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Poem for the Day

Posted: 28 November 2014

Upon a simmer Sunday morn
When Nature's face is fair,
I walked forth to view the corn, ...
An' snuff the caller air.
The rising sun owre Galston muirs
Wi' glorious light was glintin;
The hares were hirplin down the furrs,
The lav'rocks they were chantin
Fu' sweet that day.

As lightsomely I glowr'd abroad,
To see a scene sae gay,
Three hizzies, early at the road,
Cam skelpin up the way.
Twa had manteeles o' dolefu' black,
But ane wi' lyart lining;
The third, that gaed a wee a-back,
Was in the fashion shining
Fu' gay that day.

"My name is Fun - your cronie dear,
The nearest friend ye hae;
An' this is Superstitution here,
An' that's Hypocrisy.
I'm gaun to Mauchline Holy Fair,
To spend an hour in daffin:
Gin ye'll go there, yon runkl'd pair,
We will get famous laughin
At them this day."

O happy is that man, an' blest!
Nae wonder that it pride him!
Whase ain dear lass, that he likes best,
Comes clinkin down beside him!
Wi' arms repos'd on the chair back,
He sweetly does compose him;
Which, by degrees, slips round her neck,
An's loof upon her bosom,
Unkend that day.

Leeze me on drink! it gies us mair
Than either school or college;
It kindles wit, it waukens lear,
It pangs us fou o' knowledge:
Be't whisky-gill or penny wheep,
Or ony stronger potion,
It never fails, or drinkin deep,
To kittle up our notion,
By night or day.

How mony hearts this day converts
O' sinners and o' lasses!
Their hearts o' stane, gin night, are gane
As saft as ony flesh is:
There's some are fou o' love divine;
There's some are fou o' brandy;
An' mony jobs that day begin,
May end in houghmagandie
Some ither day.

from The Holy Fair
Robert Burns

Poem for the Day

Posted: 27 November 2014

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery, ...
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be
John Keats

Poem for the Day

Posted: 26 November 2014

Legate, I had the news last night - my cohort ordered home
By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome.
I've marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below:...
Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go!

I've served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall,
I have none other home than this, nor any life at all.
Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near
That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here.

Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done;
Here where my dearest dead are laid - my wife - my wife and son;
Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love,
Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove?

For me this land, that sea, these airs, those folk and fields suffice.
What purple Southern pomp can match our changeful Northern skies,
Black with December snows unshed or pearled with August haze -
The clanging arch of steel-grey March, or June's long-lighted days?

You'll follow widening Rhodanus till vine an olive lean
Aslant before the sunny breeze that sweeps Nemausus clean
To Arelate's triple gate; but let me linger on,
Here where our stiff-necked British oaks confront Euroclydon!

You'll take the old Aurelian Road through shore-descending pines
Where, blue as any peacock's neck, the Tyrrhene Ocean shines.
You'll go where laurel crowns are won, but - will you e'er forget
The scent of hawthorn in the sun, or bracken in the wet?

Let me work here for Britain's sake - at any task you will -
A marsh to drain, a road to make or native troops to drill.
Some Western camp (I know the Pict) or granite Border keep,
Mid seas of heather derelict, where our old messmates sleep.

Legate, I come to you in tears - My cohort ordered home!
I've served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome?
Here is my heart, my soul, my mind - the only life I know.
I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!

The Roman Centurion's Song
Rudyard Kipling

Poem for the Day

Posted: 25 November 2014

A poem about saying yes or no which has nothing to do with the referendum. Sometimes we say no because it is the safe thing to do. Beware of the "right no"!

For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes ...
or the great No. It’s clear at once who has the Yes
ready within him; and saying it,

he goes from honor to honor, strong in his conviction.
He who refuses does not repent. Asked again,
he’d still say no. Yet that no—the right no—
drags him down all his life.

Che Fece...Il Gran Refiuto
C P Cavafy

Poem for the Day

Posted: 24 November 2014

When I was but thirteen or so
I went into a golden land,
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi ...
Took me by the hand.

My father died, my brother too,
They passed like fleeting dreams,
I stood where Popocatapetl
In the sunlight gleams.

I dimly heard the master's voice
And boys far-off at play,—
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi
Had stolen me away.

I walked in a great golden dream
To and fro from school—
Shining Popocatapetl
The dusty streets did rule.

I walked home with a gold dark boy
And never a word I'd say,
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi
Had taken my speech away.

I gazed entranced upon his face
Fairer than any flower—
O shining Popocatapetl
It was thy magic hour:

The houses, people, traffic seemed
Thin fading dreams by day;
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi,
They had stolen my soul away!

Romance
W J Turner

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