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AC Benus

' Live-Poets Society ' – A Corner For Poetry

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Posted (edited)
 
 
92.
How pure at heart and sound in head,
  With what divine affections bold
  Should be the man whose thought would hold
An hour's communion with the dead.
 
In vain shalt thou, or any, call
  The spirits from their golden day,
  Except, like them, thou too canst say,
My spirit is at peace with all.
 
They haunt the silence of the breast,
  Imaginations calm and fair,
  The memory like a cloudless air,
The conscience as a sea at rest:
 
But when the heart is full of din,
  And doubt beside the portal waits,
  They can but listen at the gates,
And hear the household jar within.
Tennyson
 
 
Edited by AC Benus
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Hey all, 

So, I'm still doing some checking to see if it's even feasible to do in a short time frame, but I am thinking of doing a "Pop Up Poetry Anthology" (for lack of a better term). The theme would be "Instinct" (this was one of the themes with the most 5's in round 2 of the last theme selection). Poets would be able to do up to 4 poems, each posted as their own chapter. I don't mind putting in the work if I have enough authors/poets commit to it. The deadline would be 2-3 months (I need to check my schedule so I know when I'll be around to post them). So my question is this: who would commit to doing poems for it? I would need to have at least 7 or 8 authors commit in order to actually do it. You can PM me or comment in here (just be sure to tag me so I see it).  Or visit the poll:

 

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Posted (edited)

 

93.
By night we lingered on the lawn,
  For underfoot the herb was dry;
  And genial warmth; and o'er the sky
The silvery haze of summer drawn;
 
And calm that let the tapers burn
  Unwavering: not a cricket chirred:
  The brook alone far-off was heard,
And on the board the fluttering urn:
 
And bats went round in fragrant skies,
  And wheeled or lit the filmy shapes
  That haunt the dusk, with ermine capes
And woolly breasts and beaded eyes;
 
While now we sang old songs that pealed
  From knoll to knoll, where, couched at ease,
  The white kine glimmered, and the trees
Laid their dark arms about the field.
 
But when those others, one by one,
  Withdrew themselves from me and night,
  And in the house light after light
Went out, and I was all alone,
 
A hunger seized my heart; I read
  Of that glad year which once had been,
  In those fall'n leaves which kept their green,
The noble letters of the dead:
 
And strangely on the silence broke
  The silent-speaking words, and strange
  Was love's dumb cry defying change
To test his worth; and strangely spoke
 
The faith, the vigour, bold to dwell
  On doubts that drive the coward back,
  And keen through wordy snares to track
Suggestion to her inmost cell.
 
So word by word, and line by line,
  The dead man touched me from the past,
  And all at once it seemed at last
His living soul was flashed on mine,
 
And mine in his was wound, and whirled
  About empyreal heights of thought,
  And came on that which is, and caught
The deep pulsations of the world,
 
Aeonian music measuring out
  The steps of Time -- the shocks of Chance --
  The blows of Death. At length my trance
Was cancelled, stricken through with doubt.
 
Vague words! but ah, how hard to frame
  In matter-moulded forms of speech,
  Or ev'n for intellect to reach
Through memory that which I became:
 
Till now the doubtful dusk revealed
  The knolls once more where, couched at ease,
  The white kine glimmered, and the trees
Laid their dark arms about the field:
 
And sucked from out the distant gloom
  A breeze began to tremble o'er
  The large leaves of the sycamore,
And fluctuate all the still perfume,
 
And gathering freshlier overhead,
  Rocked the full-foliaged elms, and swung
  The heavy-folded rose, and flung
The lilies to and fro, and said,
 
"The dawn, the dawn," and died away;
  And East and West, without a breath,
  Mixed their dim lights, like life and death,
To broaden into boundless day.
Tennyson
 
 
 
Edited by AC Benus
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@AC Benus This affects me so very much. The images and allusions come fast and furious, enough to overwhelm the reader with appeals to senses and intellect. This was Tennyson at his best.

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30 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

@AC Benus This affects me so very much. The images and allusions come fast and furious, enough to overwhelm the reader with appeals to senses and intellect. This was Tennyson at his best.

My dear friend, I couldn't agree with you more

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Posted (edited)
 
 
94.
You say, but with no touch of scorn,
  Sweet-hearted, you, whose light-blue eyes
  Are tender over drowning flies,
You tell me, doubt is Devil-born.
 
I know not: one indeed I knew
  In many a subtle question versed,
  Who touched a jarring lyre at first,
But ever strove to make it true:
 
Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds,
  At last he beat his music out.
  There lives more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds.
 
He fought his doubts and gathered strength,
  He would not make his judgment blind,
  He faced the spectres of the mind
And laid them: thus he came at length
 
To find a stronger faith his own;
  And Power was with him in the night,
  Which makes the darkness and the light,
And dwells not in the light alone,
 
But in the darkness and the cloud,
  As over Sinaï's peaks of old,
  While Israel made their gods of gold,
Although the trumpet blew so loud.
Tennyson
 
 
Edited by AC Benus
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Posted (edited)
 
 
95.
My love has talked with rocks and trees;
  He finds on misty mountain-ground
  His own vast shadow glory-crowned;
He sees himself in all he sees.
 
Two partners of a married life --
  I looked on these and thought of thee
  In vastness and in mystery,
And of my spirit as of a wife.
 
These two -- they dwelt with eye on eye,
  Their hearts of old have beat in tune,
  Their meetings made December June
Their every parting was to die.
 
Their love has never passed away;
  The days she never can forget
  Are earnest that he loves her yet,
Whate'er the faithless people say.
 
Her life is lone, he sits apart,
  He loves her yet, she will not weep,
  Though rapt in matters dark and deep
He seems to slight her simple heart.
 
He thrids the labyrinth of the mind,
  He reads the secret of the star,
  He seems so near and yet so far,
He looks so cold: she thinks him kind.
 
She keeps the gift of years before,
  A withered violet is her bliss:
  She knows not what his greatness is,
For that, for all, she loves him more.
 
For him she plays, to him she sings
  Of early faith and plighted vows;
  She knows but matters of the house,
And he, he knows a thousand things.
 
Her faith is fixed and cannot move,
  She darkly feels him great and wise,
  She dwells on him with faithful eyes,
"I cannot understand: I love."
Tennyson
 
 
Edited by AC Benus
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Posted (edited)

In No. 95, Tennyson returns to the Orpheus theme, but now -- here, on the other side of glorious No. 93, where his suffering has become transcendental -- the ancient Greek demigod is triumphant. He is master of all the Nature he sees. This is so glorious to me. 

In the same Classical tradition, the poet gives the female gender to his soul. Thus, all the times he speaks of 'her' he means his spirit -- he means his marriage to Arthur. Again, more that is glorious.

Those who want to erase Tennyson's love from the view of LGBT(Q - questioning) youth make an extraordinary claim when they say (on Wiki, for example) that In Memoriam is not "about that" -- LOVE -- but about "friendship." BS. If they wish to make such an outrageous claim in total contradiction to the work of art itself, they need to produce extraordinary evidence to support their oddball bias. Just wishing Tennyson and Hallam were not so inconveniently Gay is not enough anymore.     

What if I went on Wiki and stated categorically that Abelard and Heloise were just pals, even though their letters indulged in a gross amount of "heteroerrotism", but that is meaningless, as their so-called love was nothing but asexual admiration for one another --- no sex to see here, nope -- you straight people have to go and appropriate some other body of work for your twisted "perversion." 

Imagine? And yet that's what they do for every single Gay poet and writer on Wiki, and we stand back and let them continue to lie to our kids.

Edited by AC Benus
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Posted (edited)
 
 
96.
You leave us: you will see the Rhine,
  And those fair hills I sailed below,
  When I was there with him; and go
By summer belts of wheat and vine
 
To where he breathed his latest breath,
  That City. All her splendour seems
  No livelier than the wisp that gleams
On Lethe in the eyes of Death.
 
Let her great Danube rolling fair
  Enwind her isles, unmarked of me:
  I have not seen, I will not see
Vienna; rather dream that there,
 
A treble darkness, Evil haunts
  The birth, the bridal; friend from friend
  Is oftener parted, fathers bend
Above more graves, a thousand wants
 
Gnarr at the heels of men, and prey
  By each cold hearth, and sadness flings
  Her shadow on the blaze of kings:
And yet myself have heard him say,
 
That not in any mother town
  With statelier progress to and fro
  The double tides of chariots flow
By park and suburb under brown
 
Of lustier leaves; nor more content,
  He told me, lives in any crowd,
  When all is gay with lamps, and loud
With sport and song, in booth and tent,
 
Imperial halls, or open plain;
  And wheels the circled dance, and breaks
  The rocket molten into flakes
Of crimson or in emerald rain.
Tennyson
 
 
Edited by AC Benus
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Posted (edited)
 
 
97.
Risest thou thus, dim dawn, again,
  So loud with voices of the birds,
  So thick with lowings of the herds,
Day, when I lost the flower of men;
 
Who tremblest throogh thy darkling red
  On yon swoll'n brook that bubbles fast
  By meadows breathing of the past,
And woodlands holy to the dead;
 
Who murmurest in the foliaged eaves
  A song that slights the coming care,
  And Autumn laying here and there
A fiery finger on the leaves;
 
Who wakenest with thy balmy breath
  To myriads on the genial earth,
  Memories of bridal, or of birth,
And unto myriads more, of death.
 
O, wheresoever those may be,
  Betwixt the slumber of the poles,
  To-day they count as kindred souls;
They know me not, but mourn with me.
Tennyson
 
 
Edited by AC Benus
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Posted (edited)

Just bumped into this...Grrrrr....

 

"[It's a] mistake to over-emphasize the death of Arthur Hallam in explaining the genesis of In Memoriam."

William R. Brashear

 

And from which remote, bygone era was Brashear assured his love-denying thesis would be embraced as something reassuring -- 2015.  2 0 1 5 !!!

And what goads me the most is thinking the likes of a Brashear, or the even that man himself, would fawn all over In Memoriam as one of the greatest love poems of all time if Tennyson had only addressed it to a girl. What hypocrites 

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51 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

Just bumped into this...Grrrrr....

 

"[It's a] mistake to over-emphasize the death of Arthur Hallam in explaining the genesis of In Memoriam."

William R. Brashear

 

And from which remote, bygone era was Brashear assured his love-denying thesis would be embraced as something reassuring -- 2015.  2 0 1 5 !!!

And what goads me the most is thinking the likes of a Brashear, or the even that man himself, would fawn all over In Memoriam as one of the greatest love poems of all time if Tennyson had only addressed it to a girl. What hypocrites 

AC, while I am no scholar especially in connection with poetry. I understand that In Memoriam was not written in a matter of weeks or months, I believe, if I'm not mistaken it was years. 

To be honest people saying Tennyson and Hallam were Gay is supposition. We really have no actual proof. However, that is on either hand, nor do our straight friends have any real proof of the relationship between them. 

If, we go along with Mr. Brashear, then my question would be, why on earth, would anyone spend all the time and effort he obviously did to write about a man who was a friend only?  I love my friends. I would write something for them possibly. 

But I would write forever to remember the man I loved completely. 

I don't how we will change these fearful people's minds who cannot even bend slightly in their feelings about what may have been. 

But I have loved men and I know their hearts, as do you, AC. And I know that in the future, people will read your work, tim's, Parkers, Wolf's and they will know without a shadow of a doubt those poems were written by proud, Gay men, to and about the men they loved. 

Edited by MichaelS36
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@MichaelS36 Thanks, Mike. I was not planning on having a Tennyson afternoon, but things unfolded. The search for one particular essay brought a host of others to my eyes. Although the 2015 one has some weird agenda to denigrate the entire reason for In Memoriam's existence, another analysis I found seems to totally "get it". Henry van Dyke's "Studies in Tennyson" from 1919 ends his chapter on the Elegy like this: 

(the "Threescore years and ten of earthly labour" means "Even is Hallam had lived to have a 70 year writing career, he could hardly have..." etc.)  

"The promise of Arthur Hallam's life was not broken. Threescore years and ten of earthly labour could hardly have accomplished anything greater than the work which was inspired by his early death and consecrated to his beloved memory. The heart of man, which can win such victory out of its darkest defeat and reap such harvest from the furrows of the grave, is neither sprung from dust nor destined to return to it. A poem like In Memoriam -- more than all flowers of the returning spring, more than all shining wings that flutter above the ruins of the chrysalis, more than all sculptured tombs and monuments of the beloved dead -- is the living evidence of an endless life."

 

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6 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

I found seems to totally "get it". Henry van Dyke's "Studies in Tennyson" from 1919 ends his chapter on the Elegy like this: 

It sounds like he did get it. Brashear sounds like so many people who cannot see the forest for the trees.  They remind me of people who love their conspiracy theories - they fall apart when you start asking logical questions. 

 

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22 hours ago, MichaelS36 said:

It sounds like he did get it. Brashear sounds like so many people who cannot see the forest for the trees.  They remind me of people who love their conspiracy theories - they fall apart when you start asking logical questions. 

 

Hehe, I was thinking about that oh so famous quote from this poem:

Tis better to have LIKED and lost

than never to have LIKED at all...

Um. No. The poem is about love, first and foremost. In fact, yesterday I thought I'd drop the whole In Memoriam into a Word doc and count just how many times the word love is used. Off hand, I can't seem to remember a single use of "like" applied to Hallam, but I could be mistaken :)

 

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Posted (edited)
 
98.
I climb the hill: from end to end
  Of all the landscape underneath,
  I find no place that does not breathe
Some gracious memory of my friend;
 
No gray old grange, or lonely fold,
  Or low morass and whispering reed,
  Or simple stile from mead to mead,
Or sheepwalk up the windy wold;
 
Nor hoary knoll of ash and hew
  That hears the latest linnet trill,
  Nor quarry trenched along the hill
And haunted by the wrangling daw;
 
Nor runlet tinkling from the rock;
  Nor pastoral rivulet that swerves
  To left and right through meadowy curves,
That feed the mothers of the flock;
 
But each has pleased a kindred eye,
  And each reflects a kindlier day;
  And, leaving these, to pass away,
I think once more he seems to die.
Tennyson
 
 
Edited by AC Benus
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99.
Unwatched, the garden bough shall sway,
  The tender blossom flutter down,
  Unloved, that beech will gather brown,
This maple burn itself away;
 
Unloved, the sun-flower, shining fair,
  Ray round with flames her disk of seed,
  And many a rose-carnation feed
With summer spice the humming air;
 
Unloved, by many a sandy bar,
  The brook shall babble down the plain,
  At noon or when the lesser wain
Is twisting round the polar star;
 
Uncared for, gird the windy grove,
  And flood the haunts of hern and crake;
  Or into silver arrows break
The sailing moon in creek and cove;
 
Till from the garden and the wild
  A fresh association blow,
  And year by year the landscape grow
Familiar to the stranger's child;
 
As year by year the labourer tills
  His wonted glebe, or lops the glades;
  And year by year our memory fades
From all the circle of the hills.
Tennyson
 
 
 
Edited by AC Benus
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Posted (edited)
 
 
100.
We leave the well-beloved place
  Where first we gazed upon the sky;
  The roofs, that heard our earliest cry,
Will shelter one of stranger race.
 
We go, but ere we go from home,
  As down the garden-walks I move,
  Two spirits of a diverse love
Contend for loving masterdom.
 
One whispers, "Here thy boyhood sung
  Long since its matin song, and heard
  The low love-language of the bird
In native hazels tassel-hung."
 
The other answers, "Yea, but here
  Thy feet have strayed in after hours
  With thy lost friend among the bowers,
And this hath made them trebly dear."
 
These two have striven half the day,
  And each prefers his separate claim,
  Poor rivals in a losing game,
That will not yield each other way.
 
I turn to go: my feet are set
  To leave the pleasant fields and farms;
  They mix in one another's arms
To one pure image of regret.
Tennyson
 
 
Edited by AC Benus
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Posted (edited)

 

101.
On that last night before we went
  From out the doors where I was bred,
  I dreamed a vision of the dead,
Which left my after-morn content.
 
Methought I dwelt within a hall,
  And maidens with me: distant hills
  From hidden summits fed with rills
A river sliding by the wall.
 
The hall with harp and carol rang.
  They sang of what is wise and good
  And graceful. In the centre stood
A statue veiled, to which they sang;
 
And which, though veiled, was known to me,
  The shape of him I loved, and love
  For ever: then flew in a dove
And brought a summons from the sea:
 
And when they learnt that I must go
  They wept and wailed, but led the way
  To where a little shallop lay
At anchor in the flood below;
 
And on by many a level mead,
  And shadowing bluff that made the banks,
  We glided winding under ranks
Of iris, and the golden reed;
 
And still as vaster grew the shore
  And rolled the floods in grander space,
  The maidens gathered strength and grace
And presence, lordlier than before;
 
And I myself, who sat apart
  And watched them, waxed in every limb;
  I felt the thews of Anakim,
The pulses of a Titan's heart;
 
As one would sing the death of war,
  And one would chant the history
  Of that great race, which is to be,
And one the shaping of a star;
 
Until the forward-creeping tides
  Began to foam, and we to draw
  From deep to deep, to where we saw
A great ship lift her shining sides.
 
The man we loved was there on deck,
  But thrice as large as man he bent
  To greet us. Up the side I went,
And fell in silence on his neck;
 
Whereat those maidens with one mind
  Bewailed their lot; I did them wrong:
  "We served thee here," they said, "so long,
And wilt thou leave us now behind?"
 
So rapt I was, they could not win
  An answer from my lips, but he
  Replying, "Enter likewise ye
And go with us:" they entered in.
 
And while the wind began to sweep
  A music out of sheet and shroud,
  We steered her toward a crimson cloud
That landlike slept along the deep.
Tennyson
 
 
Edited by AC Benus
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102.
The time draws near the birth of Christ;
  The moon is hid, the night is still;
  A single church below the hill
Is pealing, folded in the mist.
 
A single peal of bells below,
  That wakens at this hour of rest
  A single murmur in the breast,
That these are not the bells I know.
 
Like strangers' voices here they sound,
  In lands where not a memory strays,
  Nor landmark breathes of other days,
But all is new unhallowed ground.
Tennyson
 
 
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On 6/23/2020 at 3:03 PM, MichaelS36 said:

AC, while I am no scholar especially in connection with poetry. I understand that In Memoriam was not written in a matter of weeks or months, I believe, if I'm not mistaken it was years. 

To be honest people saying Tennyson and Hallam were Gay is supposition. We really have no actual proof. However, that is on either hand, nor do our straight friends have any real proof of the relationship between them. 

If, we go along with Mr. Brashear, then my question would be, why on earth, would anyone spend all the time and effort he obviously did to write about a man who was a friend only?  I love my friends. I would write something for them possibly. 

But I would write forever to remember the man I loved completely. 

I don't how we will change these fearful people's minds who cannot even bend slightly in their feelings about what may have been. 

But I have loved men and I know their hearts, as do you, AC. And I know that in the future, people will read your work, tim's, Parkers, Wolf's and they will know without a shadow of a doubt those poems were written by proud, Gay men, to and about the men they loved. 

I looked ahead a bit, and ran into this. I know you agree with me, but for anyone to read a love poem like this one and have the audacity to say it's not about love at all because it's Gay is galling. It's galling because if these few, godlike lines had not make clear it's Tennyson to Hallam, then all the straight world would quote it as among the greatest love poems there is. Why can't they accept black and white? 

 
Dear friend, far off, my lost desire,
  So far, so near in woe and weal;
  O loved the most, when most I feel
There is a lower and a higher;
 
Known and unknown; human, divine;
  Sweet human hand and lips and eye;
  Dear heavenly friend that canst not die,
Mine, mine, for ever, ever mine;
 
Strange friend, past, present, and to be;
  Loved deeplier, darklier understood;
  Behold, I dream a dream of good,
And mingle all the world with thee.
Tennyson
 
Edited by AC Benus
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103.
Tonight un-gathered let us leave
  This laurel, let this holly stand:
  We live within the stranger's land,
And strangely falls our Christmas-eve.
 
Our father's dust is left alone
  And silent under other snows:
  There in due time the woodbine blows,
The violet comes, but we are gone.
 
No more shall wayward grief abuse
  The genial hour with mask and mime;
  For change of place, like growth of time,
Has broke the bond of dying use.
 
Let cares that petty shadows cast,
  By which our lives are chiefly proved,
  A little spare the night I loved,
And hold it solemn to the past.
 
But let no footstep beat the floor,
  Nor bowl of wassail mantle warm;
  For who would keep an ancient form
Through which the spirit breathes no more?
 
Be neither song, nor game, nor feast;
  Nor harp be touched, nor flute be blown;
  No dance, no motion, save alone
What lightens in the lucid east
 
Of rising worlds by yonder wood.
  Long sleeps the summer in the seed;
  Run out your measured arcs, and lead
The closing cycle rich in good.
Tennyson
 
 
Note: I have been trying to present the poems as they appear in the first public edition of the book. For example, after the complete (original) In Memoriam is posted, I will post the five or so Tennyson added later to the collection. The exact number and sequence of the numbered parts is always an interesting topic, and just a few days ago I read that one of Tennyson's close inner circle was let read the printer's proof sheet for the first (private) edition. This gentleman wrote a paper on the contents in the early 1890s, and states there were only 118 numbered poems (as compared to the final 131). 
 
Some alterations were made, and the opening strophe of this poem appears in the first public edition as:
 
This holly by the cottage-eave,
  Tonight, ungathered, shall it stand:
  We live within the stranger's land,
And strangely falls our Christmas eve.
 
I think I prefer the original. The idea of leaving the "laurel" behind, that is, Tennyson's efforts at writing about Hallam, seems forced. More natural to me is the idea that "outside" grows the holly (as metaphor for the world outside of Hallam's and Tennyson's love) in celebration of the season. But "we" -- meaning the partners -- are strangers in a strange land that does not care about their sorrows. That's a sterling allusion in my book :yes:     
 
 
 
 
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2 hours ago, AC Benus said:
Dear friend, far off, my lost desire,
  So far, so near in woe and weal;
  O loved the most, when most I feel
There is a lower and a higher;
 
Known and unknown; human, divine;
  Sweet human hand and lips and eye;
  Dear heavenly friend that canst not die,
Mine, mine, for ever, ever mine;
 
Strange friend, past, present, and to be;
  Loved deeplier, darklier understood;
  Behold, I dream a dream of good,
And mingle all the world with thee.
Tennyson

I wish I could answer. What makes them fear it so? Because they are straight and a lot of them never really have that connection. And if they don't have it, then no way can we? Maybe that's it. I don't know my friend. But this is blatant, as are many of the ones posted. 

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104.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
  The flying cloud, the frosty light:
  The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
 
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
  Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
  The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
 
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
  For those that here we see no more;
  Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
 
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
  And ancient forms of party strife;
  Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
 
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
  The faithless coldness of the times;
  Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
 
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
  The civic slander and the spite;
  Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
 
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
  Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
  Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
 
Ring in the valiant man and free,
  The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
  Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Tennyson
 
(A poem more fitting to our hopes for current times could not possibly be :)
 
Edited by AC Benus
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