Saturday, September 30, 2017

September (A Foreign Tour) / J. Ashby-Sterry


A Foreign Tour? I apprehend
A hand-bag I should recommend;
     A roll of useful notes from Coutts,
     A pocketful of good cheroots,
And Murray for your faithful friend.

Some French, on which you can depend;
A chosen chum, you can't offend;
     Are things to make — with tourist-suits —
          A Foreign Tour.

You'll visit "lions" without end;
And all the snowy peaks ascend
     With alpenstocks and hob-nailed boots:
     Or ride on mules — the sullen brutes —
There's lots of sport, if you intend
          A Foreign Tour!

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

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

J. Ashby-Sterry biography

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bavarian Gentians / D.H. Lawrence

Bavarian Gentians

Not every man has gentians in his house
in Soft September, at slow, Sad Michaelmas.

Bavarian gentians, big and dark, only dark
darkening the day-time torch-like with the smoking blueness of Pluto's gloom,
ribbed and torch-like, with their blaze of darkness spread blue
down flattening into points, flattened under the sweep of white day
torch-flower of the blue-smoking darkness, Pluto's dark-blue daze,
black lamps from the halls of Dis, burning dark blue,
giving off darkness, blue darkness, as Demeter's pale lamps give off light,
lead me then, lead me the way.

Reach me a gentian, give me a torch!
let me guide myself with the blue, forked torch of this flower
down the darker and darker stairs, where blue is darkened on blueness.
even where Persephone goes, just now, from the frosted September
to the sightless realm where darkness is awake upon the dark
and Persephone herself is but a voice
or a darkness invisible enfolded in the deeper dark
of the arms Plutonic, and pierced with the passion of dense gloom,
among the splendour of torches of darkness, shedding darkness on the lost bride and her groom.

D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
from Last Poems, 1933

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

D.H. Lawrence biography

Saturday, September 23, 2017

In a September Night / F. Wyville Home

In a September Night

There the moon leans out and blesses
  All the dreamy hills below:
Here the willows wash their tresses
  Where the water-lilies blow
  In the stream that glideth slow.

High in heaven, in serried ranges,
  Cloud-wreaths float through pallid light,
Like a flock of swans that changes
  In the middle Autumn night
  North for South in ordered flight.      

What know ye, who hover yonder,
  More than I, of that veiled good
Whither all things tend, I wonder,
  That ye follow the wind’s mood
  In such patient quietude?

F. Wyville Home (1851- )
from Lay Canticles, and other poems, 1883

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

F. Wyville Home biography

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Farewell to Summer / Bernard McEvoy

Farewell to Summer

Weep! weep! oh, tearful skies,
While summer gently dies,
And let us bid her sad farewell;
There are no tears so dear
As yours, nor so sincere,
Nor to our hearts such solace tell.

The trees with beauteous green
The leaves no longer screen,
But to the sun their verdure sell;
He gives them glittering gold,
And colors manifold,
How short their day 'twere vain to tell.

Let the wind sadly sigh
O'er flowers that withered lie,
In sover mead, or verdant dell;
Under the falling leaves,
The shroud that autumn weaves,
They sleep, that once we loved so well.

Not with rare flow'rets gay
Make we a last bouquet,
But mint, and rue, and asphodel;
These are our chosen flowers,
Now that the summer hours
No more our hearts with gladness swell.

Early the waning light
Fades from our pensive sight,
While deeply tolls the evening bell;
Over the tree-tops tall,
Night treads her airy hall,
And silent listens to the knell.

By the night coldly kissed,
The silvery ghostly mist
Wakes from its slumbrous earthy cell;
Wanders beneath the trees,
Moved by each passing breeze,
Where late the burning sunshine fell.

Beneath the stars' faint gleam
Moves on the placid stream,
And towards the sea doth flow and swell;
So doth our life-stream flee
On towards infinity,
Where no abiding sorrows dwell.

Bernard McEvoy (1842-1932)
from Away from Newspaperdom, and other poems, 1897

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

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Absence / John Arthur Blaikie


If not now soft airs may blow
    From thy haven unto me,
If not now last Autumn’s glow
    Thrill delight ’twixt me and thee,
Call up Memory, oh, entreat her,
In the present there ’s none sweeter.

One true thought and constant only
    To that pleasurable time
Me sufficeth to make lonely
    All the void and mocking prime
Of this summertide, whose story
Pales in that exceeding glory.

John Arthur Blaikie  (1849- )
from A Victorian Anthology, 1837-1895, 1895

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

John Arthur Blaikie biography

Sunday, September 10, 2017

An Indian Summer Day on the Prairie /
Vachel Lindsay

An Indian Summer Day on the Prairie

(In the Beginning)

The sun is a huntress young,
The sun is a red, red joy,
The sun is an Indian girl,
Of the tribe of the Illinois.


The sun is a smouldering fire,
That creeps through the high gray plain,
And leaves not a bush of cloud
To blossom with flowers of rain.


The sun is a wounded deer,
That treads pale grass in the skies,
Shaking his golden horns,
Flashing his baleful eyes.


The sun is an eagle old,
There in the windless west.
Atop of the spirit-cliffs
He builds him a crimson nest.

Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931)
from Rhymes to be Traded for Bread, 1912

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

Vachel Lindsay biography

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Night Rain in Summer / Leigh Hunt

A Night Rain in Summer 

Open the window, and let the air
Freshly blow upon face and hair,
And fill the room, as it fills the night,
With the breath of the rain's sweet might.
Hark! the burthen, swift and prone!
And how the odorous limes are blown!
Stormy Love's abroad, and keeps
Hopeful coil for gentle sleeps.

Not a blink shall burn to-night
In my chamber, of sordid light;
Nought will I have, not a window-pane,
'Twixt me and the air and the great good rain,
Which ever shall sing me sharp lullabies;
And God's own darkness shall close mine eyes;
And I will sleep, with all things blest,
In the pure earth-shadow of natural rest.

Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)
from Poetical Works, 1860

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Leigh Hunt biography

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Premonition / George J. Dance


The sun has never seemed so warm and bright,
The grass and trees have never looked as green
As in this calm September morning light,
But something else is with me, though unseen:
A polar wind that blows by, harsh and keen,
And leaves me feeling numb, alone, and ill
As I envision what that gust will mean:
Green leaves and grass to wither in its chill,
Gray snow to bury all, black ice to freeze the kill.

George J. Dance, 2017

[All rights reserved by the author - used with permission]

George J. Dance biography

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Dirge for Summer / Sebastian Evans

A Dirge for Summer

  Summer dieth:— o’er his bier
  Chant a requiem low and clear!
  Chant it for his dying flowers,
  Chant it for his flying hours.
Let them wither all together      
  Now the world is past the prime
  Of the golden olden-time.

  Let them die, dying Summer
  Yield his kingdom to the comer
  From the islands of the West:      
  He is weary, let him rest!
And let mellow Autumn’s yellow
  Fall upon the leafy prime
  Of the golden olden-time.

  Go, ye days, your deeds are done!    
  Be yon clouds about the sun
  Your imperial winding-sheet;
  Let the night winds as they fleet
Tell the story of the glory
  Of the free great-hearted prime    
  Of the golden olden-time.

Sebastian Evans (1830-1909)
from Brother Fabian's Manuscript, and other poems, 1865

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Sebastian Evans biography 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Penny's Top 20 / August 2017

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

  1.  There Was a Time, George J. Dance
  2.  The Bright Extensive Will, AE Reiff
  3.  I would I were the glow-worm ..., Mathilde Blind
  4.  Esthetique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  5.  poem while watching dali paint the iridescent sky, John Sweet
  6.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens
  7.  On Summer, George Moses Horton
  8.  August in the City, Charles Hanson Towne
  9.  Night for Adventures, Victor Starbuck

Penny, or Penny's Hat, George J. Dance  

11.  Evil, Arthur Rimbaud
12.  In the Fields, Charlotte Mew
13.  August (Beside the Sea), J. Ashby-Sterry

14.  The Dwarf, Wallace Stevens
15.  Puella Parvula, Wallace Stevens
16.  A Winter's Tale, D.H. Lawrence
17.  July (On Henley Bridge), J. Ashby-Sterry
18.  It's September, Edgar Guest
19.  Last Week in October, Thomas Hardy
20.  London in July, Amy Levy 

Source: Blogger, "Stats"