A poem inspired by Milton’s ‘On His Blindness’
23 April 2015
WHEN I look at Time departed and now,
And that promise which lighted my childhood,
Still fading and deserting me somehow,
I see the mark of that which has long stood.
My luck is gone, and my hope is all spent,
My greater talents be yet unfulfilled,
And the genius seems conquered at present,
Yet there be no opening to rebuild.
I still have time before my adult year,
And still this one Talent left to decide
As I behold this manhood that I fear,
Which comes to me wholly prepared and wide,
Or perhaps my verse should rekindle my stay,
To once more lead and see my brighter day.
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Sing on, sweet thrush, upon the leafless bough
Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy strain,
See aged winter amid his surly reign
At thy blythe carol, clears his furrowed brow.
So in lone poverty, dominion drear,
Sits meek content with light, unanxious heart;
Welcomes the rapid moments, bids them part,
Nor asks if they bring output to hope or fear.
I hand thee, Author of this opening day!
Thou whose bright sun now gilds yon orient skies!
Riches denied, thy boon was purer joys
What wealth could never give nor take away.
Yet come, thou child of poverty and care,
the mite high bestowed that mite with thee share.
How soon hath time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom sheweth.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth
That I to manhood am arrived so near,
An inward ripeness doth much less appear
That some more timely happy spirits indueth.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot however mean or high,
Toward which time lends me and the will of heaven.
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great taskmaster’s eye.
And here is the remake of something that I wrote two years ago, this very day. Hopefully I did justice to poetry!
This day I welcome my thirtieth year,
How then should I pencil my life in brief?
Perhaps with sadness or unending grief,
Or perhaps with hopelessness and great fear!
My heart commands me to shed a little tear
And watch that which slowly wilts like a leaf
And embrace the age which takes like a thief;
I shall with most that be denied compare.
Let me now gauge my thoughts, my speech and speed,
And switch my brains in advance for manhood,
And once more stare my youth before I leap-
My careless days, my toil, my sweat and blood.
My mind is ripe, my soul bold. I proceed
With my stay. I mingle with time before I sleep.
HOW do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all life! -and, if God choose
I shall but love thee better after death.
A poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
LET us forget our yesterdays and part,
To set these two false-living hearts apart,
And delete those thoughts of old and move on,
For what can love be when the spark is gone?
Let us forget our yesterdays and part,
To set these two false-living hearts apart,
And delete all tears and sorrows amassed,
And walk away to dest’nations contrast.
Nevermore shall we dwell on pleasant day,
But let us then cast our pleasures astray!
So this silence be our sweetest escort,
When I hold a hand to kiss thee and part.
Heaven knows if I shall ever meet thee,
But should we not meet, let the parting be!
A poem by Lancelot
I recently paid a little visit down the years,when I made my stop at the Renaissance period,browsing the works of most extraordinary bards,from the likes of sir Phillip Sydney,Edmund Spenser and sir Walter Raleigh to the wily Ben Johnson and from the tragic Christopher Marlowe to the irreplaceable William Shakespeare.Those were indeed golden days of poetry.So I went on and on and on,admiring along the way,the topmost verse of John Donne and even the remarkable penmanship,demonstrated by mr George Chapman,until I stumbled upon the poem,’forget not yet,’ by one sir Thomas Wyatt.
I instantly fell in love with the piece,so much so,that I decided to imitate it.The following are Wyatt’s four opening lines!
“Forget not yet the tried intent
Of such a truth as I have meant
My great travail so gladly spent
Forget not yet.”
And next up,is my own lousy piece.
To a dead poet(imitating sir Thomas Wyatt)
Forget me not dear friend of merry time
When you leave and rise to the afterlife,
Forget not the name of companion prime
Nor rewards,nor merriments borne of strife.
Forget me not dear friend of sterling verse
When your name fades with a whispering wind,
Forget not the earth and her ways diverse
Nor all that you knew dearest to mankind.
And forget me not friend of noblest muse
When you take your seat upon the hallowed,
Forget not the rhyme nor couplets to use,
Nor that crown which was upon you bestowed.
Remember yet,the year and her seasons four,
The mellows in spring,and the rains to pour.
A poem by Lancelot
Were I not the man devoid of power
And the knowledge of how to mountains move,
Then I would so pause and halt the hour,
To break the tide,and to the Shepherd prove,
That the whole vast world be a trembling state
Who needs at most His guidance and the light
Which will lead all men to paradise gate,
To rekindle our stay to right and bright’.
But wider my thoughts can travel and far
To grasp even the minds of those blinded prime,
Now I seek the muse and kings of the bar
To raise Him best,and serve for longest time,
For the path to glory be just His way,
Who leads with His might to a brighter day.