May 2012

In Rome on the Campo dei Fiori
Baskets of olives and lemons,
Cobbles spattered with wine
And the wreckage of flowers. (more…)

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

In today’s Guardian, the word quorum
is spelled the same as oqürum,
the only surviving word of Khazar,
according to the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia.
Oqürum, meaning ‘I have read’. (more…)

I CONFESS, I am malicious enough to desire, that the world should see to how much better purpose the LADIES travel than their LORDS; and that, whilst it is surfeited with Male travels, all in the same tone, and stuffed with the same trifles; a lady has the skill to strike out a new path, and to embellish a worn-out subject with variety of fresh and elegant entertainment. For, besides the vivacity and spirit which enliven every part, and that inimitable beauty which spreads through the whole; besides the purity of the style, for which it may justly, be accounted the standard of the English tongue; the reader will find a more true and accurate account of the customs and manners of the several nations with whom this lady conversed, than he can in any other author. But, as her ladyship’s penetration discovers the inmost follies of the heart, so the candour of her temper passed over them with an air of pity, rather than reproach; treating with the politeness of a court, and the gentleness of a lady, what the severity of her judgment could not but condemn. (more…)

Give me Great God (said I) a Little Farm
in Summer shady, and in Winter warm
where a cool spring gives birth to a clear brook
by Nature slideing down a mossy Rock
Not artfully in Leaden Pipes convey’d
Or greatly falling in a forc’d Cascade
Pure & unsully’d winding throu’ ye Shade.
All bounteous Heaven has added to my Praier
a softer Climate and a purer Air. (more…)

She’s riding tonight
with a good light draft.
Lines are stowed
forward and aft. (more…)

Far spread the moorey ground a level scene
Bespread with rush and one eternal green
That never felt the rage of blundering plough
Though centurys wreathed spring’s blossoms on its brow
Still meeting plains that stretched them far away
In uncheckt shadows of green brown, and grey
Unbounded freedom ruled the wandering scene
Nor fence of ownership crept in between
To hide the prospect of the following eye
Its only bondage was the circling sky
One mighty flat undwarfed by bush and tree
Spread its faint shadow of immensity
And lost itself, which seemed to eke its bounds
In the blue mist the horizon’s edge surrounds
Now this sweet vision of my boyish hours
Free as spring clouds and wild as summer flowers
Is faded all — a hope that blossomed free,
And hath been once, no more shall be
Inclosure came and trampled on the grave
Of labour’s rights and left the poor a slave
And memory’s pride ere want to wealth did bow
Is both the shadow and the substance now.

(opening lines from The Mores)

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