Thursday, August 17, 2017

Holy Sonnet XIV


Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Snake


A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides 
You may have met Him  did you not
His notice sudden is 

The Grass divides as with a Comb 
A spotted shaft is seen 
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on 

He likes a Boggy Acre
A Floor too cool for Corn
Yet when a Boy, and Barefoot 
I more than once at Noon
Have passed, I thought, a Whip Lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled, and was gone 

Several of Nature’s People
I know, and they know me 
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality 

But never met this Fellow
Attended, or alone
Without a tighter breathing
And Zero at the Bone 

[Recited 17 August 2017]

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sonnet 18.


Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
    So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

[Recited 21 July 2017]

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pied Beauty


Glory be to God for dappled things – 
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; 
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; 
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; 
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough; 
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim. 

All things counter, original, spare, strange; 
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) 
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; 
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: 
                                             Praise him.

[Recited 4 July 2017]

Tuesday, May 9, 2017



I met a traveller from an antique land, 
     Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert.   Near them, on the sand, 
     Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown 
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
     Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. 
And on the pedestal, these words appear: 
     My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!
     Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, 
     The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Sunday, April 16, 2017



I had forgotten how the frogs must sound
After a year of silence, else I think
I should not so have ventured forth alone
At dusk upon this unfrequented road.

I am waylaid by Beauty. Who will walk
Between me and the crying of the frogs?
Oh, savage Beauty, suffer me to pass,
That am a timid woman, on her way
From one house to another!

[Recited 9 May 2017]

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Prayer. (I)


Prayer the Churches banquet, Angels age,
     Gods breath in man returning to his birth,
     The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;

Engine against th’ Almightie, sinners towre,
     Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
     The six-daies world transposing in an houre,
A kinde of tune, which all things heare and fear;

Softnesse, and peace, and joy, and love, and  blisse,
     Exalted Manna, gladnesse of the best,
     Heaven in ordinarie, man well drest,
The Milkie way, the bird of Paradise,

     Church-bels beyond the starres heard, the souls bloud,
     The land of spices; something understood.

[Recited 17 April 2017]