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Why do men fight who were born to be brothers?

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What was the spell she wove for me?
Life was a common useful thing,
An eligible building site
To hold a house to shelter me.
There were no woodlands whispering;
No unimagined dreams at night
About that house had folded wing,
Disordering my life for me.

I was so safe until she came
With starry secrets in her eyes,
And on her lips the word of power.
- Like to the moon of May she came,
That makes men mad who were born wise -
Within her hand the only flower
Man ever plucked from Paradise;
So to my half-built house she came.

She turned my useful plot of land
Into a garden wild and fair,
Where stars in garlands hung like flowers:
A moonlit, lonely, lovely land.
Dim groves and glimmering fountains there
Embraced a secret bower of bowers,
And in its rose-ringed heart we were
Alone in that enchanted land.

What was the spell I wove for her,
Her mad dear magic to undo?
The red rose dies, the white rose dies,
The garden spits me forth with her
On the old suburban road I knew.
My house is gone, and by my side
A stranger stands with angry eyes
And lips that swear I ruined her.

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Fight over new born

Mothers fight over new born
Hospital staff along with doctor was on a run
Two women gave a birth to baby boy and girl
Both were happy as one enjoyed her son as pearl

Both kids were taken to next room
To clean up and enjoy a baby boom
Handed over baby after normal procedure
This sealed a fate for their coming future

The staff realized a grave error soon
The tags were wrongly put on
Both mothers had given natural feed
They both had dreamed and had real need

Doctor came back with concern and rushed
All the relatives were hurled one side and pushed
The error was explained and tried to pacify
But both women were adamant and did not justify

Male baby was taken care of well
The female baby was to bear woes tale
She was not accepted by any of two
The story is fact and certainly true

The doctors suggested D.N.A. test
Convinced a lot and hoped for best
New born is taken care of in another ward
One mother is willing but another is offering no word

How come love can be different from mother's side?
Any mother will claim tall and express pride
I witnessed it as sudden arrival of autumn
We all are carried away as simple human

No one may like to distinguish
From baby boy or baby girl to finish
It is not new thing or of our creation
Child is link for building new relation

Many a times such stories appear
Only child is treated badly and bear
All brunt from the parent side
And wait for sweet embrace but who will decide?

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Edgar Lee Masters

Banner Of Men Who Were Free

Flag of the great republic, banner of men who were free!
Carried aloft for freedom in many a bloody gorge;
Torn by the shot of tyrants in battle by land and sea,
The rallying hope of our fathers by Valley Forge.

But what is it but a rag, save it emblem the higher law?
Striped with the red of blood, flecked with the stars of war.
The ensign of might alone, to be held by the people in awe,
And cursed by savage chieftans in lands afar.

Little we owe to the England of this her lesser day,
But much to the field of Naseby, the spirit of Runnymede;
The bold adventurous Angles, who never shrank from the fray
When Liberty cried aloud in her hour of need.

Aloft on the dome of truth, in the city of brotherly love,
A sign to the world of hate, of Christ enthroned in the state,
Symbol of peace, like the olive leaf and the messenger dove,
Flew the flag of our fathers--the sign of a just debate!

But they dare to raise its standard on a field where the battle smoke,
Is rent with the groans of the slain, like the fallen of Lexington;
Where the eagles have traveled afar from the vultures of war which croak
O'er the bodies of those who died for the prize that it should have won?

Flag of a noble race, no longer our flag in truth,
Borne by a hostile hand in a cause of shame,
Give us the banner that flapped in the eyes of the nation's youth
And sent a thrill through the world of its faultless flame!

Yet, if its soul shall perish, take it for what it was --
For the shroud of those who worship the dead ideal;
Dead to lie with the dead beneath the recurrent grass,
No longer to grieve for the lost and no more to feel.

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The Men Who Made Australia

There'll be royal times in Sydney for the Cuff and Collar Push,
There’ll be lots of dreary drivel and clap-trap
From the men who own Australia, but who never knew the Bush,
And who could not point their runs out on the map.
Oh, the daily Press will grovel as it never did before,
There’ll be many flags of welcome in the air,
And the Civil Service poet, he shall write odes by the score—
But the men who made the land will not be there.
You shall meet the awful Lady of the latest Birthday Knight—
(She is trying to be English, don’t-cher-know?)
You shall hear the empty mouthing of the champion blatherskite,
You shall hear the boss of local drapers blow.
There’ll be ‘majahs’ from the counter, tailors’ dummies from the fleet,
And to represent Australia here to-day,
There’s the today with his card-case and his cab in Downing-street;
But the men who made Australia—where are they?

Call across the blazing sand wastes of the Never-Never Land!
There are some who will not answer yet awhile,
Some whose bones rot in the mulga or lie bleaching on the sand,
Died of thirst to win the land another mile.
Thrown from horses, ripped by cattle, lost on deserts; and the weak,
Mad through loneliness or drink (no matter which),
Drowned in floods or dead of fever by the sluggish slimy creek—
These are men who died to make the Wool-Kings rich.

Call across the scrubby ridges where they clear the barren soil,
And the gaunt Bush-women share the work of men
Toil and loneliness for ever—hardship, loneliness and toil—
Where the brave drought-ruined farmer starts again!
Call across the boundless sheep-runs of a country cursed for sheep—
Call across the awful scrublands west of Bourke!
But they have no time to listen—they have scarcely time to sleep—
For the men who conquer deserts have to work.

Dragged behind the crawling sheep-flock on the hot and dusty plain,
They must make a cheque to feed the wife and kids—
Riding night-watch round the cattle in the pelting, freezing rain,
While world-weariness is pressing down the lids.
And away on far out-stations, seldom touched by Heaven’s breath,
In a loneliness that smothers love and hate—
Where they never take white women—there they live the living death
With a half-caste or a black-gin for a mate.

They must toil to save the gaunt stock in the blazing months of drought,
When the stinging, blinding blight is in men’s eyes—
On the wretched, burnt selections, on the big runs further out
Where the sand-storm rises lurid to the skies.
Not to profit when the grass is waving waist-high after rain,
And the mighty clip of wool comes rolling in—
For the Wool-King goes to Paris with his family again
And the gold that souls are sacrificed to win.

There are carriages in waiting for the swells from over-sea,
There are banquets in the latest London style,
While the men who made Australia live on damper, junk and tea—
But the quiet voices whisper, ‘Wait a while!’
For the sons of all Australia, they were born to conquer fate—
And, where charity and friendship are sincere,
Where a sinner is a brother and a stranger is a mate,
There the future of a nation’s written clear.

Aye, the cities claim the triumphs of a land they do not know,
But all empty is the day they celebrate!
For the men who made Australia federated long ago,
And the men to rule Australia—they can wait.
Though the bed may be the rough bunk or the gum leaves or the sand,
And the roof for half the year may be the sky—
There are men amongst the Bushmen who were born to save the land!
And they’ll take their places sternly by-and-by.

There’s a whisper on the desert though the sunset breeze hath died
In the scrubs, though not a breath to stir a bough,
There’s a murmur, not of waters, down the Lachlan River side,
’Tis the spirit of Australia waking now!
There’s the weird hymn of the drought-night on the western water-shed,
Where the beds of unlocked rivers crack and parch;
’Tis the dead that we have buried, and our great unburied dead,
Who are calling now on living men to march!

Round the camp fire of the fencers by the furthest panel west,
In the men’s hut by the muddy billabong,
On the Great North-Western Stock-routes where the drovers never rest,
They are sorting out the right things from the wrong.
In the shearers’ hut the slush lamp shows a haggard, stern-faced man
Preaching war against the Wool-King to his mates;
And wherever go the billy, water-bag and frying-pan,
They are drafting future histories of states!

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Pharsalia - Book II: The Flight Of Pompeius

This was made plain the anger of the gods;
The universe gave signs Nature reversed
In monstrous tumult fraught with prodigies
Her laws, and prescient spake the coming guilt.

How seemed it just to thee, Olympus' king,
That suffering mortals at thy doom should know
By omens dire the massacre to come?
Or did the primal parent of the world
When first the flames gave way and yielding left
Matter unformed to his subduing hand,
And realms unbalanced, fix by stern decree'
Unalterable laws to bind the whole
(Himself, too, bound by law), so that for aye
All Nature moves within its fated bounds?
Or, is Chance sovereign over all, and we
The sport of Fortune and her turning wheel?
Whate'er be truth, keep thou the future veiled
From mortal vision, and amid their fears
May men still hope.

Thus known how great the woes
The world should suffer, from the truth divine,
A solemn fast was called, the courts were closed,
All men in private garb; no purple hem
Adorned the togas of the chiefs of Rome;
No plaints were uttered, and a voiceless grief
Lay deep in every bosom: as when death
Knocks at some door but enters not as yet,
Before the mother calls the name aloud
Or bids her grieving maidens beat the breast,
While still she marks the glazing eye, and soothes
The stiffening limbs and gazes on the face,
In nameless dread, not sorrow, and in awe
Of death approaching: and with mind distraught
Clings to the dying in a last embrace.

The matrons laid aside their wonted garb:
Crowds filled the temples -- on the unpitying stones
Some dashed their bosoms; others bathed with tears
The statues of the gods; some tore their hair
Upon the holy threshold, and with shrieks
And vows unceasing called upon the names
Of those whom mortals supplicate. Nor all
Lay in the Thunderer's fane: at every shrine
Some prayers are offered which refused shall bring
Reproach on heaven. One whose livid arms
Were dark with blows, whose cheeks with tears bedewed
And riven, cried, 'Beat, mothers, beat the breast,
Tear now the lock; while doubtful in the scales
Still fortune hangs, nor yet the fight is won,
You still may grieve: when either wins rejoice.'
Thus sorrow stirs itself.

Meanwhile the men
Seeking the camp and setting forth to war,
Address the cruel gods in just complaint.
'Happy the youths who born in Punic days
On Cannae's uplands or by Trebia's stream
Fought and were slain! What wretched lot is ours!
No peace we ask for: let the nations rage;
Rouse fiercest cities! may the world find arms
To wage a war with Rome: let Parthian hosts
Rush forth from Susa; Scythian Ister curb
No more the Massagete: unconquered Rhine
Let loose from furthest North her fair-haired tribes:
Elbe, pour thy Suevians forth! Let us be foes
Of all the peoples. May the Getan press
Here, and the Dacian there; Pompeius meet
The Eastern archers, Caesar in the West
Confront th' Iberian. Leave to Rome no hand
To raise against herself in civil strife.
Or, if Italia by the gods be doomed,
Let all the sky, fierce Parent, be dissolved
And falling on the earth in flaming bolts,
Their hands still bloodless, strike both leaders down,
With both their hosts! Why plunge in novel crime
To settle which of them shall rule in Rome?
Scarce were it worth the price of civil war
To hinder either.' Thus the patriot voice
Still found an utterance, soon to speak no more.

Meantime, the aged fathers o'er their fates
In anguish grieved, detesting life prolonged
That brought with it another civil war.
And thus spake one, to justify his fears:
'No other deeds the fates laid up in store
When Marius, victor over Teuton hosts,
Afric's high conqueror, cast out from Rome,
Lay hid in marshy ooze, at thy behest,
O Fortune! by the yielding soil concealed
And waving rushes; but ere long the chains
Of prison wore his weak and aged frame,
And lengthened squalor: thus he paid for crime
His punishment beforehand; doomed to die
Consul in triumph over wasted Rome.
Death oft refused him; and the very foe,
In act to murder, shuddered in the stroke
And dropped the weapon from his nerveless hand.
For through the prison gloom a flame of light
He saw; the deities of crime abhorred;
The Marius to come. A voice proclaimed
Mysterious, `Hold! the fates permit thee not
That neck to sever. Many a death he owes
To time's predestined laws ere his shall come;
Cease from thy madness. If ye seek revenge
For all the blood shed by your slaughtered tribes to
Let this man, Cimbrians, live out all his days.'
Not as their darling did the gods protect
The man of blood, but for his ruthless hand
Fit to prepare that sacrifice of gore
Which fate demanded. By the sea's despite
Borne to our foes, Jugurtha's wasted realm
He saw, now conquered; there in squalid huts
Awhile he lay, and trod the hostile dust
Of Carthage, and his ruin matched with hers:
Each from the other's fate some solace drew,
And prostrate, pardoned heaven. On Libyan soil
Fresh fury gathering, next, when Fortune smiled
The prisons he threw wide and freed the slaves.
Forth rushed the murderous bands, their melted chains
Forged into weapons for his ruffian needs.
No charge he gave to mere recruits in guilt
Who brought not to the camp some proof of crime.
How dread that day when conquering Marius seized
The city's ramparts! with what fated speed
Death strode upon his victims! plebs alike
And nobles perished; far and near the sword
Struck at his pleasure, till the temple floors
Ran wet with slaughter and the crimson stream
Befouled with slippery gore the holy walls.
No age found pity men of failing years,
Just tottering to the grave, were hurled to death;
From infants, in their being's earliest dawn,
The growing life was severed. For what crime?
Twas cause enough for death that they could die.
The fury grew: soon 'twas a sluggard's part
To seek the guilty: hundreds died to swell
The tale of victims. Shamed by empty hands,
The bloodstained conqueror snatched a reeking head
From neck unknown. One way of life remained,
To kiss with shuddering lips the red right hand.
Degenerate people! Had ye hearts of men,
Though ye were threatened by a thousand swords,
Far rather death than centuries of life
Bought at such price; much more that breathing space
Till Sulla comes again. But time would fail
In weeping for the deaths of all who fell.
Encircled by innumerable bands
Fell Baebius, his limbs asunder torn,
His vitals dragged abroad. Antonius too,
Prophet of ill, whose hoary head was placed,
Dripping with blood, upon the festal board.
There headless fell the Crassi; mangled frames
'Neath Fimbria's falchion: and the prison cells
Were wet with tribunes' blood. Hard by the fane
Where dwells the goddess and the sacred fire,
Fell aged Scaevola, though that gory hand
Had spared him, but the feeble tide of blood
Still left the flame alive upon the hearth.
That selfsame year the seventh time restored
The Consul's rods; that year to Marius brought
The end of life, when he at Fortune's hands
All ills had suffered; all her goods enjoyed.

'And what of those who at the Sacriport
And Colline gate were slain, then, when the rule
Of Earth and all her nations almost left
This city for another, and the chiefs
Who led the Samnite hoped that Rome might bleed
More than at Caudium's Forks she bled of old?
Then came great Sulla to avenge the dead,
And all the blood still left within her frame
Drew from the city; for the surgeon knife
Which shore the cancerous limbs cut in too deep,
And shed the life stream from still healthy veins.
True that the guilty fell, but not before
All else had perished. Hatred had free course
And anger reigned unbridled by the law.
The victor's voice spake once; but each man struck
Just as he wished or willed. The fatal steel
Urged by the servant laid the master low.
Sons dripped with gore of sires; and brothers fought
For the foul trophy of a father slain,
Or slew each other for the price of blood.
Men sought the tombs and, mingling with the dead,
Hoped for escape; the wild beasts' dens were full.
One strangled died; another from the height
Fell headlong down upon the unpitying earth,
And from the encrimsoned victor snatched his death:
One built his funeral pyre and oped his veins,
And sealed the furnace ere his blood was gone.
Borne through the trembling town the leaders' heads
Were piled in middle forum: hence men knew
Of murders else unpublished. Not on gates
Of Diomedes, tyrant king of Thrace,
Nor of Antaeus, Libya's giant brood,
Were hung such horrors; nor in Pisa's hall
Were seen and wept for when the suitors died.
Decay had touched the features of the slain
When round the mouldering heap, with trembling steps
The grief-struck parents sought and stole their dead.
I, too, the body of my brother slain
Thought to remove, my victim to the peace
Which Sulla made, and place his loved remains
On the forbidden pyre. The head I found,
But not the butchered corse.

'Why now renew
The tale of Catulus's shade appeased?
And those dread tortures which the living frame
Of Marius suffered at the tomb of him
Who haply wished them not? Pierced, mangled, torn --
Nor speech nor grasp was left: his every limb
Maimed, hacked and riven; yet the fatal blow
The murderers with savage purpose spared.
'Twere scarce believed that one poor mortal frame
Such agonies could bear e'er death should come.
Thus crushed beneath some ruin lie the dead;
Thus shapeless from the deep are borne the drowned.
Why spoil delight by mutilating thus,
The head of Marius? To please Sulla's heart
That mangled visage must be known to all.
Fortune, high goddess of Praeneste's fane,
Saw all her townsmen hurried to their deaths
In one fell instant. All the hope of Rome,
The flower of Latium, stained with blood the field
Where once the peaceful tribes their votes declared.
Famine and Sword, the raging sky and sea,
And Earth upheaved, have laid such numbers low:
But ne'er one man's revenge. Between the slain
And living victims there was space no more,
Death thus let slip, to deal the fatal blow.
Hardly when struck they fell; the severed head
Scarce toppled from the shoulders; but the slain
Blent in a weighty pile of massacre
Pressed out the life and helped the murderer's arm.
Secure from stain upon his lofty throne,
Unshuddering sat the author of the whole,
Nor feared that at his word such thousands fell.
At length the Tuscan flood received the dead
The first upon his waves; the last on those
That lay beneath them; vessels in their course
Were stayed, and while the lower current flowed
Still to the sea, the upper stood on high
Dammed back by carnage. Through the streets meanwhile
In headlong torrents ran a tide of blood,
Which furrowing its path through town and field
Forced the slow river on. But now his banks
No longer held him, and the dead were thrown
Back on the fields above. With labour huge
At length he struggled to his goal and stretched
In crimson streak across the Tuscan Sea.

'For deeds like these, shall Sulla now be styled
`Darling of Fortune', `Saviour of the State'?
For these, a tomb in middle field of Mars
Record his fame? Like horrors now return
For us to suffer; and the civil war
Thus shall be waged again and thus shall end.
Yet worse disasters may our fears suggest,
For now with greater carnage of mankind
The rival hosts in weightier battle meet.
To exiled Marius, successful strife
Was Rome regained; triumphant Sulla knew
No greater joy than on his hated foes
To wreak his vengeance with unsparing sword.
But these more powerful rivals Fortune calls
To worse ambitions; nor would either chief
For such reward as Sulla's wage the war.'
Thus, mindful of his youth, the aged man
Wept for the past, but feared the coming days.

Such terrors found in haughty Brutus' breast
No home. When others sat them down to fear
He did not so, but in the dewy night
When the great wain was turning round the pole
He sought his kinsman Cato's humble home.
Him sleepless did he find, not for himself
Fearing, but pondering the fates of Rome,
And deep in public cares. And thus he spake:
'O thou in whom that virtue, which of yore
Took flight from earth, now finds its only home,
Outcast to all besides, but safe with thee:
Vouchsafe thy counsel to my wavering soul
And make my weakness strength. While Caesar some,
Pompeius others, follow in the fight,
Cato is Brutus' guide. Art thou for peace,
Holding thy footsteps in a tottering world
Unshaken? Or wilt thou with the leaders' crimes
And with the people's fury take thy part,
And by thy presence purge the war of guilt?
In impious battles men unsheath the sword;
But each by cause impelled: the household crime;
Laws feared in peace; want by the sword removed;
And broken credit, that its ruin hides
In general ruin. Drawn by hope of gain,
And not by thirst for blood, they seek the camp.
Shall Cato for war's sake make war alone?
What profits it through all these wicked years
That thou hast lived untainted? This were all
Thy meed of virtue, that the wars which find
Guilt in all else, shall make thee guilty too.
Ye gods, permit not that this fatal strife
Should stir those hands to action! When the clouds
Of flying javelins hiss upon the air,
Let not a dart be thine; nor spent in vain
Such virtue! All the fury of the war
Shall launch itself on thee, for who, when faint
And wounded, would not rush upon thy sword,
Take thence his death, and make the murder thine?
Do thou live on thy peaceful life apart
As on their paths the stars unshaken roll.
The lower air that verges on the earth
Gives flame and fury to the levin bolt;
The deeps below the world engulph the winds
And tracts of flaming fire. By Jove's decree
Olympus rears his summit o'er the clouds:
In lowlier valleys storms and winds contend,
But peace eternal reigns upon the heights.
What joy for Caesar, if the tidings come
That such a citizen has joined the war?
Glad would he see thee e'en in Magnus' tents;
For Cato's conduct shall approve his own.
Pompeius, with the Consul in his ranks,
And half the Senate and the other chiefs,
Vexes my spirit; and should Cato too
Bend to a master's yoke, in all the world
The one man free is Caesar. But if thou
For freedom and thy country's laws alone
Be pleased to raise the sword, nor Magnus then
Nor Caesar shall in Brutus find a foe.
Not till the fight is fought shall Brutus strike,
Then strike the victor.'

Brutus thus; but spake
Cato from inmost breast these sacred words:
'Chief in all wickedness is civil war,
Yet virtue in the paths marked out by fate
Treads on securely. Heaven's will be the crime
To have made even Cato guilty. Who has strength
To gaze unawed upon a toppling world?
When stars and sky fall headlong, and when earth
Slips from her base, who sits with folded hands?
Shall unknown nations, touched by western strife,
And monarchs born beneath another clime
Brave the dividing seas to join the war?
Shall Scythian tribes desert their distant north,
And Getae haste to view the fall of Rome,
And I look idly on? As some fond sire,
Reft of his sons, compelled by grief, himself
Marshals the long procession to the tomb,
Thrusts his own hand within the funeral flames,
Soothing his heart, and, as the lofty pyre
Rises on high, applies the kindled torch:
Nought, Rome, shall tear thee from me, till I hold
Thy form in death embraced; and Freedom's name,
Shade though it be, I'll follow to the grave.
Yea! let the cruel gods exact in full
Rome's expiation: of no drop of blood
The war be robbed. I would that, to the gods
Of heaven and hell devoted, this my life
Might satisfy their vengeance. Decius fell,
Crushed by the hostile ranks. When Cato falls
Let Rhine's fierce barbarous hordes and both the hosts
Thrust through my frame their darts! May I alone
Receive in death the wounds of all the war!
Thus may the people be redeemed, and thus
Rome for her guilt pay the atonement due.
Why should men die who wish to bear the yoke
And shrink not from the tyranny to come?
Strike me, and me alone, of laws and rights
In vain the guardian: this vicarious life
Shall give Hesperia peace and end her toils.
Who then will reign shall find no need for war.
You ask, `Why follow Magnus? If he wins
He too will claim the Empire of the world.'
Then let him, conquering with my service, learn
Not for himself to conquer.' Thus he spoke
And stirred the blood that ran in Brutus' veins
Moving the youth to action in the war.

Soon as the sun dispelled the chilly night,
The sounding doors flew wide, and from the tomb
Of dead Hortensius grieving Marcia came.
First joined in wedlock to a greater man
Three children did she bear to grace his home:
Then Cato to Hortensius gave the dame
To be a fruitful mother of his sons
And join their houses in a closer tie.
And now the last sad offices were done
She came with hair dishevelled, beaten breast,
And ashes on her brow, and features worn
With grief; thus only pleasing to the man.
'When youth was in me and maternal power
I did thy bidding, Cato, and received
A second husband: now in years grown old
Ne'er to be parted I return to thee.
Renew our former pledges undefiled:
Give back the name of wife: upon my tomb
Let `Marcia, spouse to Cato,' be engraved.
Nor let men question in the time to come,
Did'st thou compel, or did I willing leave
My first espousals. Not in happy times,
Partner of joys, I come; but days of care
And labour shall be mine to share with thee.
Nor leave me here, but take me to the camp,
Thy fond companion: why should Magnus' wife
Be nearer, Cato, to the wars than thine?'

Although the times were warlike and the fates
Called to the fray, he lent a willing ear.
Yet must they plight their faith in simple form
Of law; their witnesses the gods alone.
No festal wreath of flowers crowned the gate
Nor glittering fillet on each post entwined;
No flaming torch was there, nor ivory steps,
No couch with robes of broidered gold adorned;
No comely matron placed upon her brow
The bridal garland, or forbad the foot
To touch the threshold stone; no saffron veil
Concealed the timid blushes of the bride;
No jewelled belt confined her flowing robe
Nor modest circle bound her neck; no scarf
Hung lightly on the snowy shoulder's edge
Around the naked arm. Just as she came,
Wearing the garb of sorrow, while the wool
Covered the purple border of her robe,
Thus was she wedded. As she greets her sons
So doth she greet her husband. Festal games
Graced not their nuptials, nor were friends and kin
As by the Sabines bidden: silent both
They joined in marriage, yet content, unseen
By any save by Brutus. Sad and stern
On Cato's lineaments the marks of grief
Were still unsoftened, and the hoary hair
Hung o'er his reverend visage; for since first
Men flew to arms, his locks were left unkempt
To stream upon his brow, and on his chin
His beard untended grew. 'Twas his alone
Who hated not, nor loved, for all mankind
To mourn alike. Nor did their former couch
Again receive them, for his lofty soul
E'en lawful love resisted. 'Twas his rule
Inflexible, to keep the middle path
Marked out and bounded; to observe the laws
Of natural right; and for his country's sake
To risk his life, his all, as not for self
Brought into being, but for all the world:
Such was his creed. To him a sumptuous feast
Was hunger conquered, and the lowly hut,
Which scarce kept out the winter, was a home
Equal to palaces: a robe of price
Such hairy garments as were worn of old:
The end of marriage, offspring. To the State
Father alike and husband, right and law
He ever followed with unswerving step:
No thought of selfish pleasure turned the scale
In Cato's acts, or swayed his upright soul.

Meanwhile Pompeius led his trembling host
To fields Campanian, and held the walls
First founded by the chief of Trojan race.
These chose he for the central seat of war,
Some troops despatching who might meet the foe
Where shady Apennine lifts up the ridge
Of mid Italia; nearest to the sky
Upsoaring, with the seas on either hand,
The upper and the lower. Pisa's sands
Breaking the margin of the Tuscan deep,
Here bound his mountains: there Ancona's towers
Laved by Dalmatian waves. Rivers immense,
In his recesses born, pass on their course,
To either sea diverging. To the left
Metaurus, and Crustumium's torrent, fall
And Sena's streams and Aufidus who bursts
On Adrian billows; and that mighty flood
Which, more than all the rivers of the earth,
Sweeps down the soil and tears the woods away
And drains Hesperia's springs. In fabled lore
His banks were first by poplar shade enclosed:
And when by Phaethon the waning day
Was drawn in path transverse, and all the heaven
Blazed with his car aflame, and from the depths
Of inmost earth were rapt all other floods,
Padus still rolled in pride of stream along.
Nile were no larger, but that o'er the sand
Of level Egypt he spreads out his waves;
Nor Ister, if he sought the Scythian main
Unhelped upon his journey through the world
By tributary waters not his own.
But on the right hand Tiber has his source,
Deep-flowing Rutuba, Vulturnus swift,
And Sarnus breathing vapours of the night
Rise there, and Liris with Vestinian wave
Still gliding through Marica's shady grove,
And Siler flowing through Salernian meads:
And Macra's swift unnavigable stream
By Luna lost in Ocean. On the Alps
Whose spurs strike plainwards, and on fields of Gaul
The cloudy heights of Apennine look down
In further distance: on his nearer slopes
The Sabine turns the ploughshare; Umbrian kine
And Marsian fatten; with his pineclad rocks
He girds the tribes of Latium, nor leaves
Hesperia's soil until the waves that beat
On Scylla's cave compel. His southern spurs
Extend to Juno's temple, and of old
Stretched further than Italia, till the main
O'erstepped his limits and the lands repelled.
But, when the seas were joined, Pelorus claimed
His latest summits for Sicilia's isle.

Caesar, in rage for war, rejoicing found
Foes in Italia; no bloodless steps
Nor vacant homes had pleased him; so his march
Were wasted: now the coming war was joined
Unbroken to the past; to force the gates
Not find them open, fire and sword to bring
Upon the harvests, not through fields unharmed
To pass his legions -- this was Caesar's joy;
In peaceful guise to march, this was his shame.
Italia's cities, doubtful in their choice,
Though to the earliest onset of the war
About to yield, strengthened their walls with mounds
And deepest trench encircling: massive stones
And bolts of war to hurl upon the foe
They place upon the turrets. Magnus most
The people's favour held, yet faith with fear
Fought in their breasts. As when, with strident blast,
A southern tempest has possessed the main
And all the billows follow in its track:
Then, by the Storm-king smitten, should the earth
Set Eurus free upon the swollen deep,
It shall not yield to him, though cloud and sky
Confess his strength; but in the former wind
Still find its master. But their fears prevailed,
And Caesar's fortune, o'er their wavering faith.
For Libo fled Etruria; Umbria lost
Her freedom, driving Thermus from her bounds;
Great Sulla's son, unworthy of his sire,
Feared at the name of Caesar: Varus sought
The caves and woods, when smote the hostile horse
The gates of Auximon; and Spinther driven
From Asculum, the victor on his track,
Fled with his standards, soldierless; and thou,
Scipio, did'st leave Nuceria's citadel
Deserted, though by bravest legions held
Sent home by Caesar for the Parthian war;
Whom Magnus earlier, to his kinsman gave
A loan of Roman blood, to fight the Gaul.

But brave Domitius held firm his post
Behind Corfinium's ramparts; his the troops
Who newly levied kept the judgment hall
At Milo's trial. When from far the plain
Rolled up a dusty cloud, beneath whose veil
The sheen of armour glistening in the sun,
Revealed a marching host. 'Dash down,' he cried,
Swift; as ye can, the bridge that spans the stream;
And thou, O river, from thy mountain source
With all thy torrents rushing, planks and beams
Ruined and broken on thy foaming breast
Bear onward to the sea. The war shall stop
Here, to our triumph; for this headlong chief
Here first at our firm bidding shall be stayed.'
He bade his squadrons, speeding from the walls,
Charge on the bridge: in vain: for Caesar saw
They sought to free the river from his chains
And bar his march; and roused to ire, he cried:
'Were not the walls sufficient to protect
Your coward souls? Seek ye by barricades
And streams to keep me back? What though the flood
Of swollen Ganges were across my path?
Now Rubicon is passed, no stream on earth
Shall hinder Caesar! Forward, horse and foot,
And ere it totters rush upon the bridge.'
Urged in their swiftest gallop to the front
Dashed the light horse across the sounding plain;
And suddenly, as storm in summer, flew
A cloud of javelins forth, by sinewy arms
Hurled at the foe; the guard is put to flight,
And conquering Caesar, seizing on the bridge,
Compels the enemy to keep the walls.
Now do the mighty engines, soon to hurl
Gigantic stones, press forward, and the ram
Creeps 'neath the ramparts; when the gates fly back,
And lo! the traitor troops, foul crime in war,
Yield up their leader. Him they place before

His proud compatriot; yet with upright form,
And scornful features and with noble mien,
He asks his death. But Caesar knew his wish
Was punishment, and pardon was his fear:
'Live though thou would'st not,' so the chieftain spake,
'And by my gift, unwilling, see the day:
Be to my conquered foes the cause of hope,
Proof of my clemency -- or if thou wilt
Take arms again -- and should'st thou conquer, count
This pardon nothing.' Thus he spake, and bade
Let loose the bands and set the captive free.
Ah! better had he died, and fortune spared
The Roman's last dishonour, whose worse doom
It is, that he who joined his country's camp
And fought with Magnus for the Senate's cause
Should gain for this -- a pardon! Yet he curbed
His anger, thinking, 'Wilt thou then to Rome
And peaceful scenes, degenerate? Rather war,
The furious battle and the certain end!
Break with life's ties: be Caesar's gift in vain.'

Pompeius, ignorant that his captain thus
Was taken, armed his levies newly raised
To give his legions strength; and as he thought
To sound his trumpets with the coming dawn,
To test his soldiers ere he moved his camp
Thus in majestic tones their ranks addressed:
'Soldiers of Rome! Avengers of her laws!
To whom the Senate gives no private arms,
Ask by your voices for the battle sign.
Fierce falls the pillage on Hesperian fields,
And Gallia's fury o'er the snowy Alps
Is poured upon us. Caesar's swords at last
Are red with Roman blood. But with the wound
We gain the better cause; the crime is theirs.
No war is this, but for offended Rome
We wreak the vengeance; as when Catiline
Lifted against her roofs the flaming brand
And, partner in his fury, Lentulus,
And mad Cethegus with his naked arm.
Is such thy madness, Caesar? when the Fates
With great Camillus' and Metellus' names
Might place thine own, dost thou prefer to rank
With Marius and Cinna? Swift shall be
Thy fall: as Lepidus before the sword
Of Catulus; or who my axes felt,
Carbo, now buried in Sicanian tomb;
Or who, in exile, roused Iberia's hordes,
Sertorius -- yet, witness Heaven, with these
I hate to rank thee; hate the task that Rome
Has laid upon me, to oppose thy rage.
Would that in safety from the Parthian war
And Scythian steppes had conquering Crassus come!
Then haply had'st thou fallen by the hand
That smote vile Spartacus the robber foe.
But if among my triumphs fate has said
Thy conquest shall be written, know this heart
Still sends the life blood coursing: and this arm
Still vigorously flings the dart afield.
He deems me slothful. Caesar, thou shalt learn
We brook not peace because we lag in war.
Old, does he call me? Fear not ye mine age.
Let me be elder, if his soldiers are.
The highest point a citizen can reach
And leave his people free, is mine: a throne
Alone were higher; whoso would surpass
Pompeius, aims at that. Both Consuls stand
Here; here for battle stand your lawful chiefs:
And shall this Caesar drag the Senate down?
Not with such blindness, not so lost to shame
Does Fortune rule. Does he take heart from Gaul:
For years on years rebellious, and a life
Spent there in labour? or because he fled
Rhine's icy torrent and the shifting pools
He calls an ocean? or unchallenged sought
Britannia's cliffs; then turned his back in flight?
Or does he boast because his citizens
Were driven in arms to leave their hearths and homes?
Ah, vain delusion! not from thee they fled:
My steps they follow -- mine, whose conquering signs
Swept all the ocean, and who, ere the moon
Twice filled her orb and waned, compelled to flight
The pirate, shrinking from the open sea,
And humbly begging for a narrow home
In some poor nook on shore. 'Twas I again
Who, happier far than Sulla, drave to death
That king who, exiled to the deep recess
Of Scythian Pontus, held the fates of Rome
Still in the balances. Where is the land
That hath not seen my trophies? Icy waves
Of northern Phasis, hot Egyptian shores,
And where Syene 'neath its noontide sun
Knows shade on neither hand: all these have learned
To fear Pompeius: and far Baetis' stream,
Last of all floods to join the refluent sea.
Arabia and the warlike hordes that dwell
Beside the Euxine wave: the famous land
That lost the golden fleece; Cilician wastes,
And Cappadocian, and the Jews who pray
Before an unknown God; Sophene soft --
All felt my yoke. What conquests now remain,
What wars not civil can my kinsman wage?'

No loud acclaim received his words, nor shout
Asked for the promised battle: and the chief
Drew back the standards, for the soldier's fears
Were in his soul alike; nor dared he trust
An army, vanquished by the fame alone
Of Caesar's powers, to fight for such a prize.
And as some bull, his early combat lost,
Forth driven from the herd, in exile roams
Through lonely plains or secret forest depths,
Whets on opposing trunks his growing horn,
And proves himself for battle, till his neck
Is ribbed afresh with muscle: then returns,
Defiant of the hind, and victor now
Leads wheresoe'er he will his lowing bands:
Thus Magnus, yielding to a stronger foe,
Gave up Italia, and sought in flight
Brundusium's sheltering battlements.

Here of old
Fled Cretan settlers when the dusky sail
Spread the false message of the hero dead;
Here, where Hesperia, curving as a bow,
Draws back her coast, a little tongue of land
Shuts in with bending horns the sounding main.
Yet insecure the spot, unsafe in storm,
Were it not sheltered by an isle on which
The Adriatic billows dash and fall,
And tempests lose their strength: on either hand
A craggy cliff opposing breaks the gale
That beats upon them, while the ships within
Held by their trembling cables ride secure.
Hence to the mariner the boundless deep
Lies open, whether for Corcyra's port
He shapes his sails, or for Illyria's shore,
And Epidamnus facing to the main
Ionian. Here, when raging in his might
Fierce Adria whelms in foam Calabria's coast,
When clouds tempestuous veil Ceraunus' height,
The sailor finds a haven.

When the chief
Could find no hope in battle on the soil
He now was quitting, and the lofty Alps
Forbad Iberia, to his son he spake,
The eldest scion of that noble stock:
'Search out the far recesses of the earth,
Nile and Euphrates, wheresoe'er the fame
Of Magnus lives, where, through thy father's deeds,
The people tremble at the name of Rome.
Lead to the sea again the pirate bands;
Rouse Egypt's kings; Tigranes, wholly mine,
And Pharnaces and all the vagrant tribes
Of both Armenias; and the Pontic hordes,
Warlike and fierce; the dwellers on the hills
Rhipaean, and by that dead northern marsh
Whose frozen surface bears the loaded wain.
Why further stay thee? Let the eastern world
Sound with the war, all cities of the earth
Conquered by me, as vassals, to my camp
Send all their levied hosts. And you whose names
Within the Latian book recorded stand,
Strike for Epirus with the northern wind;
And thence in Greece and Macedonian tracts,
(While winter gives us peace) new strength acquire
For coming conflicts.' They obey his words
And loose their ships and launch upon the main.

But Caesar's might, intolerant of peace
Or lengthy armistice, lest now perchance
The fates might change their edicts, swift pursued
The footsteps of his foe. To other men,
So many cities taken at a blow,
So many strongholds captured, might suffice;
And Rome herself, the mistress of the world,
Lay at his feet, the greatest prize of all.
Not so with Caesar: instant on the goal
He fiercely presses; thinking nothing done
While aught remained to do. Now in his grasp
Lay all Italia; -- but while Magnus stayed
Upon the utmost shore, his grieving soul
Deemed all was shared with him. Yet he essayed
Escape to hinder, and with labour vain
Piled in the greedy main gigantic rocks:
Mountains of earth down to the sandy depths
Were swallowed by the vortex of the sea;
Just as if Eryx and its lofty top
Were cast into the deep, yet not a speck
Should mark the watery plain; or Gaurus huge
Split from his summit to his base, were plunged
In fathomless Avernus' stagnant pool.
The billows thus unstemmed, 'twas Caesar's will
To hew the stately forests and with trees
Enchained to form a rampart. Thus of old
(If fame be true) the boastful Persian king
Prepared a way across the rapid strait
'Twixt Sestos and Abydos, and made one
The European and the Trojan shores;
And marched upon the waters, wind and storm
Counting as nought, but trusting his emprise
To one frail bridge, so that his ships might pass
Through middle Athos. Thus a mighty mole
Of fallen forests grew upon the waves,
Free until then, and lofty turrets rose,
And land usurped the entrance to the main.

This when Pompeius saw, with anxious care
His soul was filled; yet hoping to regain
The exit lost, and win a wider world
Wherein to wage the war, on chosen ships
He hoists the sails; these, driven by the wind
And drawn by cables fastened to their prows,
Scattered the beams asunder; and at night
Not seldom engines, worked by stalwart arms,
Flung flaming torches forth. But when the time
For secret flight was come, no sailor shout
Rang on the shore, no trumpet marked the hour,
No bugle called the armament to sea.
Already shone the Virgin in the sky
Leading the Scorpion in her course, whose claws
Foretell the rising Sun, when noiseless all
They cast the vessels loose; no song was heard
To greet the anchor wrenched from stubborn sand;
No captain's order, when the lofty mast
Was raised, or yards were bent; a silent crew
Drew down the sails which hung upon the ropes,
Nor shook the mighty cables, lest the wind
Should sound upon them. But the chief, in prayer,
Thus spake to Fortune: 'Thou whose high decree
Has made us exiles from Italia's shores,
Grant us at least to leave them.' Yet the fates
Hardly permitted, for a murmur vast
Came from the ocean, as the countless keels
Furrowed the waters, and with ceaseless splash
The parted billows rose again and fell.
Then were the gates thrown wide; for with the fates
The city turned to Caesar: and the foe,
Seizing the town, rushed onward by the pier
That circled in the harbour; then they knew
With shame and sorrow that the fleet was gone
And held the open: and Pompeius' flight
Gave a poor triumph.

Yet was narrower far
The channel which gave access to the sea
Than that Euboean strait whose waters lave
The shore by Chalcis. Here two ships stuck fast
Alone, of all the fleet; the fatal hook
Grappled their decks and drew them to the land,
And the first bloodshed of the civil war
Here left a blush upon the ocean wave.
As when the famous ship sought Phasis' stream
The rocky gates closed in and hardly gripped
Her flying stern; then from the empty sea
The cliffs rebounding to their ancient seat
Were fixed to move no more. But now the steps
Of morn approaching tinged the eastern sky
With roseate hues: the Pleiades were dim,
The wagon of the Charioteer grew pale,
The planets faded, and the silvery star
Which ushers in the day, was lost in light.

Then Magnus, hold'st the deep; yet not the same
Now are thy fates, as when from every sea
Thy fleet triumphant swept the pirate pest.
Tired of thy conquests, Fortune now no more
Shall smile upon thee. With thy spouse and sons,
Thy household gods, and peoples in thy train,
Still great in exile, in a distant land
Thou seek'st thy fated fall; not that the gods,
Wishing to rob thee of a Roman grave,
Decreed the strands of Egypt for thy tomb:
'Twas Italy they spared, that far away
Fortune on shores remote might hide her crime,
And Roman soil be pure of Magnus' blood.

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He, who was born

He, who was born in stagnant year
Does not remember own way.
We, kids of Russia's years of fear,
Remember every night and day.

Years that burned everything to ashes!
Do you bring madness or grace?
The war's and freedom's fire flashes
Left bloody light on every face.

We are struck dumb: the toxsin's pressure
Has made us tightly close lips.
In living hearts, once full of pleasure,
The fateful desert now sleeps.

And let the crying ravens soar
Right over our death-bed,
May those who were striving more,
O God, behold Thy Kingdom's Great!

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Some Claim We Were Born Alone

some claim we were born alone
but was there not a heartbeat heard
as we grew within a mother’s womb

a placenta provided oxygen food
nourishment fed through umbilical cord
shadow post birth after us expelled

a hand took us cleaned us cut cord
totally dependent helpless we received
a heart fed us loved us meet our need

we were cared for we grew lived
to prosper all life is time given nourished
all life that endured love received

there was a time when we were not alone
each moment of growth was a heartbeat heard
those who give foster love in a world womb

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Khaki Boys Who Were Not At The Front

Oh! it is not just the men who face the guns,
Not the fighters at the Front alone, to-day
Who will bring the longed-for close to the bloody fray, for those
Could not carry on that fray without the ones
Who are working at war's problems far away.

You are all our splendid heroes in the strife,
And we class you with the warriors maimed and scarred,
Though you never have been near enough the battle din to hear,
While you laboured in the dull routine of life
In your khaki suits with sleeves that are not barred.

You have offered up yourselves to save the world;
You have felt the abnegation of the Christ:
And whatever work you do is a noble work and true;
Though it be not done with banners all unfurled,
You will find it has, in sight of God, sufficed.

While you carry back no medals when you go,
Not without you had the fighters borne war's brunt:
So just lift your heads uncowed, for your country will be proud
And its lasting love and honour will bestow
On the khaki boys who were not at the Front.

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To Mrs. Frances--Arabella Kelly.

To Day, as at my Glass I stood,
To set my Head--cloaths, and my Hood;
I saw my grizzled Locks with Dread,
And call'd to mind the Gorgon's Head.

Thought I, whate'er the Poets say,
Medusa's Hair was only gray:
Tho' Ovid, who the Story told,
Was too well--bred to call her old;
But, what amounted to the same,
He made her an immortal Dame.

Yet now, whene'er a Matron sage
Hath felt the rugged Hand of Age,
You hear out witty Coxcombs cry,
Rot that old Witch--she'll never die.
Tho', had they but a little Reading,
Ovid would teach them better Breeding.

I fancy now, I hear you say,
Grant Heav'n, my Locks may ne'er be gray!
Why am I told this frightful Story?
To Beauty a Memento mori.

And, as along the Room you pass,
Casting your Eye upon the Glass,
Surely, say you, this lovely Face
Will never suffer such Disgrace:
The Bloom, that on my Cheek appears,
Will never be impair'd by Years.
Her Envy, now, I plainly see,
Makes her inscribe those Lines to me.
These Beldams, who were born before me,
Are griev'd to see the Men adore me:
Their snaky Locks freeze up the Blood;
My Tresses fire the purple Flood.

Unnumber'd Slaves around me wait,
And from my Eyes expect their Fate:
I own, of Conquest I am vain,
Tho' I despise the Slaves I gain.
Heav'n gave me Charms, and destin'd me
For universal Tyranny.

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When you were born in this world - Dohas II

When you were born in this world
Everyone laughed while you cried
Conduct NOT yourself in manner such
That they laugh when you are gone

Kabir's mind got cleansed like the holy Ganges water
Now everyone follows, saying Kabir Kabir

Guru the washer man, disciple is the cloth
The name of God liken to the soap
Wash the mind on foundation firm
To realize the glow of Truth

Alive one sees, alive one knows
Thus crave for salvation when full of life
Alive you did not cut the noose of binding actions
Hoping liberation with death!

Inexpressible is the story of Love
It cannot be revealed by words
Like the dumb eating sweet-meat
Only smiles, the sweetness he cannot tell

Worry is the bandit that eats into one's heart
What the doctor can do, what remedy to impart?

Says Kabir
Don't be so proud and vain
Looking at your high mansion
Death makes one lie on bare land
And grass will grow thereon

Says Kabir
Don't be so proud and vain
The clutches of Time are dark
Who knows where shall it kill
Whether at home or abroad

Says Kabir
By my doing nothing happens
What I don't does come to pass
If anything happens as if my doing
Then truly it is done by someone else

Like the pupil in the eyes
The Lord resides inside
Ignorant do not know this fact
They search Him outside

First the pangs of separation
Next grows the thirst for Love
Says Kabir then only hope
The union to materialize

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Every Knee

Wherefore God had highly exlted him and given him a name
Which is above every name and at the feet of jesus
Every knee shall bow
Of things of heaven and of things of earth
And things under the earth and at the name of jesus
Every tongue shall confess that he is king
Under God the father
Christ is king, he is god
Who so you seek you deny
That in the begining was the word and the word was with god
The word was god. so why do you fight
Which were not born of blood, nor of the flesh
Nor of the will of man, but of god
The word became flesh and dwelt among us
And we beheld his glory
Full of grace and truth
Whos gonna bow down? every knee
Whos gonna confess? every tongue
Prophets of the past, claim the son of man would come
With their hands lifted up and their eyes to the sky
They problaim the name of jesus christ
People may ask why, who do you live this way
But they know the truth, for he is the truth
Desperate is their lives, so whats the use
Heres on for the funky drummer: keep the rythems rollin
In your face, I got the bass, without a trace
Hes going, hes gone and Im on the microphone
And Im known to get rough
So thake some time out of my rhyme bro and strutt your stuff
Prophets were four, Ill show you whats in store
Give praises to my king so now can I get an encore?
And keep clapping, keep clapping, keep clapping, keep clapping
Hey, yo, what kappening brothers getting jacked
When you step up to me with that disrespect
I thinks its time for us to put your evil butt in check
And if you dont believe me, tell me who is next
And somebody tell the devil, that his match is met
From the word of god, so you know its the truth
And I tell you with power chump, so what ya gonna do?
Ill make it known again that were just spreading the good news
And well have your crews saying your jesus is one smooth
Whos gonna bow down? every knee
Wherefore God has highly exalted him and given him a name
Which is above every name, and the feet of jesus,
Every knee shall bow
Of things of heaven, of things of earth, and things under earth
And at the name of jesus, every tongue shall confess that he is king
Under God the father

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Meg's Curse

The sun rode high in a cloudless sky
Of a perfect summer morn.
She stood and gazed out into the street,
And wondered why she was born.
On the topmost branch of a maple-tree
That close by the window grew,
A robin called to his mate enthralled:
'I love but you, but you, but you.'

A soft look came in her hardened face-
She had not wept for years;
But the robin's trill, as some sounds will,
Jarred open the door of tears.
She thought of the old home far away;
She heard the whir-r-r of the mill;
She heard the turtle's wild, sweet call,
And the wail of the whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will.

She saw again that dusty road
Whence he came riding down;
She smelled once more the flower she wore
In the breast of her simple gown.
Out on the new-mown meadow she heard
Two blue-jays quarrel and fret,
And the warning cry of a Phoebe bird:
'More wet, more wet, more wet.'

With a blithe 'hello' to the men below
Who were spreading the new-mown hay,
The rider drew rein at her window-pane-
How it all came back to-day!
How young she was, and how fair she was;
What innocence crowned her brow!
The future seemed fair, for Love was there-
And now-and now-and now.

In a dingy glass on the wall near by
She gazed on her faded face.
'Well, Meg, I declare, what a beauty you are?'
She sneered, 'What an angel of grace!
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
What a thing of beauty and grace!'
She reached out her arms with a moaning sob:
'Oh, if I could go back!'
Then, swift and strange, came a sudden change;
Her brow grew hard and black.

'A curse on the day and a curse on that man,
And on all who are his,' she cried.
'May he starve and be cold, may he live to be old
When all who loved him have died.'
Her wild voice frightened the robin away
From the branch by the window-sill;
And little he knew as away he flew,
Of the memories stirred by his trill.

He called to his mate on the grass below,
'Follow me,' as he soared on high;
And as mates have done since the world begun
She followed, and asked not why.
The dingy room seemed curtained with gloom;
Meg shivered with nameless dread.
The ghost of her youth and her murdered truth
Seemed risen up from the dead.

She hurried out into the noisy street,
For the silence made her afraid;
To flee from thought was all she sought,
She cared not whither she strayed.
Still on she pressed in her wild unrest
Up avenues skirting the park,
Where fashion's throng moved gayly along
In Vanity Fair-when hark!

A clatter of hoofs down the stony street,
The snort of a frightened horse
That was running wild, and a laughing child
At play in its very course.
With one swift glance Meg saw it all.
'His child-my God! his child!'
She cried aloud, as she rushed through the crowd
Like one grown suddenly wild.

There, almost under the iron feet,
Hemmed in by a passing cart,
Stood the baby boy-the pride and joy
Of the man who had broken her heart.
Past swooning women and shouting men
She fled like a flash of light;
With her slender arm she gathered from harm
The form of the laughing sprite.

The death-shod feet of the mad horse beat
Her down on the pavings gray;
But the baby laughed out with a merry shout,
And thought it splendid play.
He pulled her gown and called to her: 'Say,
Dit up and do dat some more,
Das jus'ze way my papa play
Wiz me on ze nursery floor.'

When the frightened father reached the scene,
His boy looked up and smiled
From the stiffening fold of the arm, death-cold,
Of Meg, who had died for his child.
Oh! idle words are a woman's curse
Who loves a woman can;
For put to the test, she will bare her breast
And die for the sake of the man.

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The Alleys

I was welcome in a palace when the ball was at my feet,
I was petted in a garden and my triumph was complete.
But for me above the alleys there forever shone a star,
Where the third-rate public houses and the dens of Venus are.
Where the third-rate public houses
And the fourth-rate lodging houses,
And the rag-shops and the pawn-shops and the dens of Venus are.
I was born among the alleys, bred in darkness and in doubt,
And I wrote the truth in blindness and I struggled up and out;
And the world was fair before me and the way was wide and plain,
But the spirit of the alleys ever dragged me back again.
’Tis a madness I inherit
And a blind and reckless spirit.
Oh! the spirit of the alleys ever drags me down again!

There were fair girls in the garden where the spring came in a day,
But the barmaids in the alleys know a wider world than they.
There were wise men in the palace who were born to rule the earth,
But the wrecks amongst the alleys know the world for what it’s worth.
To the pewter from the chalice,
To the slum from the palace,
Aye! the wrecks sunk in the alleys know the world for what it’s worth!

Poets who have done with puzzling—men who talk but dare not think—
Men who might have moulded nations had it not been for the drink!
Wicked stories full of humour—shafts of wit that seldom miss,
Shot from blighted lips of women that the bravest dare not kiss?
Let the worst girl lead the revels
Of the reckless alley devils!—
Pure and virtuous women often, often drive men down to this.

In the days of mental torture when my life was all a hell,
It was down amongst the alleys that I learnt the tales I tell,
From the black-sheep out from England, from the boozer in from Bourke,
From the tired haggard women bending over needle-work:
Tales of wrongs, that fire the spirit,
Tales of more than human merit,
Told in quiet tones and measured, bending over needle-work.

Oh! the pathos and the humour of the shifts of poverty,
Oh! the sympathy of drunkards, wit and truth and charity,
Oh! the worn-out working women and the lives that they endure,
And the hard and callous kindness of the poor unto the poor!
(Where they blame not—those who labour—
And the prostitute’s a neighbour)
Ah! the humour and the courage and the kindness of the poor!

There is fire down in the alleys that has smouldered very long;
There is hatred in the alleys born of centuries of wrong;
And no prayer wins to heaven like a prayer from the slums,
And the thrones of empire totter when the alleys beat their drums.
(Ah! the world is very rotten!
But my sins shall be forgotten
And my work shall be remembered when the alleys beat their drums.)

It is down amongst the alleys, in the alleys dull and damp,
They find kindness in a scoundrel, they find good points in a scamp.
It is down amongst the alleys, now my star has ceased to shine,
I find sympathy with sinners and can hide what shame is mine,
For we trust and shield each other
And a sinner is a brother—
There are souls amongst the alleys who were lost the same as mine.

And if you should some day miss me, and should care to wonder why,
Ask for me amongst the alleys by the name they knew me by:
Mind your head and pick your footsteps for you’ll grope in alley gloom,
And the stairs are steep and narrow where they’ll lead you to a room.
What if floors are foul and dusty
And the air is close and musty?
In the days when I was noble then I wrote in such a room.

You will see a chair and table dimly shown by candle light,
And the pen I dropped for ever from the last line I shall write;
And some poor attempts at comfort, and a bottle—and maybe
You will find a bad girl crying over what is left of me:
Call no friends—I shall not need them;
Call no priests—I shall not heed them—
Let the bad girl do the praying over what is left of me.

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You, Who was Born for Poetry's Creation

You, who was born for poetry's creation,
Do not repeat the sayings of the ancients.
Though, maybe, our Poetry, itself,
Is just a single beautiful citation.

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In India You Were Born

you were born
in the country
which had one

of the greatest
spiritual leaders
this planet has

ever seen
Mahatma Gandhi
still inspires us

seize enlightened
noble birthright
seize enlightened legacy
in India you were born

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How These Were Born

these words were born
because there were no other things done
this poem is written
because the most important thing to do is set aside.

bread is fed to the the birds
diamonds thrown to the pigsty
a black bird leaves the blue sky
a crocodile is eating a horse

these thoughts roam
because of pain.

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Born To Win

Some people are born with spunk
And some with just lazy genes
Some people are blessed with grit
They understand what Work means.

But some people are born to complain
To blame everyone and everything.
To listen to them, what a pain!
They never get to the point of Trying.

If other people can achieve
A better life for themselves by trying
I wonder why some people believe
They were born to lose, yet go on living?

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Dear Soldier

Dear brave soldier, you who stand so tall, towering over enemies, then you see them fall, You who have fought so long and hard and you who will stand and fight, leaving your only home for our sacred rights. You who lived in sanctity and died as a martyr, and you who were born good will be in our hearts forever. For you where the greatest soldier that an army could have and you will be remembered as a warrior through the years that will pass.

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Those Who Are Born To Leech

If I am here to leave a recipe...
It may go ignored.
It may go for decades untried.
It may, in fact...
Become declared as someone else's creation.
Thieves finding easy ways to feed themselves,
Keep on the prowl.

But one day...
'Someone' will declare a discovery,
Of my 'original' recipe...
To attempt to re-create the same taste,
To proclaim it theirs to enjoy.

'Don't stay up too long to study wrong,

Since those who are born to leech,
Are not themselves creative.
Thieves, yes!
Creative creatures, no!

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There Are Many Who Are Talented

There are many with gifts,
That are relevant as presented.
There are many who are talented,
With a seeking to reach heights.
And there are those who were born,
For the purpose of igniting thought.
And doing this without a challenge...
Since a naturalness given to them,
Is unselfishly offered to others brought.
Hopefully an attention sought is caught!
Or it would defeat the purpose of a reach.
And nothing delivered sinks in as taught.
With intended depth remaining surfaced.
And a leaking occurs few see as a need.

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