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We wanted to guide the musicians, so we could create our own sound. We would never let the band just go in and play the chord sheets. We were very focused on what we had in mind for these productions.

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Patrick White

I Circumnavigated My Eyes

I circumnavigated my eyes
to wash these ashen rags of grief off
like the torn sails of the Magellanic Clouds.
I knew how deeply I was lost
when I set my starmaps afire
because they got in the way of the shining,
to give them a first hand experience
of lighting things up for themselves
like arsonists playing with draconian desire.
Took me years to get the last shadow
of your misdirected spearhead out of my heart,
make white noise out of the snarling chainsaw
that accompanied you like a seeing-eye dog.

At first the intensity of the pain
clued me forensically into thinking
the sheer immensity of your crime of passion,
the number of times you stabbed me through the heart
meant you loved me more than you cared to let on
but then I noticed all your knives were smiling
like scalpels that had just blooded the moon in my eyes
and I could see the savage delight
you took in my Orphic dismemberment
like an artist in a surgical theatre of vivisected hearts.
Incisions I'll remember for the rest of my life
like paper cuts from a black belt in loveletters.

I forgave what I could and deliberately
misunderstood the rest to let you pass
without being noticed by the demonic lighthouses
that kept watch along the coast like candles
at a black mass for a continental shift in perspective.
I think I was still half in love with you
when I was assessing the drift of our separation
in light years, and the grief, at times, when it didn't seem
potentially lethal, was almost suicidally beautiful,
but as my afterlives dragged on like retrogressive epicycles,
as you did when you pulled the stars out by their roots,
I let the garden return to the wild
and laid out a defensive position of black holes
the dead who once bloomed here
never need worry about being exhumed from.

And I remember standing on the trajectory of a bridge
throwing the bones of my body parts off
like the pages of a calendar scored by a sword
in a cutting edge experiment with oviparous clones
born like mystic comas from spiritual replications
of the same cosmic egg you could never break out of
even after I defused myself like the supernova
of an unexploded terrorist who was once wired to you
like the memory of an old risk that wasn't worth the cause
or the collateral damage it would have done
to the startled innocence of the bystanding stars,
not to mention the traumatic disheartening of the sun
in having to realign its shining with midnight
like a firefly in a dream on a flowerless, terminal ward.

You were the anti-enlightenment that occluded my identity
as if I'd never been there in the first place,
and that would have been fine, I would have
happily lived for you as a better lost cause
than the one I was waging like an unholy war of one.
I would have burned in my inexhaustible solitude
like a discipline of devotion refining my passion for you
into a sword worth falling upon in the name of your integrity.
It would have been a privilege, a tribute, a blessing
to have had you there to give it all up to,
knowing you can never lose what you freely give away,
to get behind your dream like a demonically fulfilled familiar.
Capo, and consigliere, but the power went to your ego,
forgetting that arrogance makes you unguardedly stupid
and stupid will get you killed faster than evil,
but you didn't need my advice to assist you with that.

Not to be. That's the last plea of exoneration
from people who don't know the damage
they've done to each other without even trying to.
The inert delusions of neon gas that highlights
the stations of the heart where we stopped
along the way for a garish night
of PyschoBabylonic heartbreak gone berserk
and solar flares ionized the gun-metal, electrical fragrance
of flowers going supernova in space as if
they were ripping the veils and spiderwebs off
the gutter wisdom of the upper atmosphere gone slumming.

Even if I didn't need to, from playful firefly
to dragon sage with dusky yellow blood,
I would have transmogrified myself for you,
an oracular shapeshifter delighted to accommodate
the most delicate lineaments of protozoic desire
to keep you from bottoming out like the Burgess Shale
into a motile labyrinth of genetic cul de sacs
waiting for your traffic jam to turn green again.

Not to be. The gavel of whose will?
The officious seal of whose blood?
Better to be loved than righteous, feast the heart
among friends and lovers rather than
nibble on the bitter weeds of your isolated sanctimony.
You were always trying to salvage
perfection from its flaws, dehumanize it somehow
into nanodiamonds you wanted to genetically replicate.
Pollen of crystal flowers in a menagerie of bees
that turned their hive into a kiln of glass honey
that shattered like tears at your feet when you wept.

Who isn't an approximation of the person
they hoped to achieve, who isn't the fraud
of their own accomplishment, more disbelieving
in themselves than those who applaud with envy
the strawdog that gets thrown on the fire
after it's served a ritual purpose no one
quite understands? Hard to find a rose in the wild
that isn't supple and pudgy, blighted and marred,
soiled by life, armed and scarred, dust on its leaves.
You wanted to excise the imperfections
as if you were editing my emotional life.
I was always the diamond in the rough
you were going to send like a foolish jewel
to a multi-faceted finishing school
where they scrubbed your ancestry out of you
like bituminous coal off your immaculate, adamantine record.

Trouble is when you let that happen
you're not rooted in life anymore,
you scrape the poetry of living
from out under the moon's fingernails.
And there's no way you can plough a mirror
and throw a seed in it and expect it to sprout
however you exalt and weep over it.
Life may be a black hole,
but it's not an infertile ditch
of mercury trying to pass
for a thread of silver in the moonlight
through the eye of a needle wider than the Hubble
popping bubbles like worlds in the multiverse.

I offered you dragons, but you wanted me to be
a hyena with great table manners whenever
we were eating the leftovers of a lion
at your mother's place, and I was always
the savage you picked on to say grace
as if the words would somehow burn in my mouth.

And I suppose I could have been seated
at the appropriate place at the table below the salt
and not eaten before those you considered alpha dogs did,
and torn my share of meat from the spoils
of the psychological leg-hold traps set for everyone,
and honed my night vision to take down
an albino baby rhino on a National Geographic documentary
to reveal that scavengers know how to hunt on the sly
nocturnally. Maybe you would have seen me
in a different light, maybe it would have become
easier in time to become what you had in mind for me
but I can shift hearts and minds as easily as forms
and when I assumed I was you for a moment
I could see, after the hyena, you had me
lined up like a chimpanzee in a cage
with needles taped to my shaved head
as I expired in my solitude like visiting hours
with pain the only nurse on the night shift
working over time in the lab of a perfumery
to make the abattoir you made of the roses
I used to bring you, smell more like blood than flowers.

And that's when my sense of empathy
began to grow eyelids so I could turn it off at night
to identify with the dream figures
that didn't wake up with me when I did
and I began to evolve an affectionate sensitivity
to the exquisite features of compassion inherent
in painting life masks on the emptiness
to amuse my own inconceivable sensibilities.

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Hardly Perfect

when god says
he loves man
in his holy books
he really does
having created
him in his own image
and something of his stature
this intelligence that carries
a physique to learn
the ways to become semi god
one day to be as god is
without a physique
but possessing
all the necessary knowledge
to meet god
the bamboo that shoots
straight into the sky
is to guide the soul
to be upright,
to persevere
in what one does
thank god for
the great metaphor
for the the mind
creatures in the sky,
land and sea
god's clues to man
that this vast expanse of
creation is for them
they could be in all realms
if they just look into
the his mechanics for
these creatures
the butterflies, bees
and blooms
that like attracts like
a healthy mind
attracts healthy friends
that in turn spread
sweetness around
the cat in his strides
that men too could be
as agile if they
keep slim and vigil
of the torsos
the moon and twinkling stars
there is hope in the sky
full of hope
from the mundane
that we could be
as bright as stars
when we have learnt
all the basics of
God's knowledge for us
daily paraded
in front of our eyes
every subtance created
is for the furtherance
of the man
what more can we ask
of the magnanimous Creator?
of God?

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When I made Blue Moon Swamp, there was a lot of trial and error; I was trying to find people who would be simpatico with my style, and with what I had in mind for the album.

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Eric Hoffer

The Paleolithic hunters who painted the unsurpassed animal murals on the ceiling of the cave at Altamira had only rudimentary tools. Art is older than production for use, and play older than work. Man was shaped less by what he had to do than by what he did in playful moments. It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities.

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Ice Cold Winter Snow

One January day
getting ready for work and play
my bones ache
from winter prey
Not knowing what to wear
I dress for the affair
putting my long johns on for spare
Brushing my teeth
not knowing what to eat
I grab a cup of Hot Chocolate
to keep heat
While walking the block
I found out I had on no socks
my legs buckle
I dropp from frostbites
that cripple my toe knuckles
I flop
laying down
face down
I was crown by ice
it was like rolling dice
for a price of being mold
from the cold
I was sold
for being bold
to winter most dangerous snow

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A Religious Closet

He pondered about the Lord
Setting him up
as a template
that lies and cries
was not the very idea of life
He had in mind for himself

He pondered about the Lord
How about golden spoons
and rich tycoons
As a matter of fact
what about the abstract

Sadly bitter sweet lovers they were
just for a short while
He knew
He was deep in conflict
With his religious beliefs

The candlelight
lit the night
as he pondered to the Lord
He consoled himself
while he was idle
by reading the bible
knowing fully well
He was a religious closet

Copyright 2005 - Sylvia Chidi

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Sole Survivor

(m - weikath, l - deris)
I got that fever
Burning in my hesd
So many mmories
No tear to shed
Burns like a fire
Who stole my aims
My comrade fighters
Been set astray
How could I know
What others had in mind for me
How could they know
What measures I take
Sole survivor of a kill without alert
Sing your feelings
On your song remains unheard
We share like brothers
A light in the black
Totaly blended
Bold and erect
But weve grown intrigers
till its to late
Ime has brought fire
Fear greed and hate
Now Im crying
Im shatted on the ground
All I find
Has died anyway
Sole survivor of a kill without alert
Sing your feelings
On your song remains unheard
Sole souvivor got a voice without a sound
Mean mistreaters took away your ground
How could I know
What others had in mind for me
How could they know
What measures I take
Sole survivor of a kill without alert
Sing your feelings
On your song remains unheard
Sole souvivor got a voice without a sound
Mean mistreaters took away your ground

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It Doesnt Get Any Countrier Than This

(jerry vandiver/randy archer)
(track 1 - time 2:31)
Now mama I know youve always wished me the best
And I found somebody and I think shes gonna pass the test
Shes a country girl as far as I can see
Mama I hope shes what you had in mind for me
She likes to go skinny dippin in the heat of the day
And late at night she wants to roll in the hay
She cranks my tractor with just one kiss
Mama it doesnt get any countrier than this
Now mama I know she didnt grow up on a farm
But she sure knows her way around out behind the barn
And it aint exactly chores she does at dawn
But she says shes gonna love me til the cows come home
She likes to go skinny dippin in the heat of the day
And late at night she wants to roll in the hay
She cranks my tractor with just one kiss
Mama it doesnt get any countrier than this
She likes to go skinny dippin in the heat of the day
And late at night she wants to roll in the hay
She cranks my tractor with just one kiss
Mama it doesnt get any countrier than this
Yeah mama it doesnt get...any countrier than this

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When I was drowing in a sea of darkness
The Lord sent me a light
And the light that he sent me was
I thought the Lord had abandoned me
Why, I didn't know
So He sent me an angel
To tell me it wasn't so
And the angel that he sent me was
She told me that He loved me
That He would never let me go
Just turn back to the Father
That He would make me whole
Now I'm thanking the Lord for sending me
When I was drowning in a sea of darkness

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Because I wanted to have a place that I could create everything that I that I never had as a child. So, you see rides. You see animals. There's a movie theater.

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He who knows who will be the next?

One by one
moves away
from the Chequer Board?
And he who knows who will be the next.
Master! It's too odd the dress of death
At least give him or her a better costume a human looking
So we could dance on the floor merrily.
Yes, we sing and dance on our own grave?

[We would never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the World.]-Hellen Keller

nimal dunuhinga

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Saving Grace

Insecurity 'twas my banner
In shambles i wore it so well
Knocked down and trodded upon
I reached the bowel's of hell

No self esteem could ever save me
From bitter words and lies
Sticking me with sharp daggar's
Cutting me with their slicing eyes

Defenceless i lay grieving
Upon my mourning bed
Knowing full well i'd been defeated
From viscious word that were said

Telling me i would never be much
Maybe just an ignorant whore
They continued to belittle my psyche
'Til i couldn't take anymore

I ran for an opening i saw gleaming
A tunnel with most blinding light
Running very fast towards it
I found my Savior that night

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Hermit and a sleeping beauty

He was mesmerized by her leer
and he cannot take his eyes away.
She never let him go to his hermitage
and he feels like strangulation.
' I am very strange to the love' he said meekly.
She showed her mellow heart
and he forgot that he is a hermit.
His meditation is over
and they tangled each other.
He found the heaven.
She still in her dreams
and he woke up in the morning.
How can he go back to the monastery?
and he is worried about his misdeed.
She woke up and grumbled,
'Leave your dogma aside and try to find a job
we need money to live together.
Electricity bills, water bills and so many arrears were due,
do not try to run away and you are belongs to me now.'
He was disgusted and he thinks
Is this the heaven or hell?

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For The Love Of Man

For the love of man

For the love of man, he gave his life
For the love of man, he took no wife.
He started preaching at a very young age, for gods spirit
Was embedded in his soul, and the words he spoke
Were the words he was told.
People gathered around him to hear what he had to say
Some would leave, but most would stay.
He had such beautiful eyes that would put you in a trance
It would make you so happy, that you felt you had to dance.
The people were overwhelmed with the feelings that they had inside.
They would fall to the ground, and just begin to cry.
He had such love and compassion for his fellow man
And with everyone around him-they all did understand.
He grew into manhood still preaching the word of GOD.
And picked his twelve apostles, which he knew he had to do.
For these were the ones, that would have to follow through.
They would continue to carry the words and miracles that he had done.
And it spread like wildfire under the setting sun.
But unknown to the apostles, they were also blessed
For their belief and love passed the final test.
Whenever they spoke of JESUS, a miracle was left behind.
The sightless gained sight, the crippled began to walk
The deaf began to hear, and the mutes began to talk.
All of this started because the love of man.
This is all GOD wanted, for us to take a stand.

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If I Had A Poem/ For The Yellow-Green Morning Leaves


If I had a poem
For the yellow- green morning leaves
If I had a poem to describe
Just a bit of the beauty
I see everyday
With my eyes
What a poem it would be.

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What Shall We Do With The Child

(holmes/horsey, additional lyrics by carly simon)
I know Im not what you wanted
Not what you had in mind
And I didnt come close
To the mark youd set
For the girl youd planned to find
Youve never seen me cry
We shared but idle words
And a casual goodbye
And what shall we do with the child
Whos got your eyes
My hair
And your smile
Reminding me that we fell in love
But just for a little while
You never asked about the girl you never knew
And while she was sleeping in my arms
She never asked about you
Without you seems the only way
But time has passed and now
Shell soon be asking questions
And shell ask about you
And how
Shall I say to the child
Whos got your eyes, my hair, your smile
Reminding me that we fell in love
But just for a little while
What shall we do with the child
Whos got your eyes, my hair, your smile

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The Beginning of Lose Your Self

If you had one shot one oppurtunity
to seiz everything you ever wanted
one moment would you capture it
or just let it slip

his palms are sweaty knees weak arms are heavy
Theres vomit on his sweater already
moms spageti
hes nurvis
but on the survis hes looks calm and ready
to drop bombs but he keeps on forgetting
what he wrote down a whole crowd ohh so loud
he opens his mouth but the words wont come out
hes choking how everybodys choking now
the clocks run out time up over plow

snap back to reality
ohh there goes gravity
ohh there goes gravity
choke he's so mad that he wont
give up that is he no he wont have it
he knows his soul back to these ropes
it dont matter hes dope
and knows thats hes broke
hes so stacked that he knows
and he goes back to this mobile home
thats when its back to the lab again
yo its soul rapsidy better go gaps in this moment
and hope it dont collapse

you better loose youself in the music
the moment you own it
you better never let it go
you only get one shot
do not miss your chance to glow
its like comes one in a lifetime
you better...

you better loose youself in the music
the moment you own it
you better never let it go
you only get one shot
do not miss your chance to glow
its like tumor? comes one in a lifetime
you better...

souls escaping through this hole that is gaping
this world is mine for the taking
make me king as we move towrd a new world order
a normal life is boring
this superstardoms close to post mordom
it only grows harder
it only grows hotter
he only blows us all over
these homes is ona
coast to coast shows
he's knows as the globe trotter


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For What She Had Done

She had to die.
This Omoo knew.
He also knew he could not kill her.
Not even try to kill her.
Those eyes. Would look at him. Not even try.
So, what to do?
There was one Ung. Who lived in a cave.
Beyond the hard mountain. A foul cave.
Far from the village.
Ung, who hunted with stones.
Who killed with his hands.
Who had killed two saber-tooths.
And one great bear, whose skin he now wore hanging from his hairy shoulders.
And Ung had killed men. Many men.
And, it was said, a woman.
Ung, who took the fresh meat left upon the flat rock for the Spirit of the Sky.
And the Spirit of the Sky would go hungry.
And bring pain and darkness to the village.
But none dare say words to Ung.
Who had killed two saber-tooths.
And one great bear. And men, many men.
And, it was said, a woman.
He went to Ung.
Yes, said Ung, I will kill her.
For what she has done, said Omoo.
For equal weight, said Ung, in bear meat or lizard skins.
She is a large woman, said Omoo.
Equal wait, said Ung. Now you must come and show her to me, that I may kill her.
I cannot, said Omoo.
Then how will I know her?
Her hair is long, said Omoo.
Her eyes burn like the pools of night.
Many have the long hair, said Ung.
Many have eyes like the pool of night.
She will be bathing, said Omoo.
Tomorrow, as the sun dies,
She will be bathing. Washing her long hair at the falling water.
Many women will be bathing, said Ung.
Many long-haired, night-eyed women.
How will I know it is she?
Omoo thought.
Ah, he said, she will be carrying flowers.
Bright hill flowers, that I shall gather and place in her hands, before she goes to bathe at the falling water.
Then you will know her.
Then you will kill her.
For equal weight, said Ung.
Yes, said Omoo, for equal weight.

And so was begun the custom
Of giving bouquets and corsages.

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The Ladle. A Tale

The Sceptics think 'twas long ago
Since gods came down

To see who were their friends or foes,
And how our actions fell or rose;
That since they gave things their beginning,
And set this whirligig a-spinning,
Supine they in their heaven remain,
Exempt from passion and from pain,
And frankly leave us human elves
To cut and shuffle for ourselves;
To stand or walk, to rise or tumble,
As matter and as motion jumble.

The poets now, and painters, hold
This thesis both absurd and bold,
And your good-natured gods, they say,
Descend some twice or thrice a-day,
Else all these things we toil so hard in
Would not avail one single farthing;
For when the hero we rehearse
To grace his actions and our verse,
'Tis not by dint of human thought
That to his Latium he is brought;
Iris descends by Fate's commands
To guide his steps through foreign lands,
And Amphitrite clears his way
From rocks and quicksands in the sea.

And if you see him in a sketch
(Though drawn by Paulo or Carache)
He shows not half his force and strength
Strutting in armour and at length;
That he may make his proper figure
The piece must yet be four yards bigger;
The nymphs conduct him to the field,
One holds his sword, and one his shield,
Mars, standing by, asserts his quarrel,
And Fame flies after with a laurel.

These points, I say, of speculation,
(As 'twere to save or sink the nation)
Men idly learned will dispute,
Assert, object, confirm, refute;
Each mighty angry, mighty right,
With equal arms sustains the fight,
Till now no umpire can agree 'em,
So both draw off and sing
Te Deum

Is it in equilibrio
If deities descend or no?
Then let th' affirmative prevail,
As requisite to form my Tale;
For by all parties 'tis confess'd
That those opinions are the best
Which in their nature most conduce
To present ends and private use.

Two gods came, therefore, from above,
One Mercury, the other Jove;
The humour was, it seems, to know
If all the favours they bestow
Could from our own perverseness ease us,
And if our wish enjoy'd would please us,
Discoursing largely on this theme,
O'er hills and dales their godships came,
Till well nigh tired, at almost night,
They thought it proper to alight.

Not here, that it as true as odd is,
That in disguise a god or goddess
Exerts no supernatural powers,
But acts on maxims much like ours.
They spied at last a country farm,
Where all was snug, and clean, and warm;
For woods before and hills behind
Secured it both from rain and wind:
Large oxen in the field were lowing,
Good grain was sow'd, good fruit was growing:
Of last year's corn in barns great store;
Fat turkeys gobbling at the door;
And Wealth in short, with Peace consented
That people here should live contented;
But did they in effect do so?
Have patience friend, and thou shalt know.
The honest farmer and his wife,
To years declined from prime of life,
Had struggled with the marriage noose,
As almost every couple does:
Sometimes my plague! sometimes my darling!
Kissing to-day, to-morrow snarling!
Jointly submitting to endure
That evil which admits no cure.

Our gods the outward gates unbarr'd;
Our farmer met 'em in the yard;
Thought they were folks that lost their way,
And ask'd them civilly to stay;
Told 'em for supper or for bed
They might go on and be worse sped. -

So said, so done; the gods consent:
All three into the parlour went:
They compliment, they sit, they chat;
Fight o'er the wars, reform the state:
A thousand knotty points they clear,
Till supper and my wife appear.

Jove made his leg, and kiss'd the dame;
Obsequious Hermes did the same.
Jove kiss'd the farmer's wife, you say!
He did - but in an honest way:
Oh! not with half that warmth and life
With which he kiss'd Amphitryon's wife. -

Well, then, things handsomely were served;
My mistress for the strangers carved.
How strong the beer, how good the meat,
How loud they laughed, how much they eat,
In epic sumptuous would appear,
Yet shall be pass'd in silence here;
For I should grieve to have it said
That, by a fine description led,
I made my episode too long,
Or tired my friend to grace my song.

The grace-cup served, the cloth away,
Jove thought it time to show his play.
Landlord and landlady, he cried,
Folly and jesting laid aside,
That ye thus hospitably live,
And strangers with good cheer receive,
Is mighty grateful to your betters
And make e'en gods themselves your debtors.
To give this thesis plainer proof,
You have to-night beneath your roof
A pair of gods: (nay, never wonder,)
This youth can fly and I can thunder.
I'm Jupiter, and he Mercurius,
My page, my son indeed, but spurious.
Form, then, three wishes, you and Madam,
And, sure as you already had 'em,
The things desired in half an hour
Shall all be here and in your power.

Thank ye, great Gods, the woman says;
Oh! may your altars ever blaze!
A ladle for our silver dish
Is what I want, is what I wish. -
A ladle! cries the man, a ladle!
'Odzooks, Corsica, you have pray'd ill!
What should be great you turn to farce,
I wish the ladle in your a--.

With equal grief and shame my Muse
The sequel of the tale pursues.
The ladle fell into the room,
And struck in old Corsica's bum.
Our couple weep two wishes past,
And kindly join to form the last;
To ease the woman's awkward pain,
And get the ladle out again.

This commoner has worth and parts,
Is praised for arms, or loved for arts;
His head aches for a coronet,
And who is bless'd that is not great?

Some sense and more estate kind Heaven
To this well-lotted peer has given:
What then? he must have rule and sway,
And all is wrong till he's in play.

The miser must make up his plum,
And dares not touch the hoarded sum;
The sickly dotard wants a wife
To draw off his last dregs of life.

Against our peace we arm our will;
Amidst our plenty something still
For horses, houses, pictures, planting,
To thee, to me, to him, is wanting;
That cruel something unpossess'd,
Corrodes, and leavens all the rest:
That something if we could obtain
Would soon create a future pain;
And to the coffin from the cradle
'Tis all a wish and all a Ladle.

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The Hermit

Far in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age a rev'rend hermit grew;
The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell,
His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well:
Remote from man, with God he pass'd the days,
Pray'r all his bus'ness, all his pleasure praise.

A life so sacred, such serene repose,
Seem'd heav'n itself, till one suggestion rose;
That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey,
This sprung some doubt of Providence's sway:
His hopes no more a certain prospect boast,
And all the tenor of his soul is lost.
So when a smooth expanse receives imprest
Calm nature's image on its wat'ry breast,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
And skies beneath with answering colours glow:
But if a stone the gentle scene divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on ev'ry side,
And glimm'ring fragments of a broken sun,
Banks, trees, and skies, in thick disorder run.

To clear this doubt, to know the world by sight,
To find if books, or swains, report it right,
(For yet by swains alone the world he knew,
Whose feet came wand'ring o'er the nightly dew,)
He quits his cell; the pilgrim-staff he bore,
And fix'd the scallop in his hat before;
Then with the sun a rising journey went,
Sedate to think, and watching each event.

The morn was wasted in the pathless grass,
And long and lonesome was the wild to pass;
But when the southern sun had warm'd the day,
A youth came posting o'er a crossing way;
His raiment decent, his complexion fair,
And soft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair.
Then near approaching, "Father, hail!" he cried;
"And hail, my son," the rev'rend sire replied;
Words follow'd words, from question answer flow'd,
And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road;
Till each with other pleas'd, and loth to part,
While in their age they differ, join in heart
Thus stands an aged elm in ivy bound,
Thus youthful ivy clasps an elm around.

Now sunk the sun; the closing hour of day
Came onward, mantled o'er with sober gray;
Nature in silence bid the world repose;
When near the road a stately palace rose:
There by the moon through ranks of trees they pass,
Whose verdure crown'd their sloping sides of grass.
It chanc'd the noble master of the dome
Still made his house the wand'ring stranger's home;
Yet still the kindness, from a thirst of praise,
Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive ease.
The pair arrive: the liv'ried servants wait;
Their lord receives them at the pompous gate.
The table groans with costly piles of food,
And all is more than hospitably good.
Then led to rest, the day's long toil they drown,
Deep sunk in sleep, and silk, and heaps of down.

At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day,
Along the wide canals the zephyrs play;
Fresh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep,
And shake the neighb'ring wood to banish sleep.
Up rise the guests, obedient to the call:
An early banquet deck'd the splendid hall;
Rich luscious wine a golden goblet grac'd,
Which the kind master forc'd the guests to taste.
Then, pleas'd and thankful, from the porch they go;
And, but the landlord, none had cause of woe;
His cup was vanish'd; for in secret guise
The younger guest purloin'd the glitt'ring prize.

As one who spies a serpent in his way,
Glist'ning and basking in the summer ray,
Disorder'd stops to shun the danger near,
Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear;
So seem'd the sire; when far upon the road,
The shining spoil his wily partner show'd.
He stopp'd with silence, walk'd with trembling heart,
And much he wish'd, but durst not ask to part:
Murmuring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard,
That gen'rous actions meet a base reward.

While thus they pass, the sun his glory shrouds,
The changing skies hang out their sable clouds;
A sound in air presag'd approaching rain,
And beasts to covert scud across the plain.
Warn'd by the signs, the wand'ring pair retreat,
To seek for shelter at a neighb'ring seat.
'Twas built with turrets, on a rising ground,
And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around;
Its owner's temper, tim'rous and severe,
Unkind and griping, caus'd a desert there.

As near the miser's heavy doors they drew,
Fierce rising gusts with sudden fury blew;
The nimble lightning mix'd with showers began,
And o'er their heads loud rolling thunders ran.
Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain,
Driven by the wind, and batter'd by the rain.
At length some pity warm'd the master's breast,
('Twas then his threshold first receiv'd a guest,)
Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care,
And half he welcomes in the shiv'ring pair;
One frugal faggot lights the naked walls,
And Nature's fervour through their limbs recalls:
Bread of the coarsest sort, with eager wine,
Each hardly granted, serv'd them both to dine;
And when the tempest first appear'd to cease,
A ready warning bid them part in peace.
With still remark the pond'ring hermit view'd
In one so rich, a life so poor and rude;
And why should such, within himself he cried,
Lock the lost wealth a thousand want beside?
But what new marks of wonder soon took place
In every settling feature of his face,
When from his vest the young companion bore
That cup, the gen'rous landlord own'd before,
And paid profusely with the precious bowl,
The stinted kindness of this churlish soul!

But now the clouds in airy tumult fly;
The sun emerging opes an azure sky;
A fresher green the smelling leaves display,
And glitt'ring as they tremble, cheer the day:
The weather courts them from their poor retreat,
And the glad master bolts the wary gate.

While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bosom wrought:
Wlth all the travel of uncertain thought;
His partner's acts without their cause appear,
'Twas there a vice, and seem'd a madness here:
Detesting that, and pitying this, he goes,
Lost and confounded with the various shows.

Now night's dim shades again involve the sky,
Again the wanderers want a place to lie,
Again they search, and find a lodging nigh:
The soil improv'd around, the mansion neat,
And neither poorly low, nor idly great:
It seem'd to speak its master's turn of mind,
Content, and not for praise, but virtue kind.

Hither the walkers turn with weary feet,
Then bless the mansion, and the master greet:
Their greeting fair bestow'd, with modest guise,
The courteous master hears, and thus replies:

"Without a vain, without a grudging heart,
To Him who gives us all, I yield a part;
From Him you come, for Him accept it here,
A frank and sober, more than costly cheer."
He spoke, and bid the welcome table spread,
Then talk'd of virtue till the time of bed,
When the grave household round his hall repair,
Warn'd by a bell, and close the hours with pray'r.

At length the world, renew'd by calm repose,
Was strong for toil, the dappled morn arose.
Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept
Near the clos'd cradle where an infant slept,
And writh'd his neck: the landlord's little pride,
O strange return! grew black, and gasp'd, and died!
Horrors of horrors! what! his only son!
How look'd our hermit when the fact was done?
Not hell, though hell's black jaws in sunder part,
And breathe blue fire, could more assault his heart.

Confus'd, and struck with silence at the deed,
He flies, but, trembling, fails to fly with speed.
His steps the youth pursues: the country lay
Perplex'd with roads, a servant show'd the way:
A river cross'd the path; the passage o'er
Was nice to find; the servant trod before:
Long arms of oak an open bridge supplied,
And deep the waves beneath the bending glide.
The youth, who seem'd to watch a time to sin,
Approach'd the careless guide, and thrust him in;
Plunging he falls, and rising lifts his head,
Then flashing turns, and sinks among the dead.

Wild, sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes,
He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries,
"Detested wretch!"--but scarce his speech began,
When the strange partner seem'd no longer man:
His youthful face grew more serenely sweet;
His robe turn'd white, and flow'd upon his feet,
Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair;
Celestial odours breathe through purpled air;
And wings, whose colours glitter'd on the day,
Wide at his back their gradual plumes display.
The form ethereal bursts upon his sight,
And moves in all the majesty of light.

Though loud at first the pilgrim's passion grew,
Sudden he gaz'd, and wist not what to do;
Surprise in secret chains his words suspends,
And in a calm his settling temper ends.
But silence here the beauteous angel broke,
(The voice of music ravish'd as he spoke).

"Thy prayer, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown,
In sweet memorial rise before the throne:
These charms, success in our bright region find,
And force an angel down, to calm thy mind;
For this, commission'd, I forsook the sky,
Nay, cease to kneel--thy fellow-servant I.

"Then know the truth of government divine,
And let these scruples be no longer thine.

"The Maker justly claims that world He made,
In this the right of Providence is laid;
Its sacred majesty through all depends
On using second means to work his ends:
'Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye,
The Pow'r exerts his attributes on high,
Your actions uses, nor controls your will,
And bids the doubting sons of men be still.

"What strange events can strike with more surprise,
Than those which lately struck thy wond'ring eyes?
Yet taught by these, confess th' Almighty just,
And where you can't unriddle, learn to trust!

"The great vain man, who far'd on costly food,
Whose life was too luxurious to be good;
Who made his iv'ry stands with goblets shine,
And forc'd his guests to morning draughts of wine,
Has, with the cup, the graceless custom lost,
And still he welcomes, but with less of cost.

"The mean, suspicious wretch, whose bolted door
Ne'er mov'd in duty to the wand'ring poor;
With him I left the cup, to teach his mind
That Heav'n can bless, if mortals will be kind.
Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl,
And feels compassion touch his grateful soul.
Thus artists melt the sullen ore of lead,
With heaping coals of fire upon its head;
In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow,
And loose from dross, the silver runs below.

"Long had our pious friend in virtue trod,
But now the child half-wean'd his heart from God;
(Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain,
And measur'd back his steps to earth again.
To what excesses had this dotage run!
But God, to save the father, took the son.
To all but thee, in fits he seem'd to go,
(And 'twas my ministry to deal the blow).
The poor fond parent, humbled in the dust,
Now owns in tears the punishment was just.

"But how had all his fortune felt a wrack,
Had that false servant sped in safety back!
This night his treasur'd heaps he meant to steal,
And what a fund of charity would fail!

"Thus Heav'n instructs thy mind: this trial o'er,
Depart in peace, resign, and sin no more."

On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew,
The sage stood wondering as the seraph flew.
Thus look'd Elisha, when, to mount on high,
His master took the chariot of the sky;
The fiery pomp ascending left the view;
The prophet gaz'd, and wish'd to follow too.

The bending hermit here a prayer begun,
"Lord! as in heav'n, on earth thy will be done!"
Then gladly turning, sought his ancient place,
And pass'd a life of piety and peace.

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