Showing posts with label Classic poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Classic poetry. Show all posts

All Things Bright and Beautiful (Cecil Frances Alexander, 1818-1895)

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

"The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate;
He made them High and lowly
He ordered their estate."

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

The purple headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one:

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day;

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,

The Lord God made them all.


The past few days have been horrendous--the Boston Marathon bombings and ricin incidents have shocked and dismayed us.

I thought we could use a little sentimentality.

Prospice (Robert Browning, 1812-1889)

Fear death? -- to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm,
The post of the foe;
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,
Yet the strong man must go:
For the journey is done and the summit attained,
And the barriers fall,
Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
The reward of it all.
I was ever a fighter, so -- one fight more,
The best and the last!
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore,
And bade me creep past.
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers
The heroes of old,
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
Of pain, darkness and cold.
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute's at end,
And the elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend,
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain,
Then a light, then thy breast,
O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
And with God be the rest!

Requiem (Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894)

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
"Requiem," An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A. Methuen. London: Methuen & Co., 1921.

A Fable (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, circa 1857
The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter, "Little Prig":
Bun replied,
"You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together,
To make up a year
And a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry.

I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track;
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut."

Classic Poetry: Topsy-Turvy World (William B. Rands)

Guy Fawkes portrait, unknown artist

If the butterfly courted the bee,

-----And the owl the porcupine;

If churches were built in the sea,

-----And three times one was nine;

If the pony rode his master,

-----If the buttercups ate the cows,

If the cats had the dire disaster

-----To be worried, sir, by the mouse;

If mamma, sir, sold the baby

-----To a gypsy for half a crown;

If a gentleman, sir, was a lady,—

-----The world would be Upside-down!

If any or all of these wonders

-----Should ever come about,

I should not consider them blunders,

-----For I should be Inside-out!


Ba-ba, black wool,

-----Have you any sheep?

Yes, sir, a packfull,

-----Creep, mouse, creep!

Four-and-twenty little maids

-----Hanging out the pie,

Out jump’d the honey-pot,

-----Guy Fawkes, Guy!

Cross latch, cross latch,

-----Sit and spin the fire;

When the pie was open’d,

-----The bird was on the brier!

A snark version of this poem can be found here.


A Topsy-Turvy Project: How to Make an Ice-cream Cone Buckyball

alyceobvious says,

I make these Buckminster Fuller-inspired buckyballs from ice-cream cones, then deploy them in unexpected locations as a kind of biodegradable graffiti. This is a how-to video with original guitar composition by Julian Mock

(Please see or iTunes for more info).

More odd works of ephemera at



Classic Poetry: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm? (Folk Song, Eric von Schmidt, 1931 -2007)


"Wasn't That a Mighty Storm?" Performed by D. E. Mainer



(This poem refers to the category 4 hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900)

Wasn't that a mighty storm
Wasn't that a mighty storm in the morning, well
Wasn't that a mighty storm That blew all the people all away

Path of the 1900 Category 4 Hurricane that Smashed into Galveston.

You know the year of 1900
Children, many years ago
Death came howling on the ocean
Death calls, you got to go
Now Galveston had a seawall
To keep the water down, and a
High tide from the ocean
Spread the water over the town


You know the trumpets give them warning
You'd better leave this place
Now, no one thought of leaving
'til death stared them in the face
And the trains they all were loaded
The people were all leaving town
The trestle gave way to the water
And the trains they went on down


Rain it was a' falling
Thunder began to roll
Lightning flashed like hell fire
The wind began to blow
Death the cruel master
When the wind began to blow
Rode in on a team of horses
T cried, "Death, won't you let me go."


Hey, now trees fell on the island
And the houses give away
Some they strained and drowned
Some died in most every way
And the sea began to rolling
And the ships they could not stand
And I heard a captain crying
"God save a drowning man."


Death your hands are clammy
You got them on my knee
You come and took my mother
Won't you come back after me
And the flood it took my neighbor
Took my brother too
I thought I heard my father calling
And I watched my mother go


You know the year of 1900
Children, many years ago
Death came howling on the ocean
Death calls, you got to go

(Chorus 2X)


Galveston Hurricane of 1900 Destroys a Catholic Orphanage, Only 3 Survivors



Classic Poetry: The Wind In A Frolic (William Howitt, 1792 - 1879)

William Howitt, 18 December 1792 – 3 March 1879) author from Heanor Derbyshire

The wind one morning sprang up from sleep,
Saying, “Now for a frolic! now for a leap!
Now for a madcap, galloping chase!
I’ll make a commotion in every place!”
So it swept with a bustle right through a great town,
Creaking the signs, and scattering down
The shutters, and whisking, with merciless squalls,
Old women’s bonnets and gingerbread stalls.
There never was heard a much lustier shout
As the apples and oranges tumbled about;
And urchins, that stand with their thievish eyes
Forever on watch, ran off each with a prize.

Hurricane Ike, NASA, September 9, 2008

Then away to the fields it went blustering and humming,
And the cattle all wondered whatever was coming.
It plucked by their tails the grave matronly cows,
And tossed the colts’ manes all about their brows,
Till offended at such a familiar salute,
They all turned their backs and stood silently mute.


Dire warnings about Hurricane Ike (9/11)


So on it went, capering and playing its pranks;
Whistling with reeds on the broad river banks;
Puffing the birds, as they sat on a spray,
Or the travelers grave on the king’s highway.
It was not too nice to bustle the bags
Of the beggar, and flutter his dirty rags.
’Twas so bold that it feared not to play its joke
With the doctor’s wig, and the gentleman’s cloak.
Through the forest it roared, and cried gayly, “Now,
You sturdy old oaks, I’ll make you bow!”
And it made them bow without more ado,
Or it cracked their great branches through and through.

Then it rushed like a monster o’er cottage and farm,
Striking their inmates with sudden alarm;
And they ran out like bees in a midsummer swarm.
There were dames with kerchiefs tied over their caps,
To see if their poultry were free from mishaps.
The turkeys they gobbled, the geese screamed aloud,
And the hens crept to roost in a terrified crowd;
There was rearing of ladders, and logs laying on,
Where the thatch from the roof threatened soon to be gone.
But the wind had passed on, and had met in a lane
With a schoolboy, who panted and struggled in vain,
For it tossed him, and twirled him, then passed, and he stood
With his hat in a pool and his shoe in the mud.

For all our friends who have faced the ire of Hurricane Ike: be well.

Hurricane Ike on September 12, 2008, Photo Courtesy of NASA


Classic Poetry: A Hunting We Will Go (Anonymous, Traditional Folksong/Poem)


The Magic of Living with Wolves



A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a hunting we will go
A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
We'll catch a fox and put him in a box
And then we'll let him go

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a hunting we will go
A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
We'll catch a fish and put him on a dish
And then we'll let him go

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a hunting we will go
A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
We'll catch a bear and cut his hair
And then we'll let him go

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a hunting we will go
A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
We'll catch a pig and dance a little jig
And then we'll let him go

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a hunting we will go
A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
We'll catch a giraffe and make him laugh
And then we'll let him go


A snark version of this poem can be found here.


A Man Among Wolves Trailer



Classic Poetry--Solomon Grundy (Anonymous Nursery Rhyme)



Solomon Grundy,

Born on a Monday,

Christened on Tuesday,

Married on Wednesday,

Took ill on Thursday,

Grew worse on Friday,

Died on Saturday,

Buried on Sunday.

That was the end of

Solomon Grundy.


Solomon Grundy Animation



Classic Poetry: Who Has Seen the Wind? (Christina Rossetti, 1830 - 1894)

Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?

Neither I nor you:

But when the leaves hang trembling

The wind is passing through.


The trees bow down their heads to Gustav



Who has seen the wind?

Neither you nor I:

But when the trees bow down their heads

The wind is passing by.


Fictional Representation of Ike



For those who have suffered through Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, and any other hurricanes.



Classic Poetry: John Gilpin (William Cowper, 1731-1800)

William Cowper (1731-1800); frontispiece in H.S. Milford, ed., The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper, London: Oxford University Press, 1913. Described as being "From the picture in the National Portrait Gallery ascribed to George Romney."

John Gilpin was a citizen
-----Of credit and renown,
A train-band captain eke was he
-----Of famous London town.

John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear:
-----"Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
-----No holiday have seen.

The statue of John Gilpin's bell statue at Fore Street in Edmonton, London (Photo by "Northmepit"--released into the public domain)

"To-morrow is our wedding-day,
-----And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton
-----All in a chaise and pair.

"My sister, and my sister's child,
-----Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride
-----On horseback after we."

He soon replied, "I do admire
-----Of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear,
-----Therefore it shall be done.

"I am a linendraper bold,
-----As all the world doth know,
And my good friend the calendrer
-----Will lend his horse to go."

Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, "That's well said;
-----And for that wine is dear,
We will be furnish'd with our own,
-----Which is both bright and clear."

John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife;
-----O'erjoy'd was he to find,
That, though on pleasure she was bent,
-----She had a frugal mind.

The morning came, the chaise was brought,
-----But yet was not allow'd
To drive up to the door, lest all
-----Should say that she was proud.

So three doors off, the chaise was stay'd,
-----Where they did all get in;
Six precious souls, and all agog
-----To dash through thick and thin.

Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
-----Were never folk so glad,
The stones did rattle underneath,
-----As if Cheapside were mad.

John Gilpin at his horse's side
-----Seized fast the flowing mane,
And up he got, in haste to ride,
-----But soon came down again;

For saddle-tree scarce reach'd had he,
-----His journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw
-----Three customers come in.

So down he came; for loss of time,
-----Although it grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,
-----Would trouble him much more.

'Twas long before the customers
-----Were suited to their mind,
When Betty screaming came down stairs,
-----"The wine is left behind!"

"Good lack!" quoth he, "Yet bring it me,
-----My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword
-----When I do exercise."

Now mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)
-----Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved,
-----And keep it safe and sound.

Each bottle had a curling ear,
-----Through which the belt he drew,
And hung a bottle on each side,
-----To make his balance true.

Then over all, that he might be
-----Equipp'd from top to toe,
His long red cloak, well brush'd and neat,
-----He manfully did throw.

Now see him mounted once again
-----Upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,
-----With caution and good heed.

But finding soon a smoother road
-----Beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,
-----Which gall'd him in his seat.

So, "Fair and softly," John he cried,
-----But John he cried in vain;
That trot became a gallop soon,
-----In spite of curb and rein.

So stooping down, as needs he must
-----Who cannot sit upright,
He grasp'd the mane with both his hands,
-----And eke with all his might.

His horse, who never in that sort
-----Had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got
-----Did wonder more and more.

Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
-----Away went hat and wig;
He little dreamt, when he set out,
-----Of running such a rig.

The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,
-----Like streamer long and gay,
Till, loop and button failing both,
-----At last it flew away.

Then might all people well discern
-----The bottles he had slung;
A bottle swinging at each side,
-----As hath been said or sung.

The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,
-----Up flew the windows all;
And every soul cried out, "Well done!"
-----As loud as he could bawl.

Away went Gilpin - who but he?
-----His fame soon spread around,
"He carries weight! he rides a race!
-----Tis for a thousand pound!"

And still, as fast as he drew near,
-----'Twas wonderful to view,
How in a trice the turnpike men
-----Their gates wide open threw.

And now, as he went bowing down
-----His reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back
-----Were shatter'd at a blow.

Down ran the wine into the road,
-----Most piteous to be seen,
Which made his horse's flanks to smoke,
-----As they had basted been.

But still he seem'd to carry weight,
-----With leathern girdle braced;
For all might see the bottlenecks
-----Still dangling at his waist.

Thus all through merry Islington
-----These gambols he did play,
Until he came unto the Wash
-----Of Edmonton so gay;

And there he threw the wash about
-----On both sides of the way,
Just like unto a trundling mop,
-----Or a wild goose at play.

At Edmonton, his loving wife
-----From the balcony spied
Her tender husband, wondering much
-----To see how he did ride.

"Stop, stop, John Gilpin! - Here's the house!"
-----They all at once did cry;
"The dinner waits, and we are tired":
-----Said Gilpin, "So am I!"

But yet his horse was not a whit
-----Inclined to tarry there;
For why?  his owner had a house
-----Full ten miles off, at Ware.

So like arrow swift he flew,
-----Shot by an archer strong?
So did he fly--which brings me to
-----The middle of my song.

Away went Gilpin out of breath,
-----And sore against his will,
Till at his friend the calendrer's
-----His horse at last stood still.

The Calend'rer, amazed to see
-----His neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,
-----And thus accosted him:

"What news? what news? your tidings tell;
-----Tell me you must and shall -
Say why bareheaded you are come,
-----Or why you come at all?"

Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
-----And loved a timely joke!
And thus unto the calendrer
-----In merry guise he spoke:

"I came, because your horse would come,
-----And, if I well forebode,
My hat and wig will soon be here,
-----They are upon the road."

The Calendrer, right glad to find
-----His friend in merry pin,
Return'd him not a single word,
-----But to the house went in;

Whence straight he came with hat and wig;
-----A wig that flow'd behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear,
-----Each comely in its kind.

He held them up, and in his turn
-----Thus show'd his ready wit:
"My head is twice as big as yours,
-----They therefore needs must fit.

"But let me scrape the dirt away
-----That hangs upon your face;
And stop and eat, for well you may
-----Be in a hungry case."

Said John, "It is my wedding-day,
-----And all the world would stare,
If wife should dine at Edmonton,
-----And I should dine at Ware."

So turning to his horse, he said,
-----"I am in haste to dine;
'Twas for your pleasure you came here,
-----You shall go back for mine."

Ah, luckless speech, and bootless boast!
-----For which he paid full dear;
For, while he spake, a braying ass
-----Did sing most loud and clear;

Whereat his horse did snort, as he
-----Had heard a lion roar,
And gallop'd off with all his might,
-----As he had done before.

Away went Gilpin, and away
-----Went Gilpin's hat and wig:
He lost them sooner than at first,
-----For why? -- they were too big.

Now mistress Gilpin, when she saw
-----Her husband posting down
Into the country far away,
-----She pull'd out half-a-crown;

And thus unto the youth she said,
-----That drove them to the Bell,
"This shall be yours, when you bring back
-----My husband safe and well."

The youth did ride, and soon did meet
-----John coming back amain;
Whom in a trice he tried to stop,
-----By catching at his rein;

But not performing what he meant,
-----And gladly would have done,
The frighten'd steed he frighten'd more,
-----And made him faster run.

Away went Gilpin, and away
-----Went postboy at his heels,
The postboy's horse right glad to miss
-----The lumbering of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road
-----Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scampering in the rear,
-----They raised the hue and cry:

"Stop thief! stop thief! -- a highwayman!"
-----Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that pass'd that way
-----Did join in the pursuit.

And now the turnpike gates again
-----Flew open in short space;
The toll-men thinking as before,
-----That Gilpin rode a race.

And so he did, and won it too!
-----For he got first to town;
Nor stopp'd till where he had got up
-----He did again get down.

-- Now let us sing, Long live the King,
-----And Gilpin, long live he;
And when he next doth ride abroad,
-----May I be there to see!



Classic Poetry: "Eel-Grass" (Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892-1950)

Edna St. Vincent Millay, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1933.

No matter what I say,

All that I really love

Is the rain that flattens on the bay,

And the eel-grass in the cove;




Millay, 1914, a publicity photograph (per Daniel Mark Epstein, What Lips My Lips Have Kissed: The Loves and Love Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay, p. 135), taken 1914.




The jingle-shells that lie and bleach

At the tide-line, and the trace

Of higher tides along the beach:

Nothing in this place.


All About Eel-grass Restoration

SaveBayNarragansett says,

Save The Bay - Narragansett Bay's Wenley Ferguson explains how we restore eelgrass and why it is so important. Recorded at King's Beach, Newport Rhode Island, May 29, 2008.



Alice Pleasance Liddell (1852-1934): The Real Alice in Wonderland and "A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky" (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898)

1862 Photograph of seven-year-old Alice Pleasance Liddell (by Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll)

Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Dodgson), author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, created Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to entertain Alice and her sisters on a boat ride down the Thames. According to Wikipedia:

Alice Pleasance Liddell with her sisters (circa 1859)

On July 4, 1862, in a rowing boat travelling on The Isis from Folly Bridge, Oxford to Godstow for a picnic outing, 10-year-old Alice asked Charles Dodgson (More commonly known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll) to entertain her and her sisters, Edith (age 8) and Lorina (age 13), with a story. As the Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed the boat, Dodgson regaled the girls with fantastic stories of a girl, named Alice, and her adventures after she fell into a rabbit-hole. The story was not unlike those Dodgson had spun for the sisters before, but this time Alice asked Mr. Dodgson to write it down for her. He promised to do so but did not get around to the task for some months. He eventually presented Alice with the manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground in November 1864.

In the meantime, Dodgson had decided to rewrite the story as a possible commercial venture. Probably with a view to canvassing his opinion, Dodgson sent the manuscript of Under Ground to a friend, the author George MacDonald, in the spring of 1863 [1]. The MacDonald children read the story and loved it, and this response probably persuaded Dodgson to seek a publisher. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with illustrations by John Tenniel, was published in 1865, under the pen name Lewis Carroll. A second "Alice" book, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, followed in 1871. In 1886, a facsimile of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, the original manuscript that Dodgson had given Alice, was published.
Carroll wrote an acrostic poem, which appeared in the back of Through the Looking-Glass, about Alice and that fateful trip down the Thames. The first letter in each line spells out "Alice Pleasance Liddell":
A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July--

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear--

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.


Alice Pleasance Liddell as a young woman (Photo by Julia Margaret Cameron)

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream--
Lingering in the golden gleam--
Life, what is it but a dream?

Alice Pleasance Liddell Hargreaves in her older years.

Dreamchild (1985 film)

brechtbug says,

A scene from the Dennis Potter written 1985 film "Dreamchild" based on the book "Alice at 80". Alice Liddell Hargreaves is 80 years old and having flashbacks/hallucinations of her time spent with Reverend Charles Dodgson. The Mad Hatter & March Hare (Jim Henson puppets) are chatting with Coral Browne as elderly Alice & Amelia Shankley young Alice. Elements of "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" are combined in this Lewis Carroll inspired film.


Classic Poetry: The Fairies (William Allingham, 1824? - 1889)--Updated Version



Up the airy mountain
---Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting,
---For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
---Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
---And white owl's feather.
Down along the rocky shore
---Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
---Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
---Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
---All night awake.

"He's nigh lost his wits."

High on the hill-top
---The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
---He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
---Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
---From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music,
---On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen,
---Of the gay Northern Lights.

"Her friends were all gone./They took her lightly back."

They stole little Bridget
---For seven years long;
When she came down again
---Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back
---Between the night and morrow;
They thought she was fast asleep,
---But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
---Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag leaves,
---Watching till she wake.

"He shall find the thornies set/In his bed at night."

By the craggy hill-side,
---Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
---For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
---As dig them up in spite?
He shall find the thornies set
---In his bed at night.

"We daren't go a-hunting."

Up the airy mountain
---Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting,
---For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
---Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
---And white owl's feather.

Spore Demon Fairy



Classic poetry: "The Butterfly's Ball" (William Roscoe, 1753-1831)

The Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast, Illustrated by R. M. Ballantyne, 1825-1894

Come take up your Hats, and away let us haste
To the Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast.
The Trumpeter, Gadfly, has summon'd the Crew,
And the Revels are now only waiting for you.

So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions came forth in a Throng.
And on the smooth Grass, by the side of a Wood,
Beneath a broad Oak that for Ages had stood,

Saw the Children of Earth, and the Tenants of Air,
For an Evening's Amusement together repair.
And there came the Beetle, so blind and so black,
Who carried the Emmet, his Friend, on his Back.

And there was the Gnat and the Dragon-fly too,
With all their Relations, Green, Orange, and Blue.
And there came the Moth, with his Plumage of Down,
And the Hornet in Jacket of Yellow and Brown;

Who with him the Wasp, his Companion, did bring,
But they promis'd, that Evening, to lay by their Sting.
And the sly little Dormouse crept out of his Hole,
And brought to the Feast his blind Brother, the Mole.

And the Snail, with his Horns peeping out of his Shell,
Came from a great Distance, the Length of an Ell.
A Mushroom their Table, and on it was laid
A Water-dock Leaf, which a Table-cloth made.

The Viands were various, to each of their Taste,
And the Bee brought her Honey to crown the Repast.
Then close on his Haunches, so solemn and wise,
The Frog from a Corner, look'd up to the Skies.

And the Squirrel well pleas'd such Diversions to see,
Mounted high over Head, and look'd down from a Tree.
Then out came the Spider, with Finger so fine,
To shew his Dexterity on the tight Line.

From one Branch to another, his Cobwebs he slung,
Then quick as an Arrow he darted along,
But just in the Middle,--Oh! shocking to tell,
From his Rope, in an Instant, poor Harlequin fell.

Yet he touch'd not the Ground, but with Talons outspread,
Hung suspended in Air, at the End of a Thread.
Then the Grasshopper came with a Jerk and a Spring,
Very long was his Leg, though but short was his Wing;

He took but three Leaps, and was soon out of Sight,
Then chirp'd his own Praises the rest of the Night.
With Step so majestic the Snail did advance,
And promis'd the Gazers a Minuet to dance.

But they all laugh'd so loud that he pull'd in his Head,
And went in his own little Chamber to Bed.
Then, as Evening gave Way to the Shadows of Night,
Their Watchman, the Glow-worm, came out with a Light.

Then Home let us hasten, while yet we can see,
For no Watchman is waiting for you and for me,
So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions returned in a throng.

Frontispiece of the 1808, London, publication of The Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast by William Roscoe, "PRINTED FOR J. HARRIS, SUCCESSOR TO E. NEWBERY, AT THE ORIGINAL JUVENILE LIBRARY, CORNER OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD."

Amazing Butterflies



Classic Poetry: Two Immigration Poems, Two Different Viewpoints

Emma Lazarus

A frequent impression is that nineteenth-century America, the so-called mixing bowl, welcomed immigrants. Emma Lazarus’ famous 1886 poem, “The New Colossus,” echoes this notion in its description of the Statue of Liberty:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightening, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twice cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp1” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

--Emma Lazarus

qbdirect says,

A Latino couple is inspired by Barack Obama to take the test for citizenship.

However, a very different view was expressed only a few years later by one of the era’s most noted popular authors, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, who in 1894, just one year after the celebration of America that was the Chicago World’s Fair, but also the year after a major financial crisis, penned “Unguarded Gates.”

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Unguarded Gates

Wide open and unguarded stand our gates
And through them presses a wild, motley throng—
Men from the Volga and the Tartar steppes,
Fearless figures of the Hoang-Ho,
Malayan, Scythian, Teuton, Kelt, and Slav,
Flying the Old World’s poverty and scorn;
These bringing with them unknown gods and rites,
Those, tiger passions, here to stretch their claws.
In the street and alley what strange tongues are loud,
Acents of menace alien to our air,
Voices that once the Tower of Babel knew!

O Liberty, white Goddess! Is it well
To leave the gates unguarded? On thy breast
Fold Sorrow’s children, soothe the hurts of hate,
Lift the down-trodden, but with hands of steel
Stay those who to thy sacred portals come
To waste the gifts of freedom. Have a care
Lest from thy brow the clustered stars be torn
And trampled in the dust. For so of old
The thronging Goth and Vandal trampled Rome,
And where the temples of the Caesars stood
The lean wolf unmolested made her lair.

--Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907)

Anti-Immigration Rally

blkphoto says,

[On this day] we see opposing forces of the immigration issue go at each other with only the police between them. This face off is seen by President George W. Bush from the White House windows.

Thanks to Jerry Siegel for inspiring this post.

Classic Poetry--"On a Honey Bee" (Philip Freneau, 1752-1832)


Philip Freneau

Thou born to sip the lake or spring,
Or quaff the waters of the stream,
Why hither come on vagrant wing?--
Does Bacchus tempting seem--
Did he, for you, the glass prepare?--
Will I admit you to a share?

Did storms harrass or foes perplex,
Did wasps or king-birds bring dismay--
Did wars distress, or labours vex,
Or did you miss your way?--
A better seat you could not take
Than on the margin of this lake.

Welcome!--I hail you to my glass:
All welcome, here, you find;
Here let the cloud of trouble pass,
Here, be all care resigned.--
This fluid never fails to please,
And drown the griefs of men or bees.

What forced you here, we cannot know,
And you will scarcely tell--
But cheery we would have you go
And bid a glad farewell:
On lighter wings we bid you fly,
Your dart will now all foes defy.

"Flight of the Bumblebee," performed by 10-year-old Enzo

Enzo says,


I am Enzo and I live in Manila, the Philippines. I started playing the piano in early 2005 when I was still 9 1/2 years old. In February 2006, my parents enrolled me in a music extension program in a big University here and that started me to really enjoy music and the piano.

My dad will be posting my videos from time to time and I hope some of you will advise me on how to further improve my playing.

Thank you all for watching and best wishes..E N Z O

Yet take not oh! too deep a drink,
And in the ocean die;
Here bigger bees than you might sink,
Even bees full six feet high.
Like Pharaoh, then, you would be said
To perish in a sea of red.

Do as you please, your will is mine;
Enjoy it without fear--
And your grave will be this glass of wine,
Your epitaph--a tear--
Go, take your seat in Charon's boat,
We'll tell the hive, you died afloat.


Honey Bees - Life Cycle

ScienceOnline says,

DVD: The life cycle of a honey bee is presented as an example of complete metamorphosis, the development of an insect from egg to larva, then pupa, then adult. Moths, butterflies and wasps also develop with complete metamorphosis. Some aspects of beekeeping are also discussed. A resource for teaching the life cycle of insects. More science videos:

Classic Poetry: "My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun --" (Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886)

From the daguerreotype taken at Mount Holyoke, December 1846 or early 1847. It is the only authenticated portrait of Emily Dickinson later than childhood.

My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun --
In Corners -- till a Day
The Owner passed -- identified --
And carried Me away --

And now We roam in Sovereign Woods --
And now We hunt the Doe --
And every time I speak for Him --
The Mountains straight reply --

And do I smile, such cordial light
Upon the Valley glow --
It is as a Vesuvian face
Had let its pleasure through --

And when at Night - Our good Day done --
I guard My Master's Head --
'Tis better than the Eider-Duck's
Deep Pillow -- to have shared --

To foe of His -- I'm deadly foe --
None stir the second time --
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye --
Or an emphatic Thumb --

Though I than He - may longer live
He longer must -- than I --
For I have but the power to kill,
Without -- the power to die --


"Love is a Loaded Gun" (Alice Cooper)


If only Emily had known...

Copyright 1991 Sony


A letter from Emily Dickinson to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a writer for the Atlantic Monthly, in which she responded to his "Letter to a Young Contributor":

Thomas Wentworth Higgenson
in uniform; he was colonel of the First South Carolina Volunteers from 1862 to 1864.

Mr Higginson,

Are you too deeply occupied to say if my Verse is alive?

The Mind is so near itself – it cannot see, distinctly – and I have none to ask –

Should you think it breathed – and had you the leisure to tell me, I should feel quick gratitude –

If I make the mistake – that you dared to tell me – would give me sincerer honor – toward you –

I enclose my name – asking you, if you please – Sir – to tell me what is true?

That you will not betray me – it is needless to ask – since Honor is it's [sic] own pawn –
Higginson's essay, in which he urged aspiring writers to "Charge your style with life," contained practical advice to aspiring writers wishing to break into print. He did not realize that Dickinson's work had already seen print.

Source and excerpt: Wikipedia


Emily's Tryst (A review. This link may eventually disappear.)

(Thank you to Diana Manister for leading me and others to this review. Fascinating stuff.)

Classic Poetry: The Sea Gipsy (Richard Hovey, 1864-1900)

Sunset at Sea, Pierre-Aguste Renoir

I am fevered with the sunset,

I am fretful with the bay,

For the wander-thirst is on me,

And my soul is in Cathay.

There's a schooner in the offing,

With her topsails shot with fire,

And my heart has gone aboard her

For the Islands of Desire.

I must forth again tomorrow!

With the sunset I must be

Hull down on the trail of rapture

In the wonder of the Sea.



Classic Poetry: "Smuggler's Song" (Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936)

Rudyard Kipling

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,
And 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 given 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!


Smuggler's Song

gramophoneshane says,

HMV no.B.3072 with words & music written by Rudyard Kipling.


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