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Ode For Billy Dean - Hot Tuna
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My Sweetest Lesbia
By Caius Valerius Catullus (87-57 B.C.)
Tr. Thomas Campion
My sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love,
And though the sager sort our deeds reprove,
...Let us not weigh them. Heaven's great lamps do dive
Into their west, and straight again revive.
But, soon as once set our little light,
Then must we sleep one ever-during night.
If all would lead their lives in love like me,
Then bloody swords and armor should not be;
No drum or trumpet peaceful sleeps should move,
Unless alarm came from the camp of Love:
But fools do live and waste their little light,
And seek with pain their ever-during night.
When timely death my life and fortune ends,
Let not my hearse be vext with mourning friends,
But let all lovers rich in triumph come
And with sweet pastimes grace my happy tomb:
And, Lesbia, close up thou my little light,
And crown with love my ever-during night.
She Walks in Beauty
By Lord Byron [George Gordon] (1788-1824)
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
To his Coy Mistress
By Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv'd virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp'd power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Sonnet to Orpheus I, 9
By R.M. Rilke
Trans. By H. Landman
Sonnets To Orpheus I, 9
by R. M. Rilke
Tr. H. Landman
Only one who raised
The lyre among shades
May wisely repay
The endless praise.
Only one who ate
poppies with the dead,
will the faintest note
Though the reflection in the pond
May often waver:
Know it still.
Once in the dual land
all voices will be
Nur wer die Leier schon hob
auch unter Schatten,
darf das unendliche Lob
Nur wer mit Toten von Mohn
aß, von dem ihren,
wird nicht den leisesten Ton
Mag auch die Spieglung im Teich
oft uns verschwimmen:
Wisse das Bild.
Erst in dem Doppelbereich
werden die Stimmen
ewig und mild.