Our Mother Tongue
When the English tongue we speak
Why is break not rhymed with beak?
Will you tell me why it's true
We say sew but likewise few?
And the maker of a verse
Cannot rhyme his horse with worse,
Beard sounds not the same as heard,
Lord is different from word.
Cow is like bow and low like bow,
Shoe is never rhymed with foe.
Think of hose and close and lose
And of goose, but yet of choose,
Think of comb and tomb and bomb,
Doll and roll and home and some.
Then there's bough and cough and dough,
Thought and laugh, broach and bow.
And since pay is rhymed with say,
Why not paid with said, I pray?
We have blood and food and good,
Mould is not pronounced like could.
Wherefore done, but gone and lone?
Is there any reason known?
And in short it seems to me
Sounds and letters just don't agree!
I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough"
Others may stumble, but not you,
At hiccough, thorough, laugh and through?
Well done: And now you wish, perhaps
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it's said like bed not bead-
For goodness sake don't call it deed.
Watch out for meat and great and threat
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.
A moth is not a moth in mother
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's dose and rose and lose -
Just look them up - and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And front and font and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, come I've hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive
And yet I'd mastered it by five!
from Kahlil Gibran
Here I am, beautiful Death.
Receive my spirit, reality of my dreams
and substance of my hopes.
Embrace me, beloved of my soul, for you
are merciful and will not abandon me.
You are the messenger of the gods.
You are the right hand of truth.
Leave me not.
How long have I sought you without finding,
and called upon you, and you hearkened not!
But now you have heard me, therefore
do not meet my love with shunning.
Embrace my soul, my beloved Death.
For Rudolf Steiner
translated by M.H.
Just as a man, on a dreary day, may forget the sun,
though ceaselessly it shines and radiates,
so may we on a dreary day be forgetful of you,
until again, and even yet again,
sheltered and blinded we must rediscover
how inexhaustibly and on, and on, and on
your solar spirit
on us, dark wanderers, shines.
King of the Elements, Love Father of Bliss
In my pilgrimage from airt to airt
May each evil be a good to me
May each sorrow be a joy to me
And may thy son my foster brother be
And may thy son my foster brother be.
Holy Spirit of light
I a pilgrim throughout the night
Lave my heart pure as the stars
Lave my heart pure as the stars
Nor fear I then the spells of evil
The spells of evil.
Jesu, Son of the Virgin pure
Be thou my pilgrim's staff throughout the lands
Throughout the lands
Thy love in all my thoughts
They likeness in my face
May my heart warm to others
And thy heart warm to me
For the love of the love of Thee
For the love of the love of Thee.
Standing Before a Gentian Flower
I found the fairest gentian flower
Blooming alone deep down in a cool ravine.
Oh, how its rich blue blossoms shimmered
Up through the dense pine scrub.
Along the well worn path I come
Day by day in my wanderings
Climbing down the ravine
To gaze into the heart of that fair flower...
Beautiful blossom, why do you tremble
So shyly, so in fear before me
In the motionless air?
Is, then, the human eye not worthy
To gaze into a flower face?
Or is the human breath so rank
That it must dim the holy peace
In which you breathe?
Ah, mortal breast is evermore oppressed
By guilt and nagging self reproach, while you, oh blossom,
You rock your petalled crown in heavenly innocence
But do not look upon me with too much reproach!
See, I have this advantage over you:
I have lived,
I have struggled,
I have wept,
I have loved, I have hated,
I have hoped, I have shuddered,
The thorny pricks of agony, of ecstasy
Have burrowed in my flesh.
And all the terrors of Life and of Death
Have flooded through my senses.
I have played with choiring angels
And I have wrestled with demons.
You rest in peace, a dreaming child,
At the hem of God's vast mantle, but I,
I have battled my way to his heart,
I have torn at his veils,
I have called him by his name,
I have climbed up
On a ladder of sighs
And I have shouted in his ear: h a v e m e r c y!
Oh flower, you are hallowed,
Blessed and pure,
But does not the shattering stroke of fate
Hallow and bless by its touch?
Oh do not look upon me with too much reproach,
You quiet dreamer:
I have lived, I have suffered!
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