Friday, September 21, 2018
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River Lethe in the Valley of 10,000 Smokes (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In Harbour I.   Goodnight and goodbye to the life whose signs denote us As mourners clothed with regret for the life gone by; To the waters of gloom whence winds of the dayspring float us Goodnight and goodbye. A time is for mourning, a season for grief to sigh; But were we not fools and blind, by day to devote us As thralls to the darkness, unseen of the sundawn’s eye? We have drunken of Lethe at length, we have eaten of lotus; What hurts it us here that sorrows are born and die? We have said to the dream that caressed... (Read More ...)

Spices (food, spice, Morocco) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Ilicet There is an end of joy and sorrow; Peace all day long, all night, all morrow, But never a time to laugh or weep. The end is come of pleasant places, The end of tender words and faces, The end of all, the poppied sleep. No place for sound within their hearing, No room to hope, no time for fearing, No lips to laugh, no lids for tears. The old years have run out all their measure; No chance of pain, no chance of pleasure, No fragment of the broken years. Outside of all the worlds and ages, There where the fool is as the sage is, There... (Read More ...)

Birth and Death Large black basalt figure of a nude, sleeping infant representing Somnus, God of Sleep, son of Night and twin brother of Death (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Birth and death, twin-sister and twin-brother, Night and day, on all things that draw breath, Reign, while time keeps friends with one another Birth and death. Each brow-bound with flowers diverse of wreath, Heaven they hail as father, earth as mother, Faithful found above them and beneath. Smiles may lighten tears, and tears may smother Smiles, for all that joy or sorrow saith: Joy nor sorrow knows not from each other Birth... (Read More ...)

White violets A white variant of the common dog violet (Viola riviniana). (Photo credit: Wikipedia) At a Dog’s Grave I Good night, we say, when comes the time to win The daily death divine that shuts up sight, Sleep, that assures for all who dwell therein Good night. The shadow shed round those we love shines bright As love’s own face, when death, sleep’s gentler twin, From them divides us even as night from light. Shall friends born lower in life, though pure of sin, Though clothed with love and faith to usward plight, Perish and pass unbidden of us, their kin, Good night? II To... (Read More ...)

Algernon Swinburne (1837-1909), Portrait by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Source : (Photo credit: Wikipedia) After Sunset – Sonnets ‘Si quis piorum Manibus locus.’ I. Straight from the sun’s grave in the deep clear west A sweet strong wind blows, glad of life: and I, Under the soft keen stardawn whence the sky Takes life renewed, and all night’s godlike breast Palpitates, gradually revealed at rest By growth and change of ardours felt on high, Make onward, till the last flame fall and die And all the world by night’s broad hand lie blest. Haply,... (Read More ...)

A Leave-Taking   Algernon Charles Swinburne. A true poet from Cartoon portraits and biographical sketches of men of the day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)   Let us go hence, my songs; she will not hear. Let us go hence together without fear; Keep silence now, for singing-time is over, And over all old things and all things dear. She loves not you nor me as all we love her. Yea, though we sang as angels in her ear, She would not hear. Let us rise up and part; she will not know. Let us go seaward as the great winds go, Full of blown sand and foam; what help is here? There is no help, for... (Read More ...)

A Dark Month A woodblock from a photograph of Algernon Swinburne, aged 52. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)     ‘La maison sans enfants!’ – VICTOR HUGO. I. A month without sight of the sun Rising or reigning or setting Through days without use of the day, Who calls it the month of May? The sense of the name is undone And the sound of it fit for forgetting. We shall not feel if the sun rise, We shall not care when it sets: If a nightingale make night’s air As noontide, why should we care? Till a light of delight that is done rise, Extinguishing grey regrets; Till a child’s face... (Read More ...)

Robert Browning was born on May 7, 1812. Robert Browning, British poet, during his later years (Photo credit: Wikipedia) He died December 12, 1889.   A Sequence of Sonnets on the Death of Robert Browning I The clearest eyes in all the world they read With sense more keen and spirit of sight more true Than burns and thrills in sunrise, when the dew Flames, and absorbs the glory round it shed, As they the light of ages quick and dead, Closed now, forsake us: yet the shaft that slew Can slay not one of all the works we knew, Nor death discrown that many-laurelled head. The works of words whose... (Read More ...)

East Dene, Bonchurch, Isle of Wight, family home of the Victorian Poet – Algernon Charles Swinburne. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A Reminiscence The rose to the wind has yielded: all its leaves Lie strewn on the graveyard grass, and all their light And color and fragrance leave our sense and sight Bereft as a man whom bitter time bereaves Of blossom at once and hope of garnered sheaves, Of April at once and August. Day to night Calls wailing, and life to death, and depth to height, And soul upon soul of man that hears and grieves. Who knows, though he see the snow-cold blossom shed, If haply... (Read More ...)

Before Dawn Painting of a young Algernon Charles Swinburne, English author and poet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)   Sweet life, if life were stronger, Earth clear of years that wrong her, Then two things might live longer, Two sweeter things than they; Delight, the rootless flower, And love, the bloomless bower; Delight that lives an hour, And love that lives a day. From evensong to daytime, When April melts in Maytime, Love lengthens out his playtime, Love lessens breath by breath, And kiss by kiss grows older On listless throat or shoulder Turned sideways now, turned colder Than life that dreams... (Read More ...)