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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Hood’

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn:
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day;
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away.

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The violets and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday, –
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember,
The place I was used to swing;
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing:
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember,
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ’tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from heaven
Than when I was a boy.

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Mojave Nugget, a gold nugget weighing 156 ounc...

Mojave Nugget, a gold nugget weighing 156 ounces. From the Stringer district, Kern County, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gold

Gold! gold! gold! gold!
Bright and yellow, hard and cold,
Molten, graven, hammered, and rolled,
Heavy to get, and light to hold;
Hoarded, bartered, bought and sold,
Stolen, borrowed, squandered, doled;
Spurned by the young, but hugged by the old
To the very verge of the churchyard mold;
Price of many a crime untold.

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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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