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Poem for the Day

Posted: 2 May 2014

I have used today’s poem before and, I will no doubt use it again. It is dedicated to Messrs Cameron, Milliband and Salmond and to politicians of all parties, who seem to have forgotten that their first duty is to serve the people. It is dedicated to everyone in both the YES the Better Together campaigns who believe that they alone have all the answers. It is dedicated to the... likes of Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch who think that wealth and power, and the bastard off-spring that wealth and power produce, is all that matters. Above all, it is dedicated to everyone who believes that we are capable of creating a better, fairer world where a person’s worth is measured by who they are and not by the size of their bank balance or the titles bestowed on them. It is, quite simply, the greatest hymn to humanity ever written.

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e’er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Guid faith, he mauna fa’that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o’ worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an’a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.

A Man's A Man
Robert Burns

Poem for the Day

Posted: 1 May 2014

We'll have a May Day My O My O we'll have a May Day then
We'll have a May Day My O My O we'll have a May Day then

I have friends in London town, the finest ever seen
And I have some in Swansea and I've some in Aberdeen
We're all Labour good and true, and I'll tell you what we're going to do
We're going to fight this fight right through and we'll have a May Day then

 

Back in '45 they marched, from barrack room and mill
Determined they would make a change, for they had had their fill
From the kitchen sink and coal they came, every Labour man and dame
And shortly we'll be doing the same and we'll have a May Day then

Our faithers fought this fight before, and thought that they had won
You should have seen the boss turn green and how the man could run
But when our faithers turned their backs, the boss came again to dodge his tax
But the next time we'll no be so lax and we'll have a May Day then

They're never ever satisfied, though millions they have made
But still they think that you and I are grossly overpaid
There's nothing that they widnae steal, they even grudge your kids a meal
But very soon you'll hear them squeal and we'll have a May Day then

We'll join in jubilation and the big brass band you'll hear
As we march on in triumph to the future with a cheer
But as we greet the newborn day, the piper he'll have a tune to play
A lament for the sharks that are on their way and we'll have a May Day then

We'll have a May Day My O My O we'll have a May Day then
We'll have a May Day My O My O we'll have a May Day then

We'll Have a May Day Then
Matt McGinn

Poem for the Day

Posted: 30 April 2014

Sally is gone that was so kindly,
Sally is gone from Ha'nacker Hill
And the Briar grows ever since then so blindly;
And ever since then the clapper is still...
And the sweeps have fallen from Ha'nacker Mill.

Ha'nacker Hill is in Desolation:
Ruin a-top and a field unploughed....
And Spirits that call on a fallen nation,
Spirits that loved her calling aloud,
Spirits abroad in a windy cloud.

Spirits that call and no one answers --
Ha'nacker's down and England's done.
Wind and Thistle for pipe and dancers,
And never a ploughman under the Sun:
Never a ploughman. Never a one.

Ha'nacker Hill
Hilaire Belloc

Poem for the Day

Posted: 29 April 2014

Barely a twelvemonth after
The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
Late in the evening the strange horses came.
By then we had made our covenant with silence,
But in the first few days it was so still
We listened to our breathing and were afraid.
On the second day
The radios failed; we turned the knobs; no answer....
On the third day a warship passed us, heading north,
Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day
A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter
Nothing. The radios dumb;
And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
All over the world. But now if they should speak,
If on a sudden they should speak again,
If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
We would not listen, we would not let it bring
That old bad world that swallowed its children quick
At one great gulp. We would not have it again.
Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,
Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,
And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.
The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
They look like dank sea-monsters couched and waiting.
We leave them where they are and let them rust:
'They'll moulder away and be like other loam.'
We make our oxen drag our rusty ploughs,
Long laid aside. We have gone back
Far past our fathers' land.
And then, that evening
Late in the summer the strange horses came.
We heard a distant tapping on the road,
A deepening drumming; it stopped, went on again
And at the corner changed to hollow thunder.
We saw the heads
Like a wild wave charging and were afraid.
We had sold our horses in our fathers' time
To buy new tractors. Now they were strange to us
As fabulous steeds set on an ancient shield.
Or illustrations in a book of knights.
We did not dare go near them. Yet they waited,
Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent
By an old command to find our whereabouts
And that long-lost archaic companionship.
In the first moment we had never a thought
That they were creatures to be owned and used.
Among them were some half a dozen colts
Dropped in some wilderness of the broken world,
Yet new as if they had come from their own Eden.
Since then they have pulled our ploughs and borne our loads
But that free servitude still can pierce our hearts.
Our life is changed; their coming our beginning.

The Horses
Edwin Muir

Poem for the Day

Posted: 28 April 2014

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,...
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now
Alfred Edward Housman

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