I, from a window where the Meuse is wide,
Looked eastward out to the September night;
The men that in the hopeless battle died
Rose, and deployed, and stationed for the fight;
A brumal army, vague and ordered large
For mile on mile by some pale general,-
I saw them lean by companies to the charge,
But no man living heard the bugle-call.
And fading still, and pointing to their scars,
They fled in lessening clouds, where gray and high
Dawn lay along the heaven in misty bars;
But watching from that eastern casement, I
Saw the Republic splendid in the sky,
And round her terrible head the morning stars.
Look, how those steep woods on the mountain’s face
Burn, burn against the sunset; now the cold
Invades our very noon: the year’s grown old,
Mornings are dark, and evenings come apace.
The vines below have lost their purple grace,
And in Forreze the white wrack backward rolled,
Hangs to the hills tempestuous, fold on fold,
And moaning gusts make desolate all the place.
Mine host the month, at thy good hostelry,
Tired limbs I’ll stretch and steaming beast I’ll tether;
Pile on great logs with Gascon hand and free,
And pour the Gascon stuff that laughs at weather;
Swell your tough lungs, north wind, no whit care we,
Singing old songs and drinking wine together.
Hilaire Belloc (27 juli 1870. – 16 juli 1953)
De Russische schrijver Vladimir Korolenko werd geboren op 27 juli 1853 in Zjitomir (Volynië). Zie ook mijn blog van 27 juli 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 juli 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 juli 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 juli 2010.
Uit: The Blind Musician (Vertaald door Helen Altschuler)
„A child was born, in the dead of night, to a wealthy family in the South-West Territory. The young mother lay sunk in heavy languor; but when the infant’s first cry sounded, low and plaintive, she began to toss feverishly on her bed. Her eyes were shut, but her lips moved, whispering, and her pale face, still soft of outline almost as a child’s, twisted as though in suffering and impatient protest—the expression a much-petted child might wear on its first contact with sorrow.
The midwife bent close over the whispering lips.
“Why? Why does he…” the mother asked, almost inaudibly.
The midwife did not understand. Again the child’s cry sounded. An expression of bitter suffering passed over the mother’s face, and a heavy tear welled from her eyes.
“Why? Why?” she whispered, faintly as before.
This time the midwife understood her question, and answered tranquilly:
“Why the child cries? It’s always so. Don’t you worry yourself about it.”
But the mother was not to be soothed. She started at each new cry, demanding over and over again, with wrathful impatience:
“Why so … so dreadful?”
The midwife heard nothing out of the ordinary in the child’s cries; and the mother, she could see, was hardly conscious—did not, perhaps, even know what she was saying. Turning away from the bed, she busied herself with the infant.
The mother fell silent. Only, now and again, some grievous suffering, finding no outlet in words or movement, pressed great tears from her shut eyes. Through the heavy lashes they seeped, and rolled softly down the marble pallor of her cheeks.
Can the mother’s heart have sensed the grim, the unalleviable tragedy that had come into the world with the new-born life—that hung over the infant’s cradle, to follow him through all his life, to the very grave?
Or was it, perhaps, no more than delirium? Be that as it may, the child was born blind.“
Vladimir Korolenko (27 juli 1853 – 25 december 1921)
Portret in deTretjakovgalerij in Moskou
Uit: My First Day In The Orient
‘T is at first a delightfully odd confusion only, as you look down one of them, through an interminable flutter of flags and swaying of dark blue drapery, all made beautiful and mysterious with Japanese or Chinese lettering. For there are no immediately discernible laws of construction or deco-ration: each building seems to have a fantastic prettiness of its own; nothing is exactly like anything else, and all is bewilderingly novel. But gradually, after an hour passed in the quarter, the eye begins to recognise in a vague way some general plan in the construction of these low, light, queerly-gabled wooden houses, mostly unpainted, with their first storeys all open to the street, and thin strips of roofing sloping above each shop-front, like awnings, back to the miniature balconies of paper-screened second storeys. You begin to understand the common plan of the tiny shops, with their matted floors well raised above the street level, and the general perpendicular arrangement of sign-lettering, whether undulating on drapery or glimmering on gilded and lacquered sign-boards. You observe that the same rich dark blue which dominates in popular costume rules also in shop draperies, though there is a sprinkling of other tints, — bright blue and white and red (no greens or yellows). And then you note also that the dresses of the labourers are lettered with the same wonderful lettering as the shop draperies. No arabesques could produce such an effect. As modified for decorative purposes, these ideographs have a speaking symmetry which no design without a meaning could possess. As they appear on the back of a workman’s frock — pure white on dark blue — and large enough to be easily read at a great distance (indicating some guild or company of which the wearer is a member or employee), they give to the poor cheap garment a factitious appearance of splendour.“
Lafcadio Hearn (27 juli 1850 – 26 september 1904)
Borstbeeld in het Lafcadio Hearn memorial park in Okubo
God Hid His Face.
All the roads led to death,
all the roads.
All the winds breathed betrayal,
all the winds.
At all the doorways angry dogs barked,
at all the doorways.
All the waters laughed at us,
all the waters.
All the nights fattened on our dread,
all the nights.
And the heavens were bare and empty,
all the heavens.
God hid his face.
Rajzel Zychlinski (27 juli 1910 – 13 juni 2001)
Uit: La dame aux camélias
„Chaque fois que l’on jouait une pièce nouvelle, on était sûr de l’y voir, avec trois choses qui ne la quittaient jamais, et qui occupaient toujours le devant de sa loge de rez-de-chaussée: sa lorgnette, un sac de bonbons et un bouquet de camélias.
Pendant vingt-cinq jours du mois, les camélias étaient blancs, et pendant cinq ils étaient rouges; on n’a jamais su la raison de cette variété de couleurs, que je signale sans pouvoir l’expliquer, et que les habitués des théâtres où elle allait le plus fréquemment et ses amis avaient remarquée comme moi.
On n’avait jamais vu à Marguerite d’autres fleurs que des camélias. Aussi chez Mme Barjon, sa fleuriste, avait-on fini par la surnommer la Dame aux Camélias, et ce surnom lui était resté.“
“Cependant cette gaieté, cette façon de parler et de boire, qui me paraissaient chez les autres convives les résultats de la débauche, de l’habitude ou de la force, me semblaient chez Marguerite un besoin d’oublier, une fièvre, une irritabilité nerveuse. A chaque verre de vin de Champagne, ses joues se couvraient d’un rouge fiévreux, et une toux, légère au commencement du souper, était devenue à la longue assez forte pour là forcer à renverser sa tête sur le dos de sa chaise et à comprimer sa poitrine dans ses mains toutes les fois qu’elle toussait.”
Alexandre Dumas fils (27 juli 1824 – 27 november 1895)
Through the seas in fury raging,
‘Neath the skies bow’d down and dark,
Battle with the waves lone waging,
Struggles hopeless now my bark.
But, oh joy! the clouds dividing,
Let my star gleam forth to view;
And in its mild beam confiding,
Gay I sing with courage new.
Herold bright of day before me,
Golden youth-restoring star,
Evil chance aye hangeth o’er me,
When thou beamest low and far.
Yet, when thro’ the clouds no beaming
Of thy light comes down to me,
I am lost beyond redeeming,
Without guide on shoreless sea.
Vertaald door Constance Bache
Denis Davydov (27 juli 1784 – 22 april 1839)