Poem of the day

Le Soir
by Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1861)

Le soir ramène le silence.
Assis sur ces rochers déserts,
Je suis dans le vague des airs
Le char de la nuit qui s’avance.

Vénus se lève à l’horizon;
À mes pieds l’étoile amoureuse
De sa lueur mystérieuse
Blanchit les tapis de gazon.

De ce hêtre au feuillage sombre
J’entends frissonner les rameaux:
On dirait autour des tombeaux
Qu’on entend voltiger une ombre.

Tout à coup, détaché des cieux,
Un rayon de l’astre nocturne,
Glissant sur mon front taciturne,
Vient mollement toucher mes yeux.

Doux reflet d’un globe de flamme,
Charmant rayon, que me veux-tu?
Viens-tu dans mon sein abattu
Porter la lumière à mon âme?

Descends-tu pour me révéler
Des mondes le divin mystère,
Ces secrets cachés dans la sphère
Où le jour va te rappeler?

Une secrète intelligence
T’adresse-t-elle aux malheureux?
Viens-tu, la nuit, briller sur eux
Comme un rayon de l’espérance?

Viens-tu dévoiler l’avenir
Au cœur fatigué qui l’implore?
Rayon divin, es-tu l’aurore
Du jour qui ne doit pas finir?

Mon cœur à ta clarté s’enflamme,
Je sens des transports inconnus,
Je songe à ceux qui ne sont plus:
Douce lumière, es-tu leur âme?

Peut-être ces mânes heureux
Glissent ainsi sur le bocage.
Enveloppé de leur image,
Je crois me sentir plus près d’eux?

Ah! si c’est vous, ombres chéries,
Loin de la foule et loin du bruit,
Revenez ainsi chaque nuit
Vous mêler à mes rêveries.

Ramenez la paix et l’amour
Au sein de mon âme épuisée,
Comme la nocturne rosée
Qui tombe après les feux du jour.

Venez!… Mais des vapeurs funèbres
Montent des bords de l’horizon :
Elles voilent le doux rayon,
Et tout rentre dans les ténèbres.

Views: 127

Poem of the day

Afternoon in February
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead.

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red.

The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o’er the plain;

While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes
A funeral train.

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell;

Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.

Views: 46

Poem of the day

The Passionate Shepard to His Love
by Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.

There will we sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

There I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider’d all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair linèd slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

Views: 57

Poem of the day

Love Unsought
by Emma Embury (1806-1863)

They tell me that I must not love,
That thou wilt spurn the free
And unbought tenderness that gives
Its hidden wealth to thee.
It may be so: I heed it not,
Nor would I change my blissful lot,
When thus I am allowed to make
My heart a bankrupt for thy sake.

They tell me when the fleeting charm
Of novelty is o’er,
Thou’lt turn away with careless brow
And think of me no more.
It may be so! enough for me
If sunny skies still smile o’er thee,
Or I can trace, when thou art far,
Thy pathway like a distant star.

Views: 63

Science? We don’t need no stinking science!

No one who is guilty (as this person obviously is) of treasonable noticing of seditious facts should expect to work under the current administration.

Revelation: the Department of the Interior has a “scientific integrity officer” (who apparently hasn’t been fired yet).

Views: 55

Poem of the day

by George Moore (1852-1933)

Did I love thee? I only did desire
To hold thy body unto mine,
And smite it with strange fire
Of kisses burning as a wine,
And catch thy odorous hair, and twine
It thro’ my fingers amorously.
Did I love thee?

Did I love thee? I only did desire
To watch thine eyelids lilywise
Closed down, and thy warm breath respire
As it came through the thickening sighs,
And speak my love in such fair guise
Of passion’s sobbing agony.
Did I love thee?

Did I love thee? I only did desire
To drink the perfume of thy blood
In vision, and thy senses tire
Seeing them shift from ebb to flood
In consonant sweet interlude,
And if love such a thing not be,
I loved not thee.

Views: 48

The benefits of raising the minimum wage

From the New York Times: “For years, when American policymakers have debated the minimum wage, they have debated its effect on the labor market. Economists have gone around and around, rehashing the same questions about how wage bumps for the poorest workers could reduce employment, raise prices or curtail hours. What most didn’t ask was: When low-wage workers receive a pay increase, how does that affect their lives?

“But recently, a small group of researchers scattered around the country have begun to pursue this long-neglected question, specifically looking into the public-health effects of a higher minimum wage. …

“A $15 minimum wage is an antidepressant. It is a sleep aid. A diet. A stress reliever. It is a contraceptive, preventing teenage pregnancy. It prevents premature death. It shields children from neglect. But why? Poverty can be unrelenting, shame-inducing and exhausting. When people live so close to the bone, a small setback can quickly spiral into a major trauma. …

“The stress of poverty can also burden the mind, causing us to make worse decisions and ignore our health.”

Views: 79

Poem of the day

An Elegy on the Death of John Keats, Author of Endymion, Hyperion, Etc.
Ἀστὴο πρὶν μὲν ἔλαμπες ἐνὶ ζώοισιν ἱῶος,
Νῦν δὲ, ϑανῶν, λάμπεις ἕσϰερος ἐν φϑιμένοις.—Plato
by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

   I weep for Adonais—he is dead!
   Oh, weep for Adonais! though our tears
   Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head!
   And thou, sad Hour, selected from all years
   To mourn our loss, rouse thy obscure compeers,
   And teach them thine own sorrow, say: “With me
   Died Adonais; till the Future dares
   Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be
An echo and a light unto eternity!”

   Where wert thou, mighty Mother, when he lay,
   When thy Son lay, pierced by the shaft which flies
   In darkness? where was lorn Urania
   When Adonais died? With veiled eyes,
   ’Mid listening Echoes, in her Paradise
   She sate, while one, with soft enamoured breath,
   Rekindled all the fading melodies,
   With which, like flowers that mock the corse beneath,
He had adorned and hid the coming bulk of Death.

   Oh, weep for Adonais—he is dead!
   Wake, melancholy Mother, wake and weep!
   Yet wherefore? Quench within their burning bed
   Thy fiery tears, and let thy loud heart keep
   Like his, a mute and uncomplaining sleep;
   For he is gone, where all things wise and fair
   Descend—oh, dream not that the amorous Deep
   Will yet restore him to the vital air;
Death feeds on his mute voice, and laughs at our despair.

   Most musical of mourners, weep again!
   Lament anew, Urania!—He died,
   Who was the Sire of an immortal strain,
   Blind, old and lonely, when his country’s pride,
   The priest, the slave and the liberticide,
   Trampled and mocked with many a loathed rite
   Of lust and blood; he went, unterrified,
   Into the gulf of death; but his clear Sprite
Yet reigns o’er earth; the third among the sons of light.

   Most musical of mourners, weep anew!
   Not all to that bright station dared to climb;
   And happier they their happiness who knew,
   Whose tapers yet burn through that night of time
   In which suns perished; others more sublime,
   Struck by the envious wrath of man or god,
   Have sunk, extinct in their refulgent prime;
   And some yet live, treading the thorny road,
Which leads, through toil and hate, to Fame’s serene abode.

   But now, thy youngest, dearest one, has perished—
   The nursling of thy widowhood, who grew,
   Like a pale flower by some sad maiden cherished,
   And fed with true-love tears, instead of dew;
   Most musical of mourners, weep anew!
   Thy extreme hope, the loveliest and the last,
   The bloom, whose petals nipped before they blew
   Died on the promise of the fruit, is waste;
The broken lily lies—the storm is overpast.

   To that high Capital, where kingly Death
   Keeps his pale court in beauty and decay,
   He came; and bought, with price of purest breath,
   A grave among the eternal.—Come away!
   Haste, while the vault of blue Italian day
   Is yet his fitting charnel-roof! while still
   He lies, as if in dewy sleep he lay;
   Awake him not! surely he takes his fill
Of deep and liquid rest, forgetful of all ill.

   He will awake no more, oh, never more!—
   Within the twilight chamber spreads apace
   The shadow of white Death, and at the door
   Invisible Corruption waits to trace
   His extreme way to her dim dwelling-place;
   The eternal Hunger sits, but pity and awe
   Soothe her pale rage, nor dares she to deface
   So fair a prey, till darkness and the law
Of change shall o’er his sleep the mortal curtain draw.

   Oh, weep for Adonais!—The quick Dreams,
   The passion-wingèd Ministers of thought,
   Who were his flocks, whom near the living streams
   Of his young spirit he fed, and whom he taught
   The love which was its music, wander not—
   Wander no more, from kindling brain to brain,
   But droop there, whence they sprung; and mourn their lot
   Round the cold heart, where, after their sweet pain,
They ne’er will gather strength, or find a home again.

   And one with trembling hands clasps his cold head,
   And fans him with her moonlight wings, and cries,
   “Our love, our hope, our sorrow, is not dead;
   See, on the silken fringe of his faint eyes,
   Like dew upon a sleeping flower, there lies
   A tear some Dream has loosened from his brain.”
   Lost Angel of a ruined Paradise!
   She knew not ’twas her own; as with no stain
She faded, like a cloud which had outwept its rain.

   One from a lucid urn of starry dew
   Washed his light limbs as if embalming them;
   Another clipped her profuse locks, and threw
   The wreath upon him, like an anadem,
   Which frozen tears instead of pearls begem;
   Another in her wilful grief would break
   Her bow and wingèd reeds, as if to stem
   A greater loss with one which was more weak;
And dull the barbed fire against his frozen cheek.

   Another Splendour on his mouth alit,
   That mouth, whence it was wont to draw the breath
   Which gave it strength to pierce the guarded wit,
   And pass into the panting heart beneath
   With lightning and with music: the damp death
   Quenched its caress upon his icy lips;
   And, as a dying meteor stains a wreath
   Of moonlight vapour, which the cold night clips,
It flushed through his pale limbs, and passed to its eclipse.

   And others came . . . Desires and Adorations,
   Winged Persuasions and veiled Destinies,
   Splendours, and Glooms, and glimmering Incarnations
   Of hopes and fears, and twilight Phantasies;
   And Sorrow, with her family of Sighs,
   And Pleasure, blind with tears, led by the gleam
   Of her own dying smile instead of eyes,
   Came in slow pomp;—the moving pomp might seem
Like pageantry of mist on an autumnal stream.

   All he had loved, and moulded into thought,
   From shape, and hue, and odour, and sweet sound,
   Lamented Adonais. Morning sought
   Her eastern watch-tower, and her hair unbound,
   Wet with the tears which should adorn the ground,
   Dimmed the aëreal eyes that kindle day;
   Afar the melancholy thunder moaned,
   Pale Ocean in unquiet slumber lay,
And the wild Winds flew round, sobbing in their dismay.

   Lost Echo sits amid the voiceless mountains,
   And feeds her grief with his remembered lay,
   And will no more reply to winds or fountains,
   Or amorous birds perched on the young green spray,
   Or herdsman’s horn, or bell at closing day;
   Since she can mimic not his lips, more dear
   Than those for whose disdain she pined away
   Into a shadow of all sounds:—a drear
Murmur, between their songs, is all the woodmen hear.

   Grief made the young Spring wild, and she threw down
   Her kindling buds, as if she Autumn were,
   Or they dead leaves; since her delight is flown,
   For whom should she have waked the sullen year?
   To Phoebus was not Hyacinth so dear
   Nor to himself Narcissus, as to both
   Thou, Adonais: wan they stand and sere
   Amid the faint companions of their youth,
With dew all turned to tears; odour, to sighing ruth.

   Thy spirit’s sister, the lorn nightingale
   Mourns not her mate with such melodious pain;
   Not so the eagle, who like thee could scale
   Heaven, and could nourish in the sun’s domain
   Her mighty youth with morning, doth complain,
   Soaring and screaming round her empty nest,
   As Albion wails for thee: the curse of Cain
   Light on his head who pierced thy innocent breast,
And scared the angel soul that was its earthly guest!

   Ah, woe is me! Winter is come and gone,
   But grief returns with the revolving year;
   The airs and streams renew their joyous tone;
   The ants, the bees, the swallows reappear;
   Fresh leaves and flowers deck the dead Seasons’ bier;
   The amorous birds now pair in every brake,
   And build their mossy homes in field and brere;
   And the green lizard, and the golden snake,
Like unimprisoned flames, out of their trance awake.

   Through wood and stream and field and hill and Ocean
   A quickening life from the Earth’s heart has burst
   As it has ever done, with change and motion,
   From the great morning of the world when first
   God dawned on Chaos; in its stream immersed,
   The lamps of Heaven flash with a softer light;
   All baser things pant with life’s sacred thirst;
   Diffuse themselves; and spend in love’s delight,
The beauty and the joy of their renewed might.

   The leprous corpse, touched by this spirit tender,
   Exhales itself in flowers of gentle breath;
   Like incarnations of the stars, when splendour
   Is changed to fragrance, they illumine death
   And mock the merry worm that wakes beneath;
   Nought we know, dies. Shall that alone which knows
   Be as a sword consumed before the sheath
   By sightless lightning?—the intense atom glows
A moment, then is quenched in a most cold repose.

   Alas! that all we loved of him should be,
   But for our grief, as if it had not been,
   And grief itself be mortal! Woe is me!
   Whence are we, and why are we? of what scene
   The actors or spectators? Great and mean
   Meet massed in death, who lends what life must borrow.
   As long as skies are blue, and fields are green,
   Evening must usher night, night urge the morrow,
Month follow month with woe, and year wake year to sorrow.

   He will awake no more, oh, never more!
   “Wake thou,” cried Misery, “childless Mother, rise
   Out of thy sleep, and slake, in thy heart’s core,
   A wound more fierce than his, with tears and sighs.”
   And all the Dreams that watched Urania’s eyes,
   And all the Echoes whom their sister’s song
   Had held in holy silence, cried: “Arise!”
   Swift as a Thought by the snake Memory stung,
From her ambrosial rest the fading Splendour sprung.

   She rose like an autumnal Night, that springs
   Out of the East, and follows wild and drear
   The golden Day, which, on eternal wings,
   Even as a ghost abandoning a bier,
   Had left the Earth a corpse. Sorrow and fear
   So struck, so roused, so rapt Urania;
   So saddened round her like an atmosphere
   Of stormy mist; so swept her on her way
Even to the mournful place where Adonais lay.

   Out of her secret Paradise she sped,
   Through camps and cities rough with stone, and steel,
   And human hearts, which to her aery tread
   Yielding not, wounded the invisible
   Palms of her tender feet where’er they fell:
   And barbèd tongues, and thoughts more sharp than they,
   Rent the soft Form they never could repel,
   Whose sacred blood, like the young tears of May,
Paved with eternal flowers that undeserving way.

   In the death-chamber for a moment Death,
   Shamed by the presence of that living Might,
   Blushed to annihilation, and the breath
   Revisited those lips, and Life’s pale light
   Flashed through those limbs, so late her dear delight.
   “Leave me not wild and drear and comfortless,
   As silent lightning leaves the starless night!
   Leave me not!” cried Urania: her distress
Roused Death: Death rose and smiled, and met her vain caress.

   “Stay yet awhile! speak to me once again;
   Kiss me, so long but as a kiss may live;
   And in my heartless breast and burning brain
   That word, that kiss, shall all thoughts else survive,
   With food of saddest memory kept alive,
   Now thou art dead, as if it were a part
   Of thee, my Adonais! I would give
   All that I am to be as thou now art!
But I am chained to Time, and cannot thence depart!

   “O gentle child, beautiful as thou wert,
   Why didst thou leave the trodden paths of men
   Too soon, and with weak hands though mighty heart
   Dare the unpastured dragon in his den?
   Defenceless as thou wert, oh, where was then
   Wisdom the mirrored shield, or scorn the spear?
   Or hadst thou waited the full cycle, when
   Thy spirit should have filled its crescent sphere,
The monsters of life’s waste had fled from thee like deer.

   “The herded wolves, bold only to pursue;
   The obscene ravens, clamorous o’er the dead;
   The vultures to the conqueror’s banner true
   Who feed where Desolation first has fed,
   And whose wings rain contagion; how they fled,
   When, like Apollo, from his golden bow
   The Pythian of the age one arrow sped
   And smiled! The spoilers tempt no second blow,
They fawn on the proud feet that spurn them lying low.

   “The sun comes forth, and many reptiles spawn;
   He sets, and each ephemeral insect then
   Is gathered into death without a dawn,
   And the immortal stars awake again;
   So is it in the world of living men:
   A godlike mind soars forth, in its delight
   Making earth bare and veiling heaven, and when
   It sinks, the swarms that dimmed or shared its light
Leave to its kindred lamps the spirit’s awful night.”

   Thus ceased she: and the mountain shepherds came,
   Their garlands sere, their magic mantles rent;
   The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame
   Over his living head like Heaven is bent,
   An early but enduring monument,
   Came, veiling all the lightnings of his song
   In sorrow; from her wilds Ierne sent
   The sweetest lyrist of her saddest wrong,
And Love taught Grief to fall like music from his tongue.

   Midst others of less note, came one frail Form,
   A phantom among men; companionless
   As the last cloud of an expiring storm
   Whose thunder is its knell; he, as I guess,
   Had gazed on Nature’s naked loveliness,
   Actaeon-like, and now he fled astray
   With feeble steps o’er the world’s wilderness,
   And his own thoughts, along that rugged way,
Pursued, like raging hounds, their father and their prey.

   A pardlike Spirit beautiful and swift—
   A Love in desolation masked—a Power
   Girt round with weakness—it can scarce uplift
   The weight of the superincumbent hour;
   It is a dying lamp, a falling shower,
   A breaking billow;—even whilst we speak
   Is it not broken? On the withering flower
   The killing sun smiles brightly: on a cheek
The life can burn in blood, even while the heart may break.

   His head was bound with pansies overblown,
   And faded violets, white, and pied, and blue;
   And a light spear topped with a cypress cone,
   Round whose rude shaft dark ivy-tresses grew
   Yet dripping with the forest’s noonday dew,
   Vibrated, as the ever-beating heart
   Shook the weak hand that grasped it; of that crew
   He came the last, neglected and apart;
A herd-abandoned deer struck by the hunter’s dart.

   All stood aloof, and at his partial moan
   Smiled through their tears; well knew that gentle band
   Who in another’s fate now wept his own,
   As in the accents of an unknown land
   He sung new sorrow; sad Urania scanned
   The Stranger’s mien, and murmured: “Who art thou?”
   He answered not, but with a sudden hand
   Made bare his branded and ensanguined brow,
Which was like Cain’s or Christ’s—oh! that it should be so!

   What softer voice is hushed over the dead?
   Athwart what brow is that dark mantle thrown?
   What form leans sadly o’er the white death-bed,
   In mockery of monumental stone,
   The heavy heart heaving without a moan?
   If it be He, who, gentlest of the wise,
   Taught, soothed, loved, honoured the departed one,
   Let me not vex, with inharmonious sighs,
The silence of that heart’s accepted sacrifice.

   Our Adonais has drunk poison—oh!
   What deaf and viperous murderer could crown
   Life’s early cup with such a draught of woe?
   The nameless worm would now itself disown:
   It felt, yet could escape, the magic tone
   Whose prelude held all envy, hate and wrong,
   But what was howling in one breast alone,
   Silent with expectation of the song,
Whose master’s hand is cold, whose silver lyre unstrung.

   Live thou, whose infamy is not thy fame!
   Live! fear no heavier chastisement from me,
   Thou noteless blot on a remembered name!
   But be thyself, and know thyself to be!
   And ever at thy season be thou free
   To spill the venom when thy fangs o’erflow;
   Remorse and Self-contempt shall cling to thee;
   Hot Shame shall burn upon thy secret brow,
And like a beaten hound tremble thou shalt—as now.

   Nor let us weep that our delight is fled
   Far from these carrion kites that scream below;
   He wakes or sleeps with the enduring dead;
   Thou canst not soar where he is sitting now.—
   Dust to the dust! but the pure spirit shall flow
   Back to the burning fountain whence it came,
   A portion of the Eternal, which must glow
   Through time and change, unquenchably the same,
Whilst thy cold embers choke the sordid hearth of shame.

   Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep,—
   He hath awakened from the dream of life;—
   ’Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
   With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
   And in mad trance, strike with our spirit’s knife
   Invulnerable nothings.—We decay
   Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
   Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.

   He has outsoared the shadow of our night;
   Envy and calumny and hate and pain,
   And that unrest which men miscall delight,
   Can touch him not and torture not again;
   From the contagion of the world’s slow stain
   He is secure, and now can never mourn
   A heart grown cold, a head grown gray in vain;
   Nor, when the spirit’s self has ceased to burn,
With sparkless ashes load an unlamented urn.

   He lives, he wakes—’tis Death is dead, not he;
   Mourn not for Adonais. Thou young Dawn,
   Turn all thy dew to splendour, for from thee
   The spirit thou lamentest is not gone;
   Ye caverns and ye forests, cease to moan!
   Cease, ye faint flowers and fountains, and thou Air,
   Which like a mourning veil thy scarf hadst thrown
   O’er the abandoned Earth, now leave it bare
Even to the joyous stars which smile on its despair!

   He is made one with Nature: there is heard
   His voice in all her music, from the moan
   Of thunder, to the song of night’s sweet bird;
   He is a presence to be felt and known
   In darkness and in light, from herb and stone,
   Spreading itself where’er that Power may move
   Which has withdrawn his being to its own;
   Which wields the world with never-wearied love,
Sustains it from beneath, and kindles it above.

   He is a portion of the loveliness
   Which once he made more lovely: he doth bear
   His part, while the one Spirit’s plastic stress
   Sweeps through the dull dense world, compelling there
   All new successions to the forms they wear;
   Torturing th’ unwilling dross that checks its flight
   To its own likeness, as each mass may bear;
   And bursting in its beauty and its might
From trees and beasts and men into the Heaven’s light.

   The splendours of the firmament of time
   May be eclipsed, but are extinguished not;
   Like stars to their appointed height they climb,
   And death is a low mist which cannot blot
   The brightness it may veil. When lofty thought
   Lifts a young heart above its mortal lair,
   And love and life contend in it for what
   Shall be its earthly doom, the dead live there
And move like winds of light on dark and stormy air.

   The inheritors of unfulfilled renown
   Rose from their thrones, built beyond mortal thought,
   Far in the Unapparent. Chatterton
   Rose pale, his solemn agony had not
   Yet faded from him; Sidney, as he fought
   And as he fell and as he lived and loved
   Sublimely mild, a Spirit without spot,
   Arose; and Lucan, by his death approved:
Oblivion as they rose shrank like a thing reproved.

   And many more, whose names on Earth are dark,
   But whose transmitted effluence cannot die
   So long as fire outlives the parent spark,
   Rose, robed in dazzling immortality.
   “Thou art become as one of us,” they cry,
   “It was for thee yon kingless sphere has long
   Swung blind in unascended majesty,
   Silent alone amid a Heaven of Song.
Assume thy winged throne, thou Vesper of our throng!”

   Who mourns for Adonais? Oh, come forth,
   Fond wretch! and know thyself and him aright.
   Clasp with thy panting soul the pendulous Earth;
   As from a centre, dart thy spirit’s light
   Beyond all worlds, until its spacious might
   Satiate the void circumference: then shrink
   Even to a point within our day and night;
   And keep thy heart light lest it make thee sink
When hope has kindled hope, and lured thee to the brink.

   Or go to Rome, which is the sepulchre,
   Oh, not of him, but of our joy: ’tis nought
   That ages, empires and religions there
   Lie buried in the ravage they have wrought;
   For such as he can lend—they borrow not
   Glory from those who made the world their prey;
   And he is gathered to the kings of thought
   Who waged contention with their time’s decay,
And of the past are all that cannot pass away.

   Go thou to Rome—at once the Paradise,
   The grave, the city, and the wilderness;
   And where its wrecks like shattered mountains rise,
   And flowering weeds, and fragrant copses dress
   The bones of Desolation’s nakedness
   Pass, till the spirit of the spot shall lead
   Thy footsteps to a slope of green access
   Where, like an infant’s smile, over the dead
A light of laughing flowers along the grass is spread;

   And gray walls moulder round, on which dull Time
   Feeds, like slow fire upon a hoary brand;
   And one keen pyramid with wedge sublime,
   Pavilioning the dust of him who planned
   This refuge for his memory, doth stand
   Like flame transformed to marble; and beneath,
   A field is spread, on which a newer band
   Have pitched in Heaven’s smile their camp of death,
Welcoming him we lose with scarce extinguished breath.

   Here pause: these graves are all too young as yet
   To have outgrown the sorrow which consigned
   Its charge to each; and if the seal is set,
   Here, on one fountain of a mourning mind,
   Break it not thou! too surely shalt thou find
   Thine own well full, if thou returnest home,
   Of tears and gall. From the world’s bitter wind
   Seek shelter in the shadow of the tomb.
What Adonais is, why fear we to become?

   The One remains, the many change and pass;
   Heaven’s light forever shines, Earth’s shadows fly;
   Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
   Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
   Until Death tramples it to fragments.—Die,
   If thou wouldst be with that which thou dost seek!
   Follow where all is fled!—Rome’s azure sky,
   Flowers, ruins, statues, music, words, are weak
The glory they transfuse with fitting truth to speak.

   Why linger, why turn back, why shrink, my Heart?
   Thy hopes are gone before: from all things here
   They have departed; thou shouldst now depart!
   A light is passed from the revolving year,
   And man, and woman; and what still is dear
   Attracts to crush, repels to make thee wither.
   The soft sky smiles,—the low wind whispers near:
   ’Tis Adonais calls! oh, hasten thither,
No more let Life divide what Death can join together.

   That Light whose smile kindles the Universe,
   That Beauty in which all things work and move,
   That Benediction which the eclipsing Curse
   Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love
   Which through the web of being blindly wove
   By man and beast and earth and air and sea,
   Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of
   The fire for which all thirst; now beams on me,
Consuming the last clouds of cold mortality.

   The breath whose might I have invoked in song
   Descends on me; my spirit’s bark is driven,
   Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng
   Whose sails were never to the tempest given;
   The massy earth and sphered skies are riven!
   I am borne darkly, fearfully, afar;
   Whilst, burning through the inmost veil of Heaven,
   The soul of Adonais, like a star,
Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are.

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Game of the week

One of the unfortunate features of today’s game is that a hack like me armed with an analysis engine can make more sense of a game than the grandmaster who played that game (and doesn’t have the benefit of a computer).

Views: 114