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About Heather

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  1. Poetic Wanderings

    You spotted snakes with double tongue, Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen; Newts, and blind-worms, do no wrong; Come not near our fairy queen. Philomel, with melody, Sing in our sweet lullaby; Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby: Never harm, Nor spell, nor charm, Come our lovely lady nigh; So, good night, with lullaby. Weaving spiders come not here; Hence, you long-legg’d spinners, hence! Beetles black, approach not near; Worm nor snail, do no offence. Philomel, with melody, Sing in our sweet lullaby; Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby: Never harm, Nor spell, nor charm, Come our lovely lady nigh; So, good night, with lullaby. Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream II/ii
  2. Poetic Wanderings

    The burning fire shakes in the night, On high her silver candles gleam, With far-flung arms enflamed with light, The trees are lost in dream. Come in thy beauty! 'tis my love, Lost in far-wandering desire, Hath in the darkling deep above Set stars and kindled fire. Walter de la Mare - 'Invocation'
  3. Poetic Wanderings

    Immortal Robert Burns of Ayr, There's but few poets can with you compare; Some of your poems and songs are very fine: To “Mary in Heaven” is most sublime; And then again in your “Cottar's Saturday Night,” Your genius there does shine most bright, As pure as the dewdrops of night. Your “Tam o' Shanter' is very fine, Both funny, racy, and divine, From John o' Groats to Dumfries All critics consider it to be a masterpiece, And, also, you have said the same, Therefore they are not to blame. And in my own opinion both you and they are right, For your genius there does sparkle bright, Which I most solemnly declare To thee, Immortal Bard of Ayr! Your “Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon” Is sweet and melodious in its tune, And the poetry is moral and sublime, And in my opinion nothing can be more fine. Your “Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled” Is most beautiful to hear sung or read; For your genius there does shine as bright, Like unto the stars of night.... Immortal Bard of Ayr! I must conclude my muse To speak in praise of thee does not refuse, For you were a mighty poet, few could with you compare, And also an honour to Scotland, for your genius it is rare. William McGonagal - 'Robert Burns'
  4. Poetic Wanderings

    The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn't just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey-- All of them sensible everyday names. There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames: Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter-- But all of them sensible everyday names. But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular, A name that's peculiar, and more dignified, Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular, Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride? Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum, Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat, Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum - Names that never belong to more than one cat. But above and beyond there's still one name left over, And that is the name that you never will guess; The name that no human research can discover-- But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess. When you notice a cat in profound meditation, The reason, I tell you, is always the same: His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: His ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscrutable singular Name. T.S. Eliot - 'The Naming of Cats'
  5. Poetic Wanderings

    I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal, these words appear: My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.” Percy Bysshe Shelley - 'Ozymandias'
  6. Poetic Wanderings

    Busy old fool, unruly sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains call on us? Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run? Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide Late school boys and sour prentices, Go tell court huntsmen that the king will ride, Call country ants to harvest offices, Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. Thy beams, so reverend and strong Why shouldst thou think? I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, But that I would not lose her sight so long; If her eyes have not blinded thine, Look, and tomorrow late, tell me, Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me. Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday, And thou shalt hear, All here in one bed lay. She's all states, and all princes, I, Nothing else is. Princes do but play us; compared to this, All honor's mimic, all wealth alchemy. Thou, sun, art half as happy as we, In that the world's contracted thus. Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be To warm the world, that's done in warming us. Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere; This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere. John Donne - 'The Sun Rising'
  7. Poetic Wanderings

    When as the rye reach’d to the chin, And chop cherry, chop cherry ripe within, Strawberries swimming in the cream, And schoolboys playing in the stream; Then O, then O, then O, my true love said, Till that time come again She could not live a maid! George Peele - 'The Impatient Maid'
  8. Poetic Wanderings

    I have seen old ships sail like swans asleep Beyond the village which men still call Tyre, With leaden age o'ercargoed, dipping deep For Famagusta and the hidden sun That rings black Cyprus with a lake of fire; And all those ships were certainly so old— Who knows how oft with squat and noisy gun, Questing brown slaves or Syrian oranges, The pirate Genoese Hell-raked them till they rolled Blood, water, fruit and corpses up the hold. But now through friendly seas they softly run, Painted the mid-sea blue or shore-sea green, Still patterned with the vine and grapes in gold. But I have seen, Pointing her shapely shadows from the dawn And image tumbled on a rose-swept bay, A drowsy ship of some yet older day; And, wonder's breath indrawn, Thought I—who knows—who knows—but in that same (Fished up beyond Aeaea, patched up new —Stern painted brighter blue—) That talkative, bald-headed seaman came (Twelve patient comrades sweating at the oar) From Troy's doom-crimson shore, And with great lies about his wooden horse Set the crew laughing, and forgot his course. It was so old a ship—who knows, who knows? —And yet so beautiful, I watched in vain To see the mast burst open with a rose, And the whole deck put on its leaves again. James Elroy Flecker - 'The Old Ships'
  9. Poetic Wanderings

    Very sad. The girl who is due to be May Queen is a little excited, a little vain, a little dismissive of a boy who loves her but whom she doesn't love. It follows, naturally, that she has to die (cause unspecified) within the year. Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more; Henceforth thou art the genius of the shore, In thy large recompense, and shalt be good To all that wander in that perilous flood. Thus sang the uncouth swain to th' oaks and rills, While the still morn went out with sandals grey; He touched the tender stops of various quills, With eager thought warbling his Doric lay: And now the sun had stretched out all the hills, And now was dropped into the western bay. At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue: Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new. Alfred, Lord Tennyson - from 'Lycidas'
  10. Poetic Wanderings

    Thus, thus begin the yearly rites Are due to Pan on these bright nights; His morn now riseth and invites To sports, to dances, and delights: All envious and profane, away. This is the shepherds' holyday. Strew, strew the glad and smiling ground With every flower, yet not confound: The primrose drop, the spring's own spouse. Bright day's-eyes and the lips of cows; The garden-star, the queen of May, The rose, to crown the holyday. Drop, drop, you violets; change your hues Now red, now pale, as lovers use; And in your death go out as well As when you lived unto the smell: That from your odour all may say, This is the shepherds' holyday. Ben Jonson - 'The Shepherds' Holyday'
  11. Poetic Wanderings

    O! shairly ye hae seen my love Doun whaur the waters wind: He walks like ane wha fears nae man And yet his e'en are kind. O! shairly ye hae seen my love At the turnin o' the tide; For then he gethers in the nets Doun be the waterside. O! lassie I hae seen your love At the turnin o' the tide; And he was wi' the fisher-folk Doun be the waterside. The fisher-folk were at their trade No far frae Walnut Grove; They gether'd in their dreepin nets And fund your ain true love. William Soutar - 'Ballad'
  12. Poetic Wanderings

    When icicles hang by the wall, And Dick the shepherd blows his nail, And Tom bears logs into the hall, And milk comes frozen home in pail, When blood is nipped, and ways be foul, Then nightly sings the staring owl, To-whoo; To-whit, to-whoo, a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. When all aloud the wind doth blow, And coughing drowns the parson’s saw, And birds sit brooding in the snow, And Marian’s nose looks red and raw, When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, Then nightly sings the staring owl, To-whoo; To-whit, to-whoo, a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. William Shakespeare - 'Love's Labour's Lost' V/ii
  13. Poetic Wanderings

    With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies! How silently, and with how wan a face! What, may it be that even in heav'nly place That busy archer his sharp arrows tries! Sure, if that long-with love-acquainted eyes Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case, I read it in thy looks; thy languish'd grace To me, that feel the like, thy state descries. Then, ev'n of fellowship, O Moon, tell me, Is constant love deem'd there but want of wit? Are beauties there as proud as here they be? Do they above love to be lov'd, and yet Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess? Do they call virtue there ungratefulness? Sir Philip Sidney - from 'Astrophil and Stella'
  14. Poetic Wanderings

    AS thro’ the land at eve we went, And pluck’d the ripen’d ears, We fell out, my wife and I, O we fell out, I know not why, And kiss’d again with tears. And blessings on the falling out That all the more endears, When we fall out with those we love And kiss again with tears! For when we came where lies the child We lost in other years, There above the little grave, O there above the little grave, We kiss’d again with tears. Alfred, Lord Tennyson - from 'The Princess'
  15. Poetic Wanderings

    And when by Heaven’s good grace the boy grew up A healthy Lad, and carried in his cheek Two steady roses that were five years old; Then Michael from a winter coppice cut With his own hand a sapling, which he hooped With iron, making it throughout in all Due requisites a perfect shepherd’s staff, And gave it to the Boy; wherewith equipt He as a watchman oftentimes was placed At gate or gap, to stem or turn the flock; And, to his office prematurely called, There stood the urchin, as you will divine, Something between a hindrance and a help; And for this cause not always, I believe, Receiving from his Father hire of praise; Though nought was left undone which staff, or voice, Or looks, or threatening gestures, could perform. But soon as Luke, full ten years old, could stand Against the mountain blasts; and to the heights, Not fearing toil, nor length of weary ways, He with his Father daily went, and they Were as companions, why should I relate That objects which the Shepherd loved before Were dearer now? that from the Boy there came Feelings and emanations—things which were Light to the sun and music to the wind; And that the old Man’s heart seemed born again? Thus in his Father’s sight the Boy grew up: And now, when he had reached his eighteenth year, He was his comfort and his daily hope. William Wordsworth - from 'Michael. A Pastoral Poem'