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The cold season

At times I battle
to find the reason,
why life is turning
into a cold season.

Still the world moves
and the country
takes is own way
and the stars
of yesterday,
are all burned out
by today.

No one can stay
forever young
and as time rushes by,
no one is exempt
from the passage
of life.

Opportunities come and go
and life carries on
and at the end of it all,
waits the cold reality
of a resting place.

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(Love&Death Poem) A (I Love You) Final Resting Place

Forever attached to the moment
Oh no
Oh no
I just can't let go
It can't end this way
Just listen to me
You will make it
You will live on
With you the kids are growing so strong

Forever attached to the moment
Oh no
Oh no
I just can't let go
No its not okay
You must fight
With all you strength
Think of those you love
Think of those who depend on you the most
Anything to keep you going

You are the one I love.
You the one that I just cant let go.
No matter how hard I try
I looked into her eyes and she died
I never got to say my final goodbye
A (I love you) final resting place

Forever attached to the moment
Oh no
Oh no
I just can't let go
In your eyes i see the beautiful sparkle of the of the snow
Just live on.
This is just so wrong.
My heart is already gone
It has jumped out my body and committed suicide
Just beat the hell out of my insides

Forever attached to the moment
Oh no
Oh no
I just can't let go
Sir but you have to the paramedic says
I'm sorry shes already gone
How could this happen?
Why me?
I thought we were destine to be.
A long lived family.
This will never be satisfactory.
I'll love her till the day I die.

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Hymns From The French Of Lamartine

I.
'Encore un hymne, O ma lyre
Un hymn pour le Seigneur,
Un hymne dans mon delire,
Un hymne dans mon bonheur.'


One hymn more, O my lyre!
Praise to the God above,
Of joy and life and love,
Sweeping its strings of fire!

Oh, who the speed of bird and wind
And sunbeam's glance will lend to me,
That, soaring upward, I may find
My resting-place and home in Thee?
Thou, whom my soul, midst doubt and gloom,
Adoreth with a fervent flame,--
Mysterious spirit! unto whom
Pertain nor sign nor name!

Swiftly my lyre's soft murmurs go,
Up from the cold and joyless earth,
Back to the God who bade them flow,
Whose moving spirit sent them forth.
But as for me, O God! for me,
The lowly creature of Thy will,
Lingering and sad, I sigh to Thee,
An earth-bound pilgrim still!

Was not my spirit born to shine
Where yonder stars and suns are glowing?
To breathe with them the light divine
From God's own holy altar flowing?
To be, indeed, whate'er the soul
In dreams hath thirsted for so long,--
A portion of heaven's glorious whole
Of loveliness and song?

Oh, watchers of the stars at night,
Who breathe their fire, as we the air,--
Suns, thunders, stars, and rays of light,
Oh, say, is He, the Eternal, there?
Bend there around His awful throne
The seraph's glance, the angel's knee?
Or are thy inmost depths His own,
O wild and mighty sea?

Thoughts of my soul, how swift ye go!
Swift as the eagle's glance of fire,
Or arrows from the archer's bow,
To the far aim of your desire!
Thought after thought, ye thronging rise,
Like spring-doves from the startled wood,
Bearing like them your sacrifice
Of music unto God!

And shall these thoughts of joy and love
Come back again no more to me?
Returning like the patriarch's dove
Wing-weary from the eternal sea,
To bear within my longing arms
The promise-bough of kindlier skies,
Plucked from the green, immortal palms
Which shadow Paradise?

All-moving spirit! freely forth
At Thy command the strong wind goes
Its errand to the passive earth,
Nor art can stay, nor strength oppose,
Until it folds its weary wing
Once more within the hand divine;
So, weary from its wandering,
My spirit turns to Thine!

Child of the sea, the mountain stream,
From its dark caverns, hurries on,
Ceaseless, by night and morning's beam,
By evening's star and noontide's sun,
Until at last it sinks to rest,
O'erwearied, in the waiting sea,
And moans upon its mother's breast,--
So turns my soul to Thee!

O Thou who bidst the torrent flow,
Who lendest wings unto the wind,--
Mover of all things! where art Thou?
Oh, whither shall I go to find
The secret of Thy resting-place?
Is there no holy wing for me,
That, soaring, I may search the space
Of highest heaven for Thee?

Oh, would I were as free to rise
As leaves on autumn's whirlwind borne,--
The arrowy light of sunset skies,
Or sound, or ray, or star of morn,
Which melts in heaven at twilight's close,
Or aught which soars unchecked and free
Through earth and heaven; that I might lose
Myself in finding Thee!


II.
LE CRI DE L'AME.

'Quand le souffle divin qui flotte sur le monde.'

When the breath divine is flowing,
Zephyr-like o'er all things going,
And, as the touch of viewless fingers,
Softly on my soul it lingers,
Open to a breath the lightest,
Conscious of a touch the slightest,--
As some calm, still lake, whereon
Sinks the snowy-bosomed swan,
And the glistening water-rings
Circle round her moving wings
When my upward gaze is turning
Where the stars of heaven are burning
Through the deep and dark abyss,
Flowers of midnight's wilderness,
Blowing with the evening's breath
Sweetly in their Maker's path
When the breaking day is flushing
All the east, and light is gushing
Upward through the horizon's haze,
Sheaf-like, with its thousand rays,
Spreading, until all above
Overflows with joy and love,
And below, on earth's green bosom,
All is changed to light and blossom:

When my waking fancies over
Forms of brightness flit and hover
Holy as the seraphs are,
Who by Zion's fountains wear
On their foreheads, white and broad,
'Holiness unto the Lord!'
When, inspired with rapture high,
It would seem a single sigh
Could a world of love create;
That my life could know no date,
And my eager thoughts could fill
Heaven and Earth, o'erflowing still!

Then, O Father! Thou alone,
From the shadow of Thy throne,
To the sighing of my breast
And its rapture answerest.
All my thoughts, which, upward winging,
Bathe where Thy own light is springing,--
All my yearnings to be free
Are at echoes answering Thee!

Seldom upon lips of mine,
Father! rests that name of Thine;
Deep within my inmost breast,
In the secret place of mind,
Like an awful presence shrined,
Doth the dread idea rest
Hushed and holy dwells it there,
Prompter of the silent prayer,
Lifting up my spirit's eye
And its faint, but earnest cry,
From its dark and cold abode,
Unto Thee, my Guide and God!

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I Wish To Put A Discordant Note It May Not Find The Favorable Node Yet It Is Fact And Can't Be Ignored You May Dream Nicely But Not Allowed To Be Snored No One Can Be On Fire With

I wish to put a discordant note
It may not find the favorable node
Yet it is fact and can't be ignored
You may dream nicely but not allowed to be snored

No one can be on fire with creation
It is special bond with relation
Some of the women may only be lucky
Rest of them are still can be called unlucky

She is not as free as has been imagined
Lots of things are compromised and bargained
Where is she today with freedom in all spheres of life?
No safe passage, attack on modesty, and torture as wife?

Something more is needed to cheer up
Lots of awakening with active participation must be geared up
Then one may see the bright future at the tend of tunnel
There are various ways and means for females

Of course participation from all walks of life is must
Mutual respect and confidence along with the trust
I shall go by the respect alone shown to the women
They may be able to care by themselves from the men

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Can We Find A Reason

Is there anyone out there
Willing to try ?
Or are we satisfied with just getting by ?

We've hurt mother nature
Can't you see her she's crying
We've robbed and we've raped her and taken her child

And oh oh oh can we find a reason ?
Just think about it
And oh oh oh can we find a reason
To live another season ?

We're fighting more battles
Everyday we're alive
We should be rejoicing
But instead we cry

This world's so polluted
You would think we were blind
We poison our children
Before they're defined

And oh oh oh can we find a reason ?
Just think about it
And oh oh oh can we find a reason
To live another season ? yeah

Excuse me for saying
'Cause I've never been shy
But if we don't stop this
We sho'nuff goin' die

Yes I hope we can make it
'Cause this river's run dry
Now our only battle
Will be to survive

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I Can't Find The Words

mmmmmm
mmmmmm
listen baby aa
listen
like a rainbow after the rain
like a cool summer rain
like a flower growing by the spring
in the middle of the desert
your my oasis
when I'm tired and thirsty yes you are
you fill me up till I get enough
your like dew drops on my face baby you gotta shake it

I just cant find the words to show you how much
I really love you more
there is no words to touch the thought of losing you
makes me wanna cry everydays a brand new day

like an early morning sunrise
oh baby your full of surprises
and if it ain't with you
I'm so glad God gave me you
and if I had to change one thing about you baby
I wouldn't change a thing
don't you know that I'd give my life to protect you
cause you brought me my dignity

I just can't find the words to show you how much
I really love you more
there is no words to touch the thought of losing you
makes me wanna cry
everydays a brand new day

oooo yeaaaaa a a
I

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The Resting Place

A fallen tree was found one day
As one young tiger strolled
And that was where he chose to stay
To let tense claws unfold...
The sun was shining, gliding past,
Just like each day before,
Yet there below he found at last
A place to rest each paw.

The tiger's whiskers lowered down,
Like tiny twigs at ease,
While peace began to melt each frown
Amid a soothing breeze...
This was the life! For him, at least:
No hunger, thirst or fear.
Like music to the savage beast,
His thoughts were crystal clear...

A fallen tree, well past its prime,
While sad, still served him well.
To him, a precious place sublime,
Where he could pause a spell...
Let others chase their tails around!
Let others build their nests!
For him, a paradise was found...
No wonder that he rests...


Denis Martindale, copyright, April 2011.

The poem is based on the magnificent painting
by Stephen Gayford called 'The Resting Place'.

More Stephen Gayford poems here:
denis-martindale-dot-blogspot-dot-com

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Cant Find The Town

Written by: james henman
I smoke cigarettes all the morning thru
Im writing this letter just for you
To ease my mind
Theres really no cause for my morning sun
To request
Your name its all the place
But I cant find the town
You cried on your pillow the other night
Over me
Im nothing to shed any tears about
No not me
Ive loved you before in so many towns
Many times
Your name its all over the place
But I cant find the town
Youre writing me back now that time has come
Theres someone else that youre looking for
Its not me
Youve loved me before in so many towns
Many times
My name its all over the place
But you cant find the town

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The Last Day in My Place

Goodbye, my place
Goodbye, my teenage days
I'll be back when June ends
I'll smile to see your face

Everyday you take me up
Let everything just roll
Make everywhere I feel like home

Maybe I never thought that I know you
I always just come and go
When the day is coming
I just know that I can't leaving
Even I can't change it
But I have to sing it
Not for me
It's for you

Goodbye, my place
Goodbye, my teenage days
I'll be back when June ends
I'll smile to see your face
Now I'm singing for all of this
The last day in my place

God loves you
And O.A love you too
Nobody abandons you

When 11 month was gone
I know you're the only one I've to come
You will never feel alone
Goodbye, my friend

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Always Find The Time

Written: stock aitken waterman, james
1a:
Youre the first thing in the morning
And the last thing at night
And Ill always hear you calling
Youre always on my mind
1b:
I dont want no-one but you, ooh ooh
And I dont need a second string
I dont want a share of you, ooh, ooh
I wanna be your everything
Chorus:
Sunrise - as long as youll be mine
Midnight - that would be just fine
Rain or shine - it wouldnt change my mind
I-i-i-always find the time
2:
Look around me
I can always see your face
Theres a feeling thats surrounding
Its in every move you make
All the other guys I see, ooh ohh
They dont get a second chance
Funny they dont interest me, ohh ohh
I dont give them a second glance
Chorus:
Chorus:
1b:
Chorus: (repeat & fade)

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Yes, holy be thy resting place

Yes, holy be thy resting place
Wherever thou may'st lie;
The sweetest winds breathe on thy face,
The softest of the sky.

And will not guardian Angles send
Kind dreams and thoughts of love,
Though I no more may watchful bend
Thy longed repose above?

And will not heaven itself bestow
A beam of glory there
That summer's grass more green may grow,
And summer's flowers more fair?

Farewell, farewell, 'tis hard to part
Yet, loved one, it must be:
I would not rend another heart
Not even by blessing thee.

Go! We must break affection's chain,
Forget the hopes of years:
Nay, grieve not - willest thou remain
To waken wilder tears

This herald breeze with thee and me,
Roved in the dawning day:
And thou shouldest be where it shall be
Ere evening, far away.

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Find The River

Hey now, little speedyhead,
The read on the speedmeter says
You have to go to task in the city
Where people drown and people serve.
Dont be shy. your just deserve
Is only just light years to go.
Me, my thoughts are flower strewn
Ocean storm, bayberry moon.
I have got to leave to find my way.
Watch the road and memorize
This life that pass before my eyes.
Nothing is going my way.
The ocean is the rivers goal,
A need to leave the water knows
Were closer now than light years to go.
I have got to find the river,
Bergamot and vetiver
Run through my head and fall away.
Leave the road and memorize
This life that pass before my eyes.
Nothing is going my way.
Theres no one left to take the lead,
But I tell you and you can see
Were closer now than light years to go.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
Fall into the ocean.
The river to the ocean goes,
A fortune for the undertow.
None of this is going my way.
There is nothing left to throw
Of ginger, lemon, indigo,
Coriander stem and rose of hay.
Strength and courage overrides
The privileged and weary eyes
Of river poet search naivete.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
All of this is coming your way

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Tom Zart's = BATTLE FOR BAGHDAD & THE LONELINESS OF WAR

THE BATTLE FOR BAGHDAD & THE LONELINESS OF WAR

Determined though scared, I walk my beat
On the deadly streets of Baghdad.
Searching for any who plot our harm
Or by our death are joyous and glad.

Standing in shadows caused by the moon
I'm reminded of my nights back home.
I wonder if the woman I love
Is growing tired of sleeping alone?

I feel remorse for all who live here
For this place is a madman's hell.
And those who wish to keep it that way
Must be killed or locked away in jail.

My greatest fear is not my death
But that I'll end up in a wheelchair.
Disabled for the rest of my life,
Depending on others for my care.

My wife, she prays for my safe return
As night and day more GI's are killed.
She knows quite well, whatever it takes
The oath I've given will be fulfilled.

SHOULD TOMORROW START WITHOUT ME

Should tomorrow start without me
Remember I love you.
Looking down from up above
Seeing everything you do.

If I become a casualty
I pray you will love again
Whom ever makes you happy
I'll consider my friend.

Should tomorrow start without me
Remind our boys, God loves all who care.
And when life seems too harsh and cruel
With 'Him' they must share their prayer.

I have proven I'm not a coward
Who breaks and runs to survive.
Always fearing death will kiss me
As the streets of Baghdad I drive.

Should tomorrow start without me
Be proud I choose to serve.
Our faith and our patriotism
Earn the freedom we deserve.

I miss home more than ever
It breaks my heart to stay away
I can't help but want to hold you
And whisper what I say.

THE LONELINESS OF WAR

I know I'm still here so far, far away
As I fight for what I believe is right.
I wonder about you and your mom
Every moment of every day and night.

The loneliness of war can drive you insane
If you don't get letters of concern from home.
Left, right, behind and ahead,
Death awaits leaving love ones alone.

We pray to God that we will be saved
To return home or live the here after.
Bloody, dirt-covered men, we see everyday
As we yearn for those times of laughter.

The far off stare of a fallen comrade
As you stay by his side till his end.
No mother ever carried her infant child
More carefully, than we do a friend.

Many have their own personal diaries
To help keep their faculties together.
Watching hot steel crash into human flesh
Always makes home seem far away and better.

I've become an expert at dodging, weaving and diving
So try not to worry too much about me.
Just help your mom and stand up from the ground
And while I'm gone be all you can be.

VETERAN'S DAY

The cost of freedom is sometimes high
Extremely more when our loved one's die.
Men and women pledged to fight and serve
And it's our support that they deserve.

Mankind itself is the one to blame
That all through history, the story's the same.
Peace, like love, can be hard to acquire
Subject always to enemy fire.

Some how the righteous tend to prevail
Over the miss-guided, prone to fail.
No wonder we fear the tongues that lie
As mankind squabbles beneath God's sky.

The danger our solders face is real
So lets let them know just how we feel.
Put forth your flag and show them your heart
As those we love from us depart.

Tom Zart's 458 Poems Are Free to Use to Teach Or Show Support!

By God's Poet
Tom Zart
Most Published Poet
On The Web!

To Listen To Tom Zart's Poems Go To =
http: //new.pivtr.com/en/schedule/tom-zart/
http: //www.veteranstodayforum.com/viewforum.php? f=38

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On The Downs

A faint sea without wind or sun;
A sky like flameless vapour dun;
A valley like an unsealed grave
That no man cares to weep upon,
Bare, without boon to crave,
Or flower to save.

And on the lip's edge of the down,
Here where the bent-grass burns to brown
In the dry sea-wind, and the heath
Crawls to the cliff-side and looks down,
I watch, and hear beneath
The low tide breathe.

Along the long lines of the cliff,
Down the flat sea-line without skiff
Or sail or back-blown fume for mark,
Through wind-worn heads of heath and stiff
Stems blossomless and stark
With dry sprays dark,

I send mine eyes out as for news
Of comfort that all these refuse,
Tidings of light or living air
From windward where the low clouds muse
And the sea blind and bare
Seems full of care.

So is it now as it was then,
And as men have been such are men.
There as I stood I seem to stand,
Here sitting chambered, and again
Feel spread on either hand
Sky, sea, and land.

As a queen taken and stripped and bound
Sat earth, discoloured and discrowned;
As a king's palace empty and dead
The sky was, without light or sound;
And on the summer's head
Were ashes shed.

Scarce wind enough was on the sea,
Scarce hope enough there moved in me,
To sow with live blown flowers of white
The green plain's sad serenity,
Or with stray thoughts of light
Touch my soul's sight.

By footless ways and sterile went
My thought unsatisfied, and bent
With blank unspeculative eyes
On the untracked sands of discontent
Where, watched of helpless skies,
Life hopeless lies.

East and west went my soul to find
Light, and the world was bare and blind
And the soil herbless where she trod
And saw men laughing scourge mankind,
Unsmitten by the rod
Of any God.

Out of time's blind old eyes were shed
Tears that were mortal, and left dead
The heart and spirit of the years,
And on mans fallen and helmless head
Time's disanointing tears
Fell cold as fears.

Hope flowering had but strength to bear
The fruitless fruitage of despair;
Grief trod the grapes of joy for wine,
Whereof love drinking unaware
Died as one undivine
And made no sign.

And soul and body dwelt apart;
And weary wisdom without heart
Stared on the dead round heaven and sighed,
'Is death too hollow as thou art,
Or as man's living pride?'
And saying so died.

And my soul heard the songs and groans
That are about and under thrones,
And felt through all time's murmur thrill
Fate's old imperious semitones
That made of good and ill
One same tune still.

Then 'Where is God? and where is aid?
Or what good end of these?' she said;
'Is there no God or end at all,
Nor reason with unreason weighed,
Nor force to disenthral
Weak feet that fall?

'No light to lighten and no rod
To chasten men? Is there no God?'
So girt with anguish, iron-zoned,
Went my soul weeping as she trod
Between the men enthroned
And men that groaned.

O fool, that for brute cries of wrong
Heard not the grey glad mother's song
Ring response from the hills and waves,
But heard harsh noises all day long
Of spirits that were slaves
And dwelt in graves.

The wise word of the secret earth
Who knows what life and death are worth,
And how no help and no control
Can speed or stay things come to birth,
Nor all worlds' wheels that roll
Crush one born soul.

With all her tongues of life and death,
With all her bloom and blood and breath,
From all years dead and all things done,
In the ear of man the mother saith,
'There is no God, O son,
If thou be none.'

So my soul sick with watching heard
That day the wonder of that word,
And as one springs out of a dream
Sprang, and the stagnant wells were stirred
Whence flows through gloom and gleam
Thought's soundless stream.

Out of pale cliff and sunburnt health,
Out of the low sea curled beneath
In the land's bending arm embayed,
Out of all lives that thought hears breathe
Life within life inlaid,
Was answer made.

A multitudinous monotone
Of dust and flower and seed and stone,
In the deep sea-rock's mid-sea sloth,
In the live water's trembling zone,
In all men love and loathe,
One God at growth.

One forceful nature uncreate
That feeds itself with death and fate,
Evil and good, and change and time,
That within all men lies at wait
Till the hour shall bid them climb
And live sublime.

For all things come by fate to flower
At their unconquerable hour,
And time brings truth, and truth makes free,
And freedom fills time's veins with power,
As, brooding on that sea,
My thought filled me.

And the sun smote the clouds and slew,
And from the sun the sea's breath blew,
And white waves laughed and turned and fled
The long green heaving sea-field through,
And on them overhead
The sky burnt red

Like a furled flag that wind sets free,
On the swift summer-coloured sea
Shook out the red lines of the light,
The live sun's standard, blown to lee
Across the live sea's white
And green delight.

And with divine triumphant awe
My spirit moved within me saw,
With burning passion of stretched eyes,
Clear as the light's own firstborn law,
In windless wastes of skies
Time's deep dawn rise.

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The Last Battle of the Cid

Low he lay upon his dying couch, the knight without a stain,
The unconquered Cid Campeadór, the bright breast-plate of Spain,
The incarnate honour of Castille, of Aragon and Navarre,
Very crown of Spanish chivalry, Rodrigo of Bivar!

Sick he lay, and grieved in spirit, for that Paynim dogs should dare
Camp around his knightly citadel, Valencia the fair!
For that he no more should face them, in his beauteous armour dight,
To whom God and Santiago aye gave victory in the fight.

Faintly rising o'er the ramparts came the murmur of the siege,
And he could but pray for Christendom, his country and his liege;
For his well-belovèd city, granite-girdled, pennon-starred,
And the royal wealth of treasure that its stately portals barred.

“Santiago, at whose altar I did watch mine armour bright,
And was girt with golden spur and brand, a consecrated knight!—
Santiago, by my vow redeemed at Compostela's shrine,
Let the Paynim life-blood only touch these blessed walls of mine!

“Santiago, warrior saintly, who with Don Fernando's host
Stormed and won the gates of Coimbra, guard my fortress on the coast!
Keep the holy leper's blessing, though the snow is on my hair;—
Strike the base-born unbelievers!—save Valencia the fair!”

Lo, a sudden cloud of glory filled his chamber as he prayed!
Lo, San Pedro stood beside him, all in shining robes arrayed!
“For thy love, Rodrigo Diaz, to Cardeña's house,” said he,
I have offered intercessions, and the Lord hath answered me.

“Thou must die, O well-beloved!—thirty days, and thou must die!
Yet in death shall Santiago grant thee still a victory.
Thou shalt ride forth to the battle—Santiago shall be there—
For the Faith and Don Alfonso and Valencia the fair.”

Silence reigned within the chamber; none stood near the hero's bed;
All that dazzling flood of glory slowly, softly vanishèd.
He could only hear the murmur from the ramparts rise and fall;
He could only see the cross-bars stretching dimly on the wall.
In San Pedro's chapel lay the Cid, his eyes with rapture dim,
And proclaimed the wondrous favour that the Lord had granted him.
Then he parted from his vassals, and went humbly to confess;
And the warrior-bishop clothed his soul in its baptismal dress.

'Twas the holy day of Pentecost that saw Ruy Diaz die—
Evermore the spotless mirror of Castillian chivalry!

They, in whom his will was shrinèd, Alvar Fanez and his knights,
Stood to watch the hero vanquished who had won a thousand fights.

DoXimena, the faithful, with her tears bedewed his feet,
And anointed all his body with pure incense, rich and sweet.
Then in silence and in sorrow the twelve days of waiting fled;
And the warders on the ramparts dared not whisper, “He is dead.”

In the midnight, dark and quiet, fell the torches' lurid glare
On the palaces and portals of Valencia the fair;
And a solemn, slow procession, mounted all in royal state,
Like the spectre of an army, passed beneath the city gate.

In the van was borne the ensign, known and dreaded far and wide,
With four hundred noblest knights ranged proudly by its side.
Toward Castille and Cardeña were those haughty faces set,—
And that banner never more did crown Valencia's parapet.

Then came mules, with treasure laden, stepping softly on before,
Compassed round with knights in armour—to the full four hundred more.
Then a band of belted nobles, stern and silent; and amid
Their levelled lances, he of Bivar—the Campeadór—the Cid.

On his milk-white steed, Babieca, whom none else did e'er bestride,
Clad in all his princely trappings, did the lifeless warrior ride;
Girt with helm and spur and blazoned shield, and grasping in his hand
The bright crosslet of Tizona, his thrice-consecrated brand.

Geronymo and Gil Diaz held the slackened bridlerein—
His true bishop and true vassal—as they moved on to the plain;
And Ximena and her maidens, 'mid the torchlight weird and dim,
With six hundred knights in harness, followed slowly after him.

In the solemn hush and darkness, with no joyful clarion-cry,
And no clash and clank of weapons, riding all so silently;—
Thus they passed out from the city e'er the summer morning broke,
And were found arrayed for battle when the infidels awoke.

Great and mighty was the Moorish host, by thirty monarchs led,
But a greater was the army with Rodrigo at the head;
For, behold! came Santiago to the bloody battle-plain—
Santiago, with a hundred thousand warriors in his train.

Each in robe of shining whiteness, with a red cross on his breast,—
Each with fiery sword uplifted or with golden lance at rest;
Santiago, saintly leader, on a charger white as snow—
Sent to aid the Cid Campeadór in vanquishing the foe.

All the Paynims looked amazèd on the dreadful beauteous sight,
As the tender light of morning softly crept out from the night;
Then they harnessed them in silence, sternly grasping shield and spear,
And pressed on in serried column, full of wonder, full of fear.

There was one loud shock of battle, then they wildly turned to flee,
And the Cid and Santiago swept their hosts into the sea.
Twenty kings and twenty armies in that bloody fight were slain,
And were left, with upturned faces, stiff and stark upon the plain.

Fair and shining came the daylight, all in liquid summer sheen—
But no more was Santiago, or his white-robed warriors, seen;
Only one small train of nobles, riding on, with stately pace,
To San Pedro de Cardeña and the great Cid's resting-place.

By the altar in the chapel, where the monarch's throne doth stand,
Sat the dead Cid, robed in purple, with his good sword in his hand.
And again the Moorish ensign fluttered proudly in the air,
Lifted high above the ramparts of Valencia the fair.

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John Keats

Otho The Great - Act V

SCENE I.

A part of the Forest.
Enter CONRAD and AURANTHE.
Auranthe. Go no further; not a step more; thou art
A master-plague in the midst of miseries.
Go I fear thee. I tremble every limb,
Who never shook before. There's moody death
In thy resolved looks Yes, I could kneel
To pray thee far away. Conrad, go, go
There! yonder underneath the boughs I see
Our horses!
Conrad. Aye, and the man.
Auranthe. Yes, he is there.
Go, go, no blood, no blood; go, gentle Conrad!
Conrad. Farewell!
Auranthe. Farewell, for this Heaven pardon you.
[Exit AURANTHE,
Conrad. If he survive one hour, then may I die
In unimagined tortures or breathe through
A long life in the foulest sink of the world!
He dies 'tis well she do not advertise
The caitiff of the cold steel at his back.
[Exit CONRAD.
Enter LUDOLPH and PAGE.
Ludolph. Miss'd the way, boy, say not that on your peril!
Page. Indeed, indeed I cannot trace them further.
Ludolph. Must I stop here? Here solitary die?
Stifled beneath the thick oppressive shade
Of these dull boughs, this oven of dark thickets,
Silent, without revenge? pshaw! bitter end,
A bitter death, a suffocating death,
A gnawing silent deadly, quiet death!
Escaped? fled? vanish'd? melted into air?
She's gone! I cannot clutch her! no revenge!
A muffled death, ensnar'd in horrid silence!
Suck'd to my grave amid a dreamy calm!
O, where is that illustrious noise of war,
To smother up this sound of labouring breath,
This rustle of the trees!
[AURANTHE shrieks at a distance.
Page. My Lord, a noise!
This way hark!
Ludolph. Yes, yes! A hope! A music!
A glorious clamour! How I live again! [Exeunt.

SCENE II. Another part of the Forest,
Enter ALBERT (wounded).
Albert. O for enough life to support me on
To Otho's feet
Enter LUDOLPH.
Ludolph. Thrice villainous, stay there
Tell me where that detested woman is
Or this is through thee!
Albert. My good Prince, with me
The sword has done its worst; not without worst
Done to another Conrad has it home
I see you know it all
Ludolph. Where is his sister?
AURANTHE rushes in.
Auranthe. Albert!
Ludolph. Ha! There! there! He is the paramour I
There hug him dying! O, thou innocence,
Shrine him and comfort him at his last gasp,
Kiss down his eyelids! Was he not thy love?
Wilt thou forsake him at his latest hour?
Keep fearful and aloof from his last gaze,
His most uneasy moments, when cold death
Stands with the door ajar to let him in?
Albert. O that that door with hollow slam would close
Upon me sudden, for I cannot meet,
In all the unknown chambers of the dead,
Such horrors
Ludolph. Auranthe! what can he mean?
What horrors? Is it not a joyous time?
Am I not married to a paragon
'Of personal beauty and untainted soul'?
A blushing fair-eyed Purity! A Sylph,
Whose snowy timid hand has never sin'd
Beyond a flower pluck'd, white as itself?
Albert, you do insult my Bride your Mistress
To talk of horrors on our wedding night.
Albert. Alas! poor Prince, I would you knew my heart.
'Tis not so guilty
Ludolph. Hear you he pleads not guilty
You are not? or if so what matters it?
You have escap'd me, free as the dusk air
Hid in the forest safe from my revenge;
I cannot catch you--You should laugh at me,
Poor cheated Ludolph, make the forest hiss
With jeers at me You tremble; faint at once,
You will come to again. O Cockatrice,
I have you. Whither wander those fair eyes
To entice the Devil to your help, that he
May change you to a Spider, so to crawl
Into some cranny to escape my wrath?
Albert. Sometimes the counsel of a dying man
Doth operate quietly when his breath is gone
Disjoin those hands part--part, do not destroy
Each other forget her our miseries
Are equal shar'd, and mercy is
Ludolph. A boon
When one can compass it. Auranthe, try
Your oratory your breath is not so hitch'd
Aye, stare for help
[ALBERT groans and dies.
There goes a spotted soul
Howling in vain along the hollow night
Hear him he calls you Sweet Auranthe, come!
Auranthe. Kill me.
Ludolph. No! What? upon our Marriage-night!
The earth would shudder at so foul a deed
A fair Bride, a sweet Bride, an innocent Bride!
No, we must revel it, as 'tis in use
In times of delicate brilliant ceremony:
Come, let me lead you to our halls again
Nay, linger not make no resistance sweet
Will you Ah wretch, thou canst not, for I have
The strength of twenty lions 'gainst a lamb
Now one adieu for Albert come away.
[Exeunt.


SCENE III. An inner Court of the Castle.
Enter SIGIFRED, GONFRED, and THEODORE meeting.
Theodore. Was ever such a night?
Sigifred. What horrors more?
Things unbeliev'd one hour, so strange they are,
The next hour stamps with credit.
Theodore. Your last news ?
Gonfred. After the Page's story of the death
Of Albert and Duke Conrad?
Sigifred. And the return
Of Ludolph with the Princess.
Gonfred. No more save
Prince Gersa's freeing Abbot Ethelbert,
And the sweet lady, fair Erminia,
From prison.
Theodore. Where are they now? hast yet heard?
Gonfred. With the sad Emperor they are closeted ;
I saw the three pass slowly up the stairs,
The lady weeping, the old Abbot cowl'd.
Sigifred. What next?
Thedore. I ache to think on't.
Gonfred. ‘Tis with fate.
Theodore. One while these proud towers are hush'd as death.
Gonfred. The next our poor Prince fills the arched rooms
With ghastly ravings.
Sigifred. I do fear his brain.
Gonfred. I will see more. Bear you so stout a heart?
[Exeunt into the Castle.

SCENE IV. A Cabinet, opening towards a Terrace.
OTHO, ERMINIA, ETHELBERT, and a Physician, discovered.
Otho. O, my poor Boy! my Son! my Son! My Ludolph!
Have ye no comfort for me, ye Physicians
Of the weak Body and Soul?
Ethelbert. ‘Tis not the Medicine
Either of heaven or earth can cure unless
Fit time be chosen to administer
Otho. A kind forbearance, holy Abbot come
Erminia, here sit by me, gentle Girl;
Give me thy hand hast thou forgiven me?
Erminia. Would I were with the saints to pray for you!
Otho. Why will ye keep me from my darling child?
Physician. Forgive me, but he must not see thy face
Otho. Is then a father's countenance a Gorgon?
Hath it not comfort in it? Would it not
Console my poor Boy, cheer him, heal his spirits?
Let me embrace him, let me speak to him
I will who hinders me? Who's Emperor?
Physician. You may not, Sire 'twould overwhelm him quite,
He is so full of grief and passionate wrath,
Too heavy a sigh would kill him or do worse.
He must be sav'd by fine contrivances
And most especially we must keep clear
Out of his sight a Father whom he loves
His heart is full, it can contain no more,
And do its ruddy office.
Ethelbert. Sage advice;
We must endeavour how to ease and slacken
The tight-wound energies of his despair,
Not make them tenser
Otho. Enough! I hear, I hear.
Yet you were about to advise more I listen.
Ethelbert. This learned doctor will agree with me,
That not in the smallest point should he be thwarted
Or gainsaid by one word his very motions,
Nods, becks and hints, should be obey'd with care,
Even on the moment: so his troubled mind
May cure itself
Physician. There is no other means.
Otho. Open the door: let's hear if all is quiet
Physician. Beseech you, Sire, forbear.
Erminia. Do, do.
Otho. I command!
Open it straight hush! quiet my lost Boy!
My miserable Child!
Ludolph (indistinctly without). Fill, fill my goblet,
Here's a health!
Erminia. O, close the door!
Otho. Let, let me hear his voice; this cannot last
And fain would I catch up his dying words
Though my own knell they be this cannot last
O let me catch his voice for lo! I hear
This silence whisper me that he is dead!
It is so. Gersa?
Enter GERSA.
Physician. Say, how fares the prince?
Gersa. More calm his features are less wild and flushed
Once he complain'd of weariness
Physician. Indeed!
'Tis good 'tis good let him but fall asleep,
That saves him.
Otho. Gersa, watch him like a child
Ward him from harm and bring me better news
Physician. Humour him to the height. I fear to go;
For should he catch a glimpse of my dull garb,
It might affright him fill him with suspicion
That we believe him sick, which must not be
Gersa. I will invent what soothing means I can.
[Exit GERSA.
Physician. This should cheer up your Highness weariness
Is a good symptom, and most favourable
It gives me pleasant hopes. Please you walk forth
Onto the Terrace; the refreshing air
Will blow one half of your sad doubts away.
[Exeunt.

SCENE V. A Banqueting Hall, brilliantly illuminated, and set forth
with all costly magnificence, with Supper-tables, laden with services
of Gold and Silver. A door in the back scene, guarded by two Soldiers.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, &c., whispering sadly,
and ranging themselves; part entering and part discovered.
First Knight. Grievously are we tantaliz'd, one and all
Sway'd here and there, commanded to and fro
As though we were the shadows of a dream
And link'd to a sleeping fancy. What do we here?
Gonfred. I am no Seer you know we must obey
The prince from A to Z though it should be
To set the place in flames. I pray hast heard
Where the most wicked Princess is?
First Knight. There, Sir,
In the next room have you remark'd those two
Stout soldiers posted at the door?
Gonfred. For what?
[They whisper.
First Lady. How ghast a train!
Second Lady. Sure this should be some splendid burial.
First Lady. What fearful whispering! See, see, Gersa there.
Enter GERSA.
Gersa. Put on your brightest looks; smile if you can;
Behave as all were happy; keep your eyes
From the least watch upon him ;
if he speaks
To any one, answer collectedly,
Without surprise, his questions, howe'er strange.
Do this to the utmost, though, alas! with me
The remedy grows hopeless! Here he comes,
Observe what I have said, show no surprise.
Enter LUDOLPH, followed by SIGIFRED and Page.
Ludolph. A splendid company! rare beauties here!
I should have Orphean lips, and Plato's fancy,
Amphion's utterance, toned with his lyre,
Or the deep key of Jove's sonorous mouth,
To give fit salutation. Methought I heard,
As I came in, some whispers, what of that?
'Tis natural men should whisper; at the kiss
Of Psyche given by Love, there was a buzz
Among the gods! and silence is as natural.
These draperies are fine, and, being a mortal,
I should desire no better; yet, in truth,
There must be some superiour costliness,
Some wider-domed high magnificence!
I would have, as a mortal I may not,
Hanging of heaven's clouds, purple and gold,
Slung from the spheres; gauzes of silver mist,
Loop'd up with cords of twisted wreathed light,
And tassell'd round with weeping meteors!
These pendent lamps and chandeliers are bright
As earthly fires from dull dross can be cleansed;
Yet could my eyes drink up intenser beams
Undazzled, this is darkness, when I close
These lids, I see far fiercer brilliances,
Skies full of splendid moons, and shooting stars,
And spouting exhalations, diamond fires,
And panting fountains quivering with deep glows!
Yes this is dark is it not dark?
Sigifred. My Lord,
'Tis late; the lights of festival are ever
Quench'd in the morn.
Ludolph. 'Tis not to-morrow then?
Sigifred. ‘Tis early dawn.
Gersa. Indeed full time we slept;
Say you so, Prince?
Ludolph. I say I quarreled with you ; We did not tilt each other, that's a blessing,
Good gods! no innocent blood upon my head!
Sigifred. Retire, Gersa!
Ludolph. There should be three more here:
For two of them, they stay away perhaps,
Being gloomy-minded, haters of fair revels,
They know their own thoughts best.
As for the third,
Deep blue eyes semi-shaded in white lids,
Finished with lashes fine for more soft shade,
Completed by her twin-arch'd ebon brows
White temples of exactest elegance,
Of even mould felicitous and smooth
Cheeks fashioned tenderly on either side,
So perfect, so divine that our poor eyes
Are dazzled with the sweet proportioning,
And wonder that 'tis so, the magic chance!
Her nostrils, small, fragrant, faery-delicate;
Her lips -I swear no human bones e'er wore
So taking a disguise you shall behold her!
We'll have her presently; aye, you shall see her,
And wonder at her, friends, she is so fair
She is the world's chief Jewel, and by heaven
She's mine by right of marriage she is mine!
Patience, good people, in fit time I send
A Summoner she will obey my call,
Being a wife most mild and dutiful.
First I would hear what music is prepared
To herald and receive her let me hear!
Sigifred. Bid the musicians soothe him tenderly.
[A soft strain of Music.
Ludolph. Ye have none better no I am content;
'Tis a rich sobbing melody, with reliefs
Full and majestic; it is well enough,
And will be sweeter, when ye see her pace
Sweeping into this presence, glisten'd o'er
With emptied caskets, and her train upheld
By ladies, habited in robes of lawn,
Sprinkled with golden crescents; (others bright
In silks, with spangles shower'd,) and bow'd to
By Duchesses and pearled Margravines
Sad, that the fairest creature of the earth
I pray you mind me not 'tis sad, I say,
That the extremest beauty of the world
Should so entrench herself away from me,
Behind a barrier of engender 'd guilt!
Second Lady. Ah! what a moan!
First Knight. Most piteous indeed!
Ludolph. She shall be brought before this company,
And then then
First Lady. He muses.
Gersa. O, Fortune, where will this end?
Sigifred. I guess his purpose! Indeed he must not have
That pestilence brought in, that cannot be,
There we must stop him.
Gersa. I am lost! Hush, hushl
He is about to rave again.
Ludolph. A barrier of guilt! I was the fool.
She was the cheater! Who's the cheater now,
And who the fool? The entrapp'd, the caged fool,
The bird-limy raven? She shall croak to death
Secure! Methinks I have her in my fist,
To crush her with my heel! Wait, wait! I marvel
My father keeps away: good friend, ah! Sigifred!
Do bring him to me and Erminia
I fain would see before I sleep and Ethelbert,
That he may bless me, as I know he will
Though I have curs'd him.
Sigifred. Rather suffer me
To lead you to them
Ludolph. No, excuse me, no
The day is not quite done go bring them hither.
[Exit SIGIFRED.
Certes, a father's smile should, like sunlight,,
Slant on my sheafed harvest of ripe bliss
Besides, I thirst to pledge my lovely Bride
In a deep goblet: let me see what wine?
The strong Iberian juice, or mellow Greek?
Or pale Calabrian? Or the Tuscan grape?
Or of old Ætna's pulpy wine presses,
Black stain'd with the fat vintage, as it were
The purple slaughter-house, where Bacchus' self
Prick'd his own swollen veins? Where is my Page?
Page. Here, here!
Ludolph. Be ready to obey me; anon thou shalt
Bear a soft message for me for the hour
Draws near when I must make a winding up
Of bridal Mysteries a fine-spun vengeance!
Carve it on my Tomb, that when I rest beneath
Men shall confess This Prince was gulled and cheated,
But from the ashes of disgrace he rose
More than a fiery Phoenix and did burn
His ignominy up in purging fires
Did I not send, Sir, but a moment past,
For my Father?
Gersa. You did.
Ludolph. Perhaps 'twould be
Much better he came not.
Gersa. He enters now!
Enter OTHO, ERMINIA, ETHELBERT, SIGIFRED, and Physician.
Ludolph. O thou good Man, against whose sacred head
I was a mad conspirator, chiefly too
For the sake of my fair newly wedded wife,
Now to be punish'd, do not look so sad!
Those charitable eyes will thaw my heart,
Those tears will wash away a just resolve,
A verdict ten times sworn! Awake awake
Put on a judge's brow, and use a tongue
Made iron-stern by habit! Thou shalt see
A deed to be applauded, 'scribed in gold!
Join a loud voice to mine, and so denounce
What I alone will execute!
Otho. Dear son,
What is it? By your father's love, I sue
That it be nothing merciless!
Ludolph. To that demon?
Not so! No! She is in temple-stall
Being garnish'd for the sacrifice, and I,
The Priest of Justice, will immolate her
Upon the altar of wrath! She stings me through!-
Even as the worm doth feed upon the nut,
So she, a scorpion, preys upon my brain!
I feel her gnawing here! Let her but vanish,
Then, father, I will lead your legions forth,
Compact in steeled squares, and speared files,
And bid our trumpets speak a fell rebuke
To nations drows'd in peace!
Otho. To-morrow, Son,
Be your word law forget to-day
Ludolph. I will
When I have finish 'd it now! now! I'm pight,
Tight-footed for the deed!
Erminia. Alas! Alas!
Ludolph. What Angel’s voice is that? Erminia!
Ah! gentlest creature, whose sweet innocence
Was almost murder'd; I am penitent,
Wilt thou forgive me? And thou, holy Man,
Good Ethelbert, shall I die in peace with you?
Erminia. Die, my lord!
Ludolph. I feel it possible.
Otho. Physician?
Physician. I fear me he is past my skill.
Otho. Not so!
Ludolph. I see it, I see it I have been wandering
Half-mad not right here I forget my purpose.
Bestir, bestir, Auranthe! ha! ha! ha!
Youngster! Page! go bid them drag her to me!
Obey! This shall finish it! [Draws a dagger.
Otho. O my Son! my Son!
Sigifred. This must not be stop there!
Ludolph. Am I obey'd?
A little talk with her no harm haste ! haste !
[Exit Page.
Set her before me never fear I can strike.
Several Voices. My Lord! My Lord!
Gersa. Good Prince!
Ludolph. Why do ye trouble me? out-out-out away!
There she is! take that! and that! no, no-
That's not well done Where is she?
The doors open. Enter Page. Several women are seen grouped
about AURANTHE in the inner room.
Page. Alas! My Lord, my Lord! they cannot move her!
Her arms are stiff, her fingers clench'd and cold
Ludolph. She's dead!
[Staggers and jails into their arms.
Ethelbert. Take away the dagger.
Gersa. Softly; so!
Otho. Thank God for that!
Sigifred. I fear it could not harm him.
Gersa. No! brief be his anguish!
Ludolph. She's gone I am content Nobles, good night!
We are all weary faint set ope the doors
I will to bed! To-morrow [Dies.
THE CURTAIN FALLS.

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Loraine

This is the story of one man’s soul.
The paths are stony and passion is blind,
And feet must bleed ere the light we find.
The cypher is writ on Life’s mighty scroll,
And the key is in each man’s mind.
But who read aright, ye have won release,
Ye have touched the joy in the heart of Peace.

PART I

THERE’S a bend of the river on Glenbar run
Which the wild duck haunt at the set of sun,
And the song of the waters is softened so
That scarcely its current is heard to flow;
And the blackfish hide by the shady bank
’Neath the sunken logs where the reeds are rank,
And the halcyon’s mail is an azure gleam
O’er the shifting shoals of the silver bream,
And the magpies chatter their idle whim,
And the wagtails flitter along the brim,
And tiny martins with breasts of snow
Keep fluttering restlessly to and fro,
And the weeping willows have framed the scene
With the trailing fall of their curtains green,
And the grass grows lush on the level leas
’Neath the low gnarled boughs of the apple trees,
Where the drowsy cattle dream away
The noon-tide hours of the summer day.
There’s a shady nook by the old tree where
The track comes winding from Bendemeer.
So faint are the marks of the bridle track,
From the old slip-rails on the ridge’s back,
That few can follow the lines I know—
But I ride with the shadows of long ago!
I am gaunt and gray, I am old and worn,
But my heart goes back to a radiant morn
When someone waited and watched for me
In the friendly shade of that grand old tree.
The winter of Memory brings again
The summer rapture of passionate pain,
And she comes to me with the morning grace
On her sun-gold hair and her lily face,
And her blue eyes soft with the dreamy light
She stole from the stars of the Southern night,
And her slender form like a springtide flower
That sprang from the earth in a magic hour,
With the trembling smile and the tender tone
And the welcome glance—that were mine alone.
And we sit once more as we sat of old
When the future lay in a haze of gold—
In the fairy days when the gods have lent
To our lips the silence of heart’s content.
Ah! those were the days of youth’s perfect spring,
When each wandering wind had a song to sing,
When the touch of care and the shade of woe
Were but empty words we could never know
As we rode ’neath the gum and the box trees high,
And our idle laughter went floating by,
As we rode o’er the leagues of the billowy plain
Where the grass grew green ’neath the summer rain,
And over the hills in the range’s heart
To the fern-decked glen where the waters dart,
And we railed at time and the laggard year
Ere a bride would be mistress of Bendemeer.
Now the old-time feud that was first begun
When the Gordons settled on Glenbar run,
It had passed away, it was buried deep
In the quiet graves where our fathers sleep,
And sweet Mary Gordon was left alone
In the quaint old station of rough-hewn stone,
The maiden whom lovers sought near and far—
The stately lily of old Glenbar.
Our kinsfolk had hated, from year to year,
Since the first Loraine came to Bendemeer
They have passed where none can cavil and strive;
How could she and I keep the feud alive!
I, James Loraine, who were better dead
Than harm one hair of her gentle head!
So we made the bond that would bind, one day,
Glenbar and Bendemeer for aye.

For at last, though it left me with saddened face,
I was master of all in my father’s place.
Of the gray old dwelling, rambling and wide,
With the homestead paddocks on either side,
And the deep verandahs and porches tall
Where the vine climbs high on the trellised wall,
Where the pine and cypress their dark crowns rear
O’er the garden—the glory of Bendemeer—
From whence you can dream o’er the tranquil scene
Of the scattered sheep on the lucerne green,
And the mighty plain in the sunlight spread,
With the brown hawk motionless overhead,
And the stockmen’s cottages clustering still
On the gentle slope of the station hill,
And the woolshed gray on the swelling rise
Where the creek winds blue ’neath the bluer skies.

And here in the days when our hearts were light
We lived life joyously day and night.
For the friend of my soul, who was dear to me
As no friend hath been or again can be,
Was Oliver Douglas. In cloud or shine
My heart was his and his heart was mine,
And we lived like brothers from year to year,
And toiled for the honour of Bendemeer,
And my life moved on thro’ a golden haze
The splendid glamour of fortunate days.
What more to a man can the high God send
Than the fairest maid and the firmest friend!
I have read in some poet how Friendship may
Stand strong as a tower in the darkest day,
When the lips of Love that were quick to vow
Have failed ’neath the frown upon Fortune’s brow.
What a friend was he, without fear or guile,
With his careless ways and his ready smile,
With the voice to cheer, and the eye to praise,
And the heart to toil through the hardest days!
How he won all hearts, were they high or low,
By the easy charm that I envied so!

For they say in jest I am true to race—
The dark Loraines of the haughty face—
Awkward, and shy, and unbending when
I am full of love for my fellow-men.
But I caught at the sunshine he flung about—
The man to whom all my heart went out.
Ah! how oft at dusk ’neath the evening star
Have we reined our horses at old Glenbar,
And sat in the quaint familiar room
Made sweet with the scent of the jasmine bloom,
Where my soul first saw in her dreamy eyes
The lights of the gateways of Paradise!
How we lingered over our hopes and fears
As we planned the course of the coming years
Whilst Oliver chatted with easy flow
To Margaret Bruce with the hair of snow—
The proud old dame of a proud old race
Who lived for the child with her sister’s face.

O the joyous days! O the morning air!
When the blood was young and the world was air!
When from Tara and Westmere and Boradaile,
And from Snowdon Hills and from Lilyvale,
And from Tallaran and the plains of Scar
All sent down their horses to old Glenbar.
From many a station for miles away
Came the happy faces on racing day,
Came the big bush buggies fast rolling in
With the four-in-hands and the merry din.
And if strife was keen in those days of old
’Twas for love of sport, not for lust of gold;
For then each man rode as a man should ride
With his honour at stake and the station’s pride,
When every racehorse was sent to race
And each run had a crack for the steeplechase.
And I see the last timber loom big and bare
As we held the field with a length to spare,
And Douglas crashed past me on Charioteer,
The big gray gelding from Bendemeer.
But I rode the bay with the tiny star
That had carried the Lily of old Glenbar.
And I rode for all that I cared for most
And I collared the gray ere he passed the post.
Ah! how gaily and lightly our pulses beat
As the night went out to the trip of feet!
And though all men sought her with hope and praise
It was I she loved—with my awkward ways—
It was I she loved in the golden days!

The drought came down upon Bendemeer,
And the grass grew yellow, and scant, and sere,
And the lucerne paddocks were eaten brown,
And half the trees on the run cut down,
And we toiled all day ’midst the dying sheep,
The tottering frames that could scarcely creep,
And the dead by scores lay over the plain,
But God seemed deaf—for He sent no rain.
And whilst Hope stood sounding her funeral knells
Who had heart to talk about wedding bells?
And the drought held on for a three-year span,
And I woke one morning a ruined man.
Yet Fate smote harder—a deadlier blow—
For on old Glenbar there was word to go.
For the mortgage hung over Glenbar run,
And their stock were dead and their credit done,
And the bank foreclosed. We were cast aside
From the homes where our fathers had lived and died.

So we said good-bye—ah! the bitter end
At the trysting place on the river bend.
But the ground lay sullen and bare below,
And most of the river had ceased to flow,
And the springs of Hope in our souls were dried,
And in silence we stood there side by side,
And a leaden fear held my brain and heart,
And we strove to go, but we could not part.
O sweet is the dawn of Love’s perfect spring,
When the white arms clasp and the soft lips cling;
But fierce is the passion that fires the blood
When Love stands baulked in its summer flood!

In her dark-ringed eyes shone the sad unrest
That spoke in the heave of her troubled breast,
And her face was white as the chiselled stone,
And her lips pressed madly against my own,
And her heart beat wildly against my heart,
And we strove to go, but we could not part.

But these were the words she said to me—
“Whatever the fate of the years may be,
Hope and my heart will wait for thee.”

PART II

’TWAS a long last look and a mute farewell
To the homes where our fathers had loved to dwell,
And our faces turned to the wild north-west,
And we rode away on a roving quest.
But our hearts were young and we cheered the way
With the golden dreams of a coming day,
When Fate should lead ’neath a happier star
Back to Bendemeer and to old Glenbar.
And a vision rose of one bearded and brown,
A wanderer hasting to Melbourne town,
To the faithful eyes now with sorrow dim
That had suffered and waited and watched for him.
For the new home lay midst the city’s roar
And the Station’s calm would be her’s no more;
And from Douglas’ lips came the story strange
Of the wondrous wealth in a northern range.
The weeks grew months and the months were spent,
As we overlanded a continent—
A thousand miles over scrub and plain
In the sun’s fierce glare and the tropic rain.
But we laughed at hardships to undergo
As we smoked in the ring of the campfire’s glow
And we pushed ahead till, in tracks grown blind,
The last station fence had been left behind;
And the land of the mighty runs spread wide,
Unfenced and virgin on every side,
Where you move—a ship that has lost the strand—
O’er the grassy ocean of one man’s land,
Where a score of beasts or a mile the less
Are of little count in the wilderness,
But men count their grass and cattle instead
By the hundred miles and the thousand head.
I have seen the plains lying baked and bare
When drought and famine hold revel there,
And the cattle sink where the rotting shoals
Of the fish float dead in the waterholes.

I have seen the plains when the flood brings down
The leagues of its waters, sullen and brown,
When only the tops of the swaying trees
Mark the creek that wound thro’ the level leas,
And all is a sea to the straining eyes
Save some lonely hut on a distant rise.

I have seen the plains in the mad delight
Of the racing flames in their crimson flight,
When the whip of the wind will not stay or spare,
And woe to the rider who lingers there!

But, O! the plains when their beauty burst
On our wondering eyes as we crossed them first!
When the sun shone bright and a soft wind blew,
And the sky was clear with a fairy hue,
And afar, like an isle in a sea of mist,
Rose a mountain-cap, as of amethyst.
And the big-horned cattle, knee-deep in grass,
Wheeled scattered legions to watch us pass,
As we drifted onward from group to group,
And swift as a bolt came the wild hawk’s swoop
When the brown quail whirled ’neath our horses’ feet,
Or the bronzewing1 broke from his ground retreat;
And the lazy bustard on laggard wing
Out of easy gunshot was loitering;
And for miles around us, at daylight’s close,
The little flock pigeons in coveys rose,
And the squadrons flew, with a gathering force,
Till an army darkened the watercourse.

Thus we crossed the plains to their utmost rim,
To the timbered belts round the mountains grim,
Chain upon chain, to the north and west,
Rose the swelling ridge and the purple crest,
And the gorges hid from the light of God
Where the foot of a white man had never trod.

There’s a tiny flat where the grass grows green,
Like a bay it lies two dark hills between.
And a stream comes down through a narrow cleft:
Here the camp was fixed and the horses left.
’Twas the last sweet grass, and no man could ride
O’er the beetling fastness on either side.
Thence into the heart of the hills we bore,
Rich with ironstone masses and copper ore,
And once or twice in the gorges old
We found a trace of the colour of gold.

In a deep ravine, walled by rugged heights,
Through the toiling days and the restless nights
I felt, ’neath the spell of that gloomy place,
That a change had come o’er my comrade’s face;
Felt, rather than saw, as it seemed to me,
That all was not quite as it used to be;
The laughter and jest, and the glance and tone,
Were not of the man that I once had known,
And it seemed to me that he shunned to hear
Of Mary and Glenbar and Bendemeer.
And there rose a sense I could not define,
Like a widening stream ’twixt his soul and mine.
Then the light of the Past like a star shone out,
And I turned in scorn from my evil doubt.

But the passions that rule since the world began
Were working there in the heart of man,
And a breast that had guarded its secret well
Was burning then with the fires of hell.
’Tis the old, old tale of a woman’s face
More strong than the shadow of foul disgrace.
The old mad lust for the mastery
To pluck the flower that is not for thee.
For the dreamy light of a woman’s eyes
It can lead on to hell or to paradise.

Ah! little I dreamt in the days now done
That the eyes I loved were as dear to one
Whose heart had been eaten with jealous pride
Through the years of our brotherhood, side by side!
For once it chanced as I moved alone
That I stumbled and fell on the ironstone—
A stumble that might have been made in blood,
For a bullet hummed where my feet had stood.
And I turned and saw from my vantage place
The look that was written across his face.

“He had fired at a bird but too low by half,”
And he turned it off with an awkward laugh.
For as yet no shadow of what might be
The power ’neath the surface had come to me.
Yet a shadow crossed, and it left behind
A doubt that rankled within my mind;
And for weeks we played at the duel hard
Of an open candour but secret guard;
And the seeds of discord were subtly sown
When the fever seized me and struck me down;
And days there were when the blood coursed free,
To be followed by morrows of misery.

But the fever heightened, and day by day
I could feel the cords of my life give way.
And my strength went out like an ebbing sea,
Yet daily he tended and cared for me.
It may be some touch of the days of old
Made his hand draw back, made his heart cry “Hold.”
But I saw in his eyes, with all anguish dumb,
That he waited and hoped for the end to come.
Then I lost the power to move hand and head,
And at last I lay in a trance as dead,
Awake yet a-dream, for a day and night
Then I woke with a start—and the moon shone bright
But the tent and the tools and the guns were gone,
And all save the blanket I lay upon!
Not a sound came down from the mountains lone
Where the shadows huge by the moon were thrown.
In the gloomy gorge not a soul was near,
And I called his name with a bitter fear.
But no answer came to my feeble cry—
And I knew he had left me alone to die.


PART III

They speak the truth and they judge me well,
Who call me “the Man who has been in Hell.”
Though the sky be clear and the sun shine bright,
Men have walked on earth through that awful night,
Whose ears have heard and whose eyes have seen
The infernal shades, like the Florentine,
When the veil is rent and we see unroll
The heights and depths of the human soul;
And with whitened locks and with pallid cheek
Have known and felt what we may not speak.
My life had gone out like a brief light’s breath
Had no help come into that fight with death,
But the hands of Fate that are swift and strange
Brought a people down from the Western range,
Brought a wild black tribe down the gorges dark
Who had seen the prints of an unknown mark,
And quickly around me were clustering
Dark faces and spears in a bristling ring;
And I lay there still in a helpless shrift
With a silent prayer that the end be swift.
But a man spoke forth with a threatening spear
That I was the God of the mountains drear,
And accursed be he and his kin and wife,
Who should lay a hand on a sacred life!
So they succoured me. And I lay as a king
Who has dusky daughters to fetch and bring,
Boughs to shelter, and water and food,
And berries to temper the burning blood.
And they made me a shade from the tropic sun
Till the fire of the fever its course had run.
And at last new life, after weeks of pain,
Came stealing gently through every vein;
And I moved with the tribe, but I pondered long
Why Douglas had worked me this bitter wrong.
For as yet no word of the truth was told,
And I held that the motive was lust of gold.
We moved for the plain, and we passed between
The walls of the flat where the camp had been.
No sign of a horse in that grassy bay,
And Oliver Douglas was far away
Across the plains where the red sun dips,
A sin on his soul and a lie on his lips.
But, O! the joy when I found and knelt
By a full revolver and cartridge belt
Marked with his name, and a mark of the mind
In whose guilty haste they were left behind,
To be sacred things till the morn should rise
When men pay in full for their treacheries.
These gave me power and a stronger claim.
They called me, “The Lord of the Thunder and Flame.”
But they watched me close with a sleepless care:
Three years in the mountains still found me there.
But I learnt by heart all the gorges old,
And I found the granite and found the gold:
Wealth beyond dreams—to a savage man
As wild as the myalls with whom he ran!
Ah, God! Could ever my lot have been
To have lived and loved in a different scene,
To have seen love shine like a splendid star
In the eyes of the Lily of old Glenbar?

Five years had passed, and another year,
Since we turned our horses from Bendemeer.
And a bushman, wrinkled, and aged, and brown,
Had worked his passage to Melbourne town.
Let it matter not through what evil stress
He had battled out of the wilderness,
For the joy that was thrilling him through and through
With a secret music that no man knew—
The last sweet words that she said to me:
“Whatever the fate of the years may be,
Hope and my heart will wait for thee!”

Why do you tremble, and sob, and stare,
Old Margaret Bruce with the snowy hair,
And chatter of ghosts of the past to me?
I am here to claim what you hold in fee.
Give me back my own! I have done no wrong.
For the eyes I love I have suffered long.
Now the toil is over—the fierce unrest,
And the lily shall lie on the broad leaf’s breast.
And the heart that was faithful, and strong, and true,
Shall learn what the love of a man can do.
For the future calls both to her and me.
Thither Eden lies—and I hold the key.
Cease, woman, cease! I am waiting here
For a bride to be mistress of Bendemeer.
“Let be the past and this formless dread!
I am James Loraine who was long since dead.
Give me welcome now! Shall all things be vain
To the dead man come to his own again?
Have you naught of comfort for such as I?
The past is dead—let its memories die!
I am changed and worn, I am tired and old,
But I bring the secret of countless gold.
But a wish of hers, but a word of thine,
And Bendemeer and Glenbar are mine.
Bid her come to me that her eyes may see!
Bid her come to me! Bid her come to me!

Then Margaret faced me with words of lead:—
“Peace, peace, Loraine!—the poor child is dead.
Married and dead! You are parted far,
Dear friend, from the Lily of old Glenbar.
The Bendemeer and the Glenbar lands,
They have passed long since to the Douglas hands.
She had waited long, she had waited true,
She had knelt in her sorrow and wept for you.
When he came, at last, with a grave, sad face
To tell the tale of your resting place.
His were the hands—they were clasped in ours—
That had soothed and tended your dying hours;
That had dug the grave and had piled the stone
In the dim blue range where you slept alone.
And he spoke your word in his own sad pain,
‘Not to mourn for you—we should meet again
But whatever the fate of the years might send,
The friend of your soul—let him be her friend. ’
But the starlight died in her eyes that day,
And with roses white on her cheeks she lay,
And the summer faded and came again
Ere her shadow rose from its bed of pain.
But he came and went with an anxious air
As one consecrated to watch and care,
And from oversea came the call of race
To title and wealth and an ancient place,
And when Bendemeer and Glenbar were sold,
They were his for the sake of the days of old.
And he pressed his claim till she came to see
That their lives could be lived to your memory.
She was wedded here. She lies buried far.
The ocean divides her from old Glenbar.”

Married, and dead! Is it all a dream,
To melt away on the morning beam?
Some passing horror of night whose power
Still haunts the brain in its waking hour?
Can these trembling lips and these stony eyes,
And this heart grown numb in its agonies,
Be a man indeed? Do I see and hear?
Or roam a shade through some realm of fear?
And of him?” I cried. “Shall no vengeance find
These soft lying lips and this double mind?
There are human snakes who have lived too long!”
But she said: “Loraine, let God judge the wrong.
For the man you seek—he is oversea
With ten thousand miles ’twixt his face and thee.”

In the fevered night when the gas-lamps flare,
And the human river sweeps here and there,
By terrace and church, and long lines of street,
And by dim-lit parks where the shadows meet,
I am drifting down with the human flood:
The poison of madness is in my blood.
Are there hearts as bitter and dead as mine
Where the faces throng in the moving line—
Numb with the chill of a black despair
That no man guesses or wants to share?
Unto each man once shall the gage be thrown:
He must fight the fight with his soul alone,
When all ways are barred and he stands at bay
Face to face with truth in the naked day.
I have fought the fight with my soul alone.
I have won my laurel—a heart of stone.

O never again when the white stars shine
Shall the eyes I love look their love in mine!
And never again when the soft winds blow
Shall we ride by the river, or whisper low
By the shady nook ’neath the old tree where
The track comes winding from Bendemeer!
And no bridal bells for our joy shall ring
When Nature wakes to the voice of Spring.
And no tiny hands with a touch divine
Shall link for ever her soul and mine!
She is dead! My lily! My shy bush flower!
The summer has fled where she bloomed an hour.
Do her sweet eyes shine from some lonely star
O’er the bend of the river on old Glenbar?

Mine is selfish grief, mine is selfish pain;
But her sorrow is seared on my heart and brain.
What she heard, I hear; what she saw, I see;
What she felt is bare as a page to me
Shall such evil thrive? Shall she droop and die
And the man who loved her stand idly by?
Let God right the wrong! Will he give the dead
The sunshine and grace of the summers fled?
Has He solace here for the silent tears
Of the hopeless days, of the wasted years?
Let God right the wrong! He is deaf and blind
To the griefs and passions that shake mankind!
Who has eyes to see, let him use his sight:
Wrong is not righted, but might is right.
Then be might my right and my hate the rod,
And my hand in anger the hand of God
And the power is gold, which no power can bend—
I have learnt the means—I can see the end

To my mountains then: there to toil and wait.
I have lived for love: I can live for hate.
Till the power be mine, till the way be sure,
I can face the future and still endure.
With a wild fire flaming through all my blood
I have called to Evil “Be thou my Good!”
Love has patient been: love was strong and true;
But the heart of hate can be patient too
Can be strong to suffer and calm to wait,
But swift to strike in the hour of Fate—
To strike at the heart that has wrought her dole,
To strike at the man who has killed my soul!

PART IV

THE mountains swarm like a human hive,
The picks are swinging in many a drive,
The axe is ringing on many a tree,
And the blast of a charge thunders sullenly;
And the growing heaps of the dull gray stone
And the tents of men stud the hillside lone,
And the moan of the windlass comes again,
With an eerie sound like a soul in pain.
And across the plains, lying baked and brown,
Where the long teams creep till the sun goes down,
Comes the curse, and the whip like a pistol crack,
As the bullocks strain on the burning track.
Soon the battery’s thunder will rend the sky
From the gorge where he left me alone to die.
They have felt the stir in the cities south,
And the “Comrade Field” is in every mouth,
And northward rushes the wave of greed,
For the whole world knows ofThe Devil’s Lead.”
“Four jewelled walls—there are millions there!”
But one man’s hand is on every share—
One who knows the mountains from crest to glen,
A hater of women and feared of men,
Who has heart for nothing save gold and gain.
A power to be reckoned with—James Loraine!
As a miser handles and counts his gold,
So I hoard my hate with a joy untold.
Let the weaklings sink ’neath their dumb despair!
Shall I spare the coward who did not spare
O, the joy of hate! O, the liquid fire!
When the strong soul throbs to one fierce desire!
So I thirst for life as a hound for blood,
And woe to the hunters who cross my mood!
To strike hard and home! Then to watch him die
And to soothe his death with my memory!
This were joy indeed, worth a few years’ breath!
This were joy indeed, though the price were death!
Then what holds my heart, and what stays my hand,
Who can cross at will to the motherland?
’Tis a voice that floats through my dreams at night,
And a white hand ringed with a fairy light,
From the world unseen, that has drawn anear,
A tremulous whisper—“At Bendemeer.”

I had planned the end in the mountains grim,
Where the dream of wealth would be lure to him.
Bound fast to a tree in some gloomy glen
Where no cry can reach to the ears of men,
And shot with the bullet he meant for me—
I have dug it out of the hardwood tree.
Then to loose his cords and to let him lie
With his false face turned to the smiling sky,
With his dying grip—in a death of shame—
On the pistol butt that still bears his name!

A fool I have been from my mother’s breast,
A fool who acted and thought for the best,
Made way for others and stood aside
And saw knaves feasted and deified.
With an open heart I have striven to do
To men as ye would they would do to you.”

And what have I gained by the Christian rule?
A smile and a sneer at the trusting fool!
And the generous wish to be fair and just
Has been deemed but weakness and self-distrust.
Now these things are over. My soul is free.
I will deal with men as they deal with me.
For I care not whither my purpose tend,
Let Hell find the means so I gain the end
And no guile too subtle or dark shall prove;
I have done with scruple, and done with love.

The thud of the stampers all night and day
Is loud in the gorge where the campfire lay.
From the big hotel where the lights shine long
Comes the broken snatch of a drinking song.
For the roofs go up as the shafts go down
In the fever and rush of a mining town.

I sit in my office with busy pen,
The saddest and richest of mining men.
I have sat like a spider and spun and spun
Till I hold the mortgage on many a run.
I have land and houses and shares and gold,
My stock increase by the thousandfold.
I am feared and courted with flattering breath
And all that I live for is one man’s death.
I have worked his ruin. I hold his fate.
I have woven a web round the man I hate.
I have crossed his schemes, I have won the fight,
For tools can be willing when gold is bright.
And the deeds of mortgage are in their hands
Over Bendemeer and the Glenbar lands.

As I sleep at last on my bed of care
Comes the white hand floating upon the air,
And a woman’s whisper is in my ear,
The man that you hate is at Bendemeer.”

The last crimson streak in the West was dead,
And the white stars broke through the blue o’erhead,
And the hornèd moon like a sceptre pale
Cast its thin blue ray on the old sliprail,
As I crossed Glenbar by the big tree where
The track goes winding to Bendemeer.

All the plain lay silent and silver-gray
Like a shroud for a bride on her bridal day.
I could feel the menace and the hand of Fate
As I stood once more at the garden gate.
With a passionate heart for a while I stood,
For the past came back like a rushing flood,
Then I moved the latch and I crept within—
A thief in the silence who fears his sin.
Like funeral plumes for some giant king
Rise the dark pine-crowns, and their shadows cling
Purple and solemn to path and lawn,
Like the shadow of murder that waits the dawn.
And the morepork’s call from the timbered knoll
Seems the hoot of fiends for a dead man’s soul.

I am creeping slow down the well-known way,
All round me is ruin and slow decay,
By the weed-choked beds and the paths o’ergrown,
And rank grass seeding on lawns unmown,
And a low fence matted with running vine,
In the home of my fathers that once was mine.

The old rambling pile and verandahs wide,
Like an isle half lost in some dim gray tide,
Seems to welcome me, seems to feel and know
That a ghost is here from the Long Ago!
And my fingers close, whilst my blood is flame,
Round the pistol-butt that still bears his name.

Creep, creep to the west where the ground is bare,
For a dim light shines from a window there.
I have toiled for this thro’ the gloomy past.
I have prayed for this—’tis my hour at last!
Hear, God of the Just, whilst I own Thy might
Who hast given this man to my hands this night!
Here I kneel and pray. Be my hand the rod,
Be my hand in anger the hand of God!

Where the fold of the curtain falls, half drawn,
By the windows, wide to the western lawn,
From the shadows vague of the outer gloom
I have slipped—a shadow—within the room.
In the shaded light, on the low white bed,
I can see his face . . . he is lying . . . dead
The hand of Time has not marred its grace,
Though the lines are deep on the well-known face.
And the brow is placid and white and chill
With the peace that comes when the heart is still.

And the lamplight falls on the golden hair
Of a weeping child who is kneeling there.

O human vengeance and human hate!
See, thine altars scattered and desolate!
Poor paltry things of a passing breath,
Ye are silent here in the halls of Death!

Be his soul at rest. Though his sin was deep,
Yet bitter the harvest he lived to reap.
He has suffered long, he has worn the chain
Of a life’s remorse in his heart and brain.
He has known the terror of hidden sin
When the soul stands bare to the judge within.
Be his heart at rest in the peace divine!
Be Thy mercy, Lord, on his soul . . . and mine!

For the child looks up with her mother’s face,
With the sungold hair and the lily’s grace.
From the lashes wet with their pearly dew
Shine the dark-blue depths of the eyes I knew,
The sweet eyes soft with the dreamy light
And the mystic spell of the southern night.

They have left me this—’tis the bond of Fate—
The woman I love and the man I hate!
Through the windows wide blows the gentle breeze,
And the wind-harp sighs in the shadowy trees,
And I see the rise of a splendid star
O’er the bend of the river on old Glenbar!

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Emily Dickinson

The Battle fought between the Soul

594

The Battle fought between the Soul
And No Man—is the One
Of all the Battles prevalent—
By far the Greater One

No News of it is had abroad—
Its Bodiless Campaign
Establishes, and terminates—
Invisible—Unknown&mdas h;

Nor History—record it
As Legions of a Night
The Sunrise scatters—These endure—
Enact—and terminate—

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There Are Times When Only By Hearing The Poems Of Others

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN ONLY BY HEARING THE POEMS OF OTHERS

There are times when only by hearing the poems of others,
Can one begin to write one’s own-
One needs the rhythm of poetry
And once one has it
One can perhaps begin.

This morning I have not listened to anyone else-
And I write these lines
Into the bare space of the page
With a tremor of doubt
At whether they are ‘poetry’.

I hear myself as a poem
But what others hear
May be something else entirely-

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Resting-Place

Dreams have come to bestow depictions
Of a husband and wife with happiest memories.
Memorize the verses suited to the task,
Never deviate from the truth, and everything
Is in common, the name of God reigns indeed.
The Fashioner made the soul to reflect a deed
That lasted the whole of existence.
Its force resounded in the galaxies,
You painted the heavens for it.
The latest painting was exhibited
When the dreams subsided and they were exhibited.
Let the imagination of eternity be a king’s
Resting-place.

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To Find The World

to find the world
is to find your world

that is it, this is what is
it all about
it is about you and the world
you finally find
at first in your fingertips
spinning and then
inside your heart
you spinning
inside your world

the world spins
finally inside you
and you and the world
you finally find
become one

to find the world
your world
finds you and you are
not surprised anymore

the awe and wonder
inside your heart
where now
the world lives
in peace

you and your world
in harmony
like body and soul
sleeping together
in twilight

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