Month: February 2014

Lines Written in Early Spring

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Lines Written in Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,  While in a grove I sate reclined,  In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts  Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link  The human soul that through me ran;  And much it grieved my heart to think  What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,  The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;  And ’tis my faith that every flower  Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,  Their thoughts I cannot measure:–  But the least motion which they made  It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,  To catch the breezy air;  And I must think, do all I can,  That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,  If such be Nature’s holy plan,  Have I not reason to lament  What man has made of man?

– William Wordsworth

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Ode To The West Wind

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Ode To The West Wind

I  O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,  Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead  Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,  Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,  Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,  Each like a corpse within its grave, until  Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill  (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)  With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;  Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!

II  Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky’s commotion,  Loose clouds like earth’s decaying leaves are shed,  Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread  On the blue surface of thine aëry surge,  Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge  Of the horizon to the zenith’s height,  The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night  Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,  Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere  Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: oh hear!

III  Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams  The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,  Lull’d by the coil of his crystàlline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiae’s bay,  And saw in sleep old palaces and towers  Quivering within the wave’s intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss and flowers  So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou  For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below  The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear  The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,  And tremble and despoil themselves: oh hear!

IV  If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;  If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;  A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free  Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even  I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,  As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed  Scarce seem’d a vision; I would ne’er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.  Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!  I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chain’d and bow’d  One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.

V  Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:  What if my leaves are falling like its own!  The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,  Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,  My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe  Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth!  And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth  Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!  Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,  If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

– Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Sonnet XXXI

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Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts, Which I by lacking have supposed dead; And there reigns Love, and all Love’s loving parts, And all those friends which I thought buried. How many a holy and obsequious tear Hath dear religious love stol’n from mine eye, As interest of the dead, which now appear But things removed that hidden in thee lie! Thou art the grave where buried love doth live, Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone, Who all their parts of me to thee did give, That due of many now is thine alone: Their images I loved, I view in thee, And thou (all they) hast all the all of me.

Sonnet XXXI – William Shakespeare

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As Winter Raged

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Winter was at war. Her subterfuge: Crumble grey-white flakes upon the scene.

The air, dead; Dead too, the sound – Blunted by the whitewash. Motion, dead – Bluing chill saw to that.

Everything ground to a halt – Like an empty train, crawling, seizing; Eventually to die sprawled along a ghosted platform – A lifeless plain of concrete.

I still had far to go – Or so this brain computed – Tried to – Inside my own raging storm of white noise, Howling in its desperation.

Now wild, blitz-wild, I bore an irrepressible thought – A goal, focus, idée fixe:

To clasp a frosted hand around A radiant mug of sugar-laden Calorie-heavy Full-fat milk chocolate – Steam wraiths writhing over A freshly-spooned whirlpool, Sultry in their invitation: ‘Come, sip, sip some more; Soothe yourself in balmy richness.’

I still had far to go…

– Mark Slaughter

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