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Will Rogers

Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.

in New York TImes (30 September 1923)Report problemRelated quotes
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Sunday Papers

Mother doesnt go out any more
Just sits at home and rolls her spastic eyes
But every weekend through the door
Come words of wisdom from the world outside
If you want to know about the bishop and the actress
If you want to know how to be a star
If you want to know about the stains on the mattress
You can read it in the sunday papers, sunday papers
Mothers wheelchair stays out in the hall
Why should she go out when the tvs on
Whatever moves beyond these walls
Shell know the facts when sunday comes along
If you want to know about the man gone bonkers
If you want to know how to play guitar
If you want to know about the other suckers
You can read it in the sunday papers, read it in the sunday papers
Sunday papers dont ask no questions
Sunday papers dont get no lies
Sunday papers dont raise objection
Sunday papers dont got no eyes
Brothers heading that way now I guess
He just read something made his face turn blue
Well I got nothing against the press
They wouldnt print it if it wasnt true
If you want to know about the gay politician
If you want to know how to drive your car
If you want to know about the new sex position
You can read it in the sunday papers, read it in the sunday papers
Sunday papers dont ask no questions
Sunday papers dont get no lies
Sunday papers dont raise objection
Sunday papers dont got no eyes
Sunday papers dont ask no questions
Sunday papers dont get no lies
Sunday papers dont raise objection
Sunday papers dont got no eyes
Read all about it, sunday papers

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Monday Papers

I dont want to go out any more
I read the news, I cant believe my eyes
I push the table against the door
You know Ive had it with the world outside
If you want to know about the murderers and junkies
If you want to know about the lower east side
Now they got a map shows you where to get your monkey
You can read it in the monday papers, monday papers
Some people like a little gore
Some people always at the scenes of crimes
Now they can watch the tv more
Now they can get it in the sunday times
If you find it hard to handle what you see on page one
You can pull the funnies out and have some laughs
Take a drink and maybe you can laugh at ronald reagan
You can read it in the monday papers, read it in the monday papers
Monday papers dont ask no questions
Monday papers dont get no lies
Monday papers dont raise objection
Monday papers dont got no eyes
Brothers heading that way now I guess
He just read something made his face turn blue
Well I got nothing against the press
They wouldnt print it if it wasnt true
If you want to know about the gay politician
If you want to know how to be a star
Ladies - if you want to know about the new sex position
You can read it in the monday papers, read it in the monday papers
Monday papers dont ask no questions
Monday papers dont get no lies
Monday papers dont raise objection
Monday papers dont got no eyes
Monday papers dont ask no questions
Monday papers dont get no lies
Monday papers dont raise objection
Monday papers dont got no eyes
Read all about it, monday papers

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VI. Giuseppe Caponsacchi

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

[...] Read more

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Yesterday's Papers

Who wants yesterdays papers
Who wants yesterdays girl
Who wants yesterdays papers
Nobody in the world

After this time I finally learned
After the pain and hurt
After all this what have I achieved
I've realized it's time to leave

Cause
Cho wants yesterdays papers
Who wants yesterdays girl
Who wants yesterdays papers
Nobody in the world

Living a life of constant change
Every day means the turn of a page
Yesterdays papers are such bad news
Same thing applies to me and you

Who wants yesterdays papers
Who wants yesterdays girl
Who wants yesterdays papers
Nobody in the world

Seems very hard to have just one girl
When there's a million in the world
All of these people just can't wait
To fall right into their big mistake

Who wants yesterdays papers
Who wants yesterdays girl
Who wants yesterdays papers
Nobody in the world

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Tale XXI

The Learned Boy

An honest man was Farmer Jones, and true;
He did by all as all by him should do;
Grave, cautious, careful, fond of gain was he,
Yet famed for rustic hospitality:
Left with his children in a widow'd state,
The quiet man submitted to his fate;
Though prudent matrons waited for his call,
With cool forbearance he avoided all;
Though each profess'd a pure maternal joy,
By kind attention to his feeble boy;
And though a friendly Widow knew no rest,
Whilst neighbour Jones was lonely and distress'd;
Nay, though the maidens spoke in tender tone
Their hearts' concern to see him left alone,
Jones still persisted in that cheerless life,
As if 'twere sin to take a second wife.
Oh! 'tis a precious thing, when wives are dead,
To find such numbers who will serve instead;
And in whatever state a man be thrown,
'Tis that precisely they would wish their own;
Left the departed infants--then their joy
Is to sustain each lovely girl and boy:
Whatever calling his, whatever trade,
To that their chief attention has been paid;
His happy taste in all things they approve,
His friends they honour, and his food they love;
His wish for order, prudence in affairs,
An equal temper (thank their stars!), are theirs;
In fact, it seem'd to be a thing decreed,
And fix'd as fate, that marriage must succeed:
Yet some, like Jones, with stubborn hearts and

hard,
Can hear such claims and show them no regard.
Soon as our Farmer, like a general, found
By what strong foes he was encompass'd round,
Engage he dared not, and he could not fly,
But saw his hope in gentle parley lie;
With looks of kindness then, and trembling heart,
He met the foe, and art opposed to art.
Now spoke that foe insidious--gentle tones,
And gentle looks, assumed for Farmer Jones:
'Three girls,' the Widow cried, 'a lively three
To govern well--indeed it cannot be.'
'Yes,' he replied, 'it calls for pains and care:
But I must bear it.'--'Sir, you cannot bear;
Your son is weak, and asks a mother's eye:'
'That, my kind friend, a father's may supply.'

[...] Read more

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VII. Pompilia

I am just seventeen years and five months old,
And, if I lived one day more, three full weeks;
'T is writ so in the church's register,
Lorenzo in Lucina, all my names
At length, so many names for one poor child,
—Francesca Camilla Vittoria Angela
Pompilia Comparini,—laughable!
Also 't is writ that I was married there
Four years ago: and they will add, I hope,
When they insert my death, a word or two,—
Omitting all about the mode of death,—
This, in its place, this which one cares to know,
That I had been a mother of a son
Exactly two weeks. It will be through grace
O' the Curate, not through any claim I have;
Because the boy was born at, so baptized
Close to, the Villa, in the proper church:
A pretty church, I say no word against,
Yet stranger-like,—while this Lorenzo seems
My own particular place, I always say.
I used to wonder, when I stood scarce high
As the bed here, what the marble lion meant,
With half his body rushing from the wall,
Eating the figure of a prostrate man—
(To the right, it is, of entry by the door)
An ominous sign to one baptized like me,
Married, and to be buried there, I hope.
And they should add, to have my life complete,
He is a boy and Gaetan by name—
Gaetano, for a reason,—if the friar
Don Celestine will ask this grace for me
Of Curate Ottoboni: he it was
Baptized me: he remembers my whole life
As I do his grey hair.

All these few things
I know are true,—will you remember them?
Because time flies. The surgeon cared for me,
To count my wounds,—twenty-two dagger-wounds,
Five deadly, but I do not suffer much—
Or too much pain,—and am to die to-night.

Oh how good God is that my babe was born,
—Better than born, baptized and hid away
Before this happened, safe from being hurt!
That had been sin God could not well forgive:
He was too young to smile and save himself.
When they took two days after he was born,
My babe away from me to be baptized
And hidden awhile, for fear his foe should find,—

[...] Read more

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I Guess Ill Get The Papers & Go Home

Yes, I guess Ill get the papers and go home
Like Ive been doin ever since weve been apart
I get some consolation when I read
Of someone elses lonely heart, yes
I wonder if you get the papers too
And if you feel as melancholy as I do
Until youre in my arms again, never more to roam
I guess Ill get the papers and go home, yes
I guess Ill get the papers and go home
Like Ive been doin ever since weve been apart
Yes, I get some consolation when I read
Of someone elses lonely heart
Mmm, I wonder if you get the papers too (bah-ba-dee-do-do-do)
And if you feel as melancholy as I do
Baby, till youre in my arms again, never more to roam
I guess Ill get the papers and go home
Yes, I guess Ill get the papers and go home

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I Guess I'll Get The Papers And Go Home

Yes, I guess I'll get the papers and go home
Like I've been doin' ever since we've been apart
I get some consolation when I read
Of someone elses lonely heart, yes
I wonder if you get the papers too
And if you feel as melancholy as I do
Until you're in my arms again, never more to roam
I guess I'll get the papers and go home, yes
I guess I'll get the papers and go home
Like I've been doin' ever since we've been apart
Yes, I get some consolation when I read
Of someone elses lonely heart
Mmm, I wonder if you get the papers too
And if you feel as melancholy as I do
Baby, till you're in my arms again, never more to roam
I guess I'll get the papers and go home
Yes, I guess I'll get the papers and go home

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Read My Lips

Words and music: doug johnson, mike reno, neil shilkin
Here you come again, lookin for another thrill
With your lipstick, high heel shoes, lookin like youre
Dressed to kill
Tattoo stuck on you, branded by a chosen few
What short memory, now its time to pay your dues
Dont you hear a word I say?
Just turn your head and look this way
And read my lips
Read my lips, listen to me, Im talkin to you
Read my lips
Read my lips, Im tellin you, Im through with you
I know where you go when you need to get some
Bad little actress on a mattress, its seduction
Anything for you
You dont hear a word I say
So turn your head and look this way
And, read my lips
Read my lips, listen to me, Im talkin to you
Read my lips
Read my lips, listen to me, youre history
Ive been watching what you do
And it doesnt take a fool
To see what weve been through
Oh, gonna turn the page on you
(guitar solo)
You dont hear a word I say
So turn your head and look this way
And read my lips
Read my lips, listen to me, Im talkin to you
Read my lips
Read my tips, oh, Im through with you
Read my tips
Read my lips, listen to me, Im talkin to you
Read my lips
Read my lips, listen to me, youre history
Oh yeah, read my lips
I said, read my lips
Read my lips
Just read my lips

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Steal The Thunder

Here you come again, lookin' for another thrill
With your lipstick, high heel shoes, lookin' like you're dressed to kill
Tattoo stuck on you, branded by a chosen few
What short memory, now it's time to pay your dues
Don't you hear a word I say? Just turn your head and look this way
And read my lips, read my lips, listen to me, I'm talkin' to you
Read my lips, read my lips, I'm tellin' you, I'm through with you
I know where you go when you need to get some
Bad little actress on a mattress, it's seduction, anything for you
You don't you hear a word I say, so turn your head and look this way
And read my lips, read my lips, listen to me, I'm talkin' to you
Read my lips, read my lips, listen to me, you're history
I've been watching what you do, and it doesn't take a fool
To see what we've been through, oh, gonna turn the page on you
(Solo)
You don't you hear a word I say, so turn your head and look this way
And read my lips, read my lips, listen to me, I'm talkin' to you
Read my lips, read my lips, oh, I'm through with you
Read my lips, oh, read my lips, listen to me, I'm talkin' to you
Read my lips, read my lips, listen to me, you're history
Oh yeah, read my lips, I said, read my lips, read my lips
Just read my lips
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Midnight Star

I was waiting in the express lane with my twelve items or less
At the checkout counter at the local grocery store
I was only passin by
But a paper caught my eye
And I learend a few things I mever knew before
It said your pet may be an extra terrestrial
It said the ghost of elvis is living in my den
You can learn to cope with stress
You can beat the irs
And the incredible frog boy is on the loose again
Oh, mignight star
Its in the weekly midnight star
Aliens from outer space are sleeping in my car
Midnight star, I wanna know, I wanna know
Eat jelly donuts and lose twenty pounds a day
Hear the story of the man born without a head
And top psychics all agree
That the telephone company
Will have a brand new service that lets you talk to the dead
Oh, midnight star
You can believe it if you read it in the weekly mignight star
Theyre keeping hitlers brain alive inside a jar
Midnight star, I wanna know, I wanna know
Tell me, tell me, tell me how to make my bust-line grow
Midnight star, I wanna know
Oh, midnight star
Well, dont you know that I read it, I read it in the weekly midnight star
The ufos have landed and well tell you where they are
Midnight star, I wanna know, I wanna know
Midnight star
Well, you can read all about in in the weekly midnight star
You can use you esp to learn to play guitar
Midnight star I wanna know, I wanna know
(ah, midnight star) I wanna know, I wanna know
(ah, midnight star) I wanna know, I wanna know
(ah, midnight star) I wanna know, I wanna know
(ah, midnight star) inquiring minds like mine wanna know
(you can read it {x5}, midnight star {x2}) (ah, midnight star) I wanna know, I wanna know
(you can read it {x5}, midnight star {x2}) (ah, midnight star) I wanna know, I wanna know
(you can read it {x5}, midnight star {x2}) (ah, midnight star) I wanna know, I wanna know
(you can read it {x5}, midnight star {x2}) (ah, midnight star) I wanna know, I wanna know
(you can read it {x5}, midnight star {x2}) (ah, midnight star) I wanna know, I wanna know
(you can read it {x5}, midnight star {x2}) (ah, midnight star) I wanna know, I wanna know

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I Know Their Name

I know their name. I saw their picture in the paper yesterday
I know their name. I saw the story that was written on the page
I know their name. I used to play with them they lived a block away
I know their name. Their father used to drive a light blue chevrolet
I know their name. I used to play with them I swear I know their name.
I know their name. I used to play with them I swear I know their
I know their name. I know their name. I know their name.
I know their name.
I know their name. I saw their picture in the paper yesterday
I know their name. I saw the story that was written on the page
I know their name. They had a dog that used to answer to Barney
I know their name. I used to play with them they lived a block away
I know their name. I used to play with them I swear I know their name.
I know their name. I used to play with them I swear I know their
I know their name. I know their name. I know their name.
I know their name.
(La guitar)
I know their name. I used to play with them I swear I know their name.
I know their name. I used to play with them I swear I know their
I know their name. I know their name. I know their name.
I know their name.
I say. I know. I know
I know their name. I know. I know
I know their name. I know. I know
I know their name. I know. I know (their name)
I say:
I I I I I I I know their name. I know. I know. I know their name.
I I I I I I I know their name. I know. I know. I know their name.
I say. I know. I know
I know their name. I know. I know
I know their name. I know. I know
I know their name. I know. I know (their name)
I know their name.
I know their name.
I know their name

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6 Minutes Of Pleasure

Six minutes, six minutes
Six minutes, six minutes
(Sample)
I know why you're here
I ain't sayin nothin
(LL Cool J)
Aiyyo baby I know why you're here
I know what you're doing
I can see it in your eyes you're up to somethin
I know what it is, but we're still cool
And we can socialize, I'm peepin ya baby
I'm holdin back I'm not lettin go
Cause a fool doesn't have a shoulder to cry on
So, give me a kiss and you service
Whether you like a mister or a miss
(Chorus sample in the background)
(LL Cool J)
Aiyyo baby I know you don't love me
I know why you're here
But I ain't sayin nothin
Aiyyo baby I know you don't love me
I know why you're here
But I ain't sayin nothin
Aiyyo baby I know you don't love me
I know why you're here
But I ain't sayin nothin
Aiyyo baby I know you don't love me
I know why you're here
But I ain't sayin nothin
(LL Cool J)
Baby you're my dear I know why you're here
I know why you came I know what you're thinkin
I know what you need and that's what I've got
You think I'm goin crazy no I'm not drinking
I know what you want, I made ya want it
Take my hand listen to the man
You have a plan don't even risk it
What do you want a biscuit?
(Chorus sample in the background)
(LL Cool J)
Aiyyo baby I know you don't love me
I know why you're here
But I ain't sayin nothin
Aiyyo baby I know you don't love me
I know why you're here
But I ain't sayin nothin
Aiyyo baby I know you don't love me
I know why you're here
But I ain't sayin nothin
Aiyyo baby I know you don't love me

[...] Read more

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Lancelot And Elaine

Elaine the fair, Elaine the loveable,
Elaine, the lily maid of Astolat,
High in her chamber up a tower to the east
Guarded the sacred shield of Lancelot;
Which first she placed where the morning's earliest ray
Might strike it, and awake her with the gleam;
Then fearing rust or soilure fashioned for it
A case of silk, and braided thereupon
All the devices blazoned on the shield
In their own tinct, and added, of her wit,
A border fantasy of branch and flower,
And yellow-throated nestling in the nest.
Nor rested thus content, but day by day,
Leaving her household and good father, climbed
That eastern tower, and entering barred her door,
Stript off the case, and read the naked shield,
Now guessed a hidden meaning in his arms,
Now made a pretty history to herself
Of every dint a sword had beaten in it,
And every scratch a lance had made upon it,
Conjecturing when and where: this cut is fresh;
That ten years back; this dealt him at Caerlyle;
That at Caerleon; this at Camelot:
And ah God's mercy, what a stroke was there!
And here a thrust that might have killed, but God
Broke the strong lance, and rolled his enemy down,
And saved him: so she lived in fantasy.

How came the lily maid by that good shield
Of Lancelot, she that knew not even his name?
He left it with her, when he rode to tilt
For the great diamond in the diamond jousts,
Which Arthur had ordained, and by that name
Had named them, since a diamond was the prize.

For Arthur, long before they crowned him King,
Roving the trackless realms of Lyonnesse,
Had found a glen, gray boulder and black tarn.
A horror lived about the tarn, and clave
Like its own mists to all the mountain side:
For here two brothers, one a king, had met
And fought together; but their names were lost;
And each had slain his brother at a blow;
And down they fell and made the glen abhorred:
And there they lay till all their bones were bleached,
And lichened into colour with the crags:
And he, that once was king, had on a crown
Of diamonds, one in front, and four aside.
And Arthur came, and labouring up the pass,
All in a misty moonshine, unawares

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Read Between The Lines

Uh hu
You got to read between the lines
You got to read between the lines
You got to read between the lines
Ah ah ah ah
Late afternoon
Its the sun going down
A call on the cell
Why is he in such a hurry
Leaving the room
Hes mumbling too
Now look what hes doing
Hes leaving out the room
No explanation
No ask for location
Just watching him pacing
Wonder who hes chasing
Looks like versation
The end of debation
Hed love to go swing and
(chorus)
You better open your mind
And read between the lines
Got to read between the lines
Got to read between the lines
Got to read between the lines
Hot in the morning
Im up waiting for breakfast
Know your getting restless
This fool is full of questions
Little replying
Whole lot of denying
Instead I feel life in
So why do you keep on trying
Touch for the median
Now hes a comedian
Thats all the more reason
Its changing like the season
Are you still pleasing
How soon youll be leaving
Which one hell be creeping
(chorus)
(bridge)
Your replies are getting old
Its in his eyes
Youve got to read between the lines
Your replies again told
Look in his eyes
Youve got to read between the lines
Your replies are getting old

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If You Read

If you read me
In my lines you begin
To understand what
I write about &
Perhaps what I am
That would be
So ordinary
A matter only of clarification.

If you read me, however
Carefully
in between
My lines,
and go deeper
To hidden symbols
And find some meanings
You will find
something
Else, something not
Me but sounding like
Me and you will begin to have doubts
If it is really me
Or I am just
Bluffing
Misleading you
For something else
So that you
Do not grasp me
At all,

and if you begin
to
Doubt it,
well, it could be that it was
Done on purpose
i
Wanting to achieve
A little
dramatization
Of what I am,
For some little
Thrills
Some gigs
Or gimmicks
We all love these
Tragic plays
Most of the
The time.

But sometimes,

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Second Book

TIMES followed one another. Came a morn
I stood upon the brink of twenty years,
And looked before and after, as I stood
Woman and artist,–either incomplete,
Both credulous of completion. There I held
The whole creation in my little cup,
And smiled with thirsty lips before I drank,
'Good health to you and me, sweet neighbour mine
And all these peoples.'
I was glad, that day;
The June was in me, with its multitudes
Of nightingales all singing in the dark,
And rosebuds reddening where the calyx split.
I felt so young, so strong, so sure of God!
So glad, I could not choose be very wise!
And, old at twenty, was inclined to pull
My childhood backward in a childish jest
To see the face of't once more, and farewell!
In which fantastic mood I bounded forth
At early morning,–would not wait so long
As even to snatch my bonnet by the strings,
But, brushing a green trail across the lawn
With my gown in the dew, took will and way
Among the acacias of the shrubberies,
To fly my fancies in the open air
And keep my birthday, till my aunt awoke
To stop good dreams. Meanwhile I murmured on,
As honeyed bees keep humming to themselves;
'The worthiest poets have remained uncrowned
Till death has bleached their foreheads to the bone,
And so with me it must be, unless I prove
Unworthy of the grand adversity,–
And certainly I would not fail so much.
What, therefore, if I crown myself to-day
In sport, not pride, to learn the feel of it,
Before my brows be numb as Dante's own
To all the tender pricking of such leaves?
Such leaves? what leaves?'
I pulled the branches down,
To choose from.
'Not the bay! I choose no bay;
The fates deny us if we are overbold:
Nor myrtle–which means chiefly love; and love
Is something awful which one dare not touch
So early o' mornings. This verbena strains
The point of passionate fragrance; and hard by,
This guelder rose, at far too slight a beck
Of the wind, will toss about her flower-apples.
Ah–there's my choice,–that ivy on the wall,
That headlong ivy! not a leaf will grow

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To My Friends and Critics

Come all you friends and critics,
And listen to my song,
A word I will say to you,
It will not take me long,
The people talks about me,
They've nothing else to do
But to criticise their neighbors,
And they have me now in view.

Perhaps they talk for meanness,
And perhaps it is in jest,
If they leave out their freeness
It would suit me now the best,
To keep the good old maxim
I find it hard to do,
That is to do to others
As you wish them do to you.

Perhaps you've read the papers
Containing my interview;
I hope you kind good people
Will not believe it true.
Some Editors of the papers
They thought it would be wise
To write a column about me,
So they filled it up with lies.

The papers have ridiculed me
A year and a half or more.
Such slander as the interview
I never read before.
Some reporters and editors
Are versed in telling lies.
Others it seems are willing
To let industry rise.

The people of good judgment
Will read the papers through,
And not rely on its truth
Without a candid view.
My first attempt at literature
Is the "Sweet Singer" by name,
I wrote that book without a thought
Of the future, or of fame.

Dear Friends, I write for money,
With a kind heart and hand,
I wish to make no Enemies
Throughout my native land.
Kind friends, now I close my rhyme,

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James Russell Lowell

A Fable For Critics

Phoebus, sitting one day in a laurel-tree's shade,
Was reminded of Daphne, of whom it was made,
For the god being one day too warm in his wooing,
She took to the tree to escape his pursuing;
Be the cause what it might, from his offers she shrunk,
And, Ginevra-like, shut herself up in a trunk;
And, though 'twas a step into which he had driven her,
He somehow or other had never forgiven her;
Her memory he nursed as a kind of a tonic,
Something bitter to chew when he'd play the Byronic,
And I can't count the obstinate nymphs that he brought over
By a strange kind of smile he put on when he thought of her.
'My case is like Dido's,' he sometimes remarked;
'When I last saw my love, she was fairly embarked
In a laurel, as _she_ thought-but (ah, how Fate mocks!)
She has found it by this time a very bad box;
Let hunters from me take this saw when they need it,-
You're not always sure of your game when you've treed it.
Just conceive such a change taking place in one's mistress!
What romance would be left?-who can flatter or kiss trees?
And, for mercy's sake, how could one keep up a dialogue
With a dull wooden thing that will live and will die a log,-
Not to say that the thought would forever intrude
That you've less chance to win her the more she is wood?
Ah! it went to my heart, and the memory still grieves,
To see those loved graces all taking their leaves;
Those charms beyond speech, so enchanting but now,
As they left me forever, each making its bough!
If her tongue _had_ a tang sometimes more than was right,
Her new bark is worse than ten times her old bite.'

Now, Daphne-before she was happily treeified-
Over all other blossoms the lily had deified,
And when she expected the god on a visit
('Twas before he had made his intentions explicit),
Some buds she arranged with a vast deal of care,
To look as if artlessly twined in her hair,
Where they seemed, as he said, when he paid his addresses,
Like the day breaking through, the long night of her tresses;
So whenever he wished to be quite irresistible,
Like a man with eight trumps in his hand at a whist-table
(I feared me at first that the rhyme was untwistable,
Though I might have lugged in an allusion to Cristabel),-
He would take up a lily, and gloomily look in it,
As I shall at the--, when they cut up my book in it.

Well, here, after all the bad rhyme I've been spinning,
I've got back at last to my story's beginning:
Sitting there, as I say, in the shade of his mistress,
As dull as a volume of old Chester mysteries,

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

First Book

OF writing many books there is no end;
And I who have written much in prose and verse
For others' uses, will write now for mine,–
Will write my story for my better self,
As when you paint your portrait for a friend,
Who keeps it in a drawer and looks at it
Long after he has ceased to love you, just
To hold together what he was and is.

I, writing thus, am still what men call young;
I have not so far left the coasts of life
To travel inland, that I cannot hear
That murmur of the outer Infinite
Which unweaned babies smile at in their sleep
When wondered at for smiling; not so far,
But still I catch my mother at her post
Beside the nursery-door, with finger up,
'Hush, hush–here's too much noise!' while her sweet eyes
Leap forward, taking part against her word
In the child's riot. Still I sit and feel
My father's slow hand, when she had left us both,
Stroke out my childish curls across his knee;
And hear Assunta's daily jest (she knew
He liked it better than a better jest)
Inquire how many golden scudi went
To make such ringlets. O my father's hand,
Stroke the poor hair down, stroke it heavily,–
Draw, press the child's head closer to thy knee!
I'm still too young, too young to sit alone.

I write. My mother was a Florentine,
Whose rare blue eyes were shut from seeing me
When scarcely I was four years old; my life,
A poor spark snatched up from a failing lamp
Which went out therefore. She was weak and frail;
She could not bear the joy of giving life–
The mother's rapture slew her. If her kiss
Had left a longer weight upon my lips,
It might have steadied the uneasy breath,
And reconciled and fraternised my soul
With the new order. As it was, indeed,
I felt a mother-want about the world,
And still went seeking, like a bleating lamb
Left out at night, in shutting up the fold,–
As restless as a nest-deserted bird
Grown chill through something being away, though what
It knows not. I, Aurora Leigh, was born
To make my father sadder, and myself
Not overjoyous, truly. Women know
The way to rear up children, (to be just,)

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