In summer on Bredon The bells they sound so clear; Round both the shires they ring them In steeples far and near, A happy noise to hear. Here of a Sunday morning My love and I would lie, And see the colored counties, And hear the larks so high About us in the sky. The bells would ring to call her In valleys miles away: ‘Come all to church, good people; Good people, come and pray. But here my love would stay. And I would turn and answer Among the springing thyme, ‘Oh, peal upon our wedding, And we will hear the chime, And come to church in time. But when the snows at Christmas On Bredon top were strewn, My love rose up so early And stole out unknown And went to church alone. They tolled the one bell only, Groom there was none to see, The mourners followed after, And so to church went she, And would not wait for me. The bells they sound on Bredon, And still the steeples hum. ‘Come all to church, good people,’ – Oh, noisy bells, be dumb; I hear you, I will come.
Be still, my soul, be still; the arms you bear are brittle, Earth and high heaven are fit of old and founded strong. Think rather,– call to thought, if now you grieve a little, The days when we had rest, O soul, for they were long. Men loved unkindness then, but lifeless in the quarry I slept and saw not; tears fell down, I did not mourn; Sweat ran and blood sprang out, and I was never sorry: Then it was well with me, in days ere I was born. Now, and I muse for why and never find the reason, I pace the earth, and drink the air, and feel the sun. Be still, be still, my soul; it is but for a season: Let us endure an hour and see injustice done. An, look high heaven and earth ail from the prime foundation; All thoughts to rive the heart are here, and all are vain: Horror and scorn and hate and fear and indignation– Oh why did I awake?
Bound for your distant home
you were leaving alien lands.
In an hour as sad as I’ve known
I wept over your hands.
My hands were numb and cold,
still trying to restrain
you, whom my hurt never told to end this pain.
But you snatched your lips away
from our bitterest kiss.
You invoked another place
than the dismal exile of this.
You said, ‘When we meet again,
in the shadow of olive-trees,
we shall kiss, in a love without pain,
under cloudless infinities.’
But there, alas, where the sky
shines with blue radiance,
where olive-tree shadows lie
on the waters glittering dance,
your beauty, you’re suffering,
are lost in eternity.
But the sweet kiss of our meeting …
I wait for it: you owe it me …
~ Alexander Pushkin
A cowboy, who just moved to Wyoming from Texas , walks into a bar and orders three mugs of Bud. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.
The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, “You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time.”
The cowboy replies, “Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona , the other is in Colorado . When we all left our home in Texas , we promised that we’d drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I’m drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself.”
The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there.
The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way.
He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn.
One day, he comes in and only orders two mugs. All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, “I don’t want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss.”
The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs.
“Oh, no, everybody’s just fine,” he explains, “It’s just that my wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking.”
“Hasn’t affected my brothers though.”
A GRAMMAR NAZI is for the most part someone older than you who says, “Look, sunshine, if you can’t be bothered paying attention to the small details in your sentences, why should anyone take seriously the issues you discuss in those same sentences?” After half a century of wrestling with the complexities of the English language, I fail to see how caring enough to want to get the grammar right can or should make someone an object of derision.
We lacked this nasty little term back in the day. Instead, we had teachers, lecturers, editors & sub-editors who were passionate about the language & tried to make sure we were too. None was scarier than the legendary H. G. Kippax AO, drama critic & Associate Editor of the SMH for many years.
H.G. was a grim, grey old man when I encountered him in 1973. He seemed at least 100, though Wikipedia tells me he was just over 50. He never smiled – not that anyone ever did in that gloomy fourth-floor corner of the old Fairfax building. Dark coats & cardigans predominated , the paintwork was grey-green & the woodwork thick with layers of ancient varnish. Many men looked as if they were walking out of their oncologist’s office having just heard the worst.
Every night around seven I’d edge into his office with a damp galley proof of the next day’s Letters page. Since this was the one page that lacked hard news, it would be fair to assume it would be the first finished. It was often the last. H.G. would labour for hours over his corrections, until the revised sheet looked like a kindergarten kid’s first efforts with a crayon. Sometimes every paragraph had an addition or excission. I counted 73 one night, though this was probably not the record.
H. G. Kippax had a particular fixation on the humble comma. His eye for a misplaced comma was terrifying to watch. At times he bordered on the obsessive. Nobody except H. G., it seemed, had any idea where the intrusive little brutes should go. He’d rewrite the editorial as well as correspondents’ letters. I raised an eyebrow once, unwisely. “Surely that’s a bit dodgy legally?” He glared across his enormous desk. “Dear boy, do you think for one moment I’m about to let other people dictate the Herald’s standards?”
Years later, as a teacher, I realised how hard it is to imbue a sense of how & where the various punctuational devices of English should be deployed. The language contains far too many rules & just as many exceptions. Unless you’ve been given a basic grounding early in your schooling, when rote learning is easiest, the guidelines can be overwhelming & too confusing for most. The easiest way, I found, was to let undergraduates use their common sense. “When you’re writing a long sentence,” I’d say, “read it out aloud. That point where you naturally pause is probably where a comma belongs, because it means the sentence is changing direction.”
(Semi-colons were a whole different kettle of worms. A prof. of mine at the U. of Windsor, when I was starting out as a teacher, responded to a query about plagiarism by chuckling, ‘Any time you encounter a first-year student who’s used a semi-colon correctly, you’re probably looking at someone who’s copied someone else’s work.’)
Since schools stopped teaching the basics, it’s become harder & harder to get students to understand that ‘Oh well, what does it matter – you know what I mean anyway, OK?’ is not much of an excuse. H.G.Kippax’s obsession with commas wasn’t all that bad, as obsessions go. If people don’t stand up for precision in language, soon enough none of us will be able to say exactly what it is we mean.
Cheers, folks. Hope this little diatribe hasn’t sent anyone into a coma. Or comma. ☺
Beautiful family of our loving Jesus, be of the divine love that is life in its true form. Understand as you awaken and share this love, Satan (the evil one and his fallen angels) will do all they can to take you from your purpose and happiness. Be aware of a sudden moment when you feel down or attacked that it is not of God for its separated from him for the evil spirits shake with fear as you become more and more love in all your words and works, so they will try to attack your truth that you live so you question your beliefs and commitments to love. By what I have spoken here is to know your enemy, and be wise not to take in the negative view. You are the new Disciples of our loving Lord. Be you true to your love of commitment. Luke Le Br🕊
When your beautiful spirit, which guides you always towards love,one should flow with this and you will feel the wonders of life and an eternal purpose. Don’t waste time and energy fighting against yourself for if you do, you will end up surrendering to your ego mind and the end result must bring sadness to your expectations. Your spirit is watched over by Beings of Light and Angels, more so when you have opened your heart to them for they can help you overcome the chains of thousands of years that have blinded you to great visions of the true reality you seek. You have already come a long way from your earlier years and have advanced through doors which would have made you run in the past. You are now leading lights all in your own special way. It may be as a mother or father, or a dedicated worker towards a higher goal of uplifting for your fellow human beings. It matters not, you are living the Christ energy and Heaven stands with you. Fear Not, you are the warriors of the light, you have fought many battles against the mind controlled Ego, Say to it “Satan gets behind me” I am going Home with my spiritual family. Blessings, Luke Le Bree🕊