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William Shakespeare

Lysander: Ay me! For aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth.
But either it was different in blood—

classic line from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act I, Scene 1, script by (1596)Report problemRelated quotes
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The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn

The wanton troopers riding by
Have shot my fawn, and it will die.
Ungentle men! They cannot thrive
To kill thee. Thou ne'er didst, alive,
Them any harm: alas nor could
Thy death yet do them any good.
I'm sure I never wished them ill,
Nor do I for all this; nor will:
But, if my simple pray'rs may yet
Prevail with Heaven to forget
Thy murder, I will join my tears
Rather than fail. But, O my fears!
It cannot die so. Heaven's King
Keeps register of every thing,
And nothing may we use in vain:
Ev'n beasts must be with justice slain,
Else men are made their deodands.
Though they should wash their guilty hands
In this warm life-blood, which doth part
From thine, and wound me to the heart,
Yet could they not be clean; their stain
Is dyed in such a purple grain.
There is not such another in
The world to offer for their sin.
Unconstant Sylvio, when yet
I had not found him counterfeit,
One morning (I remember well),
Tied in this silver chain and bell,
Gave it to me: nay and I know
What he said then -I'm sure I do.
Said he, "Look how your huntsman here
Hath taught a fawn to hunt his dear."
But Sylvio soon had me beguiled:
This waxed tame, while he grew wild,
And quite regardless of my smart,
Left me his fawn, but took his heart.
Thenceforth I set myself to play
My solitary time away,
With this: and very well content,
Could so mine idle life have spent.
For it was full of sport, and light
Of foot and heart; and did invite
Me to its game: it seemed to bless
Itself to me. How could I less
Than love it? O I cannot be
Unkind t' a beast that loveth me.
Had it lived long, I do not know
Whether it too might have done so
As Sylvio did: his gifts might be
Perhaps as false or more than he.
But I am sure, for aught that I
Could in so short a time espy,
Thy love was far more better then
The love of false and cruel men.
With sweetest milk and sugar first
I it at mine own fingers nursed.
And as it grew, so every day
It waxed more white and sweet than they.
It had so sweet a breath! And oft
I blushed to see its foot more soft
And white (shall I say?) than my hand -
Nay, any lady's of the land!
It is a wond'rous thing how fleet
'Twas on those little silver feet;
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race;
And when 't had left me far away,
'Twould stay, and run again, and stay.
For it was nimbler much than hinds;
And trod as if on the four winds.
I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness;
And all the spring-time of the year
It only loved to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie,
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes;
For in the flaxen lilies' shade,
It like a bank of lilies laid.
Upon the roses it would feed,
Until its lips ev'n seemed to bleed:
And then to me 'twould boldly trip,
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill,
And its pure virgin limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold.
Had it lived long, it would have been
Lilies without, roses within.
O help! O help! I see it faint
And die as calmly as a saint!
See how it weeps! The tears do come
Sad, slowly dropping like a gum.
So weeps the wounded balsam; so
The holy frankincense doth flow;
The brotherless Heliades
Melt in such amber tears as these.
I in a golden vial will
Keep these two crystal tears; and fill
It till it do o'erflow with mine,
Then place it in Diana's shrine.
Now my sweet fawn is vanished to
Whither the swans and turtles go:
In fair Elysium to endure,
With milk-white lambs and ermins pure.
O do not run too fast, for I
Will but bespeak thy grave, and die.
First, my unhappy statue shall
Be cut in marble; and withal
Let it be weeping too: but there
Th' engraver sure his art may spare;
For I so truly thee bemoan
That I shall weep though I be stone,
Until my tears, still dropping, wear
My breast, themselves engraving there.
There at my feet shalt thou be laid,
Of purest alabaster made;
For I would have thine image be
White as I can, though not as thee.

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Christina Georgina Rossetti

Under The Rose

'The iniquity of the fathers upon the children.'

Oh the rose of keenest thorn!
One hidden summer morn
Under the rose I was born.

I do not guess his name
Who wrought my Mother's shame,
And gave me life forlorn,
But my Mother, Mother, Mother,
I know her from all other.
My Mother pale and mild,
Fair as ever was seen,
She was but scarce sixteen,
Little more than a child,
When I was born
To work her scorn.
With secret bitter throes,
In a passion of secret woes,
She bore me under the rose.

One who my Mother nursed
Took me from the first:—
'O nurse, let me look upon
This babe that costs so dear;
To-morrow she will be gone:
Other mothers may keep
Their babes awake and asleep,
But I must not keep her here.'—
Whether I know or guess,
I know this not the less.

So I was sent away
That none might spy the truth:
And my childhood waxed to youth
And I left off childish play.
I never cared to play
With the village boys and girls;
And I think they thought me proud,
I found so little to say
And kept so from the crowd:
But I had the longest curls
And I had the largest eyes
And my teeth were small like pearls;
The girls might flout and scout me,
But the boys would hang about me
In sheepish mooning wise.

Our one-street village stood
A long mile from the town,
A mile of windy down
And bleak one-sided wood,
With not a single house.
Our town itself was small,
With just the common shops,
And throve in its small way.
Our neighbouring gentry reared
The good old-fashioned crops,
And made old-fashioned boasts
Of what John Bull would do
If Frenchman Frog appeared,
And drank old-fashioned toasts,
And made old-fashioned bows
To my Lady at the Hall.

My Lady at the Hall
Is grander than they all:
Hers is the oldest name
In all the neighbourhood;
But the race must die with her
Though she's a lofty dame,
For she's unmarried still.
Poor people say she's good
And has an open hand
As any in the land,
And she's the comforter
Of many sick and sad;
My nurse once said to me
That everything she had
Came of my Lady's bounty:
'Though she's greatest in the county
She's humble to the poor,
No beggar seeks her door
But finds help presently.
I pray both night and day
For her, and you must pray:
But she'll never feel distress
If needy folk can bless.'

I was a little maid
When here we came to live
From somewhere by the sea.
Men spoke a foreign tongue
There where we used to be
When I was merry and young,
Too young to feel afraid;
The fisher folk would give
A kind strange word to me,
There by the foreign sea:
I don't know where it was,
But I remember still
Our cottage on a hill,
And fields of flowering grass
On that fair foreign shore.

I liked my old home best,
But this was pleasant too:
So here we made our nest
And here I grew.
And now and then my Lady
In riding past our door
Would nod to Nurse and speak,
Or stoop and pat my cheek;
And I was always ready
To hold the field-gate wide
For my Lady to go through;
My Lady in her veil
So seldom put aside,
My Lady grave and pale.

I often sat to wonder
Who might my parents be,
For I knew of something under
My simple-seeming state.
Nurse never talked to me
Of mother or of father,
But watched me early and late
With kind suspicious cares:
Or not suspicious, rather
Anxious, as if she knew
Some secret I might gather
And smart for unawares.
Thus I grew.

But Nurse waxed old and grey,
Bent and weak with years.
There came a certain day
That she lay upon her bed
Shaking her palsied head,
With words she gasped to say
Which had to stay unsaid.
Then with a jerking hand
Held out so piteously
She gave a ring to me
Of gold wrought curiously,
A ring which she had worn
Since the day I was born,
She once had said to me:
I slipped it on my finger;
Her eyes were keen to linger
On my hand that slipped it on;
Then she sighed one rattling sigh
And stared on with sightless eye:—
The one who loved me was gone.

How long I stayed alone
With the corpse I never knew,
For I fainted dead as stone:
When I came to life once more
I was down upon the floor,
With neighbours making ado
To bring me back to life.
I heard the sexton's wife
Say: 'Up, my lad, and run
To tell it at the Hall;
She was my Lady's nurse,
And done can't be undone.
I'll watch by this poor lamb.
I guess my Lady's purse
Is always open to such:
I'd run up on my crutch
A cripple as I am,'
(For cramps had vexed her much)
'Rather than this dear heart
Lack one to take her part.'

For days day after day
On my weary bed I lay
Wishing the time would pass;
Oh, so wishing that I was
Likely to pass away:
For the one friend whom I knew
Was dead, I knew no other,
Neither father nor mother;
And I, what should I do?

One day the sexton's wife
Said: 'Rouse yourself, my dear:
My Lady has driven down
From the Hall into the town,
And we think she's coming here.
Cheer up, for life is life.'

But I would not look or speak,
Would not cheer up at all.
My tears were like to fall,
So I turned round to the wall
And hid my hollow cheek
Making as if I slept,
As silent as a stone,
And no one knew I wept.
What was my Lady to me,
The grand lady from the Hall?
She might come, or stay away,
I was sick at heart that day:
The whole world seemed to be
Nothing, just nothing to me,
For aught that I could see.

Yet I listened where I lay:
A bustle came below,
A clear voice said: 'I know;
I will see her first alone,
It may be less of a shock
If she's so weak to-day:'—
A light hand turned the lock,
A light step crossed the floor,
One sat beside my bed:
But never a word she said.

For me, my shyness grew
Each moment more and more:
So I said never a word
And neither looked nor stirred;
I think she must have heard
My heart go pit-a-pat:
Thus I lay, my Lady sat,
More than a mortal hour—
(I counted one and two
By the house-clock while I lay):
I seemed to have no power
To think of a thing to say,
Or do what I ought to do,
Or rouse myself to a choice.

At last she said: 'Margaret,
Won't you even look at me?'
A something in her voice
Forced my tears to fall at last,
Forced sobs from me thick and fast;
Something not of the past,
Yet stirring memory;
A something new, and yet
Not new, too sweet to last,
Which I never can forget.

I turned and stared at her:
Her cheek showed hollow-pale;
Her hair like mine was fair,
A wonderful fall of hair
That screened her like a veil;
But her height was statelier,
Her eyes had depth more deep;
I think they must have had
Always a something sad,
Unless they were asleep.

While I stared, my Lady took
My hand in her spare hand
Jewelled and soft and grand,
And looked with a long long look
Of hunger in my face;
As if she tried to trace
Features she ought to know,
And half hoped, half feared, to find.
Whatever was in her mind
She heaved a sigh at last,
And began to talk to me.

'Your nurse was my dear nurse,
And her nursling's dear,' said she:
'I never knew that she was worse
Till her poor life was past'
(Here my Lady's tears dropped fast):
'I might have been with her,
But she had no comforter.
She might have told me much
Which now I shall never know,
Never never shall know.'
She sat by me sobbing so,
And seemed so woe-begone,
That I laid one hand upon
Hers with a timid touch,
Scarce thinking what I did,
Not knowing what to say:
That moment her face was hid
In the pillow close by mine,
Her arm was flung over me,
She hugged me, sobbing so
As if her heart would break,
And kissed me where I lay.

After this she often came
To bring me fruit or wine,
Or sometimes hothouse flowers.
And at nights I lay awake
Often and often thinking
What to do for her sake.
Wet or dry it was the same:
She would come in at all hours,
Set me eating and drinking
And say I must grow strong;
At last the day seemed long
And home seemed scarcely home
If she did not come.

Well, I grew strong again:
In time of primroses,
I went to pluck them in the lane;
In time of nestling birds,
I heard them chirping round the house;
And all the herds
Were out at grass when I grew strong,
And days were waxen long,
And there was work for bees
Among the May-bush boughs,
And I had shot up tall,
And life felt after all
Pleasant, and not so long
When I grew strong.

I was going to the Hall
To be my Lady's maid:
'Her little friend,' she said to me,
'Almost her child,'
She said and smiled
Sighing painfully;
Blushing, with a second flush
As if she blushed to blush.

Friend, servant, child: just this
My standing at the Hall;
The other servants call me 'Miss,'
My Lady calls me 'Margaret,'
With her clear voice musical.
She never chides when I forget
This or that; she never chides.
Except when people come to stay,
(And that's not often) at the Hall,
I sit with her all day
And ride out when she rides.
She sings to me and makes me sing;
Sometimes I read to her,
Sometimes we merely sit and talk.
She noticed once my ring
And made me tell its history:
That evening in our garden walk
She said she should infer
The ring had been my father's first,
Then my mother's, given for me
To the nurse who nursed
My mother in her misery,
That so quite certainly
Some one might know me, who…
Then she was silent, and I too.

I hate when people come:
The women speak and stare
And mean to be so civil.
This one will stroke my hair,
That one will pat my cheek
And praise my Lady's kindness,
Expecting me to speak;
I like the proud ones best
Who sit as struck with blindness,
As if I wasn't there.
But if any gentleman
Is staying at the Hall
(Though few come prying here),
My Lady seems to fear
Some downright dreadful evil,
And makes me keep my room
As closely as she can:
So I hate when people come,
It is so troublesome.
In spite of all her care,
Sometimes to keep alive
I sometimes do contrive
To get out in the grounds
For a whiff of wholesome air,
Under the rose you know:
It's charming to break bounds,
Stolen waters are sweet,
And what's the good of feet
If for days they mustn't go?
Give me a longer tether,
Or I may break from it.

Now I have eyes and ears
And just some little wit:
'Almost my Lady's child;'
I recollect she smiled,
Sighed and blushed together;
Then her story of the ring
Sounds not improbable,
She told it me so well
It seemed the actual thing:—
Oh, keep your counsel close,
But I guess under the rose,
In long past summer weather
When the world was blossoming,
And the rose upon its thorn:
I guess not who he was
Flawed honour like a glass,
And made my life forlorn,
But my Mother, Mother, Mother,
Oh, I know her from all other.

My Lady, you might trust
Your daughter with your fame.
Trust me, I would not shame
Our honourable name,
For I have noble blood
Though I was bred in dust
And brought up in the mud.
I will not press my claim,
Just leave me where you will:
But you might trust your daughter,
For blood is thicker than water
And you're my mother still.

So my Lady holds her own
With condescending grace,
and fills her lofty place
With an untroubled face
As a queen may fill a throne.
While I could hint a tale
(But then I am her child)—
Would make her quail;
Would set her in the dust,
Lorn with no comforter,
Her glorious hair defiled
And ashes on her cheek:
The decent world would thrust
Its finger out at her,
Not much displeased I think
To make a nine days' stir;
The decent world would sink
Its voice to speak of her.

Now this is what I mean
To do, no more, no less:
Never to speak, or show
Bare sign of what I know.
Let the blot pass unseen;
Yea, let her never guess
I hold the tangled clue
She huddles out of view.
Friend, servant, almost child,
So be it and nothing more
On this side of the grave.
Mother, in Paradise,
You'll see with clearer eyes;
Perhaps in this world even
When you are like to die
And face to face with Heaven
You'll drop for once the lie:
But you must drop the mask, not I.

My Lady promises
Two hundred pounds with me
Whenever I may wed
A man she can approve:
And since besides her bounty
I'm fairest in the county
(For so I've heard it said,
Though I don't vouch for this),
Her promised pounds may move
Some honest man to see
My virtues and my beauties;
Perhaps the rising grazier,
Or temperance publican,
May claim my wifely duties.
Meanwhile I wait their leisure
And grace-bestowing pleasure,
I wait the happy man;
But if I hold my head
And pitch my expectations
Just higher than their level,
They must fall back on patience:
I may not mean to wed,
Yet I'll be civil.

Now sometimes in a dream
My heart goes out of me
To build and scheme,
Till I sob after things that seem
So pleasant in a dream:
A home such as I see
My blessed neighbours live in
With father and with mother,
All proud of one another,
Named by one common name
From baby in the bud
To full-blown workman father;
It's little short of Heaven.
I'd give my gentle blood
To wash my special shame
And drown my private grudge;
I'd toil and moil much rather
The dingiest cottage drudge
Whose mother need not blush,
Than live here like a lady
And see my Mother flush
And hear her voice unsteady
Sometimes, yet never dare
Ask to share her care.

Of course the servants sneer
Behind my back at me;
Of course the village girls,
Who envy me my curls
And gowns and idleness,
Take comfort in a jeer;
Of course the ladies guess
Just so much of my history
As points the emphatic stress
With which they laud my Lady;
The gentlemen who catch
A casual glimpse of me
And turn again to see,
Their valets on the watch
To speak a word with me,
All know and sting me wild;
Till I am almost ready
To wish that I were dead,
No faces more to see,
No more words to be said,
My Mother safe at last
Disburdened of her child,
And the past past.

'All equal before God'—
Our Rector has it so,
And sundry sleepers nod:
It may be so; I know
All are not equal here,
And when the sleepers wake
They make a difference.
'All equal in the grave'—
That shows an obvious sense:
Yet something which I crave
Not death itself brings near;
Now should death half atone
For all my past; or make
The name I bear my own?

I love my dear old Nurse
Who loved me without gains;
I love my mistress even,
Friend, Mother, what you will:
But I could almost curse
My Father for his pains;
And sometimes at my prayer
Kneeling in sight of Heaven
I almost curse him still:
Why did he set his snare
To catch at unaware
My Mother's foolish youth;
Load me with shame that's hers,
And her with something worse,
A lifelong lie for truth?

I think my mind is fixed
On one point and made up:
To accept my lot unmixed;
Never to drug the cup
But drink it by myself.
I'll not be wooed for pelf;
I'll not blot out my shame
With any man's good name;
But nameless as I stand,
My hand is my own hand,
And nameless as I came
I go to the dark land.

'All equal in the grave'—
I bide my time till then:
'All equal before God'—
To-day I feel His rod,
To-morrow He may save:
Amen.

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Upon Time

Time was upon
The wing, to fly away;
And I call'd on
Him but awhile to stay;
But he'd be gone,
For aught that I could say.

He held out then
A writing, as he went,
And ask'd me, when
False man would be content
To pay again
What God and Nature lent.

An hour-glass,
In which were sands but few,
As he did pass,
He shew'd,--and told me too
Mine end near was;--
And so away he flew.

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Rudyard Kipling

The Post That Fitted

Though tangled and twisted the course of true love
This ditty explains,
No tangle's so tangled it cannot improve
If the Lover has brains.


Ere the seamer bore him Eastward, Sleary was engaged to marry
An attractive girl at Tunbridge, whom he called "my little Carrie."
Sleary's pay was very modest; Sleary was the other way.
Who can cook a two-plate dinner on eight poor rupees a day?

Long he pondered o'er the question in his scantly furnished quarters --
Then proposed to Minnie Boffkin, eldest of Judge Boffkin's daughters.
Certainly an impecunious Subaltern was not a catch,
But the Boffkins knew that Minnie mightn't make another match.

So they recognised the business and, to feed and clothe the bride,
Got him made a Something Something somewhere on the Bombay side.
Anyhow, the billet carried pay enough for him to marry --
As the artless Sleary put it: -- "Just the thing for me and Carrie."

Did he, therefore, jilt Miss Boffkin -- impulse of a baser mind?
No! He started epileptic fits of an appalling kind.
[Of his modus operandi only this much I could gather: --
"Pears's shaving sticks will give you little taste and lots of lather."]

Frequently in public places his affliction used to smite
Sleary with distressing vigour -- always in the Boffkins' sight.
Ere a week was over Minnie weepingly returned his ring,
Told him his "unhappy weakness" stopped all thought of marrying.

Sleary bore the information with a chastened holy joy, --
Epileptic fits don't matter in Political employ, --
Wired three short words to Carrie -- took his ticket, packed his kit --
Bade farewell to Minnie Boffkin in one last, long, lingering fit.

Four weeks later, Carrie Sleary read -- and laughed until she wept --
Mrs. Boffkin's warning letter on the "wretched epilept." . . .
Year by year, in pious patience, vengeful Mrs. Boffkin sits
Waiting for the Sleary babies to develop Sleary's fits.

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The Fair of Beauty

I must confess! An angel must hide placidly undermine eyelids, for when I close them I see a word magnanimously delightful, and when I open them I see a pageant as sweet as a garden of sugar. I see the land of Lucien.

With languorous sunsets, charming lakes and emerald grass the land of Lucien is a place of beauty. It is a kingdom where romance lavishes the land. In the heart of Lucien, a small castle stands, ornamented with stained glass, beautiful balustrades and gothic arches. The gray stone which holds it together is forged by the hands of many peasants, but its form was conceived by the mind of one talented artisan. This gives the building a real integrity and a strange personality peculiar to one man. To that man no one knew or knows, no myth even could or can shed light into its mystery. "Mysteries shall be left mysterious, for shall they be discovered they lose their charm, " Madame Rupert once said with the eloquence of an aristocrat.

In this story there is no place for mystery, for beauty is forever revealing itself to us, but here is short history of Lucien. In order to understand this story I must give an account of the castle. The castle is called the house of Rupert, for the Rupert's have reigned over the land of Lucien for many a century. The family is everything royal except their horrible habit of being unconventional. They never marry within royal line, for they suffer from the malady of beauty and love and the lads of the family hold beauty contests to chose the wife they think the most beautiful. Dowries mean nil compared to a charming countenance in this world. They worship love, as other's worship the mammoth, however, they worship love with as much avidity as others worship the latter, that it would be quite pernicious to their name in a practical world, therefore, I thank Venus for making my land of Lucien quite unpractical, for here the Rupert's mania for beauty doesn't seem to affect their status, or their sanity, and more importantly their virtue.

Beauty! Beauty is the way of life here. The Rupert's excessive love of beauty transcends the emotion of admiration and even slips importunately into the realm of Justice. To the Rupert's, justice must follow the law of beauty, hence the inscription engraved in marble adorning the head of the entrance way which reads Beauty is Thine Nature, Justice Must Protect Thine Nature, and Good Shall Prosper Here, For Justice is Not Just Shall It Produce Bad Results.

The Story begins.

On this day, the 11th of August, the patriarch, the king, the majestic lord, King Eric de Rupert, dressed in raiment ebony, laced with gold ruffles, calls into session the Fair of Beauty. The king's brown Moorish eyes overlook the crowd and its meticulous beauty. The praetorian guards stand erect and proud; magenta rubies are sewn into the turbans resting upon their heads; their scarlet cloaks are stained with the blood of dead youth and underneath their pleasant attire lay a well of gold, for their skin appears to be laced with gold.

Dear reader, music always seems to sing from the heart. For musicians play lovely tunes with their skillfully wrought instruments. The ceremony is conducted in a way to infuse a merry emollient on all the hearts of all the spectators'. The scenery is potent in beautiful colors, an elegant display of fashion rests listlessly on all who attend, and an uncanny feast is prepared and served in lovely style, that one didn't notice, if what one is eating, is good or not. That is the charm of beauty here, it has no taste, like water, it is a necessity to live.
A squire whispers to his wanton mistress, "The King appears to be alone, for where is his noble wife and her amorous spirit? "
"The King looks so handsome this evening maybe he'll notice my azure mascara, " said Lyla to her girlfriend Plenie.
"The King sees nothing but beauty, that is what makes him so irresistible, " replied Plenie.
'For twenty years he has ruled with compassion and benevolence, and twenty years more shall he be loved with compassion and benevolence, " said Lorenzo the accountant.

(The King rises from a throne made of Persian Wood)

The King: "Tis my favorite time of all my life. The Fair of Beauty is born again. My apologies, my fellow citizens, for my wife's heart is empty of jealously; for it flows through her purple veins. I am sorry for time has wrinkled her very forehead and shriveled her very hands. She will not attend this lovely noble ceremony because she is conceived herself not beautiful enough. I, myself, could not convince her, that she herself, is still beautiful in body and soul. For she is a woman and gentleman we know how women can be. I give thee my humble apologies for her absence. My people, dear citizens of Lucien, thou shall receive a barrel of honey for such a grievous loss. For I know how thee cherish her beauty as a school of fish cherish the sea. Therefore let us partake of the glorious ceremony. Shall it begin! "

Here is the Ode of Beauty that my ancestors have passed to me by way of memory and mouth.

Sympathy is in thy sigh,
Kindness blessed thy hand
Beauty is in thy eye
Love looks on thy land
Live and be Free
And thou will See
What is Noble
In You and Me.

King: "Beauty shall triumph! As you know, my son Menillo Rupert, has been courting five exquisite women for the last year. Tonight he shall chose the love of his life, and forever live in happiness, because love is the panacea to all our sorrows. For to have love means to never die, to know nothing of vulgarity, to dwell lazily under the eyes of another, and to never know of loneliness. For your beloved knows thee without inquiry and loves thee without scruples."

(Menillo enters escorted by five guardsmen of refined physical features and envious beauty.)

King: "For my son to see true beauty and know real truth his eyes shall be covered by the cloth of Tangerine."

(A Guard places a vermillion blindfold over the eyes of Menillo)

King: Call on the beauties of earth so they can test their heart to the heart of mine son.

(Enter the Five Beauties of Earth)

King: "Shatalana, the first beauty, who comes from the Ivory Coast, whose skin smells of coconuts, whose vigorous eyes stir my lands imagination. How lovely are thee."

King: "Carmelita, the second beauty, who comes from South America, the Incan sun light rests inside thine skin, and your thick strands of hair flow like a gentle spring wind. How lovely are thee."

King: "Unchi, the third beauty, who comes from the Korean peninsula, your skin is a like a doll's skin, and your heart burns with the intensity of a hot spring which colors thy cheek. How lovely are thee."

King: "Lorelei, the fourth beauty, who comes from the Scandinavian peninsula, your Nordic beauty is as fair as the cloud, and your eyes are blue like oceanic pearls. How lovely are thee."

King: "Azianna, the fifth beauty, who comes from the land of Arabia, thine eyes burn my heart and thy body chills my soul. How lovely are thee."

King: "Lovers of Lucien, as you know, true love hides in the shadow of one's voice, each lady will whisper to my son, so he can hear with his very ear, the voice of true love."

Shatalana: I love you Menillo and your grape colored eyes.

Carmelita: I love you so, so much Menillo. I wish to grow old with you.

Unchi: I love you Menillo, you are the mystery of my mind, and you trotted my brain for many years now. I realized love when I realized you.

Lorelei: I see you clearly Menillo and all your love, promise me, that you will see me clearly too; for I love you!

Azianna: I love you with all my joy and all my pain, if you pick me I will share my virginity.

King: Now that beauty has spoken, let love touch. When love touches one, one knows that it is love.

Shatalana touches Menillo's hand and deftly kisses his cheek. He takes a deep breath and smiles. Carmelita touches his heart and deftly kisses his lips. He sighs. Unchi touches his collar bone and deftly kisses his forehead. He squints and smiles. Lorelei touches his lips and deftly kisses his blindfolded eyes. He shivers. Azianna touches his thigh, kneels and deftly kisses his feet. His chest and chin rise.

King: Now that beauty has touched, let love smell. When one smells love, one knows it is love.

With dignity the beauties approach Menillo. Menillo smells the neck of Shatalana. "Charming" he says. Menillo smells the hair of Carmelita. He blushes. Menillo smells the brow of Unchi. He ponders. Menillo smells the chest of Lorelei. His heart smolders. Menillo smells the brow of Azianna. Sensation jingles down his spine.

King: Now that beauty has been smelled, let love taste. When one tastes love, one knows that it is love.

Menillo licks the lips of Shatalana. He grins. Menillo licks the fingers of Carmelita. He smiles. Menillo licks the hand of Unchi. He savors the taste. Menillo licks the cheek of Lorelei. He licks it again. She giggles. Menillo licks the chest of Azainna. He is satiated.

King: Now that beauty has been tasted, let love see. When one sees love, one knows that it is love.

The guards remove Menillo's blind fold. He peers past the five beauties of the world. In an anxious demeanor he walks into the crowd. The people make way for him as if he is an Admiral. In a corner of the ballroom, he sees a girl dressed in gray linen, with her hands in her face, sobbing softly. He cries out, "Heatherly! Heatherly! It is you that I love." In solemn tone and melancholic wonder, Menillo continued. "The whole ceremony my mind was lost in the labyrinth of your beauty. I heard your flaccid tears echo in mine ears, I felt the serenity of your eyes stab mine heart, I tasted jealousy in your skin, I smelled loved in your being." He grasps her in his arms. He sees himself in the tears pouring from her eyes. He feels he is the cause of all her misery. Tears of myrrh flow from the bank of his heart and he continues. "You are modest in beauty, but rich in pain. I will love you forever and never harm thee again. I have offended you and the fair of beauty. For you are the fairest of all. You are my soul mate." He deftly kisses her lips and her tears dry away. Menillo loved a lady who was modest in beauty but rich in love.

King: Tis the end of the Fair of Beauty. My son has found his true love. Forever shall this kingdom be happy, for love reigns higher then the son, and love lasts longer then all glory. Go citizens of Lucien, love and be free, for love and freedom, will shine light to what is noble in thee!


The End

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Vaudracour And Julia

O HAPPY time of youthful lovers (thus
My story may begin) O balmy time,
In which a love-knot on a lady's brow
Is fairer than the fairest star in heaven!
To such inheritance of blessed fancy
(Fancy that sports more desperately with minds
Than ever fortune hath been known to do)
The high-born Vaudracour was brought, by years
Whose progress had a little overstepped
His stripling prime. A town of small repute,
Among the vine-clad mountains of Auvergne,
Was the Youth's birth-place. There he wooed a Maid
Who heard the heart-felt music of his suit
With answering vows. Plebeian was the stock,
Plebeian, though ingenuous, the stock,
From which her graces and her honours sprung:
And hence the father of the enamoured Youth,
With haughty indignation, spurned the thought
Of such alliance.--From their cradles up,
With but a step between their several homes,
Twins had they been in pleasure; after strife
And petty quarrels, had grown fond again;
Each other's advocate, each other's stay;
And, in their happiest moments, not content,
If more divided than a sportive pair
Of sea-fowl, conscious both that they are hovering
Within the eddy of a common blast,
Or hidden only by the concave depth
Of neighbouring billows from each other's sight.
Thus, not without concurrence of an age
Unknown to memory, was an earnest given
By ready nature for a life of love,
For endless constancy, and placid truth;
But whatsoe'er of such rare treasure lay
Reserved, had fate permitted, for support
Of their maturer years, his present mind
Was under fascination;--he beheld
A vision, and adored the thing he saw.
Arabian fiction never filled the world
With half the wonders that were wrought for him.
Earth breathed in one great presence of the spring;
Life turned the meanest of her implements,
Before his eyes, to price above all gold;
The house she dwelt in was a sainted shrine;
Her chamber-window did surpass in glory
The portals of the dawn; all paradise
Could, by the simple opening of a door,
Let itself in upon him:--pathways, walks,
Swarmed with enchantment, till his spirit sank,
Surcharged, within him, overblest to move
Beneath a sun that wakes a weary world
To its dull round of ordinary cares;
A man too happy for mortality!
So passed the time, till whether through effect
Of some unguarded moment that dissolved
Virtuous restraint--ah, speak it, think it, not!
Deem rather that the fervent Youth, who saw
So many bars between his present state
And the dear haven where he wished to be
In honourable wedlock with his Love,
Was in his judgment tempted to decline
To perilous weakness, and entrust his cause
To nature for a happy end of all;
Deem that by such fond hope the Youth was swayed,
And bear with their transgression, when I add
That Julia, wanting yet the name of wife,
Carried about her for a secret grief
The promise of a mother.
To conceal
The threatened shame, the parents of the Maid
Found means to hurry her away by night,
And unforewarned, that in some distant spot
She might remain shrouded in privacy,
Until the babe was born. When morning came
The Lover, thus bereft, stung with his loss,
And all uncertain whither he should turn,
Chafed like a wild beast in the toils; but soon
Discovering traces of the fugitives,
Their steps he followed to the Maid's retreat.
Easily may the sequel be divined--
Walks to and fro--watchings at every hour;
And the fair Captive, who, whene'er she may,
Is busy at her casement as the swallow
Fluttering its pinions, almost within reach,
About the pendent nest, did thus espy
Her Lover!--thence a stolen interview,
Accomplished under friendly shade of night.
I pass the raptures of the pair;--such theme
Is, by innumerable poets, touched
In more delightful verse than skill of mine
Could fashion; chiefly by that darling bard
Who told of Juliet and her Romeo,
And of the lark's note heard before its time,
And of the streaks that laced the severing clouds
In the unrelenting east.--Through all her courts
The vacant city slept; the busy winds,
That keep no certain intervals of rest,
Moved not; meanwhile the galaxy displayed
Her fires, that like mysterious pulses beat
Aloft;--momentous but uneasy bliss!
To their full hearts the universe seemed hung
On that brief meeting's slender filament!
They parted; and the generous Vaudracour
Reached speedily the native threshold, bent
On making (so the Lovers had agreed)
A sacrifice of birthright to attain
A final portion from his father's hand;
Which granted, Bride and Bridegroom then would flee
To some remote and solitary place,
Shady as night, and beautiful as heaven,
Where they may live, with no one to behold
Their happiness, or to disturb their love.
But 'now' of this no whisper; not the less,
If ever an obtrusive word were dropped
Touching the matter of his passion, still,
In his stern father's hearing, Vaudracour
Persisted openly that death alone
Should abrogate his human privilege
Divine, of swearing everlasting truth,
Upon the altar, to the Maid he loved.
'You shall be baffled in your mad intent
If there be justice in the court of France,'
Muttered the Father.--From these words the Youth
Conceived a terror; and, by night or day,
Stirred nowhere without weapons, that full soon
Found dreadful provocation: for at night
When to his chamber he retired, attempt
Was made to seize him by three armed men,
Acting, in furtherance of the father's will,
Under a private signet of the State.
One the rash Youth's ungovernable hand
Slew, and as quickly to a second gave
A perilous wound--he shuddered to behold
The breathless corse; then peacefully resigned
His person to the law, was lodged in prison,
And wore the fetters of a criminal.
Have you observed a tuft of winged seed
That, from the dandelion's naked stalk,
Mounted aloft, is suffered not to use
Its natural gifts for purposes of rest,
Driven by the autumnal whirlwind to and fro
Through the wide element? or have you marked
The heavier substance of a leaf-clad bough,
Within the vortex of a foaming flood,
Tormented? by such aid you may conceive
The perturbation that ensued;--ah, no!
Desperate the Maid--the Youth is stained with blood;
Unmatchable on earth is their disquiet!
Yet as the troubled seed and tortured bough
Is Man, subjected to despotic sway.
For him, by private influence with the Court,
Was pardon gained, and liberty procured;
But not without exaction of a pledge,
Which liberty and love dispersed in air.
He flew to her from whom they would divide him--
He clove to her who could not give him peace--
Yea, his first word of greeting was,--'All right
Is gone from me; my lately-towering hopes,
To the least fibre of their lowest root,
Are withered; thou no longer canst be mine,
I thine--the conscience-stricken must not woo
The unruffled Innocent,--I see thy face,
Behold thee, and my misery is complete!'
'One, are we not?' exclaimed the Maiden--'One,
For innocence and youth, for weal and woe?'
Then with the father's name she coupled words
Of vehement indignation; but the Youth
Checked her with filial meekness; for no thought
Uncharitable crossed his mind, no sense
Of hasty anger rising in the eclipse
Of true domestic loyalty, did e'er
Find place within his bosom.--Once again
The persevering wedge of tyranny
Achieved their separation: and once more
Were they united,--to be yet again
Disparted, pitiable lot! But here
A portion of the tale may well be left
In silence, though my memory could add
Much how the Youth, in scanty space of time,
Was traversed from without; much, too, of thoughts
That occupied his days in solitude
Under privation and restraint; and what,
Through dark and shapeless fear of things to come,
And what, through strong compunction for the past,
He suffered--breaking down in heart and mind!
Doomed to a third and last captivity,
His freedom he recovered on the eve
Of Julia's travail. When the babe was born,
Its presence tempted him to cherish schemes
Of future happiness. 'You shall return,
Julia,' said he, 'and to your father's house
Go with the child.--You have been wretched; yet
The silver shower, whose reckless burthen weighs
Too heavily upon the lily's head,
Oft leaves a saving moisture at its root.
Malice, beholding you, will melt away.
Go!--'tis a town where both of us were born;
None will reproach you, for our truth is known;
And if, amid those once-bright bowers, our fate
Remain unpitied, pity is not in man.
With ornaments--the prettiest, nature yields
Or art can fashion, shall you deck our boy,
And feed his countenance with your own sweet looks
Till no one can resist him.--Now, even now,
I see him sporting on the sunny lawn;
My father from the window sees him too;
Startled, as if some new-created thing
Enriched the earth, or Faery of the woods
Bounded before him;--but the unweeting Child
Shall by his beauty win his grandsire's heart
So that it shall be softened, and our loves
End happily, as they began!'
These gleams
Appeared but seldom; oftener was he seen
Propping a pale and melancholy face
Upon the Mother's bosom; resting thus
His head upon one breast, while from the other
The Babe was drawing in its quiet food.
--That pillow is no longer to be thine,
Fond Youth! that mournful solace now must pass
Into the list of things that cannot be!
Unwedded Julia, terror-smitten, hears
The sentence, by her mother's lip pronounced,
That dooms her to a convent.--Who shall tell,
Who dares report, the tidings to the lord
Of her affections? so they blindly asked
Who knew not to what quiet depths a weight
Of agony had pressed the Sufferer down:
The word, by others dreaded, he can hear
Composed and silent, without visible sign
Of even the least emotion. Noting this,
When the impatient object of his love
Upbraided him with slackness, he returned
No answer, only took the mother's hand
And kissed it; seemingly devoid of pain,
Or care, that what so tenderly he pressed,
Was a dependant on the obdurate heart
Of one who came to disunite their lives
For ever--sad alternative! preferred,
By the unbending Parents of the Maid,
To secret 'spousals meanly disavowed.
--So be it!
In the city he remained
A season after Julia had withdrawn
To those religious walls. He, too, departs--
Who with him?--even the senseless Little-one.
With that sole charge he passed the city-gates,
For the last time, attendant by the side
Of a close chair, a litter, or sedan,
In which the Babe was carried. To a hill,
That rose a brief league distant from the town,
The dwellers in that house where he had lodged
Accompanied his steps, by anxious love
Impelled;--they parted from him there, and stood
Watching below till he had disappeared
On the hill top. His eyes he scarcely took,
Throughout that journey, from the vehicle
(Slow-moving ark of all his hopes!) that veiled
The tender infant: and, at every inn,
And under every hospitable tree
At which the bearers halted or reposed,
Laid him with timid care upon his knees,
And looked, as mothers ne'er were known to look,
Upon the nursling which his arms embraced.
This was the manner in which Vaudracour
Departed with his infant; and thus reached
His father's house, where to the innocent child
Admittance was denied. The young man spake
No word of indignation or reproof,
But of his father begged, a last request,
That a retreat might be assigned to him
Where in forgotten quiet he might dwell,
With such allowance as his wants required;
For wishes he had none. To a lodge that stood
Deep in a forest, with leave given, at the age
Of four-and-twenty summers he withdrew;
And thither took with him his motherless Babe,
And one domestic for their common needs,
An aged woman. It consoled him here
To attend upon the orphan, and perform
Obsequious service to the precious child,
Which, after a short time, by some mistake
Or indiscretion of the Father, died.--
The Tale I follow to its last recess
Of suffering or of peace, I know not which:
Theirs be the blame who caused the woe, not mine!
From this time forth he never shared a smile
With mortal creature. An Inhabitant
Of that same town, in which the pair had left
So lively a remembrance of their griefs,
By chance of business, coming within reach
Of his retirement, to the forest lodge
Repaired, but only found the matron there,
Who told him that his pains were thrown away,
For that her Master never uttered word
To living thing--not even to her.--Behold!
While they were speaking, Vaudracour approached;
But, seeing some one near, as on the latch
Of the garden-gate his hand was laid, he shrunk--
And, like a shadow, glided out of view.
Shocked at his savage aspect, from the place
The visitor retired.
Thus lived the Youth
Cut off from all intelligence with man,
And shunning even the light of common day;
Nor could the voice of Freedom, which through France
Full speedily resounded, public hope,
Or personal memory of his own deep wrongs,
Rouse him: but in those solitary shades
His days he wasted, an imbecile mind!

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Samuel Butler

Hudibras: Part 2 - Canto I

THE ARGUMENT

The Knight by damnable Magician,
Being cast illegally in prison,
Love brings his Action on the Case.
And lays it upon Hudibras.
How he receives the Lady's Visit,
And cunningly solicits his Suite,
Which she defers; yet on Parole
Redeems him from th' inchanted Hole.

But now, t'observe a romantic method,
Let bloody steel a while be sheathed,
And all those harsh and rugged sounds
Of bastinadoes, cuts, and wounds,
Exchang'd to Love's more gentle stile,
To let our reader breathe a while;
In which, that we may be as brief as
Is possible, by way of preface,
Is't not enough to make one strange,
That some men's fancies should ne'er change,
But make all people do and say
The same things still the self-same way
Some writers make all ladies purloin'd,
And knights pursuing like a whirlwind
Others make all their knights, in fits
Of jealousy, to lose their wits;
Till drawing blood o'th' dames, like witches,
Th' are forthwith cur'd of their capriches.
Some always thrive in their amours
By pulling plaisters off their sores;
As cripples do to get an alms,
Just so do they, and win their dames.
Some force whole regions, in despight
O' geography, to change their site;
Make former times shake hands with latter,
And that which was before, come after.
But those that write in rhime, still make
The one verse for the other's sake;
For, one for sense, and one for rhime,
I think's sufficient at one time.

But we forget in what sad plight
We whilom left the captiv'd Knight
And pensive Squire, both bruis'd in body,
And conjur'd into safe custody.
Tir'd with dispute and speaking Latin,
As well as basting and bear-baiting,
And desperate of any course,
To free himself by wit or force,
His only solace was, that now
His dog-bolt fortune was so low,
That either it must quickly end
Or turn about again, and mend;
In which he found th' event, no less
Than other times beside his guess.

There is a tall long sided dame
(But wond'rous light,) ycleped Fame
That, like a thin camelion, boards
Herself on air, and eats her words;
Upon her shoulders wings she wears
Like hanging-sleeves, lin'd through with ears,
And eyes, and tongues, as poets list,
Made good by deep mythologist,
With these she through the welkin flies,
And sometimes carries truth, oft lies
With letters hung like eastern pigeons,
And Mercuries of furthest regions;
Diurnals writ for regulation
Of lying, to inform the nation;
And by their public use to bring down
The rate of whetstones in the kingdom.
About her neck a pacquet-male,
Fraught with advice, some fresh, some stale,
Of men that walk'd when they were dead,
And cows of monsters brought to bed;
Of hail-stones big as pullets eggs,
And puppies whelp'd with twice two legs;
A blazing star seen in the west,
By six or seven men at least.
Two trumpets she does sound at once,
But both of clean contrary tones;
But whether both with the same wind,
Or one before, and one behind,
We know not; only this can tell,
The one sounds vilely, th' other well;
And therefore vulgar authors name
Th' one Good, the other Evil, Fame.

This tattling gossip knew too well
What mischief HUDIBRAS befell.
And straight the spiteful tidings bears
Of all to th' unkind widow's ears.
DEMOCRITUS ne'er laugh'd so loud
To see bawds carted through the crowd,
Or funerals with stately pomp
March slowly on in solemn dump,
As she laugh'd out, until her back,
As well as sides, was like to crack.
She vow'd she would go see the sight,
And visit the distressed Knight;
To do the office of a neighbour,
And be a gossip at his labour;
And from his wooden jail, the stocks,
To set at large his fetter-locks;
And, by exchange, parole, or ransom,
To free him from th' enchanted mansion.
This b'ing resolv'd, she call'd for hood
And usher, implements abroad
Which ladies wear, beside a slender
Young waiting damsel to attend her;
All which appearing, on she went,
To find the Knight in limbo pent.
And 'twas not long before she found
Him, and the stout Squire, in the pound;
Both coupled in enchanted tether,
By further leg behind together
For as he sat upon his rump,
His head like one in doleful dump,
Between his knees, his hands apply'd
Unto his ears on either side;
And by him, in another hole,
Afflicted RALPHO, cheek by jowl;
She came upon him in his wooden
Magician's circle on the sudden,
As spirits do t' a conjurer,
When in their dreadful shapes th' appear.

No sooner did the Knight perceive her,
But straight he fell into a fever,
Inflam'd all over with disgrace,
To be seen by her in such a place;
Which made him hang his head, and scoul,
And wink, and goggle like an owl.
He felt his brains begin to swim,
When thus the dame accosted him:

This place (quoth she) they say's enchanted,
And with delinquent spirits haunted,
That here are ty'd in chains, and scourg'd,
Until their guilty crimes be purg'd.
Look, there are two of them appear,
Like persons I have seen somewhere.
Some have mistaken blocks and posts
For spectres, apparitions, ghosts,
With saucer eyes, and horns; and some
Have heard the Devil beat a drum:
But if our eyes are not false glasses,
That give a wrong account of faces,
That beard and I should be acquainted,
Before 'twas conjur'd or enchanted;
For though it be disfigur'd somewhat,
As if 't had lately been in combat,
It did belong to a worthy Knight
Howe'er this goblin has come by't.

When HUDIBRAS the Lady heard
Discoursing thus upon his beard,
And speak with such respect and honour,
Both of the beard and the beard's owner,
He thought it best to set as good
A face upon it as he cou'd,
And thus he spoke: Lady, your bright
And radiant eyes are in the right:
The beard's th' identic beard you knew,
The same numerically true:
Nor is it worn by fiend or elf,
But its proprietor himself.

O, heavens! quoth she, can that be true?
I do begin to fear 'tis you:
Not by your individual whiskers,
But by your dialect and discourse,
That never spoke to man or beast
In notions vulgarly exprest.
But what malignant star, alas
Has brought you both to this sad pass?

Quoth he, The fortune of the war,
Which I am less afflicted for,
Than to be seen with beard and face,
By you in such a homely case.
Quoth she, Those need not he asham'd
For being honorably maim'd,
If he that is in battle conquer'd,
Have any title to his own beard;
Though yours be sorely lugg'd and torn,
It does your visage more adorn
Than if 'twere prun'd, and starch'd, and lander'd,
And cut square by the Russian standard.
A torn beard's like a tatter'd ensign,
That's bravest which there are most rents in.
That petticoat about your shoulders
Does not so well become a souldier's;
And I'm afraid they are worse handled
Although i' th' rear; your beard the van led;
And those uneasy bruises make
My heart for company to ake,
To see so worshipful a friend
I' th' pillory set, at the wrong end.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, This thing call'd pain
Is (as the learned Stoicks maintain)
Not bad simpliciter, nor good,
But merely as 'tis understood.
Sense is deceitful, and may feign,
As well in counterfeiting pain
As other gross phenomenas,
In which it oft mistakes the case.
But since the immortal intellect
(That's free from error and defect,
Whose objects still persist the same)
Is free from outward bruise and maim,
Which nought external can expose
To gross material bangs or blows,
It follows, we can ne'er be sure,
Whether we pain or not endure;
And just so far are sore and griev'd,
As by the fancy is believ'd.
Some have been wounded with conceit,
And dy'd of mere opinion straight;
Others, tho' wounded sore in reason,
Felt no contusion, nor discretion.
A Saxon Duke did grow so fat,
That mice (as histories relate)
Eat grots and labyrinths to dwell in
His postick parts without his feeling:
Then how is't possible a kick
Should e'er reach that way to the quick?

Quoth she, I grant it is in vain.
For one that's basted to feel pain,
Because the pangs his bones endure
Contribute nothing to the cure:
Yet honor hurt, is wont to rage
With pain no med'cine can asswage.

Quoth he, That honour's very squeamish
That takes a basting for a blemish;
For what's more hon'rable than scars,
Or skin to tatters rent in wars?
Some have been beaten till they know
What wood a cudgel's of by th' blow;
Some kick'd until they can feel whether
A shoe be Spanish or neat's leather;
And yet have met, after long running,
With some whom they have taught that cunning.
The furthest way about t' o'ercome,
In the end does prove the nearest home.
By laws of learned duellists,
They that are bruis'd with wood or fists,
And think one beating may for once
Suffice, are cowards and pultroons:
But if they dare engage t' a second,
They're stout and gallant fellows reckon'd.

Th' old Romans freedom did bestow,
Our princes worship, with a blow.
King PYRRHUS cur'd his splenetic
And testy courtiers with a kick.
The NEGUS, when some mighty lord
Or potentate's to be restor'd
And pardon'd for some great offence,
With which be's willing to dispense,
First has him laid upon his belly,
Then beaten back and side to a jelly;
That done, he rises, humbly bows,
And gives thanks for the princely blows;
Departs not meanly proud, and boasting
Of this magnificent rib-roasting.
The beaten soldier proves most manful,
That, like his sword, endures the anvil,
And justly's held more formidable,
The more his valour's malleable:
But he that fears a bastinado
Will run away from his own shadow:
And though I'm now in durance fast,
By our own party basely cast,
Ransom, exchange, parole refus'd,
And worse than by the enemy us'd;
In close catasta shut, past hope
Of wit or valour to elope;
As beards the nearer that they tend
To th' earth still grow more reverend;
And cannons shoot the higher pitches,
The lower we let down their breeches;
I'll make this low dejected fate
Advance me to a greater height.

Quoth she, Y' have almost made me in love
With that which did my pity move.
Great wits and valours, like great states,
Do sometimes sink with their own weights:
Th' extremes of glory and of shame,
Like East and West, become the same:
No Indian Prince has to his palace
More foll'wers than a thief to th' gallows,
But if a beating seem so brave,
What glories must a whipping have
Such great atchievements cannot fail
To cast salt on a woman's tail:
For if I thought your nat'ral talent
Of passive courage were so gallant,
As you strain hard to have it thought,
I could grow amorous, and dote.

When HUDIBRAS this language heard,
He prick'd up's ears and strok'd his beard;
Thought he, this is the lucky hour;
Wines work when vines are in the flow'r;
This crisis then I'll set my rest on,
And put her boldly to the question.

Madam, what you wou'd seem to doubt,
Shall be to all the world made out,
How I've been drubb'd, and with what spirit
And magnanimity I bear it;
And if you doubt it to be true,
I'll stake myself down against you:
And if I fail in love or troth,
Be you the winner, and take both.

Quoth she, I've beard old cunning stagers
Say, fools for arguments use wagers;
And though I prais'd your valour, yet
I did not mean to baulk your wit;
Which, if you have, you must needs know
What I have told you before now,
And you b' experiment have prov'd,
I cannot love where I'm belov'd.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, 'tis a caprich
Beyond th' infliction of a witch;
So cheats to play with those still aim
That do not understand the game.
Love in your heart as icily burns
As fire in antique Roman urns,
To warm the dead, and vainly light
Those only that see nothing by't.
Have you not power to entertain,
And render love for love again;
As no man can draw in his breath
At once, and force out air beneath?
Or do you love yourself so much,
To bear all rivals else a grutch?
What fate can lay a greater curse
Than you upon yourself would force?
For wedlock without love, some say,
Is but a lock without a key.
It is a kind of rape to marry
One that neglects, or cares not for ye:
For what does make it ravishment,
But b'ing against the mind's consent?
A rape that is the more inhuman
For being acted by a woman.
Why are you fair, but to entice us
To love you, that you may despise us?
But though you cannot Love, you say,
Out of your own fanatick way,
Why should you not at least allow
Those that love you to do so too?
For, as you fly me, and pursue
Love more averse, so I do you;
And am by your own doctrine taught
To practise what you call a fau't.

Quoth she, If what you say is true,
You must fly me as I do you;
But 'tis not what we do, but say,
In love and preaching, that must sway.

Quoth he, To bid me not to love,
Is to forbid my pulse to move,
My beard to grow, my ears to prick up,
Or (when I'm in a fit) to hickup:
Command me to piss out the moon,
And 'twill as easily be done:
Love's power's too great to be withstood
By feeble human flesh and blood.
'Twas he that brought upon his knees
The hect'ring, kill-cow HERCULES;
Transform'd his leager-lion's skin
T' a petticoat, and made him spin;
Seiz'd on his club, and made it dwindle
T' a feeble distaff, and a spindle.
'Twas he that made emperors gallants
To their own sisters and their aunts;
Set popes and cardinals agog,
To play with pages at leap-frog.
'Twas he that gave our Senate purges,
And flux'd the House of many a burgess;
Made those that represent the nation
Submit, and suffer amputation;
And all the Grandees o' the Cabal
Adjourn to tubs at Spring and Fall.
He mounted Synod-Men, and rode 'em
To Dirty-Lane and Little Sodom;
Made 'em curvet like Spanish jenets,
And take the ring at Madam [Bennet's]
'Twas he that made Saint FRANCIS do
More than the Devil could tempt him to,
In cold and frosty weather, grow
Enamour'd of a wife of snow;
And though she were of rigid temper,
With melting flames accost and tempt her;
Which after in enjoyment quenching,
He hung a garland on his engine

Quoth she, If Love have these effects,
Why is it not forbid our sex?
Why is't not damn'd and interdicted,
For diabolical and wicked?
And sung, as out of tune, against,
As Turk and Pope are by the Saints?
I find I've greater reason for it,
Than I believ'd before t' abhor it.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, These sad effects
Spring from your Heathenish neglects
Of Love's great pow'r, which he returns
Upon yourselves with equal scorns;
And those who worthy lovers slight,
Plagues with prepost'rous appetite.
This made the beauteous Queen of Crete
To take a town-bull for her sweet,
And from her greatness stoop so low,
To be the rival of a cow:
Others to prostitute their great hearts,
To he baboons' and monkeys' sweet-hearts;
Some with the Dev'l himself in league grow,
By's representative a Negro.
'Twas this made vestal-maids love-sick,
And venture to be bury'd quick:
Some by their fathers, and their brothers,
To be made mistresses and mothers.
'Tis this that proudest dames enamours
On lacquies and valets des chambres;
Their haughty stomachs overcomes,
And makes 'em stoop to dirty grooms;
To slight the world, and to disparage
Claps, issue, infamy, and marriage.

Quoth she, These judgments are severe,
Yet such as I should rather bear,
Than trust men with their oaths, or prove
Their faith and secresy in love,

Says he, There is as weighty reason
For secresy in love as treason.
Love is a burglarer, a felon,
That at the windore-eyes does steal in
To rob the heart, and with his prey
Steals out again a closer way,
Which whosoever can discover,
He's sure (as he deserves) to suffer.
Love is a fire, that burns and sparkles
In men as nat'rally as in charcoals,
Which sooty chymists stop in holes
When out of wood they extract coals:
So lovers should their passions choak,
That, tho' they burn, they may not smoak.
'Tis like that sturdy thief that stole
And dragg'd beasts backwards into's hole:
So Love does lovers, and us men
Draws by the tails into his den,
That no impression may discover,
And trace t' his cave, the wary lover,
But if you doubt I should reveal
What you entrust me under seal.
I'll prove myself as close and virtuous
As your own secretary ALBERTUS.

Quoth she, I grant you may be close
In hiding what your aims propose.
Love-passions are like parables,
By which men still mean something else,
Though love be all the world's pretence,
Money's the mythologick sense;
The real substance of the shadow,
Which all address and courtship's made to.

Thought he, I understand your play,
And how to quit you your own way:
He that will win his dame, must do
As Love does when he bends his bow;
With one hand thrust the lady from,
And with the other pull her home.
I grant, quoth he, wealth is a great
Provocative to am'rous heat.
It is all philters, and high diet,
That makes love rampant, and to fly out:
'Tis beauty always in the flower,
That buds and blossoms at fourscore:
'Tis that by which the sun and moon
At their own weapons are out-done:
That makes Knights-Errant fall in trances,
And lay about 'em in romances:
'Tis virtue, wit, and worth, and all
That men divine and sacred call:
For what is worth in any thing,
But so much money as 'twill bring?
Or what, but riches is there known,
Which man can solely call his own
In which no creature goes his half;
Unless it be to squint and laugh?
I do confess, with goods and land,
I'd have a wife at second-hand;
And such you are. Nor is 't your person
My stomach's set so sharp and fierce on;
But 'tis (your better part) your riches,
That my enamour'd heart bewitches.
Let me your fortune but possess,
And settle your person how you please:
Or make it o'er in trust to th' Devil;
You'll find me reasonable and civil.

Quoth she, I like this plainness better
Than false mock-passion, speech, or letter,
Or any feat of qualm or sowning,
But hanging of yourself, or drowning.
Your only way with me to break
Your mind, is breaking of your neck;
For as when merchants break, o'erthrown,
Like nine-pins they strike others down,
So that would break my heart; which done,
My tempting fortune is your own,
These are but trifles: ev'ry lover
Will damn himself over and over,
And greater matters undertake
For a less worthy mistress' sake:
Yet th' are the only ways to prove
Th' unfeign'd realities of love:
For he that hangs, or beats out's brains,
The Devil's in him if he feigns.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, This way's too rough
For mere experiment and proof:
It is no jesting, trivial matter,
To swing t' th' air, or douce in Water,
And, like a water-witch, try love;
That's to destroy, and not to prove;
As if a man should be dissected
To find what part is disaffected.
Your better way is to make over,
In trust, your fortune to your lover.
Trust is a trial; if it break,
'Tis not so desp'rate as a neck.
Beside, th' experiment's more certain;
Men venture necks to gain a fortune:
The soldier does it ev'ry day.
(Eight to the week) for sixpence pay:
Your pettifoggers damn their souls,
To share with knaves in cheating fools:
And merchants, vent'ring through the main,
Slight pirates, rocks, and horns, for gain.
This is the way I advise you to:
Trust me, and see what I will do.

Quoth she, I should be loth to run
Myself all th' hazard, and you none;
Which must be done, unless some deed
Of your's aforesaid do precede.
Give but yourself one gentle swing
For trial, and I'll cut the string:
Or give that rev'rend head a maul,
Or two, or three, against a wall,
To shew you are a man of mettle,
And I'll engage myself to settle.

Quoth he, My head's not made of brass,
As Friar BACON'S noodle was;
Nor (like the Indian's skull) so tough
That, authors say, 'twas musket-proof,
As yet on any new adventure,
As it had need to be, to enter.
You see what bangs it has endur'd,
That would, before new feats, be cur'd.
But if that's all you stand upon,
Here, strike me luck, it shall be done.

Quoth she, The matter's not so far gone
As you suppose: Two words t' a bargain:
That may be done, and time enough,
When you have given downright proof;
And yet 'tis no fantastic pique
I have to love, nor coy dislike:
'Tis no implicit, nice aversion
T' your conversation, mein, or person,
But a just fear, lest you should prove
False and perfidious in love:
For if I thought you could be true,
I could love twice as much as you.

Quoth he, My faith as adamanatine,
As chains of destiny, I'll maintain:
True as APOLLO ever spoke,
Or Oracle from heart of oak;
And if you'll give my flame but vent,
Now in close hugger-mugger pent,
And shine upon me but benignly,
With that one, and that other pigsney,
The sun and day shall sooner part,
Than love or you shake off my heart;
The sun, that shall no more dispense
His own but your bright influence.
I'll carve your name on barks of trees,
With true-loves-knots and flourishes,
That shall infuse eternal spring,
And everlasting flourishing:
Drink ev'ry letter on't in stum,
And make it brisk champaign become;
Where-e'er you tread, your foot shall set
The primrose and the violet:
All spices, perfumes, and sweet powders,
Shall borrow from your breath their odours:
Nature her charter shall renew,
And take all lives of things from you;
The world depend upon your eye,
And when you frown upon it, die:
Only our loves shall still survive,
New worlds and natures to out-live:
And, like to heralds' moons, remain
All crescents, without change or wane.

Hold, hold, quoth she; no more of this,
Sir Knight; you take your aim amiss:
For you will find it a hard chapter
To catch me with poetic rapture,
In which your mastery of art
Doth shew itself, and not your heart:
Nor will you raise in mine combustion
By dint of high heroic fustian.
She that with poetry is won,
Is but a desk to write upon;
And what men say of her, they mean
No more than on the thing they lean.
Some with Arabian spices strive
T' embalm her cruelly alive;
Or season her, as French cooks use
Their haut-gousts, bouillies, or ragousts:
Use her so barbarously ill,
To grind her lips upon a mill,
Until the facet doublet doth
Fit their rhimes rather than her mouth:
Her mouth compar'd to an oyster's, with
A row of pearl in't - stead of teeth.
Others make posies of her cheeks,
Where red and whitest colours mix;
In which the lily, and the rose,
For Indian lake and ceruse goes.
The sun and moon by her bright eyes
Eclips'd, and darken'd in the skies,
Are but black patches, that she wears,
Cut into suns, and moons, and stars:
By which astrologers as well,
As those in Heav'n above, can tell
What strange events they do foreshow
Unto her under-world below.
Her voice, the music of the spheres,
So loud, it deafens mortals ears;
As wise philosophers have thought;
And that's the cause we hear it not.
This has been done by some, who those
Th' ador'd in rhime, would kick in prose;
And in those ribbons would have hung
On which melodiously they sung;
That have the hard fate to write best
Of those still that deserve it least;
It matters not how false, or forc'd:
So the best things be said o' th' worst:
It goes for nothing when 'tis said;
Only the arrow's drawn to th' bead,
Whether it be a swan or goose
They level at: So shepherds use
To set the same mark on the hip
Both of their sound and rotten sheep:
For wits, that carry low or wide,
Must be aim'd higher, or beside
The mark, which else they ne'er come nigh,
But when they take their aim awry.
But I do wonder you should choose
This way t' attack me with your Muse,
As one cut out to pass your tricks on,
With fulhams of poetic fiction:
I rather hop'd I should no more
Hear from you o' th' gallanting score:
For hard dry-bastings us'd to prove
The readiest remedies of love;
Next a dry-diet: but if those fail,
Yet this uneasy loop-hol'd jail,
In which ye are hamper'd by the fetlock,
Cannot but put y' in mind of wedlock;
Wedlock, that's worse than any hole here,
If that may serve you for a cooler,
T' allay your mettle, all agog
Upon a wife, the heavi'r clog:
Or rather thank your gentler fate,
That for a bruis'd or broken pate,
Has freed you from those knobs that grow
Much harder on the marry'd brow:
But if no dread can cool your courage,
From vent'ring on that dragon, marriage,
Yet give me quarter, and advance
To nobler aims your puissance:
Level at beauty and at wit;
The fairest mark is easiest hit.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, I'm beforehand
In that already, with your command
For where does beauty and high wit
But in your constellation meet?

Quoth she, What does a match imply,
But likeness and equality?
I know you cannot think me fit
To be th' yoke-fellow of your wit;
Nor take one of so mean deserts,
To be the partner of your parts;
A grace which, if I cou'd believe,
I've not the conscience to receive.

That conscience, quoth HUDIBRAS,
Is mis-inform'd: I'll state the case
A man may be a legal donor,
Of any thing whereof he's owner,
And may confer it where he lists,
I' th' judgment of all casuists,
Then wit, and parts, and valour, may
Be ali'nated, and made away,
By those that are proprietors,
As I may give or sell my horse.

Quoth she, I grant the case is true
And proper 'twixt your horse and you;
But whether I may take as well
As you may give away or sell?
Buyers you know are bid beware;
And worse than thieves receivers are.
How shall I answer hue and cry,
For a roan gelding, twelve hands high,
All spurr'd and switch'd, a lock on's hoof,
A sorrel mane? Can I bring proof
Where, when, by whom, and what y' were sold for,
And in the open market toll'd for?
Or should I take you for a stray,
You must be kept a year and day
(Ere I can own you) here i' the pound,
Where, if y' are sought, you may be found
And in the mean time I must pay
For all your provender and hay.

Quoth he, It stands me much upon
T' enervate this objection,
And prove myself; by topic clear
No gelding, as you would infer.
Loss of virility's averr'd
To be the cause of loss of beard,
That does (like embryo in the wom
Abortive on the chin become.
This first a woman did invent,
In envy of man's ornament;
SEMIRAMIS, of Babylon,
Who first of all cut men o' th' stone,
To mar their beards, and lay foundation
Of sow-geldering operation.
Look on this beard, and tell me whether
Eunuchs wear such, or geldings either?
Next it appears I am no horse;
That I can argue and discourse
Have but two legs, and ne'er a tail.

Quoth she, That nothing will avail
For some philosophers of late here,
Write, men have four legs by nature,
And that 'tis custom makes them go
Erron'ously upon but two;
As 'twas in Germany made good
B' a boy that lost himself in a wood,
And growing down to a man, was wont
With wolves upon all four to hunt.
As for your reasons drawn from tails,
We cannot say they're true or false,
Till you explain yourself, and show,
B' experiment, 'tis so or no.

Quoth he, If you'll join issue on't,
I'll give you satisfactory account;
So you will promise, if you lose,
To settle all, and be my spouse.

That never shall be done (quoth she)
To one that wants a tail, by me
For tails by nature sure were meant,
As well as beards, for ornament:
And though the vulgar count them homely,
In men or beast they are so comely,
So gentee, alamode, and handsome,
I'll never marry man that wants one;
And till you can demonstrate plain,
You have one equal to your mane,
I'll be torn piece-meal by a horse,
Ere I'll take you for better or worse.
The Prince of CAMBAY's daily food
Is asp, and basilisk, and toad;
Which makes him have so strong a breath,
Each night he stinks a queen to death;
Yet I shall rather lie in's arms
Than yours, on any other terms.

Quoth he, What nature can afford,
I shall produce, upon my word;
And if she ever gave that boon
To man, I'll prove that I have one
I mean by postulate illation,
When you shall offer just occasion:
But since y' have yet deny'd to give
My heart, your pris'ner, a reprieve,
But made it sink down to my heel,
Let that at least your pity feel;
And, for the sufferings of your martyr,
Give its poor entertainer quarter;
And, by discharge or main-prize, grant
Deliv'ry from this base restraint.

Quoth she, I grieve to see your leg
Stuck in a hole here like a peg;
And if I knew which way to do't
(Your honour safe) I'd let you out.
That Dames by jail-delivery
Of Errant-Knights have been set free,
When by enchantment they have been,
And sometimes for it too, laid in,
Is that which Knights are bound to do
By order, oath, and honour too:
For what are they renown'd, and famous else,
But aiding of distressed damosels?
But for a Lady no ways errant,
To free a Knight, we have no warrant
In any authentical romance,
Or classic author, yet of France;
And I'd be loth to have you break
An ancient custom for a freak,
Or innovation introduce
In place of things of antique use;
To free your heels by any course,
That might b' unwholesome to your spurs;
Which, if I should consent unto,
It is not in my pow'r to do;
For 'tis a service must be done ye
With solemn previous ceremony;
Which always has been us'd t' untie
The charms of those who here do lie
For as the ancients heretofore
To Honour's Temple had no door,
But that which thorough Virtue's lay,
So from this dungeon there's no way
To honour'd freedom, but by passing
That other virtuous school of lashing,
Where Knights are kept in narrow lists,
With wooden lockets 'bout their wrists;
In which they for a while are tenants,
And for their Ladies suffer penance:
Whipping, that's Virtue's governess,
Tutress of arts and sciences;
That mends the gross mistakes of Nature,
And puts new life into dull matter;
That lays foundation for renown,
And all the honours of the gown.
This suffer'd, they are set at large,
And freed with hon'rable discharge.
Then in their robes the penitentials
Are straight presented with credentials,
And in their way attended on
By magistrates of ev'ry town;
And, all respect and charges paid,
They're to their ancient seats convey'd.
Now if you'll venture, for my sake,
To try the toughness of your back,
And suffer (as the rest have done)
The laying of a whipping on,
(And may you prosper in your suit,
As you with equal vigour do't,)
I here engage myself to loose ye,
And free your heels from Caperdewsie.
But since our sex's modesty
Will not allow I should be by,
Bring me, on oath, a fair account,
And honour too, when you have done't,
And I'll admit you to the place
You claim as due in my good grace.
If matrimony and hanging go
By dest'ny, why not whipping too?
What med'cine else can cure the fits
Of lovers when they lose their wits?
Love is a boy by poets stil'd;
Then spare the rod and spoil the child.
A Persian emp'ror whipp'd his grannam
The sea, his mother VENUS came on;
And hence some rev'rend men approve
Of rosemary in making love.
As skilful coopers hoop their tubs
With Lydian and with Phrygian dubs,
Why may not whipping have as good
A grace, perform'd in time and mood,
With comely movement, and by art,
Raise passion in a lady's heart?
It is an easier way to make
Love by, than that which many take.
Who would not rather suffer whipping,
Than swallow toasts of bits of ribbon?
Make wicked verses, treats, and faces,
And spell names over with beer-glasses
Be under vows to hang and die
Love's sacrifice, and all a lie?
With china-oranges and tarts
And whinning plays, lay baits for hearts?
Bribe chamber-maids with love and money,
To break no roguish jests upon ye?
For lilies limn'd on cheeks, and roses,
With painted perfumes, hazard noses?
Or, vent'ring to be brisk and wanton,
Do penance in a paper lanthorn?
All this you may compound for now,
By suffering what I offer you;
Which is no more than has been done
By Knights for Ladies long agone.
Did not the great LA MANCHA do so
For the INFANTA DEL TOBOSO?
Did not th' illustrious Bassa make
Himself a slave for Misse's sake?
And with bull's pizzle, for her love,
Was taw 'd as gentle as a glove?
Was not young FLORIO sent (to cool
His flame for BIANCAFIORE) to school,
Where pedant made his pathic bum
For her sake suffer martyrdom?
Did not a certain lady whip
Of late her husband's own Lordship?
And though a grandee of the House,
Claw'd him with fundamental blows
Ty'd him stark naked to a bed-post,
And firk'd his hide, as if sh' had rid post
And after, in the sessions-court,
Where whipping's judg'd, had honour for't?
This swear you will perform, and then
I'll set you from th' inchanted den,
And the magician's circle clear.

Quoth he, I do profess and swear,
And will perform what you enjoin,
Or may I never see you mine.
Amen, (quoth she); then turn'd about,
And bid her Esquire let him out.
But ere an artist could be found
T' undo the charms another bound,
The sun grew low, and left the skies,
Put down (some write) by ladies eyes,
The moon pull'd off her veil of light
That hides her face by day from sight,
(Mysterious veil, of brightness made,
That's both her lustre and her shade,)
And in the lanthorn of the night
With shining horns hung out her light;
For darkness is the proper sphere,
Where all false glories use t' appear.
The twinkling stars began to muster,
And glitter with their borrow'd lustre,
While sleep the weary 'd world reliev'd,
By counterfeiting death reviv'd;
His whipping penance till the morn
Our vot'ry thought it best t' adjourn,
And not to carry on a work
Of such importance in the dark,
With erring haste, but rather stay,
And do't in th' open face of day;
And in the mean time go in quest
Of next retreat to take his rest.

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Distressful Homonyms

Since for me now you have no warmth to spare
I sense I must adopt a sane and spare

Philosophy to ease a restless state
Fuelled by this uncaring. It will state

A very meagre truth: love like the rest
Of our emotions, sometimes needs a rest.

Happiness, too, no doubt; and so, why even
Hope that 'the course of true love' could run even?

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Incantation Of Yellow!

When God poured all the worldly riches,
That all the deceit and vice dispersed,
He bade nature to smite her yellows,
A color, only he could profusely afford.

Nothing so mellow none so vibrant,
Acolor that could not lie, so honest and bold,
Be it the melting of a heart or the dropp of a tear,
Thus he censures whereever he forgot to put in gold.

Between the canopies see his sun-burnt mirth glow,
In shared light, the healthy play of light and shadow,
To show to its full effect, pushed sorrow into the best shade,
[Do we ever measure it's depth? Griefs all nooks he did raid.

In flowers he dabbled, stolen dawns and sunsets,
So faithful to beauty, they dare be nothing but transitory,
For a day is all they hold their smile,
Yet, brief moments enough to last a lifetime.

He bade earth take a merry oath every spring,
To spat the gold sill pansies on the straw gold hills,
That their frayed and lost souls can take heart again,
With strains of retrying, angels ofglad tidings.

In dreams he put his vivid colouring,
Whenever he wished to show a glimpse of Paradise,
In trepidations of sojourning Jove,
Time measured in bitter chapters end in wed locks of Love.

Woven in garlands for a girl's paramour,
Some integrity in their vows he splashed,
So that things unsaid may not remain so forever
A true tongue to keep promises must also be nearly gold.

He tinted butterflies by day, by night he flashed the fireflies,
Under his gaze fruits ripened mature, fields withered in full harvest,
Under the yellow-bellied moon he took the lover's blame,
Thus the course of true love ran in his hue's name.

Under his hue, does this New Year hold good tidings for me,
Or is the joke on me?

SEEMAJOGLEKAR-3rd-JAN-2011

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Stories Of Hope Series #7 Is It Golden Or Is It Blind

Silence is golden or so they say
But how many can keep quite for a full day?
What about the people who were born to preach?
What would they do if they could not teach.

Then I take the opposite view: what would you do?
If you was born deaf never hearing a sound
No birds chirping, no dogs barking, no cats meowing
No laughter. These are the things the deaf are after.
SOUNDS! sounds of music, of joy, happiness.
But I was born blind.
I had hopes to one day see, and all my classmates laughed at me.
They said: you was born in darkness, and in darkness
You will be, from now and through eternity.
I learned colors, not by sight, but by emotions
And I practiced it with devotion.
They said my mother was traumatized during
her pregnancy, and somehow it affected me.
The doctors checked and could not understand why
That I had turned out blind.
My blindness became my greatest strength
Because it fine tuned my hearing.
I am blind and the deaf can not hear
But we have instincts beyond compare.
The deaf can not hear all the sounds of the world
Including a child at play, and for
my hearing I thank GOD every day.
The school then put me with a roommate who was deaf
And we got along swell, we showed each other how
It was to live in each others hell.
He covered up my ears so that I could not hear a sound
And I learned how to get around.
I did the same thing to him and blindfolded him
So that he could not see, and with all this we lived in harmony.
By doing this we learned a lesson that no one could teach
That even being deaf and blind, they could be reached.
I showed him that with a metal tip on a walking stick
You could feel the vibrations of different things
Foot steps, cars, “even music.’
Now that he could hear through the tip of a stick
He learned to dance really quick.
And although I could not see.
I held on to his waist
And he said: “follow me.’

Now I am going for some surgery, that they said
May help me see.
HOPE has rekindled in my heart, but from my friend
I did not want to part.
He let me know that he would stay by my side
And not to give up my hope, but to continue to strive.
He was with me every step of the way, and to GOD
I did pray. I thanked my lord up above for sending
Me this friend and sharing his love.
Three weeks later they took the band aids from my eyes
And the first thing that I saw when my eyes were clear
Was my friend standing there.
Tears filled our eyes as we embraced
For I was blessed by the HOLY GRACE.

He still can not hear, but he was the best man
At my wedding, and showed all the guests how to dance
If there Is someone who will give you a chance.

HOPE IS THE KEY TO SET YOU FREE

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On this silly hill

On this silly hill I remember the silly things
That we did
We were so young and we decided to pick
Some ripe mangoes on this silly
Isolated hill away from
Our teasing
Silly friends

And I really liked her a lot
My heart was trembling
Her heart too quivering
We felt we like each other
Feelings like hot chili
Heating our ears

We said we love each other
We promised to love each other
Till the end of days

And so I climbed the mango tree
And picked the most luscious
Delicious mangoes as may be gleaned
From their color and shape
Thinking all the best for her
That I could give
To her

I put all the mangoes in my shirt
And I was silly looking silly like a tray to her
And she picked them one by one
Near my chest lower to my tummy
Nearer to my bulge

I was breathless
As she took more
Ripe mangoes from me
Slowly
Gracefully
Peeling with her mouth and tongue
Licking the yellowish pulp
And she said the mangoes were all
So sweet smelling and delicious
Like me

She was craving
She was raving
I was simply receptive
Giving in
All
To what she wanted


She touched my heart and we were silly
On our teens we did
What married people did on this silly hill
Isolated from silly friends

We did something adventurous
We had something marvelous
We did all those silly things
Like wild horses
In nature’s ways
Galloping
Breath taking


The years passed and now I am reaching fifty
Looking back I remember the silly things that we
Young silly people on our early teens did on this silly hill

We went and parted and she married the right man for her
I too went my own separate direction, taking a wife on my own

Looking back,
I feel sad,
I feel happy
What we silly teeny people did which we think was silly

Was all done in the name of pure love so endless
We were all virgins in love & we all thought of nothing else

Love and love and love
The mango was a symbol also of love
The silly hill was the seat of love
The mango tree was a climb of love
The isolation was all in the name of love
The whole was but love’s marvel
Love’s adventure

Love and love and love was all that we had
All love and love
Pure love
Unmixed untainted unblemished unadulterated
And they think it was silly
And I once thought it was silly

On that silly hill remembering the silly things we did
The silly things we said and promised

We did not talk about money, politics and family strategy
We did not bother about inheritance, a family name, a community reputation
We were not told whom to marry and when and always why.

Love can be developed and marriage can always be arranged
That to me are the silly things that we people do to ourselves.

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An Altruistic Self-Advocacy Of A Man Wholly Enamored By An Angel (Part 2 of 2)

I am Your Good Will Hunting, and You, my 'gurl I have to go see about'-

We together are the love that naught may stamp out;

As the Eternal Chimera, of tales of lore,

We are never enough for one another, and always crave more-

Because our near perfection, for each, the other,

Is too near to Divinity for this Brother,

And conversely for You, Sister of mine;

THIS is yet another reason why we need combine

Our individual Magnificence and Glory

To Truly Show the world the Truth of OUR story!

The True reality of our love is only just begining-

With the Inspired Acts of God of late, winning-

But wait, what is to be of us next? I cannot wait-

But I must, for Your Faith to catch up to the desires of Your Heart-

For the Strength You have always had, to impart

Same to You-as well as same from me, from 5 miles away:

THIS is why OUR love has not gone astray!

Why Beloved, have You treated the Love of Your Life

With such ill-repute and caused so much strife

That could have been avoided, with honesty to all around

About how You TRULY feel! ? This enigma doth confound!

Why did You run and hide from Your biggest fan?

Is it because I am also the only Man

That has ever intimidated You, and You feel You do not deserve?

Well, if true, -as your best friend-what nerve

Have You-to become Saboteur of Your own

Happiness, As though a Lady in Love, but with a Heart made of stone!

Yet, I know You better than anyone else has ever known you-

And I know that Your real response has shown You

That OUR Love is not only True, but Real;

This is the Power of the Love You now feel!

Your Strength has proven to be immense,

As it is Divine, and You, its Earthly quintessence!

I know that God Willed the Strength into You,

As He has Shown all the world all that He could do,

Both BY and THROUGH me-

But especially in these Latter Days, because we

Are THAT important to Him, both individually

As well as a Consortium, like none other that Earth has ever seen!

You want to: 'Marry the man you deeply love',

THIS is why you have been ruminating of

Me with constancy, as have I, for most of your days-

Your head is not 'in the clouds', you are not in a haze-

THIS is most assuredly, undeniably-a verity;

THIS is why you need to step back, to ensure clarity,

Without the benefit of my soothing voice,

Because You need to ensure Your choice

Is exactly that, and want not, undue influence

Of the Love of Your Life, at the confluence

Of this very trying time-as you seem a glutton for self-inflicted pain;

There was surely a storm-yet, You brought the rain!

Still, the storm is over Beloved, and the veil, lifted-

From the erstwhile 'secret' Love, Heavenly Father Gifted!

You caused the storm, with no 'help' from ME-

Yet, together We brought the calm that has followed-WE

Have always worked together to solve problems before;

We have seen His Glory, and WE want more;

You NEED to: 'kiss the man I love...for the very first time',

And want for same evermore, as you read this rhyme!

You NEED to: 'cuddle on the couch with this man'

And 'fall asleep in his arms'-and he, your biggest fan,

Wants, er, NEEDSfor the very same, with constancy;

He has expressed this NEED many times-without any expectancy

Whatsoever, -just mutual desires and mutual

Wants, that have come to be Blessedly Habitual!

We NEED to 'be Seled in the Temple' together,

To finally begin to Live, to Love OUR forever,

Where we may-'walk on the beach holding hands'-

Because THIS is what Heavenly Father Divinely Commands!

As You have expressed before, you NEED to: 'travel everywhere with him'-

This further PROVES the Light of OUR Love is bright, not dim!

Accept the foregoing as TRUTH, and as YOUR Reward;

You receive not only all of same-you can certainly afford

To recompense same with Love of Your own;

You may: 'make love to the man

I love (on OUR honeymoon

...and ebvery day after that) -THAT is YOUR Plan,

Yet also MINE, -remember? It was NOT that many a Moon

Ago that YOU sent ME, YOUR Bucket List,

Which was not too long BEFORE You became a self-destructionist!

I, nay, WE are so very, very close to OUR dreams fulfill,

And God Himself ensured all who have concern, know it is His Will-

So, where is the real argument against

THIS Love, to posit same arguendo, leaves YOU without a defense!

This was evidenced by You, first with Your words-

Then, You cross-examined Yourself and saw how absurd

Your argumentation really was-preposterous would be a word!

To describe the deceit Your own heart heard

From Your afeared mind, that briefly abandoned Your Inspired Soul;

Yet, You bravely fought back against this self-betrayal,

To win back the Love, and see to its future avail!

You Beloved, are MY Heroine, in Earthly form;

You Inspire and Amaze me, it has kept my Heart warm

At night, through many a blustery Winter's night-

To know, deep in my soul that you love me with all your might!

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The Angel In The House. Book II. Canto II.

Preludes.

I The Changed Allegiance
Watch how a bird, that captived sings,
The cage set open, first looks out,
Yet fears the freedom of his wings,
And now withdraws, and flits about,
And now looks forth again; until,
Grown bold, he hops on stool and chair,
And now attains the window-sill,
And now confides himself to air.
The maiden so, from love's free sky
In chaste and prudent counsels caged,
But longing to be loosen'd by
Her suitor's faith declared and gaged,
When blest with that release desired,
First doubts if truly she is free,
Then pauses, restlessly retired,
Alarm'd at too much liberty;
But soon, remembering all her debt
To plighted passion, gets by rote
Her duty; says, ‘I love him!’ yet
The thought half chokes her in her throat;
And, like that fatal ‘I am thine,’
Comes with alternate gush and check
And joltings of the heart, as wine
Pour'd from a flask of narrow neck.
Is he indeed her choice? She fears
Her Yes was rashly said, and shame,
Remorse, and ineffectual tears
Revolt from his conceded claim.
Oh, treason! So, with desperate nerve,
She cries, ‘I am in love, am his;’
Lets run the cables of reserve,
And floats into a sea of bliss,
And laughs to think of her alarm,
Avows she was in love before,
Though his avowal was the charm
Which open'd to her own the door.
She loves him for his mastering air,
Whence, Parthian-like, she slaying flies;
His flattering look, which seems to wear
Her loveliness in manly eyes;
His smile, which, by reverse, portends
An awful wrath, should reason stir;
(How fortunate it is they're friends,
And he will ne'er be wroth with her!)
His power to do or guard from harm;
If he but chose to use it half,
And catch her up in one strong arm,
What could she do but weep, or laugh!
His words, which still instruct, but so
That this applause seems still implied,
‘How wise in all she ought to know,
‘How ignorant of all beside!’
His skilful suit, which leaves her free,
Gives nothing for the world to name,
And keeps her conscience safe, while he,
With half the bliss, takes all the blame;
His clear repute with great and small;
The jealousy his choice will stir;
But, ten times more than ten times all,
She loves him for his love of her.
How happy 'tis he seems to see
In her that utter loveliness
Which she, for his sake, longs to be!
At times, she cannot but confess
Her other friends are somewhat blind;
Her parents' years excuse neglect,
But all the rest are scarcely kind,
And brothers grossly want respect;
And oft she views what he admires
Within her glass, and sight of this
Makes all the sum of her desires
To be devotion unto his.
But still, at first, whatever's done,
A touch, her hand press'd lightly, she
Stands dizzied, shock'd, and flush'd, like one
Set sudden neck-deep in the sea;
And, though her bond for endless time
To his good pleasure gives her o'er,
The slightest favour seems a crime,
Because it makes her love him more.
But that she ne'er will let him know;
For what were love should reverence cease!
A thought which makes her reason so
Inscrutable, it seems caprice.
With her, as with a desperate town,
Too weak to stand, too proud to treat,
The conqueror, though the walls are down,
Has still to capture street by street;
But, after that, habitual faith,
Divorced from self, where late 'twas due,
Walks nobly in its novel path,
And she's to changed allegiance true;
And prizing what she can't prevent,
(Right wisdom, often misdeem'd whim),
Her will's indomitably bent
On mere submissiveness to him;
To him she'll cleave, for him forsake
Father's and mother's fond command!
He is her lord, for he can take
Hold of her faint heart with his hand.

II Beauty
‘Beauty deludes.’ O shaft well shot,
To strike the mark's true opposite!
That ugly good is scorn'd proves not
Tis beauty lies, but lack of it.
By Heaven's law the Jew might take
A slave to wife, if she was fair;
So strong a plea does beauty make
That, where 'tis seen, discretion's there.
If, by a monstrous chance, we learn
That this illustrious vaunt's a lie,
Our minds, by which the eyes discern,
See hideous contrariety,
And laugh at Nature's wanton mood,
Which, thus a swinish thing to flout,
Though haply in its gross way good,
Hangs such a jewel in its snout.

III Lais and Lucretia
Did first his beauty wake her sighs?
That's Lais! Thus Lucretia's known:
The beauty in her Lover's eyes
Was admiration of her own.


The Course Of True Love.

I
Oh, beating heart of sweet alarm,
Which stays the lover's step, when near
His mistress and her awful charm
Of grace and innocence sincere!
I held the half-shut door, and heard
The voice of my betrothed wife,
Who sang my verses, every word
By music taught its latent life;
With interludes of well-touch'd notes,
That flash'd, surprising and serene,
As meteor after meteor floats
The soft, autumnal stars between.
There was a passion in her tone,
A tremor when she touch'd the keys,
Which told me she was there alone,
And uttering all her soul at ease.
I enter'd; for I did not choose
To learn how in her heart I throve,
By chance or stealth; beyond her use,
Her greeting flatter'd me with love.

II
With true love's treacherous confidence,
And ire, at last to laughter won,
She spoke this speech, and mark'd its sense,
By action, as her Aunt had done.

III
‘'You, with your looks and catching air,
‘'To think of Vaughan! You fool! You know,
‘'You might, with ordinary care,
‘'Ev'n yet be Lady Clitheroe.
‘'You're sure he'll do great things some day!
‘'Nonsense, he won't; he's dress'd too well.
‘'Dines with the Sterling Club, they say;
‘'Not commonly respectable!
‘'Half Puritan, half Cavalier!
‘'His curly hair I think's a wig;
‘'And, for his fortune, why, my Dear,
‘''Tis not enough to keep a gig.
‘'Rich Aunts and Uncles never die;
‘'And what you bring won't do for dress;
‘'And so you'll live on Bye-and-bye,
‘'With oaten-cake and water-cress!'


IV
I cried, but did not let her see.
‘At last she soften'd her dispraise,
‘On learning you had bought for me
‘A carriage and a pair of bays.
But here she comes! You take her in
‘To dinner. I impose this task:
‘Make her approve my love; and win
‘What thanks from me you choose to ask!’


V
‘My niece has told you every word
I said of you! What may I mean?
Of course she has; but you've not heard
‘How I abused you to the Dean;—
‘Yes, I'll take wine; he's mad, like her;
‘And she will have you: there it ends!
‘And, now I've done my duty, Sir,
‘And you've shown common-sense, we're friends!’


VI
‘Go, Child, and see him out yourself,’
Aunt Maude said, after tea, ‘and show
The place, upon that upper shelf,
‘Where Petrarch stands, lent long ago.’


VII
‘These rose-leaves to my heart be press'd,
‘Honoria, while it aches for you!’
(The rose in ruin, from her breast,
Fell, as I took a fond adieu.)
‘You must go now, Love!’ ‘See, the air
‘Is thick with starlight!’ ‘Let me tie
‘This scarf on. Oh, your Petrarch! There!
I'm coming, Aunt!’ ‘Sweet, Sweet!’ ‘Good-bye!’
‘Ah, Love, to me 'tis death to part,
‘Yet you, my sever'd life, smile on!’
‘These 'Good-nights,' Felix, break my heart;
I'm only gay till you are gone!’
With love's bright arrows from her eyes,
And balm on her permissive lips,
She pass'd, and night was a surprise,
As when the sun at Quito dips.
Her beauties were like sunlit snows,
Flush'd but not warm'd with my desire.
Oh, how I loved her! Fiercely glows
In the pure air of frost the fire
Who for a year is sure of fate!
I thought, dishearten'd, as I went,
Wroth with the Dean, who bade me wait,
And vex'd with her, who seem'd content.
Nay, could eternal life afford
That tyranny should thus deduct
From this fair land, which call'd me lord,
A year of the sweet usufruct?
It might not and it should not be!
I'd go back now, and he must own,
At once, my love's compulsive plea.
I turn'd, I found the Dean alone.
‘Nonsense, my friend; go back to bed!
It's half-past twelve!’ ‘July, then, Sir?’
‘Well, come to-morrow,’ at last he said,
‘And you may talk of it with her.’
A light gleam'd as I pass'd the stair.
A pausing foot, a flash of dress,
And a sweet voice. ‘Is Felix there?’
‘July, Love!’ ‘Says Papa so?’ ‘Yes!’

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Yes I Still Believe

Yes, I still believe, and
It is
True Love, that has brought this story
To your door

For I truly love a cozy chair, an open fire
Grandchildren, playing on my floor
My favorite book, Coca Cola's taste desired

Yet I've purpose with this story and it's
Mine alone
For
Such selfish comforts are these
But as a man I scarcely enjoy them on my own
Until I've done my best to ease
The grief and pains, That are everywhere
They abide with me even today
So my book, my coke, my easy chair
Must wait,
Till I find some way

To send true loves message
Or loving words I wish to say
I hope you never forget them
And in return whisper them to someone today
These tender words many families have never spoken
These types of letters never sent
But still this is the long forgotten message
The wealth of true love, never spent
I send them out to those who wait
To show them that true love still cares

Even yet

I know
It might sound strange to you
But I still believe, and this is love's way

My wish, my hopes, I pray
The very best for you
On this coming Christmas Day

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My Scenario

Oh, I've got a lovely story that I've thought out all myself.
It will make a gorgeous picture, I am sure.
(Mind, it isn't for the money, for I am not keen on pelf,
nd my attitude to Art is very pure.)
It is full of real heart-int'rest, mother-love and passion rare,
And gun-fights and a bad, bold man (who dies),
And a big, strong he-man hero with divinely marcelled hair;
And I really think it ought to win the prize.

The hero falls on evil days and sinks and sinks quite low
(This is where the villain comes upon the scene),
But the mother writes a letter pointing out the way to go
(We will show the letter, close-up, on the screen):
Then Augustus (that's the hero) meets a lovely girl by chance,
With great, big, soulful, golf-ball, baby eyes,
And undying love comes to them at the very first brief glance.
Oh, I really think it ought to win the prize.

But ways of true love ne'er run smooth, and lots of dreadful things
Occur, and all their plans turn out amiss.
But thro' the fights and flights and frights she clings and clings and clings
To win him with the last, long, luscious kiss.
I don't know much of writing things - scenarios and such;
Still, one never really knows what one can do.
But the theme is so original and has so quaint a touch
That I think it ought to win the prize. Don't you?

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Blackout In The Town Where I Live

blackouts happen here most often
the president of the country is confused
what to do at the end of her term
others think she may soon go to prison, and for whatever reason
political or otherwise
or perhaps on the common reasoning of a global recession
affecting necessarily the shortage of power
i mean, electrical power,
this town too is affected with constant blackouts and people
worry much
what happens for the next eight months
for fear that there may be a coup d'etat
or a rebellion of the masses
or simply a plain revolution from within

but enough of all these political upheavals
i decided to simply sit in the corner of my room
open the window and look beyond all these darkness
i expected a full moon tonight
some bats to enjoy the ripe guavas unharvested by kids
the mysterious white owl that pass sometimes
when all of them are fast asleep...

i was thinking of the past times with grandfather
before the Japanese came
there was this oil lamp that they keep
shining all night long
and they were talking about that
perfect peace reigning
for long in this little town
thriving in the simplicity of its lifestyle
the integrity of its people
the innocence of its children
the love of family
and so on an so forth....

and then i feel so sleepy as the lights un-switched off
begin to take life again.

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Fair Rosamond

You've heard of King Henry II
And the story of how he got fond
Of one of his customer's daughters,
A lass called the " Fair Rosamond."

'Twere a lovely romance while it lasted,
The course of true love ran serene,
Till some nosey-parkering varlet
Started carrying tales to the Queen.

The Queen were at first incred-u-lous.
She said "What a tale to invent!"
The King would not stoop to such baseness
At any rate, not during Lent."

But one morning she picked up a doublet
As he'd dropped on his bedroom settee;
It had three golden hairs on the shoulder
And a strong smell of 'Soir de Paree."

She went to the King in a passion
And showed him this evidence clear,
And swore by her distaff and wimple
That she weren't having none of that theer.

She said " If I catch that young woman,
She'll leave no more hairs on your coat-
Her trying to pinch other folks' monarchs-
I'll give her a swim in the moat.

So he took Rosie off to the country,
To an old-fashioned manor of his,
With an "'ampton Court Maze "in the garden
As he kept for occasions like this.

But the Queen wasn't fooled for a moment,
She knew all about Henry's ways;
She slipped off herself the next morning
And secretly watched that there maze.

She were hiding in t 'macaracapa
When Rosie came out for the milk,
And she fixed to her dress as she passed her
The end of a bobbin of silk.

Poor Rosie went back not suspecting
The trail she were leaving behind,
And the Queen slowly followed her gloating
At what she expected to find.

The King he were toasting a muffin,
And Rosie were wetting the tea,
When in walked the Queen her face shining
With a look of malevolent glee.

She'd a basin of poison in one hand,
In the other, a glittering knife
The King kind of goggled a moment,
Then turned and said " Rose... meet the wife!"

The Queen shoved the basin at Rosie,
And held the knife out by its point
It were plain she had no' but two choices,
The soup or a cut off the joint.

The Fair Rosamond begged for mercy.
She said, "What you've heard is not true,
Our friendship were purely platonic."
A yarn which in them days was new.

The King told the same tale as Rosie
And if that's not the truth, Queen," he cried,
May I die on this spot where I'm standing !
As he said it he skipped to one side.

The Queen at the finish believed them,
But to save further messing around,
She packed Rosie off to a Convent
And had the maze burnt to the ground.

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Fire Consumes What It Touches

Fire consumes what it touches!
But, love changes the heart;
And, your blue eyes will always be remembered.

Eat like a king and sleep like a queen!
For the roses of true love leads one to peace;
But, fire consumes what it touches.

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Patrick White

All That I Could Wish For You

All that I could wish for you or anyone else
is more than I could attain for myself.
So far from home for so long
as if home were the alibi
that put the distance between me and a lie
I got sick of telling myself
to feel I belonged somewhere to some people
who might look up from the compass
of what they’re doing once and awhile
into the thirty-six years of my absence
and care that I’m not there anymore.
So I wish you a door that opens
before you need to knock.
And a thief in a window you leave unlocked
so he can steal your heart like sterling silver
and pawn it off as moonlight.
I suspect most people are way too clever
to ever be loved the way they want to be
and I’m not saying that I’ve never been graced
by the mystery
of waking up beside someone I loved
dreaming next to me
about things I know nothing of
because love keeps its deepest secrets to itself
like water on the moon
but I wish you the purest of fountains
from the sweetest wellsprings of life
that don’t look upon the reflections of the clouds
or the leaves and birds that come to sip from its glass
as just another mouthful of polluted words
indelible as headlines
disposable as trash.
My light’s been bent
by a lot of black holes and gravitational eyes
in the five billion light years it’s taken to get here
like a past I almost forgot I had
and I’m not saying that’s bad
though it’s relatively slow
compared to the speed of thought
that overtook it like a hawk
coming down on a morning dove.
But I wish you the immensity of a clear night sky
it will take you forever to disappear in
because of all the things
you can learn to say good-bye to in this world
the hardest farewell to master is love.
I’ve always been grateful
for the gifts I’ve been given
and endeavoured like any other B.C. salmon
to make a gift of a gift
by swimming upstream
like a waterclock doubling back on its way to the sea.
Like the retrograde motion of Mars
there may be loops and nooses and garottes in my orbit
and small raw pieces of my heart I used
to bait the trapline
to catch and skin the fishers
that kept killing my cats when I lived on a farm
not very far from here
without meaning any harm to the wildlife
that accepted me as one of their own
and like I did them
left me alone.
Except for the fishers.
So I wish you a free passage through life
where every breath you take
adds another inch of feather to the wind
like a mindstream flowing into an older river of stars
with wild irises blooming along its banks
like blue flames of hydrogen
that stick their tongues in each others’ ears
as if they had something to say to one another
like lovers and celestial spheres
and oceans in a seashell
not well-intentioned highways lined with roadkill
like the primrose path to hell that most of us take
like a short cut back to a worse mistake
than the one we made to get here.
Most of my life
I’ve felt like a fluke of the truth
that was able to win out against
the astronomical odds
of my small chances of having the courage
to stand up for it like a strong voice
in a lottery of echoes
but fortunately I’ve always been
self-destructive enough
to risk everything in the name of nothing
I’ve ever seen
but sensed was near and clear to me
like a warm spring rain on a dirty window pane
like the gardens of ice
that grew out of my breath
like the tendrils of ferns unfurling
like the treble clefs of blue violins
in a sad exiled place
where the truth was music to my ears
that fell like the sound of rain from home on my roots
but felt like all the shattered chandeliers and broken mirrors
had gone into diaspora.
A crystal nacht of jackboots
refused to see the whole
reflected in every part of me as in them
like the yellow star
of the myriad-eyed conspiracy theory
that out shone the black hole they wanted to bury it in
like something you could catch
and put in your pocket
and save for a rainy day
like a ghetto or a bank to bail you out
whenever they got so fanatically deep into themselves
everything they felt
everything they had to say
was a debt to someone
they couldn’t possibly repay
even if they could turn
the bad luck of their swastikas the other way
like the prayer wheel of a poisonous flower
like hate mail disguised as a loveletter
even the wind and the light refused to answer.
So I wish you the mindscape and spirituality
of a generous country with a big sky
where the constellations have no nationality
other than free access to the great sea of awareness beyond
that reflects all the colours of the colour blind stars
and makes them feel they’ve made it home
as soon as their light arrives
like honey bees without borders
to open the flowers
like the passports of Japanese plum blossoms
that travel without i.d. anywhere they want
like the billions upon billions of fingerprints
that never lie about our common humanity
to anyone who needs to ask
who we all belong to
if it isn’t each other
and where we all come from
if it wasn’t from the same dark mother.
Poetry has been the most ardent folly of my crazy wisdom
for as long as I’ve known how to weep and wonder
in joy and sorrow
at the mystery and the horror
of what’s arrayed before us here
with such immensity
even time feels small in its presence.
Keats once said load every rift with ore
and so I have
but the greatest discipline of my calling
the gravest risk
the royal quatternio of Orphic alchemy
in the hands of a master shapeshifter
in the smile of a sacred clown
has been to approach the shining
without turning gold into a base metal.
To taste the water without fouling the well I drew it from.
To look at the stars without getting in their eyes.
To pursue an earthly excellence
that expressed the human divinity
that was born of suffering in everyone
without giving offense to the transcendentalists
who like to keep their gods unattainable
because I could see its immanence
was a lot closer to them
than they were to it.
I could see it in the hunch-back baglady
sorting through a garbage can at four in the morning
for the hidden jewel she was sure to find
if she looked deep enough.
I could see it in myself from time to time
when my mind strayed like a white horse
with an odd-shaped birthmark
in the middle of its forehead
because it wasn’t born lucky enough to be a logo
into the star fields of my reclusive neighbour
like the constellation Pegasus
through a gap in a fallen fence
and she was there to lead it back like a muse
along the Road of Ghosts
and you could tell by the smile on her face
that she’d always met me this way
and that there was nothing supernatural
in what she wasn’t trying to hide.
I can see it in you like light in a lamp
that isn’t cagey enough to keep a dove in
even if it wanted to
and it’s as clear as fireflies on a starless night
that it can’t and it won’t and it doesn’t.
So I wish for you a long love affair
with a passion you can’t marry.
A calling that doesn’t have your name on it
because it doesn’t belong to anyone
but loves the sound of your voice in the stairwell
whether you’re coming or going
and the picture-music you set it to
like morning glory on the moon
to let life speak through you in dead earnest
as if you were wholly possessed by the play
of the hero’s entrance
and the villain’s exit
though you know they’re both taking
a standing ovation in the same doorway.
I wish you the sublimity of a single blade of grass
and a darkness as profound as the shadow of an ant
and a heart like a bell of sorrows so sweet and deep
even in a single tear
it’s way out of its depths.
And in the evening just before the stars come out
and Venus is following
the last crescent of the moon
down in the west
having wandered as far as it dares from the sun
I wish you a soul so expansive and radiant with light
all the nights to come can’t help making
enlightened gestures of glee
toward the court jesters
who illuminate your crown with laughter
like waterlilies that shine up at everyone
out of their dark wisdom
and their artistic genius for working with water
like a Zen master amusing himself
with paper boats that float
like the moon on the mindstream
knowing there’s nowhere to go
nothing to do
no one to be
and no one to set free.
Because the people all know
there’s never been a river
that doesn’t lead to the sea
or a hand or a brush or a pen
following its own cursive script
like the holy book of a lost art
that isn’t written in blood
but makes itself up as it flows along
like a spiral galaxy without a star map
all the way to the heart.
And once the lightning’s rooted in your mind
and blossoms like fireflies
in a garden of insight
I wish you never a thought
whatever the mode of expression
whatever the fashion
whatever the theme
the scheme
the dream
that doesn’t tend like all lucidity
to sweeten the fruits of compassion.

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The Least That I Could Do?

What is love?


Do you know?
I would give you.

The blood of my blood.
The heart of my heart.

If I could physically die for you.
To make your life more peaceful.


I would do even that for you.

I would I could
so easily. So its so

easily to donate
an organ to you.

It’s the least that I could do.


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