19th century

the archivist February 6, 2024

Ode on a Grecian Urn John Keats Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,        Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express        A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape        Of deities or mortals, or of both,                In Tempe or the […]

the archivist March 27, 2022

The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The tide rises, the tide falls, The twilight darkens, the curlew calls; Along the sea-sands damp and brown The traveller hastens toward the town, And the tide rises, the tide falls. Darkness settles on roofs and walls, But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls; […]

the archivist December 30, 2021

In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIT MDCCCXXXIII: 15 Alfred, Lord Tennyson To-night the winds begin to rise          And roar from yonder dropping day:          The last red leaf is whirl’d away, The rooks are blown about the skies; The forest crack’d, the waters curl’d,          The cattle huddled on the lea;          And wildly dash’d on tower and […]

the archivist December 21, 2021

Invocation To Misery Percy Bysshe Shelley 1. Come, be happy!—sit near me, Shadow-vested Misery: Coy, unwilling, silent bride, Mourning in thy robe of pride, Desolation—deified! 2. Come, be happy!—sit near me: Sad as I may seem to thee, I am happier far than thou, Lady, whose imperial brow Is endiademed with woe. 3. Misery! we […]

the archivist August 2, 2021

Surprised by Joy William Wordsworth Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb, That spot which no vicissitude can find? Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind— But how could I forget thee?—Through what power, Even for the least division […]

the archivist June 2, 2021

A Birthday Christina Rossetti My heart is like a singing bird                   Whose nest is in a water’d shoot; My heart is like an apple-tree                   Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit; My heart is like a rainbow shell                   That paddles in a halcyon sea; My heart is gladder than all these                   Because my love is […]

the archivist May 15, 2021

Sonnet XXV George Santayana As in the midst of battle there is room For thoughts of love, and in foul sin for mirth; As gossips whisper of a trinket’s worth Spied by the death-bed’s flickering candle-gloom; As in the crevices of Caesar’s tomb The sweet herbs flourish on a little earth: So in this great […]

the archivist September 21, 2017

A Song from the Suds Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) From Little Women QUEEN of my tub, I merrily sing, While the white foam rises high; And sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring, And fasten the clothes to dry; Then out in the free fresh air they swing, Under the sunny sky. I wish we could […]

the archivist May 9, 2013

Ulysses (1833) Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson(1809–92) It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest from travel: I will drink […]

the archivist January 14, 2013

There’s a Peanuts cartoon (wish I could find it), in which Charlie Brown says, “I’ve watched this movie 29 times, and Shane never comes back.” I feel the exact same way about Prince Andrey Bolkonsky in War and Peace. Recently, I did a freelance project (a Cliff Notes type thing) for W&P, and so I […]

the archivist February 6, 2010

Written from a hospital bed in 1875, after the 26-year-old Henley had had his leg amputated as a result of tuberculosis of the bone. Originally untitled, Arthur Quiller-Couch bestowed the name “Invictus” (“Unvanquished”) when he included it in The Oxford Book of English Verse. This was the poem Nelson Mandela kept on a scrap of […]

the archivist January 18, 2007

Locksley Hall Alfred, Lord Tennyson Comrades, leave me here a little, while as yet ‘t is early morn: Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle-horn. ‘T is the place, and all around it, as of old, the curlews call, Dreary gleams about the moorland flying over Locksley Hall; Locksley Hall, […]

the archivist January 18, 2007

Gerard Manley Hopkins The Half-way House Love I was shewn upon the mountain-side And bid to catch Him ere the drop of day. See, Love, I creep and Thou on wings dost ride: Love it is evening now and Thou away; Love, it grows darker here and Thou art above; Love, come down to me […]

the archivist January 11, 2007

Thomas Moore Quick Quick! we have but a second, Fill round the cup while you may; For time, the churl, hath beckon’d, And we must away, away! Grasp the pleasure that’s flying, For oh, not Orpheus’ strain Could keep sweet hours from dying, Or charm them to life again. Then, quick! we have but a […]

the archivist January 11, 2007

The Indian Serenade Percy Bysshe Shelley I arise from dreams of thee In the first sweet sleep of night, When the winds are breathing low, And the stars are shining bright: I arise from dreams of thee, And a spirit in my feet Hath led me—who knows how? To thy chamber window, Sweet! The wandering […]