Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Or woods or steepy mountain yields.

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

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroidered 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.

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.

Christopher Marlowe. 1564 - 1593.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Rose

The lily has a smooth stalk,
Will never hurt your hand;
But the rose upon her brier
Is lady of the land.

There's sweetness in an apple tree,
And profit in the corn;
But lady of all beauty
Is a rose upon a thorn.

When with moss and honey
She tips her bending brier,
And half unfolds her glowing heart,
She sets the world on fire.

~Christina Rosseti

photo Boller slot:grethe bachmann

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dream Land

Where sunless rivers weep

Their waves into the deep,

She sleeps a charmed sleep:

Awake her not.

Led by a single star,

She came from very far

To seek where shadows are

Her pleasant lot.

She left the rosy morn,

She left the fields of corn,

For twilight cold and lorn

And water springs.

Through sleep, as through a veil,

She sees the sky look pale,

And hears the nightingale

That sadly sings.

Rest, rest, a perfect rest

Shed over brow and breast;

Her face is toward the west,

The purple land.

She cannot see the grain

Ripening on hill and plain;

She cannot feel the rain

Upon her hand.

Rest, rest, for evermore

Upon a mossy shore;

Rest, rest at the heart's core

Till time shall cease:

Sleep that no pain shall wake;

Night that no morn shall break

Till joy shall overtake

Her perfect peace.

Christina Rosetti

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all aglimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

W.B. Yeats.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Morgan Le Fay
By Madison Cawein

In dim samite was she bedight,
And on her hair a hoop of gold,
Like foxfire, in the tawn moonlight,
Was glimmering cold.

With soft gray eyes she gloomed and glowered;
With soft red lips she sang a song:
What knight might gaze upon her face,
Nor fare along?

For all her looks were full of spells,
And all her words, of sorcery;
And in some way they seemed to say,
"Oh, come with me!"

Oh, come with me! oh, come with me!
Oh, come with me, my love, Sir Kay!"--
How should he know the witch, I trow,
Morgan le Fay?

How should he know the wily witch,
With sweet white face and raven hair?
Who, through her art, bewitched his heart
And held him there.

Eftsoons his soul had waxed amort
To wold and weald, to slade and stream;
And all he heard was her soft word
As one adream.

And all he saw was her bright eyes,
And her fair face that held him still:
And wild and wan she led him on
O'er vale and hill.

Until at last a castle lay
Beneath the moon, among the trees:
Its gothic towers old and gray
With mysteries.

Tall in its hall a hundred knights
In armor stood with glaive in hand:
The following of some great king,
Lord of that land.

Sir Bors, Sir Balin, and Gawain,
All Arthur's knights, and many mo;
But these in battle had been slain
Long years ago.

But when Morgan with lifted hand
Moved down the hall, they louted low:
For she was Queen of Shadowland,
That woman of snow.

Then from Sir Kay she drew away,
And cried on high all mockingly:--
"Behold, sir knights, the knave I bring,
Who lay with me.

"Behold! I met him 'mid the furze:
Beside him there he made me lie:
Upon him, yea, there rests my curse:
Now let him die!"

Then as one man those shadows raised
Their brands, whereon the moon glanced gray:
And clashing all strode from the wall
Against Sir Kay.

And on his body, bent and bowed,
The hundred blades as one blade fell:
While over all rang long and loud
The mirth of Hell.

Monday, April 6, 2009


The Mystery

This poem is ascribed to Amergin, a Milesian prince or druid who settled in Ireland hundreds of years before Christ and is from the Leabhar Gabhala, or Book of Invasions. The poem is translated by Douglas Hyde.
I am the wind which breathes upon the sea,
I am the wave of the ocean,
I am the murmur of the billows,
I am the ox of the seven combats,
I am the vulture upon the rocks,
I am the beam of the sun,
I am the fairest of plants,
I am the wild boar in valour,

I am a salmon in the water,
I am a lake in the plain,
I am a word of science,
I am the point of the lance of battle,
I am the God who created in the head the fire.
Who is it who throws light into the meeting on the mountain?
Who announces the ages of the moon?
Who teaches the place where couches the sun?

(If not I)
Irish tradition has them as being the first verses made in Ireland. ( Douglas Hyde, The Story of Early Gaelic Literature)

photo 2008: gb

Monday, March 23, 2009

Anglo-Saxon Poem

Wulf and Eadwacer

Anglo-Saxon Poem by Anonymous woman
"Wulf and Eadwacer" (ca. 800) This anonymous poem is the earliest extant Anglo-Saxon woman's song. Written in the Late West Saxon dialect in the Exeter Book manuscript, this poem continually baffled scholars trying to locate its setting. Perhaps taken from an incident in the Volsungasaga or other Germanic legends, or from the Viking tales mentioned in the Jomsvikingasaga, the lament of this desolate, unknown women, with its brutal realism and unsentimental pathos, is an awesome beginning to the history of English language women's poetry.

Wulf and Eadwacer

His being gone is a gift to my people.
They will destroy him if he comes near,
but I welcomed him.

Wulf is on one island, I on another.
The island is safe, surrounded by fens.
Angry warriors are on that island.
They will destroy him if he comes near,
but I welcomed him.

I wait despairing while my Wulf wanders.
When it rained, I sat and cried.
When the brave man hugged me,
I was happy, it was loathsome.

Wulf, my Wulf, waiting for you,
for your seldom coming has made me sick.
I'm not starving but my mind is hungry

Eadwacer, do you hear? A wolf carries off
our wretched whelp to the woods.
What was never bound is easily broken:
our song together.

translation: Willis Barnstone and Elene Kolb
"A Book of Women's Poetry".
Aliki and Willis Barnstone
Schocken Books New York 1980

photo, Trans, the North Sea :grethe bachmann

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Solitude of the Moon

We rehearse our dreams
before we dream them
and it has the mystifying smell
of strange flowers.

We are the oceans we are the shores
we allow desires, they rise and fall
dreams outlive dreams
as we solicit the solitude of the moon.

Lekshmy Sujathan Kerala, India 2002

photo 2008:gb

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Eagle

He clasps the crag with hooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled seas beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Lord Alfred Tennyson, 1851

photo 2008: stig bachmann nielsen
Naturplan Foto