Archive for the Poems worth Reading Category

Are You Missing Out On Life?

Posted in Poems worth Reading on July 3, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

You haven’t really lived until you’ve read The Ballad of the White Horse.

The Ballad of the White Horse is Chesterton’s magnificent retelling of King Alfred’s heroic stand against the Danish pirates.  But it’s more than that.  In beautiful rhythmic verse, this writing master presents us with profound ideas about mankind, life and eternity.  Chesterton weaves truths into old legends and creates an unforgettable tale out of the two.  He uses a powerful rhyming scheme that makes his readers think deeply about the words they read and not just gloss over them.

The book starts by introducing the White Horse (England):

“Before the gods that made the gods

Had seen their sunrise pass,

The White Horse of the White Horse Vale

Was cut out of the grass.”

It then goes on to introduce the raiding Danes:

“The Northmen came about our land,

A Christless chivalry:

Who knew not of the arch or pen

Great, beautiful, half-witted men

From the sunrise and the sea.”

Alfred struggles against them but to no avail and the chiefs of his country are no longer interested in fighting the pirates.  It is then that he sees a vision and sets out to rouse his warriors.

Alfred goes into the Danes camp with his harp as a stranger minstrel and listens to the conversation of the Danish King Guthrum and his chief.  First Ogier, a soured, pessimistic old warrior delivers a speech of gloom and desolation and finishes by saying:

“ ‘And you that sit by the fire are young,

And true loves wait for you

But the king and I grow old, grow old,

And hate alone is true.’

And Guthrum shook his head and smiled,

For he was a mighty clerk,

And he had read lines in the Latin books

When all the north was dark.

He said, ‘I am older than you, Ogier;

Not all things would I rend,

For whether life be bad or good,

It is best to abide the end.’…

…‘It is good to sit where the good tales go,

To sit as our fathers sat;

But the hour shall come after his youth,

When a man shall know not tales but truth,

And his heart fail thereat…

…And a man hopes, being ignorant,

Till in white woods apart

He finds at last the lost bird dead:

And a man may still lift up his head

But never more his heart.’…

…And slowly his hands and thoughtfully

Fell from the lifted lyre

And the owls moaned from the mighty trees

Till Alfred caught it to his knees

And smote it as in ire…

…‘When God put man in a garden

He girt him with a sword,

And sent him forth a free knight

That might betray his lord;

He brake Him and betrayed Him,

And fast and far he fell,

Till you and I may stretch our necks

And burn our beards in hell.

But though I lie on the floor of the world,

With the seven sins for rods,

I’d rather fall with Adam

Than rise with all your gods.

What have the strong gods given?

Where have the glad gods led?

Till Guthrum sits on a hero’s throne

And asks if he is dead?…

…On you is fallen the shadow,

And not upon the Name;

That though we scatter and though we fly

And you hang over us like the sky,

You are more tired of victory,

Than we are tired of shame.

That though you hunt the Christian man

Like a hare on the hill-side,

The hare has still more heart to run

Than you have heart to ride.’”

My favorite part of the book is towards the end.  Alfred’s army has been defeated, his chiefs have been killed and their men have fled.  Alfred sees them running and calls them back, blowing his horn and saying:

“ ‘Brothers at arms,’ said Alfred,

‘On this side lies the foe;

Are slavery and starvation flowers,

That you should pluck them so?…

…Before the red cock crows

All we, a thousand strong,

Go down the dark road to God’s house,

Singing a Wessex song.

To sweat a slave to a race of slaves,

To drink up infamy?

No, brothers, by your leave,I think

Death is a better ale to drink,

And by all the stars of Christ that sink,

The Danes shall drink with me…

…And now I blow the hunting sign,

Charge some by rule and rod;

But when I blow the battle sign,

Charge all and go to God!’”

I cannot summarize any more of the story for fear I should give into the temptation to copy out the entire thing!  I must close with this warning- you will miss out on life if you continue to live another day without reading this classic.

-Frodo

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A Little Alliteration

Posted in Poems worth Reading on October 25, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

A Little Alliteration

 

The Dragon of Deception seeks to dissuade us and disrupt us, distract and drag us down to dreadful deadly doom. He tries to disarm us and divert us and disable and deprive us until we sink down to despondent dark despair. With disappointments and dejections and delusions and deceptions and discouraging depressions he disgraces and deceives us into disastrous darkness leading to destructive death.

 

– Legolas

 

Augustus Caesar

Posted in Poems worth Reading, Uncategorized on May 19, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

AUGUSTUS CAESAR

 

He said, ” and though the world fall

Ash on fire,

My house will rule them all!”

And that was his desire.

 

He said,  “and though the nations quake,

For mercy at my hand,

Until I my house rules them all

I fight to rule this land!”

 

He said, “and should I die today

Grasping with my last breath,

My house will rule them all

Or I go not to my death.”

 

He said, “The world shall never forget,

When I ruled and how,

For my house shall rule them all

Forever starting now.”

 

They made him a god when they heard him

A god over the people of Rome

But only a wise man knows

That a house is not a home.

 

And never can houses rule the world

But with an iron hand

To pass away as iron rusts

And sink into the sand.

 

And Great Augustus Caesar,

Boasting of his dreams

Little thought of Life or Love

What kind of a god was he?

 

written by Frodo