Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bruce And The Spider, Bernard Barton

For Scotland's and for freedom's right
The Bruce his part had played,
In five successive fields of fight
Been conqured and dismayed;
Once more against the English host
His band he led, and once more lost
The meed for which he fought;
And now from battle, faint and worn,
The homeless fugitive forlorn
A hut's lone shelter sought.

And cheerless was that resting-place
For him who claimed a throne:
His canopy devoid of grace,
The rude, rough beams alone;
The heather couch his only bed, -
Yet well I ween had slumber fled
Spider Image curtesy of http://www.pdphoto.org
From couch of eider-down!
Through darksome night till dawn of day,
Absorbed in wakeful thought he lay
Of Scotland and her crown.

The sun rose brightly, and its gleam
Fell on that hapless bed,
And tinged with light each shapeless beam
Which roofed the lowly shed;
When, looking up with wistful eye,
The Bruce beheld a spider try
His filmy thread to fling
From beam to beam of that rude cot;
And well the insect's toilsome lot
Taught Scotland's future king.

Six times his gossamery thread
The wary spider threw;
In vain the filmy line was sped,
For powerless or untrue
Each aim appeared, and back recoiled
The patient insect, six times foiled,
And yet unconquered still;
And soon the Bruce, with eager eye,
Saw him prepare once more to try
His courage, strength, and skill.

One effort more, his seventh and last!
The hero hailed the sign!
And on the wished-for beam hung fast
That slender, silken line;
Slight as it was, his spirit caught
The more than omen, for his thought
The lesson well could trace,
Which even 'he who runs may read,'
That Perseverance gains its meed,
And Patience wins the race.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt

    "Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly,
    "'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
    The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
    And I have many curious things to show you when you are there."
    "Oh no, no," said the Fly, "to ask me is in vain;
    For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

    "I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
    Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
    "There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin;
    And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
    "Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said
    They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

    Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, "Dear friend, what can I do
    To prove that warm affection I've always felt for you?
    I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
    I'm sure you're very welcome - will you please take a slice?"
    "Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind sir, that cannot be,
    I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

    "Sweet creature," said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise;
    How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
    I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
    If you step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
    "I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you're pleased to say;
    And bidding good morning now, I'll call another day."

    The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
    For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again;
    So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
    And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly.
    then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
    "Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
    Your robes are green and purple, there's a crest upon your head;
    Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are as dull as lead."

    Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
    Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
    With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew, -
    Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
    Thinking only of her crested head - poor foolish thing! At last,
    Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
    He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den
    Within his little parlor - but she ne'er came out again!

    And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
    To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er heed;
    Unto an evil counsellor close heart, and ear, and eye,
    And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

In my head this poem is less, "dear reader," and more dangerous.  A poem from childhood that although it may not quite match up in adulthood - still contains a something, not the "lesson" of beware flatterers, but the parallel truth about the nature of good and evil.  After all the dear spider is only trying to eat...

Have fun, enjoy the week, and fair warning,  I'll be continuing my spidery theme next week,
cheers. (please note the spider roundup portal is here at http://anafflictionofpoetry.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/tuesday-poem-spider-poem-roundup-with.html)


A.J. Ponder's books are available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, Paper Plus and good Wellington bookstores.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Invitation to The Party

I have nothing to bring to this party
these arms were not made for
holding, handing, helping

I have nothing to bring to this party
this silk was not made for
donning, dressing, draping,

I have nothing to bring to this party
except glittering jewels on velvet night
and they are not so much some giddy gift as a warning

Not so much glittering night, but gorgeously close on emerald green, image curtesy of http://www.pdphoto.org

have a happy healthy and productive week everyone


A.J. Ponder's books are available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, Paper Plus and good Wellington bookstores.

PS come into the parlour said the spider to the fly....so if you enjoy spider poetry why not check out my spider poetry portal, featuring my own work and Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, E.B. White, JRR Tolkien, and more!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Kraken by Alfred Tennyson

A quick note, this week I am the editor of the Tuesday Poem,  with Keith Westwater's Poem, "Resiliance", so if you want to find out more about why I like it, or about Keith Westwater, then click on the link - or take no heed of the warning and follow me into the treacherous deeps...

Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

Found this while looking up random London myths, legends, alchemists etc in an effort to do a little pre-research "Wizard's Guide to London. And came across - "And dross to gold with glorious alchemy,"  It  wasn't quite the direction I was looking for - although it was very useful - otherwise I'd have had nothing to post today.  :)

 So much great stuff to work with - I'm only getting more and more excited by the idea - but the goal really has to be making enough money from Wizard's Guide to actually go and visit London itself.

Have a great week folks


A.J. Ponder's books are available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, Paper Plus and good Wellington bookstores.

PS It amuses me to think that Lord Alfred Tennyson, and quite a few celebrated literary poets from the past wrote a fair amount of fanatasy/scifi/speculative fiction :)