English

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 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 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 March 12, 2015

Going, Going Philip Larkin I thought it would last my time – The sense that, beyond the town, There would always be fields and farms, Where the village louts could climb Such trees as were not cut down; I knew there’d be false alarms In the papers about old streets And split level shopping, but […]

the archivist November 4, 2014

To Sir Richard Fanshaw, Upon His Translation Of ‘Pastor Fido’ Sir John Denham (1615-1669) Such is our pride, our folly, or our fate, That few but such as cannot write, translate. But what in them is want of art or voice, In thee is either modesty or choice. While this great piece, restored by thee, […]

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 July 7, 2012

The Literary World Philip Larkin I ‘Finally, after five months of my life during which I could write nothing that would have satisfied me, and for which no power will compensate me…’ My dear Kafka, When you’ve had five years of it, not five months, Five years of an irresistible force meeting an immoveable object […]

the archivist May 24, 2012

Memory Siegfried Sassoon (Limerick, 1 February 1918) When I was young my heart and head were light, And I was gay and feckless as a colt Out in the fields, with morning in the may, Wind on the grass, wings in the orchard bloom. O thrilling sweet, my joy, when life was free And all […]

the archivist May 31, 2010

I had the first couple of lines, with their curious, beautiful syntax, stuck in my head today. I struggled to recall where they were from. Shakespeare, obviously, but where? One of the plays with end-rhymed soliloquies? That narrows it, but contextually, they could fit in many places. Shakespeare is full of suitable matches. I had […]