When did the starlight happier seem than now? The evening’s quiet, when so full of peace? How does heaven seem so near to me Now, when I have wished away my heart?
Why has the night so sober been? Why has my mind been reason’s moon? That this poor sun has felt so long a night The bark of last year’s growth has now unveiled A green and stripling age of mind; Eloping with this redder, browner blaze Of hopeful, living love.
The two paintings above are by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882). His model, who he considered his muse, and who later became his wife, was Elizabeth Siddal (1829 – 1862).
‘Ow do, lass, tha’s a stunner, I aint seen ‘out like ‘thee afoor. Th’as luvly as t’sun after t’rain I’m as sure as I’m sure I am sure.
Tha’s such a reyt bobby-dazzler, Tha’s taken mi breath clear away And I’ll nivver find a better, So one day it’s a bridal bouquet.
And when we git married I’ll luv thee, I’ll look after thee till I die; And when we’re tigether in t’eaven Tha’ll still be a-dazzling me eye.
‘Bobby-dazzler’ was originally a North East England dialect term for a person who is affectionately considered as being beautiful or remarkable. In have attempted to write these 3 verses in a North Yorkshire dialect,
When the Quietus comes Then is the Night The end of my Beginning The start of The Next That infinite Unknown That never wished for Future So far safely hidden Forestalling the Pain Shrouding the Bliss Of what will come By drawing life’s Curtain Over its darkening Window Its haze obscuring That indeterminate Vision Of the meaning of Destiny Of what is Next
Oh my love paint me into the shadows of your dreams I want to be there among the drifting moonbeams of your waning passion and as their dim light fades in the morning dew to watch as our hopes sink slowly through pools of deepest blue.
Let their adagio their mellow harmonies accompany the murmurings of my fading breath and as its remnants settle on the bed of those fathomless depths let them guide my blissful path to Heaven
Ancient Buddha, set in stone, Guardian of the door, Tell me will you let me in, What else is Heaven for? Oh, I am weak but well-meaning, Given to wishful thinking. Perhaps you’ll promise me the earth If I give up my drinking.
But I’d have thought that one like you Would be among the godly. Not lumbered with a job like this And behaving very oddly. For when you came into my view I saw you in a trance, Looking as though you’d rather be On holiday in France.
If you will stretch a minor point And let a sinner in, I’m sure you’ll feel a moment’s thought Will save you from considering Why it is that I, poor wretch, with no more to my blame Than one unproven parking fine, Should play a waiting game.
I’m pretty sure you could forgive A few mistaken words, Those acts of careless rectitude, Those songs in minor thirds. Perhaps just now you are best placed To do a pal a favour. I am your friend, one of your best, So please do be my saviour.
Collaborative poem – written by WHB, based on a prose description by Canadian artist, Alma Kerr, of an experience when looking, at evening time, across the waters of the Pacific, off the western coast of British Columbia . . .