heaving–
How trembles thy glance through the tear!

2173

Man’s dominion, war and labor;
Might to right the statue gave;
Laws are in the Scythian’s sabre;
Where the Mede reigned–see the slave!
Peace and meekness grimly routing,
Prowls the war-lust, rude and wild;
Eris rages, hoarsely shouting,
Where the vanished graces smiled.

But woman, the soft one, persuasively prayeth–
Of the life that she charmeth, the sceptre she swayeth;
She lulls, as she looks from above,
The discord whose bell for its victims is gaping,
And blending awhile the forever escaping,
Whispers hate to the image of love!

2251

A DIGNIDADE DAS MULHERES
Tradução para o Português: Maria do Sameiro Barroso

Honrai as mulheres! Elas entrançam e tecem
Rosas sublimes na vida terrena,
Entrançam do amor o venturoso laço
E, através do véu casto das Graças,
Alimentam, vigilantes, o fogo eterno
De sentimentos mais belos, com mão sagrada.

2216

Nos limites eternos da Verdade, o homem
Vagueia sem cessar, na sua rebeldia,
Impelido por pensamentos inquietos,
Precipita-se no oceano da sua fantasia.
Com avidez agarra o longe,
Seu coração jamais conhece a calma,
Incessante, em estrelas distantes,
Busca a imagem do seu sonho.
Mas, com olhares de encanto e fascínio,
As mulheres chamam a si o fugitivo,
Trazendo-o a mais avisados caminhos.
Na mais modesta cabana materna
Foram deixadas, com modos mais brandos,
As filhas fiéis da Natureza piedosa.

2214

Adverso é o esforço do homem,
Com força desmesurada,
Sem paragem nem descanso,
Atravessa o rebelde a sua vida.
Logo destrói tudo o que alcança;
Jamais termina o seu desejo de luta.
Jamais, como cabeça da Hidra,
Eternamente cai e se renova.

Mas, felizes, entre mais calmos rumores,
Irrompem as mulheres, num instante de flores,
Propiciando zelo e cuidadoso amor,
Mais livres, no seu concertado agir,
Mais propensas que o homem à sabedoria
E ao círculo infindável da poesia.

2291

Severo, orgulhoso, autárcico,
O peito frio do homem não conhece
Efusivo coração que a outro se ajuste,
Nem o amor, deleite dos deuses,
Das almas desconhece a permuta,
Às lágrimas não se entrega nunca,
A própria luta pela vida tempera
Com mais rudeza ainda a sua força.

Mas, como que tocada ao de leve pelo Zéfiro,
Célere, a harpa eólica estremece,
Tal é a alma sensível da mulher.
Com angustiada ternura, perante o sofrimento,
O seu seio amoroso vibra, nos seus olhos
Brilham pérolas de orvalho sublime.

2274

Nos reinos do poder masculino,
Vence, por direito, a força,
Pela espada se impõe o cita
E escravo se torna o persa,
Esgrimem-se entre si, em fúria,
Ambições selvagens, rudes,
E a voz rouca de Éris domina,
Quando a Cárite se põe em fuga.

Porém, com modos brandos e persuasivos,
As mulheres conduzem o ceptro dos costumes,
Acalmam a discórdia que, raivosa, se inflama,
Às forças hostis que se odeiam
Ensinam a maneira de ser harmoniosa,
E reúnem o que no eterno se derrama.

2217

The Moon

Posted: April 26, 2012 in poetry
Tags: , ,

5 short poems to the Queen of the Night…

THE SADNESS OF THE MOON (by Charles Baudelaire)

The Moon more indolently dreams to-night
Than a fair woman on her couch at rest,
Caressing, with a hand distraught and light,
Before she sleeps, the contour of her breast.

Upon her silken avalanche of down,
Dying she breathes a long and swooning sigh;
And watches the white visions past her flown,
Which rise like blossoms to the azure sky.

And when, at times, wrapped in her languor deep,
Earthward she lets a furtive tear-drop flow,
Some pious poet, enemy of sleep,

Takes in his hollow hand the tear of snow
Whence gleams of iris and of opal start,
And hides it from the Sun, deep in his heart.

THE FREEDOM OF THE MOON (by Robert Frost)

I’ve tried the new moon tilted in the air
Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster
As you might try a jewel in your hair.
I’ve tried it fine with little breadth of luster,
Alone, or in one ornament combining
With one first-water start almost shining.

I put it shining anywhere I please.
By walking slowly on some evening later,
I’ve pulled it from a crate of crooked trees,
And brought it over glossy water, greater,
And dropped it in, and seen the image wallow,
The color run, all sorts of wonder follow.

SONG OF THE MOON (by Claude McKay)

The moonlight breaks upon the city’s domes,
And falls along cemented steel and stone,
Upon the grayness of a million homes,
Lugubrious in unchanging monotone.
Upon the clothes behind the tenement,
That hang like ghosts suspended from the lines,
Linking each flat to each indifferent,
Incongruous and strange the moonlight shines.

There is no magic from your presence here,
Ho, moon, sad moon, tuck up your trailing robe,
Whose silver seems antique and so severe
Against the glow of one electric globe.

Go spill your beauty on the laughing faces
Of happy flowers that bloom a thousand hues,
Waiting on tiptoe in the wilding spaces,
To drink your wine mixed with sweet drafts of dews.

THE MOON (by Robert Louis Stevenson)

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbour quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.

TO THE MOON (by Giacomo Leopardi)

Oh gracious moon, now as the year turns,
I remember how, heavy with sorrow,
I climbed this hill to gaze on you,
And then as now you hung above those trees
Illuminating all. But to my eyes
Your face seemed clouded, temulous
From the tears that rose beneath my lids,
So painful was my life: and is, my
Dearest moon; its tenor does not change.
And yet, memory and numbering the epochs
Of my grief is pleasing to me. How welcome
In that youthful time -when hope’s span is long,
And memory short -is the remembrance even of
Past sad things whose pain endures.

I dedicate this post to my friend Lima Verde

“The Birth of Venus” (in Italian: Nascita di Venere) is a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli. It depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as a fully grown woman, arriving at the sea-shore (which is related to the Venus Anadyomene motif). The painting is held in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

The iconography of “The Birth of Venus” is very similar to a description of the event (or rather, a description of a sculpture of the event) in a poem by Angelo Poliziano, the “Stanze per la giostra”. Written between 1475-8, the poem includes a fictional description of reliefs cast by Vulcan for the doors of the Temple of Venus. It would seem likely that Botticelli would have known this text when he painted his Birth of Venus. In any case, both Poliziano and Botticelli were working in the context of the Medici court in Florence. Cosimo de Medici established a Platonic Academy modelled on the classical example of Plato’s own Akademia. In describing the imagined reliefs cast by Vulcan, Poliziano was employing a literary form that became popular in the Late Antique world known as ekphrasis, where one artistic form emulates another artistic form. The relationships of the arts, most specifically painting and poetry, was related to a famous dictum in Horace’s Ars Poetica, “ut pictura poesis,” or literally “As painting so is poetry.” This comparison and rivalry between painting and poetry was an important way artists tried to elevate their status above the manual arts. The following is an excerpt from Angelo Poliziano’s poem “Stanze per la giostra”:

XCIX 99
In the stormy Aegean, the genital member is
 seen to be received in the lap of Tethys, to drift
 across the waves, wrapped in white foam, be-
 neath the various turnings of the planets; and
 within, both with lovely and happy gestures, a
 young woman with nonhuman countenance, is
 carried on a conch shell, wafted to shore by
 playful zephyrs; and it seems that heaven re-
 joices in her birth.

C 100
You would call the foam real, the sea real, real
 the conch shell and real the blowing wind; you
 would see the lightning in the goddess’s eyes,
 the sky and the elements laughing about her; the
 Hours treading the beach in white garments, the
 breeze curling their loosened and flowing hair;
 their faces not one, not different, as befits sisters.

CI 101
You could swear that the goddess had emerged
 from the waves, pressing her hair with her right
 hand, covering with the other her sweet mound
 of flesh; and where the strand was imprinted by
 her sacred and divine step, it had clothed itself
 in flowers and grass; then with happy, more than
 mortal features, she was received in the bosom
 of the three nymphs and cloaked in a starry gar-
 ment.

CII 102
With both hands one nymph holds above the
 spray-wet tresses a garland, burning with gold
 and oriental gems, another adjusts pearls in her
 ears; the third, intent upon those beautiful
 breasts and white shoulders, appears to strew
 round them the rich necklaces with which they
 three girded their own necks when they used to
 dance in a ring in heaven.

CIII 103
Thence they seem to be raised toward heav-
 enly spheres, seated upon a silver cloud: in the
 hard stone you would seem to see the air trem-
 bling and all of heaven contented; every god
 takes pleasure in her beauty and desires her hap-
 py bed: each face seems to marvel, with raised
 eyebrows and wrinkled forehead.

CIV 104
Finally the divine artisan formed his self-portrait,
 happy with such a sweet prize, still bristly and
 scabrous from his furnace, as if forgetting every
 labor for her, joining his lips with desire to hers,
 as if his soul burned completely with love: and
 there seems to be a much greater fire kindled
 within him than the one that he had left in
 Mongibello.

The model for Venus in this painting has traditionally been associated with Simonetta Vespucci – who had been a muse for Botticelli,  and was seen as the model for female beauty throughout Florence – especially for the Medici family for whom this painting had been created. There is added credence to this suggestion from the fact that she was born in the Ligurian fishing village of  PortoVenere – called Port of Venus because there was a little Temple to Venus there from 1st Century BC. The other model for the pose of Venus in the painting was possibly the Medici Venus – a first century BC statue depicting Aphrodite in a Venus pudica pose. It is actually a marble copy  of an original bronze Greek sculpture,  that Botticelli would have has an opportunity to study whilst visiting the sculpture school or the Platonic Academy which flourished at the family home of the Medici in Florence.


The unusual feature of Botticelli’s early paintings is that they are based on mythologies, not religious paintings – which at the time must have itself been something of a shock to people outside the Neoplatonic, Humanist circle of friends of the Medici. Botticelli’s early style was to create visual poetry, unlike Ghirlandaio and even his own teacher Fra Filippo Lippi, he was not trying to construct space within the picture frame and he made no attempt to model solid three dimensional people; instead his figures float flatly on the front of the picture against a decorative landscape backdrop with their form defined by a thin outline. The story of “The Birth of Venus” is well described below by a Homeric hymn but it’s relevance to the painting is disputed as the poem was only published, by the Greek refugee Demetrios Chalcondyles, in Florence in 1488 – five years after the painting was completed as a wedding gift for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici in 1483.

Of august gold-wreathed and beautiful
Aphrodite I shall sing to whose domain
belong the battlements of all sea-loved
Cyprus where, blown by the moist breath
of Zephyros, she was carried over the
waves of the resounding sea on soft foam.
The gold-filleted Horae happily welcomed
her and clothed her with heavenly raiment.

In 1989, English director Terry Gilliam, inspired by the Botticelli painting, made a beautiful scene in his movie “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” where actress Uma Thurman plays Venus and Oliver Reed plays his husband Vulcan.

The professional photographer Alex Vanzetti also inspired by the painting made the amazing photography below:


Who lives in a clamshell above of the sea? From pop artist Elen Ameli Lin: “Botticelli’s little bit changed picture Birth of Venus. Sophie is Venus, SpongeBob is Zephyr, Sandy is his wife, and Patricia – is Horae.”

Read more about The Birth of Venus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_Venus_(Botticelli)
Read the poem “Stanze per la giostra”: http://natey.com/poliziano/book1.html

Happy B-Day, Victor Hugo

Posted: February 26, 2012 in poetry
Tags: , ,

VICTOR HUGO (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885)

Born in 1802 in Besancon, Victor Hugo was an extremely prolific poet, novelist and dramatist, the author of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Les Misérables”. He has been analyzed, praised, described, and criticized in many, many biographies; one of the first of these was published by his wife Adèle in 1863. He deeply influenced the Romantic movement and the formulation of its values in France.
Victor’s father Joseph Léopold Sigisbert Hugo was an officer and a general in Napoleon’s Army, and a governor of provinces in Italy and Spain. His mother raised Victor after the initial collapse of their marriage; she would rejoin her husband several times at his various posts of duty.


At an early age, Victor began to write tragedies and poetry, and to translate Virgil. At 17, he founded a literary review with his brothers, the Conservateur Littéraire. His first collection of poems was published in 1822, the year of his marriage to Adèle Foucher (which triggered the lifelong incarceration in a mental institution of his brother and competitor, Engène). It earned him a royal pension from Louis the eighteenth. His first novel, “Han D’Islande” appeared anonymously in four pocket-sized volumes (his second appeared three years later). “Cromwell”, his famous dramatic poem, was published in 1827.
Hugo’s political stance wavered from side to side. He wrote royalist odes and cursed Napoleon’s memory, would then defend his father’s role in Napoleon’s victory, and attack the injustices of the monarchist regime. When Léopold Hugo died in 1828, Victor started to call himself a baron. In his later life, he would become involved in politics as a supporter of the republican form of government. He was elected in 1841 to the Académie Francaise; in 1845, he was made a pair de France, and sat in the Upper Chamber among the lords. When the coup by Louis Napoleon the third took place in 1851, he believed his life to be in danger, and fled to various different places; finally to Guernsey in the English channel. His voluntary exile lasted for 20 years, until he returned to France when Napoleon III fell from power and the Republic was reclaimed. In 1876, he was elected a senator of Paris.

His lyrical style has been described as ‘rich, intense and full of powerful sounds and rhythms.. although it followed the bourgeois popular taste of the period it also had bitter personal tones.’ Verlaine describes the progression in a typical Hugo love poem as follows: ‘I like you. You yield to me. I love you – You resist me. Clear off…” In 1843, Hugo’s daughter Léopoldine drowned along with her husband. A decade passed before Hugo would publish anything new.
Hugo’s funeral in 1885 was a national event, attended by two million people.
Victor Hugo Bio and Poems: www.poemhunter.com
Images: Google and Wikipedia
Read another Post about Victor Hugo on this blog: Man and Woman, a poem by Victor Hugo

THE GRAVE AND THE ROSE

The Grave said to the Rose,
“What of the dews of dawn,
Love’s flower, what end is theirs?”
“And what of spirits flown,
The souls whereon doth close
The tomb’s mouth unawares?”
The Rose said to the Grave.

The Rose said, “In the shade
From the dawn’s tears is made
A perfume faint and strange,
Amber and honey sweet.”
“And all the spirits fleet
Do suffer a sky-change,
More strangely than the dew,
To God’s own angels new,”
The Grave said to the Rose.

THE EXILE’S CHOICE

Since justice slumbers in the abysm,
Since the crime’s crowned with despotism,
Since all most upright souls are smitten,
Since proudest souls are bowed for shame,
Since on the walls in lines of flame
My country’s dark dishonour’s written;

O grand Republic of our sires,
Pantheon filled with sacred fires,
In the free azure golden dome,
Temple with shades immortal thronged!
Since thus thy glory they have wronged,
With ‘Empire’ staining Freedom’s home;

Since in my country each soul born
Is base; since there are laughed to scorn
The true, the pure, the great, the brave,
The indignant eyes of history,
Honor, law, right, and liberty,
And those, alas! within the grave:

Solitude, exile ! I love them !
Sorrow, be thou my diadem !
Poverty love I, — for ‘t is pride !
My rugged home winds beat upon;
And even that awful Statue wan
Aye seated silent by my side.

I love the woe that proves me strong;
That shadow of fate which all ye throng,
O ye to whom high hearts aye bow, –
Faith, Virtue veiled, stern Dignity,
And thou, proud Exile, Liberty,
And, nobler yet, Devotion, thou!

I love this islet lonely, bold, –
Jersey, wherever England’s old
Free banner doth the storm-blast brave;
Yon darkling ocean’s ebb and flow,
Its vessels, each a wandering plough,
Whose mystic furrow is the wave.

I love thy gull, with snowy wing
In pearls to the wind blithe scattering,
O ocean vast, thy sunny spray;
Who darts beneath hugh billows gaping,
Soon from those monstrous throats escaping
As a soul from sorrow flits away!

I love the rock, — how solemn, stern !
Thence hearkening aye the plaint eterne
On the wild air around me shed,
Ever the sullen night outpours,
Of waves that sob on sombre shores,
Of mothers mourning children dead!

THE GENESIS OF BUTTERFLIES

The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers
That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings,
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide,
With muffled music, murmured far and wide!
Ah, Spring time, when we think of all the lays
That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays,
Of the fond hearts within a billet bound,
Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound,
The messages of love that mortals write
Filled with intoxication of delight,
Written in April, and before the May time
Shredded and flown, play things for the wind’s play-time,
We dream that all white butterflies above,
Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love,
And leave their lady mistress in despair,
To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair,
Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies
Flutter, and float, and change to Butterflies.

SERENADE

When the voice of thy lute at the eve
Charmeth the ear,
In the hour of enchantment believe
What I murmur near.
That the tune can the Age of Gold
With its magic restore.
Play on, play on, my fair one,
Play on for evermore.

When thy laugh like the song of the dawn
Riseth so gay
That the shadows of Night are withdrawn
And melt away,
I remember my years of care
And misgiving no more.
Laugh on, laugh on, my fair one,
Laugh on for evermore.

When thy sleep like the moonlight above
Lulling the sea,
Doth enwind thee in visions of love,
Perchance, of me!
I can watch so in dream that enthralled me,
Never before!
Sleep on, sleep on, my fair one!
Sleep on for evermore.

MORE STRONG THAN TIME

Since I have set my lips to your full cup, my sweet,
Since I my pallid face between your hands have laid,
Since I have known your soul, and all the bloom of it,
And all the perfume rare, now buried in the shade;

Since it was given to me to hear on happy while,
The words wherein your heart spoke all its mysteries,
Since I have seen you weep, and since I have seen you smile,
Your lips upon my lips, and your eyes upon my eyes;

Since I have known above my forehead glance and gleam,
A ray, a single ray, of your star, veiled always,
Since I have felt the fall, upon my lifetime’s stream,
Of one rose petal plucked from the roses of your days;

I now am bold to say to the swift changing hours,
Pass, pass upon your way, for I grow never old,
Fleet to the dark abysm with all your fading flowers,
One rose that none may pluck, within my heart I hold.

Your flying wings may smite, but they can never spill
The cup fulfilled of love, from which my lips are wet;
My heart has far more fire than you can frost to chill,
My soul more love than you can make my soul forget.