Archive for March, 2014

Righteousness Exalts A Nation

Reproach of nations is their sin –
Ask Tyre and the Assyrian;
Ask Babylon and Israel –
If there are any left to tell.

But God lifts nations to a height
When they are just and they are right.
Ask Solomon how nations came
When hearing his and country’s fame.

Each nation finds it’s under God –
In servitude or chast’ning rod.
For God above looks down below
And nations pay what they all owe.


Title – “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.”


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2014.


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To Edward Fitzgerald

I chanced upon a new book yesterday;
I opened it, and, where my finger lay
‘Twixt page and uncut page, these words I read  –
Some six or seven at most – and learned thereby
That you, Fitzgerald, whom by ear and eye
She never knew, “thanked God my wife was dead.”
Aye, dead! and were yourself alive, good Fitz,
How to return you thanks would task my wits.
Kicking you seems the common lot of curs –
While more appropriate greeting lends you grace,
Surely to spit there glorifies your face –
Spitting from lips once sanctified by hers.



*After Fitzgerald died, Browning happened to
run across Fitzgerald’s words in the poem about
the death of Mrs. Browning and wrote this poem
in anger.

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Not A Gamer

Hide and seek –
The sun’s a failure –
Keeps beaming.



About Old Swings

Old board – yes.
But let that be all.
Old ropes break.




Man, woman,
Walking together
‘Neath the sun.


Marriage – photo by vivekchugh at

Swings – photo by Jasper Greek Lao Golangco at

Gamer – 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, 2014.

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The Death Of Lincoln

Oh, slow to smite and swift to spare,
Gentle and merciful and just!
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
The sword of power, a nation’s trust!

In sorrow by thy bier we stand,
Amid the awe that hushes all,
And speak the anguish of a land
That shook with horror at thy fall.

Thy task is done; the bound are free:
We bear thee to an honored grave,
Whose proudest monument shall be
The broken fetters of the slave.

Pure was thy life: its bloody close
Hath placed thee with the sons of light,
Among the noble host of those
Who perished in the cause of Right.

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The Growth of Love

If we and love grow side by side
Or, rather, as we grow
It grows within to match our stride,
Then love is apropos.

But if we grow and love does not,
Our hearts become askew,
Misshapen, hard as gnarled knot
Not even axe can hew.


photo by Robert Lindner at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/n1h9rLk/Heart


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2014.

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  “No, Thank You, John”

I never said I loved you, John:
Why will you teaze me day by day,
And wax a weariness to think upon
With always “do” and “pray”?

You know I never loved you, John;
No fault of mine made me your toast:
Why will you haunt me with a face as wan
As shows an hour-old ghost?

I dare say Meg or Moll would take
Pity upon you, if you’d ask:
And pray don’t remain single for my sake
Who can’t perform that task.

I have no heart? – Perhaps I have not;
But then you’re mad to take offence
That I don’t give you what I have not got:
Use your own common sense.

Let bygones be bygones:
Don’t call me false, who owed not to be true:
I’d rather answer “No” to fifty Johns
Than answer “Yes” to you.

Let’s mar our pleasant days no more,
Song-birds of passage, days of youth:
Catch at today, forget the days before:
I’ll wink at your untruth.

Let us strike hands as hearty friends;
No more, no less; and friendship’s good:
Only don’t keep in view ulterior ends,
And points not understood

In open treaty.  Rise above
Quibbles and shuffling off and on:
Here’s friendship for you if you like; but love, –
No, thank you, John.


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Ain’t Gonna Mow No More, No More

Mower blades
Need rescuing
From grass blades.



New Rider

An old bike
Still being climbed on
By a vine.



Like photos,
Fade from color to
Black and white.


Mow – photo by Michael Athorn at

Rider – photo by Macie Lewandowski at

Memories – photo by Sanja Gjenero 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, 2014.

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                    To Homer

Standing aloof in giant ignorance,
   Of thee I hear and of the Cyclades,
As one who sits ashore and longs perchance
   To visit dolphin-coral in deep seas.
So wast thou blind; – but then the veil was rent,
   For Jove uncurtain’d heaven to let thee live,
And Neptune made for thee a spumy tent,
   And Pan made sing for thee his forest-hive;
Aye on the shores of darkness there is light,
   And precipices show untrodden green,
There is a budding morrow in midnight,
   There is a triple sight in blindness keen;
Such seeing hadst thou, as it once befell
To Dian, Queen of Earth, and Heaven, and Hell.


links to analysis:


(6th down)




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           Our Olympics

Olympics come; Olympics go;
The nations put on quite a show,
A five-ring circus come to town,
But serious, without a clown. 

When each event has had its day,
All those involved then slip away,
Like soldiers going home from far
With battle scars or spoils of war. 

And home at last, the fanfare spent,
They settle in to life’s event:
One lone and long Olympic sport
That only death can end, abort.


© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2014.


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Ah, did you once see Shelley plain,
   And did he stop and speak to you
And did you speak to him again?
   How strange it seems and new! 

But you were living before that,
   And also you are living after;
And the memory I started at –
   My starting moves your laughter. 

I crossed a moor, with a name of its own
   And a certain use in the world no doubt,
Yet a hand’s-breadth of it shines alone
   ‘Mid the blank miles round about: 

For there I picked up on the heather
   And there I put inside my breast
A molted feather, an eagle feather!
   Well, I forget the rest.

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