The Materialistic Maiden

Where I sip coffee and judge everyone.

Month: April, 2014

A Fragment-By William Henry Leonard Poe

[ORIGINAL]
A FRAGMENT.

Well! I have determined–lightly it may be–but when there is nothing to live for–nothing that the heart craves anxiously and devotedly, life is but a kind of prison house from which we would be freed.

I feel even at this moment a something of impatience to know what death is–and although I am now writing the very last words this band will ever trace–yet even the outward show–the trifles of the world beguile me–

The ink is not good–I have stirred it–’tis better now, and I have mended my pen–’tis disagreeable, even if it is our very last letter, to write with a band pen–a blot!–I must erase it–this when an hour will finish my existence!–an existence of wretchedness–one of weary, bitter disappointment.

I feel as if hungry, and suddenly a sumptuous feast before me–surfeiting myself–revelling in my thoughts–indulging in what I have been afraid to think of–I have but a short hour to live, and the ticking of the clock before me, seems a laughing spectator of my death–I wish it had life–it would not then be so gay–nay, it might be a partner of my melancholy.

Pshaw! this pen–surely my hand must have trembled when I made it–I have held it up to the light–Heavens’ my hand does tremble–No! tis only the flickering of the lamp.

It will–at least it may be asked, why I have done this–they ay say I was insane–the body which is earthed cannot feel their taunts, and the soul cares not.

I have a strange wish even at this time–it is that some maiden would plant flowers on my grave–which my mortality would add life to.

When there is no hope–no cheering prospect to brighten, no land to mark the bewildered scaman’s way–why not try death?

“And come it slow or come it fast,
It is but death that comes at last.”

There are many who would rather linger in a life of wretchedness, disappointment–and other causes which blight many a youthful heart, and make ruin and desolation in the warmest feelings–yes! even the lip must smile and the eye be gay–although whne night brings us to our couch we unconsciously wish it was for the last time.

Such is man–such is mankind!–I have still one half hour to live–one half hour!–yet I look around me as if it was the journey of a day, and not an eternal adieu!–Why should I live? Delighting in one object, and she

“The fairest flow’r that glittered on a stem
To wither at my grasp.”

No more–the pistol–I have loaded it–the balls are new–quite bright–they will soon be in my heart–Incomprehensible death–what art thou?

I have put the pistol to my bosom–it snapped–I had forgotten to prime it–I must do it–

In the act of doing so it went off, and I awoke and found myself rolling on the floor, having fallen from my bed in the agitation of a most strange and singular dream.

W. H. P.

(*Transcribed while watching Plain Jane. Thought you all might like to know. This was posted, as requested, for a dear friend of mine. I quite liked this piece.)

This is a random li’l post that most can disregard.

I am a lover of poetry–I am positive most have guessed this by now.

This being said, I simply wanted to list my favorite poets and a favorite poem by them on my blog. Please enjoy, if you wish to take a look. It is a modest list, however I did not want to be overbearing, and I consider these four poets to be my top favorite poets.

Thomas Lovell Beddoes: Song

Edgar Allan Poe: (It was really difficult to choose just one poem, therefore here is my current favorite, although it changes daily-)Ulalume

TS Eliot: The Hollow Men

Robert Frost:  Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

 

Monte Video-By William Henry Leonard Poe

(As per requested by a friend, here is a piece by dearest Henry. Please enjoy.) 

FOREIGN SCENES AND CUSTOMS.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE NORTH AMERICAN.
MONTE VIDEO.

After a passage in which we had the usual quantity of good and bad weather, we arrived at the entrance of the Giver Plate, where we saw a large Brazilian fleet at anchor–Not caring to be overhauled, and feeling a little proud of our vessel, we determined to shew them it was in our power, and not in theirs, whether we would submit to it or not–and so it proved, for the vessel they had sent in chase of us, whether from fear, as we looked “rakish,” or from dull sailing, was soon far behind, and ere night we had lost sight of her entirely. As we were now near the place of destination, Monte Video, we anchored until the coming day–our captain, with that caution so natural to a yankee, would not risk his vessel at the very port, after having successfully passed the dangers of “The dark and stormy ocean.”

It was almost sun-down when we arrived at the harbor, and there was something sombre and gloomy in the place which I did not like–perhaps the number of vessels which had seen their best days, and have by accident or design drifted on shore: or the gloomy towers of their large cathedral,–the low long dark buildings designed for barracks and hospitals–to which you may add a dark evening,–caused the feeling, but certain it is, the place made an unfavorable impression on me, although during my stay there I found it the very reverse of what I at first anticipated. Yet when I think of it, the impressions of my mind on first beholding the city, still forcibly revert back, notwithstanding the subsequent proof of the incorrectness with which they were formed:–so firmly does first ideas cling to the remembrance. 

Monte Video is at present in possession of the Brazilians–but the Patriots were almost at the very gates, and it was a common occurrence to observe a skirmish between parties of the contending armies;–but whether it was the effusion of some hot-headed young officer, who thought it a pleasant way of ending the day, or was dictated by the more experienced head of age, I cannot determine; but the former opinion seems the most probable, as not benefit could be expected by either party from their occurrence, and they generally ended with the loss of two or three killed or wounded on either side. 

I had the good fortune to be there during the Carnival–I say good fortune, but I think I am rather wrong, as I received some not very agreeable effects of their frolic–however, as I witnessed something novel, and as we must generally contribute in some manner for the indulgence of our curiosity, I must fain be satisfied. The officers of the French Corvette Zelé, then in port, with the gaiety peculiar to their nation, appeared to be in their proper element. On the morning of the first day, their largest boat, manned with sixteen oars and the white pennon of France flying, was seen approaching the town. In her bows, leaning on a staff and dressed only in a pair of tarry trowsers and tarpaulin hat, was a person whom I had taken for a negro, and it was therefore with no small surprise that I learnt he was the captain of the corvette–In the stern were seven or eight other officers, all in masquerade dresses. As this was the first scene of the kind which I had ever beheld, you may be assured it afforded me considerable amusement. 

In strolling through the streets gazing at the strange figures before me, I received a blow, which gave me,–not the appendage of a gentleman,–in the appearance of an essential member of my physiognomy. Surprised at this unlooked for compliment, I turned round as hastily as the effects of my mishap would permit, and discovered that the persons who had thus cavalierly treated me, were some young ladies, stationed on a neighboring terrace, who immediately began to pelt me with eggs filled with cologne water, and from one of which well-aimed missiles I received the mark, which, in my own country, would have caused a suspension of my perambulations for some time–I was afterwards informed that iw as a great compliment to be noticed in so striking a manner by the fair ones of the city–but notwithstanding this intimation, I felt no anxiety to receive any more of them, if they were to be conferred in a similar coin. 

The commerce of Monte Video is not very great. Its imports are beef, pork, soap, wines, brandy, gin, &c. Its exports are principally hides and horns, but vessels generally return from thence in ballast, as hides are frequently shipped at a great loss. It can never be a place of much trade–the harbour is gradually filling up, and vessels drawing more than sixteen feet water cannot come within some miles of the town–and lying in the open roads is very dangerous, as the anchorage is not good, and the heavy gales which are so frequent, have driven many a gallant ship from its proper element to the land. The Macedonian dragged her anchors to within an hundred yards of a reef–and our commodore after that, at the least appearance of a blow, had every thing safe and snug. 

The inhabitants of Monte Video are principally Portuguese–but there are many Americans and Englishmen in the place, all intent on making money,–no matter how. It is an actual fact, that most of the vessels which have forced the blockade and arrived at Buenos Ayres, were first purchased at Monte Video–and I have many reasons to believe that the principal authorities wink at the procedure. The inhabitants are generally believed to be in favor  of the Patriots, but if so, they do not and dare not openly avow it. 

Peaches, apples, melons, &c. are now (February,) in great plenty; and, whist I am complaining of the warmth, you are no doubt blowing your fingers, and wishing for a residence in a milder clime. But with all the novelties and all the attractions which a foreign country possesses, still in the midst of pleasure the heart will turn to its home, and long to be there. There is something in tis very name, which crowds the mind with such pleasurable sensations that it is impossible to describe them. 

As an instance of the kindly feeling with which our countrymen greet each other in a foreign land, I will state a little circumstance that transpired whilst at Monte Video. One Sunday a friend and myself had strayed a short distance out of the gates, when we perceived two persons approaching us; I do not know if it was instinct, but I immediately fancied they were my countrymen–and I thought they were yankees-“You’ve guessed right,” says one; and in fifteen minutes we were almost as well acquainted as if we had been brothers–and I verily believe I never passed a more pleasant afternoon. 

But I had nearly forgotten the ladies, who of course are entitled to some notice in my attempt to describe their city. They are generally rather handsome, with somewhat of the Spanish cast–and so far from being disinclined to intimacy with foreigners, as most of their countrymen are, many have intermarried with the English and Americans resident here, and are gradually losing that restraint imposed on their sex in Catholic countries. I am. &c. 

W.H.P. 

(*I apologize if there were any mistakes when transcribing this piece. Please let me know if this is the case, and I will fix it.) 

I Carry Your Heart With Me-E.E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

(Taken from here.)

Rufus Griswold Fun Tip #25

Alright, I have not actually posted about this man yet, so I can’t state this as being the twenty-fifth fact I’m providing for you guys, however I figured, rather than writing a long post discussing this man now, I would share a snippet of information and poem and call it quits for the day. How does that sound?

For starters, Griswold was Edgar Poe’s rival and enemy–don’t worry, the feelings were mutual. In fact, Griswold went on to destroy Edgar’s reputation after Poe’s death, and said rumors stated in the infamous obituary written by Sir Griswold continue on to this day. This is upsetting for me as I have to dispel all misconceptions of Edgar. I digress. 

Despite the fact that this SOB was so horribly cruel and an awful person, he had redeeming qualities. Specifically, after his wife Caroline’s death, Rufus stayed by her casket as it was being delivered by train, and he did not sleep or leave her side for thirty hours. There would be another occurrence, thirty days after her burial, in which he would stay by her side, weeping profusely, for thirty hours. A friend had to take him away, because, you know, it’s kind of odd to uncover your deceased wife’s grave and kiss her and give her poetry. At least, this isn’t my personal preference of how to spend a weekend. 

That information being said, below is a poem written by Griswold after Caroline’s death. I hope you all enjoy. It is long, however it is worth the read. 

FIVE DAYS.

We parted as the day drew near its end.
The rose of health was on her beauteous cheeks.
Her quenchless love beamed sadly from her eyes,
And when I prayed that Heaven would preserve us,
She joined, with tears, as if some dreadful signal
Had gleamed upon her from another world.
“My love—my wife!” “Dear husband, may God bless you!”
And then we kissed each other fervently,
And I commended her to Him again
Who is the Friend of all who are in sorrow,
And promised quickly to come back to her.
A new embrace—oh God! how ardent was it!—
And then I tore myself from her dear arms,
With passionate kisses, and hot, streaming tears.
I looked back from the window of my carriage.
Her heavenly eyes were watching my departure,
With such unutterably deep affection
That when the winding street did hide her from me,
It seemed as if the stars were blotted out.
As if the holy angels veiled their faces,
As if God had withdrawn His high support.

The third day came, and I, afar from her,
Sat with my gay companions at the board.
The jest went round, the merry laugh rung out.
No thought of sorrow made a bright eye dim—
It was the end of human life to me;
My other days are but a lingering death.

The bell sounds quick—my name is in the hall—
A messenger is there to summon me
From festive scenes unto the charnel-house!
His errand is not spoken, nor do eyes
Import the dreadful sentence to my mind.
But the air changes, and my sight grows dim,
While some invisible being brands the tidings
Deep on my heart, Henceforth thou art alone!

As the dawn broke into her silent chamber,
Around her bed were gathered a few friends,
Waiting the moment of her soul’s departure.
She looked about her for one far away.
In her delirium she had cried for him,–
The partner of her young and happy years!
But now the seal of death was on her lips,
And she still sought him with her tender eyes,
Which shone with dazzling and supernal brightness.
What tongue can tell the agony she felt
When other forms approached her dying bed,
And he came not—the chosen of her soul!

The iron steeds that night flew swiftly onward.
The stars were veiled, the moon refused to shine,
A black eclipse was on the face of nature.
The outer and the inner world were darkened.
Before the midnight we had met again!
The living and the dead were locked together,
Not in the cruel Tuscan’s loathed embrace,
But with love stronger than Mezentius’ steel.

I knelt beside you all the long drear night.
I kissed with agony your marble brow.
And though your old companions turned away
Oh, dearest, from your cold and faded form,
Death could not make it terrible to me.
Although the blackness of too quick decay
Began to overspread your beauteous cheeks,
And your sweet lips were colorless and cold,
And the dull lustre of your straining eyes
Did fall like mildew on my anguished heart,
Could I forget that roses here had bloomed?
That these to mine had been so often pressed?
That these had beamed such tender love on me?
Oh, those mild eyes! their lids were still half-parted.
And you seem’d, dear one, striving to unclose them,
To give assurance by their gentle glances
That e’en in death I still was loved by you.

When my head rested on your icy temples
Their very coldness warmed my brain to phrenzy.
I called upon you, dearest, in my madness,
To break the fetters in which death had bound you,
To look into my eyes, to glad my ears
With the sweet melody of your dear voice,
Saying you loved me and forgave my errors.
I cried, oh heart, unto whose quick pulsations
I’d listened in so many a sorrowing hour
Until your turbulent motion brought me peace,
“Awake! beat on! the river of my tears
Again doth wet the drapery about thee!”
But cold, all cold, and silent as the statue
That has reclined o’er death a thousand years!

Then I would gaze on you, and round your coffin,
Oh, dear one, clasp my arms, in wretchedness,
And kiss you with hot lips, and cry to God
To let you come, in mercy, back to me.
And seeing tears upon your cheeks and eyes,
I deemed my prayer was heard, and laughed aloud,
And shouted, in my joy, my thanks to Heaven.
But when my reason was once more in action,
And I perceived those waters had but fallen
From the hot fountain struggling in my brain,–
Oh, then, in utterness of woe, I died,
And fell beside you in death’s helplessness.
To me came back the life invoked for you.
I had not drained the dregs of suffering
The dread compound of misery and life
Was so commingled in cup for for me.
I could not drink from one without the other,–
And He permits them not to pass from me.

You had no equal in your loving kindness
When you were with me in this cheerless world;
And can it be that your immortal spirit
Feels less of that exalted, deep affection,
That gave your voice on earth its seraph sweetness,
That made your eyes beam with celestial brightness,
The gentle twining of your arms around me
To seem like the embrace of holy angels,
Than while you lingered here on earth among us?
Oh, loved one! in your more exalted virtue
Is there such change made in your very nature
That you can feel no pity for your husband,
Left here alone to die, and not see death?
If a cold word in life did veil my feelings,
And I seemed harsh, or any way unkind,
You now can read my heart’s most secret pages,
And know my love was changeless as’t was fervent.
Have I not drank sufficiently of woe,
Has not my punishment been deep enough,
To win your pardon and your sympathy?
The true, who die in Christ, my faith has taught me
Become the ministers of God to us
Who linger with frail hearts and unchaste passions
In this dark valley of the shade of death.
To whom, Oh holy and immortal being,
Would you return more quickly than to me?
For two long nights have I my vigils kept,
Thinking the living and the dead might meet
Beside the form your mortal life made sacred;
Still praying God that you might visit me,
And you, to manifest your spirit’s presence,
And strained my glazed eyes to see your form
In the cold vacancy that was about me.
You saw my agony, yet would not heal it;
You knew my brain was turned to molten lava,
And would not lay your finger on my brow;
You who once lived but to fulfil my wishes,
And gave fruition ere my hopes were uttered,
Now heard my prayer for one brief word of pardon,
Knowing it would give peace unto my soul,
And yet were silent as the clay before me!

Then I went out to look upon the stars
In hopes to hear their ancient music waken
The holy harmonies that gave to man
Assurance of a more sublime existence,
Where pain and death and mourning could not come.
But they shone coldly on me from their places,
In the far ether, and were still as death.
So I came back, in hopeless agony, 
To cling again unto your senseless clay,
With prayers that as you would not come to me,
I might, without self-murder, fly to thee.

It was the evening of a day in spring
When first I met her in her quiet home;
Within the street were raging rain and wind,
And the kind shelter that I found beside her,
By some mysterious agency expanded
Over my life and soul, which in the world
Had known no haven from its strifes and storms.
A year passed on, and as the early flowers
Were budding in their beauty, we were wedded.
Strange was the history of our love till then—
I let it linger with her in the tomb,
Where, in my life-time, I am chained to death.
Five winters and six summers have gone by,
Made all one summer by her love and virtue,
And when once more the chill November blasts
Shriek in the skies, God takes her to himself.

I heard the night with solemn pace depart—
A day of gloom, with withered garlands crowned,
Tread on her garments as she moved away.
I gather’d a few autumn flowers for her,
Flowers she had reared with gentlest hand for me,
And placed the parting gift upon her bier.
Her scarce-closed eye still seemed to look at me,
Thanking me kindly for the recollection;
But now no tears gushed out to answer her,
The fountain was dried up, at length, for Hope—
The false wild hope she would come back to me—
Stole in the darkness from my side, and left
But utter hopelessness and desolation.

My children—my poor children!—knelt beside me,
I sever’d from her glossy auburn tresses,
For them and me, a frail memorial,
To wear upon our hearts as a rich treasure,
Until our own times come to leave the world.
They who had known her in her early years,
And kept their feelings fresh in after time,
And some who only knew her as the one
Who was the object of my earthly worship,
Approached to look a last and sad farewell.
Then all kneeled down and heard God’s minister
Rehearse the solemn service for the dead.
And then, oh, dearest, you were veiled forever
From those who loved you and from those you loved.
I gazed with desperate calmness on the scene,
Exhausted was the fountain of my tears.
My heart was crushed by its dread weight of woe.

Out of the city, in a quiet vault,
Where her dead mother had before her gone,
My wife and only son were laid together—
A son of prayers, who looked upon the world,
Raised for a moment to his lips the cup
Which held life’s bitter waters, sat it down,
And unto Heaven returned, pure as he came.
The drapery of death is now about them;
The strifes and tumults of this changing world
Cannot disturb the quiet of their rest.
My heart is with its idol in the coffin,
The darkness of her silent place of sleeping
Pervades for me all time and space herafter.

O God! oh God! I know that Thou art just.
That all Thy judgements are with mercy tempered.
That Thou afflictest not with willingness,
And dost design all sorrows for our good.
But I knew not Thy law in perfectness,
I deemed that she who was but loaned to me,
Was a full gift, and to be mine forever.
I never thought that my sweet guardian angel,
Was here but on a mission to save my soul.
“Thou Lord didst give, and Thou hast ta’en away!”
I strive to add the blessing to Thy name
And from my lips, indeed, the high words fall,
But oh, Thou knowest my human heart
Has not submitted to Thy chastening, Lord!
That I have yet failed in my weak endeavors
To bow in humbleness unto Thy will.
I do beseech Thee who wert man Thyself,
And felt the passions of our mortal nature,
Thou who hast tasted death and all our sorrows
To open for us the barred gates of Heaven,
To show me pity. I would fain deliver
Myself and all I have into Thy hand,
To be dealt with as seemeth good to Thee;
But, Lord, how can I meetly yield so much—
Far more than mine own mortal life to me—
Without the aid of Thy most gracious spirit!
Midnight, Nov. 11, 1842

(Poem taken from this source.)

Decaying Tea

Skeletal fingers, lithe, aged,
stir evaporated tea
around and around, substituting a misplaced spoon,
stirring up ashes routinely.
Would you care for more, I inquire,
pouring from my rusty cup into yours
lost memories.
Chamomile tastes of happiness,
chai is kind,
and jasmine reminds us both of a time when
life was worth living for. 
I convince you you are drinking from a fountain
of youthful juices,
but your sunken sockets are blind,
and little do you realize
each day you are drinking your life away.
Life is very long,
this Mr. Eliot knew far too well,
but laying in these god-forsaken plots of dirt
makes the afterlife
seem longer.

Thomas Lovell Beddoes-The Lost Poet

Hello, friends. Today I purchased a Romantic Poets book which includes that no-name poet I’d discussed in a blog post a few months back. Because I have not posted in a long while, I figured I may as well make my next few post installments of Beddoes’ poetry. I will also include a more in depth biography, as I am slowly discovering more about him.

Also, may I note on a side note that I was looking through said old posts of mine and am both embarrassed and ashamed at my inconsistency of information and incorrect information over all. Please do forgive me, this blog is very much a journey for me as I discover and rediscover both old and new information. I am ever growing, and I appreciate you all for putting up with my mistakes. 

-Ann

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