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Dover Beach

DOVER BEACH – Matthew Arnold (Published 1867)

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

DOVER BEACH – The Fugs (Released 1967)

Terminal II

TERMINAL II

He does the shopping now
Getting out is too much
But we don’t mention that
At least there are flowers

The new snowdrops are out
As the fresh year spins on
Words like splendour, wonder
Set amongst all this pain

Better Safe Than Sorry

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

Wear my heart on my sleeve
Come hell or high water
I’ve learnt over the years
Better to go short sleeved

Backstory

BACKSTORY

She had tattoos, she said
I’d have to pay to see
But then I’m miserly
Rather squeamish besides

Derision

DERISION

Etched as in acid
Undeserved childhood tattoos
Still silently burn

Gambolling Gamblers

GAMBOLLING GAMBLERS

Life a deck of cards
Unsure no one marked the cards
We shuffle and deal

Shysters and diehards
Trampled, embittered and scarred
Still we share the meal

The Wound We Wind

THE WOUND WE WIND

Round and round we wind
The wound we wound around us
Tight in our own grasp
History is history
The present we give ourselves

Far From Home

FAR FROM HOME

Racist illusions
There is no one to defend
Painful foolishness

The Next (Goose) Step

THE NEXT (GOOSE) STEP

The “top” one per cent
Terrified, naturally
Of those they exploit

Their diagnosis?
Organised supervision
i.e.: police state

Dirty Business

DIRTY BUSINESS

Too much pollution
In our air, in our water
In our politics

~~~~~~~~~~~

“There is the path of wisdom and the path of ignorance. They are far apart and lead to different ends … Abiding in the midst of ignorance, thinking themselves wise and learned, fools go aimlessly hither and thither like the blind led by the blind. What lies beyond life shines not to those who are childish, or careless, or deluded by wealth. ”

– Katha Upanishad,

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