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In this world today
Love is scarce and far away
And your heart gets so afraid
To trust someone
All the times he let you down
There was no love to be found
Well it's not the end
There'll be time to mend
And you'll love again


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This World Today

Maurice white, wade flemmons & don whitehead
In this new world
The world of today
Now you might think
That the world has changed
But boy meets girl
Same as before
And they vow their love forever more
In this world today.
In this new world
Of troubled times
Just you look back
And Im sure youll find
Man fighting man
For no cause at all
And though it is wrong
The fighting goes on
In this world today.
Why do you say
Were in a different bag
When all the things you did
Were just as bad.
In this new world
Of suffering
Love, peace of mind
Should be our thing
Let man join hands
The old and the young
And let every heart
Now beat as one
In this world today.
Love, peace of mind should be our thing
Love, peace of mind should be our thing
Love, peace of mind should be our thing.

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Over The Hills And Far Away

A LITTLE bird flew my window by,
'Twixt the level street and the level sky,
The level rows of houses tall,
The long low sun on the level wall;
And all that the little bird did say
Was, 'Over the hills and far away.'

A little bird sang behind my chair,
From the level line of corn-fields fair,
The smooth green hedgerow's level bound
Not a furlong off--the horizon's bound,
And the level lawn where the sun all day
Burns:--'Over the hills and far away.'

A little bird sings above my bed,
And I know if I could but lift my head
I would see the sun set, round and grand,
Upon level sea and level sand,
While beyond the misty distance gray
Is 'Over the hills and far away.'

I think that a little bird will sing
Over a grassy mound, next spring,
Where something that once was me, ye'll leave
In the level sunshine, morn and eve:
But I shall be gone, past night, past day,
Over the hills and far away.

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Over the hills and far away

Over the hills and far away,
A little boy steals from his morning play
And under the blossoming apple-tree
He lies and he dreams of the things to be:
Of battles fought and of victories won,
Of wrongs o'erthrown and of great deeds done -
Of the valor that he shall prove some day,
Over the hills and far away -
Over the hills, and far away!

Over the hills and far away
It's, oh, for the toil the livelong day!
But it mattereth not to the soul aflame
With a love for riches and power and fame!
On, 0 man! while the sun is high -
On to the certain joys that lie
Yonder where blazeth the noon of day,
Over the hills and far away -
Over the hills, and far away!

Over the hills and far away,
An old man lingers at close of day;
Now that his journey is almost done,
His battles fought and his victories won -
The old-time honesty and truth,
The trustfulness and the friends of youth,
Home and mother-where are they?
Over the hills and far away -
Over the years, and far away!

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John Gay

Songs from The Beggar’s Opera: Air XVI-“Over the Hills, and Far Away”

Mac. Were I laid on Greenland’s coast,
And in my arms embraced my lass,
Warm amidst eternal frost,
Too soon the half-year’s night would pass.
Polly. Were I sold on Indian soil,
Soon as the burning day was closed,
I could mock the sultry toil
When on my charmer’s breast reposed.
Mac. And I would love you all the day,
Polly. Every night would kiss and play,
Mac. If with me you’d fondly stray
Polly. Over the hills, and far away.

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Over the Hills and Far Away

Where forlorn sunsets flare and fade
On desolate sea and lonely sand,
Out of the silence and the shade
What is the voice of strange command
Calling you still, as friend calls friend
With love that cannot brook delay,
To rise and follow the ways that wend
Over the hills and far away?

Hark in the city, street on street
A roaring reach of death and life,
Of vortices that clash and fleet
And ruin in appointed strife,
Hark to it calling, calling clear,
Calling until you cannot stay
From dearer things than your own most dear
Over the hills and far away.

Out of the sound of the ebb-and-flow,
Out of the sight of lamp and star,
It calls you where the good winds blow,
And the unchanging meadows are;
From faded hopes and hopes agleam,
It calls you, calls you night and day
Beyond the dark into the dream
Over the hills and far away.

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The White Cliffs

I have loved England, dearly and deeply,
Since that first morning, shining and pure,
The white cliffs of Dover I saw rising steeply
Out of the sea that once made her secure.
I had no thought then of husband or lover,
I was a traveller, the guest of a week;
Yet when they pointed 'the white cliffs of Dover',
Startled I found there were tears on my cheek.
I have loved England, and still as a stranger,
Here is my home and I still am alone.
Now in her hour of trial and danger,
Only the English are really her own.

It happened the first evening I was there.
Some one was giving a ball in Belgrave Square.
At Belgrave Square, that most Victorian spot.—
Lives there a novel-reader who has not
At some time wept for those delightful girls,
Daughters of dukes, prime ministers and earls,
In bonnets, berthas, bustles, buttoned basques,
Hiding behind their pure Victorian masks
Hearts just as hot - hotter perhaps than those
Whose owners now abandon hats and hose?
Who has not wept for Lady Joan or Jill
Loving against her noble parent's will
A handsome guardsman, who to her alarm
Feels her hand kissed behind a potted palm
At Lady Ivry's ball the dreadful night
Before his regiment goes off to fight;
And see him the next morning, in the park,
Complete in busbee, marching to embark.
I had read freely, even as a child,
Not only Meredith and Oscar Wilde
But many novels of an earlier day—
Ravenshoe, Can You Forgive Her?, Vivien Grey,
Ouida, The Duchess, Broughton's Red As a Rose,
Guy Livingstone, Whyte-Melville— Heaven knows
What others. Now, I thought, I was to see
Their habitat, though like the Miller of Dee,
I cared for none and no one cared for me.

A light blue carpet on the stair
And tall young footmen everywhere,
Tall young men with English faces
Standing rigidly in their places,
Rows and rows of them stiff and staid
In powder and breeches and bright gold braid;
And high above them on the wall
Hung other English faces-all
Part of the pattern of English life—
General Sir Charles, and his pretty wife,
Admirals, Lords-Lieutenant of Shires,
Men who were served by these footmen's sires
At their great parties-none of them knowing
How soon or late they would all be going
In plainer dress to a sterner strife-
Another pattern of English life.

I went up the stairs between them all,
Strange and frightened and shy and small,
And as I entered the ballroom door,
Saw something I had never seen before
Except in portraits— a stout old guest
With a broad blue ribbon across his breast—
That blue as deep as the southern sea,
Bluer than skies can ever be
The Countess of Salisbury—Edward the Third—
No damn merit— the Duke— I heard
My own voice saying; 'Upon my word,
The garter!' and clapped my hands like a child.

Some one beside me turned and smiled,
And looking down at me said: 'I fancy,
You're Bertie's Australian cousin Nancy.
He toId me to tell you that he'd be late
At the Foreign Office and not to wait
Supper for him, but to go with me,
And try to behave as if I were he.'
I should have told him on the spot
That I had no cousin—that I was not
Australian Nancy—that my name
Was Susan Dunne, and that I came
From a small white town on a deep-cut bay
In the smallest state in the U.S.A.
I meant to tell him, but changed my mind—
I needed a friend, and he seemed kind;
So I put my gloved hand into his glove,
And we danced together— and fell in love.

Young and in love-how magical the phrase!
How magical the fact! Who has not yearned
Over young lovers when to their amaze
They fall in love and find their love returned,
And the lights brighten, and their eyes are clear
To see God's image in their common clay.
Is it the music of the spheres they hear?
Is it the prelude to that noble play,
The drama of Joined Lives? Ah, they forget
They cannot write their parts; the bell has rung,
The curtain rises and the stage is set
For tragedy-they were in love and young.

We went to the Tower,
We went to the Zoo,
We saw every flower
In the gardens at Kew.
We saw King Charles a-prancing
On his long-tailed horse,
And thought him more entrancing
Than better kings, of course.
At a strange early hour,
In St. James's palace yard,
We watched in a shower
The changing of the guard.
And I said, what a pity,
To have just a week to spend,
When London is a city
Whose beauties never end!

When the sun shines on England, it atones
For low-hung leaden skies, and rain and dim
Moist fogs that paint the verdure on her stones
And fill her gentle rivers to the brim.
When the sun shines on England, shafts of light
Fall on far towers and hills and dark old trees,
And hedge-bound meadows of a green as bright—
As bright as is the blue of tropic seas.
When the sun shines, it is as if the face
Of some proud man relaxed his haughty stare,
And smiled upon us with a sudden grace,
Flattering because its coming is so rare.

The English are frosty
When you're no kith or kin
Of theirs, but how they alter
When once they take you in!
The kindest, the truest,
The best friends ever known,
It's hard to remember
How they froze you to a bone.
They showed me all London,
Johnnie and his friends;
They took me to the country
For long week-ends;
I never was so happy,
I never had such fun,
I stayed many weeks in England
Instead of just one.

John had one of those English faces
That always were and will always be
Found in the cream of English places
Till England herself sink into the sea—
A blond, bowed face with prominent eyes
A little bit bluer than English skies.
You see it in ruffs and suits of armour,
You see it in wigs of many styles,
Soldier and sailor, judge and farmer—
That face has governed the British Isles,
By the power, for good or ill bestowed,
Only on those who live by code.

Oh, that inflexible code of living,
That seems so easy and unconstrained,
The Englishman's code of taking and giving
Rights and privileges pre-ordained,
Based since English life began
On the prime importance of being a man.

And what a voice he had-gentle, profound,
Clear masculine!—I melted at the sound.
Oh, English voices, are there any words
Those tones to tell, those cadences to teach!
As song of thrushes is to other birds,
So English voices are to other speech;
Those pure round 'o's '—those lovely liquid 'l's'
Ring in the ears like sound of Sabbath bells.

Yet I have loathed those voices when the sense
Of what they said seemed to me insolence,
As if the dominance of the whole nation
Lay in that clear correct enunciation.

Many years later, I remember when
One evening I overheard two men
In Claridge's— white waistcoats, coats I know
Were built in Bond Street or in Savile Row—
So calm, so confident, so finely bred—
Young gods in tails— and this is what they said:
'Not your first visit to the States?' 'Oh no,
I'd been to Canada two years ago.'
Good God, I thought, have they not heard that we
Were those queer colonists who would be free,
Who took our desperate chance, and fought and won
Under a colonist called Washington?

One does not lose one's birthright, it appears.
I had been English then for many years.

We went down to Cambridge,
Cambridge in the spring.
In a brick court at twilight
We heard the thrushes sing,
And we went to evening service
In the chapel of the King.
The library of Trinity,
The quadrangle of Clare,
John bought a pipe from Bacon,
And I acquired there
The Anecdotes of Painting
From a handcart in the square.

The Playing fields at sunset
Were vivid emerald green,
The elms were tall and mighty,
And many youths were seen,
Carefree young gentlemen
In the Spring of 'Fourteen.

London, just before dawn-immense and dark—
Smell of wet earth and growth from the empty Park,
Pall Mall vacant-Whitehall deserted. Johnnie and I
Strolling together, averse to saying good-bye—
Strolling away from some party in silence profound,
Only far off in Mayfair, piercing, the sound
Of a footman's whistle—the rhythm of hoofs on wood,
Further and further away. . . . And now we stood
On a bridge, where a poet came to keep
Vigil while all the city lay asleep—
Westminster Bridge, and soon the sun would rise,
And I should see it with my very eyes!
Yes, now it came— a broad and awful glow
Out of the violet mists of dawn. 'Ah, no',
I said. 'Earth has not anything to show
More fair— changed though it is— than this.'
A curious background surely for a kiss—
Our first— Westminster Bridge at break of day—
Settings by Wordsworth, as John used to say.

Why do we fall in love? I do believe
That virtue is the magnet, the small vein
Of ore, the spark, the torch that we receive
At birth, and that we render back again.
That drop of godhood, like a precious stone,
May shine the brightest in the tiniest flake.
Lavished on saints, to sinners not unknown;
In harlot, nun, philanthropist, and rake,
It shines for those who love; none else discern
Evil from good; Men's fall did not bestow
That threatened wisdom; blindly still we yearn
After a virtue that we do not know,
Until our thirst and longing rise above
The barriers of reason—and we love.

And still I did not see my life was changed,
Utterly different—by this love estranged
For ever and ever from my native land;
That I was now of that unhappy band
Who lose the old, and cannot gain the new
However loving and however true
To their new duties. I could never be
An English woman, there was that in me
Puritan, stubborn that would not agree
To English standards, though I did not see
The truth, because I thought them, good or ill,
So great a people—and I think so still.

But a day came when I was forced to face
Facts. I was taken down to see the place,
The family place in Devon— and John's mother.
'Of course, you understand,' he said, 'my brother
Will have the place.' He smiled; he was so sure
The world was better for primogeniture.
And yet he loved that place, as Englishmen
Do love their native countryside, and when
The day should be as it was sure to be
When this was home no more to him— when he
Could go there only when his brother's wife
Should ask him—to a room not his— his life
Would shrink and lose its meaning. How unjust,
I thought. Why do they feel it must
Go to that idle, insolent eldest son?
Well, in the end it went to neither one.

A red brick manor-house in Devon,
In a beechwood of old grey trees,
Ivy climbing to the clustered chimneys,
Rustling in the wet south breeze.
Gardens trampled down by Cromwell's army,
Orchards of apple-trees and pears,
Casements that had looked for the Armada,
And a ghost on the stairs.

Johnnie's mother, the Lady Jean,
Child of a penniless Scottish peer,
Was handsome, worn high-coloured, lean,
With eyes like Johnnie's—more blue and clear—
Like bubbles of glass in her fine tanned face.
Quiet, she was, and so at ease,
So perfectly sure of her rightful place
In the world that she felt no need to please.
I did not like her—she made me feel
Talkative, restless, unsure, as if
I were a cross between parrot and eel.
I thought her blank and cold and stiff.

And presently she said as they
Sooner or later always say:
'You're an American, Miss Dunne?
Really you do not speak like one.'
She seemed to think she'd said a thing
Both courteous and flattering.
I answered though my wrist were weak
With anger: 'Not at all, I speak—
At least I've always thought this true—
As educated people do
In any country-even mine.'
'Really?' I saw her head incline,
I saw her ready to assert
Americans are easily hurt.

Strange to look back to the days
So long ago
When a friend was almost a foe,
When you hurried to find a phrase
For your easy light dispraise
Of a spirit you did not know,
A nature you could not plumb
In the moment of meeting,
Not guessing a day would come
When your heart would ache to hear
Other men's tongues repeating
Those same light phrases that jest and jeer
At a friend now grown so dear— so dear.
Strange to remember long ago
When a friend was almost a foe.

I saw the house with its oaken stair,
And the Tudor Rose on the newel post,
The panelled upper gallery where
They told me you heard the family ghost—
'A gentle unhappy ghost who sighs
Outside one's door on the night one dies.'
'Not,' Lady Jean explained, 'at all
Like the ghost at my father's place, St. Kitts,
That clanks and screams in the great West Hall
And frightens strangers out of their wits.'
I smiled politely, not thinking I
Would hear one midnight that long sad sigh.

I saw the gardens, after our tea
(Crumpets and marmalade, toast and cake)
And Drake's Walk, leading down to the sea;
Lady Jean was startled I'd heard of Drake,
For the English always find it a mystery
That Americans study English history.

I saw the picture of every son—
Percy, the eldest, and John; and Bill
In Chinese Customs, and the youngest one
Peter, the sailor, at Osborne still;
And the daughter, Enid, married, alas,
To a civil servant in far Madras.

A little thing happened, just before
We left— the evening papers came;
John, flicking them over to find a score,
Spoke for the first time a certain name—
The name of a town in a distant land
Etched on our hearts by a murderer's hand.

Mother and son exchanged a glance,
A curious glance of strength and dread.
I thought: what matter to them if Franz
Ferdinand dies? One of them said:
This might be serious.' 'Yes, you're right.'
The other answered, 'It really might.'

Dear John: I'm going home. I write to say
Goodbye. My boat-train leaves at break of day;
It will be gone when this is in your hands.
I've had enough of lovely foreign lands,
Sightseeing, strangers, holiday and play;
I'm going home to those who think the way
I think, and speak as I do. Will you try
To understand that this must be good-bye?
We both rooted deeply in the soil
Of our own countries. But I could not spoil
Our happy memories with the stress and strain
Of parting; if we never meet again
Be sure I shall remember till I die
Your love, your laugh, your kindness. But—goodbye.
Please do not hate me; give the devil his due,
This is an act of courage. Always, Sue.

The boat-train rattling
Through the green country-side;
A girl within it battling
With her tears and pride.
The Southampton landing,
Porters, neat and quick,
And a young man standing,
Leaning on his stick.
'Oh, John, John, you shouldn't
Have come this long way. . .
'Did you really think I wouldn't
Be here to make you stay?'
I can't remember whether
There was much stress and strain,
But presently, together,
We were travelling back again.

The English love their country with a love
Steady, and simple, wordless, dignified;
I think it sets their patriotism above
All others. We Americans have pride—
We glory in our country's short romance.
We boast of it and love it. Frenchmen when
The ultimate menace comes, will die for France
Logically as they lived. But Englishmen
Will serve day after day, obey the law,
And do dull tasks that keep a nation strong.
Once I remember in London how I saw
Pale shabby people standing in a long
Line in the twilight and the misty rain
To pay their tax. I then saw England plain.

Johnnie and I were married. England then
Had been a week at war, and all the men
Wore uniform, as English people can,
Unconscious of it. Percy, the best man,
As thin as paper and as smart as paint,
Bade us good-by with admirable restraint,
Went from the church to catch his train to hell;
And died-saving his batman from a shell.

We went down to Devon,
In a warm summer rain,
Knowing that our happiness
Might never come again;
I, not forgetting,
'Till death us do part,'
Was outrageously happy
With death in my heart.
Lovers in peacetime
With fifty years to live,
Have time to tease and quarrel
And question what to give;
But lovers in wartime
Better understand
The fullness of living,
With death close at hand.

My father wrote me a letter—
My father, scholarly, indolent, strong,
Teaching Greek better
Than high-school students repay—
Teaching Greek in the winter, but all summer long
Sailing a yawl in Narragansett Bay;
Happier perhaps when I was away,
Free of an anxious daughter,
He could sail blue water
Day after day,
Beyond Brenton Reef Lightship, and Beavertail,
Past Cuttyhunk to catch a gale
Off the Cape, while he thought of Hellas and Troy,
Chanting with joy
Greek choruses— those lines that he said
Must be written some day on a stone at his head:
'But who can know
As the long years go
That to live is happy, has found his heaven.'
My father, so far away
I thought of him, in Devon,
Anchoring in a blind fog in Booth Bay.

'So, Susan, my dear,' the letter began,
'You've fallen in love with an Englishman.
Well, they're a manly, attractive lot,
If you happen to like them, which I do not.
I am a Yankee through and through,
And I don't like them, or the things they do.
Whenever it's come to a knock-down fight
With us, they were wrong, and we right;
If you don't believe me, cast your mind
Back over history, what do you find?
They certainly had no justification
For that maddening plan to impose taxation
Without any form of representation.
Your man may be all that a man should be,
Only don't you bring him back to me
Saying he can't get decent tea—
He could have got his tea all right
In Boston Harbour a certain night,
When your great-great-grandmother— also a Sue—
Shook enough tea from her husband's shoe
To supply her house for a week or two.
The war of 1812 seems to me
About as just as a war could be.
How could we help but come to grips
With a nation that stopped and searched our ships,
And took off our seamen for no other reason
Except that they needed crews that season.
I can get angry still at the tale
Of their letting the Alabama sail,
And Palmerston being insolent
To Lincoln and Seward over the Trent.
All very long ago, you'll say,
But whenever I go up Boston-way,
I drive through Concord—that neck of the wood,
Where once the embattled farmers stood,
And I think of Revere, and the old South Steeple,
And I say, by heck, we're the only people
Who licked them not only once, but twice.
Never forget it-that's my advice.
They have their points—they're honest and brave,
Loyal and sure—as sure as the grave;
They make other nations seem pale and flighty,
But they do think England is god almighty,
And you must remind them now and then
That other countries breed other men.
From all of which you will think me rather
Unjust. I am. Your devoted Father.

I read, and saw my home with sudden yearning—
The small white wooden house, the grass-green door,
My father's study with the fire burning,
And books piled on the floor.
I saw the moon-faced clock that told the hours,
The crimson Turkey carpet, worn and frayed,
The heavy dishes—gold with birds and flowers—
Fruits of the China trade.
I saw the jack o' lanterns, friendly, frightening,
Shine from our gateposts every Hallow-e'en;
I saw the oak tree, shattered once by lightning,
Twisted, stripped clean.

I saw the Dioscuri— two black kittens,
Stalking relentlessly an empty spool;
I saw a little girl in scarlet mittens
Trudging through snow to school.

John read the letter with his lovely smile.
'Your father has a vigorous English style,
And what he says is true, upon my word;
But what's this war of which I never heard?
We didn't fight in 1812.' 'Yes, John,
That was the time when you burnt Washington.'
'We couldn't have, my dear. . .' 'I mean the city.'
'We burnt it?' 'Yes, you did.' 'What a pity!
No wonder people hate us. But, I say,
I'll make your father like me yet, some day.'

I settled down in Devon,
When Johnnie went to France.
Such a tame ending
To a great romance—
Two lonely women
With nothing much to do
But get to know each other;
She did and I did, too.
Mornings at the rectory
Learning how to roll
Bandages, and always
Saving light and coal.
Oh, that house was bitter
As winter closed in,
In spite of heavy stockings
And woollen next the skin.
I was cold and wretched,
And never unaware
Of John more cold and wretched
In a trench out there.

All that long winter I wanted so much to complain,
But my mother-in-Iaw, as far as I could see,
Felt no such impulse, though she was always in pain,
An, as the winter fogs grew thick,
Took to walking with a stick,
Those bubble-like eyes grew black
Whenever she rose from a chair—
Rose and fell back,
Unable to bear
The sure agonizing
Torture of rising.
Her hands, those competent bony hands,
Grew gnarled and old,
But never ceased to obey the commands
Of her will— only finding new hold
Of bandage and needle and pen.
And not for the blinking
Of an eye did she ever stop thinking
Of the suffering of Englishmen
And her two sons in the trenches. Now and then
I could forget for an instant in a book or a letter,
But she never, never forgot— either one—
Percy and John—though I knew she loved one better—
Percy, the wastrel, the gambler, the eldest son.
I think I shall always remember
Until I die
Her face that day in December,
When in a hospital ward together, she and I
Were writing letters for wounded men and dying,
Writing and crying
Over their words, so silly and simple and loving,
Suddenly, looking up, I saw the old Vicar moving
Like fate down the hospital ward, until
He stood still
Beside her, where she sat at a bed.
'Dear friend, come home. I have tragic news,' he said
She looked straight at him without a spasm of fear,
Her face not stern or masked—
'Is it Percy or John?' she asked.
'Percy.' She dropped her eyes. 'I am needed here.
Surely you know
I cannot go
Until every letter is written. The dead
Must wait on the living,' she said.
'This is my work. I must stay.'
And she did— the whole long day.

Out of the dark, and dearth
Of happiness on earth,
Out of a world inured to death and pain;
On a fair spring mom
To me a son was born,
And hope was born-the future lived again.
To me a son was born,
The lonely hard forlorn
Travail was, as the Bible tells, forgot.
How old, how commonplace
To look upon the face
Of your first-born, and glory in your lot.

To look upon his face
And understand your place
Among the unknown dead in churchyards lying,
To see the reason why
You lived and why you die—
Even to find a certain grace in dying.

To know the reason why
Buds blow and blossoms die,
Why beauty fades, and genius is undone,
And how unjustified
Is any human pride
In all creation— save in this common one.

Maternity is common, but not so
It seemed to me. Motherless, I did not know—
I was all unprepared to feel this glow,
Holy as a Madonna's, and as crude
As any animal's beatitude—
Crude as my own black cat's, who used to bring
Her newest litter to me every spring,
And say, with green eyes shining in the sun:
'Behold this miracle that I have done.'
And John came home on leave, and all was joy
And thankfulness to me, because my boy
Was not a baby only, but the heir—
Heir to the Devon acres and a name
As old as England. Somehow I became
Almost an English woman, almost at one
With all they ever did— all they had done.

'I want him called John after you, or if not that I'd rather—'
'But the eldest son is always called Percy, dear.'
'I don't ask to call him Hiram, after my father—'
'But the eldest son is always called Percy, dear.'
'But I hate the name Percy. I like Richard or Ronald,
Or Peter like your brother, or Ian or Noel or Donald—'
'But the eldest is always called Percy, dear.'
So the Vicar christened him Percy; and Lady Jean
Gave to the child and me the empty place
In hr heart. Poor Lady, it was as if she had seen
The world destroyed— the extinction of her race,
Her country, her class, her name— and now she saw
Them live again. And I would hear her say:
'No. I admire Americans; my daughter-in-law
Was an American.' Thus she would well repay
The debt, and I was grateful— the English made
Life hard for those who did not come to her aid.

'They must come in in the spring.'
'Don't they care sixpence who's right?'
'What a ridiculous thing—
Saying they're too proud to fight.'
'Saying they're too proud to fight.'
'Wilson's pro-German, I'm told.'
'No, it's financial.' 'Oh, quite,
All that they care for is gold.'
'All that they care for is gold.'
'Seem to like writing a note.'
'Yes, as a penman, he's bold.'
'No. It's the Irish vote.'

'Oh, it's the Irish vote.'
'What if the Germans some night
Sink an American boat?'
'Darling, they're too proud to fight.'

What could I do, but ache and long
That my country, peaceful, rich, and strong,
Should come and do battle for England's sake.
What could I do, but long and ache.
And my father's letters I hid away
Lest some one should know the things he'd say.
'You ask me whether we're coming in
We are. The English are clever as sin,
Silently, subtly they inspire
Most of youth with a holy fire
To shed their blood for the British Empire
We'll come in— we'll fight and die
Humbly to help them, and by and by,
England will do us in the eye.
They'll get colonies, gold and fame,
And we'll get nothing at all but blame.
Blame for not having come before,
Blame for not having sent them more
Money and men and war supplies,
Blame if we venture to criticise.
We're so damn simple— our skins so thin
We'll get nothing whatever, but we'll come in.'

And at last—at last—like the dawn of a calm, fair day
After a night of terror and storm, they came—
My young light-hearted countrymen, tall and gay,
Looking the world over in search of fun and fame,
Marching through London to the beat of a boastful air,
Seeing for the first time Piccadilly and Leicester Square,
All the bands playing: 'Over There, Over There,
Send the word, send the word to beware—'
And as the American flag went fluttering by
Englishmen uncovered, and I began to cry.

'We're here to end it, by jingo.'
'We'll lick the Heinies okay.'
'I can't get on to the lingo.'
'Dumb-they don't get what we say.'
'Call that stuff coffee? You oughter
Know better. Gee, take it away.'
'Oh, for a drink of ice water! '
'They think nut-sundae's a day.'

'Say, is this chicken feed money?'
'Say, does it rain every day?'
'Say, Lady, isn't it funny
Every one drives the wrong way?'

How beautiful upon the mountains,
How beautiful upon the downs,
How beautiful in the village post-office,
On the pavements of towns—
How beautiful in the huge print of newspapers,
Beautiful while telegraph wires hum,
While telephone bells wildly jingle,
The news that peace has come—
That peace has come at last—that all wars cease.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the footsteps
Of the messengers of peace!

In the depth of the night betwixt midnight and morning,
In the darkness and silence forerunning the dawn,
The throb of my heart was a drum-beat of warning,
My ears were a-strain and my breath was undrawn.
In the depth of the night, when the old house was sleeping,
I lying alone in a desolate bed,
Heard soft on the staircase a slow footstep creeping—
The ear of the living—the step of the dead.
In the depth of the night betwixt midnight and morning
A step drawing near on the old oaken floor—
On the stair— in the gallery— the ghost that gives warning
Of death, by that heartbreaking sigh at my door.

Bad news is not broken,
By kind tactful word;
The message is spoken
Ere the word can be heard.
The eye and the bearing,
The breath make it clear,
And the heart is despairing
Before the ears hear.
I do not remember
The words that they said:
I knew John was dead.
All done and over—
That day long ago—
The while cliffs of Dover—
Little did I know.

As I grow older, looking back, I see
Not those the longest planted in the heart
Are the most missed. Some unions seem to be
Too close for even death to tear apart.
Those who have lived together many years,
And deeply learnt to read each other's mind,
Vanities, tempers, virtues, hopes, and fears—
One cannot go—nor is one left behind.
Alas, with John and me this was not so;
I was defrauded even of the past.
Our days had been so pitifully few,
Fight as I would, I found the dead go fast.
I had lost all—had lost not love alone,
But the bright knowledge it had been my own.

Oh, sad people, buy not your past too dearly,
Live not in dreams of the past, for understand,
If you remember too much, too long, too clearly,
If you grasp memory with too heavy a hand,
You will destroy memory in all its glory
For the sake of the dreams of your head upon your bed.
You will be left with only the worn dead story
You told yourself of the dead.

Nanny brought up my son, as his father before him,
Austere on questions of habits, manners, and food.
Nobly yielding a mother's right to adore him,
Thinking that mothers never did sons much good.
A Scot from Lady Jean's own native passes,
With a head as smooth and round as a silver bowl,
A crooked nose, and eyes behind her glasses
Grey and bright and wise—a great soul !
Ready to lay down her life for her charge, and ready
To administer discipline without consulting me:
'Is that the way for you to answer my leddy?
I think you'll get no sweet tonight to your tea.'

Bringing him up better than I could do it,
Teaching him to be civil and manly and cool
In the face of danger. And then before I knew it
The time came for him to go off to school.

Off to school to be free of women's teaching,
Into a world of men— at seven years old;
Into a world where a mother's hands vainly reaching
Will never again caress and comfort and hold.

My father came over now and then
To look at the boy and talk to me,
Never staying long,
For the urge was strong
To get back to his yawl and the summer sea.
He came like a nomad passing by,
Hands in his pockets, hat over one eye,
Teasing every one great and small
With a blank straight face and a Yankee drawl;
Teasing the Vicar on Apostolic Succession
And what the Thirty-Nine Articles really meant to convey,
Teasing Nanny, though he did not
Make much impression
On that imperturbable Scot.
Teasing our local grandee, a noble peer,
Who firmly believed the Ten Lost Tribes
Of Israel had settled here—
A theory my father had at his fingers' ends—
Only one person was always safe from his jibes—
My mother-in-law, for they were really friends.

Oh, to come home to your country
After long years away,
To see the tall shining towers
Rise over the rim of the bay,
To feel the west wind steadily blowing
And the sunshine golden and hot,
To speak to each man as an equal,
Whether he is or not.

Was this America—this my home?
Prohibition and Teapot Dome—
Speakeasies, night-clubs, illicit stills,
Dark faces peering behind dark grills,
Hold-ups, kidnappings, hootch or booze—
Every one gambling—you just can't lose,
Was this my country? Even the bay
At home was altered, strange ships lay
At anchor, deserted day after day,
Old yachts in a rusty dim decay—
Like ladies going the primrose way—
At anchor, until when the moon was black,
They sailed, and often never came back.

Even my father's Puritan drawl
Told me shyly he'd sold his yawl
For a fabulous price to the constable's son—
My childhood's playmate, thought to be one
Of a criminal gang, rum-runners all,
Such clever fellows with so much money—
Even the constable found it funny,
Until one morning his son was found,
Floating dead in Long Island Sound.
Was this my country? It seemed like heaven
To get back, dull and secure, to Devon,
Loyally hiding from Lady Jean
And my English friends the horrors I'd seen.

That year she died, my nearest, dearest friend;
Lady Jean died, heroic to the end.
The family stood about her grave, but none
Mourned her as I did. After, one by one,
They slipped away—Peter and Bill—my son
Went back to school. I hardly was aware
Of Percy's lovely widow, sitting there
In the old room, in Lady Jean's own chair.
An English beauty glacially fair
Was Percy's widow Rosamund, her hair
Was silver gilt, and smooth as silk, and fine,
Her eyes, sea-green, slanted away from mine,
From any one's, as if to meet the gaze
Of others was too intimate a phase
For one as cool and beautiful as she.

We were not friends or foes. She seemed to be
Always a little irked— fretted to find
That other women lived among mankind.
Now for the first time after years of meeting,
Never exchanging more than formal greeting,
She spoke to me— that sharp determined way
People will speak when they have things to say.

ROSAMUND: Susan, go home with your offspring. Fly.
Live in America. SUSAN: Rosamund, why?
ROSAMUND: Why, my dear girl, haven't you seen
What English country life can mean
With too small an income to keep the place
Going? Already I think I trace
A change in you, you no longer care
So much how you look or what you wear.
That coat and skirt you have on, you know
You wouldn't have worn them ten years ago.
Those thick warm stockings— they make me sad,
Your ankles were ankles to drive men mad.
Look at your hair— you need a wave.
Get out— go home— be hard— be brave,
Or else, believe me, you'll be a slave.
There's something in you— dutiful— meek—
You'll be saving your pin-money every week
To mend the roof. Well, let it leak.
Why should you care? SUSAN: But I do care,
John loved this place and my boy's the heir.

ROSAMUND: The heir to what? To a tiresome life
Drinking tea with the vicar's wife,
Opening bazaars, and taking the chair
At meetings for causes that you don't care
Sixpence about and never will;
Breaking your heart over every bill.
I've been in the States, where everyone,
Even the poor, have a little fun.

Don't condemn your son to be
A penniless country squire. He
Would be happier driving a tram over there
Than mouldering his life away as heir.
SUSAN: Rosamund dear, this may all be true.
I'm an American through and through.
I don't see things as the English do,
But it's clearly my duty, it seems to me,
To bring up John's son, like him, to be
A country squire—poor alas,
But true to that English upper class
That does not change and does not pass.

ROSAMUND: Nonsense; it's come to an absolute stop.
Twenty years since we sat on top
Of the world, amusing ourselves and sneering
At other manners and customs, jeering
At other nations, living in clover—
Not any more. That's done and over.
No one nowadays cares a button
For the upper classes— they're dead as mutton.
Go home. SUSAN: I notice that you don't go.

ROSAMUND: My dear, that shows how little you know.
I'm escaping the fate of my peers,
Marrying one of the profiteers,
Who hasn't an 'aitch' where an 'aitch' should be,
But millions and millions to spend on me.
Not much fun— but there wasn't any
Other way out. I haven't a penny.
But with you it's different. You can go away,
And oh, what a fool you'd be to stay.

Rabbits in the park,
Scuttling as we pass,
Little white tails
Against the green grass.
'Next time, Mother,
I must really bring a gun,
I know you don't like shooting,
But—!' John's own son,
That blond bowed face,
Those clear steady eyes,
Hard to be certain
That the dead don't rise.
Jogging on his pony
Through the autumn day,
'Bad year for fruit, Mother,
But good salt hay.'
Bowling for the village
As his father had before;
Coming home at evening
To read the cricket score,
Back to the old house
Where all his race belong,
Tired and contented—
Rosamund was wrong.

If some immortal strangers walked our land
And heard of death, how could they understand
That we—doomed creatures—draw our meted breath
Light-heartedly—all unconcerned with death.
So in these years between the wars did men
From happier continents look on us when
They brought us sympathy, and saw us stand
Like the proverbial ostrich-head in sand—
While youth passed resolutions not to fight,
And statesmen muttered everything was right—
Germany, a kindly, much ill-treated nation—
Russia was working out her own salvation
Within her borders. As for Spain, ah, Spain
Would buy from England when peace came again!
I listened and believed— believed through sheer
Terror. I could not look whither my fear
Pointed— that agony that I had known.
I closed my eyes, and was not alone.

Later than many, earlier than some,
I knew the die was cast— that war must come;
That war must come. Night after night I lay
Steeling a broken heart to face the day
When he, my son— would tread the very same
Path that his father trod. When the day came
I was not steeled— not ready. Foolish, wild
Words issued from my lips— 'My child, my child,
Why should you die for England too?' He smiled:
'Is she not worth it, if I must?' he said.
John would have answered yes— but John was dead.

Is she worth dying for? My love, my one
And only love had died, and now his son
Asks me, his alien mother, to assay
The worth of England to mankind today
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war;
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea—
Ah, no, not that—not Shakespeare—I must be
A sterner critic. I must weigh the ill
Against the good, must strike the balance, till
I know the answer— true for me alone—
What is she worth— this country— not my own?

I thought of my father's deep traditional wrath
Against England— the redcoat bully— the ancient foe—
That second reaping of hate, that aftermath
Of a ruler's folly and ignorance long ago—
Long, long ago— yet who can honestly say
England is utterly changed— not I— not I.
Arrogance, ignorance, folly are here today,
And for these my son must die?
I thought of these years, these last dark terrible years
When the leaders of England bade the English believe
Lies at the price of peace, lies and fears,
Lies that corrupt, and fears that sap and deceive.
I though of the bars dividing man from man,
Invisible bars that the humble may not pass,
And how no pride is uglier, crueller than
The pride unchecked of class.
Oh, those invisible bars of manners and speech,
Ways that the proud man will not teach
The humble lest they too reach
Those splendid heights where a little band
Have always stood and will always stand
Ruling the fate of this small green land,
Rulers of England—for them must I
Send out my only son to die?

And then, and then,
I thought of Elizabeth stepping down
Over the stones of Plymouth town
To welcome her sailors, common men,
She herself, as she used to say,
Being' mere English' as much as they—
Seafaring men who sailed away
From rocky inlet and wooded bay,
Free men, undisciplined, uncontrolled,
Some of them pirates and all of them bold,
Feeling their fate was England's fate,
Coming to save it a little late,
Much too late for the easy way,
Much too late, and yet never quite
Too late to win in that last worst fight.

And I thought of Hampden and men like him,
St John and Eliot, Cromwell and Pym,
Standing firm through the dreadful years,
When the chasm was opening, widening,
Between the Commons and the King;
I thought of the Commons in tears— in tears,
When Black Rod knocked at Parliament's door,
And they saw Rebellion straight before—
Weeping, and yet as hard as stone,
Knowing what the English have always known
Since then— and perhaps have known alone—
Something that none can teach or tell—
The moment when God's voice says; 'Rebel.'

Not to rise up in sudden gust
Of passion— not, though the cause be just;
Not to submit so long that hate,
Lava torrents break out and spill
Over the land in a fiery spate;
Not to submit for ever, until
The will of the country is one man's will,
And every soul in the whole land shrinks
From thinking—except as his neighbour thinks.
Men who have governed England know
That dreadful line that they may not pass
And live. Elizabeth long ago
Honoured and loved, and bold as brass,
Daring and subtle, arrogant, clever,
English, too, to her stiff backbone,
Somewhat a bully, like her own
Father— yet even Elizabeth never
Dared to oppose the sullen might
Of the English, standing upon a right.

And were they not English, our forefathers, never more
English than when they shook the dust of her sod
From their feet for ever, angrily seeking a shore
Where in his own way a man might worship his God.
Never more English than when they dared to be
Rebels against her-that stern intractable sense
Of that which no man can stomach and still be free,
Writing: 'When in the course of human events. . .'
Writing it out so all the world could see
Whence come the powers of all just governments.
The tree of Liberty grew and changed and spread,
But the seed was English.
I am American bred,
I have seen much to hate here— much to forgive,
But in a world where England is finished and dead,
I do not wish to live.

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In this world of today

In this world of today
Youths fight
Adults shout
Children run and lie about

In this world of today
Kids are dying
Men are fighting
But we don't hear them crying

In this world of today
News reports talk s***
But what if they lived it
Maybe they would see

In this world of today
They lie to our face
They say its ok but we know it's a race
But what if we all took it at a steady pace

In this world today
We don't know what to say
But we keep up the fight
Protest with riots cause we want all our rights

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And This World Which Is So Sad In All Its Beauty


And this world which is so sad in all its Beauty
Waits for the line
Which will mean
All is redeemed

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When The End Almost Ends

as the end approaches its end
i see, some scars become wounds again

some pains arrive
and it makes me remember that beginning

that babe's cry and mommy's lullaby

they will tell you, this all about
parkinson's disease.

it is not so. This is when you think
that you are about to die and some pains
inside your heart starts to
give you names...

each name
a pain in my ass.

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Nothing Happens In This World Until

Nothing happens in this world
until somebody falls in love
with somebody;
dating, marriages
and babies are born;
children raised
parents blessed;
homes made.

Nothing happens in this world
until somebody falls in love
with somebody.

Nothing happens in this world
until somebody falls in love
with something;
reading, books, work, science
teaching, ideas, culture, the future
the past.

Nothing good happens in this world
when somebody falls out of love badly;

broken dreams, divorces, jealousy
fear, anger, abandoned children,
murder, rape, hate and mayhem.

Nothing good happens in this world
when somebody stops loving
and eats from the dark side.

Nothing good happens in this world
when somebody puts too much love
in some things
cars, houses, money, power, greed

Nothing happens in this life
that does not start from love.

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Until The End Of Time

When I was young and the world belonged to me
I thought that love meant pain and jealousy
It was a cross on my shoulder
Oh lord, now I feel so much older, oooh, oooh
Time had a way of making me see
My lonely life has taken its toll on me
Now I feel the emptiness
And I dont want to live like this
Now Ive heard stories, Ive heard songs
Telling me believe my heart dont wait too long
But words they dont ring true
Until there was you
Never will I lose this hearts desire
Ever will I feed our loves fire
Only when I know that youll be mine
Until the end of time
How do I trust what Im beginning to feel?
How deep my soul, how much can I reveal?
Im lost in loves mystery
Caught between time and eternity
Now theres a door that opens wide
Slowly I will find my way and reach inside
But I couldnt make it through
Until there was you
Never will I lose this hearts desire
Ever will I feed our loves fire
Only when I know that youll be mine
And only when I see the light of love shine
Until the end of time
Never will I lose this hearts desire
Ever will I feed our loves fire
Only when I know that youll be mine
And only when I see the light of love shine
Never will I lose this hearts desire
Ever will I feed our loves fire
And when I see the light of love shine
In your eyes when they meet mine
Only then Ill know its you and i
Until the end of time

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Ill Never Get Out Of This World Alive

Recorded by hank williams
Written by hank williams and fred rose
Capo: 1st fret key: f# play: f
Now youre [f] lookin at a man thats gettin kind-a mad
I had lots of luck but its all been bad
No [c7] matter how I struggle and strive
Ill never get out of this world a-[f] live.
My fishin poles broke the creek is full of sand
My woman run away with another man
No matter how I struggle and strive
Ill never get out of this world alive.
A [bb] distant uncle passed away [bb7] and [f] left me quite a batch [f7]
And [bb] I was living high until that fatal [bb7] day
A lawyer [c7] proved I wasnt born
I was only hatched.---[f]
Evrythings agin me and its got me down
If I jumped in the river I would probly drown
No matter how I struggle and strive
Ill never get out of this world alive.
These shabby shoes Im wearin all the time
Are full of holes and nails
And brother if I stepped on a worn out dime
I bet a nickel I could tell you if it was heads or tails.
Im not gonna worry wrinkles in my brow
cause nothins ever gonna be alright nohow
No matter how I struggle and strive
Ill never get out of this world alive.
(additional verses)
I could buy a sunday suit and it would leave me broke
If it had two pair of pants I would burn the coat
No matter how I struggle and strive
Ill never get out of this world alive.
If it was rainin gold I wouldnt stand a chance
I wouldnt have a pocket in my patched up pants
No matter how I struggle and strive
Ill never get out of this world alive.

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The End Of The Tour

Theres a girl with a crown and a scepter
Whos on wlsd
And she says that the scene isnt what its been
And shes thinking of going home
That its old and its totally over now
And its old and its over, its over now
And its over, its over, its over now
I can see myself
At the end of the tour
When the road disappears
If theres any more people around
When the tour runs aground
And if youre still around
Then well meet at the end of the tour
The engagements are booked through the end of the world
So well meet at the end of the tour
Never to part since the day we met
Out on interstate 91
I was bent metal you were a flaming wreck
When we kissed at the overpass
I was sailing along with the people
Driving themselves to distraction inside me
Then came a knock on the door which was odd
And the picture abruptly changed
At the end of the tour
When the road disappears
If theres any more people around
When the tour runs aground
And if youre still around
Then well meet at the end of the tour
The engagements are booked through the end of the world
So well meet at the end of the tour
This was the vehicle these were the people
You opened the door and expelled all the people
This was the vehicle these were the people
You opened the door and expelled all the people
This was the vehicle these were the people
You let them go
At the end of the tour
When the road disappears
If theres any more people around
When the tour runs aground
And if youre still around
Then well meet at the end of the tour
The engagements are booked through the end of the world
So well meet at the end of the tour
And were never gonna tour again
No, were never gonna tour again

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The SUn is Calling

The sun is
Calling me- I do not hear- though
Only the flapping of the wings of the
Canadian wild geese and the
Far away footsteps of
The intruders who follow me-
I can faintly hear the
Rays of the sun in the distance screaming their doleful cries,
Masked by the motion of the branches of the wild oak and cedar trees
As they shiver in the early morning’s draft-
Water rushes down the creek that adorns the trail
Beside which I walk-
Robins and cardinals chant their early morning litany-
Deer stand stalwart close to the path ahead of me-
I hear footsteps behind me as I turn my head although
All I can see is the sky-
Inside of my mind I have built a sanctuary, and
A small cabin in which to hide-
As I walk deeper into the thicket,
I begin to lose myself into another place in time-
Thee sun is calling me- I do not hear-
I have closed my eyes to the world around me and
Have lost myself inside of the world of my dreams
This world where I am omnipotent and no one is
Allowed to enter-
Somehow I find I cannot escape the grip that
This planet has made upon me-
The grip of ill fate and of mistrust-
It is the intruders who follow me
That clash with the beauty of the sun,
The loveliness of the song of the wild, and
With the mystery of the woodlands-
I would fly close to the sun with the
Canadian wild geese if I only had the wings to
Lift me off of the ground and
Carry myself to some other universe where
I could in reality be omnipotent and not afraid to sing-
To carry the tunes that keep my spirit alive as I abandon
The fear that has so deeply injured my soul-
The rays of the sun are screaming and a lone nightingale
Sings its soprano solo-
I break into a run carrying with me inside the safe haven of my thoughts,
The refuge of my delusions- and my flagging grasp on reality-
The sun is calling me-
This time I hear, as I feel the strength of my character evolving-
I look upward and see more than the sky, but
That could-be heaven and the faces of angels, as
They look down upon me in awe and admiration- I realize that
I have nothing to fear-
As nobody can rob me of my thoughts or of my imaginings and
I have come to the realization that I have found that other universe, if only in
The sanctuary of my dreams…

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This World I Bid Goodnight

Written by: Wilfred Mellers, Tuesday, October 27,2009 @ 12: 37 AM

No one cried the day I died for they didn’t see it coming
Wept no one for the despondent son for now lays sleeping
The hand was dealt and things were felt could not I overcome
No longer could he cope with the lost of hope and never was he bunkum

Slowed now the sprinter as autumn turns to winter
Aged eyes now the squinter wedged in flesh a splinter
Drew his last breath for vigilance was death
Creepy crawlers always lurking for nothing was truly working

Gave up his life work as he slowly went berserk
Deep in murk the fool, the jerk dwelling in the middle of the cirque
Lost in the network and unanswered questions by the salesclerk
On his face never wore a smirk so he falls on his dirk

A good man it was said but voices spoke in his head
His heart truly bled as barely he slept in a bed
Sleepless eyes run red as the life he shed
Once stood in good stead philosophy no longer to spread

Never lied, never tried inside wanting to hide away
Arguments heated but never he cheated molding he did the clay
Fish wrapped in tinfoil, curry will spoil, and a house full of such turmoil
In a basement to toil as emotion they boil for now chicken fries in hot oil

Raining the day plays the band of drum and fife
Never accomplished all he wanted in his life
Deeply cut the wounds from loves knife
Agony, struggling to pain and strife

Funny how it seems so clear as I look back on the yesteryear
Legs are weak, my voice seldom I speak for defend I cannot hear
Passed by the parade for my bed has already been made
As the music start to fades all debits are finally paid

No longer putting up a fight for dawn has turned to twilight
Trees have fruits that are blight as the bedbugs always bite
Life no longer excite for all is not alright but I fight on despite
Words I cannot recite but I was always polite

Never I took flight and no one I spite
Danced for your delight, as the grand jury wanted to indite
Taken to such a height to extinguish flames once fire could ignite
As conflagration burns bright the campsite, fears the counselor wanted to incite

No longer stuck and held up in a jam they sacrificed the sacred lamb
For those who never really gave a damn, I am who I am
Pandemonium seize then night I shall not be so contrite
Longing no longer for the limelight and to this insanity I bid goodnight

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Patrick White

Things Might Be Drifting Away

Things might be drifting away
like an empty lifeboat
with nothing left to save
but the memory of moonlight
on the rush of a wave of the heart
that rose and fell
like a bell of insight on the night watch
that said all's well all's well for the night.
And so it was for a while.

Time might seem
that it's overstaying its welcome
and you've become the estranged guest
of a bad dream
in your own bed
in the thirteenth house of the zodiac
where the dispossessed
shack up with the misbegotten
and the ghosts of everything you've forgotten
don't give you any rest
until all that you've cursed
out of anger and need
has been immensely forgiven and blessed.
And perhaps it appears
you've been the rogue star
of a sign in long exile
far away from now
and that might account
for your misplaced trust in mirrors
and your lack of confidence in star maps.

Happiness just happens
like good luck and grace
and the creative inspiration
to rejoice in your time and place here
as if the purpose of your voice
were always to praise
even on the darkest of days
when the only thing
that shone in your eyes
weren't the stars you kept
locked away in your tears
like the face paint of clowns
or the crown jewels of the Pleiades
but a bitter farce of black holes
in the veils of the mirage
that eclipsed your enlightenment
with a starless night
it's impossible to get beyond.
And so it may well be
for those who've been
as far gone for as long you have.

But even the blind are shining
though they can't see it
and the deaf are still singing
though they can't hear it
and the dead are still living
though they can't feel it.
And those who have given up seeking
still find what they were looking for
like a loveletter with a return address
and an open door that recognizes them
like the prodigal threshold
of a homeless human
about to cross one more
like the last step of a long journey
that lost its way back in all directions
like the radiance of a star in space and time
that never took its eye off the past.

We cherish the flowers of summer that bloom last
more poignantly than those of the spring
because we feel our own hour of farewell
in the progress of their passing.
The sadness of an earthly excellence
fulfilled and surpassed
we see in the shedding of the aster's petals
and in the lowering of the wild rose's eyelids
and in the lengthening of the black walnut's shadows
that move like cool water
across the dry grass of a late afternoon
signs of the same night approaching us.
And we know it will be dusk soon.

We'll look up at the blue moon in late October
and whether the silos are full or empty
wonder if every harvest
wears the same death mask we do
with the smile of a scythe on its face
or if the goddess of the grain
bears true witness to
the perennial innocence of death
in the way she enhances
the white spectre of the first frost
to shock the garden down to its roots
with the same koan she uses
to enlighten the dew on the stargrass.

And you might dread the coming excruciations
of the scarecrow immolated on the pyre
of its own substance
like the short straw of flesh
that once sustained it
lost in a draw with death.
And come to scorn your heart like an urn
filled with ashes in the aftermath
of the same fire that once filled it
so full of desire to bloom
it could no more contain itself
than a seed can keep a secret from the spring.

You could see it that way.
And who among those clinging
like a blue atmosphere
to this homeless grain of dust
in the vastness of these sidereal immensities
within and without
that animate us like starmud
to join in this dance of life and death
like a legacy of shining
that can't be washed out of our eyes
though tears have fallen for lightyears
on the root fires of what we've loved and lost.
Who among these
could say you were wrong?

Because no river's flowing
the wrong way to the sea
in this reunion of arrivals and departures
at the stations of our afterlives
on this wheel of birth and death.
We're all going to make it back
to where we came from
one way or another.
Some like rain.
Some like ice.
Some like snow.
Some like the lingering ghost
of morning mist on the lake
that's gone before noon
and some like water on the moon.
The flowing of the river
summoned by the sea
to the source of its coming and going
is the calling of life everywhere
to transcend itself
by passing into the unknown
like the available dimension of a future
that's no further beyond us
than the past is
in the light of distant stars.

The sword doesn't wound itself.
Fire doesn't burn itself.
Water doesn't drown in itself.
And life doesn't bleed out of itself
like the dream of a fortune-telling poppy
or a water clock that's run itself to ground.

The eye isn't the seeing.
The ear isn't the hearing.
The tongue isn't the tasting.
The skin isn't the touching.
The voice isn't the saying.
The brain isn't the thinking.
The heart isn't the feeling
anymore than life
is the carrying in
and death is the bearing out.
The darkness isn't a lack of light
and the light isn't the absence of night.
Death is unborn.
Life is unperishing.
Formless in a world of forms.
Two wavelengths of the same awareness.

You say you can see night gathering
under the door you're afraid to answer
long before anyone knocks
and though you dream by your own light
you don't know who's casting the shadows.
Is sorrow any younger in the heart of a child
than it is in the memory of an old man?
Joy any less vivid in the eyes of an old woman
attending to the flowers in her garden
than it is in a girl having tea with her dolls?
Is this day not as new to the widow
as it is to the newly-wed?
Experience is the capstone and dunce-cap
of the sum of destructions
that made us who we are today.
And in life it's the brilliance of our failures
that throws more light on the dark matter
of the issue before us
than all the star power
of the blazing successes
that blind us to our own shining.

You step out of a backlit doorway
into the dark
and slowly the darkness grows
the eyes you need to see the stars.
And maybe death is like that.
Nothing to look at but black
until we blow the candle out
that's been misleading us all the way.
Maybe that's why the jaws of skulls
are always caught gaping at something
that's more than they can say.
But look at the expressions on their faces.
Maybe their eyes
are too overwhelmed by what they're seeing
to want to get in the way.
You could see it like that.
You could see it through the eyes of the rain.
You can taste it on the tongue of a candle flame.
You can read it from right to left
in the Kufic script of the wind.
You can hear it in what the stars are whispering
through the keyholes in the pyramids.
You can feel it all around you
like bubbles of skin and air.
Like empty rooms with atmosphere.
As many ways and roads and rivers as there are
that flow into it down the world mountain
back to the sea
back to the same undifferentiated watershed
of these myriads of mystic specificity
and who could number them all
as many as the stars
or all the grains of sand
of all the deserts and beaches on earth
as many as the dead of every kind who've come and gone
all that blood mind passion dream and imagination
all those tears all that despair lucidity and apprehension
love and familial affection
all that waste and hatred and emotional sewage
dissolved wholly back into the sea
like a watercolour left out in the rain
like a name written on water
by a poet who died young
in a foreign language far away from home
just as birth arrays the universe before us
and says make of it what you can
so death approaches no less a peer of life
than we are in our relationship with all things
and offers us
the same great creative opportunity life does.
Green bough.
Dead branch.
Moon rise.
The hidden night bird alights
on either alike
and folding its wings
like gates and books
and the eyelids of those who dream
at the beginning and end
of a long dark radiant journey,

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When Will We Reach The End?

To explain to you all the things I believe in
Is as explaining to you all the thing wrong with the world
And with a list so long
It starts unrolling.
When will we reach the end?

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The Churches Of This World

since then the churches of the world
have gone mad
undesigned are they
to mangers and sheeps
and no light from any star
gets in
there is no window where
the moon can shine

its roof is a thick as
their self-made tenets
their walls are impenetrable
by the simplicities of our lives
their seats are reserved
for the kinds and
other majesties

there is no crib in there
for the baby to cry
and sleep

its floors in shining marbles
its pillars in gold and silver
that even God
would have second thoughts

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Sonnet: This World Goes By Your Externals

This world loves seeing me powdered, perfumed!
My face wearing mask; my lips with a ‘smile’!
They respect only the well-attired,
Who speak out phrases/ praises in grand style.

The world wants me to appear always wise,
Promising lots, seldom carrying out things;
They love to hear me utter blatant lies,
To drink more wine and keep exchanging rings!

The world loves seeing me travel by cars,
Driven by chauffeurs, uniformed and smart;
Be sought after by girls and by cine-stars,
And go around the world to every part.

But I just love to be myself always!
Natural, honest, hard-working all my days.

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Who You Truly Are

You search all day and night
To found
Who you truly are
You feel like you lost
And all lonely in this world
Where noone can help
Just look deep in your heart
And you found who you are
Don't get angry if you can't do it
You should believe in yourself
Because there people believe in you too
If one thing don't work out
Try another until you find what
You really good at
It can take days or it can take forever
Until you found
Who you truly are
You make mistakes
Fixed it, keep trying
It will work at end
Some of us might not found
Who we truly are yet
It's ok
Don't sweat it
Good luck
My wish for you is
To found
Who you truly are

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