Category Archives: Poetry

Poetry Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Birthday


 
To celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday, here is Sonnet 73 read by Ted Hughes
 
 

 

Love Poetry

There wont faire Venus often to enjoy her deare Adonis

The Awakening of Adonis, John Waterhouse (c.1900)

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, some fragments from Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queeene (1590/1596).

Book Three, Canto Six (41- 48)

But were it not, that Time their troubler is,
All that in this delightfull Gardin growes,
Should happie be, and have immortall blis:
For here all plentie, and all pleasure flowes,
And sweet love gentle fits emongst them throwes,
Without fell rancor, or fond gealosie;
Franckly each paramour his leman knowes,
Each bird his mate, ne any does envie
Their goodly meriment, and gay felicitie.

There is continuall spring, and harvest there
Continuall, both meeting at one time:
For both the boughes doe laughing blossomes beare,
And with fresh colours decke the wanton Prime,
And eke attonce the heavy trees they clime,
Which seeme to labour under their fruits lode:
The whiles the joyous birdes make their pastime
Emongst the shadie leavea, their sweet abode,
And their true loves without suspition tell abrode.

Right in the middest of that Paradise,
There stood a stately Mount, on whose round top
A gloomy grove of mirtle trees did rise,
Whose shadie boughes sharpe steele did never lop,
Nor wicked beasts their tender buds did crop,
But like a girlond compassed the hight,
And from their fruitfull sides sweet gum did drop,
That all the ground with precious deaw bedight,
Threw forth most dainty odours, & most sweet delight.

And in the thickest covert of that shade,
There was a pleasant arbour, not by art,
But of the trees owne inclination made,
Which knitting their rancke braunches part to part,
With wanton yuie twyne entrayld athwart,
And Eglantine, and Caprifole emong,
Fashiond above within their inmost part,
That nether Phoebus beams could through thẽ throng,
Nor Aeolus sharp blast could worke them any wrong.

And all about grew every sort of flowre,
To which sad lovers were transformd of yore;
Fresh Hyacinthus, Phoebus paramoure,
And dearest love:
Foolish Narcisse, that likes the watry shore,
Sad Amaranthus, made a flowre but late,
Sad Amaranthus, in whose purple gore
Me seemes I see Amintas wretched fate,
To whom sweet Poets verse hath given endlesse date.

There wont faire Venus often to enjoy
Her deare Adonis joyous company,
And reape sweet pleasure of the wanton boy;
There yet, some say, in secret he does ly,
Lapped in flowres and pretious spycery,
By her hid from the world, and from the skill
Of Stygian Gods, which doe her love envy;
But she her selfe, when ever that she will,
Possesseth him, and of his sweetnesse takes her fill.

And sooth it seemes they say: for he may not
For ever die, and ever buried bee
In balefull night, where all things are forgot;
All be he subiect to mortalitie,
Yet is eterne in mutabilitie,
And by succession made perpetuall,
Transformed oft, and chaunged diverslie:
For him the Father of all formes they call;
Therefore needs mote he live, that living gives to all.

There now he liveth in eternall blis,
Joyning his goddesse, and of her enjoyd:
Ne feareth he henceforth that foe of his,
Which with his cruell tuske him deadly cloyd:
For that wilde Bore, the which him once annoyd,
She firmely hath emprisoned for ay,
That her sweet love his malice mote avoyd,
In a strong rocky Cave, which is they say,
Hewen underneath that Mount, that none him losen may.

Poetry

The Good Morrow

Marc Chagall Birthday (1915)

For Valentine’s Day, a poem from John Donne (1572-1631)

The Good Morrow

I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I
Did, till we lov’d? Were we not wean’d till then?
But suck’d on countrey pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den?
T’was so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desir’d, and got, ’twas but a dreame of thee.

And now good morrow to our waking soules,
Which watch not one another out of feare;
For love, all love of other sights controules,
And makes one little roome, an every where.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne,
Let us possesse one world; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares,
And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest,
Where can we finde two better hemispheares
Without sharpe North, without declining West?
What ever dyes, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.

Monarchy Poetry

Poetical Exercises

This sonnet is a rare example of the poetry written by King James I (1566 -1625)

SONNET

From Poetical Exercises.

THE azur’d vaulte, the crystall circles bright,
The gleaming fyrie torches powdred there,
The changing round, the shynie beamie light,
The sad and bearded fyres, the monsters faire;
The prodiges appearing in the aire,
The rearding thunders, and the blustering windes,
The fowles in hew, in shape, in nature raire,
The prettie notes that wing’d musiciens finds;
In earth the sau’rie flowres, the mettal’d minds,
The wholesome hearbes, the hautie pleasant trees,
The syluer streames, the beasts of sundrie kinds;
The bounded waves, and fishes of the seas:
All these for teaching man the Lord did frame,
To do his will whose glorie shines in thame.

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