Why Washington Retreated

1775

Said Congress to George Washington:
"To set this country free,
You'll have to whip the Britishers
And chase them o'er the sea."
"Oh, very well," said Washington,
"I'll do the best I can.
I'll slam and bang those Britishers
And whip them to a man."

1777

Said Congress to George Washington:
"The people all complain;
Why don't you fight? You but retreat
And then retreat again."
"That can't be helped," said Washington,
"As you will quite agree


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Why the Jackass Laughs

The Boastful Crow and the Laughing Jack
Were telling tales of the outer back:
"I've just been travelling far and wide,
At the back of Bourke and the Queensland side;
There isn't a bird in the bush can go
As far as me," said the old black crow.
"There isn't a bird in the bush can fly
A course as straight or a course as high.
Higher than human eyesight goes.

There's sometimes clouds -- but there's always crows,
Drifting along for a scent of blood
Or a smell of smoke or a sign of flood.


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Whereas At Morning In A Jeweled Crown

Whereas at morning in a Jeweled Crown
I bit my fingers and was hard to please,
Having shook disaster till the fruit fell down
I feel tonight more happy and at ease:
Feet running in the corridors, men quick—
Buckling their sword-belts, bumping down the stair,
Challenge, and rattling bridge-chain, and the click
Of hooves on pavement—this will clear the air.
Private this chamber as it has not been
In many a month of muffled hours; almost,
Lulled by the uproar, I could lie serene


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Where my sight goes

Who knows
Where my sight goes,
What your sight shows---
Where the peachtree blows?

The frogs sing
Of everything
And children run
As leaves swing.

And many women pass
Dressed in white,
As thoughts of noon pass
From sea to sea.

And all these things would take
My life from me.


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When, Like a Running Grave

When, like a running grave, time tracks you down,
Your calm and cuddled is a scythe of hairs,
Love in her gear is slowly through the house,
Up naked stairs, a turtle in a hearse,
Hauled to the dome,

Comes, like a scissors stalking, tailor age,
Deliver me who timid in my tribe,
Of love am barer than Cadaver's trap
Robbed of the foxy tongue, his footed tape
Of the bone inch

Deliver me, my masters, head and heart,
Heart of Cadaver's candle waxes thin,
When blood, spade-handed, and the logic time


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When The Grain Is Golden and The Wind Is Chilly Then it is Time To Harvest

Leron-leron sinta, umakyat sa papaya
Dala-dala’y buslo’, sisidlan ng bunga

In a dusty village in Cagayan Valley,
Ramon and his father were planting rice when soldiers

appeared on their farm. They questioned his father,
if he’d seen any communist rebels recently

in the area, and when he did not give them
a good enough answer, they beat him with the blunt ends

of their rifles, shot him as he was lying
on the ground. Ramon snuck away but remained hidden

in nearby bushes, to witness the soldiers


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When the Fishing Boats Go Out

When the lucent skies of morning flush with dawning rose once more,
And waves of golden glory break adown the sunrise shore,
And o'er the arch of heaven pied films of vapor float.
There's joyance and there's freedom when the fishing boats go out.

The wind is blowing freshly up from far, uncharted caves,
And sending sparkling kisses o'er the brows of virgin waves,
While routed dawn-mists shiver­oh, far and fast they flee,
Pierced by the shafts of sunrise athwart the merry sea!


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Wealth

Who shall tell what did befall,
Far away in time, when once,
Over the lifeless ball,
Hung idle stars and suns?
What god the element obeyed?
Wings of what wind the lichen bore,
Wafting the puny seeds of power,
Which, lodged in rock, the rock abrade?
And well the primal pioneer
Knew the strong task to it assigned,
Patient through Heaven's enormous year
To build in matter home for mind.
From air the creeping centuries drew
The matted thicked low and wide,
This must the leaves of ages strew


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What is Life

And what is Life? An hour-glass on the run,
A mist retreating from the morning sun,
A busy, bustling, still-repeated dream.
Its length? A minute's pause, a moment's thought.
And Happiness? A bubble on the stream,
That in the act of seizing shrinks to nought.

And what is Hope? The puffing gale of morn,
That of its charms divests the dewy lawn,
And robs each flow'ret of its gem -and dies;
A cobweb, hiding disappointment's thorn,
Which stings more keenly through the thin disguise.


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What shall I doit whimpers so

186

What shall I do—it whimpers so—
This little Hound within the Heart
All day and night with bark and start—
And yet, it will not go—
Would you untie it, were you me—
Would it stop whining—if to Thee—
I sent it—even now?

It should not tease you—
By your chair—or, on the mat—
Or if it dare—to climb your dizzy knee—
Or—sometimes at your side to run—
When you were willing—
Shall it come?
Tell Carlo—
He'll tell me!


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