Ozymandias (Percy Bysshe Shelley)

Ozymandias

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

_____________________________________________________

Letter to his Majesty the King George William Fredrick the Third,

Your Majesty, this letter is from our archaeological expedition in Egypt to inform you about the situation.

It was hot, incredibly hot. The temperatures were more than twenty degrees higher than what we’re used to in England. The sweat was dripping from my forehead and it seemed like we hadn’t moved for hours, as if we were still in the same place as miles back. Sand, sand and sand. It was all I could see. As unfortunate as I already was we had to climb the enormous mountain of almost melting sand in front of us and were about to give up our searching efforts. And out of the blue we saw two rocks peaking above the sandy hill. I wanted to sprint out of happiness of finally finding something but as exhausted as we already were we could barely walk. You wouldn’t believe me, Sire, when I say this, but they were two legs both around the size of a house. It was impossible to hide our feelings and after 10 seconds of gazing we started cheering that we found something. The body of the statue was nowhere to be seen, but the severed head lying was found moments later. His face had this emotionless look, but so much detail was carved into this once lifeless rock. A true, but cold-hearted leader is what he looked like. Like you, Your Majesty, he was the leader of an unconquerable and vast nation and still there’s only one broken statue left of this mighty empire. An entire people has disappeared from this planet. And the only record of them is the face and legs of a fallen king. This shows the importance of time. Minutes have passed while you, Your Majesty, read this, but the true power of time can’t be seen when taking these small steps. Hundreds of years ago our country didn’t exist, thousands of years ago God hadn’t created our species. That was what amazed me the most of our expedition. Time changes everything. We continued our expedition and brought the statue with us. I will write you as soon as we’ve come across more artefacts.

I have the honour to remain, Sir, Your Majesty’s most humble and obedient servant.

Yours Truly,

Albert George Cosgrove,
Leader of the King George’s expedition in Egypt.

by Anonymous

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I am! (John Clare)

I Am!

By John Clare

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

_____________________________________________________

Every single person has a destiny, please forgive me for my extreme clichés, but I do believe this. And yesterday, as I turned 49, I found mine. My destiny is not like his or hers, to change the world for the better. My destiny is not to be, rather than to be.  It is not a question anymore. I solved Shakespeare’s riddle and became the king of Denmark.

Dear stranger,

Oh damned are you, unlucky reader, finder and now rightful owner of my sorrows and pain. You shall be the first and last person to know me, to know who I am. Because I am, aren’t I? I exist, don’t I? I have a shadow claiming every second of every move. Am I not able to see my reflection? May this last note of mine be the everlasting proof of my existence.

You, my dearest, surely don’t know me, yet. For no one knows anything about me, for I am a wandering soul, lost on a one-way road. I am faceless in-between the millions of faces baring even more eyes that wouldn’t find me worthy enough for a second look, if I had the pleasure of receiving the first, in the first place.

They simply don’t care; really, they don’t even try to make it look like they do. This is how unattractive I am to the world, nothing but a useless pile of flesh and bones slowly in decay.

My friends, to whom I gave this rank because they weren’t completely appalled, the first time we met, haven’t forgotten about me. For you have to know someone before you can forget him. My mother, who carried me for nine months, looked at me and said ‘I wish it were a girl’. Even the one person, who was biologically forced to love me, didn’t.

With no one to speak to, I am doomed to be the self-consumer of my woes, with the lights out, with a glass of whatever and a bottle of even more whatever. I am lonely, I guess. I should be, right? Don’t you feel sorry for me? Do you wish you could have been my friend? Please don’t. Because I am, I am alive today as I write this letter to you, stranger. I am alive like the weeds in your backyard, which grow taller and more ugly every day, yet still, are as useless as the day before. I am alive like the insect you smacked away from the fruit in your kitchen. I do no harm, yet am disgusting and you don’t want me around because I’ll make you feel uncomfortable.

I am alive, I feel my heart beating through my chest right now, it sings in tune with an 808 beat. But do I want to be alive; do I need to be alive? Who else other than me should care and yet, I myself don’t want to live… Should I? Oh why am I even asking? Don’t get me wrong; I am by no means looking for help or a reason not to end it. I will, because I want to. I have grown surer every word of this letter.

I long for long virgin beaches, which my feet would be the first to touch. I long for long starry nights nobody saw but my teary eyes and blind heart. I long for a long past history of myself. I, me, mine. Make it murder. Because I know that with or without me, you, beloved friend or fiend, will always be mine, after today. Hold me with you, woven into your scar tissue and think about me. Look up to the moon; I will be sitting there, looking at you from my own pale kingdom. Where I belong. I am the man on the moon and I will finally be recognized in my invisibility. My days will turn into the everlasting night but it won’t turn dark for a second. As a new-born I will fall asleep as the moon goes in retrograde, flowing through the star crusted skies, kissing the sun, losing gravity and finally howling back at the earth.

by Aska Hayakawa

No Coward Soul is Mine (Emily Brontë)

No Coward Soul Is Mine

By Emily Brontë

No coward soul is mine
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere
I see Heaven’s glories shine
And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

O God within my breast
Almighty ever-present Deity
Life, that in me hast rest,
As I Undying Life, have power in Thee

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men’s hearts, unutterably vain,
Worthless as withered weeds
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by thy infinity,
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of Immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy spirit animates eternal years
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears

Though earth and moon were gone
And suns and universes ceased to be
And Thou wert left alone
Every Existence would exist in thee

There is not room for Death
Nor atom that his might could render void
Since thou art Being and Breath
And what thou art may never be destroyed.

_____________________________________________________

Dear God,

It is with this reason that I write to You, to declare how steadfast my faith in You and the Heavens always have been and always will be.

My soul is not afraid, nor do I shake or shiver from fear, in this world full of dangers.

I could not fear, due to my faith. I believe in You, I believe in Heaven.

O God, You will always be within me. Your almighty and ever-present divinity is welcome in my soul. With my entire being, I believe in Your Power. I trust You with my life and therefore with my after-life and immortality. As You live within me, I live within You.

Most men value the unutterably foolish, vain and empty statements of believe. These statements are as worthless as withered weeds. Feeble men do not believe in You in the same way that I do. Their faith is like foam of the sea, constantly changing. It is inconsequent and insubstantial, short-lived.

With these untrue statements of false believe, they try to make one doubt, who is so sure of Your power and infinity, who is so surely holding onto the faith in immortality.

With Your love that embraces all, You give us immortal life. From above in the Heavens You see through us and worry over us. You change, sustain, dissolve and create all that is in this world. You look after us.

If this earth and the moon would disappear, if all the suns and universes would cease to be, if the entire material world would perish, and if You were the only thing left: every existence and every soul would still exist within You.

Everything that You created, our entire world with all the land and seas, will never stop being. You, Almighty, are all that is required to live. You are everything that is living. Therefore You are within everything that lives, and everything that lives is within You.

My soul is not afraid of the ending. There is no death, no mortality. There is not anything that could destroy You or Your might. Everything that lives is eternal, since You are eternal. You inhabit those who believe. You are the world’s being and breath, and what You are will never be destroyed.

Knowing this, that Your power is within me, that I am armed with faith, and that I am Your undying life:

No Coward Soul Is Mine.

by Anonymous

The Lady of Shalott (Lord Tennyson)

The Lady of Shalott (1832)

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Part I
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro’ the field the road runs by
       To many-tower’d Camelot;
The yellow-leaved waterlily
The green-sheathed daffodilly
Tremble in the water chilly
       Round about Shalott.

 

Willows whiten, aspens shiver.
The sunbeam showers break and quiver
In the stream that runneth ever
By the island in the river
       Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

Underneath the bearded barley,
The reaper, reaping late and early,
Hears her ever chanting cheerly,
Like an angel, singing clearly,
       O’er the stream of Camelot.
Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,
Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
Listening whispers, ‘ ‘Tis the fairy,
       Lady of Shalott.’

 

The little isle is all inrail’d
With a rose-fence, and overtrail’d
With roses: by the marge unhail’d
The shallop flitteth silken sail’d,
       Skimming down to Camelot.
A pearl garland winds her head:
She leaneth on a velvet bed,
Full royally apparelled,
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part II
No time hath she to sport and play:
A charmed web she weaves alway.
A curse is on her, if she stay
Her weaving, either night or day,
       To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be;
Therefore she weaveth steadily,
Therefore no other care hath she,
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

She lives with little joy or fear.
Over the water, running near,
The sheepbell tinkles in her ear.
Before her hangs a mirror clear,
       Reflecting tower’d Camelot.
And as the mazy web she whirls,
She sees the surly village churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls
       Pass onward from Shalott.

 

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,
Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad,
       Goes by to tower’d Camelot:
And sometimes thro’ the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often thro’ the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
       And music, came from Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead
Came two young lovers lately wed;
‘I am half sick of shadows,’ said
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part III
A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves,
And flam’d upon the brazen greaves
       Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel’d
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
       Beside remote Shalott.

 

The gemmy bridle glitter’d free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
       As he rode down from Camelot:
And from his blazon’d baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
       Beside remote Shalott.

 

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn’d like one burning flame together,
       As he rode down from Camelot.
As often thro’ the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
       Moves over green Shalott.

 

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;
On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow’d
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
       As he rode down from Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flash’d into the crystal mirror,
‘Tirra lirra, tirra lirra:’
       Sang Sir Lancelot.

 

She left the web, she left the loom
She made three paces thro’ the room
She saw the water-flower bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
       She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
‘The curse is come upon me,’ cried
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part IV
In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
       Over tower’d Camelot;
Outside the isle a shallow boat
Beneath a willow lay afloat,
Below the carven stern she wrote,
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

A cloudwhite crown of pearl she dight,
All raimented in snowy white
That loosely flew (her zone in sight
Clasp’d with one blinding diamond bright)
       Her wide eyes fix’d on Camelot,
Though the squally east-wind keenly
Blew, with folded arms serenely
By the water stood the queenly
       Lady of Shalott.

 

With a steady stony glance—
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Beholding all his own mischance,
Mute, with a glassy countenance—
       She look’d down to Camelot.
It was the closing of the day:
She loos’d the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

As when to sailors while they roam,
By creeks and outfalls far from home,
Rising and dropping with the foam,
From dying swans wild warblings come,
       Blown shoreward; so to Camelot
Still as the boathead wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her chanting her deathsong,
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

A longdrawn carol, mournful, holy,
She chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her eyes were darken’d wholly,
And her smooth face sharpen’d slowly,
       Turn’d to tower’d Camelot:
For ere she reach’d upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

Under tower and balcony,
By garden wall and gallery,
A pale, pale corpse she floated by,
Deadcold, between the houses high,
       Dead into tower’d Camelot.
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
To the planked wharfage came:
Below the stern they read her name,
       The Lady of Shalott.

 

They cross’d themselves, their stars they blest,
Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire, and guest.
There lay a parchment on her breast,
That puzzled more than all the rest,
       The wellfed wits at Camelot.
‘The web was woven curiously,
The charm is broken utterly,
Draw near and fear not,—this is I,
       The Lady of Shalott.’
_____________________________________________________

Once upon a time in the kingdom Arendelle, far, far away from here, there was a beautiful princess, called Aurora. She lived in a gigantic castle with her father, mother and her 2 sisters. When the sun shined, she liked to go flower picking with her sisters. One day, in the beginning of spring, the sun shined and a warm wind was blowing though the trees, on which the new leafs were growing. Aurora wanted to go outside the castle and go flower picking, but her older sisters didn’t want to go, because they were to busy with their boyfriends. Aurora was sad, so she went alone to the woods. Once in the woods, she sat down in the bright green grass and started crying. An old lady passed by and came towards her and asked what was wrong. Aurora answered: “My sisters are more interested in their boyfriends than in me.” And she started crying harder. They started talking for a few hours and eventually the old lady said: “My child, come to my home with me. I will never let you down and I will never find something else more important than you” Aurora accepted the old lady’s offer and went along with the old lady. They walked for hours and hours. Finally, they reached the home of the old lady, a high tower, in the kingdom “Camelot”. They went inside the tower, to the highest chamber at the end of the stair. Aurora walked the chamber in, but then, the old lady suddenly shuts the door behind her and Aurora was locked up. “Why are you doing this?” Aurora screamed loudly. “I am a pour woman, cursed by a whitch. I wanted magical powers, and I got them, but as a side effect, I became ugly and I can not change that. So I take revenge on all the beautiful girls in the kingdom and lock them up” The old lady answered, laught in an evil way and eventually, the old lady went away and Aurora was left alone in the tower, with a horrible curse casted upon her: she would die if she ever looked out of the window, so she couldn’t escape either. The only way she could look outside, was indirectly through a mirror. Aurora was so sad, she kept crying day after day, but after a few weeks, she gave up hoping that her family would come and rescue her and she started weaving to let time pass faster. At first, she weaved images of the beautiful memories she had, but time was passing and she starts to forget all the memories she had. When she couldn’t come up with memories to weave, she wove whatever she saw in the mirror: a little girl in a red hood, 7 dwarfs walking with axes, an ogre, a little deer without a mother and a boar and a meerkat walking together down the road. She wove day in, day out. After a few years, the weaving starts to bore her. She just wants to look outside the window for once and not through a mirror. At a beautiful bright day in fall, Aurora looked in the mirror and she saw a knight rode by. His glossy black hear wove through the air, his silver armor shined in the sun and on his face was the most beautiful smile. She got so curious and looked out the window to see the knight better, but the moment she looked outside, the curse got activated. Aurora was slowly dying, but determined that she wouldn’t die alone in that horrible tower. She cracked the door open and escaped. She ran out the tower towards the river, where there was a boat, on which was written: The lady of Shalott. “Hmm, this boat is probably the boat of this lady, but I think she would not mind if I would borrow it” Aurora thaught. So with her last bit of energy, she stepped in the boat and sailed down the river along with the stream. The water was clear and cool and the leafs of the trees landed upon her. While she was sailing along the river, she ended up in the harbor of the castle of Camelot. She was only seconds away from death and lots of people gathered around her, including the handsome knight she saw earlier. He said: “What a beautiful lady are you.” At that moment, Aurora exhaled her last breath and died. She was buried with the name The lady of Shalott, because nobody knew her real name, but atleast she died happily ever after…

by Anonymous

Prospice (Robert Browning)

Prospice

By Robert Browning

Fear death?—to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm,
The post of the foe;
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,
Yet the strong man must go:
For the journey is done and the summit attained,
And the barriers fall,
Though a battle’s to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
The reward of it all.
I was ever a fighter, so—one fight more,
The best and the last!
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes and forbore,
And bade me creep past.
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers
The heroes of old,
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life’s arrears
Of pain, darkness and cold.
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute’s at end,
And the elements’ rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend,
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain,
Then a light, then thy breast,
O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!

_____________________________________________________

Can you give me an explanation of what you think death is and if you fear death?

I think death is when I feel the fog in my throat and mist in my face. When everything turns as white as snow, but suddenly the power of the night takes over, almost like the press of a storm and from where you stand you can see death in a visible form. I don’t think you need to fear death and I also don’t fear death.

Do you think someone must always go on even if that means you’re going to die?

A strong man must always go on. He must complete his journey. The harder you will fight the more barriers that will fall and if you win the fight the reward will be colossal. I also was a fighter, but i still need to win one fight. I would not be able to stand the feeling of death, but I also want to taste the whole of it.

Do you think you had a good life? Do you think that if you have a good or bad life can change in one moment?

I have had a good life in comparison with a lot of people. I have not had a lot of pain, darkness and coldness. I have been through the change of a good to a bad life, because of one moment, when my wife died. Something like that turns the best into the brave. It feels like all the elements rage and the voices of demons rave. Then they dwindle and mix and they change. They will become a peale out of the pain and then a light, but one day I will see her again.

by Stijn Jongeengelen

 

I Hid My Love (John Clare)

I Hid My Love

by John Clare

I hid my love when young till I
Couldn’t bear the buzzing of a fly;
I hid my love to my despite
Till I could not bear to look at light:
I dare not gaze upon her face
But left her memory in each place;
Where’er I saw a wild flower lie
I kissed and bade my love good-bye.

I met her in the greenest dells,
Where dewdrops pearl the wood bluebells;
The lost breeze kissed her bright blue eye,
The bee kissed and went singing by,
A sunbeam found a passage there,
A gold chain round her neck so fair;
As secret as the wild bee’s song
She lay there all the summer long.

I hid my love in field and town
Till e’en the breeze would knock me down;
The bees seemed singing ballads o’er,
The fly’s bass turned a lion’s roar;
And even silence found a tongue,
To haunt me all the summer long;
The riddle nature could not prove
Was nothing else but secret love.

_____________________________________________________

Dear diary,

When I was younger I was madly in love with a girl. I tried to hide my love and forget it, but every small noise made me crazy. I couldn’t even bear the buzzing of a fly, the ticking of a clock or the flowing of water because everything reminded me of her.

I hid my love, but in fact I really wanted to tell someone how strong my love for her was. I wanted someone to understand my love, because I was slowly turning insane. I couldn’t bear to look at light or do anything as simple as write in my diary, read a book or lace my shoes, since I couldn’t think of anything else than my dear love.

I decided I couldn’t live this way any longer and desperately tried to forget her. I forced myself not to look at her anymore, but soon found out this wasn’t working. Her memory was everywhere. Her memory was in the waves of the sea, the rain and the wild flowers. Whenever I saw them I bade my love goodbye because I had to forget her and ignore my stupidity.

Excuse me, dear diary, I’m just rambling. Let me start at the beginning. I saw my love for the first time in Blue Bell Pub. I was just drinking a beer with my mates when my eyes fell upon her. She immediately enchanted me with her beauty. She has beautiful blue eyes. I could drown in those eyes of her. The sunlight shone upon her face and from that moment on I knew I was lost. She is just divine. I really don’t have enough words to describe how pretty she is. She was my secret all summer. I couldn’t meet her or be with her, but in my mind I was constantly with her.

I tried hopelessly to hide my love but literally everything reminded me of her. The sea as blue as her eyes, the sun as clear as her smile and the bees buzzing like her voice. My love for her just kept growing and every tiny thing made it worse. I couldn’t forget her and just ignore it. She was driving me mad. My love was too strong. Even the silence reminded me of her. I couldn’t relax the whole summer, because my heart was constantly aching. It was just so intense, but when I look back at it now I know it was just a silly secret love.

Love John.

by Anonymous

My Last Duchess (Robert Browning)

My Last Duchess

by Robert Browning

That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will ‘t please you sit and look at her? I said
‘Frà Pandolf’ by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ‘t was not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps
Frà Pandolf chanced to say, ‘Her mantle laps
Over my lady’s wrist too much,’ or ‘Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat:’ such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ‘t was all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, ‘Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark’—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
—E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will ‘t please you rise? We’ll meet
The company below then. I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

_____________________________________________________

 

To my last Duchess,

You are missed. You are missed by your beautiful white skin, your lips red as blood. You are missed by how you were so easy-going. By how you were so easily gone. You are missed by your laugh that cuts through silence like a knife. You might be wondering how I still seem to remember every part of you, your personality and your proceedings, as if you only left this world little days ago. As it occurs, I still marvel at your looks everyday. Fra Pandolf has been so kind to immortalise you in the form of a painting, so your presence will be available by only the draw of a curtain. Though do not think that just any soul can pull said curtain; from now on I will be the only man to spectate your beauty. I must say, it was spectacular to view Pandolf’s process of painting you. From the blush on your cheeks to the way your mantle used to fall, I thought I was the only one who knew you so intimately detailed. But I guess it would be foolish to think that I, a Duke with a nine-hundred-years-old name, possessor of anything you and your family could ever love, would deserve any other ranking than all those lovely gentlemen you would ride around the gardens with, let alone get close enough to you to see how well God sculpted you. At least your limitless beauty and lack of dignity led to a beautiful painting, which I can now adore whenever I have the desire to. It is simply a great addition to my art collection. It looks beautiful besides my sculpture of Neptune. Claus of Innsbruck beautifully cast the taming of that sea-horse in bronze. I would say taming is kind of a recurring theme in my collection, although Neptune seems to be a lot more proficient at domesticating than I happen to be. Another Duchess, another try, let’s just say. I should now get back to my guests downstairs as my absence will lead to neither the growth of my marriage portion nor the increased amount of respect this young girl might still have for me. Let’s hope she’s much like you, as someday I aspire to become much as mighty as Neptune has shown himself to this world to be.

With regards,

Your Duke

by Merel Smeets

Oh Captain, My captain (Walt Whitman)

Oh Captain, My Captain

By Walt Whitman

 

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            This arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
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After four long and terrible years, the war is now finally over. We, the United States of America, have beaten the civil war and we have preserved the Union. I have seen people waving our flag and I have seen others crying of felicity. Everyone is happy. But a war never ends only with glee, there are always victims. And for all these victims I feel sorrow and I sympathize with all who lost their sons or husbands. But I can’t live with the fact that John Wilkes Booth shot our leader. It tears me apart that our president, Abraham Lincoln, is dead.

So please let it be a dream. I am hoping so much that I will wake up and see him alive again, smiling and waving to his folk. That he is here with us again and that he can see what he has achieved. Because without him people wouldn’t be celebrating their freedom right now. All the laughing you hear and every smile you see are due to him. If there was one person who deserved it the most to be here right now and  to see our country reunited again, it would be him.

But no, I won’t wake up. It isn’t just a dream. It is the horrible truth about our fallen hero. He has fought for so many years, trying to recover the peace. He has lead our country through the darkest days of its history. And now, when his hard work finally pays off, he is gone. While everyone is celebrating the victory, my heart is filling itself with sorrow. Because we, the United states of America, have lost our leader, president Abraham Lincoln.

by Pieter Goossens

London (William Blake)

London

By William Blake

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear

How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls

But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse

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Dear diary,

Today I decided to go for a walk, my schedule was blank anyways so I thought some fresh air would’ve been nothing but satisfying. I left my house and just wandered. While I was making my way through London, I started thinking about life and about society. I had never expected it to be so depressing. I came to the realisation that the city isn’t what it has been. Back in the old days, man admired the city and it’s nature around while nowadays it’s rather a playground for the industries. It ruins the city by painting buildings black as tar with its smoke. I came across the house of God and there were few people in it. Lucifer holds most of the cords nowadays. But not only the city itself is affected, no, also its people. Strangers I met seemed all full of grief. Even children, the future of our society. Man has surrendered to the industries and all the harm it brings. Man has imprisoned himself. The royal house is guilty of fighting pointless battles and the death and harm it causes among our brave soldiers. It is operating in its self-interest while keeping a blind eye on what’s happening to its people. But dear diary, if you think this is bad, you must know the night is even worse. I was stunned by London’s women of pleasure: my eyes saw appearances so young but my ears heard an adult tongue and newborns crying honest tears. I heard the sick coughing out their lungs because of the smoke and the diseases afflicting the city. The wedding cars I saw during the day, now carry bodies already in decay. O my diary, how has my come to this point? I just can’t believe it. But for now good night. For now the only thing I desire is to wander through the harmonious world in my mind.

by Gijs van Iterson

Remembrance (Emily Brontë)

Remembrance

By Emily Brontë

Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee,
Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
Severed at last by Time’s all-severing wave?

Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
Thy noble heart forever, ever more?

Cold in the earth—and fifteen wild Decembers,
From those brown hills, have melted into spring:
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
After such years of change and suffering!

Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
While the world’s tide is bearing me along;
Other desires and other hopes beset me,
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!

No later light has lightened up my heaven,
No second morn has ever shone for me;
All my life’s bliss from thy dear life was given,
All my life’s bliss is in the grave with thee.

But, when the days of golden dreams had perished,
And even Despair was powerless to destroy,
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.

Then did I check the tears of useless passion—
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine;
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.

And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memory’s rapturous pain;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
How could I seek the empty world again?

_____________________________________________________

Dear Anna,

With a hardened cold body he is buried in the earth as cold as he is now. Covered by snow even colder. Snow seems to cover him like time covers my memory.

Cold is the distance which separates him from me, which keeps him under the earth apart from me.

I am worried to might have forgotten him through time, since time makes forget. Time is required to forget, the two don’t go without each other.

I am worried that time has been so selfishly all demanding. That it has brutally torn apart my thoughts of him, from him.

Since time has passed and parted me from him I have stopped letting my thoughts fly towards him like birds

Fly over the mountains towards him on the northern shore where he is still covered by earth not snow anymore. Time takes away not only the seasons but also  remembrance of him I’m afraid.

Then my birds land on his grave which is now covered by another tide than winter.

My thoughts have tucked him in, but will they still be doing this?

He has now been tucked in by that same earth for fifteen years. Growing colder over the years by December’s snow,

Which was replaced fifteen times by spring. As time passes, and seasons switch each other of, my memory of him is switched of by new ones.

Am I unfaithful, anna, to may not remember him as much as I should? It would be ultimately loyal for one to always keep remembering.

This however is toilful when many years, which contain even more toil and change, pass.

Oh Anna, would he forgive me, if I were to have forgotten him?

Would he forgive me, even when time passes on. Time, which takes me further.

Would he forgive me if he knew, and understand that I would have to cope with new and other desires and hopes. That those occupy and fill my mind so that there might not be anything left to be filled by him?

Even though those hopes and desires could sometimes be dark or wrong, they won’t be able to hurt him anymore. Will they?

I do want to emphasize that I have never trusted my hart to anyone other than him, after he brightened heaven.

Not ever after him have I been enriched by a man, like nature is enriched by the sun.

Al my life light, and with that my happiness died with him.

I am unhappy ever since, but I hope my bliss brightens and warms him in his grave.

Oh dear Anna, with him I had dreams worth of gold, so beautiful.

But those faded away, and when there was no saving me from complete and utter desperation,
I realized that there is no point in desperation, I learned to appreciate existence. Because If he would be here I would appreciate it. This tells us that we should appreciate existence, hence we are sad when it is lost.

This empowered me and blissed me. Strangely without having actual joy.

But Anna I was still not fixed yet. My tears did still fell down for him.

I slowed the longing for him of my soul. I decreased sternly the burning desire to

Rush to him, and to cry in vain for his death. It seemed that when he peacefully died, my soul was torn violently from my body with him. As if I died more than he did.

However, I should be strong and do not let these thoughts take over to ruin me.

I should not let the devil like merciless pain of memory embrace me.

Because If I would, I would drown myself in the satisfying grief, pouring into my soul.

Oh Anna, how could I, empty as I now am,  live again?

Your dearest,

Emily

by Sterre Weststeyn