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Tom Hanks

It's always a combination of physics and poetry that I find inspiring. It's hard to wrap your head around things like the Hubble scope.

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John Keats

Sleep And Poetry

As I lay in my bed slepe full unmete
Was unto me, but why that I ne might
Rest I ne wist, for there n'as erthly wight
[As I suppose] had more of hertis ese
Than I, for I n'ad sicknesse nor disese. ~ Chaucer


What is more gentle than a wind in summer?
What is more soothing than the pretty hummer
That stays one moment in an open flower,
And buzzes cheerily from bower to bower?
What is more tranquil than a musk-rose blowing
In a green island, far from all men's knowing?
More healthful than the leafiness of dales?
More secret than a nest of nightingales?
More serene than Cordelia's countenance?
More full of visions than a high romance?
What, but thee Sleep? Soft closer of our eyes!
Low murmurer of tender lullabies!
Light hoverer around our happy pillows!
Wreather of poppy buds, and weeping willows!
Silent entangler of a beauty's tresses!
Most happy listener! when the morning blesses
Thee for enlivening all the cheerful eyes
That glance so brightly at the new sun-rise.

But what is higher beyond thought than thee?
Fresher than berries of a mountain tree?
More strange, more beautiful, more smooth, more regal,
Than wings of swans, than doves, than dim-seen eagle?
What is it? And to what shall I compare it?
It has a glory, and naught else can share it:
The thought thereof is awful, sweet, and holy,
Chasing away all worldliness and folly;
Coming sometimes like fearful claps of thunder,
Or the low rumblings earth's regions under;
And sometimes like a gentle whispering
Of all the secrets of some wond'rous thing
That breathes about us in the vacant air;
So that we look around with prying stare,
Perhaps to see shapes of light, aerial limning,
And catch soft floatings from a faint-heard hymning;
To see the laurel wreath, on high suspended,
That is to crown our name when life is ended.
Sometimes it gives a glory to the voice,
And from the heart up-springs, rejoice! rejoice!
Sounds which will reach the Framer of all things,
And die away in ardent mutterings.

No one who once the glorious sun has seen,
And all the clouds, and felt his bosom clean
For his great Maker's presence, but must know
What 'tis I mean, and feel his being glow:
Therefore no insult will I give his spirit,
By telling what he sees from native merit.

O Poesy! for thee I hold my pen
That am not yet a glorious denizen
Of thy wide heaven- Should I rather kneel
Upon some mountain-top until I feel
A glowing splendour round about me hung,
And echo back the voice of thine own tongue?
O Poesy! for thee I grasp my pen
That am not yet a glorious denizen
Of thy wide heaven; yet, to my ardent prayer,
Yield from thy sanctuary some clear air,
Smooth'd for intoxication by the breath
Of flowering bays, that I may die a death
Of luxury, and my young spirit follow
The morning sun-beams to the great Apollo
Like a fresh sacrifice; or, if I can bear
The o'erwhelming sweets, 'twill bring to me the fair
Visions of all places: a bowery nook
Will be elysium- an eternal book
Whence I may copy many a lovely saying
About the leaves, and flowers- about the playing
Of nymphs in woods, and fountains; and the shade
Keeping a silence round a sleeping maid;
And many a verse from so strange influence
That we must ever wonder how, and whence
It came. Also imaginings will hover
Round my fire-side, and haply there discover
Vistas of solemn beauty, where I'd wander
In happy silence, like the clear Meander
Through its lone vales; and where I found a spot
Of awfuller shade, or an enchanted grot,
Or a green hill o'erspread with chequer'd dress
Of flowers, and fearful from its loveliness,
Write on my tablets all that was permitted,
All that was for our human senses fitted.
Then the events of this wide world I'd seize
Like a strong giant, and my spirit teaze
Till at its shoulders it should proudly see
Wings to find out an immortality.

Stop and consider! life is but a day;
A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way
From a tree's summit; a poor Indian's sleep
While his boat hastens to the monstrous steep
Of Montmorenci. Why so sad a moan?
Life is the rose's hope while yet unblown;
The reading of an ever-changing tale;
The light uplifting of a maiden's veil;
A pigeon tumbling in clear summer air;
A laughing school-boy, without grief or care,
Riding the springy branches of an elm.

O for ten years, that I may overwhelm
Myself in poesy; so I may do the deed
That my own soul has to itself decreed.
Then will I pass the countries that I see
In long perspective, and continually
Taste their pure fountains. First the realm I'll pass
Of Flora, and old Pan: sleep in the grass,
Feed upon apples red, and strawberries,
And choose each pleasure that my fancy sees;
Catch the white-handed nymphs in shady places,
To woo sweet kisses from averted faces,-
Play with their fingers, touch their shoulders white
Into a pretty shrinking with a bite
As hard as lips can make it: till agreed,
A lovely tale of human life we'll read.
And one will teach a tame dove how it best
May fan the cool air gently o'er my rest;
Another, bending o'er her nimble tread,
Will set a green robe floating round her head,
And still will dance with ever varied ease,
Smiling upon the flowers and the trees:
Another will entice me on, and on
Through almond blossoms and rich cinnamon;
Till in the bosom of a leafy world
We rest in silence, like two gems upcurl'd
In the recesses of a pearly shell.

And can I ever bid these joys farewell?
Yes, I must pass them for a nobler life,
Where I may find the agonies, the strife
Of human hearts: for lo! I see afar,
O'ersailing the blue cragginess, a car
And steeds with streamy manes- the charioteer
Looks out upon the winds with glorious fear:
And now the numerous tramplings quiver lightly
Along a huge cloud's ridge; and now with sprightly
Wheel downward come they into fresher skies,
Tipt round with silver from the sun's bright eyes.
Still downward with capacious whirl they glide;
And now I see them on the green-hill's side
In breezy rest among the nodding stalks.
The charioteer with wond'rous gesture talks
To the trees and mountains; and there soon appear
Shapes of delight, of mystery, and fear,
Passing along before a dusky space
Made by some mighty oaks: as they would chase
Some ever- fleeting music on they sweep.
Lo! how they murmur, laugh, and smile, and weep:
Some with upholden hand and mouth severe;
Some with their faces muffled to the ear
Between their arms; some, clear in youthful bloom,
Go glad and smilingly athwart the gloom;
Some looking back, and some with upward gaze;
Yes, thousands in a thousand different ways
Flit onward- now a lovely wreath of girls
Dancing their sleek hair into tangled curls;
And now broad wings. Most awfully intent
The driver of those steeds is forward bent,
And seems to listen: O that I might know
All that he writes with such a hurrying glow.

The visions all are fled- the car is fled
Into the light of heaven, and in their stead
A sense of real things comes doubly strong,
And, like a muddy stream, would bear along
My soul to nothingness: but I will strive
Against all doubtings, and will keep alive
The thought of that same chariot, and the strange
Journey it went.
Is there so small a range
In the present strength of manhood, that the high
Imagination cannot freely fly
As she was wont of old? prepare her steeds,
Paw up against the light, and do strange deeds
Upon the clouds? Has she not shown us all?
From the clear space of ether, to the small
Breath of new buds unfolding? From the meaning
Of Jove's large eye-brow, to the tender greening
Of April meadows? Here her altar shone,
E'en in this isle; and who could paragon
The fervid choir that lifted up a noise
Of harmony, to where it aye will poise
Its mighty self of convoluting sound,
Huge as a planet, and like that roll round,
Eternally around a dizzy void?
Ay, in those days the Muses were nigh cloy'd
With honors; nor had any other care
Than to sing out and sooth their wavy hair.

Could all this be forgotten? Yes, a schism
Nurtured by foppery and barbarism,
Made great Apollo blush for this his land.
Men were thought wise who could not understand
His glories: with a puling infant's force
They sway'd about upon a rocking horse,
And thought it Pegasus. Ah dismal soul'd!
The winds of heaven blew, the ocean roll'd
Its gathering waves- ye felt it not. The blue
Bared its eternal bosom, and the dew
Of summer nights collected still to make
The morning precious: beauty was awake!
Why were ye not awake? But ye were dead
To things ye knew not of,- were closely wed
To musty laws lined out with wretched rule
And compass vile: so that ye taught a school
Of dolts to smooth, inlay, and clip, and fit,
Till, like the certain wands of Jacob's wit,
Their verses tallied. Easy was the task:
A thousand handicraftsmen wore the mask
Of Poesy. Ill-fated, impious race!
That blasphemed the bright Lyrist to his face,
And did not know it,- no, they went about,
Holding a poor, decrepid standard out
Mark'd with most flimsy mottos, and in large
The name of one Boileau!

O ye whose charge
It is to hover round our pleasant hills!
Whose congregated majesty so fills
My boundly reverence, that I cannot trace
Your hallowed names, in this unholy place,
So near those common folk; did not their shames
Affright you? Did our old lamenting Thames
Delight you? Did ye never cluster round
Delicious Avon, with a mournful sound,
And weep? Or did ye wholly bid adieu
To regions where no more the laurel grew?
Or did ye stay to give a welcoming
To some lone spirits who could proudly sing
Their youth away, and die? 'Twas even so:
But let me think away those times of woe:
Now 'tis a fairer season; ye have breathed
Rich benedictions o'er us; ye have wreathed
Fresh garlands: for sweet music has been heard
In many places;- some has been upstirr'd
From out its crystal dwelling in a lake,
By a swan's ebon bill; from a thick brake,
Nested and quiet in a valley mild,
Bubbles a pipe; fine sounds are floating wild
About the earth: happy are ye and glad.

These things are doubtless: yet in truth we've had
Strange thunders from the potency of song;
Mingled indeed with what is sweet and strong,
From majesty: but in clear truth the themes
Are ugly clubs, the Poets' Polyphemes
Disturbing the grand sea. A drainless shower
Of light is poesy; 'tis the supreme of power;
'Tis might half slumb'ring on its own right arm.
The very archings of her eye-lids charm
A thousand willing agents to obey,
And still she governs with the mildest sway:
But strength alone though of the Muses born
Is like a fallen angel: trees uptorn,
Darkness, and worms, and shrouds, and sepulchres
Delight it; for it feeds upon the burrs,
And thorns of life; forgetting the great end
Of poesy, that it should be a friend
To sooth the cares, and lift the thoughts of man.

Yet I rejoice: a myrtle fairer than
E'er grew in Paphos, from the bitter weeds
Lifts its sweet head into the air, and feeds
A silent space with ever sprouting green.
All tenderest birds there find a pleasant screen,
Creep through the shade with jaunty fluttering,
Nibble the little cupped flowers and sing.
Then let us clear away the choking thorns
From round its gentle stem; let the young fawns,
Yeaned in after times, when we are flown,
Find a fresh sward beneath it, overgrown
With simple flowers: let there nothing be
More boisterous than a lover's bended knee;
Nought more ungentle than the placid look
Of one who leans upon a closed book;
Nought more untranquil than the grassy slopes
Between two hills. All hail delightful hopes!
As she was wont, th' imagination
Into most lovely labyrinths will be gone,
And they shall be accounted poet kings
Who simply tell the most heart-easing things.
O may these joys be ripe before I die.

Will not some say that I presumptuously
Have spoken? that from hastening disgrace
'Twere better far to hide my foolish face?
That whining boyhood should with reverence bow
Ere the dread thunderbolt could reach? How!
If I do hide myself, it sure shall be
In the very fane, the light of Poesy:
If I do fall, at least I will be laid
Beneath the silence of a poplar shade;
And over me the grass shall be smooth shaven;
And there shall be a kind memorial graven.
But off Despondence! miserable bane!
They should not know thee, who athirst to gain
A noble end, are thirsty every hour.
What though I am not wealthy in the dower
Of spanning wisdom; though I do not know
The shiftings of the mighty winds that blow
Hither and thither all the changing thoughts
Of man: though no great minist'ring reason sorts
Out the dark mysteries of human souls
To clear conceiving: yet there ever rolls
A vast idea before me, and I glean
Therefrom my liberty; thence too I've seen
The end and aim of Poesy. 'Tis clear
As anything most true; as that the year
Is made of the four seasons- manifest
As a large cross, some old cathedral's crest,
Lifted to the white clouds. Therefore should I
Be but the essence of deformity,
A coward, did my very eye-lids wink
At speaking out what I have dared to think.
Ah! rather let me like a madman run
Over some precipice; let the hot sun
Melt my Dedalian wings, and drive me down
Convuls'd and headlong! Stay! an inward frown
Of conscience bids me be more calm awhile.
An ocean dim, sprinkled with many an isle,
Spreads awfully before me. How much toil!
How many days! what desperate turmoil!
Ere I can have explored its widenesses.
Ah, what a task! upon my bended knees,
I could unsay those- no, impossible!
Impossible!

For sweet relief I'll dwell
On humbler thoughts, and let this strange assay
Begun in gentleness die so away.
E'en now all tumult from my bosom fades:
I turn full hearted to the friendly aids
That smooth the path of honour; brotherhood,
And friendliness the nurse of mutual good.
The hearty grasp that sends a pleasant sonnet
Into the brain ere one can think upon it;
The silence when some rhymes are coming out;
And when they're come, the very pleasant rout:
The message certain to be done to-morrow.
'Tis perhaps as well that it should be to borrow
Some precious book from out its snug retreat,
To cluster round it when we next shall meet.
Scarce can I scribble on; for lovely airs
Are fluttering round the room like doves in pairs;
Many delights of that glad day recalling,
When first my senses caught their tender falling.
And with these airs come forms of elegance
Stooping their shoulders o'er a horse's prance,
Careless, and grand-fingers soft and round
Parting luxuriant curls;- and the swift bound
Of Bacchus from his chariot, when his eye
Made Ariadne's cheek look blushingly.
Thus I remember all the pleasant flow
Of words at opening a portfolio.

Things such as these are ever harbingers
To trains of peaceful images: the stirs
Of a swan's neck unseen among the rushes:
A linnet starting all about the bushes:
A butterfly, with golden wings broad parted,
Nestling a rose, convuls'd as though it smarted
With over pleasure- many, many more,
Might I indulge at large in all my store
Of luxuries: yet I must not forget
Sleep, quiet with his poppy coronet:
For what there may be worthy in these rhymes
I partly owe to him: and thus, the chimes
Of friendly voices had just given place
To as sweet a silence, when I 'gan retrace
The pleasant day, upon a couch at ease.
It was a poet's house who keeps the keys
Of pleasure's temple. Round about were hung
The glorious features of the bards who sung
In other ages- cold and sacred busts
Smiled at each other. Happy he who trusts
To clear Futurity his darling fame!
Then there were fauns and satyrs taking aim
At swelling apples with a frisky leap
And reaching fingers, 'mid a luscious heap
Of vine-leaves. Then there rose to view a fane
Of liny marble, and thereto a train
Of nymphs approaching fairly o'er the sward:
One, loveliest, holding her white hand toward
The dazzling sun-rise: two sisters sweet
Bending their graceful figures till they meet
Over the trippings of a little child:
And some are hearing, eagerly, the wild
Thrilling liquidity of dewy piping.
See, in another picture, nymphs are wiping
Cherishingly Diana's timorous limbs;-
A fold of lawny mantle dabbling swims
At the bath's edge, and keeps a gentle motion
With the subsiding crystal: as when ocean
Heaves calmly its broad swelling smoothness o'er
Its rocky marge, and balances once more
The patient weeds; that now unshent by foam
Feel all about their undulating home.

Sappho's meek head was there half smiling down
At nothing; just as though the earnest frown
Of over thinking had that moment gone
From off her brow, and left her all alone.

Great Alfred's too, with anxious, pitying eyes,
As if he always listened to the sighs
Of the goaded world; and Kosciusko's worn
By horrid suffrance- mightily forlorn.
Petrarch, outstepping from the shady green,
Starts at the sight of Laura; nor can wean
His eyes from her sweet face. Most happy they!
For over them was seen a free display
Of out-spread wings, and from between them shone
The face of Poesy: from off her throne
She overlook'd things that I scarce could tell.
The very sense of where I was might well
Keep Sleep aloof: but more than that there came
Thought after thought to nourish up the flame
Within my breast; so that the morning light
Surprised me even from a sleepless night;
And up I rose refresh'd, and glad, and gay,
Resolving to begin that very day
These lines; and howsoever they be done,
I leave them as a father does his son.

THE END

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Nadya

The beats and the drum of a floating song,
And from the land of the rising sun to meet you;
But greeted by the applause and the love of Nadya!
For she was lonely in her garden of love asleep when,
The heavy rains dropped in.

Strangers and beggars,
The shelter of love is next to you;
But i wonder if i could easily dent you with my love,
For the heavens do know you as Nadya.

Of the joy that i have for you and,
Of the household name of your love around;
But like the cirling stream of the ocean,
I will always remember you my love.

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Takin The Time

Youre working overtime
You know it doesnt do you no good
Youre slaving away for things that you need
Roof is falling down on round your head
Youre backed against the wall
Living your whole damn life
At someone elses beck and call
On the edge of the [night/knife]
Aaaaahhhh, come on
Come in, youre bruised and battered
You need some time to heal
Step out of the bullet train
Set yourself down, I know how you feel
Slow down your racing pulses
Overthrow all your of fears
For an hour, be a simple man
And Ill be a good set of ears
Aaaaahhhh, come on
Chorus
Takin the time to look
Takin the time to feel
[when/will] you rewrite your open book
Allow the scars to heal
Takin the time to look
Takin the time to feel
[when/will] you rewrite your open book
Allow the scars to heal
Youre movin heaven and earth
And straining every nerve
Always working double time
Burn the midnight oil down to the last [resort/resolve/result]
You cant go your [snowy/showy room] anymore
Wind your smoked glass windows down
If you cant handle opening the door
Aaaaaahhhh, come on
Chorus
Takin the time to look
Takin the time to feel
[when/will] you rewrite your open book
Allow the scars to heal
Takin the time to look
Takin the time to feel
[when/will] you rewrite your open book
Allow the scars to heal

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Patrick White

You Lied To Me Once

You lied to me once
and then you lied again about why you lied.
And I couldn’t tell if you were a hall of mirrors
who thought you could warp the truth like space
and bend the light to your way of shining
or just liked talking out of your ears
like the sea in a seashell
with multiple piercings along its nacreous lobes
like a Stonehenge of silver moon skulls
you kept like a calendar
to mark the best night of the year
to start planting things
in the hearts of the lovers
whose flesh you turned over like soil.
You said you were a witch
and I was your broomstick
but you didn’t mind
if I came along for the ride.
And though it felt foolish
to fancy myself a warlock
I’m intrigued
by the cosmology of dark matter
and alien planets with exotic atmospheres
I could explore like a runaway space probe
for signs of my own kind of life
and ok when in Rome
do as the Romans don’t
and throwing the stars over my left shoulder
like the spilled salt of an older radiance
wrapped your night around me
like the cloak and chrysalis of a warlock
and hoped I wasn’t defaming anyone
in the name of what you wanted me to be.
Your body was a unified field theory
and when I first lay down beside it
there was nothing in the universe
it couldn’t explain
and in that menacing shrine
of frankincense and black candles
you called a bedroom
we broke the oaths we’d made
to the thousand swords
that came between us like reasons not to.
And when I kissed your emergency mouth
I could taste the earthly taboo
on the lips
of your celestial fortune-cookie
like a full eclipse of the harvest moon.
We sowed the dragon’s teeth
and renewed the flesh of the skeletons
that arose from the dead.
And in front of the fireplace
where we made love on the Golden Fleece
I remember how you used to burn the prophets
who came dressed up in our feathers
as if we were waterbirds
and not the spawn of a phoenix
on the pyres of our ancestral demons
our mouths speaking in tongues
to our bodies
as if they’d just been discovered
like the native language of all Rosetta Stones
in a desert of bewildered stars
urgently trying to tell us something
for our ears only.
Dark raptures that didn’t sweat the details
of the unreal mirages we exorcised
through the pores of our skin
like the hot tears of lesser elixirs
that tried to palm themselves off
like snakeoil antidotes
to the serpentine love potions of original sin
though the consequences be damned for it ever after amen.
We knew a wonder thats older than God
and deeper than night.
And I swear there were times I couldn’t tell
if I were shagging a witch
or in mystic connubium
with the eclipse of a hidden dakini
on the other side of the black mirror
of the mind I left behind me
like a note to reality
to go looking for itself without me.
And apparently it did
for the thirteen lunar months
I was with you at least.
And thats not to say I have any regrets.
I can’t remember you
without hungering
for the dark fruit of the dead
you arrayed like the feast of your body
out on black satin sheets
that glistened like the skin of a snake pit
to summon Orpheus down into the underworld
like an oracular succubus
that liked to be possessed
by the picture-music of prophetic skulls
in the same key as her G-spot.
I was Hermes Trismegistus the Thrice Blessed
and you were all the occult sciences of the flesh.
Your esoteric eroticism
isn’t the kind of spell
you can cast off all that easily
or pass on to a willing novitiate
uprooting weeds in a herb garden
of untried remedies.
And lust has always been harder to heal than love.
The warlock thing wore off like a cult
once you started
handing out black kool-aid
from the fountain of youth.
I never really understood
why you thought
there was a lock on my heart
when I’ve always thought of it
as the missing link in the food chain
but you did
and its still oxymoronic as hell to me
to remember you sitting
in a rhombus of sunlight
on the hardwood floor of the living room
reciting an imported mantra
like a repeating decimal
that would eventually crack the code
to the vault where death kept its darkest jewels.
I used to watch you grind your teeth
like kernels of corn
on the lingam and yoni
of the stone age cosmic eggs
you tried to break like koans.
I still don’t know what it was
you were looking for
and I still deny
I was Ali Baba or anyone
of the forty-thieves
and there was no Open Sesame
that could have opened the cave any wider
than I’d already opened it to you.
And though I don’t mind
taking a bath in my own grave once in a while
to rinse the dirt of life off me
I told you from the very beginning
the tomb was empty
and I didn’t know who it belonged to
but if you wanted to believe you were Mary Magdalene
I’d try to relate.
But you let an open gate come between us
and the mirages evaporated
and the oases returned to their watersheds
the wishing wells dried up
and though I know you wanted
to breach the ultimate taboo with Jesus
and all I could manage to do
was get it up like Lazarus
I knew it was time
to add a little more sweetgrass
to the medicine bags of the scapegoat
and drive myself out into the wilderness
like an unwilling ascetic
to avoid being tempted by Jesus.
It gets lonely out here
but I still have dirty dreams of you
that puts the religious pornography
of St. Anthony’s hard drive to shame.
I’ve been the scapegoat for a lot of things
not of my doing but who knows
maybe not undeservedly
but I do know
when you place the burden of your own sins
like a lot of heavy judgement
on the backs of the irrelevantly innocent
they take their ostrakons out into the desert
like pieces of a broken urn
and in the vas hermeticum of their ashes
reintegrate themselves
into Renaissance masters of all evil.
The bestial becomes personified
by the sophisticated features and dark clarity
of intriguing familiars like Azazel
flying the Satanic banner of his bloodstream
from the horned crescents of the moon.
And the payback can be more illuminating
in its own dark way
than a mystic black hole in a hood
on the via negativa to enlightenment
or anyone of those myopic jewels you were looking for
like eyes that could see better in the dark than you could
even when the sun shone at midnight.
I’ve heard it said
that the devil’s last trick
is to prove that she doesn’t exist.
And its hard to imagine
a darkness deeper than that.
And though we’re overly discrete
when we encounter each other these days
as the Quran says
evil is separation
and knowing what I know of you
how could I doubt it?
Just the same
given you can only see
as far into the dark
as the light you’ve been given to go by.
You into burning your bridges behind you
and me into crossing the ones I see ahead.
The way we were in bed together.
For every demon that jumped from heaven
an angel rose from hell.
The zeniths and nadirs
the apogees and perigees of the bodymind
the spirit that knows the darkness in the fire
the shadow in the lamp
that like everything else in this looping universe
is cyclical
so as many good things come of the darkness
as bad things do in the day.
Nothing sits above or below the salt
at a circular table
and even that thirteenth house of the zodiac
the others signs used to peck at
for getting around like the warped ellipsoid
of a waterclock with its own tail in its mouth
instead of the precision cogwork
they were wasting their time on
finds a place for its homelessness.
And a sword they pull out of their hearts
like iron from a star
like a king from a stone
like a thorn from the lion’s paw.
And even if you could prove to me
you don’t exist
trying to pull the wool
over the sacrificial sheep’s eyes
like a Klingon cloak of invisibility
like Cat Woman at a bat rave
I wouldn’t believe you anyway.
Ten virtuous scars in a choir of bleeders
couldn’t hold a black candle
up to one of your wounds
or six exorcisms
and nine lost holy wars
or the decretal of a curse
stuck like a rolling paper
to the pope’s lips
ever make me forget
the human divinity
that conceals its sensual blessings
like hidden jewels
in the depths of a spiritual eclipse
I still walk in the shadow of even today
like the dead seas
of those long lunar wavelengths
redshifting in your bedroom
like the lost atmosphere
of a young igneous moon
lying in the arms of the old.
Water might grow bald
as a polar ice cap
and stellar passion
shrink to a black dwarf
and even when entropy
sinks into the rapture of oblivion
in the sexual narcosis
of its fourth level of dreamless gratified sleep
at minus 273 degrees Kelvin
you’ll never grow cold or inert.
In a cemetery of dead stars
that have relinquished their haloes
like the heavy metals of excruciations
too heavy to bear
one atom among
the dead starfish
of billions upon billions of galaxies
will budge.
Will run like tears of gold
out of the dark ores of time and space.
One small unspent firefly of desire
one chimney spark
in the mouth of the dark cosmic furnace
ignite the creative lightning of lust
that gives the universe its thrust
and gets the whole show
on the pilgrim road to radiance again
by deepening the darkness
that makes the night bird sing in extasis
like an inextinguishable candle
at one of those black masses
that tried to scandalize me
for being able to embrace
so much that was dark about you
so lucidly

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Homer

The Iliad: Book 15

But when their flight had taken them past the trench and the set
stakes, and many had fallen by the hands of the Danaans, the Trojans
made a halt on reaching their chariots, routed and pale with fear.
Jove now woke on the crests of Ida, where he was lying with
golden-throned Juno by his side, and starting to his feet he saw the
Trojans and Achaeans, the one thrown into confusion, and the others
driving them pell-mell before them with King Neptune in their midst.
He saw Hector lying on the ground with his comrades gathered round
him, gasping for breath, wandering in mind and vomiting blood, for
it was not the feeblest of the Achaeans who struck him.
The sire of gods and men had pity on him, and looked fiercely on
Juno. "I see, Juno," said he, "you mischief- making trickster, that
your cunning has stayed Hector from fighting and has caused the rout
of his host. I am in half a mind to thrash you, in which case you will
be the first to reap the fruits of your scurvy knavery. Do you not
remember how once upon a time I had you hanged? I fastened two
anvils on to your feet, and bound your hands in a chain of gold
which none might break, and you hung in mid-air among the clouds.
All the gods in Olympus were in a fury, but they could not reach you
to set you free; when I caught any one of them I gripped him and
hurled him from the heavenly threshold till he came fainting down to
earth; yet even this did not relieve my mind from the incessant
anxiety which I felt about noble Hercules whom you and Boreas had
spitefully conveyed beyond the seas to Cos, after suborning the
tempests; but I rescued him, and notwithstanding all his mighty
labours I brought him back again to Argos. I would remind you of
this that you may learn to leave off being so deceitful, and
discover how much you are likely to gain by the embraces out of
which you have come here to trick me."
Juno trembled as he spoke, and said, "May heaven above and earth
below be my witnesses, with the waters of the river Styx- and this
is the most solemn oath that a blessed god can take- nay, I swear also
by your own almighty head and by our bridal bed- things over which I
could never possibly perjure myself- that Neptune is not punishing
Hector and the Trojans and helping the Achaeans through any doing of
mine; it is all of his own mere motion because he was sorry to see the
Achaeans hard pressed at their ships: if I were advising him, I should
tell him to do as you bid him."
The sire of gods and men smiled and answered, "If you, Juno, were
always to support me when we sit in council of the gods, Neptune, like
it or no, would soon come round to your and my way of thinking. If,
then, you are speaking the truth and mean what you say, go among the
rank and file of the gods, and tell Iris and Apollo lord of the bow,
that I want them- Iris, that she may go to the Achaean host and tell
Neptune to leave off fighting and go home, and Apollo, that he may
send Hector again into battle and give him fresh strength; he will
thus forget his present sufferings, and drive the Achaeans back in
confusion till they fall among the ships of Achilles son of Peleus.
Achilles will then send his comrade Patroclus into battle, and
Hector will kill him in front of Ilius after he has slain many
warriors, and among them my own noble son Sarpedon. Achilles will kill
Hector to avenge Patroclus, and from that time I will bring it about
that the Achaeans shall persistently drive the Trojans back till
they fulfil the counsels of Minerva and take Ilius. But I will not
stay my anger, nor permit any god to help the Danaans till I have
accomplished the desire of the son of Peleus, according to the promise
I made by bowing my head on the day when Thetis touched my knees and
besought me to give him honour."
Juno heeded his words and went from the heights of Ida to great
Olympus. Swift as the thought of one whose fancy carries him over vast
continents, and he says to himself, "Now I will be here, or there,"
and he would have all manner of things- even so swiftly did Juno
wing her way till she came to high Olympus and went in among the
gods who were gathered in the house of Jove. When they saw her they
all of them came up to her, and held out their cups to her by way of
greeting. She let the others be, but took the cup offered her by
lovely Themis, who was first to come running up to her. "Juno," said
she, "why are you here? And you seem troubled- has your husband the
son of Saturn been frightening you?"
And Juno answered, "Themis, do not ask me about it. You know what
a proud and cruel disposition my husband has. Lead the gods to
table, where you and all the immortals can hear the wicked designs
which he has avowed. Many a one, mortal and immortal, will be
angered by them, however peaceably he may be feasting now."
On this Juno sat down, and the gods were troubled throughout the
house of Jove. Laughter sat on her lips but her brow was furrowed with
care, and she spoke up in a rage. "Fools that we are," she cried,
"to be thus madly angry with Jove; we keep on wanting to go up to
him and stay him by force or by persuasion, but he sits aloof and
cares for nobody, for he knows that he is much stronger than any other
of the immortals. Make the best, therefore, of whatever ills he may
choose to send each one of you; Mars, I take it, has had a taste of
them already, for his son Ascalaphus has fallen in battle- the man
whom of all others he loved most dearly and whose father he owns
himself to be."
When he heard this Mars smote his two sturdy thighs with the flat of
his hands, and said in anger, "Do not blame me, you gods that dwell in
heaven, if I go to the ships of the Achaeans and avenge the death of
my son, even though it end in my being struck by Jove's lightning
and lying in blood and dust among the corpses."
As he spoke he gave orders to yoke his horses Panic and Rout,
while he put on his armour. On this, Jove would have been roused to
still more fierce and implacable enmity against the other immortals,
had not Minerva, ararmed for the safety of the gods, sprung from her
seat and hurried outside. She tore the helmet from his head and the
shield from his shoulders, and she took the bronze spear from his
strong hand and set it on one side; then she said to Mars, "Madman,
you are undone; you have ears that hear not, or you have lost all
judgement and understanding; have you not heard what Juno has said
on coming straight from the presence of Olympian Jove? Do you wish
to go through all kinds of suffering before you are brought back
sick and sorry to Olympus, after having caused infinite mischief to
all us others? Jove would instantly leave the Trojans and Achaeans
to themselves; he would come to Olympus to punish us, and would grip
us up one after another, guilty or not guilty. Therefore lay aside
your anger for the death of your son; better men than he have either
been killed already or will fall hereafter, and one cannot protect
every one's whole family."
With these words she took Mars back to his seat. Meanwhile Juno
called Apollo outside, with Iris the messenger of the gods. "Jove,"
she said to them, "desires you to go to him at once on Mt. Ida; when
you have seen him you are to do as he may then bid you."
Thereon Juno left them and resumed her seat inside, while Iris and
Apollo made all haste on their way. When they reached
many-fountained Ida, mother of wild beasts, they found Jove seated
on topmost Gargarus with a fragrant cloud encircling his head as
with a diadem. They stood before his presence, and he was pleased with
them for having been so quick in obeying the orders his wife had given
them.
He spoke to Iris first. "Go," said he, "fleet Iris, tell King
Neptune what I now bid you- and tell him true. Bid him leave off
fighting, and either join the company of the gods, or go down into the
sea. If he takes no heed and disobeys me, let him consider well
whether he is strong enough to hold his own against me if I attack
him. I am older and much stronger than he is; yet he is not afraid
to set himself up as on a level with myself, of whom all the other
gods stand in awe."
Iris, fleet as the wind, obeyed him, and as the cold hail or
snowflakes that fly from out the clouds before the blast of Boreas,
even so did she wing her way till she came close up to the great
shaker of the earth. Then she said, "I have come, O dark-haired king
that holds the world in his embrace, to bring you a message from Jove.
He bids you leave off fighting, and either join the company of the
gods or go down into the sea; if, however, you take no heed and
disobey him, he says he will come down here and fight you. He would
have you keep out of his reach, for he is older and much stronger than
you are, and yet you are not afraid to set yourself up as on a level
with himself, of whom all the other gods stand in awe."
Neptune was very angry and said, "Great heavens! strong as Jove
may be, he has said more than he can do if he has threatened
violence against me, who am of like honour with himself. We were three
brothers whom Rhea bore to Saturn- Jove, myself, and Hades who rules
the world below. Heaven and earth were divided into three parts, and
each of us was to have an equal share. When we cast lots, it fell to
me to have my dwelling in the sea for evermore; Hades took the
darkness of the realms under the earth, while air and sky and clouds
were the portion that fell to Jove; but earth and great Olympus are
the common property of all. Therefore I will not walk as Jove would
have me. For all his strength, let him keep to his own third share and
be contented without threatening to lay hands upon me as though I were
nobody. Let him keep his bragging talk for his own sons and daughters,
who must perforce obey him.
Iris fleet as the wind then answered, "Am I really, Neptune, to take
this daring and unyielding message to Jove, or will you reconsider
your answer? Sensible people are open to argument, and you know that
the Erinyes always range themselves on the side of the older person."
Neptune answered, "Goddess Iris, your words have been spoken in
season. It is well when a messenger shows so much discretion.
Nevertheless it cuts me to the very heart that any one should rebuke
so angrily another who is his own peer, and of like empire with
himself. Now, however, I will give way in spite of my displeasure;
furthermore let me tell you, and I mean what I say- if contrary to the
desire of myself, Minerva driver of the spoil, Juno, Mercury, and King
Vulcan, Jove spares steep Ilius, and will not let the Achaeans have
the great triumph of sacking it, let him understand that he will incur
our implacable resentment."
Neptune now left the field to go down under the sea, and sorely
did the Achaeans miss him. Then Jove said to Apollo, "Go, dear
Phoebus, to Hector, for Neptune who holds the earth in his embrace has
now gone down under the sea to avoid the severity of my displeasure.
Had he not done so those gods who are below with Saturn would have
come to hear of the fight between us. It is better for both of us that
he should have curbed his anger and kept out of my reach, for I should
have had much trouble with him. Take, then, your tasselled aegis,
and shake it furiously, so as to set the Achaean heroes in a panic;
take, moreover, brave Hector, O Far-Darter, into your own care, and
rouse him to deeds of daring, till the Achaeans are sent flying back
to their ships and to the Hellespont. From that point I will think
it well over, how the Achaeans may have a respite from their
troubles."
Apollo obeyed his father's saying, and left the crests of Ida,
flying like a falcon, bane of doves and swiftest of all birds. He
found Hector no longer lying upon the ground, but sitting up, for he
had just come to himself again. He knew those who were about him,
and the sweat and hard breathing had left him from the moment when the
will of aegis-bearing Jove had revived him. Apollo stood beside him
and said, "Hector, son of Priam, why are you so faint, and why are you
here away from the others? Has any mishap befallen you?"
Hector in a weak voice answered, "And which, kind sir, of the gods
are you, who now ask me thus? Do you not know that Ajax struck me on
the chest with a stone as I was killing his comrades at the ships of
the Achaeans, and compelled me to leave off fighting? I made sure that
this very day I should breathe my last and go down into the house of
Hades."
Then King Apollo said to him, "Take heart; the son of Saturn has
sent you a mighty helper from Ida to stand by you and defend you, even
me, Phoebus Apollo of the golden sword, who have been guardian
hitherto not only of yourself but of your city. Now, therefore,
order your horsemen to drive their chariots to the ships in great
multitudes. I will go before your horses to smooth the way for them,
and will turn the Achaeans in flight."
As he spoke he infused great strength into the shepherd of his
people. And as a horse, stabled and full-fed, breaks loose and gallops
gloriously over the plain to the place where he is wont to take his
bath in the river- he tosses his head, and his mane streams over his
shoulders as in all the pride of his strength he flies full speed to
the pastures where the mares are feeding- even so Hector, when he
heard what the god said, urged his horsemen on, and sped forward as
fast as his limbs could take him. As country peasants set their hounds
on to a homed stag or wild goat- he has taken shelter under rock or
thicket, and they cannot find him, but, lo, a bearded lion whom
their shouts have roused stands in their path, and they are in no
further humour for the chase- even so the Achaeans were still charging
on in a body, using their swords and spears pointed at both ends,
but when they saw Hector going about among his men they were afraid,
and their hearts fell down into their feet.
Then spoke Thoas son of Andraemon, leader of the Aetolians, a man
who could throw a good throw, and who was staunch also in close fight,
while few could surpass him in debate when opinions were divided. He
then with all sincerity and goodwill addressed them thus: "What, in
heaven's name, do I now see? Is it not Hector come to life again?
Every one made sure he had been killed by Ajax son of Telamon, but
it seems that one of the gods has again rescued him. He has killed
many of us Danaans already, and I take it will yet do so, for the hand
of Jove must be with him or he would never dare show himself so
masterful in the forefront of the battle. Now, therefore, let us all
do as I say; let us order the main body of our forces to fall back
upon the ships, but let those of us who profess to be the flower of
the army stand firm, and see whether we cannot hold Hector back at the
point of our spears as soon as he comes near us; I conceive that he
will then think better of it before he tries to charge into the
press of the Danaans."
Thus did he speak, and they did even as he had said. Those who
were about Ajax and King Idomeneus, the followers moreover of
Teucer, Meriones, and Meges peer of Mars called all their best men
about them and sustained the fight against Hector and the Trojans, but
the main body fell back upon the ships of the Achaeans.
The Trojans pressed forward in a dense body, with Hector striding on
at their head. Before him went Phoebus Apollo shrouded in cloud
about his shoulders. He bore aloft the terrible aegis with its
shaggy fringe, which Vulcan the smith had given Jove to strike
terror into the hearts of men. With this in his hand he led on the
Trojans.
The Argives held together and stood their ground. The cry of
battle rose high from either side, and the arrows flew from the
bowstrings. Many a spear sped from strong hands and fastened in the
bodies of many a valiant warrior, while others fell to earth midway,
before they could taste of man's fair flesh and glut themselves with
blood. So long as Phoebus Apollo held his aegis quietly and without
shaking it, the weapons on either side took effect and the people
fell, but when he shook it straight in the face of the Danaans and
raised his mighty battle-cry their hearts fainted within them and they
forgot their former prowess. As when two wild beasts spring in the
dead of night on a herd of cattle or a large flock of sheep when the
herdsman is not there- even so were the Danaans struck helpless, for
Apollo filled them with panic and gave victory to Hector and the
Trojans.
The fight then became more scattered and they killed one another
where they best could. Hector killed Stichius and Arcesilaus, the one,
leader of the Boeotians, and the other, friend and comrade of
Menestheus. Aeneas killed Medon and Iasus. The first was bastard son
to Oileus, and brother to Ajax, but he lived in Phylace away from
his own country, for he had killed a man, a kinsman of his
stepmother Eriopis whom Oileus had married. Iasus had become a
leader of the Athenians, and was son of Sphelus the son of Boucolos.
Polydamas killed Mecisteus, and Polites Echius, in the front of the
battle, while Agenor slew Clonius. Paris struck Deiochus from behind
in the lower part of the shoulder, as he was flying among the
foremost, and the point of the spear went clean through him.
While they were spoiling these heroes of their armour, the
Achaeans were flying pellmell to the trench and the set stakes, and
were forced back within their wall. Hector then cried out to the
Trojans, "Forward to the ships, and let the spoils be. If I see any
man keeping back on the other side the wall away from the ships I will
have him killed: his kinsmen and kinswomen shall not give him his dues
of fire, but dogs shall tear him in pieces in front of our city."
As he spoke he laid his whip about his horses' shoulders and
called to the Trojans throughout their ranks; the Trojans shouted with
a cry that rent the air, and kept their horses neck and neck with
his own. Phoebus Apollo went before, and kicked down the banks of
the deep trench into its middle so as to make a great broad bridge, as
broad as the throw of a spear when a man is trying his strength. The
Trojan battalions poured over the bridge, and Apollo with his
redoubtable aegis led the way. He kicked down the wall of the Achaeans
as easily as a child who playing on the sea-shore has built a house of
sand and then kicks it down again and destroys it- even so did you,
O Apollo, shed toil and trouble upon the Argives, filling them with
panic and confusion.
Thus then were the Achaeans hemmed in at their ships, calling out to
one another and raising their hands with loud cries every man to
heaven. Nestor of Gerene, tower of strength to the Achaeans, lifted up
his hands to the starry firmament of heaven, and prayed more fervently
than any of them. "Father Jove," said he, "if ever any one in
wheat-growing Argos burned you fat thigh-bones of sheep or heifer
and prayed that he might return safely home, whereon you bowed your
head to him in assent, bear it in mind now, and suffer not the Trojans
to triumph thus over the Achaeans."
All counselling Jove thundered loudly in answer to die prayer of the
aged son of Neleus. When the heard Jove thunder they flung
themselves yet more fiercely on the Achaeans. As a wave breaking
over the bulwarks of a ship when the sea runs high before a gale-
for it is the force of the wind that makes the waves so great- even so
did the Trojans spring over the wall with a shout, and drive their
chariots onwards. The two sides fought with their double-pointed
spears in hand-to-hand encounter-the Trojans from their chariots,
and the Achaeans climbing up into their ships and wielding the long
pikes that were lying on the decks ready for use in a sea-fight,
jointed and shod with bronze.
Now Patroclus, so long as the Achaeans and Trojans were fighting
about the wall, but were not yet within it and at the ships,
remained sitting in the tent of good Eurypylus, entertaining him
with his conversation and spreading herbs over his wound to ease his
pain. When, however, he saw the Trojans swarming through the breach in
the wall, while the Achaeans were clamouring and struck with panic, he
cried aloud, and smote his two thighs with the flat of his hands.
"Eurypylus," said he in his dismay, "I know you want me badly, but I
cannot stay with you any longer, for there is hard fighting going
on; a servant shall take care of you now, for I must make all speed to
Achilles, and induce him to fight if I can; who knows but with
heaven's help I may persuade him. A man does well to listen to the
advice of a friend."
When he had thus spoken he went his way. The Achaeans stood firm and
resisted the attack of the Trojans, yet though these were fewer in
number, they could not drive them back from the ships, neither could
the Trojans break the Achaean ranks and make their way in among the
tents and ships. As a carpenter's line gives a true edge to a piece of
ship's timber, in the hand of some skilled workman whom Minerva has
instructed in all kinds of useful arts- even so level was the issue of
the fight between the two sides, as they fought some round one and
some round another.
Hector made straight for Ajax, and the two fought fiercely about the
same ship. Hector could not force Ajax back and fire the ship, nor yet
could Ajax drive Hector from the spot to which heaven had brought him.
Then Ajax struck Caletor son of Clytius in the chest with a spear as
he was bringing fire towards the ship. He fell heavily to the ground
and the torch dropped from his hand. When Hector saw his cousin fallen
in front of the ship he shouted to the Trojans and Lycians saying,
"Trojans, Lycians, and Dardanians good in close fight, bate not a jot,
but rescue the son of Clytius lest the Achaeans strip him of his
armour now that he has fallen."
He then aimed a spear at Ajax, and missed him, but he hit
Lycophron a follower of Ajax, who came from Cythera, but was living
with Ajax inasmuch as he had killed a man among the Cythereans.
Hector's spear struck him on the head below the ear, and he fell
headlong from the ship's prow on to the ground with no life left in
him. Ajax shook with rage and said to his brother, "Teucer, my good
fellow, our trusty comrade the son of Mastor has fallen, he came to
live with us from Cythera and whom we honoured as much as our own
parents. Hector has just killed him; fetch your deadly arrows at
once and the bow which Phoebus Apollo gave you."
Teucer heard him and hastened towards him with his bow and quiver in
his hands. Forthwith he showered his arrows on the Trojans, and hit
Cleitus the son of Pisenor, comrade of Polydamas the noble son of
Panthous, with the reins in his hands as he was attending to his
horses; he was in the middle of the very thickest part of the fight,
doing good service to Hector and the Trojans, but evil had now come
upon him, and not one of those who were fain to do so could avert
it, for the arrow struck him on the back of the neck. He fell from his
chariot and his horses shook the empty car as they swerved aside. King
Polydamas saw what had happened, and was the first to come up to the
horses; he gave them in charge to Astynous son of Protiaon, and
ordered him to look on, and to keep the horses near at hand. He then
went back and took his place in the front ranks.
Teucer then aimed another arrow at Hector, and there would have been
no more fighting at the ships if he had hit him and killed him then
and there: Jove, however, who kept watch over Hector, had his eyes
on Teucer, and deprived him of his triumph, by breaking his
bowstring for him just as he was drawing it and about to take his aim;
on this the arrow went astray and the bow fell from his hands.
Teucer shook with anger and said to his brother, "Alas, see how heaven
thwarts us in all we do; it has broken my bowstring and snatched the
bow from my hand, though I strung it this selfsame morning that it
might serve me for many an arrow."
Ajax son of Telamon answered, "My good fellow, let your bow and your
arrows be, for Jove has made them useless in order to spite the
Danaans. Take your spear, lay your shield upon your shoulder, and both
fight the Trojans yourself and urge others to do so. They may be
successful for the moment but if we fight as we ought they will find
it a hard matter to take the ships."
Teucer then took his bow and put it by in his tent. He hung a shield
four hides thick about his shoulders, and on his comely head he set
his helmet well wrought with a crest of horse-hair that nodded
menacingly above it; he grasped his redoubtable bronze-shod spear, and
forthwith he was by the side of Ajax.
When Hector saw that Teucer's bow was of no more use to him, he
shouted out to the Trojans and Lycians, "Trojans, Lycians, and
Dardanians good in close fight, be men, my friends, and show your
mettle here at the ships, for I see the weapon of one of their
chieftains made useless by the hand of Jove. It is easy to see when
Jove is helping people and means to help them still further, or
again when he is bringing them down and will do nothing for them; he
is now on our side, and is going against the Argives. Therefore
swarm round the ships and fight. If any of you is struck by spear or
sword and loses his life, let him die; he dies with honour who dies
fighting for his country; and he will leave his wife and children safe
behind him, with his house and allotment unplundered if only the
Achaeans can be driven back to their own land, they and their ships."
With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Ajax on the
other side exhorted his comrades saying, "Shame on you Argives, we are
now utterly undone, unless we can save ourselves by driving the
enemy from our ships. Do you think, if Hector takes them, that you
will be able to get home by land? Can you not hear him cheering on his
whole host to fire our fleet, and bidding them remember that they
are not at a dance but in battle? Our only course is to fight them
with might and main; we had better chance it, life or death, once
for all, than fight long and without issue hemmed in at our ships by
worse men than ourselves."
With these words he put life and soul into them all. Hector then
killed Schedius son of Perimedes, leader of the Phoceans, and Ajax
killed Laodamas captain of foot soldiers and son to Antenor. Polydamas
killed Otus of Cyllene a comrade of the son of Phyleus and chief of
the proud Epeans. When Meges saw this he sprang upon him, but
Polydamas crouched down, and he missed him, for Apollo would not
suffer the son of Panthous to fall in battle; but the spear hit
Croesmus in the middle of his chest, whereon he fell heavily to the
ground, and Meges stripped him of his armour. At that moment the
valiant soldier Dolops son of Lampus sprang upon Lampus was son of
Laomedon and for his valour, while his son Dolops was versed in all
the ways of war. He then struck the middle of the son of Phyleus'
shield with his spear, setting on him at close quarters, but his
good corslet made with plates of metal saved him; Phyleus had
brought it from Ephyra and the river Selleis, where his host, King
Euphetes, had given it him to wear in battle and protect him. It now
served to save the life of his son. Then Meges struck the topmost
crest of Dolops's bronze helmet with his spear and tore away its plume
of horse-hair, so that all newly dyed with scarlet as it was it
tumbled down into the dust. While he was still fighting and
confident of victory, Menelaus came up to help Meges, and got by the
side of Dolops unperceived; he then speared him in the shoulder,
from behind, and the point, driven so furiously, went through into his
chest, whereon he fell headlong. The two then made towards him to
strip him of his armour, but Hector called on all his brothers for
help, and he especially upbraided brave Melanippus son of Hiketaon,
who erewhile used to pasture his herds of cattle in Percote before the
war broke out; but when the ships of the Danaans came, he went back to
Ilius, where he was eminent among the Trojans, and lived near Priam
who treated him as one of his own sons. Hector now rebuked him and
said, "Why, Melanippus, are we thus remiss? do you take no note of the
death of your kinsman, and do you not see how they are trying to
take Dolops's armour? Follow me; there must be no fighting the Argives
from a distance now, but we must do so in close combat till either
we kill them or they take the high wall of Ilius and slay her people."
He led on as he spoke, and the hero Melanippus followed after.
Meanwhile Ajax son of Telamon was cheering on the Argives. "My
friends," he cried, "be men, and fear dishonour; quit yourselves in
battle so as to win respect from one another. Men who respect each
other's good opinion are less likely to be killed than those who do
not, but in flight there is neither gain nor glory."
Thus did he exhort men who were already bent upon driving back the
Trojans. They laid his words to heart and hedged the ships as with a
wall of bronze, while Jove urged on the Trojans. Menelaus of the
loud battle-cry urged Antilochus on. "Antilochus," said he, "you are
young and there is none of the Achaeans more fleet of foot or more
valiant than you are. See if you cannot spring upon some Trojan and
kill him."
He hurried away when he had thus spurred Antilochus, who at once
darted out from the front ranks and aimed a spear, after looking
carefully round him. The Trojans fell back as he threw, and the dart
did not speed from his hand without effect, for it struck Melanippus
the proud son of Hiketaon in the breast by the nipple as he was coming
forward, and his armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily
to the ground. Antilochus sprang upon him as a dog springs on a fawn
which a hunter has hit as it was breaking away from its covert, and
killed it. Even so, O Melanippus, did stalwart Antilochus spring
upon you to strip you of your armour; but noble Hector marked him, and
came running up to him through the thick of the battle. Antilochus,
brave soldier though he was, would not stay to face him, but fled like
some savage creature which knows it has done wrong, and flies, when it
has killed a dog or a man who is herding his cattle, before a body
of men can be gathered to attack it. Even so did the son of Nestor
fly, and the Trojans and Hector with a cry that rent the air
showered their weapons after him; nor did he turn round and stay his
flight till he had reached his comrades.
The Trojans, fierce as lions, were still rushing on towards the
ships in fulfilment of the behests of Jove who kept spurring them on
to new deeds of daring, while he deadened the courage of the Argives
and defeated them by encouraging the Trojans. For he meant giving
glory to Hector son of Priam, and letting him throw fire upon the
ships, till he had fulfilled the unrighteous prayer that Thetis had
made him; Jove, therefore, bided his time till he should see the glare
of a blazing ship. From that hour he was about so to order that the
Trojans should be driven back from the ships and to vouchsafe glory to
the Achaeans. With this purpose he inspired Hector son of Priam, who
was cager enough already, to assail the ships. His fury was as that of
Mars, or as when a fire is raging in the glades of some dense forest
upon the mountains; he foamed at the mouth, his eyes glared under
his terrible eye-brows, and his helmet quivered on his temples by
reason of the fury with which he fought. Jove from heaven was with
him, and though he was but one against many, vouchsafed him victory
and glory; for he was doomed to an early death, and already Pallas
Minerva was hurrying on the hour of his destruction at the hands of
the son of Peleus. Now, however, he kept trying to break the ranks
of the enemy wherever he could see them thickest, and in the goodliest
armour; but do what he might he could not break through them, for they
stood as a tower foursquare, or as some high cliff rising from the
grey sea that braves the anger of the gale, and of the waves that
thunder up against it. He fell upon them like flames of fire from
every quarter. As when a wave, raised mountain high by wind and storm,
breaks over a ship and covers it deep in foam, the fierce winds roar
against the mast, the hearts of the sailors fail them for fear, and
they are saved but by a very little from destruction- even so were the
hearts of the Achaeans fainting within them. Or as a savage lion
attacking a herd of cows while they are feeding by thousands in the
low-lying meadows by some wide-watered shore- the herdsman is at his
wit's end how to protect his herd and keeps going about now in the van
and now in the rear of his cattle, while the lion springs into the
thick of them and fastens on a cow so that they all tremble for
fear- even so were the Achaeans utterly panic-stricken by Hector and
father Jove. Nevertheless Hector only killed Periphetes of Mycenae; he
was son of Copreus who was wont to take the orders of King
Eurystheus to mighty Hercules, but the son was a far better man than
the father in every way; he was fleet of foot, a valiant warrior,
and in understanding ranked among the foremost men of Mycenae. He it
was who then afforded Hector a triumph, for as he was turning back
he stumbled against the rim of his shield which reached his feet,
and served to keep the javelins off him. He tripped against this and
fell face upward, his helmet ringing loudly about his head as he did
so. Hector saw him fall and ran up to him; he then thrust a spear into
his chest, and killed him close to his own comrades. These, for all
their sorrow, could not help him for they were themselves terribly
afraid of Hector.
They had now reached the ships and the prows of those that had
been drawn up first were on every side of them, but the Trojans came
pouring after them. The Argives were driven back from the first row of
ships, but they made a stand by their tents without being broken up
and scattered; shame and fear restrained them. They kept shouting
incessantly to one another, and Nestor of Gerene, tower of strength to
the Achaeans, was loudest in imploring every man by his parents, and
beseeching him to stand firm.
"Be men, my friends," he cried, "and respect one another's good
opinion. Think, all of you, on your children, your wives, your
property, and your parents whether these be alive or dead. On their
behalf though they are not here, I implore you to stand firm, and
not to turn in flight."
With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Minerva lifted
the thick veil of darkness from their eyes, and much light fell upon
them, alike on the side of the ships and on that where the fight was
raging. They could see Hector and all his men, both those in the
rear who were taking no part in the battle, and those who were
fighting by the ships.
Ajax could not bring himself to retreat along with the rest, but
strode from deck to deck with a great sea-pike in his hands twelve
cubits long and jointed with rings. As a man skilled in feats of
horsemanship couples four horses together and comes tearing full speed
along the public way from the country into some large town- many
both men and women marvel as they see him for he keeps all the time
changing his horse, springing from one to another without ever missing
his feet while the horses are at a gallop- even so did Ajax go
striding from one ship's deck to another, and his voice went up into
the heavens. He kept on shouting his orders to the Danaans and
exhorting them to defend their ships and tents; neither did Hector
remain within the main body of the Trojan warriors, but as a dun eagle
swoops down upon a flock of wild-fowl feeding near a river-geese, it
may be, or cranes, or long-necked swans- even so did Hector make
straight for a dark-prowed ship, rushing right towards it; for Jove
with his mighty hand impelled him forward, and roused his people to
follow him.
And now the battle again raged furiously at the ships. You would
have thought the men were coming on fresh and unwearied, so fiercely
did they fight; and this was the mind in which they were- the Achaeans
did not believe they should escape destruction but thought
themselves doomed, while there was not a Trojan but his heart beat
high with the hope of firing the ships and putting the Achaean
heroes to the sword.
Thus were the two sides minded. Then Hector seized the stern of
the good ship that had brought Protesilaus to Troy, but never bore him
back to his native land. Round this ship there raged a close
hand-to-hand fight between Danaans and Trojans. They did not fight
at a distance with bows and javelins, but with one mind hacked at
one another in close combat with their mighty swords and spears
pointed at both ends; they fought moreover with keen battle-axes and
with hatchets. Many a good stout blade hilted and scabbarded with
iron, fell from hand or shoulder as they fought, and the earth ran red
with blood. Hector, when he had seized the ship, would not loose his
hold but held on to its curved stern and shouted to the Trojans,
"Bring fire, and raise the battle-cry all of you with a single
voice. Now has Jove vouchsafed us a day that will pay us for all the
rest; this day we shall take the ships which came hither against
heaven's will, and which have caused us such infinite suffering
through the cowardice of our councillors, who when I would have done
battle at the ships held me back and forbade the host to follow me; if
Jove did then indeed warp our judgements, himself now commands me
and cheers me on."
As he spoke thus the Trojans sprang yet more fiercely on the
Achaeans, and Ajax no longer held his ground, for he was overcome by
the darts that were flung at him, and made sure that he was doomed.
Therefore he left the raised deck at the stern, and stepped back on to
the seven-foot bench of the oarsmen. Here he stood on the look-out,
and with his spear held back Trojan whom he saw bringing fire to the
ships. All the time he kept on shouting at the top of his voice and
exhorting the Danaans. "My friends," he cried, "Danaan heroes,
servants of Mars, be men my friends, and fight with might and with
main. Can we hope to find helpers hereafter, or a wall to shield us
more surely than the one we have? There is no strong city within
reach, whence we may draw fresh forces to turn the scales in our
favour. We are on the plain of the armed Trojans with the sea behind
us, and far from our own country. Our salvation, therefore, is in
the might of our hands and in hard fighting."
As he spoke he wielded his spear with still greater fury, and when
any Trojan made towards the ships with fire at Hector's bidding, he
would be on the look-out for him, and drive at him with his long
spear. Twelve men did he thus kill in hand-to-hand fight before the
ships.

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It Could Be That

there is a built-in conflict
in this triangle

it is there and will never be
demolished

it could be among you,
God and
the others

it could be you,
your id, your ego and
the super ego,

it could be the child in you,
the parent later,
or the responsible thinker

it could be man, heaven and
earth

each angle well constructed
each side strong as the other

it could be the white and the black horse
and the chariot

and you with your whip
and your hand

it could be that you are tired
you disembark

you take a walk and wish that
you had never been born


in this ocean
your choices are waves of the sea

you are the ship without a sail
without a rudder

it could be your own making
or it could be because there are stars
there are lines of your palms
the maps of your
being
the destiny of your future

it could be because of your genes
the choice is still yours

are you made? or are you the maker?

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Stealin Stealin

Well, put your arms around me like the circles in the sun
I want you to love me daddy like my easy rider done.
If you dont believe that I love you, look what a fool Ive been,
If you dont think Im sinking, look what a hole Im in.
Im stealin, stealin, pretty mama dont you tell on me,
Im stealin back my same old used-to-be.
Well, I got a little woman, bout my height and size,
Now shes a married woman, sees me once in a while.
If you dont believe I love you, look what a fool Ive been
If you dont think Im sinking, look what a hole Im in.
Stealin, stealin, pretty mama dont you tell on me,
Im stealin back my same old used-to-be.
With good whiskey you stay drunk all the time,
Stay drunk baby cause it eases my mind.
If you dont believe that I love you, look what a fool Ive been,
If you dont think Im sinking, look what a hole Im in.
Im stealin, stealin, pretty mama dont you tell on me
Im stealin right back my same old used-to-be.

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Stealin'

Well, put your arms around me like the circles in the sun
I want you to love me daddy like my easy rider done.
If you don't believe that I love you, look what a fool I've been,
If you don't think I'm sinking, look what a hole I'm in.
I'm stealin', stealin', pretty mama don't you tell on me,
I'm stealin' back my same old used-to-be.
Well, I got a little woman, 'bout my height and size,
Now she's a married woman, sees me once in a while.
If you don't believe I love you, look what a fool I've been
If you don't think I'm sinking, look what a hole I'm in.
Stealin', stealin', pretty mama don't you tell on me,
I'm stealin' back my same old used-to-be.
With good whiskey you stay drunk all the time,
Stay drunk baby 'cause it eases my mind.
If you don't believe that I love you, look what a fool I've been,
If you don't think I'm sinking, look what a hole I'm in.
I'm stealin', stealin', pretty mama don't you tell on me
I'm stealin' right back my same old used-to-be.

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Nightgown Of The Sullen Moon

Fell in the door
And you fell on the floor
With your hand on the knob
Looking up and abruptly
Forget what youre thinking
Fire alarms go off in your head
You live
In the nightgown of the sullen moon
How the windows lean into the room
In the nightgown of the sullen moon
Drug trip, its not a drug trip so you feel a bit insulted
Space walk, its like a space walk with the corresponding weight loss
And youre nothing but air, with your hand in the air
And your shoelaces tied up together with care
Theres a feeling of boredom
Of the big whoredom
Following dressing up
In the nightgown of the sullen moon
How the windows lean into the room
In the nightgown of the sullen moon
In the nightgown of the sullen moon
How the windows lean into the room
In the nightgown of the sullen moon
Your head is on the moon
Its not necessary to breathe
Forever is a long time
Your head is on the moon
Its not necessary to breathe
Forever is a long time
Your head is on the moon
Your head is on the moon

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No More Brooding Bruising Sad Times

No more brooding bruising sad times.
From the depths that soak tears up.
No more clinching on big shoulders.
When those curves on roads get rough.

Tough it around the rocks and boulders.
Squeeze those tears from soggy mops.
Drop that pity in the pot, babe.
Turn off all that sniffing stuff!

Hold your head up.
And keep that misery off the streets.
Hold your head up...
And cease that weeping.

Hold your head up.
And keep that misery off the streets.
Hold your head up...
And cease that weeping.

No more brooding bruising sad times.
Hold your head up.
Squeeze those tears from soggy mops.
Hold your head up.
Drop that pity in the pot, babe.
Hold your head up.
Turn off all that sniffing stuff!
And hold your head up.

No more brooding bruising sad times.
Hold your head up.
Snip that stuff you've got in the bud!
Hold your head up.
You've got to know you're good enough!
Keep that head held up!

No more brooding bruising sad times.
From the depths that soak tears up.
No more clinching on big shoulders.
When those curves on roads get rough.

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From A Spider...

Human, human, stood all alone, in the room,
Watch me, while around your walls, I zoom!
That you have spotted me, it is all too clear,
As I see your face, suddenly fill with fear.

I get bored of just standing here all static;
Watch, while I do some clever acrobatics!
See how I can hang from this here beam;
Oh no! I never meant to make you scream!

I see that you can only walk upon the floor;
Well, I can do walls, ceilings, and a lot more.
For a while, I was hanging over your head;
I hung from the ceiling, just above your bed.

Upon me, your eyes appear to be super-glued;
I detect that you are not in the best of moods.
You seem to want to keep me within your sight;
I'm tiny, compared to you; why take such fright?

I'm a good runner: I'm extremely fast,
And you'll never catch me in that glass.
I'll happily give humans the run-around;
I'll crawl into a crevice, never to be found.

I'd feel happier if you just left me alone,
So, that, around your home, I can roam.
Now then, I'm really not trying to be rude,
But I really must go, and find some food.

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Beautiful Girls

She was seaside sittin, just a smokin and a drinkin on ringside,
On top of the world, oh, yeah.
She had her drink in her hand; she had her toes in the sand and whoa,
What a beautiful girl, ah, yeah.
What a sweet talkin honey with a little bit of money can
Turn your head around.
Creatures from the sea with the look to me like shed like to fool around.
What a snappy little mammy. gonna keep her pappy happy
And accompany me to the ends of the earth, ah, yeah.
Here I am, aint no man of the world, no.
All I need is a beautiful girl.
Ah, yeah! beautiful girls.
Well, Im a bum in the sun and Im having fun.
And I know you know I got no special plans.
All the bills are paid. I got it made in the shade,
And all I nee, nee, need is the woman.
What a sweet talkin honey with a little bit of money can
Turn your head around.
Creatures from the sea with the looks to me like shed like to fool around.
Here I am, aint no man of the world, no.
All I need is a beautiful girl.
Ah, yeah! beautiful girls.
Now, Im a seaside sittin, just a smokin and a drinkin;
Im ringside, on top of the world.
I got a drink in my hand; I got my toes in the sand.
All I need is a beautiful girl.
Here I am, aint no man of the world, no.
All I need is a beautiful girl.
Ah, yeah! beautiful girls.
Ah, yeah! beautiful girls.
(repeat and fade)

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Broughty Ferry

Ancient Castle of Broughty Ferry
With walls as strong as Londonderry;
Near by the sea-shore,
Where oft is heard and has been heard the cannon's roar
In the present day and days of yore,
Loudly echoing from shore to shore.

From your impregnable ramparts high
Like the loud thunder in the sky
Enough to frighten a foreign foe away
That would dare to come up the river Tay,
To lay siege to Bonnie Dundee,
I'm sure your cannon-balls wouId make them flee--

Home again to their own land
Because your cannon shot they could not withstand,
They would soon be glad to get away
From the beautiful shores of the silvery Tay.

Ancient Castle, near by Tayside,
The soldiers ought to feel happy that in you reside,
Because from the top they can have a view of Fife,
Which ought to drown their sorrow and give them fresh life,
And make their spirits feel light and gay
As they view the beautiful scenery of the silvery Tay.

The village of Broughty Ferry is most beautiful to see,
With its stately mansions and productive fishery,
Which is a great boon to the villagers and the people of Dundee,
And ought to make them thankful, and unto God to pray
For creating plenty of fish for them in the beautiful Tay.

And the city of Dundee seems beautiful to the eye
With her mill stacks and Old Steeple so high,
Which can be seen on a clear summer day
From the top of Broughty Castle near the mouth of Tay.

Then there's beautiful Reres Hill,
Where the people can ramble at their will
Amongst its beautiful shrubberies and trees so green
Which in the summer season is most charming to be seen,
And ought to drive dull care away,
Because the people can see every clear day
From the top the ships sailing on the silvery Tay.

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Lewis Carroll

Second Voice

They walked beside the wave-worn beach;
Her tongue was very apt to teach,
And now and then he did beseech

She would abate her dulcet tone,
Because the talk was all her own,
And he was dull as any drone.

She urged "No cheese is made of chalk":
And ceaseless flowed her dreary talk,
Tuned to the footfall of a walk.

Her voice was very full and rich,
And, when at length she asked him "Which?"
It mounted to its highest pitch.

He a bewildered answer gave,
Drowned in the sullen moaning wave,
Lost in the echoes of the cave.

He answered her he knew not what:
Like shaft from bow at random shot,
He spoke, but she regarded not.

She waited not for his reply,
But with a downward leaden eye
Went on as if he were not by

Sound argument and grave defence,
Strange questions raised on "Why?" and "Whence?"
And wildly tangled evidence.

When he, with racked and whirling brain,
Feebly implored her to explain,
She simply said it all again.

Wrenched with an agony intense,
He spake, neglecting Sound and Sense,
And careless of all consequence:

"Mind--I believe--is Essence--Ent -
Abstract--that is--an Accident -
Which we--that is to say--I meant--"

When, with quick breath and cheeks all flushed,
At length his speech was somewhat hushed,
She looked at him, and he was crushed.

It needed not her calm reply:
She fixed him with a stony eye,
And he could neither fight nor fly.

While she dissected, word by word,
His speech, half guessed at and half heard,
As might a cat a little bird.

Then, having wholly overthrown
His views, and stripped them to the bone,
Proceeded to unfold her own.

"Shall Man be Man? And shall he miss
Of other thoughts no thought but this,
Harmonious dews of sober bliss?

"What boots it? Shall his fevered eye
Through towering nothingness descry
The grisly phantom hurry by?

"And hear dumb shrieks that fill the air;
See mouths that gape, and eyes that stare
And redden in the dusky glare?

"The meadows breathing amber light,
The darkness toppling from the height,
The feathery train of granite Night?

"Shall he, grown gray among his peers,
Through the thick curtain of his tears
Catch glimpses of his earlier years,

"And hear the sounds he knew of yore,
Old shufflings on the sanded floor,
Old knuckles tapping at the door?

"Yet still before him as he flies
One pallid form shall ever rise,
And, bodying forth in glassy eyes

"The vision of a vanished good,
Low peering through the tangled wood,
Shall freeze the current of his blood."

Still from each fact, with skill uncouth
And savage rapture, like a tooth
She wrenched some slow reluctant truth.

Till, like a silent water-mill,
When summer suns have dried the rill,
She reached a full stop, and was still.

Dead calm succeeded to the fuss,
As when the loaded omnibus
Has reached the railway terminus:

When, for the tumult of the street,
Is heard the engine's stifled beat,
The velvet tread of porters' feet.

With glance that ever sought the ground,
She moved her lips without a sound,
And every now and then she frowned.

He gazed upon the sleeping sea,
And joyed in its tranquillity,
And in that silence dead, but she

To muse a little space did seem,
Then, like the echo of a dream,
Harked back upon her threadbare theme.

Still an attentive ear he lent
But could not fathom what she meant:
She was not deep, nor eloquent.

He marked the ripple on the sand:
The even swaying of her hand
Was all that he could understand.

He saw in dreams a drawing-room,
Where thirteen wretches sat in gloom,
Waiting--he thought he knew for whom:

He saw them drooping here and there,
Each feebly huddled on a chair,
In attitudes of blank despair:

Oysters were not more mute than they,
For all their brains were pumped away,
And they had nothing more to say -

Save one, who groaned "Three hours are gone!"
Who shrieked "We'll wait no longer, John!
Tell them to set the dinner on!"

The vision passed: the ghosts were fled:
He saw once more that woman dread:
He heard once more the words she said.

He left her, and he turned aside:
He sat and watched the coming tide
Across the shores so newly dried.

He wondered at the waters clear,
The breeze that whispered in his ear,
The billows heaving far and near,

And why he had so long preferred
To hang upon her every word:
"In truth," he said, "it was absurd."

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Lewis Carroll

Tema con Variazioni

THEY walked beside the wave-worn beach;
Her tongue was very apt to teach,
And now and then he did beseech

She would abate her dulcet tone,
Because the talk was all her own,
And he was dull as any drone.

She urged "No cheese is made of chalk":
And ceaseless flowed her dreary talk,
Tuned to the footfall of a walk.

Her voice was very full and rich,
And, when at length she asked him "Which?"
It mounted to its highest pitch.

He a bewildered answer gave,
Drowned in the sullen moaning wave,
Lost in the echoes of the cave.

He answered her he knew not what:
Like shaft from bow at random shot,
He spoke, but she regarded not.

She waited not for his reply,
But with a downward leaden eye
Went on as if he were not by

Sound argument and grave defence,
Strange questions raised on "Why?" and "Whence?"
And wildly tangled evidence.

When he, with racked and whirling brain,
Feebly implored her to explain,
She simply said it all again.

Wrenched with an agony intense,
He spake, neglecting Sound and Sense,
And careless of all consequence:

"Mind - I believe - is Essence - Ent -
Abstract - that is - an Accident -
Which we - that is to say - I meant - "

When, with quick breath and cheeks all flushed,
At length his speech was somewhat hushed,
She looked at him, and he was crushed.

It needed not her calm reply:
She fixed him with a stony eye,
And he could neither fight nor fly.

While she dissected, word by word,
His speech, half guessed at and half heard,
As might a cat a little bird.

Then, having wholly overthrown
His views, and stripped them to the bone,
Proceeded to unfold her own.

"Shall Man be Man? And shall he miss
Of other thoughts no thought but this,
Harmonious dews of sober bliss?

"What boots it? Shall his fevered eye
Through towering nothingness descry
The grisly phantom hurry by?

"And hear dumb shrieks that fill the air;
See mouths that gape, and eyes that stare
And redden in the dusky glare?

"The meadows breathing amber light,
The darkness toppling from the height,
The feathery train of granite Night?

"Shall he, grown gray among his peers,
Through the thick curtain of his tears
Catch glimpses of his earlier years,

"And hear the sounds he knew of yore,
Old shufflings on the sanded floor,
Old knuckles tapping at the door?

"Yet still before him as he flies
One pallid form shall ever rise,
And, bodying forth in glassy eyes

"The vision of a vanished good,
Low peering through the tangled wood,
Shall freeze the current of his blood."

Still from each fact, with skill uncouth
And savage rapture, like a tooth
She wrenched some slow reluctant truth.

Till, like a silent water-mill,
When summer suns have dried the rill,
She reached a full stop, and was still.

Dead calm succeeded to the fuss,
As when the loaded omnibus
Has reached the railway terminus:

When, for the tumult of the street,
Is heard the engine's stifled beat,
The velvet tread of porters' feet.

With glance that ever sought the ground,
She moved her lips without a sound,
And every now and then she frowned.

He gazed upon the sleeping sea,
And joyed in its tranquillity,
And in that silence dead, but she

To muse a little space did seem,
Then, like the echo of a dream,
Harked back upon her threadbare theme.

Still an attentive ear he lent
But could not fathom what she meant:
She was not deep, nor eloquent.

He marked the ripple on the sand:
The even swaying of her hand
Was all that he could understand.

He saw in dreams a drawing-room,
Where thirteen wretches sat in gloom,
Waiting - he thought he knew for whom:

He saw them drooping here and there,
Each feebly huddled on a chair,
In attitudes of blank despair:

Oysters were not more mute than they,
For all their brains were pumped away,
And they had nothing more to say -

Save one, who groaned "Three hours are gone!"
Who shrieked "We'll wait no longer, John!
Tell them to set the dinner on!"

The vision passed: the ghosts were fled:
He saw once more that woman dread:
He heard once more the words she said.

He left her, and he turned aside:
He sat and watched the coming tide
Across the shores so newly dried.

He wondered at the waters clear,
The breeze that whispered in his ear,
The billows heaving far and near,

And why he had so long preferred
To hang upon her every word:
"In truth," he said, "it was absurd."

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Lewis Carroll

The Three Voices

The First Voice

He trilled a carol fresh and free,
He laughed aloud for very glee:
There came a breeze from off the sea:

It passed athwart the glooming flat -
It fanned his forehead as he sat -
It lightly bore away his hat,

All to the feet of one who stood
Like maid enchanted in a wood,
Frowning as darkly as she could.

With huge umbrella, lank and brown,
Unerringly she pinned it down,
Right through the centre of the crown.

Then, with an aspect cold and grim,
Regardless of its battered rim,
She took it up and gave it him.

A while like one in dreams he stood,
Then faltered forth his gratitude
In words just short of being rude:

For it had lost its shape and shine,
And it had cost him four-and-nine,
And he was going out to dine.

'To dine!' she sneered in acid tone.
'To bend thy being to a bone
Clothed in a radiance not its own!'

The tear-drop trickled to his chin:
There was a meaning in her grin
That made him feel on fire within.

'Term it not 'radiance,'' said he:
''Tis solid nutriment to me.
Dinner is Dinner: Tea is Tea.'

And she 'Yea so? Yet wherefore cease?
Let thy scant knowledge find increase.
Say 'Men are Men, and Geese are Geese.''

He moaned: he knew not what to say.
The thought 'That I could get away!'
Strove with the thought 'But I must stay.

'To dine!' she shrieked in dragon-wrath.
'To swallow wines all foam and froth!
To simper at a table-cloth!

'Say, can thy noble spirit stoop
To join the gormandising troup
Who find a solace in the soup?

'Canst thou desire or pie or puff?
Thy well-bred manners were enough,
Without such gross material stuff.'

'Yet well-bred men,' he faintly said,
'Are not willing to be fed:
Nor are they well without the bread.'

Her visage scorched him ere she spoke:
'There are,' she said, 'a kind of folk
Who have no horror of a joke.

'Such wretches live: they take their share
Of common earth and common air:
We come across them here and there:

'We grant them - there is no escape -
A sort of semi-human shape
Suggestive of the man-like Ape.'

'In all such theories,' said he,
'One fixed exception there must be.
That is, the Present Company.'

Baffled, she gave a wolfish bark:
He, aiming blindly in the dark,
With random shaft had pierced the mark.

She felt that her defeat was plain,
Yet madly strove with might and main
To get the upper hand again.

Fixing her eyes upon the beach,
As though unconscious of his speech,
She said 'Each gives to more than each.'

He could not answer yea or nay:
He faltered 'Gifts may pass away.'
Yet knew not what he meant to say.

'If that be so,' she straight replied,
'Each heart with each doth coincide.
What boots it? For the world is wide.'

'The world is but a Thought,' said he:
'The vast unfathomable sea
Is but a Notion - unto me.'

And darkly fell her answer dread
Upon his unresisting head,
Like half a hundredweight of lead.

'The Good and Great must ever shun
That reckless and abandoned one
Who stoops to perpetrate a pun.

'The man that smokes - that reads the TIMES -
That goes to Christmas Pantomimes -
Is capable of ANY crimes!'

He felt it was his turn to speak,
And, with a shamed and crimson cheek,
Moaned 'This is harder than Bezique!'

But when she asked him 'Wherefore so?'
He felt his very whiskers glow,
And frankly owned 'I do not know.'

While, like broad waves of golden grain,
Or sunlit hues on cloistered pane,
His colour came and went again.

Pitying his obvious distress,
Yet with a tinge of bitterness,
She said 'The More exceeds the Less.'

'A truth of such undoubted weight,'
He urged, 'and so extreme in date,
It were superfluous to state.'

Roused into sudden passion, she
In tone of cold malignity:
'To others, yea: but not to thee.'

But when she saw him quail and quake,
And when he urged 'For pity's sake!'
Once more in gentle tones she spake.

'Thought in the mind doth still abide
That is by Intellect supplied,
And within that Idea doth hide:

'And he, that yearns the truth to know,
Still further inwardly may go,
And find Idea from Notion flow:

'And thus the chain, that sages sought,
Is to a glorious circle wrought,
For Notion hath its source in Thought.'

So passed they on with even pace:
Yet gradually one might trace
A shadow growing on his face.


The Second Voice

THEY walked beside the wave-worn beach;
Her tongue was very apt to teach,
And now and then he did beseech

She would abate her dulcet tone,
Because the talk was all her own,
And he was dull as any drone.

She urged 'No cheese is made of chalk':
And ceaseless flowed her dreary talk,
Tuned to the footfall of a walk.

Her voice was very full and rich,
And, when at length she asked him 'Which?'
It mounted to its highest pitch.

He a bewildered answer gave,
Drowned in the sullen moaning wave,
Lost in the echoes of the cave.

He answered her he knew not what:
Like shaft from bow at random shot,
He spoke, but she regarded not.

She waited not for his reply,
But with a downward leaden eye
Went on as if he were not by

Sound argument and grave defence,
Strange questions raised on 'Why?' and 'Whence?'
And wildly tangled evidence.

When he, with racked and whirling brain,
Feebly implored her to explain,
She simply said it all again.

Wrenched with an agony intense,
He spake, neglecting Sound and Sense,
And careless of all consequence:

'Mind - I believe - is Essence - Ent -
Abstract - that is - an Accident -
Which we - that is to say - I meant - '

When, with quick breath and cheeks all flushed,
At length his speech was somewhat hushed,
She looked at him, and he was crushed.

It needed not her calm reply:
She fixed him with a stony eye,
And he could neither fight nor fly.

While she dissected, word by word,
His speech, half guessed at and half heard,
As might a cat a little bird.

Then, having wholly overthrown
His views, and stripped them to the bone,
Proceeded to unfold her own.

'Shall Man be Man? And shall he miss
Of other thoughts no thought but this,
Harmonious dews of sober bliss?

'What boots it? Shall his fevered eye
Through towering nothingness descry
The grisly phantom hurry by?

'And hear dumb shrieks that fill the air;
See mouths that gape, and eyes that stare
And redden in the dusky glare?

'The meadows breathing amber light,
The darkness toppling from the height,
The feathery train of granite Night?

'Shall he, grown gray among his peers,
Through the thick curtain of his tears
Catch glimpses of his earlier years,

'And hear the sounds he knew of yore,
Old shufflings on the sanded floor,
Old knuckles tapping at the door?

'Yet still before him as he flies
One pallid form shall ever rise,
And, bodying forth in glassy eyes

'The vision of a vanished good,
Low peering through the tangled wood,
Shall freeze the current of his blood.'

Still from each fact, with skill uncouth
And savage rapture, like a tooth
She wrenched some slow reluctant truth.

Till, like a silent water-mill,
When summer suns have dried the rill,
She reached a full stop, and was still.

Dead calm succeeded to the fuss,
As when the loaded omnibus
Has reached the railway terminus:

When, for the tumult of the street,
Is heard the engine's stifled beat,
The velvet tread of porters' feet.

With glance that ever sought the ground,
She moved her lips without a sound,
And every now and then she frowned.

He gazed upon the sleeping sea,
And joyed in its tranquillity,
And in that silence dead, but she

To muse a little space did seem,
Then, like the echo of a dream,
Harked back upon her threadbare theme.

Still an attentive ear he lent
But could not fathom what she meant:
She was not deep, nor eloquent.

He marked the ripple on the sand:
The even swaying of her hand
Was all that he could understand.

He saw in dreams a drawing-room,
Where thirteen wretches sat in gloom,
Waiting - he thought he knew for whom:

He saw them drooping here and there,
Each feebly huddled on a chair,
In attitudes of blank despair:

Oysters were not more mute than they,
For all their brains were pumped away,
And they had nothing more to say -

Save one, who groaned 'Three hours are gone!'
Who shrieked 'We'll wait no longer, John!
Tell them to set the dinner on!'

The vision passed: the ghosts were fled:
He saw once more that woman dread:
He heard once more the words she said.

He left her, and he turned aside:
He sat and watched the coming tide
Across the shores so newly dried.

He wondered at the waters clear,
The breeze that whispered in his ear,
The billows heaving far and near,

And why he had so long preferred
To hang upon her every word:
'In truth,' he said, 'it was absurd.'


The Third Voice

NOT long this transport held its place:
Within a little moment's space
Quick tears were raining down his face

His heart stood still, aghast with fear;
A wordless voice, nor far nor near,
He seemed to hear and not to hear.

'Tears kindle not the doubtful spark.
If so, why not? Of this remark
The bearings are profoundly dark.'

'Her speech,' he said, 'hath caused this pain.
Easier I count it to explain
The jargon of the howling main,

'Or, stretched beside some babbling brook,
To con, with inexpressive look,
An unintelligible book.'

Low spake the voice within his head,
In words imagined more than said,
Soundless as ghost's intended tread:

'If thou art duller than before,
Why quittedst thou the voice of lore?
Why not endure, expecting more?'

'Rather than that,' he groaned aghast,
'I'd writhe in depths of cavern vast,
Some loathly vampire's rich repast.'

''Twere hard,' it answered, 'themes immense
To coop within the narrow fence
That rings THY scant intelligence.'

'Not so,' he urged, 'nor once alone:
But there was something in her tone
That chilled me to the very bone.

'Her style was anything but clear,
And most unpleasantly severe;
Her epithets were very queer.

'And yet, so grand were her replies,
I could not choose but deem her wise;
I did not dare to criticise;

'Nor did I leave her, till she went
So deep in tangled argument
That all my powers of thought were spent.'

A little whisper inly slid,
'Yet truth is truth: you know you did.'
A little wink beneath the lid.

And, sickened with excess of dread,
Prone to the dust he bent his head,
And lay like one three-quarters dead

The whisper left him - like a breeze
Lost in the depths of leafy trees -
Left him by no means at his ease.

Once more he weltered in despair,
With hands, through denser-matted hair,
More tightly clenched than then they were.

When, bathed in Dawn of living red,
Majestic frowned the mountain head,
'Tell me my fault,' was all he said.

When, at high Noon, the blazing sky
Scorched in his head each haggard eye,
Then keenest rose his weary cry.

And when at Eve the unpitying sun
Smiled grimly on the solemn fun,
'Alack,' he sighed, 'what HAVE I done?'

But saddest, darkest was the sight,
When the cold grasp of leaden Night
Dashed him to earth, and held him tight.

Tortured, unaided, and alone,
Thunders were silence to his groan,
Bagpipes sweet music to its tone:

'What? Ever thus, in dismal round,
Shall Pain and Mystery profound
Pursue me like a sleepless hound,

'With crimson-dashed and eager jaws,
Me, still in ignorance of the cause,
Unknowing what I broke of laws?'

The whisper to his ear did seem
Like echoed flow of silent stream,
Or shadow of forgotten dream,

The whisper trembling in the wind:
'Her fate with thine was intertwined,'
So spake it in his inner mind:

'Each orbed on each a baleful star:
Each proved the other's blight and bar:
Each unto each were best, most far:

'Yea, each to each was worse than foe:
Thou, a scared dullard, gibbering low,
AND SHE, AN AVALANCHE OF WOE!'

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The Brus Book X

[Preparations for battle against John of Lorn]
Quhen Thomas Randell on this wis
Wes takyn as Ik her devys
And send to dwell in gud keping
For spek that he spak to the king,
The gud king that thocht on the scaith
The dispyt and felny bath
That Jhone off Lorne had till him doyn
His ost assemblyt he then sone
And towart Lorn he tuk the way
With his men intill gud aray.
Bot Jhone off Lorn off his cummyng
Lang or he come had wittering,
And men on ilk sid gadryt he
I trow twa thousand thai mycht be
And send thaim for to stop the way
Quhar the gud king behovyt away,
And that wes in an evill plas
That sa strayt and sa narow was
That twasum samyn mycht nocht rid
In sum place off the hillis sid.
The nethyr halff was peralous
For schor crag hey and hydwous
Raucht to the se doun fra the pas,
On athyr halff the montane was
Sua combrous hey and stay
That it was hard to pas that way.
I trow nocht that in all Bretane
Ane heyar hill may fundyn be.
Thar Jhone off Lorne gert his menye
Enbuschyt be abovyn the way,
For giff the king held thar away
He thocht he suld sone vencussyt be,
And himselff held him apon the se
Weill ner the pais with his galayis.
Bot the king that in all assayis
Wes fundyn wys and avisé
Persavyt rycht weill thar sutelte,
And that he neid that gait suld ga.
His men departyt he in twa
And till the gud lord off Douglas
Quham in herbryd all worschip was
He taucht the archerys everilkane
And this gud lord with him has tane
Schyr Alysander Fraser the wycht,
And Wylyam Wysman a gud knycht
And with thaim syne Schyr Androw Gray.
Thir with thar mengne held thar way
And clamb the hill deliverly
And or thai off the tother party
Persavyt thaim thai had ilkane
The hycht abovyne thar fayis tane.

[The battle beneath Ben Cruachan]

The king and his men held thar way,
And quhen intill the pas war thai
Entryt the folk of Lorne in hy
Apon the king raysyt the cry
And schot and tumblit on him stanys
Rycht gret and hevy for the nanys,
Bot thai scaith nocht gretly the king
For he had thar in his leding
Men that lycht and deliver war
And lycht armouris had on thaim thar
Sua that thai stoutly clamb the hill
And lettyt thar fayis to fulfill
The maist part of thar felny.
And als apon the tother party
Come James of Douglas and his rout
And schot apon thaim with a schout
And woundyt thaim with arowis fast,
And with thar swerdis at the last
Thai ruschyt amang thaim hardely,
For thai of Lorn full manlely
Gret and apert defens gan ma.
Bot quhen thai saw that thai war sua
Assaylit apon twa partys
And saw weill that thar ennemys
Had all the fayrer off the fycht
In full gret hy thai tuk the flycht,
And thai a felloun chas gan ma
And slew all that thai mycht ourta,
And thai that mycht eschap but delay
Rycht till ane water held thar way
That ran doun be the hillis syd.
It was sa styth and depe and wid
That men in na place mycht it pas
Bot at ane btyg that beneuth thaim was.
To that brig held thai straucht the way
And to brek it fast gan assay,
Bot thai that chassyt quhen thai thaim saw
Mak arest, but dred or aw
Thai ruschyt apon thaim hardely
And discumfyt thaim uterly,
And held the brig haile quhill the king
With all the folk off his leding
Passyt the brig all at thar ese.
To Jhone off Lorne it suld displese
I trow, quhen he his men mycht se
Oute off his schippis fra the se
Be slayne and chassyt in the hill,
That he mycht set na help thartill,
For it angrys als gretumly
To gud hartis that ar worthi
To se thar fayis fulfill thhar will
As to thaim selff to thoke the ill.

[The taking of Dunstaffnage and the surrender of Alexander of Argyll]

At sic myscheiff war thai of Lorn,
`For fele the lyvys thar has lorne
And other sum war fled thar way.
The king in hy gert sese the pray
Off all the land, quhar men mycht se
Sa gret habundance come of fe
That it war wonder to behauld.
The king that stout wes stark and bauld
Till Dunstaffynch rycht sturdely
A sege set and besily
Assaylit the castell it to get,
And in schort tym he has thaim set
In swilk thrang that tharin war than
That magre tharis he it wan,
And ane gud wardane tharin set
And betaucht hym bath men and met
Sua that he lang tyme thar mycht be
Magre thaim all off that countre.
Schyr Alerandir off Arghile that saw
The king dystroy up clene and law
His land send treyteris to the king
And cum his man but mar duelling,
And he resavit him till his pes,
Bot Jhone off Lorne his sone yeit wes
Rebell as he wes wont to be
And fled with schippis on the se,
Bot thai that left apon the land
War to the king all obeysand.
And he thar hostage all has tane
And towart Perth agayne is gane
To play him thar into the playne.

[The plan to take the peel of Linlithgow]

Yeit Lothyane was him agayne,
And at Lythkow wes than a pele
Mekill and stark and stuffyt wele
With Inglismen, and wes reset
To thaim that with armuris or met
Fra Edynburgh wald to Strevelyn ga
And fra Strevelyng agane alsua,
And till the countre did gret ill.
Now may ye her giff that ye will
Entrmellys and juperdyis
That men assayit mony wys
Castellis and peyllis for to ta,
And this Lithquhow wes ane off tha
And I sall tell You how it wes tane.
In the contre thar wonnyt ane
That husband wes, and with his fe
Oftsys hay to the peile led he,
Wilyame Bunnok to name he hicht
That stalwart man wes into ficht.
He saw sa hard the contre staid
That he gret noy and pite had
Throw the gret force that it was then
Governyt and led with Inglismen,
That travalyt men out-our mesure.
He wes a stout carle and a sture
And off himselff dour and hardy,
And had freyndis wonnand him by
And schawyt ti sum his prevete,
And apon his convyne gat he
Men that mycht ane enbuschement ma
Quhill that he with his wayne suld ga
To lede thaim hay into the pele
Bot his wayne suld be stuffyt wele,
For aucht men in the body
Off his wayn suld sit prevely
And with hay helyt be about,
And himselff that wes dour and stout
Suld be the wayne gang ydilly,
And ane yuman wycht and hardy
Befor suld dryve the wayne and ber
Ane hachat that war scharp to scher
Under his belt, and quhen the yat
War apynnyt and thai war tharat
And he hard him cry sturdely,
'Call all, call all,' than hastyly
He suld stryk with the ax in twa
the soyme, and than in hy suld tha
That war within the wayne cum out
And mak debate quhill that thar rout
That suld nerby enbushyt be
Cum for to manteyme the melle.

[The taking of the peel of Linlithgow]

This wes intill the hervyst tyd
Quhen feldis that ar fayr and wid
Chargyt with corne all fully war,
For syndry cornys that thai bar
Wox ryp to wyn to mannys fud,
And the treys all chargyt stud
With ser frutis on syndry wys.
In this swete tyme that I devys
Thai off the pele had wonnyn hay
And with this Bunnok spokyn had thai
To lede thar hay, for he wes ner,
And he assentyt but daunger
And said that he in the mornyng
Weile sone a fothyr he suld bring
Fayrer and gretar and weile mor
Than he brocht ony that yer befor,
And held thaim cunnand sekyrly.
For that nycht warnyt he prevely
Thaim that in the wayne suld ga
And that in the buschement suld be alsua,
And thai sa graithly sped thaim thar
That or day thai enbuschyt war
Weile ner the pele quhar thai mycht her
The cry als sone as ony wer,
And held thaim sua still but stering
That nane off thaim had persaving.
And this Bunnok fast gan him payne
To dres his menye in his wayne
And all a quhile befor the day
He had thaim helyt weile with ha
And maid him to yok his fe
Till men the son schynand mycht se,
And sum that war within the pele
War ischyt on thar awne unsele
To wyn thar hervyst ner tharby.
Than Bunnok with the cumpany
That in his wayne closyt he had
Went on his way but mar abaid
And callit his wayne towart the pele,
And the portar that saw him wele
Cum ner the yet, it opnyt sone,
And then Bunnok foroutyn hone
Gert call the wayne deliverly,
And quhen it wes set evynly
Betwix the chekis of the yat
Sua that men mycht it spar na gat
He cryit hey, 'Call all, call all,'
And he than lete the gad-wand fall
And hewyt in twa the soyme in hy.
Bonnok with that deliverly
Roucht till the portar sic a rout
That blud and harnys bath come out,
And thai that war within the wayne
Lap out belyff and sone has slayne
Men off the castell that war by
Than in ane quhile begouth the cry,
And thai that ner enbuschyt war
Lap out and come with swerdis bar
And tuk the casell all but payn
And has thaim that war tharin was slayn,
And thai that war went furth beforn
Quhen thai the castell saw forlorn
Thai fled to warand to and fra,
And sum till Edinburgh gan ga
And sum till Strevilline ar other gane
And sum inyill the gat war slayne.

[A profile of Thomas Randolph, earl of Moray]

Bonnok on this wis with his wayne
The pele tuk and the men has slane,
Syne taucht in till the king in hy
That him rewardyt worthely
And gert dryve it doun to the ground,
And syne our all the land gan found
Settand in pes all the countre
That at his obeysance wald be.
And quhen a litill time wes went
Eftre Thomas Randell he sent
And sa weile with him tretit he
That he his man hecht for to be,
And the king his ire him forgave
And for to hey his state him gave
Murreff and erle tharoff him maid,
And other syndry landis braid
He gave him intill heritage.
He knew his worthi vasselage
And his gret wyt and his avys
His traist hart and his lele service,
Tharfor in him affyit he
And ryche maid him off land and fe,
As it wes certis rycht worthi.
For and men spek off him trewly
He wes sua curageous ane knycht
Sa wys, sa worthy and sa wycht
And off sa soverane gret bounte
That mekill off him may spokyn be,
And for I think off him to rede
And to schaw part off his gud dede
I will discryve now his fassoun
And part off his condicioun.
He wes off mesurabill statur
And weile porturat at mesur
With braid vesage plesand and fayr,
Curtais at poynt and debonayr
And off rycht sekyr contenyng.
Lawte he lovyt atour all thing,
Falset tresoun and felony
He stude agayne ay encrely,
He heyit honour ay and larges
And ay mentemyt rychtwysnes.
In cumpany solacious
He was and tharwith amorous,
And gud knychtis he luffyt ay,
And giff I the suth sall say
He wes fulfilly off bounte
As off vertuys all maid was he.
I will commend him her no mar
Bot ye sall her weile forthyrmar
That he for his dedis worthy
Suld weile be prisyt soverandly.

[Moray sets siege toi Edinburgh Castle]

Quhen the king thus was with him sauch
And gret lordschyppis had him betaucht
He wox sa wyse and sa avysé
That his land fyrst weill stablyst he
And syne he sped him to the wer
Till help his eyme in his myster
And with the consent off the king
Bot with a symple aparaling
Till Edinburgh he went in hy
With gud men intill cumpany,
And set a sege to the castell
That than was warnyst wonder weill
With men and vyttalis at all rycht
Sua that it dred na mannys mycht.
Bot this gud erle nocht-forthi
The sege tuk full apertly
And pressyt the folk that tharin was
Sua that nocht ane the yet durst pas.
Thai may abid tharin and ete
Thair vittaill quhill thai oucht mai get
Bot I trow thai sall lettyt be
To purchas mar in the contre.

[The situation in Edinburgh; Douglas's activity]

That tyme Edward off Ingland king
Had gevyn that castell in keping
Till Schyr Perys Lombert a Gascoun,
And quhen thai of his varnysoun
Saw the sege set thar sa stythly
Thai mystrowit him off tratoury
For that he spokyn had with the king,
And for that ilk mystrowing
Thai tuk him and put in presoun,
And off thar awine nacioun
Thai maid ane constable thaim to lede
Bath wys and war and wycht off deid,
And he set wyt and strenth and slycht
To kep the castell at his mycht.
Bot now off thaim I will be still,
And spek a litill quhill I will
Off the douchty lord off Douglas
At that tyme in the Forest was
Quhar he mony a juperty
And fayr poyntis off chevalry
Servyt als weill be nycht as day
Till tthaim that in the castellis lay
Of Roxburch and Jedwort, bot I
Will let fele off thaim pas forby
For I can noucht rehers thaim all,
And thoucht I couth, weill trow ye sall
That I mycht nocht suffice tharto,
Thar suld mekill be ado,
Bot thai that I wate utterly
Eftre my wyt rehers will I.

[Douglas plans to take Roxburgh Castle]

This tyme that the gud erle Thomas
Assegyt as the lettre sayis
Edinburgh, James off Douglas
Set all his wit for to purchas
How Roxburch throu sutelte
Or ony craft mycht wonnyn be,
Till he gert Syme off the Leidhous
A crafty man and a curious
Off hempyn rapis leddris ma
With treyn steppis bundyn sua
That brek wald nocht on nakyn wis.
A cruk thai maid at thair divis
Off irne that wes styth and squar
That fra it in a kyrneill war
And the ledder tharfra straitly
Strekit, it suld stand sekyrly.
This gud lord off Douglas alsone
As this divisit wes and dome
Gaderyt gud men in prevete
Thre scor I trow thai mycht be,
And on the fasteryngis evyn rycht
In the begynnyng off the nycht
To the castell thai tuk thar way.
With blak frogis all helyt thai
The armouris that thai on thaim had.
Thai come nerby thar but abad
And send haly thar hors thaim fra,
And thai on raunge in ane route gan ga
On handis and fete quhen thai war ner
Rycht as thai ky or oxin wer
That war wont to be bondyn left tharout.
It wes rycht myrk withoutyn dout,
The-quhether ane on the wall that lay
Besid him till his fere gan say,
'This man thinkis to mak gud cher,'
And nemmyt ane husband tharby ner,
'That has left all his oxyn out.'
The tother said, 'It is na dout
He sall mak mery tonycht thocht thai
Be with the Douglas led away.'
Thai wend the Douglas and his men
Had bene oxin, for thai yeid then
On handis and fete ay ane and ane.
The Douglas rycht gud tent has tane
Till thar spek, bot all sone thai
Held carpand inwart thar way.

[The taking of the enclosure of Roxburgh Castle]

Douglas men tharoff war blyth
And to the wall thai sped thaim swith,
And sone has up thar ledder set
That maid ane clap quhen the cruchet
Wes fixit fast in the kyrneill.
That herd ane off the wachis weill
And buskyt thidderwart but baid,
Bot Ledehous that the ledder maid
Sped him to clymb fyrst to the wall,
Bot or he wes up gottyn all
He at that ward had in keping
Met him rycht at the up-cummyng,
And for he thocht to ding him doun
He maid na noys na cry na soun
Bot schot till him deliverly.
And he that wes in juperty
To de a launce he till him maid
And gat him be the nek but baid
And stekyt him upwart with a knyff
Quhill in his hand he left the lyff.
And quhen he ded sua saw him ly
Up on tthe wall he went in hy
And doun the body kest thaim till
And said, 'All gangis as we will,
Spede you upwart deliverly.'
And thai did sua in full gret hy.
Bot or thai wan up thar come ane
And saw Ledhous stand him allane
And knew he wes nocht off thar men.
In hy he ruschyt till him then
And him assailit sturdely,
Bot he slew him deliverly
For he wes armyt and wes wycht,
The tother nakyt wes, Ik hicht
And had nocht for to stynt the strak.
Sic melle tharup gan he mak
Quhill Douglas and his mengne all
War cummyn up apon the wall,
Than in the tour thai went in hy.

[The taking of the hall at Roxburgh Castle; the garrison in the tower]

The folk wes that tyme halily
Intill the hall at thar daunsing
Syngyng and other wayis playing,
And apon Fasteryngis evyn this
As custume is to mak joy and blys
Till folk that ar into pouste.
Sua trowyt thai that tyme to be,
Bot or thai wyst rycht in the hall
Douglas and his rout cummyn war all
And cryit on hycht, 'Douglas! Douglas!'
And thai that ma war than he was
Hard 'Douglas!' criyt hidwysly,
Thai war abaysit for the cry
And schup rycht na defens to ma,
And thai but pite gan thaim sla
Till thay had gottyn the overhand.
The tother fled to sek warand
That out off mesure ded gane dreid.
The wardane saw how that it yeid
That callyt wes Gilmyn de Fynys,
In the gret toure he gottyn is
And other off his cumpany
And sparryt the entre hastily.
The lave that levyt war without
War tane or slayne, this is na dout,
Bot giff that ony lap the wall.
The Douglas that nycht held the hall
Allthocht his fayis tharoff war wa,
His men was gangand to and fra
Throu-out the castell all that nycht
Till on the morn that day wes lycht.

[Surrender of the tower at Roxburgh Castle; slighting of the castle]

The wardane that was in the tour
That wes a man off gret valour
Gilmyn the Fynys, quhen he saw
The castell tynt be clene and law
He set his mycht for to defend
The tour, bot thai without him send
Arowys in sa gret quantite
That anoyit tharoff wes he,
Bot till the tother day nocht-forthi
He held the tour full sturdely,
And than at ane assalt he was
Woundyt sa felly in the face
That he wes dredand off his lyff.
Tharfor he tretit than beliff
And yauld the tour on sic maner
That he and all that with him wer
Suld saufly pas in Ingland.
Douglas held thaim gud conand
And convoid thaim to thar countre,
Bot thar full schort tyme levyt he
For throu the wound intill tthe face
He deyt sone and beryit was.
Douglas the castell sesyt all
That thane wes closyt with stalwart wall,
And send this Leidhous till the king
That maid him full gud rewarding
And hys brother in full gret hy
Schyr Edward that wes sa douchty
He send thidder to tumbill it doun
Bath tour and castell and doungeoun.
And he come with gret cumpany
And gert travaile sa besyly
That tour and wall rycht to the ground
War tumblit in a litill stound,
And dwelt thar quhill all Tevidale
Come to the kingis pes all haile
Outane Jedwort and other that ner
The Inglismennys boundis wer.


[Moray seeks a means of taking Edinburgh Castle]

Quhen Roxburgh wonnyn was on this wis
The Erle Thomas that hey empris
Set ay on soverane he bounte
At Edynburgh with his mengne
Wes lyand at a-sege as I
Tauld you befor all opynly.
Bot fra he hard how Roxburgh was
Tane with a trayne, all his purchas
And wyt and besines Ik hycht
He set for to purches sum slycht
How he mycht halp him throu body
Mellyt with hey chevalry
To wyn the wall off the castell
Throu sumkyn slycht, for he wyst weill
That na strenth mycht it playnly get
Quhill thai within had men and met.
Tharfor prevely speryt he
Giff ony man mycht fundyn be
That couth fynd ony juperty
To clymb the wallis prevely
And he suld have his warysoun,
For it wes his entencioun
To put him till all aventur
Or that a sege on him mysfur.

[The plan suggested by William Francis]

Than wes thar ane Wilyame Francus
Wycht and apert wys and curyus
That intill hys youtheid had bene
In the castell. Quhen he has sene
The erle sua enkerly him set
Sum sutelte or wile to get
Quharthrou the castell have mycht he
He come till him in prevete
And said, 'Me think ye wald blythly
That men fand you sum jeperty
How ye mycht our the wallis wyn,
And certis giff ye will begyn
For till assay on sic a wys
Ik undertak for my service
To ken you to clymb to the wall,
And I sall formast be off all,
Quhar with a schort ledder may we,
I trow off tuelf fute it may be,
Clymb to the wall up all quytly,
And gyff that ye will wyt how I
Wate this I sall you blythly say.
Quhen I wes young this hendre day
My fader wes kepar of yone hous,
And I wes sumdeill valegeous
And lovyt a wench her in the toun,
And for i but suspicioun
Mycht repayr till hyr prevely
Off rapys a leddre to me mad I
And tharwith our the wall I slaid.
A strait roid that I sperit had
Intill the crage syne doun I went
And oftsys come till myn entent,
And quhen it ner drew to the day
Ik held agayne that ilk way
And ay come in but persaving.
Ik usyt lang that travaling
Sua that I kan that roid ga rycht
Thoucht men se nevyr sa myrk the nycht.
And giff ye think ye will assay
To pas up efter me that way
Up to the wall I sall you bring,
Giff God us savys fra persaving
Off thaim that wachys on the wall.
And giff that us sua fayr may fall
that we our ledder up may set,
Giff a man on the wall may get
He sall defend and it be ned
Quhill the remanand up thaim sped.'
The erle wes blyth off his carping
And hycht him fayr rewarding
And undretuk that gat to ga
And bad him sone his ledder ma
And hald him preve quhill thai mycht
Set for thar purpos on a nycht.

[The climbing of Edinburgh Castle rock]

Sone efter was the ledder made,
And than the erle but mar abaid
Purvayt him a nycht prevely
With thretty men wycht and hardy,
And in a myrk nycht held thar way
That put thaim till full hard assay
And to gret perell sekyrly.
I trow mycht thai haiff sene clerly
That gat had nocht bene undretane
Thoucht thai to let thaim had nocht ane,
For the crag wes hey and hidwous
And the clymbing rycht peralous,
For hapnyt ony to slyd and fall
He suld sone be to-fruschyt all.
The nycht wes myrk as Ik hard say,
And to the fute sone cummyn ar thai
Off the crag that wes hey and schor,
Than Wilyame Fransoys thaim befor
Clamb in crykes forouth ay
And at the bak him folowyt thai.
With mekill payne quhile to quhile fra
Thai clamb into thai crykys sua
Quhile halff the crag thai clumbyn had
And thar a place thai fand sa brad
That thai mycht syt on anerly,
And thai war ayndles and wery
And thar abaid thar aynd to ta,
And rycht as thai war syttand sua
Rycht aboune thaim up apon the wall
The chak-wachys assemblyt all.
Now help thaim God that all thing mai
For in full gret perell ar thai!
For mycht thai se thaim thar suld nane
Eschape out off that place unslane,
To dede with stanys thai suld thaim ding
That thai mycht halp thaimselvyn na thing.
Bot wonder myrk wes the nycht
Sua that thai off thaim had na sicht,
And nocht-forthi yete wes thar ane
Off thaim that swappyt doun a stane
And said, 'Away, I se you weile,'
The-quhether he saw thaim nocht a dele.
Out-our thar hedis flaw the stane
And thai sat still lurkand ilkane.
The wachys quhen thai herd nocht ster
Fra that ward samyn all passit er
And carpand held fer by thar way.
The erle Thomas alsone and thai
That on the crag thar sat him by
Towart the wall clamb hastily
And thidder come with mekill mayn
And nocht but gret perell and payn.
For fra thine up wes grevouser
To clymb up ne beneth be fer.

[The taking of Edinburgh Castle]

Bot quhhatkyn payne sua ever thai had
Rycht to the wall thai come but bad
That had weile ner twelf fute of hycht,
And forout persaving or sycht
Thai set thar ledder to the wall,
And syne Fransoys befor thaim all
Clamb up and syne Schyr Androw Gray,
And syne the erle himselff perfay
Was the thrid that the wall can ta.
Qhuhen thai thar-doune thar lord sua
Saw clumbyne up apon the wall
As woud men thai clamb eftre all,
Bot or all up clumbene war thai
Thai that war wachys till assay
Hard steryng and preve speking
And alsua fraying off armyng
And on thaim schot full sturdely,
And thai met thaim rycht hardely
And slew off thaim dispitously.
Than throu the castell rais the cry,
'Tresoun! Tresoun!' thai cryit fast.
Than sum of thaim war sua agast
That thai fled and lap our the wall,
Bot to sa swyth thai fled nocht all,
For the constabill that wes hardy
All armyt schot furth to thte cry
And with him fele hardy and stout.
Yeyt wes the erle with his rout
Fechtand with thaim apon the wall
Bot sone he discumfit thaim all.
Be that his men war cummyn ilkan
Up to the wall and he has tane
His way doun to the castell sone.
In gret perell he has him doyn
For thai war fer ma men tharin
And thai had bene of gud covyn
Than he, bot thai effrayit war,
And nocht-forthi with wapnys bar
The constabill and his cumpany
Met him and his rycht hardely.
Thar mycht men se gret bargane ris,
For with wapnys of mony wis
Thai dang on other at thar mycht
Quhill swerdis that war fayr and brycht
War till the hiltis all bludy.
Then hydwysly begouth the cry
For thai that fellyt or stekyt war
Hidwysly gan cry and rar.
The gud erle and his cumpany
Faucht in that fycht sa sturdely
That all thar fayis ruschyt war.
The constable wes slane rycht thar,
And fra he fell the ramanand
Fled quhar thai best mycht to warand,
Thai durst nocht bid to ma debate.
The erle wes handlyt thar sa hat
That had it nocht hapnyt throu cas
That the constable thar slane then was
He had bene in gret perell thar,
Bot quhen thai fled thar wes no mar,
Bot ilk man to sauff his lyff
Fled furth his dayis for to dryve,
And sum slaid doune out-our the wall.

[Comparison with the taking of Tyre by Alexander the Great]

The erle has tane the castell all
For then wes nane durst him withstand.
I hard nevyr quhar in nakin land
Wes castell tane sa hardely
Outakyn Tyre all anerly,
Quhen Alexandir the conquerour
That conqueryt Babylonys tour
Lap fra a berfrois on the wall
Quhar he amang his fayis all
Defendyt him full douchtely
Quhill his noble chevalry
With leddris our the wall yeid
That nother left for deid no dreid,
For thai wyst weill that the king
Wes in the toune thar wes na thing
Intill that tym that stynt thaim moucht,
For all the perell thai set at nocht.
Thai clamb the wall and Aristé
Come fyrst to the gud king quhar he
Defendyt him with all his mycht
That then sa hard wes set Ik hycht
That he wes fellit on a kne,
He till his bak had set a tre
For dred thai suld behind assaile.
Aristé then to the bataile
Sped him in all hy sturdely
And dang on thaim sa douchtely
That the king weiiile reskewit was,
For his men into syndri plas
Clamb our the wall and soucht the king
And him reskewit with hard fechting
And wane the toun deliverly.
Outane this taking anerly
I herd nevyr in na tym gane
Quhar castell wes sa stoutly tane.

[St Margaret's prophecy]

And off this taking that I mene
Sanct Margaret the gud haly quene
Wyst in hyr tyme throu reveling
Off him that knawis and wate all thing,
Tharfor in sted of prophecy
Scho left a taknyng rycht joly,
That is that intill hyr chapele
Scho gert weile portray a castell,
A ledder up to the wall standand
And a man up thar-apon climband,
And wrat outht him as auld men sais
In Frankis, 'Gardys vous de Francais.'
And for this word scho gert writ sua
Men wend the Frankis-men suld it ta,
Bot for Fraunsois hattyn wes he
That sua clamb up in prevete
Scho wrat that as in prophecy,
And it fell efterwart sothly
Rycht as scho said, for tane it was
And Fraunsoys led thaimup that pas.

[Treatment of Piers Lubaud; rewards of the earl of Moray]

On this wis Edinburgh wes tane
And thai that war tharin ilkane
Other tane or slane or lap the wall.
Thar gudis haiff thai sesyt all
And souch the hous everilkane.
Schyr Peris Lubaut that wes tane,
As I said er, befor thai fand
In boyis and hard festnyng sittand.
Thai brocht him till the erle in hy
And he gert lous him hastily,
Then he become the kingis man.
Thai send word to the king rycht than
And tauld how the castell wes tane,
And he in hy is thidder gane
With mony ane in cumpany
And gert myne doun all halily
Bath tour and wall rycht to the grond,
And syne our all the land gan fond
Sesand the countre till his pes.
Off this deid that sa worthy wes
The erle wes prisyt gretumly,
The king that saw him sa worthi
Wes blyth and joyfull our the lave
And to manteyme his stat him gave
Rentis and landis fayr inewch,
And he to sa gret worschip dreuch
That all spak off his gret bounte.
Hys fayis gretly stonayit he
For he fled never for force off fycht.
Quhat sall I mar say off his mycht?
His gret manheid and his bounte
Gerris him yeit renownyt be.

[Places taken by Sir Edward Bruce; his siege of Stirling Castle]

In this tyme that thir jupertys
Off thir castellis that I devis
War eschevyt sa hardely,
Schyr Edward the Bruce the hardy
Had all Galloway and Nydysdale
Wonnyn till his liking all haile
And doungyn doun the castellis all
Rycht in the dyk bath tour and wall.
He hard then say and new it weill
That into Ruglyne wes a pele,
Thidder he went with his menye
And wonnyn it in schort tyme has he,
Syne to Dunde he tuk the way
That then wes haldyne as Ic herd say
Agayne the king, tharfor in hy
He set a sege tharto stoutly
And lay thar quhill it yoldyn was.
To Strevillyne syne the way he tais
Quhar gud Schyr Philip the Mowbray
That wes sa douchty at assay
Wes wardane and had in keping
That castell of the Inglis king.
Thartill a sege thai set stythly,
Thai bykyrrit oftsys sturdely
Bot gret chevalry done wes nane.
Schyr Edward fra the sege wes tane
A weile lang tyme about it lay,
Fra the Lentryne that is to say
Quhill forouth the Sanct Jhonys mes.
The Inglis folk that tharin wes
Begouth to failye vitaill be than.
Than Schyr Philip that douchti man
Tretyt quhill thai consentit war
That gyff at mydsomer the neyst yer
To cum it war nocht with bataile
Reskewyt, then that foroutyn faile
He suld the castell yauld quytly,
That connand band thai sickerly.

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Poets and Poetry

Poets love writing poetry Poetry releases there feelings there are all kinds of poetry, but poetry is in all life nothing can change that. Poets and Poetry is always around us this poetry is about poetry so you decide if you want poetry in your life.

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Like the Sun, Moon and Stars

There always seems to be something relevent,
About the re-occurrence of facts.
They remain consistent.
No matter how many versions are told,
To manipulate them.

And each time they are used,
A beating around the bush...
Accompanies someone's lapse in memory.
But the facts have no lapses at all.
They are there and dependable.
Like the Sun, Moon and Stars.

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I Always Like The Northern Birches

I always s like the northern birches:
Their view, so downcast and grave,
The fever, which poor souls scorches,
Cools like the mute speech of a grave.

But yet, the willow, which branches,
With their long leaves, cast in a flood,
Is closer to a dream, that scourges,
And longer lives in our heart.

Deploring groves their own,
Their meadows – with bitter tears,
Tell birches to cold wind alone
Their common sufferings and fears.

Believing that the whole ground
Is motherland of sacred grieves,
The weeping willow all around
Inclines its branches with long leaves.

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