La Muse Au Cabaret


by Raoul Ponchon.

What I had been without thee, I know not--yet, to my sorrow
See I what, without thee, hundreds and thousands now are.

by Friedrich Schiller.

All who have toiled for Art, who've won or lost,
Sat equal priests at her high Pentecost;
Only the chrism and sacrament of flame,
Anointing all, inspired not all the same.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

O hoary sculptor, stay thy hand:
I fain would view the lettered stone.
What carvest thou?-perchance some grand
And solemn fancy all thine own.
For oft to know the fitting word
Some humble worker God permits.
'Jain Ann Meginnis,
Agid 3rd.
He givith His beluved fits.'

by Ambrose Bierce.

To Lady Firebrace

At length must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
So long renown'd in B-n's deathless strain?
Thy charms at least, fair Firebrace, might inspire
Some zealous bard to wake the sleeping lyre:
For such thy beauteous mind and lovely face,
Thou seem'st at once, bright nymph, a
Muse and Grace
.

by Samuel Johnson.

Le Berceau De La Muse

De mon berceau d'enfant j'ai fait l'autre berceau
Où ma Muse s'endort dans des trilles d'oiseau,
Ma Muse en robe blanche, ô ma toute maîtresse !

Oyez nos baisers d'or aux grands soirs familiers…
Mais chut ! j'entends déjà la mégère Détresse
À notre seuil faisant craquer ses noirs souliers !

by Émile Nelligan.

Ma Muse Fuit Les Champs

Ma Muse fuit les champs abreuvés de carnage,
Et ses pieds innocents ne se poseront pas
Où la cendre des morts gémirait sous ses pas.
Elle pâlit d'entendre et le cri des batailles,
Et les assauts tonnants qui frappent les murailles,
Et le sang qui jaillit sous les pointes d'airain
Souillerait la blancheur de sa robe de lin.

by Andre Marie de Chenier.

At the golden gate of song
Stood I, knocking all day long,
But the Angel, calm and cold,
Still refused and bade me, 'Hold.'

Then a breath of soft perfume,
Then a light within the gloom;
Thou, Love, camest to my side,
And the gates flew open wide.

Long I dwelt in this domain,
Knew no sorrow, grief, or pain;
Now you bid me forth and free,
Will you shut these gates on me?

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

A Poetical Epistle To Sir William Bennet, Bart. Of Grubbat

My trembling muse your honour does address,
That it's a bold attempt most humbly I confess;
If you'll encourage her young fagging flight,
She'll upwards soar and mount Parnassus' height.
If little things with great may be compared
In Rome it so with the divine Virgil fared;
The tuneful bard Augustus did inspire,
Made his great genius flash poetic fire;
But if upon my flight your honour frowns,
The muse folds up her wings, and dying - justice owns.

by James Thomson.

LIGHTEST of dancers, with no thought
Thy glimmering feet beat on my heart,
Gayest of singers, with no care
Waking to beauty the still air,
More than the labours of our art,
More than our wisdom can impart,
Thine idle ecstasy hath taught.

Lost long in solemn ponderings,
With the blind shepherd mind for guide,
The uncreated joy in you
Hath lifted up my heart unto
The morning stars in their first pride,
And the angelic joys that glide
High upon heaven-uplifted wings.

by George William Russell.

I did not blinded with the Muse, my dear:
She'll not be called the beauty, charming heart,
And throngs of youths, when sought her passing here,
As crazy lovers, will not run behind.
She has not any wish or gift to raise desires
By plays of eyes, by elegant attires,
Or by the clever and sarcastic speech;
But, the high world could sometimes be bewitched
By singularity of whole her expression,
By simple structure of her quiet phrase;
And, rather than with biting alienation,
It'll honour her with the negligent praise.

by Yevgeny Abramovich Baratynsky.

O recollection of the heart! You're stronger
Than reason's cheerless recollection.
Your sweetness oft
Enchants me in a far-off land.
I recollect her voice, her precious words,
I recollect her azure eyes,
I recollect the golden locks
Of loose and curling hair.
My peerless shepherdess's
Simple clothes I recollect.
Her precious, unforgotten face
Still wanders with me everywhere.
This guardian spirit love bestowed
To comfort me in solitude:
When'er I slumber, it will nestle near
To sweeten cheerless sleep.

by Konstantin Nikolaevich Batiushkov.

Xxxii: When I Would Muse In Boyhood

When I would muse in boyhood
The wild green woods among,
And nurse resolves and fancies
Because the world was young,
It was not foes to conquer,
Nor sweethearts to be kind,
But it was friends to die for
That I would seek and find.

I sought them and I found them,
The sure, the straight, the brave,
The hearts I lost my own to,
The souls I could not save.
They braced their belts around them,
They crossed in ships the sea,
They sought and found six feet of ground,
And there they died for me.

by Alfred Edward Housman.

The Solitary Lyre

Wherefore, unlaurell'd Boy,
Whom the contemptuous Muse will not inspire,
With a sad kind of joy
Still sing'st thou to thy solitary lyre?

The melancholy winds
Pour through unnumber'd reeds their idle woes,
And every Naiad finds
A stream to weep her sorrow as it flows.

Her sighs unto the air
The Wood-maid's native oak doth broadly tell,
And Echo's fond despair
Intelligible rocks re-syllable.

Wherefore then should not I,
Albeit no haughty Muse my heart inspire,
Fated of grief to die,
Impart it to my solitary lyre?

by George Darley.

Bluet aux regards d'améthyste,
Bluet aux yeux de ciel, dis-nous
Ce qui te fait être si triste ?
- J'ai vu ses yeux, j'en suis jaloux.

Et toi, simple églantine rose,
Payse aux lèvres de carmin,
Pourquoi sembles-tu si morose ?
- Je suis jalouse de son teint.

Toi, beau lys, qu'en dis-tu ? - Que n'ai-je
Le fin velouté, la blancheur,
La fraîcheur d'aurore et de neige
De sa diaphane blondeur !

Je comprends votre jalousie,
Ô fleurs, c'est qu'hier, en ces lieux,
Dans sa robe de fantaisie
La Muse a passé sous vos yeux.

by Nérée Beauchemin.

Love And The Muse

STRUCK down by Love in cruel mood,
That I ever met Love I rued,
Bleeding and bruised I lay,
Wet was my face as with the salt sea spray.

A lovely Muse on sparkling wing
A painless elemental thing,
Free as bird did float,
Swift flames of song light leaping from her throat.

And being more pitiful than Love
Stooped glowing from her path above,
And an unearthly kiss
Laid on my lips: Muse, answer, what is this?

In dreams or drunkenness divine
My life is all transfused with thine;
Like bubbles swept along,
My tears dissolve on cataracts of song.

by Mathilde Blind.

Sonnet To R. Graham, Esq., On Receiving A Favour

I CALL no Goddess to inspire my strains,
A fabled Muse may suit a bard that feigns:
Friend of my life! my ardent spirit burns,
And all the tribute of my heart returns,
For boons accorded, goodness ever new,
The gifts still dearer, as the giver you.
Thou orb of day! thou other paler light!
And all ye many sparkling stars of night!
If aught that giver from my mind efface,
If I that giver's bounty e'er disgrace,
Then roll to me along your wand'rig spheres,
Only to number out a villain's years!
I lay my hand upon my swelling breast,
And grateful would, but cannot speak the rest.

by Robert Burns.

Sonnet: I Muse Over

At whiles (yea oftentimes) I muse over
The quality of anguish that is mine
Through Love: then pity makes my voice to pine
Saying, 'Is any else thus, anywhere?'
Love smileth me, whose strength is ill to bear;
So that of all my life is left no sigh
Except one thought; and that, because 'tis thine,
Leaves not the body but abideth there.
And then if I, whom other aid forsook,
Would aid myself, and innocent of art
Would fain have sight of thee as a last hope,
No sooner do I lift mine eyes to look
Than the blood seems as shaken from my heart,
And all my pulses beat at once and stop.

by Dante Alighieri.

Sonnet 78: So Oft Have I Invoked Thee For My Muse

So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse,
And found such fair assistance in my verse
As every alien pen hath got my use,
And under thee their poesy disperse.
Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing,
And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,
Have added feathers to the learnèd's wing
And given grace a double majesty.
Yet be most proud of that which I compile,
Whose influence is thine, and born of thee.
In others' works thou dost but mend the style,
And arts with thy sweet graces gracèd be.
But thou art all my art, and dost advance
As high as learning my rude ignorance.

by William Shakespeare.

Sonnet 103: Alack, What Poverty My Muse Brings Forth

Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth,
That having such a scope to show her pride,
The argument all bare is of more worth
Than when it hath my added praise beside.
O, blame me not if I no more can write!
Look in your glass, and there appears a face
That overgoes my blunt invention quite,
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.
Were it not sinful then striving to mend,
To mar the subject that before was well?
For to no other pass my verses tend
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;
And more, much more than in my verse can sit,
Your own glass shows you when you look in it.

by William Shakespeare.

An Orson Of The Muse

Her son, albeit the Muse's livery
And measured courtly paces rouse his taunts,
Naked and hairy in his savage haunts,
To Nature only will he bend the knee;
Spouting the founts of her distillery
Like rough rock-sources; and his woes and wants
Being Nature's, civil limitation daunts
His utterance never; the nymphs blush, not he.
Him, when he blows of Earth, and Man, and Fate,
The Muse will hearken to with graver ear
Than many of her train can waken: him
Would fain have taught what fruitful things and dear
Must sink beneath the tidewaves, of their weight,
If in no vessel built for sea they swim.

by George Meredith.

A Later Alexandrian

An inspiration caught from dubious hues
Filled him, and mystic wrynesses he chased;
For they lead farther than the single-faced,
Wave subtler promise when desire pursues.
The moon of cloud discoloured was his Muse,
His pipe the reed of the old moaning waste.
Love was to him with anguish fast enlaced,
And Beauty where she walked blood-shot the dews.
Men railed at such a singer; women thrilled
Responsively: he sang not Nature's own
Divinest, but his lyric had a tone,
As 'twere a forest-echo of her voice:
What barrenly they yearn for seemed distilled
From what they dread, who do through tears rejoice.

by George Meredith.

Sonnet 101: O Truant Muse, What Shall Be Thy Amends

O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse. Wilt thou not haply say,
"Truth needs no colour with his colour fixed,
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay,
But best is best, if never intermixed"?
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
Excuse not silence so, for't lies in thee
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb
And to be praised of ages yet to be.
Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
To make him seem, long hence, as he shows now.

by William Shakespeare.

Most Sweet It Is

. Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes
To pace the ground, if path be there or none,
While a fair region round the traveller lies
Which he forbears again to look upon;
Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,
The work of Fancy, or some happy tone
Of meditation, slipping in between
The beauty coming and the beauty gone.
If Thought and Love desert us, from that day
Let us break off all commerce with the Muse:
With Thought and Love companions of our way,
Whate'er the senses take or may refuse,
The Mind's internal heaven shall shed her dews
Of inspiration on the humblest lay.

by William Wordsworth.

Sonnet Xxxviii: How Can My Muse Want Subject To Invent

How can my muse want subject to invent,
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?
O! give thy self the thanks, if aught in me
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;
For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee,
When thou thy self dost give invention light?
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
Eternal numbers to outlive long date.
If my slight muse do please these curious days,
The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.

by William Shakespeare.

Sonnet 82: I Grant Thou Wert Not Married To My Muse

I grant thou wert not married to my Muse,
And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook
The dedicated words which writers use
Of their fair subject, blessing every book.
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise,
And therefore art enforced to seek anew
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days.
And do so, love, yet when they have devised
What strainèd touches rhetoric can lend,
Thou, truly fair, wert truly sympathized
In true plain words by thy true-telling friend;
And their gross painting might be better used
Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abused.

by William Shakespeare.

Sonnet 38: How Can My Muse Want Subject To Invent

How can my Muse want subject to invent
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?
O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight,
For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee,
When thou thyself dost give invention light?
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
Eternal numbers to outlive long date.
If my slight Muse do please these curious days,
The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.

by William Shakespeare.

Sonnet 21: So Is It Not With Me As With That Muse

So is it not with me as with that muse,
Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse,
Who heaven it self for ornament doth use
And every fair with his fair doth rehearse,
Making a couplement of proud compare
With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rich gems,
With April's first-born flowers, and all things rare
That heaven's air in this huge rondure hems.
O, let me, true in love, but truly write,
And then, believe me, my love is as fair
As any mother's child, though not so bright
As those gold candles fixed in heaven's air.
Let them say more that like of hearsay well;
I will not praise that purpose not to sell.

by William Shakespeare.

Sonnet Xliv: Here Droops The Muse

Here droops the muse! while from her glowing mind,
Celestial Sympathy, with humid eye,
Bids the light Sylph capricious Fancy fly,
Time's restless wings with transient flowr's to bind!
For now, with folded arms and head inclin'd,
Reflection pours the deep and frequent sigh,
O'er the dark scroll of human destiny,
Where gaudy buds and wounding thorns are twin'd.
O! Sky-born VIRTUE! sacred is thy name!
And though mysterious Fate, with frown severe,
Oft decorates thy brows with wreaths of Fame,
Bespangled o'er with sorrow's chilling tear!
Yet shalt thou more than mortal raptures claim,
The brightest planet of th' ETERNAL SPHERE!

by Mary Darby Robinson.

Sonnet 100: Where Art Thou, Muse, That Thou Forget'st So Long

Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem,
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, resty Muse, my love's sweet face survey
If time have any wrinkle graven there;
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make time's spoils despisèd everywhere.
Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life;
So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife.

by William Shakespeare.

Ores, Plus Que Jamais, Me Plaît D'Aimer La Muse

Ores, plus que jamais, me plaît d'aimer la Muse
Soit qu'en français j'écrive ou langage romain,
Puisque le jugement d'un prince tant humain
De si grande faveur envers les lettres usé.

Donc le sacré métier où ton esprit s'amuse
Ne sera désormais un exercice vain,
Et le tardif labeur que nous promet ta main
Désormais pour Francus n'aura plus nulle excuse.

Cependant, mon Ronsard, pour tromper mes ennuis,
Et non pour m'enrichir, je suivrai, si je puis,
Les plus humbles chansons de ta Muse lassée.

Ainsi chacun n'a pas mérité que d'un roi
La libéralité lui fasse, comme à toi,
Ou son archet doré, ou sa lyre crossée.

by Joachim du Bellay.

Sonnet Xxxi: Oft Do I Muse

Oft do I muse whether my Delia's eyes
Are eyes, or else two fair bright stars that shine;
For how could nature ever thus devise
Of earth on earth a substance so divine.
Stars sure they are, whose motions rule desires,
And calm and tempest follow their aspects;
Their sweet appearing still such power inspires
That makes the world admire so strange effects.
Yet whether fixt or wand'ring stars are they,
Whose influence rule the Orb of my poor heart;
Fixt sure they are, but wan'ring make me stray,
In endless errors whence I cannot part.
Stars then, not eyes, move yet with milder view
Your sweet aspect on him that honors you.

by Samuel Daniel.

Prophecy and inspiration.

'Twas by an order from the Lord
The ancient prophets spoke his word;
His Spirit did their tongues inspire,
And warmed their hearts with heav'nly fire.

The works and wonders which they wrought
Confirmed the messages they brought;
The prophet's pen succeeds his breath,
To save the holy words from death.

Great God, mine eyes with pleasure look
On the dear volume of thy book;
There my Redeemer's face I see,
And read his name who died for me.

Let the false raptures of the mind
Be lost, and vanish in the wind;
Here I can fix my hope secure;
This is thy word, and must endure.

by Isaac Watts.

In my youth's years, she loved me, I am sure.
The flute of seven pipes she gave in my tenure
And harked to me with smile -- without speed,
Along the ringing holes of the reed,
I got to play with my non-artful fingers
The peaceful songs of Phrygian village singers,
And the important hymns, that gods to mortals bade.
>From morn till night in oaks' silent shade
I diligently harked to the mysterious virgin;
Rewarding me, by chance, for any good decision,
And taking locks aside of the enchanting face,
She sometimes took from me the flute, such commonplace.
The reed became alive in consecrated breathing
And filled the heart with holiness unceasing.

by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.

Sonnet 70: My Muse May Well Grudge

My Muse may well grudge at my heav'nly joy,
If still I force her in sad rimes to creep:
She oft hath drunk my tears, now hopes t'enjoy
Nectar of mirth, since I Jove's cup do keep.

Sonnets be not bound prentice to annoy:
Trebles sing high, as well as basses deep:
Grief but Love's winter livery is, the boy
Hath cheeks to smile, as well as eyes to weep.

Come then, my Muse, show thou height of delight
In well-rais'd notes, my pen the best it may
Shall paint out joy, though but in black and white.

Cease, eager Muse; peace, pen, for my sake stay;
I give you here my hand for truth of this:
Wise silence is best music unto bliss.

by Sir Philip Sidney.

Resign the rhapsody, the dream,
To men of larger reach;
Be ours the quest of a plain theme,
The piety of speech.

As monkish scribes from morning break
Toiled till the close of light,
Nor thought a day too long to make
One line or letter bright:

We also with an ardent mind,
Time, wealth, and fame forgot,
Our glory in our patience find
And skim, and skim the pot:

Till last, when round the house we hear
The evensong of birds,
One corner of blue heaven appear
In our clear well of words.

Leave, leave it then, muse of my heart!
Sans finish and sans frame,
Leave unadorned by needless art
The picture as it came.

by Robert Louis Stevenson.

To Mrs. Mary Caesar

I read in your delighted Face,
The Nuptial Bands are ty'd:
From me congratulate her Grace,
Young Portland's lovely Bride.

Tell her, an humble, artless Muse
Would hail the happy Pair;
But that, like Flow'rs by deadly Dews,
Her Strains are damp'd by Care.

Those whom the tuneful Nine inspire,
Have now a spacious Field:
To them I must resign the Lyre,
To none in Wishes yield.

May Prudence still the Fair attend,
Who, with distinguish'd Taste,
In Caesar early chose a Friend,
With ev'ry Virtue grac'd:

Who back a thousand Years may trace,
And her Descent maintain,
From Ademar's illustrious Race,
Ally'd to Charlemain.

by Mary Barber.

Muse, Qui Autrefois Chantas La Verte Olive

Muse, qui autrefois chantas la verte Olive,
Empenne tes deux flancs d'une plume nouvelle,
Et te guidant au ciel avecques plus haute aile,
Vole où est d'Apollon la belle plante vive.

Laisse, mon cher souci, la paternelle rive,
Et portant dsormais une charge plus belle,
Adore ce haut nom dont la gloire immortelle
De notre pôle arctique à l'autre pôle arrive.

Loue l'esprit divin, le courage indomptable,
La courtoise douceur, la bonté charitable,
Qui soutient la grandeur et la gloire de France.

Et dis : Cette princesse et si grande et si bonne
Porte dessus son chef de France la couronne :
Mais dis cela si haut, qu'on l'entende à Florence.

by Joachim du Bellay.

Près du ruisseau, sous la feuillée,
Menons la Muse émerveillée
Chanter avec le doux roseau,
Puisque la Muse est un oiseau.

Puisque la Muse est un oiseau,
Gardons que quelque damoiseau
N'apprenne ses chansons nouvelles
Pour aller les redire aux belles.

Un méchant aux plus fortes ailes
Tend mille pièges infidèles.
Gardons-la bien de son réseau,
Puisque la Muse est un oiseau.

Puisque la Muse est un oiseau,
Empêchons qu'un fatal ciseau
Ne la poursuive et ne s'engage
Dans les plumes de son corsage.

Mère, veillez bien sur la cage
Où la Muse rêve au bocage.
Veillez en tournant le fuseau,
Puisque la Muse est un oiseau.

by Theodore de Banville.

Sonnet 85: My Tongue-Tied Muse In Manners Holds Her Still

My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still,
While comments of your praise, richly compiled,
Reserve their character with golden quill,
And precious phrase by all the Muses filed.
I think good thoughts, whilst other write good words,
And like unlettered clerk still cry "Amen"
To every hymn that able spirit affords
In polished form of well-refinèd pen.
Hearing you praised, I say "'Tis so, 'tis true,"
And to the most of praise add something more;
But that is in my thought, whose love to you,
Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before.
Then others for the breath of words respect,
Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect.

by William Shakespeare.