Sunday, February 26, 2017

Canadian Folk-Song / William Wilfred Campbell

Canadian Folk-Song

The doors are shut, the windows fast,
Outside the gust is driving past,
Outside the shivering ivy clings,
While on the hob the kettle sings.
    Margery, Margery, make the tea,      
    Singeth the kettle merrily.

The streams are hushed up where they flowed,
The ponds are frozen along the road,
The cattle are housed in shed and byre
While singeth the kettle on the fire.
    Margery, Margery, make the tea,
    Singeth the kettle merrily.

The fisherman on the bay in his boat
Shivers and buttons up his coat;
The traveller stops at the tavern door,  
And the kettle answers the chimney’s roar.
    Margery, Margery, make the tea,
    Singeth the kettle merrily.

The firelight dances upon the wall,
Footsteps are heard in the outer hall;  
A kiss and a welcome that fill the room,
And the kettle sings in the glimmer and gloom.
    Margery, Margery, make the tea,
    Singeth the kettle merrily.

William Wilfred Campbell (1860-1918)
from Snowflakes and Sunbeams, 1888

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

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Housewife: Winter Afternoon /
Karle Wilson Baker

The Housewife: Winter Afternoon

The children's cat upon the window-sill,
The little sounds that make the house so still,

That old brown hunting-hat upon the rack,
I give away, and John keeps getting back,

The jonquil blooming in the yellow bowl —
I well believe that each one has a soul,

Each, body to some delicate, rich dream,
As my blue tea-pot to its perfumed steam.

" The shadows of the angels' houses " — so
Said William Blake of houses here below,

And if, at last, they'd set upon my grave,
(As once they furnished forth the red-skinned brave,)

My old blue tea-pot, and a bowl like this,
I think I'd sooner take root in new bliss,

And not come dreaming back, a happy fool,
To wait, like this, till Johnny comes from school.

Karle Wilson Baker (1878-1960)
from Burning Bush, 1922

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

Karle Wilson Baker biography

Sunday, February 19, 2017

To the Same (Philoclea) / Robert Potter

To the Same (Philoclea)

Hark, how the chill north chides among the trees,
Making us shrink and shiver at the sound!
See, how the snow comes beating in the breeze,
And covers with unkindly cold the ground!
Keen cuts the cold with bitter-biting hate,
And sad th' unsightly season's stormy state.

The dainty daisy, and the primrose pale,
The silver'd snow-drop, and the violet blue,
The gorgeous daffodil that decks the dale,
The crocus glitt'ring in his golden hue,
Fold up their silken leaves, and droop their heads,
As they wou'd shrink again into their beds.

Mute is the music of the thrushes' throat;
No more the lively linnet sweetly sings;
Hush'd is the light lark's wildly warbled note,
And the gay goldfinch droops his gaudy wings;
The robin-red-breast, indigent and chill,
Knocks at the casement with familiar bill.

Pierc'd with the eager air the hardy hind,
Wrapt in his coarse-spun duffield bends along;
And hastens homeward from the wintry wind,
Nor chears his journey with one jocund song:
The houseless herds from such a raging sky
For shelter to the friendly hedge-rows fly.

This is the mirror of my mournfull mind,
All there is winter's waste, alas the while!
For thou, my Philoclea, art unkind,
Ah! too unkind to bless me with a smile:
All as the year with wrathfull winter wasted,
The budding blossoms of my joys are blasted.

Mirth, goddess gay, my pensive breast forsakes,
The lightly tripping train of pleasures flies;
Here his sad seat mute melancholy makes,
And dull despair, the god of doleful sighs:
With chiding blasts blow, blow thou winter's wind,
Thy murmurs are meet music for my wind.

But when the genial ruler of the year
Chears the glad vallies with a vernal ray,
Deck'd in their lovely liveries they appear,
With blooming bushes and fresh flowrets gay:
Pruning their painted plumes the sweet birds sing,
The hills, the dales, the woods, the fountains ring.

So, Philoclea, should'st thou sweetly smile
In pity of my painfull pangs of love,
That smile wou'd ev'ry cruel care beguile,
And wastfull winter from my heart remove;
Rose-robed the sprightly spring wou'd revel here,
And own thee for the ruler of my year.

Robert Potter (1721-1804)
from Poems, 1774

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Saturday, February 18, 2017

February (Saint Valentine) / J. Ashby-Sterry

from The Social Zodiac:


Saint Valentine! The post is late!
No letters come — 'tis long past Eight!
     But on this bright auspicious day
     Frivolity holds laughing sway,
And sober people have to wait!

The burdened postmen moan their fate,
This Festival they reprobate;
     And often think they'd like to flay
           Saint Valentine!

But in these views you'll find Miss Kate
Does not at all participate;
     And Beryl, Baby, Minnie, May,
     With Gertie, Ethel, Lily, Fay,
Right gleefully commemorate —
           Saint Valentine!

J. Ashby-Sterry (1836-1917)
from The Lazy Minstrel, 1886

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

J. Ashby-Sterry biography

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sonnet for the 14th of February / Thomas Hood

Sonnet for the 14th of February

No popular respect will I omit
To do thee honor on this happy day,
When every loyal lover tasks his wit
His simple truth in studious rhymes to pay,
And to his mistress dear his hopes convey.
Rather thou knowest I would still outrun
All calendars with Love’s — whose date alway
Thy bright eyes govern better than the Sun —
For with thy favor was my life begun;
And still I reckon on from smiles to smiles,
And not by summers, for I thrive on none
But those thy cheerful countenance compiles:
Oh! if it be to choose and call thee mine,
Love, thou art every day my Valentine.

Thomas Hood (1799-1845)
from Poems, 1846

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Game of Chess / Mortimer Collins

A Game of Chess

Terrace and lawn are white with frost,
Whose fretwork flowers upon the panes —
A mocking dream of summer, lost
'Mid winter's icy chains.

White-hot, indoors, the great logs gleam,
Veiled by a flickering flame of blue:
I see my love as in a dream —
Her eyes are azure, too

She binds her hair behind her ears
(Each little ear so like a shell),
Touches her ivory Queen, and fears
She is not playing well.

For me, I think of nothing less:
I think how those pure pearls become her —
And which is sweetest, winter chess
Or garden strolls in summer.

O linger, frost, upon the pane!
O faint blue flame, still softly rise!
O, dear one, thus with me remain,
That I may watch thine eyes!

Mortimer Collins (1827-1876)
from The Inn of Strange Meetings, 1871

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Mortimer Collins biography

Saturday, February 11, 2017

February in Rome / Edmund Gosse

February in Rome

When Roman fields are red with cyclamen,
  And in the palace gardens you may find,
  Under great leaves and sheltering briony-bind,
Clusters of cream-white violets, oh then
The ruined city of immortal men      
  Must smile, a little to her fate resigned,
  And through her corridors the slow warm wind
Gush harmonies beyond a mortal ken.
Such soft favonian airs upon a flute,
  Such shadowy censers burning live perfume,    
  Shall lead the mystic city to her tomb;
Nor flowerless springs, nor autumns without fruit,
Nor summer mornings when the winds are mute,
  Trouble her soul till Rome be no more Rome.

Edmund Gosse (1849-1928)
from New Poems, 1879

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

Edmund Gosse biography

Sunday, February 5, 2017

February / Ralph Hodgson


A few tossed thrushes save
That carolled less than cried
Against the dying rave
And moan that never died,
No bird sang then; no thorn,
No tree was green beside
Them only never shorn –
The few by all the winds
And chill mutations born
Of Winter's many minds
Abused and whipt in vain –
Swarth yew and ivy kinds
And iron breeds germane.

Ralph Hodgson (1871-1962)
from Poems, 1917

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

Ralph Hodgson biography

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Six O'Clock / Trumbull Stickney

Six O'Clock

Now burst above the city's cold twilight
The piercing whistles and the tower-clocks:
For day is done. Along the frozen docks
The workmen set their ragged shirts aright.
Thro' factory doors a stream of dingy light
Follows the scrimmage as it quickly flocks
To hut and home among the snow's gray blocks.-
I love you, human labourers. Good-night!
Good-night to all the blackened arms that ache!
Good-night to every sick and sweated brow.
To the poor girl that strength and love forsake.
To the poor boy who can no more! I vow
The victim soon shall shudder at the stake
And fall in blood: we bring him even now.

Trumbull Stickney (1874-1904)
from The Poems of Trumbull Stickney, 1905

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Trumbull Stickney biography

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Penny's Top 20 / January 2017

Penny's Top 20
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in January 2017:

  1.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens 
  2.  Esthetique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  3.  New Year's Ode to Liberty, James G. Percival
  4.  Blow, blow, thou winter wind, William Shakespeare
  5.  Inaugural Poem, Richard Oakley
  6.  America: A poem, Michael Pendragon
  7.  January, William Carlos Williams
  8.  Snow, Louis MacNeice

  9.  Winter, Samuel Johnson

10.  January (Upon the Ice), J. Ashby-Sterry

11.  Winter: A dirge, Thomas Stott
Lines to the New Year, 1822, Adam Hood Burwell
13.  Evil / Le Mal, Arthur Rimbaud
14.  Penny, or Penny's Hat, George J. Dance  
15.  Long May You Live, George J. Dance
16.  Last Week in October, Thomas Hardy
17.  Autumn Music, George J. Dance
18.  A Fading of the Sun, Wallace Stevens
19.  November, F.W. Harvey
20. A Winter's Tale, D.H. Lawrence 

Source: Blogger, "Stats"

Penny's Top 100 / 2016

Penny's Top 100
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in 2016:

  1.  Esthetique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  2.  Long May You Live, George J. Dance
  3.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens
  4.  Penny, or Penny's Hat, George J. Dance
  5.  A Song to Mithras, Rudyard Kipling

  6.  Gethsemane, Rudyard Kipling
  7.  Puck's Song, Rudyard Kipling
  8.  shanghai, David Rutkowski
  9.  Evil / Le Mal, Arthur Rimbaud
10.  I heard a bird sing, Oliver Hereford

11.  Last Week in October, Thomas Hardy
12.  Snow, John Davidson
13.  Little Things, Orrick Johns
14.  Puella Parvula, Wallace Stevens
15.  The Dwarf, Wallace Stevens

16.  Once Like a Light, AE Reiff
17.  Snow Monotones, Ben Hecht
18.  Summer: A fragment, Margaret Deland
19.  O Canada: The land we love, David Pekrul
20.  July, Charles G.D. Roberts

21.  When noon is blazing on the town, Robert Hillyer
22.  Frayed Page Soaked in Rain, Will Dockery
23.  Day Turns Night, James D. Senetto
24.  Winter Dusk, Karle Wilson Baker
25.  The Waits, Margaret Deland

26.  The Enthusiast: An ode, William Whitehead
27.  Besides the Autumn poets sing, Emily Dickinson 
28.  The Names, Billy Collins
29.  The City Revisited, Stephen Vincent Benet
30.  An October Garden, Christina Rossetti

31.  Snowstorm in December, Ilya Shambat
32.  June Rain, Louise Driscoll
33.  Easter Music, Margaret Deland
34.  Whilst Shepherd Watch'd, Nahum Tate
35.  A Boy and His Dad, Edgar Guest

36.  Frost at Midnight, Samuel Taylor Coleridge
37.  October: "The old eyes", H.L. Davis
38.  Manhattan, Lola Ridge
39.  This Summer Night, Percy Hemingway

42.  In September, Amy Levy
43.  King Kong, James D. Senetto
44.  For Now Comes Summer, Louis Golding
47.  The Ice Storm, Ambrose Philips
48.  A Midsummer Night's Storm, W.H. Davies
49.  What Is the World Trying to Say?, Henry Charles Beeching 
50.  The Journey of the Magi, T.S. Eliot

51.  Before the Snow, Andrew Lang
52.  February, Sally Bruce Kinsolving
53.  A Book of Dreams, II.4, George MacDonald
54.  A Winter's Tale, D.H. Lawrence
55.  November, Robert Frost

56.  Prayer of the Year, Ethelwyn Wetherald
57.  Winter Evening, Archibald Lampman
58.  Under the Snow, James Lewis Milligan
59.  After Apple-Picking, Robert Frost
60.  Song of the Ungirt Runners, Charles Hamilton Sorley

61.  May and Death, Robert Browning
62.  The March Thaw, Edwin Curran
63.  For Summer-Time, George Wither
64.  In May, W.H. Davies 
65.  Pilgrim Summer, Michael Pendragon

66.  The Songster, Pauline Johnson
67.  The Frozen Thames, John Gay
68.  Summer Rain, Hartley Coleridge
69.  October, Mary Weston Fordham
70.  Autumn, T.E. Hulme

71.  Mid-May, Charles R. Murphy
72.  November, Alexander Louis Fraser
73.  After Summer Rain, David Morton
74.  Dirge in Woods, George Meredith
75.  The Blue Heron, Theodore Goodridge Roberts

76.  A Summer Shower, Henry Timrod
77.  Spring, Andrew Lang
78.  October, William Cullen Bryant
79.  The Snow-Blossoms, Clark Ashton Smith
80.  August Night on Georgian Bay, William Wilfred Campbell

81.  The Fall of the Leaf, Richard Watson Dixon
82.  Autumn Twilight, Arthur Symons
83.  When I Am Old, Marjorie Allen Seiffert
84.  In March, Archibald Lampman
85.  Autumn, Florence Earle Coates

86.  Bombardment, Richard Aldington
88.  Blue Squills, Sara Teasdale
89.  The April Boughs, Theodosia Garrison
90.  Who goes amid the green wood?, James Joyce

91.  Portrait, Hector de Saint Denys Garneau
92.  The Winter's Walk, Samuel Johnson
93.  The Pastoral Pilgrim, Katharine Tynan
94.  Premonition, Louise Driscoll
95.  A Prayer for Spring, Robert Frost

96.  Winter, Charles R. Murphy
97.  Home Thoughts from Abroad, Robert Browning
98.  Hallowe'en in a Suburb, H.P. Lovecraft
99.  To the Swimmer, Countee Cullen