Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When Sometime Lofty Towers

When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded with decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate,
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death, and cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Vobiscum Est Iope

When thou must home to shades of underground,
And there arrived, a new admired guest,
The beauteous spirits do engirt thee round,
White Iope, blithe Helen, and the rest,
To hear the story of thy finished love,
From that smooth tongue whose music hell can move,

Then thou wilt tell of banqueting delights,
Of masks and revels that sweet youth did make,
Of turnies and great challenges of knights,
And all these triumphs for thy beauty's sake:
When thou hast told these honors done to thee,
Then tell, O tell, how thou didst murder me.

-Thomas Campion-

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Great Minimum

It is something to have wept as we have wept,
It is something to have done as we have done,
It is something to have watched as all men slept,
And seen the stars which never see the sun.

It is something to have smelt the mystic rose,
Although it break and leave the thorny rods,
It is something to have hungered once as those
Must hunger who have ate the bread of gods.

To have seen you and your unforgotten face,
Brave as a blast of trumpets for the fray,
Pure as white lilies in a watery space,
It were something, though you went from me today.

To have known the things that from the weak are furled,
Perilous ancient passions, strange and high;
It is something to be wiser than the world,
It is something to be older than the sky.

In a time of skeptic moths and cynic rusts,
And fattened lives that of their sweetness tire
In a world of flying loves and fading lusts,
It is something to be sure of a desire.

Lo, blessed are our ears for they have heard;
Yea, blessed are our ears for they have seen:
Let the thunder break on man and beast and bird
And the lightning. It is something to have been.

-G.K. Chesterton-