View Full Version : Favourite Poems

tony draper
22nd Apr 2013, 19:23
We int had any for a while.:)
Here's a gudun by a Podlonian,EJ James.

've Got Bad News.
THEY stitched him up in his canvas shirt
As stiff as a frozen board;
They sewed pig lead at his feet an' head
And they sloshed him overboard.
The Old Man hadn't a conscience,
Exceptin' his wheel and chart,
He pulled on sight, and his aim was right.
For he shot him through the heart!
His girl she waits in Grosvenor Street
That's hard by Sydney Quay
His girl she waits in Grosvenor Street
This two long year waits she
And 'er heart may weep, but he's sleepin' deep
In the North Atlantic Sea
He shipped with a Nova-Scotia man
Last time that
ever he signed;
His cash was spent and 'er sails was bent,
And he was drunk and blind,—
A man must take what he can get,
There's plenty of men to spare,
With Danes and Swedes and the Dago breeds,
And ships go everywhere.
He laid his hand to a marlin'spike—
Oh, he was a man to know!
And the deck ran red where he fell and bled,
But he shouldn't 'ave acted so.
His blood was up and the threat came free;
But the high seas have their ways,
And that was the end of
a lover and friend,
And these are “the better days.”
'T is round and round, as the world goes round,
With a civil tongue in your 'ead;
'T is “do as you're told,”
though you're starved and cold
An' bitterly driven an' led,
'T is to and fro as you sign and go
Till Death he crosses your hawse;
You're stinted and worn, you're tattered and torn.
But the Owners make the laws.

22nd Apr 2013, 19:36
and the tone was lowered straight away.........

The sexual life of the Camel
Is stranger than anyone thinks
At the height of the mating season
He tries to bugger the Sphinx

But the Sphinxes posterior sphincter
Is all clogged by the sans of the Nile
Which accounts for the hump on the Camel
And the Sphinxes inscrutable smile

22nd Apr 2013, 19:42
Why do that, Vulcanised? :hmm::hmm:

Drapes' musings and poems have far more class than anything you might post!

tony draper
22nd Apr 2013, 20:08
The People of the Gates.
THE Great God sate in His council
On the arch of a rainbow span,
With the white Archangel Michael
And Peter the Fisherman.
In the court of Anointed Martyrs,
In the place of the Shining Host,
He spake, with the Voice of Voices,
A speech of the Holy Ghost:—
“I will portion the lands to my peoples,
The Earth will I share them anew,
To hold with the bowstring and powder,
To keep with the marrow and thew;
And they that are str
ong shall be stronger,
And they that are weak—let them go!
For this is the Word of My Father,
And I have uttered it so.”
The Great God called to His peoples;
The breath of the Spirit's mouth,
It shifted them outward and onward,
It scattered them north and south.
The hail and the frost behind them,
With Hunger and Death to fare,
They marched in the track of the Eagle,
They came in the trail of the Bear.
Then the harp of the Angel sounded
The song of the Nation's feet,
And the battle hymns of the peoples
Came up to the Council seat.
But out from his place stood Peter:
“O Lord, if my speaking please,
Thou hast given the lands to the peoples,
But what wilt Thou do with the Seas?”
But simply the Lord made answer:
“It was even the same with thee
When thou stood'st in the Hall of Pilate,
Three times denying me!
Behold how the lands are portioned,
To each as he liketh best;
But here be a little people
Have taken the Isles of the West.
“The others have c
hosen and tarried,
And he that is weak let him fall;
The others shall take from each other,
But these they shall take from them all!
For strong in the thew and the marrow,
And richer in daring be these;
Their neighbours have gotten the places,
But they have gotten the Seas!
“The others have
builded and waited,
But these will abide by their keels,
To set on the heels of the oceans
The empire and sign of their seals.
Let theirs be the ri
ght of the waters,
Let theirs be the keys of the straits,
For they are a hardy people
Who sit at the Western gates!”
Thus spake the Lord in his Council,
In the Hall of the shining Host,
Who spake with a Voice of Voices
The speech of the Holy Ghost,
That they who were strong shall be stronger,
That they who we
re little should grow,
Still holding the Seas in their keeping:
Our Lord He hath written it so

22nd Apr 2013, 20:43
Alfred Edward Housman

A Shropshire Lad XIX:
To an Athlete Dying Young

The time you won your town the race,
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.

22nd Apr 2013, 20:49
One which draws a tear everytime:

Plt Off John Gillespie Magee Jr, RCAF
"High Flight"

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

I drive the A15 between his crash-site and his grave every day.
Ronald Reagan paraphrased it in his address to the nation after the Challenger Disaster in 1986 (speech written by Peggy Noonan, WSJ - ranked as one of the ten best American political speeches of the 20th century):

"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey, and waved goodbye, and slipped the surly bonds of Earth, to touch the face of God"

22nd Apr 2013, 21:22
Why do that, Vulcanised?

Yeh Vulc where d'ya think y'ar? Jet Blast or somethin'?

(I must remember that camel poem :))

22nd Apr 2013, 21:30
Here's a gudun by a Podlonian,EJ James.
Is that she of 50 shades?

22nd Apr 2013, 21:40
For Slasher:

Gentlemen will please refrain
From urinating while the train
Is standing in the station in full view
Tramps and hoboes underneath
Will catch it in their nose and teeth
And they won't like it, how the f**k would you?

Newlyweds whilst in this carriage
Do not consummate your marriage
While the train is standing here at Crewe
Kindly hold this natural function
Till you get to Clapham Junction
Where you'll find there's f**k all else to do.

Solid Rust Twotter
23rd Apr 2013, 06:08
One enjoys the musings of Mr Kipling.

"When you're wounded and lying on Afghanistan's plains
And the women come out to cut up what remains
Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
And go to your god like a soldier..."

23rd Apr 2013, 07:09
Agree about Kipling. I found this inspiring the first time I read it at school. Still do.

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

tony draper
23rd Apr 2013, 07:44
"I wish I was a glow worm,
A glow worm's never glum
'Cos how can you be grumpy,
When the sun shines oot yer bum?"

Capt Casper
23rd Apr 2013, 07:46
I've enjoyed this for a long time now.

The Calf-Path

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then two hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bell-wether sheep
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-wethers always do.

And from that day, o’er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made;
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ‘twas such a crooked path.
But still they followed -- do not laugh --
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.
The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street,
And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare;
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed the zigzag calf about;
And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah! many things this tale might teach --
But I am not ordained to preach.

Sam Walter Foss

23rd Apr 2013, 08:28
This one is my favourite -

There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night
Ten to make and the match to win
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

The sand of the desert is sodden red,
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks,
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

This is the word that year by year
While in her place the School is set
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

Sir Henry Newbolt

23rd Apr 2013, 08:36
One of my fav's :

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

23rd Apr 2013, 08:38
And another:

OFT, in the stilly night,
Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
Of other days around me:
The smiles, the tears
Of boyhood's years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone,
Now dimm'd and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken!
Thus, in the stilly night,
Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

When I remember all
The friends, so link'd together,
I've seen around me fall
Like leaves in wintry weather,
I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed!
Thus, in the stilly night,
Ere slumber's chain has bound me.
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

Lon More
23rd Apr 2013, 08:45
Family legend claims this was an ancestor.

THE king sits in Dumferling toune,
Drinking the blude-reid wine:
"0 whar will I get a skeely sailor,
To sail this schip of mine?"

Up and spak an eldern knicht,
Sat at the kings richt kne:
"Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
That sails upon the se."

The king has written a braid [open] letter
And signed it wi' his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
Was walking on the sand.

The first line that Sir Patrick red,
A loud lauch lauched he:
The next line that Sir Patrick red,
The teir blinded his ee.

"0 wha is this has don this deid,
This ill deid don to me;
To send me out this time o' the yeir
To sail upon the se?

"Mak haste, mak haste, my mirry men all,
Our guid schip sails the morne."
"0 say na sae, my master deir,
For I feir a deadlie storme.

"Late, late yestreen I saw the new moone
Wi' the auld moone in hir arme;
And I feir, I feir, my deir master,
That we will com to harme."

O our Scots nobles wer richt laith [loth]
To weet [wet] their cork-heild schoone;
Bot lang owre a' the play wer playd,
Their hats they swam aboone.

O lang, may their ladies sit
Wi' thair fans into their hand,
Or eir they se Sir Patrick Spens
Cum sailing to the land.

O lang, lang may the ladies stand
Wi' thair gold kems in their hair,
Waiting for thair ain deir lords,
For they'll se thame na mair.

Have owre, have owre to Aberdour,
It's fiftie fadom deip:
And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spens,
Wi' the Scots lords at his feit.

23rd Apr 2013, 08:51
Here's a favourite from an American poet, Walt Whitman.

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and
measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much
applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

23rd Apr 2013, 08:51
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,--
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

William Shakespeare, "King Richard II", Act 2 scene 1


tony draper
23rd Apr 2013, 08:56
Through the travail of the ages,
Midst the pomp and toil of war,
Have I fought and strove and perished
Countless times upon this star.

In the form of many people
In all panoplies of time
Have I seen the luring vision
Of the Victory Maid, sublime.

I have battled for fresh mammoth,
I have warred for pastures new,
I have listed to the whispers
When the race trek instinct grew.

I have known the call to battle
In each changeless changing shape
From the high souled voice of conscience
To the beastly lust for rape.

I have sinned and I have suffered,
Played the hero and the knave;
Fought for belly, shame, or country,
And for each have found a grave.

I cannot name my battles
For the visions are not clear,
Yet, I see the twisted faces
And I feel the rending spear.

Perhaps I stabbed our Savior
In His sacred helpless side.
Yet, I've called His name in blessing
When after times I died.

In the dimness of the shadows
Where we hairy heathens warred,
I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
We used teeth before the sword.

While in later clearer vision
I can sense the coppery sweat,
Feel the pikes grow wet and slippery
When our Phalanx, Cyrus met.

Hear the rattle of the harness
Where the Persian darts bounced clear,
See their chariots wheel in panic
From the Hoplite's leveled spear.

See the goal grow monthly longer,
Reaching for the walls of Tyre.
Hear the crash of tons of granite,
Smell the quenchless eastern fire.

Still more clearly as a Roman,
Can I see the Legion close,
As our third rank moved in forward
And the short sword found our foes.

Once again I feel the anguish
Of that blistering treeless plain
When the Parthian showered death bolts,
And our discipline was in vain.

I remember all the suffering
Of those arrows in my neck.
Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage
As I died upon my back.

Once again I smell the heat sparks
When my Flemish plate gave way
And the lance ripped through my entrails
As on Crecy's field I lay.

In the windless, blinding stillness
Of the glittering tropic sea
I can see the bubbles rising
Where we set the captives free.

Midst the spume of half a tempest
I have heard the bulwarks go
When the crashing, point blank round shot
Sent destruction to our foe.

I have fought with gun and cutlass
On the red and slippery deck
With all Hell aflame within me
And a rope around my neck.

And still later as a General
Have I galloped with Murat
When we laughed at death and numbers
Trusting in the Emperor's Star.

Till at last our star faded,
And we shouted to our doom
Where the sunken road of Ohein
Closed us in it's quivering gloom.

So but now with Tanks a'clatter
Have I waddled on the foe
Belching death at twenty paces,
By the star shell's ghastly glow.

So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me.

And I see not in my blindness
What the objects were I wrought,
But as God rules o'er our bickerings
It was through His will I fought.

So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore,
Dying to be born a fighter,
But to die again, once more

George C Patton

23rd Apr 2013, 09:18
Thanks ExRAFRadar, I’d have posted that if you hadn’t

Here’s the love poem to beat all love poems

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Lon More
23rd Apr 2013, 10:14
Otamatic pump

Solid Rust Twotter
23rd Apr 2013, 13:38
What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.

But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.

No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.

God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me

For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'

Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

23rd Apr 2013, 20:33
From the sublime to the gorblimey

Children's picturebooks

John's in the garden playing goodies and baddies,
Jane's in her room playing mummies and daddies,
Mum's in the kitchen, washing and wiping,
Dad's in his study, stereotyping.

Roger McGough (from memory)

Solid Rust Twotter - are you an Olivier man or a Branagh man? Olivier for me every time.

23rd Apr 2013, 21:05
I took a contract to bury the body
Of blasphemous Bill MacKie,
Whenever, wherever or whatsoever
The manner of death he die --
Whether he die in the light o' day
Or under the peak-faced moon;
In cabin or dance-hall, camp or dive,
Mucklucks or patent shoon;
On velvet tundra or virgin peak,
By glacier, drift or draw;
In muskeg hollow or canyon gloom,
By avalanche, fang or claw;
By battle, murder or sudden wealth,
By pestilence, hooch or lead --
I swore on the Book I would follow and look
Till I found my tombless dead.

For Bill was a dainty kind of cuss,
And his mind was mighty sot
On a dinky patch with flowers and grass
In a civilized bone-yard lot.
And where he died or how he died,
It didn't matter a damn
So long as he had a grave with frills
And a tombstone "epigram".
So I promised him, and he paid the price
In good cheechako coin
(Which the same I blowed in that very night
Down in the Tenderloin).
Then I painted a three-foot slab of pine:
"Here lies poor Bill MacKie",
And I hung it up on my cabin wall
And I waited for Bill to die.

Years passed away, and at last one day
Came a squaw with a story strange,
Of a long-deserted line of traps
'Way back of the Bighorn range;
Of a little hut by the great divide,
And a white man stiff and still,
Lying there by his lonesome self,
And I figured it must be Bill.
So I thought of the contract I'd made with him,
And I took down from the shelf
The swell black box with the silver plate
He'd picked out for hisself;
And I packed it full of grub and "hooch",
And I slung it on the sleigh;
Then I harnessed up my team of dogs
And was off at dawn of day.

You know what it's like in the Yukon wild
When it's sixty-nine below;
When the ice-worms wriggle their purple heads
Through the crust of the pale blue snow;
When the pine-trees crack like little guns
In the silence of the wood,
And the icicles hang down like tusks
Under the parka hood;
When the stove-pipe smoke breaks sudden off,
And the sky is weirdly lit,
And the careless feel of a bit of steel
Burns like a red-hot spit;
When the mercury is a frozen ball,
And the frost-fiend stalks to kill --
Well, it was just like that that day when I
Set out to look for Bill.

Oh, the awful hush that seemed to crush
Me down on every hand,
As I blundered blind with a trail to find
Through that blank and bitter land;
Half dazed, half crazed in the winter wild,
With its grim heart-breaking woes,
And the ruthless strife for a grip on life
That only the sourdough knows!
North by the compass, North I pressed;
River and peak and plain
Passed like a dream I slept to lose
And I waked to dream again.

River and plain and mighty peak --
And who could stand unawed?
As their summits blazed, he could stand undazed
At the foot of the throne of God.
North, aye, North, through a land accurst,
Shunned by the scouring brutes,
And all I heard was my own harsh word
And the whine of the malamutes,
Till at last I came to a cabin squat,
Built in the side of a hill,
And I burst in the door, and there on the floor,
Frozen to death, lay Bill.

Ice, white ice, like a winding-sheet,
Sheathing each smoke-grimed wall;
Ice on the stove-pipe, ice on the bed,
Ice gleaming over all;
Sparkling ice on the dead man's chest,
Glittering ice in his hair,
Ice on his fingers, ice in his heart,
Ice in his glassy stare;
Hard as a log and trussed like a frog,
With his arms and legs outspread.
I gazed at the coffin I'd brought for him,
And I gazed at the gruesome dead,
And at last I spoke: "Bill liked his joke;
But still, goldarn his eyes,
A man had ought to consider his mates
In the way he goes and dies."

Have you ever stood in an Arctic hut
In the shadow of the Pole,
With a little coffin six by three
And a grief you can't control?
Have you ever sat by a frozen corpse
That looks at you with a grin,
And that seems to say: "You may try all day,
But you'll never jam me in"?
I'm not a man of the quitting kind,
But I never felt so blue
As I sat there gazing at that stiff
And studying what I'd do.
Then I rose and I kicked off the husky dogs
That were nosing round about,
And I lit a roaring fire in the stove,
And I started to thaw Bill out.

Well, I thawed and thawed for thirteen days,
But it didn't seem no good;
His arms and legs stuck out like pegs,
As if they was made of wood.
Till at last I said: "It ain't no use --
He's froze too hard to thaw;
He's obstinate, and he won't lie straight,
So I guess I got to -- saw."
So I sawed off poor Bill's arms and legs,
And I laid him snug and straight
In the little coffin he picked hisself,
With the dinky silver plate;
And I came nigh near to shedding a tear
As I nailed him safely down;
Then I stowed him away in my Yukon sleigh,
And I started back to town.

So I buried him as the contract was
In a narrow grave and deep,
And there he's waiting the Great Clean-up,
When the Judgment sluice-heads sweep;
And I smoke my pipe and I meditate
In the light of the Midnight Sun,
And sometimes I wonder if they was,
The awful things I done.
And as I sit and the parson talks,
Expounding of the Law,
I often think of poor old Bill --
And how hard he was to saw.

23rd Apr 2013, 21:11
Not strictly poetry this but certainly Poetic. Dylan Thomas in his pomp.

The opening lines from Under Milk Wood. I love it.

To begin at the beginning...
It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible black. The cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’ and rabbits’ wood, limping invisibly down to the sloe black, slow, black, crow black, fishing boat-bobbing sea.
The houses are blind as moles, though moles see fine tonight in the snouting, velvet dingles, or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widow’s weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.
Hush the babies are sleeping, the farmers, the fishers, the tradesmen and pensioners, cobbler, schoolteacher, postman and publican, the undertaker and the fancy woman, drunkard, dressmaker, preacher policeman, the webfoot cockle women and the tidy wives.
Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams with rings and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glow-worms down the aisles of the organ-playing wood.
The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of the night and the jollyrodgered sea.
And the anthracite statues of the horses sleep in the fields, and the cows in the byres, and the dogs in the wet-nosed yards; and the cats nap in the slant corners or lope sly, streaking and needling on the one cloud of the roofs.
You can hear the dew falling and the hushed town breathing.

Only your eyes are unclosed to see the black and folded town, fast and slow asleep. And you alone can hear the invisible starfall, the darkest-before dawn minutely dewgrazed stir of the black dab-filled sea where the Arethusa, the Curlew and the Skylark, Zanzibar, Rhianon, the Rover, the Cormorant, and the Star of Wales tilt and ride.
Listen. It is night moving in the streets, the processional salt slow musical wind in Coronation Street and Cockle Row, it is the grass growing on Llaregyb Hill, dewfall, starfall, the sleep of birds in Milk Wood.
Listen... It is night in the chill, squat chapel, hymning in bonnet and brooch and bombazine black, butterfly choker and bootlace bow, coughing like nanny goats, sucking mintoes, fortywinking hallelujah; night in the four-ale quiet as a domino; in Ocky Milkman’s lofts like a mouse with gloves; in Dai Bread’s bakery flying like black flour.
It is tonight in Donkey Street trotting silent with seaweed on its hooves, along the cockled cobbles, past curtained fernpot, text and trinket, harmonium, holy dresser, water colours done by hand, china dog, rosy tin tea caddy.
It is night neddying among the snuggeries of babies.
Look. It is night, dumbly, royally winding through the Coronation cherry trees; going through the graveyard of Bethesda with winds gloved and folded, and dew doffed; tumbling by the Sailors Arms.
Time passes. Listen. Time passes.

tony draper
23rd Apr 2013, 21:50
You can hear Burton speak those very words here,great stuff.

24th Apr 2013, 08:15
Piggy :D:D:D

Brought a tear to my eye

24th Apr 2013, 10:56
And the voice of Zima Junction spoke to me and this is what it said.
“I live quietly and crack nuts.
I gently steam with engines.
But not without reflection on these times,
These modern times, my loving meditation.
Don’t worry, yours is no unique condition,
your type of search and conflict and construction,
don’t worry if you have no answer ready
to the lasting question
Hold out, meditate, listen.
Explore. Explore. Travel the world over.
Count happiness connatural to the mind
more than truth is, and yet no truth to exist without it.
Walk with a cold pride
utterly ahead
wild attentive eyes
head flicked by the rain-wet
green needles of the pine,
eyelashes that shine with tears and with thunders.
Love people.
Love entertains it’s own discrimination.
Have me in mind, I shall be watching
You can return to me.
Now go”

I went, and I am still going.

Last stanzas of ‘Zima Junction’
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Levi and Milner-Gulland translation

24th Apr 2013, 22:21
Thank you for posting "High Flight", unclenelli. I had heard the phrase "slip the surly bonds of Earth" and "touch the face of God" before, but didn't know it was from a poem. Very beautiful, indeed.

According to the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/yorkslincs/series11/week7_poem_flying.shtml), some seem to believe the poem might have been inspired by symptoms of hypoxia, which is perhaps not too far-fetched.

Anyway, here's the best recitation of the poem I could find on Youtube. Normally, I do not particularly like poetry with music in the background, because I think well written verse doesn't need such distraction. In this case, though, the pictures of the Starfighter make up for this minor snag.


24th Apr 2013, 22:43
Not a bad F104 vid hvogt but I only ever get
that "surly bonds of earth" feeling in a Tiger -


24th Apr 2013, 22:55
One thing that one should never forget about the JB brigade is that some of them are sensitive souls... ;)

"She is so beguiling
That when she beckons
I can run a mile
In twenty seconds."


Loose rivets
25th Apr 2013, 06:14
Yes, but in which direction?:ooh:

25th Apr 2013, 06:40
Strange Meeting

By Wilfred Owen (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/wilfred-owen)

It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
"Strange friend," I said, "Here is no cause to mourn."
"None," said the other, "Save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something has been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now ...

25th Apr 2013, 08:11
Just a few of the 75 verses in Fitzgerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.

Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
"Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted--"Open then the Door!
"You know how little while we have to stay,
"And, once departed, may return no more."

Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly---and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse
---and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness
--- And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd---
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Solid Rust Twotter
25th Apr 2013, 08:17
Prefer the Olivier version, Mr TTN.

Mr Scotbill, Sir Spike Milligna's reply to the first verse of the Rubaiyyat, upon being woken by Edgington quoting it at him to wake him from a deep slumber, was the classic "Bollocks!"

25th Apr 2013, 09:13
Mr Scotbill, Sir Spike Milligna's reply to the first verse of the Rubaiyyat, upon being woken by Edgington quoting it at him to wake him from a deep slumber, was the classic "Bollocks!" The copilots I inflicted it on as the sun rose in their eyes after a night oceanic probably felt much the same.
But many of the verses might be useful justification for the odd Pprune drinker.

(There might even be more than one odd Pprune drinker)

Worrals in the wilds
25th Apr 2013, 09:38
Richard II, 3:2.
Many modern pollies would do well to read it.

KING RICHARD II No matter where; of comfort no man speak:
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,
Let's choose executors and talk of wills:
And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?

Our lands, our lives and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own but death
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.

For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
How some have been deposed; some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poison'd by their wives: some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear'd and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!

Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want,
Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
How can you say to me, I am a king?

25th Apr 2013, 10:09
The missus bought a Paperback,
down Shepton Mallet way,
I had a look inside her bag;
... ... ... T'was "Fifty Shades of Grey".
Well I just left her to it,
And at ten I went to bed.
An hour later she appeared;
The sight filled me with dread...
In her left she held a rope;
And in her right a whip!
She threw them down upon the floor,
And then began to strip.
Well fifty years or so ago;
I might have had a peek;
But Mabel hasn't weathered well;
She's eighty four next week!!
Watching Mabel bump and grind;
Could not have been much grimmer.
And things then went from bad to worse;
She toppled off her Zimmer!
She struggled back upon her feet;
A couple minutes later;
She put her teeth back in and said
I am a dominater !!
Now if you knew our Mabel,
You'd see just why I spluttered,
I'd spent two months in traction
For the last complaint I'd uttered.
She stood there nude and naked
Bent forward just a bit
I went to hold her, sensual like
and stood on her left tit!
Mabel screamed, her teeth shot out;
My god what had I done!?
She moaned and groaned then shouted out:
"Step on the other one"!!
Well readers, I can't tell no more;
About what occurred that day.
Suffice to say my jet black hair,
Turned fifty shades of grey

tony draper
25th Apr 2013, 10:17
Always liked this wee one,

High up in the north, in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock.
It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide.
Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak.
When the rock has thus been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by.

Found it many years ago them lost it then tracked it down again
Dunno who wrote it

25th Apr 2013, 10:41
"Hold ye up laddie...
I see there's been some pushin'
By the imprints on the cushion
And the toe marks on the sofa upside down.
Since you've come between us
I wish you'd marry Venus
And stop the silly gossip in the town!"

"O to be truest sir...
There has been some pushin'
By the imprints on the cushion
And there's toe marks on the sofa upside down.
Since I've met your Venus
I've had trouble with my penis
And wish I'd never seen yer fcukin' town!"

- Author unknown.

B Fraser
25th Apr 2013, 11:30
On yonder hill there stood a coo
It must hae gone as it's nae there noo !

25th Apr 2013, 11:40
FOR THE FALLEN - Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

31st Oct 2013, 11:17


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

31st Oct 2013, 11:57
Those long uneven lines
Standing as patiently
As if they were stretched
The Oval or Villa Park.

The crowns of hats, the sun
On moustached archaic faces
Grinning as if it were all
An August Bank Holiday lark.


Philip Larkin.

tony draper
31st Oct 2013, 12:41
In prison cell I sadly sit,
A d__d crest-fallen chappie!
And own to you I feel a bit-
A little bit - unhappy!

It really ain't the place nor time
To reel off rhyming diction -
But yet we'll write a final rhyme
Whilst waiting cru-ci-fixion!

No matter what "end" they decide -
Quick-lime or "b'iling ile," sir?
We'll do our best when crucified
To finish off in style, sir!

But we bequeath a parting tip
For sound advice of such men,
Who come across in transport ship
To polish off the Dutchmen!

If you encounter any Boers
You really must not loot 'em!
And if you wish to leave these shores,
For pity's sake, DON'T SHOOT 'EM!!

And if you'd earn a D.S.O.,
Why every British sinner
Should know the proper way to go

Let's toss a bumper down our throat, -
Before we pass to Heaven,
And toast: "The trim-set petticoat
We leave behind in Devon."


31st Oct 2013, 12:53
Roundabouts and Swings

It was early last September nigh to Framlin'am-on-Sea,
An' 'twas Fair-day come to-morrow, an' the time was after tea,
An' I met a painted caravan adown a dusty lane,
A Pharaoh with his waggons comin' jolt an' creak an' strain;
A cheery cove an' sunburnt, bold o' eye and wrinkled up,
An' beside him on the splashboard sat a brindled tarrier pup,
An' a lurcher wise as Solomon an' lean as fiddle-strings
Was joggin' in the dust along 'is roundabouts and swings.

"Goo'-day," said 'e; "Goo'-day," said I; "an' 'ow d'you find things go,
An' what's the chance o' millions when you runs a travellin' show?"
"I find," said 'e, "things very much as 'ow I've always found,
For mostly they goes up and down or else goes round and round."
Said 'e, "The job's the very spit o' what it always were,
It's bread and bacon mostly when the dog don't catch a 'are;
But lookin' at it broad, an' while it ain't no merchant king's,
What's lost upon the roundabouts we pulls up on the swings!"

"Goo' luck," said 'e; "Goo' luck," said I; "you've put it past a doubt;
An' keep that lurcher on the road, the gamekeepers is out."
'E thumped upon the footboard an' 'e lumbered on again
To meet a gold-dust sunset down the owl-light in the lane;
An' the moon she climbed the 'azels, while a night-jar seemed to spin
That Pharaoh's wisdom o'er again, 'is sooth of lose-and-win;
For "up an' down an' round," said 'e, "goes all appointed things,
An' losses on the roundabouts means profits on the swings!"

31st Oct 2013, 12:56

Your #9 can be sung to the tune of Dvorak's 'Humoresque'....

Further verse is

'Please refrain from defecation
While the train is in the station.
Ask a porter, he will tell you where to go.
It makes the station master weep
To see the steaming little heap
Beside and in between the railway lines."

31st Oct 2013, 15:15
With Remembrance Day coming up, I think it's time for some good old WW1 Aussie Diggers sardonic humour ...

Tom Skeyhill biography: Biography - Thomas John Skeyhill - Australian Dictionary of Biography (http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/skeyhill-thomas-john-8444)

SHRAPNEL - By Tom Skeyhill

I was sittin’ in me dug-out,
An’ was feelin’ dinkum good,
Chewin’ Queensland bully beef,
An’ biscuits ’ard as wood.

Me dixie was full up with tea,
It wasn’t lady’s brand;
But there ain’t no tea plantations,
In this bloomin’ ’eathen land.

I was just about to ’ave a drink,
An’ was thinkin’ of the day
When we used to sink the pints,
An’ bust up all our pay,

When, BOOM! I nearly choked meself,
I spilt me bloomin’ tea;
I saw about a million stars,
An’ me dug-out fell on me.

They dug me out with picks and spades,
I felt an awful wreck;
By that bloomin’ Turkish shrapnel,
I was buried to the neck.

Me mouth was full of bully beef,
Me eyes were full of dust;
I rose up to me bloomin’ feet,
An’ shook me fist an’ cussed.

A Sergeant says, “You’re lucky, lad,
It might ’ave got your ’ead;
You ought to thank your lucky stars!”
I says, “Well, strike me dead.”

Some bloomin’ Turk gunlayer,
’Ad slapped that shell at me;
’E spoilt me Queensland bully,
An’ spilt me bloomin’ tea.

’E smashed me bally dug-out,
An’ buried all me kit;
I swore if I reached “Connie”,
I’d revenge that little bit.

I was walkin’ to the water barge,
Along the busy shore,
An’ was listenin’ to the Maxims bark
An’ our Big Lizzie’s roar;

I could see that khaki cluster,
Around the water tap,
An’ was kiddin’ I was ’ome and dried,
When down comes the bloomin’ shrap.

I ’eard a loud explosion,
Above me bally ’ead,
An’ a bloke, not ten yards distant,
Flopped sudden down—stone dead.

’Ave you ever seen a tiger snake,
A-dartin’ from its coil?
’Ave you ever seen the brown fox,
A-dashin’ through the toil?

’Ave you ever seen the lightnin’,
When it flashes all around?
Well, they were slow beside me,
As I flattened to the ground!

I crawled be’ind some boxes,
But got an awful scare,
When a shell lobbed fair among ’em,
An’ there was timber in the air.

I crawled from out the debris,
An’ lay pantin’ in the sand;
Then I cussed the Turkish shrapnel,
And every Turk upon the land.

But when they knocked off firin’,
An’ I’d recovered from me fear,
I started for the trenches,
Like a bloomin’ prairie deer.

I’ve ’ad some narrow shaves, but that
’Ad fairly took the peach;
I bet I’d rather die o’ thirst,
Than risk that Shrapnel Beach.

We were sittin’ in the firin’ line
A-playin’ Auction Bridge,
As we took a spell from fightin’
Just in front of Walker’s Ridge,

When a shell burst on the parapet—
It made us feel quite ill.
The sentry on look-out says,
“One over to ‘Beachy Bill.’ ”

We scattered just like rabbits,
An’ lay along the sap,
Then when we got our scattered wits
We cussed the bloomin’ “shrap.”

We cussed it when it busted,
A yard or so outside;
We cussed it when it missed us,
A ’undred yards out wide.

With shrapnel an’ with cusses
The air was pretty thick,
With oaths an’ sand an’ bullets,
That’d make a navvy sick.

A captain crawled up swearing,
His oaths were worse than “Damn;”
When a shell case clipped ’is ’ead off,
An’ the sentry says, “Grand Slam!”

It’s always bloomin’ shrapnel
Wherever you may be,
A-sittin’ in yer dug-out,
Or bathin’ in the sea.

If in support you’re lyin’,
Fightin’ in the firin’ line,
Or sleepin’ in reserve,
You’ll catch it every time.

Shrapnel and Deadman’s Gully,
At Courtney’s Post, and Quinn’s,
Pope’s Hill, and Johnson’s Jolly,
That deadly shrapnel spins.

There’s “Beachy Bill” in Olive Grove,
Somewhere an armoured train;
The guns on Achi Baba,
They cause us grief and pain.

Khelet-Bahr, an’ Sahr-el Bahr,
At us they ’ave a slap,
An’ if they catch us nappin’
Down comes their bloomin’ shrap.

The Goeben and the Breslau,
They try to knock us silly;
An’ Chanak, ’on the Asian side,
Sends down her Willy-Willy.

I don’t mind bombs and rifles,
An’ I like a bay’net charge.
But I’m ’anging out the white flag
When the shrapnel is at large.

An’ when I gets to ’Stralia,
An’ ’ears the whistlin’ train,
It’s the nearest pub, for shelter
From shrapnel once again;

But until I gets back safely
I’ll bet me biggest nap,
That I’m ’anging to me dug-out,
When I ’ears that bloomin’ shrap.

Explanations for the language-challenged ...

dinkum: truly.
bully beef: tinned beef
’ard: hard.
dixie: metal eating container with folding handle.
’eathen: heathen.
sink the pints: down quickly some pints of beer.
gunlayer: one who aims or "lays" a gun.
bally: bloody
kit: knapsack of equipment, goods, carried by a soldier.
Maxims: the first (water-cooled, recoil-operated) British machine guns.
Big Lizzie: 15-inch naval gun, mounted on a British warship, as described in "Gallant Australians," The Age (May 8, 1915).
Auction Bridge: game of cards, based on whist.
Walker’s Ridge: ridge held by ANZAC troops on the north flank of Gallipoli.
‘Beachy Bill’: A well-known Turkish howitzer which enfiladed (rakes with shot) the Australian and British positions at Gallipoli.
sap: covered trench
navvy: construction labourer.
“Grand Slam!”: attack in force.
Shrapnel and Deadman’s Gully: Gallipoli positions that incurred heavy Australian troop losses.
Courtney’s Post, Quinn’s, Pope’s Hill, and Johnson’s Jolly: Varying positions of note in the Australian firing line.
Grove: Amended from the original “Groves”. Strong Turkish position in which their famous howitzer was skillfully concealed.
Achi Baba, Khelet-Bahr, Sahr-el Bahr and Chanak, are “Unsilenced Turkish forts” (poet’s note).
The Goeben and the Breslau: German battleships.
Willy-Willy: small, localised tornado.
'Stralia: Australia.

31st Oct 2013, 16:31
These two poems send a shiver down my spine no matter how many times I read them:

For all Bomber Command crews

Lie in the dark and listen. It's clear tonight so they're flying high,
Hundreds of them, thousands perhaps, riding the icy, moonlit sky.
Men, machinery, bombs and maps, altimeters and guns and charts,
Coffee, sandwiches, fleece-lined boots, bones and muscles and minds and hearts,
English saplings with English roots deep in the earth they've left below.
Lie in the dark and let them go; Lie in the dark and listen.

Lie in the dark and listen. They're going over in waves and waves
High above villages, hills and streams, country churches and little graves
And little citizen's worried dreams; very soon they'll have reached the sea.
Lie in the dark and let them go, theirs is a world we'll never know.
Lie in the dark and listen. And far below them will lie the bays
And cliffs and sands where they used to be taken for summer holidays.
Lie in the dark and let them go. Theirs is a world we'll never know.
Lie in the dark and listen.

Lie in the dark and listen. City magnates and steel contractors,
Factory workers and politicians, soft hysterical little actors,
Ballet dancers, reserved musicians, safe in your warm civilian beds.
Count your profits and count your sheep, life is passing above your heads,
Just turn over and try to sleep. Lie in the dark and let them go;
There's one debt you'll forever owe,

Lie in the dark and listen.

Spirits in Flight
I saw them return, seven spirits in flight,
Engines fired by the sparks of the night,
Lumbering, throbbing like a battered ghost,
So thankful for a friendly coast.

Glowing and gliding, a Lanc without sound,
The rubber screams as it kisses the ground,
Perfect touchdown on a deserted plain;
Now a cornfield, a field with no name.

Night after night, mission after mission;
Helmets, goggles, masks and ammunition,
The seven Sky Warriors from long past,
All knowing tonight could be their last.

I hear the field alive with noise,
Filled with brave men; some of them just boys,
I see them walk in their suits of leather,
Slowly and proudly they walk together.

Where their Lancs rose to meet the foe,
Now the larks rise, from their nests below,
Down the runway only peace is heard,
Save for the wind and the song of a bird.

Time passes, January to December,
From spring to winter the years drift on,
Every April, every Easter, I will remember
Cliff, Al, Pete and John -- Nick, Stan and Skipper Don.

By Eddy Coward dedicated to his brother Cliff and the crew of Lancaster LL899 of 49 Sqdn lost 12 April 1944.

Lon More
31st Oct 2013, 16:35
The Law for the Wolves

Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)

NOW this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky,
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

Wash daily from nose tip to tail tip; drink deeply, but never too deep; 5
And remember the night is for hunting and forget not the day is for sleep.

The jackal may follow the tiger, but, cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the wolf is a hunter—go forth and get food of thy own.

Keep peace with the lords of the jungle, the tiger, the panther, the bear;
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the boar in his lair. 10

When pack meets with pack in the jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken; it may be fair words shall prevail.

When ye fight with a wolf of the pack ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel and the pack is diminished by war.

The lair of the wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home, 15
Not even the head wolf may enter, not even the council may come.

The lair of the wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.

If ye kill before midnight be silent and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop and thy brothers go empty away. 20

Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill man.

If ye plunder his kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride,
Pack-right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.

The kill of the pack is the meat of the pack. Ye must eat where it lies; 25
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.

The kill of the wolf is the meat of the wolf. He may do what he will,
But, till he is given permission, the pack may not eat of that kill.

Lair right is the right of the mother. From all of her years she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same. 30

Cub right is the right of the yearling. From all of his pack he may claim
Full gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.

Cave right is the right of the father, to hunt by himself for his own;
He is freed from all calls to the pack. He is judged by the council alone.

Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw, 35
In all that the law leaveth open the word of the head wolf is law.

Now these are the laws of the jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the law and the haunch and the hump is—Obey!

31st Oct 2013, 16:46
Consider the auk;
Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly,
and could only walk.
Consider man, who may well become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk
and learned how to fly before he thinked
There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth--
I think that perhaps it's the gin.
Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true --
I love April, I love you.
Three poems by Ogden Nash

31st Oct 2013, 17:11
One last Nash offering, which may apply to a lot of discussions here at JB:

Foreigners are people somewhere else,
Natives are people at home;
If the place you’re at
Is your habitat,
You’re a foreigner, say in Rome.

But the scales of Justice balance true,
And tit leads into tat,
So the man who’s at home
When he stays in Rome
Is abroad when he’s where you’re at.

When we leave the limits of the land in which
Our birth certificates sat us,
It does not mean
Just a change of scene,
But also a change of status.

The Frenchman with his fetching beard,
The Scot with his kilt and sporran,
One moment he
May a native be,
And the next may find him foreign.

There’s many a difference quickly found
Between the different races,
But the only essential
Is living different places.

Yet such is the pride of prideful man,
From Austrians to Australians,
That wherever he is,
He regards as his,
And the natives there, as aliens.

Oh, I’ll be friends if you’ll be friends,
The foreigner tells the native,
And we’ll work together for our common ends
Like a preposition and a dative.

If our common ends seem mostly mine,
Why not, you ignorant foreigner?
And the native replies
And hence, my dears, the coroner.

So mind your manners when a native, please,
And doubly when you visit
And between us all
A rapport may fall
Ecstatically exquisite.

One simple thought, if you have it pat,
Will eliminate the coroner:
You may be a native in your habitat,
But to foreigners you’re just a foreigner.

31st Oct 2013, 17:28
I presume we should avoid (but I wonder if Slasher would!) the one that starts

'When a man grows old and his b*lls grow cold, with no sign of a throb...'

spInY nORmAn
31st Oct 2013, 18:26
There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh-air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.

A grand little lad was their Albert
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
'E'd a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.

They didn't think much to the ocean
The waves, they was fiddlin' and small
There was no wrecks... nobody drownded
'Fact, nothing to laugh at, at all.

So, seeking for further amusement
They paid and went into the zoo
Where they'd lions and tigers and cam-els
And old ale and sandwiches too.

There were one great big lion called Wallace
His nose were all covered with scars
He lay in a som-no-lent posture
With the side of his face to the bars.

Now Albert had heard about lions
How they were ferocious and wild
And to see Wallace lying so peaceful
Well... it didn't seem right to the child.

So straight 'way the brave little feller
Not showing a morsel of fear
Took 'is stick with the'orse's 'ead 'andle
And pushed it in Wallace's ear!

You could see that the lion didn't like it
For giving a kind of a roll
He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im
And swallowed the little lad... whole!

Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence
And didn't know what to do next
Said, "Mother! Yon lions 'et Albert"
And Mother said "Eeh, I am vexed!"

So Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Quite rightly, when all's said and done
Complained to the Animal Keeper
That the lion had eaten their son.

The keeper was quite nice about it
He said, "What a nasty mishap
Are you sure that it's your lad he's eaten?"
Pa said, "Am I sure? There's his cap!"

So the manager had to be sent for
He came and he said, "What's to do?"
Pa said, "Yon lion's 'eaten our Albert
And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too."

Then Mother said, "Right's right, young feller
I think it's a shame and a sin
For a lion to go and eat Albert
And after we've paid to come in!"

The manager wanted no trouble
He took out his purse right away
And said, "How much to settle the matter?"
And Pa said "What do you usually pay?"

But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone
She said, "No! someone's got to be summonsed"
So that were decided upon.

Round they went to the Police Station
In front of a Magistrate chap
They told 'im what happened to Albert
And proved it by showing his cap.

The Magistrate gave his o-pinion
That no-one was really to blame
He said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.

At that Mother got proper blazing
"And thank you, sir, kindly," said she
"What waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy lions? Not me!"

Lon More
31st Oct 2013, 19:52
Carrying on from the above

Stanley Holloway - Old Sam & Young Albert - YouTube

tony draper
31st Oct 2013, 21:44
Here's one that appeared many years ago when some prooner posted a very norty picture.:E

Twas christmas night in Jet Blast, twas quiet as can be
The mods they all sat back and thunk, no post for us to see,.
Wholi poured himself a whiskey, Flaps she read a book.,
content indeed at this respite, their ease began to took.

But what is this? upon the screen some words began to flicker,
Flaps she cast aside her book, Whols spat out his liquor,
You can't post that, they both did cry, Danny'l have a fit
With trembling hand they both reached forth, to hit the delete tit.

Occasionly in cyberspace a glitch it doth appear,
the delete key refused to work, the post remained quite clear.
What to do, they both did think, cant leave that upon the screen,
The pictures were apalling, the worst that they had seen.

Twas on the eve of christmas, on a forum called Jet blast,
some evil prooner posted, norty pickies from the past.
Now prooners know of airyplanes, they been on flying courses
and now they know as well as that, what Katherine did with horses.

31st Oct 2013, 21:49
There's a whisper down the line at 1139
When the Night Mail's ready to depart,
saying 'Skimble, where is Skimble has he gone to hunt the thimble?
We must find him or the train can't start.'
All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster's daughters
They are searching high and low
Saying 'Skimble, where is Skimble for unless he's very nimble
Then the Night Mail just can't go'
At 1142 then the signal's overdue
And the passengers are frantic to a man -
Then Skimble will appear and he'll saunter to the rear:
He's been busy in the luggage van!

he gives one flash of his glass-green eyes
And the signal goes 'All Clear!'
And we're off at last for the northern part
Of the Northern Hemisphere

You may say that by and large it is Skimble who's in charge
Of the Sleeping Car Express.
From the driver and the guards to the bagmen playing cards
He will supervise them all, more or less.
Down the corridor he paces and examines all the faces
Of the travellers in the First and in the Third;
He establishes control by a regular patrol
And he'd know at once if anything occurred.

He will watch you without winking and he sees what you are thinking
And it's certain that he doesn't approve
Of hilarity and riot, so the folk are very quiet
When Skimble is about and on the move.
You can play no pranks on Skimbleshanks!
He's a cat that cannot be ignored;
So nothing goes wrong on the Northern Mail
When Skimbleshanks is aboard

Oh it's very pleasant when you have found your little den
With your name written up on the door.
And the berth is very neat with a newly folded sheet
And there's not a speck of dust upon the floor.
There is every sort of light - you can make it dark or bright:
There's a button that you turn to make a breeze.
There's a funny little basin you're supposed to wash your face in
And a crank to shut the window if you sneeze.
Then the guard looks in politely and will ask you very brightly
'Do you like your morning tea weak or strong?'
But Skimble's just behind him and was ready to remind him
For Skimble won't let anything go wrong.
And when you creep into your cosy berth
And pull up the counterpane,
You ought to reflect that it's very nice
to know that you won't be bothered by mice -
You can leave all that to the Railway Cat,
The Cat of the Railway Train!

In the watches of the night he is always fresh and bright;
Every now and then he has a cup of tea
With perhaps a drop of Scotch while he's keeping on the watch
Only stopping here and there to catch a flea.
You were fast asleep at Crewe and so you never knew
That he was walking up and down the station
You were sleeping all the while he was busy at Carlisle,
Where he greets the stationmaster with elation.
But you saw him at Dumfries, where he summons the police
If there's anything they ought to know about:
When you get to Gallowgate there you do not have to wait -
For Skimbleshanks will help you to get out!
He gives you a wave of his long brown tail
Which says: 'I'll see you again!
You'll meet without fail on the Midnight Mail
The Cat of the Railway Train.'

31st Oct 2013, 21:53
And in a similar vein

Night Mail

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.

Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.
In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.

Dawn freshens, the climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
Men long for news.

Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or visit relations,
And applications for situations
And timid lovers' declarations
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Notes from overseas to Hebrides
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring,
The cold and official and the heart's outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.

Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston's or Crawford's:
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
And shall wake soon and long for letters,
And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

But the way it is spoken in the original GPO film is without doubt the best - the rhythms used follow the train.

1st Nov 2013, 06:32

I'll tell you an old-fashioned story,
That Grandfather used to relate,
Of a joiner and building contractor;
Iz name, it were Sam Oglethwaite.

In a shop on the banks of the Irwell,
Old Sam used to follow 'iz trade,
In a place you'll have 'eard of, called Bury;
You know, where black puddings are made.

One day, Sam were filling a knot 'ole,
Wi' putty, when in thro' the door
Came an old feller fair wreathed wi' whiskers;
T'ould chap said "Good morning, I'm Noah."

Sam asked Noah what were 'iz business,
And t'ould chap went on to remark,
That not liking the look of the weather,
'E were thinking of building an Ark.

'E'd gotten the wood for the bulwarks,
And all t'other shipbuilding junk,
An wanted some nice Bird's Eye Maple,
To panel the side of 'iz bunk.

Now Maple were Sam's Monopoly;
That means it were all 'iz to cut,
And nobody else 'adn't got none;
So 'e asked Noah, three ha'pence a foot.

"A ha'pence too much," replied Noah,
"A Penny a foot's more the mark;
A penny a foot, and when rain comes,
I'll githee a ride in me Ark."

But neither would budge in the bargain;
Thole daft thing were kind of a jam,
So Sam stuck 'iz tongue out at Noah,
And Noah gave 'fingers' to Sam .

In wrath and ill-feeling they parted,
Not knowing when they'd meet again,
And Sam had forgot all about it,
'Til one day it started to rain.

It rained and it rained for a fortneet,
And flooded the 'ole countryside.
It rained and it kept' on raining,
'Til Thirwell were fifty miles wide.

The 'ouses were soon under watter,
An folks to the roof 'ad to climb.
They said 'twas the rottenest summer,
That Bury 'ad 'ad for some time.

The rain showed no sign of abating,
An water rose hour by hour,
'Til the only dry land were at Blackpool,
And that were on top of the Tower.

So Sam started swimming to Blackpool;
It took 'im best part of a week.
'Iz clothes were wet through when 'e got there,
And 'iz boots were beginning to leak.

E stood to 'is watch-chain in watter,
On Tower top, just before dark,
When who should come sailing towards 'im,
But old Noah, steering 'is Ark.

They stared at each other in silence,
'Til the ark were alongside, all but,
Then Noah said: "What price yer Maple"?
Sam answered, "Three ha'pence a foot."

Noah said, "Nay; I'll make thee an offer,
The same as I did t'other day.
A penny a foot and a free ride.
Nah, come on lad, what does tha say?"

"Three ha'pence a foot," came the answer.
So Noah 'iz sail 'ad to hoist,
He sailed off again in a temper,
While Sam stood determined, but moist.

Noah cruised around, flying 'iz pigeons,
'Til fortieth day of the wet,
And on 'iz way back, passing Blackpool,
'E saw old Sam standing there yet.

'Is chin just stuck out of the water;
A comical figure 'e cut,
Noah said: "Nah, what's the price of yur Maple?"
Sam answered: "Three ha'pence a foot."

Said Noah: "Ye'd best take my offer;
It's last time I'll be hereabout;
And if water comes half an inch higher,
I'll happen to get Maple for nowt."

"Three ha'pence a foot it'll cost yer,
Az fer me, "Sam said, "don't fret.
Sky's took a turn sin this morning;
Ah think it'll brighten up yet."

Marriott Edgar

1st Nov 2013, 08:19
Yeah, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil,

For I am the meanest Sonova Bitch in the valley!

George c Patton

The Underwriter
1st Nov 2013, 15:23
The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

Leo Marks

tony draper
1st Nov 2013, 15:49
Old Blakey was a hell of a word spinner.

The Tyger
William Blake

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry

spInY nORmAn
1st Nov 2013, 19:37
One of my personal favourites.

Ozymandias - Percy Bysshe 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".

2nd Nov 2013, 11:03
It's a ticklish thing making a thing for a thingummy - bob
Especially when you don't know what it's for
But it's the girl that makes the thing that drills the hole
that holds the spring that works the thingummy - bob
that makes the engines roar.
And it's the girl that makes the thing that holds the oil
that oils the ring that works the thingummy - bob
that's going to win the War.

From a wartime song by Gracie Fields.

Not great poetry but it always reminds me of my Mom working her 60 hours a week in a tank factory during the war.

2nd Nov 2013, 13:59
THE ARMY MULES - A.B. Paterson

Oh, the airman's game is a showman's game, for all of us watch him go
With his roaring, soaring aeroplanes, and his bombs for the blokes below.
Over the railways and over the dumps, over the Hun and the Turk;
You'll hear him mutter “What-ho she bumps!” when the Archies get to work.

But not of him is the song I sing, though he follow the eagle's flight,
And with shrapnel holes in his splintered wing come home to his roost at night.
He may silver his wings on the shining stars, he may look from his clouds on high,
He may follow the flight of the wheeling kite in the blue Egyptian sky.
But he's only a hero built to plan, turned out by the Service Schools,
And I sing of the rankless, thankless man, who hustles the Army Mules.

Now, where he comes from and where he lives, is a mystery dark and dim,
And it's rarely indeed that the General gives a D.S.O. to him;
The stolid Infantry digs its way, like a mole in a ruined wall:
The Cavalry lends a tone, they say, to what were else but a brawl:

The Brigadier of the Mounted Fut, like a cavalry colonel swanks,
As he goeth abroad like a gilded nut to receive the General's thanks:
The Ordnance Man is a son-of-a-gun, and his lists are a standing joke;
You order “Choke, arti, Jerusalem, one” for Jerusalem artichoke.

The Medicals shine with a Number Nine, and the men of the great R.E.,
Their colonels are Methodist, married, or mad, and some of them, all the three.
In all these units the road to fame is taught in the Service Schools,
But a man has got to be born to the game, when he tackles the Army Mules.

For if you go where the depots are, as the dawn is breaking grey,
By the waning light of the morning star as the dustcloud clears away,
You'll see a vision among the dust like a man and a mule combined;
It's the kind of thing you must take on trust, as its outlines aren't defined:
A thing that wheels like a spinning top, and props like a three-legged stool—
And you find it's a long-legged Queensland boy convincing an Army Mule.

The rider sticks to the hybrid's hide as paper sticks to a wall,
For a “Magnoon” Waler is next to ride, with every chance of a fall.
It's a rough-house game, and a thankless game, and it isn't the game for a fool,
For an army's fate and a nation's fame, may turn on an Army Mule.

And if you go to the front-line camp where the sleepless outposts lie,
At the dead of night you can hear the tramp of the Mule Train toiling by:
The rattle and clink of a leading-chain, the creak of the lurching load,
As the patient plodding creatures strain at their task in the shell-torn road.

Through the dark and the dust you may watch them go, till the dawn is grey in the sky,
For only the sleepless pickets know when the “All-night corps” goes by.
And far away as the silence falls, when the last of the train has gone,
A weary voice through the darkness calls, “Get on there, men, get on!”
It isn't the hero built to plan, turned out by the modern schools,
It's only the Army Service man, a-driving his Army Mules.

2nd Nov 2013, 15:44

PLUCK wins ! It always wins ! though days be slow,

And nights be dark 'twixt days that come and go.

Still pluck will win ; its average is sure,

He gains the prize who will the most endure;

Who faces issues; he who never shirks;

Who waits and watches, and who always works.

2nd Nov 2013, 16:01
It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din.'

He holds him with his skinny hand,
'There was a ship,' quoth he.
'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye—
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years' child:
The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

'The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.

The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon—'
The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.

The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.

The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.

And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.

And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—
The ice was all between.

The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!

At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.

It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!

And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner's hollo!

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white Moon-shine.'

'God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—
Why look'st thou so?'—With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS.

The Sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.

And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariner's hollo!

And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!

Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.

About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.

And some in dreams assurèd were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.

And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! a weary time!
How glazed each weary eye,

When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.

At first it seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed a mist;
It moved and moved, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist.

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
And still it neared and neared:
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tacked and veered.

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could nor laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
Agape they heard me call:
Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
And all at once their breath drew in.
As they were drinking all.

See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
Hither to work us weal;
Without a breeze, without a tide,
She steadies with upright keel!

The western wave was all a-flame.
The day was well nigh done!
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright Sun;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the Sun.

And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
(Heaven's Mother send us grace!)
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered
With broad and burning face.

Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
How fast she nears and nears!
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,
Like restless gossameres?

Are those her ribs through which the Sun
Did peer, as through a grate?
And is that Woman all her crew?
Is that a DEATH? and are there two?
Is DEATH that woman's mate?

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;
'The game is done! I've won! I've won!'
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out;
At one stride comes the dark;
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,
Off shot the spectre-bark.

We listened and looked sideways up!
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seemed to sip!
The stars were dim, and thick the night,
The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white;
From the sails the dew did drip—
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The hornèd Moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.

One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.

Four times fifty living men,
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.

The souls did from their bodies fly,—
They fled to bliss or woe!
And every soul, it passed me by,
Like the whizz of my cross-bow!

'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.

I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown.'—
Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
This body dropt not down.

Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.

The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.

I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.

I looked to heaven, and tried to pray;
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.

I closed my lids, and kept them close,
And the balls like pulses beat;
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
Lay dead like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.

The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Nor rot nor reek did they:
The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.

An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.

The moving Moon went up the sky,
And no where did abide:
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside—

Her beams bemocked the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
The charmèd water burnt alway
A still and awful red.

Beyond the shadow of the ship,
I watched the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reared, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.

O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessèd them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.

The self-same moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.

Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!
To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slid into my soul.

The silly buckets on the deck,
That had so long remained,
I dreamt that they were filled with dew;
And when I awoke, it rained.

My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
My garments all were dank;
Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
And still my body drank.

I moved, and could not feel my limbs:
I was so light—almost
I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessed ghost.

And soon I heard a roaring wind:
It did not come anear;
But with its sound it shook the sails,
That were so thin and sere.

The upper air burst into life!
And a hundred fire-flags sheen,
To and fro they were hurried about!
And to and fro, and in and out,
The wan stars danced between.

And the coming wind did roar more loud,
And the sails did sigh like sedge,
And the rain poured down from one black cloud;
The Moon was at its edge.

The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
The Moon was at its side:
Like waters shot from some high crag,
The lightning fell with never a jag,
A river steep and wide.

The loud wind never reached the ship,
Yet now the ship moved on!
Beneath the lightning and the Moon
The dead men gave a groan.

They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.

The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
Yet never a breeze up-blew;
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do;
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools—
We were a ghastly crew.

The body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me.

'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!'
Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest!
'Twas not those souls that fled in pain,
Which to their corses came again,
But a troop of spirits blest:

For when it dawned—they dropped their arms,
And clustered round the mast;
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,
And from their bodies passed.

Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
Then darted to the Sun;
Slowly the sounds came back again,
Now mixed, now one by one.

Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
I heard the sky-lark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seemed to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning!

And now 'twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel's song,
That makes the heavens be mute.

It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.

Till noon we quietly sailed on,
Yet never a breeze did breathe:
Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
Moved onward from beneath.

Under the keel nine fathom deep,
From the land of mist and snow,
The spirit slid: and it was he
That made the ship to go.
The sails at noon left off their tune,
And the ship stood still also.

The Sun, right up above the mast,
Had fixed her to the ocean:
But in a minute she 'gan stir,
With a short uneasy motion—
Backwards and forwards half her length
With a short uneasy motion.

Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound:
It flung the blood into my head,
And I fell down in a swound.

How long in that same fit I lay,
I have not to declare;
But ere my living life returned,
I heard and in my soul discerned
Two voices in the air.

'Is it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man?
By him who died on cross,
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless Albatross.

The spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,
He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow.'

The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey-dew:
Quoth he, 'The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do.'


First Voice
'But tell me, tell me! speak again,
Thy soft response renewing—
What makes that ship drive on so fast?
What is the ocean doing?'

Second Voice
Still as a slave before his lord,
The ocean hath no blast;
His great bright eye most silently
Up to the Moon is cast—

If he may know which way to go;
For she guides him smooth or grim.
See, brother, see! how graciously
She looketh down on him.'

First Voice
'But why drives on that ship so fast,
Without or wave or wind?'

Second Voice
'The air is cut away before,
And closes from behind.

Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
Or we shall be belated:
For slow and slow that ship will go,
When the Mariner's trance is abated.'

I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:
'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high;
The dead men stood together.

All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.

The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.

And now this spell was snapt: once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen—

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

But soon there breathed a wind on me,
Nor sound nor motion made:
Its path was not upon the sea,
In ripple or in shade.

It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Like a meadow-gale of spring—
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.

Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze—
On me alone it blew.

Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
The light-house top I see?
Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
Is this mine own countree?

We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
And I with sobs did pray—
O let me be awake, my God!
Or let me sleep alway.

The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
So smoothly it was strewn!
And on the bay the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the Moon.

The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
That stands above the rock:
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.

And the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.

A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were:
I turned my eyes upon the deck—
Oh, Christ! what saw I there!

Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
And, by the holy rood!
A man all light, a seraph-man,
On every corse there stood.

This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light;

This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart—
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.

But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the Pilot's cheer;
My head was turned perforce away
And I saw a boat appear.

The Pilot and the Pilot's boy,
I heard them coming fast:
Dear Lord in Heaven! it was a joy
The dead men could not blast.

I saw a third—I heard his voice:
It is the Hermit good!
He singeth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood.
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
The Albatross's blood.

This Hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with marineres
That come from a far countree.

He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve—
He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak-stump.

The skiff-boat neared: I heard them talk,
'Why, this is strange, I trow!
Where are those lights so many and fair,
That signal made but now?'

'Strange, by my faith!' the Hermit said—
'And they answered not our cheer!
The planks looked warped! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere!
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were

Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along;
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
That eats the she-wolf's young.'

'Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look—
(The Pilot made reply)
I am a-feared'—'Push on, push on!'
Said the Hermit cheerily.

The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard.

Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread:
It reached the ship, it split the bay;
The ship went down like lead.

Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound,
Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drowned
My body lay afloat;
But swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot's boat.

Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
The boat spun round and round;
And all was still, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound.

I moved my lips—the Pilot shrieked
And fell down in a fit;
The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
And prayed where he did sit.

I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go,
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro.
'Ha! ha!' quoth he, 'full plain I see,
The Devil knows how to row.'

And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land!
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.

'O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!'
The Hermit crossed his brow.
'Say quick,' quoth he, 'I bid thee say—
What manner of man art thou?'

Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.

Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.

I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.

What loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding-guests are there:
But in the garden-bower the bride
And bride-maids singing are:
And hark the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!

O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea:
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be.

O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company!—

To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends
And youths and maidens gay!

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.

He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.

25th Apr 2014, 18:07
Charlie one - six, one - six Charlie and the Underwriter, love you guys, that`s where it is - that`s what its all about man!

Here is one dear to my heart - its a bit . . out there, but you`ll soon get into it . . .

I have included the Link also - in case you want to go there (into his poetry not Little Gidding which as you know is in Northamptonshire, England and well worth the visit) as they printed it on their website thing.

T.S. Eliot: Four Quartets

Little Gidding


Midwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart's heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
The soul's sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time's covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable
Zero summer?
If you came this way,
Taking the route you would be likely to take
From the place you would be likely to come from,
If you came this way in may time, you would find the hedges
White again, in May, with voluptuary sweetness.
It would be the same at the end of the journey,
If you came at night like a broken king,
If you came by day not knowing what you came for,
It would be the same, when you leave the rough road
And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facade
And the tombstone. And what you thought you came for
Is only a shell, a husk of meaning
From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled
If at all. Either you had no purpose
Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured
And is altered in fulfilment. There are other places
Which also are the world's end, some at the sea jaws,
Or over a dark lake, in a desert or a city—
But this is the nearest, in place and time,
Now and in England.
If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
Is England and nowhere. Never and always.

Ash on and old man's sleeve
Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.
Dust in the air suspended
Marks the place where a story ended.
Dust inbreathed was a house—
The walls, the wainscot and the mouse,
The death of hope and despair,
This is the death of air.
There are flood and drouth
Over the eyes and in the mouth,
Dead water and dead sand
Contending for the upper hand.
The parched eviscerate soil
Gapes at the vanity of toil,
Laughs without mirth.
This is the death of earth.
Water and fire succeed
The town, the pasture and the weed.
Water and fire deride
The sacrifice that we denied.
Water and fire shall rot
The marred foundations we forgot,
Of sanctuary and choir.
This is the death of water and fire.
In the uncertain hour before the morning
Near the ending of interminable night
At the recurrent end of the unending
After the dark dove with the flickering tongue
Had passed below the horizon of his homing
While the dead leaves still rattled on like tin
Over the asphalt where no other sound was
Between three districts whence the smoke arose
I met one walking, loitering and hurried
As if blown towards me like the metal leaves
Before the urban dawn wind unresisting.
And as I fixed upon the down-turned face
That pointed scrutiny with which we challenge
The first-met stranger in the waning dusk
I caught the sudden look of some dead master
Whom I had known, forgotten, half recalled
Both one and many; in the brown baked features
The eyes of a familiar compound ghost
Both intimate and unidentifiable.
So I assumed a double part, and cried
And heard another's voice cry: 'What! are you here?'
Although we were not. I was still the same,
Knowing myself yet being someone other—
And he a face still forming; yet the words sufficed
To compel the recognition they preceded.
And so, compliant to the common wind,
Too strange to each other for misunderstanding,
In concord at this intersection time
Of meeting nowhere, no before and after,
We trod the pavement in a dead patrol.
I said: 'The wonder that I feel is easy,
Yet ease is cause of wonder. Therefore speak:
I may not comprehend, may not remember.'
And he: 'I am not eager to rehearse
My thoughts and theory which you have forgotten.
These things have served their purpose: let them be.
So with your own, and pray they be forgiven
By others, as I pray you to forgive
Both bad and good. Last season's fruit is eaten
And the fullfed beast shall kick the empty pail.
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
But, as the passage now presents no hindrance
To the spirit unappeased and peregrine
Between two worlds become much like each other,
So I find words I never thought to speak
In streets I never thought I should revisit
When I left my body on a distant shore.
Since our concern was speech, and speech impelled us
To purify the dialect of the tribe
And urge the mind to aftersight and foresight,
Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age
To set a crown upon your lifetime's effort.
First, the cold friction of expiring sense
Without enchantment, offering no promise
But bitter tastelessness of shadow fruit
As body and soul begin to fall asunder.
Second, the conscious impotence of rage
At human folly, and the laceration
Of laughter at what ceases to amuse.
And last, the rending pain of re-enactment
Of all that you have done, and been; the shame
Of motives late revealed, and the awareness
Of things ill done and done to others' harm
Which once you took for exercise of virtue.
Then fools' approval stings, and honour stains.
From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit
Proceeds, unless restored by that refining fire
Where you must move in measure, like a dancer.'
The day was breaking. In the disfigured street
He left me, with a kind of valediction,
And faded on the blowing of the horn.

There are three conditions which often look alike
Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:
Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment
From self and from things and from persons; and, growing between them, indifference
Which resembles the others as death resembles life,
Being between two lives—unflowering, between
The live and the dead nettle. This is the use of memory:
For liberation—not less of love but expanding
Of love beyond desire, and so liberation
From the future as well as the past. Thus, love of a country
Begins as attachment to our own field of action
And comes to find that action of little importance
Though never indifferent. History may be servitude,
History may be freedom. See, now they vanish,
The faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them,
To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern.
Sin is Behovely, but
All shall be well, and
All manner of thing shall be well.
If I think, again, of this place,
And of people, not wholly commendable,
Of no immediate kin or kindness,
But of some peculiar genius,
All touched by a common genius,
United in the strife which divided them;
If I think of a king at nightfall,
Of three men, and more, on the scaffold
And a few who died forgotten
In other places, here and abroad,
And of one who died blind and quiet
Why should we celebrate
These dead men more than the dying?
It is not to ring the bell backward
Nor is it an incantation
To summon the spectre of a Rose.
We cannot revive old factions
We cannot restore old policies
Or follow an antique drum.
These men, and those who opposed them
And those whom they opposed
Accept the constitution of silence
And are folded in a single party.
Whatever we inherit from the fortunate
We have taken from the defeated
What they had to leave us—a symbol:
A symbol perfected in death.
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive
In the ground of our beseeching.

The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre of pyre—
To be redeemed from fire by fire.
Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.
With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this
Calling We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Little Gidding T S Eliot from Four Quartets (http://www.allspirit.co.uk/gidding.html)

25th Apr 2014, 18:25
Another railway one

FASTER than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain 5
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles; 10
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river: 15
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

By R.L. Stevenson
I was fortunate enough to have a mother who had a Gold Medal for poetry reading!

Fern Hill

By Dylan Thomas (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/dylan-thomas)

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace,

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

and from the sublime to the ridiculous...

25th Apr 2014, 19:21
....but you are just plain wrong.

Poems take words and paint pictures with them. Some of the pictures are bit simple and cartoon-like. And tell a simple story.

Others show you a view of the world that render you speechless in awe.

Others, yet again, don't just bring a tear to the eye remembering something from your childhood long gone, they tear your heart out with the intensity of the emotion they arouse.

Have another look I entreat you.

The Ancient Mariner

25th Apr 2014, 19:33


Whats that one also about a train but one of Night Mail . . anyone know that one? - that is quite - intriguing. its quite long?
No, no got it its back there on page three or whatever . . going to read it now, thanks for the fix guys (`n girls)

25th Apr 2014, 19:42

And of what? All is static, no motion.
We live in the land of the Halcyon,
Upon becalmed seas, a flat ocean.
No direction, in all the pack no Ace.
Many cards, none special - an empty place

A prize if anyone can guess who wrote this one.

25th Apr 2014, 19:43
Think it contains the phrase "Baccy for the clerk" but that's all I can remember.

(answering nats but someone barged in)

25th Apr 2014, 19:50
Vulcanised, I think this is what you seek (by Kipling)

A Smuggler's Song

IF you wake at midnight, and hear a horse's feet,
Don't go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
Them that ask no questions isn't told a lie.
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by.

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark -
Brandy for the Parson, 'Baccy for the Clerk.
Laces for a lady; letters for a spy,
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by!

Running round the woodlump if you chance to find
Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
Don't you shout to come and look, nor use 'em for your play.
Put the brishwood back again - and they'll be gone next day !

If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
If the lining's wet and warm - don't you ask no more !

If you meet King George's men, dressed in blue and red,
You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you " pretty maid," and chuck you 'neath the chin,
Don't you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one's been !

Knocks and footsteps round the house - whistles after dark -
You've no call for running out till the house-dogs bark.
Trusty's here, and Pincher's here, and see how dumb they lie
They don't fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by !

'If You do as you've been told, 'likely there's a chance,
You'll be give a dainty doll, all the way from France,
With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood -
A present from the Gentlemen, along 'o being good !

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark -
Brandy for the Parson, 'Baccy for the Clerk.
Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie -
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by !

25th Apr 2014, 19:50
Stress Free is it that Northern guy that modern poet of the . . . early 70s, with long black hair - no eh?

and Ricardian - we learnt that at school, like real young we were!

Thanks Volcanised.

25th Apr 2014, 19:55

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood,cedar wood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Topazes, and cinnamon and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rail, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

John Masefield 1878

Reminds me of school days : aliteration , assonance, dactyls & spondees, iambic pentameters: not all of which are in this particular pome I hasten to add. Literary criticism 101.

25th Apr 2014, 20:03

Nope it's not him.......

spInY nORmAn
25th Apr 2014, 20:14
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (co-credit: laudanum)

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ’twould win me,

That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Super VC-10
25th Apr 2014, 20:24
One of my favourites is "The Ruined Maid" by Thomas Hardy.

"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?"
"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.

"You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!"
"Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.

-"At home in the barton you said 'thee' and 'thou,'
And 'thik oon,' and 'theäs oon,' and 't'other'; but now
Your talking quite fits 'ee for high compa-ny!"
"Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.

"Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!"
"We never do work when we're ruined," said she.

"You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!"
"True. One's pretty lively when ruined," said she.

"I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!"
"My dear a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that. You ain't ruined," said she.

Super VC-10
25th Apr 2014, 20:26
Another Hardy gem, A Thunderstorm in Town.

She wore a 'terra-cotta' dress,
And we stayed, because of the pelting storm,
Within the hansom's dry recess,
Though the horse had stopped; yea, motionless
We sat on, snug and warm.

Then the downpour ceased, to my sharp sad pain,
And the glass that had screened our forms before
Flew up, and out she sprang to her door:
I should have kissed her if the rain
Had lasted a minute more.

25th Apr 2014, 20:45
The last of the three that I have constantly at the corner of my vision on my desk at work after "If" and "Invictus" is Max Ehrman's "Desiderata"

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

I especially like how you can take different things from it, just simply by where you add your own pauses.

8th May 2014, 05:55

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

8th May 2014, 06:30
W.H. Auden's 'Funeral Blues', aka 'Stop all the Clocks.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

8th May 2014, 06:43
...and this brilliant re-imagining of Poe's 'The Raven', inspired by SCO's baseless court case(s) against Novell et.al. & the Linux operating system. You need to have followed the cases on Groklaw to appreciate some of the references.

The Nazgul - A Derivative Work of the Intellectual Property of Edgar Allan Poe
~ by Alanyst sent to Groklaw.net

Once upon a midnight dreary, as I worked at SCO/Caldera,
Searching many quaint and curious printouts of forgotten source --
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my office door.
"Tis some co-worker," I muttered, "tapping at my office door --
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the sere September,
And each fragmentary member of my UNIX code lay on the floor.
Nervously I feared the morrow; -- vainly I had sought to borrow
From old code surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the sinking score --
For the sinking, dwindling, stinking ticker telling our stock's score --
Profitless for evermore.

And my silly sad devotion to each frivolous court motion
Stalked me -- mocked me with forebodings heretofore I oft ignored;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
"Tis some co-worker discussing business at my office door --
Some late-staying co-worker loitering around my door;
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Stowell," said I, "or Sontag, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my office door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door --
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep inside that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no CEO e'er dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was "Kevin?" quavered 'cross the floor.
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back to reach my door --
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the office turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely I know something's at my office window;
I will therefore let it in, though Custodial just cleaned my floor --
Let my heart be still a bit and let it in despite the floor --
'Tis a raven; nothing more."

Here I pushed the pane aside, when, with a quick and quiet glide,
In there stepped an awful Nazgul straight from Cravath, Swain & Moore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he,
But, with mien to frighten Hades, perched above my office door --
Perched upon a bust of Bill Gates just above my office door --
Perched and sat, and nothing more.

Then the ebony wraith beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the stern and solid stack of legal filings that it bore,
"Though thy manner be so regal, thou," I said, "art sure no eagle,
Ghastly grim and ghoulish Nazgul wandering from the Federal Court --
Tell me of thy client's case to argue there before the Court!"
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled, musing mainly, to hear lawyer speech so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning -- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was cursed with seeing wraith above his office door --
Wraith or ghoul upon the molded bust above his office door --
Speak such judgment: "Nevermore."

But the Nazgul, sitting lonely on that sculpted bust, spoke only
That one word, as if its soul in that one word he did outpour
Nothing farther then he uttered; not a paper then he fluttered --
Till I scarcely more than muttered: "Others settled suits before --
On the morrow he will leave me, as my stock has soared before."
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

Startled by the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy client who by some corporate giant
Was rendered docile and compliant by threatened barratry and torts --
Till the dirges of his revenue that baleful burden bore
Of "Never -- nevermore."

But the Nazgul still defying all my blathering and lying,
Straight I wheeled my cushy chair in front of wraith and bust and door;
Then, upon the leather sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous lawyer--
What this black, benighted, brooding being, ominous lawyer--
Meant in hissing, "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the shadow's silent figure burned into my greedy core;
This and more I sat divining, thinking of my public whining,
Tales of billion-dollar fining of the fiends of open source --
Recompense for the declining of our once-demanded source--
Monetizable no more.

Then, methought, the air grew heavy as I dwelt upon the bevy
Of our legal contradictions Groklaw dragged into the fore.
"Wraith," cried I, "thy client sent thee -- with these documents hath sent thee
Here to settle now, and by new contracts end this costly war!
Seal, oh seal this poisoned pact and settle now this costly war!"
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

"Counsel!" said I, "thing of Linux! -- robber then of long-lost Unix! --
Whether Torvalds sent, or Red Hat be with whom you have rapport,
FUD destroyers, still undaunted, seeing SCOSource still unwanted --
Of our IP by us vaunted -- tell me truly, I implore --
Is there -- is there SCO in Linux?--tell me--tell me, I implore!
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

"Counsel!" said I, "thing of Linux!--robber then of long-lost Unix!--
By that law that bends before us -- by that cash we both adore --
Tell this litigation lover if, before the case is over,
We shall be able to discover rights in reams of code galore --
In forty million man-hours find our rights in code galore."
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

"Be that our sign of parting, hippie fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting --
"Get thee back into the distant darkness of Armonk, New York!
Leave no subpoena as a token of the lie thy soul hast spoken!
Leave my pump-and-dump unbroken! -- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy sword from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Nazgul, "Nevermore."

And the Nazgul, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid pasty bust of Bill above my office door;
And in gloom I sit defeated, crushed by lies that I repeated,
And the innocence I pleaded has been laughed down to the floor;
And the bankruptcy attorney lurking round my cellblock door
Shall release me -- nevermore!

Capt Casper
8th May 2014, 07:37
The Calf Path
Sam Walter Foss

One day through the primeval wood, a calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew, a crooked trail as all calves do.
Since then three hundred years have fled, and I infer the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail, and thereby hangs my moral’s tale.

The trail was taken up next day, by a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bell-wether sheep, pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too, as good bell-wethers always do.
And from that day, o’er hill and glade, through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out, and dodged and turned and bent about,
And uttered words of righteous wrath, because ‘twas such a crooked path;
But still they followed – do not laugh – the first migrations of that calf.

And through this winding wood-way stalked, because he wobbled when he walked,
This forest path became a lane, that bent and turned and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road, where many a poor horse with his load,
Toiled on beneath the burning sun, and travelled some three miles in one.

And thus a century and a half, they trod the footsteps of that calf,
The years passed on in swiftness fleet, the road became a village street;
And this before men were aware, a city’s crowded thoroughfare.
And soon the central street was this, of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half, trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand men, followed this zigzag calf again,
And o’er his crooked journey went, the traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led, by one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way, and lost one hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent, to a well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach, were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind, along the calf path of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun, to do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track, and in and out, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue, to keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred groove, along which all their lives they move;
But how the old wood-gods laugh, who first saw the primeval calf.
Ah, many things this tale might teach – but I am not ordained to preach.

Worrals in the wilds
8th May 2014, 10:26
Those who thwart workplace safety measures come to a sticky end...:E:} Many years ago I met a bloke from a company called Inchcape Shipping Services. I cheerily asked him if they were named after the rock to be sternly told NO. Maybe he was sick of the question...:O

Inchcape Rock
No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The Ship was still as she could be;
Her sails from heaven received no motion,
Her keel was steady in the ocean.
Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flow’d over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.
The Abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
And over the waves its warning rung.

When the Rock was hid by the surge’s swell,
The Mariners heard the warning Bell;
And then they knew the perilous Rock,
And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok
The Sun in the heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds scream’d as they wheel’d round,
And there was joyaunce in their sound.

The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen
A darker speck on the ocean green;
Sir Ralph the Rover walk’d his deck,
And fix’d his eye on the darker speck.

He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover’s mirth was wickedness.
His eye was on the Inchcape Float;
Quoth he, “My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I’ll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothok.”
The boat is lower’d, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape Float.

Down sank the Bell with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes to the Rock,
Won’t bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok.”

Sir Ralph the Rover sail’d away,
He scour’d the seas for many a day;
And now grown rich with plunder’d store,
He steers his course for Scotland’s shore.

So thick a haze o’erspreads the sky,
They cannot see the sun on high;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,
At evening it hath died away.

On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
So dark it is they see no land.
Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising Moon.”

“Canst hear,” said one, “the breakers roar?
For methinks we should be near the shore.”
“Now, where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish we could hear the Inchcape Bell.”

They hear no sound, the swell is strong,
Though the wind hath fallen they drift along;
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock,
“Oh Christ! It is the Inchcape Rock!”

Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
He curst himself in his despair;
The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.

But even in his dying fear,
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear;
A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,
The Devil below was ringing his knell.

Robert Southey (1820).

A A Gruntpuddock
8th May 2014, 10:32
Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you 'grave for me:
Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

8th May 2014, 10:36

8th May 2014, 16:07
Two more from Kipling.

My favourite.

The Ballad of East and West http://z.about.com Rudyard Kipling (1889) http://z.about.com
Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

Kamal is out with twenty men to raise the Border-side,
And he has lifted the Colonel’s mare that is the Colonel’s pride.
He has lifted her out of the stable-door between the dawn and the day,
And turned the calkins upon her feet, and ridden her far away.
Then up and spoke the Colonel’s son that led a troop of the Guides:
“Is there never a man of all my men can say where Kamal hides?”
Then up and spoke Mohammed Khan, the son of the Ressaldar:
“If ye know the track of the morning-mist, ye know where his pickets are.
“At dusk he harries the Abazai — at dawn he is into Bonair,
“But he must go by Fort Bukloh to his own place to fare.
“So if ye gallop to Fort Bukloh as fast as a bird can fly,
“By the favour of God ye may cut him off ere he win to the Tongue of Jagai.
“But if he be past the Tongue of Jagai, right swiftly turn ye then,
“For the length and the breadth of that grisly plain is sown with Kamal’s men.
“There is rock to the left, and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between,
“And ye may hear a breech-bolt snick where never a man is seen.”

The Colonel’s son has taken horse, and a raw rough dun was he,
With the mouth of a bell and the heart of Hell and the head of a gallows-tree.
The Colonel’s son to the Fort has won, they bid him stay to eat —
Who rides at the tail of a Border thief, he sits not long at his meat.
He’s up and away from Fort Bukloh as fast as he can fly,
Till he was aware of his father’s mare in the gut of the Tongue of Jagai,
Till he was aware of his father’s mare with Kamal upon her back,
And when he could spy the white of her eye, he made the pistol crack.
He has fired once, he has fired twice, but the whistling ball went wide.
“Ye shoot like a soldier,” Kamal said.
“Show now if ye can ride!”
It’s up and over the Tongue of Jagai, as blown dust-devils go,
The dun he fled like a stag of ten, but the mare like a barren doe.
The dun he leaned against the bit and slugged his head above,
But the red mare played with the snaffle-bars, as a maiden plays with a glove.
There was rock to the left and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between,
And thrice he heard a breech-bolt snick tho’ never a man was seen.

They have ridden the low moon out of the sky, their hoofs drum up the dawn,
The dun he went like a wounded bull, but the mare like a new-roused fawn.
The dun he fell at a water-course — in a woeful heap fell he,
And Kamal has turned the red mare back, and pulled the rider free.
He has knocked the pistol out of his hand — small room was there to strive,
“’Twas only by favour of mine,” quoth he, “ye rode so long alive:
“There was not a rock for twenty mile, there was not a clump of tree,
“But covered a man of my own men with his rifle cocked on his knee.
“If I had raised my bridle-hand, as I have held it low,
“The little jackals that flee so fast were feasting all in a row.
“If I had bowed my head on my breast, as I have held it high,
“The kite that whistles above us now were gorged till she could not fly.”
Lightly answered the Colonel’s son: “Do good to bird and beast,
“But count who come for the broken meats before thou makest a feast.
“If there should follow a thousand swords to carry my bones away,
“Belike the price of a jackal’s meal were more than a thief could pay.
“They will feed their horse on the standing crop, their men on the garnered grain.
“The thatch of the byres will serve their fires when all the cattle are slain.
“But if thou thinkest the price be fair, — thy brethren wait to sup,
“The hound is kin to the jackal-spawn, — howl, dog, and call them up!
“And if thou thinkest the price be high, in steer and gear and stack,
“Give me my father’s mare again, and I’ll fight my own way back!”

Kamal has gripped him by the hand and set him upon his feet.
“No talk shall be of dogs,” said he, “when wolf and grey wolf meet.
“May I eat dirt if thou hast hurt of me in deed or breath;
“What dam of lances brought thee forth to jest at the dawn with Death?”
Lightly answered the Colonel’s son: “I hold by the blood of my clan:
“Take up the mare for my father’s gift — by God, she has carried a man!”
The red mare ran to the Colonel’s son, and nuzzled against his breast;
“We be two strong men,” said Kamal then, “but she loveth the younger best.
“So she shall go with a lifter’s dower, my turquoise-studded rein,
“My ’broidered saddle and saddle-cloth, and silver stirrups twain.”
The Colonel’s son a pistol drew, and held it muzzle-end,
“Ye have taken the one from a foe,” said he. “Will ye take the mate from a friend?”
“A gift for a gift,” said Kamal straight; “a limb for the risk of a limb.
“Thy father has sent his son to me, I’ll send my son to him!”
With that he whistled his only son, that dropped from a mountain-crest —
He trod the ling like a buck in spring, and he looked like a lance in rest.
“Now here is thy master,” Kamal said, “who leads a troop of the Guides,
#8220;And thou must ride at his left side as shield on shoulder rides.
“Till Death or I cut loose the tie, at camp and board and bed,
“Thy life is his — thy fate it is to guard him with thy head.
“So, thou must eat the White Queen’s meat, and all her foes are thine,
“And thou must harry thy father’s hold for the peace of the Border-line.
“And thou must make a trooper tough and hack thy way to power —
“Belike they will raise thee to Ressaldar when I am hanged in Peshawur!”

They have looked each other between the eyes, and there they found no fault.
They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-Blood on leavened bread and salt:
They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-Blood on fire and fresh-cut sod,
On the hilt and the haft of the Khyber knife, and the Wondrous Names of God.

The Colonel’s son he rides the mare and Kamal’s boy the dun,
And two have come back to Fort Bukloh where there went forth but one.
And when they drew to the Quarter-Guard, full twenty swords flew clear —
There was not a man but carried his feud with the blood of the mountaineer.
“Ha’ done! ha’ done!” said the Colonel’s son. “Put up the steel at your sides!
“Last night ye had struck at a Border thief — to-night ’tis a man of the Guides!”

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

And the one that is as true today as when it was written.


By Rudyard Kipling, 1892

I went into a public- 'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls behind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play-
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you Mr Atkins," when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian roo, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fighting', Lord! They'll shove me in the stalls!For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins," when the trooper's on the tide-
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins," when the trooper's on the tide.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll-
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes," when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind-
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck 'im out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

8th May 2014, 17:21
Measure not with words the immeasurable
Sink not the string of thought into the fathomless

Who asks does err
Who answers errs

Say nought

attributed to the late Dr Ida Mann (ophthalmologist) of Perth, Western Australia.


Masefield's 'Sea Fever'


8th May 2014, 17:49
Here's an ode I wrote to Dolly Parton. A tribute, in fact.

Dolly ?
Folly !

tony draper
8th May 2014, 18:27
Shanghied,by I know not who.:)

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a194/Deaddogbay/second%20album/Shanghaied_zps112b70ae.jpg (http://s11.photobucket.com/user/Deaddogbay/media/second%20album/Shanghaied_zps112b70ae.jpg.html)

8th May 2014, 23:27
and just for you lot that think the only good pome
is a ribald one . . . .. .

Barry Humphries years ago composed this for his First Day Covers (Philharmonia Philatelia) with the Sydney Symph and Nigel Butterley -

" While the Birko is a-bubbling, she hears the postie's whistle
As through her snail encrusted slit
He pushes her epistle."

9th May 2014, 01:32
A bit o' whimsy.

Ho, for the Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee!
He was as wicked as wicked could be,
But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see!
The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

His conscience, of course, was as black as a bat,
But he had a floppety plume on his hat
And when he went walking it jiggled - like that!
The plume of the Pirate Dowdee.

His coat it was handsome and cut with a slash,
And often as ever he twirled his mustache
Deep down in the ocean the mermaids went splash,
Because of Don Durk of Dowdee.

Moreover, Dowdee had a purple tattoo,
And struck in his belt where he buckled it through
Were a dagger, a dirk, and a squizzamaroo,
For fierce was the Pirate Dowdee.

So feaful he was he would shoot at a puff,
And always at sea when the weather grew rough
He drank from a bottle and wrote on his cuff,
Did Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

Oh, he had a cutlass that swung at his thigh
And he had a parrot called Pepperkin Pye,
And a zigzaggy scar at the end of his eye
Had Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

He kept in a cavern, this buccaneer bold,
A curious chest that was covered with mould,
And all of his pockets were jingly with gold!
Oh jing! went the gold of Dowdee.

His consience, of course it was crook'd like a squash,
But both of his boots made a slickery slosh,
And he went throught the world with a wonderful swash,
Did Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

It's true he was wicked as wicked could be,
His sins they outnumbered a hundred and three,
But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see,
The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

9th May 2014, 02:09
Roses are red
Violets are blue-ish
If it wasn't for Jesus
We'd all still be Jewish

9th May 2014, 02:43
With apologies to Lewis Carroll. From a Mad magazine from 1981.

'Twas basil and the spicy cloves
Did chive and chutney in the greens;
All mango were the carrot loaves
And likewise franks and beans.

"Beware the Artichoke, my son!
The leek that prawns, the lox of hash,
Beware the escarole and shun
The deadly succotash!"

He took his marzipan in thyme,
His rutabaga in soufflés,
Then truffled by the lemon-lime,
And muttered, "Mayonnaise."

And while in mushroom thought he sat,
The Artichoke, with chard of quince,
Came waffling through the chicken fat
And dropped a cherry blintz.

Fondu! Fondu! And goulash, too,
The marzipan the foe did squash;
He left it cress, a kipper mess
And scalloped home to wash.

"And did thou dill the Artichoke?
Come kale with me and barbeque!
O candied yam! O chowdered clam!"
He curried in his stew.

'Twas basil and the spicy cloves
Did chive and chutney in the greens;
All mango were the carrot loaves
And likewise franks and beans.

Captain Dart
9th May 2014, 10:11
Another Kipling effort; sounds great when sung by a choir:

I'VE NEVER sailed the Amazon,
I've never reached Brazil;
But the Don and Magdalena,
They can go there when they will!

Yes, weekly from Southampton,
Great steamers, white and gold,
Go rolling down to Rio
(Roll down—roll down to Rio!)
And I'd like to roll to Rio
Some day before I'm old!

I've never seen a Jaguar,
Nor yet an Armadill
O dilloing in his armour,
And I s'pose I never will,

Unless I go to Rio
These wonders to behold
Roll down—roll down to Rio
Roll really down to Rio!
Oh, I'd love to roll to Rio
Some day before I'm old!

Worrals in the wilds
9th May 2014, 10:24
Where the Pelican Builds Her Nest

The horses were ready, the rails were down,
But the riders lingered still
One had a parting word to say,
And one had his pipe to fill.
Then they mounted, one with a granted prayer,
And one with a grief unguessed.
"We are going," they said, as they rode away
"Where the Pelican builds her nest!"

They had told us of pastures wide and green,
To be sought past the sunset's glow;
Of rifts in the ranges by opal lit;
And gold "neath the river's flow.
And thirst and hunger were banished words
When they spoke of that unknown West;
No drought they dreaded, no flood they feared,
Where the pelican builds her nest!

The creek at the ford was but fetlock deep
When we watched them crossing there;
The rains have replenished it thrice since then,
And thrice has the rock lain bare.
But the waters of Hope have flowed and fled,
And never from blue hill's breast
Come back - by the sun and the sands devoured
Where the pelican builds her nest!
Mary Hannay-Foott

9th May 2014, 14:37
Did I hear Banjo Paterson mentioned?? :)

THE GREAT CALAMITY by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson

MacFierce'un came to Whiskeyhurst
When summer days were hot,
And bided there wi' Jock McThirst,
A brawny brother Scot.
Gude Faith! They made the whisky fly,
Like Highland chieftains true,
And when they'd drunk the beaker dry
They sang "We are nae fou!"

"There's nae folk like oor ain folk,
Sae gallant and sae true."
They sang the only Scottish joke
Which is, "We are nae fou."

Said bold McThirst, "Let Saxons jaw
Aboot their great concerns,
But bonny Scotland beats them a',
The land o' cakes and Burns,
The land o' partridge, deer, and grouse,
Fill up your glass, I beg,
There's muckle whusky i' the house,
Forbye what's in the keg."

And here a hearty laugh he laughed,
"Just come wi' me, I beg."
MacFierce'un saw with pleasure daft
A fifty-gallon keg.

"Losh, man, that's grand," MacFierce'un cried,
"Saw ever man the like,
Now, wi' the daylight, I maun ride
To meet a Southron tyke,
But I'll be back ere summer's gone,
So bide for me, I beg,
We'll make a grand assault upon
Yon deevil of a keg."

MacFierce'un rode to Whiskeyhurst,
When summer days were gone,
And there he met with Jock McThirst
Was greetin' all alone.
"McThirst! - what gars ye look sae blank?
Have all yer wits gane daft?
Has that accursed Southron bank
Called up your overdraft?
Is all your grass burnt up wi' drouth?
Is wool and hides gone flat?"
McThirst replied, "Gude friend, in truth,
'Tis muckle waur than that."

"Has sair misfortune cursed your life
That you should weep sae free?
Is harm upon your bonny wife,
The children at your knee?
Is scaith upon your house and hame?'
McThirst upraised his head:
"My bairns hae done the deed of shame ..
'Twere better they were dead.

"To think my bonny infant son
Should do the deed o' guilt ..

He let the whuskey spigot run,
and a' the whuskey's spilt!"

Upon them both these words did bring
A solemn silence deep,
Gude faith, it is a fearsome thing
To see two strong men weep.

9th May 2014, 15:24
From Certain Maxims of Hafiz, Rudyard Kipling.

If he play, being young and unskillful,

For shekels of silver and gold

Take his money, my son, praising Allah

The kid was ordained to be sold!

9th May 2014, 18:32
you have your bitter sweet love song lyrics
and you have the sonorous appeal of the harp

but as someone said just now -
the peerless sonnets of Shakespeare
are unparalleled
in our gloriously rich and evocative language

Peter Sarstedt – Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) (http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/15570/)

You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there's diamonds and pearls in your hair, yes there are.

You live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard of St. Michel
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sacha Distel, yes you do.

You go to the embassy parties
Where you talk in Russian and Greek
And the young men who move in your circles
They hang on every word you speak, yes they do.

But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do.

I've seen all your qualifications
You got from the Sorbonne
And the painting you stole from Picasso
Your loveliness goes on and on, yes it does.

When you go on your summer vacation
You go to Juan-les-Pines
With your carefully designed topless swimsuit
You get an even suntan, on your back and on your legs.

And when the snow falls you're found in St. Moritz
With the others of the jet-set
And you sip your Napoleon Brandy
But you never get your lips wet, no you don't.

But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
would you Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do.

You're in between 20 and 30
A very desirable age
Your body is firm and inviting
But you live on a glittering stage, yes you do, yes you do.

Your name is heard in high places
You know the Aga Khan
He sent you a racehorse for Christmas
And you keep it just for fun, for a laugh ha-ha-ha

They say that when you get married
It'll be to a millionaire
But they don't realize where you came from
And I wonder if they really care, or give a damn

But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes i do.

I remember the back streets of Naples
Two children begging in rags
Both touched with a burning ambition
To shake off their lowly brown tags, they try

So look into my face Marie-Claire
And remember just who you are
Then go and forget me forever
But I know you still bear
the scar, deep inside, yes you do

I know where you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
I know the thoughts that surround you
`Cause I can look inside your head.

Cecilia - Paul Simon

Celia, you’re breaking my heart
You’re shaking my confidence daily
Oh, Cecilia, I’m down on my knees
I’m begging you please to come home

Celia, you’re breaking my heart
You’re shaking my confidence daily
Oh, Cecilia, I’m down on my knees
I’m begging you please to come home
Come on home

Making love in the afternoon
With Cecilia
Up in my bedroom
I got up to wash my face
When I come back to bed
Someone’s taken my place

Celia, you’re breaking my heart
You’re shaking my confidence daily
Oh, Cecilia, I’m down on my knees
I’m begging you please to
Come on home

She loves me again
I fall on the floor and I'm laughing
She loves me again
I fall on the floor and I'm laughing

spInY nORmAn
9th May 2014, 20:10
Rudyard Kipling

The Answer

A Rose, in tatters on the garden path,
Cried out to God and murmured 'gainst His Wrath,
Because a sudden wind at twilight's hush
Had snapped her stem alone of all the bush.
And God, Who hears both sun-dried dust and sun,
Had pity, whispering to that luckless one,
"Sister, in that thou sayest We did not well --
What voices heardst thou when thy petals fell?"
And the Rose answered, "In that evil hour
A voice said, `Father, wherefore falls the flower?
For lo, the very gossamers are still.'
And a voice answered, `Son, by Allah's will!'"

Then softly as a rain-mist on the sward,
Came to the Rose the Answer of the Lord:
"Sister, before We smote the Dark in twain,
Ere yet the stars saw one another plain,
Time, Tide, and Space, We bound unto the task
That thou shouldst fall, and such an one should ask."
Whereat the withered flower, all content,
Died as they die whose days are innocent;
While he who questioned why the flower fell
Caught hold of God and saved his soul from Hell.

16th May 2014, 18:38
The Bells - Edgar Allen Poe - is one of......


Hear the sledges with the bells -
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.


Hear the mellow wedding bells -
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight! -
From the molten - golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle - dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! - how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!


Hear the loud alarum bells -
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now - now to sit, or never,
By the side of the pale - faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear, it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells -
Of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
In the clamor and the clanging of the bells!


Hear the tolling of the bells -
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people - ah, the people -
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone -
They are neither man nor woman -
They are neither brute nor human -
They are Ghouls: -
And their king it is who tolls: -
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
A paean from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the paean of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the paean of the bells: -
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells: -
To the sobbing of the bells: -
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells -
To the tolling of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells, -
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

16th May 2014, 18:52
Roses are red

Violets are blue

Rhyming is hard

Like I am for you

Aww.....so sweet. :8

16th May 2014, 19:38
I am in a DH Beaver flying over the frozen north, everytime I run this enchanting little poem by L. Kearns through the mind.....

Full moon
Snow crust
Trees black against the sky.
the wind
rattles by.

16th May 2014, 21:05
Having been a member of PPRune for 6 years or so, and having seen comments from the inane to well thought out thesis on some matter of aviation, I must say that this thread has given me a new view of the membership.

tony draper
16th May 2014, 22:01
Looking for someone with a good voice on youtube reciting this,sadly none as good as Mr Masterman a teacher of fond memory,so found it put to music.
Song: THE LISTENERS (Walter de la Mare) - YouTube

16th May 2014, 23:11
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question. . .
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all;
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . .

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet–and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say, "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

16th May 2014, 23:26
I wish I was a glow worm,
A glow worm is never glum
'cause how can you be grumpy
When the sun shines out your bum ?

17th May 2014, 01:27
Zoon, zoon, cuddle and croon–
Over the crinkling sea,
The moon man flings him a silvered net
Fashioned of moonbeams three.

And some folk say when the net lies long
And the midnight hour is ripe;
The moon man fishes for some old song
That fell from a sailor's pipe.

And some folk say that he fishes the bars
Down where the dead ships lie,
Looking for lost little baby stars
That slid from the slippery sky.

And the waves roll out and the waves roll in
And the nodding night wind blows,
But why the moon man fishes the sea
Only the moon man knows.

Zoon, zoon, net of the moon
Rides on the wrinkling sea;
Bright is the fret and shining wet,
Fashioned of moonbeams three.

And some folk say when the great net gleams
And the waves are dusky blue,
The moon man fishes for two little dreams
He lost when the world was new.

And some folk say in the late night hours,
While the long fin-shadows slide,
The moon man fishes for cold sea flowers
Under the tumbling tide.

And the waves roll out and the waves roll in
And the gray gulls dip and doze,
But why the moon man fishes the sea
Only the moon man knows.

Zoon, zoon, cuddle and croon--
Over the crinkling sea,
The moon man flings him a silvered net
Fashioned of moonbeams three.

And some folk say that he follows the flecks
Down where the last light flows,
Fishing for two round gold-rimmed "specs"
That blew from his button-like nose.

And some folk say while the salt sea foams
And the silver net lines snare,
The moon man fishes for carven combs
That float from the mermaids' hair.

And the waves roll out and the waves roll in
And the nodding night wind blows,
But why the moon man fishes the sea
Only the moon man knows.

17th May 2014, 05:48
pigboat, I like that.

When my dad (RCN) died, we read Tennyson's Crossing the Bar before spreading his ashes at sea. A few years later, the same was done when a friend (USN) passed.

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

17th May 2014, 06:03
I find bad poetry to be funnier than funny-good poetry.

Here's a dilly. (Poet's name withheld to protect the guilty!)

encroaching blackness lies bleeding on the uncaring sands of time

pain is good
pain is nice
pain is worth the sacrifice

i fling myself facefirst from this vale of tears into the black strangling nothingness that birthed me

i am but a hemorrhoid on the rectum of the universe
prostate with pain

the sky is falling
the sky is falling
the sky is falling

fear is the maggot
in my soul
it gnaws at me
i dine in hell
the menu is nothingness

i drink the bitter wine of mankind to the dregs

my cup

tony draper
17th May 2014, 09:06
Probably get him the Poet Laureate gig that would nowadays.:rolleyes:

17th May 2014, 09:11
I know a Muslim whose name is Jim,
I really love throwing tomatoes at him,
Tomatoes are soft and don't hurt the skin,
But these f*ckers do, because they're still in the tin

The warmth and heart wrenching simplicity of Australian bush poetry

tony draper
17th May 2014, 09:24
Trouble with resurrected threads is what has one may have already posted summat.
Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;
A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread
The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,
Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,
The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run
Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun?
The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,
But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.
God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear
The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.

My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,
But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.
G,K. Chesterton.

Willi B
18th May 2014, 04:43
Robert Burns' Tam O'Shanter is the classic tale of a chap stopping off to have a few beers after work before going home. Who cannot relate to:

While we sit bousing at the nappy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ale),
An' getting fou (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drunk) and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wetland), waters, slaps and stiles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

The poem goes on to describe Tam's journey home, doubtless well over the PCA limit. On the way, he allegedly witnesses an orgy in a churchyard, is chased by the Devil, manages to escape and arrives home somewhat the worse for wear. Unfortunately, the reception he received from his wife isn't recorded!

On a more contemporary and nostalgic note, I can't go beyond these words written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney:

There are places I remember all my life
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
Of lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I loved them all
And with all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
And I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I loved you more
And I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I loved you more
In my life I loved you more

18th May 2014, 06:38
A favourite quote from Leonard Cohen....

My reputation as a ladies' man was a joke that caused me to laugh bitterly through the ten thousand nights I spent alone.

18th May 2014, 06:52
If all who hate would love us, and all our loves were true,
The stars that swing above us, would brighten in the blue.

If cru-el words were kisses, and every scowl a smile,
A better world than this one,
Would hardly be worthwhile.

No idea who wrote it.

18th May 2014, 09:36
I'm Jonathon Pig and I'm fearsomely stout
From the tip of my tail to the end of my snout
I'm too fat to move and I'm too young to die
So think about me next time you eat a Pork Pie.

Ian Durie

Worrals in the wilds
18th May 2014, 09:59
Could also be posted in the Aus politics thread...:}

Said Hanrahan
PJ Hartigan (as John O'Brien), 1921.

"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan in accents most forlorn,
Outside the church, ere Mass began one frosty Sunday morn.
The congregation stood about coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock, and crops, and drought as it had done for years.
"It's looking crook," said Daniel Croke; "Bedad, it's cruke, me lad,
For never since the banks went broke has seasons been so bad."

"It's dry, all right," said young O'Neil, with which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel and chewed a piece of bark.
And so around the chorus ran, "It's keepin' dry, no doubt."
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "Before the year is out."
"The crops are done; ye'll have your work to save one bag of grain;
From here way out to Back-o'-Bourke they're singin' out for rain.

"They're singin' out for rain," he said, "And all the tanks are dry."
The congregation scratched its head, and gazed around the sky.
"There won't be grass, in any case, enough to feed an ass;
There's not a blade on Casey's place as I came down to Mass."
"If rain don't come this month," said Dan, and cleared his throat to speak -
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "If rain don't come this week."

A heavy silence seemed to steal on all at this remark;
And each man squatted on his heel, and chewed a piece of bark.
"We want an inch of rain, we do, "O'Neil observed at last;
But Croke "maintained" we wanted two, to put the danger past.
"If we don't get three inches, man, or four to break this drought,
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "Before the year is out."

In God's good time down came the rain; and all the afternoon
On iron roof and window-pane it drummed a homely tune.
And through the night it pattered still, and lightsome, gladsome elves
On dripping spout and window-sill kept talking to themselves.
It pelted, pelted all day long, a-singing at its work,
Till every heart took up the song way out to Back-o'-Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran, and dams filled overtop;
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "If this rain doesn't stop."
And stop it did, in God's good time; and spring came in to fold
A mantle o'er the hills sublime of green and pink and gold.
And days went by on dancing feet, with harvest-hopes immense,
And laughing eyes beheld the wheat nid-nodding o'er the fence.

And, oh, the smiles on every face, as happy lad and lass
Through grass knee-deep on Casey's place went riding down to Mass.
While round the church in clothes genteel discoursed the men of mark,
And each man squatted on his heel, and chewed his piece of bark.
"There'll be bush-fires for sure, me man, there will, without a doubt;
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "Before the year is out."

tony draper
18th May 2014, 10:12
Great stuff Mr Worrals.:ok:

18th May 2014, 14:17
I believe that your address should read, "Ms Worrals", Mr D. :)

tony draper
18th May 2014, 15:09
oops!! much apologise Madam Worrals:\

Worrals in the wilds
19th May 2014, 01:28
No worries. ;)
Glad you like it. I work with at least three Hanrahans. :{

19th May 2014, 01:31
Mr Worrals is a she?

Omg. :eek:

Now there's a poem. :}

19th May 2014, 03:14
This is another of Banjo Patersons classics that is amongst my favourites.

Mulga Bill's Bicycle

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,
The grinning shop assistant said, 'Excuse me, can you ride?'

'See here, young man,' said Mulga Bill, 'from Walgett to the sea,
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me.
I'm good all round at everything, as everybody knows,
Although I'm not the one to talk - I hate a man that blows.
But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight?

There's nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,
There's nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,
But what I'll sit, while hide will hold, and girths and straps are tight:
I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern, right straight away at sight.'

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,
That perched above the Dead Man's Creek, beside the mountain road.
He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,
But ere he'd gone a dozen yards, it bolted clean away.

It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver streak,
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man's Creek.
It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white box;
The very wallaroos in fright, went scrambling up the rocks.

The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.
It struck a stone and gave a spring, that cleared a fallen tree,
It raced beside a precipice, as close as close could be;
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dead Man's Creek.

'Twas Mulga Bill from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:
He said, 'I've had some narrer shaves and lively rides before;
I've rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,
But this was the most awful ride that I've encountered yet.

I'll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; It's shaken all my nerve
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.
It's safe at rest in Dead Man's Creek, we'll leave it lying still;
A horse's back is good enough, henceforth for Mulga Bill.

Banjo Paterson

"big white box" = Australian Box tree
"wallaroo" = a macropod that is between a wallaby and a kangaroo

Worrals in the wilds
19th May 2014, 04:12
The wonderful thing is that it still completely works for the 21st century, particularly if you re-imagine Mulga Bill's cycling clothes as pink, lyrca and dorky. :}

19th May 2014, 04:26
The Guile of Dad McGinnis

When McGinnis struck the mining camp at Jamberoora Creek
His behaviour was appreciated highly;
For, although he was a quiet man, in manner mild and meek,
Not like ordinary swagmen with a monumental cheek,
He became the admiration of the camp along the creek
'Cause he showed a point to Kangaroobie Riley!

Both the pubs at Jamberoora had some grog that stood the test
(Not to speak of what was manufactured slyly!)
And the hostel of O'Gorman, which was called The Diggers' Rest,
Was, O'Gorman said, the finest house of any in the west;
But it was a burning question if it really was the best,
Or the Miners'—kept by Kangaroobie Riley.

Dad McGinnis called at Riley's. Said he "felt a trifle queer",
And with something like a wan and weary smile, he
Said he "thought he'd try a whisky". Pushed it back and said, "I fear
I had better take a brandy." Passed that back and said: "Look here,
Take the brandy; after all, I think I'll have a pint of beer!"
And he drank the health of Kangaroobie Riley!

"Where's the money?" asked the publican; "you'll have to pay, begad!"
"Gave the brandy for the beer!" said Dad the wily,
"And I handed you the whisky when I took the brandy, lad!"
"But you paid not for the whisky!" answered Riley. "No," said Dad,
"And you don't expect a man to pay for what he never had!"
—'Twas the logic flattened Kangaroobie Riley!

"See," said Kangaroobie Riley, "you have had me, that is clear!
But I never mind a joke," he added dryly.
"Just you work it on O'Gorman, and I'll shout another beer."
"I'd be happy to oblige yer," said McGinnis with a leer,
"But the fact about the matter is—O'Gorman sent me here!—
So, good morning, Mr Kangaroobie Riley!"

19th May 2014, 04:30

What did we earth-bound make of it? A tangle
Of vapour trails, a vertiginously high
Swarming of midges, at most a fiery angel
Hurled out of heaven, was all we could descry.

How could we know the agony and pride
That scrawled those fading signatures up there,
And the cool expertise of those who died
Or lived through that delirium of the air?

Grounded on history now, we re-enact
Such lives, such deaths. Time, laughing out of court
The newspaper heroics and the faked
Statistics, leaves us only to record.

What was, what might have been: fighter and bomber,
The tilting sky, tense moves and counterings;
Those who outlived that legendary summer;
Those who went down, its sunlight on their wings.

And you, unborn then, what will you make of it—
This shadow-play of battles long ago?
Be sure of this: they pushed to the uttermost limit
Their luck, skill, nerve. And they were young like you.

19th May 2014, 06:17
Well, my 1st place to 10,000th place are the Great War Poems. Have been trying to reread as many as possible during the Centenary year.

But for pure enjoyment (and for a bit of a party piece), it is hard to beat:

I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.


19th May 2014, 06:54
While we are looking at the works of Banjo Paterson, how's about The Man from Ironbark:

It was the man from Ironbark who struck the Sydney town,
He wandered over street and park, he wandered up and down.
He loitered here, he loitered there, till he was like to drop,
Until at last in sheer despair he sought a barber's shop.
"'Ere! shave my beard and whiskers off, I'll be a man of mark,
I'll go and do the Sydney toff up home in Ironbark."

The barber man was small and flash, as barbers mostly are,
He wore a strike-your-fancy sash, he smoked a huge cigar;
He was a humorist of note and keen at repartee,
He laid the odds and kept a "tote", whatever that may be,
And when he saw our friend arrive, he whispered, "Here's a lark!
Just watch me catch him all alive, this man from Ironbark."

There were some gilded youths that sat along the barber's wall.
Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all;
To them the barber passed the wink, his dexter eyelid shut,
"I'll make this bloomin' yokel think his bloomin' throat is cut."
And as he soaped and rubbed it in he made a rude remark:
"I s'pose the flats is pretty green up there in Ironbark."

A grunt was all reply he got; he shaved the bushman's chin,
Then made the water boiling hot and dipped the razor in.
He raised his hand, his brow grew black, he paused awhile to gloat,
Then slashed the red-hot razor-back across his victim's throat:
Upon the newly-shaven skin it made a livid mark -
No doubt it fairly took him in - the man from Ironbark.

He fetched a wild up-country yell might wake the dead to hear,
And though his throat, he knew full well, was cut from ear to ear,
He struggled gamely to his feet, and faced the murd'rous foe:
"You've done for me! you dog, I'm beat! one hit before I go!
I only wish I had a knife, you blessed murdering shark!
But you'll remember all your life the man from Ironbark."

He lifted up his hairy paw, with one tremendous clout
He landed on the barber's jaw, and knocked the barber out.
He set to work with nail and tooth, he made the place a wreck;
He grabbed the nearest gilded youth, and tried to break his neck.
And all the while his throat he held to save his vital spark,
And "Murder! Bloody murder!" yelled the man from Ironbark.

A peeler man who heard the din came in to see the show;
He tried to run the bushman in, but he refused to go.
And when at last the barber spoke, and said "'Twas all in fun—
'Twas just a little harmless joke, a trifle overdone."
"A joke!" he cried, "By George, that's fine; a lively sort of lark;
I'd like to catch that murdering swine some night in Ironbark."

19th May 2014, 06:58
Or following on from Hanrahan:

PJ Hartigan (as John O'Brien)

The bishop sat in lordly state and purple cap sublime,
And galvanized the old bush church at Confirmation time.
And all the kids were mustered up from fifty miles around,
With Sunday clothes, and staring eyes, and ignorance profound.
Now was it fate, or was it grace, whereby they yarded too
An overgrown two-storey lad from Tangmalangaloo?

A hefty son of virgin soil, where nature has her fling,
And grows the trefoil three feet high and mats it in the spring;
Where mighty hills uplift their heads to pierce the welkin's rim,
And trees sprout up a hundred feet before they shoot a limb;
There everything is big and grand, and men are giants too -
But Christian Knowledge wilts, alas, at Tangmalangaloo.

The bishop summed the youngsters up, as bishops only can;
He cast a searching glance around, then fixed upon his man.
But glum and dumb and undismayed through every bout he sat;
He seemed to think that he was there, but wasn't sure of that.
The bishop gave a scornful look, as bishops sometimes do,
And glared right through the pagan in from Tangmalangaloo.

"Come, tell me, boy," his lordship said in crushing tones severe,
"Come, tell me why is Christmas Day the greatest of the year?
"How is it that around the world we celebrate that day
"And send a name upon a card to those who're far away?
"Why is it wandering ones return with smiles and greetings, too?"
A squall of knowledge hit the lad from Tangmalangaloo.

He gave a lurch which set a-shake the vases on the shelf,
He knocked the benches all askew, up-ending of himself.
And so, how pleased his lordship was, and how he smiled to say,
"That's good, my boy. Come, tell me now; and what is Christmas Day?"
The ready answer bared a fact no bishop ever knew -
"It's the day before the races out at Tangmalangaloo.

19th May 2014, 07:48
And following on in turn.....

"The Integrated Adjective"

by John O'Grady (1907-1981)

I was down the Riverina, knockin' 'round the towns a bit,
And occasionally resting with a schooner in me mitt,
And on one of these occasions, when the bar was pretty full
And the local blokes were arguin' assorted kind of bull,
I heard a conversation, most peculiar in its way.
It's only in Australia you would hear a joker say:
"Howya bloody been, ya drongo, haven't seen ya fer a week,
And yer mate was lookin' for ya when ya come in from the creek.
'E was lookin' up at Ryan's, and around at bloody Joe's,
And even at the Royal, where 'e bloody NEVER goes".
And the other bloke says "Seen 'im? Owed 'im half a bloody quid.
Forgot to give it back to him, but now I bloody did -
Could've used the thing me bloody self. Been off the bloody booze,
Up at Tumba-bloody-rumba shootin' kanga-bloody-roos."
Now the bar was pretty quiet, and everybody heard
The peculiar integration of this adjectival word,
But no-one there was laughing, and me - I wasn't game,
So I just sits back and lets them think I spoke the bloody same.
Then someone else was interested to know just what he got,
How many kanga-bloody-roos he went and bloody shot,
And the shooting bloke says "Things are crook -
the drought's too bloody tough.
I got forty-two by seven, and that's good e-bloody-nough."
And, as this polite rejoinder seemed to satisfy the mob,
Everyone stopped listening and got on with the job,
Which was drinkin' beer, and arguin', and talkin' of the heat,
Of boggin' in the bitumen in the middle of the street,
But as for me, I'm here to say the interesting news
Was Tumba-bloody-rumba shootin' kanga-bloody-roos.

19th May 2014, 12:54
Under the impression that pilots frequent this forum. This poem/song I first saw performed at a rock concert in Maryland, in the late 70's. I had no idea who the band was at the time, some group called Kansas. This song struck me. I went and got the record the following week. It's about flying.
I have it in my list of last requests of songs to be played at my wake. (They can do the usual church music at the funeral ... as funeral's are for the living ...)

Icarus, Born on Wings of Steel

Early in the morning sunlight
Soaring on the wings of dawn
Here I'll live and die
with my wings in the sky
And I won't come down no more

Higher than a bird I'm flying
Crimson skies of ice and fire
Borne on wings of steel,
I have so much to feel
And I won't come down no more

Sail on, sail on
I will rise each day to meet the dawn
So high, so high
I've climbed the mountains of the sky
Without my wings
You know, I'd surely die
I found my freedom flying high
I've climbed the mountains of the sky

Floating on a cloud of amber
Searching for the rainbow's end
Earth so far below me,
I'm here alone
I can't come down no more

19th May 2014, 23:16
While we're on the Oz wavelength, I have this gem from sources unknown (perhaps a knowledgeable Ppruner could shed light on the origin?)
Also apologies to the cousins for the crack about baseball caps

When the shearing sheds are silent and the stock camps fallen quiet
When the gidgee coals no longer glow; across the outback night
And the bush is forced to hang a sign, 'gone broke and won't be back'
And spirits fear to find a way beyond the beaten track

When harvesters stand derelict upon the wind swept plains
And brave hearts pin their hopes no more on chance of loving rains
When a hundred outback settlements are ghost towns overnight
When we've lost the drive and heart we had to once more see us right

When 'Pioneer' means a stereo and 'Digger' some backhoe
And the 'Outback' is behind the house, there's nowhere else to go
And 'Anzac' is a biscuit brand and probably foreign owned
And education really means brainwashed; and neatly cloned

When you have to bake a loaf of bread to make a decent crust
And our heritage once enshrined in gold is crumbling to dust
And old folk pay their camping fees on land for which they fought
And fishing is a great escape; this is until you're caught

When you see our kids with yankee caps and resentment in their eyes
And the soaring crime and hopeless hearts is no longer a surprise
When the name of RM Williams is a yuppie clothing brand
Not a product of our heritage that grew once off the land

When offering a hand makes people think you'll amputate
And two dogs meeting in the street is what you call a 'Mate'
When 'Political Correctness' has replaced all common sense
When you're forced to see it their way, there's no sitting on the fence

Yes one day you might find yourself an outcast in this land
Perhaps your heart will tell you then, 'I should have made a stand'
Just go and ask the farmers that should remove all doubt
Then join the swelling ranks who say, 'Don't sell Australia out'!

20th May 2014, 00:40
Willi B, John Lennon once explained that he and Paul McCartney would say, "Let's write a swimming pool" or "Let's write a new car" when they sat down to compose the words and music of a new song. With In My Life they wrote a country estate complete with a pool and a Rolls Royce.

V2 I had an uncle who served aboard CSS (HMCS) Acadia in both world wars. That same poem was read at his funeral.

On Thursday, Shahnour Varinag Aznavourian will be 91 years old. We all know him better as Charles Aznavour.

Yesterday when I was young,
The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue,
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game,
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame;
The thousand dreams I dreamed,
The splendid things I planned
I always built, alas, on weak and shifting sand;
I lived by night and shunned the naked light of day
And only now I see how the years ran away.

Yesterday, when I was young,
So many happy songs were waiting to be sung,
So many wayward pleasures lay in store for me
And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see,
I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out,
I never stopped to think what life was all about
And every conversation I can now recall
Concerned itself with me, and nothing else at all.

Yesterday the moon was blue,
And every crazy day brought something new to do,
I used my magic age as if it were a wand,
And never saw the waste and emptiness beyond;
The game of love I played with arrogance and pride
And every flame I lit too quickly, quickly died;
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away
And only I am left on stage to end the play.
There are so many songs in me that won't be sung,
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue,
The time has come for me to pay
For yesterday
When I was young.

20th May 2014, 06:17
gupta - The author of "Don't sell Australia Out" is Far North Queenslander, Chris Long.

Don?t Sell Australia Out | Chris Long Bush Poetry - Don't Sell Australia Out (http://www.chrislongbushpoetry.com/dont-sell-australia-out/)

20th May 2014, 06:33
Lonewolf 50 - Sorry, we'll try to do better. Is this more suitable? Some of us like all types of poetry, that's all. :)

First Things First

The boundary lamps were yellow blurs
Against the winter night
And I had checked the last ship in
And snapped the office light,
And paused a while to let the ghosts
Of bygone days and men
Roam down the skies of auld lang syne
As one will now and then ...
When fancy set me company
A red checked lad to stand
With questions gleaming in his eyes,
A model in his hand.

He may have been your boy or mine,
I could not clearly see,
But there was no mistaking how
His eyes were questing me
For answers which all sons must have
Who builds their toys in play
But pow'r them in valiant dreams
And fly them far away;
So down I sat with him beside
There in the dim lit shed
And with the ghost of better men
To check on me, I said:

"I cannot tell you, sonny boy,
The future of this art,
But one thing I can show you, lad,
An old time pilot's heart;
And you may judge what flight may give
Or hold in store for you
By knowing how true pilots feel
About the work they do;
And only he who dedicates
His life to some ideal
Becomes as one with the dreams
His future will reveal

Not one of whose wings are dust
Would call his bargain in,
Not one of us would welsh his part
To save his bloomin' skin,
Not one would wish to walk again
Unless allowed to throw
His heart into the thing he loved
And go as he would go:
Not one would change for gold or pow'r
Nor fun nor love nor fame
The part he played and price he paid
In making the good game.

And of the living ... none, not one
Regrets the scars he bears,
The sheer uncertainty of plans,
The poverty he shares,
Remitted price for one mistake
That checks a bright career,
The shattered hopes, the scant rewards,
The future never clear:
And of the living ... none, not one
Who truly loves the sky
Would trade a hundred earth bound hours
For one that he could fly.

If that sleek model in your hand
Which you have brought to me
Most represents the thing you love,
The thing you want to be,
Then you will fill your curly head
With knowledge, fact and lore,
For there is no short cut which leads
To aviation's door;
And only those whose zeal is proved
By patient toil and will
Shall ever have a part to play
Or have a place to fill."

And suddenly the lad was gone
On wings I could not hear,
But from afar off came his voice
In studied tones and clear,
A prophet's message simply told
For this is what he said
And why his hand will someday lead
Formations overhead,
"Who wants to fly has got to know:
Now two times two is four:
I've got to learn the first things first!
.. I closed the hangar door."

— Gill Robb Wilson

20th May 2014, 08:29
Rupert Brooke. 1887–1915

The Soldier

IF I should die, think only this of me;
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Robert Cooper
23rd May 2014, 20:38
Elizabeth Harcourt Mitchell

The Spanish flag, all red and gold.
Flies out in Cadiz Bay;
King George's ships are off the coast,
Close watching night and day.

"Come forth, Gravina! Villeneuve!
Before the British might:
St. George for merry England, lads,
And God defend the right!

"Come forth, O Spanish red and gold!
Forth! French blue, red and white,
Behold the British hearts of oak
With red-cross banner bright!
Sail out, ye stately men of war,
O gallant thirty-three!

And carry nigh three thousand guns
Out to the open sea!"

The French and Spanish men-of-war,
Sail out of Cadiz Bay,
The Trinidad, the Bucentaur,
That bright October day, 

All three and thirty stately ships,
Black castles on the main:
Crowd, crowd all sail, King George's fleet!
Shall they go back again?

Beneath the bright October skies
Away the white sails go,—
To where Gibraltar's lion lies
Close watching friend and foe.
But lo! St. George's ensign floats
Borne on the western breeze,
A chase! a chase! turn, Spain and France,
And face the Northern seas!

Tack, Villeneuve! tack, Gravina!
Run back to Cadiz Bay!
The great black ships plough through the foam,
White sails throw back the spray.
Press on, O British hearts of oak,
Steer north! Cut off their van!
Clear, clear the decks! load every gun,
And stand firm every man!

Out roll the Victory's signal flags,
And words of high-souled beauty
Fly forth aloft! "England expects
Each man to do his duty!"
Three ringing cheers sound through the fleet,
To hail the watchword glorious,
And every man already feels
Himself, his ship, victorious!

Out sails the Royal Sovereign far
The swiftest sailing ones,
Plunges into the crescent line
With double-shotted guns.
"Rake, rake the Santa Anna, lads,
Leave her a shattered wreck;
Hurrah! four hundred men lie dead,
Upon the Spanish deck!"

Starboard the helm and grapple close,
Lay ship alongside ship,
Soon shall the Spanish red and gold
Before the Red Cross dip.

Muzzle to muzzle every gun
And face to face each man,
Brave Collingwood hath led the lee
And pushed into the van!

The white smoke fills the great calm sky,
The battle-thunders roar,
Those mighty hulls shall never see,
Unwrecked, the Spanish shore.
For Nelson in the Victory
Is bearing down full sail,
Whilst shot and shell the Bucentaur
Sends o'er him thick as hail!

Bear down, O gallant Victory,
Subdue the dark blue sea,
For Nelson leads the windward line
And Collingwood the lee!
The Temeraire is close astern,
Ready each gun, each man,
Northesk in the Britannia comes,
Bear down and break the van!

Bear down, O gallant Victory,
Lead on the windward line!
On where the sunlight strikes the hulls
And makes them flash and shine!
Thy spars and ropes are crashing down,
Thy wheel is shot away;
And fifty officers and men
Fall on thy deck to-day!

Nigh twenty noble Spanish ships
Hold Nelson's line at bay,
Fourteen are grappling with the best
Ol Collingwood's array;
The cheers, the crash of falling masts,
The great guns' deafening roar,
Can ye not hear it, Englishmen,
On England's rocky shore?

Close up, close up in desperate fight,
Red Cross and Tricolor;
The great Redoubtable sails up,
To save the Bucentaur.
The Bucentaur and Victory,
Hard fighting face to face,
Their anchors locked, their great hulls rocked
In terrible embrace.

Woe to the dark Redoubtable,
Woe to the Frenchman's ball,
We heard it hiss across the deck,
We saw our Nelson fall:
We had no time to sigh or weep,
We bore him down below,
Then rushed to prove by British shot,
The depth of British woe!

Two long sad hours the life-blood flowed,
Two long sad hours he lay,
But the dying face looked up and smiled
When England won the day;
And ere the deep red sun had set
In purple waves of beauty,
He breathed his last inspiring word,
"Thank God! I've done my duty!"

The great black hulls dismasted swung
Across the darkening main,
Down, down they haul the shot-pierced flags,
The flags of France and Spain;
And since that day St. George's Cross
Has ruled the dark blue sea,
For Nelson led the windward line
And Collingwood the lee!

23rd May 2014, 20:55
Rupert Brooke. 1887–1915

The Soldier

IF I should die, think only this of me;
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Vercingetorix, The Soldier is my favourite poem, it never fails to bring a tear. Thanks for posting it.:ok:

"There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,"

It touches the soul.


Worrals in the wilds
25th May 2014, 10:56
Lucky ol' Clancy.;)
Modern equivalent...:}
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I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just `on spec', addressed as follows, `Clancy, of The Overflow'.

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
`Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are.'

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving `down the Cooper' where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all

And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the 'buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal --
But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of `The Overflow'.
Clancy of The Overflow (http://www.wallisandmatilda.com.au/clancy-of-the-overflow.shtml)

tony draper
25th May 2014, 11:06
My road is fenced with the bleached, white bones
And strewn with the blind, white sand,
Beside me a suffering, dumb world moans
On the breast of a lonely land.
On the rim of the world the lightnings play,
The heat-waves quiver and dance,
And the breath of the wind is a sword to slay
And the sunbeams each a lance.

I have withered the grass where my hot hoofs tread,
I have whitened the sapless trees,
I have driven the faint-heart rains ahead
To hide in their soft green seas.

I have bound the plains with an iron band,
I have stricken the slow streams dumb!
To the charge of my vanguards who shall stand?
Who stay when my cohorts come?

The dust-storms follow and wrap me round;
The hot winds ride as a guard;
Before me the fret of the swamps is bound
And the way of the wild-fowl barred.

I drop the whips on the loose-flanked steers;
I burnt their necks with the bow;
And the green-hide rips and the iron sears
Where the staggering, lean beasts go.

I lure the swagman out of the road
To the gleam of a phantom lake;
I have laid him down, I have taken his load,
And he sleeps till the dead men wake.

My hurrying hoofs in the night go by,
And the great flocks bleat their fear
And follow the curve of the creeks burnt dry
And the plains scorched brown and sere.

The worn men start from their sleepless rest
With faces haggard and drawn;
They cursed the red Sun into the west
And they curse him out of the dawn.

They have carried their outposts far, far out,
But - blade of my sword for a sign! -
I am the Master, the dread King Drought,
And the great West Land is mine!
William Henry Ogilvie

28th May 2014, 22:00
Lonewolf 50 - Sorry, we'll try to do better. Is this more suitable? Some of us like all types of poetry, that's all. :)
I wast not chastising the selections. Much of it is good poetry.

I just tossed in some aviation themed poetry, and mentioned this being a loft for winged bretheren as an intro to why this poem/song might fit in here well.

Loved your addition to the mix!

"I will have poetry in my life!"

A A Gruntpuddock
28th May 2014, 22:30
Rather long so I'll only post a link

The Lady of Shalott (1832) by Alfred, Lord Tennyson : The Poetry Foundation (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174626)

Robert Cooper
7th Jul 2014, 03:18
Ballad of the Clampherdown
Rudyard Kipling

IT WAS our war-ship Clampherdown
Would sweep the Channel clean,
Wherefore she kept her hatches close
When the merry Channel chops arose,
To save the bleached marine.

She had one bow-gun of a hundred ton,
And a great stern-gun beside;
They dipped their noses deep in the sea,
They racked their stays and stanchions free
In the wash of the wind-whipped tide.

It was our war-ship Clampherdown,
Fell in with a cruiser light
That carried the dainty Hotchkiss gun
And a pair o’ heels wherewith to run
From the grip of a close-fought fight.

She opened fire at seven miles —
As ye shoot at a bobbing cork —
And once she fired and twice she fired,
Till the bow-gun drooped like a lily tired
That lolls upon the stalk.

“Captain, the bow-gun melts apace,
The deck-beams break below,
’Twere well to rest for an hour or twain,
And botch the shattered plates again.”
And he answered, “Make it so.”

She opened fire within the mile —
As ye shoot at the flying duck—
And the great stern-gun shot fair and true,
With the heave of the ship, to the stainless blue,
And the great stern-turret stuck.

“Captain, the turret fills with steam,
The feed-pipes burst below—
You can hear the hiss of the helpless ram,
You can hear the twisted runners jam.”
And he answered, “Turn and go!”

It was our war-ship Clampherdown,
And grimly did she roll;
Swung round to take the cruiser’s fire
As the White Whale faces the Thresher’s ire
When they war by the frozen Pole.

“Captain, the shells are falling fast,
And faster still fall we;
And it is not meet for English stock
To bide in the heart of an eight-day clock
The death they cannot see.”

“Lie down, lie down, my bold A.B.,
We drift upon her beam;
We dare not ram, for she can run;
And dare ye fire another gun,
And die in the peeling steam?”

It was our war-ship Clampherdown
That carried an armour-belt;
But fifty feet at stern and bow
Lay bare as the paunch of the purser’s sow,
To the hail of the Nordenfeldt.

“Captain, they hack us through and through;
The chilled steel bolts are swift!
We have emptied the bunkers in open sea,
Their shrapnel bursts where our coal should be.”
And he answered, “Let her drift.”

It was our war-ship Clampherdown,
Swung round upon the tide,
Her two dumb guns glared south and north,
And the blood and the bubbling steam ran forth,
And she ground the cruiser’s side.

“Captain, they cry, the fight is done,
They bid you send your sword.”
And he answered, “Grapple her stern and bow.
They have asked for the steel. They shall have it now;
Out cutlasses and board!”

It was our war-ship Clampherdown
Spewed up four hundred men;
And the scalded stokers yelped delight,
As they rolled in the waist and heard the fight
Stamp o’er their steel-walled pen.

They cleared the cruiser end to end,
From conning-tower to hold.
They fought as they fought in Nelson’s fleet;
They were stripped to the waist, they were bare to the feet,
As it was in the days of old.

It was the sinking Clampherdown
Heaved up her battered side—
And carried a million pounds in steel,
To the cod and the corpse-fed conger-eel,
And the scour of the Channel tide.

It was the crew of the Clampherdown
Stood out to sweep the sea,
On a cruiser won from an ancient foe,
As it was in the days of long ago,
And as it still shall be.

7th Jul 2014, 13:04
Another Kipling, some of which is just as applicable today. Regrettably, politicians don't seem to recognise the fact.

"OH, where are you going to, all you Big Steamers,
With England's own coal, up and down the salt seas? "
"We are going to fetch you your bread and your butter,
Your beef, pork, and mutton, eggs, apples, and cheese."
"And where will you fetch it from, all you Big Steamers,
And where shall I write you when you are away? "
"We fetch it from Melbourne, Quebec, and Vancouver.
Address us at Hobart, Hong-kong, and Bombay."

"But if anything happened to all you Big Steamers,
And suppose you were wrecked up and down the salt sea?"
"Why, you'd have no coffee or bacon for breakfast,
And you'd have no muffins or toast for your tea."

"Then I'll pray for fine weather for all you Big Steamers
For little blue billows and breezes so soft."
"Oh, billows and breezes don't bother Big Steamers:
We're iron below and steel-rigging aloft."

"Then I'll build a new lighthouse for all you Big Steamers,
With plenty wise pilots to pilot you through."
"Oh, the Channel's as bright as a ball-room already,
And pilots are thicker than pilchards at Looe."

"Then what can I do for you, all you Big Steamers,
Oh, what can I do for your comfort and good?"
"Send out your big warships to watch your big waters,
That no one may stop us from bringing you food."

For the bread that you eat and the biscuits you nibble,
The sweets that you suck and the joints that you carve,
They are brought to you daily by All Us Big Steamers
And if any one hinders our coming you'll starve!"

One could do a parody with the last verse

"For the bread that you eat and the milk that you drink,
The sweets that you suck and the meat that you carve,
Most are brought to you daily by all us British farmers
And if any one hinders our farming you'll starve!"

-which would be just as true.

7th Jul 2014, 15:12
A Dialogue of Self and Soul W.B. Yates

My Soul,

I summon to the winding ancient stair;

Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,

Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,

Upon the breathless starlit air,

“Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;

Fix every wandering thought upon

That quarter where all thought is done:

Who can distinguish darkness from the soul

My Self.

The consecrated blade upon my knees

Is Sato’s ancient blade, still as it was,

Still razor-keen, still like a looking-glass

Unspotted by the centuries;

That flowering, silken, old embroidery, torn

From some court-lady’s dress and round

The wooden scabbard bound and wound

Can, tattered, still protect, faded adorn

My Soul.

Why should the imagination of a man

Long past his prime remember things that are

Emblematical of love and war?

Think of ancestral night that can,

If but imagination scorn the earth

And intellect is wandering

To this and that and t’other thing,

Deliver from the crime of death and birth.

My self.

Montashigi, third of his family, fashioned it

Five hundred years ago, about it lie

Flowers from I know not what embroidery —

Heart’s purple — and all these I set

For emblems of the day against the tower

Emblematical of the night,

And claim as by a soldier’s right

A charter to commit the crime once more.

My Soul.

Such fullness in that quarter overflows

And falls into the basin of the mind

That man is stricken deaf and dumb and blind,

For intellect no longer knows

Is from the Ought, or Knower from the Known —

That is to say, ascends to Heaven;

Only the dead can be forgiven;

But when I think of that my tongue’s a stone.


My Self.

A living man is blind and drinks his drop.

What matter if the ditches are impure?

What matter if I live it all once more?

Endure that toil of growing up;

The ignominy of boyhood; the distress

Of boyhood changing into man;

The unfinished man and his pain

Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;

The finished man among his enemies? —

How in the name of Heaven can he escape

That defiling and disfigured shape

The mirror of malicious eyes

Casts upon his eyes until at last

He thinks that shape must be his shape?

And what’s the good of an escape

If honour find him in the wintry blast?

I am content to live it all again

And yet again, if it be life to pitch

Into the frog-spawn of a blind man’s ditch,

A blind man battering blind men;

Or into that most fecund ditch of all,

The folly that man does

Or must suffer, if he woos

A proud woman not kindred of his soul.

I am content to follow to its source

Every event in action or in thought;

Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!

When such as I cast out remorse

So great a sweetness flows into the breast

We must laugh and we must sing,

We are blest by everything,

Everything we look upon is blest.

7th Jul 2014, 15:35
And we must not forget these amazing lines from Tennyson
Extracted from "Locksley Hall" circa 1842.

"For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;

Saw the heaven fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rained a ghastly dew
From the nation’s airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the people plunging thro’ the thunderstorm;

Till the war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle flags were furl’d
In the Parliament of men, the Federation of the world.

There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law."

7th Jul 2014, 19:55
Not so much poetry as prose...

The Jervis Bay Goes Down

She is an old freighter
Of some fourteen thousand tons.
Standing in the roadstead
Of a port somewhere south of Singapore.
She lists a bit,
As if wearied by the typhoons of the China Seas;
By the whole gales of Tasman;
By the turbulence of wind off Borneo.
Her gear is obsolete,
Her iron skin blistered,
Pocked with rust.
Her engines are rheumatic,
And her saw-tooth screw
Will yield less fourteen knots . . .
She is the old Jervis Bay
Of Australian registry,
Resting, between tides, from her
Obscure drudgeries,
Somewhere south of Singapore.
She nods at her mooring cables,
Head bent to the dry monsoon.
The Jervis Bay is nodding,
half asleep,
When a gig draws alongside,
And there is brought aboard,
Solemnly, a flag with a blue field -
A storied ensign - emblem of
Britain's Naval Reserve.
This of itself becomes
a rousing circumstance
To one so frowsed,
so drably sleeping,
Somewhere south of Singapore.

Up the starboard ladder-way
There comes a new master,
Puffing somewhat with middle age.
He looks about, he looks above, below.
Forward, aft he peers.
His is the manner of a man
recapturing a memory.
He is Fogarty Fegan,
Called from retirement
To command the Jervis Bay.
For ten years Fogarty Fegan
Has walked in his English garden,
Watching the roses bud,
the violets bloom,
Enjoying each miracle of season
That brings white blossoms
to the hawthorn hedge.
But now he has left his barrow and his slips
To bring the storied ensign, with its blue field -
Blue as the violets of his garden -
Bringing it from afar to the old Jervis Bay.

His voice rolls against the breakwater.
His big hands grasp the teakwood rail.
He swears a bit, and finally
The Jervis Bay awakens.
Soon a battery is supplied -
A small one -
Guns of five-inch calibre.
Then, with a hundred young reservists
for her crew,
The Jervis Bay puts out to sea,
From somewhere south of Singapore.

Captain Fogarty Feegan
Has a distant rendezvous
With other old masters,
Summoned from retirement,
Called by their King
From their little farms,
From their office stools,
From their fireside chairs,
From the cities and the shires -
For threefold war - earth, sky, sea -
Beggars the world.
Ships go down . . . each day go down,
And bottoms must be had
To bear cargoes to Britain.

Now up comes the Jervis Bay,
Up from tropical waters,
Through Suez, through the
Strait of Gibraltar,
Out and across the Atlantic,
And to the Americas.
In a harbour of the North,
And with brave haste, the old hulls
Are laden to their loading lines
With cargoes for Britain.
Captain Fogarty Fegan
Listens to the rumbling of winches;
Hears the samson posts creak;
Hears the chains and blocks complain;
Harries his first Officer, Mr. Wilson,
with commands,
As things needful for the life-beat
Of England's great heart
Are stowed aboard.
"Hurry, damme, Mr. Wilson, sir!"
He shouts to his First Officer.
"We are not sleeping now,
Mr. Wilson,
Somewhere south of Singapore!"

From a Canadian bay,
From behind the fog-bank of November dawn,
A convoy line puts out;
Thirty-eight ships put out to sea
With cargoes for Britain,
A consignment to help sustain
The life-beat of England;
Goods to provision an isle
That for a thousand years
Has prized the freedom
And the dignity of Man.
The gun crews of the Jervis Bay
Sleep beside their battery.
They seem young seminars
With parka hoods cowling their heads
To keep out the cold sea-rime.
Night falls, a great and sombre hymn
The night of November fourth -
Nineteen hundred and forty years since
Our Lord -
Is an anthem of wind and
small, following sea.
The morning comes like a priest,
Upholding a golden monstrance.
The morning of the fifth
Finds the Jervis Bay and her convoy
Strung like a procession of pilgrims
against the dawn.
The ship's bell sounds;
The practice rounds are fired.
The sun is on the meridian,
And Fogarty Fegan shoots the sun
For latitude.
Eight bells again,
And Fogarty Fegan shoots the sun
For longitude.
And then, at five o'clock
The lookout calls from the crows-nest:
"Ship, sir, off the starboard bow!"
Through his glass.
Fogarty Fegan makes out smoke -
A black gargoyle in the sky -
East by southeast,
Then sights a ship, hull down.
And now a battleship
Comes boiling over the horizon.
She opens fire with heavy guns.
Captain Fogarty Fegan telegraphs
his engine room
To strain the boilers till they burst.
He bellows, curses, brings to bear
The popguns of his battery
Against the Goliath armour of the battleship.
He sends up smoke to screen the fleet.
He orders all the convoy ships
to scatter wide and fast.
Then Fogarty Fegan
Sets out alone to meet the battleship.
Five-inch guns against eleven-inch guns.
Egg-shell hull against Krupp plate.
"Damme, Mr. Wilson, sir," he shouts,
"We're not hearing mandolins today,
somewhere south of Singapore!"
This is a mad thing to do
This sea-charge of the Jervis Bay,
Yet a sky of dead admirals looks down
From the Grand Haven,
Looks down at Fogarty Fegan,
Whose senile tub
Steams bow-on for the battleship.
Nelson, Drake, Beatty, Harwood;
Yes, and the Americans:
Porter, Farragut and John Paul Jones,
All look down in wonderment.

And now a burst of shrapnel
rakes the Jervis Bay,
And tears the right arm
from the sleeve of Fogarty Fegan.
He does not fall.
He grasps the teakwood rail
with his other hand.
Masking his agony with bellowings
that rise above the guns.
Nor will he let a tourniquet
Be placed upon the stump.
He waves the stump, and Mr. Wilson knows
(And the sky of dead admirals knows)
That if a hand were there.
It would be making a great fist.
Still steaming toward the battleship,
Fogarty Fegan keeps his little guns ablast.
The eyes of the setters
And of the pointers
Grow black and blue from the recoils -
Their eardrums dead.
A salvo comes with the top roll of
the battleship,
And now the ensign -
Emblem with the blue field -
Is shot away.
Enraged, bloody, rocking on his heels,
Fogarty Fegan roars
"Hoist another ensign, damme, Mr. Wilson, sir!
Hoist another flag,
That we may fight like Englishmen!"
A boatswain procures a flag
from the locker -
A flag used for the burial of the dead at sea.
"Here, sir," he cries,
As to a brace he bends
The Banner of England.

The Jervis Bay, ablaze from stern to bow,
At dusk, still fires her puny guns,
And will not change her course.
Salvos from turrets,
Guns three-over-three,
Make great geysers grow about
The old ship's wake.
But still her guns give voice.
And now she's struck below the water-line.
Her boilers go.
The Jervis Bay begins to settle by the stern.
Yet, sinking, still she faces her antagonist.
Then the waters begin to close over her.
The waters close over Fogarty Fegan,
And over the flag
That once was used for burials at sea.
And now night spreads its shroud.

Of thirty-eight ships in the convoy,
Twenty-nine are saved,
Their cargoes saved,
To help sustain the life-beat of England,
While from the sky dead admirals look on,
And claim Captain Fogarty Fegan for their own.

The Jervis Bay goes down -
Goes down as no mere casualty of storm,
To rust out, fathoms deep, in common grave
With sisters unremembered by the years.
The Jervis Bay - of Australian registry,
From somewhere south of Singapore -
Goes down in the history
Of an Isle that for a thousand years
Has prized the freedom
And the dignity of man.

8th Jul 2014, 18:05
Just to add a nonsense limerick:

There was a young lady from Lee
Got stung on the nose by a wasp.
When asked if it hurt she said
"No not at all.
"It can do it again if it likes."

9th Jul 2014, 05:12
An Irish Airman foresees his Death

I know that I shall meet my fate,
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

- W B Yeats

20th Oct 2014, 18:05
Robert William Service


If you had the choice of two women to wed,
(Though of course the idea is quite absurd)
And the first from her heels to her dainty head
Was charming in every sense of the word:
And yet in the past (I grieve to state),
She never had been exactly “straight”,.

And the second — she was beyond all cavil,
A model of virtue, I must confess;
And yet, alas! she was dull as the devil,
And rather a dowd in the way of dress;
Though what she was lacking in wit and beauty,
She more than made up for in “sense of duty”,.

Now, suppose you must wed, and make no blunder,
And either would love you, and let you win her —
Which of the two would you choose, I wonder,
The stolid saint or the sparkling sinner?

20th Oct 2014, 18:11
Don't know if it has been posted before but, even if so, deserves posting again. Mt mums favourite, oft quoted by her:-

THE wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.
He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's red-lipped daughter,
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—
"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."
He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(Oh, sweet, black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonliglt, and galloped away to the West.

tony draper
20th Oct 2014, 19:39
Ah rhymes is back.:rolleyes:

My Rememberer

My forgetter's getting better
But my rememberer is broke
To you that may seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke.

For when I'm 'here' I'm wondering
If I really should be 'there'
And, when I try to think it through,
I haven't got a prayer!

Often times I walk into a room,
Say "what am I here for?"
I wrack my brain, but all in vain
A zero, is my score.

At times I put something away
Where it is safe, but, Gee!
The person it is safest from
Is, generally, me!

When shopping I may see someone,
Say "Hi" and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, "who was that?"

Yes, my forgetter's getting better
While my rememberer is broke,
And it's driving me plumb crazy
And that isn't any joke.