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Bill Clinton

Poor Darrell Hammond. What's he going to do when I leave office?

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Tale I

That all men would be cowards if they dare,
Some men we know have courage to declare;
And this the life of many a hero shows,
That, like the tide, man's courage ebbs and flows:
With friends and gay companions round them, then
Men boldly speak and have the hearts of men;
Who, with opponents seated miss the aid
Of kind applauding looks, and grow afraid;
Like timid travelers in the night, they fear
Th' assault of foes, when not a friend is near.
In contest mighty, and of conquest proud,
Was Justice Bolt, impetuous, warm, and loud;
His fame, his prowess all the country knew,
And disputants, with one so fierce, were few:
He was a younger son, for law design'd,
With dauntless look and persevering mind;
While yet a clerk, for disputation famed,
No efforts tired him, and no conflicts tamed.
Scarcely he bade his master's desk adieu,
When both his brothers from the world withdrew.
An ample fortune he from them possessed,
And was with saving care and prudence bless'd.
Now would he go and to the country give
Example how an English 'squire should live;
How bounteous, yet how frugal man may be,
By well-order'd hospitality;
He would the rights of all so well maintain.
That none should idle be, and none complain.
All this and more he purposed--and what man
Could do, he did to realise his plan;
But time convinced him that we cannot keep
A breed of reasoners like a flock of sheep;
For they, so far from following as we lead,
Make that a cause why they will not proceed.
Man will not follow where a rule is shown,
But loves to take a method of his own:
Explain the way with all your care and skill,
This will he quit, if but to prove he will. -
Yet had our Justice honour--and the crowd,
Awed by his presence, their respect avow'd.
In later years he found his heart incline,
More than in youth, to gen'rous food and wine;
But no indulgence check'd the powerful love
He felt to teach, to argue, and reprove.
Meetings, or public calls, he never miss'd -
To dictate often, always to assist.
Oft he the clergy join'd, and not a cause
Pertain'd to them but he could quote the laws;
He upon tithes and residence display'd
A fund of knowledge for the hearer's aid;

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VII. Pompilia

I am just seventeen years and five months old,
And, if I lived one day more, three full weeks;
'T is writ so in the church's register,
Lorenzo in Lucina, all my names
At length, so many names for one poor child,
—Francesca Camilla Vittoria Angela
Pompilia Comparini,—laughable!
Also 't is writ that I was married there
Four years ago: and they will add, I hope,
When they insert my death, a word or two,—
Omitting all about the mode of death,—
This, in its place, this which one cares to know,
That I had been a mother of a son
Exactly two weeks. It will be through grace
O' the Curate, not through any claim I have;
Because the boy was born at, so baptized
Close to, the Villa, in the proper church:
A pretty church, I say no word against,
Yet stranger-like,—while this Lorenzo seems
My own particular place, I always say.
I used to wonder, when I stood scarce high
As the bed here, what the marble lion meant,
With half his body rushing from the wall,
Eating the figure of a prostrate man—
(To the right, it is, of entry by the door)
An ominous sign to one baptized like me,
Married, and to be buried there, I hope.
And they should add, to have my life complete,
He is a boy and Gaetan by name—
Gaetano, for a reason,—if the friar
Don Celestine will ask this grace for me
Of Curate Ottoboni: he it was
Baptized me: he remembers my whole life
As I do his grey hair.

All these few things
I know are true,—will you remember them?
Because time flies. The surgeon cared for me,
To count my wounds,—twenty-two dagger-wounds,
Five deadly, but I do not suffer much—
Or too much pain,—and am to die to-night.

Oh how good God is that my babe was born,
—Better than born, baptized and hid away
Before this happened, safe from being hurt!
That had been sin God could not well forgive:
He was too young to smile and save himself.
When they took two days after he was born,
My babe away from me to be baptized
And hidden awhile, for fear his foe should find,—

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Ooh Baby

Oohbaby
Oohbaby
Oohoohooh
Since the day I saw you, baby, I knew you were for me
Always all by myself, I sought your company
All the fellas told me that you played me for a fool
Said I wouldnt hang out, id go home right after school
What did I do to you
To make you feel this way
You said youd be my baby
Never go away, go away
How could you leave when I need you, baby
How could you leave when I need you, baby
How could you leave when I need you, baby
How could you leave when I need you, baby
(oohbaby) how could you leave when I need you, baby
(oohbaby) how could you leave when I need you, baby
(oohoohooh) how could you leave when I need you, baby
How could you leave when I need you, baby
Spent all my time, baby, just working on my form
Trying to improve myself so I could give you more
You told me I was turning out the way that I should be
How could I know that you would turn your back on me
What did I do to you
To make you feel this way
You said youd be my baby
Never go away, go away
How could you leave when I need you, baby
How could you leave when I need you, baby
How could you leave when I need you, baby
How could you leave when I need you, baby
(oohbaby) how could you leave when I need you, baby
(oohbaby) how could you leave when I need you, baby
(oohoohooh) how could you leave when I need you, baby
How could you leave when I need you, baby
(oohbaby) how could you leave when I need you, baby
(oohbaby) how could you leave when I need you, baby
(oohoohooh) how could you leave when I need you, baby
How could you leave when I need you, baby
Ooh, baby, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
How could you leave
Ooh, baby, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
How could you leave
How could you leave
How could you leave
How could you leave
Ooh, baby, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, baby, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
How could you leave
How could you leave

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Leave Me Alone

Everybodys gonna try to tell you what to do, uhh-haa
And never, never, never, never, let it be said that its true
Oh-oh, hey, give it to my baby
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me alone
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me alone
Theyre the kind of people thatll always let you down
I know you, too, you dont ever give it a frown
Oh, do it, do it, now, do it, do it
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me alone
Get down, baby
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me alone
Oh, come now, leave me alone, mam, okay, baby
Oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha
Dont you know some people, they just dont know when to stop
Give it to me, now
They cant tell the floor from the ceiling or the top
And therere other types, they always make you wait
And theyre always the first to say, the state you come from
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me alone
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me alone
Love me, love me, love me, love me, love me forever
Love me, love me, love me, love me, love me forever
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me alone, oh
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me, leave me alone
Leave me alone
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha, oh, oh, yeah
Ah-ha-ha

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The Parish Register - Part III: Burials

THERE was, 'tis said, and I believe, a time
When humble Christians died with views sublime;
When all were ready for their faith to bleed,
But few to write or wrangle for their creed;
When lively Faith upheld the sinking heart,
And friends, assured to meet, prepared to part;
When Love felt hope, when Sorrow grew serene,
And all was comfort in the death-bed scene.
Alas! when now the gloomy king they wait,
'Tis weakness yielding to resistless fate;
Like wretched men upon the ocean cast,
They labour hard and struggle to the last;
'Hope against hope,' and wildly gaze around
In search of help that never shall be found:
Nor, till the last strong billow stops the breath,
Will they believe them in the jaws of Death!
When these my Records I reflecting read,
And find what ills these numerous births succeed;
What powerful griefs these nuptial ties attend;
With what regret these painful journeys end;
When from the cradle to the grave I look,
Mine I conceive a melancholy book.
Where now is perfect resignation seen?
Alas! it is not on the village-green: -
I've seldom known, though I have often read,
Of happy peasants on their dying-bed;
Whose looks proclaimed that sunshine of the breast,
That more than hope, that Heaven itself express'd.
What I behold are feverish fits of strife,
'Twixt fears of dying and desire of life:
Those earthly hopes, that to the last endure;
Those fears, that hopes superior fail to cure;
At best a sad submission to the doom,
Which, turning from the danger, lets it come.
Sick lies the man, bewilder'd, lost, afraid,
His spirits vanquish'd, and his strength decay'd;
No hope the friend, the nurse, the doctor lend -
'Call then a priest, and fit him for his end.'
A priest is call'd; 'tis now, alas! too late,
Death enters with him at the cottage-gate;
Or time allow'd--he goes, assured to find
The self-commending, all-confiding mind;
And sighs to hear, what we may justly call
Death's common-place, the train of thought in all.
'True I'm a sinner,' feebly he begins,
'But trust in Mercy to forgive my sins:'
(Such cool confession no past crimes excite!
Such claim on Mercy seems the sinner's right!)
'I know mankind are frail, that God is just,
And pardons those who in his Mercy trust;

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Fourth Book

THEY met still sooner. 'Twas a year from thence
When Lucy Gresham, the sick semptress girl,
Who sewed by Marian's chair so still and quick,
And leant her head upon the back to cough
More freely when, the mistress turning round,
The others took occasion to laugh out,–
Gave up a last. Among the workers, spoke
A bold girl with black eyebrows and red lips,–
'You know the news? Who's dying, do you think?
Our Lucy Gresham. I expected it
As little as Nell Hart's wedding. Blush not, Nell,
Thy curls be red enough without thy cheeks;
And, some day, there'll be found a man to dote
On red curls.–Lucy Gresham swooned last night,
Dropped sudden in the street while going home;
And now the baker says, who took her up
And laid her by her grandmother in bed,
He'll give her a week to die in. Pass the silk.
Let's hope he gave her a loaf too, within reach,
For otherwise they'll starve before they die,
That funny pair of bedfellows! Miss Bell,
I'll thank you for the scissors. The old crone
Is paralytic–that's the reason why
Our Lucy's thread went faster than her breath,
Which went too quick, we all know. Marian Erle!
Why, Marian Erle, you're not the fool to cry?
Your tears spoil Lady Waldemar's new dress,
You piece of pity!'
Marian rose up straight,
And, breaking through the talk and through the work,
Went outward, in the face of their surprise,
To Lucy's home, to nurse her back to life
Or down to death. She knew by such an act,
All place and grace were forfeit in the house,
Whose mistress would supply the missing hand
With necessary, not inhuman haste,
And take no blame. But pity, too, had dues:
She could not leave a solitary soul
To founder in the dark, while she sate still
And lavished stitches on a lady's hem
As if no other work were paramount.
'Why, God,' thought Marian, 'has a missing hand
This moment; Lucy wants a drink, perhaps.
Let others miss me! never miss me, God!'

So Marian sat by Lucy's bed, content
With duty, and was strong, for recompense,
To hold the lamp of human love arm-high
To catch the death-strained eyes and comfort them,
Until the angels, on the luminous side

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Three Women

My love is young, so young;
Young is her cheek, and her throat,
And life is a song to be sung
With love the word for each note.

Young is her cheek and her throat;
Her eyes have the smile o' May.
And love is the word for each note
In the song of my life to-day.

Her eyes have the smile o' May;
Her heart is the heart of a dove,
And the song of my life to-day
Is love, beautiful love.


Her heart is the heart of a dove,
Ah, would it but fly to my breast
Where love, beautiful love,
Has made it a downy nest.


Ah, would she but fly to my breast,
My love who is young, so young;
I have made her a downy nest
And life is a song to be sung.


1
I.
A dull little station, a man with the eye
Of a dreamer; a bevy of girls moving by;
A swift moving train and a hot Summer sun,
The curtain goes up, and our play is begun.
The drama of passion, of sorrow, of strife,
Which always is billed for the theatre Life.
It runs on forever, from year unto year,
With scarcely a change when new actors appear.
It is old as the world is-far older in truth,
For the world is a crude little planet of youth.
And back in the eras before it was formed,
The passions of hearts through the Universe stormed.


Maurice Somerville passed the cluster of girls
Who twisted their ribbons and fluttered their curls
In vain to attract him; his mind it was plain
Was wholly intent on the incoming train.
That great one eyed monster puffed out its black breath,
Shrieked, snorted and hissed, like a thing bent on death,

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Rokeby: Canto V.

I.
The sultry summer day is done,
The western hills have hid the sun,
But mountain peak and village spire
Retain reflection of his fire.
Old Barnard's towers are purple still,
To those that gaze from Toller-hill;
Distant and high, the tower of Bowes
Like steel upon the anvil glows;
And Stanmore's ridge, behind that lay,
Rich with the spoils of parting day,
In crimson and in gold array'd,
Streaks yet awhile the closing shade,
Then slow resigns to darkening heaven
The tints which brighter hours had given.
Thus aged men, full loth and slow,
The vanities of life forego,
And count their youthful follies o'er,
Till Memory lends her light no more.

II.
The eve, that slow on upland fades,
Has darker closed on Rokeby's glades,
Where, sunk within their banks profound,
Her guardian streams to meeting wound.
The stately oaks, whose sombre frown
Of noontide made a twilight brown,
Impervious now to fainter light,
Of twilight make an early night.
Hoarse into middle air arose
The vespers of the roosting crows,
And with congenial, murmurs seem
To wake the Genii of the stream;
For louder clamour'd Greta's tide,
And Tees in deeper voice replied,
And fitful waked the evening wind,
Fitful in sighs its breath resign'd.
Wilfrid, whose fancy-nurtured soul
Felt in the scene a soft control,
With lighter footstep press'd the ground,
And often paused to look around;
And, though his path was to his love,
Could not but linger in the grove,
To drink the thrilling interest dear,
Of awful pleasure check'd by fear.
Such inconsistent moods have we,
Even when our passions strike the key.

III.
Now, through the wood's dark mazes past,

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III. The Other Half-Rome

Another day that finds her living yet,
Little Pompilia, with the patient brow
And lamentable smile on those poor lips,
And, under the white hospital-array,
A flower-like body, to frighten at a bruise
You'd think, yet now, stabbed through and through again,
Alive i' the ruins. 'T is a miracle.
It seems that, when her husband struck her first,
She prayed Madonna just that she might live
So long as to confess and be absolved;
And whether it was that, all her sad life long
Never before successful in a prayer,
This prayer rose with authority too dread,—
Or whether, because earth was hell to her,
By compensation, when the blackness broke
She got one glimpse of quiet and the cool blue,
To show her for a moment such things were,—
Or else,—as the Augustinian Brother thinks,
The friar who took confession from her lip,—
When a probationary soul that moved
From nobleness to nobleness, as she,
Over the rough way of the world, succumbs,
Bloodies its last thorn with unflinching foot,
The angels love to do their work betimes,
Staunch some wounds here nor leave so much for God.
Who knows? However it be, confessed, absolved,
She lies, with overplus of life beside
To speak and right herself from first to last,
Right the friend also, lamb-pure, lion-brave,
Care for the boy's concerns, to save the son
From the sire, her two-weeks' infant orphaned thus,
And—with best smile of all reserved for him—
Pardon that sire and husband from the heart.
A miracle, so tell your Molinists!

There she lies in the long white lazar-house.
Rome has besieged, these two days, never doubt,
Saint Anna's where she waits her death, to hear
Though but the chink o' the bell, turn o' the hinge
When the reluctant wicket opes at last,
Lets in, on now this and now that pretence,
Too many by half,—complain the men of art,—
For a patient in such plight. The lawyers first
Paid the due visit—justice must be done;
They took her witness, why the murder was.
Then the priests followed properly,—a soul
To shrive; 't was Brother Celestine's own right,
The same who noises thus her gifts abroad.
But many more, who found they were old friends,
Pushed in to have their stare and take their talk

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VI. Giuseppe Caponsacchi

Answer you, Sirs? Do I understand aright?
Have patience! In this sudden smoke from hell,—
So things disguise themselves,—I cannot see
My own hand held thus broad before my face
And know it again. Answer you? Then that means
Tell over twice what I, the first time, told
Six months ago: 't was here, I do believe,
Fronting you same three in this very room,
I stood and told you: yet now no one laughs,
Who then … nay, dear my lords, but laugh you did,
As good as laugh, what in a judge we style
Laughter—no levity, nothing indecorous, lords!
Only,—I think I apprehend the mood:
There was the blameless shrug, permissible smirk,
The pen's pretence at play with the pursed mouth,
The titter stifled in the hollow palm
Which rubbed the eyebrow and caressed the nose,
When I first told my tale: they meant, you know,
"The sly one, all this we are bound believe!
"Well, he can say no other than what he says.
"We have been young, too,—come, there's greater guilt!
"Let him but decently disembroil himself,
"Scramble from out the scrape nor move the mud,—
"We solid ones may risk a finger-stretch!
And now you sit as grave, stare as aghast
As if I were a phantom: now 't is—"Friend,
"Collect yourself!"—no laughing matter more—
"Counsel the Court in this extremity,
"Tell us again!"—tell that, for telling which,
I got the jocular piece of punishment,
Was sent to lounge a little in the place
Whence now of a sudden here you summon me
To take the intelligence from just—your lips!
You, Judge Tommati, who then tittered most,—
That she I helped eight months since to escape
Her husband, was retaken by the same,
Three days ago, if I have seized your sense,—
(I being disallowed to interfere,
Meddle or make in a matter none of mine,
For you and law were guardians quite enough
O' the innocent, without a pert priest's help)—
And that he has butchered her accordingly,
As she foretold and as myself believed,—
And, so foretelling and believing so,
We were punished, both of us, the merry way:
Therefore, tell once again the tale! For what?
Pompilia is only dying while I speak!
Why does the mirth hang fire and miss the smile?
My masters, there's an old book, you should con
For strange adventures, applicable yet,

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Sobre Horizontes

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Patrick White

Why Do Children Of The Poor

Why do children of the poor die so readily?
By the age of five
they're already disarmed for life.
Is money a gene they're missing?
Or is their suffering
just a diminished immunity to the rest of us?
The gluttons of knowledge
discuss James Joyce in a loud voice
in well-lit universities.
With great nuance and finesse
they enumerate the seven kinds of ambiguity
and the mean diameter of the vowel O
in the context of neo-Chicago Aristotelianism
in the latter plays of Shakespeare
where the commas fall like worms
out of every page of his art
as if he couldn't punctuate
the death-rage in his heart
with the subtler points
of the neo-critical literati.
I think Shakespeare would have seen
the sterling irony
of debating proto-Nostratic linguistics
while living children all around him
can't read their names in their own mother-tongue.
If the same word for oak
was the word we used for door
when we all learned to speak the same language
milennia ago
it's not hard to imagine
given modern advances in communication
that the word for child
that we used way back then
is the root of the word we use for atrocity today.
Why do the children of the poor die so readily?
Nature or nurture?
Is it because the children of the rich
are taught that wealth is longevity
and the children of the poor
who can't read the fine print
bleed to death like expired medical plans?
Why do the rich think that the poor
are the reason their children suffer
and the best thing to do is make orphans of them
by sending the poor of one nation
to war against another
to keep the economy growing
and cut back on the unemployed
like deer culled from a budget in hunting season?
If you're a child born from this womb

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VIII. Dominus Hyacinthus de Archangelis, Pauperum Procurator

Ah, my Giacinto, he's no ruddy rogue,
Is not Cinone? What, to-day we're eight?
Seven and one's eight, I hope, old curly-pate!
—Branches me out his verb-tree on the slate,
Amo-as-avi-atum-are-ans,
Up to -aturus, person, tense, and mood,
Quies me cum subjunctivo (I could cry)
And chews Corderius with his morning crust!
Look eight years onward, and he's perched, he's perched
Dapper and deft on stool beside this chair,
Cinozzo, Cinoncello, who but he?
—Trying his milk-teeth on some crusty case
Like this, papa shall triturate full soon
To smooth Papinianian pulp!

It trots
Already through my head, though noon be now,
Does supper-time and what belongs to eve.
Dispose, O Don, o' the day, first work then play!
—The proverb bids. And "then" means, won't we hold
Our little yearly lovesome frolic feast,
Cinuolo's birth-night, Cinicello's own,
That makes gruff January grin perforce!
For too contagious grows the mirth, the warmth
Escaping from so many hearts at once—
When the good wife, buxom and bonny yet,
Jokes the hale grandsire,—such are just the sort
To go off suddenly,—he who hides the key
O' the box beneath his pillow every night,—
Which box may hold a parchment (someone thinks)
Will show a scribbled something like a name
"Cinino, Ciniccino," near the end,
"To whom I give and I bequeath my lands,
"Estates, tenements, hereditaments,
"When I decease as honest grandsire ought."
Wherefore—yet this one time again perhaps—
Shan't my Orvieto fuddle his old nose!
Then, uncles, one or the other, well i' the world,
May—drop in, merely?—trudge through rain and wind,
Rather! The smell-feasts rouse them at the hint
There's cookery in a certain dwelling-place!
Gossips, too, each with keepsake in his poke,
Will pick the way, thrid lane by lantern-light,
And so find door, put galligaskin off
At entry of a decent domicile
Cornered in snug Condotti,—all for love,
All to crush cup with Cinucciatolo!

Well,
Let others climb the heights o' the court, the camp!

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Leave This Man Alone

(Justin Hayward)
Ah, leave this man alone, Ah, leave this man alone
Young girls with long faces come to me at night and stay the night
Why am I so lonely?
Tell me is it right? (Is it right?)
Leave them, leave them, leave them, leave those things alone
Leave them, leave them, leave them, leave those things alone
Someone said I loved you, but I can't think where (I can't think where)
You know so much about me
So don't stand and stare, stand and stare
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave my mind alone
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave this man alone
Ah, ah, leave this man alone
Ah, ah, leave this
(Instrumental)
Ah, ah, leave this man alone
Ah, ah, leave this
Someone said I loved you, but I can't think where (I can't think where)
You know so much about me
So don't stand and stare, stand and stare
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave my mind alone
Leave me, leave me, leave me, leave this man alone
Ah, ah, leave this man alone
Ah, ah, leave this man alone
Ahhhh
*************************************************************

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William Shakespeare

Venus and Adonis

'Vilia miretur vulgus; mihi flavus Apollo
Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua.'

To the right honorable Henry Wriothesly, Earl of Southampton, and Baron of Tichfield.
Right honorable.

I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burden only, if your honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you with some graver labour. But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a god-father, and never after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your honour to your heart's content; which I wish may always answer your own wish and the world's hopeful expectation.

Your honour's in all duty.

Even as the sun with purple-colour'd face
Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheek'd Adonis hied him to the chase;
Hunting he loved, but love he laugh'd to scorn;
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-faced suitor 'gins to woo him.
'Thrice-fairer than myself,' thus she began,
'The field's chief flower, sweet above compare,
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,
More white and red than doves or roses are;
Nature that made thee, with herself at strife,
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.
'Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed,
And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow;
If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed
A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know:
Here come and sit, where never serpent hisses,
And being set, I'll smother thee with kisses;
'And yet not cloy thy lips with loathed satiety,
But rather famish them amid their plenty,
Making them red and pale with fresh variety,
Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty:
A summer's day will seem an hour but short,
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.'
With this she seizeth on his sweating palm,
The precedent of pith and livelihood,
And trembling in her passion, calls it balm,
Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good:
Being so enraged, desire doth lend her force
Courageously to pluck him from his horse.
Over one arm the lusty courser's rein,
Under her other was the tender boy,
Who blush'd and pouted in a dull disdain,
With leaden appetite, unapt to toy;
She red and hot as coals of glowing fire,
He red for shame, but frosty in desire.
The studded bridle on a ragged bough
Nimbly she fastens:--O, how quick is love!--
The steed is stalled up, and even now
To tie the rider she begins to prove:

[...] Read more

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The Golden Age

Long ere the Muse the strenuous chords had swept,
And the first lay as yet in silence slept,
A Time there was which since has stirred the lyre
To notes of wail and accents warm with fire;
Moved the soft Mantuan to his silvery strain,
And him who sobbed in pentametric pain;
To which the World, waxed desolate and old,
Fondly reverts, and calls the Age of Gold.

Then, without toil, by vale and mountain side,
Men found their few and simple wants supplied;
Plenty, like dew, dropped subtle from the air,
And Earth's fair gifts rose prodigal as prayer.
Love, with no charms except its own to lure,
Was swiftly answered by a love as pure.
No need for wealth; each glittering fruit and flower,
Each star, each streamlet, made the maiden's dower.
Far in the future lurked maternal throes,
And children blossomed painless as the rose.
No harrowing question `why,' no torturing `how,'
Bent the lithe frame or knit the youthful brow.
The growing mind had naught to seek or shun;
Like the plump fig it ripened in the sun.
From dawn to dark Man's life was steeped in joy,
And the gray sire was happy as the boy.
Nature with Man yet waged no troublous strife,
And Death was almost easier than Life.
Safe on its native mountains throve the oak,
Nor ever groaned 'neath greed's relentless stroke.
No fear of loss, no restlessness for more,
Drove the poor mariner from shore to shore.
No distant mines, by penury divined,
Made him the sport of fickle wave or wind.
Rich for secure, he checked each wish to roam,
And hugged the safe felicity of home.

Those days are long gone by; but who shall say
Why, like a dream, passed Saturn's Reign away?
Over its rise, its ruin, hangs a veil,
And naught remains except a Golden Tale.
Whether 'twas sin or hazard that dissolved
That happy scheme by kindly Gods evolved;
Whether Man fell by lucklessness or pride,-
Let jarring sects, and not the Muse, decide.
But when that cruel Fiat smote the earth,
Primeval Joy was poisoned at its birth.
In sorrow stole the infant from the womb,
The agëd crept in sorrow to the tomb.
The ground, so bounteous once, refused to bear
More than was wrung by sower, seed, and share.

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William Shakespeare

Venus and Adonis

Even as the sun with purple-colour'd face
Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheek'd Adonis tried him to the chase;
Hunting he lov'd, but love he laugh'd to scorn;
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-fac'd suitor 'gins to woo him.
'Thrice fairer than myself,' thus she began,
'The field's chief flower, sweet above compare,
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,
More white and red than doves or roses are;
Nature that made thee, with herself at strife,
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.
'Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed,
And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow;
If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed
A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know:
Here come and sit, where never serpent hisses;
And being set, I'll smother thee with kisses:
'And yet not cloy thy lips with loath'd satiety,
But rather famish them amid their plenty,
Making them red and pale with fresh variety;
Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty:
A summer's day will seem an hour but short,
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.'
With this she seizeth on his sweating palm,
The precedent of pith and livelihood,
And, trembling in her passion, calls it balm,
Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good:
Being so enrag'd, desire doth lend her force
Courageously to pluck him from his horse.
Over one arm the lusty courser's rein
Under her other was the tender boy,
Who blush'd and pouted in a dull disdain,
With leaden appetite, unapt to toy;
She red and hot as coals of glowing fire
He red for shame, but frosty in desire.
The studded bridle on a ragged bough
Nimbly she fastens;--O! how quick is love:--
The steed is stalled up, and even now
To tie the rider she begins to prove:
Backward she push'd him, as she would be thrust,
And govern'd him in strength, though not in lust.
So soon was she along, as he was down,
Each leaning on their elbows and their hips:
Now doth she stroke his cheek, now doth he frown,
And 'gins to chide, but soon she stops his lips;
And kissing speaks, with lustful language broken,
'If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall never open.'
He burns with bashful shame; she with her tears
Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks;

[...] Read more

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Patrick White

One Star In The Dirty Window

for the occupiers of Wall Street

One star in the window and that’s enough to see me through the darkness for another night. Trying to weave a flying carpet out of a snakepit. Toxic wavelengths of mind. Poison arrowheads that make it worse to be wounded than killed outright. And all over Perth tonight I imagine there are bruised hearts like mine and yours turning cyanotically blue from having drunk from the same tainted wellsprings of life like fish that have no choice. The apples of October have been laced with the razorblades of Halloween by the psychopathic tree that hands them out like treats to the children in the doorway of an upright coffin. And the leaves are burning up in a fever of arsenic. Spiders work the loom like the strings of the system that hooks us by our gills in its seine nets until the great wild seas of our awareness and the dangerous freedom to look for new ungovernable continents within us so we can flee the corporate corruption of this one is reduced to the neurotic dimensions of a fish farm. If you are poor. If you’re worried about how to pay the rent this month. If it’s winter and there are harpies and sprites and ghouls threatening to turn the gas, the lights, the elements of life off like trolls under the bridge your money built to bilk you until it collapses from lack of repair. If you don’t how you’re going to manage to buy your kid a birthday present this year and you’re even more afraid of Christmas. If you’re poor and your prospects are as bleak as this deserted street tonight now all the ladys-in-waiting, princes, jesters, and warring kings have called it a night and emptied their street court like a bar. If you’re chronically tortured by the rags of dignity with the blood of a lost cause upon them like something that cost your mother and father their lives to fight for. And you’re ashamed of the straitjacket you’ve been forced to wear in order to have some overseer raise a spoon to your lips three exact times of the day like banking hours and GST cheques. If you smoulder with rage like a underground cedar fire burning in your roots like fuses of lightning afraid to explode. If you’re poor. If the weight of the world is on your back heavier than any cross the spiritual spin doctors of the complicit church and their political henchmen encourage you to carry like a virtue all the way to a fabricated heaven on the installment plan, but you can’t bear the load as a volunteer stretcher-bearer anymore, carrying your own corpse to the grave, while they rave in the wealth of what they have deprived you of here and now. If you’re poor. If you feel like a subliminal archetype of guilt in the collective unconscious of a society of quisling theosophists and weight-concscious c.e.o.’s sitting down to salads of money they eat out of the skulls of the children they’ve starved to death. If you don’t make enough money in Oregon to appeal to hypocritic oaths that sit on decisive committees to see if your son is worthy of a kidney transplant. An education. Piano lessons. A future that isn’t always an echo worse than the voices we heard yesterday protesting to the vampires that without a free blood bank they didn’t stand a chance of surviving the contributions they’re expected to make at night. If you’re poor in a chilly apartment in Perth tonight and you’re being eaten alive by the eggs that have been laid on your forehead like the living host to sustain the young of the killer bees that have sewn their nettles in the honey of life like the military-industrial complex of the hive. If you’re poor and you don’t get one year’s free subscription to satellite radio on the bus you have to take to work every morning surrounded by ads for the latest Ford-150 pick up truck ready to do a man’s work at the dropp of a hard hat and then go hunting in the country, and the new black paint is trying to imitate the skin of a naked woman, because your sex life depends on what you drive, and the sumptuary laws of the lies you’re allowed to wear like a Roman triumph are too stringent to get the dirt out of the dowdy greens and browns of your serfdom long enough to get laid by the calendar girls who sit like mermaids on a brand new truck, but have never sung to you. If you’re the poor wretch sitting in the doorway of the Bank of Nova Scotia across Foster Street in the small hours of the morning like a bird that gets to pick the parasites off the back of the hippopotamus that keeps rolling over on you in your sleep. For a fee. To hold up your end of a symbiotic relationship whereby you’re expected to eat shit and call it your daily bread. Eat humiliation, a ration of rat meat, and call it a just portion. Eat your education like bitter food for thought when you see how the fascistic ignorance of antediluvian fat men and their gold-digging wives are dignified by the juke-box of the news as if the point of view of a maggot on how to turn base metal into a gold butterfly it will never become were worthy of the same air time they give to eagles. One hundred news outlets with the same six slug lines like the top hits of the day. Catastrophe du jour. With rescued puppy stories for the trimmings. Eat information like the news. It’s Chinese food of the mind. Not very filling. With a fortune-cookie and a fat tape worm of better things to come wrapped around your bowels like the noose of a downed powerline that spared the cost of the rope to lynch you by your large intestine. If you’re poor and you’re always the falling leaf and never the apple. If you’re poor and it’s always autumn to judge by the banks of junkmail and bills that are swept up on your doorsill at all times of the year. If you’re poor and you’re punished for being out on the streets after curfew for having dropped through the cracks of your caste by a neocon leper colony privatized by the messianic lobbyists of free enterprise with one finger on the scales of equal opportunity because there isn’t a feather’s worth of good in them when they go before the jackal god of death and their grubby hearts are found wanting. If you’re poor and you’re listening to the North Carolina state legislature discussing your extermination in the civic minded tones of the Pied Piper of Hamlin and you’re eating your self-respect like the plague rat of why the rich suffer. Because in their creationist myth your womb is the enemy of the state. And you the infectious carrier of the pestilence. If you’re poor and sitting by the window on a warped floor behind the heritage field stones of an upstairs ghetto apartment in Perth feeling like the second coming of the Irish potato famine with no where to emigrate this time to be third in line below the Scotch and English on the food chain. If you’re poor. Tattoo this on your forehead like an Egyptian destiny you and your eyes will live to see fulfilled. It’s not your fault. Even if you’ve given up. Even if you’re gaping like zero, like absolute nothing, between two hissing sibilants of a serpentine medical symbol unravelling. And the dragon’s lost its wings. And the physician doesn’t care enough to heal himself because hes lost his faith in oaths. Or dangerous hope has given way to futile despair and they’re both siblings of the absurd. It’s not your fault that you were born into a society where even the mirages in this desert of stars are bundled and sold like real estate. That illusions and diseases apply for patents of ownership. That even the constellations have become the work of surveyors not shepherds on a hillside and the poor are being foreclosed and evicted from the signs of the zodiac because they can’t pay the rent or the mortgage on the house they were born into. Or the hydro on the stars. Even if your spinal cord tinkles like the burnt out filament of a dead lightbulb and the shining’s gone out. It’s not your fault if the universe that was airlifted to you at birth as your portion of life with nothing missing was intercepted and sold at prices that eat their own on the black market of free enterprise for the poor, or they couldn’t afford it, and socialism for the rich because they couldn’t survive without you. You might be like the sea in the lowest place of all but all things flow like rivers down into you. And the depth of the valley of shadows and death you’re walking through alone is a function of the height of the mountain that digs it like a grave it will be buried in. When all the grains of sand like stars come together they make a sea of waves where life thrives in the here and now spontaneously not a pyramid for the sake of a single capstone whose happy afterlife is founded on quicksand.
Saw a huge spiderweb once under a streetlamp at Carleton University thirty-six years ago. Six spiders, their abdomens obese as lightbulbs, six tumours ripening on the panicked cells and neural networks of more frenzied insects drawn to the light out of the dark than their webs were meant to accommodate. The webs were ripping under the weight of the horrified fruits of their gluttony stuck in the powerlines like kites and running shoes and treacherous parachutes. The dew spangled veils of the morning were being torn off like consumerist dream catchers to entice the mob to the artificial radiance of the light that drove them crazy. But the spiders were too satiate to move. And they were being pulled down along with their prey under the massive superflux of their immensely successful catastrophe. Pleonaxia. The disease of more and more and more. And all the insects had to do because the conglomerate spiders were too immobilized by the obscenity of their gigantism to stick an ice-pick in the back of Trotsky’s neck in Cuba was to keep a cool enough head to extricate themselves puppet string by puppet string, spinal cord by spinal cord, straitjacket by straitjacket, wing by wing from the web. But most were paralyzed by their own fear waiting for the fatal moment of the ruinous agenda to come like a budget cutting knife to end their nightmare. And after all these years that terrible insight still provides me with blood-freezing metaphors into the present economic system that preys upon the poor by beading the foodchain with black thoraxes as if they were the ninety-nine names of God and it were a rosary we could all say our novinas on pleading for more lifeboats and happier lifelines than the rigging of this ship of state that’s going down with all of us aboard as the captains of industry jump like rats in Genoa back into the year 1348 when there were corpses galore to feed on.
If you’re poor. Come to the revolution but leave your guillotine at home. Come to the revolution but leave Lenin in Geneva. Come to the revolution like Wat Tyler but don’t believe the promises of the king. Come to the revolution like Spartacus but don’t put your faith in pirates to provide you with the means of escape. Come to the revolution like Toussaint L’Ouverture in Haiti but first drive the fer de lance out of your sugar-cane so that no innocent bystanders get bit as an off-handed matter of population control. Come to the revolution like Aung San Suu Kyi ready to sit down in the teahouses of Burma to pry the fingers of the junta off the throats of the people like the petals of a flower whose time has come to let go. Come to the revolution like Ghandi walking all the way to the sea to turn the pillars of British imperialism to salt without all the fire and brimstone of Sodom and Gomorrah. Come like him to the revolution as a leader who knew how to follow his people. Come to the revolution like Helen Keller who stood up to the Rupert Murdochs of the age who were more in need of signage than she was on behalf of the rights of the working people and declared Oh, ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle! What an ungallant bird it is! Socially blind and deaf, it defends a system that’s intolerable. The Eagle and I are at war. Come to the revolution like Nelson Mandela to an international rugby match in the uniform of a Springbok scrum half to show that over-rated hatred can’t make a comeback over the jubilation of people in play with one another in time enough to win. Come to the revolution like Victor Jara and the Chilean art brigades and bring that guitar and that voice he left us that you’ve been wanting to play for decades with a compassionate feel for the sorrows of others right down to the tips of your social democratic fingerprints as if you weren’t born too late to celebrate a lost cause with a Cinderella story right out the social pages of the mid-sixties into the front page slug lines of msnbc news today. And remember it’s better to sing sincerely than well when you’ve got Bob Dylan for a voice coach. Come to the revolution like Tuwakal Karman of Yemen like the first coffee flower of the Arab Spring to raise her voice against Ali Abdullah Saleh in the name of human rights and freedom of expression. Come to the revolution like Martin Luther to the church door in Wittenburg and post your thirty-three articles of protest but don’t think because you throw inkwells at the devil that’s the same as writing your name in blood on the marble of Wall Street or a war memorial for the dead of Vietnam. Come like George Washington to the American Revolution ready to lay your power down as a sign of complete victory over what satisfies the industrial complexity of the generals’ hearts. Come like Barack Obama to the wellsprings of a cleaner watershed than that which flowed like the corrupt ditches of the tainted bloodstreams of Eden like the four rivers of the running sores of the trickle down economics of the political food chain that ran before him for office by putting a carrot in front of a donkey and all your eggs in one basket in front of a rampaging elephant. Come to the revolution like Emmeline Pankhurst to a hunger strike in a game of cat and mouse with the government who’ll catch you and let you go to fatten you up and keep you from being force fed before they arrest you again for throwing your weight around like Emily Davison at the king’s horse in the name of wanting to run like a candidate at the same race track without the handicap of not being able to vote. Come to the revolution like Dolores Jiminez y Muro with a political plan to give Emiliano Zapata a Mexican classroom of political reform worth dying for. If you’re poor, as Kurt Cobain said, come as you are. And if Jesus doesn’t want you for a sunbeam then come as a cloud. Come as a mountain. Come as a full eclipse of the moon or a loveletter that someone sent back or come as seven come eleven and trust in your luck when the dice are not loaded like skulls with no eyes against you.

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Care For The Elderly - A Conference

They gather in the Greeting Place
A smaller flock than once expected
Still elated - out from work and office

All around - the empty space
Is pressing on the keen - collected
Taking pointers - out from work and office

Inside the hall there is small trace
Of anyone to ‘stand corrected'
They're all working - inside work and office

Still curtains drift - in finest lace
The certain eyes not disaffected
Hide behind the lace of work and office

And speakers high in group embrace
Speak on and clap in unelected
Fluffy tones of every Higher Office

The higher speakers high disgrace
Is hid below their undetected
Lack of use - their waste of work and office

In keening grief - tears hid from face
A speaker - practical - affected
Brings human life within their work and office

And human thoughtfulness will base
Its Older Care on need selected
From that shown - away from work and office

Its time to fix he High and chase
By methods certain - unsuspected
Out form power - out from work and office

Foregather - follow to their base
See them - incestuous - connected
By wires unseen - inside work and office

27Mar2011 CPR

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October the Post Office Cat

Some thought she was a stray
That had come for scraps along the way
That might be left from the lunch
Of the post office staff; a kindly bunch.
But others knew her for what she was,
October the Post Office Cat.

She had a duty like any employee
To be on time and serve the public daily
And as any other as all know,
Had an official position just so.
October the Post Office Cat.

As soon as the walks were swept
And the doors were opened for the daily visits,
She found her space upon the walk
A bit removed so that none would balk
As they came to do their task or mail whatever.
October the Post Office Cat.

She often times was given the duty
Of minding some child whose custodian
Had business to attend
In dealing with the letters or packages within,
So she laid there carefully in the sun
Till end of day when her work was done.
October the Post Office Cat.

She was known by all who came along that way
Parking carefully throughout the day
Making sure that she was not disturbed
As she, her duties did perform.
Watching and listening to the sounds of pleasure
That only can be bestowed on one to treasure.
Yet adults knew not how to measure.
October the Post Office Cat.

On the post across the way
A yellow sign was placed on display
By the lady who ran the insurance office
Who wanted to be sure that others notice
That this was the path taken each day
As the cat came to begin her official stay.
October the Post Office Cat.

There came a time when she did not appear
And it was certainly a time to fear
That something had befallen this special one
Who worked so hard to please everyone
And the sign was removed so that all would know

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