Month: July 2015

Ode To Tranquility

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Tranquillity! thou better name
Than all the family of Fame!
Thou ne’er wilt leave my riper age
To low intrigue, or factious rage;
For oh! dear child of thoughtful Truth,
To thee I gave my early youth,
And left the bark, and blest the steadfast shore,
Ere yet the tempest rose and scared me with its roar.

Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine,
On him but seldom, Power divine,
Thy spirit rests! Satiety
And Sloth, poor counterfeits of thee,
Mock the tired worldling. Idle hope
And dire remembrance interlope,
To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind:
The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks behind.

But me thy gentle hand will lead
At morning through the accustomed mead;
And in the sultry summer’s heat
Will build me up a mossy seat;
And when the gust of Autumn crowds,
And breaks the busy moonlight clouds,
Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune,
Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding moon.

The feeling heart, the searching soul,
To thee I dedicate the whole!
And while within myself I trace
The greatness of some future race,
Aloof with hermit-eye I scan
The present works of present man–
A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile,
Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile!

– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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31st July – On This Day In History

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Born:

1932 Ted Cassidy (actor – Lurch from The Addams Family)

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Died:

2009 Sir Bobby Robson (English football player and manager)

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On This Day:

1498 Christopher Columbus discovers Trinidad

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Have a good Friday, 31st July

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Kubla Khan

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In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced :
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail :
And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
And ‘mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war !
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves ;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice !

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw :
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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30th July – On This Day In History

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Born:

1863 Henry Ford (car maker of Ford cars)

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Died:

1918 Joyce Kilmer (poet)

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On This Day:

1729 City of Baltimore is founded

Washington_Monument,_1849,_from_Federal_Hill_1a

Have a god Thursday, 30th July

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Lines Written After A Walk Before Supper

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Tho’ much averse, dear Jack, to flicker,
To find a likeness for friend V—-ker,
I’ve made, thro’ earth, and air, and sea,
A voyage of discovery!
And let me add (to ward off strife)
For V—-kers, and for V—-kers’ wife–
She, large and round, beyond belief,
A superfluity of beef!
Her mind and body of a piece,
And both composed of kitchen-grease.
In short, dame Truth might safely dub her
Vulgarity enshrined in blubber!
He, meagre bit of littleness,
All snuff, and musk, and politesse;
So thin, that strip him of his clothing,
He’d totter on the edge of nothing!
In case of foe, he well might hide
Snug in the collops of her side.
Ah then, what simile will suit?
Spindle leg in great jack-boot?
Pismire crawling in a rut,
Or a spigot in a butt?
Thus I humm’d and ha’d awhile,
When Madam Memory, with a smile,
Thus touched my ear–‘Why sure, I ween,
In London streets thou oft hast seen
The very image of this pair:
A little ape, with huge she bear
Linked by hapless chain together:
An unlicked mass the one — the other
An antic huge with nimble crupper’–
But stop, my Muse! for here comes supper.

– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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29th July – On This Day In History

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Born:

1871 Rasputin (Russian, known as The Mad Monk)

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Died:

1890 Vincent Van Gogh (painter)

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On This Day:

1928 “Steamboat Willie” – Walt Disney’s animated short film, released

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Have a good Wednesday, 29th July

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The Blossoming Of The Solitary Date Tree – A Lament

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I.
Beneath the blaze of a tropical sun the mountain peaks are the Thrones of Frost, through the absence of objects to reflect the rays. ‘What no one with us shares, seems scarce our own.’ The presence of a ONE,

The best belov’d, who loveth me the best,

is for the heart, what the supporting air from within is for the hollow globe with its suspended car. Deprive it of this, and all without, that would have buoyed it aloft even to the seat of the gods, becomes a burthen and crushes it into flatness.

II.
The finer the sense for the beautiful and the lovely, and the fairer and lovelier the object presented to the sense; the more exquisite the individual’s capacity of joy, and the more ample his means and opportunities of enjoyment, the more heavily will he feel the ache of solitariness, the more unsubstantial becomes the feast spread around him. What matters it, whether in fact the viands and the ministering graces are shadowy or real, to him who has not hand to grasp nor arms to embrace them?

III.
Hope, Imagination, honourable Aims,
Free Commune with the choir that cannot die,
Science and Song, delight in little things,
The buoyant child surviving in the man;
Fields, forests, ancient mountains, ocean, sky,
With all their voices–O dare I accuse
My earthly lot as guilty of my spleen,
Or call my destiny niggard! O no! no!
It is her largeness, and her overflow,
Which being incomplete, disquieteth me so!

IV.
For never touch of gladness stirs my heart,
But tim’rously beginning to rejoice
Like a blind Arab, that from sleep doth start
In lonesome tent, I listen for thy voice.
Belov├ęd! ’tis not thine; thou art not there!
Then melts the bubble into idle air,
And wishing without hope I restlessly despair.

V.
The mother with anticipated glee
Smiles o’er the child, that, standing by her chair
And flatt’ning its round cheek upon her knee,
Looks up, and doth its rosy lips prepare
To mock the coming sounds. At that sweet sight
She hears her own voice with a new delight;
And if the babe perchance should lisp the notes aright,

VI.
Then is she tenfold gladder than before!
But should disease or chance the darling take,
What then avail those songs, which sweet of yore
Were only sweet for their sweet echo’s sake?
Dear maid! no prattler at a mother’s knee
Was e’er so dearly prized as I prize thee:
Why was I made for Love and Love denied to me?

– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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