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Van Morrison

Even today, skiffle is a defining part of my music. If I get the opportunity to just have a jam, skiffle is what I love to play.

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I'm alive today, therefore I'm just as much a part of our time as everybody else. The times will just have to enlarge themselves to make room for me, won't they, and for everybody else.

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Even Today The Incompetent Deny It

What will you say to those,
Who were unafraid.
The ones of faith and spoke the truth.
The ones you have betrayed.

What realities will form your words,
To be accepted and believed.
What will one who spoke of hatred,
Say to those who suffered from misdeeds.

Even today the incompetent deny it.
They gather to seek new committees...
To explain their failures.

Even today deceit is used.
To attempt more confusion.
And to abuse those accused...
Of seeing things too clearly!

What will you say to those,
Who were unafraid.
The ones of faith and spoke the truth.
The ones you have betrayed.

What will you say,
When that day arrives...
To find you,
The one despised.
What will you then say?
It is okay?
Like you have done...
To have things your way.

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Back In The Days Of My Youthful Glow

Both sympathy and empathy I understand,
With clarity.
There has been no part of my life...
Was there an option that I live,
For just a few days or week.

Nor did I get the opportunity...
Just to live for the weekends to party.
Never did I run away,
From a task or deed to leave.

And I do understand,
There are millions living today...
In a sorrow that may seem to them,
Carried on backs weighted down by grief.

Being a product of an environment,
I knew few that were pampered...
It becomes difficult for me,
To echange my experiences...
To walk in someone else's shoes.

Most of the time,
I had holes in the soles of mine.
And I was taught at an early age,
To keep my shoes shine...
Wear clean underwear.
And be thankful for what I had.

Even if that meant...
To be glad if I had nothing!

Back in the days of my youthful glow,
Anyone would think I was ordained...
The 'king' of Bellevue Square.
A tenement project where poor Black folks lived,
To later become great people!

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Nothing Even Matters

Now the skies could fall
Not even if my boss should call
The world it seems so very small
'Cause nothing even matters at all

Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters at all
Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters at all

See I don't need no alcohol
Your love makes me feel ten feet tall
Without it I'd go through withdrawal
'Cause nothing even matters at all

Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters at all
Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters at all

These buildings could drift out to sea
Some natural catastrophe
Still there's no place I'd rather be
'Cause nothing even matters to me

Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters to me
Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters to me

You're part of my identity
I sometimes have the tendency
To look at you religiously
'Cause nothing even matters to me

Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters to me
Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters to me

Now you won't find me at no store
I have no time for manicures
With you it's never either or
'Cause nothing even matters no more

Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters no more
Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters no more

Now my team could score
And make it to the Final Four
Just repossess my 4x4
'Cause nothing even matters no more

Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters no more
Nothing even matters
Nothing even matters no more

song performed by Lauryn Hill from The Miseducation Of Lauryn HillReport problemRelated quotes
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The Dialogue: Time tested knowledge -Globilization is the ladder

Time –Ladder

My words of inspiration
Will always begin by time
They say time is money
I am thinking of time sitting with my best friend
Then I came to recognize that time is friend who is caring
He is sharing me with his past experiences about life
Hear is the beginning:
My friend: Do you see that we are now failing to do the things in the way that our past forefathers were doing
Me: Yes but why
My friend: This is because we are failing to use the time in a more sunssict manner
Me: what do you mean?
My friend: Have you noticed how naughty the pupils are during the class.
Me: yes
My friend: That is because they tend to take all of things that are being said by the lectures fro granted.
Me: Why is that happening
My: That is not only because the students do not looked to attend the lectures, but that is because they think they will be able to catch up the notes either on the book or on the internet.
Me: Oh yes, But not all of us who are having the similar abilities to grasp exactly what the lectures are saying, doesn’t that cause others to fail.

My friend: That affect everybody.

Me: How

My friend: Do you know what? Time is very important. Most of students – tends to blame the lectures when they have failed. The University is another level of education. There is no one who will push as in the high schools. You need to go and search the information for them.
Me: Besides that my friend: Most of lectures have experience. They have devoted their times in doing their studies. Besides that, most of lectures are very old. For us as the students it is very difficult to develop knowledge about something we have never seen. Do you ever red Ferranti – the sociolology book part about Industrial Revolutions?

Me: Do you mean that Industries evolutes in Europe that any other world?

My friend: That is good but can you think of how the Industrial Revolution tests our time-knowledge?

Me: I think of the time when the animals were being domesticated. I red that book from Diamond Larry. Those animals were then used as transport for goods. Two or three Horse carriages followed on one another. But they may have seen how heavy the goods are. They developed the wheels so that the weight is reduced. That was fine. However the roads were built because of too much bumps on the lands. They have therefore conquered the knowledge of making the trains. Note that the trains mimic the movement of horse carriages. Thereafter, everything followed. That includes cars, aero planes and even telegrams. What we are talking about today is time-distance friction – which means that our world is totally shrinking. That is literally because it does not refer to the actual shrinking of world. It refers to the time that we are now using to travel from one place to another. So you can see that what ever that is happening is traced from the past experience.
My friend: Wow my friend you have killed it? (We shack the hands)

Me: So we cannot only talk about the lectures but we can make our new statement of change.

My friend: Yes my friend you are clever, because you see that this world is changing. It is also said that in our modern societies some societies are failing to change because they are still stick to the superstitions of the past. In terms of culture do you think how can we change culture in the way that will be time- tested?

Me: I like when you say time –tested knowledge. Do you know what? If we can just switch off the knowledge and hysterical notes of writings about anything, including math, science and even culture there is no point to disagree that we shall not have developed in the way that the modern world development is taking place. I don’t like your term change and I suggest that you will use transform in the future. As you have had of how the industrial development was developed and then transformed. We need to study the ways in which the things were being done in the past in other to be able to transfer our modern word in a very smoothest way.

My friend: those words are now clear. You make me remember something. During the case of the ANC president Jackop Zuma. Well you know the rape case and -

Me: Can guess what you want to say. You are talking about the groups of women’s protection, who claimed that the girl did not cry or screamed because she was extremely terrified.

My friend: Yes and the judge said “that is not acceptable. A lady might otherwise have raped dead. No matter how terrifying the thing is, when we see something that terrifies us we tend to scream or be in the state of death. The statement that the women’s protection is trying raise has therefore no interaction in the universe”

Me: The judges are professionally trained; they are the people who are saying things based on the laws that were invented by based on the past experience. It does happen that Law is changed.But again I do not like to use the word change I will prefer to use the word transform. The transformations of laws are usually caused by the transformations of the modern societies. We are highly globalized and we have no point to oppose that. So in other to make the smooth transformation of our laws we need to see what was it cause and aims and what makes it fail to fit with the modern societies.

My friend: Yes you are speaking like lawyer now.

Me: I am not a Lawyer but what I have said emphasized one thing that “If the world is to be transformed in the smooth way – the time-tested knowledge in which things were done in the past must be used to evaluate the things, because we can not build something out of nothing.”

My friend: This also means that we are going to be tested on what we have done. I mean how we use our time and how we utilize the time-tested knowledge.

Me: Yes time is an ultimate sure goalkeeper. If one cherishes a dream on his or her mind it should be achieved by means of using the time-tested knowledge and that means that you need to use your time relevantly too. Open up your mouth and brain before you do actions you will see how amazing you are.

My friend: So my time is like a ladder. It is the only way to develop positive attitudes Take for example Doctor Nelson Mandela, who became the first democratically elected president in South Africa. He was sentenced almost 27 years in prison. He had seen how painful and disgusting the so-called discrimination is. When he came back he abolished apartheid and we are now leaving in the truly democratic South Africa.

Me: Yes time is a ladder that we shall climb with to everywhere we want to go. As you see Mandela had an experience about apartheid, because he felt to see how bad it was.He abolished it. He did not do the so called an eye for an eye. So everybody needs that Ladder of a time. I need ladder that shall be used to climb out the mountains. The ladder might be fit and fixed. Sot hat we shall be able to come back safety when our goals and visions have been fulfilled. My friends you are talking like a philosopher are you?

My friend: I am not a philosopher: anyone has told me to take those courses. I don’t believe it takes to study philosophy as to be a truly philosopher. There are as many people all over the universe. They call themselves engineers. But I will never call myself as a sociologist. The fact that I am studying sociology does not define me. I will be defined by time and my knowledge. I need person like you to kick start me but I do not need a person to push me.

Me: what do you mean?

Do you know the difference between the ultimate gold and fake gold. The faked gold tends to loose it color when it is thrown in the hot water. But the ultimate gold tends to shine more that ever before when it is thrown in the hot water. And do you know what does that mean? There are extremely rich people and there are poor people. Those people usually do absolutely nothing to help their societies. There are true philosophers with enough knowledge who can not pass it to the public. They wish to do so, but they are silenced because they ere not educated. I am lucky enough to get the opportunity to be at the university. So I shall use this chance to help in opening the mouths of the silenced philosophers. I shall use my time ladder. I don’t manna be reach and stay with my family while others are hungry outside. That is going to kill me and not the hungry people. Because we are living in the single universe that needs to be developed equally in order to achieve the developed world. (Now crying) I don’t want to be like those biggest extinct animals. Those animals were stupid’s. They refuse to adapt to the newly emerging environmental conditions. They realized that the food is so scarce but they choose to eat a lot. Take for an example of a person who usually encourages the apartheid. That person eventually changes when he has realized the truth. Unfortunately the saying argues that “the king is king buy it own people” So after the decades of the xenophobic plantation it is difficult to be removed. A king is transformed – he is no longer xenophobic –but it people are xenophobic. They kill people- foreigners. The king cries – not because he feels so pathetic over the killing –and I want to say no.
The king is very old and he does not know where shall it say to the God over his xenophobic inflicts or education. The king has no choice how to tell people that xenophobia is disgusting. He will loose his nation. No king is without stress in the universe.

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Even God Must Get The Blues

Pick up any morning paper
Turn on the 6 oclock news
The devils been so busy lately
That even God must get the blues
A young man lies there in the street
His life gone like it was nothin to lose
And for the shoes there on his feet
Yes even God must get the blues
When this rain falls down from heaven
It must be the angels cryin
For all the sorrow in the world tonight
A young girl hides her face in shame
So they cant see its been battered and bruised
Like shes the one to blame
Yes even God must get the blues
Pick up any evening paper
Turn on the 10 oclock news
The devils been so busy lately
That even God must get the blues
Yeah even God must get the blues

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Can't Even Get The Blues

Walk into the kitchen
Silverwear is gone
Furniture is missing
I guess you got it all uh huh
This is where is oughta hurt
Seems like ev'ry time ya leave me
Ya try to think of somethin worse
I can't even get the blues no more
I try to worry like I did before
And nothin happens when I walk the floor
What am I supposed to do
I toss and turn but then I fall asleep
I'm goin' under but it's not too deep
You wanna hurt me but it's just no use
I can't even get the blues
This time ain't no different
No sun up in the sky
Sittin on the back porch
Clouds are rolling by uh huh
This is where is oughta rain
But it doesn't really matter
To me it's all about the same
Can't even get the blues...

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Cant Even Get The Blues No More

(thomas william damphier, rick carnes)
I walk into the kitchen
The silverware is gone
The furniture is missing
I guess you got it all uhuh
This is where it ought to hurt
Seems like every time you leave me
You try to think of something worse
I cant even get the blues no more
I try to worry like I did before
And nothing happens when I walk the floor
So what am I supposed to do
I toss and turn but then I fall asleep
Im going under but its not too deep
You want to hurt me but its just no use
I cant even get the blues
Well this time aint no different
The suns up in the sky
Sitting on the back porch
Clouds are rolling by
Oh this is where it ought to rain
But it doesnt really matter
To me its all about the same
Repeat chorus
(you try and hurt me)
Repeat chorus

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Even Cowgirls Get The Blues

(rodney crowell)
Shes a rounder I can tell you that
She can sing em all night, too
Shell raise hell about the sleep she lost
But even cowgirls get the blues
Especially cowgirls, theyre the gypsy kind
And need their laid on em loose
Shes lived to see the world turned upside down
Hitchin rides out of the blues
But even cowgirls get the blues sometimes
Bound to dont know what to do sometimes
Get this feelin like shes too far gone
The only way shes ever been
Lonely nights are out there on the road
Motel ceiling stares you down
There must be safer ways to pay your dues
But even cowgirls get the blues
Even cowgirls get the blues sometime
Bound to dont know what to do sometimes
Get this feelin like shes too far gone
The only way shes ever been
Even cowgirls get the blues sometime
Bound to dont know what to do sometimes
Get this feelin like the restless wind
The only way shes ever been

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Breach Of Innocence-the Road Kill

One sunny noon, while chasing butterflies you &me,
Tried to unravel the mystery of the birds &the bees,
We stopped at some broken wings, lying on the ground, splattered,
Blackish red. To divert your attention I said,
“See! , There goes a butterfly in your favorite color,
Pink petals above your head hover.”
But you didn’t move &stood there
Watching, the first sight of destruction &its dark face.

Asked me where the bird went if it lay at your feet
Tattered like your ragged doll, with no tweet,
Its feathers spread, its face vacant, so still, awake.

You asked me, “If it still lay there within”
“Why it lay there so dirty, muddied.”
“Why doesn’t God clean it up? It’s a poor small bird.”
Questions I have searched answers for an entire life,
Your innocence springs open the Pandora’s Box.

In detail we inspect & see the ants have a galore,
You said, ” Kill the ants they are at the bird’’,
I said; “It doesn’t matter, now God has forgotten, ”
Puzzled you look at me, unsure, unsafe, and no longer protected.
Worried you ask me again –“Then where did it go? ”

I pointed to the skies &said –“It is with God- Up there! ’’!
You said looking up —“ I don’t see- where? ’’
I said—“God is there but prefers to remain anonymous”
Then you ask –“Then how would you know who he is? ”
“You say he could be anywhere, here –there, ”
I said –“Yes, he is here, I see him in you—your sweet smile”
Again you give me that quizzical look
And with tender hands my arm you took.

We let it be & went ahead instead,
Me in my daily pursuits, you withheld
By the wonders of childhood. Our separate ways,
It’s been three summers now,
Even today when unwell you scream-“A feather in my bed! ”
And again the same question stands,
And stares at me-bold, daring, emphatic! .

For Vaishu-Thank You, Once again.

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Butterfly Kisses

There's two things I know for sure.
She was sent here from heaven, and shes daddys little girl.
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night,
She talks to Jesus, and I close my eyes.
And I thank God for all the joy in my life, But most of all...
Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer.
Stickin little white flowers all up in her hair.
"Walk beside the pony daddy, its my first ride."
"I know the cake looks funny, daddy, but I sure tried."
Oh, with all that Ive done wrong, I must have done something right.
To deserve a hug every morning, and butterfly kisses at night.
Sweet sixteen today.
Shes looking like her momma a little more every day.
One part woman, the other part girl.
To perfume and makeup, from ribbons and curls.
Trying her wings in a great big world. But I remember...
Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer.
Stickin little white flowers all up in her hair.
"You know how much I love you daddy, but if you dont mind,
Im only going to kiss you on cheek this time."
With all that Ive done wrong, I must have done something right.
To deserve a hug every morning, and butterfly kisses at night.
All the precise time.
Like the wind, the years go by.
Precious butterfly, spread your wings and fly.
Shell change her name today.
Shell make a promise, and Ill give her away.
Standing in the bride room just staring at her.
She asked me what Im thinking, and I said, "Im not sure,
I just feel like Im losing my baby girl."
Then she leaned over... and gave me...
Butterfly kisses, with her mama there.
Stickin little white flowers all up in her hair.
"Walk me down the aisle daddy, its just about time."
"Does my wedding gown look pretty daddy?" "Daddy dont cry."
With all that Ive done wrong, I must have done something right.
To deserve a hug every morning, and butterfly kisses.
I couldnt ask God for more, man, this is what love is.
I know Ive gotta let her go, but Ill always remember.
Every hug in the morning, and butterfly kisses...

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My Lady

Look at you.. still keepin it real huh?
Look baby.. we gotta go.. and emotions will come..
If you wanna be my lady just say it..
if you wanna be my lady..
just say it..
If you wanna be my lady, just say it just say it.. huh..
If you wanna be my girl, just love me today (yeah)
If you wanna be my baby, just make me go crazy
If you wanna be my lady, just say it just say it girl
Now look baby, take me to that place
where we can kiss each other make it face 2 face
lips 2 lips now it's gettin better huh?
so lady, my baby, is just the weather huh?
We can go n ride we can go n fly
question my love to you, but you know im gonna try
just erase my madness from my brain
melt my heart, nothin to lose but too much 2 gain
open up your spirit, let me enter into it
get inside your deepest secrets, one for another bit
walk me into you, so I know where to go
show me all your paths, and I will know ya fo sho
every step in the shadows is just another universe
i thought i had lost love, thought it was deep in that hearse
but you brought it back to life, showed me the sky
made me know ya so I know you're really right
So baby, tell me how we're gonna roll
how we gonna flow our love, make it never fall
charm it so it won't disappear
cause the sphere of our fear is gettin really weird
let's just capture it, keep it just forever
and never let it die, you know that better than anyone
So come n ride, come lets fly
if you wanna know why, lets just dance
I would kill for you, fight for you
smoke for you, and have fun with you
you wanna ride with me, come get high with me
you just need to say and touch my bo-dy
mad lovin from your unique smuggler in the world
so baby my lady come with me girl
the simple vision of your eyes makes my head go crazy
makes my brain to wake up to stop being lazy
first time I saw you and asked for your phone #
you didn't knew but my heart burn like lumber
and if you wanna come hug me and trip on my bed
i'll tell you "i wanna make love with u today"
directly in your ear, so you won't even fear
and aproach to my sphere.. with a love-making spear

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Anything in between

I can’t become anything even if I want to
I can’t attempt simply and pass though
It has certain norm and has to be met
Goal and priority should be decided and has to be set

Nothing materializes all of sudden
If you are sure of it then only it is done
You may get the success or fail
All your efforts may help you to sail

I know how to excel as good poet
I have revolutionary ideas but have to keep quiet
I may have strong will power to change the world order
It may some time result into disorder

How do the ideas enter into empty memory?
How do they develop into in to fine poetry?
Words after words may occupy different position
It may result then into fine composition

Can this lead into conflicting views?
Does the poet get its proper dues?
Can this land him into disarray/
Can this also take readers in to his way?

It is difficult to judge and visualize
Nobody can prejudge and lateralize
It may touch the inner core of the heart
It may land into garbage before entering mart

I have no time to think about all this things
It has to be an honest attempt at something
It may not find place today then possibly tomorrow
Some time has to be given to express the sorrow

It may have premature demise
No one can guarantee or promise
At every step it must be revised
Some new ideas to be set in and formula devised

The poets are small vanes of the society
It must pick correct mood and offer in variety
There s no use to present the which is obsolete
It has to be unique an din it self complete

The poets are not emerging in a day or two
They are subjected to litmus test and have to pass through
Not possible that it may find all the time good favor
The quality and product both must have flavor and fervor

If your ideas resonate with rhythm and synchronize
If it can meet the challenge and people too sympathize
It is certainly possible to have all glory and fame
Otherwise one common thing to share is blame

Nothing goes out of tune in the mind
You must have suitable words ready to find
I must altogether touch the reader’s ideology
There has to be common approach without any bogey

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Beg your pardon

I beg your pardon
Though it takes place seldom
I might have erred
Still your blessings need to be conferred

You are not only great
But decider of my fate
Before it is too late
Bestow me with your kindness and checkmate

I come to you when engulfed with confusion
I pray sincerely when body is deep under immersion
All my dirty ideas get washed and emerge as pure soul
I take resolve not to enter part in unholy game or commit foul

I consciously cheat self still plead for ignorance
I have no intention of looking back or have glance
I leave behind dirty tail and still seek mercy
Bow silently, offer prayers with good oratory and fluency

I know you are there to pardon me for any crime
Only I have to solemnly pledge that it was not my good time
I was carried away by compelling situation
The wrong intention was never there and rule out of question

“Come to me for any of problems” you once said
I have full faith in it and foundation is strongly laid
I can have little excuse in committing mistakes
Even though there may be nothing or little at stake

I can prevail upon my emotions
Though all the evils may be kept in motion
I shall pledge not to repeat or adhere to
Strictly follow the ethics and go through

I console the self that now I am armed with enough
Excuses that can morally strengthen me without further laugh
I have some basic reasons on which to make the case
Even though there is little hope for weak base

I am for sure to get the reprieve
As I have full faith and do believe
In His divine powers and reach
I deserve some sympathy even if it is breached

I think of those sufferings undergone
Still not revenged and forgiven
It is greatness and that has influenced my thoughts
So I have submitted as it has been taught

I can not cheat anybody by playing simple game
Everybody knows where to bow and pass the blame
I have little hesitation in pleading the cause
I am to be blamed for everything as per the case

I may have only one satisfaction when come out from your refuge
I shall take fresh pledge not to indulge in or refuse
A simple resolve to obey and fall on stated lines
I have full faith and belief that in the end it may prove fine

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Your pardon

I beg your pardon
Though it takes place seldom
I might have erred
Still your blessings need to be conferred

You are not only great
But decider of my fate
Before it is too late
Bestow me with your kindness and checkmate

I come to you when engulfed with confusion
I pray sincerely when body is deep under immersion
All my dirty ideas get washed and emerge as pure soul
I take resolve not to enter part in unholy game or commit foul

I consciously cheat self still plead for ignorance
I have no intention of looking back or have glance
I leave behind dirty tail and still seek mercy
Bow silently, offer prayers with good oratory and fluency

I know you are there to pardon me for any crime
Only I have to solemnly pledge that it was not my good time
I was carried away by compelling situation
The wrong intention was never there and rule out of question

“Come to me for any of problems” you once said
I have full faith in it and foundation is strongly laid
I can have little excuse in committing mistakes
Even though there may be nothing or little at stake

I can prevail upon my emotions
Though all the evils may be kept in motion
I shall pledge not to repeat or adhere to
Strictly follow the ethics and go through

I console the self that now I am armed with enough
Excuses that can morally strengthen me without further laugh
I have some basic reasons on which to make the case
Even though there is little hope for weak base

I am for sure to get the reprieve
As I have full faith and do believe
In His divine powers and reach
I deserve some sympathy even if it is breached

I think of those sufferings undergone
Still not revenged and forgiven
It is greatness and that has influenced my thoughts
So I have submitted as it has been taught

I can not cheat anybody by playing simple game
Everybody knows where to bow and pass the blame
I have little hesitation in pleading the cause
I am to be blamed for everything as per the case

I may have only one satisfaction when come out from your refuge
I shall take fresh pledge not to indulge in or refuse
A simple resolve to obey and fall on stated lines
I have full faith and belief that in the end it may prove fine

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To The Eid Crescent


Oh, Crescent!
Be blessed with the moments pleasant,
May flourish you ahead on the path.

Oh, Crescent!
Glow on their tents,
Who move trench to trench,
Since ages afar from the dear ones;
Dive into their hearts,
Who pant in the narrow cells of hospitals;
Bless them with tidings,
Who in the hope to be released,
Suffer the pangs of their innocence.
Dwell in the eyes of a damsel,
Who suffers ceaseless infliction
Of parting pangs;
For the season of courting pleasures.

Oh, Crescent!
Shine on those shelves,
Where upon the toys declining
The reach of innocent hands pant for life.

Oh, Crescent!
Seed the dreams of tomorrow
In the sightless eyes,
And wash with your own beams,
The sheets of darkness.
Collect the tears
Of the mothers of the young men,
Who departed to the remote lands.

Oh, Crescent!
See the wounds,
Of Afghanistan, Kashmir and Palestine,
Spread light on the spots,
In Iraq where wailings are all-around,
Glow on those heads and graves,
Who tasted peace, stepping ahead
From life to the region eternity.

Oh, Crescent!
Let there be no wailings at the moon-night,
The earth and the sky may sleep well,
And complain not against Man.
Dive into my words, agony and mirror of heart,

Oh; Crescent!
Garland roses and petals;
Again weave afresh the fabric of dreams.


Oh, Crescent!
These skyscrapers of the capital,
The cages of humanity are indifferent,
To the rise and ornaments of the moon-light,
Unfamiliar are to you, the sky kissing,
New York, London, Geneva and Paris.
Shower your light,
Where smelly explosives singed,
The rosy cheeks of children;
Shine where breasts of mothers,
For the miracle of milk drops,
Look to the firmament,
Where the warring valiants go ahead thrilling,
On the beat and turn not to see behind,
When they come out of their houses.
How many damsels with pieces of adoration,
Wait for them,
But they are not habitual of retreat disgraceful;
Their eyes surge when gurgle,
The filled pitchers and containers at the wells.

Oh, Crescent!
The Eid has brought all blessings along with,
But brings no one the tidings,
From those who were alive the last year.

Oh, Crescent!
Bestow upon those,
The honour of splendid death whose eyes,
Never surged despite containing tears.


The bangles jingle,
The bazaars scent the smell of Hina,
And fragrance of Anchals,
Flow in rhythm the laughter,
In shops, in front of stalls and carts.
And some where the damsels,
Being adorned in the mirrors,
And the wrists with the rings,
Cherish the dreams in their eyes;
And somewhere showers of smile,
Flow upon the begging lips.

Oh, Crescent!
How many are the houses,
Of which the lights are extinguished,
And blow ashes from the hearths cold.
Intelligible are the ways of distribution,
Of God Almighty.
How many flowers seek the prints,
Existence of their own,
With shivering extremities;
And some sway belated carrying the toys,
While other watch them with looks astonished.
What complain watery eyes and crusty lips?
Some look to the glossy shoes,
In such a way as if one will blot,
Moist of the shining polish.

Oh, Crescent!
Have you ever seen a waiting eye,
That after your appearance,
Listens to the horn of every vehicle,
Coming from the city as if Jesus listens to
The beating hearts of the patients.
Who is the panting virgin that sings,
A heart- stabbing love song.

Oh, Crescent!
Blessed to you your existence,
But spectrums surround the poet’s heart,
Interpret his plight too in front of God,
Who has forsaken his smiles.
And is living for others even today.


Oh, Crescent!
There had been times when you appeared,
With the echoes of blessed tidings,
And greetings of peace.
When I was a lad, foremost I heard of you,
In the fairy tales of my mother,
And when age grew you spoke in fiction,
Ghazals, panegyrics and poems,
And sometimes in dream the desire,
To touch you waved; extended I my hands;
But boundless agony became my fortune,
That you ever remained out of my reach.
Then Man stepped into your yard,
The moon clay is now in the museums,
The men in the coats neat,
The killers of nature, carrying microscopes,
Are at work in the laboratories,
You are now in the tales no more,
I know not where those ghazals are,
Poems and fiction, in which I touched you.

Oh, Crescent!
On being compelled by immodest nature,
Of Man never migrate as the birds do,
In case your misfortunes increase,
And dust of the earth goes to the last extent,
The poet’s heart is the safest refuge;
I will receive you with open heart,
With the waves of desires dancing on blood.

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Patrick White

I Love The World The Way A Mother Loves A Dead Child

I love the world the way a mother loves a dead child
and sees its ghost everywhere.
I look at the stars and more and more
I see the disappointment in their eyes.
We waste each other like clear cut forests.
In the sacred groves where the priests
are the birds of death, you're either
a chainsaw or a nail protesting a passion play.
Ever since the last lyric died an agonizing death
poems have become gadgets
in the hands of inventors without fingerprints.
No growth rings in the heartwood of a dead tree.
Tone-deaf door-knockers who write poetry
as a kind of white noise to drown out
the shrieking of the innocent in their crawl spaces.

Chronic renewal of one-eyed overviews.
Most people's lives are just big enough lies
they've told themselves often enough
to believe there may be something to it.
Wounded earth, I weep for you like a slayer
weeps for the slain. You were not my mother.
You were my child. Nemetic humanity
raises its own assassin in paranoid despair.

Measure of the mighty in the power of a dam,
how easy it is to forget the omnipotence
of a dropp of rain. It's still possible to open
cosmic gates of the aviaries and let
all the winged horses fly free and riderless
like the silk paratroopers of the milk weed pods
or the albino umbrellas of smouldering dandelions.
But for the most part
beauty and truth lost heart long ago
and were turned out like fashionistas
on the celebrity catwalks of surrealistic irreverence
and now the peony is wearing the thorns of the rose.

I still go out at night far from town by myself
to amuse the stars with my humanity,
the dents in my shining, the legends of light
I turned into black farces of self-righteous fallibility
as if I had acquired the power to reverse
a diamond back into coal. The mourning dove
studies the occult magic of the crow
and the sacred clowns look for enlightenment
in their shame, in the irrelevant antics
of the painted tears that fall from their eyes
whenever they address themselves
like mirrors in a green room putting their make-up on.

Been in the tide of this night sea of awareness
so long now, I've developed a tendency
to round the sharp corners of the crucials
out into more spherically embrasive wavelengths,
kinder pieces of sand-blasted glass
to insulate myself exponentially from the details
as if a full moon were some kind of antidote
to its own fangs and the harvest wasn't toxic.
But I know I'm only trying to divine my way
by white lightning on the moon illuminating a road
as wide as everywhere. And my childhood rage
is stilling tearing down gates and fences
around open fields where the wildflowers bloom
without starmaps, and the bounty of the earth
isn't a menu that determines your place in the foodchain.

Poetry's been the longest good night I've ever experienced
and life the deepest, most gracious bow
to all the people, events, and things I've ever cherished.
Not too hard to see the lowest common denominator
of all values has become a quantum mechanical lottery
and physics is just a screening myth
for what gets murdered along the way to the promised land.
Enculturated to our own pollution like fish,
though we swim out as far as the spring equinox in Pisces
to pour the universe out of the universe,
worlds waterclocking into worlds, still
after washing ourselves off in stars like water and sand
seeping into our graves like the mirage of an oil spill,
we're still recognized immediately among the worlds
by the indelibility of our filth, having yet to learn
not to track our identity in after us into the house of life.

The ululation of the loons wailing like Arab widows
reverberating across the lake sounds more
like an angry plea, than a call to prayer,
but who could lament the immensity
of that kind of tragic absence in a single lifetime
without emptying their spirits out like dry wells in a desert
that navigates like a madman by the full moon?
When I was young, I opened up a night school
to explain what a human was to the stars,
but now my soul's a lot more illiterate than it was
and it's me that's asking them to teach me to read.

Even if you look at it like a leather boot
that's walked down one too many roads
not to feel the pebble of the world bruise its heel,
even though we've made a great mess of it,
it's still a great mystery, yes? Give your assent
without hesitation, or the moon will know you're lying.
The mysterium tremendum et fascinans of the Romans.
The bright vacancy in the dark abundance
of the ore of our unknowing. Even the hardest heart
bleeds like iron out of the sacred rock
transformed in the forges of the fireflies of mystic insight
into a sword of moonlight worthy of being
laid down upon the waters of life in tribute.
Even if you had to fall upon it more than once
to get the point before you returned it in gratitude.

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Patrick White

For All The Seers And Seekers Out There

For all the seers and seekers out there,
all you bright seeds on a blind wind
looking for a vision of life you can root in
and express yourselves like willows in the moonlight
to the night creek nearby that listens
when you cry out in mystical bliss
at the surprise of waterlilies gathered at your feet
to catch a taste of the same essence that makes you weep,
deep inside, inside, inside, look there for paradise,
where the stars are dazzled by your eyes
that don't fade away in the blazing like Venus at dusk.

Looking for the spirit with the spirit
like a breathless wind looking for the wind
to give it mouth to mouth resuscitation
is a snake with its tail in its mouth
enchained to its own liberation.
Is a candle in the sun living on borrowed light
when it's already well-provisioned with its own shining
for the long nights in the heart
of an unknown radiance within?
Long nights on the high slopes
of the world mountain you're sitting on alone
like a pauper with kingly second thoughts
about abdicating the ancestral throne of your ego.

For you who are not stuck
like a false idol the size of your thumb
through a three and a half pound brain of starmud.

For you who are not voidbound by your freedom,
or cower in the shadows of your solitude
afraid to read the messages that flower under your doorsill
from anonymous admirers passing in the hall.

For those of you who learned to read and write
in an alphabet of loveletters waiting for a reply
that could answer them all like a return address on the silence.

For you who have taken the splinters of a shattered mirror
out of your eye and replaced them with stars
that have gone on giving light long after
the chandeliers of light-winged sorrows
have stopped waltzing in three four time with their
club-footed candles for the night.

Follow this goat bell up the high dangerous trails
where even overcoming your fear of heights
isn't enough courage to guarantee your footing
and I'll show you the jewelled hoofs of the wild horses
kicking up the dust of stars on the open plains
of an inconceivable spiritual vastness where wishes are horses
and beggars do ride and you can hear the jingling
of constellations like the wind-chimes of Spanish spurs
that get under your skin where the spiritual junkies shoot up
like selflessly motivated thorns of starlight
potent enough to keep them high for the rest of the lives
on the antidote they derive like the milk of human kindness
even from the toxic serums of the most dangerous mystical snakes
that have ever poled danced like a winged caduceus
around the axis of the most habitable planet you've ever been inclined to.

Whether you're a blissed-out gardenia of God
or just another double agent doing espionage for the Devil
to see when the next whirlwind of revelation
is going to sweep you up like a chimney spark
into a maelstrom of cosmic events against your will,
look at how the radiance shining out
from the clear void of an unknown light source deep within you
illuminates heaven like the moon in your window
as surely and truly as it does the prophetic skulls of hell.

And this is the point I've been missing
and trying to make simultaneously throughout this poem
like a tattoo starred on my forehead
that leads me like a lantern into deeper and darker spaces
than any abandoned shrine in a sacred wood
I've ever existed in before like a swallow
among the quake-proof columns of the trees.

We're all three-winged songbirds under the leaf-cluttered eaves
of the temples we brought with us like spiritual refugees
overstepping the bounds and borders of ourselves
like prodigal sons and daughters on the thresholds of exile.

And each of us weaves, after our own fashion,
on a loom of lunar wavelengths of shadows and light,
a crown of thorns we leave with wings
like the mangers of the earthbound killdeer and English skylarks
after we've cracked the koans
of the cosmic eggs we were born from.

We fly away home like ladybirds and dragonflies
whose house is on fire and kids are alone
to have it burned into us like a prison tattoo
that enlightenment is just as white
on the dark side, as it is black on the light.

And though you were to look like billions of fireflies
for millions of lightyears, you'll never find enlightenment
up ahead of you because it will never be found
anywhere other than behind and beside you
where it's always been from the beginningless beginning
like a shadow that's been following you
on the blind side of your third eye that set out
the moment it first opened up to you like a flower to the stars
to look for the other two like a shepherd
looking for lost goats on the altars
of the unblooded sacrificial mountains of the moon.

You just have to look at the stars
and feel them staring back at you on the inside
with the same inconceivable wonder at why and what you are
as you return the light that was given to you back to them
realizing every insight into the nature of life,
every word, every star, every bird, firefly, every
lighthouse and clocktower of the moon
is a sign of mutual greeting that can't be ignored.

For those of you who cry for the earth that is moved
by the same agony you are, as if you were born
to be its tears, its wounds, its scars,
to suffer like flowers for the beauty you aspire to.

For those of you whose seeing
will become the substance of the world tomorrow
though you should lose your eyes for it today
like apple-bloom, for the sake of the root of the light within.

For those of you who are always seeking
the things that belong to all of us, the dreams
the visions, the insights, the perfect expression
of what we have to say to the silence
that's always listening to us
talking to ourselves like a sleepwalking stream
or a wild grapevine putting out tendrils
like Korans of Kufic script and Books of harvest Kells.

May your labour come to love you like a bad habit
that's grown fond of you over the years
because you made an art of your life
that brought the merciless desert to tears
to see how even a delusion or a mirage
with a big enough heart and a taste for compassion
that gives it an eye for how sublime beauty really is
as deep as the watershed at the bottom of a wishing well
it turned into the moment it cried on behalf
of everyone's efforts to make themselves
in all the glory of their schemes, dreams and delusions
streaming out behind them in victory parades
put on by their own minds
like the emperor's non-existent clothes
for knowing how to turn a defeat into a celebration,
come true to life. The seeking life. The seeing life.

The just life like dry oak on a good fire.
The life of thought that eventually forgets
what there is to think about. The wasted life
whose gifts were mistaken for flaws in its character,
The anonymous life of a spiritual blood donor
that sent a single red rose to a dead child
and restored her back to life. Life returning to life
like crocuses and killer whales through the ice,
seeking itself out in every corner of our lives,
and under the stones of our own starmud minds
lodged in the earth like meteorites
that once flashed across the sky like insight
from an unknown radiant i
in the eye sockets of prophetic skulls
as if strange new life forms were going on in there
it knew nothing about and was dying to see.
And who knows? Maybe even something
unspeakably precious it thought was lost for good.

And most especially a life that feels life
has shapeshifted it into the dupe of its own ideals,
that all its disguises and deathmasks were removed
like painful tattoos only to reveal a rodeo clown
dressed in a barrel with a red poppy for a cape in its hat
to draw the bull away from the rider that's down.

To feel like a clown in all your actions
to judge by the crowd's reactions,
but to put your life on the line anyway
as a funny kind of sacrifice that saves the hero
you risked as much to rescue, as he did
to put you in harm's way when he faltered.

And you embodied the human condition with compassion,
running away as a way of coming to the rescue,
without realizing, as you laughed at yourself,
it doesn't get anymore divine than that.
Trying to get a smile out of the bull
you're running before on someone else's behalf
in a funny hat with an artificial flower
is a sublime act of devotion
and the truest form of worship
from the human divinity in each of us to another.

Because getting up after life's been struck to its knees,
is how everything grows, even when its roots
are watered by delusions and its butt gets kicked up
into the grandstands of the amused demons and angels,
that funny little dejected flower in a rodeo clown's hat
that steals the show like the Buddha's purse
to buy the Buddha a horse to get back up on,
regardless of what you, the bull, the Buddha,
his purse, the horse or the thrown rider feel,
still blossoms from the heart it's rooted in for real.

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William Butler Yeats

A Dramatic Poem

The deck of an ancient ship. At the right of the stage is the mast, with a large square sail hiding a great deal of the sky and sea on that side. The tiller is at the left of the stage; it is a long oar coming through an opening in the bulwark. The deck rises in a series of steps hehind the tiller, and the stern of the ship curves overhead. When the play opens there are four persons upon the deck. Aibric stands by the tiller. Forgael sleeps upon the raised portion of the deck towards the front of the stage. Two Sailors are standing near to the mast, on which a harp is hanging.

First Sailor. Has he not led us into these waste seas
For long enough?
Second Sailor. Aye, long and long enough.
First Sailor. We have not come upon a shore or ship
These dozen weeks.
Sccond Sailor. And I had thought to make
A good round Sum upon this cruise, and turn --
For I am getting on in life -- to something
That has less ups and downs than robbery.
First Sailor. I am so tired of being bachelor
I could give all my heart to that Red Moll
That had but the one eye.
Second Sailor. Can no bewitchment
Transform these rascal billows into women
That I may drown myself?
First Sailor. Better steer home,
Whether he will or no; and better still
To take him while he sleeps and carry him
And drop him from the gunnel.
Second Sailor. I dare not do it.
Were't not that there is magic in his harp,
I would be of your mind; but when he plays it
Strange creatures flutter up before one's eyes,
Or cry about one's ears.
First Sailor. Nothing to fear.
Second Sailor. Do you remember when we sank that
At the full moon?
First Sailor. He played all through the night.
Second Sailor. Until the moon had set; and when I looked
Where the dead drifted, I could see a bird
Like a grey gull upon the breast of each.
While I was looking they rose hurriedly,
And after circling with strange cries awhile
Flew westward; and many a time since then
I've heard a rustling overhead in the wind.
First Sailor. I saw them on that night as well as you.
But when I had eaten and drunk myself asleep
My courage came again.
Second Sailor. But that's not all.
The other night, while he was playing it,
A beautiful young man and girl came up
In a white breaking wave; they had the look
Of those that are alive for ever and ever.
First Sailor. I saw them, too, one night. Forgael was
And they were listening ther& beyond the sail.
He could not see them, but I held out my hands
To grasp the woman.
Second Sailor. You have dared to touch her?
First Sailor. O she was but a shadow, and slipped from
Second Sailor. But were you not afraid?
First Sailor. Why should I fear?
Second Sailor. 'Twas Aengus and Edain, the wandering
To whom all lovers pray.
First Sailor. But what of that?
A shadow does not carry sword or spear.
Second Sailor. My mother told me that there is not one
Of the Ever-living half so dangerous
As that wild Aengus. Long before her day
He carried Edain off from a king's house,
And hid her among fruits of jewel-stone
And in a tower of glass, and from that day
Has hated every man that's not in love,
And has been dangerous to him.
First Sailor. I have heard
He does not hate seafarers as he hates
Peaceable men that shut the wind away,
And keep to the one weary marriage-bed.
Second Sailor. I think that he has Forgael in his net,
And drags him through the sea,
First Sailor Well, net or none,
I'd drown him while we have the chance to do it.
Second Sailor. It's certain I'd sleep easier o' nights
If he were dead; but who will be our captain,
Judge of the stars, and find a course for us?
First Sailor. I've thought of that. We must have Aibric
with us,
For he can judge the stars as well as Forgael.
[Going towards Aibric.]
Become our captain, Aibric. I am resolved
To make an end of Forgael while he sleeps.
There's not a man but will be glad of it
When it is over, nor one to grumble at us.
Aibric. You have taken pay and made your bargain for it.
First Sailor. What good is there in this hard way of
Unless we drain more flagons in a year
And kiss more lips than lasting peaceable men
In their long lives? Will you be of our troop
And take the captain's share of everything
And bring us into populous seas again?
Aibric. Be of your troop! Aibric be one of you
And Forgael in the other scale! kill Forgael,
And he my master from my childhood up!
If you will draw that sword out of its scabbard
I'll give my answer.
First Sailor. You have awakened him.
[To Second Sailor.]
We'd better go, for we have lost this chance.
[They go out.]
Forgael. Have the birds passed us? I could hear your
But there were others.
Aibric. I have seen nothing pass.
Forgael. You're certain of it? I never wake from sleep
But that I am afraid they may have passed,
For they're my only pilots. If I lost them
Straying too far into the north or south,
I'd never come upon the happiness
That has been promised me. I have not seen them
These many days; and yet there must be many
Dying at every moment in the world,
And flying towards their peace.
Aibric. Put by these thoughts,
And listen to me for a while. The sailors
Are plotting for your death.
Forgael. Have I not given
More riches than they ever hoped to find?
And now they will not follow, while I seek
The only riches that have hit my fancy.
Aibric. What riches can you find in this waste sea
Where no ship sails, where nothing that's alive
Has ever come but those man-headed birds,
Knowing it for the world's end?
Forgael. Where the world ends
The mind is made unchanging, for it finds
Miracle, ecstasy, the impossible hope,
The flagstone under all, the fire of fires,
The roots of the world.
Aibric. Shadows before now
Have driven travellers mad for their own sport.
Forgael. Do you, too, doubt me? Have you joined their
Aibric. No, no, do not say that. You know right well
That I will never lift a hand against you.
Forgael. Why should you be more faithful than the rest,
Being as doubtful?
Aibric. I have called you master
Too many years to lift a hand against you.
Forgael. Maybe it is but natural to doubt me.
You've never known, I'd lay a wager on it,
A melancholy that a cup of wine,
A lucky battle, or a woman's kiss
Could not amend.
Aibric. I have good spirits enough.
Forgael. If you will give me all your mind awhile --
All, all, the very bottom of the bowl --
I'll show you that I am made differently,
That nothing can amend it but these waters,
Where I am rid of life -- the events of the world --
What do you call it? -- that old promise-breaker,
The cozening fortune-teller that comes whispering,
'You will have all you have wished for when you have
Land for your children or money in a pot.-
And when we have it we are no happier,
Because of that old draught under the door,
Or creaky shoes. And at the end of all
How are we better off than Seaghan the fool,
That never did a hand's turn? Aibric! Aibric!
We have fallen in the dreams the Ever-living
Breathe on the burnished mirror of the world
And then smooth out with ivory hands and sigh,
And find their laughter sweeter to the taste
For that brief sighing.
Aibric. If you had loved some woman --
Forgael. You say that also? You have heard the voices,
For that is what they say -- all, all the shadows --
Aengus and Edain, those passionate wanderers,
And all the others; but it must be love
As they have known it. Now the secret's out;
For it is love that I am seeking for,
But of a beautiful, unheard-of kind
That is not in the world.
Aibric. And yet the world
Has beautiful women to please every man.
Forgael. But he that gets their love after the fashion
'Loves in brief longing and deceiving hope
And bodily tenderness, and finds that even
The bed of love, that in the imagination
Had seemed to be the giver of all peace,
Is no more than a wine-cup in the tasting,
And as soon finished.
Aibric. All that ever loved
Have loved that way -- there is no other way.
Forgael. Yet never have two lovers kissed but they
believed there was some other near at hand,
And almost wept because they could not find it.
Aibric. When they have twenty years; in middle life
They take a kiss for what a kiss is worth,
And let the dream go by.
Forgael. It's not a dream,
But the reality that makes our passion
As a lamp shadow -- no -- no lamp, the sun.
What the world's million lips are thirsting for
Must be substantial somewhere.
Aibric. I have heard the Druids
Mutter such things as they awake from trance.
It may be that the Ever-living know it --
No mortal can.
Forgael. Yes; if they give us help.
Aibric. They are besotting you as they besot
The crazy herdsman that will tell his fellows
That he has been all night upon the hills,
Riding to hurley, or in the battle-host
With the Ever-living.
Forgael. What if he speak the truth,
And for a dozen hours have been a part
Of that more powerful life?
Aibric, His wife knows better.
Has she not seen him lying like a log,
Or fumbling in a dream about the house?
And if she hear him mutter of wild riders,
She knows that it was but the cart-horse coughing
That set him to the fancy.
Forgael. All would be well
Could we but give us wholly to the dreams,
And get into their world that to the sense
Is shadow, and not linger wretchedly
Among substantial things; for it is dreams
That lift us to the flowing, changing world
That the heart longs for. What is love itself,
Even though it be the lightest of light love,
But dreams that hurry from beyond the world
To make low laughter more than meat and drink,
Though it but set us sighing? Fellow-wanderer,
Could we but mix ourselves into a dream,
Not in its image on the mirror!
Aibric. While
We're in the body that's impossible.
Forgael. And yet I cannot think they're leading me
To death; for they that promised to me love
As those that can outlive the moon have known it, '
Had the world's total life gathered up, it seemed,
Into their shining limbs -- I've had great teachers.
Aengus and Edain ran up out of the wave --
You'd never doubt that it was life they promised
Had you looked on them face to face as I did,
With so red lips, and running on such feet,
And having such wide-open, shining eyes.
Aibric. It's certain they are leading you to death.
None but the dead, or those that never lived,
Can know that ecstasy. Forgael! Forgael!
They have made you follow the man-headed birds,
And you have told me that their journey lies
Towards the country of the dead.
Forgael. What matter
If I am going to my death? -- for there,
Or somewhere, I shall find the love they have
That much is certain. I shall find a woman.
One of the Ever-living, as I think --
One of the Laughing People -- and she and I
Shall light upon a place in the world's core,
Where passion grows to be a changeless thing,
Like charmed apples made of chrysoprase,
Or chrysoberyl, or beryl, or chrysclite;
And there, in juggleries of sight and sense,
Become one movement, energy, delight,
Until the overburthened moon is dead.
[A number of Sailors entcr hurriedly.]
First Sailor. Look there! there in the mist! a ship of spice!
And we are almost on her!
Second Sailor. We had not known
But for the ambergris and sandalwood.

First Sailor. NO; but opoponax and cinnamon.
Forgael [taking the tiller from Aibric]. The Ever-living have
kept my bargain for me,
And paid you on the nail.
Aibric. Take up that rope
To make her fast while we are plundering her.
First Sailor. There is a king and queen upon her deck,
And where there is one woman there'll be others.
Aibric. Speak lower, or they'll hear.
First Sailor. They cannot hear;
They are too busy with each other. Look!
He has stooped down and kissed her on the lips.
Second Sailor. When she finds out we have better men
She may not be too sorry in the end.
First Sailor. She will be like a wild cat; for these queens
Care more about the kegs of silver and gold
And the high fame that come to them in marriage,
Than a strong body and a ready hand.
Second Sailor. There's nobody is natural but a robber,
And that is why the world totters about
Upon its bandy legs.
Aibric. Run at them now,
And overpower the crew while yet asleep!
[The Sailors go out.]

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Golden Legend: II. A Farm In The Odenwald

A garden; morning;_ PRINCE HENRY _seated, with a
book_. ELSIE, _at a distance, gathering flowers._

_Prince Henry (reading)._ One morning, all alone,
Out of his convent of gray stone,
Into the forest older, darker, grayer,
His lips moving as if in prayer,
His head sunken upon his breast
As in a dream of rest,
Walked the Monk Felix. All about
The broad, sweet sunshine lay without,
Filling the summer air;
And within the woodlands as he trod,
The twilight was like the Truce of God
With worldly woe and care;
Under him lay the golden moss;
And above him the boughs of hemlock-tree
Waved, and made the sign of the cross,
And whispered their Benedicites;
And from the ground
Rose an odor sweet and fragrant
Of the wild flowers and the vagrant
Vines that wandered,
Seeking the sunshine, round and round.
These he heeded not, but pondered
On the volume in his hand,
A volume of Saint Augustine;
Wherein he read of the unseen
Splendors of God's great town
In the unknown land,
And, with his eyes cast down
In humility, he said:
'I believe, O God,
What herein I have read,
But alas! I do not understand!'

And lo! he heard
The sudden singing of a bird,
A snow-white bird, that from a cloud
Dropped down,
And among the branches brown
Sat singing
So sweet, and clear, and loud,
It seemed a thousand harp strings ringing.
And the Monk Felix closed his book,
And long, long,
With rapturous look,
He listened to the song,
And hardly breathed or stirred,
Until he saw, as in a vision,
The land Elysian,
And in the heavenly city heard
Angelic feet
Fall on the golden flagging of the street.
And he would fain
Have caught the wondrous bird,
But strove in vain;
For it flew away, away,
Far over hill and dell,
And instead of its sweet singing
He heard the convent bell
Suddenly in the silence ringing
For the service of noonday.
And he retraced
His pathway homeward sadly and in haste.

In the convent there was a change!
He looked for each well known face,
But the faces were new and strange;
New figures sat in the oaken stalls,
New voices chaunted in the choir,
Yet the place was the same place,
The same dusky walls
Of cold, gray stone,
The same cloisters and belfry and spire.

A stranger and alone
Among that brotherhood
The Monk Felix stood
'Forty years,' said a Friar.
'Have I been Prior
Of this convent in the wood,
But for that space
Never have I beheld thy face!'

The heart of the Monk Felix fell:
And he answered with submissive tone,
'This morning, after the hour of Prime,
I left my cell,
And wandered forth alone,
Listening all the time
To the melodious singing
Of a beautiful white bird,
Until I heard
The bells of the convent ringing
Noon from their noisy towers,
It was as if I dreamed;
For what to me had seemed
Moments only, had been hours!'

'Years!' said a voice close by.
It was an aged monk who spoke,
From a bench of oak
Fastened against the wall;--
He was the oldest monk of all.
For a whole century
Had he been there,
Serving God in prayer,
The meekest and humblest of his creatures.
He remembered well the features
Of Felix, and he said,
Speaking distinct and slow:
'One hundred years ago,
When I was a novice in this place,
There was here a monk, full of God's grace,
Who bore the name
Of Felix, and this man must be the same.'

And straightway
They brought forth to the light of day
A volume old and brown,
A huge tome, bound
With brass and wild-boar's hide,
Therein were written down
The names of all who had died
In the convent, since it was edified.
And there they found,
Just as the old monk said,
That on a certain day and date,
One hundred years before,
Had gone forth from the convent gate
The Monk Felix, and never more
Had entered that sacred door.
He had been counted among the dead!
And they knew, at last,
That, such had been the power
Of that celestial and immortal song,
A hundred years had passed,
And had not seemed so long
As a single hour!

(ELSIE _comes in with flowers._)

_Elsie._ Here are flowers for you,
But they are not all for you.
Some of them are for the Virgin
And for Saint Cecilia.

_Prince Henry._ As thou standest there,
Thou seemest to me like the angel
That brought the immortal roses
To Saint Cecilia's bridal chamber.

_Elsie._ But these will fade.

_Prince Henry._ Themselves will fade,
But not their memory,
And memory has the power
To re-create them from the dust.
They remind me, too,
Of martyred Dorothea,
Who from celestial gardens sent
Flowers as her witnesses
To him who scoffed and doubted.

_Elsie._ Do you know the story
Of Christ and the Sultan's daughter?
That is the prettiest legend of them all.

_Prince Henry._ Then tell it to me.
But first come hither.
Lay the flowers down beside me.
And put both thy hands in mine.
Now tell me the story.

_Elsie._ Early in the morning
The Sultan's daughter
Walked in her father's garden,
Gathering the bright flowers,
All full of dew.

_Prince Henry._ Just as thou hast been doing
This morning, dearest Elsie.

_Elsie._ And as she gathered them,
She wondered more and more
Who was the Master of the Flowers,
And made them grow
Out of the cold, dark earth.
'In my heart,' she said,
'I love him; and for him
Would leave my father's palace,
To labor in his garden.'

_Prince Henry._ Dear, innocent child!
How sweetly thou recallest
The long-forgotten legend,
That in my early childhood
My mother told me!
Upon my brain
It reappears once more,
As a birth-mark on the forehead
When a hand suddenly
Is laid upon it, and removed!

_Elsie._ And at midnight,
As she lay upon her bed,
She heard a voice
Call to her from the garden,
And, looking forth from her window,
She saw a beautiful youth
Standing among the flowers.
It was the Lord Jesus;
And she went down to him,
And opened the door for him;
And he said to her, 'O maiden!
Thou hast thought of me with love,
And for thy sake
Out of my Father's kingdom
Have I come hither:
I am the Master of the Flowers.
My garden is in Paradise,
And if thou wilt go with me,
Thy bridal garland
Shall be of bright red flowers.'
And then he took from his finger
A golden ring,
And asked the Sultan's daughter
If she would be his bride.
And when she answered him with love,
His wounds began to bleed,
And she said to him,
'O Love! how red thy heart is,
And thy hands are full of roses,'
'For thy sake,' answered he,
'For thy sake is my heart so red,
For thee I bring these roses.
I gathered them at the cross
Whereon I died for thee!
Come, for my Father calls.
Thou art my elected bride!'
And the Sultan's daughter
Followed him to his Father's garden.

_Prince Henry._ Wouldst thou have done so, Elsie?

_Elsie._ Yes, very gladly.

_Prince Henry._ Then the Celestial Bridegroom
Will come for thee also.
Upon thy forehead he will place,
Not his crown of thorns,
But a crown of roses.
In thy bridal chamber,
Like Saint Cecilia,
Thou shall hear sweet music,
And breathe the fragrance
Of flowers immortal!
Go now and place these flowers
Before her picture.

* * * * *


* * * * *

_Twilight._ URSULA _spinning._ GOTTLIEB _asleep in his

_Ursula._ Darker and darker! Hardly a glimmer
Of light comes in at the window-pane;
Or is it my eyes are growing dimmer?
I cannot disentangle this skein,
Nor wind it rightly upon the reel.

_Gottlieb (starting)_. The stopping of thy wheel
Has wakened me out of a pleasant dream.
I thought I was sitting beside a stream,
And heard the grinding of a mill,
When suddenly the wheels stood still,
And a voice cried 'Elsie' in my ear!
It startled me, it seemed so near.

_Ursula._ I was calling her: I want a light.
I cannot see to spin my flax.
Bring the lamp, Elsie. Dost thou hear?

_Elsie (within)._ In a moment!

_Gottlieb._ Where are Bertha and Max?

_Ursula._ They are sitting with Elsie at the door.
She is telling them stories of the wood,
And the Wolf, and Little Red Ridinghood.

_Gottlieb_. And where is the Prince?

_Ursula_. In his room overhead;
I heard him walking across the floor,
As he always does, with a heavy tread.

(ELSIE _comes in with a lamp_. MAX _and_ BERTHA _follow her;
and they all sing the Evening Song on the lighting of the lamps_.)


O gladsome light
Of the Father Immortal,
And of the celestial
Sacred and blessed
Jesus, our Saviour!

Now to the sunset
Again hast thou brought us;
And, seeing the evening
Twilight, we bless thee,
Praise thee, adore thee!

Father omnipotent!
Son, the Life-giver!
Spirit, the Comforter!
Worthy at all times
Of worship and wonder!

_Prince Henry (at the door)_. Amen!

_Ursula_. Who was it said Amen?

_Elsie_. It was the Prince: he stood at the door,
And listened a moment, as we chaunted
The evening song. He is gone again.
I have often seen him there before.

_Ursula_. Poor Prince!

_Gottlieb_. I thought the house was haunted!
Poor Prince, alas! and yet as mild
And patient as the gentlest child!

_Max._ I love him because he is so good,
And makes me such fine bows and arrows,
To shoot at the robins and the sparrows,
And the red squirrels in the wood!

_Bertha._ I love him, too!

_Gottlieb._ Ah, yes! we all
Love him, from the bottom of our hearts;
He gave us the farm, the house, and the grange,
He gave us the horses and the carts,
And the great oxen in the stall,
The vineyard, and the forest range!
We have nothing to give him but our love!

_Bertha._ Did he give us the beautiful stork above
On the chimney-top, with its large, round nest?

_Gottlieb._ No, not the stork; by God in heaven,
As a blessing, the dear, white stork was given;
But the Prince has given us all the rest.
God bless him, and make him well again.

_Elsie._ Would I could do something for his sake,
Something to cure his sorrow and pain!

_Gottlieb._ That no one can; neither thou nor I,
Nor any one else.

_Elsie._ And must he die?

_Ursula._ Yes; if the dear God does not take
Pity upon him, in his distress,
And work a miracle!

_Gottlieb._ Or unless
Some maiden, of her own accord,
Offers her life for that of her lord,
And is willing to die in his stead.

_Elsie._ I will!

_Ursula._ Prithee, thou foolish child, be still!
Thou shouldst not say what thou dost not mean!

_Elsie._ I mean it truly!

_Max._ O father! this morning,
Down by the mill, in the ravine,
Hans killed a wolf, the very same
That in the night to the sheepfold came,
And ate up my lamb, that was left outside.

_Gottlieb._ I am glad he is dead. It will be a warning
To the wolves in the forest, far and wide.

_Max._ And I am going to have his hide!

_Bertha._ I wonder if this is the wolf that ate
Little Red Ridinghood!

_Ursula._ O, no!
That wolf was killed a long while ago.
Come, children, it is growing late.

_Max._ Ah, how I wish I were a man,
As stout as Hans is, and as strong!
I would do nothing else, the whole day long,
But just kill wolves.

_Gottlieb._ Then go to bed,
And grow as fast as a little boy can.
Bertha is half asleep already.
See how she nods her heavy head,
And her sleepy feet are so unsteady
She will hardly be able to creep upstairs.

_Ursula._ Good-night, my children. Here's the light.
And do not forget to say your prayers
Before you sleep.

_Gottlieb._ Good-night!

_Max and Bertha._ Good-night!

(_They go out with_ ELSIE.)

_Ursula, (spinning)._ She is a strange and wayward child,
That Elsie of ours. She looks so old,
And thoughts and fancies weird and wild
Seem of late to have taken hold
Of her heart, that was once so docile and mild!

_Gottlieb._ She is like all girls.

_Ursula._ Ah no, forsooth!
Unlike all I have ever seen.
For she has visions and strange dreams,
And in all her words and ways, she seems
Much older than she is in truth.
Who would think her but fourteen?
And there has been of late such a change!
My heart is heavy with fear and doubt
That she may not live till the year is out.
She is so strange,--so strange,--so strange!

_Gottlieb._ I am not troubled with any such fear!
She will live and thrive for many a year.

* * * * *


* * * * *

_Night._ ELSIE _praying._

_Elsie._ My Redeemer and my Lord,
I beseech thee, I entreat thee,
Guide me in each act and word,
That hereafter I may meet thee,
Watching, waiting, hoping, yearning,
With my lamp well trimmed and burning!

With these bleeding
Wounds upon thy hands and side,
For all who have lived and erred
Thou hast suffered, thou hast died,
Scourged, and mocked, and crucified,
And in the grave hast thou been buried!

If my feeble prayer can reach thee,
O my Saviour, I beseech thee,
Even as thou hast died for me,
More sincerely
Let me follow where thou leadest,
Let me, bleeding as thou bleedest,
Die, if dying I may give
Life to one who asks to live,
And more nearly,
Dying thus, resemble thee!

* * * * *


* * * * *

_Midnight._ ELSIE _standing by their bedside, weeping._

_Gottlieb._ The wind is roaring; the rushing rain
Is loud upon roof and window-pane,
As if the Wild Huntsman of Rodenstein,
Boding evil to me and mine,
Were abroad to-night with his ghostly train!
In the brief lulls of the tempest wild,
The dogs howl in the yard; and hark!
Some one is sobbing in the dark,
Here in the chamber!

_Elsie._ It is I.

_Ursula._ Elsie! what ails thee, my poor child?

_Elsie._ I am disturbed and much distressed,
In thinking our dear Prince must die,
I cannot close mine eyes, nor rest.

_Gottlieb._ What wouldst thou? In the Power Divine
His healing lies, not in our own;
It is in the hand of God alone.

_Elsie._ Nay, he has put it into mine,
And into my heart!

_Gottlieb._ Thy words are wild!

_Ursula._ What dost thou mean? my child! my child!

_Elsie._ That for our dear Prince Henry's sake
I will myself the offering make,
And give my life to purchase his.

_Ursula_ Am I still dreaming, or awake?
Thou speakest carelessly of death,
And yet thou knowest not what it is.

_Elsie._ 'T is the cessation of our breath.
Silent and motionless we lie;
And no one knoweth more than this.
I saw our little Gertrude die,
She left off breathing, and no more
I smoothed the pillow beneath her head.
She was more beautiful than before.
Like violets faded were her eyes;
By this we knew that she was dead.
Through the open window looked the skies
Into the chamber where she lay,
And the wind was like the sound of wings,
As if angels came to bear her away.
Ah! when I saw and felt these things,
I found it difficult to stay;
I longed to die, as she had died,
And go forth with her, side by side.
The Saints are dead, the Martyrs dead,
And Mary, and our Lord, and I
Would follow in humility
The way by them illumined!

_Ursula._ My child! my child! thou must not die!

_Elsie_ Why should I live? Do I not know
The life of woman is full of woe?
Toiling on and on and on,
With breaking heart, and tearful eyes,
And silent lips, and in the soul
The secret longings that arise,
Which this world never satisfies!
Some more, some less, but of the whole
Not one quite happy, no, not one!

_Ursula._ It is the malediction of Eve!

_Elsie._ In place of it, let me receive
The benediction of Mary, then.

_Gottlieb._ Ah, woe is me! Ah, woe is me!
Most wretched am I among men!

_Ursula._ Alas! that I should live to see
Thy death, beloved, and to stand
Above thy grave! Ah, woe the day!

_Elsie._ Thou wilt not see it. I shall lie
Beneath the flowers of another land,
For at Salerno, far away
Over the mountains, over the sea,
It is appointed me to die!
And it will seem no more to thee
Than if at the village on market-day
I should a little longer stay
Than I am used.

_Ursula._ Even as thou sayest!
And how my heart beats, when thou stayest!
I cannot rest until my sight
Is satisfied with seeing thee.
What, then, if thou wert dead?

_Gottlieb_ Ah me!
Of our old eyes thou art the light!
The joy of our old hearts art thou!
And wilt thou die?

_Ursula._ Not now! not now!

_Elsie_ Christ died for me, and shall not I
Be willing for my Prince to die?
You both are silent; you cannot speak.
This said I, at our Saviour's feast,
After confession, to the priest,
And even he made no reply.
Does he not warn us all to seek
The happier, better land on high,
Where flowers immortal never wither,
And could he forbid me to go thither?

_Gottlieb._ In God's own time, my heart's delight!
When he shall call thee, not before!

_Elsie._ I heard him call. When Christ ascended
Triumphantly, from star to star,
He left the gates of heaven ajar.
I had a vision in the night,
And saw him standing at the door
Of his Father's mansion, vast and splendid,
And beckoning to me from afar.
I cannot stay!

_Gottlieb._ She speaks almost
As if it were the Holy Ghost
Spake through her lips, and in her stead!
What if this were of God?

_Ursula._ Ah, then
Gainsay it dare we not.

_Gottlieb._ Amen!
Elsie! the words that thou hast said
Are strange and new for us to hear,
And fill our hearts with doubt and fear.
Whether it be a dark temptation
Of the Evil One, or God's inspiration,
We in our blindness cannot say.
We must think upon it, and pray;
For evil and good in both resembles.
If it be of God, his will be done!
May he guard us from the Evil One!
How hot thy hand is! how it trembles!
Go to thy bed, and try to sleep.

_Ursula._ Kiss me. Good-night; and do not weep!

(ELSIE _goes out._)

Ah, what an awful thing is this!
I almost shuddered at her kiss.
As if a ghost had touched my cheek,
I am so childish and so weak!
As soon as I see the earliest gray
Of morning glimmer in the east,
I will go over to the priest,
And hear what the good man has to say!

* * * * *


* * * * *

_A woman kneeling at the confessional.

The Parish Priest (from within)_. Go, sin no
more! Thy penance o'er,
A new and better life begin!
God maketh thee forever free
From the dominion of thy sin!
Go, sin no more! He will restore
The peace that filled thy heart before,
And pardon thine iniquity!

(_The woman goes out. The Priest comes forth, and
walks slowly up and down the church_.)

O blessed Lord! how much I need
Thy light to guide me on my way!
So many hands, that, without heed,
Still touch thy wounds, and make them bleed!
So many feet, that, day by day,
Still wander from thy fold astray!
Unless thou fill me with thy light,
I cannot lead thy flock aright;
Nor, without thy support, can bear
The burden of so great a care,
But am myself a castaway!

(_A pause_.)

The day is drawing to its close;
And what good deeds, since first it rose,
Have I presented, Lord, to thee,
As offerings of my ministry?
What wrong repressed, what right maintained
What struggle passed, what victory gained,
What good attempted and attained?
Feeble, at best, is my endeavor!
I see, but cannot reach, the height
That lies forever in the light,
And yet forever and forever,
When seeming just within my grasp,
I feel my feeble hands unclasp,
And sink discouraged into night!
For thine own purpose, thou hast sent
The strife and the discouragement!

(_A pause_.)

Why stayest thou, Prince of Hoheneck?
Why keep me pacing to and fro
Amid these aisles of sacred gloom,
Counting my footsteps as I go,
And marking with each step a tomb?
Why should the world for thee make room,
And wait thy leisure and thy beck?
Thou comest in the hope to hear
Some word of comfort and of cheer.
What can I say? I cannot give
The counsel to do this and live;
But rather, firmly to deny
The tempter, though his power is strong,
And, inaccessible to wrong,
Still like a martyr live and die!

(_A pause_.)

The evening air grows dusk and brown;
I must go forth into the town,
To visit beds of pain and death,
Of restless limbs, and quivering breath,
And sorrowing hearts, and patient eyes
That see, through tears, the sun go down,
But never more shall see it rise.
The poor in body and estate,
The sick and the disconsolate.
Must not on man's convenience wait.

(_Goes out. Enter_ LUCIFER, _as a Priest_. LUCIFER,
_with a genuflexion, mocking_.)

This is the Black Pater-noster.
God was my foster,
He fostered me
Under the book of the Palm-tree!
St. Michael was my dame.
He was born at Bethlehem,
He was made of flesh and blood.
God send me my right food,
My right food, and shelter too,
That I may to yon kirk go,
To read upon yon sweet book
Which the mighty God of heaven shook.
Open, open, hell's gates!
Shut, shut, heaven's gates!
All the devils in the air
The stronger be, that hear the Black Prayer!

(_Looking round the church_.)

What a darksome and dismal place!
I wonder that any man has the face
To call such a hole the House of the Lord,
And the Gate of Heaven,--yet such is the word.
Ceiling, and walls, and windows old,
Covered with cobwebs, blackened with mould;
Dust on the pulpit, dust on the stairs,
Dust on the benches, and stalls, and chairs!
The pulpit, from which such ponderous sermons
Have fallen down on the brains of the Germans,
With about as much real edification
As if a great Bible, bound in lead,
Had fallen, and struck them on the head;
And I ought to remember that sensation!
Here stands the holy water stoup!
Holy-water it may be to many,
But to me, the veriest Liquor Gehennae!
It smells like a filthy fast day soup!
Near it stands the box for the poor;
With its iron padlock, safe and sure,
I and the priest of the parish know
Whither all these charities go;
Therefore, to keep up the institution,
I will add my little contribution!

(_He puts in money._)

Underneath this mouldering tomb,
With statue of stone, and scutcheon of brass,
Slumbers a great lord of the village.
All his life was riot and pillage,
But at length, to escape the threatened doom
Of the everlasting, penal fire,
He died in the dress of a mendicant friar,
And bartered his wealth for a daily mass.
But all that afterward came to pass,
And whether he finds it dull or pleasant,
Is kept a secret for the present,
At his own particular desire.

And here, in a corner of the wall,
Shadowy, silent, apart from all,
With its awful portal open wide,
And its latticed windows on either side,
And its step well worn by the bended knees
Of one or two pious centuries,
Stands the village confessional!
Within it, as an honored guest,
I will sit me down awhile and rest!

(_Seats himself in the confessional_.)

Here sits the priest, and faint and low,
Like the sighing of an evening breeze,
Comes through these painted lattices
The ceaseless sound of human woe,
Here, while her bosom aches and throbs
With deep and agonizing sobs,
That half are passion, half contrition,
The luckless daughter of perdition
Slowly confesses her secret shame!
The time, the place, the lover's name!
Here the grim murderer, with a groan,
From his bruised conscience rolls the stone,
Thinking that thus he can atone
For ravages of sword and flame!
Indeed, I marvel, and marvel greatly,
How a priest can sit here so sedately,
Reading, the whole year out and in,
Naught but the catalogue of sin,
And still keep any faith whatever
In human virtue! Never! never!

I cannot repeat a thousandth part
Of the horrors and crimes and sins and woes
That arise, when with palpitating throes
The graveyard in the human heart
Gives up its dead, at the voice of the priest,
As if he were an archangel, at least.
It makes a peculiar atmosphere,
This odor of earthly passions and crimes,
Such as I like to breathe, at times,
And such as often brings me here
In the hottest and most pestilential season.
To-day, I come for another reason;
To foster and ripen an evil thought
In a heart that is almost to madness wrought,
And to make a murderer out of a prince,
A sleight of hand I learned long since!
He comes In the twilight he will not see
the difference between his priest and me!
In the same net was the mother caught!

(_Prince Henry entering and kneeling at the confessional._)

Remorseful, penitent, and lowly,
I come to crave, O Father holy,
Thy benediction on my head.

_Lucifer_. The benediction shall be said
After confession, not before!
'T is a God speed to the parting guest,
Who stands already at the door,
Sandalled with holiness, and dressed
In garments pure from earthly stain.
Meanwhile, hast thou searched well thy breast?
Does the same madness fill thy brain?
Or have thy passion and unrest
Vanished forever from thy mind?

_Prince Henry_. By the same madness still made blind,
By the same passion still possessed,
I come again to the house of prayer,
A man afflicted and distressed!
As in a cloudy atmosphere,
Through unseen sluices of the air,
A sudden and impetuous wind
Strikes the great forest white with fear,
And every branch, and bough, and spray
Points all its quivering leaves one way,
And meadows of grass, and fields of grain,
And the clouds above, and the slanting rain,
And smoke from chimneys of the town,
Yield themselves to it, and bow down,
So does this dreadful purpose press
Onward, with irresistible stress,
And all my thoughts and faculties,
Struck level by the strength of this,
From their true inclination turn,
And all stream forward to Salem!

_Lucifer_. Alas! we are but eddies of dust,
Uplifted by the blast, and whirled
Along the highway of the world
A moment only, then to fall
Back to a common level all,
At the subsiding of the gust!

_Prince Henry_. O holy Father! pardon in me
The oscillation of a mind
Unsteadfast, and that cannot find
Its centre of rest and harmony!
For evermore before mine eyes
This ghastly phantom flits and flies,
And as a madman through a crowd,
With frantic gestures and wild cries,
It hurries onward, and aloud
Repeats its awful prophecies!
Weakness is wretchedness! To be strong
Is to be happy! I am weak,
And cannot find the good I seek,
Because I feel and fear the wrong!

_Lucifer_. Be not alarmed! The Church is kind--
And in her mercy and her meekness
She meets half-way her children's weakness,
Writes their transgressions in the dust!
Though in the Decalogue we find
The mandate written, 'Thou shalt not kill!'
Yet there are cases when we must.
In war, for instance, or from scathe
To guard and keep the one true Faith!
We must look at the Decalogue in the light
Of an ancient statute, that was meant
For a mild and general application,
To be understood with the reservation,
That, in certain instances, the Right
Must yield to the Expedient!
Thou art a Prince. If thou shouldst die,
What hearts and hopes would prostrate he!
What noble deeds, what fair renown,
Into the grave with thee go down!
What acts of valor and courtesy
Remain undone, and die with thee!
Thou art the last of all thy race!
With thee a noble name expires,
And vanishes from the earth's face
The glorious memory of thy sires!
She is a peasant. In her veins
Flows common and plebeian blood;
It is such as daily and hourly stains
The dust and the turf of battle plains,
By vassals shed, in a crimson flood,
Without reserve, and without reward,
At the slightest summons of their lord!
But thine is precious, the fore-appointed
Blood of kings, of God's anointed!
Moreover, what has the world in store
For one like her, but tears and toil?
Daughter of sorrow, serf of the soil,
A peasant's child and a peasant's wife,
And her soul within her sick and sore
With the roughness and barrenness of life!
I marvel not at the heart's recoil
From a fate like this, in one so tender,
Nor at its eagerness to surrender
All the wretchedness, want, and woe
That await it in this world below,
For the unutterable splendor
Of the world of rest beyond the skies.
So the Church sanctions the sacrifice:
Therefore inhale this healing balm,
And breathe this fresh life into thine;
Accept the comfort and the calm
She offers, as a gift divine,
Let her fall down and anoint thy feet
With the ointment costly and most sweet
Of her young blood, and thou shall live.

_Prince Henry._ And will the righteous Heaven forgive?
No action, whether foul or fair,
Is ever done, but it leaves somewhere
A record, written by fingers ghostly,
As a blessing or a curse, and mostly
In the greater weakness or greater strength
Of the acts which follow it, till at length
The wrongs of ages are redressed,
And the justice of God made manifest!

_Lucifer_ In ancient records it is stated
That, whenever an evil deed is done,
Another devil is created
To scourge and torment the offending one!
But evil is only good perverted,
And Lucifer, the Bearer of Light,
But an angel fallen and deserted,
Thrust from his Father's house with a curse
Into the black and endless night.

_Prince Henry._ If justice rules the universe,
From the good actions of good men
Angels of light should be begotten,
And thus the balance restored again.

_Lucifer._ Yes; if the world were not so rotten,
And so given over to the Devil!

_Prince Henry._ But this deed, is it good or evil?
Have I thine absolution free
To do it, and without restriction?

_Lucifer._ Ay; and from whatsoever sin
Lieth around it and within,
From all crimes in which it may involve thee,
I now release thee and absolve thee!

_Prince Henry._ Give me thy holy benediction.

_Lucifer._ (_stretching forth his hand and muttering_),
Maledictione perpetua
Maledicat vos
Pater eternus!

_The Angel_ (_with the aeolian harp_). Take heed! take heed!
Noble art thou in thy birth,
By the good and the great of earth
Hast thou been taught!
Be noble in every thought
And in every deed!
Let not the illusion of thy senses
Betray thee to deadly offences.
Be strong! be good! be pure!
The right only shall endure,
All things else are but false pretences!
I entreat thee, I implore,
Listen no more
To the suggestions of an evil spirit,
That even now is there,
Making the foul seem fair,
And selfishness itself a virtue and a merit!

* * * * *


* * * * *

_Gottlieb_. It is decided! For many days,
And nights as many, we have had
A nameless terror in our breast,
Making us timid, and afraid
Of God, and his mysterious ways!
We have been sorrowful and sad;
Much have we suffered, much have prayed
That he would lead us as is best,
And show us what his will required.
It is decided; and we give
Our child, O Prince, that you may live!

_Ursula_. It is of God. He has inspired
This purpose in her; and through pain,
Out of a world of sin and woe,
He takes her to himself again.
The mother's heart resists no longer;
With the Angel of the Lord in vain
It wrestled, for he was the stronger.

_Gottlieb_. As Abraham offered long ago
His son unto the Lord, and even
The Everlasting Father in heaven
Gave his, as a lamb unto the slaughter,
So do I offer up my daughter!

(URSULA _hides her face_.)

_Elsie_. My life is little,
Only a cup of water,
But pure and limpid.
Take it, O my Prince!
Let it refresh you,
Let it restore you.
It is given willingly,
It is given freely;
May God bless the gift!

_Prince Henry._ And the giver!

_Gottlieb._ Amen!

_Prince Henry._ I accept it!

_Gottlieb._ Where are the children?

_Ursula._ They are already asleep.

_Gottlieb._ What if they were dead?

* * * * *


* * * * *

_Elsie._ I have one thing to ask of you.

_Prince Henry._ What is it?
It is already granted.

_Elsie._ Promise me,
When we are gone from here, and on our way
Are journeying to Salerno, you will not,
By word or deed, endeavor to dissuade me
And turn me from my purpose, but remember
That as a pilgrim to the Holy City
Walks unmolested, and with thoughts of pardon
Occupied wholly, so would I approach
The gates of Heaven, in this great jubilee,
With my petition, putting off from me
All thoughts of earth, as shoes from off my feet.
Promise me this.

_Prince Henry._ Thy words fall from thy lips
Like roses from the lips of Angelo: and angels
Might stoop to pick them up!

_Elsie._ Will you not promise?

_Prince Henry._ If ever we depart upon this journey,
So long to one or both of us, I promise.

_Elsie._ Shall we not go, then? Have you lifted me
Into the air, only to hurl me back
Wounded upon the ground? and offered me
The waters of eternal life, to bid me
Drink the polluted puddles of this world?

_Prince Henry._ O Elsie! what a lesson thou dost teach me!
The life which is, and that which is to come,
Suspended hang in such nice equipoise
A breath disturbs the balance; and that scale
In which we throw our hearts preponderates,
And the other, like an empty one, flies up,
And is accounted vanity and air!
To me the thought of death is terrible,
Having such hold on life. To thee it is not
So much even as the lifting of a latch;
Only a step into the open air
Out of a tent already luminous
With light that shines through its transparent walls!
O pure in heart! from thy sweet dust shall grow
Lilies, upon whose petals will be written
'Ave Maria' in characters of gold!

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