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Office hours are from 12 to 1 with an hour off for lunch.

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With A Getting Off Knees

There is hope in the air,
For the ones really caring...
And,
They're not the ones who'll stop to give up.
No.
They're not the ones to be chased and rushed.

There is hope in the air,
For the ones really caring...
And,
They're not the ones who'll stop to give up.
No.
They're not the ones who will be ruffled up.

And those daring sharing their faith...
Are,
Tough enough.

There is a drive to survive for the ones out of hiding,
And...a,
They're not the ones who'll keep mouths shut.
No.
They're not the ones to be muffled up.

There is a drive to survive for the ones out of hiding,
And...a,
They're not the ones who'll keep mouths shut.
No.
They're not the ones to be muffled up.

And those daring sharing their faith.
Are...
The ones tough enough.

Becoming wide are the eyes that see.
Too much unbelieving today is seen.
And becoming noticed is deceit,
To the nonbeliever!

And those daring sharing their faith.
Are...
The ones tough enough.

There is a drive to survive for the ones out of hiding,
And...a,
They're not the ones who'll keep mouths shut.
No.
They're not the ones to be muffled up.

And those daring sharing their faith.
Are rough and tough enough.

With a getting off knees.

And,
Those daring to share faith.
Are rough and tough enough.

With a getting off knees.

And,
Those daring to share faith.
Are proving they are tough!

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Happy Bonus Days

It's great to wake each morn,
Each day a new surprise,
The morning sun is shining
So open up your eyes.

Now that I am "sorta" old,
And my parts are quite rusty,
"Dear Lord" please give me a boost
So I can rise with safety.

Had my 39th birthday for the 44th time,
Enjoying a full time job,
Working 7 days a week 12 noon to 1 PM,
With an hour off for chow.

My lovely wife, Pat, and I will enjoy,
God's gift of bonus days in Heaven on Earth
Making living sweet in Calistoga,
With 54 candles on our Anniversary Cake.

Thanks, God, for our wonderful lives.

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Men are from Mars and Women from Venus

If men are from Mars and women from Venus
Then why do men only think with their p****?
God created us equal and gave us each a brain
Most women use it wisely yet men go insane
Their upper chamber is empty, besides sex that comes to mind
That's all that a man wants, if a woman he can find
Someone who is not too demanding and will subdue to his thought
Too bad he has to pay the price for what he has bought
A woman asks for shopping and a vacation they must take
His brain ceases completely with applied emergency brakes…Lol
Nothing comes easy and a price has to be paid
This is what is called a balance of the trade

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Song IX. - The fatal hours are wondrous near

The fatal hours are wondrous near,
That from these fountains bear my dear;
A little space is given; in vain
She robs my sight, and shuns the plain.

A little space, for me to prove
My boundless flame, my endless love;
And, like the train of vulgar hours,
Invidious Time that space devours.

Near yonder beech is Delia's way,
On that I gaze the livelong day;
No eastern monarch's dazzling pride
Should draw my longing eyes aside.

The chief that knows of succours nigh,
And sees his mangled legions die,
Casts not a more impatient glance
To see the loitering aids advance.

Not more the schoolboy, that expires
Far from his native home, requires
To see some friend's familiar face,
Or meet a parent's last embrace-

She comes-but, ah! what crowds of beaus
In radiant bands my fair enclose!
Oh! better hadst thou shunn'd the green;
Oh, Delia! better far unseen.

Methinks, by all my tender fears,
By all my sighs, by all my tears,
I might from torture now be free-
'Tis more than death to part from thee!

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You Are Not Going to Play With Me Today

You are so far removed from my to do list.
So distant you are,
My binoculars can not locate you.
I never thought I would feel this way.
But I am looking for a mind easier to find.
And yours?
It is never where you claim it to be,
Even when you bring it.

Playing peek-a-boo and hide and seek...
Chase-me-until-you-find-me games,
Were fine when I was a 'kid' in my 40's!
But one of us has grayed and moved on...
To seek a more muture outlook that pleases.
Don't smile and grin.
You are not that far from the fringes of this explanation.
Well...
Maybe you are.

When some of us became adults...
You decided to take another destination.
And I'm not adding that to my frustrations.
Of which you have helped to manifest.

You are so far removed from my to do list.
So distant you are,
My binoculars can not locate you.
I never thought I would feel this way.
But I am looking for a mind easier to find.
And yours?
It is never where you claim it to be,
Even when you bring it.

You are 'not' going to play with me today.
I have run out of scotch.
And my neighbors are not yet quite convinced...
My standing on the ledge of the building,
Is to get away from your voice.
They believe I have other wishes.
Even though I tell them I am fine...
You tell them I am having problems.
But you never tell them you are the main one!
They think I am the one who is 'nuts'!
However...
Five minutes with you,
Should end any clues I might drop!

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No Cell-phones During Office Hours

‘The Rise and Function of the
Holy Man during Late Antiquity’
might sound as dry as desert sand,
or equally, excuse the pun, deserted…
but no, it holds a lively story:

the Christian world, gearing up
to tell the AD/CE world the bestest news;
the fervent, eager converts, wanting only
the time to cultivate their fledgling souls…
so where to retreat for this – the monasteries, of course..

wrong. The monasteries became compulsory
recruiting grounds for Church and for society:
a deacon needed for a distant land
to sort out heresies; an emissary
from this Christian nation’s court to that;
monks dragged out into the world
to rule unwieldy bishoprics…
administer, endlessly administer...

so the totally devout had no option
but to set off and become solitaries, hermits
further and further into the desert..there,
became holier and holier; then, accidentally, perhaps,
miracles began to be spoken of, around them;
they, half embarrassed, half amused,
accepting this as God’s strange requirement of them…

and then the wannabees and the true disciples
trekked after them; bedded down, built lodgings
for their devout B&B-ers, or
stayed to tend to the submissive saint;
consulted, questioned, hung around;
until finally, the patient but exhausted saint
took off for an even wilder place…
that’s why there are so many
monasteries in the desert lands…

meanwhile, advice from their superiors,
concerned for them, then followed them:
black out your window embrasures; put up notices
at the gate: ‘This is a silent zone between the hours
of 8 am and 8 pm’… (that should test their faith...): and
‘No talking during Lent’…

and when they trekked out to be in that sacred presence
of the truly holy man, they naturally brought gifts;
(and you can guess, there were lines which could be lifted
from ‘The Life of Brian’ – ‘I suppose a smallish miracle
would be too much to ask…? ’

It’s said that when they excavate,
those lonely hermits’ cells out in the desert are found
to be ‘like well-furnished consulting suites’…

There’s no joke like a holy joke…

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William Cowper

Conversation

Though nature weigh our talents, and dispense
To every man his modicum of sense,
And Conversation in its better part
May be esteem'd a gift, and not an art,
Yet much depends, as in the tiller’s toil,
On culture, and the sowing of the soil.
Words learn'd by rote a parrot may rehearse,
But talking is not always to converse;
Not more distinct from harmony divine,
The constant creaking of a country sign.
As alphabets in ivory employ,
Hour after hour, the yet unletter’d boy,
Sorting and puzzling with a deal of glee
Those seeds of science call’d his a b c;
So language in the mouths of the adult,
Witness its insignificant result,
Too often proves an implement of play,
A toy to sport with, and pass time away.
Collect at evening what the day brought forth,
Compress the sum into its solid worth,
And if it weigh the importance of a fly,
The scales are false, or algebra a lie.
Sacred interpreter of human thought,
How few respect or use thee as they ought!
But all shall give account of every wrong,
Who dare dishonour or defile the tongue;
Who prostitute it in the cause of vice,
Or sell their glory at a market-price;
Who vote for hire, or point it with lampoon,
The dear-bought placeman, and the cheap buffoon.
There is a prurience in the speech of some,
Wrath stays him, or else God would strike them dumb;
His wise forbearance has their end in view,
They fill their measure and receive their due.
The heathen lawgivers of ancient days,
Names almost worthy of a Christian’s praise,
Would drive them forth from the resort of men,
And shut up every satyr in his den.
Oh, come not ye near innocence and truth,
Ye worms that eat into the bud of youth!
Infectious as impure, your blighting power
Taints in its rudiments the promised flower;
Its odour perish’d, and its charming hue,
Thenceforth ‘tis hateful, for it smells of you.
Not e’en the vigorous and headlong rage
Of adolescence, or a firmer age,
Affords a plea allowable or just
For making speech the pamperer of lust;
But when the breath of age commits the fault,
‘Tis nauseous as the vapour of a vault.
So wither’d stumps disgrace the sylvan scene,
No longer fruitful, and no longer green;
The sapless wood, divested of the bark,
Grows fungous, and takes fire at every spark.
Oaths terminate, as Paul observes, all strife—
Some men have surely then a peaceful life!
Whatever subject occupy discourse,
The feats of Vestris, or the naval force,
Asseveration blustering in your face
Makes contradiction such a hopeless case:
In every tale they tell, or false or true,
Well known, or such as no man ever knew,
They fix attention, heedless of your pain,
With oaths like rivets forced into the brain;
And e’en when sober truth prevails throughout,
They swear it, till affirmance breeds a doubt.
A Persian, humble servant of the sun,
Who, though devout, yet bigotry had none,
Hearing a lawyer, grave in his address,
With adjurations every word impress,
Supposed the man a bishop, or at least,
God’s name so much upon his lips, a priest;
Bow’d at the close with all his graceful airs,
And begg’d an interest in his frequent prayers.
Go, quit the rank to which ye stood preferr’d,
Henceforth associate in one common herd;
Religion, virtue, reason, common sense,
Pronounce your human form a false pretence:
A mere disguise, in which a devil lurks,
Who yet betrays his secret by his works.
Ye powers who rule the tongue, if such there are,
And make colloquial happiness your care,
Preserve me from the thing I dread and hate,
A duel in the form of a debate.
The clash of arguments and jar of words,
Worse than the mortal brunt of rival swords,
Decide no question with their tedious length,
For opposition gives opinion strength,
Divert the champions prodigal of breath,
And put the peaceably disposed to death.
Oh, thwart me not, Sir Soph, at every turn,
Nor carp at every flaw you may discern;
Though syllogisms hang not on my tongue,
I am not surely always in the wrong;
‘Tis hard if all is false that I advance,
A fool must now and then be right by chance.
Not that all freedom of dissent I blame;
No—there I grant the privilege I claim.
A disputable point is no man’s ground;
Rove where you please, ‘tis common all around.
Discourse may want an animated—No,
To brush the surface, and to make it flow;
But still remember, if you mean to please,
To press your point with modesty and ease.
The mark, at which my juster aim I take,
Is contradiction for its own dear sake.
Set your opinion at whatever pitch,
Knots and impediments make something hitch;
Adopt his own, ‘tis equally in vain,
Your thread of argument is snapp’d again;
The wrangler, rather than accord with you,
Will judge himself deceived, and prove it too.
Vociferated logic kills me quite,
A noisy man is always in the right,
I twirl my thumbs, fall back into my chair,
Fix on the wainscot a distressful stare,
And, when I hope his blunders are all out,
Reply discreetly—To be sure—no doubt!
Dubius is such a scrupulous good man—
Yes—you may catch him tripping, if you can.
He would not, with a peremptory tone,
Assert the nose upon his face his own;
With hesitation admirably slow,
He humbly hopes—presumes—it may be so.
His evidence, if he were call’d by law
To swear to some enormity he saw,
For want of prominence and just relief,
Would hang an honest man and save a thief.
Though constant dread of giving truth offence,
He ties up all his hearers in suspense;
Knows what he knows as if he knew it not;
What he remembers seems to have forgot;
His sole opinion, whatsoe’er befall,
Centring at last in having none at all.
Yet, though he tease and balk your listening ear,
He makes one useful point exceeding clear;
Howe’er ingenious on his darling theme
A sceptic in philosophy may seem,
Reduced to practice, his beloved rule
Would only prove him a consummate fool;
Useless in him alike both brain and speech,
Fate having placed all truth above his reach,
His ambiguities his total sum,
He might as well be blind, and deaf, and dumb.
Where men of judgment creep and feel their way,
The positive pronounce without dismay;
Their want of light and intellect supplied
By sparks absurdity strikes out of pride.
Without the means of knowing right from wrong,
They always are decisive, clear, and strong.
Where others toil with philosophic force,
Their nimble nonsense takes a shorter course;
Flings at your head conviction in the lump,
And gains remote conclusions at a jump:
Their own defect, invisible to them,
Seen in another, they at once condemn;
And, though self-idolised in every case,
Hate their own likeness in a brother’s face.
The cause is plain, and not to be denied,
The proud are always most provoked by pride.
Few competitions but engender spite;
And those the most, where neither has a right.
The point of honour has been deem’d of use,
To teach good manners and to curb abuse:
Admit it true, the consequence is clear,
Our polish’d manners are a mask we wear,
And at the bottom barbarous still and rude;
We are restrain’d indeed, but not subdued.
The very remedy, however sure,
Springs from the mischief it intends to cure,
And savage in its principle appears,
Tried, as it should be, by the fruit it bears.
‘Tis hard, indeed, if nothing will defend
Mankind from quarrels but their fatal end;
That now and then a hero must decease,
That the surviving world may live in peace.
Perhaps at last close scrutiny may shew
The practice dastardly, and mean, and low;
That men engage in it compell’d by force;
And fear, not courage, is its proper source.
The fear of tyrant custom, and the fear
Lest fops should censure us, and fools should sneer.
At least to trample on our Maker’s laws,
And hazard life for any or no cause,
To rush into a fix’d eternal state
Out of the very flames of rage and hate,
Or send another shivering to the bar
With all the guilt of such unnatural war,
Whatever use may urge, or honour plead,
On reason’s verdict is a madman’s deed.
Am I to set my life upon a throw,
Because a bear is rude and surly? No—
A moral, sensible, and well-bred man
Will not affront me, and no other can.
Were I empower’d to regulate the lists,
They should encounter with well loaded fists;
A Trojan combat would be something new,
Let Dares beat Entellus black and blue;
Then each might shew, to his admiring friends,
In honourable bumps his rich amends,
And carry, in contusions of his skull,
A satisfactory receipt in full.
A story, in which native humour reigns,
Is often useful, always entertains:
A graver fact, enlisted on your side,
May furnish illustration, well applied;
But sedentary weavers of long tales
Give me the fidgets, and my patience fails.
‘Tis the most asinine employ on earth,
To hear them tell of parentage and birth,
And echo conversations dull and dry,
Embellish’d with—He said,—and, So said I.
At every interview their route the same,
The repetition makes attention lame:
We bustle up with unsuccessful speed,
And in the saddest part cry—Droll indeed!
The path of narrative with care pursue,
Still making probability your clue;
On all the vestiges of truth attend
And let them guide you to a decent end.
Of all ambitious man may entertain,
The worst that can invade a sickly brain,
Is that which angles hourly for surprise,
And baits its hook with prodigies and lies.
Credulous infancy, or age as weak,
Are fittest auditors for such to seek,
Who to please others will themselves disgrace,
Yet please not, but affront you to your face.
A great retailer of this curious ware,
Having unloaded and made many stare,
Can this be true?—an arch observer cries;
Yes (rather moved), I saw it with these eyes!
Sir! I believe it on that ground alone;
I could not had I seen it with my own.
A tale should be judicious, clear, succint;
The language plain, the incidents well link’d;
Tell not as new what everybody knows,
And, new or old, still hasten to a close;
There, centring in a focus round and neat,
Let all your rays of information meet.
What neither yields us profit nor delight
Is like a nurse’s lullaby at night;
Guy Earl of Warwick and fair Eleanore,
Or giant-killing Jack, would please me more.
The pipe, with solemn interposing puff,
Makes half a sentence at a time enough;
The dozing sages drop the drowsy strain,
Then pause, and puff—and speak, and pause again.
Such often, like the tube they so admire,
Important triflers! have more smoke than fire.
Pernicious weed! whose scent the fair annoys,
Unfriendly to society’s chief joys,
Thy worst effect is banishing for hours
The sex whose presence civilizes ours;
Thou art indeed the drug a gardener wants
To poison vermin that infest his plants;
But are we so to wit and beauty blind,
As to despise the glory of our kind,
And shew the softest minds and fairest forms
As little mercy as he grubs and worms?
They dare not wait the riotous abuse
Thy thirst-creating steams at length produce,
When wine has given indecent language birth,
And forced the floodgates of licentious mirth;
For seaborn Venus her attachment shews
Still to that element from which she rose,
And, with a quiet which no fumes disturb,
Sips meek infusions of a milder herb.
The emphatic speaker dearly loves to oppose,
In contact inconvenient, nose to nose,
As if the gnomon on his neighbour’s phiz,
Touch’d with the magnet, had attracted his.
His whisper’d theme, dilated and at large,
Proves after all a wind-gun’s airy charge,
An extract of his diary—no more,
A tasteless journal of the day before.
He walk’d abroad, o’ertaken in the rain,
Call’d on a friend, drank tea, stepp’d home again,
Resumed his purpose, had a world of talk
With one he stumbled on, and lost his walk.
I interrupt him with a sudden bow,
Adieu, dear sir! lest you should lose it now.
I cannot talk with civet in the room,
A fine puss gentleman that’s all perfume;
The sight’s enough—no need to smell a beau—
Who thrusts his head into a raree-show?
His odoriferous attempts to please
Perhaps might prosper with a swarm of bees;
But we that make no honey, though we sting,
Poets, are sometimes apt to maul the thing.
‘Tis wrong to bring into a mix’d resort,
What makes some sick, and others a-la-mort,
An argument of cogence, we may say,
Why such a one should keep himself away.
A graver coxcomb we may sometimes see,
Quite as absurd, though not so light as he:
A shallow brain behind a serious mask,
An oracle within an empty cask,
The solemn fop; significant and budge;
A fool with judges, amongst fools a judge.
He says but little, and that little said,
Owes all its weight, like loaded dice, to lead.
His wit invites you by his looks to come,
But when you knock, it never is at home:
‘Tis like a parcel sent you by the stage,
Some handsome present, as your hopes presage;
‘Tis heavy, bulky, and bids fair to prove
An absent friend’s fidelity and love,
But when unpack’d, your disappointment groans
To find it stuff’d with brickbats, earth, and stones.
Some men employ their health, an ugly trick,
In making known how oft they have been sick,
And give us, in recitals of disease,
A doctor’s trouble, but without the fees;
Relate how many weeks they kept their bed,
How an emetic or cathartic sped;
Nothing is slightly touch’d, much less forgot,
Nose, ears, and eyes, seem present on the spot.
Now the distemper, spite of draught or pill,
Victorious seem’d, and now the doctor’s skill;
And now—alas for unforeseen mishaps!
They put on a damp nightcap, and relapse;
They thought they must have died, they were so bad:
Their peevish hearers almost wish they had.
Some fretful tempers wince at every touch,
You always do too little or too much:
You speak with life, in hopes to entertain,
Your elevated voice goes through the brain;
You fall at once into a lower key,
That’s worse—the drone-pipe of an humble-bee.
The southern sash admits too strong a light,
You rise and drop the curtain—now ‘tis night.
He shakes with cold—you stir the fire and strive
To make blaze—that’s roasting him alive.
Serve him with venison, and he wishes fish;
With sole—that’s just the sort he would not wish.
He takes what he at first profess’d to loathe,
And in due time feeds heartily on both;
Yet still, o’erclouded with a constant frown,
He does not swallow, but he gulps it down.
Your hope to please him vain on every plan,
Himself should work that wonder if he can—
Alas! his efforts double his distress,
He likes yours little, and his own still less.
Thus always teasing others, always teased,
His only pleasure is to be displeased.
I pity bashful men, who feel the pain
Of fancied scorn and undeserved disdain,
And bear the marks upon a blushing face
Of needless shame and self-imposed disgrace.
Our sensibilities are so acute,
The fear of being silent makes us mute.
We sometimes think we could a speech produce
Much to the purpose, if our tongues were loose;
But, being tried, it dies upon the lip,
Faint as a chicken’s note that has the pip:
Our wasted oil unprofitably burns,
Like hidden lamps in old sepulchral urns.
Few Frenchmen of this evil have complain’d;
It seems as if we Britons were ordain’d,
By way of wholesome curb upon our pride,
To fear each other, fearing none beside.
The cause perhaps inquiry may descry,
Self-searching with an introverted eye,
Conceal’d within an unsuspected part,
The vainest corner of our own vain heart:
For ever aiming at the world’s esteem,
Our self-importance ruins its own scheme;
In other eyes our talents rarely shewn,
Become at length so splendid in our own,
We dare not risk them into public view,
Lest they miscarry of what seems their due.
True modesty is a discerning grace,
And only blushes in the proper place;
But counterfeit is blind, and skulks through fear,
Where ‘tis a shame to be ashamed to appear:
Humility the parent of the first,
The last by vanity produced and nursed.
The circle form’d, we sit in silent state,
Like figures drawn upon a dial-plate;
Yes, ma’am, and No, ma’am, utter’d softly, shew
Every five minutes how the minutes go;
Each individual, suffering a constraint
Poetry may, but colours cannot, paint;
And, if in close committee on the sky,
Reports it hot or cold, or wet or dry;
And finds a changing clime a happy source
Of wise reflection and well-timed discourse.
We next inquire, but softly and by stealth,
Like conservators of the public health,
Of epidemic throats, if such there are,
And coughs, and rheums, and phthisic, and catarrh.
That theme exhausted, a wide chasm ensues,
Fill’d up at last with interesting news;
Who danced with whom, and who are like to wed,
And who is hang’d, and who is brought to bed:
But fear to call a more important cause,
As if ‘twere treason against English laws.
The visit paid, with ecstacy we come,
As from a seven years’ transportation, home,
And there resume an unembarrass’d brow,
Recovering what we lost, we know not how,
The faculties that seem’d reduced to nought,
Expression and the privilege of thought.
The reeking, roaring hero of the chase,
I give him over as a desperate case.
Physicians write in hopes to work a cure,
Never, if honest ones, when death is sure;
And though the fox he follows may be tamed,
A mere fox-follower never is reclaim’d.
Some farrier should prescribe his proper course,
Whose only fit companion is his horse;
Or if, deserving of a better doom,
The noble beast judge otherwise, his groom.
Yet e’en the rogue that serves him, though he stand
To take his honour’s orders, cap in hand,
Prefers his fellow grooms with much good sense,
Their skill a truth, his master’s a pretence.
If neither horse nor groom affect the ‘squire,
Where can at last his jockeyship retire?
Oh, to the club, the scene of savage joys,
The school of coarse good fellowship and noise;
There, in the sweet society of those
Whose friendship from his boyish years he chose,
Let him improve his talent if he can,
Till none but beasts acknowledge him a man.
Man’s heart had been impenetrably seal’d,
Like theirs that cleave the flood or graze the field,
Had not his Maker’s all-bestowing hand
Given him a soul, and bade him understand;
The reasoning power vouchsafed, of course inferr’d
The power to clothe that reason with his word;
For all is perfect that God works on earth,
And he that gives conception aids the birh.
If this be plain, ‘tis plainly understood,
What uses of his boon the Giver would.
The mind despatch’d upon her busy toil,
Should range where Providence has bless’d the soil;
Visiting every flower with labour meet,
And gathering all her treasures sweet by sweet,
She should imbue the tongue with what she sips,
And shed the balmy blessing on the lips,
That good diffused may more abundant grow,
And speech may praise the power that bids it flow.
Will the sweet warbler of the livelong night,
That fills the listening lover with delight,
Forget his harmony, with rapture heard,
To learn the twittering of a meaner bird?
Or make the parrot’s mimicry his choice,
That odious libel on a human voice?
No—nature, unsophisticate by man,
Starts not aside from her Creator’s plan;
The melody, that was at first design’d
To cheer the rude forefathers of mankind,
Is note for note deliver’d in our ears,
In the last scene of her six thousand years.
Yet Fashion, leader of a chattering train,
Whom man for his own hurt permits to reign,
Who shifts and changes all things but his shape,
And would degrade her votary to an ape,
The fruitful parent of abuse and wrong,
Holds a usurp’d dominion o’er his tongue;
There sits and prompts him with his own disgrace,
Prescribes the theme, the tone, and the grimace,
And, when accomplish’d in her wayward school,
Calls gentleman whom she has made a fool.
‘Tis an unalterable fix’d decree,
That none could frame or ratify but she,
That heaven and hell, and righteousness and sin,
Snares in his path, and foes that lurk within,
God and his attributes (a field of day
Where ‘tis an angel’s happiness to stray),
Fruits of his love and wonders of his might,
Be never named in ears esteem’d polite;
That he who dares, when she forbids, be grave,
Shall stand proscribed, a madman or a knave,
A close designer not to be believed,
Or, if excused that charge, at least deceived.
Oh, folly worthy of the nurse’s lap,
Give it the breast, or stop its mouth with pap!
Is it incredible, or can it seem
A dream to any except those that dream,
That man should love his Maker, and that fire,
Warming his heart, should at his lips transpire?
Know then, and modestly let fall your eyes,
And veil your daring crest that braves the skies;
That air of insolence affronts your God,
You need his pardon, and provoke his rod:
Now, in a posture that becomes you more
Than that heroic strut assumed before,
Know, your arrears with every hour accrue
For mercy shewn, while wrath is justly due.
The time is short, and there are souls on earth,
Though future pain may serve for present mirth,
Acquainted with the woes that fear or shame,
By fashion taught, forbade them once to name,
And, having felt the pangs you deem a jest,
Have proved them truths too big to be express’d.
Go seek on revelation’s hallow’d ground,
Sure to succeed, the remedy they found;
Touch’d by that power that you have dared to mock,
That makes seas stable, and dissolves the rock,
Your heart shall yield a life-renewing stream,
That fools, as you have done, shall call a dream.
It happen’d on a solemn eventide,
Soon after He that was our surety died,
Two bosom friends, each pensively inclined,
The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Sought their own village, busied as they went
In musings worthy of the great event:
They spake of Him they loved, of Him whose life,
Though blameless, had incurr’d perpetual strife,
Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts,
A deep memorial graven on their hearts.
The recollection, like a vein of ore,
The farther traced, enrich’d them still the more;
They thought him, and they justly thought him, one
Sent to do more than he appear’d to have done;
To exalt a people, and to place them high,
Above all else, and wonder’d he should die.
Ere yet they brought their journey to an end,
A stranger join’d them, courteous as a friend,
And ask’d them, with a kind engaging air,
What their affliction was, and begg’d a share.
Inform’d, he gather’d up the broken thread,
And, truth and wisdom gracing all he said,
Explain’d, illustrated, and search’d so well
The tender theme on which they chose to dwell,
That, reaching home, the night, they said, is near,
We must not now be parted, sojourn here—
The new acquaintance soon became a guest,
And, made so welcome at their simple feast,
He bless’d the bread, but vanish’d at the word.
And left them both exclaiming, ‘Twas the Lord!
Did not our hearts feel all he deign’d to say,
Did they not burn within us by the way?
Now theirs was converse, such as it behoves
Man to maintain, and such as God approves:
Their views indeed were indistinct and dim,
But yet successful, being aim’d at him.
Christ and his character their only scope,
Their object, and their subject, and their hope,
They felt what it became them much to feel,
And, wanting him to loose the sacred seal,
Found him as prompt as their desire was true,
To spread the new-born glories in their view.
Well—what are ages and the lapse of time
Match’d against truths, as lasting as sublime?
Can length of years on God himself exact?
Or make that fiction which was once a fact?
No—marble and recording brass decay,
And, like the graver’s memory, pass away;
The works of man inherit, as is just,
Their author’s frailty, and return to dust:
But truth divine for ever stands secure,
Its head is guarded as its base is sure:
Fix’d in the rolling flood of endless years,
The pillar of the eternal plan appears,
The raving storm and dashing wave defies,
Built by that Architect who built the skies.
Hearts may be found, that harbour at this hour
That love of Christ, and all its quickening power;
And lips unstain’d by folly or by strife,
Whose wisdom, drawn from the deep well of life,
Tastes of its healthful origin, and flows
A Jordan for the ablution of our woes.
Oh, days of heaven, and nights of equal praise,
Serene and peaceful as those heavenly days,
When souls drawn upwards in communion sweet
Enjoy the stillness of some close retreat,
Discourse, as if released and safe at home,
Of dangers past, and wonders yet to come,
And spread the sacred treasures of the breast
Upon the lap of covenanted rest!
What, always dreaming over heavenly things,
Like angel-heads in stone with pigeon-wings?
Canting and whining out all day the word,
And half the night?—fanatic and absurd!
Mine be the friend less frequent in his prayers,
Who makes no bustle with his soul’s affairs,
Whose wit can brighten up a wintry day,
And chase the splenetic dull hours away;
Content on earth in earthly things to shine,
Who waits for heaven ere he becomes divine,
Leaves saints to enjoy those altitudes they teach,
And plucks the fruit placed more within his reach.
Well spoken, advocate of sin and shame,
Known by thy bleating, Ignorance thy name.
Is sparkling wit the world’s exclusive right?
The fix’d fee-simple of the vain and light?
Can hopes of heaven, bright prospects of an hour,
That come to waft us out of sorrow’s power,
Obscure or quench a faculty that finds
Its happiest soil in the serenest minds?
Religion curbs indeed its wanton play,
And brings the trifler under rigorous sway,
But gives it usefulness unknown before,
And purifying, makes it shine the more,
A Christian’s wit is inoffensive light,
A beam that aids, but never grieves the sight;
Vigorous in age as in the flush of youth;
‘Tis always active on the side of truth;
Temperance and peace insure its healthful state,
And make it brightest at its latest date.
Oh, I have seen (nor hope perhaps in vain,
Ere life go down, to see such sights again)
A veteran warrior in the Christian field,
Who never saw the sword he could not wield;
Grave without dulness, learned without pride,
Exact, yet not precise, though meek, keen-eyed;
A man that would have foil’d at their own play
A dozen would-be’s of the modern day;
Who, when occasion justified its use,
Had wit as bright as ready to produce,
Could fetch from records of an earlier age,
Or from philosophy’s enlighten’d page,
His rich materials, and regale your ear
With strains it was a privilege to hear:
Yet above all his luxury supreme,
And his chief glory, was the gospel theme;
There he was copious as old Greece or Rome,
His happy eloquence seem’d there at home,
Ambitious not to shine or to excel,
But to treat justly what he loved so well.
It moves me more perhaps than folly ought,
When some green heads, as void of wit as thought,
Suppose themselves monopolists of sense,
And wiser men’s ability pretence.
Though time will wear us, and we must grow old,
Such men are not forgot as soon as cold,
Their fragrant memory will outlast their tomb,
Embalm’d for ever in its own perfume.
And to say truth, though in its early prime,
And when unstain’d with any grosser crime,
Youth has a sprightliness and fire to boast,
That in the valley of decline are lost,
And virtue with peculiar charms appears,
Crown’d with the garland of life’s blooming years;
Yet age, by long experience well inform’d,
Well read, well temper’d, with religion warm’d,
That fire abated which impels rash youth,
Proud of his speed, to overshoot the truth,
As time improves the grape’s authentic juice,
Mellows and makes the speech more fit for use,
And claims a reverence in its shortening day,
That ‘tis an honour and a joy to pay.
The fruits of age, less fair, are yet more sound,
Than those a brighter season pours around;
And, like the stores autumnal suns mature,
Through wintry rigours unimpair’d endure.
What is fanatic frenzy, scorn’d so much,
And dreaded more than a contagious touch?
I grant it dangerous, and approve your fear,
That fire is catching, if you draw too near;
But sage observers oft mistake the flame,
And give true piety that odious name.
To tremble (as the creature of an hour
Ought at the view of an almighty power)
Before His presence, at whose awful throne
All tremble in all worlds, except our own,
To supplicate his mercy, love his ways,
And prize them above pleasure, wealth, or praise,
Though common sense, allow’d a casting voice,
And free from bias, must approve the choice,
Convicts a man fanatic in the extreme,
And wild as madness in the world’s esteem.
But that disease, when soberly defined,
Is the false fire of an o’erheated mind;
It views the truth with a distorted eye,
And either warps or lays it useless by;
‘Tis narrow, selfish, arrogant, and draws
Its sordid nourishment from man’s applause;
And, while at heart sin unrelinquish’d lies,
Presumes itself chief favourite of the skies.
‘Tis such a light as putrefaction breeds
In fly-blown flesh, whereon the maggot feeds,
Shines in the dark, but, usher’d into day,
The stench remains, the lustre dies away.
True bliss, if man may reach it, is composed
Of hearts in union mutually disclosed;
And, farewell else all hope of pure delight,
Those hearts should be reclaim’d, renew’d, upright.
Bad men, profaning friendship’s hallow’d name,
Form, in its stead, a covenant of shame.
A dark confederacy against the laws
Of virtue, and religion’s glorious cause.
They build each other up with dreadful skill,
As bastions set point-blank against God’s will;
Enlarge and fortify the dread redoubt,
Deeply resolved to shut a Saviour out;
Call legions up from hell to back the deed;
And, cursed with conquest, finally succeed.
But souls, that carry on a blest exchange
Of joys they meet with in their heavenly range,
And with a fearless confidence make known
The sorrows sympathy esteems its own,
Daily derive increasing light and force
From such communion in their pleasant course,
Feel less the journey’s roughness and its length,
Meet their opposers with united strength,
And, one in heart, in interest, and design,
Gird up each other to the race divine.
But Conversation, choose what theme we may,
And chiefly when religion leads the way,
Should flow, like waters after summer showers,
Not as if raised by mere mechanic powers.
The Christian, in whose soul, though now distress’d,
Lives the dear thought of joys he once possess’d,
When all his glowing language issued forth
With God’s deep stamp upon its current worth,
Will speak without disguise, and must impart,
Sad as it is, his undissembling heart,
Abhors constraint, and dares not feign a zeal,
Or seem to boast a fire, he does not feel.
The song of Sion is a tasteless thing,
Unless, when rising on a joyful wing,
The soul can mix with the celestial bands,
And give the strain the compass it demands.
Strange tidings these to tell a world, who treat
All but their own experience as deceit!
Will they believe, though credulous enough
To swallow much upon much weaker proof,
That there are blest inhabitants of earth,
Partakers of a new ethereal birth,
Their hopes, desires, and purposes estranged
From things terrestrial, and divinely changed,
Their very language of a kind that speaks
The soul’s sure interest in the good she seeks,
Who deal with Scripture, its importance felt,
As Tully with philosophy once dealt,
And, in the silent watches of the night,
And through the scenes of toil-renewing light,
The social walk, or solitary ride,
Keep still the dear companion at their side?
No—shame upon a self-disgracing age,
God’s work may serve an ape upon a stage
With such a jest as fill’d with hellish glee
Certain invisibles as shrewd as he;
But veneration or respect finds none,
Save from the subjects of that work alone.
The World grown old, her deep discernment shews,
Claps spectacles on her sagacious nose,
Peruses closely the true Christian’s face,
And finds it a mere mask of sly grimace;
Usurps God’s office, lays his bosom bare,
And finds hypocrisy close lurking there;
And, serving God herself through mere constraint,
Concludes his unfeign’d love of him a feint.
And yet, God knows, look human nature through
(And in due time the world shall know it too),
That since the flowers of Eden felt the blast,
That after man’s defection laid all waste,
Sincerity towards the heart-searching God
Has made the new-born creature her abode,
Nor shall be found in unregenerate souls
Till the last fire burn all between the poles.
Sincerity! why ‘tis his only pride,
Weak and imperfect in all grace beside,
He knows that God demands his heart entire,
And gives him all his just demands require.
Without it, his pretensions were as vain
As, having it, he deems the world’s disdain;
That great defect would cost him not alone
Man’s favourable judgment, but his own;
His birthright shaken, and no longer clear
Than while his conduct proves his heart sincere.
Retort the charge, and let the world be told
She boasts a confidence she does not hold;
That, conscious of her crimes, she feels instead
A cold misgiving and a killing dread:
That while in health the ground of her support
Is madly to forget that life is short;
That sick she trembles, knowing she must die,
Her hope presumption, and her faith a lie;
That while she dotes and dreams that she believes,
She mocks her Maker and herself deceives,
Her utmost reach, historical assent,
The doctrines warp’d to what they never meant;
That truth itself is in her head as dull
And useless as a candle in a skull,
And all her love of God a groundless claim,
A trick upon the canvas, painted flame.
Tell her again, the sneer upon her face,
And all her censures of the work of grace,
Are insincere, meant only to conceal
A dread she would not, yet is forced to feel;
That in her heart the Christian she reveres,
And, while she seems to scorn him, only fears.
A poet does not work by square or line,
As smiths and joiners perfect a design;
At least we moderns, our attention less,
Beyond the example of our sires digress,
And claim a right to scamper and run wide,
Wherever chance, caprice, or fancy guide.
The world and I fortuitously met;
I owed a trifle, and have paid the debt;
She did me wrong, I recompensed the deed,
And, having struck the balance, now proceed.
Perhaps, however, as some years have pass’d
Since she and I conversed together last,
And I have lived recluse in rural shades,
Which seldom a distinct report pervades,
Great changes and new manners have occurr’d,
And blest reforms that I have never heard,
And she may now be as discreet and wise,
As once absurd in all discerning eyes.
Sobriety perhaps may now be found
Where once intoxication press’d the ground;
The subtle and injurious may be just,
And he grown chaste that was the slave of lust;
Arts once esteem’d may be with shame dismiss’d:
Charity may relax the miser’s fist;
The gamester may have cast his cards away,
Forgot to curse, and only kneel to pray.
It has indeed been told me (with what weight,
How credibly, ‘tis hard for me to state),
That fables old, that seem’d for ever mute,
Revived, are hastening into fresh repute,
And gods and goddesses, discarded long,
Like useless lumber or a stroller’s song,
Are bringing into vogue their heathen train,
And Jupiter bids fair to rule again;
That certain feasts are instituted now,
Where Venus hears the lover’s tender vow;
That all Olympus through the country roves,
To consecrate our few remaining groves,
And Echo learns politely to repeat
The praise of names for ages obsolete;
That, having proved the weakness, it should seem,
Of revelations ineffectual beam,
To bring the passions under sober sway,
And give the moral springs their proper play,
They mean to try what may at last be done,
By stout substantial gods of wood and stone,
And whether Roman rites may not produce
The virtues of old Rome for English use.
May such success attend the pious plan,
May Mercury once more embellish man.
Grace him again with long-forgotten arts,
Reclaim his taste, and brighten up his parts,
Make him athletic as in days of old,
Learn’d at the bar, in the palaestra bold,
Divest the rougher sex of female airs,
And teach the softer not to copy theirs:
The change shall please, nor shall it matter aught,
Who works the wonder, if it be but wrought.
‘Tis time, however, if the case stands thus,
For us plain folks, and all who side with us,
To build our altar, confident and bold,
And say, as stern Elijah said of old,
The strife now stands upon a fair award,
If Israel’s Lord be God, then serve the Lord:
If he be silent, faith is all a whim,
Then Baal is the God, and worship him.
Digression is so much in modern use,
Thought is so rare, and fancy so profuse,
Some never seem so wide of their intent,
As when returning to the theme they meant;
As mendicants, whose business is to roam,
Make every parish but their own their home.
Though such continual zig-zags in a book,
Such drunken reelings have an awkward look,
And I had rather creep to what is true,
Than rove and stagger with no mark in view;
Yet to consult a little, seem’d no crime,
The freakish humour of the present time:
But now to gather up what seems dispersed,
And touch the subject I design’d at first,
May prove, though much beside the rules of art,
Best for the public, and my wisest part.
And first, let no man charge me, that I mean
To clothe in sable every social scene,
And give good company a face severe,
As if they met around a father’s bier;
For tell some men that, pleasure all their bent,
And laughter all their work, is life misspent,
Their wisdom bursts into this sage reply,
Then mirth is sin, and we should always cry.
To find the medium asks some share of wit,
And therefore ‘tis a mark fools never hit.
But though life’s valley be a vale of tears,
A brighter scene beyond that vale appears,
Whose glory, with a light that never fades,
Shoots between scatter’d rocks and opening shades,
And, while it shews the land the soul desires,
The language of the land she seeks inspires.
Thus touch’d, the tongue receives a sacred cure
Of all that was absurd, profane, impure;
Held within modest bounds, the tide of speech
Pursues the course that truth and nature teach;
No longer labours merely to produce
The pomp of sound, or tinkle without use:
Where’er it winds, the salutary stream,
Sprightly and fresh, enriches every theme,
While all the happy man possess’d before,
The gift of nature, or the classic store,
Is made subservient to the grand design,
For which Heaven form’d the faculty divine.
So, should an idiot, while at large he strays,
Find the sweet lyre on which an artist plays,
With rash and awkward force the chords he shakes,
And grins with wonder at the jar he makes;
But let the wise and well-instructed hand
Once take the shell beneath his just command,
In gentle sounds it seems as it complain’d
Of the rude injuries it late sustain’d,
Till, tuned at length to some immortal song,
It sounds Jehovah’s name, and pours his praise along.

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We Are From The East

we are from the east
our clothes are saffrons
we smell incense

you are from the west
on metal clothes and
piercing lances
you bring to us the sound
of our horrible machines

we are amazed how we
see your power that sounds
like thunder
death tolls in numbers increasing
we want to like all of you
but for now we can't

we are still burying our dead.

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Overhearing How They Are From Others

Why do some people hold grudges,
And maintain negative attitudes...
Towards others who may not remember them.
Or may be a close friend,
Of the one innocently victimized?

This makes little sense.
But there is a reality of this in existence.
And many people have not met,
The ones they dislike and disrespect.
Just 'overhearing' how they are from others,
Is enough for some to pass their judgements.

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Love Sonnet 10: My Waking Hours Are Now Engulfed In Dreams

My waking hours are now engulfed in dreams,
Reality became a twilight maze,
An interlude between silvery beams,
And tropic sun's scorching, hot, blinding blaze;
As shroud of night darkens to shadows deep,
And dark blue skies acquire a sleepy hue,
I'm lulled to sleep like babe in mother's keep,
While I pretend as whispered to by you;
The scent of thousand blooms pervades the air,
When your presence is wafted all around,
Where else should beauty dwell, if to be fair,
If not in face of yours where it is found;
......It has been said, beauty is joy, just fine,
......I wish, that thing of beauty to be mine.

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Making love with art, religion, philosophy, putting passion in all the proper places of the earth...

i made love to books
kissed each page
hugged each chapter like
no other
licked all its covers
slept with it for years

and i made love to
a career
all years showered without spare
my hours are dissertations
all days marked with treatises
all hours danced with
possibilities about a new realm
of academic stairs

i wore caps, those black ones
i was obsessed with black robes
tickling life
with probes

murdering the birth of lofty desires
my life is miserable
without the passion with you

your body i have drawn in canvass
and i throw away all paints
and Chinese brushes burned

your gaze i sculpted on a tree
and the tree was cut
turned into firewood
ashed...

passion is still there wiggling
like blood in the veins of my arms
pulsating like a breathing salamander
on the ceiling

the room breathes at me
the bed creaks
because i am lying about myself
and suppressed what should have been more

passionate on the grass
and the shores of the white sandy beaches
somewhere in my dreams
the wildest ones

but i learned a lot of wisdom then
got an A+ on restraint
cooling down
like winter ice like beautiful crystals
on my palm

and i learned where to put passion
somewhere
where i can be perfect again like
the gods of the witty wind

i made love to books
ejaculated on each page
licked each hard page

and i have learned to live
my life
like a gentleman in the room
where faces of men
are straight like Gibraltar pillars

their arms made of marble
their minds
solid as steel and i do not stop
to put where passion must be put
in the proper places of this earth

i made love to mountains
kissed the fog
and licked each cloud
slept on cliffs and
got high
on the wings of the birds of my
youth and
imagination

i am entangled on the white thighs
of poetry

my soul my body my hands
made captive
all century....

and i made love with freedom
penetrated love,
ate passion
chewed religion
and i made love with art and i made love
with philosophy

and now, everyone loves me
or at least that is what
i think to be....

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if you are on the same boat with me. Come.

as you read these lines
(let me tell you, there is nothing
significant, and i may advise you
to quit and may even ask
that you write your own
instead
it may be good for you
than continue to read
on the next line...

why not write
something about yourself and the
full moon and the lonely tree
that needs badly a
good company to pass the dark
night away)

why not just be
on your own,
solitude and self-introspection?
the secret journey to your heart
looking for
the place that is only for you

happiness, right?
eternal bliss, how about it?

you are curious about my boredom
the ennui of the century
perhaps you like to know how i deal
with the numbness of my being

every night every day
when slowly i die and feel so excited
about ending this ordeal and

how i cope with it

yes, the it.
this it. my it. this self....

attempting on
writing lines

whatever lines that come into my mind
words that try to please my senses
symbols that give me hope
figures of gods who may be able to say
something wise and
inspiring,
images. lots of images...

the image of the wind
on the wings of the seagulls

the colors changing on the horizon
like a swab of orange and red and black
or blood

or pastel green on the shadows of the hills
or the brightness of the sun when i stare at it and hurt my eyes
and then i close them
and see this world as all red
bursting red
like a sunset coming
and then fading away like a song
of a flute faraway


i wish i could stop writing
i wish that i could get a nice sleep
a restive mind
a peaceful state
a harmony of all my sense
up and down

but nothing seems to work right for me
i tried to sing the songs of love
but my ears say

liar! you do not have love in your heart
you do not know the feeling anymore

i tried drawing my thoughts and putting bright colors
on the images of green fields and blues skies
and stars and even seven moons of the other planets
but always they end up so displeasing

i am looking for the meaning of my life and if you are
on the same boat with me
then come and take the ride
on the stormy sea
no lamplight
no island to land
no north star to guide us


i ask you to quit reading but you are just like me
hardheaded human being insisting that there is meaning to all these
and the inability to stop
and be a quitter

quieter, i mean.
hopefully.

in the silence of the cat's feet
cautiously catching another prey
let me stop now. quit me.

Look at the sky. Do you see stars?

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An Epistle to the Earl of Burlington

How happy you! who varied joys pursue;
And every hour presents you something new!
Plans, schemes, and models, all Palladio's art,
For six long months have gain'd upon your heart;
Of collonades, of corridors you talk,
The winding staircase and the cover'd walk;
You blend the orders with Vitruvian toil,
And raise with wond'rous joy the fancy'd pile:
But the dull workman's slow-performing hand
But coldly executes his lord's command.
With dirt and mortar soon you grow displeas'd,
Planting succeeds, and avenues are rais'd,
Canals are cut, and mountains level made,
Bow'rs of retreat, and galleries of shade;
The shaven turf presents a lively green;
The bordering flowers in mystic knots are seen:
With studied art on nature you refine --
The spring beheld you warm in this design,
But scarce the cold attacks your fav'rite trees,
Your inclination fails, and wishes freeze:
You quit the grove so lately you admir'd;
With other views your eager hopes are fir'd;
Post to the city you direct your way;
Not blooming paradise could bribe your stay:
Ambition shows you power's brightest side,
'Tis meanly poor in solitude to hide:
Though certain pains attend the cares of state,
A good man owes his country to be great;
Should act abroad the high distinguish'd part,
Or show at least the purpose of his heart.
With thoughts like these the shining courts you seek,
Full of new projects for almost a week;
You then despise the tinsel-glittering snare,
Think vile mankind below a serious care.
Life is too short for any distant aim;
And cold the dull reward of future fame:
Be happy then, while yet you have to live;
And love is all the blessing Heav'n can give.
Fir'd by new passion you address the fair,
Survey the opera as a gay parterre;
Young Chloe's bloom had made you certain prize,
But for a sidelong glance from Celia's eyes:
Your beating heart acknowledges her pow'r;
Your eager eyes her lovely form devour;
You feel the poison swelling in your breast,
And all your soul by fond desire possess'd.
In dying sighs a long three hours are past;
To some assembly with impatient haste,
With trembling hope, and doubtful fear, you move,
Resolv'd to tempt your fate, and own your love:
But there Belinda meets you on the stairs,
Easy her shape, attracting all her airs;
A smile she gives, and with a smile can wound;
Her melting voice hath music in the sound;
Her every motion wears resistless grace;
Wit in her mien, and pleasure in her face:
Here while you vow eternity of love,
Chloe and Celia unregarded move.
Thus on the sands of Afric's burning plains,
However deeply made, no long impress remains;
The slightest leaf can leave its figure there;
The strongest form is scatter'd by the air.
So yielding the warm temper of your mind,
So touch'd by every eye, so toss'd by wind;
Oh! how unlike the Heav'n my soul design'd!
Unseen, unheard, the throng around me move;
Not wishing praise, insensible of love;
No whispers soften, nor no beauties fire;
Careless I see the dance, and coldly hear the lyre.
So num'rous herds are driv'n o'er the rock;
No print is left of all the passing flock:
So sings the wind around the solid stone;
So vainly beat the waves with fruitless moan.
Tedious the toil, and great the workman's care,
Who dare attempt to fix impressions there:
But should some swain, more skilful than the rest,
Engrave his name upon this marble breast,
Not rolling ages could deface that name;
Through all the storms of life 'tis still the same:
Though length of years with moss may shade the ground,
Deep, though unseen, remains the secret wound.

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William Makepeace Thackeray

The Legend Of St. Sophia Of Kioff

I.

[The Poet describes the city and spelling of Kiow, Kioff, or Kiova.]

A thousand years ago, or more,
A city filled with burghers stout,
And girt with ramparts round about,
Stood on the rocky Dnieper shore.
In armor bright, by day and night,
The sentries they paced to and fro.
Well guarded and walled was this town, and called
By different names, I'd have you to know;
For if you looks in the g'ography books,
In those dictionaries the name it varies,
And they write it off Kieff or Kioff, Kiova or Kiow.


II.

[Its buildings, public works, and ordinances, religious and civil.]

Thus guarded without by wall and redoubt,
Kiova within was a place of renown,
With more advantages than in those dark ages
Were commonly known to belong to a town.
There were places and squares, and each year four fairs,
And regular aldermen and regular lord-mayors;
And streets, and alleys, and a bishop's palace;
And a church with clocks for the orthodox—
With clocks and with spires, as religion desires;
And beadles to whip the bad little boys
Over their poor little corduroys,
In service-time, when they DIDN'T make a noise;
And a chapter and dean, and a cathedral-green
With ancient trees, underneath whose shades
Wandered nice young nursery-maids.

[The poet shows how a certain priest dwelt at Kioff, a godly
clergyman, and one that preached rare good sermons.]

Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-ding-a-ring-ding,
The bells they made a merry merry ring,
From the tall tall steeple; and all the people
(Except the Jews) came and filled the pews—
Poles, Russians and Germans,
To hear the sermons
Which HYACINTH preached godly to those Germans and Poles,
For the safety of their souls.


III.

[How this priest was short and fat of body;]

A worthy priest he was and a stout—
You've seldom looked on such a one;
For, though he fasted thrice in a week,
Yet nevertheless his skin was sleek;
His waist it spanned two yards about
And he weighed a score of stone.


IV.

[And like unto the author of 'Plymley's Letters.']

A worthy priest for fasting and prayer
And mortification most deserving;
And as for preaching beyond compare,
He'd exert his powers for three or four hours,
With greater pith than Sydney Smith
Or the Reverend Edward Irving.


V.

[Of what convent he was prior, and when the convent was built.]

He was the prior of Saint Sophia
(A Cockney rhyme, but no better I know)—
Of St. Sophia, that Church in Kiow,
Built by missionaries I can't tell when;
Who by their discussions converted the Russians,
And made them Christian men.


VI.

[Of Saint Sophia of Kioff; and how her statue miraculously
travelled thither.]

Sainted Sophia (so the legend vows)
With special favor did regard this house;
And to uphold her converts' new devotion
Her statue (needing but her legs for HER ship)
Walks of itself across the German Ocean;
And of a sudden perches
In this the best of churches,
Whither all Kiovites come and pay it grateful worship.


VII.

[And how Kioff should have been a happy city; but that]

Thus with her patron-saints and pious preachers
Recorded here in catalogue precise,
A goodly city, worthy magistrates,
You would have thought in all the Russian states
The citizens the happiest of all creatures,—
The town itself a perfect Paradise.


VIII.

[Certain wicked Cossacks did besiege it,]

No, alas! this well-built city
Was in a perpetual fidget;
For the Tartars, without pity,
Did remorselessly besiege it.

Tartars fierce, with sword and sabres,
Huns and Turks, and such as these,
Envied much their peaceful neighbors
By the blue Borysthenes.

[Murdering the citizens,]

Down they came, these ruthless Russians,
From their steppes, and woods, and fens,
For to levy contributions
On the peaceful citizens.

Winter, Summer, Spring, and Autumn,
Down they came to peaceful Kioff,
Killed the burghers when they caught 'em,
If their lives they would not buy off.

[Until they agreed to pay a tribute yearly.]

Till the city, quite confounded
By the ravages they made,
Humbly with their chief compounded,
And a yearly tribute paid.

[How they paid the tribute, and suddenly refused it,]

Which (because their courage lax was)
They discharged while they were able:
Tolerated thus the tax was,
Till it grew intolerable,

[To the wonder of the Cossack envoy.]

And the Calmuc envoy sent,
As before to take their dues all,
Got, to his astonishment,
A unanimous refusal!

[Of a mighty gallant speech]

'Men of Kioff!' thus courageous
Did the stout lord-mayor harangue them,
'Wherefore pay these sneaking wages
To the hectoring Russians? hang them!

[That the lord-mayor made,]

'Hark! I hear the awful cry of
Our forefathers in their graves;
''Fight, ye citizens of Kioff!
Kioff was not made for slaves.'

[Exhorting the burghers to pay no longer.]

'All too long have ye betrayed her;
Rouse, ye men and aldermen,
Send the insolent invader—
Send him starving back again.'


IX.

[Of their thanks and heroic resolves.]

He spoke and he sat down; the people of the town,
Who were fired with a brave emulation,
Now rose with one accord, and voted thanks unto the lord-
Mayor for his oration:

[They dismiss the envoy, and set about drilling.]

The envoy they dismissed, never placing in his fist
So much as a single shilling;
And all with courage fired, as his lordship he desired,
At once set about their drilling.

[Of the City guard: viz. Militia, dragoons, and bombardiers, and
their commanders.]

Then every city ward established a guard,
Diurnal and nocturnal:
Militia volunteers, light dragoons, and bombardiers,
With an alderman for colonel.

[Of the majors and captains.]

There was muster and roll-calls, and repairing city walls,
And filling up of fosses:
And the captains and the majors, gallant and courageous,
A-riding about on their hosses.

[The fortifications and artillery.]

To be guarded at all hours they built themselves watch-towers,
With every tower a man on;
And surely and secure, each from out his embrasure,
Looked down the iron cannon!

[Of the conduct of the actors and the clergy.]

A battle-song was writ for the theatre, where it
Was sung with vast energy
And rapturous applause; and besides, the public cause,
Was supported by the clergy.

The pretty ladies'-maids were pinning of cockades,
And tying on of sashes;
And dropping gentle tears, while their lovers bluster'd fierce,
About gunshot and gashes;

[Of the ladies;]

The ladies took the hint, and all day were scraping lint,
As became their softer genders;
And got bandages and beds for the limbs and for the heads
Of the city's brave defenders.

[And, finally, of the taylors.]

The men, both young and old, felt resolute and bold,
And panted hot for glory;
Even the tailors 'gan to brag, and embroidered on their flag,
'AUT WINCERE AUT MORI.'


X.

[Of the Cossack chief,—his stratagem;]

Seeing the city's resolute condition,
The Cossack chief, too cunning to despise it,
Said to himself, 'Not having ammunition
Wherewith to batter the place in proper form,
Some of these nights I'll carry it by storm,
And sudden escalade it or surprise it.

[And the burghers' sillie victorie.]

'Let's see, however, if the cits stand firmish.'
He rode up to the city gates; for answers,
Out rushed an eager troop of the town elite,
And straightway did begin a gallant skirmish:
The Cossack hereupon did sound retreat,
Leaving the victory with the city lancers.

[What prisoners they took,]

They took two prisoners and as many horses,
And the whole town grew quickly so elate
With this small victory of their virgin forces,
That they did deem their privates and commanders
So many Caesars, Pompeys, Alexanders,
Napoleons, or Fredericks the Great.

[And how conceited they were.]

And puffing with inordinate conceit
They utterly despised these Cossack thieves;
And thought the ruffians easier to beat
Than porters carpets think, or ushers boys.
Meanwhile, a sly spectator of their joys,
The Cossack captain giggled in his sleeves.

[Of the Cossack chief,—his orders;]

'Whene'er you meet yon stupid city hogs.'
(He bade his troops precise this order keep),
'Don't stand a moment—run away, you dogs!'
'Twas done; and when they met the town battalions,
The Cossacks, as if frightened at their valiance,
Turned tail, and bolted like so many sheep.

[And how he feigned a retreat.]

They fled, obedient to their captain's order:
And now this bloodless siege a month had lasted,
When, viewing the country round, the city warder
(Who, like a faithful weathercock, did perch
Upon the steeple of St. Sophy's church),
Sudden his trumpet took, and a mighty blast he blasted.

[The warder proclayms the Cossacks' retreat, and the citie greatly
rejoyces.]

His voice it might be heard through all the streets
(He was a warder wondrous strong in lung),
Victory, victory! the foe retreats!'
'The foe retreats!' each cries to each he meets;
'The foe retreats!' each in his turn repeats.
Gods! how the guns did roar, and how the joy-bells rung!

Arming in haste his gallant city lancers,
The mayor, to learn if true the news might be,
A league or two out issued with his prancers.
The Cossacks (something had given their courage a damper)
Hastened their flight, and 'gan like mad to scamper:
Blessed be all the saints, Kiova town was free!


XI.

Now, puffed with pride, the mayor grew vain,
Fought all his battles o'er again;
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain.
'Tis true he might amuse himself thus,
And not be very murderous;
For as of those who to death were done
The number was exactly NONE,
His lordship, in his soul's elation,
Did take a bloodless recreation—

[The manner of the citie's rejoycings,]

Going home again, he did ordain
A very splendid cold collation
For the magistrates and the corporation;
Likewise a grand illumination,
For the amusement of the nation.
That night the theatres were free,
The conduits they ran Malvolsie;
Each house that night did beam with light
And sound with mirth and jollity;

[And its impiety.]

But shame, O shame! not a soul in the town,
Now the city was safe and the Cossacks flown,
Ever thought of the bountiful saint by whose care
The town had been rid of these terrible Turks—
Said even a prayer to that patroness fair,
For these her wondrous works!

[How the priest, Hyacinth, waited at church, and nobody came
thither.]

Lord Hyacinth waited, the meekest of priors—
He waited at church with the rest of his friars;
He went there at noon and he waited till ten,
Expecting in vain the lord-mayor and his men.
He waited and waited from mid-day to dark;
But in vain—you might search through the whole of the church,
Not a layman, alas! to the city's disgrace,
From mid-day to dark showed his nose in the place.
The pew-woman, organist, beadle, and clerk,
Kept away from their work, and were dancing like mad
Away in the streets with the other mad people,
Not thinking to pray, but to guzzle and tipple
Wherever the drink might be had.


XII.

[How he went forth to bid them to prayer.]

Amidst this din and revelry throughout the city roaring,
The silver moon rose silently, and high in heaven soaring;
Prior Hyacinth was fervently upon his knees adoring:
'Towards my precious patroness this conduct sure unfair is;
I cannot think, I must confess, what keeps the dignitaries
And our good mayor away, unless some business them contraries.'
He puts his long white mantle on and forth the prior sallies—
(His pious thoughts were bent upon good deeds and not on malice):
Heavens! how the banquet lights they shone about the mayor's palace!

[How the grooms and lackeys jeered him.]

About the hall the scullions ran with meats both and fresh and
potted;
The pages came with cup and can, all for the guests allotted;
Ah, how they jeered that good fat man as up the stairs he trotted!

He entered in the ante-rooms where sat the mayor's court in;
He found a pack of drunken grooms a-dicing and a-sporting;
The horrid wine and 'bacco fumes, they set the prior a-snorting!
The prior thought he'd speak about their sins before he went hence,
And lustily began to shout of sin and of repentance;
The rogues, they kicked the prior out before he'd done a sentence!

And having got no portion small of buffeting and tussling,
At last he reached the banquet-hall, where sat the mayor a-
guzzling,
And by his side his lady tall dressed out in white sprig muslin.

[And the mayor, mayoress, and aldermen, being tipsie refused to go
church.]

Around the table in a ring the guests were drinking heavy;
They'd drunk the church, and drunk the king, and the army and the
navy;
In fact they'd toasted everything. The prior said, 'God save ye!'

The mayor cried, 'Bring a silver cup—there's one upon the beaufet;
And, Prior, have the venison up—it's capital rechauffe.
And so, Sir Priest, you've come to sup? And pray you, how's Saint
Sophy?'
The prior's face quite red was grown, with horror and with anger;
He flung the proffered goblet down—it made a hideous clangor;
And 'gan a-preaching with a frown—he was a fierce haranguer.

He tried the mayor and aldermen—they all set up a-jeering:
He tried the common-councilmen—they too began a-sneering;
He turned towards the may'ress then, and hoped to get a hearing.
He knelt and seized her dinner-dress, made of the muslin snowy,
'To church, to church, my sweet mistress!' he cried; 'the way I'll
show ye.'
Alas, the lady-mayoress fell back as drunk as Chloe!


XIII.

[How the prior went back alone.]

Out from this dissolute and drunken court
Went the good prior, his eyes with weeping dim:
He tried the people of a meaner sort—
They too, alas, were bent upon their sport,
And not a single soul would follow him!
But all were swigging schnaps and guzzling beer.

He found the cits, their daughters, sons, and spouses,
Spending the live-long night in fierce carouses:
Alas, unthinking of the danger near!
One or two sentinels the ramparts guarded,
The rest were sharing in the general feast:
'God wot, our tipsy town is poorly warded;
Sweet Saint Sophia help us!' cried the priest.

Alone he entered the cathedral gate,
Careful he locked the mighty oaken door;
Within his company of monks did wait,
A dozen poor old pious men—no more.
Oh, but it grieved the gentle prior sore,
To think of those lost souls, given up to drink and fate!

[And shut himself into Saint Sophia's chapel with his brethren.]

The mighty outer gate well barred and fast,
The poor old friars stirred their poor old bones,
And pattering swiftly on the damp cold stones,
They through the solitary chancel passed.
The chancel walls looked black and dim and vast,
And rendered, ghost-like, melancholy tones.

Onward the fathers sped, till coming nigh a
Small iron gate, the which they entered quick at,
They locked and double-locked the inner wicket
And stood within the chapel of Sophia.
Vain were it to describe this sainted place,
Vain to describe that celebrated trophy,
The venerable statue of Saint Sophy,
Which formed its chiefest ornament and grace.

Here the good prior, his personal griefs and sorrows
In his extreme devotion quickly merging,
At once began to pray with voice sonorous;
The other friars joined in pious chorus,
And passed the night in singing, praying, scourging,
In honor of Sophia, that sweet virgin.


XIV.

[The episode of Sneezoff and Katinka.]

Leaving thus the pious priest in
Humble penitence and prayer,
And the greedy cits a-feasting,
Let us to the walls repair.

Walking by the sentry-boxes,
Underneath the silver moon,
Lo! the sentry boldly cocks his—
Boldly cocks his musketoon.

Sneezoff was his designation,
Fair-haired boy, for ever pitied;
For to take his cruel station,
He but now Katinka quitted.

Poor in purse were both, but rich in
Tender love's delicious plenties;
She a damsel of the kitchen,
He a haberdasher's 'prentice.

'Tinka, maiden tender-hearted,
Was dissolved in tearful fits,
On that fatal night she parted
From her darling, fair-haired Fritz.

Warm her soldier lad she wrapt in
Comforter and muffettee;
Called him 'general' and 'captain,'
Though a simple private he.

'On your bosom wear this plaster,
'Twill defend you from the cold;
In your pipe smoke this canaster,
Smuggled 'tis, my love, and old.

'All the night, my love, I'll miss you.'
Thus she spoke; and from the door
Fair-haired Sneezoff made his issue,
To return, alas, no more.

He it is who calmly walks his
Walk beneath the silver moon;
He it is who boldly cocks his
Detonating musketoon.

He the bland canaster puffing,
As upon his round he paces,
Sudden sees a ragamuffin
Clambering swiftly up the glacis.

'Who goes there?' exclaims the sentry;
'When the sun has once gone down
No one ever makes an entry
Into this here fortified town!'

[How the sentrie Sneezoff was surprised and slayn.]

Shouted thus the watchful Sneezoff;
But, ere any one replied,
Wretched youth! he fired his piece off
Started, staggered, groaned, and died!


XV.

[How the Cossacks rushed in suddenly and took the citie.]

Ah, full well might the sentinel cry, 'Who goes there!'
But echo was frightened too much to declare.
Who goes there? who goes there? Can any one swear
To the number of sands sur les bords de la mer,
Or the whiskers of D'Orsay Count down to a hair?
As well might you tell of the sands the amount,
Or number each hair in each curl of the Count,
As ever proclaim the number and name
Of the hundreds and thousands that up the wall came!

[Of the Cossack troops,]

Down, down the knaves poured with fire and with sword:
There were thieves from the Danube and rogues from the Don;
There were Turks and Wallacks, and shouting Cossacks;
Of all nations and regions, and tongues and religions—
Jew, Christian, Idolater, Frank, Mussulman:
Ah, horrible sight was Kioff that night!

[And of their manner of burning, murdering, and ravishing.]

The gates were all taken—no chance e'en of flight;
And with torch and with axe the bloody Cossacks
Went hither and thither a-hunting in packs:
They slashed and they slew both Christian and Jew—
Women and children, they slaughtered them too.
Some, saving their throats, plunged into the moats,
Or the river—but oh, they had burned all the boats!

. . . . .

[How they burned the whole citie down, save the church,]

But here let us pause—for I can't pursue further
This scene of rack, ravishment, ruin, and murther.
Too well did the cunning old Cossack succeed!
His plan of attack was successful indeed!
The night was his own—the town it was gone;
'Twas a heap still a-burning of timber and stone.

[Whereof the bells began to ring.]

One building alone had escaped from the fires,
Saint Sophy's fair church, with its steeples and spires,
Calm, stately, and white,
It stood in the light;
And as if 'twould defy all the conqueror's power,—
As if nought had occurred,
Might clearly be heard
The chimes ringing soberly every half-hour!


XVI.

The city was defunct—silence succeeded
Unto its last fierce agonizing yell;
And then it was the conqueror first heeded
The sound of these calm bells.

[How the Cossack chief bade them burn the church too.]

Furious towards his aides-de-camp he turns,
And (speaking as if Byron's works he knew)
'Villains!' he fiercely cries, 'the city burns,
Why not the temple too?
Burn me yon church, and murder all within!'

[How they stormed it, and of Hyacinth, his anger thereat.]

The Cossacks thundered at the outer door;
And Father Hyacinth, who, heard the din,
(And thought himself and brethren in distress,
Deserted by their lady patroness)
Did to her statue turn, and thus his woes outpour.


XVII.

[His prayer to the Saint Sophia.]

'And is it thus, O falsest of the saints,
Thou hearest our complaints?
Tell me, did ever my attachment falter
To serve thy altar?
Was not thy name, ere ever I did sleep,
The last upon my lip?
Was not thy name the very first that broke
From me when I awoke?
Have I not tried with fasting, flogging, penance,
And mortified countenance
For to find favor, Sophy, in thy sight?
And lo! this night,
Forgetful of my prayers, and thine own promise,
Thou turnest from us;
Lettest the heathen enter in our city,
And, without pity,
Murder out burghers, seize upon their spouses,
Burn down their houses!
Is such a breach of faith to be endured?
See what a lurid
Light from the insolent invader's torches
Shines on your porches!
E'en now, with thundering battering-ram and hammer
And hideous clamor;
With axemen, swordsmen, pikemen, billmen, bowmen,
The conquering foemen,
O Sophy! beat your gate about your ears,
Alas! and here's
A humble company of pious men,
Like muttons in a pen,
Whose souls shall quickly from their bodies be thrusted,
Because in you they trusted.
Do you not know the Calmuc chiefs desires—
KILL ALL THE FRIARS!
And you, of all the saints most false and fickle,
Leave us in this abominable pickle.'

[The statue suddenlie speaks;]

'RASH HYACINTHUS!'
(Here, to the astonishment of all her backers,
Saint Sophy, opening wide her wooden jaws,
Like to a pair of German walnut-crackers,
Began), 'I did not think you had been thus,—
O monk of little faith! Is it because
A rascal scum of filthy Cossack heathen
Besiege our town, that you distrust in ME, then?
Think'st thou that I, who in a former day
Did walk across the Sea of Marmora
(Not mentioning, for shortness, other seas),—
That I, who skimmed the broad Borysthenes,
Without so much as wetting of my toes,
Am frightened at a set of men like THOSE?
I have a mind to leave you to your fate:
Such cowardice as this my scorn inspires.'

[But is interrupted by the breaking in of the Cossacks.]

Saint Sophy was here
Cut short in her words,—
For at this very moment in tumbled the gate,
And with a wild cheer,
And a clashing of swords,
Swift through the church porches,
With a waving of torches,
And a shriek and a yell
Like the devils of hell,
With pike and with axe
In rushed the Cossacks,—
In rushed the Cossacks, crying,
'MURDER THE FRIARS!'

[Of Hyacinth, his outrageous address;]

Ah! what a thrill felt Hyacinth,
When he heard that villanous shout Calmuc!
Now, thought he, my trial beginneth;
Saints, O give me courage and pluck!
'Courage, boys, 'tis useless to funk!'
Thus unto the friars he began:
'Never let it be said that a monk
Is not likewise a gentleman.
Though the patron saint of the church,
Spite of all that we've done and we've pray'd,
Leaves us wickedly here in the lurch,
Hang it, gentlemen, who's afraid!'

[And preparation for dying.]

As thus the gallant Hyacinthus spoke,
He, with an air as easy and as free as
If the quick-coming murder were a joke,
Folded his robes around his sides, and took
Place under sainted Sophy's legs of oak,
Like Caesar at the statue of Pompeius.
The monks no leisure had about to look
(Each being absorbed in his particular case),
Else had they seen with what celestial race
A wooden smile stole o'er the saint's mahogany face.

[Saint Sophia, her speech.]

'Well done, well done, Hyacinthus, my son!'
Thus spoke the sainted statue.
'Though you doubted me in the hour of need,
And spoke of me very rude indeed,
You deserve good luck for showing such pluck,
And I won't be angry at you.'

[She gets on the prior's shoulder straddle-back,]

The monks by-standing, one and all,
Of this wondrous scene beholders,
To this kind promise listened content,
And couldn't contain their astonishment,
When Saint Sophia moved and went
Down from her wooden pedestal,
And twisted her legs, sure as eggs is eggs,
Round Hyacinthus's shoulders!

[And bids him run.]

'Ho! forwards,' cried Sophy, 'there's no time for waiting,
The Cossacks are breaking the very last gate in:
See the glare of their torches shines red through the grating;
We've still the back door, and two minutes or more.
Now boys, now or never, we must make for the river,
For we only are safe on the opposite shore.
Run swiftly to-day, lads, if ever you ran,—
Put out your best leg, Hyacinthus, my man;
And I'll lay five to two that you carry us through,
Only scamper as fast as you can.'


XVIII.

[He runneth,]

Away went the priest through the little back door,
And light on his shoulders the image he bore:
The honest old priest was not punished the least,
Though the image was eight feet, and he measured four.
Away went the prior, and the monks at his tail
Went snorting, and puffing, and panting full sail;
And just as the last at the back door had passed,
In furious hunt behold at the front
The Tartars so fierce, with their terrible cheers;
With axes, and halberts, and muskets, and spears,
With torches a-flaming the chapel now came in.
They tore up the mass-book, they stamped on the psalter,
They pulled the gold crucifix down from the altar;
The vestments they burned with their blasphemous fires,
And many cried, 'Curse on them! where are the friars?'
When loaded with plunder, yet seeking for more,
One chanced to fling open the little back door,
Spied out the friars' white robes and long shadows
In the moon, scampering over the meadows,
And stopped the Cossacks in the midst of their arsons,
By crying out lustily, 'THERE GO THE PARSONS!'

[And the Tartars after him.]

With a whoop and a yell, and a scream and a shout,
At once the whole murderous body turned out;
And swift as the hawk pounces down on the pigeon,
Pursued the poor short-winded men of religion.

[How the friars sweated.]

When the sound of that cheering came to the monks' hearing,
O heaven! how the poor fellows panted and blew!
At fighting not cunning, unaccustomed to running,
When the Tartars came up, what the deuce should they do?
'They'll make us all martyrs, those bloodthirsty Tartars!'
Quoth fat Father Peter to fat Father Hugh.
The shouts they came clearer, the foe they drew nearer;
Oh, how the bolts whistled, and how the lights shone!
'I cannot get further, this running is murther;
Come carry me, some one!' cried big Father John.
And even the statue grew frightened, 'Od rat you!'
It cried, 'Mr. Prior, I wish you'd get on!'
On tugged the good friar, but nigher and nigher
Appeared the fierce Russians, with sword and with fire.
On tugged the good prior at Saint Sophy's desire,—
A scramble through bramble, through mud, and through mire,
The swift arrows' whizziness causing a dizziness,
Nigh done his business, fit to expire.

[And the pursuers fixed arrows into their tayles.]

Father Hyacinth tugged, and the monks they tugged after:
The foemen pursued with a horrible laughter,
And hurl'd their long spears round the poor brethren's ears,
So true, that next day in the coats of each priest,
Though never a wound was given, there were found
A dozen arrows at least.

[How at the last gasp,]

Now the chase seemed at its worst,
Prior and monks were fit to burst;
Scarce you knew the which was first,
Or pursuers or pursued;
When the statue, by heaven's grace,
Suddenly did change the face
Of this interesting race,
As a saint, sure, only could.

For as the jockey who at Epsom rides,
When that his steed is spent and punished sore,
Diggeth his heels into the courser's sides,
And thereby makes him run one or two furlongs more;
Even thus, betwixt the eighth rib and the ninth,
The saint rebuked the prior, that weary creeper;
Fresh strength into his limbs her kicks imparted,
One bound he made, as gay as when he started.

[The friars won, and jumped into Borysthenes fluvius.]

Yes, with his brethren clinging at his cloak,
The statue on his shoulders—fit to choke—
One most tremendous bound made Hyacinth,
And soused friars, statue, and all, slap-dash into the Dnieper!


XIX.

[And how the Russians saw]

And when the Russians, in a fiery rank,
Panting and fierce, drew up along the shore;
(For here the vain pursuing they forbore,
Nor cared they to surpass the river's bank,)
Then, looking from the rocks and rushes dank,
A sight they witnessed never seen before,
And which, with its accompaniments glorious,
Is writ i' the golden book, or liber aureus.

[The statue get off Hyacinth his back, and sit down with the friars
on Hyacinth his cloak.]

Plump in the Dnieper flounced the friar and friends—
They dangling round his neck, he fit to choke.
When suddenly his most miraculous cloak
Over the billowy waves itself extends,
Down from his shoulders quietly descends
The venerable Sophy's statue of oak;
Which, sitting down upon the cloak so ample,
Bids all the brethren follow its example!

[How in this manner of boat they sayled away.]

Each at her bidding sat, and sat at ease;
The statue 'gan a gracious conversation,
And (waving to the foe a salutation)
Sail'd with her wondering happy proteges
Gayly adown the wide Borysthenes,
Until they came unto some friendly nation.
And when the heathen had at length grown shy of
Their conquest, she one day came back again to Kioff.


XX.

[Finis, or the end.]

THINK NOT, O READER, THAT WE'RE LAUGHING AT YOU;
YOU MAY GO TO KIOFF NOW, AND SEE THE STATUTE!

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Orlando Furioso Canto 18

ARGUMENT
Gryphon is venged. Sir Mandricardo goes
In search of Argier's king. Charles wins the fight.
Marphisa Norandino's men o'erthrows.
Due pains Martano's cowardice requite.
A favouring wind Marphisa's gallery blows,
For France with Gryphon bound and many a knight.
The field Medoro and Cloridano tread,
And find their monarch Dardinello dead.

I
High minded lord! your actions evermore
I have with reason lauded, and still laud;
Though I with style inapt, and rustic lore,
You of large portion of your praise defraud:
But, of your many virtues, one before
All others I with heart and tongue applaud,
- That, if each man a gracious audience finds,
No easy faith your equal judgment blinds.

II
Often, to shield the absent one from blame,
I hear you this, or other, thing adduce;
Or him you let, at least, an audience claim,
Where still one ear is open to excuse:
And before dooming men to scaith and shame,
To see and hear them ever is your use;
And ere you judge another, many a day,
And month, and year, your sentence to delay.

III
Had Norandine been with your care endued,
What he by Gryphon did, he had not done.
Profit and fame have from your rule accrued:
A stain more black than pitch he cast upon
His name: through him, his people were pursued
And put to death by Olivero's son;
Who at ten cuts or thrusts, in fury made,
Some thirty dead about the waggon laid.

IV
Whither fear drives, in rout, the others all,
Some scattered here, some there, on every side,
Fill road and field; to gain the city-wall
Some strive, and smothered in the mighty tide,
One on another, in the gateway fall.
Gryphon, all thought of pity laid aside,
Threats not nor speaks, but whirls his sword about,
Well venging on the crowd their every flout.

V
Of those who to the portal foremost fleed,
The readiest of the crowd their feet to ply,
Part, more intent upon their proper need
Than their friends' peril, raise the draw-bridge high:
Part, weeping and with deathlike visage, speed,
Nor turn their eyes behind them as they fly:
While, through the ample city, outcry loud,
And noise, and tumult rises from the crowd.

VI
Two nimble Gryphon seizes, mid the train,
When to their woe the bridge is raised; of one,
Upon the field the warrior strews the brain,
Which he bears out on a hard grinding stone;
Seized by the breast, the other of the twain
Over the city-wall by him is thrown,
Fear chills the townsmen's marrow, when they spy
The luckless wretch descending from the sky.

VII
Many there were who feared in their alarms,
Lest o'er the wall Sir Gryphon would have vaulted;
Nor greater panic seized upon those swarms,
Than if the soldan had the town assaulted.
The sound of running up and down, of arms,
Of cry of Muezzins, on high exalted;
Of drums and trumpets, heaven, 'twould seem, rebounded,
And, that the world was by the noise confounded.

VIII
But I will to another time delay,
What chanced on this occasion, to recount.
'Tis meet I follow Charles upon his way,
Hurrying in search of furious Rodomont,
Who did the monarch's suffering people slay.
I said, with him, the danger to affront,
Went Namus, Oliver, the Danish peer,
Avino, Avolio, Otho and Berlinghier.

IX
Eight lances' shock, that eight such warriors guide,
Which all at once against the king they rest,
Endured the stout and scaly serpent's hide,
In which the cruel Moor his limbs had drest.
As a barque rights itself, - the sheet untied,
Which held its sail, - by growing wind opprest;
So speedily Sir Rodomont arose,
Though a hill had been uprooted by the blows.

X
Rainier and Guido, Richard, Salomon,
Ivan, Ughetto, Turpin, and the twain -
Angiolin, Angelier - false Ganellon,
And Mark and Matthew from St. Michael's plain,
With the eight of whom I spake, all set upon
The foe, with Edward and Sir Arimane;
Who leading succours from the English shore,
Had lodged them in the town short time before.

XI
Not so, well-keyed into the solid stone,
Groans upon Alpine height the castle good,
When by rude Boreas' rage or Eurus' strown,
Uptorn are ash and fir in mountain wood,
As groans Sir Rodomont, with pride o'erblown,
Inflamed with anger and with thirst of blood:
And, as the thunder and the lightning's fire
Fly coupled, such his vengeance and his ire.

XII
He at his head took aim who stood most nigh;
Ughetto was the miserable wight,
Whom to the teeth he clove, and left to die;
Though of good temper was his helmet bright.
As well the others many strokes let fly
At him, himself; which all the warrior smite,
But harm (so hard the dragon's hide) no more,
Than needle can the solid anvil score.

XIII
All the defences, round, abandoned are,
The unpeopled city is abandoned all;
For, where the danger is the greater, there
The many give their aid, at Charles' call:
Through every street they hurry to the square,
Since flying nought avails, from work and wall.
Their bosoms so the monarch's presence warms,
That each again takes courage, each takes arms.

XIV
As when within the closely-fastened cage
Of an old lioness, well used to fight,
An untamed bull is prisoned, to engage
The savage monster, for the mob's delight;
The cubs, who see him cresting in his rage,
And round the den loud-bellowing, to the sight
Of the huge beast's enormous horns unused,
Cower at a distance, timid and confused;

XV
But if the mother spring at him, and hang,
Fixing her cruel tusks into his ear,
Her whelps as well will blood their greedy fang,
And, bold in her defence, assail the steer:
One bites his paunch, and one his back: so sprang
That band upon the paynim cavalier.
From roof and window, and from place more nigh,
Poured in a ceaseless shower, the weapons fly.

XVI
Of cavaliers and footmen such the squeeze,
That hardly can the place the press contain:
They cluster there as thick as swarming bees,
Who thither from each passage troop amain.
So that, were they unarmed, and with more ease
Than stalks or turnips he could cleave the train,
Ill Rodomont in twenty days would clear
The gathering crowd, united far and near.

XVII
Unknowing how himself from thence to free,
The paynim by this game is angered sore,
Who little thins the gathering rabblery,
Staining the ground with thousands slain or more;
And all the while, in his extremity,
Finds that his breath comes thicker than before;
And sees he cannot pierce the hostile round,
Unless he thence escape while strong and sound.

XVIII
The monarch rolls about his horrid eyes,
And sees that foes all outlets barricade;
But, at the cost of countless enemies,
A path shall quickly by his hand be made.
Where Fury calls him, lo! the felon hies,
And brandishes on high his trenchant blade,
To assail the newly entered British band,
Which Edward and Sir Ariman command.

XIX
He who has seen the fence, in well-thonged square,
(Against whose stakes the eddying crowd is born)
By wild bull broken, that has had to bear,
Through the long day, dogs, blows, and ceaseless scorn;
Who hunts the scattered people here and there,
And this, or that, now hoists upon his horn;
Let him as such, or fiercer yet, account,
When he breaks forth, the cruel Rodomont.

XX
At one cross-blow fifteen or twenty foes
He hews, as many leaves without a bead,
At cross or downright-stroke; as if he rows
Trashes in vineyard or in willow-bed,
At last all smeared with blood the paynim goes,
Safe from the place, which he has heaped with dead;
And wheresoe'er he turns his steps, are left
Heads, arms, and other members, maimed and cleft.

XXI
He from the square retires in such a mode,
None can perceive that danger him appals;
But, during this, what were the safest road,
By which to sally, he to thought recals.
He comes at last to where the river flowed
Below the isle, and past without the walls.
In daring men at arms and mob increase,
Who press him sore, nor let him part in peace.

XXII
As the high-couraged beast, whom hunters start
In the wild Nomade or Massilian chace,
Who, even in flying, shows his noble heart,
And threatening seeks his lair with sluggish pace;
From that strange wood of sword, and spear, and dart,
Turns Rodomont, with action nothing base;
And still impeded by the galling foe,
Makes for the river with long steps and slow.

XXIII
He turned upon the rabble-rout who bayed
Behind him, thrice or more, by anger driven,
And stained anew his falchion, by whose blade
More than a hundred deadly wounds were given.
But reason, finally, his fury stayed
Before the bloody carnage stank to heaven;
And he, with better counsel, from the side
Cast himself down into Seine's foaming tide.

XXIV
Athwart the current swam, with arms and all,
As if by corks upborn, the cavalier.
Though thou Antaeus bred'st, and Hannibal,
O Africa! thou never bred'st his peer! -
When now across the stream, without the wall,
He turned, and saw the royal town appear,
- To have traversed all the city moved his ire,
Leaving it undestroyed by sword or fire;

XXV
And him so sorely anger stung and pride,
Thither he thought a second time to go;
And from his inmost bosom groaned and sighed,
Nor would depart until he laid it low.
But he saw one along the river-side
Approach, who made him rage and hate forego;
Strait shall you hear who 'twas, approached the king,
But first I have to say of other thing.

XXVI
I have of haughty Discord now to say,
To whom the archangel Michael gave command,
To heat to enmity and fierce affray
The best of Agramant's besieging band.
She went that evening from the abbey gray,
Her task committing to another's hand;
- Left it to Fraud to feed, till her return,
The war, and make the fires she kindled burn;

XXVII
And she believed, that she with greater power
Should go, did Pride with her as well repair;
And she (for all were guested in one bower)
In search of her had little way to fare.
Pride went with her; but, that in hall or tower,
A vicar too her charge might duly bear,
She for those days she absent thought to be,
For her lieutenant left Hypocrisy.

XXVIII
The implacable Discord went, and with the dame,
(Companion of the enterprise, was Pride)
Upon her road; and found that, by the same,
Was journeying to the paynim camp, beside,
Comfortless Jealousy, with whom there came
A little dwarf, attending as a guide;
Who erst had been sent forward with advice
To Sarza's king, by beauteous Doralice.

XXIX
When she fell into Mandricardo's hand,
(I have before recounted when and where)
She had in secret given the dwarf command,
He to the king should with the tidings fare;
By whom she hoped not vainly would be scanned
The tale her messenger was charged to bear,
But wonderous deeds be done for her relief,
With sad and signal vengeance on the thief.

XXX
Jealousy had that little dwarf espied,
And kenned the reason of his mission too,
And joined him, journeying with him side by side,
Deeming that she therein a part might do.
Discord, with pleasure, Jealousy decried,
But with more joy, when she the occasion knew
Which thither brought the dame, who much (she wist)
Might in the task she had in hand assist.

XXXI
Of means to embroil the Sarzan and the son
Of Agrican, she deems herself possest.
A certain mode to enrage these two is won;
And other means may work upon the rest.
She thither with the dwarfish page is gone,
Where the fierce Pagan in his clutch had prest
Proud Paris, and they reached the river strand,
Exactly as the felon swam to land.

XXXII
As soon as the redoubted Rodomont
Knew in the dwarf the courier of his dame,
He all his rage extinguished, cleared his front,
And felt his courage brighten into flame.
All else he deems the courier may recount,
Save that a wight had wrought him scaith and shame,
And cries (encountering him with chearful brow)
'How fares our lady? wither sent art thou?'

XXXIII
'Nor mine nor thine that lady will I say,
Who is another's thrall,' the dwarf replied.
'We, on our road, encountered yesterday
A knight, who seized and bore away the bride.'
Jealousy, upon this, took up the play,
And, cold as asp, embraced the king: her guide
Pursued his tale, relating how the train,
Their mistress taken, by one man were slain.

XXXIV
Her flint and steel, fell Discord, as he said,
Took forth, and somewhile hammered on the stone.
Pride, underneath, the ready tinder spread,
And the quick fire was in a moment blown:
This on the paynim's soul so fiercely fed,
He could not find a resting place: 'mid groan
And sob he storms, with horrid face and eye,
Which threat the elements and ample sky.

XXXV
As tiger rages, who in vain descends
Into her den, and finds herself alone,
And, circling all the cavern, comprehends,
At last, that her beloved young are gone;
To ire, to rage like hers his wrath extends:
Nor night the king regards, nor rock, nor stone,
Nor stream: - Nor length of way nor storm arrest
The speed with which he on the plunderer prest.

XXXVI
So raging, to the pigmy dwarf who bore
The news, exclaimed the king, 'Now hence away!'
Nor horse he waits, nor carriage, nor, before
Departing, deigns to his a word to say.
He hurries with such speed, that not with more
The lizard darts at noon across the way.
Horse had he none, but be he whose he might,
Would make his own the first which came in sight.

XXXVII
Discord at this, who read his secret thought,
Exclaimed, as she looked smilingly on Pride,
Through her he to a courser should be brought,
By which new cause of strife should be supplied;
And, that by him no other might be caught,
She from his path would keep all steeds beside;
And knew already where the prize to seek.
- But her I leave, again of Charles to speak.

XXXVIII
When, on the Saracen's departure, spent,
About King Charles, was the consuming flame,
He ranged his troops anew: some warriors went
To strengthen feeble posts which succours claim;
The rest against the Saracens are sent,
To give the foe checkmate and end the game;
And from St. German's to Saint Victor's gates,
He pours the host, which on his signal waits.

XXXIX
He these at Saint Marcellus' gate, where lay,
Outstretched a large circumference of plain,
Bade one another wait, in one array,
To reunite against the paynim train.
Inflaming every one to smite and slay,
In guise, that for a record should remain,
He made the various troops fall in below
Their banners, and the battle-signal blow.

XL
Agramant has remounted in his sell,
While this is doing in his foe's despite,
And with the stripling who loved Isabel,
Is waging perilous and fearful fight.
Lurcanio with Sobrino strives as well;
Rinaldo a troop encounters, whom the knight,
With Valour and with Fortune for his guide,
Charges, and breaks, and routs on every side.

XLI
While so the battle stands, king Charlemagne
Falls on the rear guard of the paynim foe,
Where bold Marsilius halts the flower of Spain,
And forms the host, his royal flag below.
On these king Charlemagne impels his train,
Who, foot with horse to flank, against them go.
While so the deafening drum and trumpet sounds,
'Twould seem the spacious world the din rebounds.

XLII
The Saracenic squadrons had begun
To bend, and all the army of the Moor
Had turned, disordered, broken, and undone,
Never to be arrayed or rallied more,
But that Grandonio stood, and Falsiron,
Tried oftentimes in greater ill before,
With Serpentine and Balugantes proud,
And the renowned Ferrau, who cried aloud:

XLIII
'O valiant men,' he - 'O companions,' cries,
'O brethren, stand, and yet your place maintain;
Like cobweb-threads our cruel enemies
Will find their works, if we our part sustain.
What this day Fortune offers to our eyes,
If now we conquer, see the praise, the gain! -
If conquered, see the utter loss and shame
Which will for ever wait upon your name!'

XLIV
He in this time a mighty lance had spanned,
And spurred at once against Sir Berlinghier,
Who Argaliffa guided with his hand,
And broke his helmet's frontal with the spear,
Cast him on earth, and with the cruel brand
Unhorsed perhaps eight other warriors near.
His mighty strokes discharging, at each blow,
He ever laid at least one horseman low.

XLV
In other part, Rinaldo, in his mood,
Has slain more enemies than I can say,
Before the warlike knight no order stood;
You might have seen the ample camp give way.
No less Zerbino and Lurcanio good
Do deeds, which will be told in every day;
This, with a thrust, has bold Balastro slain,
That Finaduro's helm has cleft in twain.

XLVI
The first was of the Alzerban army head,
Ruled by Tardocco some short time before;
The other one the valiant squadrons led
Of Saphi, and Morocco, and Zamor.
'Where, 'mid the paynims,' might to me be said,
'Is knight whose sword can cleave or lance can gore?'
But step by step I go, and as I wind
My way, leave none who merits praise behind.

XLVII
Zumara's king is not forgotten here,
Dardinel, who Sir Dulphin of the mount,
Claude of the wood, and Hubert, with the spear,
(Of Mirford he) and Elio did dismount,
And, with the faulchion, Stamford's cavalier,
Sir Anselm, Raymond and Sir Pinnamont
From London-town; though valiant were the twain;
Two stunned, one wounded, the four others slain.

XLVIII
Yet will his squadron not so firmly stand,
Maugre the valour which his deeds display,
So firmly, as to wait the Christian band,
In number less, but steadier in array,
More used to joust and manage of the brand,
And all things appertaining to the gray.
Setta and Morocco turned, and, seized with dread,
Zumara and Canaries' islesmen fled.

XLIX
But faster than the rest Alzerba flies,
Whom Dardinel opposed, and now with sore
Reproach, and now with prayer he moves, and tries
What best he deems their courage may restore.
'If good Almontes has deserved,' he cries,
'That you should by his memory set such store,
Now shall be seen - be seen, if you will me,
His son, abandon in such jeopardy.

L
'For sake of my green youth, I pray you stand,
That youth whereon your hopes were wont to feed,
And suffer not that, scattered by the brand,
To Africa be lost our noble seed.
Save you united go, be sure the land
Is shut against you, wheresoe'er you speed.
Too high a wall to climb is mountain-steep,
The yawning sea a ditch too wide to leap.

LI
'Far better 'tis to perish than to be
Torn by these dogs, or lie at their control.
Since vain is every other remedy,
Wait, friends, for love of Heaven, the advancing shoal:
They are not gifted with more lives than we;
Have but one pair of hands, have but one soul.'
So saying, the bold youth, amid the crew
Of enemies, the Earl of Huntley slew.

LII
Almontes' memory, through the Moorish bands,
Makes every bosom with such ardour glow,
They deem 'tis better to use arms and hands
In fight, than turn their backs upon the foe.
Taller than all William of Burnwich stands,
An Englishman, whom Dardinel brings low,
And equals with the rest; then smites upon,
And cleaves, the head of Cornish Aramon.

LIII
Down fell this Aramon, and to afford
Him succour, thitherward his brother made;
But from the shoulder him Zumara's lord
Cleft to the fork, with his descending blade;
Next Bogio de Vergalla's belly gored,
And from his debt absolved (the forfeit paid)
Who to return within six months, if life
Were granted him, had promised to his wife.

LIV
Lurcanio next met Dardinello's eye;
He upon earth Dorchino had laid low,
Pierced through the throat, and hapless Gardo nigh
Cleft to the teeth; at him, as all too slow,
He from Altheus vainly seeks to fly,
Whom as his heart Lurcanio loves, a blow
Upon his head behind the Scotchman speeds;
And. slaughtered by the stroke, the warrior bleeds.

LV
Dardinel, to avenge him, took a spear,
And, should he lay the fierce Lurcanio dead,
Vowed to his Mahomet, if he could hear,
The mosque should have his empty arms; this said,
Ranging the field in haste, that cavalier
He in the flank, with thrust so full and dread,
Encountered, that it went through either side:
And he to his to strip the baron cried.

LVI
From me it sure were needless to demand,
If Ariodantes, when his brother fell,
Was grieved; if he with his avenging hand
Among the damned would send Sir Dardinell;
But all access the circling troops withstand
And bar, no less baptized than infidel:
Yet would he venge himself, and with his blade,
Now here, now there, an open passage made.

LVII
He charges, chases, breaks, and overthrows
Whoever cross him on the crowded plain;
And Dardinello, who his object knows,
Would fain the wish content; but him the train
Impedes as well, which round about him flows,
And renders aye his every purpose vain.
If one on all sides thins the Moorish rank,
The other slays Scot, Englishman, and Frank.

LVIII
Fortune still blocked their path throughout the day,
So that they met not, 'mid that chivalry,
And kept one as a mightier champion's prey;
For rarely man escapes his destiny.
Behold the good Rinaldo turns that way!
That, for this one no refuge there might be.
Lo! good Rinaldo comes: him Fortune guides,
And for his sword King Dardinel provides.

LIX
But here enough for this one while is shown
Of their illustrious doings in the west;
'Tis time I seek Sir Gryphon, and make known
How he, with fury burning in his breast,
That rabble-rout had broke and overthrown,
Struck with more fear than ever men possest.
Thither speeds Norandine on that alarm,
And for his guard above a thousand arm.

LX
King Norandine, girt with peer and knight,
Seeing on every side the people fly,
Rides to the gates, with squadron duly dight,
And at his hest the portals open fly.
Meanwhile Sir Gryphon, having put to flight
The weak and worthless rabble far and nigh,
The scorned arms (to keep him from that train),
Such as they were, took up and donned again.

LXI
And nigh a temple strongly walled, and round
Whose base a moat for its protection goes,
Upon a little bridge takes up his ground,
That him his enemies may not enclose.
Lo! loudly shouting, and with threatening sound,
A mighty squadron through the gateway flows.
The valiant Gryphon changes not his place,
And shows how small his fear by act and face.

LXII
But when, approaching near, he saw the band,
He sallied forth to meet them by the way;
And wielding still his sword in either hand,
Made cruel havoc in the close array.
Then on the narrow bridge resumed his stand,
Nor there his hunters only held at bay:
Anew he sallied, and returned anew,
Aye leaving bloody signs when he withdrew.

LXIII
Fore-stroke and back he deals, and on the ground
Horsemen and foot o'erthrows on every side:
This while the ample mob the knight surround,
And more and more the warfare rages wide.
At length Sir Gryphon fears he shall be drowned,
(So waxed their numbers) in the increasing tide;
And hurt in the left shoulder, through his mail,
And thigh, his wind as well begins to fail.

LXIV
But Valour, who so oft befriends her own,
Makes him find grace in Norandino's eyes;
Who, while alarmed, he hurries there, o'erthrown
So many men, such heaps of dead espies,
While he views wounds, which Hector's hand alone
He weens could deal, - to him all testifies
That he had put an undeserved shame
Upon a cavalier of mighty name.

LXV
Next seeing him more near, whose falchion's sweep
Had dealt such deaths amid his chivalry,
And raised about himself that horrid heap,
And stained the water with that bloody dye,
He thought that he beheld Horatius keep,
Singly, the bridge against all Tuscany;
And vext, and anxious to remove the stain,
Recalled his men, and that with little pain.

LXVI
And, lifting his bare hand, in sign affied,
From ancient times, of treaty and of truce,
Repenting him, he to Sir Gryphon cried,
'It grieves me sorely, and I cannot choose
But own my sin: let counsels which misguide,
And my own little wit, such fault excuse.
What by the vilest knight I thought to do,
I to the best on earth have done in you.

LXVII
'And though the bitter injuries and shame
That have to thee through ignorance been done,
Are equalled, and all cancelled by thy fame,
And merged, in truth, in glory thou hast won;
Whatever satisfaction thou canst claim,
Within my power or knowledge, count upon,
When I know how atonement may be made,
By city, castle, or by money paid.

LXVIII
'Demand of me this kingdom's moiety,
And from this day thou its possessor art,
Since not alone thy worth deserves this fee,
But merits, I with this should give my heart;
Then, pledge of faith and lasting love, to me,
In the meanwhile, thy friendly hand impart.'
So saying, from his horse the king descended,
And towards Gryphon his right-hand extended.

LXIX
When he beheld the monarch's altered cheer,
Who bent to clasp his neck, towards him paced,
His sword and rancour laid aside, the peer
Him humbly underneath the hips embraced.
King Norandine, who saw the sanguine smear
Of his two wounds, bade seek a leech in haste;
And bade them softly with the knight resort
Towards the town, and lodge him in his court.

LXX
Here, wounded, he remained some days before
He could bear arms: but him, in the design
Of seeking out Sir Aquilant once more,
And good Astolpho, left in Palestine,
I quit; they vainly did his path explore,
After Sir Gryphon left the holy shrine,
Through Solyma in every place of note,
And many, from the Holy Land remote.

LXXI
One and the other are alike to seek
In the inquiry where the knight may use;
But they encounter with the pilgrim-Greek,
Who of false Origilla gives them news;
Relating, as of her he haps to speak,
That towards Antioch she her way pursues,
By a new leman of that city charmed,
Who her with fierce and sudden flame had warmed.

LXXII
Aquilant asked him, if he had possest
Sir Gryphon of the news to them conveyed,
Who, hearing that he had, surmised the rest, -
Where he was gone, and by what motive swayed:
He followed Origille, was manifest,
And had in quest of her for Antioch made,
To take her from his rival, and with view
On him some memorable scathe to do.

LXXIII
Aquilant brooked not Gryphon such a feat,
Without him, and alone, should thus assay,
And took his armour and pursued his beat;
But first besought the duke he would delay
To visit France and his paternal seat,
Till he from Antioch measured back his way.
At Joppa he embarks, who deems by sea
The better and securer way to be.

LXXIV
From the south-east up-sprung so strong a breeze,
And which for Gryphon's galley blew so right,
That the third day he Tyre's famed city sees,
And lesser Joppa quick succeeds to sight.
By Zibellotto and Baruti flees,
(Cyprus to larboard left) the galley light;
From Tripoli to Tortosa shapes her way,
And so to Lizza and Lajazzo's bay.

LXXV
From thence, towards the east the pilot veered
Her ready tiller, prompt his course to scan;
And straightway for the wide Orontes steered,
And watched his time, and for the harbour ran.
Aquilant, when his bark the margin neared,
Bade lower the bridge, and issued, horse and man,
It armour, and along the river wended,
Up-stream, till he his way at Antioch ended.

LXXVI
To inform himself of that Martano bent;
And heard that he to Antioch was addrest,
With Origilla, where a tournament
Was to be solemnized by royal hest.
To track whom Aquilant was so intent,
Assured that Gryphon had pursued his quest,
He Antioch left again that very day,
But not by sea again would take his way.

LXXVII
He towards Lidia and Larissa goes,
- At rich Aleppo makes a longer stay.
God, to make plain that he, even here, bestows
On evil and on good their fitting pay,
At a league's distance from Mamuga, throws
Martano in the avenging brother's way,
Martano travelling with the tourney's prize,
Displayed before his horse in showy wise.

LXXVIII
Sir Aquilant believed, at the first show,
His brother he in vile Martano spied.
For arms and vest, more white than virgin snow,
The coward in the warrior's sight belied,
And sprang towards him, with that joyful 'Oh!'
By which delight is ever signified;
But changed his look and tone, when, nearer brought
He sees that he is not the wight he sought:

LXXIX
And through that evil woman's treachery,
Deemed Gryphon murdered by the cavalier;
And, 'Tell me,' he exclaimed, 'thou, who must be
Traitor and thief - both written in thy cheer -
Whence are these arms? and wherefore do I thee
View on the courser of my brother dear?
Say is my brother slaughtered or alive?
How didst thou him of horse and arms deprive?'

LXXX
When Origille hears him, in affright
She turns her palfrey, and for flight prepares:
But Aquilant, more quick, in her despite,
Arrests the traitress, ere she further fares.
At the loud threats of that all furious knight,
By whom he so was taken unawares,
Martan' turns pale and trembles like a leaf,
Nor how to act or answer knows the thief.

LXXXI
Aquilant thundered still, and, to his dread,
A falchion, pointed at his gullet, shewed,
And swore with angry menaces, the head
From him and Origille should be hewed,
Save in all points the very truth be said.
Awhile on this ill-starred Martano chewed,
Revolving still what pretext he might try
To lessen his grave fault, then made reply:

LXXXII
'Know, sir, you see my sister in this dame,
And one of good and virtuous parents born,
Though she has lately led a life of shame,
And been by Gryphon foully brought to scorn;
And, for I loathed such blot upon our name,
Yet weened that she could ill by force be torn
From such a puissant wight, I laid a scheme
Her by address and cunning to redeem.

LXXXIII
'With her I planned the means, who in her breast
Nursed the desire a better life to prove,
That she, when Gryphon was retired to rest,
In silence from the warrior should remove.
This done: lest he should follow on our quest,
And so undo the web we vainly wove,
Him we deprived of horse and arm, and we
Are hither come together, as you see.'

LXXXIV
His cunning might have proved of good avail,
For Aquilant believed him easily;
And, save in taking Gryphon's horse and mail,
He to the knight had done no injury;
But that he wrought so high the specious tale,
As manifested plainly, 'twas a lie.
In all 'twas perfect, save that he the dame
Had for his sister vouched with whom he came.

LXXXV
Aquilant had in Antioch chanced to know
She was his concubine, - well certified
Of this by many, - and in furious glow
Exclaimed; 'Thou falsest robber, thou hast lied!'
And dealt, with that, the recreant such a blow,
He drove two grinders down his throat; then tied
(Not sought Martano with his foe to cope)
The caitiff's arms behind him with a rope.

LXXXVI
And, though she for excuse tried many wiles,
Did thus as well by Origille untrue;
And till he reached Damascus' lofty piles,
Them by town, street, or farm, behind him drew:
And will a thousand times a thousand miles,
With sorrow and with suffering, drag the two,
Till he his brother find; who, at his pleasure,
May vengeance to the guilty couple measure.

LXXXVII
Sir Aquilant made squires and beasts as well
Return with him, and to Damascus came;
And heard Renown, throughout the city, swell,
Plying her ample wings, Sir Gryphon's name.
Here, great and little - every one, could tell
'Twas he that in the tourney won such fame,
And had, by one that ill deserved his trust,
Been cheated of the honours of the just.

LXXXVIII
Pointing him out to one another's sight,
The hostile people all Martano bayed;
'And is not this (they cried) that ribald wight
Who in another's spoils himself arrayed,
And who the valour of a sleeping knight,
With his own shame and infamy o'erlaid?
And this the woman of ungrateful mood,
Who aids the wicked and betrays the good?'

LXXXIX
Others exclaimed, 'How fittingly combined,
Marked with one stamp, and of one race are they!'
Some loudly cursed them, and some raved behind,
While others shouted, 'Hang, burn, quarter, slay!'
The throng to view them prest, with fury blind,
And to the square before them made its way.
The monarch of the tidings was advised,
And these above another kingdom prized.

XC
Attended with few squires the Syrian king,
As then he chanced to be, came forth with speed,
And with Sir Aquilant encountering,
Who Gryphon had avenged with worthy deed,
Him honoured with fair cheer, and home would bring,
And in his palace lodged, as fitting meed;
Having the prisoned pair, with his consent,
First in the bottom of a turret pent.

XCI
Thither they go, where Gryphon from his bed
Has not as yet, since he was wounded, stirred;
Who at his brother's coming waxes red,
Surmising well he of his case has heard:
And after Aquilant his say had said,
And him somedeal reproached, the three conferred
As to what penance to the wicked two,
So fallen into their hands, was justly due.

XCII
'Tis Aquilant's, 'tis Norandino's will
A thousand tortures shall their guerdon be:
But Gryphon, who the dame alone can ill
Excuse, entreats for both impunity;
And many matters urges with much skill.
But well is answered: and 'tis ruled, to flea
Martano's body with the hangman's scourge,
And only short of death his penance urge.

XCIII
Bound is the wretch, but not 'mid grass and flower,
Whose limbs beneath the hangman's lashes burn
All the next morn: they prison in the tower
Origille, till Lucina shall return;
To whom the counselling lords reserve the power
To speak the woman's sentence, mild or stern.
Harboured, till Gryphon can bear arms, at court,
Aquilant fleets the time in fair disport.

XCIV
The valiant Norandino could not choose
(Made by such error temperate and wise),
But full of penitence and sorrow, muse,
With downcast spirit, and in mournful guise,
On having bid his men a knight misuse,
Whom all should worthily reward and prize;
So that he, night and morning, in his thought,
How to content the injured warrior sought.

XCV
And he determined, in the public sight
O' the city, guilty of that injury,
With all such honour as to perfect knight
Could by a puissant monarch rendered be,
Him with the glorious guerdon to requite,
Which had been ravished by such treachery:
And hence, within a month, proclaimed the intent
To hold another solemn tournament.

XCVI
For which he made what stately preparation
Was possible to make by sceptered king.
Hence Fame divulged the royal proclamation
Throughout all Syria's land, with nimble wing,
Phoenicia and Palestine; till the relation
Of this in good Astolpho's ears did ring;
Who, with the lord who ruled that land in trust,
Resolved he would be present at the just.

XCVII
For a renowned and valiant cavalier
Has the true history vaunted, Sansonnet,
By Roland christened, Charles (I said), the peer
Over the Holy Land as ruler set:
He with the duke takes up his load, to steer
Thither, where Rumour speaks the champions met.
So that his ears, on all sides in the journey,
Are filled with tidings of Damascus' tourney.

XCVIII
Thither the twain their way those countries through,
By easy stages and by slow, addrest,
That fresh upon the day of joust the two
Might in Damascus-town set up their rest.
When at the meeting of cross-ways they view
A person, who, in movement and in vest,
Appears to be a man, but is a maid;
And marvellously fierce, in martial raid.

XCIX
Marphisa was the warlike virgin's name,
And such her worth, she oft with naked brand
Had pressed Orlando sore in martial game,
And him who had Mount Alban in command;
And ever, night and day, the armed dame
Scowered, here and there, by hill and plain, the land;
Hoping with errant cavalier to meet,
And win immortal fame by glorious feat.

C
When Sansonnetto and the English knight
She sees approaching her, in warlike weed,
Who seem two valiant warriors in her sight,
As of large bone, and nerved for doughty deed,
On them she fain would prove her martial might,
And to defy the pair has moved her steed.
When, eyeing the two warriors, now more near,
Marphisa recognized the duke and peer.

CI
His pleasing ways she did in mind retrace,
When arms in far Catay with her he bore
Called him by name, nor would in iron case;
Retain her hand, upraised the casque she wore,
And him, advanced, to meet with glad embrace,
Though, of all living dames and those of yore,
The proudest, she; nor with less courteous mien
The paladin salutes the martial queen.

CII
They questioned one another of their way;
And when the duke has said (who first replied)
That he Damascus seeks, where to assay
Their virtuous deeds, all knights of valour tried
The Syrian king invites, in martial play, -
The bold Marphisa, at his hearing cried,
(Ever to prove her warlike prowess bent)
'I will be with you at this tournament.'

CIII
To have such a comrade either cavalier
Is much rejoiced. They to Damascus go,
And in a suburb, of the city clear,
Are lodged, upon the day before the show;
And, till her aged lover, once so dear,
Aurora roused, their humble roof below,
In greater ease the weary warriors rested
Than had they been in costly palace guested.

CIV
And when the clear and lucid sun again
Its shining glories all abroad had spread,
The beauteous lady armed, and warriors twain,
Having first couriers to the city sped,
Who, when 'twas time, reported to the train,
That, to see truncheons split in contest dread,
King Norandine had come into the square
In which the cruel games appointed were.

CV
Straight to the city ride the martial band,
And, through the high-street, to the crowded place;
Where, waiting for the royal signal, stand,
Ranged here and there, the knights of gentle race.
The guerdons destined to the conqueror's hand,
In that day's tourney, were a tuck and mace
Richly adorned, and, with them, such a steed
As to the winning lord were fitting meed.

CVI
Norandine, sure that, in the martial game,
Both prizes destined for the conquering knight,
As well as one and the other tourney's fame,
Must be obtained by Gryphon, named the white,
To give him all that valiant man could claim,
Nor could he give the warrior less, with right,
The armour, guerdon of this final course
Placed with the tuck and mace and noble horse.

CVII
The arms which in the former joust the due
Of valiant Gryphon were, who all had gained,
(With evil profit, by the wretch untrue,
Martan' usurped, who Gryphon's bearing feigned)
To be hung up on high in public view
With the rich-flourished tuck, the king ordained,
And fastened at the saddle of the steed
The mace, that Gryphon might win either meed.

CVIII
But from effecting what he had intended
He was prevented by the warlike maid;
Who late into the crowded square had wended,
With Sansonnet and England's duke arrayed,
Seeing the arms of which I spoke suspended,
She straight agnized the harness she surveyed,
Once hers, and dear to her; as matters are
Esteemed by us as excellent and rare;

CIX
Though, as a hindrance, she upon the road
Had left the arms, when, to retrieve her sword,
She from her shoulders slipt the ponderous load,
And chased Brunello, worthy of the cord.
More to relate were labour ill bestowed,
I deem, nor further of the tale record.
Enough for me, by you 'tis understood,
How here she found anew her armour good.

CX
You shall take with you, when by manifest
And certain tokens they by her were known,
She, for no earthly thing, the iron vest
And weapons for a day would have foregone.
She thinks not if this mode or that be best
To have them, anxious to regain her own;
But t'wards the arms with hand extended hies,
And without more regard takes down the prize.

CXI
And throwing some on earth, it chanced that more
Than was her own she in her hurry took.
The Syrian king, who was offended sore,
Raised war against her with a single look.
For ill the wrong his angered people bore,
And, to avenge him, lance and falchion shook;
Remembering not, on other day, how dear
They paid for scathing errant cavalier.

CXII
No wishful child more joyfully, 'mid all
The flowers of spring-tide, yellow, blue, and red,
Finds itself, nor at concert or at ball
Dame beauteous and adorned, than 'mid the tread
Of warlike steeds, and din of arms, and fall
Of darts, and push of spears. - where blood is shed,
And death is dealt, in the tumultuous throng, -
SHE finds herself beyond all credence strong.

CXIII
She spurred her courser, and with lance in rest,
Imperious at the foolish rabble made,
And - through the neck impaled or through the breast, -
Some pierced, some prostrate at the encounter layed.
Next this or that she with the falchion prest;
The head from one she severed with the blade,
And from that other cleft: another sank,
Short of right arm or left, or pierced in flank.

CXIV
Bold Sansonnetto and Astolpho near,
Who had, with her, their limbs in harness dight,
Though they for other end in arms appear,
Seeing the maid and crowd engaged in fight,
First lower the helmet's vizor, next the spear,
And with their lances charge the mob outright:
Then bare their falchions, and, amid the crew,
A passage with the trenchant weapons hew.

CXV
The errant cavaliers who to that stage,
To joust, from different lands had made resort,
Seeing them warfare with such fury wage,
And into mourning changed the expected sport,
Because all knew not what had moved the rage
Of the infuriate people in that sort,
Nor what the insult offered to the king,
Suspended stood in doubt and wondering.

CXVI
Of these, some will the crowded rabble's band
(Too late repentant of the feat) befriend:
Those, favouring not the natives of the land
More than the foreigners, to part them wend.
Others more wary, with their reins in hand,
Sit watching how the mischief is to end.
Gryphon and Aquilant are of the throng
Which hurry forward to avenge the wrong.

CXVII
The pair of warlike brethren witnessing
The monarch's drunken eyes with venom fraught,
And having heard from many in the ring
The occasion which the furious strife had wrought,
Himself no whit less injured than the king
Of Syria's land, offended Gryphon thought.
Each knight, in haste, supplied himself with spear,
And thundering vengeance drove in full career.

CXVIII
On Rabican, pricked forth before his hand,
Valiant Astolpho, from the other bound,
With the enchanted lance of gold in hand,
Which at the first encounter bore to ground
What knights he smote with it; and on the sand
Laid Gryphon first; next Aquilant he found,
And scarcely touched the border of his shield,
Ere he reversed the warrior on the field.

CXIX
From lofty saddle Sansonnet o'erthrew,
Famous for price and prowess, many a knight.
To the outlet of the square the mob withdrew;
The monarch raged with anger and despite.
Meanwhile, of the first cuirass and the new
Possest, as well as either helmet bright,
Marphisa, when she all in flight discerned,
Conqueror towards her suburb-inn returned.

CXX
Sansonnet and Astolpho are not slow
In following t'wards the gate the martial maid,
(The mob dividing all to let them go)
And halt when they have reached the barricade.
Gryphon and Aquilant, who saw with woe
Themselves on earth at one encounter laid,
Their drooping heads, opprest with shame, decline,
Nor dare appear before King Norandine.

CXXI
Seizing their steeds and mounting, either son
Of Oliver to seek their foemen went:
With many of his vassals too is gone
The king; on death or vengeance all intent.
The foolish rabble cry, 'Lay on, lay on.'
And stand at distance and await the event.
Gryphon arrived where the three friends had gained
A bridge, and facing round the post maintained.

CXXII
He, at the first approach, Astolpho knew,
For still the same device had been his wear,
Even from the day he charmed Orrilo slew,
His horse, his arms the same: him not with care
Sir Gryphon had remarked, nor stedfast view,
When late he jousted with him in the square:
He knows him here and greets; next prays him show
Who the companions are that with him go;

CXXIII
And why they had those arms, without the fear
Of Syria's king, pulled down, and to his slight.
Of his champions England's cavalier,
Sir Gryphon courteously informed aright.
But little of those arms, pursued the peer,
He knew, which were the occasion of the fight;
But (for he thither with Marphisa came
And Sansonnet) had armed to aid the dame.

CXXIV
While he and Gryphon stood in colloquy,
Aquilant came, and knew Astolpho good,
Whom he heard speaking with his brother nigh,
And, though of evil purpose, changed his mood.
Of Norandine's trooped many, these to spy;
But came not nigh the warriors where they stood:
And seeing them in conference, stood clear,
Listening, in silence, and intent to hear.

CXXV
Some one who hears Marphisa hold is there,
Famed, through the world, for matchless bravery,
His courser turns, and bids the king have care,
Save he would lose his Syrian chivalry,
To snatch his court, before all slaughtered are,
From the hand of Death and of Tisiphone:
For that 'twas verily Marphisa, who
Had borne away the arms in public view.

CXXVI
As Norandine is told that name of dread,
Through the Levant so feared on every side,
Whose mention made the hair on many a head
Bristle, though she was often distant wide.
He fears the ill may happen which is said,
Unless against the mischief he provide;
And hence his meiny, who have changed their ire
Already into fear, he bids retire.

CXXVII
The sons of Oliver, on the other hand,
With Sansonnetto and the English knight,
So supplicate Marphisa, she her brand
Puts up, and terminates the cruel fight;
And to the monarch next, amid his brand,
Cries, proudly, 'Sir, I know not by what right
Thou wouldst this armour, not thine own, present
To him who conquers in thy tournament.

CXXVIII
'Mine are these arms, which I, upon a day,
Left on the road which leads from Armeny,
Because, parforce a-foot, I sought to stay
A robber, who had sore offended me.
The truth of this my ensign may display.
Which here is seen, if it be known to thee.'
With that she on the plate which sheathed the breast
(Cleft in three places) showed a crown imprest.

CXXIX
'To me this an Armenian merchant gave,
'Tis true,' replied the king, 'some days ago;
And had you raised your voice, the arms to crave,
You should have had them, whether yours or no.
For, notwithstanding I to Gryphon gave
The armour, I so well his nature know,
He freely would resign the gift he earned,
That it by me to you might be returned.

CXXX
'Your allegation needs not to persuade
These arms are yours - that they your impress bear;
Your word suffices me, by me more weighed
Than all that other witness could declare.
To grant them yours is but a tribute paid
To Virtue, worthy better prize to wear.
Now have the arms, and let us make accord;
And let some fairer gift the knight reward.'

CXXXI
Gryphon, who little had those arms at heart,
But much to satisfy the king was bent,
Replied: 'You recompense enough impart,
Teaching me how your wishes to content.'
- 'Here is my honour all at sake,' apart,
'Meseemeth,' said Marphisa, and forewent
Her claim for Gryphon's sake, with courteous cheer;
And, as his gift, in fine received the gear.

CXXXII
To the city, their rejoicings to renew,
In love and peace they measured back their way.
Next came the joust, of which the honour due,
And prize was Sansonnet's; since from the fray
Abstained Astolpho and the brethren two,
And bold Marphisa, best of that array,
Like faithful friends and good companions; fain
That Sansonnet the tourney's meed should gain.

CXXXIII
Eight days or ten in joy and triumph dwell
The knights with Norandine; but with such strong
Desire of France the warriors' bosoms swell,
Which will not let them thence be absent long,
They take their leave. Marphisa, who as well
Thither would go, departs the troop among.
Marphisa had long time, with sword and lance,
Desired to prove the paladins of France;

CXXXIV
And make experiment, if they indeed
Such worth as is by Rumour voiced display.
Sansonnet leaves another, in his stead,
The city of Jerusalem to sway,
And now these five, in chosen squadron speed,
Who have few peers in prowess, on their way.
Dismist by Norandine, to Tripoli
They wend, and to the neighbouring haven hie.

CXXXV
And there a carack find, about to steer
For western countries, taking in her store:
They, with the patron, for themselves and gear,
And horses, make accord; a seaman hoar
Of Luna he: the heavens, on all sides clear,
Vouch many days' fair weather. From the shore
They loose, with sky serene, and every sail
Of the yare vessel stretched by favouring gale.

CXXXVI
The island of the amorous deity
Breathed upon them an air, in her first port,
Which not alone to man does injury,
But moulders iron, and here life is short;
- A marsh the cause, - and Nature certainly
Wrongs Famagosta, poisoning, in such sort,
That city with Constantia's fen malign,
To all the rest of Cyprus so benign.

CXXXVII
The noxious scents that from the marish spring,
After short sojourn there, compel their flight.
The barque to a south-easter every wing
Extends, and circles Cyprus to the right,
Makes Paphos' island next, and, anchoring,
The crew and warriors on the beach alight;
Those to ship merchandize, and these, at leisure,
To view the laughing land of Love and Pleasure.

CXXXVIII
Inland six miles or seven from thence, a way
Scales, with an easy rise, a pleasant hill;
Which myrtle, orange, cedar-tree, and bay,
And other perfumed plants by thousands fill;
Thyme, marjoram, crocus, rose, and lily gay
From odoriferous leaf such sweets distill,
That they who sail the sea the fragrance bland,
Scent in each genial gale which blows from land.

CXXXIX
A fruitful rill, by limpid fountain fed,
Waters, all round about, the fertile space.
The land of Venus truly may be said
That passing joyous and delightful place:
For every maid and wife, who there is bred,
Is through the world beside, unmatched in grace:
And Venus wills, till their last hour be tolled,
That Love should warm their bosoms, young and old.

CXL
'Twas here they heard the same which they before
Of the orc and of Lucina, erst had heard
In Syria; how she to return once more
In Nicosia, to her lord prepared.
Thence (a fair wind now blowing from the shore)
His bark for sea the ready Patron cleared,
Hawled up his anchor, westward turned the head
Of the good ship, and all his canvas spread.

CXLI
To the north wind, which blew upon their right,
Stretching to seaward, they their sails untie:
When lo! a south-south-wester, which seemed light,
In the beginning, while the sun was high,
And afterwards increased in force t'wards night,
Raised up the sea against them mountains high;
With such dread flashes, and loud peals of thunder,
As Heaven, to swallow all in fire, would sunder.

CXLII
The clouds their gloomy veil above them strain,
Nor suffer sun or star to cheer the view.
Above the welkin roared, beneath the main;
On every side the wind and tempest grew;
Which, with sharp piercing cold and blinding rain,
Afflicted sore the miserable crew.
While aye descending night, with deeper shade,
The vext and fearful billows overlayed.

CXLIII
The sailors, in this war of wind and flood,
Were prompt to manifest their vaunted art.
One blowing through the shrilling whistle stood,
And with the signal taught the rest their part.
One clears the best bower anchor: one is good
To lower, this other to hawl home or start
The braces; one from deck the lumber cast,
And this secured the tiller, that the mast.

CXLIV
The cruel wind increased throughout the night,
Which grew more dismal and more dark than hell.
The wary Patron stood to sea outright,
Where he believed less broken was the swell;
And turned his prow to meet, with ready sleight,
The buffets of the dreadful waves which fell;
Never without some hope, that at day-break
The storm might lull, or else its fury slake.

CXLV
It lulls not, nor its fury slakes, but grown
Wilder, shows worse by day, - if this be day,
Which but by reckoning of the hours is known,
And not by any cheering light or ray.
Now, with more fear (his weaker hope o'erthrown).
The sorrowing Patron to the wind gives way,
He veers his barque before the cruel gale,
And scowers the foaming sea with humble sail.

CXLVI
While Fortune on the sea annoys this crew,
She grants those others small repose by land,
Those left in France, who one another slew, -
The men of England and the paynim band.
These bold Rinaldo broke and overthrew;
Nor troops nor banners spread before him stand:
I speak of him, who his Baiardo fleet
Had spurred the gallant Dardinel to meet.

CXLVII
The shield, of which Almontes' son was vain,
That of the quarters, good Rinaldo spied;
And deemed him bold, and of a valiant strain,
Who with Orlando's ensign dared to ride.
Approaching nearer, this appeared more plain,
When heaps of slaughtered men he round him eyed.
'Better it were,' he cried, 'to overthrow
This evil plant, before it shoot and grow.'

CXLVIII
Each to retreat betook him, where the peer
His face directed, and large passage made.
Nor less the Saracens than faithful, clear
The way, so reverenced is Fusberta's blade.
Save Dardinel, Mount Alban's cavalier,
Saw none, nor he to chase his prey delayed.
To whom, 'He cast upon thee mickle care,
Poor child, who of that buckler left thee heir.

CXLIX
'I seek thee out to prove (if thou attend
My coming) how thou keep'st the red and white,
For thou, save this from me thou canst defend,
Canst ill defend it from Orlando's might.'
To him the king: 'Now clearly comprehend,
I what I bear, as well defend in fight;
And I more honour hope than trouble dread
From my paternal quartering, white and red.

CL
'Have thou no hope to make me fly, or yield
To thee my quarters, though a child I be;
My life shalt thou take from me, if my shield;
But I, in God, well hope the contrary.
- This as it may! - shall none, in fighting field,
Say that I ever shamed my ancestry.'
So said, and grasping in his hand the sword,
The youthful king assailed Mount Alban's lord.

CLI
Upon all parts, a freezing fear goes through
The heart blood of each trembling paynim nigh,
When they amazed the fierce Rinaldo view;
Who charged the monarch with such enmity,
As might a lion, which a bullock, new
To stings of love, should in a meadow spy.
The Moor smote first, but fruitless was his task,
Who beat in vain upon Mambrino's casque.

CLII
Rinaldo smiled, and said: 'I'd have thee know
If I am better skilled to find the vein.'
He spurs, and lets with that the bridle go,
And a thrust pushes with such might and main,
- A thrust against the bosom of his foe,
That at his back the blade appears again.
Forth issued blood and soul, and from his sell
Lifeless and cold the reeling body fell.

CLIII
As languishes the flower of purple hue,
Which levelled by the passing ploughshare lies;
Or as the poppy, overcharged with dew,
In garden droops its head in piteous wise:
From life the leader of Zumara's crew
So past, his visage losing all its dyes;
So passed from life; and perished with their king,
The heart and hope of all his following.

CLIV
As waters will sometime their course delay,
Stagnant, and penned in pool by human skill,
Which, when the opposing dyke is broke away,
Fall, and with mighty noise the country fill:
'Twas so the Africans, who had some stay,
While Dardinello valour did instil,
Fled here and there, dismayed on every side,
When they him hurtling form his sell descried.

CLV
Letting the flyers fly, of those who stand
Firm in their place, Rinaldo breaks the array;
Ariodantes kills on every hand;
Who ranks well nigh Rinaldo on that day.
These Leonetto's, those Zerbino's brand
O'erturns, all rivals in the glorious fray.
Well Charles and Oliver their parts have done,
Turpin and Ogier, Guido and Salomon.

CLVI
In peril were the Moors, that none again
Should visit Heatheness, that day opprest:
But that the wise and wary king of Spain,
Gathered, and from the field bore off the rest:
To sit down with his loss he better gain
Esteemed, that here to hazard purse and vest:
Better some remnant of the host to save,
Than bid whole squadrons stand and find a grave.

CLVII
He bids forthwith the Moorish ensigns be
Borne to the camp, which fosse and rampart span.
With the bold monarch of Andology,
The valiant Portuguese, and Stordilan.
He sends to pray the king of Barbary,
To endeavour to retire, as best be can;
Who will no little praise that day deserve,
If he his person and his place preserve.

CLVIII
That king, who deemed himself in desperate case,
Nor ever more Biserta hoped to see;
For, with so horrible and foul a face
He never Fortune had beheld, with glee
Heard that Marsilius had contrived to place
Part of his host in full security;
And faced about his banners and bade beat
Throughout his broken squadrons a retreat.

CLIX
But the best portion neither signal knew,
Nor listened to the drum or trumpet's sound.
So scared, so crowded is the wretched crew,
That many in Seine's neighbouring stream are drowned,
Agramant, who would form the band anew,
(With him Sobrino) scowers the squadrons round;
And with them every leader good combines
To bring the routed host within their lines.

CLX
But nought by sovereign or Sobrino done,
Who, toiling, them with prayer or menace stirred,
To march, where their ill-followed flags are gone.
Can bring (I say not all) not even a third.
Slaughtered or put to flight are two for one
Who 'scapes, - nor he unharmed: among that herd,
Wounded is this behind, and that before,
And wearied, one and all, and harassed sore.

CLXI
And even within their lines, in panic sore,
They by the Christian bands are held in chase;
And of all needful matters little store
Was made there, for provisioning the place.
Charlemagne wisely by the lock before
Would grapple Fortune, when she turned her face,
But that dark night upon the field descended,
And hushed all earthly matters and suspended:

CLXII
By the Creator haply hastened, who
Was moved to pity for the works he made.
The blood in torrents ran the country through,
Flooding the roads: while on the champaign laid
Were eighty thousand of the paynim crew,
Cut off that day by the destroying blade:
Last trooped from caverns, at the midni

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Oh Lucy

We love nakedness more than covering ourselves in this world,
But my love is ascending from the east with the untimely figs;
And the palm branches of your love are all that i need to see.
My love is to all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues;
And of the shame of your nakedness that is shared by many!
But do anoint your eyes with eyelids that you might see,
And don't let me spew you out of my mouth like the beast.
Oh Lucy! Why are you sharing your nakedness with all the men? !
For many have come on this love and i have seen enough,
But to cover yourself is better than the sins around you.

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To The Hand Painter Who Goes Offline When I Go Online

i lied
when i said i like your painting
it is a pity
no one
buys it.

the truth is
what i saw in that canvass
was a man deprived of happiness
craving for
sex
but cannot simply accept
that his body
needs it

warmth is not all jacket
it is better
done with skin
to skin
inside a room where you are naked
and so private
with another body looking for that much
needed intimacy
in the middle of this city where
indifference
seems to be the mother of mankind.

i wish sometimes that you better
do a portrait of yourself
in black
and while
sketches
from a sharp charcoal
on a
very white and thick
canvass.

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Now, God Be Thanked Who Has Matched Us With His Hour

Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!

Oh! we who have known shame, we have found release there,
Where there's no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Nought broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart's long peace there
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

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The night runs in fear of the dreamer

The night runs in fear of the dreamer
The night runs in fear of the dreamer
As for he there is no night.
For even though there is darkness in abundance
He only need close his eyes to see there is light.
God deems all darkness be made light!
Such is why ebony skies are singularly bright
Brightly, dotted; with orbs so bright.
For the dreamers hope, is a candle wick?
That stretches from here to eternity…
All he but do is ignite its vaporous spirit.
And, be guided by its flickering fight…
For he that adjourns in his own shadow
Will have nowhere to go, when he spurns
What the daylight; can no longer anymore follow.
God made a scented garden and gave all men
Their seven senses to follow in this his trail.
So that even if one or more senses be lost
The spirit of the lamb would still be
Guided by gods external; light within.

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Great Mullen

One leaves his leaves at home
beomg a mullen and sends up a lighthouse
to peer from: I will have my way,
yellow--A mast with a lantern, ten
fifty, a hundred, smaller and smaller
as they grow more--Liar, liar, liar!
You come from her! I can smell djer-kiss
on your clothes. Ha! you come to me,
you, I am a point of dew on a grass-stem.
Why are you sending heat down on me
from your lantern?--You are cowdung, a
dead stick with the bark off. She is
squirting on us both. She has has her
hand on you!--well?--She has defiled
ME.--Your leaves are dull, thick
and hairy.--Every hair on my body will
hold you off from me. You are a
dungcake, birdlime on a fencerail.--
I love you, straight, yellow
finger of God pointing to--her!
Liar, broken weed, dungcake, you have--
I am a cricket waving his antennae
and you are high, grey and straight. Ha!

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