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I gazed upon the glorious sky
  And the green mountains round,
And thought that when I came to lie
  Within the silent ground,
'Twere pleasant, that in flowery June,
When brooks send up a cheerful tune,
  And groves a joyous sound,
The sexton's hand, my grave to make,
The rich, green mountain turf should break.

A cell within the frozen mould,
  A coffin borne through sleet,
And icy clods above it rolled,
  While fierce the tempests beat--
Away!--I will not think of these--
Blue be the sky and soft the breeze,
  Earth green beneath the feet,
And be the damp mould gently pressed
Into my narrow place of rest.

There through the long, long summer hours,
  The golden light should lie,
And thick young herbs and groups of flowers
  Stand in their beauty by.
The oriole should build and tell
His love-tale close beside my cell;
  The idle butterfly
Should rest him there, and there be heard
The housewife bee and humming-bird.

And what if cheerful shouts at noon
  Come, from the village sent,
Or songs of maids, beneath the moon
  With fairy laughter blent?
And what if, in the evening light,
Betrothed lovers walk in sight
  Of my low monument?
I would the lovely scene around
Might know no sadder sight nor sound.

I know, I know I should not see
  The season's glorious show,
Nor would its brightness shine for me,
  Nor its wild music flow;
But if, around my place of sleep,
The friends I love should come to weep,
  They might not haste to go.
Soft airs, and song, and light, and bloom,
Should keep them lingering by my tomb.

These to their softened hearts should bear
  The thought of what has been,
And speak of one who cannot share
  The gladness of the scene;
Whose part, in all the pomp that fills
The circuit of the summer hills,
  Is--that his grave is green;
And deeply would their hearts rejoice
To hear again his living voice.
The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread.
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.

Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood
In brighter light, and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?
Alas! they all are in their graves, the gentle race, of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours.
The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain
Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again.

The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago,
And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
But on the hill the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
And the yellow sun-flower by the brook in autumn beauty stood,
Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and glen.

And now, when comes the calm mild day, as still such days will come,
To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home;
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still,
And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill,
The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore,
And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.

And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died,
The fair meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side:
In the cold moist earth we laid her, when the forest cast the leaf,
And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief:
Yet not unmeet it was that one, like that young friend of ours,
So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crowned,
Crookèd eclipses ‘gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow.
    And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
    Praising thy worth despite his cruel hand.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping—rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
        Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
        Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
    This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping—tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door:—
      Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”
      Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping, somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore;—
    ’Tis the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he: not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
    Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
      Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
      With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
      Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope the melancholy burden bore
    Of ‘Never—nevermore.’”

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
    Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my *****’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
      She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath
  sent thee
Respite—respite aad nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!”
      Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
      Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked,
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted—nevermore!
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow—
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream:
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand—
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep
While I weep—while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
The flames of the furnace (well-travelled by wind
slowly glazing the rags of gray women chagrined
at the sight of a hair fleeing tresses now thinned)
sometimes billow like waves flooding naves through the night,
when the lightning peeks in where the tension hangs tight
while the lanterns, alarmed, appear fulgent with fright.

Having lost both his hands, and now dancing for dimes,
Captain Hook haunts the alleyway's rivers of rhymes,
sometimes singing or prancing to mimic the mimes
with white faces contorted to pillars of pain,
as the ringmaster murmurs “we're all the insane”
and the inmates dunk donuts in droplets of rain.

With their hammers in hand, in their plum pinafores,
Satan's soldiers of fortune wield powers of Thor's
leaving blood on bent bodies, the tombstones of wars
lining highways and byways  with manna and gold
for the mastermind movers, survivors consoled
with some pie in Valhalla (or so they've been told).

Above boulevards, battered with batches of bricks,
flys the Duchess of Dawdle on waxed candlesticks;
while she watches, debauches, her ****** tricks
as he talks (on their walks in the summer-day parks
where a parrot kneels praying, a parakeet barks)
’bout the buffed brazen beaks of the latter-day larks.

Hoary goblins glow gruesome, they leap from the loft
to the hard-hearted rues, shedding tears that they've quaffed
through the night of the dead as the clarinets coughed
and the keepers kept watch so that no one escaped
dingy dungeons where priests and their puppets hide caped
behind walls lined with tulips and justice hung draped.

In the Garden of Eaten, where apples once grew,
lie the bones, somewhat blanched, from the last barbecue
and the snakes strut like storks down a lost avenue
along tracks  like the cracks on the mask of the moon
all alight with the shadows that seep down a dune
as the firefly crawls from a crimson cocoon.

Phantom trains travel tunnels (dispatched in all haste),
voiding tickets to nowhere, it seems such a waste
to see roadblocks with red lights at dead ends misplaced
at the base of the bowels of the bottomless pit
where reflections of life seem so ****** counterfeit
from the back of the eyes of the blind hypocrite.

Lady cockroaches, camped in the Countesses' beds,
are commanding crusaders to fit arrowheads
to the ends of burnt bridges suspended by threads
from frayed thongs of diminutive bald balladeers
taunting Cerby, the three-headed dog, serving beers
to the pagan disciples of bold puppeteers.

The oceans lay barren, the garbage dumps filling
with fracking and cracking and lead water spilling,
for milling and drilling are thrilling but killing
the birds and the beasts and the tea leaves, soon falling,
yet gurus roast chestnuts but can't heed their calling
while mauling and crawling on knees while they're brawling.

Unshorn sheep in the meadow are led to the bay
to be brainwashed and fleeced, trusting donkeys that bray
of the virtues of demons that haunt yesterday,
while the vultures deflower the turtle dove lanes
where the blood trickles up and the cruel crimson stains
Easter eggshells and feathers – that’s all that remains.

One eyed bees pilot lines through electrical storms
and blind hornets hum hymns when they're swirling in swarms
while the rest are repressed as the blue marble warms
(regent Queens losing sight that the end has begun)
and for eyes of the ewes, veils of wool have been spun  
and the wasps fly their flags from the **** of a gun.

Seven trumpets (attempting to echo the horns
of the Siamese goats and the three Unicorns
giving birth to the mirth in the temple of thorns)
sound the bugles of sorrow inside of the sea
of crazed lies of the wormwood afloat like a pea
in a pod of dark dolphins that can't disagree.

Often bellowed by barkers, to crowds with no faces,
are words (in their aftermath, leaving no traces)
of picnics and parties in limbo-like places
on paths to perdition where pundits are preaching
and sirens belch bullets while pirates prowl, breaching
the shadow's barbed branches, with whistles blown, screeching.

They're dissecting dissenters that dare to annoy
and then trample with jackboots sent in to destroy,
until taming the toes of the last Gypsy boy
who gets caught in the craw of their cold catacomb
with no rescue by running nor staying at home,
and no freedom to breathe, only rough roads to roam.
The army had revolted and the Republic was at risk,
But we were just a small town- what had we to do with this?
My father, Manuel Robles, was a labor Union man.
Some called him a Communist; only now I understand.

The army had a list of men whose loyalty was suspect
And when the civil war broke out they came for them direct.
They took him, and some others, and lined them up against a wall.
It was then I heard the volley and I watched my Father fall.

They checked upon their handiwork, I cannot forget the face
Of the officer who used his pistol to give  the coup de grace.
The piled the corpses on their truck and, laughing, drove away.
All were  buried in a common grave to wait the Judgement day.

I stared in speechless horror at the blood soaked, thirsty ground
and at the pock marks in that wall caused by some misspent rounds.
There was no judge, no jury, no verdict, nor decree.
They killed a dozen unarmed men ; that was their victory

They slaughtered my dear padre without a second thought.
I would not go so easily; there are others, too, who fought.
Now Franco has my country and I’ve had to flee from Spain.
My heart is with my Father’s bones. I carry on his name.
July 19, 1936 A young teen watches in horror as Franco's men ****** his Father and  others for their Communist sympathies

— The End —