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Phlegethon
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RE: Post a Poem
Christmas Bells

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1864)


I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Dec 16 11:45
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Phlegethon
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RE: Post a Poem
And, to sum up my feelings on the days around Christmas when everyone is at least a tad crazier than the rest of the year:

Noël! Noël! Noël! Noël!

Noël! Noël! Noël! Noël!
A Catholic tale have I to tell!
And a Christian song have I to sing
While all the bells in Arundel ring.

I pray good beef and I pray good beer
This holy night of all the year,
But I pay detestable drink for them
That give no honour to Bethlehem.

May all good fellows that here agree
Drink Audit Ale in heaven with me
And may all my enemies go to hell!
Noël! Noël! Noël! Noël!
May all my enemies go to hell!
Noël! Noël!



- Hilaire Belloc, 1912


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Dec 20 18:48
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Phlegethon
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Post: #63
RE: Post a Poem
Weihnachtslied, chemisch gereinigt

Morgen, Kinder, wird’s nichts geben!
Nur wer hat, kriegt noch geschenkt.
Mutter schenkte Euch das Leben.
Das genügt, wenn man’s bedenkt.
Einmal kommt auch eure Zeit.
Morgen ist’s noch nicht soweit.

Doch ihr dürft nicht traurig werden.
Reiche haben Armut gern.
Gänsebraten macht Beschwerden.
Puppen sind nicht mehr modern.
Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann.
Allerdings nur nebenan.

Lauft ein bisschen durch die Straßen!
Dort gibt’s Weihnachtsfest genug.
Christentum, vom Turm geblasen,
macht die kleinsten Kinder klug.
Kopf gut schütteln vor Gebrauch!
Ohne Christbaum geht es auch.

Tannengrün mit Osrambirnen –
Lernt drauf pfeifen! Werdet stolz!
Reißt die Bretter von den Stirnen,
denn im Ofen fehlt’s an Holz!
Stille Nacht und heil’ge Nacht –
Weint, wenn’s geht, nicht! Sondern lacht!

Morgen, Kinder, wird’s nichts geben!
Wer nichts kriegt, der kriegt Geduld!
Morgen, Kinder, lernt fürs Leben!
Gott ist nicht allein dran schuld.
Gottes Güte reicht so weit …
Ach, du liebe Weihnachtszeit!

- Erich Kästner


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Dec 23 15:28
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Phlegethon
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Post: #64
RE: Post a Poem
Du mußt steigen oder sinken,
Du mußt herrschen und gewinnen,
Oder dienen und verlieren,
Leiden oder triumphieren,
Amboß oder Hammer sein.


- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


You must rise or fall,
you must reign and win,
or serve and lose,
suffer or triumph,
be anvil or hammer.


- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Dec 23 16:40
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Phlegethon
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Post: #65
RE: Post a Poem
The Hound of Heaven

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbéd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
“All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.”

I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,
Yet was I sore adread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside.)
But, if one little casement parted wide,
The gust of His approach would clash it to:
Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars:
Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;
With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over
From this tremendous Lover—
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
The long savannahs of the blue;
Or whether, Thunder-driven,
They clanged his chariot ’thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o’ their feet:—
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Still with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbéd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following Feet,
And a Voice above their beat—
“Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.”

I sought no more that after which I strayed
In face of man or maid;
But still within the little children’s eyes
Seems something, something that replies,
They at least are for me, surely for me!
I turned me to them very wistfully;
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair
With dawning answers there,
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
“Come then, ye other children, Nature’s—share
With me” (said I) “your delicate fellowship;
Let me greet you lip to lip,
Let me twine you with caresses,
Wantoning
With our Lady-Mother’s vagrant tresses,
Banqueting
With her in her wind-walled palace,
Underneath her azured dais,
Quaffing, as your taintless way is,
From a chalice
Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring.”
So it was done:
I in their delicate fellowship was one—
Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies.
I knew all the swift importings
On the wilful face of skies;
I knew how the clouds arise
Spuméd of the wild sea-snortings;
All that’s born or dies
Rose and drooped with; made them shapers
Of mine own moods, or wailful or divine;
With them joyed and was bereaven.
I was heavy with the even,
When she lit her glimmering tapers
Round the day’s dead sanctities.
I laughed in the morning’s eyes.
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,
Heaven and I wept together,
And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart
I laid my own to beat,
And share commingling heat;
But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.
For ah! we know not what each other says,
These things and I; in sound I speak—
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;
Let her, if she would owe me,
Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me
The breasts o’ her tenderness:
Never did any milk of hers once bless
My thirsting mouth.
Nigh and nigh draws the chase,
With unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;
And past those noised Feet
A voice comes yet more fleet—
“Lo! naught contents thee, who content’st not Me.”

Naked I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,
And smitten me to my knee;
I am defenceless utterly.
I slept, methinks, and woke,
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers,
I shook the pillaring hours
And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,
I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years—
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
Yea, faileth now even dream
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist.
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account
For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.
Ah! is Thy love indeed
A weed, albeit an amaranthine weed,
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?
Ah! must—
Designer infinite!—
Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou can’st limn with it?
My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust;
And now my heart is as a broken fount,
Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever
From the dank thoughts that shiver
Upon the sighful branches of my mind.
Such is; what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity;
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpséd turrets slowly wash again.
But not ere him who summoneth
I first have seen, enwound
With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;
His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.
Whether man’s heart or life it be which yields
Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields
Be dunged with rotten death?

Now of that long pursuit
Comes on at hand the bruit;
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
“And is thy earth so marred,
Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!
Strange, piteous, futile thing!
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught” (He said),
“And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited—
Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!”
Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
“Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.”

Francis Thompson (1859-1907)


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2013 Jan 04 14:48
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Phlegethon
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Post: #66
RE: Post a Poem
Wer weiß wo?

by Detlev von Liliencron

Auf Blut und Leichen, Schutt und Qualm,
Auf rosszerstampften Sommerhalm
Die Sonne schien.
Es sank die Nacht. Die Schlacht ist aus,
Und mancher kehrte nicht nach Haus
Einst von Kolin

Ein Junker auch, ein Knabe noch,
Der heut das erste Pulver roch,
Er musste dahin.
Wie hoch er auch die Fahne schwang,
Der Tod in seinen Arm ihn zwang,
Er musste dahin.

Ihm nahe lag ein frommes Buch,
Das stets der Junker bei sich trug,
Am Degenknauf.
Ein Grenadier von Bevern fand
Den kleinen erdbeschmutzten Band
Und hob ihn auf.

Und brachte heim mit schnellem Fuß
Dem Vater diesen letzten Gruß,
Der klang nicht froh.
Dann schrieb hinein die Zitterhand:
"Kolin. Mein Sohn verscharrt im Sand.
Wer weiß wo."

Und der gesungen dieses Lied,
Und der es liest, im Leben zieht
Noch frisch und froh.
Doch einst bin ich, und bist auch du
Verscharrt im Sand, zur ewigen Ruh,
Wer weiß wo.



Who knows where?

Over rubble and smoke, blood and corpses,
A winter landscape, trodden down by horses,
The sun is shining.
The night is at an end,
And many did not return again
From Kolin.

A nobleman, only a lad
Smelt his first powder today, and was glad;
He had to go.
Although he kept the standard raised on high
Death took him by the hand, led him to die.
He had to go.

A holy book lay by the boy,
His constant joy,
Lay by his sword-hilt.
A grenadier from Bevern found
The small, stained volume on the ground
Where it lay spilt.

Then swiftly to the father brought
This last farewell that silence caught
In loud despair,
And wrote with trembling hand:
'Kolin. My son, buried in sand.
who knows where?'

And he who sang this song
And he who reads it, both are strong,
Life blooming fair.
Soon you and I shall die,
At peace within the ground shall lie,
And who knows where?


translation by Michael FitzGerald


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2013 Feb 02 21:28
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Phlegethon
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Post: #67
RE: Post a Poem
Death the Leveller

by James Shirley (1596-1666)


The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against Fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and Crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill:
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds!
Upon Death's purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds.
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb:
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2013 Feb 02 21:46
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Aemma
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Post: #68
RE: Post a Poem
THE LAST PICTURE IN THE WORLD

Al Purdy

From: Beyond Remembering - The collected poems of Al Purdy. 2000.

A hunched grey shape
framed by leaves
with lake water behind
standing on our
little point of land
like a small monk
in a green monastery
meditating

almost sculpture
except that it's alive
brooding immobile permanent
for half an hour
a blue heron
and it occurs to me
that if I were to die at this moment
that picture would accompany me
wherever I am going
for part of the way
2013 Feb 04 04:48
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Morsüre
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Post: #69
RE: Post a Poem
Ozymandias (By Shelley)

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown

And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear:

`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away".

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me..."

Paul Atreides, son of Duke Leto the Just (Cycle of Dune)
2013 Feb 04 17:38
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W. R.
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Post: #70
RE: Post a Poem



[...] just as it is not left unto us to choose our ancestors, so we may not choose our nation; we can only fulfil, or not fulfil, the obligations that come from being a member of our people’.
© Dr. Jan Stankievič ‘From the History of Belarus’

[Image: now.jpg]
2013 Feb 10 23:04
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