Month: June 2017

26th June – On This Day In History

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Born:

1956 Chris Isaak (singer & songwriter)

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Died:

2003 Denis Thatcher, MBE (husband of Margaret) 

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On This Day:

1857 First recipients of the Victoria Cross are awarded by Queen Victoria (Crimean War)

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Have a good Monday, 26th June

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The Knight

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Our good knight, Ted, girds his broadsword on
(And he wields it well, I ween);
He ‘s on his steed, and away has gone
To the fight for king and queen.
What tho’ no edge the broadsword hath?
What tho’ the blade be made of lath?
‘T is a valiant hand
That wields the brand,
So, foeman, clear the path!

He prances off at a goodly pace;
‘T is a noble steed he rides,
That bears as well in the speedy race
As he bears in battle-tides.
What tho’ ‘t is but a rocking-chair
That prances with this stately air?
‘T is a warrior bold
The reins doth hold,
Who bids all foes beware!

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

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25th June – On This Day In History

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Born:

1903 George Orwell (author – Animal Farm)

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Died:

2009 Michael Jackson (musician & entertainer)

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On This Day:

1876 The Battle of Little Bighorn

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Have a good Sunday, 25th June

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The Old Apple Tree

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There’s a memory keeps a-runnin’
Through my weary head to-night,
An’ I see a picture dancin’
In the fire-flames’ ruddy-light;
‘Tis the picture of an orchard
Wrapped in autumn’s purple haze,
With the tender light about it
That I loved in other days.
An’ a-standin’ in a corner
Once again I seem to see
The verdant leaves an’ branches
Of an old apple-tree.
You perhaps would call it ugly,
An’ I don’t know but it’s so,
When you look the tree all over
Unadorned by memory’s glow;
For its boughs are gnarled an’ crooked,
An’ its leaves are gettin’ thin,
An’ the apples of its bearin’
Wouldn’t fill so large a bin
As they used to. But I tell you,
When it comes to pleasin’ me,
It’s the dearest in the orchard, —
Is that old apple-tree.
I would hide within its shelter,
Settlin’ in some cosy nook,
Where no calls nor threats could stir me
From the pages o’ my book.
Oh, that quiet, sweet seclusion
In its fulness passeth words!
It was deeper than the deepest
That my sanctum now affords.
Why, the jaybirds an’ the robins,
They was hand in glove with me,
As they winked at me ‘an warbled
In that old apple-tree.
It was on its sturdy branches
That in summers long ago
I would tie my swing an’ dangle
In contentment to an’ fro,
Idly dreaming’ childish fancies,
Buildin’ castles in the air,
Makin’ o’ myself a hero
Of romances rich an’ rare.
I kin shet my eyes an’ see it
Jest as plain as plain kin be,
That same old swing a-danglin’
To the old apple-tree.
There’s a rustic seat beneath it
That I never kin forget.
It’s the place where me an’ Hallie —
Little sweetheart — used to set,
When we’d wander to the orchard
So’s no listenin’ ones could hear
As I whispered sugared nonsense
Into her little willin’ ear.
Now my gray old wife is Hallie,
An’ I’m grayer still than she,
But I’ll not forget our courtin’
‘Neath the old apple-tree,
Life for us ain’t all been summer,
But I guess we’ve had our share
Of its flittin’ joys an’ pleasures,
An’ a sprinklin’ of its care.
Oft the skies have smiled upon us;
Then again we’ve seen ’em frown,
Though our load was ne’er so heavy
That we longed to lay it down.
But when death does come a-callin’,
This my last request shall be, —
That they’ll bury me an’ Hallie
‘Neath the old apple-tree.

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

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24th June – On This Day In History

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Born:

1947 Mick Fleetwood (musician, Fleetwood-Mac)

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Died:

1712 Simon van der Stel (Dutch Governor of the Cape Colony)

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On This Day

1441 Eton College founded (by Henry VI)

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Have a good Saturday, 24th June

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The Mystic Sea

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The smell of the sea in my nostrils,
The sound of the sea in mine ears;
The touch of the spray on my burning face,
Like the mist of reluctant tears.

The blue of the sky above me,
The green of the waves beneath;
The sun flashing down on a gray-white sail
Like a scimitar from its sheath.

And ever the breaking billows,
And ever the rocks’ disdain;
And ever a thrill in mine inmost heart
That my reason cannot explain.

So I say to my heart, ‘Be silent,
The mystery of time is here;
Death’s way will be plain when we fathom the main,
And the secret of life be clear.’

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

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23rd June – On This Day In History

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Born:

1963 Colin Montgomerie (golfer)

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Died:

1995 Jonas Salk (inventor of the Polio vaccine)

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On This Day:

1955 Lady and the Tramp released (Walt Disney)

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Have a good Friday, 23rd June

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