Entry LXXX – July

from A Bestiary
Kenneth Rexroth

Deer
Deer are gentle and graceful
And they have beautiful eyes
They hurt no one but themselves,
The males, and only for love.
Men have invented several
Thousand ways of killing them.

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Entry LXXIX – July

Rannoch, by Glencoe
Thomas Stearns Eliot

Here the crow starves, here the patient stag
Breeds for the rifle. Between the soft moor
And the soft sky, scarcely room
To leap or soar. Substance crumbles, in the thin air
Moon cold or moon hot. The road winds in
Listlessness of ancient war,
Langour of broken steel,
Clamour of confused wrong, apt
In silence. Memory is strong
Beyond the bone. Pride snapped,
Shadow of pride is long, in the long pass
No concurrence of bone.

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Entry LXXVIII – June

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!–
Why look ‘st thou so?”– with my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross.

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

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Entry LXXVI – June

Marching Men
Marjorie Pickthall

Under the level winter sky
I saw a thousand Christs go by.
They sang an idle song and free
As they went up to calvary.

Careless of eye and coarse of lip,
They marched in holiest fellowship.
That heaven might heal the world, they gave
Their earth-born dreams to deck the grave.

With souls unpurged and steadfast breath
They supped the sacrament of death.
And for each one, far off, apart,
Seven swords have rent a woman’s heart.

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Entry LXXV – June

A Book
Emily Dickinson

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

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Entry LXXIV – June

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun (764)
Emily Dickinson

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun –
In Corners – till a Day
The Owner passed – identified –
And carried Me away –

And now We roam in Sovreign Woods –
And now We hunt the Doe –
And every time I speak for Him
The Mountains straight reply –

And do I smile, such cordial light
Opon the Valley glow –
It is as a Vesuvian face
Had let it’s pleasure through –

And when at Night – Our good Day done –
I guard My Master’s Head –
’Tis better than the Eider Duck’s
Deep Pillow – to have shared –

To foe of His – I’m deadly foe –
None stir the second time –
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye –
Or an emphatic Thumb –

Though I than He – may longer live
He longer must – than I –
For I have but the power to kill,
Without – the power to die –

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Entry LXIII – June

Ozymandias
Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read.
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
No thing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

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Entry LXII – June

Excelsior
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, ‘mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,
      Excelsior!
His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,
      Excelsior!
In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,
      Excelsior!
“Try not the Pass!” the old man said;
“Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!”
And loud that clarion voice replied,
      Excelsior!
“Oh stay,” the maiden said, “and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast! “
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered, with a sigh,
      Excelsior!
“Beware the pine-tree’s withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!”
This was the peasant’s last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height,
      Excelsior!
At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,
      Excelsior!
A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,
      Excelsior!
There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell like a falling star,
      Excelsior!

Entry LXXI – June

The Dying Hunter to his Dog
Susanna Moore

Lie down—lie down!—my noble hound,
That joyful bark give o’er; 
It wakes the lonely echoes round,
But rouses me no more—
Thy lifted ears, thy swelling chest,
Thy eyes so keenly bright,
No longer kindle in my breast
The thrill of fierce delight;
When following thee on foaming steed
My eager soul outstripped thy speed—

Lie down—lie down—my faithful hound!
And watch this night by me,
For thee again the horn shall sound
By mountain, stream, and tree;
And thou along the forest glade,
Shall track the flying deer
When cold and silent, I am laid
In chill oblivion here.
Another voice shall cheer thee on,
And glory when the chase is won.

Lie down—lie down!—my gallant hound!
Thy master’s life is sped;
Go—couch thee on the dewy ground—
’Tis thine to watch the dead.
But when the blush of early day
Is kindling up the sky,
Then speed thee, faithful friend, away,
And to thy mistress hie;
And guide her to this lonely spot,
Though my closed eyes behold her not—

Lie down—lie down!—my trusty hound!
Death comes, and we must part—
In my dull ear strange murmurs sound—
More faintly throbs my heart;
The many twinkling lights of heaven
Scarce glimmer in the blue—
Chill round me falls the breath of even,
Cold on my brow the dew;
Earth, stars, and heavens, are lost to sight—
The chase is o’er!—brave friend, good night!—

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