Poems adapted from and inspired by other poets

Mediocritie in love rejected.by Thomas Carew [1640]
Burn by Richard A. Edwards

The Gillyflower of Gold ; la belle jaune girofle'e! by Richard A. Edwards
The Gillyflower of Gold ; la belle jaune girofle'e! by William Morris [1858]

Surprisia by Richard A. Edwards
Suspiria. anonymous, English, 17th Century

I leave this at your ear, for Callie Larson by Richard A. Edwards
I leave this at your ear, for Nessie Dunsmuir by W.S.Graham (1918-1986)

Good Clean Wenches by Damaris de Sheldon, Stergar the Smiling, Richard Fitzalan
Good King Wenceslas [traditional song]

Eldorado by Edgar Allen Poe [1831]
"The End of Eldorado" [additional verses] by Richard A. Edwards

le chevalier sans coeur (the knight without a heart) by Richard A. Edwards
La Belle Dame Sans Merci (The Beautiful Lady without Pity) by John Keats (1795-1821)

The Seaside by John Ciardi (20th Century)
[additional verses] by Richard A. Edwards

Sonnet XXIX (29) by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Reply to Sonnet 29 by Richard A. Edwards

Earendil & Elwing by Richard A. Edwards
Earendil the Mariner by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)

Mediocrity in love rejected by Thomas Carew (1595?-1640)
Burn by Richard A. Edwards

One Last Time by Richard A. Edwards
One More Time by Chris DeGarmo of Queensryche (1990s)

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Mediocritie in love rejected.

 Give me more love, or more disdaine;
    The Torrid, or the frozen Zone,
 Bring equall ease unto my paine;
    The temperate affords me none:
 Either extreame, of love, or hate,
 Is sweeter than a calme estate.

 Give me a storme; if it be love,
    Like Danae in that golden showre
 I swimme in pleasure; if it prove
    Disdaine, that torrent will devoure
 My Vulture-hopes; and he's possest
 Of Heaven, that's but from Hell releast;
    Then crowne my joyes, or cure my paine;
    Give me more love, or more disdaine.

BURN

Since you will give me no more love then I
Disdain must heap upon the smold'ring fire
And pour the bitter tears that I still cry
To quench at last my burning heart's desire.
  How dare you cause me to such pain endure
  To light the fire beneath my stake in glee
  And then but dance away, leave me unsure,
  To roast or drown the light and darkened be.
And so thus tied my tears but water part
These coals which burn but ne'er more light I see;
I cannot walk away nor still my heart,
I wish for death or love to make me free.
  Administer the coup de grace, or please
  Hand me the knife that I might find release.

#251 Shakespearean Sonnet

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The Gillyflower of Gold ; la belle jaune girofle'e!

A golden gillyflower today
I wore upon my helm alway,
And won the prize of this tourney,
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. (the beautiful yellow Gillyflower)

However well Cedric might sit,
His sun was weak to wither it;
And Cian's blood was dew on it.
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Although my spear in splinters flew,
From Cian's steel-coat, my eye was true;
I wheeled about, and cried for you,
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Yea, do not doubt my heart was good,
Though my sword flew like rattan wood,
To shout, although I scarely stood,
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

My hand was steady too, to take
My sword from round my waist, and break
Cian's steel-coat up for my love's sake.
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e --

When I stood in my tent again,
Arming afresh, I felt a pain
Take hold of me, I was so fain --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e --

To hear Honneur aux fils des preux! (Honor to the sons of valiant knights)
Right in my ears again, and shew
The gillyflower blossomed new.
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Valerian against me came,
His shield bore a mermaid's frame
Twixt scallop shells with little blame --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e --

Our tough spears crackled up like straw;
He was the first to turn and draw
His sword, that had nor speck nor flaw;
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

But I felt weaker than a maid,
And my brain, dizzied and afraid,
Within my helm a fierce tune played,
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e,

Until I thought of your dear head,
Bowed to the gillyflower bed,
The yellow flowers stained with red;
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Crash! how the swords met -- girofle'e!
The fierce tune in my helm would play,
La belle! la belle! jaune girofle'e!
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Once more the great swords met again;
"La belle! la belle!" but who fell then?
Lord Valerian, who struck down ten;
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

And as with 'mazed and unarmed face
T'ward my cor'net and Her Excell'nt's place,
They led me at a gentle pace --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e --

I almost saw your quiet head
Bowed o'er the gillyflower bed,
The yellow flowers stained with red.
Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Poem #79

The Gillyflower of Gold by William Morris 1858

A golden gillyflower today
I wore upon my helm alway,
And won the prize of this tourney.
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

However well Sir Giles might sit,
His sun was weak to wither it;
Lord Miles's blood was dew on it.
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Although my spear in splinters flew,
From John's steel-coat, my eye was true;
I wheeled about, and cried for you,
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Yea, do not doubt my heart was good,
Though my sword flew like rotten wood,
To shout, although I scarcely stood,
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

My hand was steady too, to take
My ax from round my neck, and break
John's steel-coat up for my love's sake.
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

When I stood in my tent again,
Arming afresh, I felt a pain
Take hold of me, I was so fain--
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

To hear Honneur aux fils des preux!
Right in my ears again, and shew
The gillyflower blossomed new.
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

The Sieur Guillaume against me came,
His tabard bore three points of flame
From a red heart; with little blame--
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Our tough spears crackled up like straw;
He was the first to turn and draw
His sword, that had nor speck nor flaw:
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

But I felt weaker than a maid,
And my brain, dizzied and afraid,
Within my helm a fierce tune played,
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Until I thought of your dear head,
Bowed to the gillyflower bed,
The yellow flowers stained with red;
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Crash! how the swords met -- girofle'e!
The fierce tune in my helm would play,
La belle! la bell! jaune girofle'e!
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

Once more the great swords met again;
"La belle! la belle!" but who fell then?
Le Sieur Guillaume, who struck down ten;
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

And as with mazed and unarmed face
Toward my own crown and the Queen's place,
They led me at a gentle pace--
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

I almost saw your quiet head
Bowed o'er the gillyflower bed,
The yellow flowers stained with red.
Ha! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e.

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Surprisia
O Would that I could with you be!
To be with you would be my will,
For being not where I would be
I'd not be here, but where you will.
Poem #143

Suspiria. anonymous, English, 17th Century.
O Would I were where I would be!
There would I be where I am not:
For where I am would I not be,
And where I would be I can not.

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I leave this at your ear, for Callie Larson

I leave this at your ear for when you wake,
This small and silent rose to speak for me
Whose colored kiss I leave your cheek to take.

My words wrapped round the stem I leave for you,
In goss'mar writ to find their way to dreams
Reminding us of when our world was new.

So, smiling apparition that you are,
Go joyous to your sleepy wanderings,
But come again to where I'm not so far.

The bloom now comes with words that loving ache
As greenest tendrils grow from stem; in hope
I leave this at your ear for when you wake.

Poem #145

I leave this at your ear, for Nessie Dunsmuir by W.S.Graham (1918-1986)

I leave this at your ear for when you wake,
A creature in its abstract cage asleep.
Your dreams blindfold you by the light they make.

The owl called from the naked-woman tree
As I came down by the Kyle farm to hear
Your house silent by the speaking sea.

I have come late but I have come before
Later with slaked steps from stone to stone
To hope to find you listening for the door.

I stand in the ticking room. My dear, I take
A moth kiss from your breath. The shore gulls cry.
I leave this at your ear for when you wake.

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Good Clean Wenches by Damaris de Sheldon, Stergar the Smiling, Richard Fitzalan
[sung to the tune "Good King Wencheslas"]

Good clean wenches on my lap
Saucey, sweet and smiling
Hanging on my every word
Looking most beguiling
Pouting lips and rounded hips
Words sweeter than honey
Now they've gone, I'm here alone
But where went all my money?

Hither barkeep, stand by me
My tankard has gone empty
Please to fill it up again
And see that I've got plenty
The night is young, my pipe is full
The women are so sweet here
A pretty lass is what you need
To keep you from the winter's drear.

Bring me food and bring me wine
Served by lovely Molly
Ask her if she'll with me dine
If not, then I'll take Holly
They both have the charms I seek
Hidden 'neath their laces
But here's my wife to drag me home
And tear me from their graces.

#146 Song

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Eldorado by Edgar Allen Poe, 1831.

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old--
This knight so bold--
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow--
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be--
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied,--
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

"The End of Eldorado" by Richard A. Edwards, 1995

So riding bold,
In search of gold,
Through threat of dark'ning shadow,
The elder knight
With shield so bright
Rode on toward Eldorado.

And though he tried,
At last he died,
And fell within the Shadow
Where once was gloom
Sunflowers bloom
In the land of Eldorado.

Poem #161

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le chevalier sans coeur

I
Oh, what can ail thee, Lady Fair,
Alone and sadly loitering;
The winter's snow lays on the land,
And no birds sing.

II
Oh, what can ail thee, Lady Fair,
So grieving and so sadly torn?
The hearth is warm and beckons us,
Ale fills the horn.

III
I see the clouds upon thy brow
With melancholy laid thereon;
And in thy eyes the lightning rays
Where no sun dawns.

IV
I met a lord once in the fields
Full noble, he a faery knight;
His arms were strong, his heart was bold,
And his eyes were light

V
He set me on his prancing steed
And I beheld naught but his grace;
While sideways he would bend, and sing
With smiling face.

VI
I made a poem to share my heart
And robes of rainment embroidered;
He look'd at me as we did love,
And sweet moan heard.

VII
He found the way to feed my soul
With honeyed words and eyes of blue;
And surely he must mean to say,
I love thee true.

VIII
He took me to his castle gate,
And there we went to tower wide,
And there I kissed him thousandfold--
And nothing denied.

IX
And there we slept twined as a knot
And there I dream'd, ah doom to me,
The worst, sad dream I ever dream'd,
He smiled with glee.

X
Many women shadow dark
I saw death-pale cry out in pain
"Le Chevalier sans coeur hath thee
Added to his train!"

XI
I saw their lips part in warning,
Part in kiss, make opening wide;
Thus I awoke and found me here
With none beside.

XII
And thus I find myself in gloom.
Alone and sadly loitering;
The winter's snow lays on the land,
And no birds sing.

#187 Adaptation

La Belle Dame Sans Merci (The Beautiful Lady without Pity) by John Keats (1795-1821)

"Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

"Oh what can ail thee, knight-at arms,
So haggard and so woebegone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
And the harvest's done.

I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on thy check a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads
Full beautiful, a faery's child;
Her hair was long, her foot was light
And her eyes were wild.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend and sing
A faery's song.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew,
And sure in language strange she said,
"I love thee true."
She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lull'ed me asleep
And there I dreamed - ah woe betide! -
The latest dream I ever dreamed
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors death-pale were they all;
They cried, "La belle Dame sans Merci
Thee hath in thrall."

I saw their starved lips in the gloam
With horrid warning gap'ed wide;
And I awoke and found me here
On the cold hill's side.

And this is why I sojurn here,
Alone and palely loitering;
Though the sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

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The Seaside by John Ciardi

We were strolling by the seaside.
How glad I was we met.
I held her hand. She sweetly sighed,
"My feet are getting wet."

My eyes were fixed on hers. Oh, ray
Of love! Oh, golly gee!
I almost failed to hear her say,
"It's halfway to my knee."

"Ah, joy," I sighed, "past knowing!"
"Likewise, I'm sure," said she.
"But if you don't watch where we're going
We may be lost at sea."

"At sea, on earth, or in the sky,
I love you a pound and a peck."
"That _is_ good measure, dear, but I
Am in up to my neck!"

"What can it matter that the sea
Rage, or the wild wind blow?"
Said she, "If you are asking me,
My dear, I think I know!"

I felt her pull her hand away.
I saw her form retreat.
A wave came rising out of the bay
And knocked me off my feet.

I lost my love forever more,
Oh, radiant and fair.
When you stroll along the shore,
Remember there's water there.]

[New verses by Richard:]

So remembering the water there
We went up on the beach.
We will not drown but have a care,
Waves safely out of reach.

And sit awhile and listen to
The sound of water deep
While birds fly close and sun shines too
You, love, I'm gonna keep!

#217 Adaptation

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Sonnet XXIX (29) by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon my self and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least,
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate,
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Reply to Sonnet 29 by Richard A. Edwards

When glad of my own fortune through my eyes
I see the Wheel slow turn and bring this state
Which varies, trouble now then joyful cries
Then curses yet again with changing fate;
I must embrace my present, give up hope,
Accept with grace my life as one possessed
By God, desiring no man's part nor scope
Just learning as I go not what is least
But what is best for me and none despising;
Then I may happy think on thee and state
In joy, not sympathy, that there are rising
On eagle's wings our hearts to heaven's gate;
For only worthy souls can such wealth bring
To be with love then crowned as Queen and King.

Poem #247 Shakespearean Sonnet

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Earendil & Elwing

A man there was, who was a knight
With armor bright he rode the sea
And sailed all round the colder lands
And distant strands of far Faerie.
His ship was sound with silver sails
As was his mail and habergeon
He strode the decks, wave-rider bold
And stories told of days long gone.
His quest called him to farthest West
His skills to test as mariner
Into the everlasting night
To make a fight as warrior.
Into the darkness he did speed
In his bold need to seek the Grail
But stormy seas his ship there tossed
And he was lost and feared to fail.

When lo there came from down below
A growing glow in water caught
And from the cauldron of the sea
On wings to flee of fire wrought
A phoenix rose and gained the air
And flew from there with light of flame
For on her breast she wore the jewel
A Silmaril by any name.
Of old she was an elven queen
A lady seen of beauty true
Who swam the sea and air and land
With her fair hand she strongly flew.
She crossed the ocean now not dark
Just like a lark she took to wing
And as she came he saw the light
Withdraw the night and both hearts sing.

Upon the deck she landed then
Where once had been but dark and gloom
She bound the star upon his brow
And knowing how they faced their doom,
They blazed their way as comet trail
No fear to fail with each beside
Their journey many stories told
The stars no longer left to hide.
They stood beside the tiller pole
Their hands to hold and steer by star
Until at last they came one day
By that highway to Valimar.
And to this time you see their light
At end of night the Venus-star
Which gives us hope and draws us on
To where beyond we strive so far.

#249 Tolkien Adaptation

Earendil the Mariner by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)

Eärendil was a mariner
that tarried in Arvernien;
he built a boat of timber felled
in Nimbrethil to journey in;
her sails he wove of silver fair,
of silver were her lanterns made,
her prow was fashioned like a swan,
and light upon her banners laid.

In panoply of ancient kings,
in chained rings he armoured him;
his shining shield was scored with runes
to ward all wounds and harm from him;
his bow was made of dragon-horn,
his arrows shorn of ebony,
of silver was his habergeon,
his scabbard of chalcedony;
his sword of steel was valiant,
of adamant his helmet tall,
an eagle-plume upon his crest,
upon his breast an emerald.

Beneath the Moon and under star
he wandered far from northern strands,
bewildered on enchanted ways
beyond the days of mortal lands.
From gnashing of the Narrow Ice
where shadow lies on frozen hills,
from nether heats and burning waste
he turned in haste, and roving still
on starless waters far astray
at last he came to Night of Naught,
and passed, and never sight he saw
of shining shore nor light he sought.

The winds of wrath came driving him,
and blindly in the foam he fled
from west to east and errandless,
unheralded he homeward sped.

There flying Elwing came to him,
and flame was in the darkness lit;
more bright than light of diamond
the fire upon her carcanet.
The Silmaril she bound on him
and crowned him with the living light
and dauntless then with burning brow
he turned his prow; and in the night
from Otherworld beyond the Sea
there strong and free a storm arose,
a wind of power in Tarmenel;
by paths that seldom mortal goes
his boat it bore with biting breath
as might of death across the grey
and long-forsaken seas distressed:
from east to west he passed away.

Through Evernight he back was borne
on black and roaring waves that ran
o'er leagues unlit and foundered shores
that drowned before the Days began,
until he heard on strands of pearl
where ends the world the music long,
where ever-foaming billows roll
the yellow gold and jewels wan.

He saw the Mountain silent rise
where twilight lies upon the knees
of Valinor, and Eldamar
beheld afar beyond the seas.
A wanderer escaped from night
to haven white he came at last,
to Elvenhome the green and fair
where keen the air, where pale as glass
beneath the Hill of Ilmarin
a-glimmer in valley sheer
the lamplit towers of Tirion
are mirrored on the Shadowmere.

He tarried there from errantry,
and melodies they taught to him,
and sages old him marvels told,
and harps of gold they brought to him.
They clothed him then in elven-white,
and seven lights before him sent,
as through the Calacirian
to hidden land forlorn he went.
He came unto the timeless halls
where shining fall the countless years,
and endless reigns the Elder King
in Ilmarin on Mountain sheer;
and words unheard were spoken then
of folk of Men and Elven-kin.
Beyond the world were visions showed
forbid to those that dwell therein.

A ship then new they built for him
of mithril and of elven-glass
with shining prow; no shaven oar
nor sail she bore on silver mast:
the Silmaril as lantern light
and banner bright with living flame
to gleam thereon by Elbereth
herself was set, who thither came
and wings immortal made for him,
and laid on him undying doom,
to sail the shoreless skies and come
behind the Sun and light of Moon.

From Evereven's lofty hills
where softly silver fountains fall
his wings him bore, a wandering light,
beyond the mighty Mountain Wall.
From World's End then he turned away,
and yearned again to find afar
his home through shadows journeying,
and burning as an island star
on high above the mists he came,
a distant flame before the Sun,
a wonder ere the waking dawn
where grey the Norland waters run.

And over Middle-earth he passed
and heard at last the weeping sore
of women and of elven-maids
in Elder Days, in years of yore.
But on him mighty doom was laid,
till Moon should fade, an orbéd star
to pass, and tarry never more
on Hither Shores where mortals are;
for ever still a herald on
an errand that should never rest
to bear his shining lamp afar,
the Flammifer of Westernesse.

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MEDIOCRITY IN LOVE REJECTED by THOMAS CAREW (1595?-1640)

Give me more love or more disdain;
The torrid, or the frozen zone,
Bring equal ease unto my pain;
The temperate affords me none;
Either extreme, of love, or hate,
Is sweeter than a calm estate.

Give me a storm; if it be love,
Like Danae in that golden show'r
I swim in pleasure; if it prove
Disdain, that torrent will devour
My vulture-hopes; and he's possess'd
Of heaven, that's but from hell releas'd.

Then crown my joys, or cure my pain;
Give me more love, or more disdain.

BURN by Richard A. Edwards

Since you will give me no more love then I
Disdain must heap upon the smold'ring fire
And pour the bitter tears that I still cry
To quench at last my burning heart's desire.
How dare you cause me to such pain endure
To light the fire beneath my stake in glee
And then but dance away, leave me unsure,
To roast or drown the light and darkened be.
And so thus tied my tears but water part
These coals which burn but ne'er more light I see;
I cannot walk away nor still my heart,
I wish for death or love to make me free.
Administer the coup de grace, or please
Hand me the knife that I might find release.

Poem #251 Shakespearean Sonnet

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One Last Time by Richard A. Edwards

Within your eyes
I see the truth of you.
I can enter
that secret place,
and together knowing now embrace.
Time is ever now
we say.
Take time to stand beside
and trace...the truth.

Darkness shines
to free the woman that you are
Rising in the cloud-sky flying
the Mistress pulls me close, laughing.
Now I can remember why
I needed to be, needed to release me.

One last time ahead
is all I wish for now,
a star to steer by, wind to
take me home again.

Poem #224 (song)

One More Time by Chris DeGarmo

Behind my eyes
I keep my truth from you.
No one enters this secret place,
the barrier only I embrace.
Time is fleeting now
they say.
Take time to look inside
and face.....the change.

Dig down deep
to find the man I thought I was.
A dog on the treadmill panting,
the master pulls the leash, laughing.
Now I can't remember why
I needed to run, needed to try so hard.

One more time around
is all I ask for now,
a star to steer by, wind to
take me home again.

"Work hard in life boy,
there's paradise in the end."
Year after year we struggle to gain
the happiness our parents never claimed.
They told us all we had to do
was do what we're told, buy what was sold,
"Invest in gold, and never get old".

One more time around
is all I ask for now,
a star to steer by, wind to
take me home again.

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