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Poetry

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

            – Arthur O’Shaughnessy

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

            –  Rudyard Kipling

Am I remembered in Erin
I charge you, speak me true-
Has my name a sound, a meaning
In the scenes my boyhood knew?

O mother! Mother Erin!
Many sons your age hath seen-
Many gifted, constant lovers
Since your mantle first was green.

For never among your brightest,
And never among your best,
Was heart more true to Erin
Then beats within my breast.

            –  Thomas D’Arcy M’Gee

Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

            –  Emily Dickinson

All America lies at the end of the wilderness road,
and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us.
Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside.
We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers.
What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.

            –  T.K. Whipple

So, so you think you can tell –
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field – from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And . . . Did they get you to trade?
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange a walk-on part in the war . . . for a lead role in a cage?

            –  Pink Floyd

Pray don’t find fault with the man who limps
or stumbles along the road,
unless you’ve worn the shoes he wears
or struggled beneath his load.

There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
though hidden away from view,
the weight he bears, placed on your back
might cause you to stumble too.

Don’t sneer at the man who’s down today
unless you’ve felt the blow
that caused his fall or felt the shame
that only the fallen know.

You may be strong, but still the blows
that were his if dealt to you,
in selfsame way, at selfsame time,
might cause you to stagger too.

            –  Anonymous

I care for riches, to make gifts to friends
Or lead a sick man back to health
With ease and plenty.
Else small aid is wealth for daily gladness;
Once a man be done with hunger,
Rich and poor are all as one.

            –  Euripides (Electra)

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening, cold and gray,
To chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim, near,
“You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way;
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide
Why build you a bridge this eventide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head:
“Good friend, there follows after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in twilight dim;
Good friend, I build the bridge for him.”

            – William Allen Dromgoole

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