Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Saddest Words

Maud Muller

by John Greenleaf Whittier

Maud Muller on a summer's day

Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth

Of simple beauty and rustic health.

Singing, she wrought, and her merry gleee

The mock-bird echoed from his tree.

But when she glanced to the far-off town

White from its hill-slope looking down,

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest

And a nameless longing filled her breast,-

A wish that she hardly dared to own,

For something better than she had known.

The Judge rode slowly down the lane,

Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.

He drew his bridle in the shade

Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid,

And asked a draught from the spring that flowed

Through the meadow across the road.

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,

And filled for him her small tin cup,

And blushed as she gave it, looking down

On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.

"Thanks!" said the Judge; "a sweeter draught

From a fairer hand was never quaffed."

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,

Of the singing birds and the humming bees;

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether

The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.

And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown

And her graceful ankles bare and brown;

And listened, while a pleased surprise

Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

At last, like one who for delay

Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah me!

That I the Judge's bride might be!

"He would dress me up in silks so fine,

And praise and toast me at his wine.

"My father should wear a broadcloth coat;

My brother should sail a pointed boat.

"I'd dress my mother so grand and gay,

And the baby should have a new toy each day.

"And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor,

And all should bless me who left our door."

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill,

And saw Maud Muller standing still.

"A form more fair, a face more sweet,

Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

"And her modest answer and graceful air

Show her wise and good as she is fair.

"Would she were mine, and I to-day,

Like her, a harvester of hay.

"No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs,

Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,

"But low of cattle and song of birds,

And health and quiet and loving words."

But he thought of his sisters, proud and cold,

And his mother, vain of her rank and gold.

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,

And Maud was left in the field alone.

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,

When he hummed in court an old love-tune;

And the young girl mused beside the well

Till the rain on the unraked clover fell.

He wedded a wife of richest dower,

Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow,

He watched a picture come and go;

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes

Looked out in their innocent surprise.

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,

He longed for the wayside well instead;

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms

To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

And the proud man sighed, and with a secret pain,

"Ah, that I were free again!

"Free as when I rode that day,

Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay."

She wedded a man unlearned and poor,

And many children played round her door.

But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain,

Left their traces on heart and brain.

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot

On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,

And she heard the little spring brook fall

Over the roadside, through a wall,

In the shade of the apple-tree again

She saw a rider draw his rein;

And, gazing down with timid grace,

She felt his pleased eyes read her face.

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls

Stretched away into stately halls;

The weary wheel to a spinet turned,

The tallow candle an astral burned,

And for him who sat by the chimney lug,

Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug,

A manly form at her side she saw,

And joy was duty and love was law.

Then she took up her burden of life again,

Saying only, "It might have been."

Alas for the maiden, alas for the Judge,

For rich repiner and household drudge!

God pity them both and pity us all,

Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies

Deeply buried from human eyes;

And, in the hereafter, angels may

Roll the stone from its grave away!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

If this should happen

Long ago, in the 1950's, the Republics decided to do everything they could to wind the election. They won with Ike and thus began the dismantling of the world that FDR has created. In some old papers, my Mom found this poem which must have been given out by the Democratsat the time. For some reason, it seems to have some significance today.



The Republicans' seed has sprouted and grew
In the simple minds of quite a few,
And a few men have gone plain sour,
And made up their mind to vote for Eisenhower.

They've promised a lot and they'll promise more.
Let's look and see what they did before.
Twenty years have passed, and yet
Those Hoover days I'll never forget.

When Hoover was in, I lived on a farm,
A dollar bill looked as long as my arm.
I never saw a ten dollar bill, and
If Ike is elected I doubt I will.

When Hoover was in, things were really tight,
The rabbits were scarce and the fish wouldn't bite.
The men were too ragged to go anywhere,
And the women wore flour-sack underwear.

Remember, men, when you cast your vote,
If you vote for Ike you'll cut your throat.
Would you rather have a life of ease,
Or watery gravy and black-eyed peas?

Ever since nineteen hundred and thirty-two
The Republican party has been in a stew.
They've called the Democrats nasty names.
But the banks stayed open just the same.

If Ike is elected I'll move to the farm.
I'll plant some 'taters behind the barn,
I'll steel my neighbors' roasting ears,
And try to get by for four more years.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Welcome to the bar

Only just arrived and moved in. Not all of the glasses and drinkables are here yet and I have to finish moving those over here from Yahoo 360. Yes I am a refugee from 360. Yahoo, in their infinate wisdom has decided to close down the 360 site and release an "improved" version. Now, I am not going to sit around and wait till the improved version comes along. So, I got a couple of invitations from some ot my old friends on 360 and I have come over here. I like this site and how everything is arranged and it feels friendly.

I will do here, what I did at 360 so I hope all of you enjoy what I do here. Take care. I don't do much at blogger, but its nice to know there is a backup here and I can cross publish so this is an added bonous. So what appears here will appear at Blogger. At least the Bar on blogger will look nice and up to date.

About Me

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I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.