Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Some Time At Eve by Elizabeth Clark Hardy

Some Time At Eve
by Elizabeth Clark Hardy

Some time at eve when the tide is low,
—I shall slip my mooring and sail away,
With no response to the friendly hail
—Of kindred craft in the busy bay.
In the silent hush of the twilight pale,
—When the night stoops down to embrace the day,
And the voices call in the waters' flow—
Some time at eve when the tide is low,
—I shall slip my mooring and sail away.

Through the purpling shadows that darkly trail
—O'er the ebbing tide of the Unknown Sea,
I shall fare me away, with a dip of sail
And a ripple of waters to tell the tale
—Of a lonely voyager, sailing away
—To the Mystic Isles where at anchor lay
The crafts of those who have sailed before
O'er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.

A few who have watched me sail away
Will miss my craft from the busy bay;
—Some friendly barks that were anchored near,
—Some loving souls that my heart held dear,
—In silent sorrow will drop a tear—
But I shall have peacefully furled my sail
In moorings sheltered from storm or gale,
—And greeted the friends who have sailed before
—O'er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

I see wonderful things



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Lord Uxbridge himself went back there some years later, and insisted on dining at the table he had been carved on.

From Waterloo A Near Run Thing by David Howarth. Page 191.
Lord Uxbridge’s was the most celebrated of the thousands of legs sawn off at Waterloo, and his attitude to the loss of it was typical. ‘By God, sir, I’ve lost my leg’ was a figure of speech, if he said it at all: the leg was not shot off, but the knee was shattered. After he had been carried to Waterloo in a blanket, three miles from where he was wounded, he discussed the chances of saving it with the surgeons. All agreed it would have to come off. While they were making ready, he wrote a letter to his wife and chatted with his staff about the victory. During the operation, he never moved or complained: nobody held his hands, although that was a common practice. He said once perfectly calmly that he thought the instrument was not very sharp - and indeed, by that time of day the surgeons were in difficulties with knives and saws which were blunted by use. When it was over, his nerves did not seem shaken, and his pulse was unchanged. ‘I have had a pretty long run,’ he said. ‘I have been a beau these forty-seven years, and it would not be fair to cut the young men out any longer.’ Soon afterwards, another cavalry general came to see him. ‘Take a look at that leg,’ Lord Uxbridge said, ‘and tell me what you think of it. Some time hence, I may be inclined to imagine it might have been saved, and I should like your opinion.’ The visitor looked at the gruesome object, which was still in the same room, and confirmed that it was better off; and satisfied with that, Lord Uxbridge composed himself for sleep. Within a week, he was dressed and sitting up in a chair as if nothing had happened. Within three weeks, he was back in London, where a crowd took the horses from his carriage on Westminster Bridge and drew it through the streets, and the Prince Regent made him a marquess.

The owner of the house where the operation was performed, a M. Paris, shrewdly saw the value of the relic. He made a coffin for it, and with the permission of its owner he buried it in his garden. Above it he planted a weeping willow tree and put up a tombstone: 'Ici est enterré la jambe de I’illustre, brave et vaillant Comte Uxbridge . . .’ Generations of people went to see the grave, to the benefit of the Paris family, and Lord Uxbridge himself went back there some years later, and insisted on dining at the table he had been carved on.
The incident to which Howarth refers is the loss of Lord Uxbridge's leg. Wellington and Uxbridge were seated on their horses on a ridge, observing the battles when a cannonball took off Uxbridge's leg. Glancing down, the following exchange is supposed to have occurred.
Uxbridge: By God, sir, I've lost my leg!

Wellington: By God, sir, so you have!
The British stiff upper lip and sangfroid in the presence of catastrophe have stood them in good stead over the centuries.


Observing Christmas by Robert Bateman

Observing Christmas by Robert Bateman

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Best of the Bee


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Success-adjacent loser

There's a term I have not heard before -
Success-adjacent loser
Sure seems apt. This is in the comments from "She attended college at Brown, and spent a summer in Los Angeles trying to become an actress and a model, and going to clubs with Leonardo DiCaprio." by Ann Althouse. Althouse's post is red-meat for lifestyle-condemning comments and the commenters do not disappoint. Sadly, their factual arguments are not wrong.

Strikingly, there is a fair amount of commonality between the comments of the NYT where this appears and Althouse's commenters.

But back to success-adjacent loser. Great term for all the wannabes out there. Adjacent to excellence or productivity or success or whatnot but without the capacity themselves. They all seem to end up writing tripe mainstream media desperate for content.

The human mind is generally far more eager to praise and dispraise than to describe and define

From The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
The human mind is generally far more eager to praise and dispraise than to describe and define. It wants to make every distinction a distinction of value; hence those fatal critics who can never point out the differing quality of two poets without putting them in an order of preference as if they were candidates for a prize.

Off Beat Humor


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Friday, December 13, 2019

The Complacent Cliff-Dweller by Margaret Fishback

The Complacent Cliff-Dweller
by Margaret Fishback

I have a little home amidst the city's din
With kitchenette and shower bath and tub thrown in,
With fresh milk and vegetables and taxis close at hand--
The country can't beat that though Nature is grand.

The garbage is collected and I am not concerned
With where the men take it to be drowned or burned.
There are lots of different places that I can go for lunch
And autumn leaves are selling at fifty cents a bunch.

I see wonderful things



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