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Mercy on me

My body now worn and riddled with pain

FATHER have mercy on me, LORD have mercy on me

Your hand on my life even before my first breath

FATHER of my life, LORD of the wholeness of my life

My life entirely in Your hands

I do not question why my suffering

FATHER Your healing hands on me, LORD Your healing hands on me

My faith and trust in You always

FATHER the author of my being, LORD Your grace upon me

No blame, my life is in You

Your Grace keeps me from long lonely nights

FATHER Your presence comforts me, LORD Your peace in me

Loneliness will never defeat me

FATHER of everlasting love, LORD Your sacrifice in love

Humbled, I surrender to You

Though my breathing becomes harder

FATHER Your breath in me, Lord Your life in me

My eyes become dim, and life escapes me

FATHER, the giver of life, LORD, the healer of my being

Your healing in me, now and forever

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Patrick White

O My Mother, O My Father

O my mother, O my father,
I stand at this Y in the road,
the hybrid son of an angel and a demon,
two halves of the same chromosome
splitting like the left side of my brain
as a squad car took, you, my father, to jail,
and you, my mother, my right half,
were rushed in an ambulance,
a bruised and battered rose to emergency
as if you'd just barely survived
a hailstorm of meters intent
on making your species extinct.
And it was hard to tell if flesh of my flesh
blood of my blood meant the same as
flesh upon flesh with a dull thud
upon the untempered anvil of a child's heart,
or not. So is it any wonder
when you split the atom that day between you
like Charles Manson and Mother Theresa
and our nuclear family turned out to be
despite Leucippus and Democritus,
fissile material in a radioactive meltdown,
wholly divisible into the infinite wavelengths
that weep like shattered mirrors
with splinters of stars in their eyes
for things they wished they'd never seen.
So is it any wonder I've been
this photon in exile ever since,
this candle that got knocked off the balcony
like a potted geranium of blood
where Romeo declared his love of Juliet
out into this storm that's been trying
to blow me out ever since in the pelting rain?
I've hung onto to that flame
like the rag of fire I was swaddled in
as my natural birthright ever since
like a withered leaf on a maple tree
in the dead of a bird-killing winter.
Strange, isn't it, when a circus
comes to your homelessness
to put up tents where surrealistic clowns
laugh at a childhood in distress
as if it were some kind of joke
you weren't let in on?
And I doubt at this late date
I'll ever know what to make of it
whenever it stares me straight in the heart
and I'm brutally clear enough
not to let my vision of it be smudged
by either hatred or compassion
or the chromatic aberration
of peripheral ideals drowning in wishing wells
like flies in a toilet bowl
love's too dainty to rescue
and the saints are too lazy to save.
Is it any wonder then O my mother, O my father
that I have become this silver-tongued
shape-shifting snake with
a graceful way of twisting things
and haut-couture tattoos on my back
I earned in a radioactive snake-pit
of high-maintenance wavelengths?
That my tongue should be as forked
as three-tined lightning in the mouth
of Hermes the Thrice-Blessed
bearing alphabets to expectant mothers
in a crane-bag of occult grammars,
prophetic as a witching wand
looking for water on the moon,
a split hair, the sacred meeting place
where rivers were enjoined
like bloodstreams of native tribes
to sit around the same council fire
and share the same heart.
That it's a slingshot that can slay Goliath
square in the third eye from anywhere.
Two roads that diverged in a yellow wood
and I took neither one.
The split ends of one strong rope of a language
that was frayed into two
like a Manichean conception of good and evil
or the wishbone of a broken filament,
the death of a nanocosmic chandelier
that sings like tiny birds in the morning
when you shake it close to your ear
like a seashell or a crystal skull
to see if it's still alive or not?
Blue Flower. Black Dog.
Chicory. A junkyard wolf.
Not two. Not two. Not two.
And I tell myself the brightest lights
like dreams and wine and stars
are all seasoned by the dark.
What else can I do
what else can I say to myself
to heal the wounded myth of origins
I received from you, O my mother,
O my father, but lie down like a bridge
by the edge of a river of stars,
a bridge of scars
with only one bank, one foot,
one overturned lifeboat,
one pillar of quicksand to stand on,
the sound of one hand clapping
like applause when no one's listening
that I've made it this far
like the apostate of the raging heresy
that's gone on bleeding ever since
however much holy oil I spread
on the head of the crucified dove
nailed by a slingshot when the T of the cross
where my father's loins hung
like two thieves either side of him
like the unblessed soil
of the ground he walked on
and the people he crushed underfoot
like the cosmic eggs of the skylarks
as if they were nothing but skulls on the moon
one thumb up and one thumb down
like the torches in the hands of the dadaphors
celebrating the Roman New Year,
one thief cursed, and the other
yet to be forgiven. Changed one day
for reasons that are well beyond me
and I intend to keep that way
to the Y of my mother's delta
that flooded like the Nile
every day of my heretical childhood
with tears, the silt of stars, the dust
of unfinished pyramids
that kept us nourished through
those long lonely nights of famine
we ate bitter bread together
and cracked burnt bones
like koans and fortune-cookies
around the kitchen table
to get at the hot marrow of the matter
without burning our fingers and mouths
as we stared for hours
at the patterns on the worn linoleum
without saying a word
as if we were Neanderthals
who'd just stumbled upon a secret cave
of sacred Cro Magnon finger paintings of us.
Back in those days, back in those nights,
when it all seemed so natural back then
before we lost our innocence to comparison,
to have been littered by a Roman wolf-mother
who had driven my father
like a jackal in a lion's hide
with the soul of a scavenger
off what remained
of the carcass of her marriage
to feed her young
and keep them from being eaten
by the likes of him or any other man
for that matter, in her eyes,
though I remember how
it used to terrify me
in a cold sweat for sleepless starless hours
of living a waking nightmare in bed
after all the lights had gone out
that one day I would have to betray her
like her son, Judas,
with thirty moons of silver in my hand,
by telling her against my will
that I was becoming one.
I was becoming a man
and there was nothing I could do about it
except drive myself away from the pride
not knowing in my heart of hearts
whether I was a lion in the wilderness
or a scapegoat that had just cleansed
the sins of the tribes
as if they were my own to bear
for the rest of my life
like a debt to you, O my mother,
my beautiful, savage,
pagan godsend of a mother,
with the soul of a moonrise
and the heart of a gypsy artist in partial eclipse
and your crescents withdrawn like claws
and no blood on the thorns of your rose
when we were happy together, remember,
like weeds in a field, like night birds
that were going to risk the winter
in a tree full of September apples
as ripe as Queensland sunsets
you used to tell us about like passions flowers
that were your version of paradise
you wanted to get back to one day
like all those blue luggage trunks
you kept waiting in the basement like arks
if you could when the wind and the stars,
and the forty days, and the forty nights
were blowing from the right quarter
like a wharf that gave suck
to the comings and goings of the lifeboats
she nursed into life at sea
without ever going anywhere herself.
O my mother, precisely because
you'd never ask, and never did,
what can the son of bright vacancy
say to the mother of dark abundance except
I am a debt I'll never be able to repay you
regardless of what the bloodbanks say,
I am the lion sacrifice on the lunar altar
of the black lamb of the new moon
that opened my third eye
at a coven of gypsy witches
dancing around the fire
like a zodiac of mystic eclipses
far into the wee hours
of my afterlife in this wilderness
of broken vows and stained-glass windows.
And, O my mother, you must know,
before your green eyes
burn like the salt of the earth
in the distant fires of autumn,
before you die, before I do,
before the rose of your life
you turned into a tent and a fire
that sheltered me under
your eyelids, your wings,
goes out when the wind
upends this hourglass world
like a blossom in a mirage of shifting sands.
Before the landlord comes with the sheriff
to serve our final eviction notice,
I sweep your threshold of thorns,
I sweep the wasps like cinders
from the eyes of your fountains
in tears as deep as watersheds.
Because I am so afraid of losing you,
because any word could be our last,
because every word I say to you
seems like an empty lifeboat
drifting across the moon like a cloud
or a lost nightbird in a storm of sorrow,
and all I can think to do to make
what I can't make up to you,
is to become a small boy again,
a thief of flowers who used to steal
from orchards, telelphone booths,
and the backyard starfields
of the abandoned houses of the zodiac
to have something to bring home to you
like Evening in Paris perfume
on your birthday at the winter solstice
when the days began to get longer and warmer
and every bead on your rosary
of habitable planets in orbit, each,
one of the ninety-nine names of God
and one unknown secret she keeps to herself
so the light won't get tongue-tied
trying to say it out loud,
tilted toward the sun at apogee
as only a mother can do
letting the light in through
a crack in our bedroom doors
like a moonrise at midnight
to see if we were all right.
All I can do, and it's only
a metaphoric gesture of the love
I bear for you like a bucket of water
a wishing well once gave birth to in the desert,
is strew your path with fireflies,
with desert stars, with passion flowers,
with humming birds and honey bees
in the wild bougainvillea of Queensland,
and an easel in Eden to paint them with
and Scotch thistles with no thorns for brushes
and caterpillars of oil paint in tubes
that will turn into butterflies at sunrise
when the southern stars and the fireflies
get the light just right,
and any one of which,
their shining sitting to have
their portrait done in the living likeness
of the starmap I've will always see
in your green, green eyes
as life-giving as the moon
in the sentient corals
of this vast nightsea
and the way home for all of us
when the prodigal son returns
like a boy riding a dolphin of stars
through the wavelengths
of the lightyears to come
through both hemispheres
of my heart and mind,
through the northern eclipse of you
O my father, and you, O my mother
who shone even at midnight in the southern
and kept us all together even in our absence
like a weld along the equator
that scarred the wound of the beginning over
with herb gardens you gathered
from the mother-tongue of your heart
that have gone on blooming ever since
well beyond any fence
in any universe of inconceivable existence
that could keep a good thief of flowers out.

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A Voice From The Factories

WHEN fallen man from Paradise was driven,
Forth to a world of labour, death, and care;
Still, of his native Eden, bounteous Heaven
Resolved one brief memorial to spare,
And gave his offspring an imperfect share
Of that lost happiness, amid decay;
Making their first approach to life seem fair,
And giving, for the Eden past away,
CHILDHOOD, the weary life's long happy holyday.
II.

Sacred to heavenly peace, those years remain!
And when with clouds their dawn is overcast,
Unnatural seem the sorrow and the pain
(Which rosy joy flies forth to banish fast,
Because that season's sadness may not last).
Light is their grief! a word of fondness cheers
The unhaunted heart; the shadow glideth past;
Unknown to them the weight of boding fears,
And soft as dew on flowers their bright, ungrieving tears.
III.

See the Stage-Wonder (taught to earn its bread
By the exertion of an infant skill),
Forsake the wholesome slumbers of its bed,
And mime, obedient to the public will.
Where is the heart so cold that does not thrill
With a vexatious sympathy, to see
That child prepare to play its part, and still
With simulated airs of gaiety
Rise to the dangerous rope, and bend the supple knee?
IV.

Painted and spangled, trembling there it stands,
Glances below for friend or father's face,
Then lifts its small round arms and feeble hands
With the taught movements of an artist's grace:
Leaves its uncertain gilded resting-place--
Springs lightly as the elastic cord gives way--
And runs along with scarce perceptible pace--
Like a bright bird upon a waving spray,
Fluttering and sinking still, whene'er the branches play.
V.

Now watch! a joyless and distorted smile
Its innocent lips assume; (the dancer's leer!)
Conquering its terror for a little while:
Then lets the TRUTH OF INFANCY appear,
And with a stare of numbed and childish fear
Looks sadly towards the audience come to gaze
On the unwonted skill which costs so dear,
While still the applauding crowd, with pleased amaze,
Ring through its dizzy ears unwelcome shouts of praise.
VI.

What is it makes us feel relieved to see
That hapless little dancer reach the ground;
With its whole spirit's elasticity
Thrown into one glad, safe, triumphant bound?
Why are we sad, when, as it gazes round
At that wide sea of paint, and gauze, and plumes,
(Once more awake to sense, and sight, and sound,)
The nature of its age it re-assumes,
And one spontaneous smile at length its face illumes?
VII.

Because we feel, for Childhood's years and strength,
Unnatural and hard the task hath been;--
Because our sickened souls revolt at length,
And ask what infant-innocence may mean,
Thus toiling through the artificial scene;--
Because at that word, CHILDHOOD, start to birth
All dreams of hope and happiness serene--
All thoughts of innocent joy that visit earth--
Prayer--slumber--fondness--smiles--and hours of rosy mirth.
VIII.

And therefore when we hear the shrill faint cries
Which mark the wanderings of the little sweep;
Or when, with glittering teeth and sunny eyes,
The boy-Italian's voice, so soft and deep,
Asks alms for his poor marmoset asleep;
They fill our hearts with pitying regret,
Those little vagrants doomed so soon to weep--
As though a term of joy for all was set,
And that their share of Life's long suffering was not yet.
IX.

Ever a toiling child doth make us sad:
'T is an unnatural and mournful sight,
Because we feel their smiles should be so glad,
Because we know their eyes should be so bright.
What is it, then, when, tasked beyond their might,
They labour all day long for others' gain,--
Nay, trespass on the still and pleasant night,
While uncompleted hours of toil remain?
Poor little FACTORY SLAVES--for You these lines complain!
X.

Beyond all sorrow which the wanderer knows,
Is that these little pent-up wretches feel;
Where the air thick and close and stagnant grows,
And the low whirring of the incessant wheel
Dizzies the head, and makes the senses reel:
There, shut for ever from the gladdening sky,
Vice premature and Care's corroding seal
Stamp on each sallow cheek their hateful die,
Line the smooth open brow, and sink the saddened eye.
XI.

For them the fervid summer only brings
A double curse of stifling withering heat;
For them no flowers spring up, no wild bird sings,
No moss-grown walks refresh their weary feet;--
No river's murmuring sound;--no wood-walk, sweet
With many a flower the learned slight and pass;--
Nor meadow, with pale cowslips thickly set
Amid the soft leaves of its tufted grass,--
Lure them a childish stock of treasures to amass.

Page 17
XII.

Have we forgotten our own infancy,
That joys so simple are to them denied?--
Our boyhood's hopes--our wanderings far and free,
Where yellow gorse-bush left the common wide
And open to the breeze?--The active pride
Which made each obstacle a pleasure seem;
When, rashly glad, all danger we defied,
Dashed through the brook by twilight's fading gleam,
Or scorned the tottering plank, and leapt the narrow stream?
XIII.

In lieu of this,--from short and bitter night,
Sullen and sad the infant labourer creeps;
He joys not in the glow of morning's light,
But with an idle yearning stands and weeps,
Envying the babe that in its cradle sleeps:
And ever as he slowly journeys on,
His listless tongue unbidden silence keeps;
His fellow-labourers (playmates hath he none)
Walk by, as sad as he, nor hail the morning sun.
XIV.

Mark the result. Unnaturally debarred
All nature's fresh and innocent delights,
While yet each germing energy strives hard,
And pristine good with pristine evil fights;
When every passing dream the heart excites,
And makes even guarded virtue insecure;
Untaught, unchecked, they yield as vice invites:
With all around them cramped, confined, impure,
Fast spreads the moral plague which nothing new shall cure.
XV.

Yes, this reproach is added; (infamous
In realms which own a Christian monarch's sway!)
Not suffering only is their portion, thus
Compelled to toil their youthful lives away:
Excessive labour works the SOUL'S decay--
Quenches the intellectual light within--
Crushes with iron weight the mind's free play--
Steals from us LEISURE purer thoughts to win--
And leaves us sunk and lost in dull and native sin.
XVI.

Yet in the British Senate men rise up,
(The freeborn and the fathers of our land!)
And while these drink the dregs of Sorrow's cup,
Deny the sufferings of the pining band.
With nice-drawn calculations at command,
They prove--rebut--explain--and reason long;
Proud of each shallow argument they stand,
And prostitute their utmost powers of tongue
Feebly to justify this great and glaring wrong.
XVII.

So rose, with such a plausible defence
Of the unalienable RIGHT OF GAIN,
Those who against Truth's brightest eloquence
Upheld the cause of torture and of pain:
And fear of Property's Decrease made vain,
For years, the hope of Christian Charity
To lift the curse from SLAVERY'S dark domain,
And send across the wide Atlantic sea
The watchword of brave men--the thrilling shout, 'BE FREE!'
XVIII.

What is to be a slave? Is't not to spend
A life bowed down beneath a grinding ill?--
To labour on to serve another's end,--
To give up leisure, health, and strength, and skill--
And give up each of these against your will?
Hark to the angry answer:--'Theirs is not
A life of slavery; if they labour,--still
We pay their toil. Free service is their lot;
And what their labour yields, by us is fairly got.'
XIX.

Oh, Men! blaspheme not Freedom! Are they free
Who toil until the body's strength gives way?
Who may not set a term for Liberty,
Who have no time for food, or rest, or play,
But struggle through the long unwelcome day
Without the leisure to be good or glad?
Such is their service--call it what you may.
Poor little creatures, overtasked and sad,
Your Slavery hath no name,--yet is its Curse as bad!
XX.

Again an answer. ''T is their parents' choice.
By some employ the poor man's child must earn
Its daily bread; and infants have no voice
In what the allotted task shall be: they learn
What answers best, or suits the parents' turn.'
Mournful reply! Do not your hearts inquire
Who tempts the parents' penury? They yearn
Toward their offspring with a strong desire,
But those who starve will sell, even what they most require.
XXI.

We grant their class must labour--young and old;
We grant the child the needy parents' tool:
But still our hearts a better plan behold;
No bright Utopia of some dreaming fool,
But rationally just, and good by rule.
Not against TOIL, but TOIL'S EXCESS we pray,
(Else were we nursed in Folly's simplest school);
That so our country's hardy children may
Learn not to loathe, but bless, the well apportioned day.
XXII.

One more reply! The last reply--the great
Answer to all that sense or feeling shows,
To which all others are subordinate:--
'The Masters of the Factories must lose
By the abridgement of these infant woes.
Show us the remedy which shall combine
Our equal gain with their increased repose--
Which shall not make our trading class repine,
But to the proffered boon its strong effects confine.'
XXIII.

Oh! shall it then be said that TYRANT acts
Are those which cause our country's looms to thrive?
That Merchant England's prosperous trade exacts
This bitter sacrifice, e'er she derive
That profit due, for which the feeble strive?
Is her commercial avarice so keen,
That in her busy multitudinous hive
Hundreds must die like insects, scarcely seen,
While the thick-thronged survivors work where they have been?
XXIV.

Forbid it, Spirit of the glorious Past
Which gained our Isle the surname of 'The Free,'
And made our shores a refuge at the last
To all who would not bend the servile knee,
The vainly-vanquished sons of Liberty!
Here ever came the injured, the opprest,
Compelled from the Oppressor's face to flee--
And found a home of shelter and of rest
In the warm generous heart that beat in England's breast.
XXV.

Here came the Slave, who straightway burst his chain,
And knew that none could ever bind him more;
Here came the melancholy sons of Spain;
And here, more buoyant Gaul's illustrious poor
Waited the same bright day that shone before.
Here rests the Enthusiast Pole! and views afar
With dreaming hope, from this protecting shore,
The trembling rays of Liberty's pale star
Shine forth in vain to light the too-unequal war!
XXVI.

And shall REPROACH cling darkly to the name
Which every memory so much endears?
Shall we, too, tyrannise,--and tardy Fame
Revoke the glory of our former years,
And stain Britannia's flag with children's tears?
So shall the mercy of the English throne
Become a by-word in the Nation's ears,
As one who pitying heard the stranger's groan,
But to these nearer woes was cold and deaf as stone.
XXVII.

Are there not changes made which grind the Poor?
Are there not losses every day sustained,--
Deep grievances, which make the spirit sore?
And what the answer, when these have complained?
'For crying evils there hath been ordained
The REMEDY OF CHANGE; to obey its call
Some individual loss must be disdained,
And pass as unavoidable and small,
Weighed with the broad result of general good to all.'
XXVIII.

Oh! such an evil now doth cry aloud!
And CHANGE should be by generous hearts begun,
Though slower gain attend the prosperous crowd;
Lessening the fortunes for their children won.
Why should it grieve a father, that his son
Plain competence must moderately bless?
That he must trade, even as his sire has done,
Not born to independent idleness,
Though honestly above all probable distress?
XXIX.

Rejoice! Thou hast not left enough of gold
From the lined heavy ledger, to entice
His drunken hand, irresolutely bold,
To squander it in haggard haunts of vice:--
The hollow rattling of the uncertain dice
Eats not the portion which thy love bestowed;--
Unable to afford that PLEASURE'S price,
Far off he slumbers in his calm abode,
And leaves the Idle Rich to follow Ruin's road.
XXX.

Happy his lot! For him there shall not be
The cold temptation given by vacant time;
Leaving his young and uncurbed spirit free
To wander thro' the feverish paths of crime!
For him the Sabbath bell's returning chime
Not vainly ushers in God's day of rest;
No night of riot clouds the morning's prime:
Alert and glad, not languid and opprest,
He wakes, and with calm soul is the Creator blest.
XXXI.

Ye save for children! Fathers, is there not
A plaintive magic in the name of child,
Which makes you feel compassion for their lot
On whom Prosperity hath never smiled?
When with your OWN an hour hath been beguiled
(For whom you hoard the still increasing store),
Surely, against the face of Pity mild,
Heart-hardening Custom vainly bars the door,
For that less favoured race--THE CHILDREN OF THE POOR.
XXXII.

'The happy homes of England!'--they have been
A source of triumph, and a theme for song;
And surely if there be a hope serene
And beautiful, which may to Earth belong,
'T is when (shut out the world's associate throng,
And closed the busy day's fatiguing hum),
Still waited for with expectation strong,
Welcomed with joy, and overjoyed to come,
The good man goes to seek the twilight rest of home.
XXXIII.

There sits his gentle Wife, who with him knelt
Long years ago at God's pure altar-place;
Still beautiful,--though all that she hath felt
Hath calmed the glory of her radiant face,
And given her brow a holier, softer grace.
Mother of SOULS IMMORTAL, she doth feel
A glow from Heaven her earthly love replace;
Prayer to her lip more often now doth steal,
And meditative hope her serious eyes reveal.
XXXIV.

Fondly familiar is the look she gives
As he returns, who forth so lately went,--
For they together pass their happy lives;
And many a tranquil evening have they spent
Since, blushing, ignorantly innocent,
She vowed, with downcast eyes and changeful hue,
To love Him only. Love fulfilled, hath lent
Its deep repose; and when he meets her view,
Her soft look only says,--'I trust--and I am true.'
XXXV.

Scattered like flowers, the rosy children play--
Or round her chair a busy crowd they press;
But, at the FATHER'S coming, start away,
With playful struggle for his loved caress,
And jealous of the one he first may bless.
To each, a welcoming word is fondly said;
He bends and kisses some; lifts up the less;
Admires the little cheek, so round and red,
Or smooths with tender hand the curled and shining head.
XXXVI.

Oh! let us pause, and gaze upon them now.
Is there not one--beloved and lovely boy!
With Mirth's bright seal upon his open brow,
And sweet fond eyes, brimful of love and joy?
He, whom no measure of delight can cloy,
The daring and the darling of the set;
He who, though pleased with every passing toy,
Thoughtless and buoyant to excess, could yet
Never a gentle word or kindly deed forget?
XXXVII.

And one, more fragile than the rest, for whom--
As for the weak bird in a crowded nest--
Are needed all the fostering care of home
And the soft comfort of the brooding breast:
One, who hath oft the couch of sickness prest!
On whom the Mother looks, as it goes by,
With tenderness intense, and fear supprest,
While the soft patience of her anxious eye
Blends with 'God's will be done,'--'God grant thou may'st not die!'
XXXVIII.

And is there not the elder of the band?
She with the gentle smile and smooth bright hair,
Waiting, some paces back,--content to stand
Till these of Love's caresses have their share;
Knowing how soon his fond paternal care
Shall seek his violet in her shady nook,--
Patient she stands--demure, and brightly fair--
Copying the meekness of her Mother's look,
And clasping in her hand the favourite story-book.
XXXIX.

Wake, dreamer!--Choose;--to labour Life away,
Which of these little precious ones shall go
(Debarred of summer-light and cheerful play)
To that receptacle for dreary woe,
The Factory Mill?--Shall He, in whom the glow
Of Life shines bright, whose free limbs' vigorous tread
Warns us how much of beauty that we know
Would fade, when he became dispirited,
And pined with sickened heart, and bowed his fainting head?

XL.

Or shall the little quiet one, whose voice
So rarely mingles in their sounds of glee,
Whose life can bid no living thing rejoice,
But rather is a long anxiety;--
Shall he go forth to toil? and keep the free
Frank boy, whose merry shouts and restless grace
Would leave all eyes that used his face to see,
Wistfully gazing towards that vacant space
Which makes their fireside seem a lone and dreary place?
XLI.

Or, sparing these, send Her whose simplest words
Have power to charm,--whose warbled, childish song,
Fluent and clear and bird-like, strikes the chords
Of sympathy among the listening throng,--
Whose spirits light, and steps that dance along,
Instinctive modesty and grace restrain:
The fair young innocent who knows no wrong,--
Whose slender wrists scarce hold the silken skein
Which the glad Mother winds;--shall She endure this pain?

XLII.

Away! The thought--the thought alone brings tears!
THEY labour--they, the darlings of our lives!
The flowers and the sunbeams of our fleeting years;
From whom alone our happiness derives
A lasting strength, which every shock survives;
The green young trees beneath whose arching boughs
(When failing Energy no longer strives,)
Our wearied age shall find a cool repose;--
THEY toil in torture!--No--the painful picture close.
XLIII.

Ye shudder,--nor behold the vision more!
Oh, Fathers! is there then one law for these,
And one for the pale children of the Poor,--
That to their agony your hearts can freeze;
Deny their pain, their toil, their slow disease;
And deem with false complaining they encroach
Upon your time and thought? Is yours the Ease
Which misery vainly struggles to approach,
Whirling unthinking by, in Luxury's gilded coach?
XLIV.

Examine and decide. Watch through his day
One of these little ones. The sun hath shone
An hour, and by the ruddy morning's ray,
The last and least, he saunters on alone.
See where, still pausing on the threshold stone,
He stands, as loth to lose the bracing wind;
With wistful wandering glances backward thrown
On all the light and glory left behind,
And sighs to think that HE must darkly be confined!
XLV.

Enter with him. The stranger who surveys
The little natives of that dreary place
(Where squalid suffering meets his shrinking gaze),
Used to the glory of a young child's face,
Its changeful light, its coloured sparkling grace,
(Gleams of Heaven's sunshine on our shadowed earth!)
Starts at each visage wan, and bold, and base,
Whose smiles have neither innocence nor mirth,--
And comprehends the Sin original from birth.
XLVI.

There the pale Orphan, whose unequal strength
Loathes the incessant toil it must pursue,
Pines for the cool sweet evening's twilight length,
The sunny play-hour, and the morning's dew:
Worn with its cheerless life's monotonous hue,
Bowed down, and faint, and stupefied it stands;
Each half-seen object reeling in its view--
While its hot, trembling, languid little hands
Mechanically heed the Task-master's commands.
XLVII.

There, sounds of wailing grief and painful blows
Offend the ear, and startle it from rest;
(While the lungs gasp what air the place bestows
Or misery's joyless vice, the ribald jest,
Breaks the sick silence: staring at the guest
Who comes to view their labour, they beguile
The unwatched moment; whispers half supprest
And mutterings low, their faded lips defile,--
While gleams from face to face a strange and sullen smile.
XLVIII.

These then are his Companions: he, too young
To share their base and saddening merriment,
Sits by: his little head in silence hung;
His limbs cramped up; his body weakly bent;
Toiling obedient, till long hours so spent
Produce Exhaustion's slumber, dull and deep.
The Watcher's stroke,--bold--sudden--violent,--
Urges him from that lethargy of sleep,
And bids him wake to Life,--to labour and to weep!
XLIX.

But the day hath its End. Forth then he hies
With jaded, faltering step, and brow of pain;
Creeps to that shed,--his HOME,--where happy lies
The sleeping babe that cannot toil for Gain;
Where his remorseful Mother tempts in vain
With the best portion of their frugal fare:
Too sick to eat--too weary to complain--
He turns him idly from the untasted share,
Slumbering sinks down unfed, and mocks her useless care.
L.

Weeping she lifts, and lays his heavy head
(With a woman's grieving tenderness)
On the hard surface of his narrow bed;
Bends down to give a sad unfelt caress,
And turns away;--willing her God to bless,
That, weary as he is, he need not fight
Against that long-enduring bitterness,
The VOLUNTARY LABOUR of the Night,
But sweetly slumber on till day's returning light.
LI.

Vain hope! Alas! unable to forget
The anxious task's long, heavy agonies,
In broken sleep the victim labours yet!
Waiting the boding stroke that bids him rise,
He marks in restless fear each hour that flies--
Anticipates the unwelcome morning prime--
And murmuring feebly, with unwakened eyes,
'Mother! Oh Mother! is it yet THE TIME?'--
Starts at the moon's pale ray--or clock's far distant chime.
LII.

Such is his day and night! Now then return
Where your OWN slumber in protected ease;
They whom no blast may pierce, no sun may burn;
The lovely, on whose cheeks the wandering breeze
Hath left the rose's hue. Ah! not like these
Does the pale infant-labourer ask to be:
He craves no tempting food--no toys to please--
Not Idleness,--but less of agony;
Not Wealth,--but comfort, rest, CONTENTED POVERTY.
LIII.

There is, among all men, in every clime,
A difference instinctive and unschooled:
God made the MIND unequal. From all time
By fierceness conquered, or by cunning fooled,
The World hath had its Rulers and its Ruled:--
Yea--uncompelled--men abdicate free choice,
Fear their own rashness, and, by thinking cooled,
Follow the counsel of some trusted voice;--
A self-elected sway, wherein their souls rejoice.
LIV.

Thus, for the most part, willing to obey,
Men rarely set Authority at naught:
Albeit a weaker or a worse than they
May hold the rule with such importance fraught:
And thus the peasant, from his cradle taught
That some must own, while some must till the land,
Rebels not--murmurs not--even in his thought.
Born to his lot, he bows to high command,
And guides the furrowing plough with a contented hand.
LV.

But, if the weight which habit renders light
Is made to gall the Serf who bends below--
The dog that watched and fawned, prepares to bite!
Too rashly strained, the cord snaps from the bow--
Too tightly curbed, the steeds their riders throw--
And so, (at first contented his fair state
Of customary servitude to know,)
Too harshly ruled, the poor man learns to hate
And curse the oppressive law that bids him serve the Great.
LVI.

THEN first he asks his gloomy soul the CAUSE
Of his discomfort; suddenly compares--
Reflects--and with an angry Spirit draws
The envious line between his lot and theirs,
Questioning the JUSTICE of the unequal shares.
And from the gathering of this discontent,
Where there is strength, REVOLT his standard rears;
Where there is weakness, evermore finds vent
The sharp annoying cry of sorrowful complaint.
LVII.

Therefore should Mercy, gentle and serene,
Sit by the Ruler's side, and share his Throne:--
Watch with unerring eye the passing scene,
And bend her ear to mark the feeblest groan;
Lest due Authority be overthrown,
And they that ruled perceive (too late confest!)
Permitted Power might still have been their own,
Had they but watched that none should be opprest--
No just complaint despised--no WRONG left unredrest.
LVIII.

Nor should we, Christians in a Christian land,
Forget who smiled on helpless infancy,
And blest them with divinely gentle hand.--
'Suffer that little children come to me:'
Such were His words to whom we bow the knee!
These to our care the Saviour did commend;
And shall we His bequest treat carelessly,
Who yet our full protection would extend
To the lone Orphan child left by an Earthly Friend?
LIX.

No! rather what the Inspired Law imparts
To guide our ways, and make our path more sure;
Blending with Pity (native to our hearts),
Let us to these, who patiently endure
Neglect, and penury, and toil, secure
The innocent hopes that to their age belong:
So, honouring Him, the Merciful and Pure,
Who watches when the Oppressor's arm grows strong,--
And helpeth them to right--the Weak--who suffer wrong!

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Father Of Night

Father of night, father of day,
Father, who taketh the darkness away,
Father, who teacheth the bird to fly,
Builder of rainbows up in the sky,
Father of loneliness and pain,
Father of love and father of rain.
Father of day, father of night,
Father of black, father of white,
Father, who build the mountain so high,
Who shapeth the cloud up in the sky,
Father of time, father of dreams,
Father, who turneth the rivers and streams.
Father of grain, father of wheat,
Father of cold and father of heat,
Father of air and father of trees,
Who dwells in our hearts and our memories,
Father of minutes, father of days,
Father of whom we most solemnly praise.

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Without You

It has been
six days
since I have seen her.

In all that time
she left me
totally totally alone.

Not a word
not a call
not a touch
not a sight of her.


How does she go
and leave me so
easily like this?

How is it that she
does not need to see
me by tormented day?

How is it that she
does not need to sleep
beside me during
long lonely nights?


Her naked body
under the sheets
cannot hold me
at a distance.

Her skin
cannot feel
the healing massage
of my caring hand.

Nor can
an empty bed
hold reassuring comfort
of her touch.


Nights
I lay awake
at nights
without you.

Nights
are lonely
and long
without you.

Life
is an empty night
alone wasted
without you.


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Lonely Days, Lonely Nights

(coverdale)
Ive been burning my bridges
For too many years,
Drowning the sorrow
Of too many tears
Women and whiskey
Are my only friends,
One gives me strength,
One just pretends
Ive been waiting my whole life
For things to work out right,
But, those lonely days turn into lonely nights
Yes, it do
Ive heard all the wisdom
Of prophets and seers,
It dont soothe my passion
And it dont ease my fears
Burned by love
And blinded by snow,
Bad luck and trouble
Are with me wherever I go
Ive been waiting my whole life
For things to work out right,
But those lonely days turn into lonely nights
Lonely days, lonely nights,
Lonely days, lonely nights
Lonely days, lonely nights,
Someday babe, its gonna be alright
Lonely days, lonely nights,
Someday babe, its gonna be alright for me, for me
Lonely days, lonely nights,
Someday babe, its gonna be alright...

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To Dear Father With Love

Dear father, out of my love for you,
words from the bottom of my heart,
I am overwhelmed while i speak them to you.

All my life, my only wish and will,
while you love and care, the time be still.

Dear father, when you call out my name,
I am felt secured and strength i gain,
though as tough as can be, i am the victor in every game.

Have been fed for this long and now i shall serve,
however hard the task, i will show the nerve.

Dear father, I promise I'll make you proud,
your faith in me, i will not let it down,
as bright i will stand out, while in the crowd.

Your care and affection, like the shade in the sun,
tears never in my eyes, all along only joy and fun.

Dear father, my service to you and your soul shall blossom,
At your feet, is my life and the glee while you glide,
The seeds you have sow, every bud shall blossom.

Your greatness to be written but the words are few,
Dear father I love you.

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No More Lonely Nights

I can wait another day until I call you
Youve only got my heart on a string and everything a flutter
But another lonley night (and another, and another)
Might take forever(and another, and another)
Weve only got each other to blame
Its all the same to me love
cause I know what I feel to be right
No more lonely nights
No more lonely nights
Youre my guiding light
Day or night Im always there
May I never miss the thrill of being near you
And if it takes a couple of years
To turn your tears to laughter
I will do what I feel to be right
No more lonely nights
Never be another
No more lonely nights
Youre my guiding light
Day or night Im always there
And I wont go away until you tell me so
No Ill never go away
Yes I know what I feel to be right
No more lonely nights
Never be another
No more lonely nights
Youre my guiding light
Day or night Im always there
And I wont go away until you tell me so
No Ill never go away
I wont go away until you tell me so
No Ill never go away
No more lonely nights, no no ...

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Long Lonely Highway

(words & music by pomus - shuman)
It's a long lonely highway when you're travellin' all alone
And it's a mean old world when you got no-one to call your own
And you pass through towns too small to even have a name, oh yes
But you gotta keep on goin', on that road to nowhere
Gotta keep on goin', though there's no-one to care
Just keep movin' down the line
It's a long lonely highway without her by my side
And it's a trail full of teardrops that keep on being cried
My heart's so heavy it's a low down dirty shame oh yes
You gotta keep on goin', on that road to nowhere
Gotta keep on goin', though there's no-one to care
Just keep movin' down the line
I gotta rock for my pillow 'neath a weeping willow
And the cool grass for my bed
My drinking water's muddy so don't you tell me buddy
That i wouldn't be better off dead
It's a long lonely highway gettin' longer all the time
And if she don't come and get me
Well, i'm gonna lose my mind
So if you read about me tell her she's the one to blame, oh yes
You gotta keep on goin', on that road to nowhere
Gotta keep on goin', though there's no-one to care
Just keep movin' down the line
Movin' down the line
Movin' down the line

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My Father I Love Twenty- First Yahrtzeit

MY FATHER I LOVE TWENTY- FIRST YAHRTZEIT OF MY FATHER

My father I love
My mother I love
My brother I love
Will I join them again?
Or will we each lie in our own separate graves- forever?

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Down A Long Lonely Road

Down a long lonely road I've been cryin', lookin' 4 someone 2 care
Down a long lonely road I've been cryin', lookin' 4 someone 2 care
Down a long lonely road I've been cryin', lookin' 4 someone 2 care
Down a long lonely road I've been cryin', lookin' 4 someone 2 care
[repeat]

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On Life's Long Round

On life's long round by chance I found
A dell impearled with dew;
Where hyacinths, gushing from the ground,
Lent to the earth heaven's native hue
Of holy blue.

I sought that plot of azure light
Once more in gloomy hours;
But snow had fallen overnight
And wrapped in mortuary white
My fairy ring of flowers.

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Lonely Nights Are Haunting Me

Lonely nights are haunting me
I cannot rest and sleep
Just wondering who she's with tonight
I lay alone and weep
The loneliness she'll never know
She's out and having fun
I'm lying here alone again
The fun I'm getting none
Lonely nights are haunting me
My jealousy is great
To think she's with another man
My love has turned to hate

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Father of Love, to Thee I Bend

Father of love, to thee I bend
My heart, and lift mine eyes;
O let my pray'r and praise ascend
As odours to the skies.

Thy pard'ning voice I come to hear,
To know thee as thou art:
Thy ministers can reach the ear,
But thou must touch the heart.

O stamp me in thy heav'nly mould,
And grant thy word appl'd
May bring forth fruit an hundred fold
And speak me justify'd.

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One of Those Lonely Nights

One of those lonely nights.
Where one types useless words
at unimportant people.
Will you ever see them?
No...
They're just there
cause you're there.
Your lonely and they're lonely.
Two people destine to be apart.
It was due from the start.
You live halfway across the world
and I am where I am.
Catching the cold chill of a lonely night,
I shiver and there is no one here
to make me warm.
One of those lonely nights.

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If I build my life out of magical nights

If I build my life
out of magical nights
my room becomes a castle
where you and I share our dreams.

In the background there are violins
playing in a string orchestra
and the sound
that falls over us trembling
lies soft in our own small universe.

I see stars in your eyes
and maybe it’s Orion
or the sun up above
and at dusk the moon hangs
as if caught in its own orbit.

There’s a pearl around your neck
that’s whiter than snow,
but your rosebuds bloom
before my lips reach them.

Outside the rain falls buzzing
against the window,
but we are lock off from every thing

and I hear you moan in ecstasy
while a thunderbolt rumbles far away
and your are soft and hot around me
and forever I can stay like this.

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Mainstreet

Words and music by bob seger
I remember standing on the corner at midnight
Trying to get my courage up
There was this long lovely dancer in a little club downtown
I loved to watch her do her stuff
Through the long lonely nights she filled my sleep
Her body softly swaying to that smoky beat
Down on mainstreet
In the pool halls, the hustlers and the losers
I used to watch em through the glass
Well Id stand outside at closing time
Just to watch her walk on past
Unlike all the other ladies, she looked so young and sweet
As she made her way alone down that empty street
Down on mainstreet
And sometimes even now, when Im feeling lonely and beat
I drift back in time and I find my feet
Down on mainstreet
Down on mainstreet

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Lonely Nights

Music :rudolf schenker
Lyrics:klaus meine
Since youre gone
There is an empty space
Since youre gone
The world is not the same
I go back to the places weve been
It feels like youre still there
I live all those moments again
Wishing you were here
Since youre gone
There is an lonely heart
Since youre gone
Nothin is like it was
There are memories all over the place
Bringin it back all so clear
Remember all of those days
Wishing you were here
All those lonely nights
I gotta fight for you, yes I do
Yes I do
Since youre gone
There is a heart that bleeds
Since youre gone
Im not the man I used to be
I follow you steps in the snow
The traces disappear
We know what weve lost when its gone
Im wishing you were here
All those lonely nights
I gotta fight for you, yes I do
Yes I do

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All Out Of Love

(graham russell, clive davis)
Im lying alone with my head on the phone
Thinking of you till it hurts
I know you hurt too but what else can we do
Tormented and torn apart
I wish I could carry your smile in my heart
For times when my life seems so low
It would make me believe what tomorrow could bring
When today doesnt really know, doesnt really know
(chorus)
Im all out of love, Im so lost without you
I know you were right, believing for so long
Im all out of love, what am I without you
I cant be too late to say I was so wrong
I want you to come back and carry me home
Away from these long, lonely nights
Im reaching for you, are you feeling it too?
Does the feeling seem oh, so right?
And what would you say if I called on you now
And said that I cant hold on?
Theres no easy way, it gets harder each day
Please love me or Ill be gone, Ill be gone
(chorus)
Ooh, what are you thinking of
What are you thinking of
What are you thinking of
What are you thinking of
(repeat chorus)

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Perpetuating Friendships

We perpetuate friendships as we grow
ones that will last forever within our hearts,
never fading whatever circumstance might arise.
They stay with us from the moment they start
and remain within us always even after they are gone.
We build our memories around them
to harbour when times get cold
to warm us on the long lonely nights of darkness
that befall our lives at times.

14 April 2011

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Together Again

Together again
My tears have stopped falling
The long lonely nights
Are now at an end
The key to my heart
You hold in your hand
And nothing else matters
We're together again
Together again
The gray skies are gone
You're back in my arms
Now where you belong
The love that I knew
Is living again
And nothing else matters
We're together again
And nothing else matters
We're together again

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