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Of The Lost

Have you ever had that eureka moment.
Where something has been found.
Insufficient in importance.
But it still brings a smile on your face.
You're about ready to pat yourself on your back.
But then you realize you lost something else.

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[9] O, Moon, My Sweet-heart!

O, Moon, My Sweet-heart!
[LOVE POEMS]

POET: MAHENDRA BHATNAGAR

POEMS

1 Passion And Compassion / 1
2 Affection
3 Willing To Live
4 Passion And Compassion / 2
5 Boon
6 Remembrance
7 Pretext
8 To A Distant Person
9 Perception
10 Conclusion
10 You (1)
11 Symbol
12 You (2)
13 In Vain
14 One Night
15 Suddenly
16 Meeting
17 Touch
18 Face To Face
19 Co-Traveller
20 Once And Once only
21 Touchstone
22 In Chorus
23 Good Omens
24 Even Then
25 An Evening At ‘Tighiraa’ (1)
26 An Evening At ‘Tighiraa’ (2)
27 Life Aspirant
28 To The Condemned Woman
29 A Submission
30 At Midday
31 I Accept
32 Who Are You?
33 Solicitation
34 Accept Me
35 Again After Ages …
36 Day-Dreaming
37 Who Are You?
38 You Embellished In Song

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XI. Guido

You are the Cardinal Acciaiuoli, and you,
Abate Panciatichi—two good Tuscan names:
Acciaiuoli—ah, your ancestor it was
Built the huge battlemented convent-block
Over the little forky flashing Greve
That takes the quick turn at the foot o' the hill
Just as one first sees Florence: oh those days!
'T is Ema, though, the other rivulet,
The one-arched brown brick bridge yawns over,—yes,
Gallop and go five minutes, and you gain
The Roman Gate from where the Ema's bridged:
Kingfishers fly there: how I see the bend
O'erturreted by Certosa which he built,
That Senescal (we styled him) of your House!
I do adjure you, help me, Sirs! My blood
Comes from as far a source: ought it to end
This way, by leakage through their scaffold-planks
Into Rome's sink where her red refuse runs?
Sirs, I beseech you by blood-sympathy,
If there be any vile experiment
In the air,—if this your visit simply prove,
When all's done, just a well-intentioned trick,
That tries for truth truer than truth itself,
By startling up a man, ere break of day,
To tell him he must die at sunset,—pshaw!
That man's a Franceschini; feel his pulse,
Laugh at your folly, and let's all go sleep!
You have my last word,—innocent am I
As Innocent my Pope and murderer,
Innocent as a babe, as Mary's own,
As Mary's self,—I said, say and repeat,—
And why, then, should I die twelve hours hence? I—
Whom, not twelve hours ago, the gaoler bade
Turn to my straw-truss, settle and sleep sound
That I might wake the sooner, promptlier pay
His due of meat-and-drink-indulgence, cross
His palm with fee of the good-hand, beside,
As gallants use who go at large again!
For why? All honest Rome approved my part;
Whoever owned wife, sister, daughter,—nay,
Mistress,—had any shadow of any right
That looks like right, and, all the more resolved,
Held it with tooth and nail,—these manly men
Approved! I being for Rome, Rome was for me.
Then, there's the point reserved, the subterfuge
My lawyers held by, kept for last resource,
Firm should all else,—the impossible fancy!—fail,
And sneaking burgess-spirit win the day.
The knaves! One plea at least would hold,—they laughed,—
One grappling-iron scratch the bottom-rock

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The Undying One- Canto III

'THERE is a sound the autumn wind doth make
Howling and moaning, listlessly and low:
Methinks that to a heart that ought to break
All the earth's voices seem to murmur so.
The visions that crost
Our path in light--
The things that we lost
In the dim dark night--
The faces for which we vainly yearn--
The voices whose tones will not return--
That low sad wailing breeze doth bring
Borne on its swift and rushing wing.
Have ye sat alone when that wind was loud,
And the moon shone dim from the wintry cloud?
When the fire was quench'd on your lonely hearth,
And the voices were still which spoke of mirth?

If such an evening, tho' but one,
It hath been yours to spend alone--
Never,--though years may roll along
Cheer'd by the merry dance and song;
Though you mark'd not that bleak wind's sound before,
When louder perchance it used to roar--
Never shall sound of that wintry gale
Be aught to you but a voice of wail!
So o'er the careless heart and eye
The storms of the world go sweeping by;
But oh! when once we have learn'd to weep,
Well doth sorrow his stern watch keep.
Let one of our airy joys decay--
Let one of our blossoms fade away--
And all the griefs that others share
Seem ours, as well as theirs, to bear:
And the sound of wail, like that rushing wind
Shall bring all our own deep woe to mind!

'I went through the world, but I paused not now
At the gladsome heart and the joyous brow:
I went through the world, and I stay'd to mark
Where the heart was sore, and the spirit dark:
And the grief of others, though sad to see,
Was fraught with a demon's joy to me!

'I saw the inconstant lover come to take
Farewell of her he loved in better days,
And, coldly careless, watch the heart-strings break--
Which beat so fondly at his words of praise.
She was a faded, painted, guilt-bow'd thing,
Seeking to mock the hues of early spring,
When misery and years had done their worst

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The Fight at Eureka Stockade

"Was I at Eureka?" His figure was drawn to a youthful height,
And a flood of proud recollections made the fire in his grey eyes bright;
With pleasure they lighted and glisten'd, tho' the digger was grizzled and old,
And we gathered about him and listen'd while the tale of Eureka he told.

"Ah, those were the days," said the digger, "twas a glorious life that we led,
When fortunes were dug up and lost in a day in the whirl of the years that are dead.
But there's many a veteran now in the land - old knights of the pick and the spade,
Who could tell you in language far stronger than mine 'bout the fight at Eureka Stockade.

"We were all of us young on the diggings in days when the nation had birth -
Light-hearted, and careless, and happy, and the flower of all nations on earth;
But we would have been peaceful an' quiet if the law had but let us alone;
And the fight - let them call it a riot - was due to no fault of our own.

"The creed of our rulers was narrow - they ruled with a merciless hand,
For the mark of the cursed broad arrow was deep in the heart of the land.
They treated us worse than the negroes were treated in slavery's day -
And justice was not for the diggers, as shown by the Bently affray.

"P'r'aps Bently was wrong. If he wasn't the bloodthirsty villain they said,
He was one of the jackals that gather where the carcass of labour is laid.
'Twas b'lieved that he murdered a digger, and they let him off scot-free as well,
And the beacon o' battle was lighted on the night that we burnt his hotel.

"You may talk as you like, but the facts are the same (as you've often been told),
And how could we pay when the license cost more than the worth of the gold?
We heard in the sunlight the clanking o' chains in the hillocks of clay,
And our mates, they were rounded like cattle an' handcuffed an' driven away.

"The troopers were most of them new-chums, with many a gentleman's son;
And ridin' on horseback was easy, and hunting the diggers was fun.
Why, many poor devils who came from the vessel in rags and down-heeled,
Were copped, if they hadn't their license, before they set foot on the field.

"But they roused the hot blood that was in us, and the cry came to roll up at last;
And I tell you that something had got to be done when the diggers rolled up in the past.
Yet they say that in spite o' the talkin' it all might have ended in smoke,
But just at the point o' the crisis, the voice of a quiet man spoke.

" `We have said all our say and it's useless, you must fight or be slaves!' said the voice;
" `If it's fight, and you're wanting a leader, I will lead to the end - take your choice!'
I looked, it was Pete! Peter Lalor! who stood with his face to the skies,
But his figure seemed nobler and taller, and brighter the light of his eyes.

"The blood to his forehead was rushin' as hot as the words from his mouth;
He had come from the wrongs of the old land to see those same wrongs in the South;
The wrongs that had followed our flight from the land where the life of the worker was spoiled.
Still tyranny followed! no wonder the blood of the Irishman boiled.

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Australia's Forgotten Flag

Oh! the Cross of deepest blue,
With the bright stars shining through,
That was raised, my sons, for you,
On a skirt of purest whiteness long ago,
Long ago,
Long ago,
On the field of far Eureka long ago.

Oh! the girl that sewed the silk,
Blue as skies and white as milk,
(Jeanie Scotland – of that ilk)
In the hut there by Eureka long ago –
Years agone –
Auld Lang Syne –
With her young dead digger sweetheart on Eureka long ago.

Oh! the prayer the diggers said,
With the Southern Cross o'erhead!
It is whispered by the dead –
In the graveyard by Eureka whispered still
Whispered still,
Murmured still,
By the shades that haunt Eureka murmured still.

Oh! the brother and the mate,
In the bonds of love and hate,
Ah! the help that came too late,
When the diggers marched from Creswick to the dawn,
Years agone!
Long years gone,
Oh! the midnight march from Creswick to Eureka and the dawn!

Few, and taken by surprise,
Oh! the mist that hid the skies –
And the steel in diggers' eyes –
Sunday morning in September long ago;
And they grapple and they strike –
With the pick-handle and pike –
Twenty minutes freed Australia at Eureka long ago.

For the leader won his crown,
Though the flag was trampled down,
For it rose in Melbourne town,
Oh, it rose in Melbourne city that same year,
With a clear
Ringing cheer
Oh! it floated high in Melbourne that same year.

When the London strikers starved,
While old England's roast was carved,

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George Meredith

Margaret's Bridal Eve

I

The old grey mother she thrummed on her knee:
There is a rose that's ready;
And which of the handsome young men shall it be?
There's a rose that's ready for clipping.

My daughter, come hither, come hither to me:
There is a rose that's ready;
Come, point me your finger on him that you see:
There's a rose that's ready for clipping.

O mother, my mother, it never can be:
There is a rose that's ready;
For I shall bring shame on the man marries me:
There's a rose that's ready for clipping.

Now let your tongue be deep as the sea:
There is a rose that's ready;
And the man'll jump for you, right briskly will he:
There's a rose that's ready for clipping.

Tall Margaret wept bitterly:
There is a rose that's ready;
And as her parent bade did she:
There's a rose that's ready for clipping.

O the handsome young man dropped down on his knee:
There is a rose that's ready;
Pale Margaret gave him her hand, woe's me!
There's a rose that's ready for clipping.

II

O mother, my mother, this thing I must say:
There is a rose in the garden;
Ere he lies on the breast where that other lay:
And the bird sings over the roses.

Now, folly, my daughter, for men are men:
There is a rose in the garden;
You marry them blindfold, I tell you again:
And the bird sings over the roses.

O mother, but when he kisses me!
There is a rose in the garden;
My child, 'tis which shall sweetest be!
And the bird sings over the roses.

O mother, but when I awake in the morn!

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Skeletons

Skeletons in your closet
Itchin to come outside
Messin with your conscience
In a way your face cant hide
Oh things are gettin real funky
Down at the old corral
And its not the skunks that are stinkin
Its the stinkin lies you tell
What did your mama tell you about lies
She said it wasnt polite to tell a white one
What did your daddy tell you about lies
He said one white one turns into a black one
So, its gettin ready to blow
Its gettin ready to show
Somebody shot off at the mouth and
Were gettin ready to know
Its gettin ready to drop
Its gettin ready to shock
Somebody done turned up the heater
Ana its gettin ready to pop
Crevices in your pantry
Now what do we have in here
Havin a daytime nightmare
Has always been your biggest fear
Oh things are gettin real crucial
Up the old wazoo
Yet you cry, why am I the victim?
When the culprits y-o-u
What did your mama tell you about lies
She said it wasnt polite to tell a white one
What did your daddy tell you about lies
He said one white one turns into a black one
So, its gettin ready to blow
Its gettin ready to show
Somebody shot off at the mouth and
Were gettin ready to know
Its gettin ready to drop
Its gettin ready to shock
Somebody done turned up the heater
Ana its gettin ready to pop
Its gettin ready to seep
Youre gettin ready to freak
Somebody done picked up the talk box
Were gettin ready to speak
Its gettin ready to jive
Youre gettin ready to gel
Somebody done gone let the lid off
Were gettin ready to smell
Theyre gettin ready to deal
Youre gettin ready to ill

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Smile For The Camera

I see you standing out there in the hall
You seem so nervous waiting for his call
I focus on you
I reach for the lens
The shutter snaps again
(smile)
Smile for the camera
You know
(smile)
The camera never ever lies
Ive been watching you with
Eager hungry eyes
For sometime
(smile)
I hold my lens in the middle of the night
Visions of you dancing in the strobe light
Up on my wall is a picture or two
Of someone who looks like you
(smile)
Smile for the camera
You know
(smile)
The camera is my wide lens
(smile)
You know the camera is my private eye
I got color transparencies
I got black and white
(smile)
Smile for the camera
You know that
(smile)
Cameras never ever lies
(smile)
Ive been watching you with telephoto eyes
For some time
(smile)
Smile for me
(come on)
Smile for me
(come on)
Smile for me
(come on)
Smile for me
(come on)
Smile for me
(come on)
Smile for me
(come on)
(smile)
Wont you smile for the camera

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Give Your Heart To The Hawks

1 he apples hung until a wind at the equinox,

That heaped the beach with black weed, filled the dry grass

Under the old trees with rosy fruit.

In the morning Fayne Fraser gathered the sound ones into a

basket,

The bruised ones into a pan. One place they lay so thickly
She knelt to reach them.

Her husband's brother passing
Along the broken fence of the stubble-field,
His quick brown eyes took in one moving glance
A little gopher-snake at his feet flowing through the stubble
To gain the fence, and Fayne crouched after apples
With her mop of red hair like a glowing coal
Against the shadow in the garden. The small shapely reptile
Flowed into a thicket of dead thistle-stalks
Around a fence-post, but its tail was not hidden.
The young man drew it all out, and as the coil
Whipped over his wrist, smiled at it; he stepped carefully
Across the sag of the wire. When Fayne looked up
His hand was hidden; she looked over her shoulder
And twitched her sunburnt lips from small white teeth
To answer the spark of malice in his eyes, but turned
To the apples, intent again. Michael looked down
At her white neck, rarely touched by the sun,
But now the cinnabar-colored hair fell off from it;
And her shoulders in the light-blue shirt, and long legs like a boy's
Bare-ankled in blue-jean trousers, the country wear;
He stooped quietly and slipped the small cool snake
Up the blue-denim leg. Fayne screamed and writhed,
Clutching her thigh. 'Michael, you beast.' She stood up
And stroked her leg, with little sharp cries, the slender invader
Fell down her ankle.

Fayne snatched for it and missed;


Michael stood by rejoicing, his rather small

Finely cut features in a dance of delight;

Fayne with one sweep flung at his face

All the bruised and half-spoiled apples in the pan,

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sixth Book

THE English have a scornful insular way
Of calling the French light. The levity
Is in the judgment only, which yet stands;
For say a foolish thing but oft enough,
(And here's the secret of a hundred creeds,–
Men get opinions as boys learn to spell,
By re-iteration chiefly) the same thing
Shall pass at least for absolutely wise,
And not with fools exclusively. And so,
We say the French are light, as if we said
The cat mews, or the milch-cow gives us milk:
Say rather, cats are milked, and milch cows mew,
For what is lightness but inconsequence,
Vague fluctuation 'twixt effect and cause,
Compelled by neither? Is a bullet light,
That dashes from the gun-mouth, while the eye
Winks, and the heart beats one, to flatten itself
To a wafer on the white speck on a wall
A hundred paces off? Even so direct,
So sternly undivertible of aim,
Is this French people.
All idealists
Too absolute and earnest, with them all
The idea of a knife cuts real flesh;
And still, devouring the safe interval
Which Nature placed between the thought and act,
They threaten conflagration to the world
And rush with most unscrupulous logic on
Impossible practice. Set your orators
To blow upon them with loud windy mouths
Through watchword phrases, jest or sentiment,
Which drive our burley brutal English mobs
Like so much chaff, whichever way they blow,–
This light French people will not thus be driven.
They turn indeed; but then they turn upon
Some central pivot of their thought and choice,
And veer out by the force of holding fast.
That's hard to understand, for Englishmen
Unused to abstract questions, and untrained
To trace the involutions, valve by valve,
In each orbed bulb-root of a general truth,
And mark what subtly fine integument
Divides opposed compartments. Freedom's self
Comes concrete to us, to be understood,
Fixed in a feudal form incarnately
To suit our ways of thought and reverence,
The special form, with us, being still the thing.
With us, I say, though I'm of Italy
My mother's birth and grave, by father's grave
And memory; let it be,–a poet's heart

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I Wanna Pick You Up

I love to pick you up
cause youre still a baby to me
Cribs and cradles and bottles and toys
Are part of the joys they bring
I wanna wash your face
And change your clothes and button your shoes
Walk you around and wrestle with you
Then Im gonna make you sing
In the mornin I could wake you up
Feed you breakfast from a little cup
I want to pick you up
Rock you back and forth and make you smile
I want to hold you close for a while
I wanna tickle your feet
Drop you in your little tub
Wash your body and shampoo your hair
Be careful not to sting your eyes
When its night Ill put you in your bed
And Ill bend and kiss ya on your head
I want to pick you up
Rock you back and forth and make you smile
I want to hold you close for a while
Pat pat pat pat pat her on her butt butt
Shes going to sleep be quiet
Pat pat pat pat pat her on her butt
Shes going to sleep
Little baby go to sleep

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Courtship of Miles Standish, The

I
MILES STANDISH

In the Old Colony days, in Plymouth the land of the Pilgrims
To and fro in a room of his simple and primitive dwelling,
Clad in doublet and hose, and boots of Cordovan leather,
Strode, with a martial air, Miles Standish the Puritan Captain.
Buried in thought he seemed, with his hands behind him, and pausing
Ever and anon to behold his glittering weapons of warfare,
Hanging in shining array along the walls of the chamber, --
Cutlass and corselet of steel, and his trusty sword of Damascus,
Curved at the point and inscribed with its mystical Arabic sentence,
While underneath, in a corner, were fowling-piece, musket, and matchlock.
Short of stature he was, but strongly built and athletic,
Broad in the shoulders, deep-chested, with muscles and sinews of iron;
Brown as a nut was his face, but his russet beard was already
Flaked with patches of snow, as hedges sometimes in November.
Near him was seated John Alden, his friend and household companion,
Writing with diligent speed at a table of pine by the window:
Fair-haired, azure-eyed, with delicate Saxon complexion,
Having the dew of his youth, and the beauty thereof, as the captives
Whom Saint Gregory saw, and exclaimed, "Not Angles, but Angels."
Youngest of all was he of the men who came in the Mayflower.

Suddenly breaking the silence, the diligent scribe interrupting,
Spake, in the pride of his heart, Miles Standish the Captain of Plymouth.
"Look at these arms," he said, "the war-like weapons that hang here
Burnished and bright and clean, as if for parade or inspection!
This is the sword of Damascus I fought with in Flanders; this breastplate,
Well I remember the day! once save my life in a skirmish;
Here in front you can see the very dint of the bullet
Fired point-blank at my heart by a Spanish arcabucero.
Had it not been of sheer steel, the forgotten bones of Miles Standish
Would at this moment be mould, in their grave in the Flemish morasses."
Thereupon answered John Alden, but looked not up from his writing:
"Truly the breath of the Lord hath slackened the speed of the bullet;
He in his mercy preserved you, to be our shield and our weapon!"
Still the Captain continued, unheeding the words of the stripling:
"See, how bright they are burnished, as if in an arsenal hanging;
That is because I have done it myself, and not left it to others.
Serve yourself, would you be well served, is an excellent adage;
So I take care of my arms, as you of your pens and your inkhorn.
Then, too, there are my soldiers, my great, invincible army,
Twelve men, all equipped, having each his rest and his matchlock,
Eighteen shillings a month, together with diet and pillage,
And, like Caesar, I know the name of each of my soldiers!"
This he said with a smile, that danced in his eyes, as the sunbeams
Dance on the waves of the sea, and vanish again in a moment.
Alden laughed as he wrote, and still the Captain continued:
"Look! you can see from this window my brazen howitzer planted

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Get Ready

You think you know but you have no clue
No idea
You dont know g
I mean you really really dont know g
N****s get ready its time to explore
The world of the real one
N****s get ready
N****s get ready its time to explore
The world of the real one
N****s get ready
Hell yeah ya better get ready
Whats cracka lackin
Its the big dog
Im in the hizzle with my nizzle gin u izzle
And I mean from playa to playa
Its only right if I gots to pass the throne
I gots to pass the throne
I gots to pass it to my nephew g
Hes bonafide, qualified, and the ladies would definitely testify
Matter fact g
Holla at them nephew
Fa sho
Pass the hennessey
Im about to get bent
Toss the box of blunts
Let me roll the upper lip
Dont make me pop thangs
Cause I gets off the chain
You dont know me
But youre bout to
Its the real me
And I thought you knew
N****s get ready its time to explore
The world of the real one
N****s get ready (he coming at you full speed baby, but with a slow motion twist)
N****s get ready its time to explore
The world of the real one
N****s get ready
N****s get ready
I mean I mean ginuwine is so official
Like a referee with a whistle
Better yet like a gangsta with a pistol
So you n****s bettter get ready
Yeah I know
Matter fact g
Give it em doggy style
I know they aint ready but they got to get ready
You do you I do me
And we keep it like a g
Pass me that hennessey

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Get Ready (feat. Snoop Dogg & The Rock)

Album: Senior
(feat. Snoop Dogg & The Rook)
You think you know but you have no clue
No idea
You don't know G
I mean you really really don't Know G
N****s get ready it's time to explore
The world of the real one
N****s get ready
N****s get ready it's time to explore
The world of the real one
N****s get ready
Hell Yeah ya better get ready
What's cracka lackin
It's the big dog
I'm in the hizzle with my nizzle Gin U izzle
And I mean from playa to playa
It's only right if I gots to pass the throne
I gots to pass the throne
I gots to pass it to my nephew G
He's bonafide, Qualified, and the ladies would definitely testify
Matter fact G
Holla at them Nephew
Fa Sho
Pass the Hennessey
I'm about to get bent
Toss the box of blunts
Let me roll the upper lip
Don't make me pop thangs
Cause I gets off the chain
You don't know me
But you're bout to
It's the real me
And I thought you knew
N****s get ready it's time to explore
The world of the real one
N****s get ready (he coming at you full speed baby, but with a slow motion twist)
N****s get ready it's time to explore
The world of the real one
N****s get ready
N****s get ready
I mean I mean Ginuwine is so official
Like a referee with a whistle
Better yet like a gangsta with a pistol
So you n****s bettter get ready
Yeah I know
Matter fact G
Give it 'em doggy style
I know they ain't ready but they got to get ready
You do you I do me

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The House Of Dust: Complete

I.

The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

And the wandering one, the inquisitive dreamer of dreams,
The eternal asker of answers, stands in the street,
And lifts his palms for the first cold ghost of rain.
The purple lights leap down the hill before him.
The gorgeous night has begun again.

'I will ask them all, I will ask them all their dreams,
I will hold my light above them and seek their faces.
I will hear them whisper, invisible in their veins . . .'
The eternal asker of answers becomes as the darkness,
Or as a wind blown over a myriad forest,
Or as the numberless voices of long-drawn rains.

We hear him and take him among us, like a wind of music,
Like the ghost of a music we have somewhere heard;
We crowd through the streets in a dazzle of pallid lamplight,
We pour in a sinister wave, ascend a stair,
With laughter and cry, and word upon murmured word;
We flow, we descend, we turn . . . and the eternal dreamer
Moves among us like light, like evening air . . .

Good-night! Good-night! Good-night! We go our ways,
The rain runs over the pavement before our feet,
The cold rain falls, the rain sings.
We walk, we run, we ride. We turn our faces
To what the eternal evening brings.

Our hands are hot and raw with the stones we have laid,
We have built a tower of stone high into the sky,
We have built a city of towers.

Our hands are light, they are singing with emptiness.
Our souls are light; they have shaken a burden of hours . . .
What did we build it for? Was it all a dream? . . .
Ghostly above us in lamplight the towers gleam . . .
And after a while they will fall to dust and rain;
Or else we will tear them down with impatient hands;
And hew rock out of the earth, and build them again.


II.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Courtship of Miles Standish

I
MILES STANDISH

In the Old Colony days, in Plymouth the land of the Pilgrims
To and fro in a room of his simple and primitive dwelling,
Clad in doublet and hose, and boots of Cordovan leather,
Strode, with a martial air, Miles Standish the Puritan Captain.
Buried in thought he seemed, with his hands behind him, and pausing
Ever and anon to behold his glittering weapons of warfare,
Hanging in shining array along the walls of the chamber, --
Cutlass and corselet of steel, and his trusty sword of Damascus,
Curved at the point and inscribed with its mystical Arabic sentence,
While underneath, in a corner, were fowling-piece, musket, and matchlock.
Short of stature he was, but strongly built and athletic,
Broad in the shoulders, deep-chested, with muscles and sinews of iron;
Brown as a nut was his face, but his russet beard was already
Flaked with patches of snow, as hedges sometimes in November.
Near him was seated John Alden, his friend and household companion,
Writing with diligent speed at a table of pine by the window:
Fair-haired, azure-eyed, with delicate Saxon complexion,
Having the dew of his youth, and the beauty thereof, as the captives
Whom Saint Gregory saw, and exclaimed, "Not Angles, but Angels."
Youngest of all was he of the men who came in the Mayflower.

Suddenly breaking the silence, the diligent scribe interrupting,
Spake, in the pride of his heart, Miles Standish the Captain of Plymouth.
"Look at these arms," he said, "the war-like weapons that hang here
Burnished and bright and clean, as if for parade or inspection!
This is the sword of Damascus I fought with in Flanders; this breastplate,
Well I remember the day! once save my life in a skirmish;
Here in front you can see the very dint of the bullet
Fired point-blank at my heart by a Spanish arcabucero.
Had it not been of sheer steel, the forgotten bones of Miles Standish
Would at this moment be mould, in their grave in the Flemish morasses."
Thereupon answered John Alden, but looked not up from his writing:
"Truly the breath of the Lord hath slackened the speed of the bullet;
He in his mercy preserved you, to be our shield and our weapon!"
Still the Captain continued, unheeding the words of the stripling:
"See, how bright they are burnished, as if in an arsenal hanging;
That is because I have done it myself, and not left it to others.
Serve yourself, would you be well served, is an excellent adage;
So I take care of my arms, as you of your pens and your inkhorn.
Then, too, there are my soldiers, my great, invincible army,
Twelve men, all equipped, having each his rest and his matchlock,
Eighteen shillings a month, together with diet and pillage,
And, like Caesar, I know the name of each of my soldiers!"
This he said with a smile, that danced in his eyes, as the sunbeams
Dance on the waves of the sea, and vanish again in a moment.
Alden laughed as he wrote, and still the Captain continued:
"Look! you can see from this window my brazen howitzer planted

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The Loves of the Angels

'Twas when the world was in its prime,
When the fresh stars had just begun
Their race of glory and young Time
Told his first birth-days by the sun;
When in the light of Nature's dawn
Rejoicing, men and angels met
On the high hill and sunny lawn,-
Ere sorrow came or Sin had drawn
'Twixt man and heaven her curtain yet!
When earth lay nearer to the skies
Than in these days of crime and woe,
And mortals saw without surprise
In the mid-air angelic eyes
Gazing upon this world below.

Alas! that Passion should profane
Even then the morning of the earth!
That, sadder still, the fatal stain
Should fall on hearts of heavenly birth-
And that from Woman's love should fall
So dark a stain, most sad of all!

One evening, in that primal hour,
On a hill's side where hung the ray
Of sunset brightening rill and bower,
Three noble youths conversing lay;
And, as they lookt from time to time
To the far sky where Daylight furled
His radiant wing, their brows sublime
Bespoke them of that distant world-
Spirits who once in brotherhood
Of faith and bliss near ALLA stood,
And o'er whose cheeks full oft had blown
The wind that breathes from ALLA'S throne,
Creatures of light such as still play,
Like motes in sunshine, round the Lord,
And thro' their infinite array
Transmit each moment, night and day,
The echo of His luminous word!

Of Heaven they spoke and, still more oft,
Of the bright eyes that charmed them thence;
Till yielding gradual to the soft
And balmy evening's influence-
The silent breathing of the flowers-
The melting light that beamed above,
As on their first, fond, erring hours,-
Each told the story of his love,
The history of that hour unblest,
When like a bird from its high nest

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Are You Ready Girl?

Well in this new love that youve found,
Are you positive, are you sure,
And are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
Though its fun you talk about[? ],
Its the night life you explore.
And are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
cause youre living with a man
Who will find no understanding.
Do you mind if I layed down and cried?
Do you ever know the way,
That I feel for you each day?
So are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
Are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
Are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
Are you ready?
Are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
Hell buy you diamonds, hell buy you rings,
Hell buy your time, hell buy you sin.[? ]
So are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
Hell keep you laughing for a while,
Then hell leave you with a smile.
So are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
cause youre living with a man
Who will find no understanding.
Do you mind if I layed down and cried?
Do you ever know the way,
That I feel for you each day?
So are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
Are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
Are you ready girl?
Are you ready?
Are you ready?
Are you ready girl?
Are you ready?

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VI. Giuseppe Caponsacchi

Answer you, Sirs? Do I understand aright?
Have patience! In this sudden smoke from hell,—
So things disguise themselves,—I cannot see
My own hand held thus broad before my face
And know it again. Answer you? Then that means
Tell over twice what I, the first time, told
Six months ago: 't was here, I do believe,
Fronting you same three in this very room,
I stood and told you: yet now no one laughs,
Who then … nay, dear my lords, but laugh you did,
As good as laugh, what in a judge we style
Laughter—no levity, nothing indecorous, lords!
Only,—I think I apprehend the mood:
There was the blameless shrug, permissible smirk,
The pen's pretence at play with the pursed mouth,
The titter stifled in the hollow palm
Which rubbed the eyebrow and caressed the nose,
When I first told my tale: they meant, you know,
"The sly one, all this we are bound believe!
"Well, he can say no other than what he says.
"We have been young, too,—come, there's greater guilt!
"Let him but decently disembroil himself,
"Scramble from out the scrape nor move the mud,—
"We solid ones may risk a finger-stretch!
And now you sit as grave, stare as aghast
As if I were a phantom: now 't is—"Friend,
"Collect yourself!"—no laughing matter more—
"Counsel the Court in this extremity,
"Tell us again!"—tell that, for telling which,
I got the jocular piece of punishment,
Was sent to lounge a little in the place
Whence now of a sudden here you summon me
To take the intelligence from just—your lips!
You, Judge Tommati, who then tittered most,—
That she I helped eight months since to escape
Her husband, was retaken by the same,
Three days ago, if I have seized your sense,—
(I being disallowed to interfere,
Meddle or make in a matter none of mine,
For you and law were guardians quite enough
O' the innocent, without a pert priest's help)—
And that he has butchered her accordingly,
As she foretold and as myself believed,—
And, so foretelling and believing so,
We were punished, both of us, the merry way:
Therefore, tell once again the tale! For what?
Pompilia is only dying while I speak!
Why does the mirth hang fire and miss the smile?
My masters, there's an old book, you should con
For strange adventures, applicable yet,

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But For Being Lost

As black imbued black, so was rendered the pitch of darkness
That befogged this godforsaken yard of graves -
And too the dank, ‘til now forgotten chapel that
Did little to grace these forlorn grounds.

Yet here stood I, seemingly first to tread this weed-ridden soil
Since times of yore when life had erstwhile blessed this land.
But for being lost in solitude - as does a country wanderer -
Would I not have happened across this morbid landscape.

And though detail rendered barely visible to my naked eye –
For desperately had the moon tried to break through this jet fog –
A sense of something suffused the place.
Was it those tormented spirits desperate for absolution,
Or perhaps the gargoyles teasing me on whether they be of stone or living flesh?

I was drawn to the oak door as it enticingly opened in passage for me.
The organ called from down the nave and through the pale orange of unsteady light
- that which could only be mustered from the few discoloured, moribund candles.
Could I also hear a distant choir of stern voices, as if in effort to scold me?

As I approached, those tarnished pipes came into view.
Standing erect with gothic pride, they bore down on me with patronising air -
Exaggerated by the disjointed sneering of minor chords,
As if to state that insignificant I had henceforth no grant of solace.

In answer, I steadied my rocking legs and racing mind to wonder of this scenario.
And in doing so, I found myself waking from a cramped dream –
Whence the message dawned: mine had been such a claustrophobic life.

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2009


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