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Archive for June, 2007

Excelsior

This is one of my most favorite poems of all time, so I thought I’d put it on here so you could read it too. There might be some words in this poem that you aren’t familiar with, and I encourage you to look them up, so you can understand better what it’s talking about.

The Shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, ‘mid snow and ice,
A banner with a strange device,
Excelsior!

His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,
Excelsior!

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,
Excelsior!

“Try not the pass!” the old man said;
“Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!”
And loud that clarion voice replied,
Excelsior!

“O stay,” the maiden said, “and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!”
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered with a sigh,
Excelsior!

“Beware the pine trees withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!”
This was the peasant’s last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height,
Excelsior!

At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,
Excelsior!

A traveler, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,
Excelsior!

There in the twilight cold and grey,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,
Excelsior!

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

note: excelsior is Latin, meaning “higher”.

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Please forgive my absence here

For I’ve been busy everywhere,

That I’ve not had the time to sit

And write, and blog a little bit.

 

It may be weeks before I write

again, for I’ll be out of sight

At Camp Blue Haven, where the night

Is black as black, and stars are bright.

 

And so I leave you with these lines.

And as I wander through the pines,

I’ll try and find a subject that

Will blog for me – that won’t go splat.

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