(AN AERIAL RETROSPECT)
What was it filled my youthful dreams,
In place of Greek or Latin themes,
Or beauty's wild, bewildering beams?
What visions and celestial scenes
I filled with aerial machines,
Montgolfier's and Mr. Green's!
What fairy tales seemed things of course!
The roc that brought Sindbad across,
The Calendar's own winged horse!
How many things I took for facts,--
Icarus and his conduct lax,
And how he sealed his fate with wax!
The first balloons I sought to sail,
Soap-bubbles fair, but all too frail,
Or kites,--but thereby hangs a tail.
What made me launch from attic tall
A kitten and a parasol,
And watch their bitter, frightful fall?
What youthful dreams of high renown
Bade me inflate the parson's gown,
That went not up, nor yet came down?
My first ascent I may not tell;
Enough to know that in that well
My first high aspirations fell.
My other failures let me pass:
The dire explosions, and, alas!
The friends I choked with noxious gas.
For lo! I see perfected rise
The vision of my boyish eyes,
The messenger of upper skies.
Francis Bret Harte was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California. He was born in Albany, New York, as Francis Brett Hart. He was named after his great-grandfather Francis Brett, and his family name was Hart. When he was young his father changed the spelling of the family name from Hart to Harte. Later, Francis preferred to be known by his middle name, but he spelled it with only one "t", becoming Bret Harte. He moved to California in 1853, later working there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger,... Read more...
Linda Pastan is an American poet of Jewish background. She was born in New York on May 27, 1932. Today, she lives in Potomac, Maryland with her husband Ira Pastan, an accomplished physician and researcher.
She is known for writing short poems that address topics like family life, domesticity, motherhood,...
Mellem dit Bryst og din Kind
dèr sank jeg i Kjærligheds-Drømme,
vugget saa sagtelig ind.
som baaren af bølgende Strømme.
Som Aftenbrisen, saa sval og let,
paa min Pande vifted dit Aandedræt,
og langsomt standsed mit Sind,
som en Baad, der svæver ved...