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domingo, 2 de julio de 2017

Additional Poems (English) (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Additional Poems
Robert Louis Stevenson


CONTENTS
A FAMILIAR EPISTLE
RONDELS
OF HIS PITIABLE TRANSFORMATION
EPISTLE TO CHARLES BAXTER
THE SUSQUEHANNAH AND THE DELAWARE
EPISTLE TO ALBERT DEW-SMITH
ALCAICS TO HORATIO F. BROWN
A LYTLE JAPE OF TUSHERIE
TO VIRGIL AND DORA WILLIAMS
BURLESQUE SONNET
THE FINE PACIFIC ISLANDS
AULD REEKIE
THE LESSON OF THE MASTER
THE CONSECRATION OF BRAILLE
SONG
THE LIGHT-KEEPER



A FAMILIAR EPISTLE

Blame me not that this epistle
Is the first you have from me;
Idleness hath held me fettered;
But at last the times are bettered,
And once more I wet my whistle
Here in France beside the sea.
All the green and idle weather,
I have had in sun and shower
Such an easy, warm subsistence,
Such an indolent existence,
I should find it hard to sever
Day from day and hour from hour.
Many a tract-provided ranter
May upbraid me, dark and sour,
Many a bland Utilitarian,
Or excited Millenarian,
— ”Pereunt et imputantur” —
You must speak to every hour.
But (the very term’s deception)
You at least, my Friend, will see
That in sunny grassy meadows,
Trailed across by moving shadows,
To be actively receptive
Is as much as man can be.

He that all the winter grapples
Difficulties — thrust and ward —
Needs to cheer him thro’ his duty
Memories of sun and beauty,
Orchards with the russet apples
Lying scattered on the sward.
Many such I keep in prison,
Keep them here at heart unseen,
Till my muse again rehearses
Long years hence, and in my verses
You shall meet them re-arisen,
Ever comely, ever green.
You know how they never perish,
How, in time of later art,
Memories consecrate and sweeten
Those defaced and tempest-beaten
Flowers of former years we cherish
Half a life, against our heart.
Most, those love-fruits withered greenly,
Those frail, sickly amourettes, —
How they brighten with the distance,
Take new strength and new existence,
Till we see them sitting queenly
Crowned and courted by regrets!
All that loveliest and best is,
Aureole-fashion round their head,
They that looked in life but plainly,
How they stir our spirits vainly
When they come to us, Alcestis —
Like returning from the dead!

Not the old love but another,
Bright she comes at memory’s call,
Our forgotten vows reviving
To a newer, livelier living,
As the dead child to the mother
Seems the fairest child of all.
Thus our Goethe, sacred master,
Travelling backward thro’ his youth,
Surely wandered wrong in trying
To renew the old, undying
Loves that cling in memory faster
Than they ever lived in truth.
Boulogne-sur-Mer, September .

II
RONDELS


Far have you come, my lady, from the town,
And far from all your sorrows, if you please,
To smell the good sea-winds and hear the seas,
And in green meadows lay your body down.
To find your pale face grow from pale to brown,
Your sad eyes growing brighter by degrees;
Far have you come, my lady, from the town,
And far from all your sorrows, if you please.
Here in this seaboard land of old renown,
In meadow grass go wading to the knees;
Bathe your whole soul a while in simple ease;
There is no sorrow but the sea can drown;
Far have you come, my lady, from the town.



Nous n’irons plus au bois
We’ll walk the woods no more,
But stay beside the fire,
To weep for old desire
And things that are no more.
The woods are spoiled and hoar,
The ways are full of mire;
We’ll walk the woods no more,
But stay beside the fire.
We loved, in days of yore,
Love, laughter, and the lyre.
Ah God, but death is dire,
And death is at the door —
We’ll walk the woods no more.
Château Renard, August .


Since I am sworn to live my life
And not to keep an easy heart,
Some men may sit and drink apart,
I bear a banner in the strife.
Some can take quiet thought to wife,
I am all day at tierce and carte,
Since I am sworn to live my life
And not to keep an easy heart.
I follow gaily to the fife,
Leave Wisdom bowed above a chart,
And Prudence brawing in the mart,
And dare Misfortune to the knife,
Since I am sworn to live my life.



OF HIS PITIABLE TRANSFORMATION

I who was young so long,
Young and alert and gay,
Now that my hair is grey,
Begin to change my song.
Now I know right from wrong,
Now I know pay and pray,
I who was young so long,
Young and alert and gay.
Now I follow the throng,
Walk in the beaten way,
Hear what the elders say,
And own that I was wrong —
I who was young so long.
.

III
EPISTLE TO CHARLES BAXTER

Noo lyart leaves blaw ower the green,
Red are the bonny woods o’ Dean,
An’ here we’re back in Embro, freen’,
To pass the winter.
Whilk noo, wi’ frosts afore, draws in,
An’ snaws ahint her.
I’ve seen ‘s hae days to fricht us a’,
The Pentlands poothered weel wi’ snaw,
The ways half-smoored wi’ liquid thaw,
An’ half-congealin’,
The snell an’ scowtherin’ norther blaw
Frae blae Brunteelan’.

I’ve seen ‘s been unco sweir to sally,
And at the door-cheeks daff an’ dally,
Seen ‘s daidle thus an’ shilly-shally
For near a minute —
Sae cauld the wind blew up the valley,
The deil was in it! —
Syne spread the silk an’ tak the gate,
In blast an’ blaudin’, rain, deil hae ‘t!
The hale toon glintin’, stane an’ slate,
Wi’ cauld an’ weet,
An’ to the Court, gin we ‘se be late,
Bicker oor feet.
And at the Court, tae, aft I saw
Whaur Advocates by twa an’ twa
Gang gesterin’ end to end the ha’
In weeg an’ goon,
To crack o’ what ye wull but Law
The hale forenoon.
That muckle ha’, maist like a kirk,
I’ve kent at braid mid-day sae mirk
Ye’d seen white weegs an’ faces lurk
Like ghaists frae Hell,
But whether Christian ghaists or Turk,
Deil ane could tell.
The three fires lunted in the gloom,
The wind blew like the blast o’ doom,
The rain upo’ the roof abune
Played Peter Dick —
Ye wad nae’d licht enough i’ the room
Your teeth to pick!

But, freend, ye ken how me an’ you,
The ling-lang lanely winter through,
Keep’d a guid speerit up, an’ true
To lore Horatian,
We aye the ither bottle drew
To inclination.
Sae let us in the comin’ days
Stand sicker on our auncient ways —
The strauchtest road in a’ the maze
Since Eve ate apples;
An’ let the winter weet our cla’es —
We’ll weet oor thrapples.
Edinburgh, October .

IV
THE SUSQUEHANNAH AND THE DELAWARE

Of where or how, I nothing know;
And why, I do not care;
Enough if, even so,
My travelling eyes, my travelling mind can go
By flood and field and hill, by wood and meadow fair,
Beside the Susquehannah and along the Delaware.
I think, I hope, I dream no more
The dreams of otherwhere,
The cherished thoughts of yore;
I have been changed from what I was before;
And drunk too deep perchance the lotus of the air,
Beside the Susquehannah and along the Delaware.

Unweary, God me yet shall bring
To lands of brighter air,
Where I, now half a king,
Shall with enfranchised spirit loudlier sing,
And wear a bolder front than that which now I wear
Beside the Susquehannah and along the Delaware.
August .

V
EPISTLE TO ALBERT DEW-SMITH

Figure me to yourself, I pray —
A man of my peculiar cut —
Apart from dancing and deray,
Into an Alpine valley shut;
Shut in a kind of damned Hotel,
Discountenanced by God and man;
The food? — Sir, you would do as well
To cram your belly full of bran.
The company? Alas, the day
That I should dwell with such a crew,
With devil anything to say,
Nor any one to say it to!
The place? Although they call it Platz,
I will be bold and state my view;
It’s not a place at all — and that’s
The bottom verity, my Dew.

There are, as I will not deny,
Innumerable inns; a road;
Several Alps indifferent high;
The snow’s inviolable abode;
Eleven English parsons, all
Entirely inoffensive; four
True human beings — what I call
Human — the deuce a cipher more;
A climate of surprising worth;
Innumerable dogs that bark;
Some air, some weather, and some earth;
A native race — God save the mark! —
A race that works, yet cannot work,
Yodels, but cannot yodel right,
Such as, unhelp’d, with rusty dirk,
I vow that I could wholly smite.
A river that from morn to night
Down all the valley plays the fool;
Not once she pauses in her flight,
Nor knows the comfort of a pool;
But still keeps up, by straight or bend,
The selfsame pace she hath begun —
Still hurry, hurry, to the end —
Good God, is that the way to run?
If I a river were, I hope
That I should better realise
The opportunities and scope
Of that romantic enterprise.

I should not ape the merely strange,
But aim besides at the divine;
And continuity and change
I still should labour to combine.
Here should I gallop down the race,
Here charge the sterling like a bull;
There, as a man might wipe his face,
Lie, pleased and panting, in a pool.
But what, my Dew, in idle mood,
What prate I, minding not my debt?
What do I talk of bad or good?
The best is still a cigarette.
Me whether evil fate assault,
Or smiling providences crown —
Whether on high the eternal vault
Be blue, or crash with thunder down —
I judge the best, whate’er befall,
Is still to sit on one’s behind,
And, having duly moistened all,
Smoke with an unperturbed mind.
Davos, November .

 “The whole front of the house was lighted, and there were pipes and fiddles, and as much dancing and deray within as used to be in Sir Robert’s house at Pace and Yule, and such high seasons.” — See “Wandering Willie’s Tale” in “Redgauntlet,” borrowed perhaps from “Christ’s Kirk of the Green.”
 In architecture, a series of piles to defend the pier of a bridge.

VI
ALCAICS TO HORATIO F. BROWN

Brave lads in olden musical centuries,
Sang, night by night, adorable choruses,
Sat late by alehouse doors in April
Chaunting in joy as the moon was rising:

Moon-seen and merry, under the trellises,
Flush-faced they played with old polysyllables;
Spring scents inspired, old wine diluted;
Love and Apollo were there to chorus.
Now these, the songs, remain to eternity,
Those, only those, the bountiful choristers
Gone — those are gone, those unremembered
Sleep and are silent in earth for ever.
So man himself appears and evanishes,
So smiles and goes; as wanderers halting at
Some green-embowered house, play their music,
Play and are gone on the windy highway;
Yet dwells the strain enshrined in the memory
Long after they departed eternally,
Forth-faring tow’rd far mountain summits,
Cities of men on the sounding Ocean.
Youth sang the song in years immemorial;
Brave chanticleer, he sang and was beautiful;
Bird-haunted, green tree-tops in springtime
Heard and were pleased by the voice of singing;
Youth goes, and leaves behind him a prodigy —
Songs sent by thee afar from Venetian
Sea-grey lagunes, sea-paven highways,
Dear to me here in my Alpine exile.
Davos, Spring .


VII
A LYTLE JAPE OF TUSHERIE

By A. Tusher
The pleasant river gushes
Among the meadows green;
At home the author tushes;
For him it flows unseen.
The Birds among the Bushes
May wanton on the spray;
But vain for him who tushes
The brightness of the day!
The frog among the rushes
Sits singing in the blue.
By ‘r la’kin! but these tushes
Are wearisome to do!
The task entirely crushes
The spirit of the bard:
God pity him who tushes —
His task is very hard.
The filthy gutter slushes,
The clouds are full of rain,
But doomed is he who tushes
To tush and tush again.
At morn with his hair-brushes,
Still “tush” he says and weeps;
At night again he tushes,
And tushes till he sleeps.

And when at length he pushes
Beyond the river dark —
‘Las, to the man who tushes,
“Tush” shall be God’s remark!
Hyères, May .

VIII
TO VIRGIL AND DORA WILLIAMS

Here, from the forelands of the tideless sea,
Behold and take my offering unadorned.
In the Pacific air it sprang; it grew
Among the silence of the Alpine air;
In Scottish heather blossomed; and at last
By that unshapen sapphire, in whose face
Spain, Italy, France, Algiers, and Tunis view
Their introverted mountains, came to fruit.
Back now, my Booklet! on the diving ship,
And posting on the rails, to home return, —
Home, and the friends whose honouring name you bear.
Hyères, .

IX
BURLESQUE SONNET

TO ÆNEAS WILLIAM MACKINTOSH

Thee, Mackintosh, artificer of light,
Thee, the lone smoker hails! the student, thee;
Thee, oft upon the ungovernable sea,
The seaman, conscious of approaching night;
Thou, with industrious fingers, hast outright
Mastered that art, of other arts the key,
That bids thick night before the morning flee,
And lingering day retains for mortal sight.

O Promethean workman, thee I hail,
Thee hallowed, thee unparalleled, thee bold
To affront the reign of sleep and darkness old,
Thee William, thee Æneas, thee I sing;
Thee by the glimmering taper clear and pale,
Of light, and light’s purveyance, hail, the king.

X
THE FINE PACIFIC ISLANDS

(HEARD IN A PUBLIC-HOUSE AT ROTHERHITHE)
The jolly English Yellowboy
Is a ‘ansome coin when new,
The Yankee Double-eagle
Is large enough for two.
O, these may do for seaport towns,
For cities these may do;
But the dibbs that takes the Hislands
Are the dollars of Peru:
O, the fine Pacific Hislands,
O, the dollars of Peru!
It’s there we buy the cocoanuts
Mast ‘eaded in the blue;
It’s there we trap the lasses
All waiting for the crew;
It’s there we buy the trader’s rum
What bores a seaman through....
In the fine Pacific Hislands
With the dollars of Peru:
In the fine Pacific Hislands
With the dollars of Peru!

Now, messmates, when my watch is up,
And I am quite broached to,
I’ll give a tip to ‘Evving
Of the ‘ansome thing to do:
Let ‘em just refit this sailor-man
And launch him off anew
To cruise among the Hislands
With the dollars of Peru:
In the fine Pacific Hislands
With the dollars of Peru!
Tahiti, August .

XI
AULD REEKIE

When chitterin’ cauld the day sall daw,
Loud may your bonny bugles blaw
And loud your drums may beat.
Hie owre the land at evenfa’
Your lamps may glitter raw by raw,
Along the gowsty street.
I gang nae mair where ance I gaed,
By Brunston, Fairmileheid, or Braid;
But far frae Kirk and Tron.
O still ayont the muckle sea,
Still are ye dear, and dear to me,
Auld Reekie, still and on!


XII
THE LESSON OF THE MASTER

TO HENRY JAMES
Adela, Adela, Adela Chart,
What have you done to my elderly heart?
Of all the ladies of paper and ink
I count you the paragon, call you the pink.
The word of your brother depicts you in part:
“You raving maniac!” Adela Chart;
But in all the asylums that cumber the ground,
So delightful a maniac was ne’er to be found.
I pore on you, dote on you, clasp you to heart,
I laud, love, and laugh at you, Adela Chart,
And thank my dear maker the while I admire
That I can be neither your husband nor sire.
Your husband’s, your sire’s, were a difficult part;
You’re a byway to suicide, Adela Chart;
But to read of, depicted by exquisite James,
O, sure you’re the flower and quintessence of dames.
Vailima, October .

XIII
THE CONSECRATION OF BRAILLE

TO MRS. A. BAKER
I was a barren tree before,
I blew a quenchèd coal,
I could not, on their midnight shore,
The lonely blind console.

A moment, lend your hand, I bring
My sheaf for you to bind,
And you can teach my words to sing
In the darkness of the blind.
Vailima, December .

XIV
SONG

Light foot and tight foot,
And green grass spread,
Early in the morning,
But hope is on ahead.
Brief day and bright day,
And sunset red,
Early in the evening,
The stars are overhead.

THE LIGHT-KEEPER

I
The brilliant kernel of the night,
The flaming lightroom circles me:
I sit within a blaze of light
Held high above the dusky sea.
Far off the surf doth break and roar
Along bleak miles of moonlit shore,
Where through the tides the tumbling wave
Falls in an avalanche of foam
And drives its churnèd waters home
Up many an undercliff and cave.
The clear bell chimes: the clockworks strain:
The turning lenses flash and pass,
Frame turning within glittering frame
With frosty gleam of moving glass:
Unseen by me, each dusky hour
The sea-waves welter up the tower
Or in the ebb subside again;
And ever and anon all night,
Drawn from afar by charm of light,
A sea-bird beats against the pane.
And lastly when dawn ends the night
And belts the semi-orb of sea,
The tall, pale pharos in the light
Looks white and spectral as may be.

The early ebb is out: the green
Straight belt of sea-weed now is seen,
That round the basement of the tower
Marks out the interspace of tide;
And watching men are heavy-eyed,
And sleepless lips are dry and sour.
The night is over like a dream:
The sea-birds cry and dip themselves;
And in the early sunlight, steam
The newly-bared and dripping shelves,
Around whose verge the glassy wave
With lisping wash is heard to lave;
While, on the white tower lifted high,
With yellow light in faded glass
The circling lenses flash and pass,
And sickly shine against the sky.
1869.

II
As the steady lenses circle
With a frosty gleam of glass;
And the clear bell chimes,
And the oil brims over the lip of the burner,
Quiet and still at his desk,
The lonely light-keeper
Holds his vigil.
Lured from afar,
The bewildered sea-gull beats
Dully against the lantern;
Yet he stirs not, lifts not his head
From the desk where he reads,
Lifts not his eyes to see
The chill blind circle of night
Watching him through the panes.

This is his country’s guardian,
The outmost sentry of peace.
This is the man,
Who gives up all that is lovely in living
For the means to live.
Poetry cunningly gilds
The life of the Light-Keeper,
Held on high in the blackness
In the burning kernel of night.
The seaman sees and blesses him;
The Poet, deep in a sonnet,
Numbers his inky fingers
Fitly to praise him:
Only we behold him,
Sitting, patient and stolid,
Martyr to a salary.
1870.

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