Friday Poetry: William Watson

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend. I must admit I haven’t managed much reading recently because I have been reading endless chapters and articles about the importance of Roman dress and the significance of the the toga. I’m really enjoying all the research but I am missing my fun reading.

My chosen poem this week is by William Watson (1858-1935) was an English poet who wasn’t afraid to write what he thought.

The poem is The Ballad of Semmerwater, Semmerwater is more commonly spelt ‘Semerwater’ and is one of the largest lakes in Yorkshire. Semerwater has also been the home of many poets over the centuries.

The Ballad of Semmerwater

Deep asleep, deep asleep,
Deep asleep it lies,
The still lake of Semmerwater,
Under the still skies.

And many a fathom, many a fathom,
Many a fathom below,
In a king's tower and a queen's bower
The fishes come and go.

Once there stood by Semmerwater
A mickle town and tall;
King's tower and queen's bower,
And the wakeman on the wall.

Came a beggar halt and sore:
'I faint for lack of bread.'
King's tower and queen's bower
Cast him forth unfed.

He knocked at the door of the herdsman's cot,
The herdsman's cot in the dale.
They gave him of their oat-cake,
They gave him of their ale.

He cursed aloud the city proud,
He cursed it in its pride;
He cursed it into Semmerwater
Down the brant hillside;
He cursed it into Semmerwater,
There to bide.

King's tower and queen's bower,
And a mickle town and tall;
By glimmer of scale and gleam of fin,
Folk have seen them all.

King's tower and queen's bower,
And weed and reed in the gloom,
And a lost city in Semmerwater
Deep asleep till Doom.

William Watson

Friday Poetry: Robert Browning


I hope everyone has a good Easter weekend planned with a lot of Easter eggs and yummy food involved.

My chosen poem this week is by Robert Browning who wrote this poem whilst he was travelling around Italy in 1845. Browning was writing about his nostalgia for England.

Home-Thoughts from Abroad

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge -
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Robert Browning

Happy Reading

Friday Poetry: Thomas Hood

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some good plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem this week is by Thomas Hood who was a Victorian poet.

I Remember, I Remember

I remember, I remember 
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The violets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday, -
The tree is living yet! 

I remember, I remember
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from heav'n
Than when I was a boy.

Thomas Hood

Happy Reading

Friday Poetry: Robert Herrick

Happy Friday!

I hope you all have some good weekend plans. I have been doing lots of reading for my dissertation prep and I think I am beginning to get an idea on what to do.

My chosen poem today is by Robert Herrick who was a seventeenth-century ‘Cavalier Poet’. The Cavalier poets were named this because they supported King Charles during the English Civil War. Herrick wrote over 2000 poems during his lifetime.

To Daffodils

Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the evensong;
And, having prayed together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die,
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

Robert Herrick

Happy Reading

Friday Poetry: George Hare Leonard


Happy Friday! I hope everyone has some good bookish plans for the weekend. As this Sunday is Mothering Sunday in the UK, I have chosen a suitable poem, well actually it is a hymn but I rather like it.

This hymn is by George Hare Leonard (1863-1941) who was a Professor of Modern History at the University of Bristol.

In the past servants were allowed to take the day off to see their mothers and go to church on Mothering Sunday. They would take cakes and treats and the special wheaten cake for their mothers.

Mothering Sunday

It is the day of all the year,
Of all the year the one day,
When I shall see my Mother dear
And bring her cheer,
A-Mothering on Sunday.

And now to fetch my wheaten cake,
To fetch it from the baker,
He promised me, for Mother's sake,
The best he'd bake
For me to fetch and take her.

Well have I known, as I went by
One hollow lane, that none day
I'd fail to find - for all they're shy -
Where violets lie,
As I went home on Sunday.

My sister Jane is waiting-maid
Along with Squire's lady;
And year by year her part she's played,
And home she stayed
To get the dinner ready.

For Mother'll come to Church, you'll see - 
Of all the year it's the day -
'The one,' she'll say, 'that's made for me.'
And so it be:
It's every Mother's free day.

The boys will all come home from town,
Not one will miss that one day;
And every maid will bustle down
To show her gown,
A-Mothering on Sunday.

It is the day of all the year,
Of all the year the one day;
And here come I, my Mother dear,
And bring you cheer,
A-Mothering on Sunday.

George Hare Leonard

Happy Reading

Friday Poetry: John Clare

Happy Friday!

I have gone for another poem by John Clare this week. This poem celebrates the coming of Spring.

Young Lambs

The spring is coming by a many signs;
The trays are up, the hedges broken down, 
That fenced the haystack, and the remnant shines
Like some old antique fragment weathered brown.
And where suns peep, in every sheltered place, 
The little early buttercups unfold
A glittering star or two - till many trace
The edges of the blackthorn clumps in gold. 
And then a little lamb bolts up behind
The hill and wags his tail to meet the yoe,
And then another, sheltered from the wind, 
Lies all his length as dead - and lets me go
Close by and never stirs, but beaking lies,
With legs stretched out as though he could not rise.

John Clare

Happy Reading!

Friday Poetry: Anon

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some good reading plans for the weekend. I have got to start writing my next assignment but I am hoping to get some reading done as well.

This week I have a chosen a poem with a trick. To start with this poem did not make much sense to me until I found out it had to be read in a certain way. Read the first half of each line along with the second half of the line above for the poem to make sense. Oh and a gold star to whoever can tell me what a pismere is. Good luck!

I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail

I saw a peacock with a fiery tail
I saw a blazing comet drop down hail
I saw a cloud with ivy circled round
I saw a sturdy oak creep on the ground
I saw a pismire swallow up a whale
I saw a raging sea brim full of ale

I saw a Venice glass sixteen foot deep
I saw a well full of men's tears that weep
I saw their eyes all in a flame of fire
I saw a house as big as the moon and higher
I saw the sun even in the midst of night
I saw the man that saw this wondrous sight.


Happy Reading

Friday Poetry: Anon

Happy Friday and Happy Chinese New Year!

Sunday is Valentine’s Day so I have decided to go for an appropriate poem and I must admit this one made me laugh.

Lettuce Marry

Do you carrot all for me?
My heart beets for you,
With your turnip nose
And your radish face.
You are a peach.
If we cantaloupe,
Lettuce marry.
Weed make a swell pear.


Happy Reading my fellow Book Dragons

Friday Poetry: Sara Teasdale

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is well and have good bookish plans for the weekend. We might be having some snow over the weekend and my husband and myself love having a walk through the snow so my chosen poem seemed very apt.

A Winter Bluejay

Crisply the bright snow whispered,
Crunching beneath our feet;
Behind us as we walked along the parkway,
Our shadows danced
Fantastic shapes in vivid blue,
Across the lake the skaters
Flew to and fro,
With sharp turns weaving
A frail invisible net.
In ecstasy the earth
Drank the silver sunlight;
In ecstasy the skaters
Drank the wine of speed;
In ecstasy we laughed
Drinking the wine of love.
Had not the music of our joy
Sounded its highest note?
But no, 
For suddenly, with lifted eyes you said,
'Oh look!'
There, on the black bough of a snow-flecked maple,
Fearless and gay as our love,
A bluejay cocked his crest!
Oh, who can tell the range of joy
Or set the bounds of beauty?

Sara Teasdale

Happy Reading!

Friday Poetry: Spike Milligan

Happy Friday!

The chosen poem today is just a short one by Spike Milligan but I think it is rather apt for the amount of rain we have had recently.


There are holes in the sky.
Where the rain gets in.
But they're ever so small.
That's why the rain is thin.

Spike Milligan

Happy Reading.

Photo is of some of the flooding we saw on our walk.