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Marie Hamilton 's to the kirk gane,
Wi' ribbons in her hair;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
Than ony that were there.

Marie Hamilton 's to the kirk gane
Wi' ribbons on her breast;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
Than he listen'd to the priest.

Marie Hamilton 's to the kirk gane,
Wi' gloves upon her hands;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
Than the Queen and a' her lands.

She hadna been about the King's court
A month, but barely one,
Till she was beloved by a' the King's court
And the King the only man.

She hadna been about the King's court
A month, but barely three,
Till frae the King's court Marie Hamilton,
Marie Hamilton durstna be.

The King is to the Abbey gane,
To pu' the Abbey tree,
To scale the babe frae Marie's heart;
But the thing it wadna be.

O she has row'd it in her apron,
And set it on the sea—
'Gae sink ye or swim ye, bonny babe,
Ye'se get nae mair o' me.'

Word is to the kitchen gane,
And word is to the ha',
And word is to the noble room
Amang the ladies a',
That Marie Hamilton 's brought to bed,
And the bonny babe 's miss'd and awa'.

Scarcely had she lain down again,
And scarcely fa'en asleep,
When up and started our gude Queen
Just at her bed-feet;
Saying—'Marie Hamilton, where 's your babe?
For I am sure I heard it greet.'

'O no, O no, my noble Queen!
Think no sic thing to be;
'Twas but a stitch into my side,
And sair it troubles me!'

'Get up, get up, Marie Hamilton:
Get up and follow me;
For I am going to Edinburgh town,
A rich wedding for to see.'

O slowly, slowly rase she up,
And slowly put she on;
And slowly rade she out the way
Wi' mony a weary groan.

The Queen was clad in scarlet,
Her merry maids all in green;
And every town that they cam to,
They took Marie for the Queen.

'Ride hooly, hooly, gentlemen,
Ride hooly now wi' me!
For never, I am sure, a wearier burd
Rade in your companie.'—

But little wist Marie Hamilton,
When she rade on the brown,
That she was gaen to Edinburgh town,
And a' to be put down.

'Why weep ye so, ye burgess wives,
Why look ye so on me?
O I am going to Edinburgh town,
A rich wedding to see.'

When she gaed up the tolbooth stairs,
The corks frae her heels did flee;
And lang or e'er she cam down again,
She was condemn'd to die.

When she cam to the Netherbow port,
She laugh'd loud laughters three;
But when she came to the gallows foot
The tears blinded her e'e.

'Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,
The night she'll hae but three;
There was Marie Seaton, and Marie Beaton,
And Marie Carmichael, and me.

'O often have I dress'd my Queen
And put gowd upon her hair;
But now I've gotten for my reward
The gallows to be my share.

'Often have I dress'd my Queen
And often made her bed;
But now I've gotten for my reward
The gallows tree to tread.

'I charge ye all, ye mariners,
When ye sail owre the faem,
Let neither my father nor mother get wit
But that I'm coming hame.

'I charge ye all, ye mariners,
That sail upon the sea,
That neither my father nor mother get wit
The dog's death I'm to die.

'For if my father and mother got wit,
And my bold brethren three,
O mickle wad be the gude red blude
This day wad be spilt for me!

'O little did my mother ken,
The day she cradled me,
The lands I was to travel in
Or the death I was to die!
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And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Dylan Thomas

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.
Dylan Thomas
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The Poet Goes About Her Business
BY LINDA GREGG
for Michele (1966-1972)

Michele has become another dead little girl. An easy poem.
Instant Praxitelean. Instant seventy-five year old photograph
of my grandmother when she was a young woman with shadows
I imagine were blue around her eyes. The beauty of it.
Such guarded sweetness. What a greed of bruised gardenias.
Oh Christ, whose name rips silk, I have seen raw cypresses
so dark the mind comes to them without color.
Dark on the Greek hillside. Dark, volcanic, dry and stone.
Where the oldest women of the world are standing dressed in black
up in the branches of fig trees in the gorge
knocking with as much quickness as their weakness will allow.
Weakness which my heart must not confuse with tenderness.
And on the other side of the island a woman
walks up the path with a burden of leaves on her head,
guiding the goats with sounds she makes up,
and then makes up again. The other darkness is easy:
the men in the dreams who come in together to me with knives.
There are so many traps, and many look courageous.
The body goes into such raptures of obedience.
But the huge stones on the desert resemble
nobody’s mother. I remember the snake.
After its skin had been cut away, and it was dropped
it started to move across the clearing.
Making its beautiful waving motion.
It was all meat and bone. Pretty soon it was covered with dust.
It seemed to know exactly where it wanted to go.
Toward any dark trees.
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Weeping, my little one? There, there.
You cannot know what waits for you.
- How will it be? Falling down - down - all broken -
And none to pity.
Kiss me. Never again. Come closer, closer.
Your mother who bore you - put your arms around my neck.
Now kiss me, lips to lips.

-Euripides, "The Trojan Women"
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As I walked under the African moon,
I heard the piper play;
And the last place ever I heard that tune
Was a thousand miles away.

Far to the west, in a deep-cut bay
By the ceaseless sound of the sea,
We lived and laughed in a happier day,
Archie and Johnnie and me.

For they'd be piping half of the night
At every ceilidh by,
And I'd be dancing with all my might
As long as they played, would I.

Many a time we were at the Games,
And many a prize had we;
And never a one but called our names,
Archie and Johnnie and me.

But Archie's dead on the Libyan sand.
And Johnnie was left in Crete,
And I'm alone in a distant land
With the music gone from my feet.

I heard him under the African moon,
That piper I could not see;
Yet certain I am he played that tune
For Archie and Johnnie and me.

-Lt-Colonel Lord of Poltalloch DL JP
Duntroon Castle, Lochgilphead, Argyll
Died March 1976. "Lament"

(George Ian Malcolm?)
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"Oh where ha'e ye been, Lord Randall my son?
O where ha'e ye been, my handsome young man?"
"I ha'e been to the wild wood: mother make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down."

"Where gat ye your dinner, Lord Randall my son?"
Where gat ye your dinner, my handsome young man?"
"I dined wi' my true love; mother make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down."

"What gat ye to your dinner, Lord Randall my son?
What gat ye to your dinner, my handsome young man?"
"I gat eels boiled in broo: mother make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down."

"What became of your bloodhounds, Lord Randall my son?
What became of your bloodhounds, my handsome young man?"
"O they swelled and they died: mother make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down."

"O I fear ye are poisoned, Lord Randall my son!
O I fear ye are poisoned, my handsome young man?"
"O yes I am poisoned: mother make my bed soon,
For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wald lie down."
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Ind ráith i comair in dairfedo,
ba Bruidgi, ba Cathail,
ba hÁedo, ba hAilello,
ba Conaing, ba Cuilíni,
ocus ba Máele Dúin.
Ind ráith d’éis cach ríg ar úair,
ocus int slúaig foait i n-úir.


The fort over against the oakwood,
It was Bruidge’s, it was Cathal’s,
It was Áed’s, it was Ailill’s,
It was Conaing’s, it was Cuilíne’s
and it was Máel Dúin’s.
The fort remains after each king in turn,
and the hosts sleep in the ground.
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Chan fhaca mi Lannes aig Ratasbon
no MacFill-Fhinnein aig Allt Eire
no Gill-Iosa aig Cuil-Lodair,
ach chunnaic mi Sassanach 'san Eiphit.

Fear beag le gruaidhean pluiceach
is gluinean a'bleith a cheile,
aodann guireanach gun tlachd ann-
comhdach an spioraid bu treine.

Cha robh buaidh air''san tigh-osda
'n am nan dorn a bhith 'gan dunadh',
ach leoghann e ri uchd a'chatha,
anns na frasan guineach mugach.

Thainig uair-sin lis na sligean
leis na spealgan-iaruinn bearnach,
anns an toit is anns an lasair,
ann an crith is maoim na h-araich.

Thainig fios dha 'san fhrois pheileir
e bhith gu spreigearra 'na dhiulnach:
is b' e sin fhad 's a mhair e,
ach cha b'fhada fhuair e dh'uine )
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Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven't called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It's winter again: the sky's a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

the open living-room windows because the heat's on too high in here and I can't turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

I've been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss--we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I'm gripped by a cherishing so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I'm speechless:
I am living. I remember you.
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For the grace of fingers that could not grasp edges,
corners, or anchors. For hands that were too wet
to bridge the chasm of inches or rope. For the wrist
and its bending digits, for the drowned infants
who floated like wood past the dark hulls
of their mothers' bodies.

For the days-old corpses of women and men
whose wheelchairs became graves. For children
who were too shocked to speak their identities;
for the ghosts of their voices that haunt the flag
to which they were taught to pledge allegiance.

For the rainbows that assembled in their waters
diseased with gasoline and blood. For the voices
whose rage thundered like thunder inside the stadium
because they refused the musky death of animals.

For the men who fired guns at helicopters that passed over
their own nearly submerged heads. Over and over the blades whirred
promises of water and bread and help while mothers and daughters,
brothers and fathers drowned, their lives devoured by neglect.

Lives gave up on the living and floated to dark, drier islands.
Torrents rose over broken levees. Dead cattle bobbed along
interstates. Highways unfurled into ribbons and graves. The President
remained on vacation. The Secretary of State shopped for shoes.

For Charmaine Neville who commandeered down Canal Street
while storefronts shattered and bodies were raped. Helpless fists pounded
the bus window like bullets. For the junkies who needed something
stronger than death or a dream to placate their addictions.
For the residents who refused to abandon the corpse of New Orleans.

For a husband who could not save his entire family
because he only had two hands. For their house split
in half by water. For his wife’s last words: you can’t hold on
and hold me. For the absence of God as she dropped his hands
and gave herself like a petal to the gulf.

For her son who understood, as he climbed onto the roof
by the help of two trembling hands, that his father, only
a man and not a god, could not save his mother's life
from something as inexplicable as water.
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God has a brown voice,
as soft and full as beer.
Eleanor, who is more beautiful than my mother,
is standing in her kitchen talking
and I am breathing in my cigarettes like poison.
She stands in her lemon-colored sun dress
motioning to God with her wet hands
glossy from the washing of egg plates.
She tells him! She tells him like a drunk
who doesn’t need to see to talk.
It’s casual but friendly.
God is as close as the ceiling.

Though no one can ever know,
I don’t think he has a face.
He had a face when I was six and a half.
Now he is large, covering up the sky
like a great resting jellyfish.
When I was eight I thought the dead people
stayed up there like blimps.
Now my chair is as hard as a scarecrow
and outside the summer flies sing like a choir.
Eleanor, before he leaves tell him
Oh Eleanor, Eleanor,
tell him before death uses you up.



Anne Sexton
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How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.
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M'anam do sgar riomsa a-raoir,
calann ghlan dob ionnsa i n-uaigh;
rugadh bruinne maordha mín
is aonbhla lín uime uainn.

Do tógbhadh sgath aobhdha fhionn
a-mach ar an bhfaongha bhfann:
laogh mo chridhise do chrom,
craobh throm an tighise thall.

M'aonar a-nocht damhsa, a Dhé,
olc an saoghal camsa ad-chí;
dob álainn trom an taoibh naoi
do bhaoi sonn a-raoir, a Rí.

Truagh leam an leabasa thiar,
mo pheall seadasa dhá snámh;
tárramair corp seada saor
is folt claon, a leaba, id lár.

Do bhí duine go ndreich moill
ina luighe ar leith mo phill;
gan bharamhail acht bláth cuill
don sgáth duinn bhanamhail bhinn.

Maol Mheadha na malach ndonn
mo dhabhach mheadha a-raon rom;
mo chridhe an sgáth do sgar riom,
bláth mhionn arna car do chrom.

Táinig an chlí as ar gcuing,
agus dí ráinig mar roinn:
corp idir dá aisil inn
ar dtocht don fhinn mhaisigh mhoill.

Leath mo throigheadh, leath mo thaobh,
a dreach mar an droighean bán,
níor dhísle neach dhí ná dhún,
leath mo shúl í, leath mo lámh.

Leath mo chuirp an choinneal naoi;
's guirt riom do roinneadh, a Rí;
agá labhra is meirtneach mé -
dob é ceirtleath m'anma í.

Mo chéadghrádh a dearc mhall mhór,
déadbhán agus cam a cliabh:
nochar bhean a colann caomh
ná a taobh ré fear romham riamh.

Fiche bliadhna inne ar-aon,
fá binne gach bliadhna ar nglór,
go rug éinleanabh déag dhún,
an ghéag úr mhéirleabhar mhór.

Gé tú, nocha n-oilim ann,
ó do thoirinn ar gcnú chorr;
ar sgaradh dár roghrádh rom,
falamh lom an domhnán donn.

Ón ló do sáidheadh cleath corr
im theach nochar ráidheadh rum -
ní thug aoighe d'ortha ann
dá barr naoidhe dhorcha dhunn.

A dhaoine, ná coisgidh damh;
faoidhe ré cloistin ní col;
táinig luinnchreach lom 'nar dteagh -
an bhruithneach gheal donn ar ndol.


Is é rug uan í 'na ghrúg,
Rí na sluagh is Rí na ród;
beag an cion do chúl na ngéag
a héag ó a fior go húr óg.


Ionmhain lámh bhog do bhí sonn,
a Rí na gclog is na gceall:
ach! an lámh nachar logh mionn,
crádh liom gan a cor fám cheann.


Read more... )
bardachd: (Default)
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road run by
To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.Read more... )
bardachd: (Default)
Cross the hands over the breast here-so.
Straighten the legs a little more-so.
And call for the wagon to come and take her home.
Her mother will cry some and so will her sisters and
brothers.
But all of the others got down and they are safe and
this is the only one of the factory girls who
wasn't lucky in making the jump when the fire broke.
It is the hand of God and the lack of fire escapes.
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Fishermen at Ballyshannon
Netted an infant last night
Along with the salmon.
An illegitimate spawning,

A small one thrown back
To the waters. But I'm sure
As she stood in the shallows
Ducking him tenderly

Till the frozen knobs of her wrists
Were dead as the gravel,
He was a minnow with hooks
Tearing her open.

She waded in under
The sign of the cross.
He was hauled in with the fish.
Now limbo will be

A cold glitter of souls
Through some far briny zone.
Even Christ's palms, unhealed,
Smart and cannot fish there.
bardachd: (Default)
Alasdair à Gleanna Garadh,
Thug thu 'n-diugh gal air mo shùilibh;Read more... )
bardachd: (Default)
Is Death miles away from this house,
reaching for a widow in Cincinnati
or breathing down the neck of a lost hiker
in British Columbia?

Is he too busy making arrangements,
tampering with air brakes,
scattering cancer cells like seeds,
loosening the wooden beams of roller coasters

to bother with my hidden cottage
that visitors find so hard to find?

Or is he stepping from a black car
parked at the dark end of the lane,
snaking open the familiar cloak,
its hood raised like the head of a crow,
and removing the scythe from the trunk?

Did you have any trouble with the directions?
I will ask, as I start talking my way out of this.
bardachd: (Default)
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
bardachd: (Default)
The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters
and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters,
with four dead and eleven wounded.
And around these, in a larger circle,
of pain and time, two hospitals are scattered
and one graveyard. But the young woman
who was buried in the city she came from,
at a distance of more than a hundred kilometers,
enlarges the circle considerably,
and the solitary man mourning her death
at the distant shores of a country far across the sea
includes the entire world in the cirle.
And I won't even mention the howl of orphans
that reaches up to the throne of God and
beyond, making
a circle with no end and no God.

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