20141025

Troilus and Criseyde

Book V, Lines 1786-1813

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Go, litel book, go litel myn tragedie,
Ther god thy maker yet, er that he dye,
So sende might to make in som comedie!
But litel book, no making thou nenvye,
But subgit be to alle poesye;
And kis the steppes, wher-as thou seest pace
Virgile, Ovyde, Omer, Lucan, and Stace.

And for ther is so greet diversitee
In English and in wryting of our tonge,
So preye I god that noon miswryte thee,
Ne thee mismetre for defaute of tonge.
And red wher-so thou be, or elles songe,
That thou be understonde I god beseche!
But yet to purpos of my rather speche. --

The wraththe, as I began yow for to seye,
Of Troilus, the Grekes boughten dere;
For thousandes his hondes maden deye,
As he that was with-outen any pere,
Save Ector, in his tyme, as I can here.
But weylawey, save only goddes wille,
Dispitously him slough the fiers Achille.

And whan that he was slayn in this manere,
His lighte goost ful blisfully is went
Up to the holownesse of the seventh spere,
In convers letinge every element;
And ther he saugh, with ful avysement,
The erratik sterres, herkeninge armonye
With sownes fulle of hevenish melody.
Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

20141023

No Second Troy

by William Butler Yeats


Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?

20141022

Song of Venus

from King Arthur

by John Dryden

1

Fairest Isle, all Isles Excelling,
Seat of Pleasures, and of Loves;
Venus here will chuse her Dwelling,
And forsake her Cyprian Groves.

2

Cupid, from his Fav'rite Nation,
Care and Envy will Remove;
Jealousy that poysons Passion,
And Despair that dies for Love.

3

Gentle murmurs, sweet Complaining,
Sighs that blow the Fire of Love;
Soft Repulses, kind Disdaining,
Shall be all the Pains you prove.

4

Ev'ry Swain shall pay his Duty,
Grateful ev'ry Nymph shall prove;
And as these Excel in Beauty,
Those shall be Renown'd for Love.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

20141021

Song

from The Maiden Queen

by John Dryden

I Feed a Flame within which so torments me
That it both pains my heart, and yet contains me:
'Tis such a pleasing smart and I so love it,
That I had rather die, than once remove it.

Yet he for whom I grieve shall never know it;
My tongue does not betray, nor my eyes shew it:
Not a sigh nor a tear my pain discloses,
But they fall silently like dew on Roses.

Thus, to prevent my love from being cruel,
My heart's the sacrifice as 'tis the fuel:
And while I suffer this to give him quiet,
My faith rewards my love, tho he deny it.

On his eyes will I gaze, and there delight me;
While I conceal my love, no frown can fright me:
To be more happy I dare not aspire;
Nor can I fall more low, mounting no higher.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

20141020

Lines Printed under the Engraved Portrait of Milton,

in Tonson's Folio Edition of the 'Paradise Lost,' 1688.

by John Dryden

Three Poets, in three distant Ages born,
Greece, Italy, and England did adorn.
The first in Loftiness of Thought surpass'd,
The next in Majesty, in both the last:
The Force of Nature could no farther go;
To make a third she joined the former two.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

20141019

Laura Sleeping


by Charles Cotton

Winds, whisper gently whilst she sleeps,
And fan her with your cooling wings;
While she her drops of beauty weeps,
From pure, and yet unrivalled springs.
 
Glide over Beauty’s field, her face,        
To kiss her lip and cheek be bold;
But with a calm and stealing pace;
Neither too rude, nor yet too cold.
 
Play in her beams, and crisp her hair
With such a gale as wings soft Love,        
And with so sweet, so rich an air,
As breathes from the Arabian grove.
 
A breath as hushed as lover’s sigh;
Or that unfolds the morning’s door:
Sweet as the winds that gently fly        
To sweep the Spring’s enamelled floor.
 
Murmur soft music to her dreams,
That pure and unpolluted run
Like to the new-born crystal streams,
Under the bright enamoured sun.        
 
But when she walking shall display,
Her light, retire within your bar;
Her breath is life, her eyes are day,
And all mankind her creatures are.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

20141018

Die Nachtigall

von Theodor Storm

Das macht, es hat die Nachtigall
Die ganze Nacht gesungen;
Da sind von ihrem süßen Schall,
Da sind in Hall und Widerhall
Die Rosen aufgesprungen.

Sie war doch sonst ein wildes Kind;
Nun geht sie tief in Sinnen,
Trägt in der Hand den Sommerhut
Und duldet still der Sonne Glut
Und weiß nicht, was beginnen.

Das macht, es hat die Nachtigall
Die ganze Nacht gesungen;
Da sind von ihrem süßen Schall,
Da sind in Hall und Widerhall
Die Rosen aufgesprungen.


Note:  A recitation can be heard here.