Month: May 2018

Washington’s Monument, February, 1885

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Ah, not this marble, dead and cold:
Far from its base and shaft expanding—the round zones circling,
comprehending,

Thou, Washington, art all the world’s, the continents’ entire—
not yours alone, America,

Europe’s as well, in every part, castle of lord or laborer’s cot,
Or frozen North, or sultry South—the African’s—the Arab’s in
his tent,

Old Asia’s there with venerable smile, seated amid her ruins;
(Greets the antique the hero new? ‘tis but the same—the heir
legitimate, continued ever,

The indomitable heart and arm—proofs of the never-broken
line,

Courage, alertness, patience, faith, the same—e’en in defeat
defeated not, the same:)

Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land, or day or night,
Through teeming cities’ streets, indoors or out, factories or farms,
Now, or to come, or past—where patriot wills existed or exist,
Wherever Freedom, pois’d by Toleration, sway’d by Law,
Stands or is rising thy true monument.

– Walt Whitman

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31st May – On This Day In History

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Born:

1819 Walt Whitman (poet)

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Died:

1983 Jack Dempsey (heavyweight boxing champion)

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On This Day:

1920 Union of South Africa declares its independence (from Britain)

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Have a good Thursday, 31st May

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Tis Sweet To Think

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Tis sweet to think that, where’er we rove,
We are sure to find something blissful and dear,
And that, when we’re far from the lips that we love,
We’ve but to make love to the lips we are near.
The heart, like a tendril, accustom’d to cling,
Let it grow where it will, cannot flourish alone,
But will lean to the nearest and loveliest thing
It can twine with itself, and make closely its own.
Then oh! what pleasure, where’er we rove,
To be sure to find something, still, that is dear,
And to know, when far from the lips we love,
We’ve but to make love to the lips we are near.

‘Twere a shame, when flowers around us rise,
To make light of the rest, if the rose isn’t there,
And the world’s so rich in resplendent eyes,
‘Twere a pity to limit one’s love to a pair.
Love’s wing and the peacock’s are nearly alike,
They are both of them bright, but the’re changeable too,
And wherever a new beam of beauty can strike,
It will tincture Love’s plume with a different hue.
Then oh! what pleasure, where’er we rove,
To be sure to find something, still, that is dear,
And to know, when far from the lips we love,
We’ve but to make love to the lips we are near.

 

– Thomas Moore

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30th May – On This Day In History

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Born:

1909 Benny Goodman (band leader)

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Died:

1431 Joan of Arc (national heroine of France & saint – burnt at the stake)

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On This Day:

1969 Gibraltar adopts its constitution

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Have a good Wednesday, 30th May

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Tis Gone, And For Ever

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‘Tis gone, and for ever, the light we saw breaking,
Like Heaven’s first dawn o’er the sleep of the dead —
When Man, from the slumber of ages awaking,
Look’d upward, and bless’d the pure ray, ere it fled.
‘Tis gone, and the gleams it has left of its burning,
But deepen the long night of bondage and mourning,
That dark o’er the kingdoms of earth is returning,
And darkest of all, hapless Erin, o’er thee.

For high was thy hope, when those glories were darting
Around thee, through all the gross clouds of the world;
When Truth, from her letters indignantly starting,
At once, like a sun-burst, her banner unfurl’d.
Oh! never shall earth see a moment so splendid!
Then, then — had one Hymn of Deliverance blended
The tongues of all nations — how sweet had ascended
The first note of liberty , Erin, from thee!

But, shame on those tyrants who envied the blessing!
And shame on the light race, unworthy its good,
Who, at Death’s reeking altar, like furies, caressing
The young hope of Freedom, baptised it in blood.
Then vanish’d for ever that fair sunny vision,
Which, spite of the slavish, the cold heart’s derision,
Shall long be remember’d, pure, bright, and elysian,
As first it arose, my lost Erin, on thee.

 

– Thomas Moore

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29th May – On This Day In History

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Born:

1903 Bob Hope (actor & comedian)

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Died:

2017 Manuel Noriega (Panamanian dictator)

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On This Day:

1848 Wisconsin becomes the 30th State of the USA

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Have a good Tuesday, 29th May

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I Wish I Was By That Dim Lake

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I wish I was by that dim Lake,
Where sinful souls their farewell take
Of this vain world, and half-way lie
In death’s cold shadow, ere they die.
There, there, far from thee,
Deceitful world, my home should be;
Where, come what might of gloom and pain,
False hope should n’er deceive again.

The lifeless sky, the mournful sound
Of unseen waters falling round;
The dry leaves, quivering o’er my head,
Like man, unquiet even when dead!
These, ay, these shall wean
My soul from life’s deluding scene,
And turn each thought, o’ercharged with gloom
Like willows, downward towards the tomb.

As they, who to their couch at night
Would win repose, first quench the light,
So must the hopes, that keep this breast
Awake, be quench’d, ere it can rest.
Cold, cold, this heart must grow,
Unmmoved by either joy or woe,
Like freezing founts, where all that’s thrown
Within their current turns to stone.

 

– Thomas Moore

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