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Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour.

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Girl And Gun

“All that you need is a girl and a gun
if you making a film, ” said Jean-Luc Godard.
In the dark with a girl you can have as much fun
as a guy who’s been laid in a film that is noir,
but if, when you switch on the light, you discover
the girl isn’t loaded, walk out of the trailer,
and if she complains that you’ve been a bad lover,
take out a revolver with which you can nail her.

Inspired by Manohla Dargis’s review of Gustav Deutsch’s “Film 1st, a Girl & an Gun” in the December 2,2009 NYT (“The Old Clips, A Paradise Found and Lost”) :
To make a film, ” Jean-Luc Godard once memorably said, “all you need is a girl and a gun.” (A little money helps.) In “Film Ist. a Girl & a Gun, ” the Austrian director Gustav Deutsch complicates this witty, deceptively simple formula with a wealth of found footage (material shot by others for other purposes) borrowed from film archives from around the world. As the title suggests, there are girls (voluptuous, ecstatic, threatened) and there are guns (hard, phallic, threatening) along with something of a narrative. If the narrative that Mr. Deutsch has created is rather less thrilling than his mostly silent and often glorious images, this is nonetheless a story well worth considering, and watching. Using material gathered from the likes of the Imperial War Museum (in Britain) and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction (at Indiana University) , he has fashioned something of an origin story about cinema itself. It’s a tale that begins with an unidentified image of a woman in buckskin shooting at some targets and ends with a cowboy bandit pointing his gun at the camera, an image appropriated from Edwin S. Porter’s 1903 short, “The Great Train Robbery, ” one of the most famous in cinema history. Tucked between these loaded images, as it were, is a vision of cinematic paradise, found and lost.
Tumult of a kind pursues the shooting woman (nothing new there) in the form of a mesmerizing, mysterious shot of what looks like an archery target in flames and some text (“at the first Chaos came to be”) from “Theogony, ” an epic Greek poem by Hesiod about the origin of the world. The archery target gives way to fiery orange images of billowing smoke and some electronic thrumming. (The intermittent score tends to underscore the obvious.) The thrumming turns to droning, the smoke turns to lava, followed by more Hesiod (“wide-bosomed earth”) , a woman with bountiful breasts, “Paradeisos” (Greek for paradise) and naked beachfront frolickers…
Women turn out to be the fly in the ointment in “a Girl & a Gun.” (“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor” or so it says in Ecclesiastes.) Among the many images that follow, many beautifully and floridly tinted, are sleeping, dreaming and fornicating clothed and unclothed women. In one early section, a woman drowsing in a steam room seems to dream of both an undulating jellyfish and a swimming man. In another section, a woman watches a man spin four strange dials hidden behind a cabinet, as if he were initiating her into a secret world. (On the soundtrack, you hear “she dies.”) A world, a subsequent shot suggests — of a woman reading a newspaper with the headline “Cine Monde” — that has been made from images…With “a Girl & a Gun, ” Mr. Deutsch brings in Eros and Thanatos to a seductive if familiar end.


12/2/09

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Patrick White

The Swan Flies Over The Lace Corals Of The Trees

The swan flies over the lace corals of the trees.
Albireo in Cygnus homing west.
The boa of the moon unfeathered
by the brittle eclipse of broken shale
that shatters its vase upon the waters
like a high note cracks an hour glass
or a snapping turtle rises
from the bottom of a lake
to pull the full moon down by the leg.
My path is strewn
by lunar peony petals,
by the twilight of a blue rose,
by the silk parachutes of the milkweed pods
by the ghosts of the medicine men
among the wild poppies
shaking their dry rattles at the moon
long after the fire's gone out
at a ghost dance for rain.
And I'm sad like smoke
for reasons I can't discern.
A peaceful sorrow among
the bells in my blood as if
we all mourned for the same thing.
Tears falling from the departing wing
of a waterbird rising out of the shadows
like a startling revelation of things to come.
Late autumn and the work
of fulfilment and loss is done.
The winged samara of the maples
lie all over the ground
in a no fly zone of cancelled flight plans.
And there's a silence
that isn't the afterlife of sound
deeper than the night
that's closing in upon me
and there's the skull of a snake
like a crown without jewels
on the top of a ladder of ribs
laid out on a rock like wampum
it wants to trade for my eyes.
And looking up at the stars
who can say the word eternity
even to themselves
without making the world
and everything in it feel like a smaller place?
And who can say the word love
even as a master of metaphors
and not feel they're apprenticed
to a work in progress
like Great Barrier Reefs
and Gothic cathedrals on the moon
painted like caves in the New Stone Age?
The last of the asters
exchange similitudes with the stars
as tokens of what they have in common
like diamond and carbon
without really knowing what they are.
Whether one is the estranged avatar
of the other in exile
or merely intimate familiars
with good spiritual manners
on a first name basis
with what they feel they see
of their afterlives in each other's eyes.
As it is with everything here
speaking in an unknown language
as old as the hills,
older than the moon
like a Rosetta stone
buried in a desert of stars.
The living word, the cursive script
of the original wavelengths
of a snake with wings,
circumpolar Draco,
now a pictograph of bones.
I've been reading the constellations
all my life, the mother-tongue
of an alphabet that said everything
into existence like braille I can see
through my fingertips
and read under my feet
like the footprints of a long journey
I've undertaken to everywhere,
dead twigs in the Book of Changes
trying to decipher themselves like yarrow sticks
and withered leaves, gnostic gospels
burnt in the Bedouin fires of fall,
all Mayan glyphs of a clockwork catastrophe,
Cretan linear B that talks to itself
like the dream of a sleepwalking Greek
gibbering among the dead?
Polyglot grammars in the tree of life
trying to make an aviary of words
without tongue-tying the roosting birds
to any one branch of the mystery,
any one note of their infinite vocabulary.
Aren't we all trying to express
the inexpressible through words,
through the sacred syllables
of trees, stars, stones, the black swans
of our occult history, pine-cones,
caterpillars in cocoons
foggy as smudged moons.
Or dragonflies who make
a chrysalis of our throats,
this little house of dead things
we keep trying to give a voice to
like an echo of ourselves,
these hovels and palaces of starmud
we glue together like perfectly bound books
patched from the rags of our tents
torn like wild irises
in this time-swept desert of stars
abandoning our ancestral campfires
for a distant mirage in a wanderlust of smoke
to undergo our transformations,
snakes that have grown wings and sing
three octaves higher than they used to crawl
like an ambush on its belly
through the silence of the river reeds,
a shuttle through a loom,
the loose thread
of an earthbound flying carpet
unravelling like the moon,
shedding its skin like a myth of origin
generation after generation.
Here the spirits of the dead
are not summoned to answer
their names in the mouth of a medium
as if a tree in winter
were to call its birds back
to the abandoned nests,
the empty hearts it holds up
like begging bowls to the sky.
This is not the bone-box
of anything's final resting place.
This is not the paleolithic tomb
of a retreating glacier carving
spiritual moats around sacred moraines
to elevate the middens of its remains
keeping its fingers crossed
like the ecliptic and the celestial equator
at the spring equinox it will
be reborn again like the sun
hatching out of its cosmic egg
like a phoenix at the winter solstice.
Here, if you listen, if you see,
if you're a windwatcher like me,
or the crows in the tops of the aspens,
you can read what the dead are writing
in waves shuddering on the waters of life
like the lines of a poem
that has just touched your startled heart
with a feather of breath so poignant,
everything you see before you,
from the hidden wisdom
in the bones of encrypted snakes,
to the runic striations
on the prophetic skulls of the rocks,
is the lyrical masterpiece of the dead
to the living that it's dedicated to
like a genius to an unknown muse
that whispers something in the crowns
of the leafless birch that feels as if
even as winter approaches like a new moon
everything here in this cradle
of life, light and insight
can hear the ancient lullabies and requiems
of the hidden nightbirds of the dead
blossoming in their roots long before
they're published on the wind
like tomorrow's waterbirds returning
to the dead seas and mindstreams
of the harvest moon that inspires them.
Not the coffin, not the trilithon altars
and gates of red-winged sky burials,
not the pyres of the sumac
cremating a phoenix with a flight plan,
but this crucible and cradle of earth
is where it all happens like honey
pouring out of the dark ore of death
indelibly as gold, and water, and breath.
This holiest house of transformation
where the dead hold the new moon
in the arms of the old, not
to teach them how to exit hell
like a bell of light out of the darkness
but how to enter heaven
like a thread of insight
through a needle in the dark
with your eyes wide open
like the seedbed of the dead
to a clearing by the side of a river
they know as well as the names of the stars
that bloomed here last year
like the constellations
of the New England asters
who didn't wear a black halo of comets
this far off the beaten path,
or a crown of thorns like splintered glass
chipped from the lens of a telescope
but handed out new zodiacs
like superannuated tree rings
in the heartwood of an early spring
like fish jumping
through their own ripples
to add a little bling and flash
like starstruck earrings
to hang like vital signs
from the lobes of the new moon in Pisces.
Here in this place
where the arrow hits the target
like the wavelength of a hawk
sparing the morning dove
with a sprig of peace in its beak,
isn't the end of the journey,
isn't the acquisition of anything we seek
but precisely where the bulls-eye
of the expanding universe begins
under these eyelids of water and light
living us all like shapeshifters
in a dream of transformation
where the preludes of our beginnings
are already nudging their way
like a crocus of thought,
a moonrise of emotion,
out of the earth, out of
the spring thaw in our hearts
even before the first snow flake falls
like a distant star on the eyelids
of the darkening hills
or this nugget of a snake's skull
exchanging wardrobes with the moon
swallows it whole like a cosmic egg
that has swapped the bright vacancy
of the first and last crescents of its fangs
for the dark abundance of the new
as if death and life were
the particle and wavelength phase
snowflakes and stars, waterbirds
and the serpent fire of red-shifted dragons,
were the life and death masks of the same face,
the same breath, the same bone, blood, flesh,
the scrolls and gnostic gospels of skin
we abandon like the myths of origin
of our last avatars, our last incarnations
as if the same size of life and death fits all
even as our skeletons are raised up
like hot dice in the throw of a winning hand,
snake-eyes, or seven come eleven the same
up into the stars like circumpolar constellations
as if they were nothing but thresholds
and event horizons shining radiantly
in all directions at once with no fixed place
that lets anyone stand in the doorway for long,
whether you're exiting your coffin like a seed,
or making a grand entrance among the stars
of your vast, palatial homelessness
as if you'd just returned
to this prodigal house of life
a moment ago, and hadn't gone far.
No further than the front and back doors
of your next life, your next death, pulse, breath,
radiance of bright vacancy,
eclipse of dark abundance,
like the new moon in the arms of the old.
Mortal ore with a lifespan of imperishable gold.

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Dead Will Be The King

Why believe the heart torn, which is the only thief - Why not put me to death, a feast with the dead - Finally for my dark soul, the pressure of pleasure to a release - When you are unhappy, a cross of grief - I am happy, when my nose bleeds, nails taste like my tongue, i vomit, just to breathe - The fly fed by my meat of flesh, she reaps, i cry, in defeat - I will obey the wind, the flow off her rotten wings - I will swell, if she stings - I shall be her joker, her jack, her queen - If she wears the crown and i bow to a box, dead will be the king.

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When The Dead Whisper To The Living

When the dead whisper to the living
That they can’t go home again
The living wonder and wait and have no answer
They want to help but they cannot-
The dead whisper and whisper and whisper again
And then cry out at night in the screams of dreams of nightmares everlasting
They ask they demand
But no one ever answers them.
‘You can’t come home again’ says the cliché
And the dead know the meaning of this on their flesh
If they have any flesh left-
They want to return
They want to touch this place again
But they cannot-
How gone are we all then and will we by when we say goodbye forever
To this dear earth and small home
Which we sometimes love.

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Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground

Dead leaves and the dirty ground
when I know you're not around
shiny tops and soda pops
when I hear your lips make a sound
Thirty notes in the mailbox
will tell you that I'm coming home
and I think I'm gonna stick around
for a while so you're not alone
If you can hear a piano fall
you can hear me coming down the hall
if I could just hear your pretty voice
I don't think I need to see at all
Soft hair and a velvet tongue
I want to give you what you give to me
and every breath that is in your lungs
is a tiny little gift to me
I didn't feel so bad till the sun went down
then I come home
no one to wrap my arms around
Well any man with a microphone
can tell you what he loves the most
and you know why you love at all
if you're thinking of the holy ghost

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The Dead Silence of the Heart

i dreamt of strawberry-rhubarb pie,
and fresh brewed black coffee...
long slow tender sensual sex,
lips hungry for mine.

the sound of rain in the night,
wrapping the earth in stillness.
walking in the frozen sunrise
with my old dog by my side.

climbing Hawksbill on a spring day,
looking down over the gorge in awe.
barefoot, planting a garden,
believing in the sun and the rain.

playing an old Gibson on the porch,
deep rich tones lost in the breeze.
the taste of good bourbon, and a smoke,
paying tribute to the sunset.

standing by the stone in a cementary,
talking without words, still heard.
writing poetry with a shovel,
and a borrowed pen...

flying with the hawk to eternity,
sprouting green leaves
on frozen branches... listening
for the sound of your voice...

in the dead silence of the heart.

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Dead Silence Of The Heart

I dreamt of strawberry-rhubarb pie,
and fresh brewed black coffee...
long slow tender sensual sex,
lips hungry for mine.

The sound of rain in the night,
wrapping the earth in stillness.
walking in the frozen sunrise
with my old dog by my side.

Climbing Hawksbill on a spring day,
looking down over the gorge in awe.
barefoot, planting a garden,
believing in the sun and the rain.

Playing an old Gibson on the porch,
deep rich tones lost in the breeze.
the taste of good bourbon, and a smoke,
paying tribute to the sunset.

Standing by the stone in a cementary,
talking without words, still heard.
writing poetry with a shovel,
and a borrowed pen...

Flying with the hawk to eternity,
sprouting green leaves
on frozen branches... listening
for the sound of your voice...

In the dead silence of the heart.

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Dead, Dying and the Dreamer

Desire offered me a Joyful Blindness
new each time from the Caldron

such that I succumbed each time
moved thereby
to cheat Death himself
accepting thereby the double
conundrum
that a too intense Desire

can kill the Dream it inspires

and sometimes too, kill the Dreamer

condemning him or her perhaps
to surfing the tides of blowback

the Damocles Pillars of Blame and Time,

seeing Fate toss dice

with his life

in the back room

where secrets hold

sway

and lie down

with Soothing Regrets

who utters

"It's not your fault."

Where pressures are

presented;

where I get to

wed my Desire

where I get to

go away

into Indeterminate Time

and come back

wondering where I have been

and guilty bred I

punish those ugly muses

which time and time again

take me right back

to square one

where next time I do it all over again;
Desire's slave or consort
undetermined
yet I am

lashed to the mast

of that runaway ship

adrift with the tides

destination unknown, uncertainty

until the Final One

which is easily foreseen

in that scene

where the Reaper laughs

saying
"In the end all come to me

some crying, some denying

some defiant

some bitter draught drinkers

of their erstwhile lives

but all succumb

to my dark web at end;
yet in this
none I resent more

than types like you, " he said

"who come plumped up smiling

sated from Life's Desires.

irritating me the more than the others

because those like you enjoyed their lives

despite my entreaties

that they should not.

Nay they wed their desires
fulfilled them
willingly paying the price
in Despairs coin
because you see my friend

the Dreamers

cheat me
Death

even after they are dead.

A secret well known

but seldom recognized;
if you kill the dream,

you, too, have killed the dreamer

and their death my friend
is final;

but in those like you
those with the capacity for rampaging Desire
preceding the dream

cheat me Death
and you are my mortal enemy.

Better you humans not understand

that the secret is
better to over-sip

Desire

than not to desire at all

than not

to Dream at all.

The Desireless

are the ones I crave
because they come to me already dead.
I like the one's who have spent

their lives self-denied

because they become
for me my dead and docile
and are easily plied

Into my Marching Lines
of the Well-Disciplined
and
truly
Dead Now and Gone.
The Dreamers
alas,
I've learned
cheat me Death

because their Dream lives on
and on.

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James Joyce

When the Shy Star Goes Forth in Heaven

When the shy star goes forth in heaven
All maidenly, disconsolate,
Hear you amid the drowsy even
One who is singing by your gate.
His song is softer than the dew
And he is come to visit you.

O bend no more in revery
When he at eventide is calling.
Nor muse: Who may this singer be
Whose song about my heart is falling?
Know you by this, the lover's chant,
'Tis I that am your visitant.

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Patrick White

House Full Of Spirits

House full of spirits, suffering ones, dead flies
punctuate the way
your lives have settled
on the windowsills of an indifferent eternity;
as foretold, the wind
has raked up your footprints like leaves,
and your smile no longer denudes the rose,
not even a rag of flesh
to sop up your exquisite tears.

And still, no one understands your pain,
no one sits around your heart,
the raging blue fire of your fragrant grief
trying to water your eyes like gardens.

And the brides move like waves
without a sea, the shadows of young horses,
and love that promised so much
down on its knees at the end of a wharf
that never led anywhere,
thistled into hatred and smouldering suicide,
and blood that rattled its chains at the moon,
and the years passed without remark
as if the measure of a life
were a butter knife and a French carnation.

Late at night, when the town sleeps,
when every thought
falls like the feather of a passing bird
or a pellet of bitter rain against the weeping glass,
as if the unrighteous were being stoned
by those without sin, I feel you
looking for your passage back through me,
as if you would adorn my voice
with the phantom bells of a forgotten joy
you never told anyone about,
as if you would add the ghost down
of your aimless autumn
to the warmth and moisture of my breath,
and flavour the air
with the subtle auroras, the secret dawns
of your quiet dispersals,
the petal of a blind candle
shedding its light
with every exhalation.

Take what you need,
the sorry cargo
of what you are able to carry;
and even if I don't know what room
I am the door to,
what window I look through,
use me as your small hunger suggests,
the feast and silo of your unknown needs,
the penumbral gardens of the world next door
that never turns the music up loud.

I will leave myself out
like a portion of the garden
after harvest
for the birds who must winter forever
on a dead branch stiff with time.

And I will not ask about you;
I will not look into your eyes
as if I leaned over the wall of a well
to listen for how far the pebble I wished on
more out of habit than faith
had to fall before it drowned
in the shapeshifting starmaps of your watershed.

Be what you are, the fragrance
of the lingering rose in stale lace,
the hesitation in the shadows of intenser forms,
I ask nothing of you
and expect even less.

I have my own solitudes to cultivate,
the business of being human to get on with,
and beasts at the gate
who stutter like hinges,
energies darker and older than coal,
begging me to be the one
to carry my corpse the rest of this journey
that lies still in its coils
waiting for the last breath,
the last murmurous pulse
to quit my poor body.

Even among faces and hands,
even on the abandoned street
nodding disarmingly
at the suspicious outcasts
ostracized by plaster rooms
and hooded for hanging
in the doorways that I pass,
I am driftwood on a remote and lonely beach,
the bone of a thousand island storms,
each a transfiguration of my heart
rounded out in the brutal tides
and undertows of sorrow.

And the hands of the clock
don't point at numbers anymore
but shine radiantly in all directions
as if the hour were a vivid gypsy
trying to dance the truth away.

And no one knows more
than the old, wooden office chair
I'm sitting in
as if I were enthroned by the life
of my own mind,
what it is I've been doing all these years
stuffing symbols like fortune cookies,
the vulva and wombs
of chromosomatic destinies
every one of which I've had to eat and live
before I could read the whisper of blood
that it was written in.

I could have made chairs,
I could have fixed shoes,
nailing on new heels with tacks and stars,
buffing the night with a spin of a brush,
I could have proposed propositions
about propositions,
and been a teacher, I suppose,
toiled at something simple
and recognizably purposeful;
nibbled nocturnally at a salad of money
when the garden was left until the morning
to the shy and the discrete.

But I was a rage
of arrogance, lies, and delusion,
I was black lightning that sneered at repose,
and any notion of the heart was justified
that stoked the furnace with the dead.

And I had to know what love was
and the damp star under the leaf
of a woman's body,
and oblivions that tasted of honey and chalk,
and the suggestive familiars of a darkness
rich with the ores of a stranger's voice
feathered with the light
of unknown constellations
extinct as the dice of a crucial gamble.

Enamoured of the eloquence
of the rarest paradoxes and absurdities,
considering the nature of the sea
I lived beside, and the moon
that edged her crescents on the anvil of my heart,
and the agony of being alive
that I could not overcome, the unanswerable emptiness
that always stands like the last syllable
at the deltas of the silence,
before I enter the unimpeachable abyss of its wisdom
like a falling tower
trying to bridge the infinite
by skipping mystic stones out over the sea,
and the way I always splinter into tears
like the eyes of a message in a glass bottle
that bobs at my feet to tell me I am lost and cast away,
what else could I be, born
with this talent for autumn, but a poet?

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Encountering A Black Memory

Encountering one dark black memory,
As the Wind eternally whispers to me.
In another time, at this special place,
We were dressed in leather and lace.
Many times I have made my way back,
Searching for a memory turned black.
In search of our encounter by chance,
Where by firelight we once did dance.
By moon’s light with fire burning dim,
In the refreshing water we would swim.
A time I wished would be without end,
Chilled we held each other skin-to-skin.
From the chilling water to the fireside.
Blanket wrapped one another we eyed.
Without uttering speech our eyes spoke,
As we kindled love’s fire without smoke.
Until morning our spirits became as one,
When back to your mate you had to run.
Time did pass and the years they did go,
The view seen here now I hardly know.
All night long, returning with the dew,
I send forth my spirit searching for you.

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Stop The Dead Guys Coming Home

Why should we be worked up about what happens way over there?
Far away on the other side of the globe where we can’t repair,
Dead guys coming back in coffins on the Highway of Heroes,
It seems obvious that the benefits amount to zeroes.

Media says we have a moral obligation to do this or that,
The politically correct say we can’t leave ‘cause we’re up to bat,
None of this makes much sense and it’s as expensive as hell,
Who’s running this wartime show - some very very strange cartel?

Why am I loosing faith with that guy looking back in the mirror?
Why are we stuck there for more years according to the emperor?
Is this a reason why we need binding referendums and soon?
Less dead guys on the Highway of Heroes by the next full moon.

Dec 8th,2010

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The Dead whno Died for Ireland

The dead who died for Ireland!
Oh, these are living words
To nerve the hearts of patriots —
to steel avenging swords —
They thrill the soul when spoken,
and lowly bend the head
With reverence for the memories
of all our martyred dead.

The dead who died for Ireland —
the noble ones — the best,
Who gave their lives for Motherland,
Who poured upon her breast,
In Freedom's cause, the blood she gave —
Who with their dying breath,
Sent prayers to God to heal her woes —
then sealed their love in death.

The dead who died for Ireland,
How hallowed are their graves!
With all the memories fresh and green,
Oh! how could we be slaves?
How could we patient clang the chain?
How could we fawn and bow?
How could we crouch like mongrels
'neath the keeper's frowning brow?

Be proud, ye men of Ireland!
Be proud of those who died;
Never men o'er all the earth
Had greater cause for pride —
Hope and strive, and league for freedom,
And again the souls will rise
Of the dead who died for Ireland
To cheer you to the prize.

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Memorial Day For The War Dead

Memorial day for the war dead. Add now
the grief of all your losses to their grief,
even of a woman that has left you. Mix
sorrow with sorrow, like time-saving history,
which stacks holiday and sacrifice and mourning
on one day for easy, convenient memory.

Oh, sweet world soaked, like bread,
in sweet milk for the terrible toothless God.
"Behind all this some great happiness is hiding."
No use to weep inside and to scream outside.
Behind all this perhaps some great happiness is hiding.

Memorial day. Bitter salt is dressed up
as a little girl with flowers.
The streets are cordoned off with ropes,
for the marching together of the living and the dead.
Children with a grief not their own march slowly,
like stepping over broken glass.

The flautist's mouth will stay like that for many days.
A dead soldier swims above little heads
with the swimming movements of the dead,
with the ancient error the dead have
about the place of the living water.

A flag loses contact with reality and flies off.
A shopwindow is decorated with
dresses of beautiful women, in blue and white.
And everything in three languages:
Hebrew, Arabic, and Death.

A great and royal animal is dying
all through the night under the jasmine
tree with a constant stare at the world.

A man whose son died in the war walks in the street
like a woman with a dead embryo in her womb.
"Behind all this some great happiness is hiding."

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The Romance Of The Knight

The pleasing sweets of spring and summer past,
The falling leaf flies in the sultry blast,
The fields resign their spangling orbs of gold,
The wrinkled grass its silver joys unfold,
Mantling the spreading moor in heavenly white,
Meeting from every hill the ravished sight.
The yellow flag uprears its spotted head,
Hanging regardant o'er its watery bed;
The worthy knight ascends his foaming steed,
Of size uncommon, and no common breed.
His sword of giant make hangs from his belt,
Whose piercing edge his daring foes had felt.
To seek for glory and renown he goes
To scatter death among his trembling foes;
Unnerved by fear, they trembled at his stroke;
So cutting blasts shake the tall mountain oak.


Down in a dark and solitary vale,
Where the curst screech-owl sings her fatal tale,
Where copse and brambles interwoven lie,
Where trees intwining arch the azure sky,
Thither the fate-marked champion bent his way,
By purling streams to lose the heat of day;
A sudden cry assaults his listening ear,
His soul's too noble to admit of fear.-
The cry re-echoes; with his bounding steed
He gropes the way from whence the cries proceed.
The arching trees above obscured the light,
Here 'twas all evening, there eternal night.
And now the rustling leaves and strengthened cry
Bespeaks the cause of the confusion nigh;
Through the thick brake th'astonished champion sees
A weeping damsel bending on her knees:
A ruffian knight would force her to the ground,
But still some small resisting strength she found.
(Women and cats, if you compulsion use,
The pleasure which they die for will refuse.)
The champion thus: 'Desist, discourteous knight,
Why dost thou shamefully misuse thy might?'
With eye contemptuous thus the knight replies,
'Begone! whoever dares my fury dies!'
Down to the ground the champion's gauntlet flew,
'I dare thy fury, and I'll prove it too.'


Like two fierce mountain-boars enraged they fly,
The prancing steeds make Echo rend the sky,
Like a fierce tempest is the bloody fight,
Dead from his lofty steed falls the proud ruffian knight.
The victor, sadly pleased, accosts the dame,
'I will convey you hence to whence you came.'
With look of gratitude the fair replied-
'Content; I in your virtue may confide.
But,' said the fair, as mournful she surveyed
The breathless corse upon the meadow laid,
'May all thy sins from heaven forgiveness find!
May not thy body's crimes affect thy mind!'

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Lines written in the Belief that the Ancient Roman Festival of the Dead was called Ambarvalia

Swings the way still by hollow and hill,
And all the world's a song;
'She's far,' it sings me, 'but fair,' it rings me,
'Quiet,' it laughs, 'and strong!'

Oh! spite of the miles and years between us,
Spite of your chosen part,
I do remember; and I go
With laughter in my heart.

So above the little folk that know not,
Out of the white hill-town,
High up I clamber; and I remember;
And watch the day go down.

Gold is my heart, and the world's golden,
And one peak tipped with light;
And the air lies still about the hill
With the first fear of night;

Till mystery down the soundless valley
Thunders, and dark is here;
And the wind blows, and the light goes,
And the night is full of fear,

And I know, one night, on some far height,
In the tongue I never knew,
I yet shall hear the tidings clear
From them that were friends of you.

They'll call the news from hill to hill,
Dark and uncomforted,
Earth and sky and the winds; and I
Shall know that you are dead.

I shall not hear your trentals,
Nor eat your arval bread;
For the kin of you will surely do
Their duty by the dead.

Their little dull greasy eyes will water;
They'll paw you, and gulp afresh.
They'll sniffle and weep, and their thoughts will creep
Like flies on the cold flesh.

They will put pence on your grey eyes,
Bind up your fallen chin,
And lay you straight, the fools that loved you
Because they were your kin.

They will praise all the bad about you,
And hush the good away,
And wonder how they'll do without you,
And then they'll go away.

But quieter than one sleeping,
And stranger than of old,
You will not stir for weeping,
You will not mind the cold;

But through the night the lips will laugh not,
The hands will be in place,
And at length the hair be lying still
About the quiet face.

With snuffle and sniff and handkerchief,
And dim and decorous mirth,
With ham and sherry, they'll meet to bury
The lordliest lass of earth.

The little dead hearts will tramp ungrieving
Behind lone-riding you,
The heart so high, the heart so living,
Heart that they never knew.

I shall not hear your trentals,
Nor eat your arval bread,
Nor with smug breath tell lies of death
To the unanswering dead.

With snuffle and sniff and handkerchief,
The folk who loved you not
Will bury you, and go wondering
Back home. And you will rot.

But laughing and half-way up to heaven,
With wind and hill and star,
I yet shall keep, before I sleep,
Your Ambarvalia.

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The Hypnotist

A man once read with mind surprised
Of the way that people were "hypnotised";
By waving hands you produced, forsooth,
A kind of trance where men told the truth!
His mind was filled with wond'ring doubt;
He grabbed his hat and he started out,
He walked the street and he made a "set"
At the first half-dozen folk he met.
He "tranced" them all, and without a joke
'Twas much as follows the subjects spoke:

First Man
"I am a doctor, London-made,
Listen to me and you'll hear displayed
A few of the tricks of the doctor's trade.
'Twill sometimes chance when a patient's ill
That a doae, or draught, or a lightning pill,
A little too strong or a little too hot,
Will work its way to a vital spot.
And then I watch with a sickly grin
While the patient 'passes his counters in'.
But when he has gone with his fleeting breath
I certify that the cause of death
Was something Latin, and something long,
And who is to say that the doctor's wrong!
So I go my way with a stately tread
While my patients sleep with the dreamless dead."


Next, Please
"I am a barrister, wigged and gowned;
Of stately presence and look profound.
Listen awhile till I show you round.
When courts are sitting and work is flush
I hurry about in a frantic rush.
I take your brief and I look to see
That the same is marked with a thumping fee;
But just as your case is drawing near
I bob serenely and disappear.
And away in another court I lurk
While a junior barrister does your work;
And I ask my fee with a courtly grace,
Although I never came near the case.
But the loss means ruin too you, maybe,
But nevertheless I must have my fee!
For the lawyer laughs in his cruel sport
While his clients march to the Bankrupt Court."


Third Man
"I am a banker, wealthy and bold --
A solid man, and I keep my hold
Over a pile of the public's gold.
I am as skilled as skilled can be
In every matter of £ s. d.
I count the money, and night by night
I balance it up to a farthing right:
In sooth, 'twould a stranger's soul perplex
My double entry and double checks.
Yet it sometimes happens by some strange crook
That a ledger-keeper will 'take his hook'
With a couple of hundred thousand 'quid',
And no one can tell how the thing was did!"


Fourth Man
"I am an editor, bold and free.
Behind the great impersonal 'We'
I hold the power of the Mystic Three.
What scoundrel ever would dare to hint
That anything crooked appears in print!
Perhaps an actor is all the rage,
He struts his hour on the mimic stage,
With skill he interprets all the scenes --
And yet next morning I give him beans.
I slate his show from the floats to flies,
Because the beggar won't advertise.
And sometimes columns of print appear
About a mine, and it makes it clear
That the same is all that one's heart could wish --
A dozen ounces to every dish.
But the reason we print those statements fine
Is -- the editor's uncle owns the mine."


The Last Straw
"A preacher I, and I take my stand
In pulpit decked with gown and band
To point the way to a better land.
With sanctimonious and reverent look
I read it out of the sacred book
That he who would open the golden door
Must give his all to the starving poor.
But I vary the practice to some extent
By investing money at twelve per cent,
And after I've preached for a decent while
I clear for 'home' with a lordly pile.
I frighten my congregation well
With fear of torment and threats of hell,
Although I know that the scientists
Can't find that any such place exists.
And when they prove it beyond mistake
That the world took millions of years to make,
And never was built by the seventh day
I say in a pained and insulted way
that 'Thomas also presumed to doubt',
And thus do I rub my opponents out.
For folks may widen their mental range,
But priest and parson, thay never change."

With dragging footsteps and downcast head
The hypnotiser went home to bed,
And since that very successful test
He has given the magic art a rest;
Had he tried the ladies, and worked it right,
What curious tales might have come to light!

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William Cowper

Elegy IV. Anno Aet. 18. To My Tutor, Thomas Young, Chaplain Of The English Merchants Resident At Hamburg (Translated From Milton)

Hence, my epistle--skim the Deep--fly o'er
Yon smooth expanse to the Teutonic shore!
Haste--lest a friend should grieve for thy delay--
And the Gods grant that nothing thwart thy way!
I will myself invoke the King who binds
In his Sicanian ecchoing vault the winds,
With Doris and her Nymphs, and all the throng
Of azure Gods, to speed thee safe along.
But rather, to insure thy happier haste,
Ascend Medea's chariot, if thou may'st,
Or that whence young Triptolemus of yore
Descended welcome on the Scythian shore.
The sands that line the German coast descried,
To opulent Hamburg turn aside,
So call'd, if legendary fame be true,
From Hama, whom a club-arm'd Cimbrian slew.
There lives, deep-learn'd and primitively just,
A faithful steward of his Christian trust,
My friend, and favorite inmate of my heart--
That now is forced to want its better part!
What mountains now, and seas, alas! how wide!
From me this other, dearer self divide,
Dear, as the sage renown'd for moral truth
To the prime spirit of the Attic youth!
Dear, as the Stagyrite to Ammon's son,
His pupil, who disdain'd the world he won!
Nor so did Chiron, or so Phoenix shine
In young Achilles' eyes, as He in mine.
First led by him thro' sweet Aonian shade
Each sacred haunt of Pindus I survey'd;
And favor'd by the muse, whom I implor'd,
Thrice on my lip the hallow'd stream I pour'd.
But thrice the Sun's resplendent chariot roll'd
To Aries, has new ting'd his fleece with gold,
And Chloris twice has dress'd the meadows gay,
And twice has Summer parch'd their bloom away,
Since last delighted on his looks I hung,
Or my ear drank the music of his tongue.
Fly, therefore, and surpass the tempest's speed!
Aware thyself that there is urgent need.
Him, ent'ring, thou shalt haply seated see
Beside his spouse, his infants on his knee,
Or turning page by page with studious look
Some bulky Father, or God's Holy Book,
Or minist'ring (which is his weightiest care)
To Christ's assembled flock their heav'nly fare.
Give him, whatever his employment be,
Such gratulation as he claims from me,
And with a down-cast eye and carriage meek
Addressing him, forget not thus to speak.
If, compass'd round with arms, thou canst attend
To verse, verse greets thee from a distant friend,
Long due and late I left the English shore,
But make me welcome for that cause the more.
Such from Ulysses, his chaste wife to cheer,
The slow epistle came, tho' late, sincere.
But wherefore This? why palliate I a deed,
For which the culprit's self could hardly plead?
Self-charged and self-condemn'd, his proper part
He feels neglected, with an aching heart;
But Thou forgive--Delinquents who confess,
And pray forgiveness, merit anger less;
From timid foes the lion turns away,
Nor yawns upon or rends a crouching prey,
Even pike-wielding Thracians learn to spare,
Won by soft influence of a suppliant's prayer;
And heav'n's dread thunderbolt arrested stands
By a cheap victim and uplifted hands.
Long had he wish'd to write, but was witheld,
And writes at last, by love alone compell'd,
For Fame, too often true when she alarms,
Reports thy neighbouring-fields a scene of arms;
Thy city against fierce besiegers barr'd,
And all the Saxon Chiefs for fight prepar'd.
Enyo wastes thy country wide around,
And saturates with blood the tainted ground;
Mars rests contented in his Thrace no more,
But goads his steeds to fields of German gore,
The ever-verdant olive fades and dies,
And peace, the trumpet-hating goddess, flies,
Flies from that earth which justice long had left,
And leaves the world of its last guard bereft.
Thus horror girds thee round. Meantime alone
Thou dwell'st, and helpless in a soil unknown,
Poor, and receiving from a foreign hand
The aid denied thee in thy native land.
Oh, ruthless country, and unfeeling more
Than thy own billow-beaten chalky shore!
Leav'st Thou to foreign Care the Worthies giv'n
By providence, to guide thy steps to Heav'n?
His ministers, commission'd to proclaim
Eternal blessings in a Saviour's name?
Ah then most worthy! with a soul unfed
In Stygian night to lie for ever dead.
So once the venerable Tishbite stray'd
An exil'd fugitive from shade to shade,
When, flying Ahab and his Fury wife,
In lone Arabian wilds he shelter'd life;
So, from Philippi wander'd forth forlorn
Cilician Paul, with sounding scourges torn;
And Christ himself so left and trod no more
The thankless Gergesenes' forbidden shore.
But thou take courage, strive against despair,
Quake not with dread, nor nourish anxious care.
Grim war indeed on ev'ry side appears,
And thou art menac'd by a thousand spears,
Yet none shall drink thy blood, or shall offend
Ev'n the defenceless bosom of my friend;
For thee the Aegis of thy God shall hide,
Jehova's self shall combat on thy side,
The same, who vanquish'd under Sion's tow'rs
At silent midnight all Assyria's pow'rs,
The same who overthrew in ages past,
Damascus' sons that lay'd Samaria waste;
Their King he fill'd and them with fatal fears
By mimic sounds of clarions in their ears,
Of hoofs and wheels and neighings from afar
Of clanging armour and the din of war.
Thou therefore, (as the most affiicted may)
Still hope, and triumph o'er thy evil day,
Look forth, expecting happier times to come,
And to enjoy once more thy native home!

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The Atlas

I. The King of Cuckooz
THE King of Cuckooz Contrey
Hangs peaked above Argier
With Janzaries and Marabutts
To bid a sailor fear—
With lantern-eyed astrologers
Who walk upon the walls
And ram with stars their basilisks
Instead of cannon-balls.
And in that floating castle
(I tell you it is so)
Five thousand naked Concubines
With dulcimers do go.
Each rosy nose anoints a tile,
Bang, bang! the fort salutes,
When He, the King of Cuckooz Land,
Comes forth in satin boots,
Each rosy darling flies before
When he desires his tent,
Or, like a tempest driving flowers,
Inspects a battlement.
And this I spied by moonlight
Behind a royal bamboo—
That Monarch in a curricle
Which ninety virgins drew;
That Monarch drinking nectar
(Lord God, my tale attest!)
Milked from a snow-white elephant
As white as your white breast!
And this is no vain fable
As other knaves may lie—
Have I not got that Fowl aboard
Which no man may deny?
The King's own hunting-falcon
I limed across the side
When by the Bayes of Africa
King James's Fleet did ride.
What crest is there emblazoned,
Whose mark is this, I beg,
Stamped on the silver manacle
Around that dainty leg?
Let this be news to you, my dear,
How Man should be revered;
Though I'm no King of Cuckooz Land,
Behold as fierce a beard!
I have as huge an appetite,
As deep a kiss, my girl,
And somewhere, for the hand that seeks,
Perhaps a Sultan's pearl!

. Post-Roads
POST-ROADS that clapped with tympan heels
Of tilburies and whiskys rapidly spanking,
Where's now the tireless ghost of Ogilby?
Post-roads
That buoyed the rich and plunging springs
Of coaches vaster than Escurials,
Where now does Ogilby propel that Wheel,
What milestones does he pause to reprimand,
In what unmapped savanna of dumb shades?
Ye know not—ye are silent—brutish ducts
Numbed by the bastinadoes of iron boots,
Three hundred years asnore. Do you forget
The phaetons and fiacres, flys and breaks,
The world of dead men staring out of glass
That drummed upon your bones? Do you forget
Those nostrils oozing smoke, those floating tails,
Those criniers whipped with air?
And kidnapped lights,
Floats of rubbed yellow towed from window-panes,
Rushing their lozenges through headlong stones;
And smells of hackneys, mohair sour with damp,
Leather and slopped madeira, partridge-pies
Long-buried under floors; and yawning Fares
With bumping flap-dark spatulas of cards—
'Knave takes the ten . . . oh, God, I wish that it,
I wish that it was Guildford' . . . .
Ogilby
Did not forget, could not escape such ecstacies,
Even in the monasteries of mensuration,
Could not forget the roads that he had gone
In fog and shining air. Each line was joy,
Each computation a beatitude,
A diagram of Ogilby's eye and ear
With soundings for the nose. Wherefore I think,
Wherefore I think some English gentleman,
Some learned doctor of the steak-houses,
Ending late dinner, having strolled outside
To quell the frivolous hawthorn, may behold
There in the moonshine, rolling up an hill,
Steered by no fleshly hand, with spokes of light,
The Wheel—John Ogilby's Wheel—the WHEEL hiss by,
Measuring mileposts of eternity.

. Dutch Seacoast
No wind of Life may strike within
This little country's crystal bin,
Nor calendar compute the days
Tubed in their capsule of soft glaze.
Naked and rinsed, the bubble-clear
Canals of Amsterdam appear,
The blue-tiled turrets, china clocks
And glittering beaks of weathercocks.
A gulf of sweet and winking hoops
Whereon there ride poops
With flying mouths and fleeting hair
Of saints hung up like candles there—
Fox-coloured mansions, lean and tall,
That burst in air but never fall
Whose bolted shadows, row by row,
Float changeless on the stones below—
Sky full of ships, bay full of town,
A port of waters jellied brown:
Such is the world no tide may stir,
Sealed by the great cartographer.
O, could he but clap up like this
My decomposed metropolis,
Those other countries of the mind,
So tousled, dark and undefined!

. Mermaids
ONCE Mermaids mocked your ships
With wet and scarlet lips
And fish-dark difficult hips, Conquistador;
Then Ondines danced with Sirens on the shore,
Then from his cloudy stall, you heard the Kraken call,
And, mad with twisting flame, the Firedrake roar.
Such old-established Ladies
No mariner eyed askance,
But, coming on deck, would swivel his neck
To watch the darlings dance,
Or in the gulping dark of nights
Would cast his tranquil eyes
On singular kinds of Hermaphrodites
Without the least surprise.
Then portulano maps were scrolled
With compass-roses, green and gold,
That fired the stiff old Needle with their dyes
And wagged their petals over parchment skies.
Then seas were full of Dolphins' fins,
Full of swept bones and flying Jinns,
Beaches were filled with Anthropophagi
And Antient Africa with Palanquins.
Then sailors, with a flaked and rice-pale flesh
Staring from maps in sweet and poisoned places,
Diced the old Skeleton afresh
In brigs no bigger than their moon-bunched faces.
Those well-known and respected Harpies
Dance no more on the shore to and fro;
All that has ended long ago;
Nor do they sing outside the captain's porthole,
A proceeding fiercely reprehended
By the governors of the P. & O.
Nor do they tumble in the sponges of the moon
For the benefit of tourists in the First Saloon,
Nor fork their foaming lily-fins below the side
On the ranges of the ale-clear tide.
And scientists now, with binocular-eyes,
Remark in a tone of complacent surprise:
'Those pisciform mammals—pure Spectres, I fear—
Must be Doctor Gerbrandus's Mermaids, my dear!'
But before they can cause the philosopher trouble,
They are GONE like the cracking of a bubble.

. The Seafight
HERE in a gulf of golden leaf
You'll find a seafight ringed with flame;
Cannons that cry Tirduf, Tirduf,
Daggers that collop, guns that maim;
Jaws beaked with blood, men flung to hell,
Men blasting trumpets, men that flee,
Men crimped by death, and under all
Old patient, baleful, spying Sea—
Old Sea, that in a dicebox rolls
Their trundling skulls, their jacks of bone,
That sucks them out of broken hulls
When other mumbling mouths have gone—
Old hungry Sea, that holds our flesh
In the huge forceps of the storm,
And they are given to the fish
And we plucked forth, and we made warm.
But ye that kill, why heed the face
Of Ocean? Not alone you slay,
Since deeper seas are dammed in space
And fiercer storms can scream in clay;
Existence has as bitter teeth,
But we can always find a minute
For the festivities of death
Who sail upon this dangerous planet.

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The Civil Wars (excerpts)

XXXVI
The swift approach and unexpected speed
The king had made upon this new-rais'd force,
In the unconfirmed troops, much fear did breed,
Untimely hind'ring their intended course.
The joining with the Welsh they had decreed
Was hereby dash'd; which made their cause the worse.
Northumberland, with forces from the north,
Expected to be there, was not set forth.

XXXVII
And yet undaunted Hotspur, seeing the king
So near arriv'd, leaving the work in hand,
With forward speed his forces marshalling,
Sets forth his farther coming to withstand.
And with a cheerful voice encouraging
His well experienc'd and adventurous band,
Brings on his army, eager unto fight;
And plac'd the same before the king in sight.

XXXVIII

"This day," saith he, "my valiant trusty friends,
Whatever it doth give, shall glory give;
This day, with honour, frees our state, or ends
Our misery with fame, that still shall live.
And do but think, how well the same he spends,
Who spends his blood, his country to relieve.
What? have we hands, and shall we servile be?
Why were swords made, but to preserve men free.

XXXIX

"Besides, the assured hope of victory
Which we may even promise on our side,
Against this weak constrained company,
Whom force and fear, not will and love doth guide,
Against a prince, whose foul impiety
The heavens do hate, the earth cannot abide:
Our number being no less, our courage more,
No doubt we have it, if we work therefore."

XL

This said, and thus resolv'd, even bent to charge
Upon the king; who well their order view'd,
And wary noted all the course at large
Of their proceeding, and their multitude,
And deeming better, if he could discharge
The day with safety, and some peace conclude,
Great proffers sends of pardon and of grace
If they would yield, and quietness embrace.

XLI

Which though his fears might drive him to propose,
To time his business, for some other end;
Yet, sure, he could not mean t' have peace with those
Who did in that supreme degree offend.
Nor were they such, as would be won with shows;
Or breath of oaths, or vows could apprehend:
So that in honour the offers he doth make,
Were not for him to give nor them to take.

XLII

And yet this much his courses do approve,
He was not bloody in his natural;
And yield he did to more then might behove
His dignity to have dispens'd withal:
And, unto Worcester, he himself did move
A reconcilement to be made of all:
But Worcester, knowing it could not be secur'd,
His nephews onset, yet for all, procur'd.

XLIII

Which seeing, the king, with greater wrath incens'd,
Rage, against fury, doth with speed prepare.
"And though," said he, "I could have well dispens'd
With this day's blood, which I have sought to spare;
That greater glory might have recompens'd
The forward worth of these, that so much dare;
That we might good have had by th' overthrown,
And the wounds we make might not have been our own:

XLIV

"Yet, since that other men's iniquity
Calls on the sword of wrath, against my will;
And that themselves exact this cruelty,
And I constrained am this blood to spill;
Then on, brave followers, on courageously,
True-hearted subjects, against traitors ill;
And spare not them, who seek to spoil us all
Whose foul confused end, soon see you shall."

XLV

Forthwith, began these fury-moving sounds,
The notes of wrath, the music brought from Hell,
The rattling drums, which trumpets voice confounds
The cries, the encouragements, the shouting shrill;
That, all about, the beaten air rebounds
Confused thundering-murmurs horrible;
To rob all sense, except the sense to fight.
Well hands may work; the mind hath lost his sight.

XLVI

O war! begot in pride and luxury,
The child of malice, and revengeful hate;
Thou impious good, and good impiety,
That art the foul refiner of a state;
Unjust-just scourge of men's iniquity,
Sharp-easer of corruptions desperate;
Is there no means but that a sin-sick land
Must be let blood with such a boisterous hand?

XLVII

How well mightst thou have here been spar'd this day,
Had not wrong-counsell'd Percy been perverse?
Whose forward hand, inur'd to wounds, makes way
Upon the sharpest fronts of the most fierce:
Where now an equal fury thrusts to stay
And back-repel that force, and his disperse:
Then these assail, then those re-chase again,
Till stay'd with new-made hills of bodies slain.

XLVIII

There, lo that new-appearing glorious star,
Wonder of arms, the terror of the field,
Young Henry, labouring where the stoutest are,
And even the stoutest forced back to yield;
There is that hand bolden'd to blood and war,
That must the sword, in wondrous actions, wield:
Though better he had learn'd with others' blood;
A less expense to us, to him more good.

XLIX


Yet here had he not speedy succour lent
To his endanger'd father, near oppress'd,
That day had seen the full accomplishment
Of all his travails, and his final rest.
For, Mars-like Douglas all his forces bent
To encounter and to grapple with the best;
As if disdaining any other thing
To do, that day, but to subdue a king.

L


And three, with fiery courage, he assails;
Three, all as kings adorn'd in royal wise:
And each successive after other quails;
Still wond'ring whence so many kings should rise.
And, doubting lest his hand or eyesight fails,
In these confounded, on a fourth he flies,
And him unhorses too: whom had he sped,
He then all kings, in him, had vanquished.

LI


For Henry had divided, as it were,
The person of himself into four parts;
To be less known, and yet known everywhere,
The more to animate his people's hearts;
Who, cheered by his presence, would not spare
To execute their best and worthiest parts.
By which, two special things effected are:
His safety, and his subjects' better care.

LII


And never worthy prince a day did quit
With greater hazard, and with more renown
Than thou didst, mighty Henry, in this fight;
Which only made thee owner of thine own:
Thou never prov'dst the tenure of thy right
(How thou didst hold thy easy-gotten crown)
Till now; and, now, thou shew'st thyself chief lord,
By that especial right of kings: the sword.

LIII


And dear it cost, and much good blood is shed
To purchase thee a saving victory:
Great Stafford thy high constable lies dead,
With Shorly, Clifton, Gawsell, Calverly,
And many more; whose brave deaths witnessed
Their noble valour and fidelity:
And many more had left their dearest blood
Behind, that day, had Hotspur longer stood.

LIV


But he, as Douglas, with his fury led,
Rushing into the thickest woods of spears,
And brakes of swords, still laying at the head
(The life of th' army) whiles he nothing fears
Or spares his own, comes all invironed
With multitude of power, that over-bears
His manly worth; who yields not, in his fall;
But fighting dies, and dying kills withal.

LV


What ark, what trophy, what magnificence
Of glory, Hotspur, had'st thou purchas'd here;
Could but thy cause as fair as thy pretence
Be made unto thy country to appear!
Had it been her protection and defence
(Not thy ambition) made thee sell so dear
Thyself this day, she must have here made good
An everlasting statue for thy blood.

LVI


Which thus mis-spent, thy army presently,
(As if they could not stand, when thou wert down)
Dispers'd in rout, betook them all to fly:
And Douglas, faint with wounds, and overthrown,
Was taken; who yet won the enemy
Which took him (by his noble valour shown,
In that day's mighty work) and was preserv'd
With all the grace, and honour he deserv'd.

...

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