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Washington Irving

The idol of today pushes the hero of yesterday out of our recollection; and will, in turn, be supplanted by his successor of tomorrow.

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The Stealing Of The Mare - I

In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate! He who narrateth this tale is Abu Obeyd, and he saith:
When I took note and perceived that the souls of men were in pleasure to hear good stories, and that their ears were comforted and that they made good cheer in the listening, then called I to mind the tale of the Agheyli Jaber and his mare, and of all that befell him and his people. For this is a story of wonderful adventure and marvellous stratagems, and a tale which when one heareth he desireth to have it evermore in remembrance as a delight tasted once by him and not forgotten.
And the telling of it is this:
The Emir Abu Zeyd the Helali Salameh was sitting one morning in his tent with the Arabs of the Beni Helal and the Lords of the tribe. And lo, there appeared before them in the desert the figure of one wandering to and fro alone. And this was Ghanimeh. And the Emir Abu Zeyd said to his slave Abul Komsan, ``Go forth thou, and read me the errand of this fair Lady and bring me word again.'' And Abul Komsan went forth as he was bidden, and presently returned to them with a smiling countenance, and he said, ``O my Lord, there is the best of news for thee, for this is one that hath come a guest to thee, and she desireth something of thee, for fate hath oppressed her and troubles sore are on her head. And she hath told me all her story and the reason of her coming, and that it is from her great sorrow of mind; for she had once an husband, and his name was Dagher abul Jud, a great one of the Arabs. And to them was born a son named Amer ibn el Keram, and the boy's uncle's name was En Naaman. And when the father died, then the uncle possessed himself of all the inheritance, and he drove forth the widow from the tribe; and he hath kept the boy as a herder of his camels; and this for seven years. And Ghanimeh all that time was in longing for her son. But at the end of the seventh year she returned to seek the boy. Then Naaman struck her and drove her forth. And Amer, too, the boy, his nephew, is in trouble, for Naaman will not now yield to the boy that he should marry his daughter, though she was promised to him, and he hath betrothed her to another. And when Amer begged him for the girl (for the great ones of the tribe pitied the boy, and there had interceded for him fifty--and--five of the princes), he answered, `Nay, that may not be, not though in denying it I should taste of the cup of evil things. But, if he be truly desirous of the girl and would share all things with me in my good fortune, then let him bring me the mare of the Agheyli Jaber,--and the warriors be witness of my word thereto.' But when the men of the tribe heard this talk, they said to one another: `There is none able to do this thing but only Abu Zeyd.' And thus hath this lady come to thee. And I entreat thee, my lord, look into her business and do for her what is needful.''
And when Abu Zeyd heard this word of his slave Abul Komsan he rejoiced exceedingly, and his heart waxed big within him, and he threw his cloak as a gift to Abul Komsan, and he bade him go to the Lady Ghanimeh and treat her with all honour, for, ``I needs,'' said he, ``must see to her affairs and quiet her mind.'' So Abul Komsan returned to her, and he built for her a tent, and did all that was needed. And Abu Zeyd bade him attend upon her and bring her dresses of honour and all things meet for her service.
Then began the Narrator to sing:

Saith the hero Abu Zeyd the Helali Salameh:
(Woe is me, my heart is a fire, a fire that burneth!)
On a Friday morning once, I sat with three companions,
I in my tent, the fourth of four, with the sons of Amer.
Sudden I raised my eyes and gazed at the breadth of the desert,
Searching the void afar, the empty hills and the valleys;
Lo, in the midmost waste a form, where the rainways sundered,
Wandering uncertain round in doubt, with steps of a stranger.
Turned I to Abul Komsan, my slave, and straightway I bade him,
``Ho, thou master of signs, expound to us this new comer.''
Abul Komsan arose and went, and anon returning,
``Fortune fair,'' said he, ``I bring and a noble token.
O my Lord Abu Zeyd,'' he cried, and his lips were smiling,
``Here is a guest of renown for thee, a stranger, a lady,
One for the wounding of hearts, a dame of illustrious lineage,
One whose heart is on fire with grief, and sorely afflicted.''
The dark one threw off his cloak to Abul Komsan in guerdon,
Even I, Abu Zeyd Salameh, the while my companions
Rose with me all as I rose in my place, we four rejoicing,
Hassan and Abu Kheyl Diab, and the Kadi Faïd.
And first of them Hassan spake and said, ``Is my name not Hassan?
Sultan and chief and lord am I of the lords of the Bedu.
Shall not my tent stand free to all, to each guest that cometh?
So God send her to me, be they hers, two thousand camels.''
And Abu Kheyl uprose, and with him the Kadi Faïd.
``And I,'' said he, ``no less will give to this dame two thousand.''
Nor was the Kadi slow to speak: ``Though this pen and paper
All my poor fortune be,'' said he, ``I will name her thirty.''
But I, Salameh, said, ``By my faith, these gifts were little;
Mine be a larger vow.'' And I swore an oath and I promised
All that she would to bring, nay, all her soul demanded,
Even a service of fear, a thing from the land of danger.
And thus they sat in discourse till the hour of noon was upon them,
And the caller called to prayer, and the great ones prayed assembled;
And these too in their place, and they stood in prayer together.
And when they had made an end of praises and prostrations,
Back to the tent came they, and still behold the lady
Wandering in doubt uncertain there with steps of a stranger.
Then to the desert went I forth, and I called and I shouted,
``Marhaba, welcome to thee,'' I cried, ``thou illustrious lady,
Welcomes as many be to thee as the leagues thou hast wandered.''
And she, ``I seek the hero, the Knight of Helal ibn Amer,
Bring me to him, the renowned of might, the hero of Amer.''
And I, ``I hear and obey, though I am not of the great ones.
Raise thy eyes and behold him here, the Sultan Hassan,
And with him Abu Musa Diab, the light of Zoghbat,
Best of the swordsmen he, and our learned Kadi Faïd,
The reader of the word, the learnedest of the learned,
And with them Aziz ed Din and El Hajin and Amer,
Fifty and five of the best, Fulano and Fulano.
These be men of their word; asking thou shalt obtain it:
Ask thou all that thou wilt, even all thy soul desireth.''
But she, ``Nay, thou dost mock, thou slave and idle talker,
Not of these would I hear nor of other than Salameh,
Salameh Abu Zeyd, Chief of Helal ibn Amer.
Why art thou mute of him for whom my soul is kindled?''
And I, ``Myself am he, the Helali Salameh,
Welcome to thee, and welcome as wide as thou hast wandered.''
And she prayed, ``O Abu Zeyd, behold me here thy stranger.
A boon I ask, O dark one, a mighty deed of daring.
Thy suppliant am I, thou son of Risk Salameh,
From the distress of time behold my tears are flowing.
For this one boon behold me pleading here before thee.
I have tasted Fortune's change. I plead by the day of judgment.''
And I, ``What is thy want, O Lady, that I grant it?
All, to the cord, I give, so thy tears cease from flowing.''
And she, ``O man admired! A great one was my husband,
A knight, a prince of lineage, Abul Jud Dagher,
A man of mighty wealth, stored up in many houses,
Wealth whose sole catalogue were a library of volumes.
He dying left behind with me our one son Amer,
To me and to the hate of an ill--minded uncle.
For when that Abul Jud was gathered to his fathers,
And sent from his loved home to death's unjoyful dwellings,
Behold this Naaman, this man he called his brother,
In arms against our house, he with his evil--doers,
Raiding all our wealth and making Amer captive.
Thus weeping did I flee, and seven long years an exile
Bore I his heart with me like a bird ever flying.
And then, the seven years done, to the dear place forbidden
Turned I in my love and my sweet son's remembrance.
And when he saw me near he called to me, `O mother,
Behold me in what straits I lie through men of evil
(And these may God requite!). Seven years behold me outcast,
Herding the flocks afar each day in the lone desert,
And in my uncle's tent nightly a guest unwelcome.
Yet was there one with me, his daughter fair, Betina,
Whom I, as of little count, might wander with unquestioned
Until but few days since. But now another suitor
Asking her hand hath come, and with him brave companions.
And for this suitor's sake am I forbid her presence.
And what then, O my mother, shall I do, my mother,
Who have neither riches, though my soul is generous,
Nor wile nor stratagem in my life's little wisdom?
How shall I win to her, this fair child of my uncle?
How shall I answer her, her greetings night and morning?
Thus spake he, and I heard, and with a heart of anger
Went I forth with him my son, and to the tribesmen
Pleaded in every tent his cause, we two as suppliants,
Calling on all their chiefs to give the hand of succour.
And fifty and five of them were those who lent agreement,
This one and that with joy, Fulano and Fulano.
And with them Selman was, Abul Jud el Aser.
And Jafferi was there, Khalifa ibn Nasser,
And many more of note. And they rose and went assembled
To the council of the king, and found him there in judgment
Set with his valiant men, and meting out obedience.
And when En Naaman saw them he cried to them in welcome:
`Sit ye, O chiefs, with me,' and made their place beside him,
And when he found them mute and of their manner bashful,
`Ye have come,' said he, `to speak of him, my brother's orphan.'
And they, `Ay, of a truth. We ask for him Betina.'
And he, `Be short of words. From me ye shall get no lying.
Nasser hath come for her, and with him a brave dowry.
This one, what hath he (speak) beside his beggar's portion?'
And they, `But we will give. So be thy mind unburdened,
And his, too, of the doubt. We stand to thee his guarants.'
And Selman spake, `Behold it, to the last coin, his dowry.'
And Jafferi, `Nor less, things needed for the wedding.
All that thou wilt we bring, a gift to thee and Amer.'
Then answered them the hero, En Naaman, the chieftain:
`List to my word, O chiefs, O generous--minded princes.
Let him but bring one thing, the thing my soul desireth,
So shall I stand content, nor ask a further dowry,
Necklace, nor chain, nor ring, nor ornament of silver,
Nor silk, nor broidered robe, and, lo, my word is on it.
He shall be to me a son, and I will love him truly,
More than a brother's son, in all things first and foremost.
But come he empty--handed, the girl shall be another's.'
And so with a pious phrase the hero left them wondering.
And straightway questioned all, `And what is this, O Naaman?'
Laughing he made reply, `The mare of Agheyli Jaber.'
Then on the chiefs assembled there fell as it were a tremor,
And each man looked at each, nor made they further pleading,
Only with whispered looks the thought passed round in silence,
`This thing can no man bring, nor he were a Jinn in cunning,
Not though on wings he flew.' But Amer in his longing,
Swore he the deed would do for sake of her, Betina.
And when I learned it all, how it had fared in council,
From my poor head the wits, O Sheykh Salameh, wandered.
And since that day of trouble (listen, O Helali!)
Around the world of men have I in anguish wandered,
Seeking of kings and chiefs and princes of the Arabs
Which one shall help our case, and all in turn have answered,
`This is a deed of deeds meet only for Salameh.
There is but one thy help, he of Helal ibn Amer.'
Thus have I come to thee on my soul's faith, Salameh,
Thee the champion proved of all whose hearts are doubting,
Thee the doer of right, the scourge of the oppressor,
Thee the breeze in autumn, thee the winter's coolness,
Thee the morning's warmth after a night of watching,
Thee the wanderer's joy, well of the living water,
Thee to thy foeman's lips as colocynth of the desert,
Thee the river Nile, in the full day of his flooding,
When he hath mounted high and covereth the islands.
Behold me thus for thee clothed in the robes of amber.
Beyond thee there is none save the sole Lord of pity.
Thou art my last appeal, O Helali Salameh,
Glory of the Arabs, beauty of all beholders.''
Thus then spoke Ghanimeh, and Abu Zeyd made answer,
``Nay, but a thousand welcomes, O thou mother of Amer,
Welcomes as many be as the leagues thy feet have wandered.
Fear thou nought at our hand, nay, only but fair dealing.''
And the hero Abu Zeyd called to his servant loudly:
``Forth, O Abul Komsan, nor let thy footsteps linger.''
And the slave said, ``Yes and yes, O thou beloved of the Arabs.''
And he, ``Go with this lady and build her a pavilion,
With breadths of perfumed silk, and bid prepare all dainties
That she may eat of the best, and serve her in due honour.
For well it is in life to be of all things generous,
Ere we are called away to death's unjoyful dwellings,
Even of the shoulder meat, that the guests may rise up praising.''
And Abul Komsan went and all things set in order,
Even as he was bid, at the word of his lord Salameh.

Said the Narrator:
And, when the lady had made an end of talking, then agreed the Emir Abu Zeyd to all her desires, and he delivered her into the hand of Abul Komsan, and bade him to do her honour and to serve her in his own person, and not through the persons of others, and he gave him his commands, saying: ``Take charge of her thus and thus, the while I go forth and see diligently to her affairs.'' And Abul Komsan did as he was commanded.
And immediately the Emir Abu Zeyd arose and went into his own tent and took out a herdsman's wallet and a lute, and went forth in disguise as a singer, of the singers of ballads. And thus travestied he came to the Assembly that he might take his leave of the Sultan Hassan and of the rest. And Hassan said to him, ``O Mukheymer, whither goest thou, and what is thy design?'' And Abu Zeyd made answer, ``I am of a mind to journey abroad, even to the land of the Agheyli Jaber.'' And so he disclosed to him all his plan, both what was without and what was within, the manifest and the hidden. And as he spoke behold the Sultan's countenance changed, and he grew pale, and ``Goest thou,'' said he, ``to the land of our enemy, and takest thou from us the light of thy countenance? Leave now this adventure, and we will determine all things as is best for the fair lady.'' But Abu Zeyd said: ``Nay, for the like of me that were a disgrace and a shame, and need is that I go: ay, though I were given to drink of the cup of confusion, yet must I go forward.'' And Diab said, ``May no such disgrace befall thee, nor confusion, for this would be to us all a sign that thou lackedst understanding.'' And Abu Zeyd said, ``Lengthen not thy words.'' And the Kadi calling to the others, said, ``My mind is that you should prevent him, even if it were by force, from his purpose, nor let him go.'' But when Abu Zeyd heard that word of the Kadi his wrath flamed forth, and he said, ``How! would ye deal with me in this wise, with me, the Emir Abu Zeyd?''
Now the ears of the tribe were filled with these sayings, and their mouths with the noise of them. But none was able to turn Abu Zeyd from his way. And his sister Rih came to dissuade him. Yet he listened not to her words, but soothed and consoled her only, and bade her farewell. And he departed on his quest, going by the desolate valleys of the desert.
Then once more the Narrator singeth:

Saith the hero, Abu Zeyd Salameh Mukheymer:
``Needs must I haste abroad to the wide breadths of desert,
What though I fare afar to death's unjoyful dwellings?
Constrained of my guest I go to do her pleasure's bidding.''
And speaking thus he turned and went to his pavilion,
And clothed himself anew in his most cheerful raiment,
Lengthening his kaftan's sleeves and rolling broad his turban,
Till in disguise he stood, a singer of the singers,
With wallet in his hand and lute for his sole armour,
But in his head what store of strategy and cunning!
And thus to the Divan, wherein the chiefs assembled
Crowded all the floor as it were the market of Amer.
And when the Sultan Hassan beheld him at the tent ropes,
Loudly he cried to him, ``Thou goest forth? And whither?
Tell us, O Abu Zeyd, what meaneth this thy venture?''
And I, Salameh, said, ``It is a thing of honour.
A lady came to me, O Hassan, one a stranger,
To ask a deed of me, and my own tongue hath bound me.
For when I cried to her, `What is thy need, O lady?'
She answered, `This I need, the mare of Agheyli Jaber.'''
And the Sultan Hassan hearing, struck his two palms together,
And he cried, ``O Abu Helal, thine is a case of evil.
How hast thou staked thy life? Nay, rather leave this daring.
Thine shall the camels be--ay, even the two thousand.''
And I, ``Alas, for shame! Such failure were unseemly.
Or will I bring the mare or stand no more among ye,
Nay, though my way be death.'' Then answered Abu Musa,
``Madman thou art and fool. This is beyond thy winning,
Not though thy back grew wings.'' And I, ``Forbear vain pleadings.
Base surely were the man less prompt to do than promise.''
But next the Kadi came and fingered at his turban,
And with him Rih my sister, and she called to him, ``Helali,
Wilt thou not stay this champion?'' And I, ``Nay, hold thy clamour
Lest I should cut thee short, even with this sword, my sister.''
And the Kadi: ``Hear, O people. This warrior is foolhardy.
Bring forth the brazen fetters to bind this Father of Patience.''
And hearing, Abu Zeyd was wrath with wrath exceeding,
And his hand set to his sword and ``Ho,'' said he, ``ye mad ones!
Talk ye to lay in fetter me who am named Salameh,
Me, the strength of Helal, who clothed the tribe in glory?
Nay, were it not for shame I would hew ye all in pieces.''
And Rih cried, ``Woe is me, the burning of my trouble!
How shall I quench this flame? Yet shall he take our blessing.''
And I, ``The word farewell is but a wound to the goer.
Cease, therefore, from thy tears.'' And weeping thus she left me.
But I my camel mounted and went my way in silence,
Going by paths unknown in the wide, trackless desert,
Nor turned my head again when they had turned back silent.
Thus was our parting done. Shame rest with the gainsayer.

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The Morning of Yesterday

Quiet walks and pondering time
Was a magnificent day at Jells park
The gentle heat of the beautiful sun
We retreat to the shade under the tree

Birds chirping and the cool breeze
I look to the sky through the leaves
Aaric with his soccer ball, kicks…..
Naughty Nonee “Do not hold me, for you are a cheat”

Smiles, laughter's, tantrums' and disaster
Oh! what beautiful sight at Jells Park
Ducks at the lake, dogs on leashes
And people riding their mountain bikes

Oh! What a day
to spend the morning of yesterday
Out for fun, under the sun
Where family and friends become one!

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The Company Man

(magne furuholmen / paul waaktaar)
Andy was the company man
Responsible for signing the band
Songs came out of our mouths
And into his hands
Oh yeah
Legal help, yes we had plenty
Bank-accounts are easy to empty
Everybodys trying to help
Everyone is so friendly
Oh yeah
And we all come down
Dont make a sound as we hit the ground
Yes we all fall down
Dont make a sound as we hit the ground
Give us something easy to sing to
Give us something simple to cling to
Something we can all understand
Said the company man
Oh yeah
We sing
And we all fall down
Dont make a sound as we hit the ground
Yes we all fall down
Dont make a sound as we hit the ground
Yes we all fall down
Dont make a sound as we hit the ground
May we all fall down
Dont make a sound as we hit the ground

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The Jet Set

Hey pal
Can I take your picture for the people back home
They wont believe it when they see this stuff
You see the camera that I got in hong kong
Completely duty free
This really is a pretty scene
Could you ask your kid to smile please
Sorry what exactly do you mean
Can you say it in english
cause were the . . .
Jet set - get out of our way
And dont be messin with the . . .
Jet set - get out of our way
We got a lot of things to see
Lets get a big mac
Get it while the dollars worth a thousand yen
Its quite a bargain here
Next year
Well save some money and well hire big en
For our anniversary
This really is a pretty scene
But Im happy I dont live here
Hey whats the matter with the waiters face
Can you say it in english
cause were the . . .
Jet set - get out of our way
And dont be messin with the . . .
Jet set - get out of our way
We got a lot of things to see

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At Lambert's Bay The Fishing Trawlers Sail Out

At Lambert's Bay the fishing trawlers sail out
where clouds of smoke hang over the boats
while the rain pours down in buckets.

The waves hit, the sea foams and bubble,
it looks as if a storm is rising
and 'my girlfriend has a fine fellow, '

one sings in darkness before he starts whistling
where clouds of smoke hang over the boats.
At Lambert's Bay the fishing trawlers sail out

seeking snoek, cod and sea-trout
and the boat turns to get out fishing gear,
it looks as if a storm is rising

and the men wait on the sea's first gifts
with rain like only God's hosepipe brings
while the rain pours down in buckets.

'Look at that shining bodies, tons of trout, they are running free, '
the song continues and something falls down
and the boat turns to get out fishing gear,

with engines roaring loudly
every fisherman is caught for a moment.
At Lambert's Bay the fishing trawlers sail out

'my girlfriend has a fine fellow and he is a wild goat, '
one sings against the wind with more joining voices,
the song continues and something falls down

and the tiller-man wonders about the sudden rain
but the fishermen are catching
while the rain pours down in buckets

they are standing ready but half-blinded
'Where are we going on the wide, wide sea'
one sings against the wind with more joining voices,

gigantic waves hits and pulls the boat
and some fishermen are scared.
At Lambert's Bay the fishing trawlers sail out
while the rain pours down in buckets

while the fishermen sing their song:
'The waves hit, the sea foams and bubble, '
'where are we going on the wide, wide sea'
and 'my girlfriend has a fine fellow.'

[Reference: Barracouta is known in South-Africa as 'snoek.']

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Across The Pampas

Dost thou remember, oh, dost thou remember,
Here as we sit at home and take our rest,
How we went out one morning on a venture
In the West?

Hast thou forgotten, in these English hedgerows,
How the great Pampas rolled out like the sea?
Never a daisy in that mighty meadow!
Never a tree!

Full were our hearts upon that sunny morning;
Stout--handed and stout--hearted went we forth.
The warm wind in our faces breathed us fortune
From the North;

And high in heaven the sun stood for a token.
We had no other sign by which to steer.
No landmark is there in the Earth's great ocean,
For mariner.

Dost thou remember how, when night was falling,
There in the middle plain, as best we might,
We set our little tent up as a fortress
For the night?

Dost thou remember how, through the night watches,
We listened to the voices of the plain,
The owls and plovers and the bold bischachas,
Talking like men?

Drowsy we sat, and watched our horses feeding,
Dim through the night, while over the tent's mouth
The Cross was turning like a clock and reeling
In the South.

But, as the night grew out and we grew chilly,
Under our blankets safe we crept and warm,
Full of good heart and each with loaded pistols
Close to his arm;

And so dreamed pleasant dreams of far off faces,
And trees and fields which we had loved in youth,
All in a maze of present apprehension
Mingled uncouth;

And how we travelled on and ever onwards,
Still in the red path of the setting sun,
Until into the heart of a great woodland
We had come;

And there saw, round about our strange encampment,
Flocks of bright birds which flew and screamed at us,
Red cardinals and woodpeckers and parrots
Multitudinous;

And on the lake black--headed swans were sailing,
And in the morning to the water's brink
Flamingoes, like the rising sun, came wading
Down to drink.

Dost thou remember, oh, dost thou remember
How, in that fatal wood, the mancaròn
Found out a poisonous herb before his fellows,
And fed thereon;

And how we left him, and how Caesar sickened,
And how the sky grew dark and overcast,
And how two tragic days we rode on silent
In the blast;

And how the wind grew icy and more icy,
Until we could not feel our hands or feet,
As sick at heart we sought in vain a hiding
From the sleet;

Lighting at last on a deserted post--house,
Where we found shelter from the wind, but nought
Of entertainment for our souls or comfort
Of any sort;

And how in that wild pass brave Caesar dying
Stretched out his arm towards the promised land,
And saw as in a dream the white hills lying
Close at hand,--

For, ere the sun set, suddenly that evening,
The great plain opened out beneath our feet,
And, in a valley far below, lay gleaming,
With square and street,

And spire and dome and pinnacle, uprising
White on the bosom of a mountain slope,
To our amazement bodily the city
Of our hope.

Dost thou remember, oh, dost thou remember
How the bells rang as, sick and travel--worn,
A weary crew, we made our solemn entry
To the town?

Strangely, as phantoms out of the great desert,
We came into the city, and at last
Heard sound of Christian singing in the churches
As we passed:

And laid at length our weary limbs in rapture
Between the clean sheets of a Christian bed.
Oh! there are things I think we shall remember
When we are dead!

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The Trail Of Ninety-Eight

Gold! We leapt from our benches. Gold! We sprang from our stools.
Gold! We wheeled in the furrow, fired with the faith of fools.
Fearless, unfound, unfitted, far from the night and the cold,
Heard we the clarion summons, followed the master-lure--Gold!

Men from the sands of the Sunland; men from the woods of the West;
Men from the farms and the cities, into the Northland we pressed.
Graybeards and striplings and women, good men and bad men and bold,
Leaving our homes and our loved ones, crying exultantly--"Gold!"

Never was seen such an army, pitiful, futile, unfit;
Never was seen such a spirit, manifold courage and grit.
Never has been such a cohort under one banner unrolled
As surged to the ragged-edged Arctic, urged by the arch-tempter--Gold.

"Farewell!" we cried to our dearests; little we cared for their tears.
"Farewell!" we cried to the humdrum and the yoke of the hireling years;
Just like a pack of school-boys, and the big crowd cheered us good-bye.
Never were hearts so uplifted, never were hopes so high.

The spectral shores flitted past us, and every whirl of the screw
Hurled us nearer to fortune, and ever we planned what we'd do--
Do with the gold when we got it--big, shiny nuggets like plums,
There in the sand of the river, gouging it out with our thumbs.

And one man wanted a castle, another a racing stud;
A third would cruise in a palace yacht like a red-necked prince of blood.
And so we dreamed and we vaunted, millionaires to a man,
Leaping to wealth in our visions long ere the trail began.


II

We landed in wind-swept Skagway. We joined the weltering mass,
Clamoring over their outfits, waiting to climb the Pass.
We tightened our girths and our pack-straps; we linked on the Human Chain,
Struggling up to the summit, where every step was a pain.

Gone was the joy of our faces, grim and haggard and pale;
The heedless mirth of the shipboard was changed to the care of the trail.
We flung ourselves in the struggle, packing our grub in relays,
Step by step to the summit in the bale of the winter days.

Floundering deep in the sump-holes, stumbling out again;
Crying with cold and weakness, crazy with fear and pain.
Then from the depths of our travail, ere our spirits were broke,
Grim, tenacious and savage, the lust of the trail awoke.

"Klondike or bust!" rang the slogan; every man for his own.
Oh, how we flogged the horses, staggering skin and bone!
Oh, how we cursed their weakness, anguish they could not tell,
Breaking their hearts in our passion, lashing them on till they fell!

For grub meant gold to our thinking, and all that could walk must pack;
The sheep for the shambles stumbled, each with a load on its back;
And even the swine were burdened, and grunted and squealed and rolled,
And men went mad in the moment, huskily clamoring "Gold!"

Oh, we were brutes and devils, goaded by lust and fear!
Our eyes were strained to the summit; the weaklings dropped to the rear,
Falling in heaps by the trail-side, heart-broken, limp and wan;
But the gaps closed up in an instant, and heedless the chain went on.

Never will I forget it, there on the mountain face,
Antlike, men with their burdens, clinging in icy space;
Dogged, determined and dauntless, cruel and callous and cold,
Cursing, blaspheming, reviling, and ever that battle-cry--"Gold!"

Thus toiled we, the army of fortune, in hunger and hope and despair,
Till glacier, mountain and forest vanished, and, radiantly fair,
There at our feet lay Lake Bennett, and down to its welcome we ran:
The trail of the land was over, the trail of the water began.


III

We built our boats and we launched them. Never has been such a fleet;
A packing-case for a bottom, a mackinaw for a sheet.
Shapeless, grotesque, lopsided, flimsy, makeshift and crude,
Each man after his fashion builded as best he could.

Each man worked like a demon, as prow to rudder we raced;
The winds of the Wild cried "Hurry!" the voice of the waters, "Haste!"
We hated those driving before us; we dreaded those pressing behind;
We cursed the slow current that bore us; we prayed to the God of the wind.

Spring! and the hillsides flourished, vivid in jewelled green;
Spring! and our hearts' blood nourished envy and hatred and spleen.
Little cared we for the Spring-birth; much cared we to get on--
Stake in the Great White Channel, stake ere the best be gone.

The greed of the gold possessed us; pity and love were forgot;
Covetous visions obsessed us; brother with brother fought.
Partner with partner wrangled, each one claiming his due;
Wrangled and halved their outfits, sawing their boats in two.

Thuswise we voyaged Lake Bennett, Tagish, then Windy Arm,
Sinister, savage and baleful, boding us hate and harm.
Many a scow was shattered there on that iron shore;
Many a heart was broken straining at sweep and oar.

We roused Lake Marsh with a chorus, we drifted many a mile;
There was the canyon before us--cave-like its dark defile;
The shores swept faster and faster; the river narrowed to wrath;
Waters that hissed disaster reared upright in our path.

Beneath us the green tumult churning, above us the cavernous gloom;
Around us, swift twisting and turning, the black, sullen walls of a tomb.
We spun like a chip in a mill-race; our hearts hammered under the test;
Then--oh, the relief on each chill face!--we soared into sunlight and rest.

Hand sought for hand on the instant. Cried we, "Our troubles are o'er!"
Then, like a rumble of thunder, heard we a canorous roar.
Leaping and boiling and seething, saw we a cauldron afume;
There was the rage of the rapids, there was the menace of doom.

The river springs like a racer, sweeps through a gash in the rock;
Buts at the boulder-ribbed bottom, staggers and rears at the shock;
Leaps like a terrified monster, writhes in its fury and pain;
Then with the crash of a demon springs to the onset again.

Dared we that ravening terror; heard we its din in our ears;
Called on the Gods of our fathers, juggled forlorn with our fears;
Sank to our waists in its fury, tossed to the sky like a fleece;
Then, when our dread was the greatest, crashed into safety and peace.

But what of the others that followed, losing their boats by the score?
Well could we see them and hear them, strung down that desolate shore.
What of the poor souls that perished? Little of them shall be said--
On to the Golden Valley, pause not to bury the dead.

Then there were days of drifting, breezes soft as a sigh;
Night trailed her robe of jewels over the floor of the sky.
The moonlit stream was a python, silver, sinuous, vast,
That writhed on a shroud of velvet--well, it was done at last.

There were the tents of Dawson, there the scar of the slide;
Swiftly we poled o'er the shallows, swiftly leapt o'er the side.
Fires fringed the mouth of Bonanza; sunset gilded the dome;
The test of the trail was over--thank God, thank God, we were Home!

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Charles Lindbergh

I have not heard a word of respect or compassion spoken of our enemy since I came here. It is not the willingness to kill on the part of our soldiers which most concerns me. That is an inherent part of war. It is our lack of respect for even the admirable characteristics of our enemy — for courage, for suffering, for death, for his willingness to die for his beliefs, for his companies and squadrons which go forth, one after another, to annihilation against our superior training and equipment. What is courage for us is fanaticism for him. We hold his examples of atrocity screamingly to the heavens while we cover up our own and condone them as just retribution for his acts.

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The Hero Is Dead

Many people the praises of warriors do sing
And they talk of war as if war is a good thing
There are tears in their eyes when the last post is played
And proudly they march in every war parade
Every day in war zones more people do die
And the war supposed to end all wars was based on a lie
And more wars are waged now than ever before
The lessons of history we tend to ignore
The coward from the battle turned and ran away
But the hero is dead and the coward lives today
They talk of the heroes in battles lost and won
But in war there's no winner when all is said and done
From the heat of the battle the coward ran away
But he is a very proud grand-dad today.

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The Hero And The Theif

I'll play the part of the hero,
You play the role of the thief.
With sword in hand
I take my stand.
I take my stand right here.

You played your part
And stole her heart
While the hero goes away.
But I'll return
To save the girl
When I come back some day.

I walk the longest road
Past castles and through time.
On my way home I'm coming
To save the world I left behind.
Years gone by as time fades away.
I'm longing for the day
That I return
Knowing that I've earned
To see her smiling face.

You've played your part
And stole her heart
While the hero was away.
Now I've returned
To save the girl
Banish you from today.

I've played my part as the hero
You've played your role as the thief.
I've saved the girl
And saved the world
The hero and the thief.

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The Poem Of Yesterday Reread Today

THE POEM OF YESTERDAY REREAD TODAY

The poem of yesterday reread today
No longer is a poem-

It is not enough to live in the moment-
What will remain is what we need to return to again and again-

This poem now
Will it be here tomorrow?

Or will no one
ever need
To reread it?

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The Poets Are Coming Out To Play Today

I came home this morning
after saying goodbye to a ghost.
I wrote a little poem about
and posted it. Then up popped Alison Cassidy
dreaming of summer.
In England, we are all doing that.
We have to walk in our wellies,
hoping not to get our feet wet.
Andy Wilkinson posted
another romantic ditty,
then he comes along,
and calls me sentimental
because I wanted to say goodbye to a ghost
where I used to work.
Yes, I think the poets
have come out to play today.

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The Hero Within

Limit yourself to the easy
and the difficult you'll never try.
Easys need live on the fringe of the world
grubbing for nickels and dimes,
Claiming that life has dealt a cruel blow;
crying: the fault is not mine.
Heros need training to do the grand deeds
that earn them a hero's acclaim
It's setting your eye on the hero inside,
knowing you're fair to the game.
Knowing you've got what it takes to be tough
no matter how rough life may be.
I'm a hero, I know it! When my actions show it
it's because I'm a hero to me.

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Success Of The Hero

Here in the West our boys have been taught
to adore the success of the hero.
You must rise above,
You must feel the love,
You must attain the best,
You must never rest
until there's nothing more.

And at the pinnacle of achievement
the hero must die.
He must lose his fame,
He must be fair game,
He must say farewell,
He must hear them tell
stories of who he was before.

At this point his life's over.
He is falling apart.
He must rise up and live,
He must learn how to give,
He must want to be whole.
He must conquer his soul
and know that a hero he's not.
He's a human. He just forgot.

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The Hero To You Not A Hero To Me

Suppose we all do look at things differently
The hero to you not a hero to me
Your hero renowned for his skills at football
Yet the hero to some not a hero to all
If on everything we did happen to agree
How utterly boring indeed we would be
Our different ways makes us more interesting as some like to say
No two look at life in exactly in the same way
You have your own hero and that suits me fine
But your sort of hero could never be mine
Of our different views on life I am all too aware
And so little in common we do have to share
We don't share common friends or we don't share common foes
Which makes us seem more interesting one would have to suppose.

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To the hero of toil

Another days labour for the man at the front
another days work of sweat and of grunt
of straining of muscle of tendon and joint
no praise for the hero of toil

Head down and end up as he reshapes the earth
for the rich and the mighty he'll give all he's worth
with the spade and the hammer he was handed at birth
no praise for the hero of toil

In the darkest of climates he'll give it his last
he wont mumble or groan, he's just one of his class
with the spit on his hands he'll get on with the task
no praise for the hero of toil

Where would we be if it weren't for him
our lives would be dull and our futures be dim
yet he still carries on while the rich sip their gin
no praise for the hero of toil.

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The Hero Entering The Beast's Lair

Standing outside the door,
the hero hears the sound of a monstrous creature taking massive breaths.
But he,
in white robes,
hesitates only to draw his sword.

Onward he marches.
The White Sword shining, almost glowing in his hand,
the breathing now nearly crushing the hero's heart and soul,
yet he continues.

Onward he marches.
The cold stone of the beast's lair slithering with water,
the door opening before him,
the thought of the beast that breathed those breathes plagues the hero's mind.
Still, he presses on.

Onward he marches.
The icy air penetrating his garments,
the door now closing behind him,
the creature,
a dragon,
now emerges from the fog.
Fiery Red eyes scorch everything they touch.
Yet, despite the horror before him,
the hero continues on.

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The Hero Did Rise!

Once in a time when struggles existed
trials were many, and evil persisted:
there came a great fight in the dark of the night
and in destiny's eyes
the hero did rise!

Surrounded with hope, and cloked with the Spirit
he stood in the darkness and, lo, did not fear it.
With demons beguiling, and Lucifer smiling:
against his demise
the hero did rise!

With loss in his heart, and blows to his soul;
the vicious assault was beyond his control.
Yet, strong did he stand, upheld by God's hand
and despite their vain tries
the hero did rise!

The king of all demons in undaunted measures,
lusted to seal him as unto his pleasures.
But, he was resisting, and also persisting
in fighting the lies as
the hero did rise!

Too strong for the devil, he overcame death
and yelled through the darkness with fiery breath:
'You can not defeat me! Nor hope to retreat me!
Your immanence dies! '
The hero did rise!

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The Hero and The Villain

When you see a Hero,
what do you think of the Hero?
'The Hero is Amazing'
'The Hero saves lives'
'The Hero is a bad person, not even human.'
'He stinks and I don't like the hero.'

People love the hero,
they love the hero cause he saves lives,
they love him cause he protects the city,

Some people don't like the hero cause they are
the ones who do crime.

Crimes like murder, kidnapping, stealing, sell drugs,
rob banks..... but the person who hates the hero the
most..... is the Villain.

The ones who hate the Villain the most is the people,
the hero never takes a life, the hero doesn't hate the Villain, the hero wants to help the Villain.

The Villain knows he needs help, but the Villain Doesn't want help, the Villain has been through an emotional life, the villains hates everyone...

Everyone knows a Superhero story goes, the Villain ends up Dead..

Everyone must know this..

Sometimes all the Villains were once heroes..

You die a hero, or you live long enough to see
yourself become the Villain....

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The Hero

Dont you like to see the hero take his licks like a man
Stand up and be tested and be true ?
Would you like to be a hero in your life ? well you can
Did you know its up to you ?
Would you trade your place with jesus on the cross if you could
Shining through eternity ?
Would it bother you to know that you can be just as good
As you really want to be ?
And if youre bound to do your duty then its time that you do
Look your future in the face
For the most important person in the world, which is you,
Or the whole damn human race
Chorus:
Theres a holy band of angels flying high through the night
Where no mortal ever trod
Singing holy, holy, holy, holy, oh, jesus christ
Is the lord almighty god
You see, the good thing is you dont have to be as good as jesus to
Start out with
All you gotta do ask yourself, how would gary cooper have done it
Or john kennedy
Or martin luther king
Or malcom x ?
Chorus:
Theres a holy band of angels flying high through the night
Where no mortal ever trod
Singing holy, holy, holy, holy, oh, jesus christ
Is the lord almighty god

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