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Poetry Dog Pound

Miniature houseBless the four corners of this house,
And be the lintel blest;
And bless the hearth, and bless the board,
And bless each place of rest;

And bless the door that opens wide
To stranger, as to kin;
And bless each crystal windowpane
That lets the starlight in;

And bless the roof overhead
And every sturdy wall
The peace of man, the peace of God,
The peace of love on all

-Arthur Guiterman

Courage is Fear that Has Said Its Prayers

Jerusalem pic 1

Courage is armor
A blind man wears;
The calloused scar
Of outlived despairs:
Courage is Fear
That has said its prayers.

-Karle Wilson Baker

A Fence or An Ambulance

grand-canyon-parks-centennial_93378_990x742

‘Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Thought to walk near its crest was so pleasant,
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and full many a peasant.
So the people said something would have to be done,
But the projects did not at all tally;
Some said, “Put a fence around the edge of the cliff,”
Some, “An ambulance down in the valley.”

But the cry for the ambulance carried the day,
For it spread through, the neighboring city;
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart become brimful of pity
For those who slipped over that dangerous cliff;
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.

“For the cliff is all right, if you’re careful”, they said,
“And, if folks even slip and are dropping,
It isn’t the slipping that hurts them so much,
As the shock down below when they’re stopped.”
So day after day, as these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth these rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.

Ambulance pic 4

Then an old sage remarked: “It’s a marvel to me
That people give far more attention
To repairing results than to stopping the cause
When they’d much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief, cried he,
“Come neighbors and friends, let us rally;
If the cliff we will fence we might almost dispense
With the ambulance down in the valley.

“Oh, he’s a fanatic,” the others rejoined,
“Dispense with the ambulance? Never!
He’d dispense with all charities, too, if he could;
No! No! We’ll support them forever.
Aren’t we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?
Why should people of sense stop to put up a fence,
While the ambulance works in the valley?”

ambulance

But a sensible few, who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer;
They believe that prevention is better than the cure,
And their party will soon be stronger.
Encourage them then, with your purse, voice, and pen,
And while other philanthropist dally,
They will scorn all pretense and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.

Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling,
“To rescue the fallen is good, but ’tis best
To prevent other people from falling.”
Better close up the source of temptation and crime
Than deliver from dungeon or galley;
Better put a strong fence round the top of the cliff
Than an ambulance down in the valley.

-Joseph Malins

 

Our Unfinished World

Earth and Clouds

God gave us a world unfinished, so that we
might share in the joys and satisfactions of
creation.

He left oil in Trenton rock.
He left electricity in the clouds.
He left the rivers unbridged–and the mountains
untrailed.

He left the forests unfelled and the cities
unbuilt.
He left the laboratories unopened
He left the diamonds uncut.
He gave us the challenge of raw materials,
not the satisfaction of perfect, finished
things.

He left the music unsung and the dramas un-
played.
He left the poetry undreamed, in order that
men and women might not become bored,
but engage in stimulating, exciting, creative
activities that keep them thinking, working,
experimenting, and experiencing all the joys
and durable satisfactions of achievement.

-Allen A. Stockdale

 

 

Things that Never Die by Charles Dickens

The pure, the bright, the Dore pic 3beautiful
That stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulses to wordless prayer,
The streams of love and truth,
The longing after something lost,
The spirit’s yearning cry,
The striving after better hopes
These things can never die.

The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A brother in his need;
A kindly word in griefs dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea
for mercy softly breathed.
When justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart
These things shall never die.

Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do,
Lose not a chance to waken love
Be firm and just and true.
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee
“These things shall never die.”

The Old Old Song

Cawdor Castle #1, ScotlandWhen all the world is young, lad
And all the trees are green;
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away;
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog its day.

When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown;
And all the sport is stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down:
Creep home, and take your place there,
The spent and maim’d among:
God grant you find one face there
You loved when all was young.

Charles Kingsley 1819-1875

I Am A Child and All the World Waits for My Coming

I am the Child
All the world waits for my coming
All the earth watches with interest to see
What I shall become.
Civilization hangs in the balance,
For what I am, the world of tomorrow will be.

I am the Child
I have come into your world, about which I know nothing.
Why I came I know not;
How I came I know not.
I am curious; I am interested.

I am the Child
You hold in your hand my destiny.
You determine largely, whether I shall succeed or fail.
Give me, I pray you, those things that make for happiness
Train me, I beg you, that I may be a blessing to the world.

-Mamie Gene Cole

The Touch of the Master’s Hand: The Value of Scarred and Battered Violins and Men

saving-that-which-was-lost-michael-malm-627032

‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it was scarcely worth his while
To was much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile;
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!”, “Only two?
Two dollars and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three–” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand twice,
And going, and gone,” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”

Vintage composition with violin and lavender

And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage”, a glass of wine;
A game-and he travels on.
He is “going” once and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowed
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s Hand.

-Myra Brooks Welch

EASTER CHORUS FROM FAUST BY JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE

Easter eggs

Christ is arisen.
Joy to thee, mortal !
Out of His prison,
Forth from its portal!
Christ is not sleeping,
Seek Him no longer;
Strong was His keeping,
Jesus was stronger.

Christ is arisen.
Seek Him not here;
Lonely His prison,
Empty His bier;
Vain His entombing,
Spices and lawn,
Vain the perfuming,
Jesus is gone.

Christ is arisen.
Joy to thee, mortal!
Empty His prison,
Broken its portal!
Rising, He giveth
His shroud to the sod;
Risen, He liveth,
And liveth to God.

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