Friday, June 23, 2017

EXCELSIOR
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-82

The shades of night were falling fast, 
As through an Alpine village passed 
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice, 
A banner with the strange device, 
      Excelsior! 

His brow was sad; his eye beneath, 
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath, 
And like a silver clarion rung 
The accents of that unknown tongue, 
      Excelsior! 

In happy homes he saw the light 
Of household fires gleam warm and bright; 
Above, the spectral glaciers shone, 
And from his lips escaped a groan, 
      Excelsior! 

"Try not the Pass!" the old man said; 
"Dark lowers the tempest overhead, 
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!" 
And loud that clarion voice replied, 
      Excelsior! 

"Oh stay," the maiden said, "and rest 
Thy weary head upon this breast! " 
A tear stood in his bright blue eye, 
But still he answered, with a sigh, 
      Excelsior! 

"Beware the pine-tree's withered branch! 
Beware the awful avalanche!" 
This was the peasant's last Good-night, 
A voice replied, far up the height, 
      Excelsior! 

At break of day, as heavenward 
The pious monks of Saint Bernard 
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer, 
A voice cried through the startled air, 
      Excelsior! 

A traveller, by the faithful hound, 
Half-buried in the snow was found, 
Still grasping in his hand of ice 
That banner with the strange device, 
      Excelsior! 

There in the twilight cold and gray, 
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay, 
And from the sky, serene and far, 
A voice fell like a falling star, 
      Excelsior! 

The new blog
90PLUS AND STILL BLOGGING
begins tomorrow

-o0o-

Thursday, June 22, 2017

THE CROCODILE
Hilaire Belloc 1870-1953

Whatever our faults, we can always engage
That no fancy or fable shall sully our page,
So take note of what follows, I beg.
This creature so grand and august in its age,
In its youth is hatched out of an egg.
And oft in some far Coptic town
The Missionary sits him down
To breakfast by the Nile:
The heart beneath his priestly gown
Is innocent of guile;
When suddenly the rigid frown
Of Panic is observed to drown
His customary smile.
Why does he start and leap amain,
And scour the sandy Libyan plain
Like one that wants to catch a train,
Or wrestles with internal pain?
Because he finds his egg contain -
Green, hungry, horrible and plain -
An Infant Crocodile.

-o0o-

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

INVICTUS: THE UNCONQUERABLE
William Ernest Henley 1849-1902

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.

-o0o-

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

HE WISHES FOR THE CLOTHS OF HEAVEN
William Butler Yeats 1865-1939

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

-o0o-

Monday, June 19, 2017

LAMENT FOR DARK PEOPLES
Langston Hughes 1902-67

I was a red man one time,
But the white men came.
I was a black man, too,
But the white man came.

They drove me out of the forest.
They took me away from the jungles.
I lost my trees.
I lost my silver moons.

Now they've caged me
In the circus of civilisation.
Now I herd with the many -
Caged in the circus of civilisation.

-o0o-

Sunday, June 18, 2017

THE VAGABOND
John Drinkwater 1882-1937

I know the pools where the grayling rise,
  I know the trees where the filberts fall,
I know the woods where the red fox lies,
  The twisted elms where the brown owls call.
And I've seldom a shilling to call my own,
  And there's never a girl I'd marry,
I thank the Lord I'm a rolling stone
  With never a care to carry.

I talk to the stars as they come and go
  On every night from July to June,
I'm free of the speech of the winds that blow,
  And I know what weather will sing what tune.
I sow no seed and I pay no rent,
  And I thank no man for his bounties,
But I've a treasure that's never spent,
  I'm lord of a dozen counties.

-o0o-

Saturday, June 17, 2017

THE LITTLE BOY AND THE OLD MAN
Shel Silverstein 1930-99

Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon."
Said the old man, "I do that too."
The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants."
I do that too," laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, "I often cry."
The old man nodded, "So do I."
But worst of all," said the boy, "it seems
Grown-ups don't pay attention to me."
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
I know what you mean," said the little old man.

A PERSONAL SCRAPBLOG No.10 WAS POSTED TODAY

-o0o-