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Archive for July, 2011

Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim,
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.

(From “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”)

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There’s a lesson from Weiner and Wu
That should trickle to me and to you;
Politician or not,
What was hidden, we thought,
Will eventually come bursting in view.


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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2011.

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There is no frigate like a book
   To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
   Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take
   Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
   That bears a human soul!

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To The Cowardly Murderer
……….(The Cowmurd)

One wonders how you warped,
Like wood left to the rain,
Becomes so twisted in its path
No one with half a brain

Would think it was of any use;
Would think that it was fit
(Like gnarled knots of nothingness)
For naught but fiery pit.

One wonders how the blackened mold
Spread through you like a rot
Until you had a hardened soul
Without the softer spot

That makes us human, forms the core,
That sees in other men
Those selfsame hopes, desires, and dreams
That you should have within.

One wonders why you didn’t learn
From hist’ry that you read
(Unabomber’s manifesto),
And he as good as dead.

Like men might ape a monster,
You copied from his plea.
But did you ever pause to search
The fruit from off his tree?

The world goes on just as before
His bombs ripped life and limb.
And most, his motives, do not know –
Just that the man was grim.

And so you’ll sink into your cell
Like cesspools sludge away
Into the deep recesses of
The foulest of decay.

You’re just another coward caught,
Who could not face a gun,
But full of hate killed innocents,
Who couldn’t even run.

Our heroes face the fiercest foes.
Thus, valiant is their name,
With medals, honor, and parades;
But yours – the badge of shame.

And all for what?  For nothing gained,
And so much that was lost.
You wrought a load of woe and tears
At the most awful cost.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2011.

 

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She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes,
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o’er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and oe’r that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent, –
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

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When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent, which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He, returning chide;
“Doth God exact day labor, light denied?”
I fondly ask; but Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
……Either man’s work, or His own gifts; who best
……Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best.
………His state
Is kingly.  Thousands at His bidding speed,
And post oe’r land and ocean without rest;
……They also serve who only stand and wait.”

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Sea of Galilee – receiver,
Swollen by the Jordan,
Jordan River.
Swollen by the rains of heaven,
Sea of Galilee – receiver.

Sea of beauty, blue and shining,
Fed by the Jordan,
Jordan, giver.
Fed like a baby, mouth a-gaping.
Sea of Galilee – receiver.

Sea of Galilee – a giver,
Fed by the Jordan,
Jordan River.
Water flowing southward, onward,
Sea of Galilee – a giver.

Sea of Salt, the Dead Sea,
Fed by the Jordan,
Jordan River.
Fed by the Sea of Galilee – the giver –
To the Dead Sea – mere receiver.

Dead Sea, Salt Sea – not a giver,
Keeps all the Jordan,
Jordan River.
Gives not a gallon,
Ounce, pint, or sliver.

Salt Sea, selfish, centered,
Swallows all the Jordan,
Jordan River.
No life within its waters,
Not a quiver.

Galilee and Dead Sea lesson:
Both receive the Jordan,
Jordan River.
Yet only one has life
And that’s the giver.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2011.

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Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws and a silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

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We have faith in old proverbs full surely,
For Wisdom has traced what they tell,
And Truth may be drawn up as purely
From them, as it may from “a well.”
Let us question the thinkers and doers,
And hear what they honestly say;
And you’ll find they believe, like bold wooers,
In “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

The hills have been high for man’s mounting,
The woods have been dense for his axe,
The stars have been thick for his counting,
The sands have been wide for his tracks,
The sea has been deep for his diving,
The poles have been broad for his sway,
But bravely he’s proved in his striving,
That “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

Have ye vices that ask a destroyer?
Or passions that need your control?
Let Reason become your employer,
And your body be ruled by your soul.
Fight on, though ye bleed in the trial,
Resist with all strength that ye may;
Ye may conquer Sin’s host by denial;
For “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

Have ye Poverty’s pinching to cope with?
Does Suffering weigh down your might?
Only call up a spirit to hope with,
And dawn may come out of the night.
Oh! much may be done by defying
The ghosts of Despair and Dismay;
And much may be gained by relying
On “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

Should ye see, afar off, that worth winning,
Set out on the journey with trust;
And ne’er heed if your path at beginning
Should be among brambles and dust.
Though it is but by footsteps ye do it,
And hardships may hinder and stay;
Walk with faith, and be sure you’ll get through it;
For “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

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In the land of never ending,
In the country far away,
There are loved ones who are waiting
For the end of night and day.

In the land of ever always,
Where the river never dries,
The night and day were never there,
Just everlasting skies.

In the land where all’s forever,
The night will never come.
So candles are as needed as
A hiker’s begging thumb.

In the land that is eternal,
Where the Son’s the only sun,
It’s our turn that they’re waiting,
Since theirs is now begun.

Their joy full, for ours they wait –
The end of night and day,
In the land of never ending,
In the country far away.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2011.

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