The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.
~ Alexander Pope
by Ghulam Ahmad Mahjoor (1885-1952)
O bulbul, let the freedom urge possess your soul!
Bid good bye to your cage, step out,
Gather your flowers and enjoy their bloom!
Speak out bold and clear. Your voice
Need not falter with fear
As when you sang within your cage.
In bondage, they served you ample food.
Now gather in the fields what grain you can,
And see how sweet is food in freedom!
Though unfreedom made you stammer,
Your call enchanted the birds of the air,
For it was born of love.
You can't remain with folded wings!
Plume them, fly and see the world.
See flowers now with eyes of freedom.
You don't know the latest about the garden!
Forget about the past; sing new songs now.
Mahjoor, throw away this belt of bondage!
From now, you are free as a bird.
Your heart commands, your voice obeys!
Beware of her fair hair, for she excels
All women in the magic of her locks;
And when she winds them round a young man's neck,
She will not ever set him free again.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
From Faust as translated by Shelley
Painting: Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
I do not ask for youth, nor for delay
in the rising of time's irreversible river
that takes the jewelled arc of the waterfall
in which I glimpse, minute by glinting minute,
all that I have and all I am always losing
as sunlight lights each drop fast, fast falling.
~ Lauris Dorothy Edmond