But wherefore to the mountain-top
can this unhappy woman go,
whatever stars is in the skies,
whatever wind may blow?
full twenty years are past and gone
since she (her name is Martha Ray)
gave with a maiden's true goodwill
her company to Stephen Hill;
and she was blithe and gay,
while friends and kindred all approved
of him whom tenderly she loved
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
But wherefore to the mountain-top
Monday, April 24, 2017
The Solitary Reaper
behold her, single in the field,
yon solitary highland lass!
reaping and singing by herself
stop here or gently pass!
alone she cuts and binds the grain
and sings a melancholy strain
listen, for the vales profound
is overflowing with the sound
no nightingale did ever chaunt
more welcome notes to weary bands
of travellers in some shady haunt,
among arabian sands
a voice so thrilling never was heard
in springtime from the way
breaking the silence
among the farthest hebrides
will no one tell me what she sings?
perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
for old, unhappy, far-off things,
and battles long ago?
or is it some more humble lay,
familiar matter of today?
some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
that has been, and may be again?
Whatever the theme, the maiden sang
as if her song could have no ending
I saw her singing at her work,
and listened o'er the sickle bending
I listened motionless and still
and, as I mounted up the hill,
the music in my heart I bore,
long after it was heard no more
Posted by Chris Farrell at 4/24/2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Oh do not die, for I shall hate
All women so, when thou art gone,
That thee I shall not celebrate,
When I remember, thou wast one.
But yet though canst die, I know;
To leave this world behind, is death;
But when though from this world wilt go,
The whole world vapors with thy breath.
Or if, when though, the world's soul, goest,
It stay, 'tis but thy carcass then,
The fairest woman, but thy ghost,
But corrupt worms, the worthiest of men.
O wrangling schools, that search what fire
Shall burn this world, had none the wit
Unto this knowledge to aspire,
That this her fever might be it?
And yet she cannot waste by this,
Nor long bear this torturing wrong,
For much corruption needful is
To fuel such a fever long
These burning fits but meteors be,
Whose matter in thee is soon spent.
Thy beauty, and all parts, which are thee,
Are unchangeable firmament.
Yet 'twas of my mind, seizing thee,
Though it in thee cannot persevere.
For I had rather owner be
Of thee one hour, than all else ever.
Posted by Chris Farrell at 4/19/2017
Saturday, April 15, 2017
I find I incorporate gneiss, coal, long-threaded moss, fruits, grains, esculent roots,
And am stucco'd with quadrupeds and birds all over
And have distanced what is behind me for good reasons,
but call any thing back again when I desire it.
In vain the speeding or shyness
In vain the plutonic rocks send their old heat against my approach,
in vain the mastodon retreats beneath its own powder'd bones,
in vain objects stand leagues off and assume manifold shapes,
in vain the ocean settling in hollows and the great monsters lying low,
in vain the buzzard houses herself with the sky,
in vain the snake slides through the creepers and logs,
in vain the elk takes to the inner passes of the woods,
in vain the razor-bill'd auk sails far north to Labrador,
I follow quickly, I ascend to the nest in the fissure of the cliff
Posted by Chris Farrell at 4/15/2017
Friday, April 14, 2017
a song of joys
o to make the most jubilant song
full of music, full of manhood, womanhood, infancy
full of common employments, full of grain and trees.
o for the voices of animals, o for the swiftness and balance of fishes
o for the dropping of raindrops in a song
o for the sunshine and motion of waves in a song
o the joy of my spirit, it is uncaged, it darts like lightning
it is not enough to have this globe or a certain time,
I will have thousands of globes and all time.
Posted by Chris Farrell at 4/14/2017