Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Let me not coin new meaning to words

Or alter their sense for mere badinage:

Broken pediments may add grace to facades

But words void of wit and sense are BeauNash

Playing dandy among a mournful wake.

I have miscalled pediments impediments

And Paul Bremer for Beau Brummel, a rake.

Words are a good man’s trusted implements-

In music chords do allow inversion

But mix up fundament for aliment

another might think it as some perversion,

If in need of vigor take supplement.

But if you are not Dam Malaprop

Treat words and their sense as walk on tight rope.


Original Version:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,

That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

   If this be error and upon me proved,

   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

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‘Play it loud, play it loud

You damn well know how loud-

Blast those would rather squeak,

We are the band from hell,

‘Blast the bugles left and right

Sound fifes!’ we did as told !

‘We are the band from hell!’


‘Sound bugles Sound them louder.’

But we lost the game sir!

Fanfare of our trumpets

Was no match for lungs in throes

By a mushroom cloud

Expanding and shredding-

Hell’s Bells! Sound the last Post!


Hell to the right and left-

Death retching bucket full

No hands to empty them;

Sick yellow dust full blown

Carries their stench all about-

Hell has come into its own:

Music is fled, so is silence.



Original Version:

Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!
”Charge for the guns!” he said:

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred….



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The Isles of Greece! The isles of Greece

Wherefore this amnesia, drunk from Lethe?

Have you forgotten the warrior race

Whose swords smote down kings and forthwith

‘Here be warriors that knew no fear’

Went thus message post-haste far an’ near?

Sparta led and the hordes of foes

Before their tight phalanxes melted:

In Athens no less brave were demos

Before whose iron resolve tyrants fled.

Spartan or rich in tastes at best

Were men who deemed their own lives least.

What service has the Turks bestowed

That you let your blood and honor

Be trod and your wives as slaves sold?

Martyrs for faith in Asia minor

Lay forgotten as of no value.

For a slave race this’s nothing new.

Spare me your woes with Euro bail-out

Or the Golden Dawn spawn’d from hell.

How slaves for long living on hand-out

Are undone is a sad chronicle:

A land of slaves shall ne’er regain

Unless Greece unlearn past as one.


Original Version

THE isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!

Where burning Sappho loved and sung,

Where grew the arts of war and peace,—

Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung!

Eternal summer gilds them yet,

But all, except their sun, is set.

The Scian and the Teian muse,

The hero’s harp, the lover’s lute,

Have found the fame your shores refuse;

Their place of birth alone is mute

To sounds which echo further west

Than your sires’ “Islands of the Blest.”


Place me on Sunium’s marble steep—

Where nothing, save the waves and I,

May hear our mutual murmurs sweep:

There, swan-like, let me sing and die;

A land of slaves shall ne’er be mine—

Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!

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Sleep, sleep? I am not dead nor am I tired

Dream of life sets me tasks that shall not wait,

Nightmares that chase my lot if duty shirked.

Many excuses are waking life’s bait

And in cloying phantoms failures they rate

And often these presage sad truth of life:

It is not such as flesh and bones that hurt

Or demean man’s life with corrosive grief

But chances missed and begun with no heart

That the game lost e’en before it could start.

Original Version:

Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep,

       He hath awaken’d from the dream of life;

       ‘Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep

       With phantoms an unprofitable strife,

       And in mad trance, strike with our spirit’s knife

       Invulnerable nothings. We decay

       Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief

       Convulse us and consume us day by day,

And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.

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If you can lie and cheat and buy happiness

Tell me son, I will go in business

And treat you equal and split half and half:

My happiness your weal- and my riches

What I cannot carry with me for you

To possess and hold, Isn’t that rich?

We shall have our laugh at those who cavil

That money never bought happiness.


Original Version:

If you can keep your head when all about you   

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:….



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Hope is the fizz that swells out

With the uncorked soul

To charm the head and watch out

Or numbness take all!



How you reckon if head be lost

Soul’s worth is what you miss:

Hope is when you add to cost

Heart and body can say,’Yes!’


It is a mirage of the soul

When hope leads the simple

To lay vaunted trust in signs

That are less than it feigns.

Original Version:

Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops – at all -

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

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My credit is too low- bankruptcy

Weighs heavily on me like a ball of chain,

And each way-out I find it soon in vain-

Do I make for the sea of bankruptcy

With Chapter ‘Leven I might be afloat;

Yet ’tis a gentle luxury to weep

That I have not the cloudy winds to keep

But under Seven dash my brains direct

On this nagging ball of reputation?

Such are legal conundrums left by law:

Poor Shylock’s knife cannot cut them but draw

rebuke instead from the congregation.

Law thus dispenses relief worth a straw

But loath help him gain lost reputation.

Original Version:

On Seeing Elgin marbles

My spirit is too weak—mortality

   Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,

   And each imagined pinnacle and steep

Of godlike hardship tells me I must die

Like a sick eagle looking at the sky.

   Yet ’tis a gentle luxury to weep

   That I have not the cloudy winds to keep

Fresh for the opening of the morning’s eye.

Such dim-conceived glories of the brain

   Bring round the heart an undescribable feud;

So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,

   That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude

Wasting of old time—with a billowy main—

   A sun—a shadow of a magnitude.


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