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V. TO APHRODITE (293 lines)

(ll. 1-6) Muse, tell me the deeds of golden Aphrodite the
Cyprian, who stirs up sweet passion in the gods and subdues the
tribes of mortal men and birds that fly in air and all the many
creatures that the dry land rears, and all the sea: all these
love the deeds of rich-crowned Cytherea.

(ll. 7-32) Yet there are three hearts that she cannot bend nor
yet ensnare.  First is the daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis,
bright-eyed Athene; for she has no pleasure in the deeds of
golden Aphrodite, but delights in wars and in the work of Ares,
in strifes and battles and in preparing famous crafts.  She first
taught earthly craftsmen to make chariots of war and cars
variously wrought with bronze, and she, too, teaches tender
maidens in the house and puts knowledge of goodly arts in each
one's mind.  Nor does laughter-loving Aphrodite ever tame in love
Artemis, the huntress with shafts of gold; for she loves archery
and the slaying of wild beasts in the mountains, the lyre also
and dancing and thrilling cries and shady woods and the cities of
upright men.  Nor yet does the pure maiden Hestia love
Aphrodite's works.  She was the first-born child of wily Cronos
and youngest too (24), by will of Zeus who holds the aegis, -- a
queenly maid whom both Poseidon and Apollo sought to wed.  But
she was wholly unwilling, nay, stubbornly refused; and touching
the head of father Zeus who holds the aegis, she, that fair
goddess, sware a great oath which has in truth been fulfilled,
that she would be a maiden all her days.  So Zeus the Father gave
her an high honour instead of marriage, and she has her place in
the midst of the house and has the richest portion.  In all the
temples of the gods she has a share of honour, and among all
mortal men she is chief of the goddesses.

(ll. 33-44) Of these three Aphrodite cannot bend or ensnare the
hearts.  But of all others there is nothing among the blessed
gods or among mortal men that has escaped Aphrodite.  Even the
heart of Zeus, who delights in thunder, is led astray by her;
though he is greatest of all and has the lot of highest majesty,
she beguiles even his wise heart whensoever she pleases, and
mates him with mortal women, unknown to Hera, his sister and his
wife, the grandest far in beauty among the deathless goddesses --
most glorious is she whom wily Cronos with her mother Rhea did
beget: and Zeus, whose wisdom is everlasting, made her his chaste
and careful wife.

(ll. 45-52) But upon Aphrodite herself Zeus cast sweet desire to
be joined in love with a mortal man, to the end that, very soon,
not even she should be innocent of a mortal's love; lest
laughter-loving Aphrodite should one day softly smile and say
mockingly among all the gods that she had joined the gods in love
with mortal women who bare sons of death to the deathless gods,
and had mated the goddesses with mortal men.

(ll. 53-74) And so he put in her heart sweet desire for Anchises
who was tending cattle at that time among the steep hills of
many-fountained Ida, and in shape was like the immortal gods.
Therefore, when laughter-loving Aphrodite saw him, she loved him,
and terribly desire seized her in her heart.  She went to Cyprus,
to Paphos, where her precinct is and fragrant altar, and passed
into her sweet-smelling temple.  There she went in and put to the
glittering doors, and there the Graces bathed her with heavenly
oil such as blooms upon the bodies of the eternal gods -- oil
divinely sweet, which she had by her, filled with fragrance.  And
laughter-loving Aphrodite put on all her rich clothes, and when
she had decked herself with gold, she left sweet-smelling Cyprus
and went in haste towards Troy, swiftly travelling high up among
the clouds.  So she came to many-fountained Ida, the mother of
wild creatures and went straight to the homestead across the
mountains.  After her came grey wolves, fawning on her, and grim-
eyed lions, and bears, and fleet leopards, ravenous for deer: and
she was glad in heart to see them, and put desire in their
*******, so that they all mated, two together, about the shadowy
coombes.

(ll. 75-88) (25) But she herself came to the neat-built shelters,
and him she found left quite alone in the homestead -- the hero
Anchises who was comely as the gods.  All the others were
following the herds over the grassy pastures, and he, left quite
alone in the homestead, was roaming hither and thither and
playing thrillingly upon the lyre.  And Aphrodite, the daughter
of Zeus stood before him, being like a pure maiden in height and
mien, that he should not be frightened when he took heed of her
with his eyes.  Now when Anchises saw her, he marked her well and
wondered at her mien and height and shining garments.  For she
was clad in a robe out-shining the brightness of fire, a splendid
robe of gold, enriched with all manner of needlework, which
shimmered like the moon over her tender *******, a marvel to see.

Also she wore twisted brooches and shining earrings in the form
of flowers; and round her soft throat were lovely necklaces.

(ll. 91-105) And Anchises was seized with love, and said to her:
'Hail, lady, whoever of the blessed ones you are that are come to
this house, whether Artemis, or Leto, or golden Aphrodite, or
high-born Themis, or bright-eyed Athene.  Or, maybe, you are one
of the Graces come hither, who bear the gods company and are
called immortal, or else one of those who inhabit this lovely
mountain and the springs of rivers and grassy meads.  I will make
you an altar upon a high peak in a far seen place, and will
sacrifice rich offerings to you at all seasons.  And do you feel
kindly towards me and grant that I may become a man very eminent
among the Trojans, and give me strong offspring for the time to
come.  As for my own self, let me live long and happily, seeing
the light of the sun, and come to the threshold of old age, a man
prosperous among the people.'

(ll. 106-142) Thereupon Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus answered
him: 'Anchises, most glorious of all men born on earth, know that
I am no goddess: why do you liken me to the deathless ones?  Nay,
I am but a mortal, and a woman was the mother that bare me.
Otreus of famous name is my father, if so be you have heard of
him, and he reigns over all Phrygia rich in fortresses.  But I
know your speech well beside my own, for a Trojan nurse brought
me up at home: she took me from my dear mother and reared me
thenceforth when I was a little child.  So comes it, then, that I
well know you tongue also.  And now the Slayer of Argus with the
golden wand has caught me up from the dance of huntress Artemis,
her with the golden arrows.  For there were many of us, nymphs
and marriageable (26) maidens, playing together; and an
innumerable company encircled us: from these the Slayer of Argus
with the golden wand rapt me away.  He carried me over many
fields of mortal men and over much land untilled and unpossessed,
where savage wild-beasts roam through shady coombes, until I
thought never again to touch the life-giving earth with my feet.
And he said that I should be called the wedded wife of Anchises,
and should bear you goodly children.  But when he had told and
advised me, he, the strong Slayer of Argos, went back to the
families of the deathless gods, while I am now come to you: for
unbending necessity is upon me.  But I beseech you by Zeus and by
your noble parents -- for no base folk could get such a son as
you -- take me now, stainless and unproved in love, and show me
to your father and careful mother and to your brothers sprung
from the same stock.  I shall be no ill-liking daughter for them,
but a likely.  Moreover, send a messenger quickly to the swift-
horsed Phrygians, to tell my father and my sorrowing mother; and
they will send you gold in plenty and woven stuffs, many splendid
gifts; take these as bride-piece.  So do, and then prepare the
sweet marriage that is honourable in the eyes of men and
deathless gods.'

(ll. 143-144) When she had so spoken, the goddess put sweet
desire in his heart.  And Anchises was seized with love, so that
he opened his mouth and said:

(ll. 145-154) 'If you are a mortal and a woman was the mother who
bare you, and Otreus of famous name is your father as you say,
and if you are come here by the will of Hermes the immortal
Guide, and are to be called my wife always, then neither god nor
mortal man shall here restrain me till I have lain with you in
love right now; no, not even if far-shooting Apollo himself
should launch grievous shafts from his silver bow.  Willingly
would I go down into the house of Hades, O lady, beautiful as the
goddesses, once I had gone up to your bed.'

(ll. 155-167) So speaking, he caught her by the hand.  And
laughter-loving Aphrodite, with face turned away and lovely eyes
downcast, crept to the well-spread couch which was already laid
with soft coverings for the hero; and upon it lay skins of bears
and deep-roaring lions which he himself had slain in the high
mountains.  And when they had gone up upon the well-fitted bed,
first Anchises took off her bright jewelry of pins and twisted
brooches and earrings and necklaces, and loosed her girdle and
stripped off her bright garments and laid them down upon a
silver-studded seat.  Then by the will of the gods and destiny he
lay with her, a mortal man with an immortal goddess, not clearly
knowing what he did.

(ll. 168-176) But at the time when the herdsmen driver their oxen
and hardy sheep back to the fold from the flowery pastures, even
then Aphrodite poured soft sleep upon Anchises, but herself put
on her rich raiment.  And when the bright goddess had fully
clothed herself, she stood by the couch, and her head reached to
the well-hewn roof-tree; from her cheeks shone unearthly beauty
such as belongs to rich-crowned Cytherea.  Then she aroused him
from sleep and opened her mouth and said:

(ll. 177-179) 'Up, son of Dardanus! -- why sleep you so heavily?
-- and consider whether I look as I did when first you saw me
with your eyes.'

(ll. 180-184) So she spake.  And he awoke in a moment and obeyed
her.  But when he saw the neck and lovely eyes of Aphrodite, he
was afraid and turned his eyes aside another way, hiding his
comely face with his cloak.  Then he uttered winged words and
entreated her:

(ll. 185-190) 'So soon as ever I saw you with my eyes, goddess, I
knew that you were divine; but you did not tell me truly.  Yet by
Zeus who holds the aegis I beseech you, leave me not to lead a
palsied life among men, but have pity on me; for he who lies with
a deathless goddess is no hale man afterwards.'

(ll. 191-201) Then Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus answered him:
'Anchises, most glorious of mortal men, take courage and be not
too fearful in your heart.  You need fear no harm from me nor
from the other blessed ones, for you are dear to the gods: and
you shall have a dear son who shall reign among the Trojans, and
children's children after him, springing up continually.  His
name shall be Aeneas (27), because I felt awful grief in that I
laid me in the bed of mortal man: yet are those of your race
always the most like to gods of all mortal men in beauty and in
stature (28).

(ll. 202-217) 'Verily wise Zeus carried off golden-haired
Ganymedes because of his beauty, to be amongst the Deathless Ones
and pour drink for the gods in the house of Zeus -- a wonder to
see -- honoured by all the immortals as he draws the red nectar
from the golden bowl.  But grief that could not be soothed filled
the heart of Tros; for he knew not whither the heaven-sent
whirlwind had caught up his dear son, so that he mourned him
always, unceasingly, until Zeus pitied him and gave him high-
stepping horses such as carry the immortals as recompense for his
son.  These he gave him as a gift.  And at the command of Zeus,
the Guide, the slayer of Argus, told him all, and how his son
would be deathless and unageing, even as the gods.  So when Tros
heard these tidings from Zeus, he no longer kept mourning but
rejoiced in his heart and rode joyfully with his storm-footed
horses.

(ll. 218-238) 'So also golden-throned Eos rapt away Tithonus who
was of your race and like the deathless gods.  And she went to
ask the dark-clouded Son of Cronos that he should be deathless
and live eternally; and Zeus bowed his head to her prayer and
fulfilled her desire.  Too simply was queenly Eos: she thought
not in her heart to ask youth for him and to strip him of the
slough of deadly age.  So while he enjoyed the sweet flower of
life he lived rapturously with golden-throned Eos, the early-
born, by the streams of Ocean, at the ends of the earth; but when
the first grey hairs began to ripple from his comely head and
noble chin, queenly Eos kept away from his bed, though she
cherished him in her house and nourished him with food and
ambrosia and gave him rich clothing.  But when loathsome old age
pressed full upon him, and he could not move nor lift his limbs,
this seemed to her in her heart the best counsel: she laid him in
a room and put to the shining doors.  There he babbles endlessly,
and no more has strength at all, such as once he had in his
supple limbs.

(ll. 239-246) 'I would not have you be deathless among the
deathless gods and live continually after such sort.  Yet if you
could live on such as now you are in look and in form, and be
called my husband, sorrow would not then enfold my careful heart.

But, as it is, harsh (29) old age will soon enshroud you --
ruthless age which stands someday at the side of every man,
deadly, wearying, dreaded even by the gods.

(ll. 247-290) 'And now because of you I shall have great shame
among the deathless gods henceforth, continually.  For until now
they feared my jibes and the wiles by which, or soon or late, I
mated all the immortals with mortal women, making them all
subject to my will.  But now my mouth shall no more have this
power among the gods; for very great has been my madness, my
miserable and dreadful madness, and I went astray out of my mind
who have gotten a child beneath my girdle, mating with a mortal
man.  As for the child, as soon as he sees the light of the sun,
the deep-breasted mountain Nymphs who inhabit this great and holy
mountain shall bring him up.  They rank neither with mortals nor
with immortals: long indeed do they live, eating heavenly food
and treading the lovely dance among the immortals, and with them
the Sileni and the sharp-eyed Slayer of Argus mate in the depths
of pleasant caves; but at their birth pines or high-topped oaks
spring up with them upon the fruitful earth, beautiful,
flourishing trees, towering high upon the lofty mountains (and
men call them holy places of the immortals, and never mortal lops
them with the axe); but when the fate of death is near at hand,
first those lovely trees wither where they stand, and the bark
shrivels away about them, and the twigs fall down, and at last
the life of the Nymph and of the tree leave the light of the sun
together.  These Nymphs shall keep my son with them and rear him,
and as soon as he is come to lovely boyhood, the goddesses will
bring him here to you and show you your child.  But, that I may
tell you all that I have in mind, I will come here again towards
the fifth year and bring you my son.  So soon as ever you have
seen him -- a scion to delight the eyes -- you will rejoice in
beholding him; for he shall be most godlike: then bring him at
once to windy Ilion.  And if any mortal man ask you who got your
dear son beneath her girdle, remember to tell him as I bid you:
say he is the offspring of one of the flower-like Nymphs who
inhabit this forest-clad hill.  But if you tell all and foolishly
boast that you lay with ric
Even as the sun with purple-coloured face
Had ta’en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheeked Adonis hied him to the chase;
Hunting he loved, but love he laughed to scorn.
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-faced suitor ‘gins to woo him.

“Thrice fairer than myself,” thus she began
“The fields chief flower, sweet above compare,
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,
More white and red than doves or roses are;
Nature that made thee with herself at strife
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.

“Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed,
And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow;
If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed
A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know.
Here come and sit where never serpent hisses,
And being set, I’ll smother thee with kisses.

“And yet not cloy thy lips with loathed satiety,
But rather famish them amid their plenty,
Making them red and pale with fresh variety:
Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty.
A summer’s day will seem an hour but short,
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.”

With this she seizeth on his sweating palm,
The precedent of pith and livelihood,
And, trembling in her passion, calls it balm,
Earth’s sovereign salve to do a goddess good.
Being so enraged, desire doth lend her force
Courageously to pluck him from his horse.

Over one arm the ***** courser’s rein,
Under her other was the tender boy,
Who blushed and pouted in a dull disdain,
With leaden appetite, unapt to toy;
She red and hot as coals of glowing fire,
He red for shame, but frosty in desire.

The studded bridle on a ragged bough
Nimbly she fastens—O, how quick is love!
The steed is stalled up, and even now
To tie the rider she begins to prove.
Backward she pushed him, as she would be ******,
And governed him in strength, though not in lust.

So soon was she along as he was down,
Each leaning on their elbows and their hips;
Now doth she stroke his cheek, now doth he frown
And ‘gins to chide, but soon she stops his lips,
And, kissing, speaks with lustful language broken:
“If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall never open”.

He burns with bashful shame; she with her tears
Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks;
Then with her windy sighs and golden hairs
To fan and blow them dry again she seeks.
He saith she is immodest, blames her miss;
What follows more she murders with a kiss.

Even as an empty eagle, sharp by fast,
Tires with her beak on feathers, flesh, and bone,
Shaking her wings, devouring all in haste,
Till either gorge be stuffed or prey be gone;
Even so she kissed his brow, his cheek, his chin,
And where she ends she doth anew begin.

Forced to content, but never to obey,
Panting he lies, and breatheth in her face;
She feedeth on the steam as on a prey,
And calls it heavenly moisture, air of grace,
Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers,
So they were dewed with such distilling showers.

Look how a bird lies tangled in a net,
So fastened in her arms Adonis lies;
Pure shame and awed resistance made him fret,
Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes.
Rain added to a river that is rank
Perforce will force it overflow the bank.

Still she entreats, and prettily entreats,
For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale;
Still is he sullen, still he lours and frets,
‘Twixt crimson shame and anger ashy-pale.
Being red, she loves him best; and being white,
Her best is bettered with a more delight.

Look how he can, she cannot choose but love;
And by her fair immortal hand she swears
From his soft ***** never to remove
Till he take truce with her contending tears,
Which long have rained, making her cheeks all wet;
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt.

Upon this promise did he raise his chin,
Like a dive-dapper peering through a wave
Who, being looked on, ducks as quickly in;
So offers he to give what she did crave;
But when her lips were ready for his pay,
He winks, and turns his lips another way.

Never did passenger in summer’s heat
More thirst for drink than she for this good turn.
Her help she sees, but help she cannot get;
She bathes in water, yet her fire must burn.
“O pity,” ‘gan she cry “flint-hearted boy,
’Tis but a kiss I beg; why art thou coy?

“I have been wooed as I entreat thee now
Even by the stern and direful god of war,
Whose sinewy neck in battle ne’er did bow,
Who conquers where he comes in every jar;
Yet hath he been my captive and my slave,
And begged for that which thou unasked shalt have.

“Over my altars hath he hung his lance,
His battered shield, his uncontrolled crest,
And for my sake hath learned to sport and dance,
To toy, to wanton, dally, smile, and jest,
Scorning his churlish drum and ensign red,
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed.

“Thus he that overruled I overswayed,
Leading him prisoner in a red-rose chain;
Strong-tempered steel his stronger strength obeyed,
Yet was he servile to my coy disdain.
O be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
For mast’ring her that foiled the god of fight.

“Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine,
—Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red—
The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine.
What seest thou in the ground? Hold up thy head;
Look in mine eyeballs, there thy beauty lies;
Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes?

“Art thou ashamed to kiss? Then wink again,
And I will wink; so shall the day seem night.
Love keeps his revels where there are but twain;
Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight:
These blue-veined violets whereon we lean
Never can blab, nor know not what we mean.

“The tender spring upon thy tempting lip
Shows thee unripe; yet mayst thou well be tasted.
Make use of time, let not advantage slip:
Beauty within itself should not be wasted.
Fair flowers that are not gathered in their prime
Rot and consume themselves in little time.

“Were I hard-favoured, foul, or wrinkled-old,
Ill-nurtured, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice,
O’erworn, despised, rheumatic, and cold,
Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice,
Then mightst thou pause, for then I were not for thee;
But having no defects, why dost abhor me?

“Thou canst not see one wrinkle in my brow,
Mine eyes are grey and bright and quick in turning,
My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow,
My flesh is soft and plump, my marrow burning;
My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt,
Would in thy palm dissolve or seem to melt.

“Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear,
Or like a fairy trip upon the green,
Or like a nymph, with long dishevelled hair,
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen.
Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.

“Witness this primrose bank whereon I lie:
These forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me;
Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky
From morn till night, even where I list to sport me.
Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be
That thou should think it heavy unto thee?

“Is thine own heart to thine own face affected?
Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left?
Then woo thyself, be of thyself rejected,
Steal thine own freedom, and complain on theft.
Narcissus so himself himself forsook,
And died to kiss his shadow in the brook.

“Torches are made to light, jewels to wear,
Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use,
Herbs for their smell, and sappy plants to bear;
Things growing to themselves are growth’s abuse.
Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth beauty;
Thou wast begot: to get it is thy duty.

“Upon the earth’s increase why shouldst thou feed,
Unless the earth with thy increase be fed?
By law of nature thou art bound to breed,
That thine may live when thou thyself art dead;
And so in spite of death thou dost survive,
In that thy likeness still is left alive.”

By this, the lovesick queen began to sweat,
For where they lay the shadow had forsook them,
And Titan, tired in the midday heat,
With burning eye did hotly overlook them,
Wishing Adonis had his team to guide,
So he were like him, and by Venus’ side.

And now Adonis, with a lazy sprite,
And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye,
His louring brows o’erwhelming his fair sight,
Like misty vapours when they blot the sky,
Souring his cheeks, cries “Fie, no more of love!
The sun doth burn my face; I must remove.”

“Ay me,” quoth Venus “young, and so unkind!
What bare excuses mak’st thou to be gone!
I’ll sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind
Shall cool the heat of this descending sun.
I’ll make a shadow for thee of my hairs;
If they burn too, I’ll quench them with my tears.

“The sun that shines from heaven shines but warm,
And lo, I lie between that sun and thee;
The heat I have from thence doth little harm:
Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me;
And were I not immortal, life were done
Between this heavenly and earthly sun.

“Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel?
Nay, more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth.
Art thou a woman’s son, and canst not feel
What ’tis to love, how want of love tormenteth?
O, had thy mother borne so hard a mind
She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind.

“What am I that thou shouldst contemn me this?
Or what great danger dwells upon my suit?
What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss?
Speak, fair; but speak fair words, or else be mute.
Give me one kiss, I’ll give it thee again,
And one for int’rest, if thou wilt have twain.

“Fie, lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone,
Well-painted idol, image dull and dead,
Statue contenting but the eye alone,
Thing like a man, but of no woman bred!
Thou art no man, though of a man’s complexion,
For men will kiss even by their own direction.”

This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue,
And swelling passion doth provoke a pause;
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong:
Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause;
And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak,
And now her sobs do her intendments break.

Sometime she shakes her head, and then his hand;
Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground;
Sometime her arms infold him like a band;
She would, he will not in her arms be bound;
And when from thence he struggles to be gone,
She locks her lily fingers one in one.

“Fondling,” she saith “since I have hemmed thee here
Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
I’ll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer:
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale;
Graze on my lips, and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.

“Within this limit is relief enough,
Sweet bottom-grass and high delightful plain,
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain:
Then be my deer, since I am such a park;
No dog shall rouse thee, though a thousand bark.”

At this Adonis smiles as in disdain,
That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple.
Love made those hollows, if himself were slain,
He might be buried in a tomb so simple,
Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie,
Why, there Love lived, and there he could not die.

These lovely caves, these round enchanting pits,
Opened their mouths to swallow Venus’ liking.
Being mad before, how doth she now for wits?
Struck dead at first, what needs a second striking?
Poor queen of love, in thine own law forlorn,
To love a cheek that smiles at thee in scorn!

Now which way shall she turn? What shall she say?
Her words are done, her woes the more increasing.
The time is spent, her object will away,
And from her twining arms doth urge releasing.
“Pity!” she cries “Some favour, some remorse!”
Away he springs, and hasteth to his horse.

But lo, from forth a copse that neighbours by
A breeding jennet, *****, young, and proud,
Adonis’ trampling courser doth espy,
And forth she rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud.
The strong-necked steed, being tied unto a tree,
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he.

Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
And now his woven girths he breaks asunder;
The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds,
Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven’s thunder;
The iron bit he crusheth ‘tween his teeth,
Controlling what he was controlled with.

His ears up-pricked; his braided hanging mane
Upon his compassed crest now stand on end;
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send;
His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,
Shows his hot courage and his high desire.

Sometime he trots, as if he told the steps,
With gentle majesty and modest pride;
Anon he rears upright, curvets and leaps,
As who should say ‘Lo, thus my strength is tried,
And this I do to captivate the eye
Of the fair ******* that is standing by.’

What recketh he his rider’s angry stir,
His flattering ‘Holla’ or his ‘Stand, I say’?
What cares he now for curb or pricking spur,
For rich caparisons or trappings gay?
He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
For nothing else with his proud sight agrees.

Look when a painter would surpass the life
In limning out a well-proportioned steed,
His art with nature’s workmanship at strife,
As if the dead the living should exceed;
So did this horse excel a common one
In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone.

Round-hoofed, short-jointed, fetlocks **** and long,
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong,
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide;
Look what a horse should have he did not lack,
Save a proud rider on so proud a back.

Sometime he scuds far off, and there he stares;
Anon he starts at stirring of a feather;
To bid the wind a base he now prepares,
And whe’er he run or fly they know not whether;
For through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feathered wings.

He looks upon his love, and neighs unto her;
She answers him as if she knew his mind:
Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her,
She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind,
Spurns at his love, and scorns the heat he feels,
Beating his kind embracements with her heels.

Then, like a melancholy malcontent,
He vails his tail that, like a falling plume,
Cool shadow to his melting buttock lent;
He stamps, and bites the poor flies in his fume.
His love, perceiving how he was enraged,
Grew kinder, and his fury was assuaged.

His testy master goeth about to take him,
When, lo, the unbacked *******, full of fear,
Jealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him,
With her the horse, and left Adonis there.
As they were mad, unto the wood they hie them,
Outstripping crows that strive to overfly them.

All swoll’n with chafing, down Adonis sits,
Banning his boist’rous and unruly beast;
And now the happy season once more fits
That lovesick Love by pleading may be blest;
For lovers say the heart hath treble wrong
When it is barred the aidance of the tongue.

An oven that is stopped, or river stayed,
Burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage;
So of concealed sorrow may be said.
Free vent of words love’s fire doth assuage;
But when the heart’s attorney once is mute,
The client breaks, as desperate in his suit.

He sees her coming, and begins to glow,
Even as a dying coal revives with wind,
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow,
Looks on the dull earth with disturbed mind,
Taking no notice that she is so nigh,
For all askance he holds her in his eye.

O what a sight it was wistly to view
How she came stealing to the wayward boy!
To note the fighting conflict of her hue,
How white and red each other did destroy!
But now her cheek was pale, and by-and-by
It flashed forth fire, as lightning from the sky.

Now was she just before him as he sat,
And like a lowly lover down she kneels;
With one fair hand she heaveth up his hat,
Her other tender hand his fair cheek feels.
His tend’rer cheek receives her soft hand’s print
As apt as new-fall’n snow takes any dint.

O what a war of looks was then between them,
Her eyes petitioners to his eyes suing!
His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them;
Her eyes wooed still, his eyes disdained the wooing;
And all this dumb-play had his acts made plain
With tears which chorus-like her eyes did rain.

Full gently now she takes him by the hand,
A lily prisoned in a gaol of snow,
Or ivory in an alabaster band;
So white a friend engirts so white a foe.
This beauteous combat, wilful and unwilling,
Showed like two silver doves that sit a-billing.

Once more the engine of her thoughts began:
“O fairest mover on this mortal round,
Would t
patty m Jun 2014
A nightmare whispers in my ear
sidles down, spreading wasp-like wings
as it hisses between pointy teeth
words of chaos and confusion.

Disturbing revelations
whirr, jitter, and chatter as I flinch.
Its consumptive rattle spraying spittle
emits a putrid scent reminiscent of rodent.

Milky blue and innocent eyed
yet dastardly depraved,
the imp reaches out
shivering with excitement,
ignoring my piteous complaint.

Oppressive gray skinned nightmare
barbed prehensile tail
your vicious stinger
breeds monsters.

Failing light
the fallen rain
congers danger
Between bouts of nausea
I watch him ******* breath from mewling infants,
opening plague tombs, unwinding sheets,
and I cringe with the fear of being buried alive.

Clinging to bones, scant hair on a withered head,
I cry burning tears,
my face seamed with scars.
Not dead yet, but powerless to refute him.

Leagues of the dead march by
rank after rank of their numbers
never staggering to an end,  

I try to rise, wheezing , tongue swelled over teeth
eyeballs bulging, as their footsteps grow louder.

Still I dangle chained to this moment
terrified ,
as nightmare rears its head
but even more frightened of dying.
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea’s hills the setting Sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O’er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows;
On old ægina’s rock and Hydra’s isle
The God of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O’er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Thy glorious Gulf, unconquered Salamis!
Their azure arches through the long expanse,
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep.

  On such an eve his palest beam he cast
When, Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murdered Sage’s latest day!
Not yet—not yet—Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain’s once delightful dyes;
Gloom o’er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
The land where Phoebus never frowned before;
But ere he sunk below Cithaeron’s head,
The cup of Woe was quaffed—the Spirit fled;
The soul of Him that scorned to fear or fly,
Who lived and died as none can live or die.

  But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign;
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o’er the Minaret;
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,
And sad and sombre ’mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus’ fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that passed them heedless by.
Again the ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war:
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle
That frown, where gentler Ocean deigns to smile.

  As thus, within the walls of Pallas’ fane,
I marked the beauties of the land and main,
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poets’ lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turned to scan,
Sacred to Gods, but not secure from Man,
The Past returned, the Present seemed to cease,
And Glory knew no clime beyond her Greece!

  Hour rolled along, and Dian’******on high
Had gained the centre of her softest sky;
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod
O’er the vain shrine of many a vanished God:
But chiefly, Pallas! thine, when Hecate’s glare
Checked by thy columns, fell more sadly fair
O’er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant-form before me strode,
And Pallas hailed me in her own Abode!

  Yes,’twas Minerva’s self; but, ah! how changed,
Since o’er the Dardan field in arms she ranged!
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared from Phidias’ plastic hand:
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance
Seemed weak and shaftless e’en to mortal glance;
The Olive Branch, which still she deigned to clasp,
Shrunk from her touch, and withered in her grasp;
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimmed her large blue eye;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourned his mistress with a shriek of woe!

  “Mortal!”—’twas thus she spake—”that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honoured ‘less’ by all, and ‘least’ by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek’st thou the cause of loathing!—look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
‘Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
‘These’ Cecrops placed, ‘this’ Pericles adorned,
‘That’ Adrian reared when drooping Science mourned.
What more I owe let Gratitude attest—
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name:
For Elgin’s fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name—above, behold his deeds!
Be ever hailed with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the Lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the Wolf, the filthy Jackal last:
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own,
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone.
Yet still the Gods are just, and crimes are crossed:
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost!
Another name with his pollutes my shrine:
Behold where Dian’s beams disdain to shine!
Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
When Venus half avenged Minerva’s shame.”

  She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply,
To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye:
“Daughter of Jove! in Britain’s injured name,
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim.
Frown not on England; England owns him not:
Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
Ask’st thou the difference? From fair Phyles’ towers
Survey Boeotia;—Caledonia’s ours.
And well I know within that ******* land
Hath Wisdom’s goddess never held command;
A barren soil, where Nature’s germs, confined
To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth,
Emblem of all to whom the Land gives birth;
Each genial influence nurtured to resist;
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain
Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
Till, burst at length, each wat’ry head o’erflows,
Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows:
Then thousand schemes of petulance and pride
Despatch her scheming children far and wide;
Some East, some West, some—everywhere but North!
In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth.
And thus—accursed be the day and year!
She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,
As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth;
So may her few, the lettered and the brave,
Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once, of yore, in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race.”

  “Mortal!” the blue-eyed maid resumed, “once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Hear then in silence Pallas’ stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.

  “First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light,—on him and all his seed:
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Believe him ******* of a brighter race:
Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And Folly’s praise repay for Wisdom’s hate;
Long of their Patron’s gusto let them tell,
Whose noblest, native gusto is—to sell:
To sell, and make—may shame record the day!—
The State—Receiver of his pilfered prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West,
Europe’s worst dauber, and poor Britain’s best,
With palsied hand shall turn each model o’er,
And own himself an infant of fourscore.
Be all the Bruisers culled from all St. Giles’,
That Art and Nature may compare their styles;
While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare,
And marvel at his Lordship’s ’stone shop’ there.
Round the thronged gate shall sauntering coxcombs creep
To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep;
While many a languid maid, with longing sigh,
On giant statues casts the curious eye;
The room with transient glance appears to skim,
Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb;
Mourns o’er the difference of now and then;
Exclaims, ‘These Greeks indeed were proper men!’
Draws slight comparisons of ‘these’ with ‘those’,
And envies Laïs all her Attic beaux.
When shall a modern maid have swains like these?
Alas! Sir Harry is no Hercules!
And last of all, amidst the gaping crew,
Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,
In silent indignation mixed with grief,
Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.
Oh, loathed in life, nor pardoned in the dust,
May Hate pursue his sacrilegious lust!
Linked with the fool that fired the Ephesian dome,
Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb,
And Eratostratus and Elgin shine
In many a branding page and burning line;
Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed,
Perchance the second blacker than the first.

  “So let him stand, through ages yet unborn,
Fixed statue on the pedestal of Scorn;
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait,
But fits thy country for her coming fate:
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son
To do what oft Britannia’s self had done.
Look to the Baltic—blazing from afar,
Your old Ally yet mourns perfidious war.
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid,
Or break the compact which herself had made;
Far from such counsels, from the faithless field
She fled—but left behind her Gorgon shield;
A fatal gift that turned your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.

“Look to the East, where Ganges’ swarthy race
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base;
Lo! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head,
And glares the Nemesis of native dead;
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood,
And claims his long arrear of northern blood.
So may ye perish!—Pallas, when she gave
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave.

  “Look on your Spain!—she clasps the hand she hates,
But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates.
Bear witness, bright Barossa! thou canst tell
Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell.
But Lusitania, kind and dear ally,
Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly.
Oh glorious field! by Famine fiercely won,
The Gaul retires for once, and all is done!
But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat
Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat?

  “Look last at home—ye love not to look there
On the grim smile of comfortless despair:
Your city saddens: loud though Revel howls,
Here Famine faints, and yonder Rapine prowls.
See all alike of more or less bereft;
No misers tremble when there’s nothing left.
‘Blest paper credit;’ who shall dare to sing?
It clogs like lead Corruption’s weary wing.
Yet Pallas pluck’d each Premier by the ear,
Who Gods and men alike disdained to hear;
But one, repentant o’er a bankrupt state,
On Pallas calls,—but calls, alas! too late:
Then raves for’——’; to that Mentor bends,
Though he and Pallas never yet were friends.
Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard,
Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd.
So, once of yore, each reasonable frog,
Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign ‘log.’
Thus hailed your rulers their patrician clod,
As Egypt chose an onion for a God.

  “Now fare ye well! enjoy your little hour;
Go, grasp the shadow of your vanished power;
Gloss o’er the failure of each fondest scheme;
Your strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream.
Gone is that Gold, the marvel of mankind.
And Pirates barter all that’s left behind.
No more the hirelings, purchased near and far,
Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war.
The idle merchant on the useless quay
Droops o’er the bales no bark may bear away;
Or, back returning, sees rejected stores
Rot piecemeal on his own encumbered shores:
The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom,
And desperate mans him ‘gainst the coming doom.
Then in the Senates of your sinking state
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight.
Vain is each voice where tones could once command;
E’en factions cease to charm a factious land:
Yet jarring sects convulse a sister Isle,
And light with maddening hands the mutual pile.

  “’Tis done, ’tis past—since Pallas warns in vain;
The Furies seize her abdicated reign:
Wide o’er the realm they wave their kindling brands,
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands.
But one convulsive struggle still remains,
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear her chains,
The bannered pomp of war, the glittering files,
O’er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles;
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum,
That bid the foe defiance ere they come;
The hero bounding at his country’s call,
The glorious death that consecrates his fall,
Swell the young heart with visionary charms.
And bid it antedate the joys of arms.
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught,
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought;
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight,
His day of mercy is the day of fight.
But when the field is fought, the battle won,
Though drenched with gore, his woes are but begun:
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name;
The slaughtered peasant and the ravished dame,
The rifled mansion and the foe-reaped field,
Ill suit with souls at home, untaught to yield.
Say with what eye along the distant down
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town?
How view the column of ascending flames
Shake his red shadow o’er the startled Thames?
Nay, frown not, Albion! for the torch was thine
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine:
Now should they burst on thy devoted coast,
Go, ask thy ***** who deserves them most?
The law of Heaven and Earth is life for life,
And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife.”
patty m Dec 2014
Clarity
is never ecstasy
at least when one
thinks they're in love
the violin sings sweetly still
and the heart gathers
stars from the heavens above.
.
Will the Gods confess
that they made a mess
of this man and woman thing?
The angels just laugh and pour the wine
and cupid puts arrow to string .

Then penitence's stance
does a ***** dance
and all patience flies away
as wantonness and lustfulness
raise their heads and bray.
Yet there's no remorse
as they stay the course
bickering as they play,
things once crass, now beat an ***
as they hide behind a hedge.
A trounce in the hay on
a summer's day beats
walking a slippery ledge.


Young man
whose hands cannot constrain
the lust that inflames
when bosoms bounce
as the young girls flounce
about their wares.
He takes delight from maiden fair
with long curls of auburn hair
lifting her skirt as she quickly runs
the brisk country air blows
the skirt higher still and the lad
gets a peek at her buns.  

Hot and brisk he takes a risk
as he chases the maiden down.  
then runs a hand up the inside of thigh
and smiles at the treasure he's found
Oh glorious when hot and sweet
the salt a lick away,
the pleasure spot makes her scream with delight
as he slowly makes his way.  

Then ******* pink
harden tight
and stand up on their own,
so he bends his head and takes a bite
and ***** them till she moans

She's his for the taking
and this her first awakening
yet virginity be ******
she'll give it up easily enough
for a taste of this hot blooded man.


Regret is something that
that later rears it's head
it's too late now to cry
or bury face in featherbed
trying to remember why.  

Thinking again how he made her feel
she laughs and cries and simply sighs,
the lad had so much appeal.
She thought she might touch the sky
and melt in the sweet by and by
her feet never touching the ground
but then the 10th of never arose
and her monthly didn't come round.

Nine months along the age old song
is not quite a lullaby
as legs again are splayed
and she thinks that she might die
struggling to birth this burly babe,
swaddled now, in her arms he's laid.

I wonder if the lad comes back again
tossing in the air a shilling,
if the pretty maid with auburn hair
would be so very willing.  

Who knows when cupid
strings his bow,
when and where his arrows go,
is it love or merely lust
this musky craving need
I'm sure if the lad comes around again
she'll be willing to do the deed.

Sandy bottom ocean's core
sending waves upon the shore
tickling tides that ebb and wane
desire's urges are to blame,
yet wondrous sweet is melting kiss
as bodies joined throb with bliss,
how can one turn their back on this?
If it's wrong then I'm remiss.
Jasmine Blue Jun 2014
I saw the world through different eyes today
There was no clouded judgement, fake, pretentious nature
I could laugh at anything
Be anyone
Pity anything
Yet the moon still carried on shining

And although we squabbled over art I realised
Art is nothing but a squabble

For sobriety restrains the person I can be
And the person I am
And those restraints keep me in a place I don't want to be

They lock me down in fear and in shame
For the person I can be is caged
It screams out
Opinions which deter people and denounce

And as I see you run through the streets
Ever searching for a place to fit in
My ankles become weak
They buckle
They cannot carry me

For I find no easier place to fit in
Than my very own skin
The place of an outcast
An ungrateful brat
Who drools at the thought of an empty mindless space

Where no judgement, snobbery or scoff is placed
For the idea of a flee ridden rug,
A broken kettle,
A piercing mattress,
An unread journal

It SCREAMS to me freedom

A natural scribe,
A just life
An unjustified rhyme

It calls to me
It calls on and on

But tomorrow I will be the person
The world destined me to be
An untuned symphony
Beating away with a monotone rhythm

Because doubt rears its ugly head
Churns a putrid dread
Which I carry to my empty cage of a heart

And I carry it on
And on
For those stuck in the dull safety of routine
kk Jul 2018
Sunshine!
Sickly yellow
slow-light colored streaks
slithering worse than sweat
down my body.
That golden ball stares down at me
like a haughty goddess,
her duality shallow and hot.
She cares not for the freedoms of humans.
She's a two-faced coin,
purgatory masked by the promise
of freedom from pained brains
and scholarly shackles.
The sun laughs at her own trickery, gargling through melting teeth
as she collects suppressed confessions
from weakened teens.
When her crescent counterpart
offers solace from her torment,
the moonlit darkness
only serves to drown us
and we splutter in our own
self-taught
year-round
lies.
And the sun
rears her tattered, flaming mane
at daybreak,
belly-laughing at idle minds now unrefined,
gleefully adding her own scorch
to already inflamed brains.
summer is worse for anxiety than you'd think
edit: adjusted enjambment
jeffrey conyers Dec 2012
Jealousy rears it ugly head.
When you get marry.
Instantly rules starts to be created.
About your time restriction.
About your friend connection.

Those that has more lady friends.
Soon will see that friendship dictated to end.
But if you're a woman.
You knew about him before the relationship beginned.

Those of the ladies that has male friends.
Soon see similar things.

Just to be seen in the company of the opposite ***.
Starts rumors to spreading.
And many aren't true.
And if they unwarranted.
Any old apology just won't do.

Yes, jealousy starts the moment you say, I do.
It slowly begins to rise right before your very own eyes.
III. TO APOLLO (546 lines)

TO DELIAN APOLLO --

(ll. 1-18) I will remember and not be unmindful of Apollo who
shoots afar.  As he goes through the house of Zeus, the gods
tremble before him and all spring up from their seats when he
draws near, as he bends his bright bow.  But Leto alone stays by
the side of Zeus who delights in thunder; and then she unstrings
his bow, and closes his quiver, and takes his archery from his
strong shoulders in her hands and hangs them on a golden peg
against a pillar of his father's house.  Then she leads him to a
seat and makes him sit: and the Father gives him nectar in a
golden cup welcoming his dear son, while the other gods make him
sit down there, and queenly Leto rejoices because she bare a
mighty son and an archer.  Rejoice, blessed Leto, for you bare
glorious children, the lord Apollo and Artemis who delights in
arrows; her in Ortygia, and him in rocky Delos, as you rested
against the great mass of the Cynthian hill hard by a palm-tree
by the streams of Inopus.

(ll. 19-29) How, then, shall I sing of you who in all ways are a
worthy theme of song?  For everywhere, O Phoebus, the whole range
of song is fallen to you, both over the mainland that rears
heifers and over the isles.  All mountain-peaks and high
headlands of lofty hills and rivers flowing out to the deep and
beaches sloping seawards and havens of the sea are your delight.
Shall I sing how at the first Leto bare you to be the joy of men,
as she rested against Mount Cynthus in that rocky isle, in sea-
girt Delos -- while on either hand a dark wave rolled on
landwards driven by shrill winds -- whence arising you rule over
all mortal men?

(ll. 30-50) Among those who are in Crete, and in the township of
Athens, and in the isle of Aegina and Euboea, famous for ships,
in Aegae and Eiresiae and Peparethus near the sea, in Thracian
Athos and Pelion's towering heights and Thracian Samos and the
shady hills of Ida, in Scyros and Phocaea and the high hill of
Autocane and fair-lying Imbros and smouldering Lemnos and rich
******, home of Macar, the son of ******, and Chios, brightest of
all the isles that lie in the sea, and craggy Mimas and the
heights of Corycus and gleaming Claros and the sheer hill of
Aesagea and watered Samos and the steep heights of Mycale, in
Miletus and Cos, the city of Meropian men, and steep Cnidos and
windy Carpathos, in Naxos and Paros and rocky Rhenaea -- so far
roamed Leto in travail with the god who shoots afar, to see if
any land would be willing to make a dwelling for her son.  But
they greatly trembled and feared, and none, not even the richest
of them, dared receive Phoebus, until queenly Leto set foot on
Delos and uttered winged words and asked her:

(ll. 51-61) 'Delos, if you would be willing to be the abode of my
son "Phoebus Apollo and make him a rich temple --; for no other
will touch you, as you will find: and I think you will never be
rich in oxen and sheep, nor bear vintage nor yet produce plants
abundantly.  But if you have the temple of far-shooting Apollo,
all men will bring you hecatombs and gather here, and incessant
savour of rich sacrifice will always arise, and you will feed
those who dwell in you from the hand of strangers; for truly your
own soil is not rich.'

(ll. 62-82) So spake Leto.  And Delos rejoiced and answered and
said:  'Leto, most glorious daughter of great Coeus, joyfully
would I receive your child the far-shooting lord; for it is all
too true that I am ill-spoken of among men, whereas thus I should
become very greatly honoured.  But this saying I fear, and I will
not hide it from you, Leto.  They say that Apollo will be one
that is very haughty and will greatly lord it among gods and men
all over the fruitful earth.  Therefore, I greatly fear in heart
and spirit that as soon as he sets the light of the sun, he will
scorn this island -- for truly I have but a hard, rocky soil --
and overturn me and ****** me down with his feet in the depths of
the sea; then will the great ocean wash deep above my head for
ever, and he will go to another land such as will please him,
there to make his temple and wooded groves.  So, many-footed
creatures of the sea will make their lairs in me and black seals
their dwellings undisturbed, because I lack people.  Yet if you
will but dare to sware a great oath, goddess, that here first he
will build a glorious temple to be an oracle for men, then let
him afterwards make temples and wooded groves amongst all men;
for surely he will be greatly renowned.

(ll. 83-88) So said Delos.  And Leto sware the great oath of the
gods: 'Now hear this, Earth and wide Heaven above, and dropping
water of Styx (this is the strongest and most awful oath for the
blessed gods), surely Phoebus shall have here his fragrant altar
and precinct, and you he shall honour above all.'

(ll. 89-101) Now when Leto had sworn and ended her oath, Delos
was very glad at the birth of the far-shooting lord.  But Leto
was racked nine days and nine nights with pangs beyond wont.  And
there were with her all the chiefest of the goddesses, Dione and
Rhea and Ichnaea and Themis and loud-moaning Amphitrite and the
other deathless goddesses save white-armed Hera, who sat in the
halls of cloud-gathering Zeus.  Only Eilithyia, goddess of sore
travail, had not heard of Leto's trouble, for she sat on the top
of Olympus beneath golden clouds by white-armed Hera's
contriving, who kept her close through envy, because Leto with
the lovely tresses was soon to bear a son faultless and strong.

(ll. 102-114) But the goddesses sent out Iris from the well-set
isle to bring Eilithyia, promising her a great necklace strung
with golden threads, nine cubits long.  And they bade Iris call
her aside from white-armed Hera, lest she might afterwards turn
her from coming with her words.  When swift Iris, fleet of foot
as the wind, had heard all this, she set to run; and quickly
finishing all the distance she came to the home of the gods,
sheer Olympus, and forthwith called Eilithyia out from the hall
to the door and spoke winged words to her, telling her all as the
goddesses who dwell on Olympus had bidden her.  So she moved the
heart of Eilithyia in her dear breast; and they went their way,
like shy wild-doves in their going.

(ll. 115-122) And as soon as Eilithyia the goddess of sore
travail set foot on Delos, the pains of birth seized Leto, and
she longed to bring forth; so she cast her arms about a palm tree
and kneeled on the soft meadow while the earth laughed for joy
beneath.  Then the child leaped forth to the light, and all the
goddesses washed you purely and cleanly with sweet water, and
swathed you in a white garment of fine texture, new-woven, and
fastened a golden band about you.

(ll. 123-130) Now Leto did not give Apollo, bearer of the golden
blade, her breast; but Themis duly poured nectar and ambrosia
with her divine hands: and Leto was glad because she had borne a
strong son and an archer.  But as soon as you had tasted that
divine heavenly food, O Phoebus, you could no longer then be held
by golden cords nor confined with bands, but all their ends were
undone.  Forthwith Phoebus Apollo spoke out among the deathless
goddesses:

(ll. 131-132) 'The lyre and the curved bow shall ever be dear to
me, and I will declare to men the unfailing will of Zeus.'

(ll. 133-139) So said Phoebus, the long-haired god who shoots
afar and began to walk upon the wide-pathed earth; and all
goddesses were amazed at him.  Then with gold all Delos was
laden, beholding the child of Zeus and Leto, for joy because the
god chose her above the islands and shore to make his dwelling in
her: and she loved him yet more in her heart, and blossomed as
does a mountain-top with woodland flowers.

(ll. 140-164) And you, O lord Apollo, god of the silver bow,
shooting afar, now walked on craggy Cynthus, and now kept
wandering about the island and the people in them.  Many are your
temples and wooded groves, and all peaks and towering bluffs of
lofty mountains and rivers flowing to the sea are dear to you,
Phoebus, yet in Delos do you most delight your heart; for there
the long robed Ionians gather in your honour with their children
and shy wives: mindful, they delight you with boxing and dancing
and song, so often as they hold their gathering.  A man would say
that they were deathless and unageing if he should then come upon
the Ionians so met together.  For he would see the graces of them
all, and would be pleased in heart gazing at the men and well-
girded women with their swift ships and great wealth.  And there
is this great wonder besides -- and its renown shall never perish
-- the girls of Delos, hand-maidens of the Far-shooter; for when
they have praised Apollo first, and also Leto and Artemis who
delights in arrows, they sing a strain-telling of men and women
of past days, and charm the tribes of men.  Also they can imitate
the tongues of all men and their clattering speech: each would
say that he himself were singing, so close to truth is their
sweet song.

(ll. 165-178) And now may Apollo be favourable and Artemis; and
farewell all you maidens.  Remember me in after time whenever any
one of men on earth, a stranger who has seen and suffered much,
comes here and asks of you: 'Whom think ye, girls, is the
sweetest singer that comes here, and in whom do you most
delight?'  Then answer, each and all, with one voice: 'He is a
blind man, and dwells in rocky Chios: his lays are evermore
supreme.'  As for me, I will carry your renown as far as I roam
over the earth to the well-placed this thing is true.  And I will
never cease to praise far-shooting Apollo, god of the silver bow,
whom rich-haired Leto bare.

TO PYTHIAN APOLLO --

(ll. 179-181) O Lord, Lycia is yours and lovely Maeonia and
Miletus, charming city by the sea, but over wave-girt Delos you
greatly reign your own self.

(ll. 182-206) Leto's all-glorious son goes to rocky Pytho,
playing upon his hollow lyre, clad in divine, perfumed garments;
and at the touch of the golden key his lyre sings sweet.  Thence,
swift as thought, he speeds from earth to Olympus, to the house
of Zeus, to join the gathering of the other gods: then
straightway the undying gods think only of the lyre and song, and
all the Muses together, voice sweetly answering voice, hymn the
unending gifts the gods enjoy and the sufferings of men, all that
they endure at the hands of the deathless gods, and how they live
witless and helpless and cannot find healing for death or defence
against old age.  Meanwhile the rich-tressed Graces and cheerful
Seasons dance with Harmonia and **** and Aphrodite, daughter of
Zeus, holding each other by the wrist.  And among them sings one,
not mean nor puny, but tall to look upon and enviable in mien,
Artemis who delights in arrows, sister of Apollo.  Among them
sport Ares and the keen-eyed Slayer of Argus, while Apollo plays
his lyre stepping high and featly and a radiance shines around
him, the gleaming of his feet and close-woven vest.  And they,
even gold-tressed Leto and wise Zeus, rejoice in their great
hearts as they watch their dear son playing among the undying
gods.

(ll. 207-228) How then shall I sing of you -- though in all ways
you are a worthy theme for song?  Shall I sing of you as wooer
and in the fields of love, how you went wooing the daughter of
Azan along with god-like Ischys the son of well-horsed Elatius,
or with Phorbas sprung from Triops, or with Ereutheus, or with
Leucippus and the wife of Leucippus....
((LACUNA))
....you on foot, he with his chariot, yet he fell not short of
Triops.  Or shall I sing how at the first you went about the
earth seeking a place of oracle for men, O far-shooting Apollo?
To Pieria first you went down from Olympus and passed by sandy
Lectus and Enienae and through the land of the Perrhaebi.  Soon
you came to Iolcus and set foot on Cenaeum in Euboea, famed for
ships: you stood in the Lelantine plain, but it pleased not your
heart to make a temple there and wooded groves.  From there you
crossed the Euripus, far-shooting Apollo, and went up the green,
holy hills, going on to Mycalessus and grassy-bedded Teumessus,
and so came to the wood-clad abode of Thebe; for as yet no man
lived in holy Thebe, nor were there tracks or ways about Thebe's
wheat-bearing plain as yet.

(ll. 229-238) And further still you went, O far-shooting Apollo,
and came to Onchestus, Poseidon's bright grove: there the new-
broken cold distressed with drawing the trim chariot gets spirit
again, and the skilled driver springs from his car and goes on
his way.  Then the horses for a while rattle the empty car, being
rid of guidance; and if they break the chariot in the woody
grove, men look after the horses, but tilt the chariot and leave
it there; for this was the rite from the very first.  And the
drivers pray to the lord of the shrine; but the chariot falls to
the lot of the god.

(ll. 239-243) Further yet you went, O far-shooting Apollo, and
reached next Cephissus' sweet stream which pours forth its sweet-
flowing water from Lilaea, and crossing over it, O worker from
afar, you passed many-towered Ocalea and reached grassy
Haliartus.

(ll. 244-253) Then you went towards Telphusa: and there the
pleasant place seemed fit for making a temple and wooded grove.
You came very near and spoke to her: 'Telphusa, here I am minded
to make a glorious temple, an oracle for men, and hither they
will always bring perfect hecatombs, both those who live in rich
Peloponnesus and those of Europe and all the wave-washed isles,
coming to seek oracles.  And I will deliver to them all counsel
that cannot fail, giving answer in my rich temple.'

(ll. 254-276) So said Phoebus Apollo, and laid out all the
foundations throughout, wide and very long.  But when Telphusa
saw this, she was angry in heart and spoke, saying: 'Lord
Phoebus, worker from afar, I will speak a word of counsel to your
heart, since you are minded to make here a glorious temple to be
an oracle for men who will always bring hither perfect hecatombs
for you; yet I will speak out, and do you lay up my words in your
heart.  The trampling of swift horses and the sound of mules
watering at my sacred springs will always irk you, and men will
like better to gaze at the well-made chariots and stamping,
swift-footed horses than at your great temple and the many
treasures that are within.  But if you will be moved by me -- for
you, lord, are stronger and mightier than I, and your strength is
very great -- build at Crisa below the glades of Parnassus: there
no bright chariot will clash, and there will be no noise of
swift-footed horses near your well-built altar.  But so the
glorious tribes of men will bring gifts to you as Iepaeon ('Hail-
Healer'), and you will receive with delight rich sacrifices from
the people dwelling round about.'  So said Telphusa, that she
alone, and not the Far-Shooter, should have renown there; and she
persuaded the Far-Shooter.

(ll. 277-286) Further yet you went, far-shooting Apollo, until
you came to the town of the presumptuous Phlegyae who dwell on
this earth in a lovely glade near the Cephisian lake, caring not
for Zeus.  And thence you went speeding swiftly to the mountain
ridge, and came to Crisa beneath snowy Parnassus, a foothill
turned towards the west: a cliff hangs over if from above, and a
hollow, rugged glade runs under.  There the lord Phoebus Apollo
resolved to make his lovely temple, and thus he said:

(ll. 287-293) 'In this place I am minded to build a glorious
temple to be an oracle for men, and here they will always bring
perfect hecatombs, both they who dwell in rich Peloponnesus and
the men of Europe and from all the wave-washed isles, coming to
question me.  And I will deliver to them all counsel that cannot
fail, answering them in my rich temple.'

(ll. 294-299) When h
Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed
In the beginning how the heavens and earth
Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flowed
Fast by the oracle of God, I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th’ Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples th’ upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know’st; thou from the first
Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,
Dove-like sat’st brooding on the vast Abyss,
And mad’st it pregnant: what in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That, to the height of this great argument,
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.
  Say first—for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell—say first what cause
Moved our grand parents, in that happy state,
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For one restraint, lords of the World besides.
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
  Th’ infernal Serpent; he it was whose guile,
Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived
The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host
Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equalled the Most High,
If he opposed, and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Raised impious war in Heaven and battle proud,
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
Hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms.
  Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he, with his horrid crew,
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded, though immortal. But his doom
Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him: round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay,
Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate.
At once, as far as Angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild.
A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames
No light; but rather darkness visible
Served only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all, but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed.
Such place Eternal Justice has prepared
For those rebellious; here their prison ordained
In utter darkness, and their portion set,
As far removed from God and light of Heaven
As from the centre thrice to th’ utmost pole.
Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o’erwhelmed
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns; and, weltering by his side,
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and named
Beelzebub. To whom th’ Arch-Enemy,
And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence, thus began:—
  “If thou beest he—but O how fallen! how changed
From him who, in the happy realms of light
Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine
Myriads, though bright!—if he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise
Joined with me once, now misery hath joined
In equal ruin; into what pit thou seest
From what height fallen: so much the stronger proved
He with his thunder; and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those,
Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent, or change,
Though changed in outward lustre, that fixed mind,
And high disdain from sense of injured merit,
That with the Mightiest raised me to contend,
And to the fierce contentions brought along
Innumerable force of Spirits armed,
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
All is not lost—the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power
Who, from the terror of this arm, so late
Doubted his empire—that were low indeed;
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; since, by fate, the strength of Gods,
And this empyreal sybstance, cannot fail;
Since, through experience of this great event,
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and in th’ excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.”
  So spake th’ apostate Angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair;
And him thus answered soon his bold compeer:—
  “O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers
That led th’ embattled Seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endangered Heaven’s perpetual King,
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate,
Too well I see and rue the dire event
That, with sad overthrow and foul defeat,
Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host
In horrible destruction laid thus low,
As far as Gods and heavenly Essences
Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here swallowed up in endless misery.
But what if he our Conqueror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less
Than such could have o’erpowered such force as ours)
Have left us this our spirit and strength entire,
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate’er his business be,
Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,
Or do his errands in the gloomy Deep?
What can it the avail though yet we feel
Strength undiminished, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment?”
  Whereto with speedy words th’ Arch-Fiend replied:—
“Fallen Cherub, to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering: but of this be sure—
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will
Whom we resist. If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil;
Which ofttimes may succeed so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from their destined aim.
But see! the angry Victor hath recalled
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back to the gates of Heaven: the sulphurous hail,
Shot after us in storm, o’erblown hath laid
The fiery surge that from the precipice
Of Heaven received us falling; and the thunder,
Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.
Let us not slip th’ occasion, whether scorn
Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.
Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,
The seat of desolation, void of light,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend
From off the tossing of these fiery waves;
There rest, if any rest can harbour there;
And, re-assembling our afflicted powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy, our own loss how repair,
How overcome this dire calamity,
What reinforcement we may gain from hope,
If not, what resolution from despair.”
  Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate,
With head uplift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides
Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian or Earth-born, that warred on Jove,
Briareos or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim th’ ocean-stream.
Him, haply slumbering on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff,
Deeming some island, oft, as ****** tell,
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind,
Moors by his side under the lee, while night
Invests the sea, and wished morn delays.
So stretched out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay,
Chained on the burning lake; nor ever thence
Had risen, or heaved his head, but that the will
And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
Left him at large to his own dark designs,
That with reiterated crimes he might
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
Evil to others, and enraged might see
How all his malice served but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shewn
On Man by him seduced, but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance poured.
  Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames
Driven backward ***** their pointing spires, and,rolled
In billows, leave i’ th’ midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air,
That felt unusual weight; till on dry land
He lights—if it were land that ever burned
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire,
And such appeared in hue as when the force
Of subterranean wind transprots a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shattered side
Of thundering Etna, whose combustible
And fuelled entrails, thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involved
With stench and smoke. Such resting found the sole
Of unblest feet. Him followed his next mate;
Both glorying to have scaped the Stygian flood
As gods, and by their own recovered strength,
Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.
  “Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost Archangel, “this the seat
That we must change for Heaven?—this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who now is sovereign can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal world! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor—one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; th’ Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reigh secure; and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
Th’ associates and co-partners of our loss,
Lie thus astonished on th’ oblivious pool,
And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion, or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?”
  So Satan spake; and him Beelzebub
Thus answered:—”Leader of those armies bright
Which, but th’ Omnipotent, none could have foiled!
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers—heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle, when it raged, in all assaults
Their surest signal—they will soon resume
New courage and revive, though now they lie
Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we erewhile, astounded and amazed;
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height!”
  He scare had ceased when the superior Fiend
Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
Behind him cast. The broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening, from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe.
His spear—to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand—
He walked with, to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marl, not like those steps
On Heaven’s azure; and the torrid clime
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire.
Nathless he so endured, till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and called
His legions—Angel Forms, who lay entranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th’ Etrurian shades
High over-arched embower; or scattered sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion armed
Hath vexed the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o’erthrew
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcases
And broken chariot-wheels. So thick bestrown,
Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He called so loud that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded:—”Princes, Potentates,
Warriors, the Flower of Heaven—once yours; now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal Spirits! Or have ye chosen this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the Conqueror, who now beholds
Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood
With scattered arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern
Th’ advantage, and, descending, tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf?
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!”
  They heard, and were abashed, and up they sprung
Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
Yet to their General’s voice they soon obeyed
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram’s son, in Egypt’s evil day,
Waved round the coast, up-called a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o’er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like Night, and darkened all the land of Nile;
So numberless were those bad Angels seen
Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell,
‘Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, as a signal given, th’ uplifted spear
Of their great Sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain:
A multitude like which the populous North
Poured never from her frozen ***** to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the South, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.
Forthwith, form every squadron and each band,
The heads and leaders thither haste where stood
Their great Commander—godlike Shapes, and Forms
Excelling human; princely Dignities;
And Powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones,
Though on their names in Heavenly records now
Be no memorial, blotted out and rased
By their rebellion from the Books of Life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
Got them new names, till, wandering o’er the earth,
Through God’s high sufferance for the trial of man,
By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and th’ invisible
Glory of him that made them to transform
Oft to the image of a brute, adorned
With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
And devils to adore for deities:
Then were they known to men by various names,
And various idols through the heathen world.
  Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last,
Roused fr
Shut amid the swell of boredom

Hole in the nose, sparkling adornment
Dye in the hair....a blonde invention
Image altered......still bored
Plenty to do, still bored
Not whilst doing it.....always
But the longing for a bolt hole
Registers, raising its voice to be heard
Yet boredom creeps in, mud spattered steps
Flicking dirt here and there
Clinging sometimes leaving telltale tufts
Staining....can’t wash it out or hide it away

A rash of what you want lands perfectly
Creates a broad grin in anticipation
And no sooner it’s arrived ...well boredom
Rears up grabbing the lead role
You might say ‘be careful what you wish for’
And you might be right...how come...??
Wager the odds on r and r ...v...
Over exposure in the commitment arena
You’d think it would win out
So what’s going on here?

“Boredom”
Graff1980 Oct 2018
I have a heart
made to adore
juvenile fantasies,
despite modern tragedies.

In moments of madness
when modern photography
presents to me
the horrors of humanity
I can engage for a minute
and escape the insanity
in the comics
that carry super hero forms.

When I see bombs
that blister skin
till flesh bursts
revealing red disfigurement
I can travel in
my own mental
compartment
to escape this.
I can revisit
Winnie the pooh
or review the crew
of “Star Trek
The Next Generation.”

When mind numbing poverty
rears its sad faces at me,
with stranger’s eyes
and thin lips quivering
in lonely desperation,
despite my empathy
I have a gift for escaping
the irrationality
of human suffering.

I just sip the soft brew
of nostalgia for old cartoons
recalling a slightly saner time,
when all the sorrows
were only mine,
when I ached
with a mother’s fury
but tv shows saw me distracted
the fact is
I have been escaping
my whole life,

and I don’t see
that changing.
Lewis Hyden Nov 2018
Over on the crescent wing
The bitter gales bring waves of rain:
Listen. Frozen windows sing.
Enraptured by the searing pain
Like pestilence in hurricane.
Buildings rise up to the halls
Impenetrable planet-bane
As summer lost, and spring withal.

Then the writhing storm-clouds bring
A storm of ice and wind again:
The sun rears up, but sets during.
And past the steel-laden plane
Silver orbs first wax, then wane
Then plaster to the mighty wall
Midnight buses, lane-by-lane,
Of nature not, but city fool.

Ascended like a spiteful King
The whispers rise, then sink in shame
No sound is here, no, not a thing.
Soaking in like liquor-stains
The buildings survey their domain
Not city-life, nor life at all;
They wander in the pouring rain
Where love is lost beneath the sprawl.

Tears and laughter, much the same
All are whispers, doomed to fall.
Dystopia without a name:
Not so distant after all.
A poem about the modern age.
#9 in the Distant Dystopia anthology.

© Lewis Hyden, 2018
I blend cry not,
An antic land, lest not
Trot
Blot
On a sparkling terrain
Epitome Heaven,
Lo!
That I hearken an Archangel yet?
Gabriella tears, rears, near:
I saw a stag, reindeer, lag, and flag in the distant snowy mountains…
Prelude  PART I


"Today when the threat is looming, as close apocalyptic years approach, it will be by cohabiting itself and the ruining valley of debris, which will make this world corrupted the next issue of the numeral scale of the new count, a rising hyperspace , concerning the parts of the kingdom of God ... "

Then on the Lord's day, John saw the glory of the risen Christ, and she understood from the point of view of God, he saw that the fate of the Church and threatened in the first persecutions took the appearance of a dark beginning.
And the time John wrote the Evangelist, including books were Jews called Revelation, that is, "Revelations". With fantastic images of monsters, angels and cataclysms, evidence of the Jewish people are stressed and are invited to await the judgment of God who intervenes from heaven with all his power.  So my beloved world is harsh and does not represent an apocalypse, but it is the true reality is when I will bear its overwhelming slaughter.

" Today when I walked with my winged feet near my friend Victor, I confided down the road crushed by afflictive legs; how difficult the taste of laughter when the decadent surrounds you, the human, the vile, the loose ...
Even though the celestial charisma invoke his memory and help nourish the weakness of Robert in hyperspace, with clean clothes, I can see his beloved mother consumed as automaton can take care of him. She is also her father, because it carries rooted in its members and manners, infinitely sharp look; in their arms they will gather wherever his soul is under his patronage that lives there ..."
I am  who  say that Roberto is a dog, who bears all the faces of dogs humble and serene. Perhaps tired of hearing young people, it is flush adults who do not accept, and who do not share as young faces were watching them, getting them to receive them what they should disclose them.
This is how we are numbed and distraction is fleeting, and he looking aside in his astrayed, he would be saying ...:
"Among the cradle and the grave I have a feeble scaffolding, and then complains, though his other I demolishes; unsconcient defends his executioner ... that the threat of death is its widespread depravity, which dominates it and want to go on like mortifiying.

      I want to talk about life ..., he said in his short years of life, which is more of it; possibly coming to complex, what our Somatic territory responds in normal or involuntarily. Comparative anatomy, and its innermost portion, the link body and mind, as a pure white as Samadhis and nature.
Homeostatic factors regulating our vitality, making its experimental modification, increasing to evolution, or maturation as a criterion of personal psychology go with the passage of time into in the depths of our mind.
Thus in a known threshold of Vedic architecture, its sensitivity is excited by regulating the effectiveness of the response to be made ... and everything related to the world of Ludwig Garroch; brother Robert in his strange Emigrate.
Yesterday when my arms away from hers, my fingers pounding away and recording what the heart more than a song, was a symphony sonata with a single end, long and sustained movement; It was the adage inner melancholy with an eye romanticism, which dominates the
passions of the visible world, which inhabits Antonieta, causing me, unbalanced living.


                                       CHAPTER I


In the beginning years of his childhood, little Ludwig sitting at home, in the gallery. Ask her aunt who was ironing ... Madelain, how I would always be a child of five ...?, And being as such, a privileged to receive toys for many years. Attentive aunt, maybe go to hear with little complacency as his hands only want unroll clothes.
After two years at the age of seven, when her aunt arranging his coat to go to Mass, she teaches a carol that had been taught in childhood. When many wondered whether there is a Santa Claus ...?, And among his friends they looked to unravel the mystery. One year later, when he enjoyed his unicycle, who just dominated him, called him a cousin telling her it was her birthday. He did not hesitate to go to find out what was behind the call, so he found the means by which we celebrate, we live and cooperate towards happiness and delight to have us at each other.
Not long after a friend told him .. "You do not have ten years are too big And Ludwig thought he was well endowed and well stopped, so not your friend was wrong in the above. It is my label and my stance has put the world on me.
Every passing day came the stamp of manly character, a woman or girl who made change her hairstyle, and he did dress more attractive every day.
Later, in his teens, his gaze was well received and their voices radiated security screening. Where He must continue the line of men. Even when I was living as smoothly, looks out strong destination with which calls us to live with skin clean or *****, because it is inside the feeling and the pain does not come out, it is enclosed by the overflowing affection. Here is the portion of good or evil haunting things casual and destroys the healthy, it fertile.

                                        
              ­                           CHAPTER II


Then was a year with a sports compensate pleasant summer sated outdoors, almost fugitive ... will not wonder that life smiled on him serfdom, and very willing opened his prudence.
Every time I decided to go to his favorite places, he went with his burly comrades in the best mood to conquer optimistically. Thus, no wonder he wanted when he was alone and put your reasoning judiciously, because nothing is distant, nothing is impossible.

After unite desires and forces, to clean your bike, piece by piece, in full sun know much security would not allow the mother of vices ruin their fun, that scarce alive to possess the desire to move and go on compliance instinct. Casts on itself, the vigor of the inner, its desolate world full of free enthusiasms who obey no doubt the vital complex activity.
Ludwig and entering the maelstrom of men love hate Godson, you can glimpse the friction with the air, with people ... I wore. That their voices heard their soul contracts, and thus puts light feet towards an acceleration which does not afflict his troubled stomach, nor regret his decision and put fearful, but, bring himself retained encouragement of his mind to remember the maternal cooing, comfort and timely relief to protect forever the suffering, the suffering of torment without end, not he shut the inspiration of the good man that no harm will result, and not for nothing the valence of living and not quarrel prancing. No existing could shed some light on what role, and that little thought is not complicated, and thus shown kneeling and unable to distressing oppressors and agents tangled conduct to chaos, those characters of ambition and discrimination.
Ludwig, who lives in the Ecologist City, where large forest ... budded, is home jungle floral site, whose relations are flowers, trees ..., next to Strange birds migrate flower in her intra nature reproduced, and pods evacuated by butterflies.
His close friend, is the watery and salty sea, which is beloved because he falls in love, puts on alert and curses him by his surroundings and invoking him. Anyway, it dwells wherever it is, and is accepted as a basic element of the universe.

                                    
                                         CHAPTER III

The act of tender love would be fulfilled later ..., what his voice fell silent and had his eyes and heart fortify, which will be linked from far inside.
At night, with Roderick going to a festive night, they climbed the rungs center alone, with heat in his shirt skin later. And in a deliberate action, someone asks you a sign that taking care tired and distinguishing see that John was his friend, school mate. He did not hesitate, he approached, greeted him and his sister and a cousin when she noticed well, he saw that he wore perfect for your night.
Debra wore elegant, dark clothes and sang with her dark brown wavy hair; his white brunette and harmonious ****** complexion line, gave her constant reflection. Fate was present, as it would not go around the world to be looked at by someone, he would watch his choice. Little was said, he only realized he was not passing and North America came eleven years ago.


They roasted the hours and the party ended, Ludwig remained with her new friend and his old friend John. They went downstairs, thinking about committing his new friendship, as I had noticed a slight interest in it. This happened and the meeting lasted for several hours.
The next day, he went to see her lawns roads where she lived, always with its mystique and kneeling the beast that wanted to impose upon him, that gives it excessive materialism unloved peace.
She arrives at her house, which was to John, though not very comfortable, but sure to please and attentive to host it.
And that night said much that was the tender feeling and liking her, but as his policy was rigid and concerning celibacy, only mattered to him, the unknown world of madness in his brawling to survive.
Time passed and deepened love, Ludwig went to say goodbye to his beloved, especially that he had faith, but that day would betray him. And so I wanted to put his heart and iron sleep peacefully, but Debra no secret  to tell ...:

"Ludwig, do not abandon our own, we must have faith, and I understand what it is. Ludwig rested and then brought her hands to her, hugged her and kissed all over her face, covering her eyebrows, nose, forehead, mouth; his lips positions in the middle of it, wanted to feel her warmth and tell her he loved her and would miss a lot of pain. But there was no show weakness, he must be strong and not to complicate the farewell from North America. Mourn scared him, because he had forged the feeling, because his aching grief was deep and it was at an undetermined point, with great desire to hold her and kiss over his face.
So ever, it was unbearable, she would like to die in his memory and had to remember in the collective thinking of his family circle. Which it fits the feel shivers ideas with sensations, such as the best in its inherent upstart point.

It was hard, as if more than man Ludwig out the feminine side of himself. But irremediable was the end, eager poisonous reaper approached. Ludwig hugged her, kissed her and stroked her right breast ... saying: "Do not forget me ..." and so left. Then he wrote her, that madness had transformed her away, but the distance was prevented against carcinoma being all postponed.
To know he could not boil your blood heavy thinking, they were contracted muscles. When he relaxed, he saw back through the hatch of his head, the soul that was in an ****** tragic holocaust, where Eros tenaciously and rebellion dictated its laws. Ludwig slept, and consciousness became natural color, as if it were safer, eternally fresh and manufactured this dream a poem ...:  

" That one corresponding to the celebration,
I wish to reunite with enthusiasm and strength ...
touching eyes closed
the sad sky, the dry ground, dried flowers
and people backward habits.

As meaning if it takes itself ...,
is the meaning
although they are scattered
in flows oppressions ...
the animosity of delight just widow and desultory,
losses and more losses at the time of aging ...
and profits to appease others.

For more like,
there seems to be a big drop ...
the same credibility ...?
and setting as a feeling
remain imagination stationary.

As hard it corresponds to the body,
It is destroyed inside ...
and hardened thoughts
tears falling to the esophagus,
without recognizing either way.

Who the pace of living is customizable,
and no opportunity is lost ...
but growing and creative
rears its profile,
as an unforgiven mirage. "


    Have been and unrestless forms of peremptory perceive, and when it starts to wander in my solitude, transporting my sorrow with grief, wherever I go I will take silent and vivifying separation completes the probable brain, which lives and endures in avidity stamped man with his need to want the Lord's command that made me forge this creation .--- he told himself, as a witness epilogue of his poem, albeit as the cry to its essence it was about. Originally from the Ecologist City, where reigned the wise and calm, where he healed their diseases, which has dodged the putrefaction of their wounds, where you inhale the aroms most want and cordoned off its without a grave lack of soft and flowering odour.
To believe missing, do not be afraid and trust that will grab everything, that not a drop of air was not lost on her fingers, which will not fail to display their imaginative stuff Alma Mater.
With all their eating, you want to cure your bad like venereum, and would go into the hands of a counselor or a warlock who extirpated the curse. Heal her feet and hands to despair, to heal the memory of his thought that I seasoned and voluptuous breaks the veins of his caleter, which seems not of it like a dwarf be provided with a dagger will break their venal, and this to commit such surgery, he laughs loudly with garnets eyes, full of the worst evil.

And this way Ludwig Garroch, vague without fear of rags, without fear of hunger or the messiness, only idles so that someday I can walk on the water surface, leaving their hydrocentric footprints where plankton reverence their sense of pain, his infarcted heart , her long fingernails of violence.


TO  BE CONTINUED….
Under edition,  then under All...
If I become unfocused
Because my day's been bad
You bring me back to earth with just a smile
No matter your misfortune
Or how far away I seem
You center me again with a small smile

When misfortune rears it's ugly head
Or the washer's on the blink
You bite your lip, and out comes that **** smile
No matter what your pain is
Or the fact the car won't start
You brush it all away, and then you smile

There's a light inside your eyes
That blazes hotter than a sun
It holds me here, I cannot get away
That light shines even brighter
When I walk into the room
I love you, and that's all I know to say

Your smile holds me hostage
It says it all, but not a word
That smile, shows me just exactly how you feel
It makes my day worth living
Knowing what's waiting at the end
Your smile, makes me know our love is real

It's a standard I cling on to
It's the rock that keeps me still
That smile and the love I know it shows
It's the reason I am living
My rainbow ending treasure
That smile, keeps me strong through out lifes lows

There's a light inside your eyes
That blazes hotter than a sun
It holds me here, I cannot get away
That light shines even brighter
When I walk into the room
I love you, and that's all I know to say

The tree that we both planted
When we started out this life
Makes me smile, when I think of it's tough start
How we planted a small twiglet
And how it grew strong over time
It's our tree, grown from deep inside our heart

I miss you dear so badly
I don't know how I can go on
Your smile, burns so bright inside my brain
It took you oh so quickly
Two quick months and you were gone
So, I smile, knowing you are not in pain

There's a light inside your eyes
That blazes hotter than a sun
It holds me here, I cannot get away
That light shines even brighter
I feel you in this empty room
I still love you, and that's all I know to say
Sack Williams Dec 2009
A huge centipede crawls across the floor
He is black
and his legs are orange.
He is enormous
12 inches
Maybe more

And he rears back and attacks the feet of the passers-by
And they smile and reach down and pat him.
They smile.
And he bites their hands.

Their hands swell up around the two deep punctures,
which are swollen up over, the only sign left being two tiny oozing wrinkles.
The purple hands are polka dotted with yellow and dying veins.
They admire the plethora of color that is now their hand.
From the pain they lust for more and more pain and more and more pain.

They rise from their overstuffed red sofas to the middle of the floor and trade blows.
A girl of twenty with black curly locks falls to the ground with a wet thud
and summons the centipede who bites her in the cheek, piercing the paper thin flesh.

He gets a strong hold on her face and drags her across the floor.
She giggles in delight!
The centipede rips her limb from limb and
She giggles in delight!

Another wet thud.
She had a puffy purple companion in a moment as the centipede drags to her a young man of twenty-one.
Fate!
Their lips meet
and their saliva, thick and curdled mixes.
They giggle in delight!
As the centipede rips them limb from limb.
You look like you're losing weight!
The centipede is finding it.

He eats all but their skulls,
shining in a thin layer of blood,
picked clean of flesh
Locked in a sweet embrace of phantom lips
Until a pugilist twitches his leg in an awkward defensive maneuver and sends the girl's skull spinning across the floor
until it hits against a white wall with a crack
and it splits.

Party-goers begin to trip over the centipede.
And with every wet thud on the floor
another skull is left to be an obstacle for fluid movement.
The centipede has to coil up to be able to fit in the room.

And soon there is one pugilist left
And he scratches the centipede's shiny black metallic and spackled red back with a mangled mass of knuckle
and yellow poisoned veins.
The centipede rears back
But falls back on itself out of its own sheer weight
and its back snaps,
spraying the finalist with a mix of entrails of bug and human kind.
Najwa Kareem Jan 2019
We fed ourselves on New Year's well

Gifts were exchanged over the song The First Noel

The evening before Christmas drinks were had

Many fooling themselves that they are glad

Throughout the cheer, men, women, and children in Yemen forgotten

Leftover turkeys and roasts would be hurriedly eaten even if found rotten

Starvation has Yemeni bodies eating themselves

Have you seen photos of their emaciated figures on newspapers' shelves

Pregnant women and newborn babies with dead husbands and dead fathers

How do they care for themselves when in the grand scheme of things no one bothers

Saudi military should go **** on themselves

Murderous cowards that they are playing with Santa's elves

Women in Yemen being ***** and domestic violence bring me to tears

Would they get away with their satanic work if the U.S. wasn't kissing their filthy rears

Seriously dangerous diseases running rampant

Yemenis beautiful skin no longer so lambent

So few of us care enough to choke up for our Ahmeds and for our Imans

I ask infuriatingly will it take a whole country's destruction to rise for Yemen's Marwans
Skadi Snow Apr 2014
I dive in the human sea.
Only a small water drop
In the dripping crowd.

The infinite ocean rages
The endlessly mass rears up
Like a gathering thunderstorm.
Seething, sinister alike as soothing.

The thundering, mighty tsunami
devours me, wreathes me,
lets me be a part of
the force of nature,
gives me strength,
makes me feel like
I'm invincible.

I drift and float
Until I'm weightless
And drowned..
1

Lo di che han detto a' dolci amici addio.    (Dante)
Amor, con quanto sforzo oggi mi vinci!    (Petrarca)

Come back to me, who wait and watch for you:--
    Or come not yet, for it is over then,
    And long it is before you come again,
So far between my pleasures are and few.
While, when you come not, what I do I do
    Thinking "Now when he comes," my sweetest when:"
    For one man is my world of all the men
This wide world holds; O love, my world is you.
Howbeit, to meet you grows almost a pang
    Because the pang of parting comes so soon;
    My hope hangs waning, waxing, like a moon
        Between the heavenly days on which we meet:
Ah me, but where are now the songs I sang
    When life was sweet because you call'd them sweet?

    2

Era gia 1′ora che volge il desio.    (Dante)
Ricorro al tempo ch' io vi vidi prima.    (Petrarca)

I wish I could remember that first day,
    First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
    If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or winter for aught I can say;
So unrecorded did it slip away,
    So blind was I to see and to foresee,
    So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom yet for many a May.
If only I could recollect it, such
    A day of days! I let it come and go
    As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;
It seem'd to mean so little, meant so much;
If only now I could recall that touch,
    First touch of hand in hand--Did one but know!

    3

O ombre vane, fuor che ne l'aspetto!    (Dante)
Immaginata guida la conduce.    (Petrarca)

I dream of you to wake: would that I might
    Dream of you and not wake but slumber on;
    Nor find with dreams the dear companion gone,
As summer ended summer birds take flight.
In happy dreams I hold you full in sight,
    I blush again who waking look so wan;
    Brighter than sunniest day that ever shone,
In happy dreams your smile makes day of night.
Thus only in a dream we are at one,
    Thus only in a dream we give and take
        The faith that maketh rich who take or give;
    If thus to sleep is sweeter than to wake,
        To die were surely sweeter than to live,
Though there be nothing new beneath the sun.

    4

Poca favilla gran fliamma seconda.    (Dante)
Ogni altra cosa, ogni pensier va fore,
E sol ivi con voi rimansi amore.    (Petrarca)

I lov'd you first: but afterwards your love
    Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drown'd the friendly cooings of my dove.
    Which owes the other most? my love was long,
    And yours one moment seem'd to wax more strong;
I lov'd and guess'd at you, you construed me--
And lov'd me for what might or might not be
    Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not "mine" or "thine;"
    With separate "I" and "thou" free love has done,
        For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of "thine that is not mine;"
        Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.

    5

Amor che a nullo amato amar perdona.    (Dante)
Amor m'addusse in si gioiosa spene.    (Petrarca)

O my heart's heart, and you who are to me
    More than myself myself, God be with you,
    Keep you in strong obedience leal and true
To Him whose noble service setteth free,
Give you all good we see or can foresee,
    Make your joys many and your sorrows few,
    Bless you in what you bear and what you do,
Yea, perfect you as He would have you be.
So much for you; but what for me, dear friend?
    To love you without stint and all I can
Today, tomorrow, world without an end;
    To love you much and yet to love you more,
    As Jordan at his flood sweeps either shore;
        Since woman is the helpmeet made for man.

    6

Or puoi la quantitate
Comprender de l'amor che a te mi scalda.    (Dante)
Non vo' che da tal nodo mi scioglia.    (Petrarca)

Trust me, I have not earn'd your dear rebuke,
    I love, as you would have me, God the most;
    Would lose not Him, but you, must one be lost,
Nor with Lot's wife cast back a faithless look
Unready to forego what I forsook;
    This say I, having counted up the cost,
    This, though I be the feeblest of God's host,
The sorriest sheep Christ shepherds with His crook.
Yet while I love my God the most, I deem
    That I can never love you overmuch;
        I love Him more, so let me love you too;
    Yea, as I apprehend it, love is such
I cannot love you if I love not Him,
        I cannot love Him if I love not you.

    7

Qui primavera sempre ed ogni frutto.    (Dante)
Ragionando con meco ed io con lui.    (Petrarca)

"Love me, for I love you"--and answer me,
    "Love me, for I love you"--so shall we stand
    As happy equals in the flowering land
Of love, that knows not a dividing sea.
Love builds the house on rock and not on sand,
    Love laughs what while the winds rave desperately;
And who hath found love's citadel unmann'd?
    And who hath held in bonds love's liberty?
My heart's a coward though my words are brave
    We meet so seldom, yet we surely part
    So often; there's a problem for your art!
        Still I find comfort in his Book, who saith,
Though jealousy be cruel as the grave,
    And death be strong, yet love is strong as death.

    8

Come dicesse a Dio: D'altro non calme.    (Dante)
Spero trovar pieta non che perdono.    (Petrarca)

"I, if I perish, perish"--Esther spake:
    And bride of life or death she made her fair
    In all the lustre of her perfum'd hair
And smiles that kindle longing but to slake.
She put on pomp of loveliness, to take
    Her husband through his eyes at unaware;
    She spread abroad her beauty for a snare,
Harmless as doves and subtle as a snake.
She trapp'd him with one mesh of silken hair,
    She vanquish'd him by wisdom of her wit,
        And built her people's house that it should stand:--
        If I might take my life so in my hand,
And for my love to Love put up my prayer,
    And for love's sake by Love be granted it!

    9

O dignitosa coscienza e netta!    (Dante)
Spirto piu acceso di virtuti ardenti.    (Petrarca)

Thinking of you, and all that was, and all
    That might have been and now can never be,
    I feel your honour'd excellence, and see
Myself unworthy of the happier call:
For woe is me who walk so apt to fall,
    So apt to shrink afraid, so apt to flee,
    Apt to lie down and die (ah, woe is me!)
Faithless and hopeless turning to the wall.
And yet not hopeless quite nor faithless quite,
Because not loveless; love may toil all night,
    But take at morning; wrestle till the break
        Of day, but then wield power with God and man:--
        So take I heart of grace as best I can,
    Ready to spend and be spent for your sake.

    10

Con miglior corso e con migliore stella.    (Dante)
La vita fugge e non s'arresta un' ora.    (Petrarca)

Time flies, hope flags, life plies a wearied wing;
    Death following ******* life gains ground apace;
    Faith runs with each and rears an eager face,
Outruns the rest, makes light of everything,
Spurns earth, and still finds breath to pray and sing;
    While love ahead of all uplifts his praise,
    Still asks for grace and still gives thanks for grace,
Content with all day brings and night will bring.
Life wanes; and when love folds his wings above
    Tired hope, and less we feel his conscious pulse,
        Let us go fall asleep, dear friend, in peace:
        A little while, and age and sorrow cease;
    A little while, and life reborn annuls
Loss and decay and death, and all is love.

    11

Vien dietro a me e lascia dir le genti.    (Dante)
Contando i casi della vita nostra.    (Petrarca)

Many in aftertimes will say of you
    "He lov'd her"--while of me what will they say?
    Not that I lov'd you more than just in play,
For fashion's sake as idle women do.
Even let them prate; who know not what we knew
    Of love and parting in exceeding pain,
    Of parting hopeless here to meet again,
Hopeless on earth, and heaven is out of view.
But by my heart of love laid bare to you,
    My love that you can make not void nor vain,
Love that foregoes you but to claim anew
        Beyond this passage of the gate of death,
    I charge you at the Judgment make it plain
        My love of you was life and not a breath.

    12

Amor, che ne la mente mi ragiona.    (Dante)
Amor vien nel bel viso di costei.    (Petrarca)

If there be any one can take my place
    And make you happy whom I grieve to grieve,
    Think not that I can grudge it, but believe
I do commend you to that nobler grace,
That readier wit than mine, that sweeter face;
    Yea, since your riches make me rich, conceive
    I too am crown'd, while bridal crowns I weave,
And thread the bridal dance with jocund pace.
For if I did not love you, it might be
    That I should grudge you some one dear delight;
        But since the heart is yours that was mine own,
    Your pleasure is my pleasure, right my right,
Your honourable freedom makes me free,
    And you companion'd I am not alone.

    13

E drizzeremo gli occhi al Primo Amore.    (Dante)
Ma trovo peso non da le mie braccia.    (Petrarca)

If I could trust mine own self with your fate,
    Shall I not rather trust it in God's hand?
    Without Whose Will one lily doth not stand,
Nor sparrow fall at his appointed date;
    Who numbereth the innumerable sand,
Who weighs the wind and water with a weight,
To Whom the world is neither small nor great,
    Whose knowledge foreknew every plan we plann'd.
Searching my heart for all that touches you,
    I find there only love and love's goodwill
Helpless to help and impotent to do,
        Of understanding dull, of sight most dim;
        And therefore I commend you back to Him
Whose love your love's capacity can fill.

    14

E la Sua Volontade e nostra pace.    (Dante)
Sol con questi pensier, con altre chiome.    (Petrarca)

Youth gone, and beauty gone if ever there
    Dwelt beauty in so poor a face as this;
    Youth gone and beauty, what remains of bliss?
I will not bind fresh roses in my hair,
To shame a cheek at best but little fair,--
    Leave youth his roses, who can bear a thorn,--
I will not seek for blossoms anywhere,
    Except such common flowers as blow with corn.
Youth gone and beauty gone, what doth remain?
    The longing of a heart pent up forlorn,
        A silent heart whose silence loves and longs;
        The silence of a heart which sang its songs
    While youth and beauty made a summer morn,
Silence of love that cannot sing again.
Have you heard of one Humpty Dumpty
How he fell with a roll and a rumble
And curled up like Lord Olofa Crumple
By the **** of the Magazine Wall,
  (Chorus) Of the Magazine Wall,
           ****, helmet and all?

He was one time our King of the Castle
Now he's kicked about like a rotten old parsnip.
And from Green street he'll be sent by order of His Worship
To the penal jail of Mountjoy
  (Chorus) To the jail of Mountjoy!
           Jail him and joy.

He was fafafather of all schemes for to bother us
Slow coaches and immaculate contraceptives for the populace,
Mare's milk for the sick, seven dry Sundays a week,
Openair love and religion's reform,
  (Chorus) And religious reform,
           Hideous in form.

Arrah, why, says you, couldn't he manage it?
I'll go bail, my fine dairyman darling,
Like the bumping bull of the Cassidys
All your butter is in your horns.
  (Chorus) His butter is in his horns.
           Butter his horns!

(Repeat) Hurrah there, Hosty, frosty Hosty, change that shirt
   on ye,
Rhyme the rann, the king of all ranns!

Balbaccio, balbuccio!

We had chaw chaw chops, chairs, chewing gum, the chicken-pox
   and china chambers
Universally provided by this soffsoaping salesman.
Small wonder He'll Cheat E'erawan our local lads nicknamed him.
When Chimpden first took the floor
  (Chorus) With his bucketshop store
           Down Bargainweg, Lower.

So snug he was in his hotel premises sumptuous
But soon we'll bonfire all his trash, tricks and trumpery
And 'tis short till sheriff Clancy'll be winding up his unlimited
   company
With the bailiff's bom at the door,
  (Chorus) Bimbam at the door.
           Then he'll *** no more.

Sweet bad luck on the waves washed to our island
The ****** of that hammerfast viking
And Gall's curse on the day when Eblana bay
Saw his black and tan man-o'-war.
  (Chorus) Saw his man-o'-war
           On the harbour bar.

Where from? roars Poolbeg. Cookingha'pence, he bawls
   Donnez-moi scampitle, wick an wipin'fampiny
Fingal Mac Oscar Onesine Bargearse Boniface
Thok's min gammelhole Norveegickers moniker
Og as ay are at gammelhore Norveegickers cod.
  (Chorus) A Norwegian camel old cod.
           He is, begod.

Lift it, Hosty, lift it, ye devil, ye! up with the rann,
   the rhyming rann!

It was during some fresh water garden pumping
Or, according to the Nursing Mirror, while admiring the monkeys
That our heavyweight heathen Humpharey
Made bold a maid to woo
  (Chorus) Woohoo, what'll she doo!
           The general lost her maidenloo!

He ought to blush for himself, the old hayheaded philosopher,
For to go and shove himself that way on top of her.
Begob, he's the crux of the catalogue
Of our antediluvial zoo,
  (Chorus) Messrs Billing and Coo.
           Noah's larks, good as noo.

He was joulting by Wellinton's monument
Our rotorious hippopopotamuns
When some ****** let down the backtrap of the omnibus
And he caught his death of fusiliers,
  (Chorus) With his rent in his rears.
           Give him six years.

'Tis sore pity for his innocent poor children
But look out for his missus legitimate!
When that frew gets a grip of old Earwicker
Won't there be earwigs on the green?
  (Chorus) Big earwigs on the green,
           The largest ever you seen.

   Suffoclose! Shikespower! Seudodanto! Anonymoses!

Then we'll have a free trade Gael's band and mass meeting
For to sod him the brave son of Scandiknavery.
And we'll bury him down in Oxmanstown
Along with the devil and the Danes,
  (Chorus) With the deaf and dumb Danes,
           And all their remains.

And not all the king's men nor his horses
Will resurrect his corpus
For there's no true spell in Connacht or hell
  (bis) That's able to raise a Cain.
Joe Butler Dec 2010
Wand'ring
Lost and alone
Through a dense and murky wood
Far from familiar shores
A damp, deep weariness
Pervades my soul
As I search
For the tell-tale signs of passage
My quarry has evaded me thus far
The path weaving
Between the roots
Of ancient, gnarled oaks
I pause and wonder
At the futility of my quest
Might he have slipped from my grasp
For good and all
Ne'er to be seen again
I laugh derisively
The cynic rears its ugly head
I must keep up hope
Else why go on
Steeling myself
I begin to move once more
I turn my thoughts
To years past
And a wave of bitter nostalgia
Washes over me
I can almost hear the faint echo
Of their singing
The high pitched
Tra-la-la
As they went gaily on their way
I can hear his voice in the lead
See his blue skin
And white beard
A tear rolls down my cheek
I sink to my knees
I cry out
Papa Smurf!
Where are you?
But, alas, there is no reply
And so I journey on
In search of all I've lost
Knowing deep inside
That it can never be again.
Written 5/22/06. A paean on lost youth and innocence composed in answer to a request from a friend to write a poem about Smurfs.
A wild-bear chace, didst never see?
    Then hast thou lived in vain.
Thy richest bump of glorious glee,
    Lies desert in thy brain.

When first my father settled here,
    ’Twas then the frontier line:
The panther’s scream, filled night with fear
    And bears preyed on the swine.

But woe for Bruin’s short lived fun,
    When rose the squealing cry;
Now man and horse, with dog and gun,
    For vengeance, at him fly.

A sound of danger strikes his ear;
    He gives the breeze a *****;
Away he bounds, with little fear,
    And seeks the tangled rough.

On press his foes, and reach the ground,
    Where’s left his half munched meal;
The dogs, in circles, scent around,
    And find his fresh made trail.

With instant cry, away they dash,
    And men as fast pursue;
O’er logs they leap, through water splash,
    And shout the brisk halloo.

Now to elude the eager pack,
    Bear shuns the open ground;
Through matted vines, he shapes his track
    And runs it, round and round.

The tall fleet cur, with deep-mouthed voice,
    Now speeds him, as the wind;
While half-grown pup, and short-legged ****,
    Are yelping far behind.

And fresh recruits are dropping in
    To join the merry corps:
With yelp and yell,—a mingled din—
    The woods are in a roar.

And round, and round the chace now goes,
    The world’s alive with fun;
Nick Carter’s horse, his rider throws,
    And more, Hill drops his gun.

Now sorely pressed, bear glances back,
    And lolls his tired tongue;
When as, to force him from his track,
    An ambush on him sprung.

Across the glade he sweeps for flight,
    And fully is in view.
The dogs, new-fired, by the sight,
    Their cry, and speed, renew.

The foremost ones, now reach his rear,
    He turns, they dash away;
And circling now, the wrathful bear,
    They have him full at bay.

At top of speed, the horse-men come,
    All screaming in a row,
“Whoop! Take him Tiger. Seize him Drum.”
    Bang,—bang—the rifles go.

And furious now, the dogs he tears,
    And crushes in his ire,
Wheels right and left, and upward rears,
    With eyes of burning fire.

But leaden death is at his heart,
    Vain all the strength he plies.
And, spouting blood from every part,
    He reels, and sinks, and dies.

And now a dinsome clamor rose,
    ’Bout who should have his skin;
Who first draws blood, each hunter knows,
    This prize must always win.

But who did this, and how to trace
    What’s true from what’s a lie,
Like lawyers, in a ****** case
    They stoutly argufy.

Aforesaid ****, of blustering mood,
    Behind, and quite forgot,
Just now emerging from the wood,
    Arrives upon the spot.

With grinning teeth, and up-turned hair—
    Brim full of ***** and wrath,
He growls, and seizes on dead bear,
    And shakes for life and death.

And swells as if his skin would tear,
    And growls and shakes again;
And swears, as plain as dog can swear,
    That he has won the skin.

Conceited whelp! we laugh at thee—
    Nor mind, that now a few
Of pompous, two-legged dogs there be,
    Conceited quite as you.
Abigail Madsen Dec 2012
A smile rests upon her broken face
Nothing but a hair out of place
Laying in that god forsaken case
A beautiful girl's soul gone to waste
A soul of beauty and brains
a soul that became covered in rain
Only dead in life
but not in vain
though everything caused her pain
Soon when her life got insane
insane enough to run away
away from the fears
the tears
from being worn down all these years
She went to a place
where nothing but a
broken smile
rested
upon
her broken face
Marshal Gebbie Dec 2013
From blue tranquillity where turquoise waters wash white golden sand, where brilliant fish school in myriad colour and shape, where magnificent squadrons of sleek tarpon and barracuda dash in perfect formation, grazing schools of silver mackeral through diamond flecked deep green shallows, to plunge vertically down to the depths of the black abyss and security.

Calm tropical waters which shimmer like aqua blue glass in the mid day heat and turn to simmering,red fire at the setting of the enormous, ovate, orange sun.

Sea birds flock above wind blown waves, their sharp cries a symphony of the sea, to suddenly wheel and dive en mass, to dine amidst teeming schools of flashing, shiny minnows.

The idyllic picture of a calm blue infinity of ocean framed, in brilliant sunshine, by white sands and gracefully bowed coconut palms.....and suddenly, at the horizon, a thin black line appears, It approaches with steadily, mounting speed, the coastline surf recedes dramatically seaward leaving exposed coral, mountains of seaweed and frantic flapping, beached fish everywhere. A sudden, oppressive silence becomes a distant roar. The sea birds, as one, take panicked flight... and a massive wall of water rears up and rises like a giant beast, to rush headlong, raging, at the coastline.

What once was blue and serene is now a huge cascade of violent black death and destruction, gigantically it destroys the coast, snapping huge trees like twigs, surging ashore, a tsunami of unimaginable violence it obliterates, housing, streets, bridges, vehicles, shipping, aircraft and people, thousands of panicked, helpless, struggling people, killed in a titanic, black, swirling maelstrom of inexorable violence. The wave is followed by another...and another, extending right along the coastline and beyond. Each wave larger and more violent than the last...surging inland for miles  until defeated by the accident of gravity in rising land.

Those who have survived, on high land, on tall buildings, in treetops....cling to each other and look on in horror and utter helplessness. They can only wait, in fear, for the monster to retreat before venturing down to the devastation below to render help where ever they possibly can.

Twice in the space of the last forty thousand years the Kraken has awaken and risen from the depths of the Tasman Sea to the west of New Zealand. It has risen to gigantic proportions and driven right across the Auckland isthmus to the Pacific Ocean. It has twice flattened gigantic primeval Kauri forests laying them waste, all lying in one direction, each time beneath twenty feet of debris and black mud.

Born in innocence from a natural tectonic adjustment of the earth plates, the Kraken doth arise at any time, in any place to wreak it's dreadful work upon we, who reside in our comfortable, seemingly secure and beautiful coastal idylls.

Marshalg
Dedicated to all the coastal population exposed to the threat of inevitable tectonic induced tsunami.
JAPAN. WEST COAST, USA. WEST COAST, SOUTH AMERICA. ALL PACIFIC ISLANDS. NEW ZEALAND. INDONESIA. AUSTRALIA. SOUTH AFRICA. EAST COAST, CHINA. MALAYSIA.
KOREA. THAILAND. PAPUA NEW GUINEA, VIETNAM. PHILLIPINES. TAIWAN. BURMA.
Marshal Gebbie Mar 2011
As a maddened beast it charges
Emanating with expanse
Brute techtonic plate reaction
From the epicentre’s stance.
Huge concentric rings diverge
Expanding at horrific rate
Black, titanic, towering waters
Ploughing to a deadly fate.

Kneeling in her bed of roses
Pollinating bees abound,
Morning sunbeams kiss her shoulders
Peaceful garden bliss surrounds.


Surging to the coastal shelf
The black gigantis rears on high
Claws toward the placid beach
Seabirds scatter to the sky.
Tide receds to bare the reef
Stranded mackerel whitely leap,
Enormously the massive wave
Attacks the land and they who sleep.

Death comes fast to they who loiter
Violence in the tangled purge,
Massive pressures, crushing debris
Broken buildings in the surge.
Ships and cars are tossed asunder
Inexorably it slams
Far inland to slay those fleeing
Locked in highway traffic jams.

Strange roar at the garden wall
Terrified, she finds her feet,
Roses, bees, sweet girl engulfed
As black entombedment swamps the street.


Far inland the chaos flows
Wreaking death's destructive bands,
Halted now by highland hills
Where souls in horror, wring their hands.
Slow retraction leaving ruin
Desolation far and wide,
The smell of new death in the air,
Heartbreak in the countryside.


Marshalg
For Nippon
18 March 2011
RAJ NANDY Aug 2016
SECRETS OF THE STONEHENGE IN VERSE
Dear Readers, I present a simplified version of the true story of the Stonehenge, on the Salisbury plains of Southern England, with over a million visitors every year. Declared as a World Heritage Site since 1986.Left out many technical details to curb the Length!
Hope you find this interesting to read.  Thanks, - Raj

SECRETS OF THE STONEHENGE IN VERSE
                     BY RAJ NANDY
                
                     INTRODUCTION
Shrouded in ancient legend, rituals and mystery,
Forming a part of ancient History, in the County of
Wiltshire on the rolling Salisbury plains,
Thirty miles north of the English Channel, stands the
megalithic structure  - The Stonehenge.
Dating back to some 3000 BC during the Neolithic Age,
Long before the Egyptian pyramids got made!
Some of its secrets have finally been unraveled by
Archeologists of our time and age.
It was a period when early humans changed over
from being nomadic hunter- gatherers,
To cultivate land and domesticate animals, to
become settled farmers.
This ushered in a new social change in the history
of Human progression,
Which got reflected in huge stone structures to
mark this advancement and occasion.
For these megalithic structures were bigger than
the tribes of men or the community;
Marked burial mounds and places for performing
sacred rites and magical healing rituals, for the
entire community.
Stonehenge was aligned to the mid-Summer and
mid-Winter Solstice, with the rising and the setting
Sun.
Served as an astronomical calendar for the turning
of Seasons, when crop cycles also begun.
Some scholars opine that it was used as a Lunar
Calendar as well,
Since Moon worship predates Sun worship by
Pre-historic men!
It was long before the invention of the wheel,
written script, and even metal implements.
This monumental structure speak of Stone Age
Briton’s greatest achievement!
(
Period covered is from Late Stone Age to the brink of
Bronze Age.)

BRIEF LAYOUT OF THE STONEHENGE
Cutting across myths and legends archeologists
and geologists have tried to piece together the
Stonehenge Story,
Which stood like an enigmatic puzzle for the
last Five Thousand Centuries!
Scholars say construction commenced around
3000 BC, but progressed only in stages spread
over the next fifteen centuries.
Initially, a large earthwork or a ‘Henge’ with a
circular ditch and a bank was made,
With 56 timber posts around the inner perimeter
on the windy Salisbury plains.
Used by primitive man as a burial place, but for
rituals later got linked to other smaller sites.
With processional avenues leading to River Avon,
to honor dead ancestors with sacred rites!
Entrance to the ‘Henge’ was marked by a pair of
upright Slaughter Stones weighing 28 tones, and
6.6 meters tall.
But only one remains today lying flat on the ground
after its fall!
Some 256 feet from center of the ‘Henge’ on the NE
Avenue once stood the Heel Stones 7.6 meters high!
As a marker for the Summer Solstice showing the
position of the rising Sun in the Midsummer sky!

          BLUE STONES FROM WALES:
Some 1000 years later, 82 Blue Stones were brought
from the Prescelli Mountains of Southern Wales;
And the earlier timber posts with these Blue stones
was replaced.
Each stone weighing around 4 tones, was brought
over a distance of some 250 miles to the plains of
Salisbury,
Loaded on hollowed out log boats fashioned like a
mini barge, to sail during high tide into the Bristol
Estuary!
Pulled over land on greased wooden rollers, and
loaded again on mini barges down the River Avon.
Since Avon flowed closer to the ‘Henge’ site in those
ancient days, which is now known!
(Some Scholars feel that the Blue Stones were swept down
closer to the Salisbury plain, during the close of the last Ice
Age! These Stones were believed to have powers of magical
cure too!)

              THE SARSAN STONES
During its final phase of development came the larger
23 ft tall Sarsan Stones, weighing some 44 tones.
From 20 miles north of the ‘Henge’ area dragged on
sledges and rollers from Marlborough Downs.
These stones now formed the outer ring capped with
stone lintels, replacing the Blue Stones;
And the Blues Stones were moved inwards and
rearranged in the horseshoe and circle shape, as
presently seen and known!
(NOTE: Sheer muscle power used to drag the stones with ropes
made from plant fiber of the indigenous lime bark soaked in
water for weeks. Stone lintels were sculpted in the shape of an
arc to cap the SARSAN Stones to form the outer circle. Wooden
scaffolding & ramps were used to hoist and position the heavy
stone lintels horizontally on top of upright stones! Sarsan Stones
were hard sandstones tougher than granite! However many of the
stones of this Ancient Ruin are missing, leaving some unanswered
questions behind.)

        CONCLUDING THIS TRUE STORY
Archeologists and scholars using radiocarbon dating
have tried to recreate the Stonehenge Story.
This ancient ruin with many unanswered questions,
now remain protected as an Iconic Monument of
British History!
It stands as an astronomical time clock and is also of
spiritual significance;
It also symbolizes the ingenuity of Human Mind, its
power, and endurance.
I conclude with a an extract from a poem by TS Salmon
about the STONEHENGE here below:-
“Warpt in veils of time’s unbroken gloom,
Obscure as death and silent as the tomb.
Where cold oblivion holds her dusky reign,
Frowns the dark pile on Sarum’s lonely plain.

Yet think not here with classic eye to trace,
Corinthian beauty or Ionian grace.
No pillored lines with sculptured foliage crowned,
No fluted remnants deck the hallowed ground.
Firm, as implanted by some Titan’s might,
Each rugged stone up rears its giant height.
Whence the poised fragment tottering seems to throw,
A trembling shadow on the plain below.”
(*Sarum = old name for Salisbury.)
Thanks dear Readers for your kind attention span ,
I have simplified by cutting short many details the
best as I can!
ALL COPYRIGHTS WITH RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
E-mail: rajnandy21@yahoo.in
A map of every country known,
With not a foot to call his own.
A list of folks that kicked a dust
On this poor globe, from Ptol. the First;
He hopes,-- indeed it is but fair,--
Some day to get a corner there.
A group of all the British kings,
Fair emblem! on a packthread swings.
The Fathers, ranged in goodly row,
A decent, venerable show,
Writ a great while ago, they tell us,
And many an inch o'ertop their fellows.
A Juvenal to hunt for mottos;
And Ovid's tales of nymphs and grottos.
The meek-robed lawyers all in white;
Pure as the lamb,-- at least, to sight.
A shelf of bottles, jar and phial,
By which the rogues he can defy all,--
All filled with lightning keen and genuine, 20 And many a little imp he'll pen you in;
Which, like Le Sage's sprite, let out,
Among the neighbours makes a rout;
Brings down the lightning on their houses,
And kills their geese, and frights their spouses.
A rare thermometer, by which
He settles, to the nicest pitch,
The just degrees of heat, to raise
Sermons, or politics, or plays.
Papers and books, a strange mixed olio,
From shilling touch to pompous folio;
Answer, remark, reply, rejoinder,
Fresh from the mint, all stamped and coined here;
Like new-made glass, set by to cool,
Before it bears the workman's tool.
A blotted proof-sheet, wet from Bowling.
--'How can a man his anger hold in?'--
Forgotten rimes, and college themes,
Worm-eaten plans, and embryo schemes;--
A mass of heterogeneous matter,
A chaos dark, no land nor water;--
New books, like new-born infants, stand,
Waiting the printer's clothing hand;--
Others, a mottly ragged brood,
Their limbs unfashioned all, and rude,
Like Cadmus' half-formed men appear;
One rears a helm, one lifts a spear,
And feet were lopped and fingers torn
Before their fellow limbs were born;
A leg began to kick and sprawl
Before the head was seen at all,
Which quiet as a mushroom lay
Till crumbling hillocks gave it way;
And all, like controversial writing,
Were born with teeth, and sprung up fighting.

'But what is this,' I hear you cry,
'Which saucily provokes my eye?'--
A thing unknown, without a name,
Born of the air and doomed to flame.
Marshal Gebbie Nov 2009
Ant
An ant is just an ant my son
An impact it wont make
But a million ants will move the world
A conviction you won’t shake.
An ant is still a living thing
It eats, it breaths, it works
It runs in an environment
Where the hostile spider lurks.
It works in regulation
With a thousand brother ants
To a strict cooperation
That achieves communal stance.
An intelligence is present,
A timetable has been set
This organized endeavor
Makes it’s success an winning bet.


An ant makes love, it rears it’s young
It grooms it’s brother’s hide.
And if enraged an ant will fight
A foe a thousand times it’s size.
It’s glittering antennae
And it’s shiny compound eye
It’s economy of movement
And compulsion to deny
Involvement with any cause
Apart from that one sent
By the Queen Ant’s regulations
At the Ant God’s monument.


I am moved with admiration
For this tiny creatures heart,
It’s commitment to community
And resolve to set apart
All individual aspiration
And selfish action of it’s own.
To gather condiments for nest and Queen
Compelled forever more…to roam.


Marshalg
Mangere Bridge
17th May 2008
The world’s great age begins anew,
  The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
  Her winter weeds outworn;
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.

A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
  From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
  Against the morning star;
Where fairer Tempes bloom, there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.

A loftier Argo cleaves the main,
  Fraught with a later prize;
Another Orpheus sings again,
  And loves, and weeps, and dies;
A new Ulysses leaves once more
Calypso for his native shore.

O write no more the tale of Troy,
  If earth Death’s scroll must be—
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy
  Which dawns upon the free,
Although a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.

Another Athens shall arise,
  And to remoter time
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
  The splendour of its prime;
And leave, if naught so bright may live,
All earth can take or Heaven can give.

Saturn and Love their long repose
  Shall burst, more bright and good
Than all who fell, than One who rose,
  Than many unsubdued:
Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers,
But votive tears and symbol flowers.

O cease! must hate and death return?
  Cease! must men **** and die?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
  Of bitter prophecy!
The world is weary of the past—
O might it die or rest at last!
Written under the impression that the author would soon die.


Adieu, thou Hill! where early joy
  Spread roses o’er my brow;
Where Science seeks each loitering boy
  With knowledge to endow.
Adieu, my youthful friends or foes,
Partners of former bliss or woes;
  No more through Ida’s paths we stray;
Soon must I share the gloomy cell,
Whose ever-slumbering inmates dwell
  Unconscious of the day.
Adieu, ye hoary Regal Fanes,
  Ye spires of Granta’s vale,
Where Learning robed in sable reigns.
  And Melancholy pale.
Ye comrades of the jovial hour,
Ye tenants of the classic bower,
On Cama’s verdant margin plac’d,
Adieu! while memory still is mine,
For offerings on Oblivion’s shrine,
These scenes must be effac’d.

Adieu, ye mountains of the clime
Where grew my youthful years;
Where Loch na Garr in snows sublime
His giant summit rears.
Why did my childhood wander forth
From you, ye regions of the North,
With sons of Pride to roam?
Why did I quit my Highland cave,
Marr’s dusky heath, and Dee’s clear wave,
To seek a Sotheron home?

Hall of my Sires! a long farewell—
Yet why to thee adieu?
Thy vaults will echo back my knell,
Thy towers my tomb will view:
The faltering tongue which sung thy fall,
And former glories of thy Hall,
Forgets its wonted simple note—
But yet the Lyre retains the strings,
And sometimes, on æolian wings,
In dying strains may float.

Fields, which surround yon rustic cot,
  While yet I linger here,
Adieu! you are not now forgot,
  To retrospection dear.
Streamlet! along whose rippling surge
My youthful limbs were wont to urge,
  At noontide heat, their pliant course;
Plunging with ardour from the shore,
Thy springs will lave these limbs no more,
  Deprived of active force.

And shall I here forget the scene,
  Still nearest to my breast?
Rocks rise and rivers roll between
  The spot which passion blest;
Yet Mary, all thy beauties seem
Fresh as in Love’s bewitching dream,
  To me in smiles display’d;
Till slow disease resigns his prey
To Death, the parent of decay,
  Thine image cannot fade.

And thou, my Friend! whose gentle love
  Yet thrills my *****’s chords,
How much thy friendship was above
  Description’s power of words!
Still near my breast thy gift I wear
Which sparkled once with Feeling’s tear,
  Of Love the pure, the sacred gem:
Our souls were equal, and our lot
In that dear moment quite forgot;
  Let Pride alone condemn!

All, all is dark and cheerless now!
  No smile of Love’s deceit
Can warm my veins with wonted glow,
  Can bid Life’s pulses beat:
Not e’en the hope of future fame
Can wake my faint, exhausted frame,
  Or crown with fancied wreaths my head.
Mine is a short inglorious race,—
To humble in the dust my face,
  And mingle with the dead.

Oh Fame! thou goddess of my heart;
  On him who gains thy praise,
Pointless must fall the Spectre’s dart,
  Consumed in Glory’s blaze;
But me she beckons from the earth,
My name obscure, unmark’d my birth,
  My life a short and ****** dream:
Lost in the dull, ignoble crowd,
My hopes recline within a shroud,
  My fate is Lethe’s stream.

When I repose beneath the sod,
  Unheeded in the clay,
Where once my playful footsteps trod,
  Where now my head must lay,
The meed of Pity will be shed
In dew-drops o’er my narrow bed,
  By nightly skies, and storms alone;
No mortal eye will deign to steep
With tears the dark sepulchral deep
  Which hides a name unknown.

Forget this world, my restless sprite,
  Turn, turn thy thoughts to Heaven:
There must thou soon direct thy flight,
  If errors are forgiven.
To bigots and to sects unknown,
Bow down beneath the Almighty’s Throne;
  To Him address thy trembling prayer:
He, who is merciful and just,
Will not reject a child of dust,
  Although His meanest care.

Father of Light! to Thee I call;
  My soul is dark within:
Thou who canst mark the sparrow’s fall,
  Avert the death of sin.
Thou, who canst guide the wandering star
Who calm’st the elemental war,
  Whose mantle is yon boundless sky,
My thoughts, my words, my crimes forgive;
And, since I soon must cease to live,
  Instruct me how to die.
Connor Thomas Sep 2012
I. Dark tree hanging above us in the night
Casting out shadows that try and steal babies in the silence
These creatures sway with the wind singing out tunes of old
Scratching at one another, fighting for superiority.
We watch as their shadows **** each other off one by one
The dark moon shining above gives us no warning of what’s to come
Sitting up there watching out over us, like an old man.
Grandpa sits in his chair and observes his children
Whistling into the night sky, joined by a chorus of stars
Each wrinkle, with a crater of its own, screaming out to us
Screaming about what was to come.

A dark rider pulls up in front of us
His bony fingers crack as he motions for you
As in a trance you are hypnotized by his gaze.
His dark cloak shining in the fire that blazes behind him
I can see dust resting on his shoulders, but you remain transfixed.
You’re eyes begin to darken and you grow dimmer.
Flickering as each second passes, flickering
Like a candle running out of time.
Flickering like a flame being choked out.
His dark eyes look deeply into your equally dark heart
Ringing out to him in a bass-like tone, that only the evil can hear.
Ringing, singing, tearing away from me, from our life together
Here on the top of this dark hill, above this dark town, in an even darker world.

The dark cloaked man rides off into the east as the morning sun rises
The only source of light, making its way up the ladder
As its dark counterpart retreats in the opposite direction.
I’m looking up at him as he warms my face
Father is home and has taken his rightful place on the throne
A light smile creeps up on my face as I look back at you
All I see is the empty look that your dark eyes return.

II. Train engines roaring in the background
Chugga chugga chugga chugga
Smoke rising ahead of him as he thunders on,
Through your thick eyeglasses you’re watching closely
We’re sitting in your room, an empty bottle of gin in your hands
Window open and the cool evening breeze blows in
Blowing your hair back like a model
The diseased air catches fire in your face.
As in a fitful rage you scream out like bells ringing in my ears.
The sun is smiling in making his appearance short as he retreats west.

Your dizzy eyes look into mine singing out to me
“Chugga chugga chugga chugga”
You say to me laying on your back in a drunken haze.
Your locked door groans under your father’s fists,
And he comes raging in like a train steaming down the tracks.
Kicking and throwing himself around, lashing his eyes at you and me,
Wreaking havoc on your room, the wild creature rears up to fight
And scared I run out the window, escaping the hell that you’re stuck in
Like a fly trapped in the web of a spider at lunch time.
I hear the faint
“Chugga chugga chugga chugga”
In the background under the noise of my feet on the concrete.

III. Your engine roars in the early morning air
Raising hell underneath it, and fire in its past.
Roaring like a lion on its prey
The tires screeching like the prey itself
As you come to a halt in front of my house honking the horn
Screaming for me to come out.
I already know what’s in store,
Why you’re here,
And here I am stuck in this place
Like a prison and you’re my jailor.
If you think I’ll develop a Stockholm syndrome you are sadly mistaken
Your mouth running wild with the horses in the fields
Like a sailor on a ship
Raising war with every sentence that you speak
Singing in the rain of hatred in your eyes
As you look me down with your laser vision
Eyeing me up like a hawk swooping on a field mouse.
Sharp talons sharpened daily
You raise fear with your body,
A shiver flows through my veins deep down in the soul
I feel cold with you staring at me like you do.
Hovering in the thick air above my lonely prison cell.
Looking only at me.
122

A something in a summer’s Day
As slow her flambeaux burn away
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer’s noon—
A depth—an Azure—a perfume—
Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer’s night
A something so transporting bright
I clap my hands to see—

Then veil my too inspecting face
Lets such a subtle—shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me—

The wizard fingers never rest—
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes it narrow bed—

Still rears the East her amber Flag—
Guides still the sun along the Crag
His Caravan of Red—

So looking on—the night—the morn
Conclude the wonder gay—
And I meet, coming thro’ the dews
Another summer’s Day!
shayla ennis Oct 2016
(Narrator):
Upon a sunny day you see a girl leading a horse up a beach in the heated sun of the Roman Empire. She is a princess to a great roman king. This king’s name be Alexander the Great who in our history died young. The king dressed in white with red sashes covered over it is in the mist of trying to find his daughter a husband, one who will be fit to be king when he no longer can. The beach being sunny and warm princess Auria has chosen to take her horse for a ride while her father speaks to his men of the council.
Princess Auria: [riding her horse down the beach in a gentle stride] [clip clop………]

(Narrator):
Suddenly the horse rears up into the air throwing the princess from its back!

Princess Auria: [haa… … screaming [smacking into the ground] thump!]

Enters: Tibius [walking up to the horse who threw the princess tibius calls for it to calm itself and then walks up to Princess Auria asking… …]

Tibius: dear lady do you need some assistance?

Princess Auria: no but I thank you for retrieving my horse. Asking herself under her breath… What could have scared you so…?

Tibius: I believe it may have been that serpent over there near the sands edge.

Princess Auria: oh that must be the reason, Thank you again. What be your name young man.

Tibius: my name lady be Tibius and you are most welcome.
Princess Auria: Tibius you say. Would you be willing to come with me to see my father and gain his thanks as well for he would be most grateful to you for what you have done this day.

Tibius: I know not why this is needed but I will follow lead the way my lady.

Princess Auria: please call me Auria.

(Narrator):
Princess Auria leading the way takes Tibius to the king her father who sits in the throne room talking to friends and family. Walking up to her father she tells him what tibius has done. Tibius stands there after being shocked that the lady he helped was actually the princess. Not knowing what to say to the king tibius stands before him in silence.
King Alexander: you a man so young and by the looks of it having little coin save my daughter! This cannot be…

Tibius: if I may speak great king.

King Alexander: you may do so.

Tibius: I was walking along the beach when I saw a horse running in my direction but without rider. I choosing to find said owner came upon your daughter the princess Auria and thus I am now before you.

King Alexander: if this be true what my daughter says than you must in some way be rewarded. But how is the question…

(Narrator):
Enters Princess Auria’s mother Dayanara, coming from tending the gardens within the palace walls dressed in a blue dress trimmed in silver she walks towards her husband the king.

Dayanara: my husband may I say a word or two for I have heard what was said and have an idea.

King Alexander: what idea would you have dear wife.

Dayanara: I speak this let him guard Auria from this time forward both within the walls and without them so as we her parents need not fret so when she goes off alone. I know it may be much for so small a thing. Let him be her personal protector. My other words spoken, I have word of someone who wishes marriage to our daughter.

King Alexander: this is a wondrous idea about Tibius being a protector, let as my wife speaks be done. Do you agree daughter? What about this marriage you speak of Dayanara? Who?

Princess Auria: yes father it is a pleasing reward.

King Alexander: and you Tibius. What do you say to this?

Tibius: I can do nothing else but agree for not too would be a dishonor to both you and your family king Alexander. So yes I say to what has been spoken.

(Narrator):
Scene changes to a battle on the high mountains behind the palace near the ocean. Hundreds of men from Rome and far off Greece that comes by ship battle on the damp sands and grasses of roman earth to take what is not theirs the Greeks wish. Blood and life be spilled at all ends and innocent’s being slaughtered without care. The roman princess waiting in the palace by her mother’s side wondering what is to become of them because no word has yet come about how the battle fares.
[On the battle field]

King Alexander: men raise your blades, your shields, do not yield! Do not I say!
[Clashing, banging of armor and weapons]

King Alexander: men forward March, lances and horses ready. [Forward……!]

(Narrator):

Enters: solder sadeen

Sadeen: my king the battle falls not to us but our enemy we lose men to fast.

King Alexander: we must find a way to get them into the water and then hit them with fire and oil that will burn greatly.

Sadeen: we could place oil along the hills and light it aflame this may drive them back if we make it strong and high.

King Alexander: see it done sadeen; see it done fast for I fear we will lose as you spoke before if you do not.

Sadeen: [riding away from the king at full gallop towards his men to carry out the orders given]
[Gallop… gallop…]

(Narrator): Sadeen follows the Kings orders by lighting aflame ***** of hay covered in oil his soldiers pushing them down the green grass hills where battle takes place to weaken the Greeks ground and might. [Greeks screaming]
[Outcry…… Shrieking…… Men dying]

King Alexander: [praying to himself that what he has asked of his men does not fail] you boy over their go to my family and give them this letter see to it that it is only to them you give it.
[Yes my lord]

(Narrator):
The boy with the letter runs as fast as his legs can carry him back threw the roman streets to the palace and gives the letter to the queen. The queen opens it and read the news of how the battle fares and the instructions given if the king falls.

Dayanara: [calling her daughter] auria… auria…

Princess Auria: what is it mother? Why do you yell so?

Dayanara: your father has written of the battle he pleads with us to leave and go to the villa where you grew as a child for the battle does not fare well and he fears that they will lose. He speaks to us that he will send someone to find us if they win. Come we must go.

Princess Auria: I will find Tibius he can see us to safety out of Rome and to the villa.

Dayanara: go to him in silence speak to no one else only him.

Princess Auria: yes mother [off she runs with her footed sandals slapping on the marble floors as she does].

(Narrator):
Princess Auria runs to the solders corridor and finds Tibius telling him in hurried breath that they must leave fathers words for they are in danger. Tibius gathers up his things and follows the princess back to the royal halls and they silently leave threw the gardens heading to were the villa rests dressed in peasants clothing they be. The king back in the battle hopes that the letter he wrote as found them in time. [He once more prays]

Tibius: come my ladies this way but be careful and quite

Dayanara: we walk silent but you must call us by our names not by title Tibius

Auria: mother is right do as she says for doing so will make others think we are peasants and family. It be less likely they will look our way with suspicion.

(Narrator):
[Suddenly Greek soldiers come of darkened shadows intending to strike and **** the ladies Tibius raises his blade to stop them].

Tibius: [Crash…… his blade smashing into another]

Soldier: his blade striking back [Clashing……]

Tibius: striking the soldier down leaving blood pooling upon the marble path [rushing away]

(Scene):
Days later the three peasants make it to a quite villa outside of Rome and begin a new life as mere workers for those who live there. Any who ask about the owners the peasants simple tell them that they are away due to the battle. They being servants were made to stay behind to keep the place clean for when the owners returned, when that is they do not know. Weeks and more months pass with no word from the king they begin to fear that all is lost when one day a man wearing roman armor rides up asking for the lady Dayanara. Tibius stepping forward asks why? They must return this man says for the king calls them to him.

Tibius: who is the king?

Stanger:  King Alexander of course

Tibius: wait here go nowhere else

Dayanara: what is it?

Tibius: there is a roman outside he says the king calls for us

Dayanara: then we go; this is the sign, find my daughter and gather our things.

Tibius: yes lady right away

(Narrator): They return home going back the way they had left, but through the city rather than the village.

(Scene change): they are home at the royal palace before the king once more, but he was not alone.

King Alexander: you have returned safe, this makes me happy, and rushing to them he smiles [giving them fierce hugs]

Dayanara/ Auria: we are glad to be with you once more, it was worrisome and lonely without your presence being with us.

Dayanara/ Auria: who is this man that stands before us with Greek Armor?  Why is he not dead or imprisoned like the others?

King alexander: he is the prince of the Greek people and the son of King Simentos. Please be polite let me explain what has come about from the great battle on Mount Tear. [He explains]

(Narrator): alexander tells both his wife and daughter that the battle was won due to the son calling up a white flag of truce and asking that no more blood of their people be shed. (Enters Brontes).

Brontes: I am the son and prince of Greek and I wish to come up with a way to unite our lands and people. Your father mentioned that he was looking to finding you Auria a husband; I know that me being Greek may not seem a pleasant thing but I hope for a chance to prove my worth to you.

Auria: I know you be Greek but what does that have to do with the man you have become I see not. The place we are born and live helps us to grow but does not make us who we are.

Dayanara: husband I believe that Auria likes him and they seem to be getting along well [she whispers to him].

King alexander: do you think then that the idea of marriage to Brontes will suit her well, that she will love and or care for him as he will to her.

Dayanara: I do, but let them decide what their choice will be.

(Scene):  the princess and prince wonder into the garden that is covered with the roman flower called the Gladiolus which means sword lily. Speaking of many things that have happened in their lives they continue walking. She tells him that she would hope to see both her homes often if she were to say yes to this peace proposal.

Alexander/Dayanara:  we must speak with the two of you. Have you come to a decision about what this marriage may mean?

Auria/Brontes:  we have come to a final choice after our long talk. We believe that this marriage would be well placed for both of us to accept. We have chosen to wed here and stay till the spring then to travel to Brontes’s home and have a smaller wedding there to please his father. Though this set of weddings we will sign a truce treaty combining our to lands and people.

Dayanara/ Alexander: that is well thought of from both of you. Well done, I believe that this is going to be a very happy time for all of us. Let the wedding be within a months’ time.

(Narrator): the wedding takes place upon the hill where the battle was once fought this is where they will make peace and sign the treaty. The wedding is beautiful and the flowers that are thrown around them show their unity. Both are dressed in the colors of the ocean and their prospective homes. {This is the end of their tale and perhaps a new beginning for us all on earth}.

THE END
playwrite
These are the gardens of the Desert, these
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
For which the speech of England has no name--
The Prairies. I behold them for the first,
And my heart swells, while the dilated sight
Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo! they stretch
In airy undulations, far away,
As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell,
Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed,
And motionless for ever.--Motionless?--
No--they are all unchained again. The clouds
Sweep over with their shadows, and, beneath,
The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye;
Dark hollows seem to glide along and chase
The sunny ridges. Breezes of the South!
Who toss the golden and the flame-like flowers,
And pass the prairie-hawk that, poised on high,
***** his broad wings, yet moves not--ye have played
Among the palms of Mexico and vines
Of Texas, and have crisped the limpid brooks
That from the fountains of Sonora glide
Into the calm Pacific--have ye fanned
A nobler or a lovelier scene than this?
Man hath no part in all this glorious work:
The hand that built the firmament hath heaved
And smoothed these verdant swells, and sown their slopes
With herbage, planted them with island groves,
And hedged them round with forests. Fitting floor
For this magnificent temple of the sky--
With flowers whose glory and whose multitude
Rival the constellations! The great heavens
Seem to stoop down upon the scene in love,--
A nearer vault, and of a tenderer blue,
Than that which bends above the eastern hills.

  As o'er the verdant waste I guide my steed,
Among the high rank grass that sweeps his sides
The hollow beating of his footstep seems
A sacrilegious sound. I think of those
Upon whose rest he tramples. Are they here--
The dead of other days?--and did the dust
Of these fair solitudes once stir with life
And burn with passion? Let the mighty mounds
That overlook the rivers, or that rise
In the dim forest crowded with old oaks,
Answer. A race, that long has passed away,
Built them;--a disciplined and populous race
Heaped, with long toil, the earth, while yet the Greek
Was hewing the Pentelicus to forms
Of symmetry, and rearing on its rock
The glittering Parthenon. These ample fields
Nourished their harvests, here their herds were fed,
When haply by their stalls the bison lowed,
And bowed his maned shoulder to the yoke.
All day this desert murmured with their toils,
Till twilight blushed, and lovers walked, and wooed
In a forgotten language, and old tunes,
From instruments of unremembered form,
Gave the soft winds a voice. The red man came--
The roaming hunter tribes, warlike and fierce,
And the mound-builders vanished from the earth.
The solitude of centuries untold
Has settled where they dwelt. The prairie-wolf
Hunts in their meadows, and his fresh-dug den
Yawns by my path. The gopher mines the ground
Where stood their swarming cities. All is gone--
All--save the piles of earth that hold their bones--
The platforms where they worshipped unknown gods--
The barriers which they builded from the soil
To keep the foe at bay--till o'er the walls
The wild beleaguerers broke, and, one by one,
The strongholds of the plain were forced, and heaped
With corpses. The brown vultures of the wood
Flocked to those vast uncovered sepulchres,
And sat, unscared and silent, at their feast.
Haply some solitary fugitive,
Lurking in marsh and forest, till the sense
Of desolation and of fear became
Bitterer than death, yielded himself to die.
Man's better nature triumphed then. Kind words
Welcomed and soothed him; the rude conquerors
Seated the captive with their chiefs; he chose
A bride among their maidens, and at length
Seemed to forget,--yet ne'er forgot,--the wife
Of his first love, and her sweet little ones,
Butchered, amid their shrieks, with all his race.

  Thus change the forms of being. Thus arise
Races of living things, glorious in strength,
And perish, as the quickening breath of God
Fills them, or is withdrawn. The red man, too,
Has left the blooming wilds he ranged so long,
And, nearer to the Rocky Mountains, sought
A wilder hunting-ground. The ****** builds
No longer by these streams, but far away,
On waters whose blue surface ne'er gave back
The white man's face--among Missouri's springs,
And pools whose issues swell the Oregan,
He rears his little Venice. In these plains
The bison feeds no more. Twice twenty leagues
Beyond remotest smoke of hunter's camp,
Roams the majestic brute, in herds that shake
The earth with thundering steps--yet here I meet
His ancient footprints stamped beside the pool.

  Still this great solitude is quick with life.
Myriads of insects, gaudy as the flowers
They flutter over, gentle quadrupeds,
And birds, that scarce have learned the fear of man,
Are here, and sliding reptiles of the ground,
Startlingly beautiful. The graceful deer
Bounds to the wood at my approach. The bee,
A more adventurous colonist than man,
With whom he came across the eastern deep,
Fills the savannas with his murmurings,
And hides his sweets, as in the golden age,
Within the hollow oak. I listen long
To his domestic hum, and think I hear
The sound of that advancing multitude
Which soon shall fill these deserts. From the ground
Comes up the laugh of children, the soft voice
Of maidens, and the sweet and solemn hymn
Of Sabbath worshippers. The low of herds
Blends with the rustling of the heavy grain
Over the dark-brown furrows. All at once
A fresher wind sweeps by, and breaks my dream,
And I am in the wilderness alone.
- K T P - Apr 2012
Yet again, I am struggling to sleep,
Yearning for my soul to keep.
Day by day pass with no remorse.
Death scouring the lands on his tireless horse.

First there was Marcos,
Then there was Kain.
Death is coming for all of us,
As morale begins to wane.

Shots are fired in hot sporadic spurts,
I duck for cover as my shoulder hurts.
Blood flows down my arm as I grasp my gun,
I close my eyes as my comrades begin to run.

I am paralyzed, planted in the bunkered earth,
My comrades carry me as they flee.
I fight with sanity, refusing to see my own worth,
As bullets fly by, in an endless torrent of maniacal glee.

The pain sears, racing through my mind.
Muscles, tissue, bone, beginning to unwind.
Concern crosses my comrade’s face,
As he looks at my pained disgrace.

Earth spews from the ground to my right,
Launching us into the thick fumed air.
I scream again as my pain rears its roaring might.
My vision fading as our bodies land on our earthen lair.

Death’s whisper then did creep,
His cold breath in did seep.
I feel no pain as I know its time,
To join my mates, out here on the Rhine.
Michael Acosta May 2010
I am but a man
a one flawed at that
jealousy rears its head
roaring through me
crashing its way through
reason and rationale
a cacophony of sound
the phantom pounding
of insubstantial waters
like all storms this too
shall pass and calm
will come again
©2009-2010 Michael Acosta
This is not really a poem, it is more of an essay confessional, something that I need to tell someone
or else, I am worried, I will lose my head entirely.
     And I rather like some parts of my mind; they're creative and hopeful and idealistic.
     But right now, my mind is giving me some serious issues, things that have more or less confirmed that I have gone from a "serious cold" on the mental health scale to "flu and pneumonia".
      
     When I was younger, I used to joke about being insane. In middle school, in that crowd of black-wearing kids who would eventually split into a rainbow of different scenes, being dark was cool as hell. We used to tell each other we were crazy. We'd make up voices in our heads and spout about them in our morose ways- "Oh yes, they haunt me every night. I can see one behind you now. Yeah, I guess you could say that I'm crazy." I did that too, but for the most part, it was an exaggeration, not a complete lie.
    
     My entire life, I've been going to doctors. I was diagnosed with severe depression when I was in third grade. How old would that make me? I forget. Soon there after, I started struggling with manic anxiety disorders, which more or less alienated me from all crowds but those dark ones. Even after that, when things settled down, I went through a series of abusive relationships, so on top of that all, I have a decent case of PTSD.
     Still, all of those things, I can deal with. I've never had to take a medication before; I used to cut myself, for a couple years actually, but for the most part, good friends and a good therapist have been able to keep me alive. That was all that I needed, and really, it's all that I want now, to go back to how I was. In control.

    But recently, this year, things have really been spiraling out of control. It started with violent panic attacks, which I missed school for, and thusly my grades suffered. I couldn't go a day without one, and they weren't the type that makes you just cry. I'd be screaming and throwing things, fighting back the people who came to help me with fists and chewed down nails. I suppose I have always been one to fight in a pinch.
     Those feelings, though, grew, into a vast and crippling fear. I can no longer fight, something I took great pride in. The terror is so bad that I will occasionally collapse to my knees and clap my eyes shut as I weep. I did not have anything to cause it, and this ambiguity and seemingly random weakness bothered me. Apparently, my mind decided that the uncertainty about what I was feeling was unacceptable as well, because I have started seeing and hearing things.

     My therapist and doctor say that I am slipping into an anxiety-based psychosis. I know that the things I see are not real, but the horrible creatures that my mind produce scare me more than any movie, book, or bad boy friend ever have. Last night, I was actually forced to crawl into bed with my mother- a seventeen year old girl!- because I realized that I was having a literal fistfight with a crawling demon that was not there. I only know that this fist fight happened because I had punched my walls several times, and the blood on my knuckles is still there. My knuckles are purple and cracked open from the strain. You see, while I know that my delusions are just that, they are also deceptively corporeal, and chilling.
      There is one that slithers around my room and on the ceilings that looks like a human body would after being left under the river for some time: the skin is a sickening pink, the flesh is gelatinous and leaves a slime trail, and its eyes, when I see them, are not there. Instead, its eyelids are closed and caving in, like a mummy in the Carnegie. Another is tall and thin, ungodly thin, and pale to the point that it glows faintly. More or less, my mind has adapted the Louisiana swamp thing into the clip art it uses for monsters. Its eyes glow light green, but pierce like car headlights. Usually, it crawls with terrifying speed, but other times, it will come charging out of the woods or through my door on two feet, arms swinging wildly above its head. The thing's movements are ungainly when it rears up, and slow, but then you can see its true hight of seven or eight feet- seven or eight feet of skeletal fury- and I find myself rooted to the spot.
    Last night, that was who I fought with. I was tired of him watching me, because that is what he has been doing. Not he, it- if it had been a 'he' at one time, it is a Munich now. Though I digress; when it came charging into my room, the dance began. I was at one time a boxer, and a ballerina, and while I have lost much of my flexibility, my strength for the most part remains. That would mean something, if the Munich was real, but it is not, and all that happened in reality was that I threw my best punches right into the brick of my old fireplace and the new drywall.
  
     The  rest are just shadows, odd figures that I cannot quite understand yet. I will be starting on a medication very soon, and I am frightened to do so, for anxious and passionate are all I have ever been my entire life. However, I cannot allow the things that I have been seeing to progress into true madness. I am a smart person, I know this, and there is a lot of good that I can put my mind to when I grow up if I can just stay sane. Literally sane.
    I will never consider 'crazy' cool again. Crazy people, those who are trying to beat it, are the most amazing people I can ever imagine. I can't even fathom where I would be without my arsenal of doctors behind me. Well no. I can speculate just fine. The Munich and I would still be locked in battle, my mind the only one truly being dealt blows. It would tear me apart. Crazy is not cool. Crazy is my deepest fear that is about to be realized.
Even as the moon grows queenlier in mid-space
When the sky darkens, and her cloud-rapt car
Thrills with intenser radiance from afar,—
So lambent, lady, beams thy sovereign grace
When the drear soul desires thee. Of that face
What shall be said,—which, like a governing star,
Gathers and garners from all things that are
Their silent penetrative loveliness?

O’er water-daisies and wild waifs of Spring,
There where the iris rears its gold-crowned sheaf
With flowering rush and sceptred arrow-leaf,
So have I marked Queen Dian, in bright ring
Of cloud above and wave below, take wing
And chase night’s gloom, as thou the spirit’s grief.

— The End —