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A Year of Nature – Day 365

The harp at Nature’s advent strung
      Has never ceased to play;
The song the stars of morning sung
      Has never died away.
And prayer is made, and praise is given,
      By all things near and far;
The ocean looketh up to heaven,
      And mirrors every star.
Its waves are kneeling on the strand,
      As kneels the human knee,
Their white locks bowing to the sand,
      The priesthood of the sea!
They pour their glittering treasures forth,
      Their gifts of pearl they bring,
And all the listening hills of earth
      Take up the song they sing.
The green earth sends its incense up
      From many a mountain shrine;
From folded leaf and dewy cup
      She pours her sacred wine.
The mists above the morning rills
      Rise white as wings of prayer;
The altar-curtains of the hills
      Are sunset’s purple air.
The winds with hymns of praise are loud,
      Or low with sobs of pain,—
The thunder-organ of the cloud,
      The dropping tears of rain.
With drooping head and branches crossed
      The twilight forest grieves,
Or speaks with tongues of Pentecost
      From all its sunlit leaves.
The blue sky is the temple’s arch,
      Its transept earth and air,
The music of its starry march
      The chorus of a prayer.
So Nature keeps the reverent frame
      With which her years began,
And all her signs and voices shame
      The prayerless heart of man.
— James Greenleaf Whittier, The Worship of Nature

Insults and Refutations

The student government of Western Kentucky University recently passed a resolution calling for free tuition for students of African descent.  The real President of the University responded here, but I thought I’d put my own spin on it.


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (KDDY)— Western Kentucky University Chancellor Daddy J. Bear has responded to a recent student government association resolution to support reparations for black students.

The resolution’s purpose was to establish full and free access to WKU for black students, and well as free tuition, and to acknowledge slavery is a “debt that will never be paid.”

Mister Bear  said in a statement released Thursday:

“Are you out of your ever-loving minds?  How in the bloody blue pluperfect <CENSORED> did you all get into this university? Get the head of Admissions in here, now!”

“Apparently the members of the Student Government aren’t being given enough homework, because they had the time to pass this drivel.  In order to head off the inevitable passing of similar wrongheaded ‘legislation,’ allow me to clarify that their resolution is is a waste of paper and electrons, which is probably a good way to describe their academic performance. I have read the SGA resolution, and I am ashamed that they have learned so little at the University that they would think that we would adopt any such policy.”

“I’ve spent much of the last year engaging in dialogue with black student leaders on campus, which has led to a greater understanding and appreciation of their experiences and priorities on my part, as I hope that they have learned that my priority is their education, not their feelings. I want to reiterate that our goal at the University is to prepare our students for entry into the job market as useful, thoughtful, and properly trained professionals, not as poorly-groomed dolts who think that a meaningless resolution passed after many speeches cribbed from the 23rd All-Soviet Veterinary Conference of 1952 will do a lick of good for race relations.”

“As we continue to try to educate those who think that such half-baked ideas are worth their time, we will focus on those things that help all students succeed:  scholarship, personal discipline, and challenging curriculum. We will direct resources, energy and effort toward those methods that are responsible, practical and proven to achieve student success, and continue to point and laugh at the Twitter activists, perpetually offended, and those who think that silly hats can change the world.”

A Year of Poetry – Day 364

Down in a green and shady bed,
A modest violet grew;
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head
As if to hide from view.
And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colour bright and fair;
It might have graced a rosy bower,
Instead of hiding there.

Yet thus it was content to bloom,
In modest tints arrayed;
And there diffused a sweet perfume,
Within the silent shade.

Then let me to the valley go
This pretty flower to see;
That I may also learn to grow
In sweet humility.

— Jane Taylor, The Violet

A Year of Poetry – Day 363

The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,
And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy;
For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects’ faith doth ebb,
Which should not be if reason ruled or wisdom weaved the web.
But clouds of joys untried do cloak aspiring minds,
Which turn to rain of late repent by changed course of winds.
The top of hope supposed the root upreared shall be,
And fruitless all their grafted guile, as shortly ye shall see.
The dazzled eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds,
Shall be unsealed by worthy wights whose foresight falsehood finds.
The daughter of debate that discord aye doth sow
Shall reap no gain where former rule still peace hath taught to know.
No foreign banished wight shall anchor in this port;
Our realm brooks not seditious sects, let them elsewhere resort.
My rusty sword through rest shall first his edge employ
To poll their tops that seek such change or gape for future joy.
— Queen Elizabeth I, The Doubt of Future Foes

Musings

  • You know, for a guy who makes his living dealing with technology, I’m really starting to hate technology.
    • No, that’s OK, mister work phone, please spontaneously reboot and reset yourself to factory settings.
    • Of course, miss laptop screen, it’s perfectly fine for you to start having fuzzy weird digital ghosts at odd moments while I’m scrolling around.
    • Oh, no, please, excuse me, mister TV remote.  It’s entirely my fault that you have decided that you will only work at angles ranging from 0 to 15 degrees from center of the television screen.
  • The peanut butter eggs in the white wrappers are not, in fact, ‘diet’ peanut butter eggs.
    • I stand corrected.
  • I can wait another week or two for the movie I ordered to arrive because Amazon has it on backorder, or I can cancel that order and go to the local Big Box Retail Cooperative and buy a copy there.
    • The downside of waiting is, well, waiting.
    • The downside of buying local is that I’ll have to go to Big Box Retail Cooperative and deal with, shudder, people.
    • Oh, well, movie’ll get here when it gets here.
  • One advantage of working from home a couple days a week is that my lunches are of higher quality.
    • You see, when I take my lunch to work, I usually just have leftovers microwaved on a paper plate.
    • When I’m at home, I can get fancy and use an actual dish to heat up my leftovers.  Perhaps I can even use real silverware.
    • Not only that, but I can have tap water cooled in my very own refrigerator.  At work, I have tap water that’s cooled with ice chunks like a peasant.
  • Apparently, “‘Tear down the flood walls, bulldoze it flat, and salt the earth with radium” was not the answer the young lady with the clipboard was looking for when she asked me what I thought the mayor could do to make Louisville better.
    • When that answer seemed to confuse her, I told her to just put down that I thought we ought to hire more teachers.
  • I saw an ad the other night for a company called ‘Dads Heating and Cooling’. I imagine their service calls involve a lot of demands for you to get out of their light and to fetch them the 3/8’s.

A Year of Poetry – Day 362

Here bounds the gaudy, gilded chair,
Bedecked with fringe and tassels gay;
The melancholy mourner there
Pursues her sad and painful way.
Here, guarded by a motley train,
The pampered Countess glares along;
There, wrung by poverty and pain,
Pale Misery mingles with the throng.
Here, as the blazoned chariot rolls,
And prancing horses scare the crowd,
Great names, adorning little souls,
Announce the empty, vain and proud.
Here four tall lackeys slow precede
A painted dame in rich array;
There, the sad, shivering child of need
Steals barefoot o’er the flinty way.
‘Room, room! stand back!’ they loudly cry,
The wretched poor are driven around;
On every side they scattered fly,
And shrink before the threatening sound.
Here, amidst jewels, feathers, flowers,
The senseless Duchess sits demure,
Heedless of all the anxious hours
The sons of modest worth endure.
All silvered and embroidered o’er,
She neither knows nor pities pain;
The beggar freezing at her door
She overlooks with nice disdain.
The wretch whom poverty subdues
Scarce dares to raise his tearful eye;
Or if by chance the throng he views,
His loudest murmur is a sigh!
The poor wan mother, at whose breast
The pining infant craves relief,
In one thin tattered garment dressed,
Creeps forth to pour the plaint of grief.
But ah! how little heeded here
The faltering tongue reveals its woe;
For high-born fools, with frown austere,
Condemn the pangs they never know.
‘Take physic, Pomp!’ let Reason say:
‘What can avail thy trappings rare?
The tomb shall close thy glittering day,
The beggar prove thy equal there!’
— Mary Robinson, The Birth-day

A Year of Poetry – Day 361

          Take this kiss upon the brow!
          And, in parting from you now,
          Thus much let me avow-
          You are not wrong, who deem
          That my days have been a dream;
          Yet if hope has flown away
          In a night, or in a day,
          In a vision, or in none,
          Is it therefore the less gone?
          All that we see or seem
          Is but a dream within a dream.

          I stand amid the roar
          Of a surf-tormented shore,
          And I hold within my hand
          Grains of the golden sand-
          How few! yet how they creep
          Through my fingers to the deep,
          While I weep- while I weep!
          O God! can I not grasp
          Them with a tighter clasp?
          O God! can I not save
          One from the pitiless wave?
          Is all that we see or seem
          But a dream within a dream?

-- Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream Within A Dream

A Year of Poetry – Day 360

“What is the real good?’
I asked in musing mood.

Order, said the law court;
Knowledge, said the school;
Truth, said the wise man;
Pleasure, said the fool;
Love, said the maiden;
Beauty, said the page;
Freedom, said the dreamer;
Home, said the sage;
Fame, said the soldier;
Equity, the seer;—

Spake my heart full sadly:
‘The answer is not here.’

Then within my bosom
Softly this I heard:
‘Each heart holds the secret:
Kindness is the word.’

— John Boyle O’Reilly, What is Good

A Year of Poetry – Day 359

“Are you deaf, Father William!” the young man said,
“Did you hear what I told you just now?
“Excuse me for shouting! Don’t waggle your head
“Like a blundering, sleepy old cow!
“A little maid dwelling in Wallington Town,
“Is my friend, so I beg to remark:
“Do you think she’d be pleased if a book were sent down
“Entitled ‘The Hunt of the Snark?'”

“Pack it up in brown paper!” the old man cried,
“And seal it with olive-and-dove.
“I command you to do it!” he added with pride,
“Nor forget, my good fellow to send her beside
“Easter Greetings, and give her my love.”

— Lewis Carroll, Another Acrostic

A Year of Poetry – Day 358

MOST glorious Lord of Lyfe! that, on this day,
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin;
And, having harrowd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, deare Lord, with joy begin;
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest dye,
Being with Thy deare blood clene washt from sin,
May live for ever in felicity!

And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same againe;
And for Thy sake, that all lyke deare didst buy,
With love may one another entertayne!
So let us love, deare Love, lyke as we ought,
–Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.

— Edmund Spenser, Easter

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