Age of Jahiliyah

A blog of wide and varied interest, including Islam, Muslims, Poetry, Art and much more.

Archive for the day “February 17, 2011”

Death is a Door by Nancy Byrd Turner

Death is only an old door
Set in a garden wall;
On gentle hinges, it gives, at dusk
When the thrushes call.

Along the lintel are green leaves
Beyond the light lies still;
Very willing and weary feet
Go over that sill.

There is nothing to trouble any heart;
Nothing to hurt at all.
Death is only a quiet door
in an old wall.

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A Dream within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow-

You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

 

I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand-

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep- while I weep!

O God! can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp?

O God! can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?

Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?

 

 

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;–
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love–
I and my Annabel Lee–
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:–
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we–
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:–

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea–
In her tomb by the side of the sea.

‘Tis the Last Rose of Summer by Thomas Moore

‘Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone ;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone ;
No flower of her kindred,
No rose-bud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one !
To pine on the stem ;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter
Thy leaves o’er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love’s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie wither’d,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh ! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone ?

The Dwarf’s Song by Rainer Maria Rilke

My soul may be straight and plane,

But my heart, my contorted veins,

All else that is giving me pain

My soul can’t uphold these things.

It has no garden or bed it owns,

It hangs on my jagged crate of bones

With a horrified beating of wings.

 

Nor will my hands ever get me far.

Just look how stunted they are.

They heave and twitch, dankly bizarre,

Like small toads, rain-slick and plump.

Nor’s the rest of me in better state,

All threadbare and sad and third-rate;

Why does the good Lord hesitate

To toss it on the dump?

 

Is he angry with me because of the sight

Of my face with its scowl?

It wanted so often to turn all bright

And clear right down to the soul,

Yet nothing ever came close, skin-tight,

But the big dogs, who growl;

And the dogs don’t have it right.

 

 

Memory by Abraham Lincoln

My childhood’s home I see again,
And sadden with the view;
And still, as memory crowds my brain,
There’s pleasure in it, too.

O memory! thou midway world
’Twixt earth and paradise,
Where things decayed and loved ones lost
In dreamy shadows rise,

And, freed from all that’s earthly, vile,
Seem hallowed, pure and bright,
Like scenes in some enchanted isle
All bathed in liquid light.

As dusky mountains please the eye
When twilight chases day;
As bugle notes that, passing by,
In distance die away;

As leaving some grand waterfall,
We, lingering, list its roar —
So memory will hallow all
We’ve known but know no more.

Near twenty years have passed away
Since here I bid farewell
To woods and fields, and scenes of play,
And playmates loved so well.

The friends I left that parting day
How changed, as time has sped!
Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray;
And half of all are dead.

I hear the loved survivors tell
How nought from death could save,
Till every sound appears a knell
And every spot a grave.

I range the fields with pensive tread,
And pace the hollow rooms,
And feel (companion of the dead)
I’m living in the tombs.

 

 

 

Threnody by Dorothy Parker

Lilacs blossom just as sweet
Now my heart is shattered.
If I bowled it down the street,
Who’s to say it mattered?
If there’s one that rode away
What would I be missing?
Lips that taste of tears, they say,
Are the best for kissing.

Eyes that watch the morning star
Seem a little brighter;
Arms held out to darkness are
Usually whiter.
Shall I bar the strolling guest,
Bind my brow with willow,
When, they say, the empty breast
Is the softer pillow?

That a heart falls tinkling down,
Never think it ceases.
Every likely lad in town
Gathers up the pieces.
If there’s one gone whistling by
Would I let it grieve me?
Let him wonder if I lie;
Let him half believe me.

 

 

Evening by Rainer Maria Rilke

The evening is slowly changing garb,

Held for it by a fringe of old tree-tops;

Before your eyes, the territories part,

One that ascends to heaven, one that drops;

 

And leave you fully congruent with neither

Not quit as lightless as the silent house,

Nor as assuredly boding last things, either,

As what turns into star each night and mounts

 

And leave to you (quite hopeless to unsnarl)

Your life uneasy, vast, to ripeness tending,

So that it, now confined, now comprehending,

Turns now to stone within you, now to star.

This is Love by Rumi

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,

to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.

First, to let go of live.

In the end, to take a step without feet;

to regard this world as invisible,

and to disregard what appears to be the self.

Heart, I said, what a gift it has been

to enter this circle of lovers,

to see beyond seeing itself,

to reach and feel within the breast.



Lucy by William Wordsworth

I.

Strange fits of passion have I known:

And I will dare to tell,

But in the lover’s ear alone,

What once to me befell.

When she I loved look’d every day

Fresh as a rose in June,

I to her cottage bent my way,

Beneath an evening moon.

Upon the moon I fix’d my eye,

All over the wide lea;

With quickening pace my horse drew nigh

Those paths so dear to me.

And now we reach’d the orchard-plot;

And, as we climb’d the hill,

The sinking moon to Lucy’s cot

Came near and nearer still.

In one of those sweet dreams I slept,

Kind Nature’s gentlest boon!

And all the while my eyes I kept

On the descending moon.

My horse moved on; hoof after hoof

He raised, and never stopp’d:

When down behind the cottage roof,

At once, the bright moon dropp’d.

What fond and wayward thoughts will slide

Into a lover’s head!

‘O mercy!’ to myself I cried,

‘If Lucy should be dead!’

II.

He dwelt among the untrodden ways

Beside the springs of Dove,

A Maid whom there were none to praise

And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone

Half hidden from the eye!

Fair as a star, when only one

Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know

When Lucy ceased to be;

But she is in her grave, and oh,

The difference to me!

III.

Travell’d among unknown men,

In lands beyond the sea;

Nor, England! did I know till then

What love I bore to thee.

‘Tis past, that melancholy dream!

Nor will I quit thy shore

A second time; for still I seem

To love thee more and more.

Among the mountains did I feel

The joy of my desire;

And she I cherish’d turn’d her wheel

Beside an English fire.

Thy mornings show’d, thy nights conceal’d,

The bowers where Lucy play’d;

And thine too is the last green field

That Lucy’s eyes survey’d.

IV.

Three years she grew in sun and shower;

Then Nature said, ‘A lovelier flower

On earth was never sown;

This child I to myself will take;

She shall be mine, and I will make

A lady of my own.

‘Myself will to my darling be

Both law and impulse; and with me

The girl, in rock and plain,

In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,

Shall feel an overseeing power

To kindle or restrain.

‘She shall be sportive as the fawn

That wild with glee across the lawn

Or up the mountain springs;

And hers shall be the breathing balm,

And hers the silence and the calm

Of mute insensate things.

‘The floating clouds their state shall lend

To her; for her the willow bend;

Nor shall she fail to see

Even in the motions of the storm

Grace that shall mould the maiden’s form

By silent sympathy.

‘The stars of midnight shall be dear

To her; and she shall lean her ear

In many a secret place

Where rivulets dance their wayward round,

And beauty born of murmuring sound

Shall pass into her face.

‘And vital feelings of delight

Shall rear her form to stately height,

Her virgin bosom swell;

Such thoughts to Lucy I will give

While she and I together live

Here in this happy dell.’

Thus Nature spake — The work was done —

How soon my Lucy’s race was run!

She died, and left to me

This heath, this calm and quiet scene;

The memory of what has been,

And never more will be.

V.

Slumber did my spirit seal;

I had no human fears:

She seem’d a thing that could not feel

The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force;

She neither hears nor sees;

Roll’d round in earth’s diurnal course,

With rocks, and stones, and trees.

 

 

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