JOHN GAY:
SWEET WILLIAM'S FAREWELL TO BLACK-EYED SUSAN

followed by William Collins, Coleridge's Kubla Khan, Chamberlain's translations from Japanese.




ALL in the Downs the fleet was moored,
The streamers waving in the wind,
When black-eyed Susan came aboard:
" Oh I where shall I my true love find!
Tell me, ye jovial sailors I tell me true,
If my sweet William sails among the crew."

William, who high upon the yard
Rocked with the billow to and fro,
Soon as her well-known voice he heard,
He sighed, and cast his eyes below:
The cord slides swiftly through his glowing hands,
And quick as lightning on the deck he stands.
So the sweet lark, high poised in air,
Shuts close his pinions to his breast,
If chance his mate's shrill call he hear
And drops at once into her nest.
The noblest captain in the British fleet
Might envy William's lip those kisses sweet.

The boatswain gave the dreadful word:
The sails their swelling bosom spread;
No longer must she stay aboard:
They kissed; she sighed; he hung his head:
Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land:
" Adieu I" she cries, and waved her lily hand.

Change as ye list, ye winds! my heart shall be
The faithful compass that still points to thee.
"Believe not what the landmen say,
Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind;
They'll tell thee sailors, when away,
In every port a mistress find:
Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
For thou art present wheresoe'er I go.

"If to far India's coast we sail,
Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright,
Thy breath is Afric's spicy gale,
Thy skin is ivory, so white:
Thus every beauteous object that I view,
Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue.
"Though battle call me from thy arms,
Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
Though cannons roar, yet, safe from harms,
William shall to his dear return:
Love turns aside the balls that round me fly,
Lest precious tears should drop from Susan's eye."






HOW SLEEP THE BRAVE

By WILLIAM COLLINS

How sleep the brave who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed moId,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod.
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung:
There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay,
And Freedom shall awhile repair
To dwell a weeping hermit there!






KUBLA KHAN

By SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE

IN Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree;
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man,
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round,
And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Infolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that chasm deep which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover,
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast, thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced;
Amid whose swift, half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion,
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult, Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices, prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves,
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the cave.
It was a miracle of rare device
A sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such deep delight 'twould win me
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, "Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise."






POEMS from Classical poetry of the Japanese ( 1880)

Translated by BASIL HALL CHAMBERLAIN

THE FISHER BOY URASHlMA

'Tis Spring, and the mist comes stealing
O'er Suminoye's shore,
And I stand by the seaside, musing
On the days that are no more.
I muse on the old-world story,
As the boats glide to and fro,
Of the fisher boy Urashima,
Who a fishing loved to go.

How he came not back to the village
Though seven suns had risen and set,
But rowed on past the bounds of ocean,
And the Sea God's daughter met.

How they pledged their faith to each other,
And came to the Evergreen Land,
And entered the Sea God's palace
So lovingly hand in hand,--

To dwell for aye in that country,
The ocean maiden and he,--
The country where youth and beauty
Abide eternally.

But the foolish boy said: "To-morrow
I'll come back with thee to dwell; But I have a word to my father,
A word to my mother to tell."

The maiden answered: "A casket
I give into thine hand;
And if that thou hopest truly
To come back to the Evergreen Land,

"Then open it not, I charge thee,--
Open it not, I beseech! "
So the boy rowed home o'er the billows
To Suminoye's beach.

But where is his native hamlet?
Strange hamlets line the strand;
Where is his mother's cottage?
Strange cots rIse on either hand.

"What, in three short years since I left it,"
He cries in his wonder sore,
"Has the home of my childhood vanished?
Is the bamboo fence no more?

"Perchance if I open the casket
Which the maiden gave to me,
My home and the dear old village
Will come back as they used to be! "

And he lifts the lid, and there rises
A fleecy, silvery cloud,
That floats off to the Evergreen Country
And the fisher boy cries aloud;

He waves the sleeve of his tunic,
He rolls over on the ground,
He dances with fury and horror,
Running wildly round and round.

But a sudden chill comes o'er him
That bleaches his raven hair,
And furrows with hoary wrinkles
The form erst so young and fair.

His breath grows fainter and fainter,
Till at last he sinks dead on the shore.
--And I gaze on the spot where his cottage
Once stood, but now stands no more.





NO TIDINGS

The year has come, the year has gone again,
And still no tidings of my absent Love:
Through the long days of Spring all heaven above
And earth beneath re-echo with my pain.

In dark cocoon my mother's silkworms dwell:
Like them a captive, through the livelong day
Alone I sit and sigh my soul away,
For ne'er to any I my love may tell.

Like to the pine trees I must stand and pine,
While downward slanting fall the shades of night,
Till my long sleeve of purest snowy white
With showers of tears is steeped in bitter brine.

SPRING

No man so callous but he heaves a sigh
When o'er his head the withered cherry flowers
Come fluttering down. Who knows? the Spring's soft showers
May be but tears shed by the sorrowing sky.


SUMMER

In blossoms the Wistaria tree to-day
Breaks forth, that sweep the wavelets of my 'lake.
When will the mountain cuckoo come and make
The garden vocal with his first sweet lay?


AUTUMN

Can I be dreaming? 'Twas but yesterday
We planted out each tender shoot again;
And now the Autumn breeze sighs o'er the plain,
Where fields of yellow rice confess its sway.


WINTER

When from the skies, that wintry gloom enshroud,
The blossoms fall and flutter round my head,
Methinks the Spring even now his light must shed
O'er heavenly lands that lie beyond the clouds.






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