Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the Rocks,
Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow Rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing Madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of Roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty Lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and Ivy buds,
With Coral clasps and Amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The Shepherds’ Swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.
The greatest battle that ever was fought—
Shall I tell you where and when?
On the maps of the world you will find it not:
It was fought by the Mothers of Men.
Not with cannon or battle shot,
With sword or nobler pen;
Not with eloquent word or thought
From the wonderful minds of men;
But deep in a walled up woman’s heart;
A woman that would not yield;
But bravely and patiently bore her part;
Lo! there is that battlefield.
No marshalling troops, no bivouac song,
No banner to gleam and wave;
But Oh these battles they last so long—
From babyhood to the grave!
But faithful still as a bridge of stars
She fights in her walled up town;
Fights on, and on, in the endless wars;
Then silent, unseen goes down!
Ho! ye with banners and battle shot,
With soldiers to shout and praise,
I tell you the kingliest victories fought
Are fought in these silent ways.
“To you the torch we fling”;
The challenge yet is heard,
Bequest of fullest sacrifice,
A life-demanding word.
Yet this thought with it comes,
A question tinged with doubt:
Shall we the torch to others pass
Whose light we’ve let go out?
~Arthur B. Dale~
As all Scots know, it’s Rabbie Burns Day…
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in they breastie!
Thou need na’ start awa sae hasty wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee, wi’ murdering rattle!
I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion an’ fellow mortal!
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? Poor beastie, thou maun live
A daimen icker in a thrave ‘s a sma’ reuest;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ tha lave an’ never miss’t!
Thy wee-bit house, too, in ruin!
It’s sily wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane, o’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s win’s ensuing, baith snell an’ keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary winter comin fast,
An’ corie here, beneath the blast, thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! The cruel coulter past out thro’ thy cell.
That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turned out, for a’ thy trouble, but house or hald,
To there the winter’s sleety dribble, an’ cranreuch cauld!
But mouse, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, for promis’d joy!
Still thou are blest, compared wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e’e, on prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see, I guess an’ fear!
~Robert Burns~ Scotland’s National Bard
I like the wide and common road
Where all may walk at will,
The worn and rutted country road
That runs from hill to hill;
I like the road through pastures green
Worn by home-coming feet
Of lowing kine and barefoot boy
Where twilight shadows meet.
But I like best the Knapsack Trail
Wherein my heart and I
May walk and talk in quietness
With angels passing by.
The lonely Trail through forests dim
That leads to God-knows-where,
That winds from tree to spotted tree
‘Till sudden—we are there!
~Edwin Osgood Grover~
My house is little, but warm enough
When the skies of Sorrow are snowing;
It holds me safe from the tempest rough,
When the winds of Despair are blowing.
Its rafters come from the wood of Praise,
Its walls from the quarry of Prayer,
And not one echo, on stormy days,
Can trouble the stillness there.
The floor is bare, but the joists are strong
With Faith from the heavenly hill;
My lamp is Love, and the whole year long
It burns unquenchable still.
With sweet Content is my heart well lit,
And there, in the darkest of weather,
Hope and I by the fire can sit,
And sing, and keep house together.
Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.
For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You’ll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung-pits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts, and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.
And there you’ll see the gardeners, the men and ‘prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.
And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows ;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.
Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:-” Oh, how beautiful,” and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.
There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.
Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.
Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!
To those who see with loving eyes, life is beautiful.
To those who speak with tender voices, life is peaceful.
To those who help with gentle hands, life is full.
And to those who care with compassionate hearts, life is good beyond all measure.
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
~William Butler Yeats~
Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.