Man Stands at the Crossroad and Contemplates Humankind Making
its Way Beyond the Cosmic Machine. Cecilia Bustamante

Literary works by leading poets and thinkers of the English world

Andrew Marvell, born at Yorkshire, 1621, died in London 1678.


Where the remote Bermudas ride
In the ocean's bosom unespied,
From a small boat, that rowed along,
The listening winds received this song:

"What should we do but sing His praise
That led us through the watery maze,
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?
Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs,
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storms, and prelate's rage:
He gave us this eternal spring
Which here enamels every thing,
And sends the fowls to us in care,
On daily visits through the air.
He hangs in shades the orange bright
Like golden lamps in a green night,
And does in the pomegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows:
He makes the figs our mouths to meet,
And throws the melons at our feet;
But apples plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice.
With cedars chosen by His hand,
From Lebanon, He stores the land;
And makes the hollow seas, that roar
Proclaim the ambergris on shore.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The Gospel's pearl upon our coast;
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound His name.
O, let our voice His praise exalt,
Till it arrive at Heaven's vault,
Which, thence (perhaps) rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexique Bay!"

-Thus sung they, in the English boat
An holy and a cheerful note:
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the time.


How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the Palm, the Oke, or Bayes;
And their uncessant Labours see
Crown'd from some single Herb or Tree,
Whose short and narrow verged shade
Does prudently their Toyles upbraid;
While all Flow'rs and all Trees do close
To weave the Garlands of repose.


Fair quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence thy Sister dear!
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busie Companies of Men.
Your sacred Plants, if here below,
Only among the Plants will grow.
Society is all but rude
To this delicious Solitude.


No white nor red was ever seen
So am'rous as this lovely green.
Fond Lovers, cruel as their Flame
Cut in these Trees their Mistress name.
Little, alas, they know or heed,
How far these Beauties Hers exceed.
Fair Trees! were s'eer your barks I wound,
No Name shall but your own be found.


When we have run our Passions heat,
Love hither makes his best retreat.
The Gods, that mortal Beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race.
Apollo hunted Daphne so,
Only that She might Laurel grow.
And Pan did after Syrinz speed,
Not as a Nymph, but for a Reed.


What wond'rous Life in this I lead!
Ripe Apples drop about my head;
The Luscious Clusters of the Vine
Upon my Mouth do crush their Wine;
The Nectaren, and curious Peach,
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on Melons, as I pass,
Insar'd with Flow'rs, I fall on Grass.


Mean while the Mind, from Pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness:
The Mind, that Ocean where each kind
Does streight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other Worlds, and other Seas,
Annihilating all that's made
To a green Thought in a green Shade.


Here at the Fountains sliding foot,
Or at some Fruit-trees mossy root,
Casting the Bodies Vest aside,
My Soul into the bough does glide:
There like a Bird it sits, and sings,
Then whets, and combs its silver Wings;
And, till prepar'd for longer flight,
Waves in its Plumes the various Light.


Such was that happy Garden-state,
While Man there walk'd without a Mate:
After a Place so pure, so sweet,
What other Help could yet be meet!
But 'twas beyond a Mortal's share
To wander solitary there:
Two Paradises 'twere in one
To live in Paradise alone.


How well the skillful Gardner drew
Of flow'rs and herbes this Dial new
Where from above the milder Sun
Does through a fragrant Zodiac run;
And, as it works, th' industrious Bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome Hours
Be recokon'd but with herbs and flow'rs!

Alexander Pope, born in London, 1688, died at Twickenham, 1744.
                       A LITTLE LEARNING
               	(from An essay on Criticism)

          A little learning is a dangerous thing;
          Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
          There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
          And drinking largely sobers us again.
          Fired at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
          In fearless youth we tempt the heights of arts,
          While from the bounded level of our mind,
          Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
          But more advanced, behold with strange surprise
          New distant scenes of endless science rise!
          So pleased at first the towering Alps we try
          Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
          Th' eternal snows appear already past,
          And the first clouds and mountains seem the last;
          But, those attained, we tremble to survey
          The growing labours of the lengthened way,
          Th' incresing prospects tire our wandering eyes,
          Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!   


	Happy the man, whose wish and care
		A few paternal acres bound,
	Content to breathe his native air
			In his own grownd.

	Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
		Whose flocks supply him with attire;
	Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
			In winter fire.

	Blest, who can unconcern'dly find
		Hours, days, and years slide soft away
	In health of body, peace of mind,
			Quiet by day,

	Sound sleep by night; study and ease
		Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
	And innocence, which most does please
			With meditation.

	Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
		Thus unlamented let me die;
	Steal from the world, and not a stone
			Tell where I lie.

William Wordsworth, born in Cockermouth, 1770, died at Rydal Mount near Grasmere, 1850.
                    	SEPTEMBER, 1802

          O Friend! I know not which way I must look
               	For comfort, being as I am, opprest,
               	To think that now our life is only drest
          For show; mean handy-work of craftsman, cook,
          Or groom! - We must run glittering like a brook
               	In the open sunshine, or we are unblest:
               	The wealthiest man among us is the best:
          No grandeur now in nature or in book
          Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,
               	This is idolatry; and these we adore.
               	Plain living and high thinking are no more:
               	The homely beauty of the good old cause
          Is gone; our peace, our fearful innocense,
               	And pure religion breathing household laws.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834.


All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,

And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,

Beside the ruined tower.
The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,

My own dear Genevieve!
She leant against the arméd man,
The statue of the arméd knight;
She stood and listened to my lay,

Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
She loves me best, whene'er I sing

The songs that make her grieve.
I played a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story--
An old rude song, that suited well

That ruin wild and hoary.
She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she know, I could not choose

But gaze upon her face.
I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And that for ten long years he wooed

The Lady of the Land.
I told her how he pined: and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another's love,

Interpreted my own.
She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes, and modest grace;
And she forgave me, that I gazed

Too fondly on her face!
But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
And that he crossed the mountain-woods,

Nor rested day nor night;
That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once

In green and sunny glade,--
There came and looked him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a Fiend,

This miserable Knight!
And that unknowing what he did,
He leaped amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death

The Lady of the Land!
And how she wept, and clasped his knees;
And how she tended him in vain--
And ever strove to expiate

The scorn that crazed his brain;--
And that she nursed him in a cave;
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest-leaves

A dying man he lay ;--
His dying words--but when I reached
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faultering voice and pausing harp

Disturbed her soul with pity!
All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve;
The music and the doleful tale,

The rich and balmy eve;
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,

Subdued and cherished long!
She wept with pity and delight,
She blushed with love, and virgin-shame;
And like the murmur of a dream,

I heard her breathe my name.
Her bosom heaved--she stepped aside,
As conscious of my look she stepped--
The suddenly, with timorous eye

She fled to me and wept.
She half enclosed me with her arms,
She pressed me with a meek embrace;
And bending back her head, looked up,

And gazed upon my face.
'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful art,
That I might rather feel, than see,

The swelling of her heart.
I calmed her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride;
And so I won my Genevieve,

My bright and beauteous Bride.

Lord Byron, born in London, 1788, died at Missolonghi,Greece, 1824.

          Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind!
               	Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art,
               	For there thy habitation is the heart-
          The heart which love of thee alone can bind;
          And when thy sons to fetters are consigned-
               	To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom,
               	Their country conquers with their martyrdom,
          And freedom's fame finds wing on every wind.
          Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
               	And thy sad floor an altar - for 'twas trod,
          Until this very steps have left a trace
               	Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod,
          By Bonnivard! - May none those marks efface!
               	For they appeal from tyranny to God.

John Keats, born in London, 1795, died at Rome, Italy,1821.

            WHEN I HAVE FEARS

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean´d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact´ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen´d grain;
When I behold, upon the night´s starr´d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!-then on the shore
   Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
   Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

P.B. Shelley, born at Field Place,Sussex 1792; died at La Spezia, Italy, 1822

         	The sun is warm, the sky is clear,
         	The waves are dancing fast and bright,
         	Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
         	The purple noon's transparent might,
         	The breath of the moist earth is light,
         	Around its unexpanded buds;
         	Like many a voice of one delight
         	The winds, the birds, the ocean floods,
         	The city's voice itself, is soft like Solitude's.
         	I see the deep's untrampled floor
         	With green and purple seaweeds strown;
         	I see the waves upon the shore,
         	Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown:
         	I sit upon the sands alone,--
         	The lightning of the noontide ocean
         	Is flashing round me, and a tone
         	Arises from its measured motion,
         	How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion.
         	Alas! I have nor hope nor health,
         	Nor peace within nor calm around,
         	Nor that content surpassing wealth
         	The sage in meditation found,
         	And walked with inward glory crowned--
         	Nor fame nor power, nor love, nor leisure,
         	Others I see whom these surround--
         	Smiling they live, and call life pleasure;--
         	To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.
         	Yet now despair itself is mild,
         	Even as the winds and waters are;
         	I could lie down like a tired child,
         	And weep away the life of care
         	Which I have born and yet must bear,
         	Till death like sleep might steal on me,
         	And I might feel in the warm air
         	My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea
         	Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.
         	Some might lament that I were cold,
         	As I, when this sweet day is gone,
         	Which my lost heart, too soon grown old,
         	Insults with this untimely moan;
         	They might lament--for I am one
         	Whom men love not,--and yet regret,
         	Unlike this day, which, when the sun
        	Shall on its stainless glory set,
         	Will linger, though enjoyed, like joy in memory yet.

Alfred Lord Tennyson born in Somersby,Lincolnshire, 1809, died at Aldworth, Surrey, 1892.

                  	         IN MEMORIAM
              	I envy not in any moods
                  	The captive void of noble rage,
                  	The linnet born within the cage,
              	That never knew the summer woods:
              	I envy not the beast that takes
                  	His licence in the field of time,
                  	Unfettered by the sense of crime,
              	To whom a conscience never wakes:

              	Nor, what may count itself as blest,
                  	The heart that never plighted troth
                  	But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
              	Nor any want-begotten rest.

              	I hold it true, whate´er befall;
                  	I feel it, when I sorrow most;
                  	´Tis better to have loved and lost
              	Than never to have loved at all.


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