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Jason Alexander

The greatest part of the job was... that was for nine years it was a pleasure to go to work.

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The First Impressions That Last For A Lifetime

you do not have the
x-ray eyes
to see my real
bones
wrapped by my
brown skin
all over
me, what you see
is my broken lip
my twisted nose
my strict eyes
square jaw
and they are all enough
you say
you know me now
and you do not like
the shape
of my shadow
the glow of my eyes
devilish,

you have not seen my anguish
you could have seen that
in the sea that raged
last night

it sank the boat
ten passengers are still missing

you listen first
how it was like that
why it happened

hear me
then strike, if you will,

i will not mind
the first impressions last
and for a lifetime
injustice reigns

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Oscar Wilde

Panthea

NAY, let us walk from fire unto fire,
From passionate pain to deadlier delight,--
I am too young to live without desire,
Too young art thou to waste this summer night
Asking those idle questions which of old
Man sought of seer and oracle, and no reply was told.

For, sweet, to feel is better than to know,
And wisdom is a childless heritage,
One pulse of passion--youth's first fiery glow,--
Are worth the hoarded proverbs of the sage:
Vex not thy soul with dead philosophy,
Have we not lips to kiss with, hearts to love, and eyes to see!

Dost thou not hear the murmuring nightingale
Like water bubbling from a silver jar,
So soft she sings the envious moon is pale,
That high in heaven she is hung so far
She cannot hear that love-enraptured tune,--
Mark how she wreathes each horn with mist, yon late and labouring
moon.

White lilies, in whose cups the gold bees dream,
The fallen snow of petals where the breeze
Scatters the chestnut blossom, or the gleam
Of boyish limbs in water,--are not these
Enough for thee, dost thou desire more?
Alas! the Gods will give nought else from their eternal store.

For our high Gods have sick and wearied grown
Of all our endless sins, our vain endeavour
For wasted days of youth to make atone
By pain or prayer or priest, and never, never,
Hearken they now to either good or ill,
But send their rain upon the just and the unjust at will.

They sit at ease, our Gods they sit at ease,
Strewing with leaves of rose their scented wine,
They sleep, they sleep, beneath the rocking trees
Where asphodel and yellow lotus twine,
Mourning the old glad days before they knew
What evil things the heart of man could dream, and dreaming do.

And far beneath the brazen floor they see
Like swarming flies the crowd of little men,
The bustle of small lives, then wearily
Back to their lotus-haunts they turn again
Kissing each other's mouths, and mix more deep
The poppy-seeded draught which brings soft purple-lidded sleep.

There all day long the golden-vestured sun,
Their torch-bearer, stands with his torch a-blaze,
And when the gaudy web of noon is spun
By its twelve maidens through the crimson haze
Fresh from Endymion's arms comes forth the moon,
And the immortal Gods in toils of mortal passions swoon.

There walks Queen Juno through some dewy mead
Her grand white feet flecked with the saffron dust
Of wind-stirred lilies, while young Ganymede
Leaps in the hot and amber-foaming must,
His curls all tossed, as when the eagle bare
The frightened boy from Ida through the blue Ionian air.

There in the green heart of some garden close
Queen Venus with the shepherd at her side,
Her warm soft body like the briar rose
Which would be white yet blushes at its pride,
Laughs low for love, till jealous Salmacis
Peers through the myrtle-leaves and sighs for pain of lonely
bliss.

There never does that dreary north-wind blow
Which leaves our English forests bleak and bare,
Nor ever falls the swift white-feathered snow,
Nor doth the red-toothed lightning ever dare
To wake them in the silver-fretted night
When we lie weeping for some sweet sad sin, some dead delight.

Alas! they know the far Lethæan spring,
The violet-hidden waters well they know,
Where one whose feet with tired wandering
Are faint and broken may take heart and go,
And from those dark depths cool and crystalline
Drink, and draw balm, and sleep for sleepless souls, and anodyne.

But we oppress our natures, God or Fate
Is our enemy, we starve and feed
On vain repentance--O we are born too late!
What balm for us in bruisèd poppy seed
Who crowd into one finite pulse of time
The joy of infinite love and the fierce pain of infinite crime.

O we are wearied of this sense of guilt,
Wearied of pleasure's paramour despair,
Wearied of every temple we have built,
Wearied of every right, unanswered prayer,
For man is weak; God sleeps: and heaven is high:
One fiery-coloured moment: one great love; and lo! we die.

Ah! but no ferry-man with labouring pole
Nears his black shallop to the flowerless strand,
No little coin of bronze can bring the soul
Over Death's river to the sunless land,
Victim and wine and vow are all in vain,
The tomb is sealed; the soldiers watch; the dead rise not again.

We are resolved into the supreme air,
We are made one with what we touch and see,
With our heart's blood each crimson sun is fair,
With our young lives each spring-impassioned tree
Flames into green, the wildest beasts that range
The moor our kinsmen are, all life is one, and all is change.

With beat of systole and of diastole
One grand great life throbs through earth's giant heart,
And mighty waves of single Being roll
From nerve-less germ to man, for we are part
Of every rock and bird and beast and hill,
One with the things that prey on us, and one with what we kill.

From lower cells of waking life we pass
To full perfection; thus the world grows old:
We who are godlike now were once a mass
Of quivering purple flecked with bars of gold,
Unsentient or of joy or misery,
And tossed in terrible tangles of some wild and wind-swept sea.

This hot hard flame with which our bodies burn
Will make some meadow blaze with daffodil,
Ay! and those argent breasts of thine will turn
To water-lilies; the brown fields men till
Will be more fruitful for our love to-night,
Nothing is lost in nature, all things live in Death's despite.

The boy's first kiss, the hyacinth's first bell,
The man's last passion, and the last red spear
That from the lily leaps, the asphodel
Which will not let its blossoms blow for fear
Of too much beauty, and the timid shame
Of the young bride-groom at his lover's eyes,--these with the
same

One sacrament are consecrate, the earth
Not we alone hath passions hymeneal,
The yellow buttercups that shake for mirth
At daybreak know a pleasure not less real
Than we do, when in some fresh-blossoming wood
We draw the spring into our hearts, and feel that life is good.

So when men bury us beneath the yew
Thy crimson-stainèd mouth a rose will be,
And thy soft eyes lush bluebells dimmed with dew,
And when the white narcissus wantonly
Kisses the wind its playmate, some faint joy
Will thrill our dust, and we will be again fond maid and boy.

And thus without life's conscious torturing pain
In some sweet flower we will feel the sun,
And from the linnet's throat will sing again,
And as two gorgeous-mailèd snakes will run
Over our graves, or as two tigers creep
Through the hot jungle where the yellow-eyed huge lions sleep

And give them battle! How my heart leaps up
To think of that grand living after death
In beast and bird and flower, when this cup,
Being filled too full of spirit, bursts for breath,
And with the pale leaves of some autumn day
The soul earth's earliest conqueror becomes earth's last great prey.

O think of it! We shall inform ourselves
Into all sensuous life, the goat-foot Faun,
The Centaur, or the merry bright-eyed Elves
That leave their dancing rings to spite the dawn
Upon the meadows, shall not be more near
Than you and I to nature's mysteries, for we shall hear

The thrush's heart beat, and the daisies grow,
And the wan snowdrop sighing for the sun
On sunless days in winter, we shall know
By whom the silver gossamer is spun,
Who paints the diapered fritillaries,
On what wide wings from shivering pine to pine the eagle flies.

Ay! had we never loved at all, who knows
If yonder daffodil had lured the bee
Into its gilded womb, or any rose
Had hung with crimson lamps its little tree!
Methinks no leaf would ever bud in spring,
But for the lovers' lips that kiss, the poets' lips that sing.

Is the light vanished from our golden sun,
Or is this dædal-fashioned earth less fair,
That we are nature's heritors, and one
With every pulse of life that beats the air?
Rather new suns across the sky shall pass,
New splendour come unto the flower, new glory to the grass.

And we two lovers shall not sit afar,
Critics of nature, but the joyous sea
Shall be our raiment, and the bearded star
Shoot arrows at our pleasure! We shall be
Part of the mighty universal whole,
And through all æons mix and mingle with the Kosmic Soul!

We shall be notes in that great Symphony
Whose cadence circles through the rhythmic spheres,
And all the live World's throbbing heart shall be
One with our heart, the stealthy creeping years
Have lost their terrors now, we shall not die,
The Universe itself shall be our Immortality!

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Patrick White

Poetry Used To Live In A Forbidden State Of Courageous Grace

Poetry used to live in a forbidden state of courageous grace
but now it's palpably culpable of cowardice.
Paper-mache lifemasks with all the characteristics
of a gaping sin of omission. As F.R. Scott said of E.J. Pratt
in his poem about the building of the CPR
where are the coolies in your poem, Ned?
The ten thousand that died lining and tamping track.
Now the real subject matter of most works of art
is not what was put in, but what was left out,
where's the heart, the soul, the imagination,
where's the grief and the longing that slowly matured
into the black flames of the charred roses
that immolated themselves in their own fires
for the love of someone they couldn't live without
like the other wing of the song of a bird
maimed by the oversight like a tree in chains.
The applause of trained seals isn't praise
and celebrity isn't fame. Everyone's good
at divining the well, but who takes the time
to dig one any deeper than their own shallow grave?

Maybe there's a sleeper out there who's fighting
for his life in a dream, enduring excruciating transformations
as experience shapeshifts his voice into poems
we'll get to overhear one day after he's dead
like the sound of distant water in a mindstream
or the ashes of an unknown soldier
that couldn't be contained by a broken urn
or buried under a monument to anonymous violence.
A hero or a heroine who didn't play to the crowd
like an acrobat of words faking it as a wizard
in a literary scene of very unsacred clowns.
Tiger-striped arsonists that couldn't burn
their way through a matchbook. Where are
the thieves of fire, the Promethean criminals,
the fore-ordained demons of nihilistic doom,
the mad who used to sacrifice their shadows
on the altars of the mountains of the moon
and came down into the valleys in tears
with a message like an avalanche of the underwhelmed?

Are there no more Druids? Is the bloom off the mistletoe
of myriad moons that have lost their atmosphere
to the bright vacancy of the vacuum on the reflected side of things
and forgotten the dark abundance of the occult originality
of the true face that's turned away like a perennial eclipse
of the black sheep of a severely depleted family
that doesn't want to talk about such things in public?
No more shamans risking death in the cradles of the treetops
at the hands of the visions that cut them to the bone
to see if they've marrowed suffering into lunar gold
they scatter on the waters like feathers and bread?
Even the deer miss their hunting magic more than they realized.
Now the flies stalk lions in zoos that know better
than to fight back. And poetry reads like a tourist trap
for expired prophets glad-handing their coveted awards.
Bleed a bit, damn it. Weep like a mountain. Write a poem
like an amputee in a straitjacket with the pen in your mouth.
Pour the ocean into a seabed, not a teacup
that tastes vaguely of life, and down a deep draft
of your own blood in a single gulp from the vessel of your skull,
then wipe it from your lips like the petals of a rose
that knows how the heart feels when it's sealed
like a blood bank and the hungry ghosts of ideas and ideals
have been summoned to it like a seance of vampires in lieu
of the living metaphors that animate the lives of real things.

I'm not saying that the morning is without singers,
or that one should only listen to the night birds
or that the old stumps aren't sprouting tender green branches
out of their Medusa-headed roots. There's fire
in every generation if you get close enough to it
sufficient to singe your eyebrows on or at least
walk toward on a cold night in a cruel landscape
to spread a few stories around to scare the children
into listening to their imagination unbound
from the usual lullabies that keep their parents lyrically young
in a state of arrested development. Where are
the dangerously dissociated ones who yell Merd!
at the choirs of cant and stab an established
pigeon of a poet through the hand like an osprey
then walk off the stage into oblivion as if
a mediocre morality play were beneath his felonious dignity?
Where are the black-robed, outlaw, poet priests,
the sybils, oracles, witches and warlocks,
the vatic rebels hiding out in caves to amplify their voice
like the anarchic mountain they're trying to bring down
on everybody's heads like a meteoric shower
of portentous space junk in a degenerating orbit
that cremated their body parts separately as if each
had nothing in common with its fellow asteroids
except they couldn't keep their cornerstones together long enough
to establish a small planet they could live on in anarchic accord.

I can remember when poems were written in blood,
not bleach and fabric softeners. Not anti-bacterial detergents
that shoot at their own troops over the heads of the enemy.
And how the poetic toads that hibernated for seven years
in the dry creek beds suddenly woke up one day to a flash flood
and started singing sexually naked in the downpouring rain,
not these isolated ripples and trickles of acidic dewdrops
that burn the tongues of the flowers with trademarks and name brands.

Where the savage mystic who wanders in out of the desert
reeking of stars and the wisdom of a snakepit
that could make a whole village stop work, and listen
to the unexpurgated desert wind that spoke through him?
Where are those who ennobled the miseries of life
by living their way through them like diamonds in a black lung?
Now it's the association of the sensibilities into elitist cliques
of enculturated memes with homogeneous life themes
that never leave home to save their children, as Rilke rightly observes,
from having to do it for them. Domesticated lapdogs
never very far from the begging bowls that feed them
like the awards and grants of an institutionalized paternalism
that lets them know when the silver-tongued should be heard
at the table, each in their proper place, and when
Skinnerian censorship, like repressive tolerance, is golden.

Poetry's as old and as dead an art as prostitution.
It's been dying since the first shaman
imitated the song of a bird with its feathers on fire
or the first stripper teased her nakedness with boas.
Or the first wounded wolf let out a warcry
that chilled the moon with its unwaning sincerity.
And the ultimate angle? To be the thing itself
until it breathes you in and out like a way of life
the petty won't risk aspiring to for fear of falling
and being found out like a candling parachute
tangled in its own life lines like a labyrinth of axons
that have lost their nerve for heights. Twenty-five million
children dying of starvation every year on the planet
and you're lying in the lap of the luxury of literature
writing about the rustic quaintness of making home-made jam,
the same way they turned totem-poles into telephone booths
and minor domestic tragedies into recyclable myths of origin.

Let the stars burn deeper into you. Befriend the darkness
like the largest room in your house. Salt your tears
with oceans where your sorrows can learn
to swim like fish without ever swimming out of your eyes.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is it, this onceness,
of the dirge and the lyric you're never going to hear
the same way twice, this mystic specificity
that encompasses us wholly in the mystery
of what we're doing here, what we're saying
and thinking and saying and feeling and shrieking and seeing here
in the presence of each other bearing witness everywhere
as if even the void we flash out of like the morning dew
and return to with the dust of the sunset all over us
were also in some inconceivable way, though
we can't put our lips to its eyelids, sentient
and playfully absurd, but never frivolously recognized.
Don't live like the dress rehearsal of a play you didn't write.
In the pursuit of an earthly excellence that expresses
our human consternation of who we are and are not,
neither this, nor that, say deeply what you mean
so that we can all draw water from it like the sun.
So there's lightning in the clouds of your depression
and the fireflies take over where the starmaps leave off.
Be a great high priestess of the sacred syllable
and when you enter your venerated groves
like the night wind among the crowns of the trees
be at least as engaging and beautiful as they are
and as at home among warriors as you are homeless among saints.

Awake and alert in the unsayable silence. Wait.
And the metaphors will come like bridges that burn
and go up in flames like an orchid and bridges
that collapse under their own weight into the river
they were trying to cross to the colder, lonelier shore
where purity's just a long, slow annihilation
of everything you still insist upon cherishing.
Let go. Fall. Revive. Return. Go up the mountain.
Find the mother lode. Bring it back down into the valley
like a strong river brings its knowledge of gold within.
Behind every explorer is a child who likes to discover
and share things. So what's worth finding that you can't?
You just have to look into one eye to see the history
of everything that can be seen. And when you open your mouth
prompted by a rush of stars, you sing
for thousands of dead poets who used to occupy
these green boughs and leafless branches, you sing
as if you were the last surviving member of the choir,
and the silence, the enraptured silence, was listening.

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The Right Man for the Job

Let me give myself to you.
I wish to hang upon a cross.
Let my ways of old be gone.
And rejoice in all my loss.
It was you that died for the sins of all.
And it was sin that you became.
I feel it would be my honor Lord.
To share our savior’s name.
He was the greatest of men on earth.
For the suffering he bared.
For the honor of the one that loved so much.
His pain I vow to share.
My life, I give it all to you.
For one day I’ll see His face.
I will hug the one who saved us all.
With His mercy and His grace.
Til’ I met you Lord, I did not know.
A love that was so strong.
I was lost and looked for a place to fit.
Now I’ve found where I belonged.
So if I can help, save one more soul.
Then I know Your Will be done.
If you need a man to fill the job.
It’s my honor to be the one.

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And that the thought was just another day/I da je misao bila još samo jedan dan

And that the thought was just another day
No one has said as yet
An unsaid one that cracks with the boughs
Still being dawned for a day to be
I knew for
The outbreak slippery among the fingers
Pours down the beads of sunbeams through the clouds
No one has said as yet
The sides of the world folded on a sheet of paper
An origami of unspreadedness
Unwritten hours sealed in emptiness
On the first geometry class where we will learn
We're perhaps a square with headless points
Marked ABCD
In an alphabet of beheaded words
No one has said as yet no one has dared
The distant counting of Euclid's vows
Xenon's accounts and Pythagoras' secrets
Hung around the neck of a bird
That due to gold of knowledge cannot fly
No one has shaped as yet
A mathematical axiom at the top part of an operational table
Edged by formulae algorhithms
By which Reason the mother of order
Protectively hides the chaos of the possible
We'll be silent about the tents
Under which we've hidden security particles
Precious dust of knowledge in the urn light we'll store
We'll be silent about the warm blankets of thoughts
Covering dreams in an early morning
The marbles of small deceptions the spherical many colouring
We could be stolen them all
And to stand like nothing facing the loveless world
Only Love can do
Who we've never been enough

I da je misao bila još samo jedan dan
Niko rekao nije
Nedorečen što s granjem puca
A za riječ osvanut znala sam jer
Svanuće klizavo medj prstima
Brojanice sunčevih zraka kroz oblake sipa
Niko nije rekao
Na listu papira presavijene stranice svijta
Origami neotklopljenosti
Neispisivanjem sati zapečaćen u prazno
Na prvom času geometrije gdje saznaćemo
Da možda smo samo naučen kvadrat obezglavljenih tjemena
Obilježenih ABVG
Azbukom odrubljene riječi
Niko nije rekao niko nije smio
Daleka prebrojavanja Euklidovih zavjeta
Zenonovih računa Pitagorinih tajni
O vrat ptice obješenih
Što od zlata znanja otežala ne može da leti
Niko nije oblikovao
Matematički aksiom na vrhu operacionog stola
Oivičen formulama algoritmima
Kojim Razum majka reda vješto prikriva
Haos mogućeg
Prećutaćemo šatore pod kojim
Skrili smo truni sigurnosti
Dragocjeni prah saznanja u urnu laku pohraniti
Prećutaćemo toplu ćebad misli
U rano jutro snom pokriveni
Klikere sitnih obmana male šarene sferičnosti
Sve bi mogli nam ukrasti
A stajati k'o ništa spram svijeta bez ljubavi
Može samo Ljubav
Koja nikad dovoljno nismo

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Emily Dickinson

The first Day that I was a Life

902

The first Day that I was a Life
I recollect it—How still—
That last Day that I was a Life
I recollect it—as well—

'Twas stiller—though the first
Was still—
"Twas empty—but the first
Was full—

This—was my finallest Occasion—
But then
My tenderer Experiment
Toward Men—

"Which choose I"?
That—I cannot say—
"Which choose They"?
Question Memory!

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That Moment...when the Button was Pressed Parody Ted HUGHES – Crow

When the button was pressed and the mushroom cloud
finally drifted away
like an ozone layer stripped from the stratosphere

And the only face left in the world
lay melted
between waxed hands sticky with weight,

and the genes were mated forever
and the greens mutated forever
and the shadow-doll lolled upon the gravel
of the abandoned world

Alongside the abandoned gavel
and the bell that tinkled never
God returned to Her drawing-board
to discover the decimal point of error.

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The Glory of the Day Was In Her Face

The glory of the day was in her face,
The beauty of the night was in her eyes.
And over all her loveliness, the grace
Of Morning blushing in the early skies.

And in her voice, the calling of the dove;
Like music of a sweet, melodious part.
And in her smile, the breaking light of love;
And all the gentle virtues in her heart.

And now the glorious day, the beauteous night,
The birds that signal to their mates at dawn,
To my dull cars, to my tear-blinded sight
Are one with all the dead, since she is gone.

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Wallace Stevens

The House Was Quiet and The World Was Calm

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

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If The Audience Was Listening

If the audience was listening
When the curtains rise again
If I knew whats going on, just a part of your plan
If I had a bit of mind kick,
If the spirit unfurled
But Ive only got a vision
A strange kind of world
In eternal isolation, for the sake of inspiration
And the stuff that dreams are made of
The jester takes the violin
And lets the poison flow
Insects whirr into the sky
& atlas dropped the earth u know
U wrote a 2. comedy
With all the nightmares u could feature
But Im lying in my own world
Learning from my own worlds creatures
If the audience was listening
Just for one more time
I could be more than a clown
Living more than a lie
But while I reel in the spotlights
The show must go on
My souffleuse is dead and i
Cant remember the song
In eternal isolation, for the sake of inspiration
And the stuff that dreams are made of...

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If The Audience Was Listening (demo 2)

If the audience was listening
When the curtains rise again
If i knew what's going on, just a part of your plan
If i had a bit of mind kick,
If the spirit unfurled
But i've only got a vision
A strange kind of world
In eternal isolation, for the sake of inspiration
And the stuff that dreams are made of
The jester takes the violin
And lets the poison flow
Insects whirr into the sky
& atlas dropped the earth u know
U wrote a 2. comedy
With all the nightmares u could feature
But i'm lying in my own world
Learning from my own world's creatures
If the audience was listening
Just for one more time
I could be more than a clown
Living more than a lie
But while i reel in the spotlights
The show must go on
My souffleuse is dead and i
Can't remember the song
In eternal isolation, for the sake of inspiration
And the stuff that dreams are made of...

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If The World Was Crazy

If the world was crazy, you know what I'd eat?
A big slice of soup and a whole quart of meat,
A lemonade sandwich, and then I might try
Some roasted ice cream or a bicycle pie,
A nice notebook salad, and underwear roast,
An omelet of hats and some crisp cardboard toast,
A thick malted milk made from pencils and daisies,
And that's what I'd eat if the world was crazy.

If the world was crazy, you know what I'd wear?
A chocolate suit and a tie of eclair,
Some marshmallow earmuffs, some licorice shoes,
And I'd read a paper of peppermint news.
I'd call the boys 'Suzy' and I'd call the girls 'Harry,'
I'd talk through my ears, and I always would carry
A paper unbrella for when it grew hazy
To keep in the rain, if the world was crazy.

If the world was crazy, you know what I'd do?
I'd walk on the ocean and swim in my shoe,
I'd fly through the ground and I'd skip through the air,
I'd run down the bathtub and bathe on the stair.
When I met somebody I'd say 'G'bye, Joe,'
And when I was leaving - then I'd say 'Hello.'
And the greatest of men would be silly and lazy
So I would be king... if the world was cazy.

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Not Part Of My Job Description

I am not trying to make sense.
Or find a place where it is common.
I've traveled those avenues before.

Today I have distanced myself from the search.
And those explanations about lost connections...
With an admitted obligation,
To sacrifice one's time...
In a devoted commitment to help mend,
Those of broken misunderstandings?
That is not my mission.

I deliver messages,
That's it.
Wasting time sitting to convince...
Is not part of my job description.

When were those understandings broken?
And who did not comprehend an existing split?
I would think,
Those folks are the ones...
Who should be choked up with guilt!
Trying to heal these emotional 'riffs'.
Not me!

I've done my 'tears-cried-alone' bit.
With a completed paid donation made to that charity.

I am not trying to make sense.
Or find a place where it is common.
I've traveled those avenues before.
Do I dare to retrace my footsteps?

Suggestion...
Do not wait or anticipate a response.
There will be none forthcoming.
Not to that question.
And not from my lips will one come.
I'm done with repeated aggravation.

Today I have distanced myself from the search.
And those explanations about lost connections...
With an admitted obligation,
To sacrifice one's time for the 'right-thing-to-do'.
In a devoted commitment to help mend,
Those of broken misunderstandings?
Hey...
That is not my mission.
Or a condition of my 'contract'.

I've tried that and was reminded I didn't fit in!

I deliver messages,
That's it.
Wasting time sitting,
To convince...
Which advice to follow?
And who should do it?
Is not part of my job description.

F.A.T.
And I aint talking about what to do,
With anybody's 'fat' either!
Or furthering ambitious thoughts.
Or feed any ducks to prepare to pluck.

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The secret war that is raging in South Africa

The secret war that is raging in South Africa
asks for white blood,
these black people first kill and torture
before they take your possessions.

Incident upon incident I can tell about
where white families have been killed,
just think about the Orffer family
who was killed in Stellenbosch

on Friday 31 July 1994
by black people:

First the trustworthy black maid Sannetjie,
who tried to ward off the attackers with her bare hands
like a Amakeia of days gone,
then the blonde small girl

then the dad and the deaf little boy
and last the mother
were chopped with a axe to death
and everywhere there was blood.

Nowadays the tendency is
to first bind up the head of the family,
the man, to assault him
and to torture him to death in front of his family

and then to rape the women,
even toddlers and babies
and if the women are lucky
they survive

when the criminals
leave with their possessions
and it seems as if the police
do not want to, or are not able to stop this thing

and then it is claimed
that these people kill and steal
because they are hungry, while people in government
sings songs to wipe out whites.

From April 1994 when Nelson Mandela became president
the wiping out of white families is our destiny,
the Afrikaner nation is in the melting pot
we who have an own culture, language and identity,

who cannot become part of the hurly-burly
are killed, not only robbed
but tortured and horribly killed
and our women and children are raped.

Even Eugene Terreblancé
had befallen this same lot
and if this is not a war
that is raging against us,

where we are systematically
bit by bit, family by family
wiped out, and the numbers
are already in the thousands, then what is it?

[References: Klaaglied: Stellenbosch, Vrydag,31 Julie 1994 (Song of lamentation: Stellenbosch, Friday,31 Julie 1994) by Lina Spies. Amakeia by A. G. Visser, Amakeia, Amakeia then and now by Gert Strydom.]

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The Little Engine That Could

This song was first released on the all aboard! album. it is the only album it has been released on.
There was a little railroad train with loads and loads of toys
All starting out to find a home with little girls and boys
And as that little railroad train began to chug along
The little engine up in front was heard to sing this song
Choo, choo, choo, choo
Choo, choo, choo, choo
I feel so good today
Oh hear the track
Oh clickety clack
Ill go my merry way
The little train went rousing on so fast it seemed to fly
Until it reached a mountain that went almost to the sky
The little engine moaned and groaned and huffed and puffed away
But halfway to the top it just gave up and seemed to say
I cant go
I cant go
Im weary as can be
I cant go
I cant go
This job is not for me
The toys got out to push but all in vain alas alack
And then a great big engine came a whistling down the track
They asked if it would kindly pull them up the mountain side
But with a high and mighty sneer it scornfully replied i
Dont bother me
Dont bother me
To pull the likes of you
Dont bother me
Dont bother me
Ive better things to do
The toys all started crying cause that engine was so mean
And then there came another one, the smallest ever seen
And though it seemed that she could hardly pull herself along
She hitched on to the train and as she pulled she sang this song
I think I can
I think I can
I think I have a plan
And I can do most anything
If I only think I can
Then up that great big mountain with the cars all full of toys
And soon they reached the waiting arms of little girls and boy
And though that ends the story it will do you lots of good
To take a lesson from the little engine that could
Just think you can
Just think you can
Just have that understood
And very soon youll start to say
I always knew I could
I knew I could
I knew I could
I knew I could
I knew I could
I knew I could
I knew I could, yeah!
Words and music by william may and warren foster

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The Picture

Lightning. Cupid. Thunder. Dark Sky.
Rain. Road.
'Wanna share? '
'Thanks a lot! '
'Thank you'
'Jane'
'I'm David'
'Nice to meet you too'
'Take care'.
Two. Love. Forever. Hope. Life. Bliss.
One.
'Until my dying day'
'I'll love. I'll cherish'
Never gonna let you go
Eyes for you and you alone
Forsaking all others
Kiss.
Tears. Pain. Immeasurable. Help! . Joy.
Laughter.
'Puuuuusssshhhh! ! ! '
Oh God.
Ooooohhhh.
Aaaaaaaarrrrgggghhhh.
'O ne more! , one more! '
Hahahahaha.
'Its a boy! '
Oh my.
Fresh air. Joy. Happiness. Success.
Accomplished. Satisfied.
'I got admission into College! '
'Its my graduation! '
'I got the job! '
'Got that promotion! '
'I've met 'the one'! '
'He proposed! '
'I'm pregnant! '
'I was called the greatest....! '
'She came back! '
'I love him! '
'I'm free! '.
Glance. Smile. Eye contact. Hello. Shake.
Closer.
'Need help? '
With what?
'Going through life'
Most def!
'Always be here.'
You for you.
Flaws and all.
'Pissed, don't hurt me no more! '
Here for the long haul.
Despair. Sad. Depressed. Problem. Fray.
Hollow.
'Let this life have meaning'
'Why did she have to go? '
Floor.
'Let me be'
Can't...won't get up.
Not hungry.
Insomnia. Heartbroken.
Ached.
Mistakes. Fallen. Broken. Scar. Beer.
Same.
'Where'd I go wrong? '
'Why'd I do that? '
'How? '
'It hurts'
'Need God'
'Need help'
Sigh.
Pissed. Prisoner. Hurt. Let go. Divinity.
Freed.
'Imma get back at you'
'What goes around comes around'
To err = humanity
To forgive = divinity
'You really hurt me'
I'm really sorry
'Its ok'
Really?
'Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet
sheds on the heel that crushed it'
Tears.
Dream. Vision. Maybe. Idea. Light.
Eureka!
'I wanna be a doctor'
'I wanna be the greatest that ever lived'
'I wanna change the world'
'I wanna.......'
'Geez, just discovered how to......'
Fist pumps air.
Feet halfway above earth.
'I can do it! '.
Mirror. You. Conscience. Society. Vices.
God.
'Wrong path. Wrong person'
'Was meant to be more'
All wrong.
Wrong choices.
U- turn.
Knees.
Mercy.
Tears.
Bed. Beep. Tubes. Morphine. Cold. Aged.
Worn out body
Worn out spirit
Worn out mind
Like a child again
Hmmm.
'It's time'.
Breathe.
Stop.
Father. Lover. Dark Alley. Searchlight.
Reconciliation. Hugs.
'Have you seen Jenny? '
'Anyone know where Jenny is?
I want to be left alone!
Leave me alone!
'No, can't do'
Years.
Messed up.
Damaged
'I'm sorry'
'Come here'
Hugs.
Welcome home.
Silence. Darkness. Insects. Six Feet.
Under. The End.

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How the Land was Won

The future was dark and the past was dead
As they gazed on the sea once more –
But a nation was born when the immigrants said
"Good-bye!" as they stepped ashore!
In their loneliness they were parted thus
Because of the work to do,
A wild wide land to be won for us
By hearts and hands so few.

The darkest land 'neath a blue sky's dome,
And the widest waste on earth;
The strangest scenes and the least like home
In the lands of our fathers' birth;
The loneliest land in the wide world then,
And away on the furthest seas,
A land most barren of life for men –
And they won it by twos and threes!

With God, or a dog, to watch, they slept
By the camp-fires' ghastly glow,
Where the scrubs were dark as the blacks that crept
With "nulla" and spear held low;
Death was hidden amongst the trees,
And bare on the glaring sand
They fought and perished by twos and threes –
And that's how they won the land!

It was two that failed by the dry creek bed,
While one reeled on alone –
The dust of Australia's greatest dead
With the dust of the desert blown!
Gaunt cheek-bones cracking the parchment skin
That scorched in the blazing sun,
Black lips that broke in a ghastly grin –
And that's how the land was won!

Starvation and toil on the tracks they went,
And death by the lonely way;
The childbirth under the tilt or tent,
The childbirth under the dray!
The childbirth out in the desolate hut
With a half-wild gin for nurse –
That's how the first were born to bear
The brunt of the first man's curse!

They toiled and they fought through the shame of it
Through wilderness, flood, and drought;
They worked, in the struggles of early days,
Their sons' salvation out.
The white girl-wife in the hut alone,
The men on the boundless run,
The miseries suffered, unvoiced, unknown –
And that's how the land was won.

No armchair rest for the old folk then –
But, ruined by blight and drought,
They blazed the tracks to the camps again
In the big scrubs further out.
The worn haft, wet with a father's sweat,
Gripped hard by the eldest son,
The boy's back formed to the hump of toil –
And that's how the land was won!

And beyond Up Country, beyond Out Back,
And the rainless belt, they ride,
The currency lad and the ne'er-do-well
And the black sheep, side by side;
In wheeling horizons of endless haze
That disk through the Great North-west,
They ride for ever by twos and by threes –
And that's how they win the rest.

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Lines written in the Belief that the Ancient Roman Festival of the Dead was called Ambarvalia

Swings the way still by hollow and hill,
And all the world's a song;
'She's far,' it sings me, 'but fair,' it rings me,
'Quiet,' it laughs, 'and strong!'

Oh! spite of the miles and years between us,
Spite of your chosen part,
I do remember; and I go
With laughter in my heart.

So above the little folk that know not,
Out of the white hill-town,
High up I clamber; and I remember;
And watch the day go down.

Gold is my heart, and the world's golden,
And one peak tipped with light;
And the air lies still about the hill
With the first fear of night;

Till mystery down the soundless valley
Thunders, and dark is here;
And the wind blows, and the light goes,
And the night is full of fear,

And I know, one night, on some far height,
In the tongue I never knew,
I yet shall hear the tidings clear
From them that were friends of you.

They'll call the news from hill to hill,
Dark and uncomforted,
Earth and sky and the winds; and I
Shall know that you are dead.

I shall not hear your trentals,
Nor eat your arval bread;
For the kin of you will surely do
Their duty by the dead.

Their little dull greasy eyes will water;
They'll paw you, and gulp afresh.
They'll sniffle and weep, and their thoughts will creep
Like flies on the cold flesh.

They will put pence on your grey eyes,
Bind up your fallen chin,
And lay you straight, the fools that loved you
Because they were your kin.

They will praise all the bad about you,
And hush the good away,
And wonder how they'll do without you,
And then they'll go away.

But quieter than one sleeping,
And stranger than of old,
You will not stir for weeping,
You will not mind the cold;

But through the night the lips will laugh not,
The hands will be in place,
And at length the hair be lying still
About the quiet face.

With snuffle and sniff and handkerchief,
And dim and decorous mirth,
With ham and sherry, they'll meet to bury
The lordliest lass of earth.

The little dead hearts will tramp ungrieving
Behind lone-riding you,
The heart so high, the heart so living,
Heart that they never knew.

I shall not hear your trentals,
Nor eat your arval bread,
Nor with smug breath tell lies of death
To the unanswering dead.

With snuffle and sniff and handkerchief,
The folk who loved you not
Will bury you, and go wondering
Back home. And you will rot.

But laughing and half-way up to heaven,
With wind and hill and star,
I yet shall keep, before I sleep,
Your Ambarvalia.

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Uncle Ned’s Tales: How The Flag Was Saved

‘TWAS a dismal winter's evening, fast without came down the snow,
But within, the cheerful fire cast a ruddy, genial glow
O'er our pleasant little parlor, that was then my mother's pride.
There she sat beside the glowing grate, my sister by her side;
And beyond, within the shadow, in a cosy little nook
Uncle Ned and I were sitting, and in whispering tones we spoke.
I was asking for a story he had promised me to tell,—
Of his comrade, old Dick Hilton, how he fought and how he fell;
And with eager voice I pressed him, till a mighty final cloud
Blew he slowly, then upon his breast his grisly head he bowed,
And, musing, stroked his gray mustache ere he began to speak,
Then brushed a tear that stole along his bronzed and furrowed cheek.
'Ah, no! I will not speak to-night of that sad tale,' he cried,
'Some other time I'll tell you, boy, about that splendid ride.
Your words have set me thinking of the many careless years
That comrade rode beside me, and have caused these bitter tears;
For I loved him, boy,—for twenty years we galloped rein to rein,—
In peace and war, through all that time, stanch comrades had we been.
As boys we rode together when our soldiering first began.
And in all those years I knew him for a true and trusty man.
One who never swerved from danger,—for he knew not how to fear,—
If grim Death arrayed his legions, Dick would charge him with a cheer.
He was happiest in a struggle or a wild and dangerous ride:
Every inch a trooper was he, and he cared for naught beside.
He was known for many a gallant deed: to-night I'll tell you one,
And no braver feat of arms was by a soldier ever done.
'Twas when we were young and fearless, for 'twas in our first campaign,
When we galloped through the orange groves and fields of sunny Spain.
Our wary old commander was retiring from the foe,
Who came pressing close upon us, with a proud, exulting show.
We could hear their taunting laughter, and within our very sight
Did they ride defiant round us,—ay, and dared us to the fight.
But brave old Picton heeded not, but held his backward track,
And smiling said the day would come to pay the Frenchmen back.
And come it did: one morning, long before the break of day,
We were standing to our arms, all ready for the coming fray.
Soon the sun poured down his glory on the hostile lines arrayed,
And his beams went flashing brightly back from many a burnished blade,
Soon to change its spotless luster for a reeking crimson stain,
In some heart, then throbbing proudly, that will never throb again.
When that sun has reached his zenith, life and pride will then have fled,
And his beams will mock in splendor o'er the ghastly heaps of dead.
Oh, 'tis sad to think how many—but I wander, lad, I fear;
And, though the moral's good, I guess the tale you'd rather hear.
Well, I said that we were ready, and the foe was ready, too;
Soon the fight was raging fiercely,—thick and fast the bullets flew,
With a bitter hiss of malice, as if hungry for the life
To be torn from manly bosoms in the maddening heat of strife.
Distant batteries were thundering, pouring grape and shell like rain,
And the cruel missiles hurtled with their load of death and pain,
Which they carried, like fell demons, to the heart of some brigade,
Where the sudden, awful stillness told the havoc they had made.
Thus the struggle raged till noon, and neither side could vantage show;
Then the tide of battle turned, and swept in favor of the foe!
Fiercer still the cannon thundered,—wilder screamed the grape and shell,—
Onward pressed the French battalions,—back the British masses fell!
Then, as on its prey devoted, fierce the hungered vulture swoops,
Swung the foeman's charging squadrons down upon our broken troops.
Victory hovered o'er their standard,—on they swept with maddened shout,
Spreading death and havoc round them, till retreat was changed to rout!
'Twas a saddening sight to witness; and, when Picton saw them fly,
Grief and shame were mixed and burning in the old commander's eye.
We were riding in his escort, close behind him, on a height
Which the fatal field commanded; thence we viewed the growing flight.
'But, my lad, I now must tell you something more about that hill,
And I'll try to make you see the spot as I can see it still.
Bight before us, o'er the battle-field, the fall was sheer and steep;
On our left the ground fell sloping, in a pleasant, grassy sweep,
Where the aides went dashing swiftly, bearing orders to and fro,
For by that sloping side alone they reached the plain below.
On our right—now pay attention, boy—a yawning fissure lay,
As if an earthquake's shock had split the mountain's side away.
And in the dismal gulf, far down, we heard the angry roar
Of a foaming mountain torrent, that, mayhap, the cleft had wore,
As it rushed for countless ages through its black and secret lair;
But no matter how 'twas formed, my lad, the yawning gulf was there.
And from the farther side a stone projected o'er the gorge,—
'Twas strange to see the massive rock just balanced on the verge;
It seemed as if an eagle's weight the ponderous mass of stone
Would topple from its giddy height, and send it crashing down.
It stretched far o'er the dark abyss; but, though 'twere footing good,
'Twas twenty feet or more from off the side on which we stood.
Beyond the cleft a gentle slope went down and joined the plain,—
Now, lad, back to where we halted, and again resume the rein.
I said our troops were routed. Far and near they broke and fled,
The grape-shot tearing through them, leaving lanes of mangled dead.
All order lost, they left the fight,—they threw their arms away,
And joined in one wild panic rout,—ah! 'twas a bitter day!

'But did I say that all was lost? Nay, one brave corps stood fast,
Determined they would never fly, but fight it to the last.
They barred the Frenchman from his prey, and his whole fury braved,—
One brief hour could they hold their ground, the army might be saved.
Fresh troops were hurrying to our aid,—we saw their glittering head,—
Ah, God! how those brave hearts were raked by the death-shower of lead!
But stand they did: they never flinched nor took one backward stride,
They sent their bayonets home, and then with stubborn courage died.
But few were left of that brave band when the dread hour had passed,
Still, faint and few, they held their flag above them to the last.
But now a cloud of horsemen, like a shadowy avalanche,
Sweeps down: as Picton sees them, e'en his cheek is seen to blanch.
They were not awed, that little band, but rallied once again,
And sent us back a farewell cheer. Then burst from reckless men
The anguished cry, ' God help them!' as we saw the feeble flash
Of their last defiant volley, when upon them with a crash
Burst the gleaming lines of riders,—one by one they disappear,
And the chargers' hoofs are trampling on the last of that brave square!
On swept the squadrons! Then we looked where last the band was seen:
A scarlet heap was all that marked the place where they had been!
Still forward spurred the horsemen, eager to complete the rout;
But our lines had been reformed now, and five thousand guns belched out
A reception to the squadrons,—rank on rank was piled that day
Every bullet hissed out ' Vengeance!' as it whistled on its way.

'And now it was, with maddened hearts, we saw a galling sight:
A French hussar was riding close beneath us on the right,—
He held a British standard! With insulting shout he stood,
And waved the flag,—its heavy folds drooped down with shame and blood,—
The blood of hearts unconquered: 'twas the flag of the stanch corps
That had fought to death beneath it,—it was heavy with their gore.
The foreign dog! I see him as he holds the standard down,
And makes his charger trample on its colors and its crown!
But his life soon paid the forfeit: with a cry of rage and pain,
Hilton dashes from the escort, like a tiger from his chain.
Nought he sees but that insulter; and he strikes his frightened horse
With his clenched hand, and spurs him, with a bitter-spoken curse,
Straight as bullet from a rifle—but, great Lord! he has not seen,
In his angry thirst for vengeance, the black gulf that lies between!
All our warning shouts unheeded, starkly on he headlong rides,
And lifts his horse, with bloody spurs deep buried in his sides.

God's mercy! does he see the gulf? Ha! now his purpose dawns
Upon our minds, as nearer still the rocky fissure yawns:
Where from the farther side the stone leans o'er the stream beneath,
He means to take the awful leap! Cold horror checks our breath,
And still and mute we watch him now: he nears the fearful place;
We hear him shout to cheer the horse, and keep the headlong pace.
Then comes a rush,—short strides,—a blow!—the horse bounds wildly on,
Springs high in air o'er the abyss, and lands upon the stone!
It trembles, topples 'neath their weight! it sinks! ha! bravely done!
Another spring,—they gain the side,—the ponderous rock is gone
With crashing roar, a thousand feet, down to the flood below,
And Hilton, heedless of its noise, is riding at the foe!
'The Frenchman stared in wonder: he was brave, and would not run,
'Twould merit but a coward's brand to turn and fly from one.
But still he shuddered at the glance from 'neath that knitted brow:
He knew 'twould be a death fight, but there was no shrinking now.
He pressed his horse to meet the shock: straight at him Hilton made,
And as they closed the Frenchman's cut fell harmless on his blade;
But scarce a moment's time had passed ere, spurring from the field,
A troop of cuirassiers closed round and called on him to yield.
One glance of scorn he threw them,—all his answer in a frown,—
And riding at their leader with one sweep he cut him down;
Then aimed at him who held the flag a cut of crushing might,
And split him to the very chin!—a horrid, ghastly sight!
He seized the standard from his hand; but now the Frenchmen close,
And that stout soldier, all alone, fights with a hundred foes!
They cut and cursed,—a dozen swords were whistling round his head;
He could not guard on every side,—from fifty wounds he bled.
His saber crashed through helm and blade, as though it were a mace;
He cut their steel cuirasses and he slashed them o'er the face.
One tall dragoon closed on him, but he wheeled his horse around,
And cloven through the helmet went the trooper to the ground.
But his saber blade was broken by the fury of the blow,
And he hurled the useless, bloody hilt against the nearest foe;
Then furled the colors round the pole, and, like a leveled lance,
He charged with that red standard through the bravest troops of France!
His horse, as lion-hearted, scarcely needed to be urged,
And steed and rider bit the dust before him as he charged.
Straight on he rode, and down they went, till he had cleared the ranks,
Then once again he loosed the rein and struck his horse's flanks.
A cheer broke from the French dragoons,—a loud, admiring shout!—
As off he rode, and o'er him shook the tattered colors out.
Still might they ride him down: they scorned to fire or to pursue,—
Brave hearts! they cheered him to our lines,—their army cheering, too!
And we—what did we do? you ask. Well, boy, we did not cheer,
Nor not one sound of welcome reached our hero comrade's ear;
But, as he rode along the ranks, each soldier's head was bare,—
Our hearts were far too full for cheers,—we welcomed him with prayer.
Ah, boy, we loved that dear old flag!—ay, loved it so, we cried
Like children, as we saw it wave in all its tattered pride!
No, boy, no cheers to greet him, though he played a noble part,—
We only prayed 'God bless him!' but that prayer came from the heart.
He knew we loved him for it,—he could see it in our tears,—
And such silent earnest love as that is better, boy, than cheers.
Next day we fought the Frenchman, and we drove him back, of course,
Though we lost some goodly soldiers, and old Picton lost a horse.
But there I've said enough: your mother's warning finger shook,—
Mind, never be a soldier, boy!—now let me have a smoke.'

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Lewis Carroll

The Hunting of the Snark

Fit the First
THE LANDING

'Just the place for a Snark!' the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

'Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What i tell you three times is true.'

The crew was complete: it included a Boots--
A maker of Bonnets and Hoods--
A Barrister, brought to arrange their disputes--
And a Broker, to value their goods.

A Billiard-maker, whose skill was immense,
Might perhaps have won more than his share--
But a Banker, engaged at enormous expense,
Had the whole of their cash in his care.

There was also a Beaver, that paced on the deck,
Or would sit making lace in the bow:
And had often (the Bellman said) saved them from wreck,
Though none of the sailors knew how.

There was one who was famed for the number of things
He forgot when he entered the ship:
His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,
And the clothes he had bought for the trip.

He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,
With his name painted clearly on each:
But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
They were all left behind on the beach.

The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
He had seven coats on when he came,
With three pairs of boots--but the worst of it was,
He had wholly forgotten his name.

He would answer to 'Hi!' or to any loud cry,
Such as 'Fry me!' or 'Fritter my wig!'
To 'What-you-may-call-um!' or 'What-was-his-name!'
But especially 'Thing-um-a-jig!'

While, for those who preferred a more forcible word,
He had different names from these:
His intimate friends called him 'Candle-ends,'
And his enemies 'Toasted-cheese.'

'His form in ungainly--his intellect small--'
(So the Bellman would often remark)
'But his courage is perfect! And that, after all,
Is the thing that one needs with a Snark.'

He would joke with hyenas, returning their stare
With an impudent wag of the head:
And he once went a walk, paw-in-paw, with a bear,
'Just to keep up its spirits,' he said.

He came as a Baker: but owned, when too late--
And it drove the poor Bellman half-mad--
He could only bake Bridecake--for which, I may state,
No materials were to be had.

The last of the crew needs especial remark,
Though he looked an incredible dunce:
He had just one idea--but, that one being 'Snark,'
The good Bellman engaged him at once.

He came as a Butcher: but gravely declared,
When the ship had been sailing a week,
He could only kill Beavers. The Bellman looked scared,
And was almost too frightened to speak:

But at length he explained, in a tremulous tone,
There was only one Beaver on board;
And that was a tame one he had of his own,
Whose death would be deeply deplored.

The Beaver, who happened to hear the remark,
Protested, with tears in its eyes,
That not even the rapture of hunting the Snark
Could atone for that dismal surprise!

It strongly advised that the Butcher should be
Conveyed in a separate ship:
But the Bellman declared that would never agree
With the plans he had made for the trip:

Navigation was always a difficult art,
Though with only one ship and one bell:
And he feared he must really decline, for his part,
Undertaking another as well.

The Beaver's best course was, no doubt, to procure
A second-hand dagger-proof coat--
So the Baker advised it-- and next, to insure
Its life in some Office of note:

This the Banker suggested, and offered for hire
(On moderate terms), or for sale,
Two excellent Policies, one Against Fire,
And one Against Damage From Hail.

Yet still, ever after that sorrowful day,
Whenever the Butcher was by,
The Beaver kept looking the opposite way,
And appeared unaccountably shy.


Fit the Second
THE BELLMAN'S SPEECH

The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies--
Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
The moment one looked in his face!

He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.

'What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators,
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?'
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
'They are merely conventional signs!

'Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we've got our brave Captain to thank:
(So the crew would protest) 'that he's bought us the best--
A perfect and absolute blank!'

This was charming, no doubt; but they shortly found out
That the Captain they trusted so well
Had only one notion for crossing the ocean,
And that was to tingle his bell.

He was thoughtful and grave--but the orders he gave
Were enough to bewilder a crew.
When he cried 'Steer to starboard, but keep her head larboard!'
What on earth was the helmsman to do?

Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes:
A thing, as the Bellman remarked,
That frequently happens in tropical climes,
When a vessel is, so to speak, 'snarked.'

But the principal failing occurred in the sailing,
And the Bellman, perplexed and distressed,
Said he had hoped, at least, when the wind blew due East,
That the ship would not travel due West!

But the danger was past--they had landed at last,
With their boxes, portmanteaus, and bags:
Yet at first sight the crew were not pleased with the view,
Which consisted to chasms and crags.

The Bellman perceived that their spirits were low,
And repeated in musical tone
Some jokes he had kept for a season of woe--
But the crew would do nothing but groan.

He served out some grog with a liberal hand,
And bade them sit down on the beach:
And they could not but own that their Captain looked grand,
As he stood and delivered his speech.

'Friends, Romans, and countrymen, lend me your ears!'
(They were all of them fond of quotations:
So they drank to his health, and they gave him three cheers,
While he served out additional rations).

'We have sailed many months, we have sailed many weeks,
(Four weeks to the month you may mark),
But never as yet ('tis your Captain who speaks)
Have we caught the least glimpse of a Snark!

'We have sailed many weeks, we have sailed many days,
(Seven days to the week I allow),
But a Snark, on the which we might lovingly gaze,
We have never beheld till now!

'Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again
The five unmistakable marks
By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
The warranted genuine Snarks.

'Let us take them in order. The first is the taste,
Which is meager and hollow, but crisp:
Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
With a flavor of Will-o-the-wisp.

'Its habit of getting up late you'll agree
That it carries too far, when I say
That it frequently breakfasts at five-o'clock tea,
And dines on the following day.

'The third is its slowness in taking a jest.
Should you happen to venture on one,
It will sigh like a thing that is deeply distressed:
And it always looks grave at a pun.

'The fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines,
Which is constantly carries about,
And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes--
A sentiment open to doubt.

'The fifth is ambition. It next will be right
To describe each particular batch:
Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite,
And those that have whiskers, and scratch.

'For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
Yet, I feel it my duty to say,
Some are Boojums--' The Bellman broke off in alarm,
For the Baker had fainted away.


Fit the Third
THE BAKER'S TALE

They roused him with muffins--they roused him with ice--
They roused him with mustard and cress--
They roused him with jam and judicious advice--
They set him conundrums to guess.

When at length he sat up and was able to speak,
His sad story he offered to tell;
And the Bellman cried 'Silence! Not even a shriek!'
And excitedly tingled his bell.

There was silence supreme! Not a shriek, not a scream,
Scarcely even a howl or a groan,
As the man they called 'Ho!' told his story of woe
In an antediluvian tone.

'My father and mother were honest, though poor--'
'Skip all that!' cried the Bellman in haste.
'If it once becomes dark, there's no chance of a Snark--
We have hardly a minute to waste!'

'I skip forty years,' said the Baker, in tears,
'And proceed without further remark
To the day when you took me aboard of your ship
To help you in hunting the Snark.

'A dear uncle of mine (after whom I was named)
Remarked, when I bade him farewell--'
'Oh, skip your dear uncle!' the Bellman exclaimed,
As he angrily tingled his bell.

'He remarked to me then,' said that mildest of men,
' 'If your Snark be a Snark, that is right:
Fetch it home by all means--you may serve it with greens,
And it's handy for striking a light.

' 'You may seek it with thimbles--and seek it with care;
You may hunt it with forks and hope;
You may threaten its life with a railway-share;
You may charm it with smiles and soap--' '

('That's exactly the method,' the Bellman bold
In a hasty parenthesis cried,
'That's exactly the way I have always been told
That the capture of Snarks should be tried!')

' 'But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!'

'It is this, it is this that oppresses my soul,
When I think of my uncle's last words:
And my heart is like nothing so much as a bowl
Brimming over with quivering curds!

'It is this, it is this--' 'We have had that before!'
The Bellman indignantly said.
And the Baker replied 'Let me say it once more.
It is this, it is this that I dread!

'I engage with the Snark--every night after dark--
In a dreamy delirious fight:
I serve it with greens in those shadowy scenes,
And I use it for striking a light:

'But if ever I meet with a Boojum, that day,
In a moment (of this I am sure),
I shall softly and suddenly vanish away--
And the notion I cannot endure!'


Fit the fourth
THE HUNTING

The Bellman looked uffish, and wrinkled his brow.
'If only you'd spoken before!
It's excessively awkward to mention it now,
With the Snark, so to speak, at the door!

'We should all of us grieve, as you well may believe,
If you never were met with again--
But surely, my man, when the voyage began,
You might have suggested it then?

'It's excessively awkward to mention it now--
As I think I've already remarked.'
And the man they called 'Hi!' replied, with a sigh,
'I informed you the day we embarked.

'You may charge me with murder--or want of sense--
(We are all of us weak at times):
But the slightest approach to a false pretense
Was never among my crimes!

'I said it in Hebrew--I said it in Dutch--
I said it in German and Greek:
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
That English is what you speak!'

''Tis a pitiful tale,' said the Bellman, whose face
Had grown longer at every word:
'But, now that you've stated the whole of your case,
More debate would be simply absurd.

'The rest of my speech' (he explained to his men)
'You shall hear when I've leisure to speak it.
But the Snark is at hand, let me tell you again!
'Tis your glorious duty to seek it!

'To seek it with thimbles, to seek it with care;
To pursue it with forks and hope;
To threaten its life with a railway-share;
To charm it with smiles and soap!

'For the Snark's a peculiar creature, that won't
Be caught in a commonplace way.
Do all that you know, and try all that you don't:
Not a chance must be wasted to-day!

'For England expects--I forbear to proceed:
'Tis a maxim tremendous, but trite:
And you'd best be unpacking the things that you need
To rig yourselves out for the fight.'

Then the Banker endorsed a blank check (which he crossed),
And changed his loose silver for notes.
The Baker with care combed his whiskers and hair,
And shook the dust out of his coats.

The Boots and the Broker were sharpening a spade--
Each working the grindstone in turn:
But the Beaver went on making lace, and displayed
No interest in the concern:

Though the Barrister tried to appeal to its pride,
And vainly proceeded to cite
A number of cases, in which making laces
Had been proved an infringement of right.

The maker of Bonnets ferociously planned
A novel arrangement of bows:
While the Billiard-marker with quivering hand
Was chalking the tip of his nose.

But the Butcher turned nervous, and dressed himself fine,
With yellow kid gloves and a ruff--
Said he felt it exactly like going to dine,
Which the Bellman declared was all 'stuff.'

'Introduce me, now there's a good fellow,' he said,
'If we happen to meet it together!'
And the Bellman, sagaciously nodding his head,
Said 'That must depend on the weather.'

The Beaver went simply galumphing about,
At seeing the Butcher so shy:
And even the Baker, though stupid and stout,
Made an effort to wink with one eye.

'Be a man!' said the Bellman in wrath, as he heard
The Butcher beginning to sob.
'Should we meet with a Jubjub, that desperate bird,
We shall need all our strength for the job!'


Fit the Fifth
THE BEAVER'S LESSON

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

Then the Butcher contrived an ingenious plan
For making a separate sally;
And fixed on a spot unfrequented by man,
A dismal and desolate valley.

But the very same plan to the Beaver occurred:
It had chosen the very same place:
Yet neither betrayed, by a sign or a word,
The disgust that appeared in his face.

Each thought he was thinking of nothing but 'Snark'
And the glorious work of the day;
And each tried to pretend that he did not remark
That the other was going that way.

But the valley grew narrow and narrower still,
And the evening got darker and colder,
Till (merely from nervousness, not from goodwill)
They marched along shoulder to shoulder.

Then a scream, shrill and high, rent the shuddering sky,
And they knew that some danger was near:
The Beaver turned pale to the tip of its tail,
And even the Butcher felt queer.

He thought of his childhood, left far far behind--
That blissful and innocent state--
The sound so exactly recalled to his mind
A pencil that squeaks on a slate!

''Tis the voice of the Jubjub!' he suddenly cried.
(This man, that they used to call 'Dunce.')
'As the Bellman would tell you,' he added with pride,
'I have uttered that sentiment once.

''Tis the note of the Jubjub! Keep count, I entreat;
You will find I have told it you twice.
'Tis the song of the Jubjub! The proof is complete,
If only I've stated it thrice.'

The Beaver had counted with scrupulous care,
Attending to every word:
But it fairly lost heart, and outgrabe in despair,
When the third repetition occurred.

It felt that, in spite of all possible pains,
It had somehow contrived to lose count,
And the only thing now was to rack its poor brains
By reckoning up the amount.

'Two added to one--if that could but be done,'
It said, 'with one's fingers and thumbs!'
Recollecting with tears how, in earlier years,
It had taken no pains with its sums.

'The thing can be done,' said the Butcher, 'I think.
The thing must be done, I am sure.
The thing shall be done! Bring me paper and ink,
The best there is time to procure.'

The Beaver brought paper,portfolio, pens,
And ink in unfailing supplies:
While strange creepy creatures came out of their dens,
And watched them with wondering eyes.

So engrossed was the Butcher, he heeded them not,
As he wrote with a pen in each hand,
And explained all the while in a popular style
Which the Beaver could well understand.

'Taking Three as the subject to reason about--
A convenient number to state--
We add Seven, and Ten, and then multiply out
By One Thousand diminished by Eight.

'The result we proceed to divide, as you see,
By Nine Hundred and Ninety Two:
Then subtract Seventeen, and the answer must be
Exactly and perfectly true.

'The method employed I would gladly explain,
While I have it so clear in my head,
If I had but the time and you had but the brain--
But much yet remains to be said.

'In one moment I've seen what has hitherto been
Enveloped in absolute mystery,
And without extra charge I will give you at large
A Lesson in Natural History.'

In his genial way he proceeded to say
(Forgetting all laws of propriety,
And that giving instruction, without introduction,
Would have caused quite a thrill in Society),

'As to temper the Jubjub's a desperate bird,
Since it lives in perpetual passion:
Its taste in costume is entirely absurd--
It is ages ahead of the fashion:

'But it knows any friend it has met once before:
It never will look at a bride:
And in charity-meetings it stands at the door,
And collects--though it does not subscribe.

' Its flavor when cooked is more exquisite far
Than mutton, or oysters, or eggs:
(Some think it keeps best in an ivory jar,
And some, in mahogany kegs:)

'You boil it in sawdust: you salt it in glue:
You condense it with locusts and tape:
Still keeping one principal object in view--
To preserve its symmetrical shape.'

The Butcher would gladly have talked till next day,
But he felt that the lesson must end,
And he wept with delight in attempting to say
He considered the Beaver his friend.

While the Beaver confessed, with affectionate looks
More eloquent even than tears,
It had learned in ten minutes far more than all books
Would have taught it in seventy years.

They returned hand-in-hand, and the Bellman, unmanned
(For a moment) with noble emotion,
Said 'This amply repays all the wearisome days
We have spent on the billowy ocean!'

Such friends, as the Beaver and Butcher became,
Have seldom if ever been known;
In winter or summer, 'twas always the same--
You could never meet either alone.

And when quarrels arose--as one frequently finds
Quarrels will, spite of every endeavor--
The song of the Jubjub recurred to their minds,
And cemented their friendship for ever!


Fit the Sixth
THE BARRISTER'S DREAM

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

But the Barrister, weary of proving in vain
That the Beaver's lace-making was wrong,
Fell asleep, and in dreams saw the creature quite plain
That his fancy had dwelt on so long.

He dreamed that he stood in a shadowy Court,
Where the Snark, with a glass in its eye,
Dressed in gown, bands, and wig, was defending a pig
On the charge of deserting its sty.

The Witnesses proved, without error or flaw,
That the sty was deserted when found:
And the Judge kept explaining the state of the law
In a soft under-current of sound.

The indictment had never been clearly expressed,
And it seemed that the Snark had begun,
And had spoken three hours, before any one guessed
What the pig was supposed to have done.

The Jury had each formed a different view
(Long before the indictment was read),
And they all spoke at once, so that none of them knew
One word that the others had said.

'You must know ---' said the Judge: but the Snark exclaimed 'Fudge!'
That statute is obsolete quite!
Let me tell you, my friends, the whole question depends
On an ancient manorial right.

'In the matter of Treason the pig would appear
To have aided, but scarcely abetted:
While the charge of Insolvency fails, it is clear,
If you grant the plea 'never indebted.'

'The fact of Desertion I will not dispute;
But its guilt, as I trust, is removed
(So far as related to the costs of this suit)
By the Alibi which has been proved.

'My poor client's fate now depends on you votes.'
Here the speaker sat down in his place,
And directed the Judge to refer to his notes
And briefly to sum up the case.

But the Judge said he never had summed up before;
So the Snark undertook it instead,
And summed it so well that it came to far more
Than the Witnesses ever had said!

When the verdict was called for, the Jury declined,
As the word was so puzzling to spell;
But they ventured to hope that the Snark wouldn't mind
Undertaking that duty as well.

So the Snark found the verdict, although, as it owned,
It was spent with the toils of the day:
When it said the word 'GUILTY!' the Jury all groaned,
And some of them fainted away.

Then the Snark pronounced sentence, the Judge being quite
Too nervous to utter a word:
When it rose to its feet, there was silence like night,
And the fall of a pin might be heard.

'Transportation for lift' was the sentence it gave,
'And *then* to be fined forty pound.'
The Jury all cheered, though the Judge said he feared
That the phrase was not legally sound.

But their wild exultation was suddenly checked
When the jailer informed them, with tears,
Such a sentence would have not the slightest effect,
As the pig had been dead for some years.

The Judge left the Court, looking deeply disgusted:
But the Snark, though a little aghast,
As the lawyer to whom the defense was entrusted,
Went bellowing on to the last.

Thus the Barrister dreamed, while the bellowing seemed
To grow every moment more clear:
Till he woke to the knell of a furious bell,
Which the Bellman rang close at his ear.


Fit the Seventh
THE BANKER'S FATE

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new
It was matter for general remark,
Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view
In his zeal to discover the Snark

But while he was seeking with thimbles and care,
A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh
And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair,
For he knew it was useless to fly.

He offered large discount--he offered a check
(Drawn 'to bearer') for seven-pounds-ten:
But the Bandersnatch merely extended its neck
And grabbed at the Banker again.

Without rest or pause--while those frumious jaws
Went savagely snapping around-
He skipped and he hopped, and he floundered and flopped,
Till fainting he fell to the ground.

The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared
Led on by that fear-stricken yell:
And the Bellman remarked 'It is just as I feared!'
And solemnly tolled on his bell.

He was black in the face, and they scarcely could trace
The least likeness to what he had been:
While so great was his fright that his waistcoat turned white-
A wonderful thing to be seen!

To the horror of all who were present that day.
He uprose in full evening dress,
And with senseless grimaces endeavored to say
What his tongue could no longer express.

Down he sank in a chair--ran his hands through his hair--
And chanted in mimsiest tones
Words whose utter inanity proved his insanity,
While he rattled a couple of bones.

'Leave him here to his fate--it is getting so late!'
The Bellman exclaimed in a fright.
'We have lost half the day. Any further delay,
And we sha'nt catch a Snark before night!'


Fit the Eighth
THE VANISHING

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

They shuddered to think that the chase might fail,
And the Beaver, excited at last,
Went bounding along on the tip of its tail,
For the daylight was nearly past.

'There is Thingumbob shouting!' the Bellman said,
'He is shouting like mad, only hark!
He is waving his hands, he is wagging his head,
He has certainly found a Snark!'

They gazed in delight, while the Butcher exclaimed
'He was always a desperate wag!'
They beheld him--their Baker--their hero unnamed--
On the top of a neighboring crag.

Erect and sublime, for one moment of time.
In the next, that wild figure they saw
(As if stung by a spasm) plunge into a chasm,
While they waited and listened in awe.

'It's a Snark!' was the sound that first came to their ears,
And seemed almost too good to be true.
Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers:
Then the ominous words 'It's a Boo-'

Then, silence. Some fancied they heard in the air
A weary and wandering sigh
Then sounded like '-jum!' but the others declare
It was only a breeze that went by.

They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
Not a button, or feather, or mark,
By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
Where the Baker had met with the Snark.

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away---
For the Snark *was* a Boojum, you see.

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