Category Archives: Classical

For Diana

Why do the green-lit woods no longer ring

With the sound of chase and merry hunting horn;

Why do the murm’ring brooks no longer sing

While the verdant glades lie silently forlorn?

Once, as I roamed the forest musing wide,

I came upon a clearing cool and shady

Where I thought to rest, when straight I spied

The leafy bushes part to show a lady

Clad in hunter’s garb – her tunic hitched

Above the knee for tireless legs’ pursuit,

Her dress’s white with laurel leaves was stitched,

Her bow of yew and quiver full behind

Her back were slung, for she hunts the White Hart

That suffers not the deadly dart unkind

Nor lets himself be caught by woodman’s art,

But by naked hands and pure will deign

To let himself be found, by them who seek

In earnest highest guerdon to attain.

Thus she pursued with flushed and ruddied cheek,

For but one moment loveliness herself

Flashed across my ’stonished eye, then passed –

Like silvan dryad or enchanting elf –

In vain I wished that fairy vision would last.

By day I searched both densest briar and thorn

But still her woods did sore deserted seem,

By night I sang like Philomel forlorn

For then she haunted me in restless dreams.

Therefore the cumbersome lute I left behind,

And now instead pursue a higher quest.

And as my feet grow ever swift as hinds’

I hope to meet her where we’ll both from hunting rest.


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Filed under Classical, Love poems, Medieval

Ad Ultimum Terrae

He has also set eternity in the hearts of men – Eccl. 3,11

A green helmet flashes in the sun
As the wine-red ocean begins to grow dun
And a black prowed ship over endless waves
Hastens these wind taut men to their graves.

Meeting the stars’ piercing gaze of light,
Enduring the silence born of glassy Night,
Who folds the gleaming world in fearful hush,
They hurtle, hurl themselves in yearning rush.

The sea’s deep blue and green is drawn
By the joy-expecting calm of approaching Dawn,
Who heralds the golden ball of liquid fire,
As eager hands stretch out in sheer desire.

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Filed under Classical

A promise

I cannot start a war for you
As Menelaus did for Helen of Troy,
Nor can I take my life for you
As Priamus himself for Thisbe did destroy.

I cannot fight my cousin for you
As Palamon did for Emily to gain,
Nor can I go to Hades for you
As Orpheus did for Euridice in vain.

There’s much I cannot do for you
But this I can, though gaining no renown,
To reconcile myself to you
And say my sorrys ere the sun goes down.

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Filed under Classical, Love poems


To be in love is not like hemp or wine,
Tisʼ sweeter far than any verse of mine.
Intoxicated senses are but frame;
The source and end of Eros are the same.

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Filed under Classical, Epigrams

Babylon Bones

I often wonder what moved those ancient scribes
To etch their cuneiform, hieroglyphs or runes
Into the hard and unforgiving record of their tribes,
Relating the wax and wane of kings and moons.

Did they sense their words would be all that’s left for us
Who fervently pour over weathered tablets and stones,
Squinting to see an elusive world in bas-
Relief, carved on a faërie kingdom’s sacred bones?

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Filed under Classical, Medieval

Wolstonbury Hill

Steep-sloped earth-walled    storm-beaten hill top,
Weather has worn you,    wars have ravaged
Your ancient sanctuary,    safe place in anarchy
And uncertain times.    Sober chieftains
Of the Down Dales,    their doom unwitting,
Ruled on your heights,    holding sway over
The rolling green;    rising and waning
As their fathers before.    Feast and sacrifice,
Year by year since    yore, returned to
The heroeshall    on hill of chalk.
Your virgin maidens,    from morning dance returning,
Their heads crowned and    crested beautifully
With orchid headdress:    awed and shyly
To their elders glancing;    Your glades of oak,
Where maying lovers    met early by dawn;
Your raised unwrought    ring of eldstones
Where forest and field    folk held mootings,
Are all gone, long gone,    lost in history –
Yesteryear’s unknown.
                                                       And yet – when wind
Blows blustering o’er    your battled peak,
I hear an unseen    hillsong singer;
The haunting voice of    your vigilant past.

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Filed under Autumn, Classical, Medieval, Spring, Summer, Winter

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Filed under Astronomy, Classical, God&me, Night, Uncategorized