Amy Levy Poems

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Amy Levy
Amy Levy (1861 1889) was a British poet and novelist. She was born in Clapham, London into a secular Jewish family. She was educated at Brighton High School, and studied at Newnham College, Cambridge; she was the first Jewish student at Newnham, when she arrived in 1879, but left after four terms. Her circle of friends included Clementina Black, Dollie Radford, Eleanor Marx (daughter of Karl Marx), and Olive Schreiner. Levy wrote stories essays and poems for periodicals, Her second novel "Reuben Sachs" (1889) was concerned with Jewish identity and mores in the England of her time (and was consequently controversial); "Reuben Sachs," her first novel "Romance of a Shop," and other writings, including the daring "Ballad of Religion and Marrriage," reveal feminist concerns. Xantippe and Other Verses (1881) includes a poem in the voice of Socrates's wife; the volume "A Minor Poet" has dramatic monologues too as well as lyric poems. Her final book of poems, "A London Plane-Tree" (1889), contains lyrics that are among the first to show the influence of French symbolism. She travelled widely in Europe and was said to have fallen in love with Violet Paget (Vernon Lee), the fiction writer and literary theorist, who was six years older than herself. She had suffered from depression from an early age which, together with her growing deafness, led her to commit suicide at the age of twenty-seven by inhaling carbon monoxide.

the hearse song
 
 
The old Grey Hearse goes rolling by,
You don't know whether to laugh or cry;
For you know ... [read poem]
western wind, when will thou blow?
 
 
Western wind, when will thou blow?
The small rain down can rain.
Christ, if my love were in my arms,
And I in my bed again!
there once was a young man of ghent
 
 
There once was a young man of Ghent
Whose tool was so long that it bent.
To save hims... [read poem]
soldiers who wish to be a hero
 
 
Soldiers who wish to be a hero
Are practically zero.
But those who wish to be civilians,
Jesus, they run into millions.
if i ever marry, i'll marry a maid
 
 
If ever I marry, I'll marry a maid;
To marry a widow, I am sore afraid:
For maids they are... [read poem]
bonnie james campbell
 
 
Hie upon Hielands,
and laigh upon Tay,
Bonnie George Campbell
rode out on a day.... [read poem]
ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt?
 
 
Were beth they biforen us weren,
Hound{.e}s ladden and havek{.e}s beren,
And hadden fe... [read poem]
sir patrick spence
 
 
The king sits in Dumferling toune,
Drinking the blude-reid wine:
"O whar will I get gu... [read poem]
in the garden of eden lay adam
 
 
In the Garden of Eden lay Adam
Complacently stroking his madam,
And loud was his mirt... [read poem]
sir gawain and the green knight
 
 
[fol. 91r]
[fitt1: stanza 1 (long)]

siþen þe sege and þe assaut w... [read poem]
cleanness
 
 
Clannesse who so kyndly cowþe comende
& rekken vp alle þe resounz þat ho ... [read poem]
ay me, ay me, i sigh the scythe a-field
 
 
Ay me, ay me, I sigh to see the scythe a-field;
Down goeth the grass, soon wrought to withe... [read poem]
mademoiselle from armentières
 
 
Mademoiselle from Armentières, Parley-voo?
Mademoiselle from Armentières, Parley-... [read poem]
cuckoo song
 
 
Sing, cuccu, nu! Sing, cuccu!
Sing, cuccu! Sing, cuccu, nu!

Sum... [read poem]
blow, northerne wind
 
 
Blow, northerne wynd,
Send thou me my suetyng!
Blow, northerne wynd,... [read poem]
the history of sixteen wonderful old women
 
 
1
Mistress Towl.

There was an Old Woman named Towl,
Who went out to Sea with h... [read poem]
say me, viit in the brom
 
 
Say me, viit in the brom,
Teche me wou I sule don
That min hosebonde
Me louien wolde.... [read poem]
lord randall
 
 
'O where ha you been, Lord Randal, my son?
And where ha you been, my handsome young man?'
... [read poem]
fifth villain
 
 
Tommy, in his football jersey,
Fell into the river Mersey.
“Ring us up from Birkenhead,
If you get there,” father said.
a taking girl
 
 
She took my hand in sheltered nooks,
She took my candy and my books,
She took the lustrous... [read poem]
alysoun
 
 
An hendy hap ichabbe yhent;
Ichot, from hevene it is me sent;
Fro... [read poem]
the braes of yarrow
 
 
Late at e'en, drinking the wine,
And ere they paid the lawing,
They set a combat them ... [read poem]
al nist by the rose
 
 
Al nist by the rose, rose,
Al nist bi the rose I lay.
Darf Ich noust the rose stele
Ant yet Ich bar the flour away.
swarte smekyd smethes
 
 
Swarte smekyd smethes, smateryd wyth smoke,
Dryue me to deth wyth den of here dyntes.
Swec... [read poem]
my friend judge not me
 
 
My friend iudge not me,
Thou seest I iudge not thee:
Betwixt the stirrop and the ground,
Mercy I askt, mercy I found.
the masque of b-ll--l
 
 

MASTER



First come I. My name is J-W-TT.
There's no knowledge but ... [read poem]
waly, waly
 
 
O Waly, waly, up the bank,
O wary, waly, doun the brae,
And waly, waly, yon burn-side,... [read poem]
ballade of an omnibus
 
 
"To see my love suffices me."
--Ballades in Blue China.
... [read poem]
adieu vain world i've seen enough of thee
 
 
Adieu, vain world, I've seen enough of thee,
And now am careless what thou say'st of me.
T... [read poem]
if man him bethocte
 
 
If man him bethocte
Inderlike and ofte
Hu arde is te fore
Fro bedde te flore,
Hu... [read poem]

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