……The Old Clock On The Stairs

Somewhat back from the village street
Stands the old-fashioned country-seat.
Across its antique portico
Tall poplar-trees their shadows throw;
And from its station in the hall
An ancient timepiece says to all, –

Half-way up the stairs it stands,
And points and beckons with its hands
From its case of massive oak,
Like a monk, who, under his cloak,
Crosses himself, and sighs, alas!
With sorrowful voice to all who pass, –

By day its voice is low and light;
But in the silent dead of night,
Distinct as a passing footstep’s fall,
It echoes along the vacant hall,
Along the ceiling, along the floor,
And seems to say, at each chamber-door –

Through days of sorrow and of mirth,
Through days of death and days of birth,
Through every swift vicissitude
Of changeful time, unchanged it has stood,
And as if, like God, it all things saw,
It calmly repeats those words of awe, –

In that mansion used to be
Free-hearted Hospitality;
His great fires up the chimney roared;
The stranger feasted at his board;
But, like the skeleton at the feast,
That warning timepiece never ceased, –

There groups of merry children played,
There youths and maidens dreaming strayed;
O precious hours! O golden prime,
And affluence of love and time!
Even as a miser counts his gold,
Those hours the ancient timepiece told, –

From that chamber, clothed in white,
The bride came forth on her wedding night;
There, in that silent room below,
The dead lay in his shroud of snow;
And in the hush that followed the prayer,
Was heard the old clock on the stair, –

All are scattered now and fled,
Some are married, some are dead;
And when I ask, with throbs of pain,
“Ah! when shall they all meet again?”
As in the days long since gone by,
The ancient timepiece makes reply, –

Never here, forever there,
Where all parting, pain, and care,
And death, and time shall disappear, –
Forever there, but never here!
The horologue of Eternity
Sayeth this incessantly, –



How Tweet It Is!

Old fashioned
ocial media –
A selfie.



Light And Shade 

A study
In geometry –
Shadows, shapes.



Two Harvests

Golden field,
Ripe for the harvest,
And the wind.


Tweet – photo by Miguel Saavedra at

Light – photo by Scott Liddell at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mjQryo2/Walkway+with+Columns

Harvests – photo by Johnny Berg at


* The haiku I write are lines of 3-5-3 syllables instead of 5-7-5.

See Haiku article here for explanation, if needed: https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/haiku/


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.






We have fed you all for a thousand years,
And you hail us still unfed,
Though there’s never a dollar of all your wealth
But marks the workers’ dead.
We have yielded our best to give you rest,
And you lie on crimson wool;
For if blood be the price of all your wealth
Good God, we ha’ paid in full! 

There’s never a mine blown skyward now
But we’re buried alive for you;
There’s never a wreck drifts shoreward now
But we are its ghastly crew:
Go reckon our dead by the forges red,
And the factories where we spin.
If blood be the price of your cursed wealth
Good God, we ha’ paid it in! 

We have fed you all for a thousand years,
For that was our doom, you know,
From the days when you chained us in your fields
To the strike of a week ago.
You ha’ eaten our lives and our babes and wives,
And we’re told it’s your legal share;
But if blood be the price of your lawful wealth,
Good God, we ha’ bought it fair.


Pull Up A Chair

For man, there is a wealth of blue
The sky above, the open sea;
And land that stretches wide and far –
God gave us gifts abundantly. 

Look out upon God’s awesome world –
What’s good and right is waiting there.
For all He made, have gratitude –
Enjoy life, pull up a chair.


photo by Ariel da Silva Parreira at



© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.





White swan of cities, slumbering in thy nest
So wonderfully built among the reeds
Of the lagoon, that fences thee and feeds,
As sayeth thy old historian and thy guest!
White water-lily, cradled and caressed
By ocean streams, and from the silt and weeds
Lifting thy golden filaments and seeds,
Thy sun-illumined spires, thy crown and crest!
White phantom city, whose untrodden streets
Are rivers, and whose pavements are the shifting
Shadows of palaces and strips of sky;
I wait to see thee vanish like the fleets
Seen in mirage, or towers of cloud uplifting
In air their unsubstantial masonry.



The Rugged Individual

Lonely tree –
A few little friends,
But no peer.


A case of
Bloom where you’re planted –
You’ll stand out.


Do what’s right,
E’en when none else do.
Be yourself.


photo by Cristiano Galbiati at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/meLs6uS/Trees+in+the+desert



* The haiku I write are lines of 3-5-3 syllables instead of 5-7-5.

See Haiku article here for explanation, if needed: https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/haiku/


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.





Out In The Fields With God

The little cares that fretted me
I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play;
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees;
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay;
Among the rustling of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born –
Out in the fields with God.



Sonnet 52 – The Tide Of Spring

The tide of Spring comes washing through the woods
Pushed by the vernal moon, pulled by our pining.
As welcome as a million Robin Hoods,
The youthful paint’s a feast for our eyes’ dining.

What merriment it puts into our hearts!
What joy that Nature once again is living!
The cold dry husk that’s Earth flies wide apart;
We view the riches it is ever giving.

When Winter leaves a hemisphere behind,
A weight is gone; a burden has been lifted.
Gone is its rude assault on body, mind;
The harshness to another half is shifted.

We’re stirred by Spring since life begins anew;
Hope is fulfilled with the most lovely view.


photo by Kevin Tuck at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/nxHKzle/Woodland+flowers+in+spring ——————–


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.



If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again. 

Far or forgot to me is near;
Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished gods to me appear;
And one to me are shame and fame. 

They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings. 

The strong gods pine for my abode,
And pine in vain the sacred Seven,
But thou, meek lover of the good!
Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.



……………The Nap

A touring bus takes many stops,
And all is tightly planned –
A ballet dance with leaps and hops
In tune with time’s quick sand.

Among the first heard from the guide
Are words that set the stage
About the dance that is the ride,
“Stay on the same time page.”

“If minutes for a photo op
Are only scheduled ten,
Then there’s no time to stop and shop;
We must be off again.”

“The same is true if hours are two;
You might be left behind
(If you’re a snail distractions woo),
Lest we be in a bind.”

It’s even worse when there’s no bus.
Guide naps; time does not keep.
Oh, well, we fail, yes each of us –
‘Tis God who does not sleep.


On a tour I took in 2014, the bus driver
gave us the usual warnings about being
on time.  In the afternoon, he took off
in the bus and took a nap and was late
picking us up!


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.


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