Poem of the day

A House Call
by Marcus Valerius Martialis (“Martial”) (1st cent.)

Languebam: sed tu comitatus protinus ad me
      uenisti centum, Symmache, discipulis.
Centum me tetigere manus aquilone gelatae:
      non habui febrem, Symmache, nunc habeo.

Views: 43

Poem of the day

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
by Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
   The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
   And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,
   And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
   And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r
   The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand’ring near her secret bow’r,
   Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
   Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
   The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

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Views: 42

Poem of the day

The Tiger
by William Blake (1757-1827)
Because today is International Tiger Day

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Framed thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burned that fire within thine eyes?
On what wings dared he aspire?
What the hand dared seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
When thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand formed thy dread feet?

What the hammer, what the chain,
Knit thy strength and forged thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dared thy deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Views: 37

Poem of the day

Drinking
by Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)

The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
And drinks and gapes for drink again;
The plants suck in the earth, and are
With constant drinking fresh and fair;
The sea itself (which one would think
Should have but little need of drink)
Drinks twice ten thousand rivers up,
So fill’d that they o’erflow the cup.
The busy Sun (and one would guess
By ’s drunken fiery face no less)
Drinks up the sea, and when he’s done,
The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun:
They drink and dance by their own light,
They drink and revel all the night:
Nothing in Nature’s sober found,
But an eternal health goes round.
Fill up the bowl, then, fill it high,
Fill all the glasses there—for why
Should every creature drink but I?
Why, man of morals, tell me why?

Views: 32

Poem of the day

The Last Man
by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)

All worldly shapes shall melt in gloom,
The Sun himself must die,
Before this mortal shall assume
Its Immortality!
I saw a vision in my sleep
That gave my spirit strength to sweep
Adown the gulf of Time!
I saw the last of human mould,
That shall Creation’s death behold,
As Adam saw her prime!

The Sun’s eye had a sickly glare,
The Earth with age was wan,
The skeletons of nations were
Around that lonely man!
Some had expired in fight,–the brands
Still rested in their bony hands;
In plague and famine some!
Earth’s cities had no sound nor tread;
And ships were drifting with the dead
To shores where all was dumb!

Yet, prophet-like, that lone one stood
With dauntless words and high,
That shook the sere leaves from the wood
As if a storm passed by,
Saying, “We are twins in death, proud Sun,
Thy face is cold, thy race is run,
’Tis Mercy bids thee go.
For thou ten thousand thousand years
Hast seen the tide of human tears,
That shall no longer flow.

“What though beneath thee man put forth
His pomp, his pride, his skill;
And arts that made fire, floods, and earth,
The vassals of his will;–
Yet mourn not I thy parted sway,
Thou dim discrowned king of day:
For all those trophied arts
And triumphs that beneath thee sprang,
Healed not a passion or a pang
Entailed on human hearts.

“Go, let oblivion’s curtain fall
Upon the stage of men,
Nor with thy rising beams recall
Life’s tragedy again.
Its piteous pageants bring not back,
Nor waken flesh, upon the rack
Of pain anew to writhe;
Stretched in disease’s shapes abhorred,
Or mown in battle by the sword,
Like grass beneath the scythe.

“Ee’n I am weary in yon skies
To watch thy fading fire;
Test of all sumless agonies
Behold not me expire.
My lips that speak thy dirge of death–
Their rounded gasp and gurgling breath
To see thou shalt not boast.
The eclipse of Nature spreads my pall,–
The majesty of Darkness shall
Receive my parting ghost!

“This spirit shall return to Him
That gave its heavenly spark;
Yet think not, Sun, it shall be dim
When thou thyself art dark!
No! it shall live again, and shine
In bliss unknown to beams of thine,
By Him recalled to breath,
Who captive led captivity.
Who robbed the grave of Victory,–
And took the sting from Death!

“Go, Sun, while Mercy holds me up
On Nature’s awful waste
To drink this last and bitter cup
Of grief that man shall taste–
Go, tell the night that hides thy face,
Thou saw’st the last of Adam’s race,
On Earth’s sepulchral clod,
The darkening universe defy
To quench his Immortality,
Or shake his trust in God!”

Views: 56

Poem of the day

Estas mi Esperantisto
by Julio Baghy (1891-1967)
because today is Esperanto Day

Verda stelo sur la brusto
Iom palas pro la rusto.
Mi ne estas purigisto
Estas mi esperantisto.

Kuŝas ie sub tegmento
Netuŝebla Fundamento. 
Tuŝu ĝin nur la Mefisto;
Estas mi esperantisto.

Polv-kovrite sur bretaro
Putras mia SAT-vortaro.
Tedas min la vorto-listo;
Estas mi esperantisto.

Gramatikon mi ne konas
Kaj gazetojn ne abonas.
Librojn legu la verkisto,
Estas mi esperantisto.

Mi parolas kun rapido:
“Bonan tagon, ĝis revido”
Ĝi sufiĉas por ekzisto,
Estas mi esperantisto.

Pionirojn mi kritikas, 
La gvidantojn dorne pikas 
Kaj konspiras kun persisto; 
Estas mi esperantisto.

Por la venko mi esperas,
Sed nenion mi oferas,
Mi ne estas ja bankisto,
Estas mi esperantisto.

Se baraktas en la krizo
La movado, organizo
Helpas mi nur per rezisto,
Estas mi esperantisto.

Flugas per facila vento
El la buŝo Nova Sento.
Ĝi sufiĉas por sofisto;
Estas mi esperantisto.

Post la mort’ ĉe tombo mia
Staros “rondo familia.”
Nekrologos ĵurnalisto:
“Estis li esperantisto.”

Views: 88

Game of the week

Views: 43

Poem of the day

Hot Sun, Cool Fire
by George Peele (1556-1596)

Hot sun, cool fire, tempered with sweet air,
Black shade, fair nurse, shadow my white hair.
Shine, sun; burn, fire; breathe, air, and ease me;
Black shade, fair nurse, shroud me and please me.
Shadow, my sweet nurse, keep me from burning;
Make not my glad cause cause of mourning.
         Let not my beauty’s fire
         Inflame unstaid desire,
         Nor pierce any bright eye
         That wandereth lightly.

Views: 50

Poem of the day

Rocky Acres
by Robert Graves (1895-1985)

This is a wild land, country of my choice,
With harsh craggy mountain, moor ample and bare.
Seldom in these acres is heard any voice
But voice of cold water that runs here and there
Through rocks and lank heather growing without care.
No mice in the heath run nor no birds cry
For fear of the dark speck that floats in the sky.

He soars and he hovers rocking on his wings,
He scans his wide parish with a sharp eye,
He catches the trembling of small hidden things,
He tears them in pieces, dropping from the sky:
Tenderness and pity the land will deny,
Where life is but nourished from water and rock
A hardy adventure, full of fear and shock.

Time has never journeyed to this lost land,
Crakeberries and heather bloom out of date,
The rocks jut, the streams flow singing on either hand,
Careless if the season be early or late.
The skies wander overhead, now blue, now slate:
Winter would be known by his cold cutting snow
If June did not borrow his armour also.

Yet this is my country be loved by me best,
The first land that rose from Chaos and the Flood,
Nursing no fat valleys for comfort and rest,
Trampled by no hard hooves, stained with no blood.
Bold immortal country whose hill tops have stood
Strongholds for the proud gods when on earth they go,
Terror for fat burghers in far plains below.

Views: 47