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Acqua Alta

Elec­tions are of such futile import it is best to ignore the sad res­ults of the feb­rile com­bin­a­tion of the illu­sions of a trav­el­ling show and a horser­ace, yet in this case the white smoke will pro­nounce Pope Don­ald the Golden, a man of such imper­i­ous awful­ness that only a couple of reas­ons should give him the grass crown: he is not Hil­lary; and the estab­lish­ment of dunces, includ­ing the ludicrous mass media who were so firmly in the bag for this scoundrel’s unbear­able oppon­ent, will hope­fully implode in shock and awe.

For the rest of us, it not being a mush­room cloud, as would announce Hil­lary, must needs suf­fice.

 

Chester­ton was pretty much a scoun­drel him­self, start­ing off as a foul repub­lic­an, and with his cloy­ing devo­tion to Rome ( and anti-Germanic French ras­cal­ity ) which today is served by the most nut­tily devout Cath­olic blogs; but he was a great poet, and still great­er romantic. And to his death he moved, as did Shaw, some­what near­er the truth of Roy­al­ism: had all these old chaps of that gen­er­a­tion lived another 100 years, they might have approached the throne of Legit­im­at­ism they had rejec­ted so vehe­mently in press and print their whole lives.

 

 

Out of the mouth of the Mother of God,
More than the doors of doom,
I call the muster of Wessex men
From grassy ham­let or ditch or den,
To break and be broken, God knows when,
But I have seen for whom.

“Out of the mouth of the Mother of God
Like a little word come I;
For I go gath­er­ing Chris­ti­an men
From sunken pav­ing and ford and fen,
To die in a battle, God knows when,
By God, but I know why.

“And this is the word of Mary,
The word of the world’s desire
‘No more of com­fort shall ye get,
Save that the sky grows dark­er yet
And the sea rises higher.’”

 

Gil­bert Keith Chester­ton : The Bal­lad of the White Horse

 

 

Drowned Landscape

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(Great Touhou, Other Writ, Poetry)

Gensokyo's Braes are bonnie

 

 


Gensokyo’s Braes are bon­nie, where early fa’s the dew
And it’s there that Inu­bashiri Mom­iji gied me her prom­ise true
Gied me her prom­ise true, which né’er for­got shall be
And for bon­nie Inu­bashiri Mom­iji I would lay me doun and dee.

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Dark The Woods Where Night Rains Weep

Full of grief, the low winds sweep
O’er the sorrow-haunted ground;
Dark the woods where night rains weep,
Dark the hills that watch around.

Tell me, can the joys of spring
Ever make this sad­ness flee,
Make the woods with music ring,
And the stream­let laugh for glee ?

When the sum­mer moor is lit
With the pale fire of the broom,
And through green the shad­ows flit,
Still shall mirth give place to gloom ?

Sad shall it be, though sun be shed
Golden bright on field and flood;
E’en the heather’s crim­son red
Holds the memory of blood.

Here that broken, weary band
Met the ruth­less foe’s array,
Where those moss-grown boulders stand,
On that dark and fatal day.

Like a phantom hope had fled,
Love to death was all in vain,
Vain, though her­oes’ blood was shed,
And though hearts were broke in twain.

Many a voice has cursed the name
Time has into dark­ness thrust,
Cruelty his only fame
In for­get­ful­ness and dust.

Noble dead that sleep below,
We your valour né’er for­get;
Soft the her­oes’ rest who know
Hearts like theirs are beat­ing yet.

 
Alice Mac­don­ell of Kep­poch : Cul­loden Moor ( Seen in Autumn Rain )

 

 

Self-Ending Sacrifice for Dead Lover

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The Lost Soul’s Cry

And superstitious dread came to the unsuperstitious Soames; he turned his eyes away lest he should stare the little house into real unreality. He walked on, past the barracks to the Park rails, still moving west, afraid of turning homewards till he was tired out. Past four o'clock, and still an empty town, empty of all that made it a living hive, and yet this very emptiness gave it intense meaning. He felt that he would always remember a town so different from that he saw every day; and himself he would remember --- walking thus, unseen and solitary with his desire.

He went past Prince's Gate and turned. After all he had his work --- ten-thirty at the office ! Road and Park and houses stared at him now in the full light of earliest morning. He turned from them into the Park and crossed to the Row side. Funny to see the Row with no horses tearing up and down, or trapesing past like cats on hot bricks, no stream of carriages, no rows of sitting people, nothing but trees and the tan track. The trees and grass, though no dew had fallen, breathed on him; and he stretched himself at full length along a bench, his hands behind his head, his hat crushed on his chest, his eyes fixed on the leaves patterned against the still brightening sky. The air stole faint and fresh about his cheeks and lips, and the backs of his hands. The first sunlight came stealing flat from trunk to trunk, birds did not sing but talked, a wood pigeon back among the trees was cooing. Soames closed his eyes, and instantly imagination began to paint, for the eyes deep down within him, pictures of her. Picture of her --- standing passive in her frock flounced to the gleaming floor, while he wrote his initials on her card. Picture of her adjusting with long gloved fingers a camellia come loose in her corsage; turning for him to put her cloak on --- pictures, countless pictures, and ever strange, of her face sparkling for moments, or brooding, or averse; of her cheek inclined for his kiss, of her lips turned from his lips, of her eyes looking at him with a question that seemed to have no answer; of her eyes, dark and soft over a grey cat purring in her arms; picture of her auburn hair flowing as he had not seen it yet. Ah ! but soon --- but soon ! And as if answering the call of his imagination a cry --- long, not shrill, not harsh exactly, but so poignant --- jerked the blood to his heart. From back over there it came trailing, again and again, passionate --- the lost soul's cry of peacock in early morning; and with it there uprose from the spaces of his inner being the vision that was for ever haunting there, of her with hair unbound, of her all white and lost, yielding to his arms. It seared him with delight, swooned in him, and was gone. He opened his eyes; an early water-cart was nearing down the Row.

Soames rose and walking fast beneath the trees sought sanity.

John Galsworthy : Cry of Peacock, 1883 from On Forsyte 'Change

 

 

Atkinson Grimshaw Wintry Moon

John Atkinson Grimshaw --- A Wintry Moon

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Full Goth Metal Marx

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(High Germany, Melancholy, Other Writ, Poetry, Self Writ, The Building Blocks of Democracy)

I am always stupified by an aspect of militant atheism never remarked upon: these curious little chaps so outraged and so angry at a non-existent God they devote time to refuting Him and belief in Him --- for time is the one thing they cannot afford.

Let us suppose that God does not Exist. OK then, if not thrown by eventual nothingness --- which on the contrary they gleefully embrace --- there's very little to be said; and certainly nothing of eternal value: however one may as well live one's life out as pleasantly as possible according to one's own choices. It is tough to spend half of that time labouring at a job one detests, yet this too is not a problem for them, since they enjoy whatever weird stuff they do --- such as being a professor or economist; but time runs out no matter how one uses it. If mentally unstable they may substitute Humanity as their ersatz-religion of choice, chosen solely because they happen to be human, and insist on working for and lecturing to humanity, ( and if so inclined, working for the eradication of social elements opposed to their own social philosophy of choice for the betterment of all mankind [ except those elements eradicated ] ) despite the fact that all of humanity is destined for nothingness just as much as they when time runs out. And that nothing will be left of them, their acts and thoughts, nor those of any other, when time runs out.

So let us suppose one of these: he is say, 40, that gives him roughly 40 more years of existence until he is extinguished to the point that he will never know he was extinguished or was ever alive. Not to mention that the memory of him will be as vanished as most in 10,000 years. Allowing two-thirds of time for eating, sleeping, working, worrying about money or worrying about social stability etc., that leaves 13 years of possible enjoyment. Instead he uses up this time on earth self-righteously persuading others that they will go into nothingness and unimportance with no salvation, and arguing about a deity in whom he does not believe. All the time the clock clicks to his termination and his remaining time runs out, as in a death cell. This has to be a definition of insanity: to spend the sole amount of time you will ever have, not even in anger at not going on to an afterlife, but railing against a God one thinks non-existent, hating the idea that others believe they go on, and mocking those whose faith is sure.

 
Karl Marx was one such, and despite his seminal work as a social philosopher and economist, all for an aim he believed he could never be conscious to see and which would end in nothingness itself, was largely inspired by early nineteenth century romantic rebellion against the God he didn't believe Existed, and Whom rationally he should not have cared about in the least, as a magnificent essay by Murray N. Rothbard I have referenced elsewhere makes clear.

 
Here are lyrics to Mother Nothingness ( The Triumph Of Ubbo Sathla ) from The Vision Bleak, and some of Marx's poetry from that essay: try and guess first...

 
Worlds I would destroy forever,
Since I can create no world;
Since my call they notice never

I shall build my throne high overhead,
Cold, tremendous shall its summit be.
For its bulwark –-- superstitious dread.
For its marshal –-- blackest agony.

I shall howl gigantic curses on mankind.
Ha ! Eternity ! She is an eternal grief.
Ourselves being clockwork, blindly mechanical,
Made to be foul-calendars of Time and Space,
Having no purpose save to happen, to be ruined,
So that there shall be something to ruin
If there is a Something which devours,
I'll leap within it, though I bring the world to ruins --–
The world which bulks between me and the Abyss
I will smash to pieces with my enduring curses.
I'll throw my arms around its harsh reality:
Embracing me, the world will dumbly pass away,
And then sink down to utter nothingness,
Perished, with no existence – that would be really living !

In the steaming morass
Of a newborn earth
Lies the formless mass
Which to all gave birth

In a sea of sludge
Of immense extend
Lies the thoughtless mass
Which is source and end

We all must follow
Into her void
To her fetid womb
We all return

Her voiceless howl
Resounds through time
From primal mud
And fenses foul

A limbless thing
Mindless and coarse
This wretches guise
Is end and source

We all must follow
Into her void
To her fetid womb
We all return

Fall through the aeons
Onward to the earth in it's prime
Fall through the aeons
Becoming the spawn
Of the great old slime

…the leaden world holds us fast
And we are chained, shattered, empty, frightened,
Eternally chained to this marble block of Being,
… and we – We are the apes of a cold God.

 
Harpist of Destruction

 
 

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The Vision Bleak --- Mother Nothingness ( The Triumph Of Ubbo Sathla )

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And All Your Bodies Drown In The Salt Sea

From St. Petersburg, the Scottish Tribute Ballad to Andrew Barton...

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SherWood --- Henry Martin

 

 

The Naiads

Gioacchino Pagliei ---The Naiads

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Unendlichen

THE GODS GIVE EVERYTHING

The gods give everything, the infinite ones,
To their beloved, completely,
Every pleasure, the infinite ones,
Every suffering, the infinite ones, completely.

Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe
[tr. Stephen Spender]
 

 

AEsir Girl

 

 

"Alles gaben Götter die unendlichen
Ihren Lieblingen ganz
Alle Freuden die unendlichen
Alle Schmerzen die unendlichen ganz".

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The Silver Sail Of Dawn

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(High Germany, Music, Other Writ, Poetry)

The fairies break their dances
And leave the printed lawn,
And up from India glances
The silver sail of dawn.

The candles burn their sockets,
The blinds let through the day,
The young man feels his pockets
And wonders what’s to pay.

A. E. Housman : The Fairies Break Their Dances

 


Richard Wagner --- Overture to The Fairies

 
 
Fairy Ring

-George Cruikshank --- A Fantasy -The Fairy Ring

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And The Falcon Soared

THY rest was deep at the slumberer's hour
      If thou didst not hear the blast
Of the savage horn, from the mountain-tower,
      As the Wild Night-Huntsman pass'd,
And the roar of the stormy chase went by,
      Through the dark unquiet sky !

The stag sprung up from his mossy bed
      When he caught the piercing sounds,
And the oak-boughs crash'd to his antler'd head
      As he flew from the viewless hounds;
And the falcon soar'd from her craggy height,
      Away through the rushing night !

The banner shook on its ancient hold,
      And the pine in its desert-place,
As the cloud and tempest onward roll'd
      With the din of the trampling race;
And the glens were fill'd with the laugh and shout,
      And the bugle, ringing out !

From the chieftain's hand the wine-cup fell,
      At the castle's festive board,
And a sudden pause came o'er the swell
      Of the harp's triumphal chord;
And the Minnesinger's thrilling lay
      In the hall died fast away.

The convent's chanted rite was stay'd,
      And the hermit dropp'd his beads,
And a trembling ran through the forest-shade,
      At the neigh of the phantom steeds,
And the church-bells peal'd to the rocking blast
      As the Wild Night-Huntsman pass'd.

The storm hath swept with the chase away,
      There is stillness in the sky,
But the mother looks on her son to-day,
      With a troubled heart and eye,
And the maiden's brow hath a shade of care
      Midst the gleam of her golden hair !

The Rhine flows bright, but its waves ere long
      Must hear a voice of war,
And a clash of spears our hills among,
      And a trumpet from afar;
And the brave on a bloody turf must lie,
      For the Huntsman hath gone by !

Felicia Hemans : The Wild Huntsman
 
 
It is a popular belief in the Odenwald, that the passing of the Wild Huntsman announces the approach of war. He is supposed to issue with his train from the ruined castle of Rodenstein, and traverse the air to the opposite castle of Schnellerts. It is confidently asserted that the sound of his phantom horses and hounds was heard by the Duke of Baden before the commencement of the last war in Germany.
 
 
 
 

Kaiser Wilhelm II Riding

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The Borough Lights Ahead

Here by the moor­way you returned,
And saw the bor­ough lights ahead
That lit your face  —  all undis­cerned
To be in a week the face of the dead,
And you told of the charm of that haloed view
That nev­er again would beam on you.

 
And on your left you passed the spot
Where eight days later you were to lie,
And be spoken of as one who was not;
Behold­ing it with a heed­less eye
As ali­en from you, though under its tree
You soon would halt ever­last­ingly.

 
I drove not with you.… Yet had I sat
At your side that eve I should not have seen
That the coun­ten­ance I was glan­cing at
Had a last-time look in the flick­er­ing sheen,
Nor have read the writ­ing upon your face,
“I go hence soon to my resting-place;

 
“You may miss me then. But I shall not know
How many times you vis­it me there,
Or what your thoughts are, or if you go
There nev­er at all. And I shall not care.
Should you cen­sure me I shall take no heed
And even your praises no more shall need.”

 
True: nev­er you’ll know. And you will not mind.
But shall I then slight you because of such ?
Dear ghost, in the past did you ever find
The thought “What profit”, move me much ?
Yet abides the fact, indeed, the same, —
You are past love, praise, indif­fer­ence, blame.
 
Thomas Hardy : Your Last Drive

 
 
Souryu Langley on the Ramp

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Afar The Raven

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(Melancholy, Other Writ, Poetry)

I troubled in my dream. I knew
         The silent gates and walls.
Around me out of shadow grew
         The steady waterfalls.
Afar the raven spot-like flew
         Where nothing wakes or calls.

I fell on deeper trance. I was
         Where all the dead are hid.
They dreamed. They did not sleep, because
         They saw with lifted lid.
They worked with neither word nor pause:
         I knew not what they did.

Yuu Higuri Poison

I stood there with the dead in hell
         Dreaming, and heard no moan.
The light died, and the darkness fell
         About me like a stone.
I woke upon the midnight bell
         In God's dream here alone.

Charles Weekes : Dreams

 

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The Cold Wind

A herd of hawks hover in ten thousand li of high altitude
A lonely horse is buried in Qin Sichuan's soil
At this night, the cold wind is blowing the tears of the moon
Wails to come at a distance, that is a cuckoo of the insomnia on the tree.

Wenze : Give my regards to Lu Yao

Poem was written in the 10th anniversary of Lu Yao's death in 1992.

 
 
Girl with Birds

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Forgot In Cruel Happiness

A mer­maid found a swim­ming lad,
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
For­got in cruel hap­pi­ness
That even lov­ers drown.

Wil­li­am But­ler Yeats : A Man Young And Old: III. The Mer­maid

 
Mermaid with Skull

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Each Man Is An Island

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(Animals, Other Writ, Poetry)

Brown Ducklings

 

Dear God,

give us a flood of water.

Let it rain tomorrow and always.

Give us plenty of little slugs

and other luscious things to eat.

Protect all folk who quack

and everyone who knows how to swim.

Amen.

 

Carmen Bernos de Gasztold : The Prayer of the Little Ducks

 

Rain Girl

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And Other Birds

Where, where will be the birds that sing
          A hundred years to come ?
The flowers that now in beauty spring,
          A hundred years to come ?
The rosy lips, the lofty brow,
The heart that beats so gayly now.
Oh, where will be love's beaming eye,
Joy's pleasant smile, and sorrow's sigh,
          A hundred years to come ?

Who'll press for gold this crowded street,
          A hundred years to come ?
Who'll tread yon church with willing feet
          A hundred years to come ?
Pale, trembling age. and fiery youth,
And childhood with its brow of truth;
The rich and poor, on land and sea.
Where will the mighty millions be
          A hundred years to come ?

We all within our graves shall sleep
          A hundred years to come;
No living soul for us will weep,
          A hundred years to come,
But other men our lands shall till,
And others then these streets will fill,
And other birds will sing as gay,
And bright the sun shine as to-day,
          A hundred years to come.

William Goldsmith Brown : A Hundred Years To Come

 

GIRL IN FIELD

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Mors Et Vita Redoubled

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Charles Gounod -- Judex

 
“UNDER the roots of the roses,
Down in the dark, rich mould,
The dust of my dear one reposes
Like a spark which night incloses
When the ashes of day are cold.”

“Under the awful wings
Which brood over land and sea,
And whose shadows nor lift nor flee, ---
This is the order of things,
And hath been from of old:
First production,
And last destruction;
So the pendulum swings,
While cradles are rocked and bells are tolled.”

“Not under the roots of the roses,
But under the luminous wings
Of the King of kings
The soul of my love reposes,
With the light of morn in her eyes,
Where the Vision of Life discloses
Life that sleeps not nor dies.”

“Under or over the skies
What is it that never dies ?
Spirit --- if such there be ---
Whom no one hath seen nor heard,
We do not acknowledge thee;
For, spoken or written word,
Thou art but a dream, a breath;
Certain is nothing but Death !”

Richard Henry Stoddard : Mors et Vita

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She Burn’d With Love

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(Melancholy, Other Writ, Poetry)

Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle;
Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty;
Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle;
Softer than wax, and yet, as iron, rusty:
A lily pale, with damask die to grace her,
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.

Her lips to mine how often hath she join'd,
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing!
How many tales to please me hath she coin'd,
Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing !
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings,
Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings.

She burn'd with love, as straw with fire flameth;
She burn'd out love, as soon as straw outburneth;
She fram'd the love, and yet she foil'd the framing;
She bade love last, and yet she fell a turning.
Was this a lover, or a lecher whether ?
Bad in the best, though excellent in neither.

William Shakespeare : The Passionate Pilgrim VII

 
Ayami Kojima - Princess

Ayami Kojima - fr Castlevania

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Where Skims The Gull The Baltic Waves

WHERE is the German's fatherland ?
The Prussian land? The Swabian land ?
Where Rhine the vine-clad mountain laves ?
Where skims the gull the Baltic waves ?
Ah, no, no, no !
His fatherland 's not bounded so !

Where is the German's fatherland ?
Bavarian land ? or Stygian land ?
Where sturdy peasants plough the plain ?
Where mountain-sons bright metal gain ?
Ah, no, no, no !
His fatherland's not bounded so !

Where is the German's fatherland ?
The Saxon hills ? The Zuyder strand ?
Where sweep wild winds the sandy shores
Where loud the rolling Danube roars ?
Ah, no, no, no !
His fatherland 's not bounded so !

Where is the German's fatherland ?
Then name, then name the mighty land !
The Austrian land in fight renowned ?
The Kaiser's land with honors crowned ?
Ah, no, no, no !
His fatherland 's not bounded so !

Where is the German's fatherland ?
Then name, then name the mighty land !
The land of Hofer ? land of Tell ?
This land I know, and love it well;
But, no, no, no !
His fatherland 's not bounded so !

Where is the German's fatherland ?
Is his the pieced and parceled land
Where pirate-princes rule ? A gem
Torn from the empire's diadem?
Ah, no, no, no !
Such is no German's fatherland.

Where is the German's fatherland ?
Then name, oh, name the mighty land !
Wherever is heard the German tongue,
And German hymns to God are sung !
This is the land, thy Hermann's land;
This, German, is thy fatherland.

This is the German's fatherland,
Where faith is in the plighted hand,
Where truth lives in each eye of blue,
And every heart is staunch and true.
This is the land, the honest land,
The honest German's fatherland.

This is the land, the one true land,
O God, to aid be thou at hand !
And fire each heart, and nerve each arm,
To shield our German homes from harm,
To shield the land, the one true land,
One Deutschland and one fatherland !

Ernst Moritz Arndt : Was ist das deutsche Vaterland ?

Arndt was not a good man, for he was a liberal; yet he partially atoned by proving that if the Devil must have the all good tunes, he also acquires striking lyricists to complement them well...

To demonstrate that the less mundane, and more subtle, system of absolute monarchism can subvert revolutionary liberal impulses and turn them to light, Franz Liszt --- above politics and kaisertreue, put the above anthem to music, dedicated to King Friedrich Wilhelm IV who then bestowed one of the earliest civilian Pour le Merites in return...

 
Poynter --- Cave of the Storm Nymphs

Edward Poynter -- Cave of the Storm Nymphs

 
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Like Spray

A wind comes from the north
Blowing little flocks of birds
Like spray across the town,
And a train, roaring forth,
Rushes stampeding down
With cries and flying curds
Of steam, out of the darkening north.

Whither I turn and set
Like a needle steadfastly,
Waiting ever to get
The news that she is free;
But ever fixed, as yet,
To the lode of her agony.

D. H. Lawrence : Patience

 

Japanese Crows

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Each A Space

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(Melancholy, Other Writ, Poetry)

Old things need not be there­fore true,
O brother men, nor yet the new;
Ah ! still awhile the old thought retain,
And yet con­sider it again ! 

The souls of now two thou­sand years
Have laid up here their toils and fears,
And all the earn­ings of their pain, —
Ah, yet con­sider it again ! 

We ! what do we see ? each a space
Of some few yards before his face;
Does that the whole wide plan explain ?
Ah, yet con­sider it again ! 

Alas ! the great world goes its way,
And takes its truth from each new day;
They do not quit, nor can retain,
Far less con­sider it again.

Arthur Hugh Clough : Ah, Yet Con­sider It Again !

 
Crow and Moon

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This Wild Rain

Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

Edward Thomas : Rain

 
Martin Heade - Rain Forest

Martin Johnson Heade

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What Is Man ?

Who would have guessed that R. D. Black­more was also a poet ? His fic­tion is a trifle strenu­ous for these days  —  Lor­na Doone was how­ever quite roy­al­ist for the mainly repub­lic­an Vic­tori­an era, and I recall another work of his regard­ing an utterly vil­lain­ous 18th cen­tury cler­gy­man, Par­son Chow­ne, which was not unvi­cious; still Fringil­la, this col­lec­tion of poems [ Guten­berg ] was pub­lished by Elk­in Math­ews with very 90s illus­tra­tions by Louis Fairfax-Muckley. Math­ews, who prin­ted Yeats and Pound… The com­bin­a­tion of R. D. Black­more with The Yel­low Book is weird at first sight. His poetry is mostly sim­ple pret­ti­ness, yet there is a som­bre bit­ter core reject­ing mere con­ven­tion.

What means your finch ?”

Being well aware that he can­not sing like a Night­in­gale,
He flits about from tree to tree, and twit­ters a little tale.”

Albeit he is an ancient bird, who tried his pipe in bet­ter days, and then was scared by ran­dom shots, he is fain to lift the migrant wing once more towards the humble per­ch, among the trees he loves. All garden­ers own that he does no harm, unless he flits into a thick­et of young buds, or a very choice ladies’ seed-bed. And he hopes that he is now too wise to com­mit such indis­cre­tions.
Per­haps it would have been wiser still to have shut up his little mand­ible, or employed it only upon grub. But the long gnaw of last winter’s frost, which set man­kind a-shivering, even in their most downy nest, has made them kindly to the race that has no roof for shel­ter and no hearth for warmth.
Any­how, this little finch can do no harm, if he does no good; and if he pleases nobody, he will not be sur­prised, because he has nev­er sat­is­fied him­self.

 
Adam & Eve

 
Excerpts from Lita of the Nile:

Fol­lows him the love­li­est maid­en,
Afric’s thou­sand hills can show;
White apparel’d, flower-laden,
With the lotus on her brow.

Votive maid, who hath espous­al
Of the river’s high carous­al;
Twenty cubits if he rise,
This shall be his bridal prize.

Calm, and meek of face and car­riage,
Deign­ing scarce a quick­er breath,
Comes she to the funer­al mar­riage,
The betrothal of black death.

Rosy hands, and hen­naed fin­gers,
Nails where­on the onyx lingers,
Clasped, as at a lover’s tale,
In the bosom’s marble vale.

See, the large eyes, lit by heav­en,
Brighter than the Sis­ters Sev­en,
( Like a star the storm hath cowed )
Sink their flash in sorrow’s cloud.

There the crys­tal tear refraineth,
And the founts of grief are dry;
“Father, Mother — none remaineth;
All are dead; and why not I ?”

Yet, by God’s will, heav­enly beau­ty
Owes to Heav­en alone its duty;
Off ye priests, who dare adjudge
Bride, like this, to slime and sludge !

Every bul­rush, parched and wel­ted,
Lifts his long joints yellow-belted;
Every lotus, faint and sick,
Hangs her fra­grant tongue to lick.

Count­less creatures, lone unthought of,
Swarm from every hole and nook;
What is man, that he make nought of
Oth­er entries in God’s book ?

 
Excerpts from Kadisha, or the First Jeal­ousy

Adam & Eve

 
When rivu­lets were loth to creep,
Except unto the pil­low moss,
And dis­tant lake, encur­tained deep,
Was but a sil­ver thread across
The eyes of sleep:

When night­in­gales, in the syca­more,
Sang low and soft, as an echo dream­ing;
And slept the moon upon heaven’s shore —
The tid­al shore of heav­en, beam­ing
With lazuled ore:

When new-born earth was fain to lean
In Summer’s arms, recov­er­ing
The unac­cus­tomed toil of Spring,
Why slept not Eve, their Queen ?

The mother of all lov­ing wives
( Con­demned unborn to many a tear )
Is fain to take his hand, and strives
In sor­row to be doubly dear—
But shame deprives.

The Shame, The Woe, The Black Sur­prise,
That Love’s First Dream Should Have Such End­ing,
to Weep, and Wipe Neg­lected Eyes I
Oh Loss of True Love, Far Tran­scend­ing
Lost Para­dise !

Adam & Eve

 

“For what is glory, what is power ?
And what the pride of stand­ing first ?
A twig struck down by a thun­der shower,
A crown of thistle to quench the thirst,
A sun-scorched flower.

“God grant the men who spring from me,
As know­ledge waxeth deep and splen­did,
To find a lofti­er ped­i­gree
Than any by the Lord inten­ded —
Frog, slug, or tree !

“So shall they live, without the grief
Of hav­ing woman­kind to love,
Find nought below, and less above,
And be their own belief.

 
Adam & Eve

 
To Fame

I

Right Fairy of the morn, with flowers arrayed,
Whose beau­ties to thy young pur­suer seem
Bey­ond the ecstasy of poet’s dream —
Shall I over­take thee, ere thy lustre fade ?

II

Ripe glory of the noon, august, and proud,
A vis­ion of high pur­pose, power, and skill,
That melteth into mirage of good-will —
Do I o’ertake thee, or embrace a cloud ?

III

Gray shad­ow of the even­ing, gaunt and bare,
At ran­dom cast, bey­ond me or above,
And cold as memory in the arms of love —
If I o’ertook thee now, what should I care ?

IV

“No morn, or noon, or eve am I,” she said;
“But night — the depth of night behind the sun;
By all man­kind pur­sued; but nev­er won,
Until my shad­ow falls upon a shade.”

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Behold Thy Virgin Daughters

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(High Germany, Melancholy, Other Writ, Poetry, Spengler)

Last night I idly considered the tragic life and death of Anna Nicole Smith, and wondered why the keepers of Amerika still have not yet transformed the Statue of Liberty into her likeness --- for that life and death perfectly capture the parallel destiny of the land... A century ago George S. Viereck wrote this predictive fantasy. He was quintessentially an odd bird, and despite some sympathy for his Hohenzollern cousins was rather a teutonophile than in any way royalist, yet his Germanic imagination qualified him as a seer.

 
PRELUDE

THE EMPIRE CITY

HUGE steel-ribbed monsters rise into the air
Her Babylonian towers, while on high
Like gilt-scaled serpents glide the swift trains by,
Or, underfoot, creep to their secret lair.
A thousand lights are jewels in her hair,
The sea her girdle, and her crown the sky,
Her life-blood throbs, the fevered pulses fly,
Immense, defiant, breathless she stands there

And ever listens in the ceaseless din,
Waiting for him, her lover who shall come,
Whose singing lips shall boldly claim their own
And render sonant what in her was dumb:
The splendour and the madness and the sin,
Her dreams in iron and her thoughts of stone.

I

NINEVEH

O NINEVEH, thy realm is set
Upon a base of rock and steel
From where the under-rivers fret
High up to where the planets reel.

Clad in a blazing coat of mail,
Above the gables of the town
Huge dragons with a monstrous trail
Have pillared pathways up and down.

And in the bowels of the deep
Where no man sees the gladdening sun,
All night without the balm of sleep
The human tide rolls on and on.

The Hudson's mighty waters lave
In stern caress thy granite shore,
And to thy port the salt sea wave
Brings oil and wine and precious ore.

Yet if the ocean in its might
Should rise confounding stream and bay,
The stain of one delirious night
Not all the tides can wash away.

Thick pours the smoke of thousand fires,
Life throbs and beats relentlessly ---
But lo, above the stately spires
Two lemans: Death and Leprosy.

What fruit shall spring from such embrace ?
Ah, even thou wouldst quake to hear !
He bends to kiss her loathsome face,
She laughs --- and whispers in his ear.

Sit not too proudly on thy throne,
Think on thy sisters, them that fell;
Not all the hosts of Babylon
Could save her from the jaws of hell.

II

Through the long alleys of the park
On noiseless wheels and delicate springs,
Glide painted women fair and dark,
Bedecked with silks and jewelled things.

In peacock splendour goes the rout
With shrill, loud laughter of the mad ---
Red lips to suck thy life-blood out,
And eyes too weary to be sad !

Their feet go down to shameful death,
They flaunt the livery of their wrong,
Their beauty is of Ashtoreth,
Her strength it is that makes them strong.

Behold thy virgin daughters, how
They know the smile a wanton wears;
And oh ! on many a boyish brow
The blood-red brand of murder flares.

See, through the crowded streets they fly,
Like doves before the gathering storm.
They cannot rest, for ceaselessly
In every heart there dwells a worm.

They sing in mimic joy, and crown
Their temples to the flutes of sin;
But no sweet noise shall ever drown
The whisper of the worm within.

They revel in the gilded line
Of lamplit halls to charm the night,
But think you that the crimson wine
Can veil the horror from their sight ?

Ah, no --- their staring eyes are led
To where it lurks with hideous leer:
Therefore the women flush so red,
And all the men are white with fear.

As in a mansion vowed to lust,
Where wantons with their guests make free,
'Tis thus thou humblest in the dust
Thy queenly body, Nineveh !

Thy course is downward; 'tis the road
To sins that even where disgrace
And shameful pleasure walk abroad
Dare not unmask their shrouded face !

Surely at last shall come the day
When these that dance so merrily
Shall watch with terrible faces gray
Thy doom draw near, O Nineveh !

III

I, too, the fatal harvest gained
Of them that sow with seed of fire
In passion's garden --- I have drained
The goblet of thy sick desire.

I from thy love had bitter bliss,
And ever in my memory stir
The after-savours of thy kiss ---
The taste of aloes and of myrrh.

And yet I love thee, love unblessed
The poison of thy wanton's art;
Though thou be sister to the Pest
In thy great hands I lay my heart !

And when thy body Titan-strong
Writhes on its giant couch of sin,
Yea, though upon the trembling throng
The very vault of Heaven fall in;

And though the palace of thy feasts
Sink crumbling in a fiery sea ---
l, like, the last of Baal's priests,
Will share thy doom, O Nineveh.

George Sylvester Viereck : Nineveh

 

Sheeler --- American Landscape

Charles Sheeler -- American Landscape

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Felt Of This Flame

NOT that by this disdain
I am releas'd,
And freed from thy tyrannick chain,
Do I my self think blest;

Nor that thy Flame shall burn
No more; for know
That I shall into ashes turn,
Before this fire doth so.

Nor yet that unconfin'd
I now may rove,
And with new beauties please my mind;
But that thou ne'r didst love:

For since thou hast no part
Felt of this flame,
I onely from thy tyrant heart
Repuls'd, not banish'd am.

To loose what once was mine
Would grieve me more
Then those inconstant sweets of thine
Had pleas'd my soul before.

Now I have not lost the blisse
I ne'r possest;
And spight of fate am blest in this,
That I was never blest.

Sir Thomas Stanley : The Repulse

 

Hodler - The Dream
Ferdinand Hodler --- The Dream

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Dark Are The Lovely Pleiades

Storm and destruction shattering
Strike fear upon the world,
The winds are out, and through high heaven
Their Bacchanals are hurled.
Their league is broken, burst the girth
And launched their fury on the earth.

Torrent on torrent falls the rain,
Dark are the lovely Pleiades,
Their seven lamps are out, and dark
The Houses where abide the stars.
And Sirius shines no more at all,
And heaven is hung with blackest pall.

Yet through the summits of the sky
Flashes afar the livid levin,
And cataracts of pallid fire
Pour from the toppling crests of heaven.
Struggling with clouds the mountains stand,
The dark sea masses on the strand
Following wave on wave behind
The rush and ruin of the wind.

Along the pathways of the sea
The salt waves rise in foam.
The deep is boiling like a pot,
Dark water seething furiously,
And Ocean with his might of war
And thunder of his waves afar,
Storming the headlands, shock on shock,
And shouting victory.

Scholar of Malmesbury : To Aldhelm [ translated by Helen Waddell ]

 
North Sea Eagles

Michael Mathias Kiefer --- Nordisches Meer

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