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Poem for the Day

Posted: 28 March 2014

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death,
Rode the six hundred.
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldiers knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

The Charge of the Light Brigade
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Poem for the Day

Posted: 27 March 2014

In my childhood trees were green
And there was plenty to be seen.
Come back early or never come.

My father made the walls resound,
He wore his collar the wrong way round.
Come back early or never come.

My mother wore a yellow dress;
Gentle, gently, gentleness.
Come back early or never come.

When I was five the black dreams came;
Nothing after was quite the same.
Come back early or never come.

The dark was talking to the dead;
The lamp was dark beside my bed.
Come back early or never come.

When I woke they did not care;
Nobody, nobody was there.
Come back early or never come.

When my silent terror cried,
Nobody, nobody replied.
Come back early or never come.

I got up; the chilly sun
Saw me walk away alone.
Come back early or never come.

Autobiography
Louis MacNeice

Poem for the Day

Posted: 26 March 2014

The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

Meeting at Night
Robert Browning

Poem for the Day

Posted: 25 March 2014

'Twas midnight in the schoolroom
And every desk was shut
When suddenly from the alphabet
Was heard a loud "Tut-Tut!"

Said A to B, "I don't like C;
His manners are a lack.
For all I ever see of C
Is a semi-circular back!"

"I disagree," said D to B,
"I've never found C so.
From where I stand he seems to be
An uncompleted O."

C was vexed, "I'm much perplexed,
You criticise my shape.
I'm made like that, to help spell Cat
And Cow and Cool and Cape."

"He's right" said E; said F, "Whoopee!"
Said G, "'Ip, 'Ip, 'ooray!"
"You're dropping me," roared H to G.
"Don't do it please I pray."

"Out of my way," LL said to K.
"I'll make poor I look ILL."
To stop this stunt J stood in front,
And presto! ILL was JILL.

"U know," said V, "that W
Is twice the age of me.
For as a Roman V is five
I'm half as young as he."

X and Y yawned sleepily,
"Look at the time!" they said.
"Let's all get off to beddy byes."
They did, then "Z-z-z."

The ABC
Spike Milligan

Poem for the Day

Posted: 24 March 2014

I was listening to the news the other day
I heard a fat politician who had the nerve to say,
He was proud to be Scottish, by the way,
With the glories of our past to remember.
"Here's tae us, wha's like us", listen to the cry,
No surrender to the truth and here's the reason why,
The power and the glory's just another bloody lie
They use to keep us all in line.

For there's no gods and there's precious few heroes,
But there's plenty on the dole in the land o the leal.
And it's time now to sweep the future clear
Of the lies of a past that we know was never real.

Farewell to the heather in the glen,
They cleared us off once and they'd do it all again,
For they still prefer sheep to thinking men
Ah, but men who think like sheep are even better.
There's nothing much to choose between the old laird and the new,
They still don't give a damn for the likes of me and you,
Just mind you pay your rent to the factor when it's due
And mind your bloody manners when you pay!

And tell me will we never hear the end
Of puir bluidy Charlie at Culloden yet again?
Though he ran like a rabbit down the glen
Leaving better folk than him to be butchered.
Or are you sitting in your Council house, dreaming of your clan?
Waiting for the Jacobites to come and free the land?
Try going down the broo with your claymore in your hand
And count all the Princes in the queue!

So don't talk to me of Scotland the Brave
For if we don't fight soon there'll be nothing left to save,
Or would you rather stand and watch them dig your grave
While you wait for the Tartan Messiah?
He'll lead us to the Promised Land with laughter in his eye,
We'll all live on the oil and the whisky by and by,
Free heavy beer! Pie suppers in the sky! -
Will we never have the sense to learn?

That there's no gods and there's precious few heroes,
But there's plenty on the dole in the land o the leal.
And I'm damned sure that there's plenty live in fear
Of the day we stand together with our shoulders at the wheel.

No Gods and Precious Few Heroes
Brian McNeil

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