19th Century Poets-2

Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias” as read by Brian Cranston:

Text of the above poem:

OZYMANDIAS

by Percy Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

 


 

Text to the above poem:

THE SOLITARY REAPER

by William Wordsworth

 

Behold her, single in the field,

Yon solitary Highland Lass!

Reaping and singing by herself;

Stop here, or gently pass!

Alone she cuts and binds the grain,

And sings a melancholy strain;

O listen! for the Vale profound

Is overflowing with the sound.

 

No Nightingale did ever chaunt

More welcome notes to weary bands

Of travellers in some shady haunt,

Among Arabian sands:

A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard

In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,

Breaking the silence of the seas

Among the farthest Hebrides.

 

Will no one tell me what she sings?—

Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow

For old, unhappy, far-off things,

And battles long ago:

Or is it some more humble lay,

Familiar matter of to-day?

Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,

That has been, and may be again?

 

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang

As if her song could have no ending;

I saw her singing at her work,

And o’er the sickle bending;—

I listened, motionless and still;

And, as I mounted up the hill,

The music in my heart I bore,

Long after it was heard no more.

 

This poem is addressed to Wordsworth’s dead daughter:

SURPRISED BY JOY

by William Wordsworth

 

Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind

I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom

But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb,

That spot which no vicissitude can find?

Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind—

But how could I forget thee?—Through what power,

Even for the least division of an hour,

Have I been so beguiled as to be blind

To my most grievous loss!—That thought’s return

Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,

Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,

Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;

That neither present time, nor years unborn

Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

 



 

Christina Rosetti’s “A Christmas Carol” as sung by the San Francisco men’s chorus, Chanticleer, with music by Gustav Holst:

Text to the above song:

A Christmas Carol

by Christina Rossetti, 1830 – 1894

 

In the bleak mid-winter

Frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron,

Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow,

Snow on snow,

In the bleak mid-winter

Long ago.

 

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him

Nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away

When He comes to reign:

In the bleak midwinter

A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty

Jesus Christ.

 

Enough for Him, whom cherubim

Worship night and day,

A breastful of milk

And a mangerful of hay;

Enough for Him, whom angels

Fall down before,

The ox and ass and camel

Which adore.

Angels and archangels

May have gathered there,

Cherubim and seraphim

Thronged the air;

But only His mother

In her maiden bliss

Worshipped the Beloved

With a kiss.

 

What can I give Him,

Poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd

I would bring a lamb,

If I were a Wise Man

I would do my part,—

Yet what I can I give Him,

Give my heart.

 

This poem is in the public domain.

 

 


Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabelle Lee” with music and singing by Sarah Jarosz:

ANNABELLE LEE

by Edgar A. Poe

It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee; —

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

 

I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea;

But we loved with a love that was more than love —

I and my Annabel Lee —

With a love that the wingéd seraphs in Heaven

Coveted her and me.

 

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her high-born kinsmen came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre,

In this kingdom by the sea.

 

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,

Went envying her and me —

Yes! — that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

 

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we —

Of many far wiser than we —

And neither the angels in Heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: —

 

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: —

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling — my darling — my life and my bride,

In her sepulchre there by the sea —

In her tomb by the sounding sea.


Giles Watson reads John Clare’s “I Am”:

“The Badger” by John Clare: