Minstrel's Tales

Stories From a Guitar Case

Poem for the Day - Because She Would Ask Me Why I Loved Her by Christopher John Brennan

Posted: 25 April 2018

Poem for the Day

If questioning would make us wise
No eyes would ever gaze in eyes;
If all our tale were told in speech ...
No mouths would wander each to each.

Were spirits free from mortal mesh
And love not bound in hearts of flesh
No aching breasts would yearn to meet
And find their ecstasy complete.

For who is there that lives and knows
The secret powers by which he grows?
Were knowledge all, what were our need
To thrill and faint and sweetly bleed?

Then seek not, sweet, the "If" and "Why"
I love you now until I die.
For I must love because I live
And life in me is what you give.

Because She Would Ask Me Why I Loved Her
Christopher John Brennan

Poem for the Day - Butterfly Movement by R. S. Thomas

Posted: 16 April 2018

Poemfor the Day

Butterfly movement
as though a rainbow
had taken wing, falling
with the softness of light

on our horizon, a reminder
of God’s promise to lay
aside wrath. And what,
this moment at gaze

in the afternoon sun,
we ask, was the nature 
of our sin that it deserved
so beautifully to be forgiven?

Butterfly Movement
R. S. Thomas

Poem for the Day - The Old Familiar Faces by Charles Lamb

Posted: 15 April 2018

Poem for the Day 

I have had playmates, I have had companions, 
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days, 
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. 

I have been laughing, I have been carousing, 
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies, 
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. 

I loved a love once, fairest among women; 
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her — 
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. 

I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man; 
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly; 
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces. 

Ghost-like, I paced round the haunts of my childhood. 
Earth seemed a desert I was bound to traverse, 
Seeking to find the old familiar faces. 

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother, 
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling? 
So might we talk of the old familiar faces — 

How some they have died, and some they have left me, 
And some are taken from me; all are departed; 
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. 

The Old Familiar Faces 
Charles Lamb

Poem for the Day - A Smugglers Song by Rudyard Kipling

Posted: 14 April 2018

Poem for the Day 

If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse's feet,
 Don't go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
 Them that ask no questions isn't told a lie.
 Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by. 

 Five and twenty ponies, 
 Trotting through the dark - 
 Brandy for the Parson, 'Baccy for the Clerk.
 Laces for a lady; letters for a spy,
 Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by! 

 Running round the woodlump if you chance to find 
 Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
 Don't you shout to come and look, nor use 'em for your play.
 Put the brishwood back again - and they'll be gone next day ! 

 If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
 If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
 If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
 If the lining's wet and warm - don't you ask no more ! 

 If you meet King George's men, dressed in blue and red,
 You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
 If they call you " pretty maid," and chuck you 'neath the chin,
 Don't you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one's been ! 

 Knocks and footsteps round the house - whistles after dark -
 You've no call for running out till the house-dogs bark.
Trusty's here, and Pincher's here, and see how dumb they lie
They don't fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by ! 

 'If You do as you've been told, 'likely there's a chance,
 You'll be give a dainty doll, all the way from France,
 With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood - 
 A present from the Gentlemen, along 'o being good ! 

 Five and twenty ponies, 
 Trotting through the dark - 
 Brandy for the Parson, 'Baccy for the Clerk.
 Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie - 
 Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by ! 

A Smuggler's Song
Rudyard Kipling

Poem for the Day - You Are Old, Father William by Lewis Carroll

Posted: 13 April 2018

Poem for the Day

A little more nonsense for the weekend. Please take note, gentle readers, that any resemblance to the title character is entirely coincidental!

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "As I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door—
Pray, what is the reason of that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment—one shilling the box—
Allow me to sell you a couple?"

"You are old," said the youth, "And your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak—
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose—
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"

You Are Old, Father William
Lewis Carroll

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