animals, poetry

Superstition surrounding the badger

These verses were found approximately 200 years ago on the fly-leaf of an old bible.

“Should a badger cross the path
   which thou hast taken, then
Good luck is thine, so it be said
    Beyond the luck of men.

But if it cross in front of thee,
    Beyond where thou shalt tread,
And if by chance doth turn the mould
    Thou art numbered with the dead!”

(It’s probably self-explanatory but for anyone who doesn’t speak Middle English, mould is an old word meaning ‘features or physique’).

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animals, Horses, poetry

The Horse, poem by Ronald Duncan

“Where in this wide world can
man find nobility without pride,
friendship without envy or beauty
without vanity? Here, where
grace is laced with muscle and
strength by gentleness confined.

He serves without servility; he has
fought without enmity. There is
nothing so powerful, nothing less
violent, there is nothing so quick,
nothing more patient.

England’s past has been borne on
his back. All history is his
industry; we are his heirs, he
our inheritance.

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poetry

I’ve discovered Mary E. Coldridge!

I bought a book in a local charity shop last week that was published in 1908, called ‘Poems’ by Mary E. Coleridge. I have since discovered that Mary was the great grandniece of the famous poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and she published her poetry either anonymously or under a pseudonym. It was only after her (premature) death that she was finally credited with some wonderful verses.
This is the first poem in the book, and is entitled ‘To Memory.’

“Strange Power, I know not what thou art,
Murderer or mistress of my heart.
I know I’d rather meet the blow
Of my most unrelenting foe
Than live – as I now live – to be
Slain twenty times a day by thee.

Yet, when I would command thee hence,
Thou mockest at the vain pretence,
Murmuring in mine ear a song
Once loved, alas! forgotten long;
And on my brow I feel a kiss
That I would rather die than miss.”

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poetry, William Blake

More words from the Poetic Genius, William Blake

Verses taken from Blake’s letter to Thomas Butts, August 16th, 1803, after being charged with Sedition.

“O why was I born with a different face?
Why was I not born like the rest of my race?
When I look, each one starts; when I speak, I offend;
Then I’m silent and passive, and lose every friend.
Then my verse I dishonour, my pictures despise,
My person degrade, and my temper chastise;
And the pen is my terror, the pencil my shame;
All my talents I bury, and dead is my fame.
I am either too low or too highly priz’d;
When elate I’m envy’d, when meek I’m despised. “

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