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Favourite poems - again

 
 
Wilso
 
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2014 04:30 pm
Need a diversion from the religitards that are taking over. I couldn't find the previous thread. This was penned by Banjo Paterson about the horses that were left behind - many of them shot, after WW1.

The Last Parade
By Banjo Paterson

For the horses who never came home.


With never the sound of a trumpet
With never a flagdisplayed,
The last of the old campaigners
Lined up for the last parade.

Weary they were and battered,
Shoeless, and knocked about;
From under their ragged forelocks
Their hungry eyes looked out.

And they watched as the old commander
Read out to the cheering men
The Nation's thanks, and the orders
To carry them home again.

And the last of the old campaigners,
Sinewy, lean, and spare —
He spoke for his hungry comrades:
"Have we not done our share?

"Starving and tired and thirsty
We limped on the blazing plain;
And after a long night's picket
You saddled us up again.

"We froze on the windswept kopjes
When the frost lay snowy-white,
Never a halt in the daytime,
Never a rest at night!

"We knew when the rifles rattled
From the hillside bare and brown,
And over our weary shoulders
We felt warm blood run down,

"As we turned for the stretching gallop,
Crushed to the earth with weight;
But we carried our riders through it —
Sometimes, perhaps, too late.

"Steel! We were steel to stand it —
We that have lasted through,
We that are old campaigners
Pitiful, poor, and few.

"Over the sea you brought us,
Over the leagues of foam:
Now we have served you fairly
Will you not take us home?

"Home to the Hunter River,
To the flats where the lucerne grows;
Home where the Murrumbidgee
Runs white with the melted snows.

"This is a small thing, surely!
Will not you give command
That the last of the old campaigners
Go back to their native land?"

They looked at the grim commander,
But never a sign he made.
"Dismiss!" and the old campaigners
Moved off from their last parade
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contrex
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2014 04:43 pm
I have always loved it but for some reason this poem is speaking to me especially clearly at this time of my life.

Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2014 04:46 pm
@Wilso,
Wilso wrote:
the horses that were left behind - many of them shot, after WW1.

It is alleged that they did the same to Chinese "coolies", brought to the Western Front to do manual labour, to save the cost pf repatriating them.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2014 04:47 pm
Memorial Verses by Matthew Arnold

Goethe in Weimar sleeps, and Greece,
Long since, saw Byron's struggle cease.
But one such death remain'd to come;
The last poetic voice is dumb--
We stand to-day by Wordsworth's tomb.

When Byron's eyes were shut in death,
We bow'd our head and held our breath.
He taught us little; but our soul
Had felt him like the thunder's roll.
With shivering heart the strife we saw
Of passion with eternal law;
And yet with reverential awe
We watch'd the fount of fiery life
Which served for that Titanic strife.

When Goethe's death was told, we said:
Sunk, then, is Europe's sagest head.
Physician of the iron age,
Goethe has done his pilgrimage.
He took the suffering human race,
He read each wound, each weakness clear;
And struck his finger on the place,
And said: Thou ailest here, and here!

He look'd on Europe's dying hour
Of fitful dream and feverish power;
His eye plunged down the weltering strife,
The turmoil of expiring life--
He said: The end is everywhere,
Art still has truth, take refuge there!
And he was happy, if to know
Causes of things, and far below
His feet to see the lurid flow
Of terror, and insane distress,
And headlong fate, be happiness.

And Wordsworth!--Ah, pale ghosts, rejoice!
For never has such soothing voice
Been to your shadowy world convey'd,
Since erst, at morn, some wandering shade
Heard the clear song of Orpheus come
Through Hades, and the mournful gloom.
Wordsworth has gone from us--and ye,
Ah, may ye feel his voice as we!
He too upon a wintry clime
Had fallen--on this iron time
Of doubts, disputes, distractions, fears.
He found us when the age had bound
Our souls in its benumbing round;
He spoke, and loosed our heart in tears.
He laid us as we lay at birth
On the cool flowery lap of earth,
Smiles broke from us and we had ease;

The hills were round us, and the breeze
Went o'er the sun-lit fields again;
Our foreheads felt the wind and rain.
Our youth return'd; for there was shed
On spirits that had long been dead,
Spirits dried up and closely furl'd,
The freshness of the early world.

Ah! since dark days still bring to light
Man's prudence and man's fiery might,
Time may restore us in his course
Goethe's sage mind and Byron's force;
But where will Europe's latter hour
Again find Wordsworth's healing power?
Others will teach us how to dare,
And against fear our breast to steel;
Others will strengthen us to bear--
But who, ah! who, will make us feel?
The cloud of mortal destiny,
Others will front it fearlessly--
But who, like him, will put it by?

Keep fresh the grass upon his grave,
O Rotha, with thy living wave!
Sing him thy best! for few or none
Hears thy voice right, now he is gone.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2014 04:49 pm
Dover Beach is one of my favorites. I had no idea you would be posting it just now, as I also went to Arnold.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2014 04:51 pm
These guys made a really great song from Dover Beach
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4FCv_qnkEM
0 Replies
 
neko nomad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2015 10:30 pm
The flint arrowhead, a poem:

http://i1053.photobucket.com/albums/s467/nekonomad2/nekonomad0672A_zpsgqr6rxw3.jpg - dug out of my garden.

Enos B. Comstock

Came across this poem when I was a schoolaged kid.
0 Replies
 
 

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