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A Poem a Day

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Chookie View Drop Down
Pretorian
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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A Poem a Day
    Posted: 28-Aug-2011 at 16:29

Hardihood in time of battle

O Children of Conn, remember hardihood in time of battle,
Be strong, nursing your wrath,
Be resolute and fierce,
Be forceful, standing your ground,
Be nimble and full of valour,
Be dour, inspiring fear,
Be exceeding fierce, recklessly daring,
Be spirited, inflicting great wounds,
Be venomous, implacable,
Be glorious, nobly powerful,
Be exceedingly fierce, king-like,
Be vigorous, nimble footed
in winning the battle against your enemies.
O Children of Conn of the Hundred Battles,
Now is the time for you to win renown,
O raging whelps,
O sturdy bears,
O most sprightly lions,
O battle-loving warriors,
The Children of Conn of the Hundred Battles,
O Children of Conn, remember

hardihood in time of battle.

For money you did what guns could not do.........
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2011 at 15:54

At birth a witch laid on me monstrous spells,
And I have trod strange highroads all my days,
Turning my feet to gray, unholy ways.
I grope for stems of broken asphodels;
HIgh on the rims of bare, fiend-haunted fells,
I follow cloven tracks that lie ablaze;
And ghosts have led me through the moonlight's haze
To talk with demons in the granite hells.

Seas crash upon dragon-guarded shores,
Bursting in crimson moons of burning spray,
And iron castles ope to me their doors,
And serpent-women lure with harp and lay.
The misty waves shake now to phantom oars—
Seek not for me; I sail to meet the day.


RE Howard

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2011 at 16:57
The Princess of the Tide (by Mikhail Lermontov)

One day swimming his horse was a prince by the sea
When he heard a voice cry: “Over here! Look at me!”

The steed started and snorted, but ‘twas nothing to him
He shook off a spray and continued to swim.

Said the voice: “I am born to the King of the Tide"
“Wilt thou one lordly night in my sweet arms abide?”

And behold! From the wake, there a hand did emerge
Reaching out for the bridle of silk on the surge.

A young, pretty head did the brine then reveal
With long braided hair draped in sea-grass of bright teal.

Two dark blue eyes burned with passion’s pure fire
Sea foam rolled on her cheeks like white pearls of desire.

Thought the prince: “For this moment I surely was made . . .”
And he deftly reached out to catch hold of a braid.

He caught her and held her with a warrior’s arm
She splashed and she struggled with panicked alarm

Heedless he dragged her up onto the shore
Then his shouts to his comrades did loudly outpour

“Fellows! Come and see! I am calling to you!”
“Look what I have fished out of bottomless blue!”

“What are you waiting for! Do not delay!”
“You’ve not seen such beauty in many a day!”

And then he turned back to look down on his prize
But alas! The fire was already leaving her eyes!

For there lying limp on the hot golden sand
Was her green tail, like a fish, out of place on the land

It was covered in scales like that of a snake
Already coiling and drying as the sun did it bake

Sweat streamed from her brow presaging her doom
And her eyes quickly darkened with ominous gloom

Her poor hands grew pale as she clutched at the sand
Her lips whispered something he could not understand

The prince walked away for he could not abide:
Would he ever forget the princess of the tide?
For money you did what guns could not do.........
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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2011 at 17:02

Pheigheinn a' Chorrain? (written by me)

Alas, the glens are lying bare, crofts are now deserted
Our people now are scattered wide and sheep replace the music.
The factors came and with them police, all the way from Glasgow
The people came from all around, the grazings to defend,
From Braes and Tormore, Balmeanach too,
But where were the men, the men of Peinnchorran
"Cait' am bheil fir Pheigheinn a' Chorrainn?"


Black was the wood the rooftree was made from
Blacker the heart of the cash-grabbing landlord
No profit in people, the lordling wants money,
Clearing out people for sheep are much better.
For our croftlands the people rose up in anger
But where were the men, the men of Peinnchorrain?
"Cait' am bheil fir Pheigheinn a' Chorrainn?"


You burned all our homes, you forced us to wander
We gave you our loyalty, our love and our honour,
More bitter than aloes, the taint of your hunger.
For money you did what guns could not do
Evicting the clansmen who gave you your honour.
And where were the men, the men of Peinnchorrain?
"Cait' am bheil fir Pheigheinn a' Chorrainn?"


Many have died, forcèd down to the shores
And others are gone, far over the seas,
The glens are deserted, the rooftrees are down,
Sheep replace people, the music is gone,
Damn all the lordlings who cleared out our people,
And where were the men, the men of Peinnchorrain?
"Cait' am bheil fir Pheigheinn a' Chorrainn?"


The townships are empty and ruined our homes
For money they cleared us, who gave them their fame.
For a sheep was worth more than the whole of the clan.
Across the seas we made our lives,
The rooftrees are burned and the music has gone
But where were the men, the men of Peinnchorrain?
"Cait' am bheil fir Pheigheinn a' Chorrainn?"

For money you did what guns could not do.........
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2011 at 17:16
The Cavalrymen's Poem

Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green
Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers' Green.

Marching past, straight through to Hell
The Infantry are seen.
Accompanied by the Engineers,
Artillery and Marines,
For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
Dismount at Fiddlers' Green.

Though some go curving down the trail
To seek a warmer scene.
No trooper ever gets to Hell
Ere he's emptied his canteen.
And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers' Green.

And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen,
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean,
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And put your pistol to your head
And go to Fiddlers' Green.

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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Don Quixote View Drop Down
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2011 at 18:11
To All Russians Who Voted Stalin the 3rd Best Russian in 2008

Death upon the vortex, passions on the run
The sun never dries them, so they go beserk.
Swimming on the wavebacks on the human sea,
Never ever ending - will not ever Be.

Prisoners of passions ancient as the sea
Are they to be allowed themselves to foresee?
Fault of the upbringing - to collect remorse,
Not to now where to stop and repose,

Victims of the time and geographic chance,
Like some silent fishes dance themselves in trance.
Time will go and time will come, and regimes will change,
But in the spot of memory the darkest shape still blaze -

Like some shapeless Beghemot, like a titan grim,
With green coat, mustaches, hat with a red trim,
To call back to the old fame, to the order strong,
Like so many deer called to the wolf's throne,

And to tempt, to promise something simply clear -
All fishes end in the pan, in the wolf's gut ends the deer.
But, we are simply human, we all covet peace -
Gives us simple orders, we'll think we are free.

For the Liberty is wide, with no place to hide,
And you are all that you can blame for your own demise.
So, in the freedom rocking boat we're hiding from daylight -
And dreaming of security under the Prison's Guard.
DQ
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2011 at 19:24
Originally posted by Chookie


Pheigheinn a' Chorrain? (written by me)

A good one, ChookieSmile! You have to start giving short history lessons with your poems, so we can locate them in time. I have to admit, Welsh history is all...well..Welsh to me. I'll do a google or two to find out the event you are talking about.


Edited by Don Quixote - 30-Aug-2011 at 19:32
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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2011 at 17:17
Originally posted by Don Quixote

Originally posted by Chookie


Pheigheinn a' Chorrain? (written by me)

A good one, ChookieSmile! You have to start giving short history lessons with your poems, so we can locate them in time. I have to admit, Welsh history is all...well..Welsh to me. I'll do a google or two to find out the event you are talking about.

Welsh history is a mystery to me too Andy, I'm Scots..........


Edited by Chookie - 01-Sep-2011 at 18:11
For money you did what guns could not do.........
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2011 at 19:11
Originally posted by Chookie

Originally posted by Don Quixote

Originally posted by Chookie


Pheigheinn a' Chorrain? (written by me)

A good one, ChookieSmile! You have to start giving short history lessons with your poems, so we can locate them in time. I have to admit, Welsh history is all...well..Welsh to me. I'll do a google or two to find out the event you are talking about.

Welsh history is a mystery to me too Andy, I'm Scots..........

Ops...sorry, Chookie! I was under the impression that you are Welsh because you explained to me who is Welsh and who is not on a very old thread elsewhere. Then what is the language you have your signature in, and sometimes post poems in, like the name of this poem? Forgive my dark Balkanic ignoranceCry


Edited by Don Quixote - 01-Sep-2011 at 18:41
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2011 at 19:43
Kostantin Simonov "Wait for Me":

Wait for me, and I'll come back!
Wait with all you've got!
Wait, when dreary yellow rains
Tell you, you should not.
Wait when snow is falling fast,
Wait when summer's hot,
Wait when yesterdays are past,
Others are forgot.
Wait, when from that far-off place,
Letters don't arrive.
Wait, when those with whom you wait
Doubt if I'm alive.

Wait for me, and I'll come back!
Wait in patience yet
When they tell you off by heart
That you should forget.
Even when my dearest ones
Say that I am lost,
Even when my friends give up,
Sit and count the cost,
Drink a glass of bitter wine
To the fallen friend -
Wait! And do not drink with them!
Wait until the end!

Wait for me and I'll come back,
Dodging every fate!
"What a bit of luck!" they'll say,
Those that would not  wait.
They will never understand
How amidst the strife,
By your waiting for me, dear,
You had saved my life.
Only you and I will know
How you got me through.
Simply - you knew how to wait -
No one else but you.



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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2011 at 17:36
Originally posted by Don Quixote

Ops...sorry, Chookie! I was under the impression that you are Welsh because you explained to me who is Welsh and who is not on a very old thread elsewhere. Then what is the language you have your signature in, and sometimes post poems in, like the name of this poem? Forgive my dark Balkanic ignoranceCry

No problem Andy. My signature is in Gàidhlig (Scots Gaelic) and is a quotation from Tacitus referring to a desolation (Roman made). The title of the poem is the name of a crofting village in Skye and the occasion was the Battle of the Braes in 1882.
For money you did what guns could not do.........
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2011 at 18:49
Originally posted by Chookie

Originally posted by Don Quixote

Ops...sorry, Chookie! I was under the impression that you are Welsh because you explained to me who is Welsh and who is not on a very old thread elsewhere. Then what is the language you have your signature in, and sometimes post poems in, like the name of this poem? Forgive my dark Balkanic ignoranceCry

No problem Andy. My signature is in Gàidhlig (Scots Gaelic) and is a quotation from Tacitus referring to a desolation (Roman made). The title of the poem is the name of a crofting village in Skye and the occasion was the Battle of the Braes in 1882.

Thank you, Chookie. I was under the impression that the Scots speak like Robert Burns, and he is quite readable /with a dictionary, but still readable/, and I though that only Welsh nowadays speak Gaelic; as I see I was Deadwrong.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2011 at 19:15
This is IMHO the best poem Oscar Wilde ever created, and I'll post it even though it's very long; but I'm breaking one rule or another I would like to be told so I can take it off, it will be no problem:
The Ballad Of Reading Gaol

by Oscar Wilde
(1854-1900)


I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
In a suit of shabby grey;
A cricket cap was on his head,
And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
With sails of silver by.

I walked, with other souls in pain,
Within another ring,
And was wondering if the man had done
A great or little thing,
When a voice behind me whispered low,
'THAT FELLOW'S GOT TO SWING.'

Dear Christ! the very prison walls
Suddenly seemed to reel,
And the sky above my head became
Like a casque of scorching steel;
And, though I was a soul in pain,
My pain I could not feel.

I only knew what hunted thought
Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.

He does not die a death of shame
On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
Into an empty space.

He does not sit with silent men
Who watch him night and day;
Who watch him when he tries to weep,
And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
The prison of its prey.

He does not wake at dawn to see
Dread figures throng his room,
The shivering Chaplain robed in white,
The Sheriff stern with gloom,
And the Governor all in shiny black,
With the yellow face of Doom.

He does not rise in piteous haste
To put on convict-clothes,
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats,
and notes
Each new and nerve-twitched pose,
Fingering a watch whose little ticks
Are like horrible hammer-blows.

He does not know that sickening thirst
That sands one's throat, before
The hangman with his gardener's gloves
Slips through the padded door,
And binds one with three leathern thongs,
That the throat may thirst no more.

He does not bend his head to hear
The Burial Office read,
Nor, while the terror of his soul
Tells him he is not dead,
Cross his own coffin, as he moves
Into the hideous shed.

He does not stare upon the air
Through a little roof of glass:
He does not pray with lips of clay
For his agony to pass;
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek
The kiss of Caiaphas.

II

Six weeks our guardsman walked the yard,
In the suit of shabby grey:
His cricket cap was on his head,
And his step seemed light and gay,
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every wandering cloud that trailed
Its ravelled fleeces by.

He did not wring his hands, as do
Those witless men who dare
To try to rear the changeling Hope
In the cave of black Despair:
He only looked upon the sun,
And drank the morning air.

He did not wring his hands nor weep,
Nor did he peek or pine,
But he drank the air as though it held
Some healthful anodyne;
With open mouth he drank the sun
As though it had been wine!

And I and all the souls in pain,
Who tramped the other ring,
Forgot if we ourselves had done
A great or little thing,
And watched with gaze of dull amaze
The man who had to swing.

And strange it was to see him pass
With a step so light and gay,
And strange it was to see him look
So wistfully at the day,
And strange it was to think that he
Had such a debt to pay.

For oak and elm have pleasant leaves
That in the springtime shoot:
But grim to see is the gallows-tree,
With its adder-bitten root,
And, green or dry, a man must die
Before it bears its fruit!

The loftiest place is that seat of grace
For which all worldlings try:
But who would stand in hempen band
Upon a scaffold high,
And through a murderer's collar take
His last look at the sky?

It is sweet to dance to violins
When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
To dance upon the air!

So with curious eyes and sick surmise
We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
His sightless soul may stray.

At last the dead man walked no more
Amongst the Trial Men,
And I knew that he was standing up
In the black dock's dreadful pen,
And that never would I see his face
In God's sweet world again.

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
We had crossed each other's way:
But we made no sign, we said no word,
We had no word to say;
For we did not meet in the holy night,
But in the shameful day.

A prison wall was round us both,
Two outcast men we were:
The world had thrust us from its heart,
And God from out His care:
And the iron gin that waits for Sin
Had caught us in its snare.

III

In Debtors' Yard the stones are hard,
And the dripping wall is high,
So it was there he took the air
Beneath the leaden sky,
And by each side a Warder walked,
For fear the man might die.

Or else he sat with those who watched
His anguish night and day;
Who watched him when he rose to weep,
And when he crouched to pray;
Who watched him lest himself should rob
Their scaffold of its prey.

The Governor was strong upon
The Regulations Act:
The Doctor said that Death was but
A scientific fact:
And twice a day the Chaplain called,
And left a little tract.

And twice a day he smoked his pipe,
And drank his quart of beer:
His soul was resolute, and held
No hiding-place for fear;
He often said that he was glad
The hangman's hands were near.

But why he said so strange a thing
No Warder dared to ask:
For he to whom a watcher's doom
Is given as his task,
Must set a lock upon his lips,
And make his face a mask.

Or else he might be moved, and try
To comfort or console:
And what should Human Pity do
Pent up in Murderers' Hole?
What word of grace in such a place
Could help a brother's soul?

With slouch and swing around the ring
We trod the Fools' Parade!
We did not care: we knew we were
The Devil's Own Brigade:
And shaven head and feet of lead
Make a merry masquerade.

We tore the tarry rope to shreds
With blunt and bleeding nails;
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors,
And cleaned the shining rails:
And, rank by rank, we soaped the plank,
And clattered with the pails.

We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones,
We turned the dusty drill:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns,
And sweated on the mill:
But in the heart of every man
Terror was lying still.

So still it lay that every day
Crawled like a weed-clogged wave:
And we forgot the bitter lot
That waits for fool and knave,
Till once, as we tramped in from work,
We passed an open grave.

With yawning mouth the yellow hole
Gaped for a living thing;
The very mud cried out for blood
To the thirsty asphalte ring:
And we knew that ere one dawn grew fair
Some prisoner had to swing.

Right in we went, with soul intent
On Death and Dread and Doom:
The hangman, with his little bag,
Went shuffling through the gloom:
And each man trembled as he crept
Into his numbered tomb.

That night the empty corridors
Were full of forms of Fear,
And up and down the iron town
Stole feet we could not hear,
And through the bars that hide the stars
White faces seemed to peer.

He lay as one who lies and dreams
In a pleasant meadow-land,
The watchers watched him as he slept,
And could not understand
How one could sleep so sweet a sleep
With a hangman close at hand.

But there is no sleep when men must weep
Who never yet have wept:
So we - the fool, the fraud, the knave -
That endless vigil kept,
And through each brain on hands of pain
Another's terror crept.

Alas! it is a fearful thing
To feel another's guilt!
For, right within, the sword of Sin
Pierced to its poisoned hilt,
And as molten lead were the tears we shed
For the blood we had not spilt.

The Warders with their shoes of felt
Crept by each padlocked door,
And peeped and saw, with eyes of awe,
Grey figures on the floor,
And wondered why men knelt to pray
Who never prayed before.

All through the night we knelt and prayed,
Mad mourners of a corse!
The troubled plumes of midnight were
The plumes upon a hearse:
And bitter wine upon a sponge
Was the savour of Remorse.

The grey cock crew, the red cock crew,
But never came the day:
And crooked shapes of Terror crouched,
In the corners where we lay:
And each evil sprite that walks by night
Before us seemed to play.

They glided past, they glided fast,
Like travellers through a mist:
They mocked the moon in a rigadoon
Of delicate turn and twist,
And with formal pace and loathsome grace
The phantoms kept their tryst.

With mop and mow, we saw them go,
Slim shadows hand in hand:
About, about, in ghostly rout
They trod a saraband:
And the damned grotesques made arabesques,
Like the wind upon the sand!

With the pirouettes of marionettes,
They tripped on pointed tread:
But with flutes of Fear they filled the ear,
As their grisly masque they led,
And loud they sang, and long they sang,
For they sang to wake the dead.

'Oho!' they cried, 'The world is wide,
But fettered limbs go lame!
And once, or twice, to throw the dice
Is a gentlemanly game,
But he does not win who plays with Sin
In the secret House of Shame.'

No things of air these antics were,
That frolicked with such glee:
To men whose lives were held in gyves,
And whose feet might not go free,
Ah! wounds of Christ! they were living things,
Most terrible to see.

Around, around, they waltzed and wound;
Some wheeled in smirking pairs;
With the mincing step of a demirep
Some sidled up the stairs:
And with subtle sneer, and fawning leer,
Each helped us at our prayers.

The morning wind began to moan,
But still the night went on:
Through its giant loom the web of gloom
Crept till each thread was spun:
And, as we prayed, we grew afraid
Of the Justice of the Sun.

The moaning wind went wandering round
The weeping prison-wall:
Till like a wheel of turning steel
We felt the minutes crawl:
O moaning wind! what had we done
To have such a seneschal?

At last I saw the shadowed bars,
Like a lattice wrought in lead,
Move right across the whitewashed wall
That faced my three-plank bed,
And I knew that somewhere in the world
God's dreadful dawn was red.

At six o'clock we cleaned our cells,
At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
Had entered in to kill.

He did not pass in purple pomp,
Nor ride a moon-white steed.
Three yards of cord and a sliding board
Are all the gallows' need:
So with rope of shame the Herald came
To do the secret deed.

We were as men who through a fen
Of filthy darkness grope:
We did not dare to breathe a prayer,
Or to give our anguish scope:
Something was dead in each of us,
And what was dead was Hope.

For Man's grim Justice goes its way,
And will not swerve aside:
It slays the weak, it slays the strong,
It has a deadly stride:
With iron heel it slays the strong,
The monstrous parricide!

We waited for the stroke of eight:
Each tongue was thick with thirst:
For the stroke of eight is the stroke of Fate
That makes a man accursed,
And Fate will use a running noose
For the best man and the worst.

We had no other thing to do,
Save to wait for the sign to come:
So, like things of stone in a valley lone,
Quiet we sat and dumb:
But each man's heart beat thick and quick,
Like a madman on a drum!

With sudden shock the prison-clock
Smote on the shivering air,
And from all the gaol rose up a wail
Of impotent despair,
Like the sound that frightened marshes hear
From some leper in his lair.

And as one sees most fearful things
In the crystal of a dream,
We saw the greasy hempen rope
Hooked to the blackened beam,
And heard the prayer the hangman's snare
Strangled into a scream.

And all the woe that moved him so
That he gave that bitter cry,
And the wild regrets, and the bloody sweats,
None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.

IV

There is no chapel on the day
On which they hang a man:
The Chaplain's heart is far too sick,
Or his face is far too wan,
Or there is that written in his eyes
Which none should look upon.

So they kept us close till nigh on noon,
And then they rang the bell,
And the Warders with their jingling keys
Opened each listening cell,
And down the iron stair we tramped,
Each from his separate Hell.

Out into God's sweet air we went,
But not in wonted way,
For this man's face was white with fear,
And that man's face was grey,
And I never saw sad men who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw sad men who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
In happy freedom by.

But there were those amongst us all
Who walked with downcast head,
And knew that, had each got his due,
They should have died instead:
He had but killed a thing that lived,
Whilst they had killed the dead.

For he who sins a second time
Wakes a dead soul to pain,
And draws it from its spotted shroud,
And makes it bleed again,
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood,
And makes it bleed in vain!

Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb
With crooked arrows starred,
Silently we went round and round
The slippery asphalte yard;
Silently we went round and round,
And no man spoke a word.

Silently we went round and round,
And through each hollow mind
The Memory of dreadful things
Rushed like a dreadful wind,
And Horror stalked before each man,
And Terror crept behind.

The Warders strutted up and down,
And kept their herd of brutes,
Their uniforms were spick and span,
And they wore their Sunday suits,
But we knew the work they had been at,
By the quicklime on their boots.

For where a grave had opened wide,
There was no grave at all:
Only a stretch of mud and sand
By the hideous prison-wall,
And a little heap of burning lime,
That the man should have his pall.

For he has a pall, this wretched man,
Such as few men can claim:
Deep down below a prison-yard,
Naked for greater shame,
He lies, with fetters on each foot,
Wrapt in a sheet of flame!

And all the while the burning lime
Eats flesh and bone away,
It eats the brittle bone by night,
And the soft flesh by day,
It eats the flesh and bone by turns,
But it eats the heart alway.

For three long years they will not sow
Or root or seedling there:
For three long years the unblessed spot
Will sterile be and bare,
And look upon the wondering sky
With unreproachful stare.

They think a murderer's heart would taint
Each simple seed they sow.
It is not true! God's kindly earth
Is kindlier than men know,
And the red rose would but blow more red,
The white rose whiter blow.

Out of his mouth a red, red rose!
Out of his heart a white!
For who can say by what strange way,
Christ brings His will to light,
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore
Bloomed in the great Pope's sight?

But neither milk-white rose nor red
May bloom in prison-air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
A common man's despair.

So never will wine-red rose or white,
Petal by petal, fall
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies
By the hideous prison-wall,
To tell the men who tramp the yard
That God's Son died for all.

Yet though the hideous prison-wall
Still hems him round and round,
And a spirit may not walk by night
That is with fetters bound,
And a spirit may but weep that lies
In such unholy ground,

He is at peace - this wretched man -
At peace, or will be soon:
There is no thing to make him mad,
Nor does Terror walk at noon,
For the lampless Earth in which he lies
Has neither Sun nor Moon.

They hanged him as a beast is hanged:
They did not even toll
A requiem that might have brought
Rest to his startled soul,
But hurriedly they took him out,
And hid him in a hole.

They stripped him of his canvas clothes,
And gave him to the flies:
They mocked the swollen purple throat,
And the stark and staring eyes:
And with laughter loud they heaped the shroud
In which their convict lies.

The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
By his dishonoured grave:
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
That Christ for sinners gave,
Because the man was one of those
Whom Christ came down to save.

Yet all is well; he has but passed
To Life's appointed bourne:
And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn

V

I know not whether Laws be right,
Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
A year whose days are long.

But this I know, that every Law
That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother's life,
And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
With a most evil fan.

This too I know - and wise it were
If each could know the same -
That every prison that men build
Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
How men their brothers maim.

With bars they blur the gracious moon,
And blind the goodly sun:
And they do well to hide their Hell,
For in it things are done
That Son of God nor son of Man
Ever should look upon!

The vilest deeds like poison weeds,
Bloom well in prison-air;
It is only what is good in Man
That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
And the Warder is Despair.

For they starve the little frightened child
Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool,
And gibe the old and grey,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
And none a word may say.

Each narrow cell in which we dwell
Is a foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death
Chokes up each grated screen,
And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
In Humanity's machine.

The brackish water that we drink
Creeps with a loathsome slime,
And the bitter bread they weigh in scales
Is full of chalk and lime,
And Sleep will not lie down, but walks
Wild-eyed, and cries to Time.

But though lean Hunger and green Thirst
Like asp with adder fight,
We have little care of prison fare,
For what chills and kills outright
Is that every stone one lifts by day
Becomes one's heart by night.

With midnight always in one's heart,
And twilight in one's cell,
We turn the crank, or tear the rope,
Each in his separate Hell,
And the silence is more awful far
Than the sound of a brazen bell.

And never a human voice comes near
To speak a gentle word:
And the eye that watches through the door
Is pitiless and hard:
And by all forgot, we rot and rot,
With soul and body marred.

And thus we rust Life's iron chain
Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
And some men make no moan:
But God's eternal Laws are kind
And break the heart of stone.

And every human heart that breaks,
In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean leper's house
With the scent of costliest nard.

Ah! happy they whose hearts can break
And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
May Lord Christ enter in?

And he of the swollen purple throat,
And the stark and staring eyes,
Waits for the holy hands that took
The Thief to Paradise;
And a broken and a contrite heart
The Lord will not despise.

The man in red who reads the Law
Gave him three weeks of life,
Three little weeks in which to heal
His soul of his soul's strife,
And cleanse from every blot of blood
The hand that held the knife.

And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand,
The hand that held the steel:
For only blood can wipe out blood,
And only tears can heal:
And the crimson stain that was of Cain
Became Christ's snow-white seal.

VI

In Reading gaol by Reading town
There is a pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man
Eaten by teeth of flame,
In a burning winding-sheet he lies,
And his grave has got no name.

And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.

And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!




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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2011 at 05:25
The Intrepid Captain
The storm is a pack of wolves
howling and tearing at the sky
with razor-sharp fangs and claws.
The intrepid captain’s raven-black hair flies
like a pennant in the wind
as she brazenly shouts orders.
Silver waves threaten to engulf the sailors,
but the brave men and women
battle on through the night
to keep their ship afloat.
Golden shards of sunlight pierce gray clouds
as the rain slows to a drizzle.
Dawn’s soft glow illuminates the waves
while drops of liquid sunlight spray the helm.
The caravel sails towards the sun-streaked sky,
and whatever adventures await.

Unknown
http://opossumsal.homestead.com/Oceans/TheIntrepidCaptain.html
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2011 at 12:55


I'll never relinquish passion
Whatever however it costs
I don't want drab revelations
That's it's a path  running in bog

I don't want stories to hear
About how saintly who was
Nor I'm about to revere
Some ascetic to reason who lost

I want all my days to be Blasting
I want all my nights to be Flair
Frying in flights orgiastic
Blind ones on the edge of despair

I'd rather have my heaven here
Whatever the cost for me holds
If all good dogs go to heaven
This Dog does not care at all.


Edited by Don Quixote - 04-Sep-2011 at 13:21
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2011 at 19:33
Song of the Picts
 
Wolf on the height
Mocking the night;
Slow comes the light
Of a nation's new dawn.
Shadow hordes massed
Out of the past.
Fame that shall last
Strides on and on.
Over the vale
Thunders the gale
Bearing the tale
Of a nation up-lifted.
Flee, wolf and kite!
Fame that is bright.
 
RE Howard
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

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Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2011 at 20:33
The Conqueror Worm
 
 
       Lo! 'tis a gala night
         Within the lonesome latter years!
       An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
         In veils, and drowned in tears,
       Sit in a theatre, to see
         A play of hopes and fears,
       While the orchestra breathes fitfully
         The music of the spheres.

       Mimes, in the form of God on high,
         Mutter and mumble low,
       And hither and thither fly-
         Mere puppets they, who come and go
       At bidding of vast formless things
         That shift the scenery to and fro,
       Flapping from out their Condor wings
         Invisible Woe!

       That motley drama- oh, be sure
         It shall not be forgot!
       With its Phantom chased for evermore,
         By a crowd that seize it not,
       Through a circle that ever returneth in
         To the self-same spot,
       And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
         And Horror the soul of the plot.

       But see, amid the mimic rout
         A crawling shape intrude!
       A blood-red thing that writhes from out
         The scenic solitude!
       It writhes!- it writhes!- with mortal pangs
         The mimes become its food,
       And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
         In human gore imbued.

       Out- out are the lights- out all!
         And, over each quivering form,
       The curtain, a funeral pall,
         Comes down with the rush of a storm,
       While the angels, all pallid and wan,
         Uprising, unveiling, affirm
       That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
         And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
 
From Ligeia
 
EA Poe
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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2011 at 15:36

Violet de Vere (Robert W Service)

You've heard of Violet de Vere, strip-teaser of renown,

Whose sitting-base out-faired the face of any girl in town;
Well, she was haled before the Bench for breachin' of the peace,
which signifies araisin' Cain, an' beatin' up the police.

So there she stood before the court of ruddy Judge McGraw,

Whom folks called Old Necessity, because he knew no law.
Aye, crackin' in a silken gown, an' sheddin, of a tear,
Ashine wi' gold and' precious stones sat Violet de Vere.

Old Judge McGraw looked dourly down an' stroked his silver beard.
Said he: “Although the Sheriff's bruised, the lady should be heared.

What can you say in your defence? We'll give you a square deal.”
“I just forget,” said Violet. “Maybe it was my heel.

I always want to kick the gong when I am feelin' gay;
It's most unfortunate, I guess, his face was in the way.”
Then scratchin' of his snowy pow the Judge looked down severe,

Where bright wi' paint like plaster saint sat Violet de Vere.

Says he: “I'm going to impose a twenty dollar fine.”
Says Violet: “Your Honour, to your judgement I resign.
I realise I should not my agility reveal:
Next time I'll kick the Sheriff with my toe and not my heel.

I'm grateful to the Court because I'm not in put in the clink;
There's twenty plunks to pay my fine, - but now I come to think:
Judge, darlin' you've been owin, me five bucks for near a year:

Take fifteen, - there! We'll call it square.” said Violet de Vere.




For money you did what guns could not do.........
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2011 at 18:34

Gather Ye Roses

Gather ye roses while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
A world where beauty fleets away
Is no world for denying.
Come lads and lasses, fall to play
Lose no more time in sighing

The very flowers you pluck to-day
To-morrow will be dying;
And all the flowers are crying,
And all the leaves have tongues to say,-
Gather ye roses while ye may. 
RL Stevenson
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2011 at 22:38
Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis

Gather Ye Roses

Gather ye roses while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
A world where beauty fleets away
Is no world for denying.
Come lads and lasses, fall to play
Lose no more time in sighing

The very flowers you pluck to-day
To-morrow will be dying;
And all the flowers are crying,
And all the leaves have tongues to say,-
Gather ye roses while ye may.
RL Stevenson

There is an old Bulgarian song with very similar, almost the same lyrics, I wonder if it's translation from Stevenson.
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