Saturday, June 23, 2018

To the Moon / Percy Bysshe Shelley

To the Moon 

          Art thou pale for weariness?
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
          Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,-
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
from Posthumous Poems, 1824

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Percy Bysshe Shelley biography

Thursday, June 21, 2018

RIP Medya, 1999-2018


Somewhere a violated auto
shrieks a one-note alarm
in brilliant sunshine;
the poet rolls over,
wills himself to sleep.

The long-haired blonde
sprawled naked at his feet
is clearly winning
this sleep-competition,
tail and paws perfectly still.

atop the bookcase
a fat ball
of tri-coloured fur

warms up
for the next round

George J. Dance, 2008
from Doggerel and other doggerel, 2015

Rest in peace, Medya, 1999-2018

Photo by Maureen Dance, 2018.

[All rights reserved - used with permission]

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Written at the close of Spring /
Charlotte Turner Smith

Written at the close of Spring

The garlands fade that Spring so lately wove,
  Each simple flower which she has nurs’d in dew,
Anemones, that spangled every grove,
  The primrose wan, and harebell mildly blue.
No more shall violets linger in the dell,
  Or purple orchis variegate the plain,
Till Spring again shall call forth every bell
  And dress with hurried hands her wreaths again.
Ah, poor humanity! so frail, so fair,
  And the fond visions of thy early day,
Till tyrant passion and corrosive care
  Bid all thy fairy colours flee away!
Another May new birds and flowers shall bring;
Ah! why has happiness no second spring?

Charlotte Turner Smith (1749-1806)
from Elegaic Sonnets, 1784

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Charlotte Turner Smith biography

Saturday, June 16, 2018

To Spring / Robert Story

To Spring

O what a bloom, a freshness — as of flowers
And verdure bathed in dew — comes o'er the heart,
Sweet Spring, when thou art named;
Or when thy softened breeze,

Pure from reviving nature, fans the cheek!
The languid spirit feels, through all its depths,
The genial warmth, and pours
Profuse its flowers of thought!

Who can thy charms enumerate? The dell,
Where the rathe primrose peeps; the living wood,
Where the green bud just bursts,
And the deep blackbird sings;

The plain, where smiles the daisy, where its gold
The gorgeous king-cup shows, and where the stream
Rolls in blue windings on;
The freshened mountain, gay

With springing heath and blooming gorse, o'er which
The plover screams; and over all, the sky
Blue, lofty fine, where laughs
The joyous sun, and where

Sails the light snowy cloud, or — if the shower
Thin-glancing falls — perchance the rainbow bends
Its scarcely visible arch,
Whence rings the sky-lark's song!

The eye looks round delighted, the heart beats
With rapture! — And do I experience now
That rapture, that delight?
Then, shall my song confine

Its praise to Earth's enchantments, nor ascend
In grateful adoration, God! to thee—
The source of all that's fair,
The bounteous source of Spring!

Robert Story (1795-1860)
from The Magic Fountain, and other poems, 1819

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Robert Story biography

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June Apples / Ethelwyn Wetherald

June Apples

Green apple branches full of green apples
     All around me unfurled,
Here where the shade and the sunlight dapples
     A grass-green, apple-green world.

Little green children stirred with the heaving
     Of the warm breast of the air,
When your old nurse, the wind, is grieving
     Comfortlessly you fare.

But now an old-time song she is crooning,
     Nestle your heads again,
While I dream on though the golden nooning,
     Or look for the first red stain

On some round cheek that the sunshine dapples,
     Near me where I lie curled
Under green trees athrong with green apples,
     In a grass-green, apple-green world.

Ethelwyn Wetherald (1857-1940)
from The House of the Trees, and other poems, 1895

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Ethelwyn Wetherald biography

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Advice to a Butterfly / Maxwell Bodenheim

Advice to a Butterfly

Aimless petal of the wind,
Spinning gently weird circles,
To the flowers underneath
You are a drunken king of motion;
To the plunging winds above
You are momentary indecision.

Aimless petal of the wind,
Waver carelessly against this June.
The universe, like you, is but
The drowsy arm of stillness
Spinning gently weird circles in his sleep.

Maxwell Bodenheim (1892-1954)
From Advice: A book of poems, 1920

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Parterre / E.H. Palmer

The Parterre

I don't know any greatest treat
    As sit him in a gay parterre,
And sniff one up the perfume sweet
    Of every roses buttoning there.

It only want my charming miss
    Who make to blush the self red rose;
Oh! I have envy of to kiss
    The end's tip of her splendid nose.

Oh! I have envy of to be
    What grass 'neath her pantoffle push,
And too much happy seemeth me
    The margaret which her vestige crush.

But I will meet her nose at nose,
    And take occasion for her hairs,
And indicate her all my woes,
    That she in fine agree my prayers.

         |The Envoy| 

I don't know any greatest treat
    As sit him in a gay parterre,
With Madame who is too more sweet
    Than every roses buttoning there.

E.H. Palmer (1840-1882)

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

E.H. Palmer biography