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Eclecticism is the word. Like a jazz musician who creates his own style out of the styles around him, I play by ear.

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Victor Should Have Been A Jazz Musician

I went to a concert, to see nina, simone,
The concert was over, there was still a band playing, the rap up,
The booguh played with his hands, I close my eyes, and look at him,
Victor should have been a jazz musician,
I said to myself, victor should have been a jazz musician,
I looked at his face, and I saw victor, looked at his smile, and I saw victor,
I looked at his hair, and thought,
Victor should have been a jazz musician,
Victor should have been a jazz musician,
And the people dancing on the floor, dancing on the floor, were so high,
You should have seen victor smile, you should have seen victor smile,
As they danced all the while all around on the floor, and he laughed,
Victor should have been a jazz musician,
Oh, victor should have been a jazz musician,
He was playing so nice, the jazz musician,
Ah, ah,
Hes living in a fast beat, in a city thats hot,
Telling all the latinos and puerto ricans, victor seems happy, but he doesnt even know himself, hes gotta look inside to know his first love,
Victor was a jazz musician, he was playing so nice, victor was a jazz musician, (? ) victor was a jazz musician,
Victor loves his music, he loves his music, somewhere, he plays his music, somewhere,
Victor is a jazz musician,
Jazz.

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Byron

The Dream

I

Our life is twofold; Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity;
They pass like spirits of the past - they speak
Like sibyls of the future; they have power -
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain;
They make us what we were not - what they will,
And shake us with the vision that's gone by,
The dread of vanished shadows - Are they so?
Is not the past all shadow? - What are they?
Creations of the mind? - The mind can make
Substances, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dreamed
Perchance in sleep - for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.

II

I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
Green and of mild declivity, the last
As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such,
Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
But a most living landscape, and the wave
Of woods and corn-fields, and the abodes of men
Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke
Arising from such rustic roofs: the hill
Was crowned with a peculiar diadem
Of trees, in circular array, so fixed,
Not by the sport of nature, but of man:
These two, a maiden and a youth, were there
Gazing - the one on all that was beneath
Fair as herself - but the boy gazed on her;
And both were young, and one was beautiful:
And both were young - yet not alike in youth.
As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge,
The maid was on the eve of womanhood;
The boy had fewer summers, but his heart
Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye
There was but one beloved face on earth,
And that was shining on him; he had looked
Upon it till it could not pass away;
He had no breath, no being, but in hers:
She was his voice; he did not speak to her,
But trembled on her words; she was his sight,
For his eye followed hers, and saw with hers,
Which coloured all his objects; - he had ceased
To live within himself: she was his life,
The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
Which terminated all; upon a tone,
A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and flow,
And his cheek change tempestuously - his heart
Unknowing of its cause of agony.
But she in these fond feelings had no share:
Her sighs were not for him; to her he was
Even as a brother - but no more; 'twas much,
For brotherless she was, save in the name
Her infant friendship had bestowed on him;
Herself the solitary scion left
Of a time-honoured race. - It was a name
Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not - and why?
Time taught him a deep answer - when she loved
Another; even now she loved another,
And on the summit of that hill she stood
Looking afar if yet her lover's steed
Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew.

III

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
There was an ancient mansion, and before
Its walls there was a steed caparisoned:
Within an antique Oratory stood
The Boy of whom I spake; - he was alone,
And pale, and pacing to and fro: anon
He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced
Words which I could not guess of; then he leaned
His bowed head on his hands and shook, as 'twere
With a convulsion - then rose again,
And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear
What he had written, but he shed no tears.
And he did calm himself, and fix his brow
Into a kind of quiet: as he paused,
The Lady of his love re-entered there;
She was serene and smiling then, and yet
She knew she was by him beloved; she knew -
For quickly comes such knowledge - that his heart
Was darkened with her shadow, and she saw
That he was wretched, but she saw not all.
He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp
He took her hand; a moment o'er his face
A tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced, and then it faded, as it came;
He dropped the hand he held, and with slow steps
Retired, but not as bidding her adieu,
For they did part with mutual smiles; he passed
From out the massy gate of that old Hall,
And mounting on his steed he went his way;
And ne'er repassed that hoary threshold more.

IV

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Boy was sprung to manhood: in the wilds
Of fiery climes he made himself a home,
And his Soul drank their sunbeams; he was girt
With strange and dusky aspects; he was not
Himself like what he had been; on the sea
And on the shore he was a wanderer;
There was a mass of many images
Crowded like waves upon me, but he was
A part of all; and in the last he lay
Reposing from the noontide sultriness,
Couched among fallen columns, in the shade
Of ruined walls that had survived the names
Of those who reared them; by his sleeping side
Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds
Were fastened near a fountain; and a man,
Glad in a flowing garb, did watch the while,
While many of his tribe slumbered around:
And they were canopied by the blue sky,
So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,
That God alone was to be seen in heaven.

V

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Lady of his love was wed with One
Who did not love her better: in her home,
A thousand leagues from his, - her native home,
She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy,
Daughters and sons of Beauty, - but behold!
Upon her face there was a tint of grief,
The settled shadow of an inward strife,
And an unquiet drooping of the eye,
As if its lid were charged with unshed tears.
What could her grief be? - she had all she loved,
And he who had so loved her was not there
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
Or ill-repressed affliction, her pure thoughts.
What could her grief be? - she had loved him not,
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
Nor could he be a part of that which preyed
Upon her mind - a spectre of the past.

VI

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Wanderer was returned. - I saw him stand
Before an altar - with a gentle bride;
Her face was fair, but was not that which made
The Starlight of his Boyhood; - as he stood
Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came
The selfsame aspect and the quivering shock
That in the antique Oratory shook
His bosom in its solitude; and then -
As in that hour - a moment o'er his face
The tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced - and then it faded as it came,
And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke
The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,
And all things reeled around him; he could see
Not that which was, nor that which should have been -
But the old mansion, and the accustomed hall,
And the remembered chambers, and the place,
The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,
All things pertaining to that place and hour,
And her who was his destiny, came back
And thrust themselves between him and the light;
What business had they there at such a time?

VII

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Lady of his love; - Oh! she was changed,
As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes,
They had not their own lustre, but the look
Which is not of the earth; she was become
The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
Were combinations of disjointed things;
And forms impalpable and unperceived
Of others' sight familiar were to hers.
And this the world calls frenzy; but the wise
Have a far deeper madness, and the glance
Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
What is it but the telescope of truth?
Which strips the distance of its fantasies,
And brings life near in utter nakedness,
Making the cold reality too real!

VIII

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The Wanderer was alone as heretofore,
The beings which surrounded him were gone,
Or were at war with him; he was a mark
For blight and desolation, compassed round
With Hatred and Contention; Pain was mixed
In all which was served up to him, until,
Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,
He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
But were a kind of nutriment; he lived
Through that which had been death to many men,
And made him friends of mountains; with the stars
And the quick Spirit of the Universe
He held his dialogues: and they did teach
To him the magic of their mysteries;
To him the book of Night was opened wide,
And voices from the deep abyss revealed
A marvel and a secret. - Be it so.

IX

My dream is past; it had no further change.
It was of a strange order, that the doom
Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
Almost like a reality - the one
To end in madness - both in misery

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Jazz Musician

Well its saturday night in new jersey
And youre feeling kinda wet
Now the summer heat is getting you worried
So you try to look as innocent as you can as you sweat
And youve got a woman on the other side of the law
But it aint cool to go see her yet
Because her ex-old mans a city cop
Who thinks hes auditioning for dragnet
So you stand on the corner looking kinda torn
And in the blue light lounge
Where death was born
The jazz musician blows his horn
You pop a letter to your baby in richmond
cause youre feeling pretty down
Shes kinda small but at least shes a rich one
Oh, and she needs you real bad
And sometimes thats all that counts
You had a teenage band and flying hands
And oh, you was pretty big, you were pretty big in the
South
But you passed out on stage and flew into a rage
And someone tried to revive you
Mouth to mouth
You felt a pain in your chest
As you passed the crown
And in the blue light lounge
The lights went down
And the audience slipped silently out of town
Well now the atheist he burns you for laughing out loud
Because he cant understand what youre saying
And the words out when they pushed him in the hole
Everybody knows that he went out praying
Oh, now the park is dark but the sidewalks bright
And alive with the light of the living
Oh and mama can I walk you home tonight
cause its a big bad city
And this boys got a lot for the givingIm stranded in the jungle
First stage witness at a company killing
Im clutching my high school diploma, shuffling my feet
Promised sixty bucks a week
And guaranteed top billing
Well you can live a life of love in new york
Only if you dont, if you dont love living
And I met this taxi driver who drives me around town
Telling tales of his back seat women
And out on the corner theres no room to move
cause everybodys trying so hard to groove
And in the blue light lounge
The jazz musician plays his blues

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Song Of Hiawatha XI: Hiawatha's Wedding-Feast

You shall hear how Pau-Puk-Keewis,
How the handsome Yenadizze
Danced at Hiawatha's wedding;
How the gentle Chibiabos,
He the sweetest of musicians,
Sang his songs of love and longing;
How Iagoo, the great boaster,
He the marvellous story-teller,
Told his tales of strange adventure,
That the feast might be more joyous,
That the time might pass more gayly,
And the guests be more contented.
Sumptuous was the feast Nokomis
Made at Hiawatha's wedding;
All the bowls were made of bass-wood,
White and polished very smoothly,
All the spoons of horn of bison,
Black and polished very smoothly.
She had sent through all the village
Messengers with wands of willow,
As a sign of invitation,
As a token of the feasting;
And the wedding guests assembled,
Clad in all their richest raiment,
Robes of fur and belts of wampum,
Splendid with their paint and plumage,
Beautiful with beads and tassels.
First they ate the sturgeon, Nahma,
And the pike, the Maskenozha,
Caught and cooked by old Nokomis;
Then on pemican they feasted,
Pemican and buffalo marrow,
Haunch of deer and hump of bison,
Yellow cakes of the Mondamin,
And the wild rice of the river.
But the gracious Hiawatha,
And the lovely Laughing Water,
And the careful old Nokomis,
Tasted not the food before them,
Only waited on the others
Only served their guests in silence.
And when all the guests had finished,
Old Nokomis, brisk and busy,
From an ample pouch of otter,
Filled the red-stone pipes for smoking
With tobacco from the South-land,
Mixed with bark of the red willow,
And with herbs and leaves of fragrance.
Then she said, 'O Pau-Puk-Keewis,
Dance for us your merry dances,
Dance the Beggar's Dance to please us,
That the feast may be more joyous,
That the time may pass more gayly,
And our guests be more contented!'
Then the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis,
He the idle Yenadizze,
He the merry mischief-maker,
Whom the people called the Storm-Fool,
Rose among the guests assembled.
Skilled was he in sports and pastimes,
In the merry dance of snow-shoes,
In the play of quoits and ball-play;
Skilled was he in games of hazard,
In all games of skill and hazard,
Pugasaing, the Bowl and Counters,
Kuntassoo, the Game of Plum-stones.
Though the warriors called him Faint-Heart,
Called him coward, Shaugodaya,
Idler, gambler, Yenadizze,
Little heeded he their jesting,
Little cared he for their insults,
For the women and the maidens
Loved the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis.
He was dressed in shirt of doeskin,
White and soft, and fringed with ermine,
All inwrought with beads of wampum;
He was dressed in deer-skin leggings,
Fringed with hedgehog quills and ermine,
And in moccasins of buck-skin,
Thick with quills and beads embroidered.
On his head were plumes of swan's down,
On his heels were tails of foxes,
In one hand a fan of feathers,
And a pipe was in the other.
Barred with streaks of red and yellow,
Streaks of blue and bright vermilion,
Shone the face of Pau-Puk-Keewis.
From his forehead fell his tresses,
Smooth, and parted like a woman's,
Shining bright with oil, and plaited,
Hung with braids of scented grasses,
As among the guests assembled,
To the sound of flutes and singing,
To the sound of drums and voices,
Rose the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis,
And began his mystic dances.
First he danced a solemn measure,
Very slow in step and gesture,
In and out among the pine-trees,
Through the shadows and the sunshine,
Treading softly like a panther.
Then more swiftly and still swifter,
Whirling, spinning round in circles,
Leaping o'er the guests assembled,
Eddying round and round the wigwam,
Till the leaves went whirling with him,
Till the dust and wind together
Swept in eddies round about him.
Then along the sandy margin
Of the lake, the Big-Sea-Water,
On he sped with frenzied gestures,
Stamped upon the sand, and tossed it
Wildly in the air around him;
Till the wind became a whirlwind,
Till the sand was blown and sifted
Like great snowdrifts o'er the landscape,
Heaping all the shores with Sand Dunes,
Sand Hills of the Nagow Wudjoo!
Thus the merry Pau-Puk-Keewis
Danced his Beggar's Dance to please them,
And, returning, sat down laughing
There among the guests assembled,
Sat and fanned himself serenely
With his fan of turkey-feathers.
Then they said to Chibiabos,
To the friend of Hiawatha,
To the sweetest of all singers,
To the best of all musicians,
'Sing to us, O Chibiabos!
Songs of love and songs of longing,
That the feast may be more joyous,
That the time may pass more gayly,
And our guests be more contented!'
And the gentle Chibiabos
Sang in accents sweet and tender,
Sang in tones of deep emotion,
Songs of love and songs of longing;
Looking still at Hiawatha,
Looking at fair Laughing Water,
Sang he softly, sang in this wise:
'Onaway! Awake, beloved!
Thou the wild-flower of the forest!
Thou the wild-bird of the prairie!
Thou with eyes so soft and fawn-like!
'If thou only lookest at me,
I am happy, I am happy,
As the lilies of the prairie,
When they feel the dew upon them!
'Sweet thy breath is as the fragrance
Of the wild-flowers in the morning,
As their fragrance is at evening,
In the Moon when leaves are falling.
'Does not all the blood within me
Leap to meet thee, leap to meet thee,
As the springs to meet the sunshine,
In the Moon when nights are brightest?
'Onaway! my heart sings to thee,
Sings with joy when thou art near me,
As the sighing, singing branches
In the pleasant Moon of Strawberries!
'When thou art not pleased, beloved,
Then my heart is sad and darkened,
As the shining river darkens
When the clouds drop shadows on it!
'When thou smilest, my beloved,
Then my troubled heart is brightened,
As in sunshine gleam the ripples
That the cold wind makes in rivers.
'Smiles the earth, and smile the waters,
Smile the cloudless skies above us,
But I lose the way of smiling
When thou art no longer near me!
'I myself, myself! behold me!
Blood of my beating heart, behold me!
Oh awake, awake, beloved!
Onaway! awake, beloved!'
Thus the gentle Chibiabos
Sang his song of love and longing;
And Iagoo, the great boaster,
He the marvellous story-teller,
He the friend of old Nokomis,
Jealous of the sweet musician,
Jealous of the applause they gave him,
Saw in all the eyes around him,
Saw in all their looks and gestures,
That the wedding guests assembled
Longed to hear his pleasant stories,
His immeasurable falsehoods.
Very boastful was Iagoo;
Never heard he an adventure
But himself had met a greater;
Never any deed of daring
But himself had done a bolder;
Never any marvellous story
But himself could tell a stranger.
Would you listen to his boasting,
Would you only give him credence,
No one ever shot an arrow
Half so far and high as he had;
Ever caught so many fishes,
Ever killed so many reindeer,
Ever trapped so many beaver!
None could run so fast as he could,
None could dive so deep as he could,
None could swim so far as he could;
None had made so many journeys,
None had seen so many wonders,
As this wonderful Iagoo,
As this marvellous story-teller!
Thus his name became a by-word
And a jest among the people;
And whene'er a boastful hunter
Praised his own address too highly,
Or a warrior, home returning,
Talked too much of his achievements,
All his hearers cried, 'Iagoo!
Here's Iagoo come among us!'
He it was who carved the cradle
Of the little Hiawatha,
Carved its framework out of linden,
Bound it strong with reindeer sinews;
He it was who taught him later
How to make his bows and arrows,
How to make the bows of ash-tree,
And the arrows of the oak-tree.
So among the guests assembled
At my Hiawatha's wedding
Sat Iagoo, old and ugly,
Sat the marvellous story-teller.
And they said, 'O good Iagoo,
Tell us now a tale of wonder,
Tell us of some strange adventure,
That the feast may be more joyous,
That the time may pass more gayly,
And our guests be more contented!'
And Iagoo answered straightway,
'You shall hear a tale of wonder,
You shall hear the strange adventures
Of Osseo, the Magician,
From the Evening Star descending.'

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Say The Word

Theres a skill, its nothing we could learn at school
With a will to survive beneath this rule
Money thrives as corruptions president
Waste the life of the yong and innocent
But after all and the resistant can be disobeyed
So, when we call, please dont think twice or be afraid
Hey, mister, say something
Say the word - if your eyes are open
Say the word - before this love is broken
(say the word)
The lights are down, but you dont sleep so tight
The words around that we play for keeps tonight
As we all know even the best made plans go wrong sometimes
But if it blows well be the ones they victimize
Hey, mister, say something
(chorus) (chorus) (chorus) (chorus) (chorus)
To put this right
(ha!)

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a black Sun peeps through the cotton wool sky

There he comes like a Santa Claus on a Christmas eve along the road of hope.
Lamp posts salute him and the children offer their autographs to sign.
He uses his thousands of pens which holds in one hand.
Homeless they watch the T.V. in their new houses while washing the dirty linen.
The troubled word 'Dilemma' would disappear from the poor man's dictionary if you do justice for them.
Please stop the useless wars and blood sheds but do not stop the harmless wars against the lack of health care, poverty & hunger, injustice, unemployment and etc.
Like a peevish boy who protects his precious toy until his deathbed,
Please love the country, people, flora & fauna etc.

* A humble dedication to a pragmatic great man who could perform his bounden duties without any prejudice.

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Like Candy On The Tongue

Up on the hill, day after day,
watching the world around him unfold, from his amphitheater on the bay
Sits a leader of the modern world, on a summer holiday
While the world around him struggles, with the problems of the day

Like candy on the tongue, and the hot Mediterranean sun
all the colors will ere long fade away

All round the world, headless and astray
An old Greek tragedy, acts on the world stage, rewritten for new actors, its a laughable play
With an endless budget, a first recipe for delay
While the leader of the modern world, watches sailing boats at play

Like candy on the tongue, and the hot Mediterranean sun
all the colors will ere long fade away

How could they do without him, It's a laughable play
With an endless budget, on summer holiday

Simple things amuse him
His brother's love confuse him
They are totally adrift / lost without him
he'll come, but not today

Up on the hill, day after day,
watching the world around him unfold, from his amphitheater on the bay

Like candy on the tongue, and the hot Mediterranean sun
all the colors will ere long fade away

Copyright Colin Coplin 2012

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Zion, Or The City Of God

Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God;
He whose word cannot be broken
Formed thee for His own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation's walls surrounded
Thou may'st smile at all thy foes.

See, the streams of living waters
Springing from eternal love
Well supply thy sons and daughters
And all fear of want remove.
Who can faint while such a river
Ever flows their thirst t'assuage
Grace, which, like the Lord, the Giver,
Never fails from age to age?

Round each habitation hovering,
See the cloud and fire appear,
For a glory and a covering,
Showing that the Lord is near.
Thus they march, the pillar leading,
Light by night and shade by day,
Daily on the manna feeding
Which He gives them when they pray.

Blest inhabitants of Zion,
Washed in the Redeemer's blood!
Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
Makes them kings and priests to God.
'Tis His love His people raises
Over self to reign as kings,
And as priests, His solemn praises
Each for a thank-offering brings.

Savior, if of Zion's city
I through grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in Thy name.
Fading is the worldling's pleasure,
All his boasted pomp and show;
Solid joys and lasting treasure
None but Zion's children know.

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The eyes of impressionism

Saints.
Like swans, gliding untroubled so it seems
to us, lazing on the river bank
of a Seurat summer Sunday afternoon,
gliding over the surface of the waters
as love perhaps, on that first day;
they as floating symbols
of the beauty beyond beauty;
their work, invisible to us who watch

Painters.
Like waterlilies, resting in perfection
on the surface of the waters
as love rests, sure of their own beauty;
painting just the sunlight
falling on things, moving on
more slowly than we see;
the depth of the waters
in the painter’s mind and heart;
his work invisible to us who watch
his dabbing at the canvas
as a dabchick bobs in the water, his mind
moving as time moves;
for him, sitting at the canvas,
always time present,
in the water-garden already on his palette

Cataracts.
How far a word from
the stillness around him as he sits,
his beard a little yellow from the nicotine,
seeing the waterlilies as if for the first time,
but each year the water seems to tell
more about time itself… like Proust;
where is time going in this painting?

Eyes.
Cataracts, yes; but perhaps over time
they too have sought to serve him,
become themselves, impressionists,
presenting him with images
prepared like canvasses are prepared;
gently watering inner gardens
between the eyes and mind

yes, that’s Monsieur Monet over there;
don’t disturb him; but if you stand
a little way behind him, you just may
enter the stillness around him,
enter the stillness of his mind,
see with his eyes, that work
invisible to those of us who watch
which swans and saints and artists know.

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The Abandoned House And The Man Who Drags His Shoes To Make The Necessary Sound

when you arrive in the house
(the house that both of you built 17 years ago)
no one is there
not even the three white dogs

you have accepted this face of loneliness
without a mouth

it is its nature now
gentle in silence

there is nothing to talk about with someone else
when someone else is far away and seemingly taking all the hearts out

the door and the hinges have to keep things for themselves
for in truth, those who left the stairs
they still love

you have the key to the door of the kitchen
and that is where you start the journey towards the living room

you scurry on some little memories
it is like putting some words in your notes
in here and there beyond the margins

but it is not that endless really
for whatever it be
joy or death there's got to be an end
that is the truth of the meaning of
this word

it could be a dead-end
a street of walls
& then actually you are caught
in flagrante
where your only choice
is to go back,
retrace,
remember,
refresh
refrains, refrains
of a
love song

you go back to the room look longingly at the bed
the blankets are dusty and the pillows are stained with so much emptiness
or guilt
scruples
Freudian analysis
Carl Jung's other possibilities
of reconciliation

this is a very soundless world and
every part here is keeping its mouth shut
their layers of concealment are thick
and their canopies of
self-defenses are hard

you feel like this is one kind of a giant shell
and you are inside it
its flesh
all blistering
flesh

you decide to wear your shoes all throughout this scrutiny
this journey into marriage
into childlessness
into what if's

you drag your feet with your shoes on
as though someone is suffering and wanting to die
and you hold the collar
and you hurt the backbone
and in that open window
you imagine that someone may finally
jump like a scared cat

nine lives
thirty-six softest feet

you purposely make a sound with your shoes
tapping and tapping
and tapping
to create those sounds
of the past dances
just to fill an empty room

some thoughts jump out of the window
dressed in euphemisms
as the ceiling creates its own crankiness
its cloudiness

nine cats in you jump out that window
falling softly on the grass below
all thirty-six
dreams

it is nice to see of course
nine unharmed cats like fluffy cotton blown by the wind and gently
softly land on the grass

it is no wonder
why men sometimes invoke the sound of their whistling

indeed it is by this time
very relaxing

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The Man At The Bar

The Man At The Bar


I saunter toward the bar of my neighborhood tavern
For my weekly libation and some solitude in reading.
Tinseled ads dangle down like stalagtites in dim cavern
In this dark refuge, where world’s woes, no one’s heeding

At the bar sit’s a man alone, o’er long necked bottle, working-mans hands hover
Eyes unfocused, staring unseeingly, deep into space
While I, a book in one hand and cash for my pint in the other
Wait for my drink, when I sense his sad gaze drift round to my face

The palpable pull of his gaze makes me turn, nod politely and say “hi”
And his eyes slowly shift down to the book in my clasp
“Sir, “ said he, “might I have a peek at your book? ” A reticent request, soft as a sigh
of course, ” said I, and placed my dog-eared edition in his work-calloused grasp

A quick, cursory page riffling, then a wry wrinkled look
The tattered book proffered back to me with a sad sibilant sigh
“Ya know, ” he said to me “I can’t read a damn word in that book? ”
Embarrassment, mixed with defiance, in his averted, anguished eye

Squaring his shoulders as if shaking off a great leaden burden
Turned once more to me, and continued his confessional tale
My ale, slow arriving gave me time to pay full attention
And his long moored frustrations, once untied took full sail

“Dropped out of school quite young, ”he said
a waste of his time, ” he thought then
“Had he the wisdom then, that now had home in his head
He would have better used, the book and the pen”

Peeling the label from the brown bottle in his clutch
While staring at the now, but more likely looking back at his past
Said he could read “Walmart, ” “stop” and “yield” and the such
But the people around him, always found him out at last

Said he always got by doing menial jobs and hard labor
Raised a fine family by the sweat of his brow
But the one thing he lacked, and never would savor
Was to read to his kids, and in turn teach them how

The barmaid approached, my popcorn and ale on a tray
I paid my tab and placed my hand on his shoulder
I briefly told him of the many reading programs available today
And not let the desire to read, simply grow older

As I, with contented sigh, settled into my secluded, corner booth
Ready and eager to forage anew, through fictions and dominions
I glanced up before reading, and felt the pangs of a sad, somber truth
That my new friend had many hidden, and unknown companions

The plight of this man, and the too many just like him
Evoke pity and admiration, both in their turn
How sad to be locked in a non-reading prison
Oh what one can miss, when one fails to learn

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 1. The Musician's Tale; The Saga of King Olaf XI. -- Bishop Sigurd At Salten Fiord

Loud the anngy wind was wailing
As King Olaf's ships came sailing
Northward out of Drontheim haven
To the mouth of Salten Fiord.

Though the flying sea-spray drenches
Fore and aft the rowers' benches,
Not a single heart is craven
Of the champions there on board.

All without the Fiord was quiet
But within it storm and riot,
Such as on his Viking cruises
Raud the Strong was wont to ride.

And the sea through all its tide-ways
Swept the reeling vessels sideways,
As the leaves are swept through sluices,
When the flood-gates open wide.

''T is the warlock! 't is the demon
Raud!' cried Sigurd to the seamen;
'But the Lord is not affrighted
By the witchcraft of his foes.'

To the ship's bow he ascended,
By his choristers attended,
Round him were the tapers lighted,
And the sacred incense rose.

On the bow stood Bishop Sigurd,
In his robes, as one transfigured,
And the Crucifix he planted
High amid the rain and mist.

Then with holy water sprinkled
All the ship; the mass-bells tinkled.
Loud the monks around him chanted,
Loud he read the Evangelist.

As into the Fiord they darted,
On each side the water parted;
Down a path like silver molten
Steadily rowed King Olaf's ships;

Steadily burned all night the tapers,
And the White Christ through the vapors
Gleamed across the Fiord of Salten,
As through John's Apocalypse,--

Till at last they reached Raud's dwelling
On the little isle of Gelling;
Not a guard was at the doorway,
Not a glimmer of light was seen.

But at anchor, carved and gilded,
Lay the dragon-ship he builded;
'T was the grandest ship in Norway,
With its crest and scales of green.

Up the stairway, softly creeping,
To the loft where Raud was sleeping,
With their fists they burst asunder
Bolt and bar that held the door.

Drunken with sleep and ale they found him,
Dragged him from his bed and bound him,
While he stared with stupid wonder,
At the look and garb they wore.

Then King Olaf said: 'O Sea-King!
Little time have we for speaking,
Choose between the good and evil;
Be baptized, or thou shalt die!?

But in scorn the heathen scoffer
Answered: 'I disdain thine offer;
Neither fear I God nor Devil;
Thee and thy Gospel I defy!'

Then between his jaws distended,
When his frantic struggles ended,
Through King Olaf's horn an adder,
Touched by fire, they forced to glide.

Sharp his tooth was as an arrow,
As he gnawed through bone and marrow;
But without a groan or shudder,
Raud the Strong blaspheming died.

Then baptized they all that region,
Swarthy Lap and fair Norwegian,
Far as swims the salmon, leaping,
Up the streams of Salten Fiord.

In their temples Thor and Odin
Lay in dust and ashes trodden,
As King Olaf, onward sweeping,
Preached the Gospel with his sword.

Then he took the carved and gilded
Dragon-ship that Raud had builded,
And the tiller single-handed,
Grasping, steered into the main.

Southward sailed the sea-gulls o'er him,
Southward sailed the ship that bore him,
Till at Drontheim haven landed
Olaf and his crew again.

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Patrick White

Rain At Five In The Morning. Can't Sleep

Rain at five in the morning. Can't sleep.
Too many shards of broken mirrors
of the way things are in my mind.
Not enough windows to look through
for a star or two between the clouds.
No one on the streets. And the doorways
keeping their thoughts to themselves.
The pipes of the gas furnace creak
like an octopus with arthritis
and the aquarium filter leaks
like a mindstream on the rocks
not the lyrics of a fountain with a dolphin's mouth.

My eyes observe the protocols of seeing
into the sturm and drang of my awareness
like a lighthouse, but the dragon's awake
scalding my heart until my blood seethes
like the toxic glands of a cold-hearted reptile
in a cauldron of volcanic mistakes
reversing the spin of the spells I cast
that had more of an air of forgiveness about them
than is seemly for a curse but still too much
the smouldering of the Druidic glais
dedicated to the ashes of the Burning Man
to be a blessing in the eyes of the beholder
who sees his own features in it, good or bad,
depending on how raw or cooked he is.

My subconscious mind surfaces
like the dorsal fin of a sundial
to circle the lifeboat I'm in
like a prophet in the belly of a killer whale
trying to knock a seal off an ice floe.
I've disciplined my karma like a martial art
but my heart is a miasma of provisional compassion.
Dead dog's dream self snarls like a junkyard
of bad performance poetry behind an electric fence
I wove out of the optic fibres
of a discarded dreamcatcher
hanging from a rearview mirror
in the middle of a windshield
swimming against the flow of things
like a salmon up the mountain
in the slipstream of its own wake.

I keep my rage on a chain and a muzzle.
I keep my sorrow to myself like a child
I never wanted to grow up to be me.
I can be a heretic devoted to the freedom
of my own creative apostasy
as a decultified mode of poetic disobedience
but there's a gleeful buoyancy
in the experience that bubbles up
within me like a tar pit liberated from itself
that says touch even this lightly
in your passage through here.
Listen to the wind in the trees
with your nose as well as your ears
but follow the stars like a shepherd of wolves
hunting in the same high fields
their fires graze upon themselves,
not the wheeling of the world's wavelengths
in these earthbound coils of renewal and extinction
crushing the life out of me like a beached Leviathan
suffocating under its own weight, or oracular pythons
with their tails in their mouths like the last word
of anything left to say on their deathbeds.

My despair is still contaminated with hope
and the lucky long shots that ricochet off chaos
but still hit the target like the master stroke
of a random God particle, haven't done anything
to improve the aim of my hadron collider.
The secret of life is confided only to those
discrete enough not to tell it to anyone else.
They wear it on their sleeves like silence.
Their tongues are not candles in the niches of their mouths
they keep blowing out with every breath they take
looking for emergency exits in the fire traps of their shrines.
And woe to the hypocrite that tries
to love me unconditionally as if I didn't have
a mind and a heart of my own to see
what a ploy it is to climb a burning ladder
up to heaven, only to let people down conditionally
like a fire-escape in a cheap hotel
that stops half way to the ground.

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Close To The Edge

I. the solid time of change
(anderson/howe)
A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace,
And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace,
And achieve it all with music that came quickly from afar,
Then taste the fruit of man recorded losing all against the hour.
And assessing points to nowhere, leading evry single one.
A dewdrop can exalt us like the music of the sun,
And take away the plain in which we move,
And choose the course youre running.
Down at the edge, round by the corner,
Not right away, not right away.
Close to the edge, down by a river,
Not right away, not right away.
Crossed the line around the changes of the summer,
Reaching out to call the color of the sky.
Passed around a moment clothed in mornings faster than we see.
Getting over all the time I had to worry,
Leaving all the changes far from far behind.
We relieve the tension only to find out the masters name.
Down at the end, round by the corner.
Close to the edge, just by a river.
Seasons will pass you by.
I get up, I get down.
Now that its all over and done,
Now that you find, now that youre whole.
Ii. total mass retain
(anderson/squire)
My eyes convinced, eclipsed with the younger moon attained with love.
It changed as almost strained amidst clear manna from above.
I crucified my hate and held the word within my hand.
Theres you, the time, the logic, or the reasons we dont understand.
Sad courage claimed the victims standing still for all to see,
As armoured movers took approached to overlook the sea.
There since the cord, the license, or the reasons we understood will be.
Down at the edge, close by a river.
Close to the edge, round by the corner.
Close to the end, down by the corner.
Down at the edge, round by the river.
Sudden problems shouldnt take away the startled memory.
All in all, the journey takes you all the way.
As apart from any reality that youve ever seen and known.
Guessing problems only to deceive the mention,
Passing paths that climb halfway into the void.
As we cross from side to side, we hear the total mass retain.
Down at the edge, round by the corner.
Close to the end, down by a river.
Seasons will pass you by.
I get up, I get down.
Iii. I get up, I get down
(anderson/howe)
In her white lace, you could clearly see the lady sadly looking.
Saying that shed take the blame
For the crucifixion of her own domain. I get up,
I get down,
I get up,
I get down.
Two million people barely satisfy.
Two hundred women watch one woman cry, too late.
The eyes of honesty can achieve.
How many millions do we deceive each day?
I get up, I get down.
I get up, I get down.
In charge of who is there in charge of me.
Do I look on blindly and say I see the way?
The truth is written all along the page.
How old will I be before I come of age for you?
I get up, I get down.
I get up, I get down.
I get up, I get down.
Iv. seasons of man
(anderson/howe)
The time between the notes relates the color to the scenes.
A constant vogue of triumphs dislocate man, it seems.
And space between the focus shape ascend knowledge of love.
As song and chance develop time, lost social temprance rules above.
Ah, ah.
Then according to the man who showed his outstretched arm to space,
He turned around and pointed, revealing all the human race.
I shook my head and smiled a whisper, knowing all about the place.
On the hill we viewed the silence of the valley,
Called to witness cycles only of the past.
And we reach all this with movements in between the said remark.
Close to the edge, down by the river.
Down at the end, round by the corner.
Seasons will pass you by,
Now that its all over and done,
Called to the seed, right to the sun.
Now that you find, now that youre whole.
Seasons will pass you by,
I get up, I get down.
I get up, I get down.
I get up, I get down.
I get up.

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Close To The Edge

I. the solid time of change
(anderson/howe)
A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace,
And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace,
And achieve it all with music that came quickly from afar,
Then taste the fruit of man recorded losing all against the hour.
And assessing points to nowhere, leading evry single one.
A dewdrop can exalt us like the music of the sun,
And take away the plain in which we move,
And choose the course youre running.
Down at the edge, round by the corner,
Not right away, not right away.
Close to the edge, down by a river,
Not right away, not right away.
Crossed the line around the changes of the summer,
Reaching out to call the color of the sky.
Passed around a moment clothed in mornings faster than we see.
Getting over all the time I had to worry,
Leaving all the changes far from far behind.
We relieve the tension only to find out the masters name.
Down at the end, round by the corner.
Close to the edge, just by a river.
Seasons will pass you by.
I get up, I get down.
Now that its all over and done,
Now that you find, now that youre whole.
Ii. total mass retain
(anderson/squire)
My eyes convinced, eclipsed with the younger moon attained with love.
It changed as almost strained amidst clear manna from above.
I crucified my hate and held the word within my hand.
Theres you, the time, the logic, or the reasons we dont understand.
Sad courage claimed the victims standing still for all to see,
As armoured movers took approached to overlook the sea.
There since the cord, the license, or the reasons we understood will be.
Down at the edge, close by a river.
Close to the edge, round by the corner.
Close to the end, down by the corner.
Down at the edge, round by the river.
Sudden problems shouldnt take away the startled memory.
All in all, the journey takes you all the way.
As apart from any reality that youve ever seen and known.
Guessing problems only to deceive the mention,
Passing paths that climb halfway into the void.
As we cross from side to side, we hear the total mass retain.
Down at the edge, round by the corner.
Close to the end, down by a river.
Seasons will pass you by.
I get up, I get down.
Iii. I get up, I get down
(anderson/howe)
In her white lace, you could clearly see the lady sadly looking.
Saying that shed take the blame
For the crucifixion of her own domain. I get up,
I get down,
I get up,
I get down.
Two million people barely satisfy.
Two hundred women watch one woman cry, too late.
The eyes of honesty can achieve.
How many millions do we deceive each day?
I get up, I get down.
I get up, I get down.
In charge of who is there in charge of me.
Do I look on blindly and say I see the way?
The truth is written all along the page.
How old will I be before I come of age for you?
I get up, I get down.
I get up, I get down.
I get up, I get down.
Iv. seasons of man
(anderson/howe)
The time between the notes relates the color to the scenes.
A constant vogue of triumphs dislocate man, it seems.
And space between the focus shape ascend knowledge of love.
As song and chance develop time, lost social temprance rules above.
Ah, ah.
Then according to the man who showed his outstretched arm to space,
He turned around and pointed, revealing all the human race.
I shook my head and smiled a whisper, knowing all about the place.
On the hill we viewed the silence of the valley,
Called to witness cycles only of the past.
And we reach all this with movements in between the said remark.
Close to the edge, down by the river.
Down at the end, round by the corner.
Seasons will pass you by,
Now that its all over and done,
Called to the seed, right to the sun.
Now that you find, now that youre whole.
Seasons will pass you by,
I get up, I get down.
I get up, I get down.
I get up, I get down.
I get up.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 1. The Landlord's Tale; Paul Revere's Ride

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, 'If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.'

Then he said, 'Good night!' and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street,
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, 'All is well!'
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,--
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock,
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,--
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,--
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Paul Revere's Ride (The Landlord's Tale)

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in 'Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light, --
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said, "Good night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street,
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade, --
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay, --
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! As he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled, --
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm, --
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

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The Viceroy. A Ballad.

Tune - 'Lady Isabella's Tragedy.' or 'The Stepmother's cruelty.'

Of Nero, tyrant, petty king,
Who heretofore did reign
In famed Hibernia, I will sing,
And in a ditty plain.

He hated was by rich and poor
For reasons you shall hear;
So ill he exercised his power
That he himself did fear.

Full proud and arrogant was he,
And covetous withal;
The guilty he would still set free,
But guiltless men enthral.

He with a haughty, impious nod
Would curse and dogmatize,
Nor fearing either man or God,
Gold he did idolize.

A patriot of high degree,
Who could no longer bear
This upstart Viceroy's tyranny,
Against him did declare.

And, arm'd with truth, impeach'd the Don
Of his enormous crimes,
Which I'll unfold to you anon
In low but faithful rhymes.

The articles recorded stand
Against this peerless peer;
Search but the archives of the land
You'll find them written there.

Attend and justly I'll recite
His treasons to you all,
The heads set in their native light,
(And sigh poor Gaphny's fall.)

That traitorously he did abuse
The power in him reposed,
And wickedly the same did use,
On all mankind imposed.

That he contrary to all law,
An oath did frame and make,
Compelling the militia
Th' illegal oath to take.

Free quarters for the army too
He did exact and force;
On Protestants his love to show,
Than Papist used them worse.

On all provisions destined for
The camp at Limerick,
He laid a tar full hard and sore,
Though many men were sick.

The sutlers, too, he did ordain
For licenses should pay,
Which they refused with just disdain,
And fled the camp away.

By which provisions were so scant
That hundreds there did die;
The soldiers food and drink did want,
Nor famine could they fly.

He so much loved his private gain
He could not hear or see;
They might or die or might complain
Without relief
pardie.


That above and against all right,
By word of mouth did he,
In council sitting, hellish spite,
The farmer's fate decree;

That he,
O Ciel
, without trial,
Straightway should hanged be,
Though then the courts were open all,
Yet Nero judge would be.

No sooner said but it was done,
The Bourreau did his worst;
Gaphny, alas! is dead and gone,
And left his judge accursed.

In this concise despotic way
Unhappy Gaphny fell,
Which did all honest men affray,
As truly it might well.

Full two good hundred pounds a-year,
This poor man's real estate,
He settled on his favourite dear,
And Culliford can say't.

Besides, he gave five hundred pound
To Fielding his own scribe,
Who was his bail; one friend he found;
He owed him to the bribe.

But for his horrid murder vile
None did him prosecute;
His old friend help'd him o'er the stile;
With Satan who dispute?

With France, fair England's mortal foe,
A trade he carried on;
Had any other done't, I trow,
To tripos he had gone.

That he did likewise traitorously,
To bring his ends to bear,
Enrich himself most knavishly;
O thief without compare!

Vast quantities of stores did he
Embezzle and purloin;
Of the king's stores he kept a key,
Converting them to coin.

Te forfeited estates also,
Both real and personal,
Did with the stores together go;
Fierce Cerb'rus swallow'd all.

Meanwhile the soldiers sigh'd and sobb'd,
For not one sous had they;
His Excellence had each man fobb'd,
For he had sunk their pay.

Nero without the least disguise,
The Papists at all times
Still favour'd, and their robberies
Look'd on as trivial crimes.

The Protestants, whom they did rob
During his government,
Were forced with patience, like good Job,
To rest themselves content.

For he did basely them refuse
All legal remedy;
The Romans still he well did use,
Still screen'd their roguery.

Succinctly thus to you I've told
How this Viceroy did reign,
And other truths I shall unfold;
For truth is always plain.

The best of queens he hath reviled
Before and since her death,
He, cruel and ungrateful, smiled
When she resign'd her breath.

Forgetful of the favours kind
She had on him bestow'd,
Like Lucifer, his rancorous mind,
He loved nor her nor God.

But listen, Nero, lend thy ears,
As still thou hast them on;
Hear what Britannia says, with tears,
Of Anna dead and gone.

'Oh! sacred be her memory,
For ever dear her name;
There never was nor ere can be
A brighter juster dame.

'Bless'd be my sons, and eke all those
Who on her praises dwell;
She conquer'd Britain's fiercest foes,
She did all queens excel.

'All princes, kings, and potentates,
Ambassadors did send;
All nations, provinces, and states,
Sought Anna for their friend.

'In Anna they did all confide,
For Anna they could trust;
Her royal faith they all had tried,
For Anna still was just.

'Truth, mercy, justice, did surround
Her awful judgement-seat;
In her the Graces all were found,
In Anna all complete.

'She held the sword and balance right,
And sought her people's good;
In clemency she did delight,
Her reign not stain'd with blood.

'Her gracious goodness, piety,
In all her deeds did shine,
And bounteous was her charity,
All attributes divine.

'Consummate wisdom, meekness, all
Adorn'd the words she spoke,
When they from her fair lips did fall,
And sweet her lovely look.

'Ten thousand glorious deeds to crown,
She caused dire war to cease;
A greater empress ne'er was known,
She fix'd the world in peace.

'This last and godlike act achieved,
To heaven she wing'd her flight;
Her loss with tears all Europe grieved,
Their strength and dear delight.

'Leave we in bliss this heavenly saint,
Revere, ye just, her urn;
Her virtues high and excellent,
Astrea gone we mourn.

'Commemorate, my sons, the day
Which gave great Anna birth;
Keep it for ever and for aye,
And annual be your mirth.'

Illustrious George now fills the throne,
Our wise benign good king;
Who can his wondrous deeds make known,
Or his bright actions sing?

Thee, favourite Nero, he has deign'd
To raise to high degree!
Well thou thy honours hast sustain'd,
Well vouch'd thy ancestry.

But pass - these honours on thee laid,
Can they e'er make thee white?
Don't Gaphny's blood, which thou hast shed,
Thy guilty soul affright?

Oh! is there not, grim mortal, tell,
Places of bliss and wo?
Oh! is there not a heaven, a hell?
But whither wilt thou go?

Can nought change thy obdurate mind?
Wilt thou for ever rail?
The prophet on thee well refined,
And set thy wit to sale.

How thou art lost to sense and shame
Three countries witness be;
Thy conduct all just men do blame

Lib'ra nos Domine.


Dame Justice waits thee, well I ween,
Her sword is brandish'd high;
Nought can thee from her vengeance screen,
Nor can'st thou from her fly.

Heavy her ire will fall on thee,
The glittering steel is sure;
Sooner or later, all agree,
She cuts off the impure.

To her I leave thee, gloomy peer,
Think on thy crimes committed;
Repent, and be for once sincere,
Thou ne'er wilt be De-Witted.

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The Eve of St. John

The baron of Smaylho'me rose with day,
He spurr'd his courser on,
Without stop or stay, down the rocky way,
That leads to Brotherstone.

He went not with the bold Buccleuch,
His banner broad to rear;
He went not 'gainst the English yew,
To lift the Scottish spear.

Yet his plate-jack was braced, and his helmet was laced,
And his vaunt-brace of proof he wore;
At his saddle-gerthe was a good steel sperthe,
Full ten pound weight and more.

The Baron return'd in three days' space,
And his looks were sad and sour;
And weary was his courser's pace,
As he reach'd his rocky tower.

He came not from where Ancram Moor
Ran red with English blood;
Where the Douglas true, and the bold Buccleuch,
'Gainst keen Lord Evers stood.

Yet was his helmet hack'd and hew'd,
His acton pierced and tore,
His axe and his dagger with blood inbrued,-
But it was not English gore.

He lighted at the Chapellage,
He held him close and still;
And he whistled thrice for his little foot-page,
His name was English Will.

'Come thou hither, my little foot-page,
Come hither to my knee;
Though thou art young, and tender of age,
I think thou art true to me.

'Come, tell me all that thou hast seen,
And look thou tell me true!
Since I from Smaylho'me tower have been,
What did thy lady do?'-

'My lady, each night, sought the lonely light,
That burns on the wild Watchfold;
For, from height to height, the beacons bright
Of the English foemen told.

'The bittern clamour'd from the moss,
The wind blew loud and shrill;
Yet the craggy pathway she did cross
To the eiry Beacon Hill.

'I watch'd her steps, and silent came
Where she sat her on a stone;-
No watchman stood by the dreary flame,
It burned all alone.

'The second night I kept her in sight,
Till to the fire she came,
And, by Mary's might! an Armed Knight
Stood by the lonely flame.

'And many a word that warlike lord
Did speak to my lady there:
But the rain fell fast, and loud blew the blast,
And I heard not what they were.

'The third night there the sky was fair,
And the mountain-blast was still,
As again I watch'd the secret pair,
On the lonesome Beacon Hill.

'And I heard her name the midnight hour,
And name this holy eve;
And say, 'Come this night to thy lady's bower;
Ask no bold Baron's leave.

'He lifts his spear with the bold Buccleuch;
His lady is all alone;
The door she'll undo, to her knight so true,
On the eve of good St. John.'-

''I cannot come; I must not come;
I dare not come to thee;
On the eve of St. John I must wander alone:
In thy bower I may not be.'-

''Now, out on thee, faint-hearted knight!
Thou shouldst not say me nay;
For the eve is sweet, and when lovers meet,
Is worth the whole summer's day.

''And I'll chain the blood-hound, and the warder shall not sound,
And rushes shall be strew'd on the stair;
So, by the black rood-stone, and by Holy St. John,
I conjure thee, my love, to be there!'-

''Though the blood-hound be mute, and the rush beneath my foot,
And the warder his bugle should not blow,
Yet there sleepeth a priest in the chamber to the east,
And my footstep he would know.'-

''O fear not the priest, who sleepeth to the east!
For to Dryburgh the way he has ta'en;
And there to say mass, till three days do pass,
For the soul of a knight that is slayne.'-

'He turn'd him around, and grimly he frown'd;
Then he laugh'd right scornfully-
'He who says the mass-rite for the soul of that knight,
May as well say mass for me:

''At the lone midnight hour, when bad spirits have power,
In thy chamber will I be.'-
With that he was gone, and my lady left alone,
And no more did I see.'

Then changed, I trow, was that bold Baron's brow,
From the dark to the blood-red high;
'Now, tell me the mien of the knight thou hast seen,
For, by Mary, he shall die!'-

'His arms shone full bright, in the beacon's red light;
His plume it was scarlet and blue;
On his shield was a hound, in a silver leash bound,
And his crest was a branch of the yew.'-

'Thou liest, thou liest, thou little foot-page,
Loud dost thou lie to me!
For that knight is cold, and low laid in the mould,
All under the Eildon-tree.'-

'Yet hear but my word, my noble lord!
For I heard her name his name;
And that lady bright, she called the knight
Sir Richard of Coldinghame.'-

The bold Baron's brow then changed, I trow,
From high blood-red to pale -
'The grave is deep and dark - and the corpse is stiff and stark-
So I may not trust thy tale.

'Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose,
And Eildon slopes to the plain,
Full three nights ago, by some secret foe,
That gay gallant was slain.

'The varying light deceived thy sight,
And the wild winds drown'd the name;
For the Dryburgh bells ring, and the white monks do sing,
For Sir Richard of Coldinghame!'

He pass'd the court-gate, and he oped the tower-gate,
And he mounted the narow stair,
To the bartizan-seat, where, with maids that on her wait,
He found his lady fair.

That lady sat in mournful mood;
Look'd over hill and vale;
Over Tweed's fair flod, and Mertoun's wood,
And all down Teviotdale.

'Now hail, now hail, thou lady bright!'-
'Now hail, thou Baron true!
What news, what news, from Ancram fight?
What news from the bold Buccleuch?'-

'The Ancram Moor is red with gore,
For many a southron fell;
And Buccleuch has charged us, evermore,
To watch our beacons well.'-

The lady blush'd red, but nothing she said:
Nor added the Baron a word:
Then she stepp'd down the stair to her chamber fair,
And so did her moody lord.

In sleep the lady mourn'd, and the Baron toss'd and turn'd,
And oft to himself he said,-
'The worms around him creep, and his bloody grave is deep…..
It cannot give up the dead!'-

It was near the ringing of matin-bell,
The night was wellnigh done,
When a heavy sleep on that Baron fell,
On the eve of good St. John.

The lady look'd through the chamber fair,
By the light of a dying flame;
And she was aware of a knight stood there-
Sir Richard of Coldinghame!

'Alas! away, away!' she cried,
'For the holy Virgin's sake!'-
'Lady, I know who sleeps by thy side;
But, lady, he will not awake.

'By Eildon-tree, for long nights three,
In bloody grave have I lain;
The mass and the death-prayer are said for me,
But, lady, they are said in vain.

'By the Baron's brand, near Tweed's fair strand,
Most foully slain, I fell;
And my restless sprite on the beacon's height,
For a space is doom'd to dwell.

'At our trysting-place, for a certain space,
I must wander to and fro;
But I had not had power to come to thy bower
Had'st thou not conjured me so.'-

Love master'd fear - her brow she cross'd;
'How, Richard, hast thou sped?
And art thou saved, or art thou lost?'-
The vision shook his head!

'Who spilleth life, shall forfeit life;
So bid thy lord believe;
That lawless love is guilt above,
This awful sign receive.'

He laid his left palm on an oaken beam;
His right upon her hand;
The lady shrunk, and fainting sunk,
For it scorch'd like a fiery brand.

The sable score, of fingers, four,
Remains on that board impress'd;
And for evermore that lady wore
A covering on her wrist.

There is a nun in Dryburgh bower,
Ne'er looks upon the sun;
There is a monk in Melrose tower,
He speaketh word to none.

That nun, who ne'er beholds the day,
That monk, who speaks to none-
That nun was Smaylho'me's Lady gay,
That monk the bold Baron.

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