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The king who rose once nightly looked to sea,
And saw what could have been would never be.
The sorrow filled his aching sleepless heart,
And gold nor kingdom would not make it part.

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photo by Johnny Berg at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mjA0W56/Castle+-+night

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© Dennis Allen Lange, 2019.

 

 

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The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: ‘Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!’

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the monarch’s silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: ‘O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

‘No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin; but Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

‘ ‘Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
‘Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

‘These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

‘The ill-timed truth we might have kept-
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say-
Who knows how grandly it had rung?

‘Our faults no tenderness should ask,
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders-oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

‘Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!’

The room was hushed; in silence rose
The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
‘Be merciful to me, a fool!’

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(January 17,1942 – June 3, 2016)


He floated like a butterfly;
He stung them like a bee;
Self-proclaimed the greatest – and
He was!  Muhammad Ali.

He was the brashest Cassius,
Yet measured to his mouth.
He fought the best available,
And they all tumbled south.

He prophesied the very round
That he’d be conquering.
His oracle was poetry;
He – prophet, poet, king.

He took the crown from Liston,
And later, Smokin’ Joe.
And people all revered him
Wherever he would go.

He would not fight in battle;
They made his boxing cease.
But in the end, he wore the crown
Ambassador of peace.

And thus, today, the talk’s of him
For he has passed away.
A great among the mortals, he
Was also made of Clay.


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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

 

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Now, George the third rules not alone,
For George the vandal shares the throne,
True flesh of flesh and bone of bone.

God save us from the fangs of both;
Or, one a vandal, one a goth,
May roast or boil us into froth.

Like danes, of old, their fleet they man
And rove from Beersheba to Dan,
To burn, and beard us – where they can.

They say, at George the fourth’s command
This vagrant host were sent, to land
And leave in every house – a brand.

An idiot only would require
Such war – the worst they could desire –
The felon’s war – the war of fire.

The warfare, now, th’ invaders make
Must surely keep us all awake,
Or life is lost for freedom’s sake.

They said to Cockburn, “honest Cock!
To make a noise and give a shock
Push off, and burn their navy dock:

“Their capitol shall be emblazed!
How will the buckskins stand amazed,
And curse the day its walls were raised!”

Six thousand heroes disembark –
Each left at night his floating ark
And Washington was made their mark.

That few would fight them – few or none –
Was by their leaders clearly shown –
And “down,” they said, “with Madam!

How close they crept along the shore!
As closely as if Rodgers saw her –
A frigate to a seventy-four.

A veteran host, by veterans led,
With Ross and Cockburn at their head –
They came – they saw – they burnt – and fled.

But not unpunish’d they retired;
They something paid, for all they fired,
In soldiers kill’d, and chiefs expired.

Five hundred veterans bit the dust,
Who came, inflamed with lucre’s lust –
And so they waste – and so they must.

They left our congress naked walls –
Farewell to towers and capitols!
To lofty roofs and splendid halls!

To courtly domes and glittering things,
To folly, that too near us clings,
To courtiers who – tis well – had wings.

Farewell to all but glorious war,
Which yet shall guard Potomac’s shore,
And honor lost, and fame restore.

To conquer armies in the field
Was, once, the surest method held
To make a hostile country yield.

The mode is this, now acted on;
In conflagrating Washington,
They held our independence gone!

Supposing George’s house at Kew
Were burnt, (as we intend to do,)
Would that be burning England too?

Supposing, near the silver Thames
We laid in ashes their saint James,
Or Blenheim palace wrapt in flames;

Made Hampton Court to fire a prey,
And meanly, then, to sneak away,
And never ask them what’s to pay?

Would that be conquering London town?
Would that subvert the English throne,
Or bring the royal system down?

With all their glare of guards or guns,
How would they look like simpletons,
And not at all the lion’s sons!

Supposing, then, we take our turn
And make it public law, to burn,
Would not old English honor spurn

At such a mean insidious plan
Which only suits some savage clan –
And surely not – the English man!

A doctrine has prevail’d too long,
A king, they hold, can do no wrong
Merely a pitch-fork, wthout prong:

But de’il may trust such doctrines, more, –
One king, that wrong’d us, long before,
Has wrongs, by hundreds, yet in store.

He wrong’d us forty years ago;
He wrongs us yet, we surely know;
He’ll wrong us till he gets a blow.

That, with a vengeance, will repay
The mischiefs we lament this day,
This burning, damn’d, infernal play;

Will send one city to the sky,
Its buildings low and buildings high,
And buildings – built the lord knows why;

Will give him an eternal check
That breaks his heart or breaks his neck,
And plants our standard on QUEBEC.

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Mom, Pop, The Kids

The drab one
In bright family –
The papa.

He’s the king
Of brightly colored
Chess pieces.

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photo by Michal Zacharzewski at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mhiqa9S/On+sale

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* 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/

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

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From Greenland’s icy mountains,
From India’s coral strand;
Where Afric’s sunny fountains
Roll down their golden sand:
From many an ancient river,
From many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver
Their land from error’s chain. 

What tho’ the spicy breezes
Blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;
Though every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile?
In vain with lavish kindness
The gifts of God are strown;
The heathen in his blindness
Bows down to wood and stone.

Shall we, whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high,
Shall we to men benighted
The lamp of life deny?
Salvation! O Salvation!
Thy joyful sound proclaim,
Till earth’s remotest nation
Has learned Messiah’s name.

Waft, waft, ye winds, His story,
And you, ye waters, roll,
Till, like a sea of glory,
It spreads from pole to pole:
Till o’er our ransomed nature
The Lamb for sinners slain,
Redeemer, King, Creator,
In bliss returns to reign.

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