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Misalliance: civilization and progress.

aphorism by from A house heated by utopias, translated by Dan CostinaşReport problemRelated quotes
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Get Some Rest

Getting little rest...
Isn't what's suggested is the best thing.
But...
Once one is committed,
It's difficult to quit.
Like many would would rather sit,
Just to...
Reminisce a bitterness,
Or...
Ignore the taking of those risks,
To...
Excuse the value of it.

And as a bit of a reminder...
Progress isn't made by sitting.
Progress isn't made by quitting.
Progress takes sacrificing,
What is wanted and what one likes.
And...
Progress isn't made by wishing.
Progress isn't made by shrinking...
Away to sneak a taste of cake,
While awaiting for someone else to make.
And...
Progress isn't made by sitting.
No.
Progress isn't made by quitting.
no.
Progress takes sacrificing,
What one wants, prefers and likes.

And,
Getting little rest...
Isn't what's suggested is the best thing.
But...
Once one is committed,
It's difficult to quit.
Like many would would rather sit,
Just to...
Reminisce a bitterness,
Or...
Ignore the taking of those risks,
To...
Excuse the value of it.

And as a bit of a reminder...
Get up and be tough.
Know,
To quit is not the best thing.
But...

[...] Read more

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Its A Jungle Out There

(pilger, polen, moloney)
Producer for bonnie: jim steinman
I hear you call it civilization
Its a jungle out there
Its a jungle out there
Unending nights of temptation
Its a jungle out there
But you just dont care
Each night you dress up to kill them
Down at the watering hole
You stalk your prey with high fashion
With self control, you play the roll
The lonely and the lonely heart hunters
The neon love life, oh it cuts like a knife
I hear you call it civilization
Its a jungle out there
Its a jungle out there
The sounds and shadows surround you
Youre swinging vine to vine
Below the nightmare it gathers
Its like a jungle, at feeding time
Clawing through the crowd each night
Oh you set your trap so carefully, a trophy for your wall
Someone has you in their sights
You are both the hunters and the prey, no winners at all
I hear you call it civilization
Its ajungle out there
Its a jungle out there
Unending nights of temptation
Its ajungle out there
But you just dont care
Unending nights of temptation
Its a jungle out there
Its a jungle out there
Civilization! oh!
Its ajungle out there
You call it civilization
Its a jungle out there
Its a jungle out there

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Millenial Hymn to Lord Shiva

Earth no longer
hymns the Creator,
the seven days of wonder,
the Garden is over —
all the stories are told,
the seven seals broken
all that begins
must have its ending,
our striving, desiring,
our living and dying,
for Time, the bringer
of abundant days
is Time the destroyer —
In the Iron Age
the Kali Yuga
To whom can we pray
at the end of an era
but the Lord Shiva,
the Liberator, the purifier?

Our forests are felled,
our mountains eroded,
the wild places
where the beautiful animals
found food and sanctuary
we have desolated,
a third of our seas,
a third of our rivers
we have polluted
and the sea-creatures dying.
Our civilization’s
blind progress
in wrong courses
through wrong choices
has brought us to nightmare
where what seems,
is, to the dreamer,
the collective mind
of the twentieth century —
this world of wonders
not divine creation
but a big bang
of blind chance,
purposeless accident,
mother earth’s children,
their living and loving,
their delight in being
not joy but chemistry,
stimulus, reflex,
valueless, meaningless,

[...] Read more

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High Civilization

Cryin' in the streets
They run for their lives
How can you lead them to heaven
They don't realize
Children of the night
How far can we fall
That which we say is forever
Ain't no time at all

Father and the son
Not too young to be old
Reach out for each other when
The world goes cold
Feel so good to be home
Are you ready for

(CHORUS)
My high civilization
Are you ready for
My high civilization
Are you ready for
My high civilization
Civilization

Everything for us to see
The ultimate society

Keeper of the sword
You fight for your rights
How can you live for the hour
When there's no yesterday
Dyin' in the streets
Your number your name
All that which keeps us together
Is bringing us the pain

Thunder of the guns
Comes the criminal mind
Working for the power of
The evil eye
We are never alone
Uncivilized

(CHORUS)

New York

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What Shall I Bring To Offer You?

Civilization,
what shall i bring as an offering to you?
One that does not bore you
with the passage of time
One that makes your blood rush to the
veins of your youth

Civilization,
They must have offered you the white flowers
of purity
They purest blood of their revolution to cleanse
your land of the evil spirits of their minds
Their own minds
Their own pollution
Indifference to the feelings of desire
How did they kill the beats of the heart
the beat of heat of the pulse of love for one another?

Civilization
How many shall be killed more in the name of morality
And official religion?

Civilization
I humbly come before you and offer you love
Lots of love
Love and love and love
That one which the basket of morality can no longer hold
That one which the hands of religion can no longer touch
That one which the arms of their gods can no longer embrace

I shall take you to the place beyond common understanding
It is love and love and love
Beyond what you can take.

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If aliens from outer space ever come and we show them our civilization and they make fun of it, we should say we were just kidding, that this isn't really our civilization, but a gag we hoped they would like. Then we tell them to come back in twenty years to see our REAL civilization. After that, we start a crash program of coming up with an impressive new civilization. Either that, or just shoot down the aliens as they're waving good-bye.

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Old Bob Blair

I got so down to it last night,
With longin' for what could not be,
That nothin' in the world seemed right
Or everything was wrong with me.
My house was just a lonely hole,
An' I had blisters on my soul.

Top of my other worries now
The boys are talkin' strike, an' say
If we put up a sudden row
We're sure of forcin' up our pay.
I'm right enough with what I get;
But some wants more, an' then more yet.

Ben Murray's put it up to me:
He says I got some influence
Amongst them, if I agree
'Which I will do if I have sense'
We'll make the boss cough up a bit.
That's how Ben Murray looks at it.

I don't know that the old boss can.
I've heard he's pushed to make ends meet.
To me he's been a fair, straight man
That pays up well an' works a treat.
But if I don't get in this game,
Well, 'blackleg' ain't a pretty name.

This thing has got me thinkin' hard,
But there is worse upon my mind.
What sort of luck has broke my guard
That I should be the man to find
A girl like that? . . . The whole world's wrong!
Why was I born to live and long?

I get so down to it last night
With broodin' over things like this,
I said 'There's not a thing in sight
Worth havin' but I seem to miss.'
So I go out and get some air
An' have a word with old Bob Blair.

Bob's livin' lonely, same as me;
But he don't take to frettin' so
An' gettin' megrims after tea.
He reads a lot at night, I know;
His hut has books half up the wall
That I don't tumble to at all.

Books all about them ancient blokes

[...] Read more

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Patrick White

Born Below

The rich will eat the poor like the krill of the sea
and grateful there is no real estate among the stars
flowering in the furrowed branches of the willow,
I stand in the backyard parking lot,
and look up with the wounded longing
of a man whose questions are older than his eyes,
knowing nothing will answer the agony
of being alive awhile to bear
this incredible burden of stars
to a grave that gapes without wonder, without sky, without light.
The night is a whisper of God to the dark minerals
composed in the vastness of space
to be humbled by the exaltations of time and mind.
Mercy and healing the radiant view
that expands like a universe within
when the heart grows tired of reading the braille of its scars.
Those lights, ferocious hawks shrieking in their wheeling heights,
the shattered glass of their unsoiled scintillance
thrown down like a goblet they only drink from once,
were my first teachers, the legends of their fury,
ancient, transformative fire imbibed early
that raised me up out of myself like a face
from the boat of my hands
or a passion I couldn’t return.
Are they changed somehow for the stories we tell of their shining,
the laws by which we divine their mysterious origins,
or enhanced by the thousands of years of gazing
that first raised ziggurats and pyramids on alluvial plains
to witch the will of the gods with lightning rods
in a chaos of mutability, civilization
the delusion born thereof, do they burn blindly
above the brutal business of the world, unconcerned
with the politics of extinction that rages below,
the flaring matchbook of nuclear powers
held to a page of apocalypse
that shadows the cowering earth
with arsonists and Armageddon?
Is all that flare and fury, the creation
of the very letters by which the worlds are said,
nothing but the afterlife of a sterling moment
in which, like us, they can’t in the present be seen?
Do the stars that shone on Babylon
shine on us; shine down on nothing,
or have they been humanized even slightly,
as they have been reputed to urge our own blood into fate,
by the monocausal view of love and carnage down below?
And gods, each to themselves,
have we become as they are, indifferent to our own glory,
random debacles of accidental intent
weighing our lives in the same purposeless breath,

[...] Read more

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The City Streets

A CITY of Palaces! Yes, that's true: a city of palaces built for trade;
Look down this street—what a splendid view of the temples where fabulous gains are made.
Just glance at the wealth of a single pile, the marble pillars, the miles of glass,
The carving and cornice in gaudy style, the massive show of the polished brass;
And think of the acres of inner floors, where the wealth of the world is spread for sale;
Why, the treasures inclosed by those ponderous doors are richer than ever a fairy tale.
Pass on the next, it is still the same, another Aladdin the scene repeats;
The silks are unrolled and the jewels flame for leagues and leagues of the city streets!

Now turn away from the teeming town, and pass to the homes of the merchant kings,
Wide squares where the stately porches frown, where the flowers are bright and the fountain sings;
Look up at the lights in that brilliant room, with its chandelier of a hundred flames!
See the carpeted street where the ladies come whose husbands have millions or famous names;
For whom are the jewels and silks, behold: on those exquisite bosoms and throats they burn;
Art challenges Nature in color and gold and the gracious presence of every turn.
So the winters fly past in a joyous rout, and the summers bring marvelous cool retreats;
These are civilized wonders we're finding out as we walk through the beautiful city streets.

A City of Palaces!—Hush! not quite: a, city where palaces are, is best;
No need to speak of what's out of sight: let us take what is pleasant, and leave the rest:
The men of the city who travel and write, whose fame and credit are known abroad,
The people who, move in the ranks polite, the cultured women whom all applaud.
It is true, there are only ten thousand here, but the other half million are vulgar clod;
And a soul well-bred is eternally dear—it counts so much more on the books of God.
The others have use in their place, no doubt; but why speak of a class one never meets?
They are gloomy things to be talked about, those common lives of the city streets.

Well, then, if you will, let us look at both: let us weigh the pleasure against the pain,
The gentleman's smile with the bar-room oath, the luminous square with the tenement lane.
Look round you now; 'tis another sphere, of thin-clad women and grimy men;
There are over ten thousand huddled here, where a hundred would live of our upper ten.
Take care of that child: here, look at her face, a baby who carries a baby brother;
They are early helpers in this poor plane, and the infant must often nurse the mother.

Come up those stairs where the little ones went: five flights they groped and climbed in the dark;
There are dozens of homes on the steep ascent, and homes that are filled with children—hark!
Did you hear that laugh, with its manly tones, and the joyous ring of the baby voice?
'Tis the father who gathers his little ones, the nurse and her brother, and all rejoice.
Yes, human nature is much the same when you come to the heart and count its beats;
The workman is proud of his home's dear name as the richest man on the city streets.

God pity them all! God pity the worst! for the worst are reckless, and need it most:
When we trace the causes why lives are curst with the criminal taint, let no man boast:
The race is not run with an equal chance: the poor man's son carries double weight;
Who have not, are tempted; inheritance is a blight or a blessing of man's estate.
No matter that poor men sometimes sweep the prize from the sons of the millionaire:
What is good to win must be good to keep, else the virtue dies on the topmost stair;

When the winners can keep their golden prize, still darker the day of the laboring poor:
The strong and the selfish are sure to rise, while the simple and generous die obscure.

[...] Read more

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Was all this bloodshed and deceit - from Columbus to Cortes, Pizarro the Puritans - a necessity for the human race to progress from savagery to civilization? Was Morison right in burying the story of genocide inside a more important story of human progress? Perhaps a persuasive argument can be made - as it was made by Stalin when he killed pesants for industrial progress in the Soviet Union, as it was made by Churchill explaining the bombings of Dresden and Hamburg, and Truman explaining Hiroshima. But how can the judgement be made if the benefits and losses cannot be balanced because the losses are either unmentioned or mentioned quickly?

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And Left Them

each a partial metaphor....
glad....with a gentleness of eye.
...truer in misalliance
than those
whose utter faith in statuary beneficence
had birthed a mist of quills, cold spells and patchwork picnics....
.they ambled, lanky and quietly astute, gathering wheels......

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Third Book

'TO-DAY thou girdest up thy loins thyself,
And goest where thou wouldest: presently
Others shall gird thee,' said the Lord, 'to go
Where thou would'st not.' He spoke to Peter thus,
To signify the death which he should die
When crucified head downwards.
If He spoke
To Peter then, He speaks to us the same;
The word suits many different martyrdoms,
And signifies a multiform of death,
Although we scarcely die apostles, we,
And have mislaid the keys of heaven and earth.

For tis not in mere death that men die most;
And, after our first girding of the loins
In youth's fine linen and fair broidery,
To run up hill and meet the rising sun,
We are apt to sit tired, patient as a fool,
While others gird us with the violent bands
Of social figments, feints, and formalisms,
Reversing our straight nature, lifting up
Our base needs, keeping down our lofty thoughts,
Head downward on the cross-sticks of the world.
Yet He can pluck us from the shameful cross.
God, set our feet low and our forehead high,
And show us how a man was made to walk!

Leave the lamp, Susan, and go up to bed.
The room does very well; I have to write
Beyond the stroke of midnight. Get away;
Your steps, for ever buzzing in the room,
Tease me like gnats. Ah, letters! throw them down
At once, as I must have them, to be sure,
Whether I bid you never bring me such
At such an hour, or bid you. No excuse.
You choose to bring them, as I choose perhaps
To throw them in the fire. Now, get to bed,
And dream, if possible, I am not cross.

Why what a pettish, petty thing I grow,–
A mere, mere woman,–a mere flaccid nerve,-
A kerchief left out all night in the rain,
Turned soft so,–overtasked and overstrained
And overlived in this close London life!
And yet I should be stronger.
Never burn
Your letters, poor Aurora! for they stare
With red seals from the table, saying each,
'Here's something that you know not.' Out alas,
'Tis scarcely that the world's more good and wise

[...] Read more

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Fourth Book

THEY met still sooner. 'Twas a year from thence
When Lucy Gresham, the sick semptress girl,
Who sewed by Marian's chair so still and quick,
And leant her head upon the back to cough
More freely when, the mistress turning round,
The others took occasion to laugh out,–
Gave up a last. Among the workers, spoke
A bold girl with black eyebrows and red lips,–
'You know the news? Who's dying, do you think?
Our Lucy Gresham. I expected it
As little as Nell Hart's wedding. Blush not, Nell,
Thy curls be red enough without thy cheeks;
And, some day, there'll be found a man to dote
On red curls.–Lucy Gresham swooned last night,
Dropped sudden in the street while going home;
And now the baker says, who took her up
And laid her by her grandmother in bed,
He'll give her a week to die in. Pass the silk.
Let's hope he gave her a loaf too, within reach,
For otherwise they'll starve before they die,
That funny pair of bedfellows! Miss Bell,
I'll thank you for the scissors. The old crone
Is paralytic–that's the reason why
Our Lucy's thread went faster than her breath,
Which went too quick, we all know. Marian Erle!
Why, Marian Erle, you're not the fool to cry?
Your tears spoil Lady Waldemar's new dress,
You piece of pity!'
Marian rose up straight,
And, breaking through the talk and through the work,
Went outward, in the face of their surprise,
To Lucy's home, to nurse her back to life
Or down to death. She knew by such an act,
All place and grace were forfeit in the house,
Whose mistress would supply the missing hand
With necessary, not inhuman haste,
And take no blame. But pity, too, had dues:
She could not leave a solitary soul
To founder in the dark, while she sate still
And lavished stitches on a lady's hem
As if no other work were paramount.
'Why, God,' thought Marian, 'has a missing hand
This moment; Lucy wants a drink, perhaps.
Let others miss me! never miss me, God!'

So Marian sat by Lucy's bed, content
With duty, and was strong, for recompense,
To hold the lamp of human love arm-high
To catch the death-strained eyes and comfort them,
Until the angels, on the luminous side

[...] Read more

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Epilogue

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme--
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter's vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.
But sometimes everything I write
with the threadbare art of my eye
seems a snapshot,
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All's misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun's illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.

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Work In Progress

Okay, I forgot about the trash,
I didn't trim the long hairs on my moustache.
I did buy you a ring; I believe it was back in '93.
Alright, I admit it; I forgot our anniversary.
I did pick up the baby this morning at the nursery.
That ain't no big thing; It's a gold star for me.
You get tired and disgusted with me,
When I can't be just what you want me to be.
I still love you and I try real hard.
I swear, one day, you'll have a brand new car.
I even asked the Lord to try to help me:
He looked down from Heaven, said to tell you please;
Just be patient, I'm a work in progress.
I'm sorry I got mad, waitin' in the truck;
It seemed like hours, you gettin' all dressed up,
Just to go to Shoney's on a Wednesday night.
I read that book you gave me about Mars and Venus;
I think it's sinkin' in but I probably need to re read it,
But I'm starting to see now, what you been saying is right.
You get tired and disgusted with me,
When I can't be just what you want me to be.
I still love you and I try real hard.
I swear, one day, you'll have a brand new car.
I even asked the Lord to try to help me:
He looked down from Heaven, said to tell you please;
Just be patient, I'm a work in progress.
Instrumental Break.
I know you meant well when you bought gave me those clogs,
But my heels get hot down by the muffler on my hog.
I'm sure they're stylish, but I'll take my boots.
I try to do that health thing like you want me to do,
That low-fat, no fat's gettin' hard to chew.
Now, I love your cookin', honey,
But sometimes, I need some real food.
You get tired and disgusted with me,
When I can't be just what you want me to be.
I still love you and I try real hard.
I swear, one day, you'll have a brand new car.
I even asked the Lord to try to help me:
He looked down from Heaven, said to tell you please;
Just be patient, I'm a work in progress.
Oh honey, just be patient, now,
I'm a work in progress.
Oh, I need a major tune up.
Maybe a full, body-off, restoration.

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These Wooden Ideas

Its a better way to feel
Dont be real, be post modern
(Its not that one dimensional, its not the only thought)
Its a better way to feel
When youre not real, youre post modern
(Its not that one dimensional, its not the only thought)
I stopped and waited for progress
I stopped and waited for progress
I stopped and waited
But Im not willing to accept it all
This wooden idea is your method of repetition
This wooden idea is how you sell reduction x 2
Its the best way to feel
Dont be real, its post modern
(Its not that one dimensional, its not the only thought)
Its a better way to feel
When youre not real, youre post modern
(Its not that one dimensional, its not the only thought)
You cant keep waiting for progress
You cant keep waiting for progress
You cant keep waiting
And Im not willing to accept it all
This wooden idea is your method of repetition
This wooden idea is how you sell reduction
I bet you dont know how to spell contradiction
I bet you dont know how to sell conviction
I bet you dont know how to spell contradiction
I bet you dont know how to sell conviction
This wooden idea is your method of repetition
This wooden idea is how you sell reduction

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There will never be peace

As long as
someone can pull out a gun
to shoot someone dead
as long as
someone can dropp a bomb
on some strangers head

there will never be peace
no there will never be peace
in this world

as long as
someone can start a war
based on a pack of lies
as long as
someone ignores the truth
when they look deep in your eyes

there will never be peace
no there will never be peace
in this world

if this is progress
we haven't come too far
if this is progress
we don't know who we are

if this is progress
we are worlds apart
if this is progress
we'd better go back to the start

as long as
someone stabs you in the back
and sticks the knife in good
as long as
someone walks without shame
in streets paved with blood

there will never be peace
no there will never be peace
in this world

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The Columbiad: Book IX

The Argument


Vision suspended. Night scene, as contemplated from the mount of vision. Columbus inquires the reason of the slow progress of science, and its frequent interruptions. Hesper answers, that all things in the physical as well as the moral and intellectual world are progressive in like manner. He traces their progress from the birth of the universe to the present state of the earth and its inhabitants; asserts the future advancement of society, till perpetual peace shall be established. Columbus proposes his doubts; alleges in support of them the successive rise and downfal of ancient nations; and infers future and periodical convulsions. Hesper, in answer, exhibits the great distinction between the ancient and modern state of the arts and of society. Crusades. Commerce. Hanseatic League. Copernicus. Kepler. Newton, Galileo. Herschel. Descartes. Bacon. Printing Press. Magnetic Needle. Geographical discoveries. Federal system in America. A similar system to be extended over the whole earth. Columbus desires a view of this.


But now had Hesper from the Hero's sight
Veil'd the vast world with sudden shades of night.
Earth, sea and heaven, where'er he turns his eye,
Arch out immense, like one surrounding sky
Lamp'd with reverberant fires. The starry train
Paint their fresh forms beneath the placid main;
Fair Cynthia here her face reflected laves,
Bright Venus gilds again her natal waves,
The Bear redoubling foams with fiery joles,
And two dire dragons twine two arctic poles.
Lights o'er the land, from cities lost in shade,
New constellations, new galaxies spread,
And each high pharos double flames provides,
One from its fires, one fainter from the tides.

Centred sublime in this bivaulted sphere,
On all sides void, unbounded, calm and clear,
Soft o'er the Pair a lambent lustre plays,
Their seat still cheering with concentred rays;
To converse grave the soothing shades invite.
And on his Guide Columbus fixt his sight:
Kind messenger of heaven, he thus began,
Why this progressive laboring search of man?
If men by slow degrees have power to reach
These opening truths that long dim ages teach,
If, school'd in woes and tortured on to thought,
Passion absorbing what experience taught,
Still thro the devious painful paths they wind,
And to sound wisdom lead at last the mind,
Why did not bounteous nature, at their birth,
Give all their science to these sons of earth,
Pour on their reasoning powers pellucid day,
Their arts, their interests clear as light display?
That error, madness and sectarian strife
Might find no place to havock human life.

To whom the guardian Power: To thee is given
To hold high converse and inquire of heaven,
To mark untraversed ages, and to trace
Whate'er improves and what impedes thy race.
Know then, progressive are the paths we go
In worlds above thee, as in thine below
Nature herself (whose grasp of time and place
Deals out duration and impalms all space)

[...] Read more

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The March

In early, prehistoric days, before the reign of Man,
When neolithic Nature fashioned things upon a plan
That was large as it was rugged, and, in truth, a trifle crude,
There arose a dusky human who was positively rude.

Now, this was in the days when lived the monster kangaroo;
When the mammoth bunyip gambolled in the hills of Beetaloo;
They'd owned the land for centuries, and reckoned it their own;
For might was right, and such a thing as 'law' was quite unknown.

But this dusky old reformer in the ages long ago,
One morning in the Eocene discovered how to 'throw';
He studied well and practised hard until he learned the art;
Then, having planned his Great Campaign, went forth to make a start.

'See here,' he said - and hurled a piece of tertiary rock,
That struck a Tory bunyip with a most unpleasant shock -
'See here, my name is Progress, and your methods are too slow,
This land that you are fooling with must be cut up. Now go!'

They gazed at him in wonder, then they slowly backed away;
For 'throwing' things was novel in that neolithic day;
'Twas the prehistoric 'argument,' the first faint gleam of 'art.'
Yet those mammoths seemed to take it in exceedingly bad part.

Then a hoary, agéd bunyip rose, and spluttered loud and long;
He said the balck man's arguments were very, very wrong;
'You forget,' he said, indignantly 'the land is ours by right,
And to seek to wrest it from us would be - well, most impolite.'

But the savage shook his woolly head and smiled a savage smile,
And went on hurling prehistoric missiles all the while,
Till the bunyip and the others couldn't bear the argument,
And they said, 'You are a Socialist.' But, all the same - they went.

Some centuries - or, maybe, it was aeons - later on,
When the bunyip and the mammoth kangaroo had passed and gone;
While the black man slowly profited by what his fathers saw,
While he learned to fashion weapons and establish tribal law.

There came a band of pale-faced men in ships, from oversea,
Who viewed the land, then shook their heads and sadly said, 'Dear me!'
Then they landed with some rum and Bibles and a gun or two,
And started out to 'civilize,' as whites are apt to do.

They interviewed the black man and remarked, 'It's very sad,
But the use you make of this great land is postively bad;
Why, you haven't got a sheep or cow about the blessed place!
Considering the price of wool, it's simply a disgrace!'

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The Interpretation of Nature and

I.

MAN, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature: beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.


II.

Neither the naked hand nor the understanding left to itself can effect much. It is by instruments and helps that the work is done, which are as much wanted for the understanding as for the hand. And as the instruments of the hand either give motion or guide it, so the instruments of the mind supply either suggestions for the understanding or cautions.

III.

Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.

IV.

Towards the effecting of works, all that man can do is to put together or put asunder natural bodies. The rest is done by nature working within.

V.

The study of nature with a view to works is engaged in by the mechanic, the mathematician, the physician, the alchemist, and the magician; but by all (as things now are) with slight endeavour and scanty success.

VI.

It would be an unsound fancy and self-contradictory to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried.

VII.

The productions of the mind and hand seem very numerous in books and manufactures. But all this variety lies in an exquisite subtlety and derivations from a few things already known; not in the number of axioms.

VIII.

Moreover the works already known are due to chance and experiment rather than to sciences; for the sciences we now possess are merely systems for the nice ordering and setting forth of things already invented; not methods of invention or directions for new works.

IX.

The cause and root of nearly all evils in the sciences is this -- that while we falsely admire and extol the powers of the human mind we neglect to seek for its true helps.

X.

The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding; so that all those specious meditations, speculations, and glosses in which men indulge are quite from the purpose, only there is no one by to observe it.

XI.

As the sciences which we now have do not help us in finding out new works, so neither does the logic which we now have help us in finding out new sciences.

XII.

The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions than to help the search after truth. So it does more harm than good.

XIII.

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