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Something Different

The Economy and Finance,
Sometimes the question is asked not in a judgemental way;
For you know what it means to have a lover,
But do watch your steps before you destroy your economy.

Works,
Something different;
Your status,
At other times to know your muse;
But every now and then to remind you of your steps!
And like the true spirit of inclusiveness.

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Now And Then

Now and then
I must admit I wonder if I had the chance
To vanquish foes with nothing more than just a glance
How perfect every single day would be
To never wait in driving rain
For the bus that never came
Not to be the one to blame
For anybody else's misery
Now and then
I contemplate a different way around this day
With nothing more than simple words, so I can say
I'm quite content and happy being me
Walking tall with peace of mind
To leave no childhood dreams behind
Arriving home to always find
Things just as I know they ought to be
Now And Then
I must admit I wonder if I had the chance
To vanquish foes with nothing more than just a glance
How perfect every single day would be
To never wait in driving rain
For the bus that never came
Not to be the one to blame
For anybody else's misery
Now and then
I wake up, when it hits me like a ton of bricks
I realise it's me who has to take the licks
No angels up there looking after me
No rainbow with a pot of gold
No cloak to shield me from the cold
No pill to stop me growing old
Dreams fading into stark reality

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The life or death question

You could guess from the crowd
converging on the Memorial Hall
and on a Saturday night, that
the speaker must be world-famed in his field,
making his first visit to the college.

A French scientist of renown –
cognitive theory or some such –
turned Buddhist monk these thirty, forty years,
he carried the blessing and the curse,
the burden of responsibility not only of his vocation
but his fame. The hall was packed.

Serene – ‘together’ has to be the word –
he spoke for an hour; enthusiastic applause;
then question time.

There’s always that tense silence before
the first question…how will
the hall respond tonight? Will it hold the level
of the speaker’s mind? …we knew all too well
those ‘first question’ students – the one
who had to wrap a compliment in
confectioner’s sugar, eliciting an inward groan –
as if the speaker were unaware of his own ability...
she’d marry rich, then live a life of patronising
complacency bestowing well-publicised charity…

or the one whose ‘clever’ question blatantly advertised
to whoever might be impressed, beyond herself,
that she was already on the speaker’s wavelength
before the lecture and before the rest of us…
she’d commit herself to a future academic life
of maintaining this self-superiority,
exhausting herself, losing friends and influencing few…

but no – tonight it was that wild and self-abusive student
who seldom attended any lecture except to challenge –
‘Can you give me one single reason
why I should go on living? ’..

You could have heard a cliché drop..
a pin; a paperclip; but loud, the universal thought –
how could the speaker know, this was the brilliant boy
of already three serious suicide attempts…
representative of the rite of passage greatly magnified,
sex, drugs, rocknroll, and whatever lay beyond…

‘No… I cannot…’

This was the boy we detested, despaired of, tried to befriend,
hated for his disruption, but almost feared,
feared for the wild openness of his mind…
the hall united in hushed, waiting silence…

‘… for you have given yourself the reason –
you have asked the question few of us
have dared to ask… and a question
sincerely asked, brings its answer with it

‘..when you hear the answer that your question
holds in its heart, like some golden lotus,
you will have the answers to all questions,
and you will be a wiser, happier man than me…’

only Buddhists and their like can smile
with such detached serenity; with
a space that’s full of meaning. The hall
broke into the laughter of relief; great laughter;
the unqualified love of five hundred students
poured like a mighty river on that boy

who was still standing, wild-haired –
and I saw that he was laughing too
and through my mind flashed the thought,
the air is full of angels..

where had those angels who laughed
so lightly with us, where had those angels been,
before; and would go, after?
The boy, still laughing as he left.

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Mr. Dana, of the New York Sun

Thar showed up out'n Denver in the spring uv '81
A man who'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
His name wuz Cantell Whoppers, 'nd he wuz a sight ter view
Ez he walked inter the orfice 'nd inquired fer work ter do.
Thar warn't no places vacant then,--fer be it understood,
That wuz the time when talent flourished at that altitood;
But thar the stranger lingered, tellin' Raymond 'nd the rest
Uv what perdigious wonders he could do when at his best,
Till finally he stated (quite by chance) that he hed done
A heap uv work with Dana on the Noo York Sun.

Wall, that wuz quite another thing; we owned that ary cuss
Who'd worked f'r Mr. Dana must be good enough fer us!
And so we tuk the stranger's word 'nd nipped him while we could,
For if we didn't take him we knew John Arkins would;
And Cooper, too, wuz mouzin' round fer enterprise 'nd brains,
Whenever them commodities blew in across the plains.
At any rate we nailed him, which made ol' Cooper swear
And Arkins tear out handfuls uv his copious curly hair;
But we set back and cackled, 'nd bed a power uv fun
With our man who'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.

It made our eyes hang on our cheeks 'nd lower jaws ter drop,
Ter hear that feller tellin' how ol' Dana run his shop:
It seems that Dana wuz the biggest man you ever saw,--
He lived on human bein's, 'nd preferred to eat 'em raw!
If he hed Democratic drugs ter take, before he took 'em,
As good old allopathic laws prescribe, he allus shook 'em.
The man that could set down 'nd write like Dany never grew,
And the sum of human knowledge wuzn't half what Dana knew;
The consequence appeared to be that nearly every one
Concurred with Mr. Dana of the Noo York Sun.

This feller, Cantell Whoppers, never brought an item in,--
He spent his time at Perrin's shakin' poker dice f'r gin.
Whatever the assignment, he wuz allus sure to shirk,
He wuz very long on likker and all-fired short on work!
If any other cuss had played the tricks he dared ter play,
The daisies would be bloomin' over his remains to-day;
But somehow folks respected him and stood him to the last,
Considerin' his superior connections in the past.
So, when he bilked at poker, not a sucker drew a gun
On the man who 'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.

Wall, Dana came ter Denver in the fall uv '83.
A very different party from the man we thought ter see,--
A nice 'nd clean old gentleman, so dignerfied 'nd calm,
You bet yer life he never did no human bein' harm!
A certain hearty manner 'nd a fulness uv the vest
Betokened that his sperrits 'nd his victuals wuz the best;
His face wuz so benevolent, his smile so sweet 'nd kind,
That they seemed to be the reflex uv an honest, healthy mind;
And God had set upon his head a crown uv silver hair
In promise uv the golden crown He meaneth him to wear.
So, uv us boys that met him out'n Denver, there wuz none
But fell in love with Dana uv the Noo York Sun.

But when he came to Denver in that fall uv '83,
His old friend Cantell Whoppers disappeared upon a spree;
The very thought uv seein' Dana worked upon him so
(They hadn't been together fer a year or two, you know),
That he borrered all the stuff he could and started on a bat,
And, strange as it may seem, we didn't see him after that.
So, when ol' Dana hove in sight, we couldn't understand
Why he didn't seem to notice that his crony wa'n't on hand;
No casual allusion, not a question, no, not one,
For the man who'd "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun!"

We broke it gently to him, but he didn't seem surprised,
Thar wuz no big burst uv passion as we fellers had surmised.
He said that Whoppers wuz a man he 'd never heerd about,
But he mought have carried papers on a Jarsey City route;
And then he recollected hearin' Mr. Laffan say
That he'd fired a man named Whoppers fur bein' drunk one day,
Which, with more likker underneath than money in his vest,
Had started on a freight-train fur the great 'nd boundin' West,
But further information or statistics he had none
Uv the man who'd "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun."

We dropped the matter quietly 'nd never made no fuss,--
When we get played for suckers, why, that's a horse on us!--
But every now 'nd then we Denver fellers have to laff
To hear some other paper boast uv havin' on its staff
A man who's "worked with Dana," 'nd then we fellers wink
And pull our hats down on our eyes 'nd set around 'nd think.
It seems like Dana couldn't be as smart as people say,
If he educates so many folks 'nd lets 'em get away;
And, as for us, in future we'll be very apt to shun
The man who "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun."

But bless ye, Mr. Dana! may you live a thousan' years,
To sort o' keep things lively in this vale of human tears;
An' may I live a thousan', too,--a thousan' less a day,
For I shouldn't like to be on earth to hear you'd passed away.
And when it comes your time to go you'll need no Latin chaff
Nor biographic data put in your epitaph;
But one straight line of English and of truth will let folks know
The homage 'nd the gratitude 'nd reverence they owe;
You'll need no epitaph but this: "Here sleeps the man who run
That best 'nd brightest paper, the Noo York Sun."

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And Then The Dreams Wake Up

and then all my dreams
wake up from
their sleep on the day
when i claim
upon my kinship
thoughts
keen and slick
they wear
their colors
vivid and bright
in a new world
where i am inside
simply watching

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The True Disciple (For Hune)

the true disciple,
wearing the robes of doubt...
dividing the atoms of the soul,
searching for fibers that connect.
exploring universes of question,
whetted by the blade of truth;
to immerse in 'i and thou'...
crossing the final desert
to the promised land!
the true disciple,
follows his own footsteps!

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And Then The Beauty Dies

And then the Beauty dies
And goes where no one knows
And all the life remains
Hidden as it was -

And then the Beauty dies
And all forever lost
Remembrance too surprised
To no longer still remain-

And then the Beauty dies
And pain and poignant love
Remain for those behind
The beauty in their mind. -

And then the Beauty dies
And then the Beauty dies.

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And Then I Remember The White Roses

suddenly what flashed to my mind
on a gray afternoon, so vivid are the white roses

a bouquet of white roses
assuring me once again, after 13 years

that your love is pure, despite
that you have remained to be true
no matter what, despite the odds

and then i have seen how each petal of the white roses
fell one by one under our feet, we feel the loss again.

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And Then When The Door Goes Bang

yes, when the door goes bang
you know it is closed and even locked
from the inside

and you do not wish to see anything
you are now alone
you do not wish also to enter that room

you feel so free and you go back
doing the thing that you always love

starting all over again
still hiding and concealing
now the giggling starts and then
the usual explosion
of yourself
in silence, this innermost peace
of the soul

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The true the good and the beautiful

They go together
& so even if you are good but not true
then you are not beautiful,

and even if you are beautiful
but you are not true then you are not good

or even if you are true but then you are not good
then you are not beautiful

always remember that
they always go together so for you to be beautiful
and really beautiful
you must be also good and you must be always true,

this is the goodness of truth and its beauty
that all depends on you, now i can go, so please be

the true, the good and the beautiful

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Help me find the true and only way

To no world beyond will I climb,
when like in Jacobs dream
I see Thy ladder
descending down to me,
since I am man
and thou are far greater than I am
please give me dignity and humility
and let me know,
how to honor thee.

Let the lords of darkness be gone
and let they holy angels,
come to protect me
against Lucifer and his host
and those that do his bidding
and guide me on the narrow way
and help me not to stray.

Let others seek ways to Swadhisthana,
use ether and quantum mechanics
and human consicousness,
to try to get
to the world beyond.

Let me find the path
that leads to Thy throne
in Thy holy word
and send Michael, Gabriel,
Raphael and Uriel
to accompany me
and help me to obey
and find the true
and only way.

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First, you die to the world, and then

First, you die to the world, and then
the world dies
October burns

In a dark time, dark things gather,
want notice, die by recognition:
this one loves the fur that lines a leather coat
a woman gave me, long ago, for my glory, for the cold;
let the coat burn:
this world-wound oozes hustlers and hookers,
who snatch like a wolf, beg left and right, behind, before.
Who lives and dies upright, like a man?

Goddess of the evening, dressed like sunlight,
Goddess of the morning, dressed like rainbows,

carve like a pie, in slices, knife that knows your empty places,
beg of her latest, mercy on your soul -
let the coat burn

I've fought my worst battle in the valley of the shadow
I've done my hardest waiting by the bank of this river
I spend my time watching for the coming of the Horseman

let the world burn

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The True Meaning Of Freedom

Many look on what constitutes freedom one might say differently
What seems free to you may not seem free to me
To be ruled by your own people to you as freedom does count
But in the true meaning of freedom that to little amount.

To be ruled by your own people may be seen as quite okay
But if you have to be careful with the words you do say
Then you are not a free person despite about it how you may feel
Your idea of freedom to me does not appeal.

Of love of Country you are one who brag
And your patriotism you carry in your National flag
But despite this your Government you seemingly fear
And they only tell you what you need to hear.

Patriotic songs and ballads many like to sing
And to their admiration of freedom fighters they fervently do cling
And if that's your idea of freedom well that suits me fine
Though your ideas on life are quite different to mine.

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Between the Now and Then

Upon horizon, night to day ~
there between the now and then,
I often pause along the way,
to tiptoe through the moonlit glen ~
or perhaps take in sun's light,
night to day ~ day to night.

Upon horizon, day to day ~
there between the then and now,
as seasons grow along the way,
to crease the face of timely brow ~
or perhaps steal time away,
day to day ~ day to day.

Upon horizon, day to night ~
there between the now and then,
I stand beneath my autumn light,
bereft as memory calls again ~
to pain the heart with bygone sight,
Night to day ~ day to night.

Upon horizon, night to night ~
there between the then and now,
I know that winter casts its sight,
on one last leaf that will not bow ~
to frost within its golden sight,
night to night ~ night to night.

Upon horizon, night to day ~
there between the now and then,
I know my spring will fade away,
and summer's soft remember when
will echo gently autumn's way ~
day to night ~ night to day....
Winter's near ~ Winter's near......

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The Question Of Life

The Little One sought answers, too.
The elders gave advice.
Not satisfied if truths were true,
If wisdoms were so wise...
The Little One went on his way,
To find life's meaning there,
Beyond the words he heard that day
That left him unaware.

The Little One was told at last,
By one old precious voice,
Grandfather's words left him aghast,
'Your life end's not your choice...'
But then he saw his own old face,
The Old One spoke and said,
'My Little One, it's no disgrace,
Life lasts until you're dead...'

The Little One observed these truths,
The Old One carried on...
'We make our choices while we're youths
Until all youth has gone...
We choose our lifelong destinies,
From thoughts within the mind,
Yet blessed much more than victories
Are hearts we leave behind...'

The Little One now understood,
He saw Man's pain and strife...
He saw the hopes and dreams were good,
Just like the Tree of Life...
From fashioned turquoise in a frame,
A circle for a home,
Was formed a pendant to proclaim
This truth each day we roam...

The Tree of Life bids us recall,
That we must live life well...
To stand up straight and then walk tall,
Through futures none can tell...
Like trees that bend when storms are strong
Yet stand the test of time...
Let's live our lives our whole lives long,
Because life is sublime...


Denis Martindale, copyright January 2011.

Peter Simon of bid.tv's UK Shopping channel
explained the legend of the Little One and the
creation of the little turquoise tree pendant.

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Around The World

Refrain:
Can you feel it
Can you feel it
What it means to hold a hand
Ive been around the world
Can you feel it
Can you feel it
What it means to have a friend
Ive been around the world
Refrain B:
If you need a hand, you can find a friend
In every nation, of this world
If you need a hand, you can find a friend
In every nation, of this world
Rap 1:
Ive been around the world, saw the desert and the rainbow
I go for the show, from the sand to the snow
Moskau to Manila, Milano to Beijng
Caracas to Capetown and back to Montreal
Stop running everyday from the pain, say no go
Driving you insane, no shame that you want let show
Call my name, I feel the same when you have sorrow
Grow let it go, there will always be a tomorrow
Rap 2:
All around the world, when you need a friend
Ill be there, anywhere, dont care, with a helping hand
Understand one another till the end
I swear, Im fair, I care, always gonna be there
Black, white, yellow, no matter if youre young or old
All for one, one for all, thats what my mother told me
Different colours and faces, find the trace
To your base embrace this human race
Life, will flow like a waterfall
Ive been around the world saw the desert and the rainbow
Rap 3:
Ive been around the world, saw the desert and the rainbow
I go for the show, from the sand to the snow
From New York to Paris, Sao Paulo to London
Sidney to Munich and back to Jakarta
Huge and unvorgetable China
People so open much more as I expected
Invincible pleasure in Brasil, Samba
Fond of life, there was no time to chill
Ive been around the world a thousand times for sure
Could be more explore before you walk through that door

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The Questioning Spirit

The human spirits saw I on a day,
Sitting and looking each a different way;
And hardly tasking, subtly questioning,
Another spirit went around the ring
To each and each: and as he ceased his say,
Each after each, I heard them singly sing,
Some querulously high, some softly, sadly low,
We know not, what avails to know?
We know not, wherefore need we know?
This answer gave they still unto his suing,
We know not, let us do as we are doing.
Dost thou not know that these things only seem?
I know not, let me dream my dream.
Are dust and ashes fit to make a treasure?
I know not, let me take my pleasure.
What shall avail the knowledge thou hast sought?
I know not, let me think my thought.
What is the end of strife?
I know not, let me live my life.
How many days or e’er thou mean’st to move?
I know not, let me love my love.
Were not things old once new?
I know not, let me do as others do.
And when the rest were over past,
I know not, I will do my duty, said the last.

Thy duty do? rejoined the voice,
Ah, do it, do it, and rejoice;
But shalt thou then, when all is done,
Enjoy a love, embrace a beauty
Like these, that may be seen and won
In life, whose course will then be run;
Or wilt thou be where there is none?
I know not, I will do my duty.

And taking up the word around, above, below,
Some querulously high, some softly, sadly low,
We know not, sang they all, nor ever need we know!
We know not, sang they, what avails to know?
Whereat the questioning spirit, some short space,
Though unabashed, stood quiet in his place.
But as the echoing chorus died away
And to their dreams the rest returned apace,
By the one spirit I saw him kneeling low,
And in a silvery whisper heard him say:
Truly, thou know’st not, and thou need’st not know;
Hope only, hope thou, and believe alway;
I also know not, and I need not know,
Only with questionings pass I to and fro,
Perplexing these that sleep, and in their folly
Imbreeding doubt and sceptic melancholy;
Till that, their dreams deserting, they with me
Come all to this true ignorance and thee.

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The true view of my country: Swaziland

The true colors of my country
The true Swaziland
The true view of my country
How long have you been deceived?
How long have you received
How long have you conceived

Deceived of a peaceful country
Received about a democratic country
Conceived a developing country
This then is melody of the true Swaziland
A voice of the real Swaziland
A roar of the future of Swaziland

Around the cities of Manzini
Around the mountains of Mdzimba
Around the rivers of Shiselweni
Around the deserts of Lavumisa
You shall find the poor Swazis
You shall find the poor schools
You shall find the starving Swazis
You shall find the dying Swazis

Around the cities of Africa
Around the cities of Europe
Around the hospitals of South Africa
You shall find children of the leaders of Swaziland
You shall find brothers of the leader of Swaziland

For our education is less valued
For our hospitals are critical
For our salaries are drops
For our lives are miserable
Why my country
Why Swaziland

Houses of the leaders are a paradise
Our homesteads are falling mud and sticks
Their cars are glittering engines
Our cars were God given, ever barefooted
Food beyond measure is theirs
We rely on donations; see our water sources, fields and work places

The true image of my country
They call themselves members of parliament
Warming the chairs with not effective policies
Swazis have turned to misinterpret the duties of members of parliament
They are elected to donate food for them
Why my country
Why Swaziland.

Listen as I throw a true picture of my country
Hearken to my joyful tidings
We lead the world in HIV prevalence
We lead the world in violation of human rights
We lead the world in degrading of freedom of expression

My country is not white in color
My country is painted white
Swaziland is a dark black country
But so colorful
Colored white

Our voices are not heard in Africa
Our tears are not seen across the world
Our feelings are not noted in Africa
Our funerals are not counted in Africa
Our unjust imprisonments are not considered across the world

Are we in a different plant?
Is this Pluto

To Africa I sing this song
To the world I throw these words
We need a better Swaziland
We need a better country
A free Swaziland
A living, not leaving Swaziland
A true picture of my country
My country

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Ezra Pound

Canto I: And Then Went Down to the Ship

And then went down to the ship,
Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and
We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,
Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also
Heavy with weeping, and winds from sternward
Bore us onward with bellying canvas,
Crice's this craft, the trim-coifed goddess.
Then sat we amidships, wind jamming the tiller,
Thus with stretched sail, we went over sea till day's end.
Sun to his slumber, shadows o'er all the ocean,
Came we then to the bounds of deepest water,
To the Kimmerian lands, and peopled cities
Covered with close-webbed mist, unpierced ever
With glitter of sun-rays
Nor with stars stretched, nor looking back from heaven
Swartest night stretched over wreteched men there.
The ocean flowing backward, came we then to the place
Aforesaid by Circe.
Here did they rites, Perimedes and Eurylochus,
And drawing sword from my hip
I dug the ell-square pitkin;
Poured we libations unto each the dead,
First mead and then sweet wine, water mixed with white flour
Then prayed I many a prayer to the sickly death's-heads;
As set in Ithaca, sterile bulls of the best
For sacrifice, heaping the pyre with goods,
A sheep to Tiresias only, black and a bell-sheep.
Dark blood flowed in the fosse,
Souls out of Erebus, cadaverous dead, of brides
Of youths and of the old who had borne much;
Souls stained with recent tears, girls tender,
Men many, mauled with bronze lance heads,
Battle spoil, bearing yet dreory arms,
These many crowded about me; with shouting,
Pallor upon me, cried to my men for more beasts;
Slaughtered the herds, sheep slain of bronze;
Poured ointment, cried to the gods,
To Pluto the strong, and praised Proserpine;
Unsheathed the narrow sword,
I sat to keep off the impetuous impotent dead,
Till I should hear Tiresias.
But first Elpenor came, our friend Elpenor,
Unburied, cast on the wide earth,
Limbs that we left in the house of Circe,
Unwept, unwrapped in the sepulchre, since toils urged other.
Pitiful spirit. And I cried in hurried speech:
"Elpenor, how art thou come to this dark coast?
"Cam'st thou afoot, outstripping seamen?"
And he in heavy speech:
"Ill fate and abundant wine. I slept in Crice's ingle.
"Going down the long ladder unguarded,
"I fell against the buttress,
"Shattered the nape-nerve, the soul sought Avernus.
"But thou, O King, I bid remember me, unwept, unburied,
"Heap up mine arms, be tomb by sea-bord, and inscribed:
"A man of no fortune, and with a name to come.
"And set my oar up, that I swung mid fellows."

And Anticlea came, whom I beat off, and then Tiresias Theban,
Holding his golden wand, knew me, and spoke first:
"A second time? why? man of ill star,
"Facing the sunless dead and this joyless region?
"Stand from the fosse, leave me my bloody bever
"For soothsay."
And I stepped back,
And he strong with the blood, said then: "Odysseus
"Shalt return through spiteful Neptune, over dark seas,
"Lose all companions." Then Anticlea came.
Lie quiet Divus. I mean, that is Andreas Divus,
In officina Wecheli, 1538, out of Homer.
And he sailed, by Sirens and thence outwards and away
And unto Crice.
Venerandam,
In the Cretan's phrase, with the golden crown, Aphrodite,
Cypri munimenta sortita est, mirthful, oricalchi, with golden
Girdle and breat bands, thou with dark eyelids
Bearing the golden bough of Argicidia. So that:

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Golden Legend: V. A Covered Bridge At Lucerne

_Prince Henry_. God's blessing on the architects who build
The bridges o'er swift rivers and abysses
Before impassable to human feet,
No less than on the builders of cathedrals,
Whose massive walls are bridges thrown across
The dark and terrible abyss of Death.
Well has the name of Pontifex been given
Unto the Church's head, as the chief builder
And architect of the invisible bridge
That leads from earth to heaven.

_Elsie_ How dark it grows!
What are these paintings on the walls around us?

_Prince Henry_ The Dance Macaber!

_Elsie_ What?

_Prince Henry_ The Dance of Death!
All that go to and fro must look upon it,
Mindful of what they shall be, while beneath,
Among the wooden piles, the turbulent river
Rushes, impetuous as the river of life,
With dimpling eddies, ever green and bright,
Save where the shadow of this bridge falls on it.

_Elsie._ O, yes! I see it now!

_Prince Henry_ The grim musician
Leads all men through the mazes of that dance,
To different sounds in different measures moving;
Sometimes he plays a lute, sometimes a drum,
To tempt or terrify.

_Elsie_ What is this picture?

_Prince Henry_ It is a young man singing to a nun,
Who kneels at her devotions, but in kneeling
Turns round to look at him, and Death, meanwhile,
Is putting out the candles on the altar!

_Elsie_ Ah, what a pity 't is that she should listen
to such songs, when in her orisons
She might have heard in heaven the angels singing!

_Prince Henry_ Here he has stolen a jester's cap and bells,
And dances with the Queen.

_Elsie_ A foolish jest!

_Prince Henry_ And here the heart of the new-wedded wife,
Coming from church with her beloved lord,
He startles with the rattle of his drum.

_Elsie_ Ah, that is sad! And yet perhaps 't is best
That she should die, with all the sunshine on her,
And all the benedictions of the morning,
Before this affluence of golden light
Shall fade into a cold and clouded gray,
Then into darkness!

_Prince Henry_ Under it is written,
'Nothing but death shall separate thee and me!'

_Elsie._ And what is this, that follows close upon it?

_Prince Henry_ Death, playing on a ducimer. Behind him,
A poor old woman, with a rosary,
Follows the sound, and seems to wish her feet
Were swifter to o'ertake him. Underneath,
The inscription reads, 'Better is Death than Life.'

_Elsie._ Better is Death than Life! Ah yes! to thousands
Death plays upon a dulcimer, and sings
That song of consolation, till the air
Rings with it, and they cannot choose but follow
Whither he leads. And not the old alone,
But the young also hear it, and are still.

_Prince Henry_ Yes, in their sadder moments. 'T is the sound
Of their own hearts they hear, half full of tears,
Which are like crystal cups, half filled with water.
Responding to the pressure of a finger
With music sweet and low and melancholy.
Let us go forward, and no longer stay
In this great picture-gallery of Death!
I hate it! ay, the very thought of it!

_Elsie._ Why is it hateful to you?

_Prince Henry._ For the reason
That life, and all that speaks of life, is lovely,
And death, and all that speaks of death, is hateful.

_Elsie._ The grave is but a covered bridge,
leading from light to light, through a brief darkness!

_Prince Henry (emerging from the bridge)._ I breathe again more
freely! Ah, how pleasant
To come once more into the light of day,
Out of that shadow of death! To hear again
The hoof-beats of our horses on firm ground,
And not upon those hollow planks, resounding
With a sepulchral echo, like the clods
On coffins in a churchyard! Yonder lies
The Lake of the Four Forest-Towns, apparelled
In light, and lingering, like a village maiden,
Hid in the bosom of her native mountains,
Then pouring all her life into another's,
Changing her name and being! Overhead,
Shaking his cloudy tresses loose in air,
Rises Pilatus, with his windy pines.

(_They pass on_.)

* * * * *

THE DEVIL'S BRIDGE.

* * * * *

PRINCE HENRY _and_ ELSIE _crossing, with attendants._

_Guide._ This bridge is called the Devil's Bridge.
With a single arch, from ridge to ridge,
It leaps across the terrible chasm
Yawning beneath us, black and deep,
As if, in some convulsive spasm,
the summits of the hills had cracked,
and made a road for the cataract,
That raves and rages down the steep!

_Lucifer (under the bridge)._ Ha! ha!

_Guide._ Never any bridge but this
Could stand across the wild abyss;
All the rest, of wood or stone,
By the Devil's hand were overthrown.
He toppled crags from the precipice,
And whatsoe'er was built by day
In the night was swept away;
None could stand but this alone.

_Lucifer (under the bridge)._ Ha! ha!

_Guide._ I showed you in the valley a boulder
Marked with the imprint of his shoulder;
As he was bearing it up this way,
A peasant, passing, cried, 'Herr Je!'
And the Devil dropped it in his fright,
And vanished suddenly out of sight!

_Lucifer (under the bridge)._ Ha! ha!

_Guide._ Abbot Giraldus of Einsiedel,
For pilgrims on their way to Rome,
Built this at last, with a single arch,
Under which, on its endless march,
Runs the river, white with foam,
Like a thread through the eye of a needle.
And the Devil promised to let it stand,
Under compact and condition
That the first living thing which crossed
Should be surrendered into his hand,
And be beyond redemption lost.

_Lucifer (under the bridge)._ Ha! ha! perdition!

_Guide._ At length, the bridge being all completed,
The Abbot, standing at its head,
Threw across it a loaf of bread,
Which a hungry dog sprang after,
And the rocks reechoed with peals of laughter
To see the Devil thus defeated!

(_They pass on_)

_Lucifer_ (_under the bridge_) Ha! ha! defeated!
For journeys and for crimes like this
To let the bridge stand o'er the abyss!

* * * * *

THE ST. GOTHARD PASS.

* * * * *

_Prince Henry._ This is the highest point. Two ways the rivers
Leap down to different seas, and as they roll
Grow deep and still, and their majestic presence
Becomes a benefaction to the towns
They visit, wandering silently among them,
Like patriarchs old among their shining tents.

_Elsie._ How bleak and bare it is! Nothing but mosses
Grow on these rocks.

_Prince Henry._ Yet are they not forgotten;
Beneficent Nature sends the mists to feed them.

_Elsie._ See yonder little cloud, that, borne aloft
So tenderly by the wind, floats fast away
Over the snowy peaks! It seems to me
The body of St. Catherine, borne by angels!

_Prince Henry._ Thou art St. Catherine, and invisible angels
Bear thee across these chasms and precipices,
Lest thou shouldst dash thy feet against a stone!

_Elsie._ Would I were borne unto my grave, as she was,
Upon angelic shoulders! Even now
I Seem uplifted by them, light as air!
What sound is that?

_Prince Henry_. The tumbling avalanches!

_Elsie_ How awful, yet how beautiful!

_Prince Henry_. These are
The voices of the mountains! Thus they ope
Their snowy lips, and speak unto each other,
In the primeval language, lost to man.

_Elsie_. What land is this that spreads itself beneath us?

_Prince Henry_ Italy! Italy!

_Elsie_ Land of the Madonna!
How beautiful it is! It seems a garden
Of Paradise!

_Prince Henry_. Nay, of Gethsemane
To thee and me, of passion and of prayer!
Yet once of Paradise. Long years ago
I wandered as a youth among its bowers,
And never from my heart has faded quite
Its memory, that, like a summer sunset,
Encircles with a ring of purple light
All the horizon of my youth.

_Guide_. O friends!
The days are short, the way before us long;
We must not linger, if we think to reach
The inn at Belinzona before vespers!

(_They pass on_.)

* * * * *

AT THE FOOT OF THE ALPS.

* * * * *

_A halt under the trees at noon_.

_Prince Henry_ Here let us pause a moment in the trembling
Shadow and sunshine of the roadside trees,
And, our tired horses in a group assembling,
Inhale long draughts of this delicious breeze
Our fleeter steeds have distanced our attendants;
They lag behind us with a slower pace;
We will await them under the green pendants
Of the great willows in this shady place.
Ho, Barbarossa! how thy mottled haunches
Sweat with this canter over hill and glade!
Stand still, and let these overhanging branches
Fan thy hot sides and comfort thee with shade!

_Elsie._ What a delightful landscape spreads before us,
Marked with a whitewashed cottage here and there!
And, in luxuriant garlands drooping o'er us,
Blossoms of grapevines scent the sunny air.

_Prince Henry._ Hark! what sweet sounds are those, whose accents holy
Fill the warm noon with music sad and sweet!

_Elsie._ It is a band of pilgrims, moving slowly
On their long journey, with uncovered feet.

_Pilgrims (chaunting the Hymn of St. Hildebert)_
Me receptet Sion illa,
Sion David, urbs tranquilla,
Cujus faber auctor lucis,
Cujus portae lignum crucis,
Cujus claves lingua Petri,
Cujus cives semper laeti,
Cujus muri lapis vivus,
Cujus custos Rex festivus!

_Lucifer (as a Friar in the procession)._ Here am I, too, in the
pious band,
In the garb of a barefooted Carmelite dressed!
The soles of my feet are as hard and tanned
As the conscience of old Pope Hildebrand,
The Holy Satan, who made the wives
Of the bishops lead such shameful lives.
All day long I beat my breast,
And chaunt with a most particular zest
The Latin hymns, which I understand
Quite as well, I think, as the rest.
And at night such lodging in barns and sheds,
Such a hurly-burly in country inns,
Such a clatter of tongues in empty heads,
Such a helter-skelter of prayers and sins!
Of all the contrivances of the time
For sowing broadcast the seeds of crime,
There is none so pleasing to me and mine
As a pilgrimage to some far-off shrine!

_Prince Henry._ If from the outward man we judge the inner,
And cleanliness is godliness, I fear
A hopeless reprobate, a hardened sinner,
Must be that Carmelite now passing near.

_Lucifer._ There is my German Prince again,
Thus far on his journey to Salern,
And the lovesick girl, whose heated brain
Is sowing the cloud to reap the rain;
But it's a long road that has no turn!
Let them quietly hold their way,
I have also a part in the play.
But first I must act to my heart's content
This mummery and this merriment,
And drive this motley flock of sheep
Into the fold, where drink and sleep
The jolly old friars of Benevent.
Of a truth, it often provokes me to laugh
To see these beggars hobble along,
Lamed and maimed, and fed upon chaff,
Chanting their wonderful piff and paff,
And, to make up for not understanding the song,
Singing it fiercely, and wild, and strong!
Were it not for my magic garters and staff,
And the goblets of goodly wine I quaff,
And the mischief I make in the idle throng,
I should not continue the business long.

_Pilgrims (chaunting)._ In hac uibe, lux solennis,
Ver aeternum, pax perennis,
In hac odor implens caelos,
In hac semper festum melos!

_Prince Henry._ Do you observe that monk among the train,
Who pours from his great throat the roaring bass,
As a cathedral spout pours out the rain,
And this way turns his rubicund, round face?

_Elsie._ It is the same who, on the Strasburg square,
Preached to the people in the open air.

_Prince Henry._ And he has crossed o'er mountain, field, and fell,
On that good steed, that seems to bear him well,
The hackney of the Friars of Orders Gray,
His own stout legs! He, too, was in the play,
Both as King Herod and Ben Israel.
Good morrow, Friar!

_Friar Cuthbert._ Good morrow, noble Sir!

_Prince Henry._ I speak in German, for, unless I err,
You are a German.

_Friar Cuthbert._ I cannot gainsay you.
But by what instinct, or what secret sign,
Meeting me here, do you straightway divine
That northward of the Alps my country lies?

_Prince Henry._ Your accent, like St, Peter's, would betray you,
Did not your yellow beard and your blue eyes,
Moreover, we have seen your face before,
And heard you preach at the Cathedral door
On Easter Sunday, in the Strasburg square
We were among the crowd that gathered there,
And saw you play the Rabbi with great skill,
As if, by leaning o'er so many years
To walk with little children, your own will
Had caught a childish attitude from theirs,
A kind of stooping in its form and gait,
And could no longer stand erect and straight.
Whence come you now?

_Friar Cuthbert._ From the old monastery
Of Hirschau, in the forest; being sent
Upon a pilgrimage to Benevent,
To see the image of the Virgin Mary,
That moves its holy eyes, and sometimes speaks,
And lets the piteous tears run down its cheeks,
To touch the hearts of the impenitent.

_Prince Henry._ O, had I faith, as in the days gone by,
That knew no doubt, and feared no mystery!

_Lucifer (at a distance)._ Ho, Cuthbert! Friar Cuthbert!

_Friar Cuthbert._ Farewell, Prince!
I cannot stay to argue and convince.

_Prince Henry._ This is indeed the blessed Mary's land,
Virgin and Mother of our dear Redeemer!
All hearts are touched and softened at her name;
Alike the bandit, with the bloody hand,
The priest, the prince, the scholar, and the peasant,
The man of deeds, the visionary dreamer,
Pay homage to her as one ever present!
And even as children, who have much offended
A too indulgent father, in great shame,
Penitent, and yet not daring unattended
To go into his presence, at the gate
Speak with their sister, and confiding wait
Till she goes in before and intercedes;
So men, repenting of their evil deeds,
And yet not venturing rashly to draw near
With their requests an angry father's ear,
Offer to her their prayers and their confession,
And she for them in heaven makes intercession.
And if our Faith had given us nothing more
Than this example of all womanhood,
So mild, so merciful, so strong, so good,
So patient, peaceful, loyal, loving, pure,
This were enough to prove it higher and truer
Than all the creeds the world had known before.

_Pilgrims (chaunting afar off)_. Urbs ccelestis, urbs beata,
Supra petram collocata,
Urbs in portu satis tuto
De longinquo te saluto,
Te saluto, te suspiro,
Te affecto, te requiro!

* * * * *

THE INN AT GENOA.

* * * * *

_A terrace overlooking the sea. Night._

_Prince Henry._ It is the sea, it is the sea,
In all its vague immensity,
Fading and darkening in the distance!
Silent, majestical, and slow,
The white ships haunt it to and fro,
With all their ghostly sails unfurled,
As phantoms from another world
Haunt the dim confines of existence!
But ah! how few can comprehend
Their signals, or to what good end
From land to land they come and go!
Upon a sea more vast and dark
The spirits of the dead embark,
All voyaging to unknown coasts.
We wave our farewells from the shore,
And they depart, and come no more,
Or come as phantoms and as ghosts.

Above the darksome sea of death
Looms the great life that is to be,
A land of cloud and mystery,
A dim mirage, with shapes of men
Long dead, and passed beyond our ken.
Awe-struck we gaze, and hold our breath
Till the fair pageant vanisheth,
Leaving us in perplexity,
And doubtful whether it has been
A vision of the world unseen,
Or a bright image of our own
Against the sky in vapors thrown.

_Lucifer (singing from the sea)_. Thou didst not make it, thou
canst not mend it,
But thou hast the power to end it!
The sea is silent, the sea is discreet,
Deep it lies at thy very feet;
There is no confessor like unto Death!
Thou canst not see him, but he is near;
Thou needest not whisper above thy breath,
And he will hear;
He will answer the questions,
The vague surmises and suggestions,
That fill thy soul with doubt and fear!

_Prince Henry_. The fisherman, who lies afloat,
With shadowy sail, in yonder boat,
Is singing softly to the Night!
But do I comprehend aright
The meaning of the words he sung
So sweetly in his native tongue?
Ah, yes! the sea is still and deep.
All things within its bosom sleep!
A single step, and all is o'er;
A plunge, a bubble, and no more;
And thou, dear Elsie, wilt be free
From martyrdom and agony.

_Elsie (coming from her chamber upon the terrace)._
The night is calm and cloudless,
And still as still can be,
And the stars come forth to listen
To the music of the sea.
They gather, and gather, and gather,
Until they crowd the sky,
And listen, in breathless silence,
To the solemn litany.
It begins in rocky caverns,
As a voice that chaunts alone
To the pedals of the organ
In monotonous undertone;
And anon from shelving beaches,
And shallow sands beyond,
In snow-white robes uprising
The ghostly choirs respond.
And sadly and unceasing
The mournful voice sings on,
And the snow-white choirs still answer
Christe eleison!

_Prince Henry._ Angel of God! thy finer sense perceives
Celestial and perpetual harmonies!
Thy purer soul, that trembles and believes,
Hears the archangel's trumpet in the breeze,
And where the forest rolls, or ocean heaves,
Cecilia's organ sounding in the seas,
And tongues of prophets speaking in the leaves.
But I hear discord only and despair,
And whispers as of demons in the air!

* * * * *

AT SEA.

* * * * *

_Il Padrone._ The wind upon our quarter lies,
And on before the freshening gale,
That fills the snow-white lateen sail,
Swiftly our light felucca flies.
Around, the billows burst and foam;
They lift her o'er the sunken rock,
They beat her sides with many a shock,
And then upon their flowing dome
They poise her, like a weathercock!
Between us and the western skies
The hills of Corsica arise;
Eastward, in yonder long, blue line,
The summits of the Apennine,
And southward, and still far away,
Salerno, on its sunny bay.
You cannot see it, where it lies.

_Prince Henry._ Ah, would that never more mine eyes
Might see its towers by night or day!

_Elsie._ Behind us, dark and awfully,
There comes a cloud out of the sea,
That bears the form of a hunted deer,
With hide of brown, and hoofs of black,
And antlers laid upon its back,
And fleeing fast and wild with fear,
As if the hounds were on its track!

_Prince Henry._ Lo! while we gaze, it breaks and falls
In shapeless masses, like the walls
Of a burnt city. Broad and red
The fires of the descending sun
Glare through the windows, and o'erhead,
Athwart the vapors, dense and dun,
Long shafts of silvery light arise,
Like rafters that support the skies!

_Elsie._ See! from its summit the lurid levin
Flashes downward without warning,
As Lucifer, son of the morning,
Fell from the battlements of heaven!

_Il Padrone._ I must entreat you, friends, below!
The angry storm begins to blow,
For the weather changes with the moon.
All this morning, until noon,
We had baffling winds, and sudden flaws
Struck the sea with their cat's-paws.
Only a little hour ago
I was whistling to Saint Antonio
For a capful of wind to fill our sail,
And instead of a breeze he has sent a gale.
Last night I saw St. Elmo's stars,
With their glimmering lanterns, all at play
On the tops of the masts and the tips of the spars,
And I knew we should have foul weather to-day.
Cheerily, my hearties! yo heave ho!
Brail up the mainsail, and let her go
As the winds will and Saint Antonio!

Do you see that Livornese felucca,
That vessel to the windward yonder,
Running with her gunwale under?
I was looking when the wind o'ertook her,
She had all sail set, and the only wonder
Is that at once the strength of the blast
Did not carry away her mast.
She is a galley of the Gran Duca,
That, through the fear of the Algerines,
Convoys those lazy brigantines,
Laden with wine and oil from Lucca.
Now all is ready, high and low;
Blow, blow, good Saint Antonio!

Ha! that is the first dash of the rain,
With a sprinkle of spray above the rails,
Just enough to moisten our sails,
And make them ready for the strain.
See how she leaps, as the blasts o'ertake her,
And speeds away with a bone in her mouth!
Now keep her head toward the south,
And there is no danger of bank or breaker.
With the breeze behind us, on we go;
Not too much, good Saint Antonio!

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The Human Spirit Song

The human spirit
Is alive today
And I can feel it today

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