Diary of the Plague Year: Day 93 16 June 2020: Quotidian Poetry: Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892)

FROM: I Sing the Body Electric
I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the
       charge of the soul.
Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies
       conceal themselves?
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who
       defile the dead?
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?
I Sing the Body Electric

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 92 15 June 2020: Quotidian Poetry: William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)

FROM King Richard II
Act II Scene i
Gaunt. This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
This earth of majesty this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-Paradise;
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war;
This happy breed of men, this little world;
This precious stone set in a silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Feared by their breed, and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
For Christian service and true chivalry,
As in the sepulchre, in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s Son;
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through this world,
Is now leased out – I die pronouncing it –
Like to a tenement or pelting farm;
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the previous siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound with shame,
With ink blots, and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
William Shakespeare
366 poems, old and new, worth
learning by heart
Edited by Nicholas Albery