Category Archives: Others

A Small Mystery

This was published in 1875 in The Golden Treasury, which suggests it was written earlier but perhaps not too long before. But when? And who wrote it? Even the spellings vary from one source to the next, as spellings slowly juggled into their most comfortable place (the most recent and easily read is presented here).

Does that mean it was written much earlier? Or that the author affected an old-fashioned manner? Or perhaps it is evidence of a more localized manner of spelling, perhaps lowland Scots? Alas, that scoundrel Anonymous will never tell.

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On The Balcony

In front of the sombre mountains,
a faint, lost ribbon of rainbow
And between us and it, the thunder;
And down below in the green wheat,
the labourers stand like dark stumps,
still in the green wheat.
You are near to me, and naked feet
In their sandals, and through the
scent of the balcony’s naked timber
I distinguish the scent of your hair:
so now the limber
Lightning falls from heaven.
Adown the pale-green glacier river floats
A dark boat through the gloom—
and whither? The thunder roars
But still we have each other!
The naked lightnings in the heavens dither
And disappear—
what have we but each other?
The boat has gone.


(D. H. Lawrence)

Sonnets From the Portuguese XIV

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
‘I love her for her smile–her look–her way
Of speaking gently,–for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’–
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,–and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,–
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby !
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.


(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

Body, Remember

Let’s have some more Cavafy, shall we? His words come across so excellently in English, one must wonder how beautiful they must be in their native Greek! It’s enough to make a gardener want to learn another language.

You’ll often find this as “Body, Remember” or “Remember, Body” depending on the translation, but I’m pretty sure the correct title is this one:

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She Comes Not

She comes not when Noon is on the roses–
  Too bright is Day.
She comes not to the Soul till it reposes
  From work and play.

But when Night is on the hills, and the great Voices
  Roll in from Sea,
By starlight and candle-light and dreamlight
  She comes to me.


(Herbert  Trench)