jueves, 5 de mayo de 2016


Bernard Barton

Bernard Barton (31 de enero de 1784 - 19 de febrero de 1849) fue un poeta cuáquero de nacionalidad inglesa.

Nació de una pareja cuáquera en Londres. Su padre John Barton había sido miembro del Comité para la abolición del comercio de esclavos junto a William Wilberforce.

Fue educado en una escuela cuáquera en Ipswich, y pasó casi toda su vida en Woodbridge trabajando como oficinista en un banco. Su mujer murió a final de su primer año de matrimonio.

Llegó a ser amigo de Robert Southey, Charles Lamb, y otros escritores de la época. Sus principales obras incluyen The Convict's Appeal (1818), una protesta contra la severidad del código criminal de la época, y Household Verses (1845), que llegó a ser reconocido por Sir R. Peel, quien le otorgó una pensión de £100.

Hoy en día gran parte de su obra ha sido olvidada, a excepción de una variedad de sus himnos cristianos; que incluyen Lamp of our feet, whereby we trace, Walk in the light, so shalt thou know, Fear not, Zion's sons and daughters, Hath the invitation ended?, See we not beyond the portal?, Those who live in love shall know.

Su hija Lucy se casó con el poeta Edward FitzGerald, (traductor de Omar Jayyam), quien más tarde publicaría una selección de sus poemas y cartas.

Al mar

Inmenso, libro, espléndido, espumoso,
 Revestido de gloria y majestad,
Atrás dejas los siglos victorioso,
 Imagen de la oscura eternidad.

Brillan el sol, la luna y las estrellas
 Sobre tu ondoso manto y nada más;
Los secretos no exploran que tú sellas,
 Ni el hondo abismo en que durmiendo estás.

El iris que te adorna con sus galas,
 Las naves que te cruzan mil á mil,
La sorda tempestad que abre sus alas,
 Ráfaga breve son, juguete vil.

La tierra con sus valles y montañas
 Obedece sumisa al hombre rey;
Tú á sus ojos ocultas tus entrañas,
 Nadie á tu voluntad impuso ley.

Si tan grande te ostentas, Oceano,
 Si sola tu presencia da estupor,
¿Quién podrá imaginar la diva mano?
 ¿Quién mirar faz á faz á tu Hacedor?

Nota: Traducción de Miguel Antonio Caro incluída en el libro Traducciones poéticas (1889).

Human Life

I walk'd the fields at morning's prime,
The grass was ripe for mowing; 
The skylark sang his matin chime,
And all was brightly glowing.

'And thus,' I cried, 'the ardent boy,
His pulse with rapture beating, 
Deems life's inheritance is joy -
The future proudly greeting.'

I wander'd forth at noon: - Alas!
On earth's maternal bosom
The scythe had left the with'ring grass,
And stretch'd the fading blossom.

And thus, I thought with many a sigh,
The hopes we fondly cherish,
Like flowers which blossom but to die,
Seem only born to perish.

Once more, at eve, abroad I stray'd,
Through lonely hay-fields musing,
While every breeze that round me play'd
Rich fragrance was diffusing.

The perfumed air, the hush of eve,
To purer hopes appealing,
O'er thoughts perchance too prone to grieve, 
Scatter'd the balm of healing.

For thus 'the actions of the just,'
When mem'ry hath enshrined them,
E'en from the dark and silent dust
Their odour leave behind them. 

The Sea

BEAUTIFUL, sublime, and glorious;
Mild, majestic, foaming, free, -
Over time itself victorious,
Image of eternity!

Sun and moon and stars shine o'er thee,
See thy surface ebb and flow,
Yet attempt not to explore thee
In thy soundless depths below.

Whether morning's splendors steep thee
With the rainbow's glowing grace,
Tempests rouse, or navies sweep thee,
'Tis but for a moment's space.

Earth, - her valleys and her mountains,
Mortal man's behests obey;
The unfathomable fountains
Scoff his search and scorn his sway.

Such art thou, stupdendous ocean!
But, if overwhelmed by thee,
Can we think, without emotion,
What must thy Creator be? 

Lamp Of Our Feet 

LAMP of our feet whereby we trace
Our path when wont to stray;
Stream from the fount of heav'nly grace,
Brook by the traveler's way.

Bread of our souls whereon we feed,
True manna from on high;
Our guide and chart wherein we read
Of realms beyond the sky.

Pillar of fire, through watches dark,
Or radiant cloud by day;
When waves would break our tossing bark,
Our anchor and our stay.

Word of the ever living God,
Will of His glorious Son;
Without Thee, how could earth be trod
Or heav'n itself be won?

Lord, grant us all aright to learn
The wisdom it imparts
And to its heavenly teaching turn
With simple, childlike hearts. 

Bruce And The Spider 

FOR Scotland's and for freedom's right
The Bruce his part had played, 
In five successive fields of fight
Been conqured and dismayed; 
Once more against the English host
His band he led, and once more lost
The meed for which he fought; 
And now from battle, faint and worn,
The homeless fugitive forlorn
A hut's lone shelter sought.

And cheerless was that resting-place
For him who claimed a throne: 
His canopy devoid of grace,
The rude, rough beams alone; 
The heather couch his only bed, -
Yet well I ween had slumber fled
From couch of eider-down! 
Through darksome night till dawn of day,
Absorbed in wakeful thought he lay
Of Scotland and her crown.

The sun rose brightly, and its gleam
Fell on that hapless bed, 
And tinged with light each shapeless beam
Which roofed the lowly shed; 
When, looking up with wistful eye,
The Bruce beheld a spider try
His filmy thread to fling 
From beam to beam of that rude cot;
And well the insect's toilsome lot
Taught Scotland's future king.

Six times his gossamery thread
The wary spider threw; 
In vain the filmy line was sped,
For powerless or untrue 
Each aim appeared, and back recoiled
The patient insect, six times foiled,
And yet unconquered still; 
And soon the Bruce, with eager eye,
Saw him prepare once more to try
His courage, strength, and skill.

One effort more, his seventh and last!
The hero hailed the sign! 
And on the wished-for beam hung fast
That slender, silken line; 
Slight as it was, his spirit caught
The more than omen, for his thought
The lesson well could trace, 
Which even 'he who runs may read,'
That Perseverance gains its meed,
And Patience wins the race. 


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