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Mirror Mirror Rhymes 04

Mirror Mirror up the tree
Why are you so mad with me?
'That joke you told', the mirror said,
'It cracked me up, and now I'm dead! '

(Written Sept 2012)

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Palace Flophouse

the palace flophouse,
is a good place to be
if you ever need any help,
like if anyone's ever dead
the palace flophouse,
is a good place to be
if you ever need any help,
like if anyone's every dead
mad dog, mad dog, mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (she looks onto my face) mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (and i looked right by you) mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (she looked onto her face) mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (i'll never see you again) mad dog, coming dog
the palace flophouse,
is a good place to be
if you ever need any help,
like if anyone's ever dead
the palace flophouse,
is a good place to be
if you ever need any help,
like if anyone's every dead
mad dog, mad dog, mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (i look onto her face) mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (and i walked right by you) mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (she looked onto my face) mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (i'll never see you again) mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (i'll never see you again) mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (i'll never see you again) mad dog, coming dog
mad dog, mad dog, (i'll never see you again) mad dog, coming dog

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The Mirror Struggled

The mirror struggled; reflecting beauty such as hers
Prescribed a glory in the challenge – a fairytale
Or such as like! To shimmer back hypnotic hues
From auras of her skin – how do mirrors cope?
Hoary tales of pretty adolescent buds
Could never hope to match the tomes of dreamy
Pulchritude apprising us of such a belle as she.

The mirror shone; and as it worked itself, a moment –
Did it overlook the hidden melancholy?
Were melting eyes bedewed–? Florid lips imbued
With mournfulness? The hindrance of the silver glass!
Oh! to seek – to know the meaning of the sorrow!
She (with tearful hair, an image out of heaven)
Never opened up her heart. The mirror struggled.

Copyright Mark R Slaughter 2009


m irror mirror mirror - mirror mirror mirror
mirror mirror mirror - mirror mirror mirror
mirror mirror mirror - mirror mirror mirror
mirror mirror mirror - mirror mirror mirror
mirror mirror mirror - mirror mirror mirror
mirror mirror mirror - mirror mirror mirror
mirror mirror mirror - mirror mirror mirror
mirror mirror mirror - mirror mirror mirror

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Mad Not Mad

The windows are open wide
Georgie fame for those outside
And answering the call
Blue flames leap up the wall
Who would have thought it strange
That all of us would change
Out there in the hall
The shadows leave the wall
Then we had the plan
Back when it began
And as we turn we know
That one of us will go
(would you) dance with a mad man, mad man, mad man
Over the hills and far away
Arm in arm
Mad not mad
A star-spangled sight
Silhouettes at night
Dancing over big ben
Seven ragged men
Up up and away
Forever and a day
(would you) dance with a mad man, mad man, mad man
Over the hills and far away
Arm in arm
Mad not mad
Dance with a mad man, mad man, mad man
Beyond the reach of yesterday
What are we but our friends
Mad not mad
(mad not mad)
Hello crazy gang
Goodbye with a bang
What are we but our friends
Sailing round the bend
In love through thick and thin
I know it will all win
(would you) dance with a mad man, mad man, mad man
Over the hills and far away
Arm in arm
Mad not mad
Dance with a mad man, mad man, mad man
Beyond the reach of yesterday
What are we but our friends
Mad not mad
Dance with a mad man, mad man, mad man
As only you can
Enjoying his company

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Tearful Eyes

The mirror laughed; it gleaned my thoughts
And saw me cry my want:
Synthetic views - pathetic clues
To how I tick - and now you taunt,
You bleeding mirror, jibe another!
Just because I dream…

To be the mighty hero wise!
And perch atop the sodden hill
Of blood and pungent death,
To lead our race from sure demise.
Let's regain, collect, and rest
Before the battle slams
Our dauntless nerve. And now to rise!
Come follow me - we'll slay the foe!
See my cloak unfurl.
Through screams and wails, he fails and dies.
Look! he falls across his minions'
Path. I laugh aloud.
My warriors hold me to the skies.
Overhead the clouds recede,
Thinning out the black.

And then I fade in pallid lies.
Returning back to conscious state,
I let the mirror slate me:
Fathoming my remote disguise,
Reflecting back my hopeless lot.
Oh to smash the thing!
If I could see through tearful eyes.


Copyright © Mark Raymond Slaughter 2009


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Mirror, Mirror

(m. sembello/d. matkowsky)
Mirror, mirror
On the wall
You said you had the answers to it all
You never told me Id take a fall
Mirror, mirror
On the wall
You, you turned my life
Into a paperback novel
Words that come to life
Inside your little melodrama
Chapter one
When I was young
I came to you with my problems
Chapter two
You promised me love
And anything that I desired
Tell me mirror, mirror on the wall
thought you said you had the answers to it all
Never told me I was gonna take a fall
Tell me mirror, mirror on the wall
You have nailed my heart
Upon the wall for your pleasures
You have cast a spell
That cannot ever be broken
And now
My eyes grow tired
I watch my picture getting older
But i
Remain the same
Trapped in this mirror forever
Tell me mirror, mirror on the wall
thought you said you had the answers to it all
You never told me I was gonna take a fall
Tell me mirror, mirror on the wall
I talk to you each night
And I follow your advise
Youve been wrong
Whats the price I have to pay
For this fairy tale thing called love?
Let me go!
Tell me mirror, mirror on the wall
thought you said you had the answers to it all
Never told me I was gonna take a fall
Tell me mirror, mirror on the wall
Tell me mirror, mirror on the wall
thought you said you had the answers to it all
Never told me I was gonna take a fall
Tell me mirror, mirror on the wall
Let me go

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Tamar

I
A night the half-moon was like a dancing-girl,
No, like a drunkard's last half-dollar
Shoved on the polished bar of the eastern hill-range,
Young Cauldwell rode his pony along the sea-cliff;
When she stopped, spurred; when she trembled, drove
The teeth of the little jagged wheels so deep
They tasted blood; the mare with four slim hooves
On a foot of ground pivoted like a top,
Jumped from the crumble of sod, went down, caught, slipped;
Then, the quick frenzy finished, stiffening herself
Slid with her drunken rider down the ledges,
Shot from sheer rock and broke
Her life out on the rounded tidal boulders.

The night you know accepted with no show of emotion the little
accident; grave Orion
Moved northwest from the naked shore, the moon moved to
meridian, the slow pulse of the ocean
Beat, the slow tide came in across the slippery stones; it drowned
the dead mare's muzzle and sluggishly
Felt for the rider; Cauldwell’s sleepy soul came back from the
blind course curious to know
What sea-cold fingers tapped the walls of its deserted ruin.
Pain, pain and faintness, crushing
Weights, and a vain desire to vomit, and soon again
die icy fingers, they had crept over the loose hand and lay in the
hair now. He rolled sidewise
Against mountains of weight and for another half-hour lay still.
With a gush of liquid noises
The wave covered him head and all, his body
Crawled without consciousness and like a creature with no bones,
a seaworm, lifted its face
Above the sea-wrack of a stone; then a white twilight grew about
the moon, and above
The ancient water, the everlasting repetition of the dawn. You
shipwrecked horseman
So many and still so many and now for you the last. But when it
grew daylight
He grew quite conscious; broken ends of bone ground on each
other among the working fibers
While by half-inches he was drawing himself out of the seawrack
up to sandy granite,
Out of the tide's path. Where the thin ledge tailed into flat cliff
he fell asleep. . . .
Far seaward
The daylight moon hung like a slip of cloud against the horizon.
The tide was ebbing
From the dead horse and the black belt of sea-growth. Cauldwell
seemed to have felt her crying beside him,

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XI. Guido

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

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VI. Giuseppe Caponsacchi

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

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Tree Time Warriors Bliss

TreeTreeTreeTree Time
TreeTreeTreeTree Time
TreeTreeTreeTree Time
TreeTreeTree Time Warriors
TreeTreeTree Time Warriors
Blissssss ……
Blissssss ……
Sensual
Sensual touch …
Tree Time Warriors
In E flat
Tree Time Warriors
In E flat
Tree Time Warriors
In Spiritual Sensual Touch
Tree Time
Tree time
TreeTreeTreeTree Time
TreeTreeTreeTree Time
TreeTreeTreeTree Time
Tree Time Warriors
Tree Time Warriors
And
Bliss.

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911 Is A Joke

Now I dialed nine one one a long time ago
Dont you see how late theyre reactin
They only come, and they come when they wanna
So get the morgue truck em back the goner
They dont care cause they stay paid anyway
They treat you like an ace that cant be betrayed
I know you stumble with no use people
If your life is on the line, then youre dead today
Late comings with the late comin stretcher -
Thats a body bag in disguise - yall Ill betcha
I call em body snatchers
Quick they come to fetch you -
With an autopsy ambulance just to dissect ya
They are the kings cos they swing amputation
Lose your arms your legs the famous compilation
I can prove it to you watch the rotation
It all adds up to a funky situation
Get up, get get down
911 is a joke in yo town
Get up, get get down
Late 911 wears the late crown
(chorus)
(ow)
911 is a joke , 911 is a joke
Everyday they dont never come correct
You can ask my man right here with the broken neck
Hes a witness to the job never bein done
He wouldve been in full effect , 911
Is a joke because their always jokin
They the token to your life when its croakin
They need to be in a pawn shop on a 911 -
Is a joke we dont want em
I call a cab cause a cab will come quicker
The doctors huddle up and call a flea flicker
The reason that I say that cause they
Flick you off like fleas
They be laughin at ya while youre crawlin on our knees
And to the strength, so go the length
Thinkin you are first when you really are tenth
You better wake up and smell the real flavor
Cause 911 is a fake life saver
(chorus) (chorus)
Ow, ow 911 is a joke
911 is a joke,
911 is a joke,
911 is a joke, 911 is a joke.
(get up, get get down)
911 is a joke, 911 is a joke, 911 is a joke
(get up, get get down)
911 is a joke, 911 is a joke, 911 is a joke

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The Magic Mirror

Mirrormirror on the wall,
Who’s the fairest fair of all?
Mirrormirror on the wall,
Who’s the smartest head of all?
Mirrormirror on the wall,
Who’s that girl standing tall?
Mirrormirror on the wall,
Who's to hold me when I fall?
Mirrormirror on the wall,
Why are you not answering my call?

Oh mirror...

The lines and the scars you do not hide;
My scattered thoughts you would not guide.

Me myself and I; the gap so wide.
Oh mirror; you make me look inside!

You show me a girl against the tide,
By the rules she would not abide.

Within your frame, a caged spirit am I?
By your name, what voice have I?

Oh mirror … can you hear me?
My mirror is deceiving me!

I will show you my smile... will you let me?
A star in my eyes... will you get me?

I will show you a happy face... please let me!
A shelter from myself... please get me!

Mirrormirror on the wall,
Do not show me her face;
I have killed her and left no trace.

Mirrormirror on the wall,
She shall never stutter;
With a new voice, words she will utter.

Mirrormirror on the wall,
Her fear you shall never show;
Fearless she is to know.

Mirror... mirror on the wall,
Do not point at her scars;
It hurts... not her scars.

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The Ballad of the White Horse

DEDICATION

Of great limbs gone to chaos,
A great face turned to night--
Why bend above a shapeless shroud
Seeking in such archaic cloud
Sight of strong lords and light?

Where seven sunken Englands
Lie buried one by one,
Why should one idle spade, I wonder,
Shake up the dust of thanes like thunder
To smoke and choke the sun?

In cloud of clay so cast to heaven
What shape shall man discern?
These lords may light the mystery
Of mastery or victory,
And these ride high in history,
But these shall not return.

Gored on the Norman gonfalon
The Golden Dragon died:
We shall not wake with ballad strings
The good time of the smaller things,
We shall not see the holy kings
Ride down by Severn side.

Stiff, strange, and quaintly coloured
As the broidery of Bayeux
The England of that dawn remains,
And this of Alfred and the Danes
Seems like the tales a whole tribe feigns
Too English to be true.

Of a good king on an island
That ruled once on a time;
And as he walked by an apple tree
There came green devils out of the sea
With sea-plants trailing heavily
And tracks of opal slime.

Yet Alfred is no fairy tale;
His days as our days ran,
He also looked forth for an hour
On peopled plains and skies that lower,
From those few windows in the tower
That is the head of a man.

But who shall look from Alfred's hood

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The House Of Dust: Complete

I.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


II.

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100 STD's 10,000 MTD's

There are STD's, sexually transmitted diseases.
and then there are MTD's, meat transmitted diseases.

The latter take a lot more lives.

*********

In Animal Flesh: Blood Sweat Tears as well as Carcinogens Cholesterol Colon Bacteria

Animal products kill more people annually in the US than
tobacco, alcohol, traffic accidents, war, domestic violence,
guns, and drugs combined. USAMRID wrote that consumption of pig flesh caused the world's most lethal pandemic in WW1,
euphemistically called flu. Anthrax
used to be called wool sorters'
disease. Smallpox used to be called
cow pox or kine pox because of
its origin in animal flesh.
.

WHAT'S IN A BURGER? BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS (AS WELL AS BIOTERRORISM)

POISONS IN ANIMAL AND FISH FLESH... A PARTIAL LIST


a partial list in alphabetical order

acidification diseases
addiction (to trioxypurines)
adrenalin (secreted by terrorized
animals before and during slaughter)

ANTIBIOTICS (too many to list) (crowded factory farm animals standing in their own feces are often infected)

BACTERIA
creiophilic bacteria survive
the freezing of animal flesh
thermophilic bacteria survive
the baking boiling and roasting

bacteriophages (viruses FDA allows to
be injected)
blood
colon bacteria.. euphemistically
called ecoli animals defecate
all over themselves in terror
John Harvey Kellogg MD studied
the exponential rate into the billions

BSE DISEASES, PRIONS IN SPECIES FROM GELATIN (JELLO ETC)
Mad Chicken

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Mirror To Mirror

Written by gerry beckley, 1994
Found on hourglass.
I havent seen forever
Dont even know her name
I call on dreams and other schemes
To try and win that game
Now that its over, darling
Look into my eyes
Seein your own reflection
Much to your surprise
Were seein mirror to mirror
Face to face
We look but we cannot see
Mirror to mirror
Seems to trace
What happened to you and me
And though we tried in earnest
The distant silence yells
We call on wings and other things
To try and break that spell
Now that its over, darling
Truth in the common cause
We stare at our own indifference
By seeing the others flaws
Were seein mirror to mirror
Face to face
We look but we cannot see
Mirror to mirror
Seems to trace
What happened to you and me
Oh, mirror to mirror, mirror to mirror
Mirror to mirror, whats come over me
As we look inside, theres nowhere to turn
Theres nowhere to hide
Now that its over, darling
Look into my eyes
Seein your own reflection
Much to your surprise
Were seein mirror to mirror
Face to face
We look but we cannot see
Mirror to mirror
Seems to trace
What happened to you and me
Oh, mirror to mirror, mirror to mirror
Mirror to mirror, whats come over me
Mirror to mirror, mirror to mirror
Mirror to mirror, whats come over me

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sixth Book

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

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Byron

Canto the Fourth

I.

I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand:
I saw from out the wave her structures rise
As from the stroke of the enchanter’s wand:
A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying glory smiles
O’er the far times when many a subject land
Looked to the wingèd Lion’s marble piles,
Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred isles!

II.

She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,
Rising with her tiara of proud towers
At airy distance, with majestic motion,
A ruler of the waters and their powers:
And such she was; her daughters had their dowers
From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East
Poured in her lap all gems in sparkling showers.
In purple was she robed, and of her feast
Monarchs partook, and deemed their dignity increased.

III.

In Venice, Tasso’s echoes are no more,
And silent rows the songless gondolier;
Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
And music meets not always now the ear:
Those days are gone - but beauty still is here.
States fall, arts fade - but Nature doth not die,
Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,
The pleasant place of all festivity,
The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy!

IV.

But unto us she hath a spell beyond
Her name in story, and her long array
Of mighty shadows, whose dim forms despond
Above the dogeless city’s vanished sway;
Ours is a trophy which will not decay
With the Rialto; Shylock and the Moor,
And Pierre, cannot be swept or worn away -
The keystones of the arch! though all were o’er,
For us repeopled were the solitary shore.

V.

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Impossible To Tell

to Robert Hass and in memory of Elliot Gilbert

Slow dulcimer, gavotte and bow, in autumn,
Bashõ and his friends go out to view the moon;
In summer, gasoline rainbow in the gutter,

The secret courtesy that courses like ichor
Through the old form of the rude, full-scale joke,
Impossible to tell in writing. 'Bashõ'

He named himself, 'Banana Tree': banana
After the plant some grateful students gave him,
Maybe in appreciation of his guidance

Threading a long night through the rules and channels
Of their collaborative linking-poem
Scored in their teacher's heart: live, rigid, fluid

Like passages etched in a microscopic cicuit.
Elliot had in his memory so many jokes
They seemed to breed like microbes in a culture

Inside his brain, one so much making another
It was impossible to tell them all:
In the court-culture of jokes, a top banana.

Imagine a court of one: the queen a young mother,
Unhappy, alone all day with her firstborn child
And her new baby in a squalid apartment

Of too few rooms, a different race from her neighbors.
She tells the child she's going to kill herself.
She broods, she rages. Hoping to distract her,

The child cuts capers, he sings, he does imitations
Of different people in the building, he jokes,
He feels if he keeps her alive until the father

Gets home from work, they'll be okay till morning.
It's laughter versus the bedroom and the pills.
What is he in his efforts but a courtier?

Impossible to tell his whole delusion.
In the first months when I had moved back East
From California and had to leave a message

On Bob's machine, I used to make a habit
Of telling the tape a joke; and part-way through,
I would pretend that I forgot the punchline,

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The Tower Beyond Tragedy

I
You'd never have thought the Queen was Helen's sister- Troy's
burning-flower from Sparta, the beautiful sea-flower
Cut in clear stone, crowned with the fragrant golden mane, she
the ageless, the uncontaminable-
This Clytemnestra was her sister, low-statured, fierce-lipped, not
dark nor blonde, greenish-gray-eyed,
Sinewed with strength, you saw, under the purple folds of the
queen-cloak, but craftier than queenly,
Standing between the gilded wooden porch-pillars, great steps of
stone above the steep street,
Awaiting the King.
Most of his men were quartered on the town;
he, clanking bronze, with fifty
And certain captives, came to the stair. The Queen's men were
a hundred in the street and a hundred
Lining the ramp, eighty on the great flags of the porch; she
raising her white arms the spear-butts
Thundered on the stone, and the shields clashed; eight shining
clarions
Let fly from the wide window over the entrance the wildbirds of
their metal throats, air-cleaving
Over the King come home. He raised his thick burnt-colored
beard and smiled; then Clytemnestra,
Gathering the robe, setting the golden-sandaled feet carefully,
stone by stone, descended
One half the stair. But one of the captives marred the comeliness
of that embrace with a cry
Gull-shrill, blade-sharp, cutting between the purple cloak and
the bronze plates, then Clytemnestra:
Who was it? The King answered: A piece of our goods out of
the snatch of Asia, a daughter of the king,
So treat her kindly and she may come into her wits again. Eh,
you keep state here my queen.
You've not been the poorer for me.- In heart, in the widowed
chamber, dear, she pale replied, though the slaves
Toiled, the spearmen were faithful. What's her name, the slavegirl's?
AGAMEMNON Come up the stair. They tell me my kinsman's
Lodged himself on you.
CLYTEMNESTRA Your cousin Aegisthus? He was out of refuge,
flits between here and Tiryns.
Dear: the girl's name?
AGAMEMNON Cassandra. We've a hundred or so other
captives; besides two hundred
Rotted in the hulls, they tell odd stories about you and your
guest: eh? no matter: the ships
Ooze pitch and the August road smokes dirt, I smell like an
old shepherd's goatskin, you'll have bath-water?
CLYTEMNESTRA
They're making it hot. Come, my lord. My hands will pour it.

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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,

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