Archive for January, 2013

              Four Things

Four things in any land must dwell,
If it endures and prospers well:
One is manhood true and good;
One is noble womanhood;
One is child life, clean and bright;
And one an altar kept alight.


photo by Scolpix (Sophie)




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        Correct Placement

If I were snuffling in the grass,
   Like dogs who follow scents,
A century would have to pass
   Ere sniffles would dispense. 

If I buzzed among the flowers,
   Like ever busy bees,
I’d be spending countless hours
   Quite shaken by a sneeze.

If like a bird, I perched on limbs
   Of elms and mighty oaks,
I’d fill with pollen to the brim,
   And gasp and wheeze and choke.

And so we see that God was wise:
   I’m of the human race.
Since allergies are my demise,
   In nature, I’ve no place.


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2013.

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                     Sonnet LXXVI

Why is my verse so barren of new pride?
So far from variation or quick change?
Why, with the time, do I not glance aside
To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?
O, know, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument:
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent;
   For as the sun is daily new and old,
   So is my love still telling what is told.

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He did it!
Scotty beamed them up.
We’ve been left.


Heavenly Focus

Who is it
In the middle of
God’s spotlight?


Marooned – photo by SP Veres at

Focus – photo by Samuel Rosa 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, 2013.

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       Faithless Nelly Gray 

Ben Battle was a soldier bold,
   And used to war’s alarms;
But a cannon-ball took off his legs,
   So he laid down his arms.

Now as they bore him off the field,
   Said he, “Let others shoot;
For here I leave my second leg,
   And the Forty-second Foot.”

The army-surgeons made him limbs:
   Said he, “They’re only pegs;
But there’s as wooden members quite
   As represent my legs.”

Now Ben he loved a pretty maid, –
   Her name was Nelly Gray;
So he went to pay her his devours,
   When he devoured his pay. 

But when he called on Nelly Gray,
   She made him quite a scoff;
And when she saw his wooden legs,
   Began to take them off. 

“O Nelly Gray! O Nelly Gray!
   Is this your love so warm?
The love that loves a scarlet coat
   Should be more uniform.” 

Said she, “I loved a soldier once,
   For he was blithe and brave;
But I will never have a man
   With both legs in the grave. 

“Before you had those timber toes
   Your love I did allow;
But then, you know, you stand upon
   Another footing now.” 

“O Nelly Gray! O Nelly Gray!
    For all your jeering speeches,
At duty’s call I left my legs
   In Badajo’s breaches.” 

“Why, then,” said she, “you’ve lost the feet
   Of legs in war’s alarms.
And now you cannot wear your shoes
   Upon your fears of arms!” 

“O false and fickle Nelly Gray!
   I know why you refuse:
Though I’ve no feet, some other man
   Is standing in my shoes. 

“I wish I ne’er had seen your face;
   But, now, a long farewell!
For you will be my death; – alas!
   You will not be my Nell!” 

Now when he went from Nelly Gray
   His heart so heavy got,
And life was such a burden grown,
   It made him take a knot. 

So round his melancholy neck
   A rope he did intwine,
And, for his second time in life,
   Enlisted in the Line. 

One end he tied around a beam,
   And then removed his pegs;
And, as his legs were off, – of course
   He soon was off his legs. 

And there he hung till he was dead
   As any nail in town;
For, though distress had cut him up,
   It could not cut him down. 

A dozen men sat on his corpse,
   To find out why he died; –
And they buried Ben in four cross-roads
   With a stake in his inside.


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 A silent, speeding, shooting star
   Flashed ‘cross the night sky’s dark;
Then gone, except it etched within
   My memory a mark.

That’s all that’s left of that brief burst,
   The life that was a light,
That dazzled as it dashed across
   The ebony of night.

When my swift flight is o’er and there’s
   No longer light nor place,
My soothing thought as shooting star:
   I left somewhere a trace.


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2013.



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      Just Doing His Job

 I questioned the plug in my sink,
“Growing up, what is it you think
     You’ll turn out to be?”
     Not answering, did he;
He stopped me as quick as a wink.



© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2013.

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The Character Of A Happy Life

How happy is he born or taught
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armor is his honest thought
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise
Nor vice; hath ever understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good:

Who hat this life from rumors freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of His grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend;

– This man is freed from servile bonds
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall:
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.

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Not Worshiped

An idol,
Many years ago,
Lost a bet.


Hush, Hush, Sweet Scarlett

Yes, Scarlett?
Brett, get off the couch –
Mow the grass!



Each baby
Out of the darkness
Into light.


Not Worshiped – photo by Marcelo Terraza at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mmeDZGS/%3E+Chafariz+33

Hush – photo by John Boyer at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/ml1gx96/Take+a+Rest

Birth – photo by Dez Pain at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/2dyWQ1G/no+title


* 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, 2013.

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Brick Barn

(Photo credit: cindy47452)

My Priceless Hay

I cautious, scanned my little life –
I winnowed what would fade
From what would last till Heads like mine
Should be a-dreaming laid.

I put the latter in a Barn –
The former, blew away.
I went one winter morning
And lo – my priceless Hay

Was not upon the “Scaffold” –
Was not upon the “Beam” –
And from a thriving Farmer –
A Cynic, I became.

Whether a Thief did it –
Whether it was the wind –
Whether Deity’s guiltless –
My business, is to find!

So I begin to ransack!
How is it Hearts, with Thee?
Art thou within the little Barn
Love provided Thee?

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