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Posts Tagged ‘paradise’

Superiority to Fate
Is difficult to gain.
‘Tis not conferred of Any
But possible to earn 

A pittance at a time
Until to Her surprise
The Soul with strict economy
Subsist till Paradise.

 

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Sometime now past in the Autumnal Tide,
When Phoebus wanted but one hour to bed,
The trees all richly clad, yet void of pride,
Were gilded o’re by his rich golden head.
Their leaves and fruits seem’d painted but was true
Of green, of red, of yellow, mixed hew,
Rapt were my senses at this delectable view.

I wist not what to wish, yet sure thought I,
If so much excellence abide below,
How excellent is he that dwells on high?
Whose power and beauty by his works we know.
Sure he is goodness, wisdom, glory, light,
That hath this under world so richly dight.
More Heaven than Earth was here, no winter and no night.

Then on a stately Oak I cast mine Eye,
Whose ruffling top the Clouds seem’d to aspire;
How long since thou wast in thine Infancy?
Thy strength and stature, more thy years admire,
Hath hundred winters past since thou wast born?
Or thousand since thou brakest thy shell of horn,
If so, all these as nought, Eternity doth scorn.

Then higher on the glistering Sun I gaz’d,
Whose beams was shaded by the leafy Tree.
The more I look’d, the more I grew amaz’d
And softly said, what glory’s like to thee?
Soul of this world, this Universe’s Eye,
No wonder some made thee a Deity:
Had I not better known (alas) the same had I.

Thou as a Bridegroom from thy Chamber rushes
And as a strong man joys to run a race.
The morn doth usher thee with smiles and blushes.
The Earth reflects her glances in thy face.
Birds, insects, Animals with Vegative,
Thy heat from death and dullness doth revive:
And in the darksome womb of fruitful nature dive.

Thy swift Annual and diurnal Course,
Thy daily straight and yearly oblique path,
Thy pleasing fervour, and thy scorching force,
All mortals here the feeling knowledge hath.
Thy presence makes it day, thy absence night,
Quaternal seasons caused by thy might:
Hail Creature, full of sweetness, beauty, and delight.

Art thou so full of glory that no Eye
Hath strength thy shining Rays once to behold?
And is thy splendid Throne erect so high?
As, to approach it, can no earthly mould.
How full of glory then must thy Creator be?
Who gave this bright light luster unto thee:
Admir’d, ador’d for ever be that Majesty.

Silent alone where none or saw, or heard,
In pathless paths I lead my wand’ring feet.
My humble Eyes to lofty Skies I rear’d
To sing some Song my mazed Muse thought meet.
My great Creator I would magnifie,
That nature had thus decked liberally:
But Ah and Ah again, my imbecility!

I heard the merry grasshopper then sing,
The black clad Cricket bear a second part.
They kept one tune and played on the same string,
Seeming to glory in their little Art.
Shall creatures abject thus their voices raise?
And in their kind resound their maker’s praise:
Whilst I, as mute, can warble forth no higher layes.

When present times look back to Ages past
And men in being fancy those are dead,
It makes things gone perpetually to last
And calls back months and years that long since fled
It makes a man more aged in conceit,
Than was Methuselah or’s grand-sire great:
While of their persons and their acts his mind doth treat.

Sometimes in Eden fair he seems to be,
See glorious Adam there made Lord of all,
Fancies the Apple, dangle on the Tree,
That turn’d his Sovereign to a naked thrall,
Who like a miscreant’s driven from that place
To get his bread with pain and sweat of face:
A penalty impos’d on his backsliding Race.

Here sits our Grandame in retired place,
And in her lap her bloody Cain new born,
The weeping Imp oft looks her in the face,
Bewails his unknown hap and fate forlorn;
His Mother sighs to think of Paradise,
And how she lost her bliss, to be more wise,
Believing him that was, and is, Father of lyes.

Here Cain and Abel come to sacrifice,
Fruits of the Earth and Fatlings each do bring,
On Abels gift the fire descends from Skies,
But no such sign on false Cain’s offering;
With sullen hateful looks he goes his wayes.
Hath thousand thoughts to end his brothers dayes,
Upon whose blood his future good he hopes to raise.

There Abel keeps his sheep, no ill he thinks,
His brother comes, then acts his fratricide.
The Virgin Earth of blood her first draught drinks,
But since that time she often hath been cloy’d;
The wretch with ghastly face and dreadful mind,
Thinks each he sees will serve him in his kind,
Though none on Earth but kindred near then could he find.

Who fancies not his looks now at the Barr,
His face like death, his heart with horror fraught,
Nor Male-factor ever felt like warr,
When deep despair with wish of life hath fought,
Branded with guilt, and crusht with treble woes,
A Vagabond to Land of Nod he goes.
A City builds, that wals might him secure from foes.

Who thinks not oft upon the Fathers ages.
Their long descent, how nephews sons they saw,
The starry observations of those Sages,
And how their precepts to their sons were law,
How Adam sigh’d to see his Progeny,
Cloath’d all in his black, sinful Livery,
Who neither guilt not yet the punishment could fly.

Our Life compare we with their length of dayes
Who to the tenth of theirs doth now arrive?
And though thus short, we shorten many wayes,
Living so little while we are alive;
In eating, drinking, sleeping, vain delight
So unawares comes on perpetual night,
And puts all pleasures vain unto eternal flight.

When I behold the heavens as in their prime,
And then the earth (though old) still clad in green,
The stones and trees, insensible of time,
Nor age nor wrinkle on their front are seen;
If winter come, and greenness then do fade,
A Spring returns, and they more youthfull made;
But Man grows old, lies down, remains where once he’s laid.

By birth more noble than those creatures all,
Yet seems by nature and by custom curs’d,
No sooner born, but grief and care makes fall
That state obliterate he had at first:
Nor youth, nor strength, nor wisdom spring again
Nor habitations long their names retain,
But in oblivion to the final day remain.

Shall I then praise the heavens, the trees, the earth
Because their beauty and their strength last longer
Shall I wish there, or never to had birth,
Because they’re bigger and their bodyes stronger?
Nay, they shall darken, perish, fade and dye,
And when unmade, so ever shall they lye,
But man was made for endless immortality.

Under the cooling shadow of a stately Elm
Close sate I by a goodly Rivers side,
Where gliding streams the Rocks did overwhelm;
A lonely place, with pleasures dignifi’d.
I once that lov’d the shady woods so well,
Now thought the rivers did the trees excel,
And if the sun would ever shine, there would I dwell.

While on the stealing stream I fixt mine eye,
Which to the long’d-for Ocean held its course,
I markt, nor crooks, nor rubs that there did lye
Could hinder ought but still augment its force:
O happy Flood, quoth I, that holds thy race
Till thou arrive at thy beloved place,
Nor is it rocks or shoals that can obstruct thy pace.

Nor is’t enough that thou alone may’st slide,
But hundred brooks in thy cleer waves do meet,
So hand in hand along with thee they glide
To Thetis house, where all imbrace and greet:
Thou Emblem true of what I count the best,
O could I lead my Rivolets to rest,
So may we press to that vast mansion, ever blest.

Ye Fish which in this liquid Region ’bide
That for each season have your habitation,
Now salt, now fresh where you think best to glide
To unknown coasts to give a visitation,
In Lakes and ponds, you leave your numerous fry,
So Nature taught, and yet you know not why,
You watry folk that know not your felicity.

Look how the wantons frisk to tast the air,
Then to the colder bottome streight they dive,
Eftsoon to Neptun’s glassy Hall repair
To see what trade they, great ones, there do drive,
Who forrage o’re the spacious sea-green field,
And take the trembling prey before it yield,
Whose armour is their scales, their spreading fins their shield.

While musing thus with contemplation fed,
And thousand fancies buzzing in my brain,
The sweet-tongu’d Philomel percht ore my head,
And chanted forth a most melodious strain
Which rapt me so with wonder and delight,
I judg’d my hearing better than my sight,
And wisht me wings with her a while to take my flight.

O merry Bird (said I) that fears no snares,
That neither toyles nor hoards up in thy barn,
Feels no sad thoughts, nor cruciating cares
To gain more good, or shun what might thee harm
Thy clothes ne’re wear, thy meat is every where,
Thy bed a bough, thy drink the water cleer,
Reminds not what is past, nor whats to come dost fear.

The dawning morn with songs thou dost prevent,
Sets hundred notes unto thy feathered crew,
So each one tunes his pretty instrument,
And warbling out the old, begin anew,
And thus they pass their youth in summer season,
Then follow thee into a better Region,
Where winter’s never felt by that sweet airy legion.

Man at the best a creature frail and vain,
In knowledge ignorant, in strength but weak,
Subject to sorrows, losses, sickness, pain,
Each storm his state, his mind, his body break,
From some of these he never finds cessation,
But day or night, within, without, vexation,
Troubles from foes, from friends, from dearest, near’st Relation.

And yet this sinfull creature, frail and vain,
This lump of wretchedness, of sin and sorrow,
This weather-beaten vessel wrackt with pain,
Joys not in hope of an eternal morrow;
Nor all his losses, crosses and vexation,
In weight, in frequency and long duration
Can make him deeply groan for that divine Translation.

The Mariner that on smooth waves doth glide,
Sings merrily and steers his Barque with ease,
As if he had command of wind and tide,
And now becomes great Master of the seas;
But suddenly a storm spoils all the sport,
And makes him long for a more quiet port,
Which ’gainst all adverse winds may serve for fort.

So he that faileth in this world of pleasure,
Feeding on sweets, that never bit of th’ sowre,
That’s full of friends, of honour and of treasure,
Fond fool, he takes this earth ev’n for heav’ns bower,
But sad affliction comes and makes him see
Here’s neither honour, wealth, nor safety;
Only above is found all with security.

O Time the fatal wrack of mortal things,
That draws oblivions curtains over kings,
Their sumptuous monuments, men know them not,
Their names without a Record are forgot,
Their parts, their ports, their pomp’s all laid in th’ dust.
Nor wit, nor gold, nor buildings scape times rust;
But he whose name is grav’d in the white stone
Shall last and shine when all of these are gone.

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I cannot live with You –
It would be Life –
And Life is over there –
Behind the Shelf 

The Sexton keeps the Key to –
Putting up
Our Life – His Porcelain –
Like a Cup – 

Discarded of the Housewife –
Quaint – or Broke –
A newer Sevres pleases –
Old Ones crack – 

I could not die – with You –
For One must wait
To shut the Other’s Gaze down –
You – could not – 

And I – Could I stand by
And see You – freeze –
Without my Right of Frost –
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise – with You –
Because Your Face
Would put out Jesus’ –
That New Grace 

Glow plain – and foreign
On my homesick Eye –
Except that You than He
Shone closer by – 

They’d judge Us – How –
For You – served Heaven – You know,
Or sought to –
I could not – 

Because You saturated Sight –
And I had no more Eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise 

And were You lost, I would be –
Though My Name
Rang loudest
On the Heavenly fame – 

And were You – saved –
And I – condemned to be
Where You were not –
That self – were Hell to Me – 

So We must meet apart –
You there – I – here –
With just the Door ajar
That Oceans are – and Prayer –
And that White Sustenance –
Despair –

 

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There lived a wife at Usher’s Well,
And a wealthy wife was she;
She had three stout and stalwart sons,
And sent them o’er the sea.

They had not been a week from her,
A week but barely one,
When word came to the mother herself,
That her three sons were gone.

They had not been a week from her,
A week but barely three,
When word came to the mother herself,
That her sons she’d never see.

“I wish the wind may never cease,
Nor fishes in the flood,
Till my three sons come home to me,
In earthly flesh and blood!”

It fell about the Martinmas,
When nights are long and dark,
The mother’s three sons they all came home,
And their hats were of birch bark.

It neither grew in marsh or trench
Nor yet in any ditch;
But at the gates of Paradise
That birch grew fair and rich.

“Blow up the fire, my maidens!
Bring water from the well!
For all my house shall feast this night,
Since my three sons are well.”

And she has made to them a bed,
She’s made it large and wide;
And she’s taken her mantle her about,
Sat down at the bed-side.

Up then crew the red, red cock,
And up and crew the gray;
The eldest to the youngest said,
“‘Tis time we were away.”

The cock he had not crowed but once,
And clapped his wings at dawn,
When the youngest to the eldest said,
“Brother, we must be gone.

“The cock doth crow, the light doth grow,
The channeling worm doth chide;
If we be missed out of our place,
A sore pain we must abide.”

“Lie still, lie still, but a little wee while,
…Lie still but if we may,
If our mother should miss us when she wakes,
She will go mad ere day.”

“Fare ye well, my mother dear!
Farewell to barn and byre!
And fare ye well, the bonny lass,
That kindles my mother’s fire.”

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Even the bravest that are slain
Shall not dissemble their surprise
On waking to find valor reign,
Even as on earth, in paradise;
And where they sought without the sword
Wide fields of asphodel fore’er,
To find that the utmost reward
Of daring should be still to dare.

The light of heaven falls whole and white
And is not shattered into dyes,
The light forever is morning light;
The hills are verdured pasturewise;
The angel hosts with freshness go,
And seek with laughter what to brave –
And binding all is the hushed snow
Of the far-distant breaking wave.

And from a cliff top is proclaimed
The gathering of the souls for birth,
The trial by existence named,
The obscuration upon earth.
And the slant spirits trooping by
In streams and cross- and counter-streams
Can but give ear to that sweet cry
For its suggestion of what dreams!

And the more loitering are turned
To view once more the sacrifice
Of those who for some good discerned
Will gladly give up paradise.
And a white shimmering concourse rolls
Toward the throne to witness there
The speeding of devoted souls
Which God makes His especial care.

And none are taken but who will,
Having first heard the life read out
That opens earthward, good and ill,
Beyond the shadow of a doubt;
And very beautifully God limns,
And tenderly, life’s little dream,
But naught extenuates or dims,
Setting the thing that is supreme.

Nor is there wanting in the press
Some spirit to stand simply forth,
Heroic in its nakedness,
Against the uttermost of earth.
The tale of earth’s unhonored things
Sounds nobler there than ‘neath the sun;
And the mind whirls and the heart sings,
And a shout greets the daring one.

But always God speaks at the end:
“One thought in agony of strife
The bravest would have by for friend,
The memory that he chose the life;
But the pure fate to which you go
Admits no memory of choice,
Or the woe were not earthly woe
To which you give the assenting voice.”

And so the choice must be again,
But the last choice is still the same;
And the awe passes wonder then,
And a hush falls for all acclaim.
And God has taken a flower of gold
And broken it, and used therefrom
The mystic link to bind and hold
Spirit to matter till death come.

‘Tis of the essence of life here,
Though we choose greatly, still no lack
The lasting memory at all clear,
That life has for us on the wrack
Nothing but what we somehow chose;
Thus are we wholly stripped of pride
In the pain that has but one close,
Bearing it crushed and mystified.

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‘Twas a long Parting – but the time
For Interview – had Come –
Before the Judgment Seat of God –
The last – and second time 

These Fleshless Lovers met –
A Heaven in a Gaze –
A Heaven of Heavens – the Privilege
Of one another’s Eyes – 

No Lifetime – on Them –
Appareled as the new
Unborn -except They had beheld –
Born infiniter – now – 

Was Bridal – e’er like This?
A Paradise – the Host –
And Cherubim – and Seraphim –
The unobtrusive Guest –

 

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When I was small, a Woman died –
Today – her Only Boy
Went up from the Potomac –
His face all Victory 

To look at her – How slowly
The Seasons must have turned
Till Bullets clipt an Angle
And He passed quickly round – 

If pride shall be in Paradise –
Ourself cannot decide –
Of their imperial Conduct –
No person testified – 

But, proud in Apparition –
That Woman and her Boy
Pass back and forth, before my Brain
As even in the sky – 

I’m confident that Bravoes –
Perpetual break abroad
For Braveries, remote as this
In Scarlet Maryland –

 


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Dickinson wrote of a mother who had died previously and left an only son who died in a battle on the Potomac River (stanza 1). To her, it must have seemed a long time before the bullet took his life (stanza 2).  Dickinson debated (stanza 3) whether it was right to have pride (which is sometimes sinful) in Paradise.  But as she considered, back and forth, the ghosts (Apparitions) of the two, she concluded that such bravoes (even there) for bravery in bloody (scarlet) Maryland were justified (stanza 4). The link below gives the specifics of a battle at Balls Bluff on the Potomac in October, 1861, as the time and place the “only boy” died.

https://books.google.com/books?id=53x2cyrkm8oC&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=scarlet+maryland+dickinson&source=bl&ots=vc5DhO3rMp&sig=ZaVvGauaxAIeo4FpM2jK5gttsog&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQ6tzG_KrKAhWGYyYKHRR5CsEQ6AEIKzAC#v=onepage&q=scarlet%20maryland%20dickinson&f=false

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My Holiday, My Paradise

Me – come!  My dazzled face
In such a shining place!
Me – hear!  My foreign Ear
The sounds of Welcome – there! 

The Saints forget
Our bashful feet – 

My holiday, shall be
That They – remember me –
My Paradise – the fame
That They – pronounce my name.

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MOON

(Photo credit: Nick. K.)


You And Me And The Silver Moon

Just you and me and the silver moon –
That’s heaven on earth;
That’s paradise.
Just you and me as we, silver, spoon –
That’s sugar and cream;
That’s sweetest spice.

Just you and me and the sandy shore –
That’s heaven on earth;
That’s paradise.
Just you and me and we want no more
Than holding hands and
Our kisses, thrice.

Just you and me and the lapping wave –
That’s heaven on earth
Without a price.
Just you and me, it’s the “us” we crave –
That’s all on this earth;
It’s paradise.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2012.

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Paradise

No traffic;
A string of green lights
Without end.

——————–

All You Can Eat

Tonsils out –
All scream for ice cream.
Ouch! Yum! Ouch!

——————–

The Fashion Plate

He, hitches
Saggy pants, oft.  Me –
In stitches.

——————–

* 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, 2011.

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