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I'm Sorry if I Made You Cry

I'm sorry if I made you cry
I'm sorry if I made you sad
I'm sorry if you're mad
I'm sorry I just can't be right

'I'm sorry', that's all in my mind now
I wish you're right now

I'm sorry I can't make happy all the time
I'm sorry I should leave that time

I'm sorry is all I can say
I mean it, I'm sorry...

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You Aint Right

Took myself on to the doctor wasnt feeling fine
I had a fever 104
Oh that blew my mind
Must be I had enough
bout to explode from the gossip I said
Thought my friend had my back
Just to stab oh yeah
Hurts so bad when I talk
Wanna take something
Numb the pain I know it aint right
Come face to face with her
Gotta tell her how I feel inside
Ooh hoo you aint right
Ooh hoo sick and tired
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
The doctor said hed give me something
And Id be alright
I still feel queezy, feel uneasy
No more drugs for me
Friendships I cherish oh
Let very few in the circle I said
These walls I dont let down
Not very easily
Some friends you grow old with
And theyll be there til the very end
I do believe that
But not with her like I thought
Let her in and Ill get stabbed again
Ooh hoo you aint right
Ooh hoo sick and tired
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

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Siblings Are Friends You Just Can't Get Rid Of

Siblings are enemies you cannot escape
Bound by blood
Bound by history
You know the real me
What's behind the mask I wear for others to see
Shared parents and vacations, and long Sunday drives
You always got the window seat ‘cause you got car sick - yeah right!
We shared a dinner table and breakfast...and bad manners too
A shared room, a shared mess, a shared bed, (the wetting was you)
We made mud pies together, and ate them, (or at least we tasted)
You gave me measles. I gave you mumps. (Those fevers truly sucked)
We nursed one another's heartbreaks
We dried each other's tears
We yelled and screamed, you said you hated me
You're a day person. I'm a night
You wanted to be early but I made you late
We became adults together
Buried our parents side-by-side
I hurt your feelings. You made me angry
We were callous and mean without even thinking
You weren't my friend, just a sibling, biologically speaking
Just someone I'm stuck with who lives down the hall
Or in the next town, or the far side of the planet....that's all
I didn't choose you, you know
And you would never have picked me
We only share parents
And some, (well a lot) , of memories
And a hometown, and I guess a private joke or two
I don't have to like you just because of those things, true?
But others in the family keep dragging us back together
Christmas lunch, family picnics, if I could stay home I'd rather
Then I forget what you did
You forget what I said
So we hug and we cry
It's been so long. Why?
We're just friends, (bound by blood) , that we just can't get rid of
Nor would we want to
Because....what in this world would I do
If ever I had to live my life without you

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Just Can Get To You

I'm driving' through the rain, just to talk to you again. Please don't run away this tim, until I say what's on my mind.
Tonight I need to stay with you. This time I'm not passing throught. Tear down the walls around your heart, and though I know it's who you are...
I just can't get to you girl. Oh yeah, I just can't get to you. If you won't let me through girl. Oh no, I just can't get to you.
You say you really need me here, so I can't let you disappear. Even though it's getting late, somehow I seem to hesitate.
'Cause I just can't get to you girl. Oh yeah, I just can't get to you...if you won't let me through girl. Oh no, I just can't get to you.
You're afraid that you'll get hurt again. Yes, I knw htat's how it feels. Don't surrender, that's no way to win. Let it go, let me in. 'Cause I just can't get to you. Just can't get to you girl. Oh yeah, just can't get to you. If you won't let me through girl...oh no, I just can't get to you.
Just can't get to you girl. Oh yeah, just can't get to you. You won't let me thfrough girl...oh no, I just can't get to you

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I Think You Are Right

when you said that it is harder
to hide something which is not there
i tried to think upon such a paradox
of hiding nothing

you are right
when there is nothing to hide
that becomes a heavy burden

when you open my mind
and find out that there is nothing in there
worth loving
worth reading
the burden becomes unbearable
all your castles of expectations fall
like the tower of sand
on the shore

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I Just Can't

1 - i just can't help feeling the way i feel
Just let me show you this love is real
I just can't help feeling the way i feel
The things you do to me
Boy i love you
The time has come for me to show
Show that i care for your soul
No one makes me feel the way you do
And i'll never let you go
Repeat 1
You know my love for you is strong
I loved you for too long
Now it's time for you to realize
That you'll always be in my heart
2 - and i love the things you do for me
You give me so much joy
Boy, you know all i need is you
You mean the world to me
And it's plain to see
That boy i love you
Repeat 1
Repeat 1
Repeat 2
Repeat 1

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You're Right, I Was Wrong

Should've listened when you said I'd miss you
Should've listened but I could not hear
You said I'd want you back
I said not a chance
Now I can see I was so blind
You're right I was wrong
To ever leave you
I made a mistake
I'm sorry now
You're right I was wrong
To ever let you go
Now I know, now I know
You're right, I was wrong
Couldn't see it when I had you with me
Couldn't see that I had everything
And know I see it clear
And now you're not here
You said someday I'd change my mind
You're right I was wrong
To ever leave you
I made a mistake
I'm sorry now
You're right I was wrong
To ever let you go
Now I know, now I know
You're right, I was wrong
If I could have one more chance to hold you
I would keep you here in my arms
And never let you go
Because now I know
You're right I was wrong
To ever leave you
I made a mistake
I'm sorry now
You're right I was wrong
To ever let you go
Now I know, Baby now I know
You're right, I was wrong
You're right, I was wrong
You're right, I was wrong
You're right, I was wrong

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Just Can't Help It

Honestly I try to react normal and act how I feel
But when you smile I can't help but reciprocate
Sad or pensive, glad or enraged.... i don't mean to complicate
The Simple fact, but this is a dsease from which i cannot heal
Because your smile is fatally contagious
And forces me to smile no matter what the circumstance
I wonderr if you've noticed this trend between us...
But I seriously doubt that you have... not a chance
While your smile is electric mine goes 'unnoticed'
I don't have the same ffect on you that you have on me
When you see
My smile I wonder what it means to you...
But when you smile I just can't help it
It seems wrong and nnatraul to resist
But unfortunately even if I want to I can't help it
There is no help because there's no cure
And there's no cure because there's nothing wrong!
But something doesn't feel right when it's one...
sided... so I'll search from deepest depth to highest sun
To try to find a curre so I could help it
Or maybe what would help in my search most of all
Is if you'd just do one thing...
Smile

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I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (feat. James Dean Bradfield)

Well, you're right, I'm left, she's gone.
You're right, and I'm left all alone.
Well, you tried to tell me so,
But how was I to know
That she was not the one for me?
You told me all along,
You're right, our love was so wrong.
But now I changed my mind,
Because she broke the ties that bind,
And I know that she never cared for me.
Well, I thought I knew just what she'd do,
I guess I'm not so smart.
Oh, you tried to tell me along she'd only break my heart.
I'm left, you're right, she's gone.
You're right, and I'm left all alone.
Well, she's gone I know not where,
But now I just don't care.
For now I'm falling for you.
If you'll forgive me now,
I'll make it up somehow.
So happy we will be,
In a home just for three,
And I'll soon forget her,
Now I know.
Well, I thought I knew just what she'd do,
I guess I'm not so smart.
You tried to tell me all along,
She'd only break my heart.
Well, you're right, I'm left, she's gone.
You're right, and I'm left all alone.
Well, she's gone, I know not where,
But now I just don't care,
For now I've fallen for you

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I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone

(words & music by s. kesler - w. taylor)
Well, you're right, i'm left, she's gone.
You're right, and i'm left all alone.
Well, you tried to tell me so,
But how was i to know
That she was not the one for me?
You told me all along,
You're right, our love was so wrong.
But now i changed my mind,
Because she broke the ties that bind,
And i know that she never cared for me.
Well, i thought i knew just what she'd do,
I guess i'm not so smart.
Oh, you tried to tell me along she'd only break my heart.
I'm left, you're right, she's gone.
You're right, and i'm left all alone.
Well, she's gone i know not where,
But now i just don't care.
For now i'm falling for you.
If you'll forgive me now,
I'll make it up somehow.
So happy we will be,
In a home just for three,
And i'll soon forget her,
Now i know.
Well, i thought i knew just what she'd do,
I guess i'm not so smart.
You tried to tell me all along,
She'd only break my heart.
Well, you're right, i'm left, she's gone.
You're right, and i'm left all alone.
Well, she's gone, i know not where,
But now i just don't care,
For now i've fallen for you.

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Just Can't Leave You Alone

Stopped by your house, they said you weren't home
But maybe they lied
I would have known if you had come or gone
Cause I stood by your gate two days in a row
Finally left you a note
Said I remember how you smiled at me
And how you picked me out of the crowd
It's funny how the guy next to me swore that it was him you singled out.
(Chorus)
Wherever you go, I'll follow
'cause I'll never leave you alone
To the ends of the earth, I'll follow
'cause I just can't leave you alone.
You play hard to get, got me climbin' the walls
And I took the fall
And got chased by your security dog
If I change my look, maybe then you would see
Maybe you'd notice me
I'll become whatever you want me to be
I know someday I'll be your guest
All my friends say I'm crazy
The man from the magazine says I'm obsessed
(Repeat Chorus)
(Bridge)
You may think I'm extreme
But you sang to me ' live out your dream'
So I can't let you slip away now
If my dreams die, then I die
And I know someway, somehow
(Refrain)
I know someday I'll be your guest, yeah
All my friends say I'm crazy
The man from the magazine says I'm obsessed
(Repeat Chorus)

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Share With Them My Gratitude

Submit what?
My ideas?
To whom and why?

'In the support of their endeavors...
They are seeking a more unified approach.
And actively solicit opinions of those most admired.'

And...
Your reason for being here,
Is what?

'Our committee decided,
You were one the ones most admired.
And we would like your participation.'

Really?
REALLY?

Not to confuse any issues I may have with this.
But do you see this smile on my face?
And the appearance given of a happiness...
That is far from fake?
You know what this smile took...
After what I've taken and shakened away?
Do you realize how long from this,
A recuperation takes?
Do you?
Speak up!
Do you?

'So...
That means we can expect you 'not' to participate? '

OH NO!
Not at all.
This smile doesn't mean that!
Have I sent mixed signals?

This smile gives me an opportunity...
To get some things off my chest.
Especially among those who slandered me...
With intentions that were their best efforts.

Are you kidding?
I would love to express my forgiveness.
Directly!
When is the next meeting?

'Maybe I should prepare them,
For your coming? '

Why spoil it?
I'll do that myself when I get there prepared.
And keep in mind...
I'll do what I can to keep positivity apparent,
In the atmosphere.

Just share with them my gratitude.
That's all you need to deliver and do.
And the decision that has been made?
To include me in on this...escapade!
I will be sure they will never forget!
When is that meeting?
Should I be dressed to impress?

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It Better End Soon - 4th

Can't stand it no more
The people dying
Crying for help for so many years
But nobody hears
Better end soon my friend
It better end soon my friend
Can't take it no more
The people hating
Hurting their brothers
They don't understand
They can't understand
Better end soon my friend
It better end soon
Hey, everybody
Won't you just look around
Can't anybody see?
Just what's going down
Can't you take the time?
Just to feel
Just to feel what is real
If you do
Then you'll see that we got a raw deal
They're killing everybody
I wish it weren't true
They say we got to make war
Or the economy will fall
But if we don't stop
We won't be around no more
They're ruining this world
For you and me
The big heads of state
Won't let us be free
They made the rules once
But it didn't work out
Now we must try again
Before they kill us off
No more dying!
No more killing
No more dying
No more fighting
We don't want to die
No, we don't want to die
Please let's change it all
Please let's make it all
Good for the present
And better for the future
Let's just love one another
Let's show peace for each other
We can make it happen
Let's just make it happen
We can change this world
Please let's change this world
Please let's make it happen for our children
For our women
Change the world
Please make it happen
Come on
Come on
Please
Come on
It's up to me
It's up to you
So let's do it now
Yeah
Do it now
Can't stand it no more
The people cheating
Burning each other
They know it ain't right
How can it be right
Better end soon my friend
It better end soon my friend

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You Were Right Girl

Its hard to say how long its been, but once upon a time
You were my best friend, Im sorry I hurt you but I loved him, loved him
You said Id get hurt in the end, you tried to warn me with good advice
Instead of listening, I paid the price, yes I did, you told me back then
You said hell love you, leave you, you said his heart was cold as ice
And you were right girl, yes, he played me for a fool, (you were right girl)
Hmm, it all came true, (you were right girl), I know
I should have known it all along, (you were right girl)
Yes, you were right and I was wrong, I thought you blamed him for your mistakes
That all your put downs were just sour grapes, you told me back then
That theyll be lyin, cryin and it wont be his heart that breaks
And ooh, (you were right girl) you were right girl
He played me for a fool, (you were right girl) oh
It all came true, you were (you were right girl) right girl
Yes, I should have known it all along (you were right girl)
You were right girl, you were right and I was wrong
Oh, what made me think that I was different from you
That I could make him do what he wouldnt do for you
Now you told me back then Id never change him, change him
But hed change me before hes through, and ooh (you were right girl)
You were right girl, he played me for a fool, he really did
(you were right girl) well, it all came true, (you were right girl)
You were so right, I should have known it all along (you were right girl)
Oh, yes, you were right and I was wrong, oh, (you were right girl)
He really played me for a fool, (you were right girl)
Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, it all came true (you were right girl)
Yeah, (you were right girl) you were right girl
I should have known it all along, (you were righ girl)
You were right girlfriend, you were right and I was wrong, woo, woo, woo
(you were right girl) you were right my girl, (you were right girl)
You were right my girl, he played me for a great big fool

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You Gotta Make It Through The World

Well let them take you for a clown
And theyre bound to bring you down
You got to make it through the world if you can
Think theyre doing you wrong
But you got here on your own
You got to make it through the world if you can
I said if you can, if you can
You got to make it through the world if you can
I said if you can (oooh), if you can (lord)
You got to make it through the world if you can
Well you know what its all about
Nobody know you when youre down and out
You got to make it through the world if you can
Well talk about wrong and right
Youve got to make up your own mind
You got to make it through the world if you can
I said if you can (if you can) ooh, if you can (if you can)
You got to make it through the world if you can (if you can)
I said if you can (if you can) well if you can (if you can)
You got to make it through the world if you can (if you can)
Yeah let them take you for a clown
It will surely put you down
You got to make it through the world if you can (if you can)
Everybody talk about wrong and right
You got to make up your own mind about it
You got to make it through the world if you can (if you can)
Ooh! if you can (if you can) yeah! if you can (if you can)
You got to make it through the world if you can (if you can)
Yeah! if you can (if you can) if you can (if you can)
You got to make it through the world if you can (if you can)
Yeah I said if you can (if you can) lord if you can (if you can)
You got to make it through the world if you can (if you can)
I said you got to make through the world if you can (if you can)
I said you got to make through the world if you can (if you can)
I said you got to make through the world if you can (if you can)
You got to make it through the world if you can (if you can)
Make it through the world
Make it through the world (if you can)
Make it through the world
Make it through the world (if you can)
Make it through the world
Make it through the world (if you can)

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Yes, you are right

I struggled to find out
Something was worrying me about
What exactly it can be?
Was it fruit laden trees?

It was greatness to be witnessed
Despite being heavily loaded
Tree gives shed and still does not mind
What more we need to find?

Was this the only question at stake?
Do all the answers seem to me as fake?
It was heartening to note that the question was probed
It might have created odd position for me if question was lobbed

It is pertinent and important to know
It must strike the mind and go
As satisfactory answer with full satisfaction
That is feeling with very good indication

Someone asked me to answer
What can you buy with money?
She was all the way sweet honey
I struggled hard but avoided by saying “hey”

Everything except parents and life
Even beautiful model as wife
She said no to it and further poked
She puffed with cigar and room was smoked

You try sincerely but will not find anything
The money may play part but has to do nothing
I will not be simply carried away
Even if you try to search new way

It is me and no one else
I have my own pulse
My own heart and soul
It makes me weary and senses the foul

I had hard way to convince
I did not want words to be minced
It is up to individual to choose
If one is committed to stand firm and not to loose

But it is more of an argument than a stand
One can boost morale and we can understand
But still many you may find clinging to their views
Only handful may realize and appreciated by few

It is good to have principle stand
That can be freely disclosed to friends
After all relation is not based on some returns
It is to be adjusted and fall for it in turn


But money power is not to be taken lightly
So much is said and written very rightly
It has tremendous power to purchase
People may go mad without it and may be chased

Many might have still illusion about real power
You can see high rise buildings and towers
It has very good shine and people fell for
This is the only temptation easily sought for

I replied by saying “yes you are right
There should not be any argument or fight
You can not be bought at home for money
You are special entity and not the commodity

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My Heart Belongs To You

My Heart Belongs to You
Written by: Wilfred Charles Mellers, Wednesday, August 26,2009, @ 6: 10 PM, Number 100

I am as a child clinging to their mother
You have captured my heart and I love you like no other
You have brought me joy and so much laughter
I will love you from here till ever after

Here is my life I give to you to remold
All this for you to have and to hold
I cherish the day you passed my way
Without your love I cant make it through the day

You have brought me delight from whence there was only sadness
You have become the source of my happiness
You have brought me a fresh start a new
There is simply nothing for you I won’t do

God must have made you with me in mind
You are so special, precious, and kind
When you are away I cry all day
I would lose my mind if you left me behind

Take my heart and all I have to give
For without you I don’t even want to live
I stand here naked before your eyes
To leave you would truly be unwise

Take me darling just as I am
You are the leopard and I the lamb
Anything asked and I will fulfill
Consume me my love and do to me what you will

I will show you that I’ll always be there
Let me show you how much I care
Let me whisper softly in your ears
I will calm your wildest fears

Lie-down and let me rub your naked body with a hot scented oil
Attentive I’ll be for you I’ll truly spoil
I’ll massage your feet where it aches
I’ll lay with you till morning breaks

I will hold you until my arms go numb
You bring me excitement where there’s boredom
The angels weep for their tears fall from the sky
If ever to you I say goodbye

You are the very life within me
I would die just to hold you briefly
You are a vision of heaven to behold
Without your love I will grow old and cold

I the empty vessel without a soul
Consumed by grief my heart turns to charcoal
Weeping and wailing, I cannot be consoled
I the crazed maniac cannot be controlled

I will stay with you through the thick and the thin
I will stay with you no matter what mood youre in
I will stay with you whenever youre sad
I will stay with you for you are the best I ever had

My love for you cannot be defined
My love is greater than all the oceans combined
My love for you I cannot confine
My love, my world, my one and only sunshine

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The Goblin Under the Stair

When I was seven, or maybe eight
My father left when my mother died,
He said he'd take me when he came back,
He said he would, but my father lied!

I went to live in the Bailiwick
Of Nether Dearth, in a Castle there,
And every night as the clock did tick
I heard the Goblin, under the stair.

He'd rasp his nails on the old stone wall
And make the stairs in the passage creak,
And then he'd let out a tiny moan
While I lay trembling under the sheet!

I'd gone to live with a maiden Aunt
Who kept a dwarf as a servant there,
His name was Hob, and he'd say: ‘I can't! '
Whatever we asked; ‘It's just not fair! '

It wasn't fair' that he chopped the wood
To feed the fire in the ancient hall,
It wasn't fair' that he made the tea
Whenever my Aunt put on her shawl!

I'm much too small for the heavy jobs, '
He'd say, and handed the axe to me,
Then wandered down to the orchard, where
He'd sit in the shade of an apple tree.

My Aunt said, ‘God, you're a lazy Hob,
Get back to work or you're gone from here! '
He'd pull a face, and he'd try to sob,
But she'd go in, and she'd pack his gear!

One day I mentioned the Goblin there,
He shook all over, his face was white,
You lie! There isn't a Goblin here! '
I think you're wrong - but I hope you're right! '

‘He comes at night when the moon is dim
And sits right under the castle stair,
Then moans and mutters, he sounds quite grim,
And sometimes shrieks as he claws the air! '

I've heard him tearing that tapestry,
The one that hangs in the cobweb room,
The one that no-one's supposed to see,
It's always shuttered, and filled with gloom.'

You mean, ' said Hob, and his face collapsed
His eyes bugged out in a fit of fear,
The picture sewn on that mouldy rag
Is a portrait of Edward Glastonbury! '

And then he snivelled, and then he cried:
That Goblin's coming on after me!
My grandfather was three foot four,
That same, that Edward Glastonbury! '

He waged a war on the Faery Folk
And the Goblins in the neighbourhood,
He rode abroad and he practiced spells,
And chased them all to the Underwood! '

I thought they'd all died out by now,
But if you're right, there's one abroad,
I'll have to tackle the stairs tonight
And slay the Goblin, with my sword! '

That night, the muttering started late,
The moon was hidden behind a cloud,
The moaning kept me alert, awake,
But then the shrieks, and the cries were loud!

I ventured out to the passage stair
And there was Hob by the old hall stand,
The Goblin clung to his throat and back
And waved Hob's sword in his other hand!

Then Hob ran shrieking, into the night
With the Goblin stuck to his back for good,
The screams they faded, and then they died,
They seemed to come from the Underwood!

I stayed a couple of years or more,
The mutters and moans were gone for good,
And Hob, wherever he toils and groans
Is down with the Goblins, chopping wood!

14 May 2012

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The Borough. Letter IV: Sects And Professions In Religion

'SECTS in Religion?'--Yes of every race
We nurse some portion in our favour'd place;
Not one warm preacher of one growing sect
Can say our Borough treats him with neglect:
Frequent as fashions they with us appear,
And you might ask, 'how think we for the year?'
They come to us as riders in a trade,
And with much art exhibit and persuade.
Minds are for Sects of various kinds decreed,
As diff'rent soils are formed for diff'rent seed;
Some when converted sigh in sore amaze,
And some are wrapt in joy's ecstatic blaze;
Others again will change to each extreme,
They know not why--as hurried in a dream;
Unstable, they, like water, take all forms,
Are quick and stagnant; have their calms and storms;
High on the hills, they in the sunbeams glow,
Then muddily they move debased and slow;
Or cold and frozen rest, and neither rise nor flow.
Yet none the cool and prudent Teacher prize.
On him ther dote who wakes their ectasies;
With passions ready primed such guide they meet,
And warm and kindle with th' imparted heat;
'Tis he who wakes the nameless strong desire,
The melting rapture and the glowing fire;
'Tis he who pierces deep the tortured breast,
And stirs the terrors never more to rest.
Opposed to these we have a prouder kind,
Rash without heat, and without raptures blind;
These our Glad Tidings unconcern'd peruse,
Search without awe, and without fear refuse;
The truths, the blessings found in Sacred Writ,
Call forth their spleen, and exercise their wit;
Respect from these nor saints nor martyrs gain,
The zeal they scorn, and they deride the pain:
And take their transient, cool, contemptuous view,
Of that which must be tried, and doubtless may be true.
Friends of our Faith we have, whom doubts like these,
And keen remarks, and bold objections please;
They grant such doubts have weaker minds oppress'd,
Till sound conviction gave the troubled rest.
'But still,' they cry, 'let none their censures spare.
They but confirm the glorious hopes we share;
From doubt, disdain, derision, scorn, and lies,
With five-fold triumph sacred Truth shall rise.'
Yes! I allow, so Truth shall stand at last,
And gain fresh glory by the conflict past: -
As Solway-Moss (a barren mass and cold,
Death to the seed, and poison to the fold),
The smiling plain and fertile vale o'erlaid,
Choked the green sod, and kill'd the springing blade;
That, changed by culture, may in time be seen
Enrich'd by golden grain and pasture green;
And these fair acres rented and enjoy'd
May those excel by Solway-Moss destroy'd.
Still must have mourn'd the tenant of the day,
For hopes destroy'd, and harvests swept away;
To him the gain of future years unknown,
The instant grief and suffering were his own:
So must I grieve for many a wounded heart,
Chill'd by those doubts which bolder minds impart:
Truth in the end shall shine divinely clear,
But sad the darkness till those times appear;
Contests for truth, as wars for freedom, yield
Glory and joy to those who gain the field:
But still the Christian must in pity sigh
For all who suffer, and uncertain die.
Here are, who all the Church maintains approve,
But yet the Church herself they will not love;
In angry speech, they blame the carnal tie
Which pure Religion lost her spirit by;
What time from prisons, flames, and tortures led,
She slumber'd careless in a royal bed;
To make, they add, the Church's glory shine,
Should Diocletian reign, not Constantine.
'In pomp,' they cry, 'is 'England's Church array'd,
Her cool Reformers wrought like men afraid;
We would have pull'd her gorgeous temples down,
And spurn'd her mitre, and defiled her gown:
We would have trodden low both bench and stall,
Nor left a tithe remaining, great or small.'
Let us be serious--Should such trials come.
Are they themselves prepared for martyrdom?
It seems to us that our reformers knew
Th' important work they undertook to do;
An equal priesthood they were loth to try,
Lest zeal and care should with ambition die;
To them it seem'd that, take the tenth away,
Yet priests must eat, and you must feed or pay:
Would they indeed, who hold such pay in scorn,
Put on the muzzle when they tread the corn?
Would they all, gratis, watch and tend the fold,
Nor take one fleece to keep them from the cold?
Men are not equal, and 'tis meet and right
That robes and titles our respect excite;
Order requires it; 'tis by vulgar pride
That such regard is censured and denied;
Or by that false enthusiastic zeal,
That thinks the Spirit will the priest reveal,
And show to all men, by their powerful speech,
Who are appointed and inspired to teach:
Alas! could we the dangerous rule believe,
Whom for their teacher should the crowd receive?
Since all the varying kinds demand respect,
All press you on to join their chosen sect,
Although but in this single point agreed,
'Desert your churches and adopt our creed.'
We know full well how much our forms offend
The burthen'd Papist and the simple Friend:
Him, who new robes for every service takes,
And who in drab and beaver sighs and shakes;
He on the priest, whom hood and band adorn,
Looks with the sleepy eye of silent scorn;
But him I would not for my friend and guide,
Who views such things with spleen, or wears with pride.
See next our several Sects,--but first behold
The Church of Rome, who here is poor and old:
Use not triumphant raillery, or, at least,
Let not thy mother be a whore and beast;
Great was her pride indeed in ancient times,
Yet shall we think of nothing but her crimes?
Exalted high above all earthly things,
She placed her foot upon the neck of kings;
But some have deeply since avenged the crown,
And thrown her glory and her honours down;
Nor neck nor ear can she of kings command,
Nor place a foot upon her own fair land.
Among her sons, with us a quiet few,
Obscure themselves, her ancient state review,
And fond and melancholy glances cast
On power insulted, and on triumph past:
They look, they can but look, with many a sigh,
On sacred buildings doom'd in dust to lie;
'On seats,' they tell, 'where priests mid tapers dim
Breathed the warm prayer, or tuned the midnight hymn;
Where trembling penitents their guilt confessed,
Where want had succour, and contrition rest;
There weary men from trouble found relief,
There men in sorrow found repose from grief.
To scenes like these the fainting soul retired;
Revenge and anger in these cells expired;
By Pity soothed, Remorse lost half her fears,
And soften'd Pride dropp'd penitential tears.
'Then convent walls and nunnery spires arose,
In pleasant spots which monk or abbot chose;
When counts and barons saints devoted fed,
And making cheap exchange, had pray'r for bread.
'Now all is lost, the earth where abbeys stood
Is layman's land, the glebe, the stream, the wood:
His oxen low where monks retired to eat,
His cows repose upon the prior's seat:
And wanton doves within the cloisters bill,
Where the chaste votary warr'd with wanton will.'
Such is the change they mourn, but they restrain
The rage of grief, and passively complain.
We've Baptists old and new; forbear to ask
What the distinction--I decline the task;
This I perceive, that when a sect grows old,
Converts are few, and the converted cold:
First comes the hotbed heat, and while it glows
The plants spring up, and each with vigour grows:
Then comes the cooler day, and though awhile
The verdure prospers and the blossoms smile,
Yet poor the fruit, and form'd by long delay,
Nor will the profits for the culture pay;
The skilful gard'ner then no longer stops,
But turns to other beds for bearing crops.
Some Swedenborgians in our streets are found,
Those wandering walkers on enchanted ground,
Who in our world can other worlds survey,
And speak with spirits though confin'd in clay:
Of Bible-mysteries they the keys possess,
Assured themselves, where wiser men but guess:
'Tis theirs to see around, about, above, -
How spirits mingle thoughts, and angels move;
Those whom our grosser views from us exclude,
To them appear--a heavenly multitude;
While the dark sayings, seal'd to men like us,
Their priests interpret, and their flocks discuss.
But while these gifted men, a favour'd fold,
New powers exhibit and new worlds behold;
Is there not danger lest their minds confound
The pure above them with the gross around?
May not these Phaetons, who thus contrive
'Twixt heaven above and earth beneath to drive,
When from their flaming chariots they descend,
The worlds they visit in their fancies blend?
Alas! too sure on both they bring disgrace,
Their earth is crazy, and their heaven is base.
We have, it seems, who treat, and doubtless well,
Of a chastising not awarding Hell;
Who are assured that an offended God
Will cease to use the thunder and the rod;
A soul on earth, by crime and folly stain'd,
When here corrected has improvement gain'd;
In other state still more improved to grow,
And nobler powers in happier world to know;
New strength to use in each divine employ,
And more enjoying, looking to more joy.
A pleasing vision! could we thus be sure
Polluted souls would be at length so pure;
The view is happy, we may think it just,
It may be true-- but who shall add, it must?
To the plain words and sense of Sacred Writ,
With all my heart I reverently submit;
But where it leaves me doubtful, I'm afraid
To call conjecture to my reason's aid;
Thy thoughts, thy ways, great God! are not as mine,
And to thy mercy I my soul resign.
Jews are with us, but far unlike to those,
Who, led by David, warr'd with Israels foes;
Unlike to those whom his imperial son
Taught truths divine--the Preacher Solomon;
Nor war nor wisdom yield our Jews delight;
They will not study, and they dare not fight.
These are, with us, a slavish, knavish crew,
Shame and dishonour to the name of Jew;
The poorest masters of the meanest arts,
With cunning heads, and cold and cautious hearts;
They grope their dirty way to petty gains,
While poorly paid for their nefarious pains.
Amazing race! deprived of land and laws,
A general language and a public cause;
With a religion none can now obey,
With a reproach that none can take away:
A people still, whose common ties are gone;
Who, mix'd with every race, are lost in none.
What said their Prophet?--'Shouldst thou disobey,
The Lord shall take thee from thy land away;
Thou shalt a by-word and a proverb be,
And all shall wonder at thy woes and thee;
Daughter and son, shalt thou, while captive, have,
And see them made the bond-maid and the slave;
He, whom thou leav'st, the Lord thy God, shall bring
War to thy country on an eagle-wing.
A people strong and dreadful to behold,
Stern to the young, remorseless to the old;
Masters whose speech thou canst not understand
By cruel signs shall give the harsh command:
Doubtful of life shalt thou by night, by day,
For grief, and dread, and trouble pine away;
Thy evening wish,--Would God I saw the sun
Thy morning sigh,--Would God the day were done!
Thus shalt thou suffer, and to distant times
Regret thy misery, and lament thy crimes.'
A part there are, whom doubtless man might trust,
Worthy as wealthy, pure, religious, just;
They who with patience, yet with rapture, look
On the strong promise of the Sacred Book:
As unfulfill'd th' endearing words they view,
And blind to truth, yet own their prophets true;
Well pleased they look for Sion's coming state,
Nor think of Julian's boast and Julian's fate.
More might I add: I might describe the flocks
Made by Seceders from the ancient stocks;
Those who will not to any guide submit,
Nor find one creed to their conceptions fit -
Each sect, they judge, in something goes astray,
And every church has lost the certain way!
Then for themselves they carve out creed and laws,
And weigh their atoms, and divide their straws.
A Sect remains, which, though divided long
In hostile parties, both are fierce and strong,
And into each enlists a warm and zealous throng.
Soon as they rose in fame, the strife arose,
The Calvinistic these, th' Arminian those;
With Wesley some remain'd, the remnant Whitfield chose.
Now various leaders both the parties take,
And the divided hosts their new divisions make.
See yonder Preacher! to his people pass,
Borne up and swell'd by tabernacle-gas:
Much he discourses, and of various points,
All unconnected, void of limbs and joints;
He rails, persuades, explains, and moves the will
By fierce bold words, and strong mechanic skill.
'That Gospel, Paul with zeal and love maintain'd,
To others lost, to you is now explain'd;
No worldly learning can these points discuss,
Books teach them not as they are taught to us.
Illiterate call us!--let their wisest man
Draw forth his thousands as your Teacher can:
They give their moral precepts: so, they say,
Did Epictetus once, and Seneca;
One was a slave, and slaves we all must be,
Until the Spirit comes and sets us free.
Yet hear you nothing from such man but works;
They make the Christian service like the Turks.
'Hark to the Churchman: day by day he cries,
'Children of Men, be virtuous and be wise:
Seek patience, justice, temp'rance, meekness, truth;
In age be courteous, be sedate in youth.' -
So they advise, and when such things be read,
How can we wonder that their flocks are dead?
The Heathens wrote of Virtue: they could dwell
On such light points: in them it might be well;
They might for virtue strive; but I maintain,
Our strife for virtue would be proud and vain.
When Samson carried Gaza's gates so far,
Lack'd he a helping hand to bear the bar?
Thus the most virtuous must in bondage groan:
Samson is grace, and carries all alone.
'Hear you not priests their feeble spirits spend,
In bidding Sinners turn to God, and mend;
To check their passions and to walk aright,
To run the Race, and fight the glorious Fight?
Nay more--to pray, to study, to improve,
To grow in goodness, to advance in love?
'Oh! Babes and Sucklings, dull of heart and slow,
Can Grace be gradual? Can Conversion grow?
The work is done by instantaneous call;
Converts at once are made, or not at all;
Nothing is left to grow, reform, amend,
The first emotion is the Movement's end:
If once forgiven, Debt can be no more;
If once adopted, will the heir be poor?
The man who gains the twenty-thousand prize,
Does he by little and by little rise?
There can no fortune for the Soul be made,
By peddling cares and savings in her trade.
'Why are our sins forgiven?--Priests reply,
- Because by Faith on Mercy we rely;
'Because, believing, we repent and pray.'
Is this their doctrine?--then they go astray;
We're pardon'd neither for belief nor deed,
For faith nor practice, principle nor creed;
Nor for our sorrow for our former sin,
Nor for our fears when better thoughts begin;
Nor prayers nor penance in the cause avail,
All strong remorse, all soft contrition fail:
It is the Call! till that proclaims us free,
In darkness, doubt, and bondage we must be;
Till that assures us, we've in vain endured,
And all is over when we're once assured.
'This is Conversion: --First there comes a cry
Which utters, 'Sinner, thou'rt condemned to die;'
Then the struck soul to every aid repairs,
To church and altar, ministers and prayers;
In vain she strives,--involved, ingulf'd in sin,
She looks for hell, and seems already in:
When in this travail, the New Birth comes on,
And in an instant every pang is gone;
The mighty work is done without our pains, -
Claim but a part, and not a part remains.
'All this experience tells the Soul, and yet
These moral men their pence and farthings set
Against the terrors of the countless Debt;
But such compounders, when they come to jail,
Will find that Virtues never serve as bail.
'So much to duties: now to Learning look,
And see their priesthood piling book on book;
Yea, books of infidels, we're told, and plays,
Put out by heathens in the wink'd-on days;
The very letters are of crooked kind,
And show the strange perverseness of their mind.
Have I this Learning? When the Lord would speak;
Think ye he needs the Latin or the Greek?
And lo! with all their learning, when they rise
To preach, in view the ready sermon lies;
Some low-prized stuff they purchased at the stalls,
And more like Seneca's than mine or Paul's:
Children of Bondage, how should they explain
The Spirit's freedom, while they wear a chain?
They study words, for meanings grow perplex d,
And slowly hunt for truth from text to text,
Through Greek and Hebrew: --we the meaning seek
Of that within, who every tongue can speak:
This all can witness; yet the more I know,
The more a meek and humble mind I show.
'No; let the Pope, the high and mighty priest,
Lord to the poor, and servant to the Beast;
Let bishops, deans, and prebendaries swell
With pride and fatness till their hearts rebel:
I'm meek and modest: --if I could be proud,
This crowded meeting, lo! th' amazing crowd!
Your mute attention, and your meek respect,
My spirit's fervour, and my words' effect,
Might stir th' unguarded soul; and oft to me
The Tempter speaks, whom I compel to flee;
He goes in fear, for he my force has tried, -
Such is my power! but can you call it pride?
'No, Fellow-Pilgrims! of the things I've shown
I might be proud, were they indeed my own!
But they are lent: and well you know the source
Of all that's mine, and must confide of course:
Mine! no, I err; 'tis but consigned to me,
And I am nought but steward and trustee.'

--------------------------
FAR other Doctrines yon Arminian speaks;
'Seek Grace,' he cries, 'for he shall find who seeks.'
This is the ancient stock by Wesley led;
They the pure body, he the reverend head:
All innovation they with dread decline,
Their John the elder was the John divine.
Hence, still their moving prayer, the melting hymn,
The varied accent, and the active limb:
Hence that implicit faith in Satan's might,
And their own matchless prowess in the fight.
In every act they see that lurking foe,
Let loose awhile, about the world to go;
A dragon flying round the earth, to kill
The heavenly hope, and prompt the carnal will;
Whom sainted knights attack in sinners' cause,
And force the wounded victim from his paws;
Who but for them would man's whole race subdue,
For not a hireling will the foe pursue.
'Show me one Churchman who will rise and pray
Through half the night, though lab'ring all the day,
Always abounding--show me him, I say:' -
Thus cries the Preacher, and he adds, 'Their sheep
Satan devours at leisure as they sleep.
Not so with us; we drive him from the fold,
For ever barking and for ever bold:
While they securely slumber, all his schemes
Take full effect,--the Devil never dreams:
Watchful and changeful through the world he goes,
And few can trace this deadliest of their foes;
But I detect, and at his work surprise
The subtle Serpent under all disguise.
'Thus to Man's soul the Foe of Souls will speak,
- 'A Saint elect, you can have nought to seek;
Why all this labour in so plain a case,
Such care to run, when certain of the race?'
All this he urges to the carnal will,
He knows you're slothful, and would have you still:
Be this your answer,--'Satan, I will keep
Still on the watch till you are laid asleep.'
Thus too the Christian's progress he'll retard: -
'The gates of mercy are for ever barr'd;
And that with bolts so driven and so stout,
Ten thousand workmen cannot wrench them out.'
To this deceit you have but one reply, -
Give to the Father of all Lies the lie.
'A Sister's weakness he'll by fits surprise,
His her wild laughter, his her piteous cries;
And should a pastor at her side attend,
He'll use her organs to abuse her friend:
These are possessions--unbelieving wits
Impute them all to Nature: 'They're her fits,
Caused by commotions in tne nerves and brains;' -
Vain talk! but they'll be fitted for their pains.
'These are in part the ills the Foe has wrought,
And these the Churchman thinks not worth his thought;
They bid the troubled try for peace and rest,
Compose their minds, and be no more distress'd;
As well might they command the passive shore
To keep secure, and be o'erflow'd no more;
To the wrong subject is their skill applied, -
To act like workmen, they should stem the tide.
'These are the Church-Physicians: they are paid
With noble fees for their advice and aid;
Yet know they not the inward pulse to feel,
To ease the anguish, or the wound to heal.
With the sick Sinner, thus their work begins:
'Do you repent you of your former sins?
Will you amend if you revive and live?
And, pardon seeking, will you pardon give?
Have you belief in what your Lord has done,
And are you thankful?--all is well my son.'
'A way far different ours--we thus surprise
A soul with questions, and demand replies:
'How dropp'd you first,' I ask, 'the legal Yoke?
What the first word the living Witness spoke?
Perceived you thunders roar and lightnings shine,
And tempests gathering ere the Birth divine?
Did fire, and storm, and earthquake all appear
Before that still small voice, What dost thou here?
Hast thou by day and night, and soon and late,
Waited and watch'd before Admission-gate;
And so a pilgrim and a soldier pass'd
To Sion's hill through battle and through blast?
Then in thy way didst thou thy foe attack,
And mad'st thou proud Apollyon turn his back?'
'Heart-searching things are these, and shake the mind,
Yea, like the rustling of a mighty wind.
'Thus would I ask: 'Nay, let me question now,
How sink my sayings in your bosoms? how?
Feel you a quickening? drops the subject deep?
Stupid and stony, no! you're all asleep;
Listless and lazy, waiting for a close,
As if at church;--do I allow repose?
Am I a legal minister? do I
With form or rubric, rule or rite comply?
Then whence this quiet, tell me, I beseech?
One might believe you heard your Rector preach,
Or his assistant dreamer: --Oh! return,
Ye times of burning, when the heart would burn;
Now hearts are ice, and you, my freezing fold,
Have spirits sunk and sad, and bosoms stony-cold.
'Oh! now again for those prevailing powers,
Which, once began this mighty work of ours;
When the wide field, God's Temple, was the place,
And birds flew by to catch a breath of grace;
When 'mid his timid friends and threat'ning foes,
Our zealous chief as Paul at Athens rose:
When with infernal spite and knotty clubs
The Ill-One arm'd his scoundrels and his scrubs;
And there were flying all around the spot
Brands at the Preacher, but they touch'd him not:
Stakes brought to smite him, threaten'd in his cause,
And tongues, attuned to curses, roar'd applause;
Louder and louder grew his awful tones,
Sobbing and sighs were heard, and rueful groans;
Soft women fainted, prouder man express'd
Wonder and woe, and butchers smote the breast;
Eyes wept, ears tingled; stiff'ning on each head,
The hair drew back, and Satan howl'd and fled.
'In that soft season when the gentle breeze
Rises all round, and swells by slow degrees;
Till tempests gather, when through all the sky
The thunders rattle, and the lightnings fly;
When rain in torrents wood and vale deform,
And all is horror, hurricane, and storm:
'So, when the Preacher in that glorious time,
Than clouds more melting, more than storm sublime,
Dropp'd the new Word, there came a charm around;
Tremors and terrors rose upon the sound;
The stubborn spirits by his force he broke,
As the fork'd lightning rives the knotted oak:
Fear, hope, dismay, all signs of shame or grace,
Chain'd every foot, or featured every face;
Then took his sacred trump a louder swell,
And now they groan'd, they sicken'd, and they fell;
Again he sounded, and we heard the cry
Of the Word-wounded, as about to die;
Further and further spread the conquering word,
As loud he cried--'The Battle of the Lord.'
E'en those apart who were the sound denied,
Fell down instinctive, and in spirit died.
Nor stay'd he yet--his eye, his frown, his speech,
His very gesture, had a power to teach:
With outstretch'd arms, strong voice, and piercing call,
He won the field, and made the Dagons fall;
And thus in triumph took his glorious way,
Through scenes of horror, terror, and dismay.'

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Homer

The Odyssey: Book 11

Then, when we had got down to the sea shore we drew our ship into
the water and got her mast and sails into her; we also put the sheep
on board and took our places, weeping and in great distress of mind.
Circe, that great and cunning goddess, sent us a fair wind that blew
dead aft and stayed steadily with us keeping our sails all the time
well filled; so we did whatever wanted doing to the ship's gear and
let her go as the wind and helmsman headed her. All day long her sails
were full as she held her course over the sea, but when the sun went
down and darkness was over all the earth, we got into the deep
waters of the river Oceanus, where lie the land and city of the
Cimmerians who live enshrouded in mist and darkness which the rays
of the sun never pierce neither at his rising nor as he goes down
again out of the heavens, but the poor wretches live in one long
melancholy night. When we got there we beached the ship, took the
sheep out of her, and went along by the waters of Oceanus till we came
to the place of which Circe had told us.
"Here Perimedes and Eurylochus held the victims, while I drew my
sword and dug the trench a cubit each way. I made a drink-offering
to all the dead, first with honey and milk, then with wine, and
thirdly with water, and I sprinkled white barley meal over the
whole, praying earnestly to the poor feckless ghosts, and promising
them that when I got back to Ithaca I would sacrifice a barren
heifer for them, the best I had, and would load the pyre with good
things. I also particularly promised that Teiresias should have a
black sheep to himself, the best in all my flocks. When I had prayed
sufficiently to the dead, I cut the throats of the two sheep and let
the blood run into the trench, whereon the ghosts came trooping up
from Erebus- brides, young bachelors, old men worn out with toil,
maids who had been crossed in love, and brave men who had been
killed in battle, with their armour still smirched with blood; they
came from every quarter and flitted round the trench with a strange
kind of screaming sound that made me turn pale with fear. When I saw
them coming I told the men to be quick and flay the carcasses of the
two dead sheep and make burnt offerings of them, and at the same
time to repeat prayers to Hades and to Proserpine; but I sat where I
was with my sword drawn and would not let the poor feckless ghosts
come near the blood till Teiresias should have answered my questions.
"The first ghost 'that came was that of my comrade Elpenor, for he
had not yet been laid beneath the earth. We had left his body
unwaked and unburied in Circe's house, for we had had too much else to
do. I was very sorry for him, and cried when I saw him: 'Elpenor,'
said I, 'how did you come down here into this gloom and darkness?
You have here on foot quicker than I have with my ship.'
"'Sir,' he answered with a groan, 'it was all bad luck, and my own
unspeakable drunkenness. I was lying asleep on the top of Circe's
house, and never thought of coming down again by the great staircase
but fell right off the roof and broke my neck, so my soul down to
the house of Hades. And now I beseech you by all those whom you have
left behind you, though they are not here, by your wife, by the father
who brought you up when you were a child, and by Telemachus who is the
one hope of your house, do what I shall now ask you. I know that
when you leave this limbo you will again hold your ship for the Aeaean
island. Do not go thence leaving me unwaked and unburied behind you,
or I may bring heaven's anger upon you; but burn me with whatever
armour I have, build a barrow for me on the sea shore, that may tell
people in days to come what a poor unlucky fellow I was, and plant
over my grave the oar I used to row with when I was yet alive and with
my messmates.' And I said, 'My poor fellow, I will do all that you
have asked of me.'
"Thus, then, did we sit and hold sad talk with one another, I on the
one side of the trench with my sword held over the blood, and the
ghost of my comrade saying all this to me from the other side. Then
came the ghost of my dead mother Anticlea, daughter to Autolycus. I
had left her alive when I set out for Troy and was moved to tears when
I saw her, but even so, for all my sorrow I would not let her come
near the blood till I had asked my questions of Teiresias.
"Then came also the ghost of Theban Teiresias, with his golden
sceptre in his hand. He knew me and said, 'Ulysses, noble son of
Laertes, why, poor man, have you left the light of day and come down
to visit the dead in this sad place? Stand back from the trench and
withdraw your sword that I may drink of the blood and answer your
questions truly.'
"So I drew back, and sheathed my sword, whereon when he had drank of
the blood he began with his prophecy.
"You want to know,' said he, 'about your return home, but heaven
will make this hard for you. I do not think that you will escape the
eye of Neptune, who still nurses his bitter grudge against you for
having blinded his son. Still, after much suffering you may get home
if you can restrain yourself and your companions when your ship
reaches the Thrinacian island, where you will find the sheep and
cattle belonging to the sun, who sees and gives ear to everything.
If you leave these flocks unharmed and think of nothing but of getting
home, you may yet after much hardship reach Ithaca; but if you harm
them, then I forewarn you of the destruction both of your ship and
of your men. Even though you may yourself escape, you will return in
bad plight after losing all your men, [in another man's ship, and
you will find trouble in your house, which will be overrun by
high-handed people, who are devouring your substance under the pretext
of paying court and making presents to your wife.
"'When you get home you will take your revenge on these suitors; and
after you have killed them by force or fraud in your own house, you
must take a well-made oar and carry it on and on, till you come to a
country where the people have never heard of the sea and do not even
mix salt with their food, nor do they know anything about ships, and
oars that are as the wings of a ship. I will give you this certain
token which cannot escape your notice. A wayfarer will meet you and
will say it must be a winnowing shovel that you have got upon your
shoulder; on this you must fix the oar in the ground and sacrifice a
ram, a bull, and a boar to Neptune. Then go home and offer hecatombs
to an the gods in heaven one after the other. As for yourself, death
shall come to you from the sea, and your life shall ebb away very
gently when you are full of years and peace of mind, and your people
shall bless you. All that I have said will come true].'
"'This,' I answered, 'must be as it may please heaven, but tell me
and tell me and tell me true, I see my poor mother's ghost close by
us; she is sitting by the blood without saying a word, and though I am
her own son she does not remember me and speak to me; tell me, Sir,
how I can make her know me.'
"'That,' said he, 'I can soon do Any ghost that you let taste of the
blood will talk with you like a reasonable being, but if you do not
let them have any blood they will go away again.'
"On this the ghost of Teiresias went back to the house of Hades, for
his prophecyings had now been spoken, but I sat still where I was
until my mother came up and tasted the blood. Then she knew me at once
and spoke fondly to me, saying, 'My son, how did you come down to this
abode of darkness while you are still alive? It is a hard thing for
the living to see these places, for between us and them there are
great and terrible waters, and there is Oceanus, which no man can
cross on foot, but he must have a good ship to take him. Are you all
this time trying to find your way home from Troy, and have you never
yet got back to Ithaca nor seen your wife in your own house?'
"'Mother,' said I, 'I was forced to come here to consult the ghost
of the Theban prophet Teiresias. I have never yet been near the
Achaean land nor set foot on my native country, and I have had nothing
but one long series of misfortunes from the very first day that I
set out with Agamemnon for Ilius, the land of noble steeds, to fight
the Trojans. But tell me, and tell me true, in what way did you die?
Did you have a long illness, or did heaven vouchsafe you a gentle easy
passage to eternity? Tell me also about my father, and the son whom
I left behind me; is my property still in their hands, or has some one
else got hold of it, who thinks that I shall not return to claim it?
Tell me again what my wife intends doing, and in what mind she is;
does she live with my son and guard my estate securely, or has she
made the best match she could and married again?'
"My mother answered, 'Your wife still remains in your house, but she
is in great distress of mind and spends her whole time in tears both
night and day. No one as yet has got possession of your fine property,
and Telemachus still holds your lands undisturbed. He has to entertain
largely, as of course he must, considering his position as a
magistrate, and how every one invites him; your father remains at
his old place in the country and never goes near the town. He has no
comfortable bed nor bedding; in the winter he sleeps on the floor in
front of the fire with the men and goes about all in rags, but in
summer, when the warm weather comes on again, he lies out in the
vineyard on a bed of vine leaves thrown anyhow upon the ground. He
grieves continually about your never having come home, and suffers
more and more as he grows older. As for my own end it was in this
wise: heaven did not take me swiftly and painlessly in my own house,
nor was I attacked by any illness such as those that generally wear
people out and kill them, but my longing to know what you were doing
and the force of my affection for you- this it was that was the
death of me.'
"Then I tried to find some way of embracing my mother's ghost.
Thrice I sprang towards her and tried to clasp her in my arms, but
each time she flitted from my embrace as it were a dream or phantom,
and being touched to the quick I said to her, 'Mother, why do you
not stay still when I would embrace you? If we could throw our arms
around one another we might find sad comfort in the sharing of our
sorrows even in the house of Hades; does Proserpine want to lay a
still further load of grief upon me by mocking me with a phantom
only?'
"'My son,' she answered, 'most ill-fated of all mankind, it is not
Proserpine that is beguiling you, but all people are like this when
they are dead. The sinews no longer hold the flesh and bones together;
these perish in the fierceness of consuming fire as soon as life has
left the body, and the soul flits away as though it were a dream. Now,
however, go back to the light of day as soon as you can, and note
all these things that you may tell them to your wife hereafter.'
"Thus did we converse, and anon Proserpine sent up the ghosts of the
wives and daughters of all the most famous men. They gathered in
crowds about the blood, and I considered how I might question them
severally. In the end I deemed that it would be best to draw the
keen blade that hung by my sturdy thigh, and keep them from all
drinking the blood at once. So they came up one after the other, and
each one as I questioned her told me her race and lineage.
"The first I saw was Tyro. She was daughter of Salmoneus and wife of
Cretheus the son of Aeolus. She fell in love with the river Enipeus
who is much the most beautiful river in the whole world. Once when she
was taking a walk by his side as usual, Neptune, disguised as her
lover, lay with her at the mouth of the river, and a huge blue wave
arched itself like a mountain over them to hide both woman and god,
whereon he loosed her virgin girdle and laid her in a deep slumber.
When the god had accomplished the deed of love, he took her hand in
his own and said, 'Tyro, rejoice in all good will; the embraces of the
gods are not fruitless, and you will have fine twins about this time
twelve months. Take great care of them. I am Neptune, so now go
home, but hold your tongue and do not tell any one.'
"Then he dived under the sea, and she in due course bore Pelias
and Neleus, who both of them served Jove with all their might.
Pelias was a great breeder of sheep and lived in Iolcus, but the other
lived in Pylos. The rest of her children were by Cretheus, namely,
Aeson, Pheres, and Amythaon, who was a mighty warrior and charioteer.
"Next to her I saw Antiope, daughter to Asopus, who could boast of
having slept in the arms of even Jove himself, and who bore him two
sons Amphion and Zethus. These founded Thebes with its seven gates,
and built a wall all round it; for strong though they were they
could not hold Thebes till they had walled it.
"Then I saw Alcmena, the wife of Amphitryon, who also bore to Jove
indomitable Hercules; and Megara who was daughter to great King Creon,
and married the redoubtable son of Amphitryon.
"I also saw fair Epicaste mother of king OEdipodes whose awful lot
it was to marry her own son without suspecting it. He married her
after having killed his father, but the gods proclaimed the whole
story to the world; whereon he remained king of Thebes, in great grief
for the spite the gods had borne him; but Epicaste went to the house
of the mighty jailor Hades, having hanged herself for grief, and the
avenging spirits haunted him as for an outraged mother- to his ruing
bitterly thereafter.
"Then I saw Chloris, whom Neleus married for her beauty, having
given priceless presents for her. She was youngest daughter to Amphion
son of Iasus and king of Minyan Orchomenus, and was Queen in Pylos.
She bore Nestor, Chromius, and Periclymenus, and she also bore that
marvellously lovely woman Pero, who was wooed by all the country
round; but Neleus would only give her to him who should raid the
cattle of Iphicles from the grazing grounds of Phylace, and this was a
hard task. The only man who would undertake to raid them was a certain
excellent seer, but the will of heaven was against him, for the
rangers of the cattle caught him and put him in prison; nevertheless
when a full year had passed and the same season came round again,
Iphicles set him at liberty, after he had expounded all the oracles of
heaven. Thus, then, was the will of Jove accomplished.
"And I saw Leda the wife of Tyndarus, who bore him two famous
sons, Castor breaker of horses, and Pollux the mighty boxer. Both
these heroes are lying under the earth, though they are still alive,
for by a special dispensation of Jove, they die and come to life
again, each one of them every other day throughout all time, and
they have the rank of gods.
"After her I saw Iphimedeia wife of Aloeus who boasted the embrace
of Neptune. She bore two sons Otus and Ephialtes, but both were
short lived. They were the finest children that were ever born in this
world, and the best looking, Orion only excepted; for at nine years
old they were nine fathoms high, and measured nine cubits round the
chest. They threatened to make war with the gods in Olympus, and tried
to set Mount Ossa on the top of Mount Olympus, and Mount Pelion on the
top of Ossa, that they might scale heaven itself, and they would
have done it too if they had been grown up, but Apollo, son of Leto,
killed both of them, before they had got so much as a sign of hair
upon their cheeks or chin.
"Then I saw Phaedra, and Procris, and fair Ariadne daughter of the
magician Minos, whom Theseus was carrying off from Crete to Athens,
but he did not enjoy her, for before he could do so Diana killed her
in the island of Dia on account of what Bacchus had said against her.
"I also saw Maera and Clymene and hateful Eriphyle, who sold her own
husband for gold. But it would take me all night if I were to name
every single one of the wives and daughters of heroes whom I saw,
and it is time for me to go to bed, either on board ship with my crew,
or here. As for my escort, heaven and yourselves will see to it."
Here he ended, and the guests sat all of them enthralled and
speechless throughout the covered cloister. Then Arete said to them:
"What do you think of this man, O Phaecians? Is he not tall and good
looking, and is he not Clever? True, he is my own guest, but all of
you share in the distinction. Do not he a hurry to send him away,
nor niggardly in the presents you make to one who is in such great
need, for heaven has blessed all of you with great abundance."
Then spoke the aged hero Echeneus who was one of the oldest men
among them, "My friends," said he, "what our august queen has just
said to us is both reasonable and to the purpose, therefore be
persuaded by it; but the decision whether in word or deed rests
ultimately with King Alcinous."
"The thing shall be done," exclaimed Alcinous, "as surely as I still
live and reign over the Phaeacians. Our guest is indeed very anxious
to get home, still we must persuade him to remain with us until
to-morrow, by which time I shall be able to get together the whole sum
that I mean to give him. As regards- his escort it will be a matter
for you all, and mine above all others as the chief person among you."
And Ulysses answered, "King Alcinous, if you were to bid me to
stay here for a whole twelve months, and then speed me on my way,
loaded with your noble gifts, I should obey you gladly and it would
redound greatly to my advantage, for I should return fuller-handed
to my own people, and should thus be more respected and beloved by all
who see me when I get back to Ithaca."
"Ulysses," replied Alcinous, "not one of us who sees you has any
idea that you are a charlatan or a swindler. I know there are many
people going about who tell such plausible stories that it is very
hard to see through them, but there is a style about your language
which assures me of your good disposition. Moreover you have told
the story of your own misfortunes, and those of the Argives, as though
you were a practised bard; but tell me, and tell me true, whether
you saw any of the mighty heroes who went to Troy at the same time
with yourself, and perished there. The evenings are still at their
longest, and it is not yet bed time- go on, therefore, with your
divine story, for I could stay here listening till to-morrow
morning, so long as you will continue to tell us of your adventures."
"Alcinous," answered Ulysses, "there is a time for making
speeches, and a time for going to bed; nevertheless, since you so
desire, I will not refrain from telling you the still sadder tale of
those of my comrades who did not fall fighting with the Trojans, but
perished on their return, through the treachery of a wicked woman.
"When Proserpine had dismissed the female ghosts in all
directions, the ghost of Agamemnon son of Atreus came sadly up tome,
surrounded by those who had perished with him in the house of
Aegisthus. As soon as he had tasted the blood he knew me, and
weeping bitterly stretched out his arms towards me to embrace me;
but he had no strength nor substance any more, and I too wept and
pitied him as I beheld him. 'How did you come by your death,' said
I, 'King Agamemnon? Did Neptune raise his winds and waves against
you when you were at sea, or did your enemies make an end of you on
the mainland when you were cattle-lifting or sheep-stealing, or
while they were fighting in defence of their wives and city?'
"'Ulysses,' he answered, 'noble son of Laertes, was not lost at
sea in any storm of Neptune's raising, nor did my foes despatch me
upon the mainland, but Aegisthus and my wicked wife were the death
of me between them. He asked me to his house, feasted me, and then
butchered me most miserably as though I were a fat beast in a
slaughter house, while all around me my comrades were slain like sheep
or pigs for the wedding breakfast, or picnic, or gorgeous banquet of
some great nobleman. You must have seen numbers of men killed either
in a general engagement, or in single combat, but you never saw
anything so truly pitiable as the way in which we fell in that
cloister, with the mixing-bowl and the loaded tables lying all
about, and the ground reeking with our-blood. I heard Priam's daughter
Cassandra scream as Clytemnestra killed her close beside me. I lay
dying upon the earth with the sword in my body, and raised my hands to
kill the slut of a murderess, but she slipped away from me; she
would not even close my lips nor my eyes when I was dying, for there
is nothing in this world so cruel and so shameless as a woman when she
has fallen into such guilt as hers was. Fancy murdering her own
husband! I thought I was going to be welcomed home by my children
and my servants, but her abominable crime has brought disgrace on
herself and all women who shall come after- even on the good ones.'
"And I said, 'In truth Jove has hated the house of Atreus from first
to last in the matter of their women's counsels. See how many of us
fell for Helen's sake, and now it seems that Clytemnestra hatched
mischief against too during your absence.'
"'Be sure, therefore,' continued Agamemnon, 'and not be too friendly
even with your own wife. Do not tell her all that you know perfectly
well yourself. Tell her a part only, and keep your own counsel about
the rest. Not that your wife, Ulysses, is likely to murder you, for
Penelope is a very admirable woman, and has an excellent nature. We
left her a young bride with an infant at her breast when we set out
for Troy. This child no doubt is now grown up happily to man's estate,
and he and his father will have a joyful meeting and embrace one
another as it is right they should do, whereas my wicked wife did
not even allow me the happiness of looking upon my son, but killed
me ere I could do so. Furthermore I say- and lay my saying to your
heart- do not tell people when you are bringing your ship to Ithaca,
but steal a march upon them, for after all this there is no trusting
women. But now tell me, and tell me true, can you give me any news
of my son Orestes? Is he in Orchomenus, or at Pylos, or is he at
Sparta with Menelaus- for I presume that he is still living.'
"And I said, 'Agamemnon, why do you ask me? I do not know whether
your son is alive or dead, and it is not right to talk when one does
not know.'
"As we two sat weeping and talking thus sadly with one another the
ghost of Achilles came up to us with Patroclus, Antilochus, and Ajax
who was the finest and goodliest man of all the Danaans after the
son of Peleus. The fleet descendant of Aeacus knew me and spoke
piteously, saying, 'Ulysses, noble son of Laertes, what deed of daring
will you undertake next, that you venture down to the house of Hades
among us silly dead, who are but the ghosts of them that can labour no
more?'
"And I said, 'Achilles, son of Peleus, foremost champion of the
Achaeans, I came to consult Teiresias, and see if he could advise me
about my return home to Ithaca, for I have never yet been able to
get near the Achaean land, nor to set foot in my own country, but have
been in trouble all the time. As for you, Achilles, no one was ever
yet so fortunate as you have been, nor ever will be, for you were
adored by all us Argives as long as you were alive, and now that you
are here you are a great prince among the dead. Do not, therefore,
take it so much to heart even if you are dead.'
"'Say not a word,' he answered, 'in death's favour; I would rather
be a paid servant in a poor man's house and be above ground than
king of kings among the dead. But give me news about son; is he gone
to the wars and will he be a great soldier, or is this not so? Tell me
also if you have heard anything about my father Peleus- does he
still rule among the Myrmidons, or do they show him no respect
throughout Hellas and Phthia now that he is old and his limbs fail
him? Could I but stand by his side, in the light of day, with the same
strength that I had when I killed the bravest of our foes upon the
plain of Troy- could I but be as I then was and go even for a short
time to my father's house, any one who tried to do him violence or
supersede him would soon me it.'
"'I have heard nothing,' I answered, 'of Peleus, but I can tell
you all about your son Neoptolemus, for I took him in my own ship from
Scyros with the Achaeans. In our councils of war before Troy he was
always first to speak, and his judgement was unerring. Nestor and I
were the only two who could surpass him; and when it came to
fighting on the plain of Troy, he would never remain with the body
of his men, but would dash on far in front, foremost of them all in
valour. Many a man did he kill in battle- I cannot name every single
one of those whom he slew while fighting on the side of the Argives,
but will only say how he killed that valiant hero Eurypylus son of
Telephus, who was the handsomest man I ever saw except Memnon; many
others also of the Ceteians fell around him by reason of a woman's
bribes. Moreover, when all the bravest of the Argives went inside
the horse that Epeus had made, and it was left to me to settle when we
should either open the door of our ambuscade, or close it, though
all the other leaders and chief men among the Danaans were drying
their eyes and quaking in every limb, I never once saw him turn pale
nor wipe a tear from his cheek; he was all the time urging me to break
out from the horse- grasping the handle of his sword and his
bronze-shod spear, and breathing fury against the foe. Yet when we had
sacked the city of Priam he got his handsome share of the prize
money and went on board (such is the fortune of war) without a wound
upon him, neither from a thrown spear nor in close combat, for the
rage of Mars is a matter of great chance.'
"When I had told him this, the ghost of Achilles strode off across a
meadow full of asphodel, exulting over what I had said concerning
the prowess of his son.
"The ghosts of other dead men stood near me and told me each his own
melancholy tale; but that of Ajax son of Telamon alone held aloof-
still angry with me for having won the cause in our dispute about
the armour of Achilles. Thetis had offered it as a prize, but the
Trojan prisoners and Minerva were the judges. Would that I had never
gained the day in such a contest, for it cost the life of Ajax, who
was foremost of all the Danaans after the son of Peleus, alike in
stature and prowess.
"When I saw him I tried to pacify him and said, 'Ajax, will you
not forget and forgive even in death, but must the judgement about
that hateful armour still rankle with you? It cost us Argives dear
enough to lose such a tower of strength as you were to us. We
mourned you as much as we mourned Achilles son of Peleus himself,
nor can the blame be laid on anything but on the spite which Jove bore
against the Danaans, for it was this that made him counsel your
destruction- come hither, therefore, bring your proud spirit into
subjection, and hear what I can tell you.'
"He would not answer, but turned away to Erebus and to the other
ghosts; nevertheless, I should have made him talk to me in spite of
his being so angry, or I should have gone talking to him, only that
there were still others among the dead whom I desired to see.
"Then I saw Minos son of Jove with his golden sceptre in his hand
sitting in judgement on the dead, and the ghosts were gathered sitting
and standing round him in the spacious house of Hades, to learn his
sentences upon them.
"After him I saw huge Orion in a meadow full of asphodel driving the
ghosts of the wild beasts that he had killed upon the mountains, and
he had a great bronze club in his hand, unbreakable for ever and ever.
"And I saw Tityus son of Gaia stretched upon the plain and
covering some nine acres of ground. Two vultures on either side of him
were digging their beaks into his liver, and he kept on trying to beat
them off with his hands, but could not; for he had violated Jove's
mistress Leto as she was going through Panopeus on her way to Pytho.
"I saw also the dreadful fate of Tantalus, who stood in a lake
that reached his chin; he was dying to quench his thirst, but could
never reach the water, for whenever the poor creature stooped to
drink, it dried up and vanished, so that there was nothing but dry
ground- parched by the spite of heaven. There were tall trees,
moreover, that shed their fruit over his head- pears, pomegranates,
apples, sweet figs and juicy olives, but whenever the poor creature
stretched out his hand to take some, the wind tossed the branches back
again to the clouds.
"And I saw Sisyphus at his endless task raising his prodigious stone
with both his hands. With hands and feet he' tried to roll it up to
the top of the hill, but always, just before he could roll it over
on to the other side, its weight would be too much for him, and the
pitiless stone would come thundering down again on to the plain.
Then he would begin trying to push it up hill again, and the sweat ran
off him and the steam rose after him.
"After him I saw mighty Hercules, but it was his phantom only, for
he is feasting ever with the immortal gods, and has lovely Hebe to
wife, who is daughter of Jove and Juno. The ghosts were screaming
round him like scared birds flying all whithers. He looked black as
night with his bare bow in his hands and his arrow on the string,
glaring around as though ever on the point of taking aim. About his
breast there was a wondrous golden belt adorned in the most marvellous
fashion with bears, wild boars, and lions with gleaming eyes; there
was also war, battle, and death. The man who made that belt, do what
he might, would never be able to make another like it. Hercules knew
me at once when he saw me, and spoke piteously, saying, my poor
Ulysses, noble son of Laertes, are you too leading the same sorry kind
of life that I did when I was above ground? I was son of Jove, but I
went through an infinity of suffering, for I became bondsman to one
who was far beneath me- a low fellow who set me all manner of labours.
He once sent me here to fetch the hell-hound- for he did not think
he could find anything harder for me than this, but I got the hound
out of Hades and brought him to him, for Mercury and Minerva helped
me.'
"On this Hercules went down again into the house of Hades, but I
stayed where I was in case some other of the mighty dead should come
to me. And I should have seen still other of them that are gone
before, whom I would fain have seen- Theseus and Pirithous glorious
children of the gods, but so many thousands of ghosts came round me
and uttered such appalling cries, that I was panic stricken lest
Proserpine should send up from the house of Hades the head of that
awful monster Gorgon. On this I hastened back to my ship and ordered
my men to go on board at once and loose the hawsers; so they
embarked and took their places, whereon the ship went down the
stream of the river Oceanus. We had to row at first, but presently a
fair wind sprang up.

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You Just Can't

You can't make someone love you.
You can only stalk them and hope for the best.
No matter how much you love them, you just can't make them love you.

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