Oct 21st

Don't Quit, by Harvey Conroy

By Mary B

 

When things go wrong as they sometimes will

when the road you're trudging

seems all uphill,

 

When money is low

and the debts are high

and you want to smile

but you have to sigh

 

When care is pressing you down a bit,

rest if you must, but don't you quit.

 

Success is failure turned inside out,

the silver lining of the clouds of doubt.

You can never tell,

how close you are,

it may be near,

when it seems so far,

so stick to the fight

when your hardest hit

 

IT'S WHEN THINGS SEEM WORST

THAT YOU MUST NOT QUIT

 

Oct 7th

Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth (Arthur Hugh Clough, 1819 – 1861)

By Mary B

Say not the struggle naught availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
But westward, look, the land is bright!

Oct 6th

The Highway By Alfred Noyes

By Sandy H

The Highwayman

By Alfred Noyes

 

PART ONE

 

The wind was a torrent of darkness

among the gusty trees.

the moon was a ghostly galleon tossed

upon the cloudy seas.

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over

the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding-

Riding-riding-

The highwayman came riding, up to the

old inn-door.

 

He'd a French cocked-hat on his

forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,

A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches

of brown doe-skin.

They fitted with never a wrinkle.  His

boots were up to the thigh.

And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,

His pistol butts a-twinkle

His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the

jewelled sky.

 

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed

in the dark inn-yard.

He tapped with his whip on the shutters,

but all was locked and barred.

He whistled a tune to the window, and

who should be waiting there

but the landlord's daughter,

Bess, the landlord's daughter,

plaiting a dark red love-knot into her

long black hair

 

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a

stable-wicket creaked

Where Tim the ostler listened.  His face

was white and peaked.

His eyes were hollows of madness, his

hair like mouldy hay.

But he loved the landlord's daughter,

The landlords red-lipped daughter.

dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard 

the robber say-

 

"One kiss, my bonny sweeteart, I'm

after a prize to-night,

but I shall be back with the yellow gold

before the morning light;

Yet, if they press me sharply,and harry

me through the day,

Then look for me by the moonlight,,

watch for me by the moonlight,

I'll come to thee by the moonlight,though

hell should bar the way."

 

He rose upright in the stirrups, He scarce

could reach her hand.

But she loosened her hair in the

casement.  his face burnt like a brand

As the black cascade of perfume came

tumbling over his breast;

And he kissed its waves in the moonlight.

(o, sweet black waves in the

moonlight!)

Then he tugged at his rein in the 

moonlight, and galloped away to the

west.

 

PART TWO

He did not come in the dawning.  He did

not come at noon;

And out of the tawney sunset, before the

rise of the moon,

When the road was a gypsy's ribbon,

looping the purple moor,

A red-coat troop came marching-

Marching-marching up to

the old inn-door.

 

They said no word to the landlord.  they

drank his ale instead.

but they gaggedhis daughter, and bound

her, to the foot of her narrow bed,

Two of them  knelt at her casement, with

muskets at their side!

There was death at every window;

And Hell at one dark window;

For Bess could see, through her

casement, the road that he would ride.

 

They had tied her up to attention, with

many a sniggering jest.

They had bound a musket beside her,

with muzzle beneath her breast!

"Now, keep good watch!" and they kissed

her.  She heard the doomed man say-

Look for me by the moonlight;

Watch for me by the moonlight;

I'll come to thee by the moonlight, though hell

should bar the way!

 

She twisted her hands behind her;but all

the knotsheld good!

She writhed her hands till her fingers

were wet with sweat and bllod!

They stretched and strained in the

darkness, and the hours crawled by

like years

Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,

Cold, on the stroke of midnight,

The tip of one finger touched it.  She

strove no more  for rest.

Up, She stood up to attention, with the

muzzle, beneath her breast.

She would not risk their hearing; she

would not strive again;

For the road lay bare in the moonlight;

Blank and bare in the moonlight;

And the blood of her veins, in the

moonlight, throbbed to her love's

refrain.

 

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot,in

the echoing night!

Nearer he came and nearer.  Her face was

like a light.

Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she

drew one last deep breath,

Then her finger moved in the moonlight,

 

Her muskett shattered the

moonlight,

Shattered her breast in the moonlight

and warned him-with her death.

 

He turned. He spurred to the west; he

did not know who stood

Bowed, with her head o'er the muskett,

drenched with her own blood!

Not till the dawn he heard it, and hid face

grew grey to hear

How Bess,the landlord's daughter,

Had watched for her love in the

moonlight, and died in the darkness

there. 

 

Back he spurred like a madman,

shrieking a curse to the sky,

With the white road smoking behind 

him and his rapier brandished high.

Blood red were his spurs in the golden

noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;

When they shot him down on the highway,

And he lay in his blood on the highway,

with a bunch of lace at his throat.

 

And still on a winters night, they say, when

the windisin the trees,

When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed

upon cloudy seas,

When the road is a ribbon of moonlight

over the purple moor,

A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

 

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in

the dark inn-yard.

He taps with his whip on the shutters, but

all is locked and barred.

He whistles a tune to the windowand who

should be waiting there

But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,

Bess, the landlord's daughter,

plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long

black hair.

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 26th

The Rainy Day - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

By Mary B

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sep 25th

Growing Old

By brenda r

I looked in the mirror and what did I see?
But a little old lady peering back at me
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair
And I asked my reflection, how did you get there?

You once were straight and vigorous
And now you’re stooped and weak
When I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique
My reflection’s eyes twinkled and she solemnly replied

You’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside
A living gem and precious of unimagined worth
Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth

The years that spoil your gift wrap with other things more cruel
Should purify and strengthen and polish up that jewel

So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
Then when your gift wrap’s stripped away
Your jewel will be set free, to radiate God’s glory throughout eternity!

Wanda B. Goines

Sep 25th

Then Laugh - by Bertha Adams Backus

By Mary B

Then Laugh
by Bertha Adams Backus

Build for yourself a strong box,
Fashion each part with care;
When it's strong as your hand can make it,
Put all your troubles there;
Hide there all thought of your failures,
And each bitter cup that you quaff;
Lock all your heartaches within it,
Then sit on the lid and laugh.

Tell no one else its contents,
Never its secrets share;
When you've dropped in your care and worry
Keep them forever there;
Hide them from sight so completely
That the world will never dream half;
Fasten the strong box securely-
Then sit on the lid and laugh.

Sep 5th

Shakespeare Sonnet 32

By Mary B

If thou survive my well-contented day,

When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover

And shalt by fortune once more re-survey

These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,

 

Compare them with the bett’ring of the time,

And though they be outstripped by every pen,

Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,

Exceeded by the height of happier men.

 

O! then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:

‘Had my friend’s Muse grown with this growing age,

A dearer birth than this his love had brought,

To march in ranks of better equipage:

 

But since he died and poets better prove,

Theirs for their style I’ll read, his for his love’.

Aug 10th

Short Ode to the Cuckoo - by W.H. Auden

By Mary B

Short Ode to the Cuckoo

by W.H. Auden

 Short Ode to the Cuckoo

Short Ode to the Cuckoo

No one now imagines you answer idle questions
— How long shall I live?  How long remain single?
Will butter be cheaper? — nor does your shout make
husbands uneasy.

Compared with arias by the great performers
such as the merle, your two-note act is kid-stuff:
our most hardened crooks are sincerely shocked by
your nesting habits.

Science, Aesthetics, Ethics, may huff and puff but they
cannot extinguish your magic:  you marvel
the commuter as you wondered the savage.
Hence, in my diary,

where I normally enter nothing but social
engagements and, lately, the death of friends, I
scribble year after year when I first hear you,
of a holy moment.

May 28th

The Happiness Fairy

By LJ E

I am the Happiness Fairy

have I called on you today?

I do my best but sometimes

dark clouds get in my way

my wings get very tired

beating oh so fast

and all this sadness hinders me

dark shadows it does cast

 

I am the Happiness Fairy

my work means oh so much

to help when I am needed

to give a magic touch

my travel takes me far and wide

I've flown so many miles

this world has so much sadness

it needs to have more smiles

 

I am the Happiness Fairy

if I haven't called on you

please be a little patient

I've such a lot to do

I'll be behind the darkest cloud

That fills your days with dread

my wings will beat a pathway

to ease your aching head

 

I am the Happiness Fairy

believe in me and say

"I will feel better very soon

there'll be a better day" 

my magic dust I'll sprinkle

to cover you with love

and as your heart begins to heal

I'll watch you from above......

 

(copyright LJE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 1st

May Day Ditty by Della Hodgson James

By Mary B

May day is coming

When all will be gay,

‘Twil be fun and frolic

All the live, long day.

Flowers in the green woods

In the orchard, too,

Leaflets are growing

Every thing so new.

 

May, May, May

May, May, May,

May, May, May

Is that all that I can say.

 

May day is coming

May day is here,

The very happiest day

Of all the glad new year.

 

Call me early, Mother

Call me early, pray.

For we must crown the King,

The King, and Queen of May.

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