Last thing at night, in solitude serene,
I am unpossessed of all that I have been.
It is as though I were about to go
Some journeying far beyond what now I know;
It is as though the microcosm of Me
By mercy were made free —
Of troubling past uncluttered and made clean.
Kim did not share with Kieu one sheet and pillow through the night,
but found his chief delight playing the lute, reciting verse.
Nor were the two averse to drink some wine, converse for hours,
watch blossoming of flowers, to test each other’s powers at chess,
or with a fond caress to watch the rising crescent moon.
1770 - 1850, based on the 1914 biography by F. W. H. Myer
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
His Life through his Poetry, Sermons and Devotions
Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil’s foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy’s stinging,
Serves to advance an honest mind.
God, sovereign lord of all
Your gentleness and grace befall
Grant that the soul of her I love
Fly swiftly to your realm above
Her pain and sorrow pray forestall.
Where is Echo, beheld of no man,
Only heard on river and mere, –
She whose beauty was more than human? . . .
But where are the snows of yester-year?
In ancient days love reigned supreme
when neither gift nor art should stream
Unless bouquets of love profound
Embrace the world and be our ground
France, Mother of arts, of ages and of laws,
You’ve nourished me much from the milk of your breast:
You’ve bequeathed me your name, as a lamb at the feast.
Your haunts and your woods were mine without pause.
A grapevine will surely take birth
From the belly and the girth
Of good Rabelais, who contrived
Always to drink while alive.
To murmur against death, in petulant defiance,
Is never for the best;
To will what God doth will, that is the only science
That gives us any rest.
I see his blood upon the rose And in the stars the glory of his eyes, His body gleams amid eternal snows, His tears fall from the skies.
William Butler Yeats 1865 – 1939
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
Seamus Heaney 1939 – 2013
Like everybody else, I bowed my head
during the consecration of bread and wine,
lifted my eyes to the raised host and raised chalice
believing (whatever it means) that a change occurred.