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Posts Tagged ‘suicide’

“Speak! speak! thou fearful guest!
Who, with thy hollow breast
Still in rude armor drest,
Comest to daunt me!
Wrapt not in eastern balms,
But with thy fleshless palms
Stretched, as if asking alms,
Why dost thou haunt me?”

Then from those cavernous eyes
Pale flashes seemed to rise,
As when the northern skies
Gleam in December;
And, like the water’s flow
Under December’s snow,
Came a dull voice of woe
From the heart’s chamber.

“I was a Viking old!
My deeds, though manifold,
No Skald in song has told,
No Saga taught thee!
Take heed, that in thy verse
Thou dost the tale rehearse,
Else drear a dead man’s curse;
For this I sought thee.

“Far in the Northern Land,
By the wild Baltic’s strand,
I, with my childish hand,
Tamed the gerfalcon;
And, with my skates fast-bound,
Skimmed the half-frozen Sound,
That the poor whimpering hound
Trembled to walk on.

“Oft to his frozen lair
Tracked I the grisly bear,
While from my path the hare
Fled like a shadow;
Oft through the forest dark
Followed the were-wolf’s bark,
Until the soaring lark
Sang from the meadow.

“But when I older grew,
Joining a corsair’s crew,
O’er the dark sea flew
With the marauders.
Wild was the life we led;
Many the sould that sped,
Many the hearts that bled,
By our stern orders.

“Manu a wassail bout
Wore the long Winter out;
Often our midnight shout
Set the cocks crowing;
As we the Berserk’s tale
Measured in cups of ale,
Draining the oaken pail,
Filled to o’erflowing.

“Once as I told in glee
Tales of the stormy sea,
Soft eyes did gaze on me,
Burning yet tender;
And as the white stars shine
On the dark Norway pine,
On that dark heart of mine
Fell their soft splendor.

“I wooed the blue-eyed maid,
Yielding, yet half afraid,
And in the forests shade
Our vows were plighted.
Under its loosened vest
Fluttered her little breast,
Like birds within their nest
By the hawk frighted.

“Bright in her father’s hall
Shields gleamed upon the wall,
Loud sang the minstrels all,
Chanting his glory;
When of old Hildebrand
I asked his daughter’s hand,
Mute did the minstrels stand
To hear my story.

“While the brown ale he quaffed,
Loud then the champion laughed,
And as the wind-gusts waft
The sea-foam brightly,
So the loud laugh of scorn,
Out of those lips unshorn,
From the deep drinking-horn
Blew the foam lightly.

“She was a Prince’s child,
I but a Viking wild,
And though she blushed and smiled,
I was discarded!
Should not the dove so white
Follow the sea-mew’s flight,
Why did they leave that night
Her nest unguarded?

“Scarce had I put to sea,
Bearing the maid with me,
Fairest of all was she
Among the Norsemen!
When on the white sea-strand,
Waving his armèd hand,
Saw we old Hildebrand,
With twenty horsemen.

“Then launched they to the blast,
Bent like a reed each mast,
Yet we were gaining fast,
When the wind failed us;
And with a sudden flaw
Came round the gusty Skaw,
So that our foe we saw
Laugh as he hailed us.

“And as to catch the gale
Round veered the flapping sail,
‘Death!’ was the helmsman’s hail,
‘Death without quarter!’
Mid-ships with iron keel
Struck we her ribs of steel;
Down her black hulk did reel
Through the black water!

“As with his wings aslant,
Sails the fierce cororant,
Seeking some rocky haunt,
With its prey laden,–
So toward the open main,
Beating to sea again,
Through the wild hurricane,
Bore I the maiden.

“Three weeks we westward bore,
And when the storm was o’er,
Cloud-like we saw the shore
Stretching to leeward;
There for my lady’s bower
Built there the lofty tower,
Which, to this very hour
Stands looking seaward.

“There lived we many years;
Time dried the maiden’s tears;
She had forgot her fears;
She was a mother;
Death closed her mild blue eyes,
Under that tower she lies;
Ne’er shall the sun arise
On such another!

“Still grew my bosom then,
Still as a stagnant fen!
Hateful to me were men,
The sunlight hateful!
In the vast forest here,
Clad in my warlike gear,
Fell I upon my spear,
Oh, death was greatful!

“Thus, seamed with my scars,
Bursting these prison bars,
Up to its native stars
My soul ascended!
There from the flowing bowl
Deep drinks the warrior’s soul,
Skoal! to the Northland! skoal!”
Thus the tale ended.

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Sinks the sun below the desert,
Golden glows the sluggish Nile;
Purple flame crowns Spring and Temple,
Lights up every ancient pile
Where the old gods now are sleeping;
Isis and Osiris great,
Guard me, help me, give me courage
Like a Queen to meet my fate.

“I am dying, Egypt, dying,,”
Let the Caesar’s army come –
I will cheat him of his glory,
Though beyond the Styx I roam;
Shall he drag this beauty with him –
While the crowd his triumph sings?
No, no, never! I will show him
What lies in the blood of Kings.

Though he hold the golden scepter,
Rule the Pharaoh’s sunny land,
Where old Nilus rolls resistless
Through the sweeps of silvery sand –
He shall never say I met him
Fawning, abject, like a slave –
I will foil him, though to do it
I must cross the Stygian wave.

Oh, my hero, sleeping, sleeping –
Shall I meet you on the shore
Of Plutonian shadows? Shall we
In Death meet and love once more?
See, I follow in your footsteps-
Scorn the Caesar in his might;
For your love I will leap boldly
Into realms of death and night.

Down below the desert sinking,
Fades Apollo’s brilliant car;
And from out the distant azure
Breaks the bright gleam of a star.
Venus, Queen of Love and Beauty,
Welcomes me to death’s embrace,
Dying, free, proud, and triumphant,
The last sovereign of my race.

Dying, dying! I am coming,
Oh, my hero, to your arms;
You will welcome me, I know it –
Guard me from all rude alarms.
Hark! I hear the legions coming,
Hear the cries of triumph swell,
But, proud Caesar, dead I scorn you –
Egypt, Antony, farewell.

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Do not despair when you are young and tender –
Though pierced by thorns, confused, and by thrown stones are bruised,
The ache will pass; then comes the days of splendor.

Time serves you and the answer it will render.
Though dark now is the night, the sunrise will be bright.
Do not despair when you are young and tender –

Though it may seem that hope of joy is slender,
The aged felt that way, in some past dismal day.
The ache will pass; then comes the days of splendor.

Till weak are strong, the world attempts to hinder.
A sapling blown by wind, a mighty oak will end.
Do not despair when you are young and tender –

Now isn’t all; it preens as a pretender
It fills the present space; confronts us face to face.
But aches will pass; then comes the days of splendor.

The sullen days are few; do not surrender
The prize goes to the few who see their troubles through.
Do not despair when you are young and tender –
The ache will pass; then comes the days of splendor.


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

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……………Robin Williams
(written on his death, Aug.11, 2014)

The saddest news came forth today
That Robin Williams passed away.
It seems a false dichotomy
That laughter’s source should now grief’s be.
And sadder still that while we laughed
He felt depression’s windy draft.
For him, a most belov-ed clown,
His real face was his painted frown.
And worse than that, the worst of all:
His off-the-cuff, that waterfall,
That rapid ad lib none could match
That left us laughing, breath to catch –
That something else, with that gift prized
He
, ending, had not improvised.

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

 

 

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…………………The Woman Who Talked Too Fast

She’d come up talking quickly and she’d never ever stop like a
rushing whirlwind keeps on spinning like a dusty whirling top and one sentence never ended with a breath or with a pause and all the topics joined with a swiftly uttered clause like one who’s dipping from the beans and slopping from the peas and dishes out the corn just as quickly as you please and moving down the line like a train that’s rushing home, like Visigoths a’ rushing just to get their hands on Rome and while you’re listening nicely, worn to a frazzle just to hear, it seems she never tires nor comes up for some air, and her voice is neither rising nor is falling like the tide, but carries on a monotone, like the calmest carney ride, that doesn’t thrill a soul except the tiny little tots who don’t know any better, that the thrill is in the spots where the coaster waggles one way and swiftly waggles back or it goes so high and then so down it’s nearly coming off the track until you fear for life and your heart is in your throat and you’ve lost all of your senses along with your hat and coat and even though you waited in a long line for the ride, you were praying, somehow, soon that the fearful feelings would subside –

……And so it was with her, with the one who talked too fast,
……She came down to a moment that, sadly, was her last;
……In her abusive home one day, she broke all that could break,
……Then put a bullet in her head; ending all she’d had to take –

………………………………………period.

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

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