Sunday Poem: Sir Richard Fanshawe – A Rose

In Sunday Poem on April 13, 2014 at 7:00 am
Sir Richard Fanshawe. 1608–1666
A Rose
BLOWN in the morning, thou shalt fade ere noon.  
What boots a life which in such haste forsakes thee?  
Thou’rt wondrous frolic, being to die so soon,  
And passing proud a little colour makes thee.  
If thee thy brittle beauty so deceives,          5
Know then the thing that swells thee is thy bane;  
For the same beauty doth, in bloody leaves,  
The sentence of thy early death contain.  
Some clown’s coarse lungs will poison thy sweet flower,  
If by the careless plough thou shalt be torn;   10
And many Herods lie in wait each hour  
To murder thee as soon as thou art born—  
  Nay, force thy bud to blow—their tyrant breath  
  Anticipating life, to hasten death!

Sunday Poem: Coventry Patmore – The Married Lover

In Sunday Poem on April 6, 2014 at 7:00 am
Coventry Patmore. 1823–1896
The Married Lover
WHY, having won her, do I woo?  
  Because her spirit’s vestal grace  
Provokes me always to pursue,  
  But, spirit-like, eludes embrace;  
Because her womanhood is such          5
  That, as on court-days subjects kiss  
The Queen’s hand, yet so near a touch  
  Affirms no mean familiarness;  
Nay, rather marks more fair the height  
  Which can with safety so neglect   10
To dread, as lower ladies might,  
  That grace could meet with disrespect;  
Thus she with happy favour feeds  
  Allegiance from a love so high  
That thence no false conceit proceeds   15
  Of difference bridged, or state put by;  
Because although in act and word  
  As lowly as a wife can be,  
Her manners, when they call me lord,  
  Remind me ’tis by courtesy;   20
Not with her least consent of will,  
  Which would my proud affection hurt,  
But by the noble style that still  
  Imputes an unattain’d desert;  
Because her gay and lofty brows,   25
  When all is won which hope can ask,  
Reflect a light of hopeless snows  
  That bright in virgin ether bask;  
Because, though free of the outer court  
  I am, this Temple keeps its shrine   30
Sacred to Heaven; because, in short,  
  She ‘s not and never can be mine.

Sunday Poem: William Allingham – The Fairies

In Sunday Poem on March 30, 2014 at 7:00 am
William Allingham. 1824–1889
The Fairies
UP the airy mountain,  
  Down the rushy glen,  
We daren’t go a-hunting  
  For fear of little men;  
Wee folk, good folk,          5
  Trooping all together;  
Green jacket, red cap,  
  And white owl’s feather!  
Down along the rocky shore  
  Some make their home,   10
They live on crispy pancakes  
  Of yellow tide-foam;  
Some in the reeds  
  Of the black mountain lake,  
With frogs for their watch-dogs,   15
  All night awake.  
High on the hill-top  
  The old King sits;  
He is now so old and gray  
  He ‘s nigh lost his wits.   20
With a bridge of white mist  
  Columbkill he crosses,  
On his stately journeys  
  From Slieveleague to Rosses;  
Or going up with music   25
  On cold starry nights  
To sup with the Queen  
  Of the gay Northern Lights.  
They stole little Bridget  
  For seven years long;   30
When she came down again  
  Her friends were all gone.  
They took her lightly back,  
  Between the night and morrow,  
They thought that she was fast asleep,   35
  But she was dead with sorrow.  
They have kept her ever since  
  Deep within the lake,  
On a bed of flag-leaves,  
  Watching till she wake.   40
By the craggy hill-side,  
  Through the mosses bare,  
They have planted thorn-trees  
  For pleasure here and there.  
If any man so daring   45
  As dig them up in spite,  
He shall find their sharpest thorns  
  In his bed at night.  
Up the airy mountain,  
  Down the rushy glen,   50
We daren’t go a-hunting  
  For fear of little men;  
Wee folk, good folk,  
  Trooping all together;  
Green jacket, red cap,   55
  And white owl’s feather!

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