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George Washington

Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.

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Prowess Is The Highest Quality For Great Men

Valour is the ability
to show the individual's strength
to control external enemies;

Prowess is the highest quality for great men
who can easily control internal enemies
like lust in self;

Such great men will not show interest
in other women, others' wives;

This quality is not only the virtue of these great men,
but also a great discipline of noble persons. (ThirukkuRaL 148)

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The Democratic Way

Where the arrow falls
A life is taken
Its flight was always destined to find
The rebel's heart
The believers who shake this world
Extinguished by the powers of state

For the rule of law defines society
This history that made all men equal
That teaches our children democracy

This democracy that America holds dear
And England expects
Has been stolen, hocked to the highest bidder
Reformed homogenised and re distributed
By the invisible hand of a powerful few

Your choices defined by control
Hidden in the refuse tip of mankind
Austerity and debt
Dumped by Druid bankers mesmerizing us
With chemical whispers that poison our dreams
Democracy has found a new owner
And we are its victim

A nation of employees procreating our lives in debt
Government no longer the servant
People in a cage, no escape
For we are the slaves
Destined to die in unmarked graves
Forgotten by the winds of time

This illusion that this, is the bed we choose,
But even this is rented
For all property returns to the soil
Waiting for the next solicitors pen

The money that you scrape
Its value has been raped
Slowly evaporating in the
Inflation of wet banker's dreams

For your democracy was always a dream
And this nightmare is here to stay
Your heroes have all been seconded
To protect the carcass that these jackals share

And the rebels that are left
Will never fire a shot in anger again,
For The slave has nothing to fight for
Because nothing will ever belong to you.
Except for a copy of their democracy
And another bill
For explaining all this to you.

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Servitors of the highest God

On the plain of Dura
a twenty-seven meter high
golden statue stand,
that people can see for miles far
and the esteemed people,
commanders and princes
and the king is there
with a big crowd
and almost everybody that serves him.

In different languages it is announced
that everybody must fall down,
have got to pray to it
when the music instruments play
and we see the king
sitting boldly on his throne

and the people are excited,
it’s a great festival
and suddenly there is silence,
in the big fire oven
flames shoot up brightly
and expectation is written on faces.

All at once the sound rises
of horn, zither, flute, lute
harp and bagpipes
and all kinds of instruments.

Around us the crowds of people bend down
onto the earth and the three of us stand
while a light winds is pulling on our cloaks
and I lift my hand
to shade the sun from shining in my eyes

while the music is inundating
and everybody can hear the music
and friends shout in fear to us:
“Bend! Bend down!
Bend before the master and lord! ”

Armed soldier take us
right up to king Nebuchadnezzar
and it’s clear that he is raging
and indignantly he gets up from his throne

and walks right up to us
and in anger he wants to know
if we are impudent
to disobey his commands?

“Are you too stupid to know
that no God
can save you from my hand? ”

We say that the God that we serve
is almighty and if He does not rescue us,
it will be known that we serve
no other gods.

At that moment Nebuchadnezzar gets angrier
and his face is red with rage
and in his eyes hate is glowing
and he stops talking
shouting loudly for the fire to be made
seven times hotter

and his servants run in fear
to the oven to make it still hotter
and there are flames and clouds of smoke.

“Take them to the fire,
take them to the fire, I command you, ”
Nebuchadnezzar roars at the strongest men
of his army and we are cuffed
and in our clothes
are thrown into the fire
causing us to fall right into the flames
and those that threw us in
are immediately killed by the great heat

and we cannot even
feel the heat
and nothing of us is burning
and while we are still talking
with each other
the Son of God
himself visits us right there

and a distance from the oven
the king shouts in great fear:
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
servitors of the highest God,
come out of the fire! ”

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Patrick White

What I Have Not Been To The Few I Loved

What I have not been to the few I loved,
the cost of what I am. Whoever that is.
And the poor boy happy ending
that was supposed to conclude in money
to redeem the aristocratic poverty
of a doomed childhood, scrapped
from the start as slavishly predictable.

I shone for a while, angry and bright
and university was an easy ordeal of guilt
while my mother washed floors in the Uplands,
and I went through culture shock
in my own country to learn that
not everybody lived the way we did
never further than twenty concrete blocks
away from the despair and poverty of home.

Three meals a day and shopping tours
to Europe, with a jaunt to Auschwitz
along the way. My mother would dress up
for three hours to go to the corner-store.
And it was everything I could do
to keep from laughing out loud
at the pygmies of pain in English Honours
who cried their eyes out in the library
because their mothers were social butterflies
and it was the sixties on the West Coast
when no one was suppose to live in vain.

And I remember the little wet doctor's sons
who used to remind me of who
they thought I was, asking me, at the end
of an advanced Shakespeare seminar,
at the end of a creative writing class,
after a three hour oral exam on Marlowe,
to sell them heroin I didn't use or deal
to make them feel, like the postcards of Auschwitz
that showed the skulls in the furnaces
and read Arbeit macht frei,
they were slumming with reality, lest
I forget despite how well I did in class,
where I came from. And the difference
was obvious and lasting. So many things
I had to master just to wear a plausible lifemask
into the golden future of the middle class.
How to sit down at a table and eat
with cutlery as if I were doing surgery.
How to relate to the trivializing of the poor,
listening squeamishly to the screening myths
of how the rich suffer at their hands.
How my mother with hands and knees,
cracked like lobsters boiled in bleach
was leeching them dry on welfare.

I broke up with their daughters.
I punished their sons atavistically
and losing my taste for trying to prove
you could find diamonds in the coalbin
of everyone's ancestry, and I could stand
eye to eye with the stars as well as anyone,
I ran with a wolfpack of ex-cons
who accepted me as a well-educated
one of their own. And through it all
I returned to poetry after every brawl
and threw everybody off my back
to climb a private mountain of my own
while my mother said do
what makes you happy
and went on scrubbing floors.

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A Few Remarks on Goats, Asses and the Dead Hand

I don't mind kings and dukes and things;
I don't mind wigs or maces;
I don't mind crowns or robes or gowns
Or ruffles, swords or laces
But what I do object to, and some others more than I,
Are the mad old, bad old practices these baubles signify.


Good friends, brother Australians and fellow voters;
I think that you will agree with me that few of us are doters
Upon the customs, practices, fooleries and tommyrotics of the mouldy past;
Nor are we apt to cast
A reverent eye behindward upon ancient precedent:
Nor do we consent
To let the cold, clammy and unusually muddling Dead Hand
Control the destinies of this our native land.
Nay, rather do we stand
Tiptoe upon the summit of the Present, peering out,
With faces eager and expectant eyes, into the mystic Future. Have you a doubt
That in Progress, Business-like Procedure, Common-sense Habit, and Up-to-Date
Method we are all earnest believers?
Is it not so?....
Well, I don't know
So much about it. 'Twere easy to prove, good friends, that we are, in the
lump, followers of Make-Believe, triflers with Humbug and inance self-deceivers.
'Twere easy to prove that our ass-like attribute indeed surpasses
That of innumerable and intensely asinine asses.
And here, good friends, I extend to all of you my blessin',
And conclude, amidst great applause, the first lesson.


Secondly, my brothers
Right-thinking persons, men-in-the-street, common-sense individuals, and people who call a spade a spade, and others
There are full many of us who deeply deplore
The use or display of these gauds, decorations, baubles and trappings that belong to the unpractical, superstitious and quite unfashionable days of yore.
We deride, for instance, the ntion that the caudal appendage of a deceased horse
Perched upon the cranium of an erudite justice can add to his dignity or give to his remarks more force.
In short, we class as mere bunkum, bosh, flapdoodle and other sludge
The contention that the hind end of a horse can in any way assist the fore end of a judge.
The wig, the gown, the staff, the rod, the mace,
We regard as obsolete, and entirely out of place.
If there is one thing more than another upon which we pride ourselves it is, I suppose,
The fact that we scorn to wear grandpa's old-fashioned clothes.
The poor old gentleman's pantaloons, his shirts, his cravat, his fob-chain, his frill-whiskers are all anathema to us.
Good friends, why all this fuss?
Why waste all this precious energy in denouncing the wig, the gown, the mace?
They may be, in a sense, out of place;
Yet, why should these things shock you?
Believe me, they are perfectly innocu
Ous, and furthermore, dear friends,
They serve their ends;
Fo why deny these toys
To that large, mentally-bogged, and much musinderstood class of elderly girls and boys
Whose state demands some sign or symbol
To push an idea or a principle into their heads, even as the thimble
Thrusts the needle into the cloth?
Then why so wrath?
Heed ye, good friends, the parable of the beam and the mote.
Nay, I crave your pardon, but I have known a not particularly intelligent goat
To view materially essential matters with a more discerning eye; to possess, so to speak, more inate perspicacity
Than you - that is to say, us. Nay, grasp not at the seeming audacity
Of these few remarks; for perfect perspicuity
Attends them, and I like not ambiguity.
As thinking machines the ass, the goat, good people are preferable; at least, so it appears.
And here, the ending of my second lesson is attended by your deafening and appreciative cheers.


My worthy friends, ye who scorn to wear my poor grandpa's clothes
Get down from your pedestals, O ye modern intellectual giants; let each decline his scornful and uptilted nose.
Deride, would ye, grandpa's ancient mace?
Abolish it, would ye, and hunt it off the place?
What's the matter with it? It's not eating anythng, is it?
And it might prove handy if a masked burglar, or a Trust or a mad dog paid the
House a visit.
Gird, would ye, at grandpa's wig, at his gown trimmed with the overcoats of late lamented rabbits?
But, Oh! my up-to-date brothers, what have ye to say about grandpa's and great grandpa's and great-great-grandpa's ridiculous customs, absurd precedents,inance systems and obsolete habits?
What about that musty, dusty, mouldy, mildewed, hoary, Tory, injurious, time wasting, insane, inane, self-ridiculed, unwieldy and utterly unprofitable system of Party Govrnment? Great-great-great-great-grandpa's cherished
System, good friends?
Does it serve our modern ends?
Or is it, think you, obsolete and absurd?
I pause for a reply....What! Not a word?
Do I hear you raving to have it abolished?
Yearn ye to see this thing demolished?
Go to the ass, ye dullards! He doesn't eat mouldy sawdust when there's good hay about.
And here, kind friends, I pass to 'fourthly,' flattered by your encouraging shout.


Friends, countrymen and fellow-voters of this fair land,
All ye smart, up-to-date people who scorn dear grandpa's raiment, are you feeling his dead hand?
Think ye that ancient fist should interfere so in the vital affairs of to-day?
Or are ye so apathetic that you don't care a tuppenny curse either way?
'Tis cheap and easy to scoff at granpa's gauds and trappings and to the Devil send 'em;
But have ye ever seriously considered such things as elected Mnistries or theInitiative and Referendum?
Not you! You shirk, good friend, you shirk.
That means Work!


Friends, I am done....I know not what ye intend to do about it, and I haven't much hope; but, for my part,
I say unto ye, in a spirit of true brotherly love, and with my hand upon my heart,
That I have enjoyed the acquaintance of asses who were never fooled by musty precedent. Aye, and intelligent goats
Who scorned the jam-tin diet of their forebears when there was good grass about but they had no votes.
And what is a goat without a vote?

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Homer

The Iliad: Book 5

Then Pallas Minerva put valour into the heart of Diomed, son of
Tydeus, that he might excel all the other Argives, and cover himself
with glory. She made a stream of fire flare from his shield and helmet
like the star that shines most brilliantly in summer after its bath in
the waters of Oceanus- even such a fire did she kindle upon his head
and shoulders as she bade him speed into the thickest hurly-burly of
the fight.
Now there was a certain rich and honourable man among the Trojans,
priest of Vulcan, and his name was Dares. He had two sons, Phegeus and
Idaeus, both of them skilled in all the arts of war. These two came
forward from the main body of Trojans, and set upon Diomed, he being
on foot, while they fought from their chariot. When they were close up
to one another, Phegeus took aim first, but his spear went over
Diomed's left shoulder without hitting him. Diomed then threw, and his
spear sped not in vain, for it hit Phegeus on the breast near the
nipple, and he fell from his chariot. Idaeus did not dare to
bestride his brother's body, but sprang from the chariot and took to
flight, or he would have shared his brother's fate; whereon Vulcan
saved him by wrapping him in a cloud of darkness, that his old
father might not be utterly overwhelmed with grief; but the son of
Tydeus drove off with the horses, and bade his followers take them
to the ships. The Trojans were scared when they saw the two sons of
Dares, one of them in fright and the other lying dead by his
chariot. Minerva, therefore, took Mars by the hand and said, "Mars,
Mars, bane of men, bloodstained stormer of cities, may we not now
leave the Trojans and Achaeans to fight it out, and see to which of
the two Jove will vouchsafe the victory? Let us go away, and thus
avoid his anger."
So saying, she drew Mars out of the battle, and set him down upon
the steep banks of the Scamander. Upon this the Danaans drove the
Trojans back, and each one of their chieftains killed his man. First
King Agamemnon flung mighty Odius, captain of the Halizoni, from his
chariot. The spear of Agamemnon caught him on the broad of his back,
just as he was turning in flight; it struck him between the
shoulders and went right through his chest, and his armour rang
rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground.
Then Idomeneus killed Phaesus, son of Borus the Meonian, who had
come from Varne. Mighty Idomeneus speared him on the right shoulder as
he was mounting his chariot, and the darkness of death enshrouded
him as he fell heavily from the car.
The squires of Idomeneus spoiled him of his armour, while
Menelaus, son of Atreus, killed Scamandrius the son of Strophius, a
mighty huntsman and keen lover of the chase. Diana herself had
taught him how to kill every kind of wild creature that is bred in
mountain forests, but neither she nor his famed skill in archery could
now save him, for the spear of Menelaus struck him in the back as he
was flying; it struck him between the shoulders and went right through
his chest, so that he fell headlong and his armour rang rattling round
him.
Meriones then killed Phereclus the son of Tecton, who was the son of
Hermon, a man whose hand was skilled in all manner of cunning
workmanship, for Pallas Minerva had dearly loved him. He it was that
made the ships for Alexandrus, which were the beginning of all
mischief, and brought evil alike both on the Trojans and on Alexandrus
himself; for he heeded not the decrees of heaven. Meriones overtook
him as he was flying, and struck him on the right buttock. The point
of the spear went through the bone into the bladder, and death came
upon him as he cried aloud and fell forward on his knees.
Meges, moreover, slew Pedaeus, son of Antenor, who, though he was
a bastard, had been brought up by Theano as one of her own children,
for the love she bore her husband. The son of Phyleus got close up
to him and drove a spear into the nape of his neck: it went under
his tongue all among his teeth, so he bit the cold bronze, and fell
dead in the dust.
And Eurypylus, son of Euaemon, killed Hypsenor, the son of noble
Dolopion, who had been made priest of the river Scamander, and was
honoured among the people as though he were a god. Eurypylus gave
him chase as he was flying before him, smote him with his sword upon
the arm, and lopped his strong hand from off it. The bloody hand
fell to the ground, and the shades of death, with fate that no man can
withstand, came over his eyes.
Thus furiously did the battle rage between them. As for the son of
Tydeus, you could not say whether he was more among the Achaeans or
the Trojans. He rushed across the plain like a winter torrent that has
burst its barrier in full flood; no dykes, no walls of fruitful
vineyards can embank it when it is swollen with rain from heaven,
but in a moment it comes tearing onward, and lays many a field waste
that many a strong man hand has reclaimed- even so were the dense
phalanxes of the Trojans driven in rout by the son of Tydeus, and many
though they were, they dared not abide his onslaught.
Now when the son of Lycaon saw him scouring the plain and driving
the Trojans pell-mell before him, he aimed an arrow and hit the
front part of his cuirass near the shoulder: the arrow went right
through the metal and pierced the flesh, so that the cuirass was
covered with blood. On this the son of Lycaon shouted in triumph,
"Knights Trojans, come on; the bravest of the Achaeans is wounded, and
he will not hold out much longer if King Apollo was indeed with me
when I sped from Lycia hither."
Thus did he vaunt; but his arrow had not killed Diomed, who withdrew
and made for the chariot and horses of Sthenelus, the son of Capaneus.
"Dear son of Capaneus," said he, "come down from your chariot, and
draw the arrow out of my shoulder."
Sthenelus sprang from his chariot, and drew the arrow from the
wound, whereon the blood came spouting out through the hole that had
been made in his shirt. Then Diomed prayed, saying, "Hear me, daughter
of aegis-bearing Jove, unweariable, if ever you loved my father well
and stood by him in the thick of a fight, do the like now by me; grant
me to come within a spear's throw of that man and kill him. He has
been too quick for me and has wounded me; and now he is boasting
that I shall not see the light of the sun much longer."
Thus he prayed, and Pallas Minerva heard him; she made his limbs
supple and quickened his hands and his feet. Then she went up close to
him and said, "Fear not, Diomed, to do battle with the Trojans, for
I have set in your heart the spirit of your knightly father Tydeus.
Moreover, I have withdrawn the veil from your eyes, that you know gods
and men apart. If, then, any other god comes here and offers you
battle, do not fight him; but should Jove's daughter Venus come,
strike her with your spear and wound her."
When she had said this Minerva went away, and the son of Tydeus
again took his place among the foremost fighters, three times more
fierce even than he had been before. He was like a lion that some
mountain shepherd has wounded, but not killed, as he is springing over
the wall of a sheep-yard to attack the sheep. The shepherd has
roused the brute to fury but cannot defend his flock, so he takes
shelter under cover of the buildings, while the sheep,
panic-stricken on being deserted, are smothered in heaps one on top of
the other, and the angry lion leaps out over the sheep-yard wall. Even
thus did Diomed go furiously about among the Trojans.
He killed Astynous, and shepherd of his people, the one with a
thrust of his spear, which struck him above the nipple, the other with
a sword- cut on the collar-bone, that severed his shoulder from his
neck and back. He let both of them lie, and went in pursuit of Abas
and Polyidus, sons of the old reader of dreams Eurydamas: they never
came back for him to read them any more dreams, for mighty Diomed made
an end of them. He then gave chase to Xanthus and Thoon, the two
sons of Phaenops, both of them very dear to him, for he was now worn
out with age, and begat no more sons to inherit his possessions. But
Diomed took both their lives and left their father sorrowing bitterly,
for he nevermore saw them come home from battle alive, and his kinsmen
divided his wealth among themselves.
Then he came upon two sons of Priam, Echemmon and Chromius, as
they were both in one chariot. He sprang upon them as a lion fastens
on the neck of some cow or heifer when the herd is feeding in a
coppice. For all their vain struggles he flung them both from their
chariot and stripped the armour from their bodies. Then he gave
their horses to his comrades to take them back to the ships.
When Aeneas saw him thus making havoc among the ranks, he went
through the fight amid the rain of spears to see if he could find
Pandarus. When he had found the brave son of Lycaon he said,
"Pandarus, where is now your bow, your winged arrows, and your
renown as an archer, in respect of which no man here can rival you nor
is there any in Lycia that can beat you? Lift then your hands to
Jove and send an arrow at this fellow who is going so masterfully
about, and has done such deadly work among the Trojans. He has
killed many a brave man- unless indeed he is some god who is angry
with the Trojans about their sacrifices, and and has set his hand
against them in his displeasure."
And the son of Lycaon answered, "Aeneas, I take him for none other
than the son of Tydeus. I know him by his shield, the visor of his
helmet, and by his horses. It is possible that he may be a god, but if
he is the man I say he is, he is not making all this havoc without
heaven's help, but has some god by his side who is shrouded in a cloud
of darkness, and who turned my arrow aside when it had hit him. I have
taken aim at him already and hit him on the right shoulder; my arrow
went through the breastpiece of his cuirass; and I made sure I
should send him hurrying to the world below, but it seems that I
have not killed him. There must be a god who is angry with me.
Moreover I have neither horse nor chariot. In my father's stables
there are eleven excellent chariots, fresh from the builder, quite
new, with cloths spread over them; and by each of them there stand a
pair of horses, champing barley and rye; my old father Lycaon urged me
again and again when I was at home and on the point of starting, to
take chariots and horses with me that I might lead the Trojans in
battle, but I would not listen to him; it would have been much
better if I had done so, but I was thinking about the horses, which
had been used to eat their fill, and I was afraid that in such a great
gathering of men they might be ill-fed, so I left them at home and
came on foot to Ilius armed only with my bow and arrows. These it
seems, are of no use, for I have already hit two chieftains, the
sons of Atreus and of Tydeus, and though I drew blood surely enough, I
have only made them still more furious. I did ill to take my bow
down from its peg on the day I led my band of Trojans to Ilius in
Hector's service, and if ever I get home again to set eyes on my
native place, my wife, and the greatness of my house, may some one cut
my head off then and there if I do not break the bow and set it on a
hot fire- such pranks as it plays me."
Aeneas answered, "Say no more. Things will not mend till we two go
against this man with chariot and horses and bring him to a trial of
arms. Mount my chariot, and note how cleverly the horses of Tros can
speed hither and thither over the plain in pursuit or flight. If
Jove again vouchsafes glory to the son of Tydeus they will carry us
safely back to the city. Take hold, then, of the whip and reins
while I stand upon the car to fight, or else do you wait this man's
onset while I look after the horses."
"Aeneas." replied the son of Lycaon, "take the reins and drive; if
we have to fly before the son of Tydeus the horses will go better
for their own driver. If they miss the sound of your voice when they
expect it they may be frightened, and refuse to take us out of the
fight. The son of Tydeus will then kill both of us and take the
horses. Therefore drive them yourself and I will be ready for him with
my spear."
They then mounted the chariot and drove full-speed towards the son
of Tydeus. Sthenelus, son of Capaneus, saw them coming and said to
Diomed, "Diomed, son of Tydeus, man after my own heart, I see two
heroes speeding towards you, both of them men of might the one a
skilful archer, Pandarus son of Lycaon, the other, Aeneas, whose
sire is Anchises, while his mother is Venus. Mount the chariot and let
us retreat. Do not, I pray you, press so furiously forward, or you may
get killed."
Diomed looked angrily at him and answered: "Talk not of flight,
for I shall not listen to you: I am of a race that knows neither
flight nor fear, and my limbs are as yet unwearied. I am in no mind to
mount, but will go against them even as I am; Pallas Minerva bids me
be afraid of no man, and even though one of them escape, their
steeds shall not take both back again. I say further, and lay my
saying to your heart- if Minerva sees fit to vouchsafe me the glory of
killing both, stay your horses here and make the reins fast to the rim
of the chariot; then be sure you spring Aeneas' horses and drive
them from the Trojan to the Achaean ranks. They are of the stock
that great Jove gave to Tros in payment for his son Ganymede, and
are the finest that live and move under the sun. King Anchises stole
the blood by putting his mares to them without Laomedon's knowledge,
and they bore him six foals. Four are still in his stables, but he
gave the other two to Aeneas. We shall win great glory if we can
take them."
Thus did they converse, but the other two had now driven close up to
them, and the son of Lycaon spoke first. "Great and mighty son,"
said he, "of noble Tydeus, my arrow failed to lay you low, so I will
now try with my spear."
He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled it from him. It struck
the shield of the son of Tydeus; the bronze point pierced it and
passed on till it reached the breastplate. Thereon the son of Lycaon
shouted out and said, "You are hit clean through the belly; you will
not stand out for long, and the glory of the fight is mine."
But Diomed all undismayed made answer, "You have missed, not hit,
and before you two see the end of this matter one or other of you
shall glut tough-shielded Mars with his blood."
With this he hurled his spear, and Minerva guided it on to
Pandarus's nose near the eye. It went crashing in among his white
teeth; the bronze point cut through the root of his to tongue,
coming out under his chin, and his glistening armour rang rattling
round him as he fell heavily to the ground. The horses started aside
for fear, and he was reft of life and strength.
Aeneas sprang from his chariot armed with shield and spear,
fearing lest the Achaeans should carry off the body. He bestrode it as
a lion in the pride of strength, with shield and on spear before him
and a cry of battle on his lips resolute to kill the first that should
dare face him. But the son of Tydeus caught up a mighty stone, so huge
and great that as men now are it would take two to lift it;
nevertheless he bore it aloft with ease unaided, and with this he
struck Aeneas on the groin where the hip turns in the joint that is
called the "cup-bone." The stone crushed this joint, and broke both
the sinews, while its jagged edges tore away all the flesh. The hero
fell on his knees, and propped himself with his hand resting on the
ground till the darkness of night fell upon his eyes. And now
Aeneas, king of men, would have perished then and there, had not his
mother, Jove's daughter Venus, who had conceived him by Anchises
when he was herding cattle, been quick to mark, and thrown her two
white arms about the body of her dear son. She protected him by
covering him with a fold of her own fair garment, lest some Danaan
should drive a spear into his breast and kill him.
Thus, then, did she bear her dear son out of the fight. But the
son of Capaneus was not unmindful of the orders that Diomed had
given him. He made his own horses fast, away from the hurly-burly,
by binding the reins to the rim of the chariot. Then he sprang upon
Aeneas's horses and drove them from the Trojan to the Achaean ranks.
When he had so done he gave them over to his chosen comrade
Deipylus, whom he valued above all others as the one who was most
like-minded with himself, to take them on to the ships. He then
remounted his own chariot, seized the reins, and drove with all
speed in search of the son of Tydeus.
Now the son of Tydeus was in pursuit of the Cyprian goddess, spear
in hand, for he knew her to be feeble and not one of those goddesses
that can lord it among men in battle like Minerva or Enyo the waster
of cities, and when at last after a long chase he caught her up, he
flew at her and thrust his spear into the flesh of her delicate
hand. The point tore through the ambrosial robe which the Graces had
woven for her, and pierced the skin between her wrist and the palm
of her hand, so that the immortal blood, or ichor, that flows in the
veins of the blessed gods, came pouring from the wound; for the gods
do not eat bread nor drink wine, hence they have no blood such as
ours, and are immortal. Venus screamed aloud, and let her son fall,
but Phoebus Apollo caught him in his arms, and hid him in a cloud of
darkness, lest some Danaan should drive a spear into his breast and
kill him; and Diomed shouted out as he left her, "Daughter of Jove,
leave war and battle alone, can you not be contented with beguiling
silly women? If you meddle with fighting you will get what will make
you shudder at the very name of war."
The goddess went dazed and discomfited away, and Iris, fleet as
the wind, drew her from the throng, in pain and with her fair skin all
besmirched. She found fierce Mars waiting on the left of the battle,
with his spear and his two fleet steeds resting on a cloud; whereon
she fell on her knees before her brother and implored him to let her
have his horses. "Dear brother," she cried, "save me, and give me your
horses to take me to Olympus where the gods dwell. I am badly
wounded by a mortal, the son of Tydeus, who would now fight even
with father Jove."
Thus she spoke, and Mars gave her his gold-bedizened steeds. She
mounted the chariot sick and sorry at heart, while Iris sat beside her
and took the reins in her hand. She lashed her horses on and they flew
forward nothing loth, till in a trice they were at high Olympus, where
the gods have their dwelling. There she stayed them, unloosed them
from the chariot, and gave them their ambrosial forage; but Venus
flung herself on to the lap of her mother Dione, who threw her arms
about her and caressed her, saying, "Which of the heavenly beings
has been treating you in this way, as though you had been doing
something wrong in the face of day?"
And laughter-loving Venus answered, "Proud Diomed, the son of
Tydeus, wounded me because I was bearing my dear son Aeneas, whom I
love best of all mankind, out of the fight. The war is no longer one
between Trojans and Achaeans, for the Danaans have now taken to
fighting with the immortals."
"Bear it, my child," replied Dione, "and make the best of it. We
dwellers in Olympus have to put up with much at the hands of men,
and we lay much suffering on one another. Mars had to suffer when Otus
and Ephialtes, children of Aloeus, bound him in cruel bonds, so that
he lay thirteen months imprisoned in a vessel of bronze. Mars would
have then perished had not fair Eeriboea, stepmother to the sons of
Aloeus, told Mercury, who stole him away when he was already well-nigh
worn out by the severity of his bondage. Juno, again, suffered when
the mighty son of Amphitryon wounded her on the right breast with a
three-barbed arrow, and nothing could assuage her pain. So, also,
did huge Hades, when this same man, the son of aegis-bearing Jove, hit
him with an arrow even at the gates of hell, and hurt him badly.
Thereon Hades went to the house of Jove on great Olympus, angry and
full of pain; and the arrow in his brawny shoulder caused him great
anguish till Paeeon healed him by spreading soothing herbs on the
wound, for Hades was not of mortal mould. Daring, head-strong,
evildoer who recked not of his sin in shooting the gods that dwell
in Olympus. And now Minerva has egged this son of Tydeus on against
yourself, fool that he is for not reflecting that no man who fights
with gods will live long or hear his children prattling about his
knees when he returns from battle. Let, then, the son of Tydeus see
that he does not have to fight with one who is stronger than you
are. Then shall his brave wife Aegialeia, daughter of Adrestus,
rouse her whole house from sleep, wailing for the loss of her wedded
lord, Diomed the bravest of the Achaeans."
So saying, she wiped the ichor from the wrist of her daughter with
both hands, whereon the pain left her, and her hand was healed. But
Minerva and Juno, who were looking on, began to taunt Jove with
their mocking talk, and Minerva was first to speak. "Father Jove,"
said she, "do not be angry with me, but I think the Cyprian must
have been persuading some one of the Achaean women to go with the
Trojans of whom she is so very fond, and while caressing one or
other of them she must have torn her delicate hand with the gold pin
of the woman's brooch."
The sire of gods and men smiled, and called golden Venus to his
side. "My child," said he, "it has not been given you to be a warrior.
Attend, henceforth, to your own delightful matrimonial duties, and
leave all this fighting to Mars and to Minerva."
Thus did they converse. But Diomed sprang upon Aeneas, though he
knew him to be in the very arms of Apollo. Not one whit did he fear
the mighty god, so set was he on killing Aeneas and stripping him of
his armour. Thrice did he spring forward with might and main to slay
him, and thrice did Apollo beat back his gleaming shield. When he
was coming on for the fourth time, as though he were a god, Apollo
shouted to him with an awful voice and said, "Take heed, son of
Tydeus, and draw off; think not to match yourself against gods, for
men that walk the earth cannot hold their own with the immortals."
The son of Tydeus then gave way for a little space, to avoid the
anger of the god, while Apollo took Aeneas out of the crowd and set
him in sacred Pergamus, where his temple stood. There, within the
mighty sanctuary, Latona and Diana healed him and made him glorious to
behold, while Apollo of the silver bow fashioned a wraith in the
likeness of Aeneas, and armed as he was. Round this the Trojans and
Achaeans hacked at the bucklers about one another's breasts, hewing
each other's round shields and light hide-covered targets. Then
Phoebus Apollo said to Mars, "Mars, Mars, bane of men, blood-stained
stormer of cities, can you not go to this man, the son of Tydeus,
who would now fight even with father Jove, and draw him out of the
battle? He first went up to the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand
near her wrist, and afterwards sprang upon me too, as though he were a
god."
He then took his seat on the top of Pergamus, while murderous Mars
went about among the ranks of the Trojans, cheering them on, in the
likeness of fleet Acamas chief of the Thracians. "Sons of Priam," said
he, "how long will you let your people be thus slaughtered by the
Achaeans? Would you wait till they are at the walls of Troy? Aeneas
the son of Anchises has fallen, he whom we held in as high honour as
Hector himself. Help me, then, to rescue our brave comrade from the
stress of the fight."
With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Then
Sarpedon rebuked Hector very sternly. "Hector," said he, "where is
your prowess now? You used to say that though you had neither people
nor allies you could hold the town alone with your brothers and
brothers-in-law. I see not one of them here; they cower as hounds
before a lion; it is we, your allies, who bear the brunt of the
battle. I have come from afar, even from Lycia and the banks of the
river Xanthus, where I have left my wife, my infant son, and much
wealth to tempt whoever is needy; nevertheless, I head my Lycian
soldiers and stand my ground against any who would fight me though I
have nothing here for the Achaeans to plunder, while you look on,
without even bidding your men stand firm in defence of their wives.
See that you fall not into the hands of your foes as men caught in the
meshes of a net, and they sack your fair city forthwith. Keep this
before your mind night and day, and beseech the captains of your
allies to hold on without flinching, and thus put away their
reproaches from you."
So spoke Sarpedon, and Hector smarted under his words. He sprang
from his chariot clad in his suit of armour, and went about among
the host brandishing his two spears, exhorting the men to fight and
raising the terrible cry of battle. Then they rallied and again
faced the Achaeans, but the Argives stood compact and firm, and were
not driven back. As the breezes sport with the chaff upon some
goodly threshing-floor, when men are winnowing- while yellow Ceres
blows with the wind to sift the chaff from the grain, and the chaff-
heaps grow whiter and whiter- even so did the Achaeans whiten in the
dust which the horses' hoofs raised to the firmament of heaven, as
their drivers turned them back to battle, and they bore down with
might upon the foe. Fierce Mars, to help the Trojans, covered them
in a veil of darkness, and went about everywhere among them,
inasmuch as Phoebus Apollo had told him that when he saw Pallas,
Minerva leave the fray he was to put courage into the hearts of the
Trojans- for it was she who was helping the Danaans. Then Apollo
sent Aeneas forth from his rich sanctuary, and filled his heart with
valour, whereon he took his place among his comrades, who were
overjoyed at seeing him alive, sound, and of a good courage; but
they could not ask him how it had all happened, for they were too busy
with the turmoil raised by Mars and by Strife, who raged insatiably in
their midst.
The two Ajaxes, Ulysses and Diomed, cheered the Danaans on, fearless
of the fury and onset of the Trojans. They stood as still as clouds
which the son of Saturn has spread upon the mountain tops when there
is no air and fierce Boreas sleeps with the other boisterous winds
whose shrill blasts scatter the clouds in all directions- even so
did the Danaans stand firm and unflinching against the Trojans. The
son of Atreus went about among them and exhorted them. "My friends,"
said he, "quit yourselves like brave men, and shun dishonour in one
another's eyes amid the stress of battle. They that shun dishonour
more often live than get killed, but they that fly save neither life
nor name."
As he spoke he hurled his spear and hit one of those who were in the
front rank, the comrade of Aeneas, Deicoon son of Pergasus, whom the
Trojans held in no less honour than the sons of Priam, for he was ever
quick to place himself among the foremost. The spear of King Agamemnon
struck his shield and went right through it, for the shield stayed
it not. It drove through his belt into the lower part of his belly,
and his armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the
ground.
Then Aeneas killed two champions of the Danaans, Crethon and
Orsilochus. Their father was a rich man who lived in the strong city
of Phere and was descended from the river Alpheus, whose broad
stream flows through the land of the Pylians. The river begat
Orsilochus, who ruled over much people and was father to Diocles,
who in his turn begat twin sons, Crethon and Orsilochus, well
skilled in all the arts of war. These, when they grew up, went to
Ilius with the Argive fleet in the cause of Menelaus and Agamemnon
sons of Atreus, and there they both of them fell. As two lions whom
their dam has reared in the depths of some mountain forest to
plunder homesteads and carry off sheep and cattle till they get killed
by the hand of man, so were these two vanquished by Aeneas, and fell
like high pine-trees to the ground.
Brave Menelaus pitied them in their fall, and made his way to the
front, clad in gleaming bronze and brandishing his spear, for Mars
egged him on to do so with intent that he should be killed by
Aeneas; but Antilochus the son of Nestor saw him and sprang forward,
fearing that the king might come to harm and thus bring all their
labour to nothing; when, therefore Aeneas and Menelaus were setting
their hands and spears against one another eager to do battle,
Antilochus placed himself by the side of Menelaus. Aeneas, bold though
he was, drew back on seeing the two heroes side by side in front of
him, so they drew the bodies of Crethon and Orsilochus to the ranks of
the Achaeans and committed the two poor fellows into the hands of
their comrades. They then turned back and fought in the front ranks.
They killed Pylaemenes peer of Mars, leader of the Paphlagonian
warriors. Menelaus struck him on the collar-bone as he was standing on
his chariot, while Antilochus hit his charioteer and squire Mydon, the
son of Atymnius, who was turning his horses in flight. He hit him with
a stone upon the elbow, and the reins, enriched with white ivory, fell
from his hands into the dust. Antilochus rushed towards him and struck
him on the temples with his sword, whereon he fell head first from the
chariot to the ground. There he stood for a while with his head and
shoulders buried deep in the dust- for he had fallen on sandy soil
till his horses kicked him and laid him flat on the ground, as
Antilochus lashed them and drove them off to the host of the Achaeans.

But Hector marked them from across the ranks, and with a loud cry
rushed towards them, followed by the strong battalions of the Trojans.
Mars and dread Enyo led them on, she fraught with ruthless turmoil
of battle, while Mars wielded a monstrous spear, and went about, now
in front of Hector and now behind him.
Diomed shook with passion as he saw them. As a man crossing a wide
plain is dismayed to find himself on the brink of some great river
rolling swiftly to the sea- he sees its boiling waters and starts back
in fear- even so did the son of Tydeus give ground. Then he said to
his men, "My friends, how can we wonder that Hector wields the spear
so well? Some god is ever by his side to protect him, and now Mars
is with him in the likeness of mortal man. Keep your faces therefore
towards the Trojans, but give ground backwards, for we dare not
fight with gods."
As he spoke the Trojans drew close up, and Hector killed two men,
both in one chariot, Menesthes and Anchialus, heroes well versed in
war. Ajax son of Telamon pitied them in their fall; he came close up
and hurled his spear, hitting Amphius the son of Selagus, a man of
great wealth who lived in Paesus and owned much corn-growing land, but
his lot had led him to come to the aid of Priam and his sons. Ajax
struck him in the belt; the spear pierced the lower part of his belly,
and he fell heavily to the ground. Then Ajax ran towards him to
strip him of his armour, but the Trojans rained spears upon him,
many of which fell upon his shield. He planted his heel upon the
body and drew out his spear, but the darts pressed so heavily upon him
that he could not strip the goodly armour from his shoulders. The
Trojan chieftains, moreover, many and valiant, came about him with
their spears, so that he dared not stay; great, brave and valiant
though he was, they drove him from them and he was beaten back.
Thus, then, did the battle rage between them. Presently the strong
hand of fate impelled Tlepolemus, the son of Hercules, a man both
brave and of great stature, to fight Sarpedon; so the two, son and
grandson of great Jove, drew near to one another, and Tlepolemus spoke
first. "Sarpedon," said he, "councillor of the Lycians, why should you
come skulking here you who are a man of peace? They lie who call you
son of aegis-bearing Jove, for you are little like those who were of
old his children. Far other was Hercules, my own brave and
lion-hearted father, who came here for the horses of Laomedon, and
though he had six ships only, and few men to follow him, sacked the
city of Ilius and made a wilderness of her highways. You are a coward,
and your people are falling from you. For all your strength, and all
your coming from Lycia, you will be no help to the Trojans but will
pass the gates of Hades vanquished by my hand."
And Sarpedon, captain of the Lycians, answered, "Tlepolemus, your
father overthrew Ilius by reason of Laomedon's folly in refusing
payment to one who had served him well. He would not give your
father the horses which he had come so far to fetch. As for
yourself, you shall meet death by my spear. You shall yield glory to
myself, and your soul to Hades of the noble steeds."
Thus spoke Sarpedon, and Tlepolemus upraised his spear. They threw
at the same moment, and Sarpedon struck his foe in the middle of his
throat; the spear went right through, and the darkness of death fell
upon his eyes. Tlepolemus's spear struck Sarpedon on the left thigh
with such force that it tore through the flesh and grazed the bone,
but his father as yet warded off destruction from him.
His comrades bore Sarpedon out of the fight, in great pain by the
weight of the spear that was dragging from his wound. They were in
such haste and stress as they bore him that no one thought of
drawing the spear from his thigh so as to let him walk uprightly.
Meanwhile the Achaeans carried off the body of Tlepolemus, whereon
Ulysses was moved to pity, and panted for the fray as he beheld
them. He doubted whether to pursue the son of Jove, or to make
slaughter of the Lycian rank and file; it was not decreed, however,
that he should slay the son of Jove; Minerva, therefore, turned him
against the main body of the Lycians. He killed Coeranus, Alastor,
Chromius, Alcandrus, Halius, Noemon, and Prytanis, and would have
slain yet more, had not great Hector marked him, and sped to the front
of the fight clad in his suit of mail, filling the Danaans with
terror. Sarpedon was glad when he saw him coming, and besought him,
saying, "Son of Priam, let me not he here to fall into the hands of
the Danaans. Help me, and since I may not return home to gladden the
hearts of my wife and of my infant son, let me die within the walls of
your city."
Hector made him no answer, but rushed onward to fall at once upon
the Achaeans and. kill many among them. His comrades then bore
Sarpedon away and laid him beneath Jove's spreading oak tree. Pelagon,
his friend and comrade drew the spear out of his thigh, but Sarpedon
fainted and a mist came over his eyes. Presently he came to himself
again, for the breath of the north wind as it played upon him gave him
new life, and brought him out of the deep swoon into which he had
fallen.
Meanwhile the Argives were neither driven towards their ships by
Mars and Hector, nor yet did they attack them; when they knew that
Mars was with the Trojans they retreated, but kept their faces still
turned towards the foe. Who, then, was first and who last to be
slain by Mars and Hector? They were valiant Teuthras, and Orestes
the renowned charioteer, Trechus the Aetolian warrior, Oenomaus,
Helenus the son of Oenops, and Oresbius of the gleaming girdle, who
was possessed of great wealth, and dwelt by the Cephisian lake with
the other Boeotians who lived near him, owners of a fertile country.
Now when the goddess Juno saw the Argives thus falling, she said
to Minerva, "Alas, daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, unweariable, the
promise we made Menelaus that he should not return till he had
sacked the city of Ilius will be of none effect if we let Mars rage
thus furiously. Let us go into the fray at once."
Minerva did not gainsay her. Thereon the august goddess, daughter of
great Saturn, began to harness her gold-bedizened steeds. Hebe with
all speed fitted on the eight-spoked wheels of bronze that were on
either side of the iron axle-tree. The felloes of the wheels were of
gold, imperishable, and over these there was a tire of bronze,
wondrous to behold. The naves of the wheels were silver, turning round
the axle upon either side. The car itself was made with plaited
bands of gold and silver, and it had a double top-rail running all
round it. From the body of the car there went a pole of silver, on
to the end of which she bound the golden yoke, with the bands of
gold that were to go under the necks of the horses Then Juno put her
steeds under the yoke, eager for battle and the war-cry.
Meanwhile Minerva flung her richly embroidered vesture, made with
her own hands, on to her father's threshold, and donned the shirt of
Jove, arming herself for battle. She threw her tasselled aegis
about. her shoulders, wreathed round with Rout as with a fringe, and
on it were Strife, and Strength, and Panic whose blood runs cold;
moreover there was the head of the dread monster Gorgon,, grim and
awful to behold, portent of aegis-bearing Jove. On her head she set
her helmet of gold, with four plumes, and coming to a peak both in
front and behind- decked with the emblems of a hundred cities; then
she stepped into her flaming chariot and grasped the spear, so stout
and sturdy and strong, with which she quells the ranks of heroes who
have displeased her. Juno lashed the horses on, and the gates of
heaven bellowed as they flew open of their own accord -gates over
which the flours preside, in whose hands are Heaven and Olympus,
either to open the dense cloud that hides them, or to close it.
Through these the goddesses drove their obedient steeds, and found the
son of Saturn sitting all alone on the topmost ridges of Olympus.
There Juno stayed her horses, and spoke to Jove the son of Saturn,
lord of all. "Father Jove," said she, "are you not angry with Mars for
these high doings? how great and goodly a host of the Achaeans he
has destroyed to my great grief, and without either right or reason,
while the Cyprian and Apollo are enjoying it all at their ease and
setting this unrighteous madman on to do further mischief. I hope,
Father Jove, that you will not be angry if I hit Mars hard, and
chase him out of the battle."
And Jove answered, "Set Minerva on to him, for she punishes him more
often than any one else does."
Juno did as he had said. She lashed her horses, and they flew
forward nothing loth midway betwixt earth and sky. As far as a man can
see when he looks out upon the sea from some high beacon, so far can
the loud-neighing horses of the gods spring at a single bound. When
they reached Troy and the place where its two flowing streams Simois
and Scamander meet, there Juno stayed them and took them from the
chariot. She hid them in a thick cloud, and Simois made ambrosia
spring up for them to eat; the two goddesses then went on, flying like
turtledoves in their eagerness to help the Argives. When they came
to the part where the bravest and most in number were gathered about
mighty Diomed, fighting like lions or wild boars of great strength and
endurance, there Juno stood still and raised a shout like that of
brazen-voiced Stentor, whose cry was as loud as that of fifty men
together. "Argives," she cried; "shame on cowardly creatures, brave in
semblance only; as long as Achilles was fighting, fi his spear was
so deadly that the Trojans dared not show themselves outside the
Dardanian gates, but now they sally far from the city and fight even
at your ships."
With these words she put heart and soul into them all, while Minerva
sprang to the side of the son of Tydeus, whom she found near his
chariot and horses, cooling the wound that Pandarus had given him. For
the sweat caused by the hand that bore the weight of his shield
irritated the hurt: his arm was weary with pain, and he was lifting up
the strap to wipe away the blood. The goddess laid her hand on the
yoke of his horses and said, "The son of Tydeus is not such another as
his father. Tydeus was a little man, but he could fight, and rushed
madly into the fray even when I told him not to do so. When he went
all unattended as envoy to the city of Thebes among the Cadmeans, I
bade him feast in their houses and be at peace; but with that high
spirit which was ever present with him, he challenged the youth of the
Cadmeans, and at once beat them in all that he attempted, so
mightily did I help him. I stand by you too to protect you, and I
bid you be instant in fighting the Trojans; but either you are tired
out, or you are afraid and out of heart, and in that case I say that
you are no true son of Tydeus the son of Oeneus."
Diomed answered, "I know you, goddess, daughter of aegis-bearing
Jove, and will hide nothing from you. I am not afraid nor out of
heart, nor is there any slackness in me. I am only following your
own instructions; you told me not to fight any of the blessed gods;
but if Jove's daughter Venus came into battle I was to wound her
with my spear. Therefore I am retreating, and bidding the other
Argives gather in this place, for I know that Mars is now lording it
in the field."
"Diomed, son of Tydeus," replied Minerva, "man after my own heart,
fear neither Mars nor any other of the immortals, for I will
befriend you. Nay, drive straight at Mars, and smite him in close
combat; fear not this raging madman, villain incarnate, first on one
side and then on the other. But now he was holding talk with Juno
and myself, saying he would help the Argives and attack the Trojans;
nevertheless he is with the Trojans, and has forgotten the Argives."
With this she caught hold of Sthenelus and lifted him off the
chariot on to the ground. In a second he was on the ground,
whereupon the goddess mounted the car and placed herself by the side
of Diomed. The oaken axle groaned aloud under the burden of the
awful goddess and the hero; Pallas Minerva took the whip and reins,
and drove straight at Mars. He was in the act of stripping huge
Periphas, son of Ochesius and bravest of the Aetolians. Bloody Mars
was stripping him of his armour, and Minerva donned the helmet of
Hades, that he might not see her; when, therefore, he saw Diomed, he
made straight for him and let Periphas lie where he had fallen. As
soon as they were at close quarters he let fly with his bronze spear
over the reins and yoke, thinking to take Diomed's life, but Minerva
caught the spear in her hand and made it fly harmlessly over the
chariot. Diomed then threw, and Pallas Minerva drove the spear into
the pit of Mars's stomach where his under-girdle went round him. There
Diomed wounded him, tearing his fair flesh and then drawing his
spear out again. Mars roared as loudly as nine or ten thousand men
in the thick of a fight, and the Achaeans and Trojans were struck with
panic, so terrible was the cry he raised.
As a dark cloud in the sky when it comes on to blow after heat, even
so did Diomed son of Tydeus see Mars ascend into the broad heavens.
With all speed he reached high Olympus, home of the gods, and in great
pain sat down beside Jove the son of Saturn. He showed Jove the
immortal blood that was flowing from his wound, and spoke piteously,
saying, "Father Jove, are you not angered by such doings? We gods
are continually suffering in the most cruel manner at one another's
hands while helping mortals; and we all owe you a grudge for having
begotten that mad termagant of a daughter, who is always committing
outrage of some kind. We other gods must all do as you bid us, but her
you neither scold nor punish; you encourage her because the
pestilent creature is your daughter. See how she has been inciting
proud Diomed to vent his rage on the immortal gods. First he went up
to the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand near her wrist, and then he
sprang upon me too as though he were a god. Had I not run for it I
must either have lain there for long enough in torments among the
ghastly corpes, or have been eaten alive with spears till I had no
more strength left in me."
Jove looked angrily at him and said, "Do not come whining here,
Sir Facing-bothways. I hate you worst of all the gods in Olympus,
for you are ever fighting and making mischief. You have the
intolerable and stubborn spirit of your mother Juno: it is all I can
do to manage her, and it is her doing that you are now in this plight:
still, I cannot let you remain longer in such great pain; you are my
own off-spring, and it was by me that your mother conceived you; if,
however, you had been the son of any other god, you are so destructive
that by this time you should have been lying lower than the Titans."
He then bade Paeeon heal him, whereon Paeeon spread pain-killing
herbs upon his wound and cured him, for he was not of mortal mould. As
the juice of the fig-tree curdles milk, and thickens it in a moment
though it is liquid, even so instantly did Paeeon cure fierce Mars.
Then Hebe washed him, and clothed him in goodly raiment, and he took
his seat by his father Jove all glorious to behold.
But Juno of Argos and Minerva of Alalcomene, now that they had put a
stop to the murderous doings of Mars, went back again to the house
of Jove.

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Not All The Angels Of The Lord Are On The Highest Rung

Not all the angels of the Lord are on the highest rung-
I ascended on the ladder
But have not touched the top rung
And will not -

An angel of the middle and the bottom rows
I nonetheless sing out my praises to God -
While trying to climb higher,

Yet somewhere always
no matter how high I think I come
never touching the top rung.

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I have been sentenced by the blues

I have been sentenced
by the blues and that music
cuts right through me,
like a chilling electric saw
grinding at the fabric of my soul.

Maybe there’s more to this story
than what these few lines tell
and the blues
have no fascination for me
and just leave memories,
of how sad life can be
and the strings played

by a child hooked on drugs
who would never be free.

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Naming A Few Men

Naming a few men is too special,
Beasts of burden carry messages to them.
Riding a car or animal needs fuel,
It may be grit and steel to use your body
But those animals in the ground are not foolish.
Name them like a man who knows,
He understands basics and knowledge too great.
May the special noose be around a man of steel,
And then to hang him seems too special.
Name him one of those throwing actions to commit,
Acting the very same as animals.

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Few 'May' Have a Clue

The life given to me,
I have made it my own.
With time taken to structure,
And develop with interests...
All that what was needed,
To make adjustments and correct.
And sometimes finding myself...
Defenseless against a public critiquing done.

But what I've chosen to do,
Was to prove to 'myself'...
Challenges and obstacles I will face.
And fear I may feel...
But its appearance from me will not be shown.
Few 'may' have a clue what it has taken...
Even to produce 'this',
For others to disregard 'after' they read!

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If I could have a lodge at the sea somewhere

If I could have a lodge
at the sea somewhere
preferably at the south coast,
could lie in the sun

would you come along
and drive into my dreams
and paint the walls like a castle
where only you and I can stay?

We would make fruit salad
from our own bananas,
mangoes and papaws
and would fish every day,
fry barracouta on the coals
and there we might
fall madly in love

and you would paint and hang up paintings
while I try to catch a few words
on paper.

If I could have a lodge
at the sea somewhere
would you come along
come on... what do you say?

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William Butler Yeats

To Some I Have Talked With By The Fire

WHILE I wrought out these fitful Danaan rhymes,
My heart would brim with dreams about the times
When we bent down above the fading coals
And talked of the dark folk who live in souls
Of passionate men, like bats in the dead trees;
And of the wayward twilight companies
Who sigh with mingled sorrow and content,
Because their blossoming dreams have never bent
Under the fruit of evil and of good:
And of the embattled flaming multitude
Who rise, wing above wing, flame above flame,
And, like a storm, cry the Ineffable Name,
And with the clashing of their sword-blades make
A rapturous music, till the morning break
And the white hush end all but the loud beat
Of their long wings, the flash of their white feet.

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King Arthur's Men Have Come Again

[Written while a field-worker in the Anti-Saloon League of Illinois.]


King Arthur's men have come again.
They challenge everywhere
The foes of Christ's Eternal Church.
Her incense crowns the air.
The heathen knighthood cower and curse
To hear the bugles ring,
But spears are set, the charge is on,
Wise Arthur shall be king!

And Cromwell's men have come again,
I meet them in the street.
Stern but in this — no way of thorns
Shall snare the children's feet.
The reveling foemen wreak but waste,
A sodden poisonous band.
Fierce Cromwell builds the flower-bright towns,
And a more sunlit land!

And Lincoln's men have come again.
Up from the South he flayed,
The grandsons of his foes arise
In his own cause arrayed.
They rise for freedom and clean laws
High laws, that shall endure.
Our God establishes his arm
And makes the battle sure!

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The Man Who Climbs The Highest Pole Of The Bridge...

at the highest bridge on the city of
Cebu a man in his twenties
climbs the pole and sits there overlooking
the city
the City is in panic
for he must be saved
his name is taken: Juan
Molina,32 years old,
a thief, jobless, and without
any known relatives
and he is so hungry
and it is so hot at the top
and he is coming down
if there is something to
eat

they thought he is going to jump
and kill himself

which is not the fact of the case
he simply wants to see
the whole damned city
of leaders who cannot understand
that he too needs work
to have money to buy something to
eat to pay for the rent of his boarding space,
his bills, and his toothpaste
and soap

all the while the city is angry
this man must be sent to prison
we are so disturbed
and he creates the massive
confusion

sad, sad city.
suicidal masses
luxurious lifestyles of the rich and
the famous elite

most of the poor and the
lost do not ask anymore where is God?

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I Have A House Against The Sugar-Bush Hillocks

I have a house against the sugar-bush hillocks
where like orange speckles aloes grow wild,
where thunder strikes iron stones blue-white
with flowering proteas growing everywhere

and I see chacma baboons impudent
coming in a horde to my fruit orchard,
eating some whole peaches with meat and pits
in a blatant aggressive noisy group,

before they all run away indignant
and they are gone before the dark night comes
when storm clouds hang threatening black and grey,
with lightning bolts hitting some blue-white sparks
and every visitor that knocks on my door
is awaited like a welcome kind of guest.
he brushes his jean off making it neat
and then he turns right around to face me
where he is looking somewhat tattered,

he stands without any words as if dumb
but his words lie in every glance,
suddenly I see the whole of humanity
whose glances do not quarter for anything

bringing the hurt, the pain that oppression brings,
telling how men that can work are jobless,
how this evil still circles out wider,
treading some people down without pity,
how it pierces the Afrikaner nation,
as a type of evil occurrence.

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Mothers Of The World

to all the mothers in the world-who are raising their liitle
boys and girls.-it is plain to see that you have a tremendous responsibilty.
whether we are single or with a spouse
have an apartment or a house.
not many people know the pain you go through.
except the ones who are close to you.
when you are single and no one to give a helping hand
and no one to encourage you-or ease your pain.
it will never be the same-as someone with a caring spouse
who is a man and not a louse.
you struggle to give them all you can without the help of a man.
for there are very few men who will take on the responsibility
of raising someone else's kids.
unless they are in the same boat as you-and don't know
what to do raising his children on his own-in hopes that
they will be big and strong-and for them to see-he is holding his responsibility.
so if this man and woman can join forces as one
there is nothing under the sun-that can shake their faith
in the one up above-for he has given them this love.
and for the women who do have a man to share
the responsibility.-don't ever set them free-
because what you give up today
some one else will pick up the slack, and never give him back.

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Same Old Strain

Each day that I live I am persuaded anew,
A maxim I long have believed in, is true.
Each day I grow firmer in this, my belief,
Strong drink causes half the world's trouble and grief.

Do I take up a paper, I read of a fight,
Tom's fist in his eye deprived Jamie of sight;
Both fellows were drinking before it began,
And drink made a brute of a peaceable man.

Next, Jones kills his wife, such an awful affair!
She was throttled, and pounded, and drawn by the hair;
Cause-'Jones had been drinking-not in his sane mind.'
(Few men
are
who tip up the bottle, I find.)


Then, a man is assaulted and dirked in the dark
By two 'jolly boys' who are out on a 'lark;'
They have ever been peaceable boys-but, you see,
They drank, and 'were hardly themselves' on this spree.


Just over the street lives the man who is known
To be honest and kind, when he lets drink alone;
But whenever he quaffs from the full, flowing bowl,
He is more like a beast than a man with a soul.


Next door lives the husband who frets at his wife;
With his temper and spleen, she's no peace of her life.
Well I know-do you? he muddles his head
Every night with hot toddy, ere going to bed.


'We temperance croakers harp on the same strain?'
Well-the cause is one story again and again;
Fights-tragedy-troubles-all stirred up by drink,
Good reason we have to keep
harping
, I think.


We harp to these words; strong drink drives the knife
To the heart of a friend, and deprives him of life;
It turns sober boys into rowdies and knaves-
It steals from the household to fill up the graves.


Who loves it the most first falls by its art;
It first wins its victim-then strikes to the heart.
But one thing is certain-it never was known
To do a man harm if he let it alone.

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The Highest Of The High - Pt2

Part 2
You exist eternally having no beginning or end
and in reality You're the most sought after friend.
In those who are pure at heart and mind You are so easily found,
and if anyone learns to speak Your language You always come around.
In times of need, especially when the world is in much turmoil,
You make Your appearance on earth undergoing incredible toil.
To one and all You give each a gentle push forward
doing Your ages old duty bringing all closer toward
that state of existence which is indescribable for any to express
making available Your glorious nature by compassion nevertheless.

You are the Avatar - God incarnate in human form,
the oldest and wisest being exceeding all rivals born.
In each new age that You are brought down
by those Five who have been chosen to crown
You as The Highest of the High and hand over the reins
of the entire creation for You to steer away from the pains
and hidden fears of seemingly premature self-destruction,
by Thine infinite divine attributes You overcome all obstruction.

You haven't come here to establish a new society, organization or religion
bring
but to revitalise and bring together all that have come before like beads on a
string.
Undergoing infinite suffering while in the body for humanity's sake You are
only asking for love in return from those who know You as MEHER BABA.

A great deal of Thy work was done with those Wayfarer souls,
Thine intimate lovers, scattered all around, playing their unique roles,
but appearing somewhat dazed and destitute like other madmen around,
You recognised they were intoxicated from Divine Love true and profound.
Nourishing and satisfying their inner yearnings You helped them all get along
and when realising Whom they were with, knew it was to You they did belong.
Also You washed, clothed and fed many of the other unfortunate ones
sharing with each an intimate moment of love for which You had come.
It was because of Thy greatness and glory that You achieved all this and more
showing all mankind, by love and compassion, the road that leads to Your door.

AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI

       

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The Victory Day

The 8th -9th of May – the Greatest Day,
the Saint Holiday – the Victory Day.
A holiday with glee and spree,
a holiday with tears that appear
remembering those soldiers,
the heroes of the Second World War.
Those hardcore days
we don’t want to face anymore.
That was the largest war
in the history of mankind,
I don’t want you to be blind
but to know and remember the facts:
almost 58 million of men were lost.
Wasn’t it the highest cost?
62 countries out of 73
fought against fascist regime
in one international team.
More than 80% of the Earth population
were involved in military operation,
covering the territories of 40 countries,
bringing only grief, hunger, sufferings and worries.
I looked at the pictures of those young guys,
those heroes of the Second World War
and tried to realize who they were before.
It’s difficult to guess but I would like to suggest:
among them was someone’s son
who had never seen a gun,
someone’s first student or a teacher,
someone’s darling, friend or a preacher.
They had laid down in the fields of fights
struggling for freedom and human rights.
They had given their lives for you and me,
for everyone to be free and live happily,
for the grass to be green,
for the sky to be blue and clean.
Someone in ancient times once said:
“If you want peace be ready for the war.”
These words are not for today.
Yes, we shout “Hurray! ”
But if we want peace
we have to do everything for love to increase
But not use military force
which is only the source of sufferings and the losses
with so many costs.
Yes, we celebrate this day and shout “Hurray”, say “Cheers”
wishing everyone live in lasting peace,
not to know a war decease.
We remember the most impressive celebration
when two nations: American and Russian soldiers
met on the banks of the Elbe and could finally see
the end of that horrible war.
With admiration and joyfully they embraced one another
as if they were old friends or even brothers.
So, today, on the 8th of May I would like to say:
Peoples of our planet Earth!
Remember! We are the part of the whole Universe.
Take care of our Land!
Everyone has to understand:
if you want peace
You have to do everything for love to increase.

Larisa R (Odessa, Ukraine)

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The Highest Of The High - Pt1

Part 1
A pilgrimage to Thy feet someday I hope to make
where I no longer will be, except as dust, for Your sake
to please You and seek Your pleasure to date
when knowing You are really my best mate.
If You appear to be hard on me I will know
there's something more You wish me to forego.

You have a habit of working in unfathomable ways
mind boggling to those who attempt such displays
as knowing Your will when Your whim's holding sway
revealing their ignorance and causing some dismay.

You have and use the capacity of a universal mind
staggering to the imagination leaving it far behind,
being the subtlest of the subtle and pervading all planes
throughout the three worlds You're the One who entertains.
Whether in apparent joy or sorrow remaining always the same
established in reality and far beyond the opposites' game.

You're the perfect mirror reflecting what and where we are;
as being unrealistic and caught in illusion, not going very far.
When we recognise our situation and let You take us by the hand,
with all faith and humility, we can reach that place where You stand.

Outwardly You appear to have a most unassuming stature
yet inwardly possessing spiritual wealth of an infinite nature.
You radiate divine love to all who come before You;
in Thy presence it's like drowning and melting into
a supremely blissful existence beyond any worldly experience.
An intense yet somewhat cooling fire of love, in all conscience
like an inner awakening and emerging into a fathomless being,
all around as inseparable parts of an infinite ocean and seeing
that there is nothing else to behold in formless eternity
which is really our true nature and immaculate reality.

You have indicated that You're the One many seek but so few find
and that You are the Ancient One; being The Only One of a kind.
This time around though You have come not to teach but to awaken
and by remaining silent, through Your silence, the world will be shaken.
Perhaps like an oncoming storm where lightning is seen before thunder
Your glory will manifest regardless of what is going on down under.
Eventually ushering in the New Humanity of which You have spoken
and uttering One Word, everywhere resounding, Your silence is broken.
Revealing Your greatest manifestation as You long ago stated
thence Your Final Declaration will thus never be outdated.
--------------------
Note:
This is my poem about a person known as Meher Baba who was a very highly regarded 20th Century Spiritual Master and believed to be the Avatar who like Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, Rama, Zoroaster, etc. comes down or appears once every several hundred years to help and guide mankind forwards. I have divided it into two parts because of its length. I have also referred the name of Meher Baba in a few other poems in my collection.

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