Sunday, August 26, 2007

Three Poems

This poem tickles my funny bone.

Guy Wetmore Carryl

Little Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet
(Which never occurred to the rest of us)
And, as ‘twas a June day, and just about noonday,
She wanted to eat—like the best of us:
Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say
It is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
The spot being lonely, the lady not only
Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it.

A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled,
As rivulets always are thought to do.
And dragon flies sported around and cavorted,
As poets say dragon flies ought to do;
When, glancing aside for a moment, she spied
A horrible sight that brought fear to her,
A hideous spider was sitting beside her,
And most unavoidably near her!

Albeit unsightly, this creature politely
Said: “Madam, I earnestly vow to you,
I’m penitent that I did not bring my hat. I
Should otherwise certainly bow to you.”
Though anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
That he lost all sense of propriety,
And grew so inept that he clumsily stept
In her plate—which is barred in Society.

This curious error completed her terror;
She shuddered, and growing much paler, not
Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet
Which doubled him up in a sailor knot.
It should be explained that at this he was pained:
He cried: “I have vexed you, no doubt of it!
Your fist’s like a truncheon.” “You’re still in my luncheon,”
Was all that she answered. “Get out of it!”

And the Moral is this: Be it madam or miss
To whom you have something to say,
You are only absurd when you get in the curd
But you’re rude when you get in the whey!

The next poem is one that the kids learned for their grandpa-- it's his favorite.

Bryan Waller Proctor

Belshazzar is king! Belshazzar is lord!
And a thousand dark nobles all bend at his board;
Fruits glisten, flowers bloom, meats steam, and a flood
Of the wine that man loveth runs redder than blood:
Wild dancers are there, and a riot of mirth,
And the beauty that maddens the passion of earth;
And the crowds all shout,
Till the vast roofs ring,
"All praise to Belshazzar, Belshazzar the king!"

"Bring forth," cries the monarch, "the vessels of gold,
Which my father tore down from the temple of old;
Bring forth, and we'll drink, while the trumpets are blown,
To the gods of bright silver, of gold and of stone:
Bring forth!" - and before him the vessels all shine.
And he bows unto Baal, and he drinks the dark wine;
Whilst the trumpets bray,
And the cymbals ring,
"Praise, praise to Belshazzar, Belshazzar the king!"

What cometh? - look, look! Without menace or call?
who writes, with the lightning's bright hand, on the wall?
What pierceth the king, like the point of a dart?
What drives the cold blood from his cheek to his heart?
"Chaldeans! Magicians! the letters expound!"
They are read - and Belshazzar is dead on the ground!
Hark! the Persian is come,
On a conqueror's wing;
And a Mede's on the throne of Belshazzar the king!

And finally, a poem that expresses my feelings better than I can say them, in particular, the phrase "saying words I mean but cannot feel." This is by Ruth Bell Graham.

in the morning
I make our bed,
pulling his sheets
and covers tight,
I know the tears
I shouldn't shed
will fall unbidden
as the rain:
and I would kneel,
praying again
words I mean
but cannot feel,
not my will
but Thine
be done."
The doubts dissolving
one by one.
For I realize,
as I pray,
that's why it happened
and this way.

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