Latest quotes | Random quotes | Vote! | Latest comments | Add quote

More Referendums Aug 23rd,2012

Quebec separatists are not foreigners; they're us,
They want a referendum to cause Ottawa a great fuss,
We ourselves should also have a referendum and maybe two,
Binding referendums and Death with Dignity are overdue.

Ottawa trying to buy Quebec with equalization money,
Hidden in some government program and not very funny,
We all should be delighted to partake in two referendums soon,
National referendums interfering in their Quebec cocoon.

Our problem is not Quebec separatists but we ourselves,
Without referendums; we're like stuff forgotten on old shelves,
Two referendums with the separatists; means common ground for all,
Do more for Canada than Ottawa aristocrats, not on call.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Related quotes

With The Pride

Just leave me with the pride
That i worked for
Now they've taken the reason away
Just leave me with the pride
That i worked for
Today
Build on rock, or build on sand,
They're never gonna lend a hand
So nothing grows or nothing stands
I can't take any more
I can't take any more
There's not a lot of space for me
But i've still got my dignity
I've got my price
Don't say i'm free
I can't take anymore
I can't take anymore
But i'm hungry
I could eat anything
But i'm hungry
Oh, let's dance, oh, let's swing
And all that i hear are the words that she sings
Now they've taken it all
Now they've taken it all
I'd rather take this cure for life
Than make myself a sacrifice
If living is to pay the price
I can't take anymore
I can't take anymore
It takes a while to understand
When your eyes are full of sand
When only time is in your hands
I can't take anymore
I can't take anymore
But i'm hungry
I could eat anything
But i'm hungry
Oh, let's dance, oh, let's swing
And all that i hear are the words that she sings
Now they've taken it all
Now they've taken it all
Just leave me with the pride
Taht i worked for
Now they've taken the reason away
Just leave me with the pride
That i worked for
Today.

song performed by Spandau BalletReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

At War With The World

Never had no need
For any military aid
And I never took charge of the light brigade
I got no castle to defend or attack
But still I seem to be picking up flack
I am the captain of this body of mine
Ill send fear into the enemy lines
On the ground, in the air or at sea
Theyre all pointing a finger at me
Im at war with the world
Thats the way it must be
Ill fight while I can
To put an end to this misery
Im at war with the world
Ill have to fight to be free
Yes Im at war with the world
Nobodys capturing me
Never have no need
For any military aid
Never took charge of the light brigade
I got no castle to defend or attack
But still I seem to be picking up flack
War with the world, with the world
Ill have to fight to be be free
Yes Im at war with the world, with the world
Nobodys capturing me
War with the world
What do they want from me?
War with the world
Why dont they let me be?

song performed by ForeignerReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
Patrick White

The Day An Empty Envelope

The day an empty envelope, the clouds
islands of their own in a slow wind,
gathering out of nothing, going anywhere
the blue conception of the dispersing sky urges
above the green, summer turmoil of the trees.
I wake up wondering if love is just a word
or a whisper of smoke from distant mountains
or a tuberous begonia someone tore up last night
in their madness to dramatize their exit out of ecstasy,
their roses, scalded lobsters, their heart
torn like a soggy dawn in the pincers of the moon.

And I have been here before at the end
of these long wharves pillared in departure,
standing firmly fixed in the tides of sorrow,
saying goodbye to the sky and the sea
that have cried enough stars for the night
to remember its light is the taste of oblivion.
The air breathes you in like an anchor of mist
and all the words we released like vows
gently unhooking their wings from the fishing nets
we found abandoned in the wake of a lunar desert
that had wandered off like an arsonist in the archives of its tears,
are pens that have flooded in our pockets of blood like oilslicks,
not the feather of song left that could fly.

And I should thank you for the bouquet of corals
you gave me like an island in a ocean of ashes,
and the nights my heart was a frenzy of mating eels
thrashing the silver waves in a ferocity of transcendence,
a rabble of moonlit tongues, that made me feel
the hanged man was at last a key someone would risk,
a boat moored to the wind that had at last found a door
with the eye of a water-lock and the Gulf Stream
of an infinite threshold it would take a galaxy to cross,
and there were voyages I dreamed, o, I dreamed
of naming continents after you, oceans on the moon
that teemed with startling new forms of luminous life
that did not salivate for each other like arrows on a food chain
but fell from the intensity of our wishing like rain.

I wanted to add your fire to mine on a pyre of thorns
and mounting the last constellation uttered in bliss
by the mouth of a burning rose immolated in her own beauty
rise like a kite trailing a thread of blood to show the stars
how to weave a life that breathes like silk
out of the mulberry cocoons of their nebular cradles,
auroras exhaled like the veils and ghosts of riverine light
that disclose the grace of a woman, secret by secret,
until even the stars are homeless gestures of ash,
crowns of flame enthroned in the abysmal domains
of the radiant mystery they could draw from
like water from the wells of your eyes
to refute the claws of time and space with flowers.

And it's been four starless nights, four bleached days
since I last heard from you, no word, no sail, no wick,
no eyelid of a candle to open the darkness like a dream,
not a chromosome in a fortune-cookie to dispell my fate,
only the incremental atrocity of the cruel silence that salts the garden
with the radioactive fall-out of your nuclear absence
so that even my shadow glows like a sunspot that won't wash off.

And I must tell myself you're not the queen caprice
of a cherry in a hive of chocolate leaking honey
all over the sticky page of a theatrical candy-wrapper
blowing up the road like the obsolete playbill of a cliche
well attended by the ants who traffic in sugar.
I must tell myself over and over again like a wheel,
not to save myself like an enlightened pagoda
in a corner of the cones of the fools who wear
their disasters like the paper headlines of a daily heart,
not to adorn death with the lies of wounded heroes,
for I am a small planet of haunted wines
you can burst against the roof of your mouth like a grape,
and far too acquainted with eclipses and cremations
to exalt my ashes with the consolations of a reviving phoenix,
tell myself not to lawyer my sorrow with a congress of crows,
and in a crowd of placards and protesters, pretend that I am brave,
that my cause is just, that the world you've left me needs to be saved;
or that I can save it from myself like an arsonist
by learning how to swallow it like fire,
not to incriminate you among the cap-gun terrorists
who rage like chains in the doorways of their emergency exits,
their hearts boiling hand-picked scorpions like blackberries
to mitigate the acids of their glass wounds,
but to believe you're still out there somewhere like a road
that has wandered off in a wilderness of directions,
though the mountains and trees all point the stars out to you,
that cannot conceive of where it leads until we both walk it.

I want to believe there's no bodycount
behind the words of love you send me like refugees
that gather in the valleys of my heart like liberated fireflies,
that the lampshades of your poems are not wrapped in human skin
with a star pricked out by fangs and the repeating decimal
of a genocidal number too powerless to stop itself
from biting at the running sore of its own ulcerations.

I have never seen your face, heard your voice,
the wind more intimate with your skin than my longing,
but I have felt the stars within brighten in your presence
when all I could be to you over the miles, lives, the worn shoes,
was someone who charged space with gusts of ionic affinities,
hoping somehow the atoms knew, the rain, the hill in the fog
calling out to the drifting lifeboat with a disembodied voice
that there was yet a breath within a breath, a light within the light,
what I was before I was born to reach out empty-handed like this
to create you out of the nothing I am, a marvel more than me,
a clear fire that burns invisibly like breath on a windowpane,
the exhalation of a ghost startled by a spirit that lives
within and beyond it in a continuum of vital strangers,
closer to us than the patches on the underside of our eyelids.

I don't know what I am to you; though I have hoped
and you have said things to me I could only disappoint,
but they have made me want to drink your face from my bare hands,
they have made me a fountain and a vine, a door that bleeds
among the quicksand foundation-stones waiting out the mountain,
and my heart was a pauper lavish with revelation, a glove
that felt the universe fit it like your hand, and the answers,
were as evident as birds gathering seeds in an open furrow.

We have grown over the months like the rain together
and maybe now we fall, maybe now this alloy of water
is to be threshed by the wind like wild rice
shaken into a birchbark prow of aboriginal moonlight,
and the waterlilies have finished blooming like asterisks
and the stirling is marred by the acids of black fingerprints,
and a patina of commonality makes the moon a cold stone,
but there's a pause between accountable heartbeats,
a world between waking and dreaming, exits and entrances,
where I think everything returns without having left
like stars paled in the blazing of a lesser light that thrives,
and the heart receives itself back into its own hands like a ball,
and even in the rain-soaked journals of the autumn leaves,
the wind still addresses the flowers with its inconstancy,
and hands still find each other across the dangerous table
like the lost receiving the lost in a place of belonging
that is a stranger to them both on the same side of the river.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
Herman Melville

Bridegroom Dick

1876

Sunning ourselves in October on a day
Balmy as spring, though the year was in decay,
I lading my pipe, she stirring her tea,
My old woman she says to me,
'Feel ye, old man, how the season mellows?'
And why should I not, blessed heart alive,
Here mellowing myself, past sixty-five,
To think o' the May-time o' pennoned young
fellows
This stripped old hulk here for years may
survive.

Ere yet, long ago, we were spliced, Bonny Blue,
(Silvery it gleams down the moon-glade o' time,
Ah, sugar in the bowl and berries in the prime!)
Coxswain I o' the Commodore's crew,--
Under me the fellows that manned his fine gig,
Spinning him ashore, a king in full fig.
Chirrupy even when crosses rubbed me,
Bridegroom Dick lieutenants dubbed me.
Pleasant at a yarn, Bob o' Linkum in a song,
Diligent in duty and nattily arrayed,
Favored I was, wife, and _fleeted_ right along;
And though but a tot for such a tall grade,
A high quartermaster at last I was made.

All this, old lassie, you have heard before,
But you listen again for the sake e'en o' me;
No babble stales o' the good times o' yore
To Joan, if Darby the babbler be.

Babbler?--O' what? Addled brains, they
forget!
O--quartermaster I; yes, the signals set,
Hoisted the ensign, mended it when frayed,
Polished up the binnacle, minded the helm,
And prompt every order blithely obeyed.
To me would the officers say a word cheery--
Break through the starch o' the quarter-deck
realm;
His coxswain late, so the Commodore's pet.
Ay, and in night-watches long and weary,
Bored nigh to death with the navy etiquette,
Yearning, too, for fun, some younker, a cadet,
Dropping for time each vain bumptious trick,
Boy-like would unbend to Bridegroom Dick.
But a limit there was--a check, d' ye see:
Those fine young aristocrats knew their degree.

Well, stationed aft where their lordships
keep,--
Seldom _going_ forward excepting to sleep,--
I, boozing now on by-gone years,
My betters recall along with my peers.
Recall them? Wife, but I see them plain:
Alive, alert, every man stirs again.
Ay, and again on the lee-side pacing,
My spy-glass carrying, a truncheon in show,
Turning at the taffrail, my footsteps retracing,
Proud in my duty, again methinks I go.
And Dave, Dainty Dave, I mark where he
stands,
Our trim sailing-master, to time the high-noon,
That thingumbob sextant perplexing eyes and
hands,
Squinting at the sun, or twigging o' the moon;
Then, touching his cap to Old Chock-a-Block
Commanding the quarter-deck,--'Sir, twelve
o'clock.'

Where sails he now, that trim sailing-master,
Slender, yes, as the ship's sky-s'l pole?
Dimly I mind me of some sad disaster--
Dainty Dave was dropped from the navy-roll!
And ah, for old Lieutenant Chock-a-Block--
Fast, wife, chock-fast to death's black dock!
Buffeted about the obstreperous ocean,
Fleeted his life, if lagged his promotion.
Little girl, they are all, all gone, I think,
Leaving Bridegroom Dick here with lids that
wink.

Where is Ap Catesby? The fights fought of
yore
Famed him, and laced him with epaulets, and
more.
But fame is a wake that after-wakes cross,
And the waters wallow all, and laugh
_Where's the loss?_
But John Bull's bullet in his shoulder bearing
Ballasted Ap in his long sea-faring.
The middies they ducked to the man who had
messed
With Decatur in the gun-room, or forward
pressed
Fighting beside Perry, Hull, Porter, and the
rest.

Humped veteran o' the Heart-o'-Oak war,
Moored long in haven where the old heroes are,
Never on _you_ did the iron-clads jar!
Your open deck when the boarder assailed,
The frank old heroic hand-to-hand then availed.

But where's Guert Gan? Still heads he the van?
As before Vera-Cruz, when he dashed splashing
through
The blue rollers sunned, in his brave gold-and-
blue,
And, ere his cutter in keel took the strand,
Aloft waved his sword on the hostile land!
Went up the cheering, the quick chanticleering;
All hands vying--all colors flying:
'Cock-a-doodle-doo!' and 'Row, boys, row!'
'Hey, Starry Banner!' 'Hi, Santa Anna!'
Old Scott's young dash at Mexico.

Fine forces o' the land, fine forces o' the sea,
Fleet, army, and flotilla--tell, heart o' me,
Tell, if you can, whereaway now they be!

But ah, how to speak of the hurricane
unchained--
The Union's strands parted in the hawser
over-strained;
Our flag blown to shreds, anchors gone
altogether--
The dashed fleet o' States in Secession's foul
weather.

Lost in the smother o' that wide public stress,
In hearts, private hearts, what ties there were
snapped!
Tell, Hal--vouch, Will, o' the ward-room mess,
On you how the riving thunder-bolt clapped.
With a bead in your eye and beads in your glass,
And a grip o' the flipper, it was part and pass:
'Hal, must it be: Well, if come indeed the
shock,
To North or to South, let the victory cleave,
Vaunt it he may on his dung-hill the cock,
But _Uncle Sam's_ eagle never crow will,
believe.'

Sentiment: ay, while suspended hung all,
Ere the guns against Sumter opened there
the ball,
And partners were taken, and the red dance
began,
War's red dance o' death!--Well, we, to a man,
We sailors o' the North, wife, how could we
lag?--
Strike with your kin, and you stick to the flag!
But to sailors o' the South that easy way was
barred.
To some, dame, believe (and I speak o' what I
know),
Wormwood the trial and the Uzzite's black
shard;
And the faithfuller the heart, the crueller the
throe.
Duty? It pulled with more than one string,
This way and that, and anyhow a sting.
The flag and your kin, how be true unto both?
If either plight ye keep, then ye break the other
troth.
But elect here they must, though the casuists
were out;
Decide--hurry up--and throttle every doubt.

Of all these thrills thrilled at keelson, and
throes,
Little felt the shoddyites a-toasting o' their
toes;
In mart and bazar Lucre chuckled the huzza,
Coining the dollars in the bloody mint of war.

But in men, gray knights o' the Order o' Scars,
And brave boys bound by vows unto Mars,
Nature grappled honor, intertwisting in the
strife:--
But some cut the knot with a thoroughgoing
knife.
For how when the drums beat? How in the fray
In Hampton Roads on the fine balmy day?

There a lull, wife, befell--drop o' silent in the
din.
Let us enter that silence ere the belchings
re-begin.
Through a ragged rift aslant in the cannonade's
smoke
An iron-clad reveals her repellent broadside
Bodily intact. But a frigate, all oak,
Shows honeycombed by shot, and her deck
crimson-dyed.
And a trumpet from port of the iron-clad hails,
Summoning the other, whose flag never trails:
'Surrender that frigate, Will! Surrender,
Or I will sink her--_ram_, and end her!'

'T was Hal. And Will, from the naked heart-o'-oak,
Will, the old messmate, minus trumpet, spoke,
Informally intrepid,--'Sink her, and be
damned!'* [* Historic.]
Enough. Gathering way, the iron-clad _rammed_.
The frigate, heeling over, on the wave threw a
dusk.
Not sharing in the slant, the clapper of her bell
The fixed metal struck--uinvoked struck the
knell
Of the _Cumberland_ stillettoed by the
_Merrimac's_ tusk;
While, broken in the wound underneath the
gun-deck,
Like a sword-fish's blade in leviathan waylaid,
The tusk was left infixed in the fast-foundering
wreck.
There, dungeoned in the cockpit, the wounded
go down,
And the chaplain with them. But the surges
uplift
The prone dead from deck, and for moment
they drift
Washed with the swimmers, and the spent
swimmers drown.
Nine fathom did she sink,--erect, though hid
from light
Save her colors unsurrendered and spars that
kept the height.

Nay, pardon, old aunty! Wife, never let it fall,
That big started tear that hovers on the brim;
I forgot about your nephew and the _Merrimac's_
ball;
No more then of her, since it summons up him.
But talk o' fellows' hearts in the wine's genial
cup:--
Trap them in the fate, jam them in the strait,
Guns speak their hearts then, and speak
right up.
The troublous colic o' intestine war
It sets the bowels o' affection ajar.
But, lord, old dame, so spins the whizzing world,
A humming-top, ay, for the little boy-gods
Flogging it well with their smart little rods,
Tittering at time and the coil uncurled.

Now, now, sweetheart, you sidle away,
No, never you like _that_ kind o' _gay;_
But sour if I get, giving truth her due,
Honey-sweet forever, wife, will Dick be to you!

But avast with the War! 'Why recall racking
days
Since set up anew are the slip's started stays?
Nor less, though the gale we have left behind,
Well may the heave o' the sea remind.
It irks me now, as it troubled me then,
To think o' the fate in the madness o' men.
If Dick was with Farragut on the night-river,
When the boom-chain we burst in the fire-raft's
glare,
That blood-dyed the visage as red as the liver;
In the _Battle for the Bay_ too if Dick had a
share,
And saw one aloft a-piloting the war--
Trumpet in the whirlwind, a Providence in
place--
Our Admiral old whom the captains huzza,
Dick joys in the man nor brags about the race.

But better, wife, I like to booze on the days
Ere the Old Order foundered in these very
frays,
And tradition was lost and we learned strange
ways.
Often I think on the brave cruises then;
Re-sailing them in memory, I hail the press o'
men
On the gunned promenade where rolling they
go,
Ere the dog-watch expire and break up the
show.
The Laced Caps I see between forward guns;
Away from the powder-room they puff the
cigar;
'Three days more, hey, the donnas and the
dons!'
'Your Zeres widow, will you hunt her up,
Starr?'
The Laced Caps laugh, and the bright waves
too;
Very jolly, very wicked, both sea and crew,
Nor heaven looks sour on either, I guess,
Nor Pecksniff he bosses the gods' high mess.
Wistful ye peer, wife, concerned for my head,
And how best to get me betimes to my bed.

But king o' the club, the gayest golden spark,
Sailor o' sailors, what sailor do I mark?
Tom Tight, Tom Tight, no fine fellow finer,
A cutwater nose, ay, a spirited soul;
But, bowsing away at the well-brewed bowl,
He never bowled back from that last voyage to
China.

Tom was lieutenant in the brig-o'-war famed
When an officer was hung for an arch-mutineer,
But a mystery cleaved, and the captain was
blamed,
And a rumpus too raised, though his honor
it was clear.
And Tom he would say, when the mousers
would try him,
And with cup after cup o' Burgundy ply him:
'Gentlemen, in vain with your wassail you
beset,
For the more I tipple, the tighter do I get.'
No blabber, no, not even with the can--
True to himself and loyal to his clan.

Tom blessed us starboard and d--d us larboard,
Right down from rail to the streak o' the
garboard.
Nor less, wife, we liked him.--Tom was a man
In contrast queer with Chaplain Le Fan,
Who blessed us at morn, and at night yet again,
D--ning us only in decorous strain;
Preaching 'tween the guns--each cutlass in its
place--
From text that averred old Adam a hard case.
I see him--Tom--on _horse-block_ standing,
Trumpet at mouth, thrown up all amain,
An elephant's bugle, vociferous demanding
Of topmen aloft in the hurricane of rain,
'Letting that sail there your faces flog?
Manhandle it, men, and you'll get the good
grog!'
O Tom, but he knew a blue-jacket's ways,
And how a lieutenant may genially haze;
Only a sailor sailors heartily praise.

Wife, where be all these chaps, I wonder?
Trumpets in the tempest, terrors in the fray,
Boomed their commands along the deck like
thunder;
But silent is the sod, and thunder dies away.
But Captain Turret, _'Old Hemlock'_ tall,
(A leaning tower when his tank brimmed all,)
Manoeuvre out alive from the war did he?
Or, too old for that, drift under the lee?
Kentuckian colossal, who, touching at Madeira,
The huge puncheon shipped o' prime
_Santa-Clara;_
Then rocked along the deck so solemnly!
No whit the less though judicious was enough
In dealing with the Finn who made the great
huff;
Our three-decker's giant, a grand boatswain's
mate,
Manliest of men in his own natural senses;
But driven stark mad by the devil's drugged
stuff,
Storming all aboard from his run-ashore late,
Challenging to battle, vouchsafing no pretenses,
A reeling King Ogg, delirious in power,
The quarter-deck carronades he seemed to
make cower.
'Put him in _brig_ there!' said Lieutenant
Marrot.
'Put him in _brig!_' back he mocked like a
parrot;
'Try it, then!' swaying a fist like Thor's
sledge,
And making the pigmy constables hedge--
Ship's corporals and the master-at-arms.
'In _brig_ there, I say!'--They dally no more;
Like hounds let slip on a desperate boar,
Together they pounce on the formidable Finn,
Pinion and cripple and hustle him in.
Anon, under sentry, between twin guns,
He slides off in drowse, and the long night runs.

Morning brings a summons. Whistling it calls,
Shrilled through the pipes of the boatswain's
four aids;
Trilled down the hatchways along the dusk
halls:
_Muster to the Scourge!_--Dawn of doom and
its blast!
As from cemeteries raised, sailors swarm before
the mast,
Tumbling up the ladders from the ship's nether
shades.

Keeping in the background and taking small
part,
Lounging at their ease, indifferent in face,
Behold the trim marines uncompromised in
heart;
Their Major, buttoned up, near the staff finds
room--
The staff o' lieutenants standing grouped in
their place.
All the Laced Caps o' the ward-room come,
The Chaplain among them, disciplined and
dumb.
The blue-nosed boatswain, complexioned like
slag,
Like a blue Monday lours--his implements in
bag.
Executioners, his aids, a couple by him stand,
At a nod there the thongs to receive from his hand.
Never venturing a caveat whatever may betide,
Though functionally here on humanity's side,
The grave Surgeon shows, like the formal
physician
Attending the rack o' the Spanish Inquisition.

The angel o' the 'brig' brings his prisoner up;
Then, steadied by his old _Santa-Clara_, a sup,
Heading all erect, the ranged assizes there,
Lo, Captain Turret, and under starred
bunting,
(A florid full face and fine silvered hair,)
Gigantic the yet greater giant confronting.

Now the culprit he liked, as a tall captain can
A Titan subordinate and true _sailor-man;_
And frequent he'd shown it--no worded
advance,
But flattering the Finn with a well-timed glance.
But what of that now? In the martinet-mien
Read the _Articles of War_, heed the naval
routine;
While, cut to the heart a dishonor there to win,
Restored to his senses, stood the Anak Finn;
In racked self-control the squeezed tears
peeping,
Scalding the eye with repressed inkeeping.
Discipline must be; the scourge is deemed due.
But ah for the sickening and strange heart-
benumbing,
Compassionate abasement in shipmates that view;
Such a grand champion shamed there succumbing!
'Brown, tie him up.'--The cord he brooked:
How else?--his arms spread apart--never
threaping;
No, never he flinched, never sideways he looked,
Peeled to the waistband, the marble flesh
creeping,
Lashed by the sleet the officious winds urge.

In function his fellows their fellowship merge--
The twain standing nigh--the two boatswain's
mates,
Sailors of his grade, ay, and brothers of his
mess.
With sharp thongs adroop the junior one
awaits
The word to uplift.
'Untie him--so!
Submission is enough, Man, you may go.'
Then, promenading aft, brushing fat Purser
Smart,
'Flog? Never meant it--hadn't any heart.
Degrade that tall fellow? '--Such, wife, was he,
Old Captain Turret, who the brave wine could
stow.
Magnanimous, you think?--But what does
Dick see?
Apron to your eye! Why, never fell a blow;
Cheer up, old wifie, 't was a long time ago.

But where's that sore one, crabbed and-severe,
Lieutenant Lon Lumbago, an arch scrutineer?
Call the roll to-day, would he answer--_Here!_
When the _Blixum's_ fellows to quarters
mustered
How he'd lurch along the lane of gun-crews
clustered,
Testy as touchwood, to pry and to peer.
Jerking his sword underneath larboard arm,
He ground his worn grinders to keep himself
calm.
Composed in his nerves, from the fidgets set
free,
Tell, Sweet Wrinkles, alive now is he,
In Paradise a parlor where the even
tempers be?

Where's Commander All-a-Tanto?
Where's Orlop Bob singing up from below?
Where's Rhyming Ned? has he spun his last
canto?
Where's Jewsharp Jim? Where's Ringadoon
Joe?
Ah, for the music over and done,
The band all dismissed save the droned
trombone!
Where's Glenn o' the gun-room, who loved
Hot-Scotch--
Glen, prompt and cool in a perilous watch?
Where's flaxen-haired Phil? a gray lieutenant?
Or rubicund, flying a dignified pennant?

But where sleeps his brother?--the cruise it was
o'er,
But ah, for death's grip that welcomed him
ashore!
Where's Sid, the cadet, so frank in his brag,
Whose toast was audacious--'_Here's Sid, and
Sid's flag!_'
Like holiday-craft that have sunk unknown,
May a lark of a lad go lonely down?
Who takes the census under the sea?
Can others like old ensigns be,
Bunting I hoisted to flutter at the gaff--
Rags in end that once were flags
Gallant streaming from the staff?

Such scurvy doom could the chances deal
To Top-Gallant Harry and Jack Genteel?
Lo, Genteel Jack in hurricane weather,
Shagged like a bear, like a red lion roaring;
But O, so fine in his chapeau and feather,
In port to the ladies never once _jawing;_
All bland _politesse,_ how urbane was he--
_'Oui, mademoiselle'--'Ma chere amie!'_

'T was Jack got up the ball at Naples,
Gay in the old _Ohio_ glorious;
His hair was curled by the berth-deck barber,
Never you'd deemed him a cub of rude Boreas;
In tight little pumps, with the grand dames in
rout,
A-flinging his shapely foot all about;
His watch-chain with love's jeweled tokens
abounding,
Curls ambrosial shaking out odors,
Waltzing along the batteries, astounding
The gunner glum and the grim-visaged loaders.

Wife, where be all these blades, I wonder,
Pennoned fine fellows, so strong, so gay?
Never their colors with a dip dived under;
Have they hauled them down in a lack-lustre
day,
Or beached their boats in the Far, Far Away?
Hither and thither, blown wide asunder,
Where's this fleet, I wonder and wonder.
Slipt their cables, rattled their adieu,
(Whereaway pointing? to what rendezvous?)
Out of sight, out of mind, like the crack
_Constitution,_
And many a keel time never shall renew--
_Bon Homme Dick_ o' the buff Revolution,
The _Black Cockade_ and the staunch _True-Blue._

Doff hats to Decatur! But where is his blazon?
Must merited fame endure time's wrong--
Glory's ripe grape wizen up to a raisin?
Yes! for Nature teems, and the years are
strong,
And who can keep the tally o' the names that
fleet along!

But his frigate, wife, his bride? Would
blacksmiths brown
Into smithereens smite the solid old renown?
Rivetting the bolts in the iron-clad's shell,
Hark to the hammers with _a rat-tat-tat;_
'Handier a _derby_ than a laced cocked hat!
The _Monitor_ was ugly, but she served us right
well,
Better than the _Cumberland,_ a beauty and the
belle.'

_Better than the Cumberland!_--Heart alive
in me!
That battlemented hull, Tantallon o' the sea,
Kicked in, as at Boston the taxed chests o' tea!
Ay, spurned by the _ram,_ once a tall, shapely
craft,
But lopped by the Rebs to an iron-beaked
raft--
A blacksmith's unicorn in armor _cap-a-pie_.

Under the water-line a _ram's_ blow is dealt:
And foul fall the knuckles that strike below the
belt.
Nor brave the inventions that serve to replace
The openness of valor while dismantling the
grace.

Aloof from all this and the never-ending game,
Tantamount to teetering, plot and counterplot;
Impenetrable armor--all-perforating shot;
Aloof, bless God, ride the war-ships of old,
A grand fleet moored in the roadstead of fame;
Not submarine sneaks with _them_ are enrolled;
Their long shadows dwarf us, their flags are as
flame.

Don't fidget so, wife; an old man's passion
Amounts to no more than this smoke that I
puff;
There, there, now, buss me in good old fashion;
A died-down candle will flicker in the snuff.

But one last thing let your old babbler say,
What Decatur's coxswain said who was long
ago hearsed,
'Take in your flying-kites, for there comes a
lubber's day
When gallant things will go, and the three-
deckers first.'

My pipe is smoked out, and the grog runs
slack;
But bowse away, wife, at your blessed Bohea;
This empty can here must needs solace me--
Nay, sweetheart, nay; I take that back;
Dick drinks from your eyes and he finds no
lack!

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

I Walked With The Lines Of Others In My Mind

I WALKED WITH THE LINES OF OTHERS IN MY MIND

I walked with the lines of others in my mind
Greater lines by far than my own -
But they were the lines of others
Hearing them I could not hear myself -

I walked and let my own voice tell itself
It knew it was a lesser thing
But it was my voice
And hearing it
I know I am alive.

There are a few great poets
But there are many small poets too.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Whatever It Is, I Just Cant Stop

Written by jay kay and toby smith
If I pick it up I can put it down,
Whatever it is I just cant stop,
For only 20 seconds at a time its all mine.
I got, too much, pressure,
Got me under its thumb
And its no fun, you can lose
Now I got a choice but I cant choose
Insistent as you are, is no guarantee that youll go far
Rock steady if you can
But Ive never been a steady man,
People, wanna shoot you down,
If you cant swim then you will drown
In sorrow, cant get any medical attention till tomorow,
Sadlands, are where I live,
But thats none of your business,
You keep asking, and soon enough
The kids gonna have to get rough,
Maybe Im a speed king
Push with the foot and Im smiling,
I can glide on the love inside,
And there was you thinking that my hands were tied
All along I saw you hoping
I would slip and Im not joking
The evidence in these events
Is still your lack of commonsense
Did you really think that I would sink
Because I like another drink
Have to get up to get down
The remedy is the sound
Absurdity of your suggestion, leaves me asking just one question,
If youre my friend today?
Why do you wanna hear me say?
If I pick it up, can I put it down?
Whatever it is, I just cant stop. (repeat)

song performed by JamiroquaiReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Night Life

(w. nelson, p. buskirk, w. breeland)
When the evenin
Sun goes down
You can find me
Hangin around
Oh the night life
Aint no good life
But its my life
Many people
Just like me
Dreaming of
Old used to bes
Oh the night life
It aint no good life
But its my life
Oh listen to the blues theyre playin
Oh listen to what the blues are sayin
Mine is just
Another scheme
In a world
Of broken dreams
Oh the night life
It aint no good life
But its my life
(play me some blues boys)
Oh listen to the blues theyre playin
Oh listen to what the blues are sayin
When the evenin
Sun goes down
You can find me
Hangin around
Oh the night life
It aint no good life
But its my life
The night life
Aint no good life
But its my life
Oh I love that song. you know I told you about the men
Who have influenced me in my music.
Well now I want to tell you about the women.
And theres lots of them.
But this first one I wanna tell you about,
I admired her for a long time .
First of all, it was because of her songwriting.
I liked the way she always told a story in her songs.
And then in her singing.
I always loved to listen to her sing.
She had a different style, a different quality about it.
Shes so witty, so personable and you know
No matter whether its her singing,
Her songwriting, or her acting,
Ill always be a big fan of dolly parton!

song performed by Reba McentireReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Codename – Archer

So thanks to you I’ve learned to hate the Ravens
By your sweet grace I’m a Steelers’ fan
That part was just to spite you
I didn’t even know about either team
Until you busted in
I also have a bow
And shoot it
Funny how the violence evaporates
And the mind goes blank
The indestructible arrow that you gave me
Has snapped
Not sure why I keep the pieces
Thanks

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Mute Moon

Mute moon
Stares down in silence

Like
A woman scarred
Stripped of her dignity
Too afraid to speak

Like
A deprived child
Hungry, grieving and waiting
Too tired to speak

Like
A King enthroned
Looking at his eager subjects
Aloof in silence

Like
An enlightened scientist
Holding secrets of the future
But bound by an oath of silence

Like
A wrinkled wise old man
Concealing secrets of the past
Better left unsaid

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

You Are The One I Been Looking For

Out of every guy is you
You answered all my questions that I couldn't do myself
You are angel come to save me from this broken road and
Lead me into right direction
You are the one I been looking for
You make me understand life
I feel so alive and free
I couldn't feel like this if it wasn't for you
I'm changing all the time because of you
I care about your opinion and what you think about me
You know I like you
I shouldn't have write on there
If I'm not going do anything about it
I never meant to hurt, make you jealous, and I was never mad at you
I was dumb for what I done to you and make you think different of me
You are different out of every guy in good way
I enjoy your laugh, jokes, smile, and goofy sides of you and who you are
You are the most wonderful person I ever meet
On negative side if worst that I have to deal with your friends think they know who I am
You want to found out about me and what your friends think about me
You want to test me, practice me in certain areas, and subjects
I get why, but I didn't realized at time
This was way different than I expect out of you
I am blushing and smiling around you
It's been long time
Everything is because of you
I can enjoy life, see how much I miss out, and have fun again for first time
I want to take risks, do things I never do before
No more sad songs or past
It's you I see now
You are the one I been looking for
I feel so bless to found you
Thank you for everything
You are always one person there to make me feel better when I'm in bad mood and
I start laughing and smile all because of you
When we smile at each other
I get all this sparks back and is was good moment
I just no way to approach you and this time is different
You have a face of famous person even if you are not one
I will not cry anymore if this doesn't work out
I know to let it go and learn from this
This is life and life is not fair
I get it and know better
I should realized what did I got myself in first place
If like this with you, how you feel about this situation, and
I put myself though something that end like this
There is nothing left to say
You are the one I been looking for

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Elegy For Poe With The Music Of A Carnival Inside It

There is this sunny place where I imagine him.
A park on a hill whose grass wants to turn
Into dust, & would do so if it weren't
For the rain, & the fact that it is only grass
That keeps the park from flowing downhill past
Its trees & past the slender figures in the statues.
Their stone blends in with the sky when the sky
Is overcast. The stone is a kind of rain,
And half the soldiers trapped inside the stone
Are dead. The others have deserted, & run home.
At this time in the morning, half sun, half mist,
There are usually three or four guys sprawled
Alone on benches facing away from one another.
If they're awake, they look as if they haven't slept.
If they're asleep, they look as if they may not wake....
I only imagine it as a sunny place. If they're
Awake, they gaze off as if onto a distant landscape,
Not at the warehouses & the freeway the hill overlooks,
Not onto Jefferson Avenue where, later, they'll try
To score a little infinity wrapped up in tinfoil,
Or a flake of heaven tied up in a plastic bag
And small as their lives are now, but at a city
That is not the real city gradually appearing
As the mist evaporates, For in the real city,
One was kicked in the ribs by a night watchman
Until he couldn't move. Another was
A small time dealer until he lost his nerve,
And would have then become a car thief, if only
The car had started. And the last failed to appear,
Not only for a court date, but for life itself.
In these ways, they are like Poe if Poe had lived
Beyond composing anything, & had been kicked to death
And then dismembered in this park, his limbs
Thrown as far away from what was left of him
As they could be thrown. And they are not like Poe.
The three of them stare off at a city that is there
In the distance, where they are loved for no
Clear reason, a city they walk toward when
They are themselves again, a city
That vanishes each morning in the pale light.
Poe would have admired them, & pitied them.
For Poe detested both the real city with its traffic
Crawling over the bridges, & the city that vanishes.

~ ~ ~

In autumn the rain slants & flesh turns white.
The tents go up again on the edge of town, &,
In the carny's spiel, everyone gets lost,
And Poe, dismembered, becomes no more than the moral
In the story of his life, the cautionary tale
No better than the sideshow where the boy
With sow's hoofs instead of hands, taps the glass—
Some passing entertainment for the masses.
In the carny's spiel, everyone lost comes
Back again. Even Poe comes back to see
Himself, disfigured, in another. That is what
He's doing here, longing to mingle, invisibly,
With the others on the crowded midway as they lick
Their cotton candy, & stare expressionlessly
At one another. He wants to see the woman
Who has fins instead of arms, & the man without
A mouth. He wants to see the boy behind glass
And his own clear reflection in the glass.
The carnival's so close, only a few blocks,
That he can hear the intermittent off key music
Wheezing faintly out of the merry-go-round....
It might as well be music from the moon.
The traffic never lets him cross. The weeks pass,
And then the months, & then the years with their wars
And the marquees going blank above the streets
Because no one comes anymore. And the crowd,
Filing into the little tent, watches suspiciously,
For the crowd believes in nothing now but disbelief.
And therefore, at the intersection of radiance
And death, the intersection of the real city
And the one that vanishes, Poe is pausing
In the midst of traffic, one city inside the other.
The rain slants. The flesh is a white dust.
The cars pass slowly through him, & the boy keeps
Tapping at the glass, unable to tell his story.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
James Russell Lowell

A Fable For Critics

Phoebus, sitting one day in a laurel-tree's shade,
Was reminded of Daphne, of whom it was made,
For the god being one day too warm in his wooing,
She took to the tree to escape his pursuing;
Be the cause what it might, from his offers she shrunk,
And, Ginevra-like, shut herself up in a trunk;
And, though 'twas a step into which he had driven her,
He somehow or other had never forgiven her;
Her memory he nursed as a kind of a tonic,
Something bitter to chew when he'd play the Byronic,
And I can't count the obstinate nymphs that he brought over
By a strange kind of smile he put on when he thought of her.
'My case is like Dido's,' he sometimes remarked;
'When I last saw my love, she was fairly embarked
In a laurel, as _she_ thought-but (ah, how Fate mocks!)
She has found it by this time a very bad box;
Let hunters from me take this saw when they need it,-
You're not always sure of your game when you've treed it.
Just conceive such a change taking place in one's mistress!
What romance would be left?-who can flatter or kiss trees?
And, for mercy's sake, how could one keep up a dialogue
With a dull wooden thing that will live and will die a log,-
Not to say that the thought would forever intrude
That you've less chance to win her the more she is wood?
Ah! it went to my heart, and the memory still grieves,
To see those loved graces all taking their leaves;
Those charms beyond speech, so enchanting but now,
As they left me forever, each making its bough!
If her tongue _had_ a tang sometimes more than was right,
Her new bark is worse than ten times her old bite.'

Now, Daphne-before she was happily treeified-
Over all other blossoms the lily had deified,
And when she expected the god on a visit
('Twas before he had made his intentions explicit),
Some buds she arranged with a vast deal of care,
To look as if artlessly twined in her hair,
Where they seemed, as he said, when he paid his addresses,
Like the day breaking through, the long night of her tresses;
So whenever he wished to be quite irresistible,
Like a man with eight trumps in his hand at a whist-table
(I feared me at first that the rhyme was untwistable,
Though I might have lugged in an allusion to Cristabel),-
He would take up a lily, and gloomily look in it,
As I shall at the--, when they cut up my book in it.

Well, here, after all the bad rhyme I've been spinning,
I've got back at last to my story's beginning:
Sitting there, as I say, in the shade of his mistress,
As dull as a volume of old Chester mysteries,
Or as those puzzling specimens which, in old histories,
We read of his verses-the Oracles, namely,-
(I wonder the Greeks should have swallowed them tamely,
For one might bet safely whatever he has to risk,
They were laid at his door by some ancient Miss Asterisk,
And so dull that the men who retailed them out-doors
Got the ill name of augurs, because they were bores,-)
First, he mused what the animal substance or herb is
Would induce a mustache, for you know he's _imberbis;_
Then he shuddered to think how his youthful position
Was assailed by the age of his son the physician;
At some poems he glanced, had been sent to him lately,
And the metre and sentiment puzzled him greatly;
'Mehercle! I'd make such proceeding felonious,-
Have they all of them slept in the cave of Trophonius?
Look well to your seat, 'tis like taking an airing
On a corduroy road, and that out of repairing;
It leads one, 'tis true, through the primitive forest,
Grand natural features, but then one has no rest;
You just catch a glimpse of some ravishing distance,
When a jolt puts the whole of it out of existence,-
Why not use their ears, if they happen to have any?'
-Here the laurel leaves murmured the name of poor Daphne.

'Oh, weep with me, Daphne,' he sighed, 'for you know it's
A terrible thing to be pestered with poets!
But, alas, she is dumb, and the proverb holds good,
She never will cry till she's out of the wood!
What wouldn't I give if I never had known of her?
'Twere a kind of relief had I something to groan over:
If I had but some letters of hers, now, to toss over,
I might turn for the nonce a Byronic philosopher,
And bewitch all the flats by bemoaning the loss of her.
One needs something tangible, though, to begin on,-
A loom, as it were, for the fancy to spin on;
What boots all your grist? it can never be ground
Till a breeze makes the arms of the windmill go round;
(Or, if 'tis a water-mill, alter the metaphor,
And say it won't stir, save the wheel be well wet afore,
Or lug in some stuff about water 'so dreamily,'-
It is not a metaphor, though, 'tis a simile):
A lily, perhaps, would set _my_ mill a-going,
For just at this season, I think, they are blowing.
Here, somebody, fetch one; not very far hence
They're in bloom by the score, 'tis but climbing a fence;
There's a poet hard by, who does nothing but fill his
Whole garden, from one end to t'other, with lilies;
A very good plan, were it not for satiety,
One longs for a weed here and there, for variety;
Though a weed is no more than a flower in disguise,
Which is seen through at once, if love give a man eyes.'

Now there happened to be among Phoebus's followers,
A gentleman, one of the omnivorous swallowers,
Who bolt every book that comes out of the press,
Without the least question of larger or less,
Whose stomachs are strong at the expense of their head,-
For reading new books is like eating new bread,
One can bear it at first, but by gradual steps he
Is brought to death's door of a mental dyspepsy.
On a previous stage of existence, our Hero
Had ridden outside, with the glass below zero;
He had been, 'tis a fact you may safely rely on,
Of a very old stock a most eminent scion,-
A stock all fresh quacks their fierce boluses ply on,
Who stretch the new boots Earth's unwilling to try on,
Whom humbugs of all shapes and sorts keep their eye on,
Whose hair's in the mortar of every new Zion,
Who, when whistles are dear, go directly and buy one,
Who think slavery a crime that we must not say fie on,
Who hunt, if they e'er hunt at all, with the lion
(Though they hunt lions also, whenever they spy one),
Who contrive to make every good fortune a wry one,
And at last choose the hard bed of honor to die on,
Whose pedigree, traced to earth's earliest years,
Is longer than anything else but their ears,-
In short, he was sent into life with the wrong key,
He unlocked the door, and stept forth a poor donkey.
Though kicked and abused by his bipedal betters
Yet he filled no mean place in the kingdom of letters;
Far happier than many a literary hack,
He bore only paper-mill rags on his back
(For It makes a vast difference which side the mill
One expends on the paper his labor and skill):
So, when his soul waited a new transmigration,
And Destiny balanced 'twixt this and that station,
Not having much time to expend upon bothers,
Remembering he'd had some connection with authors,
And considering his four legs had grown paralytic,-
She set him on two, and he came forth a critic.

Through his babyhood no kind of pleasure he took
In any amusement but tearing a book;
For him there was no intermediate stage
From babyhood up to straight-laced middle age;
There were years when he didn't wear coat-tails behind,
But a boy he could never be rightly defined;
like the Irish Good Folk, though in length scarce a span,
From the womb he came gravely, a little old man;
While other boys' trousers demanded the toil
Of the motherly fingers on all kinds of soil,
Red, yellow, brown, black, clayey, gravelly, loamy,
He sat in the corner and read Viri Romae.
He never was known to unbend or to revel once
In base, marbles, hockey, or kick up the devil once;
He was just one of those who excite the benevolence
Of your old prigs who sound the soul's depths with a ledger,
And are on the lookout for some young men to 'edger-
cate,' as they call it, who won't be too costly,
And who'll afterward take to the ministry mostly;
Who always wear spectacles, always look bilious,
Always keep on good terms with each _mater-familias_
Throughout the whole parish, and manage to rear
Ten boys like themselves, on four hundred a year:
Who, fulfilling in turn the same fearful conditions,
Either preach through their noses, or go upon missions.

In this way our Hero got safely to college,
Where he bolted alike both his commons and knowledge;
A reading-machine, always wound up and going,
He mastered whatever was not worth the knowing,
Appeared in a gown, with black waistcoat of satin,
To spout such a Gothic oration in Latin
That Tully could never have made out a word in it
(Though himself was the model the author preferred in it),
And grasping the parchment which gave him in fee
All the mystic and-so-forths contained in A.B.,
He was launched (life is always compared to a sea)
With just enough learning, and skill for the using it,
To prove he'd a brain, by forever confusing it.
So worthy St. Benedict, piously burning
With the holiest zeal against secular learning,
_Nesciensque scienter_, as writers express it,
_Indoctusque sapienter a Roma recessit_.

'Twould be endless to tell you the things that he knew,
Each a separate fact, undeniably true,
But with him or each other they'd nothing to do;
No power of combining, arranging, discerning,
Digested the masses he learned into learning;
There was one thing in life he had practical knowledge for
(And this, you will think, he need scarce go to college for),-
Not a deed would he do, nor a word would he utter,
Till he'd weighed its relations to plain bread and butter.
When he left Alma Mater, he practised his wits
In compiling the journals' historical bits,-
Of shops broken open, men falling in fits,
Great fortunes in England bequeathed to poor printers,
And cold spells, the coldest for many past winters,-
Then, rising by industry, knack, and address,
Got notices up for an unbiased press,
With a mind so well poised, it seemed equally made for
Applause or abuse, just which chanced to be paid for:
From this point his progress was rapid and sure,
To the post of a regular heavy reviewer.

And here I must say he wrote excellent articles
On Hebraical points, or the force of Greek particles;
They filled up the space nothing else was prepared for,
And nobody read that which nobody cared for;
If any old book reached a fiftieth edition,
He could fill forty pages with safe erudition:
He could gauge the old books by the old set of rules,
And his very old nothings pleased very old fools;
But give him a new book, fresh out of the heart,
And you put him at sea without compass or chart,-
His blunders aspired to the rank of an art;
For his lore was engraft, something foreign that grew in him,
Exhausting the sap of the native and true in him,
So that when a man came with a soul that was new in him,
Carving new forms of truth out of Nature's old granite,
New and old at their birth, like Le Verrier's planet,
Which, to get a true judgment, themselves must create
In the soul of their critic the measure and weight,
Being rather themselves a fresh standard of grace,
To compute their own judge, and assign him his place,
Our reviewer would crawl all about it and round it,
And, reporting each circumstance just as he found it,
Without the least malice,-his record would be
Profoundly aesthetic as that of a flea,
Which, supping on Wordsworth, should print for our sakes,
Recollections of nights with the Bard of the Lakes,
Or, lodged by an Arab guide, ventured to render a
Comprehensive account of the ruins at Denderah.

As I said, he was never precisely unkind.
The defect in his brain was just absence of mind;
If he boasted, 'twas simply that he was self-made,
A position which I, for one, never gainsaid,
My respect for my Maker supposing a skill
In his works which our Hero would answer but ill;
And I trust that the mould which he used may be cracked, or he,
Made bold by success, may enlarge his phylactery,
And set up a kind of a man-manufactory,-
An event which I shudder to think about, seeing
That Man is a moral, accountable being.

He meant well enough, but was still in the way,
As dunces still are, let them be where they may;
Indeed, they appear to come into existence
To impede other folks with their awkward assistance;
If you set up a dunce on the very North pole
All alone with himself, I believe, on my soul,
He'd manage to get betwixt somebody's shins,
And pitch him down bodily, all in his sins,
To the grave polar bears sitting round on the ice,
All shortening their grace, to be in for a slice;
Or, if he found nobody else there to pother,
Why, one of his legs would just trip up the other,
For there's nothing we read of in torture's inventions,
Like a well-meaning dunce, with the best of intentions.

A terrible fellow to meet in society,
Not the toast that he buttered was ever so dry at tea;
There he'd sit at the table and stir in his sugar,
Crouching close for a spring, all the while, like a cougar;
Be sure of your facts, of your measures and weights,
Of your time,-he's as fond as an Arab of dates;
You'll be telling, perhaps, in your comical way,
Of something you've seen in the course of the day;
And, just as you're tapering out the conclusion,
You venture an ill-fated classic allusion,-
The girls have all got their laughs ready, when, whack!
The cougar comes down on your thunderstruck back!
You had left out a comma,-your Greek's put in joint,
And pointed at cost of your story's whole point.
In the course of the evening, you find chance for certain
Soft speeches to Anne, in the shade of the curtain:
You tell her your heart can be likened to _one_ flower,
'And that, O most charming of women, 's the sunflower,
Which turns'-here a clear nasal voice, to your terror,
From outside the curtain, says, 'That's all an error.'
As for him, he's-no matter, he never grew tender,
Sitting after a ball, with his feet on the fender,
Shaping somebody's sweet features out of cigar smoke
(Though he'd willingly grant you that such doings are smoke):
All women he damns with _mutabile semper_,
And if ever he felt something like love's distemper,
'Twas tow'rds a young lady who spoke ancient Mexican,
And assisted her father in making a lexicon;
Though I recollect hearing him get quite ferocious
About Mary Clausum, the mistress of Grotius,
Or something of that sort,-but, no more to bore ye
With character-painting, I'll turn to my story.

Now, Apollo, who finds it convenient sometimes
To get his court clear of the makers of rhymes,
The _genus_, I think it is called, _irritabile_,
Every one of whom thinks himself treated most shabbily,
And nurses a-what is it?-_immedicabile_,
Which keeps him at boiling-point, hot for a quarrel,
As bitter as wormwood, and sourer than sorrel,
If any poor devil but look at a laurel;-
Apollo, I say, being sick of their rioting
(Though he sometimes acknowledged their verse had a quieting
Effect after dinner, and seemed to suggest a
Retreat to the shrine of a tranquil siesta),
Kept our Hero at hand, who, by means of a bray,
Which he gave to the life, drove the rabble away;
And if that wouldn't do, he was sure to succeed,
If he took his review out and offered to read;
Or, failing in plans of this milder description,
He would ask for their aid to get up a subscription,
Considering that authorship wasn't a rich craft,
To print the 'American drama of Witchcraft.'
'Stay, I'll read you a scene,'-but he hardly began,
Ere Apollo shrieked 'Help!' and the authors all ran:
And once, when these purgatives acted with less spirit,
And the desperate case asked a remedy desperate,
He drew from his pocket a foolscap epistle
As calmly as if 'twere a nine-barrelled pistol,
And threatened them all with the judgment to come,
Of 'A wandering Star's first impressions of Rome.'
'Stop! stop!' with their hands o'er their ears, screamed the Muses,
'He may go off and murder himself, if he chooses,
'Twas a means self-defence only sanctioned his trying,
'Tis mere massacre now that the enemy's flying;
If he's forced to 't again, and we happen to be there,
Give us each a large handkerchief soaked in strong ether.'

I called this a 'Fable for Critics;' you think it's
More like a display of my rhythmical trinkets;
My plot, like an icicle's slender and slippery,
Every moment more slender, and likely to slip awry,
And the reader unwilling _in loco desipere_
Is free to jump over as much of my frippery
As he fancies, and, if he's a provident skipper, he
May have like Odysseus control of the gales,
And get safe to port, ere his patience quite fails;
Moreover, although 'tis a slender return
For your toil and expense, yet my paper will burn,
And, if you have manfully struggled thus far with me,
You may e'en twist me up, and just light your cigar with me:
If too angry for that, you can tear me in pieces,
And my _membra disjecta_ consign to the breezes,
A fate like great Ratzau's, whom one of those bores,
Who beflead with bad verses poor Louis Quatorze,
Describes (the first verse somehow ends with _victoire_),
As _dispersant partout et ses membres et sa gloire;_
Or, if I were over-desirous of earning
A repute among noodles for classical learning,
I could pick you a score of allusions, i-wis,
As new as the jests of _Didaskalos tis;_
Better still, I could make out a good solid list
From authors recondite who do not exist,-
But that would be naughty: at least, I could twist
Something out of Absyrtus, or turn your inquiries
After Milton's prose metaphor, drawn from Osiris;
But, as Cicero says he won't say this or that
(A fetch, I must say, most transparent and flat),
After saying whate'er he could possibly think of,-
I simply will state that I pause on the brink of
A mire, ankle-deep, of deliberate confusion,
Made up of old jumbles of classic allusion:
So, when you were thinking yourselves to be pitied,
Just conceive how much harder your teeth you'd have gritted,
An 'twere not for the dulness I've kindly omitted.

I'd apologize here for my many digressions.
Were it not that I'm certain to trip into fresh ones
('Tis so hard to escape if you get in their mesh once):
Just reflect, if you please, how 'tis said by Horatius,
That Maeonides nods now and then, and, my gracious!
It certainly does look a little bit ominous
When he gets under way with _ton d'apameibomenos_.
(Here a something occurs which I'll just clap a rhyme to,
And say it myself, ere a Zoilus have time to,-
Any author a nap like Van Winkle's may take,
If he only contrive to keep readers awake,
But he'll very soon find himself laid on the shelf,
If _they_ fall a-nodding when he nods himself.)

Once for all, to return, and to stay, will I, nill I-
When Phoebus expressed his desire for a lily,
Our Hero, whose homoeopathic sagacity
With an ocean of zeal mixed his dropp of capacity,
Set off for the garden as fast as the wind
(Or, to take a comparison more to my mind,
As a sound politician leaves conscience behind).
And leaped the low fence, as a party hack jumps
O'er his principles, when something else turns up trumps.

He was gone a long time, and Apollo, meanwhile,
Went over some sonnets of his with a file,
For, of all compositions, he thought that the sonnet
Best repaid all the toil you expended upon it;
It should reach with one impulse the end of its course,
And for one final blow collect all of its force;
Not a verse should be salient, but each one should tend
With a wave-like up-gathering to break at the end;
So, condensing the strength here, there smoothing a wry kink,
He was killing the time, when up walked Mr. D--,
At a few steps behind him, a small man in glasses
Went dodging about, muttering, 'Murderers! asses!'
From out of his pocket a paper he'd take,
With a proud look of martyrdom tied to its stake,
And, reading a squib at himself, he'd say, 'Here I see
'Gainst American letters a bloody conspiracy,
They are all by my personal enemies written;
I must post an anonymous letter to Britain,
And show that this gall is the merest suggestion
Of spite at my zeal on the Copyright question,
For, on this side the water, 'tis prudent to pull
O'er the eyes of the public their national wool,
By accusing of slavish respect to John Bull
All American authors who have more or less
Of that anti-American humbug-success,
While in private we're always embracing the knees
Of some twopenny editor over the seas,
And licking his critical shoes, for you know 'tis
The whole aim of our lives to get one English notice;
My American puffs I would willingly burn all
(They're all from one source, monthly, weekly, diurnal)
To get but a kick from a transmarine journal!'

So, culling the gibes of each critical scorner
As if they were plums, and himself were Jack Horner,
He came cautiously on, peeping round every corner,
And into each hole where a weasel might pass in,
Expecting the knife of some critic assassin,
Who stabs to the heart with a caricature.
Not so bad as those daubs of the Sun, to be sure,
Yet done with a dagger-o'-type, whose vile portraits
Disperse all one's good and condense all one's poor traits.

Apollo looked up, hearing footsteps approaching,
And slipped out of sight the new rhymes he was broaching,-
'Good day, Mr. D--, I'm happy to meet
With a scholar so ripe, and a critic so neat,
Who through Grub Street the soul of a gentleman carries;
What news from that suburb of London and Paris
Which latterly makes such shrill claims to monopolize
The credit of being the New World's metropolis?'

'Why, nothing of consequence, save this attack
On my friend there, behind, by some pitiful hack,
Who thinks every national author a poor one,
That isn't a copy of something that's foreign,
And assaults the American Dick-'

Nay, 'tis clear
That your Damon there's fond of a flea in his ear,
And, if no one else furnished them gratis, on tick
He would buy some himself, just to hear the old click;
Why, I honestly think, if some fool in Japan
Should turn up his nose at the 'Poems on Man,'
(Which contain many verses as fine, by the bye,
As any that lately came under my eye,)
Your friend there by some inward instinct would know it,
Would get it translated, reprinted, and show it;
As a man might take off a high stock to exhibit
The autograph round his own neck of the gibbet;
Nor would let it rest so, but fire column after column,
Signed Cato, or Brutus, or something as solemn,
By way of displaying his critical crosses,
And tweaking that poor transatlantic proboscis,
His broadsides resulting (this last there's no doubt of)
In successively sinking the craft they're fired out of.
Now nobody knows when an author is hit,
If he have not a public hysterical fit;
Let him only keep close in his snug garret's dim ether,
And nobody'd think of his foes-or of him either;
If an author have any least fibre of worth in him,
Abuse would but tickle the organ of mirth in him;
All the critics on earth cannot crush with their ban
One word that's in tune with the nature of man.'

'Well, perhaps so; meanwhile I have brought you a book,
Into which if you'll just have the goodness to look,
You may feel so delighted (when once you are through it)
As to deem it not unworth your while to review it,
And I think I can promise your thoughts, if you do,
A place in the next Democratic Review.'

'The most thankless of gods you must surely have thought me,
For this is the forty-fourth copy you've brought me;
I have given them away, or at least I have tried,
But I've forty-two left, standing all side by side
(The man who accepted that one copy died),-
From one end of a shelf to the other they reach,
'With the author's respects' neatly written in each.
The publisher, sure, will proclaim a Te Deum,
When he hears of that order the British Museum
Has sent for one set of what books were first printed
In America, little or big,-for 'tis hinted
That this is the first truly tangible hope he
Has ever had raised for the sale of a copy.
I've thought very often 'twould be a good thing
In all public collections of books, if a wing
Were set off by itself, like the seas from the dry lands,
Marked _Literature suited to desolate islands_,
And filled with such books as could never be read
Save by readers of proofs, forced to do it for bread,-
Such books as one's wrecked on in small country taverns,
Such as hermits might mortify over in caverns,
Such as Satan, if printing had then been invented,
As the climax of woe, would to Job have presented.
Such as Crusoe might dip in, although there are few so
Outrageously cornered by fate as poor Crusoe;
And since the philanthropists just now are banging
And gibbeting all who're in favor of hanging
(Though Cheever has proved that the Bible and Altar
Were let down from Heaven at the end of a halter.
And that vital religion would dull and grow callous,
Unrefreshed, now and then, with a sniff of the gallows),-
And folks are beginning to think it looks odd,
To choke a poor scamp for the glory of God;
And that He who esteems the Virginia reel
A bait to draw saints from their spiritual weal,
And regards the quadrille as a far greater knavery
Than crushing his African children with slavery,-
Since all who take part in a waltz or cotillon
Are mounted for hell on the Devil's own pillion,
Who, as every true orthodox Christian well knows,
Approaches the heart through the door of the toes,-
That He, I was saying, whose judgments are stored
For such as take steps in despite of his word,
Should look with delight on the agonized prancing
Of a wretch who has not the least ground for his dancing,
While the State, standing by, sings a verse from the Psalter
About offering to God on his favorite halter,
And, when the legs droop from their twitching divergence,
Sells the clothes to a Jew, and the corpse to the surgeons;-
Now, instead of all this, I think I can direct you all
To a criminal code both humane and effectual;-
I propose to shut up every doer of wrong
With these desperate books, for such term, short or long,
As, by statute in such cases made and provided,
Shall be by your wise legislators decided:
Thus: Let murderers be shut, to grow wiser and cooler,
At hard labor for life on the works of Miss--;
Petty thieves, kept from flagranter crimes by their fears,
Shall peruse Yankee Doodle a blank term of years,-
That American Punch, like the English, no doubt,-
Just the sugar and lemons and spirit left out.

'But stay, here comes Tityrus Griswold, and leads on
The flocks whom he first plucks alive, and then feeds on,-
A loud-cackling swarm, in whose leathers warm drest,
He goes for as perfect a-swan as the rest.

'There comes Emerson first, whose rich words, every one,
Are like gold nails in temples to hang trophies on,
Whose prose is grand verse, while his verse, the Lord knows,
Is some of it pr-- No, 'tis not even prose;
I'm speaking of metres; some poems have welled
From those rare depths of soul that have ne'er been excelled;
They're not epics, but that doesn't matter a pin,
In creating, the only hard thing's to begin;
A grass-blade's no easier to make than an oak;
If you've once found the way, you've achieved the grand stroke;
In the worst of his poems are mines of rich matter,
But thrown in a heap with a crash and a clatter;
Now it is not one thing nor another alone
Makes a poem, but rather the general tone,
The something pervading, uniting the whole,
The before unconceived, unconceivable soul,
So that just in removing this trifle or that, you
Take away, as it were, a chief limb of the statue;
Roots, wood, bark, and leaves singly perfect may be,
But, clapt hodge-podge together, they don't make a tree.

'But, to come back to Emerson (whom, by the way,
I believe we left waiting),-his is, we may say,
A Greek head on right Yankee shoulders, whose range
Has Olympus for one pole, for t'other the Exchange;
He seems, to my thinking (although I'm afraid
The comparison must, long ere this, have been made),
A Plotinus-Montaigne, where the Egyptian's gold mist
And the Gascon's shrewd wit cheek-by-jowl coexist;
All admire, and yet scarcely six converts he's got
To I don't (nor they either) exactly know what;
For though he builds glorious temples, 'tis odd
He leaves never a doorway to get in a god.
'Tis refreshing to old-fashioned people like me
To meet such a primitive Pagan as he,
In whose mind all creation is duly respected
As parts of himself-just a little projected;
And who's willing to worship the stars and the sun,
A convert to-nothing but Emerson.
So perfect a balance there is in his head,
That he talks of things sometimes as if they were dead;
Life, nature, love, God, and affairs of that sort,
He looks at as merely ideas; in short,
As if they were fossils stuck round in a cabinet,
Of such vast extent that our earth's a mere dab in it;
Composed just as he is inclined to conjecture her,
Namely, one part pure earth, ninety-nine parts pure lecturer;
You are filled with delight at his clear demonstration,
Each figure, word, gesture, just fits the occasion,
With the quiet precision of science he'll sort 'em,
But you can't help suspecting the whole a _post mortem_.

'There are persons, mole-blind to the soul's make and style,
Who insist on a likeness 'twixt him and Carlyle;
To compare him with Plato would be vastly fairer,
Carlyle's the more burly, but E. is the rarer;
He sees fewer objects, but clearlier, truelier,
If C.'s as original, E.'s more peculiar;
That he's more of a man you might say of the one,
Of the other he's more of an Emerson;
C.'s the Titan, as shaggy of mind as of limb,-
E. the clear-eyed Olympian, rapid and slim;
The one's two thirds Norseman, the other half Greek,
Where the one's most abounding, the other's to seek;
C.'s generals require to be seen in the mass,-
E.'s specialties gain if enlarged by the glass;
C. gives nature and God his own fits of the blues,
And rims common-sense things with mystical hues,-
E. sits in a mystery calm and intense,
And looks coolly around him with sharp common-sense;
C. shows you how every-day matters unite
With the dim transdiurnal recesses of night,-
While E., in a plain, preternatural way,
Makes mysteries matters of mere every day;
C. draws all his characters quite _a la_ Fuseli,-
Not sketching their bundles of muscles and thews illy,
He paints with a brush so untamed and profuse,
They seem nothing but bundles of muscles and thews;
E. is rather like Flaxman, lines strait and severe,
And a colorless outline, but full, round, and clear;-
To the men he thinks worthy he frankly accords
The design of a white marble statue in words.
C. labors to get at the centre, and then
Take a reckoning from there of his actions and men;
E. calmly assumes the said centre as granted,
And, given himself, has whatever is wanted.

'He has imitators in scores, who omit
No part of the man but his wisdom and wit,-
Who go carefully o'er the sky-blue of his brain,
And when he has skimmed it once, skim it again;
If at all they resemble him, you may be sure it is
Because their shoals mirror his mists and obscurities,
As a mud-puddle seems deep as heaven for a minute,
While a cloud that floats o'er is reflected within it.

'There comes--, for instance; to see him's rare sport,
Tread in Emerson's tracks with legs painfully short;
How he jumps, how he strains, and gets red in the face.
To keep step with the mystagogue's natural pace!
He follows as close as a stick to a rocket,
His fingers exploring the prophet's each pocket.
Fie, for shame, brother bard; with good fruit of your own,
Can't you let Neighbor Emerson's orchards alone?
Besides, 'tis no use, you'll not find e'en a core,-
-- has picked up all the windfalls before.
They might strip every tree, and E. never would catch 'em,
His Hesperides have no rude dragon to watch 'em;
When they send him a dishful, and ask him to try 'em,
He never suspects how the sly rogues came by 'em;
He wonders why 'tis there are none such his trees on,
And thinks 'em the best he has tasted this season.

'Yonder, calm as a cloud, Alcott stalks in a dream,
And fancies himself in thy groves, Academe,
With the Parthenon nigh, and the olive-trees o'er him,
And never a fact to perplex him or bore him,
With a snug room at Plato's when night comes, to walk to,
And people from morning till midnight to talk to,
And from midnight till morning, nor snore in their listening;-
So he muses, his face with the joy of it glistening,
For his highest conceit of a happiest state is
Where they'd live upon acorns, and hear him talk gratis;
And indeed, I believe, no man ever talked better,-
Each sentence hangs perfectly poised to a letter;
He seems piling words, but there's royal dust hid
In the heart of each sky-piercing pyramid.
While he talks he is great, but goes out like a taper,
If you shut him up closely with pen, ink, and paper;
Yet his fingers itch for 'em from morning till night,
And he thinks he does wrong if he don't always write;
In this, as in all things, a lamb among men,
He goes to sure death when he goes to his pen.

'Close behind him is Brownson, his mouth very full
With attempting to gulp a Gregorian bull;
Who contrives, spite of that, to pour out as he goes
A stream of transparent and forcible prose;
He shifts quite about, then proceeds to expound
That 'tis merely the earth, not himself, that turns round,
And wishes it clearly impressed on your mind
That the weathercock rules and not follows the wind;
Proving first, then as deftly confuting each side,
With no doctrine pleased that's not somewhere denied,
He lays the denier away on the shelf,
And then-down beside him lies gravely himself.
He's the Salt River boatman, who always stands willing
To convey friend or foe without charging a shilling,
And so fond of the trip that, when leisure's to spare,
He'll row himself up, if he can't get a fare.
The worst of it is, that his logic's so strong,
That of two sides he commonly chooses the wrong;
If there is only one, why, he'll split it in two,
And first pummel this half, then that, black and blue.
That white's white needs no proof, but it takes a deep fellow
To prove it jet-black, and that jet-black is yellow.
He offers the true faith to drink in a sieve,-
When it reaches your lips there's naught left to believe
But a few silly-(syllo-, I mean,)-gisms that squat 'em
Like tadpoles, o'erjoyed with the mud at the bottom.

'There is Willis, all _natty_ and jaunty and gay,
Who says his best things in so foppish a way,
With conceits and pet phrases so thickly o'erlaying 'em,
That one hardly knows whether to thank him for saying 'em;
Over-ornament ruins both poem and prose,
Just conceive of a Muse with a ring in her nose!
His prose had a natural grace of its own,
And enough of it, too, if he'd let it alone;
But he twitches and jerks so, one fairly gets tired,
And is forced to forgive where one might have admired;
Yet whenever it slips away free and unlaced,
It runs like a stream with a musical waste,
And gurgles along with the liquidest sweep;-
'Tis not deep as a river, but who'd have it deep?
In a country where scarcely a village is found
That has not its author sublime and profound,
For some one to be slightly shallow's a duty,
And Willis's shallowness makes half his beauty.
His prose winds along with a blithe, gurgling error,
And reflects all of Heaven it can see in its mirror:
'Tis a narrowish strip, but it is not an artifice;
'Tis the true out-of-doors with its genuine hearty phiz;
It is Nature herself, and there's something in that,
Since most brains reflect but the crown of a hat.
Few volumes I know to read under a tree,
More truly delightful than his A l'Abri,
With the shadows of leaves flowing over your book,
Like ripple-shades netting the bed of a brook;
With June coming softly your shoulder to look over,
Breezes waiting to turn every leaf of your book over,
And Nature to criticise still as you read,-
The page that bears that is a rare one indeed.

'He's so innate a cockney, that had he been born
Where plain bare-skin's the only full-dress that is worn,
He'd have given his own such an air that you'd say
'T had been made by a tailor to lounge in Broadway.
His nature's a glass of champagne with the foam on 't,
As tender as Fletcher, as witty as Beaumont;
So his best things are done in the flush of the moment;
If he wait, all is spoiled; he may stir it and shake it,
But, the fixed air once gone, he can never re-make it.
He might be a marvel of easy delightfulness,
If he would not sometimes leave the _r_ out of sprightfulness;
And he ought to let Scripture alone-'tis self-slaughter,
For nobody likes inspiration-and-water.
He'd have been just the fellow to sup at the Mermaid,
Cracking jokes at rare Ben, with an eye to the barmaid,
His wit running up as Canary ran down,-
The topmost bright bubble on the wave of The Town.

'Here comes Parker, the Orson of parsons, a man
Whom the Church undertook to put under her ban
(The Church of Socinus, I mean),-his opinions
Being So-(ultra)-cinian, they shocked the Socinians:
They believed-faith, I'm puzzled-I think I may call
Their belief a believing in nothing at all,
Or something of that sort; I know they all went
For a general union of total dissent:
He went a step farther; without cough or hem,
He frankly avowed he believed not in them;
And, before he could be jumbled up or prevented,
From their orthodox kind of dissent he dissented.
There was heresy here, you perceive, for the right
Of privately judging means simply that light
Has been granted to _me_, for deciding on _you;_
And in happier times, before Atheism grew,
The deed contained clauses for cooking you too:
Now at Xerxes and Knut we all laugh, yet our foot
With the same wave is wet that mocked Xerxes and Knut,
And we all entertain a secure private notion,
That our _Thus far!_ will have a great weight with the ocean,
'Twas so with our liberal Christians: they bore
With sincerest conviction their chairs to the shore;
They brandished their worn theological birches,
Bade natural progress keep out of the Churches,
And expected the lines they had drawn to prevail
With the fast-rising tide to keep out of their pale;
They had formerly dammed the Pontifical See,
And the same thing, they thought, would do nicely for P.;
But he turned up his nose at their mumming and shamming,
And cared (shall I say?) not a d-- for their damming;
So they first read him out of their church, and next minute
Turned round and declared he had never been in it.
But the ban was too small or the man was too big,
For he recks not their bells, books, and candles a fig
(He scarce looks like a man who would _stay_ treated shabbily,
Sophroniscus' son's head o'er the features of Rabelais):-
He bangs and bethwacks them,-their backs he salutes
With the whole tree of knowledge torn up by the roots;
His sermons with satire are plenteously verjuiced,
And he talks in one breath of Confutzee, Cass, Zerduscht,
Jack Robinson, Peter the Hermit, Strap, Dathan,
Cush, Pitt (not the bottomless, _that_ he's no faith in),
Pan, Pillicock, Shakespeare, Paul, Toots, Monsieur Tonson,
Aldebaran, Alcander, Ben Khorat, Ben Jonson,
Thoth, Richter, Joe Smith, Father Paul, Judah Monis,
Musaeus, Muretus, _hem_,-[Greek: m] Scorpionis,
Maccabee, Maccaboy, Mac-Mac-ah! Machiavelli,
Condorcet, Count d'Orsay, Conder, Say, Ganganelli,
Orion, O'Connell, the Chevalier D'O,
(See the Memoirs of Sully,) [Greek: to pan], the great toe
Of the statue of Jupiter, now made to pass
For that of Jew Peter by good Romish brass,
(You may add for yourselves, for I find it a bore,
All the names you have ever, or not, heard before,
And when you've done that-why, invent a few more).
His hearers can't tell you on Sunday beforehand,
If in that day's discourse they'll be Bibled or Koraned,
For he's seized the idea (by his martyrdom fired)
That all men (not orthodox) _may be_ inspired;
Yet though wisdom profane with his creed he may weave in,
He makes it quite clear what he _doesn't_ believe in,
While some, who decry him, think all Kingdom Come
Is a sort of a, kind of a, species of Hum,
Of which, as it were, so to speak, not a crumb
Would be left, if we didn't keep carefully mum,
And, to make a clean breast, that 'tis perfectly plain
That _all_ kinds of wisdom are somewhat profane;
Now P.'s creed than this may be lighter or darker,
But in one thing, 'tis clear, he has faith, namely-Parker;
And this is what makes him the crowd-drawing preacher,
There's a background of god to each hard-working feature,
Every word that he speaks has been fierily furnaced
In the blast of a life that has struggled in earnest:
There he stands, looking more like a ploughman than priest,
If not dreadfully awkward, not graceful at least,
His gestures all downright and same, if you will,
As of brown-fisted Hobnail in hoeing a drill;
But his periods fall on you, stroke after stroke,
Like the blows of a lumberer felling an oak,
You forget the man wholly, you're thankful to meet
With a preacher who smacks of the field and the street,
And to hear, you're not over-particular whence,
Almost Taylor's profusion, quite Latimer's sense.

'There is Bryant, as quiet, as cool, and as dignified,
As a smooth, silent iceberg, that never is ignified,
Save when by reflection 'tis kindled o' nights
With a semblance of flame by the chill Northern Lights.
He may rank (Griswold says so) first bard of your nation
(There's no doubt that he stands in supreme iceolation),
Your topmost Parnassus he may set his heel on,
But no warm applauses come, peal following peal on,-
He's too smooth and too polished to hang any zeal on:
Unqualified merits, I'll grant, if you choose, he has 'em,
But he lacks the one merit of kindling enthusiasm;
If he stir you at all, it is just, on my soul,
Like being stirred up with the very North Pole.

'He is very nice reading in summer, but _inter
Nos_, we don't want _extra_ freezing in winter;
Take him up in the depth of July, my advice is,
When you feel an Egyptian devotion to ices.
But, deduct all you can, there's enough that's right good in him,
He has a true soul for field, river, and wood in him;
And his heart, in the midst of brick walls, or where'er it is,
Glows, softens, and thrills with the tenderest charities-
To you mortals that delve in this trade-ridden planet?
No, to old Berkshire's hills, with their limestone and granite.
If you're one who _in loco_ (add _foco_ here) _desipis_,
You will get out of his outermost heart (as I guess) a piece;
But you'd get deeper down if you came as a precipice,
And would break the last seal of its inwardest fountain,
If you only could palm yourself off for a mountain.
Mr. Quivis, or somebody quite as discerning,
Some scholar who's hourly expecting his learning,
Calls B. the American Wordsworth; but Wordsworth
May be rated at more than your whole tuneful herd's worth.
No, don't be absurd, he's an excellent Bryant;
But, my friends, you'll endanger the life of your client,
By attempting to stretch him up into a giant;
If you choose to compare him, I think there are two per-
-sons fit for a parallel-Thomson and Cowper;
I don't mean exactly,-there's something of each,
There's T.'s love of nature, C.'s penchant to preach;
Just mix up their minds so that C.'s spice of craziness
Shall balance and neutralize T.'s turn for laziness,
And it gives you a brain cool, quite frictionless, quiet,
Whose internal police nips the buds of all riot,-
A brain like a permanent strait-jacket put on
The heart that strives vainly to burst off a button,-
A brain which, without being slow or mechanic,
Does more than a larger less drilled, more volcanic;
He's a Cowper condensed, with no craziness bitten,
And the advantage that Wordsworth before him had written.

'But, my dear little bardlings, don't prick up your ears
Nor suppose I would rank you and Bryant as peers;
If I call him an iceberg, I don't mean to say
There is nothing in that which is grand in its way;
He is almost the one of your poets that knows
How much grace, strength, and dignity lie in Repose;
If he sometimes fall short, he is too wise to mar
His thought's modest fulness by going too far;
'T would be well if your authors should all make a trial
Of what virtue there is in severe self-denial,
And measure their writings by Hesiod's staff,
Which teaches that all has less value than half.

'There is Whittier, whose swelling and vehement heart
Strains the strait-breasted drab of the Quaker apart,
And reveals the live Man, still supreme and erect,
Underneath the bemummying wrappers of sect;
There was ne'er a man born who had more of the swing
Of the true lyric bard and all that kind of thing;
And his failures arise (though he seem not to know it)
From the very same cause that has made him a poet,-
A fervor of mind which knows no separation
'Twixt simple excitement and pure inspiration,
As my Pythoness erst sometimes erred from not knowing
If 'twere I or mere wind through her tripod was blowing;
Let his mind once get head in its favorite direction
And the torrent of verse bursts the dams of reflection,
While, borne with the rush of the metre along,
The poet may chance to go right or go wrong,
Content with the whirl and delirium of song;
Then his grammar's not always correct, nor his rhymes,
And he's prone to repeat his own lyrics sometimes,
Not his best, though, for those are struck off at white-heats
When the heart in his breast like a trip-hammer beats,
And can ne'er be repeated again any more
Than they could have been carefully plotted before:
Like old what's-his-name there at the battle of Hastings
(Who, however, gave more than mere rhythmical bastings),
Our Quaker leads off metaphorical fights
For reform and whatever they call human rights,
Both singing and striking in front of the war,
And hitting his foes with the mallet of Thor;
_Anne haec_, one exclaims, on beholding his knocks,
_Vestis filii tui_, O leather-clad Fox?
Can that be thy son, in the battle's mid din,
Preaching brotherly love and then driving it in
To the brain of the tough old Goliath of sin,
With the smoothest of pebbles from Castaly's spring
Impressed on his hard moral sense with a sling?

'All honor and praise to the right-hearted bard
Who was true to The Voice when such service was hard,
Who himself was so free he dared sing for the slave
When to look but a protest in silence was brave;
All honor and praise to the women and men
Who spoke out for the dumb and the down-trodden then!
It needs not to name them, already for each
I see History preparing the statue and niche;
They were harsh, but shall _you_ be so shocked at hard words
Who have beaten your pruning-hooks up into swords,
Whose rewards and hurrahs men are surer to gain
By the reaping of men and of women than grain?
Why should _you_ stand aghast at their fierce wordy war, if
You scalp one another for Bank or for Tariff?
Your calling them cut-throats and knaves all day long
Doesn't prove that the use of hard language is wrong;
While the World's heart beats quicker to think of such men
As signed Tyranny's doom with a bloody steel-pen,
While on Fourth-of-Julys beardless orators fright one
With hints at Harmodius and Aristogeiton,
You need not look shy at your sisters and brothers
Who stab with sharp words for the freedom of others;-
No, a wreath, twine a wreath for the loyal and true
Who, for sake of the many, dared stand with the few,
Not of blood-spattered laurel for enemies braved,
But of broad, peaceful oak-leaves for citizens saved!

'Here comes Dana, abstractedly loitering along,
Involved in a paulo-post-future of song,
Who'll be going to write what'll never be written
Till the Muse, ere he think of it, gives him the mitten,-
Who is so well aware of how things should be done,
That his own works displease him before they're begun,-
Who so well all that makes up good poetry knows,
That the best of his poems is written in prose;
All saddled and bridled stood Pegasus waiting,
He was booted and spurred, but he loitered debating;
In a very grave question his soul was immersed,-
Which foot in the stirrup he ought to put first:
And, while this point and that he judicially dwelt on,
He, somehow or other, had written Paul Felton,
Whose beauties or faults, whichsoever you see there,
You'll allow only genius could hit upon either.
That he once was the Idle Man none will deplore,
But I fear he will never be anything more;
The ocean of song heaves and glitters before him,
The depth and the vastness and longing sweep o'er him.
He knows every breaker and shoal on the chart,
He has the Coast Pilot and so on by heart,
Yet he spends his whole life, like the man in the fable,
In learning to swim on his library table.

'There swaggers John Neal, who has wasted in Maine
The sinews and cords of his pugilist brain,
Who might have been poet, but that, in its stead, he
Preferred to believe that he was so already;
Too hasty to wait till Art's ripe fruit should drop,
He must pelt down an unripe and colicky crop;
Who took to the law, and had this sterling plea for it,
It required him to quarrel, and paid him a fee for it;
A man who's made less than he might have, because
He always has thought himself more than he was,-
Who, with very good natural gifts as a bard,
Broke the strings of his lyre out by striking too hard,
And cracked half the notes of a truly fine voice,
Because song drew less instant attention than noise.
Ah, men do not know how much strength is in poise,
That he goes the farthest who goes far enough,
And that all beyond that is just bother and stuff.
No vain man matures, he makes too much new wood;
His blooms are too thick for the fruit to be good;
'Tis the modest man ripens, 'tis he that achieves,
Just what's needed of sunshine and shade he receives;
Grapes, to mellow, require the cool dark of their leaves;
Neal wants balance; he throws his mind always too far,
Whisking out flocks of comets, but never a star;
He has so much muscle, and loves so to show it,
That he strips himself naked to prove he's a poet,
And, to show he could leap Art's wide ditch, if he tried,
Jumps clean o'er it, and into the hedge t'other side.
He has strength, but there's nothing about him in keeping;
One gets surelier onward by walking than leaping;
He has used his own sinews himself to distress,
And had done vastly more had he done vastly less;
In letters, too soon is as bad as too late;
Could he only have waited he might have been great;
But he plumped into Helicon up to the waist,
And muddied the stream ere he took his first taste.

'There is Hawthorne, with genius so shrinking and rare
That you hardly at first see the strength that is there;
A frame so robust, with a nature so sweet,
So earnest, so graceful, so lithe and so fleet,
Is worth a descent from Olympus to meet;
'Tis as if a rough oak that for ages had stood,
With his gnarled bony branches like ribs of the wood,
Should bloom, after cycles of struggle and scathe,
With a single anemone trembly and rathe;
His strength is so tender, his wildness so meek,
That a suitable parallel sets one to seek,-
He's a John Bunyan Fouque, a Puritan Tieck;
When Nature was shaping him, clay was not granted
For making so full-sized a man as she wanted,
So, to fill out her model, a little she spared
From some finer-grained stuff for a woman prepared,
And she could not have hit a more excellent plan
For making him fully and perfectly man.
The success of her scheme gave her so much delight,
That she tried it again, shortly after, in Dwight;
Only, while she was kneading and shaping the clay,
She sang to her work in her sweet childish way,
And found, when she'd put the last touch to his soul,
That the music had somehow got mixed with the whole.

'Here's Cooper, who's written six volumes to show
He's as good as a lord: well, let's grant that he's so;
If a person prefer that description of praise,
Why, a coronet's certainly cheaper than bays;
But he need take no pains to convince us he's not
(As his enemies say) the American Scott.
Choose any twelve men, and let C. read aloud
That one of his novels of which he's most proud,
And I'd lay any bet that, without ever quitting
Their box, they'd be all, to a man, for acquitting.
He has drawn you one character, though, that is new,
One wildflower he's plucked that is wet with the dew
Of this fresh Western world, and, the thing not to mince,
He has done naught but copy it ill ever since;
His Indians, with proper respect be it said,
Are just Natty Bumppo, daubed over with red,
And his very Long Toms are the same useful Nat,
Rigged up in duck pants and a sou'wester hat
(Though once in a Coffin, a good chance was found
To have slipped the old fellow away underground).
All his other men-figures are clothes upon sticks,
The _derniere chemise_ of a man in a fix
(As a captain besieged, when his garrison's small,
Sets up caps upon poles to be seen o'er the wall):
And the women he draws from one model don't vary.
All sappy as maples and flat as a prairie.
When a character's wanted, he goes to the task
As a cooper would do in composing a cask;
He picks out the staves, of their qualities heedful,
Just hoops them together as tight as is needful,
And, if the best fortune should crown the attempt, he
Has made at the most something wooden and empty.

'Don't suppose I would underrate Cooper's abilities;
If I thought you'd do that, I should feel very ill at ease;
The men who have given to _one_ character life
And objective existence are not very rife;
You may number them all, both prose-writers and singers,
Without overrunning the bounds of your fingers,
And Natty won't go to oblivion quicker
Than Adams the parson or Primrose the vicar.

'There is one thing in Cooper I like, too, and that is
That on manners he lectures his countrymen gratis;
Not precisely so either, because, for a rarity,
He is paid for his tickets in unpopularity.
Now he may overcharge his American pictures,
But you'll grant there's a good deal of truth in his strictures;
And I honor the man who is willing to sink
Half his present repute for the freedom to think,
And, when he has thought, be his cause strong or weak,
Will risk t'other half for the freedom to speak,
Caring naught for what vengeance the mob has in store,
Let that mob be the upper ten thousand or lower.

'There are truths you Americans need to be told,
And it never'll refute them to swagger and scold;
John Bull, looking o'er the Atlantic, in choler
At your aptness for trade, says you worship the dollar;
But to scorn such eye-dollar-try's what very few do,
And John goes to that church as often as you do,
No matter what John says, don't try to outcrow him,
'Tis enough to go quietly on and outgrow him;
Like most fathers, Bull hates to see Number One
Displacing himself in the mind of his son,
And detests the same faults in himself he'd neglected
When he sees them again in his child's glass reflected;
To love one another you're too like by half;
If he is a bull, you're a pretty stout calf,
And tear your own pasture for naught but to show
What a nice pair of horns you're beginning to grow.

'There are one or two things I should just like to hint,
For you don't often get the truth told you in print;
The most of you (this is what strikes all beholders)
Have a mental and physical stoop in the shoulders;
Though you ought to be free as the winds and the waves,
You've the gait and the manners of runaway slaves;
Though you brag of your New World, you don't half believe in it;
And as much of the Old as is possible weave in it;
Your goddess of freedom, a tight, buxom girl,
With lips like a cherry and teeth like a pearl,
With eyes bold as Here's, and hair floating free,
And full of the sun as the spray of the sea,
Who can sing at a husking or romp at a shearing,
Who can trip through the forests alone without fearing,
Who can drive home the cows with a song through the grass,
Keeps glancing aside into Europe's cracked glass.
Hides her red hands in gloves, pinches up her lithe waist,
And makes herself wretched with transmarine taste;
She loses her fresh country charm when she takes
Any mirror except her own rivers and lakes.

'You steal Englishmen's books and think Englishmen's thought,
With their salt on her tail your wild eagle is caught;
Your literature suits its each whisper and motion
To what will be thought of it over the ocean;
The cast clothes of Europe your statesmanship tries
And mumbles again the old blarneys and lies;-
Forget Europe wholly, your veins throb with blood,
To which the dull current in hers is but mud:
Let her sneer, let her say your experiment fails,
In her voice there's a tremble e'en now while she rails,
And your shore will soon be in the nature of things
Covered thick with gilt drift-wood of castaway kings,
Where alone, as it were in a Longfellow's Waif,
Her fugitive pieces will find themselves safe.
O my friends, thank your god, if you have one, that he
'Twixt the Old World and you set the gulf of a sea;
Be strong-backed, brown-handed, upright as your pines,
By the scale of a hemisphere shape your designs,
Be true to yourselves and this new nineteenth age,
As a statue by Powers, or a picture by Page,
Plough, sail, forge, build, carve, paint, make all over new,
To your own New-World instincts contrive to be true,
Keep your ears open wide to the Future's first call,
Be whatever you will, but yourselves first of all,
Stand fronting the dawn on Toil's heaven-scaling peaks,
And become my new race of more practical Greeks.-
Hem! your likeness at present, I shudder to tell o't,
Is that you have your slaves, and the Greek had his helot.'

Here a gentleman present, who had in his attic
More pepper than brains, shrieked, 'The man's a fanatic,
I'm a capital tailor with warm tar and feathers,
And will make him a suit that'll serve in all weathers;
But we'll argue the point first, I'm willing to reason 't,
Palaver before condemnation's but decent:
So, through my humble person, Humanity begs
Of the friends of true freedom a loan of bad eggs.'
But Apollo let one such a look of his show forth
As when [Greek: aeie nukti eoikios], and so forth,
And the gentleman somehow slunk out of the way,
But, as he was going, gained courage to say,-
'At slavery in the abstract my whole soul rebels,
I am as strongly opposed to 't as any one else.'
'Ay, no doubt, but whenever I've happened to meet
With a wrong or a crime, it is always concrete,'
Answered Phoebus severely; then turning to us,
'The mistake of such fellows as just made the fuss
Is only in taking a great busy nation
For a part of their pitiful cotton-plantation.-
But there comes Miranda, Zeus! where shall I flee to?
She has such a penchant for bothering me too!
She always keeps asking if I don't observe a
Particular likeness 'twixt her and Minerva;
She tells me my efforts in verse are quite clever;-
She's been travelling now, and will be worse than ever;
One would think, though, a sharp-sighted noter she'd be
Of all that's worth mentioning over the sea,
For a woman must surely see well, if she try,
The whole of whose

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

For Us With The Faded Genes

Are birthdays really happy
For us with the faded genes?
Calendars remind us daily-
Our time is short and lean.

The hair is losing color
While some may lose all of it,
Bones not strong as they were before
And sweets, we have to forfeit.

We learn to be keen on cholesterol
Be adept at counting blood sugar
Get rid of the fat, quit alcohol
We try walking, but can't go far.

We manage to deduct the years
As birthdays come to remind
We are getting plagued by aging fears
And Time we label... unkind.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Perhaps You'll Find More Luck With the Others

Peace?

There is only one peace I will defend.
And that is the peace between my ears.

When it arrived and I identified with it...
And it took a while for my suspicions to leave?
I had not until then...
Experienced a life without spotlighting my agonies.

Peace?

There is only one peace I will defend.
And that is the peace between my ears.

Nor do I have a need to have it cheapened,
By a marketing campaign...
You've come to solicit with promises to set me free.
I've already got it.
'Free-of-being-dumb'.

Perhaps you'll find more luck with the others.
They are the ones praying for it on their knees!
With the hope that the peace you tease will come.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

We Need Death With Dignity

We need death with dignity regardless of our Supreme Court,
Isolated Santa Clauses tucked away in an Ottawa fort,
They allowed unborn babies to be aborted by the score,
But for Canadian adults death with dignity, they just shut the door.

If unborn babies can be killed without question; why not us?
Binding referendums could get assisted suicide without fuss,
That’s why they wont touch referendums with a ten-foot pole,
Democracy and Supreme Court agenda hidden with no control.

We are forbidden death with dignity under some pretence,
Isolated politicians and Santa Clauses make no sense,
They seem to think that miserable death will never come their way,
Like appointed Canadian Senators they may stay and stay.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Death With Dignity In Canada Oct 29th,2012

If the church has forbidden death with dignity; what else have they banned?
Are pedophile priests still hidden in this multicultural land?
Are abortions allowed to kill unborn babies here and there?
Should I apologize for being so bold and showing that I care?

If the States of Oregon and Washington can change things around,
Should the other states and should Canada hear the campaign sound?
Could we all die in dignity instead of devastating pain?
I think it would be better to hear the death-with-dignity campaign.

If ladies can have abortions here and there; then and now,
Why can't we have death-with-dignity instead of a pompous row?
Is it illegal or a sin or disgusting to talk about this?
Several European countries have it now, including the Swiss

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Common Ground

(8/30/12)

Here we both stand on common ground
Fighting for recognition when there's none to be found
Two hearts that have become as one
And has fought every obstacle and has won.

Why don't people see the love that we share
And if it doesn't hurt them
Why should they care.

But the love for each other is not the
only thing we have on common ground
We have everything that GOD has put down.

The trees, the grass, the butterflies, the bees
This is just part of what is seen.
The stars, the sky, the moon above
All of this is what we love.
The seas, the rivers, the mountains too
All of these things have been given to you.

These petty jealousies can tear them apart
Why don't they search in their heart.
They can find the love the same as us
For it's given from above.

If our two hearts are stronger than one
Imagine millions with GODS son.

© L.RAMS

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

You Are Overdue

If you are enforcing your own limitations...
It is a waste of time to get upset,
Regretting others are not impressed...
To share what you address.

And 'if' someone has had it with your wishes,
To daily repeat what has been heard...
They do you a favor,
By telling you 'you' have gotten on their nerves.

And if after years they say nothing to you at all.
Or choose to eliminate any remnants of contact.
You should gift them with a nice present.
Since indirectly they have said to you,
Loud and clear...
Alone time in silence,
Is what is needed for you to hear...
'You are overdue to become introduced to truth.'

And this they can no longer prove...
Or argue against a self inflicting stubbornness.
What you need is something,
They can not 'knock' into your head!
Done they are...
With any more attempts to justify their patience.

You are overdue for a self examination.
One that is stripped away from pretensions.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Forbidden Death with Dignity July 28th,2012

FORBIDDEN DEATH WITH DIGNITY July 28th 2012
By
James Bredin

Death with dignity should not be too difficult to impose,
No need for a referendum and just see how it goes,
And those who oppose it will just have to shut up and learn,
Like now; those of us who want it have to shut up and yearn.




Because our politicians will not arrange this anytime soon,
From binding referendums and mandatory voting, we're immune,
All party politicians have been told by their party bosses,
You can't like these things or it might be your political losses.




That's why nothing is done for voting or death in this regard,
A party politician could loose his job and his party card,
Sue Rodriguez could not get death with dignity when she tried,
She was refused, with painful Lou Gehrig's disease and then she died.




But this is real and this is now and we are still alive and here,
And without referendums or political input; should we fear?
Media moguls tell us that there is no need to complain,
This is the way things are and this is how they will remain.



July 28th,2012

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Story Of A Search For A Poem

A man went in search of a Poem
He searched everywhere he walked
He searched inside himself
He searched inside the poems of others
He searched and searched -

And what came to him were fragments of many poems
And he thought perhaps that they themselves were the poem
But they refused to be satisfied with themselves-

So he searched for a way to put them together-
But in searching came upon more fragments
With each new fragment totally re-ordering those that had gone before-

So he thought ‘I went looking for one poem but found many
Perhaps there are only many poems’

And he began to write them down
And felt at times that he had found many poems
But always too he knew he had not found the one-

So he searched and searched again
And could not find the Poem-

He is still searching
And does not know where the poem is
Sometimes he thinks it is hidden in the many already written
But he does not have the eye to discern it the heart to feel it-

He now is surrounded by poems-
They are everywhere-
But he still cannot find the One Poem which is the Poem for him
The Poem which is his Poem and his Poem alone-

He says he is still searching and will search to the end of his days
But he is old now and soon may be too weak to search
And so the Poem he seeks the one he has longed for all his life
May never be found
Though he goes on searching still.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
 

Search


Recent searches | Top searches