Poetry Quotations

A remarkable composition

A. Lindsay Gordon, “The Swimmer”

With short, sharp violent lights made vivid

To southward as far as the sight can roam,

Only the swirl of the surges livid,

The seas that climb and the surfs that comb.

Only the crag and the cliff to nor’ward,

And the rocks receding, and reefs flung forward,

Waifs wrecked seaward and wasted shoreward,

On shallows sheeted with flaming foam.

A grim, grey coast and a seaboard ghastly,

And shores trod seldom by feet of men

Where the batter’d hull and the broken mast lie,

They have lain embedded these long years ten.

Love! when we wandered here together,

Hand in hand through the sparkling weather,

From the heights and hollows of fern and heather,

God surely loved us a little then.

The skies were fairer and shores were firmer

The blue sea over the bright sand roll’d;

Babble and prattle, and ripple and murmur,

Sheen of silver and glamour of gold.

So, girt with tempest and wing’d with thunder

And clad with lightning and shod with sleet,

And strong winds treading the swift waves under

The flying rollers with frothy feet.

One gleam like a bloodshot sword-blade swims on

The sky line, staining the green gulf crimson,

A death-stroke fiercely dealt by a dim sun

That strikes through his stormy winding sheet.

O brave white horses! you gather and gallop,

The storm sprite loosens the gusty reins;

Now the stoutest ship were the frailest shallop

In your hollow backs, on your high-arched manes.

I would ride as never a man has ridden

In your sleep, swirling surges hidden;

To gulfs foreshadow’d through strifes forbidden

Where no light wearies and no love wanes.

Poetry Quotations

A Poem On the End of the World

John Newton

Day of judgment! day of wonders!

Hark! the trumpet’s awful sound,

Louder than a thousand thunders,

Shakes the vast creation round.

How the summons will the sinner’s heart confound!

See the Judge, our nature wearing,

Clothed in majesty divine;

You who long for his appearing

Then shall say, This God is mine!

Gracious Saviour, own me in that day as thine.

At his call the dead awaken,

Rise to life from earth and sea;

All the pow’rs of nature, shaken

By his looks, prepare to flee.

Careless sinner, What will then become of thee?

But to those who have confessed,

Loved and served the Lord below,

He will say, Come near, ye blessed,

See the kingdom I bestow;

You for ever shall my love and glory know.

Poetry Quotations

Something a Little Different

Edmund Waller, Go Lovely Rose

Go, lovely rose

Tell her that wastes her time and me,

That now she knows,

When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that’s young

And shuns to have her graces spied,

That hadst thou sprung

In deserts where no men abide,

Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired:

Bid her come forth,

Suffer herself to be desired,

And not blush so to be admired.

Then die that she

The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee;

How small a part of time they share

That are so wondrous sweet and fair!


Poetry Quotations

The Day of Wrath

A translation by Walter Scott of Thomas of Celano


That day of wrath, that dreadful day

When heav’n and earth shall pass away!

What powe’r shall be the sinner’s stay?

How shall he meet that dreadful day?

When, shriveling like a parched scroll,

The flaming heav’ns together roll;

When louder yet, and yet more dread,

Swells the high trump that wakes the dead;

O on that day, that wrathful day

When man to judgment wakes from clay

Be thou the trembling sinner’s stay

Though heav’n and earth shall pass away