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Maladies [trailer 2]

Cast: James Franco, Catherine Keener, Fallon Goodson, David Strathairn, Vince Jolivette, Carter, Jon Prescott

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Maladies

Cast: James Franco, Catherine Keener, Fallon Goodson, David Strathairn, Vince Jolivette, Carter, Jon Prescott

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John Dryden

Absalom and Achitophel

In pious times, e'er Priest-craft did begin,
Before Polygamy was made a sin;
When man, on many, multiply'd his kind,
E'r one to one was, cursedly, confind:
When Nature prompted, and no law deny'd
Promiscuous use of Concubine and Bride;
Then, Israel's monarch, after Heaven's own heart,
His vigorous warmth did, variously, impart
To Wives and Slaves; And, wide as his Command,
Scatter'd his Maker's Image through the Land.
Michal, of Royal blood, the Crown did wear,
A Soyl ungratefull to the Tiller's care;
Not so the rest; for several Mothers bore
To Godlike David, several Sons before.
But since like slaves his bed they did ascend,
No True Succession could their seed attend.
Of all this Numerous Progeny was none
So Beautifull, so brave as Absalon:
Whether, inspir'd by some diviner Lust,
His father got him with a greater Gust;
Or that his Conscious destiny made way
By manly beauty to Imperiall sway.
Early in Foreign fields he won Renown,
With Kings and States ally'd to Israel's Crown
In Peace the thoughts of War he could remove,
And seem'd as he were only born for love.
What e'er he did was done with so much ease,
In him alone, 'twas Natural to please.
His motions all accompanied with grace;
And Paradise was open'd in his face.
With secret Joy, indulgent David view'd
His Youthfull Image in his Son renew'd:
To all his wishes Nothing he deny'd,
And made the Charming Annabel his Bride.
What faults he had (for who from faults is free?)
His Father could not, or he would not see.
Some warm excesses, which the Law forbore,
Were constru'd Youth that purg'd by boyling o'r:
And Amnon's Murther, by a specious Name,
Was call'd a Just Revenge for injur'd Fame.
Thus Prais'd, and Lov'd, the Noble Youth remain'd,
While David, undisturb'd, in Sion raign'd.
But Life can never be sincerely blest:
Heaven punishes the bad, and proves the best.
The Jews, a Headstrong, Moody, Murmuring race,
As ever try'd th' extent and stretch of grace;
God's pamper'd people whom, debauch'd with ease,
No King could govern, nor no God could please;
(Gods they had tri'd of every shape and size
That Gods-smiths could produce, or Priests devise.)

[...] Read more

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Franco Un-american

I never thought about the universe, it made me feel small
Never thought about the problems of this planet at all
Global warming, radio-active sites
Imperialistic wrongs and animal rights! no!
Why think of all the bad things when life is so good?
Why help with an am when theres always a could?
Let the whales worry about the poisons in the sea
Outside of california, its foreign policy
I dont want changes, I have no reactions
Your dilemmas are my distractions
Thats no way to go, franco un-american
No way to go, franco un-american
No way to go, franco un-american
No way to go, franco, franco un-american
I never looked around, never second-guessed
Then I read some howard zinn now Im always depressed
And now I cant sleep from years of apathy
All because I read a little noam chomsky
Im eating vegetation, cause of fast food nation
Im wearing a couple of shoes cause of globalization
Im watching michael moore expose the awful truth
Im listening to public enemy and reagan youth
I see no world peace cause of zealous armed forces
I eat no breath-mints cause their from de-hoofed horses
Now I cant believe; what an absolute failure
The presidents laughing cause we voted for nader
Thats no way to go, franco un-american
No way to go, franco un-american
No way to go, franco un-american
Where can we go, franco un-american
I want to move north and be a canadian
Or hang down low with the nice australians
I dont want to be another i-dont-care-ican
What are we gonna do franco, franco un-american

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I Need Thee Every Hour / Nothing But The Blood

(Duet with Vince Gill)
(Amy)
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
(Amy)
What can wash away my sin?
(Amy and Vince)
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
(Vince)
What can make me whole again?
(Amy and Vince)
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
(Amy Vince and background vocals)
Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
(Amy)
For my pardon, this I see,
(Amy and Vince)
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
(Vince)
For my cleansing, this my plea,
(Amy and Vince)
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
(Amy Vince and background vocals)
Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

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The King's Tragedy James I. Of Scots.—20th February 1437

I Catherine am a Douglas born,
A name to all Scots dear;
And Kate Barlass they've called me now
Through many a waning year.
This old arm's withered now. 'Twas once
Most deft 'mong maidens all
To rein the steed, to wing the shaft,
To smite the palm-play ball.
In hall adown the close-linked dance
It has shone most white and fair;
It has been the rest for a true lord's head,
And many a sweet babe's nursing-bed,
And the bar to a King's chambère.
Aye, lasses, draw round Kate Barlass,
And hark with bated breath
How good King James, King Robert's son,
Was foully done to death.
Through all the days of his gallant youth
The princely James was pent,
By his friends at first and then by his foes,
In long imprisonment.
For the elder Prince, the kingdom's heir,
By treason's murderous brood
Was slain; and the father quaked for the child
With the royal mortal blood.
I' the Bass Rock fort, by his father's care,
Was his childhood's life assured;
And Henry the subtle Bolingbroke,
Proud England's King, 'neath the southron yoke
His youth for long years immured.
Yet in all things meet for a kingly man
Himself did he approve;
And the nightingale through his prison-wall
Taught him both lore and love.
For once, when the bird's song drew him close
To the opened window-pane,
In her bower beneath a lady stood,
A light of life to his sorrowful mood,
Like a lily amid the rain.
And for her sake, to the sweet bird's note,
He framed a sweeter Song,
More sweet than ever a poet's heart
Gave yet to the English tongue.
She was a lady of royal blood;
And when, past sorrow and teen,
He stood where still through his crownless years
His Scotish realm had been,
At Scone were the happy lovers crowned,
A heart-wed King and Queen.
But the bird may fall from the bough of youth,

[...] Read more

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Peace On Earth - Little Drummer Boy

David: hello...... youre the new butler?
Bing: hahaha! well, its been a long time since Ive been the new anything!
David: whats happened to hudson?
Bing: I guess hes changing.
David: yeah, he does that a lot, doesnt he? uhm... oh, Im david bowie, I live
Down the road.
Bing: oh!
David: sir percival lets me use his piano if he not around. hes not around, is
He?
Bing: I can honestly say I havent seen him, but come on in! come in!
David: but uh...
Bing: come on in!
David: are you related to sir percival?
Bing: well, distantly...
David: oh, youre not the poor relation from america, right?
Bing: ha! gee... news sure travels fast, doesnt it? Im bing.
David: oh, Im pleased to meet you. youre the one that sings, right?
Bing: well, right or wrong, I sing either way.
David: oh well, I sing too.
Bing: oh good! what kind of singing?
David: mostly the contemporary stuff. do you eh... do you like modern music?
Bing: oh, I think its marvellous! some of its really fine. but tell me, have you ever listened to any of the older fellows?
David: oh yeah, sure. I like ah... john lennon and the other one with eh...harry
Nilsson.
Bing: mmm... you go back that far, uh?
David: yeah, Im not as young as I look.
Bing: haha, none of us is these days!
David: in fact Ive got a six year old son. and he really gets excited around the christmas holiday-thing.
Bing: do you go in for anything of the traditional things in the... boy, household, christmas time?
David: oh yeah, most of them really. presents, tree, decorations, agents sliding down the chimney...
Bing: what? ?
David: oh, I was just seeing if you were paying attention.
Bing: haha!
David: actually, our family do most of the things that other families do. we
Sing the same songs.
Bing: do you?
David: oh, I even have a go at white christmas.
Bing: you do, eh!
David: and this one. this is my sons favourite. do you know this one?
Bing: oh, I do indeed, its a lovely theme.
And they told me pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
A new-born king to see pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
Our finest gifts we bring pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
Ra-pam-pam-pam, ra-pam-pam-pam
Peace on earth, can it be
Years from now, perhaps well see
See the day of glory
See the day, when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again
Peace on earth, can it be

[...] Read more

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Peace On Earth / Little Drummer Boy (feat. Bing Crosby)

David: Hello...... you're the new butler?
Bing: Hahaha! Well, it's been a long time since I've been the new anything!
David: What's happened to Hudson?
Bing: I guess he's changing.
David: Yeah, he does that a lot, doesn't he? Uhm... Oh, I'm David Bowie, I live
down the road.
Bing: Oh!
David: Sir Percival let's me use his piano if he not around. He's not around, is
he?
Bing: I can honestly say I haven't seen him, but come on in! Come in!
David: But uh...
Bing: Come on in!
David: Are you related to sir Percival?
Bing: Well, distantly...
David: Oh, you're not the poor relation from America, right?
Bing: Ha! Gee... news sure travels fast, doesn't it? I'm Bing.
David: Oh, I'm pleased to meet you. You're the one that sings, right?
Bing: Well, right or wrong, I sing either way.
David: Oh well, I sing too.
Bing: Oh good! What kind of singing?
David: Mostly the contemporary stuff. Do you eh... do you like modern music?
Bing: Oh, I think it's marvellous! Some of it's really fine. But tell me, have you ever listened to any of the older fellows?
David: Oh yeah, sure. I like ah... John Lennon and the other one with eh...Harry
Nilsson.
Bing: Mmm... you go back that far, uh?
David: Yeah, I'm not as young as I look.
Bing: Haha, none of us is these days!
David: In fact I've got a six year old son. And he really gets excited around the Christmas holiday-thing.
Bing: Do you go in for anything of the traditional things in the... boy, household, Christmas time?
David: Oh yeah, most of them really. Presents, tree, decorations, agents sliding down the chimney...
Bing: What??
David: Oh, I was just seeing if you were paying attention.
Bing: Haha!
David: Actually, our family do most of the things that other families do. We
sing the same songs.
Bing: Do you?
David: Oh, I even have a go at 'White Christmas'.
Bing: You do, eh!
David: And this one. This is my son's favourite. Do you know this one?
Bing: Oh, I do indeed, it's a lovely theme.
And they told me pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
A new-born king to see pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
Our finest gifts we bring pa-ram-pam-pam-pam
Ra-pam-pam-pam, ra-pam-pam-pam
Peace on Earth, can it be
Years from now, perhaps we'll see
See the day of glory
See the day, when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again
Peace on Earth, can it be

[...] Read more

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Disobedience

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he;
"You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."

James James
Morrison's Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison's Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison's Mother
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."

King John
Put up a notice,
"LOST or STOLEN or STRAYED!
JAMES JAMES MORRISON'S MOTHER
SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MISLAID.
LAST SEEN
WANDERING VAGUELY:
QUITE OF HER OWN ACCORD,
SHE TRIED TO GET DOWN
TO THE END OF THE TOWN -
FORTY SHILLINGS REWARD!"

James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."

James James
Morrison's mother
Hasn't been heard of since.

[...] Read more

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Little David

Play, little david
Play little david, play
David he would sit in some dark corner
Seemed to melt the shadows with his eyes
And the song that he was playing
Was nothing less than prayin
And nothing more than sayin Im alive.
Wont you play, little david
Play little david, play
David he would send them notes a-flyin
Some that laughed and some that felt like tears
He would play them fast or slowly
Play them high or lowly
But they always come out holy to my ear
Wont you play, little david, play little david, play
I dont need no sunday sermon
Need no sunday shoes
When I hear little david playing
I got religion through and through
David he would send them notes a-flyin
Some that laughed and some that felt like tears
He would play them fast or slowly
Play them high or lowly
But they always come out holy to my ear
Wont you play, little david, play little david, play
I dont need no sunday sermon
Need no sunday shoes
When I hear little david playing
I got religion through and through
David he would send them notes a-flyin
Some that laughed and some that felt like tears
He would play them fast or slowly
Play them high or lowly
But they always come out holy to my ear
Wont you play, little david, play little david, play
Wont you play, little david, play little david, play

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Child Of God

Cast: James Franco, Jim Parrack, Tim Blake Nelson, Ciera Danielle, Scott Haze, Fallon Goodson, Vince Jolivette, Nina Ljeti

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Byron

Canto the Ninth

I
Oh, Wellington! (or "Villainton" -- for Fame
Sounds the heroic syllables both ways;
France could not even conquer your great name,
But punn'd it down to this facetious phrase --
Beating or beaten she will laugh the same),
You have obtain'd great pensions and much praise:
Glory like yours should any dare gainsay,
Humanity would rise, and thunder "Nay!"

II
I don't think that you used Kinnaird quite well
In Marinet's affair -- in fact, 't was shabby,
And like some other things won't do to tell
Upon your tomb in Westminster's old abbey.
Upon the rest 't is not worth while to dwell,
Such tales being for the tea-hours of some tabby;
But though your years as man tend fast to zero,
In fact your grace is still but a young hero.

III
Though Britain owes (and pays you too) so much,
Yet Europe doubtless owes you greatly more:
You have repair'd Legitimacy's crutch,
A prop not quite so certain as before:
The Spanish, and the French, as well as Dutch,
Have seen, and felt, how strongly you restore;
And Waterloo has made the world your debtor
(I wish your bards would sing it rather better).

IV
You are "the best of cut-throats:" -- do not start;
The phrase is Shakspeare's, and not misapplied:
War's a brain-spattering, windpipe-slitting art,
Unless her cause by right be sanctified.
If you have acted once a generous part,
The world, not the world's masters, will decide,
And I shall be delighted to learn who,
Save you and yours, have gain'd by Waterloo?

V
I am no flatterer -- you've supp'd full of flattery:
They say you like it too -- 't is no great wonder.
He whose whole life has been assault and battery,
At last may get a little tired of thunder;
And swallowing eulogy much more than satire, he
May like being praised for every lucky blunder,
Call'd "Saviour of the Nations" -- not yet saved,
And "Europe's Liberator" -- still enslaved.

[...] Read more

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Byron

Don Juan: Canto The Ninth

Oh, Wellington! (or 'Villainton'--for Fame
Sounds the heroic syllables both ways;
France could not even conquer your great name,
But punn'd it down to this facetious phrase-
Beating or beaten she will laugh the same),
You have obtain'd great pensions and much praise:
Glory like yours should any dare gainsay,
Humanity would rise, and thunder 'Nay!'

I don't think that you used Kinnaird quite well
In Marinet's affair--in fact, 'twas shabby,
And like some other things won't do to tell
Upon your tomb in Westminster's old abbey.
Upon the rest 'tis not worth while to dwell,
Such tales being for the tea-hours of some tabby;
But though your years as man tend fast to zero,
In fact your grace is still but a young hero.

Though Britain owes (and pays you too) so much,
Yet Europe doubtless owes you greatly more:
You have repair'd Legitimacy's crutch,
A prop not quite so certain as before:
The Spanish, and the French, as well as Dutch,
Have seen, and felt, how strongly you restore;
And Waterloo has made the world your debtor
(I wish your bards would sing it rather better).

You are 'the best of cut-throats:'--do not start;
The phrase is Shakspeare's, and not misapplied:
War's a brain-spattering, windpipe-slitting art,
Unless her cause by right be sanctified.
If you have acted once a generous part,
The world, not the world's masters, will decide,
And I shall be delighted to learn who,
Save you and yours, have gain'd by Waterloo?

I am no flatterer- you 've supp'd full of flattery:
They say you like it too- 't is no great wonder.
He whose whole life has been assault and battery,
At last may get a little tired of thunder;
And swallowing eulogy much more than satire, he
May like being praised for every lucky blunder,
Call'd 'Saviour of the Nations'--not yet saved,
And 'Europe's Liberator'--still enslaved.

I've done. Now go and dine from off the plate
Presented by the Prince of the Brazils,
And send the sentinel before your gate
A slice or two from your luxurious meals:
He fought, but has not fed so well of late.

[...] Read more

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David

My thought, on views of admiration hung,
Intently ravish'd and depriv'd of tongue,
Now darts a while on earth, a while in air,
Here mov'd with praise and mov'd with glory there;
The joys entrancing and the mute surprize
Half fix the blood, and dim the moist'ning eyes;
Pleasure and praise on one another break,
And Exclamation longs at heart to speak;
When thus my Genius, on the work design'd
Awaiting closely, guides the wand'ring mind.

If while thy thanks wou'd in thy lays be wrought,
A bright astonishment involve the thought,
If yet thy temper wou'd attempt to sing,
Another's quill shall imp thy feebler wing;
Behold the name of royal David near,
Behold his musick and his measures here,
Whose harp Devotion in a rapture strung,
And left no state of pious souls unsung.

Him to the wond'ring world but newly shewn,
Celestial poetry pronounc'd her own;
A thousand hopes, on clouds adorn'd with rays,
Bent down their little beauteous forms to gaze;
Fair-blooming Innocence with tender years,
And native Sweetness for the ravish'd ears,
Prepar'd to smile within his early song,
And brought their rivers, groves, and plains along;
Majestick Honour at the palace bred,
Enrob'd in white, embroider'd o'er with red,
Reach'd forth the scepter of her royal state,
His forehead touch'd, and bid his lays be great;
Undaunted Courage deck'd with manly charms,
With waving-azure plumes, and gilded arms,
Displaid the glories, and the toils of fight,
Demanded fame, and call'd him forth to write.
To perfect these the sacred spirit came,
By mild infusion of celestial flame,
And mov'd with dove-like candour in his breast,
And breath'd his graces over all the rest.
Ah! where the daring flights of men aspire
To match his numbers with an equal fire;
In vain they strive to make proud Babel rise,
And with an earth-born labour touch the skies.
While I the glitt'ring page resolve to view,
That will the subject of my lines renew;
The Laurel wreath, my fames imagin'd shade,
Around my beating temples fears to fade;
My fainting fancy trembles on the brink,
And David's God must help or else I sink.

[...] Read more

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Robin Hood and the Monk

In somer, when the shawes be sheyne,
And leves be large and long,
Hit is full mery in feyre foreste
To here the foulys song,

To se the dere draw to the dale,
And leve the hilles hee,
And shadow hem in the leves grene,
Under the grene wode tre.

Hit befel on Whitson
Erly in a May mornyng,
The son up feyre can shyne,
And the briddis mery can syng.

'This is a mery mornyng,' seid Litull John,
'Be Hym that dyed on tre;
A more mery man then I am one
Lyves not in Cristianté.

'Pluk up thi hert, my dere mayster,'
Litull John can sey,
'And thynk hit is a full fayre tyme
In a mornyng of May.'

'Ye, on thyng greves me,' seid Robyn,
'And does my hert mych woo:
That I may not no solem day
To mas nor matyns goo.

'Hit is a fourtnet and more,' seid he,
'Syn I my Savyour see;
To day wil I to Notyngham,' seid Robyn,
'With the myght of mylde Marye.'

Than spake Moche, the mylner sun,
Ever more wel hym betyde!
'Take twelve of thi wyght yemen,
Well weppynd, be thi side.
Such on wolde thi selfe slon,
That twelve dar not abyde.'

'Of all my mery men,' seid Robyn,
'Be my feith I wil non have,
But Litull John shall beyre my bow,
Til that me list to drawe.'

'Thou shall beyre thin own,' seid Litull Jon,
'Maister, and I wyl beyre myne,
And we well shete a peny,' seid Litull Jon,

[...] Read more

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Montezuma's Anguish

Cortés identified with Quetzalcóatl,
We think we know the story, but don’t know it all.
In writing stories of the people whom we vanquish,
how can we understand king Montezuma’s anguish?
It’s only with unconscionable audacity
that we consider science and sagacity
enable us to understand those we defeat
like open books to which we are the exegete.

Inspired by an article in the TLS, July 31,2009, by J. H. Elliott on the Boston gentleman-scholar William Hickling Prescott, the author of History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843) and History of the Conquest of Peru (1847) . Criticizing Prescott’s approach, Elliott, former Regius Professor of History at Oxford University, writes:

As part of this process of re-evaluation, historians try to recover “the vision of the vanquished” and to reconstruct the history of “peoples without history”, victims not only of imperial domination but also the lack of written records....

Montezuma’s assumed identification of Cortés with Quetzalcóatl has been a staple element of the story from Prescott’s day to our own, but it has also come to be contested as a post-conquest fabrication. Equally the omens have been shown to have suspicious affinities with the omens and prodigies recorded by classical authors like Plutarch, Lucan and Josephus. If the Quetzalcóatl myth and the story of the omens are no more than retrospective attempts to make sense of the extraordinary succession of events, Prescott’s doom-laden interpretation of Montezuma’s behaviour loses much of its credibility….Was he killed by stones thrown by his own rebellious subjects, as the account commonly goes, or was he put to death by the Spaniards, as one or two alternative sources suggest? Or did he perhaps die “as much under the anguish of a wounded spirit, as under disease”, as Prescott ws inclined to believe?


8/15/09

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Said Sadly

James iha: you should know that I love you
And I cant help but fall for you
Oh honey Im just a fool
Now you know
Nina gordon: darling, Ill never be true
You see, for so long I was blue
James iha: Im not the lonely one
Nina gordon: and if I hurt, then you will, too
Oh honey I always lose
Now you know
James iha & nina gordon: lover, when will you?
James iha: Im so afraid that noone cares
James iha & nina gordon: lover, cant find you
James iha: I swear to God dont leave me here
James iha & nina gordon: now you know
James iha & nina gordon: only you know that it cant be
When noone else here really means
James iha: anything to me
James iha & nina gordon: if you hurt inside
If you confide in me again
Nina gordon: since you ran away
James iha: hold me now, tell me how
Nothings lost
James iha & nina gordon: lover, when will you?
Im so afraid that noone cares
Lover, cant find you
And noone knows what brings us here
Lover
James iha: hold me now
Nina gordon: hold me now
James iha: tell me how
James iha & nina gordon: nothings lost

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The Lady of the Lake: Canto IV. - The Prophecy

I.
The rose is fairest when 't is budding new,
And hope is brightest when it dawns from fears;
The rose is sweetest washed with morning dew
And love is loveliest when embalmed in tears.
O wilding rose, whom fancy thus endears,
I bid your blossoms in my bonnet wave,
Emblem of hope and love through future years!'
Thus spoke young Norman, heir of Armandave,
What time the sun arose on Vennachar's broad wave.

II.
Such fond conceit, half said, half sung,
Love prompted to the bridegroom's tongue.
All while he stripped the wild-rose spray,
His axe and bow beside him lay,
For on a pass 'twixt lake and wood
A wakeful sentinel he stood.
Hark!-on the rock a footstep rung,
And instant to his arms he sprung.
'Stand, or thou diest!-What, Malise?-soon
Art thou returned from Braes of Doune.
By thy keen step and glance I know,
Thou bring'st us tidings of the foe.'-
For while the Fiery Cross tried on,
On distant scout had Malise gone.-
'Where sleeps the Chief?' the henchman said.
'Apart, in yonder misty glade;
To his lone couch I'll be your guide.'-
Then called a slumberer by his side,
And stirred him with his slackened bow,-
'Up, up, Glentarkin! rouse thee, ho!
We seek the Chieftain; on the track
Keep eagle watch till I come back.'

III.
Together up the pass they sped:
'What of the foeman?' Norman said.-
'Varying reports from near and far;
This certain,-that a band of war
Has for two days been ready boune,
At prompt command to march from Doune;
King James the while, with princely powers,
Holds revelry in Stirling towers.
Soon will this dark and gathering cloud
Speak on our glens in thunder loud.
Inured to bide such bitter bout,
The warrior's plaid may bear it out;
But, Norman, how wilt thou provide
A shelter for thy bonny bride?''-

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Solving Mysteries

SOLVING MYSTERIES

Deep mysteries may be solved by analytic clarities,
but then dissolve as you dismantle their disparities,
their solution, if not leading to their dissolution,
depleting them of mystery which has suffered diminution.

Andrew Miller, whose latest novel Pure is about to be published, reviews Peter Carey's The Chemistry of Tears (NYTBR,5/27/10) :

In Peter Carey's 12th novel, much depends on two voices. The first belongs to Catherine Gehrig, an horologist working at the (fictional) Swinburne Museum in London. We join her — she begins to speak to us — at the very moment she learns of the sudden death of her lover, Matthew Tindall, Head Curator of Metals at the same institution. For 13 years, Catherine has been Tindall's mistress. He was older, married, a father, but the pair of them lived a blissful, secret life together. Now Tindall is gone — felled by a heart attack on the Underground — and gone with him, in Catherine's mind, is all good, all possibility of happiness….
Her boss gives her a project, which involves reading a pile of antique notebooks:
The notebooks introduce us to the novel's second voice, that of a wealthy mid-19th-century Englishman, Henry Brandling. As a voice, a narrator, Henry is not, at least at the start, much easier to be with than Catherine. He is fulsome, sentimental, the doting father of an ailing son, a boy whom Henry's wife, still mourning the death of another child, will neither nurse nor comfort. Henry seeks to keep the boy alive by continually exciting his interest in the world, but each success is temporary, and the next focus of interest, of enchantment, must always be more thrilling. So he decides to commission the building of an automaton, and not just any old automaton but a duck — he has seen a picture of it somewhere — that will eat grain, apparently digest it and then, with a whirring of springs, excrete the residue. To get it made he travels to Germany, to the Black Forest, and to the "mighty race of clockmakers" who live there. The notebooks are the journal of his travels, his search for a master technician.
Catherine, reading in the annex or (breaking all museum protocols) at home in her flat, calls Henry's narrative "intriguing, " but the diaries are often dense, awkward to read, somewhat dull. There is at first a type of comedy — the bumptious Englishman abroad, continually misunderstood by or misunderstanding his hosts. But then the tone darkens and takes on the feel of a fairy story by the Brothers Grimm, or something out of those monstrous cautionary tales in Hoffmann's "Straw Peter."
Henry finds his master clockmaker, a large, physically threatening man called Sumper, but Sumper isn't interested in a fecal duck. He has something much grander in mind for Henry and his son, and he teases Henry, torments him, hinting at mechanical wonders of an order the Englishman has not the wit to imagine. He recounts his adventures in Queen Victoria's England, where he worked as assistant to an inventor called Cruickshank, a character clearly modeled on the great Charles Babbage (whose prototype computer, the Difference Engine, has been reconstructed at the Science Museum in London) .
It is here, perhaps, in the watchmaker's hallucinogenic parable, that we come to what Carey is playing with in this novel: the illusory versus the actual, the mechanical versus the organic. The gap, if any, between that which, in its complexity, imitates life, and that which is living and may possess something else, something that isn't simply part of the works. A soul! Carey, of course, isn't going to come down on one side or the other of this venerable debate. Instead, he puts into the mouth of Catherine's boss the still persuasive Romantic plea for ambiguity, for the power and beauty of mysteries, for defending these from "analytical clarities." The closing scenes, in which Catherine and her young assistant finally recreate what Henry Brandling brought back from the forest, are among the best in the book, and the moment when it — the not-a-duck — is set in motion is thrilling.

5/28/12 #10340

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University Of Central Florida Volleyball

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Tale XV

ADVICE; OR THE 'SQUIRE AND THE PRIEST.

A wealthy Lord of far-extended land
Had all that pleased him placed at his command;
Widow'd of late, but finding much relief
In the world's comforts, he dismiss'd his grief;
He was by marriage of his daughters eased,
And knew his sons could marry if they pleased;
Meantime in travel he indulged the boys,
And kept no spy nor partner of his joys.
These joys, indeed, were of the grosser kind,
That fed the cravings of an earthly mind;
A mind that, conscious of its own excess,
Felt the reproach his neighbours would express.
Long at th' indulgent board he loved to sit,
Where joy was laughter, and profaneness wit;
And such the guest and manners of the hall,
No wedded lady on the 'Squire would call:
Here reign'd a Favourite, and her triumph gain'd
O'er other favourites who before had reign'd;
Reserved and modest seemed the nymph to be,
Knowing her lord was charm'd with modesty;
For he, a sportsman keen, the more enjoy'd,
The greater value had the thing destroyed.
Our 'Squire declared, that from a wife released,
He would no more give trouble to a Priest;
Seem'd it not, then, ungrateful and unkind
That he should trouble from the priesthood find?
The Church he honour'd, and he gave the due
And full respect to every son he knew;
But envied those who had the luck to meet
A gentle pastor, civil and discreet;
Who never bold and hostile sermon penned,
To wound a sinner, or to shame a friend;
One whom no being either shunn'd or fear'd:
Such must be loved wherever they appear'd.
Not such the stern old Rector of the time,
Who soothed no culprit, and who spared no crime;
Who would his fears and his contempt express
For irreligion and licentiousness;
Of him our Village Lord, his guests among,
By speech vindictive proved his feelings stung.
'Were he a bigot,' said the 'Squire, 'whose zeal
Condemn'd us all, I should disdain to feel:
But when a man of parts, in college train'd,
Prates of our conduct, who would not be pain'd?
While he declaims (where no one dares reply)
On men abandon'd, grov'ling in the sty
(Like beasts in human shape) of shameless luxury.
Yet with a patriot's zeal I stand the shock

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