My father is “having fun” cleaning the floor he uses the plugged in sink as a bucket wears rags on his feet and shimmies to a cleaning beat he asks me to read the label on the bottle for him he wants our floor to shine and laughs when (surprise) it does this is how I will remember him moonwalking across our kitchen floor rags under his feet “that’s how my mother taught me” he says “but I never take any note it takes me forty years to do what she say”
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 220th birthday.
It is time to be old, To take in sail:— The god of bounds, Who sets to seas a shore, Came to me in his fatal rounds, And said: “No more! No farther shoot Thy broad ambitious branches, and thy root. Fancy departs: no more invent; Contract thy firmament To compass of a tent. There’s not enough for this and that, Make thy option which of two; Economize the failing river, Not the less revere the Giver, Leave the many and hold the few. Timely wise accept the terms, Soften the fall with wary foot; A little while Still plan and smile, And,—fault of novel germs,— Mature the unfallen fruit. Curse, if thou wilt, thy sires, Bad husbands of their fires, Who, when they gave thee breath, Failed to bequeath The needful sinew stark as once, The Baresark marrow to thy bones, But left a legacy of ebbing veins, Inconstant heat and nerveless reins,— Amid the Muses, left thee deaf and dumb, Amid the gladiators, halt and numb.”
As the bird trims her to the gale, I trim myself to the storm of time, I man the rudder, reef the sail, Obey the voice at eve obeyed at prime: “Lowly faithful, banish fear, Right onward drive unharmed; The port, well worth the cruise, is near, And every wave is charmed.”
‘Why was Adam driven from the garden?’ The pupil asked his master. ‘His heart was hardened With images, a hundred bonds that clutter the earth Chained Adam to the cycle of death following birth. He was blind to this equation, living for something other Than God and so out of paradise he was driven With his mortal body’s cover his soul was shriven. Noblest of God’s creatures, Adam fell with blame, Like a moth shriveled by the candle’s flame, Into history which taught mankind shame. Since Adam had not given up his heart To God’s attachment, there was no part For Adam in paradise where the only friend Is God; His will is not for Adam to imagine and bend.’
We present this work in honor of the 150th anniversary of the poet’s death.
He was – As motionless as lay, First mingled with the dead, The relics of the senseless clay, Whence such a soul had fled, – The Earth astounded holds her breath, Struck with the tidings of his death: She pauses the last hour to see Of the dread Man of Destiny; Nor knows she when another tread, Like that of the once mighty dead, Shall such a footprint Leave impressed As his, in blood, upon her breast.
I saw him blazing on his throne, Yet hailed him not: by restless fate Hurled from the giddy summit down; Resume again his lofty state: Saw him at last for ever fall, Still mute amid the shouts of all: Free from base flattery, when he rose; From baser outrage, when he fell: Now his career has reached its close, My voice is raised, the truth to tell, And o’er his exiled urn will try To pour a strain that shall not die.
From Alps to Pyramids were thrown His bolts from Scylla to the Don, From Manzanares to the Rhine, From sea to sea, unerring hurled; And ere the flash had ceased to shine, Burst on their aim, – and shook the world. Was this true glory? – The high doom Must be pronounced by times to come: For us, we bow before His throne, Who willed, in gifting mortal clay With such a spirit, to display A grander impress of his own.
His was the stormy, fierce delight To dare adventure’s boldest scheme; The soul of fire, that burned for might, And could of naught but empire dream; And his the indomitable will That dream of empire to fulfil, And to a greatness to attain ‘T were madness to have hoped to gain: All these were his; nor these alone; – Flight, victory, exile, and the throne; – Twice in the dust by thousands trod, Twice on the altar as a god.
Two ages stood in arms arrayed, Contending which should victor be: He spake: – his mandate they obeyed, And bowed to hear their destiny. He stepped between them, to assume The mastery, and pronounce their doom; Then vanished, and inactive wore Life’s remnant out on that lone shore. What envy did his palmy state, What pity his reverses move, Object of unrelenting hate, And unextinguishable love!
As beat innumerable waves O’er the last floating plank that saves One sailor from the wreck, whose eye Intently gazes o’er the main, Far in the distance to descry Some speck of hope, – but all in vain; Did countless waves of memory roll Incessant, thronging on his soul: Recording, for a future age, The tale of his renown, How often on the immortal page His hand sank weary down!
Oft on some sea beat cliff alone He stood, – the lingering daylight gone, And pensive evening come at last, – With folded arms, and eyes declined; While, O, what visions on his mind Came rushing – of the past! The rampart stormed, – lie tented field, – His eagles glittering far and wide, – His columns never taught to yield, – His cavalry’s resistless tide, Watching each motion of his hand, Swift to obey the swift command.
Such thoughts, perchance, last filled his breast, And his departing soul oppressed, To tempt it to despair; Till from on high a hand of might In mercy came to guide its flight Up to a purer air, – Leading it, o’er hope’s path of flowers, To the celestial plains, Where greater happiness is ours Than even fancy feigns, And where earth’s fleeting glories fade Into the shadow of a shade.
Immortal, bright, beneficent, Faith, used to victories, on thy roll Write this with joy; for never bent Beneath death’s hand a haughtier soul; Thou from the worn and pallid clay Chase every bitter word away, That would insult the dead: His holy crucifix, whose breath Has power to raise and to depress, Send consolation and distress, Lay by him on that lowly bed And hallowed it in death.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 100th birthday.
Here they come the clever ladies in their detachable Peter Pan collars their fringes their sober mein hiding such anger such subtle vices dizzying torments how do they manage to keep it intact that demeanour? Is it something they’ve learned? Not from George rough-hewn or Emily choking her mastiff down on the moors. No it’s Jane with her simpering smile her malice her maidenly virtues rustling through the 20th Century seminars sitting on platforms discussing manner and style how to instruct & parry impertinent questions.