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One of my favorite songs from the album is a song called 'For Better or Worse,' and it's basically about unconditional love, which is, I'd say, an ongoing theme in my personal life.

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Songs From The Wood

Let me bring you songs from the wood:
To make you feel much better than you could know.
Dust you down from tip to toe.
Show you how the garden grows.
Hold you steady as you go.
Join the chorus if you can:
Itll make of you an honest man.
Let me bring you love from the field:
Poppies red and roses filled with summer rain.
To heal the wound and still the pain
That threatens again and again
As you drag down every lovers lane.
Lifes long celebrations here.
Ill toast you all in penny cheer.
Let me bring you all things refined:
Galliards and lute songs served in chilling ale.
Greetings well met fellow, hail!
I am the wind to fill your sail.
I am the cross to take your nail:
A singer of these ageless times.
With kitchen prose and gutter rhymes.
Songs from the wood make you feel much better.

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Mercy From the Lord

Lords mercy extends unto me
Protecting us from the wrath
Of our petty deeds

For unto me
I trust unto thee

Grasping happiness
And a little greif
Where is your confort
Will it be found

Will you be alone
Someone is always around

Will you be forgiven
For things in the wrong

Heaven and earth and bettween
Where are you going to find your means

After the fire
After the rain
Will your cleasing remain
Or will it linger for a while
Then dissapear
Returning you
To live out here

There is a vail
Over your heart
Letting us walk far apart
Trial and error to give us care
Life is ours to find out how much distance
Is out there

What ever you want he will give unto you.
What ever you need he will be unto you.
He will seek and find unto you

A pillow for your weary head and heart to rest
Another night slowly closes in
Will you have a dream
So real to life
That You feel your in.
Full of childish fears
Or of the deep
He will be with you

There is none greater
Than the creator

There is no greater gift
Than the soft touch of acceptance
From one who you have givin your soul to hold.

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Above From The Deep

Above from the deep
Taller than the sky wall
We shall pluck the sun
Embracing all shines in our arm
Bring it back into the ground
Brightening dark deep down
A Light for our dreams to grow
Above from the deep

Let the shine in their eyes staring
Upon me holding something
In my hand without a thing
Because only my eyes knowing
The existence of what i am holding
The invisible dream that i dream

Own my heart as whole
Forever it will be placed in my hand
Coated with my every strength
With all trust i lay in this palm
For invisible dream to survive

Just like a farmer without a land
Only in my heart for seeds to grow
Waiting for wake up from long sleep
In a while we witnessing the flowing wind
Moving with the time, roll the clock wheels
Then we watching days changing to years
Observing the hopeless grass grow taller

The shine in their eyes intriguing
Of my invisible seed surfaced by the dust
Layers of ashes bury it deeper from above
In my hand, i still holding, i still believing
The strength and trust i keep holding
For a small wish one day will growing

Above from the deep
Fertilizing with trial and error
Usual watering without surrender
Above from the deep
Raising hand from below
The green hopes finally crawling out
In ambient of different calling to wake up
Above from the deep
The sun still waiting for this new born
Touch them up to reach higher as they can go
Higher and taller above
Above from this deep

I just like a farmer without a land
But seeding dreams without discriminating
Of which seeds I should choose and growing
To pick only the best one to grow, No oh No
As my heart says grow all, their potential we don't hold
So i will grow all without discriminating
Even I am only a farmer without a land

One sweet day i smell something sweet
From a garden of my soul
The growing plant i seed once
with tears and hardness i witnessed
Harvest from sweet sacrifice
Turn for joy and happiness
For reality now in same line
Side by side walk with me

Above from this deep
Sweat and tears dropp to my feet
I smell the existence of my ripen dream fruit
Yet if i grow all dreams i shall have many
Of diverse tastes and colorful flowers
So i told the seed and land, my heart of no land farmer
Believe your self to go above, get brighter
Even you cant, don't go deeper, it's darker

So take care of what you dream
Just matter of time to tell you when
For one day it will go above
Higher, reaching from this deep
Above from this deep

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : About this poem: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
This is a poem that i write for one of my friend here, that finally
found the strength after many times feel down for uncertainty time
I'm so proud to see how great smile can bounce back to that innocent heart.I know we dream many things in our life, sometimes we can reach sometimes we cant but never abandon what we have start, seed them with try...maybe for others our dream is a small but in our eyes that is what we wanted for, so chase what you want to do...we may not have it now, seed takes years to grow as a strong tree, some even to sprout takes years to get favorable condition....I never agree
for whom said, pick the best seed or seedling...sometimes the weaker one could be stronger and better, it changes through time, like our life we become better..we learn to survive, so give any chance to anyone and dream to grow and proves as what they really are...and for a dream we dream we will enjoy a fruit imagine if we dream of different, we may have many types of fruits/flower just if we seed and care them....but dream without try and care it is hopeless...
It's a dream in a dream...For my friend who knows that this is for you, you have fallen many times, cry deeply and now i am glad you find a shineSo go my dear friend, for everyone Go above from the deep...you will smile, For all..LOve_Unwritten Soul

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From the Earth, a Cry

CAN the earth have a voice? Can the clods have speech,
To murmur and rail at the demigods?
Trample them! Grind their vulgar faces in the clay!

The earth was made for lords and the makers of law;
For the conquerors and the social priest;
For traders who feed on and foster the complex life;
For the shrewd and the selfish who plan and keep;
For the heirs who squander the hoard that bears
The face of the king, and the blood of the serf,
And the curse of the darkened souls!

O Christ! and O Christ! In thy name the law!
In thy mouth the mandate! In thy loving hand the whip!
They have taken thee down from thy cross and sent thee to scourge the people;
They have shod thy feet with spikes and jointed thy dead knees with iron,
And pushed thee, hiding behind, to trample the poor dumb faces!

The spheres make music in space. They swing
Like fiery cherubim on their paths, circling their suns,
Mysterious, weaving the irrevealable,
Full of the peace of unity—sphere and its life at one
Humming their lives of love through the limitless waste of creation.

God! thou hast made man a test of Thyself!
Thou hast set in him a heart that bleeds at the cry of the helpless:
Through Thine infinite seas one world rolls silent,
Moaning at times with quivers and fissures of blood;
Divided, unhappy, accursed; the lower life good,
But the higher life wasted and split, like grain with a cankered root.
Is there health in thy gift of life, Almighty?
Is there grief or compassion anywhere for the poor?
If these be, there is guerdon for those who hate the wrong
And leap naked on the spears, that blood may cry
For truth to come, and pity, and Thy peace.
The human sea is frozen like a swamp; and the kings
And the heirs and the owners ride on the ice and laugh.
Their war-forces, orders, and laws are the crusted field of a crater,
And they stamp on the fearful rind, deriding its flesh-like shudder.

Lightning! the air is split, the crater bursts, and the breathing
Of those below is the fume and fire of hatred.
The thrones are stayed with the courage of shotted guns.
The warning dies.
But queens are dragged to the block, and the knife of the guillotine sinks
In the garbage of pampered flesh that gluts its bed and its hinges.

Silence again, and sunshine. The gaping lips are closed on the crater.
The dead are below, and the landless, and those who live to labor
And grind forever in gloom that the privileged few may live.

But the silence is sullen, not restful. It heaves like a sea, and frets,
And beats at the roof till it finds another vent for its fury.
Again the valve is burst and the pitch-cloud rushes,—the old seam rends anew—
Where the kings were killed before, their names are hewed from the granite—
Paris, mad hope of the slave-shops, flames to the petroleuse!
Tiger that tasted blood—Paris that tasted freedom!
Never, while steel is cheap and sharp, shall thy kinglings sleep without dreaming— Never, while souls have flame, shall their palaces crush the hovels.

Insects and vermin, ye, the starving and dangerous myriads,
List to the murmur that grows and growls! Come from your mines and mills,
Pale-faced girls and women with ragged and hard-eyed children,
Pour from your dens of toil and filth, out to the air of heaven—
Breathe it deep, and hearken! A Cry from the cloud or beyond it,
A Cry to the toilers to rise, to be high as the highest that rules them,
To own the earth in their lifetime and hand it down to their children!

Emperors, stand to the bar! Chancellors, halt at the barracks!
Landlords and Lawlords and Tradelords, the specters you conjured have risen—
Communists, Socialists, Nihilists, Rent-rebels, Strikers, behold!
They are fruit of the seed you have sown—God has prospered your planting. They come From the earth, like the army of death. You have sowed the teeth of the dragon!
Hark to the bay of the leader! You shall hear the roar of the pack
As sure as the stream goes seaward. The crust on the crater beneath you
Shall crack and crumble and sink, with your laws and rules
That breed the million to toil for the luxury of the ten—
That grind the rent from the tiller's blood for drones to spend—
That hold the teeming planet as a garden plot for a thousand—
That draw the crowds to the cities from the healthful fields and woods—
That copulate with greed and beget disease and crime—
That join these two and their offspring, till the world is filled with fear,
And falsehood wins from truth, and the vile and cunning succeed,
And manhood and love are dwarfed, and virtue and friendship sick,
And the law of Christ is a cloak for the corpse that stands for Justice! —
As sure as the Spirit of God is Truth, this Truth shall reign,
And the trees and lowly brutes shall cease to be higher than men.
God purifies slowly by peace, but urgently by fire.

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A Voice From The Factories

WHEN fallen man from Paradise was driven,
Forth to a world of labour, death, and care;
Still, of his native Eden, bounteous Heaven
Resolved one brief memorial to spare,
And gave his offspring an imperfect share
Of that lost happiness, amid decay;
Making their first approach to life seem fair,
And giving, for the Eden past away,
CHILDHOOD, the weary life's long happy holyday.
II.

Sacred to heavenly peace, those years remain!
And when with clouds their dawn is overcast,
Unnatural seem the sorrow and the pain
(Which rosy joy flies forth to banish fast,
Because that season's sadness may not last).
Light is their grief! a word of fondness cheers
The unhaunted heart; the shadow glideth past;
Unknown to them the weight of boding fears,
And soft as dew on flowers their bright, ungrieving tears.
III.

See the Stage-Wonder (taught to earn its bread
By the exertion of an infant skill),
Forsake the wholesome slumbers of its bed,
And mime, obedient to the public will.
Where is the heart so cold that does not thrill
With a vexatious sympathy, to see
That child prepare to play its part, and still
With simulated airs of gaiety
Rise to the dangerous rope, and bend the supple knee?
IV.

Painted and spangled, trembling there it stands,
Glances below for friend or father's face,
Then lifts its small round arms and feeble hands
With the taught movements of an artist's grace:
Leaves its uncertain gilded resting-place--
Springs lightly as the elastic cord gives way--
And runs along with scarce perceptible pace--
Like a bright bird upon a waving spray,
Fluttering and sinking still, whene'er the branches play.
V.

Now watch! a joyless and distorted smile
Its innocent lips assume; (the dancer's leer!)
Conquering its terror for a little while:
Then lets the TRUTH OF INFANCY appear,
And with a stare of numbed and childish fear
Looks sadly towards the audience come to gaze
On the unwonted skill which costs so dear,
While still the applauding crowd, with pleased amaze,
Ring through its dizzy ears unwelcome shouts of praise.
VI.

What is it makes us feel relieved to see
That hapless little dancer reach the ground;
With its whole spirit's elasticity
Thrown into one glad, safe, triumphant bound?
Why are we sad, when, as it gazes round
At that wide sea of paint, and gauze, and plumes,
(Once more awake to sense, and sight, and sound,)
The nature of its age it re-assumes,
And one spontaneous smile at length its face illumes?
VII.

Because we feel, for Childhood's years and strength,
Unnatural and hard the task hath been;--
Because our sickened souls revolt at length,
And ask what infant-innocence may mean,
Thus toiling through the artificial scene;--
Because at that word, CHILDHOOD, start to birth
All dreams of hope and happiness serene--
All thoughts of innocent joy that visit earth--
Prayer--slumber--fondness--smiles--and hours of rosy mirth.
VIII.

And therefore when we hear the shrill faint cries
Which mark the wanderings of the little sweep;
Or when, with glittering teeth and sunny eyes,
The boy-Italian's voice, so soft and deep,
Asks alms for his poor marmoset asleep;
They fill our hearts with pitying regret,
Those little vagrants doomed so soon to weep--
As though a term of joy for all was set,
And that their share of Life's long suffering was not yet.
IX.

Ever a toiling child doth make us sad:
'T is an unnatural and mournful sight,
Because we feel their smiles should be so glad,
Because we know their eyes should be so bright.
What is it, then, when, tasked beyond their might,
They labour all day long for others' gain,--
Nay, trespass on the still and pleasant night,
While uncompleted hours of toil remain?
Poor little FACTORY SLAVES--for You these lines complain!
X.

Beyond all sorrow which the wanderer knows,
Is that these little pent-up wretches feel;
Where the air thick and close and stagnant grows,
And the low whirring of the incessant wheel
Dizzies the head, and makes the senses reel:
There, shut for ever from the gladdening sky,
Vice premature and Care's corroding seal
Stamp on each sallow cheek their hateful die,
Line the smooth open brow, and sink the saddened eye.
XI.

For them the fervid summer only brings
A double curse of stifling withering heat;
For them no flowers spring up, no wild bird sings,
No moss-grown walks refresh their weary feet;--
No river's murmuring sound;--no wood-walk, sweet
With many a flower the learned slight and pass;--
Nor meadow, with pale cowslips thickly set
Amid the soft leaves of its tufted grass,--
Lure them a childish stock of treasures to amass.

Page 17
XII.

Have we forgotten our own infancy,
That joys so simple are to them denied?--
Our boyhood's hopes--our wanderings far and free,
Where yellow gorse-bush left the common wide
And open to the breeze?--The active pride
Which made each obstacle a pleasure seem;
When, rashly glad, all danger we defied,
Dashed through the brook by twilight's fading gleam,
Or scorned the tottering plank, and leapt the narrow stream?
XIII.

In lieu of this,--from short and bitter night,
Sullen and sad the infant labourer creeps;
He joys not in the glow of morning's light,
But with an idle yearning stands and weeps,
Envying the babe that in its cradle sleeps:
And ever as he slowly journeys on,
His listless tongue unbidden silence keeps;
His fellow-labourers (playmates hath he none)
Walk by, as sad as he, nor hail the morning sun.
XIV.

Mark the result. Unnaturally debarred
All nature's fresh and innocent delights,
While yet each germing energy strives hard,
And pristine good with pristine evil fights;
When every passing dream the heart excites,
And makes even guarded virtue insecure;
Untaught, unchecked, they yield as vice invites:
With all around them cramped, confined, impure,
Fast spreads the moral plague which nothing new shall cure.
XV.

Yes, this reproach is added; (infamous
In realms which own a Christian monarch's sway!)
Not suffering only is their portion, thus
Compelled to toil their youthful lives away:
Excessive labour works the SOUL'S decay--
Quenches the intellectual light within--
Crushes with iron weight the mind's free play--
Steals from us LEISURE purer thoughts to win--
And leaves us sunk and lost in dull and native sin.
XVI.

Yet in the British Senate men rise up,
(The freeborn and the fathers of our land!)
And while these drink the dregs of Sorrow's cup,
Deny the sufferings of the pining band.
With nice-drawn calculations at command,
They prove--rebut--explain--and reason long;
Proud of each shallow argument they stand,
And prostitute their utmost powers of tongue
Feebly to justify this great and glaring wrong.
XVII.

So rose, with such a plausible defence
Of the unalienable RIGHT OF GAIN,
Those who against Truth's brightest eloquence
Upheld the cause of torture and of pain:
And fear of Property's Decrease made vain,
For years, the hope of Christian Charity
To lift the curse from SLAVERY'S dark domain,
And send across the wide Atlantic sea
The watchword of brave men--the thrilling shout, 'BE FREE!'
XVIII.

What is to be a slave? Is't not to spend
A life bowed down beneath a grinding ill?--
To labour on to serve another's end,--
To give up leisure, health, and strength, and skill--
And give up each of these against your will?
Hark to the angry answer:--'Theirs is not
A life of slavery; if they labour,--still
We pay their toil. Free service is their lot;
And what their labour yields, by us is fairly got.'
XIX.

Oh, Men! blaspheme not Freedom! Are they free
Who toil until the body's strength gives way?
Who may not set a term for Liberty,
Who have no time for food, or rest, or play,
But struggle through the long unwelcome day
Without the leisure to be good or glad?
Such is their service--call it what you may.
Poor little creatures, overtasked and sad,
Your Slavery hath no name,--yet is its Curse as bad!
XX.

Again an answer. ''T is their parents' choice.
By some employ the poor man's child must earn
Its daily bread; and infants have no voice
In what the allotted task shall be: they learn
What answers best, or suits the parents' turn.'
Mournful reply! Do not your hearts inquire
Who tempts the parents' penury? They yearn
Toward their offspring with a strong desire,
But those who starve will sell, even what they most require.
XXI.

We grant their class must labour--young and old;
We grant the child the needy parents' tool:
But still our hearts a better plan behold;
No bright Utopia of some dreaming fool,
But rationally just, and good by rule.
Not against TOIL, but TOIL'S EXCESS we pray,
(Else were we nursed in Folly's simplest school);
That so our country's hardy children may
Learn not to loathe, but bless, the well apportioned day.
XXII.

One more reply! The last reply--the great
Answer to all that sense or feeling shows,
To which all others are subordinate:--
'The Masters of the Factories must lose
By the abridgement of these infant woes.
Show us the remedy which shall combine
Our equal gain with their increased repose--
Which shall not make our trading class repine,
But to the proffered boon its strong effects confine.'
XXIII.

Oh! shall it then be said that TYRANT acts
Are those which cause our country's looms to thrive?
That Merchant England's prosperous trade exacts
This bitter sacrifice, e'er she derive
That profit due, for which the feeble strive?
Is her commercial avarice so keen,
That in her busy multitudinous hive
Hundreds must die like insects, scarcely seen,
While the thick-thronged survivors work where they have been?
XXIV.

Forbid it, Spirit of the glorious Past
Which gained our Isle the surname of 'The Free,'
And made our shores a refuge at the last
To all who would not bend the servile knee,
The vainly-vanquished sons of Liberty!
Here ever came the injured, the opprest,
Compelled from the Oppressor's face to flee--
And found a home of shelter and of rest
In the warm generous heart that beat in England's breast.
XXV.

Here came the Slave, who straightway burst his chain,
And knew that none could ever bind him more;
Here came the melancholy sons of Spain;
And here, more buoyant Gaul's illustrious poor
Waited the same bright day that shone before.
Here rests the Enthusiast Pole! and views afar
With dreaming hope, from this protecting shore,
The trembling rays of Liberty's pale star
Shine forth in vain to light the too-unequal war!
XXVI.

And shall REPROACH cling darkly to the name
Which every memory so much endears?
Shall we, too, tyrannise,--and tardy Fame
Revoke the glory of our former years,
And stain Britannia's flag with children's tears?
So shall the mercy of the English throne
Become a by-word in the Nation's ears,
As one who pitying heard the stranger's groan,
But to these nearer woes was cold and deaf as stone.
XXVII.

Are there not changes made which grind the Poor?
Are there not losses every day sustained,--
Deep grievances, which make the spirit sore?
And what the answer, when these have complained?
'For crying evils there hath been ordained
The REMEDY OF CHANGE; to obey its call
Some individual loss must be disdained,
And pass as unavoidable and small,
Weighed with the broad result of general good to all.'
XXVIII.

Oh! such an evil now doth cry aloud!
And CHANGE should be by generous hearts begun,
Though slower gain attend the prosperous crowd;
Lessening the fortunes for their children won.
Why should it grieve a father, that his son
Plain competence must moderately bless?
That he must trade, even as his sire has done,
Not born to independent idleness,
Though honestly above all probable distress?
XXIX.

Rejoice! Thou hast not left enough of gold
From the lined heavy ledger, to entice
His drunken hand, irresolutely bold,
To squander it in haggard haunts of vice:--
The hollow rattling of the uncertain dice
Eats not the portion which thy love bestowed;--
Unable to afford that PLEASURE'S price,
Far off he slumbers in his calm abode,
And leaves the Idle Rich to follow Ruin's road.
XXX.

Happy his lot! For him there shall not be
The cold temptation given by vacant time;
Leaving his young and uncurbed spirit free
To wander thro' the feverish paths of crime!
For him the Sabbath bell's returning chime
Not vainly ushers in God's day of rest;
No night of riot clouds the morning's prime:
Alert and glad, not languid and opprest,
He wakes, and with calm soul is the Creator blest.
XXXI.

Ye save for children! Fathers, is there not
A plaintive magic in the name of child,
Which makes you feel compassion for their lot
On whom Prosperity hath never smiled?
When with your OWN an hour hath been beguiled
(For whom you hoard the still increasing store),
Surely, against the face of Pity mild,
Heart-hardening Custom vainly bars the door,
For that less favoured race--THE CHILDREN OF THE POOR.
XXXII.

'The happy homes of England!'--they have been
A source of triumph, and a theme for song;
And surely if there be a hope serene
And beautiful, which may to Earth belong,
'T is when (shut out the world's associate throng,
And closed the busy day's fatiguing hum),
Still waited for with expectation strong,
Welcomed with joy, and overjoyed to come,
The good man goes to seek the twilight rest of home.
XXXIII.

There sits his gentle Wife, who with him knelt
Long years ago at God's pure altar-place;
Still beautiful,--though all that she hath felt
Hath calmed the glory of her radiant face,
And given her brow a holier, softer grace.
Mother of SOULS IMMORTAL, she doth feel
A glow from Heaven her earthly love replace;
Prayer to her lip more often now doth steal,
And meditative hope her serious eyes reveal.
XXXIV.

Fondly familiar is the look she gives
As he returns, who forth so lately went,--
For they together pass their happy lives;
And many a tranquil evening have they spent
Since, blushing, ignorantly innocent,
She vowed, with downcast eyes and changeful hue,
To love Him only. Love fulfilled, hath lent
Its deep repose; and when he meets her view,
Her soft look only says,--'I trust--and I am true.'
XXXV.

Scattered like flowers, the rosy children play--
Or round her chair a busy crowd they press;
But, at the FATHER'S coming, start away,
With playful struggle for his loved caress,
And jealous of the one he first may bless.
To each, a welcoming word is fondly said;
He bends and kisses some; lifts up the less;
Admires the little cheek, so round and red,
Or smooths with tender hand the curled and shining head.
XXXVI.

Oh! let us pause, and gaze upon them now.
Is there not one--beloved and lovely boy!
With Mirth's bright seal upon his open brow,
And sweet fond eyes, brimful of love and joy?
He, whom no measure of delight can cloy,
The daring and the darling of the set;
He who, though pleased with every passing toy,
Thoughtless and buoyant to excess, could yet
Never a gentle word or kindly deed forget?
XXXVII.

And one, more fragile than the rest, for whom--
As for the weak bird in a crowded nest--
Are needed all the fostering care of home
And the soft comfort of the brooding breast:
One, who hath oft the couch of sickness prest!
On whom the Mother looks, as it goes by,
With tenderness intense, and fear supprest,
While the soft patience of her anxious eye
Blends with 'God's will be done,'--'God grant thou may'st not die!'
XXXVIII.

And is there not the elder of the band?
She with the gentle smile and smooth bright hair,
Waiting, some paces back,--content to stand
Till these of Love's caresses have their share;
Knowing how soon his fond paternal care
Shall seek his violet in her shady nook,--
Patient she stands--demure, and brightly fair--
Copying the meekness of her Mother's look,
And clasping in her hand the favourite story-book.
XXXIX.

Wake, dreamer!--Choose;--to labour Life away,
Which of these little precious ones shall go
(Debarred of summer-light and cheerful play)
To that receptacle for dreary woe,
The Factory Mill?--Shall He, in whom the glow
Of Life shines bright, whose free limbs' vigorous tread
Warns us how much of beauty that we know
Would fade, when he became dispirited,
And pined with sickened heart, and bowed his fainting head?

XL.

Or shall the little quiet one, whose voice
So rarely mingles in their sounds of glee,
Whose life can bid no living thing rejoice,
But rather is a long anxiety;--
Shall he go forth to toil? and keep the free
Frank boy, whose merry shouts and restless grace
Would leave all eyes that used his face to see,
Wistfully gazing towards that vacant space
Which makes their fireside seem a lone and dreary place?
XLI.

Or, sparing these, send Her whose simplest words
Have power to charm,--whose warbled, childish song,
Fluent and clear and bird-like, strikes the chords
Of sympathy among the listening throng,--
Whose spirits light, and steps that dance along,
Instinctive modesty and grace restrain:
The fair young innocent who knows no wrong,--
Whose slender wrists scarce hold the silken skein
Which the glad Mother winds;--shall She endure this pain?

XLII.

Away! The thought--the thought alone brings tears!
THEY labour--they, the darlings of our lives!
The flowers and the sunbeams of our fleeting years;
From whom alone our happiness derives
A lasting strength, which every shock survives;
The green young trees beneath whose arching boughs
(When failing Energy no longer strives,)
Our wearied age shall find a cool repose;--
THEY toil in torture!--No--the painful picture close.
XLIII.

Ye shudder,--nor behold the vision more!
Oh, Fathers! is there then one law for these,
And one for the pale children of the Poor,--
That to their agony your hearts can freeze;
Deny their pain, their toil, their slow disease;
And deem with false complaining they encroach
Upon your time and thought? Is yours the Ease
Which misery vainly struggles to approach,
Whirling unthinking by, in Luxury's gilded coach?
XLIV.

Examine and decide. Watch through his day
One of these little ones. The sun hath shone
An hour, and by the ruddy morning's ray,
The last and least, he saunters on alone.
See where, still pausing on the threshold stone,
He stands, as loth to lose the bracing wind;
With wistful wandering glances backward thrown
On all the light and glory left behind,
And sighs to think that HE must darkly be confined!
XLV.

Enter with him. The stranger who surveys
The little natives of that dreary place
(Where squalid suffering meets his shrinking gaze),
Used to the glory of a young child's face,
Its changeful light, its coloured sparkling grace,
(Gleams of Heaven's sunshine on our shadowed earth!)
Starts at each visage wan, and bold, and base,
Whose smiles have neither innocence nor mirth,--
And comprehends the Sin original from birth.
XLVI.

There the pale Orphan, whose unequal strength
Loathes the incessant toil it must pursue,
Pines for the cool sweet evening's twilight length,
The sunny play-hour, and the morning's dew:
Worn with its cheerless life's monotonous hue,
Bowed down, and faint, and stupefied it stands;
Each half-seen object reeling in its view--
While its hot, trembling, languid little hands
Mechanically heed the Task-master's commands.
XLVII.

There, sounds of wailing grief and painful blows
Offend the ear, and startle it from rest;
(While the lungs gasp what air the place bestows
Or misery's joyless vice, the ribald jest,
Breaks the sick silence: staring at the guest
Who comes to view their labour, they beguile
The unwatched moment; whispers half supprest
And mutterings low, their faded lips defile,--
While gleams from face to face a strange and sullen smile.
XLVIII.

These then are his Companions: he, too young
To share their base and saddening merriment,
Sits by: his little head in silence hung;
His limbs cramped up; his body weakly bent;
Toiling obedient, till long hours so spent
Produce Exhaustion's slumber, dull and deep.
The Watcher's stroke,--bold--sudden--violent,--
Urges him from that lethargy of sleep,
And bids him wake to Life,--to labour and to weep!
XLIX.

But the day hath its End. Forth then he hies
With jaded, faltering step, and brow of pain;
Creeps to that shed,--his HOME,--where happy lies
The sleeping babe that cannot toil for Gain;
Where his remorseful Mother tempts in vain
With the best portion of their frugal fare:
Too sick to eat--too weary to complain--
He turns him idly from the untasted share,
Slumbering sinks down unfed, and mocks her useless care.
L.

Weeping she lifts, and lays his heavy head
(With a woman's grieving tenderness)
On the hard surface of his narrow bed;
Bends down to give a sad unfelt caress,
And turns away;--willing her God to bless,
That, weary as he is, he need not fight
Against that long-enduring bitterness,
The VOLUNTARY LABOUR of the Night,
But sweetly slumber on till day's returning light.
LI.

Vain hope! Alas! unable to forget
The anxious task's long, heavy agonies,
In broken sleep the victim labours yet!
Waiting the boding stroke that bids him rise,
He marks in restless fear each hour that flies--
Anticipates the unwelcome morning prime--
And murmuring feebly, with unwakened eyes,
'Mother! Oh Mother! is it yet THE TIME?'--
Starts at the moon's pale ray--or clock's far distant chime.
LII.

Such is his day and night! Now then return
Where your OWN slumber in protected ease;
They whom no blast may pierce, no sun may burn;
The lovely, on whose cheeks the wandering breeze
Hath left the rose's hue. Ah! not like these
Does the pale infant-labourer ask to be:
He craves no tempting food--no toys to please--
Not Idleness,--but less of agony;
Not Wealth,--but comfort, rest, CONTENTED POVERTY.
LIII.

There is, among all men, in every clime,
A difference instinctive and unschooled:
God made the MIND unequal. From all time
By fierceness conquered, or by cunning fooled,
The World hath had its Rulers and its Ruled:--
Yea--uncompelled--men abdicate free choice,
Fear their own rashness, and, by thinking cooled,
Follow the counsel of some trusted voice;--
A self-elected sway, wherein their souls rejoice.
LIV.

Thus, for the most part, willing to obey,
Men rarely set Authority at naught:
Albeit a weaker or a worse than they
May hold the rule with such importance fraught:
And thus the peasant, from his cradle taught
That some must own, while some must till the land,
Rebels not--murmurs not--even in his thought.
Born to his lot, he bows to high command,
And guides the furrowing plough with a contented hand.
LV.

But, if the weight which habit renders light
Is made to gall the Serf who bends below--
The dog that watched and fawned, prepares to bite!
Too rashly strained, the cord snaps from the bow--
Too tightly curbed, the steeds their riders throw--
And so, (at first contented his fair state
Of customary servitude to know,)
Too harshly ruled, the poor man learns to hate
And curse the oppressive law that bids him serve the Great.
LVI.

THEN first he asks his gloomy soul the CAUSE
Of his discomfort; suddenly compares--
Reflects--and with an angry Spirit draws
The envious line between his lot and theirs,
Questioning the JUSTICE of the unequal shares.
And from the gathering of this discontent,
Where there is strength, REVOLT his standard rears;
Where there is weakness, evermore finds vent
The sharp annoying cry of sorrowful complaint.
LVII.

Therefore should Mercy, gentle and serene,
Sit by the Ruler's side, and share his Throne:--
Watch with unerring eye the passing scene,
And bend her ear to mark the feeblest groan;
Lest due Authority be overthrown,
And they that ruled perceive (too late confest!)
Permitted Power might still have been their own,
Had they but watched that none should be opprest--
No just complaint despised--no WRONG left unredrest.
LVIII.

Nor should we, Christians in a Christian land,
Forget who smiled on helpless infancy,
And blest them with divinely gentle hand.--
'Suffer that little children come to me:'
Such were His words to whom we bow the knee!
These to our care the Saviour did commend;
And shall we His bequest treat carelessly,
Who yet our full protection would extend
To the lone Orphan child left by an Earthly Friend?
LIX.

No! rather what the Inspired Law imparts
To guide our ways, and make our path more sure;
Blending with Pity (native to our hearts),
Let us to these, who patiently endure
Neglect, and penury, and toil, secure
The innocent hopes that to their age belong:
So, honouring Him, the Merciful and Pure,
Who watches when the Oppressor's arm grows strong,--
And helpeth them to right--the Weak--who suffer wrong!

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Hippodromania; Or, Whiffs From The Pipe

Part I
Visions in the Smoke
Rest, and be thankful! On the verge
Of the tall cliff rugged and grey,
But whose granite base the breakers surge,
And shiver their frothy spray,
Outstretched, I gaze on the eddying wreath
That gathers and flits away,
With the surf beneath, and between my teeth
The stem of the 'ancient clay'.

With the anodyne cloud on my listless eyes,
With its spell on my dreamy brain,
As I watch the circling vapours rise
From the brown bowl up to the sullen skies,
My vision becomes more plain,
Till a dim kaleidoscope succeeds
Through the smoke-rack drifting and veering,
Like ghostly riders on phantom steeds
To a shadowy goal careering.

In their own generation the wise may sneer,
They hold our sports in derision;
Perchance to sophist, or sage, or seer,
Were allotted a graver vision.
Yet if man, of all the Creator plann'd,
His noblest work is reckoned,
Of the works of His hand, by sea or by land,
The horse may at least rank second.

Did they quail, those steeds of the squadrons light,
Did they flinch from the battle's roar,
When they burst on the guns of the Muscovite,
By the echoing Black Sea shore?
On! on! to the cannon's mouth they stride,
With never a swerve nor a shy,
Oh! the minutes of yonder maddening ride,
Long years of pleasure outvie!

No slave, but a comrade staunch, in this,
Is the horse, for he takes his share,
Not in peril alone, but in feverish bliss,
And in longing to do and dare.
Where bullets whistle, and round shot whiz,
Hoofs trample, and blades flash bare,
God send me an ending as fair as his
Who died in his stirrups there!

The wind has slumbered throughout the day,
Now a fitful gust springs over the bay,
My wandering thoughts no longer stray,
I'll fix my overcoat buttons;
Secure my old hat as best I may
(And a shocking bad one it is, by the way),
Blow a denser cloud from my stunted clay,
And then, friend BELL, as the Frenchmen say,
We'll 'go back again to our muttons'.

There's a lull in the tumult on yonder hill,
And the clamour has grown less loud,
Though the Babel of tongues is never still,
With the presence of such a crowd.
The bell has rung. With their riders up
At the starting post they muster,
The racers stripp'd for the 'Melbourne Cup',
All gloss and polish and lustre;
And the course is seen, with its emerald sheen,
By the bright spring-tide renew'd,
Like a ribbon of green stretched out between
The ranks of the multitude.

The flag is lowered. 'They're off!' 'They come!'
The squadron is sweeping on;
A sway in the crowd-a murmuring hum:
'They're here!' 'They're past!' 'They're gone!'
They came with the rush of the southern surf,
On the bar of the storm-girt bay;
And like muffled drums on the sounding turf
Their hoof-strokes echo away.

The rose and black draws clear of the ruck,
And the murmur swells to a roar,
As the brave old colours that never were struck,
Are seen with the lead once more.
Though the feathery ferns and grasses wave
O'er the sod where Lantern sleeps,
Though the turf is green on Fisherman's grave,
The stable its prestige keeps.

Six lengths in front she scours along,
She's bringing the field to trouble;
She's tailing them off, she's running strong,
She shakes her head and pulls double.
Now Minstrel falters and Exile flags,
The Barb finds the pace too hot,
And Toryboy loiters, and Playboy lags,
And the BOLT of Ben Bolt is shot.

That she never may be caught this day,
Is the worst that the public wish her.
She won't be caught: she comes right away;
Hurrah for Seagull and Fisher!
See, Strop falls back, though his reins are slack,
Sultana begins to tire,
And the top-weight tells on the Sydney crack,
And the pace on 'the Gippsland flyer'.

The rowels, as round the turn they sweep,
Just graze Tim Whiffler's flanks;
Like the hunted deer that flies through the sheep,
He strides through the beaten ranks.
Daughter of Omen, prove your birth,
The colt will take lots of choking;
The hot breath steams at your saddle girth,
From his scarlet nostril smoking.

The shouts of the Ring for a space subside,
And slackens the bookmaker's roar;
Now, Davis, rally; now, Carter, ride,
As man never rode before.
When Sparrowhawk's backers cease to cheer,
When Yattendon's friends are dumb,
When hushed is the clamour for Volunteer-
Alone in the race they come!

They're neck and neck; they're head and head;
They're stroke for stroke in the running;
The whalebone whistles, the steel is red,
No shirking as yet nor shunning.
One effort, Seagull, the blood you boast
Should struggle when nerves are strained;-
With a rush on the post, by a neck at the most,
The verdict for Tim is gained.

Tim Whiffler wins. Is blood alone
The sine qua non for a flyer?
The breed of his dam is a myth unknown,
And we've doubts respecting his sire.
Yet few (if any) those proud names are,
On the pages of peerage or stud,
In whose 'scutcheon lurks no sinister bar,
No taint of the base black blood.

Aye, Shorthouse, laugh-laugh loud and long,
For pedigree you're a sticker;
You may be right, I may be wrong,
Wiseacres both! Let's liquor.
Our common descent we may each recall
To a lady of old caught tripping,
The fair one in fig leaves, who d--d us all
For a bite at a golden pippin.

When first on this rocky ledge I lay,
There was scarce a ripple in yonder bay,
The air was serenely still;
Each column that sailed from my swarthy clay
Hung loitering long ere it passed away,
Though the skies wore a tinge of leaden grey,
And the atmosphere was chill.
But the red sun sank to his evening shroud,
Where the western billows are roll'd,
Behind a curtain of sable cloud,
With a fringe of scarlet and gold;
There's a misty glare in the yellow moon,
And the drift is scudding fast,
There'll be storm, and rattle, and tempest soon,
When the heavens are overcast.
The neutral tint of the sullen sea
Is fleck'd with the snowy foam,
And the distant gale sighs drearilie,
As the wanderer sighs for his home.
The white sea-horses toss their manes
On the bar of the southern reef,
And the breakers moan, and-by Jove, it rains
(I thought I should come to grief):
Though it can't well damage my shabby hat,
Though my coat looks best when it's damp;
Since the shaking I got (no matter where at),
I've a mortal dread of the cramp.
My matches are wet, my pipe's put out,
And the wind blows colder and stronger;
I'll be stiff, and sore, and sorry, no doubt,
If I lie here any longer.

Part II
The Fields of Coleraine


On the fields of Col'raine there'll be labour in vain
Before the Great Western is ended,
The nags will have toil'd, and the silks will be soil'd,
And the rails will require to be mended.

For the gullies are deep, and the uplands are steep,
And mud will of purls be the token,
And the tough stringy-bark, that invites us to lark,
With impunity may not be broken.

Though Ballarat's fast, and they say he can last,
And that may be granted hereafter,
Yet the judge's decision to the Border division
Will bring neither shouting nor laughter.

And Blueskin, I've heard that he goes like a bird,
And I'm told that to back him would pay me;
He's a good bit of stuff, but not quite good enough,
'Non licuit credere famae.'

Alfred ought to be there, we all of us swear
By the blood of King Alfred, his sire;
He's not the real jam, by the blood of his dam,
So I sha'n't put him down as a flyer.

Now, Hynam, my boy, I wish you great joy,
I know that when fresh you can jump, sir;
But you'll scarce be in clover, when you're ridden all over,
And punished from shoulder to rump, sir.

Archer goes like a shot, they can put on their pot,
And boil it to cover expenses;
Their pot will boil over, the run of his dover
He'll never earn over big fences.

There's a horse in the race, with a blaze on his face,
And we know he can gallop a docker!
He's proved himself stout, of his speed there's no doubt,
And his jumping's according to Cocker.

When Hynam's outstripp'd, and when Alfred is whipp'd,
To keep him in sight of the leaders,
While Blueskin runs true, but his backers look blue,
For his rider's at work with the bleeders;

When his carcase of beef brings 'the bullock' to grief,
And the rush of the tartan is ended;
When Archer's in trouble-who's that pulling double,
And taking his leaps unextended?

He wins all the way, and the rest-sweet, they say,
Is the smell of the newly-turned plough, friend,
But you smell it too close when it stops eyes and nose,
And you can't tell your horse from your cow, friend.


Part III
Credat Judaeus Apella


Dear Bell,-I enclose what you ask in a letter,
A short rhyme at random, no more and no less,
And you may inser it, for want of a better,
Or leave it, it doesn't much matter, I guess;
And as for a tip, why, there isn't much in it,
I may hit the right nail, but first, I declare,
I haven't a notion what's going to win it
(The Champion, I mean), and what's more, I don't care.
Imprimis, there's Cowra-few nags can go quicker
Than she can-and Smith takes his oath she can fly;
While Brown, Jones, and Robinson swear she's a sticker,
But 'credat Judaeus Apella', say I.

There's old Volunteer, I'd be sorry to sneer
At his chance; he'll be there, if he goes at the rate
He went at last year, when a customer queer,
Johnny Higgerson, fancied him lock'd in the straight;
I've heard that the old horse has never been fitter,
I've heard all performances past he'll outvie;
He may gallop a docker, and finish a splitter,
But 'credat Judaeus Apella', say I.

I know what they say, sir, 'The Hook' he can stay, sir,
And stick to his work like a sleuth-hound or beagle;
He stays 'with a HOOK', and he sticks in the clay, sir;
I'd rather, for choice, pop my money on Seagull;
I'm told that the Sydney division will rue, sir,
Their rashness in front of the stand when they spy,
With a clear lead, the white jacket spotted with blue, sir,
But 'credat Judaeus Apella', say I.

There's The Barb-you may talk of your flyers and stayers,
All bosh-when he strips you can see his eye range
Round his rivals, with much the same look as Tom Sayers
Once wore when he faced the big novice, Bill Bainge.
Like Stow, at our hustings, confronting the hisses
Of roughs, with his queer Mephistopheles' smile;
Like Baker, or Baker's more wonderful MRS.,
The terror of blacks at the source of the Nile;
Like Triton 'mid minnows; like hawk among chickens;
Like-anything better than everything else:
He stands at the post. Now they're off! the plot thickens!
Quoth Stanley to Davis, 'How is your pulse?'
He skims o'er the smooth turf, he scuds through the mire,
He waits with them, passes them, bids them good-bye!
Two miles and three-quarters, cries Filgate, 'He'll tire.'
Oh! 'credat Judaeus Apella', say I.

Lest my tale should come true, let me give you fair warning,
You may 'shout' some cheroots, if you like, no champagne
For this child-'Oh! think of my head in the morning,'
Old chap, you don't get me on that lay again.
The last time those games I look'd likely to try on,
Says Bradshawe, 'You'll feel very sheepish and shy
When you are haul'd up and caution'd by D--g--y and L--n,'
Oh! 'credat Judaeus Apella', say I.

This writing bad verses is very fatiguing,
The brain and the liver against it combine,
And nerves with digestion in concert are leaguing,
To punish excess in the pen and ink line;
Already I feel just as if I'd been rowing
Hard all-on a supper of onions and tripe
(A thing I abhor), but my steam I've done blowing,
I am, my dear BELL, yours truly, 'The Pipe'.

P.S.-Tell J. P., if he fancies a good 'un,
That old chestnut pony of mine is for sale.
N.B.-His forelegs are uncommonly wooden,
I fancy the near one's beginning to fail,
And why shouldn't I do as W--n does oft,
And swear that a cripple is sound-on the Bible-
Hold hard! though the man I allude to is soft,
He's game to go in for an action of libel.


Part IV
Banker's Dream


Of chases and courses dogs dream, so do horses-
Last night I was dozing and dreaming,
The crowd and the bustle were there, and the rustle
Of the silk in the autumn sky gleaming.

The stand throng'd with faces, the broadcloth and laces,
The booths, and the tents, and the cars,
The bookmakers' jargon, for odds making bargain,
The nasty stale smell of cigars.

We formed into line, 'neath the merry sunshine,
Near the logs at the end of the railing;
'Are you ready, boys? Go!' cried the starter, and low
Sank the flag, and away we went sailing.

In the van of the battle we heard the stones rattle,
Some slogging was done, but no slaughter,
A shout from the stand, and the whole of our band
Skimm'd merrily over the water.

Two fences we clear'd, and the roadway we near'd,
When three of our troop came to trouble;
Like a bird on the wing, or a stone from a sling,
Flew Cadger, first over the double.

And Western was there, head and tail in the air,
And Pondon was there, too-what noodle
Could so name a horse? I should feel some remorse
If I gave such a name to a poodle.

In and out of the lane, to the racecourse again,
Craig's pony was first, I was third,
And Ingleside lit in my tracks, with the bit
In his teeth, and came up 'like a bird'.

In the van of the battle we heard the rails rattle,
Says he, 'Though I don't care for shunning
My share of the raps, I shall look out for gaps,
When the light weight's away with the running.'

At the fence just ahead the outsider still led,
The chestnut play'd follow my leader;
Oh! the devil a gap, he went into it slap,
And he and his jock took a header.

Says Ingleside, 'Mate, should the pony go straight,
You've no time to stop or turn restive;'
Says I, 'Who means to stop? I shall go till I drop;'
Says he, 'Go it, old cuss, gay and festive.'

The fence stiff and tall, just beyond the log wall,
We cross'd, and the walls, and the water,-
I took off too near, a small made fence to clear,
And just touch'd the grass with my snorter.

At the next post and rail up went Western's bang tail,
And down (by the very same token)
To earth went his nose, for the panel he chose
Stood firm and refused to be broken.

I dreamt someone said that the bay would have made
The race safe if he'd STOOD a while longer;
IF he had,-but, like if, there the panel stands stiff-
He stood, but the panel stood stronger.

In and out of the road, with a clear lead still show'd
The violet fluted with amber;
Says Johnson, 'Old man, catch him now if you can,
'Tis the second time round you'll remember.'

At the road once again, pulling hard on the rein,
Craig's pony popp'd in and popp'd out;
I followed like smoke and the pace was no joke,
For his friends were beginning to shout.

And Ingleside came to my side, strong and game,
And once he appear'd to outstrip me,
But I felt the steel gore, and I shot to the fore,
Only Cadger seem'd likely to whip me.

In the van of the battle I heard the logs rattle,
His stroke never seem'd to diminish,
And thrice I drew near him, and thrice he drew clear,
For the weight served him well at the finish.

Ha! Cadger goes down, see, he stands on his crown-
Those rails take a power of clouting-
A long sliding blunder-he's up-well, I wonder
If now it's all over but shouting.

All loosely he's striding, the amateur's riding
All loosely, some reverie locked in
Of a 'vision in smoke', or a 'wayfaring bloke',
His poetical rubbish concocting.

Now comes from afar the faint cry, 'Here they are,'
'The violet winning with ease,'
'Fred goes up like a shot,' 'Does he catch him or not?'
Level money, I'll take the cerise.

To his haunches I spring, and my muzzle I bring
To his flank, to his girth, to his shoulder;
Through the shouting and yelling I hear my name swelling,
The hearts of my backers grow bolder.

Neck and neck! head and head! staring eye! nostril spread!
Girth and stifle laid close to the ground!
Stride for stride! stroke for stroke! through one hurdle we've broke!
On the splinters we've lit with one bound.

And 'Banker for choice' is the cry, and one voice
Screams 'Six to four once upon Banker;'
'Banker wins,' 'Banker's beat,' 'Cadger wins,' 'A dead heat'-
Ah! there goes Fred's whalebone a flanker.

Springs the whip with a crack! nine stone ten on his back,
Fit and light he can race like the devil;
I draw past him-'tis vain; he draws past me again,
Springs the whip! and again we are level.

Steel and cord do their worst, now my head struggles first!
That tug my last spurt has expended-
Nose to nose! lip to lip! from the sound of the whip
He strains to the utmost extended.

How they swim through the air, as we roll to the chair,
Stand, faces, and railings flit past;
Now I spring * * *
from my lair with a snort and a stare,
Rous'd by Fred with my supper at last.


Part V
Ex Fumo Dare Lucem
['Twixt the Cup and the Lip]


Prologue


Calm and clear! the bright day is declining,
The crystal expanse of the bay,
Like a shield of pure metal, lies shining
'Twixt headlands of purple and grey,
While the little waves leap in the sunset,
And strike with a miniature shock,
In sportive and infantine onset,
The base of the iron-stone rock.

Calm and clear! the sea-breezes are laden
With a fragrance, a freshness, a power,
With a song like the song of a maiden,
With a scent like the scent of a flower;
And a whisper, half-weird, half-prophetic,
Comes home with the sigh of the surf;-
But I pause, for your fancies poetic
Never rise from the level of 'Turf'.

Fellow-bungler of mine, fellow-sinner,
In public performances past,
In trials whence touts take their winner,
In rumours that circulate fast,
In strains from Prunella or Priam,
Staying stayers, or goers that go,
You're much better posted than I am,
'Tis little I care, less I know.

Alas! neither poet nor prophet
Am I, though a jingler of rhymes-
'Tis a hobby of mine, and I'm off it
At times, and I'm on it at times;
And whether I'm off it or on it,
Your readers my counsels will shun,
Since I scarce know Van Tromp from Blue Bonnet,
Though I might know Cigar from the Nun.

With 'visions' you ought to be sated
And sicken'd by this time, I swear
That mine are all myths self-created,
Air visions that vanish in air;
If I had some loose coins I might chuck one,
To settle this question and say,
'Here goes! this is tails for the black one,
And heads for my fav'rite the bay.'

And must I rob Paul to pay Peter,
Or Peter defraud to pay Paul?
My rhymes, are they stale? if my metre
Is varied, one chime rings through all:
One chime-though I sing more or sing less,
I have but one string to my lute,
And it might have been better if, stringless
And songless, the same had been mute.

Yet not as a seer of visions,
Nor yet as a dreamer of dreams,
I send you these partial decisions
On hackney'd, impoverish'd themes;
But with song out of tune, sung to pass time,
Flung heedless to friends or to foes,
Where the false notes that ring for the last time,
May blend with some real ones, who knows?


The Race


On the hill they are crowding together,
In the stand they are crushing for room,
Like midge-flies they swarm on the heather,
They gather like bees on the broom;
They flutter like moths round a candle-
Stale similes, granted, what then?
I've got a stale subject to handle,
A very stale stump of a pen.

Hark! the shuffle of feet that are many,
Of voices the many-tongued clang-
'Has he had a bad night?' 'Has he any
Friends left?'-How I hate your turf slang;
'Tis stale to begin with, not witty,
But dull, and inclined to be coarse,
But bad men can't use (more's the pity)
Good words when they slate a good horse.

Heu! heu! quantus equis (that's Latin
For 'bellows to mend' with the weeds),
They're off! lights and shades! silk and satin!
A rainbow of riders and steeds!
And one shows in front, and another
Goes up and is seen in his place,
Sic transit (more Latin)-Oh! bother,
Let's get to the end of the race.

* * * * *

See, they come round the last turn careering,
Already Tait's colours are struck,
And the green in the vanguard is steering,
And the red's in the rear of the ruck!
Are the stripes in the shade doom'd to lie long?
Do the blue stars on white skies wax dim?
Is it Tamworth or Smuggler? 'Tis Bylong
That wins-either Bylong or Tim.

As the shell through the breach that is riven
And sapp'd by the springing of mines,
As the bolt from the thunder-cloud driven,
That levels the larches and pines,
Through yon mass parti-colour'd that dashes
Goal-turn'd, clad in many-hued garb,
From rear to van, surges and flashes
The yellow and black of The Barb.

Past The Fly, falling back on the right, and
The Gull, giving way on the left,
Past Tamworth, who feels the whip smite, and
Whose sides by the rowels are cleft;
Where Tim and the chestnut together
Still bear of the battle the brunt,
As if eight stone twelve were a feather,
He comes with a rush to the front.

Tim Whiffler may yet prove a Tartar,
And Bylong's the horse that can stay,
But Kean is in trouble-and Carter
Is hard on the satin-skinn'd bay;
And The Barb comes away unextended,
Hard held, like a second Eclipse,
While behind the hoof-thunder is blended
With the whistling and crackling of whips.


Epilogue


He wins; yes, he wins upon paper,
He hasn't yet won upon turf,
And these rhymes are but moonshine and vapour,
Air-bubbles and spume from the surf.
So be it, at least they are given
Free, gratis, for just what they're worth,
And (whatever there may be in heaven)
There's little worth much upon earth.

When, with satellites round them the centre,
Of all eyes, hard press'd by the crowd,
The pair, horse and rider, re-enter
The gate, 'mid a shout long and loud,
You may feel, as you might feel, just landed
Full length on the grass from the clip
Of a vicious cross-counter, right-handed,
Or upper-cut whizzing from hip.

And that's not so bad if you're pick'd up
Discreetly, and carefully nursed;
Loose teeth by the sponge are soon lick'd up,
And next time you MAY get home first.
Still I'm not sure you'd like it exactly
(Such tastes as a rule are acquired),
And you'll find in a nutshell this fact lie,
Bruised optics are not much admired.

Do I bore you with vulgar allusions?
Forgive me, I speak as I feel,
I've pondered and made my conclusions-
As the mill grinds the corn to the meal;
So man striving boldly but blindly,
Ground piecemeal in Destiny's mill,
At his best, taking punishment kindly,
Is only a chopping-block still.

Are we wise? Our abstruse calculations
Are based on experience long;
Are we sanguine? Our high expectations
Are founded on hope that is strong;
Thus we build an air-castle that crumbles
And drifts till no traces remain,
And the fool builds again while he grumbles,
And the wise one laughs, building again.

'How came they to pass, these rash blunders,
These false steps so hard to defend?'
Our friend puts the question and wonders,
We laugh and reply, 'Ah! my friend,
Could you trace the first stride falsely taken,
The distance misjudged, where or how,
When you pick'd yourself up, stunn'd and shaken,
At the fence 'twixt the turf and the plough?'

In the jar of the panel rebounding!
In the crash of the splintering wood!
In the ears to the earth shock resounding!
In the eyes flashing fire and blood!
In the quarters above you revolving!
In the sods underneath heaving high!
There was little to aid you in solving
Such questions-the how or the why.

And destiny, steadfast in trifles,
Is steadfast for better or worse
In great things, it crushes and stifles,
And swallows the hopes that we nurse.
Men wiser than we are may wonder,
When the future they cling to so fast,
To the roll of that destiny's thunder,
Goes down with the wrecks of the past.

* * * * *

The past! the dead past! that has swallow'd
All the honey of life and the milk,
Brighter dreams than mere pastimes we've follow'd,
Better things than our scarlet or silk;
Aye, and worse things-that past is it really
Dead to us who again and again
Feel sharply, hear plainly, see clearly,
Past days with their joy and their pain?

Like corpses embalm'd and unburied
They lie, and in spite of our will,
Our souls on the wings of thought carried,
Revisit their sepulchres still;
Down the channels of mystery gliding,
They conjure strange tales, rarely read,
Of the priests of dead Pharaohs presiding
At mystical feasts of the dead.

Weird pictures arise, quaint devices,
Rude emblems, baked funeral meats,
Strong incense, rare wines, and rich spices,
The ashes, the shrouds, and the sheets;
Does our thraldom fall short of completeness
For the magic of a charnel-house charm,
And the flavour of a poisonous sweetness,
And the odour of a poisonous balm?

And the links of the past-but, no matter,
For I'm getting beyond you, I guess,
And you'll call me 'as mad as a hatter'
If my thoughts I too freely express;
I subjoin a quotation, pray learn it,
And with the aid of your lexicon tell us
The meaning thereof-'Res discernit
Sapiens, quas confundit asellus.'

Already green hillocks are swelling,
And combing white locks on the bar,
Where a dull, droning murmur is telling
Of winds that have gather'd afar;
Thus we know not the day, nor the morrow,
Nor yet what the night may bring forth,
Nor the storm, nor the sleep, nor the sorrow,
Nor the strife, nor the rest, nor the wrath.

Yet the skies are still tranquil and starlit,
The sun 'twixt the wave and the west
Dies in purple, and crimson, and scarlet,
And gold; let us hope for the best,
Since again from the earth his effulgence
The darkness and damp-dews shall wipe.
Kind reader, extend your indulgence
To this the last lay of 'The Pipe'.

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Introduced From the Beginning

When honesty is introduced from the beginning...
There is no reason for excuses,
To fake a chase to cover lies later on!
There is something about this activity,
That leaves one without credibility...
And a voice more effective,
When silence is the only thing heard!

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Lessons from the Sea

I was out one day to learn lessons from the sea.
The sea so deep and wide,
It is used to take you from place to place
It appears that nothing lies inside

My eyes can see what appears to be its end
The margin of the horizon,
But the closer I get, the end disappears
A mystery to everyone

The sea communicates with me, now and then
In a language of its own
I may never understand every word it speaks
Just like the seagulls, above it flown

The lessons learnt at sea, must be taught by the sea
For a substitute, there is One other
If there were no sea, where would the lessons be?
Only through that of my mother

A mother’s love, is like the wide open sea
That never stops to flow,
It matters not, the child you’ve been
Her love never ceases to glow

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Girl From The North Country

(bob dylan)
If youre traveling in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to the one who lives there
She was once a true love of mine
And if youre goin when the snowflakes storm
When the rivers freeze and summer ends
Please see for me she has a coat so warm
To keep her from the howling wind
Would you see for me that her hairs hanging long
That it rolls and flows all down her breasts
See for me that her hairs hanging long
cause thats the way I remember her best
But Im a-wondering if she remembers me at all
Many times Ive often prayed
In the darkness of my night
In the brightness of my day
So if youre traveling in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to the one who lives there
cause she was once, she was once a true love of mine
And shell always be a true love of mine
And I never, never, never, never give her up

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Come In From The Rain

(carole bayer sager/melissa manchester)
Well, hello there
Good old friend of mine
Youve been reaching for yourself
For such a long time
Theres so much to say
No need to explain
Just an open door for you
To come in from the rain
Its a long road
When youre all alone
And a man like you
Belong ways to a long way home
Theres no right or wrong
Im not here to blame
I just want to be the one
Who keeps you from the rain
From the rain
And it looks like some disguise
Now that I know youre alright
Time has left us older
Wiser, I know I am
cause I think of us
Like an old cliche
But it doesnt matter
cause I love you anyway
Coming from the rain
And it looks like some disguise
Now that I know youre alright
Time has left us older
Wiser, I know I am
And its good to know
My best friend has come home again
cause I think of us
Like an old cliche
But it doesnt matter
cause I love you anyway
Coming from the rain
Come in from the rain
Come in from the rain

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Shoot From The Hip

If you want to get it quick.
I shoot from the hip.
Not a mumble do I grumbled,
Nor backstabbing gossiped hits.

I'm not one to leave you wondering...
What's on my mind,
Not a bit.
I don't hide my words,
When I choose to be heard.

If you want to get it straight.
I shoot from the hip.
Without a moment of delay.
I say it I don't spit.

If it's not liked how it is,
That's your business...
I'm not pissed.
Nor will you leave me in a fit.
To quiver with shut lips.

If you want to get it quick.
I shoot from the hip.
Not a mumble do I grumbled,
Nor pout and sit.
I'm not the kind to leave you wondering,
What's on my mind to admit!
Or suggest you see a psychic...
To tell you what you want and like it!

If you want to get it quick.
I shoot from the hip.
I'm not the kind to leave you wondering,
What's on my mind to admit!
If it's not liked as it is...
I'm not the kind to get pissed.
I'll deliver what I give you,
And that is it!

'So you're sayin' you do what? '

I shoot from the hip.

'What about the ears of others?

I shoot from the hip.

'What if they should have druthers? '

I said I shoot from the hip.
If they don't want to hear it,
Like it is from my lips...
They can turn around and I will kick them,
Where they are split!

Not a mumble do I grumbled.
I shoot from the hip.
No stumble do I fumble on...
I shoot from the hip!

If it's not liked how it is,
I will not get pissed.
Nor will I leave you quietly,
To quiver with shut lips.

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The Girl Who Came from the Moon

I noticed the glow through my window-pane,
A glow, set deep in the wood,
I thought that it might be a tree on fire
And it didn't enhance my mood,
I took the jeep, an extinguisher,
And stuck to the well worn trail,
My headlights picked out a wreck of a car
Ablaze, and a girl, quite pale.

Beyond the car was a meteorite
That glowed and pulsed in the dark,
The girl stood shivering, next to a tree
Reached out, and picked at the bark,
She wore a jacket of silver thread
That was scorched, and torn at the seams,
‘So this is the place that the Master said,
A planet, cocooned in dreams! '

I thought she was probably quite deranged
And helped her into the jeep,
Her form was slender and angular
And she promptly fell asleep,
I doused the fire in the burning wreck
But the meteorite still glowed,
Buried quite deep in the undergrowth
It was only the top that showed.

I sprayed it all with a burst of foam
But the foam dispersed in the air,
It floated away like candy floss,
The kind you see at the fair,
I turned and made for the Willy's Jeep
And raced back out on the track,
I don't know why, but a shiver ran
From my neck to the small of my back.

Back at the house she looked around
And a smile lit up her face,
‘So this is the place you hide at night,
From the monsters, deep in space! '
Her cheekbones were quite angular
And her forehead broad and square,
But the feature most that startled me
Was the sheen of her silver hair.

It fell straight down to her shoulders, swept
Around like a silver bowl,
And looked much more like a helmet, set
For it didn't move at all,
‘We'd better see where you're from, ' I said,
‘Your folks will be worried soon.'
She laughed, a tinkling bell-like sound,
I just dropped in from the Moon! '

I thought, ‘Oh yes, here's a likely one,
Perhaps she should be restrained? '
The shock of the car and the meteorite
Had rendered her quite deranged.
I came to warn you, the Argonauts
Are waiting, up in the sky,
When Pluto enters Aquarius
They will come, and your race will die! '

I settled her down to sleep the night,
In the morning she was gone,
But out in the woods there were flashing lights
And cars and trucks in a swarm,
There were Police and Special Agents there
And the Army in full force,
While standing silent, watching them there
Was a grey and silver horse.

It watched as a truck had pulled away
With a globe strapped under a tarp,
A bevy of Military Police were there,
By now, it was almost dark,
Then the horse looked back and it stared at me
And I noticed the silver mane,
That swept down over its shoulders
As it cantered off, in the rain.

27 September 2012

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Song of the Old Bullock-Driver

Far back in the days when the blacks used to ramble
In long single file ’neath the evergreen tree,
The wool-teams in season came down from Coonamble,
And journeyed for weeks on their way to the sea,
’Twas then that our hearts and our sinews were stronger,
For those were the days when the bushman was bred.
We journeyed on roads that were rougher and longer
Than roads where the feet of our grandchildren tread.
With mates who have gone to the great Never-Never,
And mates whom I’ve not seen for many a day,
I camped on the banks of the Cudgegong River
And yarned at the fire by the old bullock-dray.
I would summon them back from the far Riverina,
From days that shall be from all others distinct,
And sing to the sound of an old concertina
Their rugged old songs where strange fancies were linked.

We never were lonely, for, camping together,
We yarned and we smoked the long evenings away,
And little I cared for the signs of the weather
When snug in my hammock slung under the dray.
We rose with the dawn, were it ever so chilly,
When yokes and tarpaulins were covered with frost,
And toasted the bacon and boiled the black billy,
Where high on the camp-fire the branches were tossed.

On flats where the air was suggestive of ’possums,
And homesteads and fences were hinting of change,
We saw the faint glimmer of appletree blossoms
And far in the distance the blue of the range;
And here in the rain, there was small use in flogging
The poor, tortured bullocks that tugged at the load,
When down to the axles the waggons were bogging
And traffic was making a marsh of the road.

’Twas hard on the beasts on the terrible pinches,
Where two teams of bullocks were yoked to a load,
And tugging and slipping, and moving by inches,
Half-way to the summit they clung to the road.
And then, when the last of the pinches was bested,
(You’ll surely not say that a glass was a sin?)
The bullocks lay down ’neath the gum trees and rested —
The bullockies steered for the bar of the inn.

Then slowly we crawled by the trees that kept tally
Of miles that were passed on the long journey down.
We saw the wild beauty of Capertee Valley,
As slowly we rounded the base of the Crown.
But, ah! the poor bullocks were cruelly goaded
While climbing the hills from the flats and the vales;
’Twas here that the teams were so often unloaded
That all knew the meaning of ‘counting your bales.’

And, oh! but the best-paying load that I carried
Was one to the run where my sweetheart was nurse.
We courted awhile, and agreed to get married,
And couple our futures for better or worse.
And as my old feet grew too weary to drag on
The miles of rough metal they met by the way,
My eldest grew up and I gave him the waggon —
He’s plodding along by the bullocks to-day.

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The Little Girl's Song

Do not mind my crying, Papa, I am not crying for pain.
Do not mind my shaking, Papa, I am not shaking with fear;
Tho' the wild wild wind is bideous to hear,
And I see the snow and the rain.
When will you come back again,
Papa, Papa?


Somebody else that you love, Papa,
Somebody else that you dearly love
Is weary, like me, because you're away.
Sometimes I see her lips tremble and move,
And I seem to know what they're going to say;
And every day, and all the long day,
I long to cry, 'Oh Mamma, Mamma,
When will Papa come back again?'
But before I can say it I see the pain
Creeping up on her white white cheek,
As the sweet sad sunshine creeps up the white wall,
And then I am sorry, and fear to speak;
And slowly the pain goes out of her cheek,
As the sad sweet sunshine goes from the wall.
Oh, I wish I were grown up wise and tall,
That I might throw my arms round her neck
And say, 'Dear Mamma, oh, what is it all
That I see and see and do not see
In your white white face all the livelong day?'
But she hides her grief from a child like me.
When will you come back again,
Papa, Papa?


Where were you going, Papa, Papa?
All this long while have you been on the sea?
When she looks as if she saw far away,
Is she thinking of you, and what does she see?
Are the white sails blowing,
And the blue men rowing,
And are you standing on the high deck
Where we saw you stand till the ship grew gray,
And we watched and watched till the ship was a speck,
And the dark came first to you, far away?
I wish I could see what she can see,
But she hides her grief from a child like me.
When will you come back again,
Papa, Papa?


Don't you remember, Papa, Papa,
How we used to sit by the fire, all three,
And she told me tales while I sat on her knee,
And heard the winter winds roar down the street,
And knock like men at the window pane,
And the louder they roared, oh, it seemed more sweet
To be warm and warm as we used to be,
Sitting at night by the fire, all three?
When will you come back again,
Papa, Papa?


Papa, I like to sit by the fire;
Why does she sit far away in the cold?
If I had but somebody wise and old,
That every day I might cry and say,
'Is she changed, do you think, or do I forget?
Was she always as white as she is to-day?
Did she never carry her head up higher?'
Papa, Papa, if I could but know!
Do you think her voice was always so low?
Did I always see what I seem to see
When I wake up at night and her pillow is wet?
You used to say her hair it was gold-
It looks like silver to me.
But still she tells the same tale that she told,
She sings the same songs when I sit on her knee,
And the house goes on as it went long ago,
When we lived together, all three.
Sometimes my heart seems to sink, Papa,
And I feel as if I could be happy no more.
Is she changed, do you think, Papa,
Or did I dream she was brighter before?
She makes me remember my snowdrop, Papa,
That I forgot in thinking of you,
The sweetest snowdrop that ever I knew!
But I put it out of the sun and the rain:
It was green and white when I put it away,
It had one sweet bell and green leaves four;
It was green and white when I found it that day,
It had one pale bell and green leaves four,
But I was not glad of it any more.
Was it changed, do you think, Papa,
Or did I dream it was brighter before?


Do not mind my crying, Papa,
I am not crying for pain.
Do not mind my shaking, Papa,
I am not shaking for fear;
Tho' the wild wild wind is hideous to hear,
And I see the snow and the rain.
When will you come back again,
Papa, Papa?

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The Man from Snowy River

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses - he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stock-horse snuffs the battle with delight.

There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup,
The old man with his hair as white as snow;
But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up-
He would go wherever horse and man could go.
And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand,
No better horseman ever held the reins;
For never horse could throw him while the saddle girths would stand,
He learnt to ride while droving on the plains.

And one was there, a stripling on a small and weedy beast,
He was something like a racehorse undersized,
With a touch of Timor pony - three parts thoroughbred at least -
And such as are by mountain horsemen prized.
He was hard and tough and wiry - just the sort that won't say die -
There was courage in his quick impatient tread;
And he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye,
And the proud and lofty carriage of his head.

But so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay,
And the old man said, "That horse will never do
For a long and tiring gallop-lad, you'd better stop away,
Those hills are far too rough for such as you."
So he waited sad and wistful - only Clancy stood his friend -
"I think we ought to let him come," he said;
"I warrant he'll be with us when he's wanted at the end,
For both his horse and he are mountain bred."

"He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko's side,
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
Where a horse's hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
The man that holds his own is good enough.
And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home,
Where the river runs those giant hills between;
I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,
But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen."

So he went - they found the horses by the big mimosa clump -
They raced away towards the mountain's brow,
And the old man gave his orders, "Boys, go at them from the jump,
No use to try for fancy riding now.
And, Clancy, you must wheel them, try and wheel them to the right.
Ride boldly, lad, and never fear the spills,
For never yet was rider that could keep the mob in sight,
If once they gain the shelter of those hills."

So Clancy rode to wheel them - he was racing on the wing
Where the best and boldest riders take their place,
And he raced his stockhorse past them, and he made the ranges ring
With stockwhip, as he met them face to face.
Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash,
But they saw their well-loved mountain full in view,
And they charged beneath the stockwhip with a sharp and sudden dash,
And off into the mountain scrub they flew.

Then fast the horsemen followed, where the gorges deep and black
Resounded to the thunder of their tread,
And the stockwhips woke the echoes, and they fiercely answered back
From cliffs and crags that beetled overhead.
And upward, ever upward, the wild horses held their sway,
Were mountain ash and kurrajong grew wide;
And the old man muttered fiercely, "We may bid the mob good day,
No man can hold them down the other side."

When they reached the mountain's summit, even Clancy took a pull,
It well might make the boldest hold their breath,
The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full
Of wombat holes, and any slip was death.
But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head,
And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer,
And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed,
While the others stood and watched in very fear.

He sent the flint stones flying, but the pony kept his feet,
He cleared the fallen timbers in his stride,
And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat -
It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.
Through the stringybarks and saplings, on the rough and broken ground,
Down the hillside at a racing pace he went;
And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound,
At the bottom of that terrible descent.

He was right among the horses as they climbed the further hill
And the watchers on the mountain standing mute,
Saw him ply the stockwhip fiercely, he was right among them still,
As he raced across the clearing in pursuit.

Then they lost him for a moment, where two mountain gullies met
In the ranges, but a final glimpse reveals
On a dim and distant hillside the wild horses racing yet,
With the man from Snowy River at their heels.

And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with foam.
He followed like a bloodhound in their track,
Till they halted cowed and beaten, then he turned their heads for home,
And alone and unassisted brought them back.
But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot,
He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur;
But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot,
For never yet was mountain horse a cur.

And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise
Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
And where around The Overflow the reed beds sweep and sway
To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,
The man from Snowy River is a household word today,
And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.

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From The First Act Of The Aminta Of Tasso

Daphne's Answer to Sylvia, declaring she
should esteem all as Enemies,
who should talk to her of LOVE.

THEN, to the snowy Ewe, in thy esteem,
The Father of the Flock a Foe must seem,
The faithful Turtles to their yielding Mates.
The cheerful Spring, which Love and Joy creates,
That reconciles the World by soft Desires,
And tender Thoughts in ev'ry Breast inspires,
To you a hateful Season must appear,
Whilst Love prevails, and all are Lovers here.
Observe the gentle Murmurs of that Dove,
And see, how billing she confirms her Love!
For this, the Nightingale displays her Throat,
And Love, Love, Love, is all her Ev'ning Note.
The very Tygers have their tender Hours,
And prouder Lyons bow beneath Love's Pow'rs.
Thou, prouder yet than that imperious Beast,
Alone deny'st him Shelter in thy Breast.
But why should I the Creatures only name
That Sense partake, as Owners of this Flame?
Love farther goes, nor stops his Course at these:
The Plants he moves, and gently bends the Trees.
See how those Willows mix their am'rous Boughs;
And, how that Vine clasps her supporting Spouse!
The silver Firr dotes on the stately Pine;
By Love those Elms, by Love those Beeches join.

But view that Oak; behold his rugged Side:
Yet that rough Bark the melting Flame do's hide.
All, by their trembling Leaves, in Sighs declare
And tell their Passions to the gath'ring Air.
Which, had but Love o'er Thee the least Command,
Thou, by their Motions, too might'st understand.

AMINTOR, being ask'd by THIRSIS
Who is the Object of his Love?
speaks as follows.

Amint. THIRSIS! to Thee I mean that Name to show,
Which, only yet our Groves, and Fountains know:
That, when my Death shall through the Plains be told,
Thou with the wretched Cause may'st that unfold
To every-one, who shall my Story find
Carv'd by thy Hand, in some fair Beeches rind;
Beneath whose Shade the bleeding Body lay:
That, when by chance she shall be led that way,
O'er my sad Grave the haughty Nymph may go,
And the proud Triumph of her Beauty shew
To all the Swains, to Strangers as they pass;
And yet at length she may (but Oh! alas!
I fear, too high my flatt'ring Hopes do soar)
Yet she at length may my sad Fate deplore;
May weep me Dead, may o'er my Tomb recline,
And sighing, wish were he alive and Mine!
But mark me to the End–
Thir. Go on; for well I do thy Speech attend,
Perhaps to better Ends, than yet thou know'st.
Amint. Being now a Child, or but a Youth at most,
When scarce to reach the blushing Fruit I knew,
Which on the lowest bending Branches grew;
Still with the dearest, sweetest, kindest Maid
Young as myself, at childish Sports I play'd.
The Fairest, sure, of all that Lovely Kind,
Who spread their golden Tresses to the Wind;
Cydippe's Daughter, and Montano's Heir,
Whose Flocks and Herds so num'rous do appear;
The beauteous Sylvia; She, 'tis She I love,
Warmth of all Hearts, and Pride of ev'ry Grove.
With Her I liv'd, no Turtles e'er so fond.
Our Houses met, but more our Souls were join'd.
Together Nets for Fish, and Fowl we laid;
Together through the spacious Forest stray'd;
Pursu'd with equal Speed the flying Deer,
And of the Spoils there no Divisions were.
But whilst I from the Beasts their Freedom won,
Alas! I know not how, my Own was gone.
By unperceiv'd Degrees the Fire encreas'd,
Which fill'd, at last, each corner of my Breast;
As from a Root, tho' scarce discern'd so small,
A Plant may rise, that grows amazing tall.
From Sylvia's Presence now I could not move,
And from her Eyes took in full Draughts of Love,
Which sweetly thro' my ravish'd Mind distill'd;
Yet in the end such Bitterness wou'd yield,
That oft I sigh'd, ere yet I knew the cause,
And was a Lover, ere I dream'd I was.
But Oh! at last, too well my State I knew;
And now, will shew thee how this Passion grew.
Then listen, while the pleasing Tale I tell.

THIRSIS persuades AMINTOR not to despair upon the
redictions of Mopsus discov'ring him to be an Impostor.

Thirsis. Why dost thou still give way to such Despair!
Amintor. Too just, alas! the weighty Causes are.
Mopsus, wise Mopsus, who in Art excels,
And of all Plants the secret Vertue tells,
Knows, with what healing Gifts our Springs abound,
And of each Bird explains the mystick Sound;
'Twas He, ev'n He! my wretched Fate foretold.
Thir. Dost thou this Speech then of that Mopsus hold,
Who, whilst his Smiles attract the easy View,
Drops flatt'ring Words, soft as the falling Dew;
Whose outward Form all friendly still appears,
Tho' Fraud and Daggers in his Thoughts he wears,
And the unwary Labours to surprize
With Looks affected, and with riddling Lyes.
If He it is, that bids thy Love despair,
I hope the happier End of all thy Care.
So far from Truth his vain Predictions fall.
Amint. If ought thou know'st, that may my Hopes recall,
Conceal it not; for great I've heard his Fame,
And fear'd his Words–
Thir. –When hither first I came,
And in these Shades the false Imposter met,
Like Thee I priz'd, and thought his Judgment great;
On all his study'd Speeches still rely'd,
Nor fear'd to err, whilst led by such a Guide:
When on a Day, that Bus'ness and Delight
My Steps did to the Neighb'ring Town invite,
Which stands upon that rising Mountain's side,
And from our Plains this River do's divide,
He check'd me thus–Be warn'd in time, My Son,
And that new World of painted Mischiefs shun,
Whose gay Inhabitants thou shalt behold
Plum'd like our Birds, and sparkling all in Gold;
Courtiers, that will thy rustick Garb despise,
And mock thy Plainness with disdainful Eyes.
But above all, that Structure see thou fly,
Where hoarded Vanities and Witchcrafts lie;
To shun that Path be thy peculiar Care.
I ask, what of that Place the Dangers are:
To which he soon replies, there shalt thou meet
Of soft Enchantresses th' Enchantments sweet,
Who subt'ly will thy solid Sense bereave,
And a false Gloss to ev'ry Object give.
Brass to thy Sight as polish'd Gold shall seem,
And Glass thou as the Diamond shalt esteem.

Huge Heaps of Silver to thee shall appear,
Which if approach'd, will prove but shining Air.
The very Walls by Magick Art are wrought,
And Repitition to all Speakers taught:
Not such, as from our Ecchoes we obtain,
Which only our last Words return again;
But Speech for Speech entirely there they give,
And often add, beyond what they receive.
There downy Couches to false Rest invite,
The Lawn is charm'd, that faintly bars the Light.
No gilded Seat, no iv'ry Board is there,
But what thou may'st for some Delusion fear:
Whilst, farther to abuse thy wond'ring Eyes,
Strange antick Shapes before them shall arise;
Fantastick Fiends, that will about thee flock,
And all they see, with Imitation mock.
Nor are these Ills the worst. Thyself may'st be
Transform'd into a Flame, a Stream, a Tree;
A Tear, congeal'd by Art, thou may'st remain,
'Till by a burning Sigh dissolv'd again.

Thus spake the Wretch; but cou'd not shake my Mind.
My way I take, and soon the City find,
Where above all that lofty Fabrick stands,
Which, with one View, the Town and Plains commands.
Here was I stopt, for who cou'd quit the Ground,
That heard such Musick from those Roofs resound!
Musick! beyond th' enticing Syrene's Note;
Musick! beyond the Swan's expiring Throat;
Beyond the softest Voice, that charms the Grove,
And equal'd only by the Spheres above.
My Ear I thought too narrow for the Art,
Nor fast enough convey'd it to my Heart:
When in the Entrance of the Gate I saw
A Man Majestick, and commanding Awe;
Yet temper'd with a Carriage, so refin'd
That undetermin'd was my doubtful Mind,
Whether for Love, or War, that Form was most design'd.

With such a Brow, as did at once declare
A gentle Nature, and a Wit severe;
To view that Palace me he ask'd to go,
Tho' Royal He, and I Obscure and Low.
But the Delights my Senses there did meet,
No rural Tongue, no Swain can e'er repeat.
Celestial Goddesses, or Nymphs as Fair,
In unveil'd Beauties, to all Eyes appear
Sprinkl'd with Gold, as glorious to the View,
As young Aurora, deck'd with pearly Dew;
Bright Rays dispensing, as along they pass'd,
And with new Light the shining Palace grac'd.
Phoebus was there by all the Muses met,
And at his Feet was our Elpino set.
Ev'n humble Me their Harmony inspir'd,
My Breast expanded, and my Spirits fir'd.
Rude Past'ral now, no longer I rehearse,
But Heroes crown with my exalted Verse.
Of Arms I sung, of bold advent'rous Wars;
And tho' brought back by my too envious Stars,
Yet kept my Voice and Reed those lofty Strains,
And sent loud Musick through the wond'ring Plains:
Which Mopsus hearing, secretly malign'd,
And now to ruin Both at once design'd.
Which by his Sorceries he soon brought to pass;
And suddenly so clogg'd, and hoarse I was,
That all our Shepherds, at the Change amaz'd,
Believ'd, I on some Ev'ning-Wolf had gaz'd:
When He it was, my luckless Path had crost,
By whose dire Look, my Skill awhile was lost.
This have I told, to raise thy Hopes again,
And render, by distrust, his Malice vain.

From the AMINTA of TASSO.

THO' we, of small Proportion see
And slight the armed Golden Bee;
Yet if her Sting behind she leaves,
No Ease th' envenom'd Flesh receives.
Love, less to Sight than is this Fly,
In a soft Curl conceal'd can lie;
Under an Eyelid's lovely Shade,
Can form a dreadful Ambuscade;
Can the most subtil Sight beguile
Hid in the Dimples of a Smile.
But if from thence a Dart he throw,
How sure, how mortal is the Blow!
How helpless all the Pow'r of Art
To bind, or to restore the Heart!

From the AMINTA of TASSO.

Part of the Description of the Golden Age.
THEN, by some Fountains flow'ry side
The Loves unarm'd, did still abide.
Then, the loos'd Quiver careless hung,
The Torch extinct, the Bow unstrung.
Then, by the Nymphs no Charms were worn,
But such as with the Nymphs were born.
The Shepherd cou'd not, then, complain,
Nor told his am'rous Tale in vain.
No Veil the Beauteous Face did hide,
Nor harmless Freedom was deny'd.
Then, Innocence and Virtue reign'd
Pure, unaffected, unconstrain'd.
Love was their Pleasure, and their Praise,
The soft Employment of their Days.

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Homer

The Odyssey: Book 7

Thus, then, did Ulysses wait and pray; but the girl drove on to
the town. When she reached her father's house she drew up at the
gateway, and her brothers- comely as the gods- gathered round her,
took the mules out of the waggon, and carried the clothes into the
house, while she went to her own room, where an old servant,
Eurymedusa of Apeira, lit the fire for her. This old woman had been
brought by sea from Apeira, and had been chosen as a prize for
Alcinous because he was king over the Phaecians, and the people obeyed
him as though he were a god. She had been nurse to Nausicaa, and had
now lit the fire for her, and brought her supper for her into her
own room.
Presently Ulysses got up to go towards the town; and Minerva shed
a thick mist all round him to hide him in case any of the proud
Phaecians who met him should be rude to him, or ask him who he was.
Then, as he was just entering the town, she came towards him in the
likeness of a little girl carrying a pitcher. She stood right in front
of him, and Ulysses said:
"My dear, will you be so kind as to show me the house of king
Alcinous? I am an unfortunate foreigner in distress, and do not know
one in your town and country."
Then Minerva said, "Yes, father stranger, I will show you the
house you want, for Alcinous lives quite close to my own father. I
will go before you and show the way, but say not a word as you go, and
do not look at any man, nor ask him questions; for the people here
cannot abide strangers, and do not like men who come from some other
place. They are a sea-faring folk, and sail the seas by the grace of
Neptune in ships that glide along like thought, or as a bird in the
air."
On this she led the way, and Ulysses followed in her steps; but
not one of the Phaecians could see him as he passed through the city
in the midst of them; for the great goddess Minerva in her good will
towards him had hidden him in a thick cloud of darkness. He admired
their harbours, ships, places of assembly, and the lofty walls of
the city, which, with the palisade on top of them, were very striking,
and when they reached the king's house Minerva said:
"This is the house, father stranger, which you would have me show
you. You will find a number of great people sitting at table, but do
not be afraid; go straight in, for the bolder a man is the more likely
he is to carry his point, even though he is a stranger. First find the
queen. Her name is Arete, and she comes of the same family as her
husband Alcinous. They both descend originally from Neptune, who was
father to Nausithous by Periboea, a woman of great beauty. Periboea
was the youngest daughter of Eurymedon, who at one time reigned over
the giants, but he ruined his ill-fated people and lost his own life
to boot.
"Neptune, however, lay with his daughter, and she had a son by
him, the great Nausithous, who reigned over the Phaecians.
Nausithous had two sons Rhexenor and Alcinous; Apollo killed the first
of them while he was still a bridegroom and without male issue; but he
left a daughter Arete, whom Alcinous married, and honours as no
other woman is honoured of all those that keep house along with
their husbands.
"Thus she both was, and still is, respected beyond measure by her
children, by Alcinous himself, and by the whole people, who look
upon her as a goddess, and greet her whenever she goes about the city,
for she is a thoroughly good woman both in head and heart, and when
any women are friends of hers, she will help their husbands also to
settle their disputes. If you can gain her good will, you may have
every hope of seeing your friends again, and getting safely back to
your home and country."
Then Minerva left Scheria and went away over the sea. She went to
Marathon and to the spacious streets of Athens, where she entered
the abode of Erechtheus; but Ulysses went on to the house of Alcinous,
and he pondered much as he paused a while before reaching the
threshold of bronze, for the splendour of the palace was like that
of the sun or moon. The walls on either side were of bronze from end
to end, and the cornice was of blue enamel. The doors were gold, and
hung on pillars of silver that rose from a floor of bronze, while
the lintel was silver and the hook of the door was of gold.
On either side there stood gold and silver mastiffs which Vulcan,
with his consummate skill, had fashioned expressly to keep watch
over the palace of king Alcinous; so they were immortal and could
never grow old. Seats were ranged all along the wall, here and there
from one end to the other, with coverings of fine woven work which the
women of the house had made. Here the chief persons of the Phaecians
used to sit and eat and drink, for there was abundance at all seasons;
and there were golden figures of young men with lighted torches in
their hands, raised on pedestals, to give light by night to those
who were at table. There are fifty maid servants in the house, some of
whom are always grinding rich yellow grain at the mill, while others
work at the loom, or sit and spin, and their shuttles go, backwards
and forwards like the fluttering of aspen leaves, while the linen is
so closely woven that it will turn oil. As the Phaecians are the
best sailors in the world, so their women excel all others in weaving,
for Minerva has taught them all manner of useful arts, and they are
very intelligent.
Outside the gate of the outer court there is a large garden of about
four acres with a wall all round it. It is full of beautiful trees-
pears, pomegranates, and the most delicious apples. There are luscious
figs also, and olives in full growth. The fruits never rot nor fail
all the year round, neither winter nor summer, for the air is so
soft that a new crop ripens before the old has dropped. Pear grows
on pear, apple on apple, and fig on fig, and so also with the
grapes, for there is an excellent vineyard: on the level ground of a
part of this, the grapes are being made into raisins; in another
part they are being gathered; some are being trodden in the wine tubs,
others further on have shed their blossom and are beginning to show
fruit, others again are just changing colour. In the furthest part
of the ground there are beautifully arranged beds of flowers that
are in bloom all the year round. Two streams go through it, the one
turned in ducts throughout the whole garden, while the other is
carried under the ground of the outer court to the house itself, and
the town's people draw water from it. Such, then, were the
splendours with which the gods had endowed the house of king Alcinous.
So here Ulysses stood for a while and looked about him, but when
he had looked long enough he crossed the threshold and went within the
precincts of the house. There he found all the chief people among
the Phaecians making their drink-offerings to Mercury, which they
always did the last thing before going away for the night. He went
straight through the court, still hidden by the cloak of darkness in
which Minerva had enveloped him, till he reached Arete and King
Alcinous; then he laid his hands upon the knees of the queen, and at
that moment the miraculous darkness fell away from him and he became
visible. Every one was speechless with surprise at seeing a man there,
but Ulysses began at once with his petition.
"Queen Arete," he exclaimed, "daughter of great Rhexenor, in my
distress I humbly pray you, as also your husband and these your guests
(whom may heaven prosper with long life and happiness, and may they
leave their possessions to their children, and all the honours
conferred upon them by the state) to help me home to my own country as
soon as possible; for I have been long in trouble and away from my
friends."
Then he sat down on the hearth among the ashes and they all held
their peace, till presently the old hero Echeneus, who was an
excellent speaker and an elder among the Phaeacians, plainly and in
all honesty addressed them thus:
"Alcinous," said he, "it is not creditable to you that a stranger
should be seen sitting among the ashes of your hearth; every one is
waiting to hear what you are about to say; tell him, then, to rise and
take a seat on a stool inlaid with silver, and bid your servants mix
some wine and water that we may make a drink-offering to Jove the lord
of thunder, who takes all well-disposed suppliants under his
protection; and let the housekeeper give him some supper, of
whatever there may be in the house."
When Alcinous heard this he took Ulysses by the hand, raised him
from the hearth, and bade him take the seat of Laodamas, who had
been sitting beside him, and was his favourite son. A maid servant
then brought him water in a beautiful golden ewer and poured it into a
silver basin for him to wash his hands, and she drew a clean table
beside him; an upper servant brought him bread and offered him many
good things of what there was in the house, and Ulysses ate and drank.
Then Alcinous said to one of the servants, "Pontonous, mix a cup of
wine and hand it round that we may make drink-offerings to Jove the
lord of thunder, who is the protector of all well-disposed
suppliants."
Pontonous then mixed wine and water, and handed it round after
giving every man his drink-offering. When they had made their
offerings, and had drunk each as much as he was minded, Alcinous said:
"Aldermen and town councillors of the Phaeacians, hear my words. You
have had your supper, so now go home to bed. To-morrow morning I shall
invite a still larger number of aldermen, and will give a
sacrificial banquet in honour of our guest; we can then discuss the
question of his escort, and consider how we may at once send him
back rejoicing to his own country without trouble or inconvenience
to himself, no matter how distant it may be. We must see that he comes
to no harm while on his homeward journey, but when he is once at
home he will have to take the luck he was born with for better or
worse like other people. It is possible, however, that the stranger is
one of the immortals who has come down from heaven to visit us; but in
this case the gods are departing from their usual practice, for
hitherto they have made themselves perfectly clear to us when we
have been offering them hecatombs. They come and sit at our feasts
just like one of our selves, and if any solitary wayfarer happens to
stumble upon some one or other of them, they affect no concealment,
for we are as near of kin to the gods as the Cyclopes and the savage
giants are."
Then Ulysses said: "Pray, Alcinous, do not take any such notion into
your head. I have nothing of the immortal about me, neither in body
nor mind, and most resemble those among you who are the most
afflicted. Indeed, were I to tell you all that heaven has seen fit
to lay upon me, you would say that I was still worse off than they
are. Nevertheless, let me sup in spite of sorrow, for an empty stomach
is a very importunate thing, and thrusts itself on a man's notice no
matter how dire is his distress. I am in great trouble, yet it insists
that I shall eat and drink, bids me lay aside all memory of my sorrows
and dwell only on the due replenishing of itself. As for yourselves,
do as you propose, and at break of day set about helping me to get
home. I shall be content to die if I may first once more behold my
property, my bondsmen, and all the greatness of my house."
Thus did he speak. Every one approved his saying, and agreed that he
should have his escort inasmuch as he had spoken reasonably. Then when
they had made their drink-offerings, and had drunk each as much as
he was minded they went home to bed every man in his own abode,
leaving Ulysses in the cloister with Arete and Alcinous while the
servants were taking the things away after supper. Arete was the first
to speak, for she recognized the shirt, cloak, and good clothes that
Ulysses was wearing, as the work of herself and of her maids; so she
said, "Stranger, before we go any further, there is a question I
should like to ask you. Who, and whence are you, and who gave you
those clothes? Did you not say you had come here from beyond the sea?"
And Ulysses answered, "It would be a long story Madam, were I to
relate in full the tale of my misfortunes, for the hand of heaven
has been laid heavy upon me; but as regards your question, there is an
island far away in the sea which is called 'the Ogygian.' Here
dwells the cunning and powerful goddess Calypso, daughter of Atlas.
She lives by herself far from all neighbours human or divine. Fortune,
however, me to her hearth all desolate and alone, for Jove struck my
ship with his thunderbolts, and broke it up in mid-ocean. My brave
comrades were drowned every man of them, but I stuck to the keel and
was carried hither and thither for the space of nine days, till at
last during the darkness of the tenth night the gods brought me to the
Ogygian island where the great goddess Calypso lives. She took me in
and treated me with the utmost kindness; indeed she wanted to make
me immortal that I might never grow old, but she could not persuade me
to let her do so.
"I stayed with Calypso seven years straight on end, and watered
the good clothes she gave me with my tears during the whole time;
but at last when the eighth year came round she bade me depart of
her own free will, either because Jove had told her she must, or
because she had changed her mind. She sent me from her island on a
raft, which she provisioned with abundance of bread and wine. Moreover
she gave me good stout clothing, and sent me a wind that blew both
warm and fair. Days seven and ten did I sail over the sea, and on
the eighteenth I caught sight of the first outlines of the mountains
upon your coast- and glad indeed was I to set eyes upon them.
Nevertheless there was still much trouble in store for me, for at this
point Neptune would let me go no further, and raised a great storm
against me; the sea was so terribly high that I could no longer keep
to my raft, which went to pieces under the fury of the gale, and I had
to swim for it, till wind and current brought me to your shores.
"There I tried to land, but could not, for it was a bad place and
the waves dashed me against the rocks, so I again took to the sea
and swam on till I came to a river that seemed the most likely landing
place, for there were no rocks and it was sheltered from the wind.
Here, then, I got out of the water and gathered my senses together
again. Night was coming on, so I left the river, and went into a
thicket, where I covered myself all over with leaves, and presently
heaven sent me off into a very deep sleep. Sick and sorry as I was I
slept among the leaves all night, and through the next day till
afternoon, when I woke as the sun was westering, and saw your
daughter's maid servants playing upon the beach, and your daughter
among them looking like a goddess. I besought her aid, and she
proved to be of an excellent disposition, much more so than could be
expected from so young a person- for young people are apt to be
thoughtless. She gave me plenty of bread and wine, and when she had
had me washed in the river she also gave me the clothes in which you
see me. Now, therefore, though it has pained me to do so, I have
told you the whole truth."
Then Alcinous said, "Stranger, it was very wrong of my daughter
not to bring you on at once to my house along with the maids, seeing
that she was the first person whose aid you asked."
"Pray do not scold her," replied Ulysses; "she is not to blame.
She did tell me to follow along with the maids, but I was ashamed
and afraid, for I thought you might perhaps be displeased if you saw
me. Every human being is sometimes a little suspicious and irritable."
"Stranger," replied Alcinous, "I am not the kind of man to get angry
about nothing; it is always better to be reasonable; but by Father
Jove, Minerva, and Apollo, now that I see what kind of person you are,
and how much you think as I do, I wish you would stay here, marry my
daughter, and become my son-in-law. If you will stay I will give you a
house and an estate, but no one (heaven forbid) shall keep you here
against your own wish, and that you may be sure of this I will
attend to-morrow to the matter of your escort. You can sleep during
the whole voyage if you like, and the men shall sail you over smooth
waters either to your own home, or wherever you please, even though it
be a long way further off than Euboea, which those of my people who
saw it when they took yellow-haired Rhadamanthus to see Tityus the son
of Gaia, tell me is the furthest of any place- and yet they did the
whole voyage in a single day without distressing themselves, and
came back again afterwards. You will thus see how much my ships
excel all others, and what magnificent oarsmen my sailors are."
Then was Ulysses glad and prayed aloud saying, "Father Jove, grant
that Alcinous may do all as he has said, for so he will win an
imperishable name among mankind, and at the same time I shall return
to my country."
Thus did they converse. Then Arete told her maids to set a bed in
the room that was in the gatehouse, and make it with good red rugs,
and to spread coverlets on the top of them with woollen cloaks for
Ulysses to wear. The maids thereon went out with torches in their
hands, and when they had made the bed they came up to Ulysses and
said, "Rise, sir stranger, and come with us for your bed is ready,"
and glad indeed was he to go to his rest.
So Ulysses slept in a bed placed in a room over the echoing gateway;
but Alcinous lay in the inner part of the house, with the queen his
wife by his side.

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William Makepeace Thackeray

The Legend Of St. Sophia Of Kioff

I.

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

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


II.

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

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

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

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


III.

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

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


IV.

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

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


V.

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

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


VI.

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

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


VII.

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

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


VIII.

[Certain wicked Cossacks did besiege it,]

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

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

[Murdering the citizens,]

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

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

[Until they agreed to pay a tribute yearly.]

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

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

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

[To the wonder of the Cossack envoy.]

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

[Of a mighty gallant speech]

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

[That the lord-mayor made,]

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

[Exhorting the burghers to pay no longer.]

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


IX.

[Of their thanks and heroic resolves.]

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

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

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

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

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

[Of the majors and captains.]

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

[The fortifications and artillery.]

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

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

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

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

[Of the ladies;]

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

[And, finally, of the taylors.]

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


X.

[Of the Cossack chief,—his stratagem;]

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

[And the burghers' sillie victorie.]

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

[What prisoners they took,]

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

[And how conceited they were.]

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

[Of the Cossack chief,—his orders;]

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

[And how he feigned a retreat.]

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

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

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

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


XI.

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

[The manner of the citie's rejoycings,]

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

[And its impiety.]

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

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

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


XII.

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

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

[How the grooms and lackeys jeered him.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


XIII.

[How the prior went back alone.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


XIV.

[The episode of Sneezoff and Katinka.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[How the sentrie Sneezoff was surprised and slayn.]

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


XV.

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

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

[Of the Cossack troops,]

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

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

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

. . . . .

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

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

[Whereof the bells began to ring.]

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


XVI.

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

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

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

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

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


XVII.

[His prayer to the Saint Sophia.]

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

[The statue suddenlie speaks;]

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

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

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

[Of Hyacinth, his outrageous address;]

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

[And preparation for dying.]

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

[Saint Sophia, her speech.]

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

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

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

[And bids him run.]

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


XVIII.

[He runneth,]

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

[And the Tartars after him.]

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

[How the friars sweated.]

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

[And the pursuers fixed arrows into their tayles.]

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

[How at the last gasp,]

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

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

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

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


XIX.

[And how the Russians saw]

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

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

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

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

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


XX.

[Finis, or the end.]

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

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John Gay

Songs from The Beggar’s Opera: Air XVI-“Over the Hills, and Far Away”

Mac. Were I laid on Greenland’s coast,
And in my arms embraced my lass,
Warm amidst eternal frost,
Too soon the half-year’s night would pass.
Polly. Were I sold on Indian soil,
Soon as the burning day was closed,
I could mock the sultry toil
When on my charmer’s breast reposed.
Mac. And I would love you all the day,
Polly. Every night would kiss and play,
Mac. If with me you’d fondly stray
Polly. Over the hills, and far away.

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I Wonder What The Trees Think

Do you see that tree,
With the branches reaching?
Think of them as nerves...
Coming from the Earth.
Are they feeling?
Do they sense like you and I?
Or are they here to assist us to breathe?
If they did not exist...
Would your life on this Earth be useless?

I wonder what the trees think,
About our selfish ways!
And they stay as they are...
Basically providing us life.
Tolerating their destruction,
As they sit watching us in conflict.

Without a hug or a visit from us,
As we sit and cuss our existence.
With neither acknowledgement,
Or an expression of our appreciation.
I wonder what the trees think,
About our selfish ways!

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