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Around me
so much quietness...
a crab lost in the waves
drags the fishing line
in the middle of the river

tanka by from Our Window (2009), translated by Dumitru D. IfrimReport problemRelated quotes
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In The Middle

Don't cross the street in the middle in the middle
In the middle in the middle in the middle of the block
Don't cross the street in the middle in the middle
In the middle in the middle in the middle of the block
Use your eyes to look up
Use your ears to hear
Walk up to the corner when the coast is clear
And wait
And wait
Until you see the light turn green
Don't cross the street in the middle in the middle
In the middle in the middle in the middle of the block
Don't cross the street in the middle in the middle
In the middle in the middle in the middle of the block
Don't cross the street in the middle in the middle
In the middle in the middle in the middle of the block
Use your eyes to look up
Use your ears to hear
Walk up to the corner when the coast is clear
And wait
And wait
Until you see the light turn green
Don't cross the street in the middle in the middle
In the middle in the middle in the middle of the block
Don't cross the street in the middle in the middle
In the middle in the middle in the middle of the block

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Manteca

Written by dizzy gillespie and gil fuller
Crab in my shoemouth
Crab in my shoemouth
Crab in my shoemouth
Crab in my, crab in my, crab in my shoemouth
Crab in my shoemouth
Crab in my shoemouth
Crab in my shoemouth
Crab in my, crab in my, crab in my shoemouth

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Testify

Come a little closer it's a feeling that I can't deny
I was weak, but I never thought I'd speak about the darker side
Is that a ten? I could repent on the side of the road
But, I kept on going yeah I headed for another load
I get up from the ground in the middle of the morning
Up from the ground in the middle of the evening
Up from the ground in the middle of the night
Oh, I testify
I was laid upon the grave by a preacher's hand I cannot lie
And, I forsake many vows I made to be with you tonight
Could you be the salvation cause I never felt like this before
And, could you lend me your hand because I'm falling back on the floor
I get up from the ground in the middle of the morning
Up from the ground in the middle of the evening
Up from the ground in the middle of the night
Oh, I testify
On a road outside of nowhere, in the middle of the night
Well I guess I hit rock bottom and the dawn was not in sight
And a Tempest made of fire, onset the sky aglow
And a sweet young thing called out my name
And this is how it goes, she says...
Choir:
"Go boy, can you hear them?
Are you falling through the cracks in your eyes?"
"Go boy, can you hear them?
Are you falling through the cracks in your eyes?"
"Go boy, can you hear them?
Are you falling through the cracks in your eyes?"
Meatloaf: And I got down on my knees
Choir :"Go boy, can you hear them?
Are you falling through the cracks in your eyes?"
"Go boy, can you hear them?
Are you falling through the cracks in your eyes?"
Meatloaf (over the top of the choirs last two repititions):
I get up from the ground in the middle of the morning
Up from the ground in the middle of the evening
Up from the ground and I'm falling back down
Up from the ground and I testify
I get up from the ground in the middle of the morning
Up from the ground in the middle of the evening
Up from the ground and I'm falling back down
Up from the ground and I testify
Meatloaf & Choir:
Up from the ground in the middle of the morning
Up from the ground in the middle of the evening
Up from the ground and I'm falling back down
Up from the ground and I testify
Up from the ground in the middle of the morning
Up from the ground in the middle of the evening
Up from the ground and I'm falling back down

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Homer

The Iliad: Book 21

Now when they came to the ford of the full-flowing river Xanthus,
begotten of immortal Jove, Achilles cut their forces in two: one
half he chased over the plain towards the city by the same way that
the Achaeans had taken when flying panic-stricken on the preceding day
with Hector in full triumph; this way did they fly pell-mell, and Juno
sent down a thick mist in front of them to stay them. The other half
were hemmed in by the deep silver-eddying stream, and fell into it
with a great uproar. The waters resounded, and the banks rang again,
as they swam hither and thither with loud cries amid the whirling
eddies. As locusts flying to a river before the blast of a grass fire-
the flame comes on and on till at last it overtakes them and they
huddle into the water- even so was the eddying stream of Xanthus
filled with the uproar of men and horses, all struggling in
confusion before Achilles.
Forthwith the hero left his spear upon the bank, leaning it
against a tamarisk bush, and plunged into the river like a god,
armed with his sword only. Fell was his purpose as he hewed the
Trojans down on every side. Their dying groans rose hideous as the
sword smote them, and the river ran red with blood. As when fish fly
scared before a huge dolphin, and fill every nook and corner of some
fair haven- for he is sure to eat all he can catch- even so did the
Trojans cower under the banks of the mighty river, and when
Achilles' arms grew weary with killing them, he drew twelve youths
alive out of the water, to sacrifice in revenge for Patroclus son of
Menoetius. He drew them out like dazed fawns, bound their hands behind
them with the girdles of their own shirts, and gave them over to his
men to take back to the ships. Then he sprang into the river,
thirsting for still further blood.
There he found Lycaon, son of Priam seed of Dardanus, as he was
escaping out of the water; he it was whom he had once taken prisoner
when he was in his father's vineyard, having set upon him by night, as
he was cutting young shoots from a wild fig-tree to make the wicker
sides of a chariot. Achilles then caught him to his sorrow unawares,
and sent him by sea to Lemnos, where the son of Jason bought him.
But a guest-friend, Eetion of Imbros, freed him with a great sum,
and sent him to Arisbe, whence he had escaped and returned to his
father's house. He had spent eleven days happily with his friends
after he had come from Lemnos, but on the twelfth heaven again
delivered him into the hands of Achilles, who was to send him to the
house of Hades sorely against his will. He was unarmed when Achilles
caught sight of him, and had neither helmet nor shield; nor yet had he
any spear, for he had thrown all his armour from him on to the bank,
and was sweating with his struggles to get out of the river, so that
his strength was now failing him.
Then Achilles said to himself in his surprise, "What marvel do I see
here? If this man can come back alive after having been sold over into
Lemnos, I shall have the Trojans also whom I have slain rising from
the world below. Could not even the waters of the grey sea imprison
him, as they do many another whether he will or no? This time let
him taste my spear, that I may know for certain whether mother earth

[...] Read more

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Dont Count The Waves

Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.
Dont count the waves,
Dont count the waves.

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Amy Lowell

Pickthorn Manor

I

How fresh the Dartle's little waves that day!
A steely silver, underlined with blue,
And flashing where the round clouds, blown away,
Let drop the yellow sunshine to gleam through
And tip the edges of the waves with shifts
And spots of whitest fire, hard like gems
Cut from the midnight moon they were, and sharp
As wind through leafless stems.
The Lady Eunice walked between the drifts
Of blooming cherry-trees, and watched the rifts
Of clouds drawn through the river's azure warp.

II

Her little feet tapped softly down the path.
Her soul was listless; even the morning breeze
Fluttering the trees and strewing a light swath
Of fallen petals on the grass, could please
Her not at all. She brushed a hair aside
With a swift move, and a half-angry frown.
She stopped to pull a daffodil or two,
And held them to her gown
To test the colours; put them at her side,
Then at her breast, then loosened them and tried
Some new arrangement, but it would not do.

III

A lady in a Manor-house, alone,
Whose husband is in Flanders with the Duke
Of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, she's grown
Too apathetic even to rebuke
Her idleness. What is she on this Earth?
No woman surely, since she neither can
Be wed nor single, must not let her mind
Build thoughts upon a man
Except for hers. Indeed that were no dearth
Were her Lord here, for well she knew his worth,
And when she thought of him her eyes were kind.

IV

Too lately wed to have forgot the wooing.
Too unaccustomed as a bride to feel
Other than strange delight at her wife's doing.
Even at the thought a gentle blush would steal
Over her face, and then her lips would frame
Some little word of loving, and her eyes

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No Crab

Whether it's Crab soup,
or whether it's crab cakes,
whether it's crab puffs
or whether it's crab flakes

crab gumbo or crab dressing,
it's all the same to me,
for crab is crab is crab
and I detest the taste.

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Pharsalia - Book V: The Oracle. The Mutiny. The Storm

Thus had the smiles of Fortune and her frowns
Brought either chief to Macedonian shores
Still equal to his foe. From cooler skies
Sank Atlas' daughters down, and Haemus' slopes
Were white with winter, and the day drew nigh
Devoted to the god who leads the months,
And marking with new names the book of Rome,
When came the Fathers from their distant posts
By both the Consuls to Epirus called
Ere yet the year was dead: a foreign land
Obscure received the magistrates of Rome,
And heard their high debate. No warlike camp
This; for the Consul's and the Praetor's axe
Proclaimed the Senate-house; and Magnus sat
One among many, and the state was all.

When all were silent, from his lofty seat
Thus Lentulus began, while stern and sad
The Fathers listened: 'If your hearts still beat
With Latian blood, and if within your breasts
Still lives your fathers' vigour, look not now
On this strange land that holds us, nor enquire
Your distance from the captured city: yours
This proud assembly, yours the high command
In all that comes. Be this your first decree,
Whose truth all peoples and all kings confess;
Be this the Senate. Let the frozen wain
Demand your presence, or the torrid zone
Wherein the day and night with equal tread
For ever march; still follows in your steps
The central power of Imperial Rome.
When flamed the Capitol with fires of Gaul
When Veii held Camillus, there with him
Was Rome, nor ever though it changed its clime
Your order lost its rights. In Caesar's hands
Are sorrowing houses and deserted homes,
Laws silent for a space, and forums closed
In public fast. His Senate-house beholds
Those Fathers only whom from Rome it drove,
While Rome was full. Of that high order all
Not here, are exiles. Ignorant of war,
Its crimes and bloodshed, through long years of peace,
Ye fled its outburst: now in session all
Are here assembled. See ye how the gods
Weigh down Italia's loss by all the world
Thrown in the other scale? Illyria's wave
Rolls deep upon our foes: in Libyan wastes
Is fallen their Curio, the weightier part
Of Caesar's senate! Lift your standards, then,
Spur on your fates and prove your hopes to heaven.

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Lining Track

This song was first released on the all aboard! album. it is the only album it has been released on.
Mo boys, is you right
Done got it right
All I hate about linin track
These ol boys are gonna break my back
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
See eloise gonna line em track
Down in the holler below the fleld
Angels working on the chariot wheel
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
See eloise gonna line em track
Mary and the babe was a sittin in the shade
Thinking on the money that I aint made
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
See eloise gonna line em track
Moses stood on the red sea shore
Gotta batten down the waves with a 2 by 4
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
See eloise gonna line em track
Now if I could I surely would
Stand on the rock where moses stood
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
See eloise gonna line em track
Matthew, mark, luke and john
All them disciples dead and gone
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
See eloise gonna line em track
Mo boys, is you right
Done got it right
All I hate about lining track
These ol boys about to break my back
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
Mo boys, cant you line em (track a lack)
See eloise gonna line em track
Words and music by huddie ledbetter

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But For Being Lost

As black imbued black, so was rendered the pitch of darkness
That befogged this godforsaken yard of graves -
And too the dank, ‘til now forgotten chapel that
Did little to grace these forlorn grounds.

Yet here stood I, seemingly first to tread this weed-ridden soil
Since times of yore when life had erstwhile blessed this land.
But for being lost in solitude - as does a country wanderer -
Would I not have happened across this morbid landscape.

And though detail rendered barely visible to my naked eye –
For desperately had the moon tried to break through this jet fog –
A sense of something suffused the place.
Was it those tormented spirits desperate for absolution,
Or perhaps the gargoyles teasing me on whether they be of stone or living flesh?

I was drawn to the oak door as it enticingly opened in passage for me.
The organ called from down the nave and through the pale orange of unsteady light
- that which could only be mustered from the few discoloured, moribund candles.
Could I also hear a distant choir of stern voices, as if in effort to scold me?

As I approached, those tarnished pipes came into view.
Standing erect with gothic pride, they bore down on me with patronising air -
Exaggerated by the disjointed sneering of minor chords,
As if to state that insignificant I had henceforth no grant of solace.

In answer, I steadied my rocking legs and racing mind to wonder of this scenario.
And in doing so, I found myself waking from a cramped dream –
Whence the message dawned: mine had been such a claustrophobic life.

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2009


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Through the eyes of a Field Coronet (Epic)

Introduction

In the kaki coloured tent in Umbilo he writes
his life’s story while women, children and babies are dying,
slowly but surely are obliterated, he see how his nation is suffering
while the events are notched into his mind.

Lying even heavier on him is the treason
of some other Afrikaners who for own gain
have delivered him, to imprisonment in this place of hatred
and thoughts go through him to write a book.


Prologue

The Afrikaner nation sprouted
from Dutchmen,
who fought decades without defeat
against the super power Spain

mixed with French Huguenots
who left their homes and belongings,
with the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
Associate this then with the fact

that these people fought formidable
for seven generations
against every onslaught that they got
from savages en wild animals

becoming marksmen, riding
and taming wild horses
with one bullet per day
to hunt a wild antelope,

who migrated right across the country
over hills in mass protest
and then you have
the most formidable adversary
and then let them fight

in a natural wilderness
where the hunter,
the sniper and horseman excels
and any enemy is at a lost.

Let them then also be patriotic
into their souls,
believe in and read
out of the word of God

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Nite Line

Calling on the nite line
Waking me up
Calling on the nite line
(calling on the nite line)
Cant get enough
Calling on the nite line
(calling on the nite line)
Whisper in my ear
Sending through the fire line
(calling on the nite line)
What Id like to hear
Every night about midnight
The call comes through
You turn it on the nite line
cause you know just what to do
And Ill be waiting
(Ill be waiting)
By the phone
(by the phone) alone.
Calling on the nite line
Waking me up
(call me, baby)
Calling on the nite line - hee!
Cant get enough
(call me, darling)
Calling on the nite line - hee!
Whisper in my ear - aow!
Sending through the fire line
What Id like to hear
Make it person-to-person
Make it heart-to-heart
Darling, your communication
Is sending up sparks
Ill be waiting
(Ill be waiting)
By the phone
(by the phone)
Why dont you give me a call?
(calling on the nite line
Getting me up)
I wanna call
(calling on the nite line
Cant get enough)
Why dont you call me, baby? hee!
Call me on the nite line!
(call me, darling!)
Whisper in my ear
(wont you call me, baby!) hee!
Sending through the fire line
What Id like to hear - oo!

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Double Helix Abecedarian - Xylophonic Resonance He Licks Enigmatic

XYLOPHONIC RESONANCE HE LICKS ENIGMATIC
Kindly refer to notes. and see Temptations and Poetic Pizza Extravaganza below :)

Xylophonic Resonance
double helix abecedarian

The first line begins with A and ends with Z
the next line begins with Z and ends with A
The next line begins with B and ends with Y
The next line begins with Y and ends with B
The next line begins with C and ends with X
The next line begins with X and ends with C

A to Z top down A to Z bottom up



All fizzle, finish frazzled, launched with fizZ.
Zero dreams teem when spirit seems at seA
Because most adepts of philosophY
Yearn for zenith seldom dwell on ebB,
Carpe diem value, seeking sea, sun, seX.
Xylem tree of life’s cannibalistiC
Desires corrupt deeds most men seW,
With survival’s urge soon lost indeeD.
Events churn causal patterns, AsimoV
Viewed clearly, took as starship journey cuE
Finding worlds which may appeal to yoU,
Unknown reader from beyond Time’s gulF -
Great divide between those past, those lefT -
Time travellers peruse these lines to sinG
High praise of poets who’ll know no more springS.
Spontaneousl prose poem picks pensive patH
In patter pattern, feet dance to empoweR.
Rhythm harmonious, need no alibI,
Joins sense, style versatile, from mind's H.Q.,
Questions seeks, finds answers. Soujourn’s hadJ
Knowledge acquires to share more than to keeP,
Pipes clear to others drifting through the darK.
Lark sings dawn’s welcome song, and each man’s taO
Opens connections, on life’s sea a-saiL
Ma d, sad, glad, bad, for threescore years and teN
Never certain of his mortal aiM,
Nor sure to gain posthumous fame, acclaiM,
Making ends meet in hope to rise agaiN
On judgement day should trust and faith prevaiL.
Life-spans increase but trite hullabaloO
Prepares too few for winding sheet, corpse starK,

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Beautiful River

And he showed me a pure River of Water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb." -- Rev. xxii. 1


Shall we gather at the river
Where bright angel feet have trod;
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?

CHORUS.

Yes, we'll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river --
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will walk and worship ever,
All the happy, golden day.

Yes, we'll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river --
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

On the bosom of the river,
Where the Saviour-king we own,
We shall meet, and sorrow never
'Neath the glory of the throne. Cho.

Yes, we'll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river --
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown. Cho.

Yes, we'll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river --
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

At the smiling of the river,
Rippling with the Saviour's face,
Saints, whom death will never sever,
Lift their songs of saving grace. Cho.

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Oxymoron

Oxymoron:
fresh fish

*********


JBO:

'The beach at Sanibel... an Arlington Cemetery of shells.'
*
Every suffocated or strangled fish is first given
waterboarding sensations.
*
Fishes more frequently than
mammals or birds are cut open
alive, while their eyes watch
the knifing of others and their
gills struggle for absent air.

Fish cannot scream.
Greed for suffocated fish flesh causes seals to be clubbed in Canada, Norway, S Africa etc., dolphins to be knifed in Japan, whales to be murdered by
Norwegian Japanese Icelandic and American Inuit fishermen, bears
to be murdered in Alaska, untold thousands of fishermen to
be lost in tsunamis,700 Bangladesh fishermen lost in just 1 storm, Thai fishermen working for slave wages, tens of millions around
the world to die of stomach cancer, food poisoning etc.**


What's in fish? unreported Mad Fish
Disease, nuclear toxins a million
times more concentrated than in
sea water, AIDS from unprocessed
human waste dumped into
the oceans, hepatitis, anaphylactic shock, ecoli,
and other food poisoning,
throat, stomach and other cancers,
mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, pbb's, pcb's, thousands
of carcinogenic industrial waste products, and heavy metal sired
brain damage, pfiesteria (red tide) which poisons the fishes

FISH CAN'T SCREAM, FISH TOXINS, FISH STORIES

Are all anglers stranglers?


Dick Gregory: Eating fish liver oil is like eating the filter out of a car.

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Restricted Area

High voltage in the air
No way to know its good or bad
Dont try to trick it down
Otherwise you could be dead
So just look out
It may be mean
Just cant be too afraid of this machine
A hole in the middle of the night
In the middle of the night
Restricted area
A hole in the middle of the night
Restricted area
Your brains been mesmerized
And in your mind this place is full of steel,
So full of steel
So shift to overdrive
Crash away the gang with the men from another space
So be aware
Just leave the scene
The worlds been metallized by this machine
A hole in the middle of the night
In the middle of the night
Restricted area
A hole in the middle of the night
Restricted area
A hole in the middle of the night
In the middle of the night
Restricted area
A hole in the middle of the night
In the middle of the night
Restricted area
A hole in the middle of the night
In the middle of the night
The worlds been metallized
A hole in the middle of the night
Restricted area
A hole in the middle of the night
In the middle of the night
Its a restricted area
Hold on - hold on - hold on
Your brains been mesmerized
A hole in the middle of the night
In the middle of the night
Youre heavy metallized
A hole in the middle of the night

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Philip K. Dick

There is nothing fantastic or ultradimansional about crab grass... unless you are an sf writer, in which case pretty soon you are viewing crab grass with suspicion. What are it's real motives And who sent it here in the first place It only looks like crab grass. That's what they want us to think it is. One day the crab grass suit will fall off and their true identity will be revealed. By then the Pentagon will be full of crab grass and it'll be too late. The crab grass, or what we took to be crab grass, will dictate terms.

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Pharsalia - Book IV: Caesar In Spain. War In The Adriatic Sea. Death Of Curio.

But in the distant regions of the earth
Fierce Caesar warring, though in fight he dealt
No baneful slaughter, hastened on the doom
To swift fulfillment. There on Magnus' side
Afranius and Petreius held command,
Who ruled alternate, and the rampart guard
Obeyed the standard of each chief in turn.
There with the Romans in the camp were joined
Asturians swift, and Vettons lightly armed,
And Celts who, exiled from their ancient home,
Had joined 'Iberus' to their former name.
Where the rich soil in gentle slope ascends
And forms a modest hill, Ilerda stands,
Founded in ancient days; beside her glides
Not least of western rivers, Sicoris
Of placid current, by a mighty arch
Of stone o'erspanned, which not the winter floods
Shall overwhelm. Upon a rock hard by
Was Magnus' camp; but Caesar's on a hill,
Rivalling the first; and in the midst a stream.
Here boundless plains are spread beyond the range
Of human vision; Cinga girds them in
With greedy waves; forbidden to contend
With tides of ocean; for that larger flood
Who names the land, Iberus, sweeps along
The lesser stream commingled with his own.

Guiltless of war, the first day saw the hosts
In long array confronted; standard rose
Opposing standard, numberless; yet none
Essayed attack, in shame of impious strife.
One day they gave their country and her laws.
But Caesar, when from heaven fell the night,
Drew round a hasty trench; his foremost rank
With close array concealing those who wrought.
Then with the morn he bids them seize the hill
Which parted from the camp Ilerda's walls,
And gave them safety. But in fear and shame
On rushed the foe and seized the vantage ground,
First in the onset. From the height they held
Their hopes of conquest; but to Caesar's men
Their hearts by courage stirred, and their good swords
Promised the victory. Burdened up the ridge
The soldier climbed, and from the opposing steep
But for his comrade's shield had fallen back;
None had the space to hurl the quivering lance
Upon the foeman: spear and pike made sure
The failing foothold, and the falchion's edge
Hewed out their upward path. But Caesar saw
Ruin impending, and he bade his horse

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Middle Of The Night

By: jimmy buffett, michael utley, will jennings, art neville
1983
Middle of the night
Hold on till morning
We will see the light
Love is spawning
Middle of the night
Hold on forever
Well know when its right
All together
When will we listen
When will we ever learn
Read all about it
This tide has got to turn
Middle of the night
Hold on till morning
We will see the light
Love is spawning
Middle of the night
Hold on forever
Well know when its right
All together
Old folks and babys
Theyre crying in the storm
I tried to tell them
Soon theyll be safe and warm
Middle of the night
Hold on till morning
We will see the light
Love is spawning
Middle of the night
Hold on forever
Well know when its right
All together
Lord let us out of this hall full of mirrors
Make it all clearer
Dont let us fall
In the middle of the night
Middle of the night
New voices calling
Saying its alright
Im not falling
Middle of the night
Halfway till morning
Middle of my life
New days dawning
Middle of the night
Hold on till morning
We will see the light
Love is spawning

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Pharsalia - Book VI: The Fight Near Dyrhachium. Scaeva's Exploits. The Witch Of Thessalia.

Now that the chiefs with minds intent on fight
Had drawn their armies near upon the hills
And all the gods beheld their chosen pair,
Caesar, the Grecian towns despising, scorned
To reap the glory of successful war
Save at his kinsman's cost. In all his prayers
He seeks that moment, fatal to the world,
When shall be cast the die, to win or lose,
And all his fortune hang upon the throw.
Thrice he drew out his troops, his eagles thrice,
Demanding battle; thus to increase the woe
Of Latium, prompt as ever: but his foes,
Proof against every art, refused to leave
The rampart of their camp. Then marching swift
By hidden path between the wooded fields
He seeks, and hopes to seize, Dyrrhachium's fort;
But Magnus, speeding by the ocean marge,
First camped on Petra's slopes, a rocky hill
Thus by the natives named. From thence he keeps
Watch o'er the fortress of Corinthian birth
Which by its towers alone without a guard
Was safe against a siege. No hand of man
In ancient days built up her lofty wall,
No hammer rang upon her massive stones:
Not all the works of war, nor Time himself
Shall undermine her. Nature's hand has raised
Her adamantine rocks and hedged her in
With bulwarks girded by the foamy main:
And but for one short bridge of narrow earth
Dyrrhachium were an island. Steep and fierce,
Dreaded of sailors, are the cliffs that bear
Her walls; and tempests, howling from the west,
Toss up the raging main upon the roofs;
And homes and temples tremble at the shock.

Thirsting for battle and with hopes inflamed
Here Caesar hastes, with distant rampart lines
Seeking unseen to coop his foe within,
Though spread in spacious camp upon the hills.
With eagle eye he measures out the land
Meet to be compassed, nor content with turf
Fit for a hasty mound, he bids his troops
Tear from the quarries many a giant rock:
And spoils the dwellings of the Greeks, and drags
Their walls asunder for his own. Thus rose
A mighty barrier which no ram could burst
Nor any ponderous machine of war.
Mountains are cleft, and level through the hills
The work of Caesar strides: wide yawns the moat,
Forts show their towers rising on the heights,

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